Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Day in the Life: A Thanksgiving Story

I don't know how the rest of you like pretending your lives are better than they are on Facebook or MySpace or your resumes, for instance, but I enjoy the challenge.  Being a mother, daughter, wife, and secretly ultra-hip genius of art, science, history and trivia is difficult.
I wake up every morning before the sun comes up.  For someone who cherishes sleep as the perfect drug that's difficult.  At about 6 am I cuddle up in my chair with a blanket and space heater to read my Bible and say my prayers and thank God for giving me the type of attitude and sense of humor that allows me to get out of bed at that ungodly hour, then I get dressed in clothes that I don't like. For some reason I'm totally incapable of getting the right size of pants when I'm at the store. Despite how fashionable and tailored they seem when I decide to purchase them they're always either too big or too small or too stupid looking for daily life as soon as I get home.  I like to look nice-I really do, for those of you who see me on a regular basis and might question the sincerity of that statement, I just can't. I can't wear makeup because I feel like I would look like the kind of person who wears makeup, and I'm not that.  I'd also like for my hair to look nice, but I'm one of the rare types who were born with hair that defies a brush, is at times spiteful in fact, and a curling or flat iron just makes me look like the kind of person who cares a lot about what their hair looks like, and I'm not that either.  I have a nice necklace that I wear sometimes and some shoes that I'm told are pretty cool, but I think it's really expecting too much from those two items to carry my whole "nice-looking" image.
Every day I wake up thinking I'm going to do something special today, really dress up and look good, and once I fail totally at that after all my half-effort I wake Story up and dress him like trash too.  I head off to work.
When I'm driving to work I like to daydream about minor fender-benders (of my own) or major accidents (of some other person-I've got Story in the car after all) that require me to stop and help that would prevent me from having to show up at my job.  When that doesn't happen I drop Story off at daycare and think I've got a few miles left to drive along which there may be some kind of catastrophic event that would end my suffering but, alas, I always make it to work about ten minutes early.
I spend my day calling people on an actual phone that I have to actually hold to my actual ear and asking them to give me money for charity.  Based on what I get paid I would probably make more money calling people asking them to give me money.  Lately we've been calling in Michigan, you know, of "Roger and Me" and bankrupt car manufacturer fame.  I have to say things like "just because they're disabled doesn't mean they're unable" and "their demands are small but their love is enormous," which seems kind of condescending to me, but what do I know, they've got the best of the charity-raising script writers telling me to say it.  
After four to seven hours of that, depending on when they send me home for not raising enough money, I pick up Story and come home to clean.  I think it might just be me being self-critical but I don't know any family in the world who makes such a mess on a wood floor.  I sweep and mop constantly and the floor will not get clean.  All of our socks are ruined.  
About 6 pm I start watching the clock, counting down to bedtime.  I try to occupy myself with things like Facebook and the fabulous lives of all my former peers who seem to have done very well for themselves and are not daydreaming about fatal car accidents on the way to work or cleaning obsessively to make up to the lack of control in other areas of their lives.  But the time moves so slowly and Story is so wild.  I close all the doors that I can in the house and try to keep the destruction contained to just the living room with it's sparse furnishings, but there are still two chairs, a TV, and a bookcase that has a glass front.  Justin is terrified of Story because of his post-knee-and-toe surgery state.  I'm terrified of him because he's stronger than me, and I think he knows it.  
Finally 8 pm rolls around and I place him in his bed where he likes to undress and fall asleep so that I can come back in around 10 pm, wake him up and put his diaper back on.  I brush my teeth, which I like because I get to use the good Crest with the miniature breath strips in it instead of the Sensodyne that I use in the morning because my teeth are so messed up.  I take my bath, put on my pajamas, and sit in bed thinking about all the exiting things that I'm going to do in my lifetime, which at this age have been slowly whittled down to things like trying out one of those Dyson vacuums that turn on a ball instead of "four fixed wheels," or getting the curtains hung because they would make the living room look so nice, or landing a job that may be just as mindless but might pay more.  It is with these hopes for the future in my mind that I finally fall asleep, ahhhh, sleep, only to wake up too early and do it all again the next day.
All that being said I'm thankful for the life that I have, for facebook so I can keep up with my friends, because I love them.  I'm thankful that the sun does come up and that I am able to sleep, that I have clothes, and they are nice clothes even if they don't always look it on me.  I'm thankful that I do have a job because I know that many people don't these days.  I'm thankful for my bed and having a house that has a door to the kitchen and toothpaste with mini breath strips.  Most of all I'm thankful for my healthy, happy little boys and my family, both here and in Chicago and everywhere else across (or up and down, in this case) the country, and for the change in me from my former self that allows me to be thankful for all these things that would have destroyed me.  Thank you God for making me who I am and for giving me these gifts and for making a way for me to tell everyone who may be reading this Happy Thanksgiving!  It's all going to be okay.  


  1. Oh Annie, I love you. This was exactly the right thing for me to read 5.5 hours into a 10 hour overnight shift at the group home. Bless your heart, you're great.

  2. You are the best!! I laughed until I cried reading this! Seriously, I was eating chips and I thought Jeremy was going to have to give me the heimlich manouver I was laughing, choking and crying all at once. You have an amazing gift of writing and homor!! You will be on the best-sellers list one day...I KNOW IT:) Thanks for reminding me that there is so much good and so much to be thankful for in the ordinary tasks of life:) I love you, dear friend!