On Monday I spent several hours at the doctor with one of the kids. I then fed said child, ran her home, picking up groceries on the way, heaved the groceries inside the house, and headed back down the steep hill that is my driveway to get to school in time to teach my class. Because I am only capable of remembering about 65% of what I need to remember, moments later I ran back to the house for something I forgot, only to discover that my books had arrived. I stared at the box of books and asked myself the question I ask each day when I come home to find a package, a grocery order, or even a pressing problem which needs my attention: SHOULD I OPEN THE BOX OR PEE FIRST?
I opted to open the box which meant that peeing would have to wait until after my class because I was really tight on time, and because I like to wait until my bladder is at maximum capacity before I do anything about it. This is why the picture I got of this pretty epic moment looks like this.
I am wearing my coat because I am always in between errands (and because I never know when I’m going to need it again, so I may as well just leave it on).
I am crouched down because I really have to pee. I always really have to pee.
The next day I had a phone interview with my local newspaper, The Riverdale Press, to discuss the book. The call happened at 4.45 on a weekday which means that to make it happen, I raced home with the kids, dropped them in front of the first screen they saw, and ran to up my bedroom. There, I double locked the door and shoved a pillow in the tiny space underneath.
I resisted all the ensuing knocking and crying that tried to seep in. (“She hit me.” “I want a snack. Get me a snack.” “She hit me again.” “He hid the remote.” “She’s still hitting me.”)
The lovely reporter asked me lots of questions. What does my typical day look like? (I wake up and shout for an hour and a half, the kids go to school, I go for a run in the park, I come home and write, on some days I teach, at some point I remember that people will want to eat dinner which means food procurement and preparation, the kids come home, I shout until they go to bed. Sometimes I fall asleep on the couch.)
Because of the book’s title, the reporter asked me whether or not I was a trophy wife, or whether any of my friends were trophy wives. I told her that my trophy wife is a stand-in for the friends that we have who are married to men we don’t like. (But that is a whole other blog topic.)
The call went quite well and then a few minutes later she phoned me back to ask if they could send a reporter to take a picture of me in my ‘natural habitat.’ I told her that my natural habitat was in the kitchen with children and a cat underfoot, and naturally I am always yelling. She said terrific, we’ll see you tomorrow at 3:30.
At 3:30, a lovely photographer named Julius showed up to take lots of pictures of me, the kids, and for some reason, the cat. (Lois is not in the least camera shy.) It just so happens the kids were getting haircuts in the dining room (I quickly learned that haircuts should always come to me, because while my kids can sit through their own haircuts they most certainly cannot sit through other people’s haircuts, and there is only so much entertaining I can do in a salon.)
One by one, the girls swanned into the kitchen with freshly shorn hair, showing off their blowouts. The cat tried to jump up onto the counter. Everyone tried to look as helpful as possible which is something of a departure. When I went outside to grill, and dug the barbecue out of the snow (picture taken), I proceeded to slip on my backside because I wanted to wear cute metallic slides for this nice photographer and not snow boots.
The phone rang on and off during the shoot. People came to the door, packages were delivered, and while my boys made themselves scarce, my name was called once every three minutes. The cat got skittish. Things came in and out of the oven and the girls capped it all off by squeezing half a bottle of ketchup into a crockpot. Naturally, I had to pee the entire time, but didn’t.
“You’ve got a lot going on here,” the nice photographer said. He left and I made a beeline for the bathroom.
“No joke,” I thought to myself. “No joke.”