My OCD is in overdrive because I haven’t posted in a while. Allow me to catch you up quickly:
Ali spent two weeks in LA, came home for 5 minutes, and took off again for Seattle, and then LA, where he currently is.
I’ve been enjoying the fact that the I have our master bathroom all to myself.
This week I became THAT girl who changes her shoes at work.
I know there’s no excuse for ugly footwear – even during a commute – but I walk miles and miles a day and my feet hurt ALL THE TIME.
I have no other choice.
Maya turned 9 and celebrated with a magic-themed party. She asked for a magician, a puppy, and a pasta bar.
I bought her Garfield comic books in lieu of a pet, served overcooked pasta and shrimp, and called it a birthday.
I got over my guilt and gave our housekeeper the green light to come twice a week.
She uses loads of toxic chemicals (although they have a lovely lemony scent), but coming home to a clean house on Tuesdays and Fridays is worth losing a few years of my life to whatever magic Ajax and Windex contain.
And finally, my credit card was stolen and instead of heading to Bloomingdale’s or Best Buy, the culprit charged up $800 at 7-Eleven.
Ali’s been on a marathon business trip for the last 2 weeks. This means that for the past two weeks I:
- Didn’t move the sugar bowl even once.
- Ate scrambled eggs thirteen out of fourteen nights (we had Chipotle one night…I really lived it up).
- Had our shoebox sized bathroom all to myself.
- Didn’t wash a single pair of someone’s thermals.
- Made the bed in one second flat (the trick is to occupy a tiny corner, don’t untuck the sheet, and use a separate blanket).
- Smashed my foot in a revolving door (this has nothing to do with Ali being gone but I felt the need to incorporate it into this post. Apparently I need a lesson in how to use a revolving door).
And most interestingly, I had zero problems handling Maya by myself. For two straight weeks. She was literally an angel.
We’re talking Best Behavior Ever.
After week one I was so confused by her good behavior that I actually asked her, “Why are you such a good girl when dad’s away, but when he’s here you don’t listen, you whine incessantly, and complain about everything?”
She thought about it for a second, said, “I really don’t know,” and then she laughed.
Points for honesty I guess?
On the rare occasion when I somehow manage to overlook something I probably shouldn’t be complaining about in the first place, my eagle-eyed sidekick Maya will inevitably catch it.
And her most recent topic of choice to nitpick was Ali’s purchase of a pair of headphones.
So Ali is not a big spender.
I obviously comment incessantly on his addiction to buying things that require charging, but in reality? His annual spending on things that plug-in probably amounts to less than what I spend on Method cleaning products (so addicted to Method).
Also, now that we are car-less and don’t have to spend money fixing his car every ten second? I know I can’t really fault him.
Maya, however, didn’t get the memo and/or didn’t care.
Maya: “Mama, did you know that dad spent $200 on his new earphones? That a lot.”
Me: “That really is a lot. The sound must be really good though. Let me listen.”
Maya: “It’s not any different from my Hello Kitty earphones.”
Me: “You’re right. It’s not really that good.”
Maya: “Dad, me and Mom think your earphones aren’t really that good. You spent a lot of money for no reason.”
Obviously Maya should have minded her own business here and I probably should have said so. But honestly, I’m just tired of being the bad guy all the time. So I figured I’d let Ali field this one.
He looked up from his laptop, made no comment, and then looked back down at his laptop.
This is often what happens when he knows that I/we are right (which is always) and secretly agrees with us but doesn’t want to verbalize the agreement in case it’s used against him in a future argument.
Which it will be anyway.
But we all play the game, right?
Only the next time Maya and I decide to pick on something, Ali has the option of putting on his average sounding, overpriced earphones so he doesn’t have to hear us rambling on.
So maybe, in his mind, they’re worth $200 after all.
Last week I turned 38.
I normally don’t ask for anything. But seeing as I received light bulbs last year, I decided to be a little more proactive and request a few things that couldn’t be purchased at a hardware store.
Here’s what I asked for:
- From Ali (this request occurred nearly six weeks ago to allow for fulfillment): A single, duplicate earring to replace the one that somehow fell out of my ear. (How do screw on earrings fall out? I am very confused.)
- From Maya: The latest issue of Marie Claire magazine and a bar of organic 73% chocolate from Trader Joe’s. (I had to keep within her $5 budget. I saw $55 in her wallet the other day though. Again, I am very confused.)
Here’s what I got:
- From Ali: A dead orchid. (I was told this orchid wilted and died as it made its way from Trader Joe’s to our apartment, due to a snowstorm.)
- From Maya: 3 bags of One Lucky Duck macaroons. These were appreciated, no doubt. But I have to wonder: why am I asked what I want if it’s going to be completely disregarded???
In short my 38th was completely unremarkable.
I went to work, I broke a nail, I nearly had to swim home due to the aforementioned snow storm, I cleaned the kitchen, I argued with Maya about doing her homework / taking a shower / watching TV / babysitting the class stick bugs, I moved Ali’s socks, and then I went to sleep.
The highlight of my day was when I found The Lowland at the library and the librarian was kind enough to disregard the lengthy wait list and let me borrow the book.
It takes so little. Really, it does.
As you may already know, last week was remarkable because I left Maya alone with Ali (or Ali alone with Maya?) for the first time ever.
This bears repeating: for the first time ever.
Things obviously started out rocky, beginning with an email asking how to use the washing machine.
This email came in while I was in flight and had no Internet (thanks to the fact my United Airlines plane – circa 1955 – didn’t have Internet capabilities, or much else for that matter).
This email was sent despite the fact that I washed every article of clothing, every sheet, and every towel in our place, prior to leaving.
This email was sent despite the fact that our washing machine – also circa 1955 – has so few options that even Maya could operate it.
When I didn’t reply fast enough on this laundry emergency, because apparently not having Internet access is just not a possibility in Ali’s realm (he obviously doesn’t fly United), I received a text asking “If I saw the email re: laundry.”
Yes, yes I did. I also saw the email and/or text re:
- Maya’s request for four desserts instead of three.
- Her insistence that she didn’t want to go to art class and therefore didn’t have to go to art class.
- The fact that someone forgot to purchase bananas and bread.
I could go on for hours but I’ll spare you.
The good news is that I flew home last night (on an American Airlines plane that did have Internet!) and everyone is still alive.
Re: the state of the kitchen, my orchid, and the hamper? Well that’s a whole other story.
Last week my mom made pizza for dinner.
This may not seem remarkable to you but then again, you probably don’t have a perpetually empty fridge.
As an aside,* I’m not sure why our empty fridge seems to be such a problem? My mom would likely blame this on something really dumb, like the vortex. But when all is said and done, I think the truth is that NYC grocery stores give her massive anxiety.
Can’t really blame her on this one though, I mean who lines up outside of a Trader Joe’s in sub-freezing temperatures? Seriously, I need my frozen tandoori naan and fish sticks as much as the next person but not at the risk of freezing my toes off.
(*That was a long “aside.”)
Anyway, back to the pizza. So my mom struggled with the pizza dough for a bit, but even I was impressed with the finished product – it was the most perfect rectangular shape!
(We’ve never even seen a real circle around here so you’ll understand my shock and awe.)
Even more surprising was that she was able to make a professional looking pizza, despite the fact my dad and I kept trying to annoy her with comments like, “When is dinner going to be ready?” and my personal favorite, “I’m so hungry my stomach is eating itself right now.”
So the pizza was sitting on the stove cooling, along with the pizza cutter my mom bought from the $1 section at Target. (Another aside: if my mom exclaims one more time how well her $1 pizza cutter has held up over the past 5 years, I might lose it.) And almost immediately my dad and I lock eyes and instantly know what we have to do.
So when her back is turned, he takes the pizza cutter and hacks in. I mean, he cuts the most random pizza shape you can imagine! It’s abstract on a whole other level.
And then I take over and cut a random triangle from the very middle of the pizza, making VERY sure it’s not a 90 degree angle. Since my mom loves nothing more than a clean right angle, I aim for more of a 48 degree angle with completely uneven sides.
When my mom finally turns around and looks at the pizza, I see her OCD going haywire! She’s not saying a word but it’s very clear she’s struggling internally with her “Need to let things go,” and the idea that she “Must allow me and my dad a little bit of autonomy if she ever wants us to grow up.”
It was hysterical.
But then what happened next wasn’t so hysterical – because she uttered words that shook me to my core. “I have to go to LA for a few days at the end of the week. I’m wondering what you two are going to do about dinner while I’m gone?”
She’s never left me with my dad before for more than just 12 hours. Ever. I am SO SCARED.
Not sure what else to say.
A few months ago, when things started turning a bit chilly, a co-worker observed my wool coat and proceeded to share a few words of wisdom with me:
“I know you just moved here from LA so I’ll just be blunt about it: you’re going to need a better coat. It needs to be big and puffy. You should buy the longest one you can find. It must have a hood.”
“It doesn’t matter what it looks like. Why? Because you’ll be warm. And soon enough, that’s all that’ll matter.”
I laughed. Walk around in an ugly coat? I don’t think so.
But then temperatures hit the teens, at which point I realized my J. Simpson coat wasn’t going to cut it.
And so the search began:
- I Googled intelligent things like, “What is warmest coat on the market?” and “Warm coat with a hood.”
- I read reviews like my life depended on it.
- Maya and I even battled the Macy’s coat section. (Let’s just say that we came out empty-handed, and although it’s been a while, we’re both still trying to process that gruesome scene.)
And then I found it:
• It’s very puffy.
• It has a very large hood.
• It is trimmed with very un-stylish faux-fur.
• The inside is covered in a hideous leopard print.
• It’s too big for me.
• It was on Super Sale at Macys.com.
Bottom Line: It’s straight up ugly. And if you see me in it you’ll likely agree.
But don’t feel sorry for me and my faux-fur! Just know that my coat is made of something akin to titanium.
And for the 4 miles I traverse each day? That’s all that matters.