Balance is a GOOD word. It used to be my friend, but now I can’t find it anywhere. I look under the bed and stick my hand into the creases of the leather couch. I go out to the car and check the back seats. Maybe it got out when I opened the door. I contemplate grabbing a bag of Cheetos and walking a block, calling it. That would be bizarre, and I’ll certainly be arrested for neglecting dwarfs. The search on foot, however, may do wonders for my squishy abs. (How come when you lose weight, your abs stay squishy? I’ll tell you. It’s the curse of a certain Bigfoot dwarf I know who likes green permanent markers.)
It’s no use. My Balance is gone. I’m not sure why it left me. Today I start spring cleaning in hopes that I might find Balance, or bribe it to come back to my shiny home. In preparation for this cleaning spree, I travel to Home Depot and buy a cart-load of hazardous materials that require latex gloves and disposable rags. Have you read the fine print on heavy-duty cleaners? I open the windows to prevent the possibility of becoming the first Spring Cleaning martyr, taken out by the fumes.
First I tie up the children. Just kidding… maybe. First I occupy the children. Then I snap on my gloves. This makes me feel…empowered. HAHAHA! (Never drink Robitussin without the dosage cup).
While cleaning I smile, thinking of how I kept a New Year’s resolution and started a book club. It’s a hard core reading club, man. We only read classics that require two Extra Strength Tylenol per chapter. After each book is done we dye our hair green and go moshing, (not really, but a good idea, right?) Anna Karenina was the first book on our list, and I liked that one. Now we’re reading Les Miserables, unabridged, and this novel is literally kicking my arse. I’m not kidding. Fourteen hundred pages and I have no Balance to read it consistently with sick, crazy dwarfs running around. I’ve been listening to it on my I-pod while I clean. That might be cheating. I can’t find the actual book anywhere. I e-mail Milk Man at work. This is how we talk during the day.
“Have you seen my Miserable book?” I ask.
He misunderstands me and writes back: “Your manuscript is in the desk in the laundry room.” He’s referring to a book I’m writing, and he’s not joking.
In addition to losing Balance, I have officially misplaced the Clifford the Red Dog of paperbacks.
“How does this happen?” I say to the gas attendant. I stop him from filling my tank because I just realized that my wallet is missing from my bag. He does not know how I came to be such a silly, balloon-headed woman, but thinks I’m charming enough to let me go home and get it even though I owe him three dollars.
Balance left me, but Charm is still my friend.
Now I’m back to cleaning. I start with the windows. Then I move on to the stainless steel appliances. I’m feeling better until I open the cupboard. Oh, no. I slam the door shut.
I’ll blame this Lenten slip on my loss of Balance and dwarfs. The good news is my house is cleaner and now officially chocolate-free. As penance, I promise to finish Les Miserables.