On Uselessness
The Other Beauty

Turning Things Around

I thought today was going to be a waste of a day.

I woke up on time, but then I hit my snooze button and went back to sleep. Only I didn't really hit it after all and woke up 45 minutes later, with just 5 minutes to get the girls up, dressed, fed, lunches made, and out the door. We missed a few of those steps, but I did get their lunches made while they dressed. At least we made the bus, and at least they can get breakfast at school...

Back at home, the plan was to spend the day doing laundry. Only, I wanted to wait until Jack woke up, because I knew if I went upstairs to start laundry, it would wake him up, and he'd be a grumpy bear. Not only that, but if I had to come down to prepare his breakfast, then I would probably be too lazy to go back upstairs and finish. I'm like that.

So I farted around online until he woke up.

At noon.


Someone is lazy like his mama. I couldn't be more proud.

Anyway, five minute before he woke up, I had decided I would take a little nap until he came down. And then he came down a minute later, but it was too late: I had already gotten myself into that nap frame of mind. You know the one? Your mind starts to shut down, you start yawning, and all productivity - both internal and external - has fled the scene. It's too late. You need that nap.

So I got him fed and set up with a DVD next to me on the couch, and I snoozed.

It was supposed to be for an hour.

Apparently I was tired today, because it stretched into almost THREE hours, and I didn't stir until my "here comes the bus" alarm went off on my iPhone. (That's my safety line, y'know?)  Jack had gotten up and switched from Toy Story to Toy Story 2 while I slept. And there he still sat.

What a waste. An entire school day with nothing to show for it.

But then...

I did get up. And I got those girlies of mine. And I saw that it was a beautiful, nay, gorgeous day. We've been battling 95º heat, but today was in the low 70s. I find that far more bearable.

The kids had a snack, and then we all went upstairs to get some work done. I turned off the non-functioning AC (hey, I'm an optimist) and threw open all the windows, started a load of laundry, set the kids to the task of cleaning their perpetually-messy rooms, and took myself a chilly shower.

When I emerged, I felt Truly Ready to conquer the omnipresent mountain of laundry. This time, it had taken  over our bed, three - no, four - baskets around our room, and half the upstairs hallway. I swear, I do not know how this happens, since it seems like we are forever doing laundry. Three kids are NOT that many, are they?! They produce SO much work for me, though!


Rob and the kids went out to McDonalds. Not to eat, of course, but to return the two cadmium-laced Shrek Forever After cups we received in our House Party pack. I told Rob he could pocket the money if he felt like doing that, since I had no desire to step into a McD's myself. They were successful. Then he stopped at a 7-11 to pick us each up a giant Coke (Diet for me, natch), which totally defeats the purpose of eating organically, but you know what?



So for the next six hours, I worked on laundry. I lost count of how many loads, which is fine, since not a one of you really gives a damn anyway. I washed, dried, folded, put away, hung and ...no, I won't lie. I didn't iron anything.

And it's ALL DONE. Finished. Finí.

Until tomorrow.

Then we begin again. But hey, I call that being productive on a day that started out quite the opposite. Right?

But that's not all. Oh, no. With me, it almost never is.

While I was waiting for that last load to dry, and my iPhone was downstairs charging its dead battery or else I'd have been on it playing Scrabble and obsessively checking my email, I painted my nails.

Oh, wait, that's not the exciting part. My bad.

(By the way, who is stupid enough to paint their nails when they're about to fold laundry? Hello, wreck waiting to happen. But it didn't! I used the L'Oréal polish that I'd picked up a few months back on one of my deal runs, and wow! That stuff dries fast. I even painted two coats and didn't get a single smudge. Gosh, that's fascinating, Melanie, you're saying. I know. I write the most intriguing stuff.)

The exciting part was that, after painting my nails "Mango-Get-Em" orange, I decided to go through a long-neglected corner of my bedroom to see if there was anything I could get rid of on Freecycle. I'm trying to declutter like a madwoman right now, and no place in this house is safe. Except Rob's closet. I'm afraid if I go in there to sort things out, I will never return. Seriously. It is scary in there.

I found a bunch of things to Freecycle, yes. But better than that, I found some things I had been looking for forever!

Like what, you ask?

Well, like my mom's orange wallet, which my dad gave to me after she died. I was only little then, seven, but I recognized the importance of keeping that wallet and have never parted with it. I cherish it, even if it is old and ugly and is missing a snap.  Maybe someone could fix it for me and make it serviceable and I could use it, or maybe when I die, one of my little girls will want it and will cherish it like I do. I dunno.

Also, I found my set of soft-tip darts. My much-older friends and I used to go to the bowling alley down in the same strip as our grocery store after work and hang out in the bar, playing darts. This was in my senior year of high school. They would actually take me to one of their houses after work but before the bowling alley, give me a shot or two of Goldschlager (good friends, I had) to get me nice and toasty, and then we'd go sit and play darts. Central New York is a happening place, what can I say? I actually got pretty good at the darts - even though everyone made fun of me, because my stance was lefty even though I shot righty - so my friend Kirstin took me to the dart store (yes! They have those!) to buy me my own set. I couldn't decide on the flights I wanted, so she let me get all three: turquoise, silver, and white with Miami Dolphins on them. I knew I was headed for Miami the following year, but they didn't have anything with the 'Canes on them, so the Dolphins were the next best thing.

That was in 1994. I haven't played since, so I offered them on Freecycle. I'm kind of thinking I should go play darts one last time before letting them go, though. What do you think?

And, I found my old Biology dissection kit. I can't remember whether I bought it in high school or college. I guess one of the kids - that naughty Sophia, I'm sure - was digging around in there, because two instruments are missing, one of the spare scalpel blade packages was open, and the rest of the packages were dumped all over the place. The idea of what could have happened there makes me shudder... but fortunately, no booboos came of that little exploration. I have since moved the dissection kit!

I found my three watches, too. One is my Guess? watch, which my first fiancé (of several) (I know) (but I only married the last one, so the others don't count) gave me as a high school graduation present. I wore it through college until the little post that holds the band onto the face got lost, and it's been sitting in its box ever since. With a drained battery. The other two are from my dad's beloved Aunt Amy; Dad gave them to me when she died about 18 years ago. They never worked, and the band is broken the same way on the Timex. Or is the Bill Blass? Maybe the latter. Anyway, I told Rob on the phone later that if he wanted to make me happy for pennies for this coming birthday/Christmas/October 12th, he could get the watches fixed for me. I would love that.  I haven't worn a watch since that Guess? band broke in college!

But the happiest discovery? My jewelry!! I had been keeping it all in the original jewelry boxes in my sock drawer (hint, thieves: don't bother looking there now. You won't find them), but they went missing ages ago. AGES. And apparently the same little imp who tried to slice herself open with my scalpel decided that this new place would be a great hiding spot for all my jewels, because that is where I found them. I have been SO sad all this time about losing them (which isn't really fair to say, since they were taken from me, and I didn't actively lose them at all); I can't even convey to you how much. They were important to me because they were my birthstone, sapphires, and because my husband gave them to me. Not all the pieces were found, but enough to make me truly overjoyed. I found one of my earrings, two of my rings, and a bracelet. The earrings and rings were an anniversary present; we'd purchased the loose stones for super-cheap on eBay, and he took them to a jeweler and had them mounted. I absolutely adored them and was heartbroken when they went missing. And here they are again!


That's one of the rings. Isn't it lovely? I adore it. And look, you can see how crappy a job I did, painting my right-hand nails with my left hand. And you can see how old my hands look now that they have lost so much weight; it's the loose skin that is everywhere on my body. Doesn't escape the hands. Do they do hand lifts?

So I've rambled long enough. It's been a happy night for me. I hope it was for you, too.