Steve Keeps Inching Away From Me, The Coward
PS Shingles

Little Miss Brightside

If the hand-inked posters I read this weekend are to be believed - and why would they lie - the high school in which Caroline takes her Chinese classes will soon be hosting its winter semi-formal. The theme? A Night on the Titanic. I laughed (aloud) when I read that and I have laughed every time I have thought about it since. My first thought was that they're throwing a fancy costume pool party... and I know parties. My second thought was that at least I'm not still in high school. Yes, I believed my prescription pain med label when it said I could take one or two before bedtime last night and thus was ultra-sedated, literally unable to open my eyes before ten thirty this morning, but it's not like the cutest boy in school (the John Hughes nice one. not the John Hughes ass one who drives a Porsche and pronounces it porsh-AH. accurate, yes. affected, most assuredly.) Where was I? Oh right, at least I am not trying to figure out how to incorporate the dress I want with the dress my Dad bought me with a shingles-hiding neck brace so that the cutest boy in school doesn't think/know that half of my neck is covered in sores.

So YAY ME! I am not in high school and no one has asked me to go to the Springtime Pumpkin Dance. I am not planning a valentine's day wedding. I am not a neck model on the eve of the biggest pearl choker catalogue shoot of the season. I do not have an unvaccinated baby (sorry Allison! that SUCKS.) I do look awful in turtlenecks but who am I trying to impress, anyway? Steve? The only way I know that Steve has plans that will be taking him from home is when he shaves more than once in five days  and the last time

[warning: if you know me, especially if you know me so well that you are related to me, and you feel that confessions from the marital boudoir might scar you for life, scar you like a bad case of the shingles, skip this part]

the last time Steve sought to seduce me with his masculine wiles he did so by jerking his thumb over his shoulder in the direction of our bedroom. When I asked whether this approach had proved successful for him back in his salad days he said, Uh, YEAH and when I pointed out that even the taciturn steely-eyed heroes of romantic novels treat these delicate negotiations with more tact he looked baffled.

I said, "Oh you know. If the sight of me in my bathrobe has inflamed your passions you might want to flash me a glimpse of your well-turned ankle, laugh at my jokes, pull me into your arms with a soul-bruising kiss and then whisper naughty things about dewy rose petals and the forbidden entrance to a salt-scented cove."

Steve said, "Cove?"

I said, "Cove."

He said, "OK. Fine. Permission to come ashore?"

I DIED laughing.

Huh. Totally off the rails here again, sorry.

Anyway, I still have the shingles and things could still be much worse.

Oh. One more thing totally unrelated thing.

Today as we left tumbling Caroline and Edward were sitting on the floor putting their shoes and socks back on. A woman and her daughter were standing about a foot away from us waiting for another child. Caroline put one of her socks on her hand and said, "Hey Eddybear! Let's play sock puppets!"

Edward said, "OK" and pulled one of his socks onto his hand too.

I let them continue this for about sixty seconds before I said, "OK, c'mon, we've got to go. Socks and shoes on your feet please."

The child standing next to the woman next to me said, "Can I do that with my socks?"

And the woman, the one standing so close to me her hand was practically in my pocket, said, "Of course not."

Kid said, "Why?"

And the woman said, "Because your socks have been on your dirty feet. That's disgusting."

Now I know that one person's choice is not a tacit condemnation of another's alternate choice (I mean your decision to breastfeed should not be interpreted as saying that there should be a worldwide law that makes breastfeeding mandatory [Hiya Bundchen - Go Ravens]) but I couldn't help but feel a little slapped by this exchange. I mean, I was always careful to be neutral when I explained to my children why they weren't allowed to ride in the basket of the shopping cart LIKE THAT KID RIGHT THERE. I might have thought "Because unlike THE WOMAN STANDING NEXT TO ME I love my children and I don't want them to sustain a head injury" but I always said, "Because we don't."

Of course that was back before I just let my kids ride in the damned basket, which also preceded my willingness to let them put socks on their hands and, I dunno, lick things.

In retrospect, I probably should have shown her my neck.

PS Just so you know, I was more amused by the sock comment than offended or anything. It was in total harmony with my week.