… God letteth me take the rest of the world's crap, so you don't have to.
No, really. The reason you're all out there winning lotteries, getting promotions, avoiding toe fungus and staying so young looking is because I've taken on all the frustration in the world on your behalf. You're welcome, but I'm sure as hell not thankful.
It's not like Christ frustration. I haven't had to yell at money lenders, tell people to leave whores alone or stretch fish and bread into a meal for hundreds. At least not lately. But yesterday was a trial by fire, nonetheless.
First, the teenager. Despite the fact Paul yelled at our daughter FIVE TIMES to get her @$$ out of bed and up and dressed, she still managed to miss the school bus. By half an hour. So, who's the one who had to get out of a warm bed and drive her? The one forced to cut her sleep short by half an hour?
And in pajamas, no less. Now that would have made a pretty picture had I been pulled over on suspicion of drunken driving, weaving all over the road, grabbing for my coffee.
Later, after I dropped the boys at school, I went straight to the gym. I felt all virtuous and superior. I was doing something positive! For a change.
I figured I could get in a good hour's worth of cardio work before I had to be home to field a call from my doctor (wait for it). First I realized I'd forgotten my i.d. card, which wasn't a big deal. Then I took a look at the clock and got a shock. Turns out, after all that driving past construction, through detours that make the most complicated maze look like nothing, I had just under half an hour's worth of sweat time if I was going to make it home to shower before I got my "Are you still alive? Because I still have car payments to make, you know." phone call.
I made it home with time to shower and dry my hair before my doctor called, to talk about this week's reasons I wished the new health care package came with a bonus cyanide pill. Before we hung up I asked, "How many of your clients do you call between sessions?"
"Oh. It's just you."
"I feel so special!"
"You are…. special."
And, if you're wondering? Yes, she blocked her home phone number.
I had it in my head yesterday morning I needed to start dressing like someone about to earn her $ 25,000 Master's degree, instead of someone easily confused for a unisex fast food worker. I tried on a few skirts, rejected them because I had nothing that matched, then dug into my dress section – otherwise known as the floor of my closet, where the dust bunnies and icky bugs hang out.
The first dress I tried - one I wore for my daughter's first communion, it so happens – looked fine from the front. It zipped! I was so excited. Then I turned sideways and reality dawned. Wearing this dress could have entitled me to the "Expectant Mothers" parking spot at the mall.
Really long story short, I wound up in my spiffin' navy blue polka dot dress, the one with the white buttons the size of hubcaps. I have no idea what I was thinking when I bought it. I'm sure it would look really hot on an 80 year old – and I should have left it for her. Good news is, because it's made from a polyester blend, it'll still be just as hot in forty years, when I can find out for myself. The other bonus is this dress, unlike the other, is minimally tailored, more effectively hiding the worst of my post-partum bump – from the child I had 12 years ago.
Once I'd chosen the dress it struck me I don't own even one pair of nylons, since I hadn't worn a dress in what seems like 25 years. Hmm, thinks I. I'll just stop by Target, which is on the direct path to work, and pick up a pair.
Since I haven't worn nylons in ages, that means I also haven't worn heels. I had to search in our official "shoe bins" to find something more suitable than gym shoes. When I scored one of my patent leather, three inch heeled pumps I was ecstatic – after I emptied the kibble out of them, that is, because we store the dog food on top of the shoe bins (don't ask). Ten more minutes, and one additional cup of kibble later, I had in my hand the matching black patent shoe.
Time was a little on the tight side – like most of my clothes - but I figured with a little luck I'd make it to work at a reasonable time. Waiting at the light just before Target I was ready to hit the gas the second the light turned green. But, someone apparently didn't get the memo. Just as our light was on the verge of changing, an ambulance screamed through the intersection – the result of someone's poorly planned "emergency." Instead of our light changing, our turn was skipped. No problem. Only another three or so minutes added to the itinerary. I could make that up blowing a couple stop signs and pretending not to see pedestrians.
Clomping from my car into Target, it occurred to me why I'd stopped wearing heels. I suck at walking in them. Wobbling and struggling to keep my balance, even the snails zipped past me, laughing and pointing their little slimy, snaily little fingers at me. Now that was uncalled for. I'll remember that the next time I'm at a French restaurant ordering hors d'oeuvres. Oh, la la, Monsieur Snail!
Adding injury to insult, once in the store I realized I still had a piece of kibble in each shoe – in the ball of my foot in one shoe, and the heel in the other – pieces that worked their way into uncomfortable spots I didn't know I had on my feet. I know now. Do I ever.
I still made it to work on time, punching in at the stroke of 12:00 – successfully fighting the urge to throw my head back and cackle in victory. I darted into the bathroom, to quickly shimmy into what I'd thought would be a suitable size of nylons after having studied the chart. My big worry was I'd put a finger through them, causing a run before I'd even gotten them on. I wasn't expecting they'd be about two sizes too small. After all that pulling, tugging and swearing, they ultimately wound up no higher than a few inches under my baby bump, viciously digging in where no item of clothing should ever dig in.
That's okay, thinks I. They'll stretch out, then later I'll pull them up higher. No one will be the wiser. I'll just grin through the discomfort, hoping they don't work their way down to my ankles in the meantime.
And they did eventually stretch a little, after an hour or so. They made it over the baby bump, but being creatures of habit they still felt most comfortable rolling right back under my stomach. Every fifteen minutes I'd go to the bathroom to pull them up, and five minutes after I was back at my desk they'd roll right back down again. Eventually it got to the point I didn't bother going into the bathroom. I was so frustrated I just pulled them up wherever I was. Damn femininity! Then I noticed I was tucking my dress into the waistband of the nylons, in the process of pulling the bastards back up. Not such a good look, if you're considering it.
I refrained from pulling and tugging during my stint at the reference desk. I was too busy to care much, between providing vital answers to burning questions like, "Where are the computers?" (Correct answer: Right in front of you, in the middle of the room, filling half the library. They're right next to the people with their hands on keyboards. I can see why you didn't notice them, since we don't have burning torches to light your way, or some guy with a megaphone screaming, "Computers!.") and answering the questions of an extremely hard of hearing patron:
Me: "We don't have the book. Would you like me to put it on hold for you, then call you when it comes in?"
Me: "I SAID, WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO PUT IT ON HOLD FOR YOU? OUR COPY IS CHECKED OUT!"
Patron: "Do you have – insert title – then?"
Me: "I'll check."
Me: "I'LL CHECK!" then, "No, we don't have that one, either."
Me: "WE… DON'T… HAVE… IT! DO… YOU… WANT… IT… PUT… ON… HOLD?"
Patron: "NO, JUST PUT IT ON HOLD." (Tosses card at me like a farmer throwing grain to his chickens.)
For the record, she'd have looked stunning in my dress.
After my noon to 9:00 p.m. shift I could not get home, out of my dress clothes, and into bed quickly enough. Comfort, finally, after a disastrous day that felt longer than most weeks. I went to bed early for a change, completely disgusted with day one of my new "let's dress like a professional" resolution, wondering if I have what it takes to be a sanitary engineer, how much it pays, and how satisfying it would feel to dump my dress and nylons into a truck that would squish them to nothing but a soul-scarring memory.
The bummer part is I'll need to keep up the more professional image. Maybe if I buy – gulp – larger nylons it won't be quite as bad next time. At the least, maybe I won't look like a pregnant woman with a nervous affliction.
Incredible to think something that weighs so little can cause such a big pain in the @$$, but that's precisely what they did. The tottering in heels was one thing. That skill I can eventually get back, with practice. But those stubborn nylons made me yearn to stick myself in a shredder. Short of stapling them to your torso, there's nothing you can do with an undersized pair of nylons. Except work out, and eat less cookies. But even that won't do you a bit of good when you're stuck in them all day.
I'm going now, to work out. I'll try to refrain from sticking my head in a bag of cookies when I get home. Then I'll take the offending nylons to the back yard, where I'll ceremoniously burn them. It's probably a better option than running screaming through the neighborhood, my other choice. Who knows? Maybe the workout will calm my shattered nerves. Isn't that what it's supposed to do? Then again, dressing professionally is supposed to make you feel better about yourself, too.
Ah, for the days when screaming at money lenders was considered a big deal. Putting them all in nylons would have been a much better form of reprisal. Maybe I'll suggest that to The Big Guy, next time he turns his attention back around to me.
That should be sometime around the next big plague, when he sends me out to "check on things." Can't wait.