Friday, April 09, 2010

Toothbrush, joy, and On Golden Pond

Today my husband bought us a four pack of toothbrushes and I got a purple one. A purple toothbrush. What a good day! I could end my post right here.

Yet I was happy through much of the day and not just on account of the excellent toothbrush. It wasn't excitement. It wasn't "Oh boy, oh boy!" kind of happiness. It was joy? Yes. The day was filled with joy. Anticipating seeing my sister gave me joy. Seeing my sister gave me joy. Being in San Diego in a nice campground, yet in the midst of major urban mania gave me joy (I bought lip gloss and a new cotton plaid skirt today). And dancing. I went to a Stretch and Strengthen class tonight and it was very good. The instructor has a master's in dance from New York. The hip-hop teacher has performed with Culture Shock Dance Center and I haven't been there but I know they have a massive reputation. The hip-hop class kicked my you-know-what. In a good way! Such a good work-out. I was sweating a lot. The teacher gave about six counts of eight and ol' Lil can remember two counts of eight, tops, in one day. I watched and followed a dancer in front of me who was very talented and fast. Unfortunately, in the first count of eight there was a step that goes real, real fast. Say 1,2,3,4, out loud, fast as you can and that's how fast those four steps were, and it was a strain for me to keep up. I've never been able to dance lightning fast. So I had to catch up quick. I faked it on a few steps. But I know I looked good in wide second where we all flipped our heads up and down twice. That, I can rock. We broke up into two groups and danced for each other a few times and then he turned down the lights and told us to get our attitudes and dance. Now that was fun. I sat down and the girl beside me gave me a two-handed high five. She was sure sweet. I was the worst dancer there. But you know, dance being such as it is, if you're too full of yourself to look imperfect then you'll never learn it. I picked up some great combinations that I can use. When and where I can use 'em, not sure. But anyway. . .

I have joy. And I have freedom. Husband bought me a Garmin, one of those GPS thingies. Man, I can go anywhere now. The Garmin got me to dance classes all by myself. Usually I am so afraid to drive so I only go where my husband will take me. I love him so. He's taken me a lot of places, but now I can go places by myself. And I haven't dented the truck either. Hahahaha!


I can't stand Jane Fonda, but I do like her in Barbarella (she was so pretty).  And I watched On Golden Pond in 1981. I admit it.

In the movie, Jane does a backwards dive for her dad. She was never able to do it as a kid. I guess it was a big deal to her. She and her dad always had a troubled relationship. Story line was that he was mean toward her and he didn't like her. I dunno, it was a long time ago I saw the movie.

So my On Golden Pond is this: My dad phoned me yesterday and invited me up to help him get the '53 Buick he restored ready for a car show. I polished the chrome. Love to polish chrome. And I cleaned the windows - I'm not so fond of windows, but I did 'em. I picked up the hood for him because it was too heavy for him. When I was ready to go home he thanked me, man, about five times. I was kind of embarrassed he said so many thanks because I didn't do all that much.

One time my dad and I were at a show where he was showing his Corvette that he restored. There was some guy we were talking to. You always chat with car guys at a car show when you're with my dad. The other guy was all proud and bragging on his daughter around my age who had helped him clean his engine. That's why it was so shiny he said. She had small hands and was good at it. Liked to help him, he said. I felt a stab of jealously. I wished it were my dad talking about me instead. I would have liked to help my dad and have him talk about me like that. I worried about making my dad yell at me though. And if you yell at ol' Lil, well, she plum shuts down. God made me this way. I don't deal with the yelling well.

So I told my dad how working on the car with him reminded me of On Golden Pond. How I'd always had a secret desire to help him and I lived it out yesterday. And his response was not one I expected. He said he's tried to work on that. (I wondered what he meant.) He said he yelled too much and has tried to change. It was a moment. A snapshot in time. Of life. Of realization. Of concession. Not to sound all Valley Girl, but, wow, cool. Actually, I don't remember a lot of yelling, but when he raised his voice I couldn't deal with it. I don't remember him yelling a lot. It was more like, he was sharp. All he needed to do was raise his voice and I crumbled.

He did yell at me as I pulled out of the driveway to go home. Bwa-hahahaha! No kidding, he did. I still love him though. Life is a kick, eh.

Joy. Joy of the Lord. Once I read, "Show me how God has transformed your life, and maybe I'll believe in your God." It's getting me through better than ever before. "Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."


yrautca said...

Great post Lil'. It reads like a short story. Maybe you should character-develop a little more and write short stories like Raymond Carver.

I am speculating that you have moved back to SoCal for now and it feels more like home because you have friends/family there. Thats great. I like San Diego. Sunny place.

Liliana said...

You must have taken a sweet pill this morning. ;) I will look up Raymond Carver. Funny you should say you think it's a nice post. I very nearly deleted it immediately after I uploaded it because I thought it was not very interesting. Go figure.

Your speculation is spot on. We are in the great city of SD for the whole month. Going back to NM on May 1. We're missing Bella though. It's kind of hard being separated from her. Missing her is the only down side for being here.

I'm going to use the word speculation on someone this week. I've already used 'heuristics' after I looked it up and people were impressed. Heh.

SchnauzerMom said...

That dance class really does sound like a work out but fun too. Sounds like you are improving your relationship with your dad.

Liliana said...

SchnauzerMom, I realized that the Lord's Prayer says forgive us as we forgive others. I thought it meant we'll be forgiven because we forgive. Turns out that little old word sheds a new light on the whole forgiveness thang. I had a dream about forgiveness too and it was a very good dream. I thought I ought to do something about it.

yrautca said...


You should look up Raymond Carver. Great American writer. He is a minimalist and his stories are real short. But they are beautiful.

I thought there were several story plots in your post. Have fun in Diego.