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Apologies to Yeats for this one, as my terrible eyesore is nothing as profound or lyrical as the “terrible beauty” he describes in his poem about the Irish uprising of 1916. Still, 92 years later I’ve just wrapped an Easter day that included plenty of polite, meaningless words interrupted by a variety of odd, unsettling events.

On paper, the day was rather simple: Wake up, spend morning with Simon, take him to Jim and Evie’s for the afternoon while Matt and I attend the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors’ Theater of Louisville, return to have dinner with the Whitworths, and then enjoy the final hours of the weekend at home while Simon slumbers.

If you look at the day as a checklist, we succeeded on all fronts. There were, however, a few curveballs tossed our way.

1. I hated the play and considered ditching at the intermission, but Matt encouraged me to stay the course. Several factors contributed to my dislike, not the least of which is that entire play sounded to me as though it had been written by one of its characters-specifically the 18-year old girl running away from her upscale home trying to pose as a 24-year old while slumming with the have-nots. The local paper called the 24-year-old playwright precocious. “Precious” is the word I would have used. Another factor contributing to my dislike? The set. Meant to invoke the look of squalor and neglect, it succeeded so well that I had a hard time looking at it. The carpet was dirty. The walls were dirty. The area under the couch unspeakable. Even one of the characters was squalid. That was one terrible eyesore.

2. I expect Easter to coincide with somewhat spring-like weather. We had a nice warm Friday, but the weekend has been quite cold. And tonight, at Easter dinner, it snowed. It was a gorgeous snow-the kind you get when it’s only barely cold enough to change wet drops to huge snowflakes that look like nothing so much as giant feathers coming out of pillows in heaven. I last saw a snow like this in 1990 in Oxford. I was captivated then, and I was again tonight. And yet, there is something inherently terrible about a beautiful snow that happens on a day that began as a celebration of spring and fertility.

3. Quite possibly the coup de grace, my dad is in the hospital tonight having hand surgery because he had an accident while cleaning a gun (yes, a gun, one of those things Dad and I don’t talk about because our disagreement cannot be bridged) this afternoon and shot himself in the left hand. Sigh. Seems he shattered the bone in his left ring finger and took the key nerve and ligament with it. Did I mention my Dad is left-handed? Or that he was due to go to Rochester MN next week to accompany my uncle for heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic? There is a tiny bit of humor to be found in the situation as my dad, bless his heart, DROVE HIMSELF to an immediate care center for treatment. And my stepmom, poor woman, had been out of the house at the time of the incident and arrived home shortly after it. In the brief interval between her arrival and her being notified of the day’s events, she stood alone in her home, surveying a scene that included a gun on the floor, blood everywhere, a nick in a door-frame from the bullet’s ricochet, and my Dad and his car’s notable absence. What must she have thought?

4. And then there is Simon himself. Just as I was marveling about his impressive attention span, he made me consider seriously for the first time whether it’s attention or OCD I’m witnessing. Tonight he enjoyed playing with a shape-sorter. Once he figured out where the star shape went, that’s all he wanted to do. So he’d put the star into the star-shaped hole, take off the canister’s lid, remove the star, put the lid back on the canister, and repeat. He must have done this twenty times in a row, quite likely more. It would have been funny were I not thinking about my own sock sorting habits and other OCD inclinations.

Also, tonight we put to rest any thoughts about Simon’s inherent “boyness” on two counts. Count one is that Simon got two new stuffed animals to play with today, and he hugged, leaned into, and kissed both of them. He’s totally sweet, this little guy, with nary a trace of macho. Count two is that we have temporarily misplaced Simon’s winter hat. So Matt grabbed one of my hats for him to wear. It’s a teal blue cloche with a scalloped edge, and I swear to you that once it goes on him he transforms from “handsome” to “pretty” in no time at all.

One Response to “Easter 2008: A Terrible Eyesore is Endured”

  1. goldsteinrita says:

    I can tell you the location of Simon’s hat. It is in the basket of the stroller. I noticed it Friday when I took him for a walk, but did not think to mention it to you.

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