Saturday, May 31, 2008

I can't see the answer.

So on Wednesday, I find out my dad is sick again and has to have surgery Monday.

And you know what?

I wasn't even surprised. As craptacular as that is (or as that makes me, I don't know), I wasn't even surprised. Upset? Yes. Surprised? No.

Because my entire existence consists of waiting for the next assault. I never know which room it will be coming from, but I know it will be coming.

The next day, Thursday, I have a job interview.

The guy interviewing me just happens to be from my hometown, where I grew up. We hit it off immediately and half-way through the interview I begin to think, "Oh my God. Oh my GOD. This is perfect."

The company? Perfect for me. Small and friendly and casual. Everyone works hard (so do I!) but because they want to work hard, not because someone is standing behind them shrieking at them. Everyone helps each other, because they all want the company to do well, not because they are forced to help each other.

Everyone is accountable for themselves. It gives them a chance to shine.

I want a chance to shine.

We talked more and he said, "How are your writing skills?"

I said, "My writing skills are excellent. I'm an excellent technical writer and I just finished my first novel."

He put his pen down and stared at me.

"I've never had anyone give that response before!" he said, laughing.

Job interview are hard for me. I don't like to talk about my accomplishments or achievements. It always feels like bragging.

But I want this job. So I told him how I taught myself HTML and how I taught myself to type 100 works a minute (never had a typing class) and how I learned the entire Microsoft Suite by going in and figuring it out.

I told him how I had trained everyone from Janitors all the way up to company Presidents. I did it and I got good reviews. I'm a good trainer. I'm a good teacher. I love to help people learn new things.

I told him, with complete and utter confidence, that while I don't know SQL, I can learn it and I can learn it fast.

It was going well. Really well. He asked my salary requirements. He nodded and wrote them down.

Then he said, "This job will involve travel. Up to 45% of the time."

And thud.

My heart hit the floor.

He continued on and said that sometimes you'd be gone for three weeks, home a week and gone for three weeks again. Then other times, you'd be home for a month and not have to make any trips.

I inquired if it was local or regional travel.

It's not. It's Nationwide. It's hop on a plane with a company credit card and we'll see you when you get back travel.

I got in my car when it was over and I started to cry.

I mean, really, really cry.

Because this job would be perfect for me. Absolutely perfect. The money would be better. The job itself would be better, much more suited for me. Much more creative rather than analytical. I freaking love to travel. I would love to hop on a plane with a company credit card and see people when I got back.

But how can I?

I have two ten-year old children. They don't require or demand a ton of my time, but I like them. I really, really like them. I like to be involved in their lives and in their activities. I like to know who their teachers are and what they are doing in school. I like to cook them dinner and help them with their homework.

For the first time in my life, I really felt like I couldn't somehow fix this so that I could have it both ways.

I've always been able to do that. I had to work and I wanted to go to school, so I worked it out that I could do both. I was tired a lot and it was hard, but I did it. I've always been able to work anything out, if I tried hard enough.

I can't see how I could work this out.

I started driving and the thought of having to go back to where I work now was absolutely soul-crushing.

I told Jason about the interview and how well it all went and he said, "Well, maybe in three or four years when Boy Child and Girl Child are older..."

And I thought,

If I have to stay where I am? I will be dead in three or four years.

I'm not suicidal or anything. But that, immediately, popped into my head.

So I got scared.

Really badly scared.

Because I don't know how to fix this.

I do know that I'm probably the luckiest girl in the world though. Because my friends in real life didn't really come through for me yesterday, but my in-box has been clogged with messages and support and help and hope.

So thank you. For all that. Sincerely.

And if anyone knows how to fix this? Please let me know.

Friday, May 30, 2008


I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own

I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing:
"Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!"

One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand

I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can't explain
Once you go there was never, never an honest word
That was when I ruled the world

It was the wicked and wild wind
Blew down the doors to let me in.
Shattered windows and the sound of drums
People couldn't believe what I'd become


I need someone to tell me that this gets better. That eventually, if I keep trying that the blinding panic attacks will go away. That I will be able to sleep the whole night through and not wake up because I'm dreaming of the wolf that is right around the corner. The wolf who wants to destroy me.

If you have lived through this, please tell me. Please tell me it gets better. That the highs and lows come and go and that the world isn't actually caving in on my head.

Because right now, it feels like it is.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Open Letters: "It's been a while" edition

Dear Lady I sort of slightly know,

Ma'am, your children are named "Laquawna", "D'Yawni", "Sheniqua", "M'Shylika" and "Bob". While I respect your right to name your children whatever you darn well please, I am a bit perplexed by your choices.

Something just doesn't fit.

That being said, I'm certain you are a lovely person and have a lovely bunch of children.


Dear all you folks who are reading this crap,

Please head over to Scrivel and get your laugh on.

Or, you know, whatever.


Dear God,

Really, I don't ask you for much I think.

A home free of psychotic people, the health of my children and dog, a decent job which does not involve the criminally insane who have not yet been captured by the law, the sheer will not to whack my spouse upside the head when he is being, well, himself. All of's not much, is it?

Today, God, I need a favor.

I am willing to accept the fact that my dad has cancer again. I can take that. In fact, when I got the call yesterday? I wasn't even surprised. The proverbial "other shoe"? Well, it dropped.

So I was expecting it. I didn't like it, but I wasn't really surprised either.

But God, can you just make it easy on him this time? Can you make the surgery a little easier for him to handle? Can you make the chemotherapy not so tough? Can you give him something, whatever he needs, so that he isn't in pain all the time?

If you can, I'll forfeit whatever you need me to.



Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Being a mom is fun. Or something.

Girl Child: "Mom? What's masturbation?"

Me: "Um, I'll tell you when you are just a little tiny bit older."

Girl Child: "Okay."

Boy Child: "Mom? When I had chicken pox were they all over my body?"

Me: "Yes."

Boy Child: "Everywhere? On my hands and feet and legs and arms?"

Me: "Yep. Everywhere."

Boy Child: "Even on my branch?"

Me: "Pardon me?"

Boy Child: "You know. My branch."

Me: "Are you referring to your penis?"

Boy Child: "Yes."

Me: "Well, yes. And on your cubes."

Boy Child: "OH! MY! GOD!"

Me: "What?!? You're the one talking about your penis over there!"

Boy Child: "GAH!"

Girl Child: "Mom? What fellatio?"

Me: "OH MY GOOD GOD! What are you READING? Are you children trying to KILL ME DEAD?"

Good times. Good. Times.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Just one call.

This past weekend? I wasn't feeling very happy.

In fact? I was feeling pretty damn sad.

I always feel guilty when I feel sad. Like somehow I'm not allowed to be sad. That when I look at the children I've been given and the spouse that I have, somehow I have to turn in my sadness card and say, "Sorry to have bothered you. I'm actually good."

The problem with that, of course, is that I'm human. And, in being human, I'm going to be sad sometimes. It's not a switch you can turn on and off.

This morning, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. Things are on a downswing, in general. I was somewhat pleased about my new responsibilities at work, but on Friday, all of that came crashing down on my head and I had the unpleasant realization that no matter what crazy is crazy. It doesn't matter how you pretty it up. Crazy is crazy and it's never not going to be crazy.

So this morning? I was not looking forward to coming in to work. I cried over this, and everything else, this past weekend. A lot.

I arrived at work and as I was pulling into the parking lot, my cell phone was ringing. This, unfortunately, is not unusual. My phone rings a lot. A lot. The ring indicated it was a co-worker.

A co-worker who gave me the dreadful news. That a good friend of mine (who is also a co-worker) was dealing with the fact that her husband died unexpectedly this weekend.

My heart sank. I felt like I couldn't breathe. As though my throat had closed up. I just talked to her within the past seven days. They were on vacation for God's sake. He was fine. He was normal. He was okay.

Just like that. He's gone.

I sat for a moment and caught my breath. I picked up my cell phone to call my husband and, I don't know, tell him thank God he was alive and my phone rang.

It was a company calling to offer me a job interview. A company that I applied with over the past weekend. A company that I never thought would call me back, much less call me back so quickly.

I said a quick prayer of thanks. Called my husband. Hung up the phone and got in my car, again, to move to another location to do work.

As I sat down at my desk, my cell phone rang again.

It was another company. Another company which I applied with over the past weekend. Calling to offer me another interview.

And after I hung up? I said another prayer of thanks.

At any moment, it seems, everything can change. In my poor friend's case, it can change for the worse. One moment you are alive and with the people you love. The next, you are gone and they are left wondering and in pain.

In one moment you can feel hopeless. Helpless. Sad and scared. And the next moment, your phone can ring and bring you news you have been desperate to hear. News that, if not life-altering, at least brings you some hope.

Hope that you desperately, desperately need.

It's amazing how everything can change, with just one phone call.

Monday, May 26, 2008

What do nerds do on their off days?

They go to the American Museum of Science and Energy! Of course!

Just as we were arriving, a show was starting. What luck!

Girl Child was picked to be part of the show. Even more luck!

Check her out, y'all. For real.

I also, at some later point, was asked to be a part of the show.

I brought down the house.

Never fear. No banging hair was harmed in the photography of this presentation.

In case I haven't mentioned it before, I love history and in particular, I love the history of Oak Ridge. I am completely fascinated by the lives that these people led during the second World War. In one of the exhibits, I found myself tearing up when I saw the letters that people had gotten from the government, forcing them to surrender their farms. Their homes. It was heartbreaking.

(I'm really emotional today. I cried about The Simpsons earlier)

I had to take this picture. It's the Girl Scouts! Rock!

Also? I can't help it. I love Einstein.

Have you ever read his letters? The man was sometimes hilarious.

I was also particularly interested in the Coal exhibit. I'm a coal miner's granddaughter. Both sides!

I have no idea who this man is. He appears to be a douche.

We dig coal! Y'all! Best play on words, EVAH.

I love the pictures of the women during the war. It amazes me what all these people went through. I have such respect for them.

I have touched some of these control panels. It gives me chills when I think about it.

I love all of the old photos, and I love this history. It's really amazing.

This is my absolute favorite photograph from that time. It was taken on Jackson Square in Oak Ridge. The joy on their faces is real. It is powerful.
It is called "War Ends".

I wish we could have a photograph like that, today.

And finally, because I can't end on such a serious note. Here's the photo Jason took in the men's restroom.

If you ever wanted to know why pee is yellow? Well. There you go.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

If Brenda shows up? I'm outta here.

Last night I had a dream about Jason Priestley.

Yup. The guy who was on Beverly Hills 90210.

He wasn't Brandon Walsh in the dream. Or maybe he was. I can't remember and I don't think I ever said his name during the dream anyway.

The dream wasn't sexual or anything. In the dream, he and I were falling in love.

It was really strange. I could feel the emotions so vividly. The butterflies in the stomach. The excitement. The anticipation. All of it.

I woke up and felt...I don't know. Sad? Disappointed? Something. I'm not sure what.

Because it's really nice to feel that falling-in-love feeling, isn't it?

Don't get me wrong, I love my husband. I love our family. But I don't feel a lot of butterflies anymore when I see him. I feel comfortable and safe, but I don't have that anticipation anymore. Sometimes, God love him, I enjoy when he has to travel because I need a break.

It worries me, a bit. In a lot of ways I feel like it's normal. But still.

We've been married five years, almost. And I wonder.

How do people who have been married ten or twenty or thirty years keep that feeling? Is it even possible?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

This, ladies and gentlemen, is my spouse.

This morning after we got out of bed, Jason and I discussed our plans for the day. I was going grocery shopping. He said,

"I believe I will go to Sally's."

Sally's. As in Sally Beauty Supply. The place where he bought the brush for his beard. Which was askew.

And although I was afraid, I asked.

"Why? WHY do you want to go back to the Sally Beauty Supply?"

And he said, "The brush I bought? I'm just not sure about it. I mean, it feels okay, you know, when I hold it? But the bristles are a little bit pokier than the old brush I had."

"The bristles are POKIER?" I gasped.

"Yeah, pokier," he nodded. Oblivious. "Sharper? I don't know. I just don't like it as much, even though aesthetically it's pleasing and the weight of it is just right. I don't know. Maybe I should just keep it. I don't know if I can find another one that's looks just right like that. But the bristles. The bristles. I just don't know."

And so I said the only logical thing I could think of.

"Can I buy some pot from you?"

He didn't think that was funny at all.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Last night I was reading and for some reason, I looked at the reviews for the book on

The book, which I love, got a lot of bad reviews. A lot.

People said it was trite. Stupid. Boring and disappointing. "Her writing has declined dramatically".

I know, I know. Everyone has their own views on what is good and what is bad. I noticed that some of the same readers who gave this book a 1-star review were the same readers who had given rave reviews to other books I wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole. Different strokes for different folks. Or whatever.

But still. It made me think.

I've been pretty fortunate on this blog, I think. I get some comments that say I'm not funny. Some people have emailed me to tell me how much I suck. Some people come here, read it once, say "That's not my cuppa" and never come back.

That's okay.

But if you publish something or, rather, if someone publishes something that you have written and people spend money on it and then think it sucks? Well. I don't know. That seems kind of bad.

Maybe there is no difference. I don't know.

I wonder if those writers ever read those reviews. I wonder if they hurt or if they are able to just say, "Who cares?". I wonder if they just keep moving on, because clearly, someone likes their books...they keep getting published.

So much to learn. So much.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Frantic call from Jason earlier.

Jason: "Do you know of any beauty supply stores in OurTown?"

Me: "Um. What?"

Jason: "Beauty supply stores."

Me: "What?"

Jason: "You know, where you buy hair care products?"

Me, after a moment of utter confusion: "Why?"

Jason: "I need to buy a brush."

So. I died laughing.

Because he's BALD.

Completely bald. BALD. Shiny headed, even.

And he said, because in his world, this amounts to logic, "I left my brush in Nashville. I have to get a new one. My beard is all askew this morning!"

Heaven forbid! The man's beard is askew!

Y'all better call somebody!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

School's out to-morrow!

And you know what that means?

It means that after tommorrow? I'll be the mother of two fifth graders.

And you know that THAT means?

It means that I'm going to have to start being a real mom. Not this fake crap that I've been pulling for the last ten years.

Someone else is going to have to inform the children of this plan, though, because earlier I tried to have the period talk with Girl Child? And she ran out of the room shrieking.

Here's what's bad. I don't have a clue what to say. I have no idea how a normal girl's period works. I've never been normal. I don't know how to explain this crap. And incidentally? If you mention the word "flooding" in reference to something that's going to come out of your 10 year old child's body? She's going to really freak out.

Also? I tried to talk to Boy Child recently about puberty.

I told him he might start getting hair under his arms soon and he laughed so hard that he farted.

Then he said, "Mom! You're a riot!"

And I totally am! So I didn't correct him because that would be rude.

Then we started talking about what types of fish are the most violent and I totally forgot all about the whole puberty conversation.

This mom stuff is hard, y'all.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My life is probably complete now.

Because Girl Child? Came home from field day wearing this shirt:

Your eyes are not playing tricks on you. That really is Mr. T.

If it had said "Jibba-Jabba"? I might have plotzed myself. For real.

Monday, May 19, 2008

It's a Scrivelshine day!

Everybody laughing!

Scrivelshine day!

Everybody singing!

Scrivelshine day!

Everyone seems so happy today!

Or some crap. I don't know.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

In the shape of an L on our foreheads.

Last night, while watching television,

TV Announcer: For your bad heartburn, ask your doctor about new prescription strength AcipHex.

Jason, snorting: He said "ASS EFFECTS".

Hysterical laughter.

Me: We've seen that like, twenty times and it's still really funny every single time.

Jason, reflecting: It's probably not that funny. We're just dorks.

True dat, Jason. True dat.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Food, books, and other crap.

I feel like I have to be careful about what direction I take with this blog sometimes.

For example, I'm pretty obsessed with Weight Watchers lately. But you probably wouldn't know it by my blog. Because I try not to talk about it all the time. I'm also trying not to think about it constantly, but it's been difficult.

I'm also obsessed with reading, lately. In addition to my big book gorge on Mother's Day, I also recieved two books from this sweet author/blogger/friend and I am salivating over all the wonderful recipes. (Thanks Keetha!)

And today, I ordered the New Hungry girl cookbook.

And Half-assed. That memoir that everyone was telling me about.

And just to prove that I'm not completely obsessed with food and eating and books all at the same time? I ordered the Mothering Heights book from Amazon. Remember Mothering Heights? It seems so long ago that I outed myself with this story. But it wasn't even a whole month ago, was it?

Time is standing still for me. It's because I've been busy calculating Points values.

Friday, May 16, 2008

It's not all about me.

I need to remember this. Every. Single. Day.

It's so hard sometimes, though. It's so hard to not think about what I would like best or what would be best for me. It's hard to think about what's going to make someone else happy instead of what would make me happy.

Is it hard for you? Or am I an ass?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

OMG y'all.

So things at work? Are happening.

I haven't talked much about it, because, well, I don't know. I talk a lot about everything usually, but I haven't mentioned this because I was trying to wait and see how it would all pan out. I don't have a lot of hope in general and I try to keep the small amount of hope I do have under wraps, so deeply do I fear it getting trampled.

I also met a nice new person.

Yesterday we talked more and I said something insane. I don't have a clue what it was, as I say a lot of insane things. And she said,

"You are so funny. You remind me of this blogger I like to read."

So I perked up. Because, you know, I'm totally obsessed with my blog and the blogs of everyone I read and no one here seems to even know what a blog is so I can't talk about it all the time because they all just look at me like I'm a big stupidhead.

THEN she said,

"You kind of look like her too."

So. Interesting.

I said, "What's the name of the blog?"

And she said,

"Perez Hilton"

NO. Just lying. She said, "Jason something...I can't remember."

And I said, "Jason. For the love of God?"

She smiled and said, "Yes! Do you read that?"

And I said, "Nope. I hate that bitch."

Maybe she'll read today.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Knowledge is power.

Boy Child, to Jason: Dad? Is asinine like a ninja?

Jason: Um, what?

Boy Child: You know. Asinine? Is that like a ninja or a regular karate guy?

Jason: Um. What?

Boy Child: Asinine. I just need to know if they do jujitsu.

Girl Child: Assassin?

Boy Child: That's it. Ass-in's.

Jason: Um.

Boy Child: Because if they do? I'll be all like, "SWEEEEEEET!"


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Weight Watchers computer? Bite me.

I don't talk about it a lot, but I'm following Weight Watchers.

I don't like to talk about it because, well, I don't want to be one of those people obsessed by my weight and losing it, mostly. I've spent the vast majority of my life obsessed with my own weight and it sucks. But also, because it's just sort of become part of my life now. Not a big deal. I can go to the market and look at a label and calculate the Points in my head, pretty much. I say things like "Points", capitalized like that. I hate myself for it, but I still say it. I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables and things with fiber and even on Mother's day I did not eat an entire vat of cheese dip at the Mexican restaurant, even though that dip is like crack and I totally could have.

I'm trying to change my life here.

It's not easy.

I weigh in on Tuesday mornings. Since I hate the vast majority of people I meet, I don't go to Weight Watchers meetings. Instead, I follow the online program and dutifully track my food choices and exercise in the online Points tracker. And on Tuesday mornings, I drag my scale out from under the bathroom sink and stand on it.

This morning? I was down 4.4lbs from last week. Despite the cheese from this weekend.

I thought that was cool, you know? Because last week, despite my best efforts, I was down like, less than 2 pounds. The week before? It was less than 1 pound. It all evens out, right?

Not according to the Weight Watchers computer. Bastard.

It gave me the big frowny face and said, "You are losing weight rapidly which is not safe nor healthy!" Or some crap.

The Weight Watchers computer has clearly not seen my ass. Because I am certainly not losing it rapidly enough. Nor has the Weight Watchers computer seen my thighs. Or my backfat, which is just as attractive as it sounds.

I know they program that crap in and it doesn't know me nor can it see me or anything, but for real? That's not motivating. It just makes me mad. I had a good week. Next week might suck. Who knows? Either way, I lost 4.4lbs. And I'm happy about it.

So hork off.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day: A pictorial! Or some crap!

This morning, I opened my eyes and thought, "It's Mother's Day".

My son then came in the room and told me the dog had ralphed on the carpet.

Fortunately, after that? The day got much better.

Not only did I get to have lunch at my favorite Mexican restaurant which I get to visit like, twice a year because my husband hates Mexican?

I also got to go to my favorite bookstore and gorge myself on BOOKS.

The children got three books each. The three of us got "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" to share.

And I got these:

Laurie Notaro! Erma Bombeck! MRS. MIKE which I have been looking for forever and finally found. Okay, and I got Monica's Story (Monica Lewinsky...I know) and Perfect Murder, Perfect Town. But I'm allowed a little trash, yes? I cleaned up dog vomit on Mother's Day. That's worth at least two discount paperbacks in my world. At least!

Then we went to a little Mom and Pop nursery close to our house, and check these babies out:

I don't know what this one is, but it's purple and pretty. I'm really shallow when it comes to my flowers.

The spider plants are a given. We always have them.

Then there's this one:

I was calling this a "Wandering Jew". My husband insists that it is a "Creeping Jude". He further insisted that I was probably being inflammatory. Personally, I hope we are both wrong and it's a totally different plant altogether so this drama can end.

With liberal use of construction paper, Girl Child made me several particularly nice gifts this year, but this one, which was actually hidden on the very back of the main card? Took the proverbial cake.

It says:

P.S. You rock!

P.S.S. You kick butt.

And then, very, very small so her teacher could not see.

P.S.S.S. You kick butt for the Lord.

She's totally my girl. Kick ass all the time, but appropriate when the situation warrants.

Happy Mother's Day y'all!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

His heart was in the right place. At least.

"Mom?" says Boy Child. "How do you spell whore?"

"W-h-o-r-e," says I, completely engrossed in my newspaper.

"Thanks!" says Boy Child, running back to whatever he was writing.

A few moments pass and it dawns on me what I have just spelled for my son.

I go to him.

"Boy Child?"

He looks up from his work.

"Hi mom!"

"Honey, did you just ask me to spell whore?"

"Yep!" he said, cheerfully, coloring in some elaborate drawing he has done.

"Boy Child?" I say, after a moment. "Could I please see what you're working on there?"

"Sure!" he says, and cheerfully passes over his latest "book", which includes lots of cartoon cats, bombs, and superhero costumes.

On one the pages, a character is saying, "We've got to save the whore!"

"Boy Child," I say, grasping and struggling, "This page right here? Um...we've got to save the whore? I just...I don't know if..."

Boy Child looks genuinely confused.

"Mom? Why wouldn't you want to save the whore?"

"Well, I mean, I guess you need to save all's just...."

"No, mom," Boy Child shakes his head. "Not people. Like, saving the earth. The planet."


"Yes!" he's very pleased. "Yes, the world."

"Oh! OH! Okay. Well, that's spelled a little differently. Let's fix that. Right now."

"Okay," says Boy Child, erasing.

"It's spelled w-o-r-l-d," I said. "WORLD. Not WHORE."

Boy Child cheerfully filled in the correct spelling and read me the corrected line.

"Much better!" I said.

"Yeah," he said. "World. Whore. What's the difference?"

"Um. Some. Boy Child. Some."

Friday, May 09, 2008

I got nothing.

Michelle Dugger is pregnant with her 18th kid.


I mean more power to her, but man. That cootie has really taken a beating hasn't it?

I'm sorry. That's really all I have today.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

You cut me open and I keep, keep bleeding love.

This past Tuesday, as every Tuesday for nearly the past year, I sat in my therapist's office telling him stories about my life. Trying to scratch back the layers of who I am today and how exactly I got to this place.

In between all the drama, we talk. This man has become my friend, as strange as it sounds. He knows more about me than most people on this planet. The funny stuff and also the really horrible stuff too.

He still seems to like me. Which is weird.

I told him how my son and I were walking and he was listing all the things we like that are the same and all the ways that we are alike. Boy Child smiled broadly and said to me, very pleased, "We are so much alike, mom!"

I smiled at him. But inside I wanted to die.

Because the worst thing I can imagine is that Boy Child will ever have to sit across from a therapist someday, trying to figure out his messed up insides. To see this child that I so adore become someone who feels strange and out of control and in pain. To imagine this child as conflicted and hurting as I've been for most of my life.

Big Jim listens compassionately. I think Big Jim does all things with compassion, yet he insists he's an asshole. Maybe I'm just so accustomed to assholes I don't see it, but I? Don't see it.

After the compassionate listening he said something that I think probably changed my life.

"You are always so negative about yourself. You think you are protecting yourself. But you aren't. You're trying to protect your family."

Because if I admit that I'm okay? It goes against everything I've ever been taught about myself. That I'm not weird. That I'm not strange. That who I am and what I really want to become? Is not bizarre or strange or awful. That I'm not the one who is wrong or crazy. I'm the one that's actually okay.

I'm okay.

It felt like a ton of bricks. Actually, more like twelve tons of bricks.

But still. I'm okay.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Apparently, Whoppers evoke emotion.

Tonight we went to Burger King.

We almost never eat fast food, especially not on a weeknight. I pride myself in bringing home the bacon and frying it up in the pan. Or, in my case, bringing home the boneless, skinless chicken breasts and grilling them on the George Foreman. But whatever.

Tonight the evening got away from us. So the four of us went to Burger King.

Boy Child and Girl Child are ten now. An age that is right on the cusp of both childhood and teenager. An age where they are asking and learning (Tonight: "Mom? What's a condom?") and an age where they are still extremely innocent. An age, I am learning, in which they really like to eat. And not kid's meals, people. Adult food!

As we sat and ate our adult food, it occurred to me how pleasant it is to be the mother of ten year-old children. How easy it is, right now, today. How I don't have to feed a baby or cut up anyone's chicken or handle a meltdown from a two year old or a sullen teenager. How we can sit and eat and talk and how very pleased they are to be eating a chicken sandwich instead of a meal that came with a toy.

And? How very pleased I am with who they are turning out to be.

I know things will probably get harder in the next few years. I know are times when I whine excessively about not having another baby. I know that this is just a very small moment in time, a mere snapshot of the chaotic world that the four of us share.

But I'll take it. Tonight. And I will be grateful for every moment of it.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

It makes sense in his world.

Boy Child has been infested with ticks lately.

Well, infested is a strong word. I've pulled off three. And all because we walk in the park a lot and don't stay on the trails. And all of them have been pulled off within moments of them attaching themselves to him. But to hear him tell it? He needs to be in the hospital.

Anyhoo, yesterday after our walk I was checking him for ticks and he said, with a deep sigh,

"I just don't understand why ticks like me so much. They all want to suck my blood."

Girl Child said, "Probably that first tick that bit you? Told all of his friends to come bite you because you taste good."

Boy Child rolled his eyes. "All ticks don't know each other, Girl Child. They aren't like Canadians."

Um. Okay.

Monday, May 05, 2008

I have a theme!


Check it out!


The broken road.

It's Monday, so you know what that means!

Well, maybe it means something else to you. In my life it means I wake up disappointed and disgruntled and horked off about everything. Largely because I don't like my job and also because I spend most of my weekends outdoors and the fourteen billion types of pollen make me sick. I can't hear out of my ears, my head weighs twifty pounds and I? Am pretty much just over it.

I am also over the road construction everywhere. I live in the land of the Big Orange Cones and the highway I've needed to take to get to work has been closed for at least two years. Now they've closed another, extremely small part of the highway which has been a huge non-event. And today? They there were road crews working on this one extremely narrow road I take to cross an overpass and take my little children to school. It's like seven o'clock in the morning and they are all standing around talking about the new Sex and the City movie or some crap and are parked next to the stop sign. Which would be fine except they blocked the one way street which crosses the road and I can't see if crossing is going to cause us to be horribly killed.

So? I'm grouchy.

I say to my little children, "I am so sick of this road construction!"

Boy Child says, thoughtfully, "Well, it's good they are fixing the roads, right? Because we want the roads to be fixed. Remember last week how you said, 'I am so sick of these crappy roads!'?"


I said, quietly, under my breath almost, "God Bless the broken roads that led me right to you."

And Girl Child looked out the window and said, "Hmm. Doesn't look so broken to me."

When I grow up? I want to be my children. For reals.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Friendship is like...hell, I don't know.

When I moved to North Carolina about two hundred years ago, I met a nice older lady at church, who wanted me to make friends and fit in and start a whole new life in North Carolina. She was determined to help me on this path and she decided that I should go out and have dinner with this new girl who she was sure would be my best friend because we had so much in common.

What we had in common? Was that we both had two kids and our husbands had left us for other women.

So we went to dinner and bless her heart, she was a sweet person, but she and I had absolutely nothing in common other than the sad states of our marriages. I cannot for the life of me remember what the name of this lady was, but I vividly remember that apparently her parents had money and they had bought her a house (would never happen in my life) and that her husband had come over one day so she could go to the store and he could watch the kids and he had downloaded porn on the internet or some crap while she was gone. And I could keep thinking was, "Wow! She doesn't even have a job!" Not that there is anything wrong with not having a job, but I couldn't help but think, "Who is supporting her? Her dad?" Because her husband or ex-husband or whatever was a deadbeat who couldn't keep a job and loved the porn. Oh and she ate corn on the cob and a big piece of corn got stuck between her front teeth and I was trying really discreetly to tell her and she totally didn't get it so she walked around for like an hour with corn in her teeth.

I'm sure she was a lovely person, but she and I were not meant to be friends. I suppose sometimes tragedies such as those she and I were facing make people become close. But us? No.

I wonder sometimes if it's just harder for me to make friends or be friends with people. I don't know. Sometimes it feels that way. I mean, granted, just because that chick had a similar situation in her life didn't automatically mean we were going to be bff, and it sort of irritates me that anyone would even assume that, but still. It seems hard for me to make friends.

People like me, despite what my particularly stupid co-workers say. But I don't get very close to many people.

I can't figure out why, but I'm pretty sure it has something to do with me. Probably also has something to do with the fact that I hate people. I'm not sure though.

I just know I don't fit in. I didn't belong in North Carolina. It seemed like all the girls there I met had the same hair and the same purse and they all dressed the same and they all spoke in accents I couldn't even understand at all and a lot of them liked to get drunk. I know this isn't indicative of everyone in the state or anything. I'm just saying. This was the kind of people I met. Everyone was engaged and getting married and here I was...divorced and a loser. Oh and I was the only one who had kids, and no one could relate.

Then I moved here and my neighbors are crackwhores and the people I work with are generally older and they are just now having their first kids and adopting and my kids are older and I make a lot of references to Monty Python and I don't know anything about NASCAR and I don't feel like I fit in here either.

I can't work it out in my head if I'm awful or not.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

When I'm sixty-four. Even.

This morning, I woke up early. I can't seem to turn my clock off, so I keep on waking up early, even when there is no real reason to do so.

Jason was still sleeping, his back to me.

I remembered his mom saying to me once, in reference to how long my parents had been married, "I can't imagine having to look at the same face every day for fifty years!"

I traced the curve of his back with my hand, the way I've done a million times before. He made a happy noise, in his sleep, and snuggled further into the pillow.

I never thought I would marry this man. Never in a million years. He was twenty-three when we met, single and living in a bachelor pad. I was twenty-four and divorced and had two infants at home. He was anti-marriage. I wasn't anti-marriage, but I wasn't looking for anything serious either. I was never, ever going to marry him. It didn't make sense. He was a boy. A boy to have fun with, not marry.

But I always thought I would remember him. I would remember the curve of his back while he slept. I would remember the way he smiled. I would remember how he hurt me also, and how much it sucked, but how much it helped me too. How very real it all felt and how powerful that someone could hurt me quite that much. He changed my life...he changed me, forever.

We were both twenty-seven when we married. July 12th, 2003. Fifty years from that date we'll be seventy-seven years old. That is, if we live that long, which is not likely, given my husband's pack a day cigarette habit and my propensity for extremely bad luck. I probably will never even get the opportunity to look at the same face every day for the next fifty years.

But I could. If I had the chance. I really could.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Mother Talk book review: Choosing You

I heard about this book and thought it sounded interesting. Then I got the book in the mail and it probably wasn't the best day for me to get a this particular book in the mail.

Cause, see the book here? Good Lord. That's the cutest baby ever. And I was having a bad day and feeling exceptionally infertile and so forth.

So I flipped the book over and on the back it said:

She googles for sperm.

You can't top that. For real. I had to read it.

The book is about Alexandra Soiseth. All she ever wanted was a husband and children. She found herself at age 39 with no husband and no children. She was proactive. Found a donor and had a baby.

Happily ever after right?

Except no so much. Not everyone understood, including her own parents and some of her friends. People think she's nuts. People think she's selfish.

I? Thought she was gutsy. I thought she was brave. I thought she was amazing.

Soiseth's writing was, at times, almost painful to read. Her journey was not only a story of becoming a mom, it was one of finding herself. I found myself crying silently when she spoke of the struggles with her weight and weeping openly when I came to the chapter, "The Long Hollow nights". As a former single mom (not by choice), I remember those long, hollow nights so well. As someone who didn't get the support she needed from her family, reading Soiseth's story evoked so many powerful and painful feelings inside of me.

Yet, when I was finished? I was longing for more. The last line of the book reads, "Because of her, I understand what it means to live and to love and to be afraid but love anyway."

And, does that not sum up exactly how I feel about my children? How most mothers feel about their children? And how eloquent and beautifully she writes it. So beautifully.

I really enjoyed this book. Sometimes, when a book is hard to read? It turns out to be the best thing for you. I think that was the case with Choosing You.

See what other mom's are saying at MotherTalk.

Probably wasn't what they had in mind.

I hate using the bathroom at work. Especially since they have one two-seater for like, 300 women in this building.

But this morning? I ate a cup of All-Bran Strawberry delight cut with 1/2 cup of Fiber one. So. Yeah.

And when I went in there? It smelled like fruit.

Because the spray they left in the bathroom was "Strawberries and Cream".

So it actually smelled like Strawberry and Ass.

Which, by the way? Would not sell in mass markets.

I have a book review to post later. I just had to tell someone this.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

There is nothing profound to say here.

I've waivered back and forth about this. I've cried alone about this. I've cried in front of my therapist about this. I've cried in front of Jason about this.

The crying is getting old.

What it's come down to is this.

I either:
1) Stop writing completely
2) Stop writing anything real or true and just write about, you know, what I had for breakfast
3) Stop being afraid and just throw it out there

I hate all three of those options.

But I hate number three the least.

So here it is.

You can call me Chick. You can call me that Chick Over There. You can call me Stephanie or Steph or even Steffus.

And today, you can call me a writer.

Nice to meet you.