Monday, August 27, 2007

Mommy's Day Off

OH has been busy lately. Every night this week he's worked late at the office because the other principal owner/office manager was let go earlier this month. Now, OH is the only principal engineer in that office and he has four people to train and keep busy. The guy that was let go (aka Sir Talksalot, Captain Doesnowork, I Blame the Employees For My Slack and Crap Work) because he was a big waste of a paycheck. Not only did he while away the hours when he should have been working by reading the paper and gabbing, he lied to clients, blamed employees for his own bad work, and did not know anything about anything about development in this area. It's a great load off my husband's shoulders in the annoyance department, but added a huge workload in return.

OH also decided to be a football official this fall. Officiating doesn't require as large a time commitment as coaching did, and he likes being active in high school football, figuring it is a good way to meet people and have contacts so that one day he can be part of a coaching team again.

All of this means he often comes home at 8 pm. Now, I know this is not as bad has having a husband who is a pilot or deployed in the military and therefore gone overnight or even months at a time, but nevertheless I have done a fair amount of parenting on my own lately.

When I hinted that Sunday might be a good day to do lots of things with OC, he said "yeah," then when it sunk in he said, "Oh! Like be gone from the house doing things, just the two of us so you can get a break, right?" Yes. Exactly.

They hiked to the top of Black Butte this morning, came home with lunch from the local hamburger place, then off they went again to the library and the store to round out what we needed for groceries in order to make dinner.

In that time, I: ground coffee beans and made coffee; ate breakfast; did laundry; scooped the cat box; showered; generally picked things up and put things away; read and finished Heartburn by Nora Ephron; wrote a letter to a friend; decorated a ponytail holder with beads; cleaned out the catch-all drawer where we keep our keys and, apparently, every receipt we've ever gotten.

Heartburn was a title recommended in the last book I read, So Many Books, So Little Time by Sara Nelson. I'd heard of Nora Ephron, whose most recent title is something about hating her neck, but who I'd known as the writer of the screenplay for "When Harry Met Sally", among others, which was my favorite movie for years and years and still ranks in the top five, if I bothered to figure out my top five favorite movies. She's funny, and her book was a great read.

It's a fictional story about a woman whose second husband cheats on her and she finds out during her seventh month of pregnancy with their second son. This situation has the potential to be overwhelmingly sad and pitiful, but it's not. I don't know how she did it, but Nora Ephron managed to find humor and irony and write the story with plenty of both. It's sad, yes; but it's also very funny and full of witty observances about love and relationships, the failings of people as well as the things we keep going back to relationships for. I think it is a highly enjoyable take on relationships and love in general, even those where the partners aren't cheating.

From page 65:

' "It's not as simple as that, Vera (her therapist)," I said. "You want everything to be simple. You think I'm just standing there, and this army of men is walking by, shouting, 'Choose me, choose me,' and I always pick the turkey. Life's not like that. I can't even find a man who lives in the same city I do." '

From page 70:

"You picked the one person on earth you shouldn't be involved with. There's nothing brilliant about that - that's life....Robert Browning's shrink probably said it to him. "So, Robert, it's very interesting, no? Of all the women in London, you pick this hopeless invalid who has a crush on her father." Let's face it: everyone is the one person on earth you shouldn't get involved with.

And what is all this about picking, anyway? Who's picking?.....

You fall in love with someone, and part of what you love about him are the differences between you; and then you get married and the differences start to drive you crazy. You fall in love with someone and you say to yourself, oh, well, I never really cared about politics, bridge, French, and tennis; and then you get married and it starts to drive you crazy that you're married to someone who doesn't even know who's running for President. This is the moment when any therapist will tell you that your problem is fear of intimacy; that you're connecting with your mother, or holding on to your father. But it seems to me that what's happening is far more basic; it seems to me that it's just impossible to live with someone else.

And finally, from page 121:

"That's the catch about betrayal, of course: that it feels good, that there's something immensely pleasurable about moving from a complicated relationship which involves minor atrocities on both sides to a nice, neat, simple one where one person has done something so horrible and unforgivable that the other person is immediately absolved of all the low-grade sins of sloth, envy, gluttony, and I forget the other three."

I have another book that was recommended in So Many Books... that I'll start tonight called Slammerkin. The title is taken from Old English, a noun of unknown origin which means both a loose gown and a loose woman. Obviously.

1 comment:

Loralee Choate said...

I love the paragraphs you quoted. I have been looking for books to take on my trip and this one looks really interesting.