In his typical OCD way, Chris had scrubbed the counters and folded 9 kitchen towels… all in the exact same pattern.
He had also rearranged the family room furniture. The man is so busy that he literally snoozes in 1 minute increments. Yet, on a rainy Wednesday afternoon, he spends hours rearranging furniture and folding kitchen towels.
I shake it off only to see Hadley bolting down the stairs.
She is dressed in pink sweat shorts, a blue sequined shirt and my black patent leather boots. This seems completely and utterly normal next to Samuel’s state of dress: black T-shirt and white underwear. Yes, at 6 o’clock pm, he is walking around in his underwear…for no apparent reason.
Sensing the speechless in my face, Chris mumbles something without looking up.
“Huh?” I am inpatient. Why can’t I come home to a glass of wine, a nice Yankee candle and fully clothed children?
Chris enunciates every word so there is no mistake: ” I asked if you smelled fresh gerbil hay too.”
We don’t have nor have we ever had a gerbil. I have never, nor will I ever smell gerbil hay.
I run upstairs to “change” and lock myself in my bathroom. I contemplate the events of these last few minutes. I am so disturbed by these random things that I just need to sit quietly.
That’s when it occurred to me that these crazyish things happen A LOT in my life. I am afraid that it is hereditary.
Enter my mother.
She does not do well under stress. And nothing stresses my mom out more than an injured child. At the sound of a hurt cry, she becomes completely paralyzed.
Case in point: A few months ago, she was at dinner with my sister and her four girls. Someone moved a dining chair and accidentally put it on little Meggie’s foot. She screamed and cried. After a while, Meggie was soothed by her mom and all was well. No one paid attention to my mother’s reaction. Mom had stood up, screamed a short little scream then disappeared. By the time she came back Megs was fine.
Hours later, my brother in law headed out to the garage. Within moments, he came back into the house a bit ashen. With a perplexed look he ushered my sister aside.
Carol took something from his concealed hand and approached my mother.
“Mom, Hab just found these in the garage….weren’t you just wearing them?”
In her outstretched hand, she held a crumpled pair of pantyhose.
“Mom, why are your pantyhose in the garage?” My mother just stared at her blankly.
Then in the most matter of fact tone she explained. “Meggie got hurt. I didn’t know what to do. So I took my panty hose off and threw them in the garage. ”
Makes perfect sense. What else would you do in such a situation?
Thank God I do not display any such craziness myself.
Unless you count my dreams.
As we get ready to move into our new office. I have done less sleeping and more tossing. What little sleep I do get has been punctuated by disturbingly vivid dreams.
Last Friday we were expecting a huge furniture delivery. I tossed and turned through the entire night before. Would it be right? Would it be on time? Would it come at all? Eventually I drifted off to sleep.
That night, I had a dream. The furniture was not right. In fact, in my dream there was no furniture delivered at all.
Instead of the 10 desks, 5 filing cabinets and countless chairs we had ordered, the nice people at Rubinstein’s had delivered 14…..
commercial grade ice makers.
Yes, ice makers: like the ones they have in hotel vending rooms.
The truly scary thing is that when I woke up in a cold sweat, I realized something.
My terror was not caused by the fact that we had no furniture. I was not bothered by the fact that we had enough ice to fill hundreds of bath tubs. The worst part was that not one of those huge ice makers was able to make crushed ice.
My most shocking reality? Our entire staff would be relegated to a work life of nothing but cubed.
That sure makes gerbil hay and shed hose seem pretty normal doesn’t it?