Ok, so I’ve been MIA for a while. I have a really good excuse. But before we get to that, I haven’t actually been hiding. I’m the woman in front of you in the self check-out line, scanning fruits without codes and struggling to fit all my groceries into one bag on that one little square foot of space where you have to “please place the item in the bag” as the bag bulges and finally topples over, my longer hair now falling over my face like Cousin It. I’m the chick behind you at the red light, tapping my foot on the gas in the black Mustang, impatiently waiting for green and pretending to still be young in my black leather jacket and Jessica Simpson glamour-glasses. I’m still lurking on Facebook, but I find I have less and less to say. I’m following my various friends around in cyber space like some schizophrenic stalker, finding heartbreaking sympathy for many whose daily challenges seem as endless as mine do, feeling simultaneously proud and green with jealousy toward my fellow runners who ran their 5ks, 10ks and even the Disney Princess Marathon (the nerve of some people), and “liking” a good diabetes day or a bottle of Flaming Poo Hot Sauce (yes, this is a real product).
I’m trying to keep myself out of trouble. I have written, or started to write, a half dozen posts that are brazenly inappropriate at this point so close to the date of the upcoming custody trial. I really feel I need to get it off my chest, these little blisters on my incredulous soul that just need to be p-o-p-p-e-d before I explode and go all postal on the lying little hemorrhoid causing my anxieties. Oh how I can’t wait to share all the “blemishes” (better resembling some serious acne) of my character that were conjured up during the evaluation process. You wouldn’t believe some of the things I’ve heard I’ve done…. As a matter of fact, even I can’t believe it. Where have I been that I missed all that??! I think he is right about one thing – I’m definitely not the woman he thought he married. However, all these little pots –er, posts – are set to boil on the gas range of my existence… and soon enough they will bubble over and we will need a serious clean-up crew sometime in June.
I am trying to keep these things to myself. My fiancé, for one, is sick to death of hearing about it. No matter how much fun it is to run a pig through the mud, we have spent way too many nights talking about “it.” It’s everything. It’s nothing. You name it. At some point you gotta let go, right? And I’d love to – except that every time my mind starts meandering toward Joy, I get another email from my own personal legal department. Followed by the bill. I look for things to distract me – like my schoolwork, or back episodes of Grey’s or Survivor (don’t tell me that show isn’t real), a bag of kettle-cooked salt and vinegar potato chips, Words with Friends – which I am undeniably and ridiculously BAD at, for someone with a degree in English for cripes sake , work – which is a wonderful distraction filled with scores of interesting people I just can’t get enough of, and wedding planning. Todd thinks I’m purposely putting off decisions about an event we are careening toward at what now seems a speed faster than online bill pay, what with it scheduled to occur less than one week after the custody trial. This part was not planned. We picked our date long before the new trial date was set. But who knows? Maybe the hemorrhoid will come up with another snafu to delay a real decision from the powers that be. So what? I’m still a rock star…. I mean, I’m still gettin hitched, come high or hellwaters. All I can say at this point – Bring it.
Anyway………. I am NOT avoiding decisions. I’m just really, really bad at them sometimes. I am indecisive. I am a procrastinator. I am a Gemini. I am without a calendar or any sense of time, sometimes. I woke up one morning and it suddenly occurred to me I have less than 2 months to plan an intimate wedding for 50. Thank God my mom owns the venue. So what if I have no dress, no shoes, no cake – at least we’ll all have food and shelter, right? There is that little matter of an officiant…..
So the kids are doing okay. People always ask. I always say the same thing. I am not at liberty to say anything else, and even if I was – I wouldn’t discuss them. They’ve been through enough. They don’t need me telling the world their confessions to me. So I make them healthy foods they won’t eat, throw them in the shower before they stink, let them play endless video games, and have the nerve to put them in their separate beds at a decent school-recommended hour. I check on them while they sleep.
The other night when I looked in on each of them while they slept, I reveled in their angelic features – these beautiful little cherubs I creep up on in the middle of the night are the same offspring who by day are screaming hatred eternal at each other, begging for money to buy just one more pack of Pokemon cards, and occasionally calling me the worst mom ever because I won’t give her – um, I mean, them – what they want. Nonetheless, they are well-adjusted. Don’t everyone’s kids roll around on the floor hitting and kicking each other and swear one another off in a very outspoken request for a “different” sibling – or none at all? Don’t all children punch their dad and call him a f-ing idiot?? (Sorry, this is technically hearsay, though I heard it from a very reliable source.) I haven’t been around other people and their kids too much lately – except for the other day at Costco, where I could hear some poor child screaming for liberty in a shopping cart no closer than the other side of the store and thought to myself, thank goodness I don’t have to deal with that today. I used to look at those parents – before I was one – with something resembling horror. Today, I feel nothing but the utmost compassion as I run the opposite way with my eyes averted.
Then I go back to sleep and dream of my lawyer in some alternate universe where he’s smiling behind his big mahogany desk like a big Jewish Willy Wonka high on Matzojuana handing out bags of chocolate balls, but I have no place to put them because I lost my purse. (Note to self: lay off the Lindt truffles before bed.) Todd shows up somewhere in this dream, after I’ve fallen down the proverbial rabbit hole into a subway tunnel where every faceless someone is racing around playing hide the ball with my missing purse. He tells me he can’t find my purse, but he’ll keep looking and then, thank GOD, my alarm to check Ava goes off. Perhaps my lost purse is a metaphor for my finances, or maybe even something more profound and …. deep. Or my lawyer – as a reminder not to take all this so seriously (even though the living, breathing one very much does). Either way, if I’m Alice in Wonderland, then my lawyer must be the god-dammed March Hare. And, if I don’t stop writing now, I’ll be late for tea.