Wherein the children and I pull one over on an unsuspecting dude named Justin

I was reading to the kids tonight and I got a text message.

"Hey," it said, innocuously enough.

I didn't recognize the number, but it looked vaguely familiar so I texted back, "Hey, who this be?" (Terrible attempt at being sort of funny in case I was supposed to recognize the number.)

Answer, "Sorry, wrong #, my mad honestly. But justin if ur wondering."

The kids and I weren't sure what this meant, but guessed that Justin was probably trying to say "my bad" unless "my mad" is a new thing people say when they're texting, which is a true possibility seeing as how I desperately try to ignore any and all texting abbreviations or slang. The kids and I agreed to be friendly sorts so Justin didn't feel bad.

I text back, "Ha. Well, good luck finding who you're looking for, Justin."

End of coversation, right? Wrong!

Justin texts back and says, "Okayy thanks. and would it be rude to ask ur name?"

The kids and I shared some glances and derisive hmphs and agreed that, yes, this was slightly creepy. I admit I did briefly think about just giving him my name and saying Bye, and then the nearly 10-year-old was like, "Um, isn't Justin a stranger?" And so, yes. I was like, "Crap! Yes. You're right!" Then I remembered to be a mom and told the kids you never give your name to a stranger, even if you are goofing around on your phone. (Well, I didn't say it exactly that way – I said it more parental-ly, and smarter-like.) Pretty much: your name + strangers = NEVER DO IT ESPECIALLY ON THE INTERNET OR AN INTERNET TYPE DEVICE EVEN IF YOUR MOM ALMOST FORGOT THAT RULE FOR JUST A VERY TINY BRIEF SECOND.

End of lesson, right? Wrong!

Instead of just letting creepy dogs lie, the kids and I decided to make up a name. Because this is what you do. We ran through some possibilities like maybe June or Myrtle or Augusta. Then the nearly 10-year-old had the best idea ever.

"Mom," he said, very seriously. Then with a grin, "You should tell him your name is Justin, too. That would be hilarious."

BAM. Perfect. That's my boy.

So I text back, "My name is ALSO Justin."

And we wait and wait and wait for a response, giggling and snorting.

Justin's response? "Really?"

And then he puts it all together and we get a withering "Whatever."

The children and I busted up laughing and I struggled to finished reading, and then we all agreed we had enjoyed a lovely lesson about… uh… messing with people who have the wrong number? How to successfully complete a reverse prank call? I'm not sure. But it was hilarious.  Poor Justin.


Treating myself to fancy thing— OMG MAKE IT STOP

OK, so yesterday I was not feeling great… like, existentially. I haven't been feeling great existentially for a little while now. But today I woke up and felt better. Just getting it all out there in the open made me feel better, and the fact that all the kids would be accounted for today so that I could have some quiet time to myself made me feel better, too.

So I pulled myself off the couch and traipsed off to Fancyland to get my hair cut. It was very lovely to get out of the house, and my very awesome hair stylest gave me some kind of "treatment" that has turned my frizzy white lady afro into a shockingly tame array of curls. I'm sure by tomorrow I'll be back to frizzy mayhem, but for now – HOORAY!

Feeling overly confident from the Taming Of The Hair, I decided to try a spontaneous pedicure at a little place not far from the Fancyland haircut place. I'd never been to the pedicure place, but was assured by another hairdresser that "it's not the place where you will catch some fungus" so I was sold!

Amazingly, the pedicure place was able to squeeze me. It was a nice little house, with fancy chairs and no fungi and claimed to be chem-free (or as chem-free as you can get when dealing with lacquers and solvents). Also important, it was not a hundred bajillion dollars for a 30-minute pedicure.

So I settled in with an ancient Real Simple and breathed deeply and went about having a nice lady massage my feet.

All good, yeah? Perfect rainy morning of pampering.


There was a fancy TV on in the background, playing a Rick Steves travel show. His soft murmuring in the background was kind of nice. I put the magazine down and closed my eyes, listening to Mr. Steves talk about cobblestones and monuments and death camps.

Wait, what?

Yes, friends. Death camps. It was apparently Rick Steves Tours Nazi Death Camp Day at the nail salon so I learned all about gas chambers and Nazi doctors and other horrible, horrible unspeakable things. All while having my heels buffed and polished. Because these are the things that happen to me.

When the pedicure was done, the nice lady asked how I felt about everything. I was all, "Well, I've decided to never vacation at a Nazi death camp!" And her eyes went wide. I think maybe she had not been listening as closely as I was. So I told her the polish was gorgeous, thank you very much, and I over tipped and then ran out in the rain to my car.


Come on.

Just. COME ON.


I just thought you’d like to know

 that I am in some kind of stasis at the moment. I'm not sure what has happened. Maybe I'm frozen in time, watching hundreds of years pass me by, so that I can be woken up and then asked to assist a future civilization in learning how to write pithy comments on whatever social media sensation they have implanted in their retinas.

Maybe I'm having trouble finding motivation because when I sit down to work I can only get an hour – tops – to myself. And that is usually at the end of a long day when I just want to watch stupid idiots on that Gold Rush show talk about glory holes in an absolutely sincere, non-porno way.

Maybe I've lost my will to put up with bullshit. But in this loss of the will to deal with bullshit, I've lost the will to do anything else, either. There are stacks of tedious things that Must Be Done. And the more they Must Be Done, the more I ignore them. This is very out of character for someone is OCD and afraid of paying bills late. And yet… waiting until the third notice to pay $22 to the radiologist is something I don't find particularly bothersome anymore.

Mostly, I just want to sit on the couch. But I don't really want that. I don't know what I want. Maybe I want a sensory deprivation tank. Maybe I'm already IN a sensory deprivation tank.

This is what happens to writers who are on submission and people who don't want to deal with medicaid and mothers who are starting to wonder if it can't just be OK for an almost four-year-old to hardly ever eat solid food.

I might be having a Total System Shutdown.

Though that sounds awfully melodramatic. I'm not melodramatic. I'm not anything. I'm just floating through a series of endless days that are all the same. They each have little pleasures like my afternoon iced coffee and waking up in the morning to several pairs of sparkling brown eyes that all are as thrilled to see me as I am to see them. But these days also have this never-ending loop of sameness.

I'm feeling like I might be on the verge of some kind of freak out, but I don't know which kind yet. Will it be the kind where I put on work gloves and throw all of the toys and furniture out on the curb for bulk pick-up day? Will it be the kind of freak-out where I start some horrifying habit like jogging? Will it be the kind of freak out where I put tarps over all of the screens in the house and start writing longhand while the children wail and gnash their teeth? What will it be? It has to be something. I can't keep sitting on the couch like this.

Sitting on the couch gives an impression of tolerance; that I tolerate that things are not quite right, that I tolerate that I am in stasis, that I tolerate that everyday is the same. And I don't want to tolerate any of this. Yet, I feel as weirdly powerless to fix it as I feel weirdly powerless to edit out all the "that"s in the horribly structured sentence above.


Maybe I really should start jogging.

God, that sounds terrible.

We got caught in extra traffic today because I stopped the car

to write this conversation down, word-for-word:

Me: How was your field trip?

Sam: We saw Santa Anna's favorite chamber pot.

Georgia: What did you ask him to bring you for Christmas?

Sam: Santa Anna, Georgia, not Santa! Santa Anna. The Hitler of Mexico!

Georgia: We learned about Mexican things today, too.

Me: I think Santa Anna was called something like the Napoleon of the West. Not The Hitler of Mexico.

Georgia: No. Santa lives in the North Pole. But what if he DIES?

Sam: Santa doesn't die. But Santa Anna did. [pause] In disgrace.


I should do something today

besides spill a container of yogurt all over my legs and kitchen floor. Thankfully, I can check that off my list.

I can also check off the list:

Watch Blue's Clues
Fight about eating food vs. drinking Boost
Make reservations for Cincy trip in June
Panic a little about Cincy trip in June
Think about going outside
Worry about  amount of bugs outside
Worry about amount of bugs inside
Try on new bra, ordered from Internet because the mall is gross
Think about the things I should be writing but am not writing
Pay a couple of bills, but not all of them, because that would be overacheiving
Think of almost-but-not-quite-funny Super Moon jokes
            "Let me finish this bag of M&Ms and I'll show you a super moon"
            "The neighbor was out gardening, and whoa THAT was a super moon"
            "Uteri everywhere huddle together, awaiting the super moon."
Think about making dentist appointments for the kids, don't make dentist appointments for the kids
Debate just giving in and letting Ike enjoy an all-liquid diet forever
granola bar

Pretty successful morning so far, I guess. But now it's time for the real work to begin.

*flexes fingers, stretches arms, discovers Ike-a-saurus has gone out front without me*

Outside, it is!

Have a nice, productive day, everyone.