Thursday, February 03, 2005

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow.

If punctuality can be said to be pathology, I’m nearly there.

I carry a book with me wherever I go, for reading while I wait for everyone else to arrive. I have seen more caterers set up than a hotel manager. So I fell madly, helplessly in love with a man whose relationship with time is…elastic. His brain is like a casino; there are no clocks or windows in there. This actually affects us less than you might imagine, as we have a small child who takes 648 classes a week, so we rarely spend time together. But last month, we had to be at his nephews’ Bar Mitzvah, across town, at exactly 3:30. Miss Punctuality likes words like exactly. This meant we had to leave no later than 2:30.

1:00pm - Find Consort at computer, inform him we are leaving in ninety minutes. He nods and continues writing e-mail. I put Daughter in bathtub, watch synchronized swimming as performed by fifteen My Little Ponies, wash her hair, remove her from tub, dry and style her hair, dress her in anklets, party shoes, and hair bow and plop her in front of video that lasts exactly forty-five minutes, giving me plenty of time to put on the party dress and do final touch-ups on us both. Give her a non-stain-inducing snack, and tell her to not touch her hair. Take refreshing seven-minute shower.

1:30 - Find Consort at computer, apparently writing the same email. Inform him we are leaving in an hour, and that he needs to get into the shower. He nods. I leave to walk dog.

1:45 - Return from walking dog. Consort is writing the same e-mail. I hiss something under my breath which makes Daughter yell from living room, “What did you just call Daddy?” Hover over him and whine until, with a great sigh, he glides into the bathroom. Glance at daughter who has removed bow and is twisting her hair with the same fingers that had just been holding cheese slices. Run for brush. Take four minutes to put on my outfit.

1:45 - 2:15-Stupid woman! Stupid woman who forgets that Consort must find out how long the hot water heater can manufacture hot water! I bounce in twice, remind him with increasing volume that time actually moves forward. I am informed that he is on his way out, as soon as I left him alone in the bathroom. Being as I am stupid, I go to get Daughter dressed, and to remove cheese from her hair.

2:20 - Daughter and I exit her bedroom. She looks exquisite; the cheese has actually added a flattering shine to her hair. But where is Consort? At the computer, wearing a robe, putting the final touches on The Lord of the Rings of e-mails. I stand at the door to the office making guinea-pig sounds until he inches towards the bedroom. Having perhaps learned my lesson, I maintain a vigil over him until he is in his pants, his shirt, and is observed tying his shoes.

2:25 - Head toward Daughter's bedroom to do final touch-up. Daughter is missing. Locate Daughter in her closet, covertly eating day-glo beads off of the candy necklace she had secreted from a recent birthday party. I quickly remove her to the bathroom (without allowing her to touch me or herself with day-glo finger paint). Wash her. Check in on Consort. HE IS NOT WEARING PANTS!!! We’ve lost ground! He is holding up two ties, both of which he likes with this shirt, and neither of which go with the pants that he is wearing, and what do I think? Experience has taught me that anything less than total attention paid to the Tie Issue will lead to him wondering whether it wouldn’t just be better to dash to the dry cleaners and get his other suit. Showing my emotions with only the tiniest burst blood vessel in my right eye, we calmly debate the merits of the red tie with the yellow blobs over the other red tie with the yellow blobs.

2:35 - We’re all dressed. I am racing for the back door, hustling my family like a deranged Border Collie, when the phone rings. Consort grabs phone before I can howl, and looks immediately happy. The person who got his e-mail wants to talk about his e-mail. Consort holds up the index finger that means “This will just be a minute. Two, tops,” and says into the phone “But, this goes back to the original problem we discussed six months ago”. When he and the child are looking away, I covertly hold up another finger. Daughter indicates she is hungry, which makes sense being as it's been twenty minutes since she ate. She wants yogurt. Nothing else will do. I wrap her in a tablecloth and spoon-feed her yogurt. Somehow, we still get some in her hair. I would weep, except that it will screw up my make-up. Make-up!…Run to bathroom to gather make-up to apply in the car.

2:50 - Daughter is pestering me for more television, Consort is wrapping up phone call, I am sitting on the ground in a daze. He hangs up, smiles winningly and says “So, let’s get going!”.

3:00 - We’re in the car. The key is in the ignition. He turns it, stops and frowns.

“Is it sunny out?”

“Gee, I don’t know. It was when we started leaving the house. But it was also winter when we started leaving the house.”

He goes back into the house to get his prescription sunglasses. Daughter indicates that Daddy should get her a book while he is inside. Only one particular book will do. This shouldn’t take any time at all, considering that my daughter’s room looks like the Library of Congress if it were staffed by princess-fetishists.

3:10 - We’ve gotten the glasses, we have the book. The garage door opens, the car is put in reverse. He stops. Is his phone in the car? This will be quick, being as it is small and matte black, exactly like everything else in his car. A thorough search of the car produces four more books on princesses and an invitation to a lecture on time-management, but no phone. He ambles inside.

3:20 - It’s so quiet in the car when the ignition isn’t on. You can really hear my teeth grinding.

3:25 - We’re on the road. He took an extra few minutes while hunting for his phone to find a Motown CD, and Consort and daughter are singing along happily. He reaches over and takes my hand, smiling.

“I love going places with the two of you. I wish we did this more often”.


Blogger Kara said...

Oh, my, god! You are blogging about my life. I truly believe you are using Consort and daughter because you don't want to admit they really are Shawn and Heidi. And you don't really live in CA, you are in MN.
I am so happy that Jen Lancaster mentioned you and I decided to check you out. I am reading oldest to new, have only read 2 posts and already have logged 3 snorts, 2 nearly pee my pants moments, 1 really did pee my pants moment, and 1 co-worker stopping by my office to see if I was laughing or crying (and my door was shut!!)

2:37 PM  

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