Archive for December, 2010

Just what were you thinking?

Try this:

What did you think about today?  Not necessarily what you did, but what you thought about.

Today I thought about that mouse that  turned and disappeared behind the pasta when I opened the small food cabinet next to the stove.  And then I thought, well, how lame are you? You have been hearing scrabbling noises from that cabinet late at night and have even opened it, looked around and figured you were dreaming. Or thought it was the rain.

Then I thought about the back patio and that I should sweep off the clippings all sodden from the rain, but decided to leave it till tomorrow when the gardeners come. And I thought about having to remember to buy some new chew things for Ruby because I’m out of them. I thought about the blizzard in Manhattan and how glad I am that I’m not there but on the other hand, that feeling of waking up in the morning to complete soft silence in a big city is unequalled and is the same feeling when you find yourself deep in the middle of big forest.

I thought about seeing True Grit yesterday and how the character Jeff Bridges played is like some of the men I grew up with. They never stopped thinking they had a load of stories to tell. When the Armenian exterminator named Joe came, I thought a lot more about the mice and then also had to think about the nest of black widow spiders he found in the library. I thought about class tonight wondering who would show up and what I could offer them.

Other things I thought about:

The rain, when to take down my Xmas tree, changing the filters on my heat vents, getting two more eyebrow pencils from Macy’s, eating more fruit, checking out the NY blizzard again on the news, West End Avenue, Brendan’s Christmas dinner and did the roast turn out great, Michael in Dublin, taxes, money and how to get some more.

The Holiday Letter

Dear You- Know-Who-You-Are,

I don’t know who Widdie is.

I don’t know who “Rainbow” her high school friend she visited in Chicago just this past summer is.  I’m sorry to hear that “Rainbow’s” tumor got as large and unwieldy as it did, but I’m glad she had a strong support system just on general principle.  I have no need to meet Widdie no matter how important she may be to you in your life and I don’t need to know if “Rainbow” is a man or a woman.

Your classes in Tai Chi come across not nearly as life changing as you would like them to.  They read a little flat on the page. My advice, give it up.

I resent you imagining I have been charting your family tree along with you over the past several generations.  For example; Auntie Fez and Uncle Dexter in Annapolis, Lester and Maxine recently re-located from Twin Falls, The Blattgart twins outside of Orlando or the Mormons, Blyth and Simon and all members of your mother’s family.

The college reunion you described in such detail sounded like a ragingly tedious waste of time allowing you to continue in your pathetic and sophomoric attempts at denial that you too, are growing old and further, that anyone at all who went to school with you has any investment in seeing you again, except by way of comparison.

Your staggeringly elaborate description of your Labor Day weekend, along with your Memorial Day weekend, topped off by the President’s Holiday extra long weekend, your volunteer work and your recent love affair with couple’s therapy make “The Bridges of Madison County” read like a classic.

As for the exacting reports, (plus scores,) of your children’s Little League, soccer teams, ballet lessons, swim team, high jumps, jazz classes, science fairs–even their pithy sayings over the years have done nothing but bring me to my knees in blinding despair.

I care nothing about the entire state of Wisconsin.

And never, never dare to “share” a recipe again.  I was foolish enough to be attracted enough to your last year’s decorative centerpiece constructed out of licorice ropes, rice balls and pine cones to have created a disaster in my kitchen from which I’m still recovering.  Your follow-up cautionary note about the danger in the sudden heating of licorice was too little, too late.

I don’t care about your addition to your house, your contractor and his family, and dramatic as it may have seemed to you, I could simply not connect with the freak accident involving the pool heater and your dog Irene, who I remember with fondness.

In the future, please do me the courtesy of leaving me off your list.  Your letters make me feel obligated, small-minded, guilty, bored, and an overall radical misfit whose life is completely without meaning.