Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tongue Dent

Perhaps if I bite my tongue long enough and hard enough, I'll create a dent that will remind me that sometimes, saying less is saying more.

But then again, if I stay silent too long, ideas and feelings will fester, in which case, the dent could become life threatening.

If I forget about it, there's always the chance that I'll repress an emotion that will later pop up one day when I'm ninety and wearing diapers and upset me. Then again, if I'm in diapers, there's a good chance I'll forget it again.

If I work it out and write about it, then it no longer is a part of present me and immediately becomes part of who I WAS, what I THOUGHT, and how I FELT.  I can even go third conditional and imagine how I WOULD HAVE THOUGHT or WOULD HAVE FELT. 

But then, if it's so important that I want to write about it, then it's time to reevaluate my pie of life, because someone's getting a bigger hunk than they deserve . . . 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Nothing Original Means Nothing Original

     It's just not Thanksgiving until someone fights. It's just not.  The preparation, the food, the little things we do to hang out together and be entertained - all that means nothing until the arguments ensue. Ours centered around drawing names for Christmas, and I'm not sure how we got there or how it ended or even really what was said. I heard only the tone of the words and saw the irritated faces.  My only quip was that I thought we should be good Catholics and lie to each other about how we really feel and no one laughed, but I still thought it was moderately funny.

     My only irritation was I was pretty sure we decided last year we weren't drawing names. Everyone knows who has who and tells what they want and shopping turns into a chore instead of fun and sometimes you even get in some form of currency the $100 we set as the limit. But oh well. The Taylor Swift special distracted me from wanting to say more than "I thought we weren't drawing names this year!" Besides that, Ava was yanking on my earrings and trying to turn on the Escalade with my remote keypad. I had other issues during the storm. 

     Aside from the minor dramatic flare of personalities at the witching hour, it was fun as usual. Lots of laughing, some good stories and the usual teasing,  But know what? I miss my family.  I miss my grandmother and my sisters and my brothers and my mom.  And.  Andandandandand. The secretest, quietest, privatest thing?  I. Miss. My. Dad.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Moms

Who are these women? I very seldom look up to find out, but I hear their conversations with each other. I listen as they discuss dance competitions and costumes and then, surreptitiously, other mothers who they dislike jointly and privately. They don't sit down. That's the worst part. I can handle the one with the iPad who watches everyone's kids and barks out instructions to the new moms and who used to be really very friendly to me until she found out I was Catholic. I think it also bothered her that I made fast friends with Dina, the one Brock and the guys at work would call a MILF. No one really talks to Dina, but she's preoccupied with three girls and is nice to everyone, like Sandy on Grease. She's the one who warned me about the dance team moms.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

You Can't Find 'Em in a Grocery Store . . .

     At the donut shop this morning, standing in line and overheard a conversation at a table of mature citizens.  I have an eye for older folks, so it took only a second to appraise the situation - 4 men, 4 women - clearly couples having coffee after early service on Sunday.  The men sat on one end of the table and the women sat on the other.  All touched by gray, all clearly comfortable in their own skin, and all engaged in separate but equal passionate exchanges about politics. One woman on the far end was spitting fire about someone in politics that I don't like either, though the day has erased the name.  (It's been a  long day, and I'm under the weather, but I remember thinking, "Atta girl.") The men's conversation was closer to me in proximity, so I picked up quite a bit.  One gentlemen was telling another about G.W.'s book having come out and how he was impressed with the writing. He said he had a granddaughter who is a reader, so he told her he wanted her to read the whole thing, and if she couldn't afford it, he'd purchase one for her.  His listener added his opinion about the interview he had seen of G.W. on "what's his name's show."  "O'Reilly?" asked the other. "No, he said. I saw that one, but not him - the other guy." I'd so fit in with these people.  And not just because I bought the book yesterday.

     It's hard not to engage when you're like-minded, and I wanted so badly to sit down and talk with them. Listen to their opinions on life and death taxes and the state of our country. I have my own opinions, but wisdom and experience offers a perspective that you just don't get from reading the daily news.  I try to usurp as much of it as I can when I'm around the wiser generation and I highly recommend this type of thievery.  You stand in line at the grocery check out and it can be depressing to watch the daily workings of life play out in the faces and actions of people who are more connected to the Facebook apps on their phones than they are to their inner selves.  And that's laughable these days, too. Who has an inner self?  As long as you can tweet or give a status update, nothing's a mystery about you.  Thoughts cease to be original when you find yourself sitting at a stoplight or at your work computer or laying in bed with your hands on some type of keyboard, trying to think of the cleverest way to say what you thought ten minutes ago.   Positive, comparative, superlative . . . sad, sadder, saddest.

     What these folks were talking about is worthy of a status update - one I'd take the time to read - one that says something.  One that doesn't involve an arm shot of how cute they look with their new hairstyle or with just a little bit of cleavage showing. 

     Ah, but ranting and raving against social media is hypocritical. I have my own account, and even though I use it primarily to keep in touch with family and post pics of my girls for them,  I still imbibe the sticky, sweet liqueur. To disqualify myself from the race just because I drink mine from a crystal goblet just isn't fair. 

     Who I want to be was sitting at the donut shop.  Who I am in the process of becoming is sitting at the coffee shop - someone who stares her friends in the face and engages them in lively conversation. Someone who buys everyone's coffee because it's my turn and listens to stories about their kids because I know them as well as I know my own and I care.  Someone who keeps up to date with the world and our country and has an opinion. Someone who sits just a few feet away from her husband who's telling his own stories and sharing his own opinions and who knows that he knows that I know that it's also because I love coffee and he loves donuts, and how that counts, too.  

Saturday, November 13, 2010

     It'll be eight years in July that we've been married.  For the first seven, I kept thinking to myself that it seemed like so much longer.  Like the number was too small to match our experience and our journey together.  It didn't accurately reflect the depth of our time together.  Beyond the days and the weeks and the months and the years has been the intensity with which we've loved each other. Who described numbers and time this way?  That it is more than just more or less.  It's forwards and backwards and sideways. Time isn't just felt in terms of where the sun's place is in the sky - it is felt in degrees.  The degree of drama in our first year. The degree to which we were in debt at the beginning. The degree of worry he endured over my questionable health for a while there. The degree to which I supported his musical aspirations. The degree of patience he had with my continuing education.  Time slowed for us. The time it took to find a house. The time it took the owners to move OUT so we could move IN.  The first holidays together, the long drives, the quiet evenings that we tried to stretch into days.

     Children changed time for us, too.  Emma made it more precious instantaneously.  From her first cry, time meant something totally new to both of us.  Ava did something different with time. She tightened up the schedule.  She made baths in to bath time, lunch into lunch time, and night-night into bedtime. She turned a cold front into fall shopping for the girls grocery shopping into menu planning.  They've both turned time inward on itself, too.  Because it's something we hoard, as well.  Time together, away from the world, at home and doing nothing with time except letting it wash over us like a low tide.

Eight years of marriage and ten years together in July.  Of any accomplishment, this is the one of which I'm most proud - being in love with the man I fell for in no time flat. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

To Do . . .

To be glorious and brave, dark and shrewd and unapologetic.  To say, "This is the art within me" and "To hell with you."

To recognize the power of a minute, if it's all that's left in a day for personal reflection. To damn sleep and use it or fail yourself and lose it.

To curse the rapid, vapid, needy world that seeks to reduce you to a status update, reportable the very second you realize you have engaged in a new activity and robbing you of transition neurons.

To step outside when it suits you best, when the night calls or the morning beckons. To recognize your place in the universe and how you contribute to its balance as much as it does yours.

To ignore the ruts in the road and the ruts in humanity.  To remember that the only road you rule is your own.

To say it when it needs to be said.  To tell polite society that apologies can be found in anything if ones looks deep enough.  To let them spend their time looking. 

To cut effectively from the activities that are incongruous to your composition.  To do what calls you - what consumes you - what keeps your head in the clouds. 

To purse your lips and wrinkle your brow and cock your head and consider what needs consideration. Anytime at all.

To go home. Wherever that for you.  To live there and love from there no matter where you go.

To look at love and see love and not the thing that is said wrong. To stop tabulating the slights like the scorekeeper at a basketball game.

To laugh at what is funny.  To explain why instead of hording a wry smile like it'll do you any good later.

To do . . .