Tuesday, November 10, 2015

How to Avoid Everything, Part 2



1. Continue to go back and forth with The McMansion Developer in countless emails, listening to him mansplaining and condescending to you before finally realizing that he's not accustomed to a vocal female because of his religious persuasion. When he tells you that world hunger and war are more important things to feel sad about than trees and a peaceful home, thank him for the reminder and then add my daughter's refractory seizures and caregiving to his list. Then read how sorry he is to hear this, how he will pray to God for my children and that I will have the strength to take care of them so just say Bless his heart in your tiny, little mother mind™ and avoid everything.

2. Appease your mounting anxieties about how many books there are to be read by downloading a ridiculous number of them on your Kindle and staring down the hardbacks you have yet to crack on your bedside table, the floor, the shelves -- and then avoid everything.

3. Pull the blinds down in your own room to shield your view of the McMansion workers on the second story of their construction.

4. Read a bunch of poems about nature, love and sex, again, by Jack Gilbert.

5. Stay in bed sipping coffee and feel grateful that you have such good and funny friends.

6. Hang a pretty scarf over the boys' window despite their protestations instead of ordering the new blinds for them since the old ones broke five years ago.

7. Count on the universe to come through.

8. Pray to God that world hunger and war will stop, that epilepsy will as well and that you will continue to be a kick-ass caregiver. Then go demo a house, cut down some old trees, build an enormous mansion, sell it for $3 million and praise His Name. If it's His will, that is.

9. Get the whole bullshit exchange with the developer out of your system by writing incessantly about it and him and Him but realize that you are, in the end, an ineffectual woman with a big mouth who is no match for capitalism, progress and -- well -- God.

10. Accept this, humbly.

11. Accept this humbly, but get your sons to emerge from their room, attach speakers to their various devices and blast the Soviet Republic's national anthem toward the McMansion during an open house. Bribe them with a promise that you will order those new blinds ASAP.



(thank you, my friend who's actually an immigrant from a former Soviet Republic who posted this on my Facebook page)

19 comments:

  1. I adore you for following The Rebecca Plan. What is the deal with anxiety about unread books? I have it. And still I want more books. And more books.

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  2. It is no coincidence that as I was finishing reading this post, my eyes traveled to the sidebar where I spied, "Be ignited or be gone." At first I was thrilled to know in my heart that you will always be ignited. I love your passion, for whatever subject you choose. And then I imagined that phrase as a sort of war cry that you might utter as you march through the backyard, naked except for a Communist hat atop your head, swinging your arms in time with a Communist anthem and I laughed out loud. You make me smile. The developer, well, I suppose he thinks he's done something noble and worthy by praying for your strength. If only he knew that your strength eclipses his by the power of 100.

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  3. anxiety about unread books might have to do with the fact that books have always been my escape from anxiety so that's my escape path, blocked. that's how it is for me, anyway. love this.

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  4. This.

    After I was injured and doing my return to work I was paired with a woman who is a very right wing born again Christian. We started talking about the environment one day and she started on a tirade about how she doesn't care at all about the planet or climate change because even though she knows we are destroying our planet God has it all figured out.

    Some days it just isn't worth the argument. There is no point in arguing when someone plays the God card. *sigh*

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    1. Argh! These religious types who see no point to environmentalism or taking care of the planet and its occupants -- they MAKE ME CRAZY!!! But you're right, Birdie, the God card trumps everything in their minds.

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  5. as i read this i realize that i dreamed about you last night and that someone i met had bought your home for 3 million bucks!

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    1. Well, hot dog! Wouldn't that be sensational!

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  6. I can't wait to hear who actually buys and moves into that McMansion. If it's any consolation, I don't think ANY of us -- man or woman -- is any match for capitalism or progress, let alone whatever God there may be.

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  7. Too funny. I especially love the last one.

    "Well behaved women rarely make history". Just saying.

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    1. Yes, I don't think I'd ever be considered "well-behaved." One of my favorite organisations is called "Disruptive Women in Healthcare."

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  8. BAM. You nailed it again, Elizabeth--so amazing. Laughing and crying at the same time. I subscribed to your blog thinking, "well, ok, but I won't have that much in common with her so this is probably short-lived, but she's a helluva writer hello, saw her read in Tomales so let's see what else she's got to say," and I find reading your posts that despite the fact that I have no children and am only a humble renter with three cats, and have a corporate whore job, and also have a problem with SoCal (nothing personal), I see myself everywhere in your pages; beyond that, your writing is exaltive (not a word, but I trust you get the drift). It's just flawless. So thank you--thank you--thank you. --Katie

    Man! That's some anthem! I wish it were ours!

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    1. Thanks, Katie! I so appreciate your words and support. My Anonymous friend below thinks otherwise, but the world is vast. Wasn't Tomales Bay grand? Truly life-transforming.

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  9. I might actually die laughing!! I swear, you have to blast that anthem during the open house. That would be THE. BEST.EVER. :)

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  10. You often seem angry about something. Righteously angry. Superior anger. I am smarter than you are anger. Great.writing and often in anger.

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    1. Thanks for noticing, Anonymous! I guess I should say that this is the flip side of a "humble brag?" You bet I'm righteously angry about a lot of things, but I disagree on the "superior" part. I'm just a voice and cognizant of my profound insignificance in the larger scheme of things. I don't know if I'm "smarter than you" or not since you're just floating out there, Anonymous. I hear you on the "often in anger" part of your subtle and cutting comment -- mea culpa. Blogging is a great place to express anger. It's also a great place to express gratitude and joy and art and beauty and humor. I like to think I do both, but lately, I'm just really pissed about the McMansions in my neighborhood and the beautiful trees being cut down.

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  11. What is amazing is not that you are so often angry, but that you are so coherent in your anger and that you do express joy and gratitude and beauty and even hope.

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