December 21

Well, folks, this past month has TRULY taken the cake. My deepest apologies for taking so long to post, but I’ve had a lot of life over the past 30 days and simply had to prioritize. Not that you — or this blog — aren’t important, but the basics of living had to come first.

What’s been happening you ask? Well, we went on a honeymoon, cancelled buying a new house only to have a cash buyer on our old house come in at the last minute so we could recommit to the new house, which left us with two weeks to pack 1,500 square feet of space and move in to almost 3,000.

We went through two settlements (both of them nail biters), three moves (we had to put our stuff in storage and live with my folks for a week), several states (on vacation and otherwise), one bout of the flu (me, of course), countless numbers of Tums, several bottles of Nyquil, three vet visits (Winnie jumped out of a moving car and lived to tell, but that’s another blog), 10 six packs, and a credit crisis (to Pier 1: I am Jill Murray, REALLY).

But now, I’m back. A little world weary and road tested, with an ever deepening identity crisis, but back. In our new house, unpacked, and happy to have finally landed.

Aaah, rites of passages bring so many interesting things:  a new name, a new address, a new telephone number, a new dog, a new life. When I call Comcast to tell them that I still can’t get online even though they’ve been here 17 times, and they ask me for my name and address so they can access my account, I’m often stumped. I mean, who am I? Where am I? Really? Who is anybody?

This question comes to me almost every day anymore. Case in point, a few days after we moved in to what I now call “our final resting place” (because I’ll never move again), I had to vacuum. That’s because we have plush, bland, neutral vanilla carpets throughout the entire house and they attract dirt like attracts lonely singles.

With a heavy heart, and mourning the beautiful hard wood we had in the old house, I brush the dust off the Hoover WindTunnel I was forced to buy when I moved home (thanks mom) and spent a few minutes locating the “on” switch. After 15 minutes, I got down to work, pushing the toddler-sized appliance towards the kaleidoscope specks of fresh dirt and watching them disappear like old boyfriends. It was almost rewarding and that’s when I realized that I might need help.

I mean, there I stood, pushing the vacuum cleaner like a soccer mom pushes a baby carriage — with simultaneous fascination, boredom, and fortitude — wondering how Jill Sherer found her way to this very spot: Vacuuming in black stretch pants and an old pair of flip flops, with The View on the television in the background.

Talk about a seismic shift in image. If Jill Sherer and Jill Murray got in a boxing ring, Jill Sherer would likely win the fight, but Jill Murray would have the best remedy for getting the blood off of the floor without damaging the varnish.

Oh dear.

A blog wouldn’t be a blog without a mom story, so here goes:

My mother and I had a fight the other day because she called to remind me to change the address on our car insurance. I said we’d get to it when they forwarded the bill. She said what if they didn’t forward the bill. I said what if there was a nuclear bomb and we were all blown up tomorrow. She wasn’t amused. Then I said we’d call, but we just haven’t had time. She said I had plenty of time for lunch with Lorraine and Lorrie for my birthday and to go to Home Goods, I should make these more important things a priority. After all, she had two children, a job (as a receptionist for a proctologist, working from 9 to noon, mind you), a husband who traveled and, yet, she still had time to take care of important things. I’m married now. I should do it. After all, my husband goes to work everyday. (Gee, what do I do?) Because, after all, if we have a problem, who’s gonna bail us out? She is. That’s right. She is. So she has the right to ask whether we’ve taken care of it. After all, she’s always been there to bail us out. To take care of it.

But I am taking care of it, mom, I said. We just moved in, we went out of town for business, I’ve been sick. Well, that’s not good enough, she said. And if you don’t take care of it, I won’t sleep. Well, as long as she doesn’t call me in the middle of the night, I guess that’s okay. Because what can I do? Get an affidavit from the insurance company that we took care of it to alleviate her concerns? A notarized statement? Am I not taking care of things? Am I a total and complete incompetent because we haven’t yet addressed the issue of changing our address on the bill for our car insurance?

You know what, she said, I’m just not gonna care about it or anything anymore. You’re on your own. You’re married now. You said that already, I said. You take care of it. You do whatever you want to do. You set your own priorities. Because I can’t be in charge of them or worry about them. Okay, mom, good point. And so if you have a problem, you’ll have to fix it. Okay, mom. I think that’s just fine. Because daddy and I have done all we could to raise you and make you and your brother the best people you can be. Now, we just have to wash our hands of it all. Okay, mom. (As if I’m talking to her from prison.) That’s okay. We’ll be okay. It’s just that I would think you’d stay on top of these things. I mean, you’re a grown woman. You’re gonna be 44. I know that, but thanks for the reminder, I said. (Like I’d forgotten.) Well, yes, usually we do, but it’s been very hectic. Well, we all have hectic lives and I have a hard enough time staying on top of my own so you know what? I wash my hands of it. Okay mom. Okay? Okay. I’ll just talk to you later. Okay? Okay. Okay. Bye.

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