Thursday, July 28, 2011


I did a bad thing.

Okay, first let me back up a bit before I explain my transgression. I have been focussing on what I call "little irritants" lately. That is, things that people do that are irritating, but so little in the grand scheme of things that I won't typically mention them because it isn't worth the argument or, even worse, them deciding they don't like me for picking. But those things happen, and they happen to irritate me. Thanks to a wonderful thing called "marriage," poor Joe unwittingly bears the brunt of this silent habit of mine. Often something happens (something utterly miniscule), and I am forced to wonder if this is a diabolical plan on his part to see what I will do, or if he is inadvertently overlooking something minor. In other words, am I being tested, or is Joe just testing my patience?

Exhibit A: Sometimes the toilet paper will run out, and instead of a new roll magically appearing where it belongs, I will sit down to find it balancing on top of the empty one. Does Joe do this to see how long it will take before I decide to fix it? If that was his silent challenge, the answer is twice. I will, apparently, wait for a second new roll to present itself before I will break down and do it myself.

Exhibit B: I'm a wash as I go person when it comes to dishes. I hate dirty, murky-watered dishes sitting in the basin of our kitchen sink. How hard is it to rinse it, and place it in the dishwasher right after eating? And how, in the name of all things holy, can anyone stand a stack of dishes with milky-looking water stagnating in them?! In Joe's defense, he never leaves them overnight, but I just don't get it. Half the time I end up just doing it myself. Which, I guess, is payment for my coffee being made for me every night by my own barrista, Java Joe. He does make the best coffee...and, okay...I haven't exactly kept this particular complaint to myself.

Exhibit C: At our house, whomever finds the cat puke on the stairs cleans it up. Let's just say that sometimes I strongly suspect someone will find puke and purposely leave it for me to deal with. I know, I know. It's hard to believe, right? Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I threw up on the stairs...I mean, would Joe, Shakes, and Isabel all hop over it until it was so petrified they could just pick it up?

And really, I jest. These things are not deal breakers. Joe has overlooked my underwear on the floor, my hair rat that clogs up the sink, and the fact that I have taken over his recliner every night ever since I moved in (it's cooler than the couch!). And I love him. Did I mention that?

But this morning something bad happened. Worse than any of the aforementioned evidence presented, and I have to admit it was due to gross negligence on my part. As I was getting ready, I reached for my wedding ring, and my diamond earring kamikazee'd into my sink. It literally caught air, arced, and aimed itself straight at the drain. I immediately tried to take out the plug, but my previously mentioned hair rat was keeping it firmly in place. It was tragic. I immediately ran to Joe, who spent the next hour tearing the pipes apart, sweating his butt off, slaying the hair rat, missing his work out, and reassuring me that, no, there was no way I could help. In the end, we heard the satisfying plink of my earring as he retrieved it.

The point? Well, after mentally nit-picking poor Joe for the last few weeks, I'm the one who did the most negligent, dumbest thing of all.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summah Summah Summah Time....

"So what do you do all summer long?"

This is my most frequently asked question of late. One of the most touted perks of being a teacher is the vacation time. And I'm with ya, people! The time off is great. Even with the scary things happening in the field of education these days, it's one of the few bits of awesomeness related to my job that I'm still tenuously holding on to. That, and the molding young minds thing. I guess I'll file that under the "rewarding" category of my job as well.

After one of my most trying school years, this summer was long awaited (and needed) indeed. And embarrassingly enough, when people ask me what I'm doing with all my time, sometimes I'm at a loss as to what to tell them. Being on summer break is like Odysseus's foray into the Land of the Lotus Eaters. But instead of getting lost in an opiate-induced haze, I'm lost in the void of E! Television's top 50 countdowns, episodes of Hoarders, trashy novels, crossword puzzles, and the pool.

And (sniff) I'm sorry to say it's halfway over. Say it ain't so! I realize it's hard for non-teachers to feel at all badly for me, but it makes me feel a little sad. As usual, I haven't really accomplished as much as I wanted to, but I have learned some lessons this summer that I am willing to impart to people who have jobs to go to every day of the year (sounds depressing when I put it that way, doesn't it?).

#1 Even if you think you only need 7 hours of sleep, it is very easy to allow yourself to take 9. Usually I get irritated with myself that I've allowed myself to waste precious hours of awake time, but who am I kidding? I have nowhere to go most of the time. The recliner can wait.

#2 When you have this much time away from work, it is the optimum time to take a new hairdo out for a spin. I said goodbye to at least 9 inches of hair, and figuring out how to make it not look poodle-esque was a much calmer experience since I didn't have the added stress of 100's of smart-alecky teenagers telling me what a mess it looked like. You might think they don't care, but trust me, if they feel comfrtable enough to remark on my pedicure (or lack thereof), I know they could be capable of true evil.

#3 Facebook is not your friend. I have time on my hands, ergo I surf. And surf. And surf. I nose around in people's pictures, read statuses, check out links to crap I couldn't care less about, and "Like" everything. I miss my "in real life" friends, but really I just miss real entertainment. Real entertainment costs money, and I'm still on a budget despite all my spare time. It's a catch-22. And I do get to see my friends, but they're not really rolling on Reagan Time.

#4 Hoarders is the strangest, most disturbing show a person can ever watch. It's a train wreck, complete with people afraid to throw away dog hair, dolls, and 10-year-old bills. And it never fails to make me feel like the most organized, tidiest person out there.

#5 Venti coffees from Starbuck's are just too much damn coffee.

#6 Trashy novels are easier to read at the pool than classics. The sun seems to render my brain incapable of difficult reading. And I furrow my brow more, which we know ages a person. And I'm all about looking younger.

#7 Exercising doesn't have to feel like a chore. In the course of my directionless days, it's actually kind of an outing.

#8 With enough Googling, one can finish a crossword of any difficulty. And, no, I refuse to believe that's cheating. It's learning. It's looking up stuff (ahem, researching even). It's not like I'm plagiarizing a thesis. Sheesh!

#9 I can live without bread. Joe and I have gone "primal," and are eschewing all grains. I'm less bloated, don't eat between meals, and I'm actually never hungry. But you have dig meat! It's a meatstravaganza!

#10 I can wear the same outfit for three days in a row if I want to. Four if I don't go outside at all. Let's face it, no one sees me every day. I'm getting serious mileage out of my new pair of denim shorts. And don't judge. I'm lucky if I'm getting dressed at all most days.

So, people, that's what I'm doing with my summer. That's just how I roll.