Wednesday, September 15, 2010
First Quarter Moon... You Know How it Is
My husband was sitting on the edge of the bed, eating scrambled eggs and toast and watching TV. He’d arrived home before I did, and since the kids had already eaten, he fixed himself an easy supper and took it upstairs. I kicked off my heels, peeled off my jeans, pulled on some pajama bottoms and flopped down on the bed behind him, my face tucked into his hip pocket and hidden from view.
My butt got an absent-minded pat and that was the extent of our interaction as a forkful of egg went into his mouth and his eyes returned to “House Hunters”. I’ve never been able to compete with a well-built Victorian. A ranch or a saltbox--yes. But bring on some sharp peaks and exquisite trim, and I lose, every time.
I spoke into his jeans.
“I need something funny to write about.”
“Yeah?” He turned up the volume on the television.
“Yes. I’ve got a deadline for my column. I’ve got to write it tonight, but nothing funny ever happens anymore.” My self-pitying voice was muffled by patchwork quilt and denim.
“Huh!” He was totally engaged in the topic at hand.
“We’re not as funny as we used to be!” The whine sounded pathetic, even to my own ears, and I rolled over and started giggling. Steven took a bite of toast and looked down at me.
The giggles turned to cackles and I lay there laughing all by myself while he looked on, mildly interested, but not overly so. The volume increased again. And I laughed some more.
I was tired. And… tonight is the first-quarter moon. Need I say more?
Sometimes—most times—humor finds ME. Sometimes it’s easy to see the ridiculous in the mundane or the comical in the monotonous. But at other times… it takes a lot of work to look at the bright side. Still, I’m game. I’m always willing to try to rearrange my view of the world until I can come up with a positive spin to put on the everyday occurrences of life.
So… what happened today? It was one of those days when I was right-out-straight. Up with the kids, showered, dressed, checked emails, fed pigs, ran to the office, stopped at the store, went to a quick meeting on my way back to The F.A.R.M., unloaded apple drops and rotten veggies and slop that I’d picked up on my way home for those same pigs I’d fed at seven a.m., put away a few groceries, ran upstairs to check emails, answered twelve of them, answered the phone twice, called each kids’ school to change their drop-off point, did some online banking, drove to a work appointment, took the kids to the exhibition hall so that Josie could enter five photos in the New Portland fair, drove home, fed the kids, built a fire, drove to North Anson with Eli for a required meeting, stopped for gas, drove home…
And took off my heels, peeled off my jeans, pulled on some pajama bottoms, and collapsed onto the bed.
However, as I wrote out the tasks of my humdrum, “blah” day, images flitted across my mind. The gentleman with whom I had my afternoon appointment was a virtual stranger to me. But I wasn’t a stranger to him. He’d heard me speak in public on a couple of occasions, and so he felt like we were old buddies. Before the hour-long meeting was over, we WERE, and he asked for—and got—a hug when we parted. That memory brings a smile, for it’s always nice to make a new friend. A girl can never have too many of those.
At the fairgrounds, I stood in the wings while Josie entered her photos, and I got one of those unique parental thrills as I listened to the compliments my daughter received from the attendant in the hall. And I felt pride when my daughter chose to have her pictures entered in the “adult” class rather than the “junior” category, even though she is young enough to be placed with the other entrants who are under the age of sixteen. She wanted to honestly compete with other photographers, and be judged on how professional and artistic her photos are, rather than simply get a blue ribbon for her efforts. She recognized that she might not win anything, this way… but still, she chose the tougher route.
And then, there was that hour and a half I spent with Eli. Did he do something to make me smile? Hmmm… Well, he aggravated the heck out of me by arguing with absolutely everything I said, tonight. Even if he agreed with me, he argued. Or ignored. Or rolled his eyes, which is worse than ignoring. No, I don’t recall doing much smiling while I went to and from school with my almost-fourteen-year-old son.
But as I think about it now, I’m grinning. He’s a teenage boy. He’s doing what he’s supposed to, and doing it well. My kids have always been good at what they do. No half-measures here. If one of them decides to be surly, they are the surliest of children. And that’s as it should be.
Maybe we aren’t very funny anymore. Maybe I have to work harder at first-quarter moon to find a laugh. Maybe I’m simply tired.
Or maybe, I just require a boost of self-confidence to make everything right in my world. Yep, I think this 1960’s hip-roofed split-level just might need to dive in and give that aging Victorian a run for her money.