Thursday, December 31, 2020

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night 2020

As we here in DC wrap up 2020, I know many of you are already happily in 2021.

I don't know anyone who isn't glad to see this year put to rest.

For me personally, it wasn't the worst year of my life. 

But honestly, that's because it's very hard to compete with a year in which your dad dies by suicide. And you buy a house with no ground floor kitchen, have an emergency C-section and can't do stairs, have very limited support because your mom is understandably having her own breakdown, *and* you have post-partum depression.

Otherwise, this would totally have been the worst year of my life. I mean, let's be honest: it was a super suck-ass year.

Collectively, I think it was the worst year of life for our family.

We are all healthy, but we lost people we dearly loved. 

We've been out of in-person school since March. In October, India left DCPS to home school, because she was so unhappy being online. Jordan has been struggling with online school.

We agree that we love each other and have gotten closer, but we are also pretty sick of each other. My kids cannot wait to be back in in-person school.

Recently Jordan suggested that we regularly have days where we all do our own thing inside the house and don't really spend any time together.

This sounds good to me.

As I mentioned, I've been home schooling India and we spend A LOT of time together. And I don't know if 8 is a particularly hard age for everyone but I will say that India's age 8 is a brutal one for the rest of us.

Jordan, thankfully, has been incredibly sweet.

Also fortunately, Nick has gone to the office daily, which is safe because he is one of maybe four people who do, and he spends his days entirely alone.

If he were staying home, one of us would surely have stabbed the other by May at the latest.

I'd hate to go to prison, and particularly in a Covid time.

I don't have anything profound to say, but in this time I have learned something about myself.

First of all, I was quite sure that I'd be fine staying home all the time. I love staying home. I'm an introvert.


I'm not as much of an introvert as I thought.

Yes, I need alone time to recharge. But oh my gosh, as it turns out, I love a lot of people. 

I had so many more daily interactions than I thought I had, until I didn't have them anymore.

I missed greeting the school crossing guard and the guards at the door. I missed my yoga group. I missed the parents I would chit chat with at school drop-off and pickup.

There are more, and I won't go on, because I know you all have your own people, and it super sucks. 

I don't know how this has affected the non-huggers, but as a hugger, I hate it. In normal life, hug practical strangers if we make a connection. And I have made connections in the aisles of Trader Joe's.

I only recently shopped at Trader Joe's for the first time since the pandemic began.

But anyway. I learned that I need and enjoy so many more people in my life than I thought I did. This was a huge revelation for me. 

Also, and this did not used to be true of me, I can spend two to three days in the same outfit, unbathed.

Although now that I say that, I do recall that week closest to Everest base camp, when all I did at night was take off my boots and unhook my bra. Because it was just so cold. But that was an anomaly.

I used to be rather concerned about my appearance.

I wonder if that will happen again.


We are lucky lucky that Betty lives with us, as otherwise we'd probably never see her in this fucking wretched pandemic.

We are blessed to be able to stay home and away from others, and fortunately we have been healthy.

We see our good fortune, and we recognize our blessings. 

We've done a crap job at eating fruit or vegetables, and have kind of descended into a junk-food laden kind of debauchery.

Which ends tomorrow.

I decided to do a sugar-free January to hopefully help my sleep and my mood. Nick decided to do a dry January, so I am joining him in this. Also, he's going to try to lose weight.

The kids decided they were on board with no sugar. This will be a shock when they actually live it.

And Betty recently got diagnosed with high cholesterol, so I proposed she ditch the sugar and join us. So she's joining as well.

She and I are the biggest sugar fiends. We'll see how this goes. I think it will be good.

And January 20, which is marked on our calendar and toward which we have been counting down, is allowed as a bacchanalian day, should we choose. I imagine I'll mainline sugar and then do naked backflips down the sidewalk. Unless it's really really cold.

So, that new regime starts tomorrow. In whole new year!

Right now Betty and the kids are watching Stranger Things and Nick and I are sipping beverages and listening to music in the living room.

On a Stranger Things note, earlier today India and I were watching together. There’s a line where a dad says, “This is our government. We have to trust them.”

India looked at me, rolled her eyes, and said, “As if.”

Jeez, is she growing up way faster than I did.

Anyway, I have a Zoom with some of my dearest friends from my youth at 9:00 pm.

Thank you for living through the hellscape that was 2020 with me. I wish you all such joy, laughter, connections, and good fortune in 2021.

Love love love,


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

The one for the strong of stomach

This is a rather revolting tale, so if you don't like reading gross stuff, stop now.


If, on the other hand, you enjoy schadenfreude, scatology and/or emetology, then do I have a gift for you!

You've been warned. On with the story.

The other morning I walked into the kitchen to find Nick shaking his head and scrubbing his hands with scalding water.

He said, "That dog is so disgusting."

Wanda, our scroungy hound, will lunge for any old rotting piece of pizza, tail of shrimp, or whatever else she may find in the park. Regardless of how well fed she is here.

She just can't resist the crust of an old bagel. She will not drop it on command. 

Nick or I can generally pry her mouth open and pull out whatever it is. One night she got something she really wanted and absolutely refused to open her jaws. So Nick held her head and I put my fingers over her nose until she had to open her mouth to breathe.


Yah, so on this particular morning, she stuck her head into a bush and pulled her head out chomping something. Nick prised her mouth open to remove...poo.

That dog was eating poo.

Which he was vigorously scrubbing off his hands on that fateful morning.

And then he left for work.

Jordan went upstairs to get online for school, and India headed to the living room to open her books while I made tea.

And suddenly she yelled in utter panic, "MAMA! MAMA COME HERE MAMA!" 

I started running towards her.


On the whole, I'm terrible with vomit, but dog vomit, I've learned, tends to not be so bad, because it's mainly a big blob of dog kibble. It's pale, easy to clean up, and doesn't soak into the rug.


Unless your fucking dog has eaten poo.

I grabbed some paper towels and headed into the living room to find that Wanda had puked on my favorite carpet. One my parents bought in Tehran in 1979 while my brother and I climbed on piles of carpets as tall as mountains to us.

We spent the day in a carpet store, eating biscuits and drinking tea while our parents perused carpets and bargained.

I approached the vomit to find that it was larger and more spread out than normal. 

And. It smelled really, really bad.

For this I would need gloves. And way more paper towels. I ran to the kitchen and returned with such items.

I started working on the mess and immediately began retching. I got up, and, realizing I wouldn't make it to the bathroom, headed for the front door.

Yes. There I was, running for the door trying to hold in my vomit, clutching paper towels soaked in semi-digested, regurgitated poo.

I didn't make it.

However, I did manage to mainly vomit into my hands.

When India realized what was happening, she began to retch.

I yelled, "TAKE WANDA OUTSIDE!" Figuring that if there was any more puking done by anyone, at least it would be outside.

Then I yelled a bunch of profanity just to make myself feel better.

Jordan came running down the stairs to see what the commotion was. 

He, too, is a sympathy puker, and I was not about to add him to the mix. So I told him Wanda had puked, it was terrible, we were fine, and to go back upstairs.

Then I cleaned up my vomit and went back to work on the rug.

Some people, maybe most people, might be more concerned about the state of their dog than their rug. But I was mad. Ooh, I was so mad.

If you're going to be an asshole and eat poo, you'd better not puke on my carpet.

I was blotting and wiping with wet paper towels, and then I recalled that soda water takes stains out. I looked, but we didn't have any.

We did, however, have white wine, and I remembered reading that white wine will take red wine out of a carpet.

So I poured a bunch of white wine on the stain.

And it was only 9:45 in the morning, but I also remembered that 7:30 am is 5:00 pm in New Delhi, so that would make it whatever time of the evening there. 

I poured myself a big damn glass.

Then I let the dog back in.