Dead Weight. Horse Flies.

I still do this. I still fall asleep in the middle of things, except now it’s usually in the middle of piles of laundry and not a super fun bin full of plastic care bear toys (note the cloud car). And I don’t fall asleep because I’m playing too hard. I fall asleep because I’m exhausted. And sometimes it’s not even sleep, it’s more like a catatonic state.

The sources of exhaustion are legion. Work. Debates with Jane over whether or not she can spit her food out to inspect it. Scary run-ins with insects.

Case in point.

I was walking into work today and a horse fly flew up my skirt.

I’ve been battling a cold, and just moments before the horse fly I’d dropped a completely full Mug Root Beer onto the ground. I live by a strict “no root beer left behind” policy and this hurt me deeply.

When the horse fly breached the atmosphere of my ankles and hurtled into my skirt space my first thought was, “Just let the horse fly live in there for a while. Lay down and take a nap immediately. I’m done with life.” But since it’s completely impossible to take a nap with a horse fly in your knickers on the concrete sidewalk outside a busy building, I did not, in fact, do that.

At this particular juncture I’d yet to discover a down side to maxi dresses. I mean, they’re perfect. You don’t have to shave. You don’t have to wear spanx. What could be better? But my horse fly experience illuminated one glaring flaw within the maxi dress design.

Basically it became a tent within which the horse fly lost his little mind. A veritable cotton blend insect insane asylum. I hardly blamed him. It’s not like he meant to fly up under there, trapped beneath fabric and pasty white legs with stubble. So there’s me, flapping my skirts, slapping my legs. There’s the horse fly, pinging back and forth, trying desperately to find a way out.

After my last close shave with spiders, I wanted to shake my fist at the sky and scream, “TOO SOON UNIVERSE! TOO SOON!”

Somehow the horse fly got out. Somehow I didn’t get stung. But my brain was totally depleted of all energy. I walked into my office, sat down at the computer, and instantly fell into what I can only assume was a Fugue State. All engines stopped. Even the little hamster wheel in the back of my brain slowed to a grinding halt. I just sat there, staring, motionless, like a zombie for over an hour.

It was refreshing, actually. I’d like to recommend a Fugue State every now and then to all of you fine, over-worked, over-wrought ladies. It’s almost as good as a trip to Jamaica.

My friend suggested he should patent underwear that doubles as a bug zapper. I’m sad to say such a product would have come in handy at least three other times in my life. But I don’t want to talk about that.

But my BRAIN. People. She’s like the Titanic of brains. She’s been submarined by ice bergs, and cranky toddlers, and deadlines, and chest colds and horse flies. Yesterday she found a piece of raw onion on her fast food sandwich even though she specifically asked for no onions and now she’s taking on water.

So like all sinking ships, I’m liquidating the excess baggage. I’m throwing off dead weight. I now identify with the sailors in the Bible who pointed to Jonah and said, “Him. That one. He’s got to go.”

Here’s my dead weight list.

1. Hairs on the bathroom floor. For some reason I’ve convinced myself that there can never, ever, be hairs on the bathroom floor. And in the ideal world this is true. But in my world there are four bathrooms in our house and the floor tiles and the hairs from my head are just going to have cuddle up and learn to love each other.

2. Clean clothes. While a luxury, they aren’t essential. I’ve discovered that a good spritz of body spray can revive even the mustiest pair of jeans.

3. Shopping. Of course I make time to buy new nail polish and the latest Sookie Stackhouse book. It’s the boring shopping that I avoid. The shampoo shopping. The toilet paper shopping. You can go a long way with Dawn Dish detergent and Kleenex.

4. Blogging. One week I’ll post once. The next week I’ll post four times. Whatever. This is completely in line with the “no more free rides, that means you monkey” sign that I now wear on my back.

5. To-Do’s. This is a big one. We need to re-caulk two bathtubs. We need to winterize the sprinkler system. We need to clean the hot tub. We need to switch out Jane’s summer and winter clothes. And change sheets. And buy a box of nails at the hardware store. And change the oil in my car. Nah-uh. I’m not doing one of these things this weekend. Not one. I’m taking a vacation from the to-do’s.

Hopefully I can avoid any more Fugue States. Or horse flies. Or raw onions on sandwiches (that might actually be the worst of the three). Because in all seriousness, I assign myself too many jobs. Too many chores. Too many To-Do’s. In order for me to fulfill my role on earth I really only have to provide for my family and raise Jane to run the penitentiary instead of be in it.

Everything else, the laundry and cleaning and side projects? They’re just dead weight.


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