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I’m Somebody

on July 9, 2012
I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific. ~ Lily Tomlin

I’m a mom.  I’m used to being the “Somebody” at my house.  You know the “Somebody.” He or she is the person who responds to “Would Somebody help me find my shoes?”  “Somebody take out the trash!”  “Is Somebody going to answer the phone?”  Yeah…..that Somebody.  All moms are Somebodies. It comes with the job of motherhood. Somebody has to keep things running.  Somebody has to cook. Somebody has to do laundry and clean.  That doesn’t mean we mothers have to stay the Somebody forever. Nope – not at all.  The point is to work ourselves out of “Somebody Status.”   The older my children have gotten the more Somebodies we have in our house.   In fact, now I have “Somebody Elses” in my house.   I love Somebody Elses.  “I cooked, Somebody Else can do the dishes.”  or “I folded the laundry. Somebody Else can put it away.”   It’s a good feeling. I like having “Somebody Elses” in my life.  Well….I have them until I get to work anyway.

I was reminded again this morning how closely related motherhood and being the secretary at a church are.  I walked into the church kitchen and discovered a sink full of ants.  I mean FULL of ants. Why?  Because there was a koolaide covered spoon in the sink.  It had been left  yesterday by some one.  Some one who expected Somebody would clean it up for them.  Somebody will take care of that won’t they?  Somebody will wash that…I’m in a hurry.  I found the same thing two weeks ago except it was a cake covered fork.  And ants. Lots of ants. You’d think after twelve years I’d be used to finding messes that people expect “Somebody” to clean up.  I am. That’s the part that scares me the most I think.

Normally I am not bothered by small messes left here and there.  People do get busy.  They get distracted and forget to do things.  I can usually recite number twelve of my job description: “And all other tasks as assigned” (I really don’t like number twelve) and move on.  Usually.  Until I see a pattern forming.  Then, just like at home, the grumpy lady comes out.  Unfortunately I can’t stand in front of the congregation and say what I say to my kids when they get lazy, “May I remind you that this house didn’t come with a maid.  There are four of you and one of me.  Do the math.”  First of all there are way more than four of them. That kind of math hurts my head.  Second of all, the church DOES have a custodian.  A really great custodian.  He is also Somebody. He’s the “Somebody will take down that table” , “Somebody will take out that trash”, “Somebody will vacuum that up” person.  He’s honestly the “Somebody does more than anybody realizes” guy. He’s amazing and my job has been easier since he has been hired.  He, however, is also just one person.  Together we have to battle the “Somebody will get it” attitude of an entire church.  Makes me tired some days.

A few months ago I finally had a “Somebody Fit.”  For months I had been walking into the kitchen on Monday and Thursday mornings and found all sorts of dirty dishes waiting in the sink.  We have service on Sundays and Wednesdays. Again I understand that people get distracted. But every week?  Really?  The week of the fit I watched a teacher walk into the kitchen, place her kool-aide pitcher on the counter, turn around and walk out.  She had no intention of washing it out. “Somebody” would get it right?  I decided to wait and see.  The next morning I found six dirty pitchers, three half full of kool-aid, sitting on counters, three bowls with popcorn old maids soaking in the sink, a jar that had held salsa soaking in the other sink, various spoons and forks, two half full coffee carafes and a cutting board with I-don’t-want-to-know-what slime on it.  As I surveyed the wreck my blood began to boil.  I don’t let my children get away with this kind of laziness. Why should grown people get away with it? I did what I very seldom do.  I complained to my boss.  An e-mail went out and I’m happy to report that the kitchen has been very clean on Monday and Thursday mornings since then.  But I knew it wouldn’t last forever.

I’ve been conducting an experiment lately.  There was an event at our church two weeks ago.  An event that required the use of tablecloths.  It is emphatically known that if you are in charge of an event you are responsible for the clean-up after that event.  This includes laundering any kitchen linen you use for the event.  Someone from your kitchen clean up crew should take the little pop-up hamper home and wash whatever is in it.  Guess what I found in the little pop-up hamper this morning?  Still there after two weeks were the tablecloths waiting for “Somebody” to take them home and wash them.  I exterminated the ants and hauled the pop-up hamper to my vehicle while job description number twelve and Ephesians 6:6-8 rolled through my head.  In the overall perspective of life washing a few tablecloths isn’t such a big deal.  It’s annoying that they have been left sitting there for two weeks but I guess I’ll look at it as job security.  I’ll keep smiling.  Meanwhile, I may just invest in a new name tag:


5 responses to “I’m Somebody

  1. Humorous and exasperating (to a fellow mom and Somebody.) I could share, but you’ve already said it very well.

  2. ~Rose says:

    I have always hated #12 too…… seems to go along with whatever job you have though if you’re a “Somebody”…….. sigh! 😉

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