“Did you hear that,” my mom said to my dad while on the phone with me, “It’s the coldest day of the year there!”
“Um, no wait,” I said, backpedaling, “It’s not actually. It just feels like it.”
“Oh, it’s not?”
“No. It is really cold, though.”
I inherited both my flair for drama and my naïveté from my mom, so neither of us were surprised by this exchange.
She said on the first day of Spring, she heard the birds singing like they knew the weather was about to turn.
“Did you notice any differences in Boston?”
I thought about it. I did not.
My birthday back home was always somewhere around 60 degrees, maybe it rained, maybe it was perfect, maybe I wore some tights with my dress and maybe I didn’t. But there were flowers in bloom and birds sang and this is not part of my propensity to exaggerate.
After college I moved to Chicago, and after eight years there, I moved to Boston. I’ve worn a winter coat on my birthday for almost every year in each city. And every year I say, “This is not birthday weather.”
It’s amazing the indelible impression your childhood has on how you see the world.
I once went on an awful date with a guy who didn’t know what Muppets were, and even though these are two separate facts, the Muppets one mutually excludes any salvaging of the awful date.
Love of anything Muppet was imprinted early, and it is an essential part of me at this point.
Eavesdropping also started early, I think. Likely due to my bedroom and its location adjacent the living room, with the TV. Long after I was supposed to be sleeping, I would bend the metal blinds down at the corner of the French doors and watch whatever my parents were watching. At any pang of fear from getting caught, I would dive back into bed.
In hindsight, the diving was the risky part. I thought I was so sneaky, but the noise of me crashing into bed is apparently what gave me away.
The women getting pedicures at the nail salon while my toes dried today did not want me to hear their conversation.
Something about yoga and teaching, and then they saw me and dropped their voices low, which made me feel like I was eighth-grade me, sitting in this chair without any friends, picking candy out of the bowl because hey, free Baby Ruth.
Please don’t make fun of me, ladies with the diamond earrings and perfect hair.
I realized, though, as I got up to leave, they dropped their voices because I was wearing yoga pants and had my trendy gear with me, and likely their story had sensitive information that could only have been risky for them.
I can’t know for certain of course. I didn’t actually listen in. Mostly because I wasn’t interested; partly because I was fully engrossed in a video* of Cookie Monster eating “cookies throughout the decades.”
*I SWEAR THIS IS ACTUALLY WHAT I WAS DOING, and here is the link.