Category Archives: General Irascibility

Saturday grouchies.

Usually, the weekend grouchies don’t set in for me until about 3:00 on Sunday afternoon. This is the time I start feeling the pressure of the upcoming week and the heavy weight that comes with the realization that all of the weekend chores I hoped to accomplish are just not going to get done.

Then, it’s like a mad rush to go grocery shopping, throw in as many loads of laundry as I can before bed, tidy up the various toy-littered surfaces of the house, and make a quick plan for dinner which always ends up being a fiasco because there was no plan to begin with, and the kitchen is once again going to get destroyed, and be in need of some major clean-up for which there is Just. No. Time.

So I tend to get a bit grouchy. So does Liam. We need to be better about planning for the grouchies so we can plan to avoid them by having a better plan. Does that make sense?

Saturdays, for the most part, are bliss-filled. Today, however, was an exception to that rule. We had lots going on. And the busy-ness—I think—made it easy for the grouchies to creep in a day too early. Well, that, and having a low tolerance for likewise cranky kids.

We began the day’s events with a trip to a local farm to buy some plant starts for the garden. Liam and I were busy on the drive trying to have an important conversation about all of the things we need to do before and after our upcoming move. Have I mentioned we are buying a house? No? I’ll save it for another post.

Anyway, we were trying to take advantage of precious time spent in the same place at the same time during daylight hours. Only—we were being constantly interrupted by our chatty little girls. They were whining about being hungry, despite the fact they’d just finished eating breakfast within the past thirty minutes. They wanted the volume turned up. Turned down. Song changed. And, of course, to ask a million questions about a million different things. This was the start of the irritation that seemed to grow as the day went on. 

At the farm, Nora entertained herself with a roll poly she found. But Frances insisted on being held (she’s very shy, and so crowds often overwhelm her). Juggling plants and wallets and keys and Frances was a bit of a challenge. So was maintaining my patience.

After the farm, we drove to a farmer’s market. The girls whined the entire trip about how long the drive was taking. Also, they reminded us about how they were STILL HUNGRY. The ride was made longer by the fact that Liam and I were so engaged in our conversation, that we missed our exit and added another ten minutes onto our already long-ish trip. Irritation grew a little more, like Pinnochio’s nose after his first lie.

I had high hopes for the farmer’s market. I was just saying to Liam this week that I’d like to start finding some markets since growing season has begun. It seems silly to be buying all of our produce from the grocery store when there’s much better stuff to be had. However, upon walking around the market, I soon discovered—that although there was lots of great looking produce and a variety of available items—the prices were a bit too steep. Nothing like the Lancaster market we left behind. Boo! 😩

I ended up buying three small heads of different lettuces for $9, just because we had made the trip, knowing full well that the giant box of organic salad greens from Stop and Shop are $3 cheaper and last all week long for lunches for both me and Liam, whereas the three small heads of lettuce might be able to stretch for three days. Bummer! At least the kids got a cookie snack from a kind stand owner who took pity on their frail frames. Not

And then back in the car, post cookie, they were back at it, proclaiming they were starving again. Next up, Liam dropped us off downtown an hour before the girls and I were scheduled to take in a show at the local theater. We grabbed some lunch, which the girls just picked at, despite their self-proclaimed hunger and deprivation. 

We made it to the theater on time to catch the Pinkalicious musical, which both girls were SO excited to see. However, as soon as the show began and the lights dimmed, and the extra, EXTRA loud volume of the cast members’ voices began talking and singing, Frances freaked, and jumped into my lap. 

She spent the first part of the show with her head tucked into my chest, body clenched and hands covering her eyes, cowering into me from fear of all the sensory input around her. I think the energy with which she was resisting her environment caused her to pass out, because she fell asleep for the second half of the show, even though the noise was at decibel level ninety. (I should google fact-check decibel levels now to see if ninety is what I’m going for, but ain’t nobody got time for that). Nora loved the production.

After the show, we had to hang out downtown for a bit on account of the fact that we needed a lift back, and Rowan had fallen asleep at home with Liam. So, we walked to get ice cream. And then wine. And then to the library.

So pink-a-licious!


After Liam came to get us, we stopped at the local food co-op to pick up some meat to grill for dinner. While we were there, an employee told us about an event they were having for members that evening that involved free food. Of course, we headed back into town to take advantage of that!

The girls wanted nothing to do with the delicious falafel and chicken schwarma that was being served. Rowan enjoyed it as much as Liam and I did. That kid will eat anything. And he did too. After the free dinner, he tried to indulge in some dirt dessert. And then he was off to play in the stones and mosaic glass that was all over the ground. Because that seems like a safe idea for an art park where kids play.

After recognizing Frances’s embarrassing saggy diaper, and her imminent meltdown, we decided to head home. We were delayed a bit when Frances decided she did not want to come with us if we were not going to carry her, and then promptly parked her saggy bottom in the sidewalk, refusing to budge.

When we were nearly out of sight, Frances panicked and caught up to us. But not before a handful of parents probably judged us for threatening to leave her behind. I want to be a mindful parent. I do. But sometimes it’s just so hard.

When we finally got home and fed the girls, I poured a glass of wine and sat down in the reclining chair to read a food magazine and relax for the first time since my morning  cup of coffee.

And then, the baby—who up until that point had been content and busy—decided to crawl over to me, whine until I picked him up, and then tug at my shirt repeatedly, communicating his desire to nurse.

At least if he nurses, I can relax and read, I thought. Wrong again. No matter where I moved the magazine, the baby swatted at it. If he wasn’t using his hands, he was flailing his feet at its pages. I sighed a deep, frustrated sigh, and then looked across the room to catch Liam chuckling heartily at me. Then I burst into laughter too. Apparently, it just wasn’t meant to be.

We will have to try again tomorrow. Slow down and not have so many plans. Hey! At least we have a dinner plan—meat on the grill that was meant for tonight, but never eaten on account of the change in our dinner plans. Things are looking up already!

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Why is ‘food as medicine’ such a hard pill to swallow? 

Last year, we visited an ENT several times with our oldest. Nora seemed to have a cold or be congested for much of the late fall through early spring. When the rest of the family caught a virus and then got well, Nora remained snotty and stuffy.

During one fall illness, we noticed she was saying, “What?” after everything we said. It began to drive us crazy.

And so we started the first of several trips to the audiologist for hearing tests, followed by ENT appointments to check Nora’s ears.

Everyone concluded that she was getting fluid trapped in her ears again and again, and that this was causing the temporary hearing loss. The ENT recommended tubes.

“Of course they did,” said Liam. “That’s their job. If they don’t do surgeries, they don’t make money.”

Good point, I thought. It’s not like I was concerned about Nora’s hearing interfering with her speech or development. It was just really annoying to have to repeat myself. Eventually, things cleared up on their own. We ended up not scheduling the surgery.

For better or worse—yes, I’m that kind of mom—I hopped on the Internet to investigate tubes anyway. I admit I did read some stuff that said tubes really helped children. Like kids who hadn’t been speaking suddenly started making language gains. Or stopped having painful recurrent ear infections. But this was not Nora. Her speech was very much developed, and she wasn’t suffering from ear infections, just fluid buildup.

However, I read far more that said tubes didn’t help children. That kids continued to get infections. Or the tubes fell out, and kids needed multiple surgeries. There were even recent scientific studies suggesting that tubes might not be the way to go anymore. 

Fast forward to this past late fall season. We started having the same issues. During one long cold, Nora began having hearing difficulties again. We took her to a new pediatrician in Connecticut and she suggested we try to alleviate allergies by using a nasal spray and hypoallergenic bedding. While I do think this made some improvement, I started to wonder about food intolerances, as this was about the same time I was trying to help self-diagnose some food-related symptoms I was experiencing.

We saw the audiologist again and an ENT twice. At her second follow-up with the  Connecticut ENT, the doctor declared the fluid gone and ears clear in one breath, followed by “I think her adenoids are enlarged, though, and should come out” in the very next.

What?!

This was the first I was hearing about adenoids. The ENT said they were likely enlarged and causing the constant congestion and fluid. They were also likely responsible for her nighttime snoring and mouth breathing, something I mentioned at the last visit.

The doctor then—rather abruptly—handed me a form to sign to give permission for the surgery, and then ushered me and the kids into a room to schedule said surgery.

Whoa! Slow your roll, doc. I’m sorry, but this felt so rushed to me. Surgery is not something I’m opposed to if it means my kid isn’t going to have to suffer unnecessarily. But the rate at which we went from “your ears look great” to “you’re going to need your adenoids removed” was too speedy for my comfort. 

I smiled at the receptionist, took down some possible dates, told her I was going to discuss things with my husband, and then nearly ran from the office. I’ve yet to call back.

I followed up with my pediatrician, who giggled about the incident. Apparently ENTs are known to get down to the business of scheduling these kinds of things. Makes sense, given—like the hubs reminded me—this is how they make the big bucks.

It just didn’t jive with me. I’m the kind of person who is far more interested in discovering the root cause of chronic illness and dealing with that, than just trying to medicate or rely on surgery.

I talked to my naturopath a little at my last visit. And, I might end up taking Nora there to see her yet. But in the meantime, we discussed trying to remove dairy from Nora’s diet. For a lot of folks, both young and old, dairy can cause congestion and allergy-like symptoms, and even—yup—enlarged adenoids.

At first, I felt awful thinking about telling Nora she wouldn’t be able to drink milk, eat cheese or have ice cream. She loves these foods. Turns out a lot of the foods we love and feel addicted to may be the ones causing our bodies the most harm.

I posed it to Nora as a trial. I told her we were going to experiment. If removing dairy helped her to breathe better, kept the fluid at bay, and cured her bad breath (something else I’d read about co-existing with enlarged adenoids), we would likely stick to it. And if I saw no difference, we would go back to normal.

Within two days of removing dairy (we’re almost two weeks in), the bad breath was gone, and hasn’t come back. She hasn’t been congested, and she’s closing her mouth to breathe more at night than I’ve ever noticed before. 

And, the part I thought would be difficult—keeping her from food she loves—hasn’t been too bad. We took the cheese off pizza one night. She has almond milk in her cereal and French toast. And, we found a delicious chocolate coconut ice cream we all love.

I just don’t understand why, with so much scientific and anecdotal evidence from families, that the least invasive remedies—like removing a suspected food or food group—aren’t offered as a first possible solution, or at all. 

Instead, it’s: “Let’s schedule this major surgery. Put your kid under. Remove part or her body which is said to fight infection and which may prevent illness. And after it’s over she’ll bleed down her throat a little and be on a liquid diet for about a week. Oh, and it may work at solving her problems. Or not.”

Like I said, I’m not opposed to the surgery if it’s medically necessary. But I’d rather try my little experiment first, which will have no adverse reactions, except maybe a little disappointment, and potentially huge payoffs.

Money for doctors and procedures and pharmaceutical companies should not be the guiding force behind the decisions we are making about our kids and their health. 

It’s just wrong. ☹️

Why I see the need for soundproof glass dividers for the family car.

Today’s family cars are full of features and amenities that are great for modern families. Many are equipped with amazing sound systems, air bags at every seat, no less than twenty-three cup holders, and the all-time fan favorite—the DVD player. Sadly, we don’t have one in our minivan. Even if we did, I like to think I probably wouldn’t allow the kids to use it much anyway. But for long car rides, it would be super valuable. Life saving, perhaps.

Instead, we listen to a lot of music. There’s the Silly Songs CD, and the Pandora channel favorites: Mary Poppins Original London Cast and most recently, Disney

We also like to play games, like ‘I spy with my little eye,’ counting to one hundred, the guaranteed-to-drive-you-apeshit ‘I’m gonna say whatever you say’ game, and my favorite fallback, ‘let’s find some farm animals.’ 

When we tire of these games, there’s another little game that I like to play. It’s called, “Be quiet people, before Mommy has a nervous breakdown and runs us off the road.” Needless to say, the girls are not a big fan of this one.

Which brings me to the point of this blog post. Why have the car engineers not yet designed a feature like the soundproof glass divider that exists in taxi cabs? It would make a GREAT addition to today’s family car!

Baby screaming his little lungs out? Time to crank up the glass! 

Middle girl counting to one hundred but getting endlessly stuck in this loop: 16, 17, 18, 19, 100! 16, 17, 18, 19, 100! 16, 17, 18, 19, 100! Fire up that shield!

Oldest whining that she doesn’t like that song, or asking how much longer til we get there, or worse even—asking you to count down the minutes until you do actually get there? Put that baby up already and drown out all the noise!

Want to have a conversation with your husband, whom you haven’t seen in a hundred days, without interruption? 

Want to listen to inappropriate content, like those Serial spinoff podcasts you can’t seem to get enough of these days? 

Want to meditate? Reflect? Just get some GD quiet time, please? 

Soundproof glass window up.

Problem solved. Now somebody go out there and design and/or market it, and/or patent it, and then give me 50/50 credit and a third of the share in profit. I would if I could, but I don’t have time.

I’m too busy trying to spy with my little eye something green that I know my two-year-old never even spied in the first place. This is gonna take awhile.

To the driver of the truck that I pulled out in front of today…

To the driver of the truck that I pulled out in front of today:

I am NOT sorry. See, I normally wouldn’t have pulled out in front of you like that. But prior to you coming by, I had been sitting at the stop sign for some time, waiting for my turn. Also, I noticed behind you a long line of cars. My kid was screaming and I needed to make my move. It was then or never. 

Had you not been speeding, this would’ve all worked out fine. I pulled out when you were a safe distance away, but since you were driving like a madman, you closed the gap fast and then threw up your hands like you were all, “Who is this bullshit woman driver pulling out in front of me like this?”

And then, you continued to let me know you were pissed by riding my ass even though I sped up. When you didn’t back off, you, in turn, pissed me off, and so I slowed down, exacerbating the situation further.

You see, I get pissed sometimes too when people pull out in front of me. But only when there are no cars behind me and the car could’ve waited until I’d passed. And only when drivers pull out and then don’t accelerate, but instead go slowly, in which case I would probably do exactly as you did. 

But you sir, were driving too fast, which made you the jerk-off, not me. Also, I followed the unwritten, but considerate rule of speeding up so you could maintain most of your speed. 

So take your white collar wearing, clean shaven, truck driving, speed demon, road raging self and feck off, will you?

Asshole.

I am so done with—well, everything!

Have you ever reached a point where you become so overwhelmed that you don’t want to do anything? You just want to throw in the towel and yell, “I QUIT!” at the top of your lungs? And then run away to Mexico?

Well, I am at that point now, and sadly, have been stuck in it, mucking about, for the past few days or so. Help! I cannot pinpoint the moment things went south for me. But I do have some general ideas.

Let’s begin with the children. The oldest has been enjoying nap-free, action-packed days with later than normal bedtimes. This has the effect of turning her into a bit of a monster. She has become overly sensitive and emotional, as well as grouchy and sassy. And I can’t tell her she’s tired because it will just end up in an argument. After 4:00 p.m., she seems to lose all control of her manners, the words that come out of her mouth, and the ability to remain upright without falling into something for more than fifteen minutes at a time.

The middle child is perhaps the whining-est child on the face of the earth right now. Truly. I have not met a child who whines more than she does. At first, I chocked it ip to teething. But, if that’s the case, the child has been teething now for over four months straight, and is showing no signs of stopping. From the moment she wakes up, until the moment she goes to sleep, and then, on into the middle of the night, it’s:

“Hold me, mama!”

“Nurses!”

“Arm!” (she wants to lie on my arm)

“Mom-MEE! Mom-MEE!” (spoken like Will Ferrell demanding ‘Meatloaf!’ in the movie Wedding Crashers)

And the baby. The poor, sweet baby. He is mostly quiet and pleasant and smiley. He rarely fusses. But he’s been in a poor-napping-during-the-day phase for some time. As a result, I end up spending much of the day either holding the baby, or trying endlessly to put him down for a nap. Our house is just too small, and the noise and distraction too much, that he wakes up time and again after being put to sleep in my arms.

Then, there’s the house. Besides being small, there is always, always the issue of child clutter on the floor. Lately, there have been tens upon tens of little colorful plastic bears littering the floor. I had to recently round them up and retire them to a secret hidey spot that NO ONE knows about. There is also always laundry to be done and folded and put away. And dishes in the sink or on the counter, or in the dishwasher waiting to be put away.

But then there is the recent stuff too. Like the landlord wanting us to buy the mower. Thankfully, we have put his ridiculous offer on hold for the time being. Or the hundreds of maggots I discovered in the garage once I moved a towel that was lying on the floor. They scattered everywhere in an instant. Normally, I am not afraid of bugs, but this was just too much. I told the hubs he needed to immediately come outside and deal with the situation. His solution—throw away the towel. But what about the scattering maggots?!

Then there are the flies that reside in our house these days, again, numbering in the tens upon tens. I swatted at least twelve yesterday. I’ve no doubt these are coming from the maggot farm in the garage. Also, there are small ants that seem to be building their den underneath the bathroom floor, coming and going as they please. I suppose it is nice entertainment to watch them while I’m sitting on the toilet, but I’d really like for them to build and destruct elsewhere.

Then, there’s the washing machine. That started giving us trouble weeks ago when it began leaking copious amounts of water onto the floor. Turns out the water valve was faulty and cold water was just gushing out all over the place. Lovely.

So we went for a whole week without the use of a fully functioning washing machine. This was especially trying since we need to launder diapers every other day. We were able to make it work for a bit, but I had to stay with the machine while it filled up, then manually turn off the water, then come back downstairs for the rinse cycle, turn on the water, stay until the basin filled up, and then leave again, on and on ad nauseam.

We finally got a refurbished one a few days ago—courtesy of the landlord—which of course, I just discovered is leaking water again, although gratefully, not as much as last time. Does the madness ever end, I wonder.

So this morning, when I woke up at 7:45 (thank you, husband, for getting up with the baby at 6:00), and just wanted a moment to sit on the couch with a cup of coffee in hand, but instead was met with a rambunctious four-year-old who wanted to build a block bed with me for her wooden doll family, a whiny two-year-old demanding, “Hold me, mama! Nurses on the couch!”, and a baby, who would very soon need to be put down for a nap, I really did want to run away to Mexico. I felt as though I couldn’t do it again—another day of the same old routine. Another day of swatting flies and cleaning clutter and dishes and holding babies and listening to “Mom-MEE!”

There’s this phrase that I’m reminded of time and again when I feel overwhelmed like this. 

Just start

Don’t think about everything that needs to be done, just put one foot in front of the other and do something. So, I nursed the toddler while drinking my coffee and watching the four-year-old play with blocks. My husband, bless him, sensing my unraveling, went in a little late to work so he could rock the baby to sleep.

After he left, I managed a shower. Next, I swatted a fly and killed it dead. Then, I started a load of diapers. Baby steps. Finally, when I felt I could do no more than that, I called my sister and told her that I was coming over with the kids because I couldn’t be trusted to be on my own with them today.

She laughed and took us in. We hung out and chatted. She put the baby down for his second nap. And then, she fed us and gave me a couple of glasses of wine. And it was just what I needed. A break from the monotony and confining walls of our home.

It’s funny. In the moment I always think, “Oh man. God is really testing me today. What with all the flies and maggots about.” And then, after the briefest respite, I suffer from the guilt of you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-God-is-testing-you, you’re-so-blessed-it’s-not-even-funny nonsense.

I guess it’s like my wise husband says: There’s always tomorrow. A new day. A chance to start all over again and make things better than they were before.

Aren’t we lucky?

How many t-shirts should one man own? Really. Please tell me what’s reasonable.

My husband has seventy-two t-shirts. 72! (Yes, I counted). Granted, these include both long sleeve and short sleeve, as well as white undershirts. But still! He could wear a different t-shirt each day of the week for two-and-a-half months without having to do laundry. Ree-DIC-u-lous. Absolutely ridiculous. (Incidentally, when I point this kind of thing out to him, he always mentions how it’s kind of brilliant, given our tendency to fall behind with the laundry. What a wiseass.)

Now, I will be the first to admit that I love a good t-shirt. The super, super soft shirts. The ones you’ve had forever that are worn down just perfectly. The oversized ones that are great for sleeping in. The classic summer white tee. The tees that represent beloved sports teams or favorite vacation spots. I could go on, but I won’t. Because no one should own as many shirts as my hubs. As our four-year-old would say with a bunch of sass—seriously.

Here’s the thing. If we had a big house with a walk-in closet, or room in the bedroom for more than one DPP (dresser per person), I’d be OK with the outrageous number of shirts. But, as it is, we do not live in a mansion. We have a small house with two small closets and two small dressers which overflow way too easily.

Now, with the exception of the cloth diapers—Liam helps to wash these all the time, God love him—I do the laundry in the house. And, I fold and put away clothing too. Why is this significant?

Because when you try to stuff seventy-two clean t-shirts in drawers that are only meant to hold half that number, and you’re impatient like I am, you start to easily lose your shit when putting away the clean clothes. And then, you wind up doing wildly immature and nonsensical things when you, in fact, do lose your shit. Like throwing a stack of neatly folded tees into the deepest and darkest back corner of your husband’s closet, after you’ve asked him nicely, forty-six times, to please, for the love of all that’s holy, pare down the collection because it’s driving me INSANE. 

Every now and then he will start to look through the shirts in an attempt to get rid of a few, but he never does. The man doesn’t hang on to much, but he does love him some shirts.

Why does he feel the need to hang on to every running race shirt he’s ever received? I don’t know. Or all the sports ones, many of the same teams. Or the ones from all the pubs and taverns in every town he’s every lived and likely visited. If he’s so attached to the words on the shirts, surely some of the plain color tees could go out to the curb? Or bring us a buck or two in the upcoming yard sale? I mean, come on!

I’ll give him credit. A time or two he has removed some shirts and relocated them to a bin in the basement. His plan was to keep them on some kind of rotation. That never happened. 

I probably should just start sneaking some into the trash now and then when he isn’t looking. See if he misses them. I’ll only take from the way bottom of the drawer. Grab the ones that haven’t seen the light of day in a year or two. Because even in our darkest laundry moments, when I’ve neglected the growing mounds for well over a week—maybe two—the man still had two drawers nearly full of shirts. 

I mean, is this normal? Is this just a guy thing? If so, somebody please let me know, and I’ll try to be more tolerant. Or, find alternative spaces in our home in which to store the damn things. Or, alternative uses.

Off the top of my head, I’m thinking replacements for hand towels in the bathroom. Pillowcases maybe. Dish rags. Blankets for the girls’ baby dolls.

Guests in the home mention we are nearly out of toilet paper? Here, use this shirt. It’s OK. He’s got a duplicate. Yes, I know. Isn’t that silly, hanging on to two of the same shirt? Please, use it. Your ass will just love it. 

There’s nothing that’ll get my blood boiling hotter than the hood of a car on a long road trip like idiot pedestrians and/or drivers at a good old fashioned, full-on, over-the-top neighborhood yard sale.

Yard-sale-ing season is upon us, friends. Yes indeedy, it is.

Whether you call it a yard sale, a tag sale or garage sale, every weekend around these parts you can be sure to see cars lined up irresponsibly on the side of some road, parked in front of—or very near—a house with a sale, sticking out into the street just far enough so that it makes it impossible for two cars to pass one another in the opposite direction. Essentially, the street becomes a one-lane road. Now imagine adding horse and buggies to the mix—a common sight at these sales—and you can see how events might get a lot more interesting. And by interesting, of course, I mean they become a HUGE pain in the arse.

This past Saturday I had an appointment to get my hair cut at 9:00 in the morning. Looking back, this was probably not the best time to schedule something like this. At least not when the commute to my parents’ house—our trusty babysitters—is thirty minutes long, as was the drive from my parents’ place to the salon. Something to consider for next time. Perhaps noon would be better. Or simply a day when the hubs is not working.

Also, I will make sure to coordinate with the fine folks who determine the date of my parents’ annual development yard sale, ahead of time, and make sure to NOT schedule anything having to do with the neighborhood at that time.

Lastly, knowing I am prone to frequent bouts of road rage, I should always, always make it a point to be early for everything, thus eliminating the likelihood that I will scream obscenities out the window and blow my horn at the decent folks who are just looking to add trinkety-treasures on the cheap, to the already colossal collections in their homes. No judgment.

So, this past Saturday. I actually set my alarm for the first time since the baby was born and I was working full-time. Knowing it takes us almost an hour to pack up and go any place, I didn’t want to risk being late for my appointment. We made it out the door leaving us an hour—just enough time for me to make it on time if nothing out of the ordinary happened.

The first half of the drive went OK, minus the fact the baby screamed his little guts out the whole time (always stressful for me—I can’t tune that stuff out). However, once we got on the main road to my parents’ house, the real craziness began.

I got stuck behind several drivers who thought it was perfectly reasonable to drive 15 MPH in a 40 MPH zone, all the while putting on the brakes to casually and carefully peruse the lawn and driveway contents of many of the houses displaying their wares, paying no mind to the line of cars stacking up behind them.

I tried to be patient, but it just wasn’t happening. I was going to be late, and these guys, unintentionally, were being complete assholes. So, I let out a string of curse words and laid on the horn. This had the desired effect as the cars pulled over to the side of the road to figure their shit out. I felt a little guilty, but I like to think the cars behind me were grateful for my effort.

Of course, my oldest girl asked what all the commotion was about. I told her that we were following some bad drivers. I tell her all the time about the bad drivers on the road. She asks me from time to time, when I haven’t commented on the state of the world’s bad drivers, whether the cars are being naughty or driving safely. Lord help us, she’s going to be just as neurotic as I am.

When we finally made it to the entrance of my parents’ development—only then did the baby decide to quiet down—we had to wait, off to the side of the road, for a horse and buggy, three Amish girls on scooter-bikes with trailers full of flowers and other random shite, a pickup truck, an SUV, and several hot dog-eating families (yes, at 8:30 a.m.) to pass us by, before we were permitted access to drive through the tiniest margin of road. These people take their sale-ing seriously. 

I made it to my parents’ place, dropped the kids off in the driveway, and then drove like a complete reckless asshole myself out of the neighborhood, narrowly missing wagon-toting, stroller-pushing, and all kinds of box-holding folks.

I made it to the appointment with a minute to spare. Once there, I got to decompress a little and enjoy some adult conversation (always welcome these days), and a hot cup of coffee. Not to mention a shorter, new ‘do.

On the ride back, I came across only two idiots. On a back road, a lovely looking middle-aged couple had decided to stop at a yard sale. Instead of pulling into the driveway, or onto the property, they pulled to the side of the road, opposite the house, more than halfway into the driving lane. Also, they were at the bottom of a hill. Since the road was 40 MPH, I came upon the hill approximately 5 MPH faster than that. Then, upon seeing the car in my lane, I had to put on the brakes.

I couldn’t pass by, because their car was in my way, of course, but also because there were cars coming from the opposite direction. As I was sitting there seething, waiting for my moment to make my move, I saw the lovely couple, getting ready to cross the street, back to their car. They looked a little foolish, a little ass-holish, perhaps, as they realized the inconvenience their shitty choice had made for all of the other cars on the road.

Also, it looked as though it was going to be a long time before they made it back to their car, since by that point, there were cars moving rather speedily, trying to yield and pass in both directions, in the one-lane road they had created. 

I quickly sped past and found myself secretly wishing they’d be stuck there on the side of the road with their purchases in hand, for a good twenty minutes or so before they were able to make it back to their car. Serve them right.

As I write this days later I am fully aware of all the anger and feelings of contempt I had this past Saturday morning. It’s all a bit ridiculous, I know. I should be a better person. A more patient, less cranky person.

But, I’m not. Turns out yard sales bring out the worst in me. Buyers and sellers, beware.