I am off today; it's not REALLY a good thing because we need money, oh god do we ever need money, but it's KIND of a good thing as my back and my lungs are just DONE. I've been coughing like a TB case and have a groaning expiratory wheeze in a minor key going on that's not the least bit cute; my back isn't that bad right now in and of itself (it's the normal "working on my feet for twelve hours at a time given What Ails Me bad," not the "fuck you string cheese" bad) but gets wrenched every time I cough, so...yeah. I went straight from bed into a hot bath, with mentholated epsom salts in, and was JUST starting to be able to a) breathe and b) cough productively without crying when the phone rang.
"Hello Mrs. XY, this is Dumber-than-a-box-of-hammers Clinician calling from Local Elementary School. Middle Child has diarrhea. HE NEEDS TO GO HOME."
I have told everyone at the elementary school time and again that I prefer Ms. MS, people! I am not Mrs. XY any longer. They all know this because they all have the custody order that is part of the final decree of divorce on file, and were around during the Protective Order phase of the marital dissolution. PLUS I HAVE TOLD THEM ALL THAT I PREFER MS., OMG WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO PRINT IT ON A SHIRT? I got out of the tub, ranting to Hotter about the inherent misogyny of the English language. He unhelpfully pointed out that there are words like Madame and Senora and such and therefore it's not JUST the English language. I peevishly pointed out that I only speak and hold an advanced degree in ENGLISH and so I therefore do not give two fucks about the others (not actually 100% true, but I was not my most all-inclusively fabulous self, okay?). We agreed that Hotter would go into the school and I would sit in the car braless in my cowgirl t-shirt coughing with my dripping hair.
Hotter and I headed for the elementary school. On the way there, we stopped at the bank. The car ahead of us was a Mercedes with personalized plates reading "MRS ___." I went apeshit. "YOU SEE THAT? SHE IS PART OF THE PROBLEM, OMG. I SWEAR I AM GOING TO START GOING BY YOUR LAST NAME JUST TO END THE MRS. XY-ING!" I ranted. "Then they'd prolly call you Ms. Hotter," Hotter pointed out.
At the school, I sent Hotter in. Then he came out alone. "I don't have my driver's license," he said, "and they said they don't recognize me." Hotter is on the list of people approved to pick my children up from school, and I am quite sure Middly greeted him happily by name. I realize these policies are in place for a reason, but this morning I am NOT REASONABLE.
I stalked into the school, coughing and wearing a wet cowgirl-flipping-the-double-screaming-eagle t-shirt. "Hi there Mrs. XY, we just need to see ID from anyone picking up a child," said the front desk lady. I slapped my license down on the counter. The clinician came over and glared at me. She still hasn't forgiven me for all the hours she (as a non-nurse) lost while Little Child needed daily tube-feeds (which meant that an actual nurse had to be on premises). I glared right back.
On the way home we passed a marquee board in front of Local High School reading "COGRATULATIONS GRADUATING SENIORS!" I weep.
The real kicker is that our rent check is going to bounce over a matter of $26. The XY owes me $40. I covered an expense he was supposed to take care of for the children so that they wouldn't go without needed medical care, and THIS IS WHY I AM SO VERY RIGID ABOUT NOT DOING HIM ANY FAVORS. Every once in a while, usually when it's to the children's benefit, I cave to the pressure of various well-meaning parties (Hotter included) who don't TRULY understand how the XY is. And then I hate myself for it, especially when the rent check is going to bounce and a kid is missing an end-of-the-year party because I don't have the $10 fee for him to participate.
I really hate myself today.