How I Spent the First Day of School

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I’m deleting an email from Pep Boys. How the f*ck did I get on their email list? I don’t even go there. I don’t “do” cars. I drive them, but I leave the repairs to my motorhead husband. When he starts talking about anything beyond horsepower (which also means nothing to me, but don’t tell him), like intake manifold and camshaft bearing, I can seriously feel my eyes glaze over and the corners of my mouth slacken. I can tell you that we have a V-6, but only because I tried really hard to remember what he kept calling our 2012 Mustang. Which, by the way, I DO know isn’t the fastest engine we can buy.

I’m in the foulest mood I’ve been in, in years. First day of school is over, and it was all going so well. The middle school couldn’t accommodate a pre-first day 504 meeting last Friday (which, by the way, was – at the time –the only day they were available before the first day of school), but no matter – a phone call with the guidance counselor set everything straight and this morning I drove Veruca’s box of diabetes supplies to the nurse. The front office still looked a bit “frantic” just 20 minutes after the first bell, and I wished them all well as I said farewell, gloating only a little bit that I was going home to an empty house where all was peaceful. (Hey, they were all smiling like the cat that swallowed the canary on the last day of school. Paybacks are a bitch, ya’ll.)

Meanwhile, back on the cul de sac… After Veruca got on the bus, I returned home to an unlocked house and went straight to the bathroom. Where I realized I’ve been listening to too much Forensic Files on Sirius XM. For some reason I thought, shouldn’t I take my phone with me? What if someone got in the house while I was at the bus stop? And then I heard a loud noise and suddenly, the fear was real. I yanked up my pants and prepared to bolt out of the house when I saw Sabra just outside my door. (She literally drops to the floor like something straight out of a cartoon – throws all 4 legs in the air simultaneously and lands on her belly with a thundering bang. I kid you not.)

I went back to my grant research when a few minutes later, the doorbell rang. Who the f*ck is this now? (Because swearing is my go-to emotional outlet presently. Don’t worry, this will pass.) There was a beat up pickup truck in my driveway, and some middle-aged guy who was more middle-aged than me, was standing on my front porch. Again, John Walsh’s voice in my head, I debated on whether or not to open the door. In the end, I did, and this dude wanted to know if Ted’s truck was for sale, because he “just happened” to be driving though – a cul de sac, ya’ll – and noticed the truck just sitting there. I pondered the possibility that he was a) full of shit, because who just drives through a cul de sac, b) he was a serial killer, or c) really was just driving through because he has no job/life/wife and routinely turns onto deadend streets because Who the F*ck does that, really?

Meanwhile Sabra, who used to bark every time the front door opened, has stopped barking. For once I was wishing she’d do that vicious bellowing – that sounds dangerous until she rounds the corner and you see that she’s just a silly, fluffy poodle. She is seriously depressed, or seriously lost, without Pi. She rarely comes out of our bedroom unless she’s called, or some special food is offered (cause, ya know, dogfood is so “old school”), and I’m trying not to worry about it. Too much. I realized today that the “Grass is Always Greener” cliché is real. Her lack of interest in psycho-dude is rattling, for sure. Girlfriend is my last line of defense when a psycho killer-rapist come knocking.

So, the end of the day came quick and Veruca exited her bus like a champ. And climbed into my waiting vehicle like a bitch from hell. She demanded to know why she couldn’t walk home from the bus, and why I had to pick her up, etc., etc. I stopped talking to her, since my counselor told me that times like these, don’t join the party. (Side note: very effective long term – but really difficult to do when it’s happening.)

I was tempted to post something on FB about whiplash, but never got the chance before Todd came home too. Veruca had a serious low (aka, below-50 blood sugar) about an hour after coming home, so I now feel like a complete failure.

Meanwhile, back in Opac-land, football practice ended early today due to the heat, and he came straight home and crashed. He slept through “dinner,” which is currently some shadow of the real thing as V leaves for practice at 5:30 just as O is getting picked up, and it’s anybody’s guess if I-95 will allow Todd to get home before 7. We are eating in shifts.

Opac didn’t want to take out the trash, but moreover – he said if this schedule continues, he “won’t have time” to take out the trash and recycling like he used to. Yeah. He seriously said that to me with a straight face. I suggested that such a strident schedule might indicate that football was no longer necessary, if it interfered with homework and so on… and then I flipped out.

I am so NOT supposed to be winging it. But winging it, I don’t know how the next few weeks are gonna go, and all I can think about is how I don’t want to kill anybody. And it’s only the first day.

P.S. As if all this isn’t enough, the WordPress gods have supremely pissed me off. I checked my page here one day remotely, and was appalled to see an ad for Donald Trump at the bottom of one of my posts. SO, as if I don’t also have enough to do – let this be my first public political statement:

I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT SUPPORT DONALD TRUMP. NOT YESTERDAY, NOT TODAY, NOT – EVER.

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