Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Purple Coyote

It's a purple coyote with pink spots. I've never worn it, not being a pin-wearing sort of person. But I propped it up on my bookcase where I would see it every day.

That was years ago and there it remains, probably covered in dust. I don't live there anymore, but it's the first thing I thought of after seeing her yesterday. "I'm starting a second round of chemo this week," she said after we hugged.

Tomorrow I will drive to my parents house, find the pin, and wear it just because she gave it to me.

She won't know, but I will. And maybe, somehow, it will help.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Dead Squirrel

I’ve discovered in the past six months that living in suburbia has its downsides, and that neighbors tend to be one of those. The other day when my fiancé was mowing in the back yard he came across a dead (wet) squirrel. Since the neighbors have a pool very close to our property line, he assumed they had fished it out and tossed it into our yard. In order to finish mowing, he flipped it back onto their side. A couple evenings later I could smell rotting flesh while I washed the dishes. By the next night, we had to turn the window fan to exhaust because of the stench.

So after work today I went looking for the source of the smell and found the dead squirrel directly beneath our kitchen window. Now obviously my fiancé was wrong to try to pawn the dead squirrel off on the neighbors, even if he thought they’d done the same to us (two wrongs not making a right, and all that jazz). But for them to then move it right beneath our window, that’s pure craziness.

Clearly, whoever said that bit about good fences making good neighbors knew what he was talking about.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Apron Society

I read recently in a magazine that aprons are making a comeback. Apparently even some of the most popular clothing stores are selling them. This got me to thinking about the women in my family.

I am two generations removed from regular apron use. My own mother certainly never wore an apron. I think I remember my grandmother wearing aprons, but I can’t say for sure. Most of my memories are directly linked to photographs and I can’t think of any pictures of her with one on. But I have evidence that she must have used them at one time.

My fiancé and I are living in her house because she is in a nursing home. During the cleaning process after we moved in, I found two aprons in a drawer in the china cabinet. One was plain, made of dark paisley material, and the other was fancy, with yellow organza trim.

I have trouble imagining an apron society. Did the ladies wear aprons outside of the home? Why would you need different classes of aprons? It intrigues me.

So I tied on the plain apron over my jeans one afternoon while doing housework. When my fiancé got home from work he deemed it “cute.” Plus, the pocket allows for keeping tissues and my cell phone handy.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Creativity Gone?

I can’t help but wonder if I have done something in the last so many years that has resulted in a lower level of creativity. Or was it something beyond my control, like age.

It used to be that my mind was over-flowing with story ideas. Throughout college, I would forego taking notes during lecture because I had to get the stories out of my head and onto paper. Often I’d only write a page or two before losing interest in the idea, but there was no end to new ones.

In my first post-college job, I would find myself jotting down stories on scrap paper when my supervisor wasn’t paying attention. I wrote whole stories on 4” x 6” pieces of paper intended for phone messages.

I can’t remember exactly when it happened. I must have been 22 or 23. In retrospect, it seems like someone cranked the handle on a faucet. If the creativity hasn’t been turned off altogether, it’s limited to an occasional drip here or there.

Was it the mind-numbing job in retail management?

Could it have been the drinking?

Or was it a hormonal change into adulthood?

How could the very workings of my brain have changed so drastically? Now I ache to be able to turn the faucet handle back in the other direction and have the creativity pour forth. I’d settle for a slow trickle at this point.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Suspended State

I feel like I live in a constant state of suspension. Maybe everyone feels this way to a degree, but I can only speak for myself.

Right now, for instance, I am working a temp job destined to end at any time. I have nothing lined up and no idea where I’d like to go. I am always working part-time and/or temporary jobs. I am constantly reviewing careers to potentially pursue. I investigate masters programs but am intimidated by the requirements for admissions or by the program itself. I hesitate to make the commitment of time and funds when I have no idea if I’d even want to be in that field. And so I find another job for another three months and try to think of another possible passion.

Is that the problem- that I expect to find something that I am passionate about? It was drilled into my head throughout my childhood that I could do anything I wanted and that it was more important to love what you do than to make a lot of money. A lot of good that advice has done me- I neither love what I do nor do I have the stability of a good paycheck.

I was the first person to return to this temp job for a second year. Maybe I can aim for a third.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Right Time

Is it a typical behavior for women of child-bearing age, women perhaps that are edging towards 30, past the age they had imagined themselves doing some of the things they’d been dreaming about for most of their lives? The behaviors I’m referring to came to light during our (my fiancé of almost 2 years, all of our pets and me) recent move.

While packing at the old house I had to make those vital “to keep” or “to toss” decisions. There was some definite hesitation before I slipped the stack of bridal magazines into the paper recycling bag. They represented at least $40 worth of ideas and released a plume of dust as they settled. I told myself that the dresses would be out of style by the time we got around to getting married. And yet, there seemed something so final about it.

In another room I slid a pair of denim overalls into a duffel bag. I’d never worn them because I firmly believe that the only time adults should ever wear overalls is when they are pregnant. But what really drove home the point was how I kept finding a little pink baby dress here and there that I would tuck into bags and boxes. They were all things that my mom had saved from my own days as a baby and had been filtering to me slowly over the past couple of years.

And so I tell myself this is the typical behavior of a woman who has had to put her dreams on hold for the time being, until the cards all fall into place, while a voice inside her head worries about what will happen if they never do. Is this the hope chest of the present day culture? Of late marriages, frequent job changes, and an increase in personal bankruptcies? Are there other women out there waiting for the “right time?”