It turns out that you can get a lot of laundry done on about three hours of sleep. Also, you can pay all of the bills, do a small amount of work, spend some time with your children, make a billion phone calls, and spend an inordinate amount of time just staring at your computer, trying to remember what in the world it was you were supposed to be doing.
Otto is now up in Boston with his mom and the rest of his family, and they are all waiting up there and we are all waiting down here, and I’m really not sure which one sucks more. In fact, I’m just going to go out on a limb and say that it all pretty much sucks, here or there, up or down; even Dr. Seuss could not find a way to make this anything other than what it is, which is just plain rotten.
Otto is—like most men, you know, the ones from Mars—a fixer. I tease him about it all the time. Never before in my life have I wanted so badly to just fix something that is so completely unfixable.
So Otto and I lay in bed last night, not sleeping, talking a little bit, dozing eventually, and finally snapping awake in a panic at 3:45 when the alarm went off. And then he was off, without me, as we’d agreed made sense for now, and as the garage door closed I felt like the worst wife in the world.
Chickadee’s bedroom is directly over the garage, and I guess the door woke her up. She came flying down the stairs, wide-eyed, wanting to give Otto a hug good-bye. He was already gone, of course, so we sat there in the dark, snuggled up in my desk chair, until I could convince her to go back to bed.
I stayed up another hour, then went back to bed and dozed until Monkey got up shortly thereafter.
So the laundry is done and the bills are paid and I spent an amusing few hours dealing with the title company that is supposedly handling the sale of my house in New England (remember that? STILL NOT SOLD! GOOD FUN THERE!), because it turns out that I am trusting them to process a major real estate transaction in spite of the fact that 1) they can’t seem to figure out what my name is, 2) they think my ex-husband doesn’t know how to spell his own name, and 3) they keep alternating between listing either HIM or ME as currently living in that house, even though neither of us have lived there for quite some time.
And really, it’s so completely confusing, I guess, how the BUYERS are the ones LIVING THERE (they’ve been renting for months), as is listed on every freaking form already submitted. This is antithetical to the world of paperwork these people live in, so instead they list me (I think it’s me, though my name seems to change with every iteration of the forms) as living there, and when I point out that I LIVE IN GEORGIA, then they correct my address and instead screw up my ex’s address. What we need, here, is a piece of paperwork that says “WHATSHERNAME AND THAT GUY HAVE AGREED TO GIVE THOSE PEOPLE THAT HOUSE FOR A RIDICULOUSLY LOW SUM OF MONEY, THANKS.”
(Fortunately in order to officially be bilked out of tens of thousands of dollars, the entire transaction requires my signing all of my legal power over to the one person on the planet who hates me the most. So THAT’S comforting.)
That burned up a good chunk of time, actually, and I finally went out and overnighted a packet of stuff to the title company and then came home and sent them an email that basically said “Hey, I sent you everything, here’s a tracking number, good luck with that.”
I also managed to spend some quality time on the phone with the stormwater utility people, trying to convince them that Otto really doesn’t owe them $8 in overdue fees on a house he hasn’t owned for over a year. Normally I would hold my ground on such a matter, but today I was all “Okay, then, I’m going to send you $8 and you are going to GO AWAY. Fabulous.”
The kids went to play with the neighbors for a while this afternoon and I did a little bit of work, too, though I have no idea if any of it was coherent.
During dinner, Otto called. Still no real news to be had, but the kids each got to talk to him, and Monkey did that weird thing he does every once in a while where he morphs into a little old man.
“Well how are YOU doing, Otto?” he asked. He listened to the response, and nodded sagely. “Yeah, I’m worried, too,” he agreed with a deep sigh. “But we just have to wait and see.”
After dinner I dished the kids up enormous dishes of sorbet and strawberries; probably not a decent substitute for attentive parenting, but desperate times call for extra dessert. I was letting them eat in the family room while we watched television (normally a once-a-week treat), and Chickadee put her bowl down and hopped up onto the couch next to where Otto usually sits.
“I am giving Otto a big hug!” she announced, putting her arms around Invisible Otto, where he would be sitting. “We are snuggling,” she continued, patting Invisible Otto’s back. “It’s helping!” she concluded, grinning at me.
She was right, it did help.
Thank you so much for the kind thoughts and prayers so many of you have shared the last few days. With very few exceptions, I felt and continue to feel buoyed in kind understanding and compassion. For those of you who are concerned that God can’t deal with my frustration, I suggest you not worry your pretty little heads about it—He and I will work it out. We always do.