Sunday, February 27, 2011

It is as it is

To my great surprise, the Cowtown Marathon came right by my front door this morning. In fact, the halfway mark was about two houses down the block. I sat out on the front porch, still grimy with winter dirt, for almost an hour, drinking coffee and watching. Every runner checked his or her watch in passing that halfway point. Across the street several people gathered to clap for each runner, my neighbors were out on their porch, and someone played wonderful, soft acoustic guitar. Sort of surreal, but also nostalgic for me. It made me miss the days when my children were young and I had such different expectations for my life (not that it hasn't turned out wonderfully). But I said to myself as I went inside to read the paper, "It is as it is."
I learned that phrase from the mattress salesman at Sleep Experts a couple of days ago. He was a born salesman, personable times ten, and I couldn't really tell if he was giving me helpful information or I was being fed a pitch (probably a bit of both). But when he said my new mattress (a Dr. Breuss mattress, aka The Sleep Doctor) was guaranteed for twenty years and would last thirty with maintenace (an expensive waterproof protector that thank goodness is not plastic), I told him I doubted I'd need it in thirty years. He said, "Not to be morbid, but it is as it is." Later when he told me my new mattress would feel different than the ones Jeannie and I had been testing, he said, "Thousands of bodies have lain on our store mattresses. Sounds awful, but it is as it is." (Jeannie, fed up with the sales pitch, had wandered away, and I was impatient for him to just finish the sale.) I can't think of all the things that prompted it, but he said, "It is as it is" at least ten or twelve times before we fled to lunch. I am thinking of adapting it as my new favorite phrase.
I've been formatting my manuscript--talk about tedious. I never ever use Spellcheck, although I do sometimes look at their alternative suggestions. But the specific and helpful formatting instructions from Turquoise Morning Press say to run Spellcheck, and I'm a rule follower. Some of the changes it wanted were outrageous--violated verb-subject agreement, made for awkward sentences, etc. Granted, it caught some extra spaces and a few typos, but mostly it was a waste of time. Then I read that the formatting instructions, which I'd followed, should eliminate any need for the tab key. Checked my mss. and it is full of tabs, so I am having to go through line by line--I got four chapters done today and ran out of patience.
Speaking of rule followers, I called my #2 granddaughter yesterday to wish her happy birthday, and she said she was seven, which I thought was right. But on Facebook I found she really turned eight. Her mom explained that she said seven yesterday morning because she didn't officially turn eight until 3:20 p.m. Talk about a rule follower!
Ran out to Jordan's tonight for a glass of wine with them, a friend who's visiting, and a friend who's staying with them, all people I like a lot. Jacob greeted me with a shout, which gladdened my heart. Sitting on the patio chatting, I really wanted to stay for dinner because I was enjoying the company. But I hate driving home after dark. Daylight savings can't come too quickly for me.

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