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 Texas : Features : Columns : "The Girl Detective's Theory of Everything"
Too Thrilling
by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
Darlings, I really couldnít be more thrilled! Jetting off, you know, for New York in just a couple of weeks for the 2005 edition of Parkerfest, honoring the author, poet and wit Dorothy Parker. Really, it couldnít be more divine, though how I shall get everything here settled first is absolutely beyond me and really, when I think about it I could absolutely yip!

I have never left my family at home and gone off on a trip with a kindred spirit, but I am doing it this time. I begged Mike to come but he said it wasnít his cup of tea and to go on if I wanted to and have fun. So I am.

I think it surprised him a little when I went ahead with my plans rather than demurring and deciding to stay safely at home with him. He seemed a little surprised anyway. Now he is just ready for me to go and is sick of me going about striking languid poses and trying to sound like a 1930's movie star. Really he can be too exasperating! Why just the other day he said, "Lissen shweethaht, can you put your lips together like this?" he demonstrated. I thought I knew the next line, but I was wrong. He didnít want me to whistle. He just wanted my lips to stay together just like that, just for a while. Really! He couldnít have been more unkind! Too infuriating!

I know that my family will be fine without me and I am not worried about them at all. In fact, I wouldnít be too surprised if it actually takes a couple of days for my absence to be felt. I understand this and expect it and it will not hurt my feelings. They might first notice that I am gone when they run out of fruit, or maybe bread. When their Dad shops for groceries he always remembers milk Ė remembers it so well and so consistently that we very frequently have two or three gallons in the fridge at a time. With two growing boys in the house, and lots of others in and out, this is never a problem and we always use it up before it spoils. But I am the more conscientious fruit buyer, so that might be when they notice I am gone.

Or they might notice that I am gone the second or third time they oversleep and are late for school. Their Dad leaves for work at 6:30 and he always hollers at them when he leaves. I leave for work at 6:20 and I always try to call them around seven and make sure that they are up and about. They are usually not. When I am home in the morning of course I wake them up in plenty of time and make sure they have a nice wholesome dose of snap, crackle and pop under their belts before they set out to face the world. Just one of the motherly touches I try to remember, to make their childhood days as lovely as can be. And when I am off I make it an absolute point to be awake and out of my jammies when they get home. Really, it is too hard being a mother, but I donít think you can do too much for the little fellows while they are young.

My girls are not sorry that I am going. They are not home anymore to miss my actual presence, though it is possible they will miss my phone calls asking what they ate, if they ate, what time they went to bed, whether they are keeping up with their studies, what nice boys have they met, are they doing their laundry? All those things I have to ask them so that they will know that I love them and worry about them. No, they are not bothered about the thought of me traveling so far from home. They know that there will be shopping involved and plenty of it and that they will reap the benefit of much of it. They are pragmatic. They like cashmere and earrings and posters and they know I know it.

The days are long gone when a trip out of town for several days might have been seen by my family as a disaster. No, no disaster here. This may be my first trip away from home without them, but assuming that they survive the trauma alright, it will not be my last. Darlings.
© Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
"The Girl Detective's Theory of Everything" - October 15, 2005 Column
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