Thursday, July 31, 2008

Only in my dreams.

Last night? I dreamed about food.

Sadly? This is not the first time.

My relationship with food is not the healthiest.

Okay, in the spirit of being totally honest? My relationship with food f'ing sucks.

And I can't break up with it. You know? It's not like drugs or something that you can put down and sweat through the withdrawal. I have to have it or I'll die.

The funny thing is (and really, this is funny), a co-worker said to me today, "Oh my God! You've lost so much weight!"

And you know, I have. I've lost nearly 40lbs since I've seen her. Ten of those being a very recent loss. Weight Watchers actually does work. Okay, and there is no air conditioner in my building so I sweat my ovaries off every day and that's at least part of it. But still. I'm working it. I'm trying all the time. Hell, even Ginger has lost 2.6lbs since her last vet appointment because I'm always walking her all the time.

But I hate the obsession. I hate thinking about it. I hate dreaming about food. Dreaming about eating. Not being okay with this.

I hate how profoundly alone it makes me feel. I know I'm not the only person who deals with an eating disorder. I know I'm not the only overweight woman in the world. I know that I'm not the only person obsessive about food.

And to give myself credit (which I don't do frequently enough), I also know that I'm really making much better choices lately. Almost all the time. I'll reach for carrots when I'm hungry instead of chips. I walk whenever I can. I do exercise videos frequently. I prepare healthy dinners and don't feel bad about saying no to cake.

I know all these things.

I also know that I'm really upset about something else right now. Something that has nothing to do with food at all. And it's coloring how I feel and making me feel angry and out of control.

But I freaking hate feeling this way.

I hate BEING this way.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Secret Lives of little girls.

It has been widely reported that I love television. I'm not even ashamed of it. I love television.

So I was thrilled to recently see a program in my television line-up called, "Bridezillas". Then I was saddened when I attempted to watch the program and was told that the channel would "be available shortly". Shortly is apparently code word for "never".

But I have On-Demand and found WE television and the wonder that is Bridezillas, AND I can watch it whenever I want. Which rocks.

Under the WE section was a program called, "The Secret Lives of Women". And I was like, "Huh! I wonder if they will have any secret bloggers such as myself!"

Um. No. Not really what it was about.

The episode I saw? Was about child brides.

I was so alternately sad and horrified by this program. I think the girl that made me the most sad was the one who was 16. She was a bride at 15. She had a baby. Her husband beat her.

And she was planning to get remarried after she got a divorce from the first guy.
The second husband? Was twenty-seven. And unemployed.
Her mom was thirty-five.

The reporter asked her what she loved about the new guy. She said something like, "He's real good to me. He don't beat on me."


Because really? That's the reason you marry someone? Because they do you the honor of not knocking the snot out of you? I wish that was just a given in the relationship. You know? I mean, I've had the crap knocked out of me before by someone who "loved" me and even I know that whether or not he promised to never hit me again is in no way the basis for a lifetime commitment.


The whole thing was pretty depressing. Those poor little girls.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I am tired.

Therefore I am pondering wildly inappropriate things.

Such as:

How I would look with a side ponytail.

Someone needs to stop me.


Monday, July 28, 2008

You got to know when to hold 'em.

I'm not one for putting all my eggs in one basket. I'm a third generator fence straddler. Can't make decisions to save my life. Want someone else to decide everything from where we're going to have dinner to how those jeans look on my ass.

I mean, I don't mince words. Don't get me wrong. If you're a douche bag, I'll very politely tell you so. I mean, I am Southern after all. I'm not going to be a bitch about it, but bless your heart, you're going to know how I feel about you.

But recently? I put all my eggs in one basket with someone. I lay it all on the line. I said, "This is the problem. This is the solution. Your move."

I haven't heard anything since then.

And really, I'm not sure how I feel about that. I'm puzzled by this, because actually? Why should I care?

But actually, I've realized, I do care.

Which is precisely why it sucks. No matter how this goes, someone is going to lose. I don't mind losing, necessarily. I'm a big girl. I can take it.

I just didn't want to lose this time around.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Jason's pants.

Somehow, my decidedly metrosexual husband is the hardest person alive on a pair of pants.

I'm totally not kidding when I say he has to buy new pants several times a year. He works in an office. At a desk. He's not out running around. He never has to fix things. He's not even like those kids on the Gap commercials from a few years ago. Yet? Somehow his chinos always end up with holes in them after only a few months.

Additionally? He is EXTRAORDINARILY picky about his clothes. Shocking, I know.

To make it all extra fun? He's a really unusual size.

Thus? When he found out recently that the Izod outlet where he has purchased his pants for the last four years no longer stocks his favorites? Well. I thought I was going to have to drive him to the hospital. You know how he was about his beard brush? Multiply that by about 9000 and you've got the reaction to the no-longer-in-stock pants.

Since, clearly, this would not do at all, he conducted an exhaustive search for pants (which included, and you just wish I was kidding about his, insisting to people at the local JcPenney store that the Izod website said they stocked that type of pants and couldn't they just check again?) and finally managed to locate ONE pair at a local Belk's store. Which I graciously agree to go procure since he was cutting up the trees in our yard with a borrowed chainsaw.

So I go to the store and the dear, sweet lovely lady behind the counter? Is approximately two hundred.

I said, "My husband called and someone set aside some pants for him."

She looked utterly perplexed. Seriously, so perplexed that, despite her huge namebadge that said, "HAZEL" and "BELKS" I wasn't sure she worked there.

"Pants?" she said disorientedly (is that a word? I'm calling it a word).

"Yes," I said slowly. "Izod chinos?"

She looked like I had just stabbed her husband.


See, sometimes I forget that I live in East Tennessee and people don't say things like "chinos" or "excuse me" or "yes, I went to Yale".

Okay that was mean as hell. I'm sorry.

Anyway, I said, "You know. Khaki pants?"

She walked around the counter to where a large rack of clothing was hanging. I could see, clearly, a pair of Izod Chinos (sorry, KHAKI PANTS) on the rack that had a large label on them that said, "Hold for Jason".

"Those," I said, pointing. "My husband's name is Jason."

She looked at me and smiled. I swear I thought she understood me.

She then looked through the entire rack of clothing. Piece by piece.

"I think it's those," I said, walking over to get closer and pointing again.

"What's your husband's name?"

"Jason. See? Those say Jason."

"What's his last name though?"

"He didn't GIVE his last name," I said. "He told me before I left the house that he just said 'Jason'. Those are the only Izod pants on the rack. Those must be his."

She looked unsure.

"Why wouldn't he give his last name?" she looked perplexed. "That doesn't make sense. What if these aren't his pants?"

"Ma'am," I said patiently. "My husband's name is Jason. This is his size and his brand. Also? I have cash money. I will pay you for those pants. If they belong to some other man named Jason who just happens to be that same size and will only wear Izod chinos with the pleat in the front and the cuff at the bottom? Well, we can both feel very sad for him later."

She stared at me for a moment and then started to ring up the pants.

But first she couldn't find the price tag, even thought it was in her hand.
And then she tried to convince me to purchase a pair of Dockers.
And then she waxed poetic for a moment on the name Jason.
Then she told me her back hurt. Bless her heart.

Finally, she scanned the bar code. For the love of Christ.

"Can I have your phone number?"

I told her. Her face lit up in recognition.

"I live in the South part of town too!" she exclaimed. "I live..."

and then? And I'm totally not kidding about this. She gave me EXACT DIRECTIONS TO HER HOUSE. Then she DESCRIBED THE HOUSE.

Only. In. The. South.

I came home, threw the bag of pants at my beloved and said, "YOU HAD BETTER LOVE THESE PANTS SO MUCH YOU WOULD MARRY THEM IF I DIED."

He took them out of the bag and looked at them, "Thanks baby. I hope this line right here comes out. See how they sat folded on the shelf for so long? It makes that really weird line in the middle that you just can't get out no matter what you do. See? I really hope that comes out because that is just so weird. That little thin line. I hate that line, don't you?"

He looked up and I was staring at him.

"What?" he asked.

"Can I buy whatever drugs you and that old lady who sold me the pants are partaking of at the drug store? Or do I have to find a street dealer?"

The people? Wear. Me. Out.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Comments! We get your comments! We get your comments everyday!

Here's your answers today!

*insert catchy music*

-Lisa asks:
Aren't you some sort of engineer?

Oh Jesus no. No.

Don't get me wrong. I wish I was an engineer. Engineers are smart and get paid like, hinty billion dollars a year. My brain just does not work that way. They are all focused and whatever and I run around going, "Blah! Blah! Blah!"

We just don't understand each other. I like them and they like me, but we are on two different levels.

-Captain Steve asks:
A 20% raise?! Can I scream?

Of course! I'll scream with you!


Awesome isn't it? I am BEYOND thrilled. I mean, my workplace still leaves a lot to be desired, but hey, if I have to be there, I might as well get paid.

I don't really know what made this come about. I have two theories. Either:
1) My employer is afraid I will quit.
2) The government found out that the women make considerably less than the men and made some threats about it.

I'm thinking it's more along the lines of number 1. I can't imagine the government cares that much.

Anyway, it doesn't matter. Getting a raise is KICK-A.

-J asks:
Did you go outside and scream?

OF COURSE! I also did a little dance.

No, seriously. I did.

Tara asks, if reference to my Mother-in-Law:
perhaps you could pay someone to throw a baggie of dog poop on her door step?

Nah. I'm really not that mean, no matter how I appear on my blog. I really would like to be able to work out our difference. Poop would probably hinder that effort.

Huffs Happenings asks:
And go see your counselor -- what's his name? Big Joe? Something?

Big Jim. He's the man.

(I see him every week)

Praying to Darwin asks:
Um, is it possible that your in-laws have figured out the interwebs, and are leaving you vitriolic comments? Wouldn't that be a DELICIOUS twist to the story???

Eh. It would be pretty weird. But I kind of doubt it. I don't exist in their world, so I really doubt they would seek me out like that.

Also, they have NO IDEA that I write anything. So. There you go.

And finally, some anonymous douchenozzle asks:
Do you ever do anything except complain about your husband and how stupid he is?

Bitch, please.

If you think I complain about my husband? You have obviously never read my blog, nor have you lived with my husband.

I love that man unlike anything in this world.
That man makes me crazier than anyone else ever could.

And he would be the first one to tell you.

I am the best damn wife he could ever imagine having.

Believe that!
Oh. Snap.
And so on!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Oh. My. Corncobs.

Lately, I've been really worried about money.

Okay, really worried might be strong. I'm not like those folks who can't afford their mortgage or whatever and thank God for that, you know? I mean, really. That is so sad that so many people are homeless and having to do things like leave their pets behind and lose everything they worked for.

But still. My expenses have gone up since I started paying back student loans and the children's afterschool program is more expensive than the one they were in before. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I have an education and wouldn't trade my degree for anything, and I'm ESPECIALLY glad that my children are in safe environment after school where they get to learn a really fun, cool skill and get a lot of exercise, even.

I'm glad about these things. I'm also anxious about these things. Because money? It's one of my triggers. One of the things that causes me the most anxiety.

I've been poor. Really poor. I don't ever want to be poor like that again.

I've been praying about my situation a lot and trying to figure out the things I could do to make it better. I'd thought about taking a second job and, you know, sleeping for like two hours a night or something. But I wasn't sure how exactly all that would work and frankly? I need my sleep. I really do. I love sleep almost as much as television and that is a LOT.

After several months of worry and concern, Jason found out just the other day he was getting a promotion. I'm excited about that and it's really going to help.

(Can I just say I'm also excited because it's a BIG validation that what happened at the last place was because those people were batpoop crazy? Because obviously if he's been promoted after only four months at this new place, then he's doing something right. And that I love him so much and I worry about his self-esteem and I can see him becoming more and more of his old self and it just makes me so happy? You know?)

Anyway, it's helped alleviate my fears somewhat. Not totally, but it's made it a bit better.

I got a call on my cell phone from my parent company. It was our human resources director.

She told me that the company was going to give me reimbursement for my cell phone. Because I've not had an office phone since May and I've had to use my personal cell phone for all work calls. Even though I'm back at the old office now, I don't have a phone or a desk even. I'm sitting at what amounts to a credenza.

I hadn't asked for this. I never even mentioned it. But they realized it and are trying to make it right.

Then she said, "We're also giving you a raise. Don't scream."

I said, "Um. Okay."

She said, "It's twenty percent."

I said, after a moment, "Can I go OUTSIDE and scream?"

Because, you guys? Seriously? About four years ago I wrote down a list of life goals. Among the hopes and dreams of being a good wife and mother and being a published author, another of the goals was to make a certain dollar amount on an annual basis.

My new salary? Is exactly that dollar amount.

I know that I don't get really preachy a lot. I make it clear that Jesus is my homeboy and I got nothing but love for him and all that, but I try not to come across as pushy about my faith. My faith is really personal to me. REALLY personal. I respect the fact that other people's faith is personal to them too.

But you guys? God is good.

Really, really good.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Yesterday morning as I was rummaging through my closet looking for something to wear, my eye caught the picture that hangs next to the window, right beside the closet.

Instead of having a guest book at our wedding, Jason and I took a white photo frame and a marker and asked everyone to sign it. That way we could have it hanging on the wall.

Our wedding was small. The mat inside the frame is an 8x10.

And there on the side, clearly, was my grandmother's name.

I miss her.

A few months after our wedding we went to Virginia to celebrate her 90th birthday. Everyone was there; all of her family came. She asked Jason and I how were were enjoying married life. Despite the fact that we had a huge argument on the way to Virginia, we told her it was good.

Because, you know, it was good. Even when it's bad it's still good.

She smiled, sort of wistfully, and said,

"It must be good to not be alone. It's so hard to be alone."

My grandfather had been dead for nine years at that time. I can't imagine how lonely she was.

I hope she's not lonely now.

Even if I am, because she's gone.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I also still do this.

Due to my bout of depression I hadn't written anything funny in a while. But fortunately, my workplace still provides a plethora of opportunities to make fun of people.

So. Enjoy that.

Occupation: Dodger of Bullets

So Monday night? We had one mother of a storm. It was some scary crap y'all. I hadn't been this scared since Hurricane Floyd, and I mean that.

See this next to my beautiful car? A tree came down. It almost took out my car. That branch was all that was left after my neighbor dragged it out of the way.

Speaking of neighbors? The ones across the street from us? Three trees on their roof.

Jason has been saying for months he needs to cut down this tree. If it fell it would fall directly into Girl Child's room.

I guess Jesus has his own chainsaw or some crap.

Yet another tree. We had three down in our yard.

This tree was struck by lightening. Our neighbor saw it happen. He said it was the most amazing thing he'd ever seen in his life. The tree SHOULD have fallen on our house. The wind was blowing that way. The tree was LEANING that way. He said it was struck, it snapped and it was just like someone picked it up and gently lay it in our yard.

It's hard to tell, but it pretty much takes up the length of the side of our house.

Ginger was scared poopless during the storm and hid under the desk the whole time. It probably didn't help that I was running around the house shrieking, "IT'S RAININ' SIDEWAYS!"

Afterward she came out on our porch with me. Our COVERED porch, which still got soaked due to the aforementioned sideways rain.

Jason and I stood outside for a very long time last night, looking at our land. Looking at the broken trees and the neighbors houses which didn't quite fare as well as ours.

He grabbed me, suddenly, and held me tight.

"I guess we caught a break this time," he said, quietly.

Three trees down in our yard. No power for twenty hours. A fridge and freezer full of spoiled food.

And thank God for that. For every bit of it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

An eternal flame.

When I was in the 8th grade, I was in puffy pink heart luuuuuuuv with a boy named Ben.

I thought about Ben all the time, and what I could do to make Ben love me.

Ben? He was the nicest boy and ended up being a good friend. But he never loved me.

I was relating this my children the other day, trying to explain to them why you love a lot of people in your life before you find the one that you want to settle down with and marry. I explained to him that even though I thought I had really serious feelings for Ben, what it really turned out to be was a case of nothing more than Puppy Love.

Boy Child listened very intently and said, "But mom? Isn't Puppy Love real love?"

And I told him it was. Sure it is. It's not the same as true and lasting love, usually, but it really is love.

And then Boy Child's eyes got really really wide and he said,

"But you love daddy more, right?"


I hope Ben is happy though, wherever he is. He was a really nice boy.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Good save. Not.

Yesterday I was telling Jason about how I had been getting a lot of hits off a newspaper from another place. I looked into it and discovered that this newspaper writer/blogger had listed me as one of her favorite blogs. We were talking about what a small world it is and how blogging had brought people closer than they could have been otherwise.

Of course with the good comes the bad and I told Jason,

"Can you believe that someone referred to me as a C U Next Tuesday in my comments the other day?"

And he said,

"Oh yeah. I totally believe that. But why?"

I stared at him with my mouth agape.

"I mean," he said quickly, "not that you ARE ONE. It's just that people are mean."

Yeah. Okay then.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Oh no I didn't!

I'm not taking a second job! Yay!

The thing is, I already work more than forty hours a week for my regular job.

And I'm under contract to write a book. Which is taking all of my free time anyway. And my free time? Pretty much consists of 8:45pm-11pm. And then like 1am, because that's when I get up because I can't sleep. But the rest of the time is devoted to my job and my family.

But with Jason's promotion? I don't feel any need to take on anything else. I can focus on my regular job (or finding another one, actually), my book, and my family.

Which is all I wanted anyway.

So. You know. Thank God for all that.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

And seal it with a big fat smack in the face.

Jason got a letter.

I struggled about if I should even blog about this. But it is what it is, and I feel like I need to get this out.

Jason wants to respond to this letter.

I don't know how to feel.

My head is kind of spinning with this whole thing. On the one hand, I want this to be resolved. One way or another.

On the other? I don't like confrontation. I don't like rehashing all of this.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Just. Like. That.

I just got a call from Jason.

He just got a huge promotion.

Mother. Of. Cod.

This positive thinking stuff? I guess it kind of works, huh?

This just in.

Jason likes to watch the news. In fact, if he could he would watch the news pretty much 24/7. And he does when he is not at work.

I? Don't care for the news. I figure life sucks enough without having to see what is going on in Outer Mongolia. I don't like to hear about child molesters. I don't like to hear about people getting murdered. I suppose I'm not very aware of the world around me and sadly, I like that just fine.

Jason was watching a news program in which the announcer (who's name I won't mention because I don't want it on my blog) said, "Well, I don't care about gas prices since I have plenty of money and I can buy all the gas I want!"

I said, "How can you watch this crap? Did you HEAR that guy?"

Jason said, "I know. I just watch it for information."

I said, "You just watch it for doucheortation."

He laughed.

"Jason," I said. "Out of all the douches you watch on television? He's the most vinegary."

Jason howled.

"That was really funny!" he said almost in...surprise? I guess.

"I'm freaking hilarious," I informed him. "Stick around."

How does he not know this after almost nine years together and five years of being married to me?

I deem his listening skills as "needs improvement".

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Who I'm going to be.

I didn't think my grandmother's death would feel like this to me.

She was old. Very old. She'd lived a very long, happy, productive life. I'm amazed at everything she was able to do. Be a missionary. Work when it wasn't really cool for women to work. Live through the death of her child. Inspire. Create. Love the same man for sixty-six years and not stab him in the face, ever. Honestly, I don't think I ever, ever heard her say an unkind word about anyone. Except Republicans.

She was amazing.

My grandmother wrote every day for many, many years. As long as I can remember, for sure, she would write in her little journals. Simple things sometimes. She'd write about the weather. What she was feeling. Some special thing that a grandchild had done.

In every day there was an event to celebrate. Even if it was something like, "The blackberry bushes are blooming today" or "The pecan pie turned out beautifully".

She celebrated every day of her life.

I didn't deal with my grandmother's death at first. I thanked God her suffering was over. I sat through the wake, hugging all the people who I hadn't seen in years. Dealing with the drama of the family. Trying to help my own mom.

During the funeral they started talking about my grandfather and then the tears flowed. My grandpa died in 1994. I miss him still. He never met my children or my husband. He never got to see me make anything of myself. He really loved me. I never doubted it.

The tears haven't seemed to stop. Not since the funeral.

I don't cry all the time, but I feel so profoundly sad. It's like an ache in my soul that I just can't explain. I feel so lonely here and I feel like I've done this to myself. There are people here who are reaching out to me and I'm so afraid to reach for that lifeboat. I can't even explain why.

I went and got cards. I sent cards to my dad's sisters who weren't even related to my grandma but still came to the funeral. For my dad's mother, who is a sweet soul that I don't even know very well but want to know. For my mom's mother. She lost her mother. For my husband's grandmother. I hated to see her cry.

For all these people who I don't really know all that well.

My grandma always sent cards, for every occasion. Sometimes for no occasion at all. Just because. Just because she was thinking about you.

I want to be like her.

She's the furthest one on the right. She's so beautiful.

My grandmother is the little girl. I see my daughter in her face.

Sometimes I feel like my grandmother is looking down on me. Encouraging me not to give up. Telling me she's proud of me. That if she had lived long enough to see the book published, it would be on her coffee table. That she knew there was something in me...something special. That I just had to find out what it was.


I have to find out what it is. I have to believe that it's something.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

To cheer myself.

I've started looking for a photographer here in Knoxville. Because I have to, you know, have a portrait done. For the back cover of the book that I should be working on right now instead of typing this.

So that's positive, right? I'm moving ahead on the book. I'm going to write a really darn good book and have a nice picture on the back.

I don't like headshots that look like they were taken at Sears Portrait Studios (I have nothing against Sears Portrait Studios either, I'm just saying. This is a freaking book and my freaking name will be on the freaking cover and I want something freaking fancy on the freaking back). Thus, I have done exhaustive internet searches and found the following places that I might consider having my headshot done at.

Megan Parker Photography

Angela Herzog Photography

Shannon Kelley Photography

And Jennie Andrews Photography

Aren't these all fun websites? The pictures are gorgeous.

If you were picking, which one would you choose and why?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Monster, ye hardly knew me.

So, in my feeling of desperation and sadness about my personal situation, I signed up for Monster who promises me daily emails regarding jobs that would be just right for me and quite possibly change not only my outlook on life but my entire life itself.

Except, um, not so much.

I mean, granted, I feel especially honored that Monster thinks I could be the Manager of a Fortune 500 company (which apparently does taxes?), but significantly less honored when in the same email they list one of my top jobs as working as a cashier at a Pilot gas station. AND...AND! A sandwich "ARTIST" at Subway.

Now granted, Monster doesn't know that I use Turbo Tax and that touching raw lunch meat makes me physically ill, but still. Come on.

Basically? I'm getting the impression that Monster just collects any job whatsoever within 30 miles of my home and emails it to me.

I'm not sure what that says about me, or Monster.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Well then.

Why is it that when you are feeling your lowest people who say they are your friends make you feel even worse?

I know I've been miserable lately and boy does it show in everything I've been doing. I get that. I get that I need a kick in the pants. I need help getting out of this funk, because what I'm doing? Not. Working.

I do not, however, need to be reminded of my inadequacies. I do not need people emailing me telling me that the reason no one has published my book is because my book probably sucks, because if a book is good enough someone eventually publishes it.

I mean, thanks for that, seriously. That just helps everso.

I do not need to log on and read that someone I know who is in an ABUSIVE MARRIAGE is having yet another baby. I do not need to know that someone who can't afford the children she already has is having yet another baby with a husband who doesn't work, doesn't give a crap, and doesn't take care of the kids they already have. No, actually I could have lived many, many years without hearing about that.

And yes, I know it's none of my stupid business. I know that. It doesn't mean I have to like it or think it's fair. Because I don't. At all.

I don't like this funk I'm in. I don't like my job. I don't like that my boss thinks I'm a moron. I don't like that I have an interview for a second job today because I don't want a freaking second job, I want gas to not be $4 a gallon. I don't like that the school I want to put my kids in would cost me $11200 a year because we live in the wrong freaking county. I don't want my grandmother to be dead.

I don't like that I feel like I have absolutely no control over anything right now.

And I especially don't like people who are supposed to be my friends treating me like shit about it.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I have no listing for FunkyTown.

I. Cannot. Get. Out. Of. This. Funk.

I don't know why but it's just hanging on. I feel just the overwhelming sense of blahness.

I've tried counting my blessings, reading stories about those less fortunate, volunteering at the homeless shelter, spending time with loved ones...and while all of those are good things, I just can't seem to snap out of this.

Any advice? It can be mean and tell me to quit whining if it needs to be.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I couldn't make this up if I tried.

I got another rejection letter today. I'm already bummed and I probably shouldn't have opened the email. I knew it wouldn't be good news.

Jason, in his typical cheery manner said,

"Don't worry you still have your blog. Jason. What the Hell."



Friday, July 11, 2008

It keeps moving on.

So tomorrow is our anniversary. Five years.

We were going to renew our vows tomorrow at a cabin in the mountains. But we won't now. Job loss earlier in the year, the economy, everyone tightening their's just not a good time to spend money like that.

But it is a good time to be married five years.

It's odd. I know five years isn't some huge amount of time. I know that five years is a mere drop in the bucket. We're just babies. This has just started. My parents have been married nearly forty years. My sister, even, has been married almost twenty. Five years is just a blip on the radar of life.

But still.

We have memories. We have a life, together.
We have history.

Not all of it is good, mind you. There have been moments in which he has narrowly escaped my foot in his ass. I'm sure there are moments when I have narrowly escaped his. He's seen me at my best and at my worst. I had to watch him puke one day and then he wore a tank top in public and I didn't even divorce him. If that's not love, I'm not sure what is.

He supports everything I do. He's my biggest fan, and I'm his. He makes me laugh. He reigns me in. He might even read my book when it comes out.

He's my best friend.

Our anniversary doesn't just mark the day that we were married, it marks the day we became a family.

So tomorrow we won't be at a church, but we'll still be celebrating.

Because marriage, so far, means renewing those vows every single day.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Everything is everything.

Today I got a call back about a job.

Another job. Not a job to replace the full-time job, but a job to supplement the income of the first job.

I don't really want a second job. Not really. But I feel like I need one.

Well, really? I feel like I need someone to give me a bunch of money and say, "Here you go. Sorry about all that" and then I can pay off that bitch Sallie Mae and sleep in on Saturday mornings.

But that's not going to happen.

I'm so unmotivated. Dreary. Blah.

I'm not excited about writing the book I'm under contract to write. I've started making efforts towards research and I'm feeling rather glum about it. I don't know why and I'm pissed at myself for feeling this way. All I've ever wanted it to be a published author. This will make me a published author. I should be rushing to get it completed.

But I'm not.

I feel like I need a vacation from my life.

I HATE feeling like this. I hate being such a whiner. I hate feeling sorry for myself. I hate this.

I tried to get the children to tell me jokes this morning so I wouldn't scream at people on the roadways. Here is what Boy Child told me:

Q: What do you call a pig who can do karate?
A: Pork chop!

Anyone got a better one that that?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Reasons why my husband has a better life than me.

Note: This is intended to be funny. Please do not bombard me with emails and comments about how much my husband sucks. He doesn't. I'm just tired this morning.

1) The children attend camp in the same city that I work in, therefore I am up at the buttcrack of dawn every morning to take them to camp before work while my husband is still sleeping.

2) Some nights my husband works until 8pm, which means he does not have to go into work until 11am. This means he gets to sleep even later, assured in the knowledge that I will pick up the children and make sure that everyone has a somewhat delicious dinner.

3) If he is abrupt with people they excuse it because either a) he's a man or b) he's not Southern. If I am abrupt with people they think I'm a bitch.

4) He can eat ice cream, cookies, four servings of dinner, and all the bread he wants and he still doesn't have fat thighs. I merely look at those foods and the cottage cheese starts to dimple up and roll around.

5) He smokes. Not that I have any desire to smoke, but it would be good to have something non-prescription to relieve my nerves sometimes.

6) It's really easy with me. He says one little sweet thing and I'm all like, "AWWWWWW!" and forgive whatever stupid thing he has just done to necessitate the sweet thing being said.

7) He can pee standing up.

8) He has never, ever, ever stepped in MY pee in the morning. Ever.

9) He can drive a car that's not a total mom-car. His car goes really fast.

10) He has me as a wife. Because, come on. That's good stuff.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Lo, the letdown is here.

Last week was extremely emotionally challenging. Not just because my grandmother died.
It was just hard.

I thought a lot about everything that happened and I resolved to change my life. I have to change my life. Things have to get better. I can't continue on like this.

The thing is? I have no idea where to start.

I mean, I hate my job. Everyone knows that. But in this economy, I feel pretty lucky to even have a job. And it's not like I've not been applying forever for new jobs and just nothing is happening except that I have interviews with people who want me to travel all the time or want to pay me $20,000 less than I'm currently making or who might possibly be insane or just high off of all the hairspray they use. None of those things are good and none of those things are helping me get a new job.

I've also started looking for a second job. The economy is in the crapper and I'm getting really, really nervous. Everything is so expensive and nothing is changing, so I'm going to have to change.

I don't know when I'm going to sleep.

I need to start on the book, but I haven't. I've been avoiding it. Even though I'm happy about it, it's another reminder of the main thing that is broken in my life. My family doesn't know about the book...probably never will. I understand that and accept it as much as I can but still? It doesn't make it easier.

We had family pictures taken this weekend and I was horrified, disgusted, and horrified again at how awful I looked. I've always told myself that I look okay. People always say, "You have beautiful hair, you have beautiful eyes." Also? I have a fat ass. They don't say that, but I do. And a fat stomach and fat thighs. I'm all for loving and accepting yourself, but I have to fix that. I have to make some serious changes, because I don't like what I see when I look at those pictures. It makes me want to cry.

I'm so lonely here, and it's my own fault. I'm afraid to meet people. I'm afraid of being judged.

I miss something that never even existed for me.

I don't know how to fix any of this.

I hate today.

Monday, July 07, 2008

I'm famous or whatever.

Okay not really.

But I did guest blog today over at Heather's today.

So, I'm totally on my way.

Two pieces of CANDY!

One of the good things about last week was that I got to see my nieces and nephews. I don't really see any of them very often and they are pretty cool kids.

Niece Child C2 lost her first tooth. She was EXTRAORDINARILY proud of this. I think she showed me the plastic baggie containing her tooth approximately 11 billion times.

Such drama associated with being a teenager, apparently, as evidenced by the look on Nephew Child J1 and Niece Child O1 faces. ANGSTY.

Nephew Child O2 is pretty cute, yes? He's very loud, bless his heart.

Nephew Child C1 will be 9 on his birthday. It's not until the 21st, but we celebrated anyway. Who doesn't love cake?

Boy Child is a pretty good diver, yes?

Nephew Child J3 is such a ladies man. Or something.

The highlight of most things is Niece Child C3, who brightens everyone's lives with her enthusiastic shouts of "HI! HI! HI!", those eyes, and that smile.

It's almost her birthday also.

Last week was hard, but also good. Mostly, thanks to these folks. Even if they are so freaking loud I had a headache for like, five days, I still love them more than a fat kid loves cake. And even more than I love bubbles.

I know you're jealous. It's okay.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

In whIch I both overshare and whine.

There are about 1 million things I need to be doing right now. I haven't been to the grocery store in about two weeks. I haven't checked my work email in more than a week. I've not read anyone's blog in over a week. I desperately need to be doing research for the book. There is a stack of mail to open. I've got to pay bills.

All that can wait, I suppose. I've got to talk about what's happened recently.

You all know I love Jason, right? I mean, I don't just love him, I love him. You know? I respect him. He's my best friend. We're partners and parents and all that other crap. He sings songs to me like, "My Steph-oh-na" instead of "My Sharona". I mean, it's pretty good. Really good, even.

But his family? Would like it very much if I didn't exist at all. Except for his grandma. She thinks Jason poops ice cream. It's quite possible she loves me only by association, but I don't care. I'll take it.

I am as good to Jason's grandma as I possibly can be. We call her regularly and send her pictures and letters. We've never really visited her a lot. At first it was because she lived in New Hampshire. Now, it's because she lives in North Carolina.

My great-grandmother just died though, and I'm feeling really sad about it. Not necessarily because she died, because she was old and ill and tired and I didn't want her to suffer. But because I didn't see her enough or tell her when I had the opportunity how much she meant to me. I can't change that now, but I can change other things in my life and other relationships.

Because, as someone very wise pointed out to me this weekend, it's all about relationships. Sure you can leave people physical possessions, but what they care about is the memories you've made together. Okay, maybe some people in my family care about the physical possessions. But normal people care about the relationships.

I care, deeply, about relationships.

Jason came to North Carolina, driving all night Thursday and arriving on Friday morning at around 6:30am. On Friday night he said to me, "Let's go pick up my grandma and take her out to dinner."

This? Surprised me.

Jason hasn't spoken to his sister or mother in nearly four years, after the huge major blow-out right before we moved. It was painful. I have encouraged him to try to re-open the lines of communication.

He's not interested.

And that's fine, you know? It's really fine. He's probably a lot mentally healthier than I am and if he needs to cut people out of his life to make it okay, well then he can just go on with his bad self.

We see her house for the first time. It's pretty big. Lots of walk-in closets. She can't find her keys and forgets to put in her hearing aid.

She looks thin.

We take her to an Italian restaurant. She's easily confused. She keeps asking if the children are teenagers now. She tells us stories about people we don't know.

We take her to my parents house, which is full of people. It's a madhouse.

She hugs my daughter and my son. My daughter sits between us and tells me over and over how beautiful she is. She wants to know the names of each person here and who they they are a part of my life.

We take her home. It's late and dark. Jason asks me to ride along with him, and I think I know why, but I don't say a word.

Jason says he'll walk her in and I can wait in the car. I get out of the backseat and hug Grammie, who begins to cry. I tell her we love her and if she needs anything to let us know. We'll help her however we can.

The next morning, Jason's cell phone rang bright and early. He and I were already relaxing in the pool. Later he listened to the voice mail message and it was his sister saying she hadn't seen him in years and that she would like to see him.

He hit erase.

I asked if he would call her back and he said no, he wouldn't. I didn't ask why, but later, on our long, long ride home he said.

You are my wife. You and our children are my family. I don't understand why they can't accept that. I can't believe she would call and say she wants to see "me" and not "us". They just don't understand. They'll never understand. I've given them all these chances and they just don't understand or accept that I've made my choice and my choice is you.

And that's it, really. They see him as a separate entity, and while he is, in a way, he's also my husband. He's my children's father. He is part of my family.

I don't get it y'all. I just don't get it.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Lord, I was born a rambling man...

Or woman. Or whatever.

It's good to be home.

It will be better when I stop posting crap.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Independence Day

Today, I did the right thing.

It was hard. My stomach felt sick. I was scared.

But I did the right thing.

And I feel the most incredible, powerful freedom. Seriously, it's amazing.

I've got to start doing the right thing all the time. It rules.

Happy 4th of July y'all.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

What do you get when you cross...

Two parents

Three siblings

Two siblings spouses

Three teen-agers

Two ten year olds

Four kids under the age of nine

And a baby?

Not much time to use the internet.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Back to the place where I belong.

On Sunday morning after Jason volunteered to help me with my eyebrows ("They could use some attention, hon") he told me how much he would miss me this week.

I told him I would miss him as well, and that I was already feeling kind of sick over the whole trip. Not just the stress of dealing with my grandmother's death and the family drama that is likely to ensue, but also going to North Carolina.

North Carolina is where Jason and I met and fell in love. Where we were married almost five years ago. Where we lived the first year of our marriage.

Being in North Carolina without him doesn't feel right to me.

"It's just hard," I said. "I'll be in unfamiliar beds for a whole week."

But it's more than a bed, you know? More than a place you lay your head. It's where your heart is. Where your life is.

Like it or not, my life is in Tennessee for now.

I've struggled with living here. I'm not sure this is where I belong at all. We've set up all the trappings of a normal life in this place. We have a home, a dog, jobs. We have a front porch swing, a garden hose, checks with our names printed on them.

This is our life.

This place, for now, is where I belong.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The business of life.

I wonder how anyone can do it.

How can anyone sit down and chronicle the life of a 94 year old woman into a 2x2 inch column for the newspaper.

Someone can sit down with a little pad of paper and a pencil and write down the dates and times. Someone can make a list and count up all the grandchildren, the great grandchildren, and the great-great grandchildren. Someone can list the places she's lived, the child that she lost, the husband who died almost fourteen years ago to the day.

But who can say who she was when she was a little girl? Who knows her stories of how she felt as a young mother, a young bride? Who knows her secrets?

Who knows how much her family loved her? How do you capture what her voice sounded like when she laughed? How can you put into words what it meant, as a little child, sitting with her as she told you Bible stories..."working" side by side with her in the garden?

How when you were a little child, you needed your mother to come to your end of the year party at school, and your mother had already said she would go to your brother's end of the year party and they were on the same stupid day, so your grandmother came and sat in her little lawn chair and watched you. And no one else's grandmother came, just yours, but it didn't make you feel sad. It made you feel proud. Because she loved you enough to come.

How she was the one who sent you a card when you graduated college. And in her shaky, 92 year-old woman handwriting she wrote how proud she was of you.

And how she sent you a birthday card the next year and wrote that she hoped your "bee-hind" was feeling better, because you told her all about how you fell of your own front porch stairs and your entire ass was an amazing shade of purple.

How you developed your love of writing and reading, by watching her. How you labored over those letters you sent her when she was at her winter home in Florida. How, as a little girl, you looked forward so much to when she came home to her house next door to yours. How she would always bring you special things. A Florida t-shirt. Pecans. Georgia peaches.

How the very last time you saw her, you knew in your heart that it would be the very last time ever. How her shaky, frail little arms went around you. How she whispered in your ear, "Love you" as she tried to pat your hair.

There are so many things that just don't have words.

I'm left to wonder who I will be someday, to the newspaper. How it will feel when I am an old woman and my children are left to write the story of my life. I hope to God they know how much I love them. I hope they never, never know how painful the first years of their life were for me.

I can't tell them what an outsider I feel like in this world, most of the time. I can't tell them that if it were not for them? I know I might not even exist anymore.

How do you put any of that into words?

Or maybe you don't. Not really. Maybe that's why the newspaper gives you such a small column. Just a little square that can never encompass the bigness that is life.

Because you just can't, I suppose.