Tom Wolfe Was Right...Sort Of
The reason you can't go home again, I think, is largely because, if you do, you can't get a blasted thing done.
I sit down to type. But am I comfortable? Wouldn't I be more comfortable at the table? It would be better on my wrists. Remember when I needed those wrist braces? Why don't I wear them now? Why didn't I bring them? But don't type with that laptop, your father needs it. What am I typing? Is it that silly blog, or is it something I'll actually get paid for? By the way, why can't my own parents read the blog? And now it's time for lunch, so I'll need to move the laptop to the couch. Why don't I type later? Besides, Fill-In-The-Blank Auntie is coming over in twenty minutes. Maybe...I should change? Of course, if I want to wear that, it's okay, but I look so much nicer in that other shirt. Your mother will find it. Can I please watch the stove? Well, I can just put the computer to sleep for a moment, and then watch the stove. Remember to save my files. Do I need a floppy? Your father has a floppy, he'll go get it. Am I still typing that blog? But it doesn't make me any money. Is that the doorbell? Can I get the doorbell? Where is your mother?
(work word count: five)
It's delightful and frustrating to be completely thwarted in any attempt to work. Because then Fill-In-The-Blank Auntie comes and it's time for gossip. Who's wedding is being planned? Where are they holding it? But the food is terrible there. Who is coming to next weekend's party? Can they bring potato curry/chapatti//mango chutney? No lasagna, please. And let's make sure the men don't get so drunk this time. The kids? We've given up on the kids.
(work word count: seven)
Who's going to India soon? Can they bring back some spices/copper utensils/bootleg dvd's? But no saris. We definitely don't want any saris. No matter what the border looks like (gold thread embroidery) or what color it is (saffron fading into rose) or how many yards it is (six yards), we definitely don't want anyone to bring us any saris. No, not even if they are incredibly gorgeous. We would be insulted by any sari someone would bring, especially if it came from Devi Sari Emporium in Gil Nagar, and we would complain unendingly about the inappropriate generosity, as we have done for the last twenty years.
(work word count: ten)
Fill-In-The-Blank Auntie will also complain about her children. Even though they make so much money and are engaged to be married and live within shouting distance of her home and have just bought a new hybrid car, Fill-In-The-Blank Children are completely impossible. But your daughter looks so nice, even if she doesn't practice law. The blue in the hair is very cute. Let her do that sort of thing, she's young, and besides, she's not my daughter, so what do I care? At least she's gained some weight. She used to be such a stick figure, it wasn't healthy at all. What? How is Fill-In-The-Blank Uncle? Oh, don't get me started on him
(work word count: thirteen)
After invariably bringing food and gossip, Fill-In-The Blank Auntie will leave. I will sit down at the computer again, brimming with optimism and puritan work ethic. But oh no. It's time for lunch, and we will be serving some unbelievably delicious homemade South Indian food. As usual. And after lunch, Fill-In-The-Blank Cousin is coming over and we're going to play Mah-Johngg. You love Mah-Johngg, don't you? So, like an unruly baby, the computer will be once again put to sleep.
(Total work word count:fifteen. Witnessing the comedy that is home: priceless)