I bought this book last year in hopes that it would give me the answers to all of my biggest problems…well, all of the ones that stem from a perpetually disorganized house, purse, bedroom, car…ahem, life.
I try to be organized, really I do. I sorted my junk drawers like it was nobodies business right before Aubrey was born…I've got sorters and baskets and labels and file folders. I told Scott the other day, "If I could just have the house to myself for two weeks, I could get EVERYTHING in order and then ya'll can come back and live here again."
He laughed. We won't speculate on why.
So anyways…I really did used to be, well, kind of organized.
I can't lie and say I was perpetually type A, always tidy and orderly. My sister and I used to share a bedroom and I know she's reading this.
We used to have epic fights over my "organization" methods (neat, orderly piles ALL over the bedroom) vs. hers (throwing my "piles" out or jamming them in the closet or under the bed, which I thought was VERY impractical. How are you supposed to find what you are looking for if you can't see it?!). We'll just say her house looks like our bedroom after she used to clean it, and my house looks like our bedroom…well, all of the other times.
You can see how that book might help me. I'm hoping to read the rest of it this year…as soon as I find it.
All this to say…I used to be organized (sort of…in my own sort of way) and then I had kids.
And once we became parents to 3 things really got hairy. You should see our mudroom…We can't have any more children because we have reached maximum capacity on shoes and coats and hats and glove storage.
Tonight was the epitome of all things hairy and crazy in my neck of the woods. So much so that I was convinced at one point that I was either being followed and recorded for a parenting blooper show or I had entered the Twilight Zone.
I must share the story of my evening with you so that you can rest assured that you are not the only one who is not sure which end is up. If that is how you're feeling lately… I'm not saying I feel that way…I just thought…you know…you might be (:
It all started as we were walking out the door to go to gymnastics. I sent the girls out to the car as I put my boots on, said goodbye to the baby, and looked around quickly for my cell phone.
As I looked frantically through the kitchen and under the piles of paper on the table I heard crying coming from the garage…
"Ella, what happened?"
"Ava's boot hit me in the face."
"Mom, it was an accident", she attempts to scream over the crying to fend off my irate reaction.
"Seriously? Ava, how does a boot accidentally hit someone in the face?"
"I tripped and my boot slipped (evidently as she was climbing into the car) and Ella was right there…"
ok. ok. ok.
"Ella, you're ok. Ava hold your sister's hand and gently walk her out to the car."
As soon as the girls are outside I ask Scott if he has seen my phone. He hasn't, but decides to call it.
We both listen carefully for the ring.
It sounds muffled, like it's coming from the inside of a plastic bag.
He puts his ear up to the garbage can as I watch in disbelief.
"No?!" I say.
He doesn't even respond. He simply send an I-phone alert from his phone to my phone so that my phone will ding until I find it. He picks up our white, plastic garbage can and walks across the kitchen listening to it.
"No?!" I say again.
He abruptly starts dumping the trash can into our kitchen sink. The ding is getting louder as the trash pile gets higher.
Finally, deep beneath a pile of orange peels and scrap paper and tissues my phone emerges.
"Wow," Scott says as he stares at me.
"It wasn't me, I swear." I say.
He shakes his head…not because he is upset with me, just because our lives seem THIS nutty every day lately.
I concoct a story about how Ella most likely bumped it off of the counter…
Anyhew…I must get going, so I grab my trashy phone and head out the door.
Gymnastics is fine and everyone is in a great mood until we get out of the car to re-enter the house. Ava, who was being helpful and carrying a bag of groceries slips in our garage because of the snow on her boots and the floor and starts crying hysterically, the neighbor girl who has been itching to see our girls for weeks walks up behind me, Scott answers the door in his boxers as I holler for him to help Ava because my hands are full with the other groceries and Ella is right behind me.
"Mr. Scott, why are you in your underwear?" she asks.
It's an honest question…just not one we even have time to answer at the moment.
"Hey hun, I'm sorry…the baby is crying (she was!), Ava is crying and we need to eat dinner…"
Somehow we all sit down to eat the soup which Ella and I threw in the crockpot earlier that day. Corckpot Zuppa Toscana. It sounded good. In theory.
Ava smells it, makes a face, and I know it's going downhill…
"If you don't like it, make a peanut butter sandwich."
She gets up to make one. I taste the soup. I think I want a peanut butter sandwich.
Why I thought 1% milk would a good substitute for heavy cream in a soup recipe I'm not sure. I'm going to go on record here to say…It's NOT!
We finish dinner and baths. I read a couple of stories to the girls and then grab a bag of returns that are intended for the mall. I have three pairs of pants that need to be exchanged at Gymboree and am planning to run into New York and Company to grab a pair of velour sweatpants to replace the large maternity pair I've been wearing for too many months and which were actually purchased during my first pregnancy with Ava.
Of course, as I'm walking out the door I can't find my wallet…the wallet that somehow got misplaced when I walked in the door from gymnastics (you see, I don't intend to be disorganized, things are just often hectic when I walk through the door when I intended to put my wallet in a safe place!). I spend 5 minutes looking for my wallet, eventually deciding that since I'm just doing an exchange I'll grab my credit card before it gets too late.
I drive in blustery snow and 7 degree weather to the mall at 8:35 p.m.
I get into Gymboree, find a new pair of jeans for Ava, put the other two pairs of pants up on the counter (that I do not have receipts for). The nice lady rings me up.
"I just need your license to run this without a receipt."
No. My license? The one in my wallet? The wallet I don't have?
I blush so much I can feel my face get hot as I tell her that not only do I not have my receipts, or the original credit card (we had to shut it down due to a recent fraud issue) that I don't have my license either. All I have is the credit card my husband handed me on the way out the door when I told him I could't find my wallet.
She says she's sorry and can hold the jeans, but can't do anything without scanning my license.
I tell her it is my New Years Resolution to be more organized.
She sweetly tells me she gets it. She said she tells herself that every day.
I'm ready to wave the white flag.
As we're finishing up two evidently stoned teenagers come waltzing into the store with their hats on backwards and their pants hanging low (I'm not kidding). They proceed to ooh and ahh at the clothing in a very dramatic way and tell the two middle aged women how nice their store is and ask them if they sell baby clothes. Michael Jordan baby clothes.
This is where I begin to wonder seriously if I've entered the Twilight Zone.
They leave. I say goodbye and apologize and say I'll be back.
I go to New York & Company for a pair of sweat pants. A stay at home momma deserves a pair of sweatpants that fit, right?
They have none…absolutely none…in my size. A rack of 25+ pairs and not one in my size.
Wait, I take that back. They had one pair of small petite pants. They were fuchsia. A bright pink fuchsia color. As much as I would love a new pair of comfy, stay at home sweat pants I can't bring myself to buy fuchsia velour sweatpants. Although at this rate it seems like a fitting addition to my nonsensical life and I pause to consider it momentarily.
Boo. No wallet. No exchange. No new sweatpants.
As I'm leaving the mall I notice two young guys at a kiosk and desperately try to avoid eye contact. I have no idea what they are selling, but I am sure I do not want it.
"Hey there I have to ask you a question!"
I try to swerve and pretend I don't see him.
"No really…a quick question."
The admittedly gay, Brazilian hair stylist from Florida wants to know how I style my hair.
I almost laugh aloud.
Style? What's a style. This frizzy mess that I blow dried after the first shower I had taken in five days yesterday.
Next thing you know he has me sitting in a chair and is giving me a song and dance about metal hair straighteners and how they fry your hair.
"You know that burning smell…" he says in his brazillian accent.
"Yes…dat….dat is your hair burning. Let me show you dis."
He asks me my name.
I cringe. "Lisa"
"Melisa or just Lisa?"
"It's actually Lisa, but I kind of like Melisa."
"Ok. I call you Melisa."
For the next five minutes he tries to sell me a $300 hair straighter while accentuating his sales pitch with the addition of "You know what I mean Melisa?" after every sentence.
I can't help but laugh and after the night I've had I figure what the heck. I might as well let this gay Brazilian hairstylist from tampa straighten my hair and put some very nice product in it (product he claims is $100!).
Guess what….when I won't budge…he says I can get two hair straighteners for the price of one and give one to my sister…He's got me holding a blue one and a pink one in my lamp now.
I finally get up and tell him I have to go. I have three kids to get home to.
I walk away and attempt to call Scott to commiserate. I look down and my phone dies right in front of me.
As I walk out of the mall and back to my car in the cold I wonder how I've ended up here. Here in very cold Buffalo. Here at this stage of my life. Here on this night with my missing wallet and some dude trying to sell me a $300 hair straightener ( I actually wanted to tell him that if I had $300 to spend I'd buy a Vitamix long before his hair straighter, but I figured he wouldn't get it so I kept it to myself). Here in my messy house with no time in sight to clean and organize.
It's a good and blessed life. I can certainly find my thousand gifts…I know I can.
But it all feels a little silly sometimes.
I come home and eat a pack of bat shaped pretzels leftover from Halloween. The salt tastes good.
Even though I think it's time that this day come to a close and I should crawl into bed with a book I decide to write a blog post, because I want to laugh at this someday. I also figured that if I wrote about it it would feel a little less like that day owned me and a little more like I owned it…or at least my reaction to it all.
And so instead of a tidy summary of my New Years Resolutions I'm leaving you with my messy New Years reality television kind of day.
Hope you got a chuckle from it all.
p.s. when I find my wallet I promise to let you know where it is and when I find that book and finish it I promise to let you know if it helps!
p.p.s sorry for any glaring typos! I tried to catch as many as I could…It's late. I'm tired. And so, as Scott and I like to say a lot these days, "It is what it is!" You can leave any additional edit suggestions in the comments for me (: