The day I left for California was my friend’s birthday. She’s my best adventure pal, so I was sad to miss celebrating the occasion. Tonight was our second stab at getting together. I had this great idea to go walk around Greenlake and then take her out for sushi. Perfect for a vegetarian celebration on a mild winter evening with no rain… After walking around the lake, we decided to continue on foot to the sushi place, which I cleverly found on my Blackberry. Sometimes when I pull that little gadget out of my pocket I just feel so hip! Unfortunately, the map was so tiny that my eyes couldn’t quite decipher it without zooming in. It only took me about three tries to figure that part out too, and we were on our way. I hate to think how long it would have taken one of my kids. They wouldn’t even have put up with my clumsy maneuverings. One of them surely would have simply reached over, taken it from my hand, and within seconds, have pulled the map up in the proper dimensions for reading with eyes that are starting to have trouble deciding what the correct focusing distance might be. When we arrived at Kisaku, the chairs were sitting neatly on the tables. Its closed on Tuesdays. I would never have thought to even call and ask. We regrouped and walked up the block to a place that we had both been for drinks before, scrambling to come up with a plan B. I wasn’t sure if they even had food there, but we could have had a drink and figure it out. Plan B quickly turned into Plan C when we discovered the windows of the place covered with paper. Hmmm… Since we were still on foot, with our cars parked by the boat house at Greenlake, we decided that the best tactic at this point was to beat a hasty retreat and attempt a further mission in our vehicles. On the way, we came to Diggity Dog Hot Dogs and Sausages. I had to really push my settings to snap this frame. We were both taken by the cheerily lit, bright and inviting presence that this little storefront gave to the street, and by the lone couple inside, sitting side by side, eating their sausages or hot dogs. There was something fresh and authentic about it. No questions about what kind of food they would have, and whether or not we might feel a little funny with our sneakers and down vests on. Had it not been for the vegetarian factor, we might have stopped right here. The Greenlake area has no shortage of restaurants though, and before long plan C had delivered us to a cozy place that was actually serving food, a short drive away.
Leaving home this afternoon to go to Greenlake, I couldn’t have been happier. I had already decided I was on strike anyway. This way I didn’t need to make a fuss about it. I left the rest of the family to their own devices without a word other than “See you all later. I won’t be late.” I’ve been really trying to get myself to bed a little earlier, and last night I was feeling ok about the fact that after I’d been gone most of the day, I was still going to have my bog post finished by midnight and get to bed, well, not too late anyway. I walked downstairs to put the dogs out and turn off the lights for the night and was greeted with what looked like an explosion of empty ice cream cartons, half filled glasses, wadded up napkins, a pile of silverware that looked like pick up sticks, a pot still full of rice, a sink full of dirty dishes and a dishwasher full of clean dishes. I’m not a super picky housekeeper, but I do not like old food or dirty dishes in the kitchen in the morning. It simply grosses me out. What amazes me is that after all these years, my family knows that well and still this happens. This is one of those moments, every time it happens, that I ask myself the question, “What the hell was I thinking? I could have been a real person with a real job that someone paid me a lot of money to do… Instead, I’m working after midnight as a janitor for no pay, no benefits, and no recognition, because sure as the world, the only one who’s going to even remember what the kitchen looked like when they all went to bed, is me. Grrrr…”
Just before I encountered the disaster, I had found a YouTube video on a friend’s Facebook post called “The Invisible Woman”. I thought, “this sounds promising”… I’m sure its not hard to find, but I’m not including the link, because at the end of the video, this blond, dreamy eyed, well-groomed mother starts going on about how she makes all of these sacrifices for God because he’s the only one who notices. Ok, just to be clear, I’m don’t have any problem with that, if that works for anyone out there, but it doesn’t work for me. First of all, God doesn’t have to walk into a gross kitchen in the morning, so I know that I wasn’t cleaning the kitchen for him or her or whatever gender the divine likes to assume. It was clearly for me. I still didn’t want to have to do it. I actually don’t have a lot of issue with that little video. Some of it is quite funny. The invisible part… Yep. I get that. I just have a hard time imagining that God cares much about my kitchen or whether my sheets are clean or there are dust bunnies under the bed. And I’ve actually discovered that my kids don’t care about that stuff either.
And sometimes I think they even like it when their Mom goes on strike. She usually comes back happier and clearer about what really matters to her.