“The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.”
- Mark Twain
Because I grew up in a less-than-happy house, I wanted my own home to be filled with love and laughter. I don’t want job searching and query rejections to leave a cloud over my kids’ heads. Have I succeeded? I hope so. Here’s a short window into our home:
Sunday night, my husband and I were preparing dinner. For some reason that morning, my husband bought a GIANT jar of pickles. If you saw how crammed our refrigerator already is, you can imagine why I’d nag about said pickles.
While I tried to get my son to wonder with me why we needed such a large jar. He said, “Can I have a pickle?”
Guess my husband would be finding room in the fridge sooner than later.
My son put his pickle on the plate and left to set the table. I decided to take a bite of his pickle and pretend I didn’t do it.
Wow, it was sourer than I thought it would be.
While I chewed, I returned to the sink to wash dishes. I turned to see my husband take a bite off the other end of the pickle and return to the stove. That made me giggle. The vinegar burned the back of my throat. I began to cough and tears streamed out of my eyes.
My husband laughed at my appearance. This made him double over, coughing. I almost got control of it, but then glimpsed my husband, felt the sting, and started hacking all over again. My son returned to the room with my husband still laughing and choking and me spitting pickle bits into the sink.
“What’s going on with you guys?” he asked.
“We… were… playing… a joke on you… by biting your pickle.”
Monday morning, my son and I lounged around reading, doing laundry, editing, and playing video games (guess who did what). Since my daughter is visiting her grandparents in New York, I decided to take my son out to lunch, just the two of us.
Around 10:00 am, my son returned to the living room from the bathroom. “We have no water.”
A couple of weeks ago, our third floor neighbor told us last minute a plumber was here because her shower hadn’t worked, so for two hours we were stuck without water when my nephew was visiting. We were smelly hostages in our own home. Was she getting work done again and failed to tell us?
I noticed there were several orange Cambridge-city trucks parked on our side street. Was it related?
I tried the water. Nothing.
“It’s probably the city, temporarily shutting off the water while they work. Let’s wait a little while. If it doesn’t turn back on, I’ll go out there and ask,” I said.
About fifteen minutes later, the water returned in little bursts. Was it beige? Must be a trick of the eyes. I ran it more. Nah, seemed clear. I announced the triumphant return of our water supply, and brushed my teeth and washed my face.
Then I turned on the shower...
It was like a scene out of a horror movie. Mixed in with the brown water, were bits of I don’t know what. Small enough to go down the drain at least.
Aaack! Was this the same water I’d just brushed my teeth with? I turned back on the sink water. Brown. What was in that water? Would I get sick? I put peroxide in my mouth and swished it vigorously. As my mouth fizzed, I realized I couldn’t exactly rinse it out with the contaminated. I ran to the kitchen and retrieved lemonade from my ultra-crowded (due to the pickles) fridge. I tipped lemonade in my mouth.
Except that I had just brushed my teeth… so, you know… lemonade.
I spit out the lemonade. I did it three more times to make sure I didn’t die of brown water bacteria or peroxide poisoning.
Then I went outside to talk to the workers. Turns out we had a water main break. Some “sediment” leaked into the pipe until they were able to repair it. (In a city, “sediment” means “You don’t want to know”.) I was told to run the water until it was clear and all should be well.
I did. After a few minutes of chunky brown water, it ran clear. I showered.
My son and I left for a lovely sushi lunch. We talked, we shared, we laughed.
See, my family is filled with the laughter I’d always hoped for.