Last night I had ice cream for dinner and a glass of wine with Hemingway for dessert. The shed reeks of onions, and so did I. My neighbors asked how the farm was going. “Just harvested the onions,” I said. “So that’s what those are,” they pointed to the shed, doors open, rope strung back and forth across the ceiling. “What do you do with them all?” They asked. “Eat them,” I said.
I accidentally pulled up a carrot when I was weeding so I stuck it in my back pocket. I found it a few hours later, sweet and smelling of dirt. I wiped it off on my jean shorts and ate it. My converse are filthy, but warm from drying on the bluestone. It finally feels like summer, and I feel like my childhood’s idea of my best summer-self: dirty, alively-sore, and living off of random veg that I graze from the gardens while I work. Plus wine. And ice cream. I am an adult! This is what adults can do! Sometimes it does make up for the rest of it all.
Last night (after the ice cream and before I passed out watching Olympic track and field semi-finals at 9:30 pm) I took a bath(!) This exclamation point is partially because sometimes it seems like there’s not enough time to bathe in our household. (Once, a friend, commenting on how fresh-pressed and clean we looked, said “Must be the once-a-week-hose-down at the Krans-O’Connor house.” Eric and I reference the once-a-week-hose-down all the time now. Like, once a week). But the main reason for my giddiness about bathing is that we’ve had this 500 pound claw foot tub in our garage for 8 years, and finally, FINALLY we got a plumber to come install it. But even more of a shocker is that I actually used it. Not because of my less than average-American cleanliness -I do shower more than once a week incase you were growing concerned. I make soap for a living and I like to use it. More-so because I am not one for self-kindness, and I am not bragging about this because I find it to be quite a dreadful trait of mine.
When we lived in Thailand, massages cost something like $3. Did I get one? Never. Not a single one, though it was something I dreamed of often. Most self-pampering makes me uncomfortable. I’ve gotten a professional massage once in my life and that was only because it was in exchange for playing music. That sounds really creepy, but I assure you, it was legit. It changed my life, that massage. But did I get another? No. Of course not. Manicure? I’m not a manicure kind of gal. I usually go with the natural dirt look. Pedicure? Only if you count those guppies I let chew dead skin off my feet that one time in the swimming hole behind our house. If you think that’s gross…it is. But it’s also wonderful. And illegal (to employ professional guppies in pedi-parlors). The last time I got my hair cut was at least 15 years ago. Fortunate for me I own a pair of scissors. Vacation? Shmacation.
Sometimes I think in a past life I was a 90 year old farmer who not only survived the Great Depression, but continued to live like it was still the Great Depression FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIFE.
“Who needs a new bucket when I can patch this old one?”
“I know these clippers make my hands bleed but I’ll just wrap them in the 1930’s equivalent of duct-tape.”
It’s like Eric’s grandmother who saved every package of Saltine crackers they gave her at EVERY SINGLE MEAL at the nursing home, JUST IN CASE. Eventually she realized she had more Saltine crackers than she probably had years left to live so she started giving them to us each time we came to visit her “Just in case you’re hungry.” What a gal she was. When you’re busy stocking up on a life-time supply of free crackers and patching the hole in your bucket (again) who has time to SIT in a BATH and RELAX and feel GOOD? It’s just awful this self-imposed austerity. Resilience and determination and spitfire are good and all, but so is sanity. I earned this bath, and it was the best thing EVER. (I’m trying to RELAX…. “I’m a people person god-dammit. I AM GOOD AT DEALING WITH PEOPLE!”)
Truth be told, I didn’t think I liked baths. But the last time I took one was when I was a child. When bathing meant having to come inside and wash off the dirt, it meant having to climb down from the tree, it meant, essentially, having to wash the freedom off of you. Fortunate for me I get to play in the dirt everyday now. And turns out, I like baths. Especially sweaty summer time baths -which up until now are all I’ve had, since, I’ve only had one bath and it was yesterday, but you have to start somewhere. Relax. And start somewhere. (Even if THE ENTIRE TIME all you keep thinking about is Tom Hanks standing over the spot where the tub used to be, LAUGHING).