Rainy Mornings, Smoked Salmon and a Girl Named Turtle

The Bean Trees

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I didn’t know this until today, but I love rainy June mornings.

Typically I tend to resent Saturday mornings.  I want to be like normal people.  I want the option of lounging about.  But my constitution won’t allow it. My body clock wakes me at six and I’m immediately consumed by the need to open my laptop and write.  What usually happens, of course, is that I leap out of bed, open my laptop and check emails.  This morning, with the rain tapping at my window, a miracle occurred.  I was convinced to keep my eyes closed for an extra ninety minutes.

When I did finally pull myself together, I was off to see my 90-year-old West Point graduate client for an hour of stretching and movement.  A widower, he’s typically quiet and reserved – except when I crack one of my notoriously bad jokes.  Although I really shouldn’t be encouraged, he’ll reward me with his hoot of a laugh.  Let’s just say there was a bit of hooting going on today.

After that I had brunch with a friend.  Ok, I’ll admit it.  It was with Mr. On Line.  What can I say?  I know this isn’t the way it’s supposed to be done – I think you’re supposed to treat online dating a more like a job.  I’m just not the type of person to set up coffee dates every free second.

To be honest, at this point I’m inclined to put an end to all the OKCupid stuff and consider myself lucky that I’ve made a friend and didn’t meet an ax murderer in the process.  Sort of file it under been there, done that.  Besides, I met Mr. On Line’s amazing cats today.  Any day that involves a cat NOT showing instant disdain for the strange, dripping wet  human standing in the living room is a good day.  It probably helped that I had the lingering odor of smoked salmon on my fingertips but all’s fair in love and meows.

Is this becoming one of those loathsome, tedious, drawn out blog posts that become mind achingly dull in their monotony?  Is it?  IS IT??  Great. Because guess what I did after I bonded with the cats?

I took myself to the Cantor Museum on the Stanford Campus and spent two hours there.  To see this.  Which was amazing.  If you’re in the area and appreciate books, typesetting, paper and etching – don’t miss it.

And then I went home to read.  For pleasure.  From 4:30 to 8:30 PM.  Just me, Barbara Kingsolver’s The Bean Trees (loved it) and several cups of pu-erh tea.

In other words, with the exception of my morning client, I managed to experience the day without an agenda.  Without the need to cross things off a list. (Ok…I confess… there was a little of that.)  But still it was an extraordinary day for Mimm Patterson.

Ps…by the way, this whole reading for pleasure business is fantastic!  I don’t know why I never considered it before.  Now there are a slew of books in my queue – my next Kingsolver will be The Poisonwood Bible.  After that Steven Harrigan’s Remember Ben Clayton.  Tomorrow it’s Velva Jean Learns to Drive by Jennifer Niven.  And then I’m on to all the books I said I’ve always wanted to read but never have…

Let the Dust Clouds Settle

Me. In my favorite chair. Sitting still.

Flummoxed.  I’m flummoxed.

Even though the weather in the Bay Area has most of us convinced it is still March, the truth is we’re six months into 2011.   Hard to believe, isn’t it?  I’d love to say that so far it’s been an exciting, productive one hundred and eighty days (give or take) but the truth is so far this year has been about introspection and healing.  At least for me. And, for now, there is very little I want to share about that.  Except maybe to say something we can always count on is change.  Nothing ever stays the same.

Instead I’ll tell you that I emptied my change bucket on Memorial Day and discovered that throwing the days collection of quarters, nickels and dimes into an old water bottle could yield – after sixteen months – three hundred and twenty dollars. Coin Star took a small chunk of that, of course, but I still had enough for two sessions of therapy and a few groceries.

And I’ll tell you about how I arrived for a hair cut at my favorite corner salon and ran out of it thirty minutes later looking not unlike an East German gymnast circa 1964.  Attempts at home to re-style the odd and uneven razor cut with any gel, mousse and wax left in the back of my closet since 1992 failed.

Fortunately, when I returned to the salon today they happily re-cut my hair for free.  Crises averted.  I thought I was going to have pull out my acid washed mom jeans and Sally Jesse Raphael glasses.

And that’s pretty much it.

I’ve not even checked in with eHarmony for new matches or OKCupid to count the arrows in my quiver.

Instead, I’ve begun to consider the benefits of sitting still.  We spend so much of our lives chasing dreams and goals, stirring up dust, racing towards something that at times is impossible to identify.  I think I’d like to find out what happens if I let a little tranquility roll over me.  What will I see if I let the dust settle?  Maybe I’ll find out everything I wanted was right next to me all along.  I was just moving too fast to notice.

The Great Online Dating Experiment of 2011 – Part I

Somehow I just don't quite see the two of us working out...

If eHarmony is the alleged online dating equivalent to shopping at Neiman Marcus, then OKCupid is Ross Dress for Less – you have to do a bit of digging before you find a potential gem.

I’m about ten days into the Great Online Dating Experiment of 2011 and I have to tell you – it’s not going so well.  Let me rephrase that:  it’s going slower than I expected.  After three days of inappropriate matches from the folks at eHarmony – who seem  under the impression that I would be interested in seventy-year-old men whose dream vacation is a Donny and Marie Concert in Branson, Missouri – I signed up with OKCupid.  I mean no offense to older men, Donny or Marie (whose lips are looking fabulous these days, by the way) or the fine folks in Branson.  But seriously eHarmony – that’s what your big ol’ computer surmised from my profile?  That I was looking for a road trip to the heartland in a kitted out Winnebago?

I exaggerate, of course, and to be honest it’s probably not eHarmony’s fault.  I’m sure the computer did its best with the information I provided.  Here I am, with (according to a friend) a “facility for writing” and I can’t string three words together that describe my wondrousness.  My profile is flatter than a stale matzoh cracker.

Wouldn’t we be better able to rally to the cause of love if profile writing was a group project? I’ve been thinking that it’s not an altogether bad idea for friends to form Profile Writing Groups.  Imagine…a few good friends, a little wine, a couple of laptops and a few hours later one great online profile.  Now that’s my idea of fun.

Of course, meeting a total stranger for coffee might be fun, too.  And, believe it or not, despite painting myself a tepid beige, it looks like that’s what I might be doing this weekend.  My palms are sweating at the very thought.  But it’s good to know that I attract more than sweet, Winnebago owning retirees with a hankerin’ for a road trip.