Today's high temperature was just about 70 degrees, a bit unseasonably cool for us, but it felt like a promise that fall is coming. Fall is my favorite season, with its back-to-school excitement and showy colors and favorite sweaters. Oh, I love summer too, but by August it is less about vacation and more about being the season in which the humidity makes my hair look like Krusty the Klown's or maybe Carrot Top's before he went on the plastic surgery and steroids diet. And also, it's the season of too much unstructured time alone with my children, who for some reason never learned the truism that the more you can entertain yourself without whining and bickering, the more likely Mom will forget you're around and let you stay up later. I imagine that there is some scientific research which positively correlates parental annoyance with 8:00 bedtimes.
Thomas and I pumped up that back-to-school feeling by getting him a snazzy new haircut and some new sneakers for school, which starts for him on Monday. He is as excited to start seventh grade as I am for him to go. I would have to think that the past three weeks home with me has backed up my claims that being a grownup is not nearly as fascinating as he imagines. Behold, I have maintained a facade of laundry and dishes and will resume my real mysterious adult activities on Monday. Or maybe on Tuesday, because I will be alternately napping and dancing around on Monday.
I also went to the dentist today to get my teeth cleaned. Our dentist is a wonderful southern gentleman who happens to be from the same tiny North Carolina town as my dad. (Warning: This story is going to take a turn which gives a glimpse of the Crazy that lives in me.) My appointment was at 6:00 PM, so I met Ron at the dog park and turned the kids and dog over to him at 5:30. I was way too early for my appointment, so I sat in the car and put some makeup on, both to kill time and because well, those tooth-illuminating lights are very bright and probably not all that flattering to 42-year-old skin. When I was nearly done with my makeup, I realized I was sitting right outside the waiting room window and hoped that the receptionist wouldn't think I was putting on makeup just for the dentist, who is coincidentally a very handsome man.
I went inside about ten minutes before my appointment, grabbed the nearest People magazine, and listened to the receptionist and another woman laughing about their college-aged sons' inability to do laundry. I wavered back and forth between feeling righteous and mean because both my 10- and 12-year-olds are very capable at washing and folding laundry, and then I was called back. I had forgotten my worries about looking like I was getting fixed up for the dentist until he walked in and I leaned my head back against the chair, causing my barrette to spring out of my hair. I swear it was like a spoof of Sarah Palin, who even Thomas is calling "the sexy librarian." My wavy hair tumbled wildly around my shoulders and my glasses fell off, revealing me for the sultry vixen that I am. OK, maybe not, but I was irrationally afraid that Dr. L was going to think I planned the unleashing of the bushy mane as some sort of office seduction. The tiny sane part of me was sure that he didn't even notice, but nonetheless I mentioned Ron several times, as if to say, "See, I have a wonderful husband and therefore no reason to frighten you with untoward advances."
I'm scaring you now, aren't I?