Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Summer Vacation and Other Fun Stuff

Yes, we have reached Summer Vacation Saturation Point. By "we" I mean ME. There comes a time when the petty bickering, the noise that seems to accompany boys everywhere they go (and the dirt and stink too), the enforced togetherness (as I'm currently a SAHM) wears thin and BINGO, without warning, I'm ready for everyone to go back to school Right Now, Thank You Very Much.

#1 Son's ROTC is going to have a fundraiser at a sub shop tomorrow evening, and Mr. Laura, BIL (Mr. Laura's brother who now lives with us) and the boys planned a fishing trip that had to be postponed one evening. I shot the flyer to Mr. to print, and he said "That's a great idea. We'll get subs, and go to the park to fish. You can sit on a bench and enjoy the outdoors." I countered, "Or, I could stay home and admire my silence." He then told me (via email) that I was in danger of becoming a hermit. Threatened to start calling me "Hermit the Mommie."

I replied that all I wanted was to be alone.

He suggested I walk the dog (why would I do that in the middle of the hot day?) or take a trip, or go to the spa (and while I think the spa would be fun)...I responded, "If I do those things, I STILL won't be alone. There are PEOPLE out there."

He reiterated his stance that I was in danger of becoming a hermit.

Not so, says I. In order to be a hermit, you must be ALONE. I am NOT alone. Ever.

He countered with the definition of hermit:

Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary(1984)

"hermit 1. One who has withdrawn from society and lives a solitary
existence: RECLUSE. 2. A spiced cookie with molasses, raisins, and

I countered with a definition of solitary:

sol·i·tar·y (sl-tr)
1. Existing, living, or going without others; alone: a solitary traveler. See Synonyms at alone.
2. Happening, done, or made alone: a solitary evening; solitary pursuits such as reading and sewing.
3. Remote from civilization; secluded: a solitary retreat.
4. Having no companions

He had no response to that. My bestie, Sherry attempted to incite a trip to Texas: "Come to meeeeeeeeeeee...visit meeeeeeeeeeeeeee." Which is totally tempting. I'd LOVE to go back to Texas and visit Sherry. We had such a great time when I went last year, we'd like to make it a yearly event, taking turns being the traveler. What's more fun than giddy text messages along the lines of, Me: "Guess where I am? You'll NEVER guess." Her: "Where?" Me: "The airport, getting ready to get on an airplane." Her: "Whyfore you gonna do that?" Me: "Because it seemed like a good idea at the time." Her: "Where you going?" Me: "Texas." Her: "What a coincidence, *I* live in Texas." Me: "You do? No way! Who knew? What are the odds?"

Pardon the digression. Yes, that is a conversation that really took place via text messages. Good times. It's great to be a middle aged woman who can still find her inner teenager...

So, back to the alone issue...It's a necessary thing, I've discovered, for many writers. We thrive on solitude and space, the luxury of being alone with our own thoughts, making the stories in our heads come alive computer. Like a battery that needs recharged, solitude and quiet are what recharges me. Mr. Laura doesn't seem to understand this. When I say, "I want to be alone," he hears, "I want to be alone without the children" and/or "I need to get out of the house." Two entirely different things, and he immediately suggests I "get out and do something." Hey, if I wanted to "get out and do something," I would. With this last conversation, I had to stipulate, "I want to be alone IN the house." I also told him I'm not hiding from society, how can I when society follows me to the bathroom (the dogs, sometimes I open the door and there's a kid standing there, too), to the grocery store, on other errands---everywhere I go, there are people: Society.

Now...if I could just figure out if he thinks I'm a spiced cookie or just plain nuts. I suspect the latter.


“Writing is a solitary occupation. Family, friends, and society are the natural enemies of the writer. He must be alone, uninterrupted, and slightly savage if he is to sustain and complete an undertaking.” ~Jessamyn West

"Writing fiction is a solitary occupation but not really a lonely one. The writer's head is mobbed with characters, images and language, making the creative process something like eavesdropping at a party for which you've had the fun of drawing up the guest list. Loneliness usually doesn't set in until the work is finished, and all the partygoers and their imagined universe have disappeared." ~Hilma Wolitzer


1 comment:

Angie the Hippo said...

Finally someone who Understands the problems with Not Being Able To Be Alone!
How am I supposed to hear the voices in my head when people are constantly talking and making noise around me? How can anyone write that way, without the wonderful occasional silence?
And as for being plain nuts... Well, is there any other way to be as a writer?