Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Billable Hours and Sea Monkeys

You arrived just after eleven p.m. and the look on your face told me how grueling your day had been. You were determined to tell me all about it. I was determined to distract you.

Leave it at the office. Take a break. This is your haven, your oasis. Yes, those are still breakfast dishes in the sink, but let me tell you about the sea monkeys! They came!

Intent on describing, blow by blow, your horrible day, you recounted that the alarm didn't go off, or we didn't hear it, or you hit the snooze button one time too many. You had cut your shower short by almost ten minutes. You noticed while getting dressed that both hems were finally falling out of the suit pants you pulled on. You were missing a button on your last clean shirt, and your power tie was determined to pouf out, exposing the red "X" of the discount outlet where I bought it.

Sea monkeys. Remember how much we loved that name when we saw the magazine ad? They're finally here; the mailman even brought them to the door. He saw that the package was marked, "Contents: Sea Monkeys," and he worried that they might be perishable.

You had to run for a bus that had no air conditioning on this sweltering 96 degree, 96% humidity day. The weatherman reminded us over and over that the air quality was in the hazardous range. Which one of us said we wanted to live in the Washington, D.C. area, anyway?

Have you ever seen a real sea monkey? The kids can't wait until they hatch. They checked them every couple of minutes, all day long. They actually believe these things will look just like tiny little monkeys, with cute chimp faces and long, curling tails.

Your secretary didn't show up again, and the temp they sent you brought along an attitude and her own little TV set to put on her desk.

So, we read the directions together right after the mailman brought the package. Andy carefully got the glass of water, and he let Aimee help by pouring in the packet of sea monkeys. They were so excited! Maybe they will stop asking us for a dog or a cat for awhile.

You found out that one of your filings got sent to a client on the opposing side yesterday. "A big no-no," you added for emphasis. You were late getting your billable hours report turned in, so your paycheck didn't come this morning, and how could we be overdrawn again???

They were only $2.98, that is not what caused our account to be overdrawn. The kids have come up with all kinds of names for their soon-to-hatch pets. We have no idea how many will make it, but we have plenty of names, just in case this is a good bunch. Andy wrote most of them down: Zorbud, Titanic, Fuselage, Violet Chloe. Where did "Violet Chloe" come from? Aimee just wants to name them all "Aimee". What are sea monkeys anyway, do you know?

You barely had time to go to the bathroom today. The leftovers you "wolfed down" at your desk for lunch spilled and landed on your shirt. You tried, but tomato sauce only gets worse when you rub it with dry paper towel.

We have to feed these things some kind of protein out of a packet. But we can't feed it to them until they hatch or it will kill them. How do we tell when they have hatched? These guys are microscopic. But they do come with a Limited Life Insurance Policy!

The temp lost an important document on the computer that you'd been working on for two weeks. She says you lost it. She even told your boss's secretary. Your secretary left a message that she'd be out for the rest of the week. She wondered if you still had a copy of her resume that you could fax to her.

We watched and watched for something miraculous to happen in that glass of water. Maybe it will happen during the night. The directions say it can take anywhere from four hours to fourteen days, depending on the conditions. The kids were so afraid they'd miss something while they were asleep.

On your way out of the building tonight, you rode in the elevator with your boss, who mentioned that he was only going out for a quick bite. Another senior attorney on the elevator called you by the other Hispanic associate's last name, and said he hasn't seen you around lately. He glanced first at the place where the button was missing, and then at the big orange splotch.

Finally done pacing, back and forth in the family room, you head into the kitchen for your reprieve--a bowl of Cocoa Puffs. "Okay, okay," you say. "Where is this gimmick you fell for?" You start to mutter again that this has been one of the worst days you've had in a long time.

As I walk into the kitchen, my eyes open wide and I walk right back out. I just don't have the heart to tell you that you've lost another button on your shirt. And that you just drank the sea monkeys.

No comments: