in Springfield and Father is ready to go now that he’s got on his angora sweater vest.
First I went to Christmas Tree Shops to feed my spring fever. Came out with:
- A green and blue swirly 10″ gazing ball to replace the one that I failed to take inside for the winter and which subsequently exploded from the deep freeze situation out there.
- An outdoor flag of spring flowers and a watering can, complete with dangling fabric strips meant to simulate streams of water. I am a sucker for watering cans on a garden flag.
- A little flower pot shaped like an owl because obviously.
- A red-handled mini-pruner that is graceful, delicate and so utterly tres petite to the extent that I will have to get a floppy hat and some floral-patterned clogs in order to feel right about using it.
- $10 deodorizing pet wipes. Eve though I have one of those grind upside down in the stink kind of dogs and was highly motivated to purchase these, their worth is suspect to me. The ingredients list had only fibrous tissue, water, cleanser listed. Sounds like I get the same benefit by squirting diluted dog shampoo onto a damp rag.
- Solar spying garden animals. Actually they had a ton of solar spying gnomes of various sizes. I want to like gnomes but I just don’t.
In the category of non-shopping, my other weekend accomplishments were:
- filling 3 boxes with clothes, books and random items like handbags, jewelry boxes etc for a charity pickup
In other news, I find my self seriously fretting about those plastic covers for baby strollers. I mentioned before how use of this product might lead to a generation of neurotic claustrophobes, but I realize that there might be another danger here. The weather was clear and sunny but still chilly and windy so in the most downtown-ish of my travels, there were plenty of parents pushing plastic encased strollers. The sun was beating down on the plastic making little rolling greenhouses out of the baby passenger area. Wasn’t overheating determined to be implicated in SIDS deaths? Here was have a population of helpless beings in coats, gloves, hats and plastic covers under the sun. Something bad is going to happen. In fact, I bet it already has. I am going to write to Kathleen Sebelius and suggest that this is an emerging hazardous trend and that HHS should start tracking this and issuing public alerts. Because I don’t have enough of my own business to mind.
People, are you aware of what is going on with sequins? It’s not good.
The thing about sequins is that they are super glittery and a big pain to apply. But that’s what makes them special. Look at these pictures. Traditional sequins are faceted for maximum sparkle and they are firmly attached by either sewing them on or sticking them through the center hole with a straight pin that has been threaded with a small bead and dipped in glue.*
Well, hang onto your hats because you won’t believe what has happened in the sequin biz. Take a look at what passes for a sequin these days:
The modern sequin is half the size of the traditional one, is flat not faceted, has more hole than surface, is sparkle-deficient and is randomly glued onto things. I suspect some kind of air- blast method of application. They start out with less than full coverage – the background material is visible between sequins – and then as you use the item or even just touch it, they fall off.
I blame China.
This is one more area of reduced quality in consumer goods. Don’t even get me started about paillettes! These small things add up, people, and wear a person down. I don’t know how much more I can take.
* I know this because one of my great life accomplishments is that I once made three Xmas ornaments that looked like Ferroro Rocher candies, life- sized. I don’t exactly know where they are right now but I have always believed that I could re-create them from memory.
Just popping in to say that I am home today after attending a mid-sized business meeting. The meeting content itself was good but not all was well.
First, the haircut I got last week is so bad it looks like I got it for free at the state mental hospital. Second, I packed the wrong slacks. Third, I found myself sitting between Somebody Important and a sunbeam, which illuminated my single chin hair.
So I had a chance to make a real splash as a High Powered Executive Business Woman but instead I came across as something of a hybrid Rod Stewart/billygoat wearing clown pants.
If Father Knows Best is any guide, the patriarchy came home from work at 3:30 in the afternoon.
The Anderson’s have breakfast together, a scene from which one or another of the children leaps up before finishing because they are late for school. Father always finishes his meal and then drives downtown to his office. When do you suppose his workday starts? 9 o’clock? 8:30 at the very earliest.
Fast forward to modern times. Your faithful correspondent is at her station no fewer than 10 hours a day, often 11+. Granted, your faithful correspondent has always been afraid not to work, in case work dries up and she is subsequently locked out of work forever. Your faithful correspondent is a nurse by trade so that unemployment scenario is extremely unlikely but even so let’s not take any unnecessary chances.
The point is I’m wearing down. I’ve always fancied myself to have the freedom to manage my own destiny and stop working anytime I felt was right for me. But I suddenly realized that I am too young for Medicare and that my work-provided insurance coverage is going to keep me tied to my job for years longer than I want to work. Such is my demographic detail and my on-the-record party affiliation that Obamacare is not good for me. Even though I am relatively issue-free now, it will only take one good fall or the discovery of one irregularly shaped mole to put me in a boxcar headed for the glue factory.
So I’m a victim. A current victim of fear; a future victim of winnowing the herd. Obama wins.
Anyway, the Anderson’s have a beautiful spacious home, belong to a country club, have tuxedos and party dresses and a gardener. Pocket money for impulse purchases like pony pictures or money for college never seems to be a worry. That’s pretty good for a single income family where the bread earner puts in minimal time. That Father must have sold a shit ton of insurance policies while he was there.
I’m working like a beast of burden and my efforts reach almost 200,000 people – no kidding – on the first touch. I’m not irreplaceable but I’m uber productive and I make more money than I ever dreamed possible. Not a lot of money – just more than I ever thought I would make. Still, I never throw away the stem end of a tomato and I could write my own sit com episode about how I can convince myself that it’s necessary for my future financial security to let go of no more than $20 per visit to the gas station.
Also, I have no time or capacity left at the end of the day for blogging.
It’s here. My tipping point. I’m completely turned off by the idea of spending money on anything for myself because I feel like I won’t live long enough to get my return on investment.
And I’m not even talking about major purchases. I’m talking about things like Valentine Day gifts or anniversary presents. There’s a lot of occasions coming in in the next few months – anniversary, Mother’s Day, my birthday – so I know people or at least one person will be pressuring me to come up with gift idea. Back in the day, I could even wangle an Easter present but now I don’t need anything and I don’t want anything.
Well, maybe one of these little vintage planters so I can clip roses and keep it filled all summer long.
But really, although this would give me pleasure right now, what is going to happen to it after I shuffle off this mortal coil? [I'm perfectly healthy and in fine, if winter-weary, shape. I'm just thinking, that's all.] What will my children do when they find it among my possessions? Gaze at it and wonder what to do with it? Toss it on a junk heap without deliberation?
I don’t know.
Gawd, is it spring yet?
Here in its entirety is an email that I sent to myself:
I can’t be sure what it’s about but if I had to guess, I’d guess it was about Father Knows Best. I have a lot of notes, emails and voice memos that I get down while I am doing the 6am FKB theater. I even have a draft started about how FKB uses clothing as plot devices and believe you me, it isn’t pretty.
Apparently, FKB can trigger some deep rumination if you are sitting in the dark just you and the Andersons and you are receptive/unguarded/sleepy.
I’m not prepared to expound on the clothing issue right now but I will tell you one thing. That Margret is a dunce. For a person who supposedly went to state college right along side her future husband, she sure is mystified by ordinary family happenings. Whether she’s pondering why Bud doesn’t want to eat his supper or what caused Betty to come home in a sad mood, her action is always the same. She lays a finger against her face, then suddenly bites her lower lip when she develops a conclusion and moves her hand away, giving it one short shake as if she was dispensing holy water. Her eyes never vary from their steady sparkle.
I will say on thing in her favor. That is some spic and span kitchen she runs there. I suppose that’s only fair since she does spend all of her time there, save for the moments she sits on the parlor sofa to darn things. Those counter tops are absolutely unpopulated. I did observe her recently in the background while the rest of the family conversed at the kitchen table. Although Margaret is frequently spotted removing butcher packages from the refrigerator or holding a bunch of carrots, it is a rare sight indeed to see her actually cooking. In this scene, she was dropping batter into a dutch oven on the stovetop, producing homemade dumplings.
She had a big mixing spoon that she would use to scoop up some batter from a nearby bowl, and then she would transfer some of that batter using a rolling motion to a table spoon and then drop the rounded product into the pot. I myself have never made a dumpling but her casual confidence as she did it sure seemed to me that she was quite adept at it. She even chimed into the conversation with a few well chosen words without breaking her dumpling production stride. That is the mark of an accomplished dumpling maker. I wonder if she learned that at state college?
Margret. Part dunce, part dumpling expert, all mother.