Tuesday, January 16

You get so hacked, that you pay no mind to the great big sign that says oversized load.

It happened while my brother and I were driving in the car. I had to spit. There was no swallowing, no other course of action to take; opening the car door and spitting was the only solution. I explained my predicament to Wendell, and at the next four-way stop I quickly opened the car door and spat on the street. Then I slid down in shame, trying to hide from the world. "I'm always so grossed out when other people do that!" I said to Wendell. "And now I'm doing it!" "Well, now you know how they feel," he said. "Next time don't be so hard on them."

This happened years ago, but I still think of it whenever I see someone spit out of his car. "You know how it feels when you just have to spit," I remind myself. There are so many situations I find myself in that I thought would never happen to me, so many things I thought I'd never do. Whenever I new one turns up I think of spitting in the car with Wendell and wish I hadn't been so critical.

For example, I'm reading Postern of Fate by Agatha Christie right now. It's a Tommy and Tuppence mystery, and they're just chatting away not so charmingly while the plot does little to advance. I was getting irritated until I discovered that this is the last book Christie wrote. It was published when she was 83. Now I see the whole thing differently and will return to it this evening with much gentler expectations. I also know now what it feels like to be so tired at the end of a 9 to 5 office job that you just want to watch TV. I used to be so disdainful of people who would only flop down in front of the TV and watch whatever is on just because it was on, but now I know why they do it. I still don't think it's a good idea, but I understand. When I told my mom this, she wisely said, "Getting older is pretty much a process of learning you were wrong to be critical of anybody about anything."

Last night I made Blackened Chicken Pizza with Yellow Tomato Salsa. It was good, but entirely too spicy--and I left off the jalapeno! The pepper jack cheese and cayenne pepper together was overpowering. I will probably make it again with half plain mozzarella and reduce the red pepper.

I also remembered another book I read last year and forgot to put on the list: The Chosen by Chaim Potok. I really enjoyed it, although My Name Is Asher Lev was more interesting to me because of the art. He was a fascinating writer.


Paula said...

Wow, good growth there, Caroline. I could elaborate, but I really just wanted to say that I truly appreciated your post. I also wanted to say that in your 2007 readings, you absolutely MUST read _Auntie_Mame_ by Patrick Dennis. I laughed deeply and gutterally as I read it. It's the kind of humor that I knew Tuan would nevver get but that you would--so, I plan on dropping it on your doorstep this week.

wendell said...

I enjoyed this post. I vaguely remember that conversation in the car. Obviously, it did not have the same life-altering effect on me that it did on you.

Moreover, I am stunned by your cosmetic revision to the website. I suppose "exhaustive re-imagining" is a better term. Either way, your blog is lovely. Google should hire you to design blogs for people.