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“We, too, have run about the slopes and we’ve ran into the night.  We’ve wandered far beneath the stars since auld lange syne.”

– Benji Schneider, Lord Huron, “Auld Lang Syne”

 

There’s a Fleet Foxes song that starts, “Now that I’m older, than my mother and father when they had their daughter, what does that say about me?”  It catches me off guard every time it shuffles up on my iPod.  I’m a year older than my mother was when I was born.  My parents married after college.  They saved for a brick house where they planted a pear tree and a vegetable garden.  There’s a photo of us, taken shortly after Mom’s twenty-sixth birthday: Mom, Dad, and me sitting in a pile of leaves.  I’m propped between them with a white lace bonnet tied beneath my chin.  We look like a postcard family: haloed by late autumn sun and framed by leaves.  Within months of that photograph, I learned to loosen my bonnet.  I’d fling it from my head, shouting “No bonnet” with a gummy smile.  I wiggled away from the postcard image.  But my parents remain tied together.  Mom and Dad still rake leaves in the early fall, wearing faded sweatshirts and soft jeans.  By their mid-twenties my parents saw the shape their life would take.

* enthusiasm gap

* for reasons obvious to everyone but me

* unfortunate third time you feel the need to explain yourself

* just climbed out of 2010 this morning

* deactivated account, still showing up daily

* mad at everyone

The Joss Whedon-directed The Avengers makes its nationwide U.S. debut May 4th, uniting the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in the first of the summer blockbusters. Early word is it’s not half bad. And because I know there are fans out there with their Fandango-printout tickets of midnight showings in their fists and their knitted Captain America suits ready to step into, I have compiled ten Avengers-related links to help pass the time in these final few days. Stay strong, friends!

1. No time.

2. No energy.

3. No idea what you were saying.

4. Your post was part of a series and I figured I’d wait for the next installment.

5. Wanted to leave my feedback at tnb.com regarding the electrical conduit fittings I recently enjoyed, but somehow ended up here.

6. Your piece happened to appear during a widespread lull in commenting at TNB and I didn’t want to buck the trend.

7. Didn’t feel ready to delve into a topic that would steamroll my neatly compartmentalized system of core beliefs and values.

8. Didn’t feel the need to make it obvious I had fully missed the point.

When Brad first wrote to remind us that TNB was coming up on its 5th anniversary and suggest that some of us offer our thoughts on this milestone, my response was, verbatim (though not in its entirety), this:

 

My teeth already hurt and nothing has even  been posted yet.  TNB’s syrup cup shall runneth over for that week.

1. Technical difficulties.

2. Loss of feeling in fingertips.

3. Moved to laughter and tears, but not necessarily to typing and sending.

4. Commented out loud to myself after reading and considered the message well received.

5. Commented on your Facebook wall, reposted my comment on several blogs and then discussed it with you in person, however I figured this comment section was a private matter.

6. Typed out a comment and then saw it as over-praising and sugary, even for someone who writes about parenting.

7. Typed out a comment and then saw it as contrarian and snarky, even for someone who writes about the French.