December 5, 2008

Two Minor Christmas Miracles

THE FIRST: That Cross Dressing Poet Tennyson, my sweety-pie of a geriatric gerbil lady whose back end ceased working, has rallied. She seems to be getting FUNCTION back, and is quite mobile and pleased with herself. Her front end walks like a gerbil and her back end walks like a duck, but both ends are WALKING, so I am not going to complain. We decided she must have had some sort of stroke, and magically recovered. A tiny stroke. A MINI stroke. Barely worth mentioning. I told Mir about it and she said, “Oh yes, nothing SERIOUS. Just a LITTLE stroke. Why, I bet that stroke was WAFER THIN.”

EXACTLY! WAFER THIN. I gave Tenny a very firm talking to about not having any more strokes, and she pooped in my hand, which I took as an agreement that she is not going to do anything irksome like die. Of course, the LEAST likeable of ALL my mice ladies, the one we call “Bitin’ Alice,” the escape artist who has TWICE managed to flee and scratch out a feral living in the vents and under the sofas, she of the glowing pink demon eyes, is completely sassy and the picture of health and has probably sold her teeny gerbil soul chip to become the pocket-rodent version of immortal, which is to say, she will live for another five long bitter, biting years.

THE SECOND: I think when I begin threatening to crumple up litterers and throw their lifeless bodies into the very receptacle they have shunned with their 20 oz Mountain Dew Bottles, we can all agree I am past my normal stress levels and my mental illness number is up in the place where the air is thin and even the eagles do not dare to fly. This is of course and obviously because SCOTT has left town for 12 days. I do not DO well without my favorite friend and ballast-master and co-parent, the dream-team captain of my groovy, my best fella and favorite kissing partner. I NEED SCOTT TO COME HOME, and here on Scottless Day 9 my grumpy horror is PEAKING…

The miracle is this: I did not murder the guy in Starbucks yesterday. It was close. You might be asking yourself if NOT committing murder COUNTS as a Christmas miracle since it seems I trot along MOST days not committing murder, but trust me, if Angels had not been at SERIOUS work, this guy would be in pieces.

Scott is out of town. My children are CONSPIRING to forget to tell me vitally important things until we are walking out the door at 7:30 AM, things on the level of, “Today I said you would bring cookies at 11. Why? Because the school Nativity play is today. Yes, I am in it. Are you coming? I’m a cow. You need to make me a costume.” This on a day I had SIX precious hours carved out of my children’s schedules, SIX hours I needed to work, not make cookies and tape cardboard cow horns to a ski hat, because my deadline is looming and the book is not FINISHED, and the children are about to be out of school and I have to go in and out of town for various family holidazing about for the second half of this month. Anyway, my HARDWON VITAL six hours was cut down to about 2.5 and THIS GUY! THIS GUY!

He came in about the same time as me, and we gave each other the standard polite smile-and-a-headnod as we ordered our over-complicated and overpriced coffee-crack masterpieces. I went my usual spot and he went to the good table right by it and side by side we set up our laptops.

He was a cute guy in his early twenties, dressed slouchy, with Jim-from-the-Office hair. The kind of ARTFULLY tousled hair which, when combined with his LIVE LIFE UNBOTTONED Levi’s and his complicated goatee shape, was meant to send a message to attractive women under twenty-five. It was a CLEAR message, easier to read than a TELEGRAM or a TATTOO, and it said, “Pretty Ladies! Single Ladies! Allow me to establish immediately that I am not looking for any sort of, like, serious commitmenty relationshipish thingy, but THAT said, do you think you might want to come back to my place and listen to CDs with meaningful lyrics so you will understand how I deep I am, and while we are there, can I have your underpants?” You know this guy, right? You have seen him about?

Anyway, we set up, and started working, and he put EARBUDS in and strapped an ipod to his arm. FINE. I thought. He is not going to talk to me. I LOVE this guy. I start clicky clacking away, on the road now with my pistol packing Rose, trying to remember and catch in words that exact air-blend of clove cigs and dog crap and patchouli that lets you know in a single inhale that you are on Mission Street in San Francisco, and then the guy says—or more like, WARBLES--- “Though I didn’t know.” Or something like that.

I look at him. And he is working on his laptop (Read: scanning Facebook for more de-underpants-ing prospects) and not talking to me. And yet he keeps on. Every three or four minutes, just as I get BACK in Rose’s head, he releases little PHRASES and PEEPS and MINI-WAILS and OH YEAHS and MM HMMMMS and I come to realize…he is SINGING. He is singing along with his IPOD.

He is not a good singer.

Even so, I did not yet have a serious desire to kill him. AND THEN…the kicker. He sung the words “Generation…lala…population,” and in a BURST OF HORROR I realized he was listening to JOHN MAYER’S “WAITING ON THE WORLD TO CHANGE” which is UNSPEAKABLE. I am sorry, but that is NOT FORGIVEABLE.

Really, I would have wanted to kill him LESS had he been listening to FREAKIN’ CHRISTMAS SHOES. No one with a Take-my-deepness-seriously-PS-I-am-a-panty-hound goatee should be ALLOWED to pipe the words, “It’s not that we don’t care, we just know that the fight ain’t fair, so we keep waiting, waiting for the world to change” directly into a brain already SO steeped in college cool boy apathy…

Anyway, Angels stayed my mighty wrath-hands, and I put on headphones and piped THE CRANBERRIES directly into my own brain and ended the day blameless as a non-murdering lamb. What about you? Any Christmas miracles happening down your way? HEH.

PS, Scott comes home TUESDAY and I fully expect to stop blood-lusting in my heart. Pinky Swears. I will be kinderkinderkinder more patient peaceful loving. I WILLIWILLIWILL. I will. I WILL.

On Tuesday.

Posted by joshilyn at December 5, 2008 9:03 AM

Oh lawsy, you make me laugh! I'd have kneecapped the guy.

John Mayer, indeed.

Posted by: RuthWells at December 5, 2008 10:10 AM thankful that she has no plans to visit the state of Georgia anytime in the next 4 days. And while she's at it, will stay away from Starbucks entirely just in case the Murerous Rampage should make its way across the Mason-Dixon line. Like the phenomenon from The Happening. Because that could so totally happen IRL.

Posted by: Tammy at December 5, 2008 10:13 AM

I HATE that so much. WHY does it seem like the only people who bother singing out loud to the music only they can hear have NO vocal ability? It makes my classically-trained-in-opera brain want to implode. I don't think I would have been so non-murdering.

My Christmas miracle hasn't happened yet. I am confident it will. We've got three weeks. (Note I have nothing specific in mind. I'm just sure something will come up!)

Posted by: Jess at December 5, 2008 10:44 AM

Heh. You were very GOOD and VIRTUOUS. I applaud your non-murder.

Miracles here? Well, the other day (and I'm not sure that this REALLY qualifies as a Christmas miracle exactly, but it felt pretty good, just the same) I called this guy for a client of mine. I had a question -- simple yes or no answer, would have taken 10 seconds of his time. But instead he decided to lecture me about what is and isn't my job, etc. I felt I handled it passably well, but after the fact thought of many other things that would have been better to say. Anyway, later that day, he called BACK. To complain to me again. And this time? Oh this time! I said what I wanted to say. The most beautiful part of it is that I did it (and I can NEVER do this! NEVERNEVERNEVER!) politely. I did it firmly and politely and calmly, but all the same, I wrecked him and his rudeness. And Lo! It felt darn good.

Posted by: Aimee at December 5, 2008 10:46 AM

Oh, you had me laughing out loud. The description of the goatee guy was spot on. I hate those guys!

Were you exaggerating about the conversation with your kids that morning, or did you really truly actually find out about a costume, cookies, and a play the morning of? That's crazy! I can't even imagine.

Posted by: Holly at December 5, 2008 12:17 PM

My Christmas miracle is Jesus Christ: Vampire Hunter. Trust me. You want to see it. Netflix has it for free on the instant watch thing.

Posted by: JenA at December 5, 2008 1:29 PM

Not murdering people: a fine old Joshilyn's-Family tradition! Maisy must get it from you.

(c.f.: )

Posted by: elswhere at December 5, 2008 2:18 PM

No Christmas miracles here yet, but if my share of miracles are down there with you, keeping you murder-free until Scott comes home, then they are QUITE well spent and welcome to be with you!

heh. I've seen goatee-guy. Or goaty-guy. He's so very full of himself, isn't he?

Posted by: Fran at December 5, 2008 5:34 PM

I applaud you for being able to string coherent words together with your Love gone that many days. Egads. Hubby and I work in the very same school building and ride to and fro with our children every day, so I think you are monumentally strong and that killing Mr. Panties would have been totally understandable. . .and would have saved some girl from waiting for him to call.

Posted by: Roxanne at December 5, 2008 7:16 PM


Posted by: Nik at December 6, 2008 3:42 AM

I hate people like that... for instance in my one class...there are a group of THREE Asians...that sit and talk in their native language constantly until two of them falls asleep. Every day!!! Totally ignoring the teacher when she asks the class to be quiet. Our substitute who was the noise police on Tuesday, was about driven nuts. I always envision flinging my pencils at them like ninja stars and piercing their necks or throwing my books at them smashing their faces. I also work with a girl that does this "Hmm Hmm Hmm" when she is thinking and she does it all the TIME. But anyway. Hope Scott has a safe trip home and not to his wife sitting in a corner chewing on her fingernails...or sitting in a jail cell...or a round white room with padded walls....

Posted by: Lia at December 6, 2008 8:16 AM

I am very impressed at your ability to not commit murder in the face of such jerkfacedness. I know that guy, too, and I do not know that I would have been able to maintain my composure in the face of THAT guy singing THAT song.

I hope that Scott has a safe trip home.

Posted by: erinanne at December 7, 2008 3:25 PM

One more day, Joss!!! I had to come back and report that this weekend, I had my Christmas miracle. I'll be married for four years in July, and we've never decorated for Christmas. We've half-heartedly put out some Christmas candles my husband's mother gave us, occasionally remembered to put on a seasonal tablecloth... but we never had room for a tree, so it never seemed worth it to me to do anything else.

We moved over the summer to an apartment with actual storage space and a living room that isn't just one big box, and we realized we have room for a tree! So we got a Christmas tree this weekend and tonight we're going to put it up and decorate and I am just like a little kid I am so excited. :D

On the flip side, of course, I've developed your crazy wake-up-every-hour insomnia, which means I get about total four-five hours of sleep a night, maybe, and which is not nearly enough for me to function. Have you figured out any way to sleep for multiple hours straight yet?

Posted by: Jess at December 8, 2008 11:30 AM

I spent the week aiding and assisting a zillion frantic parents after their school went on lockdown when a weapon was reported. I had a sharpshooter on my Library roof and the bloodthirsty media sticking mics in faces. BLEK. The Christmas miracle? It was a BB gun, and a high-schooler will probably not see pantyland for the rest of his natural life.

At least your goatee go to guy wasn't singing "I will fix you" by Coldplay. That has to be the smarmy song of the century.

Posted by: Going Crunchy at December 12, 2008 11:38 PM