Chapter One Hundred Thirty-Two: Ma’am and her cloven hooves…

I chose pain for beauty. I wore cute shoes for a walk through the city. BIG mistake! My heels and toes look like they have gone through a meat grinder. My wounds have bled into my nice shoes, staining the camel color with my crimson blood giving me a taste of what they look like had I ordered them in crimson instead of the camel color.

Painfully I walk to the drugstore on my way home. I buy an armful of various sizes of bandaids and am gobsmacked when Skippy behind the counter gives me my car payment size total. I look at one of the boxes there are ten bandaids in the box. That’s one dollar a bandaid! LUDICROUS! ( Must Google how to sue a bandaid company).

I ridiculously penguin walk home, exhausted and battered. I feel like those people you see on the news, that have just been found, after walking lost through the Amazon, emerging with tattered feet.

I recruit One Too Many with ( what else?!) the promise of food to pull his injured mother’s cute albeit stupid shoes off of her feet. Like freeing a fat person from Spanx, once the shoes are off, my feet explode with their swollenness. At this point, it would be impossible to stuff my wounded trotters back into these stained torturers if I had to. The sight of my battered hooves has One Too Many with a look of disgust declaring: ” Your feet look like they were in a fight, and they lost!” He gags and looks away in horror. (Scratch the possibility of him as a future Podiatrist off of the list.)

I instruct him to get the first- aid cream and a towel. Also, the bucket over the washer NOT the one over the dryer that we use for throw-up. I am barking out orders like the lead surgeon in an operating room. Commanding him to fill the bucket with warm water and my soothing lavender bath wash. Minutes later. he schleps it back like a kid trekking water from a well. It slushes back and forth, spilling over onto my crimson-stained shoes which, have to be washed anyway.

I attempt to put one of my swollen hooves into the bucket but, it can’t fit horizontally. Therefore, I must stand up and dip in vertically while balancing on my other injured foot. It is a stew of nonsense, and I am stepping right into it.

During my dipping procedure, I realize that I am indeed wading in the throw-up bucket, as One Too Many doesn’t know the difference between the washer and the dryer! I also believe that that was his first-ever venture into the laundry room.

But, I am too injured to take on the battle of the throw-up bucket debacle at this juncture. Will put it on the back burner to address later.

I instruct One Too Many to spread the towel. I remove my hoof from the bucket of ick. I place the other injured party in the bucket and wait.

Confused Husband waltzes in demanding to know what I just spent at the drugstore for forty dollars as he JUST received a possible fraud alert on his phone. I point to my various assortment of bandaids. He shakes his head and wants to know WHY? The mini-operating pop-up and blood doesn’t seem to assist him with his answer. I step out of the vomit bucket and plop back down in agony. I ignore Confused Husband and direct One Too Many to begin opening and assembling the bandaids. The largest one is like the size of a tent once it’s opened. I order One Too Many to slap those on my heels. Overhead a chopper is flying, and I feel like I am -living in a Triage scene from Mash.

The smaller bandaids are opened and wrapped around each individual toe. They look like swollen Vienna sausages just popped out of the can. My feet, legs, and back are tingling in pain. I hear Confused Husband in the background bellowing: ” Why is his bucket that he uses to mix his special holiday brew now housing my feet?!” I throw-up in my mouth realizing, that all of this time, he has been using the throw-up bucket to create his holiday punch in and have no words other than an internal, natural instinct to flee but, because of the state of my feet, cannot. I am trapped in this hell.

One Too Many has now finished wrapping my feet in what looks like hundreds of bandaids. They look like two enormous flesh-colored Q- tips. Standing up, I am also now an inch or two taller, thanks to the bandaids.

I duckwalk into the kitchen to suck down a much-needed glass of wine.

Hours later, throughout the house, I am finding discarded bandaids that have fallen off my feet. The dog has one stuck on his nose. It is GIANT and covers his nose like a mask.

Confused Husband is loitering on the couch. On the coffee table in front of him sits a mug and a plate with half a sandwich containing one of my giant bandaids stuck on it. I ask him, “Why?” he replies: ” I thought it was a piece of bologna that had fallen out of my sandwich, but then realized it wasn’t and now can never eat bologna or perhaps a sandwich ever again thanks, to you!” Says the man who makes punch in the throw-up bucket..

Chapter One Hundred Thirty-One: Ma’am and One Too Many…

Having a teenage son is a COMPLETELY different ball of wax than having teenage girls. First and foremost, they eat like they have a wooden leg. Urban legends tell tales where families with more than one teenage boy have had to take on second jobs, JUST, to pay their grocery bill.
We first had three daughters, they were 16, 12, and 8, when we had our “SURPRISE!” after a night of buying one get one free margarita’s. We refer to him as “One Too Many” as in one too many Margaritas. He is the complete opposite of our delicate girls. He is loud, rough, at times smelly. It is like having Bam-Bam in the house. Our food bill has grown along with our need for tolerating frat house humor movies. I have also come to recognize that without him, my husband and I would perish.
He knows the WiFi password, how to unstick the remote when a channel is frozen, how to fix my Twitter, WordPress, etc… We are genuinely reliant on his ability to assist his “older” parents. We tolerate the comments under his breath and dramatic sighs of disgust as for the MILLIONTH time he attempts to show us how to find our Netflix show that we fell asleep to during, the night before, it is one of our Scandinavian cop shows, we are dying to find out if it was Hans, Helga or Tjis who murdered Gustav and his reindeer. One Too Many has the caption in the largest font so we can see it. We need him more than he needs us, I have realized. Albeit this is a bitter pill to swallow, it is true.
If he were more focused and less consumed by what was for dinner, and he truly, thought about it, he could blackmail us and get pretty much everything and anything that he wants. Yes, we are at his mercy.
There are times that I think he looks at us like two old- feeble people that he is stuck with. He towers over us in height and is SUPER-SMART. He knows about things I have no idea regarding various topics. I try to nod and make the appropriate noises of agreement when he speaks. (I don’t want him to think that he is being raised by two imbeciles.) Sometimes I catch Confused Husband with a glazed look over his face as One Too Many is attempting to explain something electronic to him, or when he is informing Confused Husband on “Why he doesn’t need a haircut.” With a Power-Point presentation.
At this stage, I will take any morsel of attention from him, and will sit through as many Will Ferrel, John C. Reilly films as I can. I will hold the frozen expression on my face like I am watching a true masterpiece! I will forcibly laugh at the raunchy scenarios unfolding on the screen, hoping my son appreciates my hearty laughter and cannot tell that I am faking my joy at watching this nonsense.
I have moments when he is asleep on the couch, and I can still see that small boy who followed me around like my shadow through his now razor stubbled face. I long for those days and know that they are over. It is a part of life, and unfortunately, it is my turn to be at this stage. There are times that I find him helping his old dad by rubbing Ben-Gay on his back for a moment think: “Perhaps he will be a doctor!” Then he farts or burps and, “POP” that, dream disappears.
After he has paid a visit to the kitchen, it looks like a crime scene. Food is his main objective. I am POSITIVE that if we were stuck on a deserted island that I would be the first one he would be roasting over the campfire for his meal, and to stay alive, Confused Husband would be unapologetically dousing me in barbecue sauce.
One Too Many has a good heart because he will take walks with me and, although it looks like a hostage situation on his part, he does it. He borrows the frozen expression of utter joy as I point to a “pretty” dress in a shop window or tell him about Brad and Angelina’s ongoing custody battle. He feigns interest and, I love him for that. I can usually persuade him to go for a walk by enticing him with a bakery run on our walk or a Frappuccino to get a few extra miles in.
Having this time in quarantine and spending so much time with him and not murdering us in our sleep has made me exceptionally proud. I have received 911 calls from some of his classmate’s parents that since they have banned their teen from the pantry, they are in fear of their lives. Some have woken up to the cold reality that their child will forever be ensconced on their sofa.
I can honestly say that I have concluded that having a teenager in the house in quarantine is like having a great white shark swimming in the pool with you. As long as you feed it, you won’t become its next meal…