Monday, October 30, 2006
She's had careers on her mind a lot lately. From her seven-year-old point-of-view, Mom has a job where she works for one week every year. And when Mom works, Grandma comes to spoil her rotten.
It's win/win, as far as she's concerned.
So she's been asking me a lot of questions about careers, money, and having children. Last week she announced that she had come to a decision regarding her future.
"When I grow up, I'm just going to marry a man with a really good job."
Yeah, sure, I went on to talk to her all about women's liberation and how she could do anything she wanted and how money wasn't happiness and blah, blah, blah.
I don't think she bought it.
I can't imagine where she might have gotten that notion.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Tonight is our school's annual community event. We host a pumpkin celebration in a park and donate the proceeds from concessions to improving the park facilities. My daughter's class is providing entertainment.
Except it is raining. So our event gets pushed back to tomorrow night.
Which is when we were supposed to go to our costume party.
The hosts have decided that we'll all just gather after the event, sans costumes.
Well, I mean we'll have clothes on. We're not planning an orgy. But, hmmmm. There's an idea for an alternate use for our costumes. I hate to waste money.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
They've been training for this walk for a few months now. I've been watching them all get thinner and thinner (and they were all skinny to start with). They are my heroes.
Every September when I see all of the pink ribbons lining the residential streets to mark our local Race for the Cure, I swear that I will train to run the race the next year. I've been swearing that since 1996. And I've never done it.
That's ten years.
Every year I end up sponsoring friends who are running. I tell myself that I am at least helping the cause. But there is something very deep inside of me that will not consider my life well-lived if I have not run that race.
This year, on the Monday morning after my annual missed opportunity, I got an e-mail from my friend telling me about her plans to walk in the 3 Day.
I was overwhelmed with a mixture of pride in my friends, grief for their loss, disappointment in myself, and resolve.
Running is something that I hate. Yet I desire to excel at it with every fiber of my being. I dream of racing.
I have some deeply personal reasons for wanting to run. And at the core of them all is that I was told by doctors that long distance running is the one thing that I shouldn't and couldn't do. And that makes me want to do it all the more.
I will not fail in 2007. I will run that race. Even if it kills me. But the journey to that place and space isn't a sprint, it is a marathon.
And it begins today.
If you'd like to sponsor my friends, e-mail me and I'll forward the link.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
It's out now.
Isn't it too bad that I don't have something brilliant and funny to say?
The kids are off of school today and tomorrow for parent/teacher conferences. It's hard to write with them around. Even when they are outside playing, my mind is concentrating on listening for their screams of terror from random squirrel attacks (or random obnoxious neighborhood kid attacks).
In fact, I just took about an hour break from writing because they wanted to play on the computer. And I only have eight more minutes to write before I have to run off to my daughter's orthodontist appointment and group violin lessons.
And I just wasted two minutes of it trying to think of what to type next.
I think I blew the magenta head (ha ha ha) on my printer. And when we lost power the other day, the printer never would recover. I love my printer. It is an HP all-in-one with a scanner and fax and all. My husband says I have some kind of invisible force field that mucks up all things electronic.
He spent a couple of hours trying to fix it. I was stressing because I had a lot of paper work to complete for the parents' association. Last night I asked him if he had managed to fix it and he told me he had. "I kicked it," he explained.
So I came up to my office to make some copies and there sitting in the old printer's place is a brand-new, extra-spiffy HP Officejet 7310 All-in-One. He had kicked the old one, all right. He kicked it right to the curb.
What was I saying about blowing magenta head?
Three hours later and I'm back from the orthodontist (she's on hold for six months) and violin (she's playing a solo next week) and I still have nothing to write. Why couldn't the cutie orthodontist have done something inappropriate? Oh, that's right. Because he's sweet and polite. My next husband is going to be an orthodontist. They're loaded and they don't keep long hours like doctors. I had to go and fall in love with a military guy.
Who buys me printers. And cruises. And trips to New York.
And who's damn good in bed.
And who doesn't have to wait until Halloween to wear a hot uniform.
Speaking of which, we're going to my friends' Halloween party as a bandito and his senorita. Every time I tell someone that they laugh. Aaron suggests I wear a push-up bra and really play up the sexy part. I don't think I need a push-up bra to achieve massive cleavage. We may have to save these costumes for a private party at home.
I appreciate all of your costume suggestions. I really considered them all (well most of them). I ended up going to a costume site and buying the first couples costumes I found in our sizes that covered my matronly upper-arms and didn't require him to wear tights.
Don't even think of asking for pictures.
Monday, October 23, 2006
"Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something," I thought.
Lately, on the outside I have been all joy and light. But on the inside there is nothing but seriousness. I'm not faking the happy. I don't do fake. But I just find that in my quiet moments, I can't stop thinking about life's grand mysteries.
A couple of weeks ago, I found myself spewing anger at my husband. I'd say I had no idea where it even came from, but that would be a lie. There have been a few things in these last few years that I haven't been able to let go. And my resentment of them has been growing quietly and steadily over time.
I've never felt like I could express my anger over these things, because I didn't have the right. He can't control how much of his time is spent. I can't blame him fully for decisions we made together. But still, right or not, my anger was there.
And then, pop. Out it came. In one not-so-sterling moment, I let it spew forth.
I called him less than an hour later. "I'm sorry I yelled at you."
That's all I said. He forgave me. If there is one thing my husband is amazing at it is asking for and bestowing forgiveness.
But to be honest, I was still waiting for my apology. I was still waiting for him to ask for forgiveness for things he didn't even know were bothering me. And then I realized something.
Forgiveness is not something we give to other people. It is something we allow ourselves to feel. I didn't need for him to apologize. I didn't even need for him to understand. I know that he loves me more than ten women deserve. I know that he would never do anything to hurt me. In fact, I know that his main goal in life is to make me and the kids happy.
It was time to let it go. All of it. The petty and the important.
It was time to forgive him, and myself for being angry at him.
And it feels so good.
So I decided to give wings to my other feelings of anger and hurt. I thought I had learned some life secret. I thought that if I could make the decision to forgive my husband, I could do it with everyone.
And for a few days, I really believed it. Until the night my power went out.
I tossed and turned that night trying to sleep. I was exhausted but my brain wouldn't shut off. It took me a while to realize that I was playing possible scenarios over and over again in my head. I was imagining confrontations with people who hurt me. I was imagining making them understand why I was angry. I was imagining them asking me for forgiveness.
What am I stupid?
Just because letting go worked with the man I love doesn't mean that I am mature enough to make it work in every situation.
Or maybe it shouldn't work in every situation. Maybe it only works in my marriage because my husband is the embodiment of honesty. It makes him easy to trust. And easy to love.
Maybe I shouldn't even try to forgive the others who have hurt me. Maybe the power went out as I was writing about forgiveness as a sign. To protect my heart? To learn from the hurt?
But remember that lesson I learned? Forgiveness is not something we give to other people. It is something we allow ourselves to feel. Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves.
I'm going to try to forgive. I'm going to try damn hard. But I won't forget.
And I'll never trust again.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Flying solo is standard for military wives. There are even times when I feel kind of weird having my husband along for the ride.
Last night's event was a social for parents of second graders. I've known most of these parents for a few years, at least, and I count many of them as friends. But I still spent most of the day yesterday with my stomach in knots trying to think of reasonable excuses not to go. Why?
Because I'm a dork. A great, big, honking dork.
No matter what the social occasion, or how I behaved, I get back home and shake. I repeat the stupid things I said over and over again. I rehash how stupid I must have seemed when I did this. And how lame I must have been when I did that. I never sleep the night after a party. My brain gets all tied up in knots.
I think I have most people fooled though. I told a very good friend today about my social anxieties and he said, "But you're so good in social situations."
Isn't it amazing how we can see ourselves so differently from those who know us? It's like we're all looking into a carnival mirror designed especially for our psyches.
Last night's party was especially surreal because it seemed like everyone was singing my praises. SW even made a little speech (whenever she speaks, it's like a monologue from a Broadway show) about how I was not only wonderful, but modest. I was mortified. Pleased, indeed. But mortified too.
It seemed like everyone was talking about me last night. Everyone told me how great I looked--because I had actually done my hair. Everyone raved over the cheeseballs I brought--because my best gay friend walked me through making them. I didn't even like them. (Patrick, what the heck were those things called, anyway?) Everyone was talking about what a fabulous job I had done with the parents' association fundraiser. But, you know, all I had done was trudge through it all. My co-chair and I had made mistake after mistake. We just kept fixing our botches as we went.
Patrick says I was Bree Van De Kamp.
And then my husband came home from the school board meeting (Did I mention that he's on the school board?) and told me that everyone was singing my praises.
With him, it's different. He knows what an insecure mess I can be. So with him I can ask, "What exactly did they say?"
With him I'm not afraid of coming off like like a deep sea compliment fisher. "You're my husband. You know that I need to know exactly what they said, in what intonation, and with what body language."
Of course, he's my husband so his answer was a shrugged, "I don't know. It was just all kudos for you."
So I've been thinking (and writing and re-writing this damn post) all day. It's so amazing how we see ourselves. Sometimes I think I'm pretty awesome. But most of the time I think I am a giant dork. Maybe it's just because I fly solo so often.
But I like piloting this plane.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
By Sunday night, I was ready for some hot tuna loving. But first I needed a shower. I had grease and dirt in places you don't want to think about at parties.
So I went upstairs to take a shower and get the engines revving, if you know what I mean. But I think I revved a little too much, because the next thing I knew my husband's alarm was going off. Damn, it was six in the morning.
"Aww, man! We were gonna fuck!"
Next time, I'll put the engine in idle until he catches up.
And now I owe him not one, but two.
Monday, October 16, 2006
I can't even think of anything else to say. I didn't realize how much weight I was carrying on my shoulders until it was lifted off.
The fair is over. I don't have the final numbers yet, but it looks like we made a record-breaking profit. I realized today that I made at least two new friends. Now I just need to write thank you notes and prepare the continuity binder for next year.
Oh, did I mention? Woo hoo!
Now it's time to turn back to real life.
During a break last week, I met my husband at Joe's Crab Shack for lunch. The kids were cavorting in the playground when my husband walked up from the parking lot. He sat next to me on the bench, said, "I love you with all my heart," and handed me an engagement ring.
His sister the jewelry designer had sent him a new band and he had my diamond set into it. I thought I would be upset that I'm not wearing the ring that he proposed with, but I'm actually really happy with this ring. It's just slightly different and it goes with my wedding ring a little better. It's really more comfortable.
Hoping that he would give me my new ring in some dramatic, romantic way was probably just a little too much to hope for. That's just not him. Expecting him to change now is only going to hurt me in the end. Besides, how many women can say that their man loves them with all his heart? If I have to have my man tell me such things at a crab shack, well...I should just feel really lucky that he'll tell me such things at all.
In other news, we're popular kids now. Every year a couple of parents from school throw a costume party for their friends. (Does anyone remember SW?) This is the first time we've been invited. It's one of those social things that we just can't say no to. And, I wouldn't even want to say no, except that we have to wear a costume.
This is my nightmare come true! What the HELL should we be? This is when having gay friends is supposed to come in handy. I'm no good at this shit. Suggestions are very welcome.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Except on this particular visit, the girl couldn't seem to make up her mind. She kept walking by the Littlest Pet Shop section and talking about what she'd like, but then she'd move on. Frankly, it was driving me batty.
Finally, I asked her, "What's going on with you? I know you love the Littlest Pet Shops. They're all you play with. Why can't you make up your mind?"
"I'm not allowed to get any more Littlest Pet Shops," she informed me. "Veruca only has nine pets and I have twelve so I'm not allowed to get anymore until she has more than me."
Veruca is AH's kid.
Now, if my kid were anywhere near typical, I would have probably laughed about it. Maybe even rolled my eyes at the crazy things kids say to each other. But this is my kid. My overly-sensitive, sweet, polite, appreciative, friendly, caring, bullied kid who let's other kids boss her around like no child I have ever met.
I lost it right there in Target.
"Don't you ever let her boss you around like that. Don't you ever let any kid boss you around like that. I brought you here today to buy a toy specifically because you are well-behaved and unspoiled and I am not going to let some little brat dictate what you can and cannot have!"
Okay. I may have lost her there a little at the end.
To make a long story short(er), she walked out of there that day with a Littlest Pet Shop toy tucked safely under her arm.
When Veruca moved away, AH gave all the kids in her class little packets of cards and envelopes so that the friends could keep in touch. We received our first letter from Veruca last week. It went something like this:
Hi. I have fourteen Littlest Pet Shop pets. How many do you have? I'm getting a Whirl Around Playground. Are you?
My daughter read the card to us and then went upstairs to count her pets so she could write back.
My husband turned to me and said, "If she has less than fourteen, I'm going right the fuck out to buy her another one." I had to laugh. Especially when she came running down the stairs and announced that she had eighteen. My husband put up his fist for me to bump.
And then Grandma came to visit (and take care of my kids while I run these fucking food booths) and the spoiling got serious. Between the pets she brought with her and the pets she and my son picked out to give to my daughter when they picked her up from school, my girl now has 24 of these things.
Somewhere it crossed from funny to excessive. But I swear, no matter how much of a bad mother it makes me, I'd buy my kid tons of these things. Just on principle.
Want to join my petty parade?
*Confidential to Santa and gay uncles: Topping her Christmas wish list this year are the Whirl Around Playground, Maltese puppy, and the Digital Pet. There are only 74 shopping days left 'til Christmas.
Monday, October 09, 2006
I hate people.
People are apathetic, self-centered, and mean. And even when they are well-intentioned, they are stupid.
(Not you people, of course. You're all smart, beautiful, popular, and good.)
I've only been running these food booths for two days, and I've already wanted to smack more than a dozen people. Most especially, I wanted to smack my co-chair who went home with the golf cart key and left me walking from one end of the fairgrounds to the other carrying ten piping hot pizzas.
We thought it would be a good idea to post our phone numbers at the booths so that the stupid people would have someone to ask for help before they started breaking things on their own. But every morning I've had to field phone calls from people saying, "There's nobody here yet! There's no food cooked!"
People seem to want to have all the food cooked at ten in the morning for our 11 opening. Because customers just love old corn dogs, pizza, and hot dogs. Yummm.
Speaking of which, blech! I will never eat fair food again. My skin looks like I've been lubed up for a XXX All-Nude Foxy Wrestling match. Even my eyes stick shut from all the fryer grease. Can you imagine what that stuff does to your insides?
So, is there a moral to this story? Yes, and I believe it is this.:
I hate people. Oh, and nature. I hate nature. And puppies. Yup, hate them too.
I can't wait for October 16.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Can you guess what it is?
Update: I was going to leave a hint this morning, but I got too busy. The art fair madness has begun. I'll be covered with fryer grease for the next ten days.
Hint: Patrick's done it for me before.
Answer: We have a winner.
For the very first time in his life, my husband went out and bought me tampons.
Before he left the house, I gave him a detailed description of the brand and type. I even told him that it is the one with the orange swoop. But he still had to break out his cell phone while standing before the vast array of choices.
"Did you want the pearl ones?"
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Dun, dun, da dun dun, da dun dun, da dun.
Come on. You're a bunch of geeks. You know what I mean.
He thinks he's so fucking funny.
It's a damn good thing he learned to do that thing with his tongue, or he'd be in some serious trouble.
How did he learn to do that thing with his tongue? Maybe Hans Solo taught him.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
A toast to bid an un-fond adieu to September, the month that sucked great big donkey butt. A toast to the month that was a complete cluster fuck. A toast to the month when I vacillated between eating nothing for days, and gorging for days and ended up ten pounds heavier for my troubles. A toast to the month when I gave up the gym, evening exercise, good judgment, trust, sleep, and oh yes...apparently, sex of any type what-so-ever.
So long, September! Don't let the door hit you in your giant, stinking ass on the way out.
Hello, October! Aren't you looking inviting.
October started out with a best friend who seems to be recovering better than I expected. Kids who are happy and un-grounded (and growing out hair). A husband who took a road trip with a friend, which I think is awesome. A spousal relationship which feels better and more open than we've had in years. And a marital bed which is heating the hell up.
Go libido. Go libido. It's your birthday.
Okay, there are no falling leaves or cool breezes. But 94 degrees and humid is okay too. And yes, I have to work my ass off for the first half of the month at my stupid food booths. But my mom's coming to help with the kids.
On October 16, my volunteer commitment to the school and the parents' board will be fulfilled for the year, my mother will be on a plane back home, a big check will be deposited, and the tickets for our Thanksgiving trip to New York will be bought and paid for.
I think I'll save my champagne toast for that night. And I'll drink it in a bubble bath surrounded by candles. And I'll never ever volunteer for anything ever again.
Except maybe a nooner. Because nothing says Happy Fall like a blow job in the afternoon. Am I right?