Monday, November 17, 2008


I enjoy listening to NPR as I drive to and from work and at the times that I come and go, they have all their news and essay pieces on. I can usually pass on most of the music they play. But anyway, some of you may have heard the fabulous essay they presented this afternoon, on This I Believe, concerning the Ridiculousness of Life. Go read it if you missed it; I'll wait. It's short so it won't take long.
So, this guy really nails it for me, especially the part about feeling like Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin. My whole life has been, well, ridiculous. Oh, I had great plans; I was going to be a world famous architect and design the most radical, beautiful buildings you ever saw. Oh, and marry this outstanding, white-collar man in my late 20's and live happily ever after all the while making lots of money and living in an expensive and expansive house. And, I was going to do all of this on my own, with no help from any man especially, just to prove my father wrong that women could do what ever they wanted.
But instead, I accidentally got into construction and build the structures now, all the while being the only woman working with a bunch of knuckle-dragging misfits that seem to adore me, and I them. I drive a truck (instead of a Mercedes) which serves as a handy receptacle for those misfits to deposit all kinds of gifts into. I'm always delighted to see what they've dragged up for me; everything from rocks and building material to slices of railroad track. Instead of a life-long marriage I've had a interesting variety of lovers, from mechanics to doctors (medical and Ph.D.). Oh, well, I can't have kids anyway. And I'm still friends with the majority of these men. Lot of people can't say that. No big house either. Just a one bedroom, hand-crafted little house that I love, which sits in the middle of a beautiful valley where I can watch all sorts of critters go about their natural habits. Especially a crazy, little, golden puppy that spins around in circles because he's so happy and a fat ol' grey cat that insists on sitting in my lap while I try to type this. I can grow my own food also and take more dirt from the ground to make the dishes to eat that food off of. How ridiculous is that!
But most importantly, I would never have been able to do any of this had it not been for all the men that helped me. Everyone from my college art professors to a dear, older gentleman that made me a great deal on a piece of land, to Allen who will still come help me when I call. Even though I know a woman can do anything she sets her mind too, I've had to swallow a lot of pride over these past few years. I don't know if it's a good or a bad thing that my father didn't live to see that.
So, I was really enjoying this essay and the author's narration as I drove home, down the country roads, and as I passed by this one particular house with the very familiar truck sitting in the drive, I just had to laugh at the utter ridiculousness of it all.


Pablo said...

In the end, we all help each other, not by gender but by human species.

Also, I think Mercedes makes a truck.

Ed Abbey said...

My life is about half and half. I always wanted to be an engineer, for reasons I may never understand, and eventually after much struggle and work, became one. It didn't come easy but I certainly enjoy it now.

In my married life, I wasn't sure if I would ever get married and instead just retire early and roam the earth. However while roaming, I met a Filipina working in London and now eight years later, we've been married for over four years and have a daughter. I would have never predicted that turn.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Life never plays out as one imagines. Growing up in the 50's I thought a modest job, wife, kids, house with yard was what life was all about.

I started down that road but in the 70's it all came apart. I was left with a 2 year old to raise alone as my wife left to "find herself". I went on to subsistence living with lots of time to "smell the roses." and no retirement plan.

In my little town I am the odd ball interested in ideas and books while others are interested in hunting and fishing and having a little house and yard and wife and kids. (My former dream). I have been a Harvard educated bucheron (bush worker) among illiterate loggers who spends more time identifying flora and fauna in the bush than cutting timber. It has been a strange ride.

Richard said...

Sounds like you have just about a perfect life. We all start out with big dreams and then reality sets in or takes over. I've learned (like you) to just go with the flow and do whatever makes me happy. Your life is all laid out for just don't know what road it will take.

So go with the flow and live a happy life.

Anonymous said...

Whilst I've always seemed to live a very staid life, not by intent, seemingly by a greater design, I LOVE the ridiculous! It's fun, it's surprising and it's never boring.


edifice rex said...

First off, thanks so much to all of you for telling me a little about your life! i love that.

Hey Pablo! that's true, I've just always been kinda amused at how so many of the guys I work with are so willing to help me out with things. So many of the women I know are just the opposite, although I do have a few VERY good female friends. And yes, I believe Mercedes does make a truck...but they can keep them.

Hey Ed! Sounds like you've had a very interesting and fulfilling life so far! the best things usually can't be predicted it seems.

Hey Philip! Boy, you got that right. i never imagined my life would be like this. Strange but interesting, huh? i think that is good.

Hey Richard! A lot of times it seems like the perfect life and sometimes it just seems hard but it always seems to fit.
i think, in a lot of ways, just going with the flow is the way to go. You know, most times what we thought were 'big dreams' turn out to be quite shallow and small and it takes life happening to show us what 'big' really means.

Hey molly! Well, started out quite staid but kinda rebelled as I became a working adult. Not sure why. But, like you say, it's never been boring!

Floridacracker said...

I was gonna be a lifelong bachelor playboy ... now I'm Mr. Family/Dad guy.

Go figure.

Aunty Belle said...

Oh! Lovely reflection--I enjoyed every word of it!

edifice rex said...

Hey Fc! Yeah, and from what I can tell, a whole-hearted, gung-ho Mr.Family, Dad! I think that fits you well.

Hello Aunty! Thanks!

Maya said...

Good to see you have rounded the corner a bit and found some hilarity amongst the weirdness. I've never been one to do much planning in terms of life goals. I believe Gary commented in a previous post about how we lived a mere 2 blocks from each other years before we actually met. He and I were talking the other day about where we have ended up. We chuckled over the fact that I've ended up closer to the straw hat of a farmer than the 13 inch Mohawk, and all of my own doing. The weird Amish-looking guy in the video store in the middle of the city was the reluctant one in acquiring our current menagerie. Sometimes life leads you right where you need to be, despite what we have planned for ourselves.

Island Rider said...

Funny, I'm living my dream, got exactly what I always wanted, but sometimes, it seems like more of a nightmare! Thanks for the link to the I Believe series on NPR. It sounds like a cool project.

edifice rex said...

Hey Maya! Well, some days I do better than others as far as finding humor in the weirdness. Sometimes you laugh to keep from crying.
That is really crazy that you and Gary lived SO close and never met! I guess when it was time, it was time though. I think you are right on in that life does often lead you right where you need to be...if you are willing to listen, and yeah, despite our best laid plans! ha!

Hey Rider! Well, I hear from a number of people that are doing exactly what they always thought they would and that's great! I think some people wander (kinda out of curiosity) and some don't. I know the part about it seeming like a nightmare sometimes too though!