Being on hiatus sounds fancy, doesn’t it? So academic. Go on with your bad self, actin’ all fancy and on hiatus and stuff. I hadn’t felt that pull, that need to write here since I declared last month that it was time to take a break. I’ve been a little emo, if ya know what I mean, and not the up, energetic kind of emo–the crawl under the covers, binge watch TV, and tell anyone who asks you’re just fine, just happy to sleep late kind. Since I stepped away from the blog one month back, I’ve been bunny-hopping around the yawn of the rabbit hole.
I finally nailed my six-word memoir, writing tells me how I feel, then stopped writing. Smart. I stopped at what I felt was a pivotal moment: my kid was entitled to a certain expectation of privacy. He is. But I’m also entitled, entitled to a certain expectation of not losing my mind.
While on break, I read a ton, discovered podcasts, celebrated nailing every word to “My Shot” from Hamilton (Lin-Manuel Miranda, you are a genius), and I wrote a lot of stuff with zero intent of hitting publish. The writing wasn’t good, nor did it check the compartmentalizing brain box for “writing it down-getting it out.” Blah most succinctly captures the fun I’ve been to be around.
But if I had been blogging this past month, I’d have chatted about my new television BFF, Midge Maisel. I am in love with The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, starring Rachel Brosnahan as a ’50s-era housewife, living the Upper West Side life. Midge’s husband was a schmuck whose indiscretion led to her on-mic rant on an underground club stage which led to her double life as a comedienne. Her timing is surgically precise, off-the-cuff comic genius at its finest during a time women were strictly barred from the boys’ club. She’ll never win a mother of the year contest, but MAN, do ya root for her! I’d D.I.E. to play dress-up in her wardrobe, just once. Those dresses! The hats!!
If I had overshared my days and nights with you here as has been my pattern, I’d have shared with you this grocery store telephone exchange with my oh-so-attentive husband.
I’d have told you my Yellowstone National Park otter story. You have to read this in “John Cleese as hushed/whispery narrator of a nature documentary” tone until the end, where my tone totally prevails: So they’re highlighting winter animals in the park, then of course, snow melts, the seasons change, and the river otters are seen frolicking in the spring mountain runoff. We see that the male otter is looking to git a little somethin’ somethin’ from his gal pal because it’s his spring awakening, though the female’s a little meh about his advances. Enter John Cleese: The male ottah (because he’s British) attempts to woo the female ottah, but the female seems a bit distracted. Me: Yeah, you know why she’s distracted? Because she’s thinkin’ she’s gotta get groceries, make dinner, clean the house, do the laundry. . . My husband: Silently stares at me for a second, then admits it was pretty funny. He didn’t admit I was accurate, but I’m sure it was implied anyway and I’ll take the victory. No Mrs. Maisel myself, but my timing here? Impeccable.
I’d have told you about how my freshman (and about 1/4 of his classmates) positively crushed their first semester grades. There’s about a 98-way tie for valedictorian so far, and that is not typical Wendy exaggeration, but the incredible effort of these hard-working, high-achieving teens. The child comes home, tends to his schoolwork promptly and without prodding. If he coasted the rest of his years (and he had sure as heck better NOT), I’d still be knocked out by grade nine, semester one.
I’d have made mention of a little professional revelation I had that suggested to me it might be time to hang it up. When you’re ineffective, be it by circumstances external or within, you’re ineffective. Even I am tired of hearing my presentations and opinions, so too I would guess are the bulk of my colleagues. The beauty (beauty?) lies in knowing it before having to be told. The “quit before they fire me” school of thought. No, I’m not quitting or likely to be terminated, but I am evaluating my state of affairs anyway.
I’d have told you about my “little” kid’s first basketball game, which, in a real nail-biter, they took 27-1. And yeah, everyone cheered for the kid who sunk that free throw. My child is the one with arms like a spider monkey’s.
I’d have written about having seen The Book of Mormon, and the especially offended young woman who steamed through the lobby shouting “Sacrilege! It was sacrilege!” Ummm. . . you bought the ticket with no clue that the dudes who created South Park wrote the libretto? Were you expecting a fun little evening actually learning about the missionary work of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints? Really??? I have an absolutely profane sense of humor, and even I blushed at some of the language and imagery. Oh sure, I laughed until my face hurt because it’s wrong in all the right ways/right in all the wrong ways (and frankly a little terrifying in some of the truths which underlie the basis for the musical). A super badass friend of mine is an ex-Mormon, and I respect and admire her all the more for her strength in having left it, but not Utah. That’s her story to tell though, not mine.
I’d have written a new mystery á la Nancy Drew or The Hardy Boys with the working title The Mysterious Case of the Broken Staircase Spindle. It wasn’t me and it wasn’t my husband, and the dog doesn’t go downstairs. . . so, yeah, SO WEIRD that nobody broke it.
I’d have written about the kick of having discovered Snapchat’s ridiculous filters. Because while I LOVE my hair purple and my eyes blue, there are limits to the type of look a 50-something professional woman should want to cultivate in real life. I don’t actually share snaps (am I saying that correctly, kids?), so if I die and someone goes through my phone’s saved photo roll, I’ll be judged for eternity as someone who thinks a little too highly of her self-portraits.
It’s our family’s four-year MD anniversary, or crap-iversary if you’re my friend Cindy, who reaches out every year at this time with some wise or comforting words. Or cake. Four years.
January 21, 201–still the day for me that began after.
Four years of wondering if his outcome would’ve been different had we waited even one millisecond longer to have a baby. Four years of tears striking at the most unexpected (and those you can totally predict) times. Four years of gearing up and freaking straight the hell out at the MDA Muscle Walk. Four years of meetings with school administrators, counselors, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and teachers. Four years of friends and strangers putting their best, kindest, most generous sides forward. Four years of reluctantly raising funds for my kid and others with muscular dystrophy, to advance the science as well as social opportunities for kids with disabilities. Four years of dreams dashed, then reconfigured and revised.
Four years of writing these random musings. I need this place to deposit the bad stuff in my head to lighten the load, to be me. Writing tells me how I feel. I want to feel more up–maybe I can write myself a happy ending.