Sunday, May 30, 2004

Sweet Sound of Silence

It is 3:30 on Sunday afternoon. The house is absolutely quiet other than the steady hum of my PC and the central air. The phone isn't ringing, and there are no little giggles, or screams or dubious thuds. I haven't made any peanut butter and jelly sandwiches today, I haven't changed any poopy diapers, and I haven't made one sippy cup of juice.

This is worth more than gold; this is called A Weekend Visit To Grandmother's.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Million to one . . .

Last night, we took the kids to the neighborhood pool. It just opened this past weekend, and every minute since the opening, I have either been in the pool, or been pelted with "When can we go to the pool?" every waking minute.

SO . . . we went yesterday evening and the kids were delighted, of course. My little one has really just started to swim, and he was proudly paddling around in the water. My nephew (he's 16) and a couple other guys were passing a football in the pool (?!) and sure enough, one of the guys zinged the football, it went astray, and before I could utter the words "Watch out for the baby!" the football hit him square in the face with a loud, wet SMACK.

I was out of the pool. I had been out of the pool for about 10 minutes, begging my kids and husband to get out, to no avail. I had just had enough, and I wanted to go, and sometimes I get feelings like that, inexplicable, that I just want to be somewhere else FAST. I had that feeling last night, but I wasn't really able to get that idea across without sounding like a nut.

Anyway, the baby's face swelled, turned reddish purple, and it took every bit of self control I had not to go to the deep end of the pool, pull that kid out by the hair, and beat the living hell out of him. I was so damn angry, I couldn't speak.

My husband brought me the baby, and I was mad as hell at him, too. Goddamnit - where was he, why was he so close to where those fucking stupid boys were playing, why didn't they get out of the pool when I asked? Who the hell plays football in the pool with a leather football?

When I was sure that the baby was breathing, I examined him closely. He was bruised, and swelling, and breathless with pain.

We went home in silence . . . funny thing about the boy, he hardly ever cries, even when he is hurt, but I know him well enough to know that he was hurting badly. What must he think of us, we that are supposed to protect him, keep things like that from happening to him?

As we were driving, I thought about a show I had seen about a man that had inadvertedly left his infant son in the back of his car for hours because he was late to work. He had been nervous about a client presentation, and the baby had fallen asleep on the way to the babysitter. The guy was on autopilot, forgot the baby was even there, he didn't generally take him to the sitter anyway, and his job was on the line. A few hours later, when a co-worker was at his desk, screaming his name and the words baby, car, heat, ambulance . . . it all hit him. The baby had died from the heat, and he was to blame. Amazingly, his wife appeared on camera, and spoke about how she had forgiven him, and gotten through that with the marriage intact.

So, as all that replayed in my head, I could feel my anger start to cool, my heartbeat slow down, and I loosened my grip on the steering wheel. I looked at the baby in the rearview, then over at my husband, sitting miserably in the seat next to me, and realized that I can't control everything, that accidents happen, and that I was thankful that it wasn't much worse. I also finally conceded that I have a remarkable ability to craft my fear into pure, uncut, seething anger and violence when my kids are at stake.

Fucking stupid football piece of shit.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

If I didn't like them then, why would I like them now?

For the third time this month, I have received notification of my upcoming 20th high school reunion. I say "notification" when I really should say "request for money and confirmation of my presence" at the reunion. I don't plan to give them either one.

I say "them", but I really should clarify that "them" is the group of eternally happy people that obviously never picked up on the fact that most people in high school, at least my high school, were just fucking miserable with themselves, with the school, with their rivals, and mostly with life. The "them" have joined forces to create a reunion committee and they have made it their life's work this past few months to track each and every one of the 1984 alumni down, like it or not.

The "notifications" started out nice enough. The initial postal invitation was chirpy, newsy, chock full of sweet, gushing open invitations to come join them, and indicate my response on a (really crappy, yeah I looked) webpage that had been set up to record people's initial comments and RSVP.

The second "notification" was a little less chirpy, a little more to the point, full of deadline dates, locations, hotel information, lists of missing alumni, but still ended on a nice note.

This last notification could not, by the broadest criteria, be classified as either chirpy or gushing. It was downright dour. It even had a list, I shit you not, of questions and answers . . . a kind of FAQ for the reluctant attendees. Truth is stranger than fiction, folks, I couldn't make this horseshit up:

Q: What if I haven't been successful since high school?A: You would be surprised how we have all matured, come anyway

Q: I don't look like I used to. I'm (fat, bald, wrinkled, fill in the blank)A: Join the club! Besides, you still have 80 days until reunion! Plenty of time to rectify that!

The only thing sadder than the thought that people are still worried about rejection from their high school classmates is the thought that there is a group of them out there that feels sure that the only possible reason that you wouldn't want to come to the reunion is because you are a fat, bald, wrinkled loser. Evidently, it never entered their mind that there is simply nothing that draws some of us back or even piques our interest in the kids that we suffered through adolescence with.

I still have contact with the people I cared about. The friends that I no longer see, I don't care to see. The ones that I didn't like then I could care less where they are now.

It's a Catch 22 really. If I don't go, then the attendees will cluck fretfully and assure each other it is because I am probably a "fat, bald, wrinkled loser". If I did go, then I would have to endure a painful night with a smile pasted on my face, just praying for the blessed relief of the conclusion of the night.

Think what they will, I am not going.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Lunch Money

I have just enjoyed my FAVORITE fast food lunch . . . Chic-fil-A! The carrot raisin salad, the 1/2 sweet tea and 1/2 lemonade drinks, the delectable sandwiches, the waffle fries . . . mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Lunch was made all the better, because I had a free sandwich coupon. Got it off of my sandwich bread bag. The bread was on sale, and I had a coupon, so I paid about 50 cents for the bread. The coupon was for a free $2.49 sandwich, so that puts me two bucks ahead, plus we DID eat the loaf of bread last week.

AND . . . I ordered through the drivethru and in the money/bag shuffle, I forgot to give the girl the coupon, and she didn't ask, so I STILL have it!

The total order was around 6 bucks, and I just happened to have $35.00 in my wallet from last night's first place Music Trivia win (3 of us split a $125.00 pot).

For those that are wondering . . . hardest question of the night:

What do Edgar Winter, Clarence Carter, and Ronnie Milsap have in common? (I will give everybody a couple of days to mull that over, and post the answer in the comments section later.)

I have no idea how far ahead I am at this point, but I am WAY AHEAD!
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