Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mrs. Schroeder-Firefighter, I presume?

I got up early today. Like, 30 minutes early. And I didn't hit the snooze button, not even once. In fact, I bounced up out of bed to the strumming of an obnoxious guitar solo that serves as the alarm tone on my phone and raced to the shower. You might be thinking, why do I use my phone as an alarm clock, when as a bonafide adult I should have graduated to genuine alarm clock ownership? Well, funny you should mention it. As a matter of fact, I am the proud owner of a bright green, LED color-changing alarm clock. And being such a lovely, and apparently juvenile, addition to my bedroom made it automatically the property of my scared-of-everything almost-four-year-old. Why do I even bother?

But back to my early-rising adventure. Today was a big day. A really big day. A day so full of potential that I was already daydreaming about the three C's (cut, color and carat) and where we'd honeymoon. That's right, ladies, today was the day I was going to meet my future husband. The man who would make me reconsider hyphenating my name and would insist on rubbing my feet every evening and playing with my hair until I fell asleep every night. And I only had a few hours to prepare; he was to arrive promptly at 9:00 am.

I took my time in the shower and my children, clearly having sensed the magnitude of the day, slept late allowing me to throughly scrub all my bits and pieces until I was as fresh as the morning dew. I even managed to make it all the way through makeup application and dressing my top half before I heard the first mumurings of my babes. I waltzed in to greet them with air in my step and kisses aplenty, for who could be blue on a day so full of promise? After I'd dropped the babes off at daycare I raced home to prepare my house for The Visit.

While squealing excitedly through a conversation with D I pleated my curtains perfectly, artfully arranged my magazines on the coffee table, (Time on top, Cosmo on the bottom) tidied up the kitchen and generally raced around making sure everything looked effortlessly casual and inviting. The coffee was on and I'd lit a vanilla-scented candle because I read somewhere that vanilla makes men want stability and committment. Hell, if vanilla makes him like it so much he wants to put a ring on it, I'll start bathing in Vanilla Fields. I mean, it couldn't hurt, right? Nevermind the fact that vanilla-scented anything makes me want to die - life is all about compromise. You don't have to say it; I know, I'm brilliant.

Back to The Visit and more importantly, The Visitor. You see, ladies, I was expecting a Firefighter. A real, live, in-the-flesh Firefighter and an off-duty one at that. And we all know that off-duty is code for single-gorgeous-deep-sense-of-moral-obligations-and-seeking-a-committment-with-a-witty-single-mom-of-three. He was coming to my home to inspect my fire extinguisher. I mean, is that caring and kind or what? I felt a deep connection with him already, being as he was looking out for the safety of my family. And on his day off? Seriously, be jealous - I would be if I weren't me.

As 9:00 approaches I start to tingle with anticipation. I'm going to be so charming and interesting that he'll fall all over himself in his efforts to secure a date with me and my dashing wit. And if all goes according to plan, I'll ring in the new year as Mrs. Schroeder-Firefighter with a giant Tiffany sparkler on my left hand. The doorbell rings, the sound a perfect trill that only adds to my excitement and certainty that Mr. Right Firefighter stands waiting for me on the other side of the door.

I wait a few seconds - I'm not desperate you know - and slowly open the door with my eyes cast down and casually toss my hair over my shoulder as I look up expectantly. Turns out that's not my best move. In all the excitement I've forgotten that my hair is pinned back and the "casual toss" ends up making me look like I have a stiff neck. But I recover quickly and look into the eyes of my dashing hero: a gruff gentleman not a day younger than 70. He pushes past me, rushing into the kitchen and grumbling about needing to check the fire extinguisher. Before I've even had time to catch my breath he is on the way back through my front door, calling over his shoulder that he'll be back next year.

What? You must be joking. That's it? That's IT? No gorgeous, muscular, environmentally concious hunk? Apparently off-duty is actually code for off-duty-for-life-because-he's-too-damn-old-to-light-a-fire-let-alone-fight-one.

So this one didn't work out, but that won't stop me from dreaming. And hell, I have two sons and a very competitive daughter, there's bound to be an incident or five in their childhood that requires the assistance of men in uniform. A mom can hope, right?


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