For the past two weeks, Ali’s been traveling “for work.”
Now I know I overuse quotes – and please accept my apologies for that – but I really do believe his lengthy trip had more to do with NYC enduring one of the coldest winters on record than anything else.
I can’t complain however, because while I nearly froze my toes off (despite wearing my Uggs and 2 pairs of socks), I didn’t have to share the master bathroom, obsess about lactose-free milk, or pick Ali’s coat up off the floor.
(Yes, he’s still doing that. And no I can’t believe it either.)
Life wasn’t all fun and games while Ali was away, though, thanks to a ceiling leak, banging pipes (they had to cut a hole in the master bedroom wall), more brown water, a broken washing machine, and perhaps the most challenging of all:
I was single-handedly responsible for keeping Maya entertained.
If you have kid(s) you’ll understand that this was by far the hardest thing I’ve had to do in the past 336 hours.
Yes I realize she was in school for a portion of those 336 hours, but I feel compelled, and more importantly, entitled to include those hours in my calculation anyway.
I won’t bore you with a detailed breakdown of the last two weeks but let’s just say that the sales at the 5th Ave Barnes & Noble have seen quite a spike in recent days, and I made a donation to the New York Public Library because I was just so grateful their children’s collection afforded me approximately 2 hours of question-free time.
In any case, Ali’s flying back in a few hours. Let the jacket throwing commence.
I kicked off my 39th year on this planet at a salon, getting my roots covered.
I wouldn’t call this a gift to myself, but instead a gift to everyone who has to look at my many gray hairs.
While at the salon, whose magazine selection featured nothing but the Kardashian family (I just can’t), I found myself with nothing to do but think. And so think I did. And here’s what I came up with.
I am much happier at 39 than I was at 29.
- I am finally in NYC, where I belong.
- I’m working in a field I love (entertainment), doing work that I love (finance / accounting).
- The older I get, the less I care what other people think about me.
- Material things, which used to mean so much, now have little importance in my world.
- Maya is older and parenting is easier in so many ways.
- I’m in better shape than I was in high school.
In short, I am happy.
Yesterday my super tactful husband said, “Wow, 39 seems almost worse than 40 doesn’t it?”
But as usual, I disagree with him. Because I’ve had 39 years to realize that for me, confidence and happiness seem proportional with age. And so for now the number doesn’t matter so much.
It recently occurred to me that Maya does NOTHING around the house.
After some haphazard reflection, I concluded this is due to two things:
- Maya is lazy.
- I find it easier to do everything myself. To ensure it is done right. The first time.
(I realize #2 above is wrong on about 50 different levels. But it doesn’t make it any less true.)
Anyway, I realized I wasn’t doing Maya any favors when she looked at me in shock and said, “So what you’re saying is that I have to hand wash my plate because the dishwasher is currently running?”
This comment, annoyed the living daylights out of me. I wanted to sit her down and calmly give her the “We all need to help out” speech.
Finding calmness seemed too difficult, however, so instead I channeled my best sarcasm and layered it on:
“Why? Are you going to melt if you actually have to wash a dish? Do you know that when I was a kid I had to set the table, and then clean it off after dinner, ensuring that all dishes were put away, all pots and pans were washed, and the table had been suitably Windexed?”
I knew then, as Maya stared at me with a glazed look on her face, that she could care less what I did or didn’t do as a kid.
I knew then that I should have just washed her dish because she was utilizing her father’s trademarked half-ass fashion and I’d have to do it over.
I knew then that the water all over the floor was a huge liability and would shortly become my problem.
I knew then that she got water inside my rubber kitchen gloves (heaven forbid she gets rough hands, right?), which just drives me BANANAS.
I knew then that ultimately the whole “lesson” was a waste because after she placed her still dirty plate in the drying rack she then announced, “Daddy, you better come wash your dish and fork because the dishwasher is still running and we all have to do our part.”
I should have just washed the plate.
When will I learn?
Let’s remedy that, shall we?
Problem #1: Ali had too many coats for our “walk in” closet. (I’m not kidding when I say he has at least 4 times the number of coats I have.)
Resolution #1: I cleared out a section of Maya’s closet to house his collection.
Problem #2: Ali determined Maya’s closet was “too far” to walk to in order for him to retrieve his coat. (Our apartment is all of 1,200 square feet – NOTHING IS TOO FAR HERE.)
Resolution #2: I purchased a coat rack and set it up next to the front door.
Problem #3: Ali determined that several of his coats were “too heavy” and posed a great risk that the coat rack would fall. So he’s taken to throwing them on the floor.
(Seriously, he comes in to the apartment, takes off his coat, and literally flings it across the living room floor.)
So I think we can all conclude that I’ve been pretty patient. I mean, I really think I deserve high marks not only in “Creative Closet Solutions” but also in “Maintaining Patience When Any Other Wife Would Have Lost Her S@#$.”
And yet, I found the energy to come up with Resolution #3!
Resolution #3: I pulled a muscle shifting the hanging shoe racks to one side of the hallway closet, secured two extremely durable hangers, and hung Ali’s heaviest coats in the hallway closet (a mere 3 yards from the front door).
Guess what Ali did today? He took his coat off the hanger, went to work, came back from work, flung it across the living room floor, glanced at me and said “I need to be reminded that certain coats should be hung in the hallway closet,” and cracked open his laptop.
Resolution: Ali and his coat need to become Delta’s problem. STAT. There is no other resolution.
I was such a broken record between December 19, 2014 – January 1, 2015 that I was even annoying myself.
No, my nagging was actually related to Maya’s sugar intake.
Okay, so you’re probably thinking, my God Ameena, do you ever let up on the poor kid? It is/was the holidays and she is/was in London. Can’t you cut her some slack around the chocolate and clotted cream?
Plus, why are you allowed to carb-overload on scones but she can’t have an extra helping or two of dessert?
Well my answer(s) are as follows:
- I fully believe in a having a double standard when it comes to children.
- Whereas I can eat 1/2 a scone and be completely satisfied, Maya’s tolerance for ice cream can rival that of a 200 pound lumberjack.
- This is a serious problem as she is lactose-intolerant.
- You can guess what results when she feels sick.
- You can also guess who has to deal with the fallout when she feels sick (Hint: It’s not my husband).
But after one too many lectures from my husband about giving her a break, I went against every fiber of my being and let her use her “best judgment.”
Which led to Maya eating 18 scoops of ice cream in one sitting.
Which led to a stomach ache.
Which led to me cleaning up the pleasant aftermath between the hours of 10:00pm – 12:00am on December 31, 2014.
On the bright side, I suppose that even if it was from the bathroom floor, at least I can still say I rang in the New Year in London?
Since my last post…
- Ali returned from L.A., flew to D.C., came home to inform me that I have brittle hair and need to do something about it, and then left for Boston.
- The Takeaway: Pantene isn’t cutting it anymore – my hair is in a bad place. And my husband still needs to learn to filter.
- Maya had a holiday party with 3 of her friends. I put together cute holiday gift bags (if I do say so myself) complete with matching earmuffs, matching T-shirts, holiday pens, erasers, and more. It’s been 5 days and Maya’s gift bag is still sitting in the living room, mostly untouched. And when I dropped Maya at school this morning we spied a pair of the aforementioned earmuffs abandoned and headed for the lost and found.
- The Takeaway: My gift bags clearly made a huge impression. On me.
- Since nobody else wanted to venture out into the cold to hit the grocery store this weekend (I needed help carrying the bags), I took a stand and decided not to go at all. Thus our fridge is currently empty except for one banana, ketchup, mustard, jam, M&Ms, and frozen fish sticks. (And milk of course. We always have milk as you know.)
- The Takeaway: I’m very much regretting my “stand” and will continue to regret it as dinner approaches.
- The Takeaway 2: I inevitably suffer when I try to make others suffer.
Ali is returning from Boston tonight, to a home with no food, a daughter who has no appreciation, and to a wife who has brittle hair.
I almost feel sorry for him.
When we return from a trip of any kind, there are two Very Pressing Matters that need to be addressed ASAP:
#1. How do we ensure that there be milk for Ali’s tea and cereal? And not just any milk, but lactose-free organic 2% milk.
(Although 1% will also do in a pinch. Because Ali is low-maintenance like that.)
#2. How can I minimize the amount of time that Ali’s suitcase will block the front door? Because:
- It WILL block the front door. For at least 24 hours.
- My subtle hints to unpack will go unnoticed.
- My not-so-subtle hints to unpack will go unnoticed.
- I will lose my @#$% and the suitcase will finally be partially emptied (of course).
- I will lose my @#$% again and the suitcase will be 97% emptied (it’s never FULLY emptied, just FYI).
- The suitcase will eventually be rolled back into a closet. At which point I will cringe because I will be picturing the 1 billion strains being transferred from the filthy suitcase wheels to my Swiffered floors.
Anyway, since I left for Los Angeles after Ali did, I proactively resolved Pressing Matter #1 by making sure to purchase and place an unopened container of the approved variety of milk in the fridge for my husband.
Unfortunately, we are going on 36 hours and Pressing Matter #2 is still pending, as evidenced by the fact that I’m still staring at, and climbing over, Ali’s suitcase.
I’m about to lose my @#$% AGAIN (a new record for me).
Which means things will get done. But which also means that my floors are about to be bacteria ridden….
I guess one can’t expect it all?