I love to write stories. Love to. I enjoy putting myself back into some particular moment, and then doing a second walk-through to gather up all the important details and figure out how to arrange them in words that other people will want to read and relate to and enjoy.
Some stories take a lot of effort to get “just right.” Other stories, well, they sort of write themselves.
I was cleaning out my e-mails (again) the other day, and I came across one of many I sent to J (for those who don’t know, J=BFF). Every now and then, just to vent, I barf out my every frustration at the keyboard and then hit “Send.”
These aren’t the prettiest of stories; they are quite rough, actually, and often make me look like a mean mommy or a bad wife, or both.
But, these off-the-cuff ramblings are real. Completely real.
So, I’m going out on a limb again, and am sharing one such message with you, in the interest of “keeping it real.” The last time I published something not intentionally written for this blog, it was a poem about a day in the life of a mom. This is most definitely not a poem, but it does sort of touch on what a day in the life of a mom can look like, especially on some random day in March. Enjoy….
An e-mail I sent to J back in March, when the weather was awful and my kids kept getting sick and I was feeling completely murdery and irritable and bloated:
I am still in the T-shirt I wore to bed last night. I simply added black leggings (one of seven pairs I own). That counts as dressed, right?
The boys are both home. [Older son] has been sick with the flu all week; as for [younger son], I finally gave up fighting his protests of “how come [the brother] gets to stay home again? It’s not FAIR. He’s an idiot!”
I just love a seven-year-old’s logic and reasoning skills, don’t you?
“FINE!” I shouted. “Stay (the f#!@) home!”
I didn’t actually say the f#!@ part, but I wanted to. Badly. And, I did imply it with my tone and body language while arguing in the foyer at 9:05 this morning (school starts at 9:15, natch). With one eye on his indignant little face, and the other assessing the dirt and debris taking up residence in ALL FOUR corners of the entrance way, I was at the end of my rope.
I wish it were possible to erase your life and re-draw it without bad attitudes and dirt. And maybe sketch in some better furniture, too.
[Older son] has been hovering like a ghost in the background of my every move — fifth-day jammies now growing roots into his skin, blanket wrapped around his shoulders like a cape, dark circles under his glassy eyes, and carrying the TV remote from room to room. He is displaced from one TV-viewing area (“You need to watch that somewhere else. Mommy can’t clean the bathrooms while listening to that ridiculous Sponge Bob. Go downstairs, please.”), and then from another (“You need to watch that somewhere else. Mommy can’t fold the laundry while hearing that ridiculous Scooby Doo. Go upstairs, please.”).
I am now missing a remote, and have successfully participated in helping him spread his flu germs all over the house.
[Younger son] has claimed a spot on the living room rug (why, why, WHY do they like to hang in the living room of all places?), lying like a dead body, save for the bent elbows and tiny fingers that jab at a 3DS. His feetie pajamas are covered with dog hair and lint. He has refused to brush his teeth, and this — paired with [older son’s] eau de ill — has made for some really ripe atmosphere. It’s like I can actually feel the air — thick and muggy. And every room — even mine — smells like jungle rot.
The eggs and toast that [older son] requested are lying limp and cold in a bowl (a bowl, as all our plates are dirty) on the kitchen table. The table is covered with finger print smears — grease, goo, bodily excrements, I’m sure — that can be seen when the dull, depressing March excuse for sunshine hits my dirty window, casting a poorly filtered spotlight on the table’s surface. So, so, so shudder-inducing. Outside, it looks like the illustration in a depressing children’s library book, circa 1976. All pencil sketches and sepia brownish-yellows.
I have eaten two chocolate chip cookies, a handful of macaroons, some Hershey kisses and Starbursts (stolen from the boys’ Valentines stash), and an avocado sandwich, for good measure. Seven weeks of beauty detox dieting possibly down the drain. And — I also have a movie theater headache….similar to a too-much-artificial-sweetener headache, but with the addition of that sandbag feeling around my temples.
Bathrooms and laundry are only halfway done. I look like Hell. My too-blonde hair does nothing to help my tired, Russet-potato face. My gut is aching from all the crap I packed into it.
I have spent most of the day (when not riffling through the pantry in search of something else to satisfy this tapeworm I seemed to have developed) screwing around on the Internet. Here’s what shows up in the Google drop-box:
white window panels with black trim
images of celebrity crow’s feet
natural fiber runner rug
images of Domino magazine table vignettes
By the looks of things (cough, cough, achoo, gurgle, cough), it seems tomorrow’s gonna be more of the same.
Somebody please — HELP ME! Come wrap me up in a straight jacket and take me to a rubber room!!!
Call when you can.
So, there it is. One of my real e-mails. Unfiltered.
See you all back here tomorrow for a quick story about trying to be funny and then having no one laugh. Ouch.