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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Me No Read

I'm six-and-change weeks into my FMLA "Paternity Leave". I'm going back to work in two-and-a-half weeks. Back to the psych hospital. Back to locked doors and lots of keys and leather restraints and groups of dubious moral, educational, and spiritual value. But, despite how that last sentence probably sounded, I love my job, and I'm really looking forward to going back. And not just because the twins are driving me insane, and not just because I'm irrepressibly stir-crazy, and not just because I long for adult conversation that doesn't revolve around the merits of Pampers vs Huggies (Huggies, you are shit and, well, holding in shit), but because I like to work. I like interacting with the staff and the patients. I like making money. I like being active. I like writing my reports and walking the halls and saying "Good morning" to people who are shuffling around while not wearing pants like it's just any old thing.

I like that.

That said, of course, I also like being home.

A lot.

And because of that, I have very much enjoyed this time with my wife, my buddy, my best friend, my partner, and my two new, small, nice-smelling (most of the time) buddies.

I have to say, though, that when I look back on the nine weeks I'll have spent at home, I think I'll be most disappointed by one immutable fact: I haven't read.


No books. I've barely skimmed a "Car & Driver", and I did so listlessly and in such a disconnected fashion I couldn't tell you if I read about the new Passat or about the new Porsche Cayman.

Forget about books-- I'm not sure I even know what a book looks like. I ordered "The Art of Gilbert & Sullivan" by Gayden (suppressed snicker) Wren to get Free Super Saver Shipping on something else and I fanned through it, instantly turned off by how Wren was overtly judging and critiquing Gilbert's product quality in the later operettas like "Utopia, Ltd" and "The Grand Duke", when Gayden Wren himself is responsible for one of the most regrettable stage productions ever, "A Gilbert & Sullivan Christmas Carol". Don't even get me started.

I couldn't read more than fifteen pages. It's on the shelf with the two-dozen other G&S related books and libretti and scores. Moo.

I don't read blogs anymore so, if you write a blog that I used to read, forgive me. I still love you, but I just... I don't know. I don't read anymore. You're probably doing something really awesomeballs that I don't know about because I don't read your blog anymore, but it's not that I'm too cool for school, it's that, I don't know. Maybe it's the sleep deprivation. I am writing portions of this blog with my eyes closed-- and I can do that thanks to my 6th grade typing teacher, Mrs. "F. J. Space" Dougherty who, in addition to being strict as a nun, was a world-renowned emetophobe. All you had to do to be excused from her typing class was say you felt sick to your stomach. You wouldn't be welcomed back for two weeks.

My sister-in-law told me, just after we'd had our children, that new parents' I.Q.s diminish by twenty points.

"So I suppose that means that parents of twins lose forty points," I said, surprising everyone in the recovery room that I could muster up that math after such a traumatic, intelligence quotient-lowering event.

"Probably," she surmised. "It's only temporary, though," she said, attempting reassurance.

But, how temporary? Like, when does it come back? And, does it come back gradually, like at a ratio of a point a year or something like that? I've never had an I.Q. test. I think, to get into the Challenge program in middle school you were required to take an I.Q. test, but my parents told me that was ridiculous and that they wouldn't sign the form, so I never got into the Challenge program and I never got an I.Q. test. Frankly, I'd be scared to take one. I know it doesn't hurt, but I don't like engaging in tests that reveal something about me. This is why I've never taken a "Cosmo Quiz". If I have puffy areolae or way too much in my purse, I'll let you know, damnit. The only exception the self-revelatory test aversion is the occupational aptitude test I took in high school-- I enjoyed that. Though I'm very sorry I never got to become a forest ranger.

I suppose I could read about forest rangers, though. You know, if I ever read again.

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