Squish got in the car all excited today.
"Hey, mom--we finally had social studies! We're going to learn about colonialism!"
I was surprised. "You mean they're going to teach about how European interlopers pretty much displaced the indigenous people of four different continents, raped the land of the resources and brutalized the natives in an attempt to make populating the countryside easier?"
"No..." she said with a chin wobble. "That's horrible. We were just going to learn about the Pilgrims."
Oh. "Well, uh, you know. Learn about the Pilgrims now. The, uh, other stuff will come later."
"Did we really do that?"
"Well, our ancestors didn't get to the country until it was already done, if that helps. And we've got a little bit of Navajo ancestry because that's why half of us don't burn in the sun."
A little bit of tension seeped out of her. "Oh Thank God."
So, there you go. Manufacturing cynicism and disillusionment in my youngest. Well done!
* * *
Every day, before I leave to get Squish and Zoomboy, I make sure I have a full cup of ice water with me. The first thing that Squish does when she gets in the car is say, "I'm thirsty." (Well, after "We're going to learn about colonialism!" that is.)
Tonight, as I was getting T from the bus stop he said, "Gee mom, I'm thirst--"
Without even thinking about it, I thrust my glass of ice water at him.
Don't even ask me how I knew.
* * *
I've totally had it with tertiary characters and their names. I'm going to like pull five names from a hat-- Mike, Mack, Mark, Gus, and Rufus-- those will by my GHUYYYYSSSS. Their one function will be to move the story along without actually having personalities, and I'm going to make them hideously unattractive so nobody will once say, "But what about Gus? I know he's 45 with a potbelly and no hair, and he has three ex-wives and a hideous toe-fungus problem, but I think he deserves gay love too!" And they will be suspiciously without personality. And I'm going to make them the construction crew, office crew, group of classroom buddies in every novel. I shall interchange them like shirt and skirt sets when I'm going out for dinner. "In this book, we'll use Mike and Mack, but this one's going to have Gus and Rufus!" I'll pull them out of a box like those paper dolls we used to play with and dress them with backstories and paste them into the background so my two MC's can get together with considerably less dialog and have oodles and oodles of sex.
Okay. I can't do that. You all know that. I'm as interested in the tertiary characters as I am in the secondary and primary characters.
But the names, people. You gotta admit--the name thing might be getting a wee bit dire.
* * *
I had dinner with my sister tonight--and she was funny and interesting and we laughed a lot. Yes, I know, you might not have heard me talk about my sister (stepsister) but I do love her, and I hope we chat a lot more in the future. Tonight was part of a concerted effort to get out and be more social.
She was awesome. I approve.
And one of the first things we agreed upon as we sat together was the sacrosanct nature of the nap. We both grew up with parents who worked nights and/or swing shift, and the rule was there needed to be blood or fire before we disturbed a sleeping parent. And only a little blood didn't count. We had to be bleeding out our eyeballs and one other orifice, or there needed to be a limb that was mangled or otherwise unaccounted for.
But my stepmom called me up during my nap today--and remember, my nap is structured into my day, like real sleep, so if I want to get anywhere near 7 1/2 hours a day, the nap needs to be inviolate--and immediately advised me to go for a walk so I didn't need my nap.
I womanfully refrained from pointing out that the dogs and I had already done our mile and a half, thank you, and we continued our conversation.
And my sister and I both agreed that we needed to cry foul. We were raised on the nap, we believed in the sacredness of the in-day nap, and we were going to keep the faith.
Of course, that was easier said than done when we were awakened from our nap and not as coherent as we might be...
Ah, there's always a catch.