The loud clanging sound of the back up alarm jolts me from my dreaming. It is now 6:30 a.m and the time now rules out exercising. I’ll try to do it later. Meanwhile, it’s breakfast, school lunches and beds to make.
9:30 and the children are off to school and husband off to work. I’ll take the time now to exercise, I decide, slipping into the snug leotard I purchased for the occasion. The chimes of the doorbell interrupt me; my mother-in-law. “Hi, Mom, I say cheerily. “I’m just getting ready to exercise.”
“Oh don’t worry, Honey, I’ll only be a few minutes.
An hour later I head for the weight bench and hear a rap on the door. It’s the Pastor! “Just a minute,” I call, searching desperately for a skirt to pull over the leotard.
“Hi, Mrs. Basset. I wanted to stop by and see if you could help with the bazaar….” Another hour passes.
11:30. Finally! Alone again. The telephone rings. “Leave it, “ I command myself. “But what if it’s an emergency or Roger calling?” Reluctantly I pick up the receiver.
“Julie, you’re not going to believe…..” My sister! It’s noon by the time I’m off the phone and realize I’m hungry. While eating a light lunch, the doorbell rings again. The postman with a certified letter and then the telephone clangs again. “Mrs. Basset, this is a courtesy call from Eastern Electric company. Would you be interested in a new service to protect your appliances from surge control?
“No thank you.” I answer. “Not today!”
“May I ask why?” the speaker continues. The next five minutes are spent trying to politely get off the phone. 12:45 and I make a mad dash for the weight bench again. Finally! I begin and enjoy five minutes of silence.
The telephone again. “Mrs. Bassett, this is Lorraine Akin. I’m Robbie’s room mother. Would you be able to bake forty cupcakes for tomorrow’s party? It was all arranged but Lucy Dale had to have emergency surgery yesterday and will be unable to make the cupcakes for us.”
1:30. I set out again determined this time nothing will stop me until I finish my 30 minutes of exercise. I will let the answering machine take any more calls and I won’t answer the door.
Ten minutes of work and I hear the phone again. The answering machine does its job. “Mrs. Basset, this is Mrs. Perkins, Roskin Elementary School nurse........” I rush for the phone.
“Mrs. Perkins, this is Mrs. Bassett.” I pant. “Is something wrong?”
“Yes. I’m sorry, but Jenny is in my office with a sick stomach. Could you please come get her?”
“Sure,” I reply. “I’ll be right there.” I change into street clothes and head for the school.
I have Jenny settled. It’s 3:30. Billy and Zach will be home in 10 minutes. Too late now to exercise. Perhaps later. Right now it’s snack time for the boys and haircuts and I still need to make those cupcakes for school and soup would be nice for Jenny.
The boys are outside playing, cupcakes and soup made, haircuts done and now it’s time to start dinner.
Roger is home, the children are fed and kitchen cleaned. Finishing domestic duties, I head for the garden. I promised myself I’d weed the tomatoes and spinach plants tonight. And I promised I’d help cut grass while Roger trimmed the hedge.
9:00. The boys are in bed, Jenny is feeling better and Roger is watching his favorite show, a repeat of “In The Heat Of The Night.” I finally seem to have two minutes to call my own. Again, I reach for my leotard. I spy the scissors I never put away after the hair trims.
For a fleeting second, I consider cutting my leotard to shreds. No, I guess not tonight, I decide. For now, I just fold it neatly and tuck it far beneath the shorts and tops I bought recently just one size larger than last year!
I wonder. Am I really the only one who feels this way?