As I am wont to do, I started into a point and then lost it in a tangent. The point I started to make, that unravelled quickly, is that writing, for me, is my detox. I identify with Alexander because he’s such a morose little fucker. But I also recognize that Alexander dug his own grave and then buried himself in it with his constant negativity. That’s the thing, though. Sometimes I just need to bitch about it, and go full Alexander, and then I’m fine. So this was a little detox post. Like most of my thoughts, it devolved before I made the point clear. Hooray for the Vyvanse crash.
Okay. Go forward, my little droogies.
I have not dealt with extremely low moods in probably a year. Maybe closer to two now.
I’d been told, but refused to believe, that work was the miracle cure for a severe allergy to being a stay-at-home mom.
Not that I don’t appreciate the moms who do it. Seriously, you ladies could kick my ass any old day of the week. That is not an easy gig.
So not easy that I literally had to bail on it. I could not do it. Just, for me, it was toxic. I wanted nothing more than to be a stay-at-home mom.
Until I became one.
And my moods sank faster than the Titanic, y’all.
Now, the caveat here is that, for work to cure that ennui, it has to be work that is meaningful. Whether it’s cashing people out or making lattes or performing brain surgery or exchanging words for cash money, it has to mean something to you to cure you.
My work is meaningful. I am most happy at work.
It was just one of those Alexander sorts of days. Started out with my kids waking me up at three in the damn morning by getting into a fist fight over the one tablet that still had some juice left in it.
My bad. I should have put them back in the hole until weekend, like I normally do.
This was a preventable assault.
Still, I was not pleased. And then the school sent a call blast to let me know that I needed to add “find somewhere to stick these kids for two hours” to my pre 8 a.m. to-do list, because we got some freezing rain last night and the roads were shit.
And I said some things, man. Some things I should have taken some time to wake up and edit a little bit before letting them come out my mouth.
Just as a general rule I should probably swear some sort of oath to never again open my mouth before I’ve put some coffee in it.
I got up and started getting ready, and things were okay until I had to take a significant amount of time out of my morning routine and reroute it to keeping my precious spawn on task.
What’s the record for number of times saying “put your pants on, please,” and getting no response without going full bat shit, by the way?
Only because I’m pretty sure I need to add “call Guinness” to tomorrow morning’s action items.
Anyhow, once I got the kids basically ready, I had ten minutes to get myself ready. And explain that one to me, when I was out of bed an hour before the alarm should’ve woken me up.
But whatever. It’s fine. It’s all gonna be fine.
I’m so sure.
So of course I’m rushing around trying to get myself painted and dressed, and the plumage coiffed, and what not, and I come downstairs to find that, lo and behold, the pilot on the gas wall heater has gone out.
Which explained my freezing toes this morning.
So, I go to the kitchen to get a piece of spaghetti and a lighter.
But I quit smoking last year, like a fucking dumbass, so I realize I’m going to have to light the spaghetti on the stove to light the wall heater, which is around the corner in the dining room.
Long story short, six pieces of charred spaghetti and a couple of pieces of broom straw later, I accepted the fact that it was going to be cold tonight when we got home.
So we left.
Well, we got in the car. Then Harper told me she forgot her backpack, so I got out of the car, and went back in the house, and got the backpack. And then we left.
Now, if you’re not familiar with life in the goddamn tundra, then a two hour delay is a thing they do here where they acknowledge that it’s shitty out, but they also acknowledge that if we don’t all grow a pair and suck it up like the strapping man-men that anyone who lives here either becomes or dies, then we would never go to school. So we all agree to spend an extra two hours waiting for the temperature to rise to a point at which the road salt can melt the ice enough that we can send our precious darlings off to school with a reasonable expectation that they won’t burn to death in a horrific bus accident that could have been avoided if the roads weren’t the substrate in the Super Mario Brothers ice level environment.
So I had to take them to my mom’s.
So we’re going along, and we get about three blocks down the road from our house, and we’re all happily listening to Tupac preach the gospel word, and there’s a semi stopped at a light, and I’m only doing about fifteen, but I let off the gas and start pumping the brakes…and sliding…and panicking…and pumping the brakes some more…and really, really panicking…and BAM.
I smack the front of my car into the ass of the semi.
He never even noticed.
This is the result of an under-15 collision with a semi truck:
It doesn’t look so bad. Except that the hood is pushed up and the bumper is basically shit and, oh yeah, the insurance that my ex-husband pays as part of our support agreement?
Doesn’t include collision.
That’s a 2003 Matrix with 175,000 miles, you guys.
The amount of money it’s going to take for me to fix that?
At least one-third again what the stupid car is worth in good shape.
I’m not blaming.
I’m just saying that if I didn’t have to pay utilities and property taxes and homeowners insurance and buy birthday presents for parties we get invited to literally every week and contribute to fundraisers, again, literally every week, and do all of their Christmas morning myself, and pay for yoga and try to figure out where gymnastics money is going to come from and feed them and clothe them and keep them in shampoo and soap and toothpaste and school stuff and, you know, alive, and find some extra money somewhere to pay for their therapy when they tell me that they wish they could die, at five years old, so they can stop feeling sad and missing their dad, and if, on top of all that, I made three times what I make right now…
Well, then, I probably wouldn’t feel so bad about having to come up with some serious cheddar for repairs either.
Because like Tupac, I will make a goddamn dollar out of fifteen cents. Been doing it this long. And I am nothing if not creative.
And I just keep telling myself (when I’m not screaming into my hand, that’s clasped over my mouth, in the break room with the lights off and my meditation app reminding me that “all is well, all is fucking well,”) that it could be worse.
And that it’s like the Fresh Prince says. It doesn’t matter whose fault it is that it’s broken if it’s my responsibility to fix it.
And it is.
It is my responsibility to fix it.
But even the loan sharks in the shady-ass end of the shopping plaza who’ve been sending me “pre-approved” bullshit letters for months are like, “ehhh, naw, man” when I ask them if they wanna help me out a little and J.D. Byrider won’t return my phone calls.
It just gets really hard. It sucks so bad.
And I got pretty morose today, for the first time in a really long time. And I don’t like it.
It’ll pass. It doesn’t have any choice but to pass. Just like living in the tundra. It’s cold, and its always gonna be cold, so there’s really no use sitting around bitching about it.
But good lort, y’all. There are days where I wish I could be the one to parent from the McDonald’s for three hours a week with my parents there to do all the heavy lifting.
And I know I need to have empathy, and I need to remember that it’s not for me to wish to be another party in this, but man. It is hard, sometimes to get up out of that rabbit hole.
I just keep reminding myself that people have written themselves out of worse. And that the fact that other people have it worse right now, this very moment, is reason enough to quit bitching.
And if Alexander Hamilton could write his way out of his shitty life then goddamn it so can I.
But if Lin-Manuel Miranda feels like writing a new musical about a scrappy single mother with plenty of dickensian tragedy to compose an entire musical about…
I’m just saying.
Over here, you big beautiful ridiculous genius of Puerto Rican descent and man bun loveliness (grow it back out, please, sir).
I’ll just be selling some plasma for car repairs and continuing to write my memoir of heartbreaking wisdom.
Whenever you’re ready.
“Call me,” she stage whispered, to no one.