In which I seek some bracing advice to deal with my last-ever-I-promise-absolutely-final bout of empty nest syndrome whining.
Me: Miss Hepburn, I...[snuffle]...oh, excuse me for crying.
KH: Whatever is the matter with you?
Me: I'm sorry, I'm just...[sob]...my daughter...
KH: Well, what is it? Speak up!
Me: She's leaving for college.
KH: Yes, and? Does she have a disease?
Me: Oh no, she—
KH: Is she pregnant?
Me: No, definitely not. But—
KH: Has she lost a limb?
Me: Oh gosh, no.
KH: I don't understand, then. What are you crying about?
Me: Well, she's leaving. Life is changing. I'll be here, and she'll be way over there.
KH: You must be joking.
Me: No, really. I have these moments of panic when I realize she's never going to take a shower in that bathroom ever again. It feels, I don't know, tragic.
KH: Tragic, my eye. Tragic is being labeled "box-office poison." For heaven's sake, put some backbone into it!
Me: Yes, I'm trying. I just—
KH: I spent more than three-quarters of my life living apart from my parents, and you didn't see me sniveling about it. Or them, either.
Me: That's true.
KH: We New Englanders are made of tougher stuff. What you need is a good swim in the Atlantic. In January.
Me: That's one idea.
KH: Invigorating! Clears your head!
Me: I'm sure. But, Miss Hepburn, didn't you ever feel sad when people went away, or when things seemed like they'd never be the same again?
KH: That's the point of life! Things move forward! You enjoy things while you have them, and when they change you enjoy the new things. Anything else is a waste of time.
Me: You make it sound so easy.
KH: It is easy! Comedy is hard.
KH: That's better.
Me: I'll try to look at it that way.
KH: Try, nothing. Just get up on that horse and go, go, go.
Me: Go, go, go.
KH: She loves you, doesn't she?
Me: She does, actually, yes.
KH: She knows you love her, doesn't she?
KH: She'll enjoy college, won't she?
Me: I'm sure she will.
KH: Well, then. You're just moving on to Act II, scene 1, that's all. The players are the same, it's only the set that's different.
Me: I hadn't thought of it that way. Thank you, Miss Hepburn.
KH: Now stop sniffling, it's so unattractive. And what have you done with my brownies?
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[Title courtesy "On Golden Pond"]