There are days when the phone does not ring and days when I think I am on speed-dial. Yesterday, was one of those days in between. It also was one of those days when you pick up the telephone and receive one of those phone calls you never forget. Nothing tragic. Just something hard and difficult, like, "Mom, what do you think about me moving to China?" Remember, I just got through someone sneaking around here inquiring about engagement rings.
"You don't speak Chinese."
"I know. But I can teach English."
"Can't you find someplace a little closer to home?"
"Well, there's Korea and Japan."
"Of course, why didn't I think of that,"...and I listen to the angst of a twenty-something deep in the middle of a very long and cold Canadian winter slogging through yet another heavy-duty semester and sounding a bit in need of some Vitamin D..."are you eating alright?"
"I'm just frustrated. I want to get this all behind me. I want to get on with life. I want to play badminton."
"You mean, "When will we ever get to ZED", and you think moving to China will help...don't you?"
Poor Speedy, he has always been on speed-dial. He has always been a go-getter. He has always wanted to go, go, go. The closest I've ever been to this was somewhere back in 1970 something when hampered by super efficient, yet, rule-bound Miss Bucky home-ec teacher.
"Today, class, we will read the pattern envelope, front. Snort." "Tomorrow, class, we will read the pattern, envelope, back. Snort." "Next, class, we will cut little, lunch bag envelopes, for our pattern, envelope. Snort." "First, class, we will decide which, lunch bag is the most, cost-efficient. Then, class, we will...Snort, snort, snort."
And on and on it went. Until I was so bored, that I finished the whole stupid dress one weekend...plaid at that...tiny plaid...by saying something about needing to take the thing home because I was going to be leaving for a long, long time. Oh my. And come to think of it, I once worked with a nurse who used to do the same thing. Not fib. Procrastinate. "I save work so we can be busy all night," she directed. "I get work done, in case we get busy all night," I re-directed.
So I listened to poor old Speedy. And comforted and advised. And agreed that, yes!, going to China would be an excellent idea, but, "finish what has to be done first...then go teach a billion people English, while they teach you badminton." And we kissed and hung up. It is so hard to let go. Next.
(About the photos. Thanks again to Patricia, over at Pollywog Creek for the inspiration. The coffee tin is one I found in the tool shed of the farm where I grew up. It's old, probably from the teens or 20's. Rideau Hall, located in Ottawa, Ontario, is the official residence of Canada's Governor General, the Queen's representative in Canada. I keep the tin filled with mixed silk flowers and topped with a wonky Monarch butterfly on my kitchen table, where I was seated when the above conversation took place.)