Saturday, March 20, 2010
A Little Rant By A Little Voice In My Head
Emboldened by my success at growing radishes, [see above], albeit puny ones, in spite of impressive verdure [today's word of the day from Merriam Webster!] I decided to apply to take a master gardener course offered by the county. Bit of a leap from novice radish grower to master gardener, but, one should aim high I've always heard. Not that I'll be magically transformed or anything like that. All day, every Friday, for twelve weeks, will be devoted to trying to cram horticultural knowledge into the few wits remaining in my cranial cavity, if I'm accepted into the course.
I see-sawed back and forth about applying, but then figured, looking at it from a purely selfish point of view, I could only come out ahead, as my brain would be snatched from the gaping jaws of senility by the necessity of flexing and stretching it to accommodate all this seed and weed know-how.
Filling out the form was easy, until I came to a question near the end.
"Do you work?" was the question. As in, "Are you employed?"
This usually rattles me because I know the answer they expect from the likes of me. I'm possibly a little hyper-sensitive on the subject since my father-in-law, bless his aged, bald, and shiny pate, has made a point of needling me about my lack of "gainful" employment for the last forty years. He especially likes to tell tales from the old country. One in particular, about a new bride whose f-i-l informs her, soon after her marriage to his son that, in his household, those who don't work don't eat. All the while casting pseudo jocular glances in my direction. As though washing his son's underwear and raising his grandchildren were merely hobbies to fill the gaps between tropical vacations and frothy bubble baths....
Reluctantly I marked the "No" box. But a rebellious little voice in my head objected, and went on a little rant. Something like this:
No. Instead of working I like to spend my days cleaning toilets; sweeping floors; keeping ahead of clutter; changing bed sheets; doing laundry; folding clothes; occasionally even ironing them; shopping for groceries; planning meals; cooking meals; cleaning up after meals; trying not to trip over the cat; taking the aforementioned, decidedly unwilling animal, to the vet, which cannot be accomplished until he is in the cat carrier, into which he can only be wrestled by three muscular grown men wearing leather gloves and face protection.
Or one determined housewife who does not work.
Other desultory activities include, but are not limited to, staying in touch with the children; listening to problems; making sympathetic noises when I can offer nothing better; cheering them on when things go well; remembering birthdays; visiting my aged and cantankerous father-in-law, grinding my teeth and holding my tongue while so doing [years of practice]; pulling weeds; planting vegetables; pulling more weeds; planting more vegetables; making lists; losing lists; making more lists; wasting time looking for lists I've lost; writing on Blogger; searching, always, for a pen that works---in a house that has as many pens as a raccoon has fleas; making, remembering, and keeping appointments with doctors, dentists, chiropractors, vets and friends; trying to make regular dents in the UFO pile; trying not to start new projects that will ensure I do not make those dents......
Scratch, scratch, scratch.
Changed my answer to "Yes."
Next question: If "yes," what is your job title?
Don't get me wrong. I have a good life and much to be thankful for. As long as I keep the house from falling down, I can set my own schedule, and carve out time for the really important things in life --- reading, writing and quilting. I only think about running away to join the circus once every three weeks or so. Besides, the circus is here. Just because I don't get a salary for being the ringmaster doesn't mean it isn't a job...doesn't mean I'm not employed.
So, revised short answer: Yes, I work.
What else could I add that might tip the scales? Flexible schedule. Plus, I'm willing! Important because, in return for the knowledge, those who complete the course have to commit to many hours volunteering at garden and plant shows, answering phones---and, intriguingly, writing articles. Now they're talking! But one is probably required to have a clue about gardening before one can write about it! Ergo......
How am I doing Isabelle? I shouldn't blithely toss out vague promises, such as "I'm going to post something every other day." Because you never know who's listening and taking notes. I hereby amend my foolishness to "every other day, or two, or three, or four or even seven!"
And still waiting, and sighing, for reciprocation from the motherland [or maybe that should be the sisterland....]