Wednesday, December 07, 2005

It's always darkest just before it's pitch black

Okay, okay, I haven't posted anything in 13 days but, in my defense (as if anyone out there has been breathlessly awaiting further Mitten diaries) in the past two weeks I have done the following:

1. returned from London replete with a cold, a UTI and...(this pains me to admit) dandruff! I could care less about the first two but the last one I have to explain. I think it's the water in the UK, or my shampoo. In any event, Robert and I were in bed together the morning I left, naked and kissing, when Robert pointed to my scalp and said, "Flake." It was, as I'm sure you can imagine, not the most romantic moment of my life. In retrospect, I think we're both lucky I didn't hit him.

2. turned in a ten-page paper for my Lit class

3. submitted work to five literary publications (woo hoo!)

4. woken up between four-thirty and six every morning for a week (perhaps this has less to due with my skyrocketing anxiety levels than it does, as Robert pointed out this morning, with the fact that I've been asleep before nine almost every night).

5. two days ago, I took a pregnancy test in the locker room of my gym. This was a highlight although any joy invoked by the negative result will be nothing compared to the way I'll feel when I get (please, please let me get) my period, now two weeks late. I took the test at the gym, by the way, first because I didn't want to be alone when I did it but mostly because I knew that if it was positive, it would be a long time before I felt motivated to work out. And Robert, when I told him that it was negative yesterday, said, "How do you feel about that?" To which I replied, "Um, relieved. How do you feel about that?"
He said, "Oh, you know, I'm relaxed about it."
And it's true. Robert might as well just relaaax himself right down the aisle.

6. Lastly, I've devoted myself to writing a 20-page paper on Simone de Beauvoir's memoir about her mother's cancer, A Very Easy Death; Carolyn Kay Steedman's sociological look at her upbringing, Landscape for a Good Woman: A Story of Two Lives; and Vivian Gornick's embittered account of her mother, entitled Fierce Attachments.

At four-forty-five this morning, I woke up with my head at the food of my bed and the title of the paper came to me:

No One Here Gets Out Alive:
What Three Memoirs Reveal About the Tangled Relationship of Mothers & Daughters

and when, on the phone just now, I shared it with my parents, my mother went on to say that she "has always known that it will be up to Meg (my sister) to take care of her because I would leave her lying in a ditch."

Sarah: Excuse me? In a ditch?
Mum: Oh, yeah. You'd never want to take care of me. I didn't want to take care of my own mother when she was dying. But, I mean, who would?
Sarah: Well, apparently, Meg. This is a very disturbing exhange.
Mum: Get over it.
Sarah: Can I talk to Dad again?
(huffing noises)
Dad: Yo! Number One!
Sarah: Dad, did you just hear Mom say that I would leave her to die in a ditch?
Dad: I don't think she said 'to die'
Sarah: Dad. Whatever. How am I supposed to respond to that?
Dad: "I wouldn't leave you lying in a ditch for too long." or "I would call for help as soon as it was convenient."
(he laughs. I can hear my mom laughing in the background.)
Sarah: I can't get worked up about this right now, I have to go.
Dad: Wait!
Sarah: Yes?
Dad: I love you. Have a pretty good day!

Could I have come up with a more perfect ending than that? I leave you with it:
Have a pretty good day.


Anonymous camille said...

pretty good?
do you have a weak heart or something?

9:31 PM  

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