Wednesday, April 16, 2014
...and We're Swimming
Have any of you ever been swimming in the middle of a vast ocean for ten years, alone, with two kids hanging on your back, along with a backpack full of textbooks? Don't get me wrong, it's fine, because you're a pretty good swimmer, you're heading towards the most beautiful island, and you know with your strong back and dogged persistence you'll get there eventually. Plus you have an understanding with the local sharks. Then, all of a sudden, a lifeboat comes along and you think someone is going to give you a hand with your load. Finally! But that's not what actually happens, you optimistic twat.
Instead there is a crowd of people on the boat making a lot of noise in your direction. The closest person throws his five kids at you because he has not had a date night in THE LONGEST time. As he's tossing his last colicky kid in, he reminds you to feed his pet whale while he's out because she'll start eating the neighbors if she gets too hungry. Besides, if you had warned him how hard this would be before he had five kids and bought a whale maybe he wouldn't have done all this. Also, you're the most talented swimmer he knows so it shouldn't be an inconvenience.
The lady beside him pushes her middle schooler down at the water and asks you to carry her too because you're going that way anyway and well, she is too busy fishing on her yacht to take her own kid places, plus if you can't do it her kid will never get to go anywhere ever again, because, you know, fishing, and that child will be so disappointed. You wouldn't want to let her little sweetie down, would you?
Then you see your friend on the boat and you think, "Oh wonderful! My friend will stop all this nonsense!" But alas, he yells at you for not IM'ing him back after he IM'd you 400 times yesterday. He really needed you to tell him which socks to wear and you let him down, you selfish bitch. You only ever think about yourself! You turn away from him, because you can't bring yourself to care which socks he wears when you’re battling giant squid and hellfire storms, only to see another friend glaring in your direction. She proceeds to admonish you for forgetting her birthday and wants to know when you're going to treat her to a birthday dinner?! You wonder if your wallet is even waterproof and start contemplating whether having friends has any value at all. Maybe you should just get some new, shiny friends when you get to the island.
Another passenger on the boat wants you to find a lacrosse program for her kid even though you've never played lacrosse before, and a cross-looking administrator tosses a pile of paperwork at you demanding that it be filled out ASAP but your arms are full and you can't even hold onto all those papers while you're looking for your pen. The papers drift away in the wake of the boat.
Your coworker is along for the ride and invites you to dinner but asks that you make a dish or two which of course would be the polite thing to do, but it's hard to cook when you're carrying this load around and you're in the middle of the ocean. You're thinking about making up an excuse to stay home when your cat jumps off the boat and gloms on to your face with all 18 claws plus a couple he borrowed from his friend and you remember you forgot to order his special food made from the souls of space pirates and he's going to act like this until it gets here.
Unfortunately, you see your boss near the stern. He asks you why you're spending all your time lazing around in the ocean when you should be spending more time at work so you can take on extra projects. I mean did you really expect to be able to come in, do your job, and then go back to your ocean? No one is going to let you keep your position with that sort of attitude, you fucking loser.
While you're thinking of finding another job, the nearest jamoke dunks you, holding your head under the water because knowing that the water is seeping into your lungs makes him feel powerful. He's the type of guy who gets his rocks off by kicking puppies on the weekends. As soon as you resurface your oldest female relative leans over the side and whispers that you're a terrible person who doesn't deserve to live because all of your dishes don't match. You wonder why you need matching dishes when you're in the middle of the ocean and you should be concentrating on swimming. When there's a gorgeous island you're trying to get to, matching dishes aren't going to help you. Plus you think you lent them to a kraken last week for his dinner party and you're not sure he's going to want to give them back.
All the while your kids are asking how many minutes until we get to the island, and is there even an island because they can't see it, and why haven't you made them a snack yet when they asked you 3.2 seconds ago. You've done NOTHING at all but swim with that dumbfounded look on your face, MOM.
The captain finally comes out and you think she's going to restore order to this unruly crowd, when she starts explaining to you that she just read the latest issue of Swimming for Morons and you are going to drown your whole family if you don't put a yellow hat on and swim backwards in a circle on the next full moon!
Well, maybe that hasn't ever happened to anyone, but that is the way life feels to me a lot of days. If you're one of the people hanging out on that boat getting a tan and drinking a six pack, look for another swimmer to throw your empty beer cans at. If you're a fellow swimmer, drift over by me and I'll hold your hand when you get tired. You can watch out for killer jellyfish when I'm taking a ten minute break, just don't text your warning because I may not catch up on all the alerts on my phone until I get to that island and both my kids turn 102.