Friday, January 06, 2006

How Soon Is Now?

Mood: Smiths song, circa 1988.

You shut your mouth, how can you say
I go about things the wrong way
I am human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does.

And you say it's gonna happen now?
Well, when exactly do you mean?
See, I've already waited too long
And all my hope is gone.

Sometimes I miss the parts of my teenage years when I would go to my room and blast the radio, lying face down on the floor, beating my fists into the carpet. And then I'd study myself in the sliding glass door (at night it was like a giant full-length mirror) and arrange my expression, so that when I considered my face it had a haunted quality, and everything from the wisps of hair around my face to the tilt of my neck to the precise bend of my knees and pointing toes in the background, had been art-directed into a pose befitting a dust jacket or an album cover. I was never smiling on those album covers. My watchword was moodiness. I was way too complicated to smile. Only then would I be reassured that the outside matched the inside, the tortured, ambivalent, ambiguous inside. Oh, I was a deep one.

Anyway, I'm crabby today and don't have a sliding glass door anymore. We got an e-mail from the Travel Department (their caps, not mine) this afternoon that confirmed a window had closed that I hadn't really realized had been open. It actually said that we were moving on to "Plan B" and possibly "Plan C" now. "Plan A" (I had to go back and find an older e-mail to figure out what the hell "Plan A" was) was nullified by the end of business today. Apparently it had to do with receiving our Travel Notice by today, which would have meant we could travel by next week and be snugly home before Chinese New Year.

What I hadn't realized was the tenuous thread upon which "Plan B" dangles. It involves a long period of time when both CCAA and the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou will be closed for the holiday, but for some reason mysteriously opening only on February 2. Which would mean that we'd travel around January 17 and return February 4, with a few days for dithering in Guangzhou, ordering pizza from Danny's Bagel, visiting the McDonald's on Shamian Island (for which the Consulate folk have helpfully provided a map along with our other paperwork) and possibly shopping for shoes. But it would mean we could leave soon-ish.

"Plan C" is a distant rumble of discontent. It involves leaving on February 4 and returning some time in mid-February. That's right, FEBRUARY 4. The plan that would mean 8 weeks would pass between finding out that Ruo-Ruo is ours and actually going to her. Two months in which she is getting older and we are looking at her picture but not meeting her. I really don't care for "Plan C," and I have very little faith that "Plan B" could even happen.

Anyway, I remember someone saying that "expenses will always rise to meet the available funds" and I can see a parallel between this idea and "the list of things to do before China (and baby) will continue to expand with each additional day we are here." Which, in a way, is not a terrible thing. I might get my hair cut, for instance. Get a massage. Maybe we'll go out for a fancy dinner. If we don't leave until February, we might even go intertubing in the snow.

But it still makes me want to be all artfully moody. Maybe I should have David take my photo. But it won't be the same without the sliding glass door.

4 comments:

Amy said...

Sam,
I love all your references to '80's songs. I can always relate. I can only imagine how frustrating the "limbo" period must be. I also agree that the longer you are here, the longer your list gets of things that need to be done. I vote for you to go get that massage while you can! It was great seeing you and the gang this morning!
:)

Mary and Paul said...

I so feel the same way. This ambiguous wait is painful for me. Well said!

Mike Gertz said...

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
And what's on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
And rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we've been told and some choose to believe it
I know they're wrong, wait and see.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Who said that every wish would be heard and answered
when wished on the morning star?
Somebody thought of that
and someone believed it,
and look what it's done so far.
What's so amazing that keeps us stargazing?
And what do we think we might see?
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
the lovers, the dreamers and me.

All of us under its spell,
we know that it's probably magic....

Have you been half asleep
and have you heard voices?
I've heard them calling my name.
Is this the sweet sound that calls the young sailors?
The voice might be one and the same.
I've heard it too many times to ignore it.
It's something that I'm supposed to be.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
the lovers, the dreamers and me.
La, la la, La, la la la, La Laa, la la, La, La la laaaaaaa

Just thought I'd change the mood (music).

The Wades said...

This post was fun for me to read knowing there was a happy ending to getting Jarrah. What a difference a few years make, huh? Sometime I want to go back and read all the posts I've missed. Good times.