It's 11 on Friday night. I'm sitting here trying to format 600 pages of text. It's for a book I'm laying out for a freelance job, and it's tedious work.
So tedious I broke out the bubbly.
I deserve some bubbly. Chuck's been sick, and he's been an audible mess. Why must men moan so when they're sick? It reminds me of that old tree line, except my version—the haggard housewife version—goes something like this:
"If a man lies in bed with a cold and no one is around to hear it, does he continue to make horrible, suffering sounds?"
The answer: Yes, until someone, anyone, hears it.
To get the kids away from Moaning, Sniffling, Coughing Man, I spent the day sweltering in the heat while they cooled down in the waterslides at Stay and Play (if you live in Connecticut and you haven't been, you must go. Unlike other family establishments in Connecticut that rape you financially—The Dinosaur Place comes to mind—Stay and Play is a steal at $8. Could they have taken a cue from other family establishments in Connecticut that rape you financially—again, The Dinosaur Place comes to mind—and charged parents $1,000 more for access to the waterslides? Yes, but they didn't. I heart them).
So there's the set up. Me = burning the midnight oil. Kids = lucky as hell. Husband = still lying in bed groaning.
And then, just minutes ago, along came a spider. A BIG spider. A big black spider with a shiny body and hairy legs. It ran right up my lamp shade and hid. I promptly did what any woman would do. I ran upstairs and demanded Chuck kill it. That's what husbands are supposed to do: kill bugs that crunch and ooze when you smush them.
(If that's not in your marriage vows, it should be. Nothing enhances a wedding ceremony like the word "ooze".)
Chuck came downstairs—kicking and sniffling—and asked me where the spider was. When I pointed it out, he half-heartedly swatted at it. Looking back, I'd have to say that I've never seen such a pathetic display of spider hunting. Of course, the thing took off in a flurry of fur and legs.
"How can I work knowing it's still out there?" I cried. "It could jump out at me at any moment."
"It's dot hair. It's godn."
"Chuck, what language are you speaking?"
"I'm duffed up! I said it's GODN!"
"It's not gone. It's watching me!"
He promised me that the spider had run along home to its family in the basement. In fact, now that he thought about it, he saw it jump from my desk into the radiator and scurry away. Mmmhmmm.
"It's godn," he told me one last time, adding a coughing fit for emphasis. He slithered back upstairs.
I sat here, staring at my desk. I knew the spider would be back. I didn't buy Chuck's Hallmark tale, nor did I trust the observations of a man who has been swigging NyQuil for two days.
I was right. It came back. With a vengeance.
But surprise, surprise, I got it.
I smushed it and it oozed and crackled and I wanted to die, but I did it. Which leaves me with this:
"If a woman kills a spider and no one is around to hear it, does she still make a sound?"
Damn straight. I think the neighbors called 9-1-1.
About me: I'm 40 and just added a gherkin to our pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our 7-year-old Junior, our 4-year-old Everett and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.