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?!?!?
I dropped my car off at Pep Boys to have a flat fixed. They called to say that the damage had been done to the sidewall, so it could not be fixed. I said, “What kind of damage was done to the sidewall?” (We didn’t see any nails or glass in the tire and didn’t know why it had gone flat.)
Answer: “Well, it was DAMAGE. Done to the SIDEWALL. See, ma’am, the side of your tire is called the ‘sidewall.’ When there is some kind of puncture in the sidewall, it will leak air, just like when you have a puncture in the treads. That is why your tire went flat.”
Now, why did this person think I was so stupid that he needed to start with a definition of sidewall? Do I come off like an idiot? Was it my gender? What?!?!??