But you already knew that, didn’t you?
First of all, there is no housekeeper (as you have heard me moan about on numerous occasions). This little fact is painfully obvious if you came and saw my house right now. We’ve been home from vacation for two weeks and every person’s bag is still sitting right where we dumped it. I think this means we have too many clothes. That and that we’re shitty housekeepers. Once again, please consider yourselves warned. If you drop by for tea unexpectedly, it will not be nice and neat. If you call an hour ahead, please don’t open the closets as all the clutter will be stashed there until after your departure, probably long after your departure.
Secondly, the color of my kids’ hair matches. This actually comes in handy, and I wouldn’t like to be more Brady in this way. It’s helpful not to always have to explain that it’s Jon’s son and my daughter, as if somehow we don’t all belong together because of the timing. When people see me I can sometimes see them thinking to themselves: “Ah, it’s the mother that’s blond.” I normally don’t correct them unless it feels appropriate.
Thirdly, I work. I work hard, dammit – as hard as I can work with a desk job, anyway. So there’s no casserole in the oven or PTA meetings (or even a chance to break lamps, because we all go our separate ways during the day — except when LJ is here, and then he and Jon try to pack a month’s worth of living into a week).
Fourthly, and most importantly, there is no ex-Mrs. Brady and ex-Mr. Florence Henderson in the TV show, and they are most definitely there, in all their brilliance, in my real life.
Back and forth. Give and take. Joy and nail-biting. Ramifications of their choices. Ramifications of our choices.
Take the lid off. Stir the pot. Put the lid back on and pray for the best.
And you may look at my life and think that it looks neat. Because I like to show you the neat parts. And in many, many, many, many ways I am blessed.
But I’ve been thinking lately that I haven’t done a good enough job of showing you the shit side of my life. The side that has me wondering why everyone is so upset about Larry Craig. Isn’t that just what people do? Oh, I know that there would have been a day when I would have been semi-shocked (if not totally shocked), too. I guess going through something like that changes the level at which you find things shocking. (I love to refer to myself in third person when I’m feeling verklempt.) Oh, you didn’t know I had gone through something like that? Whoops. I guess that’s because I didn’t tell you.
What else would surprise you about my life? Would you think the same of me if you knew the things I don’t tell you? What do you think of me now?
For all the pretty pictures, both mine and those of the Brady family, it helps to remember that the latter is fiction (and the lives of the actors were, in reality, just as difficult as any of ours) and the former are chosen because they are the best parts of my life. I could spend a lot of time transcribing the fights that Jon and I have or rehashing old, hurtful stuff, or post pictures of Jon and me in our glasses, sweats and dirty hair (our regular weekend attire). But as so many people say, “Life is just too damn short.” For the good, bad and everything in between, thank you, God, for letting me have this life — dirty house and hair, fish tank with green water, difficult exes and all — because it’s mine.
From season one: “The Honeymoon”
Desk clerk: Oh, Mr. Brady, you have signed this Mr. Brady, Mrs. Brady and family.
Mike: Hmm, I forgot. It’s force of habit. Kids aren’t with us.
Desk clerk: But you did ask for the honeymoon suite.
Carol: Oh, it’s quite alright Mr. Pringle. You see …
Mike: [interrupts her] It’s quite alright darling. No need to explain. It’s obvious that this gentleman doesn’t dig the modern generation.