Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The weather with you

I've always felt particularly attuned to the weather. Today it's absolutely pouring gobs and gobs from the sky, and I feel relieved. Somehow, I've always felt that crappy weather gives you the excuse to let down your guard and just BE for a while. When I lived in particularly sunny places (Arizona, Colorado) I always felt like I was living in some sort of strange suspended animation. Perhaps like butterflies feel-- their wings reach an optimum temperature and then they start flying-- are compelled to fly-- by their appetites, not necessarily their desires.

The past two weekends I've been furiously busy feting (missing the carat above the 'e' but don't know how to make it) two toddlers and a cousin. Not that I get to feel some Oh woe is me. Love moves us to action when we perhaps otherwise would be the slug. Still, as much as I love people, love creating the environment where people get together and laugh and trade barbs, I also need the shut-down. Anyone who tries to have a conversation with me on the telephone while my son is napping can attest to my need to slip into that trance-like state. I can range from snippy to sleepy to disinterested to ornery. I bristle at any mention of being productive or accomplishing specific tasks.

I've alternately never quite understood my Dr. Jekyll/Mrs. Hyde personality and yet celebrated it. I can be no other. Just like a playful juxtaposition of motifs, it's how I keep my edge.

Mostly I am discomforted by my huge range of personal quirks when they are embodied in other people-- specifically, friends. My friends range from the very earthy to the very intellectual to the sharp dressers and professional shoppers. I can find myself at home with people in multiple combinations of these qualities. I more fear what happens when physically I get them all together.

This past weekend, spurred on by Toddler Birthday Number 2 (my own toddler this time), I dropped the perverbial mechitzah and allowed the species to intermingle. And doing so told me more about myself than it did about them, oddly enough.

Primarily, it made me think about the expectations I have about myself and what my comfort zone is.

I love new, beautiful, highly-designed things. Yet I also love and crave things that are deals, that are old and used, that have a history.

I feel most comfortable when I look "put together", yet I always want to have at least one thing that jars just a little bit, be it a little strange match or a pop of color. I never want to look trendy or overdone.

I want to be taken seriously and seen as an intellectual, yet I love potty humor and People magazine. I want to be simultaneously earthy and above it all.

All of which means some sort of a balance. Unfortunately (or fortunately, not sure which) life and feelings don't work just "in the middle". Life is all across the spectrum, and we're along for the ride. Sort of like the weather, I suppose. When there's too much sun, you need a dose of rain. So much external, you need the internal pulling you back in.

That balance also isn't always elegant. It makes me think of all those wonderful two-word film titles...: "Bread and Tulips" (wonderful film!), "Strawberry and Chocolate". Perhaps for my life, a more appropriate title would be the contents of my plastic bag this morning as I emerged from the Bavaria Sausage Company store on one of my frequent Teutonic binges: Chocolate and Sausages. Forecast: more of the same.


Nick W. said...

Technically speaking, "Bread and Tulips", "Strawberry and Chocolate", and even "Sausage and Chocolate" are three word titles. I'll grant that the and is small, but it is still important.

A slightly silly admonition from your friendly neighborhood pedantic grammarian.

Mama H said...

Funny, my husband said the same thing. I don't count "and" as a word, but what the hay. What is it with you men and technicalities??? :)