Thursday, January 23 2020

bullshit, dirty water, and working late

Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. Happy Thursday. It has been an absolute whirlwind of a work week, and right now I'm just grateful to be feeling good, wearing clean clothes, starting a journal entry right on time.

In short, yesterday was pretty brutal. Questions seemed to fly at me from all different directions for the duration of the day. Working from home upstairs, I was so distracted, I almost forgot to come downstairs to help Rodney pull his pants back up after he used the potty in the living room. He has no problem pulling them down, but when it comes time to pull them back up, he needs help getting the waistband of the ondergoed en broek lined up, and as a result the poor guy was just patiently watching TV with his pants down, waiting for me to come help him. I worked the rest of the morning from the living room couch, just so I'd be more in tune with underwear related needs until Marissa got home.

By the time she returned at 11:30, my head was already swimming, and nothing sounded sweeter than shutting my laptop for a beer and a slice of pizza. Shortly after, we packed the dogs away, tired from agility and undoubtedly grateful for a nap, then we jumped in the car and headed to Ian's. We found our usual table in the back. I sat there quietly, watching Rodney gingerly take bits from a slice of pepperoni pizza that was larger than his plastic plate. Wednesday pizza lunch clears my head. Having finished our pizza, Rodney got up to grab a bag of free-to-use toys off the wall, and I got a second beer. Marissa and I just sleepily stared at each other, smirking whenever the table full of high schoolers beside us said something loud enough for us to hear. They were talking about an upcoming prom, and just in case you all were wondering, the dress code isn't like an official thing. You can go with a theme, or just do something totally chill like all black with a tie.

Finishing up our lunch, I was looking forward to putting in an honest afternoon of work before once again shutting my laptop. I was already day dreaming about shopping at Hy-Vee and making something new for dinner.

Around five o'clock, I got pulled into a work incident. This wasn't a public incident, so sadly, I can't share the details, but the important part was that it required me to work later than I had planned. With Rodney and Marissa napping, I sat in my bedroom busily scripting and talking on slack, watching the hours tick away. "There's five o'clock" I thought. "Normally I'd be at Hy-Vee". More work. "There's six o'clock", I thought. "I'd be getting home and starting on dinner right now.

I shot Marissa a text message, asking her to get Rodney up and meet me in the bedroom for a family meeting. Moments later, a very sleepy and confused Rodney and Marissa wandered into the bedroom. Marissa surprised to see me still working, sat down on the bed.

I explained to them that I had to work late, and though I would probably wrap it up just in time for dinner, we'd have to figure something out to do instead. Marissa ordered Portillo's. The whole thing probably didn't warrant a family meeting, but it doesn't take much to rattle me, and I felt the need to get everybody in the room to come up with a new plan for the evening.

We finally called the all clear at 7. "Just in time for dinner," I thought. The evening was already steering back on the rails. I joined Marissa and Rodney at the dinner table, ate a hot dog in four bites, then nibbled on fries while we chatted.

Marissa agreed to put Rodney to bed so I could catch up on chores. I hadn't used the kitchen all day, so all I had to do was clean the fridge, wipe out the microwave, and clean the stove. By 9:00, Marissa and I were ready to head into the basement. I laid on the bed, wearing my boots and apron, for an extra second, then after a big stretch and yawn, stood up and trudged down the stairs.

Our cleaning session had a rocky start. Immediately Marissa noticed dirty bater bubbling up through the basement drain. We stood there confused for a moment before Marissa sent me upstairs to fetch the drain snake and plunger. Doing our best not to think about the smell, I stood by while Marissa rolled up her sleeves and coaxed the water back down the drain.

"So I googled it," I said, breaking the silence. "It says this can sometimes happen after a lot of rain - the city sewer system can get backed up I think."

Marissa peered up at me, holding her black and grey stained hands away from her. "We probably had a lot of snow melt. It was a warm day," she replied.

Despite the rocky start, we found our momentum again and resumed gutting the back corner of the basement. We went through clothes, old house decorations, and baby toys. For each time we were on the fence about keeping or donating something, I'd repeat the phrase "It's more expensive to keep it then to get rid of it." Marissa nodded each time, as if I were making a good point, but trudging up and down the basement stairs, making trips to the shed and trunk of the car, I had plenty of time to come to the realization that I was full of shit and that phrase didn't make any sense. It's more expensive to keep it than to get rid of it. It certainly sounds nice, doesn't it? But it's definitely bullshit. Sometimes my ability to formulate bullshit so naturally worries me.

We worked until 10:30 at night. As we were walking around the basement, the dogs joined us, as if they wanted to also bask in the new clean basement corner. We all went upstairs to hang on the couch for the remainder of the night.

This morning, I'm feeling tired, but grateful I'm here where I'm supposed to be. I'm still feeling good, wearing a clean set of clothes, and with my boss's blessing, I'm going to cut early today in lieu of comp time for working late last night. I'll use the time to shut my eyes on the couch, pick up some groceries, and cook a healthy meal before heading into Kids Code tonight. And after it all, we have Thursday night. Thursday night is glorious, isn't it? On Thursday, the only thing standing between you and the weekend is a measly Friday, and as we all know, Fridays are basically weekends in work clothes.

Hope you all have a wonderful day today. Thanks for reading.