I have been trying to use the word "dabble" more frequently. I started tossing it around freely the other day when I overheard a woman in the park tell her friend that don't get her wrong, she loves her job, but she's been dabbling in real estate. I can't explain why that entertained me so deeply. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love blogging, but lately, I have been dabbling in taxidermy, or neurosurgery, or midwifery.
My parents encouraged me dabble in all kinds of things when I was growing up. In my home, encouragement meant that we all went to our respective favorite places as far away from one another as we could be so that we could dabble with our stuff in private. Mom dabbled in extracting ear wax with hair pins and doodling, Dad dabbled with the powers of telekinesis and do-it-yourself home repair (it took 20 years, but the kitchen floor miraculously developed new tiles). My sister, Elle, dabbled in soap tasting and shaving her hairy toddler legs. I dabbled in knotting my sheets into a ladder to escape the confines of my bedroom where I also dabbled in Tarot. We were and, continue to be a family that dabbles in dabbling.
Mom sent me a letter a few weeks ago. I shook the envelope for a check and, upon finding nothing, promptly set it aside so that it could be properly lost in a pile of magazines and throw pillows. I lose all kinds of things in my magazines and throw pillows. I am not certain, but I think the dark haired, blue eyed guy from the bar may be in there.
Last night, Mom called me. "Are you going to pick me up from the airport tomorrow?" she asked. I never pick Mom up from the airport. She takes MARTA because it makes her feel all grown up. She lives in the Tundra where they only recently got a light rail train. The recorded voice can say, "caution, doors are closing" in 42 languages. It also reminds you to check your seat for personal belongings. I know when my personal belongings in my seat and don't require a reminder. The new light rail is a miraculous development for the metro Tundra region. It is wired to travel exactly 0.7 miles. The convenience of traveling from the largest mall in North America to the Airport has been warmly received by tax payers in the Tundra. Mom likes to take the rail system here because she can travel for miles and miles in four major directions. She gives detailed reports on the stench of urine and who she believed the source of the odor to be..
Mom informed me that she would be arriving in the afternoon and not to worry about her, she would find plenty of stuff to dabble while utilizing public transit. I would have offered to pick her up, but I have absolutely too much to do before she arrives. Most importantly, I have set the chair in the living room upright, hide the ring that I "borrowed" from her jewelry box, take down the picture of my fake family and hang the photo of my real family, and drink two large bottles of cheap wine. The large bottles do not speak of class and refinement. Rather, they scream, "I dabble in cirrhosis."
I hung up the phone and calmly headed to the kitchen for a glass of wine. I vacuumed up all the change and my lip balm from under the cushions on the couch. I dabbled in fluffing the pillows, but was distracted by a glass of wine. I declined a drunken marriage proposal via text message and paged through the phone book to find a 24-hour cleaning service. Unable to find one, I had a glass of wine and wondered if I could use wine to moisturize my dry lips or if I should dabble in the vacuum cleaner bag to find my beeswax lip balm.
Elbow deep in a bag of dust and cat fur and pennies, I began to wonder how long Mom's visit would last. I wiped off my arm, drank a glass of wine and called her. She was at dinner and I could tell that she had been dabbling in martinis because it took her three guesses to figure out which of her two daughters she was speaking with. I asked Mom if she wanted to sleep in my bed or in the guinea pig room and that's when she let me know that she will be staying at the lovely bed and breakfast near my home. When Mom hung up, I breathed a sigh of relief. I had dabbled in enough cleaning.
I have been admiring the absence of crap under my couch cushions for hours now. The fabric is cool against my cheek. It sort of makes me want to dabble by myself before I go to bed.