You Rule Somewhere

I turned on Adele (not my typical music choice but it felt right while chopping onions), lit some candles and felt super hip as I cleaned up the dinner mess.  I had made portobello burgers, brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes for dinner.  Wait. Hold the phone. I’ve been misspelling and mispronouncing portobello and brussels sprouts my entire life. Bell-O. Brussel..sss. Wow. Right. So, I was feeling like a movie star (plus 50lbs) for executing all of this while helping Smith with his homework and helping Wallace make a book about Leprechauns. I am the Queen of Somewhere in the Land Of Something and my kids are taking a bath in lavender oils as I clean my kitchen and wait should I hang some of those globe lights that my husband brought home from work outside? A fine idea, Michelle.  I’m (walking away from dirty dishes) going to surprise him with a beautiful back yard and a fire in the chiminea and it will make up for the crazy PMS I’ve had all week where I laid on the bed and cried about not accomplishing enough in my life.  I also cried about my lack of home decorating knowledge.  I showed him pictures of other people’s houses and then cited our leather couches with removable cupholders and our Ikea furniture… It was a low point for me. I don’t normally have PMS. Maybe it’s because it was International Women’s Day.

The lights are just the ticket! I knew he would love it. Glass of wine. Lights. His favorite dress. What a wife I have, he would think.

I strung the lights from one side of the yard to the next and it looked amazing. I found some old hooks in the awning and used them to secure the lights.  Adele crooned.  I walked inside and the boys were spitting water into each other’s eyes.  I calmly told them I would throw away all their bath toys if they didn’t stop, so they did. I continued cleaning, noticing the lights could use some tweaking.  I walked out into the soft light that was our backyard and reached up towards the string. Something clicked. All the lights fell down on the ground in a loud crash. Broken glass was everywhere.  My boys were yelling again. The backyard was dark. Adele sang something soothing. The backyard disaster could wait. I came inside and tended to the boys. I wrapped them up in in snuggly towels, and got them in their pajamas. I told them to pick out books for story time, as I turned up the music to propel me to finish cleaning the kitchen. It propelled me to start dancing in my sock feet. I leaped. I spun. I did things that Queens of Somewhere do.  My last pirouette was perfection. I spun on one toe, arms in, and then… I didn’t stop.  I kept going until I hit my head on my desk and sprained my wrist. I laid there on the ground, laughing hysterically. The boys ran in, incredulous. I told them what happened and they gave me that look.  The same look they give me when I paint half a picture of a badger and then walk away eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s with a long handled tea spoon. “Oh, Mommy.  We love you. But something is deeply wrong with you.”

As I gingerly laid in the boy’s bed with ice under my neck, I read Sloth’s Birthday Party. I felt like the Queen of Somewhere again with boys bookending me. Their little heads on each shoulder. Sloth’s Birthday Party was one of my childhood favorites and it had to be special ordered because I guess I’m old as hell. It’s the story of a Sloth, who has a home that isn’t as nice as all of his friends, and he knows it but it doesn’t bother him. He just wants them all to come over. They finally come over and it’s a catastrophe. Chairs break. He doesn’t have the right dishes. His roof crashes in with rain and his friends leave in a terrified haste.  He knows they won’t come back for his birthday so he makes a cake and starts to sing to himself… when in walk his friends. They bring him dishes and help him fix his chairs and roof. Because they like him. Sloth is who he is and they don’t care about the rest. I teared up while I read it. The pictures so familiar, the story so poignant. I don’t know a damn thing about decorating or hair or fashion or anything that most of my friends really love and deftly execute. I let it get to me sometimes.  I feel like I’m not enough. I feel like a broken person because I’m a square peg.  To my bewilderment, people still show up.

In a world where everyone wants things to look like a magazine, I would like to remind you that it’s okay to live off the page. In your Sloth hut in the trees.  Somewhere.  And you rule that place.

4 thoughts on “You Rule Somewhere

  1. You are so funny and so vulnerable in your writing. I’m adding “Getting to read your essays” to my list of reasons I’ll stay on Facebook. Hug coming your way next time I see you!!!

    P.S. On my garage floor as we speak: 2 boxes of cage string lights I bought at christmas to beautify my yard for my hubby; a half stripped/sanded vintage door for my kitchen (I had to add the vintage part so it sounded cooler); a ceiling fan i got off the side of the road last week; a bunch of hay, amongst other things! ✌🏻


  2. Michelle, you are so awesome! There must be something in the air, because I have been having the “not accomplished enough in my life” tears a lot the past week or so as well! Oh, and by the way, I thought your house was just perfect when I was over that one time!! I actually had a bit of envy, because it looked so much better than my own! xoxo


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