by Jennifer on October 17, 2008

Just now, five minutes ago, I gave up on a post I was trying to write, turned off the lights, gave Girl a t-shirt of mine to sleep in because she was hot in her pajamas, climbed in beside her and set the alarm.

And then.

I realized there were maybe one or two things I could get down after all, good idea or not.

Maybe I should tell you about the other post. It started off as a sweet and funny bit about how social conventions have changed, with excerpts from the 1955 edition of Emily Post’s Etiquette that sits on my desk to help with research for my book. But then, it somehow became an essay about how I think it might be nice for men to start wearing hats again.

Yes, really. Hats.

(I had good reasons, or reasons that sounded good. A whole conversation can be punctuated, even supported, by a man tipping his hat at all the proper moments, or removing it, if it’s called for. It’s romanticI’m doing it again, aren’t I?)

To tell the whole truth, I should admit I was really just trying to write a post because I felt it had been too long since my last one. But my mind has been a blank these last few days. (Hats?) Or it bloody well feels like  it, at least when I sit down to write.

It occurred to me earlier today that it feels like static.

The TV screen after sign off.

A radio dial stuck between stations.

Yes, that’s it.

All the signals crossing and bouncing and making white noise. None of them strong enough to come through clear and strong.

So maybe I need to keep going for a while until the signal gets better, just keep driving. Sing to myself, if I have to.

I’m missing all the good stations on the dial, but not for trying. I’m missing a lot of things.

Like my friend who I haven’t seen in years but talk to on more days of the week than not. I miss the ocean and the feeling of my feet sliding into sand. I miss the story I fell in love with and wanted to tell. Want to tell, will tell, when I sift through the words. I miss Vermont, the leaves this time of year. My sister, Ducky. My other sisters. I miss drawers full of clean, folded laundry. An empty hamper. Lyle Lovett and His Large Band. My ass, in those jeans that hang at the back of the closet. New York bagels. The Metropolitan Museum. Hay fields. Corn fields. Miles of soybeans, gold in September. And hayrides and s’mores. Kissing for its own sake. For my sake. Canoes. Quiet rivers. Grass. One tree, with a spot at the top where I could hold on tight and sway in the wind.  Montana. Me, in Montana.

I miss all the moments, hours, days, in these 39 years, that I wasted. Every single one of them.

And right now, more than anything, I miss my bed. Sleep.

And maybe hats, just a little.

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

natalie October 17, 2008 at 2:36 am

very nice. i like to know that other people have these moments. i know i’ve told you that before. it’s nice when i can’t quite describe what i feel to read it somewhere and agree….quietly…nod my head and just agree. yep. that is it exactly. thanks.

natalies last blog post..Wordless Wednesday/Caption this!

Mrs. Chili October 17, 2008 at 3:34 am

Yes – static! That’s it! I’ve been suffering from white noise, too, lately. I’m waiting for it to clear and working on what little bits of clarity I do get. Maybe a TIN FOIL hat would help?!

Mrs. Chilis last blog post..F-F-Friday

Mary Alice October 17, 2008 at 4:26 am

Was it really wasted? All those moments add up to who we are now, so were they wasted or were they really just spent learning?

Mary Alices last blog post..TDYs: Bane or Blessing?

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 October 17, 2008 at 4:51 am

I feel static too more than I care to admit 😉

You’ll get back on track–remember the static just makes the music that more special 🙂

Lisa@verybusymomwith4s last blog post..The Real Housewives of AIG Executives

RiverPoet October 17, 2008 at 5:55 am

Oh boy, I have those moments, too, and as I approached 40, it was particularly bad. Many thoughts of wasted time. But you know? Every moment you’ve spent in this life has truly been precious and has led you to this spot – right now.

Enjoy the static for a little while. The stations will be back online soon.

Peace – D

RiverPoets last blog post..Turning a Corner

csquaredplus3 October 17, 2008 at 6:24 am

I enjoyed this post very much. I miss “your” moments and experiences too.

Jenn @ Juggling Life October 17, 2008 at 6:36 am

I second Mary Alice’s comment. And I hope you get your equilibrium back soon.

Jenn @ Juggling Lifes last blog post..In Which I Call 9-1-1

Gwen October 17, 2008 at 7:42 am

Now, see, if you’re really 39, I think you might be missing that you missed hats all together. Or something like that.

Nice buzzkill there, Gwen.

Gwens last blog post..Lucy, Light and Dark

Bruce October 17, 2008 at 9:27 am

I am always looking for a good hat to wear. The sun here is murder without one. But a good Fedora is hard to find these days, unless you want to pay retail, and they are expensive.

Bruces last blog post..R.I.P.

Louise October 17, 2008 at 10:08 am

I can hardly wait for the hat post to materialize. I think Gwen had it when she said that you might be missing that you missed hats altogether. I know I miss that I missed that part of history.

I think you need a trip. A real trip. I try to determine the difference in why I am so happy here in the desert and you so often long to be elsewhere, and although there are likely many factors (I can think of several), I have to think a big one is that I get out of here more often. I never MISS most of that stuff until I’m in the environment that has it. I get used to living in a development that seems like sardines in a can, and I can carve out my own space. I only seriously miss lots and lots of space when I’m in it. When I look up and see fields of clover and no houses behind me. I think I get to do this enough that I can deal with it to be in a place where people are piled on top of each other most of the rest of the time.

So find a way to go on a trip. You can come here, but it’s the desert! But you really can come!

And not to be a nag, but are you still doing the 4-mile walk? The static-clearing properties of such a thing make me think you might not. If not, do it, so you don’t have to miss your ass being in those jeans, and to clear out the static.

Lecture enough? One more time. FIND A WAY TO GO ON A TRIP!

Oh, and Mrs. Chili made me laugh out loud!

Louises last blog post..Southwest Missouri Skies in October–SkyWatch

Ree October 17, 2008 at 11:51 am

Mine feels less like static and more like … trying to argue with those that refuse to listen.

I love hats, too.

Rees last blog post..Seventeen

Em October 17, 2008 at 12:16 pm

Dear Hubby and I were watching the 4th Indiana Jones movie last night (may I have my two hours back?) – but I said the exact same thing to him – “please bring back hats!” If men knew how much women adored how they looked in them, I imagine they’d try? Well, maybe I fantasize that they would try.

And from personal experiece, I have found that New York bagels are usually one of the reasons why my jeans are hanging in the back.

The static will quiet soon, and the peace will be even more appreciated.


Ems last blog post..Friday’s Food for Thought

melissa October 17, 2008 at 12:19 pm

and by “hat” I take it you don’t mean baseball cap, right?

melissas last blog post..Rummage Sale = Happy Ending

Grandy October 17, 2008 at 12:31 pm

So, here’s your answer.

Change the channel.

Go to sleep.

With a hat.


Grandys last blog post..Because we have to be told?

anymommy October 17, 2008 at 1:13 pm

What a lovely, poignant list. I miss things too. Amen on the NYC bagels!

Mrs. G. October 17, 2008 at 1:30 pm

I think the static is creating space for the strong signal good stuff to come though. Sometimes it just takes a while.

Mrs. G.s last blog post..Slow Cook Thursday

JCK October 17, 2008 at 4:04 pm

I’m with Mrs. G.

I also think it’s a lot to expect of yourself to be working on a novel and blogging. The static is temporary. And your static is always good. 🙂 Glad you got out of bed.

And I’m with you on the hats…

JCKs last blog post..Bunk beds part deux…reflections a year later

Crazycath October 17, 2008 at 4:18 pm

I have those moments too. But wasted? 39 years wasted? I don’t think so Jennifer. Look at boy and girl. Look at Ducky. Look at us. Don’t see what you think you take.

See what you give us. Because you give a lot, and I for one love ya for it!

Chin up – it;ll come back.

Crazycaths last blog post..Camera Critters #28

Jennifer Harvey October 17, 2008 at 4:28 pm

Cath….no, not wasted. I just meant the individual moments or spans of time when I could have been more productive. No, not 39 years wasted…there’s some good stuff in there. More than my share, in some regards. 🙂

Madge October 17, 2008 at 7:51 pm

I miss you too!!!! What we should do is go to the Met together. That would knock to off your list.

Madges last blog post..Late to the Game

flutter October 18, 2008 at 12:16 am

I have a hat that would look PHENOMENAL on you

flutters last blog post..and then today

Milena October 18, 2008 at 12:25 pm

That’s Ok, you still have a lifetime in which to recapture many of the things you still miss. The best thing to do is keep trying even while missing.

i won’t say this was a lovely or beautiful or all of the many other adjectives I use to tell you how much I love everything you write Jennifer. You know…

By the way, I’ve been meaning to tell you for the longest time now that you as a redhead look smashingly (and I do mean smashingly) hot.

Milenas last blog post..Into the Heart of Poverty – A Blog Action Day Post

the mama bird diaries October 18, 2008 at 1:39 pm

I like that list of all the things you miss. Beautiful. I could picture it all.

No time is wasted. The curves and bends and diversions all bring us to where we need to be.

the mama bird diariess last blog post..politics isn’t pretty but paul rudd is

dragonfly October 19, 2008 at 2:51 am

Okay…if only I could write like that when I didn’t know what to write about! You have such beautiful words…

My husband wears a hat all the time. A beret, actually. He hates it with a fiery passion, but has to wear it with his uniform. I think the only thing he likes about being downrange (aka, in Iraq) is they don’t wear their berets. 😉

dragonflys last blog post..One

Daryl October 19, 2008 at 5:04 am

I miss Cary Grant .. thank the gawds for George Clooney who looks dashing in a hat .. NY Bagels I could send you .. H&H is a mere 2 blocks away .. seriously .. send me your snail mail and you will have bagals .. NY bagels.. really …

Daryls last blog post..waiting, impatiently

Kimberly October 19, 2008 at 7:45 pm

I can’t even tell you how much I relate to this post. That’s exactly how I’ve felt lately when it comes time to write – blank. The proverbial white noise machine humming in my head – happily – but not very excitedly. Sigh. I guess this too shall pass, right?

Very nice post, including the part about hats. (I agree).

Kimberlys last blog post..Under each other’s skin

apathy lounge October 19, 2008 at 8:24 pm

You’re my soul-sister when it comes to naming regrets or stuff we miss. I mean it. You make me think!

apathy lounges last blog post..A Day in the Life

Carolyn October 19, 2008 at 11:14 pm

I’ll tell you what I miss…


You and all your gorgeous words that I haven’t had time to read lately. Sigh. Thanks for all of the beautiful images and visions of romantic men wearing hats.

Carolyns last blog post..i’m still here.

we_be_toys October 20, 2008 at 9:08 am

October seems to be a month for those kinds of thoughts, doesn’t it? I’ve been in my own funk, albeit it’s more of a here and now fret, but that’s just because there’s a lot of crap hitting the fan, and maybe, I’ve just had a little more sleep.

Get some rest – “If you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything” – Count Rugen, “The Princess Bride

we_be_toyss last blog post..Brief Candle

San October 20, 2008 at 9:36 am

That’s rather poetic static, Jennifer.

Know what you mean about hats. When I first moved to Santa Fe, a fair number of men wore cowboy hats. One morning on my way to the gallery, one of these western dudes actually doffed his hat at me and said, “You’re looking mighty purty this mornin’, ma’am.” I glowed the rest of the morning.

I will rephrase the first sentence of my comment: That’s mighty purty static, ma’am.

Sans last blog post..Six Unremarkable Things about Me

Ann October 20, 2008 at 7:48 pm

Oh, my dear, do I feel ya on feeling “blank” lately – blank blank blank blank blank. So frustrating.

Loved your “I miss” list…I have those running through my head often, usually regarding Colorado.

texasholly @ June Cleaver Nirvana October 24, 2008 at 11:23 am

I loved that last paragraph and always wonder how your blank can turn into such a string of startling words.

texasholly @ June Cleaver Nirvanas last blog post..It is not me, it is Heidi–LINK HERE NOW!

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