Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Little Talks

Yesterday, after having a conversation with a friend about a teenager she knew who texted nude photos to a boy who in turn showed them off to half the school, I decided to have an “Inappropriate Photos” discussion with my kids because I’m a mom and that’s the responsible thing to do.  Or, it would be the responsible thing to do if every single conversation with my family didn’t tend to go sideways.
This was no exception.
(Set scene:  Bell and I are sitting on the screened-in porch in the late afternoon sunshine, watching the dogs try to dig up a lizard that has burrowed itself beneath the landscape edging.  It’s pretty entertaining except for the fact that I just bathed the dog and now her face and paws are covered in dirt and mulch, about which I am swearing creatively, before abruptly changing topic with no warning.)
Me:  So, you know that you shouldn’t send naked pictures to people, right?
Bell:  WHAT?  What are you TALKING about? 
Me:  Naked pictures.  You don’t go texting those around, right?
Bell:  That is disgusting!  WHY WOULD I DO THAT?
Me:  Who knows.  THERE IS NEVER A GOOD REASON, BELLS.  DON’T DO IT.
Bell:  I would never do that.  What do you even SAY when you send somebody something like that??  “Hey, look at this you guys!”  
Me:  I usually don't say anything when I send mine.
Bell:  (face in hands) Oh my God.
Me:  Don't act so innocent.  I distinctly remember you as a four-year-old standing in line at the mall to have your photo taken with the Easter Bunny, waggling your hips and shouting, “Hey, Easter Bunny!  Wanna see my GIRL PARTS?”  That was embarrassing.
Bell:  (Horrified.)  I WAS FOUR.  And I was a really messed up little kid.
Me:  You’re still pretty fucked up.  Hence the conversation about not sending out naked pictures. 
Bell:  Do you really think I would do something like that?
Me:  Not really, but I felt like as a responsible adult I should cover my bases.
Bell:  Whatever.  I already knew not to do stuff like that anyway because I’m not stupid and because some judge came and talked to us about it at school.
Me:  A judge came and talked to you about naked photos?  WHY DIDN’T I GET A PERMISSION SLIP ABOUT THIS?  I GOT A PERMISSION SLIP WHEN THEY WANTED TO TELL YOU ABOUT PERIODS IN THE SIXTH GRADE!
Bell:  Because I’m in high school now and nobody there cares what parents think.  It was awesome though because it got me out of Language Arts.
Me:  DON’T HATE ON LANGUAGE ARTS, BELL.  LANGUAGE ARTS IS AMAZING.  YOU KNOW YOU LIKED READING THE OUTSIDERS.
Bell: (rolls eyes)
Me:  STAY GOLD, PONYBOY.
Bell:  You are so weird.  And Language Arts sucks.  We’ve been taking this test for a week that’s supposed to help you figure out what you want to do when you grow up and I’m all like, “I don’t need this stupid test, I already know what I want to do after high school.”
Me:  Since when?  When we talked about this a month ago, the school counselor made you cry because she kept pressuring you to name a career path.  (Which, by the way, is fucking ridiculous for a 9th grader, in my opinion.)
Bell:  That was really stressful.
Me:  Welcome to life, SodaPop. Sixteen years on the streets and you can learn a lot.
Bell:  KNOCK IT OFF WITH THE OUTSIDERS QUOTES, MOTHER.  And it was after the counselor made me get so upset that I decided what I wanted to do.
Me:  And what did you decide? 
Bell:  (100% serious) That I’m just going to skip college and marry a really rich guy so I don’t have to work and I can just  do what I want all the time. 
Me: (Pauses to consider how fucked up this is.)  What if you can’t FIND a rich guy?  And what if he doesn’t die soon and you have to see his old, saggy balls all the time while you’re waiting on him to leave his fortune to you?  WHAT IF HE DIDN’T HAVE A RESPONSIBLE PARENT TO HAVE THE “DON’T SEND NAKED PHOTOS” TALK WITH HIM AND HE TEXTS YOU OLD MAN DICK PICS ALL DAY?
Bell:  Ugh, gross.  I didn’t say I was marrying an OLD rich guy.  I just said rich.  I figure I’ll find one that looks like Zac Efron, hang out with him until I get bored, then murder him and take all his money.
Me:  (Thinking this over.)  I feel like you’re narrowing your future too much, Bell.  A hot rich guy you can murder after a little while might not be as easy to come by as you think.  If you’re going to skip college and marry money, you should at least keep your options open for old, fat, and ugly guys too.  Or maybe one of those super-nerdy tech start-up kind of guys, but they’re probably all Asian.  What are your thoughts on Asian men?
Bell:  Meh. 
(Sutt enters the porch, unfortunately for him, as he has no idea what’s coming conversationally.  In my defense, however, if he hasn’t learned by now to expect the worst, he’s never going to make it in this family.)
Sutt:  What’s going on out here?
Me:  We’re talking about saggy old man balls and how your sister values them over a college education.  Which reminds me, Sutt, don’t ever send naked photos to anybody.
Sutt: WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?
Me:  Naked photos.  Don’t email them or text them or, like, post them on pervy internet sites.
Sutt:  What is “pervy”?  And WHY WOULD I EMAIL YOU NAKED PICTURES?
Me:  “Pervy” means creepy and child-molestery.  You know how I tell you not to get into Murder Vans with sketchy dudes who offer you a snow cone?  It’s because they’re pervy. 
Bell:  And they’ll murder you in their murder van.
Me:  Yeah.  And I didn’t mean don’t send ME naked photos, I mean don’t send ANYBODY naked photos.  I don’t want you to send them to me either.  But, you know, I guess it’s not as bad if it's me since I’ve seen you naked a zillion times.  It’s probably highly inappropriate though.  I don’t want to go to jail for child pornography because you’re blowing up my phone with crotch shots.
Sutt:  (looking kind of wild-eyed and deranged by this point)  I would NEVER do that!  Why would ANYBODY DO THAT?
Me:  Do what?  (Sorry, I was distracted by the damn dogs chasing the damn lizards again.)
Sutt:  WHAT WE’VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT.  SEND NAKED PICTURES TO PEOPLE.
Me:  Oh.  It’s sex stuff.
Sutt:  (Responding in his typical fashion whenever the word “sex” is mentioned, which means he falls over, curls into the fetal position, and throws his arms over his head, then begins rocking.  It’s how he self-soothes.  He does this A LOT when Bell and I are around.)
Bell:  Okay.  So nobody is sending naked pictures.  Good talk.  What’s for dinner?
Responsible parent box has been checked for the day.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Peepin, Creepin, and Beepin

Last week, B started working in a different department at the nuclear site.   Because he works with and around classified information, he is no longer allowed to take his phone with him to work, which is a ginormous bummer for me because now who I am I going to send all those daytime sexts to?  Anyway, because people at work still need to be able to reach him if he is not at his desk, they gave him a pager.  I hate this stupid thing because, unlike the pagers of old school, it doesn't just have a number-- it has, like, a general number, then once that answers, you type in his specific 5-digit code number, then the call-back number.  I'm not going to learn all those damn numbers.  We've lived here for three years and I don't even know our home phone number....or my kids' phone numbers (wow, I just realized that-- I'm a terrible human being).

So last night when B got home, the kids were loitering at the kitchen island eating chips while I made guacamole.  B has a bowl near the coffee maker that he keeps his keys and badge in, and when he went to dump his stuff in the bowl the kids saw his pager.  The following conversation ensued:

Sutt:  (wide eyed) WHAT IS THAT?

B:  This?  It's my pager.  It's for work.

Sutt:  What is a pager???  CAN I HOLD IT?

B:  Uh, yeah, I guess.  (hands pager to Sutt) It's so people at work can get in touch with me since I can't carry my phone anymore.

Belly:  (wearing a flower crown and with her face covered in glitter, for the record) I thought, like, only drug dealers back in the 90s had those.  IS YOUR NEW JOB AS A 90S DRUG DEALER, DADDY?

Me:  I wish.

Sutt:  (examining pager carefully)  Where do you get the Wifi in this thing?

B:  There's no Wifi.

Sutt:  (freaking the fuck out)  WHAT?  NO WIFI????  I THOUGHT EVERYTHING HAD WIFI.

B:  Not my pager.

Sutt:  Then WHAT do you DO with it?

Belly:  Obviously, you sell drugs.  In the 90s.

Me:  It's for your bitches to blow up when they want you to call.  Or for you to sell drugs in the 90s.

Sutt:  But where is the phone part?

Me:  Well, I'm peepin and I'm creepin and I'm creepin, but I damn near got caught 'cause my beeper kept beepin.

B:  There is no phone part.  Look.  (pulls out his phone) You call this number (dials), when it answers you dial this number (dials), then put in the number you want called (dials).

*Pager beeps and vibrates its way across the counter.  BOTH KIDS LOSE THEIR SHIT.*

Belly:  (laughing hysterically) IT JUST MOVED!

Sutt:  (looking amazed)  It beeped!  It totally worked!  (Proceeds to start the process of calling the pager again.)

Belly:  I've gotta learn those numbers!  Then I can page you at work, Daddy!  I can page you and be all like, "I'm your bestie and I'm paging you!"  Can I leave messages????

B:  No messages.  And don't page me at work unless it's an emergency.

*Pager goes off again where Sutt called.  Kids lose their shit all over again.  B and I are laughing, until Sutt starts paging B again. And again.  And again. Then it gets annoying.  Pager is repossessed from minions.  Household wonder at 90s technology is shut down.)

My kids are dumbasses sometimes.




Thursday, January 25, 2018

Dinna Fash

My favorite tv show, hands down, is OUTLANDER.  For those of you who don't know, OUTLANDER comes on Starz, and is based on a series of books by Diana Gabaldon about a nurse from the 1940s who, while on her honeymoon in Scotland, accidentally travels back in time two hundred years through a ring of stones and ends of falling in love with a dude back in the 1700s.  The books are fine, the show is great, but honestly I basically watch it because the main character, Jamie Fraser, is pretty much the most fuckable fictional character ever created.  A  big, strong, virile, square-jawed Scotsman?  Yes, please.  (Sadly, the actor who plays him, Sam Heughan, while very handsome, just doesn't do it for me in his real life persona.  This is, however, fortunate for B as it prevents me from willy-nilly running off to Scotland in an attempt to become Sam Heughan's concubine.  And I would.  I have no shame.)

SO.

A few nights ago, B and I were sitting on the sofa, drinking wine and hanging out.  It's been cold in Georgia, which is freaky and unusual in a weird way, but the upside is that we get to use the fireplace, which is kinda nice for like ten minutes, but then I get over it and I just want winter to go away and life to go back to the days of sundresses with no bras and reasonable excuses (heat!) for drinking lots of frose'.  B and I are warm-weather people.  Anyway, as we were sitting there being all romantic, somehow Outlander came up.  The conversation then went something like this:

B:  So if you traveled through the Scottish stones back in time two hundred years and met Jamie Fraser, would you hook up with him, if I was back here waiting for you?

Me:  Oh, hell yeah.

B:  (choking on his wine) WHAT THE FUCK?

Me:  I'm sorry, B, but I totally would.  I mean, I love you and all, but it's JAMIE FRASER.  He's ridiculously sexy.  HAVE YOU HEARD HIS ACCENT?

B:  (Breaking out his Scottish accent, which is actually pretty decent)  Aye, lassie, I've heard the man speak.  (Back to his regular yankee accent) But REALLY?  You'd get naked with him while you were married to me?  And I was waiting on you back here, thinking you were probably dead?!

Me.  Absolutely.  The second I saw him, I'd be stripping out of my corset and offering myself up at the altar of his hotness.  No second thoughts.  Plus, I mean, it's not like I would know I could ever get back to you. 

B:  But what if you knew you COULD get back to me?

Me:  (Mulling it over.)  Nope.  I'd still do it.

B:  Would you even CONSIDER me during this?

Me:  Definitely not during.  Maybe before.  But probably not.  

B:  HOW CAN YOU BE SO COLD?

Me:  YOLO, dude.  YOLO.

This actually made him laugh, as we joke about YOLO all the time.  So maybe saying YOLO made him think I was joking?  I don't know.  But I wasn't.  Because, well....YOLO, bitches.


Friday, December 15, 2017

The Hit List (Like, the Mobster Kind)

This is the current list (like, THIS MINUTE, because it changes from day to day) of people, places, and things (nouns, people) that I despise, except for the things that I hate so much that I have to completely ignore the fact that they exist (like stickers, January, and most of my Dad's side of the family):

1.  FedEx-- Let me tell y'all about those motherfuckers.  So, we had ordered a Christmas gift for Sutt from Academy Sports and, due to the physical size of the gift, needed to have it delivered to the house.  Enter FedEx.  Last Thursday, I spent the day working in our library, which has a full wall of windows that looks out onto the front porch.  I was literally in there all day, grading and planning and doing random administrative shit for school.  That afternoon, B asked where I had put the FedEx delivery (because, remember, it's a big box).  I told him there WAS no FedEx delivery.  According to his email, however, the box had been delivered at 12:50 pm and left at the front door.  He called FedEx and they told him the same thing, and when he protested they told him they would send someone out to handle the situation the next day after they looked into it.  So the next day this FedEx guy comes sashaying up to the door and, when I answer (in my pajamas and with high blood sugar, which means I was SUPER personable) informs me that it HAD been delivered and so that could only mean one thing--someone had stolen it from our front porch.

Keep in mind that we have two very noisy dogs who literally LOSE THEIR DAMN MINDS every time someone walks by outside or even THINKS about entering our property--they would have caught both the FedEx delivery AND the alleged thief and barked about both for twenty minutes.  And that I had an excellent view of where the truck would have had to park, as well as the front door and was ABSOLUTELY there at 12:50 pm, as well as most of the rest of the day.  And that the box is five feet tall and weighs over fifty pounds and barely maneuverable.  And that the closest thing to crime that our neighborhood has ever seen is the landscaping (or lack thereof) of the couple that used to live next door (thank goodness they moved).  Nobody took that box from my damn porch, because it never arrived at my damn house.

FedEx refused to do anything about it, so we contacted Academy Sports and they very generously replaced the package.  Today when the FedEx truck pulled up it was the same guy delivering who came out the other day to tell me how the first package must have been stolen.  I stood on the porch, dogs raising hell behind me in the house, and watched him struggle to drag the heavy, huge, awkward box down the driveway and up to the porch.  As he propped it against the house I smiled at him sweetly,  batted my lashes, and said, "Thank you SO much for bringing the replacement.  I'm so glad I was here so that nobody could grab that tiny little thing up and run off with it again!"

Fuckers.

2.  Gym Bitches--  I go to the gym a lot, and when I go, I go to work.  I generally do not look cute.  I'm makeup-free, pony-tailed, and dressed in layers to peel off easily because I'm always freezing until I'm sweating gallons (there is no in-between).  I have my phone because I have to use the app to scan in and to get towels, and sometimes I listen to music while I do cardio, but honestly, I'd rather not have it because it's just another thing to juggle.  Plus, I have to replace the screen fairly regularly because I drop the phone and shatter it all the time. 

But I digress.

It never fails that every time I am at the gym, I see at least a handful of Gym Bitches.  Those are the girls who come to the gym, plop their asses on a mat, and take up space for an hour near equipment that I want to use.  They always have makeup on.  They are never sweating.  They are always on their phones.  ALWAYS.  Talking or texting or taking selfies.  ALWAYS.  Every now and then one ventures out of her comfort zone and actually gets on a piece of equipment just so she can take a selfie of herself ON the piece of equipment.  I watched an Indian chick for over twenty minutes one day, draped across an elliptical machine (not using it, mind you, just posed on it) taking/checking/deleting/retaking/checking/retaking selfies with duckface! peace sign! kissy lips! sultry eyes! IT MADE ME CRAZY. 

I'm supportive if you want to take a quick photo of yourself and your gym buddies.  My neighbor teaches workout classes and often takes a class group photo after--that's great!  I'm supportive of you if you want to look cute at the gym.  YOU GO, GIRL.  MORE POWER TO YA.  But holy hell, DO something.  Don't just take up space the whole time and call it a workout.  THAT IS NOT A WORKOUT.  Neither is sitting in the sauna talking loudly on your cell phone so DON'T DO THAT EITHER (I'm talking to YOU, old, naked Asian lady who only qualifies as a Gym Bitch for the sauna reason).  BE CONSIDERATE, BITCHES.

3.  The Augusta Mall-- Just because I went there to get sloth pajamas for Sutt for Christmas because Abercrombie carries them but only in stores and Abercrombie had fucking shut down.  This hated will likely pass more quickly than the other hatreds.

4.  Did I mention FedEx?

5.  My dog, Lola.  Now, most people would think it was evil to hate your dog.  If you are one of those people, please fuck off.  Let me tell you about Lola.  She's a rescue that we adopted in 2012 because I saw her online in TN and asked my Mom to go check her out and see if she would be a good fit for our family.  Mom adopted her for us.  The lesson we learned is that either Mom has a jacked up sense of what fits with our family, or she doesn't know us at all.  Or it could be that she's vengeful, but I already knew that and I don't see any reason for her to be vengeful to me, so that's a lesser option.  Anyway.  Lola MAY be mentally handicapped (like, for real).  Or she MAY have some sort of personality disorder.  Whatever the case, she's messed up in the head.  (She also has a lazy eye, an underbite, and uneven ears, but I am not judging her on her physical beauty, but on her rather non-existent inner beauty).  When you tell Lola to "sit," she does not sit, but she sneezes.  Every time.  She stands in place and spins in circles for no reason.  Sometimes, I'll walk though the living room and talk to her and she'll bear her teeth at me and growl. 

(Here is the main reason she's on this list.)  Every night she starts out in bed with one of the kids, and every night she wakes me up clacking down the hallway wanting to go downstairs.  I have to get up and help her because if she's going UP the stairs or DOWN the stairs either way, she gets stuck on one stair (two down from the top) and stands there on that one step and spins in circles.  Endlessly.  She won't move up or down unless you take your foot and push her butt with it, or pick her up and move her down a step.  Then, once she's downstairs, I have to put a baby gate up to keep her from coming back UP the steps and getting stuck again.  But I also have to put up the doggie door cover because otherwise she goes outside and barks randomly at nothing.  But then I have to get back out of bed repeatedly and let her out the doggie door when I hear her scratching at it because she needs to pee, then get her back inside before she starts barking. 

The sleep schedule is like having a newborn.

B and I have considered putting her on some of my leftover anxiety meds that are rolling around in the medicine cabinet, but we are afraid we will accidentally overdose her and make the kids sad.  THERE IS NO WAY TO WIN IN THIS SITUATION.  In the meantime, she bites at least one of us every day (just snarky little nips) and eats enough food for six dogs because she "eats her feelings" and apparently she feels a lot.  And then she sleeps on the new throw pillows on the sofa because eating makes her tired.

Just like SHE makes ME tired

So that is the end of my List of the Moment. 

I'd like to end it by giving the finger to FedEx.  Please take a moment to envision.  Thank you.



Muse and Meander

A few nights ago, I was sitting on the sofa with Bells watching an episode of "People Investigates" during which some relatively incompetent detectives with porn star mustaches were trying to solve a murder that had gone cold.  Speaking of cold, it's freezing in Georgia (yep, Hell hath frozen over) and Bells and I were huddled together under a blanket with the fire on.  The show had gotten kind of boring, but the remote was about six feet away and neither of us was willing to leave the warmth of our cocoon to snag it so that we could change the channel.  (Nothing but needing a wine refill for me or a popcorn refill for her was gonna make that happen.)  And it's a good thing that we were both warm and too lazy to move, because if we had actually been motivated enough to get the remote, I would have missed out on my biggest Parenting Win of the Year. 

Said WIN went down like this:

Porn-stache Detective:  After finding DNA on a swab that had been misplaced in the lab for fifteen years, we decided that we needed to go to the home of the suspect and perform a search.

Bells:  (Highly agitated.)  Nope!  You can't.  You.  Can.  Not.  No way, dude.  Not without a warrant.

Me:  (Pausing the television.)  What do you know about warrants?

Bells:  Pretty much everything.  And cops have to have them to search your stuff, like your house or car.  They can't just roll in like that and take over because they "get a hunch."

Me:  Did you learn that in Government class?

Bells:  (Rolling eyes-- because she's 14 and everything she does involves rolling her eyes.)  NO, Mummy. (She calls me "Mummy" or "Mum" and has for some time now because, despite all evidence to the contrary, she's convinced she's British.)  I learned it from all the times you made me listen to Jay-Z in the car.  (Throws her version of gansta hands.)  "Well, my glove compartment is locked, so is the trunk in the back, And I know my rights, so you gon' need a warrant for that."

MY KID CAN RAP THE LYRICS TO "99 PROBLEMS."  I TOLD YOU IT WAS A PROUD PARENTING MOMENT.

The thing is, I have so many of those, and as best I can tell, I haven't really done much to deserve them.  I have always cursed like a sailor in front of my kids.  They grew up listening to highly inappropriate music and figuring out what was real and what was made up by navigating the insanely theatrical lies that I've told them whenever they have asked a question (remember the blog about shrimp vaginas?).  They know all the ins and outs of my various depressions over losing my Dad and losing the Mims, and the anxiety that plagues me on a daily basis over, well, everything.    And I know B isn't picking up the slack (he's not any better at this parenting shit than I am, although we often go about it in different ways).  So how are they not serial killers or kitten torturers or, at the very least, total assholes?

And they're not.  Proof:

This morning Sutt was honored at his middle school for being the 6th Grade Student of the Month (out of hundreds).  The teacher who spoke about him kept going on and on about what a kind, sweet, helpful kid he is.  And she's right.  He's amazing.  He's slow as fuck when I ask him to do pretty much anything (a sloth is that boy's spirit animal), he rarely brushes his hair, and he is consistently unaware of his surroundings, but he's SO GOOD.  Like, TO THE BONE.  He has so much of my Dad in him it's ridiculous.  That quiet, sweet, gentleness that made my Dad such a great human is exactly the quality I see in Sutt.

And Bells?  Geez.  That kid is a disaster.  She leaves makeup everywhere, loses anything she touches (I literally just found her earrings in the sofa cushions about ten minutes ago), and is social to the point of it being detrimental to her grades (at this point, we're lucky the kid hasn't flunked out of high school, despite being in the gifted program AND IB track).  But she's fierce and protective-- she has physically threatened a couple of the neighbor boys on several occasions when they were teasing Sutt.  She's loving and thoughtful--the cool thing at her school is for kids to decorate each other's lockers when it's someone's birthday.  There was a girl at school who she and her friend V had noticed was a loner, so on her birthday, they went to school early and decorated the girl's locker as a surprise, which brought the girl to tears.  And --the best part-- she's SO HAPPY.  All the time.  (Okay, when I say "best part," I don't necessarily mean at 7am on a Saturday morning before I've had coffee when she's cracking herself up at full volume because she can't pronounce the word "ventriloquy."  She knows no such thing as "inside voice" when it comes to.....anything.) 

The evidence suggests that, so far, I didn't fuck them up.  B hasn't fucked them up.  We have not fucked them up.  Deaths and births and relocations and that one time that we accidentally let them play Cards Against Humanity hasn't fucked them up.  Neither has hearing the word "goddamn" on a regular basis or learning to mix martinis before they were old enough to read.  LIFE hasn't fucked them up.

Not yet.

And for that, I am grateful.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Day 14

On March 30, B turns 43.  Forty-three sounds really old to me, especially because when we started dating he was only 27.  At the time, THAT seemed old too, as I was only 24.  Now 27 and 24 sound like babies, 43 and almost-40 sound old as fuck, and I feel like we're stuck somewhere in between our prime and dead, which, I guess, we kinda are.  Because of this, and because 43 is a a really boring number and doesn't seem like an age where anything special would happen, I decided to give the Universe a big ole "fuck you" and MAKE this birthday special for B, which means I decided he wouldn't just have a birth DAY, but a whole goddamn BIRTH MONTH.  Every day I've had a plan, every day I've done a little something to celebrate B-- some days he would find a card made by one of the kids, or an old photo with a written memory attached, or a package of his favorite candy, or a single bottle of beer in a brand he hadn't tried before.  Little, Happy Things.  Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 14, is Day 14 of B's Spectacular Birthday Month, and so I'm writing this for his Day 14 Little, Happy Thing.

B, you complain that I don't blog anymore, don't write enough.  So this one, babydoll, is for you.  Happy Day 14 of your Birthday.

********************************************************************************
An hour ago, I started writing this blog in honor of my B.  It was a list of all the things that stand out in my head, for which I am grateful to him.  Turns out, that didn't go well, as I am emotionally unstable and prone to crying fits whenever I meander down Memory Lane, particularly on extremely overcast and freezing March days.  Which led to Bellamy getting off the bus and coming through the front door to find me sobbing at the computer, with both dogs in my lap, mascara streaming down my face, and wearing fleece pajamas I got for Christmas, with herbal tea (Lemon Ginger, in case you're wondering) spilled down the front because I was crying too hard to hold the cup steady enough to drink.  Welcome to Pathetic, y'all.  Time to regroup.

Because a teary, tea-stained blog is NOT a Little, Happy thing, I started trying to think of something to write about, and started thinking of all the Little, Happy Things that B does for me.  Not the big, life-altering HOLD ME UP AND KEEP ME BREATHING WHEN I'M GOING THROUGH HELL kinds of things that I WAS writing about (God knows he's done plenty of those), but the sweet, tiny things that would easily go unnoticed, unremarked upon, unappreciated.  And there are so many.  On weekend mornings when we get up, B makes me a cup of coffee first thing--before he even makes his own--and gets the almond-milk/creamer ratio so perfect that it's way better than when I make it.  HE'S A COFFEE GENIUS.  He turns my side of the bed down at night for me and spreads an extra blanket over it because he knows that I get cold more easily than he does when I sleep.  He makes all the phone calls I don't want to make to doctors and insurance companies and freakin' Medtronic (I HATE calling Medtronic-- you have to go through the automated system for ten minutes before FINALLY getting a person who then repeatedly puts you on hold or transfers you to someone else who repeatedly puts you on hold and NOTHING EVER GETS SOLVED but somehow when HE calls them he magically gets things done).  He returns things to stores that don't fit or that I decide I don't like, because I hate returning things.  When our cable bundle changed and we suddenly no longer had HBO and I freaked out because GAME OF THRONES STARTS BACK IN JULY he immediately stopped what he was doing, called Comcast, and got me HBO even though he doesn't watch Game of Thrones and gives zero fucks about television in general,  He surprise mops for me when he knows that I need to mop but haven't had time.  He goes to ALL the boring kid shit (meetings about field trips and registration and such) that I just DON'T WANT TO GO TO while encouraging me to stay home and have a glass of wine and watch Bravo.  He randomly scrubs the shower when it needs it (another chore I hate), offers regularly to grocery shop (although I rarely take him up on it), cheers me on when I'm sad, encourages me to buy things that I KNOW he thinks are ridiculous but that I think are awesome (usually something alpaca themed), and DOES ALL THIS HAPPILY AND KINDLY AND WITHOUT EVER ASKING FOR ANYTHING IN RETURN.  Basically?  He's amazing.  And he loves me.  A lot.

I realize that I'm a very lucky girl.  Thank you, B, for it all.  You do so much, and I'm so, so grateful.  Happy Day 14 of your Birthday, my love.  May it be the best day of your Birthday Month so far.






Wednesday, February 1, 2017

(Not) Making Memories

Last August, I woke up one morning and thought, "Huh.  I think there is something I have to do today."  After lying in bed for a few minutes and thinking really hard, I realized that OH, YEAH, TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF FALL SEMESTER.  I HAVE TO GO TEACH CLASS.

Clearly, I'm crushing life.

About a year and a half ago, I started getting really worried that I might be losing my mind.  My whole life, I've been incredibly OCD.  I am never late, and I don't forget appointments EVER, or specific dates of any kind.  I can still tell you the birth date of every ex-boyfriend I have ever dated, as well as the exact date of when we started dating and broke up (and, probably, what I was wearing).  I know all my pets' birthdays (both living and deceased) for God's sake.  I KNOW B'S EX-GIRLFRIENDS' BIRTHDAYS, YOU GUYS. (Note:  This is due to me asking back before we even began dating and were just friends because I like to know people's astrological signs.  It's always entertaining to imagine him, an Aries, trying to make it work with a Taurus. Hell, my bff is a Taurus and they've nearly killed each other a dozen times just trying to be friends.  A romantic relationship would be like World War III, on crack.)  It's not a numbers thing--I'm terrible with numbers (I still don't know my home phone number and we've had it for a year and a half, during which I've only had to write it down or recite it to someone about a billion times)--but it's more like I have a day planner in my head that I can visualize and see the things I need to remember.  And if somebody ever tells me a date (or I see it written down somewhere) I won't forget it.  Dates just stick.

Except all of a sudden, they don't anymore.  And neither does anything else.

Well, that's kind of a lie.  I can remember SOME things.  I just can't remember EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME, like I used to, and I don't seem to have any control over what I DO remember.  Completely irrelevant date of the last time I had the dog groomed?  July 25th.  Got it.  Important school meeting at the elementary school?  I have no idea.  (Turns out, as B reminded me, it's TONIGHT.)  I don't forget things like that.  I DON'T.  So why am I now?  And while it's not just dates (I lose my train of thought all the time, I don't remember if I've already told B or the kids something or not when sometimes it was only five minutes ago that I told them), there are also lots of things I still DON'T forget.  I never misplace my keys, or forget where my car is parked.  I can tell you the final grade of every student I have taught the past two semesters.  But......B came in with an envelope from the mailbox one day addressed to "484," laughing, and commented that "they almost got it right."  I thought about it for a minute and said, "What are you talking about?"  B was like, "Um, we're 448."  Oh.  Yeah.  Right.  We are.  Should I have noticed that?

Back to losing my mind.

So when this started, I thought I was probably getting early-onset Alzheimer's Disease at the ripe old age of 38.  My grandma actually died of Alzheimer's, but it wasn't early onset.  I saw one doctor who blamed my Celiac disease (it is very true that you get a horrible Brain Fog if you have Celiac when you get "glutened"--but it only lasts a couple of days, thank goodness), and another couple of doctors I was seeing for other things said it was almost certainly stress and anxiety (and that I was making myself crazy with my Alzheimer's paranoia-- THANK YOU, CAPTAIN OBVIOUS).  A couple of friends my age say they are having the same issues, and one of them suggested that she thinks it's hormonal.  B is on the stress bandwagon and says that I'm always too distracted to notice anything to remember it.  Nobody thinks I'm getting Alzheimer's.  (I'm surrounded by optimists!  Or maybe I'm a hypochondriac.)  Whatever the cause, I wish I could make it stop.  

One theory I have, other than Alzheimer's, is that my brain just got too full of random, useless tidbits and now refuses to hold any non-urgent information.  I mean, I've read about a hundred zillion books in my life, to the point that they now all run together and I can't tell you what happened from one to the next . The second I finish the last page, I forget pretty much the entire thing.  Last time I went to the library, I literally checked out two books that I had already read and didn't realize it until a few days later when I was halfway through one of them and thinking, "This is so familiar!"  Then I realized I had read it about two years ago, put it away, picked up the other and realized I had read it too (only this time I figured it out on the first page).

And so I've been paying attention to my crazy, trying to suss out what's causing it.  Turns out, B is right, I think.  I don't pay attention to ANYTHING that happens.  I'm ALWAYS thinking about something else.  I'm completely lost in my head.  Even when I'm "being mindful," I'm not being mindful because I'm too busy freaking out inside that I'm not actually being mindful (or about something else--I'm almost constantly freaking out inside).  Problem is, I don't know if this is happening to other people, I don't know what the root of the trouble is, and I don't know how to make it stop.

SO, I'm going to (attempt) to start blogging more, because that seems to help.  I'm going to (attempt) to keep meditating, although I think it's ridiculously stupid and a waste of my time because my concentration is nil.  And if nothing else works and B locks my ass up in assisted-living for memory care, stop by and visit.  It'll be good to make a new friend....every time you visit.