July Postcard

A friend of Remy’s left his hat in the car en route to tennis earlier this week. Now, tennis takes place from 1:00-4:00 PM (I know, right on hot days like this week’s?) and so a baseball cap is a smart thing to wear (just like a bicycle helmet, it only works if it’s actually on your head). Anyway, I know the cap made it into the car one other day. However, it returned to its temporary home on our dining room table again.

The kid had a different hat when I last did the pickup. Or, come of think of it, the same hat—and then left it in our car again, I’m not sure which. In any case, this seems like the story of my life sometimes, a sincere but ineffective experience of herding.


This week started off super duper miserably wring-you-out humid-n-hot (overnight, it broke). I feel more aware of the things I haven’t signed up for or scheduled or finished or put away or mailed than of the stuff I’ve actually done. I get the sense that baked all the way to burnt feeling is not one I’m experiencing solo. Weather is a powerful thing. Kids’ schedules changing week by week is a powerful thing, too, powerfully discombobulating to those who are supposed to know what they are up to and to get them to their places.

At home, where the kids have more free time, they seem to watch more television.

Herding and heat (and smoothie drinking in response), this is my week’s snapshot. Maybe I should sign it like a postcard: Wish you were here; hope you’re having a good summer. At least this way, the message will reach its intended recipient, theoretically (because I have a couple of things on the counter waiting for me to get all the way from here to mailbox; if one of them is a camp form that will ultimately be hand-delivered, so be it, save the forever cents).


Before waking up, the ineffective herding tie in to the “real world” I had mulled this week was about how sexism seems to be so entrenched that all the progress we may achieve still seems like it falls so short as to be nowhere. It can be seemingly silly, like how come the Australian men’s basketball team flies to the Olympics business but the women must be in coach (and longer legs, seriously, with a straight face that is the answer?) or college student and feminist Julie Zeilinger’s essay for Forbes about why young women shy from leadership roles (hint, still starts with the objectification of girls versus encouragement to become the subjects of their lives).

After I woke up and learned about senseless horrors with guns, I pretty much wanted to state the obvious: guns really are not for people.


On a happier note, Saskia picked a name from a colander to find Standing in the Shadows’ Science Fair CD giveaway winner since the hat eventually disappeared from the table, perhaps back to its tennis player: it was Hannia.

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Author: Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser's work has appeared on the New York Times, Salon, and the Manifest Station amongst other places. Find her on Twitter @standshadows

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