Thursday, November 7, 2013

How to Lose An Entire Week in Seven Days

On Thursdays, I often find myself wondering where the week has gone and why I have made no kind of forward progress on anything. At best, I'm in the same position as I was in at the beginning of the week, at worst I'm behind on even my most basic household chores and the children are eating pickles for breakfast because I have nothing else to feed them. This week was special because by Tuesday the week was already shot to hell. I sit here knowing that I will get nothing done this week. We will be one week closer to the girls' birthdays, one week closer to Thanksgiving, one week closer to Christmas, and I will have done nothing to prepare for any of this. I like to think this is because of matters outside of my control, but the truth is that I do plenty of procrastinating which doesn't help the situation.

Since the Internet loves lists, I thought I'd give you a step-by-step guide of how to lose a week in seven days. I fully expect that this list will be optioned as a rom-com starring Kate Hudson in the near future. Aside: Stranger things have happened! What to Expect When You're Expecting was made into a movie. If you're not familiar with the source material, What to Expect is a plot-less nonfiction book that guides pregnant women through all the shocking things happening to their bodies when they're pregnant, with exciting bonus features including everything that might go terribly wrong and kill them and/or their unborn child. Only Hollywood could turn this into a comedy starring Chris Rock. 

I had no desire to see this movie, so I don't actually know what is going on here, but I imagine it's a big
funny that dads go overboard in getting geared up for an outing with their babies. Because: Panic! Babies!
You know what? In real life dads don't take anything for outings with their kids:
Coats when it's 20 degrees? Snacks when they'll be out all day with no access to food?
A diaper bag for an infant? These are all silly luxuries that an overprotective mom packs
because she's too uptight. Dads just go with the flow, amiright?
So, here's my step-by-step list of how to lose a week in seven days:

Day 1. Time Change - Even though you "fall back" and get an extra hour of sleep in November, for some reason, this still causes confusion and exhaustion while everyone tries to adjust. Even if you cleverly set the clocks back on Saturday night and put everyone to bed "late" in hope that they will sleep in on Sunday morning, you will be disappointed when everyone gets up at the new 6:15 a.m. If you are really lucky, they will spend Sunday complaining that they didn't get enough sleep, as if it's your fault. If your house is like mine, on Monday morning we all watched the 6:00 episode of Arthur because sleeping or getting ready for school would have made too much sense.

Aside: I went looking for a funny Arthur meme and stumbled into a dark place on the Internet. There was this:

Which, what? Arthur, my word! I figured it must be a reference to something I'm too old and uncool to know about, and I discovered this helpful explanation in the Urban Dictionary: "A phrase used in reference to a person with attractive, round buttock; preferably large ones. Commonly used in reference to such type persons who may also have a less attractive trait in comparison. Derived from an infamous thread on 4chan where someone desperately pleaded for pornographic pictures, showing Arthur and Sue Ellen from PBS Kids cartoon "Arthur" having sex. The said person repeatedly used the mentioned phrase to describe Sue Ellen's buttocks." Um, yes. That's really, really strange. I mean, if it were Francine, I'd TOTALLY get it, but Sue Ellen? Bizarre. 

Day 2. Cold and Flu Season - If you have children, the patient can be one or more of your children. If you have no children, it can be your pet, significant other, parent, or best friend. It can't be you because you will spend the week taking care of whomever is sick. This will require you to cancel everything you have planned to do, make multiple trips to the grocery store to buy "sick" items like Motrin, ginger ale, Popsicles, and a thermometer (because thermometers mysteriously disappear, as if on cue, whenever someone gets sick). You'll take the patient to the doctor because you'll be secretly hoping that whatever is wrong is bacterial and you'll be able to dose up the sick person with amoxicillin and get on with your life. It will be viral and the doctor will smile and say, "you just have to wait it out." The doctor will look smug and you'll blame Kathleen Sebelius, because pretty much everything is her fault. 

Day 3. Laundry - The sad truth is that unless you are wearing a disposable paper hospital gown, you will never finish doing laundry. This is the worst kind of chore because it is repetitive and necessary, but you never make any headway. Cue Sisyphus cat...

So, if you spend an entire day doing laundry, it's as if that day never existed because at the end of the day, you'll have a new pile of unwashed clothes.

Day 4. All Day Sporting Event - TGISaturday, but you have to go to your son's baseball tournament an hour away. It's a tournament, so you know he'll have two games, unless he has three games, or four. Who really needs to plan, anyway? And when you get back home to dirty dishes in the sink, an empty refrigerator, and a pile of laundry, the sad reality will sink in:

Day 5. The Glorious Internet - I could waste way more than one day just looking at the most random things online. I like to think of the Internet as your grandmother's attic, if your grandmother worked in carnival sideshow (to my knowledge, neither of mine did, although my great-grandfather was a failed bootlegger.) It is so incredibly easy to spend hours and hours "researching" irrelevant things, watching YouTube videos, and rediscovering old phenomena. I'm sure that some of you have better self control than I do, so you don't get sucked into watching a flashmob doing the "Carlton" dance (Alfonso Ribeiro's character on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air) or hand smocking tutorials (Martha Pullen is the best.) You probably don't Google search, "Mr. T's real name," or "oldest Gabor sister," or type random items into Pinterest to see if anyone has made a craft out of paperclips (of course!) or zippers (well, duh!). No, you all have better things to do than waste an entire day researching Benjamin Franklin's extended family (direct descendants include Jack Coleman, who played Steven Carrington on Dynasty and currently appearing on Scandal as Daniel Douglas Langston.) Are there people who don't waste time on the Internet? I'm duly impressed, because I don't know how you don't want to know what became of Rosario from Season 2 of Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman.

Day 6. Infomercials and Home Shopping-  When you've developed carpal tunnel syndrome in your mouse hand from too much Internet, this is your only logical alternative. I could spend hours, hours, I say, watching home shopping and infomercials. I have never purchased anything, because this would involve admitting to watching such programming, but I find the shows mesmerizing. Because I'm the worst salesperson ever (probably why you won't find a giveaway on this blog unless it's something I bought and am too lazy to return) I love watching the HSN hostesses wax poetic about shoes, saucepans, perfume, velour tracksuits, or whatever item they're hawking that we all simple need to have (ideally in more than one color). Watching their perfectly manicured hands stroking the genuine faux-leather purses and angling gemstones so they glimmer in the studio lights makes me wish I could be reincarnated as a hand model with a convincing camera presence. The audience phone calls are even more amazing. I would argue, that you can't possibly understand America until you listen to calls from people who are spending their disability checks on costume jewelry. It's pure pathos.

For those of you who think I'm, I have two words: Wen Hair.

These socks are better because they are cozy and for $14.00 you get a pair.
That's only $7.00 per sock! (Are you all buying this? I didn't think so.)

Day 7. Sleep - It's exhausting wasting all this time, so you need to rest. It's important to wake up late, then panic because you've overslept and immediately make a list of everything you need to do. While making your list, get totally overwhelmed by all your tasks and decide that the best thing to do is to take another nap. When you wake up from the nap notice that it is already dark (see time change, item #1) and decide that you might as well just start fresh tomorrow. (Note: Just so you won't think this list is autobiographical, this has never happened to me because my children don't let me sleep past 8 am.) 

So, there you go, you've wasted an entirely good week. If you keep up this pace for 52 weeks, you can waste an entire year! I have faith in you. I bet that just searching the Internet for X-rated pictures of Arthur characters could easily kill a month!

Do you all have any suggestions for how to waste time? Reading blog posts about wasting time, perhaps?


  1. Mine is eBay. I discovered that I had a fascination with cap tallies. They ate the ribbons n the caps of enlisted sailors in the Royal navy that spell out in gold letters the names of this ships, e.g. HMS Terrible. Honestly, there was such a ship. I can't get enough of them and they usually cost less than 5 bucks.

  2. You need to go on a digital diet. I tried. It didn't last long. Good luck!

    1. You are totally right. I will start that with my food diet right after the holidays!

  3. You make me laugh so much... First of all, please don't let my husband see this, because it is exactly what he thinks I do every week. Second of all- this is exactly what my week was like :) And, to add a few, I spend a great deal of time dealing with the whole lunch process, figuring out which food each of my three kids will eat (because NO ONE in this family eats the same damn thing), locating the "green" containers to put the food in (if only I could just go through a box of zip-locks each week), tracking down lunch boxes that the kids left on the piano bench last Friday (and sterilizing them), and searching for the backpack to put them in. OH, and please don't mention the wasted time I spend finding three sets of matching socks everyday! Jeez, now I'm depressed- perhaps I can spend one day drinking myself into a stupor!

    1. Just playing the numbers, I can almost guarantee that your husband won't see this! :-) It does get depressing doing the same thing, but never making any headway. I try to do something every week that can count as forward progress. Sometimes that's writing a post for the blog and sometimes it's just making a dentist appointment. Just doing SOMETHING is better than nothing.