Things Dennis and I have in common: The Macy’s Day Parade depresses us. We have, late in life, become cat people. We both teach (taught, in his case). We write. We can eat ridiculous amounts of kale. That’s about it. Oh! And we hate to read all the Year in Review stuff that comes out in the newspaper.
But here is my list anyway. So long, 2015.
On a random day when I least expected it, I got my first really scalding reader review (titled: I Was Somewhat in a Good Mood, but . . .).
I also received my first professional review where the writer saw a penis where I swear I envisioned only a really terrible haircut.
And then this happened, in this order:
- I turned 52. (52! Really?)
- The first of 101 inches of snow began to fall just about the time my oldest daughter got her license.
- We embarked on our first college tour. Great idea to take your kid to a school you can’t afford when the windchill is below freezing, by the way. If I wrote for Baron’s, I would suggest this strategy. I tried not to be jealous, but pasta stations? pottery wheels? rock climbing walls? And to think I was feeling nostalgic for dining halls that served Yankee pot roast and ratatouille almost exclusively for four years and an athletics fee that allowed me to take an aerobics glass in a windowless room with four inch gymnastics mats on the floor and the football team knocking on the door to see if we were finished so they could lift weights (though it smelled as if they’d never left, especially not to shower).
- I played Cards Against Humanity for the first time and my closest friends in the world might never look at me the same way again. I care more about winning, it would seem, than I do about appearing to be a person who is not an asshole.
- I traveled to Minneapolis to celebrate the publication of Bewildered and spent lots of time avoiding any bars where writers might be hanging out until the final night when I discovered it was actually a lot of fun hanging out in bars with other writers.
- Dennis and I also took the girls to New York City. I hate the Giants. I hate the J-E-T-S, but I do love New York.
- To celebrate my friend Hudson Rush’s inaugural Fringe Fest, I travelled to Pittsburgh. I hate the Steelers, but I loved Pittsburgh. And I love Hudson. And I loved her performance art: Resurrection. And I especially loved being part of the beginning of something wonderful. Next year, I want to do that again — bear witness, raise a glass for an inaugural.
- June: (oh, god, June, do I love you).
- My youngest daughter graduated from Middle School. Junior High (which is what they called this particular hell when I attended it) was a time of aviator frame glasses; menstrual cycles that arrived on one of two days: when you finally got brave enough to wear your new white pants, or when you finally got invited to a pool party; oversized and yellow front teeth; acne; and party lists drawn up in two columns where you were arbitrarily matched to someone, just as homely as you, who you would be expected to make out with when given the signal from the hostess. Does anyone ever feel nostalgic for those days? To witness your children navigate that stage awkwardness, social exclusion, just plain ugliness, is even worse. So, good riddance middle school. We have passed Go. We have collected $200 and we will not be back.
- After several years, we returned to a lakeside rental. The girls floated with friends. I kayaked and walked and wrote and tried not to sob thinking about all those summers my babies came naked to the beach and fell asleep in a room they shared with Nana before the sun had set most nights.
- The girls and I spent a week in Westerly. They went to a drive-in. I saw Shakespeare in the Park. We walked the beach at night, bowled with my cousin and his son, took Nana out to dinner. They paddleboarded: I took bad pictures of them paddleboarding. We spent a few hours most days at the Town Beach. Homecoming.
- Kicked off the month with the second annual Bohemian dinner (on a school night!) and pretended I live the life of an artist. Got up at 6 and went to school because, really, I live the life of a perennial adolescent.
- Dennis turned 60. I have a sixty year old (cradle-robbing) husband.
- Tailgated in the back yard for the Pats; Wrote poetry for strangers at Ipswich Illuminated. Good month.
- 80’s Dance Party. Nuff said.
- Mild weather, mad shopping, those cookies with the peanut butter cups pressed into them, wrapping gifts with my cat.
Readers: May you have many fine moments in ALL of the years ahead. And share some highlights of this one!