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January 8, 2000

I made three false starts before I finally got yesterday's entry out, and I still ended up not talking about what I intended to. Oh well, another time. Or maybe it just wasn't in me after all.

"Two thousand" still doesn't sound like a year to me. Why, back in my day, chile, a year started with "nineteen." When you said "nineteen," I figured you were going to name a year. When you say "two thousand," I think, "Two thousand what?"

Why does Word 2000 want to change "chile" to "Chile"? Does it think I was talking to an entire South American country?

I'm a little bummed that the vacation we're taking this summer probably won't be the idyllic slice of heaven that I've been imagining since we started planning it three years ago. But I'm getting over the initial shock that brought on these random scribblings at 2:30 this morning in my paper journal:

I have to admit that I'm a little less enthusiastic about our family reunion this summer in Colorado, since I heard yesterday that each family wants to do something different, on their own, without the others. I'm trying not to brood about it, but I had an idealized image of what it was going to be like — all the generations from California and Iowa spending their days together for a week, away from the distractions of the world, in a natural setting that would give us a chance to get to know each other again.

Now I have a picture of us waving at each other as we go off in different directions, maybe getting together for a meal once in a while. When we were together in Jackson Hole three years ago, it all seemed perfect to me. I don't know if the Iowa cousins saw it differently. Maybe they were bored, or resented the fact that the California branch took the initiative to make plans and arrangements and reservations. Now something I've been looking forward to since 1997 has been tainted, and I don't know why.

Am I selfish to be sad that I have to lower my expectations? Of course it's not about me — it's never about me — so if I express my feelings am I being a pissy little baby? That wouldn't do anyone any good anyway, so I really have no choice but to go along, as I always do. Since I have fewer responsibilities, it's less of a sacrifice for me to do things their way. I wouldn't know how to exert any leverage if I had it.

It's just that I had allowed myself, for once, to hope that things would work out the way I wanted them to, because I thought that was what everyone wanted. I have five months to talk myself into settling for less. That shouldn't be hard. It's what I always do. For the greater good, you know.

And later I wrote:

I try to lead a tidy life, as much as I can. Although I'm dependent on others, I try not to make that dependency a weight around anyone's neck. My family is all that I have, all that I value, but in trying not to appear needy, I may give off an air of being more reserved and more self-sufficient than I truly feel. I'm in no position to make demands on anyone, so I take whatever is offered, happily. I've made my peace with this way of conducting my life, and I wouldn't want anyone to think I'd ask for more than they already give me.

As I said, these are middle-of-the-night ramblings of a mind trying to get through till morning without Nyquil for the first time in three weeks. With a clear head in the light of day the emotions expressed don't even seem to belong to me. It's like reading the diary of someone I'm fairly content not to know in real life.

And now, to prove that I'm not related to that guy above, I'd like to point out that I did something today I've never done before.

That's right, I baked cookies. From scratch. Nancy's cookies, following her directions precisely, and they came out magnificently, thank you.

And it's just what I needed, of course, two weeks after Christmas, five dozen chocolate chip cookies in the house. I may have to make some deliveries tomorrow.

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