“I was glad no harpers or chroniclers happened to be passing by.” — Jonathan Stroud
Surely we all feel like that sometimes.
Yesterday, for example.
First, I was at lunch with a friend and she asked about my husband. I guess I had mentioned that he was Buddhist. She was wondering how we reconciled our differing views. Doubtless she imagined theological disputation chez fibermom, interesting discussions on how Christianity and Buddhism meld and flow. But I had to explain that my husband is not a trendy Western Zen Buddhist. He is an old-fashioned Southeast Asian Buddhist, which is to say that he was raised as an animist. He thinks of bad spirits the way I think of bacteria, and believes in magic — not in the airy-fairy neo-pagan mystical sense, but with the calm assurance of a guy whose father had skin impervious to bullets.
I forget how odd this sounds to people.Like, “Oh, no, we’ve never discussed the Doctrine of Election. He is a follower of Odin.” I didn’t lead up to it gently or anything. I think we are still friends, but I know that I have a tendency to back away from people who sound as daft as I did, telling her matter-of-factly about my paleolithic husband.
I returned to work, where I assisted people with their various needs. I was just coping with a nice Englishwoman who said things like “I saw something I liked. It cost $4.99. What might it have been?” when a regular customer came in. He had called and asked me to get some things ready for him, but there had been some babies hiding in the fixtures and screaming hysterically, and a laminating contretemps, so I hadn’t done it and I was apologizing.
“I was engaged—“
“You’re engaged? Does your husband know?”
“I mean I was involved–“
“Does your husband know?”
I had no rehearsal last night, and was planning to watch a family movie with my boys, and to finish up those Fuzzy Feet, and go to bed early with a John Grisham novel. Instead, I found myself driving in the dark to unfamiliar places. #2 son’s study group called a sudden meeting. It was at the home of one of the members, in one of the new upscale developments that keep popping up in former farmland when our backs are turned. Naturally, we got lost. Fortunately, #2 son has a cell phone. As soon as we got back close enough to town for him to have service, he called his friend.
Ah, yes, the friend explained, the street sign on his road had fallen down. Armed with this new information, we made it to the right house within another, oh, twenty minutes. Then I sat up waiting and waiting and waiting for the call to go pick him up.
There are three drivers in the house. Two of them have no issues about driving in the dark, to unfamiliar places, and getting lost. I strove for a balance between appearing completely calm, like a person who has Overcome Agoraphobia, and appearing somewhat pissed off, like a person who has been dragooned into doing the task no one else wanted. Not an entirely unacceptable position, but not the stuff of ballads, either.
And then, to top it off, while I was waiting I read Earthchicknits, and learned that I am a slow knitter.
Well, I knew I wasn’t a fast knitter, of course. I think I’ve mentioned that before. But this blogger claims that there are lots of people knitting 50, 70, 80 stitches a minute. She was bemoaning the fact that she only knits 28 stitches a minute. Curious, I got a kid to time me.
22 stitches a minute.
So, well, okay, nothing too terrible. But I’m glad no bards happened by yesterday, looking for material.
Ah — regarding yesterday’s post, I had an email from an old friend who assures me that being the Older Woman in a romantic relationship isn’t all that great. We had suspected as much. I think that leaves older women with very few dating options, though. Older men tend to date younger women, and they don’t live as long as women, either, so the pool of men gets sparse. So if you know an older lady who is single, you might want to introduce her to all the presentable men you know. On the other hand, freedom from the stress of dating may be one reason those older ladies who roam in packs are having so much fun.