When this child was born, I feared for what his father would name him. The deal from the beginning was that I wanted my son to have my dad's name for a middle name. Stanley had shown up in one of those baby name books under a funky category called "Boys' Names That Could Become the New Girls' Names." Well, that wouldn't be cool to be a teenage boy and suddenly have your name become the new popular name for baby girls, so Stanley had to be the middle name. The other part of the deal was that my husband got to pick the child's first name. Scared? Yes, I must admit that made me a little bit scared. Ricky had been happily calling this child Angus, as in Angus-what's-his-name from AC/DC, as soon as we knew he was a "he." Not John, Paul, George, or even Ringo, no, the super Beatles fan thought Angus was a cool name. He said he was kidding, but I could see the happy gleam in his eye when he caught an AC/DC video. Well, I had to counter "Angus" some way, so I started referring to the child I was carrying as "Elvis." Elvis Angus?? Oh, my, can you imagine?
In the end, my husband was bouncing along the hospital corridor as they wheeled me into surgery, saying, "I think it's going to be Vincent. Yeah, maybe Vincent. . .or James." What was he talking about? I'd never heard him mention Vincent as a possibility, and this was the man who never answered anyone when they asked about the "J" in Ricky J. Garren. Since I happen to like names that have been passed along in a family, though, I grasped hopefully at the notion of "James." Oh, no offense to anyone named Vincent, but I just didn't get it. So, that's how James Stanley finally arrived in this world with a decent name.
It wasn't until a couple months later that I realized he might share names with his father, his maternal grandfather, and even one of his mother's uncles, BUT he could arch one eyebrow skeptically and look a whole lot like yet another uncle. . .and that is how this face he's making in the picture has come to be known as James' Uncle Ralph eyebrow face. It's the ultimate in "oh, really??" expressions, greatly admired by me because, although I can be a sarcastic skeptic of huge proportions, I can not raise one eyebrow archly and send out the "oh, reeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaall??" smirk.
And this week has been one in need of an "oh, reeeeeeeeeeaaallllllly??", more than once, I might add. For instance, a piece of junk mail in the mailbox commanded me DO NOT BEND. Oh, really? And why not? Mostly, though, the "oh, really" bit has been a note to myself in response to the I-ought-to's. I ought to separate my paperwork every month so I don't have to dig through all of it at once when the beancounter decrees it is time. Oh, really? When have I ever, ever, ever been organized and stayed that way? I ought to do the housework first, then have the rest of the day to work without it hanging over my head. Oh, really? Am I really going to achieve anything by trying to start that routine on a snow day (when the kids will come along behind me and spill something immediately, and when I know how bad I am at the "domestic" part of domestic goddess)? I ought to do this, I ought to do that. Oh, really? Why not work with my foibles, work within the weird flow of disorganized creative chaos that is me?
That's it. I already know it works, albeit slowly from year to year. Instead of keeping all the oxygen receipts somewhere on the desk, why not narrow it down again this year? Why not keep all those particular yellow receipts in one box or drawer? Same for the housework stuff, too. Why not make it more of a habit to give the entire kitchen a spiffing up while I'm waiting for the coffee to brew, instead of just idly putting the dishes away? Yep, this working within the boundaries in order to slowly stretch them just might be the key.