|Nice Google home screen art for the Year of the Monkey.|
So therefore, allow me to talk briefly about who I'd like to be:
- Tara and Mitch. Those are code names for the young, glamorous couple who throw the Lunar New Year party every year. They are very nice. They are smart and fit. [I know Tara from boot camp.] They have a beautiful home. Tara has skinny black suede boots and a modern haircut. Mitch is a wunderkind, a surgeon. They have three lovely girls, Punchy's age and younger. They have hip dance soundtracks and red lanterns and the most delicious, ample spread of Chinese food: platters heaped with dumplings, noodles, chicken, scallion pancakes. And a themed, carved ice luge every year! Someone stands at the top and pours down a small river of liqueur, say Patrón XO Cafe, and one or two people stand poised at the bottom to drink it. This is the Year of the Monkey, so the luge had a monkey design. [H. luged, but I was shy to try this year.] Their life just seems so organized and so neat. Oh, dear God, let H. and me be one ounce Tara and Mitch. I know we are all-out Alice and Dan, and that's its own brand of authentic, but still....
- Jean. This is my friend who lives two doors away, the mom who has six children, the youngest of whom was Figgy's playmate for a long time. [They just got together a little over Christmas break, too.] Jean has a heart of gold and the patience of a saint. She holds the wisdom of the ages and is as calm as a cloud on a blue-sky day. She works at a popular nursery school in town, and often makes soft, pretty play clay in her kitchen to bring in for the children. She invited Punchy over to help her, plus have dinner, plus go to church with her for ashes this Wednesday, the start of Lent. I am so grateful.
- Almost anyone else at this moment in time. That's how frustrated and cranky I am. What can I say, except thank you for catching this ball of angst. Now throw it away like a hot potato.
- Homemade chili, with lots of sweet onion, peppers and whole tomatoes, over brown rice.
- Ice water.