Thank You for Voting This Blog as Your Preferred Choice for Dated Pop Culture References

  • In looking for a new show to fill the Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley holes in our sad life, Ed and I decided to check out The West Wing on Netflix since I like to be roughly 15 years behind the times. I can’t believe I wasn’t more into this show when it first aired since the cast is primarily old white guys aka my personal kryptonite. It holds up well in some ways, but it’s fascinating to watch anything political through a pre-9/11 lens now. Anyway, Allison Janney is a national treasure and I am currently doodling “Christen + Leo McGarry 4ever” in the margins of my algebra book.
  • I worked from home today and while the break from real pants, makeup, and contact lenses is lovely and I am absolutely an introvert I do not like the isolation. Molly is also clearly annoyed with me since I didn’t play with her and she doesn’t have free reign of the couches. However, I had an entire pot of coffee to myself and no one has thrown a dart at my head so it’s not all terrible.
  • Last Wednesday I had my engagement and wedding ring sawed off of my red, swollen finger in the (nicest, cleanest, most efficient) emergency room. No idea what the hell happened to said finger, but the initial thought is a potential allergy to white gold. Sorry, Ed, we’re gonna need to go platinum. Doctor’s orders! Also, not my problem if I get hit on all the time now (since that’s just a constant worry up in here). I keep making jokes like this to him because I am racked with guilt and feel sad and shitty and like this is why I can’t have nice things.
  • My mom is having shoulder surgery at the end of July so I’ll head up a couple of weeks later to offer some relief to Dave and take her to a post-op appointment since she can’t drive for 8 weeks. For anyone who has met my mom, you know that she is not terribly patient, nor is she fond of relying on people (GEE I WONDER WHERE I GET IT FROM) so she should be at peak prickliness by the time I arrive. She joked that it will be a crappy remake of Driving Miss Daisy but I think we have potential to go full-tilt Grey Gardens. Minus the hoarding and stray animals, of course. I need to remember to pack my leotards and scarves to really get into it.
  • I think we should go to Mexico for Thanksgiving. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “You are model children and we respect your choices” and 10 being “WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME?” how do you think our respective parents will take it?



What If They Have Test Anxiety?

This morning I had blood drawn as part of some tests my new doctor ordered just to get a baseline on my health and make sure all systems are functioning. The orders on the labs for today called for an Ovarian Assessment Report, which makes it sound like we’re trying to figure out if they qualify for AP Calculus or something. I have been endlessly amused by this and sure hope they’re good enough to get into a state school.

To add insult to injury (the injury being the fact that I had a NEEDLE in my arm and got a lecture from the phlebotomist that I shouldn’t be afraid of my own blood which is NOT HELPFUL and also I’m 38 so let go of the hope that you’re going to change me, OK?) I couldn’t get the bandage off my arm and had to enlist a very nice coworker to rip it off so now the entire office heard me scream and then burst into hysterical, embarrassed laughter. It’s only Wednesday but I feel like I’ve really given it my all this week in terms of behaving like a toddler.

It’s My Blog and I’ll Rant If I Want To

This week I’m playing a super fun game of “Mentally Ill or Just PMSing?” which means someone needs to take away my ability to make any grown up decisions.

The other night while watching Wheel of Fortune (what? shut up) I screamed, “OH WELL AREN’T YOU SO FUCKING SPECIAL” at a contestant who was talking about mountain climbing so clearly I’m crushing it at this life stuff.  I’m also considering selling my ticket to see Beyoncé next Monday (QUEEN BEY) because I feel too old to go out and I don’t fit in with the people I’m going to the concert with (all lovely, all basically 17 years old) but also…Beyoncé. So, I’m trying to put a pin in the temptation to turn lemonade into lemons over here.

My mom was in town for work and stayed with us last night, but it puts this pressure on me to leave the office so I can let her in and, you know, spend time with her. Which I love! But it’s harder to do that now that my job isn’t a strictly 8-5 gig where I can pack up and leave everything behind and can absolutely predict my schedule at all times. I want to spend time with her but also? I kind of need the space during the week to be able to keep growing this career and be perceived as a valued member of the team, not someone who clocks out at 5. It’s like the Cat’s in the Cradle over here and I feel awful.

My newest pet peeve is when I ask about a deadline for a project and I’m told, “Whenever you get to it” or “No rush” so I let projects that do have deadlines take precedence and then someone randomly asks, “Hey, is that done yet? I was hoping to have it today/tomorrow/three days ago.” Just…give me a fucking deadline. You’re not doing anyone favors by trying to be “hey whatever man” when you know you need it by a certain day.

In slightly less unhinged news, I’m starting from zero and on day two of running again. It’s slow but it’s something. I think tomorrow I’m going to suck it up and start the Couch to 5k program just to make sure I don’t injure myself and maintain a sustainable schedule. It’s a little discouraging starting from scratch, but not being able to fit into half my clothes is more frustrating so here we go.

This Is a Nice Thing

Ed and I have been together just over seven years now, married for five and a half of those. I KNOW. We are surrounded by young colleagues who are getting engaged left and right and it’s really lovely to see how excited they are and sit back and know I will never, ever have to plan another wedding again. Amen.

Anyway, these bright-eyed youngsters sort of look up to us as a couple who is Doing It Right. (High-five, Ed!) And while this is really sweet and flattering I don’t really know what to say when they ask me for my tips and advice for a happy marriage. I mean, first of all, five years isn’t that long and I know we haven’t faced a lot of the rough stuff life is going to throw our way. Although a friend did point out to me we have dealt with a fair amount of bullshit and upheaval in a relatively short time and we haven’t let that kick our asses too hard so maybe we’re on to something? But I still feel weird speaking with any sort of certainty or authority when asked for advice. Do these people not understand what an incurable dork I am? And that I think it’s hilarious to yell “scrotum” when my niece is on the phone with her boyfriend? Pretty sure literally anybody else on the planet is more qualified to give advice on such a major life decision.

The first thing people usually ask is if I like being married, which I do, and they’re always shocked to learn that before meeting Ed I had very little interest in it. Like organized religion or neck tattoos, it seemed to suit other people fine but it wasn’t my jam. My usual answer is, “I like being married to Ed” because for me it’s more about the other person and the quality of our relationship than the institution as a goal in itself. So yeah, I’m a fan, but only under very specific circumstances.

One of Ed’c coworkers asked me during a happy hour outing, quite sincerely and practically ready to take notes, for my advice my advice on a successful marriage. I made some joke about keeping the wine cabinet stocked but then I thought about it for a minute and realized that all my knowledge was based on how Ed and I operate, our values, our personalities. So I told him to ignore advice from other people because if I followed someone else’s plan for a happy relationship my head would spin from all the conflicting bits of wisdom thrown my way over time. He seemed relieved by that, and I hope it gave him some comfort to know you don’t have to have some sort of perfect plan in order to be OK, and it’s probably not super healthy to try to model your relationship after anyone else. There are lots of happily married people out there, but I wouldn’t necessarily be happy with any of them.

So my genius advice was “don’t listen to other people” and now I’m basically relationship Oprah. Where’s my money?

Spoiler: Jake Ryan Doesn’t Show Up

Dear 18 Year-Old Christen,

First of all, good job with the sunscreen. KEEP IT UP. You won’t regret that and all the girls who showed up to prom tan look like handbags now.

I feel like I need to quickly assure you that your life is going to be great. It looks almost completely different than what you’re imagining right now (some of your timelines and expectations are, to be blunt, fucking bonkers) but it’s really the best and you are happier than you thought you would be. You go through some wild stuff to get to this point, but it’s worth it.

I don’t want to give too much away, but please, please listen to your instincts when it comes to…pretty much everything. People are going to tell you you’re doing a lot of things “wrong” and it’s tempting to listen to them. But your path and your life are different from anyone else’s. Don’t settle and don’t talk yourself into doing what everyone thinks would be best. They may seem like they have it all figured out, and although they mean well, they have their own shit to figure out and are putting their neuroses on you. You’re doing just great and every mistake you make leads to this life you’re living right now.

You could stand to drink more water, though. Maybe work on that a little.

Happy Birthday!


38 Year-Old Christen

PS You’re going to wake up this morning with a zit. DUDE I KNOW.

Math. Problems.

Number of People in the Last Six Days Who Have Asked Me About My Reproductive Plans/Status in the Last Six Days: 4

Of Those People, The Number That Were My Husband: 0

Of Those People, The Number That Were My Husband’s Boss: 1

Number of People Who Wanted To Know What the Damn Problem Is: 3

Of Those People, The Number That Were My Husband’s Boss: 0, Blessedly

Number of People in the Last Six Days Who Have Called Me “Weird” or “Creepy” for Saying I Do Enjoy Children, Despite Not Being a Mother: 1

Number of Times in the Last Six Days I’ve Been Tempted to Bail on Society Because, Seriously, This is Bullshit: Lost Count