Friday, March 14, 2008

Mom, If There Are Dishes in the Sink Tomorrow, Here's Why.

Remind me to opt out of Daylight Savings next spring, okay? Oh, what's that? I can't?


I was actually quite vigilant about changing all the clocks on Saturday evening, so that wasn't the problem. The problem-- the first one, anyway--was that the Mermaid Girl has her New, Improved, Advanced, 4-hour Circus Class on Sunday morning. She's ambivalent about the class on the best of Sundays-- she was bored in the old class, and proud to get jumped up midyear, but 4 hours is a smidge long for her--and last week was not the best of Sundays. I let her sleep in a bit and brought her in late, but even so she was sleepy and crabby and had huge circles under her eyes.

Monday morning was more or less a rerun of Sunday morning, only half an hour earlier and with extra added whining and dragging of feet. I let MG sleep in a bit and drove her the five blocks downhill to school, rather than walking, drop-kicked her at the gate about five minutes late, then rushed back to the house where the Renaissance Woman and I were both working like fiends at home: me on my second job, which reached a critical, deadline-heavy stage this week, and she on a presentation she's been preparing for for months.

I screeched into the school parking lot at 2:59 to pick up MG and her friend Trillium, who we'd called in a fit of expansiveness on the weekend to invite over that afternoon, only to have another parent mention gently that today had been the big all-primary skating trip (she'd been a driver), and MG hadn't brought her skates or gloves or helmet. It turned out not to be a big deal--I paid the teacher for the (unnecessary if I'd had my act together) skate rental, and presumably someone lent her gloves and a helmet--but it just reinforced the legs-cycling-helplessly- in-the-air-off-a-cliff character the week was already taking on.

Monday afternoon, in the midst of complex mid-playdate phone negotiations over whether Trillium could stay for dinner, the other phone rang, offering me an Interview.

Tuesday...I don't remember Tuesday. Did something happen on Tuesday? Oh, that's right: I went to work, for my last day at my regular Tuesday location, and freaked out about my Interview, scheduled for the end of the week, which came with as-yet-unspecified homework to be prepared. And when I picked the Mermaid Girl up at her Beloved After-School-Care Provider's house, the Beloved Provider informed me that she's going away for six weeks starting in early May. Then MG came home from her 1-to-9 shift, tried on her Conference Outfit, and tried to calm down about her speech while I wrote something for another extremely small job.

Wednesday was RW's big presentation and my late-to-work day, so I spent the morning getting ready for the Interview: printing out extra copies of my resume (at RW's printer, since my cartridge ran out of ink on Monday and we haven't had time to buy a new one), putting my references together anew, making sure I had presentable clothes, sponging off my Interview Bag which has spent the last six months making friends with the dustballs under my desk. Then I spent the rest of the day on the desk, helping hopeful would-be-investors with shaky Internet skills and several schoolkids whose assignments were due TOMORROW. Yeah. I was a little twitchy by the time I got home at 10:00.

So by yesterday I was pretty well beat, but I still had a full day of work and an evening meeting for my second job (the one that was all critical with the deadlines this week). I picked up the Mermaid Girl from the library where she'd accompanied RW for the beginning of her 5-to-9 shift, took us both out for an uncharacteristic Burger King dinner, then slammed us to my second-job-boss's house for the meeting.

Fortunately, 2nd-job-boss has a daughter about MG's age, and they'd met before during a previous after-hours meeting, and got along pretty well. Actually they got along so well that I'd had to more or less drag MG out of the house, so this time we had a big talk over dinner about how she Had To Leave When I Said, Or Else. I laid it on a bit thick about how Arabella's mom was my BOSS, and I didn't want to have a big fight with my kid in front of my BOSS. Also, I told her that if she cooperated she could have a piece of candy from her stash when we got home. (Ah, yes. My parenting skillz, let me show you them.)

We're still on Thursday, aren't we? Right. That's how it felt at the time, too. So: Meeting at boss's house wherein boss and I get done what needs to get done while MG and Arabella have a jolly time bouncing repeatedly down the stairs and running to the airport to get away from monsters, then we go home, then we review MG's excellent report card that came home with her that afternoon, then we remember that tomorrow is MG's Special Helper Day and she needs to get her book and her show-and-tell item together, then somewhere in there RW comes home and takes over and we finally shove MG into bed with vain prayers that the circles under her eyes will be slightly less dark tomorrow.

Then I start my Interview Homework, which I finish a bit after midnight. Then I do one last bit of work for 2nd job and collapse to sleep.

Which brings us to this morning, which I took off work for my 10:30 interview.

It started out all right, though I would've wished for an hour or two more sleep. I got up just as MG and RW were leaving for school and work, took a shower, ate a scrap of breakfast, reviewed all my interview materials, got dressed in my interview outfit, and trotted out to the car at 9:40, which allowed for plenty of time to get there and even find parking.

The car wouldn't start.

RW had the other car, and she was already at work half an hour away.

This car has never, ever, ever failed us before. I had it serviced just over a month ago. It's a late-model, well-cared-for vehicle, which we are looking after for a family friend. It's much nicer than any car we would actually buy, and we are extra careful driving it, because we want to give it back in the excellent condition in which it was loaned to us.

I checked to make sure it was in Park. It was. I turned the key again, and again, and again, to no avail: the computerized dashboard informed me helpfully that the "immobilize" feature had been activated.

I wasted precious minutes in adrenalinized panic before doing anything. Then I called RW; since my brain didn't seem to be working, I needed to borrow hers. She suggested that I call a cab. I called a cab, the cab came, I grabbed the bare minimum of stuff I'd need for the interview and went. I got there with ten minutes to spare.

I don't want to talk about the interview. I've had a few interviews this year, and so has the Renaissance Woman, and the one rule I've come away with is that there is no way to tell how an interview went by how you felt about it. I didn't feel great about how I did at this one, but as you can imagine I was somewhat addled so I might not be the most reliable witness.

Then I had to get to my regular job from downtown. I work in a suburb over a bridge, and I'd never taken public transportation there, and I certainly hadn't had any time to research the matter that morning. So after grabbing a lunch across the way, I used the downtown library's computers to look up bus routes and found the way to work.

Only, the bus stop that the computer had told me to go to wasn't in service any more, so I wandered around downtown for a while in the rain in my interview clothes and inadequate interview coat before I found the new stop.

I guess it's no surprise that I didn't get too much done at work this afternoon once I got there. Actually, I thought I was doing pretty well by staying upright at the desk rather than crawling under it and curling up in a fetal position. But I did stay upright for three hours, then figured out how to get home, took three buses, and walked uphill to the house.

The car was still parked outside. I had to try it one more time before I went in; I'd called the repair shop from work and been told that I might have to disconnect the battery to make it work, and I didn't want to do that without checking in with its real owner.

The car started just fine.

Then I went inside and jumped out the window. No, really, I went in and made dinner and waited for my family. We had Shabbat. MG was only moderately obnoxious, which isn't bad considering how exhausted she was. RW kindly reminded me of the interview she thought she'd blown that ended in her getting her favorite job so far this year. We ate macaroni and cheese. And then I went to bed.

(Then I woke up again at 10:00 and wrote this endless post. But we'll just ignore that part and leave me sleeping peacefully.)

Tomorrow, we pick up my mom at the airport!


Anonymous Arwen said...

Dear lord that's a big week! I'm glad to hear you came through it without any spontaneous window egress. I hope all things go more gently with you next week.

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy cats, what a week! I do not recommend defenestration as a stress relief. Here's hoping next week is smoother.

MonkeyPants Liz

10:35 PM  
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