What's three months between friends?

So...oops.  I wandered off and have had a hell of a time finding my way back here. How've you been?

When last we met, I was positively overwrought by poor Tess of the D'Urbervilles, to the point that I poured forth nearly 1300 words about it.  I'd like to say that the whole experience took a lot out of me and that I've been taking the cure in a clean and quiet room in Switzerland ever since, but if we base our relationships on falsehoods, where will we be?

I got distracted. Also I am lazy. I beg your pardon.  Please come back.

Really, in February and March I was just in a fever of anticipation about my far-off beloved's return to my country, my town, and, indeed, my very neighborhood. It was all I could think about and any news or droll observations that came my way went straight to him.  And then he came back!  And I was distracted by that. And then...we broke up.

Believe me, that was not where I thought this was going either. I mean it's not quite a Tess-level tragedy, but it is painful nonetheless. And now I am distracted by that. In this instance though, "distracted" means sad and lonely, which I'm afraid may go on for quite some time. My strategy has been to apply back-to-back episodes of "House" to the situation (fortunately, there are eight seasons available on Netflix).  It has proven a good palliative, but it is hardly a long-term solution of the "growth and change" or "embrace your life" or "reach out to those who love you" sort.  Rise above television.  That doesn't seem like such a lofty goal. So here I am: a little weepy and embarrassed, slightly plumper, not as funny as I'd like, and with bugger-all to say, but showing up.  Hi.

A Few Things that have Happened of Late:

  1. On Sunday, I set out to attend the final day of the Georgia O'Keefe exhibit at the DeYoung. I am, ahem, a member now and when you are a member, I think you're supposed to while away your Sunday afternoons gazing at masterpieces in an erudite or, at the very least, picturesque fashion.  I'm new to it, so I haven't quite got the knack yet.

    I drove to the general museumish area of the city, and then proceeded to circle in ever-widening arcs for about a half an hour, engaged in what proved to be an entirely fruitless search for a parking place. Eventually, I gave up and went to a matinee of a romantic period drama where my chances of smiling shyly at a handsome man across a hushed gallery dropped to nil. Not that there was likely to be a surfeit of eligible bachelors at a Georgia O'Keefe exhibit on Mother's Day, but you never know.
  2. I have new next door neighbors and they are delightful.  When they moved in, I baked them a cake, which I subsequently handed to them through their open kitchen window, winning their hearts forevermore (I think). Indeed, I liked them so much that I also invited them to dinner, during the assembly of which, I managed to pour boiling water onto my foot resulting in: first, bellowed profanity and, weeks later, a scar resembling two pea-sized polka dots that I will perhaps have for the rest of my life. The neighbors provided sympathy and gauze. I ate dinner with my foot in a bucket of water.

    A few days later, I borrowed a stew pot from my upstairs neighbor. I kept it longer than I meant to, so I returned it along with some freshly-baked muffins.

    The moral here is: baked goods engender good will. You know this, of course, but it may have slipped your mind, so here's a hot tip: If you need some good will in some corner of your life, bake something. And then give it to whoever's in that corner.  It's a good idea. Trust me. (I do not recommend pouring boiling water on your foot.  There is some bonding as a result, sure, but it hurts a lot. Stick with baking. Wear shoes. Use oven mitts.)

    After the baking (and burning) and cheerfulness and all, we ended up having a neighbor happy hour in the back yard on Easter Sunday.  That sentence if full of miracles.  Since I moved in, I have never been at a gathering of all the residents of my  building (where noise breeds acrimony), nor have I ever had a social interaction in the back yard (which was formerly an overgrown spider farm). It was lovely. Views!  Wine! Convivial cohabitants!  Long may we reign. (Granted, the back yard is still 100% perilous for the Upstairs Baby [who, at two, is not really a baby anymore] so it probably wasn't that family's favorite outing of their lives, but, heigh ho, it's still progress.)
  3. The Upstairs Baby has gone to daycare!  What? Just because I enjoy drinking wine with someone doesn't mean I love having them and their progeny clomping all over my ceiling. Let's not get carried away.

    This new arrangement means that the Upstairs Baby and I are at home at the same time significantly less than heretofore and I, for one, could not be more frickin' delighted.  Let us pray that they don't succumb to the desire to provide him with a sibling. I cannot do it again, I'm telling you. I just don't have it in me.
  4. As part of my continuing efforts to cheer myself the hell up and make my house other than a den of woe, I bought some elegant cream-colored tulips and arranged them just so in a vase. They struck me as the flowers of a tasteful woman in full possession of herself. Immediately thereafter, we hurtled into a heat wave. In just one day, those tulips opened alllll the way up and now look like boozy old women with their skirts all akimbo.

    So much for that.