Morning Fog

Cold

Now in my 5th year of teaching full time, I have grown accustomed to the cold. To the runny-ness, the stuffiness, and the fogginess – not to mention the coughy-ness…not to be confused with the equally pertinent coffee-ness.

I give up. I no longer just hate being sick, I loathe it with the white hot loathing a slave has for its master. And with the same degree of complacency of knowing I can’t do a damn thing about it for it is my destiny to serve.

Speaking of serving, I have been awash in testosterone, Italian made, on the home front for years. Even my daughter was a tomboy, sandwiched between two overactive brothers. Even the dog is a tomboy, as dogs tend to be.

It is probably good that I work in a school where almost all of the teachers are female. It gives my life a little balance, and reminds me that there is nothing wrong with girliness. The fact that I am expecting a grand-daughter soon – my daughter’s daughter – fuels that fire.

One thing I have noticed working in a school full of females is that it isn’t at all like working in an office full of them was in the old days. That is a roundabout way of saying how touched I was when one of my fellow teachers brought me homemade chicken soup last week. She knows that when mom gets sick, there’s nobody to take care of her. I immediately started feeling sorry for myself when I realized that nobody does look out for me or take care of me, and I don’t particularly miss that because I thrive on the caring and the looking out for others…but it does feel good to be soothed now and then. Really good. It made me miss my mom, not just in her death, but I miss having had a mom for the 15 years or so before that. The mom that disappeared in herself after her stroke. I miss the mom. I used to know. I miss having had a mom close by all these year. Independence and adulthood and motherhood and self-reliance are awesome sirens, but sometimes I would trade it all to have my mom stroke my hair and give me a hug.

Anyway, the chicken soup was delicious, and I think it did help my cold. I know it soothed my soul.

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Feeling a little peppier

Yesterday, I just checked out.
Everything was finally over…the last day of school and Christmas shopping and cooking and Christmas Eve and Christmas day, and the day after Christmas and my mother’s birthday. Finally.
And I just stayed in bed. Everything hurt, and I was so tired that I slept most of the day away…something I hate doing, but I thought of it as a sick day.
I finally dragged myself out of bed, took my third prescription strength dose of Advil (something had gone kaflooey in my back) and went to the gym. Of course, after 10 minutes on the bike, my legs mutinied and dragged me to the sauna.

The sauna. My favorite place to be.

Unless there is a naked lady in there, then it is my most favorite place to feel uncomfortable as I try not to stare.

After I was done there, I went to my most favoritest nail salon, where the people are Vietnamese, but actually speak really good English. Most of them. As many women have discovered, it is not imperative that you actually communicate with your nail tech, but it does help sometimes. I like having that option. So anyway, I got a manicure and a pedicure and something from Starbucks, and called it my vacation day. To top it all off, my husband didn’t call once while I was gone, which is miraculous. That alone was worth it. That sounds cruel, but sometimes I feel like our phones are an electronic umbilical cord. The lack of missed calls when I finally checked my phone was like a little gift.

Today I felt much better. And he bought me jeans.
I didn’t want jeans. I have come to the conclusion that jeans only look good on the young and the thin. Fat old people just look dumpy and unimaginative in them. I have some, but never ever wear them anymore.
But we went out shopping while the Littlest one was at a party, and Mr. Wonderful force fed me jeans in the dressing room until I relented.
The ones I bought, I must confess, look okay. But they are too big. They are falling off me, and I think I am going to have to dig out a belt now. Bummer. I have stayed away from belts for a long time too.

So funny thing about these jeans, they fit my curves and aren’t tight so I don’t hate them. But they are kinda low cut, so they lay on my hips and that means they also tend to hang off them a bit. I like them, and they are driving me crazy at the same time.

But they are so much better than some I tried on…the kinds that grab at the top of the the thigh and bottom of the knee, and make my legs look like sausages in a denim casing. That is such a ridiculous look on me. One pair coupled that with such a baggy belly that I could have passed for a kangaroo. Or not. Just sayin’
And these are long enough too! That is always a bonus. I can wear my Bjorn clogs and the pants are still dragging the ground.

Okay, I know, enough of the sounding like I have never had jeans before. These will probably die in the back of my closet too. As soon as I lose a few holiday pounds, they probably will be too big to wear, even loving the looseness as I do. Oh well. Maybe I can take them in or something…I hate shopping for jeans. Always have, but for different reasons now. Used to be that my waist was so tiny that I would go through a dozen pairs before I could find one that fit in my thighs without hanging off me at the waist. That was when I was like a size 4.
I am not a size 4 now, but although substantially larger, I am built proportionately the same way. So now I have trouble getting the right fit, and the added bonus of looking like a cow at the same time.

Do you see how shopping can bring out the self-loathing in even the most confident of us? Damn disgrace, that’s what it is. Oh, did I mention that I’m dieting too? Starting the New Year’s farce early.

Seriously, I weigh 10 pounds more than I did the morning after I got back from Philadelphia (when I went to pick up my MIL right before Thanksgiving). That hurts, since I did a great job losing 20 during the summer, and more or less kept it off till now. Hence the club and the sauna and did I mention the Costco sized bottle of something called Zipfizz?

This stuff has a fat blocker, a carbohydrate blocker, an appetite suppressant, an energy booster and a personal trainer all rolled into a tiny capsule. Okay, I might have been exaggerating about the personal trainer. In fact the website says that you “have to exert your will power.” Bummer. I would love to buy a tube of will power. In fact, I am willing to go on record as stating unequivocally that lack of will power is the prime source of my downfall. There, I said it.

But, in an attempt to place blame elsewhere (like, say, on my mother-in-law) I have to tell you that she believes in the four food groups…and three of them are sweets. Candy. Ice cream. Cake. Try living with that, Zipfizz!! Will power my sweet patootie!

I think that brings us up to date.
Oh yes, I also sent a vague and noncommital email to my son’s principal. She will most certainly assume that it is job-related. However, the vagueness gives me deniability, should that be necessary. I could be a spy, I tell you.

Thanks for the advice, re the job dilemma.
For the record, I have worked in my son’s school and at different schools. I like being at his school better. And most teachers I know teach at their kids’ schools. Teaching is just such an all-consuming job that it makes it easier to balance work and home when they overlap that way.
Someone in a position to know better, whom I respect, counseled me to stay away from his school too. That is why I didn’t apply there last year. With all due respect, however, she never had children so never faced this dilemma herself. So while I admit certain points are valid (as some readers echoed) I still think I want to go for being at his school, unless the Principal feels otherwise. We’ll see what happens. I am hoping things work out for the best, whatever that may be.

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