Wednesday, March 31, 2021

What to wear while rooting through your neighbor's garbage

First of all, if you're wondering if I wear these outfits all the time, the answer is yes.

If you're further wondering if this is the outfit I was wearing while rooting through the neighbor's discards, the answer is also yes.

These suipersuits are improving my pandemic. My goal is to wear them as much as possible while it's still cold because once it's DC hot these will turn me into my own personal sauna.

(Which is pronounced SOW-na. So there.)


On Monday I bought this charming monstera that was just starting to fenestrate from a very nice guy in a plant group I joined a few months ago when I decided that plants would also improve my pandemic. I also bought homemade moss poles from him.

I'm currently considering a worm farm. Nick thinks this may be a bridge too far, much like putting one's penis though plantation shutters to greet the day is, in his opinion, insane.


So I bought this monstera in a very nice pot, and it had a little plastic water-catcher under it in just the perfect size.

Which I accidentally left on the floor in the backseat of our car. I meant to go back and get it out, but I forgot.

And then that night Nick and I had a fight. And he drove the car yesterday.

Since I wasn't calling him and he wasn't calling me, I couldn't say oh by the way there's this plastic thing on the floor of the car that fits the pot of my new plant perfectly.

So last night when we were all back to fine, I mentioned it. And he said, "Oh. I got the car washed yesterday and I put it in the recycling."

I knew, I just knew, he did this maliciously. I didn't say this, however. Till this morning.

This morning Nick was being all lovey and I said, "I know you threw out that container at the car wash on purpose."

He was all, what?

I went on to explain that he clearly threw out the perfect-sized plastic water catcher thing because he was annoyed with me. 

And he said, "I was cleaning out the car. I also threw out a bunch of your mom's tissues that had wound up on the floor. There was no ill intent."

Betty always carries around no fewer than 47 tissues at any time, just in case. And...what he said made sense.

And he added, "They're just in the next door neighbor's recycling."


There's a group house next to use which, when we first moved in, was full of mean girls, but it's gone through many iterations since then, and the inhabitants I've so far met there now are nice.

So I traipsed down and began rifling through the giant blue cans that DC uses for recycling. It wasn't on top. Or near the top. I had just decided that maybe it wasn't worth it to me when I heard a voice behind me say, "Hi, Lisa!"

I turned to see our across-the-alley neighbor smiling at me. He and his wife are great.

But I don't know either of them well enough to not seem weird in the neighbor's garbage.

So started to explain about the planter thingy and how Nick threw it out and it was the perfect size and seemed like a waste was starting to seem less worth it since it wasn't right on top and their recycling was kind of disgusting.

As I did this, I closed the bin and sauntered cheerily away from it, to show that I really wasn't digging in it anymore.

Our neighbor said, "Yeah. Digging in refuse can be kind of gross...That's a nice bright springy outfit!"

I thanked him and told him I was trying to cheer things up. It occurred to me that it was probably the perfect outfit, in fact, for trash rifling, because who would go out of their way to do something sketchy in so obvious a getup?

Once I'd thought of that, I felt a little better. Although still weird.

I wished him a nice day and hustled inside.

When I got in Nick asked if I'd found it and I said no, so he went out to look. He came in with it and said that actually, he realized after looking in the neighbor's that he'd put it in our recycling.

He was scrubbing his hands with very hot water. He said, "Our neighbors don't have a great grip on recycling. They had some broken china in there."

"We should totally tell them."

I mean, I do feel like we should, but how do you even start that conversation?

"So the other day I was picking through your recyclables..."

I think that's my bridge too far.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Comme il pleut sur la ville...

Every grey day, of which I believe we've lately had more than our share, I feel like I've never seen the sun. 

It's been raining my entire life.

Intellectually, I understand this is not the case. I have photo documentation. It was sunny on Monday. Maybe even Tuesday. Whichever day India and I did this fun photoshoot with my in my pink supersuit.

And incidentally, there is a photo of my butt that India took either before I jumped or after I landed, and she thinks it's so funny she wants me to put it on her birthday card. No lie.


I can't exactly remember if there was sun on Tuesday, because as I said, it's been grey my entire life.

When the sun is out, it's the best day ever. I feel like this is a childish response, but it is mine. The world is full of hope and I have energy. I'm filled with joy.

I can smile and leap. I know that I radiate happiness, and in the moment, it is true. I beam and it is genuine.

And when there is no sun, it takes all my willpower to get out of bed. Willpower and Nick saying, "Lisa. I need you to. Get. Up."

He has a tone. Nick, who is never affected by the vicissitudes of weather, never pulled up or bogged down by light or lack thereof.

He strides steadily forward in life, accomplishing all he needs to accomplish, never pausing to lament the cloud cover.

Nick has said before that he doesn't envy my lows, but he also doesn't experience the joy of my highs.

So it's been rainy and grey for at least two days or my entire life.

Unless you're with me, you don't know. I still post funny memes and use exclamation points and laugh emojis. (I also wear skinny jeans and have a side part, but that's a whole nother things.)

Yesterday, I turned on the car in the garage before I opened the garage door. Because we live in a place where things disappear quickly if the door is left open, we have it close automatically on a one-minute timer.

And even though we have a sensor, I have this fear that the door will come down on the car if I don't get out in time. So I get in, turn it on, adjust the seat and other bits to my size, start Waze, and generally do all the whatevers necessary to get myself to where I need to go prior to pressing the open button.

As I sat there organizing, I wondered briefly if our garage could fill with carbon monoxide, even though there's a large opening where we come in from the deck.

Would it be possible to sit in there and fall asleep forever?

It wasn't a plan, or even a wish, just a brief wonder.

These are the "just quit" whispers that I know not everyone has. Nick doesn't have a line he needs to keep from crossing, a bridge he sometimes sees.

I thank god that he doesn't. And I know my kids are more likely to.

This isn't any kind of cry for help. I'm fine. I know I've shared this essay before, but I just think it's such a good way of explaining how things are for some of us.

On Wednesday my son said he was absolutely not going to school in the rain.

He's back in a classroom. They're still doing school online, but they have someone in the room to help keep them on track. They get to see friends. They go outside for lunch and recess.

It has changed the state of his mental health.

This is currently only available to the kids who were in the most difficult situations, or who were struggling most online--and still, many turned it down. But we got to a point where it seemed worth the risk with Jordan.  

But Wednesday, with more rain, he was all, "This is the worst day ever. I'm NOT going to school!"

And I understood, oh, I understood. Every rainy day is the worst day ever, unless the sun is also shining, which almost never happens.

We cajoled him out the door, teeth unbrushed, because we could only choose between him brushing his teeth and putting on his shoes, and shoes seemed more critical for walking to and attending school.

He voices the extremes in my head. THE WORST DAY EVER.

Obviously, it's not the worst day ever. Hell, I know my worst day ever, and a plain old rainy day will never come close. But in the moment, I get it, I really do.

I think Tuesday might in fact have been sunny, because I think Nick woke me up and said, "It's sunny!" And I said, "Oh, thank God." And Nick said, "I know you mean that."

Sometimes I think about the spring my dad killed himself. It was a relentlessly grey spring. There was no sun.

They went to Hawaii to visit a friend, and it was unseasonably grey there, as well. 

The day Dad disappeared was sunny and spectacular, but I think by then he'd hit his limit. I know medication, or lack thereof, was the main problem. But I can't help but think that if it had been a glorious spring, he'd have held on longer.

I don't know. What do I know?

I mean, here's what I know: sun lamps are helpful for me, and so is medication. Getting outside always helps, even if it seems like the stinkiest idea ever. Fish oil is good for your brain. 

Wine is a false friend. So is sugar.

I didn't set out to have tea and Cadbury eggs for breakfast this morning, but sometimes that's how it shakes out.

And apparently the sun will come out tomorrow.

I mean really. Not because I'm trying to be all Orphan Annie about it.