Sometimes you just have to say, "Whatever."
I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of the attitude ridden teenage behavior that drives grown people and the youngest of children to roll their eyes, put up their hand in true diva fashion and say “Whatevaaah…!” In fact most days it makes me want to choke someone. It’s strident apathy, an intentional shut down of the communication process, and frankly doesn’t showcase anyone’s creativity or vocabulary skills. It’s worse than a cop out…it’s thumbing your nose at someone while you cop out. Which is usually completely uncalled for. Unless you’re me and it’s today.
It really started last week…I went to pick up my boys at the sitter’s and she had that familiar look on her face…that look that makes me feel like I’m in trouble, even though I know one of my boys has probably been flipping through my old Calvin and Hobbes “Revenge of the Babysat” book, looking for ideas. But today she just shook her head and said it was her land lord. Not much else was said, but I knew she’d be looking for a new house soon.
Flash forward to Monday, All Hallows Eve, a day no accountant looks forward to particularly, because while you are giggling at each other’s costumes, snacking on the tons of chocolate in the break room, planning where to trick or drink, we are trying, as we do every month, to close up the previous month neatly, thoroughly, as quickly as possible with a pretty bow on top. The reason this is so important is that there is a ton of the new month’s work that has to be done when it comes in, and can’t be until that previous month has been officially closed. Maybe that makes sense, maybe it doesn’t but it’s a huge part of my life, so please, nod empathetically. The thing is on this Halloween I got a trick…a dirty rotten 108 page trick. The largest magazine I’ve ever had to bill…and I had to bill it today…and did I mention that it came with a 2006 calendar (of course sponsored by our customers so it had to be billed too)? My day sucked so bad I’m sure Wyoming could blame it on ME that day. But I smiled through it. I’ve been trained to lie when it’s appropriate…work. I’m really a good girl. (Keep nodding, please, it helps).
Monday finally ended and off I went once more to pick up the boys…this time when I walked in the room I knew that it wasn’t the boys that were in trouble. Her eyes were puffy and she instantly assured me that she hadn’t cried in front of the kids, she’d got it all out while they were sleeping. Dev promptly announced to me that he’d seen a “real live land lord today.” The big news…her landlord had not held a rental certificate on the house for the entire two years she’d rented from him. The city said she had to move…by Tuesday November 8th at 5 p.m. She had ONE week, before the city came and boarded up the windows and door. Her landlord had known about this for sixty days.
Her scramble ensued, trying to find a place, and I did all I could do to help her. It really didn’t help much. Yesterday I finally had to make the decision I didn’t want to make. I enrolled Elyas in preschool and Dev in the Y after school care. And I cried. My boys have been with her in one form or fashion since the day we moved into our house three years ago. I knew we’d move Ly to preschool soon enough, but I really hadn’t wanted it to come down like this. I feel like I’m deserting her in her hour of need, and the woman is really like a grandmother to my children, she’s like family to us. But I am a parent first and I have to know that my children are safe and secure and that I have some place to take them so I can provide for them. She was understanding and she cried. I know Elyas will cry for her come about Wednesday of next week. It broke my heart.
My work week continued to be one catastrophe after another. Publications turned up that were supposed to have been billed weeks ago, but no one had bothered to tell me that they’d arrived. An event was scheduled that I was supposed to work, but couldn’t find someone to get Dev to school, so I missed it.
Then yesterday we had a meeting at church, a committee on which both DJ and I both serve, so we had to take the boys. Childcare didn’t arrive until 6:30 so I was sitting in the nursery with a few other parents and kids when my darling Ly came and climbed on my lap amidst the chaos. He sipped a little milk left from his highly nutritious Happy Meal and propelled himself back into the fray. The reason I tell you this is because as he pushed himself off my lap, Mr. Big Hard Head thrust his head backward into my mouth. He didn’t notice my yell (hell in that noise no one did) but I think someone eventually noticed the blood in his hair. There was a huge debate about whether to take me to the emergency room for stitches. Ultimately I told them all to leave me alone and I volunteered to help very little at the upcoming Family Holiday Night. Dorks.
So this morning standing at the copier with my fat lip and deposit, I knew it couldn’t be good when the receptionist paged me. No one ever pages me. It was the husband, who had just received a call from the alarm company. Someone had opened our front door. I raced home as the police made their way there too. I was sure my husband hadn’t locked the door last night after he’d picked up the mail. I was also sure that a case of mistaken house-dentity probably prompted someone to open the door (I won’t go into details, but it’s happened before) realize it was the wrong place and close it again quickly. And I was right…and a lovely $75 fine for false alarms later, I’m here talking to you. As the officer handed me the neon pink false alarm sticker that they normally stick to the front door, I sighed heavily.
“It’s better than if someone had been in the house.” He said sternly, in that way that can only annoy you like a police officer can.
I’m sure he thinks I’m stridently apathetic. He’s right.