Saturday, January 31, 2009

Birthday Number 37, Or Something Like That

I find myself mucking around in a late-thirties swamplands this week. Wondering, at the approach of 37, why my well-deserved late-thirties-fabulousness of bouncy, shiny well-coiffed hair and nonsplintering wooden floors and custom kitchens, advanced yoga classes and book club and wines-of-the-month has jetted off to someplace exotic and left me to croak out here in the swamp of late-thirties unoriginality.

And I do feel very unoriginal in my late-thirties. The other day, I was leaning over the bathroom sink trying to make my left eyebrow match the overzealous plucking I’d managed on my right, when I lost my balance and poked myself in the eye. I found myself sitting on the edge of the tub, kleenex clamped over my left eye, thinking about – Hot Pockets.

Someone had told me they had a new Hot Pockets flavor that was really good, and I had wanted to get some on my next trip to the store, but for the life of me I couldn’t remember what the new Hot Pockets flavor was. And coincidently, Chris had requested that I start stocking up on Hot Pockets now that his spring semester of law school had started, apparently he finds Hot Pockets to be a brain food. I was sitting there trying to remember when Sam came in to use the bathroom.

“What happened to your eye?” Sam had a look of mild concern, and apprehension. He has lived with me for six-and-a-half years, after all.

“I accidently poked myself in the eye.” I admitted. “Hey, do you remember what the new flavor of Hot Pockets was that we wanted to try?” As Sam gets older, he finds me more and more tedious.

“I don’t like Hot Pockets.” He sighs.

“You don’t like Hot Pockets? Everybody likes Hot Pockets.” My eye was still not finished watering. I adjusted my kleenex.

“Hot Pockets is not one of my favorite foods.” Sam has grown up in a tiny house that has one bathroom for four people. He pees while I reach over him for some fresh kleenex. There is no pretense of a need for privacy around here.

“You have favorite foods?” I am genuinely surprised.

“One is Pop Tarts. Two is Ice Cream.” He has hoisted his ELASTIC WAISTED PANTS, THANK YOU VERY MUCH, back up and zips out of the bathroom without washing his hands. I consider calling him on it, but my eye is really hurting and it occurs to me that maybe I dreamed that someone told me about a great new Hot Pockets flavor.

This is when I spy him.

A tiny, gray-brown mouse. In the corner of my bathroom, in no particular hurry he makes his way along the wall and disappears under the heater. I feel panic rise up and I really wish in that moment that the kids had not made me watch Ratatouille a hundred times as I picture him joining up with thousands of his relatives inside the walls of my house, which now is not only shabby, but disease ridden. Unless this mouse can wash his paws and cook perfect french cuisine, like Ratatouille, in which case my Hot Pockets problem is solved.

I have no idea where I am going with this, hell I don’t know – maybe uneven eyebrows, Hot Pocket dreams and rodent infestations make late-thirties unoriginality at least more interesting.

On Monday, I will turn 37. I am a mother of two. I write. I run. I dream of Hot Pockets.


Anonymous said...

You forgot that you do homework too! I love hot pockets.

Anonymous said...

mmmm -Hot Pockets.

Sorry about your eneven eyebrows (and possibly future glass eye).

But those two things would make you unusual again, so there's a silver lining to everything.