This weekend my friend Psychic Friend announced "How was your Christmas (holiday, New Year's)? is no longer a greeting I will acknowledge." Shit man, if I'd'a known that was all it took, I'd'a gotten a t-shirt made.
I swear, I have been living under a cloud since early December. Not the same cloud the entire time - hoo boy, that's when I go into therapy. Different clouds. Clouds of various sizes and shapes and degrees of ominousness. Ominosity.
And. How about I don't write about them? I'm being all unexpected-y, it's a new thing I'm trying. Because usually I am so predictable, right?
But yes. No. I am not going to list off all the crap that has been hanging over my head for two months. I like it. This is working for me. Nothing says "I'm over it" like forgetting all about it. I MAY list the successful resolutions of the things that have worried me.
I run a Circus Arts Club at the elementary school. Hula hooping and slapstick routines, a little juggling. I have a unicycle that nobody's tall enough to ride without jeopardizing their future offspring. We try a little stilt-walking. We do a performance in front of the whole school at the end of the club season. Did that worry me? It did! Did I have nothing to worry about because the kids are funny and remembered what to do! I did!
Let's go to the video.
You can't see me cringing in the wings every time someone takes a slapstick punch or does a fall, but you can hear all the kids in the auditorium cracking up. I take credit for none of it except the music. Those kids are a riot.
And then it snowed. And the snow caused me no dread whatsoever. In fact, we spent that day hanging ornaments on the tree and listening to holiday music, also sledding, and drinking eggnog with rum in it. That was a break in the battle.
The snow, of course, caused the children to never go back to school ever. Two weeks of winter break! Getting presents wrapped was a challenge, and I also fretted that I'd been so occupied with Circus Arts that I'd neglected to buy them anything of consequence. T-shirts and coloring books. Until Auntie Lo (who is neither my auntie nor the auntie of my kids but who is in a figurative sense everybody's auntie) told me that I fret about this every year.
They like coloring books and t-shirts.
I mean, what the hell have I been complaining about? My parents even took the boys overnight one night so that Bob and I could go see The Allmighty Senators, who hadn't played in like a year, and as a result played just about every song they knew.
After we picked up the kids, we ate many delicious things at Cross Street Market, and then hit the mall to stand in the returns line. Even that was not so dreadful. We bought Mao a pair of orange Vans, and I found jeans at Lucky for half price. Our children sat through me trying on five different pairs of jeans, and were complimentary about every pair. They treat me like a queen, and I should try harder to deserve it. I hope that when they grow up, they do not give me cause to wonder what I have done to piss them off.
Treat your parents decently, or tell them why you do not.
On New Year's Day, our neighborhood roasted a pig. I made barbecue sauce and tried my hand at glogg, a delicious blend of port and cardamom and orange, heated until it turns into an alcohol 8-ball. It was a wonderful wonderful day and I snatched pieces of that pig right out of the roaster all afternoon.
All this time, though, like a lingering metaphor in a Cheever story, the bathtub in the upstairs bathroom has been backed up. Every time the mad whirl slows, every time I have a morning off, there it is, with 2 inches of rusty water in it, and the self-adhesive grippy goldfish we stuck to the bottom when the kids were tiny gradually curling up. I poured Drano and Liquid Plumber down that drain. I plunged. I used baking soda and vinegar, and I used lye. I broke the snake OFF in that fucker. I asked Facebook for advice. I despaired, and meanwhile we all carried our clothes and our shampoo down two flights to the basement, and got kind of lax about toothbrushing.
That clog got stuck in my brain. I saw it, deep in the pipes under the tub, at least 8 feet away from the drain, because I paid out at least that much cable from the drum auger. In my mind it was slimy and black, and made of my hair, and possibly hid a tiny Matchbox car, which accounted for its failure to dissolve when I hit it with life-threatening chemicals.
Bob took several whacks at it. His brother Joe did too. I borrowed tools, broke them, replaced them, bought new ones.
And this Saturday, the same day that My Psychic Friend declared the holidays officially frickin OVER, I came home from work to find the upstairs bathroom clean. Tranquil. Not even a plunger to be seen that might have hinted the filthy battle zone that bathroom has been for the past several weeks. All is well.