Saturday, August 06, 2005

Home Yet Again

I've returned home to the first naked lady blooming under the oak. A large line of geese honked low in the sky this morning as I ripped the yellow, rattling sweet peas out of the barrels. Can fall be inching into the wings so soon? Bills have been paid, dishwasher unloaded, Whole Foods run made (I pulled an M there, coming home with at least one bag full of goodies distinctly *not* on the list), pesto made (the basil went from wimpy to robust in the last month); laundry is being contemplated. I'm so glad to not be at the conference today, but I'm feeling oddly deflated. Think I'll blame the heat, PMS, and the fact that M of course had to work today, so I've just been rattling around our nest alone. Well, watching Veronica Guerin at 11:00 a.m. this morning was hardly an uplifting activity, either. Maybe a dog walk will help.

*****

Club Wed

I had a lovely escape from the conference Thursday night, in the form of dinner at a Thai restaurant in downtown Portland with my cousin and his wife. I don't eat much Thai food these day--M suffered from food poisoning last year on a re-frozen curry dish and understandably his passion for coconut milk dishes has soured.

My cousin and I have only seen each other a few times in the past couple of years, and we had a 20 year stretch of not visiting at all, but we manage to share several important similarities--genetics?: vegetarian child-free middle-kid writers who both re-married this year. Well, *he's* a writer, with several novels under his belt. I should just start calling myself a blogger. In fact, I think I'll fill in my tax return with that title this year.

One of the topics we discussed over salad rolls and pineapple curry was socializing with peers and friends who are parents. (I've been trying to write a more formal essay about what it means to be middle-aged and child-free, but it's going the way of the God essay--more angry and whining and meandering than I ever meant it to be. Hmm.) My cousin's wife, as a seventh grade teacher, feels she gets in plenty of nurture time, which was nice to hear. I get the impression that teachers these days are expected to be parental figures, which strikes me as a no-win situation. We didn't spend too much time on the topic, but I did bring up the idea that maybe there is something biologically wrong with us for not wanting to have children. Maybe we were just looking to reassure each other that it's OK to not want to be parents, what with all the parental judging/rivalry, expense, dismal future of our society. That there are other people like us. In fact, I saw a book in Powells that made me chuckle, Baby Not on Board--maybe I need to try harder to see the humor in the situation rather than the exclusion.

Especially since I do feel like I've inched a bit closer to the in-club by getting married. Like M and I can finally be taken seriously and officially as a couple, though not as a family. I guess I'm in the foyer now, trying to convince the maitre d' to seat us in the main room. But no act can approach giving birth, so I'll have to content myself with pacing back and forth by the coat check until the sands of time pile up, the children leave the nest, and my parent peers can come outside for some fresh air, unburdened and "just" a couple again. I anticipate that I'll have a small window of equal footing time before grandparenting kicks in and the clubhouse door is once again closed firmly in my face.

*****

I finished Sick Puppy on the plane home yesterday. It was OK. Well written, and the plot certainly moved along, but the characters were so cartoonish. Perhaps that was the point, part of the humor. And it certainly fit the summer read criteria. But I'm ready to move on to the latest Harry Potter, since M is already deep into the last Horatio Hornblower book on our list, "Hornblower During the Crisis," which is what I picked up at Powells. He put down the Oregon floatie pen I brought him and cracked the book as soon as I handed it to him.

I should get going. We may go out to see "Dukes of Hazzard" tonight, mostly so M can ogle the Chargers. He had a '68 Charger when we first met, and he had to sell it when he moved to New York to be with me, and I suspect it's his biggest regret in life.

1 Comments:

At 12:36 PM, August 07, 2005, Anonymous M said...

You know the exact year the Charger was. That's why I love you.

 

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