Monday, February 28, 2011

The one that almost got away

I had been lamenting my passing over two pieces at the Saver’s thrift store the other day, and I could not shake that horrible buyer’s remorse feeling - the one that got away. I did not purchase the orange plaid print short sleeved Marc by Marc Jacobs shirt. I rationalized putting it away. I told myself it was ugly, that if it was by Forever 21, I would put it away in a moment, but only because it was a Marc Jacobs was I seduced to buy. I thought that I was being a label whore about this one, jolted by the thrift store thrill of finding a high end label. I did the same with an Isaac Mizrahi beige suede skirt. It fit perfectly and could be a fantastic end of winter/early spring transition piece. And it held two simple and important second hand criteria - it was in great condition and the price was right ($5.98). I rationalized that I should spend the money on clothes for the girls or groceries or something more important – more practical. So I put them away and walked out the door.

I obsessed about them all night long. However, once I was able to quiet my mind and the delirious circling that it was doing, I listened to what was really going on. I was feeling more than misgivings about leaving behind thrift store treasures. I regretted that I just didn’t take that chance – that I did not take a risk. I can’t help but view my thrift store excursion as a metaphor for how I fear I have been living in my creative life. I have been scared – of taking creative chances and putting myself out there. Stuck. Comfortable with the status quo, but feeling an undercurrent of creative dissatisfaction. I have talked myself out of starting this blog too many times, telling myself that there are enough out there, the world doesn’t need another blog. I talked myself out of starting a blog, just as easily as I talked myself out of those amazing clothes.

I fear some days I am becoming a living cliché of modern, middle age. I have two children, a mortgage, and a marriage. I need comfortable shoes and I prefer white wine to red. I am involved in the PTA and I care about local politics. Those are all true parts of me. But, I struggle with the person who I still remember before children and other people’s needs and adult obligations came before my own youthful impulses. Some days I feel as though my mission is to bring these dualities to harmony in my life.

The great thing is I am back at that place where I have nothing to lose. More specifically, I have more to lose if I don’t just do it. I can be responsible and make sure there is food in the house and write and create and have some frickin’ fun with it.

And you know what was just the fantastic, metaphorical icing on the cake. I went back to Savers the next day, expecting nothing but hoping that maybe the shirt and skirt were still there – and they were! It was like they were waiting for me to just seize them and claim them – just like all the words and stories that swirl around inside of me every day.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Frickin' February

I am feeling a little weighed down the constant flow of have-to –dos that make a house and life and family run semi- smoothly. I had a break from the grind this past weekend, where my bestest, longest, closest friend came to visit. But as the short, tease of a weekend comes to an end, I just get greedy and grabby and I want more time with her. Because right when the groove gets going, and my girlfriend and I figure out what our theme song is for the weekend, and we have a few dance moves to go with it, we have to get back to work or whatever reality we have that needs attending. Although if I didn’t have just that little taste, right now I’d be drowning in the grind of life. Sophie has been sick this week. Feverish, barfy, moaning, glassy-eyed, oh, we are not leaving the house, sick.

Frickin’ February.

I am perhaps going on about the dreary month of February., but it cannot help it. This month is a long, dark, frozen marathon. It drags on with no mercy and I have nearly developed a phobia about the bad that this month traditionally slams onto me and my family. It usually involves any combination of sickness, objects breaking down, trees falling, and power going out.

For example, one February my husband started to read The Stand, by Stephen King. If you are not familiar with the plot of it, it involves a super flu that kills off most of the world, and then those who survive are drawn out to west, plagued by visions and dreams, culminating in the timeless fight of good versus evil. It runs a dainty 1,000 pages. Three days into reading the book, he came down with a raging fever and flu, the likes of which I had never seen him racked with. Then the girls got sick – and that was it. I was convinced that it was life imitating art and we were all going down. I would yell at Cliff to “ finish that goddamn book because it was jinxed and causing us all this misery!” He would read it with fever hallucinations and I would ride him everyday, making sure he was getting closer to the end.

You see, in addition to my hatred of February I am quite prone and susceptible into believing in the apocalypse and the possibility of any sort of giant meteor crashing into the earth or microbe killing most of humankind, and then those of us who survive having to duke it out with the zombies and cannibals . I will watch or read anything post-apocalyptic. I was paralyzed while I read Cormac McCarthy’s, The Road. I believed in every grim possibility. I would have to stop reading and look up at the outside, just to make sure that reality and life was continuing on. As I remember it, he finished The Stand on February 28th and they all got better the next day. March first.

So right now, for the next eleven days I have to strap in tight, fix my eyes on the prize of the promise of spring and hold on until the month is over. Wish us luck.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

New England in February

The dank, winter month of February kicks my ass every time. This is the tipping point in the winter where I feel as if my family and I are living at the bitter cold, remote and demented Overlook Hotel in The Shining. It doesn’t matter how many hopeful sun salutations I perform and miles I pound away on the treadmill. It doesn’t matter how much citrus I eat, trying somehow divine its golden promise. It doesn’t matter if I exfoliate and moustruize twice daily. By this time of year I feel flabby and grey and scaly and my mood is morose at best.
We all have snot and are housebound, roaming the hallways, looking for trouble and needing some relief.
You will never, ever hear me complain about the sweet, sticky, summer heat.