Friday, May 29, 2009

The Post that Reads Like a Stream of Consciousness (which I'll pretend was intentional).

I’m not a domestic person.

What I mean to say is, unless I’m nine months pregnant and nesting, it doesn’t occur to me to make the act of provision--food, shelter, clothing--into an art form.

I don’t take the extra time to make meals look pretty. Serving trays collect dust in my cupboard, because presentation is pretty low on my list of priorities, somewhere south of just don’t burn it, FFS. I don’t really understand how to decorate, although I’ve been known to go to Michael‘s to spend $45.95 on candles and pewter dishes and tiny glass pebbles whose combined function I can never replicate at home (much like an expensive haircut, which is why I don‘t get those, either). The Barefoot Contessa deeply intimidates me. I felt generally safer when Martha Stewart was behind bars.

That said, from time to time, I experience what I can only call surges of domesticity. I don’t know where they come from, nor where they go when they disappear as quickly as they emerged. But it’s as though a light bulb goes off in my head; I’ll be mid-sentence writing a short story and think, I need potpourri! Or: how long has it been since I scrubbed the kitchen floor? And then, impulsively, I’ll get up to clean it. In this case, I got my answer when Nate walked in to get a glass of water a few minutes later and landed directly on his butt. “What’s wrong with our floor?!” he called. “It’s all…shiny.”

Today however, I baked bread. Because that I can do. My kitchen? Smells divine.

But there’s a silver lining to having a house that’s known to be functionally clean and nothing more: you’re not asked to entertain much.

Which is fine with me, because I have a question: why is it that every single spring, I forget how busy the end of the school year gets? And then once I remember, why do I fail to take steps to rectify the problem? I need to learn to say no. Is that going to happen? No. Because for any given event or task, 90% of the work is done by 10% of the people. You all know this. I’m preaching to the choir.

But you know the type who IS the 10%, all by herself? (Yes, it’s almost always a ‘she’.) You do…you know the one: the mom who rises to the top of the PTA before her child hits the first grade, and always has a petition to sign concerning some worthy issue about funding or education or child health that really, you should have been aware of on your own, but you’re not because your homepage is not CNN News but rather Facebook or TV or Celeb Gossip Today where you‘ve been very busy taking polls on Angelina‘s best bikini look? The one who brings homemade cookies into the class for snack instead of a box of generic granola bars…or better yet, brings in homemade frosting and a rainbow of sprinkles and patiently lets all the kids decorate their treats themselves? Or better yet, just rents a cotton candy machine and gets it over with?

I like to pace myself right behind that woman, utilizing her slipstream.

But I’m losing momentum, because we’ve been out running around every night this week. In the case of last night, I'm speaking literally as well as metaphorically:


That’s Nate and Calvin, running the a local 5k and 2k respectively (in 90 degree heat). I was somewhere behind Nate. Far behind. Like, three to four minutes behind. Did I mention that I’m tired?!

This was the same community run where last year, I was so worn out that I repeated yelled at Toby that he was not a winner. I’m proud to report that this year, he ran his race and took his loss like a man, and that when he remarked that he “didn’t get first but might have gotten third,” I bit my tongue. Hard. Then he won a badminton set in a raffle, and sheer consumer joy made it all better.

But I digress…what was this post even about?

Ah yes: it was about cleaning, and then, somehow, it was about how I want it to be summer. Now. Like this:


Is that iconic of long, lazy days or what?
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