Overheard, Secondhand

I’ve admitted many times that I live in my own bubble. It’s a nice, happy place where everything is equal. I can hang out and not worry my pretty little head about all those strangers on the stage during the award shows, or reality TV, or people who have a lot more money than I do. The downside is that what passes for normal conversation can sometimes seem like a foreign language I’m just starting to learn: I recognize words as nouns, verbs, and adjectives, but I have no idea what they mean. Like this sentence I just picked up on the internet randomly: Kim Kardashian Slams Khloe for Flirting with Lamar Odom. I recognize the alliteration, I understand Kim Kardashian is a fake famous person, but this cannot harm the bubble because all I really think about when I hear her last name is the Cardassian race on Star Trek the Next Generation. I could tell you a lot about them–they are aggressive and mean, and they start a lot of wars. Oh, wait, maybe I do know more about Kim than I thought. I have no idea who Khloe or Lamar are. Flirting seems vaguely familiar. So overall, a sentence like that is puzzling but cannot breach the bubble.

But the bubble can get breached, like when my friend recently related a conversation she overheard in a coffee line. Here’s the key: Bubble hit 1 (merely a nick) to 5 (full on breach).

Two women who hadn’t seen each other in a while exchange greetings. Bubble hit: 0. That’s nice. 

They start discussing kids. Bubble hit: 1. Boring, but harmless.

One mentions having an au pair. Bubble hit: 2. Not within my reach, but I know some people have them, and I am slightly jealous.

There is a mention of living in Lexington. Bubble hit: 2. Ah, money. I don’t want to live in Lexington, but I wouldn’t mind spending that kind of money to live in Boston, instead of having to crouch on its edges,

She has a little extra land in Lexington. Bubble hit: 3. Hmm, that would mean more money. I could get a bigger place in Boston.

She has chickens. Bubble hit: 3. Why are chickens a thing? Suburban chickens are the new black. 

And she also has not one, but three alpacas. Bubble hit: 4. Three what, now? 

The friend asks, and I quote secondhand, “What does one do with alpacas?” Bubble hit: 4. Indeed, the bubble wants to know too. 

Answer: “Shave them for their wool and knit.” Bubble breach, bubble breach. Soon she will move to Vermont and live next to the ad executive who left his company to make artisanal cheese. Who ARE these people who don’t have to slog to work on a train and wipe runny noses and have time to knit from shit that came from their back yard??

Don’t worry. I’m fine. The beauty of the bubble is that when it’s combined with perimenopoause, I can forget any of this ever happened. Or as the coffee line women might say, what does one do with a breach in the bubble? One forgets all about it and knits.


  1. Amen to all that. The good thing about people who knit their alpaca wool is that it gives Tribe like me a chance to stand near craft tables at Christmas, smile, say vague nice things, and cement good will in the Western world. I do not get the suburban chicken thing, and I don’t want to.

  2. Living in a comfortable bubble is pretty good, it enables one to deal with the many vicissitudes one encounters in daily life. If the bubble has a few little weaknesses here and there, it is possible to overcome them by changing the bubble into a little sanctuary, which can be done by way of looking a bit into the nature of Life.
    An awareness that this little planet in the humongous universe spawned a complex miracle, called Life, of which the self aware human entity is the latest and most advanced development, makes one look at one’s existence with a sense of awe and appreciation.
    This may is turn provide an inner sanctuary in which the human foibles can be put in a proper perspective, making much of negative reaction unnecessary and so strengthens the bubble, making it more alive and resilient.

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