First, in one of my famous “Adventures in Forgetfulness”, I took the garbage for a brief jaunt into the laundry room — that I had to pass the trash bins on the way to my ultimate destination did not in any way jar my memory is a bit unnerving, but not altogether out of the ordinary.
My husband, in behavior one more often encounters when dealing with adolescents is STILL sleeping — it is noon here on the eastern seaboard. NOON! It’s probably NOT passive-aggressive, not deliberately anyway, but it FEELS passive-aggressive to me — because he knows that I want to install the new desk in the office area before I go to work today. It’s not a big job, but there’s a step up into my living/dining/office area and I can’t move the desk myself for fear of breaking the glass that it is topped with. UGH!
And I REALLY, REALLY want to throw the old desk away tonight. Owing to the large garbage collection pick-up schedule we must adhere to in our little burg, if it doesn’t go out tonight it will have to wait until Wednesday night. I would rather not be tripping over it until then. Although it just now occurred to me that with tomorrow being Memorial Day there it’s likely there’s no large trash pick-up anyway. DOUBLE UGH! You know what? I don’t care. I’m putting it out anyway. Maybe someone in need of a desk will pass by, throw it in their vehicle, and give it a good home.
Someone in my building, I don’t know who, has taken up whistling this morning. I cannot figure out who the hell it is, but it’s getting on my last nerve. I don’t mind the odd whistle here and there, but the enthusiasm with which this person is embracing his or her whistling borders on the compulsive. It’s like they are practicing for some sort of competitive whistling event. Or, maybe they’re just happy. Good for them. But they need to take it elsewhere. I’m not really in the mood.
It has crossed my mind to go outside and suggest that they might like to put some of that whistling energy to a better use — perhaps they’d like to help me to move a couple of desks. Or join me in shaking my husband awake. I’m not fussy, either one would make me happy — maybe I’d even start whistling.
Probably not, though. Because I cannot whistle a whit. My father is a big whistler. Once in a while my husband can be overheard whistling in the shower. (Maybe THAT’S why it takes him so long to get the hell out of there!) Neither my daughter nor I can whistle, though. Not even a little bit.
It strikes me that whistling is the sort of activity that conveys contentment, which is probably why I’ve never mastered it. I’m not what you’d call content — never have been.
I happen to think that’s a good thing.
In the wrong hands, contentedness can lead to things like stagnation and ennui — and by “the wrong hands” I do mean MY hands. I fear contentedness like Europeans feared malaria. While they got busy discovering quinine to combat that disease and, as a result, were able to embark upon things like the slave trade; I arm myself with whining and kvetching to forestall boredom. Really, who has the energy for CONQUERING new and distant lands? And keeping slaves? That’s just out of the question here in the Twenty-first Century.
No. I can’t get behind THAT sort of thing, though if anyone wants to bring back indentured servitude, I’m your girl. I have some experience in this area — having been a wife for almost twenty-five years and a parent for eighteen. I know a little something about indentured servitude. That’s right, I’m comparing being a wife and a mother to being an indentured servant — because they’re similar.
In many ways indentured servitude is preferable. Think about it. The average indentured servant served a seven-year term AND emerged from their apprenticeship with marketable skills — like blacksmithing or glassblowing, for example. Certainly marriage, at least in the contemporary developed world, is no longer a life sentence, parenthood sure is. While mothering teaches you many things that are certainly applicable to any business environment, I can’t imagine that a resume filled with such things would be taken with anything approaching seriousness.
There is, however, an exception — my job. Parenting and wifedom have prepared me well for my job. The skills are transferable. It goes without saying that serving food to the cranky, the overwrought, and the picayune in what would seem an effortless and timely manner are skills that are not only applicable, but, indeed, necessary in both my work life and my home life. Still, I wouldn’t mind learning how to shoe a horse or to blow a nice candlestick. I might even be given to engaging in a little whistling while I worked.
photo credit: whistling