Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My Inner Hermit Crab

Okay, be forewarned, this is about the hermit crab again. But I promise this will be the last posting about it for a long while. I hope. Are you relieved that our new pet is as sans personality as this one?? I am terrified to think how much I'd be writing about a cat. It's not like the crab does anything interesting. But I did promise a photo and I found that cord I needed to get the pics from my camera, so there they are. Okay, its cage is not as sad looking as it seems. I think it is happy, in a crabby sort of way. He's eating in these pictures; you just can't tell. I figured I could have taken him out of the cage, and gotten a good action shot, but I was afraid - okay, knew - that I would drop him, and then his shell might crack, and he would die of exposure. Or he would crawl on me, and I wasn't sure which would be worse, so those are the best I could get. Anyway. He really is a hermit. Then he'll have these periods of being out of his shell and seemingly never wanting to go back in. But then he does. I am finding him to be (I keep defaulting into the male pronoun for him. I could get all Freudian about that, but I won't) very helpful around nap and bed-time for my 20 month old. I am pretty much always able to tell my son that "woman man whatever it is momma daddy crab" is asleep and my son has to believe me because who can tell?? Though I keep waiting for the day when the damn thing pops its head out of its shell and yells, "No, I'm not!!" But it probably knows its future would be at stake if it did. So, that remains a ridiculous fantasy. I did take a page from its book, so to speak, today by not answering my phone. Mostly. Not that I always answer my phone. Frankly, I very rarely want to answer my phone. And a lot of the time, when the phone rings, I can't help but think of that old Dorothy Parker line, "What fresh hell is this?" Not that it ever really is. Usually, mostly, pretty much always, it is someone I am happy to talk to, so why I continue to have that reaction, I will never know. My sister-in-law, who is a urologist (and a great one if you are ever in need and in the NY area), has on her cell phone what I consider to be the best outgoing message. She gives the usual info, then concludes with, "If this is a true emergency, dial 911." I so want to say that on my cell phone. Doesn't that just take care of so much?? Talk about boundaries. Before I was married and had children and I was still living in LA, I used to give myself my own little hermit crab time and turn off my cell phone, leave my apartment, and drive up the PCH to Ventura, a good 45 minutes to an hour north. I loved being completely out of reach. Not that the hordes were trying to find me, but still. It was like I was in another state. The best times doing that were going home, and not even listening to the answering machine. Or really, not even checking to see if or how many messages there were, just going to sleep, and maybe not even checking them for awhile after I woke up. One night when I did that, I drove up to Ventura, then was back in LA, but still didn't want to go home, so I went to a movie theater in Westwood and got there just in time to see The Big Lebowski. I love that movie.
Maude Lebowski: What do you do for recreation? The Dude: Oh, the usual. I bowl. Drive around. The occasional acid flashback.
Blond Treehorn Thug: [holding up a bowling ball] What the fuck is this?
The Dude: Obviously you're not a golfer.
My husband and I watched it again a few weeks ago with some friends when we were at the beach. Seeing The Dude constantly holding a White Russian in his hand reminded me a bit of the iced decafs I've been living on all summer. Not that there's vodka in them. Or that I'm bowling. Or having any hermit crab time of my own. But I'm not really wanting it anymore.
Except when the phone rings.


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