The difference

This post was originally shared in 2008. I am waiting for the hot soccer player with the pretty hair, and I have not thought all the right things through. I haven't explained to him how to get to my dorm room, and I haven't offered to meet him at a more central location. It is a first date and all I have been able to focus on up until this point is what I am to wear and what music will I be listening to when he knocks on my door. I am starting to get that nervous adrenaline that makes my voice rise an octave and my feet twitch.

I live in the women's hall that always smells like Bath & Body Works, on the floor with the lavender walls. I sit on my bed with the yellow gingham bedspread, the one I picked out two years ago when I thought yellow gingham said "cheerfulness" and not "little girl tea party."

I finally settle on a compilation tape of the Beatles that my friend made me. Neutral.

I start to wonder if he is coming. I grab a highlighter because I should look busy instead of like I have had nothing to do all day besides prepare for this moment. My floor is immaculate, every drawer and closet door closed; there are no clothes helter skelter. I am the RA on the lavender floor and my room looks more like a kindergarten room ready for the new school year to begin.

I need to do something and quick before my date comes to my door and discovers he is taking a girl from an Edward Hopper painting out for pizza. I throw a hoodie over the Issues chair. I knock over the stack of floppies. I kick my shoes across the room.

I am so uncomfortable now. My room is trying to be messy and trying not to be contrived about it. I am overthinking the floppy disks toppling over. That's normal, right? For people to just let them topple and not pick them up?


Loverpants and I are picking up the living room before he runs the Roomba. Saturday night ritual in our first year of parenting. I am coming up the spiral staircase and as I step into the living room, I see my foot kicking something across the room. There is always detritus on our floor these days because Baby Girl is apparently preparing for hibernation, as she squirrels away finger foods between her thigh rolls. We are not perturbed by wads of food all over the floor; we sweep several times throughout the day. Or sometimes we don't, because, why? So I look down and am just a flash away from picking up a bite of the Cocoa Rolo cookies I made earlier in the week. But then I ask self why would I have given Baby Girl a Cocoa Rolo cookie? That is not on the approved list of finger foods?

I ask Loverpants, Is this a cookie or...?

He leans over. I nudge it with my foot. It's hard all the way through.

He picks it up with a scrap of paper. Smells it.

"It's definitely poop."

We will not even begin to explore how it got there.