Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Why So Serious?

I've decided that sometimes a girl just has to have a little fun.

My son Robin and I were in Seattle last week looking at colleges. For those of you who haven't yet taken part in this exercise in the later part of child-rearing, it's intense, it's emotional and it's exhausting. One evening as we sat around in an Admissions-office-induced stupor, surrounded by flyers and college catalogs, it occurred to us that if you were to produce a modern-day setting of Romeo and Juliet, you would have to keep in mind that they would have modern electronic communications. So we wrote a new version of the next-to-last scene, with Friar Lawrence texting Romeo blow by blow updates of what's happening with Juliet, with Romeo's replies. And here it is, for your scholarly reading pleasure.

juliet not reely dead ok
got it
ok now in toom
ok me too
sure shes not dead man
dude no way
see paris dont worry ;)
paris lol
what a wuss
dude mess him up
where are you
in driveway
im standing behind cript
in doorway
paris sees you
oop fuck
not dead not dead
i think i got him
can i go now
go check on juliet now
wont wake up
just put her in the car
ok going to las vegas
ok have a good time
yeah see you

There. Our contribution to the modern-day cultural scene. I guess Robin can go to college now.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sometimes the Cup Can Be Empty

A very strange thing happened today.

After a Saturday morning that included waking my son at 6:00 to take two antibiotics, three painkillers and a probiotic, making pancakes, corresponding with a dozen parent volunteers, ducking a two-hour rehearsal in my living room, filling out an auto loan application in eleven minutes, sending 60 choir students (including the teen-age son) away on a bus with ten chaperones -- my husband was one of them -- with all the attendant legal paperwork, and having lunch with my grown daughter, I found myself alone in the house.

Two yellow schoolbusses drove away with the contents of my brain at 2:00 this afternoon and then I didn't know what to do.

No, I mean it. I didn't know what to do.

I drove home and sat in front of my computer screen. There weren't any new messages because everybody I'd been e-mailing had just gone to a wilderness area where there isn't any wi-fi. I played a couple of games of Solitaire. Then I scheduled three college visits for later this month for me and my high school senior. Then I played some more Solitaire.

What do you do on a Saturday when all your jobs desert you and the laundry is caught up?

I'm re-reading Anne of Green Gables this week. That's the turn-of-the- (twentieth) -century story set in Prince Edward Island, Canada, where everybody grows their own food, quilts apple-leaf bedspreads, chases the cow out of the wheatfield, makes plum cake for tea, and still has time to sit on the front porch and knit and soak in the beauty of the St. Lawrence Gulf. I'd go for it myself, too, if they didn't describe ladies of 40 as being in their twilight years.

It sounds silly. But what happened? I can't even get into my back yard to see if there are tomatoes and carrots growing. I suspect there are, but I'm afraid to go out there. The last time I went into the back yard was before the school year started.

I have friends sending me Facebook messages wondering if I'm mad at them. No, I've just been too busy to sleep.

I made myself some dinner and sat down in front of the TV to watch a West Wing DVD. Four episodes of West Wing. Then I had some popcorn. Surely it's time to go to bed now.

It's 8:30.

I promised you posts that weren't perfect, and this is one of them. I'm surprised that I'm even going to let you read it. But it's worth it, just to ask:

When did it become so virtuous, so important, to be busy every waking moment? When did it become virtuous to have every moment be a waking moment?

And would there really be anything wrong with just sitting in a rocking chair and knitting, or watching the cool fall twilight enfold my street?