4 NOT-SO-PRETTY THINGS I LEARNED LAST WEEK

photo by The Wandering Angel

1. My son has off from school the exact same week my debut novel is being released (this Friday).

Wow, is that piss-poor timing, or what? Not only am I expected to bombard anyone who’ll listen with shameless promotional banter on every social media platform that will have me, but I had high hopes of finishing my WIP as well. With only about forty more pages to go, I’m at the point where I’m sick of it and just want it to be over and done with—much like I felt in the ninth month of pregnancy.

But these ginormous tasks require focus, concentration, peace and quiet—all of which take a nosedive right out the window when kids are afoot. And while I much prefer the Wii soccer game the boys are into now, as opposed to the war games, this new one has cool songs in it which stick in my head all day—so now I get to listen to the boys cheering (or saying the occasional bad words as the case may be), the sounds of the game itself, AND music—all while unsuccessfully trying to get work done.

2. Puppies don’t solve everything.

I came up with the brilliant idea of giving my friend (the one whose daughter is dying of cancer) a puppy. I figured a puppy would take his mind off his grief by busying him with the many details of owning a puppy: cleaning up numerous accidents from the carpet, the continuous action of throwing a chew toy, applying Neosporin to affected scratches and bites from puppy-sharp teeth. He was all for it, claiming he was in the market for one anyway, and my neighbor, who has the nurturing instinct of a hamster was more than willing to let go of the puppy she had.

After half a day my poor friend called me, overwhelmed, and said, “I can’t handle the puppy right now.”

Fair enough. I understood. I’ve often said the very same thing about my son. So back went the puppy to the neglected environment from which she came, with the hope that my neighbor might turn into someone who cares.

3. A two-income household sure makes a difference in your diggs.

Lately I’ve been in some two-parent homes where even when they have four kids, three dogs, and a bunny hopping around, it’s STILL nicer than mine. My guess is it’s because they’re able to afford regular carpet cleaning, enough drawers to cram clutter into, and real leather couches where spilled liquids and food slide right off.

This one particular home had no dirty kid prints on the wall, zero toys to trip over, AND the mom even worked full-time as a nurse. I remarked that their carpet, which was the same color mine used to be when I first moved in my place, was so clean, and the mom told me she considered it filthy and that it desperately needed to be steam-cleaned right away. I made a mental note to never invite her over to my casa, and if she ever did have to come over, say, to pick up her son, to not let her inside. Now granted, she has a live-in mother, which I suppose makes all the difference in the world. All I want to know is: Where can I get one of those?

4. Never give a guy your number out of politeness if you truly don’t want him to call you.

Sigh. This one. No matter how many years of experience I have with the opposite sex, I’m still a complete dolt when it comes to them. I was having this perfectly nice conversation with a 20-year-old who lives in my complex. We were chatting about random stuff; never once did the talk turn sexual in nature. When it was time to part, he asked for my number. EVERY time this happens to me I never assume the guy is interested in me. Either that or I freeze, have no response ready—like the sensible one: “Sorry, but I don’t give my number out, and end up giving him the damn thing.

Less than 3 minutes after leaving me, the kid texts me, asking me out. I told him he was nuts, he’s 20, and I wasn’t sure that was even legal. He then sends me a photo of his erect penis. Back in my day, men used to give out their business cards; now they send you pictures of their manhood in all its glory. In all fairness, the kid was a big boy…I mean like “You belong in porn huge…or the circus. I’m guessing he wanted a reaction from me somewhere along the lines of “Ooh-aah,” but all I kept thinking was “Ow” and “Gag.” I suppose I should have been flattered? But it was simply one more tiresome thing to deal with in my already overwhelmed life.

That was my week in review. How was yours?

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