I don’t know about you, but over forty years of marriage, I have amassed a pretty damned impressive collection of unmatched socks. My array fills a bin and is even sub-divided into ‘black wool socks,” “black cotton socks,” and so on. Such blind optimism has filled my life, I realize as I look back.
Well, today I broke. Having commandeered the glass stove-top for the weekly match-up, I started with the usual enthusiasm until the first close-but-no-cigar winked at me seductively. Sure, one was brown-black and the other leaned more to the blues but it suddenly struck me that no-one with life would even notice my socks, let alone care. Together these babes would stay!
“Close enough!” was surprisingly liberating.
With this epiphany came the understanding that Mom was a lifelong practitioner of knowing when to care. Sure, it could go missing for lack of practise, like the time she was helping us paint the kitchen a lovely rich cream and it came to Jon’s attention that Mom was paying more attention to the conversation than to which which tray she dipped her roller into - sometimes high gloss, sometimes matte. The splotchy and semi-reflective result was particularly striking at dusk. But most of the time, it worked just fine and echoed her sunny nature. Her paintings were happily loose.
Another inspirational woman in my life is my dear friend, Irene, who has claimed successfully since 1975 that her iron had gone missing in a move and it felt disloyal to invest in a new one.
So at our next art show (which, by the way, has just been re-scheduled yet again - this time to late September), look for the painter with an orange sock, a green sock and a smile which needs ironing. Assuming there’s just one of us.