Monday, June 25, 2012

Rules for Guests at Seminole Lodge

During my recent trip to Ft. Lauderdale, we went to Edison's Summer Home - great tour and property! Anyway, my sister Amy and I were much taken by the "Rules for Guests" they had posted, written by Edison's daughter, Madeleine.

Rules for Guests at Seminole Lodge
  • Don't cabbage unto yourself all the fish poles. This has been done by guests thereby incurring the grave disapproval of the entire family.
  • Don't kill the black snakes under the porch. They are there for a purpose.
  • If you don't think Seminole Lodge is the loveliest spot you ever wore your rubbers in - don't let on to Father.
  • Don't fail to return to your room during part of each day - so that the family may squabble without embarrassment.
  • Don't stop Madeleine if you see her start violently anywhere alone. She's only trying to work out her disposition.
  • Don't capsize in the sailboat if you can help it. Remember there isn't any man to rescue you in 750 miles. And besides there are the sharks.
  • Don't ask us anything about Palm Beach. We don't want to know.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Feeling Bitter, How About You?

I don't want to be married. Not now, anyway. But the inconveniences of spinsterhood are becoming more noticeable as I get older. I think my primary reasons at present for possibly acquiring a husband are 1) having someone to vacation and dine with, 2) having someone else bring the heavy stuff up from the car for a change, and 3) not having to be one of the handful of women in my church and social circle who have no anniversaries or birth announcements to make on Facebook.

Tired, tired, tired of it all, I say! I'm getting more and more cranky with every wedding program that I make at my church; the 20-somethings getting married with so much optimism and joy, and knowing that by the time they are my age they will be almost done with producing and raising their children and preparing to send them to college... and I will not even have begun the process at all!

What's even worse is doing the wedding programs for kids that I USED TO BABYSIT. Just mortifying. Can you imagine?!

Sorry, it's a 5% kind of week. I have accompanied my sister and her family to the beach, and am awkward in the energy and flow of a family with several kids. I have little patience, and have patently become the kind of spinster aunt I never thought possible - I scold the kids for ordinary bickering, and make them make their beds (or do it myself when they don't move fast enough for my liking!), and wipe up the smallest of messes because it sets my teeth on edge to see bits of food scattered on a table, just waiting to be smeared on a careless sleeve.

I guess I should be looking forward to the day when I am old enough that people stop asking me if I am married or have kids; they'll just assume it because I look Mom-ish and move on to more interesting topics. When the steadily burning and shortening fuse to the menopause bomb has finally exploded, and I don't have the tantalizing possibility of pregnancy and children hanging over me. The loss of expectations will make life easier.

I do not hope for what I cannot have!
I do not cling to things I cannot keep!
The more you cling to things, the more you love them,
The more the pain you suffer when they're taken from you...
Ah, but if you have no expectations,
You can never have a disappointment.

Easy to get a trifle weepy over it all... but if I draw back and look at the life I lead; the satisfaction in my work, the freedom to come and go as I please... I don't miss marriage and children at all. And it would be stupid and unfair to expect people to be silent about their spouses and children just to spare me! 95% of the time I am happy as I am. This is no small thing! I do prize my independence, Married Folk; I assure you that I am enjoying it enough for BOTH of us. ;)