I’ve spent several hours in the last few days doing things that I think are going to convey a totally faux idea of who you’re dealing with here. First, Saturday night, I waxed all of our nordic skis (well, mine, Rob’s and Sam’s). With hot wax, and a wax iron…this is something I just started doing, and I’m very proud (plus the results are indeed pretty great), but I feel like waxing makes me sound like the kind of girl who might, say, do the Candian nordic marathon, or just cross-country skiing instead of, say, sitting in the bookstore eating a donut. That’s kind of who I’d like to be. Sometimes.
My other deceptive activity was spending an hour or so ordering seeds–and not just from a catalog, mind you, but through the group order at our grocery co-operative, and doing all the math for the order by myself, calculating totals and discount percentages and weights all over the pages of newsprint. I felt sort of pleasantly retro throughout, with a touch of Berkely because of the cooperative (the truth is that our town is too small for a chain grocery store, but if you were inside, you wouldn’t be able to tell it from a small, well-stocked upscale chain, so erase any pictures of member hours or rows and rows of bulk grains from your mind).
Anyway, the person I want to be also starts her own seeds, just because she can–actually, that is very me, I have always had a tendency to want to take any activity back to the very basics, at least just to see if it’s possible–making pretzels, coding websites, making candy, building garden trelllises, tiling a floor…so that actually is who I am. ANd ordering way too many and taking this whole thing to extremes…well, that’s who I am, too. Ok, so I am a person who will grow tomatoes from seed, but not for the organic health-giving reasons you might imagine. Mostly it’s just because if anybody can do it, I don’t see why I shouldn’t.
But in the course of this last endeavor, after I’d ordered all the heirloom tomato varieties and been sucked in by various melons and edemame. I paged through the tools, limiting myself to a very respectable set of peat pots and some seed trays, and there, near the end of the pages of weed-blocking paper and fancy shears and soil amendments (about which I know NOTHING), it was:
A FLAME WEEDER. Instantly, I had a mental picture: Me, with a welding mask down over my face, tanks of flamable gas strapped to my back and, weilding a Ghostbusters-style tube of weed death. I’d take my best Charlie’s Angels faux tough girl stance (for some reason, in this mental image I’m wearing cut-off jean shorts and looking like Linda Hamiliton, whereas I’m sure that a more prudent weed assasin would go with flame-resistant fabric and steel toes) and I’d scream something along the lines of “Yippie Kay-Yay, Garden-Wreckers!” and the flames would shoot up and the dandelion target would be just incinerated into seedless dust.
And it occurred to me that, the next time I’m dumping out an entire drawer in fury, searching for the key to the generator, or seizing a dawdling kid and shoveling him or her bodily into his or her car seat with a fierce snarl, I just might want to ask myself if perhaps I’m using a flame weeder where a hoe might have worked just fine.