After two and a half days in the house and at least one more ahead of me, I had to take a breather late Sunday afternoon. I took Liam to the doctor then administered a round of Advil to keep his fever in check; then I told Bill I had to get out for a while. I said I was going shopping – because I didn't know what else a mother does spur of the moment on a Sunday afternoon when she proclaims, “Enough! You shall all survive without me for a couple hours!” (I had showered that morning, so exercise was out of the question.) I went to the new Container Store, taking with me measurements of our three new bathroom drawers. Their contents were chaos. In the bathroom storage aisle, I perused the robust inventory for just the right stackable trays. Voices of a man and a woman in front of me were getting louder. “You want to talk about all your shit now? You think I’ve got a lot!” decried a husband, too loudly, to his wife who was walking away from him. Couples together over five years do not belong in an organizing store together.
As I tried to add tray widths together that would get close to the overall drawer width, a sweet lady picked up a piece of plastic with 24 holes in it. “Oh, this would be nice on my vanity.” I ignored her. I was trying to add 8 + 8 + 3 1/2 – was that more than 19 ¼? Or, maybe 6 + 9 +…. “Hmmm, do you think round ones would fit in the square holes?” Well, you probably know that saying as well as I do. “I really don’t know.” We were talking about lipstick. She had a pretty shade of red on her lips. “I wish I had one with me to test it out.” Oh dear... I felt that Carol Burnett glowering eye twitch and lip pucker setting in as I again loss track of my addition.
And my lip pucker was void of color. And my purse was void of Elizabeth Arden, Clinique, and Estee Lauder tubes of color – round or square. My dear, I don’t even have my Avon Care Deeply lip balm on me. I gave it to my son as I left the house. His lips are so dry from fever -- he thought the dead skin flaps were little wings sprouting on his lips.
Despite my annoyance at not being able to concentrate on simple addition while half-participating in this conversation, I stood up a little straighter. This woman was asking my opinion about a lipstick tray. I had succeeded. The shower, blow-dry, and simple make-up application made me look more like a woman shopping and less like a tired Mom. For a couple hours.
Until I went home and flopped down onto the couch. Too tired to glower, twitch, or pucker.
Two ear tugs to Moms.