Jeff Astrof has 100 days off. See how he spends them.

Day 48

with one comment

So, for those of you who logged in because of my teaser “Nude American Idol Sighting!”, you will feel the same sense of disappointment from being at the business end of an April Fool’s Day gag as I did when I logged onto WordPress (this site) this morning to see that I had already had 1200 views by 9 a.m. only to see the words “April Fools!” written in small font next to the real number (102).  Speaking of April Fools, I need to give myself a little credit where credit is due for my incredible sensitivity towards my children this morning.  I woke up with a spring in my step– my hacking cough from the other night squelched by swigging half a bottle of Nyquil straight from the container (bragging to my children about that was not my heroic moment).  I called downstairs to my daughter who had requested to be woken up early the night before so she could set something up for April Fools, ready to announce something horrific, “Oh my God!  Mommy fell out the window!  Her brains are everywhere!!” followed by a gleeful “April Fool’s!”  But as I inhaled, Mommy, safely in bed, brains still encased in her skull, said from a half-sleep, “Don’t take away from your daughter’s moment.”  And you know what?  I listened.  Instead of being the first to announce April Fools!, I went downstairs and was greeted by some lame April Fools thing that I didn’t fall for, but pretended to anyway.  Hero, you say?  Father of the year, perhaps?  Yes, I think so.

Now, you may not think that my modicum of self-restraint is praiseworthy, but as I’ve mentioned before, my instincts are not top-notch (I still think I could have pulled off my own April Fools day prank and given my daughter her glory as well, but whatever.)  For example, last night, after posting my journal, I came upstairs to talk to my wife about my day and how two of the writers in our room– who are my age– were talking about how old their new wives were.  Writer One: “How old’s your wife?”  Writer Two (self-satisfied smile): “30”.  Writer One: “Damn.  Mine’s 31.”  Now, telling this story in the first place to my over 31 year old wife is probably not the best instinct.  Following it up with this, is worse: Shawni: “Why was Writer Two mad?”  Me: “Because he lost”.  Shawni: “He lost?  Me: “Yeah.  His wife is older.”  (OFF SHAWNI’S LOOK)  “But my wife is older so I win!”   Shawni: Sigh.  Okay, so you see why I was so happy with my decision not to ruin my daughter’s surprise?  By the way, if you’re wondering why my wife is still with me, you’re not alone: we ran into a friend today who told Shawni that she must have done something horrible in a past life.  I don’t disagree, but I’ll take it: it’s one of the advantages of believing in reincarnation.

The truth is, there are many, many other reasons besides my wife being horrible in a past life that she is married to me: I love her tremendously and do her food shopping, and I’m sure there are other things.  One of the things I love most about her is that she is not afraid to operate outside her comfort zone.  The three things she hates most in life are: Feeding people, Having Guests, Socializing.  With that in mind, this will be the second weekend in a row where we’ve had guests staying over and having lunch.  Now, last weekend it was my parents, so that doesn’t count as much.  This weekend, however, we are having some dear, dear friends stay with us. Dear, dear friends who have very specific needs including: wheat free, gluten-free, hydrogenated oil-free food; animal-free environment (allergies); special sleeping arrangements for children; minimized walking; child care.  Now, in a vacuum, these are not unreasonable requests, after all, everyone has their own unique needs.  However, this is our reality: Dinner: Deep-fried gluten; A house full of dogs; Guest Quarters for children: Two air mattresses covered with dog hair (see above): Distance needed to travel tomorrow: approx. 4 miles; Child Care: A housekeeper who has gotten into fights with our kids that have devolved into her and my kids shouting, “She’s lying!”  “No, she’s lying!”   Again, these are dear friends and we’re happy to have them.  I should also have some nice things to write about tomorrow.  But my point is, that my wife, once again is going outside her comfort zone, which I think makes for a good, meaningful life and a happy marriage.  But if we have guests again next week, I may have to get a divorce.

As for me, today was a welcome hiatus after two consecutive days of working.  I was back out on the streets of LA handling my usual array of errands.  This was my day: Drive to Coffee Bean in morning.  Back home.  Drive kids to school.  Back home.  Drive to lunch near school.  Back home.  Drive to supermarket near Coffee Bean.  Back Home.  Drive to Target near School.  Back home.  Total net distance travelled: 1.7 miles.  Total miles put on car: 56.  Total time spent in car: approximately 4 hours.  That, in a nutshell is the biggest problem with A: not working and B: not working in LA.  The problem is specific to LA because at any given time, at least half the people in the city aren’t working.  You spend hours in traffic in the middle of the day (Target was PACKED at 3 pm) and then when you finally get out of your car, you have to stand in line with people who are much better looking than you– especially in the middle of the day when all the out of work people are actors and models.  I am going to request that at Whole Foods, in addition to having an Express Lane, they have a lane for normal-looking people so I don’t have to feel bad about myself when paying $80 for my avocado and worse about myself when I don’t bring a recyclable bag with me.

Anyway, I still have miles to go before I sleep, so I should get going.  This is the classic time on a Friday when the kids start to melt down, and I don’t want to miss a good opportunity to flex my newly-discovered good parenting skills.  I’m also going to spend as much time as possible with my amazing wife, because in her next life, she’s definitely earned a much better husband.  And he won’t be shopping in the “normal” aisle at Whole Foods.


Written by 100daysoff

April 1, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. You do know that April Fools pranks played after noon bring bad luck to the perpetrator, don’t you?

    Emma Campbell Webster

    April 1, 2011 at 5:55 pm

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