Red - Column for 10/3

When the Joneses are way out in front

I don't know how other people do it. It seems as though I am barely keeping my head above water. It takes an hour to get to work and an hour to get home. I have been working a 9 hour day so that I can save up and take an extra day off every once in a while. If I work out at lunch, I take an hour lunch instead of a half hour and wind up arriving at home 12 hours after I left...12 Hours... All I can do at that point is collapse and hope that my beloved husband has cooked something for diner because otherwise I would snack out of the refrigerator. We spend most weekends doing laundry cleaning and running errands. My weekend starts at 8 am, because the dry cleaners isn't open on Sunday and they have an in by 9 out by 5 policy. Although, I can probably count on my fingers the number of times in the last year I have successfully picked up the dry cleaning on Saturday, because I am inherently forgetful, especially on Saturday evening.

There are people who have longer commutes that I do. There are also people who seem to make it into the gym more often. There are people whose houses are always ready for company. And there are people who write novels or make costumes in the evenings after work. I realize that they are probably not all the same people, but still I feel as though I should be able to do more. I'm perpetually fighting a loosing battle against my weight. I can't let anyone into my house because we went for a bicycle ride around the Antietam Battlefield instead of cleaning house last weekend, and I have a pile of errands that also got put off. And I have a sewing project I haven't even cut out.

What I really wonder about is how people who have children do it. My marvelous, sweet, understanding husband puts up with the fact that when I get home about all I can do is watch West Wing, and maybe do the dishes. But kids are demanding. Maybe this is one of the reasons why birth rates are declining in the western world. We put so much stress in the everyday process of living, that people have trouble imagining what adding an insistent, totally dependent, frequently discontented little person or two would do to their lives.

Or another possibility is that these same things that turn me into unresponsive immobile lump at night, don't affect other people the same way. Maybe other people are able to handle having a job, a hobby and a clean house at the same time. If that is true, maybe I need to have a doctor tailor a concoction of drugs so that I too can be thin, energetic, talented, and tidy.

Columns by Red