Monday, January 31, 2011

London calling

(This is an awesome picture of the London skyline for 2 reasons. 
1. It is overcast.  All those pictures of the London skyline with a brilliant blue
sky must have been taken on the same day, because it rains every.
freaking. day. in London.  2.  Look at the 4 fake-looking UFOs
photoshopped into the sky! Maybe Kathy arrived on one of them.)

Kathy left last night for London, for a business trip.  She does this to me about once every 3-4 months.  I hate it.  Partially because I always miss Kathy like crazy.  I mean, an abnormal amount considering it is only 4 days.  But also because her trips to London seem to coincide with strings of bad luck. 

Remember last year, when that volcano in Iceland erupted, and all those travelers got stranded?  Yeah, Kathy was one of them.  Her 4 day trip ended up taking over 10 days.  C was drawing pictures of volcanoes at preschool with "Mommy" written on one side and little stick figures of himself crying on the other.  It was horrible.  Also, while she was gone, the car broke down.  And the neighbors not-so-subtly implied that our bushes were out of control so I had to spend an entire Saturday with the electric hedge trimmers.  Also our lawnmower broke that weekend.  And also the basement flooded and I had to have the restoration people come in and pull up the carpet and dry it out, and then I discovered there were asbestos tiles underneath the carpet and those had to be ripped out too. All in one week.  Kathy and I used to joke that if our lives were a soap opera, the viewers would watch us that week and yell at their TVs, "Come on! Leave those poor people alone, it's not even realistic anymore!" 

So now, whenever Kathy needs to go out of town, especially to London, I become irrationally paranoid. 

First of all, the oldest child, A, wanted to straighten her hair this morning.  I was taking out the garbage and yelling "Come on come on come on you have to be done come on put your shoes on!" from the front yard as she was finishing.  I threw the kids in the car and drove them to school, and came to work.  About 3/4 of the way into my commute, I realized I did not ask A whether she unplugged the flat iron, and/or check whether she did so.  What if she set it on a stack of towels, and the house is burning down AS I SIT HERE TYPING THIS?  I had to email the nanny and ask her to go over and check to make sure our house is not engulfed in flames.  She has not yet responded, which leads me to believe that she went over, checked, and the house burned down, but she can't figure out how to tell me that my parental negligence resulted in our family being homeless and our cat being dead.  Probably the neighbors' house burned down too, and now they are going to sue us.

Second, we have gotten about 700 feet of snow during the past month.  That means that there are piles of snow well over 5 feet high on either side of our driveway.  I threw my back out somehow (I think shoveling) so the last 14", Kathy had to shovel by herself.  We are supposed to get another inch of snow tonight and 2-4 tomorrow.  What am I going to do about that?  Kathy keeps saying to pay those men who ring the doorbell at 8 am and offer to shovel for money, but that seems like it will set a bad precedent.  Plus they charge like $80 to shovel our teeny tiny driveway.

Third, all three kids, and Kathy, and the nanny, and I, have all had the stomach flu in the last week. (I had it over the weekend, isn't that delightful?)  What if I relapse, and there is no one to take me to the doctor, and I drive myself but pass out and get in a car accident?

You would think, with all these paranoid thoughts, that I was some kind of overly-dependent person who had never lived alone.  On the contrary.  I lived alone for a couple years, off and on.  I VASTLY preferred living alone to either living with roommates or living with my parents.  When you live alone, no one uses all the butter and fails to replace it (unless you do it yourself, but then you can't get mad.)  Did I occasionally worry I was going to choke on my peas and no one would find my dead body for 3 days?  Yes, I did.  But not often.  I am generally very self-sufficient. 

But given the bad luck that seems to accompany Kathy's business trips, I am just waiting for something horrible to happen.  I will keep you posted as to any awful things happen this week.  If I live to tell them.

Update, 2/3:  Kathy arrives home in about 3 hours.  So far no one has died, including me.  I also heard London Calling on the radio this morning, don't you think that's odd, considering that I have heard it on the radio maybe 3 times the entire rest of my life?

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