I Work Here

Yesterday the Swedelock sent me an article on why more people should write. I was all fiiiiine, I’ll turn on the laptop. Between my iPad and my iPhone, no one can stop the awesomeness of my communications. Except this blogging software. It just won’t work with my iNess. The result of this huge obstacle (having to find the laptop, find one of the 4 outlets in this old house, and wait for several minutes to get online) has been that I just don’t write.

Here are some things I’ve composed in my head lately.

1. Michigan is affectionately called the Mitten State.

This is because the state is shaped thus:

Michiganders put up their hand when talking about Michigan. Not so you can talk to it – the way Chicagoans would – but so you can see where in the mitten they’re talking about. They point merrily at their hand as they name cities, completely unaware that they’re being silly.

That blob up above the mitten is the Upper Peninsula, or the U.P. I feel badly for Yoopers, as the folks up there are called. I have no idea how they explain where they’re from.

2. My super power is still “I work here.”

Completely stoned from an acupuncture treatment, I stop by the grocery store. While murmuring to myself over yogurt, the way I would if my toddler were in the cart, a man behind me says, “Excuse me. Would you happen to know where I’d find the baking soda?”

I stare at him for a moment, trying to understand how someone in Michigan knew my super power. Then I stutter something like, “I just moved to this state. I’m not sure where anything is.”

He lights up and moves toward me with a, “Oooh, welcome!”

Was I really shaking the hand of a stranger in the dairy section?

Him: “Have you had a Michigan hug?”

Me: Blank stare. Brain floating. Mouth open and shut. Did the acupuncturist slip me acid? Muster head cock and eye narrow.

Him: “It’s painless. Really.”

I take a step forward, suspiciously. He puts his hand up in a high five position, or a mitten position, as you all now know it to be. I slowly, with eyes still narrowed, put my hand up to his. Then he wraps his thumb around my hand, encouraging me to do the same to his hand.

Me: “Ah, I get it. Two little mittens.”

Step back.

More me: “Sugar. Flour. Vegetable oil. That’s where you’ll find the baking soda.”

Then he has the nerve to look at me as if I’m putting him on.

Him: “What? Really?”

Me: “Yep. Promise.”

3. Everything is exhausting. This is the complain section. Feel free to skip ahead to the roses I’ve planted in #4.

Our car has a headlight out. I considered driving it to our mechanics in Silver Spring, whom I adore. That trip seems less involved than researching a new place here in Michigan.

Our house continues to be grimy, but we’ve made headway. I had a cleaning woman come for a few hours last week. That made me feel better, but still left me with the real cleaning.  How come nobody ever taught them to clean like my momma taught me?

The guy who packed our bedroom in Maryland was nice, but I hate his face. I can’t decide which is the better of two evils: the stress of packing one’s self, or the stress of unpacking broken/torn/scratched/bent possessions from a packing job that clearly reveals why your items are damaged. The thought of having to fight for reimbursement on these objects is exhausting. And of course nearly everything jacked is a one-of-a-kind.

Also, it’s chilly here.

4. As I ease into my roll of stay-at-home mom, I remember how dang much I love being at home. Of course I spend lots of time out with the toddler, but I really. like. being. home. Even with unpacked boxes and a dirty kitchen floor.

I’ve done some reading lately (NOW THAT THE TODDLER NAPS FOR A COUPLE HOURS IN HIS CRIB EVERY DAY) about this expression: stay at home mom. SAHM. I’m trying to find a description that suits me better. But given my love of home, I may be stuck with the conventional title. Family boss? Kid wrangler? Story reader? Master cuddler?

The hormones of weaning have started telling my brain it’s time for another kid. This is nonsense, of course. I’m just starting to find that guy I’m married to again. I ditched the baby clothes and gear before the move. I like sleeping six to eight hours in a row for the first time in more than two years. I like top shelf liquor. And on and on with awesome reasons.

But beyond hormones, I think it’s also that longing for what’s already passed. Even when the toddler was two months old, I felt sad he had gotten so big. When he started crawling I cursed, knowing he’d be off to college in the blink of an eye. Isn’t this the work of parenthood? Living in the past, trying to stay in the present, and also anticipating the future at all times? Precarious work, I tell you. But I’m glad I work here.

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7 Responses to I Work Here

  1. Kitty says:

    I don’t know if more people should write, but this post is an example of why YOU should write more! It’s beautiful. Love your story of connecting with a stranger. Feel your pain with the hassle, the stress of even thinking of fighting with the moving company, when it’s their frickin’ fault to start with!!! So happy to hear you love being at home (I can relate to that feeling!). And, the story about weaning hormones is frightening…

    • alanajoyski says:

      I’m glad you see the hormones that way, too. I’m trying to look at it from a scientific point of view. It IS quite interesting. But terrifying, yes. Thanks as always for comments. xoxo

    • Catherine says:

      Nobody told me how scary weaning hormones were. I try to inform everyone I know because my brain almost exploded. I did, however, shed that final 5 pounds after, so that’s one good thing.

      • alanajoyski says:

        You told me, and I listened! But what can you do?

        Also…if I lose any weight I’ll have to go to the hospital, so let’s hope THAT doesn’t happen. Going to get some cheese from the fridge right now.

      • Catherine says:

        Ain’t nothin’ to do, but at least you KNEW. And yes, get more cheese, maybe with some steak and avocado and bread.

  2. Sarah says:

    Keep writing! Sorry to hear about bent/broken one of a kind possessions. I hate his face too. If you muster the energy to go after them, they.will perhaps stop banking on people in a new house being too overwhelmed to bother and might begin to consider it would cost them less to BE THE EFF CAREFUL. It’s also possible they won’t learn a thing. So it does make sense to weigh pure headache against potential satisfaction. I hate his face!

    • alanajoyski says:

      Whenever I’m faced with a situation like this, I remind myself how tirelessly you would pursue the jerks. Often times, this is enough to motivate me to victory. Sometimes, I take a nap. Thanks for the hatred of his face.

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