Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Life Is Not a Box of Chocolates

My daughter came up to me yesterday and asked whether I would take her to the fair for her next birthday.  She was born on Valentine’s Day, and it so happens that the fair comes to our town during the week of her birthday. I dread the fair. Not because it is not fun, but because I have to fight the crowds (of Mexicans) with my two children attached to my hip and a husband that constantly keeps getting lost, and if he isn’t getting lost, then he constantly keeps running into people he knows, so we spend most of our time talking—well, watching him talk—to friends and acquaintances, and our kids nag about not having enough time to ride the rides.

For this reason we skipped the fair this year and took our children to Disneyland instead, thinking that the happiest place on Earth would prove superior to any fair they’d ever been to. They were quite pleased and grateful. Until the next day.  When they returned to school and saw their classmates’ fair-bracelets attached to their wrists (Disneyland should start giving out bracelets, so that my kids could show off too) and heard them tell tales about this and that ride, my husband and I were immediately dubbed as the lame parents who can’t even take their kids to the fair.    
So, to score some points with my daughter, I told her that we would definitely go to the fair for her next birthday. She got excited and immediately started naming rides that were her favorites and that she couldn’t wait to get on. While she was reciting her mental list, my paying attention to her slowly dissipated, and I all that remained from my concentration were words escaping my mouth, like “yes” and “aha” and “hmmm”, and when my brain couldn’t conjure up any more words, it made my head nod in a repetitive motion. I was completely distracted by the idea that life is like a fair-ride (not a box of chocolates).

For example: If you constantly nag about your life’s ups and downs, then your life is clearly a rollercoaster. You shouldn’t nag. Rollercoasters are exciting, thrilling, fun! If you feel like you live a life in which people push and shove you around and hinder your abilities, then you live a bumper-cars-life. Get off and get on a new ride. Examine your life and tell me which ride it is. Mine is a merry-go-round. Here’s why:

husband
(a wife’s tale)

he sets the alarm for 4:00 am and tells me he has to get up early, but to be sure he really gets up I secretly change the setting for 3:45 am because he likes to press the snooze button three times; he is too tired to make love, but he tries anyway; he doesn’t call it fooling around or having sex or making love or fucking; he says—let’s make butter; he strokes my shoulder, my forearm, places my hand on his thigh, then moves it higher and higher, hinting; I can’t sleep most of the night because he snores; when my shoving him or pinching his nose or trying to roll him over or covering his mouth with the palm of my hand doesn’t work, I tickle his underarm; he wakes up startled—what happened, what happened, he says, then he rolls over; we fall asleep; I wake up later because he is snoring; he silences the alarm clock three times; after the third time I turn it off and get up; I prepare his lunch, pour coffee into his thermos, and wake him up; he puts on his work clothes, boots, takes a sip of his coffee, and says—give me some sugar, Sugar; we kiss, and he is out the door; I make our bed, find candy-bar wrappers on his nightstand, a half-drunk, sticky glass of milk, which I’m certain is going to leave a ring, one of his socks under the bed, the other under the nightstand; he wears no pajamas, but the boxers he had on yesterday are in the corner of our bedroom today; I prepare breakfast, brown-bag lunches, wake up the kids, walk them to school, go to work; I pick up the kids, get groceries, do laundry, help with homework,  make dinner, mop the floors; he walks in, leaving sewer-plant-restoration-footprints; he goes to the bathroom and yells—there’s no toilet paper; I bring him a roll, which I’m certain he won’t fasten to its holder; I wipe up the water he left on the floor after he took a shower and sit down for dinner; we eat listening to his lip-smacking; pass the salt, Sugar—he says and pours it from an arm-length’s height; he notices my frown and says—I like to see it land on my food; it lands all over the table; after dinner he asks for dessert; I didn’t have time to make any; he sags his shoulders and turns on the TV; I wash-up the kids, read a story, tuck them in; I shower; when I open the shower curtain, he stands there holding up a heart-shaped rock, which I’m certain he almost killed himself getting wherever he got it; he places it into a bowl on top of the other heart-shaped rocks, which I’m certain he almost killed himself getting wherever he got them—so you never run out of love for me, he says; I’m in bed; I hear him going on a scavenger hunt, opening cabinets and drawers, which I’m certain he won’t close; he puts candy-bars and a glass of milk onto his nightstand; he sets the alarm for 4:00 am and tells me he has to get up early, but to be sure he really gets up I secretly change the setting for 3:45 am because he likes to press the snooze button three times; he is too tired to make love, but he tries anyway; he doesn’t call it fooling around or having sex or making love or fucking; he says—let’s make butter

If you liked this story, I know you will love the rest. You can find them here. Don’t be shy and buy, so that I can save up money I’m going to end up spending on the most ridiculous and unnecessary items for which my kids will whine at the next fair.




2 comments:

  1. Hiilarious! It reminds me of a trip I took with my kids. We were in Hawaii and my son wined the whole trip about missing his cousins. Kids just want to be with other kids.
    I can totally relate to your Fair experience. I'm dodging Mexicans and Danny is talking to everyone! Lol we should go together this year!

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    1. The fair is not fair to me. I never get to pick a ride I want, I have to keep my eyes peeled at my kids' and husband's whereabouts, and my shoes get ruined from all the dust, sand, and mud!

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