Saturday, November 10, 2007

Change Is Good

My best friend Starr Ann loves candles. Don't get me wrong, she doesn't eat them anymore. That was a passing phase in first grade that I used to tease her about a lot. At the time, I happened to be in second grade and awful proud of having just kicked my paste dependence.

Anyway, especially after she's cleaned the house from top to bottom, Starr Ann loves to light a bunch of scented candles and turn off all the lights. Have I ever mentioned that Starr Ann actually enjoys housecleaning? Yep. She really does. And if you don't think that has worked out real nice for me over the years, think again. But Starr Ann isn't a clean freak or anything. In fact, she isn't all that much into maintenance cleaning. No, what she likes to do is let the house get kinda needy, let things go just a little. That's when her cleaning fits hit, when the work actually makes a noticeable difference. Starr Ann can't dust unless there's some real live dust to get rid of.

It's like when you're riding in a car that's going at a steady speed. You don't feel a thing. Don't sense the motion. But speeding up and slowing down? That's different. Roller coasters and ferris wheels are all about acceleration. Amusement parks should really be called acceleration parks, because people are accelerometers, not speedometers.

And some people, like Starr Ann, are thrillometers. She just naturally seeks out the exciting bits life has to offer and I don't believe she even notices the mundane. Unless, of course, things have been real exciting, which gets her craving the ordinary. But that's just another form of acceleration.

I was explaining all this stuff to Jodie yesterday as we were playing Topsy-Turvey and watching Starr Ann clean the kitchen. Jodie wasn't one hundred percent sold on the concept of us just hanging out while Starr Ann worked her butt off.

Jodie said, "Maybe we should suspend our game and give her a hand."

This sounded like dangerous thinking to me.

"No, that would dilute the satisfaction she'll have when everything's all sparkling and fresh. Just trust me on this."

"Margo, are you sure you're not rationalizing here?"

That did it! I said, "Now you're asking me to come up with a rational argument for rationalization? Sorry, the bus stops right here, Jodie. If you want to fix yourself up a bucket of soap suds and get started on some floor or something, go right ahead."

Heh. That woke her up. "Well, when you put it that way, she does seem content."

Right then, right when I knew I had Jodie in a useful frame of mind, Starr Ann came into the living room and said, "Either of you feel like washing the kitchen windows?"

Dang! Curse change. Curse acceleration.

But later on, when everything was in its place, and the candles were all lit, and we were relaxing by the fireplace as I told Jodie about how Starr Ann used to eat candles, I have to admit to feeling extra satisfied.

Still hoping this doesn't start a trend, though.

Candle glow is mighty appealing, don't you think?