Monday, January 24, 2011

On the Occasion of My 33rd Birthday

Several years ago, I was listening to Writer's Almanac in the car when they presented a poem by Wendy Cope. I loved it.  A long time later, I e-mailed it to some friends, and was really, really, really shocked to find that some of them didn't like it at all.

Make your own decision:

Being Boring
'May you live in interesting times.' Chinese curse

If you ask me 'What's new?', I have nothing to say
Except that the garden is growing.
I had a slight cold but it's better today.
I'm content with the way things are going.
Yes, he is the same as he usually is,
Still eating and sleeping and snoring.
I get on with my work. He gets on with his.
I know this is all very boring.

There was drama enough in my turbulent past:
Tears and passion - I've used up a tankful.
No news is good news, and long may it last.
If nothing much happens, I'm thankful.
A happier cabbage you never did see,
My vegetable spirits are soaring.
If you're after excitement, steer well clear of me.
I want to go on being boring.

I don't go to parties. Well, what are they for,
If you don't need to find a new lover?
You drink and you listen and drink a bit more
And you take the next day to recover.
Someone to stay home with was all my desire
And, now that I've found a safe mooring,
I've just one ambition in life: I aspire
To go on and on being boring.

Linked from here.

Once I realized this poem didn't resonate with everyone--not even necessarily with people I love dearly-- I tried to figure out why I loved it so much.

The easy answer (which I've tried to type a couple times, so it's obviously not all that easy) is that my parents' relationship was uber-dysfunctional, and I try to avoid drama in response.

The more honest answer is that I've done a lot of work to figure out how to break the cycle of crazy.  And, for the most part, I have.  

After growing up in Dysfunction Junction, I thought I wouldn't get married.  Then I met Andrew, and I slowly realized that things could be different--really different.  Andrew is the main reason I believe in reincarnation; I'm pretty sure we knew each other before this go-round.

I'm thinking about all this today because it is my birthday.  It's the one day a year that is uniquely mine.  What is the very best way I can imagine spending this day?

Today I went to work.  I went to lunch with a friend.  When I get home, I want to take a walk, eat my favorite meal*, and knit on the couch while we watch something funny.

A happier cabbage you never did see.

*chocolate chip pancakes with peanut butter, a banana, veggie sausage links, and either milk or iced coffee


  1. Excellent poem. Long may your boringness last!

    Love, Lynn

  2. It's fantastic. But it's possible I think that because of my own experiences at Dysfunction Junction.

  3. I also think it's a wonderful poem, and I don't think that has anything to do with my past. It's just recognizing the value of living a quiet, content life (which is totally underrated). I also love that my life is pretty boring. I think one of the main reasons I've been so slow to want children is because I'm so darn content with things the (quiet) way they are, that I have a fear of upseting the proverbial apple cart.

  4. sorry, Cabbage, chocolate chip pancakes with peanut butter are not boring. :)