I am an eater of mandarin oranges.
I stand at the entry way to every Rotary meeting and flash a smile at the members as they come through the door.
My feet pinch in regular ladies’ shoes. I clomp around in the heaviness of vintage Doc Martens and Mary Jane’s with thick straps and black buckles.
Standing in front of the mirror clipped to an old door leaning against the bedroom wall, I hold the gaze of the woman staring back. One of her eyes droops, and her teeth do not gleam.
I sit in the driveway listening to the end of the episode of Moth which started playing on the way home. I strain to hear the passion in the voice of a man describing how he argued with the Italian ladies at the Deli Counter who wanted to be served before him. He only needed a quarter pound of Boar’s Head roast beef so he could go home and sit in a miserable heap at the kitchen table.
I could relate.
On my fridge shelf, I have six cans of Le Croix (plain); a half-empty container of hummus; two dozen eggs; a loaf of Gluten Free bread; and an assortment of bottles which I can’t remember having opened or used.
I have four types of coffee makers, none of which uses electricity. I boil water in a tea kettle to pour over the grounds for three of them. One sits on a burner and makes a perfect cup of espresso in four minutes.
In the morning, I drink dark-roast coffee from heavy crystal mug that my friend Paula’s daughter left at the house one time when she baby-sat the dog. In the evening, I brew tea in one of three infuser mugs that I got as gifts from different women who love me and know that I don’t like tea from bags.
I prefer metal hair pins to any other form of ornament. Everybody compliments my French braids and my chignons but I like my hair down and wavy.
I cry at Hallmark commercials.
Whenever possible, I keep people in my life — sometimes against their better judgment.
I have blue eyes; I’m right-handed; I have to wear European shoes because American sizes don’t fit my arthritic feet. I have an uncanny knack for self-deception. I have not mastered the art of budgeting,. I lack the talent for predicting success. I’ve never acquired the confidence to stride in any room with my head held high.
Nothing in life has quite gone the way I expected.
But I’m not complaining. I still believe that hope floats.
It’s the twelfth day of the fortieth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.