Yesterday was a marathon of driving from one end of the county to the opposite and in weather more conducive to July than November. To be more accurate, it’s cooler in July here than it has been the last many days. I’ve given up wishing and hoping for weather that smells and feels like Fall, let alone the winter that is barely four weeks away.
But when I’ve got a task to do that should have been completed weeks ago, I set my route and try not to think about it. I just go, like I’m on auto pilot. First one store, then the next. Speak with one salesperson, then another — all the while taking mental notes and feeling my brain ready to explode with so many others’ opinions.
I’d say that it’s because I’m thorough, but it’s closer to being an approval problem.
Carly Simon helped. Helped with the searching — not the approval problem. I rarely listen to music while I’m in the car preferring quiet more, but felt I needed something to get me in and out of the car with each stop I made. So Carly it was — and only because I sadly do not carry CDs in my car, let alone an iPod.
My afternoon of driving was saturated with memories of the who and what I used to be when “Anticipation” and “You’re So Vain” could be heard on the radio when people actually listened to music on radios. But my favorite was “That’s the Way I Always Heard it Should Be,” the haunting melody something I loved even though at that point in my life, I wouldn’t have been able to relate to the words — a giving up of one’s self to something others did just because that’s what was done.
I was too naive to see things that way. I was too busy looking for fairy tales of my own and thinking they were something that existed instead of something created. It takes a few mistakes to arrive at that conclusion.
“But you say it’s time we moved in together/Raised a family of our own you and me/Well that’s the way I’ve always heard it should be/You want to marry me/We’ll marry…’
I had no remorse about the eventuality of marriage because all of the other strings attached to the decision were far more interesting, like having an engagement ring, choosing fabric for a dress I would make myself, selecting perfect invitations, a just right location. You’re thinking there’s a minor problem with that line of thinking, yes? The matter of “choosing to spend my life with someone who would never have understood me” type of a problem.
“The couples cling and claw/And drown in love’s debris./You say we’ll soar like two birds through the clouds,/ But soon you’ll cage me on your shelf — I’ll never learn to be just me first,/By myself…”
No, we didn’t get married. The invitations were never ordered and the ring was given back.
Funny what a song can make you remember, isn’t it?
But I did end up finding what I was looking for on my marathon search yesterday. It’s a vanity of sorts for part of our home renovation work. I know you may not quite “see” it the way I do, and that it’s different than what you might put in your home. I’m used to that.
It’s because somehow along the way, I’ve learned to be just me first, by myself.
Or — that I’ve already polled a zillion people on the choice since gawd forbid someone besides myself will have to look at it while they’re sitting on the toilet and think, “What in hell was that woman thinking?”
But I’m used to people not seeing what I see in life and understand.
You can still throw in your two cents worth on the vanity if you want.
After all, it’s just a bathroom vanity, right?
But when I look at it from now on, I will most likely hear Carly Simon’s melody reminding me that I have made some amazingly good choices in life.