Tuesday, July 18, 2006

When it's late afternoon and outside the worst of the heat is dissipating, our house radiates, swelters, broils and roasts. It maintains an Easy Bake Oven temperature of 85 degrees. I swear, between the humidity and the heat we could poach an egg on the kitchen floor. The heat is in the walls and the sofa cushions, and swirling irritatingly around my head. Sweat is a first and second layer between me and my clothes and it slides down my neck, pools in the small of my back and makes my skirt feel like a swamp washed rag. The cats lay stretched out, succumbed and resigned. They move as little as possible. I move as little as possible; it can't be helped. In spite of what I can accomplish, everyday our home is slipping further and further away from order and comfort. Fruit spoils instantly, and the bread sweats in the plastic bag from the market. We haven't slept in the house in a week, but find relief in the RV. I am too hot to clean much, cook much, think much, be much use at all.

Last week I thought I could manage to see a movie with Maria, while the boys saw Pirates. Waiting at the theater I was so hot and frumpy, I thought I'd shop for a decent shirt before the movie started. It's been a while since I write about how much I loathe clothes shopping... I could not find one pretty, or pleasant or well-fitting blouse and being hot, sticky and in the presence of a three way mirror at a discount store was devastating to my morale...

"The Devil Wears Prada" was starting soon, so Maria and I walked back to the theater where I let her run around before the start. She was happy and I was was having second thoughts about seeing a movie about beautiful people that become even more beautiful, because of the *right* outfit. In two hours the protagonist would be transformed and radiant, but not me... The lights dimmed. Maria and I sat at the back, and I nursed her. "She'll sleep," I prayed. She fussed, so I switched sides, (meaning I was sweaty, frumpy and undone) which is when she grabbed my glasses and threw them in the aisle. Her scream of delight turned heads. I grabbed her, my blouse, my bra and boobs and dropped to the floor, feeling in the dark for my last pair of functioning glasses. She screamed some more, but now in displeasure and I could not feel my glasses any where on the bon bon, Coca-Cola, pop-corned floor. She got away from me and made for the exit just as a couple walked in. In one direction lay my helpless glasses, somewhere in the dark, and in the opposite direction goes my 19 month old headstrong, precious baby girl.

Let's acknowledge that bad situations are likely far worse in our minds than they appear to the rest of the world. So, in this theater of childless couples, retired folks and other sophisticates, I was the frumpy woman with a screaming baby, blouse open, on all fours, feeling around on the floor for what? A pacifier? Nachos? In my mind I was feeling defeated, tired, sad, embarrassed, anxious, oh yes and hot, sweaty and frumpy. The couple stepped around me just as Maria got out the door, so I abandoned my search and leapt to catch her in the hall, which is when I heard the distinct cracking crunch of the man's shoe on my glasses.

I never saw the movie. I am wearing broken glasses, that were once considered ridiculously unwearable until recently, and as for finding a decent shirt? Last night I opened the dryer and discovered that an errant blue crayon took a ride with all of my clothes... Looking worse than ever, I will have to go shopping again soon.