Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Random and only somewhat meaningful thoughts for the day

A few things I thought of today, when I was supposed to be doing other, more productive things. If you are looking for very deep thoughts, this is not your day.

1. It is so easy to blame everything wrong in my life on the fact that I'm still single. Almost completely unjustified, but so easy.

2. Many moons ago, my 8th-grade Social Studies teacher, Mrs. Kaufman, had us read, every week, one of these "current event" magazines for junior high school students. This was in the mid-80's, when teen pregnancy was a hugely talked-about social issue. One time there was a little blurb about a 13-year-old girl who had just had a baby. I remember thinking "Ewww! Gross! On so many levels!"

But one of the girls in my class, who we'll call, uh, Shaindy, said that she doesn't understand, what's wrong with someone having a baby? What could be bad about a baby?

Mrs. Kaufman [peering at Shaindy from over her glasses]: Shaindy, how old are you?!?
Shaindy: 13
Mrs. K: And are you, young lady, ready to have a baby?!?
[boys in the class start snickering]
Shaindy: No!
Mrs. K: I thought not.

And that was kind of the end of that. I think Shaindy got the message about the social problem at hand. But more importantly, it was ingrained in my head that "Oh, my God, I'm 13, too. And somewhere out there is a girl exactly my age with a baby. Holy cow."

Today I was thinking that somewhere out there, the baby is now 19 years old. Actually, that baby may have been one of my students when I taught in New York. And somewhere out there is a woman exactly my age with a 19-year-old daughter. She may even be a grandmother by now. Holy cow.

3. Next thought: She might already be a grandmother, and I'm still single. Where is the justice?

4. There is no such thing as my to-do list ever being empty. As long as I eat, there will be dishes to wash. As long as I open windows and doors, there will be dust to . . . dust. As long as I get mail, there will be papers to wade through and bills to pay. As long as I wear clothes, there will be laundry to do. As long as I live, I will generate garbage (literally, though I hope not metaphorically). There will always be tax forms to fill out, and hair to get cut, grocery shopping to finish, and meals to cook. There is no such thing as being "done." If I'm waiting to be "done," I'll be waiting forever.

5. . . . but if I were married I could split the work.

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