I’ve been reading lately that a lot of people have been becoming depressed comparing their when-will-this-ever-be-over life with the apparently Sweepstakes Winner-worthy lives of their friends and family, which they read about on social media. To help remedy this, and make my friends and family feel good–indeed, ecstatic –about their lives, I offer this snapshot of a typical day for me. Consider it a public service.
3:00 AM. Husband, with the nose of a bloodhound, awakes, smelling scintilla of dog poop through an entire floor and carpeting downstairs even before it’s actually been fully deposited on the pee pad. Since the dogs are mine, I own the poop too. Crash down the stairs like a drunken sailor and do clean up.
6:30 AM. Pack my man off to work while negotiating with four wiener dogs over treats, which goes something like: ” No”, bark “No” bark ” No” bark “ok! Just one!” bark bark bark . As he drives off–did I just hear squealing tires? On a dirt road?—-, I am greeted with impatient aggravated quacking of ducks beating their wings against their hut door, Rambo battering his shed walls, five squawking hens shoving each other into the roosters path, and a bunny with a great sense of drama who starts chewing on his condo door as soon as he spies me. Twenty minutes later all are fed and watered, happiness restored until exactly this time tomorrow, like some fucking Groundhog Day at the Sowards. Phoebe, one of the pooping dogs, lies in the middle of the yard all this time fiercely checking for mountain lions. Which is less reassuring than it sounds, since she weighs 12 pounds.
8:30. AM. Spent next two hours doing the bare essential chores while watching morning news, hustling four dogs, a cat and a dove in and out, eating my yogurt, and attending to the most recent personal drubbing on FB. In a grand “Fuck You! ” gesture put up 15 articles from serious publications in retaliation, and, to complete my two hours of pointless multitasking, compare money in bank account with bills in drawer to see if they add up any differently than yesterday. Sneak two Hershey’s kisses out of candy jar as reward for not shooting myself this early in the day.
9:00 AM. Watch “Lets Make A Deal ” on the couch with the wieners, who enjoy critiquing the costumes. Congratulate myself for feeling happy for all those people winning fine prizes, cars and trips to places I have no business knowing how to pronounce, like ….shit, I can’t even spell them. Islands.
9:30 AM. Sick of all the people on “Lets Make A Deal” winning all those fine prizes, cars and trips, decide to get serious and work on a new painting.
10:00 AM. New painting is a disaster. Fling myself at a Pepsi while shoving the scale under the bed with my foot.
10:02 AM. Check FB for posts of happy friends and family doing “Lets Make A Deal” Winners impersonations in their lives, which don’t appear to be lived on any planet I inhabit. Find several. Decide there are probably many reasons why they feel they must lead such shallow, frivolous lives, but who am I to tell them?
10:05 AM Decide to tell them.
10:10 AM. Cancel devastatingly candid post.
11:00 AM. Total involvement in rescuing disastrous painting for twenty minutes. Realize not all that bad. Celebrate with self congratulatory 100 calorie rice cake and peanut butter. Throw in another Hershey’s for good measure. Ok. Five.
12:00 Noon. Dogs sitting in semicircle on floor watching me paint. Spooky! but I’ll take the adulation and quiet respect. Feeling sort of like Buddha/ Monet until the first whine breaks through. Finally realize it’s hours past their dinner time, Wiener patience wearing thin. Painting is finally going great, as they well know– we’ve been here before, contest between vocalizing dogs and brilliant artist expressing deep soulfullness. Dogs win. Dinner served.
12:30 PM. Decide to give painting which has veered back into disaster column a rest. Check FB posts of friends and family at beach; in National Parks; at Yoga retreats; creating new dishes for upscale restaurants, unsolicited; reporting in on ten day diet with 20 pounds lost; hefty tomes read on work breaks; romantic interlude with husband/ boyfriend in never -before- discovered cove covered in Mangoes…yes, them, not the beach..;.getting on “Lets Make A Deal” and winning…some island. Decide either everybody is a liar or I am seriously losing, here.
1:00PM Lunch. Dogs hoover up Albertson salad crumbs like starving curs. Ignore them while reading lunch time trash novel, placing phone calls, texting, loading washing machine, vacuuming, sweeping,lining trash cans, resuming novel, eyeballing crappy painting across room.
2:00 PM. JERK AWAKE!!!!
2:05 PM. Take dogs out. Chase ducks out of fishpond. Fish dead mouse out of duck pond. Feed Rambo animal crackers in shape of Ram, haha big ironic joke of the day. Clean out finger tapping scowling bunny ‘s condo. Fresh straw for chickens ,up my nose, in my hair, in my eyes. Sneeze vigorously. No eggs. Again. Try to list reasons they exist.
2:45 PM. Get dressed. That’s right. That’s what I said. So?
3:30. PM. . Throw out week old roses from 50th anniversary party. re read cards and smile. Catch gutteral roar of husband’s diesel truck coming up the road. Close iPad on FB. Resume breathing. Painting doesn’t look too bad. Maybe brilliant.