Last week I was at the deli counter of the market when a woman came up next to me and ordered a sandwich. “I’d like a hummus wrap on whole wheat, please,” she said. “With shredded carrots and four or five raisins.”
I am in love with this moment. I am not sure why. Her bold dedication to her unique desires, I suppose. When the sandwich guy got into gear on her sandwich, he repeated her order back: “So that was a whole wheat wrap, with hummus, shredded carrots,–”
She piped up cheerfully: “And a few raisins. Three, or four. Maybe five.”
I am deeply curious about this. Why the Five Raisin Ceiling, for example? It had the sound of a firm limit. I guess the curiosity and fascination originate in a part of my brain that is near the area that can crack myself up thoroughly by reading silly names in the phone book. But I also know, if I wanted to eat this same sandwich, that I would travel with an emergency pack of raisins in order to carry out an after-market modification. You go, Raisin Lady.
That’s about the most exciting food news of the last few days, other than a trip to eat a fine and very reasonably-priced dinner at Lone Star Taco Bar in Allston, as part of our recent Boston-Area outing.
Instead of cooking anything yesterday, we made hats. In case this sounds like one of those blog entries you read where the house is way cleaner than yours and the parenting more relaxed and the life just generally upgraded, remember that at least at this address, the house was a mess, the mercury at about 90 and the humidity higher than that, measures of testiness and irritability spiked here and there throughout the process, and we had take-out pizza for dinner afterwards, in a dining room still liberally flecked with soap and wool.
I read those blog entries too, and wonder why my kitchen is not light-suffused, my children not happily dressed in the vintage-inspired pinafores I made for them, why my afternoons are not taken over by building fairy houses in the woods and eating dishes of cloudberries with cashew cream of my own fashioning.
Every so often you meet a person who seems to have a lovely existence in absolutely lovely order. They can be found in the wild, it’s true, but outside of the stop-motion blogosphere they are rare. More often, I come into contact with people of the more regular variety. Yet if one area of their personal map looks to be under tighter command than it is on my atlas, then I may think–ha! perfect life! I stink! Look at the way they do that and I can’t!
Usually I think that, truthfully. Almost inevitably I think that. But a few weeks ago, a close pal said she read this post of mine and thought to herself–ha! perfect life! Look at how you did that and I can’t! Oh, you and your perfect life. On a farm! With the chopping!
We are all so committed to believing how much better we ought to be at most things. Even the chick with the pinafores and the cloudberries, I bet, when the camera is off and the sun sets, has some deep doubts.
On the drive home from Boston, with my visiting nephew in tow, the cousins talked through the “what superpower would you choose?” question. You know those moments when you wish you had a tape recorder in the steering wheel? Flying was mentioned, yes, but also time travel, and turning into a liquid, and–I’ll take me a little of this one, please–snapping my fingers and everything falls into place.
My superpower? I would give us all, each and every one, the ability to both forgive our messes–the tumbleweeds of dog hair in the corner of each and every room (why are the dogs not bald? how much spare hair can they have?), the unbalanced checkbook, the backlogs of laundry and filing, and the fits of temper and panic, and the perennial failure at wearing lipstick of any hue (no, it is not because I have never tried the right color)–and enjoy our selves, five raisins and all.
It is Monday and I have a monster load of things to do. I will not get to most of them, and these failures will undoubtedly snowball into unpleasant errands, increased expenses and more temper and anxiety.
|But we did|