Saturday, October 14, 2006

Irving, Texas
Austin, Texas

Right Weekend; Wrong Number

The Queen drove over for a visit this weekend, for which I am eternally grateful. I simply like to be around her, and her presence tends to have a very calming affect on my life too (particularly when things are ultra-crazy around here with the move and all). Plus, she brought the chocolate. These are the things that sisters do for each other. And, and, and she even helped me paint my bedroom! That girl is a keeper.

Later that evening, the phone rang. When I answered, I thought I recognized the voice to be Poetroad's dad. It was the same type of firm cowboy "Hello!" said in almost an accusatory sort of way as if to say, "You haven't called your dad in a long time, so I'm calling you." Also, it always sounds as if he is surprised that someone is actually answering the phone, and his tone lets us know that if someone is there to answer the phone, then his son should be using the phone to call his dad.

I thought Poetroad's dad owned that "Hello." He doesn't.

So after a few seconds of light hearted chit chat ("I wasn't sure if you would be back yet; glad you made it home okay..." - Okay, we weren't planning on going anywhere, and we weren't coming home from any place in particular, but you know how older people sometimes get a little confused...), the voice on the other end said lovingly, "Happy Birthday, Possum. You're thirty-four."

Now a normal person would have stopped that poor confused daddy right there and let him know that he indeed had the wrong number. No Possum lives here. But my heart melted. Someone's Daddy was calling her to tell her happy birthday. He loves his little Possum! I wanted to be her, and I pictured my dad on the other end of the phone. What if my daddy (who was sitting downstairs in my living room at the time - and this fact made the idea so *real* to me in the moment) accidentally called the wrong "Little Possum"? I didn't want to disappoint a daddy who was so thoughtful to call on his daughter's birthday.

"Oh, that's so sweet!" I replied. "Thank you!"

And then I hung up the phone.

I was thinking that this sweet daddy would simply assume he and his daughter accidentally got cut off, re-dial the "correct" number, and actually get in touch with the right "Possum."

But that wasn't my luck. The phone rang again. I frantically tried to explain to Poetroad what happened, and convinced him to let the voice mail pick up the call. Surely the voice mail message would clue in the caller that he had the wrong number.

It did not. The phone rang again. Like a scared sixteen year old pleading with her father to get rid of an unwanted suitor, I urged Poetroad to please, please, please answer the phone and gently set the man straight. Which Poetroad did. But it took some coaxing to convince the man that the "Jones Family" did not live here.

Poetroad said that I confused the poor man. I know I unintentionally did confuse him. Rats. But at least I didn't continue the conversation once I realized it was the wrong number. I easily could have.

Hopefully "Possum" knows how much she is loved by her daddy.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

"And I still make sense only at the fringes of my thinking."


It's good to have friends here and there.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Back to being mediocre

It's a long story, but after having a heated discussion with Poetroad last night, I have decided that I must accept the fact that I will have to be a mediocre teacher this semester. Even though it kills me a little to accept that reality, I know it is the wise decision and the right decision. A person that is trying to sort through a house, pack up the stuff, fix up the house in order to sell it - all the while taking care of her family (fixing meals, doing laundry, paying attention to the children) - cannot be all things to all people. As the old saying goes, "something's got to give."

And teaching is what will give for now. My sanity and my family are too important to me to put them aside.

Will my students even notice a difference? No. How can they miss what they don't even know to expect.

So I'm tucking my creative teaching ideas into my brain files, and I'll save them for a time when I have more time. For now, mediocrity rules!