Thursday, February 17, 2005

Betcha Balzac Didn't Have to Deal With This

Not that I'm Balzac, or anyone other than myself. Even so.

This morning Spouse and I delivered the car to be serviced, then took the Bart out to Daly City, where he works, and I have a favorite Starbucks which will let me sit with my laptop for three or four hours, writing in a corner. All is well until about 9:30, when Sarcasm Girl sends me an illicit text message: "I have a really huge favor please I'll love you forever."

Really huge favors that come in at 9:30 in the morning usually involve my taking time out from my short work day to fix some problem that has come up because SG has spaced something. This case was no different: dress rehearsal for her drama class play today (she has the lead), and she had left her costume on the stairs in the front hall, and could I pleasepleaseplease go home, pick up the costume, and drop it off at school. Of course, since the car was at the garage, this meant taking public transportation, which means the whole process is not a fifteen minute annoyance but an hour-and-a-half annoyance. I was stern. Hell, I was grouchy. But in the end I folded up my tents and my laptop and caught the Bart home, gathered up the costume bits, and delivered them to school. By the time I got home again there was an hour until I had to leave to pick up Younger Girl (whose school ends at 1:50--a fact I find actively hostile to a freelancer's liftstyle). So I had lunch and did some reading. Total writing done today: revisions on three pages, before SG called.

I did, at least, parlay this into "I will do this favor for you, but you will come home and clean your room." We'll see whether her gratitude lasts beyond dinner.


Blogger claire said...

I am going to take you away to Norway to sequester you into a cabin for six months where you will be productive. I will send many kinds of herring and chocolate...and the Man will care for the kinder. And your publisher will be happy.

So sez I.

--claire (who loves those kids but who loves The Writer and Friend even more)

9:45 PM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

When I was in college, I read that Balzac would get so desperate that he would make his manservant lock him in a room and take all his clothes and leave him there no matter how much Balzac threatened.

But it is true, SG working on the manservant might have changed everything.

6:26 AM  
Blogger Gregory Feeley said...

You can't help caving in to your beloved kids and you can't help feeling grumpy afterwards. It's really awful to catch yourself feeling self-pity (or the next thing to it) for having been a dutiful parent.

This is a classic no-win situation, and all I can offer Madeleine is a knowing nod.

8:54 AM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

I don't know. The combination of herring and chocolate is not felicitous. And the combination of too much chocolate and being deprived of my clothes might not be too swell either.

SG did clean up her room--in her fashion. Somehow, she has a perfect blindness to things strewn around her. When I point out a pile of markers around the leg of her bed she blinks at them, as if they had suddenly materialized while her back was turned. When I point out that there are a pair of sweatpants, some lingerie, and the Rabbit With Sharp Pointy Teeth (from Monty Python) lurking under her desk, it takes her two or three tries to see them. It's a fascinating thing; perhaps genetic, since her father has occasional blindness about, say, empty cracker boxes he has left lying around the kitchen.

I think Maureen's right, though. If I had a trusty manservant hiding my clothes, SG and YG would talk him into a tizzy, and I'd be on duty again.

8:34 PM  

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