SuperWoman Gets People to Do Things

It had been a long week, as most weeks are. A week of days sitting at a cubicle, finding excuses to stand up and drink tea. Days spending lunch breaks trying to exercise and deal with frizzy hair after coming in from the gym’s shower. Nights cooking eggs or spaghetti and meatballs for her progeny, which she always has to fight them to eat, even though they kind of like those things. And then, to top it all off, SuperWoman was having a new bed delivered for TalkMonster and needed to get off her ass to take apart the old one. The old one was a monster, one of those too-high loft thingies that seemed great in theory until her child had to climb up and practically kiss all the cracks in the ceiling while sleeping. He didn’t like it. The new bed would be low to the ground, civilized.

Except. Here’s the thing. SuperWoman wouldn’t know her way around a drill if it was laced with buttercream icing. She wouldn’t know it if it were hot pink and glittery. You should have seen her trying to put curtain rods in two years ago. Sometimes—and by this she means sometimes—she can use a screw driver, but don’t hold your breath. So she pretty much tries to avoid any incidence of putting things together or taking them apart. She pays people in cash or beer. (She avoids housework, too, though laundry and dishes and emptying the litter box kind of have to be done. Just don’t look at her bathroom floor. And thank God she doesn’t have a lawn to worry about.)

However, SuperWoman does have ingenuity. So what did she do?

She bought cheese, hummus, tomato crackers, and sparkling rose, and she asked her friends, Susa-Power and Davie-oh-oh-oh to come over and take down the bed for her.

She did not phrase it this way, of course. The request to Susa-Power and Davie-oh-oh-oh went like this: “Would you help me? I’ll buy you food.” And then she just got lucky when they pretty much did the whole thing.

First, there was divine cheese. A nice sharp cheddar, a triple cream brie, some Italian brick soaked in Syrah which was very good. There were pink bubbles in champagne glasses. And then SuperWoman led her friends to TalkMonster’s room to begin disassembling the monster metal bed like pros from HGTV. Susa-Power assessed the situation and said they needed a special kind of screw driver or none of this was going to work. SuperWoman almost despaired, because all she had was a trusty twenty-dollar basic tool bag from Lowe’s. But she found the L-shaped metal bar—several, in fact! where did they come from?—and they all went to work.

Well, all is not quite honest. SuperWoman’s progeny WonderMess and BeautyQueen called to Facetime while the event was going on, and SuperWoman ended up just watching these  svelte creatures pull apart the bed before her very eyes.

It was a beautiful thing. Not only the disassembling action, but the people, straight out of Trading Spaces or some show like that.

And now, days later, the happy ending. TalkMonster has his new bed, one that’s low on the floor. He has organized the bedroom so that it looks monkish, with nothing on the floor and all his clothes neatly put away, which will probably last for the whole 8 hours that he sleeps, until he starts frantically opening drawers when he tries to find something to wear for school in the morning.

And SuperWoman? SuperWoman feels blessed to know she has such good friends, and that they expect so little of her, and she will surely try the wine and cheese trick next time challenges arise.

Do villains eat cheese? She hopes so.


Image: “Princess Bed” by THOR via Flickr Creative Commons

SuperWoman and the Perils of Public Transit

It was a Monday, which always makes life doubly hard. SuperWoman had enjoyed a weekend with her progeny, eating delicious brick-oven pizza, sipping a delicious strawberry daiquiri, watching football, allowing her kids to rustle up the duvets in the showroom at Ikea (against her better judgment). Despite its bad reputation, however,  SuperWoman was handling this Monday very, very well. She made a decision to exercise on her lunch break for the first time ever, and she was very proud of herself for the ingenuity of packing her bag and watching Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce while working the intermediate level of the elliptical in her somewhat new sneakers. Then she changed and got back to work, like a…well, SuperWoman. She handled TalkMonster’s frantic phone call when he got home from school with ease (middle school math is very, very stressful), and then she left work, opened her magnificent book (Ordinary People by Diana Evans), read voraciously, got off the subway, waited impatiently for the bus, and read voraciously again until it was time for her stop.

She began walking home. Her apartment windows were in sight, the little jade plant, the air conditioner sticking out, the ivory curtains cascading to the side. A man was ingloriously mowing the lawn of her apartment building with a weedwacker. She hates weedwackers. And leaf blowers. She hates those things, too.

And it was then, suddenly, she realized.

Her car was not, as she had thought, parked in the lot at home. In fact, it was several miles away at another train stop, the one she had parked at that morning after dropping her kids at school.

SuperWoman’s transportation regimen is a little complicated. So complicated that when she started at her current job two-and-a-half years ago, she had dreams that trains kept coming and going, that she was missing them all.

Here’s what her public transit mornings look like. On the days SuperWoman has her kids, she drops BeautyQueen at preschool, then TalkMonster on the street near his middle school so he can walk part of the way, then WonderMess at her elementary school. Then she high tails it to the high speed line, where she parks two blocks away and walks to catch the train.

On the days she doesn’t have kids, she takes a bus directly outside her apartment—oh, the luxury!—to the subway and ends up only two blocks from the doors at work.

On this particular Monday, for some reason—perhaps because she was still in summer camp schedule zone, perhaps because she forgot what day it was, perhaps because she was so immersed in her very, very good book—she forgot where she had parked her car and ended up in quite a tickle.

The second tickle? She couldn’t even get Uber working on her phone to call for a ride, because there was not enough storage left to download the app. (SuperWoman often thinks she needs a techy boyfriend to help her with these things.)

How was she going to get those kids?

In walked Kerri Superior. Well, she didn’t walk in. SuperWoman called her, frantically, cursing about the lawnmower guy who kept weedwacking even though SuperWoman was in a bind and needed to explain the situation with relative silence so Kerri Superior would understand.

The reason you may not have heard of Kerri Superior is because she’s not flashy and doesn’t need a lot of fanfare. Without sitting in a room and saying “Om,” all day with a golden halo around her short brown hair, she projects an air as though she has sat in a room saying “Om” all day. (Maybe it’s her special secret? Maybe she does? Heck, SuperWoman doesn’t know what people do in the privacy of their homes.) In addition to being a fabulous dresser, a loyal, honest, and trustworthy friend who always knows what to do, one of the things SuperWoman likes most about Kerri Superior is she doesn’t have kids, which makes her able to get dinner on a whim, take the time to cook nice meals, go to yoga, plan book clubs. She is simply marvelous, and on this Monday, Kerri Superior dropped what she was doing so she could pick up SuperWoman and take her to her car.

SuperWoman felt regal, to be chauffeured by such a special woman, a fellow super woman who doesn’t need to write a blog about how special she is, but spreads love and wisdom to her many admirers—colleagues, students, friends, even neighbors, surely.

Once SuperWoman got her car her, however, her job was not done. She still needed to pick up her progeny and head home, listening to horrendous tales of math homework in middle school and head-banging in preschool. Going to the grocery store as SuperWoman had planned was off the table—the afternoon had become too stressful already. So she improvised. She used whatever little bit of food she had left—bagels and cream cheese, bagels and American cheese, macaroni-and-cheese (notice a theme?), chicken nuggets, to put together some sort of a meal to keep the sidekicks healthy or at least full. And then she helped TalkMonster with his homework (although “help” is a generous word), bathed the girls, and read with WonderMess until it was time for bed. To top it off? She wrote a bit and meditated in her bed.

Take that, Monday! Take that, public transit! You may have delayed SuperWoman, but you will not stop her.



She’s, well, super.



Image: "train" by Yuya Tamai via Flickr