What a week.
It started off okay – full of hope actually. Then, by 4:42 yesterday afternoon, I was a Stephen King novel, foaming at the mouth in a Kathy Bates-sized pair of elastic waist Mom jeans.
Nothing really bad had happened. In fact, nothing much really happened at all. Jack got over the flu. I worked. The snow melted. My attempt at tongue-in-cheek humour failed miserably, with many an email pointing out that it was indeed the WWF Wildlife folks and not the WWF Wrestlers who were backing the Earth Hour. No shit. But hey, even Stephen King made mistakes. ("Christine").
I guess I was kind of hoping for something good to happen.
So, there I was in an awkward parking spot, in rush hour, in a recession, in perimenopause, waiting for my child to finish his "hockey workout" at 4:45, so I could chauffeur him to his next activity.
The tail end of my truck (not to mention my ass) was admittedly sticking out a bit, giving every world-weary commuter an excuse to look over at me and give me that look. The one that says, "you stooopid, stooopid middle-aged woman with bad hair". Trust me, I know the look. My grandmother invented it.
Then, before I knew it, it was 4:48. Six minutes had passed, but it seemed like decades. I have an education, I came to this country to change the world, why am I driving a cab? I kept looking through the window at all the fit, happy people huffing and puffing, working out and listening to their iPods. I was thinking, aside from bending over to pick up dog crap, or take clothes out of the dryer, that I hadn't really had any exercise all week, and how I will someday run over some co-ed wearing a hoodie and earphones who walks in front of my car because they are invincible and listening to Katy Perry full blast. The fact that I did not even touch the brakes will come out in the police report.
Then I eyed the bag.
It seems, while in catatonic Survivor Mom mode, I subconsciously grabbed a bag of "Two-Bite" Brownies on the way out the door. Jack would want a snack, I guess was what I was thinking as I passed the apples on the way out the door. And, I'd like to meet the sick moron who named those heroin-laced fat bombs "TWO Bite" brownies. It must have been a man, because those are clearly "ONE-Bite" brownies.
I had my first at 4:51.
By 4:59, the bag was empty and I was thrashing around in the car trying to get off my leash. You know when you drive by a parked car and the dog inside is lunging at the window, biting the glass, and it's kind of funny but scary at the same time. That was me. Even angry commuters stopped giving me"the look". They knew better.
I was sniffing around the car looking for crumbs or the other half of a breakfast sandwich that had fallen between the seats, when I flashed to some email banter I'd had earlier in the day with my friend Amy. A single mom, self-employed writer, Amy and I speak the same tongue. We had been commiserating how a nice, big, firm stimulus package would come in handy right about now. I confessed to her that things were so stressful, and money was so tight, that I actually scrimped on dog food and and bought one-ply toilet paper and No Name Kraft dinner so I could keep a bottle of wine standing by.
Amy just said, "Ya. Of course. That's just putting the oxygen mask on first."
It was the line of the week.
At 5:07 Jack approached the car. He had no clue he was 23 minutes late and while I had been sitting there the weight of the world and a bag of brownies had descended on me. He jumped in and said, "thanks for picking me up Mom" and started babbling about the great workout and "oh look, I'm late" and could we please stop for a snack, because he was starving.
At that moment, a bright yellow oxygen mask dropped down from the ceiling. I strapped it behind my head, took a deep breath, turned the key and joined the stream of traffic heading somewhere other than there.
Isn't chocolate poisonous to dogs?