Monday, December 22, 2008

A Liza Minnelli load of emotions

The holidays can do that to a person, no?

Yesterday afternoon I put my precious daughter on a plane for her grandparents'. Without her our house is quiet in a way that we do not enjoy. I am sad. I watched the plane taxi down the runway and finally lift into the air. I then raced across the concourse to catch site of it out the opposite windows as it banked a turn and vanished to a tiny dot. Wandering to my car I felt adrift.
But then I look at her most recent school picture, and how can I not be happy? She is happy and confident and loves to explain to people in line at the airport that she is flying as an unaccompanied minor, which—she hastens to add—she has done many times before.  

But at the airport I was also worried about the future of our country after meeting numerous college students who were standing in line to reschedule flights after having missed their scheduled flights because they did not arrive at the airport on time. WTF? Do they show up to exams late too? Will they show up to job interviews late? As one young man exclaimed as he insisted we go ahead of him in line, "I miss my plane all the time!!" If these young people know the meaning of anxiety, it surely has no connection to punctuality. What will happen as they enter the adult world? Will they adjust to the world, or will the world adjust to them? I hope the former. Being on time makes me feel smug and accomplished.

Later that night I was also feeling peevish, cross, and exhausted as Husband and I worked at the MIL's until nearly midnight last night, Husband doing electrical work and I installing miles of shelving paper to the newly repainted kitchen cupboards. I put shelving paper in a few of my drawers that were all rough and splintery; the MIL just had all her drawers and shelves painted in semi-gloss paint. Isn't the fact that you can wipe this clean the point of semi-gloss paint?! "Oh, no!" says the MIL. "We need to protect the paint!"  Sort of like my great aunts who covered all their upholstered furniture in plastic sheeting (seriously—your ass stuck to it) and had plastic runners on all the wall-to-wall carpet thoroughfares of their house. There is something about that generation that does not think things are protected unless they are sealed in plastic. So now the MIL has plastic shelving paper lining every shelf and drawer in her kitchen. "Did we have to do this now?" the MIL wondered (wringing hands). YES, goddamn it! We did! When the hell else would we I do this? I have a JOB. I have Christmas shopping left to do, nothing wrapped, twenty loads of laundry, a trip to pack for, Sophie's skis to be taken into the shop, and the MIL's drapes to be taken to the cleaners. And did I mention I have a job? I did. I AM FUCKING BUSY. So let's add exasperated and just plain pissed.

But then I did experience a moment of blissful joy when these arrived at my door from genius baker and blogger extraordinaire, Laura at adonzeneggs. She generously offered those of us who yack it up on her comments sections a discount of $5 on each tin of holiday cookies. Whoohoo! Who says I can't delegate? This year, Laura was in charge of my cookies.

She was also kind enough to send along a few treats for Sophie, one of which I tucked into her knapsack to take on the plane, and a few nekkid cookies. Sometimes the best way to appreciate a truly good cookie or cake is without the frosting.

Thank you, sweetie!

And the cookie tin just may be the perfect house for the Fleur de Sel Caramels that she has on her blog today and that I want to make when I recover from the holidays. Note that it's when, not if. There's a whole season of skiing ahead of us. Crazy joy.


ElleBee said...

Not that it will make you feel any better about the future of our country, but at Diva U., we had two graduate students and three undergraduate students show up late for their GRADUATION. And by late, I mean, they MISSED the processional! :) Hope the whole Fig Family has a fabulous Christmas!

MixinMike said...

I think it's really nice what you're doing for your MIL. One day she'll be gone and you will miss her. Besides, this is what Christmas is all about -- love. Not trying to make you feel guilty. Just sayin...

Besides, I don't know how you do what you do with a job.

Heather said...

I sympathize with this range of emotions. Your daughter is so cute! Hang in there.

lisagh said...

You're the best, Cin. And Sophie... omg cutest picture ever.

happy hols my friend. happy. happy. happy.

Purple Flowers said...

Don't forget that what you are doing for MIL means a great deal to Husband. You are helping his mother, and Sophie also sees that too.
Take deep breaths and do what you can in a day, no one is asking for anything more.
Enjoy the cookies; they look great!!

NJDecorator said...

Where I grew up in Philly, every house had the furniture covered in plastic. I thought it was just a Philly thing, but apparently it's a whole generational thing.

Have a lovely holiday.

Carla said...

Just got done saving up for some new chairs I'd been longing for. I actually considered trying to find the plastic covering. Sad, no?

Happy Holidays to the Figs household and wishes for all the best in 2009. And thanks for the blog--I really enjoy it.

Mary Coleman said...

Sophie is so precious!!! I know how you feel. Very merry merry to you and Husband and Sophie. Thanks for the award this year and for reading FG.

Deb said...

Wow. I can only imagine those emotions. My kids have gone away overnight for a night or two, but never on a plane yet.

Save me a cookie!!

Rachella said...

That photo of Sophie is so cute!

The answer to your question about college students is YES. They do show up late to class, exams, interviews and scheduled appointments with their professors