I Live in Zoo. Word On the Streets Is That I Smell Like a Monkey. Even More Tragically, I Look Like One, Too
Wednesday was my birthday. The cool thing about my announcing this today is that now you aren’t compelled to chime in with a “Happy birthday!” You’re off the hook, toots.
Because it was yesterday!
And now it’s over!!
So nothing you can say or think can change how it was!!!
Keep your kind felicitations tucked in your handbag!!!!!
Haha on you!!!!!!!
Luckily, even without your lovely words, I enjoyed a really nice day. Having a family that treated me all special-like made that happen. Were it just me, alone, the day would have been one of gorging on donuts followed by lolling my head into the bottom of an empty bottle of Mad Dog 20/20.
Which, come to think of it, is a valid celebration in its own right. Maybe next year.
Wednesday, however, went:
7:27 a.m. The sound of running feet. On top of the feet were the bodies of my kids, who zoomed into the bedroom and pulled a “lazy bag” (some of y’all might call it a “gift bag”) out from under the bed. In it were two scarves they had finger-knitted, kind of long, loose snaky things that can keep my throat warm in -20 degree weather or, better yet, tie the kids to the banister if they lip off. Wildly tangled in the scarves was a new Webkinz, which is just what a 42-year-old needs if her Webkinz account is about to expire, and she really just wants to decorate her pet’s room (aka “Manhattan walk-up”) and play a lot of Cash Cow 2 in the wee hours. They gave me a manatee whom I have named “Sassafrass.” I was certain the hugely-cautious Webkinz site, which won’t even let a user name a pet “Buttercup” because it contains the word “butt” in it, would certainly put the kibosh on “Sassafrass” due to its double assage. But whaddya know? Sassafrass passed muster. Since he’s a manatee, he was given an underwater room in Webkinz world, so come to think of it, I’ll be decorating not so much a Manhattan walk-up as a New Orleans row house.
Also in the lazy bag was—smash some cymbals together here, if you keep a pair next to your keyboard—a digital video camera, which I’d been craving so that I could carry it around my life, capturing random moments like when I’m driving (and filming) and hit a pothole. Then, once I download and upload and post it all on my blog, people far and wide can hear me swear and feel the jolt, and if that’s not good Internet entertainment, I don’t know what is. Of course, there’s the small matter of the learning curve before I can get anything online, but the prospect in itself makes me want to cuss a bit with excitement and lurch about with joy, all pothole-hitting-like.
8:05 a.m. Kids get on the schoolbus and head off to school. Day gets even better.
11:11 a.m. Finish lifting weights, doing 100 crunches, running a challenging 5K, biking 11K and finally doing a high-intensity 10 minutes on the stairmaster. Take all this physical fitness as a clear sign that I will live to 90 and still be trail running, albeit at a 45 min/mile pace.
11:12 a.m. Notice a twinge in my hip. Feel certain I’m dying.
12:32 p.m. Put pans of molasses cookies in the oven.
12:44 p.m. Wave newspaper wildly under the smoke detector to get it to stop bleating.
2:00 p.m. Feed molasses cookies to my colleagues at an English department meeting. Listen to discussion of outcomes and visiting speakers and textbooks and wonder when I stopped caring.
2:01 p.m. Admit I’ve never cared about anything when there are cookies in the room.
3:45 p.m. Drop Niblet at his Mandarin Chinese class. Yell “Ni Hao!” obnoxiously loudly at him as he exits the car.
3:59 p.m. Drop Groom at auto shop to pick up mini-van, which, lo and behold, no longer sounds like Ethel Merman with a belt tightened around her larynx.
4:04 p.m. Take Girl to nearby coffee shop to use freebie “birthday” coupon for my favorite drink: a Turtle Mocha, which contains approximately 700 calories.
4:05 p.m. Gain 8 pounds.
4:20 p.m. Neighbor lady and her daughter join us in coffee shop hanging out. Neighbor lady bestows gift card for said coffee shop, urging me to buy more and more and more Turtle Mochas.
4:21 p.m. Gain 6 more pounds, just from the urging.
5:12 p.m. Get home to discover best pal from college has sent box of gifties. Lay them all out on floor and roll around on top of them until Groom announces, “Okay, now that’s getting kind of creepy.”
6:01 p.m. Prepare to eat steak dinner. First, wave newspaper around wildly under smoke detector to get it to stop bleating.
6:28 p.m. Wipe steak juice off chin with hand. Hope, as an adult one day, to start using a napkin.
6:35 p.m. Welcome neighbors (with 3-year-old and newborn baby) as they come over to share cake.
6:37 p.m.-6:46 p.m. Play seventeen different games with 3-year-old. Hold baby.
7:14 p.m. Hold baby more. Consider this one of the day’s best presents.
8:01 p.m. Peel sleeping baby off lap and send him home with parents. Consider that, too, one of the day’s best presents.
9:00 p.m. Tuck in kids, who sleep these days in the master bedroom, due to water damage and resultant smell in their bedroom allowed by careless roofing crew. Swear a little at roofing crew. Remember, next time, to record the swear on the new digital video camera.
9:10 p.m. Sit down with glass of wine and Stephen Colbert to watch with Groomeo.
9:11 p.m. Pretend not to hear Niblet crying upstairs because everything is scary, even with 4 night lights on, music playing, and wiry sister nearby.
9:14 p.m. Let Groom go upstairs to hear about the terrifying cobweb hanging from the ceiling, amidst other real and imagined horrors. While he’s gone, log-on to Webkinz World and adopt manatee. Put a toilet in manatee’s underwater bedroom. Chuckle because somehow, that’s just funny. Then put a cactus next to the toilet. Chuckle more.
9:42 p.m. Feel kind of bad when Groom continues to struggle with overwrought child. Then remember the toilet in the underwater Webkinz room; chuckle silently but, heading upstairs to join the fray, act concerned, outwardly. Suggest Niblet’s frightened brain watch some Loony Tunes for a bit.
9:54 p.m. Niblet done with Loony Tunes and wants to sleep. But because there are so many tewwwible and awwwwful things in the world that he is not able to name or describe, he cannot. Just cannot.
10:01 p.m. Crawl into bed with Niblet and tell him the weight of my arm on his body will protect him from all monsters and marauders. Marvel as his body relaxes and breathing slows. Realize I’ll never again have power such as this and that he may be a bit of a foolchild if he genuinely thinks my arm could ever take on a three-eyed monster holding a bloody spear. Let him sleep nevertheless.
10:25 p.m. Rejoin Groom for more wine and a little Stephen Colbert (not a euphemism; we really watched the show, you big Naught Pants). Eat rest of birthday cake.
10:26 p.m. Gain three pounds.
11:00 p.m. Kiss Groom goodnight. Log into online classes. Grade research proposals. Brace self for forthcoming papers about the HPV vaccine, excessive advertising, and eating disorders.
11:01 p.m. Gain pound from thinking about eating disorders.
12:00 a.m. Read a few pages of White Heat, the book about Emily Dickinson and Thomas Higginson and their literary relationship. Admit Dickinson was one hell of a crazy bit of brilliance—especially because—she used—dashes—all the time—to such great effect—to the point—that sometimes—I don’t even—know—what she—means. Read part of a letter she wrote to Higginson and find self swearing under breath about how incisive dash use can be.
12:01 a.m. Note that birthday is over and that the next time I read Dickinson, I should have the new video camera running, just to catch the random swears—for future—uploading—onto—the Interwebs.
12:02 a.m. Place icy feet onto Groom’s legs and leech off his warmth.
12:03 a.m. Think that it doesn’t get better than this.