It [Grace] is unearned love — the love that goes before, that greets us on the way. It’s the help you receive when you have no bright ideas left, when you are empty and desperate and have discovered that your best thinking and most charming charm have failed you. Grace is the light or electricity or juice or breeze that takes you from that isolated place and puts you with others who are as startled and embarrassed and eventually grateful as you are to be there.
– Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies; Some Thoughts on Faith
Yesterday sucked. I threw the new manuscript I’m working on against the wall because it sucks, and I have no idea how to move forward on it. All of the dishes in my kitchen are dirty. ALL OF THEM! EVERY LAST ONE! There is a pile of laundry living on my couch, and I’m not sure if it’s clean or dirty. Netflix has been working overtime to babysit my daughter, as of late, and I even let her watch “Barbie’s Dream House”. So, I’m a failure as a parent and a feminist! The bank account is a nightmare. My mother, who would have had wise words of comfort about these kinds of things, is dead. And I received a particularly ouchy rejection letter concerning my last manuscript!
So, I yelled at myself, “YOU’RE FIRED!” And myself yelled back, “YOU CAN’T FIRE ME! I QUIT!” Then I took to my bed like a frail character from a Jane Austin novel and announced that I would be taking my tea in my room today, thank you very much. Only, no one was home so I had to get up and get it myself.
When Dave came home, I informed him that I’d quit, but would stay long enough to help train my replacement. He smirked at me because apparently he’s used to my antics. Then he held up a catalogue that had come in the mail on which was a picture of a rather comely underwear model.
“Can we get her?” he asked.
“I don’t think we can afford her,” I told him. “She gets paid a lot more than me to be overly dramatic. There’s no way we can offer a competitive salary.”
“Yeah, you’re probably right,” he said. “Oh well.”
Then he kissed me on the forehead, went to the grocery store, and came back with a sugar cookie. The kind with rainbow sprinkles. I practiced brooding while I ate it. I tried to brood attractively like a book heroine, but unfortunately snot, messy hair, and sweat pants were involved. Dave made me a ham and cheese omelet for dinner and told me to watch sappy anime. So, I did.
When Sophia came in to give me a goodnight hug, she chirped happily about how she’d gotten to play Chip and Dale on the playground with a friend. I asked her if she meant the chipmunks or the male dancers. She stared at me blankly for a second, then quoted something from “Barbie’s Dream House.” I did a Google search to find out when the parent of the year awards are taking place.
Then, I flipped through Anne Lamott’s book Traveling Mercies trying to find the quotation above, because I wanted to tell God something to that effect, but I couldn’t quite remember how it went. When I finally found it, I said aloud, “God, I have no bright ideas left. I’m empty and desperate and have discovered that my best thinking and my most charming charm have failed me.” God and I left it at that, and I went to bed.
This morning, I woke up and rehired myself, but only on a probationary basis.