Tuesday, February 13, 2007

the art of bitterness

I never was much of a fan of potent bitterness, in chocolate or elsewhere. I applauded this month's Gourmet Magazine's review of the much underrated milk chocolate. Smooth and easy to get along with. Like days without enmity or grudges.

Not that there aren't moments out there to be savored with ...true loathing and disgust. It's much like your attitude toward the weather: you go out on what is supposed to be a decent day and it’s cold as anything. The skies are dimly gray, the snow hasn’t the appeal it once did, man, it is freezing out there! Madison, how could you?

But wait a few weeks and it's April in Madison and you don’t even care that you’re not in Paris, and it’s that perfect! To me, right then and there -- all is forgotten. I love a place, a person, a book by its last page. I mean, you’re not going to hold labor against your child, are you? Especially when they're telling you you're their dream mommy and thanks so much for the yummy cake?

I find it bewildering that so many out there do not share this perspective and so I’m pushing it here, on Ocean, with the hope that it’ll catch on.

Maybe it will be the one positive legacy of a friendship gone awry. Say, what? Do tell!

OK. I was sitting at a table today sketching plans for a busy summer and even busier ones (not travel-wise!) in years ahead and I ended with a question to the friend opposite me. Input? I asked.

Can’t be done, friend said. Don't you remember what happened the last time we talked about plans and prospects? And the time before? Nah-ah, won't go there.

The List, I was hearing The List. Of times when I had responded emphatically, of times when I had laughed, cried and sulked at reactions to my sketchy plans and quickly, sometimes way way too quickly spun out ideas. And such a list it was! Like labor revisited over and over, a list of words spoken, of attitudes put forth, list with an s, lists -- until I could listen no more.

And I thought to myself – wow. Even my own list of knocks and jabs conferred by my very own highly vocal mother is shorter. And it would be wiped clean if only she told me once that she actually liked me just fine, that this was just her way of making life fun for the both of us.

And so I have to wonder: why would anyone create lists? Why would you not look to the last best day and hold that as a model? Why do good marriages end, why do good friendships shut down, why?

As for Madison’s weather – I’m sure it’ll be spring someday. Right now, it is not.

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