I’ll Never Show My Face There Again

I respect and love my husband, which is why I would never, ever purposefully embarrass him at his place of employment.

Accidentally (like this day)? Perhaps. But definitely never on purpose. No. We need his job.

I had a good streak going for the first 13 years of our relationship; I never bothered him at work, and I never showed up looking crazy, homicidal, or inappropriately dressed. We never made out in the parking lot. We kept it professional, even when we worked together.

However, this year, things have taken somewhat of a downhill turn. 2016 has been the worst. It started with me getting a major concussion and is apparently ending with me making a complete ass of myself every time I venture out into public.

The kids are on Thanksgiving Break, which means that I have all three of them at home all day, every day, until November 28. No, I’m not counting down the days until they go back to school, why do you ask? Is it the crazy look in my eyes, or the increasingly-high pitch of my voice?

Yesterday I had to take my 5-year-old to the dentist, which required a lot of arranging and re-arranging of childcare because the first rule of motherhood is that you don’t bring more than one kid at at time to the dentist. I was rushed and short on patience and time and after we were done, I went to Robbie’s office to pick up my oldest, who was there waiting.

I decided to leave my purse in the van, because frankly, I was sick of lugging it around. I helped Asher out and locked the doors. We made the long journey inside the building — and as a side note, today was their Thanksgiving feast, so all of the employees were milling around, because OF COURSE THEY WERE — and we walked to Robbie’s office where Maverick was sitting alone, playing on his Nintendo.

“Where’s your Daddy?”

No response.

“Maverick? Where’s Daddy?”

“Oh, hi. Uhhh … I don’t know where he is.”

“What do you mean?”

I looked around the office. Robbie’s sunglasses and keys were on his desk. It looked like he’d just been there, so where did he go? I stepped into the main part of the building to see if he was out talking to someone, but he was nowhere in sight. After waiting a few more minutes, I picked up the receiver of the phone on his desk and called his cell. It went to voicemail.

Briefly, I considered walking back to the van to get my phone to text him, but when I looked over at the boys — one who didn’t even notice we were there, and another who was busy stamping every single important document on the desk with a rubber signature stamp — I realized that I didn’t want to leave them together, alone, in the office. I also really didn’t want to bring them with me. After a few more moments, I decided that I didn’t have time for this shit and I asked his co-worker where he was. The co-worker, with a plateful of food in one hand and a fork in the other, shrugged.

I’d been there for 10 minutes and I was over it. I scrawled a note on an envelope telling him that I was taking Maverick and asking him to call me, and we headed out. As we walked by the men’s restroom, it dawned on me.

He was in the bathroom.

Now, I know it’s not entirely rational, but that made me irate. Who poops for 15 minutes? Who poops for 15 minutes at work? Clearly, he does this at home — but the fact that he gets to do it at work too?! THAT BULLSHIT SENT ME OVER THE EDGE.

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After he walked us out to the parking lot and helped load the kids into the car, and after I made sure the doors were closed so they couldn’t hear me, I turned to him and said the following in my big, strong, outside voice:

“What were you doing in there?”

“Pooping.”

“THAT WHOLE TIME?”

“Yes.”

“What else do you do?”

“I read and I poop.”

“That’s just not normal. Do you do that every day? If I worked with a man who disappeared into the bathroom for that long every day, I’d think he had a problem. I’D THINK HE WAS JERKING OFF OR SOMETHING. WHAT IF PEOPLE THINK YOU’RE IN THERE LOOKING AT PORN ON YOUR PHONE? WHAT IF YOUR CO-WORKERS THINK YOU’RE THE KIND OF MAN WHO WOULD JERK OFF AT WORK?”

I stopped talking when I noticed the stricken look on his face. He took a step toward me and said, very quietly, “There’s someone right behind you.”

And when I turned around, there was one of his co-workers, pretending not to hear me shouting about masturbation.

I think it’s safe to say that I won’t be showing my face there again anytime soon. I think it’s also safe to say that I won’t be invited to.

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Mommy Doesn’t Pay Her Bills.

Remember last week when our water got shut off because I forgot to pay the bill?

No?

Oh … it’s because I forgot to tell you. Well, our water got shut off because I have too much on my plate and can’t remember to pay anything on time. As soon as I realized what was happening, I called the water company, paid the bill plus a reconnect fee, and all was well. I feel like I have to clarify that I got the water turned back on, lest you believe that we’re living in squalor. But if this were real squalor, I wouldn’t have internet access, now would I?!

Oh, wait. I spoke too soon.

This morning it happened again, this time with our TV and internet. I tried to turn on Curious George for the kids and the message from AT&T popped up which said, basically, “Pay up, bitch.” I stood in the living room, terrified of the thought of life without TV or internet while my oldest child stood next to me and read the words on the screen.

“YOU FORGOT TO PAY THIS BILL, TOO?!” he gasped.

Yes. Yes, I did, because I have too much on my mind. I forgot because I am a wife to a very messy man and a mother of three little kids and I recently got serious about my writing because I’d like for it to become more than just a “hobby.” I forgot because I was too busy thinking about story ideas or emails I needed to send, and I heard splashing and didn’t know what it was and it turned out to be your little sister splashing in the toilet with both hands, with her mouth open. I forgot because you and your brother beat the ever-loving shit out of each other every time I leave the room. I forgot because bills are stupid and they are the opposite of fun.

My husband saved the day by paying the bill from his work computer, and all was right in the world once more.

A few hours later, we found ourselves at the pediatrician’s office for checkups. I love our pediatrician. She has three boys and doesn’t judge me or my children. She just gets it. Her office is new, and small enough for everyone to hear what is said if you bellow it loudly from the front desk, which would be good if, say, you needed an emergency tourniquet. But bad, if, for example, you’re me.

As we were getting ready to leave, I stopped at the front to ask the doctor and her husband (who also works there) what I needed to pay before we left. My exact words were, “Is there a bill?”

That is when Maverick said, in his very loud, bellowy voice, “MOMMY DOESN’T PAY HER BILLS.”

I tried to laugh it off, because thankfully I have a great relationship with our pediatrician, but I could feel my face reddening as he continued: “NO, REALLY. LAST WEEK OUR WATER GOT SHUT OFF AND TODAY THE TV GOT TURNED OFF. MOMMY REALLY DOESN’T PAY THE BILLS.

DON’T GIVE HER ONE.

SHE WON’T PAY IT.”

Yeah … so that happened. Let’s just go ahead and file this under Embarrassing Moments In Motherhood, and then strike it from memory.

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