Posted by: Kate | March 31, 2008

These Things Don’t Happen to Normal People

Willem went off on a bit of a rant last night, about how exciting and interesting my life is. “These things don’t happen to normal people!” he exclaimed. “You’ve got crazy people calling you, you’re jumping off cliffs, your job is totally unpredictable. My life is so boring.”


Exhibit 1:
Friend L is in the middle of a nasty separation/divorce. Nasty to the point of not releasing her new address, obtaining orders of protection against her husband and his eight-year-old son, calling friends and relatives to warn them that her soon-to-be ex has a copy of her address book and may be calling them for various less-than-admirable purposes. She called me when we were still on vacation in Florida, so I made the proper sympathetic noises and planned to call her once I was home again.

Fast-forward to last night, when I’d been home almost a week but hadn’t called her yet. It was on my to-do list for today, and I did end up calling her this morning… because her husband called me last night. He was polite and never threatening, and I won’t go into detail because it’s an ongoing investigation, and blah blah. So I was on the phone with the Sheriff in their county this morning, giving my statement, because contact with me – since he and I have absolutely no relationship outside of two meals here in group settings – qualifies as indirect communication with L and is therefore a violation of the protection order.

Good times.

He really could have chosen a better person to call, assuming his point was not to get in more trouble than he’s already in. I worked for Women’s Crisis Services for three years before we moved here, and I always have a pen and paper within reach, so I was able to keep a relatively complete transcript of the call.

Exhibit 2:
I’d promised Jacob lunch out after grocery shopping. So he hung in there for the shopping part, scanned our various items delightedly, and proclaimed today to be an ideal day for lunch at McDonald’s. Fine, we don’t go often and we never go inside, but he’d done a good job shopping and it was snowing – again – so I agreed to go inside and let him play on the indoor Play Place thing after he ate.

As we sat and ate and chatted, I noticed that the floor was moving.

No, not the floor. Just the ants on top of it.

The dozens and dozens of ants. Inside the restaurant.

I mentioned it, as casually as I could manage giving that all of the atoms in my body were aligning to get me out of the building as quickly as possible, to the fine specimen of public service operating the register. She shrugged and said, “Yeah, I know.”


You know? Already? Funny, you seem wildly unconcerned, even by fast food standards.

So my next phone call was to the local health inspector. His name is Bob, which is just perfect for a small-town health inspector. “Codes and Enforcement, this is Bob.” Awesome. You just know he is the entire department.

He’s on his way there, which is a relief because my daughter’s school is having a fundraiser at the same establishment tomorrow night, and I’d ever so much prefer that they raise funds in a post-exterminator chemical haze than knee-deep in ants. We’ll be staying home tomorrow night.

Exhibit 3:
This one is mostly Willem’s fault.

Another of my weird phone calls today had to do with taxes and how incredibly, unbelievably much we owe because of Willem’s father’s estate and a whoops moment on the part of the trustees. This is only weird because the very next call I made was to my student loan provider, to request a lower, income-dependent payment. There’s something bizarre about a lifestyle that combines estates and trusts with minimum monthly payments and income guidelines.

So, an odd assortment in my day, though it was productive. And I’m not done yet; I still get to write a letter to our airline to complain about our service on the flights to Jamaica, make invitations for Emily’s birthday party, read through the big packet of life insurance stuff that arrived in the mail last week, and write out a statement to fax to the sheriff. Willem is jealous, but I could use some boring.


  1. mmmmmmmm, does sounf like a quite interesting way to start of the week-is it a sign of things to come? or are you just getting it all out of the way at once?
    But Alsa, sorry no boring here, to pass along (as you know.) But I’ll send some boring life vibes {{{{BORING}}} just send some my way too, I definitely could use GREAT BIG DOSE of it myself.

  2. Wow – I’ll happily send you some boring, courtesy of the most underemployed PhD on the planet.

    Now send me some excitement in the way of a more consistent patient load & we’ll call it even.

  3. What is that old adage? Be careful what you wish for…. however, I must say that sometimes, boring is good.

  4. Nice week… Sounds like fun to the nothing week im havin…

  5. Haha . . .you’ll cope Kate, if anyone can multi task it’s you. You forgot to mention knitting sox and hats . . surely you managed that?

  6. That ant story is horrifying. Here’s wishing you a very, very boring day.

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