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Shall we start an Upside Up movement?

By November 11, 2005thoughts

When Lucy and Zoe were learning about things like object orientation, Lucy showed me a book that she reported was first “upside down” and then “upside up.” It was a eureka moment for me. Think about it — there’s an up side and a down side. The up side is either up or down. When and why did the subjective word “right” get mixed in there?

So, that’s where the title came from. Now, onward and upward.

Lucky you — Bob just installed blogging software on my site so I figured it was time to see what it is all about. May I be [far from] the first to say, who knew the world was so configurable? I consider myself fairly up-to-date in the world of computers (sub-world: Macintosh), but keeping up with everything is as full-time a job as being a mom is — doing both well being near impossible. So, when I first saw what the WordPress software could do, and how easily it could be done, well, I have to admit to being a little impressed. I know it’s already been-there-done-that to most everyone under the age of, what, 30? But as I’m rounding that corner to the upper tiers of thirtysomething, I can safely and confidently say, “wow.” (And what is that age, btw — the age over which the rest of us are merely “old?”)

I’m in the process (if you’ll allow me to use that term loosely) of cleaning out my office to turn it into a playroom. Zoe and Lucy’s toys (which have mostly been gifts from other people, thank you very much…) have so fully taken over our living room that we feel we should hang a big backwards “R” on the front of our house. Short of doing that, we’re going to try to corral everything and move it out of the living room — fully understanding that things will migrate daily back into the house’s public space — and into a room that is a little more hidden, and hopefully, much more organizable. Currently, the toys live in front of the fireplace, where we can impose no order. It’s just a big pile, alternately arranged by adults and 3-yr-olds, which determines how neatly the pile is arranged. Anyway, I’ve got two boxes packed. And the shelf in the corner is empty, though there’s now stuff piled on the drafting table beside it.

I should mention here that I am a terrible packer. I’m the kind of person (assuming there are more out there than just me) who walks into a full room holding an armful of empty boxes and doesn’t know where to begin. What size box should I use? What if I don’t have enough stuff to fill a box? What if I have too much stuff for the box I’ve chosen? What if I fill a box with unrelated stuff and I can’t find any of it later? This is in direct contrast to Bob, my much better half, who walks into that same room and within 15 minutes has the entire room packed, taped, labeled and stacked in the corner ready to be loaded onto the truck. Of course, I’m the person who reserved and fetched the truck. And I’m usually the person who found the new house. And I’m definitely the person who identified the “need” for a new house in the first place. So you see…

Laurie = Forest
Bob = Trees

Once upon a time, I mentioned to Bob that it seemed like maybe we (read: I) were just being stubborn not living in Charlotte. I mean, sure, when I was 18 and all tweaked about leaving home (to go all the way to Durham), it’s easy to see how I didn’t go back to Charlotte. After Durham I went to the Caribbean, then NYC, then back to Durham. But why would I want to go back to Charlotte? It’s a city of banks, which means it’s filled with bankers. I’m a graphic designer. Where would I fit in? It was hard enough finding a space for myself at a small private school with a graduating class of 121 — the largest in the school’s history. If that school was a microcosm, what could the cosm possibly hold for me? And, to 22, or 28 year old Laurie, the answer remained: nothing. But now, to 36-year-old mom of 3-yr-old twins Laurie, I’ll tell you what it holds: my family.

One of the scariest, most mundane unoriginal things I can admit to you about life after having kids is this: Priorities fucking change. The reasons I moved away from home, while once as important to me as my need to memorize all the lyrics to It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (pre-internet, I should remind you), now seem equally trite and sophomoric. Sure they once served to expand horizons, shift paradigms, yadda yadda, and generally grow in ways that Charlotte Country Day School didn’t afford. But now I’m just hanging out in a town that feels, vis-à-vis this topic, irrelevant (no offense intended to anyone — I love you all, I promise). And I’m raising my kids two useless hours away from my parents (and any of you who know my parents knows the full implication and intent of that statement).

Also, returning to Charlotte means I have to hand in my “Hello! I Hated Charlotte and Moved Away” badge which I’ve worn with pride for 18 years. People keep reminding me that Charlotte 2005 is much different from Charlotte 1987, and all evidence does seem to support that statement. But still…it’s Charlotte.

Anyway, you may be able to tell where all this is leading. Sometime in 2006, we’re turning things Upside Down in an attempt to ultimately land Upside Up and we’re moving to The Queen City.

More soon. Thanks for listening.

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