Thursday, September 27, 2012

Diagonally Parked in a Parallel Universe

Hey, honey! I've called a couple times but keep getting your voicemail... dinner is ready and waiting, and I was wondering if you wanted to walk with us... Dotter has youth group at church and I thought maybe we could all walk  together to drop her off. We'll be waiting for you!

*** 10 minutes later ***

[phone rings]

Hey! About time! When will you be home? I was wondering ----

(whispering) I can't talk now... I've got to get back before they find out I'm gone....

Umm... what?

(still whispering) I've got to get back...

Where are you?

I can't talk now. I'll explain it all later.

Have you been kidnapped by the drug cartel or are you just messing with me? Because I am not calling 9-1-1 unless you're seriously being held hostage.


*** 45 minutes later ***

(busting through the front door) Thank god I set my alarm or I would've been totally screwed!

Ummm.... okay. I'll play along. Yay for alarms! Thank the Lord Almighty! What would we ever do without alarms! Now where the hell have you been for the past two hours?

At court.


Yeah, court.

Like home of lawers and judges and prison sentences kind of court?



Is this fish?

Yes. That is fish. That there is rice. And over in this dish we have some roasted corn because I didn't have any green vegetables, which, according to Mrs. Sorenson - my middle school Home Ec teacher, I would have needed green to balance out the pale color of the fish and rice. Oh, and by the way, I'd strongly urge you to explain why you were in court for the past two hours.

I wasn't in court for two hours. I was waiting at court for two hours. The whole thing only took a few minutes. How long should I heat this up for?

Sixteen minutes. What did you do to land yourself in court?

It wasn't my fault. You know me, I'm the first person to admit when I'm wrong --

You have never admitted ever to being wrong about anything.

Yes I have.

Really? Giving the 14-month old Halls cough drops?

He wanted them!

Paying $50 over asking price for that broken down lawn mower?

I felt bad for the guy!

He was a wanted criminal.

Do you want to hear this or not?

Fine. Go ahead. You were saying that you were wrong...

No - I wasn't wrong. I said I'd admit it if I was, but I wasn't. This was totally the police officer's fault.


See, two months ago I was headed to WalMart along that section that's two lanes and there was a cop driving ahead of me in the next lane. When I turned to go to WalMart he pulled me over and gave me a ticket even though he never even clocked me! He had no idea if I was speeding or not! Anyway. The court date was today and I would have totally forgotten if I hadn't set the alarm in my phone.

So, the cop - who was in front of you - looked through his rear view mirror, saw you turning into WalMart and decided to swing around and give you a made up speeding ticket?

Well, he wasn't in front of me when he pulled me over. By that time I was in front of him because I had passed him. But still, he had no idea how fast I was actually going because he never clocked me. Are you sure I should put this in for sixteen minutes? It sounds done....

It's fine. So, you're driving along the road and see a cop in the next lane in front of you. Let's assume the police officer was driving the speed limit (as many are known to do)... and then you decide to speed up and pass him? Which means you had to speed up faster than the posted speed limit. So.... you were speeding.

I wasn't speeding. You can go up to seven miles over the speed limit and not get a ticket.

I didn't realize it was optional. I thought those speed limit signs said "35" ... not "35 plus seven miles if you feel like it." Besides, if the posted speed limit is 35 wouldn't that mean anything over that number is, well, speeding? So you were speeding and got a ticket.

But that's what you're not getting! The cop never even clocked me! He doesn't know if I was speeding!

You already admitted to going fast enough to pass the police officer, who we assume was driving the posted, legal speed limit. In order to pass him you had to increase your speed, thereby speeding.

Who's side are you on?

Obviously not yours.

You don't even understand. It's not even my fault! I had a green arrow and I wanted to get through the intersection before it turned. This smells like it's burning.

So, you sped past a cop to make the arrow? How is that not your fault?

But I didn't make the arrow! See, you don't know the whole story. The arrow turned yellow and I had a choice to continue through the intersection or to stop. And since I knew the police officer was there I slammed on my brakes.

You speed past a cop just to hit a green arrow and then slam on your brakes at the last second... and you still don't see how any of this is your fault?

Can I get to the end, please? So, I'm sitting at the red light and I just had this feeling he was going to pull me over and sure enough! When I make the turn he throws his lights on and gives me a ticket - but it wasn't even a real speeding ticket because he never clocked me. It was for something called imprudent speeding! ... This is totally burnt. I can't even eat this.

Do you even know what imprudent means?

No, not at all.

Unwise.  Foolish.  Idiotic.  Stupid.

Oh. Well. That kind of explains things.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I'm Too Young to be This Old

Once, in high school, I passed out in the locker room after swim class and the gym teacher rescued me which was awful because my swimsuit was half off and there's nothing like waking up from a coma to your male gym teacher pleading someone pull her suit up. As if that wasn't bad enough - and it totally should have been - I was then singled out by the Vice Principal. She thought I had an eating disorder and my punishment for passing out was eating school lunch in the nurse's office every day for a week. I had to sit there for a half hour after I was finished to make sure I didn't purge. I tried to tell them that if they wanted to join me for my daily Big Mac and french fries dipped in mayo lunch down at the local McDonald's they could. Let me tell you, I liked to eat!

But somehow I got old. And my body got decrepid. And I feel weak and creaky and ... well, old. Like my body just isn't functioning like it should. Like it used to. And one thing led to another, which led to celiac disease and gross gluten free breads, and now I'm staring down an appointment with a Dietician/Nutrionist. I'm assuming my problems are stemming from a less than stellar gluten free diet. I get confused over whether or not I can have things that include whey and stuff like that.

And I know what's going to happen: she's going to make me keep track of what I eat. And I'm going to have to come clean about the multiple cans of soda and the candy bars and the fact that I really can eat an entire bag of Salt & Pepper Pop Chips in one sitting. (Don't look at me like that; according to the nutrional information there are only 3 servings per bag.)

She's going to make me eat celery. And egg whites. And I'm going to have to scour the ingredients list on every stupid package of food to make sure there's no hydroxypropylated starch of caramel color or sphingolipids listed because they might utilize a gluten-containing grain in their manufacturing process and honestly, I'd rather just dive into a Big Mac. I might as well throw in my dentures and shuffle down to the dining hall for my unsalted mush-meal.

Also, that gym teacher who saw me half-naked? Yeah, he comes in my office all the time. Awkward. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Texts From the Teen: A Variation

Sometimes I post texts I receive from my teen daughter. This is like that, except I'll post the texts I received from my sister, who was with my teen daughter. So, they're texts about my teen, not from my teen. A variation of a theme, if you will. It's actually more of a narrative delivered in text form. Anyway.... here are the texts I received from my sister about my teen:

This may require email rather than text... Teen: (standing in kitchen) "I have to pee so bad!" (does not move.) "But I'm not going to go. I'm going to hold it." (confused aunt pause) "You know, just to see how long I can." (more confused expressions from her aunt) "What? Don't you ever do that?" Aunt replies: "I can see that would be appropriate if we were in a Third World Country or if the only option was a nasty porta-potty... but we are in our house."

A few minutes later... Teen: "How many glasses of water do you think I can drink?" Me: "Until you pee your pants in my kitchen?" Then she says, "Sometimes I make up games like this. Just to see, you know. (no reply from very confused aunt) "It's why I don't have a boyfriend, isn't it?" Me: "I have to text your mom because she is the only one that will appreciate this conversation fully."

A couple observations:

(1) Kudos to my sister on the awesome texting skill! Way to smack those thumbs! I'm assuming her hands were then soaked in epsom salts.

(2) It's actually good to test yourself every once in a while. That way you'll know how far along a highway you can drive before pulling over. It's kind of like that whole driving after the empty gas light comes on test. Can you make it 45 more miles? Or only 10? It's important information to know.

(3) I once went on a road trip where the girl driving refused to pull over to let me pee. I thought I would die from a ruptured bladder. This is not so much an observation as a flashback to a very traumatic experience.

(4) I am not the only one that will fully appreciate this conversation. Because I'm sharing it with you.

Friday, September 21, 2012

For Ruthie.

She's gone.

That's the text that stopped my breath. I knew it would. I knew it the second I saw it there, waiting. See, G shouldn't have been texting me. Because she's supposed to be spending time with her Mom. Her beautiful, lovely, sweet, tender mother. Her mother, who was supposed to grow old. Much, much older than this. And as long as G was not texting me and not calling me and not able to meet for dinner and drinks then I knew everything was still okay. I knew that they were busy together, laughing, cracking up over old stories. They were busy together holding hands, drinking tea. Looking out the window in silence. They would both still be here. Together.

In my heart I knew the next text I would receive from G would be the hardest one she would ever send to me. I was dreading that text. And it crippled my heart to know that she - my dear friend with the heart of a million good deeds, who walks the earth capable of only what is good, and kind, and right - that she would be sending it with tear streaked cheeks, and shaking fingers and sore shoulders - because she wouldn't have realized how tense she had been trying to physically, literally hold herself together.

I hate death. I hate that it's unfair and unbiased and I hate that I don't know what to do, or what to say. I don't know if I'm too absent or if I'm getting in the way. I hate how it makes clocks tick too loud and a room that was moments ago too hot and too stuffy feel suddenly and immediately cold and drafty.

I hate how my breath gets caught in my throat and no amount of anything can make me swallow down air. Air. If I can't swallow down air how can I possibly be expected to swallow down hurt and pain and loss and fear?

I hate how death makes me think about things I don't want to: when did my Dad start holding on to the doorframe when he steps down onto the porch? Old people do that. Will my daughter know not to slam on the brakes when it's raining; she could hydroplane. Does she know how serious that is? I need to call her right away. Does Big V know not to give the 3-year old hard candy? I don't remember if I told him. If anything happens to them.... If anything happens to me... Dear God, I can't think about that...  

I want to go my whole life never being touched by a death too soon, or a death unfair... and I never want to hear about cancer again.... but that's not how the world works. Deep down I know that no amount of pleading prayers or bartered deals with God Himself is going to spare myself, my family, my friends or all of those eyes I look into when I turn to those who surround me.

I know that lives are cut short and the most we can do is treasure the time we have with those around us. I know that there is a circle of life that just comes with the territory and there's really nothing we can do about it so the best thing to do is pack it away, put it on the shelf, and make the best of the time we have.

But for now, right now... I cry. And I let my heart hurt.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

It's Always Sunny Where I Live, Too

I always feel a twinge of sadness for the person who watches a sitcom and says, "whose life is like that in real life anyway?" because obviously their life is incredibly boring and that's obviously very sad. Because some people's lives really are like a sitcom.

For example some people in real life have actual conversations with their siblings that start of like this: So, I was googling how to collect dog semen.... and that just seems entirely normal. What is not entirely normal are the ways the internet suggests to actually collect the dog semen. (I advised contacting the local police department to ensure no lines are accidently crossed.)

And some people have real jobs that include working with someone who walks in and announces: So, this guy asked his neighbor for a sledgehammer so he could kill his pig and left the pig entrails in the garden covered up by cabbage leaves and now the neighbors are complaining about the smell. To which any normal person (who has watched entirely way too many episodes of Criminal Minds) would ask whether it has been confirmed they were pig guts and not people guts. Because there is a big difference, my friends. A big difference indeed. Especially if you're the pig.

I embrace my It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia life because someday they're going to want me to write for their show and I'll be ready with all the material I have to draw upon.

Monday, September 17, 2012

From There to Here in 3 Short Years

There is just something magical about the first awareness of a birthday.

"It's my birthday! I going to be three! I so excited!!"

His wishes were simple:
new shoes for preschool
and a red backpack.

Daddy let him pick out his own birthday cake.
It had Winnie-the-Pooh on it and
sat in our refrigerator for a full 24 hours;
being checked on and pointed out every ten minutes.

"That's my birthday cake! I so excited!!"

He could hardly get to sleep:
"Tomorrow's my birthday! I so excited!!"

Our prayers included blessing Grammy and Papa
and Great Grandma and our birthday cake.

He literally jumped out of bed the next morning, arms flung wide:
"It's my birthday! I so excited!!"

He dressed himself in his big boy underwear,
light blue shirt and khaki shorts.

"I go church and Sunday School and sing music for my birthday! I so excited!!"

He skipped through the parking lot:
"I hear the music! I so excited!!"

After church services, everyone at Coffee Hour sang Happy Birthday...
he didn't realize it wasn't for him.
But he didn't care.

"It's my birthday!" he yelled when they finished. "I so excited!!"

We had pizza for lunch and too much cake and ice cream
and a visit from Rosie.
(They were both so excited!)

Then the five of us climbed into the car:
Mommy and Daddy
and two Big Sisters
and the super excited Birthday Boy.

And together we all went shopping
to look for new shoes for preschool
and a red backpack.


Boys are found everywhere --
on top of,
inside of,
climbing on,
swinging from,
running around
jumping to.

Mothers love them,
little girls hate them,
older sisters and brothers tolerate them,
adults ignore them
 and Heaven protects them.

A boy is Truth with dirt on its face,
Beauty with a cut on its finger,
Wisdom with bubble gum in its hair
and the Hope of the future with a frog in its pocket.

A boy is a magical creature;

You can lock him out of your workshop,
but you can't lock him out of your heart.

You can get him out of your study,
but you can't get him out of your mind.

Might as well give up
he is your captor,
your jailer,
your boss
and your master;

a freckled-faced,
cat-chasing bundle of noise.

But when you come home at night
with only the shattered pieces of your hopes and dreams,
he can mend them like new with two magic words:
Hi, Dad!

~ Alan Marshall Beck

Friday, September 14, 2012

What Do I Stand For? Some Nights I Don't Know...

A couple days ago I posted to my Facebook something along the lines of if you have to tell me how great a parent you are, um, you're probably not. I got a whole lot of ain't that the truth, sister! responses.

See, I'm not one of those great parents. In fact, I actually lean more toward the side of Absolute Dysfunction without quite crossing over to Criminally Negligent. (I'll be sure to blog about it when it does happen.) I haven't taken years of schooling or read mountains of parenting books written by experts to ensure I'm scholastically prepared for parenting. Perhaps because I'm just one of those lazy parents who have no right procreating ... or maybe because deep down I wonder what good it does anyway. I just don't believe any single person can be educated for every combination of personality traits and every environmental circumstance beyond our control that could possibly occur. I tend to believe the majority of parenting falls into the category of reach inside yourself and do what you feel is right; just trust your instincts and everything will be okay.

I couldn't have foreseen the experiences that shaped me into who I am today any more than I can foresee each and every experience my children will have.

I doubt any amount of schooling or books read by my parents could have stopped me from being laid on the floor of their excursion van as it sat in their garage on a sunny summer day, with my pants down around my ankles and a very unwelcome visitor on top of me. A silly childhood game of "doctor" that felt incredibly wrong and awful to me, and although I don't remember anything actually being said, I just somehow knew that I would never, ever, ever be allowed to say anything about it; because while I felt sickened and violated, and every brain cell I had was yelling out that what was happening to me was absolutely 100% wrong, I also knew that it would be casually explained away as we were young and kids are curious and there I go making a big deal about things again. To this day I hate the feeling of breath on my neck.

I doubt any amount of schooling or books read by my parents could have stopped my brother from almost drowning as he slipped through my hands while I stood tip-toe at the deep end of the pier after promising to catch him. Although everything turned out okay - with the right lifeguard looking our way at the right moment and diving into the right spot to drag his tiny body up to the surface, I still feel so incredibly guilty about that moment. In that precise second of my childhood, my entire being understood that life as I knew it could have been irrevocably destroyed at my own hands. That my mother, sitting on the sandy beach under her pink floppy fabric hat reading a book, had absolutely no idea how critical those same seconds were. That while my brother was fighting for breath, and my arms were frantically flailing under water desperate to find him, my mother was flipping over page 63 in her book.

I read What to Expect When You're Expecting but it didn't mention a kid that couldn't talk until she was four and refused to make eye contact. It didn't tell me how to react when your daughter comes home from her father's house and tells you she had been forced to eat food scraps from the garbage. It didn't explain what to do after your kindergartener's best friend's mother informs them that pets don't really go to heaven because they don't have any souls and therefore their beloved pet isn't actually safe in Great Grandpa's arms, nor did it explain what to do when your 3rd grader spends her very first evening of overnight summer camp crouched down with her hands over her head scared out of her wits while a tornado destroys half the campgrounds.

The books can't tell me. No amount of preparation can safeguard you or your children from the infinite amount of crap the world could possibly throw at you. You can only do in that moment what you feel is the best way to handle things. And then you have to block out the judgment.

I do the best I can and that might mean that I'm not the best parent by Dr. Phil's standards - or yours.

In our family we sing at the top of our lungs in the car because I believe music is what feelings sound like. And I don't always know the right words to say to my kids that makes something awful make sense; so we sing. And we listen to the mournful sound of a cello and the tears of a violin, and we listen to the laughter of a piano and the frolicking drums and the silly, simple tambourine that never, ever stops smiling.

We talk with British accents through dinner and quote ridiculous lines from movies. We make up pretend sitcoms and cast celebrities to play our families and friends and talk incessantly about all the dumb books we would write. If I were one of those psycho-doctory types I would analyze it as an imaginative play session that is used to talk out a situation and create a humorous example of coping with said situation. Or maybe I'd chalk it up to an unhealthy reaction of blocking out all the negative realities of the world by pretending everything can be laughed at. But, really, we just do it because it feels natural to me.

For every book that tells me handle things one way there are fourteen books telling me to handle the same situation in fourteen different ways. And since I don't have time to read fifteen books every time a situation arises, and because I simply don't know the right, perfect way to be a parent ,I just try to find the best way to be the right me. I feel I have a choice: to show my kids a false me that I'm hoping will hide what a messed up parent I am, or I can show them that I'm just a human being that goes through life one day at a time, just like the rest of the world. And I am chock full of faults and dreams and passions and ideas and mistakes and emotions and the only right thing to do in this world is to just BE yourself.

And so I allow my tears to fall during a documentary about elephants and when my children ask why I'm crying, I tell them. I tell them how I can feel the immense loyalty and love that two creatures had for one another; so much so that decades later when they recognize each other in a sanctuary I weep for their joy of finding each other again and we humans can only dream to feel just a fraction of that type of extraordinary love in our lifetimes.

And so I laugh hard when something is funny and explain that you can't decide whether something is funny or not, it just is, to you, in all of your own personal uniqueness. And what gets a chuckle from one gets a belly laugh from another and a stern look and a head shaking from someone else. And that's what's so cool: that we're all so very different that no one can exactly say for sure what makes something funny so the possibilities of humor are endless. How awesome is that?

And so I explain my dreams and my desires and my passions and my goals - because I want my children to have them. Not mine. I don't want them to have my dreams and desires and passions and goals -- I want them to have their own. I want them to know that it's okay to think outside the box and if you want to be the first person in our family to go to Thailand, then go. And if you want to live in a yurt, do it. And if you want to give Catherine Conti a run for her money, then you just go ahead and do just that. Because they only have this one life to live and I have no inside knowledge on how long that life is going to be and the worst thing that can happen to me as a parent is to see my kids not living their lives the way God intended them to live.

I don't believe people should give up on who they are once they become a parent; I believe it's imperative that people continue to BE who they are - by all means, improve who that is if you so desire - in order to show their children they have their whole entire lives to grow and dream and feel and be... that life doesn't stop when you have kids, only to be picked up twenty years later when they're finally off to college.

I am the farthest thing from a perfect parent. Which is okay because my goal is not to have perfect children. My goal is to have children who are confident in who they are, who have an empowered sense of self, who don't try to hide their interests or hobbies. I want them to enjoy laying in the grass watching the clouds drift by. I want them to have dance parties in their kitchens with their own children. I want them to smile and say hi to their neighbors.

But more than anything. I want them to honestly love the life they're living.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Why Being a Single Mother Is Freaking Awesome

Years ago, when I was a young single mother who worked two jobs and still had no money to pay any bills, wasn't receiving a dime in child support, had no other assistance from the father of my child; struggled to figure out child care arrangements so I could work, struggled to pay the medical bills for all  the required vaccinations, struggled to keep the electricity turned on, struggled to maintain my sanity, struggled to maintain my sense of self, struggled to maintain some semblance of normalcy in an otherwise completely un-normal situation, I received a phone call from my happily married cousin:

"I just don't know how you do it." I could hear her shaking her head through the phone line. "I just feel so bad for you."

Bad? For me?

I mean, yeah, I struggled. But so does everybody. Just because you're married doesn't mean struggles suddenly disappear. But bad for me? What?! Obviously she didn't know the perks of being single. And, so, I enlightened her:

Reasons Why Being a Single Mother Is Freaking Awesome

1. I don't have to share the remote with a man who lacks the ability to choose interesting television programming. No mind numbing ESPN marathons in this house! It's all PBS, HGTV and Sweet Home Alabama for the 14th time this weekend.

2. I can have six different types of shampoos and conditioners in my shower. Yes, my shower. My shower that has no scuzzy man razors or a 4-year old bottle of Head and Shoulders (seriously, use that shit up already). I can have flowery soaps and bath oils and it's all mine. (Plus, no hairs that aren't mine. There is immense pleasure in that fact alone.)

3. I don't have to deal with your crazy family. Yep. You want junior to spend time with Grandboppy then you get him ready, you pack the diaper bag, and you listen to the incessant ranting about how you failed at life because you didn't succeed as a professional football player and I'll be here drinking a glass of Riesling while watching Sweet Home Alabama for the 15th time this weekend. Enjoy!

4. FREE BABYSITTER! Twice a month I get an entire weekend to myself. Let that sink in: an entire weekend. to myself. Two times each month. Sure, I miss my kids. Yes, it's damn hard to let them go and watch them walk into the unknown world of Daddy's Influence and yes, I pray good and hard that they'll be okay, they won't be scared, and they won't be scarred - physically and emotionally. And then I give it all to God and call up my girlfriends to meet them out for dinner and drinks at my fave little restaurant by the lake. I come home when I want. I sleep in the next day as long as I want. I do the next day whatever I want. How many of you married Mamas get two weekends to yourself each and every month?

5. I can spend my money however I want. No thank you, I don't think I'll be putting any money towards the super-duper high-powered table saw that comes complete with neon light show coordinated with music. I think I'll be buying this here Wickford Sandpiper towel set for my bathroom, thankyouverymuch.

6. No one snores, kicks, moves around, mumbles or otherwise annoys me when I sleep. That's because I have this entire comfortable, cozy bed to myself. If you're a single mom and this isn't working for you then you must immediately (a.) buy a mattress you deserve and (b.) tell those kids that if they need to come into your room in the middle of the night they must sleep on the floor. No kid ever died from sleeping on some blankets at the foot of the bed; however, many children suffer at the hands of an exhausted, overtired Mama every day. You deserve your sleep. Make it your mantra.

7. Supper is infinitely easier when you're single. Does this have mushrooms in it? I don't really like spicy stuff. My Mom's lasagna is much better. Guess what? If I feel like having Kentucky Fried Chicken, I'll be having Kentucky Fried Chicken. If I feel like a Red Raspberry Spinach Salad, I'll be having a Red Raspberry Spinach Salad. Let's be honest, those kids only eat macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets anyway.

8. My time is my time. If I want to spend it cleaning, I'll clean.... and I won't have to listen to anyone insinuate I don't spend enough time with the kids. If I want to spend it playing a mean game of Picturika with the kids, I'll play.... and I won't have to listen to anyone insinuate I don't spend enough time cleaning the house. I can spend my time reading or running or going back to school to get my degree in something you always thought wasn't a big deal but it is a big deal to me.

9. I don't have to unfurl any man's crusty, balled up socks in order to wash them. That makes laundry way much more enjoyable than it otherwise is.

10. My life is filled with hope. Being a single mom is a constant reminder of how strong and independent and vibrant I am. Some days are hard. In fact, some days are so hard I don't know how I'm ever going to get through it. But I do. Somehow, I find a way to drag my tangled, broken self through another day - sometimes with a lot of tears and fear and worry along with me - but I make it through. And then, when I'm lying there with my head on my fluffy pillow that doesn't stink of man grime because someone was too lazy to take a shower before bed last night, I think to myself, I did it. And no one can ever dispute that fact.

Being married isn't the cure all some people think it is. And being a single mom isn't the lonely pit of sorrow some people make it out to be. You make your life what you want to make of it. Either scenario can be hell if you see it that way. Go ahead; wallow in self-pity for a bit. Hold your pity party - I'm not judging; I've been there way too many times to count. But then get out of it. Embrace who you are in this moment. And let your children see your strength. Because that's how they'll learn to draw on their own strength when they get knocked for a curve later on in life. They'll be able to point to you and say, "I was raised by a single mother; she showed us what strong is." And no one will be able to dispute that fact.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My Next House is Going to be a Studio Apartment so I Won't Have Expectations

If you haven't read The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton, do it. You'll love it! Or you won't. But either way you'll procrastinate doing the laundry because it's kind of a long book.

Personally, I loved it. And not just because it gave me something to do that made me appear calm, cool and completely unaffected when I was otherwise seething at the ridiculousness of our remodeling project discussions, which is now being referred to as well, you're the one who wanted to buy the stupid house in the first place. (Because we're nothing if not mature and respectful during our discussions.)

That discussion usually leads to the well, maybe if I'm so stupid, perhaps I don't know how to make dinner and you'll just have to starve to death discussion. (Because we're nothing if not adult and can separate out our differences without holding irrational grudges.)

That usually leads to another discussion, and then to another, and after a few more turns we eventually find ourselves at Really?! So every single man in the entire U.S. of A leaves pieces of shaved facial hair all over the bathroom counters and every single woman is okay with it except for ME.  I just happen to be the only female in the entire population that is bothered by it! (Like you haven't gone there.)

So, being the good partner that I am, I have taken out three more books from the library in an effort to avoid any future discussions about electrical outlet spacing or whether or not we keep the bathroom sink or why the tile floor I picked out won't work because then we have to lift the clawfoot tub and it's a lot easier (and cheaper) to put in some vinyl... it's all too much and I'd do a lot better if I could just rip out the picture from the magazine and hand it to him and then he would build it. Because that's how my remodeling process goes.

The One in which I take my Father for his Covid Vaccine

I got a voicemail the other day from the hospital saying ‘since you’re the contact on record we just want you to know your Dad can get a Cov...