Friday, November 23, 2012

The day after

I am constantly amazed that the good people I love so much love me back. I am daily astounded that my attention, my affection, my laughter, my actions, matter to them and make them feel somehow more whole, more present, more happy, more complete.

I am taken apart by the idea that when they ask me how my day was, they sincerely want to know. Tell me what happened. Tell me what you thought about that and that and that. Tell me what you said. Tell me. I am listening to you.

How did I get to such a miraculous place?

Such good people.

I want to say to them: You know, don’t you, that I am irascible and profane and selfish and volatile and very short and my face is asymmetrical and I am bad at math? You realize, don’t you, that I have uncharitable thoughts and dark moods and a drifting, inattentive mind? That I’m socially awkward and not very organized and consistently inconsistent and terrible at planning anything at all?

You must know that probably I will disappoint you. Almost certainly, I will. I will!

And I am generally just opening my mouth to say that stuff when my sons announce that I am the best mother in the world and my husband whispers that I am beautiful and hilarious and my mom tells me that story about how all she ever wanted was a daughter and look how lucky she got.

And then Marsha emails to say yoga and coffee soon? And Kent says hey, come see me and I will make you a sandwich, and MC stops by to see if I am up for a quick lunch break, and Karyn posts a love letter on my Facebook page, and Sarah invites me out for a run. Michelle texts and says have brunch with me, and Lindsay emails and says when are you coming to California so I can hug you?

And then Autumn and Clint and Ashley and Tamra and Nick and Chuck and Cheryl and Yario say that yes, actually, they would love love love to spend Thanksgiving at our house and no, it doesn’t matter at all that 20 people will have to share a table designed for eight. 

I’ll bring the wine. I’ll bring the ham. I’ll bring some extra chairs. How many kids will this mean? Six? Eight? We'll just eat in shifts. It doesn't matter.

Such good food.

It seems like I am always just gearing up to warn them that I am no bargain when they find some way to let me know unequivocally that they do not care one whit. That they are not keeping count and they are not running a tally and they’d just really like to hang around and maybe have a cup of coffee with me if that would be all right. Would that be all right?

Yes, yes. YES. My god. Of course that would be all right.

My friends thank me for coming to see them, they thank me for calling. They thank me. My mother reads my mind, and brings me what I need when I didn’t even know I needed it. My husband asks me all the time: How’s your day been? Did your meeting go well? How was your class? Do you have to grade papers tonight? What do you want to do for dinner?

Such good luck.

Whenever my incorrigibly wandery mind starts to slide sideways into a place full of shadows, my phone buzzes with a breathtakingly sweet message like this one I got Tuesday night:

You looked upset today. Just let me know if you need to talk or anything. Let’s talk later and I will tell you about something that will cheer you up.

Well, hey. You already did.

Look, all I ever want is to deserve this life, to make sure these people never regret opening their hearts to me. All I want is to be worthy of any of it. I’ll try. If history is any indication, I probably can’t promise much.

But in the meantime, you guys, please know this is true all the way to the heart of the thing: I’m so grateful.

Such a good day.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

It is possible that I do some whining in this column. You don't mind too much, right?

I am here to have a good time, y'all. I am here to play and laugh and jump around and do silly stuff that feels good and makes me and the people around me happy. I am not a particularly spiritual person (understatement alert!) but I have a zealous, near-religious devotion to the idea that we should be having a good time, and if we're not, we should get right on fixing that. Immediately, if not sooner.

That mindset generally makes my life a pretty damn delightful place to be, but it also has an unfortunate side effect: When my fun is thwarted, I become completely impossible. Petulant and impatient and grrrrrrr. 

I may be something of a brat on this topic. (Understatement alert again!)

And sometimes fun gets thwarted. Shit happens, as they so poetically say. It happens, and then you have to slog through some boring, unfun stuff to get to the fun stuff on the other side. Feh.

So here are some pictures of something I recently did that was SO MUCH fun, and here is a column that ran in today's Times Free Press that explains why my fun is temporarily on hold.




Half marathon with my friends. Fun!

Crossing the finish line feeling 10 feet tall and bulletproof. Fun!
Brunch after with the coolest people ever. Fun!
I love him. He is so fun!
I love her. She is so fun!