Are you coming to the “If You’re Not Yet Like Me” book club NEXT Monday, April 18th?
If you are, you can pick up the book (If You’re Not Yet Like Me, by Edan Lepucki) at Vroman’s, Skylight, or Book Soup, or try rush ordering it from Amazon.com or Powells.com. (You should get this novella regardless. Trust me.)
Please let me know if you are coming or thinking about coming. Mama needs to make sure there’s enough artichoke spinach dip, stuffed mushrooms, and the like for everyone. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tonight, as my roommate was pulling aside some leaves to water her potted plant, her hand brushed against something small and feathery - a baby bird.
This little guy still has bits of down, but his feathers are coming in, and while he can’t fly per se, he has mastered the art of the flutter.
Touched by humans and alone in the night, we brought him in and fed him and I have christened him Gerald. As my roommate has two kitties that sleep with her in her room, Gerald has become my baby for the next night or two…only until he masters the art of flying.
He has a box with towels, but he prefers to be snuggled in a tiny towel and held in a warm hand. The box he tries to flutter out of, but my hand he closes his eyes and sleeps in.
I am a nail biter. A nail tearer, a ripper off-er, and picker at-er. When stress gnaws away at me inside, I transfer that energy outward by gnawing away at my nails. I absent-mindedly and anxiously play with the side of my nail until a little snag forms. Then I pick at the snag, lengthening the tear, until there’s no way a nail file could salvage the rip beginning to cut across my nail. And then, RIIIIIIP…off comes the white of my nail, leaving a jagged, uneven nub of nail bed on the end of my long, slender finger.
In times of great stress, I have stubby little nails. In times of greatest stress, they have been ripped below the quick, tender and bloody, a physical manifestation of the anxiety and mental duress I am operating under.
The day after Jim and I went on our first date, I gave myself a manicure. For the first time in a long time, my nails seemed healthy enough to hold up under a little polish. Their ends were smooth, and even starting to creep toward my fingertips. They looked absolutely glamorous and stunning under that hot pink nail polish. If nails could sing, I bet they would have burst out in a rendition of “Sunday Clothes” from Hello Dolly.
I have been maintaining my manicure since that day, filing my nails to prevent breakage and changing the polish out. Every week it’s a new color - “Black Diamond,” “Tulip Sparkle,” “Calypso Blue” (I love the names of nail polish colors). I am on my seventh different color. For seven weeks, the stress level in my life has been one low enough to allow my nails to stay intact. Or perhaps I have acquired better stress coping mechanisms. Or maybe, whatever stress there is in my life, it is significantly outweighed by the joys these past seven weeks.
As with most things in life, it is probably a little of each.