The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

Yearly Archives for 2013

The Duck Dynasty Boycott Flow Chart

Yesterday, while watching the Duck Dynasty/Phil/GQ/A&E drama unfold on social media, I got really confused about whether or not it’s socially and politically acceptable for me to be watching Duck Dynasty. I mean, what does it really say about me as a person if I tune in?

So I decided to take a crack at a quick flow chart to help me navigate the complicated Duck Dynasty controversy and answer the question, Should I boycott the show? (click to enlarge):

duck dynasty corrected typo

And there you have it! The answer is simple. You’re welcome and Happy Friday!

Dante’s Inferno: The Holiday Card Edition

The 9 Circles of Holiday Card Hell

Circle 1 – Taking the family photo

Approximate time budget: 3 hours

Level of emotional distress: 8

In this circle of hell one of your kids will flat out refuse to wear what you’ve picked out for him, one will put it on, but accompany it with a permanent sullen facial expression and one will have already grown out of whatever you picked out 3 days prior. Your husband will sigh and roll his eyes like he’d rather be getting an enema and eventually you’ll break down and feverishly oscillate between murderous threats and doleful begging to get them all to stand together, pretend like they like each other and smile.

Circle 2 – Choosing which photo to use

Approximate time budget: 1 hour

Level of emotional distress: 5

The one photo where you look thin, your hair is cute and you’re smiling, pictures your husband scratching his nose, your youngest crossing his eyes and your middle son making that forced smile face that makes him look like a sociopath. In the one shot where everyone is looking in the general direction of the camera, there’s a shadow across your face that makes you look like you have a mustache. In this circle of hell, you must choose between those two.

Circle 3 – Uploading the photo to Costco’s website to create the card

Approximate time budget: 3 hours

Level of emotional distress: 7 (with a dash of murdery)

Everyone on the planet is trying to upload photos to the site and order their cards at the same minute you are. You have to sit at the computer and watch it try to upload because if you don’t keep it from going to sleep the application will time-out. You’re forced to start over 4 times. On the 4th time you tell your laptop you’re going to run it under the faucet it to teach it a lesson if it doesn’t upload the goddamn photo within the next 6 minutes. This seems to work, strengthening your suspicion the computer sometimes fucks with you just to be funny.

Circle 4 – Realizing you made an error on the card and trying desperately to cancel the order before they’ve been printed so you can redo it

Approximate time budget: 45 minutes

Level of emotional distress: 11


Circle 5 – Updating your address list

Approximate time budget: 8 hours

Level of emotional distress: 9 (emphasis on the humiliation and misery)

This is where you go through the list of people you sent cards to last year and try to guess who could have moved, changed marital status or ceased to be alive. Then you go through and individually Facebook message or email those who you think could potentially live somewhere new. Not only is it ridiculously time-consuming and tedious, but it brings to light people who have deleted their Facebook accounts or unfriended you, triggering a 2 hour shame spiral where you read all your old social media posts wondering which could have been the super offensive one that would make someone unfriend you or if it’s just that you talk too much in general, online. Then you drink a bottle of wine and try to convince yourself it’s ok if not everyone loves you.

Circle 6 – Merging your contacts with a program that will print labels

Approximate time budget: 2 hours

Level of emotional distress: 6

At this point you’re already drunk and depressed, so when you can’t remember how THE FUCK to make your contacts application put the names and addresses in the correct format, you’re not surprised. Most of the allotted time on this activity is spent refilling your glass and fighting with your husband because the particular Contacts application you’re using was his idea.

Circle 7 – Giving up and hand-addressing your cards

Approximate time budget: 12 hours

Level of emotional distress: 4

Eventually you become so frustrated with the computer and its insistence upon acting like an asshole that you decide you’ll show it and begin hand-addressing all of the cards. I can get these done tonight, you say to yourself. By the end of one hour you’ve addressed exactly 41 cards, you’re getting arthritis, and your handwriting looks like you let your 6 year old do them. You’re also pretty sure your laptop just gave you the finger and giggled when you turned around.

Circle 8 – Stuffing and licking

Approximate time budget: 6 hours

Level of emotional distress: 7

This shouldn’t take long! Headdesk.

Circle 9 – Delivering them to the post office

Approximate time budget: 30 minutes

Level of emotional distress: 26

It’s 4:55PM and if you get them to the post office today this whole nightmare will be over and you can move on to the next version of Hell: buying Christmas presents. With your children in the car you drive to the nearest post office and through that little one-way loop with the row of mailboxes. You pull up to the first one and start dumping cards in the box. The line behind you quickly stacks up, but you can only feed in like 5 at a time and then you have to run around back to grab more. As the car in front of you exits, you jump in the car and pull up to the next mailbox to move forward and let people behind you use the first one and several cards fall out of your hatchback onto the street. One gets run over by the car behind you. You realize this mailbox has a sign that says ‘Stamped Mail’. You didn’t notice any sign on the previous mailbox, so it’s very possible you just put 30ish of your holiday cards in a completely incorrect box. They’ll probably end up in Yugoslavia. You jump out of the car, shouting at your oldest to help you shove the remaining cards into the box. The cars behind you start honking because you’re taking too long so you burst into tears and shout at them, MERRY FUCKING CHRISTMAS, YOU ASSHOLES.


Car Rides Home With Ben

Everyday I pick Ben up from eighth grade and he gets in the front seat and tells me about his day. I could probably just record each of the stories he tells me and blog every single one of them.

Today – 

Me: So how was your day?

Ben: It was ok, with the exception of one minor hiccup.

Me: Oh yeah? What went wrong?

Ben: Well, we had spelling bee tryouts in English…

Me: Really? You used to be so good at the spelling bee!

Ben (with a withering glare): Mother. I am still an excellent speller.

Me: So you made the spelling bee?

Ben: Well… no. Mr. Mitchell had us all lined up and he started out with words like ‘mononucleosis’, which I totally would have gotten right, and ‘parquetry’-

Me: What does ‘parquetry’ mean?

Ben: I have no idea. The words were insanely hard right from the start. He was being evil about it. The first seven people who went all spelled their words wrong and were out of the running. When it was my turn he gave me ‘inimical’. Apparently it means overly negative or hostile. He said he picked it specifically for me because my journal entry was especially negative today. When I spelled it wrong he said, “Class, that’s what we call irony.”

Me (giggling): You probably deserved that. What was your journal entry on?

Ben: It was about how, oddly enough, sometimes stewing in a pit of your own self-pity and resentment towards others is actually quite cleansing.

Me: Stewing in self-pity and resentment is cleansing?

Ben: Yes.

Me: I see.

Ben: In science we’re doing a debate on genetically modified crops. I had to pick a side and defend it. Where do you stand on that issue?

Me: Well, I don’t know that I actually have enough information about either side to definitively pick right this second, but-

Ben: Oh Mom, just pick!

Me: You’re interrupting!

Ben: I know, I’m feeling inimical.

Me: You’re exhausting.

Ben: Why do so many people say high school and jr. high were the worst years of their lives?

Me: I liked high school.

Ben: You were probably one of the people making it miserable for everyone else.

Me: What?! No, I really don’t think that’s the case…

Ben: I know, I was being inimical again.

Me: Well at least we’ve all learned a new word today.


Channeling The ‘My hair just burnt off.’ Girl

Well then… that last blog post was a wee bit more controversial (and read) than I expected.

I’ve never really been popular enough to have trolls before, so that’s been an interesting development the last couple of days. Some guy on Twitter said:

This article made me genuinely mad

“Yeah, you can have abs, but you’re sacrificing a cheeseburger, leading to depression” (Paraphrasing)

and then, The human race is worthless

I wanted to give him a hug and ask him if he was taking all his pills.

Apparently I’ve been doing it wrong this whole time trying to build an audience with all the flailing around spending hours constructing a humorous narrative or building an elaborate satirical flowchart. I clearly should have been funneling my energy into writing about stuff everyone’s already super worked up about. Therefore, next on the agenda: Obamacare and breast-feeding; I heard they both cause cancer. After that I’d like to talk about twerking and why I think it should be taught to all seventh grade girls.

But really, I think what we’ve learned through this experience is there are two distinct types of people in this world: those who dip their pizza in ranch dressing, and those who do not. Even though we both have strong feelings about our positions and we’ll never see the world from each other’s perspectives, I think we need to work towards respecting and accepting each other. All we need is love, people (and ranch dressing).

This post doesn’t really have a point except to get something else on my site because the other one was stressing me out. So, in other Friday news:

Jason’s taking me to a work function tonight and I was going to wear cute pants and a sparkly sweater, but then I heard it was ‘cocktail’ but ‘not tie’ attire, so I had to try on everything I own and take selfies to send to my friends this morning to decide what to wear. No man should have to bear the burden of having the wife at the fancy company management dinner who has blue hair, is excessively chatty after 2 cocktails and is underdressed. It’s just not fair to put him in that position.

I also got overly aggressive with my round brush and hair-dryer this morning and singed off a chunk of my bangs. It was like that video of the girl, but with fewer teaching moments. I haven’t decided if it’s unnoticeable enough or I need to cover it somehow. I feel like if Jason has to be the guy at the work dinner with the drunk, blue-haired, underdressed wife who also has a merkin glued to her forehead, he might just be better off hiring an escort.

Gray (9) has his first orchestra concert next Monday. Last night at dinner, he and Jonas (6) were discussing it:

Jonas: Gray says he’s going to have a concert at school during that day, too, that I’ll get to see him play at.

Me: Oh yeah?

Jonas: Yeah, but he’s not allowed to wave at me.

Me: No?

Gray: No, my teacher said we can’t wave.

Jonas: But he said he’ll go like this when he sees me *gives a dedicated gansta nod*.

Gray: *also gansta nodding* That’s what I do to say hi when I don’t want to wave.

So I haven’t learned exactly where it is that men learn that Joey-from-Friends ‘how you doin’ head nod, but it obviously happens early in life.

That’s it around these parts. Carry on.


‘Having It All’ is not a real thing.

whats your excuse mom


I’ll try to keep this brief because so much has already been said about this picture, but I have a couple of thoughts.

The first time I saw this, I wanted to like it. I wanted to feel empowered and motivated. If she’s saying, Hey! Just because I birthed these monkeys doesn’t mean I can’t still look stupidly hot! I’m kind of into it. Moms are often typecast as out-of-shape, frumpy and exhausted. It’s doesn’t suck to have a representative of our kind doing a little bit of positive PR work on the Mommy Image.

I, also, am all for women (people, really) being proud of their own hard work. You don’t get muscle definition like that simply from genetics. She’s put some hours and pain into sculpting that physique. Good for her!

But of course, the three words at the top leave a gnarly taste in my mouth. 

The implication here is that Maria Has It All. She’s also inferring you could Have It All if you only work harder. Oh you have kids? Look, I have kids and my body is banging. You should try harder, is what she wants you to know.

Let’s take just a moment to discuss this idea of Having It All. Having It All is the female-invented idea that we can somehow do-all and be-all if we just work hard enough. Having It All masquerades as a feminist concept (Womyn power! We can do anything we want to!) but is actually just another self-defeating mythological impediment to happiness and sanity we’ve foisted upon ourselves.

No one Has It All. Every single minute of every day, each woman (mother, businesswoman, athletic model, etc) sacrifices something in favor of something else. We each constantly weigh the pros and cons of every minute we spend doing one thing and every calorie we intake.

Maria chose to have children AND abs. While it’s a combination that can be tricky to maintain, it’s obviously doable. I guarantee, however, she sacrificed many things to make those two work. For instance, she clearly sacrificed the joy of eating a bacon cheeseburger or pizza dipped in ranch dressing. She also probably doesn’t get to toss back half a bottle of wine a night. But beyond that, I bet she didn’t have time to hand knit her family holiday gifts. And the sure bet is she didn’t bake cookies for her kids’ teachers on their birthdays. It’s possible she doesn’t get enough sleep and therefore doesn’t have time for sex with her husband. She probably doesn’t have much time for happy hour with girlfriends (and judging on the things she’s said surrounding all of this, she’s hard to be friends with anyway). She might be shitty at her job. She probably has no idea who Tyrion on Game of Thrones is. Maybe she does squats instead of tucking her kids in at night.

The problem with this photo is we don’t see her unsatisfied husband, disappointed clients or unfulfilled knitting dreams. We only see her attractive children and her abs.

I’m happy for Maria with her cute boys and her abs. I would like to have abs like that too. But I don’t want those abs more than I want pizza dipped in ranch dressing. I make lots of healthy food choices, but I am not interested in living in a world where I never eat In and Out as a second dinner at midnight after a show. This is my choice, not my ‘excuse’.

I have a lot. I have a gorgeous (smart, healthy) family. I’m in pretty good shape. My business is successful. I work hard to stay creatively fulfilled through my writing, dance and circus class. But I do not Have It All. I still haven’t put Halloween decorations away and there’s a empty ginger ale 12-pack box on the floor of my kitchen that’s been there for 3 days. I should read more to my younger two kids at night. I never (no, really, NEVER) write thank you notes. I haven’t paid my quarterly taxes for the last half of the year. I don’t have abs like Maria’s. I haven’t written that novel.

Maria doesn’t Have It All. I don’t Have It All. You don’t Have It All, and you never will. Just like you’ll never have a pet unicorn. But that’s ok, because you make choices about what works for you right now. You probably didn’t choose to have abs and children. Although I bet you do beautiful pottery work. Or maybe you rescue and foster homeless dogs. Probably your house is spectacularly clean and well put together. Don’t listen to Maria, these are not excuses. You’ve made a choice.



5 Ways to Ruin Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the clear winner of all holidays. It’s such an obvious fact, I don’t know why I would even need to present evidence, but just in case you’re not that bright:

FACT: You get a four day weekend.

FACT: You don’t have to buy any presents.

FACT: You’re not required to do any messy art projects (color eggs, carve pumpkins).

FACT: It’s an entire day devoted to cooking delicious, decadent food.

FACT: Day-drinking is practically a requirement.

FACT: The leftovers are almost better than the actual dinner.

FACT: Watching parades or movies in PJs (with cocktails) snuggled with kids while potatoes boil is maybe the most fantastic activity that ever existed.

I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point.

Even though Thanksgiving is practically flawless as far as holidays are concerned, it is possible to mar its beauty. I’m here today, as a public service, to help you keep Thanksgiving pristine and fantastic. I want you to thoroughly enjoy your Thanksgiving as much as I will enjoy mine, so I’ve put together a list of things to avoid doing to keep from ruining Thanksgiving. It’s not long and if you’re conscientious you should have no problem getting the most out of the day.

How to Ruin Thanksgiving:

1. Make the green bean casserole with canned green beans.

See this angry mob? This is how your guests feel about your canned green beans ruining one of the best dishes of the meal. They feel violent. And violated. They’re getting lynchy. Would it really have been that much harder just to swap them out with fresh green beans? The answer is no. HELL NO.

2. Eat an entire pan of lemon bars before leaving for Thanksgiving dinner.

I know they’re almost irresistibly delicious, but try. You’re only going to ruin the rest of dinner for yourself (this is true of the entire can of crunchy onions for the green bean casserole, also).

3. Make that passive-aggressive joke everyone knows is just a nasty dig.

Yes, Grandpa’s girlfriend is young and pretty, but offering to get her a pick-axe with her meal is only going to make everyone feel awkward and you look like a jackass. Be nice to each other, people.

4. Play Christmas music at any point during Thanksgiving day.

In some states it’s a felony. Don’t do it.

5. Not have enough booze.

This is a Thanksgiving dinner with the proper amount of booze. Everyone’s getting along and having a lovely time.

This is your terrible Thanksgiving dinner with an insufficient amount of booze. Sally isn’t speaking to Jim because he’s the one who was supposed to go to Costco the day before and get beer and wine. Jim thinks Sally’s a naggy bitch. George brought up that time Dan stole his baseball card when they were kids and how that card would have been worth money now. Dan is tired of hearing George complain. Jennifer thinks they’re all assholes. Billy feels awkward.

Of course, over-serving can have it’s own issues, too. The results are still far preferable to the alternative.

See? It’s really not that hard to have a fantastic Thanksgiving. You’re welcome (and Happy Turkey Day!!!).

How to tell where you are in Metro-Phoenix – The Flow Chart

Your company is transferring you to Arizona. You’ve been to Phoenix before. Twice. Once was in the winter and you got to play golf while it snowed back home. It was glorious. This won’t be so bad, you think. But then they fly you in to find somewhere to live. You’re shuttled to a Chili’s for dinner and then to a nondescript hotel. You wake up in the morning, and realize you have no idea where exactly you are. Are you actually IN Phoenix? Or are you in one of the seemingly endless suburbs? How do you even tell?

No worries, my dear, I’m here for you. Metro-Phoenix is a massive monster of suburbs. You know how The Blob just ate stuff and it all turned into more blob and he got bigger and bigger? That’s Phoenix right there, in a nutshell. It’s large and spread out and always growing. Suburbs glomming on to suburbs.

There are some distinct differences to the areas, however, so I’ve created a handy flow-chart for you to use to clear up the confusion and figure out exactly where you are at any given time. Click to enlarge it and start in the blue square with the rounded edges (specific descriptions of each area are provided below):

South Phoenix – Welcome to South Phoenix! It’s close to hiking at South Mountain, freeway access, the airport and a bunch of old car lots with barbed wire and stacks of tires. But if you stay away from Broadway, you won’t even notice those.

Fountain Hills – If you’re super rich and reclusive, this is a great place to buy a mansion on the side of a hill, hole up and enjoy the views.

Ahwatukee – No one’s really sure exactly what Ahwatukee is. It’s not a city (even though half the population is pretty sure it is) and it’s not a subdivision… it might be the Bermuda Triangle of Metro-Phoenix.

Apache Junction – The Old West is still alive and kicking out here. Most of the cowboys just live in mobile home communities and go to swap meets now.

Northeast Mesa – This area likes to think of itself as the poor man’s Fountain Hills, but it’s really the rich man’s Apache Junction.

Scottsdale – You’ve heard of Scottsdale, haven’t you? It’s everything you’ve heard.

North Scottsdale – North Scotts is pretty sure it’s better than Scottsdale. And everyone else.

Tempe – ASU is in Tempe. ASU with the kids with their loud music and short shorts and GET OFF MY LAWN.

Phoenix – There really is an actual place called Phoenix where people live. Unless you’re within spitting distance of the Biltmore Hotel, prepare to be unimpressed.

Mesa – All of the hipsters moved out of Scottsdale and Tempe when they got too mainstream and now they live in Mesa, wearing wolf t-shirts they bought on ebay and going to shows at Hollywood Alley.

Cen Pho – That’s how the cool kids refer to ‘Central Phoenix’. Although I’m pretty sure that fact that I’ve figured out what it means indicates it’s no longer cool. I’ve heard they have food trucks there. I feel like if the food trucks were really that awesome they’d drive to my house to bring me lunch.

Paradise Valley – They breed unicorns in Paradise Valley. But it has a magic door you can’t see. If you happen to accidentally stumble in, you have to make a choice to abandon your friends and family and live there forever in peaceful beauty or leave and never return again.

Surprise – They know they’re Westside and they’re proud of it. No really, they’re not even embarrassed that most people East of the avenues have never set foot in their city. They have the airforce base! It’s a benefit, not just a disclosure requirement!

Glendale – You’re probably there for a game. Or a concert, right?

Chandler – For awhile people in Chandler would go around saying, “Chandler is the new Scottsdale,” but it didn’t catch on, so now they’re going with, “People like it here.” That seems to be sticking.

Buckeye – I… have never been to Buckeye.

Maricopa – I heard they’re getting a Target soon.

Gilbert – They’ve got a dairy farm or three. And elementary schools. Lots of elementary schools.

San Tan Valley – It used to be called Queen Creek, but then everyone started saying, “OK, but do you mean Queen Creek… or QUEEN CREEK?” and it felt less offensive just to give it another name so people would stop referring to it with an exhausted tone of voice.

And that is absolutely everything you ever needed to know about Metro-Phoenix. You’re welcome.

Because Mondays are Terrible

Stupid Monday.

Things that are upsetting me today:

1. The raw hamburger meat I saved from the extra big package I bought last week for tacos has gone grey and I don’t know if that necessarily means it’s bad, but it grosses me out every time I open the fridge.

2. I think the title lady on the house I have closing today might be clinically insane. It’s not 8AM yet and I’m having trouble not responding to her last email in this manner:

Dear Xxxxxxx,

What you’re saying is factually untrue and I’m afraid you’re legitimately a crazy person. How did you get this job? Is it some kind of psychiatric ward out-patient work program? When we signed the closing docs with you on Friday I thought you were kind of twitchy, but sometimes I think I come off a little twitchy, too, so I gave you the benefit of the doubt. Now I just want to have t-shirts made that say, “Please don’t mistake my twitchiness for insanity” and not give one to you. I’m not going to scream at you, but only because I believe in compassion for the mentally ill. Please, PLEASE get your shit together, if only just for this morning to get this deal closed.

3. I learned a new trick in circus class yesterday on the silks called a Tick Tock:

Cool, right? Less cool are the massive, dark purple upper thigh bruises I have from the drop towards the end. (I won’t refer to them as ‘vagina bruises’ because it makes my father uncomfortable, but I’m pretty sure that’s what the technical name is.)

I would feel bad about texting pictures of my vagina bruises (oops. Sorry, Dad.) to several of my best friends, but three of them are pregnant right now and I’ve had to endure several text conversations regarding the size, tenderness and tendency to leak of their boobs. So it’s only fair. If you can’t text pictures of your vagina bruises to your best friends so they can feel your pain, they’re not really your best friends.

4. The end of the year is coming too fast and I’m not in any way equipped to deal with:

  • Holiday music
  • Family holiday card pictures
  • The ensuing database clusterfuck I’ll have to navigate to send out cards
  • The stress and ultimate failure that always comes with Christmas presents

All I want for Christmas is to not have Christmas. Is that too much to ask?

I think that’s mostly what I feel whiny about right this second. In positive Monday news:

A – I’m throwing away all the remaining Halloween candy. Right now. RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE.

B – Did you watch The Good Wife last night? Eli Gold and Ugly Betty are the weirdest, most adorably age-inappropriate couple like ever on the planet, right? I completely don’t get it, except I sort of do and I’m so happy for them both. It’s like How The Grinch Stole Christmas met and fell in love with The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants. I feel like no one’s talking about this and we all should be. (And stop being such a debbie downer, Mr. Big.)

So, you know… go forth and multiply. Or at least try to survive Monday without stabbing anyone in the neck with a pen.

Why I Don’t Clean, Reason # 3,492: Legos

This is why I don’t clean…

First it goes like this:

Hey guys, we should organize and sort all of the Legos today. Then it will be so much easier for you to find what you want and build stuff.

I’ll go through and find all the people parts. And then I’ll organize them into different containers for heads, torsos, legs and hair/hats. 

… I should probably line all the heads up so I can see what the different faces look like, you know, as part of the organizational process. 

And then this happens:

Shelley: Hey Danny… I was just finishing up with my gardening and I thought I’d go inside and have a little afternoon cocktail. Want to join me?

Danny: Well sure, neighbor! Don’t mind if I do, thanks for the invite.

Danny: I’ve been seeing you round the ‘hood, looking pretty fine.

Shelley: Oh yeah? I’ve noticed you noticing me… and you’re not so bad yourself. I like a man with straight edges…

Danny: What was that noise?

Shelley: Oh no! My husband’s home!

Danny: Shit. I feel like this means I’m not getting laid today.

Chet: What the fuck is going on in here, Shelley?! Who is this douche-bag?

Shelley: Now, Chet, calm down. This is our neighbor, Danny. You know Danny, right?

Danny: Um… I didn’t know your husband was friends with Mr. T. Also why does he have a gun? Listen, dude, we weren’t doing anything…

Chet: Spare me your story. I can put the pieces together. I will not be made a fool of in my own house! Make your peace with this world, son.

Shelley: Danny, I don’t know how to tell you this, but my husband and his BFF are totally going to kill you. I feel really bad about the situation, but at this point, there’s not much I can do.

Danny: For reals?

Mr. T: Dude, I’m carrying an axe. What do you think?

Shelley: Oh Chet, I wish you were less murdery. It’s just so… uncivilized.

Chet: Well Shelley, honey, if you weren’t so slutty I wouldn’t have to kill all the neighbors.

Shelley: That’s true, dear.


And the next thing I know, Jason’s home, the house is messier than when he left in the morning, I didn’t get any work done and the kids are pissed at me for locking myself in the bathroom with all their favorite Legos for two hours.

It’s just not a practical or productive activity for me.

Having It All, In One Day

Yesterday started out fine. I had a few appointments lined up and some general plans, but things weren’t looking too horrible. By mid-morning, though, it became clear there were only two options for finishing out the day:

1. Admit defeat and head back to bed with a bottle of champagne and some OJ leftover from the girls weekend a couple of weeks back


2. Pray to the scheduling gods that everything would run on the minute for the next 8 hours straight and push forward.

Although the opportunity to throw in the towel and day-drink was attractive, I am not a goddamn quitter, so I fortified with drive-thru tater tots and leftover Halloween candy and forged on.

The problem wasn’t really the 8 house showings with four different buyers on a Wednesday. It wasn’t my very first pointe class I’ve been working toward taking for the last two years. It wasn’t the complicated favorite dinner of my middle child I promised to make him this week in a weak moment when he was home sick with the flu. The problem was all of these together. The big problem was all of these, plus the kids’ two hour early-release from school, Jason’s one night a week crossfit class, traffic, 150+ miles of driving and various texts and phone calls from other clients and Realtors throughout the day. All of that, added up together, in one day, was the problem.

Technically, I accomplished all the tasks I set out to, but I’m fairly certain I will not be winning Mother, Realtor, or Old Lady Ballerina of the Year based on yesterday’s performance. I’m not sure the day can be counted a success, is what I’m saying.

For instance:

  • By the end of the night, before walking into a house, I had taken to announcing feverishly, “I think this one has animals… some of the houses have animals. Dogs or cats, one or both of the two… I’m pretty sure we’re not supposed to let them out, but they may bark and are potentially gated into a room somewhere. Let’s all try not to get eaten. I’m positive this information applies to one of the houses but I can’t remember which.”
  • It turns out I have one normal width foot and one freakishly wide foot, so the pointe shoes I bought mostly fit the skinny, pretty, sister-foot, and the fat, homely sister-foot just cries about her lot in life while people tell her she has a good personality and it’s not her fault she’s big boned during the entire class. It’s not that fun. Or graceful. I haven’t figured out yet if I’m going to break down and buy an entire other pair of shoes so I have one wide enough for the fat foot and I’m not in agony, or if I’m just going to work harder to break them in and try not to weep during class.
  • Bennett (13) had to preheat the oven and put in the casserole dish for me while I was showing property so it would be ready when I got home to serve it. I know it’s good for him to learn skills like this, but I spent the last hour and a half before I got home with a knot in my stomach named, “The house burned down with my kids in it because what fucking idiot trusts small children to work a gas oven? This terrible, terrible parent.”
  • The client I was showing the last house to got stuck in traffic (because it’s impossible to drive in Ahwatukee between 3 and 8PM without getting stuck in traffic) and by the time she got there it was dark. This was when we realized the house had no power (because it was a short sale). This was also when we wandered around for five minutes on the first floor with the almost useless flashlights I keep in my car for such occasions and I refused to take her into the second floor or the basement. Because of course it had a basement. I feel quite confident in my choice not to get murdered. I’ve seen The Bling Ring. I know rich teenagers are sociopaths. This was in a really nice neighborhood. There were probably 5 of them in that basement cleaning their stolen guns and trying on stolen shoes. They would have thrown our bodies in the lake.
  • My kids didn’t eat dinner until 7pm. Possibly the worst part about this is they weren’t even super upset about it, because we’ve kind of been eating around then on a regular basis lately. I hear people in New York City don’t eat dinner until 10pm, though, so I’ve been telling the kids it’s just because we’re hip like that. I feel like CPS will beg to differ, but I guess we’ll cross that legal bridge when we come to it.

By the time Jason walked in the door from his workout I was so wound up, he looked at me wrong and all of my built up stress and resentment from the day came shooting out of my body at him. Once it started, I couldn’t even stop it. I puked angry remnants of my day all over him, grabbed the remainder of the nearest bottle of wine, trudged up the stairs and watched scripted teenager drama on MTV by myself until I fell asleep.

This morning I’ve been ruminating over the concept of ‘having it all’. In theory, I’m all for having it all: I deserve it all! I want it all! Go ahead and try and tell me I can’t be a mom and a breadwinner and join the circus or the ballet at 35. Because I’ll do it all just to prove you wrong if you tell me I can’t!!!

But is this having it all? Was that what I did yesterday? Where it ended with me alone in bed stewing in guilt, failure, self-pity and white wine? Because maybe I don’t want it all. Maybe I just want some of it. Or possibly I only want a nap.

I think ‘having it all’ might only be actually possible in a universe where cloning and teleportation are more readily available. At least having it all in one day.