105 Ways to Give a Book

ProcrasDenial, and a Little Rambling

For many years now, my husband and I have been eating off of the good china. Actually, it isn’t our good china, but it was somebody’s good china until we acquired it from a secondhand store and ran it through the dishwasher 14,000 times. The failing of this china, besides its oh-so-slightly delicate pattern, is that it only has seven dinner plates. This was fine for a couple, and then even fine for a couple plus one, but when our youngest graduated from plastic Sesame Street plates (find a card at Hallmark for that), we were always scrounging for dinnerware.

This past October I stumbled across an incredible deal at Ross (which is a lower-class Marshall’s), a huge set of plates, bowls, mugs, serving plates for twenty bucks, just because the box was open, crunched, and two bowls were broken. Quite the bargain. The plates were simple white with a dark blue band around the edge. I took them home, washed them, and placed them in our cabinets. And immediately regretted my purchase.

The plates were huge. The bread and butter plates were the size of our old china dinner plates. The “cafe-style” dinner plates were large enough to serve a whole roasted chicken with mashed potatoes and corn-on-the-cob on the side. They didn’t fit well in our dishwasher, and in the next few days as I used them I felt like I was either skimping on the meal (from Chez le Fancy, here is your chicken nugget on a bed of corn) or fattening my kids up to make wrestling weight. (“Come on kids! We need to gain fourteen pounds by Friday! Eat your pound of s’getti!”)

Two months ago at Ross (I like lower-class Marshall’s) I found a set of dinner plates that were less imposing, and cheap. I loaded two boxes into the trunk of my car and took them home.

And there they sit, still in the trunk of my car.

Oh, I visit them. Every time I get groceries, I see them as I load the car. And as I take the groceries into the house, I think that I should really carry those plates in. But I am sick of carrying things after carrying all the groceries. And later, well...

Here’s the thing — it has gone past procrastination. I need to admit that I made a mistake, either in buying the old plates or the new ones. But something was a mistake. And I need to remedy that mistake, either by replacing the old plates or returning/donating the new ones. And either is going to involve work at this point. Packing up the old plates, washing and putting away the new plates. Arranging for donation. I don’t want to deal with it. That is why this is more than procrastination, it is also denial. Hence my new word, ProcrasDenial. (Hey, if Colbert can do it with “truthiness,” so can I.)

So, here I am today, Friday as it were, and looking to a weekend visiting my mother. That would leave little time, wouldn’t you say, for the rather important book-talking presentation I have to give on Monday, whereby I will stand up in front of seventy of my colleagues and demonstrate how they should present a select number of books to the schoolchildren across our large county. I will present four books. I have known about this presentation for five months. I have read the books, five months ago. My preparation for this presentation since then...


Category: 5 comments


Anonymous said...

Motherreader, we are kindred spirits. I could win an Olympic medal in ProcrasDenial! But here's a little something to make you feel better about this: I think we're ok the way we are. Procrastination breeds certain nuisances and unpleasantness at times, but ultimately it's just the way people like us function, and it also has its benefits. It's a preference, not a fatal flaw. We prefer to leave things open and we do so until we can't anymore (the last minute). We feel there is something wrong with this because our culture tells us to. Our culture tells us that a "good" work ethic means doing things right away and that "procrastination is the thief of time" and all that. Horse hockey. It's the feeling of "should" that kills us. Forget that. The fact is we didn't (do whatever it is we think we "shoulda"). At any time we can decide to do it. If it gets done eventually (or if its remaining undone is not harming anything) it's all the same in the wash. So procrastination--even ProcrasDenial--isn't all bad.

Procrastinators rule! Or at least we will once we get around to taking over the planet. :)

Emy said...

Have you considered Replacements? They have a huge inventory of all sorts of old china and dishware, and you might be able to fill out that original set a bit.

Anonymous said...

I have some thoughts on this subject...which I'll share with you....ah...soon.

Daniel said...

emy and I clearly think along the same lines: I've filled in some of my ancient china patterns via Replacements. (BTW: Hey, emy!!)

Also: procrastination is, among many, an art form. In W&M days I produced my best papers in the last few hours before the deadline. I find now that my best lesson plans are done in the last hour before class. Some can succeed with intense planning and organization; I'm at my best flying off the cuff.

Emy said...

As a follow-up to your most recent post (about what constitutes a Great Weekend these days), OMG, that WAS Dan Gibbs!

Also, you should delete the comment spam. Letting it sit there, waiting for Google's robots to discover it, and then linking to it, makes it go up higher in Google search results. Nobody wants that. :P