Thursday, February 07, 2013

On Birds and Nests and Eggs in Nests

I'll get all romantic about the small town thing. I love the real Main Street and the avenues of shabby Victorians and their towering oaks. I love the Vs of snow geese honking overhead and the red cows lumbering across meadows damp with melting snow. The other day I saw a real bluebird float down from a wire and land in a tuft of dried wildflowers. I almost died. I've never seen a bluebird before and this bird was really blue, so bright he was almost turquoise and with a vivid orange chest. I think it was an Eastern Bluebird. Here's a picture of one.

So I love bluebirds and open fields and old houses but there are a few things about small town life that I can really do without. For one thing, this morning I was driving through town and every vacant building I passed I thought would be a fantastic location for a Starbucks. I would do anything for a decent cup of coffee with a bunch of flavored syrup in it that costs five dollars. My grandmother made me an instant Folgers decaf at her house the other day and it was like drinking warm, brown water. Did not satisfy me one bit. I may have to drive thirty minutes south to the nearest 'bucks to get an espresso fix.

The other thing I don't love about small town life is that everyone you meet wants to know who you're related to and how and then it turns out that they know all your family's business and scandal going back to at least the 1930s, AT LEAST, and then they will immediately judge you based on how your great grandfather cheated their great grandfather in a card game during the Great Depression and how your great great second cousin twice removed was the town whore and an alcoholic and gave a bunch of people syphilis during the roaring 20s or some such nonsense, so that must naturally mean that you too are a lying, cheating, drunken slut too 'cuz your whole family just ain't no damn good.

This morning I tried to take my poor little innocent two year old, who has never been drunk or promiscuous, to story time at the library and the children's librarian put me through a lengthy interrogation, since I was clearly not from around these parts and of course it turns out that she knows of my mother because when my mother was nineteen (she's almost 60 now) my mother briefly dated the man that is the librarian's common law husband (they've been living together for like 30 years). Well that was it. The librarian had it out for us from then on out. I'm not even kidding. She was in such a snit. She actually made a comment to me about what a wild bunch my mother used to run around with and I was like, well, that was a very long time ago and I can promise you that I'm not like whomever this wild bunch was.

The funny thing is that my mother has told me for years about this guy she dated. We will call him William Faulkner, for reasons known only to me and for the purposes of this story. Anyway, he was a drug dealer and a big burn-out and he and my mom went out a few times and were getting intimate but it turned out that poor William Faulkner had a weenie that was so small that the deed could not be done and I guess this left a very lasting impression on my mother because she has told me about it at least ninety times throughout the course of my life and my mother can really tell a story. She likes to add a lot of detail, one of which was that William Faulkner's goods reminded her of a tiny egg in a bird's nest, so here I am at Toddler Time in the children's library and all I can think about is that this woman in front of me has gone home to that egg in that nest for the past thirty some years and I wonder if in those thirty years if William Faulkner has been able to work around his shortcomings and get the deed done with the children's librarian. And then I think, well, if it's true that William Faulkner is so unendowed, then maybe that's why the children's librarian has such a chip on her shoulder.

So let's just put this one in the "cons" section of small town life. You don't want the kid's librarian being shitty to your kid because your daughter's grandmother once tried unsuccessfully to have sex with the librarian's boyfriend who has a small ding dong. I guess what I'm saying here is that in a small town you just aren't afforded the mutual levels of privacy that I prefer. 
Monday, February 04, 2013

Dela-where-the-f-are-you?

I'm just going to preface this by saying that my mind is in a million different places right now, so I may not exactly be doing my best writing over here.

I did, after all, just spend two days in the back of a very loaded car driving over a thousand miles while trying to pacify a very crabby two year old. We made it though. We are here, in my hometown of Milford, Delaware (bless its heart) and there is snow and cold and Walmart and people who eat muskrat and we are all ok, so we have survived.

Last night we went to what was the best Superbowl party I have ever attended. I mean, we are in Ravens country over here on the Eastern Shore after all, so team spirit was in abundance, and yes, I wore my purple and ate Buffalo dip and many greasy things. It was just, really, really, really not stressful and I was surrounded by people who love me and Little Lawns and so I was a bit calmer than I've been in a long time. A very long time. Little Lawns harassed a cat and it scratched her in the face, but even that didn't end up being much of a big deal in the end. Mostly her feelings were just hurt. Her words, not mine.

I spent a good part of my morning in the local Walmart, which was interesting in a Deliverance kind of way and fascinating if you're interested in dental anomalies, which I am not. We went there because Little Lawns needed mittens. They don't sell them in Florida for obvious reasons and Saturday we drove up to the big city of Wilmington, Delaware to take my husband to the train station and then to visit my cousin who lives there and we went to a Target thinking we could get her mittens there and no, there were no mittens, although there were plenty of bathing suits, because you're certainly going to need those when it's a whopping 25 degrees out and not mittens, right? Makes a lot of sense, Target. So that's how I ended up at the Walmart this morning, where I found some nice waterproof, pink mittens for five dollars so I could take the socks off of my child's hands.

Oh, the really good news is that I got to go to Trader Joe's in Wilmington too. I was completely beside myself and it was very crowded but my cousin took Little Lawns and stood in line for me while I shopped, which was one of the greatest things anyone has done for me in a long time. One day my dream is to live near a Trader Joe's. I was so excited. I bought prepared tahini and some pumpkin butter and a mess of crackers and dips and crap I don't need but tastes good, like a sea salt, dark chocolate, caramel bar.

Lately there has been too much drama in my life. I think Florida breeds drama. Case in point. The Florida headlines are about some guy who lost his mind and murdered his two young sons in front of his estranged wife and then shot himself. The Delaware headlines are that a deer walked out on a frozen pond and fell in and two guys had to get a row boat and go out and save the deer. You'll be glad to know that the deer is ok. See, that is the difference between Florida and Delaware right there in a nutshell and that is why I am here right now and for the next month or so, and also because I want to write a memoir about what it is like to return to your rural hometown that does not have a Starbucks or a Whole Foods, after living as a yuppie for several years. It's kind of like in Baby Boom, except I don't think I'll fall in love with the handsome town vet, who I naturally hate at first, because I'm married, and I also don't think I'll start a homemade baby food company either, but the rest is the same. Oh, except that my daughter is mine and not some dead cousin's. Ok, I just really like the movie Baby Boom. We should leave it at that and I'll stop the parallels because there really aren't any.

Here's some more Delaware level drama. The state has just passed a law that you can only have four cats, which has sent one of my cousins into a total panic because, oh my God, she has FIVE cats. She is one cat over the legal cat having limit and she actually worried about this and scared that someone will find out that she has one extra cat. It's like she's harboring Anne Frank in the secret cat annex or something, like the Feline Gestapo is going to come banging on her door in a raid and force her to choose which cat has to go. It would be like a cat version of Sophie's Choice and which cat would she pick? How could she choose??? I told her the ugly orange cat with the tail tumors would be my first and most obvious choice, but she is clearly more compassionate than I am because HOW CAN YOU GET RID OF THE SICK CAT??? Oh lord, what a ridiculous mess. I tried to tell my cousin that this law is probably not often enforced and was probably enacted to protect against people who don't have five cats but instead have like 90 cats, but she remains on alert and living in fear.

So yeah, that's Delaware and I am here. 

Oh, by the way. I got Internet installed at my grandmother's house because there was a limit that I had reached. I will drive two hours to a Trader Joes. I can deal with no Whole Foods and no Starbucks, but I must have Internet. So I will blog regularly from here on out. Yay.

 

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