Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Defensive Driving Tips Part 2

Know where you want to go.

I am sorry I took so long to resume my posting. The momentum for my defensive driving metaphor is diminishing as entropy sets in.

I spent about a week in Missouri visiting my aunt and grandmother. I have not been so happy and comfortable is a long time. They were both so kind and welcoming. It really felt like home.

My grandmother looked exactly the same as I remember her. She is thinner and not as steady on her feet as the last time I saw her. Her hearing is going but she does not seem to mind too much. When she picks up a piece of the conversation around her that seems interesting, she just asks. "Who is that? What did she do?" Upon hearing the information she sought, her response was so adorable. "Oh, did she? Well, how about that." I did not realize how Minnesota she sounded until I discussed it with my mom on the plane ride home.

(Total non-sequitur alert! My whole life I have always said my mother or my mom in conversation. It bothers me when someone says Mother or Mom in reference to her own parent. I know that she is using it as her mother's name but hundreds of millions of other people's moms have the same exact name. I read it on other people's blogs and it still irks me. It makes me feel like they claimed it first. Imagine a conversation between two people talking about their respective mothers both just saying Mother.

"Mother bought me a sweater this weekend."
"Oh? Mother had her art opening on Saturday."
"Yes, Mother mentioned it."

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming. What was I writing about? My lovely grandmother and my awesome Aunt Kay. I had not seen my grandmother since I visited her 22 years ago with Sachi. It was the summer before I started teaching and now I returned the summer after I stopped teaching. An interesting set of parentheses around a career. Maybe a tornado picked me up the last time I was in Missouri and I have been off trying to find the wizard for 22 years. I was conked on the head and woke up muttering, "There's no place like home."

I slept and slept. Occasionally, my Aunt Kay would be suddenly appear startling me from my slumber. Not in a disconcerting way. Just a surprise. In many ways, she reminded me of me. She is funny and opinionated and a little bit cynical. She is unpredictable and would sometimes disappear, even right in the middle of a meal. She loves her sweets and her coffee, just so. She is generous and gives thoughtful gifts. The last time I saw my Aunt Kay was at my first wedding in 1985. I do not remember much about that day so my real memories of her are from my childhood. In the fall of 1970, my mother took us to live in Santa Monica with her mom. My aunt Kay lived about a mile away. One day my brother and I walked to her house alone without telling anyone. We were both so impressed with ourselves that we could find it. My mother was less than impressed when she could not find us.

I cried on the plane home, already missing both of them. I want to go back soon.

This morning I woke up with a singular thought reverberating in my head compelling me to write.

Who am I? Who am I?

I do not know the answer anymore. I am 48 years old and I am going to have to come up with a new answer. I am not "disingenuous" and anyone who accuses me of such can go suck it!

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