Thursday, October 25, 2007


Today I feel anything but good. I feel crappy.

Unfortunately, when this "feeling" comes my dear husband and son don't always get the bubbly warm spontaneous love they might otherwise expect. Instead they get "Harriet," we'll call her. Dear Harriet stares a lot and expects anyone within a radius of two hundred yards to read her mind. This includes the mailman who is late, the drivers who seem to be clueless to the actual laws of the road and of course her soul mate John and son Noah. John, having lived with me for eleven years senses Harriet and often has meetings and other appointments when she visits. Noah is yet to learn but is on his way.

I am trying desperately not to console her with chocolate, but you know what, it seems to tame her like a piece of zebra helps out the lion's bad mood swings.

Yes, I guess I don't need to blog about her. She could remain a private part of me, unseen to the web world. Or to the four of you who consistently read this. But you know what? Joy is a state of mind. Joy is acceptance that God is in control of whatever, whenever. This includes dear, sweet, wanta-be serial killer Harriet. She is not me. But she is a part of my life that I have to deal with. So I try to keep her calm, insist she say nothing, never, ever, to store clerks of any kind. I try to be gentle with her when she looks in the mirror and decides to cash in John's insurance for every possible plastic surgery. I whisper to her that we do, indeed, love our son very much and do not want to adopt him out no matter how big a mess he made with his muddy shoes or how many times we have to call his name before he answers. Nor do we want to call John in the middle of his meeting and yell at the top of our lungs, "He is your son. Come get him!"

The most destructive aspect of Harriet is her incessant need to have the world revolve around her. She and I (are you following?) know that this is not a realistic or Godly expectation. But it still seems to be the prevailing truth, the slogan on Harriet's t-shirt, as she travels the land.

No one loves Harriet enough. No one emails her as often as she wants or tells her that she is destined to be a great, great writer. No one comments on her blog. No one cares. In fact, most people are out to get her or abandon her or both at the same time. Poor Harriet.

God gave me, yep He actually reached down from heaven and gave me...sort of...a poem that made me laugh and take Harriet a little less seriously.

The poem is by Phillip Lopate and I read it out of Anne Lamott's Bird By Bird.

We who are
your closest friends
feel the time
has come to tell you
that every Thursday
we have been meeting,
as a group,
to devise ways
to keep you
in perpetual uncertainty
discontent and
by neither loving you
as much as you want
nor cutting you adrift.
Your analyst is
in on it,
plus your boyfriend
and your ex-husband;
and we have pledged
to disappoint you
as long as you need us.
In announcing our
we realize we have
placed in your hands
a possible antidote
against uncertainty
indeed against ourselves.
But since our Thursday nights
have brought us
to a community
of purpose
rare in itself
with you as
the natural center,
we feel hopeful you
will continue to make unreasonable
demands for affection
is not as a consequence
of your disastrous personality
then for the good of the collective.

1 comment:

John Iobst said...

I was about to leave a comment but I have a meeting