I have fled to Michigan for a condo meeting. Milly accompanied me, and though she is not a brilliant conversationalist, she is good company. Seeing her face in the rear view mirror makes me smile. She looks like a Muppet. I am low maintenance. I brought a tub of chicken salad for dinner, and there are some remnants in the cupboards. BUT- my sister called, and will pop by on her way to Grand Rapids for Art Prize and a college visit to her son. My monastic existence will give way to Janter. I see a late night Stray Dog in my immediate future.
I like being away. There is no need to sound the alarm for my marriage. It is just calming to vacate the home turf, which is the headquarters of Steve Dahl’s International empire of Podcasting and Dieting. Every day, the basement is abuzz with young energy. I am old energy, and I am unwilling to gussy up my time-battered persona. I am a mother figure to the staff. Hell, I am a mother figure to Steve. So the time to just be Rusty Dusty Janet is welcomed.
I brought my Kindle, and the first thing I did was finish Mockingjay, the last in Suzanne Collins’ trilogy. Yes- I realize they were written for young adults. But a good story is a good story. I loved all three books, and I was at peace with the conclusion. Pat, Rachel and Justine all read them in a book blitz, and so I plan to horrify Steve with a Dahl family book club very soon. As we all know, he maintains that reading is for losers.
Then I charged through a stack of magazines that I brought here to speed read. Is anyone else getting stuff they didn’t subscribe to? Maybe Books-A-Million added me to subscription lists before they flat-lined. All I know is that I receive many more magazines than I have time for. I feel guilty tossing Self, but I feel guiltier when I see all the healthy stuff I should be doing. GONE. I get a Parks and Recreation magazine, most likely from my Board Service. I am always tempted to buy a Dog Waste Station for someone when I read the ads: they are so efficiently designed. GONE. Sports Illustrated keeps on coming for Pat, despite cancellation. Sports is not life, it is entertainment. It is enough that my marriage traps me into co-existing with a universe of sporting telecasts that I care nothing about. I do not wish to invest additional time. GONE. Cooking Light? Now that is just a mean joke. I cannot cook at all. Yet I rip out all kinds of beautiful pictures, park them on the counter in a stack of “to be filed” papers. Then I throw them out. Coastal Living? Well- here I am, on the Sunset Coast. This one I will peruse. Southern Living? Again- the recipes are beautiful, but I do not have what it takes to be a Southern Belle. GONE. The one magazine I have saved to savor is Oprah. This month Opie will get me to change old patterns and spark new breakthroughs. Like canceling subscriptions that wick away time I could be spending learning to cook.
Keepers: Time, Newsweek and Entertainment Weekly. They are pamphlet sized, anyway. I tear out current events for Steve, and mostly use EW as a TV guide. They are a business expense. That is my story and I am sticking to it.
Should cancel, but not going to : In Style. It lets me connect with the daughters-in-law, and reminds me I will NEVER be In Style again. I just pretend I am a classic. It works.
For tomorrow: I MAY go home after the meeting- but I downloaded State of Wonder into the Kindle. It would be so nice to exist in a TV free world-no college football, no baseball….and travel with Ann Patchett to the jungle….
We’ll just have to see what tomorrow brings.