"Not the caliber of scorn I would expect from a top competitor." Ha. see, I thought I knew all about being made to feel insignificant and low by all the evil girls in junior high and all the hipsters in college and beyond. But really, those people are amateurs. The truly skilled practitioners of better than thou-ness are the other mothers at the playground. At least, this is what I am told by all the other mothers I know. I wouldn't know this personally because the other mothers at the park tend to void me because I haven't completely shaken my own "don't talk to me, I have no time for the likes of you" aura, one I spent so many years crafting (not that I was ever much of a hipster, but apparently, I was enough of one to scare the other mothers at the playground). Or maybe they don't talk to me because I seem to be the only person who is not a nanny who doesn't have blonde hair.
For months now, I have had a bunch of ideas on which I have wanted to expound, but have found it damn near impossible to sit still long enough to even realize how difficult articulating these ideas happens to be. And I have been feeling very guilty about this. I tell myself to just sit down, procrastinating on online message boards, and write what is in my head. I call myself names in my head ("lazy" and "vain" are my favorites--how else to explain all my lack of progress writing-wise but all the time I spend running like a gerbil on a treadmill? Of course, the continued persistence of cellulite on my thighs just demonstrates that I'm not really making much progress in the vanity arena either.) To no avail as I still haven't written a word (though I have bored the people who know me in real life by talking about these grand essays I have planned).
However, today I read a headline which (like Melissa Joan Hart before she became a teen witch) really explained it all.
I almost believe this to be a true story. Except a quick glance at the Wiki page shows it is, sadly, not true at all. Anyway, I found it hard to believe that any Reed student could actually find the time to talk to anyone at The Onion. (Hey, I have this year's Princeton Review rankings to back me up on that one.)
You know, years ago, I would say "Reed" to people and a lot of them would just give me a blank stare. Or I would get the oh so clever reply, "You mean Red College?" Now, I see the place mentioned in two separate media outlets on the same day and nary a mention of communism, atheism, free love, or taking tests in trees. What is the world coming to?
I have tornado dreams. Dreams where I see a funnel cloud in my rear view mirror and it follows me around corners. Dreams where I see the twister enter the building I am in and take an elevator to get to my floor. Dreams where the doorbell rings and, when I go to answer it, there is a 5 1/2 foot tall swirling black mass of cloud stuff waiting on the doorstep. In short, the tornado represents a malevolent force of nature which is impervious to rules and whose clutches, thus far, I have been able to just escape, but it may only be a matter of time before it gets me.
It makes some sense. I grew up hearing the National Weather Service tornado warnings for our area and was a junkie for documentaries about natural disasters. I remember trying to find an area of the country where a person could live safely and being disappointed that none of the places which appealed to me were completely immune to nature's wrath . Compared to the threats with which other areas had to contend (California? Earthquakes. Pacific Northwest? Volcanoes. New York City? Tidal waves.) I actually felt pretty lucky to be living where I did. My mom told me that tornadoes didn't ever hit Chicago because of Lake Michigan and then I heard somewhere that the skyscrapers actually made it hard for the weather conditions to remain stable enough to support a twister. And, the truth is, I have never actually experienced a tornado. I have seen clouds in the distance which looked like they were minutes away from developing into funnel clouds and I have headed to basements when the radio started to beep a warning. But the closest I have ever come to actually experiencing a tornado was one day last September when the air raid sirens went off and the local news said that people reported seeing a tornado in my neighborhood. Woohoo! These guys got something that day on video (though if there really was a tornado in my 'hood, it couldn't have been this one).
I gradually came to believe that tornadoes really weren't something which should concern me. Yeah, I had a strange anxiety dream now and then, but who doesn't?
However, it would appear that my sub conscious has been more in touch with things than I thought and, in the same way that animals "know" when an earthquake is imminent, it may have been trying to tell me something important.
So maybe the tornado in my dreams is not a metaphor for evil or a representation for everything over which I have no control, maybe the tornado is just a tornado and it is time to start digging a basement. After all, who would have thought a tornado would hit Brooklyn?