As I get older, I am aware of my affection for things that are “neat and complete.” Like the perfect card that gets mailed on time, the playdate that goes by smoothly, and the laundry that is washed, folded and put away. These days, completion seems to bring me a satisfaction that has no parallel.
On Thursday, I had such a day – I completed the in-text vocabulary list of a 500+ page summer reading book that I’ve never taught before, ordered new textbooks and finished some administrative tasks connected to my new position, and, in an attempt to make my health and fitness a priority, saw my terrific nutritionist who is really helping me to turn my diet around. On my way home from my appointment with her, I stopped at a farm stand and, inspired, bought tons of fresh fruit and veggies that we all enjoyed that day. We swam, had showers and a nice dinner, and went to bed happy and exhausted.
Neat and Complete, right? Evidently the duration is only about twelve hours. Because the last day and a half has been a mess.
Yesterday I was preparing for my parents’ 44th wedding anniversary, which is also my dad’s birthday. I planned to write something cute on one of the slates my husband keeps in the basement, pose the kids for a little photo on the porch swing (while strategically leaving out the windowsills that have been scraped down for our next home project – trim painting). On my quest for chalk, I headed to the garage and stepped on a silver of glass that lodged itself in the pad of my left foot and I almost went through the ceiling.
After trying to dislodge it myself with tweezers, a hot shower, and a lot of prayer, I called my dad to watch the kids while I headed to Winchester Hospital (where they’re masters of delicately removing things – they once extracted a fake Styrofoam sparkly berry from a shoplifted Christmas ornament Em stuck up her nose when she was three). ANYWAY, plucking out glass is a lot more intricate that it sounds; I had an x-ray, lots of paperwork, and a genius nurse named Allison who took it out in less than two minutes. Thank God. But in the midst of all this, I forgot a hair appointment, missed a barre class, and managed to piss off both of my kids so they decided to fight with each other all day.
After the glass in foot disaster yesterday, I thought today would be simpler. It was not. Much like an unfinished play that constantly begs for revision, my life is messier by the minute. I will spare you all of the gory details, but here's a small plot outline. If I tell it in third person, it's easier to laugh about it:
Setting: LuluLemon dressing room
Cast: MARLA, filled with newfound confidence and excitement to buy workout clothes, her daughter EMERSON, her son JOHN, and his overflowing DIAPER
Plot summary: After trying on a few items, MARLA lifts JOHN out of his stroller to give him a snuggle and realize his entire stroller is full of poop, as the DIAPER has somehow disintegrated.
EMERSON (horrified, shouting): OH NO! THERE IS POOP EVERYWHERE - IT'S DISGUSTING! JOHN, THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE! YOU ARE SO GROSS!
JOHN giggles in response.
SALESGIRL (knock knock): Is everything okay in there, Maria?
MARLA: Um, it's MARLA, actually, and I think we have everything under control. Thank you.
There is absolutely no conceivable way that the recovered wood dressing room doors provide any protection against the stench emanating from the usually sweet JOHN. MARLA digs all the wipes out of the package in the back of the stroller, changes JOHN into an outfit she originally intended to return, and tried to recover some dignity on the way out the door while smuggling a plastic bag full of refuse, including the malfunctioning DIAPER under her arm.