Eat this

by Yule Heibel on June 10, 2003

There’s this wonderfully evocative song by Kate Bush, There Goes a Tenner, which includes the lyrics: “Ooh I remember, That rich windy weather, When you would carry me, Pockets floating in the breeze.” It’s ostensibly about a bank robbery, which is kind of an odd topic for a song, but Kate Bush was nothing if not eccentric. Think, however, of a bank robbery as a defining moment in a life: a cusping, budding penetration of daring into the quotidien boredom of the everyday. I’m about ready to pull off a heist or two myself. After a day like this. Typical. Day, that is. Six or seven loads of laundry, and two loads of the dishwasher. Social Studies supervision on the fly. Clean up clean up clean up. Sheets. Art class field trip drop off kids. Telephone calls, wrong address business matter letter favour. Science supply store ponder merits of stage vs. dissection microscopes. Lawyers in Vancouver, power of attorney vested interest minimal. Calls to bank not my account. Doctors appointments, speculum not too hot. More laundry. Dog to walk. Calls to make. Estimates for home improvements to ponder. School planning meeting at 6 pm. Math courses to pick up. VPs to meet. Cold supper at 9:00. More laundry at 10:00. At 11:00 repark the car, which I put in front of the driveway since everything else on the street was taken by theatre-goers. Now they’ve gone home, and I can repark my car in a legal spot so I don’t get a ticket in front of my own house. Going outside to do so is when I caught the rich windy weather. Carry me away, please carry me away. AlterNet had an article by Elizabeth Austin, Giving Mirth, extolling the virtues of Jean Kerr’s noblesse in combining motherhood with a professional life, in Kerr’s case writing. Aside from a Doris Day movie, there was a 60s tv series based on Kerr’s book, Please Don’t Eat the Daisies. I was a kid and the show briefly captivated me. Specifically, the main character got things done, but also actually liked her children. (I watched tv to find out what that must have been like.) For reasons I can’t explain, I checked out some of Kerr’s books a couple of years ago, and I realized how much solid economic underpinning there was to her life. Kerr, no matter how often she and her husband were short of money, was never poor, and she didn’t make bad economic choices. In the wake of Kerr’s death last January, the 5,700 sq.ft. house that she and Walter Kerr (d. 1996) bought in ’55 went on the market for $4.9. Let’s rob a bank, and perhaps our pockets will be floating in the breeze. Austin’s article annoyed me because it completely ignored the benefits of having a maid, au pairs, gardeners, and assorted staff in juggling the demands of family & career.

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