(originally published January 28, 2009)
It was one of those rare weeks in the Baldwin household.
Nobody broke anything. Nobody threw up. And nobody experienced an unusual bathroom habit and felt the need to announce it to the rest of the family.
In other words, it was so gosh darn boring I have nothing to write about.
I’m not quite sure what to do with myself. If I can’t use 750 words to make fun of someone...well, my life really has no meaning, no purpose. I’m doomed to waste away to practically nothing.
Kinda like George W. Bush. Bill Clinton. My 401(k).
History and literature are full of great, decisive battles fought throughout the ages.
David vs. Goliath.
Ahab vs. Moby Dick.
Robert E. Lee vs. Ulysses S. Grant.
And, uh, Superman vs. a Powerpuff Girl?
“Daddy, tell me a story,” our three-year-old son, Gabe, demanded one evening before bedtime.
My husband tucked him in tight and sat down next to him. “Once upon a time,” he began, “there was a little boy named Gabe. And he was a superhero.”
“How did you know he was a superhero?” our son asked.
Because one can’t tell Gabe a story without being interrupted 367 times. It was like testifying before Congress.
“Because he wore a cape and could fly,” my husband continued.
“Oh,” Gabe answered. “Like a Powerpuff Girl.”
My husband’s testosterone level kicked up a notch after hearing that and quickly corrected, “Uh, no, like Superman.”
“NO!” Gabe argued. “Like a Powerpuff Girl!”
“NO! Like Superman!” my husband hollered back. Apparently visions of the royal heir flying around like a tiny kindergarten girl wearing a skirt and pigtails wasn’t nearly as manly as the image of a grown man wearing a blue leotard and knee-high red leather boots.
As I turned away from the argument my husband was rapidly losing, I thought to myself, “Ahab had better luck with the whale.”
She stared at the 8 ball like Paul Newman did as Fast Eddie Felson in “The Hustler.”
Which wouldn’t be a problem if she was planning her next shot instead of thinking how the small black ball would taste for lunch.
“Get your nose off of there!” I chastised Chaser, Wonder Mutt of West Edwards Street, and pushed her golden-haired snoot away from our son’s miniature pool table.
Ever since we’d placed it on the floor, the dog had been obsessed with the thing. Sticking her nose in the side pockets, sniffing the felt, trying to snatch one of the cue sticks and running off with it. And God only knew what she’d done with the cube of chalk.
Although the bright blue smears that marked her left canine were a pretty good indication that we’d be finding it in the morning...in the backyard...in a steaming pile of “business.”
It was time to try contacts.
That was the last rational thought I had that day.
There were approximately 83 reasons why I wanted to dump my glasses and switch to a plastic lens that a person sticks on her eyeball.
But at that exact moment, I couldn’t recall a single one.
“What the hell is WRONG with this thing?!” I screamed and stomped my feet in frustration.
Standing at the bathroom sink, fists clenched at my sides, staring down at the tiny piece of plastic floating amid a sea of solution in the small plastic case and wondering what the hell I’d gotten myself into.
“Having trouble?” my husband calmly asked as he stuck his head around the door.
Sure, he’d been wearing contacts since God was a child. He could pop in his own lenses in pitch blackness standing on one foot during an earthquake, but I was having a little more difficulty with this new procedure.
I pointed to the lens in question and answered in fits, “This...freakin’...plastic...stupid...sticks...eye won’t stay open...pops back out...can’t...UGH!”
He put up his hands and offered, “Would you like some help?”
Now, I’m a proud person and asking for help normally isn’t my nature.
So I’m not exactly proud of what I said next.
“It’s too late,” I answered and turned to leave the bathroom. “I, uh, already flushed one of them down the toilet.”
I paused and sighed. “Don’t ask me how. I’m still trying to figure that out myself.”
You can e-mail Kelley Baldwin at firstname.lastname@example.org.