Monday, March 13, 2006

the light at the end of the tunnel

photo  best of times

"Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst."

this otherworldly philosophy may be true, but it's problematic: things have to be at their worst for us to find out.

things have to get absurdly bad so you can say, "one day we'll laugh about this."

today, for example, i laughed about my wife's recent illness. nothing life-threatening, but not fun and games. at its worst, we were in an urgent care facility, and she was taking on IV fluids. the fluids were room-temperature, so my wife's body temperature dropped rapidly in a short time.

here she was, in a warm room, shivering uncontrollably as i piled blankets on her. meanwhile, it was snowing outside.

a hilariously unfunny situation.

better still, during the vacation that coincided with these events, i slept on an uncomfortable couch four nights, and alone in a twin bed one night. i slept with my wife, in a decent bed, one half a night out of a possible six.

it wasn't funny in the middle of the night, trying to find a sleepable position on a couch not built for comfort. but now? it's kind of amusing. in a dark sort of way.

but here's the real kicker...after being to only one in the family to be spared the intestinal flu, today i'm not feeling so well. i think i might puke.

beautiful, ain't it?

"even in the worst of times, i love you anyway..." --sheryl crow

Sunday, March 05, 2006

nobody told me there'd be days like these...

photo  cleaning woman?

I could be your 'heinamackafrau'.
Yes, you could, you could be zat.
What's that? What is it?
Tell him what it means...'heinamackafrau'.
Hhhheinemachefrau! It means she could be woman.

my mother didn't raise me to be a cleaning woman.

nor did she raise me to be a nanny. my mother raised me to be...well, i'm not really sure what she raised me to be, but it wasn't either of those things, i'm pretty sure.

and yet, at my house i am heinamackafrau.

my wife, see, makes the big money in the family. she is executive woman. she travels, she teleconferences, she e-mails with a vengeance. so at the end of the day, she doesn't have a lot of time or tolerance for domestic chores. can't blame her, and i don't expect it. girl works hard for the money.

besides, i've never believed females should be relegated to domesticity by the fact of their gender. i like women way too much to typecast them. having said that, any of you who want to drop by in a little french maid outfit, be my guest.

sorry, i digress.

me? i dabble in freelance copywriting and take care of the children. my schedule is built around the children's academic, activity and social calendars. i pick them up from school, i take them to karate and ballet, i deliver them to and from play dates. i yell at them to eat their dinner and clean up their room and get ready for bed.

i grocery shop, i cook, i do laundry, i spray clorox cleanup in the bathroom. i tend to the cats and dogs. the many and varied do-it-yourself home improvement projects concurrently underway? those are my fault.

come to think of it, i'm not just heinamackafrau, i'm june cleaver. or maybe edith bunker.

i don't know what to make of all this, but one thing i know for sure: i'd look ridiculous in a french maid outfit.

photo  maid

Saturday, March 04, 2006


photo  shower

the children just left the house.

they're on their way to the neighbor's to drop off a dvd and do a little socializing. it's the only kind of socializing they do, see, 'cause they're little.

as soon as the door shut, i experienced a small, electric thrill, like when i was a teenager and my parents left the house.

here i am, home alone with a girl. in this case, my wife, currently in the shower.

must hurry.

epilogue: the neighbors weren't home. thus endeth the thrill.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


photo  phone

we don't answer the phone at our house.

too many junk calls. the phone rings twice, or four times, and the answering machine picks up.

sometimes, recently, in the silence that precedes a hang-up, i half-expect to hear a familiar voice: "hi, guys, it's joan. are you there?"

that's what she always said, and it always prompted us to pick up.

now, though, there's only silence, and the answering machine goes back to waiting.