Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen

Where the brain is.

I take great comfort in small domestic competencies: in knowing just the right amount of rosemary to cut for the rosemary buns, in getting a salad made just when it's time to pull a hotdish from the oven, in sweeping the floor quickly and thoroughly while talking on the phone to my mother, in the feel of my great-aunt's old wooden rolling pin in my hands, perfectly weighted. Something in the back of my brain says, "Well, there! So that's something right, then."

Today I broke the last of the mixing bowls a pair of my family friends gave us for a wedding present. They were heavy ceramic and fit our hands nicely, and they had bright pictures of fruit on them. We hadn't asked for them, but they were just the right thing. I thought of Jan and Kay every time I used them. Now I will think of them when I use mixing bowls they didn't give me. My brain is like that.

My bagger was back at Byerly's. I hadn't seen him in about six weeks. I was acquiring a backup bagger -- a teenager this time, a kid who is more or less the poster child for Why Norwegians Look Bad In Dreds, but there was one night when I was in the store late and saw an interaction between him and the manager that made me think that he was a Good Kid, and his behavior since has just reinforced it. He has mastered the difference between protective and presumptuous; people twice his age struggle with that one.

I, apparently, am a Good Kid, too; at least, I get told so about every other time I go to Byerly's. I expect that one of these days I will be a Nice Lady at the grocery store rather than a Good Kid, and I rather look forward to that; but I expect that day won't come as long as Paul is back to bagging my groceries, and I'm all right with that. Paul looks tired. We are concerned for each other, Paul and me. Also we approve of each other. This is good. I can keep my backup bagger (I think he's Sean), but it's nice that Paul is back, even when I worry him and worry for him.

Sometimes I wonder what horrible jerks other people are running into, that they keep telling me what a great person I am (in Good Kid format or whatever) for indicating that someone was ahead of me in line or behavior on that moral level. I don't want a gold star just for the moral equivalent of attendance here. On the other hand, the older I get, the more I think I was really underestimating the value of showing up and giving a damn, when I was a teenager. I used to think it was no big deal, but I'm beginning to see how it can be.

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