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Saturday, January 10, 2004

Level Green

During the day yesterday, as I ran errands with only my littlest one in tow, (yeah, that's what I meant when I said I had the day off), my mother-in-law offered to watch all three kids later in the evening, so that my husband and I could have a night out, if he would bring some lightbulbs up to her place and change them. Good deal!

We planned on a movie, maybe Cold Mountain or The Last Samurai, and dinner. Well, dinner is tricky for us. We've been living in a house without a kitchen for four months now. Pardon me, we do have a little dorm-room-sized fridge, a microwave, and a coffeemaker, but that's it. So, we eat out/take out all the time. "Where do you want to go, honey?" "Oh, I don't know...where do YOU want to go?" "I don't know...what do you feel like?" "Uh, I don't know, what do YOU feel like?" One of those.

Undecided, we drove around and through and past and through again, downtown Fort Lauderdale. Forgot it was Friday night, and tourist season to boot. Next came the realization that we weren't really all that hungry and the decision was made to just park and wander until we found someplace to have a glass of wine. Too much time had elapsed for a movie.

Fort Lauderdale is currently undergoing a boom. There are six, at least, skyscrapers going up right now, which amazes me, when this native remembers as a child, the tallest building being FOUR stories. And, hey, I'm not THAT old. The city has really done a fine job of livening up it's formerly sterile business district. Architecture buffs that we are, we poked our heads into every building we could, critiquing the designs.

Stumbled across a Japanese Steakhouse, grabbed a seat, ordered some appetizers and wine, and had some grown-up talk. Discussed the kids. G mentioned how weird and nomadic our lifestyle is, especially as we were both raised in very traditional families, and how our kids must think so too. I argued that not knowing any different, this was normal to them. G laughed and told me that we are so out of touch.

"Out of touch?! There are loads of other people like us! Homeschoolers..."

He interrupted and explained that he didn't just mean in the education department, he meant in general. "Most people, probably everybody in this room, are carrying HUGE debts, live in cookie-cutter houses in big, ridiculous, subdivisions, the moms have to work and race around to daycare, they're all a paycheck away from disaster..."

I knew what he meant. We have minimal debt, a teeny little house on the edge of Cracktown, a teenier cottage on an island (Henry David Thoreau's got nothin' on me), our days are spent surrounded by our children, we have foreign residency in case we feel the urge to escape America, my husband could work wherever, whatever. Low overhead, low expenses, high spontaneity... Oh! I get it, "Out of touch" is a compliment!

He summed it up by saying, "Our Tragedy Level is 'Low.'" [A pause, while I slip my sashimi back into my mouth] If we had a fall, it would only be from here (hand an inch off the table), to here (table)." He's right. And thank God for that. What a great life it is, when you really have no major worries and know that whatever comes your way, high or low, you can deal with it. We are two of a kind, and quite happily, out of touch.

Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que sera, sera

-- Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
(and sung by Doris Day, of course)