My mom is in town for three days. Already she has achieved a new hot single for the greatest hits by releasing my ybab from the carseat while the car was moving. I guess something something never had something and turned out fine? I don’t know. I couldn’t even quite get to the bottom of it. Instead, I took the high road and screamed and kicked the side of the car. Yes, that high road. You know, under the sea! Hey, that cheerful crab is offering me a turn with the hookah. BBL!
A ybab was a sad monster last night because Mr. H was gone on business. I can only assume his business involved Scotch. If I find out it involved a trip to Scores, I will say “You better expense that!” I am such a nagging wife.
After I put a ybab to bed for the third time, I read some more about the Kims. I’m sure you’ve seen the story. SFGate.com has all the heartbreak I can handle. I feel like I’m over-identifying due to the shared demographic. Their family photos look similar to ours. I have the sunglasses the wife is wearing in one of the “Happier Times” series. The aerial shot of their stranded car is our car, right down to the color. See, only the unlucky buy Saabarus, as we’ve proven time and time again this past year. And secretly, I just don’t care always when people in the midwest fall under combines. So I have the guilt of selective tragedy appreciation via consumerism to add to the heap.
A ybab is about to reach six months of dubious sleeping, one month younger than the Kims’ youngest girl. I can’t imagine juggling a ybab in the freezing cold in the car, running out of diapers, and wondering when one’s husband will return. Well, OK, I can imagine it. I get brief visceral flashes, and I’m sure they are no where near as bad as the real thing. I can’t get this feeling dislodged. I wondered what we’d do in that situation. I wished Mr. H were home for couch snuggles and Wine Block. The cat did that thing where she walked around the house looking for everyone, and she wasn’t happy because she couldn’t find him. She sat on my feet expectantly, as if I could produce him. It was one of those nights where you need to know where your people are.
Minus: The local water supply has been contaminated. The grocery store is out of bottled water.
Plus: But there’s plenty of Perrier!
Minus: Mr. H and the cat and I are exiled. Some of our stuff is in our cars. Some of it, such as the couch, is on top of the kitchen table back at our brand new scuba lair.
Plus: At least we aren’t That Guy.
It started with other people drinking before the sun was over the yardarm. Or maybe it started when Mr. H and I almost threw up on the plane. Turbulence. I don’t know.
At some point, I was asked if “THEY” were “satisfied” with the “progress” that the parasite has made. “No, of course not,” I replied. “I am having a weak and reedy child, sunken of chest. THEY feel I will have to heave a sturdy rock at its hideous visage shortly after birth.” Then there was a discussion of a custom closet system, not my first choice for conversation. “Did you MEASURE?” “No, of course not,” I replied. “Why would I measure to ensure custom results?”
Then there was the problem of more drinking and gross sexual harassment of a waitress and food covered in sauerkraut. I think that was supposed to be delicious. But again with the almost throwing up business. My primary tormentor wolfed down a plate of German potato salad and told a tale of meddling, which stemmed from describing a problem with her inability to gain satisfaction from the help file in Excel. “You have to know how to look things up!” Yes, yes you do. “I was in the checkout the other day, and there was this young kid doing the ringing, and he didn’t know what a Belgian Endive was. So I said ‘Look under witloof.'”
“Witloof?” I asked.
“Yes, it’s the Dutch word.”
“And this would help a checker in an American supermarket?”
“Well, I’ve seen it called that before. At Kroger!”
“Were you at Kroger?”
“What were you doing with an endive, anyway?” I was suspicious, as it took this person nearly fifty years to try asparagus.
“It wasn’t mine, the lady in front of me had it.”
“So you injected yourself into someone else’s transaction and offered a bizarre foreign word to be helpful?”
“Well, she thought it was some kind of celery. So I said to try looking under Belgian Endive. And he still couldn’t find it, so I said he should try Endive Comma Belgian.”
“If you had been quiet, he would have entered it under either celery or general merchandise, and you would been able to leave two minutes sooner.”
“But that would screw up their inventory!”
It has taken me days to get over this trip. You really can’t go home again. Not without getting bombed back to one’s emotional stone age. There’s the judgment, the paranoia, the incoherent ranting about Big Pharma and how money will be worthless, the revisionist history of wrongs committed in childhood, and the great sucking need for connection that I don’t know how to answer. What does anyone want from me? What do I want from anyone? If someone likes me, is that enough reason to give my time to that person? What if you also owe that person $10,000 that you aren’t really good for? What if you are having a child, and someone assumes he or she will be a part of that child’s life, and all you can think of is how much you hope you don’t do to that child what was done to you? And the very prospect of repeating history keeps you up nights, in a soppy swamp.
Unsourced gossip: apparently Massachusetts is trying to strengthen seatbelt laws to make being unbuckled a stoppable offense. There is outcry that this will lead to racial profiling, and then some people just don’t like being told what to do. Well, move to New Hampshire and pay higher property taxes. There are no races in New Hampshire (except dirt bike), so that takes care of racial profiling. The legal fireworks balance out the lack of diversity. Anyhoo, seatbelt laws require impassioned speeches about civil liberties, but wiretapping without a court order is A-OK!
I was once helped by a seatbelt! It’s true! Actually, more than once. This morning, some skeez in an orange Tonka truck (Honda Element?) tried to make a left into the lane of traffic. Unfortunately, I was already right in front of her. I used my cat-like reflexes and saved us all, but on second thought, I should have let her hit us. Such destruction would have totally gotten us out of the fucking lease.
Then there was the time my mother turned the mini van over during morning car pool. This was during her storied “I don’t need glasses” phase. The neck injury I sustained from dangling like a bat still kicks up to this day, but I imagine it might have sucked more had my neck crumpled against the roof of the car. The most annoying part out of all of this? A neighbor was driving by and thought it was a good idea to take several bruised and stunned children to school. I got to school on time and took a science test. I had a valid excuse to go home on a silver platter, and I was too dumb to take it. Never again! Today I am going to cancel a meeting because it is snowing. Discretion is the better part of laziness.
Number of separate calendar days where vomiting occurred: 4
Number of times the washer and dryer were correctly delivered: 0
Number of duplicate West Elm catalogs received: 8
Amount of work billed: 3x 2004 billings
Amount actually received in 2005: ahahahahahaha
Number of gallons of non-returnable paint purchased: 9
Number of gallons actually needed: 4
Damn you: Glidden.com paint calculator that Mr. H made me use. I should have trusted my street math.
Weight gained: 6 pounds
Bad haircuts: 1
Dead hard drives: 1
Cracked windshields: 1
Amount the usage of “gift” as a verb annoyed me: immeasurable
Impulse real estate purchases: 1
Parasite infestations: 1
Albums purchased from iTunes Music Store: only 15!
Countries visited: France, illness Spain, click Baltimore
Swearing: damn, a damn lot
**2006 Bonus Preview:**
Boxes of wine purchased: 1
Washers and dryers correctly delivered: 0
Boston terriers who live at my new hovel: 1
This is boring me: 72%
Lambchop: oh my, we truly are damned
Lambchop: we are headed straight for a fiery pit
Licketysplit: yipes: http://www.boston.com/dailynews/118/region/City_finds_dozens_of_dead_cats:.shtml
Licketysplit: a posh fiery pit at least
Lambchop: to be assaulted by satan’s little wizards who offer us champagne that is a little “flat”
Licketysplit: if you were going to rent an apartment for nefarious purposes, why not pick a more reasonably priced neighborhood??
Lambchop: is there a market for dead cats?
Lambchop: some great boon in dead cat futures we were not aware of?
Licketysplit: the tv news last night said they suspected this was experimentation to breed a better show persian
Lambchop: I thought healthy, live animals generally entered those things
Lambchop: but its nice that they give an equal shot to those stinking and decaying
Licketysplit: at least *I* still have a chance!
Lambchop: after all, when I am a gaseous soup in my coffin, I would hate to think I can no longer be on TV!
Lambchop: you and I simply MUST have a talk show from the grave!
Licketysplit: ho ho, i will make sure your urn is polished to a fare-thee-well
Lambchop: awww, after you lovingly pile my dusty remnants in there- no pyre necessary!
Licketysplit: “my career was going so well, until my stinking hellhole of a cat tomb was discovered!”
Lambchop: her Makeshift Chamber of Horrors!
Licketysplit: “It’ll do in a pinch!”
Lambchop: i am sure she is rueing the corners she cut in the design of her chamber of horrors!
Lambchop: do you suppose they assist you in such matters at the Home Depot?
Licketysplit: “I am looking to construct a chamber of horrors, but not a shoddy one.”
Lambchop: “I need real know-how about the proper installation of duct tape, heavy plastic sheeting, burlap and sturdy rope.”
Licketysplit: “where are your higher quality trap door mechanisms?”
Lambchop: “how do i insure these meathooks will not rust or flake?”
Licketysplit: “i am looking for drainage!”
Lambchop: “i require adequate storage and composting!”
Licketysplit: “ventilation is a must, but i am concerned about sound”
Lambchop: “how can I construct a crawlspace that will really stand up to the test of time?”
Lambchop: hee, i was imagining us having a real DIY guy on our show, telling us in his dry workaday way how to build this stuff
Lambchop: that guy from this old house would do anything for a few shekels!
Lambchop: we would be handling weatherproofing and sealants and nodding sagely!
Lambchop: interrupting at just the right moments with penetrating questions like “how will this affect the health of my family? For example, a mother living in the attic”