Tonight Annie and I watched Pleasantville together. Ashley and Tiger had no interest, although they came in toward the end.
"Why are some people in black and white and some in color?" asked Tiger, pouncing onto the mattress.
Hmmm. "Well, it's kind of hard to explain, but these two kids were sucked into their TV set, and..."
They were at the jail scene, where Bud is explaining to his Dad that people change, that Mom may not always be there to make dinner at five or bake cookies.
"This is way too slow," complained Ashley loudly. Annie was by this point fast asleep, mouth open, snoring loudly. "And I'm getting homesick."
I could see what was on her mind.
I think there are some parallels to be drawn between Pleasantville and the shades of colour in our life right now. It evokes thoughts and feelings about the fifties life that we led for so long, that slowly crumbled like a castle of sand against the shore.
(Memory of my sister, sitting at our kitchen table, only four years ago, with her girlfriend, and looking over at us smugly, as though we were in a freak show, as Josie served up supper and the kids chatted about their day. "See? And they do this EVERY NIGHT!"
Memory of earlier this evening, as the kids hung around chatting and eating McDonalds, as Frank the pilot calls from Dallas and we chat about the layover.
And sometimes I mourn what has come before, that I no longer live in Pleasantville.
And sometimes I catch flashes of color and the fog lifts and it just feels...okay.
I must say, I am altogether decisive lately. This is a new thing for me. "Get to the point, make a decision"--that's my model.
Like last night. I'm sitting at Josie's computer, trying to clean it up, and Annie comes walking down the stairs, which are covered with a clustron of naked Barbie dolls (clustron is the official term for a grouping of naked Barbie dolls, by the way) and pieces of Barbie hair, fresh from the scissors of Makeover Ashley. She's upset because she lost her Social Security Card, and may not be able to pick up a part time job singing Christmas Carols at some local holiday-themed cash mill.
"And I've been talking about it for three weeks, now," she complains, her eyes tearing up, " ...and now it's going to be too late and I won't be able to get it and I've been talking to Chris's Mom, but she says that.."
"Hold on," I said, patting her hand and grabbing a piece of paper. "Let's weigh out your options. I'm going to the eye doctor's at 9:30 tomorrow. We could go to the Social Security office at nine, if you'd like." I started to write this option down.
"But I have a history test I can't miss," she protested.
"Okay," and I placed a STOP! sign next to that option. "You could also ask Chris to drive you after school." Chris is her new boyfriend. I start to write down this option, too.
"He doesn't like driving out of North Eldredge," she protested.
"Okay," I said, and scribbled down an arrow, then a STOP! sign. "Third option. Your Mom said she'd take you Wednesday. She has to go herself."
"But that may be too late," she replied.
"But you don't know that it will be," I replied. "That's not a stop, it's a maybe."
"But they won't give me a brand new card," she said.
"No, but they will give you a form verifying your social security number," I said. "Still not a stop. Just a yellow light."
"But Chris's Mom is not sure they'll accept it."
"But she's not sure they won't," I said. "You haven't hit stop yet." I pushed the paper over to her. "That's your best option, from the sounds of it."
She couldn't argue.
It just seems that I have more instances like that than not lately. I do get irritable, I can't deny that. But I don't blow up. I say my peace and move on. And I've gotten awfully good at weighing the options.
What's coming over me? And also, why is it I'm getting warm fuzzies about this Frank thing? He calls at least once a day, and our conversations are just real comfortable. But at the same time, I talk to Jason a lot, too. I'm not about to pin myself down yet, because I do like the options I'm presented with.
Life would be perfect, if only I could just write more. At work, my writing is right on, but at night...well, I just haven't been finding that hour in the bedroom I so desperately crave.
I've decided I want a book of paintings by Goya. There's a passion there, a spark of life. A defiance. There's a painting called Flying Witches that I am particularly fascinated by.