It’s the final countdown, the holy homestretch of however many days I have left to stumble down the stairs, feel around for the coffee pot and attempt to brew a fresh pot of orange juice.

I’m ready for summer.

Not really. Ready would imply I’ve made plans or something vaguely resembling a schedule, that I have swimsuits and sunscreen and lots and lots of sedatives to get me through an entire summer of my kids complaining that they’re bored, they’re hot or that our house smells like a citrus tree spontaneously combusted in our kitchen.

There are nine days of school left and I’m basically planless. Typically this would bother me. Typically, by the end of May/beginning of June, I’d be scrambling to fill every last hour of every last day on the calendar so that I wouldn’t have to hear one more ImboredmommomI’msoboredwhencanwegetapoolcanwegetapoolmommomI’msohotisithotinhereandwhydoesitalwayssmelllikeoranges.

But to be honest, I’m looking forward to doing nothing or maybe not nothing but a fraction of the ‘It’s all fun in the sun till someone comes home looking like they’ve just had a chemical peel because surprise, surprise I forgot the sunscreen again’ activities. Like Botox, I’ve never actually experienced the pleasure of having my skin peeled off but can only imagine it’s a whole lotta pain for gain, kinda like math homework.

Can I just say — and I don’t know how your middle schooler is — but watching my daughter navigate the world of distributive properties has left me little choice but to change my name to Constance and enroll in the witness protection program.

They relocated me to a top-secret, super remote location so in case anyone is looking for me my coordinates are the linen closet.

We have a concerning amount of pillowcases in case you were wondering. BTW, does anyone actually fold fitted sheets? Seriously, who has the time anymore? Especially when Doug from the Commercial Vehicle Repair Center is calling with an important message about my warranty and some vital information that will undoubtedly end with a request to wire money somewhere off the Gulf of Mexico.

I admire Doug’s persistence, really I do. Extracting social security and bank account numbers from unsuspecting housewives can’t be easy, but Doug, rest assured your days are numbered. I know where you live and I’m bringing you something and no, it’s not a fruit basket or a citrus-flavored coffee pot. It’s something far greater, something that will give you hope or at least the knowledge that someone else is even more deranged than you are, and listen I don’t know, Doug, if you get your summers off or if the good people at the Commercial Vehicle Repair Center have you holed up in a hut somewhere with a bunch of other Dougs subsisting on burnt coffee and monthly quotas, but regardless, I want you to know what an inspiration you are to me … to all of us. So when you’re sure you just can’t take it one more day or when you feel like life (or maybe the linen closet) is getting you down, don’t despair (or wire money to Tampico). This one’s for you, my friend.

Lesley Kirschner’s Countdown to a Citrus Free Coffee Pot AKA The Doug-less Days of Summer

(Inspired by Cider Mill’s Countdown)

  • June 14 — Compliment Day: Pat yourself on the back. No, really, literally and preferably in public. Tell yourself loudly and in the third person what a bang-up job you’re doing. Later, get out of your parked car when the mom behind you in the drop-off line leans on her horn, looking beyond vexed that your daughter decided to take this exact moment to have a full-blown crisis over some missing lip balm while you hold up the entire car queue. Please, take a bow thanking her and anyone within earshot, letting them know that you’ll “be here all week.”
  • June 15 — Mismatch Day: Pour yourself a generous glass of something sinful, put your feet up and take a moment to recall all of the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad blind dates, sideways set-ups and matchless matches you had the pleasure of putting up with over the years. Call Doug at the Commercial Vehicle Repair Center to make sure he has all of their phone numbers on speed dial.
  • June 16 — Superhero Day: Don a cape. This should preferably be red in color and cut from the finest satin but your kitchen table cloth, a beach towel or one of those pillowcases are all perfectly acceptable also. Wear it proudly in the knowledge that if you cut sandwiches into the shapes of stars, take a preteen bra shopping or negotiate a nightly curfew with anyone between the ages of 13 and 18, no further explanation of your superhero powers is required.
  • June 17 — Build a Fort Day: Head for the hills or maybe the Hilton. Bring the vital essentials only — Vicodin, some Absolut Mango Mule (don’t attempt these in combination), and a few dozen Hostess Cupcakes. Don’t forget a large pair of sunglasses to wear when you introduce yourself in an ambiguously indistinguishable accent as Anastasia, pronounced On-a-stay-zee-a. If anyone asks where you’re from just say, “here and there” or tell them you have a lot of properties, distributive ones. Leave no trace.
  • June 20 — Pajama Day: Roll out of bed and stumble down the stairs wearing something flannel, waffle knit or proudly displaying penguins. Rock this look all day. Brew a fresh pot of orange juice. You got this, girl.
  • June 21 — Quiet Day: Follow these instructions carefully: purchase a pair of cheap earplugs from CVS, and insert them. You’re welcome.

Columnist Lesley Kirschner grew up quiet, in the woods, and devoid of siblings so her hobbies quickly became reading, writing, and talking to inanimate objects. She also spent a considerable amount of time doing voice-overs for her dolls and watching too much daytime television–channel 3, sometimes channel 8, if the weather was good and the antenna wasn’t acting up. She was in attendance at school, graduated from a very much not notable college not worth mentioning, and was transplanted to Wilton with her husband, Ambler Farm‘s Farmer Jonathan and their (baby makes) three children almost a decade ago. Although she never quite found her calling in life, other than perhaps the doll voice-overs, which in hindsight were eerily convincing, she’s happy to try her hand at writing and is thankful for the support and community she found on Facebook’s Buy Nothing Wilton. Lesley realizes while this is all very exciting, she’s not winning a Pulitzer so she’ll wrap it up and be quiet. She’s had a lot of practice.