Saturday, December 12, 2009

Seeing the future

Here's the thing with plans: I love making them. I like knowing that the calendar is full of events and evenings with friends and interesting things to do and see. Weeks in advance of things I can't imagine that I'll be anything but happy with the plans I've made, right until the day those plans arrive. Daniel Gilbert talks about this a lot in his book "Stumbling into Happiness" about the human inability to project how we'll feel in the future. He's right, of course. It's when the day actually arrives that I wonder what I was thinking when I scheduled us for weekday events back to back, or other such complications.

A long work day yesterday that began with a morning client presentation in Connecticut. Then back to the city for work, meetings, check-ins before an end-of-day haircut. Nick met me at the hair place (though was too intimidated to come up to the floor.) I had good news for him: I'd spoken at length to my hairdresser about Jamie's plans to become a stylist. He had not only good advice but a specific plan and offer -- once she has her license she can get a job at his place as an assistant, which includes real training and apprenticeship. I couldn't wait to tell Nick so he could tell Jamie.

After we met -- in the brutal, biting cold -- we headed downtown to the East Village where we were meeting Olivia and Jon. Very nice dinner at a place on East 4th called B Bar. Nick and I got their first and had a drink at the bar, where a blotto couple were asking the waitress to define iambic pentameter. She couldn't. (I could but didn't volunteer.) The kids showed up and we had a really nice dinner. After that we headed down the block to see a version of Carson McCullers's
"The Heart is a Lonely Hunter." It was surprisingly strong and well done, with one breakout performance by the girl who plays Mick. The kids and Nick loved it; it was instantly one of Nick's favorite plays (I'm always relieved when he loves something since I'm responsible for this entire aspect of our lives.) It was great, and when we left we heard a couple say that no play or story set in the American South ever ends well. Too true, so true (as college girls write in the margins of "The Bell Jar.")

Great evening. From there to Penn, where we missed the next train and made the 11:35. Lots of fun.

Today will be about rest and recovery. Someone's coming to see the house this morning, and we have a couple of errands to do. Otherwise this will be our time -- lots of resting, hanging out, scrabbling and mojitos (they made a decent mojito at the place last night but not nearly in Nick's league.) Tomorrow will be abbreviated: I have to leave midday to fly for a Monday meeting. I'll be back Monday night, and then Tuesday morning I leave for the West Coast, back Thursday morning on the red-eye. Should be my last week of grinding intensity before the break, which will be even more welcome than usual.

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