To me, Cinco de Mayo is the slightly delayed twin sister of St. Patrick's Day. These are two "holidays" that pretend to be steeped in some kind of cultural, traditional lore but really signify nothing more than ready-made excuses for all the drinking that gets done. The key demographic on both days are college students and overweight, middle-aged men. Both of those sets would be, and are, drinking heavily on Saturdays throughout the calendar year anyway. Cinco de Drinko and St. Find-A-Pub Day simply mean they don't have to come up with their own theme for the foreplay to vomit and hangovers. It's gotten to the point that, if I see a sombrero or anything green, I immediately conclude that the object sporting that attire must be drunk and supremely idiotic. Which is unfair to mariachis and frogs, but it's just the kind of stereotyping I have to assign to keep some order in my world.
The Kentucky Derby, on the other hand, is an annual highlight in my sporting world. I close my eyes whenever they pan the crowd, as rich blonds in large hats warbling "My Old Kentucky Home" kind of makes me want to go out drinking with sombrero-wearing college students. But those gals aside, I love just about everything about the event. Appropriately enough, the thing that really gets me every time are those horses. How hard they work, how earnest they seem, and how they don't do a stupid dance or point to the heavens after they accomplish insane feats of athleticism. My kind of athletes.
It was fitting that the kick-off to the Triple Crown was this weekend, because I feel as though I have been kicked off to a race of my own. In my case, though, that race is going to last about two weeks. And I'm nowhere near the athlete those horses are. In fact, my thoroughbred name should be Please Just Let Me Lie Down or This Won't End Well.
I have the same feeling about the next two weeks as I used to have about any given day at my old law firm: like I spend the day trying to climb up a mountain of quicksand. No matter what I do, I am falling behind. No matter what I get done, the pile of to-do's keeps getting bigger.
This is a month of birthdays and birthday parties, including one of each for my daughter. Home renovations. A swing-set getting set up. Teacher Appreciation parties. A no-school day. A four-day road-trip. A visit from my mother-in-law. Doctor's appointments. Hosting book club. Then all the normal stuff of school and daycare and work and housework and dinners and updating my list on why Bethenny Frankel is annoying. Et cetera. For Pete's sake, there are two (2!!) mornings this week where I need to have myself and both children out of the house by 7:30am. As we all know, that won't go well. The producers of the Dr. Phil Show have already called to book me for a segment they're calling "Mothers to Avoid (Especially If You're Their Child)."
As I type these things, I realize how banal this must sound. People are doing much bigger and busier things. I have a girlfriend who runs her own business, has a 15-month-old, and managed to win a baby shower we were at yesterday with her perfect gifts. Amazing. Francois Hollande has eight days to learn how to be President of France. Impressive. The Knicks have two more games to try to figure out how to covertly poison LeBron James' mouth guard. Daunting. (And sketchy.)
I get that people are facing into much bigger things than I am. So please trust me when I write that I am not going for melodrama or sympathy here. It just is what it is, and that "it" is all relative. In my world, things seem really busy right now, and I don't like feeling as though I'm just never going to be able to get in front of my calendar. I'd love to know how the aforementioned girlfriend manages it all, and I'd take any advice Monsieur Hollande wants to give me over a crepe nutella. (I think I'll leave the Knicks and their arsenic-lacing to themselves.) Because right now, my to-do list is dictating its own to-do list, and I just don't think that's helpful to anyone. If there's anything I don't have time for right now, it's cross-referencing.
In fact, my current mentality is nothing more than a series of "if there's anything I don't have time for, it's X." When "X" inevitably strikes, my response is nuclear. Here are some "X's" that happened just this morning:
- I slept until 6:30. That means I was already about 2 hours behind schedule. My reaction was to cancel Christmas.
- My daughter refused to get dressed. That means we left the house around the time her peers were "criss-cross, apple-saucing" their legs for circle time. My reaction was to drop my daughter off at school naked.
- I got to work late. That means there were no parking spaces left in the lot. My reaction was to leave my car idling on the highway with a note that said "Back Soon." (I put a smiley face to ensure no one will steal the car. Plus, I double-checked and I do still live in Maine. So that car's safety is guaranteed.)
Seriously, guys, I am so whacked out on NyQuil, I can't even muster the courage to wrap this up nicely. Good luck, and Godspeed.
Also, could someone please remind me of that Very Important Thing my husband told me I absolutely must do? My to-do list's to-do list doesn't have it noted.
Thanks. You're the best.