I should have been able to tell that I was pre-menstrual 5 days ago when I tried to kick Josh out of the house again. It's a pretty sure sign that all is not well on the hormonal front when I start "helping" him pack his meager belongings while he is taping the freshly hung drywall. But for some reason, my period always takes me by surprise. Probably it's some freudian ploy of my mind to purposefully forget that it WILL happen sooner or later so that I can ruin another pair of jeans and buy new ones. Or so I have to go through the self-flagulation of changing my sheets for the third time this week after Emmy's little bout of bulimia. It depends on whether the hedonistic, self-indulgent hormonal side, or the depressed, self-loathing side of my hormonal psyche is winning the struggle for personality dominance. It's a crap shoot. Just ask Josh, after he finishes unpacking.
I was interrupted this morning for a brief trip to Colville to unlock the Yukon for Josh, which had gotten the keys locked inside mysteriously somehow, while he was standing in the parking lot holding very large bags of maxi pads. I felt like running the spare key 45 miles into town for him was the least I could do in light of the remodeling and the latest threat to his domestic stability. I offered to buy him lunch as well, but he said something about a headache and throwing his trailer (with a flat tire [the third this month]) into the air and punching himself in the face, so I decided to let him just go on his merry way, tire-buying and all of that. I did relieve him of the maxi pads and a dozen or so cheap picture frames he had picked up for my girl's night craft project. As I drove home I began to see the point he was making at the rummage sale on Saturday when he was holding the Vera Bradley bag I paid a dollar for, and a snowflake rug, and he began grumbling about the sad digression of males from hunting mammoths with spears and making fire, to carrying second hand purses. He might have a point.
He is a brave man. He puts up with a lot. And I love him for it. He's even gone and sat through two Volleyball games, which shouldn't be called games at all, but Volleyball Marathons. They are similar to middle school track meets, where parents are obliged to go and watch 5 hours of someone else's kids doing events we've never heard of, except the shorts are shorter and most of the moves have been the same since they invented volleyball in the early 70s when hot pants were in. (and not Zagorra HotPants, either.) Volleyball is one of those sports that I am not sure I get. It could just be that it's hard for me to go and be supportive of my 16 year old when she just gone done screaming at me about how I never even care and don't give her anything. I catch myself imagining my reaction if a spike was accidentally delivered right into her nose, and I am mildly alarmed that a cynical, serves-you-right snicker is the first response that springs to mind. But luckily, I am the adult in this relationship, and I can leave the teenage rant at home and even be excited when she makes good plays. I am mostly excited when she's making good plays because it distracts me from what Aspen is doing while we are at the Volleyball Marathon, which is something that looks suspiciously like a dropped-candy treasure hunt on her belly under the bleachers. You know it's bad when I call her out from between the seats to go ask her score-keeper father (not Josh) who is wolfing a hot dog, to buy her a soda. That father figured out that if he got there in time to be a scorekeeper, he didn't have to pay the entrance fee, which is the price of a small south african country. Josh caught on quickly, and wore one of his 37 EMT bags to the last marathon, telling the money taker as he walked in that we were there "for medical coverage" for which she thanked him. I walked in behind him, perhaps blushing slightly. It did save us enough to buy the extra jumbo pack of maxi pads today, so I can't really complain.
Tonight is girl's night at my house, which is only for girls aged 21-99, so no kids are allowed. I tried to point that out to some of the girls who maybe have one or two daughters that they like to bring EVERYWHERE with them, which makes conversations about developing tidal charts for period flows and effective husband modification techniques somewhat awkward. It's also confusing for the poor little kids who visit my house a lot when the regular snack free-for-all zone has been converted to a makeshift bar of 8 kinds of liquor and a bottle of seven up. I like girls nights. At least I think I do. It's been a long time since I hosted one, although I would like to believe that I invented the tradition back when Grey's Anatomy was a Thing and I finally had a big enough living room to fit three people in. Somebody else came along and added the whole craft notion to the deal, which isn't a bad idea, but I can't understand why a night of drinking wine and talking our heads off isn't productive enough. If I had a dime for every one of the Global Problems we solved at our girls nights, I could afford to go to the Volleyball Marathons as a parent instead of an EMT. Not that we would, because not paying is a matter of principle for Josh. He has a strong disbelief in paying for anything.
In preparation for the "party" tonight, as Josh keeps calling it, (he clearly has no understanding of the productivity we achieve), I have a very long list of things to get done, which I am accomplishing by simply eliminating them off of the list. For instance, since I made a batch of oatmeal chocolate chip raisin cookies last night, I can cross off the fancy peach tart I was thinking about making for dessert tonight. And since Emily gave me cucumbers I need to deal with, I had to cross off sorting through the yard sale box that is oozing junk all over my laundry room. Even thought I am not dealing with the cukes until tomorrow. And I have to cook the chicken I thawed yesterday for dinner, so that means I don't have time to dry any apples or clean my room. It's similar to the method I use to avoid getting out of bed until the Last Possible Second in the morning. Smell my hair, eliminate shower. "Pick out" my outfit while lying in bed with my eyes closed. Rule out breakfast and yell loudly for someone, ANYONE to make coffee. Decide against planning to be on time, since that generally never works out anyway. Check teeth to see if you brushed them last night and could get away with a few more hours if you skipped this morning - this is determined by the amount of fur you find with a tongue sweep. Accomplishing all of this is exhausting and requires an extra few minutes of sleep, which is also similar to preparing for a girls night, and now I am wondering if I can sneak a nap in by crossing off everything else on my list... I mean, there was that EMERGENCY run to Colville that I can use to justify anything undone.... It really jacked up my day. Plus I have cramps. That's an instant free pass for anything, isn't it?