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February 16, 2013: More on the Subject of Being an Adult

Yeah, like I said yesterday, I’m an adult. And I’m a responsible one at that. I wish I was an irresponsible adult – this would be way more fun. Like I wish I could say today that I acted irresponsibly by going out and maxing out our credit card. Or acted irresponsibly by bringing home the border collie puppy that I saw listed on Craig’s list. Or acted irresponsibly by purchasing a one way ticket to Hawaii. Or acted irresponsibly by consuming an entire bottle of Baily’s Irish Crème in a single sitting.

No, I wouldn’t do any of these things because I am a responsible adult, which is one who was raised to be this way. In some ways this makes me a really dull person. It’s for this reason that I have no riveting stories to tell. Yes, I now lead a very ordinary life. I didn’t used to. A case in point – tonight I listened as this fellow told a story about going to Bethel in the dead of winter and discovering that his

drafty hotel room had a snowdrift in the middle of the room. I, of course, asked if he’d brought his sleeping bag along. I then realized that this wasn’t a question that just anyone would ask, because not everyone would think this. I asked it because I learned early in life that with a sleeping bag, you can stay warm and get a good night’s sleep just about anywhere. Without one, you’re screwed. Again, this realization was a holdover from when I was leading a more interesting life.

Today, I must say, I felt very responsible. This is because I got out there with the snow scooper and shoveled snow off our numerous trails. I’m not talking about moving an itty bitty amount of snow. I’m talking about moving a large amount of snow, probably enough to fill a few dump trucks. We’re talking cubic yards.

Moving snow always seems like a senseless activity to me because I know that if I wait long enough that it will melt and be gone. However I didn’t want to have to deal with the short term alternative, which is to have to continue to trudge through it to get where I need to go on a daily basis – the horse pen, the goat pen, the outhouse, to the cars. The older I get, the more senseless trudging seems. It takes time and energy that I don’t have anymore.

Back to being responsible. I scooped because I did not think it fair that Pete would have to do this all by himself, which in the recent past has been the case. So I scooped on a bright and beautiful day, while five very bored horses looked on. I dared not look Raudi in the eye because I knew that she’d then convey to me what she was thinking – which was that I was being an irresponsible horse owner.

I scooped while Pete cleared the driveway with the tractor. It was not that he was by eschewing scooping being irresponsible. No, not at all. Rather I who was pushing snow around with all my might was being super responsible. Did I feel virtuous? Hell no. I instead felt resentful. Chalk this one up to human nature. The dude looked like he was having a good time, pushing snow using tractor power. No one in their right mind would feel differently.

So in addition to feeling responsible, I also felt sane. Like responsible people, sane people are also boring. I once had a very good friend who one Saturday morning began nailing toast to her kitchen wall. This, we both agreed, was conceptual art. But her parents got wind of what she was doing and had her committed. I was afraid to go and visit her because I thought that my thinking she was sane meant that I was insane. I talked with her when she got out of the Butterscotch Palace, and soon realized that her artistic spark was by now long gone.

Yes, sane is boring. It’s now late. It’s snowing again. I suspect that by tomorrow morning that I’ll again have to act in a responsible fashion and resume snow scooping. Or maybe instead I’ll go to Hawaii, which is where all the irresponsible Alaskans are now hanging out. This must be where they are. After all, there is no snow there.

Next: 48. 2/17/13: Hold Yer Hosses