Note: Today’s entry was written by a guest blogger (which you would have realized as soon as you read the contemplative and erudite quote that I don’t even understand, so wouldn’t have come up with.) This is by my friend Tippi, whom, as you’ll recall, has a propensity to drag/push items such as coolers and giant Santa Clauses down busy highways with her vehicle. Clearly, the cluttered garage isn’t her only problem. She has more funny things happen to her than Ray Romano’s wife. This is part one of her crappy day; she’s promised to submit part two!
“If feelings fail you, vain will be your course, and idle what you plan unless your art springs from the soul with elemental force.” Quoted by Goethe’s Faust
Recommended wine for today’s entry: Faust, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2006 . This wine was a gift. I don’t spend $40+ on a bottle, but it is a great wine, described repeatedly as big, bold, sensuous, and I love one reviewer’s language, “leaves my mouth feeling dry, crusty and abused. Describes my current physical and psychological self. At 14.5% alcohol by volume, what I need on most days.
I am an upbeat person, often referred to with that annoying word, perky, a term that brings to mind such sickeningly sprite females as Dorothy Hamill, Mary Lou Retton, Olivia Newton John. I welcome each day, a Starbucks triple grande non-fat latte in hand, eager to face the world. This past weekend I came to terms with the fact that I am harboring a new type of behavior, actions long submerged, but like that very first hint of vomit in one’s throat after a night of drinking, I fear these cannot be contained much longer. I am a Tourette’s Syndrome away from unleashing a mad torrent of aberrational behavior, and my Faustian voice is taunting me, asking “What in the hell took you so long?”
My daughter is a bit of a math genius at age fifteen. She gets those genes from my husband’s side of the family. I carry what is commonly referred to as the truck-driver gene. I was removed from any math help consideration after second-grade word problems, when such issues as Mr. Brown selling candy by the piece, how much, how many, what percentage of kids etc was posed in a word problem. She was in tears when I wrote a note on her homework saying that no one sells candy by the piece any longer as it is not hygienic and of course immediately suspect, and any man so eagerly enticing children to buy penny candy would be placed on a pedophile watch list and shut down post-haste. But this weekend I felt her pain as she had an upcoming Science Fair project and she had committed to solving a Math Proof based on something called the Pappus Chain and failed to see any humor in my asking “Like the kind Tony Soprano wears?” I took her to the university math library thinking somehow the answer would jump out at us on the spine of a book.
To put this day in any sort of perspective, let’s say it went rapidly downhill from here. We found some books and needed to make copies. I stared, mouth agape, at the complexity of the copy machine. I had all the anxiety of an adolescent boy exploring a female body for the first time. What the hell? There were openings for your school ID; openings for your school debit account; openings for bills; openings for change; openings for vouchers. Some 35-year-old balding, backpack-toting, student wearing a checked shirt his mother must have purchased for him the first time he went away to summer camp was glaring at me, tapping his foot, shifting his weight with his stupid backpack, not a masculine, leather European satchel, but a stupid discount store soiled backpack, at age 35. Finally he said, “Well, are you going to use it or not?”
And all of a sudden I was every film cliché’ I had ever seen. I was Dirty Harry just begging him to “make my day.” I was the Taxi Driver, I was The Terminator. I was a crazed maniacal middle-age woman harboring years of pent-up rage that only a parent of teenagers can comprehend. I wanted a gun, not just any gun, but Dirty Harry’s 357 Magnum. I imagined what his smug little expression would look like when I pulled that 357 Magnum out of my fine, handcrafted leather handbag and I could imagine what his reaction would be when I said, “You talking to me?”
Of course , the reality that is my life ruins even my best moments when I realized I forgot to bring any actual money and I would have to go to the ATM in order to get said copies . In my best Arnold as Terminator sardonic smirk, I half turned toward the backpack manboy and whispered, “ Hasta La Vista baby, I’ll be back.”