Yesterday a Suburban pulled up to the house. I watched out the window as a pile of 20-somethings piled out. I called my husband: "Honey, there's a band in our driveway".
I am usually friendlier than this and generally at least say hello. But I wasn't in the mood yesterday.
Today was better and although I still haven't met any of them I have watched them play frisbee on our street and have enjoyed listening to them lay down horn tracks. They are a ska band and I do have a weakness for horns so they are ingratiating themselves without even looking up to the window where I am watching them with my binoculars. Okay, I don't have binoculars, but I've seen my mother do the "watch the neighbors with the binoculars" thing so I figure it's just a matter of time.
They were still playing when I left this afternoon for Part Two of my amazingly musical day.
My friend Paula began taking voice lessons about 8 years ago. I don't know the exact story, but I imagine that you get to a point in your life and say "you know, I've always wanted to....". And so you do.
Today she had a recital. It was all so civilized and lovely, like something from another era (not that we're not civilized but really, if you think about it - not so much). The sun was streaming in the windows and you could see just a little sliver of ocean over the trees. It made me a little teary.
As I sat there listening I wondered what I would do if I could pick up something new to try. I think I'd like a drawing class. Or maybe dance. I'd consider a new instrument (I have played piano and violin), but I don't really have the attention span to remain interested long enough for it to be evident that I had taken lessons. I already knit, so that doesn't count.
And then I listened again.
And then I thought about my different friends and their lives. I have the friends who are incredibly well dressed and have all the coolest stuff you ever wanted. I have the friends who have incredibly little stuff and make you wish you had less stuff. In short, they're all good at their lives.
I think I'm pretty good at my life. I am somewhere right in the middle of incredibly well dressed and obviously-took-vow-of asceticism-in-past-life. I don't think I make anyone wish they were more like me, though.
A long time ago, whenever I had house guests I would stage this incredible life for myself. I'd make espresso and get fresh croissants from the bakery down the street for breakfast. I'd drink my espresso and read The Atlantic. I'd have chamber music playing. I'd meet friends for lunch, get together for cocktails, go to the theater. Have interesting people drop by. Eat healthy and exotic food.
I figured if I kept it up while my visitors were around they'd go home thinking I led the most perfect life. And then I would collapse into my usual slovenly lifestyle, completely exhausted.
If I did that now, Chris would give me away. "Hey, where'd these croissants come from? BJ's?" "When'd we get those little coffee cups?" "Why are you kicking me?" Besides, I have neither the time or patience to make my life look like something it's not.
But if I did, it would look like today.