About a year ago at this time, I was at the lake. It was day 6 of a “vacation” involving my husband, son and newborn daughter. I had not slept more than 2 hours at a stretch (I did not know at the time that that would be the case for the next year. I am quite certain I would have opened my wrists with a butter knife if I’d known, so maybe foresight isn’t what it’s cracked up to be). I had been sweeping sand out of the same 15 square feet of camper trailer, 7 times a day, for 6 days. It was either too windy or too hot to be outside with a baby for more than half an hour at a time, but try making a 3 year old boy understand and accept that that meant he couldn’t be outside unsupervised either. I hadn’t seen a computer or TV for a week.
One afternoon, with the baby girl miraculously sleeping, and the husband taking off a couple of hours from his busy fishing schedule (what a peach!), I opened up an old issue of Good Housekeeping that I found stowed in the back of a cabinet. (That’s what it had come to). I was enjoying the one small piece of sanity I had eked out: the 4 o’clock beer. The wonderful depressant effect lulled me into taking a quiz within the magazine. On marriage. And when it was over, I tallied up my sad, meager little points. (Hey, maybe this was like golf, and the less points I had, the better!) And when I compared the points to the evaluation at the end, I got this: “You have to accept the possibility that your relationship is deeply flawed.”
The sobbing and the laughter took turns. I woke the baby. I didn’t care. After all I’ve put up with this week, some quiz was going to make me confront the big, ugly “truths” of my life? Oh no. You may have delicious bundt cake recipes, and fab ideas for what to do with leftover candle wax, but you WILL NOT increase my self-awareness, Good Housekeeping! I bid you good day, and good riddance!
When my son and husband came back to the campsite, they found mommy hunched over the fire-pit, burning selected excerpts.
I’m going back to the lake this week. Rule #1: Take more reading material.