I’m not one for change. It may be this aversion to change comes from having been born and reared in Tyler, living in the same house until I graduated from high school.
My entire life has been spent living at three points on the same latitude, with Interstate 20 being the non-imaginary line. I went to college at Centenary in Shreveport, Louisiana, which is 97.7 miles east of Tyler. While there, I lived for two years in the same dormitory room, before moving off-campus to live in just one other place.
When it came time to begin life after school, I went west to Dallas, which is a whopping 97.8 miles from Tyler. I went to work at a company one month after I arrived and stayed there for 18 years. I was single for the first three years—clearly the most unsettled time in my life—where I lived in one apartment complex before moving into the condo I was living in when I met Karl.
We bought our first home together when he was still in the military, and when he retired and we settled in and bought a house four blocks down the street. Where we’ve been for the last 30 years.
Inside this house is much of the same furniture that furnished my parent’s home in Tyler, the same silverware is used daily, and the same cookie jar is in the kitchen. My phone number hasn’t changed in 30 years, and everyone who knows me well knows that calling my cell phone will most likely result in getting a recording by Karl saying not to bother leaving a message as I don’t know how to retrieve it. (That’s not strictly true, but don’t let anybody know.)
I haven’t changed my nail polish or my perfume in years, and I wear the same foundation in the same shade that I did over 35 years ago. If Elizabeth Arden ever stops making Flawless Finish in Porcelain Beige, you may never see me again.
But resistance to change is not the same as resistance to progress. And in these last few days, that sort of resistance has been on full display.
Take Senators Orrin Hatch and Charles Grassley. (And I mean, take them, please.) Grassley has been in the Senate since before I met Karl, and Hatch took his seat when I was a teenager. And while some senators from both parties become lauded as lions of the Senate (think Ted Kennedy and John McCain), Hatch and Grassley are just two white guys who’ve been around a long time. Arguably, too long.
If you noticed, I didn’t say they are two “old” white guys or identify them as octogenarians. That would be ageist, and besides, some folks actually become wiser as they spend more time on the planet. Unfortunately, Hatch and Grassley do not fall into that group—perhaps because they don’t seem to have been on the same planet with the rest of us. And as they clearly learned nothing from the Clarence Thomas hearings and Anita Hill’s testimony back in 1991, they are moving forward (which is not the same thing as progress) with putting Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. And the resistance to that happening may be too little, too late.
But back home, I do have some things around the house that I really need to change to get ready for Christmas. There’s some painting to be done, and I’m going to take another crack at Karl about putting new wallpaper in the powder room. (He picked out what’s in there years ago, and he doesn’t want to change it.) I thought about new sofas in the den, but I think I’ll just freshen them up with new pillows. And we need to recover Mother’s dining room chairs with fabric recycled from a window treatment. And this all needs to be finished before Thanksgiving.
Seems like there’s another change that needs to be done in November. Something to be done about the house. Or was it the House. Maybe the Senate, too. Because if we can get all that done—oh, the change is gonna do me good.
Even if Karl gets to keep his wallpaper.