A few evenings ago I took the kids to McDonald’s (at their request) for a sundae. When I tried to pay, I discovered that the man in front of us (who had already left) paid for our sundaes! It made my day– how nice of him, right? Anyway, the next morning we had some friends over for waffles, and I told them about the Good Samaritan at McD’s. And my friend’s husband immediately looked suspicious and annoyed. According to him, no one ever does something like that unless they think they’ll get somewhere, and the guy had some kind of ulterior motive. Nothing I said dissuaded him– “But he left!” “Nothing’s stopping him from coming back again at the same time, to see if you return too.” “He didn’t even talk to me!” “Just adds to the mystique. You’re still talking about him, right?” “I had the kids with me!” “He must like moms.” “I was wearing my wedding ring!” “Do you think that stops people?” etc. Then he eventually said, “Women with lower-back tattoos are sending out a message, like it or not.”
…..so I guess we got to the bottom of that little controversy, didn’t we?
My brother and his wife are looking for houses in new construction neighborhoods, and he just called to ask about a neighborhood near me. While we were talking, I asked him how they had liked a neighborhood they looked at on Sunday. Well, it turns out they have totally crossed that neighborhood off the list. Why? Because, in the very first model, they were looking at the basement and in my brother’s words, “The salesman blew a huge cloud of ass right in the stairway, and we had to walk through it to get back out!!!” Evidently my pregnant sil was so grossed out at having to walk through it, that they left and don’t ever want to return to that neighborhood, much less live in one of the tainted houses.
I was laughing so hard that my abs hurt. How awful to be 7 months pregnant, and have to walk through a cloud of stink, generated by someone who probably has fast food for lunch at his desk every day. But how freaking hilarious that, now, they don’t even want to LIVE there.
God, that’s still funny to me.
My husband is in a phase where he feels that I do most of the housework, and he wants to do more of it. This is actually not true– Dave and I share the housework pretty equally most of the time. But for whatever reason this comes up every once in awhile, mainly when the dog is shedding tufts of fur all over the house and I spend every waking moment vaccuuming. Like now. So naturally, Dave has decided to do more housecleaning. Only, he cleans in the most nonhelpful way when in this phase. He’ll spend 3 hours cleaning out the kitchen closet. He’ll take up most of his day, madly yanking everyone’s sheets, blankets, and mattress pads off their beds and arranging everything into his miniscule laundry loads (example from real life: one pair of my panties and Gabby’s crib sheet). He spends hours tearing things apart, only to realize it’s 4:00 and he has only 30 minutes to do any actual cleaning, if that makes sense. So, I was out of town at a baby shower on Saturday, and while I was gone Dave “cleaned” the bathrooms. But over the past few days, I have gradually discovered what he did and did not get done:
He did not:
~Mop any floors.
~Scrub any toilets. (HELLO!!!!! Isn’t that the most important part of cleaning the bathroom!?!?!?)
~Clean any mirrors.
~Empty the trash cans.
~Clean out all bathroom cabinets, including my tampon cabinet (why?!?).
~Throw away my pantiliners by mistake.
~ Soak everyone’s toothbrush in toothbrush cleaner.
~ Scrupulously clean all chrome fixtures with chrome cleaner.
~ Write me a naughty message in tub crayon in the kids’ bathroom.
If, God forbid, anything were ever to happen to me, Dave and the kids would live in a weird amalgam of half-sterilized, half-filthy rooms. I love him like crazy, but his cleaning philosophy will forever elude me.
Let me set some facts before you all, and get your opinion on whether it’s just some bad coincidences, or whether something sounds off in this family. It’s something that came to my attention yesterday, and I can’t get it out of my head:
There is a boy and a girl in this family, ages 4 and 5. Their mother is home full-time and their father works 2 jobs to support them. One night last week, the kids snuck out of the house and had to be brought home by the police– it was about 8pm, the mom had gone out and the dad was asleep. Both parents say that the kids love to sneak out of the house. Also, the father said that, when he comes home from his night job at 7:30am, he often finds the 2 kids up by themselves, having gone into the cabinets and gotten some food (he gave as an example, that they made themselves sandwiches last week out of butter, strawberries, Little Debbies and bread, so not exactly grabbing some fruit snacks out of the pantry). Both parents said that the kids tend to wake up at night, too, to sneak around and get food out of the cabinets. Also, no car seats were evident in the back seat of their car, however they do live quite close by so maybe it was just more convenient not to bring them (although I guess, why weren’t the seats physically in the car to begin with? Don’t know).
Okay, so any one of these things could be explained away, I suppose. But taken all together, it just bothers me, especially in light of their ages. Am I being judgmental? Or does this feel wrong to you, too?
I am not a fan of reality shows and “American Idol” in particular. But I walked past the television last night and saw 5 seconds of the dance contest show, “So You Think You Can Dance,”…. and oh my God, I was glued to the set until it was over. GLUED. My favorite part: the young man who strode onstage with what looked like a baby’s arm stuffed down the front of his shiny black shorts, and proceeded to do a classically-styled dance with that long ribbon thing, as though he was a Ukrainian gymnast. Then he was eliminated for not being masculine enough, and he managed to both be shocked at this accusation and cry like a girlie at the same time.
It was awesome.
[My extension rings at the office.]
Julie: This is Julie.
Julie: No, this is Julie. There is no Carla here.
Caller: …….um, who did you say you were?
Caller: Who did I call?
Julie: You called my cell phone.
Caller: ….. this isn’t Official Canvas and Supply?
Julie: No, it’s my cell phone.
Caller: This isn’t Carla?
Julie: No, it’s Julie.
Caller: ……do you kn–
Julie: I’m sorry, but I do not know who Carla is.
Caller: …….well, can you t–
Julie: And I do not know the phone number for Official Canvas.
Caller (brightening): Oh, you’ve heard of them?
Julie: Only because you asked me about them just now. I’m sorry, sir, you have the wrong number.
Caller: Okay. Because, yeah, I am looking for Carla.
Transactions like these, sad to say, take up a disproportionately large amount of my time.
[From another AIM message of my husband’s:]
Dave: btw…I could just kick your ass over gabby’s raisin dumps
Dave: she just blew out another pair of shorts
Dave: The next time you decide to give her a bucket of raisins, you’re staying home for the next two days. She has gone through 5 pairs of shorts– there is only one way to describe what is going on here: “ass-plosions.”
[Hmmm….. maybe I need to stay late at work, let Gabby finish working this through her system….]
[When I got to the office this morning, there was a note on my desk: “Could you please sit in on the teleconference for X? I know you’ve been out but we have almost nothing to do with this morning’s topics, so you won’t have to present anything– just listen in for us. I believe it’s at 9am.” Now, we all hate these frigging meetings but whatever– I guess I’m due.]
9:00 I call in– no one in the “room.” I do some checking– it’s not until 10 (argh!!).
10:00 I call in again. We all wait together for the last few stragglers to put down their donuts and call in.
10:07 At last!!!! We begin.
11:00……and I’m still in it. Torture. Slow death and brutal torture. Here is the sum total of what I have contributed so far: “Good morning! It’s Julie XXXX in (insert city here).” We have slooowly covered 5 of the 8 topics, and the Big Mama of topics is still to come. (What is the Big Mama, you ask? It’s the dreaded, “Let’s open up this meeting to additional topics.”).
11:15 I will never understand why people looooooove to hear themselves talk in these meetings.
11:30 We all want to sign off and have lunch, for cripes sake!! STOP FLAPPING YOUR GUMS!!!
11:35: Wait! I have just contributed something else! It’s “Thomas, I was on vacation last week so I don’t actually know.”
11:42 ” ‘Please refer to your emailed attachment?!?!?!’ ” What email?!?!? Please God don’t let the attachment have anything to do with our part of this project….
11:43 Uh-oh. I need to pee.
11:50 YIPPEE!!!!!!! Big Mama is being truncated today because the meeting moderator has another meeting!!!!!!!!! Only emergency topics allowed!!!!!!
11:51 Hey!!! Your freaking airport arrival plans are not an emergency topic!!
11:57 ……aaaand we’re off. Holy sh*t, that was 2 hours I will never get back. Okay, off to pee.
That is what a friend told me today. I had been describing a housewarming I went to over the weekend, as well as the house. I was saying stuff like, “The flow of the house is very odd” and “There is no comfortable room in the entire house” and “The finishes are very high-end, but you get the feeling that they were slapped on to cover fundamental problems.” And my friend observed, “Well, that’s what their relationship is like: uncomfortable, dysfunctional, lots of flash to cover the fact they are fundamentally incompatible.” I was giggling about that, when she started pointing out the same kinds of similarities with other couples we know and their houses.
I was FLOORED. I told Dave about it when I got home, and we started talking about others we know. It totally holds true! Try it–
So. I had 5 projects that I wanted to complete around the house this summer. Somehow, my husband got wind of this and my projects are slowly growing, feeding off his ambitions and his accidents. Argh. Here’s the current breakdown and status of the projects:
1. Paint the basement stairs (status: done!)
2. Repaint all windowsills in the house (status: done, except for Cam’s and Gabby’s windows. In all honesty, those don’t really need repainting so I could call this Done!)
3. Repaint the front porch (status: done!)
4. Powerwash and stain swingset (status: untouched frontier)
5. Paint the front entryway and 2nd floor hallway (status: I have a vague idea of color)
Here are my added projects:
1. Paint Gabby’s new room and add chair rail (status? Done! And ADORABLE!!)
2. Repaint Gabby’s old room (status? Done!!)
3. Add shelves to Cameron’s room and Gabby’s old room (status? Shelves have been purchased…)
4. Finish masonry on fireplace (Status? Vintage Chicago warehouse brick has been ordered and received. Now to choose mantel, surround, and built-in fixtures, then hearthstone, then assemble….. I give this one a 25% chance of being ready by Christmas.)
….and the extra-fun adders from my husband:
1. Remove coffee stain from Gabby’s carpet, where Dave dropped it in a spectacular swirly fashion (Status? Somewhat faded, but I fear it will be forever there.)
2. Remove long black mark on master bedroom carpet, caused by Dave dragging a pack & play full of Gabby over to the television (Status? Again, partial success. And yes, we were blatantly imprisoning her in the P & P and giving her unbridled access to television in order to finish some of these projects.)
3. Remove paint stain in Gabby’s old room where Dave dropped his fully loaded paintbrush (Status? Once again, only partial success. At this point I asked Dave to stop “helping” me.)
4. Purchase crap to put on aforementioned shelves (Status? It has occurred to me that I need to do this)
5. Tile entryway and master bath (status? We have chosen tile for both areas but not for the built-in river rock door mats I want. This is along-term project, I fear.)
Seriously. All I wanted was to have 5 things painted by the end of the summer. How did I end up in Home Depot every waking moment?!?!?