Tuesday, May 25, 2010

{is my hair on fire?}

Remember when you were little and thought adults knew what they were doing?

I distinctly remember a "fire safety" assembly from second grade during which the presenter drilled into our young heads {while we were packed tightly into the cafe-gym-atorium} that, if we ever see a lighter or matches, "tell a grown up!" The refuge for nearly every youthful peril was "grown ups." Yet, now that I am allegedly one of these "grown ups," I can't imagine why anyone would trust me with a stray pack of matches, given that I am far more likely than a 7 year old to set my own hair on fire.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have been waiting for the day when I discover that, magically, I "have it together." Even as a child (uh, by which I mean during high school) I would stare in awe at the girls who made it through the whole school day without wearing some part of their lunch on their shirt. Now, at 29 1/2 years old, I am a wife, mother, lawyer, and homeowner. And yet, I am so supremely far away from "having it together" that I can't even begin to imagine what "having it together" even entails. But I know enough to know that whatever I've got is anything but "together." I think that is probably clear to anyone who has met me for longer than 45 seconds.

Every single day, without exception, I forget either my phone, my keys, or my lunch. Sometimes I forget all three, breezing out the front door without a thought in my head, apparently. Sometimes Shawn finds my full travel mug of coffee on the hallway console or the porch stairs. The "replacement security badge" lady at my office rolls her eyes when she sees me coming. One of my co-workers told me that he once lost his cellphone, only to find it five years later in the same briefcase he'd been toting to work every day. He passed the mantle of "office spaz" on to me when I told him that I once lost my car keys for several hours.. after I'd already used them to unlock the car doors.

A few days ago, I pulled out of our driveway, on my way to drop CP off at my parents' house for the day. As I slowed to a stop at the four way intersection on my street, I heard a thump, then watched, slack-jawed, as I saw my stainless-steel Notre Dame coffee thermos bounce off the windshield and roll into the intersection. Yes, I drove away with my coffee on the roof. Of course, the four way stop was fully populated with other motorists and parents waiting with their children for the school bus. I got out of my car with all the dignity I could muster and picked up the still-rolling thermos from the road while the less spastic mothers just stared with some combination of horror and pity. I think I heard one of them whisper to her child, "if you see matches or a lighter, don't give them to that lady."

Yesterday, it took me three tries to leave for work. First, I walked to the bus stop, only to realize that I was still wearing slippers, not shoes. fail number one. So I walked home, put on shoes, and walked back to the bus stop. Only to realize that I didn't have any money for the bus. fail number two. So, once again, I walked home, and decided to take the car. My crotchety old neighbor sat on his porch, and watched me walk past his house 4 times in vain while uttering increasingly-exasperated profanity with each new trip.

I never have an umbrella when it rains. I don't have change for the tollbooth. Don't have cash for a tip. and I do not know where that $200 Babies R Us merchandise voucher is.

Most kids figure out that their parents don't know everything somewhere around 12 or 13 years old. Circumstances being what they are, I think Connor will have that lesson learned within the week.

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