Wednesday, March 14, 2007

save it for later

My cousin K arrives in town tomorrow night. Even though I have been a tightly wound ball of stress about this (mostly because of the state of the crack house), ultimately her visit is going to be, as Saheli would say, superfantasticness.

Even though K and I share a lot of similar ideals, we are pretty different in terms of pace. Especially when I have a visitor, I am forever thinking of how time should be allotted, what should be seen and when and where to eat and whether the weather will permit this or that. That's not to say I can't be slothlike when I am on my own- sometimes the depth of my laziness truly astounds me. But I'm very aware of the time, even when I'm wasting it.

However, and it has always been this way since the days of our youth, time just holds little meaning to K. That might be a bit of a hyperbolic statement, but she really does seem to disregard any sense of urgency. And in some ways, I have to say that it is a better way to live your life. Whenever I visit her, I am lulled into a different sense of relaxation because of her routines- sitting and collecting herself upon rising, having her morning cup of coffee, easing her way into the day. Maybe that's it- her family seems to ease into everything.

Growing up, my mother was always clanking pots by 8 a.m. on a Saturday, and soon thereafter rustling us out of bed to do the weekend chores. For my parents, the weekends, or indeed free time of any kind, were supposed to be opportunities for industrious labor- cleaning, organizing, cooking. Whenever I visited K's family, I was always shocked that her parents often did not even emerge from their bedroom until 10 or 11 in the morning. And even then, it was always easily afternoon before there was any sort of inclination to leave the house. If my parents had guests, before noon, we'd all be packed in a station wagon and off to see a completely inane landmark in EBF.

I can't pretend to just find this nothing but endearing. When I was young, and even now, after a time, this lack of urgency, lack of movement makes me unbearably restless. Last time I visited K, we had lunch at her parents' house, and then the dawdling started. My solution was to start gathering up bags and loading them into K's car. K's mom remarked on my industriousness- it was sweet of her to call it that rather than impatience. But it was impatience. And most of the time, after a certain amount of time with K's family, the impatience kicks in, and I start to do the whirling dervish bit.

However, this all sort of works out perfectly in this particular instance. You see, I've already been acting like something of a Tazmanian Devil for the past few weeks. And I have been periodically having anxiety attacks about everything that needs to be done in the next month. But K's visit will completely neutralize all of that energy, in a good way. I know we will sit around and chat all day. I know eventually I'll drag her out of the house to show her why I love this city that she never got around to visiting until now, but even that will be in this very gradual and relaxed manner.

And after all of that relaxation, I'll be yearning madly for action. And that is just the yearning I'll need upon her departure, as the beginning of the end, in some ways, officially starts once she leaves.

No comments: