Finals are over. All I have to do now is grade a short pile of exam essays, whip out the Large Buttoned Granny Calculator, cipher a bit, then post those semester grades. I don’t even mind going to the office on a Sunday to do it, because Monday morning I’ll be free and clear. The weeping freshman girls have all gone home, and the conniving boys have followed them. Or is that the other way around? Every student who never showed up to class and mysteriously remembered my name long enough to find my office has packed up. Tomorrow I can grade in peace without eleventh-hour student negotiations knocking at my door. I’ll press “submit,” and then I’ll be done for almost a month.
Ah, yes. Ease and relaxation.
Or it will be after I finally put up the tree, decorate a bit shabbily, wrap the presents I’ve already bought, hit the stores for the rest, realize I don’t have scotch tape, hit the stores again, finally clean my house thoroughly, sweep out the garage, then find the right screwdriver to put my new license plate on the car before I’m stopped again by that officer I used to have in my tenth grade class.
“Oh Miz Fason,” he sighed, “you really do have to put that on the car.”
After all that, I’m lounging. Hopefully with a book without literary merit and a splash of Bailey’s in my coffee. I’m going to wear old sweatshirts and raggedy warm-up pants and scumble about in my socks. I’ll still put on make-up and do my hair because, well, someone might come to the door delivering packages or collecting canned goods. My grandmother taught me that much.
I’m going to watch The Perfect Grandson bounce mightily in his jumperoo and sing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” to him at least five times a day because both of those things make him laugh. I’m going to buy my daughter surprise Christmas gifts that are just for her, because she’s an exhausted new mom who many times substitutes for the jumperoo. I’m going to play Christmas music on my outdated stereo and make peace with that damned weenie dog that keeps pooping where he shouldn’t. I’ll scan cable for all the best Christmas movies and watch them with all four of us under a quilt on the couch.
Finally, I’m going to write great gobs of nothing in particular. It doesn’t have to be earth-shattering, or publishable, or planned. Just massive scribbling to empty out a bit of what I’ve been putting off for the last few weeks. I suspect my need to write is much like The P.G.’s jumperoo craving. We’re both a little maniacal once we’re back in the saddle.
See? I’ve already begun.