So the joke or the stereotype or whatever is that people curate what they share on social media to make their lives look full of love and fun and cake and beautiful things for which they are daily grateful, with the intention of making their friends envious, and I always kind of thought, Well, i don’t do that. I share everything.
But of course, I do, I mean, the good stuff is the stuff you want to tell people about. I don’t feel like my intention is to arouse envy, but I’m sure somewhere in the back of my mind I’m trying to present my life as enviable.
Yesterday I posted a picture of beautiful flowers I had just planted and a sweet memory that they evoked, and later I posted a brag photo of the pizza I’d just pulled out of the oven because I thought it looked gorgeous and I was proud of it. There was nothing untrue about either of those photos or the moments associated with them. I do have a pretty good life that I love and I do put a certain amount of effort into noticing the good things and feeling grateful for them.
But that doesn’t mean most days there isn’t a parade of annoying shit going by, and I am easily irritated, easily hurt, given to complaining and bad moods that spiral downward quickly. So, in the spirit of telling the truth about my Sunday, or at least painting a more comprehensive picture, here’s the other stuff.
When I got up at 7 (I can’t sleep late even on the weekends, no matter how little sleep I’ve had), I opened the dishwasher to retrieve my favorite coffee cup ( a hand-painted mug I bought in Deruta on our first trip to Umbria 2 years ago), and the door fell off. I had turned on the dishwasher before I went to bed Saturday night, but all the dishes were still dirty.
(BACKGROUND: A few months ago, we couldn’t get the dishwasher door to shut, rendering it useless, so we bought a new one. But after 2 delivery attempts (the first time the cabinet needed to be modified before they could install it; the second time, we discovered that the new one plugged into a socket but the old one was hardwired so there was no outlet where we needed one), we pushed the old one back in and suddenly the door was shutting again, so we kept it.)
This time, though, the door completely came off the hinges. C and I are both avoiders when it comes to big household projects like this. Our deal roughly is that he has to go sit in an office all day, so I take care of the home stuff. Despite its evocation of a 1950s marriage, it’s a good arrangement, and it works well. I love the cooking, hate the cleaning, don’t mind the rest of it. He doesn’t necessarily love getting up at dawn and going to the office, but he has a job he’s good at that provides us with a comfortable life. But when it comes to tasks like figuring out how the fuck to get a new dishwasher installed, we’re both like “No, you’re the husband,” “No, YOU’RE the husband.”
So the first thing I got to do Sunday morning was pull all the dishes out of the broken machine and wash them in the sink like a normal 50s housewife. It was a LOT of dishes. It was steamy in the apartment because on Thursday when I was cleaning the house I decided to clean the kitchen grime out of the air conditioner. The previous owner of our apartment put a massive a.c. unit in our little kitchen, which is probably the worst place imaginable for a massive a.c. unit. (It’s meant to cool the whole apartment, so of course in order for it to be comfortable in the living room in August, the kitchen has to be as cold as a walk-in fridge.) Every time I use the stove I have to turn the a.c. off because it sucks the flame out from under the pan on the stove. And the cold air blows directly onto whatever you put on the counter. It’s a daily pain in my ass (as if summer isn’t annoying enough). Also it basically functions as a kitchen exhaust fan, and if you’ve ever worked in a restaurant kitchen you know how disgusting those get. So I pulled it apart, cleaned the grime out of every crevice I could get to, and ordered a new filter on Amazon, free overnight delivery. Thursday evening it was pretty cool out, so I figured we wouldn’t need the a.c. anyway.
Amazon sent a big box of paper cups instead of an a.c. filter. A weekend without a.c. is not the worst thing in the world, it would have been worse if it had been July, but it was uncomfortable. Our concrete and steel building heats up all day in the sun and stays warm, and it’s been muggy the last couple of days.
BUT, I turned that shit around. In the afternoon, I walked down to Trader Joe’s and bought red and gold chrysanthemums to plant and I planted them. I also picked up some nice cheese, and I made cocktails, and we had a Saturday happy hour on the balcony. It was a gorgeous, sunny day and I am grateful beyond words to have a small balcony where we can sit in the shade for a few minutes with flowers and cheese and a cocktail and my husband who tries so hard to keep me content and quite often succeeds.
And then I made a truly exceptional pizza that tasted every bit as great as it looked.