Tuesday, November 26, 2013

November 26th Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina – 

Good Morning! Yesterday was partially productive.

I wrote over four thousand words, so that was good. The reason I was able to write so much was because we got a really late start on cleaning the family room. The plan was I would write until my daughter, Dani, came home from school around noon. She would take a break and eat lunch. Then both daughters and I would tackle the family room.

Since my uncle is now coming to Thanksgiving again, and he has horrible allergies, we have to do a thorough cleaning. I’m talking everything has to be taken off every shelf and cleaned, the walls need to be wiped down, every piece of furniture needs to be moved and vacuumed (even the bottom of the couch). Every candle needs to be capped so no scent escapes. No air fresheners can be used. We practically need to sterilize the house, so it is A LOT of work, but it’s a heck of a lot better than having to call an ambulance again because he’s having a severe asthma attack.

So, back to why we didn’t finish the family room. My mother came and picked up my oldest daughter, Lys, yesterday morning at ten. When she was here, I told her she couldn’t keep my daughter out all day because I really needed her help. My mom told me she would have Lys back by two. Perfect, an hour later than I had planned, but still doable, because I figured it was a two hour project if all three of us worked together. We’d be done by four, and I’d get a break before I had to start cooking dinner.

This also worked well for Dani, because she was so tired when she came home from school, she got to take a nap until two. Since the house was quiet with Dani asleep and Lys out with my mom, I got to write for longer than I had planned. I came to a stopping point, the end of a chapter, and I look at the clock. 2:45, and still no Lys, so I send a text. No reply. 3:15 I call. No answer. 3:30, I call again. Again, no answer. At this point, she’s an hour and a half late and I can’t get a hold of her, so I’m thinking they got into an accident, because that’s how my brain works.

Five minutes later, Lys calls and says they are at Kohl’s. Needless to say, I am not able to keep the displeasure from my voice. She apologizes and tells me they will be home soon. Dani is still asleep on the couch, so I wake her up, and the two of us begin on the room. She helps me drag an old chair to the dumpster, which I had been planning on pitching for months, but never got around to doing and be darned if I was going to spend half an hour cleaning it if I was just throwing it away. Then we disposed of a ripped up desk chair as well.

The next thing on my agenda was to break down Colby’s cage and get it moved into Dani’s room for the holidays. There was nowhere in the family room to keep it where it wouldn’t be in the way. I begin folding up the crate, and Dani tells me she didn’t realize I had planned on moving it right then and she needed to go and make room in her room for it. Off she goes, leaving me alone in the family room. I look at the clock. 4:15. Still no Lys.

My phone rings, it’s my girlfriend Karolyn. I feel bad, because she had to listen to my five minute, without taking a breath, rant over not being able to get the room cleaned and how inconsiderate my mother was for keeping my daughter out when she knew I needed help. Karolyn listened, commiserated, sympathized, and like any true friend does, she got angry on my behalf, and then told me an even worse story about what happened to her, to make me feel better.

At 4:45, I hear the beep of my mother’s car alarm in the driveway, nearly THREE hours after when I should have been hearing the beep. I end my conversation with Karolyn, so I can glare at them when they come in the door. Now, I wasn’t going to say anything, because I really do hate confrontations, but they were sure going to know I was not happy. Then my mother makes the unfortunate mistake of telling me not to be mad at Lys, “they were having fun”. That’s when I lost it.

I told her I wasn’t mad at my daughter. My daughter wasn’t the one driving. My daughter wasn’t the one who had it explained to her how I needed help. My daughter wasn’t the one who promised to be home by two. Then, instead of just apologizing and being done with it, my mother has the nerve to point out that I was the only one cleaning, implying that if Dani wasn’t helping then why should Lys be required to help. That’s when I blew my second gasket, and set the record straight.

What fries my cookies is, my mom doesn’t think she did anything wrong. She freaks out when she’s entertaining for nine on New Year’s Day, and my husband and I do a large portion of the cooking for that day, plus my mother has a cleaning lady who cleans her house before the party. Wouldn’t it be logical to think I stress out a bit before an event, and any deviation from a set plan causes me a whole lot more stress, especially when I have to do all the cooking myself and I don’t have a person to clean my house for me?

Anyway, what’s done is done. I can’t change it, so as of right now, I am over it. Today, I will write until noon. Take a lunch break when Dani gets home from school. Then the three of us will tackle both the family room and the living room. We should be able to get both rooms immaculate by 4:30 – 5, and I can take a half hour break before I have to start dinner. Barring any unforeseen setbacks, I can get back on schedule and be able to breathe again.

On that note, let me get to Faerie Tale Queen. I hope you have a terrific day, and happy writing!

 Your Last Challenge was:

 The Black Friday experience…

Once every four or five years, I decide to brave the crowds and go shopping on Black Friday. Then, when I return home, I vow NEVER TO DO IT AGAIN. It is complete insanity, the lines, the traffic, the parking. It’s an unmitigated nightmare, but the one thing about Black Friday that disappoints me most is the attitude of the people.

Just the day before, they were gathered around a table with their loved ones giving thanks for all the many blessings they have in their lives, and on Friday their bodies are overtaken by trolls. They are mean. They are nasty. They are self-possessed. Tell me, is that 20% off video game worth you banging your cart into another person and then cursing them out for being in the way?

After the third time I utter “Merry Flippin’ Christmas to you to!” is when I usually give up and call it quits for the day. Black Friday is the anti-Christ as far as I’m concerned. It brings nothing but bad will and disdain. Sure it would be nice to finish up my Christmas shopping, but I think I will wait and do it next week, during the week, when there’s a chance of getting a stranger to smile back instead of sneer.


Your Next Challenge is:


You have 10 minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.