When my husband goes away for a couple days on business, I become an undisciplined messy rebellious teenager. The first day he’s gone, everything’s pretty usual. I’ll make sure most of the dishes are done by bedtime. There may be a couple of my things on the “holding stair.” (The step where all things go to get carried up on the very next trip. Promise. But on the next trip, you’re already carrying a load of laundry and a hot cup of coffee. So it sits on the “holding stair” for days?) By the end of the night, we might have a few things that the girls left on the kitchen table, some paperwork, syrup, and cups for example.
On that first night alone, I’ll celebrate the freedom of having a large bed to myself by sleeping in my clothes, minus my pants and bra. I love, love, love to sleep in my clothes. I also love to eat in bed, roll over and go to sleep. But since I have an obligation to keep-up my $35,000 dental work, I never skip my dental care ritual, not even after giving birth to an 8 pound baby girl. Therefore, I eat my BBQ chips and bowl of cereal in bed, then I get up to brush and floss my teeth. This makes my food babies happy.
On the second day of his absence, the house really starts to show the neglect. I refuse to make my bed and it has become the giant clothes hamper for my many costumes changes of the day. I’ve run the dishwasher but refuse to put the dishes away. Therefore, what am I supposed to do with the dishes in the sink? Well, they’re SOAKING, of course!
Most recently, my husband was gone for two weeks! Thank God I have house cleaners that I must clean-up for. So, here I am the night before the cleaners, trying to clean my room. The unpacked suitcase from last weekend, the folded clean clothes turned over and dumped on the floor in a frenzied search for just the right t-shirt. Projects, books, gym bags galore! But since I’m an undisciplined teenager without my husband, I punish me and send me to my room to “Clean up that mess, Sharon! The God Damned Cleaners are Coming Tomorrow!” And I would not let myself eat dinner until that room was picked-up. And I mean it!
Today, my friend almost backed over a gaggle of teenagers in her minivan at the mall. The only reason she spotted them before crushing their skinny little bodies is she heard loud giggling. So there they were, in hysterics because they almost got hit. Ha ha ha.
But I remember how it was. I remember laughing so hard with my girlfriends that snot would come out of someone’s nose and then someone would pee their pants. I remember grown-ups telling us to “knock it off” and we tried, we really did, but we could not hold back the gut splitting laughter. We would laugh even louder because those dumb adults just didn’t get IT. No matter how silly IT was parents and teacher’s never understood IT. In fact, they were quite antagonized by IT. They were totally missing IT.
I still have IT. Some people are jealous of IT. They don’t understand why IT makes me happy. My friends always get me and they get IT. In fact, that’s how I meet new friends, I’ll tell a joke, probably something a little inappropriate or sarcastic, and if that person gets IT, I know we’ll get along just fine. If they don’t, I’ll still be nice to them because they can’t help it if their IT is lost. Maybe their jobs took IT away. Or maybe too many obligatory commitments made IT go away. Or, worst of all, maybe they never had IT to begin with.
I’ve always told my kids, there are two kinds of people in this world; those who get IT and those who don’t. Stick with the ones who do.