Atheist Life Hacks: How To Apologize For Neglecting You

Star Wars Cake

Red icing, local bakery? Really?

My little heathens… I apologize for being completely AWOL this past week – August, for my family, is birthday madness and it ends after the big one: my son’s. I was tits deep in cake batter and frosting, struggling to fill Kylo Ren-shaped piñatas and breathing all my energy into a few dozen balloons. Houseguests had come to stay for the weekend plus a day, the kids had counseling and dentist appointments and we leave in a couple of weeks to go to America so I’ve been scrambling to find us all kevlar vests.

Haha, just kidding assholes. That last part wasn’t true. We’re going to America, but we’re gonna risk it, kevlar-free.

The point is, when I found myself sitting criss-cross-applesauce in front of a mangled Star Wars cupcake cake watching a dozen little boys sculpt pirates, wrecking balls and BB8s out of those little Kraft caramels, I gave up. I said, “Fuck it. Let them sit on the beach and mold candy into unrecognizable lumps, cover themselves in goo in the process to which a thick layer of sand was now bonding. Let them. I. Am. Done.” I gave the dozen little sand monsters a defeated grin, turned around and put my head in my hands.

“Three hours, Courtney? Really? What were you thinking?”

The party eventually ended, though, and somehow I managed to survive. I had the little rascals soak in the lake until their Kraft caramel layer began to release the beach layer. It felt like God himself had sent the parents when they began to arrive, collect their little shit disturbers and take them home.

As we began to pack up, though, the post-birthday blues hit my little shit disturber and getting him to do anything started to feel like prayer: completely fucking futile. Oh, what I wouldn’t have given for one of those straight-jacket-rolling-dollies-a-la-Hannibal at that moment. Instead, in my exhausted state of mind, I began bribing the child just to do the simplest of tasks. I know… the shame is real, my friends. The payoff was worth it, though, when I finally had him in the bath, the bright red icing all over his face and chest streaking the water, staining my pristine white tub. I watched the sand collect at the bottom of the bath, sat on the toilet lid and let out a big sigh.

“Finally. I’m d-”

“Courtney? Where do you keep your pepper?”

Right. Houseguests. I wasn’t done at all. I’d arrived home just in time to make dinner for a small army.

Fuck. YES.

When I was done choking back tears, I hopped to my feet and spent the next few hours cooking, serving, barely eating and then cleaning up. I was ready for bed, but our houseguests are old friends from the #GloryDays… you know the type. The ones you used to pound back tequila shots with at the bar down the street and stumble home at 2am for the afterparty? Yeah. That type of old friend. Sometimes that type of old friend doesn’t let go of the #GloryDays and before you know it, you’re up at 4am tossing tequila shots in your potted palm while your house guests descend further and further en la locura de cactus mexicano. The moment one of them starts hablar con el diablo, is the moment I call it a night, crawl upstairs on my knees, slither into bed and fall asleep as the sun starts slipping in my window.

Sleep. At last.

Haha, you idiots. There’s no sleep to be had! In a few moments, I was woken by my freshly-eight-year-old little boy.

“iPad?” He asks, blinking his huge, blue eyes and pulling his Star Wars comforter around him.

“Mmhmmm.” I manage to mumble, and try to drift back to sleep as he wanders out of the room.

No such luck. Could you predict that? I feel like it was predictable. In moments, “Mom! The dog threw up!”

Surprisingly, this doesn’t happen as often as I feel like it should with a nearing-seventeen-year-old dog. It happens though. Every once in a perfectly timed while. I hopped out of bed to clean it up. When I was done, I figured I was already wide awake, and in need of shower, so why not go for a run first?

Lemon loaf

Lemon loaf

You think you’re tough, but I went for a damned run after all that, came home, showered, put on my makeup and faced that asshole day with ferociousness. I walked alongside a sorry looking bunch, into town to the street market and forced them to scarf down the hangover-killing delights sold by the Indian food truck. I hiked around the reservoir lake, and stood idly by as they desperately grasped at a hair of the dog tasting the juices at winery after winery after winery. I came home and baked a lemon loaf while I grilled rib eyes for everyone, with sauteed hot peppers, a cheese plate with gorgonzola, aged cheddar, brie, tapenade and local, fresh baked bread. Don’t tell anyone, but I bought the potato salad…

They pounded back the wine… then the beer… then the whisky. I drank lemon water, and silently wished for bedtime to arrive. It finally did… at 2am… on Sunday night. I usually get up at 5:30 on weekdays so I have enough time to go for a walk or a run before Godless Dad leaves for work. I may have slept in on this Monday though. I finally got up at 7, got my baby boy ready for his big day with his friends and got him safely shipped off to summer camp, just in time for the houseguests to emerge from the basement and start bumbling around making coffee, inspecting the books on my shelves and making small talk.

They were supposed to leave that morning so I could get to work. They left in the afternoon. I didn’t finish my work. I’d promised my son a day off on Tuesday so we could spend the day together. He’d been at sailing camp on his actual birthday and wanted a birthday day with mommy. So Tuesday was fun but a total write-off. We saw The Secret Life of Pets in 3D, went out for lunch, played Pokemon Go and finally got home at 6pm.

Wednesday my son had a dentist appointment and when you live in a small town, you have to drive pretty far for a lot of stuff. This was a three hour event.

So, yesterday afternoon was my first opportunity to sit at the computer, heathens, and I had to spend it writing for my paid job, and thus, I have clearly neglected you. For that, my sweet little apostates, I apologize.

Let’s get back to normal, shall we? For the love of sweet baby Jesus in a blender… please.

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