That’s What She Shed

My house is plenty big enough for 4 people and a cat under normal circumstances. But decidedly not during a pandemic.

My husband has been working from home since March, and he set up his workspace in our master bedroom. It’s really the only space in the house that makes sense for him to work and get anything done.

My son does his distance learning at the dining table in our open-plan ground floor. This also makes the most sense, as I need to be within earshot if he needs help.

My kids pretty much rule the entire ground floor during waking hours. They’re either doing school or pulling toys out of the playroom or running around screaming like banshees or using the TV so they’ll stay still and quiet for more than 10 seconds at a time.

Which means…I’ve lost any personal space in this house that I may have had at one time. Since we’ve been home for this pandemic, I’ve taken to using my son’s room for zoom yoga or privacy in the afternoons if I need to nap or read or sneak snacks or ugly cry in relative peace. I guess it beats hiding in the bathroom…but now that I think about it, at least I can lock the bathroom door. Sigh.

I’ve started fantasizing both in my head and to my husband about wanting a room all to myself in our next house, whenever that may happen.

Me: …you know, kinda like a She Shed, only it’d be a room in the house where I can paint. You could build it for me like Noah did in The Notebook!

H: I might grow a beard, but I’m not taking off my shirt. What’s a She Shed?

Me: You know! Like a man cave, only for the lady of the house. I need a room where I can paint or read or watch a movie that’s just mine.

H: Sounds doable.

Me: Yeah! I’d need a TV and storage for my crafts, and a couch and shelves for all my books. And a table to paint. It would be great to have like a little sink so I don’t have to leave to wash brushes and OOH A MINI FRIDGE FOR MY SNACKS. Maybe a microwave?

H: This doesn’t sound like a room anymore.

Me: Perhaps a tiny water closet with a toilet so then I wouldn’t have to leave the room AT ALL and INTERRUPT MY FLOW.

H: Let’s not talk about your flow.

Me: Doesn’t that sound NICE?!

H: …are you asking to move out?

Me: No!

H: …

Me: Well…maybe we should just look for a place with a detached guest suite, you know, just in case.

H: Just in case.

Me: And I’m gonna need a door that locks. Thanks!


Day 18

Math beans, hot coffee, and lunch standing up

You guys.

I just experienced the most amazing thing.  You have no idea.  Or maybe you do.  It’s worth its weight in gold, and I think it’s going to end up being my savior.

What is this magic, you ask?

It’s called PRE. SCHOOL.

OMG, you guys.  My oldest had his first day yesterday and it was HEAVEN ON EARTH.

He was excited to go and the drop off was a breeze.  I squatted down to give him a little peptalk, told him I loved him, asked for a hug, and I got a little choked up for a second and then sucked it back because I didn’t want to lose it in front of him, and then…we left.  And he was HAPPY.  Playing with the math beans.  Preschool has “math beans,” who knew?

I went home dazed.  I had no idea what to do.  I hadn’t planned this out.  Usually I have A PLAN.  Well…first things first, I made coffee.  And drank it HOT.  You heard me.  Holy crap, you guys, hot coffee tastes GREAT.  It tastes like preschool tuition well-spent.  And then I went on FACEBOOK.  Because I don’t go on there enough, amirite? I made sure to feed and diaper my youngest, but then…she fell. ASLEEP.  And then my head exploded because now I was really lost in mommy fantasyland.

So I did the dishes, put away laundry, and started to pack for my FIRST WEEKEND EVER AWAY FROM MY KIDS (but that’s a whole other post entirely).

I ate lunch.  MY OWN LUNCH.  It was hot.  I didn’t have to share.  I still ate standing up for some reason, because hey, let’s not get too comfortable here.

When I picked up the boy after what felt like 20 glorious minutes in heaven, he was still HAPPY.  And, ladies and gentlemen, he was still wearing the same shorts as when I dropped him off.  Which can only mean (and was confirmed by asking the teacher) that he DIDN’T PEE HIS PANTS on the first day.  Angels were singing, my friends.

We came home, he ate the rest of his half-eaten lunch (score!) and then HE TOOK A NAP.

The best part – we get to do this THREE. TIMES. A. WEEK.

Preschool tuition tastes like heaven in this mommy’s mouth.

(I think I’ve lost the ability to complete a coherent thought now, but I think you know what I mean.)

A Not-So-Daily Encounter

I could smell him before I saw him.

The scent of Old Spice mingled with topnotes of freshly baked challah wafted through the room, lifted and propelled by the heat of the stage lights and the burning in my loins.

My eyes flicked up and across the room, towards his desk, but I was momentarily blinded by the celestial glow.  I waited anxiously for my eyes to adjust.

After what seemed like the length of a congressional filibuster, I could finally make out his unassuming silhouette as he made his way to the desk and paused before he took his seat.  The light shone brightly around him, so brightly that anyone could have mistaken him for an angel descended from an Old Testament heaven.

And then the lights dimmed and I could see like I had never seen before.

As he paused, ever so genteelly, buttocks hovering over the black leather chair,  he looked up and our eyes met. Our gazes locked.  In that moment, time seemed to stop.

In an instant I was sucked into Jon Stewart’s steely blue pools of truth like an SUV sucks up expensive gasoline that keeps us dependent on overseas oil reserves.  Just like America’s gas-guzzlers, I was hooked.

Slowly, savoring the moment, I took him in:

His black suit was crisp and clean like Bo Obama after a bath.
His tie was striped and regal like Paul Ryan’s silk pajamas.
His salt and pepper hair looked more tasty than my morning omelet.

Suddenly I realized I was very hungry…for some sexy, red-hot fake news.

I barely noticed as the familiar music started blaring overhead.  This is the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the familiar announcer said while Jon was hastily scribbling a love note to me on his blue note papers on the desk in front of him.  Maybe he wants to hook up after the show? I thought to myself, with a rush of excitement, Or better yet, maybe he wants my opinion about this war on women’s rights?

I sat with rapt attention as Jon launched into a story about one of the most arousing psychological concepts since Freud’s levels of sexual development: cognitive dissonance.

“It’s when you hold two contradictory ideas in your mind at the same time,” Jon explained as a disco ball was slowly lowered from the rafters,

“For most people, these two opposing ideas end up fighting like two rats in a bag.”

A spotlight lit up the disco ball and specks of light began to dance across Jon’s face and torso.

“But for some,” Kenny G began to play softly in the background as Jon looked down at his desk, “those two opposing ideas end up making sweet love to each other.   Here’s an example:”

-and all of a sudden, his eyes were piercing directly through mine, intense and unwavering-

“It’s like when a fake news anchor doesn’t think he’ll ever find true, egalitarian love free of rigid gender roles, but then finds that he has  strong feelings for a real woman.”

I shook my head in disbelief as I broke out in a sweat.   Did he really just say that…to me?  I listened in again.

“-when Republicans want Osama Bin Laden dead, but don’t think Obama can do anything right.”

Yeah right, LP.  Like this smokin’ hot one-percenter would ever notice little tree-hugging, feminist me.

“So how you gonna get those rats to stop fightin’…and staaart fuckin’?”  Jon winked as the lights and my consciousness faded to black for a commercial break.

When I came to, my Jon-Jon was just starting to introduce the final interview segment of the show.

“Our guest tonight is the extensively talented, amazingly hilarious, and fabulously beautiful young woman, Lyssapants, who is best known for being a kickass therapist and a world-renowned blogger.  I am told that in her free time, she also saves baby ducks and human children from ending up on Rush Limbaugh’s dinner table.”

I don’t know how I got to the stage; I’d believe you if you told me I was carried there on a cloud.

“Lyssapants is here to promote this book she wrote on feminist theory and how it relates to the hyper-polarization of the American political party system.  It’s called, Dinosaurs Eat Man…Women Inherit The Earth.  Now Lyssa, what really struck me about this piece was-”

As I watched him speak, I got lost in those eyes, in those refreshing pools of truthy sex appeal.  I saw how wonderful the future could be – Fox News was actually fair and balanced, politicians actually answered the questions that were asked of them, and everyone spoke either like a Jewish grandma or an Italian New Yorker.

Jon’s voice broke through my layers of fantasy just as I was imagining what it would be like to get my cheeks pinched and offered more brisket by my future in-laws.

“-and before our time is up, I have a special surprise for you, LP.”

My breath caught in my throat.  What could it be? Obama winning Ohio?  A nonviolent resolution to the Iranian nuclear crisis? A vat of hot fudge in which to dip each and every one of Jon’s fingers and then lick them clean?  I was trembling with anticipation.

Once more, the disco ball lowered and the sound of Kenny G’s sex-o-phone filled the studio.

“Come on out, Mr. Colbert!”

I turned around to find Stephen walking towards me, wearing nothing but his glasses, an American flag, and a patriotic smile.

I’ll pledge allegiance to you all night long.

 

Stephen said to me in his deep, gravitas-filled voice, “I’ll tell you what.  Let’s make a Lyssapants sandwich…only, lose the pants.”

“That’s right,” Jon whispered into my left ear, “And just like Obamacare, I’ll take you with all of your preexisting conditions.”

After that, everything went hazy, like Mitt Romney’s five point plan.

In the midst of the ecstasy, I remember thinking Ooh, when you talk about this being the home of The Best Fucking News Team Ever, you ain’t falsely advertising.

My sexy face mixed with my distaste for the electoral college.

Stephen and Jon, you can ask me to stay an extra 5 minutes anytime.  And, ooh baby, let’s put it up on the web for the whole world to see.

And there it was, my moment of Zen.