Down to Earth

March 15th, 2010

I took the dog to get her anal glands squeezed and get a rabies shot today, and if THAT doesn’t set the tone for a day filled with unprecedented awesomeness, I’m not sure what does. No, wait, let me back up: the day started with me cleaning my daughter’s, um, STUFF, out of her armpits after a blowout, which is something that hasn’t happened in MONTHS and happened because … oh God, I don’t even KNOW why (her diaper is the right size, I assure you), but I am sure my future holds a day where I don’t have to wonder if today is going to be the day that I have to clean someone else’s poop out of their armpits, you know?

ARMPITS. This is not unlike the time she was a wee, wee infant and somehow did her business with such force it landed on her FACE.

This was followed up by a rather strongly worded lecture of gibberish as she stood naked at the end of the coffee table this evening, full on SCREAMING at us, complete with arm gestures. Aaaand moments later … more poop. While naked. On the floor. Just after a bath. How delightful!

Internet, I’m sorry for those back-to-back gross stories, but honestly, it’s like I never believed this shit (HA) actually happened until it did, and worse, I’m actually shocked at how unfazed I am by it all. Sure, no one likes to be living with their very own miniature version of Tubgirl, but … well. This is what you sign up for, I suppose.

My nonchalance probably ties back to the fact that frankly, I would rather change an entire preschool full of diapers than clean up one (1) yard of dog poop. Anything but dog poop, folks. ANYTHING.

So hey, um, here’s a pop culture observation a day late and millions of dollars short: There are a PLETHORA of magazine covers dedicated to how Vienna “deceived” Jake (the latest Bachelor, if you were wondering), and honestly, I never really had a problem with Vienna, but that’s not even what I’m about to talk about. What I’m wondering is, why has no one bothered to dissect the fact that this guy is GROSS. JUST GROSS. And … ugh, the guy is just a walking bottle of MASSENGILL and they’re worried about whether VIENNA deceived him? Oh COME ON. They should be worried about the fact that she is YOUNG and IMPRESSIONABLE and is now chained to a DOUCHE.

Hey, you know what sucked? Big Love. The whole season. Sucked. And the finale? SUUUUCKED. I think I’m done. I have no interest in this new world order of theirs. Sorry, Big Love. I quit you. Not even using Peter Gabriel’s cover of “Heroes” in the final scene could redeem you. NOT EVEN PETER GABRIEL CAN SAVE BIG LOVE.

So! Relocating, Or the Potential Thereof. There are so many parts to this story — many moving parts, including jobs that have been left, job offers received and turned down, my years-long strict adherence to Suze Orman that put us in the position to be able to be OK no matter what happens — but the simple emotional part is this: UGGGGHHH. We always knew that Vermont would likely be a temporary stop on our, um, journey (ON THE WINGS OF LOVE), and before that there was Florida, and before THAT was the place I consider home, given that our families are there, and I lived there for ages and ages, which is Boston.

Boston, by the way, is very likely where we’re going to end up, um, eventually. But as it turns out, I like it here — quite a bit, as it turns out, and I wouldn’t mind staying (it’s not off the table entirely). I’m surprised, however, by the emotional response I’m having by thinking of being back home, which is that when I left, I was one person, and when I return, I will be a completely, and I mean COMPLETELY, different one. When I left, I was in my twenties, relatively newly married and way into my career and living a completely stressed-out competitive existence. Now, I’m in my thirties, have a child (and want more), and am neither stressed, nor competitive. And I know you don’t have to be who you were just because of where you are, but, well, I challenge anyone not to make the same comparisons, when you think about it.

It makes me wonder if you really can go home again without some serious emotional turmoil, and the answer appears to be no. The truth is that I am having a hard time with both the uncertainty and with what seems to be the inevitable certainty. (Is this making any sense? It’s just that DETAILS ARE BORING.)

We’ll see. At the moment, it’s the most likely possibility, but in some ways, the country is our oyster. But you know what else? I’m over the nomadic existence. So there’s that, too.

Unexpected introspection! It’s what’s for your Tuesday.

PS, the book has been picked. Get ready for Joan Didion, y’all.

*Peter Gabriel. Yes, from Wall*E. It’s one of my favorite songs. What of it?

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Entry Filed under: Beeber McSteebs,Book Lushes,General jackassery,Pop! Goes the Culture,Sunny The Pug,The anxious anxiety,The Floridian Nightmare,Vermont,What the fuck?

30 Comments Add your own

  • 1. slynnro  |  March 15th, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    You know, I LOVED this season of Big Love despite the fact that everyone is POOPING all over it. Normally I get annoyed when I have to suspend soooooooooooo much disbelief, but I”m dying to know what they are going to do with this, and I really love Nikki as a character and I want nothing more than the 3 of them to go tell Bill to fuck himself.

  • 2. Megan  |  March 15th, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    I love Big Love, but this season’s “Bill runs for office” storyline was over the top.

  • 3. Heather  |  March 15th, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    So this weekend I was at the shops picking out birthday gifts for my husband and I saw big love season 1. I had only seen one episode before but figured if you could be addicted, I should try it out so I bought it. AND NOW YOU’RE QUITTING…right after we spent the entire weekend watching episodes back to back lol.

    And I sat down to read this post with my breakfast. *sigh* 😛

  • 4. Blythe  |  March 15th, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    Oh, yes. The leaving and the returning thing. As you know, I have been there. That first year back was rough and humbling. Everything was the same but everything was different, and I was different and I wanted to STAY different. I wanted to keep all the lessons I’d learned and the growing-up I had done while I was away, and I was afraid that I would have that experience I have when I go back to visit my mother and start acting like a cranky sixteen-year-old again. (WHAT? Doesn’t everyone do that? Acting moody and expecting her to do your laundry?)

    But since I had a child and quit my job, there was no going back to my younger self, which forced me to think of my city in a whole new way. I always loved it here but I appreciate it even more now. I spend my weekends acting like a tourist, in a way that locals always wonder why they never do. And while I have days that I wish I was an ocean away from certain family members (see: the twelfth day of Christmas), most of the time it is great to be back among loved ones.

    I know I don’t need to tell you this. But in case you are a bit change averse like me (though I also LIKE change, don’t ask me how I can feel both ways – I am my own snowflake after all), know that it will be hard but it will be worth it, especially because the three of you will be together. That’s how it was for me, anyway.

    And don’t worry about freaking ME out with the poop. I’m in potty training hell. It’s all poop all the time.

  • 5. Marie Green  |  March 15th, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    Moving home, for me, has never been a serious consideration, so I’d never realized how HARD that would actually be. I “dream” about moving home all the time- I have an emotional attachment to the Black Hills, but I never realized- until just now- how DIFFERENT I am now. And now that I’m trying to put this “me” into THAT town… well, it’s freaking me the fuck out.

    I’m totally tracking you on that one. Certain AND uncertain. So weird.

  • 6. Cheryl  |  March 16th, 2010 at 7:40 am

    Just trying to wrap my head around going home brings up feelings best kept hidden from view. In miles, I’m not so far away from where it all began. In all the important ways, I’m 5 lifetimes away. Went back for a few months to help a sick child and as adult as I was and had worked hard to become, the years melted away with each well-intentioned “you look like your mother” and “where have you been?” Still freaks me out when I think of those days.

    A disclaimer here: I went alone and I didn’t plan to stay so that’s very different from resettling into the old ‘hood.

  • 7. Jamie  |  March 16th, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Big Love. sigh. I loved Big Love but this season has been… weird. I don’t think I’m ready to give up quite yet but I definitely understand you disliking it and I feel you. It’s not that it’s SO bad, it’s just so much worse than the first seasons- like Godfather III versus Godfather I & II.

    And Bill is a complete asshole. I wish they would ALL leave him. Grrr.

  • 8. H  |  March 16th, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Sam’s yelling and pooping made me laugh. She will enjoy hearing that story in 15 years!

    I hate change, for the most part, so I can relate to your angst.

  • 9. -R-  |  March 16th, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Boston is so big though; I wonder if it wouldn’t be like moving somewhere that you’re familiar with.

    We may or may not have had our first pooping on the floor incident last night. Lovely. You know, dealing with poop was one of the things about parenthood that I thought would be just horrible, but it really doesn’t phase me. Weird.

  • 10. Caitlin  |  March 16th, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Ahh, the going-home-again question. I know. Me too. Whether I go home or even when my parents come to me, I can’t seem to help but convert (sometimes a little, sometimes a lot) to a previous non-adult version of myself. It bothers me and I don’t like it, but, it’s hard and I haven’t figured out how to avoid it.

    There’s a quote I LOVE love love that sums it up so perfectly: that I always come back to: “There’s such a gulf between yourself and who you were then, but people speak to that other person and it answers; it’s like having a stranger as a house guest in your skin.” – Barbara Kingsolver

    I can’t help but wonder though, if it might be different when you have a kid. Hmm, maybe. Um, also, plus, uh, Boston = swoon. I do miss it.

  • 11. cindy w  |  March 16th, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Poop doesn’t faze me at all. Vomit, on the other hand… oh dear GOD.

    I thought Big Love was really good this season. I’ve been hating Bill for so long, I liked that they showed a little glimmer of a human being in there from time to time, even though he’s still mostly a completely douche. But it’s really the other characters that make the show worth watching to me.

    I haven’t lived in my hometown since I was 19 years old, so no, I can’t really imagine moving back there. Good luck figuring that out, though. Hope the move is more “Big New Fun Life Adventure” and less “oh god, moving sucks!”

    P.S. I love Wall*E, and that Peter Gabriel song too.

  • 12. julie  |  March 16th, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Teach me how to be financially responsible.

  • 13. kris  |  March 16th, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Despite the emotional turmoil, your tone makes it clear that you’re in one kick ass of a kick ass place, and I have no doubt that whatever corner of the oyster you choose you’ll rock it out. Honestly, J, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a relatively new parent use the phrase “world is our oyster” — how effing cool is it that you are? A testament to the Jonna family. Or the -iker family. Or whatever name you’re calling yourselves these days.

    And damn if I’m not starting to enjoy the Dragon Tatt. It took me three weeks to get through the first 50 pages, but you were right.

  • 14. Olivia  |  March 16th, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Poop in her armpits?! I suppose it’s because my baby trends toward constipation, but the farthest her poop has ever traveled is the small of her back, thank the gods!

    I can’t imagine moving back to where I grew up. For one thing, even my parents don’t live there anymore, and it’s also boring. Beautiful, but very boring as only small, rural and isolated (think at least a 3 hr drive to the nearest small city) can be.

  • 15. Molly  |  March 16th, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Hey I left Boston (two years ago) after living there my whole adult life too! I was also newly married and kid-less. There’s a lot I miss about it but every time we visit I am reminded that unless we had unlimited cash-flow it would be pretty hard to comfortably live in town with the kiddo. The expense! The sheer density of people everywhere! The driving OMG (breathing into a paper bag). My husband and I often talk about how you could FEEL stressed out all the time in Boston even if you weren’t – it’s just the pace of the town itself!

  • 16. Jess  |  March 16th, 2010 at 11:57 am

    All this relocation stuff, it sounds so lovely and exciting and also nerve-inducing. Good luck figuring it all out! I can’t wait to see what you guys decide.

  • 17. Penny  |  March 16th, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I think the urge to settle roots gets measurably stronger once your kiddo starts interacting with other kiddos. I mean, right now she’s content with pooping in her armpits but a year from now she’ll want to watch other kiddos poop (and play and eat and so on) and then before you know it you’ll be buying birthday cards in bulk because every 3 and 4 year old that you have possibly run into will want you to come to their birthday parties and then all of a sudden there are whole networks of little kid friends.

    But I only know one side of the story I guess – I’ve never moved around a whole lot after my oldest was born. But I would be very tearful to leave now, not when I’ve finally memorized the names of the kids in her preschool AND can identify the moms based on birthday parties.

  • 18. Anna  |  March 16th, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    I grew up in a small, small town. A town that felt very stifling. A town where I couldn’t do a thing without my entire family knowing about it within minutes – and that was BEFORE the internet. I never flat out said that I would never return once I left for college but I certainly felt it. I am a city girl at heart. Then, of course, I fell in love. Very unexpectedly. With a boy from my hometown. I managed to detain him in the suburbs for five years which was a reasonable compromise but now it’s time for us to return to our hometown so he can take over the family business.

    To say I have mixed emotions about this would be a huge understatement. I am thrilled for my son and his grandparents. I am ecstatic for my husband who will be living out his life’s dream (it’s awfully exciting to be a part of that) but…deep down I’m sad for me. This is not the life that I envisioned. I was a very different person when I left here but I know that once I’m back it will be very, very hard for people to realize that I’m ANNA not just J and K’s daughter or C and L’s daughter-in-law or that Lastname Girl. Not to mention the judgement that comes when you aren’t just an anonymous face in the crowd.

    That’s a very long way of saying that while our situations are different, I hear you. Going home can be tough. Good luck with your uncertainty/certainty! I’m sure it will all work out for the best.

  • 19. Ericka  |  March 16th, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    Oh my. Anyone who can work in a Tubgirl reference to a blog post is, well, my personal hero. Made my day, you did.

    As for moving home again…they say you can’t. But I did; I moved to a totally new and different area of town. Ended up LOVING it. Was close to everything, dog-friendly, and very, very walkable. A great experience.

    But then I moved to Vermont, which is a whole OTHER story. So there’s that.

  • 20. samantha jo campen  |  March 19th, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    I’ll never forget when Theo was about 5 weeks old. I was changing him in the middle of the night in a VERY dimly lit room. I leaned in to be sure I had wiped all of his butt when he farted in my face and some. . .STUFF, like. . .SPLASHED my face. I was tired. Whatever. Moving on.

    I told my friend the next day and she refused to believe such a thing even really happens. Oh it does, my childless friend. IT DOES.

    I’ll pick up dog poop all the livelong day if I don’t have to change Theo who now RAGES against any and all diaper changes. I’ll unload your dishwasher and put the dishes away while also cleaning up your yard, while you wash/fold/put away our laundry and change my kid’s diaper.


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  • 29. Micah Keegan  |  October 9th, 2012 at 5:27 am

    I really love Nikki as a character and I want nothing more than the 3 of them to go tell Bill to fuck himself.

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    I’ll pick up dog poop all the livelong day if I don’t have to change Theo who now RAGES against any and all diaper changes. I’ll unload your dishwasher and put the dishes away while also cleaning up your yard, while you wash/fold/put away our laundry and change my kid’s diaper.

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