Monday, October 13, 2003

Half Way Up the Mountain

This weekend, Steve and I attempted to catch up on chores and cleaning. Rock. Sisyphus.

Fall clothes sorted. Rooms vacuumed. Smelly broccoli tossed. Diaper genii emptied (gag. you do it. no you do it.) Finally got that comforter back from the cleaners.

I even got a little academic work done.

On Saturday night, we went to my Aunt's house in Westchester for an engagement party for my cousin, Jeff, and his fiancee, Wanny. He's half Italian/half Indian. She's Korean. They're a good looking couple. Tall and willowy. Always wearing interesting hats and shoes that they picked up in Europe. (They're often teased.)

Both Jeff and Wanny are classically trained cellists -- a profession that is even more competitive and low paying than college teaching. There are so few openings that they enrolled in the PhD program at Rutgers. The doctoral program was a place to get free classes and make connections, but their main aim was to find a paying gig. They'll be done with their degrees next year, and the only lead for a job is in a small Tuscan town.

Like academics, it is foolhardy for cellists to marry each other. The chance of finding one job is small. The chance of finding two in the same city is next to nil. They know that they can never have children. They won't make enough money. The hours are crazy. And they might not be together. But they are deeply committed to their profession. It means more to them than kids.

45 people at the party. Auntie had it catered with tubs of salad, chicken marsala, and eggplant swimming in cheese. The Italians from the Bronx came, which meant that most of the guests were watching the Yankee/Cub game in the TV room. (Go Yanks!) The die-hard fans even had to watch the post game coverage. That sucked because the kids couldn't be distracted with videos. I followed Ian around for a couple hours as he sought out expensive collectibles, glasses of scotch, and electrical sockets. Too exhausted to socialize, we left early.

Though this weekend wasn't full of travel and adventure, it was good to catch up a bit. I have my favorite green sweater out from the top of the closet. We can sleep under a comforter instead of under a zipped out sleeping bag. There's coffee beans in the freezer. I almost feel organized.

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