Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Who is JAN?

As of today, May 25, 2010, all the beds in my house have clean sheets. Who knows when such a flurry of domestic activity will happen again, so I thought I ought to make a note of the date.

I haven't been writing much because I haven't been doing much. I could tell you about the entire weekend I spent searching for Mr. McP's bass bow, which we never found, by the way. The bass is still here, so where did the bow go? An entire effing weekend. Do you know how many places a bass bow can hide in. I cleaned under all the beds. I moved the piano. I moved the fridge. I moved the G. D. washer and dryer. What would a bass bow be doing under-or-behind the washing machine? I don't know. What was the pair of pointe shoes doing in the mitten basket? The stethoscope diaphragm with the breakfast cereal. The phone number of one JAN B in the medicine cabinet. The scrap of paper under my dresser that says, in my handwriting, in red ink: CHELSEA HOTEL. SLOWEST ELEVATORS IN THE WORLD. NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. Why is there a bottle of yellow acrylic paint with the cooking oil? Why has the random basket on the dryer become the official storage space for library cards and those horrid 1-800-THELOST ID cards our school district insists on making for my children each year. Why is Miss G's Christmas stocking in my desk drawer? We couldn't find it at Christmas, despite searching everywhere and she had to have a makeshift stocking--a plastic Food Lion bag or something of that nature.

I am a single mother for ten days because Jon went off to Santa Fe to sit in a Buddhist monastery and work on mindfulness. I should probably keep my nasty cynical thoughts to myself, but why set a precedent now? I wouldn't mind spending ten days in silence, with thrice-daily food offerings from Martha Stewart's former chef, but I am already So Fucking Mindful, I guess I don't need this training. Right now I am mindful of the fact that my house smells like dogs and feet. I am so mindful of it that it is difficult to think about anything else. Jon, on the other hand, can plop himself down on a couch that smells like newspapers that have been left in a garage for fifty years, peel his socks off and toss them out into the room, put his feet on the coffee table that is cluttered with detritus that is apparently invisible to him, call for a beer and watch infuriating TV shows like "House" or "Law & Order: SVU."

I am reading Herodotus' Histories, which is not as boring as it sounds. Oh, there are dry passages, but Herodotus has a casual, gossipy writing style and he likes to insert his little joke here and there. Actually, there are probably lots more jokes that go over my head, but I did get the one about the Spartans being the equivalent of the Vermonters of the classical world.

*Update: we actually found the missing bass bow behind the piano, four years later.  The odd thing is, that during our original search, we definitely looked behind the piano.


  1. So does this mean that you get 10 days to go off and be mindful too? I recommend a spa.

  2. That sounds just like my house at the moment, only in my case the yellow washable poster paint is next to the bottles of scotch that are inexplicably arrayed on the kitchen counter instead of something that we use more often, such as cooking oil. I agree that you should get your own ten-day retreat, complete with chef. It's only fair.

  3. I haven't moved my washer and dryer, like, ever.

    Reminds me, I need to clean under some beds. Possibly clean some sheets, too.

    I love that Miss G's Christmas stocking was a plastic Food Lion bag. That is just awesome. I will save that story for my children, when they're feeling deprived.

  4. Gosh I know you're pissed but I'm here, giving you my wry, amused smile and wishing you 10 days of escape. Is it time to go on strike again (nevermind; I remember how that worked out).

    Thanks for writing. You always make me smile.

  5. Oh this cracks me up--and I'm trying really hard to imagine my husband in a state of mindfulness--that doesn't involve just thinking about himself.