July 21, 2005

What’s wrong with me?

Well, Wednesday went FAR better than Tuesday did during my stay in D.C. This time, I took it easy. Instead of rushing out the door to the Metro, I meandered to breakfast, went back to the hotel to rest, then took a TAXI to the Mall where the Smithsonian museums reside. Taking the taxi proved every bit worth the 9 bucks because I wasn’t all tuckered out at the get-go that way. Furthermore, the Freer Gallery, the Sackler Gallery and the African Art museum are connected via passageways! I was able to navigate a good portion without having to even go outside. Once I was done with the African Art gallery, I did have to go outside to the Hirshborn Gallery of Modern Art , but at this point it was all pretty do-able for me. Finally, the Hirshborn is very near to the Metro station that had direct access to the Green line, so there was no switching lines this time. I had a lovely, peaceful* afternoon and I focused primarily on Indian, Japanese, and Islamic art in the 1st three museums and then at the Hirshborn, I did the ENTIRE museum. It was well worth it because they have a stunning collection of modern art there.

However, I learned something this week that proved more valuable than just any old art lesson. In short, I have already had some kick-ass museum experiences in my day. Asshole #2 lived in Chicago (Lincoln Park), so I was going to Chicago on nearly a monthly basis for awhile. Yes, the Smithsonian collection of museums IS spectacular, but damn straight, the Chicago museums can give them a run for their money.** I would argue that the Field museum did a far better job on several of the similar exhibits, as well - the Gemology and Precious stones exhibit to be specific. It was a freakin’ unorganized NIGHTMARE at the Smithsonian whereas the Field Museum had a carefully choreographed display that ensured an orderly line would be formed for viewing. Furthermore, the Kansas City area is hardly shabby itself, either. The University of Kansas has a wonderful natural history museum that is easily navigable and would certainly not overextend a child. The Spencer Art Museum, also at the University, has an impressive collection - in fact, I saw several installations at the Hirshborn that the Spencer also has by the same artists. In Kansas City, the Nelson-Atkins Art museum has an impressive collection of Henry Moore - the large sculptures even (the Smithsonian only had the small ones). The Nelson has a world-class collection of Asian art, too. After my D.C. jaunt this week, I decided my goal this summer is to completely go through the Nelson before the kid arrives. So, in the end, the trip to D.C. was not for naught, after all. I was glad, because X went to great inconvenience for my museum fetish this week. I see some carefully prepared fish curries in his future.

Okay - now to the typically rhetorical subject line for today. I am increasingly starting to feel that something is terribly wrong with me. I read several blogs of pregnant chicks with about the same due dates. I have many, MANY friends and acquaintances with about the same due date as me. I have experienced many friends having children over the years. Everyone else seems obsessed with the whole nursery thing BUT ME. Next week, I will start shopping for a crib, crib set and a bassinet, but other than that, we aren’t buying too much else “big-item wise” for the room. The little Freeloader will use my childhood dresser and we already have a bookshelf designated for his use.*** I don’t plan on using a rocker (going Ferber here) or a changing table (my sister never used hers and I have had way too many friends have safety issues with them). Never say never, but I figure if I think I need these things later, I can just buy them then. So, in short, I am not stressed about the whole nursery thing. BUT, as I read how others have gone ape shit over their nurseries OR conversely, how they are so worried because they haven’t bought anything yet, I have to wonder “what’s wrong with ME?”. Why am I not worried? Why am I not running to Babies R’ Us wielding my credit card like a madwoman? Why am I not feverishly picking out paint? Don’t get me wrong, I do have plans to get the necessities like car seats, etc., but frankly, I am more concerned with getting household projects done - like cleaning out our offices, getting my photos in order, installing the replacement ice maker, getting the damned kitchen light fixed, and finally organizing my garage. ****

Frankly, the whole thing makes me sour. Every time someone asks me if I have a “nursery theme”, I hold back my love of snark for this one, but am increasingly finding it hard to do so. I really just want to roll my eyes and stick out my tongue. It brings miserable flashbacks to when people would ask what was the color theme for my wedding. WHY DO WE HAVE TO HAVE COLOR THEMES? WHY?

Anyway, I didn’t answer my own question, but DAMN. I FEEL better!

*My assumption was correct - the art museums were relatively kid-free! Yippee!!

** Coincidentally, Southwest Airlines’ magazine gave Chicago the distinction of being “the underrated city” in their most recent issue featuring dozens of “underrated” topics.

***It is my firm belief that every child needs his/her own bookshelf.

****Believe it or not, ALL the tools are MINE and X questions their very existence despite my insistence I NEED them.

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