I’m using this picture of my family from a camping trip in 1965 as my screen saver at work right now, trying to bring a smile to my very bored face. Improve my waning attitude. It’s fun to study, really, the picture. Check out my brother’s Chuck Taylor’s! Can you tell my sister is into Herman’s Hermits, with the saddle shoes, white turtle neck?–man, her hair is perfect! We’re in the woods, so how did she get that 60’s flip? Looks like my dad is wearing jeans; something I have no memory of, ever. I’m guessing there are two shooters here, because notice my parents looking to the side while we well-trained kids look at the camera straight ahead. I’m the little white glowing one. Casper.
For years my dad had this little neatly typed-out message taped to my parents’ home phone: “Smile! They can hear it in your voice.” I thought about putting that on my phone here at work a while ago, during a particularly Pollyanna moment, but knew I’d look at it and the smile would come out all wrong. I’d probably pick up the phone with a big monkey grimace and you could hear the sneer in my voice. Or an evil Grinchy grin that translates over the wire to “I’m here to make your life hell.” I did manage to pick up my proofing pen during a bout of anxiety and write RELAX! in bold red at the bottom of my phone list, but I messed up the X and it ended up being this sort of psychotic scrawl that kind of scared me instead of the intended relaxing, so I cut it off the paper.
I don’t know what’s wrong with my attitude lately. Maybe its the heavy political atmosphere. Heavy issues at home, too, with my son, with Joe’s job, with my big fat patootie. (The other day I was walking up some stairs and felt something on my hip–I turned to brush it off and found it was just more hip! How are you supposed to handle newly discovered snack products, like dill flavored potato chips, I ask you?! Tres magnifique!) And here I sit twiddling my Casper thumbs with my increasing secretarial spread (and we’re not talking a tasty schmear for the office get-together, here, honey!) in a state of limp-haired ennui. Trying to summon up a smile. I’m getting there.