I spent the bulk of yesterday being a babysitter, something I haven’t done for the better part of a decade. Since I am a woman of leisure these days I had the time to help out Dennis’ sister for a day taking care of her son. I fretted the night before about whether or not I would be successful having thought my days of nannying were over. Would I forget some particular part of his routine thus throwing him off of it for the week, if not forever? Would I feed him something he’d be allergic to, leaving his throat to swell in reaction? Would I call giving him lunch “feeding him”—a phrase I’m much more used to using these days with respect to my cat? Glory be to God, please let me get through the next day only tired.
There was really no need to worry. I don’t know why I got myself so worked up. No tears, no whining, nothing. We had a pleasant day of playing with toys, going for walks, and taking naps. It was a long day, but a pleasant one, nonetheless.
On one of our walks, we passed by an old lady sitting on her porch. She must have been well into her seventies if not eighties and as we passed by, she came toward us, calling to me.
“Miss?” she called out over the hedges. “Let me see you.”
I looked over my shoulder to see if she was actually talking to me. Seeing no one, I pushed the stroller forward a bit to meet her eyes.
“Hi,” I said.
“Is it Monday?” she asked. She had a pale, wrinkly face, not unlike how I expect myself to look when I’m that old, but judging by the fountain of grey hairs I found spewing from my head the other day, realize it probably won’t be very long until my face catches up.
“Yes,” I said after a slight pause in which I did two things: 1) Check to see if it really was Monday and 2) Wonder why this was a pressing issue for her. “It’s Monday.”
“Let me see that baby,” she said again, and I pushed the stroller with the baby in it, and picked up his arm to wave it to her. “Aw, sweet little boy,” she cooed.
“Say ‘hi,'” I said to the baby, and because he is a year old and doesn’t say anything except for “Wow” and “Ba,” he just smiled.
“Aw,” she said again. “It’s Monday today?”
“Yes,” I confirmed feeling my heart clench a little bit. She must have been dying to talk to someone, to say anything at all. To have anyone say something back. We began to leave and she called out, “It’s always so nice to see you, dear.”
Had I seen her before? Was she confusing me with Dennis’ sister who is tall, skinny, and has unparalleled fashion sense? There is no way we can be mistaken for one another. It’d be like confusing Heidi Klum and Janeane Garofalo. Wouldn’t happen. (I hope from the two photos you can tell with which one I more closely align myself.) In any case, whatever confusion that woman felt about the day of the week, I hope I’d helped to alleviate it.
In other somewhat related news, Dennis seems perpetually mystified that the perishable food we bought at Trader Joes in JUNE continues to go bad. On Saturday he re-opened up a jar of “fresh” salsa and, taking a cautionary sniff, called to me in the other room asking if I knew when the expiration date of the salsa was. Not having the jar in my hands because it was in his, I called back to him, with only a hint of “duh” in my tone, that I didn’t know. Because the jar was in his hands. In the kitchen. And I was not.
Ignoring my response altogether, he promptly walked into the living room, where I was, and shoved the jar into my face. Not out of spite that I’d just given him a snotty response to his question but because he thought it would be an okay thing to do: to shove a jar of maybe-good-maybe-disgusting salsa in his girlfriend’s face. He does this with everything: milk, cheese, anything that seems past its prime. I, on the other hand, think this is poor form and never do it to anyone else unless it is a very, very pretty smell—like lillies or lilacs or cookies. I have a very strong sense of smell and think it’s inappropriate to push questionable food smells on anyone. My boyfriend, dear readers, does not subscribe to this philosophy and oh, how I wish he would. It is not nice to find your olfactory glands assaulted by turned dairy products and you’d think he’d have learned by now that I do not appreciate this kind of behavior ESPECIALLY when he just ends up eating the food anyway, regardless of whether or not it has gone bad.
Last night, for instance, after discovering a thin coat of moisture coating tortillas we’d first opened at the end of June, spore-rich moisture that would in a day certainly turn to mold if left alone, he exclaimed, “Even the tortillas have gone bad!” Looking for the expiration date, and reading JUNE 26th, he defiantly pried one moist tortilla from another and threw it in a pan to heat up. “Well I’m eating it anyway!” And he did. And more power to him, really. Why he puts up the fuss about it spoiling in the first place is beyond me. It all ends up in his stomach anyway.
He did this same freak-out thing over two Oreos that had been in the package since we moved in and asked me two or three times if I thought they were still good. Because they could be folded and molded into figures similar to snowmen, I suggested that perhaps they were a bit stale but that I didn’t think two stale cookies were a big problem for him considering once he ate a moldy sandwich containing three-month old meat, mayo, and pickles and he came out fine from that ordeal. He agreed and within minutes asked me if the now-empty Oreo packaging was recyclable.
I am needing a new name for this blog. It’s not accurate to call it “A Year Here / A Year There.” I have some ideas rolling around, but also want to recreate this space entirely. If anyone out there knows some good blog designers, pass me their names. Now that I’m here for a while, I want to do this thing properly.