Monday, November 1, 2010

Multi-tasking: Listening and Writing

My work area is the kitchen table since I was kicked out of my office months ago. No-No, my twenty-one year old moved back in so she could attend college without all the added responsibilities. And, its caused a few problems.

One, my husband, Aron is what you call anal retentive. He has tendencies to organize and alphabetize our cupboards. File, and put things away, and trashes my babble notebooks throughout the house. In his mind, anything that resembles clutter must go.

He’s not happy that I use the top of the older dog’s box to stack manuscripts for editing, how-to-write books, research for articles, and pen cups in plain sight for the whole world to see. It’s not like we have guests. The most guests that get invited are my fiction characters, and they don’t seem to mind my organizational skills. If it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind. I wouldn’t be able to find anything if I lived with everything hidden in a file drawer.

Problem two, my daughter. When she needs to talk she needs to talk and since our work schedules don’t match, she catches me when she can. And, last night was one of them between dishing out microwave popcorn and Mott’s Applesauce to trick-or-treaters.

It went something like this:

I sit toward the window to keep an eye on the costumed kiddies, and she plops right across from me with tears rolling down her cheeks. Lions, tigers, and bears!

“Mom,” she said. “I’m so depressed.

My hands run across the keyboards considering what word should I use.

“Uh-huh,” I said, trying to be the compassionate Mom.

“What am I going to do about Moshe?” That’s her Facebook boyfriend that she’s only seen once. What her fascination is, I don’t know. Met him once and wasn’t impressed. Man of the two word sentence coupled with a fishy handshake.

Should I use the word, pile or heap. I look past her shoulder. My eyes were probably glazing over trying to keep up with my thoughts and what she had to say. A loud sigh escaped me.

“I know you’re working, but he’s really upset me. And, when I told him I needed to talk to him about our problems, he texted me back with this message.” She held up her phone. It read: Going to take a nap.

My fingers tapped at the keyboard, and then pecked one letter at a time. My thoughts have now been totally interrupted now. Whatever thoughts I concentrated on had left. Gone. Poof. Obliberated from eistence. Guess the Wicked Witch used my daughter this time instead of the Flying Monkeys to empty out my word file and chase my characters away. Darn her!

She put her phone down and bawled (great tactic). Snot-dripping, sniveling-like bawling, and howling, too. Honey Bear, my Malti-Poo joined in. The door bell rang. Baby, the older dog, gave out a few loud woofs at the door before I ran to answer it. More trick-or-treaters. Oh. My. God.

“I don’t know why I keep giving him chances,” she said, sucking in air between sniffles. Boy, she’s perfected the crying thing. That’s the first thing she practiced when she was born. She practiced everyday, at least sixteen hours. Snot-crying. Drooling. Screaming. They even escalated into opera-like tantrums.

“Well, maybe the two of you should be friends,” I said.
This started another series of snot-dribbling cries, and more babble that lasted a half-hour.

Not long after that, my husband comes home. The first place he visits is the refrigerator. I’m surprised he didn’t kiss it when he arrived home.

“Where’s the pizza?” he asked.

My hands are happy, and my mind is engaged, writing a scene. I’m doing my best to ignore him because his question is preposterous. My characters and I were onto something big and—.

“Where’s the pizza?” You see, my daughter made pizza for dinner and put it away. I have no clue where she hid it in his organized ice box, and didn’t care.

My fingers stopped, mad that their owner had to get up, and finger through foiled food items because my husband has become one of those helpless married men. Yup. I believe it’s a syndrome of some kind.

After unwrapping several different items, I shove the pizza into his chest. "Here." I take my seat at the table ready to type.

Pizza in hand, he sits beside me. “You wouldn’t believe my night….”

Here we go again. That Wicked Witch is a great strategist. She uses my family against me. Where's that Wizard dude?


  1. Organized wizardry will either save one or doom one!

  2. Geeze, doesn't it get easier when the kids are grown up? Maybe it more like, as the kids grow up, the husbands get more helpless?

  3. Maybe...this is true..husbands become more helpless after our kids grow up...



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