My best friend just called. She’s in town for the weekend. We talked for exactly nine minutes. Here are the subjects we covered:
Labeling yourself “old” when you’re not, just to get out of doing things you should do and still can do. Also, not labeling yourself “old” because you will become older faster by defining yourself that way.
Jeep Cherokees, which both of our sons now drive. Are they theft magnets?
A female art student she’d like to fix Blue Kid up with. But, she lives in Virginia and he does not so how would they ever meet? But, they’d be perfect for each other.
How a second child can get the short end of the stick. And how that’s not fair and how her mother never let that happen.
How hard it is to let your children go out into the world and how you have to do it anyway whether you like it or not.
When Reagan invaded Grenada.
Her old boyfriend and his old apartment.
The sexual minds of men.
What we’re going to wear tonight when we meet at 7:30 for drinks and dinner.
Imagine what all we’ll be able to discuss when we’ll have hours to do it!
My Sunday night TV watching routine now lasts long into the week. I watch Dexter at 9:00 and then flip over to watch Mad Men at 10:00. Well, I used to. Don’t know what I’m going to flip over to now since Mad Men’s season is over. Might just flip over and go to sleep.
Then, Monday or Tuesday night, I watch my favorite show Bored to Death followed by Curb Your Enthusiasm, On Demand. Or on On Demand. I never know how to say that.
However you say it, being able to watch something On Demand or on On Demand is a great thing.
Then, on Wednesday night, I watch my least favorite Sunday night show On Demand or on On Demand: Californication. It’s weird that it’s my least favorite Sunday night show because it’s the show that sticks with me the most long after it has ended. And not just because it’s one of the crudest shows on TV. Which it is. It’s so crude and juvenile that I sometimes have to hold a pillow up over my face because I could die of embarrassment. But, the characters are growing on me. Especially Hank Moody, when he’s not acting so crude and juvenile. And he’s normally not acting so crude and juvenile when he’s around Karen, played by Natascha McElhone. With the angular beauty of Meryl Streep combined with the sexy, wild soul of Carly Simon, McElhone is breathtakingly beautiful. I think I might love her as much as Hank does.
Found out this week that what’s even better than being able to watch something On Demand or on On Demand is being able to watch something on YouTube from a previous season when you never watched your least favorite Sunday night show at all, but now you can, on a Friday evening, making Sunday nights from long ago last forever.
Getting ready to meet my sister and her two daughters for dinner tonight, I thought to myself, Don’t forget the big lollipops!
I put on black tights, a black turtleneck and a skirt. I rummaged through all my drawers. I couldn’t find my slip. I stood in front of the mirror, trying to tell if anyone else would be able to tell I didn’t have a slip on. I twisted this way and that and figured Who Cares. So they see more of my legs than they can already see? I went to the closet and grabbed my cute winter swing coat. The one that reminds me of Prince. Black heavy fabric with gold threaded accents. I put it on and looked in the mirror. The ruffle of my skirt fell a few inches below the bottom of the coat. I just won’t take off the coat, I thought to myself. I grabbed the suckers and off I went.
I pulled into the parking lot at the same time my sister did. I grabbed my purse and got out of the car. My nieces ran up to me.
The 12 1/2 year old showed me the book she was reading. Homer's Iliad.
“Wow, that’s a big book to be reading! That’s just great. You like it?”
“I haven’t read that much yet. Zeus is killing everyone so far. Hopefully it’ll get better.”
The nine year old hugged me and noticed I had straightened my hair. She reached up and stroked it. And then she said, “When I read a book? I only ever read the first chapter and then just the last page. I get the whole thing!”
“Well, that’s a good strategy, I guess. But you should always read the whole book. Come here, you two!”
The 12 1/2 year old was on my left and the nine year old was on my right. I pulled the two of them closer to me, then I pulled the two huge lollipops out of my purse.
As they giggled and hugged me closer, the nine year old reached down and felt the ruffle of my skirt. And then she skipped off and twirled around, arms outstretched, as a heavy November sunset cast a golden glow across her smiling face.
I ran into a neighbor in the grocery store this morning, the mother of one of Blue Kid’s best friends. She’s a riot. Makes me laugh every time I’m around her. I should be around her more often.
This morning, standing near a gorgeous display of apple cider and powdered donuts, she was telling me that she feels like she has to fight off depression most days. That she has to be her own cheerleader.
I told her that I feel that way too. Not most days though. Just some days. And some days I don’t even cheerlead myself out of it. Some days I just hunker down on the couch in the dark, watch Terms of Endearment and Marley and Me back to back, eat peanut butter crackers and wail into a pillow.
She said that she and the people from her office went to hear a motivational speaker speak last Friday and that she left feeling a little motivated. A little motivated not to complain about things.
“Like what?” I said.
“Like, she said, no one cares about your divorce! You have to keep trudging forward. Everyone’s got kid problems, everyone’s carrying some weight. You can’t focus on that stuff and complain all day long. No one cares.”
“No one cares. That's inspiring!”
“It’s true though. Think about it. You want to hear your surgeon going on and on about how depressed he is that he didn’t get laid last night?”
She had a point.
We talked for awhile longer about our depressive ways and how we weren’t going to complain about anything anymore. And then we complained about kids these days. Unappreciative little punks!
As she went off towards the bakery and I went off down the cereal aisle, she said that I should call her next time I’m having a bad day, that we could get together.
“Yeah, that would be great. I will. You always make me laugh.”
“What are you talking about? I want to come to your house and watch sad movies with you. We can hunker down and cry together. Misery loves company!"
My eyes popped wide open at 2:00am. Worried and nervous, my heart thumping in my chest, I wrapped myself up in a blanket and tossed from left to right and back again. I shut my eyes, willing myself back to sleep. Didn’t work. That nagging feeling would not go away. I was filled with anxiety, convinced that the nice guy who was very accommodating earlier in the day, the nice guy who talked about about his kids and what a kick he gets out of them, the nice guy who said, "You can tell I'm the owner? How? You can feel my stress and tell how far in debt I am?" The guy with the kind blue eyes and the easy going personality who got me bottled water when I mentioned I was thirsty to no one in particular, was nothing but a big fat liar!
I had a serious case of buyer's remorse.
For the last year and a half, I've learned far more about old cars than I've ever wanted to know. Not that most of it stuck. Except the sticker shock. Of what it costs to fix whatever has needed to be fixed that we’ve paid to have fixed on Blue Kid’s old car that now sits in our driveway with a blown head gasket, waiting for Volunteers of America to come tow it away.
Roy, my favorite and very trustworthy mechanic, tried to teach me something about old cars when Blue Kid and I stopped by his station after he pronounced the old Volvo DOA. (RIP) We wanted his opinion on Jeep Cherokees.
I didn’t get the kee completely out of my mouth before Roy shook his head, “Nah, you want to get something that goes forever and is cheap to fix. Buy a Honda or Toyota. You find something? I’ll look it over before you buy it.”
That’s been my mantra over the last few weeks.
When The Skimmer found a great looking Jetta with low-ish miles on Craig’s List, I said, “Roy said we should get a Honda or Toyota!”
“I know, I know.”
When I found several Honda CR-V’s, The Skimmer said, “Uh, BK says that’s a mom car.”
“A mom car? What? I think they’re cool!”
“You’re a mom!”
“Yes. You are correct. I am. And a cool one, at that. Plus you know what Roy says!”
Blue Kid found a Cherokee on cars.com. Looked pretty good and the miles were low compared to all the other Cherokees we had found. He and I were in the kitchen and I said, “But, we already talked to Roy about Cherokees. Remember what he said? We should get a Honda or Toyota.”
“Mom, Roy is not the Jesus of car repairs!”
I laughed and thought, But he’s saved me so many times over the last year! Plus, he’s so kind and helpful and trustworthy. I have faith in Roy.
In the end, even what Roy tried to teach me about old cars didn’t stick. We bought a Jeep Cherokee yesterday.
I grilled Mr. Stressed in Debt Owner of the Car Dealership with the Kind Blue Eyes about what I could expect to go wrong as soon as we got the Cherokee home. Belts? Hoses? Brakes? Muffler? Alternator? What will start leaking immediately? Radiator? Transmission? (Or as Roy says, “Tranny.”) What about this head gasket thing? Will it blow the second we sign these papers?
Mr. Stressed in Debt Owner of the Car Dealership with the Kind Blue Eyes went over what will fall under the warranty for the next year. Big things like a head gasket will. Small things like belts and hoses won’t. A belt is probably popping off of something under the hood as I type this. Or might have earlier when Blue Kid and his friend came flying through the door after taking it out for a drive this morning.
“We took it off road!”
I turned and stared hard at The Skimmer.
I said, “What?”
“There’s all that land over there near the park? Where Joe rides his dirt bike? It’s all hilly? There’s this one big hill and we took it straight up and then we just bounced over and it just kept going!”
As Blue Kid and his friend turned to run back outside, The Skimmer yelled, “Just don’t brake the axle!”
I said, “The warranty covers a broken axle. That’s a big thing, right?
I now have a new mantra: Keep it on the road!
"It's just a field, Mom."
"Keep it on the road!"
Late yesterday afternoon, after we had signed the papers without a gasket blowing anywhere, we drove it home, parked it in the garage and locked the door, making Blue Kid have to come through the front door when he got home. The Skimmer and I were sitting on the couch watching football when Blue Kid walked in the foyer.
He walked to the back door and opened it, saying "Why would Lego be stu..." He looked out into the garage and then back at me, his face breaking into a huge smile.
That was a priceless moment and just might be worth the sticker shock I get while I'm trying to keep it on the road as belts and hoses pop off here and there in the future. And remembering that moment will definitely help to numb the sting when the Jesus of Car Repairs says....I told you so!
You see life as an amazing mix of possibilities, ideas, and fascinations.
And sometimes you feel like you don't have enough time to take it all in.
You love learning. Whether you're in school or not, you're probably immersed in several subjects right now.
When you're not learning, you're busy reflecting. You think a lot about the people you know and the things you've experienced.
I'm in the middle of writing something that may or may not be posted today or tomorrow or ... ever. But, wanted to move that Wolcott post down the page a little lest (yes...lest) new visitors think I'm all about beating up people I don't even know. For (yes...for) I am not all about that, I am about much, much more.
I've been on a Todd kick this week (like I haven't been my entire life. He's a soulmate) and have been watching this video over and over. Figured I'd share. Seems appropriate today. The message of the music, the band wearing camouflage.
I love you, Todd Rundgren. Especially at 2:53-55. Sing it!