Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Escaping the Madness

Tomorrow I am leaving for a solo trip to TN. Newport News to Atlanta to Chattanooga, straight onward to meet my ever-awesome little brother who will be picking me up at the airport (unless he forgets, which is actually highly likely, though not something I'm particularly worried about). I haven't been home since Dad died, haven't visited the farm without knowing that he's somewhere nearby working on SOMETHING, or at least staring in the backyard looking at the sky and smoking a cigarette.

Damn things will kill you. And they did. Now I know that Dad is nearby, but he's in a pretty wooden box in the living room, while all of our hearts continue to break.

Sometimes, life sucks.

I'm anxious about my trip. So far, I've given myself a stomachache, broken out in hives, and managed to make zero plans as to where I'm going to stay or how I'm going to get there. No car. No home. No worries. I figure I'll just show up with my suitcase, hang out and be fabulous (or at least get drunk shortly after we land) and go from there. As long as I show up for my return flight, there's really not much difference what happens in between. I don't even know what I have packed (although whatever it is, let's all hope it's not in bottles over 3.4 ounces, lest I have to wrestle some airport security bitch to the ground for confiscating my expensive moisturizer).

Onward to TN.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Wedding Belle

Last night, after a brief session of trying to teach myself to play chess via an online tutorial (hence the new background), I decided that it would be much easier to learn with a real person and without a kid in my lap, so I threw that idea to the wind and went to play dress-up.

I love dress-up.

There is a certain part of the movie "Fight Club" where Helena Bonham Carter walks through Edward Norton's kitchen wearing a pink tulle dress and mentions that it's a bridesmaid's dress that she picked up for a dollar at a thrift store. I WANT TO BE HELENA BONHAM CARTER IN THAT DRESS. I want to walk around, pale-skinned and drug addled, black hair jagged and wild, cigarette hanging from my lips, wearing a ridiculously inappropriate dress just because I FEEL LIKE IT. (Okay, maybe not the drug-addled part, nor the cigarette, as I am adamantly anti-smoking, and, well, not the black hair part either, because I'm just not an attractive brunette. But the bridesmaid dress part--ABSOLUTELY. However, this area seems to be devoid of any decent thrift stores, and the few bridesmaid dresses I have in my closet are not nearly intense enough for my desires.)

The point is: If I could play dress up every day, just like Helena, I sure as hell would do it. Unfortunately I lack the materials. However, what I DO have, is two (yes, count them--TWO) lovely wedding gowns. The first is satin and tulle, the second is satin with rum trim, A-line and strapless. The first is stuffed under my bed, where it takes up the entire king-sized expanse. The second is pressed and cleaned, hanging in my closet. (The gowns are representative of the husbands: the first, though it looks great on the surface, is clearly dispensable. The second must be cared for and respected, because it's a keeper and may someday begin a legacy.) I wear the first one occasionally, for cleaning, Halloween, playing Cinderella's Ball with Bellamy, or having relations with Husband Number Two (who claims he has no problem with me keeping and wearing Gown Number One as long as I make it up to him while I still have it on). Wearing Dress #1 is fun, and makes me feel like a fairy princess, which is always a pick-me-up.

Dress #2 hasn't seen the light of day for nearly six years, until last night.

Yes, I had been imbibing in the cocktails a bit. Yes, I was bored. So I dragged that sucker out of its dry-cleaner bag within a wedding-dress bag and put it on. I had forgotten how much I love that damn dress. It's beautiful and simple and absolutely stunning. And also now four sizes too big (dude, I wore it three months after having a BABY for goodness sakes--cut me some slack). Regardless of tucking, strapping, and tying, I was still able to slip it on and off without ever having to unzip or unfasten anything. Still, it was lovely to wear and Bellamy got a big kick out of seeing Mommy in her wedding gown. She even took a few photos. :)

I always forget how much I love to dress for myself, instead of what I feel like I'm expected to wear. How it feels to dress up for no reason, or wear a sexy nightgown even if I don't want to be touched. Sometimes, I just want to feel pretty for ME.

Friday, July 24, 2009

I Don't Need Much, Just Enough To Get Me Through

As I've mentioned before, I'm an easy girl. I work very hard not to ask people for anything. I have a predilection for independence, and greatly prefer handling any situation on my own (particularly if it involves conflict and I get to swear at and/or hit someone) rather than requesting the help of another. I have dear friends who are attorneys, doctors, nurses, mechanics, successful screenwriters, and professional photographers. However, should my camera refuse to focus, my kid turn up with an unidentified rash, or someone choose to press charges against me for assault, it is not normally one of these people whom I call. Why? Because that feels like abuse. And I don't like to be indebted to anyone. It opens you up.

In my lifetime, I have struggled with an amalgamation of hardships, most within the past decade. I've wanted to live and I've wanted to die, I've had times of plenty and times where I went without, I've fought hard and won and fought harder and lost. It's the way of the world. It's made me who I am. I do not like to snuggle. I am not touchy-feely. Sappy things make me want to vomit.

That said, I'm feeling a little lonely these days. Most of my friends are busy with travels, changes, jobs, pregnancies, LIFE. Sentimental things. Things that I don't want to talk about anymore than I want to talk about why I'm feeling lonely. Talking about feelings is not one of my strong points. And not likely to become one anytime soon. But I would like to talk. I would like to talk about what I should plant in the stupid garden area in my front yard and how I learned to make awesome caprese. I would like to talk about what color you are painting your living room and why you wish you could murder your boss.

Just don't ask me to cuddle.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bad Girl

I have finally decided to resign myself to something that I've known for a long time now, but have been trying to deny: I'm a naughty Mommy. From now on, it's no apologies, no guilt. Bad Mommies of the World Unite!

Today the I dragged the kids to the grocery story for the forty-seventh time this week. Yes, it's only Wednesday. Yes, we've already spent approximately seventeen thousand dollars on groceries in the month of July alone. Yet, we had to go to the store AGAIN because, just like the promise of Jesus rising from the dead after three days, we were Cheerio-less, milk-less, and fruit-less in the same span of time. Somehow this happens every week, no matter how much I buy and no matter how sufficiently I starve the children. 'Tis the cards I've been dealt.

Unloading the kids from the Xterra and getting them into the store is equivalent to a full-blown cardio workout (this is AFTER I've gotten them ready, loaded in the car, and driven to the store, which counts as three additional workouts). Unloading goes something like this: Bellamy is unbuckled, and gets tangled in the seat belt. While she frees herself, she dumps all the change from her purple crochet sequin purse into the parking lot (half of which rolls under the car). She begins to cry because her twenty-nine cents is scattered all over creation. I pull her from the car, during which time she has managed to re-tangle her purse in the seat belt and get her shoe stuck beneath the armrest of the booster seat. The booster seat falls into the parking lot and her shoe comes off. She starts screaming that her shoe is off, and as I tuck all 50 pounds of her under my arm and bend to pick up the booster seat, I whack her head on the side of the Xterra. She starts to scream. I dump her back in the car, throw the booster seat inside, pick up the shoe, and reshoe the screaming kid. In the meantime, Sutt has started yelling that HE'S THIRSTY! and bucking against his car seat straps. I get her out and get ahold of her hand, and take her around to his side of the car. I start to unbuckle him, during which time Bellamy crawls under the car and starts foraging for her lost change. I tell her to get out, and she actually LISTENS, but hits her head AGAIN on the open door as she stand, hence resuming the screaming. Sutt is still yelling over and over that HE'S THIRSTY! and he WANTS TO GO TO THE POOL! as I try to force his arms under the car seat straps (while he's clutching a truck in each fist). When he's finally free, I realize that the car keys have fallen between the seats and are somewhere in the back of the car. I tell both kids to STAY PUT while Mommy finds the keys, then I open the back, and crawl (in my sundress and flashing the world my panties) into the back and start digging around for the keys. It's about then that I notice that Sutt has gotten my purse and dumped the entire contents into the parking lot, then hung the strap around his neck as a "man necklace." I consider curling into the fetal position in the back of the car and crying. Instead, I locate the keys, gather my stuff, grab the kids and head for the door to the store. Twenty yards from the door, Sutt breaks away and starts to run off, at which point I yell at the top of my lungs, "Get back here, Kid! Mommy is TOO DAMN TIRED to scrape you off the asphalt when a car runs you over!" I receive nasty looks from other shoppers. I consider giving them the finger. I decide I am too exhausted to raise said finger and instead give them death stares. We make it into the store. Finally.

I won't even go through what all happened once we started shopping.

The point is that this happens EVERY SINGLE TIME. Today was not some out-of-the-ordinary, disastrously unusual outing. THIS WAS THE NORM. Someone is always injured. Someone always makes Mommy curse. Someone always ends up getting a cheap thrill from my underwear.

I ask you, however--should I feel badly for whacking my kid's head against the car? Should I feel badly for losing twenty-nine cents, not acknowledging my daughter's tears, ignoring the fact that my son is thirsty, exposing my panties to the other shoppers, or acting both nonchalant and cold-hearted at the idea of my son being squashed by an inattentive motorist? Perhaps. But do really, truly care? For once, hell, no.

I do not. And that makes all the difference.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I Get My Wisdom From A&E

Tonight, after I clocked out (as in, B came home and I said, "the kids are fed and bathed, dinner is cooked, the kitchen is clean, and I AM FUCKING DONE), I shut myself in the bedroom with a half a bottle of Toscana and the second season of Mad Men. Good times, these are. I've had a bad day, a bad headache, lots and lots of bad. Frank McCourt died today--I LOVE Frank McCourt. Angela's Ashes never ceases to break my heart, whether it be the book or the film, and it saddens me that this man, this seemingly wonderful, amazing, strong man is just GONE. That seems to be a reoccurring theme for me this year.

As I was toasting Mr. McCourt and drowning my sorrows in the advertising world of Manhattan in the early 60's, one of the characters (Sterling, if anybody else is a fan) said one of the most profound things I've heard in a while. Non verbatim (but only pre-comma, after that it's a direct quote), it went a little something like this: Seize the day, because it's probably later than you think.

Brilliant Fucking Point.

We always think we have so much time. We have time to spend with our loved ones. Time to look for that new job that will finally make us happy. Time to buy a house. Take a vacation. Have a child. Visit a friend. Make ourselves better. But what if we don't? Not to rain on anyone's parade, but what if it's later than we think? I know that this is no new idea, that it's been worded many ways before, but I like this one best. Because with these fragile lives of ours, you just never know how late it really is. Or how soon too late will come.

I Just Want to Fly

Seems these days I'm kickin' it mood swing style. Not my norm. I can't seem to write much, can't seem to feel comfortable around anyone, can't seem to shake it off. My main accomplishment these days seems to have been downloading the 250 top songs of the '90's (R.I.P. Biggie Smalls).

I wonder if there is a top 250 of the 80's.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

That FREAKS Me Out

Those of you who spend much time around me know that there are a LOT of things in this world that freak me out. The old stand-bys are lima beans, ponchos, stickers, and when people call donkeys "burros," mostly because it sounds a little too much like "burrito" to me, which is something I like very much and do not want to associate with donkeys. The list seems to be growing these days, and while I was stuck in traffic FOREVER today (damn you, Monitor Merrimac!! damn you straight to hell!) out of total boredom and an intense desire to do ANYTHING but have another sing-along with my kids, I jotted down (on my arm, with lip liner) more things that freak me out. Just for you guys.


1. iPhones~ Dude, who the hell really NEEDS one of these freaky things? They are complicated and scary and when you touch the screen things just go everywhere! It makes me a total and complete nervous wreck. When I see someone pull out his or her iPhone, I immediately start to shake and feel the need to have a drink and calm myself down before I start seeing things move all over the screen. You never know what might happen with a touchscreen, folks! Touchscreens are the devil! Things just go all willy-nilly! And I JUST NOW figured out how to change the voicemail and use speed dial on my regular old cell phone, so the idea of a phone with downloadable applications sends me straight for the Xanax and the vodka, chased with wine and Valium. I am not a girl of the future.

2. Uncircumcised penises~ This is something that I have no personal experience with, thank God, and fully intend to make it my life's work trying to keep it that way. I always had a general, yet very vague, idea of how these creepy little suckers looked and operated, but it was only recently that I TOTALLY figured it all out, thanks to lovely little tutorial from Morgan and Ray on the way to the No Doubt concert. Thanks guys. I'm STILL having nightmares about retracting foreskins.

3. The gym employees~ I realize these people are just there to help you, answer questions, and drag your ass off of the treadmill and send you to get your kid if he won't stop crying in the Child Watch center. However, they still make me very nervous. It's that same feeling I get when I know I'm not breaking the law, but I see a policeman look at me and all of a sudden I stand up straighter and try to look REALLY innocent (which is hard for me, since I'm so street) because even though I know he can't read my mind I'm terrified that he can tell I'm thinking, "I hate you, you motherfucking bitch-assed excuse for a human being! You and your dark, shady glasses and your billy stick need to just MOVE ON ALONG before I lose my cool and go all Jedi on your punk ass!" I hate police officers. Many long, complicated stories. Anyway, whenever I'm PreCoring or weight-lifting or treadmilling my little heart out and I see one of those bored-looking gym employees wander by, I get a twisty feeling in the pit of my stomach and do a quick once-over to make sure I'm not dripping sweat on the digital screen or anything. Not that the hungover, barely literate high school students who work at the Y actually give a damn, but still. It's just one of those things.

4. Men who wear white briefs~ I realize that there are some reasons for men to wear briefs, as opposed to the sexier boxers or the SUPER sexier (depending on the build of the man) boxer-briefs, although for the life of me I can't actually tell you what any of them are. I'm just sure they do exist. But that doesn't change the fact that whenever I see a guy in plain white briefs, I do NOT think of sexy Mark Walberg in a Calvin Klein commercial presenting his sizable package to the world, but instead of my little brother running around the house when he was a kid wearing his "tighty whities" and pretending to be Davy Crockett. That is so messed up. So fellows, if you HAVE to wear briefs for some reason (and I would truly love to hear exactly what the reason is), please try to branch out a little and get some nice gray ones, or navy blue or something. They're slightly more mature than the plain white.

5. Cheetos~ What the hell IS that orange powder made of, anyway? It practically glows in the dark, it's next to impossible to get out of my kids' clothes (for the record, I do not give them Cheetos, but their YaYa does when I'm not around to throw down with her) and it IS JUST WEIRD. And the actual Cheetos themselves, beneath the powder? Don't get me started on that. It's just wrong.

Ugh. I've nauseated myself thinking of Cheetos and uncircumcised penises, so I need to stop for now.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Way I Am

I have come to realize that I am just not a fancy girl. I have never had a manicure or pedicure--I paint my own nails. I would much rather eat at some sketchy looking hole-in-the-wall with great food than an expensive multi-utensil restaurant. If someone gave me a brand new car tomorrow, I would say "thank you," park it in the garage for backup, and continue driving my beloved, 9-year-old Xterra until it keeled over and died. I don't get my hair done, have no desire to fly first class, and only own a few nice pieces of jewelry as I much prefer that of the costume variety. I do want a nice pair of diamond earrings someday, but I figure I've got a lot of years to work on that, and in the meantime, I have my quarter-carat studs to hold me over.

In the words of my best guy friend Michael, I'm easy. (No, that's not what he meant, so quit thinking it.) I do not know how I got this way, as it is not in my blood. My Mom is not easy. I think I probably inherited it from my Dad. I hope so. I'll take anything I can claim.

I do have an affinity for expensive perfume. I wear Miss Dior Cherie, which is a bit on the costly side, but I feel that I'm probably allowed one vice. And I like to smell nice.

We have plenty of money. We're not rich, but we're comfortable. I have more now than I've ever had. Blaker will give me pretty much anything I want. I just don't want anything. I grew up with little, but I never knew it. I thought we had a lot--I had no concept of money or salaries or how much my Dad made. I was always given everything I needed and then some. Dad found a way, even if it meant sacrificing a lot, which is usually did. And I never even knew. I would do the same for my kids. I guess that's just what you do when you love someone.

I doubt I'll ever be a fancy girl.

Six Down

Today is the six-month anniversary of my Dad's death. So far, we've made it through the first birthdays (his, mine, Zach's, and Belly's) without him, the anniversary of my Grandpa's death, Mother's Day, Father's Day, my parents' wedding anniversary, and a few random other holidays that weren't as difficult as those. Everyone I know who has lost a close loved one says that it's that first year that's the hardest--readjusting your holidays to be without someone important. I'm finding that, despite not being your average girl, "they" are right. This first six months have sucked pretty fucking hard.

I was talking to myself the other day (yes, this is normal for me) and I pointed out that it's ALWAYS something. I think, "Okay, I just have to get through my birthday and it will be okay," but then as soon as I realize I've done that, I have Father's Day to dread. As soon as I got through Father's Day, there was today. THERE'S ALWAYS SOMETHING ELSE. It's frustrating as all hell. I try to ignore it, not dread things, not look ahead to certain dates, but my brain naturally does that--I'm a date girl. I can tell you the date of my first kiss, each time I moved (all 17 or so of them), the birthday of pretty much everyone I've ever known.....I'm good with dates. And since it comes naturally, I can't seem to turn it off. I seem to be stuck. And torn. Because part of me is glad that I'm through that six months of "firsts," and part of me wonders how there can already be six months gone.

Someone exceptionally brilliant (probably my brother as he is a computer genius, although I don't know for sure that it was him) managed to get my Dad's voicemail recording off his cell phone and email it to me where I saved it on my computer. It's only my Dad saying his name, but at least it's SOMETHING, right? I can hear his voice, which feels like some sort of reprieve. I can listen to it whenever I want. It's not the same as hearing him say, "Hello, Princess!"--the only way I ever remember hearing him answer the phone when I called, every single phone call to him of my life--but it's better than nothing. It's better than him just being gone.