The Canadian Club

{October 23, 2009}   Bits and pieces… Hi Mom!

You know, Dave, I was just about to ask you if you had seen the last episode of Mad Men, yet — which I think is the — gulp — penultimate of the season? If you have, then we have a heck of a lot to discuss good golly!

In the interim, there’s always Glee.

Anyway, I was reading Flaubert’s correspondence recently — bits and pieces, natch — and it really humbled and almost shamed me.  You remember those wild times when e-mail was just starting out and we had that kind of clubby student interface at the old school?  And then I started getting four to six e-mails a day from my mother?  And we all kind of thought that was really weird.  I mean, not as weird as some people thought I was, but still…

Well, reading the letters Flaubert wrote to his mother from Egypt, it appears that I should have been both more appreciative and more assiduous in my replies all this time… I mean, not only did she write him constantly, constantly complaining that he did not write back often enough, but he actually seemed to take pleasure in reading her letters!  Sentimentally setting aside all other task to open himself to the wellspring of emotions brought about by the words of his chère vieille (seriously, I cannot imagine addressing my mama with some variation of “you old bag”). Moreover, he took to writing to his comrades requesting that they check in on her.  Times change… Anyhoo, it really brought me back to those moments when I would have to lie about where I was traveling, just to avoid any excess of fretting: Flaubert’s mother apparently imagined that he was eaten by crocodiles or, perhaps, besieged by Bedouins as every week went by without word from him.  Of course, in other respects, I have never been expected to give the kind of detailed report on my daily health that Flaubert felt necessary — Dude, TMI!

Otherwise, I was wondering why I always have a rough time leaving the house in the morning.  Then I realized that there is an inverse relationship between distance between sleeping cats and hours it takes to get out the door in the morning:

let sleeping cats lie

let sleeping cats lie

Really… could you bring yourself to abandon such a thing?


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