Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Aunt Edna's Ass

I was going through family photos and came upon this one of my mother and brothers.  She looks almost feral.  Children can do that to you.  When I had my two, I remember thinking, all I have to do is get them to the age of eighteen safe and sound and then I'll be done.  It seemed a tremendous task, and I needed to know there was a finish line.  I didn't come to that assumption on my own.  It is the fairy tale we spin to give parents the heart and the energy  to carry on.  But, as anyone with grown children knows, the fun is just beginning at eighteen.  Many of my friends' adult children are suddenly lost, or sick or bankrupt or heartbroken.  This pretty much means the parents are back where they started, and scared to boot.  The hopes you had for them as children are featherless and on the ground.  I am reminded of a line in the movie Parenthood.  Jason Robards says this of parenting: "It's like Aunt Edna's ass.  It goes on forever and is just as terrifying."

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The One Horse Shay

Is there any more dispiriting a conversation than the one with your financial planner? My husband made me take part in this year's conversation because he wants to retire.  And I want him not to retire.  First, he showed me a graph of our financial future. Three lines that took in the vicissitudes of the market, the vagaries of the world situation, and for all I know, cricket futures (what an article in the New Yorker dubbed, "the other green meat").  It was not encouraging.  Two lines dribbled along with all the enthusiasm of a sulking dog.  The other dropped off the page after a few inches.  This I gathered was what happened if the fates did not align.  When checking the options from his pension policy, my husband asked me, in all seriousness, which of us would die first.

 One would think, with all my ailments and emergency surgeries, I would be the first one to go.  Not so.  My healthy husband was built like the one horse shay, each piece as strong as the next, never breaking down until one day it "went to pieces all at once, and nothing first, — just as bubbles do when they burst."

Actually, it's a race to the finish to see which of us can leave the other holding the bag. Ah, love....

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Oh say, can I see?

"You're not looking!" I hear my art teacher's voice in my head daily, chiding me to look closer.  I have recently realized that 'looking' isn't the problem.  Seeing, is where I fail. When painting,  I see what I expect to see, ie., the light is warm, the shadow will be cool.  This is not always the case. My new year's resolution was to 'see' with greater accuracy.
Apparently, this will be harder than my standard 'lose weight' resolution.  The other night I was brushing my teeth with an electric toothbrush and went to check my email.  (Don't ask.)  There was something of interest online.  I put down my toothbrush, and with a mouth full of minty foam, read the email. When I closed down my computer, I looked for my toothbrush.  It was not there.  I had not moved from my seat.  Where could it have gone? I rinsed my mouth and came back to search anew.  Still no toothbrush.  I enlisted my husband.  He found it readily, eighteen inches from my computer. (This from the man who suffers from Male Refrigerator Blindness.)  The next day I could not find my asthma inhaler which was right in front of me.  I am beginning to panic.