I’m No Sociopath!

nablo13dayseventeenMy husband accused me of trying to kill him this morning. With bad meat.

As I carefully explained to him, if I had a list of people that I would like to see dead, which I may or may not have, he is (or, at least prior to this ridiculous accusation and the ensuing conversation, WAS) not even in the top ten. I also found it necessary to let him know that if I were, indeed, going to embark upon a life of crime and commit murder, which, of course, I am not, I would not choose “death by meat” as my method of choice.

I’d like to think that I’d have more sense than that. While I know very little about poisoning people, I would think that if one were going to go about it, one would choose a more fool-proof method than serving up a questionable meat product and then standing by and hoping for the best. I cautioned him that if I began to stock up on anti-freeze or rat poison, he might want to sleep with one eye open.

I would like to make it abundantly clear that while I may, at times, have some anger issues, I am not now nor have I ever been a sociopath. Death by poison (and, I think, spoiled meat would fall into this category), takes the type of planning and initiative that one normally associates with the sociopathic personality.

It’s safe to say that I’m not that much of a planner. If I were, would I have possibly spoiled meat in the fridge? I don’t think so.

If I were going to go on a killing spree, which I currently have no plans to do, I would imagine that it would be the result of my becoming unglued — utterly and finally. In other words, I’m far more likely to have a psychotic break fueled, no doubt, by having to participate in ridiculous conversations about whether or not I am planning to send my husband to an early grave by feeding him chopped meat that has spent two days in the refrigerator. Ground beef that is, by the way, still fit for consumption. It’s not expired. It’s not brown. It’s fine!

I take no small amount of pride in a job well done. I am a “finish what you start” type of person. I would like to think that if I decided to murder someone, I would do it right. I wouldn’t half-ass it, which is another reason why I wouldn’t choose poison. Even if I were able to acquaint myself with and acquire enough poison to hasten my husband’s death, I’ll bet it would take too long. Not being, as I pointed out previously, a sociopath, I would take no pleasure in watching him die, I’d just want the job done.

If I were to get up to killing him (or, for that matter, anybody else), I’m pretty sure that it would be a crime of opportunity or passion. If I were him, I’d spend less time worrying about a bad hamburger and more time being mindful of annoying me near open seas, subway tracks or precipices.

Paint: My “Gateway” Drug!

paintI have to psyche myself up today — after four days off, I have to go back to work. I’m trying to view this going back to work thing as a mini-vacation from all the hard work I’ve been putting in here at the hovel. It’s not really working, though.

On the up side, I only have to work for the next three days — because I’m off for four days again next week. The down side is that I will be required to spend a good chunk of that time cleaning up the mess I made after I decided to tackle the hall closet yesterday. Yes, I know. I haven’t even finished the bathroom and I’ve started something else. Are you all in cahoots with my husband? Don’t judge me! This is just the kind of gal I am — one thing always leads to another.

For example, I swore that I was only painting the bathroom. I promised my husband that I was only painting the bathroom. I think he knew better. Paint, at least for me, functions as a sort of a “gateway” drug — once I get a taste, I want more — and I want the hard stuff — I begin to envision how nice my hallway will look in a medium blue with black and white accents, or how a nice caramel color will make my entryway “pop”. And the kitchen? I imagine that a happy yellow — accessorized with black and white toile (of course!) — would be delightful. If I were to stumble across a pretty gingham to accent the toile, I wouldn’t pass it by!

Last night he caught me wandering around the hallway with a measuring tape. He didn’t say a word. He didn’t have to. His face said, “I knew it!” When I finally came into the bedroom, he just said, “I thought that we were going to concentrate on the bedroom next week. So, what is it you’re doing out there in the hallway with a tape measure?” Glancing over, he couldn’t help but notice that there were paint chips on my iPad screen — blue paint chips — and so he had to comment, thusly: “I thought we agreed that we weren’t painting the bedroom — or anything else.”

I explained to him that as I had already dumped the contents of the closet into the hallway and as I had to paint the vintage metal cabinet that lives there anyway, I thought that I might as well just go “whole hog” and paint the walls, too. I also wanted him to know that I had finally worked out a solution to the laundry problem — this, my friends, is what I call a “pot sweetener”! (Because he is forever saying things like, “This laundry is ridiculous. We need to find a better place to put it!” — and we do.)

We have a very big laundry problem here at the hovel — one that I’ve been making lackluster attempts at addressing for several years now — all, sadly, to no avail. But I think I’ve finally cracked it. Here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to raise some black shelving off of the floor by placing it onto cinderblocks (painted, of course!) so that I can clear the baseboard heater. Atop the shelving I will place three laundry baskets flush to the wall — then I’m going to put some cute little signs above each basket, which will read: “Whites”, “Towels”, and “Colors”. I thought about putting the towel hamper in the closet, eliminating it from the triptych altogether, but that would leave me with only two hampers and two signs that say: “Whites”and “Colors”. That left me feeling uneasy — without the “Towels”, the whole enterprise just smacks of the “segregated South”. And, really, who needs THAT kind of anxiety when one has finally removed one of the biggest stumbling blocks to organization in the history of the world? Not me!

Amazingly, my husband didn’t even call this idea “stupid”. I thought he would get all caught up in the painted cinderblock thing, but he didn’t. (Maybe he didn’t process that part of the scheme — I was doing some pretty good “fast-talking” to “sell” my little plan!) I did notice a quasi-eyeroll when I discussed the whole “Whites”, “Colors” dilemma. He suggested that I abandon the signage idea altogether. He advised me to simply tell the one other person in the house who was not present for this conversation — the teenager — which basket would be for whites and which would be for colors. HA! As if. Even he had to chuckle at the ridiculousness of that suggestion!

We then had to discuss “hampers”. I’m sure he was hoping that I would settle for a few of those Rubbermaid ones — the kind that you pick up at Target, you know, where they sell the dish drains, the plastic totes, and other utilitarian items. Sure, they’re useful, but they’re also not what I have in mind — and he knows it! What I have in mind will cost money — real money — and he knows that, too! Because I have one in my bedroom — it has become “his” hamper. And he loves it. He also knows that it was $70. It’s a beautiful blackish rattan — imagine, if you will, a nice, steaming hot cup of Starbuck’s before you add the cream. It has a flat back and a curved front. The lid opens and closes nicely and quietly. It’s a beauty! If, say, Mercedes made hampers — it would be this one. Obviously, I’ll need three of them. I told him that he could give his up and then we’d only need two. As a testament to how much a man can love a hamper — even a cheapskate like my husband — he told me to go ahead and spend the money.

Stay tuned, kids! If my husband doesn’t knock me off the ladder, I’ll be posting some more exciting pieces about the wonderful world of hampers!

photo credit: paint

Accepting Forgiveness

notperfectDrinking took me to places that a woman like me — white, middle-class, college-educated — never thought she’d be. Renter’s court. Criminal court. You know, THOSE kinds of places. At the time I thought that the world was against me. And so, to combat the world, I drank more. It’s what alcoholics do.

I almost lost everything. EVERYTHING. I am still, over four years later, putting many of the pieces of my shattered life back together. A few of them I just swept up and tossed in the trash, like the “friends” I used to drink with and the bars I used to frequent. Those pieces, the ones that don’t matter, the ones that never should have mattered, were easily discarded.

The relationships that do matter, that should have mattered more, those fractures are not so easily fixed. Cobbling them back together may take a lifetime. Regaining the trust that the people closest to me lost while I was lost in whatever bottle I could get my hands on, that’s the trickier part of recovery.

I had no idea that the actual act of giving up alcohol would be the easier part of the healing process. That the hard part would be the aftermath is not something they focus on in rehab. In rehab they tell you to put yourself first. I found this advice to be counterproductive. Because, really, that’s what addicts do, have always done — put themselves first. In order to get healthy, I needed to start putting other people first.

I needed, first and foremost, to stop feeling resentful. Instead, I needed to be grateful — to actually FEEL grateful. Grateful to the people who stood by me. Grateful for having done no irreparable physical harm to anyone other than myself. Grateful for being given the second chance that many addicts never are. Grateful just to be.

There is still not a day that goes by that I am not smacked in the face with the realization that I can NEVER have another drink. Not one single day. I don’t know if this ever ends. I don’t know that it should. I know that I must acknowledge this feeling and then I must move on from it before it incapacitates me. It’s really all I can do. There’s no magic to it. It’s just what my life is.

That’s the bad. Forgiveness is the good. Whether through words or deeds, I have managed to receive forgiveness from the people who my drinking affected most adversely. My husband. My child. They are truly special people.

And friends. The good ones. The kind ones. The generous ones. The funny ones. They persevered. They saw me through. They, too, have forgiven me.

My life is far better and infinitely richer because I am able, every day, to accept their gifts of forgiveness. And, because they have, every last one of them, given this gift so freely, I do my part by making every attempt to be a humble and grateful recipient.

photo credits:
Not perfect…

Thanks for the Memories, Mrs. K!

Farewell, my lovely!

Farewell, my lovely!

The Keurig is on the fritz. It’s not completely broken. In a strange, yet not altogether surprising turn of events, it works for me. It’s Fang, the much more enthusiastic coffee drinker, who is unable to get Mrs. K to dispense properly, if at all.

I alone seem to have the “magic touch”. Now, whenever Fang gets a hankering for one of his many cups of Joe, I’m the one who has to make it. If I hadn’t witnessed the positively freakish favoritism being showered upon me by an inanimate object, I would be convinced that Fang had just made the whole thing up. You know, so that I could fetch more things for him.

I have a theory about why Mrs. K isn’t working for Fang. And, yes, my Keurig is female. I know this because she is sensitive, willful, and vindictive. We first noticed that she was beginning to exhibit “skitchy” behavior — intermittent strange groaning noises, brewing too little or too much coffee, and, on a few occasions, just plain shutting off — around the holidays.

Fang’s immediate reaction was that the “freakin’ thing was old and on it’s way out” and that we should begin to at least think about “getting one of those newer, fancier models”. He engaged in this trash-talk right in front of her! I took no small amount of offense at what seemed a betrayal of the “miracle machine” that he had, not that long ago, been so enamored with.

I am not exaggerating when I tell you that Fang had a slight crush on Mrs. K when she first entered our lives. No doubt he appreciated her speed, her efficiency, and, of course, her curves. (The very same qualities I would like to think he appreciates in me!) On at least one occasion I swore that he was fondling her. I wasn’t jealous, though. Competing for Fang’s affections with an appliance didn’t bother me in the least. It helped that this particular appliance provided me with the product that, quite frankly, makes it possible for me to go out into the world every morning without killing someone.

Given that I, too, have a soft spot for Mrs. K, it’s not surprising that I took her imminent demise to heart. Uncharacteristically, though, I found myself taking my husband’s cavalier attitude toward her very personally — as if he had said that it was me who was “old” and “on [my] way out”. I know that he neither said nor intimated any such thing, but I couldn’t help the resentment I felt when he began “checking out” the newer models at the Target.

In the face of his clear intention to replace the old gal, I dug in my heels. I decided to try to nurse her back to health. I put her on a regular descaling regimen and fed her only premium blends —- the darkest, most delicious roasts, from deepest Africa or the highlands of Hawaii. And it worked. She rebounded.

At least that’s what I told myself. I fear that it wasn’t so much a recovery, as it was a remission. This happens sometimes in cases of terminal illness. Given that she had become a kindred spirit, I’d been treating her as any kind, nurturing woman would — I babied her and, on occasion, could be heard murmuring encouragement. (“You can do it!” “I know you’ve got one more good cup in ya!” “Come on, girl! Do it for me!”) It’s no more than any good caretaker would do.

I have not been the one discussing her replacement or waving Bed, Bath and Beyond flyers with PICTURES (!) of the latest K-cup brewers around in front of her! I’m not in denial. I know her days are numbered. I understand that it’s only a matter of time before she’s kaput, but I want to have her understudy waiting in the wings before she drips her last drop. I find Fang’s behavior counterproductive.

Hello, Gorgeous!

Hello, Gorgeous!

I swear that because I have treated her with kindness and respect, she has continued to work for me. She has recognized my efforts and has responded in kind. If she catches on that I’m using her to make Fang’s coffee or susses out my plan to hide the newer model under the sink, I’m sure she’ll just up and refuse to do my bidding. So, keep it under your hats, will ya? I just need to get through Fangette’s birthday and then I’ll have enough money to afford a new machine. Did you know that the new models come in different colors? Maybe I’ll call her “Red”!

Photo Credits:
Black Keurig
Red Keurig

The Laundry Edict of 2013

washerdryerI’ve recently instituted a new policy here at the hovel. It’s called “Do your own freakin’ laundry!” This is a policy that I feel is self-explanatory, in that the title of the policy and the actual policy are one and the same.

If my was objective was to be obtuse, I could have used a tactic employed by governments the world over and called it something like “Revised Guidelines Regarding the Division of Labor in Relation to the Agitator-driven and Gas-generated Hot Air-blowing Machineries Located in the Basement Act of 2013”. (Be it duly noted that the RGRDLRAGHALBA, will replace the GRDLRAGHALBA, enacted the 4th day of November, 1989, which placed sole responsibility for those machineries located in the basement squarely on the shoulders of the female head of household). I could understand, had I engaged in this kind of obfuscation, why the members of my household might be confused by the new policy.

I did no such thing. To be fair, I neither consulted any of the folks that would be adversely affected by the institution of this new policy prior to enacting it nor were they given anything even remotely resembling “plenty of notice”. Unlike the government, which at least pretends at something called democracy, here at the hovel we make no such claims to democratic rule. It’s a straight up dictatorship. Sure, we aim for benevolence, but it’s not required.

I realize that I’m generously calling it a policy, rather than what it truly is — an edict. I am doing this in an effort to seem a little more, well, benevolent. Because, really, nobody likes a bitch. Further, no one has any sympathy for a lazy bitch. So, let me just assure you that this new policy does not stem from outright laziness on my part, rather the enactment of this policy was designed to light a fire under Fangette. Much like her father, who thinks that gourmet meals, such as grilled cheese and soup, just make themselves, Fangette has been operating (for quite some time) under the delusion that I enjoy spending my days hunting and gathering. More specifically, hunting for whatever item of clothing she has misplaced, but that she desperately needs in the immediate future, and gathering together that and other items, so that I can then spend untold hours of my days, weeks, and months, laundering those things that I have managed to unearth from the atrocity that is her bedroom floor. Just last week I spent close to an hour trying to uncover where in that black hole one very important (to her) lacy ecru camisole had gotten itself to. Ultimately, with a little detective work and the employment of my trusty flashlight, I was able to uncover the mystery of the missing lacy ecru camisole. It was under her bed, wedged between the never-opened telescope from the Christmas of 2008 and some outdated and, more than likely, incomplete board games. (Anyone up for a rousing game of Candyland?)

womanunderbed

That, ladies and gentlemen, was it. My dustbunny covered self decided right then and there that she, at almost 17 years old, was capable of doing her own laundry. (I also found myself wishing that the skills I have acquired throughout my many years of diving under beds and couches, rifling through discarded gym bags, and ferreting through closets to uncover lost belongings were more marketable!) When I advised Fangette of my decision to stop doing her laundry, one would have thought that I had asked her to take the old washboard off of the kitchen wall, haul her dirty clothes out back to the creek (really it’s more of a stream, but a body of water is a body of water) and bang her clothes against it with a rock. That was not my expectation at all. I reminded her that we have machines that do that sort of thing now. And that all that was required of her was that she take it down the stairs and throw it in said machinery. Believe me, she knows this. She’s a smart kid. She’s been watching me do it for years.

Thus far the peasantry, as I have come to think of Fangette, has resisted The Laundry Edict of 2013. I’m fairly certain she didn’t take it seriously — until last night, that is. Last night she came in from work and pitched an absolute fit because she had no clean clothes. A fit, mind you, that I valiantly chose to ignore. Mainly because that’s just the type of behavior one comes to expect of us lazy bitches and also because it was after 11 PM and, really, who wants to engage an angry adolescent on the heels of her five-hour movie theater concession stand shift who is in a snit about laundry? Not me, I can tell you that. Ultimately, though, the slamming of drawers and banging of doors became too much for poor old Fang who was, at this point, threatening to get out of bed and “take care of this nonsense”.

Rather than listen to the two of them duke it out (metaphorically, of course — this is, after all, a non-violent authoritarian regime), I rolled out of bed to have a “talk” with Fangette. It went rather well, considering the lateness of the hour and the mood of the participants. She made her usual circular arguments regarding her busy life (school, work, social media commitments — okay, I added that last one, but still); I listened patiently, but stuck to my guns — explaining, once again, that a large part of growing up entails being responsible for, among other things, one’s own personal hygiene, which includes clean jeans and sports bras. There were some jabs as to whether or not I had been the best role model and, I’ll admit, I haven’t always been the poster child for cleanliness and organization, but no one in this house has ever gone out into the world wrinkled or unclean on my watch.

momandteenagertalking

I left the conversation feeling like we had reached an agreement about more than just laundry. Further, we had done so calmly and in a reasonable manner. I was convinced that at least for a short while she would cooperate by obeying the edict, which gave me hope for greater things like, for example, a more harmonious household. What I didn’t count on was the possum.

possumondrivewayYeah. You read that correctly, the possum. Or opposum. I have no idea if there is a scientific difference between a possum and an opposum or whether the difference is just semantics. Here’s what I do know: A possum forced the repeal of The Laundry Edict of 2013. And, it’s all my husband’s fault.

Don’t misunderstand me, he had nothing to do with my coming face-to-face with the beady-eyed creature outside of the laundry room. Okay, maybe it was more like snout-to-shin — it wasn’t some genetically-engineered giant possum for heaven’s sakes. He can’t be blamed for the existence of the possum of the driveway or the fact that I nearly had a heart attack outside of the laundry room. No. It’s what he did with his knowledge of the possum in the backyard that ultimately led to my daughter’s adamant refusal to make use of the laundry facilities.

Listen, I get it. There’s very little that’s funnier than telling the story of your wife being surprised by the unexpected appearance of a possum. If the shoe was on the other foot and he had been the one to stumble across the possum armed only with a blue plastic Ikea bag full of clean laundry, you can bet the farm that I would have run, at something resembling world record pace, to get to my phone so that I could tell the story to whomever I could get on the horn. Once I’d stopped laughing my ass off, that is.

My only "weapon"!

My only “weapon”!

I was trying my best to keep him quiet, so as not to alert Fangette, who was in her room, supposedly studying. (Well, at least she hustled off there on that premise when I had asked for her help with dinner earlier! For all I know she’s heading up a black market gun-running operation in that hot mess she lives in.) Fangette has an uncanny ability to appear in those exact moments when she is not wanted. Tonight would prove to be no different. She burst into the living room and demanded to know what was so funny. Fangette almost never quietly appears in a room; she also rarely makes polite requests.

I attempted to play it off, to distract her with the promise of some succulent Thai chicken — to no avail. As for Fang, well, he was just obliviously ignoring my signals. He was, in fact, behaving as if he had never seen the “Shhhhh!” sign in his life.

Woulda distracted me!

Woulda distracted me!

And, honestly, he may not know what the “Shhhhh!” sign means. I don’t know what he did in school. Slept? Daydreamed? He claims to have had near-perfect attendance, which I can believe because it has carried over into his work life — Fang is one of those infuriating coworkers who almost never misses a day of work. He’s the guy that has to be told to go home when he’s sick. He’s not punctual, necessarily, but he’s reliable in that everyone knows that he will, eventually, appear at his desk. Fang is one of those people who gets points for showing up, but not necessarily for paying attention.

It’s often shocking to me what he doesn’t know. One of his favorite retorts when I am exasperated with his lack of basic knowledge on almost any subject is “if that’s true, then every little school boy would know it”. I have spent countless hours explaining to him that most little school boys do, indeed, know things like where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated (Ford’s Theater), where the Revolutionary War began (Lexington and Concord), and what Einstein is famous for (The Theory of Relativity). He is neither stupid nor was he poorly educated, he just doesn’t pay a stick of attention. I often find myself in situations where we will go to, say, a restaurant. He often says things like, “Wow! This place is great. How come we haven’t been here before?”, which leads me to enumerate not only the number of times we have been there before, but other relevant things regarding the venue, such as, which menu items we previously enjoyed and with whom we enjoyed them. Seriously. This is what I’m up against.

shhhh!Not surprisingly, Fang missed the “Shhhhh!” sign, the dagger eyes I was pointing at him, and the finger across the throat that, I think, universally signifies “shut the fuck up already!”. Fang would never make it out alive in a clandestine operation. I’m sure you see where I’m going with this. Fang spilled the beans about the possum. Fangette took this information and used it to her advantage. She pounced on it like the possum would have pounced on me had it not been for the giant bag of clean laundry that I very quickly managed to put between my leg and its teeth. I’ll bet you didn’t know that possums had razor-like teeth, did you? I didn’t. Generally speaking, when I think of possums I envision cute little furry things hanging by their furry striped tails somewhere deep inside of the forest while smiling. That’s right. They’re just happily hanging around. I blame this on children’s books and their infuriating need to anthropomorphize dangerous critters. And, really, it’s my own fault, given that most of my knowledge of aardvarks has been gleaned from reading or watching episodes of “Arthur”. I’ll bet, in nature, aardvarks don’t hang around with rabbits or bears and haven’t learned lessons of tolerance from rats.

Razor sharp teeth!!!

Razor sharp teeth!!!

As a result of my near-miss with the possum and my husband’s inability to keep his mouth shut, Fangette will not be venturing out to the laundry room any time soon. I hold out hope that she will, at the very least, hunt for and gather up her own clothing. I just pray that she never sees a mouse under her bed. Because if she does, whatever clothing winds up there will remain there forever. Because I won’t be going under there either. On the bright side, the mice could always use whatever discarded clothing items they find to make Cinderella a new frock. micemakingcinderellasdress

photo credits:
washer/dryer
woman under bed
mother and teenage daughter
thai chicken
possum on driveway
possum baring teeth
Shhhhh!
mice making Cinderella’s dress
blue Ikea bag

Things that are worth holding on to

86 mets photI could fill a very large file cabinet with things that would fall into the category of “seemed like a good idea at the time”. Let’s make that a virtual file cabinet, though, shall we? I’ve spent the last month hauling garbage bags and ugly furniture down the stairs. The last thing I need to be tripping over is a file cabinet filled with bad decisions. Decisions that, by the way, span years and run the gamut from cutting my own hair to driving drunk, from piercing my own ears to buying a white couch, from being unkind to running with the wrong crowd.

For the most part I’m happy with the decisions I’ve made regarding the more important things in my life like, for example, who I married. And that’s a big one. Don’t overestimate the importance of that one, folks. Sure, he gets on my last nerve sometimes, but he comes in handy for things like hooking up HDTV’s. Also, he’s game for tearing up outdated pleather couches armed only with a hammer and a steak knife. He doesn’t bang on about fancy meals, either. That’s a plus. As long as I keep coffee and peanut butter in the house he’s a relatively happy camper.

Insofar as we choose our mates based on qualities that we deemed were important at, in my case, 19 years old (HA!), it’s no wonder the divorce rate is so high. Either I was very smart at 19 (again, HA!) or, more likely, very lucky indeed. What first drew me to him was that he had a car and a job, which, in hindsight, seem like relatively frivolous things. What I came to realize, mostly while riding in that car, was that he laughed a lot and he did so easily, which made being around him enjoyable. He still does, it still is.

The hovel purge has been hard on him. I’ve been hard on him. Let’s just say that there hasn’t been a lot of laughing. This weekend, however, it seems that he (and we) rounded a corner. He actually stopped fighting me and began to embrace the changes that I’ve been trying very hard to make happen here. He even got into the spirit and threw out a couple bags of his own junk; junk that has been clogging up my bedroom for years. I saw him wrestling with whether or not to keep the ’86 Mets World Series official photo. He was on the verge of tossing it when I stopped him. Though I cannot imagine where a framed 8 x 10 photograph of a bunch of guys in orange and blue will fit into my décor, I didn’t have the heart to make him get rid of it.

It seems that some things, even things that are old and outdated, are worth holding on to.

Here’s to hoping for the best

glassesclinkingI never write about not being able to write, but today I feel the need to make an exception (along with my apologies for not having read what you folks are writing, which feels more terrible than not posting). I’m not blocked, exactly. I’ve got a few musings in the hopper, so to speak — just nothing that’s ready for prime time, if you know what I mean. I’ve just been busy with other things. I wish I could say they were more important things, life-changing things. Some of them are. The hovel purge continues. So, that’s good. This activity feels both important and life-changing. We shall see. Getting more organized will ultimately be a good thing. I know this. It’s just the process that’s daunting. I’m hopeful, though. Having hope is always a positive thing. Unless, of course you are the type of person who sits around hoping for bad things to happen, like the death of your enemies or nuclear destruction. Luckily, I’m not that type of person. I figure the world will wreak it’s own havoc on my enemies. I can’t muster up the necessary time and energy to worry over the nuclear thing. If it happens, it happens. I assume it will be quick. I think that’s the best that we can all hope for on that subject.

Besides being hard at work on getting my house in order, I have also been up to my usual idiocy. Mostly, I’ve been doing those absent-minded professor things for which I am (semi) famous. Not once, but twice this week, I engaged in some footwear tomfoolery. First I headed out of the house in two different shoes. I wish I could tell you that they were so similar that I became confused in the dark, but that would be a lie. First of all it was broad daylight, second of all the were two very different colors. In my defense they were both sneakers, however, one was black and one was white. Fortuitously, I caught myself just outside my front door and was able to rather easily rectify the situation. I wish I could tell you that this is the first time I’ve done this. It’s not. A couple of years ago I did the very same thing with the very same shoes, only that time I wasn’t as lucky in terms of noticing what I’d done. That time I made it all the way to Target before I realized that I was wearing two very different shoes.

I was not as eagle-eyed when it came to putting my Uggs on the wrong feet. I have performed this feat of stupidity twice over the past couple of days. Okay, I was only running to the corner store or to the laundry room, but still, who does this once, let alone twice? Further, I will have you know that I only discovered it when I began to actually trip over my own two feet.

I have, for the most part, been successfully bathing/showering myself for over forty years. Why suddenly it’s become a problem for me, I couldn’t tell you, but it appears that I may no longer be up to the task. Again, not once, but twice this week I failed at something that most people manage to accomplish on a daily basis as a matter of course. I’ve had to take up focusing and concentrating in the shower, otherwise I am liable to either not shampoo my hair at all or to not rinse my hair of the shampoo that I miraculously remembered to apply. What person of normal intelligence does this?

I wish that these minor memory glitches, which I have decided to attribute to preoccupation, rather than a peri-menopausal state or my advancing age, only reared their ugly head at home (or at the corner store, or on my way down to the laundry room), but they haven’t. No. My foray into the land of forgetfulness has followed me to work where, on several occasions, I have simply failed to either order a customer’s food or to bring them something integral to their dining needs. My sincere, profuse and heartfelt apologies were accepted by these kind and generous people, none of whom were pressed for time or unduly attached to eating ketchup on their cheeseburgers. So, outside of looking like a ditzy waitress, no harm, no foul. Thankfully no one flipped out. I don’t know what I would have done if they had. A crying jag cannot be ruled out.

As much as I want to believe that none of this is hormonal, I know that’s not true. And I know it’s not true because of the crying. I would say that I’m an average crier or, more to the point, an appropriate crier. I’ll admit that I sometimes find crying cathartic. I’ll confess that sometimes the Sleepy’s commercial gets me to feeling a little weepy — the one where they do the montage of the couple as they age and their children grow while “In My Life” plays in the background. That one. I also really miss Oprah. That show was usually good for an afternoon cry. And, obviously, I have been known to cry when faced with personal loss. I’m not made of stone. I’m just not the sort of person who bursts into tears on anything resembling a regular basis (at least since Oprah went off the air, that is).

Lately, though, I have found myself either on the verge of tears or full-out crying on several occasions. A couple of times were out of sheer frustration with my husband who, it seems, has made a resolution to become a complete and utter asshole this year. I don’t really know what is going on with him and, frankly, I’m too fed up at the moment to care. I’m sure his behavior is related to my efforts at organization. Don’t get me wrong, he wants things more organized, he just doesn’t want to do any work or spend any money to make it happen. He has also grown fond of the word “stupid” and has begun to apply it liberally to many of the changes that I’ve suggested for living space. After a while the word “stupid” (not applied to me, per se, just to my ideas) began to grate on my last nerve. I got frustrated. I cried. He apologized. He then proceeded to continue to thwart me at every turn. So, I’ve resolved to just let him go on being an asshole. I’ll work around him.

My daughter, God love her, perhaps sensing the tension in her parents’ normally placid relationship, said something the other day that literally brought me to tears. I know that my kid has a kind and generous heart, mostly because that’s what other people tell me. At home she is snarky, mouthy, and self-centered, but when she goes out into the world she demonstrates altogether other qualities. (Don’t we all?) Normally, like most any adolescent who knows that she is unconditionally loved, her behavior at home can be beastly. So, imagine my surprise, when she looked me straight in the eye, put her hand on my shoulder (I was, literally, knee deep in plastic container sorting) and said, “Mom, I’m so proud of you.” I could barely choke out a “Thank you” before she noticed me crying. I’m happy to report that she got back to her old self right away, rolling her eyes and calling me “ridiculous” on her way out of the kitchen. And I did feel ridiculous. There she was, being nice — finally! — and all I could do was burst into tears. So, I guess that’s the last compliment I’ll get out of her for a while.

Anyway, this about sums up what I’ve been up to (or not up to) this week. It’s time to sign off now, as I have to attend to showering, carefully choosing my shoes, and relocating my dishes to a place that will, no doubt, be called stupid by my husband. I also must try very hard to get through the dinner shift without incident. And I have to do all of this without crying. I’m going to hope for the best.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Sleepy’s commercial referenced above:

photo credits:
glasses clinking (zazzle.com)