Joanne Palmer: Go ahead, take my day


Every seven minutes, someone's identity is stolen. So - why did they forget me? If anyone would like to be me, I'll gladly give you my social security number, checking account number, the keys to my house and my banged-up, 1995 Subaru with over 100,000 miles on it. Here's a sample of what you'll get.

6 a.m. Alarm goes off. I have every intention of getting up, I really do. My plan is to get up and write a brilliant essay - something my writer's group will love. It's just that it's autumn, it's cold and my son is in bed next to me due to a bad dream. I'm sure the clattering of the computer keyboard will disturb him, so I turn over and go back to sleep.

7:45 a.m. Holy Snap! We're late.

"Get up, Get up, Get up! We overslept. We have to hurry!"

"Not my fault," argues my son sleepily.

I rush downstairs and put the coffee on. My son demands chocolate chip waffles for breakfast. In my haste I pour the batter in before the waffle iron has heated up. Disaster! I make peanut butter toast for breakfast instead.

"Let's go! Eat in the car. You don't want a tardy slip."

"Why not?" he quips. "I had 30 last year."

"Never mind, we're late. Feed your hamster and brush your teeth."

Somehow I get a glob of peanut butter on my bedroom slipper. As I race around the house picking up toys, newspapers, garbage I leave a trail of peanut butter behind. There's peanut butter on the carpet. On the bathroom floor. Everywhere I've been there's a trail of peanut butter.

"Lick this up!" I yell to the dog.

As I throw in a load of laundry, a furry face pokes out from behind the dryer.

"Honey, I'll feed the hamster later. Let's go!"

8:19 a.m. The Subaru roars to life and I race to the elementary school.

"Bye. Love you once, love you twice, love you more than beans and rice." I sing.

"If you did you wouldn't send me here," grumbles my son slamming the door.

9 a.m. Nurse calls to report I have an irregular pap smear. That's all she knows. I have to wait to talk to the doctor.

"Am I dying or not?"

"Well, dear," she says in the saccharin voice all nurses seem to possess. "We're all dying. It's just a question of when."

9:09 a.m. Great. I may be dying, but I have work to do. I'm a property manager, which means I know codes to every garage in town. Code 1102: Wrap heat tape around exposed pipes in garage. On to the next house. Code: 1027. Shovel decks. Code 8686: Meet exterminator; feign interest in carpenter ants.

11:30 a.m. School nurse calls to inform me vision tests show my son is color blind.

12 p.m. Head to health food store. Buy organic potato chips, organic chocolate bar and organic ice cream.

1 p.m. Add chemicals to hot tub. Code 1828: Flush toilets, disinfect bathtub, notice mouse droppings on Travertine tile. Code 2323: Meet delivery men. Help haul in overstuffed chair and coach.

3:20 p.m. Pick up son and friend.

"Dude, we had a sub. She rocked! We watched a movie."

"Yeah, dude, my teacher is evil. Her hands are claws."

"Mom, do you know the Spanish word for penguin? Pingüino."

"Dude, can you show me how to get to Level 4 on Jack 6?"

"Mom, is God invisible? Like, am I ever going to see him?"

"Dude you have to, like, die first."

3:22 p.m. "Mom! Slow down. Don't run the red light." Hmmmm, color blind?

4-8 p.m. Clean up peanut butter, coax hamster back into cage, eat macaroni and cheese, load dishwasher, empty dryer, throw trash in dumpster, walk dog.

8:30 p.m. Read "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day."

9 pm. Set alarm. Lights out.

My social security number is 441-21-3388. Take it. It's all yours.

Joanne Palmer is a longtime Steamboat Springs resident. Contact her at (970) 846-5650 or


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