First we picnicked on the green lawn & I figured Caramoor must be watering its lawns because our lawn at home is brown as the dust that gathers in the hollow footprints in the basement floor. We dined on cucumber soup, pasta with pesto, lemon chicken and blueberry cafloutis. It was my first cafloutis ever and I was rather pleased with it. Based on that vast experience, I have determined that it is the ideal baked fruit dessert for the non-baker. We were most distinctly not dressed for Glyndebourne, but we weren’t too shabby. Then we ambled across the very green lawns to the white tent, to hear Norma performed in the Venetian theatre. It was about 100˚. We wore the bare minimum for decency and vigorously fanned ourselves with the program. Up on the stage the conductor wore tails, the men wore tuxes, the sopranos wore long gowns and they all sang their hearts out. I waited for someone to faint, but the only expiring last night was Norma’s final act.
All my favorite operas end with death, destruction, and fairly universal misery. That beautiful music, the soaring heart-rending arias, the architecturally perfect duets, the rousing choruses; they all lead ineluctably to the final act when we realize, again and again, that even great love cannot alter the trajectory to the bloodletting and sorrow and eternal regret.
So, given that operatic epiphany - that there is no happy ending possible - I had an especially bad night contemplating the ex-wife locked inside her paranoia more securely than the gold in Fort Knox, & obsessively blaming CSB because she divorced him. Alas, she is more like Medea than Norma, though all possible endings are tragic.
But today is another scorcher, and the lawn continues to be brown.
There are so many great things about having kids that I just can’t begin to name them all.
I can however name one aspect of parenthood I dreaded & dread still: the dreaded ritual of Kid Birthday Parties. Whether at home or at a bowling alley (they used to be quite popular, in fact, were it not for birthday parties, most bowling alleys would go out of business) they involve many children of the same age crazed on sugared food, the birthday child in question having a panic attack, parents who wish they were anywhere else, and at least one accident.
So you may well ask, why am I so looking forward to tomorrow’s birthday party for the beloved grandchild who is now 4, to be held in our own backyard, also home to the brown lawn, 2 dogs, 3 fewer chickens* than yesterday and thousands upon thousands of bees?
Actually, I am looking forward to its ending, when all the guests are gone and we are left with plates smeared with birthday cake from which all the frosting has been licked off.
Not only will this birthday party feature several 4 year old in hula skirts (that is the good part), but there will be a newborn baby, the boyfriend of my daughter (mother of the birthday child, Princess Bowie) and his parents whom I have never met before, and my ex-husband who has hitherto made a policy of insisting on CSB's nonattendance at family events and whose last communication with me involved a snarky letter to the local paper. I am fearful that this will relegate six-year-old boys’ projectile vomiting to its proper place as a benign annoyance.
I am capitulating to some atavistic thirst, and turning on the sprinklers.
*Adios Fez, OJ and Buffy. Gone to Yonkers.