Sunday, April 01, 2012

Spiral Notebook Sunday: Monday, January 17, 2005

Welcome to this week's Spiral Notebook Sunday, in which Masked Mom goes from philosophically observing the world to griping about Cranky Boss Lady* in four paragraphs flat.

Monday, January 17, 2005

I walked to work this morning, and on the way, I heard Dyke Creek slushing along--the thick water rubbing against itself and against the bank. Floating with the globs of slush were nine mallard ducks--five males, four females--who either forgot to fly south or were too tired to fly the whole way. They seemed utterly unconcerned with the temperature, the density of the water, the change in plans.

I also saw chickadees and starlings. The chickadees reminded me of the day a few years ago when Daughter-Only and I were walking to the bus stop and a male chickadee was perched at the edge of a newly built nest, calling "Fee-bee! Fee-bee!" and I said to Daughter-Only, "I think he's calling his mate." And she said, "Her name must be Phoebe!"

While contemplating the starlings gathered along the wires above North Broad Street, several of whom were this past year's babies, judging by their feathering, I also thought of Cranky Boss Lady and her vehement hatred of starlings. She calls them evil.

She also says crows are evil and coyotes and all manner of indoor rodents are also evil. We have debated this at length--my argument is that the concept of "evil," to me, implies intent to harm or cause damage or distress. Evil, therefore, is something animals are incapable of. This is so obviously logical as to be impossible for even Cranky Boss Lady to dispute, but she tries nevertheless.

The real reason Cranky Boss Lady's "evil" label bothers me is that she portrays herself as some sort of animal lover with a real concern for the state of the environment and so on. The truth is she loves certain animals--dogs, some cats (black ones, but she's indifferent to most others and "hates" orange ones), wolves (for their symbolic significance as much as any natural characteristic wolves themselves possess) and a random and ever-changing short list of other animals. The truth is her love of animals is exactly like every other emotion she has--ruled by what's in it for her.

By far the worst part of my morning walk was recognizing in my mental meanderings the extent to which Cranky Boss Lady has permeated every aspect of my life. Something really, really must be done...

*Cranky Boss Lady is now Cranky Ex-Boss Lady, but this entry was written about halfway through my ten-year tenure (heh) as the manager of the flower shop CBL owned. Cranky Ex-Boss Lady is still a fairly regular part of my life; we talk several times a week. I consider her a friend. I care a great deal about her, but I still don't like her very much, if that makes any sense. It should be noted that she is aware of this blog, is aware of her occasional presence on this blog and is even aware of her nickname on this blog.


  1. Hehehe I love the fact that she knows. ..

    And I agree. The Chickadee's mate must have been called Phoebe.

  2. Phoebe the Chickadee- that could be a children's book.
    I hope CBL knows what a dear friend she has in you.

  3. There are animals that give me the heebie-jeebies, such as bats. But even bats are cute, with their fuzzy heads and red tongues. Just not so cute when flying around my living room.....

  4. I completely understand your relationship to CBL. I have several friends like that, myself. I am just fascinated by this snippet of meandering about the animals and evil and so many things. It is like a tiny glimpse into how your mind works. I just love it.

  5. I agree with Lou- I loved this little peek into the workings of MM's mind:) CBL knows??? How awkward, but also hilarious- you, my dear friend, have serious...ok, don't want to finish that. All the words coming to mind wouldn't work well:) But for the record, I also understand the relationship!