I drank leftover coffee the other day, reheated in the microwave. The frothed milk had gone flat. It’s plainly sad to reheat coffee, among other sadnesses.
Joan Didion is getting old, too many Americans are worried about their round bellies (Why must we have round bellies if they are so terrible? Why must we spend time/effort/thinking on the attainment of a taut hammock from hipbone to hipbone?), and oldest child has gone off to college again, leaving me with boys whose chief preoccupations are farting and wrestling. It is drear.
If the boys aren’t actively farting and announcing the fact, they are threatening to fart, commenting on the dogs’ farts, and even writing comics about it:
(Copyright: youngest child.) The OED says of fart, both as noun and verb, “Not now in decent use.” I’ll say. Fart does have a long literary history, appearing in 1386 in The Canterbury Tales, and then in Ben Jonson’s 1610 play, “The Alchemist,” the second line of which is, “I fart at thee.” My boys are of the Jacobean era, clearly.
They wrestle on the couch and the floor, and it ends in tears and howls and me saying stern things like:
“If you don’t behave I’ll make you watch ‘Downton Abbey,” and
“If we have to go to the ER, you are paying the fifty bucks, mister,” and
“Your brother has only one set of testicles!”
None of these has any effect. I love that wrestling tournaments come with referees.
I will wear my sparkly earrings until the situation improves. I mean, there’s plenty to be happy about, like quesadillas and sledding. The problem is that beloved oldest child has gone. “You left me here with them!” I say to her. I love sitting at the kitchen table with oldest child while she laughs at my innocent questions (What is a hashtag? What is SOPA?), or we study pie recipes or nail polish colors, or I stab her in the arm (just kidding, #jk, Copaxone joke!), or we decide to go thrift-shopping or make a giant salad or discuss all of the characters in “Melancholia” or The Marriage Plot. It’s a long time until spring break.
I love my boys, too. Even though, or in spite of, or maybe a little bit because, they like to fart, then say, “You’re welcome.”
p.s. A friend called me chicken for covering my face in a recent mother-daughter blog post, so here is my face: