Daily Foglifter: The Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare’s lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet every Valentine’s Day.
It began with Christmas and the inevitable question: What do you want for Christmas? Normally, I have a little trouble with that one. Not this Christmas. The answer was simple: My own “Perfect Day.” What exactly did that mean? First of all, it meant the children had to go. I love, love, love them, but a woman needs a break. It meant no cooking, no cleaning, a completely frivolous activity, uninterrupted movie watching, and quiet. You’d think with five kids it would be difficult to find someone crazy and kind enough to take five kids overnight. Luckily for me, I’ve been blessed with a saint of a mother-in-law who agreed immediately, although it was for a Saturday night which meant getting all five kids up and ready for church the next morning. I hit the jackpot in my in-laws, folks.
All that was left was to pick the date. The earliest we could come up with was February 12. Now, how to tell the hubby that the exile included him as well? I wanted to watch movies that would make him want to gouge his eyes out. Again, I was lucky. He’s recently taken up golf. Would he spend all day Saturday at the golf course? Does Charlie Sheen love cocaine? Absolutely.
I decided what I was going to do. I was going to go a day spa. I was going to have a massage, a facial, a pedicure, and a haircut. Following that I was going to Starbucks and then home to watch whatever stupid movie I wanted without any deep sighs, comments, or ridicule from my husband. Dinner might be Chicken Bryan from Carabbas, but most likely delivery from the Italian restaurant so I didn’t have to change out of my pajamas. It was going to be great.
The plan was to take the kids to Nana and Papa’s at 9:30 so I’d have time to get a latte before going to my hair appointment at 10:45. The clothes would be packed the night before, the kids would wake up, eat donuts, which require no dishes, and we’d leave promptly at 9:00. It was a lovely plan.
I woke up at 8:45. I’d gotten everything together but shoes. In my anticipation, I’d forgotten the one shoe rule. This is the rule that says when you’re running a little late, one shoe will ALWAYS go missing. This morning, I found 1 shoe in each of the 3 pairs my baby has. 3 mismatched shoes. The matches were most likely in the garbage can, which is my baby’s new hiding place. I’m almost positive that a missing remote control got thrown out last week. Or they could be in the toilet. That’s where I found a sippy cup, teddy bear, and a toothbrush. Why not a shoe? Nope. Luckily, I remembered a pair of hand-me-downs I had put in the closet a month or so ago because they were a little big. They fit. It was now 9:00. Ok, skip the latte. I called Nana and said we’d be there at 10:00-ish. It was a reasonable estimate.
The kids were dressed and eating, the clothes were packed, but I had forgotten something very important. I was getting a massage and a pedicure and I hadn’t shaved my legs. No big deal. I could totally do that in 5 minutes, right? Turns out, no. So it’s 9:30. And I hadn’t fed the baby. I gave her a Pop-Tart. Big mistake. She made a flippin’ mess. Sponge bath and clothes change required. So it’s 10:00. Husband to the rescue. He agrees to take the kids to his mom’s before golf. Crap. That means he gets to take the Expedition and I have to take his big ol’ truck that’s almost too tall for me to climb into and has bouncy seats that kill my back. It’s also loud. I NEEDED a latte. It’s 10:25, but I don’t care. I start up the espresso machine and remember I haven’t packed everyone’s medicine. Three of five children are sick, so this is a big deal. I start throwing inhalers, antibiotics, and cold medicine in a ziplock bag. I’m so engrossed I don’t notice the espresso is finished and I’m too late. The espresso is mixed–no creme, just a bitter black mess. I add extra syrup. Bittersweet coffee. Ick.
It’s now 10:35 and I run out of the house in my sandals (to protect the pedicure) and step in a mudpuddle as I hoist myself into the truck. Great. I fire up the truck and bounce on down the road to the spa. Halfway there, I realize that I packed the medicine but didn’t give anybody their morning dose. It’s 10:45 and I call Nana, for the third time that morning and yell at her over the roar of the engine to give the kids their meds when they get there. I snap the phone closed as I pull in the day spa’s parking lot-7 minutes late.
“The Perfect Day” was off to a bad start. Was it a sign of more horrible things to come? I walked toward the door of the spa, suddenly overwhelmed with a sense of dread. What house of horrors was I walking into? I’ve never been to a spa before? Would it be a bunch of people named things like Dazzle or Chloe? Would there be that weird New Age Music I detest? Was it clean? I’d heard about a case of MRSA in a spa before. Me? I’d probably get Necrotizing fasciitis.
Too late to think about that now. They had my credit card on file. I took a deep breath and entered the unknown….
“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley.” (The best laid schemes of mice and men / Go oft awry.) ~From Robert Burn’s poem “To A Mouse.”