Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Re: Social Experiment

As promised, I am going to follow up on my checklist and provide my usual amusing (to myself only) commentary about my week without my husband. He returned bearing fudge so I decided to keep him. I was going to complete my report yesterday, but I was up grading papers until 2:00 AM the night before so I decided that if I tried to blog on that much sleep, more than my participles would be dangling. So, life without Brett:

I have to admit, it was nice to cut footloose for a few days. Overall, I did more shopping than usual (I had to fill those empty hours with something) and suprisingly, I found that some of my personal habits seemed to regress back to single life- not my pre-Brett single life, more like the single life of a bachelor. For instance, the day after he got back, Brett went out to the check the mailbox. He was met with an entire week's worth of mail that I forgot to pick up because he always picks up the mail. The idea that mail would still be accumulating in the mailbox even during Brett's abscence never crossed my mind. Also, I noticed that my dietary habits really took a dive without another adult to cook meals for. My kids ate an inordinant amount of pizza (frozen and otherwise). Meals were impromptu at best. Let's see what shall I serve the kids tonight? How about leftover pizza. What should I eat? Oh, vanilla wafers covered in left over frosting. Perfect.

Here is the run down of my week-without-Brett checklist.

1. Hit the Clinique counter at Dillards. CHECK!
I even ventured in with two two-year-olds. The toddlers were good just long enough for me to select my products and pick up my bonus days gift. We made it out of the store before we were asked to leave. I have my makeup and Dillards is still standing so, I would say I successfully completed that part of my to-do list.

2. Go grocery shopping with kids. CHECK!
Slightly less tricky than Dillards, but the same time bomb effect: shop as quickly and efficiently as possible and rush out the door before you can see anyone else's dirty looks because your three-year-old was rolling pumpkins across the floor of the produce section.

3. Make a giant shoe cake. CHECK!
Thus the leftover frosting. I wanted to provide a picture, but I don't have one just yet.

4. Find and hang new kitchen curtains. CHECK!
OK, I deserve very little credit for this one. My sister, Miriam, visited this weekend, so I saved this one for her. I am a cheapskate so I had to settle for some curtains from K-Mart's Martha Stewart line. What that means is they needed a bit of customizing. I am a notoriuosly awful seamstress so Miriam took over in the alterations department. Except, there was one panel that I thought I wouldn't need and them ended up needing later. Miriam had already left for home, but I had to have the project finished before Brett got home. Yikes! I had to sew!

Let me preface this part of my narrative by describing an existing snapshot of myself. There exists a picture of me sewing. (I am not going to share it because I am pregnant in it and I have really bad hair.) Anyway, in this picture it looks like I am hunched over the sewing machine with a cigarette in my mouth. I have so much anxiety about sewing no one would be surprised if it caused me to take up smoking. In fact, it is not a cigarette. It is a stitch-ripper kept handy because I end up spending more time using that than I do actually using the machine.

So I had to hem a curtain and I was literally in a cold sweat. My seam came out not nearly as nice as Miriam's or those done by nimble Chinese fingers, but I decided no one would look that closely at it anyway.

After I had my father-in-law hung the rods, the curtains were prepared to meet Brett upon his arrival home. I think Brett was pleased that I chose kitchen curtains with no apples or pictures of tea kettles on them.

5) Clean(ish) the house. CHECK(ish)

6) Organize the home office. Ha! ha! ha! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

7) Fill the van with gas. I used just enough gas that the gas light turned on the morning after Brett arrived home. That worked out nicely.

So, I did accomplish most of what I had set out to do, but it really was more difficult especially since my two-year-old was despondant in the abscence of daddy and about day 6 my five-year-old asked me when things would go back to normal with tears streaming down her cheeks. My final analysis: Next time I'm going with him and leaving the kids with grandma! Perfect.


mim said...

Well done! It was fun to read about! Sorry to leave you in a lurch with the curtains. I am certain you did great!!!!

A said...

marie congrats on the accomplishments. I think the lesson I always learn when my husband is gone is, I can live without him, I just don't want to.

Marie said...


Aston said...

Love the checklists. I don't know why but I am still laughing hard over the rolling the pumpkins part. Ohhh my... I just love reading about the adventures of another mom. Can't wait to see the curtains. :)