Wednesday, March 13, 2019

And time won't give me time, won't give me time (time, time, time)

It may come as no surprise that I take the time change extremely personally.

(And I bet you knew this post was going to be about the damn time change.)

I do. I take it personally, in the same way I take cold weather personally. It's been visited upon me and it is terrible.

Normally I stagger around all week asking, “REALtime or NEWtime?” Until Nick has enough and bellows, “IT’S ALL REALTIME!!!”

But this year before I could even really get going, my daughter took up the helm on this one.

And now I am in the position of having to explain that newtime is actually just the time, and we have to accept it.

When really I'm sitting there trying to do math in my head and thinking about the unfairness of jerking us back and forth with the clocks twice a year.

We are all exhausted and crabby and discombobulated. At 3:00 pm I'm drinking coffee and fretting that it will mess up my sleep but I'm so tired I can barely function.

It's only an hour, but it's a terrible hour. It feels like I lose an hour every single morning this week.

The other night, almost too tired to function, my daughter sobbed, "WHY? Why does it have to say 7:58 and be bedtime when really it's 6:58? It's not fair!!!"

And I nodded sympathetically, although secretly dying for her to fall asleep so that I could do the same.

I said, "I know. I hate it and it''s really frustrating, but we don't get to choose. It's all because of THE  GOVERNMENT."

I figure fomenting some healthy distrust can't start too early.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Happy birthday, Nick

Dear Nick,

Last year, at the age of 50, you took up rowing.

I don't have a photo of you rowing. But I do have this cute video of you showing our son how to use a diving bell.

You'd rowed for a year in England, when you were 30. I think for you that year was magical, and you look back on it the same way I look back on high school. Your memories are steeped in warm sunshine, laughter, glasses of beer raised in cheers, and pixie dust.

(OK, maybe just mine. But this is how I picture yours.)

I'm an introvert, and a solo worker-outer. It's by far my preference. But you grew up playing sports on competitive teams. You love the camaraderie, the competition, and being relied on as part of a team.

Unless you're a professional athlete, this is hard to find once you leave school.

And then a friend suggested you join this boat club.

It was perfect for you. You love rowing. You love water.

In fact, you're one of these people who gravitates to water. You can't bear to be near it and not get in it.

It's not something I feel myself, but I've had a number of close friends who are the same. If there is water, they need to touch it.

I told our kids you can't stand to be near it and not get in it, and Jordan, who has been reading the Percy Jackson books, nodded approvingly.

He said, "Like a true son of Poseidon."

Our kids love the water the way you do.

Recently, on vacation, India and I came home and you and Jordan were in the pool with a big cooking pot. You were doing "diving bell experiments"--to Jordan's utter delight.

You're a fun, terrific dad. And I love that you do things like this, things that would never occur to me.

So for the past year, you've been hauling yourself to a boat house, no matter the weather, even when it's pitch dark, even when it's 23 degrees, for a year.

Your hands are constantly calloused, cracked, and bleeding. I just learned the other day that you don't wear shoes in the boat--you put your stockinged feet into shoes attached to the boat. In 23 degree weather!

I...couldn't even really think about that.

And with all this, you're the fittest I've ever seen you. You're lighter, kinder, and happier.

I think when people think of adding years, they think of weakening, of decline. The word "aging' doesn't automatically conjure up images of growth, of taking on new challenges.

And yet, this has been a year of huge growth for you. I've seen you get stronger, faster, and learn to think in different ways.

I'm so proud of you.

Plus, the kids and I think you look adorable in your rowing leotards.

Happiest of happy birthdays.


Friday, March 08, 2019

Perimenopause and the jaunty bra-scarf

Can we just talk about perimenopause for a minute?

Because I don't feel like enough people are talking about it. My ducking auto-correct doesn't even know what it is.

The other night I told Nick that I bet a lot of couples get divorced while a woman is in perimenopause.

And Nick said, "I bet you're right."

To which I responded, through clenched teeth, "But if they just stuck it out for a decade, it would surely get better."

He hastily agreed.

Anyway, one of the things that happens to me now is that when I get hot, I get unbearably hot. Not in the summer, when I'm scantily clad and just hot because heat.

I am cold most of the time, and would always rather be hot than cold.

But now this weird thing happens when I'm working out, or when it's cold and my body heats up.I get to a heat point and I cannot bear it.

Like, when I'm bundled in 54 layers because oh my hell this winter. And I walk really fast (really fast). In fact, sometimes I start out my walking commute by running because I hate being cold so much.

But at a certain point in my walk, my body heats up. Sometimes this is fine. And sometimes suddenly it is eleventy billion degrees inside my jacket.

Oh, and I am a sheep, because I own the Amazon jacket that apparently all moms everywhere now own. And I love it.

It is warm and has six pockets and a giant hood that blocks the wind. I have no peripheral vision and I've been told that I look like a South Park character. I don't care.

If you know me, you know I will do anything to avoid the cold.

But when I hit some particular internal temperature, I'm all, I MUST REMOVE ALL MY CLOTHES AND PLUNGE INTO ICE WATER OR I AM GOING TO DIE.

(I don't know what this temperature is, but I'm considering carrying a thermometer to pop into my armpit the next time this happens.)

Anyway, this happened to me on the way to work the other day. Partway to work I took off my scarf. Then my hat (which I wear under my hood). Then my jacket.

I was wearing a thick wool turtleneck sweater. Underneath that was a stretchy undershirt. It's flesh colored and kind of like a very thin sports bra that's a whole tank top. It's great for warmth and blocking the wind.

So I'd removed as much as I could before I got to the office. I have a high shame limit, but even so, I wasn't going to mince down K Street in a flesh-colored bra-tank.

Still, it wasn't enough.

I got to my office, and because I didn't have a moment to waste before I tragically perished of overheatedness, I mostly closed my door, because you can't really hide behind the door entirely because there's a full-length window next to it.

I pulled my arms into my turtleneck sleeves, and then took each of them out of the undershirt. I figured this was the fastest and most discreet way.

I also pulled my sweater up as much as I dared and fanned myself.

Then I scooted the tank up my body and pulled it out through the turtleneck hole.

What I hadn't counted on was this very tiny, delicate lucky necklace that my friend Jane gave me. It's a wee gold wishbone on a thin chain that's just barely larger than my neck.

Basically, I managed to pull the tank straight through the necklace just enough to get it stuck halfway.

I put my arms back through the sweater armholes and pulled, gently. It wouldn't go up. And it wouldn't go down.

And I panicked. I was so hot I couldn't think rationally. I had a fight or flight reaction, but wasn't sure where to go.

I had a large flesh-colored protrusion perched on the top of the neck of my turtleneck, right next to my ear.

I fumbled for the clasp. I kept not quite getting it. I didn't want to break my new necklace. I didn't want to have to cut my sweater off.

Like I said, I wasn't thinking clearly.

Just as I was like, oh, god, I'm going to have to stroll casually through the office with this obviously-an-undergarment protrusion sticking out near the side of my head, I finally managed it. The clasp opened.

Sweating profusely, I crammed my tank top into my backpack and headed to the kitchen for a glass of water.

I think maybe I need more wicking?

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Love is

This morning I said, "Happy Valentines Day!"

And Nick said, "I couldn't imagine being without you."

I said, "I couldn't either." And then I added, "Well, sometimes I do. But only when I'm really mad at you, and it doesn't last very long."


I don't exactly know how I used to think of love, but probably along the lines of romance, willingness to do things for others, and obligation.

And I used to invest in romantic partners, but only so far, because too far was dangerous.

The truth is, it took me a long time to settle into love with Nick. I mean, we met, got engaged, and married in under a year. I luckily got pregnant a couple months after our wedding, so we had a baby before we celebrated our first anniversary.

My love for Jordan was unabashed and unreserved well before I trusted Nick enough to evolve to that point.

For a long timeyearsevery time we had a big fight, I feared it might be the end.

Now I trust and believe it's unconditional.

Sometimes one of us is super crabby and behaves badly. Maybe I'm not as tidy as Nick might prefer. Maybe he doesn't come home from work when he says he will.

These things might be enraging, might trigger a fight, but not a withdrawal of love.

It took me a number of years to understand that.


Sometimes when I read something terrible that humans are doing, I say some version of, "Ugh. I hate people."

And my children correct me. "Mama. You love SO MANY people."

The last time I said this India listed the friends I made last year alone.

It is true. I love people. I make new friends all the time.

Friending, for me, is a lot like dating was.

We connect immediately, and there is a spark, and we are friends. Or it is polite and a little awkward and effortful, and I know we will not really be friends. We can be friendly, of course, but not deep and intense friends.

(I am, it has been confirmed repeatedly, rather intense.)


So today, on this Valentine's Day that people either love or hate, and frankly, I don't feel strongly about either way, I am here to tell you that I love you and I hope you have a spectacular day.

Friday, February 08, 2019

How to bring the conversation back here

This is a thing I have been thinking about and don't know what to do.

So, for the last number of years, almost all my blog conversation has been on Facebook. I post links there, and then the conversation takes place mainly on my own personal page, although I do have a Lemon Gloria FB page.

But here's what's bothering me: All those comments get lost. I mean, they're somewhere in the FB machine. But I don't have them.

I don't have recommendations to refer back to, or funny stories, or random thoughts.

And frankly, I'm kind of sick of the conversation taking place on that platform.

I haven't contemplated getting off FB, because I also use Instagram and What'sApp, owned by FB, and I don't picture myself divesting myself of all of those.

But I am in a working group of parents of my son's school, and one of the moms I've been collaborating with is a software developer. And she said she just knows too much to be willing to have FB on her phone, and she does the bare minimum with it.

I am so open about so many things that I hadn't been concerned about the privacy issue.

But I have been thinking about my conversations, and how I'd  like to have them back in my own space. And I'm not sure how to do this.

I looked, and FB does not have a way to turn off comments on a post. So if I post a link, I assume that's where people will still comment.

If I don't post a link, most friends won't know there's a post up. I guess if I'd never started posting on FB, maybe that wouldn't have happened.

But I also find that I write more short, quick little posts--in keeping with FB--and fewer and fewer well thought out blog posts.

And I miss those. And, as I said, I want to take my conversation back from FB.

So if you have any thoughts on this, I'd love to hear them.

Also, in case you have been wondering, I have not been at all diligent about working on my splits or my writing. But I have significantly curbed my sweet consumption (argh! so hard!) and I've been exercising like a fiend.

I continue with my clog obsession, but not with acquisition.