Well let’s see. I know this much: something happens when this perimenopausal, possibly already meno, mother goes away.
Rather, when I abandon the house to all the family testosterones, both big and small, for a weekend.
Even when I leave copious stickies for Daddy stuck to kitchen counter; about meals, lunch, usually mac n cheese (he can sweat at the idea of grilling an actual cheese sandwich, let alone following directions on a box); notes clipped to clothes for what to where what day. Matched balled socks.
Still, no matter how many stickies are stuck, I am plagued by text messages. When I was away for the BlogHer Voices of the Year Conference, they were texts like: “Boys finished the mac n cheese. Big Bro is still hungry. What can I give him?”
I was another person getting off that plane in Chicago. Rather, the person I was before birthing adorable babies that are growing into adorable little young men who run to Daddy to play football, and to me when they think they have diarea and need me to inspect the toilet. When Little Bro can’t find his magic wand because magical Mommy magically is supposed to know where every damn little lost item is.
Back to being on a plane to somewhere which could have been nowhere and I still would have been happy: When I turned back on my cell on landing, to Daddy’s mac n cheese text, I didn’t text back the obvious of opening fridge and finding more food to feed still-hungry children.
I didn’t text because I was wearing a brand new outfit I’d actually bought in the junior section; all right, not quite the juniors’, when I’d then have to buy matching friendship bracelets, but not quite the Women’s section either. Point is, sandwich-mom stress makes you lose 20 pounds, and, in slim pants, slimmer sandals, a rather shear cami, I was looking a good ten years younger at least – I looked hot and good and I knew it. Hot-looking women don’t text about mac n cheese.
And hot women are as annoyed as I was, that out of 100-plus seats on the whole damn plane, I had to be seated next to an actual mother, with a high-pitched preschooler in a spiderman mask.
And I behaved just as those non-mac-n-cheese-texting hot ladies do, who just want to read their Kindle or play Bejewels – openly irritated by the kid’s repetitive nonsensical questions at 50,000 feet, such as “Why can’t I open the plane window?” and his mother’s sickeningly reasonable answer of “Because there’s no oxygen in the clouds.”
“There is oxygen. We’re in the air.”
Amazing how moms can be so simply made to sound so stupid. Wearily she asked her spiderman son to draw her a flower on the back of a vomit bag.
Where was I. Oh yes, about the woman I was, getting off that plane in another world away from mine, Chicago! To go to this BlogHer conference. To lose myself in a sea of 4000-plus women who were nothing like me, but I could pretend I was like them, because I’d actually blown-dried my hair. Where I pretended to be as excited as the other women by this BlogHer gift:
Yes! A package of plastic breast cups so you can perfectly measure your cup size. Brilliant! (I actually thought they’d be more brilliant as serving dishes, the smallest for olives, next largest for cocktail shrimp. The largest would fit more than one wedge of cheese.)
Speaking of BlogHer loot, the post I never got to, we also got this:
Fake nails! I’m sure I would glue them on crooked and upside down and not even know it.
I don’t think much about my breath as most days there’s no one around except the dog and his own breath stinks. But I wonder: would I like even the dog smelling like pink grapefruit mint?
I kind of miss that someone else I got to be for a weekend. The one who didn’t have to have all the answers as to why the front lawn was sinking above the cesspool. How the hell should I know? I miss not having to bark at my kids to get off the computer, and bark at the barking dog to stop barking. I miss not having to notice front porch cobwebs so embedded now with desiccated victims, they are mass insect graves.
Because when I come home from being away, I come home to this:
as if these pots and pans have no home in cabinets.
… And to what was, on my departure, a clean kitchen counter except for sticky notes:
Now what do we have here. Rotting fruit; Little Bro’s egg-in-bag trick that later he will ask where is my egg-in bag trick; an unopened mac-n-cheese box; the rest you can decipher, or undecipher, for yourself.
Which leaves me feeling a whole lot less “hot” than hot-headed, and more like this:
Yes, something else from the boys’ week of robotic’s science camp. And my hair when not blown-dried.
So this weekend, I get to go away again. This time, to my mother’s, to face a flea-infested house that needs to be flea bombed, and to catch her uncatchable cats for flea baths. I won’t be wearing my hot little junior-like outfits.
And when I think about how much I want to get back on that plane (considering how much flying scares the scariest scarecrows out of me, the sound of the landing gear like the engine dropping out) I wonder if I’m in midlife crisis.
I wonder if getting new clothes, looking “hot” (yes now, downgraded to quotation marks) was the worst thing I could have done as a 50ish mother. A mom who just as well could have been that mom on the plane (who thankfully finally plugged in her spiderman seat-kicking preschooler into an iPad).
Because ever since, my favorite pastime has become walking the dog, plugged into Pandora, listening to George Michael’s “I Want Your Sex,” feeling 20-something again.
But not wanting to feel as young again as in the 70s, junior high, to crave the once-craved Farrah Fawcett hair-cut that was always perfectly blown-dried. Because please, Elton John. Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.
P.S. Want to learn about sonic blasting defense moth genitals? Don’t miss it in my latest issue of The Woven Tale Press, an eclectic culling of the best of the blogging web: