I gots me some wonderful new trousers!! Thank you Mr. Tailor. They are worth every kilometre of nerve-endings shredded in the process. Ppls, you will be delighted to know that I can now swan off around the world in colour coordinated, long enough, wide enough, pocketed, placketed and elastic-waisteded daks, fit for a queen, or better still, a woman thrice-crowned. Yippee!
I even got a discount of nearly a fifth of the price cos two things I specifically ordered didn't get done - the wool trousers weren't lined, and the other wool trousers didn't have the silverfish holes in the bum mended. Mr Tailor offered to fix them on the spot for a mere !!!! $35 dollars, but dorter and I exchanged swift glances and I said no. She/I/we can mend them for about 30 cents, if we get to it, or as my ever-practical darling girl said "just wear black undies and no-one will notice". True. Cos they are dark grey daks. So that part of the precision-packing process is in my opinion finito. Phew.
I also decided that trying to find time to go to pick up ultrasound films of both my hips, for future reference, was fairly low in the pecking order. The radiology business which made them neither delivers to my gp, nor agrees to post anything. So they can have the pleasure of being able to look at my ball-joints for the next three months, til I return and make the effort to give a stuff about retrieving them. And, for the record, the jury is still out on the overall effectiveness of the shots of steroid. I am not perhaps as stiff or sore in the hips, but as my daily routine is highly disordered atm, it's not a level data-recording playing field. I think the real test will be how easy it is to walk/manage luggage when we get off the plane in Bangkok after 8 or so hours of high-altitude sardinery.
We had a big family dinner tonight, several branches of us converging on an unsuspecting Italian restaurant. Parents, two sibs plus offspring, plus husband's sis and her husband. It went well in spite of the rather slow production of food from the kitchen. The youngest member of the party was was getting a bit crunchy, but the waitress spotted the restless girl and came over to reassure her that tucker was only minutes away. Unfortunately the gwown-ups had to wait a bit longer.
This makes me wonder (a lot) about rituals - the farewells. It seems to me that we all need to touch base with important people to say our farewells, and the bigger the reason for the absence, and the longer period it covers, the greater the need to invest the farewell with meaning. Meaning which is often (somehow) gathered through sharing a meal, exchanging gifts, pressing messages of goodwill and hope onto the leaver and the leavee, elaborate assurances of the possibility of communication upheld, and a sort of 'final requests' conversation about items, deeds, events and plans. All in all, as if one were about to die.
I'm not very good at farewells, especially when combined with airports. Too many occasions of real wrenchings of the heart, like when my kids were flying off to their interstate home... and once, knifing into my heart, my son point-blank refusing to get on the plane and sobbing as if HE were about to die. Such a dilemma, and going totally against my instinct, which was to say 'of course you can stay with me darling'. I won't forget that. He did agree to fly, but walked down the hallway to the plane with the flight attendant, his little back shuddering with sobs.. no amount of gin and tonics or chocolate fixed me after that experience. Since then I've been even more hopeless at airports. I start getting homesick for myself before I get into the carpark! Meeting ppl at airports is marginally less worrying, altho the mind can always summon up a quick cartwheeling aircraft hitting a cow on the runway, a mis-timed bolt of lightening, or a missing-the-plane disaster at the other end. Sigh. An imagination is a terrible burden sometimes isn't it?
Getting myself onto a plane, with so many good wishes and heartfelt farewells and promises of things to come - it all makes me uneasy. It CAN'T be so simple!!! I don't think I have a death wish, or any kind of determination to be pessimistic about the trip. I just hate all the noting of my departure. The absoluteness of it. Too much like 'here ya go, just wiggle ya hips and the coffin will fit nicely. Now, can I get you a neck pillow or a pre-flight champagne???'. Nup. I want to creep away, waving a very little wave at my cats, and leave my natural orders happily, quietly, naturally ordering themselves around in their informal way without me, so it's all just waiting here for me when I return. So that the BIGNESS of it stops feeling so bloody big! So that rather than carrying the burdensome 'my gosh aren't you lucky WHAT a huge trip how will your health stand up where will you be for your birthday did you have a typhoid shot as well you WILL send photos and cards to us all did you remember the iPod" thoughts of the umpteen ppl I leave behind, I can just sort of be around on email; be just as impossible to ring up before lunchtime; and can ease my way back into physical contact with as little fanfare as possible. Why, ppls go away all the time. They do. And do we spend months worrying about their welfare and being aware of their physical absence and thinking what a hole they leave behind and goodness won't their hair have grown? Well, I hope not. I know that the more you care for the ppls, the more you think of them and want them to be here for hugs and such. And I do like it that ppls care for me, really I do.
I think I just want the uber-crazy fare-thee-well take care HERE I AM HAMMERING IT IN THAT YOU WILL BE GONE stuff to stop. I know I'll be gone. But I has a secret - I know I'll be BACK. I pwomised the cats.
Today brought to you by a strong feeling that the catbox needs changing, a good application of Prada shower gel, and for tonight, a two-generational wrist and cleavage-ful of Enjoy. Yes, dorter and I wearing matching purrfume. Dags R Us!