I have spent the past few days being perplexed by my friend and neighbour who I'll call 'John'. I call him 'John' primarily because that's his name. The state of perplexity is not altogether unfamiliar territory to me. I have a time-share there. When I go it's usually because of something that, at least initially, short-circuits the 'common sense' mechanism of my mental gear shifter.
It happened as benignly as possible with a friendly chat with John's wife Saturday morning. We discussed lawn care, neighbourhood 'news', and the upcoming 4th of July holiday. I ventured the observation that the past few times I'd been to their home, John seemed more subdued than usual. At this juncture I should probably point out a few things about John. He is a middle-aged man a few years my junior. He is a good-looking, well put together hard-working blue-collar guy. Good sense of humour and very clever. Good hearted and good natured for the most part except for an occasional bout of manic-depression. They have been my mother's very considerate neighbours for over twenty years and on my sporadic, brief visits home I would exchange pleasantries in passing. Since I have taken up residency we have all become much better acquainted. In response to my observation, Mrs John--without any hesitation or malice--shared that John was intimidated by my brain. I was dumbfounded--which I have to tell you is a wonder to behold since it occurs so rarely. "He's what!?" I stammered. She proceeded to remind me of a night more than a month past when they had come to our house for dinner. The TV was on in the living room while I was finishing up and setting the table. Jeopardy was on and apparently while I was folding the napkins and laying the silver etc... I correctly answered a wide variety of seemingly obscure questions without once looking at the screen or giving the subjects any great thought. Apparently this confirmed his sense of social inadequacy as well as intellectual deficiency. Lord Wellbourne went to universities. Lord Wellbourne had been a professor. Lord Wellbourne KNOWS stuff. It seems that John feels the need to police himself with what he says and the opinions he expresses. Therefore he doesn't voice anything he isn't positive I know very little about. Like the Red Sox, engines and electronics, and the logic behind wearing a heavy coat and shorts in December.
I'm not sure how to address the subject with him. Despite his bluster he's very sensitive. My Gentle Readers who know me personally can attest that I am not a snob where education is concerned. I don't think I'm a snob where much of anything else is concerned either. Well, except where stupidity is concerned. I don't like stupid. It dresses funny and smells bad. I'm rather hoping that the issue will just go away on its own. It makes me self-conscious. The man's not a moron by any stretch but I find myself paring down my conversation so as not to rub salt in a wound that he's self-inflicted.
Perhaps I should just embroider him a pillow that says: Diploma's Get You Through Doors But Cleverness Gets You Through Life. That's how I got here. College was great--no one ever told me to put a book down and clean my room. It's what I learned outside of the classroom that mattered. Earth is the largest campus and has the most amazing prospectus. The best part is that it also offers very affordable refresher courses. I signed up when I came back to Maine. I was happy to discover I hadn't forgotten more than I remembered. That's always a good thing.
I know, the title sounds hokey but I've been out of the loop for so long you must forgive my clumsiness. I'll be my own erudite and clever self after a few more posts. (He says with fingers crossed. It's hard to type like that, by the way).
I am pleased to announce the arrival of my new Dell Inspiron laptop. It's a beauty. Glossy black and very sexuous. I've named it Sherlock since figuring out all its' bells and whistles is like unravelling a mystery. It is much smarter than I am so I kinda feel like Dr. Watson when we're working together. Sherlock's arrival came with all the usual drama that accompanies something being ordered, processed, and shipped. But he's here now and we are in that sweet, shy stage of our honeymoon. "Am I pressing your keys too hard?" "My, but don't you have a sensitive touch pad?" "You're actually bigger than I thought you'd be." You know, the usual kind of dialogue one has with a new cyber paramour.
I was up all last night until 4 am this morning catching up on all the blogs I follow. I left few comments because I wanted to get to bed before the sun came up. Y'all have been prolific! To my dear June (Ageing Gratefully) I just want to say that your bust is secondary to what resides within your bosom. Thank you, Lady Hawthorne (Canterbury Cottage), for reminding us that the greatest blessings in life are often the very things we take for granted. To the ever-vibrant Von (The Good Life) I send warm appreciation for the vitality you express in the midst of your winter 'Down Under'. And Red, (Caught Him With A Corndog) who was my inspiration to begin blogging in the first place, you're a class act through and through. You go, girls!
But none of my gentle readers must think for a second that I remained idle while I was in cybernation. Au contraire mes amis! I have been very invested in landscaping and grounds keeping, yes indeedy. I didn't have a yard in Texas so I'm making up for all those years of asphalt and cement. I spent a vast amount of time diligently attending to the de-weeding process. I have nurtured marigolds, irises (blue, purple, white, yellow), peonies the size of softballs, lilacs, tulips, roses brought by ancestors from Ireland, lupins, thistle (smuggled from Scotland), and the tiger lilies are on the verge of explosion. I have widened the panoramic vista of my gnome garden and given the black raspberries plenty of breathing room. I've planted several spruce trees in appropriate places and evicted other trees which didn't play well with others. The only thing I didn't do--much to the chagrin of neighbours, friends, and other bipedal pests--was mow the grass. For six weeks I utterly refused to succumb to neighbourly peer pressure and commit wholesale slaughter on the wildflowers that deemed me worthy enough to make their home on my lawn. Dandelions, buttercups, Indian paintbrush, johnny-jump-ups, daisies, wild strawberry blossoms, and pink and white clover. Walking across the lawn was like being in an Herbal Essence shampoo commercial. Bees buzzing happily, birds flittering and joyously singing. "Nope, ain't gonna mow til there ain't no mo'" was my motto to anyone who asked, hinted, or whined. Once they'd had their glorious lawn party and folded up their foliage I got the mower out. That was two weeks ago and it needs a trim again. Whoever said that a job well done needs never be done again didn't do much of anything except come up with pithy sayings. I've decided that he or she was referring to fine art--do we really need another Mona Lisa, Sistine ceiling, or a David? If that adage was true we'd all be unemployed and bored out of our minds.
So, my dear Gentle Readers, I have returned and I have fathoms of fodder for future folios. Run with it, June, as only you can do. I have missed you all beyond what words can express. By the by, Maine Homestead and the Grant Farm was my imaginary oasis during the cyber dry-spell. I couldn't wait to find out what was cooking in their kitchen and what was sprouting in their garden. I was thrilled to hear about Carlo's arrival. Makes me wonder about adding some livestock to my Eden in the Pines.......other than turkeys that is.............
I am humbled by your responses to my last post!! Humbled and gratified. No need to be concerned with it giving me a big head.....I've been banging it up against the wall for the past eight weeks. There's no more expansion possible what with the swelling.
At some point between the 18th and 24th of this month I will, at long last, be in possession of my very own brand spankin' new laptop. It will be my first non-previously-owned instrument of Satan. I ordered it this past Tuesday directly from Dell. As one of my acquaintances put it: "Now you've gone off the deep end beyond the point of no return." I have to say that people tend to under-value and over-estimate the 'deep end'. While touring the deep end these past two months I encountered many characters and characteristics both disturbing and delightful. (Many of them being me and mine.) It's been a learning experience; an exercise in derring-do horticulture, spiritual gymnastics, and gravity-defying patience with a heapin' helpin' of ambivalence. I find that ambivalence can be as addictive as any narcotic. It's a warm fuzzy security blanket while in the cold embrace of ignorance.
I am grateful to have a cousin who A) I like, B) owns a computer, and C) mixes a mean Tom Collins. I could have availed myself of her hospitality sooner but I was rather enjoying my self-inflicted Spartan martyrdom. I missed y'all terribly and I appreciate each of you even more now that I realize how fragile our connection is.
So, my Dears, enjoy the virtue of patience for a few more weeks and I will return ready to regale with tales of my sojourn in the Land of Cyberlessness. Just east of the Deep End.