Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I think that I should not make plans anymore. For anything. Whenever I do, it doesn't seem to work out. This will be extremely difficult for me to do, because I am a complete control freak.

My father and I have discussed my tendencies to control things, and we think we have traced it back to an incident when I was very young. At the time, my family was living in Los Angeles, near MacArthur Park. My parents decided to move back to Boston so my father could go back to school at Boston University. Obviously since I was only two years old, my opinion was not solicited. They packed our most necessary belongings into their Volkswagen Beetle, and had arranged for the furniture to be shipped. The only thing left was my crib, which I was sleeping in. Apparently I woke up and climbed out of bed and wandered into the empty living room. Every thing was gone. Nothing was left- no furniture, no parents, nothing. My father came back upstairs from the car to find me sitting on the floor crying, apparently thinking every one had left me. I say apparently, because the only thing I really remember about LA was the window in my bedroom closet, where I would sit and play and talk to the pigeons outside on the window ledge. I may not remember this particular incident, but according to my mother, from that point on I needed advanced notice for everything or I would freak out. She would come and tell me things like "We're going to go to the park in a while. When you're ready, come get your coat." When I had accepted the idea of leaving the house, I would bring her my coat and we would go out to the park. Any plans that we made that were cancelled could also cause me to panic.

I have made great strides since then, and I am able to come and go from our house freely, but some things just never change. Whenever plans are made, I analyze them to the last detail. I hate surprises. You can imagine my disappointment this past weekend when I had to make a decision about whether to go to Burlington for a GKD weekend fiesta. The weather was supposed to be bad, and one thing I cannot control is the weather. So, all our plans for buying Vermont yarn, looking at pictures of Alex when he was ten, reminiscing about silly things we did as kids, eating pie and having a few drinks were scrapped. I didn't freak out, but I am told I was a bit of a bear to have around the house for the weekend. M took me down to Salem, NH for some good old-fashioned shopping, which made me feel a little better, at least until I added up exactly how much I spent. I did get some Vermont yarn, in the end. Two skeins of Cherry Tree Hill Sock yarn, from Barton, Vermont. Very pretty, but a small consolation.

Maybe I shouldn't plan it again. Maybe I should just get in the car and show up in Burlington some weekend. No, that would take all the fun out of planning it...


Kate said...

as the eldest child... and the schemer, i too get my knickers in a knot when i'm "curses foiled again". the only thing more frustrating is when I'M the reason things don't work out. then i can only be disgusted with myself and that makes me horrendous company. i can still pull a good pout, all these years after toddlerhood. i bet my mother and husband look at each other knowingly over my head when they see it coming.

jess said...

When I've convinced myself to go, then not go, then go, then not and back and forth many many times (so many that I have not inflicted you all to it!)
Bill said he didn't want to be around me if I wasn't going. After looking out the window at the various precipitation we had here in NJ on Sunday, I'm sort of glad that I didn't drive all the way to VT on Saturday. As much as I needed to get to Vt, for the pie, drinks and pics of Alex at 10, it was not a good idea to drive in that mess.
So I pouted, went to the movies and shopping.
Turned out to be not so bad after all.

Anonymous said...

I actually hate plans...or planning. In my life, I've found all plans to be worthless. There were similar instances in my childhood to H's LA story- but unlike her, I drew a different lesson: NEVER, NEVER, NEVER think about things in advance, never prepare, never worry...life for the moment, because the best laid plans of mice and etc.

So there. We made a plan. Then we changed it. Then...awe hell.

So...when ARE you coming over?