Open Letters

September 25, 2006

Dear Complaint Department:

So…yeah…umm…about today… It…umm…totally did NOT work for me. In fact, it really, really sucked. I hereby request a do-over. With…umm…a stand-in Mom? A stunt double? Maybe? Because, geez, I am abso-fucking-lutely exhausted.

Sincerely yours,


Dear Guy In the White Truck Who Ran the Fucking Stop Sign and Almost Ran Me Over:

I was not waving at you. I was trying my damndest not to flip you off.

Up yours,


Dear September:

You suck. I mean, you really fucking suck. You suck so much that you’ve actually got me using the F-word. Me! The freaking F-Word! I cannot fucking wait until October shows up to kick your sorry ass to the curb.

Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out,


Haiku! (Gesundheit!)

September 20, 2006

A call from the school
Then a trip to the E.R.
Makes any day suck

Fall on the playground
The spinning merry-go-round
Now not so merry

One sprained ankle and
No medical insurance
That’s perfect timing

Dental appointment
Phase two of a root canal
On the same damn day

Is it getting worse?
Two shitty weeks in a row?
Fuck you, September.

Muscle relaxer
A dose of hydrocodone
Mom’s down for the count.

Pillow Talk

September 19, 2006

Talking to Deputy Dad, who’s cleaning house today, on his day off:

Baby, there is nothin’. sexier. than a man with a toilet brush in his hand.

In which I drop the F-bomb on the poor, unsuspecting Internets

September 18, 2006

Last night I listed a bunch of the girls’ outgrown clothes on eBay. This morning I checked email and found a question from a buyer about a sweatshirt I listed. She asked, quote, “Could you tell me the measurements from shoulder to hem .. shoulder to cuff .. and armpit to armpit?”

My uncensored, gut reaction was, Lady, I listed it for ninety-nine fucking cents. I’m pretty sure it’s not worth my time to measure the damn thing.

I may be a tad premenstrual.

The longest week in the history of weeks

September 16, 2006

This has been a fantastically shitty week. I’ve not posted about it, because I can’t seem to put the right words in the right order…so I’m just closing my eyes (literally! – you’ll forgive the typos, right?) and typing.

* Monday morning found me standing at the front desk of the pediatrician’s office on the phone with the kids’ insurance company, crying and (loudly) saying things like, “WHY did you terminate the coverage? I’ve talked to at least THREE DIFFERENT PEOPLE in your office in the past couple months, and EACH ONE told me the coverage would NOT be terminated. And now, here I am, standing in the doctor’s office WITH MY SICK CHILD, and they’re telling me the coverage is terminated.” and then (even more loudly) saying things like, “Okay, if YOU can’t do anything, then LET ME SPEAK WITH SOMEONE WHO CAN. I need to talk to someone who can FIX THIS; if you can’t do it, LET ME TALK TO SOMEONE WHO CAN.”

No one could.1

* Deputy Dad is back on night shift, leaving me with the majority of the Getting Everyone Where They’re Supposed to Be When They’re Supposed to Be There; and I’d be lying if I said I’m not totally getting my ass kicked feeling completely overwhelmed. For example, Wednesday afternoon went like this:

3:25 – Pick up Miss Attitude from school. (The Drama Queen stayed after school for cheerleading practice.)
3:40 – Pick up Big Boy from sitter.
3:50 – Arrive home, get Miss Attitude ready for her first soccer practice, change Big Boy’s diaper.
4:15 – Leave home to pick up The Drama Queen from cheerleading practice.
4:30 – Drop off The Drama Queen at gymnastics.
4:45 – Rush back home to grab Miss Attitude’s forgotten inhaler and Gatorade.
5:00 – Take Miss Attitude to soccer practice.
5:30 – Pick up The Drama Queen from gymnastics.
6:00 – Pick up Miss Attitude from soccer practice.
6:15 – Pick up dinner on the way home, where I was faced with feeding three kids, bathing Big Boy, keeping the girls on task through their showers and bedtime routines, and getting all the kids in bed.

Part of me likes all the busy-ness. I think I feel better when we’re all so busy – there’s simply no time for brooding when I’m running around at breakneck speed. But it IS a bit overwhelming, especially if anything goes wrong and throws a kink in the works. And keeping up with everybody’s schedules – work schedules, school schedules, doctor appointments, speech therapy, soccer practice, soccer games, cheerleading practice, football games, volleyball practice, volleyball games, and whatever else comes up along the way – is STRESSING ME OUT.

* I worry constantly about Big Boy’s speech delay. He’s had three therapy sessions so far – two with the developmental therapist and one with the speech therapist. I know it’s really too soon to be expecting a major improvement; he’s still getting to know the therapists. But, dammit, I want to hear my boy talk. He has added a few new words and phrases, including the heart-burstingly awesome phrase, “MY Mama”…but I just want so badly for him to be speaking as well as he should be.

* Did I mention I have found myself somehow signed up as the assistant coach of The Drama Queen’s volleyball team? Did I mention I am significantly overweight and not at all athletically inclined? Did I mention I am, apparently, a total schmuck?

* I’ve had a horrible, pounding, eyeball-searing headache all week long.

* Last night I dreamed about unpaid bills, sick kids, The Drama Queen’s school supplies (a whole nother story), and Big Boy’s speech delay. I’m even stressed out in my sleep.

Here’s hoping this coming week (which starts in about 32 minutes, my time) is better than this past week.

1The kids have had health insurance through a state-sponsored program. They’ve had the coverage for five or six years now, and it has been a godsend, especially with Miss Attitude’s asthma (her asthma prevention medications alone would run us over $500 a month without insurance). For some reason I have yet to figure out – and for which no one there can give me a clear explanation, they terminated our coverage effective August 31st and processed our renewal as a new application, with insurance coverage effective October 1st. Which means, until then, all doctor visits ($80 just to walk in the door) and prescriptions (Monday’s alone were $90 – and I only filled HALF of one of them.) come out of our pockets. And, of course, Miss Attitude is still having asthma trouble, and Big Boy started running fever today.


September 13, 2006

Each time I pass
a mirror and see
my furrowed brow

I think
I look
exactly like the image I imagine
when an author describes
a woman’s countenance
as severe.

“Hi, how are you,” I say, without meaning it…

September 8, 2006

…What I mean is, “Please accept my acknowledgement of your existence and let me be on my way,” which is what everyone means when they say, “hi, how are you” to an acquaintance.

She answers.  “Fine.”  Or “hot.”  I’m not sure which, not that it matters.  We’re all hot.  Even with the cooler temperatures – highs in the high 80s to low 90s, rather than the high 90s to 100+ – we’re all still fighting off the stifling humidity.

I transfer everything from the shopping cart to the minivan, stopping briefly to realize I have a horrible headache.  As I turn around to return the shopping cart, an elderly gentleman appears, wearing a name tag and gathering carts.  I give him my cart, thank him, and am saddened at the thought of so many senior citizens working for a huge retail giant, greeting customers at the door, scanning an endless array of bar codes and collecting shopping carts.

I fasten my seat belt and look up in time to see an elderly woman pushing her cart to her car.  Knowing I am already running behind and will be late to work, I hesitate a moment before I unfasten my seat belt and get out of the car.  I go to her and offer to help her unload her shopping cart, but she declines, and I know why.  She’s fiercely independent, taking pride in her self-sufficiency.  As I turn to leave, I secretly hope that when I’m her age – her great-grandchildren go to school with my children – I’ll be as spunky and spirited as she.

Driving down the main street, I fight back tears when I see his work truck at the Mexican restaurant.  He had invited me to lunch, but I had errands to run, things to do, mundane matters to mind.  If I don’t take care of things, who will?  No one, that’s who.  And suddenly I am completely overwhelmed again, lost in the lists of things to do, drowning in the details.

A quick stop at the grocery store finds me jockeying with a senior citizen for a view of the grocery shelf.  My “excuse me” sounds surprisingly flat, and I worry I’ve hurt her feelings, this woman I don’t even know, this woman who is someone’s wife, mother, grandmother.  And I fight back tears, realizing how ridiculous I would look, crying in the grocery store, birthday cake decorations in one hand and a tub of Country Crock in the other.

Driving home, my thoughts are flooded with to-do lists and schedules.  I turn off the music; the noise in my head is more than I can bear.  I acknowledge the headache again, briefly rubbing my neck with my left hand, trying in vain to relieve the pressure.  The pain in my gut returns, and I find myself hoping premenstrual cramps are to blame.  PMS is so much more welcome than that old, familiar darkness.