I’ve tried a few times to write about what was, in truth, a ridiculously funny paint mishap without referencing how much my Mother’s Day sucked, but I can’t. It was depressing.
I think I have a two-fold problem: First, my expectations are much too high – I would like to be acknowledged for my role as a mother on Mother’s Day, through a traditional method like a card, or, you know, words from my families’ mouths, as well as a slight bit of pampering (thoughtful gifts would be awesome, but I know enough not to expect that). Say, an alternative to me fixing every meal on Mother’s Day, as well as someone else doing the dishes and the laundry, etc. Second, I am undeserving of my high expectations because I am not a good mom. Really, when you have such a shitty day with zero appreciation for being a mom on a day set aside specifically to honor mothers, what other conclusion is there?
So, my resolve is to fix things for next year. I will work harder at being a good mom, playing with the kids, keeping things clean, etc. I know I need to do a better job of cooking healthy, interesting meals, so I am going to start there. Even though we have a housekeeper clean up the place every other week, the house is a mess all the time, so there’s that to work on as well. My hope is that my kids and husband will start to think that I don’t deserve to be completely ignored on Mother’s Day and will at least say thank you for what I do as a mom. I will also recognize that even though I try hard to show my love and appreciation for my mom and mother-in-law on Mother’s Day (and thus model how I hoped I would be treated), I should never expect thoughtful gifts or expressions of love from my family. I’m just not that great of a mom, despite my amazing role models, and I clearly don’t deserve anything.
Additionally, I hope to avoid ruining my favorite skirt on my next Mother’s Day. Because that is what happened this time around…
You see, Leland and I had to do a bit of work at the office on Mother’s Day. There was no other time, and we had a good friend and colleague in our area (on a Mother’s Day trip with her mom) who took us all to lunch and then consulted on some photography issues at the office for our new website blah-de-blah blah blah, work stuff, you’re bored already, aren’t you? Okay, I’ll stop writing about work and being depressed and get on with a story that ends in me covered in paint.
We were setting up to paint a chalkboard wall. Did you know that chalkboard paint exists? It’s so cool. You can just paint a big swath of blackboard right on your wall! I wanted to do this in Charles’ room, but it was a bit dark for that. But now, we have an awesome alternative to an expensive, smelly white board right in our office meeting room! I love it!
So, yeah, I was wearing a white skirt and a tank top. It was a beautiful, sunny day and I am not a sloppy painter (Aside: my mom once knew a lady who wore one outfit all day, regardless of what she was doing – even if it involved gardening or other dirty jobs. The trick is to just stay clean and I hope to achieve this level of cleanliness and dressiness. After all, who has time for multiple outfit changes?). I tied an apron on that covered the whole front of me and my clothing and Leland and I set to work taping off the borders of the chalkboard. Then, I grabbed the paint can and started shaking it up to mix it. I decided that “shake weights” must be totally bogus and also, how does a “shake weight” not ruin your elbow? Paint was good and shaken, so I set it on the table and asked Leland where to find a screw driver to open the can. Screw driver found, I opened it and turned back to finish the last bit of taping with Leland before we painted.
These people also look ridiculous.
Leland didn’t realize that I had opened the can of paint.
He wanted to “shake weight” too.
He “shake weighted” the can of paint all over my backside.
In a horrific splash, a good third of the quart of paint splashed all over me (I was bent down to finish taping the bottom of the wall) and the floor. It was thick and sticky and cold.
Picture, if you will, the moment after something awful happens: the dish you were holding is on the floor, shattered into a million pieces. The mailbox you ran over is stuck underneath your stopped car. You just had black paint splashed all over you in a leased office. What do you do?
What did I do? Well, I suppose I had two choices: I could cry, or I could laugh.
If there’s one thing that having kids has taught me, it’s that it is far better to laugh in these situations than to get upset. After all, no amount of furious crying was going to get the paint out of my clothes or off the floor. And Leland, poor Leland. He was in shock. I think he thought I was going to rip him a new one.
I didn’t. I laughed. And I laughed some more. And I looked at my backside, at the black paint covering me and my white skirt, and I looked at the front of me, my unscathed apron, and I laughed. And I looked at the floor with a big splash of black paint all over it, and I laughed.
Oh, friends, it was all ruined. We started and then finished painting the wall by sticking our brushes in the puddle of paint on the floor. The carpet is toast. I had to sit on a garbage bag in the car just to get home where I scrubbed paint off of my calves and lower back and threw my clothes in the garbage.
It was all so funny, but it was also really sad. I really liked the skirt and shirt I was wearing that day. White skirts are pretty fashionable right now, and I can’t find any out there that I like as much as I liked that one. And every white skirt I see, I’m reminded of how horrible I felt at the end of Mother’s Day, knowing that I’m just not good enough.