Thursday, April 7, 2011

What I Learned from the Radishes

What a day.  We had the latest supper I think I have ever cooked, because Simon had a soccer game and I had to go down to work; we have so many new students to wrangle in the Monday/Wednesday night school this week.  We sat down to supper at 8:45 or something ridiculous like that.  Chipotle pork tacos and a marinated salad made from fennel and radishes. Simon has left for Colorado, hoping to get as far as Price or maybe Green River tonight, before the next snow storm hits and makes Soldier Summit a zoo.

[And, as if on cue, the wind starts howling a gale around the house.]

What else did I have going on today? Kids to the dentist at 8 AM, where they can choose to have their teeth cleaned with stuff flavored like cookie dough, cotton candy or marshmallow.  The hygienists don't see the irony.  Then to the rec, where I ran for just 30 minutes, but melted the rubber on the track.  I kept trying to gear down to a slower pace, but it wasn't happening.  I have decided to run the Salt Lake Half after all, so  I am going to have to get the last 12 mile run in this weekend.  Off to work, where I tried to get all the Monday/Wednesday names, applications, test papers and signatures to match up to actual people.  Once I blogged about having too many Thu Thuy Phams...  It was in fact the case that one lady was coming to the Tuesday/Thursday school as "Thuy Pham" and the Monday/Wednesday school as "Thu Thuy Pham".  I had to tell her that she could be one person or the other, but not both.

Earthquake drill in the afternoon. One of the few perks of my executive status is that I get to climb out from under my desk and roam around the building checking for broken glass or hissing radiators or crocodiles rising from the sewers and stuff like that.  Meanwhile my colleagues remain jammed under their desks.  "Kate!  can we get out, now?"  "No!  Stay crammed under that desk until I give the 'all clear'!  There might be danger.  I just have to check that the coffee pot is all right.  Hold on - I need my mug."  "KATE!"  These drills are an eye-rolling good time.  Our boss takes disaster preparedness of all kinds very seriously.  She made Angie walk all the way around the building to check for "damage"; when Angie got back, our boss asked her if she had noticed anything amiss.  "No, 'cuz it's all... PRETEND..."

Girls on the Run in the afternoon.  Let me say that we are having a few motivational issues.  I suppose that there are appropriate things to say to girls who won't even try to run, preferring to stroll arm in arm while gossiping.  I have never been appropriate, so I run at them with both hands formed into lobster claws that administer real pinches if they come into contact with a girl's back.  This results in screaming and sprinting.  Even better results are to be had by telling the girls that they can pinch the stuffing out of me if they can catch me.  I'll tell you what I want, though.  This would be the bomb, if I knew where to get one.  The fun I would have...
Then it was off to the store to get the groceries I wanted for supper tonight and...finally we segue to the radishes.  I was in the produce section picking up a bunch of radishes, and I was thinking (not for the first time) about the mind-blowing beauty of some of our root vegetables.  Think of it!  Buried deep beneath the ground is the bright orange of the carrot; the gentle purple of the turnip; the miraculous radish with its pristine white wrapped in dusty red. Don't even get me started on beets.  I'll get all rapturous and never get to the fucking point. Which is...uh...

Oh, yeah...which is that I am happy.  A while back, there was a Kate who would often pick up a radish and and see it as beautiful.  She went away, and has finally returned.  

Okay, why has she returned?  The eyes of the reader narrow suspiciously.  Hold on, despite the late hour, I need to fortify myself with a little Moose Tracks ice cream before I confess.

I made it to Day 21 in the 60-Day Detox, and I was prepared to go the distance.  But CB wanted to talk with me and I allowed this conversation to happen.  I did sit in my truck, pondering the correct course of action for about 45 minutes, but then there he was (for the first time in about six weeks), telling me (if I had to boil it down) that he was looking for a place to live, that he wants to be with me and he wants to know if I still want to be with him. There was a lot more in this conversation, but that was the executive summary.

I know.  I KNOW! This is total destruction of the 60-Day Detox by way of the 6th Commandment:  "No Backsliding".  There is  part of me that would have felt momentarily empowered by politely refusing to have this discussion and driving away.  But.  In the moment of decision I knew that I would regret driving away after the elation had worn off.  And if I had, I don't think there would have been another chance to put things right.  Now, I will still have the potential for LOTS and LOTS of regret.  But also the potential to try and build a relationship with this man for whom my feelings have not faded ONE BIT in all this time.  Despite the facts that he wanted me to try polyamory; that I cried all over Mario's sweater vest; that I gave away the Scotch and returned the packet watch; that I called him 2,500 bad names.  I love this guy and I wait for his smile.  And that makes me a fucking SAP!  And a weakling!  And if my friends are disgusted with me, remember that I will be roundly punished for this love in many, many ways:  Simon; my children; my mom and my sister; my extended family; his extended family; my friends; my coworkers; my money; my kitchen; my CD collection... the list goes on and on.  I get to start Thursday by telling my couselor, who already thinks I'm channeling the Bronte sisters. All of them.

Can I say two things, though?

One.  I am trying to keep myself protected, and in doing so protect him, too.  For the next little while, I need to be ready for him to change his mind, and he needs to feel like he can change it.  This, I gleaned from Maria, who is NOT channeling any of the Bronte sisters.  So, I'm straddling the fence, trying to discern whether I can tip one way into a different life; or the other way back into Detox.  I don't plan to start from day one.  If I am careful, I might be able to pick up at Day 21, where I left off. 'Cause I haven't got time for the pain.  Someone should write a song about that.

And here's another thought about why I seem fated for this weakness:  look at the business I'm in.  My world is populated by people who have to keep trying over and over again to get what they need from life.  I laughed at Utah Senator Howard Stephenson when he said that he did not approve of adult education because he didn't believe in second chances.  Second chances?  If only it were that simple!  What about all the missing first chances?  And what about, as with many of us, as many chances as we require:  to try, and hesitate; to try again and drop the ball; to fuck up, and finally succeed.  To emerge from all that effort with either a new life, or at least a new outlook and a little empathy for everyone else's complications.  This means that I may or may not be done writing blogs titled things like, "OUCHOUCHOUCH!" or "Eighth Day of this Hell!"  But driving away was a cop-out, and there is a part of me that is glad I will stay and chance it.


  1. I spend a small fortune on food, I soo need to start a garden!

  2. All you need to do is ask yourself one question: In five years, will it still make me a little bit queasy that he wanted me to actually be a sister wife? Because, is this kind of shit that comes back to slap you on the ass. I put all this in front of you out of friendship, know that. I have a good friend who was the "other woman" and she ended up marrying the man after he divorced his wife. And then she spent years wondering if he was cheating on her. So...keep in mind that you have to ask yourself the tough questions eventually.

    But, for is fine to just follow your heart. But, always, always keep it in your mind that you are vulnerable, you will be easily swayed and that your are hurting.

    Maybe small steps instead of giant leaps in his direction, just to be safe?

  3. Radishes and Beets...beautiful foods I don't like to eat. LOL

    Try Cracker Barrel for one of those shark/snapper things.

  4. Thanks, Maria. For everything, actually. I listen carefully to all of your thoughts. I am a dreadful over-thinker, and so a lot of these "what-about-farther-down-the-line" thoughts are swimming through my mind all the time. I have tried on so many horrible worst-case scenarios that I almost have myself convinced that this is the foregone conclusion. Once in a while, I allow myself a best-case scenario, and can hardly stand the beauty of it. But, yes: I am trying to be careful and get my own shit together as best I can. Keep throwing your thgouths at me, because I need to hear them.