Sunday, August 23, 2009

THE FIRST OF A TWO PART SERIES

I have passions. I don’t just like things, I LOVE THEM. And why waste calories disliking something, when you can HATE it? Some people say I am a drama queen. I disagree. I simply KNOW MY OWN MIND. Here are some of the many things I simply despise:

Bad grammar. As a career English teacher, I spent twenty years in the trenches, battling improper pronoun reference, subject verb disagreements, dangling participles, mixed metaphors, tense shift, and sentence fragments. It was a losing battle and a lost cause. Of course, the fact that I commit many of the crimes I so valiantly sought to punish is beside the point. Totally.

Bad manners. Don’t stack your dishes at a restaurant. Cover your mouth when you cough. Don’t interrupt, for heaven’s sakes. Put your napkin IN YOUR LAP. If you get a present, send a thank you note! If someone has a black eye, DON’T ask how it happened! And geesh—stop staring!

Cooking every day is a pain. For the life of me, when people say that they RELAX by cooking, I simply don’t get it! How can peeling, chopping, measuring, proofing, stuffing, basting, skinning, straining, boning, and bain marie-ing be RELAXING? Is following a recipe that has fifteen steps remotely enjoyable? How did Julie Powell do it? How did Julia CHILD do it? Why does anyone do it, except for restaurant chefs and Stouffers?

I hate packing for trips. Will it be sunny and hot, or chilly? Should I take a sweater? Will I need something dressy? Should I take two or three pairs of shoes? Will I look like a tourist if I wear sneakers? Are Capri pants considered stylish in New York City? Do they wear leggings in London? How can I leave town for ten days with just ONE suitcase? Why is it my husband can go anywhere, for any duration, with just a carry on?

Chain letters. Guilt, guilt, guilt! It is my fault that there is no cure for cancer, that world peace is still a faint hope, and that my family is not rich beyond our wildest dreams. If only I had taken the time to forward that email on to ten people, or copy that chain letter and buy stamps in order to send it on! I have to live with this every day. No wonder I can’t sleep at night!

Hardware stores are the pits. OMG, there is simply NOTHING for me to buy at a hardware store! How my husband can spend hours in one is a mystery to me! And those big box home stores are worse! Grills, lawnmowers, storm windows, grouting, weather stripping, power tools—the list goes on and on, and on, and ON. We go in for a dowel, and an HOUR later, we are still browsing. The only thing worse than a hardware store is a COMPUTER store….

Small talk. I can’t make small talk for the LIFE of me! How do people navigate parties successfully? I can never think of anything to ASK anyone. Is it because I see a room full of strangers and want to keep it that way? I just can’t seem to muster up any enthusiasm for chatting up unfamiliar folks. I don’t want to know what they do, where they live, how many kids they have, who they voted for, what their stand is on health care, what surgeries they have had lately, if they eat organic food, or if they have ever run a marathon. Sartre had it ALMOST right. “Hell is other people.”

AT A COCKTAIL PARTY!

9 comments:

  1. I had no idea you were an English teacher! There is truly NOTHING worse than poor grammar (except for having to cook every day) - when my husband went back to grad school, I was appointed editor-in-chief of every paper/project /presentation...I think red-penning your partner's writing is really not the way to keep a relationship happy ;-P And thank you, Molly, for refusing to cure cancer/hunger/war/whatever-the-heck-else those chain letters are for...I'm right there with ya!

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  2. Cooking a pain? You've let it get the best of you. Repeat to yourself: recipes are simply other peoples' guidelines. You needn't be a slave to them: after all, your ideas are at least as good as those of other cooks. I have NEVER (and this is over the last twenty-plus years of managing the kitchen at home) made the same dish twice...not always an advantage, because, like the blind hog, I occasionally find an acorn, then can't re-produce it. But I'm above THAT, too.

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  3. Heh...I'm a writing teacher, and bad grammar also drives me nuts...except for my own, of course. I'm immune, right? What's the point of forcing knowledge of the rules if you can't flaunt them while you do it? ;)

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  4. oh, i hate those chain letter too... i get them from my own mom now that she is all into the world of "email". and have to agree with you with small talk as well... always a bit awkward!!

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  5. Hi there! I know, isnt that case adorable?!
    I live in Orange County!

    (btw- adorable blog!)

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