Thursday, May 7, 2009


Live, from the battlefield of the work-at-home mommy. THIS IS LIVE.

I'm on a conference call. Direction: Be Enthused. Order came in 10 minutes ago. I have created Eau d'Enthused by eating a chocolate Santa, drinking two cups of coffee, and doing four deep-knee bends. Am now creating Eau d'Enthused with a Chaser of Advil as a result of popping right knee from its flimsy but comfortable point of stasis.

Elvis the flatulent coonhound is taking shelter beneath my desk. He never does this. What will I discover when checking the living room? Please don't lick my feet Elvis. It's gross plus it makes me really worry about what I'll find in the living room.

Must. Close. Office. Door. The sound of not one but two toilets flushing (women cycle sympathetically, boys pee sympathetically) (why not vacuum sympathetically?) must be disguised by sudden fit of coughing.

There is mustard on my pyjamas. How??

Distracted. Come back to conversation to hear "snide, irreverent, provocative" -- is this bad or good? What I'm to do or what I'm to avoid?

The client sounds like Commissioner Gordon. Da na na na na na na na Da na na na na na na na BATMAN, Batman, batman.

Did I just hum that into the receiver?

This all sounds good. This is a fun job. I love this client. I love my friend who is also my client who is also sort of a part-time boss and so is the other friend and they both have the same name. It's a good name. Good friends. Good client. Wait: thought leadership. Write that down.

Directive two: Ask lots of questions. Not about any of the Wiggles or Commissioner Gordon.

OH SHIT IT'S THURSDAY. The cleaners are here. Please Elvis don't howl, don't--oh Elvis. Sssshhhh. Ssshhhh.

Gagging noise from Cleaner 1 tells me that there is something in the living room that is Very Bad Indeed.

IM from neice. Her mother is, like, SO UNFAIR. I know baby, I know, I IM back to someone who works with me in Los Angeles. WTF??? I get back.

I thought you were Abby, I write back. He doesn't know Abby and thinks, not for the first or last time, that I am retarded. A bad word. I remember when it was okay to say that. Perhaps my reluctance to give it up reflects a wish to be 9 again. I don't know what his excuse is.

Thank God this call is recorded, I think, not for the first or the last time. Thank God.

I hang up the phone. TWO SECONDS LATER, in comes a very wet Kid, holding two worms. Yes, I can see that it's raining. Yes, I do know that worms come out when it's raining because they'll drown otherwise and then birds will get them. Yes, it's unfair. Yes, I feel terrible for the worms. Yes, they can live in the bathtub. You're welcome.

The doorbell rings. FedEx. A manuscript that I agreed to edit about three years ago has arrived. Dread. Fear. Dread. Do not open. Forget about til next week or possibly longer. Settle down to write thought leadership on subject matter unthought of before this morning. Before 15 minutes ago.

TWO SECONDS LATER, in comes frightened Cleaner 2. Do I know there are worms in the bathtub? WORMS? I shriek. Oh, worms. Yes. Would you mind throwing them outside, please? MOMMY! Shrieks Kid I assumed was in the basement. MOMMY, IF YOU THROW THEM OUTSIDE THEY WILL DIE.

Horns of a dilemma. This is where I am. On the horns of a dilemma. Do the worms live or die?

Note to self: Potential magazine article on whether worms live or die. Somehow work in "bathtub gin."

It all comes back to gin.


  1. What is this "job" to which you refer? I think that women's lib thing is for suckers. And I am more and more convinced of this all the time. Especially today when the kids are all at school and I am going golfing. But check back because I might change my mind come June-August.

    No. Seriously. What do you do for work? And when is the kid old enough to go to school full day? And can Elvis go too?

  2. Hi Alpha: I'm a writer. I mostly write dark half-truths about software. And I agree with you that the revolution has really bitten us girls in the behinds. We just wanted a chance to do it all; now we're forced to do it all. Sigh. I remember, before marriage, before Kid, when I was an academic. I was right up there on the front lines, writing my little dissertation on feminist this and that. And I still believe in the this and that in principle--it's just that, in practice, it kind of sucks. I work and parent and wife and daughter and sister and try to be a good citizen and that leaves no time for proper hygeine or learning the latest trick for tuna casserole.

    Kid goes to school full time in the fall. Elvis. . . . sigh. You can't force a schedule on the King of Rock and Roll.