The weekend

It was a good one. A long one. And an exhausting one.

Saturday I took D to a birthday party for one of his classmates, who recently moved out to the boonies (read: the very last stop on the subway that goes out into Queens near JFK). It was to start at 12, and as most kiddie parties are 1.5 to 2 hours long I did my best to arrive on time. We got there at 12:15 after a mad morning scramble to get the farmers' market shopping done, as well as buy and wrap a gift.

We were the first arrivals, and the mom was adding balloons to a perfectly 'manicured' and decorated apartment. I mean decorated ... every doorway, ceiling, table, and surface was either spotlessly clean, or covered with pink princess stuff. M, the birthday girl, was in a cute princess dress and had her hair done up. Her 3-year-0ld brother was also dressed up, and D was in his "Ape that lives in a canyon" costume, complete with cape, beaded collar, belt, and light saber. I'm sorry I failed to document it, it was pretty good though I have no idea how an ape comes into it! They settled down right away to room showing, trains, and lego. The mom had vast pots of homemade soup on the stove, just in case people came in cold. I had some, along with samples from the huge chip trays and grape platter.

As she rushed in/out bringing an ice cream cake, more pop, pies, and who knows what else, a few more kids/moms trickled in. Four other kids from their class were soon running up/down the hallway and getting underfoot. The mom continued to rush around, and eventually disappeared to take a shower. By the time she got out and dressed, paid for the 6 pizzas that were delivered, made a salad, cranked up super-loud techno music and turned on the gigantic flat-panel TV, the party appeared to be underway. It was 1:45pm, about when I'd expected to be gathering coats to leave!

The women kind of gathered around the kitchen and she commenced to share the sordid tale, in great detail, of her recently-separated husband and his exploits and habits, along with his total lack of interest in the kids. There were two other single moms in the group, so the discussion was lively and full of advice and sympathy. She's a super over-achiever in my book, but I can really relate in some ways. She's Cambodian, and says that it's truly cultural to take care of every little thing possible for your spouse and kids, treating them like kings. She'd done this for nine years, along with providing financially for everything. She leaves her house at about the time my boys wake up in the morning, takes a train and bus and walks to deliver kids to school and a sitter, takes the train into the city for work, and repeats it in reverse at night, arriving home somewhere after 7pm. Then the whole homework/dinner/housework routine.

I was exhausted listening to her, and felt sympathy. I also felt it a bit of a wakeup call as to my own overachieving tendencies, or desire to have it ALL thank you very much.

More people arrived around 3, the cake was FINALLY cut and devoured at 4:30, and we caught a ride home from friends in the neighborhood. My ears were a bit worn out between the music and the talking, and I was ready to crash.

Before I crashed, I sent M to the studio to work on his art overnight, and asked that he get home in time for me to run Sunday afternoon, and then have a date.

Sunday when he got home I was napping, and feeling sniffly and tired still. I tried hard to find excuses to not go running, but eventually ran out of viable ones and got out the door. I'm finding the statement that long-distance running is more than 50% a mental game to be very very true. The negative self-talk that springs up is amazingly consistent! How can I possibly run any farther than last week? What if it makes me sick? My ankle hurts. I'll get stuck too far away from home and be too tired to walk back. I'll have to use the bathroom too many times. I'll get dehydrated and the fountains aren't on ... yadda yadda yadda. You get the idea.

I escaped, started my run, and talked myself through about 40 little points of wanting to quit or give up, and ended up getting in 9.5 miles in 1:32. The thought of running for over an hour and a half was so laughable just 4 months ago that it's hard to imagine. That was more than 1/3 of a marathon :). It felt absolutely wonderful.

Then the day was capped off with a date with my husband, including a visit to his studio (first time in over a year I think), getting to see his latest painting that's about our relationship, some fabulous sushi, a visit to our old roommate S in the east Village, and then a 2.5 mile long hunt, at midnight, for the crab rangoon that I was craving. We passed umpteen japanese restaurants, McD's, Dunkin Donuts, and Starbucks that were still open, but not one single chinese joint. And we went thru the village, circled Union Square, and up as far as 20th street. Go figure. I sadly settled for some horrible Taco Bell (scary at 1am with a girl puking in the garbage bin and a *really* horrible bathroom. We ended up with a cab home as I was literally staggering with exhaustion by that point.

A good weekend :)