Friday, August 7th, 2020

Going Away on a Guilt Trip

By Deborah Kimmett on May 31 2011 • Filed under Mompreneurs at work

Deborah Kimmett helps businesses be creative through  humour.

When I used to go away on business trips a lot I had this strange notion that I had to make the house perfect before I could go out to work. It’s some sort of female homeland security. I was going away on a business trip. I awakened at 5:38 am, cleaned the floors, packed the kids’ lunches, and everything was going well, until I added That One More Thing. I decided I should bleach the teacups. Why bleach the teacups? Because, I’m nuts. And yes, I do have a cleaning lady, but she doesn’t clean. My husband says I should fire her but he doesn’t realize that having a bad cleaning lady is better than having no cleaning lady at all. I’ve tried to talk to her about it, believe me, but it’s no use. Every time I do, she says “No comprende anglais,” which is crazy since she’s my second cousin, Merle, for God’s sake. I feel bad because she’s had a hard life and really is too old to be cleaning. So we’ve built this complex relationship. I clean before she gets there. She doesn’t clean what I ask her to. I give her all my old clothes. She tells me I’m thin. Some people call it “Denial,” but it works for us. Besides, I feel denial is highly under-rated.

Anyway, I remember I’d be cleaning the house and packing the lunches and nobody would be cooperating and all I said was don’t. Don’t touch. Don’t be late. Don’t! Don’t! Don’t!

And this was the conversation:

"No, you can’t have peanut butter sandwiches…Why not? Because Michael J. is allergic and he could breathe in your peanut butter sandwich breath fumes and he could die. Do you want Michael J to die?…No you don’t. His father’s a lawyer and he could sue us. Have ham…What do you mean you don’t like ham? Since when…No, you’re not Jewish…You are not Jewish! You’re Catholic. At least your grandparents are. Me? Well, I’m confused."

Here I am trying to be nice when my daughter accidentally spills her glass of milk all over the clean floor. She’s eighteen years old, and it’s not cute anymore.

But, as they say, there is no point in crying over spilled milk: you can yell over it. I’m screaming and yelling at the kids wondering how I can be a humorist, inspiring people when I’m ready to murder my own family. A homicidal motivational speaker – that would go over well, wouldn’t it?

Then my husband, The Last Straw I like to call him, emerges from the bathroom and swaggers into the kitchen, dripping moral superiority all over my once sparkling, now milky, floor. He sees I’m having a Code Red breakdown and with his FM radio voice he says, "Will you calm down? I thought getting away would make you happy."

Then he leans in and gives me a kiss. One of those pathetic, pity kisses that men give their wives after too many years of marriage. It sits there on my cheek like a big wet fart, and I want to throw my newly bleached teacup at his head but I am leaving, so I want to be nice.

I’d drive away in a huff. I get to my hotel, where I can have my own bed with spa items and best of all, I control the TV remote. I climb into the big double bed where no one can possibly be crawling in beside me, jabbing me in the ribs, and wanting some afternoon delight, when all of a sudden the strangest thing happens. I get all weepy and sentimental. I start missing those people I call “family.”

So what would I do? I call home.

Guilt, don’t leave home without it.

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