Accept the fluster*

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I am looking for my sunglasses. Again. I’ve been planning lessons – poetry broadsides for the 9s, I think, to emphasize the connection between word and image, but what will I do with the 10s? – and I’m not fully focused. I walk back into the kitchen and check the table. They still aren’t there. And they’re not on top of the shelves near the phone or next to the printer or even in the TV room near the lamp. They’re also not in the cubbies by the front door or on the stairs.

By now I have a blanket over my arm and a glass in my hand. I head upstairs to put the blanket in its bedroom and then downstairs to put the glass in the sink.

Four kids are already in the car. We’ve gathered our children and some neighbour kids and we’re heading to the Arboretum for a “romp.” This mostly involves tree climbing, but will also include looking for frogs, finding very large sticks and rolling down hills. Even though I will likely not do any of those things, I would like my sunglasses.

My husband has moved into the hallway, waiting patiently near the front door as I check the kitchen table one more time. After putting the glass in the sink, I’m here. The sunglasses are not by the refrigerator either.

He is nonjudgmental, my husband, whether because he understands my fluster or because he is used to it by now, I do not know. He usually helps me search for things for a minute or two, then moves to the hallway and eventually, quietly, into the car, leaving me to search for whatever I’m missing.

My sunglasses are not next to the refrigerator, but I do locate some sunglasses left over from my cousin’s wedding last fall. Or last spring? I should remember this. Let’s see… the baby is 7 months old… so….

These sunglasses are not the ones I’ve been looking for, but they are going to have to do. I pick them up and take a few steps toward the front of the house. I’d like to go meet that baby this summer. If I see my friend from college… when is that?… well, whenever it is, can we then get down to see my cousin’s baby? And when is Beth visiting? I should probably send her a link to “things to do in…”

I hear the door close. My husband has moved out of the front hall and into the car. I spot another pair of sunglasses – where were they hiding the last time I looked here? – on the bookshelf, but still not the right ones. Why do I suddenly have so many pairs of sunglasses? When did this happen? Nevermind. I have the wedding sunglasses. Good enough.

I move toward the front door, nearly stopping to pick up some nerf darts – no! I move on. I am thinking about the lessons for my 10th grade class. Again. Is the work actually “applied” or am I fooling myself? I grab my keys from the hook we installed so I can easily find them. I put on the sunglasses and head out the door.

(In case you are wondering, my sunglasses were on the shelves over the TV. I found them at 9:30 pm. While I was doing something else.)

*the title is taken from Elizabeth Bishop’s poem One Art

13 thoughts on “Accept the fluster*

  1. This is so me in those days of parenting. It’s called “Abstract Random”. I once learned by taking a personality test in graduate school. I took the same test 10 years later and I had moved to a more sequential life. Either out of necessity or from being married to one. Nevertheless, I loved reading this post because I can relate. I’ve looked all over for my glasses before realizing they were on my head all the time. Have you ever looked for your phone while you were talking on it?

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  2. “Why do I suddenly have so many pairs of sunglasses? When did this happen? ” I had to chuckle out loud at this, no kidding. I am so here for this very real portrayal of life in progress. Wonderful that you have a husband who can be nonjudgmental and calm. Thank you for taking us along through your inner ramblings and outward problem-solving. May you always find more sunglasses than you actually need.

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  3. What a fun post! I am actually missing my real glasses – the ones I need to see with! It’s been like a week and I have been wearing a back up pair! I can totally relate to your slice today!

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  4. This is so great, Amanda. Perhaps I enjoyed it so much because I’ve been there too many times myself. The crafting is superb… the rhythm, the repetition, the connecting of unconnected things… all so much the part of a hunt for a misplaced item.

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