oh that meredith

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Tag: kiba

In which I spill soup, spectacularly.

Once upon a time, after a dark and stormy night, when Atlanta and its suburbs were blanketed with snow, ice and whiny residents, it came to pass that my street was filled with emergency vehicles.

Now, as the favorite honorary girlchild to more than one elderly neighbor, this set my heart athumpin’. I love these people — from their invocation of the name of their savior to their suggestions for what I should do to change my career path from professionally ill — there are ladies on my street who have helped fill the void my grandparents have made with their inconvenient natural deaths.

As luck would have it, however, there was not a single old-lady-hip-breaking-ice-slipping incident. Oh, no. we save those for the young here.

Indeed, a minor house fire at a lovely family’s home down the street left everyone shaken but unstirred and safe.

Still, there were flashing lights, men in uniform and many walkie-talkies. I was worried.

So I did what I do: I cooked. I cleaned out the freezer and made winter bean & barley soup with pesto, pureed cream of spinach soup and stone soup — the best of its kind.

This is an advantageous predilection of mine. Not only does it calm my nerves and give me something to do, but it endears me even more to the lovely neighbors who, in turn, think I’m really fucking fabulous.

God, I love me.

Anyway. So. I made soup. Oohhhh, I made soup. I probably made around four gallons of soup, a Tupperware each for my ladies and one for the family of the garage fire. Oh, and for us. Lots of soup.

Around six that evening, I poured the cooling soups into their Tupperwares and set out to drive the hundred yards to the first neighbor’s house, as the roads were still very icy.

Safety first, people.

And. Then.

I stepped out of the car; I picked up the soup; I took my first step onto the driveway.

And I went down.

Spectacularly.

I landed on the tailbone bruised this fall with a tumble down the stairs.

I landed on the wrist and hand I use for writing. Which, you know, I do.

I smacked the back of my head on the car door.

And I spilled the soup.

But I didn’t just “spill.” I got soup on the roof of the car. On the back windshield. On the front windshield. In the wheel well. In the foot well. Down the side of the car. On the inside passenger door. In the groove of the window between the door and the glass.

I spilled, spectacularly.

And so, once I got over the shock of the fall and the tears of the pain — I am professionally ill, after all — I laughed. And laughed. And laughed.

And convinced some dogs to help me clean up.

I’m nothing if not practical.

the book of jane: “notoriety.”

“One ‘Jane’ of much notoriety,” she writes.

I’ve never been notorious. Whoa.

I’ve always been the little brown mouse in the corner. I had friends who were the “stars” – when they entered the room at a party, everyone noticed. Me, on the other hand, not so much. I was in the corner, watching.

I was a theater major, techie, not actor. I built the sets, designed the costumes, the makeup, the masks. I was the prop master, the stage manager. I gave people lines. Dressed all in black, silent and unnoticed when successful. Didn’t mind it; enjoyed it. Played poker with the other stagehands; won more than my share.

I was the second child of two in my family. My older brother was intelligent, over-achieving and, most importantly in pre-feminist America, male. I was good, dutiful and not allowed to color outside the lines or be too proud of myself. And then I married a man who saw me the same way.

I was the sidekick of the luscious, beautiful girl. Straight man. Rhoda to Mary Tyler Moore. Notorious? Not me.

And then, I birthed her, that Meredith. I’m still playing straight man, only also guardian, protector from herself, disciplinarian, chauffeur, maid-servant and keeper.

It remains entertaining. And educational.

I do have two other “blood” children and two more “steps.”  All wonderful and alternately the best one. They are all getting t-shirts for Chanukkah that say “I’m Mama’s favorite.” And they all deserve that appellation, at one time or another.

And then I have canine children. I had one of those before I had human children. The person who felt most like a sister to me as a child was my dog Babo.  Then my husband and I acquired Boo soon after we married, but we waited six years for our first child of the human sort.  I’ve liked my four-legged children more consistently than I have the two-legged ones.  You’ve seen photos of my Biko and my Kiba on Meredith’s blog. You must admit they are extremely fine-looking children. And then there’s Sam, who is fine looking but not very well-behaved.

I suppose I continued my second-banana status intentionally, or because it felt familiar.  But now I have a husband to whom I am the center of the universe, however crazy, and my children see me as an essential element of their sense of themselves. So I find myself in late middle age finally developing a sense of myself unrelated to how the external world sees me.

And I’m having a damn fine time.

she's gonna be so mad i used this picture. kisses!

she's gonna be so mad i used this picture. kisses!


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