By Elizabeth Speth
Shortest horror story (just one word, in fact): Monday.
And I’m the character with lamb-to-the-slaughter written all over her, so this is the time in the terrifying plot when I go to my happy place. I find my thoughts fleeing back to Mostly Beautiful Last Week. A brief list (Lists Are Good!) of things that made it so:
1. In the early hours of a sunny winter afternoon, I found my horse Cake snoozing, and he let me come up and cuddle with him, rub his belly and take some pictures. That was pretty great.
2. I work in the kind of place where people leave things on my desk for Valentine’s Day. Fresh flowers, candy, little trinkets. Unsolicited love gifts. At work. Imagine.
3. I decided to invite the extended family over for V-day, couples and singles alike, my children and their significant others, my husband’s parents, my sister-in-law and her husband. I spent a glorious, peaceful day chopping, dicing, sautéing, whipping, thinking love thoughts the whole time. Here is what I made:
4. Here is what the table looked like:
5. I went on a horseback ride in the glorious American River Canyon, where, though we are struggling through a drought year, there was enough water still flowing to attract all manner of sunbeams and glitter. There was even a rainbow dancing over the rippling surface of my horse’s mane. I’m not making that up. See for yourself:
6. After the ride, it is customary to do the following:
7. Of course, what with so much flowing alcohol, and the pinkening sunset sky, the horses get a little romantic:
8. On a lark, an impractical spree, a mini-mid-life crisis (I try to have as many of those as possible, because eventually people stop being shocked at all sorts of wild behavior), I got my nails polished in bright red. Varnished, really. Lacquered. It’s like ten tiny sports cars at the tips of my fingers. I don’t have a picture, but rest assured that they look fabulous wrapped around a martini glass.
9. I took my oldest son, home from college for the weekend, out to lunch. The food was perfect. The service was good. He was happy. Then we went suit shopping. That, also, was a success. He now has the confidence of a man who owns a couple of suits that, once they are tailored, fit him like a second skin. I was struck anew by how handsome he is. Though broad of chest now, and deep of voice, and despite the fact that I have to crane my neck to make eye contact with him, when he gets into his car (packed with groceries and clean laundry and new suits) to head back to college at the end of the weekend, he still looks like this:
There are better days ahead. Saturday and Sunday, to be specific. In the meantime, before I get what’s coming to me in the scary storyline of today, I think I’ve got time for one more of these:
My nails are going to look fabulous with this cup.