Tuesday, August 22, 2006

This Is What My Life Has Come To?

After yesterday's post, I was hoping that I may have something a little more positive to write about, something heartwarming, downright silly, something the least bit entertaining or slightly amusing.

Me, being the imaginary writer that I am, I either have something to write or I don't. I can't just sit down at the laptop or the old T-Rex desktop and just spew out a post. It just doesn't work that way.

It's a lot like trying to make yourself throw up. You either have to hurl or you don't. Otherwise, you just make yourself gag. And then the heaving...it just isn't pleasant. But if you actually do have to hurl, once you do, you just feel so much better.

I wish my high school English teachers could have understood this.

I cannot just write something because someone suggests it, or because Mrs. Literature Her Majesty stands in front of the class and says, "Today, class, we are going to write an essay. I want you to compare and contrast the papaya and the mango. You have exactly 25 minutes to do so. This essay is worth half of your six weeks' grade. Remember to write your name, the date at the far right corner, fold your paper in half, then again lengthwise, crease it nicely, or else I will take off 50 points for not following directions."

Real writing doesn't work like that. Real life doesn't work like that. And I am fairly certain that Walt and Ernest wrote on whatever scrap of paper they could find. They would have whittled it in the bark of a mighty oak if they were so inspired, and the trunk from that tree would be somewhere in the Smithsonian right now.

For you teachers and list makers out there, I know there are rules in life. There is order. Without order, there would be chaos. I know all of that. But sometimes rules are there for the teacher's survival. Let's just be honest about it. If it makes it easier for the teacher to grade 3000 essays in one night, why can't she just stand up in front of the class and be honest about it?

"Students, I am overworked, underpaid, and even less appreciated. Please fold your paper this way so that every waking moment of my life is not spent grading papers. It would make my life easier, and maybe, just maybe if I spent less time bogged down in paperwork and meetings, I may be able to teach you something worthwhile. Thank you. You get extra points for making me happy. And if the teacher ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."

I would have responded much better to honesty. Instead, I got the "speech." The speech about how I should fold my paper a certain way or else I would never learn the rules of life, the order of society, and never be able to survive college. You know, because college is the real world...ahem.

I digress.

I do actually have something to post about. I just had to get that out. Deep breath. I feel much better now.

So, I sat down to write and I heard my daughter cry. It seems we only have two Sea Monkeys left.

We have a friend who loves to send our daughter living things with short lifespans. I have raised an ant farm, butterflies, and now Sea Monkeys. Of course, this friend does not have children of his own, but, when he does, oh boy, the sweet revenge I have planned for him.

His latest gift is this family of Sea Monkeys. I don't know if the two remaining family members are Ma and Pa, brother and sister, or just a couple of first cousins. I don't know if they are mourning the loss of their relatives, swimming around in some Sea Monkey ceremonial funeral dance. All I know is that, when my daughter's tears began to flow, I had to explain the workings of nature, that sea monkeys do not live long, that it had nothing to do with the fact that we may or may not have underfed or overfed them. Thankfully, we still have two little guys swimming in there.

Here-I- am. Watching two brine shrimp do the Triple Lindy in a tiny, plastic tank.

And- reading- about- them- from- a- tiny- book. (I am not sure why the book has to be tiny, too.) Other people are reading C.S. Lewis and Robert Frost. But, I, the imaginary writer, am reading excerpts from The Amazing Live Sea Monkeys.

To top it all off, I decided to write about the experience for you, my adoring fan.

This profound thought-provoking post would not be complete without a few quotes from the tiny Sea Monkey book, which, I might add, is printed in English, Spanish and French. Apparently, the French are not as cultured as we are led to believe.

I promise you on my grandmother's Southern good name that I am not making this up! These are words of wisdom from our miniature sea monkey manual-

"Overfeeding is the most common reason for sea monkey deaths! This uneaten food consumes oxygen and causes the Sea Monkeys to suffocate, the poor little things. Better to have a skinny and healthy Sea Monkey than an over-fed one in a coma."

"In time, your healthy tank should have many generations of Sea Monkeys swimming around. Like a pool party celebrating your grandparents anniversary, the pool is filled with humans at all stages of life...just like your perfect little salty pets."

"Sad days may occur also. If all of your pets die, don't throw out the water in your tank... put the tank back into the light. In a few days, you should have a new batch of baby Sea Monkeys swimming erratically through the water..deja vu for you... Happy Days are here, again!"

I don't know about you, but I get a little teary just reading those words describing the life cycle of crustaceans. Pure literary genius. Elisabeth Kubler Ross could not have said it any better.

Yes! Sniff, sniff. Happy Days will be here again!!

7 comments:

Nancy said...

You crack me up. I was impressed you HAD sea monkeys. My mom never let me have them, or anything in a tank. We did have hamsters that used escape and steal plant parts and dog food to survive until we could find them. Mom swears we had a bird, but we didn't. I KNOW we didn't. My favorite pets were the tiny kittens that my cats had every few years. I don't know why the cats weren't spayed, but I loved having the kittens in the house.

I hope the new crew of sea monkeys will bring A. joy. I sympathize with her loss.

Melanie said...

Nancy-
Maybe the hamsters ate the bird while foraging for food?

Laurel Wreath said...

you are hysterical!!! Sea Monkeys, now that is one we have not done, and please don't mention it around my boys...no really DON'T MENTION IT =))

I wish you a huge thriving family of sea monkeys.

Brenda said...

You are too funny. Pretty sure I'm not imagining that. May your sea monkeys live long and, um, prosper.

Susanne said...

Your hilarious! Feel better now that you've hurled?

Big Mama said...

Loved the sea monkeys when I was little, but probably not so much now that I'm the mama!

Mommy Dearest said...

I always wanted to order sea monkeys out of comic books when I was a kid. I'm just impressed that you've actually owned sea monkeys, dead or alive.