Wednesday, December 28, 2005


So, I’m back. Christmas went well, in an “Eat until the thought of food causes you physical pain and then have two more spiced pecans” sort of way. Presents are slowly wending their way into bedrooms, bathrooms and car stereo systems. Pictures taken from earlier this month remind me that the tree was once a vibrant symbol of the season, and not merely an eight foot-tall starter log. Daughter is lobbying to eat three meals a day in front of the television.

In short, we’re pretty much done with the magic here.

But, wait! One more holiday! New Year’s Eve, where adults participate in the ritual of saying the same thing every December 31st for decades at a time!

“I’m finally going to take off those twenty pounds. The All-Bacon Diet sounds promising.”

“Yoga, three times a week. No, six times a week. Wait, I’ll train to become a yoga teacher…”

“I’m going to call Iowa every Sunday. If Uncle Hal and Aunt Doris only want to talk about what time it is here and how clear the connection is, I will not feign a coughing attack to get off the phone.”

My resolution this year is slightly different than usual. Since I started off the school year battling a dead language and planning to battle a fairly tall mountain, I had used up my “Get Thin and Get Smart” goals, without actually achieving either. Yet.

So, here’s my New Year’s resolution: I am going to try to not be insane.

Okay, that’s too broad a topic to expect to fix in the three days, on average, that I actually devote to my First Quarter goals. So let me pick three places in which I hope to find some clarity:

1. I mustn’t use the paper-shredder as my own personal wood-chipper. Consort will tell you I have no conception how much one small and not terribly expensive paper-shredder can reasonably ingest at a time. He will be in the other room and hear an almost animal cry of anguish. Rushing in to the office, he will discover the sound is coming from the paper-shredder as I jam something thick into it.

CONSORT: What are you DOING?

QUINN: Well, duh. I’m shredding.

CONSORT: Did it occur to you that it might not be up to shredding a… what is that, a pair of scissors?

QUINN: You are so dramatic. It’s just six years of cancelled checks.

CONSORT: Uh...All at once?

QUINN: Saves time this way.

(Machine, with a great shuddering gasp, finally shreds the last bit of May, 1986)

QUINN: See, it’s fine.

CONSORT: No it’s not. It’s sobbing.

QUINN: It’s fine. See, it’s blinking at me. It wants more.

CONSORT: It just called Amnesty International.

So, this resolution might be: “I will respect the limitations of everything and everyone in my life, especially anything that has already been replaced twice because of my high expectations of it”.

2.I am what is known as a Day Person. In fact, an old friend’s nickname for me was “Parakeet” -- he swore if you threw a black cloth over my head, I’d think it was nighttime and immediately fall asleep. In my adult life, the only times I have been awake after one in the morning was when I had the stomach flu and my first night in labor. [By my second night of labor, I was asleep by eleven]. I know my waking clock is no more under my control than my eye color and yet I firmly believe that Consort is just trying to irk me by being a dyed-in-the-feathers night owl.

Never mind that he comes from a family who could (and, in fact, have) run nightclubs, after-hours clubs, and after-after-hours clubs.

Never mind that friends who have known him since high school speak of Consort’s notorious ability to work all night and sleep all day.

Never mind that I have never heard him say a single intelligible sentence before 10:30 am.

The diseased portion of my brain firmly believes he takes some sick pleasure in watching Law and Order and then, as I am finding the strength to shuffle toward the bedroom, says brightly “I’m going to do a little work, unless you want to watch a movie.”

I attempt a sneer of disbelief, but it only triggers a jaw-cracking yawn.

QUINN: Come to bed, it’s…DARK.

CONSORT: Be right in. Just let me talk to everyone in Tokyo, redefine the nature of global business strategy and locate that recording of Joe Cocker singing Aida.

And as the sun rises, and my brain starts to sing a plaintive cry for tea, I feel Consort come slipping into bed, sighing as he lies down, a good day’s work done. I roll over.

QUINN: You just stay awake to annoy me.

CONSORT: (taking a pen from the nightstand) Sshhh. Go back to sleep. I’m just gonna finish the crossword puzzle.

We shall call this resolution “We don’t have to be exactly alike in order to love each other dearly.” Besides, if I were to change Consort into a day person, I could no longer make him agree to things before he was coherent. This would mean, for example, that I would have to worm the dog.

3.I cannot wear decorative scarves and I resolve to stop trying. Other women drape them over their shoulders and the scarves provide a lovely frame for their face. I appear to be being attacked by a paisley boa constrictor. Good scarf women put it on and never think about it again. My arms are a blur of motion trying to keep my scarf from creating a loose spinnaker behind my head. My scarf always seems to be trying to slither away down my back towards a woman who can actually handle accessories, or crawling into my armpit to hide in shame from being mine. I think being worn by me is some sort of scarf karmic payback for previous scarfic misdeeds.

We shall call this resolution “What were you thinking, you’re not French, you don’t live in a cold climate and you don’t have much of a neck, so I don’t know why we had to clarify this for you anyway”.

There will be three magical days of single-paper shredding, live-and-let-live attitudes towards Consort’s sleeping habits and scarf-avoidance. The backsliding will begin on Morning #4.

Then, it’s only 362 days until I can work on resolving my inability to not wait until my toenail polish is completely dry before I jam on my shoes.


Blogger Melodee said...

This is smart. A three-day resolution. Who cares if you can't wear scarves? You are brilliant (at least between the hours of 5 a.m. and 9 p.m.).

2:04 PM  
Blogger torontopearl said...

Quinn, I think you should resolve to write and publish a book of personal humorous essays, not unlike this blog. You can call it THE QUINTESSENTIAL QUINN!(A Look at the Absurdity, Yet Normalcy of Life)

Wishing you a bright and very happy 2006.

6:51 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

Happy New Year!

Your blog is absolutely wonderful reading.

I would pay to read it!

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How delightful to find this after doing a search on you. I just introduced my 20 year-old daughter to the delights of a favorite "old movie" and she was so impressed with you... then I wondered if you are out there and well. It would seem you very much are. :-) I've sampled your blog and you are a delightful read. Best wishes to you and your family! :-)

If you ever want to make your own soap... I have a site about that on the Net...

8:21 PM  
Blogger houseband00 said...

Happy New Year, Quinn! =D

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Judy should be shot - giving you ideas like charging an entrance fee to your blog... tssssssssk! ;)

(though at a push I think I'd be inclined to pay if coerced)

Glad to find out that you're an early morning cup of tea lover. Do you have a preffered brew?

4:33 PM  

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