Did you know that Halloween is the beginning of the Christmas season?
It’s not bad enough that kids don’t know when presidents were really born, or that all holidays do not all fall on a Monday. Soon we’ll tell ourselves it’s a good idea to celebrate Memorial Day in April to coincide with Spring Break.
And did you also know that the second week of October is the time to get your keyboards ready for a November challenge?
There are deadlines and then there are deadlines. You can get them from a boss, from a committee, from a friend or family. And there are those you can give to yourself.
The one I reject and have steadfastly ignored is Na-No. So without guilt or shame, I say no, no to Na-No.
Since I love the blog, I’ll use it to make excuses why I cannot and should not join in the Na-No challenge.
Speaking of blogs …
How on earth would I explain to my mother what I am up to this time?
“Listen to me young lady. I’d better not find out that blog is a nasty word or you’ll get it good.”
I can’t remember how many times I tried to tell her to relax and enjoy my special kind of organized chaos.
“I’ll give you chaos. Just wait until your father gets home.”
I never stop missing them. Between the Brooklyn docks and the town of Poughkeepsie on the Hudson River, I’ve met dozens of marvelous characters, fodder so rich, how could I avoid using them?
“And if you tell tales out of school I’ll wash your mouth with soap.”
Most of my funny non-fiction stories are about my mom. Because I had her around longer, because she was a more dominant force in my life, and because she was funnier.
Dad was like a summer rain storm. All day the weather is hot and sticky, the humidity so thick you can slice open a cloud and drink. Then in the late afternoon or early evening, the sky darkens, electricity crackles, thunder and lightning, rain pelts hot concrete and fast and furious the storm is here and gone.
My dad was like an afternoon thunder-storm, electricity, thunder and lightning, and fast and furious he was gone.
He was young. I was younger. We did not know or understand each other in time to make any sense of it.
But he loved a few things I loved.
He loved walking in the rain and music, cowboys and baseball, football and politics. He loved his adopted country, and more than anything or anyone, he loved my mother.
He loved swimming in the ocean and telling tales of the sea, and like his baby girl he loved to read.
Therefore, I could blame my family for not wanting to participate in Na-No. I could do it but the chemical ingredients in my genes prevents me from responding well to structure. Deadlines anyone?
Somewhere in that recipe of mixed Italian nuts who comprised my family there was a writer, a reader, a craftsman, a scholar … we had a fashion plate and a Tom Boy, a genius and one certifiable crazy person.
More than anything we had lethal injections of rebellion and since I wanted to be the biggest, the loudest and the most pronounced rebel of them all, I refuse to conform to someone else’s schedule.
My high school counselor did suggest I might want to go to a college with a theater program.
“Don’t be ridiculous. You need to make money. You can make jokes on your own time.”
Earning a living for instance …
Fate flounced her head of lovely red curls and college would be put on hold. We needed money and I was to find gainful employment.
For the purpose of this post, dead end means gainful employment and if by some chance, the employer of said dead-end job decided we should part company, I learned early to come home during rush hour.
No sense provoking her. “What? You got fired again?”
In the twelve years before I became a college freshman, I held down a myriad of clerical jobs, designed to drive nails into my brain at regular intervals. I was a group typist, a pool stenographer, and a secretary. I even rose to the ranks of Executive Secretary and Executive Assistant. It mattered not. I despised and held in contempt the lot of them.
I wasn’t exactly fired from all of them. Some I outgrew. Others became so boring I went to lunch and decided to scope out the twice year leather sale at Lord & Taylors instead of going back to work. I mean for real … it only happened twice a year.
That was having a job that brought in a paycheck you could slap down on the kitchen table, lest your parents put your bed in the backyard with the landlady’s bull dog.
It wasn’t that our parents were insensitive to our passionate desires to express ourselves as artists or musicians. Nor were they blind to our need to find our true calling.
They simply expected us to pay our way and no one pretty much bothered to ask if we loved our work. Work was to make money not have fun.
I was told I was lucky I would not have to wait tables with Flo or Flossie, die my hair carrot red and wear a huge hanky in my breast pocket fashioned like a flower in direct view of my low cut, tight uniform. Nor would I have to earn my tips by bumping my hip against a bald headed man with garlic breath.
I was blessed and lived a charmed life.
Between then and now, I found another passion. I was able to work my way through college, raise two kids, had a job I loved and then … well … then the kids grew up and mama was once more a free agent.
These days, my work history begins and ends with one wonderful word … RETIRED.
And to wrap up this disjointed rant … I will not participate in Na-No because I don’t want to.
How about you reader,
Do you need a push to get your juices flowing?
Have you ever participated in Na-No or will you this year?
fOIS In The City