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July 8, 2008

So curious

This little window into my life is like voyeurism and the reverse is true too: I am infinitely curious about your lives. I love reading the comments because it tells me a little story sometimes about people, how they perceive a thing or read into something and I can't help but wonder what lives you're living, how your day is, your commute, what you have for dinner.

My days are compact, tightly compressed little blocks on the calendar. During the workweek, I have about one hour and forty minutes per day that isn't dedicated to working, writing, working some more, commuting or getting ready and prepared for work and commuting, plus the daily stuff like cleaning the catbox and sleeping and laundry and general to-do list stuff.

One hour and forty minutes a day of "free" time just isn't much. But then one day I'll post a picture of a zucchini and thirty-six people will say, "Go pick the flowers RIGHT NOW! And wash them, stuff them with a ricotta cheese/goat cheese/some kinda cheese! Then carefully batter them in a light coating and deep fry them!!" And I read this stuff with so much curiosity -- it is totally fascinating to me -- do people really have lives that allow them such a luxury of free time to go outside in daylight and pick a flower and do all that prep and make a whole batter and deep fry something (other than okra! love my okra!) just for dinner? Sometimes the finest dinner I have the energy to prepare is a bowl of cheerios. I like microwaved popcorn, too, goes well with a nice pinot grigio. Anything more expansive means more prep time and cook time and dishes to wash -- no dishwasher -- and dishes to dry and put away and poof! Just like that my one hour and forty minutes of leisure time for that day is whittled down to fifteen minutes. If I'm lucky.

I've (mostly) accepted that my lifestyle is this way at this time, mostly, but I want to know about those other lives, this fantasy way of living where someone makes such an elaborate dinner on a Tuesday night. It seems like such a luxury of time! An abundance of living! Does it exist? Do you all really do that?

One day last week I had to drive into work and traffic was just crawling, inching along. I was listening to the radio and trying to put it all into perspective. I'm a nerd, so my perspective comes from statistics: The San Fernando Valley alone has a population of 1,996,347, which is greater than that of Boston (590,763) or San Francisco (764,976). That would mean driving from my home to my job in downtown (population 82,654) is like driving through three Bostons or maybe two Bostons and one Washington D.C. (588,292). The combined statistical population of the Los Angeles metro region is 17,775,984 ... so that means my boss who lives in the Inland Empire takes a metro train through possibly two Bostons and a Philadelphia plus a little bit of Chicago. This is what I tell myself as I watch the world crawl by. We tell ourselves a lot of things to make it all seem relative, or necessary or calm. Or useful ... or sane.

And I want to know about your workplaces which are obviously way different than my own. I want to know all about the nice gal who gave me the advice one time to "bring my knitting to a meeting at work." I am DYING to know where she works, what the boss is like, what staff meetings and annual reports and pie charts are like there. Do they have a dress code? Do they take work home? I spent last Saturday morning watching "The Deadliest Catch" while compiling the monthly analytics on my laptop on the coffee table and trying to keep the cats off my data printouts. Our dress code prohibits things as risque as open-toed heels for women. So bringing knitting to a meeting would be the career equivalent of stripping naked in the Executive Committee! Even at the less rigorously corporate places I've worked I could never bring knitting into a meeting, meetings are for meeting and working. So I have such a curiosity about where folks work and what their days are like.

And I want to know where you live, making those meals and living so easy that you knit all day! I want to know where you live so I can come to your house for dinner because the cook at my house is serving Cheerios again for dinner. Cheerios and a banana. She is really quite the gourmet.

Posted by laurie at July 8, 2008 3:33 PM