Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dear Woman in the Red Hat

The Matron understands that you might have a death wish. Or perhaps a missing connection or two means you have forgotten in which state you live?

This is M-I-N-N-E-S-O-T-A.

It is winter. Snow has fallen, great big heaps of it. Continuing with this lesson plan, ice accompanies snow. Have you noticed that the streets are gloppy slick and thinner?

Let us toss in night. By 5 pm, there is darkness. There is rush hour, too.

Let us stand back and hold this alchemy in our hands: thin roads, ice, snow, darkness, fast traffic.

This, it would appear, is the perfect time to walk out in the middle of the street -- not at any corner, but just start making your way across the busy downtown street. Because traffic exists, you must stop in the middle of the street waiting for west bound cars to slow. You've already halted eastbound traffic.

The Matron saw you do this. Saw the step into the street, the way the eastbound cars slammed on their brakes for a pedestrian crossing in the middle of the street as if nobody else existed. When you paused in the middle, peering at the west bound vehicles and willing them to stop, the Matron decided: she wouldn't.

She slowed down but even when you tried to step in front of her -- to stop the car--the Matron kept going. Cars to her right slammed on her brakes. But the wily Matron? She saw your hesitant step, the foot moving forward with the other firmly planted and the body leaning back, the way you were testing -- two inches away --and she called your bluff. And kept driving.

Of course, everyone else slammed on their brakes so that you could stroll across a busy street during rush hour courtesy of a sense of entitlement or complete idiocy so staggering that, well, should someone hit you?

No great loss.

There was rage in your eyes when the Matron drove past - dark core rage. The Matron saw it clearly, being two inches from your face and making a point of meeting those eyes. She's sure there was something equally powerful in hers but she's not sure what. Why she decided not to stop, especially given the poor driving conditions.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Son, She's Here to Tell you About your Father - the Real One

Merrick, your mama knows you love the big guys, the big guns, the big trucks! Why right across the street lives a man you adore!

Not only is he a professional golfer (retired from the PGA, even!), he drives a GIGANTIC truck! Yes, yes, your Mama knows: that truck is the coolest thing in the world.

In fact, Daddy should get one.

Every time we drive past one of these

you announce that this is just the kind of truck that Daddy should like.

Two houses down holds another wonder: Chip! Not only is this neighbor six feet tall and a couple of inches, he drives: a train!

Nobody is cooler than Chip. His garage? Chalk full of power tools.

And wood, screws, nails, big metal items with blades and all kinds of tough guy treasures. You are of the firm believe that your father should have a garage just like Chip's!

And maybe drive a train!

Merrick, how can she say this delicately? You were born with one hand scratching your balls and the other hand holding a sledge hammer. If Tough Guy or He Man was a job description, this would be your vocation. Shoot Bambi? Your mother once put that to Stryker.

"Stryker, would you like to go deer hunting with Uncle Steve?"

Stryker: "You mean sit freezing in the woods until a living breathing creature gets close to you so that you can kill it and steal its life away and then slice its guts out while maybe its relatives watch nearby?"

Matron: "Sure, that about sums it up."

Stryker: "No thank you."

Merrick: "Can I go instead?"

Merrick, your mother apologies for the karmic cough that landed you in a family of intellects and artists. She promises you there is room in the hall closet for your hockey stick, base ball bat and wide array of weaponry.

But she cannot transform your father into the Hunk-o-Man he is not.

Merrick, your father will not be driving a truck. His vehicle visions steer more toward the BMW or Volvo he cannot afford or maybe the lesser Honda Pilot. That's as close to a truck as this man will ever get.

Your father isn't the kind of guy who will build a house with his bare hands. He is the kind of guy who will decorate the house somebody else built. While sipping an espresso.

Merrick, your father isn't going to be driving a train or becoming a professional athlete. He will know, however, the exact right shade for the second floor hallway and which lighting fixture looks best by the fireplace.

There's the hard truth, little one. Your Daddy rocks on many levels! He's the one who puts you to bed and monitors your homework, the man strong enough to swing you over his shoulders like a sack of potatoes and carry you upstairs.

But he's never going to drive a monster truck. It's time to lay those cards on the table, tea leaves for future therapy.

Your Daddy is not a He Man or Tough Guy. If you haven't noticed, your father spends more time on his hair than your mother does. He looks at his behind in the mirror and says: "do these pants make me look fat?" He enjoys creating an artful autumn bouquet.

Your Daddy is a Metrosexual.

Do you hear that? The sound of some future therapist's bank account, already lighting up.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How She Looks Without Make-Up

Thanks Kathryn for posting this gem on facebook! Yes, the Matron ADORES facebook. Regular readers can find her there. Her last name is Petrie. Go ahead and say hi.

She just thought this little commercial was so dang funny she might move to London! The wit of those Brits! Enjoy!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Where is her Life Anthem?

Really, the Matron believes there should be an Anthem for her life. Okay, at least a sound track! Something spiffy, dramatic, sympathetic, inspiring, uplifting, moving, odd, spooky and enduring! Surely there is a sweeping song out there just for her?

More specifically, this thought of Anthem occurred to her this morning as 158 children jailed in four coach buses, windows steaming in the Minnesota freeze, watched the Matron (she of fashionable boot and all things decorous in weather where practicality rules) RUN a city block AT FULL SPEED through six inches of snow in order to retrieve videos for the bus ride before the idling buses could take off.

Remember that Chariots of Fire song?

Yes, the Matron and her husband saw off the Hysteric today. Scarlett left for four days at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, carting more paraphernalia than Paris Hilton on a six week publicity tour. Anticipated air temperature in Finland Minnesota tonight? Fifteen degrees below zero.

If you own stock in SmartWool sock, thank the Matron for that bump up in your retirement fund.

Thanks to the H1N1 party, all of the children headed north were also required to A) take their temperatures at home and B) retake their temperatures in the gym before loading the bus just in case things changed since the home deal.

What song to accompany 158 fourth through sixth grades in four weaving lines waiting to get their temperature taken?

"Did you pass?"

"I'm 97.9, how about you?"

There was honest to God TENSION for those waiting in line as nobody (except Scarlett and a couple of visibly terrified fourth graders) wanted to be sent home because of fever! And although Scarlett did her best to work up a sweat, she passed with flying colors, shoved her supplies for a small Malaysian village under the bus and hopped on in!

With her two best friends. She'll be fine.

Meanwhile, Good Volunteers John and the Matron hauled the 1400 snack servings they had purchased (oranges, apples, graham crackers, vanilla wafers, pretzels and goldfish for those interested in the menu) under the bus.

Just when everything looked good to go - -mind you, these packing and temperature-taking processes consumed about an hour and all outdoor activity is happening at 10 degrees with falling snow -- the teachers panicked!!

Four plus hours on the bus without a movie! No Screen! Everyone had forgotten movies for the loooooooooonnnnnngggggg ride up.

Why is it in these emergencies with 15 capable adults milling about that everyone look at the Matron?

"What do we do?"

She knew! She knew!

Quick as a flash she had the husband phone a parent who lived just one snowy block away. This was another mama with a child on the bus, a woman fast on her feet and well, a woman. This woman knew just what to do and what time frame to do it in: now. Without questions.

If it was a man: "Uh, what kind of movie? Has everyone seen Harry Potter or should I put that in too? Remind me, what exactly is going on that you need the movies for?"

So while the mama assembled movies in a flash the Matron ran to retrieve them, with the buses idling and everyone waiting waiting waiting for the movies so the wheels could roll. She wondered what her daughter thinks of her sometimes, especially in moments when you are running in high heeled pretty boots in six inches of snow and ten degrees, wearing a faux fur coat and a decorative hat, waving a bag of movies like a baton.

Definitely Gonna Fly Now.