Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Let it be known that around here, we don’t do anything quickly.

Getting out of the house is a major chore. We say “Be in the car at one o’clock” and there are people still sitting around in bare feet and sauntering into the bathroom at 1:08. There are some things that you just can’t teach to another person, and one of those things is moving in a timely manner.

Two years ago we realized that our upstairs carpeting was in disrepair and it needed to be replaced. We decided on hardwood, to match the downstairs. We sort of haphazardly shopped around for the flooring, casually figured out how much it would cost, and talked about replacing the carpeting in the way that people talk about their dreams for the future, or losing ten pounds, or going to Alaska.

We just sort of went about life, and tromped on the old worn-out carpet and vacuumed it and spilled on it as usual. We painted some walls and figured we were going to replace the carpet anyway so we didn’t bother with drop cloths and you should have seen the huge glob of paint that I spilled the one day the paint tray tipped over when I wasn’t paying attention.

Finally we got up the nerve to go to the store and ask them to help us measure for our new flooring and a guy came out and measured our whole upstairs with a laser and it took him ten minutes and I thought what a job that guy has because I paid thirty-five dollars for that, I wonder if that thirty-five dollars goes into his pocket because he could make like two hundred dollars an hour if he didn’t have to drive all over town.

Really I was thinking eleventy billion dollars an hour because I’m not that great at quick math and that’s obvious because I couldn’t even figure out how to measure for flooring and that’s why I had to pay someone else thirty-five dollars to do it.

We ordered the flooring and then promptly ripped up all of the carpeting ourselves because we might not be able to measure for flooring but we can surely do a disgusting job like rip up carpeting and the amount of dust underneath was eye-popping and I felt like a housekeeping failure. There was even a huge bloodstain underneath the carpet in one of the rooms - spot remover works amazingly well on carpet but not the underside or padding - and I was glad that I didn’t have to explain THAT to anyone. And we rolled up all the carpeting and the padding and duct-taped it in rolls and deposited them on the side of our house and it looks so pretty.

You're welcome, neighbors.

And then we got a notification that the flooring was on backorder.

Backorder as in, oh, your floor will be in in two weeks instead of one, and then another week, and then we’re not really sure, and then the calls stopped coming. And then I called and they said they’d bring some of it by soon.

So now it’s December and we’re living on sub-floor which is not as cold as ceramic tile but pretty dusty even though it's been swept and vacuumed and even lightly sponge-mopped and we’re wearing shoes upstairs which previously was a big fat NO and it’s hilarious when the first article you put on in the morning or right out of the shower is shoes. It’s pretty inconvenient, but still hilarious.

I have informed my family very gravely that we will not be decorating for Christmas in the traditional sense so don’t mention it because the idea of not being able to spend quality time in front of the Christmas tree this year is wearing hard on me already and I don’t need any extra grief. We’re talking quality time, people. Like hours and hours reading and remembering past Christmases and having Bing Crosby and Vince Guaraldi lull me into a stupor while I stare at the twinkle lights Quality.

So we’re waiting. And it’s hard. And I’m not sure when it will be completely finished, and my mind immediately goes to crazy stories about people who live in houses that are only half done because their contractor ran off to Vegas to gamble all their remodeling money away. But I try not to think that way. After all, waiting around is what we DO. You know, because we’re slow and all.

But still.

Shoes right out of the shower, you guys.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Ha Ha Very Funny

The biggest joke in the universe is that moms don’t get days off.


Taking care of others is the sort of gig that allows no time off, not even when you’re far away and there’s zero possibility of finding that one pair of leggings or the extra container of hair goo that has mysteriously disappeared.

You always care, are often contacted, and are expected to take care of business even when you’re not there by setting things in motion, guiding through the process, and cleaning up afterwards. There’s no end in sight, even though the people around you are capable of doing the job that you do – for them, usually – themselves.

I’m tired.

It’s well-established in my family that I don’t really enjoy taking care of everyone’s junk. As much as I lament the aging of my children and their looming departure, I am quite enjoying the fact that they can feed and wash themselves, get their work done on their own, and even help me with some of life’s heavy stuff.

Literally. Having teenagers – particularly a teenage boy with brand-new muscles that he is anxious to use – is the best thing ever when I need to move something big.

I’ve been doing this job long enough now that nobody in my family even tries anymore to pretend that an off day for me is really an off day. Even my husband, who understands my need to cocoon once in a while, will stand in front of me and, after listening to me insist that I want nothing else but to relax, will say with no mockery, sarcasm, or irony whatsoever, “So, can you help me with…?”

There are no breaks.

Which makes me think – what would a day off actually look like?

A day off isn’t really a day off unless the next day can start anew with its own responsibilities and none of the day off’s responsibilities waiting in the wings, all piled up. The point of a day off is to relax and reorient ourselves to why we are here in the first place, to appreciate and have a renewed vigor for our tasks at hand when we return to them. 

A day off is really just a break for a little while, a brief period during which responsibilities and family members wait (sometimes not so) patiently until they can launch themselves at you so you can find the leggings and the hair goo and extra printer paper and Q-tips I JUST BOUGHT A MEGA BOX OF Q-TIPS AND THEY ARE UNDER YOUR BATHROOM SINK.

Sigh. A day off.

That’s hilarious.



This post inspired by:

Mama’s Losin’ It

Prompt #1: You have a day off, what do you do with your free time?

Thursday, November 3, 2016


Photo credit: SurfaceWarriors via / CC BY-SA

There is banging above my head where electricians are working.

It's not the good kind of banging.

It's the nerve-jangling kind, the sound of metal against metal.

The kind that makes you blink.

They warned us it would be jarring.

The cat is hiding.

Cats are scaredy-ca... oh well, you know.

It's all worth it, though.

Soon we will have electrical outlets in the floor.

Then I will plug in my computer without needing an extension cord.


This post inspired by:

Mama’s Losin’ It

Prompt #6: Write a post in just 10 lines.

Photo credit: SurfaceWarriors via / CC BY-SA