If we were having coffee right now, you’d ask me if I was really having decaf because my words would be tumbling over each other in a jumble. I’d be eating a whole-wheat raspberry scone, trying to channel my recent vacation experience drinking coffee under the trees at The Flying Fish in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. I wish I could teleport us both there just for the vibe. And of course, you’d be joining me in the gluten fest, knowing we’ll pay for it but loving the moment.
I’d tell you my vacation was great. And not great at the same time. The “not great” part has nothing to do with Cape Cod, which was gorgeous as always. Rather more to do with the fact that my youngest is soon to turn 14. When I made our vacation plans, he was still sweet and in love with his mom. By the time we hit vacation, Dr. Jekyll had joined Mr. Hyde. Sweet one moment and moody the next, I realized the teenager attitude is slowly seeping in. We were having a marvelous time one minute, and then the hormones would kick in. (His, thank God, not mine. It’s always fun to be raising teenagers with rising hormones as you become middle-aged and yours fall. I consider it a chemistry experiment. Don’t try this at home, kids.)
If I was still married, I’d sit across from my husband on the patio of our hotel room. We’d roll our eyes over the teenaged attitude and exclaim about how we could make such a child. We’d add wine or a stellar cocktail to the mix. Instead, I call my friend and catch up as Dr. Jekyll sleeps so Mr. Hyde can take his place again in the morning. I’d exclaim to you that I thought I was going to have the Diane Keaton mom life in The Family Stone but am worried I’m heading more toward the Patricia Arquette life in Boyhood. Not really, you’d reassure me. And I’d say, “You’re right.” Then I’d hope you really were right.
I’d tell you that Long Pond is balm for the city soul. That as Dr. J complained, I drove down Long Pond Road, soaking in how gorgeous the forest is. That I pulled into the parking lot, marched him down to the pond and immediately not only stuck my toes in the water—but also did that annoying thing mothers do. I—horrors—struck up a conversation with a dad sitting on the steps with his feet in the pond, reading a book that made my English major tome look like cotton candy. He was a teacher at Choate, as was his wife, who was in the water with their two sons. Only in New England can you happen upon a pond replete with its own resident English teacher at Major Boarding School. I love it.
After insisting you tell me more about your latest exciting adventure/meal/date/trip over yet another cuppa’, I’d ask you for advice on the mean girls. Long ago, I realized I live out loud. I’m probably strong coffee as opposed to chamomile tea. But, I also let others be. I recently ran into a woman who I know does not like me. She has been embarrassingly rude (and I mean embarrassing to herself) in the past and this time lacked social graces yet again. I’m zen enough to feel good in my own skin, but wonder why the Universe brings her ‘round. Is it to test my zen? What do you think? And really, a small gentle smile is pretty effortless. It’s what I try to do around those I’m not crazy about. I feel like she expends a lot of time and effort in disliking me and showing it—while I really don’t think about her at all. Doesn’t seem to make sense. I always wonder how mean girls find the time. So many other things to get to in life, really.
I’d assure you I’m keeping the art of the chat alive. On this trip, I met oodles of gorgeous souls. The older couple who moved to Brewster, Mass. from the Catskills—the ones who the waitress at the local fish joint could just say, “The usual?” to–and they only had to nod to get steaming hot chowder in a matter of moments. Also Stefan and Oscar, an Austrian and a Panamanian, who were waiting for their wives with a lovely bottle of wine on the hotel terrace. Stefan and my son had an exchange in French in which I can only hope my son was not saying, “My mother is driving me crazy. Send help soon.” Mon dieu. J’espère que non. And besides calling you my “little cabbage” or wishing you goodnight, you’ve just exhausted my French. Which probably makes you want a café au lait. Go ahead—live a little.
And after we laughed over your latest funny story, I’d make you get serious for a moment. I’d tell you that the cure for any malaise is to be had in the Atlantic Ocean, watching a humpback whale execute what looks like an effortless fluke, despite weighing roughly 79,000 pounds. I’d say that in a week when I was feeling ill over children separated from their parents and I wanted to scream—“THIS IS NOT WHO WE ARE”—seeing Hancock the whale just feet from our boat gave me hope. And it is not the same, seeing it on video—go find a gorgeous creature to learn about and see in person. We should be better stewards of our earth and its creatures, I would proselytize while mopping up the scone crumbs. To which you’d say, “Preach sister!” as we clinked cups. We had way too much coffee yet again.
But that’s one of the reasons I love you so very much. Let’s do it again soon. For those of you who couldn’t join us, please let me know what you’d tell me as we had coffee. I love hearing about what is going on in your corner of the world. Truly. If you’re new here, welcome—let’s start the chat.