[Written yesterday. Equally applicable today.]
More godawful weather. Can’t go out. Can’t concentrate. Can’t keep pacing. All that so-called wisdom and calm that’s supposed to come with age just wasn’t able to make it to our house today. [Got snowed in somewhere else, I guess.]
So here I sit.
Would I be better off in the tropics? Which tropics? I don’t like hot and sweaty either. And they do say nothing of scientific, intellectual or creative value comes from steamy equatorial countries. [Note: There will be no defense of that statement if anyone comes forth to challenge it. I’m just putting it out there as part of the cranky internal dialogue going on in my office on this fourteenth or fifteenth or sixteenth really and truly crappy day in a row.]
Pilates was cancelled. The last Princeton concert of the Brentano String Quartet before they decamp for Yale, and for which we had free tickets, was cancelled. Getting up bright and early in the morning was cancelled. [After looking out the window and pulling down the shade again, we both went back to bed with the cats. ]
Now it’s afternoon and I’m wearing two sweaters and my new knee-high UGGS, but no makeup because if I’m not going out and no one is able to come here to see me, I can just put on a lot of moisturizer to protect my elderly skin from the drying effects of the indoor heat and leave it at that. Of course Bill can see, since he’s already inside, but he knows very well what my face looks like naked and seems not to mind, or not to mind once in a while. Like now. And the cats certainly don’t care. They don’t make the same value judgments we do. As a matter of fact, after chasing each other up and down the stairs four or five times, they’re not making any judgments at all. They’ve just collapsed in the bedroom on top of our duvet and are now asleep again. Smart cats.
So what am I going to write about for the blog on this truly yucky afternoon? If I don’t do a piece every morning — in special circumstances like today, every afternoon — I will use up my small backlog of pre-prepared posts and freak out. Why that should happen when there’s no backlog I can’t explain, as there is nobody at all except me, myself and I who is holding me to this rigorous daily schedule. But I do. And it does. [At least until such time as I decide to make a public announcement that I’m cutting back to two pieces a week, or one a week, or something like that.] Perhaps it’s because I’ve had too much legal education late in life, which gave me notions about implied contractual obligations, such as satisfying the “entitlements” of one’s followers established by one’s “course of dealing” with them.
If I swivel my desk chair and look the other way, maybe I’ll get some ideas.
Well yes, that was helpful. I could write about:
1. The old photograph on top of the vertical bookstand at the right near the window. It was taken in Russia, probably just before the outbreak of World War I, and shows my paternal grandfather, my father, and an uncle I never knew existed until I was middle-aged, so there’s sort of a story about the uncle;
2. The period of my life when I was fat: the why, the how, the when, and other aspects of this topic — about which there are several manuscripts on the bottom shelves of the bookcases, and also several books about being fat by other people on the shelf just above the bottom one on the right;
3. The Guatemala chicken at the very top of the bookcase and what in the world were we thinking of when we bought it for I don’t remember how many quetzals;
4. The ten-session group therapy program for overweight women I tried to launch last fall before beginning this blog — that cost me close to $500 for five consecutive ad insertions in the local newspaper (tear sheets of which are in a folder also on the bottom right shelf), but produced not a single telephone call;
5. Smoking: Where and how I learned to do it (in college, with difficulty), how much I smoked (up to two packs a day), how long I smoked (twenty years), why I stopped (to live to see my babies grow up) and when (on June 6, 1969), what it was like to stop (extraordinarily difficult), and why stopping remains, after so many years, what I still consider one of the hardest things I ever did;
6. Our last three trips abroad — to France, Greece and Portugal, the third of which was nearly five years ago, and the only three for which I have photographs on the computer, because the hard drive of my old computer died while Apple was transferring its data to my new one, so that the pictures of earlier trips Bill and I made together exist only in prints mounted in albums, which I would have to re-photograph in order to upload them here — and yes, I might do that when I get really desperate for material, but not yet;
7. Where we might travel next (before it’s too late), a thing we discuss almost daily when we’re cooped up together like this because of snow and ice: France again, where we still have two friends? Japan, where we know a former neighbor and a new “virtual” friend from this blog? England, home of both actual old friends and new “virtual” ones? Israel, where Bill has a niece and I know a woman who was in college with me sixty-four years ago? Of course, all of that is merely speculative daydreaming, unless Bill can get himself out of his favorite chair and start going to the gym fairly regularly so that travel abroad won’t just be taking taxis to restaurants and expensive shops to buy things. [Hear that, Bill?];
8. Exercise — haha! what’s that? — for those who are, ah, “old.” Patti, my Pilates instructor, is especially gung-ho on this one; she even gave me some written material about the benefits of Pilates she prepared for some other presentation but assured me I could feel free to use for the blog. She hasn’t actually ever read the blog, so her material may not be funny enough, but I suppose I could tinker with it, based on recent experience with what Pilates people call “The Reformer” and I call “The Torquemada”;
9. Personal maintenance, an endlessly fruitful subject for ladies who are getting old. [Probably not so interesting, though, to any men who might stumble upon this blog.] Could be broken down into separate posts:
- hair, hairdressers and fooling the public;
- eyes, God willing;
- skin and your options, none of them good;
- makeup, otherwise known as “putting on your face”;
- feet, footwear and pain;
- undergarments (Spanx or not?);
- toenails (yellowing) and pedicures (what color polish?);
- what to wear at the beach if you must go (a burqua?) — and must you go at all.
Oh, I’ve written 1045 words already, and haven’t even begun! I guess that’s it for today. Please do cast votes (in the form of a “Comment” below) for any subject identified above that especially strikes your fancy. Or even ones I haven’t thought of yet.
Now I’m going downstairs to sit by the fire. It’s a gas fire, but it’s powered by electricity. So I’d better take advantage of it while the power lasts. Who knows when a tree may topple a wire and leave us in the cold and dark?
See you tomorrow.