My adoring public bitches me out when I don't write. Here's a random assortment of the things that happen in the situation comedy that is my life.
I caught a mouse last week. In a shoebox. When I released him (because I have nothing against tiny shivering field mice) he wouldn't leave. I felt bad for him, but I explained that Mom would set a trap for him and eventually, she'd get to him before I did. I hope he was an English-speaking mouse. Later, Mom was discussing my rodent catch-and-release program with one of her sisters. Said sister has a cat who likes to catch birds and small animals, eat their heads, and then bring the filet inside to parade around. Usually when they have company, and the company is eating something. So when Mom said "Guess who caught a mouse today? Amanda!" my aunt immediately started laughing so hard I could hear her through the phone (I wasn't even in the same ROOM as the phone) because she envisioned me with a little tail sticking out of my mouth. I'm not sure if I was purring in her mental image or not. I should ask.
I went on a Fantastic Voyage to Alexandria to get my grandmother, Mo, for a visit. I always enjoy spending time with her, and we've been having a good time. However, she must have been talking with one of my uncles (who suspects that I am gay because of my tendency to display nude women and giant flowers in the art I hang up... which is a rather astute assessment on his part) because she's brought up the topic of homosexuality five times since I arrived at her apartment. (She is not homophobic in the least, so don't get the wrong idea.) Here are a few things she's said to me. Bear in mind that these were completely non-sequitur. I'd be talking about grapefruit and then she'd come out with one of these:
"I worked with a lot of gay men at the State Department and at GSA, but to my knowledge I never knew a lesbian at work."
"Two of my neighbors--in fact, the men who lived on either side of me, at one point--were gay and they couldn't have been nicer. I remember once the one man told me that if I ever needed a ride anywhere, no matter the hour, to call him and he'd be happy to come get me. I always thought that was so considerate. A straight man would never offer that to his old lady neighbor."
(Emily is one of my aunts/my grandmother's youngest daughter. Emily's 12-yr-old daughter is Rachel. They have a dog walking service that they run together, and occasionally their wealthier clients have Emily and Rachel house-and-dog-sit while they're out of town.)
"The couple whose dog Emily is watching now have the most beautiful home. Actually, they're a lesbian couple. One worked for the government and I forget what the other one did, but they're striking women. And very nice. They travel a lot now that they're both retired. Emily stays over in their house the whole time they're gone."
"A friend of mine once asked me if I'd ever get married again, and I told her I'd sooner have a wife than a husband. Someone to cook and clean and go shopping and pay the bills--that'd just be lovely."
(Tony is my uncle/her son-in-law.)
"Tony once mentioned to me that in all the artwork in my house, if there is a human subject, it's a woman or girl. There isn't one painting of a man or boy anywhere. And I never noticed that before, but he's absolutely right."
And I said, "I guess that's just what appeals to you."
She said, "Well, I don't like women in that way, but yes, that's about right. I do like men. I just don't want to be married to one."
Either my grandma is a closet lesbian, or she and Tony have compared notes. (Interesting that we call her Mo...)
I visited my darling wife, Cindy, before I went to Alexandria to pick up Mo. We had a fabulous time--ate some good food, drank some good Guinness and cider, read a horrible thesis... we had plenty of laughs and a few exasperated sighs. I'm going to start sending things to publishers--I'm disgusted enough with what happened that rejection isn't going to hurt me. I actually feel better now that I've read it. Because now I know, and I'm that much more convinced that I am ready to publish.
In the movie "Big Fish" the father character often says that the only way to catch an uncatchable woman is to offer her a wedding ring. Just a reminder--that movie is a fantasy. I am not for sale.
The night before the elections last week, the Democratic candidate for Mayor of the city of Pittsburgh (for those of you who are not Pgh natives, there's the city, and then there are ten thousand little towns and boroughs that are separate from the city, and yet still considered to be ostensibly part of the city in a more theoretical sense) helped chase down a purse-snatcher. A Republican candidate for another position (it wasn't nearly as important as the mayor of the city--something like a city council seat, or mayor of a small borough. I don't care enough to look it up) spent the night in jail after he threatened his neighbors with a gun. Doesn't that warm your heart?
I hope you all feel updated--I'll let you know if I catch Mo watching Logo while she's here. Right now she's watching women's tennis. I'll allow you to draw your own conclusions from that.