Thursday, May 26 2022

fiery throat, weird combinations, and pizza drama

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Dear Journal,

Hey everybody - good morning. Ready to do this Thursday thing? Great - grab a cup of coffee, and let's rock.

Sip. It's good to be here today. Yesterday I took the day off writing so I could score some extra sleep. My nose was running and my throat started to feel scratchy, and my symptoms suspiciously lined up with Rodney's description of a "kinda-sorta fiery throat". The good news is it wasn't COVID, and we have our little stash of in-home tests to thank.

"I wonder how in-home COVID tests have skewed what we know about the spread," Marissa asked rhetorically while she swabbed my nose with a stick. "Now that we all have these, how do they even know who is testing positive?"

It wasn't COVID. Maybe just a silly little cold Rodney picked up from school. Or maybe the crazy swings in temperature and humidity we've had this week just made my sinuses freak out. Whatever it was, I'm back.

I skipped writing, but you didn't miss much. Earlier this week on Tuesday, Marissa took a drive down to our new house to let in some hired painters. She stayed there most of the day to get some work done. She decided to take Miles and Ollie along for company - "the best behaved child and the worst behaved child", as she put it.


Do I even need to clarify that Ollie is the best-behaved child?

I felt envious that Marissa got to hang out in our new place. She reported back that Ollie was giddy, and how often do we see a "giddy Ollie"? Spending a day away from his annoying sisters, free to stare out the window by himself - that must have felt like a whole vacation from his perspective.

Meanwhile, Marissa did odd jobs around the house, starting with breaking down an Ikea closet that we didn't want. Do you know what the great thing about Ikea stuff is? It gets the job done, but the moment you don't want a piece of Ikea furniture anymore, you can obliterate it back into its original pieces just by dropping it once on the ground.


I held down the fort at home with Ziggy and Minnie. The three of us made for a weird combination of family members. You know the feeling when your favorite TV show does a weird spin-off episode with characters that don't normally do things together? That was kind of like us, until we walked to school that afternoon to pick up Rodney. The rest of the family was reunited in the evening. Wiped from driving, Marissa suggested we drive to Ian's to get some pizza.

At Ian's, pizza drama awaited us. Maybe we were just tired from the long day, but there were seemingly endless obstacles that prevented us from just sitting down at a booth together with beer and pizza. Mysteriously, Ian's ran out of cheese and pepperoni pizza. We also couldn't find a table in the dining room. Some silly gaming club laid their claim on the dining room, occupying every booth. They even took up a few extra tables just to stack their boxes, notes, and coats too, and that really rubbed me the wrong way.

"They're not even eating anything," I growled. "Can't these nerds just do this at somebody's house?"

Just as I was cobbling together extra chairs around a wobbly side table, I saw a booth open up. Marissa converged on the open seat at the same time as another couple. I grimaced with embarrassment watching her negotiate from a distance, but the couple walked away and Marissa happily waved us over. "It's OK," said Marissa. "They were about to find a new table anyway, and I offered to buy them a beer."

Three older people were seated in the booth behind us. An older lady sitting with her back to us turned around and glared at Marissa.

"That lady just gave me the stink-eye," said Marissa.

It happened a second time. Then a third time. Every five minutes, the woman turned around and glared in Marissa's direction.

"Is it because I asked that couple to move?" said Marissa quietly.

"Maybe it's just because Miles keeps WHOOP-ing," I answered.

"WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP!" yelled Miles, flapping his greasy fingers around a chunk of ripped up pizza.

When you eat out with kids, sometimes they do something that annoys someone around you. Then you spend the rest of the meal obsessing about the situation. While I stress-ate my own pizza, I couldn't quiet my judgemental brain. Are we being too noisy? Are we too distracting? Should they really be trying to have a quiet, adult conversation in a crowded family pizza place?

It's been a tough week. I feel like I've been in constant zoom meetings this week, and there are a queue of messages waiting for me every time I leave my computer. I'm looking forward to a long weekend. Even if will mostly be comprised of moving more things into the new house, driving across two states, and spending the night in a little hotel room with the whole family, I'm naively hopeful that some of it will be rejuvenating.

Hang in there, everyone. The weekend is almost here. Thanks for stopping by today, and have a good Thursday.