Risotto and Flannel Sheets

Because life is not like this, and I do not live in a romantic movie, my hair was short, frizzy, out of control, and I had acne. My maternity jeans kept falling down, and I was at that really awful stage, where it not entirely clear if you are pregnant, or merely fat. At any rate, my breasts were huge, so I suppose I had that going for me.

About 2 years ago, I ran into an old flame at a guest lecture. And I, torn between 2 worlds, chose memory, abandoning manners. I saw him and he didn’t see me, so I went running after him, and I caught up with him outside the door.

“Mike. Micheal!” I called. And he turned, and if this were a romantic movie of any sort, I would have been silhouetted by the building light. My hair would have been long, curly, and flowing. I would probably have been dressed in white, and I would have been either tall, slender, or beautifully pregnant.

But, I followed him out, and he offered me a cigarette, and that took care of announcing my pregnancy, and by his change in tone, he remembered I married, and was married still. Anyway, he asked what I was doing.

And I’m left a bit short. I had big plans you see. I was going to do big things. I was going to change the world. I was going to make a difference, armed with the Nichomachean Ethics and A Theory of Justice. And this must have been a believable thing, because Mike believed it, and could not understand what I was doing now.

I live, well, let’s face it, I live a boring life. It’s not meaningless, but it is boring. There are no late night conversations on duty and justice. We don’t talk about epistemology much around my house, and certainly we don’t talk about mind-body dualism. I haven’t sat in the Sugar Bowl in forever, and even if I could be there, I have forgotten much of Descartes’ arguments. Philosophy, political thought, seems rarely to intrude on the business of living life.

I sit on a board trying to end prostitution. I champion community journalism. I teach people to grow tomatoes from seed. I make saskatoon jam with friends, in a community league kitchen. I make meals for people who need them. I knit. I weed. I go to work and come home again. I write a blog that mostly talks about every day stuff. I’m a wife, a mother, a volunteer. I’m a friend. I’m really not much of anything.

And on days like today, when my hair is out of control, and I’m just out of sorts, I wonder how my life became this. And then I realize, nothing is forever. That was then, and this is now. So, I live in the now, and talk about a priori evil on the way to get a cup of coffee. And what I’m up to these days, mostly?

Mostly, I’m reading Sense and Sensibility, trying to remember how to make a really good risotto and looking to find a set of flannel sheets that won’t pill.

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14 Responses to Risotto and Flannel Sheets

  1. Debby says:

    When we are younger, maybe we worry about setting the world afire. As we age, I think that we are happy to provide a comfortable light for our place in the world. You do, Mrs. Spit. You shine brightly, and the people in your world are glad for your presence.

  2. Tash says:

    Yup. I also thought I'd at least be a Talking Head about *something* important. And strangely, the really boring, rather anonymous life I lead now seems so much more difficult than I could've ever imagined.

  3. Bluebird says:

    I get what you're saying. I was full of big dreams, too. But I dare say, my friend, that your life is still far more full and worthwhile than mine could ever dream to be! Your life is so far from "not much of anything" that I can't even put it in to words.

  4. Brown Owl says:

    I think perhaps Mrs. Spit, you grew up. You went from talking about making a difference in the world to putting those ideals into action.

    You are making a difference in all those lives you touch; whether it is making jam, knitting socks, editing a paper, holding a hand.

    Life happens around you and you are a full and willing participant, not a student waiting for life to start. You are not a dreamer sitting on the curb while life passes by!

    Boring? Not likely! You are fully engaged and living each moment.

  5. Martha says:

    I like my boring life and find joy in the mundane.
    Good luck with the risotto and flannel sheets. Kevin would self immolate if I put flannel sheets on the bed, he is always hot, while I am a freeze cat.

  6. Donna says:

    Some days it's hard to accept ordinary, but in the long run I have to believe it ends up being a lot more rewarding.

    I hate to tell you that the very nature of flannel sheets is to pill. Flannel is just flat cotton fabric brushed to create soft face. The brushing breaks down the cotton fibers and makes them "hairy". This hair is what makes flannel soft. When anything rubs against the hair (like a sleeping body) the "hairs" start to entwine and make the little pill balls… Higher thread counts might be somewhat better – but will most likely still pill. Sorry – I'm a fabric geek…

  7. Reese says:

    I have the opposite problem—people assume what I do for a living is UBER important and cool. Even at the doctor's office this morning, the woman was typing in my information, asked what I did for a living and basically had to endure a 'that's so cool, I wish I could do that' type of lecture. Didn't have the heart to tell her I write reports all day and deal with military a**holes. To her, it's something better than working in a small doctor's office with not much going on. As I left with a prescription for a beta blocker, I was the envious one—of the quiet waiting room, of the Starbucks' coffee that one brought the other, the easy conversations that flowed effortlessly between co-workers and boss.

    I want flannel sheets, pilled and all. And I bet you make an awesome risotto…..

  8. Seraphim says:

    Strange isn't it? Reading this and your description of your life I thought just how interesting you are…..

  9. loribeth says:

    Doesn't sound boring at all to me. (Now MY life, on the other hand…. lol.) There is a beauty & value & in the ordinary too, if we know how to look at it.

  10. HereWeGoAJen says:

    I once had good flannel sheets from LL Bean.

    It is the boring lives that are the good ones. It is the boring people who make the world a good place. Plus, I don't find you boring at all. 🙂

  11. HereWeGoAJen says:

    (Also, people with "non-boring" lives make me tired.)

  12. Kristin says:

    "I sit on a board trying to end prostitution. I champion community journalism. I teach people to grow tomatoes from seed. I make saskatoon jam with friends, in a community league kitchen. I make meals for people who need them. I knit. I weed. I go to work and come home again. I write a blog that mostly talks about every day stuff. I'm a wife, a mother, a volunteer. I'm a friend. I'm really not much of anything."

    I beg to differ. What you are doing is vitally important. What you are doing is something that helps keep the world going. It may not be sexy and exciting but you are important. You are a very important something.

  13. Elle says:

    You are an extremely intelligent, giving, talented, beautiful, soulful woman who makes a positive difference in the lives of many. Alas, life is daily for the majority, and for those of us who have lived through horror, daily in comparison is welcome.

    Wishing you God's special grace tonight, Mrs. Spit.

  14. JamieD says:

    Your life sounds very interesting to me! I guess it's a classic case of the grass being greener on the other side. But I have had those feelings about myself. Then I watch something on TV or hear about something in the news and am grateful for my boring life.

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