The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Friday, October 19, 2007

Chutzpah, and the art of Wife Traps

chutz·pa /ˈxʊtspə, ˈhʊt-/
Pronunciation[khoot-spuh, hoot-]
–noun Slang.
1. unmitigated effrontery or impudence; gall.
2. audacity; nerve.
Also, chutzpah, hutzpa, hutzpah.
[Origin: 1890–95; < Yiddish khutspa < Aram ḥūṣpā]

Oh, and number 3: Mr. K. Whom I adore and who is my dearest friend and my greatest love but still. Chutzpah. Let me tell you the story and I'm sure you'll agree.

I am a morning person. This is not by choice so please don't throw things at me. Believe me--I know that the bright, chirpy, larks of the world are not roundly adored and I even know why. I don't hold it against you that you find me nauseating when I rise from my bed fully functional at least 20 minutes before the alarm, or when I mention that I have only actually heard my alarm clock about 3 times in the past year (twice were when the power had gone out and the damned thing had reset itself for midnight). It is worth pointing out, though, that as much as I might have an advantage in the wee hours, truth is that I'm a disaster at night, falling into slumber with all the self-control of a 3-year old by 10:00 no matter how exciting the movie or book or knitting or whatever is. I've seen the beginnings of more movies than probably anyone you know...but you could completely lie to me about the ending and I'd never know. Not unless it's one of the two I actually stayed awake for.

Larkdom aside, however, I always wake up in the early morning and this time of year, that means wandering around the house in the dark. I do this so as not to awaken the above-mentioned chutzpah king. So this morning I went down at around 5:15, thinking to feed the fur people who were all laying money on whether or not I was actually smart enough to understand that leaning on my head and screaming into my ear while I typed meant "Feed us now, or we'll start eating you." I made it all the way down to the entryway...before encountering the sole of one of Mr. K's shoes, lying on its side in the very middle of the downstairs hall. I ran into it piggy first--the piggy that had none, as it happened (the piggy that ate roast beef was, happily, spared) which is now the piggy that rained fiercely whispered profanity down on the tender hours while hopping madly about like a twit. One bent toe, and the morning was still young. This was not promising.

I fed the cats just in time to keep all my limbs, and then went up to exercise. On the way there, I decided to head back into the bedroom to get my cell phone, as my boss knows she can call me early if she needs me to come in early and it's easier to use the phone than to shout wildly into the dark. I headed into the bedroom....and WHAM. My knee made absolutely ferocious impact with the dresser drawer. The dresser drawer that Mr. K had left standing open. One bent toe, and one battered knee with instantly purpling lump. No, this was not a good beginning.

And worse, it was actually NOT the beginning. Because earlier this week I tangled my feet in the sweatshirt Mr. K had left on the floor, set my sleeve in the sauce he'd dripped on the counter, and tripped over a 9 x 13 pan of rainwater sitting on one of the back steps (don't ask--I still don't get that one), which promptly flipped up and dumped icy water down my sock to pool in my shoe. So this morning, once the culprit--the beloved husband, I mean--woke up, I gently described this series of mishaps. My intent was to end with a gently worded request to try to perhaps stop setting wife traps all over the house because he already has me and because I may have to beat him firmly about the head with a slipper full of cat litter if he doesn't.

Before I could get to the moral of the story, however (the one about the man who would rather not explain the presence of cat litter and slipper fuzz in his ear when he gets to work), he said this:
"Wow, Honey. You should be more careful."

I should....what? I should be more CAREFUL???

Chutzpah, I'm telling you.

While I have you, please join me in wishing a very happy birthday to my delightful "cybermom"--that is, the mother of the booby-trapper, my mother-in-law. I hate calling her that because there really isn't any "in-law" about it--she's my cybermom and I adore her wit and her kindness and her wisdom. I don't know how old she is, but I know she's old in wisdom and young at heart and in spirit and utterly wonderful. Oh, and still a superhero who has managed to send me enough squares for nearly two whole blankets--by herself.

Happy birthday, Judy. The world is a better place because you're in it.

Oh, and Mr. K? About those wife traps? I'm telling mom on you.


  • At 1:05 AM, Blogger Angela Cox said…

    Yep the amount of times I fall over Mr Cox's size 12 shoes laying in my path ..jeez. I am a morning person and Holly isn't sure what they are . This makes for some mean mornings . I can only stay awake for late movies if I nap first .

  • At 1:48 AM, Blogger Lynn said…

    Looks like a bunch of great people had birthdays yesterday. Your cybermom, my best friend at work, my friend Ms. ChaCha.

    I am *so* with you on that inadvertent-lark business. I would much rather be the night-owl I was born to be, but the realities of making a living have decreed otherwise.

    Why else would I wake up at 2:30 on a perfectly good Saturday morning?

  • At 3:25 AM, Blogger Marianne said…

    Happy Birthday, Judy!

    Mercy, I KNEW what was coming... still... chutzpah indeed!

  • At 5:58 PM, Blogger Gail R said…

    I can relate to that sooooo much! Hope the body mends quickly and nicely and the fur bearing beasties didn't pick up all the profanities you uttered (excuse me, the little piggy uttered) in the early morning hours. And chutzpah can be a good thing - gain some of your own!

    Happy birthday to your cybermom.

  • At 3:29 AM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…

    Belated happy birthday, Judy! (Ok, I have been around far too much wool lately. I just typo'd that as "bleated.") May you have had a lovely day, and may you be able to visit your son in the doghouse. ;)

    9x13 pan? Ok, he was obviously baking something, but what? Hoping that sea monkeys were raining from the sky and when-and-if the sun ever came out again, they'd hatch, thus fulfilling a lifelong dream left over from disappointment at never getting to buy those happy little sea-monkey people advertised in the backs of comics?

    Either that, or he'd already baked something in it, burned the hell outta the pan, and was sneakily soaking it away from the kitchen sink so you (hopefully) wouldn't notice it. Was it by chance a favorite of yours?? Or possibly planning on a naturally refilling watering trough for the cats. Who knows what lurks in the mind of Man?

    (Blogger has now turned dyslexic. Verification was "gcuezppe." Either that, or it's making a wild stab at guessing the spelling of "Guiseppi." Because it wants Italian lessons.) (I think I need to go to bed. [g])

  • At 7:27 AM, Blogger Em said…

    What a great story- except for the bit where you ended up bruised and hurt at the end of it ;-)! I had to count out the piggies; couldn't remember who got roast beef and who didn't.
    Happiest birthday to Cybermom!

  • At 8:00 PM, Blogger ~Tonia~ said…

    Sounds like he needs a lesson on picking up after himself. Maybe from now on turn on all the lights so that you won't trip or run into the things that he has left and maybe he will get the hint. ;)

    Happy Birthday to your cyber Mom.


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