My garden is full of vegetables that I never would have guessed I could grow. There is so much that I am not sure what to do with it all.
Because the acorn falls close to the tree, my son decided he wanted to sell rhubarb at our local farmers market. To be clear, a farmers market looks very different in a community of farmers. It’s very unregulated, and people sell stuff off their trucks. Also, two farms sell heirloom rhubarb, ours and one owned by an Amish family. If you haven’t noticed, the Amish are very good at what they do. They know their customers, and they always have something fun to sell, no matter what’s in season.
My relationship with my customers centers on my ability to always piss off someone, no matter if it’s on my blog or in person. To make up for that, I tied ribbons around the rhubarb. I think the only thing I accomplished was a nice picture.
My son is enterprising, though. And he realized that what people really want is our eggs. (Farm eggs are way better than supermarket eggs — even organic ones.) So he sold those at the market, and we took the rhubarb home.
The farmers market exhausts me. You might think I’d be fun to talk to, but I’m not. I get anxious with unstructured conversation, and also, I feel that I should be friendly to the Amish but I feel awkward and really just want to ask them if they can take my kids in and teach them to speak only when spoken to for a few weeks.
I have other ideas. Like, maybe I want to be a CSA. But by the time I put a box together, and put it in the car for my little brother to drive to New Jersey for my not-as-little brother, I think, I would never want to do this for someone who is not my family.
So, to be honest, the only thing that I have figured out to do with my excess vegetables is have Melissa take photos of them. Here is Swiss chard and radishes.
I told Melissa that we should use Photoshop to insert some goat cheese and then this can be an ad for my new company. Which hopefully I will launch before the turn of the next century.
Then I told Melissa that I need her camera. I want to be good at photographs and I have learned enough about photography to know that my $100 camera is fine for taking photos it knows how to take. But my imagination is wider than that lens. Is that a cliche? I have not read enough about photography to know if I am writing in photography cliches.
This is a rule: If you want to be good at something you need to read a lot about it. (Maybe this is an Asperger-only rule, since Asperger people learn visually.) So if you don’t like reading, think of your own rule. But also, if you don’t like reading, how are you even going to get through this post? Because I’m about to start meandering off topic.
Here is the key to getting unlost when you are in your twenties: Get married or make a lot of money. Don’t tell me I’m shallow. I don’t care. Life is shallow, really, since we have no idea why we’re here.
In your twenties you feel like you need to get settled, and find your place. Some people need to have a special person in their life that they are connected to and making a home with. These people are caretakers and fusers. Other people need to make a lot of money, not because they want a BMW (although many do) but because it’s a way to measure how valuable you are as an adult, to the other adults in the world.
I tell this to Melissa and I tell her she doesn’t need a traditional job because she wants to get married. And when it comes to getting married, men do not value women with careers. Here is the blog post about this with very good research. Also, do not tell me you’re the exception to the rule. I don’t care because no one is the exception to that rule. And anyway, just because you want to have sex with a banker from Goldman Sachs doesn’t mean you want to marry her.
So I tell Melissa she should look for a husband. I keep telling her that the blog was a great dating tool for me. Eventually that will happen for her. (Note to potential city suitors: I think she will be happier in the country.)
By the way, I did not want to be married when I was in my 20s. I wanted to make money. That is fine, too. You need to know yourself.
When you are in your 30s, the thing you need to do to feel not lost is to figure out what you want from kids. You don’t need to want kids. In fact, your life will be happier and more stable if you do not have kids. Fortunately, for the human race, having kids is not a rational decision. So we keep having them and then we spend the next ten years trying to figure out how to be a parent and how not to feel like an imposter. And how to get some semblance of our own life back after the kids take over everything. (Incidentally, here is one of my favorite examples of me in the middle of this absurd struggle. During a live, video interview at BNET, my kids invaded, just seven minutes in.)
Certainly there are people who choose to not have kids. (Note to men: This will hurt your earning power. One of the most notable statistics of corporate life is that men who have kids get more promotions than men with no kids.) If you choose to have no kids you will spend your 30s getting comfortable with the fact that the rest of society will accuse you of being an uncaring, Peter-Pan-syndrome mutant who is too narcissistic to have kids. You will get over this. All women I know who did not have kids have come through their 30s just fine, but they have war stories to tell of the verbal bombs people tossed.
In your 40s, you get used to being lost, and it even starts to look interesting. I find that now, more than ever, I trust myself to get unlost, so I don’t mind as much having to tell people I am lost.
But in your 40s you start to worry that you’re finding your way through the wrong maze. Like, you only have a few more decades of life, right? You don’t want to waste them on what other people think is important. I spend most of my worry time making sure I’m worrying about the stuff that I want to worry about.
I think I like worrying about if I need to buy a different camera. The camera Melissa uses is a $4000 one. The oven I want is $9,000. (Black and gold, if you want to buy it for me as a present.) I think, at this point in my life, I spend more time cooking than I do taking pictures. But I think I want it to be the opposite. So maybe I should buy the camera and not the stove. And maybe you can figure out where to spend your worry about being lost by where you choose to spend your money.
Or maybe I should earn enough money to buy both things. And that is why I have such a large readership of people in their 20s. Because I have yet to stop being like them.