Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Only fools rush in

Last night I said, "Hey, you know what? Tomorrow is our anniversary!"

And then we got all ooey gooey. Three years!

Nick looked me in the eye and said, "After only three months together, I knew you were the absolutely perfect person for me."

So I did a little bit of mental math, and realized that if he asked me to marry him at 10 weeks...

"But we were engaged by then."

"Oh. Yeah, well, I was already pretty sure before that."

And here we are.

Monday, September 26, 2011

But wherefore I know not

So, this thing happened recently. I ran out of funny.

And I haven't been blogging with the fierce urgency of now because really, what do I have to say? Particularly when I'm so not funny?

The concrete realization that the last drop off funny had left my body happened right around the same time that I started hating my life, which was about 8:30 last night.

I mean, the life hating had probably begun slowly, and was in full force during the weekend. But the revelation didn't hit until 8:30 pm.

There's nothing magical about the hour, except that it was just shortly after I'd put Jordan to bed and the approximate time that our sheets were dry and I was pulling them out of the dryer, which coincided with the precise moment that Nick walked in the back door from work.

And said, "How are you?"

To which I replied, "Fine except that I fucking hate my life."

And I know I have a good life, I do. I married a man I love. We live in a house that only gets nicer with each passing day and sweep of construction dust. We have an amazing kid. My mom is moving in, and we have a good little family.

But I couldn't see past the long week, followed by a weekend filled with six loads of laundry and three loads of dishes and the rushing off to do errands or help Betty at her house, and then the rushing back so that Nick could go to work in the afternoons, and then the struggle through dinner, through bath, through getting teeth brushed and jammies on and ready for bed.

And our house is a disaster. There's stuff everywhere. Jordan can destroy a room in three minutes flat. So can Betty, it seems. Plus we lack storage space, and we have a constant influx of stuff. And so the piles grow. And grow.

And when the fuck is one supposed to figure out where to shove the piles? Sometime between cramming the kid in bed and cramming yourself in bed? That time when you're eating dinner and breathing?

It's all just so tedious and exhausting and endless. And when I look down the hallway of tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, it's full of piles of more of the same.

Nick has a better outlook - of course - and it's not like my life is half fuller or half emptier, or more full of tedious tasks than his. He just has, you know, the better outlook. The one I don't have.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The 3 am certainty that I would rather be a lesbian

You know how when you're awakened at some ungodly hour things seem so much more dire?

I don't mean that I was ready to leap up and find a lesbian partner at 3:00 this morning. No. Well, sort of. But not exactly.

What I mean is this: Men are idiots. Or anyway, men I am or have been related to, and men I love. And by love I mean have slept with. Because there are certainly men I love as friends who are likely not idiots. Although I can't be sure.

But if you're a guy and you're reading this, I probably don't mean you. Unless I've slept with you. In which case, sorry, but I'm putting you in the idiot bucket.

Also, I don't want to give readers the impression that either of these categories cover a large swath of the world. Because they don't. I have a small family. And there are plenty of idiots I've never slept with.

In fact, we all know I wish I'd slept around a whole lot more in my 20s.

But anyway. I say this because the men I am related to or choose all have one thing in common. They decide how their realities are going to work, and they hold firm to their belief that they can make it so, despite all evidence to the contrary.


Nick has been in trial this week, which means he worked at least 24 hours last weekend and has been coming home around midnight and getting up and out by 7 am. They won't convene on Friday, which happens to be the day that he had long-ago scheduled to drive to Charlottesville for lunch.

Also, and more important in this story, he hurt his back about a month ago.

Now, the back injury is a recurring one, and every fucking time his back goes out and I try to harangue him into seeing a doctor, he insists he doesn't have time, and then he hobbles off to work and has a similarly-overweight man walk on his back and he insists that this miraculously fixes it.

Honestly. I'm not heavy enough to shove his disk back into place or whatever the fuck the man does for him.

So a few weeks ago his back went out, and he limped around for days without the miracle cure at work and then we ran into a family friend who is a physical therapist who focuses on sports injuries who was all, "For god's sake, stop being an idiot; come to my office."

(This was well before I'd had my Men Are Idiots epiphany, so I was all, "Yeah, stop being an idiot.")

They did a rundown of Nick's issues, and then talked about his lifestyle.

Nick said they were just chatting about Nick's normal life and routine and then our friend said: So basically, you work 12 hour days, and you play with your kid before work, and come home and deal with the house?

Nick: Yes.

Friend: And you probably have a couple drinks to unwind when you come home?

Nick: Yes.

Friend: So, you're an overweight, middle aged man who works really long hours. You come home and have a couple drinks, which shuts down your metabolism, and you don't get enough exercise. And you're really surprised when your back gives out.

Nick: Uhh, when you put it that way.

Our friend is both candid and cagey - qualities I appreciate.

So Physical Therapist Friend basically said something needs to change, and Nick has to start exercising daily. He showed him things like how to pick up heavy stuff (like Jordan) while still protecting your back.

Nick saw him a couple more times and started feeling a lot better. And then he stopped picking things up the way he should, started working even more round-the-clock, didn't have time to exercise...You may see where this is going.

So at 3:00 am, I woke up to see Nick getting back into bed, and wincing as he was doing so. He was clearly in a lot of pain.

And so I said, knowing that in the next two days, he will have no time to take care of it, "I think you should see someone Friday morning."

"We'll see."

"I would also ask you not to spend six hours driving to sit for two hours for lunch on Friday."

"We'll see."

I know what "we'll see" means. I means that that idiot motherfucker thinks that he's invincible. And the he can spend all day Friday doing whatever the fuck he wants and not taking care of himself. And then be incapacitated all weekend.

And so I there I lay, stewing on The Problem With Men. I know I've talked about this before, and my friend Steve is likely right, and I would just suck at being a lesbian. And because he's a gay man I defer to him in all things gay.

Even though he's not a woman and even if he got a sex change, he still wouldn't be a lesbian because his partner is a man. He still knows more about the gayness than I do.

But seriously. I'm quite sure that if my partner were a woman, we wouldn't be dealing with this idiocy.

And also, if that man spends the day in the car and then thinks I'm going to feel remotely sorry for him, rather than take it out on him all weekend, he's got another thing coming.

Motherfucker? Oh, I don't think so.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain!

So Jordan, my adorable dumpling of two-year old belligerence and lovebugness, today you are two and a month.

It turns out I LOVE writing these letters and documenting how the past month has changed you. And us. All of us.

You've started expressing an extreme preference for articles of clothing. Like these blue crocs. Which you insist on filling with wood chips while at the playground. Seriously. You sit down and very patiently and carefully shove as many wood chips as possible into your shoes.

And then walk around like it's all fine.

At least you're no longer eating them.

I don't know when you stopped doing this - sometime in the last couple weeks - but for the longest time you said "dooying" - as in "What's mama dooying?" "What's Jordan dooying?" And now you say "doing." I really miss the dooying. It was so cute.

One of the things I enjoy less is when you knock something over and then say, "Why'd you do that knock it over?"

What you have suddenly begun, just recently and out of nowhere is speaking Cockney. Out of the blue you pronounce things like lady "liedy" and table "tieble." It's like I have my own little Liza Doolittle around.

We performed that musical in high school, and so I will always, always have a soft spot for it. I'm tempted to teach you the Rain in Spain rhyme.

Nana and I left you for a week and it rocked your world a little bit. Your Grandma Rosemary and your Grandpa came and stayed while we were gone, and it was a nice opportunity to get to know each other.

Well, you got to know Grandma Rosemary. By the end of the week, you were still pointing to your grandfather, asleep in Daddy's chair, and saying, "Who is that man?"

Before your grandmother came, we told you all about how Grandma Rosemary LOVES backhoes. So you already had this in common. And you hit it off like a house on fire. I'm not exactly sure what that expression means, but I quite like it. And you did, you had a great time.

We had explained to you, over and over, that Mama would always come back. But you didn't quite trust it. And so when I walked in last Tuesday and you looked up and beamed, and said, "Mama come back!" it broke my heart a little.

And now, every day, whenever one of us leaves, we need to reassure you that we will be back. We will always be back.

We love you love you love you.


Friday, September 16, 2011

He took it all too far but boy could he play guitar

I have been fixated on these boots ever since I saw them in Paris.

(I did mention that I was in Paris, didn't I?)

These boots, should you have the inclination and the means to purchase them, are available at Zappos for $700. I have seriously thought about them every day for the last week. And although I am the queen of justifiers when necessary, there is no earthly way that I can do so.

I'm pretty sure that part of the reason I want them so badly is my deep and abiding love of David Bowie - because aren't they so Ziggy Stardust? It started in 7th grade, has lasted through many life ch-ch-ch-changes (sorry, couldn't resist), and surfaces every once in a while.

His Major Tom song? Probably one of the reasons I have no interest in space travel. Can you hear me Major Tom? Can you hear me Major Tom?

Anyway. I had this huge epiphany on our trip. Wanna hear it? Here you go.

It is SO EASY to find beautiful things when you are looking beyond your means.

How this took me this many years of concerted shopping to realize, I have no idea. All it took was one entire day spent at Galeries Lafayette, and BAM! There it was. Really expensive things are that much prettier.

Not just a little. THAT MUCH.

I was raised by parents who were kids in the Depression. I had a father who used to round us up for toilet paper runs. It was drilled into me early to never spend beyond my means.

And I don't.

I weigh purchases, I really do. My car is old, fine, and paid off. The only debt I have is property. I don't carry a balance. I have never, ever been a "that's what credit cards are for" person. Neither is Nick.

But I waaaaaaant these boots. They would change my life. They really would!

Aaaaand I know myself. I'll obsess about these for another week and then move on to the next thing. Nick is pretty glad it's no longer rabies or raccoons. But there's a wide world of potential obsessions out there.

Scary monsters, super creeps! Keep me running, running scared.

(Let's be frank: I'm probably too dorky for those boots anyway.)

Happy weekend, all!

Also, I will post Paris pictures soon, I really and truly will.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's called a spork, the opposite of camping, and also it turns out I like creepy little freaks.

It's not that I hadn't ever heard of a spork; it's more that I'd never been face to face with one.

Also, by creepy little freaks, I don't mean in person. Although for a while it did seem like that was the subtext of my Internet dating profile.

But the spork.

See, last Tuesday evening we got on this flight to Paris. (And if you've ever seen Love, Actually, and you know the part where Laura Linney is about to hook up with the hothothot guy and she excuses herself, goes into the stairwell and does a silent little super-excited dance, well, that's the kind of emoticon I need to insert here.)

So the flight to Paris (yippy kazippee emoticon!). A flight for which I'd received an email saying there would be no meal service. Naturally, I freaked out. Because if you are going to have me hurtling through space for seven and a half hours, I want to be overfed.

So we packed an insane amount of food. Really. Buns and chicken and fruit and more fruit. And when I asked Betty why her carry-on was so heavy, she had no idea. Upon inspection, she had no fewer than 10 Kit Kats, three huge Snickers, and approximately 72 Butterfingers. These will weigh a person down.

If you think I exaggerate, you need to meet Betty. Anyway, we were set. Plus, they did actually feed us semi-wretched pasta. Which I ate, because, you know. The oatmeal cookie was pretty good.

And then they woke us up at 5 am Paris time, which was a scant hour after I'd fallen asleep, and handed me this little packet with a yogurt and a bread product and this sharp edged implement. And I was all, "What the fuck is up with this mean, angry little spoon?"

Then I realized I was staring into the sharp pokey little teeth of a spork, which maybe is useful for varied meals when camping, if one does that sort of thing, but not as clearly so for yogurt.

And then I was wondering why they didn't just put a serrated edge on one side and call it a sporfe. Which so sounds like something you would buy at Ikea, doesn't it?

There would, of course, be the danger of slicing one side of your lip while trying to use it as a spoon or maybe even a fork, but eventually you'd learn to keep your mouth fairly wide open while putting things in. Although it occurs to me that that technique would make those food items more likely to fall out as well.

So then you'd have to choose - perpetually sliced side of lip, or food staying in mouth? Which would really only be relevant if you camped all the time. Or maybe were an astronaut. Do the astronauts use them? The only thing I really know about them is that they like Tang - or anyway they did in the 70s - and so do I.

And also I now recall that the whole bathroom in space thing is kind of iffy, what with the no gravity. Outer space is not so much my thing. Outer space and camping and mean little sharp spoons.

And anyway, listen, enough with the sporfe and the dubious poops in space.

Because, my friends, we are in Paris, Betty and I. Which is kind of the opposite of camping and all around really spectacularly delicious.If you don't know me in person I know it sounds like last week we were just all, "Oh, it's Tuesday, let's fly to Paris."

When in fact this trip had been planned in concept for several years, and in actuality since February, and I was only talking about it in person for weeks and weeeeks leading up to it. To the point where I'm certain everyone who saw me on a regular basis was kind of like, "Paris, yes, yes, I know, fuck you very much."

I was kind of insufferable, I'm certain. "Oh, yah, I won't be able to attend that meeting. Because I'll be in PARIS. Have I mentioned it?"

Things like that.

By the time I left I'm sure my office was all, "GO ALREADY"This is a trip that was three years coming, and when it finally arrived it was kind of perfect timing in terms of family stuff and kind of stressful timing in terms of Betty selling her house and moving in with us. When we return we have three weeks to race to the finish line of empty house and closing. This only came together the day we were leaving.

It's a little bit of an enormous project.

But here we are, and it is amazing. We arrived last Wednesday and we've only got one more day.

We've seen old friends, we've shopped, and we've eaten and eaten and eaten. I had this hot chocolate that was a melted chocolate bar in one jug and hot milk in another, and you just poured whatever amounts you wanted into your cup.

We turn out to be Philistines and so we've spent a great deal more time eating and shopping than doing anything cultural but it seems that whenever we go to a church - Saint-Séverin and Sainte-Chapelle, to name the, uh, two - the things that catch my eye are the creepy little freaks.

No, wait! The well freak was taken at Cluny! Although I must be honest and admit that we arrived just as they were closing, so it doesn't honestly count.

Actually, Sainte-Chapelle has the most extraordinary details, and I took a ton of pictures of little carvings and bits of wall and such and if anyone is remotely interested, or if I decide I want to take on the project of resizing and posting a number of photos, I will post them.

But aren't the creepy little freaks compelling? You can click to embiggen them.

And now, my invisible friends, it is one-damn-forty-something in the morning Paris time, and I am still awake because the time change seems to fuck with me like nobody's business.

Sporfe that, I say.

I hope you're well! I know I'm the one who went away, but I've missed you!

Oh and one more thing. I've disabled anonymous comments because of this one particular dickbag. I delete the comments, because I see no reason to respond to anonymous dickbags, really. And I see no reason to encourage anonymous dickbaggery.

Sorry for the inconvenience, though.

OK. I must sleep now. Bonne nuit!

(Ooh, I'm so bilingual! I think when I get back I'll pretend that I can't remember the right word in English. Because I was in PARIS, did you know?)

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Yeah, neither of us have any idea why I do this kind of thing either

Some background: So, before Jordan was born, one of the things I was most worried about, aside from how to keep my baby alive in general, was what do do with all the shit.

I mean that quite literally.

So after asking friends and reading on the Internet and what have you, I went out and bought a Diaper Champ. We immediately all hated it. And then we were all, do we spend more money on a Diaper Genie? Do we get another kind? What do we do?

And then we realized we had this great kitchen trash can we weren't using. It's metal, and opens when you step on it, and has these two flaps that close tightly at the top. You just use normal garbage bags.

It is kind of perfect. I mean, when it's closed.

When you open it, if there's poop in there, you get a whiff of death. But it does the job we need it to, and I would go this route again without dicking around with stupid baby diaper pails.

OK. So the metal part does not get stinky, but the plastic trash can inside does. Which is why I like to pull it out and clean it and let it bake in the sun on the deck every so often.

So the other night Nick was changing Jordan, and I came in, opened the trash can, and pulled out the entire inside can. Nick thought I'd made a mistake and said, "Just pull the bag out!" (See below. And no, I don't know why he looks like he has mutant hands and wears bell bottoms. Neither are true.)
Anyway, this was NOT what I wanted to do, because the stink, it was not limited to that bag.

But Nick decided to take charge of the situation, and grabbed the bag by the handles and cinched it. (Also, sorry for making him look like he has a pea-head. He actually has an unusually large one.)

This made me mad.
So I said, "But the plastic can smells too! I need to clean it."

And then, as if to prove my point, I bent over and stuck my head in and inhaled, really deeply.

I'll show him, I will.And then I almost threw up, right then and there.

I don't think I've ever seen Nick laugh so hard in all the time I've known him.