Sunday, May 29, 2005

The Pavement Ended In Buckhead

Edna Earle could sit and ponder all day how the little tail of the "C" got through the "L" in a Coca Cola sign. Eudora Welty, The Wide Net.

Just got back from attempting to live the dream - again. Made it about 48 hours this go-'round before I got so fed-up with my own kid, I just packed up and drove down the mountain laurel-laden road and on out of Lake Rabun, the tranquil, mountain home site to many seriously Old Atlanta families, with a few assorted Yankees and New Money types thrown in to give people something fresh to gossip about every other generation or so.

Here are the results of my Single Moms' Memorial Day Getaway Survey:

Number of novels-per-mom envisioned reading lying on dock: 2-4.
Number of New Yorkers anticipated devouring from cover to cover: 4-6.

Actual number of pages of novel read: 8.
Number of paragraphs of one New Yorker article gotten through without "Mommy, I'm HUNGRY. Fix me something NOW!" bellow: 10
Number of "Mommy, I'm cold"s registered: 76
Number of "Mommy, I'm hot"s: 156
Number of "Mommy, the other kids won't play with me"s: 1,242
Number of "Mommy, this life jacket is making me too sweaty"s: 246
Number of "Mommy, what are those teenagers doing in those bushes over there?"s: 7
Number of kids parading through room when just dozing off for nap: 5
Number of "Mommy, there's just too much water in this lake"s: 1
Number of "Just Stop Whining"s issued from Just-Settled-Into-The-Boxed-Wine-and John McCain-Article mom: don't ask
Number of Euro-trash nannys wished for: dozens

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Required Reading

Occasionally on this blog, I want to enthusiastically refer you to something remarkable, such as this Atlanta Magazine article about loving and caring for aging parents. I see so much courage and heart in my peers who are now stepping up to the plate with this timely issue. Warning: take your time and a hankie to the PC with you:

F The New Yorker

Art on this cartoon courtesy of my talented former colleague and graphic artist, Suzanne Scully-Chace.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Reel Around The Corporation

I nearly ran over the last remaining patrician gentleman. So busy was I with my plebian, cellophone walk-n-babble that I about smooshed a genuine White Man Of Power in the revolving door of the giant corporation I was seeking a foot in.

Damn, if he wasn't a site to behold too, even with the glare of his startlingly beautiful, aged face aimed right at me. I instinctively lowered my eyes. Might as well have been walking in Calcutta.

I'd thought such a class of ruler was long gone dead, but there was a live one in the flesh, a six and a half feet dinosaur, dressed for boardroom battle in the finest custom-fitted suit imaginable, woven it seemed right on to his WASP-thin frame of a fabric so intrinsically wealthy I couldn't help but glance up again from my moment of meekness and double check that I wasn't just getting loopy from cell phone emissions.

Whomever he was, and whatever era he stepped out of, he was the only thing I've ever encountered in real life one could call "titan." I'm certain there's an oil painting of him hanging in a long, muted executive hallway as we speak. And me without panty hose on.

Yep, I'd sashayed off to a very serious job interview with a very serious Atlanta company with no panty hose on my bod. I'm such a rebel. I know it breaks every rule in Corporate Land to go on a job interview without dressing the role of elementary school principal, but I don't even own panty hose anymore. I thought they were obsolete, and that my skirt, the one that screamed Mega-Nondenominational-Church-In-The-Burbs look, and the one I must immediately burn in the morning (least it be seen by someone who actually knows me), was long enough to cover the sin.

God and potential bosses see all, as I didn't get out of the interview chamber without the dress code of "business casual with panty hose for women" being mentioned. I allowed myself a moment of feminist fury with a silent protest alone in the elevator on the way back down to Street Level. Other than the naked legs, which are quite nice looking, thank you very much, and with no small effort on my part, thank you very much again, I think I did pretty good with this interview.

We shall see if my semi self-sabotaging effect of refusing to wear the freakin' panty hose will win out in the end, or be kindly ignored in the light of such a gregarious personality and an oddly sincere ability to be sincere about all things corporately benevolent.

It's a toss-up. But my five years of growing the most astonishingly best of all baby girls into a kindergartener are up. That's all I've been given, or can afford rather. The account's about to close; thus the chapter of being Mostly Mom will soon close on our little world.

My little one has no clue that mommy's out selling out her time to the highest bidder. I can't bear to bring myself to tell her that her I may not be there to pick her up after school when kindergarten starts in the fall, or that I won't be able to sit through another yawner ballet class again to "watch me Mommy" while I smile and nod periodically as she beams my way after a perfect arabesque I usually miss 'cause I'm reading CL in the back of the classroom instead of watching as I should.

I was mostly busy denying such days would ever end, when I should have been searing it all into my head, every pointed little soft, pink-footed step, like that tuna I wish I never had at the networking op the other day.

Oh baby-angel, I had to do something to steal another day with you. And all I can do is tell you that there really was a pair of panty hose in my bureau this morning. But your mom just could not bring herself to do everything by the book today. For all the reason in the world. Will they even note the crime?

Oh Atlanta, so much to answer for.

No Money Changed Hands

Welcome to the Spacey Gracey Review!

After resisting the call to blog for over a year now, I'm giving up and going with it. That long and winding dirt road has led me right to this perfectly bloggable point in time. I just don't want to miss a moment, and neither will you.

Blogging just makes sense now. This might have something to do with the fact that all my regular publishing outlets seem utterly uninterested in my work at the moment, and wouldn't ya know, right at this wildly delightful, clarity-ridden, confusing, momentous, strange, poignant, clamoring, glamorous, silly time in my life when I want to share much, and not let a single honestly precious or bizarre story go by without telling someone all about it.

My favorite stepmother, Sally Dearest, named me "Spacey Gracey" when I was a teen, shortening it to just "Spacey" in a moment of touching intimacy when once demonstrating the numerous domestic arts she flaunted around the charming, suburban home she never could legally wrest from my dad.

We would make Coca-Cola cake in her immaculate kitchen. No men allowed. Sally's glass-shattering admonishments kept them skulking in front of innumerable, unfathomable football games, or alone in their rooms. Only with me did Sally truly calm down.

She would calmly chide me if the flour wasn't leveled to precision in her expensive measuring ware. I relished the attention, and knew I would never fail her. Instead of biting off my self-esteem, Sally's constant reproach only tapped a hidden reserve of pride in what I knew I was capable of delivering, provided someone ever gave a shit.

I COULD level that flour with a deft swoop of the knife. I COULD drive her power-ridden '73 Cougar coupe because she alone had taught me how to manage such a machine. Only I, the eager student, could be trusted to care for the Cougar in the same way she did when she was at the wheel. Because I had learned well from the master, I was given much. Including a too-often dormant belief that I matter to myself, and that I matter to others as well.

I dedicate this blog to Sally Dear. Time in her kitchen, in her exacting world, has led to writing. I can only hope it turns out as well as that remarkable Lady Baltimore cake - the one I made for my dad's birthday last year. Lucky me.