Bo Derek Sings The Gambler

Last Wednesday Mark got the all-clear from the doctor: no more pneumonia!  The second round of antibiotics worked, happily.  Sadly, less than two days later he caught his brother’s minor cold, and Friday night I lay awake, listening to him cough relentlessly.  Each thing I did for him – propping him up with pillows, giving him hard candies to suck on, administering sips of water – were completely ineffective until exhaustion took over and he finally fell asleep.  Not so me.  I stared at the ceiling thinking with great nostalgia about the two or three cough-free days.  Remember the night he didn’t cough?  That was great.  It didn’t help that I – with tremendously bad timing – had just reread Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro, in which the main character dies of pneumonia.  The line “Her lungs were ravaged by pneumonia” kept running through my head, like my mind was actually a broken record.  Cough cough cough.

When I finally fell asleep I had a bizarre dream that I went to my hair appointment and my hair therapist put my hair in cornrows.  How exotic!  My little braids would blow in the wind, the beads clicking together softly.  I woke up completely disoriented, and then I actually did go to my hair appointment.  I did not get cornrows, but I did get two inches cut off, which is extreme and wild for me, although possibly not noticeable to the average person. 

I have a busy week of volunteer work ahead of me.  When Jake made a “hug book” for Mother’s Day, on the page describing what I like to do was written “My mom likes to bak and volntr.”  That is, bake and volunteer.  Depressingly enough, that pretty much sums up my life.  Over coffee, my best friend – a mother of four and former teacher – shook her head over my commitment to be the chair of the school council.  “Wow,” she said, “You are going to need a LOT of wine to get through that.”  Exactly.

On the upside to volunteering is that I was invited to our community Volunteer Appreciation Night, taking place next Friday.  I went last year, and ended up winning a giant set of French White Corningware, which I drunkenly walked home with.  A friend won a plaster lawn ornament in the shape of a bear cub lying on a log, and with that variety of door prizes there is NO WAY I am going to miss this night.  My husband, strangely enough, is not overly interested in attending with me, so instead I am going with a girlfriend.  After I RSVP’d, I received the information that this year, not only is there going to be a DJ and a dance, but there is going to be a karaoke machine!  Karaoke!  I promised my girlfriend I would not sing (although if The Gambler is available ALL BETS ARE OFF) but I am giddy with anticipation – who IS going to use the karaoke machine?  Will it be a hockey dad or a soccer mom?  Will it be someone on the community newsletter committee?  Will it be the sole elderly man in the Scrabble club?  I really cannot wait.

It reminds me of the Christmas party I attended at the economics department when I was a grad student there.  For reasons that have never been satisfactorily explained, there was a karaoke machine.  One of my professors sang an astonishingly terrible rendition of Me and Bobby McGee, and I was never able to look at him the same afterwards.  Who, at the Volunteer Appreciation Night, will be that person whom no one can look in the eye afterwards?  I really hope it’s not me.


  1. Are you going to Dan Band the Gambler? You got to know when to FUCKIN’ hold’em, and when to FUCKIN’ fold’em, know when to walk away and know when to FUCKIN’ run…” Because that would be AWESOME!

    (Let’s not dwell on the fact that I know all of the lyrics to ALL of Kenny Rogers’ songs, okay? Thanks. Bye.)

  2. May you win a great prize and sing well.


  3. K has a horrible cough and I spent all of last night thinking of pneumonia too! Boy these are the fun times aren’t they?

  4. Yep, you’re definitly going to need wine.

  5. I love Nan (presumably we spent our formative years listening to the same Kenny Rogers 8-track). That’s nice that your volunteer appreciation night is actually good. I always skip the volunteer breakfast now – the food is good but I always just feel AWKWARD. Oh, right, you walked home drunkenly. Clearly the volunteer breakfast needs BOOZE.

  6. LOVE your post title. I have a real weakness for a snappy title. I celebrate them with chocolate.

    Your volunteer thank-you event is radically different than ours, which features grabbing a potluck breakfast in the 15 minutes you have between arriving at school and getting your kids to class. Prizes? Alcohol? I feel totally gypped!

    And I am amazed you will be PTA queen next year. I used to aspire to the position but the politics freaked me out. I’d love to hear how it goes next year – restore my faith in the PTA!

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