Episode One: Back to Reality
After the Important Annual Event and the attack of the PIMOs (see April in Review), the first full week of May was pretty normal. So the first episode of the month would include:
- Me being totally surprised when the Important Annual Event team presents me with a card and a gift at our post event meeting. It was totally unnecessary, but so appreciated.
- Me being unable to find my dining room or living room scissors (featuring a flashback to December’s gift wrapping adventure).
- Me acting like a four year old going to the circus for the first time as my friend Mike and I head off to see Endgame (my spoiler-free review can be found here).
Episode Two: Mother’s Day
The entire first half of this episode would be scenes showing multiple conversations about what we’re getting Mom for Mother’s Day, who’s ordering it, how much we each have to kick in, etc. For example:
Me: Wait, I already bought a gift. I thought we were all on our own this year.
Audrey: No, we’re doing an experience gift this year.
Me: I have no memory of this. What’s the experience?
Audrey: We haven’t decided yet.
Me: I swear you’re making this up.
Audrey: We took Mom to that musical five years ago. She’s seen it at least twice. Are you sure she’ll want to see it again?
Me: It’s one of her favorites.
Audrey: It’s one of your favorites.
Me: And Mom’s! Please don’t tell me you’re suggesting that I would hijack Mom’s present.
Audrey: Of course not. I just want to be sure that you’re sure.
Me: Who is the musical expert in this family?!
Audrey: Um…you. Definitely you. I am in awe of your obsessive love of musicals and your incredible ability to remember what everyone has seen and what they liked.
Me: I’m ignoring your sarcasm and focusing on the fact that you just admitted I’m right. Did you clear the date with Amy?
Audrey: You said you would do that.
Me: Yes…I did…so that would be a “no” on you doing it?
Audrey: Call Amy.
Me: Yes, Ma’am.
Amy: I already bought a gift.
Me: Audrey said we agreed on an experience.
Amy: I think she’s making that up.
Later still, via group text…
Audrey: Ok, I see the problem…none of us actually said we would take care of ordering the tickets. That’s why no one remembers who was responsible.
Me: I ordered them while we were arguing about who screwed up.
Audrey: Ok. By the way, I bought her another present just in case.
Amy: So I should still give her the present I bought her originally?
Me: I think we both should.
Audrey: Wow, Mom’s getting a lot presents this year.
At this point the camera cuts to me rolling my eyes at the phone.
The rest of the episode would be a wonderful Mother’s Day lunch with lots of extra presents for the woman who’s taught me so much (see this post for some of Mom’s best wisdom).
Episode Three: Never Tempt Fate
This episode begins on a Sunday evening, with one of those split screen phone call shots showing me on one side and Mom on the other. We pick up mid-conversation:
Mom: Big deadline Friday, right?
Me: Yes, but I’m in great shape. I’ve finished almost everything else, so I’ll be able to mostly concentrate on putting everything together as things come in. I actually think this week’s going to be pretty easy.
Mom: Who are you working with on this one?
Mom: Oh, that’s great. Nothing to worry about, then.
Mom: How is Jen? When’s she due?
Me: Three weeks. So the timing is good, because after Friday she’ll be ready to start easing back and transitioning for her maternity leave.
Mom: Tell her hi for me, and I’m glad the project’s in good shape.
Me: Will do, and me, too. This week’s going to be smooth sailing all the way.
Our voices fade out at this point, replaced by an ominous narrator voice.
Ominous Narrator: And thus, Amanda unwisely tempts fate by forgetting that one should never, ever, say such things aloud.
Cut to: a close up of the clock, showing 2:00 am. Next to the clock, my phone starts buzzing. A hand enters the frame, fumbling around before finally grabbing the phone. The camera pans to me, sitting up and blinking at the phone, then gives a close up of the email on the screen:
Subject: I’m in labor
So we’re on our way to the hospital…
The rest of the email assures me that everything is fine, there are no concerns about the early delivery, and Jen’s really excited. Then she summarizes her status on our project (which, again, has to be finished on Friday) and gives me some passwords to access her files.
Still looking only half awake, I smile, say, “Yay, baby!” and then roll over and pull the covers over my head.
For about five seconds, nothing happens. Then the covers go flying as I sit up and cry, “Oh-my-god-I-have-to-take-over-for-Jen-now!!!”
By 2:30 I’m halfway through my first cup of coffee and digging into Jen’s files, trying to figure out exactly where she, and the people she was working with, had left off. By 4:00 I’ve sent over a dozen emails, including one to my boss telling him I needed to see him first thing, and one to Jen telling her to STOP EMAILING ME AND FOCUS ON HAVING THE BABY. (I should mention that one of the reasons Jen and I work well together, and have become friends, is that we’re both really, really invested in our jobs.)
Next scene: The words “6:00 am” appear on the screen. I’m at my desk, attacking my emergency bag of Hostess Donettes and waiting for my boss to get in. “This is doable,” I say out loud, “I can do this. I can do anything. I have a plan. I have coffee. I have donuts. I will not eat the entire bag of donuts this morning.”
If you’re a regular reader, you’ve already figured out that this is the context for last week’s post about what to remember when there’s too much to do. That post has a little more about the rest of the week, and here are a few more highlights of the episode:
- Me politely informing multiple coworkers that I will send an email as soon as I hear from Jen, and in the meantime I really need to work.
- Jen getting in touch and letting me know that she had a successful delivery and everyone is fine. YAY!!!
- Hitting the bottom of my emergency donuts Tuesday morning.
- A massive work montage, including multiple conversations, emails, being glued to my computer at work, being glued to my computer at home, a lot of running from one place to another to check in with Jen’s people, and a fair amount of assuring everyone (including Jen, who got in touch at least once a day even though I kept telling her to stop worrying) that I have everything under control (these snippets will mostly be followed by a cut to me looking into the camera and saying “I’m not actually sure about that”).
- Me breaking my vow to never have donuts delivered, and then in the course of one evening eating…let’s just say more than I should. (The original donut dilemma was covered in my March in Review post.) This, incidentally, would not be the last donut scene.
- Worth mentioning again: Screaming “I’m amazing!” in my boss’s office Friday afternoon, and then going out to dinner.
The episode would end on Saturday morning, when I’m having breakfast with Mom. The scene begins as I’m reaching the end of the story.
Mom: And how many donuts did you eat this week.
(A censor beep prevents the audience from hearing my answer, and Mom bursts out laughing while also looking completely stunned.)
Mom: Honey, if you do that again I’m staging an intervention.
Episode Four: Let’s Get Together!
The last week of May was totally smooth sailing, so I focused on recovering from the craziness by spending extra time with important people. The first half of this episode would consist of restaurant scenes:
- Lunch with my best friend Katie, which is filled with funny stories about our coworkers and the latest on her baby boy, who’s going to turn one this summer and oh-my-gosh-how-did-that-get-so close-so-fast?!
- Lunch with Dad and another friend, who provides a great audience for some of Dad’s best stories. We all laugh so hard that there are at least four instances of people trying to inhale their beverages.
- Breakfast with Mom and Dad.
The second half of the episode would be last night, when Katie and I had a rare “just us” dinner out. Heading downtown, we argue about which one of us is more directionally challenged (in all honesty, it’s probably too close to call-we’re both constantly getting lost) and express our love of GPS. Of course, we do misunderstand the GPS almost immediately and go the entirely wrong direction on the highway, but that only takes about five minutes to correct.
Next scene: We discuss whether it was a good idea to go downtown when there’s a Cardinals/Cubs game (serious baseball rivalry there), and a freaking Stanley Cup game, and a severe thunderstorm warning. (Answer: No. Definitely no.)
Next scene: We express way too much confidence in our memory of where we’re going when we disagree with the GPS, and therefore end up in a completely unfamiliar area. The thunderstorm warning is now predicting quarter sized hail.
Next scene: We decide to get the heck out of downtown and go to dinner at an Italian place we love…that happens to be five minutes from my house. In fact, we had passed it earlier. We cheerfully congratulate ourselves on having a driving adventure.
Final scene: We settle in at the restaurant, laugh at ourselves, and realize that we’d honestly rather be eating here anyway. It’s a totally successful girls’ night.
My friend Jen is officially a MOM!!! What’s the most exciting thing that happened in your world last month?