Monday, May 28, 2007

Your Invited to a Pity Party!

This wedding planning has made me feel wretched. I am disappointed in my materialism and perfectionism. I desperately need to put things in perspective and calm down. Everyone tells me that all brides go through stress and wanting things, but I thought I was different and am sad to learn that I am not.

I feel ripped in two. One side is pulling me towards all things beautiful: feathers gently waving, soft pink petals nodding in the breeze and glowing lights hung from trees-the other side is pulling me towards a sensible understanding and world-view of where this event really falls in the grand scheme of things: a few hours that most will forget, and that love will come without extra sparkles or pearls and it will envelop me with softness and honesty that will make wanting all other things seem foolish in comparison.

I feel dreadfully guilty for asking for help of any kind from even the most gracious friends and family. There is no sense of pleasure or of this being a fun time in my life. I am broke and pitiful. My stomach churns when I have to inconvenience someone for the sake of some wedding related task or event. I do not want anyone to be put-out, even if they insist profusely that its okay, I dont truly feel that it is.

I dont want money or time from anyone, both things are far too precious for me to ask for or take.

I feel irrational and hated. I feel hounded yet ignored. No kind words or actions satiate me, and harsh words send me into a quick rage.

I have yelled at Joe and cried often. He is still staunch in his sweetness, which reminds me why I am doing this. He is so forgiving and good natured that my superficial, self-centered wining seem all the more absurd.

I cant wait until its over.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Down on Impatience Street

Have you ever sat and waited for someone to pick you up and the person is really late? And maybe its raining or cold.

And each time a car comes down the street and it is not them, you get more annoyed.

Well, I was thinking the other day about how when a car that is not them comes down the street your ride is no more absent than they already are. The only reason why the car who is not them annoys you is because, before you see its incorrect license plate or unfamiliar bumper sticker, you think that it is your ride.

Your hope string is pulled and then let to snap back into your already angry face. You are sinking lower, but really the event of the wrong car coming down the road is a non event. You are no more abandoned, you are only a few seconds older, a few drops wetter and much less patient.

And maybe you should get your own car.

Express Yourself

Are humans the only species that engage in creative activity solely for the purpose of expression? Like creating a painting to hang on the wall, not like a beaver damn-which, while creative, has obvious function.

And if you could say that they are (which admittedly I am not sure of) do you think that humans only engage in this kind of activity because they are also the only species who set up so many rules to govern society that are, in comparison to the beaver, repressive in some way?

I am not saying that rules dont have function, but that the repression is actually the catalyst to expression, perhaps.

your thoughts?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Very Important People

I was excused from grand jury duty today. I finally figured out that the ideal situation is to volunteer when your name is called, risk getting picked, but then just get lucky and not get picked, which is what happened. I can not tell you how incredibly inconvenient a 4 week jury appointment would be for me at this point with wedding planning and such, but I guess everyone feels that way, actually I know they do.

The court room was stuffed with all types of people, impatient, put-out, shifting and sighing and reading newspapers, magazines, novels, occasionally peering over their half glasses with raised eyebrows and an attitude. The rules were explained and then we were asked if we had any questions, people had a lot of questions this time. Some woman raised her hand and when she was called on she said simply, “airline tickets” in an abbreviated I-dont-have-time-for-this-you-get-the-point New York fashion. The clerk responded, “No, we dont sell them here.” I liked that he said that. She wanted to know if she could get out of it because she had airline tickets during the time she had to serve.

Another man was blatantly talking on his cell phone while the clerk spoke. So the clerk turned to the man and asked him to turn the phone off, the man put his hand up saying "just wait". The clerk said he was going to confiscate the phone. The man got off and then said that it was a "sort of crisis" from the way he looked I am going to stereotype him and say that his client is not happy with the quality of printing of the poster he designed.

I am not saying that I wanted to be there this morning, but it is just funny when you see everyone in that situation all wriggling to get away, to get back to their very important lives. Everyone in Manhattan just thinks they are so important, but the court doesn't really care and I like that. But maybe I am just happy I got released into the bright sunny Monday to do what I need to do today.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Foot Wars

When I see them sitting there, I dont just see them sitting there, I flash to hours of mild discomfort and stress, trapped in their grasp with no other options. I am out on the street walking and walking. Trying to get somewhere but sufficiently distracted by the pinching, rubbing or strain that they are causing me. I try to ignore it, because they are cute and I dont want to have to give up on them. I see everyone else around me floating merrily along, looking far more stylish and well adjusted than I. How DO they DO it?

Pair after pair I always think I have found the holy grail, then a few solid hours slapping onto pavement and they show their true colors. Cheap ones just never cut it. No support, bad design. But I try them again and again reaching and scratching towards some kind of eternal shoe that will love me as much as I love it. I have yet to find it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Time cools, time clarifies

Time has really become one of my most favorite concepts, I suppose it is because of my interest in evolution-change over time. But I think its also because it only goes in one direction and then traps events in a fast cooling amber and stores them away in a dusty inaccesable drawer only in your mind. Also, I love when time is the secret ingredient in something as in: wine, cheese, roasted chicken, wounds healing, seasons changing, getting over it, progress etc.

The other day I started to think about how days are so over after they end, how they cant be changed after they are done. Then I started to get anxious thinking about this. The way you get anxious when thinking about how this plane you are on could crash any minute. So I concluded that I should probably just not think about this too much, because its just all too much. So I let this feeling of anxiety pass and I was thankful that it did.

“Time cools, time clarifies; no mood can be maintained quite unaltered through the course of hours.“
-Mark Twain

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Classy Ape

Dear Mom,

This one is for you:

We always want more. There is this quality that the middle class in the United States has, they are always itching for wealth, status and the illusion of a class beyond there own. I have known so many examples of this, it is hard to count. People acting like they are something they are not. Using fashion, vocabulary, flashy material goods or just sheer unsubstantiated snobbishness to delineate them from the slobs they secretly know they once were. I am not suggesting that everyone stay put in whatever rung of the hierarchy they are born in to, but I wish that people would just remember their roots more and stop focusing on the fierce reaching and just live.

Perhaps that is why I love Physical Anthropology so much, because it does not let you forget where your species came from, the humble unclothed, hairy beginnings. I wonder how Homo erectus felt about the rules of etiquette layed out by Emily Post?

This is also why I am interested in cultural Anthropology, because it excites me so much that here we have this book of rules of which you are scoffed at if you dont follow. But go to another place and your rules all but evaporate, replaced by a new set.

The rules of etiquette that we hold dear just dont hold up over time or across space. So either I go somewhere else to be liberated from them, or I stay put and just liberate myself from them because I know what their purpose is and I am aware of where my place is in the world and no fancy, overpriced dress is going to change that.


(your healthy, happy Homo sapien daughter)

Monday, May 14, 2007


“Oh, Abigail, have you met Ethan?” I have been in more situations lately where I have introduced two people to one another. In doing this I have realized a few things that I never knew before:

1) There is a strange power that you have when you introduce two people to one another. I cannot explain it beyond the fact it shows that you are listening to peoples names and interests and everyone appreciates that.

2) People would rather be introduced than introduce themselves I think. Being the one who introduces is an excellent way to become an integral participating member of the socializing group.

3) An extra bonus is to then say a few words about the person who you are introducing, “Ethan has been working in Kenya for several years now.”

4) It truly eases the group dynamic as swiftly and effectively as a good joke sweeps you off your feet and sends you laughing.

(Sorry for the posting delay last week...things have been busy.)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

No Post

Sorry no posting today. Please stay tuned until tomorrow though...

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

It Must Be Fun

As I sat at my computer for five years the lively laughter, intense yelling, crying, whooping and wailing that came from the playground next to our studio, faded. At first I noticed it strongly and listened to specific pleas and chants and conversations from the children. But then, I became desensitized to it, this feeling may have been just a portion of the head to toe numbness that deftly slid over me at my last job.

People would call on the phone, and to my amazement, they would sometimes mention that they could hear children in the background. I was so surprised that they could even hear it through the receiver, but even more astonished that I heard nothing anymore.

Occasionally, people would walk into our studio and remark about how much fun it must be to work at this place. At that moment, I always dusted off the aging and weakining pride that I took in my position and assured them that yes, it was kinda fun. Little did they know that their flip statement was all I had left to remind me of what was good about what I was doing anymore. I certainly didnt think it was fun or cool anymore, and anyone who knew me didnt think so either, because I convinced them so.

Sometimes, people walk into the lab and remark about the five orchids on the windowsil and what a peaceful space we have. At that moment again, I remember whats nice about my work space and how I am lucky.

Today I went to see a very talented milliner and I told her that it must be fun doing the work she does. She very candidly told me that it was, but that it was also difficult. I knew that it was probably hard, because who needs a milliner anymore, but I wanted her to think that I thought it was fun because I appreciated her craft.

I know it may not seem like much, but sometimes its so pleasant to have that fresh face walk into your world and marvel at the space and the hangings on the wall and at what you do. And hearing those words, “It must be fun” puts a glint in the most jaded eye and reminds you that there are children playing next door that you cant hear anymore and that what you do, sometimes is, or once was indeed, fun.

Monday, May 7, 2007

• WW •

• I have been trying to come up with a cohesive theme for our wedding, a few words, and colors and cute items that would embody us, but I am having a hard time. I am thinking this quote below might be the perfect reason for my difficulty.

“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes. ” -Walt Whitman •

Friday, May 4, 2007

Teeth and Weirdness

My mind is a blank this morning. I had a long dentist appointment yesterday and I cant decide if I really like my dentist, or if he is crazy. Which is slightly upsetting I must say, since he is poking around in my mouth and drilling and whatnot.

We had a long conversation about bruxism, or grinding your teeth, and he asked if I knew if any other primates did it. I didnt know. His theory is that it is not stress related, but what is the reason we do it then? Is there some kind of evolutionary reason? I posited the idea that maybe there is something we like about teeth that look filed down. Dont people get their teeth filed for cosmetic reasons? He sort of flew off the handle that I would suggest that reason. Then I felt weird.

Then he started talking about hypnosis and I started getting a little worried.

Also, dont dentists know that you CANT HEAR them when they are talking and drilling in your mouth at the same time and more importantly, YOU CANT TALK when your mouth is open and you have that drool sucker thing hooked to your lip and hands and picks and drills in there. Why do they always ask you questions when you are in that position?

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

• Gladly Mistaken •

• Mistakes are the absolute best way to learn something. There just is no substitute. I often feel so humiliated when I do something wrong, that I never forget it and never do it again. When I was first learning in the lab I would make a mistake and I would want to tattoo the correct answer on my arm in repentance, but I realize now that it is really tattooed in my head.

“Take chances, make mistakes. That's how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.”
-Mary Tyler Moore •

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Little Old Moi?

Someone who has a high position in the place where I work asked me if I would be attending a work related event. I was caught off guard initially, because this person normally never acknowledges my existence. We have been walking passed each other in the hallway for about three years now, he is tall and seems to look straight over my head with a gentle crooked stare into the distance, where there is nothing to look at, and walks slowly with a wide loping gait. I often look at the floor when I pass him and cant wait for our cold-shouldered dance to end. He intimidates me.

When he spoke to me, I think I paused out of disbelief that this froggy old voice was asking a question in my direction.

I replied with an anemic, “um, yea maybe.” This person then clearly raised their eyebrows about my perceived indifference and walked off.

The thing is that I am still in the “Wow you are talking to little old me, you could not possibly really care if I will be at this event and I am flattered that you would ask, but I still know you dont care. Surely you cant mean little old moi?”

But what I never, ever think is that they might want me there and that my slightly puny reaction seems like a slight to them and to their event. But its really a slight towards my own importance. If I were fluffed up with the proper confidence, it would also in a way, convey respect.

Then it got me thinking that I am always putting myself down around people, but no one wants to hear you put yourself down. It is never that funny and it is pretty uncomfortable for all involved. It is such an integral part of my personality now, especially my humor, that its difficult to imagine really turning this ship around and smiling and saying “why yes, I am looking forward to it”, but I think its time to try.