Steve’s birthday just past and we made a long weekend of it. Saturday an outing for just the two of us, Sunday a bit of a family celebration and Monday, by his request- trying and somewhat succeeding to do as near to nothing as possible.
I got entirely dolled up for our brunch outing (possibly more on that later). It was a gift of sorts. As we were sitting and eating I caught the eye of a beleaguer looking mother, trying to herd her young ones out the door. The somewhat desperate look on her face! It was like I could read her thoughts. Because they have been my thoughts so many times. It was a fleeting moment of mixed emotion that basically amounted to, “It must be nice to have the time, space, and energy for appearances. I’d rather like that sort of luxury myself, but clearly that is not my lot. I bet you take it for granted.” Just a split second, a glimpse of a thought, before landing squarely back in the world of, “No, no don’t run towards the street!”, “Please get that out of your mouth,”, “People don’t really like it when you bring sticks into a restaurant dear.” In a way that probably makes me somewhat awful, it was rather flattering to be on the opposite side of this exchange. Oh, but I empathized with her. I really and truly did. In my own jealousy (I guess that’s the best word. Maybe envy is better?) it’s less about what the other person actually looks like and more about how they obviously took the time to care for themselves. Which implies that they had the time. That is what I find desirable and often unobtainable. And I think I read more into it then I should about priorities and the ease of the other person’s life. I wanted to go and hug her frazzled self and tell her that she should see me most days, carry a toddler and a bag for her and help with the door.
After brunch we visited a vintage clothing shop. Which primarily consisted of us identifying articles that easily could have come out of the past wardrobes of our various relatives. My trying on outrageous glasses and hats to make him laugh. And my being made fun of for pseudo-secretly harboring an embarrassing desire to wear all of the pink chiffon garments that everyone else finds hilariously hideous.
We walked the sidewalk sale of a funky, artisan town and briefly visited an arboretum…sadly too late to tour the conservatories. But that was lovely and I wish we had longer there. Highlights for me included the immense Japanese umbrella pine that Steve is standing under in the picture above. A big, beautiful 100+ year old ginkgo, and Cinnamon Vine (both pictured above) which I had never heard of before. I found it by it’s scent which I trailed across the garden. It’s this sort of intoxicating floral/cinnamon that had me vowing to add it to our own garden. Then I came home and started to read up on it, learning that it’s considered invasive and you have to plant it every year and do special things to propagate it and so forth, at which point it all started to sound like too much trouble and I figured I’d just be better off occasionally sniffing a spice bottle instead.