This winter break, we all got sick. Which is to say, seven members of my family got kind of sick while I hovered on the brink of death, simultaneously requiring LB to reassure me that I was not hovering on the brink of death. Then, when it was my turn to speak again I would correct him, explaining that yes, I really was on the brink of death, and here's why:
I'm better now, so we'll dispense with the why's.
The only thing I can say I did productive was read over my eldest child's essays for her college applications. In one essay she wrote about having satisfactorily completed a year of physics when she did not want to and did not have much of an aptitude for it. I'm of the mind that fish shouldn't fly and ... things that don't swim shouldn't have to swim. So I had told her that if her father and I said she didn't have to take physics, then she didn't have to take physics.
But LB and I both went to private high schools and our eldest goes to a public school, and apparently, This Changes Everything. At least, I thought this was the reason she'd gone on to take (and pass) physics, but in her essay she wrote something along the lines of, "My adviser explained to my mother that it was no longer 1987, and that the study of physics has merit."
Once I finished blushing over the compliment that my own quandary of to-take-or-not- to-take physics occurred in 1987 when it was more like 1981, I became annoyed. My concept of time is much like what you see on Bewitched, where everything is happening all at once, all the time, and Samantha can go back to the Renaissance or the Salem Witch Trials while Derwood dons his suit for another day at McMann and Tate.
Somewhere it is still 1987, and that place may as well be here. In fact, it's so 1987 that it's 1984. And to prove this, I decided to cross over into a different temporal plane and purchase something in 1984.
The Swatch company does not share my same concept of Simultaneous Time, and they have -- inexplicably -- stopped making my favorite Swatch. A short internet search revealed that is is, in fact, many people's favorite Swatch and a mint-in-box one runs for over $600. That price is simply... anti-everything Swatch stands for.
I found a "good" condition one on eBay, and it is now mine all mine. It's message holds a new significance for me now. In 1984 I was never late, had no tolerance for anyone who was habitually late, and if I ever waited for you for more than fifteen minutes, I would never wait for you again. To me, "late" was synonymous with, "I'm passively-aggressively letting you know I didn't want to come in the first place." Now it is 2013 and while I still dislike waiting for others and despise myself when I run late, I do, occasionally, run late.
There are also times when Olive circumstances create situations where I must bail entirely. And sometimes I bail because I'm tired from whatever it was that Olive drained from me days previously. There are even times when I bail for reasons of crippling fatigue of unknown origin, but which I suspect were set into motion sometime between 1996 and 2011.
I've always sniffed disdainfully at people who did timeliness tricks like set their watches ten minutes ahead, or set their alarm clock a half-hour ahead and then hit the snooze button repeatedly. Those are penny-ante measures guaranteed to fail. Better to sign a contract guaranteeing that you will accomplish such-and-such by a certain date, and then tell one hundred and fifty-six people whose opinion you respect that you have done this so that they can prompt you along the way -- gently or not so gently -- and perhaps think less of you if you fail. Oh, and the co-signer of this contract should also be a friend of your husband's who actually predates your entrance into his life, thereby ensuring embarrassment on the cellular level should you break this contract for any reason other than an act of God.
Just a for instance: a person could commit to providing an acceptable version of a book manuscript (part memoir, part creative non-fiction, and all Olive) to a publisher by, say, June 1st. And because said person has rigid ideas about what is and is not cheating, merely creating a manuscript entirely of blog entries changed into the past tense is Not An Option.
To make things more interesting, I have one more self-imposed rule for this manuscript: writing it must not inconvenience anyone. When I was young, I never knew when my dad was writing a book or not writing a book. He never demanded silence in the house, retired to his yurt/cabin in the woods/deluxe apartment in the sky-y or thanked the colony at Yaddo in his acknowledgments.
This means I will continue to do laundry and make dinner in the haphazard, occasional and put-upon manner in which I already do. You have my word.