Bizzaro Summer

I am a planner. I like to plot every move, execute my days with the certainty of knowing my decisions will lead to an outcome directly of my choosing.

I knew EXACTLY how my summer would play out this year.

Remember that episode of “Seinfeld” where everything is backwards? It was called “Bizzaro Jerry”. In the episode, everyone does the opposite of what they normally do: shiftless Kramer gets a job, Elaine finds new friends just like the gang, but opposite. (They are all nice and caring instead of selfish and silly.) The Bizzaro concept comes from a Superman comic book. According to Wikipedia, this particular comic book features “Superman’s exact opposite, who lives in the backwards Bizarro world. Up is down; down is up. He says “Hello” when he leaves, “Goodbye” when he arrives.”

I lived a summer in Bizzaro World.

In the real world:

– Darcy would spend two weeks in Europe. My brother would fly out to help me out for part of that time.
– I chose to not go to BlogHer, instead allocating our financial resources to a trip to Austin with my whole family. My kids would get to visit with my parents, who they have not seen in almost a year.
– I would have jumpstarted The Pomegranate Society.

In my Bizzaro summer:

– Darcy had to cancel his trip, and I went to Europe, instead, in his place, solo. My brother flew out to help Darcy with the kids.
– Our family trip to Austin was cancelled and instead of everyone meeting up in Austin, my brother and I flew there, drove 16 hours and helped my Mom while my Dad had cancer surgery.
– I did not jumpstart The Pomegranate Society.

In the Real summer:

– I would have not spent a minute away from my children.
– My parents would have had a treasured visit with the grandchildren they rarely see.
– Everything would have progressed on schedule, with little spontaneity.

In Bizzaro summer:

– I spent two weeks (!) away from the kids.
– I hung out with my beloved London friends, in London.
– I took a road trip with my brother, eating food from BBQ dives, Tex-mex places, singing Foster the People lyrics. I laughed so hard I could hardly drive as I listened to his story of the concert he put together for Matt and Kim in two days which featured a buddy’s first (and last) performance as “Mr Hand” – he played samples of obscure dialogue like “I smell a rat” over techno beats – and Caged Match to the Death. Matt and Kim are a Brooklyn hipster duo who sing about life and love in the big city, so to say that the audience and concert were a mismatch would be an understatement.

Thinking of these experiences, I shake my head and wonder if I somehow dreamed up the whole thing. But I didn’t and I have to admit that Bizarro Summer was kind of good for me. There was an escapist element to it all. Me, the SAHM who is all about routine, was shaken out of it by external forces beyond my control.

I am sad that my kids didn’t see their grandparents in person, but we did a Facetime call with my them and to my Dad that meant a tremendous amount. It sucks that we lost almost all of the money on the rental house and our flights were non-refundable. But this weekend, with the money we did get back from the rental, we drove down to Monterey and stayed one night in a hotel with the kids. And it was really fun.

My dad is right. Life is lived better when you are as the bamboo, who can flow where the wind blows.

I think the song below is the soundtrack for Bizarro Summer.

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7 Comments

Filed under Discovering joy, Family, Fear

7 responses to “Bizzaro Summer

  1. Reading your explanation of “Bizarro” had me laughing so hard. As a comic book reader I wouldn’t have even thought that someone might not know what it means! I’m such a dork. And it seems so silly when you write it out like that.

    I’m sorry that you had such an insane summer but I’m glad that you found some good in it. Interestingly, your bamboo metaphor works well for my post today. I wish I had thought to use it!

    • My dad probably says that thing about the bamboo every day, so it stuck in my head 😉

      I have never read the Bizarro Superman comic, although now I totally want to. I knew that’s what the Seinfeld episode referred to…he’s a HUGE fan, I think?

      Aside: have you ever read “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay”?

  2. I’ve read Kavalier and Clay. 😉

    And yes, it’s been Bizarro for me, too. Quit my 12-year job to maintain my sense of dignity, one of our best friends had a heart transplant at age 40 within three weeks of a sudden admission to the hospital, interviewed for a new job and almost have it at a fraction of previous pay so am trying to juggle day care costs, didn’t get the vacation we’d planned, etc. etc. Right there with you. My yoga class was talking about this flexibility tonight, too. Between you, Esperanza, and my teacher, I think I’ve received the trifecta of reminders. Bamboo it is.

    • I am so sorry to hear about your friend. I hope he does well with his heart transplant. (((hugs)))

      Flexibility is not an attribute that comes easily to me mentally, or physically. That’s one of the main reasons I don’t do yoga in public (there is another, funnier reason: someday when we meet in person, I’ll have to tell you that story): I wonder if there is a correlation between the physical and mental for that trait?

  3. AND: very glad I didn’t miss an email … I was wondering about the Pomegranate Society just today.

  4. You, too, have a dad who repeats his Dadisms until they are grooved into your brain?

    I’m a little bit glad that you got a little bit bizarrely stretched this summer.

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