This year, my Sista Perfectionista turns forty, which for some reason I keep thinking is my age. I am partly correct because I am in my forties...just the north end of forty...
Somehow, her crossing over the threshold has reminded me of that. But wait, this is not about me.
Last year, I got to see Sista on her actual birthday. It was a Sunday, I had just started simmering soup and she called me.
"Can you come and meet me for coffee?"
"Oh crap, I just started making soup. The pot is on, stuff is bubbling, I am chopping..."
"OH COME ON IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!"
"Ok. Meet you at the bookstore in 20."
"What? You're coming?"
"Of course I am coming. It's your birthday!"
This year we were actually trying to plan to do something fun. An overnight getaway.
- She wanted something close, so we didn't have to spend time travelling.
- Something where shopping was an option and observing or walking in nature available.
- However, it should not require work or danger.
- There was to be no suspension bridge/zip lining, rock climbing --regardless of how breathtaking the fall view.
- No kids.
- Sometime after her birthday.
Armed with this criteria, I scoured the INTERWEB looking for something that would check each box.
I forwarded a few suggestions. Not much interest.
I forwarded a few more. Nada.
Unsure how to proceed, I asked her for more input.
"What I would really like to do is to go to some sort of pioneer historic recreation type place. You know, where they bake bread and shoe horses and make candles and grow food. That is my secret fantasy!"
Good thing she sent that in an e-mail because that way I could hide my slackjawed, squinty-eyed expression. I read it twice, looking for the LOL ....there was none.
I had a hard time reconciling my Vitamix, purse loving, germ conscious Sista with Laura Ingalls Wilder. What was going on?
The next day I asked her about it.
"Ok so the pioneer thing......I mean.....really? R-E-A-L-L-Y? Ummmm ....I dunno what to say, other than whhhhhhhyyyyy?"
"I don't know. It was a simpler time. People weren't trying to 'find their purpose' and all this airy fairy crap. You HAD a purpose---grow food---cook food---eat food---care for your family---repeat. You used what you made, you saw where things came from, you wasted less. You didn't have all this time to wonder what is missing in your life. It was all about..."
A few weeks have passed since this conversation and I am still mulling this over.
I dunno. I think it all looks very romantic with bonnets and spinning wool and the smell of freshly baked, hand kneeded bread, but even Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about bullies, and disease, and crop failure, and the limited opportunities for women, and how brutally hard it was to even stay warm in winter. Someone always had it better, you worked hard and long and were up early and late to get things done.
I am not sure I can think of another time when I would question my purpose in life more than a time when "surviveal" was my only goal.
I am not saying today is "better" or "worse". It just is.
And I guess that the people spinning the wool and baking the bread at these places know they are getting paid 2014 dollars and heading home to their microwaves, online shopping and freezer meals, turning up the furnace as they walk in the door.
No wonder it looks so romantic and enviable.
I wonder if in 2214 you will be able to experience a historic reinactment of a day in the life of someone from 2014? Now what would THAT look like!?
Maybe it would look like this:
- fresh, store bought sushi
- soup from scratch
- cake made from a mix, fresh that morning with two giant rolls of sweet tarts poking out
- all around a kitchen table, on a sofa or doing puzzles on the floor with a 3 year old
...because that was how we spent her actual birthday day.
The over night trip.....still to come!