Friday, June 13, 2008

A Dime

Not only was I hit with the 10 year meme (thanks Coggy! And, um, I think a few others I'm spacing out on), but seems to be a theme going around these parts, anyway, what with Bon writing this poignant piece and then this one. So this will probably be a short reiteration of my comments to those, but here goes:

1) 10 years ago, I was 29 (gulp), living outside Chicago, in sin with Mr. ABF (who was then, boyfriend). We had a lovely prewar apartment, and our two cats. I was finishing up research for the diss, starting the writing process, working at the nearby university's Dean's Office as an assistant. I was training for the marathon (fall of '98). I was avidly watching World Cup '98 and painted my toenails weekly in the colors of the teams I was following at that moment. (This also served as a weak attempt to make my poor beat-up feet look and feel better.) It was a freakin' hot summer. I felt, truly, like I had my entire life ahead of me, and while not a pollyanna (it was clear to me by this point that my chosen profession was headed straight into the toilet and I'd probably be looking for jobs elsewhere despite my degree), I was quite optimistic that everything would turn out lovely.

I would give up my billion dollars (see question 4), my left tit, drop-kick a puppy, any other completely inappropriate metaphor you can think of to insert here, to go back and just savor in this summer for a few hours. Relish in my body, my entertainment, my mind, my dreams. I don't think I'd do anything differently, nor would I really want to relive the following 10 years ('99, for example, was a bit rough), but just to be: free. Comfortable. Happy.


2) 5 things on to-do list today:

-- bake bluebery bars for book club tonight
-- go to gym
-- write dog trainer email and tell her how it's going (surprisingly well)
-- ask neighbor if she still has divided Iris that are alive and able to be planted in my yard
-- go to book club and hate on McEwan's "Saturday" over a nice frozen cocktail

3) Good for me snacks: cashews, pistachios, peanut butter and apples, pretty much any kind of cheese. Bad for me snacks I could eat until I burst: chips and sour cream dip, chocolate anything, anything baked. I live for a midmorning sweet thing with coffee.

4) Billion Dollars: I'm going to spare you the warm and fuzzy donations and whatnot -- right now I feel like starting my own invasion of Zimbabwe. On the completely material side I'd:

-- buy a second home (beach? mountains? Italy?)
-- move out and reno my entire house at once so the entire thing would be done by Christmas
-- swap out my husband's car for a hybrid
-- buy hybrids for my entire family
-- buy up some local properties that are falling apart and fix 'em up
-- travel, travel, travel

5) Places I've lived
-- born in midwest city, lived there until six months old.
-- Tempe, AZ
-- Mainz, Germany
-- Pasadena, California
-- NY, NY
-- Madison, WI
-- Evanston, IL
-- VA, suburb of DC
-- Philly region

6) Jobs

-- babysitter
-- quartet (violin)
-- semi-pro orchestra
-- teaching precocious high school kids to write
-- lab assistant
-- department assistant
-- music librarian
-- library assistant
-- assistant in Trust Administration at College
-- bartender
-- planned parenthood
-- word processor for a church
-- various political campaigns
-- assistant in Dean's Office at local University
-- teaching college kids history

I think everyone's done this by now. If you haven't yet, fess up, yo.


niobe said...

It's funny, but when I look back -- whether to 10 years ago or almost any other time in the past -- I see it through whatever the opposite of rose-colored glasses are. There is nothing that makes me happier than the absolute assurance that I'll never go back again.

loribeth said...

Always fun to learn more about everyone. Glad you had such good feelings about 1998. Mine started out pretty good but wound up pretty crappy. :(

By the way, I accidentally deleted the lovely comment you left on my last post. :( Just wanted to let you know, I really did appreciate it!

Bon said...

i'm with Niobe on the not wanting to go back, but then i guess i've already gone on about that ad nauseum. :)

i think the simple difference may be that i never really felt that freedom you're talking about...and in a way may be getting closer to it at this strange place in my life than ever before.

on a tastier note, we need to get together for snacks. seriously.

Coggy said...

Number 1 made me feel sad. I remember my equivalent of that and like you that billion dollars for an hour or too in that life would be good. Very good. Not sure I'd ever want to leave though.

mmmmm midmorning sweetness. I too live for that. I do try to restrain myself to healthy ones most of the time, but why oh why do they not taste as good as a brownier, or a cookie or, or....

... now I want sweet stuff.

Coggy said...

what's a brownier I hear you cry? Unfortunately just a typo and not some uber British brownie, but maybe it should be!

Searching said...

I used to live in Mundelein. :) LOVE the toenails!

MsPrufrock said...

Out of all the interesting things you have posted about yourself, I'm latching onto the McEwan reference. I know that just because you're hating on "Saturday", doesn't mean you don't like him, but as everyone wets their pants at the mere mention of his name, I need to know - did you read "Atonement"? If so, did you like it?

debbie said...

I'm with you Tash. Just about ten years ago I was living on an Indian Reservation, working for a nonprofit, trying to change the world. I ran a lot, and I was healthy and tan. I didn't have a penny to my name but other than that, I hadn't had any hopes dashed and I had nothing to be sad about--no babyloss, infertility, or empty 401ks. It was that kind of carefree living that made me feel so free! To be honest though, I've been working on getting back to that mindset notwithstanding all the adult troubles and I'm most optimistic that I can!

Anonymous said...

Dammit! Cheese! I forgot to say Cheese when I did this! I LOVE cheese too! And totally with you on the midmorning yum-yums.

Alice said...

Thanks for the post. Thanks for nominating my blog! I'd give you a hug if you were anywhere near. I think Ian McEwan is a very good writer. Atonement is a wonderful book. But Saturday is bad. Really bad. I'm a writer and I can tell you that if anyone other than McEwan had sent that book to a publisher they wouldn't have got it published. All writers write duff books occasionally. But what's worrying is that the critics don't spot it. There's a huge Emperor's New Clothes thing going on wit that book! And as a writer it does annoy me.


Rachel said...

Oh, oh blueberry bars! Will you post the recipe?

Julia said...

The midmorning latte with a snack? Yup, pretty much the highlight of the day. Wanna come over and bake the blueberry bars? I will make us the lattes.

And damn, I forgot the hybrids... I wants them too. All nice and shiny, parked outside my ecologically-minded living community. And now I want that money for real, so I can have these things. Damn. Maybe you and I should go play some poker and make that much, whatdayathink?