Damn squirrel eatin’ my flower and makin’ me feel all crappy.

Today I glanced out my kitchen window and saw a squirrel standing on its hind legs with its arms wrapped tenderly around my jonquil – only he wasn’t wooing the flower, or even making out with the flower, he was eating the flower. My only friggin’ jonquil in that part of the garden was being mauled and consumed in broad daylight. I burst through the back door and scared him away with all manner of screeches, hisses and wild hand gestures – I think I get very Latina all of the sudden when I’m trying to shoo something. Perhaps it’s the years of watching my mother scream and fling herself out of the house to scare Mallard ducks out of our pool so they wouldn’t get too comfy and make it their home for the summer.

I probably would have done the same thing had there been a hundred jonquils in my garden, but the fact that there is ONE just makes it so much worse. First of all, we work hard for our spring here in these parts – March and April are a bitch and the first crumbs of spring we get are these bulbs that start to crop up against all odds. This one flower, probably because there is just one flower, becomes a symbol of spring, of warmth, of hope, of change, of new beginnings. And by eating it, the squirrel is basically saying,You don’t even get to enjoy this one measly thing to the natural end of its short measly life, peevish mama. (Actually, the squirrel is probably saying something more like, Come closer my crumpet, I wish to ravish you, so ravenous am I after this long winter with nothing but a handful of bitter acorns for sustenance. But you know what? This blog is about me. Screw the squirrel.)

And as quick as the flick of a furry tail disappearing through the fence, this one flower also becomes a symbol of my failings. Do you remember this post? Just in case you ever read this blog and feel like, wowee, she’s real neato and thoughtful and motivated, rest assured that I’m not. I’m a lazy slacker. If I had simply followed through with my impulse to plant more – what were my words? “bulbs of joy” (insert eye-roll here), then I guess I wouldn’t be in my current predicament of hating on myself and hating on a squirrel. It makes me ornery that I’m so lackadaisical about every thing. Why didn’t I just plant some more damn bulbs like I said I would? Where is my follow through? What was I doing with my time? Honestly, I don’t even know. I really shouldn’t be this lazy. I come from very motivated, conscientious, busy-bee stock. What’s my excuse? I have no excuse.

And lest you think I’m being too hard on myself over a flower, rest assured that this is just one example of many. Look at my car, look at my house, look at my baby books. It’s all going to hell in a hand basket. But don’t worry, I’ll manage to forget about all of this by tomorrow and be back to my free wheelin’ lazy-ass ways in no time flat. In fact, I’ve been wracking my brain trying to figure out how to turn this into a business – there must be a market for someone who can lounge around and shoot the shit, drink wine, listen to hip hop, over-analyze everything, peruse fashion magazines and make pretty good chili. Someone hire me! Quick!

I think this is all percolating because of an article I read in the New Yorker last night. First of all, let me pause for a moment. The New Yorker. The first magazine I subscribed to after college. The only magazine to which I’ve had a consistent subscription since then. The magazine that makes me feel smart and entertained at the same time. The magazine that I share with Doctor Dash. The mother of all magazines – for me – my best me. OK, so I open it up in bed last night and there’s a huge article about this blogger who goes by the name Pioneer Woman. I’ve been to her blog a handful of times over the last few years, but I had no idea she had reached the level of being worthy of an article in the New Yorker. Basically, she was a city slicker who fell in love with a cattle rancher and it changed the trajectory of her life.

She seems sweet and engaging enough, but also, suspiciously, like one of those people with extra arms and hours in the day. She home schools her kids, cooks all sorts of fancy cowboy food, takes gorgeous pictures of all of it, teaches photography, oversees monster additions to her home and ranch, decorates it all, grows a garden, writes cookbooks, writes memoirs, writes children’s books and writes a blog. All of it with a wink and a smile. Which is fine. Obviously this is really compelling to a lot of women. I think her story and lifestyle are what people would consider aspirational. To me it’s kind of demoralizing. She makes Martha Stewart look like she’s in my league, which leaves me looking like I’m barely more animated than that piece of stucco that chipped off our house over the winter that I walk by every day and haven’t picked up.

I think you, my readers, are better served by hearing about how much I DON’T get done. My laziness is not only my gift, it is my gift to you. Tomorrow you can vacuum your cars with the satisfaction of knowing that I won’t be vacuuming my car. Or my house. What can I say, besides . . . you’re welcome.

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