A vase of roses I’d received were making their way to a beautiful death, so to get more use out of them, I de-petaled, bagged and refrigerated them. I didn’t know if I’d make rose water, a rose parfum or a path for me to walk down my hallway, ala Coming to America. I had a list of tasks that I was determined to complete before the day was over which included working out, washing clothes, folding clothes, sweeping the floor, picking up the kid from improv class, grading a few papers, Bantu knotting my hair, reading something juicy, practicing my lines, and doing a little writing. Well, after an exhausting week of teaching and play rehearsal and a ridiculous Friday to-do list, I decided on using those fresh petals for a hot bath, accompanied by a sweet glass of wine.
As the water ran, my curious kitty jumped up to see what was going on in the tub. I was so amused that I grabbed my phone, snapped a photo and Facebooked the image. I view myself as a secret photog, so it would be a perfect addition to my collection. I took a much needed Epsom salt soak while re-reading a few of my favorite poems from Ladan Osman’s The Kitchen-Dweller’s Testimony. I sipped my cheap Italian red wine and read aloud bemusing lines like, “If I’m lying… May I die and find myself in a meek woman’s mouth” and “Is our love water I can’t drink?” It was a languorous event that I should indulge in much more often. It was a true blue Friday night chill fest. And I haven’t taken a chill pill in quite a while. I’ve been downright tense, high strung and in ‘get it all done’ mode. It felt good to etch out time for me. To force the issue. It was my attempt to slow my frenzied pace, be in the moment and take care of my precious soul.
After I did my hair and started on the toenail polishing part of my self-restoration attempt, I checked Facebook and saw several comments by male friends mentioning and cat-calling my husband on my “cat gazing into a rosy tub” post. I was confused. I asked why they were mentioning him on my post and one said, “I’m just giving him props for his Rico Suavetivity” (as if my husband had done something or was in the pic) and the other retorted, “Why do you think?” I said that I wasn’t sure.
However, I really wanted to respond, “I think you are being simple and over-reaching a bit. It’s a cat pic, asshats.” I wanted to rage about how incredibly irritated I was that taking a cat pic by a candlelit, rosy tub or worse, me taking a moment for me to relax had to turn into something about my husband being “suave” or underlying sexual/romantic connotations for my man. I wanted to quote parts of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “We Should All Be Feminists” and rant about Valentine’s Day notions of romance being asinine, antiquated, sexist, and banal. I wanted to let them know that my wonderful husband was out lounging with his homies, taking some time for him. Likewise, I reveled in the private time I had just for me. We both value our individuality and support each other in doing what makes each other happy – with or without the other person around. And I wanted to tell them that my husband doesn’t need to throw old rose petals into a tub to seduce me.
Instead of sharing all of that and playing trivial FB ping pong over a damn cat pic, I decided to remain in chill, but focused mode and finish the last task on my checklist – writing this post. And with that, good night, my lovelies. Remember to put your needs in the rotation of your beautiful life. And keep posting cat pics.
The Relaxed One Who Stole Time for Her Glorious Self on a Friday Night and Still Got Every Task Done While the Cat Watched