We are back in Stepford.
The kitchen remodel, which has been total hell in the happening and at least 4 weeks and $15K over budget, is nearly done, the kids are back in school, I have gone back to dance class and even found some time to write. Our little consultancy has some new jobs coming in plus it is being featured in a magazine which is lovely though it does mean I have to do some actual, um, work – awkward when I have zero childcare and Five gets out of school at 12.15. All in all, though, things aren’t too bad and I have been very touched by how welcome we have been made to feel by so many people upon our return. There are not really seasons as such in Stepford – it’s uniformly sunny all year round which I have missed, but the shiny new pencils and folders from school and the clean, unsullied lunchboxes gives me a sense that life’s all getting back to normal and that a regular routine will ensue. The magical laziness of summertime is over and I have had to stop eating ice-cream instead of supper every evening.
In other words, it’s what we in our family call “Back on your heads”
This expression comes from a fairly terrible joke we heard about 25 years ago:
A man dies and goes to hell. The devil welcomes him and says he has the choice of three rooms in which to spend the rest of eternity and offers to show them to him in order to make a choice. The first room is blazing hot and full of people crying and sweating as they hack at the walls with pickaxes, fruitlessly mining for nonexistent gems. The second room is hotter still with broken glass on the floor and people sweating and crying, trying to walk across the room with loads of bricks on their backs. The third room, however, is a reasonable temperature and although it is literally waist deep in excrement, everyone in it is standing up drinking cups of tea and chatting. Despite the stench, the man reasons that this is the best option and opts to spend eternity there.
The devil smiles and vanishes and the man finds himself in the middle of the room up to his chest in shit, drinking a cuppa.
“This isn’t too bad” he thinks, “I can live with this”.
Just then, the devil reappears and says:
“OK everyone, tea break’s over. Back on your heads”