taking the passive out of passive-aggressive

Monday, June 23, 2003

My refrigerator looks totally white trash right now, filled with nothing but white bread and cream cheese and beer. It reminds me of when I go to the grocery store and I'm in line behind the person who's buying ten liters of store-brand cola, three loaves of white bread, and a jar of Hellman's. Or the guy who buys his individually wrapped dinners and a six-pack of Miller Lite every single day--I love that guy, I've made up a whole story about him. I think he might live alone and his wife is dead and the house is decorated just like it was in 1965, and he sits carefully at the dining room table and drinks a Miller Lite and eats his reheated meal.

I'm always careful at the grocery store not to let anyone see me buy anything embarassing, like Chee-tos. I don't really eat stuff like Chee-tos any more and I think it might be because I'm embarassed to put them on the conveyor belt. No Doritos for me! Only five-dollar cheese and seventeen pounds of vegetables! I like the way my food looks on the conveyor belt, when it's proper food. I like the worthy feeling of granola and asparagus and strawberries. It's strange that buying groceries is a performance, I'll admit; but if it keeps me from feeding my kid those tacky "Kid's Meal" frozen dinners (you know, the ones with the blue applesauce?) then it's all for the best.

Friday, June 13, 2003

Overheard: Insane man on street near bus station, holding one of those blue respirator masks and with a piece of tape on his nose:

"You know what I'm gonna do?" (shouting to no one in particular) "I'm gonna throw away everything connected to this city. And.... I'm gonna buy new clothes. Maybe something to do with Mexico."

Sunday, June 01, 2003

So my grandmother came to town this weekend with her husband Bill (pronounced something like "Beel") and they were mostly the same as ever, except older. Nana (that's my grandmother) is getting cataract surgery instead of plastic surgery, but at least Bill was wearing his habitual track suit.

They drive a crab wagon all over the place all year long, selling crab cakes at state fairs and various festivals, which must be a really hard life for a seventy-some year old woman like my grandmother. Even Bill, who's maybe only sixty (I know he's a lot younger than my Nana) must be wearing down--after all, he had some kind of injury for which he was receiving workman's comp.

Anyway, they always come bearing gifts, and for me they had this framed print of herbs, which was fine, and for my one sister they had this set of decorative plates, okay, but then for my other sister? the older one? they bring a framed print of the Rapture. Yes, the Rapture! This version of it had all kinds of pretty ladies and babies being sucked up from earth on a beam of light. The ladies and babies were all much bigger than the earth, in terms of scale, and Christ up at the top of the beam of light was really tiny. And at the bottom all it said, in a bad font, was "The Rapture". It was a nice picture frame, though.

Now, I'm not against the Bible, per se, but Revelations was written by an insane, frothing, angry, and psychopathic monk. It's clearly the work of a lunatic, so painting pretty pictures about it is... well, strange. I have to imagine that my nana, with her cataracts, may not have noticed that she was giving my sister a picture of the Rapture--or maybe it was meant for my religious aunt.

Still, my sister always gets these strange gifts from relatives--muscleman beer-holders, strange teal caftans, QVC miscellany, pictures of the Rapture... why her? The weirdest thing I've ever gotten was a bunch of ill-fitting dresses from my dad, which I had to return under cover of darkness lest I hurt his feelings. But every Christmas, every birthday, she ends up with something just strange enough to be unsettling, but not strange enough to be funny.

Sick all weekend. I'm beginning to be suspicious of my immune system, even though I should be suspicious of my lifestyle instead. Still, I resent aging--I should be able to survive on small amounts of sleep, food, and body fat, like I used to.

Nonetheless, something's wrong with my life, I have to admit that. I'd like to blame it on dehydration--this is a big thing in our culture these days, proper hydration. It's said that water can cure all kinds of things. It's like an alchemical substance, turning fat and toxins into clean, clear liquid, which can then be expelled easily. Oh, I love that! It's so fucking medieval.

No, it's not dehydration. Nor is it my job, my falling-down house, my sleepy husband, my out-of-control perennial garden, or the perpetual rain. Or maybe it is the perpetual rain. It's been cold for goddamn ever. It's not getting warmer, or sunnier. Today I saw the sun for maybe ten minutes and was thrilled, but then it was back to February-in-London, like it's been for the past month and a half. And of course before that it snowed so much we never left. Yes, this is the problem, the weather. But I can't blame my job, my husband, or my house for the weather, no matter how much I'd like to.