Tuesday, May 08, 2007

be careful what you wish for

K made this stocking for me one Christmas. It was a cheap stocking, but he wrote my name on it in puffy paint and filled it up with all sorts of small wonders. I think this was one of our first holidays together; certainly it was well before we moved here. In my cleaning spree, I discovered this on the dining room table. I knew Zephyr had found it somewhere, but I did not know he chewed right through the center, abandoning it when it was not as delectable as he had thought. Little bits of Christmas fluff. I had to throw it away. (I told K that we should revive a tradition from my own family I treasure: leaving an orange in the toe of each other's stockings. We would pierce the long part of a candy cane through the skin and slowly suck the juice out. Have you tried this? If you haven't yet, do. I'm sure I'll mention it again this next holiday season, but for now, I cannot think of candy canes when the world is just emerging from wintry slumber!)

And with my I-am-going-to-trash-useless-crap upswing, this shortly followed suit. (My thumbs up is not some beckoning to summer fun but to be used as a scale. I didn't have anything else handy. It truly is a big cup.) It is a "Killer Chiller" plastic mug from the Shell station and has been sitting on top of half a dozen fridges (or more) as I have moved from place to place since leaving Wisconsin. I kept this mug because of nostalgia. John, K's best friend from high school, gave it to me as I was driving several boys around who should not be driving. A designated driver for my then-boyfriend (a strange boy who made many, many bad choices, and I am glad I got out of that one, though when I gave him the gift of The Catcher in the Rye, and he looked at me saying, "I don't read" or maybe it was, "I can't really read well," I probably knew it was very much so over) and his two buddies, we stopped at a gas station for orange juice. We had just driven by the radio towers, those lights flashing in the night, driven in places I had never been, but was directed by these bouncing boys, streaming through graffitied tunnels and between zippy hills. John was working late, and we had a special kind of kinship--he teased me and I teased right back, though his teasing always seemed a little mean. I soon learned this was His Way, though not getting along with your future husband's then-closest friend was a little upsetting. Of course, K and I were not dating then, but we were crushing on each other, but I don't think John knew it. He was just sympathetic to my plight as caregiver to these loopy boys, fascinated in the candy aisles. So he gave me a stack of sturdy cups, which I later used in games of kings (this being the sickening center cup, too full for anyone ever to want, too mixed with the nasty cheap drinks of college kids). I clung to this ugly cup because it was a memento from the very first months of K and my dating. Ah, good-bye ugly piece of plastic, you will live forever in my heart.

And now, I have a photograph of it, emblazoned on my memory and forced upon the eyes of any who read this blog. Ta-da, my first step at clearing out the junk and finding a way toward simplicity. It is going to be a long and arduous road, folks, but I feel good about this. I don't know if I buy into feng shui or any of that, but I do buy into maneuvering around the coffee table in peace and not having to fetch things from the jowls of my ever-growing lab-mix puppy. I also don't want to take another dog to the vet for an x-ray because someone decided to leave her knitting needles out the night before. (Those x-rays are expen-sive!)

OK, back to watching Marie Antoinette. I'm about halfway through and enjoying it. I'm not sure why I'm surprised at certain things; the previews were very honest about the twist on this biography. But the rock star theme! The music! And were those Converse in her piles of decadent shoes? It's very atmospheric--very aware of its setting, costume, walls. Everything is cold and pink and beige and rich. Turquoise and hot pink. Little pastries and glasses flowing with champagne. I know her life gets dark, but thus far, it is nothing but powdered wigs, bustles my own wedding dress will never see, and tiny birds.

1 comment:

broadwaybabe said...

did you know that the name of your blog is also the title of an excellent book i read recently?