Friday, October 23, 2009

Spoiled rotten... is it such a bad thing?

Last month I was pulling out of the grocery store parking lot when I had that moment. You know the one. The momentary midlife crisis that you're too young for but still recognize with every crows' foot. Maybe it's foreshadowing. But whatever it is at its evil root, it presented on that particular day in the form of a Honda Civic, gold package, cutting me off as I turned right into my lane.

She drove over the curb, people. She flashed me the special finger known in my house as "Tall Man" from the Thumbkin family. Also gracing that hand was a visible CZ from 35 miles per hour.

Her other hand was busy holding a bejeweled cell phone to her ear. I'm not sure but maybe she was steering with her knee? My shocked self took in her license plate frame as she zoomed away: "Spoiled Rotten Princess."

I drive a Suburban: Red, nine-passenger, flex-fuel-but-still-not-sexy, tows the horse trailer and hauls the feed and keeps my kids safe. My wedding ring took my husband saving an entire summer job's earnings between his sophomore and junior years at a public university. (That worked out okay for him, though, since I worked as a reporter to help pay tuition for the next three years.)

So spoiled rotten princesses may cut me off in traffic. They may assume my loaded Suburban defines me. (And in my neck of the granola, owning an SUV is enough to have you run out of greentown.)

Stereotyping goes both ways, I guess. She may have been a very late-for-court spoiled rotten princess. She may have been hurrying to deliver Costco goods to a relief plane for all I know. I shouldn't judge her by the self-spinning chrome hubcaps on her wheels any more than she should have judged me too slow to follow and too old to fight back in an alley.

I shouldn't judge.

But I'm at the Sylvia Beach Hotel for a four-day, three-night getaway because my family truly does spoil me... rotten.

I've spent the past couple of days writing, reading and drinking tea while the fog alternates with driving rain. Just perfect weather for a bookworm in the West Coast's best Luddite hotel: no phones, no television, no internet, no problem.

Yesterday I read Fortune's Rocks by Anita Shreve. Beautiful but a little disturbing; just the way I like Shreve. The day before, Northanger Abbey by of course Jane Austen. There's nothing like a little Jane on a rainy day. Today I'm sitting by the fire in the Newport Public Library, where they don't mind if you steal their wifi. Really. I asked. Because I'm not so spoiled as to fail to ask permission.


Barb said...

So. Jealous.

I think your family is wise to realize that you need to recharge your batteries.

And you.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your time away Miriam! Sounds like right out of a movie.

HonuGirl said...

Good thing you're resting now ...

You could've taken her in the alley -- you are raising 4 girls (and homeschool too ...) you chase away bully dogs to protect your chickens and . . . you can drive a huge SUV while pulling a horse trailer ...

best of all

... you are "the princess" to an incredible guy who loved you enough to sacrifice for the ring on your hand {her guy may regret every credit card payment he's making to pay off that rock)

{oops, did I write that out loud??}

Love you - you deserve a fabulous peaceful getaway!!

Carolyn said...

I stole wi-fi at the Met in NY. It was some sort of bliss blogging away in the midst of so many master's works. That was not a vacation for me (I ended up there by way of missed flights and sleepless's a long story) but I understand those moments.

I can only dream of a hotel cave where I lay back and read with a bag of chocolate by my side.

Misty said...

truly dreamy...

It's really hard not to judge sometimes. Like those times... but there is spoiled, and then there is SPOILED... and while one leaves others envious and drooling over your good fortune, the other one just smells so horrible that those around you choke on their own vomit.

QuiltedSimple said...

you deserve it - hope you enjoyed your time