Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Point of People, Dogs, and Children

The snow really started to come this weekend. It fell tentatively, but getting steadier, like it figured out despite all our loud words and cursing, we couldn't do shit about it. Camilla had a cookie party, and she invited literally like sixty people, which if that isn't holiday cheer dedication, I don't know what is. Every table surface in the house covered in cookies, cookies were falling out of the sky like the heavy snow flakes. As of yesterday evening, my net worth is a giant ziploc bag of cookies, and a pound and half of extra cookie dough sitting in my fridge, and 4 brand new tires which served their purpose well when driving back to Jere's house, and the road was guarded by shiny cops, local access only, all sheet ice and obstacle. Taking Jere's daughter A. anywhere is full of charm now, since she's all talking and understanding. Andrew picked her some snow covered sprigs of lavender, walking back to the blanketed cars, and she was all like "oh! Lavender!" and that's what it is, these moments of oh! Lavender! oh! Peanut Butter cookies! oh! Driedel!

Everyone is pregnant now, all of a sudden, well maybe just two of you. But soon there will be multiple little babies, and then children at parties, and the population of my circles is growing on it's own. The word breeding is taking on new meaning. Families, you are all families now. I am friends with whole families. That's wonderful and solid. I'll have entire photo albums full now of people and adventures, and someday when we are our parents we'll look back and remember the pictures our own parents showed us once of us as kids, running around the cookie party, leaving crumbs and crayons everywhere, with pretty young 30 year olds standing around in striped sweaters and bows in their hair, getting drunk, talking about bands and urban development. All those pictures are starting, this year.

So now there's you, and your other, and your baby, and your dog, and me I'm happy to be in the background in your pictures, happy to buy books for your daughters and teach them about gluten and try to find the seatbelts in the backseat of my car to strap them in.

This morning, after watching the softcore Sunday news with Jere's family, Andrew had us over for "civilized" brunch, where the bread and the rolls and the juice were all made by hand, and all of us disheveled and wandering. Meredith played art teacher and we made Christmas tree decorations in front of the fire, sipping press coffee, Mexican hot chocolate, trying to remember the names of Greek Gods for the crossword puzzle.

In past years, people had kids and it annoyed me. People had grown up jobs and houses, and it annoyed me, they got all responsible and boring and lame. It turns out that was because I didn't like those people enough. Because when people you really like get these things, it only makes them better. Interesting people only get more interesting when you move them through different scenes.

So the holiday season is here, and I'm happy with it, and I'm pretty much looking forward to your new babies and the dog I will get someday and fruitcakes and snow and candlelights and then muddy Spring and more summers with beaches and road trips. I want all of you to be so happy. And more importantly, there's no reason to worry you won't be. Good job all of you! Stay happy, and healthy, and beautiful, please.

Driving back home, Jere told A., curled up in the backseat, tired after a morning of chasing the dog in a cardboard christmas tree box, a fairy tale about himself and a sandwich shop. I'm going to try and paraphrase it, because I loved it so much. Father stories are the best.

"When I was young and poor, I lived above a sandwich shop. Every day I could smell the food below, and I told the shop owner I loved smelling the food because it was as good as eating it. The shop owner got mad at me, and took me to court. He told the judge "This man owes me money, for smelling my food." The judge asked, "How much money do you want?" The owner said "500 dollars, for all the sandwiches he would have eaten if he hadn't smelled them." The judge asked me "do you have 500 dollars?" And I said, "all I have is a little money. But I wouldn't give it to this man, because smelling is free." So the judge had me gather my money, and change it into coins. Then I poured out the change in front of the shop owner. And the judge said to him "This is what you get, the sound of money, which is the same as the smell of sandwiches."

PS: I just found out my friend's dog had to be put down this weekend. It seems horribly unfair that they should go through that, while I spent the weekend with happy healthy dogs. Goodbye Roscoe. I only met you once for the weekend, but you were lovely and happy and gorgeous and friendly. David, no dog could have asked to be treated better in his old age than the way you took care of him. You did everything the right way. I'm so sorry. Your dog was awesome.


  1. I read a version of that story Jere told. It was collection of short stories about a wise judge who lived in feudal Japan. That one was one of my favorites. It doesn't surprise me at all that it is known to Jere.

  2. B, these are simply the best photographs. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Oh my gosh A looks super cute. I want one!

  4. You're magic. But you should have worn your tiara. Squishy hugs.

  5. J - He's like a library!

    Mel - I don't think they are particularly good. I just think they are particularly happy.

    M - you guys are next aren't you? Everyone is popping them out like sugar fairies.

    Ells- I did! Chris is wearing it in the picture with the cats :) It's a community tiara.

  6. Erin, would you like a cookie? I only have, oh, twenty dozen left.

  7. lovely.

    I was afraid I was pregnant and now you confirmed I am. damn.

    that fairy tale was awesome. I'm afraid for my kids if/when I ever start telling em stories.

  8. that business with Roscoe totally took half the shine off of everything, saddest.

  9. CP - Congratulations?

    KT - I know. But it's important see all the nonshiny stuff too, cause it makes the whole holiday vibe deeper. Dimensional. Things we have and things we don't have and things we want but can't get no matter what. I stopped by my parent's yesterday and said hi to Fox, who probably also won't make it to the next year, and god I'll cry so hard when that happens, but silently and invisibly and without tears. Poor fucking David. Wish we were in NYC right now, with soup and lots of beer.

  10. Civilization’s going to pieces. I’ve gotten to be a terrible pessimist about things. Have you read ‘The Rise of the Colored Empires’ by this man Goddard?


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