Once, old Dave and I went for dinner at the house of some friends – well, really they were just the parents of our child’s friend, so we knew them only that well. The young people had gone off to the hosting kid’s room the way kids do, so we four were alone in the living room. I believe we were at that stage of such an evening where you’re inquiring delicately about one another’s pasts, and I guess I must have been the one to ask the dad of the family if he still had his parents.
“Both gone,” he said, looking down.
He paused for a beat, reflectively, even sadly I thought, then looked up again.
“AND IT’S LIKE BEING A SENIOR IN HIGH SCHOOL!” he crowed with a big happy smile.
What he meant, as he explained to his somewhat shocked dinner guests, was that no one had the right to expect things of him anymore. He was free.
That remark has stayed with me to this day as I have asked myself over and over if I could I identify with it on any level.
I guess I did feel my daughterly obligations disappear with the ambulance that drove off with the body of my last remaining parent, but really I have never felt “free” in the way that man was using the words. And so I wonder: How can some people just sort of .. rest inside their lives while others keep taking on obligation? I mean, are we do-gooders the crazy ones?
I have no doubt that I’m a crazy one. I feel so crazy after this long week I just want to spend the weekend reading. I feel as though I can’t do one more thing for anyone.
Look how cozy this woman below looks. Hmmmm… OK I’m going to do it! Now if I can just find someone to bring me food every three hours…. (Dave? Oh Da-a-a-ave?)