I went to a thrift store last week for the first time in years. I used to spend all kinds of time thrifting. That was back when I had this elusive “time”. After an hour and-a-half I managed to find two fancy sweaters por moi, some stainless steel mixing bowls and a replacement milk glass bowl for the ancient mixer from my late grandmother — 25% discounted because I bought it on Monday! But that’s the thing, right? It took over an hour to get this stuff. I used an entire preschool plus lunch morning to indulge in an old favorite pass time. It took too freakin’ long. And I gotta say, the selection this time around was ‘vintage’, but from the mid-eighties to nineties. That shit is ugly. When I was in high school going through rack after rack of sweaters and coats, there was a good chance I’d come across cool stuff from the 50’s and 60’s. Now the best you can hope for are strange random foreign clothing items, or things rich people decided were used-looking.
Woah. What up with George Clooney? Sorry, there was a commercial on TV just now of him looking quite dashing.
I feel like I am half doing everything right now. Half-time, more specifically. Except for parenting. I’m half-working, just a few hours per week, half doing housework, half socializing with peers, less than half painting and creating. Half-assed halfity half half. The weather cooled, the flus started plowing their way through Charm City, and everyone went into early hibernation. Including me/us. Though I do try to get the girls to school as much as possible if their energy is good, even if they have the snots. Like I did Monday, like I will do tomorrow morning.
We got a Christmas tree. Beenie requested one, the kind that “pells good”, so she got one. We went looking last Saturday for the Charlie Brown version. Who wants some huge, needly tree in their little row house? Not me! Whole Paycheck was selling tree tops, which are about three feet tall and perfect for us, so we got one and are slowly putting things on them. One strand of mixed color lights. Two wooden nativity scene ornaments someone (possibly my Mom?) gave us years ago, a short paper chain that Beenie and I painted blue, which is barely visible, and a bunch of cardboard ornaments I’ve been whittling at over the past few days, which I have the girls color on or paint then hang. I’ll put up a picture when it seems like it is ready to be photographed. I am getting some pleasure looking at cardboard boxes as we use them, dismantling them, then turning them into art objects. I like the slowness of this process. This is a creative exercise, and I hope Mimi and Beenie think of creating their own trees, if trees are what they desire, as grown-ups. I must say, I have never acquired such a thing as a Christmas tree in my adult life, or ever, outside living with my parents. This is a first. There was no baggage, there was no stress. Just a little tree top. Now is as good a time as any, I suppose, to make my yearly holiday announcement to the world (and myself):
NOTHING YOU CAN DO WILL MAKE ME RUIN THIS STUFF FOR MY KIDS. None of your pressure to buy things I can’t afford and don’t want, none of your guilt and strange, personal whafts of emotion tied to things that have nothing to do with me. Don’t bother trying. It’s not going to work. I’m not going to play your reindeer games. Fuck off.
– J., December 2009
I feel better already.
If you’re awake and are gonna be awake for another hour and a half or two, you should watch Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, because my dear friend J. Robbins and his band are playing. And J. rules.