Friday, March 21, 2014


The Matron  totally love the slightly older, 30-years sober, apparently unemployed, single man who not only goes to yoga as obsessively as she does, but is equally obsessive about his "spot." 

So is she.

Sot there they are, side by side, in the front row -- nervous about securing positions and discussing the heat with passion and critique (will it be hot enough? too hot for you? ). They are picky, needy people together commiserating with desire not to be so and weaknesses. Older Yoga Guy knows that it can't be hot ENOUGH for yours truly and makes recommendations regarding teachers, studios, wardrobe.   The Matron  knows Older Yoga Guy is looking for a cute girlfriend (preferably with money because he has none) in her late 40s or 50s, has a bum knee and is not on Facebook but also know him well enough now to know he would not only be okay with reading this but would say "sounds about right."     Matron and Older Yoga Guy are both ALWAYS at yoga early due to that neurotic need for the same spot (now side by side). Today she  realized that she is  100% herself with him.

Older Yoga Guy: "Mary - -remember that essay I'm writing? The long piece? I'm going to send it to you. I'd love to hear what you think about it."

Matron: "OMIGOD! Don't send me your writing! That's like telling a lawyer friend you're going to email that tiny contract for fun. Do you know how many people find out I'm a writer and say "I will send you . . "

Older Yoga Guy: "I'm still going to send it to you. It's okay that you feel that way."

Matron: "But I have to read student papers all day long. It's my job and the most agonizing part of it. Don't send me your essay -- especially if it's long. LONG!"

Older Yoga Guy: "I'm still going to send it."

Matron: "I won't read it. I will hit 'delete' the minute I see an email with an attachment. Unread."

Older Yoga Guy:" "I'm still going to send it to you. Are we done now?"

Matron: "I'm not going to read it you know."

Older Yoga Guy: "Yup I pretty much got that message. But I'm still going to send it anyway. You know. How about that new guy in the corner? Bets on how he'll do in toe stand?"

And she  realized -- with alarm and certainty - -that she did indeed find Her People in that little yoga studio.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Actual Conversation

The Matron's youngest child does not excel in school.   He does not enjoy Book nor is he deft with Number. Indeed, Merrick resents both Book and Number if they are presented to him in that horror box called School.  School is acceptable for its social elements, and great good friends continue to abound there.   Much fun.  But getting down to business?  For this boy, learning comes from and means the body.

When Merrick was three, he was outside tooling about with a basketball.   The across-the-street neighbor just so happened to be the city of golf pro -- yes, a PGA bona fide member.   This neighbor marched across the street and grabbed the ball from the three-year-old.

Bona Fide PGA:   "Mary.  Pick one sport.  I don't care which one but I pray it's golf.   Let him play only that one and get him a coach.  Do it now.   I've watched this kid all summer and he's a million dollar bet."

Matron:  "He's three."

PGA:  "That's right."

You see, Merrick has un-matchable hand-eye coordination.  Think yours is good?  His is better.   This means he is good at tennis, golf, baseball, yo-yo, basketball, shooting guns, archery, and drumming.    He is now extremely good at tennis and drums, as these are the two places he's settled.

Note:  you can live on tennis and drums (with a dog and a gun) without really requiring Book or Number.

The Matron wishes this were the beginning of one type of story, the one in wise (proud!) parents nurture their child's clear gifts, even at the expense of developing others -- the story in which the lucky child (so recognized, so adored) embraces said gifts with determination and joy.

This is not that story.

Matron:  "Merrick did you practice your drums today?"

Merrick:  "Do I have to to?"

Matron:  "Merrick, it is time for tennis."

Merrick:  "Can I skip?"

So the child that the drum teacher declared a genius at lesson two and who is sending 17 year old tennis players scuttling away in shame . . . doesn't care.   There is not one driven, competitive bone in that beautiful body.

And so it was perhaps no surprise that during the car ride home from school, this actual conversation transpired:
Merrick: "Number three on my bucket list is to be in an Amazon bidding war for an item on sale."

Me: "OMIGOD. That's horrible!"

Merrick: "Why?"

Me: "Because first 11 is way too young to have a bucket list and second because it's mortifying that a bidding war-- fighting while shopping -- would be on it.. . .. and what are numbers 1 and 2?"

Merrick: "I don't know yet. But if it will make you happy, I can guarantee they will be equally meaningless."

But he's happy!   The Matron just wishes that truly was all that matters. . . .