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Tales from the Motherhood: Busy schedule leads to inattention to detail

Published: Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

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Contrary to my claim in last week’s column, it seems my cable provider actually does have PBS in its lineup.

But of course. Yay! In other words, Holly and I can continue watching “Downton Abbey” without switching providers, watching it online or hunting up any more DVD’s (which we did because we caught the “Downton” bug two years after its debut).

After a consultation with a technology wizard – a.k.a. a teenager – I discovered that all I’d needed to do was use the search words “Masterpiece Theater” to find the series in the program guide. I struck-out when I searched for “Downton Abbey,” however, which led to my erroneous conclusion that we didn’t get PBS.

Of course, I merely could have read the channel guide the cable installer left behind when we switched providers last year, or paid closer attention when I hastily scrolled through the 500 channels looking for PBS, but what fun is that? Attention to detail apparently isn’t my strong suit.

I’ll never forget the time I walked into Target, for example, completely oblivious to the fact that I’d neglected to blend my under-eye concealer – that magic makeup that allows me to at least appear well-rested and better able to fake the fact that I have my act together.

So yeah, I had about five or six good-sized dabs dotted under each eye and a couple of other places – you know, to cover those funky freckles and age-spots, but I digress. Suffice it to say that it wasn’t until I’d shopped for more than 30 minutes, said hello to at least six people I knew (including a friend with whom I spoke for several minutes – and even hugged, for Pete’s sake!) and checked out at the register that I realized my faux pax.

No, it wasn’t until I glanced into the rear-view mirror as I backed out of my parking spot that I noticed the colony of whitish dots I’d left behind, no doubt when the traffic light turned green on my way to the Batavia Target.

I laughed so hard that tears rolled down my face (right over the dang concealer, in fact, which never budged.

I’m telling you, it’s good stuff), and then I wondered, what did my friend think? And what kind of friend is she, anyhow, that she didn’t say anything?

In her defense, perhaps she thought I had a skin condition or something. A condition, maybe, but it’s not on my face.

Geesh, had I been accompanied by my personal faux-pax police, a.k.a. my kids, this never would have happened.

They may not have witnessed this moment, but I know they’re on to me. Who knows what they’ll remember about their childhoods, about their crazy mom?

Holly gave me a hint a few days ago, after we finally got caught up with the current season of “Downton” online (at PBS.org).

“Hey, Mom,” she asked, “do you remember how in third grade we missed my parent - teacher conference because we were home printing out the lyrics to “Do Your Ears Hang Low?”

Seriously? What the heck?? “No way! I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I replied, laughing and hoping it wasn’t true. We did go through a phase of singing it quite often but...  “Yeah, when I got to school that morning Mr. Stanczak asked me where we were.” Uh oh. “But I remember going to that conference,” I said. 

“That was the make-up,” she explained.

Oops! Well, my apologies, Mr. Stanczak, but apparently we really needed those lyrics. Right then, at that very moment. Because when the spirit moves you to sing, it’s no good to stop at just one verse.

• Jennifer DuBose lives in Batavia with her husband, Todd, and their two children, Noah and Holly. Contact her at jenniferdubose@msn.com.

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