Posted by lex, on December 14, 2008
Rained much of the day yesterday, the wind blowing hard. Turned the heat on for the first time in the morning, just to take the chill off. The year has been an eventful one, but know it’s winding down, groping its way into a new year that holds perhaps less hope than trepidation. Foreign wars, economic malaise, politics as usual. Everyone wondering if this is the bottom, and if not, how much worse will it get. Wondering, when it’s finally over, what will emerge. Our “exceptionalism”, such as it is, I think was always based not so much on a certainty of rectitude – we’ve far too much experience being wrong – as a certain confidence that we’d figure it out in time. Now that confidence is badly shaken, and we have gone from young to late middle age in a seeming blink of an eye, harboring doubts and regrets, in debt up to our ears, no real way of knowing how we’re going to pull this off.
Or maybe that’s just me.
We had the company holiday party on Friday evening, and they did it up in style. The “Don Room” at the old Cortez Hotel in downtown. Drank a tot, dined well – even danced! I wish I could tell you, gentle reader, that it was The Blue Danube that had set me to tripping the light fantastic, but it was instead the DJ’s spinning of “Play that Funky Music White Boy,” that got the rug cut. It’s a song with so many associations that it fair catapults me out of my seat. The Hobbit is a good sport, she tolerates this in me.
Chatted with a lady friend of a co-worker. Has spent such an interesting life that I found myself wondering if that had been the point, an almost self-conscious attempt to be interesting. Spoke of having been to Africa, and speaking a bit of Swahili, surprising the natives. I have never met anyone before who spoke Swahili, at least so far as I am aware. It has never before come up in casual conversation at least. Couldn’t help wondering if that was the point too, being able, in casual conversation, to bring up one’s versatility in African tongues. I found myself more bemused than impressed. Asked her to dance anyway, it being the holidays, and the Hobbit being tolerant also in this. She knows who I’m going home with.
Saturday was a day to rescue cars from the clutches of divers mechanics. My little BMW being down for a radiator leak (and BMW, as it turns out, meaning “Bring My Wallet” in the context of automotive repairs). Also, the Ancient Caravan emerged from its latest bout of collision repairs. The Biscuit, coming off her third mishap in nine months time, having over the intervening period cast doubt on your correspondent’s once vaunted ability to teach complex skills to novices. No one ever gets hurt, thank God (and knock wood), but those deductibles don’t pay themselves and I can’t help wondering when the insurance company is going to run out of patience.
Then, off with the Kat and one of her amis for to buy a Christmas tree. Was the story. Only a certain tree lot would do, and upon arriving thence, ulterior motives were suspected. Turned out a certain “Dillon” worked at this particular place, a fine, strapping young man of the Kat’s acquiantance. “Strapping” in the context of a high school freshman. Tubular and spotted through the lenses of watchful fatherhood. There was much giggling, blushing and hair-flicking, but little actual tree shopping for a span of time that stretched the length of a good book. I was eventually forced to apply Lean Six Sigma practices to complete the assigned task, drove off with the tree atop my little car and the girls staring regretfully through the back window at the fast receding tree lot. Only to come to an emergency stop a quarter mile down track. Whatever else his virtues, Dillon could learn a thing or two about tying a knot.
Each passing day brings a new package from FedEx or UPS, each of them expertly evaluated by glittering eyes. They’ll show up under the tree in time, wrapped and be-ribboned, ready to be hefted and shaken after the ‘rents have hit the hay, and perhaps – who knows? – peered into and re-wrapped. They’re clever, hopeful beasts.
So, yeah. I guess it is me.
Picardy is playing. Time to dress that tree.