When I asked you how you were doing, you really told me. And I had to respond.
So you lost $450 in the parking lot the other day. The same $450 dollars that you'd dutifully tried to deposit, but the bank teller informed you that they don't take cash. (We all wonder which bank you go to, and why, and what?) That surely is a misfortune but here's what I'm thinking: maybe the person who found your money, who tripped over the envelope on the blacktop as she ran back into work, was the woman from the bridal shop. The woman who sprinted after me with the paper heart in her hand. And I don't know what her story is, but it's possible that she really needed that money, I mean really needed it. More than any of us, which is certainly hard to fathom.
That wasn't supposed to make you feel better- that's a whole lot of money to lose- but I'm just thinking that's probably what happened.
But anyway, a lot of us are feeling it lately. The snow is piling up over the doorway, not the doorstep the doorway, and we're stuck in the house with the kids and the legos, and the boss is either disorganized as hell or a sociopath, we're not sure which, but it's starting to get to us. And the other night at work everybody tried to die all at once. And if they weren't dying they were escaping from their beds and you had to either pull them back or push them down, depending.
Now, for you who recently moved into a tiny village in the interior of Alaska, let me tell you something. When my family moved up to North Pomfret Vermont, a place that won't consider you a local unless six generations of family preceded you, everybody was so mean to my mother. My kind, sweet, funny mom- they never did warm up. I can't explain it and just thinking about it makes me want to kick. Tiny villages are not always friendly, so try not to take it personally. Although I did.
But of all that, the daily suffers, just remember this: Plot Twist! The greatest advice that one of us came up with, and it wasn't me. You're not stuck, you're not disappointed, you didn't fail- there's just been a change of action that nobody quite saw coming. A real cliffhanger, and if only we were still kids reading under the quilt with a flashlight, because back then we loved a good plot twist, savored it in fact. It kept us up all night, but not in the way that it does now.
Of course, there are those things of a considerably greater magnitude. You don't always like your husband. You're contemplating divorce. The cancer has returned. Run of the mill gates of hell kind of stuff. How was it that you described how you're feeling? Frighten and frozen. An alliteration. Maybe standing in the shower screaming plot twist into a bar of soap isn't something you can really see yourself doing right now. We'll whisper it for you instead. Fix yourself a martini and we will too.
But it's not all ice and steel. Somewhere in coastal Carolina, a daughter is leaning her head on your shoulder. It doesn't matter if she's not your daughter; she's somebody's daughter and for this moment you are the haven she has chosen. You got engaged. You booked your trip to the Arctic circle to see the Northern lights. And up in Alaska, insulated under one reasonable foot of fluffy snow, you're in your new house with a baby's foot lodged in between your ribs from the inside and you've never been happier.
And speaking of- you with your second child on the way? You're going to have a lovely new baby soon, even if for now it feels like a strictly head in the toilet sort of affair. Hyperemesis gravidarum, a mouthful, but look at it this way: you'll have something to discuss with the Princess of England, should you one day run into her over a plate of cold cuts and small sandwiches.
Finally, for the people of Boston, Massachusetts, my home town. You've been hurled into some futuristic snowscape, something that feels like your greatest childhood fantasy overblown and out of control. Something Russian. Just remember, you won't always be a mouse tunneling through the streets. I know it feels impossible, but in a few short months that whole place will explode into nice green grass. Until then, maybe a book and a bath.
Melina, and everybody else
PS. I'm sorry your plane didn't take off and you couldn't go back home. They told you the plane had 'weight and balance issues'?
Don't we all?
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