(Connally Gilliam, in Revelations of a Single Woman)
Last night I hung out with some really fun ladies. We had dinner and conversation. One woman is married, two are students, and then there's me. Spending some girl-time laughing was more healing to my soul than, I don't know, something. Whatever it is I haven't found in all my searching. While we were eating dinner, I reached down for my pills while I still had some water. And discovered I had missed my lunch meds. Great. Not the first time, so I knew to take the lunch meds then, and that it would be an early night, I would have to dig up the email from my psychiatrist from the time I took my dinner meds instead of my lunch meds. Good times.
I talked to my mom before going to bed, my mom who is a little off because my dad is out of town (my dad is in hog-heaven in Michigan, palling around with cousins and friends, going to 6:30 a.m. Bible studies, scholarship lunches). (My mom had her fun a few weeks ago at a Monarch Teachers thing-y, and my dad was as sad a puppy then as I've ever heard him on the phone, which isn't really sad, but you could tell he was missing her.) My parents, so different, so night and day, but they've been able to make it work for almost forty years. Perhaps a morbid thought, but I am confident that they will make it work past fifty years as long as they both are able to stay alive.
It is perhaps because I have seen them weather the storms, support each other, support me, my siblings, in all sorts of ways, that I long for a king to make me "queen." In many ways, as I enter my late thirties still single, my dad has become the man in my life, my protector. He's helped me buy every good car I've had. (He had nothing to do with the dear departed Lucy, may she rest in peace, except for selling her to CarMax, giving her, as he said he would, "a Christian burial.") My dad and I are very intellectual, spending hours talking about Tom Friedman articles we've read in the New York Times. I remember one time, eons ago, in my former life, my dad was in town and I had a dinner party. A proper sit down dinner party, where I invited my two favorite couples. I felt confident in having the party, because my dad was "my date." I love dinner parties. I love parties, period, if I am the hostess.
Hostess, i.e. "queen." I have watched my mother run countless Thanksgivings, Christmases, graduation parties...at 36 going on 37, I have no idea how to stuff or prepare a turkey because my mother prefers to be in the kitchen alone.
Where was I going with all this history? I guess trying to get to the sweet spot where I could tell you that after I hung up with my mom, I reached around my bedside to see if there was something to read. And there was. Stuck underneath the doll rocking chair which holds my bedside lamp, I found Connally's book, Revelations of a Single Woman, and though I knew I must have read it before, I couldn't remember it at all. I love the subtitle, in all lower case, like e.e. cummings: loving the life i didn't expect. The pink shoes on the cover sold me. So I dipped in, and as is my fashion when I'm tired, I skim read my way through many chapters before I was ready to nod off. This morning, I woke up to rain and a full bladder. Still fogged from my med mis-dosing of the previous day, I allowed myself to curl back in bed for a bit. When I finally had some lucidity, I reached again for Connally's book and read it with a little less speed, a little more thought. And I started underlining. One thing that always makes me smile (there are some good memories) is that Max said he never saw anyone annotate books as much as I. It's true. I have an index in the front, with page numbers and key words scrawled next to them for parts that particularly spoke to me. When I lent him my copy of About a Boy, he actually got a copy out from the library because he didn't want to be distracted by the passages I'd underlined.
For me, the woman who has been watching a little too much Sex and the City (SATC) lately, I am tickled by the fact that each of Connally's chapters has a photo of a pair of shoes, or boots, or clogs. A woman's right to shoes, indeed.
In a little bit, I'll be getting ready for work. I'm going in early today so that I can take a mid-day break to visit my psychiatric team and most likely increase my Zoloft dosage. While I had two pretty good days (Sunday and Monday) Tuesday morning I crashed, cried, and crumpled. I went in to work an hour late, and all day, I could feel the dried tears on my face. Thankfully, Tuesday evening, I had a slew of books to class via Dewey Decimal, and I got through them and the books my boss had set aside while she was at a conference, so I left work feeling productive.
Saturday I'm meeting some friends after work to celebrate my birthday (which comes at the end of the month, when people are traveling for Thanksgiving.) I would like to invite you, my readers and virtual friends, to join me Saturday at a "virtual party" here on da blog. Here is what I will provide: a festive photo gallery. Bring a fun quote, or a book recommendation, and your good time in your pocket. The great part of a virtual party is there's no awkward early birds waiting for the party to start, no such thing as belated. (I'm still getting comments on a post I wrote in 2006 for the Public Library Association.)
See you Saturday!
3 weeks ago