Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Happy Birthday, Tuna Man

You're the only fish in my sea.

I'd write more about how wonderful you are, but I have to go bake a cake.

Oh, and Honey. Go call you mother and thank her for me, huh?


Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I wasn't always this stupid.

First of all, I should let you all know that we're fine. I've received quite a few e-mails and phone calls checking up on me and I really appreciate it.

We don't actually live near where Katrina hit. In fact, the skies have been sunny and cloudless for the last couple of days here. Our town is full of evacuees and my heart goes out to them.

I didn't blog yesterday, and I don't have a real post for you today because I'm not feeling well.

On Sunday night, I did something I haven't done in a long time. I cooked a real meal. I made chicken enchiladas from this recipe.

They turned out delicious (if I do say so myself). I had a couple and my husband ate (maybe) five of them.

And then I spent the evening in pure agony. Besides being haunted by freaky dreams, my stomach felt like the Wiggles were dropping acid in my digestive track.

My husband was fine. So, I went out on a limb and decided that it wasn't the enchiladas that made me ill.

So what did I have the next day for lunch? The last enchilada. And I spent another whole day sprinting between my bed and the toilet.

I swear, I used to be smart.

Disclaimer: I'm sure it was the cook and her sensitive stomach and not the enchilada recipe itself that is to blame. No, really. You should try it. Let me know how you make out.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Pretty Good Ten Years

This weekend my husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary.

I had planned on getting him a pretty romantic gift but I dropped the ball and I'll have to save that gift idea for another special occasion.

So instead, I bought him a 60 GB iPod Photo.

Pretty nifty, huh?

Except, I don't think he's too thrilled with it. He says he's just not used to it yet. He keeps asking me questions like, "So you sinc up all of your music every time?"

I told him we'd convert him soon enough. It's like the Borg. There's no resistance. He'll be a part of the iPod generation whether he likes it or not.

It turns out that he has over 6 GBs of music on his laptop. I have less than 4 GBs. So where is all of that music coming from?

As he was poking around through his files he said, "I have a lot of Metallica on here."

What? What the hell did he just say? Who is this man and what has he done with my husband? How could I have married someone who listens to Metallica?

"That's crazy!" I said. "We've been married for ten years and I'm just learning what kind of music you like. Do you know what kind of music I like?"

"Sure," he replied. "You like Billy Joel, Tori Amos, Melissa Ethridge..."

Ack! I haven't listened to any of them in a dozen years. I just shook my head though. It's kind of cute that he still thinks of me as some geeky, pseudo-lesbian college student.

And now I'm listening to Tori Amos' Under the Pink and reliving my college days. There's nothing like a little Cornflake Girl and Pretty Good Year to make you feel young again. (Though my favorite will always be The Waitress. You've got to love a song that starts out, "I want to kill this waitress.")

But I think I may be experiencing iPod envy. His is so spiffy and new and it holds photos. He put it in a little iSkin iPod condom right away and his probably won't get all scratched.

It's okay though. He gave me a sapphire and diamond bracelet. It is really very pretty. It doesn't play MP3s, but I'll have it forever.

Just like him.

Friday, August 26, 2005

My Savior is Four Feet Tall

Last night my daughter was in the bathtub while my son was brushing his teeth. I leaned down and picked a wet towel up off the floor and a little creature bolted from underneath it.

My first instinct was to assume that it was a roach and I dropped the towel back on top of it. I surreptitiously tried to squish it without alerting the kids to the problem because my daughter has been known to freak out in such situations.

I, of course, was freaking out. But I was freaking out on the inside, so it was okay.

I slowly lifted the towel to see if I had managed to squash the vile insect but instead I found a little lizard.

Now, you know how I feel about lizards, but this thing was tiny. We get those here when it is really hot. And we always find them in the bathrooms. It's fascinating to me. How the hell do they get into my second-floor bathrooms? (Please don't answer that. I'm not sure I want to know.)

But I still can't just let a little lizard live in my bathroom. What if he finds a way to slip out under the door, slip under my bedroom door, climb up my bed, and get in my slack-jawed and drooling mouth. Or something.

I should mention that at this point, I was standing in the hall, as far from the little monster as I could get trying to figure out what the hell I should do. And that's when the kids noticed our little friend.

"Oh look! How cute!" they said.

What? Are these kids even mine?

"Awwwww. He's crying because he's sad and misses his family," my son said.

"Yeah, Mom," added my daughter. "He needs some love."

Not from me, he doesn't.

But now squashing the thing is clearly out of the picture.

I looked my bathing six-year-old in the eye and asked her in desperation, "What am I going to do?"

"Pick it up and put it outside so it can find it's family," was how she advised me.

"Are you crazy? I'm not touching that thing," was my reply.

"Well, use a paper towel or something, Mom. Jeesh!"

I think the kids were starting to take note of my panicked eyes and ready-to-flee position in the hallway outside of the bathroom.

"Let me finish washing my hair and I'll do it," said my six-year-old savior.

Now this is a kid who screamed and cried last year when she found the same type of lizard in my bathroom. And I honestly didn't think she was capable of completing the catch and release. And I wasn't thrilled with the idea of my baby girl getting within ten feet of the thing.

But I was too embarrassed to call the exterminator for the emergency removal of a lizard smaller than a quarter. And I couldn't stand sentry at the bathroom door all night.

So I made her put her nightgown on. And then I handed her a paper cup in which to corral the creature. Yes. I was arming my own child to do something I was too afraid to do myself.

She bent down and put the cup on the floor. "Come on, little guy. In the cup," she said sweetly.

And the little guy trotted right on in.

Then she held it up to me. "Look, Mom. How cute!"

"Ack! Honey! Go put it outside. Quick!"

As I got my son ready for bed, my four-foot-tall savior released her little friend into the wild.

"I put him on the steps, Mom, because that is where his family is," she told me.

What? She put it on our front steps? Does she have no concept of how close that still is to my sleeping mouth?

"Thank you, Honey. But next time take him all the way to the edge of our yard! Okay?"

When I told my husband this story, between his gasps of laughter he said, "Next time. Next time! Is she going to be your in-house exterminator now?"

Well. Hell yeah. I knew we had these kids for a reason. I knew they'd come in handy one day.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


I didn't sleep last night. I have a lot of heavy stuff on my mind and I just can't let it go and relax enough to sleep.

In the wee hours of the morning I went looking back through some blog archives (including my own) and now I'm thinking, thinking, thinking. About life and love and relationships.

I found the following post in my own blog back on July 10, 2004. Forgive me for being vain enough to repost my own stuff, but it struck a chord in me. And I'm too tired to come up with a new post anyway. It was simply titled...


Things have eased up a little around here and my brain has turned to loftier thoughts.

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.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Don't even bother reading this.

I wonder if my impending anniversary affects me the same way my impending birthday always does.

Because, god, I am so fucking depressed.

I was looking back at my posts from last August and I was feeling this way last year at this time too. In fact, it was this post that caused Patrick to e-mail me his phone number and jump started our friendship.

I was alone then, but I'm not alone now. I look at my fellow military wife bloggers and many of their husbands are deployed. They have so much more to be depressed about but they're holding it together just fine. But me?

Well, I guess I'm holding it together on the surface too. I'm starting to get my head above water on the day-to-day stuff. But I feel an overwhelming hatred for myself right now and I just can't shake it.

I feel like I can't do anything right. I don't return my friends' phone calls. I don't return e-mails that I really should. And oh god! I went to a room mothers' meeting yesterday and I couldn't have felt more out of place or, well, dorky. Those women were so snotty. And they wouldn't shut up no matter who was trying to speak.

I'm skipping the squadron wives' coffee tonight because I just can't bring myself to go. I never skip out on these things. But I'm too fat, shy, and socially awkward to be out in public right now.

Ah. What a pity post! Yeah, poor me. I hate when I write like this.

But the thing is, I have to let this out somewhere, and better on the blog than on my friends and family. Because when I spew in person, it ain't pretty. Right, boys? And I wouldn't want to get any on ya.

Be good, you guys. Take care of one another.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Why does he always do that?

With four days until our tenth anniversary and eight days until his birthday, I asked my husband to avoid spending money this week. I want to make sure we have enough money left to go out for a nice night and still be able to pay our babysitter.

So what did he do?

Today he went to the BX and bought himself a new watch.

But first he left me phone messages, both on our machine and on my cell phone.

"Hi. It's me. I wanna buy a watch." Click.

I could only shake my head.

And then, after he decided to go ahead and buy the watch without my permission, (Ha!) he left another message.

"Hi. It's me. I'm trying to get a hold of you because I want to buy a watch. It's only $25. I hope you're not mad at me. I don't think you will be. Okay, I'm going to go buy it. I love you." Click.

I could only shake my head and laugh. It's not like I have ever begrudged him a purchase.

I guess it's a good thing I didn't buy him a watch for his birthday. Of course, if I had, I would have paid more than $25 for it.

Men. You got to love the big lug.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Spread the Love Again!

Once upon a time, Tuna Girl had only a handful of readers. And they were all gay men, except for him. (Hi, Brent!)

It was a nice time. A comfy time. Everybody got along and nobody's husband was reading. (Hi, Honey!)

And then I started to pick up a few military wife readers here and there. It made me a little nervous at first. I didn't want my blog to bite my husband's career in the ass for some reason. And I didn't want to offend anyone with my radically different views on life. I mean, I'm a Democrat for god's sake!

But then most of those military wife readers turned out to be pretty damn cool. Hell, some of them are even Pagan.

I never blogged about it, but I seriously considered taking my whole blog down at one point. It was my fellow military wives who kept me going. Sometimes I even feel like Tuna Girl is a place where people with very different backgrounds and views on the world can come together to laugh at me. And that rocks.

A few months ago, Rose started a support group of military blogger wives called GroupHUGS. Each month, we get a new buddy to contact. It's just a way for us to get to know each other and lend support when needed.

This month, my buddy is Berkley. Just like me, she is a stay-at-home mother of two. And her husband just left for a 240 day deployment.

She's feeling a little down, of course. And I wish there was something more I could do for her. I wish I could think of some way to make her smile.

You guys were so supportive of me while my husband was away. I wish I could share you with her.

Oh wait! I can! You guys really came through for Rose when I asked you to do this before.

Why don't you go on over to Berkley's blog and leave her a little hello. It's easy. Just click right here. And I'll be eternally grateful.

In fact, I'll be so grateful that I'll do something for you. Any requests? I have embarrassing pictures of some fellow bloggers. And I know some Manhunt handles. Any takers?

UPDATE: Thanks, you guys! I don't think you can possibly know how much that meant to Berkely. She even broke out a new blog skin for the occasion.

I love my readers! I guess I need to start posting those pictures, huh?


Housekeeping note: If I ever get my checkbook balanced, I'm going to take the time to organize my blogroll links. If yours needs to be updated, please let me know.

Friday, August 19, 2005

He Did It!

I have exactly eleven minutes to blog and post today. Let's see if I can do it.

Hmmm. I have so many topics that I could talk about. But most of them require more than a few minutes of thought.

Fuck. My mother's on the phone. That's two minutes down. Apparently the space shuttle is flying by today.

Anyway, today completes my kids' first full week of school.

I'm pretty damn proud of both of them, but I'm so proud of my son that I could burst. He's loving school. And the teachers have pulled me aside a couple of times each to let me know how excited he is to be in school and how happy and well-adjusted he is already.

He cracks me up though. Do you remember when I couldn't convince him that boys poop on the potty? And I didn't have a male role model to prove it to him. And Uncle Patrick and Mr. Mark weren't willing to step up to the plate.

Yeah, well, at the time, I told him that he had to poop on the potty before he could start school.

So what did he do? He waited until the day before school started. Now, all of sudden as if by magic, he is completely potty trained. Typical.

And he expects a toy every time he goes. Because I had resorted to bribery and promises of new trains if he would just please, for the love of god, go in the potty.

Now he counts each poop floating around in the bowl and thinks he should have a new train for each piece.

He also makes up stories about them. The big one is the mommy. The little ones are the kids. I guess it's cute, for now.

So this is what you get when I have eleven minutes to come up with a post. You get stories about floating poop.

And I'm off to pick up the potty king. With a whole minute to spare.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

My Dog Hates Me

Seriously. She does.

I blame him.

While the kids were busy being spoiled by my parents, my best friend was ruining my dog.

He spoiled her so very much. Every night when he came home from work, he would play Bonsai Buffy with her. This is a game that involves much pouncing and tossing and roughhousing. And when he tired her out, they'd curl up in bed together and go to sleep.

But every night on his way home from work he would call me on the phone and we'd chat to help keep him awake on his late night drive. So the dog got used to this. The phone rings. Mommy talks to Uncle Patrick for a while. And when she hangs up, Uncle Patrick is walking in the door and ready to play.

One night, Uncle Patrick didn't come home. (Uncle Patrick was busy roughhousing with someone else.) Poor Buffy stalked around the house again and again. She'd bark at his bed. Bark at the door. Bark at the phone. And then she'd start at the bed again.

I said to her, "Patrick isn't coming home tonight." But as soon as I got out the Pat, she went crazy. She barked all night until she wore herself out around 2 a.m.

And then I was the cruel mother and separated her from her true love. I can't say Patrick's name now without her going nuts. And now, every time the phone rings, she barks her head off and waits at the door for her beloved uncle.

I swear if I were single and childless, I just would have given him the dog. They obviously love each other more than I ever could.

I'm a poor substitute in Buffy's eyes. And the more time we're home, the more time I spend with the kids, the more she hates me. I try to play with her, but I don't last as long as Uncle Patrick. I try to cuddle with her, but I'm not as warm as Uncle Patrick. I feed her the pills she has to take for her liver, and she is convinced that I am a devil woman. Uncle Patrick never gave her pills. He gave her pepperoni.

But last night was the last straw. In a peacekeeping effort, I brought Buffy up on our bed and played Bonsai Buffy with her. But I must not play it right. Because after a few minutes, she squatted down over my arm and peed.

"I piss on your piddly efforts at playing Uncle Patrick's game," her eyes said to me.

The husband and I shot off the bed and she was quickly thrust into her kennel.

I wouldn't be surprised if she's started to think that her name is Little Shit. I call her that often enough.

If she pees on me again, she just might get shipped back to Uncle Patrick. I think they deserve one another.

Can't you just see the disdain in her eyes?

By the way, Buffy is doing fine but will have a liver biopsy next Thursday. Keep her in your thoughts, will you?. Traitor that she is, I still love her.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Girls Who Drive Pick-Up Trucks

I drove my husband's truck to my orthodontist appointment this morning.

It's a nice truck. It's an F-150 Supercrew and it has heated leather seats and automatic everything. It even has a DVD player.

But a truck is still a truck. And this one is green and sits up nice and high. Let's just say that it sure fits in around these here parts. Whenever I drive it, people tend to look me over. I guess it still isn't that common for little girls like me to drive great big trucks.

This morning I scared myself.

We have one decent radio station here on the bayou. But they have the most annoying morning show. So I was using the scan button to try and find something different. (I should have brought my iPod cradle!) I stopped on a song that sounded familiar. I think it's called Little Bitty. I refuse to look up the song or the artist because, damn it, I'm just not going there.

But oh dear lord! I was listening to country music in my pick-up truck.

I just couldn't let that happen, so I scanned some more. And I found a soft rock station that was playing John Cougar Cheetah Leopard Summercamp Melloncamp. Now I was driving a pick-up and listening to Small Town. No!

It's time to freaking move.

But driving a big truck does have some advantages.

I pulled up to a red light on the way home and there was a Little Bitty Small Town car in front of me with a Marriage = *stick figure man* + *stick figure woman* + *illegitimate stick figure child* bumper sticker.

And I considered it. Big truck + Accelerating right over shitty little car with hateful driver = One satisfied Tuna Girl.

But we paid a bucketful of money for the damn truck and my husband really likes it. Plus with my luck, I'd get arrested and the prosecution would use my blog against me.

Oh well. It was nice to fantasize for a while.

Did I mention that it was time to move? Six years down on the bayou is six years too many.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Drive By Hate

This post by knottyboy and this post by Pua both have me thinking about hate. About how much we hate ourselves and how some people need to turn that hate on others.

So I mentioned a few days ago, that I had gained a lot of weight this summer. I couldn't hate myself any more right now if I tried.

I'd like to think that the extra weight is only the tip of the iceberg for me. But I really don't think that is true. Not for me. It probably is true for a lot of people. Extra weight is only a symptom of something else going on within themselves. Overeating is just like drinking too much and being addicted to drugs. It causes a lot of problems, but it isn't the root of the problem.

In my case, food is just something that I turn to when I'm lonely. My family has only ever expressed their love through food, and it is comforting to eat in times of stress, strife, and loneliness.

But I'm not lonely anymore. I miss Patrick a lot, but I'm back with my family and I couldn't be happier. Except that my self-esteem is totally shot.

On one of the last nights that I was on the Cape, Patrick and I were walking down Main Street in Hyannis. We hadn't realized it, but Main Street is the place for teenagers to cruise up and down in their cars, looking for girls/boys, or sex, or fun, or whatever the hell it is kids look for these days.

An SUV of teenage boys drove by and one yelled out the window, "Lose weight you fat cow!"

Now, I may have gained weight, but I'm still not anywhere near the kind of fat that makes teenage boys yell out of their car windows. But in my mind, at that moment, I was the fattest woman on the planet and I deserved to be publicly humiliated.

I sort of mumbled, "Oh, nice. That's just what I need."

Patrick had ignored them until I said that. Then he got all butch. "They weren't talking to you. Were they?" I swear he got five inches taller. They had stopped in traffic a few car lengths ahead, and he was going after them.

But I suddenly noticed a woman sitting at a cafe table to our right. I would guess that she weighed about four-hundred pounds. The look on her face...I can't describe it. But I understood it.

I grabbed Patrick by the back of his shirt. "Sweetie, no." He was ready to fight me, but I used my hand in the small of his back to make him notice the woman. "It wasn't me," I whispered to him. He was ready to stand up for her anyway, but I knew, I just knew in my heart, that was the last thing that woman wanted. She just wanted to melt into the ground and make the whole situation go away. The boys' SUV had moved on by then.

Patrick and I talked about it later. He likened it to having people yell fag at him from moving cars. He said that he always fights back. And I can understand that. But I think this was different. Patrick and I disagreed.

But either way, I can't understand the mentality of a person who does something like that. Drive by hate. It's like leaving anonymous comments on a blog or spraying graffiti. It takes no courage on the haters part. What exactly do they think they're accomplishing? Any real man will tell you that you don't kick someone when they're down.

The more I've thought about it, the more simple it seems to be. We all hate ourselves. For one reason or another. Even the most well-adjusted of us has one thing we'd like to change. And don't even get me started on the impossible appearance standards of gay culture.

But I think that some people who hate themselves a lot, feel the need to strike out first. Maybe it will distract everyone else from their own shortcomings. Like knottyboy says, the guys yelling faggot probably have issues of their own. And the boys yelling fatty are probably just scared that someone will look too closely at them.

And I agree with Patrick that we need to fight back. And we each need to fight back in a way that works for us. He might throw whatever is in his hand at the passing car of homophobes. But that's just not me. He might blog about his hate mail, and that works for him, but I'd rather not give the cowards that kind of attention.

I fight back by making the conscience decision not to let my own self-hatred stop me from enjoying life. I go to the looks-obsessed Provincetown and have a blast. I remind myself that most people really don't care how much I weigh. They only care what a good friend I am and how much fun we have. I follow Patrick into the middle of a crowded dance floor at the A-House and dance my heart out surrounded by hot, sweaty, half-naked men.

I don't always succeed. Ask me how many times I went to the beach this year. But I succeed enough.

I also fight back by doing my best to make sure my kids don't have the same issues when they grow up. They're doing awesome, by the way. We never use the words "fat" or "weight". We only ever talk about eating healthy so that we have energy. And exercising so that we can be fit and strong. Giving it all a positive spin has really got them on board. Even if they don't lose a pound, the new attitude they have about food and exercise is healthy for them.

Now I need to take my cue from them. Losing weight won't make my self-hatred go away. But doing good things for myself so that I can be a strong member of this family will go a long way toward boosting my self-esteem.

And I'm going to keep sucking up every little ounce of love that comes my way. I'm going to hold every compliment to my heart. I'm fun. I'm sweet. I'm beautiful. I'm a great friend. My kids love me. They tell me I'm the best mom ever. My husband loves me. He tells me and shows me how beautiful and sexy I am every day.

Now I just have to get healthy so that I'm around to give and get love for a long, long time.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Divorce is So Funny

My husband went shopping at the commissary yesterday. When he got home we had this conversation.

Him: I ran into our neighbor.
Me: Which one?
Him: The one from next door.
Me: Well that narrows it down.
Him: (pointing) That one. They thought you had left me.
Me: What!?
Him: Yeah. Isn't that funny?
Me: No! They actually said that?
Him: Yeah, she said, "We hadn't seen your wife this summer and we thought she might have left you." (laughing)
Me: Great. That's really funny. Our parents think I'm cheating on you and the neighbors think I left you.
Him: (giggling)

We joke about each other's boyfriends and girlfriends all the time. Recently, when my guy really sucked on the firing range he said, "Well, your boyfriends will be safe when they come over our house. I couldn't hit the side of a barn."

We can joke about it because we're very secure with each other. But to have the neighbors think I had left him...that just made me really sad.

When I started to cry he apologized for thinking it was funny. You know, I've mentioned here before, you should never joke about infidelity.

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Child in Me

Today, I took my kids to their first day of school. They got to spend about thirty minutes in their classrooms meeting their teachers and getting settled.

It's hard to believe that both of my kids will be in school this year. My son has been waiting for this day for at least the last two years. He ran into his class today and announced, "Hi!" at the top of his lungs. This brings back all of my favorite memories from childhood.

Last month, Jeff tagged me with a meme regarding the five things you miss most about childhood. I was on an unpublicized blogging hiatus at the time, but I've been thinking about it since then.

1) The thing I miss the most about childhood is going back to school at the start of each year. There was just something about starting new with a clean slate every September that I loved. I don't think adults have anything similar to that.

2) I also miss playing pretend. I was the kind of kid who always had some elaborate pretend universe going on in my head. The truth is that I still do that as an adult. But as a kid, it's neat. As an adult, it can land you in the insane asylum.

3) And I really miss being so active that I could eat anything I wanted and never gain weight. Of course that set me up for some poor eating habits as an adult. But it was sure fun then. Ah, metabolism. How I miss you.

4) I also miss not giving a fuck what people think of me. I was never the kind of kid who tried to fit in. I did what I wanted and figured everyone else was just missing out. I'd dance like no one was watching. Laughed like no one cared. Wore whatever I liked. And sang at the top of my lungs at the drop of a hat. Damn, I miss that.

5) And lastly, I miss having a universe of possibilities at my fingertips. When I was 12 I was going to be an oceanographer. Or a professional softball player (though I'd have to found a league first). Or a lawyer. Or a writer. Or a mother. Or all five.

I know some people would like to go back and do it all again. I wouldn't. I'm very happy to be me and I wouldn't change a thing. I also wouldn't want to have to go through puberty again. I'm looking forward to menopause as it is.

But I'm lucky. Because I get to experience it all again through the eyes of my own kids. I'm just as excited for the new school year as they are. I can't wait to go pick out new lunch boxes with them.

I love my kids so much. And I'm so very proud of them. This year will bring a lot of changes. But I'm ready to embrace them with my 32-year-old heart. Somewhere down deep, the ten-year-old inside of me is doing cartwheels with her skirt up around her nose.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Famous Pornster Tuna Girl

I guess I'm a writer.

It seems like no matter what I do in my life, it always comes back to writing. Most every real job I've had has involved writing in one way or another. And a few years ago I just fell into being a freelance writer.

Freelance writing is a great way to make a living. As long as you don't need a good benefits package. And as long as you don't mind working with pain-in-the-ass clients.

I quit freelancing when I was pregnant with my son. Let's just say that I had dealt with one pain-in-the-ass client too many.

But now it seems that writing opportunities are just rolling in again.

One interesting one is to write erotic screenplays for a series of websites. Let's call them, just for giggles. (Hmmm. That site name isn't registered. Maybe I'm on to something here.)

Am I qualified to write screenplays for Well, frankly, yes. I am. I feel that I could come up with some quality stuff for But is that really where I want to go with my writing career (such as it is)?

My husband is all for it. I think he just has dollar signs in his eyes. But I had to ask him too, "Is this really the legacy you want me to have."

"Well, sure." was his reply. "I mean I wouldn't be announcing it at my promotion ceremony. 'I'd like to thank my wife, a writer at, for all of her support. I have samples of her work here at the front. Maybe you'll all join us for a beer after the ceremony.'"

I lost the thrill of seeing my name in print years ago. Although seeing my name on a book jacket (with a heavily photoshopped portrait) would still get my juices flowing. But I'm not real sure that I want to see my name in the credits of a porno.

I guess I'd go with a pen name. I'm thinking Rob Byrnes has a nice ring to it.

What do you guys think?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


If there was one thing we worried about when we turned my kids over to my parents for the majority of the summer, it was that they would return to us completely spoiled.

And so they have.

I can ignore the dozens of stuffed animals they brought home with them. I can ignore the new clothes. I can even ignore the numerous trips to expensive amusement parks.

What I can't ignore are the pounds they've both packed on.

My son gained seven pounds this summer. He's three.

My daughter gained almost ten. She's six.

But they're not the only ones. I gained thirty pounds this summer.

Yes. You read that right. It is taking every ounce of my self respect not to loathe myself right now. I mean it. Every single ounce.

I've become what I feared the most. A fat mother with fat kids.

If there is one positive I could spin here it is that the whole family now has the same goal. We will all be eating right, exercising, and getting healthy together. This summer was a huge wake up call.

So while I deal with the whining, crying, and back talk, I'll be remembering that at least I can fix that stuff with a few days of discipline. The weight is going to take a lot longer to correct.

Like I needed to feel even more guilty. I think I'll go have a cookie (or five) to take my mind off it.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Tuna Boy, Queen of the Playroom

When I drove away from my summer in Provincetown two days ago, I thought I left the drag queens and circuit boys behind.

Apparently not.

Today while I was relaxing in my own living room, my son came creeping down the stairs.

"Look at me, Mommy!" he exclaimed.

Oh my dear lord!

Not only was he wearing a bejewled crown festooned with ribbons and enough makeup to make Priscilla, Queen of the Desert proud. But he was also naked and wearing body glitter from head to toe.

It was like a preschool production of Queer as Folk was being staged in my living room.

I knew I shouldn't have let Uncle Patrick babysit.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Why I Felt Guilty on My Summer Vacation

Who's been a busy little Tuna Girl?

Oh, right. That'd be me.

Actually, I've spent an inordinate amount of time in front of the television or behind a book lately, but I've been doing fun things too.

This summer is quickly coming to an end for me. And I am staggered by the amount of guilt I'm suddenly feeling.

I always do this.

I take time for me, I do something fun, I spend time away from my kids, and then I feel like the worst mother ever.

It's funny what will trigger this feeling. Last week, Patrick and I went to Six Flags Over New England. As he says it, we started our summer at an amusement park and we're finishing it at one too.

I don't really feel bad about not taking the kids. They're too short for most of the rides and they get hot very easily. Besides, when Patrick gets in roller coaster mode, it is not a pretty sight. I have to beg him to stop and eat.

But I took a trip to the ladies' room at one point, and there was a little girl in there with the same sneakers as my daughter.

Oh, guilt!

I should have brought my kids. We didn't need to ride any roller coasters. We didn't need to spend the day checking out cute guys. We could have watched them go around on the kiddie rides over and over again.

Never mind that my parents have taken them to Storyland, to the beach, for boat rides, to movies, for fire station tours, and any where else their little hearts desired (including the waffle place every morning).

I never took them on the whale watch or the dune tours or the treasure hunt or the children's theater.

This summer flew by and I wasted so much of it.

But I have three more days left. And Patrick has them mostly off. It's the first time he's had two days off in a row this summer.

So I'm going to stop complaining about visiting my summer home, hanging out with my best friend, having round the clock babysitters, and having more adult fun than I've had in years. And I'm going to enjoy my last three days.

Driving 28 hours with two kids and a dog can be my penance.