Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Benefits of Being Single (or how I cleared $100 on Valentine's Weekend)

I have a good friend who likes to call Valentine's "Singles Awareness Day". That's right, it spells out SAD. Yet with a trip to Europe in the not too distant horizon, I have been a money making and a money saving machine lately. I even opened a fail proof savings account in my room called an envelope with "Europe" written on it in marker.

So I wasn't actually sad this Valentine's because my weekend went like this:

Friday: Babysit for 7 year old Reid whose parents are professors at the university. After 45 minutes of playing Mastermind and Pony-opoly, Reid brushed her teeth (standing on the toilet to be tall) and went to bed. This left me to two hours of drinking tea, reading a book and watching 20/20. Ahh Bliss!

Saturday AM: Brunch with said good friend followed by "He's just not that into you." Actually a pretty good girlie movie. I fell in love with Ben Affleck all over again. Then, possibly the highlight of my weekend, I found a fabulous dress on sale. What Valentine could beat that?

Saturday Evening: Babysit for family #1. Baby is good until I wake him up to feed him some nasty smelling formula, but couple comes home and is happy they got away from the nasty formula for awhile. I get my money with a bonus for a side project and head to...

Saturday Night: Couple #2 who are seeing a movie. Kid is already sleeping leaving me to read, watch Sleepless in Seattle and raid the pantry. More bliss! Only downside is that too many scary movies have made me afraid of little kids whispering to themselves. So I was a little freaked out when the kid woke up and started talking in weird voices, especially in an old Princeton house. I was able to get him back to sleep though and was very glad he didn't say something like, "I'm talking to my friend, Joe, who is wearing a Revolutionary War uniform and is missing a leg."

Who needs flowers and chocolates when you have cute kids and cold, hard cash?

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I've been thinking lately about the word, "strike" and its multiplicity of meanings. For instance:

You don't want a member of your union that's on strike to strike someone with their picket sign because it would strike a member of the press as something that he or she would not want to strike from the record.

Today they said on the news that the "Miracle on Hudson" was caused by a bird strike. It leads one to imagine a group of dastardly French Canadian geese with mustaches and accents plotting a suicide mission to take down a plane. Meanwhile the people on the ground are saying, "How dare they! How dare they fly and fly together and fly where our planes need to go?"

No matter what the use of the word, it seems to be something that comes out of nowhere, something that is unexpected and often painful. Then, the question becomes how we recover from the strike, how we pick ourselves up and continue.

This week I'm trying to recover from a strike that struck me and left me without words for some time and with a lingering sense of doubt. Luckily, with some edification from friends, the talking it through seems to have repaired the strikewound. Hopefully, I can also get better at dodging the birds before they're in the engine!