Monday, October 27, 2008

shopping, not for breakfast anymore

"I wonder if I should l take myself out to breakfast?" I wonder out loud.

Captain Awesome is sitting beside me in the car, typing on his laptop, making phone calls, and Captain knows what else. That's why I am driving, as usual. Also, I drive so he can go directly from the conference to the airport without having to park the car.

"Didn't you get breakfast?"

"The kids ate all the pancakes, so I'm hungry." I'm trying to recover some of my dropped skills, like making pancakes for breakfast on a school day. The kids have been missing the things I used to do to improve our lifestyle with minimum outlay, like making pancakes for them in the morning, or making biscuits to go along with dinner. Or doing their laundry on time.

"You should have breakfast at the conference," says Awesome, and somehow I'm managing to look back into those green eyes while driving. "They have a good breakfast at this hotel. And you could come hear my presentation. You've never heard my presentation."

"Um..." I say. My hair is still wet. I have on no make-up. The shirt I threw on with my jeans is extremely wrinkled. "I'm not exactly dressed for a conference." And I don't like hotel breakfast. They're always boring: refined flour, air-dried cantaloupe, sour orange juice.

"I think you look great." One of the things about Captain Awesome, is he really means it when he says things like this. I think it is actually one of the keys to his success. He sees the positive and pulls out all the stops. This is not, however, a skill I have. I know if I try and go to conference breakfast, I'll just be uncomfortable and self-conscious about the wrinkled shirt and the sockless tennis shoes and the wet, uncombed hair. I grabbed my wallet but not my purse. I don't even have lipstick. And if I go hear his presentation, I'll only hear how the delivery differs from an ideal.

And I'm bent that he's leaving again.

We arrive and say goodbye. From here Captain Awesome will fly directly to Tampa. The Captain is kind of upset that I'm blogging all his travels to A-list cities as going to Tampa, but he's the one who wanted me to try harder to be anonymous.

Now I'm alone in the big city. Six months ago, if I had spent the gas to get up here and had a little money in my pocket I definitely would have continued to nearby Flagship Department Store--once I got a dress there for $35, the selection at Flagship is wider than at home and the discounts deeper. And if I were up here with no money I would have fumed at the lost opportunity. Right now, I could also go look at furniture or fabric for my theoretical new house.

Instead I pull into traffic and head home. It's not just that I'm half-ready for the day: I could buy a clean shirt at Flagship and get a set of make-up that I probably need anyhow. This is what it is: I want to finish cleaning up after the pancakes, I want to keep my exercise schedule, and I want to do the things I used to do regularly, not the things I used to do rarely.

On the drive back, I eat the dehydrated apple slices and crackers left over from yesterday's carpooling as my breakfast.


Heidi Ashworth said...

I just think it would be so darn hard to be in your situation. Money is so incredibly useful but it sure ain't free. Nutz!

Nouveau Me said...

oh Heidi, you are so kind. And I have to laugh at myself for getting blue. I can go hire a therapist, right?

Sometimes Captain Awesome going out of town provokes a blue mood of itself. But it's always been that way.

Heidi Ashworth said...

Well, I would be blue, too! I have been thinking about you all day and the fact that feeling blue or depressed is just a sign of our having to say goodbye to something--even if the something is the old days of poverty, there were good things about it, things that you value and miss. So, it makes sense that you would feel blue and I suspect you feel guilty about feeling blue because, hey, you got all this money dropped in your lap so you don't have a right to feel blue, right? But, I think you do. See, no therapist needed! : ) That being said, having enough and to spare realllllllly busts a lot of stress and having less stress has certainly made me happy, that's for sure. Then again (again!) I would be bent about my husband flying off to "Tampa" all the time, too. If I were you (here comes the unsolicited advice), I would hire someone to do the kid pickups in the afternoon. Pay someone to clean the house, have your groceries delivered, for pity sakes! You are like a single parent when he is gone and you need a break. Spend the time you would have spent doing those things writing and cooking lovely meals like you used to if you enjoy it. I know what it is like to have these mind sets that are so necessary when the creative project du jour is getting through the month before the money runs out--it can be hard to give up some of those paradigms. I think, from what you say in your blog, that you aren't like the rich (and don't want to be like them) but your husband is gone a lot because of whatever it is that brought all this money--so use some of the money to restore some balance to the household. Meanwhile, do you sense any jealousy amongst your siblings?

JB said...

I've gotten a plea from someone who subscribed to this comment stream, asking me to close her comment subscription.

I'd like to help her, I really would. But some tasks are beyond the riche, and are only held by the powers of Blogger/Google itself.

When I've subscribed to commenting, the emails include an "unsubscribe" link. In fact, I believe that's required by law. Also, if you visit this site while signed in as the identity you were using when you commented, the unsubscribe option appears on the screen. Or so I've been told.

I hope this helps. I love to help.