anyone can tell to see us
STUFF IS GOOD
The last week or two have been pretty great. I mean, I have still grumped and complained off and on because that is what I do, but if this beginning-of-summer is indicative of the rest of the summer, I will be pleased. There has already been drunkenness and open flame in the backyard, grilled foods, roasted marshmallows, and new-to-me salads. (Note: I don’t think it needs quite as much dressing as the recipe makes. Two or three tablespoons of the mixture should do it.) There has already been stuff from the garden: basil and zucchini. (I was so excited by the zucchini. I walked up my back steps waving them aloft and saying, “Behold the harvest!” I didn’t care if anyone heard me, because dude. Behold the harvest.) One night this week Neighbor Kid rang the doorbell at 7:30 pm and asked if Nora could come play “until it gets dark.” Well hell yes she can, it’s summer. They kicked a soccer ball around while Neighbor Kid’s mom and I sat on the porch with prosecco. Nora has been swimming or in a sprinkler almost daily, and one day she and her sitter made and played with a water blob, which looked like tons of fun. (Note: the last bullet point about how “homeschoolers” would somehow get science knowledge out of this craft made me snort a bit, but whatever.) We got invited somewhere awesome for 4th of July. I got the official go-ahead to continue my weekly work-from-home day, and it is so worth trading air-conditioning (office has it, home doesn’t) for bralessness and bare feet.
WE PAUSE TO GET SERIOUS
Currently immersed in Divorce Talk (a friend’s situation—LT and I are the same crime-fighting duo we’ve been for 17 years). A different friend is yammering all over Facebook about some self-help retreat where she identified her “core values” blah blah blah, which seemed to be mostly about happiness and “authenticity.” (I tried to stay the typing hands from putting ironic quotation marks around that word—but I am too thoroughly postmodern and simply could NOT.)
Participating in said discourse, as a listening ear, passive Facebook reader, sounding board, drink-and-gripe partner, etc, has made me introspective regarding a lot of interpersonal and life issues. I do not think my core values have much to do with happiness or, god forbid, “authenticity.” Much of the mainstream divorce rhetoric, revolving as it does around happiness, finding yourself, forging a path, somehow does not resonate with me. This is not to say that I am not happy (I am, reasonably), that my divorcing friend is doing the wrong thing (she’s not), or that I think people who attend self-help retreats are dumb (well…no comment). It’s just that lately, I find concepts like “responsibility” and “work” and “one foot in front of the other” more attractive than concepts like “self-discovery” or “bliss.” That doesn’t make me smarter or wiser than anyone else. It mostly just makes me feel really out of step with a whole swath of the bookstore.
PEOPLE ARE STRANGE (MYSELF INCLUDED)
1. I was waiting at a traffic light and a guy was in the street collecting donations for “Jesus.” I guess it could have been for a church or something, although it was somewhat suspicious that no name appeared anywhere on his collection jar, that he seemed to have hand-Sharpie’d some Bible verses on his reflective vest, and that his collection of Jesus-related pamphlets, presumably to be given in exchange for one’s donation, were all different and all decidedly crumpled. I do not really begrudge this type of scam artist—if you want to end an air of legitimacy to your panhandling, be my guest—but I was certainly not going to roll down my window and interact with him either. On impulse I gave him double devil-horn hands when he approached my car, which was arguably a bit of a dick move. I expected him to either be annoyed and move on or be outraged and pamphlet my car with religious zeal, but to my surprise he set down his jar and pamphlet-stack right in the road and enthusiastically devil-horned me back, while yelling YEAH! METAL FOREVER! Then the light turned green and I left.
2. At the grocery store for a few random things, because it has been too hot too busy to properly meal-plan. I ended up with beer, frozen yogurt, assorted sausages (tofu and non-) for grilling, and potato chips. Not a vegetable in sight. I made a joke with the young check-out guy, something like, “Really stellar nutrition on this belt” and he mumbled “Oh hey, 12-pack of Tecate” and I responded “Yes, I’m classy like that.” But that was the end of our normal-planet conversational exchange because as he rang everything up he kept up a mumbling monologue about how drunk he was going to get that night, and his parents are out of town so he was going to start drinking as soon as the shift ended and keep drinking until he passed out on the lawn, and if he throws up out there oh well, that’s fertilizer. It was really more creepy than funny and his mumbles were so quiet and monotone that I could not really tell if he was talking to me or not. I kind of wanted to interrupt the whole thing with WTF DUDE but I chickened out and just made fake-smile “hmmm” noises all through the grocery process. Sociopath on Aisle 9!
3. I got a mammogram, my first one ever. Mammogram should mean a topless birthday message, but instead it means that your breast gets squeezed to death by some evil million-dollar machine designed by the medical-industrial complex. It honestly wasn’t that bad (it wasn’t fun, but it wasn’t bad) but it definitely was weird and something in the dressing room offended me. The bin where you left your little breast-robe once you were finished was marked, “SOILED GOWNS.” Soiled? I did not poop in it, I merely wore it for a few minutes on my clean (although deodorant-free, as per instructions) top half. I did not say anything at the time but later I received a very open-ended email survey about the mammogram experience and I used the “Other Comments” section to strongly suggest they change that bin label. I am sure they think I am crazy now but WORD! USAGE! MATTERS!
—mimi smartypants has heterogeneously dense breast parenchyma.