Tuesday, April 13, 2010


On Sunday night, I lounge with a book. All around me, my things are strewn about --- shoes, clothes, cosmetics, purses, magazines --- not only in my bedroom, but also my brother’s bedroom next door and across the bathroom counter. As a teenager I would NEVER have gotten away with creating this chaos because my mother keeps a very meticulous house. Growing up, my brother and I never dared to leave a closet door ajar. And normally I am a fastidious clean freak. But coming out of cramped and crowded Manhattan has me wondering what to do with all this space.

When I begin to doze off my phone rings and I pick up. “Hi sweetie,” Jane says. “How is South Dakota?” I ask. “Great!” Earlier that day my father asked where Jack’s family’s farm was located. I said, ‘somewhere between Rapid City and Sioux Falls.’ Incredulously he said, “that is the whole state.” Well, almost. “It is so relaxing here,” Jane adds. “We’ve been working on the barn for a few days.”

This amuses me about Midwesterners. They find work fun, which is probably why they make great employees with a phenomenal work ethic. When I used to live here … hhmmm … that was a little strange to say … I knew so many people who worked Monday through Friday and then went “up north” and spent all weekend working on their cabins. Come Sunday they came back to the Cities and worked all week and did it again. To be honest, I was never the “work on cabin” kind of girl. I might chip a nail.

“What time will I see you tomorrow?” I ask. A strange thing happened last week in New York. The night before Jack and Jane departed Manhattan for the Midwest, Jane left her house keys in her New Jersey office. Jack had already given me his keys so I could check on their cat (who hates me, yes, hates me). So they locked their apartment and left.

Now that they are headed back to New York tomorrow, her keys are STILL in the Garden State and Jack’s keys are with me, in Minnesota. Clearly luck and the goddesses have intervened, allowing for some sort of key exchange to occur. “Can we come around 4 pm and have a drink at Maxwell’s?” Jane asks and refers to a quaint corner bar across from the office. “Sure, I reply.

We hang up. I am still in the mood to chat and decide to call Reindeer. Immediately I go into voicemail. I look at the time and leave a message, wondering where a single man might be around dinnertime? On a date?

Ugh. The thought makes my stomach sick.


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