My Electronic Co-Worker Has My Back…Usually

My calendar reassures me that I have everything under control.  It sends me electronic nudges that make me a better mother (NO CHESS CLUB TODAY), better friend (FRANCINE’S BIRTHDAY), and better writer (SUBMISSIONS OPEN FOR_____MAGAZINE).

I have a shared calendar with my ex-husband to manage the children’s’ overly-full schedule (RED), another shared calendar for the Debutante Ball (PURPLE), holidays and other things Google has decided I need to know about (BLUE) and my own private calendar (GREEN) for everything-fucking-else. Looking at it calms me.

Putting things in my calendar is my super power—remembering things is not.  My calendar is like my co-worker, and just like a co-worker IRL, sometimes they don’t show up when you need them to.

Last week, my son had a dentist appointment. I saw it in my calendar the night before, and thought, hmmm. Dentist. That’s cool. I should remember that. I didn’t bother to write it on my hand or leave a post-it note on the front door because my calendar had my back. I knew it would remind me.


I went about my day writing stories, emptying the dishwasher, taking naps, letting the dog out, ensuring the fridge was stocked with things my children would actually eat and that also contained some amount of nutritive value…oh heck, I have no idea what I did, but those are all things I do often so it’s a safe bet that I did at least some of them.  I even remembered to pick the children up from school at the appropriate times. (They have various activities on various days and I’m always afraid I’ll screw up and go get one of them late.)

Suddenly my phone rang—DENTIST calling. To steal a word from my ex-husband, shiza. My electronic coworker had forgotten to nag me. No email, no text, and no reminder buzz. Nothing. It hung me out to dry, apparently expecting me to actually remember something for 18 hours on my own. It obviously over-estimated my abilities.

Look, I can understand the calendar going on strike. After all, most of the time, I don’t greet its pop-up notifications with expressions of joy. But if it had forwarded me a demand list ahead of time, I would have been happy to renegotiate its contract. After all, my book release is in less than 30 days and I need that calendar more than ever.

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Lara Lillibridge sings off-beat and dances off-key. She writes a lot, and sometimes even likes how it turns out. Her memoir, Girlish, available for preorder on Amazon, is slated for release in February 2018 with Skyhorse Publishing. Lara Lillibridge is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College’s MFA program in Creative Nonfiction. In 2016 she won Slippery Elm Literary Journal’s Prose Contest, and The American Literary Review's Contest in Nonfiction. She has had essays published in Pure Slush Vol. 11, Vandalia, and Polychrome Ink; on the web at Hippocampus, Crab Fat Magazine, Luna Luna, Huffington Post, The Feminist Wire, and Airplane Reading, among others. Read her work at

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