Posts filed under 'Adam'

Stubborn Love

That was a holiday hiatus! Let’s pretend it didn’t happen and move on. Not that you care, but *I* care, see.

So, ah, Thanksgiving. You guys, I can’t even. Every year, we go to Virginia to see Adam’s family — not on the ACTUAL holiday, but before the holiday and God, who cares really, this is unimportant, except that it was the weekend before Thanksgiving and it will now go down in history as a VERY NOT GOOD EXPERIENCE AT ALL.

We drove. From Boston to Chesapeake, VA. IN A SINGLE DAY. ONE FELL SWOOP. I can’t even really explain what happened in that car, except that it was as though we shut the doors after letting in the smoke monster from Lost. All reason, happiness, joy, light, logic and JUST PLAIN GOODNESS was trapped in a fog of misery. We lost ourselves. We became horrible people. By hour thirteen (THIRTEEN) on the way home, we were earnestly, and quite angrily, talking about custody arrangements for our two children, because we came to the conclusion somewhere in New Jersey that we were not meant to be together, that we could not POSSIBLY have thought this was a good idea, when it is SO OBVIOUS how terrible we are for each other.

Yes, clearly the writing’s been on the wall for 14 years. Or PERHAPS IT WAS THIRTEEN HOURS IN THE CAR WITH A SCREAMING BABY. INCLUDING A DETOUR THROUGH A TERRIFYING SECTION OF THE BRONX. TWICE.

It could go either way, really.

Spoiler: We’re not getting divorced, because when we are not under extreme Guantanamo-level torture enhanced interrogation techniques, we do like each other quite a bit. But the car breakdown was oh-so-very real in that context, and this! This is why you will never see us on the Amazing Race. Ever.

My sister-in-law is getting married in the same location in May (Sam and I are in the wedding, woo!) and we discussed how to get there, because Sam is a terrible flier (THE EARS) and yet the drive. OMG the drive. Actual conversation:

“We can’t do that again. We will all die.”

“Yes we will.”

So! Teleportation should be invented by then, right?

So that happened, then, which led to such residual trauma that we just stayed home for Thanksgiving, eschewing any and all family obligations, because . . . ugh, no. Not that I don’t love our families — I love Adam’s family, even! His siblings and I are close! I still feel this way after 24 hours of driving!

But seriously. Turkey on my couch without any pants, thanks. Please don’t make me get into the car again.

Separately, and apropos of nothing, I was thinking recently that one of the best characteristics a person can have is being comfortable with the fact that not everyone will like you. Generally speaking, I have a pretty thick skin — I don’t know where it came from, honestly, although I’m sure there is a terrifying reason lurking in my past somewhere. I’m just . . . not that sensitive, most of the time. This works against me — I have a big mouth, after all, and am very comfortable with being uncomfortable around people — but I also think it lets me have more . . . integrity maybe? I’m not sure. I’m a fairly strong personality (haa?), and it doesn’t appeal to everyone. I have opinions people don’t like. Some people just don’t like ME.

That doesn’t bother me all that much. There’s something very freeing in realizing that no matter what you do, there will be people who don’t like you and maybe even ACTIVELY dislike you, and so what? If you don’t like or respect them, it matters not, at least outside of a professional context, although EVEN THEN there are significant benefits, so long as you know how to play politics, and geez, that situation is too complex to summarize here, isn’t it?

The point is: accepting that people won’t always like you makes it easier to be who you want to be, and focus on the people who DO like you for exactly who you are. And I realized that I am pretty uncomfortable with people who are uncomfortable with that concept. You know? Just be it! Be who you are! Not everyone will like you, but those who do, REALLY will, so go whole hog, won’t you? Say fuck it. Give your opinion. Be a real person. At least you know that when people like you, they really like YOU and not because you’re simply nice. God, please let people say something better about me at my funeral than, “She was really nice.”

I don’t think I’m that nice, honestly, and I’m not sure I care all that much.

Kindness is underrated. Niceness is overrated. Fascinating, that. Also, a really hard concept to explain to daughters. Good times.

Have a happy Wednesday!

*The Lumineers. Shit, they are just pure joy.

37 comments November 27th, 2012

Somewhere a Clock is Ticking

I’ve been cat sitting for a good friend of mine, and it has, oddly, made me feel better about hiring babysitters, because one of the most irrational fears I had about having someone in my home was that they would, uh, snoop around? And discover … well, probably nothing exciting, is the hilariously ironic part. I mean, even my bedside table drawers contain little more than some old knitting projects, hand lotion and an ancient pile of magazines. Anything of value/informationally harmful is locked in a fireproof box, and if they want to dig through our filing cabinets to find old copies of our water bill, by all means, KNOCK YOURSELF OUT.

But the thing is, I hire nice, upstanding, respectable babysitters who would never DO that, and yet it’s always been my fear. And there I was, in Jess’s house the other day, creeping through her rooms with such deference that I didn’t even want to look around, lest I see something I shouldn’t. Meanwhile, I am normally at her house so often, I might as well LIVE THERE, and don’t even think twice about rooting around her cabinets for a snack, but when I was there ALONE, I was petrified of … disturbing something or opening a drawer and having, I don’t know, a TAX RETURN fly out and READ ITSELF TO ME, thus leaving me with accidental knowledge of their inner workings that I did not want. I can’t even fathom LOOKING for those things, and I genuinely don’t know anyone who WOULD, much less the nice women who come and hang out with Sam.

Also, um, DING DONG HELLO, you guys, I’ve been using the library and I FEEL LIKE AN IDIOT, IT IS SO AWESOME. I know I talked about this whole, um, request feature, but ah, the whole going to pick up FREE BOOKS that I just READ and then RETURN THEM when I am finished is … um, whoa. Yes, I know this concept is hardly revolutionary, but IT IS TO ME. I previously used the library only for older books that I fished from the shelves, but now? There is BOOK PLANNING. And people, I love nothing more than to PLAN. This is why BUDGETS MAKE ME HAPPY. And the library request system is like … like a BOOK BUDGET, kind of.

I do struggle with the fact that I’ve always like to use my discretionary income to support authors and bookstores, so this is … hard for me. But honestly, I read too damn much to be able to justify the cost, particularly when half the books I read are just throwaways (I’m looking angrily at you, Linger, with my LET-DOWN EYES). This way, however, I support the library and the right for everyone to have free access to good books. I particularly like to do this with my late fees, which are ALWAYS on books I get out for Sam, because I CANNOT REMEMBER which ones we own and which ones are the library’s.

And finally, I’ve been having several Bloody Beefs lately — prompted entirely by That Time of The Month, and I am ashamed to admit it, BUT IT IS THE TRUTH — about various things, typically money-related, because this is an area I feel like I HAVE CONTROL, so I become HYPER-FOCUSED ON IT, which is just ridiculous, because a) we’re fine; b) it is what it is, please, you show me an American family who has no financial worries whatsoever and I’ll show you … well, half of MetroWest, probably. Affluence is the name of their game, They of $300K Median Incomes. But whatever! THAT IS NOT THE NORM.

So there I am, having my monthly PMS-related freakout about — wait for it — the cost of college tuition. Which, yes, a worthy thing to freak out over, but you know, my kid starts PRESCHOOL NEXT WEEK. And I was so worked up about all of this that tonight, I announced to Adam that YES, FINE, Sam can live at home while she goes to Mass Bay Community College, it’s FINE. I said this as if it were FACT and GOING TO HAPPEN, because, according to my PMS-fueled calculations, a state school education is going to cost SEVENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR, and I want another kid! Do YOU have an extra $150K lying around for ONE YEAR OF SCHOOL? I don’t think our 529 plan is going to grow THAT MUCH, do YOU?

(Picture this all said in a hysterical, this-must-be-handled-RIGHTNOW voice, if you will.)

And this, seriously, is where I love my husband so hard, because he puts up with exactly NONE of my bullshit and does nothing to fuel my anxiety, but instead, replied with:

“You know who we should ask about this. Gary.”

“Who’s Gary?”

“Our next door neighbor, the financial advisor. IN THE HOUSE WE LIVE IN SIXTEEN YEARS FROM NOW. Do you see how ridiculous this is now? I love you. Goodnight.”

Aaaand, fin.

*Snow Patrol

115 comments August 25th, 2011

Kids

Did I ever tell you guys about the time we — and I do mean we — flipped out royally and took Sam to the pediatrician, convinced she had a rare neurological disease for what turned out to be ah, her first temper tantrum?

Yes. Yes, we did. People really do that. In our defense, it was just after she’d had strep, and if you Google strep in children, it comes back with all these wackadoo side and after effects, and one of them is this thing called, ah, PANDAS. Mind you, I did not make this discovery, as I was too yanked out over whether she had meningitis to be concerned about anything else (“Sam, can you put your chin down for Mommy? No, down? DOWN?”), but she started acting, um, weird (HAAAA) and Adam came into the room, eyes nearly brimming with Tears of Parental Concern and said, “What is this PANDAS crap? I don’t like it.”

He’d been Googling. And my husband NEVER Googles. I AM THE CRAZY GOOGLER. But no, there he is, Googling about this INCURABLE disorder that causes nervous tics and OCD and bizarro behavior, and HA HA, a tantruming kid looks a lot like that, right? RIGHT. So we make an appointment for 20 minutes from that moment — I called the pediatrician in tears — and was fuming that I couldn’t get her in sooner (“Mrs. Rubin, that’s … in twenty minutes.”), and HAAAA OH MY GOD.

The conversation with the ped included a diagnostic line of questioning about her potential OCD habits, to which my husband replied entirely earnestly, “Well … she’s REALLY into the mail.” (And she is, but … oh God, it all was so LOGICAL in that MOMENT, you guys, and OH MY GOD, I KNOW.)

The whole thing turned out to be the unfortunate coincidence of the developmental onset of temper tantrums combined with the tail end of strep, and finally, the doctor who, to his credit, did not laugh, announced, “I … I think she’s just fine.”

There you have it. Whenever you find yourself wondering if you should call the pediatrician, now you know. I called — oh, did I not mention it was a HOLIDAY? — and made an EMERGENCY APPOINTMENT because my child was having a TEMPER TANTRUM, and they still take my calls.

I think of this because, surprisingly, my kid fell and basically bashed her head in and is GUARANTEED to have a black eye in the morning, and I was/am surprisingly chill about it, and … well. We’ve come a long way, baby.

I think that’s enough humiliation for the day.

Have a great Thursday!

*MGMT

52 comments August 17th, 2011

Enjoy the Silence

Last week mostly sucked. I wish I could be more eloquent than that, but man, it just wasn’t a great week. Between the jackhammering of our foundation (OMFG), a napless kid thanks to said foundation hammering and the fact that I realized A-HA! I was supposed to have a BABY this week! … it was, um, unpleasant. I was in a mood the likes of which I haven’t seen in months and months. It wasn’t until I stormed away from the construction workers muttering, “Are you fucking KIDDING ME?” only to come inside and — oh, I can barely type it without cringing — throw a head of cauliflower so hard on the counter that it shattered in a jillion florets that I realized, HM. Perhaps I am not being myself here. You know, because I’m sobbing into my sleeve amongst the cauliflower shrapnel while my daughter– my poor, sweet daughter — asks, “Are you okay, Mommy?”

(I picked up the florets and roasted them anyway. Do you think less of me?)

(Genuine, turnaround-quality bright spot: A delightful day at Davis Farmland with Maureen and her perfect children. I love her. And them.)

The good news is that my ClearBlue Easy fertility monitor sticks are somewhere in Cleveland, thus, giving me the perfect excuse to hold off for another month before getting back on the Train of Potential Conception, although I have to tell you, I feel kind of ready for another baby, and that’s something I couldn’t say a month ago. One of my best friends is pregnant, and her due date is coming soon (November!) and I can’t wait! I can’t WAIT! I want to hold the tiny baby! I want to SEE the tiny baby, and I want to see her daughter, Lila, with a little brother, although I think Sam is going to be pretty pissed off, because Megan is her favorite. She already gets the scraps from Lila, and when there’s a baby in Meg’s lap, HAAAA, rage.

Plus, you know, Sam starts school in a few weeks, and I’m seriously acting like she’s headed off to college. Tonight, I asked Adam if Sam is still going to like me, or if she’s going to want to live at school. I wasn’t even being a little jokey about it, because what if she hates me? What if this is the end, and she’s all done with me and just wants to hang out with her friends? What if she stops holding my face in her hands and saying, “MOMMY! I love you…”? THEN WHAT?

I will burn down the preschool, that’s what.

Speaking of babies, we up and left our precious child with a (great, new, reader of this blog) babysitter on Saturday night to see Harry Potter at the Imax and eat sushi. And you GUYS. Yes, the movie was great, blah blah, and yes, we go to an Imax theater that is, mysteriously, inside a furniture store (I don’t know, either, but those Jordan stores are like MINI DISNEYLAND), but the thing is, Harry Potter is a loud movie, right? And add the Imax experience, which includes “butt-kickers,” which vibrate the seats during explosive-type scenes, and … well, you get the idea.

The thing is, so there’s Harry Potter, one of the loudest movies EVER — I mean Deathly Hallows is basically one big battle scene, and I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by saying so — and near the beginning of the movie, there was this BIG! EXPLOSIVE! sound and then … silence.

Which is precisely when the man next to me farted. Very loudly.

YOU GUYS. In a twisted way, I felt HORRIBLE for him, because MY GOD, the movie was SO LOUD, and WHAT ARE THE CHANCES that he’s going to let one rip JUST as the SILENCE FILLS A CROWDED THEATER?

But the worst part — the WORST! — is that Adam was wholly convinced it was me, and he was GLARING at me, like *I* was the asshole who FARTED IN A CROWDED THEATER. By that point, I just lost it, and I was snickering uncontrollably, tears streaming down my face, and OH GOD, I had just made the Harry Potter Farter feel even worse, because how do you not know that’s why I’m laughing? How do you NOT think that the lady next to you is wheeze-laughing because you ripped it in the movie theater? HOW?

Ah. Anyway. It was a great night, I loved the movie, with the exception of the VERY end, which was … poorly executed, although I don’t want to give it away. I just … CHILDREN SHOULD NOT HAVE CHILDREN, is all I’m saying, and there was a bad casting call there.

This is wrapping up awkwardly, but three things:

1) I tried raw oysters during said night out when we made a last-minute restaurant change. I … don’t get it. This isn’t some, “oh, check me out, I wrote something somewhere else!”, but a, NO SERIOUSLY, what am I missing? I need to know what you think, because I do NOT get it, and this seems like something I SHOULD get, but when I read reviews of food critics eating raw oysters and describing their nuanced flavors with wine-type language, I’m like, wait, what? I TASTED TABASCO. But also, I didn’t find them remotely repulsive, I just found them TREMENDOUSLY BORING.

2) I have essentially stopped washing my kid’s hair because it’s getting TOO DAMN ANNOYING. She acts like I’m dumping hydrochloric acid on her head, and GOD. I know this is not good, but there you have it. CONFESSION TIME.

3) I started using the library request system, and you guys, it’s like, FREE BOOKS THAT YOU ACTUALLY WANT, instead of picking through the shelves. What a revolutionary idea! And one that is actually preventing MANY MELTDOWNS from Sam, because she is so desperate to go downstairs to see Fred the turtle that she cannot bear the three minutes it takes me to find the book I want. Linger, you shall be mine. OH YES, YOU SHALL.

Happy Tuesday!

*Depeche Mode. And you know, I am REALLY GLAD I didn’t get the giant cross with “DM” tattooed on my leg back in high school. OMFG.

45 comments August 15th, 2011

Make This Go On Forever

We went away for our anniversary this weekend (Portsmouth, NH and Ogunquit, ME) WITH our small offspring, and though we were smart enough to get a two-room suite this time, lest anyone forget LAST year’s getaway, which involved a baby who woke up at 2:30 a.m. FOR THE DAY*, I tell you, vacationing with a two-year-old is rather, um, rigorous. This is particularly true when it’s a last-minute weekend trip and you’re in a hotel rather than a rented house-type property and HOTELS ARE NOT FOR FAMILIES WITH SMALL CHILDREN, is all I’m saying. She woke up at 5:30, perky as all get-out, and though we tried to do our usual switch-off on the sleeping in thing, there are, you know, only two small rooms, so we were ALL up at 5:30, which is a VERY EARLY TIME TO START THE DAY, if you didn’t know, and it turns out, walking to Starbucks and plying her with donuts only takes up, like, an hour and you guys, IT IS STILL ONLY SIX-THIRTY. WHICH IS ALSO EARLY.

*Yes, she woke up for the day at 2:30 a.m. on the Cape last year. And just to refresh y’all’s memory about how it all went down, we were SUPPOSED to have a two-room suite, but for reasons that don’t matter now, DID NOT, but we didn’t realize that until we arrived. Our child CANNOT sleep in the same room as us without … not sleeping. And waking up early. And whatever, YOU GUYS WE SLEPT IN THE CAR ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD. LIKE VAGABONDS.

Next year, we’re planning ahead and renting a house. Which brings me to …

Maine. You guys. I’ve lived here off and on for years — YEARS — and every time I go to Maine, I am struck anew about how beautiful it is. Meredith described Nantucket as being one of those places that just fits her, and man, Maine is that for me. Yes, here. It’s cold and harsh in the winter, and although I bitch about the snow here, you know, that’s just the price you pay to live near someplace so beautiful. Besides, I am a four seasons gal and BESIDES, besides, have you guys ever been to Maine on a hot summer’s day?

The shoreline is rocky, as you would expect from a Maine beach, but oh, the water is perfectly crystal clear and such a deep turquoise, you almost think you’re in the Caribbean. I mean, until it rains and drops 30 degrees in fifteen minutes, that is.

And Portsmouth! So close, but hell if you don’t feel like you’ve been transported to a quaint seafaring town in another COUNTRY, for God’s sake.

We went on a long cliffside walk on Marginal Way, wandered around the towns and beaches, ate lobster rolls, took Sam for ice cream and then, you know, passed out at 9:30 p.m. after grabbing take-out due to an overtired toddler, but you know what? Still magical. I want to go back next year for an entire week, and hell if I’m not spending every free second looking at properties, because I WILL NOT BE CAUGHT UNAWARES NEXT YEAR, SUMMER VACATION!

(Yes, it’s true I’ve had, like, ELEVEN VACATIONS this year, what with Las Vegas and North Carolina and Nantucket and plenty of beach visits and water parks and HA HA I AM SPOILED I KNOW. It’s just that Adam was along for exactly zero of those non-Vegas trips, so we had to do SOMEthing, and next year, we’ll plan better so he can, you know, have a family vacation too.) (Oops.)

Anyway, the whole thing beat the pants off of BlogHer, is all I’m saying. It’s not that I didn’t love BlogHer last year, or that I think the conference isn’t great (it is!), it’s just that if I’m not going for business (and I do, sometimes, go to those things for business — in fact, I was a hair’s breadth away from being a booth babe this year in San Diego), but if I’m going just for the socialization, I’m totally doing something like The Blathering, because, well, I like smaller groups and 3,000 people makes me twitchy, and I’m not really into the sessions for my own personal interest AND AND AND, so whatever, I went to Maine this year and I loved it and am now campaigning to MOVE TO MAINE.

(Not really.)

Man, I hope you’re having a great summer, too. It’s going so FAST and in three weeks — THREE WEEKS! — Sam goes to preschool, and though I am excited for two! glorious! hours! to do exciting things like work and clean the house, I am SO IMMEASURABLY SAD about it, as though I am driving her to college and leaving her in a dorm room.

For, you know, a whopping five and a half hours a week. OMFGGGGGG.

Have a great Tuesday.

*Snow Patrol. Whatever, cheesy title, WHATEVER. I AM ON VACATION. (Not really.)

48 comments August 8th, 2011

Both Hands

While driving to the UPS store this afternoon, I caught a dude waiting in the car outside of a daycare — presumably, I am praying, to pick up his child — like, um, the Rum Tum Tugger, from, uh, Cats? The (former) Broadway musical? There are many weirdly disturbing things happening here, not the least of which is that, you know, my first thought was that OMFG, that dude is the Rum Tug Tugger, and second, WHY? WHY? But also, YOU GUYS. I saw Cats at the Winter Garden theater back in the day, and though I was young (high school?), I … I distinctly recall having a STEAMY REACTION to The Rum Tum Tugger, which was a man … dressed as a cat. And even though I KNOW I wasn’t (am not) alone, it’s still a bit disturbing to me, in retrospect.

I’ve never felt so close to having a plushie fetish than right there on Rte 20. Except, through Googling just now, I learned that it’s more of a furry thing, and let’s just say that there are things one cannot un-see.

Separately, I’m not much of a grudge-holder, but there are a few incidents that happened YEARS ago that still make me angry when I think about them. Does this ever happen to you? Like, you’re OVER IT, but once in a while, you think about it, and you just get BOILY WITH RAGE?

I dated an identical twin in college, and his brother ALSO went to college with us, and to make things MORE confusing, this girl in my sorority dated the OTHER twin, i.e., the one who was not my boyfriend. They broke up rather horribly, if I recall, and though it would be a few years before my twin and I would come to the same fate, at the time, we were happy, and this set this girl off into a bit of a crazy rage against me. Urgh, college. Not the most mature of times, right? ANYWAY, this girl was the bullying type to BEGIN WITH, but then, after the breakup, amped up her meanness to eleven and directed most of it straight in my direction.

And you guys. She was mean to me, all the time. ALL THE TIME. She confronted me in public, accusing me of leaking information about who she was and wasn’t dating to my boyfriend, who would then tell his brother (I didn’t, because surprisingly, WE DID NOT DISCUSS HER), and on one memorable occasion, she sat in a room with a bunch of people and took subtle pot-shots at me that she thought were going over my head, but in fact, were smacking me clear in the face. Stuff like that, over and over again. FOR MONTHS.

And I, being on super-shaky ground coming off of depression (more on that in a minute), was too chicken to confront her or even call her out on her behavior, because I was SURE that everyone would side with her, and honestly, I was probably right. I’ve never been that good at that kind of warfare.

She graduated a year before me, and my senior year, called me to get her twin’s contact information (my twin and I were still dating). Even though the risk of her doing my personal life any damage had long passed (she was gone, I wasn’t even IN my sorority anymore, having realized it was a bit, um, toxic, particularly for someone in my situation), I STILL DIDN’T TELL HER TO STUFF IT IN HER ASS. I HAD NOTHING TO LOSE, AND STILL. I should have said no, lady, you were cruel to me for MONTHS. GOOD DAY, SIR.

So I carry that around. I’m not even mad at her anymore, I’m RETROACTIVELY PISSED AT MYSELF for not telling her to fuck OFF. But I’m afraid — like, legitimately — that if I ever run into her again, I will punch her in the face just to even the score with … myself.

I don’t know why I started thinking about this, except that I read this post by Melissa Summers, and I tell you, I am not particularly into the general concept of people’s depression confessionals as being “brave.” I think it’s … overused. Simply confessing that we’re battling with depression is NOT an act of bravery, particularly when so many people think that they can just declare it, and by its simple declaration, have it begin to fix itself.

However, I think that Melissa’s post WAS brave. Very brave, for so many reasons, but what struck me (out of, you know, SO MANY THINGS) is that she talks about what lot of people who have been depressed or anxious or struggling with any kind of mental disease or glitch don’t often do: Depression can turn you into a person who can seem to others like a real asshole, and not in the “oh, she’s just so SAD all the time!” kind of way. Admitting this is so freakin’ hard, because you don’t come off looking particularly rosy, you know?

Depression often looks like someone who is acting like a jerk, and it takes its toll on relationships. You can push people away. Lie to them, even. Treat them poorly. Pick fights. Fight dirty. End relationships. Focus so deeply on yourself and your own issues that you are patently unable to do anything for other people, even the simplest of courtesies (like being honest with them, say). Owning up to, and taking responsibility for, something like THAT? Well, that is brave, because for some people, depression is damn ugly, and you come off looking like a real ass because, well, YOU WERE ONE, no matter the reason. And almost no one on the outside recognizes it, so you have to do a lot of clean-up at a time when you feel least equipped to do so.

(I’m talking about myself here, obviously, but I think Melissa addresses herself perfectly in a way that resonated with me.)

(Note: I am attempting to compliment Melissa on the way she seems to be handling it, but instead, fear that I am calling her an asshole. Which is not my intention, obvs. THE OPPOSITE.)

You know. Errrgh, this shit is so hard.

(This was years ago for me — college, in fact, as I mentioned, but that post brought it all back in kind of a good way. OWN YOUR SHIT, is what I’m saying, even the ugly stuff. Yet, also be kind to yourself. Clearly. GOD IT IS ALL SO CONFLICTING AND CONFUSING.)

(However, that girl was still a total and complete bitch, and I AM AFRAID I WILL PUNCH HER IN THE FACE.)

Um, on a MUCH LIGHTER NOTE, today (Tuesday) is my anniversary. Eight years! Eight! Years! I feel like I blinked and BAM! We’ve been married eight years. I told Adam that statistically, we’re on the good side of the divorce odds, because most couples who divorce all it quits by seven years, and by then, have already known it was coming for a long time. So let’s get complacent! Imma FIND ME A GIGOLO THIS WEEKEND!

No. Being married is the easiest and hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s work to be polite when you want to be a grump. It’s WORK to think of someone else before you think of yourself, and sometimes that rears its head in the big things, and sometimes it’s about making a different choice for dinner. But man, it’s been worth it. Eight years! Eight years of so many good times, and so many challenges (why, this year alone! OMFG) and yet, we keep on trucking along and having a good time, for the most part. I am happy. So stupidly happy with my life, and a big part of that is because I married him. He’s funny and smart and kind and handsome and a great dad, and an outstanding, thoughtful husband — seriously, he ALWAYS does the right thing, even if not at first, he comes around and we talk about it, and THE MAN PUTS ME TO SHAME, because I am stubborn and difficult.

Above all, and underneath it all, we like each other. I love him — oh, more than anything — but I also really LIKE him. He drives me up a wall, and I know I’ve infuriated him to the brink of insanity, but somehow, we always make it work, and we come back around to having a damn good time together. That’s something, and it’s sure worth the effort, I’ll tell you that.

Happy anniversary, Adam. Eight years! EIGHT! I don’t know why, but it’s making me feel so old. THAT IS ONLY TWO LESS THAN TEN.

*Ani DiFranco

32 comments August 1st, 2011

Sixty Years On

My husband has a fairly strict moral compass, if by fairly, you mean absolute. He’s easily the most ethical person I’ve ever met — things like infidelity, dishonesty and really, anything that could be considered unethical by just about anyone who isn’t currently in prison are COMPLETELY foreign to him. And I can’t explain why I found his reaction to The Kids Are All Right so hilarious, except that I just DID.

Him: Meh, I watched The Kids Are All Right

Me: Is that the one with the lesbians played by —

Him: CHEATING LESBIANS. NOT OKAY.

Yes, even when infidelity is fictitious, completely hypothetical and about a group of people who do not mirror his own relationship in any way, shape or form, he finds it completely intolerable. (Although you want to see him REALLY lose his mind? Ask him how he feels about Indecent Proposal. Blind rage.) I can’t explain why I find this so hilarious, except that the statement alone was said with such incredible indignation and frustration. Never have the words, “CHEATING LESBIANS!” been uttered with such disdain. Plus, I’d say that at this point, the likelihood of Adam becoming a transgendered lesbian are pretty slim, and yet his intolerance for moral ambiguity crosses all lines, even those he cannot personally identify with. I love that.

Interestingly, this is an odd segue into something I’ve been thinking about lately, only because it’s come up in conversation and/or happened to friends of mine recently. A few people I’ve known for years — YEARS! — who are now in their mid-thirties, and in some cases, early FORTIES, have recently left their spouses and/or longtime partners and discovered that they were not, in fact, the sexual orientation they always identified with, but are now straight and/or a gay male/lesbian, and yes, it’s gone in ALLLL directions. Oh, you were gay? Wait, you’re straight? And you’re with … a man? Are you … sure? What about Laurene/Bill/Jane? Not that I have any prejudice or fear of either situation — certainly not — but for some reason, one’s sexual preference seems so ingrained in who someone is at an early-ish age (I’m of the unflappable belief that sexual orientation is born, not made, although I recognize that the realization for many comes much later), that it strikes me as unnerving for all parties involved, and definitely hard to cope with.

On a personal level (because I like to make things all about ME), I am always slightly shaken no matter which direction the orientation turns, because I can’t help but fear that one day I’ll wake up and not know who I am. Is it that abrupt? Were there signs all along? Am I going to wake up one day and tell Adam I’ve left him for a lovely woman named Miriam? (Please, if you will, envision his embattled cries of, “CHEATING LESBIAN!” if I did such a thing.)

And it doesn’t just apply to sexual orientation, I suppose, although that’s the most concrete example I can come up with at the moment. When people change some fundamental aspect of themselves in the middle of their lives, I always wonder if it’s as abrupt as it seems, although of COURSE not, right? It only seems that way from the OUTSIDE. Like when a couple you’ve known for decades and has always seemed happy suddenly up and splits up. How did this HAPPEN, we all wonder incredulously. They were always so HAPPY! You NEVER know what’s really going on unless you ARE that person/couple, and making a snap judgment based on your own outside experiences is about as useful as shouting “cheating lesbians!” to no one at all. No matter how happy a person seemed the way they USED to be.

(You know, like Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez.)

(What?)

This is the kind of thing that if I were you reading it, I’d be thinking, well, this HAS to be personal or allegorical, right? Disappointingly, it isn’t. I’m rarely smart enough to pull something like that off (plus, I think posts like that are needlessly cryptic and annoying and NOT EVEN THAT CATHARTIC), so this is, sadly, at face value. My marriage to Adam is entirely intact and truly happy, despite the fact that he’s snoring next to me right now (RIGHT NOW), and the last Miriam I met was my pediatric dentist in the seventh grade.

Have a happy Monday!

*Elton John and Brandi Carlile, who is gorgeous. I might not actually BE a lesbian, but I’m not BLIND. I GET IT.

38 comments July 24th, 2011

Sunglasses at Night

Whenever Adam or I is at a drugstore without the other, we usually pick up a treat for the other person — you know, like a magazine or some Starburst or something little and lame. A few times, recently, he’s brought me home Cosmo. This tickles me on a thousand levels, because I can’t remember a time that I ever bought Cosmo on the reg, but when I DID, I was most definitely in my 20s, and likely the EARLY portion of the decade. How else could I put up with “reader questions” such as this gem, in the beauty section?

Q: What kind of jewelry should I wear with my bikini?

A: Colorful feather necklaces! They’re in and their tropical vibe is perfect for a day at the beach or pool. Layer on a few!

YOU GUYS. Jewelry. With a bikini. I CANNOT EVEN. Feather necklaces. With a bikini. And, I’m guessing, horridly high platforms and full make-up a la Gretchen Rossi, which means that the vast majority of Cosmo readers are living a far more glamorous life than I was. Or it’s aspirational bullshit. Yes, that’s it. ASPIRATIONAL BULLSHIT.

(I mean, right? Do YOU wear feather necklaces with your bikini?) (Is it wrong of me to laugh?)

It then goes on for an entire magazine, telling you how to meet, hook and please your man (give him extended orgasms!), while at the BACK of the magazine, explaining that sometimes, grooms kill their brides on the honeymoon. What makes them do it? AN IN-DEPTH LOOK. So meet him! Hook him! Give him extended orgasms! BUT FOR GOD’S SAKE, DO NOT LET HIM KILL YOU. ¬†GROOMS ARE DEADLY.

It’s a wonder ANYONE survives their twenties, really. The way Cosmo paints it, it is both frivolous and fraught with danger, in equal measure. And that’s probably the way it felt for me, too, but I will concede that I rarely wore a bikini, and if I did, I SURE AS SHIT was not contemplating what kind of JEWELRY to wear.

Although the murderous trajectory WOULD explain Adam’s recent addiction to the Investigation Discovery channel, wouldn’t it? He’s trying to figure out how to get away with it, Murder by Numbers-style.

(Remember that? With Ryan Gosling, who then dated Sandra Bullock? Also, Michael Pitt, who was SO GROSS back then, but is strangely attractive, albeit not my type, in Boardwalk Empire?)

Ahhh, Cosmo. I have four back issues to read through and catch up on the latest vibrator technology AND learn about sociopaths whose sole purpose in life is to stalk and kill young women. Perfect.

Meanwhile, I have TOLD y’all that I’m reading Discovery of Witches and I think you should ALL read it and then join me as I, quite literally in the actual definition of the word ‘literal’, FAN MYSELF WITH MY KINDLE, because Matthew Clairmont makes Edward Cullen and Eric Northman look like WEE LITTLE BOYS with no SKILLZ.

(FAN MYSELF WITH THE KINDLE.)

I’ve got to go to bed, because witnessing some ABSURDLY ABSURD Twitter drama (WHY?) has kept me up far too late, but I’m going to the eye doctor tomorrow, and am seriously considering prescription sunglasses. The older I get, the drier my eyes get, and I CANNOT TAKE it anymore, nor can I take NOT wearing sunglasses. On the one hand, prescription seems like a reasonable solution. On the other, let’s be honest, I BREAK THEM ALL THE TIME. The Target ones anyway. I mean, would I be ANY GENTLER with prescription ones?

Help me, Internet.

*Corey whatsisface Hart. SRSLY

45 comments June 29th, 2011

All You Want

First of all, if you’re thinking about reading It and wondering when, exactly, it picks up and gets really good, the answer is somewhere around page 476. Yes, FOUR HUNDRED SEVENTY-SIX. I was about to give up and just move on to Sookie, when, for reasons unknown, I thought I’d give it another whirl and suddenly, things started moving and happening and it was GOOD and INTERESTING and then I looked and ha ha haaaaa, I was just about halfway through the book. HALFWAY.

This is becoming epic, like the months I read The Historian out of some strange obligation to my childhood allegiance to Vlad Tepes.

Anyway, this weekend was, in a word, perfect, and let me tell you, I really needed it. I’ve been under a lot of unmentionable stress lately, and on Friday, I really wasn’t so sure I was going to get through it. The way I roll when times are rough is to first, absolutely FREAK OUT AND LOSE IT ALL CAPS! I think I’m NEVER GOING TO GET THROUGH THIS! And things are going to be AWFUL! And I will be DEPRESSED FOREVER!

And then I do more of this: !!!!

I also think I quite literally rend my garments, or at least the bathroom towels.

Then I buck up, get it together and face shit like a grown-up. And, well, that’s what I’m going to do. Until the NEXT cause for freak out, and I’m guessing before all is said and done, this cycle should repeat itself 5,469,876 times.

But besides all that, this weekend was amazing in that simple way that I dreamed about before I had a kid. Saturday, we took Sam for ice cream and cow-gazing, and for a kid who hadn’t had ice cream since last summer (I never buy it), she sure seemed excited about it. “ICE CREAM? ICE CREAM?” was the refrain in the car, over and over again until we arrived at Richardson’s and she had her chocolate cone in her hot little hands.

There was ice cream and cows and it was perfect, right up until the moment Sam threw a tantrum because we wouldn’t put her IN the calf pen and leave her to roam with the baby cows. (She’s used to Davis Farmland, which reminds me, if you’re a Massachusetts resident, you need to go there. We’re getting a season pass this year, because it is awesome. Roaming animals and a splash pad? SIGN ME UP.)

Mother’s Day itself featured lobster rolls, a new-to-us park where Sam spun herself dizzy-drunk on the merry-go-round, lounging and Indian food. Honestly, it’s weekends like this that make me feel like wanting anything more than to keep the people I have happy and healthy would be overkill. Greedy, greedy overkill.

You know, we don’t have a particularly luxurious life, and we don’t yet have everything we want, and even though what we DO want isn’t particularly egregious (my two family/material goals: Have another baby and buy a little house), sometimes I just feel so stupidly lucky, and so painfully aware at how spoiled I am compared to some. This, perhaps unsurprisingly, leads me down the path of panicked doom, as though taking even one second of the life I have for granted will mean it gets taken away. Like wanting more for us — no matter how mundane the ‘more’ is — will tip the scales and set off an alarm that we’ve overreached.

Irrational and silly, I know — after all, there are as many people who have much more than we do as there are those who have less — but my little family is too good, I guess, to consider taking for granted.

I hope you had a great Mother’s Day, and that you have get everything you want.

*Um, do you guys remember Dido? Yes, I still have her album. And God, what a terrible name she had/has.

49 comments May 8th, 2011

Vegas

Oh, did you think I disappeared?

(What an egomaniacal thing to say, really, because come on.)

BUT DID YOU?

THAT’S BECAUSE I DID. I wasn’t hiding it or anything, as I tweeted often enough, but we went to Vegas! We went to Vegas! And it was, in a word, perfect. Honestly, it was Vegas, and it was six days, but it didn’t feel that way at all. It was really quite perfect. I suppose I get why people were all, “STOP WITH THE SIX DAYS IN VEGAS OH MY LANDS!” because if I’d been drinking and/or gambling heavily for any part of that trip, I’d be all, GET ME OUT OF VEGAS OH MY LANDS. But instead, neither of us had a drop of alcohol, and we gambled modestly, much to the disappointment of the casinos, I’m sure and we … well, we were in bed no later than 11 p.m. most nights, and up with the chickens. Oh, we adjusted just fine to the time change … eventually. Like, on the last day. HELPFUL.

What we did do was lie about a lot, rising only to do important things like eat, take baths and go to the pool. We did mix in the occasional roulette game in, and yes, we saw Cirque du Soleil (Ka), but other than that, we did a lot of nothing, which is precisely what we wanted to do. Plus, it was easy — encouraged, even — since our hotel (Bellagio) upgraded us to a suite the size of my entire house. I’m pretty sure this means we used up all the good luck we’ll have for the entire year. Look for another season of miscarriages and illness, coming to you direct in 2011/12! (I hope not, but I’m not convinced, because I tell you, THAT STUFF DOES NOT HAPPEN TO US, EVER.)

I think, too, one of the best parts about Vegas is that you can just let go and be a stupid tourist. There is no pressure to fit in as if you are a local. Gawking is encouraged. You don’t have to pretend to be cool, because NO ONE is cool in Vegas, and if they are, they’re faking it. Everyone is a goofy tourist gazing up at a fake Statue of Liberty with a weird sense of displaced awe.

Honestly, I don’t understand how ANYONE drinks a lot of alcohol in Vegas. This isn’t a judgment, but more of a physical observation. Isn’t alcohol … dehydrating? And MY GOD, PEOPLE. It’s the desert! The desert! If I had any complaints about the trip at all, I’d say that I wanted to hook an IV of saline to my arm, because I was so! thirsty! ALL THE TIME. I COULD NOT GET ENOUGH WATER. Cocktail waitresses were coming around non-stop to supply me with nothing more than Fiji water for a handsome tip. And yet, there were people drinking GIANT BONGS of daiquiris and bloody marys and I’m like, HOW ARE YOU PEOPLE NOT DEAD? You must be so THIRSTY! The thought of even a glass of wine made me shrivel up in desperate thirst, and you guys, I LOVE WINE.

Oh, and here are the pictures I took while on vacation:

Aren’t they awesome? Yes! I took so many! SO MANY PICTURES OF NOTHING. This is why I’m not a photographer. I cannot be relied upon to remember to do anything of the sort, and by that I mean, I never charged and/or brought my camera anywhere with me.

Vegas is, obviously, just! so! much! It’s funny how certain cultures have fashion standards that in other parts of the country would be considered unacceptable and/or easily mocked. Hell, I see many of the get-ups hawked by my comrades in San Francisco, and invariably think that if ANYONE wore that here in Boston, things would … not be met with the same enthusiasm. People may be quietly shuffled off to asylums, in fact, although they look perfectly normal in San Francisco. Ditto other parts of California. The brightness of LA and Orange County always looks so, so right in context, but so garish when put in contrast with the darkness of New York. (These are things I learn from the Real Housewives.)

Conversely, Boston’s tendency toward staid, classic neutrals (Look out! Muffy’s got a new LL Bean tote!) and the occasional foray into the hilarious world of preppy chic (I had a boss who wore pants embroidered with PUPPIES from Vineyard Vines) is equally laughable out of context. Yet in the summer here, Nantucket reds are almost de rigueur, particularly on the Cape and the islands. For God’s sake, I HAVE A PAIR. Throw an outfit like that together in some parts of the country and people would assume you were being ironic, or at least pretending to do a Pretty In Pink re-enactment, because why ELSE would you be wearing wide-wale cords with … are those ANCHORS on your pants, or are you just happy to see me?

And then there’s Vegas, where things that fly there would fly … well, honestly, I am hopeful that some things are only in Vegas, because, SERIOUSLY. I saw more stripper heels worn by non-strippers than I ever hope to see again. God, does everything need to be sequined? Why so loud, Vegas? Dresses coming up higher on women’s backsides than my UNDERWEAR. And oh my good grief, I played roulette next to a man wearing a rhinestone SHIRT and he didn’t even look that out of place. A RHINESTONE SHIRT.

A mom — A MOM, A VERY OBVIOUS MOM — wearing clear high-heeled platforms with light-up soles approached her daughter in the pool. THE POOL. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY. LIGHT-UP STRIPPER HEELS. The fact that she was wearing a hot pink sequin monokini cut to her appendectomy scar is almost unremarkable in comparison. And yet, she really didn’t look that odd. No, you guys, it was ME, in my navy and red-striped Ralph Lauren tank who looked lamely subdued and terribly un-fun.

The best part of all, is that it was really special and important to just hang with my husband, alone, without any distractions or small animals or small people yelling, “MAMA, WHERE IS KITTY?” and hearing, “Gabba? Gabba? Gabba? GABBA SPACE?” on repeat. It was something we didn’t know we needed, but did, and it turns out I still really like the guy, quite a bit in fact. And it made me realize that it’s important to spend more time, just the two of us, and I’ve promised myself to book a babysitter once a month to get out and remember what that feels like. It’s the least we can do for each other, I think.

Most importantly, however, Sam was fine. More than fine, actually. Happy and thrilled and in totally capable, loving hands. My parents were amazing — they came here, spent the week at our house, took her to all of her regularly scheduled events, plus the park, active play-time, etc. etc. She was loved, she was happy, and we are very, very lucky and grateful. (Thank you again, Mom & Dad!)

I have to tell you, though, seeing her this morning for the first time in a week? Best thing ever, even if she did cling to me with the tenacity of a spider monkey for eleven consecutive hours. Worth. It. Man, I love that kid.

I hope you had a great week.

*Sara Bareilles

35 comments April 20th, 2011

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