It’s 6:30 in the morning right now and I’ve been up for an hour already. When I had a job, I couldn’t seem to get out of bed before 9, but now that I have no real reason to rush, my eyes just snap open the very second the day cracks. Bing! I’ve even been napping less. And now that I have like twenty waking hours a day to rattle around in, what have I been doing? I don’t know! Nothing? Everything?
Certainly my toenails are painted very prettily. And there is an entire from-scratch apple pie lining my larder. My holes have all been swabbed and checked by various dentists and nurse practitioners. And for the first time in maybe ever my finances are in some sort of order — I’m famous for not even opening my bills out of some sort of “lalalala” desire to keep my understanding of just how much I’m spending as out of focus as possible. But this past week, I’ve been poring over my bank statements and shredding things with my new shredder and sifting things into little piles and chatting with the nice people at SBC (“Before you go … at SBC we strive to provide our customers with excellence in service. Have you experienced that talking with me today?” “Um, sure. Okay. Yeah.”) and Comcast (“So basic cable is fifteen dollars, but if I want Bravo, it’s going to cost me forty-five?” “Well, ma’am, basic cable just gives you your local stations. But with the Silver [Platinum? Diamond? Chocolate?] package, you also get MTV and Disney Family!” “I’d be willing to pay you NOT to give me Disney Family.”) and my ISP (“Hello! Thank you for calling Blablablah, Inc., how can I help you today?” “I’m sorry, is this HugeHosting?” “Yesss … that’s one of the things we do.”).
This sudden financial awareness may be nothing but a momentary detour. But I don’t know. Despite my historical worrying that fundamental, sustainable personality transformations are impossible, and my self-perpetuated reputation for hating and fearing change, I’ve been experiencing a strange sense of optimism about it all, a shoulder-shrug/raised-eyebrow/drawn-mouth kind of “Huh! Maybe!” kind of buoyancy.
“No, it’s a compliment.”
“That you thought I was piggy, or that it turns out that I’m not?”
The thing is, and I think this realization is a big part of the soil that birthed my new bloom of optimism, when I was little, I was a TOTAL piggy, the kind of kid who had to clear a path to get to bed, where I would sleep surrounded by piles of pants and sweaters and bite-sized Snickers wrappers. One of my earliest memories is of my room being picked up for some special occasion — the pending arrival of the tooth fairy? (Oh god, that reminds me! I met this cute little girl, Ruby, when I was getting my hair cut last week, and, noticing her impressively full set of choppers, I said to her, “Wow! You have a lot of teeth! Have any of them started to wiggle yet?” And she looked at me with such horror. I shouldn’t have kids, ever, maybe.) — and not being able to sleep that night because the light from the hallway was shining too brightly off the never-before cleared hardwood floor of my room.
But now that I’m grown and living on my own, I’m tidy! Or, more precisely, I’ve learned to invite people over so I’m forced to clean. And the pleasure I now take in arranging my furniture has evolved to the tease-worthy point (“Is it oka if I move my chair over here?” Jill says, pointing to a point three inches to the left).
See? People change! I change! Anything is possible! March is going to be a great month, I can feel it. (Speaking of which, happy birthday Dinah! Happy birthday Mae! Congratulations Matt and Greg!)
Now watch, a piece of Skylab is going to fall from the sky and crush my new green frond of “anything’s possible!” positivism, and skull.