Mysterious Lamps

A couple of months back, when I was in phase one of my quarantine online shopping frenzy (I’m in phase four now, just bought a new couch) I bought us a new pair of bedside lamps. I’m so far into first world problems that I’d been complaining for months about how I have to stick my fingers under the lampshade and click the button to turn the lamp off. It drove me nuts. Jerimiah suggested “The Clapper” as he side-eyed my craziness one Tuesday evening. “The Clapper,” I scoffed, “you’ve got to be kidding me.” I knew there was a more regal, more grown-up, more elegant way to turn a lamp off than “The Clapper” so I went to Amazon.

Three days later I unboxed a beautiful set of small, matching lamps with brushed silver bases, and creme shades. I quickly screwed in the energy-saving bulbs that came with them, plugged one in, and called Jerimiah over. “Wow,” he said, obviously not wowed. “Watch…” I teased, as I gently touched the base of the lamp with my finger. As I did that, the lamp lit up. I touched it a second time, it went brighter. A third time! Even brighter! “Cool,” he said as he walked away. I mumbled “Asshole” under my breathe as I carefully marched the lamps up to our room.

Now, today, about three months later the lamp on my side of the bed randomly comes on. Like, it just turns on. No rhyme or reason. It will be two am and the lamp will come on and I will assume it’s the sun coming up, and I will start to wake, only to see that it’s in fact the damn lamp. Nothing is by it, I’m in the middle of our bed (that’s where I sleep, just ask Jerimiah) so there’s no way I touched it. It’s bizarre. Then the other day I was in my office and I saw it turn on. My office is connected to our master bedroom, so when I sit at my desk I can look through our closets into our room. There I was writing away (read: doing a crossword puzzle in the back of an old People magazine) and the lamp came on, and just as sudden as the flicker of the lamp, I knew why.

I ran downstairs to tell Jerimiah the light came on while I was watching it. He stopped typing and looked at me. I looked at him. He looked at me. I looked at him. “You know what this means?” I asked. “Please don’t say ghosts,” he said. “Ghosts!” I shrieked.

MFing ghosts.

M.

News Alert

I‘ve been struggling to stay away from the news lately. Struggling because it’s important to stay informed, but I also know what the news does to me, and I know that the way people respond to news is even worse. It’s one thing to get an alert that says our president is threatening to cut funding to schools if we don’t go back full time in August, it’s another thing altogether to see family and friends share his sentiment in agreement. Like really?! Weren’t you just saying three months ago how awesome teachers are, and how important school is for your kids, and how everyone should have more money?! It’s disheartening to say the least.

The news alerts I get on my phone are usually the worst, and they have been coming fast and furious over the last few months. The ones that tell me another child was murdered. Or police killed another Black man, or that the cases of COVID-19 have skyrocketed. Shit man. It’s like we can’t catch a break.

I know I’m not alone in this. There are a million memes about how fucked up 2020 has been, about how we wish we could just wish it all away. But the thing is, we can’t. And maybe that’s good. Maybe it’s time we face the news. So much has come to light over the last few months. How much we have realized about how disgusting, and backwards, and ridiculous our country really is. How gross we treat each other. How one minute we say things like, “Teachers are saints who should be paid more!” Then the next minute we say, “I don’t care if teachers get COVID, the economy needs to get back to work!” Wow. Just wow.

That’s where I find myself today. At the crossroads of wanting to be informed and wanting to crawl into a hole and never come out. How about you?

Be safe and sane, y’all.

M.

Whatha Devil?!

We had an 18 pack of eggs sitting in our refrigerator. Brand new. Not expired. Farm fresh, free range, college educated. We leave for vacation in three days. We looked at each other. At our smart eggs. Then back at each other. Quiche? I wondered aloud. Maybe, Jerimiah said. How else would we eat 18 eggs in three days? Boiled? Take them with us? He pondered, while he moved expired cottage cheese out of the way. Huh, I remarked, slinging rotten green peppers into the trash can. Give them to a neighbor, I questioned. He shook his head. Would that be weird? Maybe, plus we are the ones who raised them. They’re ours. Oh, I’ll make deviled eggs! I half screamed, half cried. Dear Recipe Goddess, you have reigned supreme again.

Two days later, as I stood over the sink and peeled the boiled eggs that I had let boil for too long the night before because I was also cooking dinner at the same time and it was a Hello Fresh meal and you have to follow the damn directions with those and the puppy ran in and peed on the floor and Jackson tried to tell me about this TikTok guy who does presidential impersonations and Jerimiah tried to help by standing next to me asking what he can do, I sorta, maybe, lost it a little bit and slammed the plates on the table and said, I CAN’T WITH THIS SHIT! And then went upstairs to sit on the fluffy ottoman at the end of my bed and contemplate how my damn life had come to this. About 20 minutes later, I remembered the boiling eggs.

Here’s the thing about deviled eggs, it’s a process, y’all. A long, arduous process, and it starts with the perfect boiled egg. Now sure, you can Google “How to Boil an Egg for Deviled Eggs” and you will get a million different opinions, but every Mommy, Grandma, Great Grandma, and even a couple Grandpa’s have their own way of doing it. My way is to heavily boil the eggs in salted water for three to five minutes, then turn the stove off and let them sit in the hot water for about 20 minutes, until I sink them into a cold bath, let them sit in fridge overnight, then crack them all over before peeling the next day as I listen to Adele sing about how life is not the way she imagined it when she was a child. I can relate. And usually what happens is that the eggs just slide right out. Unless one thing is not right. Then, you’re fucked.

That’s how I came to be screaming into a bowl of yellow yesterday morning.

That’s how I came to be teaching Jackson how to make deviled eggs, literally because I CAN’T WITH THIS SHIT!

That’s how we thought it would be a good idea to eat 18 eggs the days leading up to a 10-hour road trip.

Hope you CAN with this shit today, y’all.

M.

Road Trip To-do List

  • Shave the dog
    • But do I really want to shave the dog?
      • Yeah, I need to shave the dog
  • Bathe both dogs
  • Order dog food
  • Why is my whole damn life about dogs?
    • I mean, like, why do we even have two dogs?
      • What happened to me as a child that I need to overcompensate with animals?
  • Laundry
  • Order the dogs waterproof collars
    • I swear to Baby Jesus, I am so tired of getting the dogs new collars for different occasions
  • Pick up that giant llama float I saw in that ad one time from one of the stores that sells large llama floats
    • Wait, I don’t want to go inside one of the stores
      • Did I even look to see if they had a poodle float instead?
        • STOP IT WITH THE POODLE SHIT!
  • Tires for truck
    • Already did that
  • Floating cooler?
  • Print out map of trip and circle all bathrooms I suspect might be the “cleanest”
    • Print out directions? What is this 2005? I’m not MapQuesting that shit
      • The dogs would eat the map
  • Wait, we are going through Memphis and Little Rock?!
    • We will need to pee on the side of the road at all times
  • Gloves
  • Maybe we should drive at night so no one will see me pee in the bushes? What if I have to poop?
    • Quik Trip?
  • Fill up the dog’s poop bag satchel
    • Could I poop in a poop bag if I needed to?
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Where will I get coffee?!
    • I can’t get coffee or I will have to poop!
  • Can you ship wine?
  • Books
  • Burn a Road Trip CD
    • What the what?! Burn a CD?!
      • Make a Road Trip Playlist, make sure it has enough Suzy Bogguss
        • “I don’t wanna be standing here, and I don’t want to be talking here, and I don’t really care who’s to blame…”
  • You blame the dogs, even if it was you
    • Oh shit, is that why I have dogs?
  • Swim trunks for Jackson

Grad School

Yous guys, this MFA program I’m headed into in the fall got me buggin’. Like, I’m NERVOUS. One, I don’t like most people. Two, I am definitely afraid of new people. Three, I’m just learning how to take myself seriously as a writer. Four, Imposter Syndrome. This isn’t my first rodeo. Five, I gotta stop making lists. That’s why I’m in the mess I’m in today, I made a list. I made a mental list of all the ways I could fuck up grad school and the list is exhaustive. I won’t share it now, cause most of it is bogus and you’d be like, really, Missy? And then I’d have to defend how crazy and dumb I am, and I’m not good at defending myself, which meeeeeans (making full circle motions with my hands) when I have to defend a BOOK LENGTH work at the end of this program I will die. Literally. Then the ghost of Missy will have to finish the program, and honestly, I don’t trust that bitch. She shady.

So why did I even do this? Why did I even apply for an MFA program? That’s a great question you guys, and one I don’t have an answer for. I’m hoping to write my way to answer, meanwhile I’ll just sit here and wonder about all the ways I am meant to watch my life ignite, sizzle, and burst into flames.

Stand back.

M.

Instant Regret

  • When I say yes to a flavor shot in my iced coffee at Dunkin’
  • When my stomach has been rumbling and I trust a fart
  • Yelling, “Turn it up!” as I dance on a bar after three shots of tequila
  • Answering the door
  • That fourth enchilada
  • Every time I say, “I can help!” at a PTO meeting
  • “Ohhh, this gives me an idea! I’m gonna need some Sharpies.”
  • “What?! Me? I’ll be fine in the morning! Yes, another glass of wine!”
  • Open>Excel
  • Answering the phone for a number I don’t know
  • Answering the phone for a number I do know
  • Sign-up for a 20% off code
  • Using the bathroom at a Captain D’s
  • “What did Daddy say? It doesn’t matter, sure do it.”
  • Buying anything in a BOGO deal
  • Chinese food
  • Trying “something new” at Great Clips
  • Sign-up Genius
  • Horseback riding
  • Screaming, “Ain’t no laws, when you’re drinking Claws” as I jump off the roof of the dock
  • Agreeing to a dance off
  • Taco Bell
  • “We need another dog…”
  • Crawling out a bathroom stall in a Southern Missouri Quik Trip because the latch wouldn’t give and I had a panic attack thinking I’d be trapped forever
  • Offering to babysit
  • Scuba diving
  • Getting a pint of Ben and Jerry to limit myself, then eating my pint and my kid’s pint
  • “Let’s do the Couch to 5K!”
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  • Sitting on the ground criss-cross apple sauce
  • “I should be able to flush this toilet one more time…”
  • Trying a new recipe
  • Vacationing anywhere in Louisiana
  • Agreeing to donate to a canned food drive
  • Zoom
  • Jumping on the trampoline after I’ve had babies, and vodka
  • Vodka, all kinds
  • Attempting to teach my son the “Thriller” dance on a rainy night
  • Screaming, “You don’t know who Ronnie Milsap is?!” at someone I just met
  • Girls’ Night Out Painting Class
  • “Are you still watching?”
  • Free Trial!
  • My third Diet Coke

Be safe out there, y’all.

M.

Ménage à Cheese

“You wanna do like a cheese-on-cheese situation?” I asked my husband the other day while I was standing with the refrigerator door opened, looking frantically from one plastic bin to another. I thought it was a rather straightforward question, but he looked at me with a mix of disgust and sadness, so I offered in a loud tone, “DO YOU WANT TO DOUBLE DOWN ON SOME CHEESE WIT ME?” Nothing. Silence. This MFer needs clarification on this? I proceeded to pull out three different types of cheese, slice them, stack them on top of each other, and eat the stack. Directly in front of him. As my lunch. Then I walked away.

I don’t know about you guys but I am not made for this type of living. I am not made for thinking up what to feed two adults, a child, two dogs, and the large family of nuisance ants that have taken up residence in my house (even though the exterminator has been here TWO TIMES.) I can’t do this. I can’t have all these beings relying on me to feed them all day and night.

Under normal conditions my husband fends for himself for both breakfast and lunch, having an eight-to-five-ish-type office job. My son would normally be eating whatever the hell I pulled together last minute at 7:15 am while he followed me around and said, We have to leave or I’ll be late for band practice. And if I forget, no problem, school would feed him. That just left me and up until two months ago, Sir Duke Barkington, my standard poodle, to nibble on this or that throughout the day. But now we have two dogs, one of which is a 16-week-old puppy who is OBSESSED with food, so she overeats her damn puppy chow then vomits, and then eats the vomit. And since March 15th, I’ve had my son and husband looking at me like, Hey Gir, what’s for lunch? Yeah, they call me Gir.

Early on my husband got the hint, and he just started cooking breakfast late, around 10:30, for all of us. That was our brunch. Everyday. The same thing. Everyday. Eggs. Wrapped in a carb-conscious tortilla. Everyday. I finally had to say, I can’t do this. I can’t live this way. I appreciate you trying to feed us, but I can’t eat another egg. That was almost a month ago and I had my first egg yesterday and it was, I mean, it was okay.

That was also the day I sort of just, umm, opted out of being part of my family’s cooking and eating life. Yes. I’m a horrible partner and mother. I just walked out of the kitchen and didn’t look back. Now my son comes to greet me in my office in the mornings with string cheese hanging out of his mouth, or a frozen waffle cause he’s too lazy to toast it in the oven, or maybe some cereal with no milk because, Mommy the milk shocked me a little, like when you stick a battery on your tongue.

That’s how I got to the ménage à cheese situation the other day. That’s how my husband and I came to a three week take-out bender. We are better now. Detoxed. Ordered HelloFresh.

That’s how things are going in my life. Hope yours is better.

M.

Begin Running!

Warm up walk, run, walk, run, walk, run, walk, run, walk, cool down. That is what the Couch to Five k is like. It’s an app. To be fair there are several of them. But I use the “C25K” one because it’s the one I have always used and I’m a creature of habit. But they all help you train to go from not running to running for long periods of time. To be fair here when I say “run” I don’t mean sprints or anything even remotely close to that, I mean more of a slow, turtle jog. I mean that someone who runs marathons could walk next to me talking their head off while I “run” without the ability to talk and with sweat seeping out of every, single orifice of my body. My ear canals sweat, y’all. My ear canals. I know this because sometimes my headphones fall out from all the moisture.

It’s week four of the couch to five k training for Jackson and me. He is doing it with me, and so far it has been good, bad, horrific, tolerable, and stupid. Stupid. A word we don’t even use in our house. It’s stupid on some days. Some days we look at each other while we are lacing up our shoes, or while I am taping my shins, and we shrug and think, This is so fucking stupid. Probably my 11-year-old doesn’t think exactly that, but I do.

While it is technically our fourth week of training, I repeated week two last week because it felt hard, so hard, to keep up. Then Jackson repeated week three this week, so we are back on the same week. I asked him if he was doing it to make me feel better and he straight-up said, No Mommy, my feet hurt. So, there’s that.

The app talks you through the process. The first five minutes are a warm-up, wherein we walk at a steady pace, get our AirPods all situated, our running mixes loaded, chat about our running path, then take long, deep breathes while we wait for the other one to be like, I dunno, you wanna skip today? Neither of us ever says it.

Then the app’s sweet, female voice pops up and says, Begin running! She’s so cheerful that at first it is hard to be mad at her. But by the third, Begin running! you want to slam your $1000 phone onto the ground and hop up and down on top of it while you scream to the empty, humid air above your head, I hate you, you piece of shit!

Okay, you’re all caught up now. I’m gonna go ice my shins. Maybe drink a gallon of water. Maybe drink a gallon of wine. Whichever is handy.

Cheers to running, running buddies, and wine.

M.

Not looking forward to “week four”…

Wallpaper

One of the first stories I read in a college lit class was “The Yellow Wall Paper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and I’ve always remembered it. If you haven’t had the pleasure, please partake. It is a short story full of madness and powerlessness, a true Gothic Lit masterpiece in my opinion. And since it was published in 1892, there’s the whole portrayal of female oppression and societal expectations, you know early feminism. Good. Good. Good.

In short, the woman in the story is sent to a house for a “rest cure,” you know, she’s mentally unstable and her doctor/husband thinks she needs sunlight and rest, because that’ll fix ya right up, when really she just needed to stab her doctor/husband. Anywho, she starts to actually go crazy cause he keeps her in one room. The room has, you guessed it, yellow wallpaper. And as the days go on, and she starts to really lose her shit, the wallpaper “changes,” and suddenly she thinks she’s trapped in the wallpaper! Haha. What a silly girl!

Missy, why you telling us this? Listen, y’all I’m way into wallpaper right now. I’m not sure what sparked it, but I’ve been researching it, perusing wallpaper sites, googling things about how many square feet one roll can cover, etc. etc. I’m on a mission to wallpaper my office and I’m pretty close to figuring this whole thing out. But I think what is really happening is that I’m pretty close to losing my shit. I think it falls in line with me not dealing with the real shit of the world right now, sorta like if I keep my mind and fingers busy on a project, I can forget the world is horrible. Yeah, that’s it!

But even as I lay in bed at night and envision my dream accent wall, or a wallpaper shop that lets you design your own wallpaper, I still can’t shake the woman in “The Yellow Wallpaper,” her plight, her mental health, her asshole husband. Her life is wrapping itself up in mine alright. And yeah, I get the irony. The undertones. The whole shebang. But I’ll tell you one thing, I’m not buying damn yellow wallpaper.

M.

Fifth Grade is Almost Over

Jackson’s teacher just sent a video in which he said that there is only one week and one day left in the school year and I actually had a fucking panic attack. How is this possible? Well, it’s possible because the school year was cut short, and time goes on, every day, even on days you want it to slow down, or allow you to have a redo because you are living in a global pandemic. But you know what I mean. It’s a sad day for me, realizing my kid is almost finished with elementary school. I remember the day he got his little diploma in Kindergarten. I remember seeing the “big kids” on their fifth-grade graduation day and being excited for Jackson’s. But here we are. So how am I dealing with it? Kicking it into high gear!

I started working on a video for the class. Turns out all the time I spent in the classroom this year, all the times I made the kids take pics, all the time spent yelling, “Oh my goodness (insert name) turn around so I can get you in this picture!” paid off. I now have a little nest egg of fifth-grader pics and I am putting them to good use. I’m hoping to wow the kids, and their teacher, and the other parents. Working on it, working on it, working on it. I’ll let you know if it works. Until then, I’ll just be running around, collecting Venmos from other parents for a teacher gift card, begging for “action” shots from people on Field Day, and generally running my phone battery down to the bare minimum while I make this thing work. It has to work.

Wish me luck!

M.

I Miss TJ Maxx

Why can’t I remember what I intended to do when I walked into the living room but I can draw, from memory, Rosie the robot housekeeper from The Jetson’s? Why can’t I sit down and actually write a piece of flash fiction that isn’t total trash, but I can watch seven episodes, back-to-back, of “Brick City” the docu-series about Cory Booker and how he changed Newark in 2008? Why can’t I concentrate long enough to play virtual games with friends for an hour, but I have no problem falling asleep halfway through my fifteenth round of solitaire on my phone? Why am I this person? Why do people put up with me?

I dunno, I’m stuck in my head again today, ya’ll. Obvi. I’m stuck and can’t find a way out. Yesterday I cleaned my office. I legit went through my desk drawers. I organized my paperclips. I ORGANIZED PAPERCLIPS. I Lysol-ed my desk, my keyboard, my chair, and my lamp. I ensured that one of my bookshelves was in order by color, while the other only had female authors on it. I placed hand sanitizer next to my screen. I did all this in hopes that I would sit down to write the next day and a wonderful little story or poem or essay would shoot out of my fingertips onto the screen and I’d be okay again. It did not happen.

Instead I trolled a poodle website and ordered my kid some clothes from The Gap.

The fucking Gap.

I haven’t shopped at The Gap since God-knows-when and it occurred to me that he needed new clothes for sixth grade and the first place I typed into the search bar was The fucking Gap. What is actually wrong with me? There are a million better places to shop for what amounts to a uniform, considering my kid only wears suits, khakis (not denim), and polo shirts. Like why the fuck did Target not automatically pop up in my history? What is happening?! Where am I headed? Gap Hell. That’s where. Then, just like that something happened in my head. I felt happy. For just a moment. And I thought what is this happiness I am feeling? Is this from shopping? Then it hit me, I miss TJ Maxx.

Four hundred dollars later. Jesus, I wish this was a joke. Four hundred dollars later, I successfully shopped for all of his back-to-school clothes, FOUR MONTHS EARLY, and then I was like what now? I can’t just go stroll through TJ Maxx. What should I do? Should I buy school supplies? Where should I buy them from? Office Depot?!

Two days later I bought new bedside table lamps. They are touch lamps. I ordered touch lamps from Amazon because I didn’t want to have to actually push the button to turn a lamp off anymore. It was too much. It was all too much, pushing switches to turn a lamp off?! What is this, communist Russia?!

I think I’ve reached that point in quarantine where nothing I do makes sense. The world is make-believe and the points don’t matter. Only in this case, it’s real money from my bank account and it, uhh, kinda sorta matters. Someone stop me. Someone tell me I don’t need to buy a case of wine because “The more you buy, the more you save!” Someone tell me to unplug. To delete my debit card from automatically popping up. Someone tell me, would barn doors be okay on my office or should I just install French doors?

HELP!

M.

Something Funny

“What should my blog be about today?” I ask Jackson and Jerimiah as we are lying in bed reading this evening. “Write about the dogs,” Jackson says. “Something funny,” adds Jerimiah. “Oh,” he thinks to himself, “that might be hard to do right now.” I smile and nod. Write about the dogs. Write something funny. I’ll take a page from Jackson on this one.

For the last couple weeks we’ve been slowly working on homemade, hand-written cards to send to friends. Just a little something to say hi and we are thinking of you. We hope our first few rounds found you all safe and well. Anywho, I passed a card to Jackson one idle Tuesday while we were writing cards and I said, “This is for Madison. Write something.” And of course my witty, terribly dry fifth-grader writes inside Madison’s card, “Something.” Followed by a, “My mom said to write ‘something’ .” Several days later I get a text from Madison. She just wanted to say she got her card, to tell us thanks and she misses us too, oh and by the way, “I loved Jackson’s heartfelt message.” (Insert laughing smiley face). So there you have it. And now here goes.

Something funny.

M.

Wandering Minds Want to Know

I can’t keep my head on straight these days. My mind is all over the place. Even with bumping therapy up to two times a month, and staying on top of my medication, I feel like I can’t keep my emotions and thoughts in check. Here is a list of things I was thinking about within a five-minute span of time this morning while I was “relaxing” and drinking my coffee:

  • The yard needs mowed
  • Call the hot tub guy about the new cover that is coming
  • Dinner?
  • Which dog pooped in the hallway?
  • Is it okay to let Jackson (my 11YO) study criminal justice when he’s in college?
  • Who was the guy the neighbors had to call the cops on last night?
  • Our governor is a nutcase
  • Did I register to vote absentee?
  • I’m glad my husband fixed the hydraulics in my office chair
  • I need to bathe the dogs today
  • When will it be safe to leave my house? May 30th?
  • There were 500 more positive tests over night here
  • Masks came in the mail!
  • Thank-you cards need to go out
  • Jerimiah ordered me new headphones
  • We need to legalize weed, and let people out of prison ASAP
  • Adele is so great
  • My hands are sweaty, but my feet are cold
  • Is it going to rain today?
  • Why can’t I write?!
  • How often do normal people poop?
  • Robin Williams was awesome
  • I’m gonna drink some wine tonight
  • I’ve been drinking too much wine
  • I need to organize my office
  • How much Tylenol is too much Tylenol?
  • Senior Citizens in nursing homes should be locked down
  • I hope we can still manage a “Fifth Grade Fun Day!” this summer
  • I need to start the Couch to 5K
  • What was that book I wanted to read?
  • I should text my friends and say hi
  • I missed that voting thing with Michelle Obama, I’m a loser, Michelle was counting on me
  • I wish I had a backpack leaf blower
  • What happened to Ben Folds?

That is a snippet of what I was thinking about. I couldn’t write the exhaustive list.

What is going on you guys? What is keeping your mind racing? Are you able to combat that feeling? What is working? What is not? What have you tried? What are you excited about trying?

Help.

M.

Sven, the Laundry Pile

When I opened the door to the laundry room today I was surprised to see that the laundry was still there. Just sitting. Looking at me with those wild eyes–which turned out to be just a pillowcase stuck between a pair of underwear and the pants they were desperately trying to get out of. But I swear it looked like a pair of wild eyes. So there it sat, Sven, my laundry pile. Yeah, I named him. Years ago actually. When Jerimiah and I were just dating and our laundry basket sat at the end of the hallway and stared at me all day long. Sven. That’s his name, always has been, always will be. And while the world is sort of at a standstill right now. When we are just taking things one day at a time, praying for a vaccine, and social distancing from friends and loved ones, there is Sven, sitting there with his wild, underwear-pillowcase eyes, watching my every move.

Yesterday I did three loads of Sven, though I can’t tell you what a real load looks like anymore. Come to think of it, I couldn’t tell you what an appropriate size load even is. I’ve had people watch me load a washing machine and gasp, saying under their breath, “Holy Hell, she does such big loads!” While other friends have watched me load a washing machine and stopped me to give me tips on how to add more clothes. So honestly, I dunno, I did regular old loads of laundry yesterday. I’d say just imagine your load, then add five more pairs of jeans. That’s mine.

Because Sven is a mess, y’all. And I hate him with everything in my being. I hate to see him, but he’s always there! Even when he has JUST disappeared, I do one walk through the house and BOOM, he’s back. How do three humans go through this much laundry? And during a quarantine?! What the hell is happening?

I will admit there’s a lot more pjs in the laundry pile these days, but otherwise I’m like, “Where did this come from?” and “How did you wear three outfits in a day?” I finally had to break down and wash Jackson’s bathrobe today because shiiiiiiit! Then we had a talk about the importance of using deodorant even when we aren’t going to school.

I don’t know. I don’t know why Sven can’t take a fucking break. But he can’t. And he never will, and this is life. Laundry. Laundry. Laundry. Bleh.

You guys have a good day, okay? Me? Oh, I’m gonna go try to get rid of Sven again.

M.

If That Ain’t the Truth…

“I’ll tell you what…” What, Missy? That’s what my Mom says, she says, “I’ll tell you what…” usually followed by something Dr. Phil said on t.v. or how mad she is at Trump. (My Mom’s a secret Democrat, shh, don’t tell anyone. She voted for Hillary.) My Mom also says things like, “Shit! Ope! I didn’t mean to say that.” Cause she’s a Baptist. But when I was a kid she used to say things like, “Well fuck me runnin’,” and “I’ll be a monkey’s uncle.” I don’t know about that last one. What are you even talking about today, Missy? I don’t know. Listen, I don’t know you guys. I just got off the phone with my mom and she said “I’ll tell you what, Dr. Phil said mothers should be paid $100,000 a year salary, and if that ain’t the truth.” That’s another of Mom’s lines, “If that ain’t the truth…well then I don’t know what is.”

I think what you are seeing now is a small glimpse inside my brain and how it is functioning nowadays. It’s off kilter. To say the least. I think probably everyone’s is. My husband’s is. My son’s is. My Mom’s is. It’s mainly stress-induced, yeah? And we are all battling it. If you aren’t battling it right now, then you just aren’t paying attention. This is a trying time. A chaotic, miserable, traumatic time, and if you are getting up everyday, opening up the blinds, reaching out by telephone or text to someone, saying hello to a neighbor when you check the mail, actually walking to the end of the driveway or the end of the porch to check the mail, well then, you’re doing it! Look at you! You’re making it work. Because this sucks, y’all. There’s no way around it. And if that ain’t the truth…

Yesterday Jackson painted small birdhouses that I had bought eons ago and stashed away for a rainy-day art project. He painted them and rode his scooter around the neighborhood sticking them on front porches to brighten up our neighbors’ days. We hope it worked to put a smile on their faces, but what it really did was brighten up our day. Then I shared pictures of him doing it on Instagram to hopefully brighten up friends’ days. I hope that worked too. I’ll share them now with you guys too.

We also started painting rocks to hide for kids to find on our walks, because we have been walking everyday and everyday we see families out and about with small ones, burning off energy. Today we started another family art project. Because art seems to bring us back to center. I think it does a lot of people, if you let it.

Our governor finally did the right thing this week, and he announced a shelter-in-place order, and he announced that we won’t be going back to school this year. And I know, man I know, it’s tough for kids, espeically my kid. My kid, who’s been to three elementary schools and who really wanted to finish strong at this one, with the best teacher, and the coolest, smartest, kindest classmates anyone could ask for. But we are making it work, and we know it’s sad that they won’t have a fifth-grade graduation or a fifth-grade day ‘o’ fun, but it’s okay. It’s one more way we are learning about selfless acts, and helping the greater good. Fifth grade is turning out to be a massive learning experience.

So that’s the bright side, yeah? The one I’m looking at anyway. The learning, the loving, the community that is going on around us. I’ll tell you what, we are watching our world change, in real time, and it’s scary, and sad, and traumatizing on the bad days. But on the good days, it’s an exercise in patience, in kindness, and in love. Geez, if that ain’t the truth.

Stay well and safe, y’all.

M.