Back to school time is here! That means fall fashion, beautiful foliage, and helping your kids with homework! Time to think about school lunch, soccer practice, and the beginning of the holiday season that strikes fear in every woman’s heart. Like a freight train barreling downhill, we’ve begun the frenzied, terrifying crescendo of events leading us to 2014 and eventually our own deaths.
You were just fighting with your daughter in Forever 21 about her choices for back-to-school clothes (she looks like a prostitute). Blink, and before you know it you’re having the same fight about her Halloween costume (she’s a prostitute). The next day, you’re cleaning up pumpkin shards from your driveway when your mother-in-law calls about Thanksgiving. Blink and you’re in the kitchen, feverishly preparing a 27-pound turkey, Tofurky for your vegan niece, and 22 different side dishes. No one thanks you. What is the meaning of it all?
Blink again and it’s almost December – time to spread love and joy! You fell asleep nursing wounds from Black Friday and woke up just in time to spend 72 hours in your attic wrapping Christmas and Hanukkah gifts you’ve meticulously picked out for friends and family. Next thing you know, you’re cleaning eggnog out of your favorite upholstered chair, rewarding yourself with a good cry and two dozen gingerbread cookies you eat over the sink. When your husband asks why you’re crying, you tell him it’s because you love the gifts he and the kids got you so much – a subscription to a magazine you already receive and a pair of Skechers Shape-Ups.
Blink again, and it’s time to celebrate the New Year! You’re watching the ball drop on television before going to bed and you think, “It seems like just yesterday I was flunking 8th grade algebra like my son Hunter and losing my first tooth like Dakota.” And you’re right. Yet the roots of your hair grow whiter each month and death harkens near.
And out of nowhere, it’s Valentine’s Day! Which is also your birthday and oh fuck he forgot again this year so I guess there’s just no point in any of this, is there?
Every year is an endlessly accelerating wheel of fate. First it’s Halloween, then before you know it you’ll be 60. At 60, everything happens even faster. The retirement age is now 84 and with climate change, you’re just working and sweating and aging faster and faster. The Thanksgiving turkeys pass by like rings of hell and you descend deeper and deeper into the abyss of societal obligation and entrapment until your body slowly wastes away and returns to the earth once again. Why?
Back to school…