1. When I was young-and-in-love and thought it was obligatory.
2. When I was in spiritual despair (and didn't care about my hair.)
3. When I became a dog owner.
Each phase had its moments. I'm still in love but do not feel obligated to walk in the rain with Atticus. I'm no longer in spiritual despair, but I still don't care enough about my hair to pay for haircuts. The dog, the walks and the rain? Somehow that feels quite right. Neither obligatory nor wretched, as the earlier phases were. Just necessary and pleasant.
We had our new pastor over for the first time. After I put the finishing touches on the Curried Cranberry Chicken Salad I suddenly thought, "Oops. What if he hates curry?" Apparently some people do. Fortunately, our new pastor is not one of those people.
Just before he left, we were all talking books and I thought, "Oh, maybe it'd be nice to give him copies of my books?" So, I did but after he left I had second thoughts. "Was that tacky?" I asked Atticus, as I can never tell if I'm being tacky or not. "To push my own books on someone? I'm sure he doesn't have time to read them."
"It was extremely tacky," Atticus drawled. "I was sooo embarrassed for you."
I rolled my eyes and cleared the table.
What good is a Tacky Patrol if it will only make fun of you?
I'm reading an old Anne Tyler novel, The Accidental Tourist. I adore Anne Tyler's writing. I had forgotten just how much I adore it until recently when I recommended her to a friend who was looking for something new to read (and then picked up one of her books at the library for myself.) She opens her characters up with such precision -- exposing them with intricate, expert cuts, like a surgeon. "See?" she shows us, delicately pinning back a flap of skin, "this is what's wrong with Macon." Her skilled hands proceed to probe and heal. Throughout the procedure, the tiniest thing her patient does can make me cry in its realness and vulnerability.
Here's an interesting interview with her from a few years ago.
This weekend, for the first time, Ramona will sing with the children's choir at Holy Mass. That means she won't be sitting with us.
For the first time.
I don't have babies anymore.
And now, your tacky, badly coiffed, weepy, dog-owning, beyond-the-baby-years blog hostess must ready herself for Holy Mass.
Jesus is waiting.