Bleh. Apologies in advance, this isn't going to be uplifting, enlightening, or all that entertaining. (How's that for a hook?)
First off, the Little One is supposed to be napping right now. Instead she's doing this. (The coughing, not the smoking or hanging out in a creepy apartment with a lady who evidently thinks hacking up a lung is hilarious.)
Second, my shoulders are sore. This is not the result of some weird writing injury, but the inevitable consequence of me trying to push something that is not really designed to be pushed. I was shoveling the driveway (for about the thirtieth time this godforsaken winter) yesterday when a neighbor sought assistance. It seems her car, if you could call it that, was stuck at the end of her driveway. Nobility and chivalry being two of my most irrepressible character traits, I of course ran (okay, briskly walked) over to help. The damsel in distress seemed to think that my maleness somehow equated with physical strength and that I would be able to simply shove her car out of its slushy, snowy vice.
Have I mentioned that I teach third graders and supposedly write books for kids? The heaviest thing I lift on a regular basis is a basket of my laundry (and by "regular," I mean, like, once every month. Maybe.) But I gave it the old college try. My manhood was at stake. I succeeded in getting sprayed with slushy mud while the girl gunned the engine, but was unable to budge the car a single inch. I left feeling a lot like this guy must feel every day.
I was further emasculated (figuratively) when the fair maiden came knocking on my front door this morning. She held a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies (they had M&Ms in them, too) and proceeded to effusively thank me for "helping." I made the mistake of asking how everything turned out and she said another guy, "a big guy", as she put it, stopped by and pushed her out. Nice. The cookies were good though; they were even still warm. Moral of the story: Revealing yourself as a weakling may result in delicious cookies.
Third. At noon, I went to get the mail: two bills and another rejection from the fine folks at Highlights for Children. I have an unspoken agreement with the editors of Highlights. Every couple of months I send them some poetry. In return, they send me a rejection letter with the "Not suitable to our present needs" box checked. I put these rejections into a manila folder labeled "Character Builders." It's a densely populated file. Much more so than the folder labeled "Confidence Builders."
But don't feel too sorry for me, rabid devotees. I am, and will forever be, an award-winning blogger. Can't take that away from me. (or the cookies. I put them really high where the wife can't reach.)