>Vents, Dents, Scrapes and Bumps

31 Jul

>I’m having a freaking crisis. (But what else is new.) This one, however, appears to be THE BIG ONE. It gripped me about six weeks ago and hasn’t loosened it’s icy grip. So as I’ve flopped all over the place —like my old, dog-chewed raggedy ann doll did when I really just wanted her to sit up and have some tea, dammit— I’ve come to a conclusion. I’m a total facing-40 cliché. And I suck.

I hate being a cliché, but what am I supposed to do? I spent almost all of June and July being beaten to a pulp by a client that I had already beaten myself to pulp over for the entire last year. Only to be drop-kicked straight into the hands of a bitchy-moaner (who, now being well-seasoned, I was ready for). And before that I was pummeled by indecision over whether to go through with the buyout in a down economy. And in the meantime I’m getting whiplash over two-year-old tantrums and eight-year-old mood swings. That officially leaves me at STATUS: BRUISED AND BITTER.

It also leaves me scouring the internet for culinary institutes. Thinking I’m going to become a pastry chef and fuhgeddabout this whole marketing agency thing. Knead bread, ice cupcakes, make flaky crusts, decorate cakes. Stuff that can’t help but make you happy. I’d even deal with 4am wake ups to hit the kitchen. As long as I can be alone and not have anyone call me or text me with why my services and abilities are just not worth it and how they are sure that they can get the same quality on the internet with some templates. Whatever.

The other day I told the hubby, “I think I’m going to France. I can take courses in Paris at Le Cordon Bleu just like Julia Child.” He didn’t say a word. He just made a few wild hand gestures in the direction of himself and the two children and grunted. The man knows when he’s been defeated.

My other back up plan also includes moving to France —but in this one I’ll make cheese. So, yes, a crisis of some yet-to-be-determined proportions.

At the moment, the girls are playing nicely (thank you very much). I coached them on how my cousin, Eliz, and I used to play beauty parlor. 1. Take the clothes hamper 2. Put it beside a chair. 3. Pretend said hamper is a sink. 4. Go to town. My version morphed into SPA DAY. I guess beauty parlor is just so 1980s…and Miss 8-i-TUDE keeps asking, “Mom? What else besides pedicures do you do at a spa?” As if I would know.

Meanwhile, downstairs, we’ve had a dryer vent wizard here for over three hours now. Our high-end, ultra-efficiency dryer was taking like four or five hours to dry one load of clothes. And after about a year of that the hubby and I looked at each other and said, “Huh. Wonder if something’s wrong?” (The truth is that the friends’ house where we stayed on James Island when we were in SC had the same one and we were shocked-appalled-and-amazed by the FORTY MINUTE DRYING TIMES. Duh.) So here we are, with a guy having been in our vents for hours —breaking multiple tools in the process— emerging with, “Yea, you were basically a fire waiting to happen.” There’s this water column measurement thingy you use to determine the vent flow. Six is fire. We were 9. Can you say, “stoo-pid?”

So, $300 later and we may be able to keep our house from combusting. But now there’s this other problem: MOUSIES. Yes. Mice. The icky-icky-ick factor being Y-U-C-K. We saw some last year for the first time in the compost bin. Stopped composting and switched to curbside only (for food stuffs). They stopped coming in the house after that, but I’m pretty sure that was only because it’s not winter any more. Now we found out that they have been digging into the wall of the garage by the door. Right underneath the circuit box. Where the wires come into the basement. Yea. Great.

Hubby leapt into action (gotta love him) and has become a man obsessed. The other day I changed my Facebook status to: is watching of mice and men unfold in the garage. Seriously. He’s resorted to traps after the cleaning and steel wool just didn’t cut it. Nasty bid’ness dat. He started by re-using traps which made the bile collect in my throat and propel itself forward. GHEE-ROOS. After a little ribbing from Nanner’s mom, he has been buying the damn things in bulk instead. And, as ashamed as it makes me to admit (being a supposed animal-lover and all) —he’s gotten like 10. They steal the cheese and he plasters it down with peanut butter. It’s a true game of cat and mouse with the hubby being the cat. As for our cat. Well. Can you say “useless?” The hubby went to Target on Monday and arrived at the checkout with a big ole bag of mouse traps and a box of cat box liners. The cashier gave him the hairy eyeball and he just said, “Yea. I know.”

The thing is that even though I know animals should be allowed to live, I’ve done too much research on these critters and know that my two spa girls could end up with something really nasty from MOUSE URINE or POOP or HAIR. (Here comes that bile again.) And that doesn’t even include the whole MOUSE EATING WIRES thing. When they are making themselves right at home by our circuit box. Will it ever end?

In other news, we survived the trip to the southland wholly intact and quite happy. We finally found the secret formula to family visit success. MINIMIZE CONTACT. (I’m just kidding, Mima.) Seriously, we got a great deal with the use of our very generous friends’ house on James Island while they were away. We did our little family thing, enjoyed the wedding festivities with the larger posse and had three days with the Flo-town contingency. We hit Farmer’s Markets (in Charleston and Florence) and spied 1600-year-old trees. We sat on the beach with an old friend and drank beers from solo cups in direct violation of the no alcohol rules —while the little girls played in the waves. We re-discovered Charleston after too many years away. And we discovered the very odd feeling of being stared down for entering the hallowed walls of Circle Fountain with kids in tow. (My cheery wave and “hi everybody!” was met with stark silence. Creepy.) We trekked to Hartsville to get our Midnight Rooster fix and had lively dinners at Mima’s with post-dinner dancing by all. It was really great.

And it wasn’t until we were headed home that the survival thing came into question. When Bean catapulted face first off of the precariously balanced car seat that we had stuck in the stroller. Not so smart, us. I had my eye on the gate and we were oh-so-close. And out she went. The carseat landed on top of her and her face hit the concourse floor with a sickening thud. Blood was everywhere. Miss 8-i-TUDE started bawling before bean did. It was awful. Her lip blew up like a balloon and her nose deflated like the air was displaced to the lip. We got ice and boarded the plane anyway. She was bruised for more than a week. I’m pretty sure we didn’t win Parents of the Year again this year. Damn.

TODAY’S THEME SONG: I Will Buy You a New Life. Everclear. I will buy you a garden where your flowers can bloom…

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