Wednesday, September 8, 2010

School Daze...

School's in for Kathleen and Alexander. New schools for both of them...Alex at Kookytown High for grade 9, and Kathleen at Kookytown Middle School for grade 7.

I hope it goes reasonably well for them. I hated my high school years. Alex seems to be doing OK so far, because of, I suspect, that he's a boy. But with girls, as you may know, many of them get all catty and slutty and evil around this age. So I'm worried for Kathleen, who is not catty or slutty or evil.

At least they are all armed with information, unlike my generation.

Teens have information on everything these days.

Sex. Drugs. Bullying. STDs. More drugs. Sexual harassment. Etc. Etc.

One thing I've really noticed is that girls and boys hang out together these days, as friends.

That sure wasn't on when I was a kid.

I think it's good. Kathleen and Alex seem much more self-assured around the opposite sex than I ever was -- at least, until I got to university. And being self-assured is a good thing.

Anyway, I still emit small prayers for them as they head off into the world each morning.

Speaking of daze, Sally's been in one for the last while. She got lost on a walk yesterday and couldn't find the mailbox, which she's visited many times, and which is only a block away from our house.

She concluded they'd obviously moved it. Nothing like good old denial to keep you going.

A card came in the mail recently, advising us of the death of one of her oldest friends, at the age of 93, in Winnipeg. The friend had been confined to a "residence" for the last few years: one with locked wards, as she'd succumbed to Alzheimer's Disease and was quite wild, apparently.

Still, Sally evinced considerable surprise at news of Olga's death.

"Oh!" she mouthed at reading the card.

"I wonder what happened?"

Well, I thought to myself, what do you think happened? And why wouldn't you have long expected it?

Denial.

I set her a task yesterday. I've gotten into this habit, because she harasses me endlessly unless she's busy, and she asks to help, in any event.

So first thing upon her leisurely arising (11-ish or so), I asked if she'd make potato salad for our dinner. This task was deliberately strategic on my part; making potato salad is kind of an all day thing.

First, you boil the potatoes in their skins, then allow them to cool. Proceeding on, you dice them, adding finely chopped green onion, slivered radishes and a chopped hard-boiled egg, which must also be more-or-less cool.

Then, you mix all with sour cream and mayonnaise, add salt and pepper, and chill really thoroughly for the best result.

As I said, pretty much an all-day endeavor, especially at Sally's snail-like pace.

She happily agreed to make the salad, and then proceeded to ignore the task all day, skirting around my reminders, shuffling about and attempting other tasks she'd set for herself, and basically avoiding, forgetting-about, or misunderstanding the requirements for potato salad, all day long.

Finally, I understood that there would be no potato salad forthcoming from my mother's efforts.

So, at 5pm when our out-of-town dinner guest arrived, I was busily engaged in burning my fingers while dicing the just-cooked potatoes, and hoping that 15 minutes in the freezer would cool them enough to allow the finishing touches.

Sally settled herself comfortably with a glass of wine and monopolized my friend, whom I hadn't seen in months, while I tended to kitchen duty and quietly cursed her.

But, what should I expect? If I hadn't set her a task, she would have driven me insane with her pestering all day anyway, which would have probably disallowed any timely making of salads.

It all turned out about the same, in the end.

As my friend was leaving for the evening, I told her we'd go to a restaurant the next time she was in town.

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