Tuesday, 4 February 2014
Resistance always has meaning
Among other things, one of the Resident Fan Boy's aunts-by-marriage is slipping away. We received emails and texts over the weekend from her daughter, asking us to send her a "funny card". Aunt-by-Marriage used to send us sort of care packages at Christmas, filled with bolts of fabric, ties her husband didn't want, and clipped New Yorker cartoons, so I dropped by the local bookstore and picked out two New Yorker cartoon greeting cards and let the RFB choose. He filled it with an innocuous note of recent family doings, not wishing to scribble "Hello, auntie, we hear you're at death's door…."
Remembering how long it's likely to take a card to reach San Diego, I took it to the post office yesterday to see how quickly they could send it and for how much. The young man shook his head sympathetically. For fifty bucks, it could be there in a day; for twenty-five, three days. I opted for the latter, because despite the gravity of the situation, I couldn't countenance fifty dollars to send a greeting card. It isn't that funny.
It was only when I got home that I remembered that the Resident Fan Boy's dearly departed uncle would have had his birthday today and Aunt-by-Marriage could very well time her departure to coincide with this (it wouldn't be the first time, for either side of the family), so maybe I should have splurged.
The reason I remembered DDU's birthday is because we have a pile-up of birthdays on February 4th: one of my nephews, a distant cousin, and Demeter. For the past week, I've been trying to knuckle down and write a letter of acceptable length to enclose in her card. I know she would prefer that above any other gift. Somehow, I'm blocked.
There's a book on writing I've always loved entitled Writing on Both Sides of the Brain by Henriette Klauser. One of her banners is "Resistance Always Has Meaning". As I sat in the study this evening, chatting with Demeter by Skype (which may be why I lack subject matter for letters right there), and listening to younger daughter moan and groan her way through a homework assignment while the Accent Snob cowered behind my knees, I found myself wondering rather bleakly: "Meaning for whom?"
Poor Demeter. February is not the greatest month for a birthday. I wish I could have been in Victoria, taking her out to dinner, giving her a card, not having to write a letter….
Meanwhile, midnight is approaching and there's no word from San Diego. Maybe Aunt-by-Marriage will stay long enough to get her card. And decide that it definitely wasn't worth it.