Wednesday,writing group tonight. Last night, fun. Pitched the parody, All of Me, to the Women's Club and they thought it was hysterical (which it was), then Shay and I dinner at the restaurant Madeleine works at. Lovely.
Wow..summer's almost at an end. Most parents I talk to are bringing kids to college, or their little ones have started back to school. My Elizabeth starts her senior year with her student teaching the following year. Madeleine on the other hand is a lost soul, longs to be going to college like her friends but lacking something that would allow herself to choose that typical route to adulthood. I look at her and want to help - want to swoop in like I've done a thousand times in the past, in an effort to make everything OK. What do they say? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, each time expecting a different outcome? Being uber mom, throwing money and resources at her problems, sitting her down for epic heart to heart talks, getting her medical help - all of it, pointless and ineffective. So here I sit, uneasy for her, seeing her flounder, feeling her young adult pain, watching her long for a different life, and I can't do anything to help except live my own life well and hope it is an inspiration to her. I guess. Dunno. Worried.
Today, I'm off my game - it's almost 11AM and not one thing on the list done. Power outage earlier which led to some network issues, no inspiration for this blog, despite reading some interesting articles in New Scientist that I thought to write about - the most interesting being about these super algorhythms that run much of our lives in the background. But the concepts would, I think, strain your brain (as they did mine), so instead, I'm going to reprint the funny Patrick Bakery piece that I wrote a year plus ago that I alluded to in a recent post. Thinking even the best columnists steal content from their past work from time to time.
So, we open the bakery and Liza says we name it “Patrick’s” – she has a sick and twisted sense of humor. I guess it’s because of the whole dog naming thing - that naming critters and things “Patrick” seem funny and apropos to her, even though I'm supposed to be trying to forget him.
So picture me in my bakery named “Patrick’s”, trying to stay busy, trying to be OK, productively going about the business of trying to forget him, humming happily to myself as I frost cupcakes. A nice man comes in – he asks to speak with the owner, Patrick. I am outraged. I say, “Are you fucking kidding me? Is this some kind of a joke? He is confused. “I don’t know what you mean, mam – could you please let Patrick know a customer would like to speak with him?” He says that painful name a second time. “Are you a fucking sadist sir?” I shriek. “Why would you torment me by mentioning his name?” He is even more confused – he insists he just wants to speak with the owner to give his compliments – he wants to talk with Patrick. I can’t bear to hear him speak Patrick’s name over and over. I berate the gentleman for his cruelty, his insensitivity, his utter lack of discretion. With daggers in my eyes, I reach into the case of lovely confections and, one by one, start pelting him with cupcakes and blueberry muffins. He is stunned and scared. He bolts for the door but my aim is lethal – before he escapes, his lovely pinstripe suit is covered in blobs of pink and purple icing and blueberry stains. My anger spent, I fall to the floor, despondent, and pick up the mess, heartsick at the mention of my love’s name and flabbergasted that anyone could be so obtuse and cruel.
Then my employee, Pamela – she answers the phone as she always does, “Patrick’s – may I help you?” “You too!” I scream at the top of my lungs. Like a ninja I spring from the floor ready to gut her with my offset spatula. “Will there be no peace for me! Why do you torment me so? Why do you continually rub his name in my face!!!!” Pamela backs away from me with terror in her eyes – like she’s just encountered a grizzly bear on a woodland path. She says, in a deliberately sing-songy voice, meant to calm me, “I just answer the phone, Sarah. That's my job” As she speaks, she deliberately and in cautious slow motion, makes a backwards retreat in the direction of the kitchen, not letting me out of her sight. At the last second she turns and runs but she too is the recipient of my fury - an orange chiffon cake smacks the back of her retreating head and slithers down her back leaving a frothy peachy trail. Heartbroken, I slump to the floor again. “Will there be no peace for me?” I sob, scooping up handfuls of chiffon cake from the floor and stuffing it into my mouth. “What is wrong with everyone? Have they all gone insane?”
I hope to write well tonight and I'll report in tomorrow. Challenge today could be giving some thought to days that are less than what you hoped for upon waking. There are those days where nothing goes as planned, days where all your well-intentioned plans just don't get executed. So what do you do? Try to stay the course or just surrender to the forces that that are working at cross currents to your own agenda? To further my tree analogy from yesterday, there are days when, I'm thinking, we have to be willows and bend in acknowledgement to the prevailing winds. This is a blustery day.