Tuesday, August 04, 2009


Dear friend,

I’m sorry I missed your birthday/engagement /welcome home /farewell/celebrate the new job party. I’m sorry I couldn’t go with you to the movie/the beach/cocktail hour/hiking the Inca Trail in Peru. I think I was washing toddler training pants in the sink at the time.

In fact, I’ve not gone out motzi Shabbat since 2006. Don’t take it personally. But if you stop inviting me I’m going to be really p.o.ed and I’ll blog about you.

Maybe it’s the heat and humidity that makes my hair go all crazy and I don’t have time to straighten it so I feel like the wicked witch of the west.

Or maybe it’s the stupid face-book news feeds in which my so-called friends casually note that “life is so tedious without the wine and cheese literati, so I went to the race tracks and bid on a horse called The Plot Thickens.” Or “I’m hopping on a plane to Sweden in ten minutes.” Or “5-hour work out, salsa dancing, and now I’m having dinner on the beach.”

Okay, so I’m window-shopping at the borders of tenure. Academic tenure is going to change my life and make me thinner, wittier, 5 years younger; it’ll make my hair straighter, my wardrobe stylish and my life much more exciting.

Until then, I’ve got to put up with news of friends who just bought 5 bedroom turn-of-the-century house in places where there is a social life for the price of my yearly rent of my tiny apartment.

Here’s what I think. If you don’t have a house and you’re not a wife, you shouldn’t have to be a housewife. I know there are lots of wonderful, exciting, happy and fulfilled housewives out there. Good for you. I’m just saying, housewife = house + wife. Those are the rules. I didn’t make them up. Who am I going to complain about being the maid if there’s no one for me to complain to? I can say “why do I feel like a maid” to my daughter, and she looks at me with an expression like, “duh.”

Here’s what else I think: I shouldn’t have to smell pickled herring and raw onions on anyone’s breath at 7 am. That’s 7 in the morning. Especially not on the breath of a 30-month-old. And G-d forbid, you shouldn’t have to smell it at lunch again, too.

Look, I never complained when my daughter had fallen into the 3rd percentile in weight last year. Did anyone hear me complain? No, they didn’t. Someone’s got to be in the 3rd percentile, right? Or the whole math system would be messed up.

Honestly, I didn’t mind. The grocery bills were cheaper. She was lighter to carry around. She fit into last year’s clothes, so I didn’t have to shop. I knew she’d eat when she needed to. She was still 3 lbs heavier than I was when I was her age. So why is it that when she eats like crazy now, she has to eat crazy food? How many other people make their two and a half year olds brush their teeth three times in the morning?

All I want to know is what a screwdriver is doing in my make-up case. I wouldn’t mind a liquid one, but this one’s made of metal. Where the rare, import CD that I thought about for 3 years before I splurged on it is. The cover was spread all over the living room floor when I got home. Why are my pearls are in the back of my daughter’s baby stroller. Was she going to barter them for stickers?

Today my colleague caught me in the hall and told me, Maya, this is all there is in life. Today. That’s it.

That’s easy for him to say. He’d just come back from a summer writer’s colony in Denmark followed by a vacation in Eastern Europe. He was tanned, relaxed, and his biceps were nicely defined from lifting steins of beer.

I know, life is precious. I'm so lucky to have my sweet, loving, adorable genius child. Whatever. I need a vacation.
I’m going to time-out now.



Ima Shalom said...

Drop her off with us and go have some fun on the town. Anytime. We'll return the favor.

Maya said...

Ima Shalom, you're fabulous. That wasn't really the purpose of the post: to elicit help. But I'll gladly accept!
I miss my neighbor Bobby, who used to tell me about his mother who was dying of breast cancer, and who used to give me free products for my hair and one time cut it for me when he saw me in tears after a bad haircut. He moved without saying goodbye. I used to vent to him and laugh with him.

Queen of Laundry said...

From almost 6000 miles away it won't make sense to offer you to drop your girl here, although I can assure you my boys would be thrilled and make sure she'd had the best time (maybe after you move...?). It does gets “too much” sometimes, doesn't it? Oy Vey. I sincerely hope you get even a short break soon, and regain the strength to go on.

lsw said...

I hear you, girlfriend! I should be preparing for Shabbat, or taking my kids out on a little adventure. Instead, they're watching "Scooby Doo" and I'm taking my little vacation on the internet. I need a break, too!

Maya said...

LSW--you are my personal hero.
Q of L--I'd love to meet you when I get to Israel!