Thursday, March 15, 2007



FROM: Your Wife, Bungalow Babe

The purpose of this memo is to inform you of my intention to leave the country the very minute you arrive home from your 12-day trip to India, which commenced last Wednesday and will conclude this upcoming Monday.

I anticipate being gone the same amount of time as the duration of your trip, most of which will likely be spent at a sanatorium, if such places still exist.

(In fact, the minute I finish this memo, I will start Googling sanatoriums – sanatoria?? It is possible that I might even find a discount package through Expedia or Orbitz. But why am I even thinking about the cost?? I will be billing it back to you, dear HOBB.)

Do not misunderstand. I am not leaving in a fit of rage, rather in a blur of exhaustion.

Mental, physical and spiritual.

I simply need time away from my life, which has begun to feel like a horror film directed by John Waters.

I think it was while I was cleaning up dog poop at three in the morning that I realized I need to distance myself from the ordeal of nearly two weeks of unrelenting duty on the domestic front, a tour which included:

  • Alternate side of the street parking nightmares, complete with interminable – and fruitless -- late-night searches for a good parking spot for the following day, ticket-happy traffic cops and sociopathic parking spot thieves

  • Dog walking adventures featuring a constipated Pomeranian who decided to turn into a prolific pooper on Day Five

  • Four consecutive sick days for Little Babe and then reams of catch-up schoolwork and homework; wasted time waiting for late school buses on most mornings and then a frantic flight down West End Avenue in hot pursuit of the school bus on the only morning that the driver was on time and we were late; indignant calls to the company when the driver yelled at Little Babe for failing to get off the bus “fast enough,” causing him to fall down the steps and the other kids to laugh

  • Life-threatening efforts to retrieve the toilet paper from the top of the kitchen cabinets where you stored them for some sadistic reason

  • Heart-stopping attempts to replace the four light bulbs that decided to blow in your absence

  • A couple of hours spent researching and ordering party supplies for Little Babe’s Luau party from Oriental Trading Company

  • An anxious hour spent figuring how to fill out parent-teacher conference forms on line (WTF!)

  • Back and forth e-mails with Middle Babe’s doctor in Jerusalem over the best way to have funds wired to her for Middle Babe’s treatments

  • Plaintive requests for Richard the Super to come and fix the bathtub when the drain stopped draining

  • Conversations with John the Contractor about the renovations we requested for the summer

  • Supervising the nameless plumber on the replacement of the broken faucets in the kitchen and bathroom

  • Mad dashes through Fairway to stock up on food

  • The preparation of nutritious breakfasts and dinners for Little Babe

  • The sacrificing of all of my extracurricular activities in order to take care of Little Babe and make sure he practices his cello….not to mention the regular stress and work of running my own business or the looming and often converging deadlines or the fact that I haven’t made it to gym this week – or (most pathetically) even onto our home treadmill, located in Middle Babe’s bedroom – or the paltry quota of two to four hours’ sleep I allow myself in an effort to finish my work commitments.

    In other words, I have had it.

    I’ve been there.

    I’ve done that.

    I’m outta here.

    The sanatorium room I will request should have a view of snow-capped mountains, or the ocean or perhaps an enchanted forest. As this sanatorium will likely be in Switzerland, I intend to spend my days with tall, healthy, non-neurotic Swiss people who will administer massages, manicures and pedicures, take me on restorative hikes through the Alps, protect me from visitors, administer medicinal doses of chocolate several times a day, smile a lot and agree with everything I say.

    While away, I also plan to have some advanced facial treatments that will obliterate the telltale signs of stress and sleeplessness. And perhaps I’ll have my hair professionally colored instead of the over-the-bathroom sink production I undergo once every five weeks. I’ll make my hair the color of bittersweet chocolate. Perhaps actual chocolate can even be used in the process. And I'll have a chocolate massage to go with that.

    During the day, when I am not having treatments or hiking through the Alps, I will sit in a cozy theatre, watching DVDs of every great movie I’ve ever wanted to see…and missed. Or watch the film versions of every great book I had hoped to read…but haven’t. And eat Caesar Salad the entire time. Without croutons and anchovies but with extra cheese.

    The cost of my stay will include daily sessions with a world-renowned psychologist (or even psychiatrist…what’s not to like about drugs?) from Vienna. In our daily therapeutic hikes, my new shrink will enable me to achieve profound insights into my psyche. The mysteries of my life will finally be revealed, in fact, I will realize that it all makes for a great (and marketable) screenplay. Together, we will have transference and counter-transference and when I am ready to return home, I will be tranquil, wise and fully-evolved.

    I’m sending out this memo to you, dear HOBB so you don’t wonder where I am when you return home. Out of the deepest sense of compassion for you, I have decided to leave before you return because I honestly think I might kill you if our paths cross on my way to the sanatorium.

    Your loving wife,

    Bungalow Babe

    PS: I’m putting Alfie the Pomeranian in charge of Little Babe until you get home. Later tonight, I plan to teach him how to pick up the mail, make dinner and lock the door.

    PPS: Don’t try to call or e-mail me. I am giving my Blackberry to our cleaning lady.

PPPS: Did I mention that I'm writing this memo in the Jury Selection room of 111 Centre Street? Yeah, I have Jury Duty today and tomorrow. Did you contact the New York State Court system and set this up in advance???

PPPPS: I will be staying in the most sun-drenched room at the sanatorium to make up for the twelve days of living in darkness. Little Babe has been doing his homework and practicing cello by candlelight. My attempts to replace the four broken lightbulbs in our apartment have all failed.


*Husband of Bungalow Babe, in case ya haven't figured it out by now.

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