A sea of strangers flows around us, their tide trying to pull us along. My newborn is in his car seat perched precariously in the grocery cart. My hands are clinging to the cart handle. My husband is talking to my mother in law and then he turns to ask me something. I feel like I am reliving a game I used to play as a child where we sat on the bottom of a swimming pool and tried to talk to each other but couldn’t make out each other’s words, no matter how loudly we yelled. What is he saying? The harsh fluorescent lights illuminate this little baby who was so recently safely swimming in the dark. I am not ready to share this fragile being with the world. I can’t protect him out here. We continue our shopping trip and I’m drowning but no one seems to hear my screams for help.
Mixed media painting by Pat McPike (my fabulous mom)
I’m an urban anthropologist. I love to find scraps and letters and notes that have been dropped or discarded. I wonder about the people who dropped them and think about their lives.
In a rain soaked Dunkin Donuts parking lot, I saw a lined piece of paper with crayon writing. My hands were full of coffee and donuts and I didn’t pick it up. I wonder if it was a note from a little boy to his mom, “Love you mommy, have a good day.” Or it could have been a note from an angry driver who after noticing someone parked too close to him, found a broken crayon under his seat and wrote, “Hey jerk, learn to park!” and left it under the offenders windshield wiper.
I found a TECh service desk job description for a school. Did this person just get the job or did they go to the interview and it didn’t go well?
A found report card makes me wonder if the child “lost” it on purpose.
I have similar questions and make up stories about all of these:
Hospital cleaning checklist
Mental health clinic appointment card
The most recent note I found was on a post-it with purple marker writing. It said, “Show everyone my awesome braces.”
These found words that represent a moment of life ignite my imagination.
It’s the second day of spring and it’s snowing. I’m tired and grumpy and wishing for a sunny vacation but instead I head out to a Parent Teacher Association meeting. I decide to stop at a coffee shop to sit for a moment and sip a latte. I order my coffee and sit on a comfy couch to review my notes for the meeting. There’s a group of three men in an adjoining room who are playing instruments and singing Blue Moon. My eyes stray from my notes and gaze around at the colorful artwork on the walls. I take a deep slow breath, smelling the comforting scent of roasting coffee beans. Somehow my frown starts to melt and my toes begin to tap…
Recently said to me
An appreciator of everything
I think I shall be
I have taken all
The necessary classes
Got down to studying
Put on my glasses
Art appreciation too
To name a few
I can gaze fondly
At a painting so fine
Test my palate
When I go out to dine
In a wonderful book
Off to an Indy film
To take a look
Listen to an
Gaze out the window
At a beautiful day
Now if only I
Was paid for this skill
It could be my job
Maybe it will
An appreciator of everything
I think I shall be
I’d be quite good
I hope you agree
The women of The View were recently discussing the movie Spring Breakers. They got my mom all worked up about the message this movie sends to her granddaughter and other teen girls. I understand her concern because although I have boys, I have friends with girls and even when the girls were little I saw their moms struggle with finding clothing that didn’t have writing on the butt, and figuring out when and how much make-up is okay, and checking their daughters’ social media to make sure things stayed appropriate.
We do need good female role models. My mom’s solution cracked me up though. On the phone this morning she said, “I don’t think they should make movies about girls in bikinis at all. But if they have to, then they should make sure the girls also have brains. Why can’t they make movies about girls in bikinis who also do lots of school work and volunteer?” I don’t know why this struck me as so funny but I couldn’t stop laughing. So here’s what her movie would look like.
A beautiful, blond, large-breasted young woman on spring break in a tiny bikini is sitting on a beach towel and a hunky guy comes over to chat and the woman says. I’m sorry but I’m busy doing my statistics homework. I can’t talk right now. Another tan, bikini-clad women is invited on a boat for a party but cannot attend because she is on her way to volunteer in the nursing home, in her bikini. Hope she doesn’t give anyone a heart attack.
Girls in bikinis doing homework and volunteering. Love it.