Tag Archives: Chores

I can’t think of anything to write about

I’ve been staring at this computer screen for almost an hour and I can’t come up with anything to write about. This whole day has kind of been a nothing day so far. It’s raining out, and so I used that as an excuse to not go exercise, to not leave the house at all really. I should have. There are a bunch of errands that I need to take care of, stuff that’s no further than around the corner really.

Like back in November, I ordered this piece of running gear from Amazon. I was planning on using it for the New York City Marathon, but it didn’t show up in time. Way after the race, the Postal Service told me that they’d lost the package, and that they weren’t going to be paying for it either.

Then a month after that, I got an email from the seller. Apparently my package came from China, and they were going to try sending it again. But I got the same problem this time around, that it was being held at the Post Office, that I’d have to go in and wait on line and pick it up. I should just do it, it’s so easy. Every single day, I think to myself, I should just go to the Post Office and pick it up.

But I never do, even when it’s not raining. I guess I’ve been burned by the Post Office too many times to want to waste any more of my day waiting on a really long line that ultimately ends in me not getting my package. But each day that passes, I think there’s some sort of a holding deadline, like after thirty or sixty days, they’re going to send it back to China.

I don’t know why they just didn’t tell me it was going to be such a huge deal to ship a compression running shirt. Honestly, I would have never elected to have something shipped individually from China. It sounds like a logistical nightmare, and the fact that I ordered this thing back in October shows that my worries were warranted.

But I’m not doing anything about the problem, I’m just kind of stuck in this cycle of inaction, me not leaving the house, me sitting here try to get some writing done. I can’t think of anything. Maybe leaving the house would jog the creative process or something.

Or, another errand that I keep pushing off, I need to go to the tailor and have all of my pants fixed. I didn’t realize it, but they way that the seat is oriented on my bicycle, it keeps rubbing up on my inner leg every time I pedal. And so recently I noticed that there’s a hole in every pair of pants that I own, right on my left inner thigh. It’s in a weird enough spot that it doesn’t really stand out. But I can feel the air there, it’s definitely annoying. And holes just keep getting bigger. So I should go and have it patched up.

It’s the same with my shirts for work. I kept ripping them, all in the same spot, and so for a while now I’ve only had one shirt. Every day I have to keep doing the same micro-load of laundry. It’s totally inefficient. I know that I’m wasting water and stuff. But I can’t get myself to get some more. This is probably the problem with the easiest solution. And yet day after day, I find another twenty-four hours has passed where I haven’t done anything.

When I’m working, I’ll tell myself that I’ll wait to get my errands done on a day off. And then when that day off finally arrives, I say to myself, come on Rob, you don’t want to spend your free time doing errands. Save that for a workday.

And that’s it, I never take care of any of my problems. At best, I sit here and complain about my inaction on the Internet. And nobody wants to read that. It’s totally boring. But I can’t think of anything else today. My mind is a total blank and I just want to put up something, anything. Here it is. I apologize if you’ve read this far down.

How’s your ice?

I’m the oldest of six children. When we were all little kids, my mom would make the whole family dinner every night. Trying to teach us to be responsible or something, she would all make us do a chore to help get the meal underway. But since my mom did all the cooking, there was never really a ton of work to do, not enough for one person, certainly not enough work to be divided amongst six hyperactive little kids. But fair is fair, so we all had to pitch in.

Since I’m the oldest, and the biggest, and the smartest, and the loudest, I always got to pick whatever job I wanted to do. I received a lot of privileges as the oldest. If there was only one parent in the car, I always got to ride shotgun, every time. If one of my other brothers or sisters was watching something on TV, I could just push them out of the way and watch whatever I wanted, and if they even thought about making a fuss, if anybody wanted to get loud and start crying or challenging my actions, then mom would have to get involved, and her solution would be to turn the TV off, no TV at all. And since I wasn’t watching TV in the first place, that was always leverage that I’d use to my advantage. What would you rather do, have no TV or watch what I want to watch?

Anyway, come dinnertime, unless I was bored, or unless I felt that one of my siblings had a job that they for some reason really seemed to be enjoying, (in which case, I would steal that job,) I was always in charge of getting cups for soda and filling them with ice. Like I said, the whole setup was way too little work for way too many people. The other jobs were: clearing off the table, getting plates, getting silverware, getting napkins, and assisting whoever was getting napkins.

As always, I never passed up on even the smallest opportunity to make somebody else in my family miserable. And getting cups of ice – while on the surface it might seem to be a duty with the least potential for psychological sibling torture – was the perfect way to exercise total power in the most limiting of circumstances. I have to make it clear that, I couldn’t just one night decide to start messing around with somebody’s ice and expect a decent payoff. If I tried that, there would be crying and screaming and we’d all wind up in trouble. Sometimes that was a consequence that I was willing to accept, like if I was really bored or something. But in this scenario, the payoff of my ice cup manipulation was the result of a gradual buildup of me getting cups of ice, seemingly without any problems, night after night after night.

After a while without any incident, I established my credentials as a decent enough cup preparer, to the point where my mom wouldn’t have any reason to question my motives. That’s when I started tipping the ice scales. I started giving one of my brothers slightly less ice every single night. At first I don’t even think he noticed his lack of ice. So I started asking him, whenever my mom was just out of earshot, “How’s your ice?” And that was it; I wouldn’t say anything else. I would calmly go back to my dinner and not pursue it any further. But I would keep up the same routine, every night, “How’s your ice?” over and over again, each night doling out less and less ice.

After a week or so, my brother caught on to the game and, although probably a little pissed off, would just go up to the freezer and get himself some more ice. So I took it to the next level. Every night at dinner, I would give everyone the correct amount of ice, except for my one brother, who I would only give one cube. And as he sat down to the table, I would repeat, over and over again, “How’s your ice?” smiling a little shit-eating grin at him, until he went to the freezer and got more ice. It got to be a huge joke. All of my other brothers and sisters would laugh and laugh. Eventually my brother would start crying to my mom that I was teasing him, that I was harassing him, so I would stop and play dumb and protest that he was making stuff up to try to get me in trouble. It was usually enough for my mom to issue a blanket, “shut the hell up, all of you,” to everyone, ending the argument right there. As I sat there in silence for the rest of the meal, staring at my brother, smiling at him almost imperceptibly, I knew that I had to ratchet up my scheme to its final phase, because it was only a matter of time before my mom caught on to my torture and banned me from cups.

So I did the one-cube trick the next day, but this time, I took all of the ice out of the freezer and hid it in a bowl that I hid in the opposite corner, surrounded by boxes of frozen vegetables. I got all of the cups ready, and immediately started chanting, “How’s your ice? How’s your ice?” to my brother, who also immediately started screaming and crying and making a run to the freezer. And when he got there, there was no ice at all. There was maybe a second of silence as he looked at the empty ice tray and saw what was going on, and then he really started screaming, and my mom had no choice but to get involved. I protested that we simply must have run out of ice, and that it couldn’t have been my fault. My mom demanded that I give him some of my ice, and I agreed, but I noted out loud that I had already poured myself a drink and that I had introduced a sizeable amount of my own spit to the cup, but that my brother was welcome to as much of my ice as he wanted.

There was much more screaming and much more crying, but somehow my mom managed to quiet us all down to eat. After I finished my drink, I made sure to chew on each ice cube, making really loud chomping sounds, the kind of obnoxious noises that you can only really make by biting down really hard on a cube of ice. Ten minutes after dinner had started, my cup was totally emptied. I got up and walked to the freezer and reached for my hidden supply, and I came back to the table with my cup filled with ice and, knowing this was the culmination of weeks and weeks of build up, I smiled a huge smile and asked, “Hey, sorry, did anybody want any more ice?”