Thursday, August 7, 2014

The endless road

My son does not like traditional camp.  Once I signed him up for the y and by the second day he told me he was not going back. Since he is an only child and my block does not have much in the way of kids to play with, I have to find various week long programs in his area of interest. That is not too much of a problem, the finding of the programs. It's just that none of them are even remotely close to where we live.
I tell myself each spring when I start signing him up for this stuff that it won't be so bad. I will listen to music, I will drop him off and go to the gym, I will organize the closets in the 2 hours in between the 2 hours of driving. I don't know why I believe these lies I tell myself each year. I am almost done with the second week of a three week stint and my sanity is starting to falter. To say I am developing a slight case of road rage would be an understatement. I think I have that look in my eye.

I have a lot of time to think on these drives. And think, I do. I remember the most random crap. And I think about all the weird stories and people I have met in my life. Little snippets of bizarre. I guess we all have those.

Today, I was thinking about a group project I had to do in college. Does anyone in their right mind enjoy a  group project? It was for a philosophy class. I remember not knowing anyone as it was my first year there, and well, I was not the most confident, outgoing and social creature. My team, including me ,was made up of 4 people. Two guys , myself and another girl. One guy, I can't remember his name but I think he was a jock,  seemed like he was disappointed to be in our group. The other guy was named Chad.  The girl was named Sheila.  Our project was on the philosophy of art and if it was indeed possible to discern the difference between fine art and a print ad(it wasn't). I remember it being so awkward. We met that first time in the rathskeller (a glorified bar). It was like a blind double date. I don't know how we managed to get that presentation together. I remember Sheila and I bonding over our dislike of Chad and his smarmy attitude. The other guy did not contribute much either. I remember our presentation, we were all so nervous and I think it was over really quickly. I also remember we got an a-. I think during that time I considered double majoring in art and philosophy but my mom got angry at that idea and told me to forget about that immediately. I think the rationale behind her insistence was that majoring in art was not really going to make me career ready and there was no need to add in another useless major in there. I liked philosophy because it made me feel smart. I liked feeling smart.
At any rate, after the presentation, I never spoke to Chad or the other guy again but I remained friends with Sheila. She was kind of bizarre and I appreciated that, although I never really felt entirely comfortable with her either. It was hard to get a read on her. There was this peep show place near our university. It had those booths that you put money in and watch a show. I think the women's study majors would go and picket it regularly. Sheila and I used to talk about how creepy and gross it was there. She decided she was going to go in there and see what the hell they do in there. She went by herself. I decided Sheila had some set of balls to do that, as I would never have ventured in there in a group, let alone by myself. I think she said she took the bus there. She said it was kind of depressing. That there were a few men in there that would go into a private room and a screen would come up and a girl would do a little dance and then the screen would go down. She said they also had these movie that you would look at, which I imagined to be like those flip book contraptions that they used to have at the shoe store when I was little. You cranked the handle and looked through a view finder and it would be a little movie. Only this was a dirty version.
I wonder what happened to Sheila. If I knew her last name, I would look her up on Facebook. It was 30 years ago, good Lord.
I have no idea what made me think of Sheila, or that group project or even the University of Wisconsin at Madison today, but I did. I feel like I have been going through the catalog of the stories of my life lately. That was a nuggett that wanted to be remembered.

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