March 2012 Archives

I can only imagine the hits my website will get with that title. Or maybe I am delusional to think anyone is even reading this. Either way, I have a mere 5 minutes to post today, so that's it.

Parenting is hard. I don't know why, but whenever I say that I wonder if people will think it's a cry for help, or worse, a  statement that I do not like parenting. Neither of these things are true today. I was just thinking that there are things that we say about raising kids all the time that simply are not true. 

I mean, I don't think anyone can make the assessment that a kid is unaffected by any particular bad or good thing because it's a crapshoot. Often, the things I think my kids will obsess about turn out to score low on the Richter scale. And other things, seemingly unimportant things, change how they feel about life in general. 

So, while I could worry all night if sword fighting the dangerous pillows in our home is going to cause irreparable damage to their fragile little minds, I'm going to instead bask in the glory that is Mom Heroism, make us an organic frozen pizza and call it a night.

I was recently invited to a bachelorette party for someone who is in their 20's. This party is to take place that one free night I have between Passover and Easter. I'm a married woman with two small children. I haven't slept through the night in six years. Alcohol makes me bitchy and I would be the oldest woman in attendance.  If I have to explain where I'm going with this, you should stop reading.

But it did get me reminiscing about those days when nothing pleased me more than going on an alcohol fueled dance-a-thon with a few of my most irresponsible friends. Trolling for trolls, apparently. Knowing we would never find Mr. Right at a club called Crosswinds but going anyway because we were brave and bored.

I have had some of the craziest crap said to me by guys. I looked for that diamond in the rough. I remained optimistic even in the face of ignorant, sexist, Ijustwokeupwhereami times. But there is one guy that stands out as the awkward moment of my dating mis-steps. I call him Serendipity Guy.

Serendipity guy sat across a table from me at IHop in the wee hours of a Saturday morning after we left a dance club.
Him: I can't believe I met you tonight. I don't know what it is - what's that word? That movie with John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale?
Me: Serendipity?
Him: Yes. Serendipity! It's "serendipity". That's what this is. This is so amazing. I feel at peace, like this was meant to be. Do you know what I mean?

Did I know what he meant?? Uh huh. I sure did. He said serendipity and and I heard "You have reached the lowest point in your dating life. This moment is crack-pipe awful, so, obviously, it can only get better from here."

That dude left with a wrong number and I left with the knowledge that, indeed, there is a lameness that few of us can testify does exist in the hearts of desperate men.

It's almost bedtime so I'm resorting to a LIST tonight. Enjoy. Chuckle. Feel smug if you already knew them all.

1) A very long time ago, in a land where many of you live, I did the high jump in a track meet and jammed my pinky, ending my shot at the gold medal someday.

2) The act of smoking or being a "smoker" is something I have never understood. If I have an unfair intolerance of something- it's that. Honestly, I feel bad about my reaction when someone tells me they smoke. You'd think they just told me they eat bloody kittens for fun. I'm sorry, smokers!

3) I still am shocked when someone I actually like un-friends me on Facebook. I may be a left-leaning agnostic, but it's not like I smoke, geez.

4) While I LOVE NYC, it's not my dream to live in the city. To have an extra apartment in the city, yes. But I need space. Lots of it.

5) I'm not a Democrat. I'm not a Republican either. 

6) My very first online screen name was Snowite. Yes, spelled just like that. 

7) I have a very hard time lying. Which also means I can come off as being tactless. I'm willing to put up with some people thinking I'm an asshole if it means I won't have to lie.

8) I view people who don't like me with avid curiosity, not anger. Clearly, they do not know me and fail to appreciate my efficiency and honest charm. 

9) I'm a terribly sassy drunk. That's why I rarely drink and always stop after three.

10) Often, when someone is telling me about a problem I think, "Been there, done that." Unless they are talking about drugs. Then I'm all "WTF? GET OUT!"

Alright now. I've shared. I feel way better. 
My computer is being very crotchety and slow. Sometimes I have flashbacks to dial-up internet. In Romania. In 1995. So Mike has made a nice little plan to fix that. Meanwhile, here I am at 9 PM, realizing I haven't blogged my once a day blog. And fack-all if I have nothing on my mind now except television shows I'd like to be watching or a bed I'd like to be laying in.

Asher had the realization today that one day he will actually drive a car. When he is BIG he will have his own car. He nearly crapped himself when that sunk in. He also did a curious thing while on the crapper today. He cried FOR THE CAMERA.  I kid you not.

When he was about 2 years old he had this bizarre crying fit when I gave him a slice of cheese and it tore while he was trying to eat it. He is very specific about how he likes his cheese and chocolate. They both have to be served in undamaged squares. I do my best, but this day he was tired and all hell broke lose when that cheese slice came apart. He was crying and being delirious so I did what I do best. I recorded it to show to him at a later date and also to share with family. That clip still makes me laugh.

So today when I brought him upstairs for an um, poop, he got really upset that I was probably going to have to change his underpants and just started wailing. I mean, full, no holding back, tears. Loud. Loud as the day is long. He really had no reason to be so upset so I knew he was tired. This was a cry about his needing more uninterrupted sleep, his allergies and his struggle with independence than it was about the task at hand. It struck me as so hysterical because while he was doing this I was having a normal adult conversation with my friend, Charlie via text. Asher is screaming and I suddenly get the idea. "We should get this on video." He stopped crying like an actor on set; smiled and said OK.

This is our 2nd take. Behind the camera I encouraged him to let lose and ham it up. He did. Now we either need to call an agent or a therapist.

The other night I was reading this book to the kids at bedtime and I started crying. Uncontrollable, tear dropping, crying. For those of you who think this is about my high school crush - Gotcha! Nope. It's about a tree.
Here is the line that broke me:

"Through the years Mom and I have tried to show you, in a world filled with strangers, the peace that comes from having things you can count on and a safe place to return to after a hard day or a long trip."

My place that I counted on when I was a kid was 804 Willowbrook Drive in Midwest City, Oklahoma. And when we left that place when I was 13, I never felt quite at home any place after until now. But what made me cry is the knowledge that this isn't the place we will stay to watch our kids grow up. We hoped it would be, but we were wrong. We have no official move date, no finalized plans. We just know that the house is to small, the neighborhood not a good fit, and the cost of living too high. 

My husband says home is wherever we are. This is true on many levels. But he knows what I am talking about. He grew up in the most wonderful home. It has creaky wood floors, large trees, a creek, room to run and delicious smells always coming form the kitchen. His parents still live in that house about 7 miles from here. Hell, when we visit, it's hard for me to leave! 

I've moved a lot in my life and I credit some good parts of who I am to that. But I don't want my kids to move around much at all. They are not me. And I am not married to a military guy like my dad. I want a tree for a treehouse and shade. I want to live in the house that is big enough to accommodate in-laws and siblings of all sizes. It doesn't have to be new. It doesn't even have to be pretty- at first. It just has to be a place we can count on.
But just in case the Universe is listening; it wouldn't hurt if that place had a pool. We'll name it George.

I went to the mall today to pick up some face cream. After the very knowledgeable sales associate helped me find what I was looking for (a certain creme that won't make my skin angry, won't give me cancer and will beat back wrinkles like an angry possum protecting her babies) I was just about to leave with my little sample when I stopped, looked over the store and asked "Do you have a list of which products you sell that DO NOT contain parabens? I know lots of them say 'natural', but that's kind of not true, right?"
She knew exactly what I was talking about and proceeded to point out all the lines which really are natural and don't contain carcinogens. 

I think it kind of pisses people off when I do stuff like this. I've heard over and over the line "Everything causes cancer!" And I get it. I get that it's hard and sometimes annoying and inconvenient to change what you are buying and look out for yourself and the environment. 

I buy a lot of things that are out of the "norm" these days. And sometimes I'd like to just go to Target and buy the same shit everyone else buys because it's like RIGHT THERE in front of me for a mere $3.99, or whatever. But then I think about the fact that people used to think smoking was OK too. They used to think the world was flat. I remember that many big companies don't give a crap about me, my kids, the quality of my life. And I remember that I am responsible for myself. Nobody else will take care of me as good as me.  

Sure, we are all going to die someday, but I'm hoping that in the last half of my life I will have a better chance of being healthy-ish than it would if didn't make these better choices. I'm not trying to be the goody police or get kudos for doing the "right" thing. In truth, I'm just selfish and want to live longer, look younger and be able to chase "those neighbor kids" out of my yard with a switch.

The Photos

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When you move around as much as I have, you end up with a very long list of people you never see anymore but still miss. If those people stay where you met them, there's a good chance you won't mean as much to them as they did to you. At least that's my theory. Because they still have all the comforts of home, the places where the memories are made are close by. They still go to the same shops, see the other people who knew you. You, the one who left, you get the raw end of the stability deal. You get pictures that lead to seemingly dead ends. 

I have a lot of pictures that, if I show them to my local friends or my kids, it would mean nothing to them. That blows. It means I have a lot of stories that, whenever I tell them now, require explaining bits that A) are tiring to explain and B)  are not exactly flattering reminders of past mistakes.  If you are around familiar people you don't have to explain that you have been married before - everybody knows that it was painful and they know you don't enjoy saying it. You don't have to say how awful college was, they probably knew you then. It would be no surprise how many houses you've owned, cars you've bought or places you've traveled. 
But if you are like me, familiarity is not a luxury you have.

I look at my pictures from time to time. Worst part is, I truly do miss the people in the photos. I wish they knew me now, my husband, my kids. No amount of Facebook can revive the friendships. They have moved on and, truly, it's what had to be done. But sometimes I wish I could tell them that I never forgot the things they said, that my loyalty to them is still strong. I'd be there if they ever need me.



100 words

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Yesterday I was thinking about how I used to participate in that project and how good it was for me. I used to write much more. Much, much more. And when I write here I either get silence or some flack about how I don't do it often enough. That's fair enough, I guess. But not very inspirational.

I thought maybe I could start committing to 100 words every day. Then I remembered I am lucky enough to write at all so counting those words may push me over the edge. So, I'm going to see how just a commitment to write every day turns out. I'm going to tell you now not to expect the usual. That shit is long. These coming entries will probably be more like, "Blah" and possibly even confusing unless you have known me a long time. 

I don't advise my relatives on either side read this. In fact, I wish I could erase the site from your memory. But if I did that I'd have start anew. Again. And I'm too old and tired for that. So, here is your grain of salt. Shh.