Sunday, March 05, 2006

Is Bystander still writing, or what?

I can't work up a good opinion lately. Most of my online writing has been through email or comments on other blogs, and even that's been light. My offline life is full, brimming with the stuff preschool days are made of -- diapers, ouchies, hurt feelings, spill after spill.

I feel less connected with the national dialogue, which is good because I could never change anything anyway, could I? The Oscars will be awarded tonight and I'll take little notice. The political debates will rage on front pages tomorrow and every tomorrow after with the conversation becoming even more shrill and more bitter, and I'll turn from it and toward the sweetness of my home life.

This week, in addition to three days of preschool, swim lessons, we'll have two playdates, a birthday party and a speech therapist session. Toolsday night for Gene, ice cream night, the gym, the gym, the gym. I'll try to remember to make an appointment to have the baby's ears checked next week.

I'm very much enjoying Home Comforts. In addition to telling me what I should be doing, Mendelson tells my why I'm doing it, why housekeepers have done these things for centuries and why we don't have to do some of them anymore, but some we really should try to keep up. For instance, spring cleaning originally was meant to get all the oil and soot from furnaces and fireplaces out of curtains and carpets and upholstery, off hardwoods and tiles, out of clothes and other fabrics that make a home after winter. Modern day solution? Central heat and air. Many people find spring (and fall) cleaning an emotionally cleansing experience, which is valid, but I prefer to clean drawers, cupboards and the like as needed, which is to say when it hits critical mass.

I'm also very interested in her thoughts on leftovers. Her Italian grandmother did not understand the concept. Once she cooked something in her household, it was eaten until it was finished, whether that took one meal or a few days of meals. I very much like the idea of eating a meal until it's gone. A good meal is a good meal. We give ourselves too much luxury, and thus waste, by allowing ourselves a different meal every night of the week, except for the designated night for leftovers, which look less appealing the longer they stay in the refrigerator, and thus, often get discarded.

I haven't implemented the one-meal-until-it's-gone system, but I have pushed leftover night closer to the night the meal originated. So far, so good.

When I lived in New York, my driving record was impeccable, mostly because, I almost never drove, but since I've moved to Texas, I've gotten two speeding tickets and this past week had one fender bender in the parking lot of my daughter's preschool. There was hardly any damage to the other mom's car; the corner of my fender is smashed, but, except for a broken signal light, it is drivable. No one was hurt, except for my pride because it was 80% my fault. I started backing out first but got distracted by the kids and took my eye off the direction my car was traveling. It made for an unhappy afternoon, but I was gratefully cheered by two of my best friends, the first being my husband who said, "No big deal. That's why they call them accidents."

The second was Becky, who is a hot-shot, rising star in the marketing department of a big credit card company/ bank; she wrote me the following:
Based on this description, it was her fault! Recall the Brady Bunch episode where Carol is involved in a fender bender. The person who starts backing out first has the right of way.
After I replied in the spirit of her hilarity, she wrote:
The very scary thing about this is that I made the Brady Bunch reference in complete seriousness. But I'm glad you got a kick out of it.
It's good to have good friends, even better to be married to one of them.

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