Jewish World Review August 10, 2001 / 21 Menachem-Av, 5761

Lori Borgman

Lori Borgman
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Consumer Reports

Trying to R-r-r-re-re-relax -- I WAS born to folks raised on farms, which means I inherited an internal clock that goes off when the roosters crow at 5:30 every morning. I was imprinted with a Puritan work ethic. I am project-driven and activity-oriented. The most important thing on my Summer To Do List is to spend a serious chunk of time being totally and completely bored.

Such talk is heresy in today's fast-paced world. Ordinarily, I too, would be appalled at such an idea. But now, in a state of utter exhaustion and complete rebellion, Miss Work-Is-A-Virtue, Miss Must-Have-Six-Simultaneous-Projects is looking to kick back and fritter away a few dog days of summer.

I, heretic.

My dream is to do absolutely nothing. My dream is to be consumed by the catatonic mix of heat and humidity. Come Palm Pilot or Day-Timer, I am going to to r-r-r-r - hold on. I

am going to r-r-r-re-re-re-relax. There. I knew I could do it. I will turn off the cell phone, ignore the fax and set up one of those "I'm unavailable" auto response messages for my e-mail. I will pretend I don't hear the pulsating tone on the phone signaling new voice-mail messages. Finally, I will access my inner-geek and summon the power to shut down the computer.

May G-d grant me the strength to resist deadlines, calendars, the Dow Jones, all-news television channels and the Drudge Report. I will somehow find it in my power to let the laundry pile up, even if it emits vapors. I will muster the might to walk by a dirty kitchen and not even flinch. I want to make like a cucumber and veg. I want to hang so loose a paramedic will have to take my pulse to tell if I'm still living.

I, the hopelessly punctual, will not wear a watch. I will deliberately set the VCR to flash 12:00 and laugh hysterically. I will put duct tape over the time on the microwave and spin every clock radio around to face the wall. I am going to be so reckless with time as to steal a half an hour to do my nails. Two coats and a clear top coat. I have no shame.

My deepest desire is to bail out of the rat race and become a short-term summer slacker. My dream is to watch paint dry. I want to sit back, smell the roses and absorb the splendor of the yard - watch the crabgrass grow and the lawn wither. I long to sit on the patio and stare at the weeping willow swaying in the breeze. I'm not even going to read a book. OK, I might read, but if I do, it will be fiction - no non-fiction. And when I've sat so long that the wrought iron patio chair has made imprints on the back of my legs, I will get up. Then and only then will I mosey over to the hammock.

My plan is to lie there until the evening, when the shadows stretch across the yard and the doves start to coo. When I've finished with the hammock, this carefree spirit of summer is going to saunter over, pick raspberries, and eat them right off the vine. I won't even take them in the house to wash them off first. No parfait, no tart, no Martha Stewart dessert of the month, no nothin'.

Go ahead, call me crazy. On second thought, don't call me at all. I'm not answering the phone.

JWR contributor Lori Borgman is the author of I Was a Better Mother Before I Had Kids. To comment, please click here.

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05/18/01 The death of Common Sense

© 2001, Lori Borgman