Saturday, July 31, 2004
Last night, I ventured downstairs at about 4 a.m. and found my husband's laptop open on the coffee table. I was browsing around on it, when I noticed a video that he and his classmates had made during that program he was in most of this year.
They make fun of their instructors and themselves in it, as well as show off some Hooter Girls they met. It was actually really well done and really funny.
But what surprised me the most was my husband's acting ability. People keep mentioning this video to me, and how funny he is in it, but I hadn't seen it before.
But, oh my god! He is hilarious. He plays a whiskey-swilling, cigar-chomping, scary instructor. It just so happens that he looks quite a bit like the actual instructor he's spoofing, which makes it even funnier.
He basically spends the whole video yelling at people. I think I'll show this video to my kids when they're older and say, "See. This is what your father could really be like if he let himself go." I knew he had it in him to carry on like that, but I never thought I'd actually see it.
Anyone have any pain pills they'd like to share? Mine seem to not really be doing the job today. I have a feeling I'm going to look back at this post, and not even be able to understand it.
Pain, pain go away. Come again some other day. Tuna Girl wants to play.
Friday, July 30, 2004
When I was in the fourth grade, my family took a trip to Disney World. We drove down, taking in the sites and visiting family along the way. But, well, this is my family we're talking about, so there had to be a lot of tension.
I have a very clear memory of being in Tomorrow Land, rushing to get into the Space Mountain line, when my mother said that she had to go to the bathroom. My father yelled at her about it, but she still hustled off. I had to go a little, but not enough to get yelled at too, so I figured I could hold it until we took a break.
Once we were in line for Space Mountain, I realized that I really needed to go. But I was sort of stuck by then.
So we went on the ride. I'm sure I enjoyed myself since I love roller coasters. But on the way out of the building, well, I really had to go.
We were standing on one of those moving sidewalks that they have at Disney. And I just couldn't hold it anymore. But I didn't want to say anything and get yelled at. But, well, I had to go more than I realized. And once I started, I couldn't stop. So I ended up standing in a puddle on the moving sidewalk.
My parents were mad, and embarrassed. Of course I was too. But then it got even worse. The moving sidewalk started moving downhill. Yup. As you can imagine: waterfall. The people in front of us were all jumping out of the way, trying to avoid getting wet.
I don't really remember much after that. But I swear that was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life.
The Executive's post about some special art yesterday reminded me of this awkward situation.
When my daughter was in 3-year-old preschool, my husband was deployed most of the school year. There was another little girl in the class who's father was deployed with my husband. So having daddies far away was something they talked about quite a bit in class.
One day, my daughter told me that Mary's daddy was far away too. I hadn't known that, but there were quite a few military families in the school, so I wondered if he might be military too.
The next day I saw Mary's mother at car pool. She was chatting with me about my husband's deployment so I asked her, "Is you husband military too?" She told me he wasn't. "Oh. My daughter told me Mary's daddy was away too, so I thought he might be."
She got a rather pained look on her face and I figured I had just put my foot in my mouth. I figured they were divorced or separated or something.
"Well, we have been trying to keep it quiet, but my husband is in prison." she informed me.
Ack! Talk about awkward. I think I just said, "Oh. I'm so sorry," or some such thing, but she went on to tell me the whole story. As if I wanted to know.
After that, she must have decided that I was the only person she could talk to about it, because I got to hear all about their situation whenever I ran into her. that's what I get for trying to be friendly.
Wow. It was kind of fun telling embarrassing stories about myself.
This weekend, my husband is going to a soccer referee clinic. He wants to learn the game so that he can coach my daughter's team next year. But, he'll be gone most of the weekend. That will mean either way more blogging, or much less.
Have a good weekend everyone! Take care.
Thursday, July 29, 2004
Then I overslept this morning. I've realized that I oversleep every Thursday morning. Isn't that weird?
Then I dropped the girl off at soccer camp (on time), and the boy and I went to my orthodontist appointment. That was fine except that it got me anxious to get this surgery over with. So I went home and called the surgeon's office, just to make sure that they had faxed the insurance company the form that they needed.
This led to a ten minute argument with a woman named Maisy. What the hell kind of grown woman goes by a name like Maisy? She informed me that she could not send in the pre-approval form because she knows they won't cover me and therefore, she won't get pre-approval. Um, sweetheart. That's the point of the form. PRE-APPROVAL.
She explained to me for the fifth time, "You understand that this will be quite expensive...?" There is nothing that makes me more angry then when people are condescending. I tried to explain, even if the insurance company won't pay, I could pay you in cash, right now!
Then she informed me that my insurance company kept her on hold for 20 minutes, therefore it was my responsibility to get them to call her personally. It's not my fault that the insurance company didn't pick up the phone.
So I hung up with a polite, "Thank you for your time." And I added a "BITCH!" to that after I disconnected. You have to make me really, really angry to use the B word. I really don't like saying that bad word.
I was pissed enough to call my husband at work. After hearing me out for a couple of minutes, he told me he was coming home. He's spent the rest of the day dealing with this problem for me. My hero. He is at the surgeon's office right now. He went earlier, but Maisy was out to lunch.
"I feel bad, though," he told me. "I walked in (in uniform) and the poor girl who was covering the desk almost had a heart attack. Her eyes got bigger and bigger and she stammered at me." He can look pretty intimidating when he needs to.
What pissed me off the most about all of this, is that the surgeon and I have already talked it all out and had a plan. A plan that he didn't convey to his office help. Maisy told the insurance lady that Dr. Smith does not want to do this procedure. That's bull, because Dr. Smith told me he was really looking forward to this procedure. It's not every day a surgeon gets to fix a deformity as bad as mine.
Wow, that feels better. But wait. There's more.
So, I pick my daughter up from camp and she had a good day. Our mantra has been, "No crybabies. I'm tough. Grrrrr!" and that seemed to work.
So, in my pissy state, I took the kids to McDonald's for Happy Meals. I specifically went to McDonald's because I like their salads. But the woman asked me what I wanted and I just blurted out, "A number 3 with a Diet Coke." Those Quarter Pounders are going to be the death of me. I was so pissed at myself. But I ate it. And enjoyed it. Then I ate the kids' fries for good measure. Cause, you know, my gaining twenty pounds will really fix my problem with Maisy.
Oh, did you know that it is the 25th birthday of the Happy Meal. Yup. McDonald's, using cheap toys to trick your kids into getting fat for 25 years. I remember when the Happy Meal first came out. It was so exciting.
Add to all that the fact that I really need a hair cut. My son really needs a hair cut. My daughter really needs a hair cut. And I have a zit.
But I have to say, besides all that, I'm actually kind of happy today. My little girl had a good day at camp. My husband is being my crusader. My son was absolutely adorable at the orthodontist office. It's all good.
Aren't you glad you can be a part of my little life?
It's amazing what a little man-in-uniform/testosterone will bring to a situation. When confronted with my husband face-to-face, Maisy quickly changed her tune. Everything should be set from her end by Monday. We'll see. I don't want to have to send The Enforcer down there again.
My husband's take on the situation: "Two-faced bitch."
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
That's not to say that you should expect an interesting post today.
My daughter is going to soccer camp this week. She loves soccer, but she doesn't quite understand the concept of competition. She gets so upset when someone takes the ball from her. She thinks everyone is supposed to be taking turns with the ball.
I was a little nervous about sending her to this camp because I felt like she was a little young. But she begged, and she really could use the exercise, so I relented.
Now everyday when I pick her up, she's crying. "I hate that boy! He's mean. He keeps stealing the ball!"
So she sits on the sidelines and cries. This kills me! Where is her killer instinct? When I was that age, if a boy took a ball from me, I would have slide tackled him to get it back.
The coaches swear that she does fine all day. She's the youngest in the group, but they say she is well-behaved and she's learning skills. They say that it is only at the very end of the day, when she's tired that she starts getting upset.
Argh! I'm not used to having the problem child. And I don't want her to lose her love of soccer.
Sometimes it is absolutely amazing to me that my daughter can have such a vastly different personality from my own. She's a little bit more like her father, but only in a few small ways.
She and I are having a tough week. She's a very intense child. And she's emotionally manipulative. And she peed on a table! How is it even possible to pee on a nightstand? She claims she wasn't standing on it.
She's supposed to be spending an hour in her room right now, napping or resting, or even playing quietly. She's been out in the hall at least three times so far. *sigh*
Okay. I'm sorry. I'm having a bad mom week. I really need this moment to rant before I go insane. When I rant about this type of stuff to my husband he always wants to fix it. He tries to come up with strategies to change her behavior and these strategies usually involve punishment. I wish he could see that I just need his understanding, not his problem solving.
Yeah. You know what? I really need that cruise. And a drink. Anyone want to meet me for a drink?
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
It turns out that none of the four friends really know each other. The only thing any of us have in common is CB. This should be very interesting.
Now I can get excited! Woo Hoo! I need to go to the gym. I need to get an air brush tan. I need to get a bikini wax. I need new clothes.
The girl who is doing all the planning thought that my husband was going to surprise me with the cruise. Between that, and the proposal story I just told, I have finally come to accept that I will never ever ever get a big romantic gesture out of my husband. He's just not that type of guy.
Which is why I treasure the little things, like the whispered, "I love you," that comes out of nowhere. After his graduation this June, when everyone else was shaking hands, he pulled me close and whispered, "Thank you," in my ear. Oh swoon. How sweet is that?
Surprise or not, it's still pretty sweet that he's taking time off work so that I can get a few days vacation. He always has to make some comment to ruin his sweet factor though.
Him: I'm actually looking forward to being a full time dad for a week.
Me: Yeah. And you get a break from me too.
Him: I don't need a break from you, unless...well...let's see if we can schedule it during your PMS, huh?
Monday, July 26, 2004
When I worked as a secretary, guys would hit on me all the time on the phone, saying that I sounded sweet, nice, or beautiful. I thought that was so weird. I could be a troll, for all they knew. And I think they enjoyed telephone-me so much, that they would be disappointed by the real me, no matter what.
I felt the same way about my blog. Isn't it better to let your imaginations fill in the image of the me that you feel fits, without any photos to get in the way? That's why I prefer to read a novel than watch a movie.
But then, I saw a bunch of your pictures. And I'm loving it. I feel a little like a voyeur, but it's fun.
And you're all so friggin' adorable. Seriously. You'd think a bunch of people who decide to write about their lives online might not be so attractive. But you are.
It's nice to have a face to go with a blog. What do you guys think? Have you ever been disappointed by a bloggers mug?
By the way, don't expect any pictures of me to show up on my blog anytime soon. We're eeeeasing the hubby into the blogging thing. Baby steps.
Sunday, July 25, 2004
If you've gotten to a point in your relationship where you know a ring and a proposal are on their way, try not to listen to a single word that his friends say.
Once my guy signed his life away to the military, right before our junior year in college, we started seriously talking about getting married.
I knew that his step-sister was a jewelry designer, and she had offered to help him design a ring (and get a heaping discount) when the time came, so I knew that he had that part handled.
By November, his friends started telling me things. "He's going to ask you in uniform," they would tell me. "He's got big plans," they would say. I figured they had talked to him about it and had the inside line.
On November 13, 1993 we had a Dining Out to attend. A Dining Out is sort of like a Military Ball, but it has a bunch of traditions and forced drinking from a grog bowl that make it a little less formal.
Well, my husband had to go to the hall early to help get things set up, and I was left to my own devices in his dorm room. I took a shower in the men's room (always a fun experience) and was rushing around trying to get ready in time.
I opened up one of his drawers in search of tooth paste and I found a little black velvet ring box. I slammed that drawer shut so fast it made the room shake. Everything his friends had been telling me came racing back into my head. And I just knew that this would be the night he'd ask me to marry him.
So I finished getting dressed and drove myself to the Dining Out. Once he was all done getting set up, he made me go back outside, so that we could walk through the saber guard together.
Okay. This is it. He's going to stop under the arch of the sabers, get down on one knee and propose his ever lasting love. Right?
We walked right through and started mingling. (Incidentally, that's when he told a commander's wife that I went to a "little girls' school." How about a small, women's college, you big dork!)
The night progressed. At one point, the MC announced that Cadet Tuna had a few important words to say, and my guy went on stage and took the mic.
Here it comes, I thought. Oh lord. This is more public than I expected from him. Is this our special moment?
He made some announcement about selling sweatshirts or something. Argh.
And the night progressed. Did he ask me after the awards? No. Did he propose on the dance floor? No. Did he even offer to buy me a drink? No. And I got more and more sullen as the evening wore on. I was trying so hard not to be disappointed, but I just couldn't help it.
After we got in a fight about why I was in such a bad mood, I finally told him that I found the ring box, and that I had been expecting him to ask me.
"Oh," was all he said.
We drove back to his dorm in silence. We went to his room to get changed before we headed to a party. He took off his shoes, pants, and jacket and was standing there in his white uniform shirt with garters attached to his black socks. (I'm sorry. That's a dorky look on anyone.) I asked him to unzip my dress.
While he was standing behind me he asked, "What color box did you find?"
"Black," I told him.
He opened the drawer, reached in and pulled out the black box.
This is it. This is our moment. I'd prefer it if I weren't half naked with my dress around my waist. I'd prefer it if he weren't showing his sock garters. But okay. This is my--I mean--our moment.
I opened the box. And it was empty.
"You jerk!" I yelled and threw the box across the room. I started to sob. Talk about playing with my emotions.
"No! No wait!" He panicked. "I have another box." He reached into the drawer again and pulled out a pink box. He was still standing behind me, we were both still half dressed.
I opened the box and the ring was inside. I couldn't stop crying.
"Are you going to say yes?" he asked.
Through my tears I managed to tell him, "You haven't even asked me yet."
And so, half dressed, without even looking in my eyes (coward) my man popped the question. And I have no idea what exactly it was that he said. Who can remember with all the other drama?
Of course I said yes, but I never stopped crying.
We finally got dressed and went to the party. One of his best friends made a wonderful toast to us, and that's my big romantic memory from my engagement night. His friend saying romantic things about me.
The next day he chickened out about going to tell my parents with me. I can't blame him for that. I thought my father just might tell me, "no."
So for, let's see...eleven years now, I've been holding his blown proposal over his head. I'm still waiting him for to make some grand gesture to make it up to me. I have a feeling I'll be waiting a long time.
Saturday, July 24, 2004
We've also had more wacky conversations than we usually do.
Me: How much do you love me?
Me: I got you a G-mail invite.
Him: Oh, cool. How'd you do that?
Me: I flirted a little. Flashed a little.
Him: Work what you got, baby.
Me: But if you get an e-mail from a guy named Todd, it's probably for me. Ignore anything he says.
Him: Hmmm. Should I send him an e-mail to say thank you.
Me: Oh dear lord no. You don't want to encourage him.
(p.s. Love you Toddy!)
Him: You should go (on the cruise).
Me: Yeah. I don't know.
Him: You'd have fun, dancing and drinking.
Me: Flirting with guys.
Him: That too.
Me: (Performing my own little bump and grind) You're not worried that I'm gonna entice some hot guy to sweep me off my feet? I can be pretty seductive on the dance floor, you know.
Him: I know. I've seen.
Him: In Vegas.
Him: Yeah. You must have been practicing. (If dancing all over the house like a maniac with my iPod counts as practicing, then, yeah. I had) You had me all hot and bothered.
Me: (Taking note of a female sexual enhancement drug commercial on television) I should get some of that.
Him: Yeah. That's all I need. I wouldn't be able to walk. I couldn't make it to work.
Me: (lying in bed) MOAN!
Him: If you're going to keep moaning like that I'll never get to sleep.
Me: I feel like crap. MOAN!
Him: Yeah. You can sleep downstairs if you want.
Me: Come on. It feels good. Do it with me. MOAN!
Him: You can take your vibrator with you if you want.
So, yeah. I'm having fun torturing him. Tomorrow I'll tell the story of how he proposed marriage to me. Then we can all pick on him together.
Friday, July 23, 2004
Yesterday, my husband came home at lunch time and said, "I have a proposal."
RB told my husband that when he gets home, he's sending his wife on a five day cruise. He's doing it as a way to say thank you and to get her a much needed break from the kids. Her two other best friends are going with her.
"Rob wanted to know if you'd like to be the fourth," said my husband.
My first thought was, "Hell yeah! Woo Hoo!" immediately followed by, "Who will take care of my kids?"
My husband asked for the time off of work, but his commander is away and he won't know for a while. I have to make a decision soon, like this weekend.
My other problem with this trip is that CB's other best friend is not my favorite person. At all. In fact, she's not CB's favorite person anymore either, and CB has told me that she's trying to distance herself from her. But I'm guessing her husband doesn't realize that. Or it's too late to change plans.
This woman is in charge of the planning, and I have to call her if I want to go. We also have to drive to New Orleans. That's an eight or nine hour car trip with someone I really don't like.
And as sweet as CB's husband is trying to be, I know that she won't really want to go. She has a hard time leaving her kids with her husband for an evening.
So, what would you do? Would you commit to going? I don't have a problem leaving my kids with their own father, but if he can't get off work my son will end up in a day-care-like situation.
I can pretty much get along with anyone if I put my mind to it. But it takes a lot of energy to be polite to someone you don't like. I also only get the opportunity to travel alone once every few years. And, frankly, I'd like to meet some of you at some point.
Should I make it my mission to go on this cruise with my best friend and force her to enjoy herself?
Okay. Okay. I know. This is the biggest problem in my life? Trying to decide whether or not I want to go on a fabulous vacation with my best friend. My life is good. Have I mentioned that before?
Come on guys. Tell me what I want to hear.
Thursday, July 22, 2004
He can't wear it when he flies and he says he doesn't want to lose it when he has to take it off. But he still likes to have it with him. Maybe he slides it on to discourage overzealous admirers. Who knows what goes through that man's mind.
I guess I should be glad he hasn't socked it away somewhere, never to be seen again.
Seriously, this man was absolute male perfection. Tallish. Leanly muscled. Honey brown hair, just a little spiky and tousled on top, short in the back. Tanned. Beautiful face. *sigh* Hot clothes. I have a weird thing for ringer tees. Oh, and he was wearing cool leather thong sandals. I'm not usually one to appreciate feet, but whew. Hot. He was also wearing a nice platinum watch and a platinum wedding ring. (I need to get a camera phone!)
He looked about as miserable as I felt. When his cell phone rang, he dashed out the door, never to return.
I know that it is weird and wrong, but I have a real thing for wedding rings on men. They're so sexy. So you'd think I'd enjoy seeing my own husband's wedding ring on his hot hands. Um no. He carries his wedding ring on his KEY CHAIN! Argh! That bothers me to no end.
So, anyway...back to the point at hand. Did my discreet man watching distract me from the annoying mothers? No! They were worse than ever. I came home, rushed through the door and into my husband's arms. "Hold me, please!" I cried.
Last night's featured dances were jazz and twirling. And yes. I was a baton twirler for many, many years. I practiced at least two hours everyday. I had to fit twirling practice around softball, basketball, and football...but I was committed. I never won a National, but I was competitive at that level. (Hey, Brent. I bet I went to the same competition at Notre Dame as your daughter.)
Tonight's dance camp features modeling. And yes. *sigh* I did that too. I'm so embarrassed.
I was actually very good at modeling. I was graceful and all that and I rocked at the interview. But I didn't go crazy with the make-up and hair and nails, and expensive dresses...and all that. So I never went past the state level. But I won a state championship once. Yup. You can now tell everyone that you know a Mass. State Queen.
Can you believe they called it that? How funny.
I had softball practice after that competition, so I had already changed into my softball clothes by the time they announced the winners. So I had to go up and get my trophy, crown and sash wearing softball warm-ups. They pinned my sash right to my jacket.
My father thinks I wasted years and years of my life with that girly stuff. He's sort of right because it never got me to the Olympics or anything like that. But I enjoyed it. It gave me a nice body, an appreciation for sportsmanship, and a certain amount of grace.
Last night, when I saw my daughter with that baton in her hands, I wanted to cry. Part of me dreamed of having a daughter who loved twirling as much as I did. Part of me dreams of having a daughter who loves softball as much as I do.
But she's a traitor and chose ballet and soccer. Two things I know barely anything about. But she's already so passionate about them. I love that.
One more night and I'm free until I have to do this once a week during the school year. My offer to trade lives is still open, people.
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
But do you know what makes me feel queebier? Having to sit in a small waiting room filled with Southern stage moms for an hour and having to listen to them talk. Oh. Dear. Lord.
My daughter has dance camp every night this week. I have heard the Southern mothers pontificate on everything from spanking to cats and I can't take it anymore. I asked, or actually begged, my husband to take her last night, but he claimed to want to have time to bond with the boy. Yeah right.
Last night I asked my husband if he would please jam screwdrivers into my ears before her next class. This may be the only solution. I bring a book and bury my nose but that can't keep out those twangy whines.
And why are random people always asking me for parenting advice. Do I look like Dr Spock? Can't they see that I'm trying to read a romance novel here? Do I tell my kids, "no." Hell yeah. Do I make them say, "Yes, ma'am." Well, I make them say, "Yes, Mommy," since this isn't a prison. Do I spank them? I've never had to. And I never would. You raise them right and it's not even an issue.
Anyone want to trade lives with me? Just for the evenings for a week. My daughter's really cute and well behaved. And she can dance up a storm. I could go to your house and do whatever it is that you do. I'm prepared. Come on. Deliver me from evil Southern stage mothers.
I'm begging here.
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
Well, since I promised Wayne, and Pua's jealous, I think I'll talk about sex.
I have been having sex with the same man for 13 years. That's really sort of amazing when you think about it. Amazingly boring, you could say. But for us it has only gotten better and better.
My sex life had a most inauspicious start. When I was 15 I had sex for the first time with my first real boyfriend. Let's call him Chuck, because that's his real name. Chuck was a lefty, in every sense of the word. Chuck also told me that he didn't believe in oral sex, so there'd be no licking of my body or sucking of my nipples, BUT he asked me to, "lick his dick like an ice cream cone." So I guess it wasn't a hard and fast rule, so much.
Mark was talking about pain in this post, and though I know he meant a different kind of pain, the way he describes it pretty much fits. Oh the humanity. I remember asking Chuck if he loved me at that most painful moment. Oh to be 15 and stupid again.
The pain didn't deter me much, though. I dogged that boy for more every chance I got. And barely got any.
Then when I was 17 I moved on to the impotent 23 year old. Let's call him Tim, because that is his real name. He was a complete mess of a person. He could get hard, but couldn't keep his erection through rolling on a condom. We tried for about a year. We wasted a lot of money on unused but unrolled condoms. I made up for my previous lack of oral sex though. He was the first guy to ever suggest anal sex to me so that we wouldn't have to use a condom. Apparently, he wasn't very bright. He also shared my biggest sex secret with a friend at a bar.
And my next partner in crime was that bar friend who knew my sex secret and wanted to know if I'd like to do that with him. I'm keeping the secret to myself because you already know way too much about me and my husband would have a heart attack. (Although he told me he wouldn't care of I talked about it on my blog, I don't really believe him.)
That friend was a huge improvement (emphasis on huge--I knew there was some reason he was a hit with the ladies) and my first and only fuck buddy.
Then there was the Tuna Hubby. I must confess that I don't remember our first time. Isn't that awful? I barely remember any of our college sex, and it's not because I was drunk or stoned. I just have a really bad memory.
I honestly think that we were married for about three years before the sex got really good. The year we spent baby making was the absolute best. At the time. Our sex life has gotten better and better every year since.
Surprisingly, it was his deployments that sent us into a whole 'nother level of Monogamy Done Right. When all we could do with each other was talk about sex we opened up on a whole new level. I learned things about him that I never would have guessed. And when he got home, we tried most of them, and well, damn. I'm a pretty lucky woman.
In the past couple of years I've done some research and learned a couple of new things about sex and my body. So let's go back to Mark's post. I won't mention what it was about here because I'd rather not lose my husband to a coronary.
Let me say this about that topic and then I'll never mention it again. I was really, really, really surprised by how good it felt (on the receiving end, that is). I was expecting it to be uncomfortable at best, but oh my god! Not uncomfortable. Really good. Not as good as "regular" sex, but really very good. (Oh lord. Did I just say that?)
And the other thing, well let's just say that, yes, Virginia, there is a G-spot and I know how to use it and leave it at that. My new, um, talent is something that I want to share with women everywhere. It is so empowering and amazing. It's beyond words really. I wish I had a forum to really discuss it at length.
Okay. Now that I've embarrassed myself, tomorrow I'll get back to talking about ponies and rainbows. And softball.
Monday, July 19, 2004
Now, I've had quite a few jobs in my time. Some of them were perfect for me. These were the ones where I spent most of my time writing. And some of them were really, really not for me. These were the ones that involved sales. I tried my hand at ad sales, real estate, and retail.
Retail was the biggest joke of all. When we lived in Pensacola, I spent months and months searching for a job. Pensacola is notoriously bad about hiring military wives. That's understandable because for most people, Pensacola is a pretty short tour. But in my case I kept getting called back for interview after interview. They liked me but I couldn't hide the fact that I was a military wife. In the end, they'd choose someone else. Most of these potential employers even told me straight out that the only reason I didn't get the job was because of the military.
So, one day I was in the mall, shopping for yet another interview suit, when I came across a kiosk where they were taking applications for a brand new (think urban, preppie, Seattle) clothing store. I figured, what the hell. Maybe a place with high turnover wouldn't mind a military wife.
I interviewed for a sales associate position right then and there. And they called me that night to hire me. I had asked for $10 an hour, figuring that's what I made at my last job, and what the heck...might as well shoot high. They offered me $6.50 and I was desperate enough to take it.
I was the highest paid sales associate there. By a long shot.
Oh, by the way, my very first night on the job I outed one of the guys. Completely by accident, I swear. It ended up being okay but I felt so bad about it. I wasn't used to it being an issue.
A couple of months later I inadvertently made it clear that another associate's child was conceived out of wedlock. She was an ensign's wife. We call that pulling an Officer and a Gentleman. I was totally innocent I swear. She was telling stories and I asked for a detail and it made it quite clear. Maybe I should think before I open my big mouth.
Anyway, about a year later, two or three of us (including the assistant manager) were standing around just waiting for a rare customer to walk through the door. In walked a couple of guys, obviosly Navy. I tended to wait on the Navy boys because everyone thought I had a way with them. I guess I did. I'd flirt a little. Mention how I used to work on base. And I'd wait until they had paid for their stuff before I'd let it slip that I was married to an officer. Is that so wrong?
But this particular Navy boy stands out in my mind because he was wearing the most horrendous shirt ever. And I don't mean horrendous in the "it's so ugly it's cool" kind of way. It was just awful. It was a Hawaiian type shirt with a blue background and huge four leaf clovers. Ugh.
So Navy boy holds up a shirt and says, "Is this ugly?"
And I reply with, "It couldn't possibly be as ugly as the one you're wearing."
I could just feel two jaws dropping behind me. What? I didn't think it was so bad. He obviously knew the shirt was ugly. He was wearing it to get a reaction. Right?
Well the guy laughed and told us the saga of the ugly shirt and I did my flirting thing and sold him a few items.
Evidently, good sales makes up for insulting the customers, because the manager just ended up telling everyone the story and making a big joke of it.
The moral of the story: Sometimes guys like to be insulted a little. They like that in a girl. I swear. Especially Navy guys.
The second moral of the story: If you're desperate enough to work in retail, you're desperate enough to use your boobs to make sales. Not that I have big boobs. I swear.
Sunday, July 18, 2004
Sadly, I get much of my news from BWE. Like this week I learned that George Michael shut down the chat function at his site because people were calling him fat. Oh, Mark, honey. Poor baby. I know how bereft you must feel. If you just desperately need to express your love for GM, you can e-mail me.
When you watch BWE at 2 a.m. on a Saturday night, like I do, you also get to see commercials for Seasonale. Seasonale is the birth control pill that makes you only have your period four time a year. On the commercial they actually represent these periods by big red, well, periods. And then these woman (dressed all in white because that's what girls wear when they have their periods) start throwing away eight of these periods like frisbees.
I find this commercial to be very disturbing.
At first, it sounds great. Four periods a year? Yeah, I'm feeling that. I don't even need birth control, but I'd consider that. Then you just have to think, is that really good for you. I mean, there's a reason why you get your period every month. They even say in the commercial something like,"Now we know what you're thinking. Is that okay?"
Then they go on to explain about the "breakthrough bleeding" that you'll get worse than before. Suddenly, four periods a year sounds like a dicey proposition.
So I will continue to shed my uterine lining once a month, thank you, just like god intended. And I''d strongly suggest that you do the same.
Saturday, July 17, 2004
Why is it, that I have never been to a birthday party where the birthday child didn't have some kind of accident? Mine fell off the picnic table. But kisses were dispensed and all was well.
Only five girls showed up, which was really perfect. And they happened to be five of the nicer girls we know. Although, they were all between a half hour and an hour late. That's one thing I really despise about my friends. There is nothing worse than being late.
I overheard the moms talking about how much my daughter had grown up, and that was kind of cool. She has grown tremendously this year. She was such the little hostess.
One little girl told me it was the "best party ever" and my own kid said that she was the "luckiest girl in the world" so it was worth it.
As we were driving away though, my husband whispered to me, "Never again." He's oddly shy in these situations.
I finally feel like I can get my life back to a routine now. I never realized how much I thrive on routine until I had children.
Friday, July 16, 2004
Last night, I was lying in bed for hours, just thinking about a bunch of stupid crap. None of it is too upsetting on its own, but when you mix it all together, and throw in a dash of my crazy imagination, well, it's enough to keep me awake.
It's like someone is sitting on the remote control of my brain, and channel after channel is whizzing by. Would you like to experience what it is like to be me? Aw, come on. Who wouldn't want to be a sex-obsessed, money-obsessed, neat freak, slightly compulsive, kinky, freaky, idealistic, military mother of two with a penchant for drama and a fear of buttons? (Have I mentioned my button phobia before? I'll save that for another post.)
- Everyday, I drive by a hair salon called Bushwackers. Who thought of that and why am I only now realizing how stupid that is? I wonder if they do Brazilians.
- My parents found out that the housekeeper of our house on Cape Cod has been letting her friends live there and throwing wild parties. Our neighbors aren't happy. The worst part is that the housekeeper is a relative and she has been trying to contact my husband to see when he wants her to open up the house for the summer. He's been avoiding her like the plague. Come on, Honey. Blast her before I do. Or my father does.
- Our new fish died. They lasted less than a week. I think my daughter's afraid that her little brother might die now.
- I never have time to take a shower until the afternoon. Do people who only see me in the mornings think I'm some crazy bad-hygiene lady?
- I feel bad for Martha Stewart.
- Do I want a puppy? Should I wait? I really want a puppy. No I don't. Considering how many pets we've killed recently, maybe I shouldn't be allowed to have a puppy.
- I hope I'm doing the right thing by letting my daughter go to soccer camp.
- Why oh why did I buy my husband that X-Box?
- How long can I let the dishes gather mold before someone else does them.?
- Will anyone show up to my daughter's birthday party tomorrow?
- Have you ever felt shy about reading someone's blog? Especially if you want to go back and read their archives? Have you ever felt shy about linking to someone? Am I the only one who feels this way?
- You know what's worse than thinking about blogging during sex? Thinking about blogging while you're masturbating. I mean really. What's the point?
- How much is my jaw surgery really going to hurt? Is it going to put us in the poor house?
- I need to write up another Tuna List to have waiting in the wings for crappy blog days like this one. What the hell should I write about?
- Why do I only ever swear on my blog?
So I decided to take my rambling crazy thoughts and sleep on the couch last night. This morning my husband told me that he slept better than ever. Great.
Oh. And if you want to send your husband running out of your house, ask him this: "Do you think I'm like this because of PMS or is this just my personality?"
That may only work for women, though.
Y'all ignore me. Have a great weekend. I'll be on a farm hosting twelve little girls for a birthday party. Pray for me.
Thursday, July 15, 2004
So here is the happiest thing I can find to share with you at the moment.
My daughter's summer camp theme is Under the Big Top. She made this today at camp. And yes that is her under the nose and wig.
All together now...Awwwwww. Indulge a mother and revel in her cuteness.
This is not fun.
The first time I had to do one was when he first started training to fly. It got me thinking about his death and imagining the circumstances surrounding his death for weeks and weeks.
They had us all update our forms after 9/11. A lot of the guys were pissed off about that. They didn't want to upset their wives. But the commanders believe in preparing your family in every way possible--rightly so, I believe. That wasn't a fun time either.
I've filled out so many of these forms now that I've gotten a little blase about them. I know all the answers by heart now. Burial--check. Cremation--no check. National cemetery--check.
I actually find it kind of comforting that in an emergency, some official will be contacting my best friend to take care of my children and my husband's best friend to take care of me. Some commander will be calling his parents and mine. Some official will be calling my financial advisor. It's all good.
My husband, however, hates when I have to fill out THE FORM. He won't give me much input and keeps telling me, "Whatever you want, Hon."
It occurred to me that nobody is asking what my husband would like to have happen should I die.
And we really need to update our will.
You know, I was going to talk about sex today. I was beebopping along through my day, with only food, sex, and the offspring on my mind. Then I had to copy THE FORM and I just felt the need to share with someone that this is what I do. Once a year for the past eight years, I've been planning for the worst.
This is not fun.
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
For example, last year when I met a new neighbor, she said, "Oh. I'm so glad to meet you. CB talks about you all the time. She thinks you're so wonderful."
Now, CB is my best friend. Why would I be surprised that she would say nice things about me?
I remember feeling this way as a teenager too. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was actually very popular in school. Maybe the fact that I didn't think I was popular contributed to that.
So, my husband and I were relaxing in the bath tub last night, with my broken toe propped up on the edge. We do some of our best talking in the tub. We were talking about this and I told him that some blogger friends had said some nice things about me, and it made me feel so great.
"Why am I surprised when people like me?" I asked him. "I like me. Why wouldn't other people?"
"You have to realize that most people are insincere," he replied. "When someone takes the time to sincerely compliment you, it can be a little surprising."
I guess he's right about that.
"I think I'm sort of complicated," I told him. "I think it's probably pretty hard for people to get to know me. I mean you get me, but how many people really see all sides of me."
"I get about 40% of you," was his reply.
I laughed at that and told him he was cute. "But seriously though," I asked. "You get to see the having-crazy-sex-me and the doing-the-mom-thing me."
"That's about 40%." He said.
The discussion made me realize why I enjoy blogging so much. It's really the only place where I can be irrepressibly me.
But let me say this. You know you're thinking about blogging too much when you're composing posts in your head while having sex.
Sorry, Honey. You're the man.
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
And my water broke. I've never felt so alone in my life.
Of course the first thing I did was call my mother. Since she was a couple of thousand miles away, there wasn't much she could do but confirm that yes, all of that rushing liquid is your water breaking and you should call the hospital.
After confirming that I wasn't having contractions, the nurse at the hospital told me not to wait for my husband to land, or to call an ambulance. She advised that I drive myself to the hospital.
My next call was to the Command Center. "I have no idea what to do or who to call," I told the young lieutenant who answered the phone. "But my water just broke and I'm on my way to the hospital."
Bless that young, nameless lieutenant. He basically told me not to worry about anything, and that he would contact the aircraft as soon as possible. He told me to drive carefully to the hospital and take care of myself and my baby.
"Okay," I told him, my voice finally breaking and my stress and nerves finally starting to show. "But this is early and he won't even believe that it's me."
"Yes, Ma'am. It's okay Ma'am. Do you need me to call an ambulance?"
"No, no." I was tough. I could do anything. Besides, this wasn't really happening. As long as I took one step at a time, everything would be fine.
Luckily, at least from my point of view, my husband's aircraft had an emergency engine failure and was already on its way back to base when my water broke. That lieutenant had basically mobilized the base leadership and some unknown Colonel was waiting on the flight line to drive my husband to the hospital. Ever the self-sufficient folks that we are, my husband refused the ride, wanting to have his own car at the hospital. (I think he was under the mistaken impression that this may take a day or two.)
Meanwhile, I walk into the emergency room, clutching a purse and my stomach, and a nurse stopped long enough to ask me if I was in labor.
"Well, I guess so," was my reply. "I mean, my water broke so I guess this is the real thing, right?"
As the nurses in the maternity ward were getting me checked in, they told me that they were getting phone calls from "every Colonel on that base, asking after you and yelling at us for not sending an ambulance. It's not like you were having contractions, after all. Jeese. Men!"
Then, I impressed them even more because American Airlines called the hospital, trying to track me down. My mother had coerced some ticket agent into helping her track me down (she had no idea what hospital I was at) and help her book an emergency fare on the next flight.
So, at this point, they do a little test to see if you've actually broken your water, or if you've just wet yourself. And they told me, "Nope. This is just urine."
Now, I may have been a first-time mother, but I know the difference between wetting myself and having all of the ambiotic fluid in my womb rush out of my body and flood the toilet over. "Try again," I insisted.
Can you imagine? All that drama and it wasn't even the real thing? But it was. Whew. I would have been a little embarrassed over that one.
An hour after I arrived in the ER, my husband joined me. It was the middle of the night and he fell asleep almost immediately. Except for a trip home to feed the dogs, (priorities!!!) he slept until I started pushing. Lot of good he did me.
Because my contractions had to be induced, they were extremely painful. I have no idea how I got through the eight hours of labor, until I got my epidural.
That anesthesiologist was my hero. After that I was joking with the doctor and really enjoying the whole experience. My husband didn't enjoy the joking so much. He told me just the other day that he was terrified that day. The most terrified he'd ever been.
And you know, I wasn't at the time, but looking back, I should have been terrified too. We were looking at having a premature baby, and all the health problems that could entail.
But at 12:29 p.m., Tuesday, July 13, 1999, my little girl slipped into the world. Within moments they had her breathing and she was just fine. Except for a scary bought of jaundice, she was perfectly healthy.
Technically, five years ago today I became a mother. But I sort of feel like I was always my kids' mother, even before they were ever with us.
My daughter's rushed entry into the world is quite indicative of her personality. She is the most intense, yet sweetest child ever born.
She's only now learning to read, and let's hope she never finds her mother's little spot on the WWW. But...
Happy birthday, sweet girl. I love you.
Monday, July 12, 2004
Let the showers of sympathy commence.
I slammed my foot into the base of a stationary bike. It made a lovely crunch/pop sound that I can't get out of my head. I iced it for an hour (with our boo boo piggy) and when I went to put piggy back in the freezer, I stubbed those same toes into a step stool.
I've given birth to two children and this pain was...well, it wasn't as bad as that. But it really hurt. I couldn't sleep it hurt so much. So I was downstairs in the middle of the night to get some Motrin, and I tripped over my husband's big 'ole sneaker, which he had left right in the middle of the floor. More pain.
So, as I said, let the sympathy commence.
My husband was sweet today. My daughter is at summer day camp at school this week, so it's just me and my son at home. My husband came home for an hour, took care of our boy and put him down for a nap so I could catch some sleep myself.
This is all I have to talk about today. I'm going to take it as a good sign that there are times in my life when my biggest problem is a stubbed toe.
Sunday, July 11, 2004
I almost always have music playing in the kitchen while I work or cook. Yesterday, my son was standing on a step-stool, helping me make lunch. I was bopping out while I was working and I noticed that he was imitating me.
I figured it was my motherly duty to teach my son how to dance. There's nothing sexier than a man who isn't afraid to dance, right? Maybe someday it will help him attract his one true love.
So I told him, "Shake your bum, Buddy." Which he did. He stuck it right out and shook it for all he was worth. He even copied my arm movements and my facial expression. It was too cute for words.
Sometimes, I think it is these little moments, like dancing in the kitchen with mom, that define a childhood.
Saturday, July 10, 2004
I have love on the brain today. Often, when readers E-mail me, they will mention how my relationship with my husband gives them hope. Or they will ask me specific questions about love. How do you know when it's real? How do you keep it alive?
I've never thought of myself as an expert on love. Far from it. As a teenager, I made many mistakes. I even let my husband get away in high school because he wasn't cool enough for me.
And the early days of my own true love story were not always fairy-tale happy. There were times when I wondered if I could tolerate him for the rest of my life. There were more times when I wondered if he could tolerate me.
But as my husband's best friend said in his best man toast at our wedding, "They have been through so much. This is not an easy life that they have chosen. But the one thing that we can all see, and feel, through all of it, is love."
I had my fair share of young crushes, or unrequited love, if you will. I have no way to prove it--I haven't done any tests or any research--but I can pretty much guarantee that real love, love that is equally shared between two people, just feels different. That's not to say that one-sided love isn't real. It is. But I just don't think it is true love.
Because true love is almost divine in the way it works out. You can call it meant to be, or destiny. But it can't be forced or fabricated.
True love is like a seed. It is either planted in the dirt, or it isn't. But it needs work to make it grow. A lot of work. And it never stops needing work. But, and this is the important part, if the seed isn't there, no amount of water, or sun, or fertilizer will make it grow. The real trick then, is to be able to see beneath the surface, and know if the seed lies ready or not.
If I have one real talent in life, it is knowing when to hold on to things, and when to let them go. If someone isn't investing enough back into our relationship, I have no problem letting him go. This is probably because I have such a secure safety net of love, that I don't feel the need to hang on. But I also know that in order to be open to new relationships, you have to have room in your heart.
I have a deep faith that there is one true love for everyone. My most fervent wish for my friends, family, even my kids is that they are open to that love when they stumble upon it. And stumble upon it they will, because love may be a messy business, but it's the only kind of falling that feels safe.
Ten years ago, my college softball coach took me aside one night at dinner. She wanted to know if I was sure about getting married. She couldn't understand how I could give up such a promising career for a boy. She wanted me to take a step back, and be sure that I was doing the right thing.
I remember telling her that I had to. I had no choice, because it is useless to refuse your heart. I told her that I knew I should marry my guy when I realized that he was my family. Not the family I was born into, but the family I chose. She didn't understand. And I felt so sorry for her.
Last night, after the babysitter left, my husband and I acted like teenagers. Literally. He couldn't unfasten my bra. He fumbled and fumbled and I laughed and laughed. He started laughing too, and said, "Hey, you're laughing at me."
"That's right," I told him. "I couldn't laugh at you when you did this when you were eighteen, but I can laugh at you now."
And I realized this morning just how wonderful that is. Our challenges are different now, but we know how to face them. We've grown so much together.
My mother always told me that I would just know when it was real love. That's a pretty crappy way to explain it to someone who hasn't felt it before. But she was right. It is only after you've fallen that you can look and say, "Oh yes. This is true love."
So, to my in-love friends out there, isn't it great? It's hard, and it hurts, but it's great.
And to my still-seeking friends out there, may love come to you. Because you are worthy. We all are, but you're especially worthy because you're my friends! The only way to be ready for love when it comes is to practice by loving yourself the best you can.
Awww, damn. And here's a huge hug for anyone who needs it. Because that's what I do.
Friday, July 09, 2004
The last time I had surgery there, they were just about to put me under when I noticed that the X-ray hanging from the lightbox didn't look like me. It took a minute to sort it all out, and they tried to play it off like it wasn't a big deal. But, jeeze. That could have gone very wrong.
From now on, I'm going to identify myself there by my birth date. I'd like to know that the surgeon knows who I am while he rearranges my face.
I told my husband this story and he had one of his own.
(Okay, imagine this is Tuna Hubby speaking with a voice not quite as deep and rich as Vin Diesel's, but close.)
I was inprocessing today and this guy kept looking at me really funny, like a scared rabbit. Two or three times, he asked me my name (which is clearly printed on his name tag). Then he said, "There's another (his name) who just came through here too, you know."
So I said, "Oh yeah. I knew that, but I guess I had forgotten."
And the guy says, "Yeah. He was a real asshole. You're not, though"
Great. Now I'll be working in a squadron where everyone is going to assume I'm some asshole before they even see me.
(You can stop imagining my husband now.)
That's sort of funny because most people assume my husband is an asshole after they see him. He just has this sort of intimidating/thuggish look to him.
He's one of those annoying people who goes by his middle name. (Sorry, you other middle name people. I know you're out there.) I suggested he start going by his first name and he just laughed it off. Most people only know him by his call sign anyway.
Yes, we have the most common names ever. Only John Smith or Jane Doe would be less original. And we named our kids pretty boring names too. Oh well. I don't think the world will miss one more Brooklyn-Dunn Carrington or Hoodie Jamison Brats.
Thursday, July 08, 2004
Me: I'll pay you to put the kids to bed tonight.
Him: How much are you willing to pay me?
Me: Hmmmm...name your price, Baby.
Him: (With a gleam in his eye) Un huh.
Then he did this weird click/tick thing and winked, like guys in movies do.
So he's putting the kids to bed, and I'm waiting to see what the payment will be.
I need a break. Everyday we get more bad news but I'm sick of even thinking about it. It's actually become sort of funny. What could happen next?
Oh! I have more big news. This is right up there with liberation from the diaper bag. We hired a babysitter for tomorrow night. Our sitter even got her license, so she can drive herself right on over. Woo Hoo! This is huge.
Y'all rock. I'm tired. Nighty, night.
Wednesday, July 07, 2004
Today, though. Today I know exactly what I want to write. I only hope I can find the words to express what I'm really trying to say.
Remember how I said that I'd be feeling better by today? I was so wrong. I don't really feel like going through all the details (that is so NOT me) but I can summarize.
First, I broke my alarm and overslept.
Second, I drove my best friend CB to the airport. Her husband is deployed so she is spending a month with her parents.
Third, I went to my surgery consultation and found out that my insurance probably won't cover my jaw surgery. We're talking at least $10,000.
Fourth, my car wouldn't start after my appointment.
And lastly, a vet tech who we became friendly with called to tell us that the vet grossly exaggerated my dog's problems. She was hoping that she had called in time to ask us to let her keep the dog herself. Too late.
How much does that suck?
But that's not what I want to talk about today. Today, I want to talk about friends.
I'm not someone who always felt like I had a lot of friends. I tend to make just a few close friends and stick with them until our friendships have run their courses.
But what I've realized is that I actually have (and had in the past) lots and lots of friends. I was just defining the term too narrowly. I sort of expect friends to be like sisters. But that isn't very realistic. Friends are people who know you, or are taking the time to get to know you, and like what they know. Friends are people who are willing to take the time to think about your feelings. I have tons of friends. And through your comments and E-mails, you guys helped remind me of that.
I said to my husband tonight, "I got some really great E-mails and comments from my blog today. It really felt nice."
He was glad for me. He also pointed out that having my closest friend leave for a month was probably a major force behind just how bad I was feeling. I hadn't even given that a lot of thought, but he's right.
Today, I just really want to say thank you. Thanks for reading along with me here. And thank you for knowing just when I really needed some support. This isn't the first time I've said it, and it won't be the last, but you guys are the best.
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
The worst thing about today is that it hasn't been all bad. It's been a roller coaster. I've been crying and smiling, back and forth all day. It's emotionally exhausting.
I had thought that the day I had my dog Talon put to sleep was one of the worst days of my life. Which is stupid, considering all that went on in my little world on September 11, 2001. But that day was like the crappy culmination of all that bad stuff for me. There I was, completely alone, having the dog I loved like my baby put to sleep. I've never cried at a funeral or any really sad event in my life. But I broke down and wept like a child that day, in public too.
Today was worse. My husband went to pick up my other dog from the vet and she suggested that we have him put down. Partly because he's old and going blind, but mostly because he bit three people during his two week stay there. The vet's conclusion was that his health has made his behavior unpredictable. She said that if we didn't have kids, it would be different, but that it would be best to put him down.
My husband didn't burden me with the decision. He had him put down. He had to hold him on the table while they injected him. Part of me was glad that I didn't have to deal with even more pet loss on my own. But mostly...I don't know how to explain it. When it was me, I could cry and complain. But I feel much worse FOR my husband than I ever felt myself.
So he came home from this and the kids were being especially loving and adorable. They made us laugh and smile. But they'd go play and we'd talk about the dog and get all depressed again. Add to this the career change my husband is going through, some crap that happened with his family, some disturbing news about my impending surgery, and my recent feelings of being trapped at home. It's one of those days that shouldn't seem too bad in the grand scheme of life, but is awful regardless.
We decided to get out of the house and grab some dinner at a deli. It was good. We didn't talk much about the crap because we had the kids, of course. But my husband had three distinct frown lines in his brow. When I pointed this out to him he pointed to each line in turn and then pointed to each of us.
"That's the second time in two days that you've said I stress you out," I noted.
"I know," he said. "It really isn't that bad, and it really isn't you."
Cassidy's and Toddy's comments from my earlier post had made me feel a lot better, but now I feel bad again. I know I'm not really causing any of his stress. But I think he worries FOR me, and that still makes me feel bad. Hell. I can take care of myself and my kids without his help. He knows this because I've had to do it plenty in the last couple of years, but he feels responsible. I understand that, but I still hate that he has to feel this way.
I love him so damn much. Even when he is driving me insane, even when I am so angry at him that I go to the attic and throw things, even in the early days of our marriage when I fantasized about going back home to Mass. where I could make my own life...even then I loved him so damn much that I wanted to take his hurt and fears as my own.
By tomorrow I'll be fine. By tomorrow we'll tear up the old dog area in the yard and start to spread out the kid's stuff. My husband has promised me a new patio. We'll buy some new fish (RIP Goldy and Rocky). We'll be more than fine.
But tonight...tonight I'll take heart in my bloggy friends. (Thanks for the E-mail Cass.) I'll take huge advantage of this wonderful phenomenon of blogging by releasing my stress into the Internet ether. Sharing a load makes it lighter, and I already feel better just writing this.
Now, if you've read this far, well, what the hell is wrong with you? Don't you have enough crap in your own life to bore you? I'm not sure why anyone would actually read the crap that spews from my brain on a daily basis. But I sincerely thank you. Really. I'm starting to wonder what the hell I did before I had a blog.
Take care of yourselves.
Speaking of stress, I was reading Men's Health last night and they have an entire section on stress, including some interesting stuff from a former POW and other military folks. I stopped and asked my husband if he was feeling a lot of stress. He said he was so I asked him if his job stresses him. He said yes, but it wasn't very convincing. So I asked if his family stresses him and he said, "Well, not the family, just you."
I thought he was kidding, but he wasn't. He refused to talk about it so late at night (understandably) but I just had to ask if I stress him out more than his job. He said yes.
So he goes to combat for a living. He has one of the highest stressing jobs in the world. He just completed training that rivals Navy SEAL training in intensity. But I stress him out more. I'm not feeling very good about myself right now.
I feel like my physical surroundings are closing in on me. Like the clutter and mess in my house is about to wrap around me like a boa constrictor and eat me alive. If I don't get out of here soon (damn rain and record heat) I am going to go insane.
Speaking of clutter...
I snapped a few photos in my office, just to try out my new Media Center PC, and this picture struck me as funny. It's a pretty good illustration of my, um, eclectic personality. And notice how Trust Fund Boys is rubbing right up against Officers in Flight Suits. Mmm hmmm. That's what I'm talking about.
Monday, July 05, 2004
Let me explain.
A few days before my vacation, I received one of those lovely Amazon boxes. Inside were The Night We Met and Trust Fund Boys, both by Rob Byrnes. There may have been some little book by this guy named David Sedaris too, but that is hardly worth mentioning.
So I may be a little late to the party, but I thought I could begin The Night We Met a couple of days before my trip, and finish it up during my flight. But no. Rob sucked me in, damn it. I was drawn in by the characters, and propelled by the plot, and I stayed up one whole night straight to finish. Which left me nothing to read on the plane, and tired and cranky in Sin City.
Then I spent a week in Disney World and came home to Trust Fund Boys. I swore that I would pace myself this time. A few chapters while the kids nap. A few chapters before bed. But Rob sucked me in, again. I lost another night's sleep, and now I'm cranky girl again.
So damn you, Famous Author Rob Byrnes. Damn you for writing engaging books with absorbing characters and enough romance to suck me into an interesting plot.
I'm probably the last one in the blogosphere to read these books. But if you haven't yet, you should. Just make sure you schedule your time better than me.
Sunday, July 04, 2004
Yes folks. This is the biggest news I've had to share all year. After five long years of hauling around twenty pounds of diapers, wipes, tissues, emergency snacks, books, toys, and sippy cups, I am finally free. I've stuffed one diaper, my wallet, my cell phone, and my sunglasses into a smallish mom purse, and I'm free.
I'm not the mother of babies anymore. It's both exhilarating and terrifying. It's my independence day.
Tomorrow, I tackle the gym.
Which leads me to realize something. I haven't really given a true portrayal of my husband within the pages of my blog. I've glossed right over most of his bad qualities, which is only right. Because he's mine and I get to do that. But maybe he isn't always quite as easygoing and cute as I make him seem. (I think. I really am not sure how he comes across in this blog.)
So, in the interest of truth and journalistic integrity, I'm introducing a new series of posts here on Tuna Girl. It's the My Husband is a Complete Dork series.
My guy was commissioned through the ROTC program at a private college. His college was unique in that it was small and attended by very few women. In fact, my women's college had more men then his coed college had women.
Most of the cadets lived together on one floor. There they could be as macho and chauvinist as they wanted, away from the eyes of the rest of the campus.
One of their more juvenile ideas was the Totem Pole.
The Totem Pole consisted of strips of paper baring each cadet's name tacked on a bulletin board. When one of them had sex, he moved his name to the top of the Totem Pole.
My husband would usually scoff good-naturedly at these sorts of things. He claimed himself too old and too (almost) married to bother with them. But I kept noticing that his name was migrating to the top of the Totem Pole.
Now, it is perfectly possible that his cohorts were moving his name whenever I spent the night, assuming (rightly so) that he was getting lucky. But I had my suspicions.
One night, my husband seemed especially eager to get to the bathroom after we had sex. When he returned I asked him if he had moved his name. "Um, of course not. That's stupid," he said.
"Really. Let's see," was my reply as I dragged him to the bulletin board, where his name was standing fresh and proud at the top.
"Okay." he admitted. "I moved it. So what?"
From then on, I teased him about the Totem Pole.
Those guys took it very seriously. They even forced the guys with fiances and serious girlfriends to separate off into their own Totem Pole.
At some point, someone must have made them take it down. It disappeared and no one would say why. But these sorts of things...man. I can laugh about them now, and I laughed about them then, but I also worried about the type of frat boy mentality that would take something like that so seriously. And we wonder how Tailhook could have happened.
So my husband is far from perfect. He's perfect for me, of course, but there are times when he drives me crazy. As sweet, strong, easygoing, and kind as he can be, he's also a great big dork. I guess that's why we go so well together. Anyway, I thought I'd share that with all of you.
Friday, July 02, 2004
Well, yes. Yes I can. (Blame Jerry.)
And blame my husband too, because as we were eating our lobster dinner, he asked me this question: "Do you think we're rich?"
This is sort of hard to explain, but military people seem to have a different perspective on discussing money. This is because, everyone's income is completely public knowledge. Your pay is based on your rank and time in service, and anyone can look it up on the web. Even incentive pays and (sucky) retirement plans are completely public knowledge. So we don't' mind talking about money. It is sort of weird, but I'm used to it.
Anyway, we're not rich. We're middle class. But we're on our way to rich, because we're lucky (Thanks for the trust fund, Tunagranny!)and just a little bit smart. But I think we tend to spend money with a rich attitude. And therefore, we tend to occasionally live an upperclass life.
Case in point, last night's computer frustrations led to our deciding to buy a new computer. We walk into one store, see what we want, and buy it. I'm now blogging on a fancy schmancy new Media Center computer. Can we really afford it? Well, we put it on a credit card, so I guess that means we can't.
Further, I have household help. Okay. I know. That sounds so snotty. But when you're a stay-at-home mother and your husband deploys, you have to outsource something. Lot's of my friends have hired girls to come and play with their kids so they can get the housework done. Screw that! I can play with my kids. Someone else can do the housework. So for $45 a week, I get a clean house, and my husband and kids get a happy Tuna mom.
And the topper, my daughter goes to a private school And it's an Independent School. Basically, it's the most expensive school in the area. We take our kids' education very seriously, and I'd retire to a cardboard box if I had to, to be able to pay for the school we want, and to be able to allow my kids to choose any college they want.
When I read about bloggers who have trouble paying their rent, I feel so bad. When I read about bloggers who have to do crazy things for health insurance, I feel even worse. I want to take everybody under my financial wing, even though I could never afford to do that. I am extremely lucky when it comes to money. And because I wasn't born into money, I really appreciate everything I have.
We're not rich, but we have enough money that we feel secure. Money can't make you happy, but when you're happy enough to start with, well, money sure can feel nice.
Thursday, July 01, 2004
I can't be mad at him though. For one, he's technically doing what I asked. He's doing it in his own way, but he's doing it. And for two, he was my hero yesterday.
Every night that he is home, we have this conversation:
Him: What's for dinner?
Me: I don't know. What are you making?
But since we have no groceries in the house, I was prepared last night with a suggestion to go out for Chinese food.
But he said, "I want lobster."
He trudged to the market and brought home three lobsters, shrimp, and potato salad. Then he proved why it's always good to have a New England boy on hand. He boiled those babies up and even split the tails for me. (Now that sounds dirty.) Bringing me lobster will get you everywhere!
He did something weird though. He took the live lobsters out of the box and let the kids pet them. I didn't think it was a good idea to let the kids bond with our food before he threw it screaming into the pot.
My son ate half the shrimp and a bunch of lobster. We need to hide that stuff from that kid. He'll eat anything. He kept calling it monster though, which I think is cute.
After yesterday's, classy post, I'm feeling a little shy. Who knows how I get these things in my head? Yesterday's post turned out sort of stupid because I was avoiding using the type of language that I use in my own brain.
But, today I am feeling so damn domestic it's not even funny. I redecorated the kid's bathroom in sunny yellow, and now I have the redecorating bug.
My husband just walked by and asked if I'm blogging. He then asked, "Are you blogging about my exploits trying to fix the computer?"
Ha ha. Well, I was. But wait! He said fix the computer. That means it is broken, right? Damn. I need to go supervise my boy.