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January 06, 2005 - 1:18 pm

R2-D2 DEAD AT THE AGE OF SEVEN

Yesterday was my first day back in the office since December the 17th. Nearly three weeks of full-time mommyhood, complete with giggling, sweetness, and ďI love you, mommy!Ē offset by a touch of whining, vomit, ďIt could be meningitis,Ē and ďAre we there yet?Ē Throw in a visit from my mother-in-law and a hernia operation for John and you get a pretty clear picture of my vacation. Boy, itís tough to get back into work!

One of the 27 emails Iíve gotten since I last turned on my computer was from my friend Melanie with this P.S. at the bottom:

P.S. The boys got a robot, they named R2D2. It fell off the couch and broke into pieces... Well I came upstairs and found R2 buried under all my pillows on the floor... Here is a photo of the Headstone the boys made for him.

And then my other funny friend Wendy replied with this:

I told Melanie how much I enjoyed the alternate spelling of Artodto. I had to forward that one to my family, since we have a similar story. My grandfather, after seeing star wars, had trouble with that robot's name, too, and called it Arty Doo-Doo.

Then there's Johnís grandmother who loved Magnum, P.I. but referred to him as Magnet, P-One instead. Arenít grandparents the best?

The kids and I flew down to visit my grandmother in Clearwater, Florida (just outside Tampa) two days after Christmas. Her name is Mary Elizabeth, but sheís been Dissie to her family since she was a little girl. Sheíll be 92 in a few weeks and does water aerobics three times a week and plays golf at least once a week. She still works crossword puzzles regularly, although she admitted when I was there this time that sheís getting lazy and isnít working as many as she used to. When Iím 92, I hope Iím as lazy as Dissie is. Sheís married to her third husband because she keeps outliving them.

I donít think Iíll outlive any of my husbands because I have personal safety issues; as in, Iím not very mindful of my own. Iíve only come to realize this as an adult, but Iím pretty sure itís been a major theme all my life and is probably due to the fact that I donít see myself as other people see me.

Hereís what other people think I look like:

And hereís how I see myself:

Thinking back over some of the more interesting, daredevilishly stupid things Iíve had the good fortune to live through over the years, I thought about starting a series of entries entitled ďItís A Miracle Iím AliveĒ or something to that effect. But after more careful consideration, I donít think it would be a good idea to tell you about most of those things. Youíd either worship me as an immortal or have me forcibly committed to an asylum for crisis counseling. Assuming, of course, that you 1) know where I live, 2) give one ratís ass about me and my ďissues,Ē and 3) would jet in from wherever you are to come to the aid of someone whose diary you are reading on the internet. Which, Iím pretty sure, would make you the one in need of counseling.

Well, let me just reassure (both of) my readers: IíVE HAD (just about) ENOUGH OF PUTTING MYSELF IN DANGER, AND IíM (very nearly) THROUGH WITH DOING STUPID THINGS. This is largely because of my kids. They need me, and I need to be around and in one piece for them, unlike poor old Arty Doo-Doo. At least until they can toast their own Pop-Tarts without setting their hair on fire.

But donít misunderstand - Iím not apologizing for my dubious past behavior, however fit for a Tom Waits lyric it may be. I might flash back as a 92-year-old great-grandmother to that time I jumped in the Savannah river at night and pretended to be a salamander while tripping on acid, or that time I had to duck into a camera shop in Istanbul for help when an Islamic man tried to grab me and force me into his car, or that time I tried to eat Roy Horn. But I can assure you I will most definitely not look back on my life wistfully and ask, ďWhy didnít I live life to the fullest while I was still able to control my bladder?Ē

~Samantha

recommended:
reading -How to be Good by Nick Hornby
viewing -The Station Agent
listening -"Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair" by Nina Simone

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