Monday, October 28, 2013

Primitive Lifestyle Dreams

Have I ever mentioned my "primitive lifestyle dream" problem? It's more like a primitive lifestyle dream problem with a modern twist. (I really like electricity.)

Because sometimes I obsessively dream of
having a bedroom like this:

And a kitchen like this:

With a backyard like this:

In a neighborhood like this:

It's a very small problem to have - especially when it's Fall out and you live in Southern California, far far away from Vermont's Maple Festival and Ohio's Covered Bridge Festival. (Festivals that don't take place in mall parking lots.) You know, simpler places and simpler times. Where apple pies cool in the windowsills of non-peach/beige-stuccoed houses.

I imagine these places are teeming with folks in cable knit sweaters and flannel. (I would say calico dresses and bonnets - but that's taking things too far.) Not people, but folks. Folks who name their cows Bessy. They might even get their water from a well because it tastes so good. And they're really into their casseroles and baking cookie bars. They go around saying to each other, "You bringing bars tonight?"

Now several things make my problem worse - and cooking shows is one of them. Whenever Pioneer Women needs an ingredient, she usually goes "into town" on a Sunday.

It makes me rant: "That does it! Everyone, I am going (-dramatic pause-) into town (-another pause-) on Sunday!"

But leave it to Jeff to remind me I'm already "in town" every day of the week. And to then remind me of our Alabama years and how we HAD to drive into town, past picturesque black-and-white cows even. And deer! Yet the only thing I wanted in the entire universe - at the time - was to be in town IN California. (Grass is always greener...)

So the best way to make sense of it calm my primitive to assume one thing: folks who live the dream, my primitive lifestyle dream (with a modern electrical twist), are probably playing Candy Crush on their iPhones while riding with their kids on quintessential hayrides across covered bridges. Wearing something they got from Kohls using their 30% off coupon. (Not very primitive, folks. Not primitive at all.)

And then to feel completely at peace, I'll throw in a few higher-than-mine thoughts: "...God has made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands." Acts 17:26

So what I've got here on the west coast is no accident. It's a God thing. As far as today goes, my "appointed time" is 2013, and the "boundary of my land" just so happens to be Southern California.

I guess it'd help to apply those tactics to my other smallish problem that surfaces whenever I watch movies like When Harry Met Sally - my "big city dreams" problem. And how I'd love to mesh with the locals and call taxis like a boss....

Taking stairs up to my home in New York like this:



Monday, October 14, 2013

Beautiful Nail

When a woman realizes her toenails need attention, she peels out of the driveway - away from the chaos that is her home - chuckling, "Mwah ha haaa! You won't find me now!" And heads out for a pedicure.

But as usual, she doesn't have a whole lot of time, so she goes to the nearest nail salon: "Beautiful Nail." Just one nail? She's amused. (Good one, Anjelah Johnson.)

Upon entering the salon, she gives the place a once-over and picks out a trendy nail color. She hopes she doesn't get the spa chair that sits under the 80-pound television. 

She gets the spa chair that sits under the 80-pound television. And The Price is Right is on. Really LOUD. 

"I should have gone to my regular place," she thinks to herself. But since she's working on being thankful in every situation - not for every situation - she whispers a quick prayer, "Lord, thank you that the customer with the pastrami sandwich is way over there. Oh, and help the spa chair water be nice and warm."

The water is Huntington-Beach-water cold. She's smugly GLAD she didn't shave her legs before she came. Or her toes for that matter. (Not that she has hairy toes.) 

Still, pride gets the best of her, and she wonders if she should apologize to the nail lady for not shaving first. But remembers a past experience - "stubble not a trouble" (they've seen it all) - and decides to relax in spite of the almost too aggressive spa chair massage features. 

"What to do now?" she ponders. "Text someone? Strike up conversation with the nail lady as she treats my cuticles? Watch The Price is Right in the mirror across the room?"

Then it hit her, "Nothing - how about I try that?" But doing "nothing" lasts two minutes before she picks up a magazine, a magazine with sophisticated, non-kid-topic headlines:

"Happiness is wearing black and white."

"Be a modern goddess, an object of worship."

"A hot movie coming out, cute new fashion line, and Ryan Gosling...Eva Mendes has it ALL!"

As she flips through the magazine to find out more about this modern goddess look, she sees bare boobs. BOOBS. "Is this even allowed?" she wonders as she sends out another prayer, "Thank you, God, that my kids only have Country Living and Cooking Light to flip through at home."  

But she doesn't stop there. She continues flipping through and reading about Eva Mendes having it all. And then something bad happens - she starts comparing herself: "I bet Miss Mendes doesn't have to defy death by sitting under an 80-pound television in order to get a cold water pedicure," she grumbles. "Hmm. Must be nice, being Eva."

Out of nowhere, the massage part begins. The real-reason-she's-there part, and she puts the magazine down. She surprisingly feels renewed - both from the massage and the thoughts that piece together in her head: 

"Since when does 'having it all' include Ryan Gosling?* I have everything God has thought good to give me. Besides, keeping up with magazines these that's chaotic! I wasn't designed to handle those pressures very well. Galatians 5:1 - 'It is for freedom that Christ has set me free!' "

So with a "beautiful nail" and a renewed perspective, she heads home freer than when she left.

But when a man realizes his toenails need attention, he sits on the couch and clips them.

*I have no intention of starting an argument here, my single friends.