I haven’t felt like blogging in a while because no one incident would take up a whole page, so I’ll give you the gist of it. (You know, I’ve never had to actually spell the word ”gist” before. I’ve said it a hundred times, but never had to write it and had to look it up in the dictionary. Weird, huh?) April showers bring: police.
My husband and I went grocery shopping (it’s been six hours, I know) and missed a few calls from our son. By the time we called him back–panic–he had called the cops terrified that we were shot dead in a gutter somewhere. What had he been watching? Well, he’s not watching it anymore I can tell you that! We were embarassed and horrified to say the least. We got home and the cops were still there, I gave my son a big hug, I felt stupid in front of a cop . . . again, and naturally sent the kids to bed early. Now, when we want to run errands in peace, we leave our older son still in charge but leave his little sister in charge of the phone to make sure he doesn’t call the police again. (Obviously unless there is a “real” emergency.) I think we’ve been out to dinner once since. And it was while they were in school. Oh, and my youngest kid turned eight.
May: Mother’s Day. I got breakfast and some cute crafts from my kids that they made in school. I don’t recall anything funny happening. I did get scolded for soaking dishes, though. It was my day “off.”
End of May: Sixth grade camp with my son. We meet up with the rest of the sixth graders at the school waiting to go on the bus. Then we received a laminated card to wear like a necklace AT ALL TIMES. We waited some more. Oh, then we waited even more. Then we waited a little longer and dragged our baggage to cars where people said “Squeeze it in and hopefully you’ll find it when we get to the camp that is two hours away.” Then we waited again.
Then we are squeezed onto a bus where my son doesn’t know anybody and we can’t even sit next to each other. Before we leave the school, the principal tells us, “Remember the car that has your baggage. You will use the same car when we leave camp in two and a half days.” Oh great. Thank goodness for my twelve-year-old’s memory or we would’ve been screwed.
Camp Whitcomb Mason: (I found out where we were going a week before departing. They kept the name of the camp a state secret all year–very helpful guys!) We get off the bus and are told, ”The name of your cabin is on your tag. Find your cabin!!”
Um, that isn’t helpful for several reasons: 1) I’ve never been here before. 2) The map we were given is reminisent of a child’s drawing containing point A and point B and one line. 3) The camp is not in a line, not even a child’s example of a line. 4) It was cold and raining and we were forced to drag our heavy baggage around with us until we found our cabin. 5) Some of the cabins are hidden under heavy trees, steel, and an immigration wall. My feet are wet already.
6) There is no smoking or drinking. We meet up at the main building and waited some more . . . in the rain. Then we waited even longer in heavier rain. Who’s in charge? No one’s in charge. I am in a cabin with girls, for obvious reasons, and I don’t know their names or who they are. I know them by numbers. It’s kind of like prison. I especially remember #11. That’s all I’m sayin’. More waiting and more rain and finally we play musical chairs in the main dining hall of our side of the camp.
Yes, there are two sides. My kid’s friends, of course, are on the other side. We are on Friendship side. It’s not friendly. The James side is the camp for the rich and famous. Over there, you don’t have to walk to the bathroom using a flashlight, it smells nicer, chaperones get their own bathroom, and it looks like where characters from “Different Strokes” would stay if they were forced to go to camp. Our side, well, characters from “Good Times” (where good times never happened) would be content with it and not complain. At least they probably had a lot of socks. Even poor people manage to have plenty of socks.
I, however, neither poor nor rich brought the recommended amount listed on the sheet that displayed what we can and cannot bring. It was three pairs. I brought four–the pair I was wearing, the pair I changed into during “free time the very first day,” a pair for the next day, and a pair to go home in. This was not enough. I suffered. By the second day, my feet were turning into fish and I desperately wanted to put a fresh pair of socks on but only had one pair left. I felt very high-maintence.
To make matters worse, I noticed my son did not bring his new pair of shoes, the ones without holes in them. He said, “I know. I changed my mind at the last minute.” This means he does not have a back-up pair of shoes. This means I don’t have a back-up pair of shoes. I’m a mom. He can’t suffer. I brought “Now ‘n’ Laters,” licorice bites, and fruit-flavored tootsie rolls (just in case he didn’t eat the typical cafeteria food. What? I didn’t say I was a super mom.), and now I have to give him my shoes from last summer that are no longer white and you have to physically tie them. There’s no velcro here! This is a challenge enough for him, but there is NO way in the firey depths of Hell I was giving him my warm, toasty socks that I had been hoarding for the next morning (You’d think I was starving and dreaming up a nice, juicy steak to keep my feet warm.). Kids need to learn the value of good packing. However he did bring soap. He didn’t use it, but he brought it . . . “just in case.” Just in case I made him use it, presumably.
In between the suffering, waiting and freezing with no direction whatsoever, we actually did some stuff. We walked, we tied-dyed, we sang camp songs, we walked some more, we dug bones out of owl puke, we had smores, then we walked again, we played games a lot while “dads” were on their cell phones pretending to be busy, and then, as shocking as this may sound, we walked and waited some more . . . in cold, evil, unforgiving rain.
My feet were wet for so long that they itched all night. My biggest worry? Ticks. Ever since I was a kid they find their way up my sleeve or the back of my neck or up my shorts (that was just by walking my dumb dog). I wore pants and no perfume=no ticks. This was my only break.
Still I got to spend quality time with my son and then we waited to get on the damn bus as soon as super humanly possible. The day we left was, ironically, perfect. Sunshine and warmth–it was a song out of the sixties. We had been to war and the government was sending their troops home. I told my son “Let’s get in line now before everyone else, and when they blow the whistle, we’ll make a run for it!” We had a lot of fun together. I’ll never forget racing for that bus. And you know what? We got to sit together.
Do: Clean your house as needed, and feed the pets, and bathe the kids, and decorate until you can no longer feel your arms. For goodness sake employ thoses little rugrats because they can reach into places you can’t, and because they made all the messes in the first place.
Don’t: Ever walk into a room you don’t know how to walk out of.
Like sands in an hourglass, so are the days of our lives. Like a house that needs to be cleaned, it never ends. As a housewife, I am expected to clean. But I wonder: am I still a liberated woman while cleaning the toilet? Will my right to vote be challenged because I consider vacuuming an aerobic exercise? Should I be taken seriously during a political debate because I do dishes and have occasionally scrubbed poop in the bath tub do to a little one’s accident? Well, yeah! Of course! You think President Obama never changed a poopy diaper? Well, probably not, but I’m sure his wife did at some point before they became famous. People still respect her!
I’m tired of feeling like a maid and my husband often reminds me that little fingers are very capable of picking up little Legos, food wrappers, and Barbie shoes. He says, “We all live here, we should all help take care of it.” That may be, but it might be even better if a woman with an umbrella would fly down in front of my house and do it for me.
Enter: Weird characters from T.V.’s past that can get anything done wearing a dress, high heels, red lipstick, and a bottomless bag of Hollywood garage-sale crap. We introduce:
1. Mary Poppins. A wave of her hand and some old-fashioned special effects before “blue” screens were invented and we have a spit-spot room complete with live dolls that clean up themselves.
2. June Cleaver. She’s magic enough with perfect beauty-parlored hair at six in the morning, vacuums in heels, is obviously sexually repressed, and everything is spit-spot by 8 A.M. Maybe it’s her “magic” pearls that makes it look all so easy. Well that and a few vodka-tonics before Ward gets home . . .
3. Alice. She doesn’t really count because she wears orthopedic shoes.
4. Samantha. Witches do seem to get a lot done, don’t they? No wand, but a twitchy nose can turn you into a frog or get Darren out of whatever mess she got him into in the first place.
5. Donna Reed. Perfection at its highest scale. I think she had her own guardian angel, and not that kooky one who can alter space and time just to show her husband that his life is worth living, and that he should fire his uncle immediately for mammoth incompetence.
Sadly, these are not real people. Most of them are even dead. The rest of us must trudge along without a flying umbrella, without a twitch, and without a guardian angel. We deserve a set of real pearls, though. I wouldn’t wear them while mopping, but maybe once I’d give it a try just to see what the fuss is about.
When there’s work to be done, you can also have much fun, just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. No it doesn’t. Cleaning sucks! I stayed home to care for my children because I’m the only one in the world who can do it “the right way.” All mothers think that. After twelve years of being a parent, my back is literally falling apart. Now some one else gets to vacuum. (But they won’t do as good of a job.) Maybe there is justice in a housewife’s world or maybe I just need a valium–spoonful of sugar indeed.
“Just as there are no little people or unimportant lives, there is no insignificant work.” –Elena Bonner
There’s something about the world today that inspires one to call others a dumb-ass. Mostly, I am talking about the medical profession (at least today, tomorrow it could be lawyers). It seems that nowadays every time I go to a doctor about some paranoia problem or pnemonia, I have to fill out some dumb form I’ve filled out already. It makes me wonder if the computers in the office are just for show. What the hell is on there? Is it just a fancy box to keep schedules in that they screw up anyway? These supposed “smart” people have asked me the same old questions since my birth:
Smart person: “What’s your date of birth?”
Me: “Are you a dumb-ass?”
Smart person: “Do you have a family history of colon cancer?”
Me: “How ’bout I stick my foot up your ass?”
Smart person: “I make more money by wasting your time.”
Me: “Do you even know my name?”
As you can see, these people don’t know and don’t care who I am or what my problem is. Just for the record I was recently at the doctor for a minor issue that took thirty seconds to dismiss after a half hour of waiting. Everytime they ask me about my family history there’s an uncomfortable pause like I should feel ashamed or something, and you’d think that by now their fancy computers would have updated and realized it’s a pointless question. As you may have guessed, I was adopted. I don’t know where I come from, I don’t know if anybody ever suffered from anything, and I certainly don’t think they’d want a long painful tube intruding in undesirable areas. What I do know is that smart people are dumb-asses.
Sometimes the white coat people get a little curious: “Mm, you’re adopted, huh? What’s that like?” Mm, what do you mean? What’s it like looking at people’s butts all day? What’s it like stealing money from the sick all day? You should have been a bank robber. I think you missed your calling. White coat guy: “So being adopted is no big deal and perfectly okay. I get it.” Me, the dumb sarcastic patient: “Sure, it’s liberating not knowing you could face certain death at any moment.” You know exactly what you’re in store for and that sounds kinda boring. You’re boring, quit boring people!
There isn’t really a point to all this. I just wish the “smart” people would look at my file (and I guess yours too) so I wouldn’t have to repeat myself so much. I do that enough, and it really annoys my husband. That doesn’t stop me though. I just want to make sure I’m being heard. Unfortunately, the nurse who was desparately trying to get up my butt (which was no where near why I was at the doctor), is deaf. I don’t know how much thirty seconds costs, I haven’t received the bill yet. Maybe I should go to medical school. I want to be able to charge for thirty seconds. Mm, maybe that’s why those doctors are so smart. Plus sometimes they save lives, I guess.
I am adopted and I approve this message.
I was recently reading an article in “Vogue” magazine about Michelle Obama, the wife of a presidential candidate called Barack, and the reading was going pretty well (about as well as a reading from John Edwards), until I got to the last three paragraphs of a five page “quick hitter” documentary. If any of you watch E! you’d understand. Anyway, I was enjoying getting a glimpse into Michelle Robinson’s (maiden name-duh) life when I realized how Kodak perfect her life has been and could care less about paupers like me who read “Vogue” magazine. I was shocked to learn just how much she can’t stand her own children:
“It was a gift having my mother home every day. I want my kids to feel that way.” Hah!! The joke’s on us! Just wait, it gets better:
The days I stay home with my kids without going out, I start to get ill,” she says. “My head starts to ache.”
I was so shocked, I nearly fell off the toilet! I’m sick thinking about her children and the strong relationship they must have with the nanny. Then again, when I’m ill, my kids hug me and bring me water–does that sound like something that would make your head ache?
Apparently, Mrs. Robinson (Grandma) didn’t think her daughter Michelle could handle it either and told her daughter she didn’t think Michelle could take the boredom of staying home with kids. Naturally, Michelle was “surprised” to hear that taking care of her had been boring. Hmph. Old dog, old tricks, new day.
I almost feel sorry for her. I think it would’ve been brave to stay at home. I’m under the impression that she just got scared. Being a Mom is scary and “real” women do it every day. “Real” women vote too. I save up to buy “Coach” purses, I save up to shop at “Burberry” (which I only did once), but I always make sure I never have to save up for groceries, or hats, or snow pants, or cute art projects that my kids made in school that are turned into mugs and pillow cases and sketch boards. It’s true, real women read “Vogue” and are, indeed, paying attention to the articles and the women in them; not just “stuff” they have to save up for.
I am not surprised at all that Michelle has been in trouble for being “too” candid. During my readings of this article, she almost had me going. I almost fell for her line. But those last few paragraphs spoke novels to me on what kind of a politician’s “wife” she’s been. When I read about her boredom and her headaches, it hurt me. A good mother would be. It’s a good thing she doesn’t speak for her husband, because she’s lost my vote.
In a six-figure world it’s getting harder and harder to be a housewife, and you (Mrs. Obama), are just making it harder. Just for the record, there isn’t one boring thing about being a Mom–if you were one, you would know that.
Here’s to you . . .