Saturday, May 7, 2016

This Wheel's on Fire.

I've made a terrible mistake.

I mentioned in a comment on FB the other night about how May had somehow appeared out of exactly nowhere and then not at-all-gently grabbed me by the balls. Like, left a mark. Don't believe me? Fine, I'll take a picture with the phone and -- What's that? Oh, you believe me now. Well, good then.

It started back in March, I suppose.  Things would come up.  Or rather, things came up that would not actually really come up until May.  A concert on May 18th?  Excellent.  Birthday party for the nephew at the end of the month? Noted.  The annual five day Lorraine weekend? Flight booked, and countdown commenced. And then in April I was invited to a high school graduation party on the 21st, and I simply must attend because it's the boy who helped build my bathroom last summer, and I should be there to break a bottle of champagne over his head or whatever it is you do with teenagers being turned loose on the world.  Things like that.

And what's this, our dearest Angela is going to be in town the first weekend of June?  Well, stop the presses and everything else for that matter, because what could be more important, and of course you will be staying with me, correct?  All of these plans for all of these wonderful things, and all of them not happening for another month, at least.

And then May arrived, and I felt the slight tug on my left testicle, but I shrugged it off because all of these things were for later in the month, and I had already checked each one of these events against my work calendar to make sure I would be free to partake.  It was just this Thursday that I got to work, checked the calendar again, and holy shit, next week is the week we rotate shifts (as we do every four months) and suddenly all my balls are in the air.  And what the fuck do you mean Mothers Day is this Sunday?  Well that's impossible, it's never this early, it's always -- What's that?  2nd Sunday in May? Well, apparently it is, then.

Speaking of mom, she is having a similar month, bemoaning to me on the phone the other night about how it's all snuck up on her and she forgot it was Mother's Day as well and doesn't have any of her cards mailed out yet and I reminded her that SHE is the mom and shouldn't have to do anything and apparently she still does because she knows other mom's.  Luckily, I only know of her, and I'm off on Sunday and I'll drive down and make my appearance and mission will be accomplished.  And also, I cross checked all of my other events, notifying Lorraine that she would be attending the graduation party with me as a +1 (she was fine that) and I was confident that no fatalities would be incurred during this slightly overly merry month of May.  Crisis averted!

Or not.

There are exactly ten minutes each work morning for me to sit at my kitchen table, dressed for the office, with my cup of coffee and inaugural morning cigarette(s) before I must head out the door and begin my commute.  How on earth I managed yesterday, in that meager 10 minutes, to remember the one event that was nowhere in my mind for the past 2 months... Broadway tickets?  Yes, the "girls" from Lincoln and the "girls" from Kansas City were coming to town...  Book of Mormon, I think. But when was that...

I checked my text history to find that moment in time so long ago (February) when these plans were made.  First weekend of June, four houseguests from two different cities, all of them with purchased theatre tickets in hand.  They would be dining and drinking and needing a place to sleep, all things I had promised them back when the plans were first decided.   Not the kind of weekend you can bump, to put it mildly.

Angela.  I double-booked Angela. Not just Angela, but her husband, her beautiful 3 year old daughter on their once in a lifetime (ok, twice) cross country adventure.  A daughter who, next time I see her, if I ever get to see her, will not be 3 any more.  Seven people booked for my two-bed house, plus myself, all in the same weekend.  And my heart just sank, way down into the bottom of my coffee cup with all those loose grounds that Keurig machines tend to kick out when you push the button.  I mean, one can always find floor space, but what one cannot find is time to equally devote to all those special guests that deserve undivided attention.  And you know, I know these people well enough to know that none of them would have complained, and they would probably have all gotten along together just marvelously.  But that's not the point.  The point is that I messed up, I messed up big, and it had to be fixed.

So what then, does one do in a situation such as this?   So many books have been written, so many advice columns; the answer is out there.  Pretty sure Ann Landers is dead.  Google? Strangely silent. With nowhere to turn, I asked Martha Stewart (because she knows everything about entertaining, and otherwise) what she would do in such a situation, and she said "You double-booked?  I wouldn't do anything in that situation, because I would never BE in that situation!"  And then she slapped me so hard it left another mark, and there may have been some language unbefitting a three year old in there as well.

Deep breath.

Everything is fine now.  I explained to Angela, of course she understood, and we shifted her weekend by one day, just like that.  Because it's Angela, and Martha could learn a thing or two from a real domestic diva.  She was so graceful that I even managed to feel slightly less shitty for allowing it all to happen in the first place.

Yes, I know what you're thinking.  How, in this day and age, what-with all this modern technological geekery that fits into one's front pocket, could a life get so altogether mismanaged, and what one simple thing could have prevented the entire disaster in the first place?

Way ahead of you.  I'm interviewing receptionists on Monday.


It's that thing, where maybe you mow the lawn once a week but take no notice and suddenly all of the shrubbery along the perimeter has slowly grown together to meet in the middle, where the weeds popping up between the cracks of the brick pathway along the side of the house are no longer just weeds but now they are the walls of a jungle that is taller than the house itself.  (That totally happened last year, I expect it will again.  I just never go over to that side of the house often enough to notice it happening.)  That thing where those little volunteer trees now have trunks wider than the fattest part of my leg [I think those are called thighs, John] and stand thirty feet in the air, little limbs of their own that dangle down low enough that you can't walk beneath them without using your arms to deflect a collision.  Three years ago I did not know what a Volunteer tree even was, lest could have imagined that a little baby tree could so quickly evolve into a bad thing, or worse, an entire yard full of them.

The good news is that all of those Volunteers are gone now, along with a bunch of the shrubbery from around the house that I paid someone to haul away a couple of weeks ago.  Later this summer we'll cover up that brick patio with a deck and I expect that will greatly impact future jungle existence. And I already Facebooked my glee about the City cutting down that big dying tree in front of my house this past week.  I'm still quite happy about that little surprise.

The bad news?  I wasn't really trying to talk about my yard at all.  I was talking about this blog. Except that I wasn't even doing the bare minimum weekly mowing.  I popped in today and could've sworn I saw a tumbleweed blowing across the page.

All of this, of course, put my OCD into overdrive, and I grabbed the weed-whacker.  Loosely translated:  I unpublished everything that I'd published so far since starting the blog again, partly because it's been so long that I can't really remember what I wrote and I really have this aversion to my words being left to float around the internet where all kinds of untold damage could occur.  I mean, the wind could blow and knock them over, and they might land on a house.  Yes, it's a real thing and please stop looking at me like that.  So now my blog is a clean slate, a blank canvas, and it can be whatever I decide I want it to be.  See, the problem with dedicating an entire blog to one specific thing, like say, a house, is that eventually you're going to end up with two months of nothing to say.

True story: Last week a friend of mine who moved to Arizona a few years ago sent me an extremely random text message in the middle of the night.  The subsequent conversation took place the next morning when I was actually awake:

Him:  Bring back your blog.   [see?  Random]
Me:  Random.
Him:  I was thinking about it last night.  Your subject matter will have obviously changed, but there'd be a lot more variety.  Plus, you could be the Carrie again instead of the Miranda.
Me:  Miranda works for me.  Carrie is self absorbed and annoying.
Him:  No.  No one aspires to Mirandahood.
Me.  I have no desire to write and have people know my thoughts.  There's enough of that shit on Twitter and Facebook.   The internet has changed.

I was flattered that he remembered the old blog.  (This entire conversation was in reference to "All Things Bitter", the blog I dutifully maintained for almost a decade and then unceremoniously walked away from.)  I don't think I was even aware he ever read it, or anyone local for that matter.  The thing with blogs is that you get yourself to thinking that the people leaving comments are the only people who read them.

At no point in this little random text conversation did I mention to him that I'd actually been blogging again for the past six months.