There are some days you feel like a superwoman, and then there are all those other days. Today I was having one of those other days.
Id stayed up half the night reading, even though I knew better, and this morning I woke up feeling like Id been flogged with a bag of nacho chips. It was all I could do to crawl out of bed, and as I schlepped downstairs for a cup of coffee my day got worse.
The kitchen looked like a science experiment gone bad. Someone had spilled apple juice on the floor and turned it into a giant sheet of flypaper capable of trapping small pets and children. And every time I took a step, my feet made squeegee sounds like I was a human suction cup.
I squeaked my way over to the stove and stopped when I saw the range hood. It had enough dust on it to scrawl the entire screenplay for War and Peace.
There wasnt even a hint of domestication here. Was I facing an inescapable truth? Was I housework challenged?
No, it meant I hadnt had any company for a couple of weeks, and therefore, I didnt have a reason to clean. The thrill of power scrubbing my floor with a substandard toothbrush was gone. I needed visitors to motivate me to clean; I needed someone to come over to admire my work. And I hadnt been on anybodys dance card for a while.
Something had to be done. So, I decided to finish reading my book and avoid the kitchen altogether. I like to think of this as taking time out for myself. I realized that maybe Id taken a little too much time out when Morry said his schools dinner concert was in 30 minutes and asked if I was ready to go.
Ready to go? Only if all the other parents were wearing biking shorts and T-shirts covered with beer slogans. I jumped into the shower, shaved my ankles and threw on the first thing I could find. This was a bath towel and therefore inappropriate, so I grabbed the clothes Id worn the day before which were conveniently located on the floor by my bed.
I looked like Martha Stewart under pressure. You remember the time during her obstruction of justice trial when she was seen wearing a tan raincoat, and her umbrella didnt match? Well, I was living her nightmare but without the felony charges. As I passed by the mirror, I thought, Definitely not a superwoman.
We arrived just in time to get a table by the violas; unfortunately, Morry is a cellist. While he headed for the cello section, Wayne and I took our seats.
Halfway through dinner, I noticed a man lying horizontally on the floor by my suction cup feet. I thought he was a yoga instructor until I saw his camera. The man was taping the entire concert even the warm up.
You could tell he was a first timer. Theyre easy to spot with their zoom lenses and camcorders. Theyre the only parents willing to squeeze under a grand piano or crouch for hours in front of a subwoofer for the perfect picture.
While all the first timers were clicking away, I felt a twinge of guilt. But I rationalized that we couldnt be the only parents there without a camera, and then I saw the Millers. They have eight children and were filming the whole thing with their cell phone and sending the images across the country via satellite.
Now a real superwoman wouldve immediately sketched a composite drawing of Morry on a table napkin, and then folded it into a 3-dimensional figurine suitable for bronzing. But not me, I wrote my column on the concert program instead.
When the lights dimmed and the music started, I looked for Morry. All I could see were dozens of bow tips moving in unison to the cadence of the music and an eerily familiar elbow. I watched that elbow for an hour before remembering that Morry wasnt wearing a green sweater.
One of the musicians had an eye patch just like Leo used to wear for his lazy eye. When I mentioned this to Wayne, he pointed out that they were playing the theme to Pirates of the Caribbean, and if I hadnt scribbled all over my program, I wouldve known that.
Four hours later, we staggered into the house, and I told everyone to keep their shoes on so their feet didnt get dirty. I squeegeed into the kitchen and found a message on our answering machine. It was the Landees calling to say they were coming up next week.
I power pumped my arm and smiled. Superwoman was back.