W’s Return

W arrived home yesterday from his long sojourn in Ontario.  He was gone for almost six months!  We have a lot to catch up on.  You forget how different communication can be when it’s face to face, as compared to flat words on a screen when you’re texting.  Even talking on the phone, although better, can be hit and miss.  There’s all those facial expressions and hand gestures and subtle body language clues you can’t see that fill in a lot of blanks and missing parts.

Dona Paula Los Cardos Malbec, 2007

Dona Paula Los Cardos Malbec, 2007 (Photo credit: mmwm)

We went out for dinner because we’re both sick of cooking for ourselves.  (Has it really been months and months since I went out to eat?  I think it has!)  Then we shared some Dona Paula Malbec when we got home. Stayed up way too late.  I’m not used to the satellite radio being on 24/7 but something tells me I’m going to have to incorporate that into my previously quiet life alone.  As long as I can sneak in a lot of jazz stations, we should be okay.

Encyclopaedia Britannica

Encyclopaedia Britannica (Photo credit: septuagesima)

We are ‘inheriting’ the Encyclopaedia Britannica that W’s parents have had for 50 odd years – I am SO excited, although all he was able to bring back with him this time were the Book of the Year volumes from 1962 through to 1978.  Seventeen volumes of the back drop history of our lives.  Since I didn’t pay much attention to it while it was happening, I expect to learn a lot of new and amazing things.

But before I can get to that, there’s work.  I’ve been joking that now it’s MY turn to take a six-month leave of absence.  Maybe I’m not really kidding about that – the idea has a lot of appeal.

Anyway, it’s nice to have my main source of inspiration for sarcastic complaining back home safe and sound.

Invisible Boxes

Today is Marcel Marceau’s birthday, world’s best known mime.  (I’ve just been reminded of how much I hate playing charades.)  And that’s also made me think of a woman I talked to yesterday who said she hears better with her glasses on.  We do seem to express and understand each other better using all of our senses at once, and body language is a great communicator.  Any time you narrow communication down to just a phone call or just a text message something is bound to be lost or go missing.  Virtual hugs are just not the same as the real ones.

All my life I’ve had selective hearing and been able to tune things (or people) out;  sort of like being able to put myself in my own little invisible sound proof box.  It’s a talent that has it’s up and down sides.  Lately I’ve been blissfully ignoring things I should be paying attention to without any conscious effort on my part.  And that’s called getting progressively more deaf.  I suppose I should go and have my hearing tested again and see how many more sound wave lengths have been added to my list of the ones I am unable to detect.  I’m still happily in denial most of the time, believing that people mumble a lot, especially if I’m not looking at them.

We had a young girl with MS come in for an eye exam last night.  She walked unsteadily with a cane, and had one of us fill out her paperwork for her because she finds it difficult to write legibly.  She was cheerful and upbeat and described some of her challenges and visual problems with humor and a smile.  I got the feeling that any kind of pity from us would not be appreciated and that she wanted to be treated like anyone else.  I thnik it’s important to respect that there are a lot of people out there whose personal  invisible boxes are strong ones and that they’re not comfortable sharing what’s inside them with the rest of the world.  Then there’s the rest of the population who thrive on attention and bare their souls to anybody who will listen.  I’ve had people sit down and tell me things I have no business knowing.  Apparently I have a tuned out stare that gets mistaken for rapt attention.

I have one more shift to get through and then I can officially GOOF OFF, celebrating International Goof Off Day a day late.  Because it is actually today, not tomorrow.  Or if you’re me, it’s pretty much every day of the year, so it’s okay to put it off, especially if you’re going to be celebrating it more than once.

It’s not that I don’t get anything done – I do.  But I’ve learned to take a lot of breaks, before, during and after the fact.  It’s always good to step back and look at the big picture.  If you step back far enough you’ll lose sight of why it was so damned important, and after another step or two you might even forget why you had to do it at all.  If it’s worth doing, it will probably keep until tomorrow.  Unless it’s an unpaid bill with a due date on it, in which case goofing off should be your second choice.

Spring allergies are a really good excuse to sit inside with a box of tissues and a good book if that’s your preferred method of goofing off.  Try to save the really explosive sneezes for whenever someone else is within hearing distance.  Like your spouse, who thinks you’re just sitting around doing nothing when you’re actually SUFFERING TERRIBLY and can’t get up to do something so mundane as preparing dinner.  Or you could just pretend you didn’t hear him come home.  Mime being trapped in an invisible box.  Leave some fast food coupons on the table where dinner usually appears.  If he’s hungry enough he’ll figure it out.

And THAT reminds me, although I’m not sure why, that I need to find the list I made two days ago and have been adding to and ignoring, so that I can add a couple more things to it and actually go shopping after work tonight instead of deciding to go home and goof off and do it tomorrow.  Being a responsible adult is such a pain I don’t know why anyone aspires to become one.  But I shall fight my way out of my invisible box of procrastination.  The sooner I get things done, the sooner I can get back to seriously goofing off.