Saturday, March 10, 2012

Just a Touch of Social Phobia

Composite from Lowell's book Mars as the Abode of
Life as per
As when I have read other engrossing works of science fiction, I am utterly amazed at the human imagination after seeing the movie John Carter.  According to my husband, this movie stems from a novel written in 1912.  I have not read it, so I don't know how much what was portrayed in the movie is artistic license and how much was from the original novel, but still, given the state of knowledge about the planet Mars at that time and the perception that the lines seen on the planet in telescopes might be great canals of lost or existing civilizations and how the author just took that and ran with it is just astonishingly impressive to me.  Moving cities, solar-powered flying machines, organic-seeming machines powered by some "9th ray" of the sun, the management of civilizations by another species with technology more advanced than we have even now...  I wonder if my mind could be as fertile.  So far it has not, but creating fiction has not yet become a passion, nor might it ever.  Who knows?

Anyway, what follows are some of my thoughts from earlier in the day,
not yet influenced by the awareness of the viral movie on YouTube about Ugandan child soldiers.  The scope of the atrocities committed by our species is also astonishing to me.  I can hardly bear to become aware of such things because of the difficulty I have with cleansing them from my mind or compartmentalizing them such that I can continue to function without obsessing on them.  So, as with much of the other writing this blog, the stuff from earlier today is hopelessly self-centered. 

Another sunny day at the playground, chillier though. The raucous cries of children compliment the soft drone of Science Friday (on NPR). I am in my car alongside the park with my passenger side window down, keeping an eye on my kids while being online, listening to the radio, and staying out of the chill. The other moms of the kids, all from the elementary school across the street where my daughter attends kindergarten, sit together on benches and the wooden steps descending to the park or standing watch next to the jungle gym. I am supposed to be out there like the other responsible moms. I didn't bring my jacket though and I really prefer to avoid awkwardly inserting myself into their midst. Most seem to have first-graders for some reason and already know each other from last year. My counselor advised me to go make friends with these ladies, but I just have this feeling that I've already been judged for remotely watching my kids since I've done it before. The peer pressure is pretty strong to not be the deadbeat in her car. Maybe I'll see if I can write from the steps. Darn it, my Dr. Pepper has gone through me already.

I went out into the brightness and sat with the real moms. One of them is tall and thin and lithe, with a straight fine nose, shiny shoulder length hair and fair skin. If it were up to me, I'd sit and gawk at her the whole time, in her perfectly fitted jeans and fashionable boots. She's like a human gazelle in a thick gray fleece jacket. Others are mercifully larger, like me. No one seems to have adult acne like I do, but maybe mine isn't as noticeable as I fear it is. So we sit and chat about kids and the weather and the recent uproar about "pink slime" being in most supermarket and school lunch ground beef. See? I wasn't excluded in real life as I am in my imagination.

Getting the kids home and my daughter ready for dance class, after removing the dog poop from my son's hands and shirt without getting it smeared in the car, actually went very smoothly and now, since my son seems to be happily playing with Playschool figures, I am waiting for dance class to be over, comfortably in my car, instead of braving the waiting area in the studio. Waiting for her inside with my son is usually OK in actuality, but the idea of wrangling him and waiting there makes my skin crawl even more so than socializing at the playground. I don't really have a good reason for this. Maybe I have PTSD from the last two picture days we had there. I expressly hate dance class picture days and dance recital days. Part of this is because the waiting areas are absolutely INSANE, packed with girls in various states of costume readiness and parents and the pressure of filling out the proper form the proper way and getting your child into the right room at the right time, and partly because my daughter's hair is short and very curly (think Shirley Temple) and is in no way amenable to being pulled back into some semblance of a ballet bun.  Once so arranged, the hair has a maximum lifespan of only minutes before she has scratched her head or bumped it or in some other way dislodged a sticky, hairsprayed lock so it jettisons away from her head like a solar prominence.  I don't even like to think about it.  I made the mistake of mentioning how much I hate all of this at picture day last year and received looks of incredulous confusion and scorn from the other ballet moms who were clearly having a blast doing up their daughters for the photographer.  Sorry folks, I love my daughter, which you are welcome to question based on the above, but it's just not my idea of a good time.

ATTENTION: I was just informed that US Daylight Savings Time begins tomorrow night, so don't forget to set your clocks ahead an hour. Ugh. Like I don't have enough trouble getting to bed at a reasonable time and getting up in the morning.

Today's nutrition (ha ha, not that anyone would call it that), including date night:  breakfast at my mom's group meeting was 1/4 an everything bagel with cream cheese, one donut hole, one slice of some unknown bread, and an overly sweet blueberry mini muffin.  Lunch was a large fry with 3 servings Chic-fil-A sauce and a Dr. Pepper.  Quick dinner at the mall food court was a medium fry with another 3 servings Chic-fil-A sauce and a Dr. Pepper but NO popcorn or soda at the theater, which is completely an aberration from normal practice.  I know, I know.  My thoughts are to OD on my addiction and see if I can get over it.  I was pretty nonplussed abut the fries and sauce this evening, so it may be working.

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