Monday, August 17, 2009

Never on a Sunday

posted Mon, 05 Jul 2004

My mom’s gentleman caller, Francis, referring to one of my earlier posts, told me that my mom never wants to cuddle in the corner with an old man, either. Now that Harpo has spent more time around my mom, my aunts and my sister, maybe he’ll understand why I can’t just sit around and hang out with him. (He said that it wasn’t that I didn’t fall far from the apple tree but that the apple tree placed me very carefully exactly where it wanted me. He looked at my mom and added hastily, “And a fine tree it is, indeed!”)

Apple taking a self-portrait at Doug's party. Doug, when I posted this, I was bored on a Saturday. NOT WHEN I TOOK IT. Do you really think I would be so rude as to do something like that and then write that where you could read it so you would think I was bored at your party? No. I was taking advantage of a mirror that showed more than my face without making me look like a circus clown. Man, I wish those jeans still fit. But that would mean never eating frozen custard. Or cheese curds. Or chocolate chocolate-chip zucchini bread. Or bacon. Not worth it. Easier to buy bigger jeans.

I tried to explain to Francis as I have tried to explain to Harpo: I can’t sit around and do nothing because I Have Things To Do. My house does not clean itself. My clothes do not wash, dry, or fold themselves. My meals do not prepare themselves. My lawn does not cut itself. If I don’t do these things, they won’t get done.

Yesterday was supposed to be a lazy Sunday of relaxing. And it was – once I had hemmed a skirt, folded and put away clean clothes, weeded the back garden, vacuumed the car, planted a flat of petunias, baked bread, put plastic wood in the screw holes of the door frame so I could repair a place where the screw was falling out, and cut off loose pieces of the belt on the attic fan that make an annoying flapping sound (like a playing card stuck in the spokes of a bicycle).

Once I had all that stuff done, I could relax. Sort of.

I envy Harpo his ability to live in the moment. He can lose himself in whatever he is doing. I am always thinking of what needs to be done. It bugs me to not be productive.

I am just like my mom and my grandmother. None of us are the type to just sit around. If there is work to be done – even if we are not in our own homes – then we are going to be the ones to do it or at least to help do it. (Apparently, this tendency is not in any way tied to the Y chromosome in my family. Sorry, bro, but it’s true. You don’t exactly jump in to help.)

The weird thing is that deep inside, I am actually a very lazy person. But keeping on top of my list of Things That Must Be Done is my pathetic attempt to control the world, I guess. If I can just do all the things on my list, then I win. If I don’t, the world will degenerate into utter chaos. It is very difficult having all this responsibility. But I don’t know how to get out of it. It is my curse – one I must bear to my grave.

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