Let me tell you what’s going on at my house right now:
A seemingly routine call to a plumber led to a second appointment and the addition of two more plumbers. They showed up a bit ago in the giant truck. The “take no prisoners” truck. They have already pulled up the carpet of the family room and are busily breaking up the concrete floor while I cower, stress-eating chocolate bars in my bedroom.

And how is your Monday going?

Initially, I dealt very well with the news. “What are ya’ gonna’ do?” I told Hubby cheerfully, “It’s not as if we can’t fix this. We’ll make it work somehow.”

I was very, very proud of myself. You see, I have this tiny issue with money in that I don’t actually have any. This has led, at different times, to all sorts of emotional theatrics on my part. The fact that I was able to respond with any sort of equilibrium to the initial diagnosis and quote I took as a sign of hard won maturity. Yay, me!

That was before the sledgehammers.

Now, whenever they come upstairs to give me an update, I laugh, “HA, hahaha!” It’s a jovial laugh with only the slightest tinge of hysteria. They may be figuring the final cost of this in terms of feet of pipe, but I’m tracking it as amount of kitchen remodel lost. “Well, that would’ve bought a dishwasher and paid to have the floors re-sanded,” I say. “Oops, there goes the countertop.” The good news is, I guess if we had been truly desperate, we could have gone ahead and retooled the kitchen. The bad news is, I have a nagging suspicion that now we never will.

Did that sound dramatic? I’m feeling dramatic. I feel like day drinking and then lying face down on the couch and hyperventilating into the cushions. Maybe later–after the chocolate runs out. Right now I’m just going to lie very still and be grateful for credit cards and running water and old, persnickety cats and pillowcases from Grandma’s house and warm slippers. I’m going to think thankful thoughts about Christmas Club savings accounts and long autumns, soy milk eggnog, and the fact that my children’s love doesn’t hinge on my ability to buy them expensive do-hickies. I’m going to contemplate how happiness is not dependent on circumstances and then, when I’m feeling quite like myself again, I’m going to venture downstairs to sneak a peek at the hole in the floor.

Give me ten minutes. Maybe an hour.

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The Rise & Fall of a Momocracy

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