Tuesday, March 23, 2004

More than I need

Of the nearly four dozen sunflowers I planted two weeks ago, every goddamn one came up and turned into a seedling. This means I have nearly 48 sunflower plants, each well over four inches tall, all of whom would like the chance to grow between six and ten feet tall. It seems to be the same with every plant I touch lately. I have marigolds and catnip coming out my ears, and then the neighbor gave me a bunch of ferns. The only plant untouched by my radioactive green thumb are my dill seeds. Only three plants resulted from that pack.

So if you want a giant sunflower, let me know. Currently I'm trying to kill the buggers by transplanting them to spots in the yard where they are wildly unlikely to grow. And yet the buggers keep thriving. They're more than I need, but I suppose the birds and squirrels will come to love me in a few months.

Spring is in high gear here. There are flowers everywhere in the park and my neighborhood, the cat is shedding like a goddamn deamon, and The Republican and took some time to cast eyes at each other last week. We had dinner at the local pub, walked through the warm night and ate ice cream, and I revealed my mad pinball skills to him. I tried to get him to play but he said he'd rather just watch me. Later we sat on my back porch and argued weather the one celestial light to be seen above us was a satellite, star, or planet. Then we kissed a rather lot.

I also got the run-arounds and hung out with Underdown and Dust a bit. Underdown and I had so much to say that even as we left each other she was walking backward talking as she got into her car. We don't see each other enough. I'm happy that we have both a camping trip and a working visit planned in May. Dust and I were out of phase with one another, talking about the same thing on different planes. Which is OK sometimes - sometimes you just need to see your friends, and weather or not you do anything consequential isn't important. Sometimes you just have to be near them for a bit, to get your head back around who you are in relation to them again.

As Spring comes on I find I am resentful as ever at having to dress up for work. I visited Underdown at her workplace, and there she was in this fabulous archive, hoodie and jeans, fraying braid, absolutely comfortable. At the office where I work now they're very concerned with image, and so even though we are librarians and archivists we must adhere to an arcane dress code which isn't written down but relies solely on the opinion of each department's supervisor. My supervisor wants me ironed, has deep-sixed combat boots, and will comment on anything from hemlines on pants to dress socks. I am very pliable on all her suggestions, as I'd like to keep my job, but I draw the line at dress socks. All my socks are white, so they match each other. I used to actually pair up all my socks in the drawer after I washed them until someone pointed out to me that matching up white socks was a pointless endeavor. Since then I have quite happily chucked them all in a drawer and pulled out socks as needed, always confident that they match. Not that it mattered since I wore combat boots all the time, but knowing the socks matched was something. Until I met Kati, who, as far as I know, has never worn matched socks in her life and continues to be a successful professional woman.

Dressing up just seems so unnecessary to me. No one becomes a librarian or archivist for the pay, or for the stunning fashion. In fact, a major draw to the field was people's lack of concern for appearance. The best librarian at the top of his field that I have ever known wore a blue denim workshirt nearly every day. When we had tours come through, he'd bother to wear a tie. Sometimes. This was quite inspiring to me, and I always hoped I'd one day have his ease in the profession, his confidence in what he does. But alas, all good things come to an end, and I now get fashion lectures despite the fact that most women in our field have never ironed a skirt in their life.

The horn-rimmed glasses, the comfortable shoes, the slightly stained blouse - yes, I'd love to be a typical archivist sometimes. Dress clothes are just more than I need in my life. I have too much of everything suddenly right now, and I'm still learning how to handle it. I do love my job. I do love my boyfriend. I do love my plants. I do want a few more things. But I worry it's all more than I need. I've been getting by on so little for so long now the tide of work and love and abundance is a lot to handle.

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