Thursday, February 28, 2008

we get lost in the back of our minds.

she took out her toothbrush, started using it there. she explained, "I'm always sure today's the day I will die, I wanna look good if I get to look God in the eye." I said, "Oh, Oh."

I went to get a facial yesterday, and while I was waiting, I picked up a magazine to flip through. It just so happened to be a copy of Metropolitan Home, which I have never seen a copy of at the spa. Why is this special ? Of course because my favorite person in New York City just started working for this magazine and will happen to have her name in print next month! That's probably up there on the list of achievements I'd say. Just put a smile on my face.

Otherwise, that last train of thought I left off with... I never found it again. There is a lot swirling around in there (my head) including a possible sinus infection, and I am having trouble maintaining any one solid train of thought.

My sister got engaged a couple of weeks ago, and I am super excited to be her maid of honor, which we never even discussed actually, its just a given. I love weddings and I can't wait to help her plan. She's probably going to be the most laid-back bride ever. The rest of the family is not especially excited about the engagement yet, but I have faith that it will all come together and everyone will be happy.

Sister and I got into this discussion yesterday about Mom. She's sort of the most unique person you've ever met. She's a great mom and loving and smart and successful and even through my worst teenage years she kept her sanity and has somehow forgiven me for all the horrible things I said to her back then. She's finally become one of my best friends. The thing is, she doesn't give you those "mom" reactions you expect. A lot of times when something isn't going right or you're just having a bad day, instead of a hug Mom gives you rational advice. What? How practical and maddening. Also, I like to think of her as a little bit of a mother earth. She never wore make-up, or used hair products, no nail polish or perfume. She didn't understand my need for expensive clothes and my frustration at wanting to fit in. Mom never fit in, and probably never wanted to.

It is only now, in my mid 20's that I can fully appreciate the nuances of her personality. She has come a long way though, she has a natural sort of beauty, I think it's all her Cherokee, Sioux, and Blackfoot, swirled around with that Fletcher Irish. When we were growing up, we weren't even aloud to paint our nails in the house because she didn't like the smell. Even outside on the back porch, we could only use clear. CLEAR. I know, how cruel. Now though, we've got her gossiping with our hair stylist between processes, getting bi-weekly pedicures and she even loves to shop. I have slowly brought her to the dark side of being a woman. Its great.

Sometimes I honestly marvel at how I became the person I am. My parents are granola to say the least. We have solar panels on our house,my parents workout 7 days a week, my dad looks like Il Duce from The Boondock Saints, my mother was president of the native plant society for 3 years for god's sake. They sent me to private school, with the richest, snobbiest, most conservative kids in the county, and I was always mortified when my mom's 1984 diesel Volvo station wagon pulled up in that line of BMW's and Mercedes, puffing black smoke. You could hear it coming from a mile away I swear. But now, looking back, it's just funny. It's all pretty funny. I spent years wishing I was more like the other kids, wishing my family was "normal". Now I'm just so grateful they are who they are. I think the things my parents gave me that a lot of people my age just don't have are a very strong moral compass, an appreciation for all things natural, and most of all the strength to think for myself. I don't agree with them on all things, political, material, environmental or otherwise, but they gave me the skills to make up my own mind and stop worrying about what other people think.

These realizations came about over a long period of time, but I couldn't understand them until now. When I started working with a couple of organizations that my mom has been involved in for years, I was faced with a barrage of her fans. She laughs when I tell her how they all adore her and think she's amazing. Modest to say the least, and really she just becomes involved in the causes she believes in. She does her work because she wants to make a difference. I'll leave it at this, something one of her acquaintances said to me: "you know you're mom is like a celebrity, everybody knows her and wants her opinion". I would never trade her for a Mercedes driving, designer wearing, self-interested kind of mom. I finally appreciate her. Educated, business-owning, usually a little frazzled, signs emails to her family with "L" instead of love, wears hideous gardening hats in public, fiercely feminist yet still washes Dads clothes and makes him dinner every night, hates the smell of cologne, stubborn as all hell, drives a hybrid, makes the best chicken and dumplings known to man, and could sew anyone on Project Runway under the table.


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