Baby it’s cold outside and instead of some smooth-voiced crooner tempting me to stay the night by plying me with alcohol, I’m staring into my light therapy lamp while I pay bills and catch up on correspondence.
Why is my correspondence behind? Well, I’m glad you asked. My computer is ticked at me because I’ve allowed it to become more cluttered than a hoarder’s attic and I may have hit a button that made Outlook flip me the bird and wander off to somebody else’s laptop. I’m not entirely certain how computers work, but I do believe they’re spiteful and the programs within hold grudges worse than one of my cousins.
Because I’m passive aggressive and haven’t been to therapy in a while, I’m not dealing with this issue directly and am doing what most southern mamas do. Giving the troublemaker the cold shoulder and paying attention to the other kid.
It usually works, but as per usual, there’s a price to pay. For instance, Man Child has decided that he’s going to spend Christmas with his gf in Arkansas. I’m pretending to be okay with it, but I’m also planning to snub him ever so slightly. I will give his sister ALL the gifts. Girl Child will get tickets to the Fleetwood Mac concert, a flight to Phoenix to see bf, a sewing machine for fashion classes. And albums. So many albums. Man Child might get some new jeans. I plan to talk about ALL the food my mother will cook and rave about ALL the West Virginia adventures we will have. There will be satisfaction in making him feel left out. The price is that I will miss him with an ache the size of a strip mine.
With equal fervor, I recently decided to ignore Outlook and its bad attitude toward my emails. I recognize that ten thousand unread emails might be a lot, but for heavens’ sakes, being pissy and running that little arrow circle loop thing instead of opening up my email is just immature. I treated Outlook like I’m about to treat my firstborn, ignored it and ran my email through the provider’s website, Xfinity.
Because I had missed email correspondence for a couple of weeks, I had a lot of catching up to do, so one morning, I was huffing and puffing and blowing the little house of things-to-do down when I got a text from Spousal Unit.
“You do realize your emails say they’re from Buttmunches Caldwell, right?”
Um. No. No I don’t. My face got that flushed feeling one gets when one has sent a text fussing about a person to the person about whom one is fussing instead of the person with whom one wants to share the fussing. I quickly looked at who had received my morning emails.
Spousal Unit, of course. The horse vet. The neighborhood group email. Oh Lord. The neighborhood group email. A couple of those folk have been trying to figure out how to get me, my liberal bumper stickers and my little camper too sent to the Redneck Riviera for years. I continue to prove them right that I really don’t belong in that tony neighborhood, whether it’s Man Child’s loud motorized bicycle on the street, or my multi-cultural welcome sign in the front yard.
And now, Buttmunches Caldwell has sent the group an email. I might as well have planted marigolds in inside-out Goodyear tires and placed them next to the mailbox. I should set the washer and dryer on the front porch, if only I had a front porch.
I look at the Xfinity website. Sure enough. Right there in the top right hand corner where my name should be is “Buttmunches Caldwell.” Man Child has struck again. He set the account up for me. I knew that it said Buttmunches on it, but I didn’t know that emails sent from the provider would also say Buttmunches.
The kid is almost 24-years-old and a gnat’s ass away from a degree in Aerospace whatchamajigger, but he’s still twelve. When we asked him to help pressure wash a few things a couple of years ago, including Daisy, he wrote “butts” on our driveway with the pressure washer. Guests walk past it, read “butts,” tilt their heads and walk on. We leave it be because, I dunno. Isn’t that how Banksy got started?
I’ll probably leave Buttmunches on the Xfinity account as well. I will pretend it’s because I admire my son’s creativity and sneakiness. The truth is, I don’t know how to change it and because I’m giving him the cold shoulder over his not being with us over Christmas, it’s awkward to ask for a favor. Instead, I shall embrace my email nomenclature as I have embraced so many things that have come with parenting. Saggy boobs. C-section scars. Horses and their expenses. High blood pressure. I’m good with it all.
Just call me Buttmunches.