Yet another unrealistic beauty standard for cats.
Today at the library these teenage girls interviewed me on camera about why it is important to read the traditional canon of literature (mentioning many dead white males as their examples of “canon”) and I so wanted to say, “because old white men have a big Ole literary circle jerk going on and to understand one you should know them all” but instead I said something similar but less obnoxious about great literature loving to reference other great literature.
Maybe I should have said, “because nobody understands the human condition like dead white males.” But, you know, at work.
My dad emailed to ask what I want for Christmas so I sent him a link to this.
I don’t think of myself as a princess. But that, friends, is entirely beside the point.
"I found a broken link on your website. Wanna see?"
— Awakened Vibrations
1. Sassy, snarky Bean.
2. Good things happening in my life.
I have a date. I haven’t been on a date since 1996. Terrifying? Awesome? Both? Only time will tell.
|Him:||I'm going to watch Netflix, Mommy.|
|Me:||OK, sweetie. Thanks for asking first.|
|Him:||I wasn't asking. I was telling you to stop downloading. Close your computer.|
|Me:||Ah. What if I'm downloading Michael Jackson videos?|
|Him:||[speechless for the first time in his life]|
1. Starting in February I’m taking a class in which I will learn to make jewelry using dichroic glass. I’ve been making beads with polymer clay, which has been great fun, but I think I’m ready to move on.
2. Polymer clay is a gateway drug. I am ready to move on and learn new skills, but I’m not going to stop using it. Right now I’m making mosaic tiles for flowerpots. Pretty much everyone I’m related to has a house full of plants. (We have a yucca plant in our kitchen. I thought it would never survive the Western Massachusetts winter, but we’ve had it for almost two years now.)
3. What I really want to do is blow glass. Make lighting fixtures and jewelry and vases and wine glasses.
4. Today is a snow day. We found this out when a neighbor walking her dog saw Bean waiting for the bus and told us school is cancelled.
5. My therapist doesn’t work on days school is closed, so she cancelled our appointment this morning. This isn’t a problem, exactly, but she’s been giving me art therapy assignments and I really wanted to show her the beads I made that look like cookies covered in blue and white fondant.
6. One of my uncles still uses the Christmas tree ornaments my brother and I made for him 30 years ago. (They are angel-shaped pillows that my mom made and we decorated with paint pens.) So last night Bean and I made a little star-shaped birdhouse and then painted it in green and red and gold. He did most of it but I cleaned up the edges and filled in the missed corners. So it was a joint project but Bean was totally art director.
7. Bean outgrew his snow boots and so my mom took him out - IN THE STORM - to get him the appropriate footwear for playing the in snow. They have been gone for more than two hours and I am starting to get annoyed. She probably just didn’t see my call or text. It’s somehow beyond her to remember that I need to know what they’re doing, especially in weather like this.
8. My father asked me what to get for Bean for Christmas. I said a real camera. He asked what kind. I sent him a link. So Bean is going to have a camera that’s way nicer than mine, and this is exactly as it should be.
9. I did almost all of my Christmas shopping on Etsy, buying handmade and vintage items from PEOPLE I KNOW. I feel all sorts of warm and fuzzy about this. (It offsets my feelings about shopping at Target. I wouldn’t have, but LEGOS.)
10. I’ve volunteered to bring an art project to my cousin’s house on Christmas. I will wrangle the children using only finger puppet kits.
11. That’s what I’m doing today. Making finger puppet kits for ten children.
12. I’ve also got to convince Bean that we really do not need to shovel the backyard.
You have lots of company.
How the fuck did everybody else figure it out? Did they go to some classes that I didn’t in high school? It all just seems so chaotic, random and unfair. I lost at the life lotto a long time ago, and once you’ve lost that game, forget it, you don’t get another shot at the dice.
How did everyone else figure it out? I don’t know. Sometimes I think some people are just wired for responsibility. I’m not. Other times I think parents model this stuff. Mine didn’t. And there are no special classes. Either that or somebody lied to me. (I feel makeshift too.)
Life isn’t fair or predictable but it can be exquisitely beautiful. Chaos makes fractals and snowflakes. I know a couple who met because of a misdialed phone number. That’s random personified. (They’ve been together since 2004.)
Fact: There is no life lotto. There is someone out there who would gladly trade places with you. Moreover, if there were a life lotto, you’d get to play every single day. Life is difficult and tiring, but it’s supposed to be. Ten years from now you’ll really appreciate where you are, and you’ll see the value of the struggle. (You can’t see it from here.)
When you’re feeling hopeless and disconnected it’s hard to imagine that you’ll ever feel differently. This is true even if you have been through multiple depressive episodes and know intellectually and from experience that despair is impermanent. That knowledge alone won’t soothe you. (And by you I mean me.)
To sum up:
1) Some people do truly have the adulting thing down. Others don’t. The ones who don’t pretend they do. This is understandable but very isolating.
2) Pain leads to growth. Struggle refines us. When you feel better - and you will feel better - you’ll emerge from your cocoon a butterfly. You’re still the same being. But you are not a caterpillar and won’t be ever again.
3) No two people will ever despair exactly the same way. But know this: You are not alone.
(I let him watch Futurama when he was FOUR. Everything seemed fine right up until the day he told his grandmother to kiss his shiny metal ass.)
|Bean:||MOMMY! LOOK! NEW EPISODES OF FUTURAMA.|
|Me:||You can't watch that.|
|Me:||You know why.|
|Bean:||[starts an episode of Phineas and Ferb]|
|Me:||OK. Are you willing to promise me that you will never ever repeat anything Bender says?|
|Me:||Are you also willing to never mention it at school? Or to your grandmother?|
|Me:||OK. You can watch it.|
|Bean:||YAY! THANK YOU MOMMY.|
|Me:||You're welcome. Just remember: If Grandma finds out we are both in trouble.|
I spent the morning finishing my holiday-related shopping, seeing my chiropractor, and realizing that I might be cute. I say this because I noticed like five different people in Target looking at me way longer than anyone has looked at me in a long time. Mom was there with me, so I asked her: “Do I look especially good today or something? Is it the red scarf?” She said I look how I always look, but that I was way more energetic and smiley than usual. Which makes sense. I’ve been told my face lights up when I’m happy, and that it’s a flattering look for me. That’s good. I’d hate to be someone who looks better sad.
Happy? Happy is contagious.