Wednesday, February 28, 2007
I'm debating on when I should make my grand re-entrance to the gym.
On the one hand, the gym is good. I can go there and they have more equipment than I do at home. For example, they have a pool whereas I have a standard size bathtub and I just can't swim in that. Also, I'm paying for the gym and it makes me very twitchy to pay for something and not use it.
On the other hand, the gym sucks. Hard.
I joined a gym in 2005. It was close to my house, a mere few minutes away. It was a women's only gym.The "trainers" were more like normal people. My trainer was ever so slightly chubby, which made me happy in a kind of perverse way. They would weigh and measure me on a scheduled basis and then ring a big happy bell if I lost weight. Everyone would stop what they were doing and cheer for me really loudly. While I was working out, all the employees would walk around and say hello to me and ask how I was, ask how the kids are, and so on. We became "friends", in a way.
One day in early 2006, I went to the gym to find the door locked. There was a large sign on the door that said the gym was closed and we could all go to one of the two other locations.
Neither of the other locations were close to my house. And since about 200 or so members got shuffled they became really, really crowded.
But I made due. I had a class two days a week on that side of town so I would go to the gym before and after class. I got to know the people there and the regulars. It became good again. I could work it in.
Then? You guessed it. They closed both of those locations too.
So, I got a letter saying, "Guess what! Cause we suck and all, we've decided to automatically make you a member of this OTHER gym! It's a big gym! It has a pool! You'll totally love it!"
Except, yeah. Not so much.
It's not close to my house. It's not FAR from my house, so to speak, but it's not close. Plus, it's on a really busy highway. I already drive with a healthy fear for my life and that location just scares the bejesus out of me.
Moreover, there are men there.
Okay, I love men. I live with one man and one boy who will become a man and they rock. My office mate is a man and he rocks. I have no problem with men in general, whatsoever.
Except? When they get really stinky and sweaty and sit on the exercise bike with their arms raised in the air like they are freaking Rocky Balboa and everyone in the treadmills behind them has to SMELL THEM. (And really...why? WHY do you do that? Why? What purpose does it serve to force everyone to smell your stinky pits?)
Except also? When men get really territorial about "their" machine? To wit, once at 5:30am I was going to get on the treadmill and this man, who was probably less than thirty years old, YELLED AT ME and told me "DIDN'T I KNOW ANYTHING!?!!? THAT IS HIS TREADMILL!"
Oddly, his name wasn't on it. Even more oddly? There were 8 other free treadmills.
But whatever. I gave him a particularly withering look and got on another one. Five thirty in the morning is early. I can't fight anyone then.
Also? This one time I tried to hold the door open for an old man and he snapped at me. Because I was trying to be nice and his hands were full. The door would have literally hit him in the face, and maybe that wouldn't have been a bad thing. Perhaps it would have knocked some sense into him.
There are no trainers there ringing bells for me. I've never even seen any bells.
I know I shouldn't be such a freaking child and care about things like that, but it matters. Losing weight is hard. Getting up early to exercise is hard. Exercising at any time on any kind of regular schedule is hard.
It should be celebrated.
Unless your pits stink and you think you are Rocky. In that case, celebrate at home.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Oh my frog. No kidding!
When I was pregnant no one could really tell I was pregnant. I wore my regular jeans until 2 weeks before I gave birth. Plus, I spent a lot of time walking up and down the hall of my house and very little time out in public or whatever, so really a lot of people didn't know I was pregnant.
Anyway, once I gave birth it was like every freak came out of the woodwork and wanted to a) talk to me, b) be my best friend forever and c) hold my baby.
I found I really enjoy messing with people.
My babies were so small that they would both fit into one infant car seat. Of course I wouldn't let them ride in the car like that, but if I had to go to the store, I would take one infant out of one seat and place them next to the one in the other seat. Then I only had to carry one. It made my life a lot easier. If I had to run into a store, I would toss a blanket over them so they could sleep and run in and get my milk or whatever.
I would set the carrier in my buggy and try not to talk to anyone, but it didn't stop anyone from talking to me. Once an elderly lady really really really REALLY wanted to engage me in conversation because she really wanted to get a look at my baby. In the nicest way possible I said, "Shhh...baby's sleeping." She stuck her head down INTO THE CART. I restrained myself from knocking her out. I think there is a law against bitch slapping senior citizens. Or something. Suddenly two little feet popped out of the blanket. She was beside herself and started tickling
the feet. And then, a third foot popped out. Grandma almost passed out. I smiled at her. She said, "Oh my!" and practically ran to the produce aisle.
It was a great day.
I also found that people feel it is well within their right to ask you insane and wildly inappropriate questions. Among the best:
1) Are they identical?
No. He has a penis. She has a vagina. Therefore they are not identical.
2) Is he black? Do they have the same father?
Twins, people. TWINS. Maybe you can't tell they are twins NOW that they are almost nine. But really, when you are lugging about two infants? They pretty much have to be your very own babies or else you have a death wish.
A lady in Wal-Mart once insisted to me that she "seen on the Dateline NBC that twins can have two different fathers!" and I said, "Well mine don't lady!"
Okay and Boy Child has a nice tan. For the love of God.
3) Is one of them evil?
No, they both are. Thanks for asking!
4) Are you breast feeding? Why not?
Explain to me please, how my breasts are any of your business? A twenty-year old guy at the Health Department asked me this and was really interested in my answer. Go ahead. Throw up in your mouth a little. I know I did.
5) Do you love one of them more than another?
Well of course! Doesn't every mother have one kid that they love more than the others? I mean, seriously, I was planning on feeding Girl Child to the wolves when she gets to be ten.
GOOD LORD PEOPLE. GOOD. LORD.
6) Can I hold one?
Why certainly, individual who looks like they haven't washed their hands in fifteen years and might possibly be a mass murderer! Please let me hand you the most prized possession I have on this earth! That would certainly be a fantastic idea. While I'm at it, why don't I give you my credit cards and social security number for safekeeping?
7) Was it hard?
Nah. I look like this on purpose.
Monday, February 26, 2007
Why is the name of your blog, “Jason. For the love of God.”? What does that even mean?
Generally it means my husband is doing something annoying. Like, when I would try to do homework, back when I was in college (you know, three months ago) and he would decide to wrestle with the dog. Or when I was trying to do a workout video and suddenly it was ESSENTIAL that he and I discussed our future together. Or when I get on the phone and suddenly he is extremely interested in me, when five minutes before he didn’t know I was in the room?
At those times I look at him and say, “Jason. (Cause, you know, his name is Jason) For the love of God.”
He then knows not to mess with me.
Why is it the name of my blog? Who the crap knows? I couldn’t think of anything else funny or witty. Have you noticed that many, many blogs have the same name as someone else’s blog? I don’t think anyone else has a blog with the same name as mine.
Also, I’m kind of snarky. So it works.
You say you live in the South. But where do you really live? You don’t “sound” like someone from the South.
Okay, let me just assure you, and you can confirm this with my friend here. I do indeed sound quite Southern when you talk to me. I don’t even want to shake my accent. I like my accent. I don’t go around saying “ain’t” and “you’uns” or whatever. But I have an accent and I’m quite fine with it. Do I write like a Southerner? How does a Southerner write exactly?
I’ve said before in my 100 things post that I’m a Tennessee born and raised girl. I moved to North Carolina in 1998 and by the grace of God got back to Tennessee in 2004. (No offense to my North Carolina friends and readers, I just had a lot of issues there) I sincerely doubt that I will live in Tennessee the rest of my life. Moving somewhere else would be fine with me.
How old are you really? You write like you are sixteen.
My birthday is October 15th, 1975. This makes me 31 in case you can’t do math in your head like me.
I guess you think I sound like I’m sixteen because I use words like “totally” a lot.
I’m totally okay with that.
Neener, neener, neener!
Do you really meet all these crazy people or are you just a good storyteller?
Both, actually! Thanks for asking.
Honestly, I don’t know if I’m just a complete magnet for the insane or if I just have the unique ability to pick out the insanity in people. I really don’t know. But these really are the people I meet on a daily basis. These really are people I have dated. These really are conversations I have. If they find me or I find them, I don’t know. They just happen.
Do you think you might be bi-polar? One day you seem really happy and funny and the next day you seem depressed.
I don’t know.
I mean, seriously. I don’t know. There’s a history of that in my family, so maybe? I’ve never been diagnosed with it, never felt like I had it, but you, my reader who has never met me, clearly knows more about the situation than I do.
I do know for a fact that I have a serious hormone imbalance. Which explains my sixty-one day period (and counting!) and my inability to get pregnant and all that. Maybe we could just blame it on that instead. I don’t really need anything else going on.
I love your blog. Will you be my friend? Can I add you to my blogroll?
Heck yeah! Tell your mom and them I said, “Whassup!”
How much do you weigh? How much weight are you trying to lose?
I weigh twifty-eleven pounds.
I’m trying to get down to twifty.
Good Lord, people. Didn’t your momma tell you it’s not nice to talk about how much a woman weighs?
I’ll say this. As of this morning, I weigh 12 pounds less than I did on January 19th. Maybe when I get to my goal weight, I’ll tell you how much I’ve lost and you can back it out in your head or on a calculator if you so desire. For today, I’m not saying.
That’s all the questions I have time for today. Thanks for asking!
Sunday, February 25, 2007
However, some of the comments I got made me stop and think about why I would even write such a thing in the first place.
First of all, my children are only eight years old. They are nowhere near being ready to date anyone, much less entertain thoughts of marriage (however, for some reason, the boy seems to think about his future wife a lot). I do think, however, that they are old enough to recognize marriage and what is a good and/or bad marriage. I also think they are old enough to recognize what a family is and what will, for us, constitute a family.
Before the two of them were born I would lay in bed at night and think. I thought a lot about my future and about how I would have to raise them on my own for at least a while and just how scary that was for me. At the time I had never done anything on my own, not really. I went to college, but it was a local school. I had gotten a job on my own, but it wasn't a good job. I had bought a house but the house was in both my name and my ex-husband's name. I'd never done anything really important on my own.
I also thought about the fact that I would meet someone else. That someone else would fall in love with me. And that I would eventually get remarried. My first husband's claims that I was unlovable did not ring true. I knew that someone would love me again.
To that extent, I dreamed about the family that I would marry into. I dreamed about them loving me and loving my children and I dreamed about finally having the family I always wanted. I wanted my children to have grandparents. They have my parents, of course, and my parents adore them, but I wanted them to have more. I wanted more for me too. I wanted a family. A big, loving family to surround me. To be interested in me and want to know more about me.
Of course I married a man who's mother never accepted me, much less loved me. Who honestly believes that her son married me because he feels sorry for me. Who thought of my precious children as "baggage" and treated them like second class citizens. Things didn't even remotely work out the way I dreamed of. Since my husband is more than I dreamed of I consider it a fair trade. But still.
I have tried, many times over the past seven years, to attempt to understand her point of view. True, her son is a wonderful person. True, I am not Christy Turlington. There are other women who have loved her son and other women that I'm certain she feels would have made a better wife to him. Probably those women have working ovaries and don't have periods that last more than sixty days at a time and can give her grandchildren that don't need glasses.
Still, we love each other and have a really good life together. A life she knows nothing about because she is not a part of it.
Not very long ago my son, who is a thoughtful little fellow, said to me (out of the blue):
"Mom, when I get married, my wife will be a part of our family, right?"
I assured him that yes, of course, his wife would be part of our family.
He then said,
"And when I have children, you will be their grandma. And you will love them and they will part of our family. Right?"
I assured him that of course, I would adore his children and they would be shining stars in our family.
"So why doesn't dad's mom treat us like we're part of their family?"
I explained to him, as best I could, that sometimes people don't understand the way we want them too and that unfortunately she doesn't understand what our family is. She doesn't understand that we are a good family and that we love one another and that dad is their dad, even if he's not their biological father. That just because mom doesn't conform to what she thought was the right thing for her son, that it's not up to her to decide what's best for him. That she raised daddy to be a strong, capable, independent person and he made a decision which has turned out to be a very good decision for him and unfortunately she can't see it.
I went on to explain that I would love his wife, because I trust him. Because I really do my best to raise him right and when he grows up and finds someone that he loves enough to marry, I will trust him. Even if she's been divorced four times and has twelve children, I will trust him. Because I trust myself to raise him right.
He seemed very pleased with this news and he then told me that he couldn't wait until my sister had her twins this summer. Because that means that we have a bigger family and, "The best thing is a family."
That is why it's hard for me. Because he's so good. He's so kind. He's such a really amazing kid. It IS difficult for me to see that someday he'll fall in love with a woman and she will be his wife.
But I'm raising him so that I will trust him.
And I trust myself, to be a good momma to him and to raise him to make the best choices. Even if they aren't ones that look shiny and perfect to me.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
In the Jessica Simpson song, "Public Affair" I would almost swear she says the following:
"All the girls steppin' out for a public affair!
All night that's right, 'cause the party don't stop!
All the CAMELS steppin' out for a public affair!"
And then some more crap I can't really understand.
Why would she sing about camels?
Are my ears REALLY that clogged?
Am I just to darn old for Jessica Freaking Simpson?
I really need to know this.
Friday, February 23, 2007
Anyway. I asked the kids what they want to be when they grow up. The answer varies by the day of the week. Generally, Girl Child says she wants to be a writer. She stuck with that this time and wore her normal jeans and long sleeve t-shirt. She carried a notepad, a pen, and two books. Knowing Girl Child, she will tell everyone what she wants to be so there will be no question.
Boy Child thought seriously about his future career, and nixed Video Game design because I told him that they probably dressed like mommy for work: whatever you want to wear as long as long as nothing that identifies your gender is hanging out. He also nixed President of the United States because I told him we couldn't go rent a tuxedo.
Finally he decided he would be a "good policeman". He picked out a long sleeve button down shirt (in blue) from his closet, a pair of jeans, and informed me that he would make himself a badge and carry his pretend handcups. (Handcuffs...I just can't bring myself to correct him. I'm a good mother like that.)
He meticulously cut out a perfect star. The kid is an absolutely amazing artist and his attention to detail is almost shocking. It has to be absolutely perfect or it's not worth doing.
He colored the star yellow and wrote on it:
I told him to just erase the "a". People would figure it out.
This morning I pinned it on his shirt and he clipped the handcuffs to his belt loop. Once his outfit was complete he grinned at me and said, "How do I look?"
"You're hot," I said.
"Mom!" he exclaimed. "I'm not the fashion police!"
I will be a bad mother-in-law because I cannot imagine that on the face of this planet, there is a girl who is good enough for him.
I'm just kidding. Kind of.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
I've mentioned, without giving out all that much detail (I hope) that I work in a secure facility. Thus, I need to have a security badge. So the guards can make sure that I don't, you know, want to set off a bomb or whatever and I can get into buildings and whatnot.
I had worked at another, similar facility which was less high security and I had a badge while there, so it should have been no big deal whatsoever to go to the badge office and pick up a new one. I was told by the friendly lady at the receptionist desk that it would take 10 or 15 minutes, tops. The friendly lady efficently and politely helped me and pointed me in the direction of the "badge office".
Then, I met Barbara. The badge lady.
I walked over to her office which had a large sign on it that said, "BADGE OFFICE." She was inside, having a conversation on the phone with someone about her mother's surgery. Since I think it's kind of rude when someone walks in your office without being invited (and it happened to me a whole lot of times so that's probably why I think it's rude) I waited outside the door. She saw me standing there yet made no effort to wrap up her personal phone call.
Finally, she completed her call. She hung up the phone, stood up, walked out the door, shut the door and locked the door. She stated to me:
"I'll be right back in a minute. I've got to go down there to the Building XYS and give this here package to Susie Soandso, but if you just stand right here I'll be right back here in a minute."
Okay, she probably could have made the trip and been BACK by the time she said her speech. But whatever. I was patient and I stood, waiting.
Finally, she came back, unlocked her door, had a seat in her chair, motioned me in, smiled sweetly and said, "Can I help ya?"
I said, "Well, I need a badge."
She nodded. "All day long, everybody needing a badge! Badge, badge, badge all day long!"
I looked at the door to verify that, indeed I was in the BADGE OFFICE. I was.
I smiled at her.
She asked me for two forms of I.D. I handed her my drivers license and my social security card.
Now, I have a very unusual last name. Well, it's not unusual in say, Germany. But it's unusual in the United States. And people often spell and pronounce my name incorrectly. I'm used to it and I try to spell my name for people so they don't mess it up. I assumed since I had handed her my social security card and drivers license there would not be an issue with my name.
However, I had underestimated Barbara the Badge Lady.
"I've never seen Wronglastname spelled like this before!" she exclaimed.
"That's because it's not wronglastname," I said politely. "It's mylastname."
"But that's not the correct spelling," she insisted.
"No, it's not the same NAME," I advised her. "See, wronglastname has a D and mylastname had a B."
"I don't want to spell it wrong on your badge," she said, patiently. For clearly, she was convinced that I had no idea how to spell my own name.
"It's correct as shown on my drivers license and social security card," I said, politely. But through gritted teeth.
"Well, that's fine. It's on you if your badge is wrong. You'll be the one who has to come down and fix it, not me."
Then, Barbara told me she would have to take my photograph for the badge. I sat down in the chair that she designated and waited.
"You have a lot of hair," Barbara informed me, as this, also, was something I would clearly be totally unaware of.
"Yes," I said. What else could I say?
"You could get a lot of money for that hair," she said, nodding wisely.
"Um, excuse me?" I said.
"People pay cash money for hair like that," she said.
"I'm not really interested in selling my hair," I explained.
Again, I looked around in case I was in the CRAZY OFFICE instead of the BADGE OFFICE. But no.
As she began to get me into "position" for my photograph and then stated:
"Your hair is not going to fit into this picture."
I said, "Um, I'm sure it will be fine."
"No," she said, dramatically. "NO. You have to look like your picture. If you don't, the guards have guns and they will not hesitate to shoot you."
With my death pending due to the fact that I have long hair, I tried to think of something, ANYTHING that would get me out of the BADGE OFFICE.
So I said, "Um. That's okay."
Barbara the badge lady sighed a huge sigh.
Finally, she processed my badge, all the while talking about the surgery she recently had and how tired it made her and how people bothered her all day long for badges.
She handed me my badge and said, "You can come back by if you realize your name is spelled wrong!"
God Bless you Barbara the Badge Lady. And God Bless everyone who darkens your door.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Anyway, here we go!
1) Out of all of the bloggers that I “know”, I worry the most about you.
2) Although you and I have never met in real life, you are probably the best friend I have in the world.
3) I really want to get to know you better because you seem like someone I would really like.
4) Although my life is pretty sweet, I envy your life a lot.
5) I think you are absolutely beautiful and I love the way you write.
6) When my daughter grows up, I will be honored if she turns out just like you.
7) I am sad that you stopped writing in your blog. I love your wit and use of LL Cool J songs.
8) I wish you would update more. You’re purty and I’d like to know more about you.
9) You make me laugh. So. Freaking. Hard.
10) You and I are a whole lot alike. More alike than I originally thought. Except you are much cuter than me. Also, your kid is freaking adorable.
11) I am so interested in you because I think a lot of our back-story is the same. Sometimes on the weekends I spend a lot of time going through your archives. I really, really like you as a person, although we have never met.
12) I appreciate your ability to laugh in the face of everything that bogs you down. Because sister, you have a lot of crap that bogs you down.
13) Your blog makes me really want to be a better person.
14) I appreciate the genuine affection you have your children as well as your son’s girlfriend. I hope I am the same way with my children when they are your children’s ages.
15) I really don’t understand your life at all. I don’t think it’s a bad life, mind you, or even strange. It’s just so different than mine.
16) Although you get a lot of comments, I don’t really think you are very funny. Maybe your humor goes over my head or something. I’m not sure. But sometimes? Your posts just seem mean.
17) I don’t like the way you talk about your spouse.
18) I really like the way you talk about your spouse and I think she’s a lucky woman.
19) I sometimes wish that I could show you more of the world than what you currently know. However, I am totally in your corner and really believe you can do whatever you dream for your life.
20) I really admire you for helping raise two kids that biologically aren’t yours (it’s one of the things I most admire about my own husband too) and I hope you and your husband can add to your family.
21) I love the way you mother your daughter. I think she is truly blessed to have a mother like you.
22) I just found your blog the other day and it is the most beautiful blog I’ve ever seen. Also, your husband and son are adorable.
23) Even though I have been to your blog several times, you never come and comment on mine. While that shouldn’t irritate me (because I’m a huge dork and sometimes forget to comment even though I am reading), it does. Because I’m just that cool.
24) I was sad for you when someone made a rude comment on your blog (uncalled for also, I might add). Also, I wish you would update more.
25) I’ve been reading your blog for almost ten years (back before it was even a blog) and I’m certain you don’t know I exist.
26) I am glad you and your husband are working it out. I like you and I want you to be happy.
27) You take the most beautiful, amazing pictures.
28) Although I read your blog everyday, I am afraid to add you to my blogroll, because I don’t want you to think I’m a dork.
29) I am sad that your blog is only open to invited readers. I used to read it before and since I don’t really know you, I can’t ask you for an invite. So I have to sulk in private.
30) I freaking love you. You are my secret girlfriend.
31) I love the honesty of your blog. Once when you posted about your fears of not being a good mother, I just sat there and nodded my head because I had been through the same thing. Also, I love how you always comment and make people feel good. You rock.
32) You seem like a very positive individual and I really appreciate that about you. You always seem to try to find the good in situations.
33) Although your blog is very funny and your writing is quite good, I can’t bring myself to laugh. Maybe because I know too much about you in real life?
34) I like your blog a lot, but I wish you would reveal a bit more of the real “you” in your posts. I think you are an interesting person.
35) I was almost embarrassingly pleased when you gave me a ROFL award. Because you are freaking hysterical and if you think I’m funny? Well, that’s just gravy on my mashed potatoes baby.
36) I honestly don’t mean this in a mean way, but I am genuinely puzzled by the number of comments your posts get.
37) I know a lot of your struggles as a single mom. I appreciate your ability to keep your wits and humor about you.
38) I’m glad you found your way to the blogging world and I hope you continue to blog and continue to enjoy it.
39) You are so freaking adorable and your reporting on issues such as hot farts make my heart happy that you are in the world.
40) I wish I could make scrapbook pages like yours. I am so jealous!
41) I’ve just started to read your blog and while I like you, I find your lack of focus somewhat disturbing. Also, some of the pictures you post are PG13 at best.
42) Your conversations with your therapist make me laugh. I’m sorry if that is wrong. Okay, I’m not really sorry. They are very funny!
43) While I admire your dedication to your children, it makes me feel a little sad that you never write about yourself or what you think. You are more than just a mommy.
44) I am so embarrassed that I had been to your blog several times and never left a comment. I will be better about it now, promise.
45) You seem very angry in your blog. I’ve read it several times but I haven’t commented because I’m afraid of you.
46) I tried to read your blog and like it. Honestly I did. But it was basically just a page of graphics. I feel like I didn’t learn anything about you at all.
47) You are beautiful and I think your adventures are so amazing.
48) I really wish you could get pregnant. I know you would love and appreciate your child so much.
49) I wonder where you live in Tennessee?
50) I appreciate what a good father you are to your children. They are very lucky.
Man, I had no idea I “knew” this many bloggers! The sad thing is I could keep on writing!
Monday, February 19, 2007
Okay, for example? I had to get two new tires and get my tires rotated and balanced and aligned and all those other words that I don't necessarily understand? I mean, I know I had to do it, but it makes me a little twitchy.
My son broke three pair of glasses within like, four weeks, and so he had to get new glasses. And while I appreciate that my son needs to, you know, see and stuff, I still felt a bit spun up when I wrote that check.
Also? Years ago my husband's mother bought us a table and chairs for Christmas. It's, um, not that great. Anyway, my chair broke about six months ago. I sat down in it and the back broke off and I fell out of the chair, literally. My feet flew over my head and I fell backwards and hit my head on the cabinet. And I just lay there for like, two and a half minutes, and my husband was all like, "OH MY GOD ARE YOU OKAY?" And then? I totally started laughing because sweet Lord, that was probably just hysterical if it wasn't, you know, actually happening to you. And then my husband, helpfully, said, "I don't want you to say the chair broke because you are overweight. Because the SEAT didn't break." And that? Made me laugh even harder. But anyway, we had to buy new chairs for our kitchen table so we didn't have to sit in the floor.
Oh and something was kind of funky in our wiring and it kept making our new washer and dryer mess up (and oh yeah, did I mention we had to freaking pay for that recently too? Sweet Lord.) and so I felt kind of twitchy when I wrote that check too.
I guess the point is, I'm feeling kind of...um, panicked. Yes, panicked is a very good word. Because I like to have money in the BANK, not so much in the hands of the furniture place and the electrician. You know?
When my twins were really little I was so freaking poor. There were so many times I just didn't know what I was going to do. It was one of the most scary times of my life. No one should ever have to worry about if they would have money to put diapers on their baby's bottoms. There should be a federal law against that or something.
But anyway, I am really grateful and thankful that I have a decent job and I'm really grateful and thankful that my husband has a decent job, but I still get really, really frustrated, panicked, afraid and scared about being poor.
Someone asked me recently, "Well, what's comfortable?" in terms of money. I thought about it and I said, "I felt comfortable once I didn't check the checking account balance before going to the grocery store." Because I've done that SO many times. Sometimes I still do it. Okay, usually I still do it. And I don't have to do it now. But I still do.
I don't know if I'll ever feel "okay" about money. I really hate that about myself.
If I turn on the television and an informercial comes on? There should be this huge steel trap that snaps my hand. Repeatedly.
Because I love them. I fluffy pink glittery heart love them and often end up with their new, improved, exciting, amazing products in my home.
Yoga Booty Ballet? Why, yes. I have it. I even use it.
Leslie Sansone and her Walking Away the Pounds with patented blue balls? Got that too.
Flavowave oven? The one that you can put your frozen crap in and it comes out all nice and evenly browned? Under my sink.
Assorted butt firming, thigh rolling, stomach crunching devices? Either sold in yard sales or collecting dust under my bed, but in my possession at some point.
This weekend? I ordered Slim in 6. For I was mesmerized by the bright shiny colors and the tight, lovely abs.
Why is it that t.v. seduces me so?
I'll watch television with Jason and if an informercial or commercial for some new, exciting product comes on within the first thirty seconds I will say, "WHAT'S THE NUMBER? TELL THE NUMBER!"
He just rolls his eyes.
So, I guess I will be exercising with Slim in 6 (within only five to seven days!). I might buy products on the television but I am much to anal to not use them. At least until they hurt my back from laying on the floor rocking my butt into submission.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
I started reading blogs because of My beloved M. I love her honesty, her excessive use of the word Cod, and especially pictures of her little baby boy. I decided to start blogging myself because I needed a creative outlet. I'm still writing my book, by the way, but it bogs me down from time to time, so I need this blog to report on all the exciting details of my life. Or whatever.
Weekends are hard on my blogroll. Speaking of which, I really need to update my blogroll. There are numerous people I read on a daily basis who aren't included right now. But anyway, it seems like a lot of the folks I normally read take the weekends off. Which is cool. Most people have much more of a life than I do. I get that. So on the weekends I end up cruising the 'net and looking for blogs that are interesting, fun to read, or make me mad.
So who do you read? Do you read me and not comment and have your own blog that I might like to read? (Because seriously? Like 100 people a day read this blog and not nearly that many comment, and really I'm not cool. I'm not cool at all and I love getting comments. I honestly read every single comment and go and visit every single blog of everyone who visits me.) I'd probably like your blog, unless you are one of those people who get to my blog by doing Google searches for things like, "Bertha's fat thighs" (No, I'm not kidding). I'd like to have a chance to see it anyway.
So hit me! Tell me who you are and where your blog is. Or if you comment already, tell me who you read. Me and my weekends will thank you. The dust under the couch? Not so much. Not that I care about that crap anyway.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
I've been struggling with my inability to forgive for about three years now. Because, I know it's hard to believe, but in general I'm basically a forgiving person. My ex-husband? The one who walked out on me while I was pregnant with twins? If anyone doesn't deserve forgiveness ever, ever, ever, that would be him?
I feel no ill-will towards the man, seriously. I do feel extraordinarily sorry for him because he's missing out on the lives of the Girl Child and the Boy Child and anyone who has 1/2 a brain in their head knows that they? Are not something you want to miss out on. If he were hurting my children, then I would probably have a hard time forgiving him. But they never knew him and don't miss him. So he's a non-issue.
I guess that's my main problem. Once again, I am guilty of having my heart walk around outside my body. If you hurt my child...if you hurt my children...you are dead to me.
Sorry. That was way dramatic. I've been watching The Sopranos lately. My bad.
So, not so much dead to me as a source of great stress in my life.
I've mentioned before, probably more than once, that my husband cut off all ties with his family when we moved here. This was a source of great stress for me for about the first six months we lived here. Because, well, that's his family and all. I mean, granted they treated me and my children like complete crap and like we were so far beneath them and whatnot, but still, I really hated that my husband had to do that. It goes against my faith, it goes against what I believe, it's just not me.
Still, it was the correct thing to do. I don't doubt that now.
Basically, this non-talking, no contact thing has worked pretty well for me. I get a little antsy around any kind of gift-giving occasion, because I just never know what will show up in the mailbox (except around MY birthday, because it would be a cold day in hell before I would get a gift or even a card). Still, since Christmas came and went without anything, not even the requisite, Jason Ourlastname and Children card in the mailbox, I thought maybe we were in the clear.
Jason's birthday was Thursday and nothing was in the mailbox and I again thought we were in the clear.
So there's a card Friday, and I resist opening it and/or throwing it in the trash. Because even though I want to? It's not for me.
So he came home from work. I'm in the bedroom, folding laundry. I hear him greeting the children. I hear him opening the mail I lay on his placemat. I hear him laying his keys on top of the microwave, like he always does.
He comes to the bedroom. We talk. He doesn't mention it.
We talk more. We laugh. Everything is good.
We come out to prepare dinner. I notice the card laying on his placemat. He notices me noticing and tells me he left it there so I could read it.
I open it and out falls photographs of him. Him as a small boy.
I had never, ever before yesterday seen a picture of my husband prior to his Senior year photo from 1994. I literally had no idea what he looked like as a child, as a baby, or anything between birth and eighteen. Also, I know almost absolutely nothing of his life before I met him. A traumatic childhood coupled with a serious fall which resulted in a coma and a brain injury have pretty much demolished his memory. I've said before that it's like he just dropped onto the planet the day I met him. There is nothing before it at all.
These pictures were proof, though. Something tangible, I could hold in my hand. This was my husband. This is what a little boy that my husband and I would have together would look like. If I weren't, you know, infertile.
My hands were shaking so badly I could barely hold the photographs. I then noticed a letter. And I began to read.
And then, I got angry.
Because the letter? Said this person still had no idea what happened and why Jason doesn't talk to them. Which is not true. Maybe this person doesn't want to accept responsibility for what happened, but I'm quite certain that this person knows exactly why my husband doesn't speak to them.
I wanted the letter to say, "I'm sorry I hurt your wife. I'm sorry I hurt these children that you love like your own. I'm sorry I never took the time to get to know your wife because I want to understand why you love her so much. I'm sorry I treated your children, not HER children, YOUR children, like they were second class citizens."
I wanted that stupid letter to say all of those things.
But it didn't. It was more denial.
One part of the letter specifically referenced the photos and the fact that they were for me. I had mentioned to my husband's grandmother several years ago that I had never seen a photograph of my husband as a child. I forget what context this conversation even took place. I think she and I were looking at my scrapbooks one day. She loved my scrapbooks and how I put things together and how focused on my little family I seem to be. The letter said that copies were made specifically for me, because I wanted them.
So are the photos a peace offering? Or is it more manipulation? I honestly don't know. Which is why I'm so freaking sad.
What all this really means is, I can forgive these people for the horrible things they did to me, the horrible things they said to me, and the horrible things they said behind my back.
I can't forgive them for treating my precious children like they weren't good enough.
And I can't forgive them for hurting my precious husband and forcing him to choose.
Friday, February 16, 2007
At our table were Ken and Barbie and their two children. They were slightly irritating in that they completely ignored their children the entire time (I talked to their son more than they did, and I'm not kidding), they were entirely too tan for it to be February, and the woman ordered by far the most expensive entree on the menu and then took exactly two bites and left the rest on her plate. But them? Yeah, whatever. They didn't really bother me.
The people at the table next to us? Yeah. They bothered me.
The next table seated four couples; none of them knew each other. They were all young couples and were being friendly with one another, asking, "Where are you from?" "What made you move here?" "Are you married?" "Do you have kids?" All of that was fine. They talked NASCAR for a while. They talked about some different football teams for a while. Whatever.
Then one of the women at the table, who was clearly drunk, began to talk about her job.
She's a first grade teacher.
Now, let me begin by saying that I have more respect for teachers than just about any profession. When I went back to school, I had every intention of majoring in Elementary Education, and I did for a while. I only changed my major because working for the government proved to have perks that working for a public school system did not (read: $$$). It was merely a situation of being in the right place at the right time. Were it not for the job I got in May 2005, I would certainly be teaching school right now. Well, not literally right now, as today is an in-service day. But yeah. In general.
Also, I think that teachers have the right to do whatever they want in their free time so long as it is not damaging to children (or illegal or whatever). If a teacher wants to go out and tie one on, it's no different to me than if an accountant wanted to go tie one on. Whatever. After you leave work, you've left work. I have no problem with that. If she was, you know getting drunk and flashing her boobs at kids, then yes, I'd have a problem with it. Otherwise, if she wants to drink, that's her business.
She announced to the entire table (lo, the entire room because she was talking REALLY REALLY LOUDLY) that she was a first grade teacher. She then announced the school at which she teaches. She then proceeded to talk smack about:
1) The school
2) The principal
3) The "idiotic" parents
4) The other teachers
5) The students in her class, that she is currently teaching (particularly the non-white students)
6) A bunch of other crap, I tried to block her out
Not only that, every other word she said was the F word and I don't mean freaking. All four of the kids at our table got really wide eyes as she went on an on with F-This and F-That.
Clearly, she's miserable, she hates her job, and she does not want to be a teacher.
And that's primarily what I have a problem with. That and the huge headache she gave me because she wouldn't SHUT UP.
When I was a credit counselor I saw a lot of teachers. This makes me profoundly sad, as teachers are ridiculously underpaid. I would ask each and every one of them, "Do you like your job?"
Never, not one time in five years, did a teacher respond, "Yes! I love it!"
Every single one of them said they hated it. They didn't just say, "Oh, it's a job." Or, "It has good days and bad days." They said, "I HATE IT."
The children were in kindergarten when we lived in North Carolina. They went to a school that had 1200 students (grades kindergarten to fifth grade). Every day I would walk them into their classes. I passed the fourth grade hallway every day and every single day (even the very first day of school, and I'm not kidding) I heard one teacher screaming at the children in her class. Not raising her voice. SCREAMING. Clearly she was also miserable and hated her job.
I've had jobs I hated. Good Lord. I've had jobs I hated so much that I would literally pray to God that a drunk driver would hit me on the way to work so I could have a day off. I have sat in jobs thinking, "I have to get out of here". A huge part of why we moved away from North Carolina was so that I could get away from a job that was slowly crushing my very soul, and start over.
I know jobs are not easy to come by sometimes. I do understand that. But really, I wish that woman last night would go get another job. Anything, ANYTHING other than teaching children. Because she hates her job. She is miserable in her job. And I just have a hard time believing she is doing an effective job teaching these "f*cking" children she hates so much.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
The first time I saw Top Gun utter those words to Bridget Jones? Yeah, I thought it was pretty cool.
Pretty soon though, I came to a nice realization.
I complete myself.
I don't need anyone to complete me.
The day I met Jason, I knew I would marry him.
I know that sounds crazy, but I honestly did. I knew that very night, December 14th, 1999, that someday, somehow, with God as my witness, I would be his wife.
Last year he told me that the night he met me, he knew he would marry me.
I worried a lot about the way I feel. I'm very independent because I had to be. A woman who can hold a bottle between two toes and juggle two infants and three jobs has be resourceful. I learned to take care of myself. I had my own job, I had my own money, I had my own house. I didn't NEED anyone.
But I wanted him. And that was okay too.
And then I realized while he doesn't complete me, he completes my family. The thing I had been looking for my entire life, the safe place to come home to.
Today is his birthday. He is thirty-one years old. This is the seventh birthday I have spent with him; the fourth as his wife.
He is my best friend. He is my lover. He is the father to my children. He is the daddy to my children (there is a difference). He is the completion of my family.
Happy birthday Jason. I love you.
It says: To my wife, the beautiful one I laugh with, look to, live for...love.
And then he wrote: Love, Love has kept us together!
You know, like that Captain and Tennille song, "Love will keep us together"?
Because, that, um, was the Processional at our wedding.
I'm totally not kidding.
Anyway. The card? So freaking sweet.
I actually kind of liked it. And maybe, just maybe I thought Valentine's day wasn't so bad.
But don't tell anyone, okay?
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
I understand that you are all extremely Important. How could I possibly forget that? You remind me on a daily basis. Also, I understand that it is necessary for you to congregate in the hall and discuss Important Things. Why you can't just step into one of the many, many offices that you all get to have, by yourself, I don't understand. I guess I'm just not Important enough to get it.
However, do you really have to have all of your Important meetings in front of the single stall women's bathroom?
Because actually, while I'm taking a pee? I really like to not have 7 different men hear it. I know it's a hang-up of mine that probably stems from my marked lack of importance, but that's really how I feel.
However, I would appreciate not having an audience. You fellows can use my office whilst I'm peeing. I won't mind.
That unimportant Chick
Dear Co-worker who reamed me a new butthole the other day:
I understand that you have a bit of a Napolean complex, seeing as how you make like, four hundred times my annual salary yet I could easily squash you like a bug. However, you coming into my office recently and giving me a big lecture on how to do my job? That really wasn't a good idea. Especially because I'm reporting to YOUR boss this morning that you haven't done 73 of your required reading assignments. Also? I printed out all the emails that I've sent you telling you that you had to do them. Also? I printed out all the receipts where you read them.
Don't mess with me again.
That Chick who has very little tolerance for morons
Dear fat ass:
Um, yeah. I've had about enough of you. Go away already.
See the note I wrote to my fat ass.
Thanks and crap,
Dear Husband's family members:
Dear annoying female coworker with no social skills:
Hon, when you send emails to people in an attempt to look like you know everything? You just look really, really stupid. Because, um, newsflash, you don't know everything. Actually, you know considerably less than you should know. True, you have lots of education and whatnot, but your social skills are just absolutely deplorable.
You may not know this, so I'm going to help you out:
BEING A HUGE, ANNOYING FREAK DOES NOT MAKE PEOPLE LIKE YOU.
Also? Your haircut? Not so much.
And I'll close as you close every single email to me:
IF YOU NEED FURTHER CLARIFICATION PLEASE CALL ME.
That Chick who doesn't like you. At all.
PS: TURN YOUR CAPS OFF. THAT MEANS YOU ARE SHOUTING.
PSS: I totally meant to leave my caps on in the PS. I WAS shouting at you.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Also? In real life? I look like that.
Ha, ha, just lying! Sorry about that. It's the internet, I can pretend a little right?
Here are some other things I love today:
*Squeals like a girl!!*
Do you love it? I love it. It's even cuter in person!
Also, when my dog makes this face?
I totally wish she still had her girl parts so someday she could meet a nice boy dog and look at him like this. Because this? Yeah.
Finally, I love that this is the background on my computer screen and every day when I turn it on I go, "AWWW!" Cause really? We are so cute together.
So my cheesy wish for Valentine's Eve is that everyone is happy and has things to squeal like a girl about.
He really thinks that most people are good and decent.
Several years ago I used to believe the same way he does. I honestly thought that most people were good and decent and wouldn't try to hurt me. A few years of being dumped while pregnant, screwed over in job situations, and almost killed daily while trying to drive to work has convinced me otherwise.
Jason? Not so much.
I was amazed, when I met him, how some members of his family treated him. He seemed to accept this treatment as part of their relationship and never really said or did anything about it. It really surprised me because he is the most take-charge kind of person I've ever met. If someone is going to complain about a product or service, it will be him. He manages a group of people and is not hesitant to tell someone if they are not pulling their weight. If people don't pay their bills he, you know, goes and collects their car.
But with family? And people he considers friends? Not so much.
He had to get to the point with his family in which he was tired of them hurting me before he was motivated to act. I, of course, was infuriated the whole time because they were hurting him. I could not stand the fact that they were hurting him. But he just took it in stride and went on and said, "That's just the way they are."
Finally, after a heated conversation with one of his family members in which I was called a bitch and he was told that I was "just trying to take him away from his family" he finally snapped, made it perfectly clear that *I* was his family and that was the end of it. He's not spoken to them since then.
I thought that would change him, maybe and make things a little different. But apparently not.
I met someone who is a former co-worker of his and immediately I knew I didn't like the guy. Do you ever get that feeling when meeting someone? Just a feeling like, I'm not sure this person is on the up and up? Maybe this person has something to hide? Maybe this isn't the most honest person?
Yeah, I got all of that and more when I met this guy.
Not only that, but he totally ignored me and my children and only spoke to Jason. And I'm sorry, we live in the South and that's just plain rude.
Anyway, later I told Jason, "I don't like that guy."
He was geniunely surprised. I said, "I don't trust him. He's shady."
He didn't see it.
He still didn't see it when the shady guy offered him money for referrals (they are competitors for frog's sake).
He still didn't see it when the shady guy stole his own personnel file.
He still didn't see it when the shady guy said he "lost" his key to the office.
So last night, when he told me his best employee resigned because he was courted to go work for (guess who) the shady guy, I think he finally saw it.
And it was to late.
I was angry at him, at first, for not seeing this was going to happen, and angry at him for caring so much about people and trying so hard to be a good person when the people around him would never do the same for him. But I felt sad for him, and today I feel both sad and angry. Because he's a good man. He's a good, honest, decent, ethical man and people hurt him because of it.
I said to him, "Please don't ever lose your ethics. Even if everyone around you does."
He promised me he wouldn't.
I know he won't. It's one of the main reasons that I love him.
But really. Why do so many people have to suck?
Monday, February 12, 2007
But, hey 100 posts since November! Pretty cool, eh?
I suppose I should use this post to reflect. Since deciding to make a blog, I've gotten to practice my writing. I've written nearly every day, and I've been able to write about what *I* want to write about, even if it's just something stupid like an MTV program. I've been able to use humor and people have actually understood it and sometimes even liked it. Heck, I even got a really cool award thanks to Mrs. CPA, which made me ridiculously happy.
Most of all, though, I've "met" so many people who are funny, kind, bright, entertaining, and just plain wonderful.
It's not an easy thing, to write honestly. There have been times when I have written an enormous post and deleted it. Because it felt good to write it, and to get it out, but it wouldn't feel good to have it out there forever. As hard as it is to believe, I still do have some secrets that I keep, because it just hurts to much to let them go.
It gets easier, though. With every post, it is easier.
I took a class my last semester of college (last fall) and in the class we had to do a lot of writing. A LOT of writing. As usual, the first assignment of the course was to write about yourself and your life; your hopes, dreams, whatever.
This was an online class. I would never meet or know any of these people.
I decided I could take it one of two ways. I could do the basics:
"Hi everyone! My name is That Chick Over there! I'm graduating in December! I'm majoring in Teaching and Learning/ Environmental Health! I'm thirty and I have twins! I'm married! I want to be a scientist when I grow up!"
All of that is true, of course. But it doesn't reflect me. Not at all.
So instead, in that one class for that one semester, I told the real truth. I grew up poor and I feel inadequate most every day of my life. I worry constantly about my children and the crappy world they are growing up in. I've experienced racism first hand. I was the victim of a violent assault when I was fifteen and I've never gotten over it. I use humor to mask a lot of pain sometimes. I live far away from my parents and I don't think they really miss me all that much. That I want to feel closer to my siblings. That I'm often really just a scared little girl who tries to act like she knows what she is doing.
The most amazing thing happened, in that one class, for that one semester.
Everyone else told the truth too.
I was abused as a child.
My parents are alcoholics.
I used to be a drug addict.
I was poor.
I'm poor now.
I want it to be better.
And it was okay. It really was okay. No one was afraid to say the truth. There was no judging. It turned out to be the best class I had ever had in my life. I was expecting nothing from it, and I gained a huge amount of insight.
So I guess that's what I hope for my blog.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
However, I am a glutton for punishment and so on, so I recently tuned in midway through a show to see what new adventures MTV had to bring to enrich my life.
And what did I see?
A soon-to-be Mother-in-law giving her soon-to-be Daughter-in-law a bikini wax.
I am totally not kidding.
As the future Daughter-in-law was being waxed up and I was busy throwing up in my mouth, the future Mother-in-law was reassuring her that it wouldn't hurt. I couldn't help but think to myself that it would be a cold day in hell before my Mother-in-law ever laid eyes on my vajayjay. I would rather stab myself in the throat to even think about something like that. I mean, a bikini wax is nice. Certainly. But administered by your soon- to- be husband's mother? Um, no. Sweet Jesus no.
To her credit, the Mother-in-law to be was otherwise fairly sane and normal. She took the son/groom out to dinner and didn't, you know, encourage him to keep breast feeding like I was afraid the mother on the other program would. She was actually very supportive and told him how much she loved his future bride and how happy she was that the bride-to-be would be a part of their family.
I always wanted to have a Mother-in-law who loved me like that. Except, you know, without the hot wax part.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Why, oh why did I go through four years of college without high speed internet? I could have graduated in like two years instead of four.
Friday, February 09, 2007
2) It's Friday. Thank.You. Jesus.
3) Tomorrow I am getting freaking high speed internet at home! Okay, I know I'm probably one of the last people on the planet to get it, but so what? I'm getting it!
4) Today I am getting my new washer and dryer. I never though I'd say this, but I am so pleased that I will get to wash clothes! Don't tell anyone okay, but I'm wearing the same jeans today that I was on Monday. Since they have a big rip in the pocket, I'm sure an observant person would notice. Thankfully most people I work with have their own drama and stay out of mine.
5) This morning I had fifteen minutes to sit and talk to my husband. That almost never happens in the mornings. Usually he is still asleep when I leave. It takes me forty minutes to get to work so I have to be out of the house no later than seven a.m. It takes him about five minutes to get to work and he doesn't have to be in until 8:30am. But this morning he was going to go in early and get some reports done so he was actually up before me. Weird. Anyway, we had a chance to talk for a few minutes and I explained to him a lot of the crap going on at work. He was very supportive even when I said, "I hate being a grown-up!" He did kind of chuckle at me, but that was all.
6) Did I mention it's Friday? Thank. You. Sweet. Lord.
7) I cleaned my children's bathroom last night. I know that on the surface that wouldn't appear to be nice and/or good in any conceivable way, but this morning when I went in there to get my daughter's hairbrush and the floor was all shiny and clean and it didn't smell like, you know, pee or anything and the toilet was all sparkling...well, it made me happy.
8) I sold a crap ton of stuff on eBay recently. Well not SO much, but I had over $100 in my PayPal account last night and that makes me gleeful for two reasons. Less crap in my house, and money in my pocket.
9) I need some money in my pocket, because I broke down and bought myself an It Bag last night. I had an It Bag before. I got it in December of 2003 and I carried it every single day until October 2006 when it (and I) got soaked in a tremendous rainstorm while watching my son's soccer game. They lost too. Anyway, for some reason I had a red pen in my bag and it broke and the red ink soaked through the lining and everything, EVERYTHING about my beautiful bag was completely ruined, the beautiful blue liner, the rainbow zipper, everything. They didn't have the same style I got before so I got the bucket bag in Periwinkle. Which was on sale for $56 off the normal price. Score! I figure if I can carry it for the next three years it will end up being like, really, really cheap. I love it.
10) And...IT'S FRIDAY!
Thursday, February 08, 2007
The beauty pageants always consisted of the following: 4 contestants and 3 judges. The contestants varied each time, but generally it was me, my friend who was tall and lanky and never wore make-up or had any interest in boys at all, my friend who had braces but also blond hair, and my friend who was tall and skinny and had acne but was cute and played lots of sports.
I was always crowned third runner-up. Always.
The winner was always the girl with the braces, because she had blond hair. Second runner-up was always my friend who was tall and lanky and never wore make-up or had any interest in boys at all, and first runner up was the tall and skinny friend with acne who was cute and played sports.
One day I was tired of this and actually cried. Being twelve is really emotionally challenging anyway and these pageants were adding insult to injury. The girl who was my best friend, who was always one of the judges, said to me, “Don’t worry. You’re pretty on the inside.”
Translation= You are ugly.
“You are so nice!”
Translation= We could run laps around you.
This leads me to two conclusions:
1) My friends were huge bitches.
2) I really was an ugly kid.
And I was ugly. I look at pictures of myself from that time and I had a mullet (I like to call it a 2/4/7- 2 inches on top, 4 inches on the sides, and 7 inches in the back) and coke bottle glasses. I was afraid to smile with my teeth because I had a part so large between my front teeth that you could drive a truck with the doors open through it. I got two pairs of jeans per year and if I outgrew them then it was just too bad. There was no money for new clothes and certainly no money for nice things. I was ugly. I felt ugly, I looked ugly, and I was ugly.
As my daughter approaches this tender age I worry more and more about her. She’s a tiny little thing; hardly bigger than a minute. She’s very smart and funny and self-assured. She doesn’t doubt herself. She’s not afraid she might get the answer wrong, she just gives the answer. She gets really angry when someone picks on her brother. She’s sweet and silly and uses really big words. She is the person I would like to be when I grow up someday.
She’s also highly opinionated and not afraid to tell you about it. And while I absolutely adore that about her, I just don’t know how well that will go over when she’s twelve.
I lost touch with those girls, mostly. As we got into high school we talked less and less. Everyone sort of split off into their own groups and our individual groups had less and less to do with one another. Girl Scouts ended for us and that pretty much ended our friendships. We were nice enough to one another I suppose. The blond girl with braces finally got her braces off. She played all the sports in high school and was in the top 20 of our class. Last I heard she’s a stay-at-home mom. The girl with acne’s skin cleared up. College wasn’t really for her and last I heard she manages a store. The tall, lanky girl graduated near the top of our class and is married now and does something absolutely brilliant, because she is absolutely brilliant. I think she’s like an aerospace engineer or some crap. I saw her last in 1995 and she acted as though it was extremely uncomfortable for her to talk to me. Maybe it was? I don’t know. The girl who was my best, best friend has three sons now. I think the oldest one will be sixteen this summer, maybe seventeen? She had him between our sophomore and junior years. She and I emailed a few times back in early 2000 but I’ve lost touch with her again. I don’t know that her life turned out the way she wanted it, at all.
And then, there is me.
I got married when I was twenty. He certainly wasn’t my first boyfriend or even the first boy who proposed, but he was definitely not the right person for me. I knew it even then. I knew our relationship wasn’t normal and it wasn’t what I really wanted. But I wanted to get married because I felt like it would prove to everyone that I was pretty and someone did love me. That even a girl who was so ugly that her best friends said she was pretty only on the inside could be loved.
Of course he didn’t really love me. He married me…well, I don’t know why he married me frankly. I have no idea. But not because he loved me, because he didn’t. Our marriage was so shockingly brief that I’ve just really tried to put it out of my mind. I refer to him as SD (sperm donor) because he’s nothing more and nothing less than that to me. I appreciate his “contribution”. That’s all. I used to think that he ruined my life, but he didn’t. I wouldn’t allow him too. My life is far, far better now than it would have ever been had I stayed married to him.
I’ve turned out to be a strong person. Is that part of being pretty on the inside? Maybe.
I look in the mirror every day of my life. Do I like what I see? Sometimes. I have really beautiful hair. Thanks to the braces that I finally got when I was seventeen, I have a perfect smile. My clothes fit. They may not be really expensive designer clothes, but they fit and they are clean and they look appropriate. I have really green eyes so green that people sometimes ask me if I’m possessed (why? I have no idea).
The main difference now, I guess is that I have a smile on my face a whole lot of the time. Even when things are crappy, even when I almost get killed three times on the way to work this morning, even though I don’t understand half of what’s going on at my job and even though I feel like a huge idiot, at the end of the day, I’m happy. At the end of the day, my son draws me a Valentine that says, “You’re the best mom every” (yes, he meant ever). My dog sits on my stomach while I try to do sit-ups. My daughter reads to me from the funny papers in a funny voice. My husband says, “Thanks for making dinner.” and “How was your day?” And even though a great deal of my life is spent being sarcastic about everything, really things could be a lot worse.
I’m no supermodel and I’ll never be called beautiful, by anyone. But I’m pretty on the inside. And I didn’t realize until just lately how very important that is.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
2) I cried this morning about that fire. I don’t know why, it just scared the poop out of me. It was just…shocking. Shocking and frightening and horrifying and right in my freaking face.
3) I also cried because I saw a dead deer on the side of the road.
4) I then cried because someone gave me an enormous project this afternoon and I want someone (else) to review it before I turn it in. The person I need to review it is not here and will not be back until March. I’ve tried getting her on the phone and emailed her, to no avail. I told the girl who asked for it that it wouldn’t be ready today and she was cool with it, but still. My to-do list is as long as my hair and comparatively speaking? That’s pretty darn long. I didn’t need this additional stress added on me for absolutely no reason. It’s a long story, but basically she doesn’t really NEED this and probably won’t for several months and I have to bust my bottom getting it to her. And that irritates me.
5) I think I might possibly have PMS what with all the crying and so on, but I have absolutely no way of knowing since my period is completely jacked up.
6) I have to turn in my Girl Scout cookie order tonight and since I’m new at these things, I don’t know what to order. I mean, yes, I understand I have to order the boxes that people selected from our order forms (which was, at last count, SEVEN HUNDRED AND SIXTY ONE BOXES! People! I have four girls! And they sold that freaking much! Rock!). But I also have to order cookies for booth sales. I mean, how do I know I’ll have a successful booth? What if I don’t GET the coveted Wal-Mart booth slot? I could end up at the Big Lots and have a crap-ton of left over cookies, which *I* will have to pay for and which *I* don’t want/need to eat. I’m trying to be conservative in my estimates here, but there is absolutely no guidance and I’m supposed to, you know, be an ADULT and all and able to figure this crap out.
7) I just never feel like I have any guidance at all. Like I’m totally winging everything which makes me feel like a huge idiot. I really hate feeling like a huge idiot all the time!
8) I’m dreading driving home. I want to go home. I enjoy home and I enjoy being at home, but the 40 minute drive among the insane just really doesn’t appeal to me right now. Particularly since I was almost killed not one, not two, but THREE times yesterday. I was just trying to drive home. Three different cars at three different times gleefully rolled right into my lane without even noticing I was there. Clearly, my fat ass as well as my 3000 pound car are just completely invisible.
9) I’m feeling very old and stupid and tired. I’m not old at all, but compared to the majority of the people I just graduated with back in December? My social security number should be like, 1. I mean, seriously. Don’t a lot of people graduate college and jet off to Europe to find themselves or something? I’ve found myself and would like a complete refund, please.
10) I’m tired, bummed out and far more stressed than I should be. It’s only Wednesday and I’m ready for this week to be over.
11) I have a huge pimple right underneath my lower lip. I’m freaking 31 years old and I need the Proactive that P-Diddy and Jessica Simpson pimp on television. Sweet Lord.
12) Someone just handed me more work that I don’t understand. I nodded politely and pretended I get it, but I don’t. I guess I’ll be taking it home to figure it out.
13) My washer and dryer broke. We have the stack unit, so it’s both washer and dryer? Yeah. Broke. The washer stopped spinning and then the dryer stopped heating. It’s only about 2 ½ years old. So I had to buy a new one. It was not cheap, which also makes me twitchy. They are bringing it on Friday, which will be a nice excuse for me to hopefully leave work early. Granted they will be calling me tomorrow with the four hour window in which they will arrive and I have no idea if that window will be within the 8am to noon range or the 1pm to 5pm range, but I’m desperately hoping for the later.
14) I looked at someone else’s wedding pictures today and it made me mad that my wedding was so freaking sucky. I know, I know. Water under the bridge. I have a lovely marriage and all that crap. Still. It would have been nice to be the Queen for a day. Just one day.
15) I’ve been exercising a lot and losing weight (I think. I did order a scale, so soon I’ll know for sure!) and my belly is ITCHY all the time! It’s really getting embarrassing.
There are birds. I’m terrified of birds, always have been. I have no idea why. They appear harmless. I think it’s all the flapping. And the possibility they might come over and peck me.
I’m afraid of being broke and/or in debt. That terrifies me. Probably because I was both when my children were really small and I was just so afraid I would never find my way out of that. I never, ever want to be there again.
Other than that, almost nothing.
I saw that this morning as I was driving to work. And it made me cry. Literally cry. Because it was so. freaking. scary.
We went outside this morning and the smoke was thick in the air. At the children’s school it looked like a mushroom cloud of smoke over the building. When I drove onto the exit ramp (cloverleaf) onto the Highway it was right in front of me. It was really, truly shocking.
I hate fire. I think if I’m going to be afraid of something, this is a good thing to be afraid of.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
1) A local grocery store that sells candy, cards, and roses for less! (Less than who, they didn’t say. But for less!)
2) A company that will send your wife or girlfriend or whomever you want to see in lingerie, a “Pajama-gram”
3) The Vermont Teddy Bear company which apparently renders women in an office wearing too much eye make-up unable to say anything other than AWWWWWWWW.
So it’s almost Valentine’s Day.
I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day.
It’s not for religious reasons or anything, it’s just, well, my husband’s birthday is the day after Valentine’s Day and I always have to think of a gift for that and I just don’t have the energy or fortitude to think of something else. Plus, I am possibly the least romantic person alive, with the exception of, you know, my husband.
Last year my husband worked in an office full of women. He was the only man in his entire department, nay, on his entire floor. On Valentine’s Day a lot of the women got cards and flowers and candy and teddy bears. They all cooed and, per Jason, “talked all freaking day about it!” One of them asked him, “What are you getting your wife for Valentine’s Day?”
He replied, “Nothing. We don’t really celebrate it.”
The group of women cackled and then talked for approximately ½ hour about how *I* really DID want something for Valentine’s Day and he was screwing up big-time by not getting me anything and maybe I SAID I didn’t care, but really I was going to be mad later.
Yeah. These women who had never met me, never spoken to me, and have no idea who I am or what I’m about decided that I would be mad at my husband.
The other day I heard my husband on the phone saying, “Well, my daughter is selling Girl Scout cookies, if you’d like to buy some.”
Biologically, she’s not his daughter. But he treats her like his daughter.
That’s better than candy. Or flowers. Or a teddy bear wearing a leather jacket.
Monday, February 05, 2007
Immediately I said, “I would be invisible! It would be so cool! I could be totally nosy and hear everything and also? All the people who park on the street instead of, you know, in their empty driveways? I could totally throw bricks through their car windows and no one would know it was me!”
He blinked several times and said, “Um. Wow. You know, usually I say that and people are totally thrown off. I’ve never had anyone have an answer ready.”
To which I replied, “I enjoy thinking about things that will never happen.”
Seriously, though. I’ve thought about my own personal superpower for years now.
I have a few, I think. Not as many as I’d like to have. But I think that I really have some that are special and unique.
1) The inability to kill myself.
Apparently I’ve been attempting this for years, unbeknownst to me. Judging by the number of self-inflicted injuries I have caused since, you know, birth, one would think I was trying. I have scars from when I was three or four and bruises from last week that I have no idea how I got. The sad fact is I have the grace of a plane crash. Not that I’m like that indestructible cheerleader on NBC’s Heroes. I mean, I know the similarities are striking and all, but really, I’m not her.
2) The ability to see all sides of a situation.
Being the middle child has afforded me a unique position in my family. I really, honestly can see both sides to nearly every situation. Of course, if I think I’m right then I’ll argue my point vigorously and act like I don’t understand your point. But really I do. I guess a subpart of this superpower is that I can hide my understanding really, really well.
3) The ability to survive while wearing my heart outside my body.
This is a superpower that is not unique to me. It belongs to every woman who is a mother.
4) The power not to shoot people in the face.
Really, there have been several situations within the past few years, that had I shot someone in the face, no jury would have convicted me. Yet, I have kept my hands by my sides, continued to be polite, and treated others the way I want to be treated. Which, yes, makes me a doormat, I suppose. But a doormat with no felony convictions.
5) I’m faster than a speeding bullet.
When it comes to getting people I don’t want to talk to off the phone, balancing my checkbook, grocery shopping, and driving. At everything else, I’m pretty slow.
What are your superpowers?
I was really excited because I had sort of started to give up on him ever freaking proposing. Since, you know, it had been three years almost and he hadn’t done it already. I’ve never been a big “wedding” kind of person, other than my morbid fascination with how very much they cost. My lack of interest in weddings didn’t stop me from noticing a bridal shop while I was out at a meeting the next day, and it also didn’t stop me from stopping in just to take a quick look.
The store was in a strip mall type location, next door to an organic foods store. I parked right up from and went in, noting that there were absolutely no cars in the parking lot. I didn’t think it was strange at the time, I guess.
Inside the store was a young girl of approximately eighteen, chatting on the phone to her fiancé. I knew it was her fiancé by the microscopic piece of glass on her ring finger, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
I greeted her brightly, “Hi!”
She looked up at me, clearly annoyed that I had interrupted her phone conversation. She said to whoever was on the phone, “I need to call you back later. I have a customer. No. No. NO! I didn’t say that! I was not talking to him. I WAS NOT TALKING TO HIM! I can’t talk to you right now! I can’t! I have a customer! No! I do too love you! I’ve got to help this person. NO! I CAN’T TALK TO YOU RIGHT NOW! I did not do that! No, I did not say that! You are so stupid! I can’t talk right now! You say you love ME first!”
That went on for a while. Finally she hung up.
She said, in an extremely bored manner, “Can I help you?”
I said, “Well, I’m getting married and-"
She looked at my ring finger and immediately cut me off to say, “Where’s your ring?”
I was startled. Shocked. Now, in the light of day, I realize I should have said, “If it was up your butt you’d know!” and marched out of the store and let that eighteen year old twit get back to her oh-so important phone conversation. However, I didn’t. I, foolishly, continued to respond to her.
“He just proposed last night,” I explained. “I haven’t gotten the ring yet.”
“Oh,” she said, smirking. “Right.”
She clearly didn’t believe me.
I guess there are a lot of women who aren’t engaged or dating or anything that just go try on bridal gowns. I mean, I think I saw something like that on “Friends” this one time. But I just can’t imagine that a lot of women on a random Tuesday morning at like 10:30am would leave their jobs and come over to try on bridal dresses in her store. I mean, really. It wasn’t exactly the nicest store I’d ever seen. I mean, it wasn’t even David’s freaking Bridal! Come on!
Anyway, she just stood there, looking at me until finally I said, “Can you please show me your plus-sized gowns?”
I hate the word plus-sized, by the way. What a stupid word. It’s better than “husky” or “stout” I suppose, but still.
She picked up the phone and began to dial while pointing to the rack that held the plus-size selection. As I walked over to it I could here her talking to her fiancé and saying, “It was nothing. Nobody. Some girl who says she’s getting married.”
The plus-size “selection” consisted of two dresses. One was a size 12 and looked suitable for a mermaid who was attempting to start a business as a low-rent hooker. It was short and had the flared looking bottom. The top was really, extremely lacy. The other dress was a size 28 and it weighed approximately 28 pounds. It was long sleeved and had a high neck. It had the back cut out in the shape of a heart with teardrop pearls all over the back of it. The train looked similar to the one that Princess Diana wore when she married Prince Charles. In, you know, the early 80’s.
Horrified, I hung both of the dresses up and walked towards the door. The salesgirl ignored me so I shouted at the top of my lungs,
“THANKS EVER SO MUCH FOR ALL OF YOUR HELP! YOU HAVE JUST BEEN SO DELIGHTFUL THAT I CERTAINLY WILL NOT BE BACK!”
I then smiled politely and slammed the crap out of the door when I left.
I did resist the urge to go back ten days later and shove my considerably larger than hers platinum and diamond engagement ring in her (stupid) face. And I also didn’t call the shop’s owner and complain. I figured it just wouldn’t matter. She was probably the store owner’s daughter or something. I can’t imagine she would receive any type of customer service position based on her own personality.
I found my wedding dress on eBay, paid $50 for it (brand new!) and that was that.
A few months later, I saw that shop had gone out of business (as an added bonus, I think it’s something ridiculous like a feed store now). I just have no idea why.