Monday, June 09, 2008


I drove ten hours on Saturday. We girls managed to get ourselves in the car and on the road a 6:30am and had a comfortable and companionable ride down to Bethesda Maryland with only one stop. And thanks to a magical and amazing device known as a GPS we didn't get lost (Thanks Kellie, I'm about to go out and pick you all the flowers out of my garden because I am So Grateful).

Seriously Tangential Opinion Regarding the GPS:
The GPS thing is so cool but in my immortal soul, it worries me who might be watching me from the satellite. I haven't actually watched any of those movies about trying to find people by lazering their eyes or whatever, but I've seen the previews. Weird. Being basically anti government, I just don't want people knowing where I am all the time. Also, I disagreed with the interesting sardonic (Kellie's term) British lady's decision to send me on the PA turnpike and so I disobeyed her, flinging her into a time to 'recalculating' and, I think, probably making her angry. And, not really believing, in my soul, that she could be Always Right, I frequently called Matt to have him check the map to see if she was lying to me, which, of course, she wasn't.

We arrived in the blazing heat and went through the cool and peaceful maze of Fourth Presbyterian, looking for my friend Polly, who was there, calm as a cucumber, as always, having little flowers stuck into her hair. We cooled down and ate all the food we'd brought with us and then E dressed herself and her Doll.

It is earth shattering, seeing an old (well, neither of us are old, we're both ridiculously young) friend, in a new context, and observing how all the normal bits of yourself and your situation that you took for granted before, are completely absent now. Back in the bad old days, Polly and I inhabited the end room in our dorm, with two other people I love very much but who are off now busy doing other things. In a dorm with 20 or so girls, only the two ends accommodated four, and when you got to be a junior or senior, you could choose these rooms over and over (inciting envy and gnashing of teeth in the lower classes). Polly was so cool (still is)-languid, steady, unaffected by the thousands of grievances the other three of us indulged in daily. By virtue of being her friend, I got to sit at the fringes of the 'cool' crowd at school (before they all got expelled, naturally), basking in the company of people totally out of my league. But it wasn't just the people, or Polly, or walking nonchalantly and unaffectedly to meals, or class, or the park (unaffectedly, of course, being a complete Lie. Everything Mattered, the pace, the way your shirt was tucked, your expression, the quality of your tan, the number of pimples you had so carefully covered over, the humidity and its affect on your hair, your immortal Soul, Everything.) It was the cracks on the ceiling in that room, the color of the walls, the cool cement floor when everything else was energy siphoning hot, the box of music under Polly's bed, my Tea Pot, Two Cups and Jar of Peanut Butter carefully organized at the back of the cupboard, watching Polly spend three minutes studying and getting all impeccable marks, the small tear in the screen into which boys, walking stealthily by, shoved notes promising undying affection and love.

So Polly is married now, and may her new husband (wonderful as he may be) endeavor to deserve her.
Me with Polly, looking, as I felt through most of high school, short. Also, I neglected the use of Eye Enhancing Make Up because my eyes have been touchy and sore.


Kellie said...

You're welcome, no flowers necessary! :-D (Also, my parents and I don't need it for this weekend, so you're welcome to take it then as well.)

I actually have defied the British lady (or, well, maybe I had her on the American voice at the time) and succeeded. I think the mapping program works about the same way as MapQuest et al., where the route it searches for is the most time-saving, whether or not it's actually the most direct. So mostly you really are getting a considerably-faster route, but sometimes it means that it tries to take you on odd detours just to save two minutes. When I ignore what feels like one of those, I check the Estimated Time of Arrival thing in the corner to see whether the time lengthens. Sometimes it doesn't. Once I even saved myself a minute. So it's up to you. It'll get you there in any case, but it wasn't programmed with common sense.

The young fogey said...

Being basically anti-government

We have that in common.