Monday, January 02, 2012

The Taste of Anarchy

You what we did this weekend?

Well, nothing.

No, not nothing, something a bit more important and a bit more fun than nothing.

We made plans, set them out in our mind, checked and double checked both times and places. And then,we didn't do them. We just looked at each other, each day for each activity and said, 'Let's just stay home.' And that's what we did.

There is something wonderful about doing nothing instead of something, if that makes sense. To plan a day at home is lovely. But to plan to be away from home and then stay at home instead is oddly even more lovely. So we had two lovely, extraordinary days where we chucked in the planning and chucked in the organizing and chucked in the expectations.


What's really cool about this is that we were allowed to because the only people we had to consult was each other.

I wonder how many people with disabilities who live with care providers got up in the morning and said, 'You know, I know we planned and all we for me to go to the movies to day, but I just don't feel like it now.' And I wonder how many of those people went. How many were 'talked to' about irresponsibility. How many were 'strongly advised' to follow through? How many were given lectures about the time and effort made in planning?

I'm guessing that there were a few, hopefully not many.

It struck me as I was preparing to write this how non-compliant I am with my own plans and my own schedule. At work, I'm pretty compliant, I do what I'm supposed to do when I'm supposed to do it. I have deadlines in my head. I know that I have to have one script and one proposal done by the end of next week. And, it will be done. But, at home, I'm just not so good at sticking to plan.

Joe and I decided we really wanted a stew. So after the movie on Friday we went and picked up all the vegetables and made sure that we had everything we needed. On the way home we both confessed that we were a bit too tired to make stew. So, we had left overs instead. The stew vegetables sat there, unused and in fact, by the accusing look in the potato's eye, annoyed.

Saturday we got up and made stew in the morning so that we'd have the day to go out and do what we had planned. And then, we chucked it in and stayed home and smelled vegetable stew slowly cooking on the stove all day. It was awesome.

You know what else we did?

We ate forbidden foods! Listening carefully we thought we could hear a nutritionist sobbing somewhere. We munched on Butter Tarts while humming O Canada! They didn't just taste sweet, they tasted, divinely, of rebellion! It was great. Sometimes Joe and I live as if our parents are away for the weekend.

I wonder how many people with disabilities went into the fridge and grabbed something not on their diet, not on their prescribed and agreed to health plan, and were told to be sensible? I wonder how many, in the spirit of a season of feasting wanted to simply feast and had the food taken out of their hands? I wonder how many incident reports about butter tarts were written up, in serious hand, for meetings in the New Year?

I'm guessing that there were a few, hopefully not many.

So we broke rules this weekend, it seemed like a good way to end one year and begin the next. We know that the year coming, like the year past, will have demands and expectations and tasks. We know that. So it was nice to rebel, a little bit. It was nice to break rules, a little bit. It was nice to be irresponsible, a little bit.

Because life can be hard, days can be long, and years can pass both quickly and slowly at the same time.

Which is why God made butter tarts so sweet.

And couches so soft.


Andrea S. said...

Entirely appropos of nothing, but once many years ago I met a woman from Alaska who told this story (I cannot now recall if it was about herself as a little girl, or about her young daughter) who would often watch Canadian television (this being more accessible in Alaska than continental US television, I suppose because this was in the days before cable) ... she would wave an American flag while singing the O'Canada song, and did not understand why adults found this amusing!

Glad you enjoyed the day!

And, I hope that most people with disabilities who need to have daily assistance in their lives aren't scolded if they, too, occasionally change plans at the last moment.

Anonymous said...


I guess that what you described is true freedom. And I hope you and Joe enjoyed it very very much.

Right now I am in the third week of my vacation. I sleep as long as possible, I due right what I want outside my daily working routine. The only concession I had to make toward my disability is taking my medications in time.

But otherwise I enjoy the freedom and the silence of my vacation.


Colleen said...

Dear Dave:

I think it is these kind of days that make life bearable! I have had and intend to continue to have them regularly - or more appropo, irregularly, when opportunity and mood strike.

I too hope that people with disabilities get to have these kind of days. However, my experience of people who live in services is that they do not and if they try to they get "written up". They are denied the pleasure of non-compliance - the short term wallowing in self-indulgence and, if we are honest, the tiny rebellion against the regimentation that can take over our ordinary days.

Andrea S. O'Canada - must the Irish version :-)


Susan said...

Didn't you write another story once about butter tarts? I kind of wish you had a search thingy on your blog so I could look it up, but then again, I think it was probably from your pre-blog days, in fact I think it might have been from your Quebec period... I have definite impressions in my emotional memory vaults, but for the life of me I can't remember much about the story, except that it was a good one!

Kristin said...

It sounds like an absolutely perfect weekend. Glad you two got to spend it together.

Dave Hingsburger said...

Hi Susan, you do remember right. One of the pieces of writing I'm most proud of is 'Panis Angelicus' which was about butter tarts ... and much more. It's not on the blog. It's in one of my books - I think out of print. I have it right here by my computer and read it now and again.