Five

For last year’s post, click here and the year before that, click here.

Dear Bubba,

Oh sweet boy, I can’t believe what a big kid you are.  I promise one of these days I’ll stop referring to you as “the baby.”  Eventually.  Probably.  Check in with me when you graduate from college.

The Baby, back when he was an actual baby.

This last year has been so crazy, hasn’t it?  Maybe a little confusing for you at times?  Between low moments like Daddy’s surgery and fun things like the wedding you’ve been expected to be a little man and behave and be so patient and adult.  I don’t know if it’s luck or your good nature or maybe Daddy and Mama actually know what they’re doing, but you come through for us.  Sometimes I worry we expect too much from you, but you never complain.  Seriously: quit making me look bad.

So dapper in your tux. Like the Don Draper of Pre-K.

You’re in this really sweet spot of being little and cuddly and absolutely adorable and lovely but big enough to go places and behave like a functioning human being and express your needs in a rational manner.  I mean, you still have your moments, but who doesn’t?  I love you – I will love you even if you’re a a shitty teenager who pretends not to know me in public.  But I am finding that I like you and your company. 

Out of Control? Most definitely.

You are witty and a bit of a clown.  You mimic but also bust out your own little sayings and jokes.  You are sensitive and quick to comfort others.  You are fiercely protective of your family, even your Sissy.  You are no fun at all if you are hungry or tired (and frankly, I don’t hold it against you).  You are a complete original.  You are so loved and adored by all who meet you.   Especially this crazy family of yours.

Happy Birthday, Little Man.  I love you to the moon and back.

Love always,

Sissy

Advertisements

You’d Be This Cranky If You Hadn’t Had Food in Four Days

Ed was home with a sinus thing Monday and by the time Monday night rolled around I was curled up on the couch praying for the sweet release of death.  My stomach up and decided that it just wasn’t going to function anymore.  “Oh, you think you can put food and liquid in me and I’ll just hold onto it and dispose of it later in a civilized way?  Well, FUCK YOU.”

At least, that’s what I imagine what was happening.  And it’s not like I even ate anything exotic or undercooked or drank to excess.  In fact, I had no coffee, no booze, and didn’t have much of an appetite.  But the minute I decided to have a cheeseburger and fries all hell broke loose.

And no, I am NOT pregnant.  Not even a little.

So, it’s been a strict diet of water, soup, and moaning on the bathroom floor since then.  Effective, yet highly annoying, post-holiday diet.  Look for my new book Dry-Heave Yourself to Thinness in stores this Spring.  Last night I had some plain mashed potatoes, which was a huge breakthrough.  Ed knew I was still in bad shape when I refused his offer of cheese.  You guys?  That has never happened before.

Aside from my stomach being a dick (wait, that sounded weird), here are some other things that are currently upsetting to me.  In no particular order:

  • My new driver’s license finally arrived after a month of waiting.  It wasn’t THAT big of a deal since my old one was still valid so I could do stuff like buy wine.  And, uh, drive.  I had been warned that the new California licenses look different but I was not prepared for the EXTREME CLOSE UP of my fat face.  I mean, you can’t even tell I have hair.  I ahve three chins and look shiny and dumb.  I am seriously considering pretending it never showed up so I can have a do-over on the picture.
  • My parents’ dog Scout is dying.  She has inoperable tumors and it’s a huge fucking mess.  She had a little episode the other night and Dave thinks that if she has another one we will have to take her in…  I can’t even think about it without bursting into tears.  On the bright side, she doesn’t appear to be in any pain and is her usual goofy self.  She’s 12, the sweetest dog on the planet, and was a great comfort to my grandma toward the end of her life. 
  • The neighbors are parking like assholes and making it really difficult for usto back out of our own driveway.  Today is garbage day and thanks to their creative parking, the Recology dudes had no choice but to put our other neighbor’s can in front of my driveway.  I have called the cops on them once (and mysteriously, they moved the car moments later) and am tempted to do it again.  I don’t want to be That Asshole Who Calls the Cops All the Time because it’s not a life or death thing but this is a constant problem and they are just being ridiculous.

 

On a happier note, we are headed to Bubba’s birthday party this weekend and my great goal is to be able to have a slice of cake without having to lie down on the bathroom floor immediately after.  Dreams, people.  It’s important to have dreams.

I Can’t Believe I Forgot to Tell You Guys About This

Wow, sorry for leaving that bummer post up for so long.  And a big fat THANK YOU to the friends who reached out to me via email or phone.  I had no idea other people were going through this.  Why don’t we talk about this stuff more?

Anyway, I totally forgot to tell you guys about our Christmas.  Well, our Christmas Day-Christmas.  See, we had three days of Christmas at our house to accomodate for parental gatherings.  It was hectic but fun, and as of the morning of the 25th Ed and I were exhausted but pretty proud of ourselves and our entertaining prowess.  We were brimming with Christmas Spirit and Hospitality and rocking the shit out of the prep-cook-serve-clean routine we had going.

We woke early so that once guests (Ed’s dad, sister, her boyfriend, and my mom and Dave) arrived we could relax a bit and just pop things in the oven.  We whipped up some fabulous cupcakes and frosting FROM SCRATCH, BITCHES.  I decided to take a shower while Ed got to work on the sweet potatoes using the new mandolin.

Moments later there was a knock on the bathroom door and a “Honey? Can you help me put pressure on this?  I cut myself.”  I immediately flashed back to this joyous event. 

It was quickly apparent that the bleeding had zero intention of slowing the fuck down, we were running out of first aid supplies, and Ed has decent health insurance.  Off to the emergency room we went!

Did I mention that by this time half our guests had shown up?  And that Ed’s dad was meeting his daughter’s new boyfriend for the first time?  And we just…left them all there to hang out and deal while we took off for the hospital?  Because all of that happened.  So much for being the Best Hosts Ever.

We were home within an hour and luckily the damage wasn’t too horrible (no stitches, and thanks to last summer’s incident Ed was up-to-date on his tetanus shot), but dude.  The ER on Christmas morning?  Pretty damn bleak.  And no one who works there looks like George Clooney.

Ed was mostly embarrassed about the whole thing, despite the reassurance from the nurse and doctor that coming in was the right thing to do.  And most importantly: he was able to continue cooking dinner, or at least give directions so his sister and I could help out.

And so the nickname “Just the Tip” lives on!  God bless us, everyone!

Worth

So here’s something really personal: I have been, well, depressed, I guess, for the last month or so.  Maybe depressed isn’t exactly the right word.  I don’t know.  Let’s just say I haven’t been a ton of fun, OK?  And this anxiety wasn’t exactly helped by our ever-hectic schedule and family-juggling, but that wasn’t the source either.

***************

My job search has been frustrating to say the least.  Demoralizing at times.  Downright depressing some days.  I have interviewed for several positions that I know I could do in my sleep.  Nailed the interviews, provided solid references, and, in most cases, had some experience in a related field.  I know intellectually that this is not a statement about my character or worth as a human being, but holy hell.  It gets hard not to take the rejection personally. 

And then there’s the guilt.  The feeling that I’m sponging off of my wonderfully generous, patient, kind husband.  He never makes me feel that way, and has been so supportive and positive during this whole process.  But it’s how I feel and other than process it and work through it, there’s not much else I can do.  Obviously since he is busting his ass all day and then coming home and doing freelance work, I see everything else as my responsibility.  Meaning: it’s like 1952 up in here.  Again, this is not necessarily Ed’s expectation – and it’s a well-known fact that he’s the cook around here – but it doesn’t really feel fair for him to work 14-16 hour days and then fold laundry.  At least, that’s how I would feel if the situations were reversed.  So I’ve made finding a job my new job, with a side of June Cleaver.  It’s amazing how quickly the day passes, and unlike some past jobs, I do have a sense of accomplishment at the end of it all.  If you can call scrubbing the toilet an “accomplishment” I suppose.  Ed is constantly grateful and appreciative.  It’s really not the worst thing in the world. 

But there’s the nagging feelings of  “My parents spent HOW much on my education for me to do WHAT?” and “It would probably be cheaper for Ed to stay single and just hire a part-time housekeeper” and the ever-rational “This isn’t fair.”  Basically, I don’t feel like I have much worth anymore.  I hate that my days are reduced to what basically amount to chores.  I really hate that I am not contributing toward our future financially.  And I really, really hate that the person I love most is shouldering the burden. 

A few weeks ago we were at a cocktail party downtown and my parents were there.  A woman I knew at my last job came over to say hello and we made polite chitchat.  She asked where I’m working now and I stumbled a bit over my answer.  My mother quickly interjected with, “She’s a lady of leisure” and laughed a little.  Just so, you know, I couldn’t get mad.  I don’t know how to explain how my situation is the very opposite of leisurely, and that I don’t think I’ve been this down on myself in over a decade. 

And so I find myself trying to find some joy and meaning and satisfaction in my present (hopefully temporary) homemaker career.  Some days it’s just the sense of peace knowing that our home is clean and comfortable and a nice refuge for Ed when he comes home, and that’s enough.

First Post of the Year and I’m Already Phoning It In

Since I did this last year, it feels like a good way to wrap up one fantastic year and roll into a new one.  Happy New Year, all!

 

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?

Got engaged.  Got married.  Made a Life List.  Hosted Christmas.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Apparently I vowed to put more energy into healthy living.  Whatever the hell that means.  That seems like a good goal.  Let’s stick with that one.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Baby boys for Eileen, Tasha, and Margaret and a little girl for Julie.  It’s just a total breedfest around me – more babies in 2011!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Thankfully, no.

5. What countries did you visit?

I was lamecakes with this one.  Stayed local.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you didn’t have in 2010?

A job I enjoy. 

7. What dates from 2010 will be etched upon your memory, and why?

October 1 – my wedding day.  It was OK, I guess.

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?

Mock if you want, but I made a couple of sweet-ass meals from scratch that involved things like handling raw chicken and using multiple pots and pans and I DIDN’T BURN THE HOUSE DOWN.  Booya.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not writing enough.  Being rejected repeatedly in my endeavor to find gainful employment.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Some weird issues with my ribs popping out of place (which is as pleasant as it sounds) but other than that, a very healthy year!

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Gifts for friends and family.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Ed is a saint.  Bubba’s general awesomeness.  My mom has made some huge steps in taking control of her health and I’m so impressed with her progress and commitment to improving herself.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I should probably plead the fifth on this one.

14. Where did most your money go?

Bills.  So glamorous!  Wedding expenses.  Gifts.  I wish I had more and could spoil my loved ones.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Marrying the love of my life and having the people we love in the same room at the same time.  (Are you tired of me bringing up my wedding?  Sorry.)  As exciting as that day was, there was also this sense of  “This is just the beginning” and there are so many adventures waiting for us, big and small.  Maybe I’m a simple person, but I get excited about little things all the time.

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?

“Dog Days Are Over” by Florence + The Machine

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?

a) Happier

b) Same

c) Poorer financially, but richer in other ways

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Wrote.  Calmed the fuck down about things I can’t control.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worried about things that either didn’t happen or were out of my control. 

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Hosted family gatherings for three days straight and then traveled south to see Dad, Judy, and my Bubba.

21. Did you fall in love with 2010?

Yes. With Eric Northman on True Blood.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

30 Rock remains my true TV love.  Still loving Modern Family, too, and Raising Hope is hysterical.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Uh, no.

24. What was the best book you read?

Shamefully, I haven’t read a ton this year, but the John Adams biography is pretty awesome.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I am so lame about this.  I basically listen to the radio or the same old stuff I’ve been listening to since high school.  My dear friend Kristina got me into Florence + The Machine, though, so does that count?

26. What did you want and get?

So many things.  A sweet vanity.  A beautiful wedding.  Great in-laws.  Deepened friendships.

27. What did you want and not get?

A J.O.B.

28. What was your favorite film of 2010?

True Grit, probably.  I truly enjoyed it, but it’s also the most recent film I saw so…

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 32 and celebrated with a sushi dinner with the fam and Ed, followed by a visit with the other set of parents and pizza.  P Diddy envies my life.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

A career I enjoy.  Hell, a job, period.  Better health for our parents, but since they are all on the upswing, I’m pretty happy.  It’s been a pretty awesome year.  To even want anything more feels dickish.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2010?

Casual.  Target-chic.

32. What kept you sane?

My family and friends.  Same things that make me insane.  Heh.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

The mid-term elections and the change of control.

34. Who did you miss?

Bubba, always.  Being away from that kid breaks my heart.  Being away from great friends who know me and get me is tough.

35. Who was the best new person you met?

Wow, I met a ton of amazing people at Nikki and Jim’s wedding.  It was like a room full of people I loved immediately.  Not shocking given that they are great people who attract other amazing people.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.

You can’t make anyone who doesn’t want to be happy, happy.  Doesn’t matter how much sunshine you try to pump up someone’s ass: if he or she is determined to be miserable, that’s how it will be.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

I don’t think there’s a song, let alone some lyrics, that could sum up this wild ride.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.