When people hear that I’m alone with three kids most weeks, they cock their head to the side, like they suddenly need to drain one ear of a foreign substance, and murmur, “That must be hard.”
It can be.
Like when there’s a hurricane with a heading of my zip code and the only household item I was able to procure with three kids in tow was a lot of cilantro.
Sometimes where my footing is most unsure, though, is upon his arrival. I just can’t seem to master that archetypcal housewife purr, “Welcome home, dear, ” as I accept his overcoat and briefcase in exchange for the Tom Collins I’ve mixed with care.
No, my salutations go more like this.
“Ahh, fuck, I was hoping you were Mr. Belvedere.”
“I’m really all set with tupperware. Try the neighbors.”
“Aren’t you a sight for sore eyes that need a fortnight of sleep, Visine, and a brow lift.”
“Your son is wearing a dress because I ran out of laundry detergent a few days ago and he has a thing for florals.”
“Hi! Bye! I’m going to a movie! The thermometer is on the window sill. Still rectal.”
“Of course there’s food for dinner. There’s broccoli and Greek yogurt in the fridge.”
“Flash your Marriott Platinum card somewhere else because there’s no continental breakfast on this floor.”
“I thought you took the kids with you?”
“Have you brought me a gift, such as a Slovakian nursemaid who only feels fulfilled after copious hours of closet organizing?”
“I wrote a check from a checkbook that I had in college from a bank that no longer exists and tried to pay for groceries with a Dunkin Donuts gift card.”
“I need a dish washer around here, and I don’t care if they smoke weed in the back.”
“I just found a Blockbuster DVD from 2008. The worst part is it’s Mamma Mia.”
“Verizon really isn’t bluffing about the number of usage minutes on our family plan.”
“Bienvenidos a Miami. Except if this were Miami I’d be sitting beside a pool in a pair of Manolos while someone named Hector gets your bag from the car.”
“I decided arson was easier than cleaning the play room. Don’t worry, I made it look like it was a random hate crime.”
“The fruit flies are swarming! They’re copulating on top of everything!”
“I have to get out of this house. I’ll be at a bean supper and then a blood drive.”
“Is this poison ivy or could I have the stigmata?”
“I’ve watched a lot of Telemundo this week, and I have come to realize that not only should I try fake eyelashes but also that Bianca would never put up with this shit from Lorenzo.”
“If you had to undertake a quest that was fraught with peril in order to sustain humanity would you choose me as your partner or Derek Jeter, fully understanding that Derek Jeter won’t have sex with you no matter how hypothermic you become nor did he learn how to tie a Flemish knot in Girl Scouts?”
“I think my yeast infection has a yeast infection.”
“What are you waiting for? A pack of crayons and a kid’s menu? Come in and sit down.”
“If you even mention the joint account, I will spread a rumor that you have an inspirational word tattooed on your shoulder. And not even in Chinese characters. In Sanskrit.”
“I wonder if Elin Nordegrin might be interested in a devoted lesbian life partner…”
“I’m on a diet. I haven’t figured out which one yet, but you’re either with me or you’re against me.”