Several Podvillians have said to me, when discussing whether or not a child should see a particular movie, "it's not the violence. It's the sex and the bad words."
I feel like I always give them the quizzical dog look when they say it. You know: head cocked to one side, ears perked up, mouth slightly agape as if a treat might be forthcoming.
It's mysterious. I can't wrap my brain around why cursing and sex are worse than watching people brutally shoot, beat, dismember or torture each other.
Damn! Motherfucker! Shit!
guys with gigantic guns spewing bullets that spray blood and brains all over the screen.
Sex: uh, it happens. It's a fact of life. What's the big deal? I just don't get it. I'd rather my kid watch an R-rated sex scene than a scene with a guy tied to a metal bed frame with electrodes attached to his nethers about to get electrocuted.
It makes no sense to me.
It might be a matter of sin-ordering: I tend to put homicide and torture and rape higher on the list of prohibited sins than cursing. I realize not everyone is on board with my moral code. And sex, particularly fake sex between two people who are pretending to be married for the sake of a movie, well, that's really really low on my list of sins.
Also: I find it much easier to explain sex to my kids than violence. Why do people have sex, Mom? Uh, easy one. Why do people build weapons of war and shoot and hurt and torture each other? Oh boy. Time to explain the mysteries of literature and art and religion and the human condition.
The writing did not go well today. The writing went so poorly, in fact, that I found myself thinking that maybe I was wrong when I thought I wanted to be a writer. Do this every day for the rest of my life?! Putting aside the rejections and goofiness and nerdiness of it, it's flat unpleasant. It can be unfun. I feel like I'm two years into a three year degree program and suddenly I'm realizing I might hate my chosen career.
Wait, that already happened to me.
Eventually someone will like something I write. It's inevitable, really. And then I'll feel compelled to keep doing it. So I should be glad I'm experiencing nothing but failure thus far. I can always change my mind and get a job as a barista (which I still secretly really really want to do. I would be an excellent barista. It's a job I've watched for some time because I know I have all the required skills in spades. Seriously. I would be the best barista you've ever seen).
I was feeling very relaxed, almost giddy with relaxation, until the boys started chasing each other around the upstairs and I suddenly remembered we have huge 6th grade projects coming up this week and an appointment with the mortgage people in the morning. Yuck. I'm only writing this post with 3/4 of my mind. With the other 1/4 I'm calculating whether I can get three kids successfully off to school in the a.m. and still manage to shower and dress and find two months of every kind of statement to take to the bank for my 9:00 a.m. appointment.
Because I really don't want to look for the statements right now.
A responsible person who considers the pros and cons of procrastination would look for them now.
The Friday night sleepover went well except that the foot pump on my bargain-basement inflatable mattress wouldn't inflate the mattress. A friend loaned me an ill-fitting battery-operated pump, but I couldn't use it in the room where we were sleeping because apparently, inflatable mattresses upset the tigers.
Yeah. Don't ask.
So I had to pump up the mattress in the hallway with an ill-fitting pump and then sneak it back into the sleeping room when the tigers weren't looking. This worked passably well. The reason it didn't work perfectly well is because the pump didn't inflate the mattress as much as it should have.
A half-inflated mattress is better than no mattress at all; I assume. I'm not sure if this is true. All I know is, to maximize the sensation of sleeping off the floor in a half-inflated mattress, a person needs to distribute her body weight as much as possible along the length of the mattress. This is probably easier for taller, skinnier people, like models. Then again, super-models likely don't spend their Friday nights on half-inflated mattresses in a room with eighteen first graders and at least four tigers.
Every time I rolled over or tried to get into my customary fetal position, my hips hit the floor.
But you were recently feeling giddy with relaxation, you say. What on earth happened?!
Monday is my eighteenth wedding anniversary. On Saturday we had babysitters and family members taking care of the kids from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. We rented a room in a nice hotel for free. It was free because my husband used his impressive balance of points to get us a nonsmoking room near the executive lounge, awesome, where they give out free beverages and snacks and whatnot.
Mr. OBL went home to relieve the babysitter at 10 p.m., leaving me in my own quiet hotel room until checkout this morning. Best. Anniversary. Present. EVER.
I drank a LOT of free coffee this morning and read a free copy of the Wall Street Journal in my silent free room.
My mother prefers things to experiences, as gifts. Her feeling is that a trinket or statuette or bracelet or what-have-you lasts forever, whereas a massage or a few quiet hours in a hotel room disappear forever into the gloom.
But yeah, I don't know. I have enough things that last forever. In fact, sometimes it seems like I have far too many things that will last forever. What I need is a few quiet hours here and there to help me cope with them.
I'd love to tell you all about it but one kid has a performance and the other one has a girl scout campout (I'm a chaperone) and someone lost a spelling journal and three fifth grade boys are fighting over the XBOX and I still have to find my inflatable mattress.
I went to battle with Medicare and won!
Solved a middle school snafu.
Life is good if only I didn't want to have adult pursuits outside of the business of managing my domestic duties.
I chose this life, right? It's my choice to imprison myself in a world of domesticity. It has nothing to do with my gender, but if it does it's only because biology is destiny, or if biology isn't destiny, it's because this is God's plan.
I feel a lot better.
Well. The spelling journal is turning into a very big problem. I better try to solve it.
I had two straight weeks with no free time which always makes me a total nutter.
But then, Thursday, I had nothing.
And today, again, I had nothing.
And tomorrow baseball is cancelled and the babysitter is coming and Mr. OBL is going out of town.
It's true that everyone has the same amount of time. I agree I don't need any more time. I have plenty of time. I have, in fact, exactly as much time as everyone else.
I just need a much better time distribution equation.
Because, as it happens, some things aren't well-suited to complete neglect for two weeks and then three straight days of immersion.
For example: exercise doesn't work well this way. Eating shouldn't be managed in this manner. Sleeping = another perfect example of an activity that requires small daily doses rather than bi-weekly excesses. Writing doesn't work very well on the bi-weekly binge plan. Dog walking....another problem. Dogs don't really like to stay inside for two weeks and then go out 5,000 times three days in a row.
I'm wondering if I gathered up all the little things I should do every single day in one place (like a list?) if they would prove to be too many things for one day. Also, I'm wondering if I created a time distribution equation that allowed me to do each of these things every single day without fail, would I ever get to do those weird, time-consuming extras that come up with upsetting regularity like mammograms or Colonial Day or 4th grade basketball playoffs?
With money, I can add up all the bills for the month and the total is less than the amount of Mr. OBL's paycheck.
I know, I know, I'm lucky. It's awesome.
That's not to say that we always have money leftover. I mean, we have all those weird little things that come up like nails in the tire or prescriptions not covered by insurance or tree limbs that fall on the house.
It's possible that I'm not a time-management moron. It's possible that I just have more time-bills than I have time on a daily basis.
I have enough time on a monthly basis. I know this because I just spent two days with tons of time and no idea which neglected thing I should do first.
So I just did the things I felt like doing. I'm probably going to be sorry about that when I'm busy again on Sunday.
How strange that a man wrote a piece for the WSJ explaining that my problem is not a Woman Problem. Or a Problem Of Me Not Being Awesome Enough (because really, how would that even be possible?). Or a Problem Of Me Not Thinking Ahead (because, seriously, I know that's not possible).
Yesterday my husband woke up feeling exceptionally tired and irritable after several days of irritability. I was beginning to lose patience with his irritability, if you must know. I require a lot of witty repartee. Or, failing that, a lot of soul-searching conversation. Or failing that, a lot of optimistic entertainment. Even the least irritable man in the world would find me exhausting, after a while. Mr. OBL is not the least irritable man in the world under the best of circumstances.
After he bit my head off and I turned around and eviscerated him in return, he suggested we go get coffee together before starting our respective days.
At the Starbucks, he talked about how tired he was and how he felt overwhelmed by his job and a little bit like he might be at the end of his rope.
I was so excited he opened this door for me, because I'm great at soul-searching conversation about how the system, man, the culture, these roles, the way the world expects us to behave.......how it's all just bleeding us dry, and we should consider going on a two-year RV homeschool adventure through the National Parks (damn you, sequester and budget cuts!!).
Let me tell you, I was really in a groove, I was hitting all the key points, patriarchy is destroying both of us, babe, it's not fair to you either, it's killing me, living this life, but it's killing you too, this is THE MAN we're talking about here, we have no life balance, we have no family balance, we're out of whack, man, do you feel me? Are you picking up what I'm putting down? We could drop marriage therapy and stop taking all these pills, man, it's about LIFESTYLE, it's about killing yourself because it's what they WANT, It's like when I stopped eating gluten and it started a whole revolution in the food industry...............
And he said he was going to take the day off and maybe go back to bed and I thought I'd unlocked the key to a new way of ordering our lives.
But then it turned out he had a virus and a fever and he just needed to sleep it off for a day.
But on the bright side, I have two full days of writing in front of me and I'm cranked up on some serious caffeine. So The Man will just have to suck it for a couple of days and try to kill me again beginning on Monday.
ALSO: fuck you, sequester, I don't need your stinking park rangers to wander the Mariposa Grove. LINK.