Illness update!
She's not yet two...but she is SO TWO.

Today was my second class, which makes it the first real class, because the first one doesn't really count. We started out with the professor dictating a poem to us, and it was all lovely and perfect and by the end of it I was melty with the gorgeousness of it, and then she went directly into explaining why that Romantic style of poetry was soon understood to be trite and snobby and entirely too removed from the experiences of real people in the real, stinky world. As I frowned at my paper, trying to see properly through the artifice of it all, she followed that up with an airy, "OH, but I still LOVE Romantic poetry - I DO!"

I have missed that teetering unsettledness. English professors are CRAZY, and I love them.

But what annoys me is English STUDENTS. Particularly ones with better answers than mine. There were only five students there today, and one young woman who looked about twelve, kept leaping in with observations like, "Now, this stanza really contrasts with the previous one, because here we've got an entire pantheon of gods and goddesses, rather than the monotheistic blah da de blah blah."

Not a direct quote.

It was annoying because it was SUCH a cliche - the earnest, eloquent young English major, prattling on about the finer points of the whatever that everyone else forgot to care about. And mostly it was annoying because I used to be that person, and I have TOTALLY lost my kiss up literature-phile chops. Dang it. *I* want to be the suck-up head of the class. Does she have to be QUITE so dewy cheeked and wordy?

And speaking of dewy cheeked, do you know what college campuses are simply RIFE with? Dewy cheeked college kids. And these people, these lithe little near-adults are simply OBSESSED with the opposite sex. You can hardly blame them, because they are at that age when various hormonal cocktails in their bloodstream are ruling the day. I have decided that the reason so many college students smoke is to simply get a little relief from the clouds of pheromones that surround them perpetually.

I, being old and married, am impervious to all non-Clay pheromones. All other pheromone receptors are long since atrophied and dessicated. I am like a Jedi master among so many frantic puppies. I wave my hand and intone, "This is not the vagina you are looking for," and they are gone.

No, actually, the truth is much sadder. People on campus make RILLY INTENSE eye contact, I've noticed. Everyone is scanning everyone else, to see if their One is among all the Others. And so I've seen these young men walking toward me, watching me, and I guess I should be flattered, but they get fairly close (okay, it's also dark outside by the time I'm on campus) before they realize that I am OLD. All of a sudden their face goes from open and interested to ALERT ALERT ALERT! MOM ON CAMPUS! ALERT! AVERT EYES!!!! AAAAHHHHGH!

It's not like I want them to think I'm hot or anything, but would it hurt them to not look quite so STARTLED?

Well, whatever. I drove home, and when I got there I walked in from the cold dark front porch to my home, packed full with light and noise and clutter and kids. Tre waved at me from the computer and Sophia marched over to me and ordered, "HOLD that baby!" and Max had made spaghetti sauce from scratch and he waved an empty can of tomatoes at me from the kitchen to let me know we were out. Soon Clay and Raphael were home from wrestling practice, and Clay kissed me hello, both of us relieved to finally be back together. Raphael's cheeks were pink from the cold and the work of practice, and he looked like an angel, but he was a bit too hungry, and he was acting like a little monster.

And I stood in the middle of all the chaos of voices and plates being set on the table and the smell of supper and the steam on the windows, and I was, for the moment, perfectly happy in my imperfect world.

I don't have to be the head of anything. I am in the middle of everything.




English was always my favorite class, and now that I'm close to graduating, I've decided I want it to be my major. I'm not switching because I'm sick of school at the moment, but I plan on paying off some loans, then heading back for English! I hope that, whatever your degree is, it will lead you towards writing because I could read the things you write all day long!

PS: "This is not the vagina you are looking for..." has now been added to my favorite sayings, and I plan on using it often to some of the less-than-charming "dewy-cheeked" boys that approach me at school.


This may be my favorite post of yours EVER.

Amma Always

My favorite line is "I don't have to be the head of anything. I am in the middle of everything." You are!


Oh law, I'm pretty sure "This is not the vagina you are looking for" might have made my day!

Headless Mom

I know I haven't been reading you that long but this is by far my favorite post of yours. (I swear I didn't read Mir's comment before I wrote this.)

I was also an "English egghead" (my boyfriend-at-the-time's words) in college, but without the suck-up-head of the class thing. I wondered what you people were talking about.

Uh oh. With all of the mistakes y'all are going to force me to turn in my degree, aren't you?


Please tell me you are going to get a t-shirt printed with "This is not the vagina you are looking for" on it!


I just want to mention that all the intense eye contact looking for their ONE is them looking for what you have at home. Feels good to already have that and not have to keep looking.



LOL!! I work on a small community college campus and at times I get this exact same look! And I may have to use the "This is not the vagina you are looking for." with some of the not so "dewy cheeked" single guys out there!


Ah, you are perfect.


Hey, hot-from-a-distance ain't bad. In fact, it's practically perfect, since you don't want to actually have to fend them off. Enjoy your power to discombobulate young men :-)


This is so funny. I'm still laughing, and I'm at work so I really appear more crazy than usual.
I have walked in the mall with my daughters and seen the same eye contact scan slide from one daughter to the next and then over to me and then the same STARTLED, OH MY GOD, IT'S THE MOTHER look.
Thank you for putting this in words I can share!

Pat Evans

A friend posted a link to this on her wall. I'm so glad I took the time to read it. It's lovely. And as a former English major and current Grandma on Campus (taking art classes now), I related to it all. If you can get honors for blog posts, you deserve to graduate Summa Cum Laude.


Oh Kira, thank you :-) this is so funny and so true. And "this is not the vagina you are looking for?" HAHAHAHA!!!

I also loved the "Hold that baby". It might be a good thing that her brothers are older because I think that she might have plans to be in charge over there :-)


"This is not the vagina you are looking for,"

I'm just thankful I was drinking anything when I read that! Still laughing...


Good heavens, this is so fantastic.

Linda Sherwood

I teach at a university, and do you know what it is like to mention something that happened yesterday and realize that no one you are talking to knows what you are talking about because they were not born when that thing happened just yesterday? It is demoralizing. It is even worse now because one of the college classes I am teaching is for high school students.


This is great! Am a middle aged wife of a middle aged grad student, and find it both amusing and delightful to observe the undergrads (probably my former self), and not want at all to be that anymore!


"I, being old and married, am impervious to all non-Clay pheromones. All other pheromone receptors are long since atrophied and dessicated. I am like a Jedi master among so many frantic puppies. I wave my hand and intone, "This is not the vagina you are looking for," and they are gone."

I think this may be the funniest thing I've ever read on your blog...and that's saying something. I cannot WAIT to use that last time some 20-something tries to pick up my 40-something, saggy butt at a bar I am sooooo saying it. Gotta practice, though...don't know if I can get it out with a straight face yet! LOL

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