Pardon me… could you pass the Grey Poupon?

By Mir
March 30, 2005

There’s no good excuse for how grumpy I’m feeling about this, but by way of explanation: My feet are sticky. This is enough to annoy a normal person, and drive to the brink of madness a person who spent the previous night bemoaning the lack of time and cleanliness in her surroundings. (Oh! Pick me! Pick ME!)

Not one, but TWO cups of milk hit the deck in my kitchen today. One per child. One this morning, as I gently coaxed (read: hollered) for the kids to please getyourstuffonrightnow because fortheloveofgodhowisitpossibletobesoslow, and one this evening, roughly .3264 seconds after I said, “If you don’t stop fooling around, you’re going to spill your milk.”

The Rules of Good Parenting dictate that you allow your children to experience cause and effect and let them clean up their own messes. The Rules of Reality say that there is NO TIME for ANYONE to adequately clean up after spilled milk when you’re already in danger of missing the bus, and also that watching a not-quite-seven-year-old swirl 8 ounces of milk around a hardwood floor with half a roll of paper towels has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory rats and facial tics in stressed-out mamas.

So let’s all blame the spilled milk for the following, but there’s no point in crying over it. At least that’s what I hear.

I seem to have missed the fact that I’ve become independently wealthy. It’s terribly unfair; I have always strived (striven?) to live in the style to which I’d like to become accustomed. And yet, here I am, sitting on oodles of excess cash, and I didn’t even know. I shall commission a limousine at once to drive me around town while I prepare myself the most exquisite of sandwiches, necessitating that I approach others in luxury vehicles to beseech them to share their condiments. Their fancy condiments, of course, because no one puts mayo on a sandwich in a limo. Obviously.

[You know, that commercial always confused me. If you have the bucks for a limo, don’t you have someone to make a sandwich for you? Better still: why are you having a sandwich rather than steak or swordfish or intraveneous caviar?]

Anyway. Yeah. Um. I’m being oversensitive. My post yesterday was about not having enough time for things. Which most of you got. Dear Internet: I wish I had more time. Gotta go! Love, Mir. So there’s that; if you thought it was a post about money, you kinda didn’t get it. But then–remember, sticky feet; oversensitive–there’s the money thing.

Behold everything you need to know about money, if you’re me!

1) Divorce is expensive.
2) Getting divorced from an irrational man without a clue is really expensive.
3) Being unemployed for a long time does not actually cause bills to stop arriving.
4) Having given up a semi-lucrative career to stay home with the kids means you will actually be excited about taking a job that pays less than your first internship did, eleven years ago.
5) Extra money in my house means my kid can have hot lunch instead of packing, or that I can get a haircut without selling stuff on eBay, first.
6) The moment I started working again, the aforementioned irrational man began regularly seizing opportunities to beseech me to lessen my supposed iron grip on his finances, because he is broke. So very broke. And I am so careless with the child support, flagrantly wasting it on food and the mortgage, you know. Plus there’s the whole matter of how much more I earn than he does! GOLLY! Where’s my calculator? Oh! My calculator must be BROKEN! Because it claims I make one-third of what he does! Let me just add a calculator to my shopping list, because that can’t possibly be right!

I am SO MUCH FUN at parties; you just have no idea.

Anyway, to recap:
A) Dear Internet: I wish I had more time.
B) I’m doing okay, financially, for the first time in a long time. (Although it wouldn’t hurt my feelings one bit if someone pointed out to my ex that he should STFU already.) But if you’re going to suggest I hire a housecleaner, try to do so when my feet are not sticky. That way, I can just laugh really hard. Otherwise, I get all worked up and start asking random people for mustard in a snooty voice. (I ask in a snooty voice. I’m not sure mustard could be placed in a voice, snooty or otherwise.)
C) There is no Peapod service in my area. Although I’m guessing that I can’t afford that, either.
D) Although some people would have you believe it’s free to buy stamps over the internet, there’s actually a $1 handling fee.

And ya know, it’s okay. All of it. I really prefer Thousand Island on my sandwiches, anyway.


  1. Amanda B.

    I hear you honey-bunny. Money is tight over here as well. We don’t live an extravagant livestyle by any means, but we still struggle most months. Is it my imagination, or are things harder now than when we were kids? Maybe it’s just me…

  2. Carmen

    Dear Mir’s Ex:



    The folks in Mir’s Computer.

  3. susan

    Probably just because you mentioned it, today in Office Depot I noticed the sign, “we sell postage stamps,” and then in Albertson’s Grocery, “we sell postage stamps.” I go to the machine in the post office near my home after hours and have never purchased stamps elsewhere so I thought it was interesting that I noticed those signs only after reading your post. From now on I will buy the stamps at the grocery and not make a special trip. Thanks!

  4. Heather

    Mir, for what it’s worth, you sure do seem like an amazing woman. And your ex sounds like a putz.

  5. Shelly

    Does it make you feel any better that the same sh*t is happening to other single mothers even down to the spill drinks (juice on carpet at my house tonight)? No? Didn’t think so. But if you find the secret bank account of money your ex thinks you have, see if my extra money my ex thinks I have is there too. Thanks!

  6. joan

    sticky feet – if only you could add up all the times when you’ve declared: “Be careful! … or you’re going to spill your (hot chocolate/cranberry juice/other staining liquid) … okay, . . . yeah, I’ll get the paper towels … ” and convert those moments to cash-in-the-bank? (After all, don’t large employers pay large money to people who exist only to anticipate catastrophes – a skill ingrained in every Mother, yet woefully unrecognized and uncompensated?)

  7. joan

    yikes – I guess I better go back to lurking, as that reads waaayyy too strident – my feeble attempt to relate to both the spillages and a tight economic situation.

  8. Fraulein N

    I would dearly love to tell your ex to STFU. I suspect I’ll have to get in line, however. Just what does he think you should be spending the money on?

  9. Karry

    Ouch! Sorry.

  10. Kris

    If I weren’t laughing so hard, I’d feel sorry for you. How is it that even when you are griping and complaining, you still seem so incredibly hilarious? Send me your address and I’ll send you some stamps :)

  11. Rosie Bonner

    You know, you’re kind of, um, maybe the best human ever.

    I don’t imagine that’s any consolation, though.

  12. Mike

    Ok, so there’s something wrong with me. The first thing that popped into my mind was–“sticky feet? Milk on floor? FLOORMATE, BABY!!!”

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