A while back I had this idea that I should only post on weekends, when no one’s around. The trouble is that I don’t usually have time to blog on weekends. Technically, I shouldn’t have time to blog right now, but my husband isn’t home to crack the whip on the Saturday chores. Ha ha. So here I am. I have the internet to myself!
That’s how it used to feel, in the beginning–back in 2004, when I started this blog and no one knew about it. And then a few people knew about it. And then a bunch of people knew about it. And now a bunch of people know about it, but no one reads it anymore. It reminds me of this T-shirt my husband loves: “I’ve still got it, but nobody wants to see it.” (Fortunately, love of said T-shirt does not translate to him wearing it in public. Because nobody wants to be reminded of things they’d rather not see.)
I haven’t been in the mood to write anything lately. I haven’t been in the mood to do much of anything. Fortunately, I do not let my mood interfere with doing the necessary things, like taking care of the children and bathing regularly. I am brushing my teeth twice a day. Sometimes three. I am less conscientious about flossing than I should be. But I’m doing the laundry and sometimes the dishes. I went grocery shopping on Thursday. I bought several pounds of ground beef that I didn’t use or freeze and they are now past the expiration date. That is kind of how I feel.
I am experimenting with ways to take advantage of the fact that I have naturally curly hair without spending inordinate amounts of time on my curly hair. So far I am unsatisfied with all of them, but at least I am trying.
I am also recovering from my most recent existential crisis, precipitated by the then-impending visit from the housekeepers. Every other Tuesday I ask myself, “Why do I even bother having the housekeepers come when the house becomes a hell-pit 48 hours later and I am so stressed out about having to un-hell the hell pit that I fortnightly consider running away from home and never coming back? Is it really worth it?” The answer, of course, is yes. Many people have commented that it hardly seems worth the money to have professional housekeepers if most of the stress of cleaning is the de-cluttering, which is the part that the housekeepers won’t do. Why do I do this to myself?
The answer is simple: I not only pay the housekeepers to clean my house, but I pay them to keep me on a de-cluttering schedule. If I didn’t have them breathing down my neck on a regular basis, I would procrastinate these chores indefinitely, and instead of a hell-pit that occasionally appears clean, I would have a Super-Hell Pit that never gets a veneer of cleanliness applied to it, and the kitchen floor would be mopped twice a year instead of twice a month. It’s sad that I have to pay strangers to keep me on a de-cluttering schedule. Or you could say it’s sad that my husband has to pay strangers to provide a compelling reason for the rest of the family to support me in my bi-monthly de-cluttering frenzy. It’s “sad” in the sense that it’s “pathetic” in the sense that a person with as many advantages as I’ve had in life ought to be ashamed of the fact that she can’t take the initiative to do necessary chores on a daily basis. I confront this shame at least every other Tuesday, but that’s all I do, confront it. I don’t actually do anything to change, even though I know exactly what I need to do. And then I take a Valium and forget everything.
Just kidding. I wish I took a Valium and forgot everything. But I only take my Valium at night, to sleep. (So far.) Which reminds me, I need to refill my prescription before I run out. I’m hoping that if I write it down often enough, eventually I will remember.
I own too many things. My children own too many things. I don’t even want these things. I don’t want them. I don’t think the kids really want them, or I don’t think they’d miss them if they were gone. And yet I keep them. It’s like a disease. It probably technically is a disease, but I don’t have my DSM-IV handy.
Is it possible to be burnt out on housewifery when one was never really fully engaged?
My husband’s sabbatical starts on Memorial Day. On his first day, he wants to sleep until noon. After that he wants to do a bunch of stuff to the house, like paint and fix the ceilings (which were cleverly repaired after the 2007 fire in such a way as to not fall apart until just after the year-long warranty on the job expired) and heaven knows what else. He’s going to need me to clean out cabinets and closets and other stuff before he can do this, which means that I should probably just cancel the housekeepers until after his sabbatical is over. It lasts eight weeks. Will we survive eight weeks without a housekeeping visit? But I am getting ahead of myself. He’s going to spend three weeks working on the house. Then he’s going to spend a week in California working on his mom’s house so she can sell it and move up here. Then he’s going to spend the next four weeks with us on a family vacation to Virginia, New York, Ohio, Chicago, and St. Louis. Four weeks of driving and sight-seeing and hotels and other people’s houses, including three days at a water/amusement park in Ohio. It…should…be…fun. Then he’ll spend 2-3 days volunteering at Cub Scout Camp, which starts as soon as we get back, and then he’s going to go back to work and I’m going to spend 2-3 days volunteering at Cub Scout camp, and then it’s August and the kids will have nothing to do but drive me insane until school starts. (Except for Elvis, who will be in day camp for two of the four weeks in August and will only be driving me insane part-time.) So basically, from now until September, various people are going to be driving me crazy, the house will be a hell-pit and I will be having one big existential crisis.
On this trip I’m going to be seeing friends I haven’t seen since…2005. I want to look forward to it, but instead it is just one big anxiety-inducing black cloud…thing. You know how I am about travel. Rationally, I should look back on last year’s trip to Japan and how much I was not looking forward to it but it all turned out okay in the end and feel some measure of comfort, but no. As grateful as I am for the experience, I’m still really glad to no longer be in a foreign country where I don’t speak the language and there’s no peanut butter. In other words, I am grateful for the experience, and I am also grateful that it is past. I am grateful for both of these things simultaneously. I imagine I will have a similar feeling of gratitude come August. Or September. If I am still alive and not in the loony bin.
Talking about the loony bin is starting to lose its effectiveness. Really, if I were destined to spend any time in a loony bin, I should have been there long before now. Why would the next four months be the straw that breaks the camel’s back? It’s not like I’ve never dreaded four months at a time before. Or have I? Never, I mean. Maybe I never have.
On a positive note, the husband and I went out to dinner last night and I had a cucumber lemonade. It was very refreshing. I recommend them.
On a totally different note, neither positive nor negative, I thought I should mark the passing of Osama bin Laden by saying that unlike people more genteel than I, I am really glad he’s dead. You might even say I’m happy about it. I can’t think of a better way to start a month. This is how I figure it: Evil Guy Dead = One Less Evil Person Spoiling the World for the Rest of Us. My one regret is that I was too busy stressing out about the housekeepers to bake a cake, or at least cookies. Maybe I need to do that. It might be the closure I need.
I only said that for posterity. I don’t have anything else to say about it.
Except this: People keep abbreviating Osama bin Laden to “OBL,” which is how I refer to my friend ordinarybutloud, and it is very disconcerting to be reading all over the place how OBL is gone and dead and also was an evil mass murderer. Because I just don’t think of her that way.
My husband will be home soon, so it’s time to look alive. Gentle readers, adieu.