Saturday, August 11, 2012

The events leading to the least successful yard sale in the history of yards

At the beginning of the summer the possibility of life being anything but absurdly difficult ever again seemed so unreal that I decided to pretend that good times weren't near. But good times actually weren't too far off at the beginning of the summer, and now, near the end of summer, they're here. Student loans for the fall semester arrived in our bank account last week, which means that Graham can finally stop squeezing into 9-month pajamas and start stretching his limbs in expansive 12-month ones. I bought a dust buster. We can afford a new shower curtain liner:  they cost less than three dollars, but at the beginning of summer we couldn't spare even that. On Wednesday/Thursday, Aron and I treated ourselves to a date day, lasting a full twenty-four hours, in Atlanta. Graham spent the night at his Grandma's house, and Aron and I spent the night in a hotel. We went to Laughing Skull's open mic comedy night, which was really hilarious. Each comedian had five minutes, and of the twenty that we saw, only two bombed. They were big, awkward bombs. The rest made my face hurt from laughing.

Doing a five-minute stand-up routine has become a goal of mine:  I am sure of my potential to be a big, awkward bomb. I'm super shy, and my voice shakes even in classrooms—still, I love comedy and think making a few people in a room full of people laugh at least a few times over the course of a few minutes is a worthwhile goal, one I would feel really proud about achieving. So sometime within the next two years, when everyone who loves (or at least likes) me is available to attend the show and be demonstrative in ways that calm and confidentize me, I'm going to do it. I'm going to be a comic for a few minutes. 

It's worth mentioning that during date day Aron and I walked two miles from our hotel to a vegetarian Chinese restaurant, two miles back to the hotel, and about three miles round trip between the hotel and comedy club. It's worth mentioning because I think all that walking on city streets made me remember how much I love Atlanta. All that walking made me fall in love with the idea of going to graduate school at Emory. But of course all that walking was done during a time when I wasn't actively being a parent. Atlanta seems like a more difficult city to be a graduate student/parent in than Athens—I have no idea what makes it seem that way. Traffic? The fact that going to school in Atlanta would require moving to Atlanta? So Atlanta seems daunting, but when I'm in Athens I'm not even in the mood to consider attending graduate school. In Atlanta, I am favorably disposed to the idea. There's something inspiring about that city. Or maybe there's something inspiring about that city during a daylong vacation.

Leaving Graham for twenty-four hours was extremely difficult—about once an hour I experienced panicky spells:  during them I wanted to end date day and return immediately to my beautiful boy. If I had thought that Graham was experiencing any similar panic, I would've obeyed my inclination to end date day. We called to check on Graham every two to three hours and never heard him making anything but happy sounds. I think he was fine when he was away from us, but he seemed truly thrilled to see us again after date day was over:  when I picked him up he held my face and smiled at me. And ever since our return from date day, I can't walk away from him without him crying. Even when he's in Aron's arms, he screams when I leave. I don't want to say it makes me secretly happy to see him upset about my absence. It's not a secret:  I am openly happy about his wanting to be attached to me. The feeling is mutual.

I love to indulge. If I have a philosophical affiliation, it's definitely Epicureanism. I love to eat, drink, read and relax. Parenthood makes impossible certain Epicurean indulgences, so when I took a daylong break from being an active parent, I indulged where I could:  by noon I had had a mojito and a half, and by the time date day was over I had eaten a Cuban meal, a Chinese meal, a bagel, half a pizza, and an omelet with goat cheese, mushrooms and tomato coulis. (Omelet, incidentally, has an interesting etymology.) Eating well is expensive. I am almost morally opposed to paying for a haircut, so last week I let Aron cut my hair. (Usually I do the cutting myself, but last time I attempted it I mangled my locks so profoundly that at least four people felt they needed to point out to me that my hair needed to be re-cut. Aron did such a swell job that I've received only nice remarks about my hair.) Anyway, the point of the haircut stories is that I don't enjoy spending money even though some of the things I enjoy most in life, like food and fancy booze, cost money. I buy almost all my clothes used, so that helps make our financial expenditures match our ideals. I don't buy used food. Dumpster diving seems like a fine idea, but it's not something that seems worth getting in trouble over, and if I had to pay a babysitter to watched Graham while I dived, we probably wouldn't come out ahead financially. 

I wanted to make back the money that went into my stomach on date day, so I decided to host a yard sale, which is actually happening right now. Our yard sale has been so unsuccessful that I have been able to type this entire blog without once being interrupted by a customer or potential customer. 

It rained. Our junk stayed dry on the porch. No one has come. It's a lonely flop. I've come inside from the porch to lie on the sofa under Graham for his morning nap, and through the window in the living room I can see the dresses I'm trying to sell hanging from a line of rope stretching from one end of the porch to the other. I keep momentarily mistaking the dresses for shoppers. The rainy failure of this yard sale feels like a Raymond Carver short story. The only difference is I love Raymond Carver short stories.

School starts Monday. I'm taking four classes:  two three-hour and two four-hour. Aron is taking four classes also:  all three-hours. And he'll be working thirty hours a week. I'm not quite sure how the fuck we're going to do it, but I anticipate that this semester will involve anxiety attacks and long breaks from the blogging world. I'm not flattering myself that you care. If I don't have a chance to blog, I'll miss it. That's all I'm saying. I asked Aron if he thought it was possible that we would get to the end of the fall semester and say to each other, "Wow, that was easy!" He doesn't think so. But we certainly survived summer!

It's only because I find melodrama funny that I'm being so melodramatic.

Someone's on the porch, and she's not a dress!