the wistful longers club meets again
May 14, 2007
The notes from the last meeting are here.
This past weekend I stopped at a road side tag sale. I rarely do that anymore. I think this is mostly because I already have a house filled with too much stuff. I don’t really need more clutter. Also unbuckling and rebuckling several children just to get out and look though other people’s junk just isn’t as appealing as it once was. We can go home and take a stroll though our own house.
But, I am currently looking for a dresser for my daughter’s bedroom and I have something fairly specific in mind. Also, I don’t want to spend a lot of money on it. Why is it that when I didn’t need one I saw them everywhere?
This tag sale had a bunch of vintage bicycles. There were a couple of bicycles built for two, which I always tell Rob I want so that I can sit in back and relax while he pedals. And a couple that would be fun with a basket in front and maybe some streamers from the handle bars.
But the one that really caught my eye. It was a triwheel bike, sort of like a tricycle for grow-ups, with a huge basket in the back. It was in rough shape, covered with rust. It needed a new seat, a paint job, a new chain. (It looked very similar to this one.)
But I could see how lovely it would be.
I imagined myself riding it around a town, wearing a long flowing floral skirt, my hair blowing gracefully in the breeze, not once getting tangled in my mouth or whipping into my face.
In the rear basket are several baquettes fresh from the local bakery and a bunch of freshly cut flowers, their stems wrapped in a damp embroidered handkerchief. I ride along waving at the old men in berets who are sitting on the park benches which line my route. “Bon jour!” I call, as I give them a friendly wave.
I imagined myself into a fantasy which has no base in reality. I felt that wistful longing which is such a prominent feature of my existence that I don’t often even recognize it a such anymore.
I stroked the handle bar long enough for my almost 10 yr old son to come up to me.
“Are you going to get it, Mom?” he asked, jolting me out of my fantasy life.
One in which I am young, beautiful, French, and able to EAT BREAD. Not to mention friendly. My life is better suited to a mountain bike, or something motorized if I ever want a hope of keeping up with my children.
In reality, I’d have to put several children in that basket to go anywhere. They would inevitably fight and shove each other out of the basket, tempting me to just leave them laying there crying on the side of the road and ride off. (Hey, fantasy within a fantasy) I would be swearing in French, my loaves of perfectly crusty baquettes would be flattened beyond recognition, and the freshly picked flowers would be nothing but flower heads that had been plucked off their stems by the roadside.
“Nah. It isn’t very practical for my life, is it?” I replied.
“Well, I was thinking you could just ride behind us. And then after awhile we would wait up for you,” he said.
My heart warmed, what an ingrate I felt like at the moment. My son would wait up for me. And though that made me feel positively geriatric, it also made me feel good.
He continued, “You could carry a big cooler in that basket with our lunch and snacks.”
That made me laugh.
But I did get another bike. $2.
Replaced with a new fantasy… a little blonde boy on a vintage red Radio Flyer bicycle. With a bell.
And I think I could attach a wagon to the back and he could pull the cooler of snacks behind him.
Better start exercising those little legs now, baby.
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