Sunday Routine | Beeswax Richards: A Laid-Off Editor Who Likes Club Soda in Her Carlo Rossi

by Sarah Amandolare


Beeswax Richards, 34, the former assistant editor of a flailing environmental website, used to go for long bike rides on Sundays with her husband. But now, she feels too guilty to indulge in “leisure time,” and instead devotes free hours to her ongoing job search, and to her pets: a German Shepard named Delia, aged 9, and a yet-unnamed kitten who turned up on the doorstep of her home in Saugerties, NY. Ms. Richards and her husband, Paul, met on a Metro North train to Manhattan twelve years ago. After they married, the couple endured a brief stint in Queens before relocating to Saugerties, where Delia has room to run.

CORNFLAKE WAKE-UP CALL Paul is a great cook-he used to pack these fantastic turkey sandwiches for us to bring to work in the city-but we’ve cut back. We used to eat pancakes on Sunday mornings, but Bisquick goes too quick (ha ha!) and the homemade version takes up too much time (time is money, Paul says) so we’ve settled on Cornflakes. Stop n’ Shop brand is quite similar to the real thing, and with bananas you really can’t tell the difference. When I hear the crackling of the box and subsequent clatter of cornflakes tumbling into bowls, well, I know it’s time to get up and face the day.

THE COMPUTER It would be grand to spend a day away from my dented Dell laptop, but time is money! Paul still commutes into Manhattan for work, doing some sort of administrative thing that pays all right, but laments every night that his boss ignores him and that layoffs must be imminent. He gives me “the look” when I say he shouldn’t worry about it; it’s the same look he gives me when I discuss wanting children! Well… I’m only 34! Anyway, I settle into my home office, a corner of the room I’d hoped would be a playroom for the kids. Delia likes to curl up at my feet. God knows where the kitten is. Paul wanted to keep her.


ANTIQUING Saugerties is known for its antiques shops, but clearly we’re in no position to purchase anything old. Nonetheless, after a few hours on Craigslist and Mediabistro, and after perusing the want-ads in the Poughkeepsie Journal (nary a thing worth responding to, usually, as even the waitress positions have dried up), I change into an old sundress and flip-flops, put Delia on the leash and shove off for a blissful half-hour of window-shopping. I walk alongside the weekending Manhattan residents sometimes, just to feel like I’m part of their world. They seem so relaxed!

THE DELI Paul usually meets up with us halfway into the walk. He’ll be holding two cups of coffee from the deli and a danish that we split. It’s things like this that convince me our marriage can survive my “temporary work hiatus”-that’s what we call it after a few glasses of Carlo Rossi Sangria. You know, I’d been skeptical of the Rossi-it reminded me of high school-but with some apples and club soda it’s really not bad!

My little sister Abby lives in Brooklyn and is sort of my hero. She bartends and does indoor composting, which I’ve tried and failed at, mostly because Paul couldn’t stand the sight of the worms. A similar thing happened when I tried harvesting honey, which obviously required beekeeping (I didn’t get this nickname for nothing!). He just doesn’t understand the concept of DIY and it drives me bonkers! I mean, really, we can’t afford not to take control of our nutritional needs and destinies at this point! Anyway, on Sundays Abby and I talk about the guys she’s sleeping with and how her artwork is going (she went to Pratt), and I tell her about my job prospects or lack thereof, and about my ongoing flirtation with the owner of one of the antiques shops in town-he’s sort of a silver fox, but I’d never go there (I think?!).

FILING TIME Sunday is my designated day to file unemployment claims, so I get that out of the way in the late afternoon. Then I start on a round of emails. I try to keep in touch with old colleagues, professors and well-connected former lovers. Whatever works!


LAWN MOWING To avoid melting, Paul waits until early evening to mow the lawn. He’s usually very careful about avoiding my vegetable garden (mostly cucumbers) and my patch of Astilbes and Bleeding Hearts-our yard has a great little shaded area-but last week he recklessly took out two plants and let the kitten roll around in the plot. We got into a small spat. He doesn’t always understand how seriously I take the garden; I was editor of an environmental website for goodness sake. Grist almost fucking hired me last month, but then the job went to some hot hipster with a CSA membership.

NIGHTLY READING Sue, the next-door neighbor, comes by around 8 p.m. to loan us her Sunday Times– God knows we can’t afford to buy our own copy. I retreat to bed and read for a few hours-Paul joins me and complains about Maureen Dowd’s predictable punch lines. Before turning out the light I always realize that I’ve been biting my nails all week, and that if I’m called in for an interview someday, the sight of my hands could keep me from getting the job. The kitten curls up between us, and Paul snores while I lay awake, contemplating moving in with Abby.

Sarah Amandolare is a writer from New York living in Prague. The ‘Sunday Routine’ column gave her a new reason to dread Sundays.

Flickr photos (in order) by daniela.magallon, Dano Izumi and Qfamily.