11.15.2014

Mom's Out of Order



You know it's going to be a bad day when a nagging injury wakes you at 4 a.m. and you limp into the kitchen for an ice pack only to find water dripping down the freezer's shelves and all the ice cubes clumping together like kitty litter. But I did what any normal, half-asleep housewife would do–I threw a towel over the puddle and went back to bed, hoping the whole mess would somehow work itself out by morning.

Cut to two hours later and there I was without a cup of coffee in me yet, having to transfer all the half-thawed meat and soggy Eggos to our already packed back-up freezer. I'd just stocked up to the hilt at the grocery store the day before –Murphy's friggin' law– so this feat was the contortional equivalent of stuffing my ass into skinny jeans the day after Thanksgiving. Ain't gonna happen.

And still, I held out hope that the problem was just isolated to the freezer – we'd been having trouble with its ice maker on and off for the past year. So that day I kept opening the fridge and thinking, 'Hmm, it still feels kind of cold...it could be okay.'  By dinnertime, I had to admit that things were starting to smell stinky, and a day later my hunch was confirmed by the repairman, who declared the whole refrigerator unfixable. 'It is 14 years old,' he said, like that was a perfectly good excuse.

It was the very same observation my husband had made to me two weeks earlier when the garbage disposal stopped working for good. I'd been slow to accept that loss too since there was no sudden death, rather an onslaught of ungodly noises every time I used it until one day, the on-button only produced silence.

So I should have known that the prognosis for the dishwasher would be bad when my daughter opened it for a fresh fork and said, 'These dishes are still dirty.' This, mind you, was exactly a week after the fridge's demise. But ever the optimist, I laughed it off, thinking I must have forgot the soap, and started the cycle again. Kid you not, I tried to run that thing three more times before noticing the dishes weren't even getting wet.

Clearly, all my appliances share a similar expiration date. And who can blame them, really? It's fucking exhausting, having to keep a household running day in and day out. 14 years is a seriously loooong time to be working your butt off in a job no one appreciates. (That is, until you don't do it anymore). I oughta know. No wonder all the machines up and quit.

And I have to say, I'm a tad jealous. I wish I could just hang a sign on myself that says, 'Out of Order.' Then everyone in my family would be forced to figure out their dang business on their own or find some sort of workaround.

Imagine the possibilities. There would be my son Roo screaming that his baseball uniform needs to be cleaned again. And I could just shrug and point to the sign.

When his sister Bean wants to know, for the umpteenth time, what's for dinner, I'd shake my head and point to the sign.

When their older brother wants me to fill out his permission slips, give him money for boy scout dues, drive him back and forth to soccer....

Can't. Out of order. Didn't you see the sign?

Though my kids are like me. A little slow on the uptake. Even if I write the words out in block letters, cover them with glitter, or turn them into an iPad screensaver, it might take a while for reality to sink in. They'd still nag, beg and plead for me to do their bidding until finally, I'd have to get my husband or a repairmen to clue them in to the fact that I've been doing this for far too long, so what did they expect? STOP PRESSING MOM'S BUTTONS! NOTHING WORKS!!

And, like me with my appliances, they would have two choices: accept the fact that they're fucked, or find themselves a replacement. I offer up that second option a lot–almost every time they say they hate me, I'm the worst, or that my rules suck. I'll be like, 'Great, if you think you can find someone else who wants my job, by all means, go for it.'

So far, there haven't been takers, but I'm holding out hope. In the meantime, kids, stop pressing my buttons. Or, like everything else around here, I'm gonna break.

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4 comments:

  1. Don't know how U mom's do it!!! Keep the out of order sign up, hopefully they will send U out 4 repair & I'll buy U a drink (or 10)

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    1. Alcohol. Helping Parents Cope Since 2700 B.C.

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  2. So excited to see your book is coming out soon!!! Did you ever get to ice that nagging injury???

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    1. You're the cause of that nagging injury, LOL. We'll have to discuss the status of the book over our next run :-)

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