All day I have been trying to write this blog post. No success. None. If it were just me in this venture I would quit today. I’d retire from blogging starting now and to celebrate I’d watch another episode of House. But. There is a b to consider. Collaboration is two boards leaning up against one another. If one retires, the other falls to the ground. Sigh.
But. Nothing is coming. I have nothing to say about presumption. I thought I had lots of things to say. I started several times to hold forth in a confident manner, but all those starts came to dust. This blog post I heartily apologize for and promise to do better next week.
And, without further ado, I give you a series of starts and failures:
1. Some of us assume that our days, from the earliest, will roll along marked by mostly pleasant friction. Job stagnancy, a cancer scare, children who drive too fast – these are the acceptable extremes we expect. Mostly, everything is fine. Days dawn with regularity. The bank balance hovers at a reasonable level. Weight is gained, lost, gained again with familiarity that is almost comforting. Some of us expect little in terms of greatness and horror, and we are fine with that.
And some of us are sure that downfall lurks while we sleep so smugly in our well-made beds. Our children – they will either die before us or inflict upon us suffering enough that we wish we’d never had them. Our jobs will torment us into an early retirement we can’t afford and instead of living out golden years on a houseboat docked in a warm sea, we’ll grow corns on our feet bagging groceries to make the electricity bill. Spouses will cheat, shriek, and flee; once faithful dogs will bite hard enough to break the skin.
2. My kids drink tea with their breakfast. Milky, decaf, Red Rose tea. They ask for it when they feel sick, when they’re chilled, when they need comfort.
I don’t think this is strange because tea is what I drank as a child.
3. “It’s not really work, is it?” a professor murmured to me as he looked at my table stacked high with books of poetry.
“No, not really,” I smiled. He had an English accent, so I’d never dream of not agreeing. But he was wrong. It was work to sit in that academic common room decorated like the nineties had never occurred. The poetry, no, that was more like an escape, but the setting was heavy lifting indeed.
4. If you could see my desk, you’d be appalled. Papers slip and slide over my keyboard as I try to type, paperclips clink to the floor with regularity, and my recycling box has been threatening for weeks to burst forth in song. Gum wrappers, business cards, drafts of brochures – on all sides I am towered over by detritus and I am as happy as a pig in poop.
I am not a neat person. Ask my long-suffering husband.
But we cleaned on Sunday and I have to admit it’s pleasant to walk into a house that doesn’t remind you of a rubble-filled slum.
3A. I was an American in an English university and it was work to feel even slightly
5. I never meant to have kids. I wanted independence, the chance to be selfish…
6. No, really, I love my kids, but there are days – months even – when I would gladly trade my sprawling bunch for a bushel of puppies.
This month, for example. What is it about Christmas that makes children sprout forked tongues and horns?
Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas. Well, I love parts of Christmas.
7. There are weeks
8. I’m in my office. I love my office. A stuffed rocking moose named Mabel is staring at me from her post under the window shelf. Stacks of paper surround three sides of me and nobody is ever going to suggest I move them. The wall in front of me: blank as the day it was painted.
9. H and I met in 6th grade when we were assigned a
10. I am not in the mood to write a blog post. I’m not in the mood to sit at my desk, either. I have no desire to stare at spreadsheets, tackled a petulant design program, or make a list of things that need attention.
11. When I am old,