Yes, I recognize that the balloons in the living room are more blue than green. I did not appreciate that realization at 11pm last night.
Kids sleep through vacuums, thunderstorms, and house alarms, but drop one balloon softly into their room and they will stir and thrash in their blankets while I cower in the hallway. Leprechauns don’t get caught making mischief. They just don’t.
I continue to be very Irish and very much not into Irish foods. Even Irish soda bread, the one thing I’m sorta okay with, tasted less than okay this morning. What is going on with that, I ask you.
She: has pulled out every article of green clothing she owns. Gold ribbon in hair for golden coins. He: is uninterested and possibly, influenced by school and the concept of cool. Orange shirt and jeans.
Just yesterday, I entered the 7th circle of hell (PartyCity). I found myself running amok, placing strand of beads and shamrock headbands into a basket. Plates, cups, napkins. Green, green, green. $62 worth of festive.
And for what? For whom? For why?
Is this the new normal? These little holidays holding joy that allow us tiny celebrations in an era that has felt hard to celebrate? I thought about this as I considered our later plans: green milkshakes, spun in the blender, crushing ice into cream. Everyone’s tongue will be green.
This morning? Her little footsteps hurried to the top of the stairs. A gasp. Wonder. Awe. WOW.
I grossly underestimated the intensity my children have when it comes to trapping a leprechaun. This morning, my daughter ran screaming into my room to tell me that the ‘green stuff’ in our house had been moved, therefore, tiny little leprechauns were out making mischief.
When I asked her to clarify, she pointed at a small green stapler on the countertop and a spice jar of Bay Leaves next to it (basically, the casual, everyday mess that is my kitchen).
“See? Look at this stuff just laying around,” she confirmed. “Hey, did you by any chance hear tiny little voices saying ‘tee hee hee’?”
(she was not please by this response).
Yesterday, I took my kids and their active imaginations to the library, where they beelined for Irish-themed books (as well as some historical ones for Wells, who is getting a kick out of history). I agreed to make a lot of green food this month (they requested green beans and mint milkshakes). I also made a tentative plan to try and attempt my family’s famous Irish soda bread recipe. Every cardboard box has been claimed in order to craft the most skilled and accurate leprechaun trap.
We are full tilt for mischief. Here’s hoping you are too.
(today I participated in a workshop through Off Campus Writers Workshop and there were some brilliant grief prompts presented by Chen Chen, who served as instructor/moderator. Here is what came out)
Dear ambitious scholar,
Grief is my dog’s collar tucked away in a box, high on the shelf in my closet.
My favorite shirt, the chambray button-down from that classic secondhand store, is fading away. I found two more holes this morning, one of which was hiding in plain sight near my elbow. It won’t be long now. I used to think it would crush me to lose this shirt- not the jewelry in velvet boxes or the designer trenchcoat- but this, this faded, tattered shirt with the heart-shaped pocket. It’s lesser now, the crush of it all.
I have been furious with my writing lately. It’s never been easier or harder. I’m writing everything: poems, fiction, nonfiction, and sex. Yes, sex writing was a whole class. The hours are long in the writing chair, in front of the writing screen.
All this writing has allowed me to manifest though. To bring out the grief without yelling at my kids or pulling at my hair. I continue to tread water in an angry sea. Yet I force the handholding of language and grief. Say it out loud or it doesn’t count.
What am I to do next and how can I do all of it? Everything within me is desperate to come out. How do I know the way? How do I know the path without directions?
Ambitious scholar, take notes and take your time. You will get there. You will get there.
“Ugh…it’s my brother’s house. He’ll take care of it.”
It’s that time of year when holiday movies are on heavy rotation, and up there with the absolute best of them is Home Alone (save me a slice plain cheese).
Last night I watched the Christmas classic and was reminded of a line of dialogue that nearly slips by undetected. Now, I had viewed this flick hundreds of times since childhood. I have the score on my playlist, the locations imprinted in my brain, the witty one-liners memorized. So this quiet little line took me by surprise. Also? It’s pretty damn funny.
The scene: a busy kitchen. Family eating. Pizza guy waiting on payment. Someone pipes up for Uncle Frank to contribute.
“Travelers checks!” he protests, mouth full of pizza.
THAT’S WHEN IT HAPPENS.
Mr. McAllister, under his breath, mutters, “Something tells me you’ll have the kind of Travelers Checks that don’t work in France.”
2. Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid. Ms. Reid was just nominated for the 2020 Booker Prize. I read her book back in March and was WOWed by it (trust when I say it lives up to the hype). A cousin just called me up out of the blue and said, “You read ‘Such a Fun Age’ right?” We then proceeded to talk excitedly for the next hour. Mini book club via phone!
4. Tennis. Yup, I’m branching out of my comfort zone and taking lessons. This meant I had to add a few tennis outfits to my wardrobe (I had none. NONE). I really enjoy Prince, a house brand of Dicks Sporting Goods, particularly this top and this tennis skirt.
5. Folklore by Taylor Swift. My head and heart are spinning with this album. It’s the morose, ethereal soundtrack of 2020. I am crushed by the beauty of ‘My tears ricochet’ and ‘Exile,’ but ‘The Last Great American Dynasty’ is fantastically fun because the singer enters the narrative when you least expect it.
Wow, masks are uncomfortable. The first time I put one on, I had to resist the urge to rip it off my face. It was stifling, itchy, and awkward. Is it possible for a nose to sweat?! All of this and yet I only wore it for a brief few minutes, to pick up a curbside, no-touch dinner at Guildhall, one of our fave local restaurants.
I’ve had the honor of being your local columnist for six years. Every day, I’ve woken up feeling extraordinarily blessed to live here and write about living here. I love the picturesque lakefront, our local shops, and the people- the people make this town extraordinary. I don’t take any of this for granted. Continue reading “City Girl Confessions: The Last Column”→