Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Should I Atone? Should I Kvetch? Should I Atone About Kvetching?

Oh let's get real. I'll kvetch about atoning.

The days between Rosh ha-Shanah and Yom Kippur are the most solemn on the Jewish calendar. They're devoted to self-examination and atonement for all the wrongs one has committed in the past twelve lunar months (thirteen lunar months in a leap year).

Alas, it turns out that atoning doesn't necessarily coincide with forgiveness. The two people whose feelings I hurt have both let it be known they haven't forgiven me.

Well, where's the fun in that? Ideally, one should apologize and the other person should say, "That's all right and I forgive you and I can tell guilt has been eating you up inside so let's get hot fudge sundaes. I'll treat."

It's not like I'm asking them to say, "And it was all my fault anyway." I don't push my Yom Kippur fantasies that much.

Now that I think about it, you can make it two people and a kitten who aren't going along with this whole atoning business. I was in Virginia Sunday and Monday, and when I got home last night, Scooter was a maniac. An even more than usual maniac. Marci and Bonnie had both visited him on Sunday, and Julie the cat sitter came over Monday, so he wasn't alone (and he sleeps all afternoon anyway). But once he was certain I really was there, Scooter never stopped biting my ankles, my feet, and my legs. I guess he needed to taste me to confirm it was really me.

And he didn't offer to buy me a hot fudge sundae either.

Things are going to get worse, at least for Scooter and me. Tomorrow I'm going to NYC to have lunch with my UK publisher (I like saying that, although since nothing in my life is easy, it's supposed to be 80 degrees, and I bought a brand new black sweater with ruffles that I'm absolutely determined to wear no matter how unseasonably warm it might be), and then Thursday, I drive to Sandwich, MA, where I'll be talking to students on Friday.

Just because nobody suffers like I suffer, I found a package waiting for me yesterday from my US editor. I knew it couldn't be anything good, but I opened it anyway. It was what's called the first pass rough pages (I didn't know that was what it was called until I read the cover letter, and even having read the cover letter, I still think first pass rough pages sounds like something from a western).

What first pass rough pages turn out to be is (are?) the first printed version of This World We Live In. Which would be almost as yummy as sundaes except I'm supposed to read it and look for things to correct. Which means actually read it, as opposed to seeing how lovely the copyright page is (and it is lovely). Then I have to mail it back to my editor, who doesn't know that tomorrow I'm going to NYC and Thursday and Friday I'll be in Sandwich, MA, and Saturday is the sabbath so I try hard not to work, and then Sunday night into Monday is Yom Kippur, which I spend fasting and atoning and fantasizing about ice cream and whipped cream and hot fudge.

My mother, when I complained to her about all this, said, "When you're successful you have to work a little." Of course when I was a failure, I worked a little too, so it's better to be successful and work than a failure and work. But you'd think there'd be a happy median where you get by and don't work.

Oh well. I'd better start reading those first pass rough pages before the Lone Ranger shows up.

Maybe if I'm really good, Tonto will treat me to a sundae!


Anonymous said...

I vote for atonement; although easier said than done.

Will Scooter be fasting, by the way?


Anonymous said...

Get Scooter some Bach Rescue Remedy, and give him some drops when he seems to be going "off". That biting is unacceptable. I mean, you saved his little arse, didn't you.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hello to Glen and to Anonymous-

Marci claims Scooter's biting is a sign of affection, like his licking, which is regarded in cat land as kissing.

Then again, Marci isn't the one Scooter's biting.

If I made Scooter fast on Yom Kippur (or any other time), I'd move from being an object of affection to becoming the main course.

He loves me. He really loves food!

Maddy Myers said...

I have a cat who bites me all the time. I lie down and he just starts biting my nose. It is a sign of affection for most cats so id either just push him away until he stops or I'd just go with it but either way its not meant in an aggressive way

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Maddy Myers and thanks for your comment-

I just got back from Sandwich, MA, and Scooter went into full attack mode. I wasn't sure my ankles would survive!

But now he's plahing with Mousy, his favorite toy which he recently rediscovered, so we're both just happy and relaxed about my being home after a long, but really nice week.

My word verification is "psycony." You can't make this stuff up (well, I guess someone did). Anyway, have a great weekend from yours truly, Psyco NY!