Mary Steer's snapshot of middle class domestic life will ring hauntingly true with busy couples everywhere.
Get dressed in eye-catching outfit. Fail to catch husband's eye. Nag kids. Get kids up. Get newspaper. Momentarily get lost in headlines. Rule out Europe and Middle East as potential places to escape to. Nag kids. Get kids dressed. Get breakfast. Fight with husband. Referee kids fighting. Pack lunches, leaving out the strychnine again.
Get kids to school. Pick up mail. Shred postcard from husband's sister ("Having a blast in Bali!").
Tidy kitchen. Run dishwasher. Make beds. Second coffee. Skim newspaper. Contemplate travel section. Pay special attention to colour feature on Jamaica. Empty dishwasher. Phone mother. Listen. Daydream about glistening Rastafarian black men in bikini briefs and wraparound shades bearing ganja.
Call father-in-law. Check email. Search YouTube for Harry Belafonte music videos. Find Banana Boat Song. Watch. Notice time. Nag self.
Vacuum. Dust. Make lunch. Eat lunch. Prep dinner. Tidy kitchen again. Find electronic boyfriend. Enjoy. Put electronic boyfriend back in hiding place. Consider possibilities inherent in finding real flesh-and-blood boyfriend.
Walk dog. Get kids from school. Feed kids snack. Prevent kids from using food as ammunition. Schlep daughter to ballet. Schlep son to karate. Schlep both home. Get dinner on. Apologize to husband for morning altercation. Wait for return apology. Keep waiting. Revisit daydream of Rasta man.
Dinner. Referee kids fighting. Fantasize about emptying serving dishes over heads of family. Clear table as normal instead. Nag kids. Homework. Feed fish. Wonder briefly if perhaps neon tetras come from Caribbean Sea. Feed dog. Turn off fish tank light. Nag kids. Get kids' teeth brushed. Nag kids. Get kids' teeth flossed. Nag kids. Get kids into pyjamas. Read bedtime stories, refraining once again from choosing Fifty Shades of Grey or The Shining. Turn out lights.
Go downstairs. Tidy kitchen one last time. Run dishwasher again. Make tea. Take cup to husband as further peace offering. Join husband in front of television. Sip and slurp with him in one moment of perfect togetherness made possible only by lack of conversation. Get kids back into bed.
Rejoin husband in front of television. Wake husband. Try to open discussion about relationship. Get damn kids back in bed again. Rejoin husband. Watch husband slumber, slack-jawed and drooling, snoring, eyes twitching and rolling. Decide not to attempt to wake husband again.
Let dog out. Let dog back in. Brush teeth. Floss teeth. Curl up in bed. Look up couples counselling on cell phone. Change mind. Look up travel agents on cell phone. Add "book ticket" and "find passport" and "pack" to to-do list for tomorrow. Put light out. Try to fall asleep. Dream of the future.