Let me tell you what you see in this photo above, here, in my first post of 2020.
You see Sophie’s breakfast (white toast, 1/2 banana, and cherry juice).
You see my breakfast (Dave’s Killer Bread, 1/2 banana, and coffee).
And you see a (leave me alone for five minutes) treat for Oliver (who is always all like “feed me! feed me again! fart. snarfle. pee. poop. pee again. poop. rub me. snarfle. can we walk yet? snarfle. I will get you, Cats! fart. snarfle,” in the mornings). Suffice it to say that, while Oliver doesn’t mind me owning books (see David Sedaris, above) he would really rather I not read them (much like Sophie, actually) when I could be interacting with him.
So, alright, not in general getting a lot of recreational reading done.
However, the lovely and appealing tableau above is because:
- Dave is in Los Angeles (working hard, making bank)
- I had no baby-sitting for 6-8:15am this morning (6am being when I usually leave for school and 8:15 being when Sophie needs to leave for school)
- I had to remove Sophie from school @ 1pm today to go to the dentist (which, had babysitting been available, would have meant rushing home from my third class of the day anyway)
- I made the decision not to run around like a nut.
And so Sophie and I are both ditching school. After our leisurely breakfasts, mine on my blog, hers on her iPad, gaming, we will work on her school project, go to lunch, go to the dentist, and cook dinner for ourselves and our friend Krissi.
We will not pass go; we will not collect 200 dollars; we will not run around like mad fools to get everything done; we will not do anything prescribed for us besides brush our teeth and go to the dentist.
When Sophie was in preschool, and we were both in Los Angeles, she used to go three days/week. Two of those days I was teaching, and one was to give me a day to grade papers. On the days I was teaching I sometimes spent 2-3 hours getting to a school 40 miles away. Let’s see… if a car on the highway can drive @ 65 mph, should it take 3 hours to go 40 miles? Sophie and I consider ourselves math-girls, but even non-math-folk should be able to figure out that one doesn’t seem right. So, sometimes, since those two days were already fucked, I’d just stay even later at school (or go in earlier) and get my work done, and she and I would ditch our responsibilities the next day.
Being in Los Angeles for ditching was, sorry Delaware, much better than being here.
- We had a zoo membership, and the zoo always had lovely programs, was just 20 minutes from the house, and the weather was always wonderful.
- We had a huge Whole Foods 2 miles away, where we could get lunch from the food court and go sit and play Chutes and Ladders.
- We had the beach.
- Monterey Park (dumplings! dim sum!).
- We had a pool in the back yard.
- We could hang out in the yard in warm weather without being devoured by swarms of things.
- We had… a lot more options. I mean there’s a reason it’s hella expensive to live there and the commute can take 3 hours. Here there is only even one reasonable diner we can go to that has food we like and passable coffee. But, we can go to the beach when the weather is nice. No, there is no zoo close to here, though we joined the National Zoo. It’s just 2 hours away, and the LA Zoo is much nicer (sorry DC).
It was, to be fair, much harder to make friends in LA. We sucked at it. People were always crashing and burning and going back to Chicago.
Or people were so filthy rich they just were (whether they considered themselves to be liberals or not) a bit classist (like, Yeah the LA ZOO is right here, but it’s filled with so many brown people. Let’s go to the Santa Barbara Zoo, 2 hours away, to avoid them). Too classist for us, sometimes. Dave and I have very blue collar roots, and, like many blue collar folks, we’re broke now, still! LOL. AND, I believe, in spite of what Trump tells us, that TRUE blue collar folks have always been okay with diversity. It’s where we “live,” all in the same boat.
Of course, here, I am often passed on the road by aggressive white men in pick-up trucks with very Trump bumper stickers, or sometimes drive past little “corner” stores with confederate flags hung out front. So there’s that.
And so, today, when the options were find other people to inconvenience with a very early morning running Sophie around so that I could run to my classes and then back to Sophie and then to the dentist and then…
I just said, to myself, you know, it’s okay not to keep going.
And it’s the second time I have said that in 2020. The first was when I put Devil’s Party Press on hiatus.
Yes, the press could have stayed on schedule to publish 6 books this year, and yes, we publish well-written beautiful books. But, we’re running like mad dogs to do it, and we’re not feeling good about the process and the ROI, and, most importantly, the joy.
Sometimes, to get to where you want to go, you need to pull-over into a rest stop and re-plot your route.
So, today, here’s to all of you out there who pride yourselves on moving forward, efficiently, reliably, responsibly, and at all costs. May you all decide to take a day to not show up
for anyone but yourself.