Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Reflections on a Life...(Nostalgia...or Growing Up, Again)

So there we were, driving along in Yonkers, on the I87, about to exit on Central Park Avenue, and suddenly the tears were right there...behind the lids, behind the whites, behind the brown eyeballs. They welled up, and sneaked down my cheeks. I tried to resist the urge to wipe them away. I lost that battle...

It's 1983. I am 24 years old and newly married, living in my sister's house (no, she's in the US then), working in a Catholic public hgh school (someday, maybe, I'll explain that phenomenon!). My husband is teaching art in another secondary school. We are poor - teachers in Jamaica then made precious little. But we were contented. We owe no one anything, aside from student loans. We love the work we do. We have an extended family, in case of emergency.

It's 2007. I am 48 years old and 24 years married, living in our fairly newly-built house, working in a prestigious New York City public high school. My husband is an assistant principal in another New York City public high school. We are not poor, but what we are defies explanation, or, quite frankly, understanding. We owe everyone, including student loans for our sons. We wonder about the work we do. We have an extended family, who often depend on us in an emergency.

The feelings that overwhelm me in the car are so powerful, it is all I can do not to cry out with the pain of them. I know now, in an instant, what "heart-wrenching" means. It isn't that I wish for "the good ole days" back, although I do. It isn't even that I worry about the bad new days, although I do.

It's more that I cannot fathom the losses I have sustained, in my pursuit of the gains. The questions I live with now would never have occurred to me, naive as I was all those years ago. And my inability to find even the glimmer of an answer that does not tease more tears from my already leaking eyes, or wrench them from my aching heart, is the most frightening feeling I have ever known.

Perhaps, one day I'll get it. Maybe when I'm older...

Ha! I AM older, and I get nothing!

Maybe when I'm wiser... *sigh*

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Did You Know...

1) Elephants are the only animals that cannot jump.

2) The body's strongest muscle is our tongue.

3) A pigs orgasm lasts 30 minutes!!

4) Statistically, people are moreafraid of spiders than of dying.

5) All polar bears are left handed.

6) Crocodiles cannot stick out their tongue.

7) Butterflies taste with their feet.

8) A cockroach can live 9 days without it's head. It only dies because it cannot eat.

9) Humans and Dolphins are the only animals that have sex for pleasure.

10) A duck's quack has no echoe.

11) Starfish have no brains.

12) Mosquitoes have teeth.

13) Thomas Edison was afraid of the dark.

14) The word "Cemetery" comes from the Greek Koimetirion wich means Dormitory.

Saturday, 20 October 2007


Saturday, October 20, 2007. It's 12:30 p.m. here (and five o'clock somewhere else), and she's still in my jammies!

Now, now, don't pitch a fit, or descend into histrionics. And for Pete's sake, don't roll your eyes, either! She works darn hard every day of the week, rising with the birds at 4:30 a.m., and finally dragging her weary derriere back into her house between eight and nine each night. So she "sleeps in" on Saturdays - to catch up on the sleep she DOESN'T get on week days.

*hands on hips* Did I SAY she went to bed as soon as she got home???? Well then!!

So she's sitting in bed, pink jammies on, lappie on her lap (Duh!) writing, and watching the trees outside her bedroom windows. It's beautiful - green, yellow, orange, red. Leaves moving gently in the breeze, a few waltzing on the breeze on their way to the ground below. So peaceful!

So WHY, in the middle of all this "peaceful, easy feeling", does it suddenly intrude into her consciousness that there are groceries to be bought, laundry to be done, library books to be returned (since July! *gasp*), hair to be washed, papers to be graded? WHY?????

The joys of middle age? The curse of the anal retentive/obsessive compulsive?

The life of Teri.

Maybe she'll give in to the Pentecostal guilt and get out of bed. Of course, there's no guaranteeing WHAT she'll do once she's out...

Maybe she can choose the outfit to wear to work on Halloween, when she shall have completed another year of life. Hmmm...let's see...those black pants, that orange top, the Jack-O-Lantern scarf, skull earrings, pumpkin pin, ghost hair slide...