Today, finally, I can say that summer is here. The four mornings at school that were our “Post-Readying” (or should I say “Pre-regretting”?) Week have passed and we have all escaped into our separate vacations. What do we have to show for our approximately 20 hours of meetings? The first two very rough paragraphs of our new “pedagogical underpinnings” and a time plan for September when we are going to do the rest of the stuff we were intending to accomplish this week. None of us had the energy, patience or frankly, functioning brain cells to realize that none of us had the energy, patience or frankly, functioning brain cells to complete our self-assigned tasks. So we just discussed stuff in Moebius strip fashion until the clock ran down.
I woke up this morning with the traditional slight hint of a hangover from last night’s dinner party and went down to greet my cleaning lady in the kitchen. The usual compost and dirty laundry removals were done while the coffeemaker did its usual thing. The laptop was fired up as always and I began to watch my usual news shows. First report – a police shooting. “Not again!” I protested inside and then realized I didn’t have the stomach to learn about this latest tragedy at the moment. I clicked on Pause and hit the next video. Another, different police shooting. Another quick click on Pause and onto the next video. Police getting shot. I clicked on Pause for the third time and then shut the whole browser down.
Just as well. Old Dog Three chose that moment to poop in the house – again! I had to clean it up quick before the cleaning lady saw it.
I decided to help with the housework which basically consists of me picking up little piles of stuff lying somewhere they shouldn’t in the house, reorganizing them all into new piles and placing those somewhere else they shouldn’t be in the house. This may not seem like a sensible use of my time, but it does have one little benefit. Several times a week my husband will yell from some other part of the house: “C. Have you seen my . . . (whatever) anywhere? I can’t find it.” To which I will yell back: “Look in that pile on the table between the red chairs in living room.” After which he will find it and then yell “You’re a hit!” while the idea that he couldn’t live without me is reconfirmed in his mind.
This cleaning thing continued until I had to leave to pick up my younger daughter. She needed to do some last minute shopping for her upcoming trip to England, which meant that I somehow managed to end up here once again – the H&M fitting rooms – and I could swear she was trying on the exact same pair of black pants as the last time. The song “Can’t Buy Me Love” started running through my head. I took a third picture to pass some time. I thought about how I would use my free afternoon and it occurred to me I should do something . . . uncharacteristic. Something unusual that would rid me of the feeling that my whole life was one big Moebius Hamster Wheel. What could it be? What day was it? Friday. What was the date? July 8.
Hmmmm . . . . July 8th . . . 8th of July . . . why did that date sound so familiar?
It dawned on me. Twenty-seven years ago on this date, I got married.
My daughter and I added one more stop to our shopping tour so that I could get him a present. I decided on a decorative chili pepper plant and wrote a sappy card that I knew he’d like. I gave it to him proudly, feeling like I had turned some corner or gotten off the hamster wheel – because I really never remember our anniversary.
In all 27 years, this was, like, only the third time.