Tuesday, September 18, 2007

death of a superwoman

This one is for anybody who has ever commented about what a Superwoman I appear to be... I hope you're all happy now.

Liberal Collegeville, The Midwest (AP) - In a surprise ending to a fairy tale story, the Rotten Correspondent is in stable condition at a local hospital after several of the balls she was keeping in the air came down unexpectedly and struck her repeatedly in the head. Emergency Room physicians predicted a guarded recovery but insist on being on record as saying that her juggling reputation may be damaged beyond repair. One disgruntled hospital coworker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the accident had simply been a matter of time. "All you had to do was look at her to see that she couldn't walk and chew gum at the same time. Who started this whole superwoman thing, anyway?"

Who indeed?

I asked myself that Sunday night at 11:58 when I suddenly stopped slamming my head into the keyboard trying to come up with a blog post for that night and remembered that I had until 12:01 to pay the car insurance or they'd cancel us. I raced down the stairs carrying my slice of pumpkin cake in one hand and the fork in the other, because I knew if I left it sitting there I'd come back to an empty plate and a dog with nutmeg breath. As I ran through the dark dining room I tripped over a fat (black) dog and hurtled into space, cake flying one way and my arm with the fork jerking backwards and ending up close enough to my ear that I almost re pierced myself. Stepping on the cake on the way into the kitchen, I collected the bill, the phone and my credit card and made the payment. Or thought I did. After a couple of minutes of plugging in numbers and following prompts from a voice straight out of The Stepford Wives, I thought I was home free. Until...the computer declined the payment because it was now 12:06 and you can only make phone payments if your policy is current. By that point, of course, we weren't. I believe the legal term is uninsured.

I asked myself that at 7 am Monday morning, standing in the disheveled remains of the room that looked slightly like my kitchen. The counters were covered with dirty dishes and half eaten food, and there were wet dish towels all over the floor. Someone had spilled a big puddle of chili on the stove top sometime Sunday night and had never cleaned it up, so there it sat, hard and crusty. Surfer Dude had accidentally exploded a concoction of vanilla pudding, chocolate chips and...what was that third ingredient? Oh yes...A METAL SPOON ...in the microwave Sunday while I was at work and the microwave was full of tacky brown pudding and glass shards. The kids had no clean clothes for school and I couldn't find any water bottles for lunch boxes. The entire microwave had to be cleaned so I could warm up spaghetti for lunches. Everyone needed a shower but all the towels were dirty. Gumby sat at the dining room table frantically doing math homework he had denied having all weekend, blissfully unaware that, in an hour and a half when he left for school, he would forget to put the completed sheet in his backpack and it would sit on the table until his loser of a mother noticed it four hours later.

I asked myself that
an hour later when my butt was plopped in front of the computer goofing off and trying to figure out how long I could sit here before I started cleaning up my various messes. My only consolation was that the Film Geek, who is officially home to stay as of today, was going straight to his office and hopefully wouldn't see the whites of my eyes until I had dealt with everything. Cue the sound of the back screen door slamming and the sounds of "Honey, I'm home" wafting through the house. I got up, forcing myself to look productive, and climbed over the piles of debris in the kitchen to welcome him home and prove, once and for all, that I manage just fine when he's gone for weeks on end.

I asked myself that
when, after one errand followed by another all afternoon, I picked Sasquatch up at school and allowed myself to get so sucked into teenage boy melodrama that I forgot to go to the grocery store to buy anything for dinner.

I asked myself that around dinner time when the desperation chili I had put on to reheat burned like a charcoal briquet while I was picking up Gumby from French class. I could smell it before I even walked in the back door. I threw a whole bunch of sour cream and shredded cheese on it and served it anyway. Surfer Dude wrinkled his nose and started to say something, but then saw me mouthing the word "microwave" and made like a smart boy and hushed. Note I didn't say he ate it, but he hushed and scrounged something else for his grub.

I asked myself that when I finally went upstairs to lay down with a book and couldn't find my pajamas, which for me is yoga type pants and a tank top thingy. After tearing my room apart, I found them. I was wearing them. And had been...all day. The whole time I was doing errands, the entire time I was sweet talking the insurance agent and while I was in the bank making the deposit. Pajamas. Thank god I don't sleep in a negligee. Or worse yet nude.

So... I think it's finally time to let the whole Superwoman myth go. The whole ball juggling, kid wrangling, bill paying, cookie baking, narcotic pushing, honey voiced combination of Martha Stewart, Rachel Ray, Pamela Anderson and Heloise fantasy is kaput. Gone. See ya.

If you remember correctly, I told you right from the beginning not to believe a word of it.


my two cents said...

You may be down, but you are certainly not out. You ARE Superwoman, and always have been. Well, at least as long as I have known you. Besides, you make it all so fun to read about!

p.s. If I actually stay awake until ten, I get to read first!!

ciara said...

even superwoman has a bit of kryptonite to throw her off some days. :) i've been a sahm for last 3 yrs and after i got tired of reminding someone or another bout this or that, picking up after them, etc. i decided that i had to make them responsible for themselves. of course it's a lot easier said than done, but they're coming along.

i'm glad you weren't hurt when you fell. and yeah, i still think you're a pretty good juggler :)

Flowerpot said...

glad you weren't hurt, too. But it made a great post! Long live Superwoman.

Jo Beaufoix said...

RC what a day.
And of course you're a superwoman.

Pyjama Woman is an ideal name seeing as you sported that attractive outfit in your day of battling evil.

And you survived and wrote a funny post about it too.

Sending big hugs because I have so many days like that.

Now break out the wine and chocolate and order take out next time.

Mya said...

Oh RC, What a day! Poor you. When is that husband of yours going to take you out to dinner? Hmm? Tell him Mya wants to know!

Hang in there SW!

Mya x

miss yerem said...

lovely post,been there,done that:..:o)
hope the rest of the week will be full of clean microwaves,gorgeous smelling food,lots of cookies and balloons and pyjama-woman medals for you:-)) hugs from faraway berlin,anja

Willowtree said...

What a mess! You didn't just kill the superwoman, you cut her up and sent the parts to China for transplants.

laurie said...

ok, the pajamas.... if it wasn't for the pajamas, i might have been able to brush everything else away and say, ah, even superwoman has a bad day.

but the pajamas!

i have to tell you, i've had far too many days like that myself. (including the insurance fiasco) and i have NO children. and a husband who is pretty much home every evening.

so there.

your adventures are funnier,t hough. or maybe it's just you.

Sweet Irene said...

Awe shucks, you mean you are not perfect and now you can't be my role model and I can't give you the surprise I was going to give you? Well, darn it all. I'll have to pick someone else to look up to and admire. When you are done being not perfect, come by and see me for something, will ya? Promise to be perfect again from now on though? Okay?

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Oh what a relief to hear about someone else's calamitous day! Sitting in my mess feeling rather helpless, this cheered me up no end. Especially the pyjamas! ha ha ha!

auntie barbie said...

Even Superwoman has bad days, but I fear not. I know you will soon be out tackling the evils of being a mother, wife and healer.
As for the outfit. Yoga pants and a tank top are perfectly acceptable attire in public and the bedroom.

Kaycie said...

Damn, RC. I think that rivals my worst day in recent memory. And that is saying something! At least there wasn't a crashed vehicle in your scenario -- that would have been doubly bad with the insurance snafu. My tip on that: automatic deductions. I haven't been late in years.

Jen said...

I knew it! I knew it! I knew you were just like me. Of course, I noticed in the middle all of that, you still had time to answer my quiz, so your juggling isn't too far gone. And as Jo noted, you wore your pajamas all day. So do superheroes, so you've still got that going for you.

You'll have some pralines headed your way, soon. I don't know that they are as good as your pumpkin cake, but maybe it will help.

ped crossing said...

Okay, so now that you have dashed my hopes that it will all get better as boys get older. I am only left to assume that it is because you have one more boy and two more dogs that it all went to pot and that there is still hope for me.

But there have got to be better days ahead, at least nine of them since you got time off for good behaviour. You have time to revive the illusion.

Hang in there!

Diana said...

I love you even more.

Should you ever find yourself in Southern Wisconsin, I will throw open the door and direct you to the small path through the drifts of dog hair, past the tables of sticky hand and dog-nose prints and into the kitchen where you would be allowed to look into my microwave and laugh in sisterhood while I pulled us up a couple of chairs, divesting them of their piles of 'artwork', 'homework' and just plain 'work' and pouring you a cup of what ever you wanted to drink.

Smooch, smooch.

We Superwomen must stick together.

Kimberly said...

Superwoman = Being struck repeatedly on the head and still having the cogitative power to post about it.

Akelamalu said...

I think you coped admirably, You are Superwoman! :)

Amy said...

You just need to fly off in your invisible airplane for a while. You'll be back.

PixelPi said...

The pajamas were the best part. Because as I envisioned this whole post unfolding, I was seeing you in my pajamas, which are 10-year-old flannel PJs, frayed at every edge. Missing buttons are replaced with safety pins. Yellow fabric (where there's fabric left), with purple and pink and red and orange dogs and cats with umbrellas on them. Now if you'd been wearing those PJs, you'd now have permanent superhero powers. Which I suspect you have anyway.

May days like these be few and far between!

Anonymous said...

Marvellous post. Perhaps you were Superwoman in a past life. In this one, you are much better.

Crystal xx

my two cents said...

Ahem, in reference to your comment over at A Snowball's Chance... - I was NOT blogging at work. I got up early to check and see if I got all the answers right, it is just that the time registers eastern, not pacific. By the way, BEFORE I blogged I showered, dressed (in clothes), did my hair, put dinner in the crock pot, made myself lunch, tea, and eaten breakfast. Besides, I am trying to break the blogging at work since I won't be there much longer and I don't think I'll be blogging at my new job...

Iota said...

BUT... in the comments section of your last post, we have already established that people in the medical professions work in pyjamas, so everyone would just have thought you were in your work gear. See. You ARE Superwoman. Unless, of course, like Superman, you had your underpants on over the top of them.

Stepping Over the Junk said...

I cant stop thinking about that pumpkin cake.

Anonymous said...

So glad you were not hurt when you fell or did not have a fork pierce you. Did you still get to eat the cake?
Your house is sounding more and more like mine, which in a strange, sick way makes me feel comforted, knowing I am not alone in this.
Hope your week is better. Sending positive rays of light your way.

laurie said...

OH i have a story to tell about tripping with a fork. and stabbing myself. and having to go to the ER....

glad that didnt' happen to you.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Oh wow, I'm really late responding. Sorry!

my two cents - bless your heart. Now, uh, define Superwoman.

ciara - somebody took that kryptonite and stuck it where the sun don't shine. Even for superheroes.

flowerpot - nah, I caught myself before I hit the ground.

jo - pyjama woman...I like it.It has a nice ring to it.

mya - I'll tell him you said so. He's still laughing about your comment about grips being the film equivalent of rock drummers.

miss yerem - nice to have you back. I'm hoping my next week includes all the lovely things on your list.

willowtree - I dipped the parts in a mixture of lead paint and arsenic before I sent them off, too.

laurie - oh, I know. The pajamas were really just the final indignity.

sweet irene - no one in my entire life has used the word perfect for me unless the word bitch was right after it. Truly. And thanks again for the award!

pig in the kitchen - welcome! I always feel so alone when I have these days, and it's really nice to see how universal they are. Thank god.

auntie barbie - that really was the only salvation, that my pajamas were kind of street clothes-ish. I think if I had looked down and seen my granny gown, I'd have quietly moved away in the night.

kaycie - I still think your daughter's car crash was worse. And certainly scarier. Maybe less embarrassing, though.

jen - yeah, okay, so I took the time to do the armadillo search. It was a celebration!! And oh how I adore pralines...

ped crossing - It will definitely get better as your boys get older. Definitely. At least that's what everyone keeps telling me!!

diana - oh my god. I think we live in the same house. And I love you right back for it!

kimberly - well, I've learned that if I spew it all out into print I sleep better. No one else does, but I do.

akelamalu - what else could I do? keep on plugging.

amy - that invisible plane needs to take me someplace with a coastline and a swim up bar.

pixel pi - I have pajamas just like that and have been thanking the heavens all day that I wasn't wearing those. Can you imagine?

crystal jigsaw - I think I still need some work on the costume.

my two cents (again)- well, if that's your story...

and whaddya mean you got dressed in clothes?? what's your point??

iota - on the plus side - no underpants on top. on the minus side - no underpants. Uh...

stepping over the junk - it was good cake, believe me. We make it a lot in the fall and it's yummy. And very easy, so no new Superwoman baking shots anyone!

eileen - sadly, the cake ended up stuck to the bottom of my foot. But I might have had a piece or two beforehand!

laurie - well spill it, woman. what are you waiting for? I love a good ER story ;)

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

I loved the pajama story. I do stuff like that. I search through my whole purse for my house keys, emptying it out, then find them -- in my hand. I've burned stuff in the oven all week too. And I don't have the busy, stressful life you have, RC. So what's my excuse?