So – is this a global problem, or just a local one? Our water bill was a twitch over a hundred dollars this month. A HUNDRED DOLLARS!!! Does that seem reasonable? It’s not like it’s distilled or flavored or anything. We don’t have a hot tub or a fountain or even a garden. We just wash ourselves and our dishes. This bill also covers our participation in the city sewer system which I’m not quite ready to opt out of yet, but this last bill does make me wonder if I shouldn’t cost out monthly portapotty rates, just in case. Expenses just keep growing more quickly than cash. I’m not sure we actually have a hundred dollars to spend on this each month but what’s the alternative?
There isn’t one as far as the city water department is concerned, meaning it’s us who need to figure something out on our side. A part time job for poor old Mary Elizabeth? Monthly yard sales? I just don’t know. Do I really want to work weekends just so I can continue to flush my toilet? How long do you think they’d let me keep the job I do have if I cut back to bi-weekly showers? It’s a puzzle, but one I feel like I’ve already done. We just keep cutting back and cutting back further. Thank goodness I’m such a whiz at smiling in the face of adversity. Maybe I should write a gratitude list and start it off with “clean water” and “indoor plumbing”. Maybe I should Google some people and places where these things can’t even be bought. Maybe I should dig a well. I’ll let you know how it goes…
Okay – who watched South Park last night? I did. And I’ve been feeling kind of sad ever since. Lame, I know, but there it is. Why did they do that to us? Or to me, anyway. I guess it’s because I just hope that my kids can hang on to some innocent joy even into adulthood, despite the eighty four million reasons to be cynical with which they’re presented every day. Not to mention the cynical role models with whom they’re living. I try my best to find things to love and enjoy and laugh about, and i hope it’s sincere. I hope my good moods aren’t just painfully obvious masks for an underlying weariness with everything around me. Ugh – poor Marshes!
You know what? They aren’t masks. I do find joy and humor around me all the time. I believe that new and exciting things I haven’t even imagined yet are right around the corner. I love food and flowers and music and netflix. Just the fact that I have kids is an amazingly creative act I can be proud of, let alone that they’re growing into such interesting, creative individuals themselves . I have a wildly talented boyfriend with whom I’m honored to share this chapter of my life. Thanks, South Park, for reminding me to not let cynicism infect my entire world view. Life is good, so long as you don’t give up and stop looking at it that way.
Here’s a funny story. My co-worker and I were walking to the grocery store the other evening. It was delightful! The weather was a little rainy, but not too cold or windy. We saw a seal frolicking in the river as we crossed the bridge. There was a beautiful sunny spot way out near the horizon on the majestic Pacific. The conversation was fun and intelligent. Just lovely. Anyhow – I was carrying the bluest, most Wal-Marty bag in the world as I’d recently been extorted into buying it and insist upon using it whenever I can. You can probably see it from space. Anyhow – after shopping we decided, rather impulsively, to stop at McDonald’s for fries. Keep in mind that we not only don’t spend a whole lot of time in either Wal-Mart or McDonald’s, we work for a company that promotes a significantly different lifestyle, to say the least. So, as we exited McDonald’s – salty grease on our lips, highly visible bags in hand – my friend commented on how awkward it would be if the owners of the company for which we work were to drive by just then. And then they did.
Typical, huh. And funny. I’d like to say, “Gee I just can’t get away with anything!” but that’s not what’s funny about this situation. What’s funny is that a grown woman A) thinks she has to sneak in and out of McDonald’s B) still views people like her employers as the authority figures from whom to hide such activity and C) feels the need to flaunt a Wal-Mart bag around town because she felt forced into paying twenty seven cents for it. Every once in while, I feel like I’m providing my children with a decent example of what it means to grow up – what maturity and adulthood are supposed to look like. But most of the time, I don’t. Oh well. At least we’re having some fun along the way. Maybe this weekend we’ll fill the Wal-Mart bag with homemade popcorn and generic sodas and try and sneak it into the movies.
Sometimes things hurt too much to even joke about. But god knows I try. I can’t remember any hurts I’ve let myself experience without turning them into comedy material before the tears were dry on my face. I bet my kids resent the heck out of it. If every thing’s a joke before it’s had time to be, well, a thing, the playing field is pretty even and being trapped behind a stupid person in the grocery checkout line is given the same treatment as moving out of their father’s house. Whatever. I’m sure they resent me when I make them talk about uncomfortable subjects, too, which I do because as torturous as it may be, I think it’s important. And seriously, anyone who’s watched even five minutes of The Three Stooges knows pain is funny.
Tomorrow is Valentines Day, and if that’s not a potential kick-off for pain I don’t know what is. Personally I love Valentines Day. What’s not to like? It’s pink and pretty and full of chocolate. But I’ve had some less than super fantastic ones. It can be a lonely day. It can be an eye-opener. But really it’s just another day with some extra social pressures attached. So enjoy it. Let the people you care about know you love them. And remember – its potential for comedy is boundless.