Friday, January 29, 2010

All Hail The Queen....

...of Bad Decisions, that is.

Having spent most of the week in an accidental, doctor-induced version of La La Land, I was unable to get the grocery shopping done at the beginning of the week as is my normal routine. This left me only today to make the trek to the ever-exciting supermarket (Sutt in tow), for enough groceries to feed an army indefinitely (or, two small children for a week or less). This should not have been a problem. This WOULD not have been a problem.

Except for the motherfucking weather service.

In Tidewater, VA, snow is a bit of an anomaly. When the Universe and the Cosmos put their pretty little heads together and deem us worthy of the white stuff, we get a whole whopping inch if we are REALLY FREAKIN' LUCKY. This whopping inch will shut down roads, schools, businesses, etc. for days, of course, rendering the streets undriveable and the world at a standstill. However, there is rarely a reason to worry about all this confusion and chaos because, as I just pointed out, IT DOES NOT SNOW HERE. Hell, the weather service doesn't even PREDICT snow for this area most of the time, so there is even less reason to think about it.

This is not the case today.

Apparently, while I was lying inert contemplating how to formulate comprehensible sentences, the National Weather Service decided it would be a really great idea to issue a Winter Storm Watch for our area. Unbeknownst to me. Sometime within the last twelve hours (the first twelve during which I have been fully functional once again) this Watch was upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning. On the day that I need to go to the damn grocery store. Let the chaos begin.

First of all, I have no idea what people think they are going to DO with all that bread and milk they stockpile. Maybe it's just difficult for ME to understand, as I rarely eat bread and I don't drink milk. My version of batting down the hatches involves a trip to the ABC store and the library--who needs food when you've got a couple of bottles of Stoli and the new Amy Bloom? Alas, most people tend to think differently than me, so bread and milk it is. And they will FIGHT over that stuff, yo. Literally throw punches over a gallon of 2%. I kid you not.

Have you ever taken a four-year-old to the grocery store at 9am on a Friday before a shitload of snow is touted as a possibility? For those of you who can say "yes" to this, come on over. I will make you a nice drink and we can discuss our misfortune and how WE NEVER DID ANYTHING TO DESERVE THIS. Everybody else, suck it. Because you haven't lived until you've gone grocery shopping with a little kid. Not only did I have the squeakiest shopping cart ever created, but I also had a child (dressed in a Spider Man leisure suit, no less) shouting, "Hey! Can I have a cheeseburger? But NO PICKLES! It's TOO EARLY for pickles! Hey! I want that cereal with the big lion on it! Daddy gets it sometimes and HE WON'T SHARE! Hey! You know what I did with my straw in my juice box at school yesterday? I sticked it up my nose! hahahahaha! Hey! Mommy! Look at that man! He has GIRL hair! Hey! Why is them people so OLD?" You get the idea.

When we finally reached the checkout lines (all of which had a minimum of thirty-seven people in them, most of whom appeared to be very old men and/or butch lesbians) I had the amazing luck to end up behind a woman obsessed with her very small "Morkies" (half Maltese, half Yorkie) who spent the entire twenty-five minutes (yes, I timed it) that we were in line together explaining to me how she had to purchase pee pads because her babies wouldn't step outside in that snow AND how her vet had called and reminded her to be sure and put them in sweaters, as little dogs needed sweaters when it was below thirty-five degrees. Also, her dogs are only ten inches tall and the snow will be over their heads! Did I KNOW we were getting ten inches tonight??

(*Tangent: When I told my husband about this, he was highly disappointed that I didn't respond with: "Ma'am, this doesn't impress me, as I get ten inches EVERY night." Wink, wink, suggestive eyebrow wiggle. Gotta love those boys and their phallic obsessions.)

Anyway, there are several morals to this story. Being the good, sweet girl that I am, I shall now lay them out for you (in list form, of course). Please note that these are the HALEY morals, not the normal ones.
1. OCD is awesome, and should be left the hell alone.
2. Pickles for breakfast are not appealing to four-year-olds.
3. It is questionable whether it is more offensive to say "look at that man with girl hair" to a butch lesbian or a male with long tresses.
4. If you do not like apples, do not purchase Fuji Apple Pear SoBe water.
5. If you have a ten-inch penis, you should be a porn star, not an engineer.
6. I'm pretty sure "Morkie" is not a real word. Nor should it be. Nor is "Yaltese." "Mutt," however, IS a real word.
7. Kids are more observant than you think. If you buy Frosted Flakes and then hide them for yourself, they WILL notice.

I hope you all learned something from this.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Striking Realizations From The World

THINGS I NOTICED WHILE IN A NEAR COMATOSE STATE THAT I AM JUST NOW COMING OUT OF AFTER 12 HOURS, THE ORIGIN OF WHICH I REFUSE TO GIVE DETAILS IF I HAVE NOT ALREADY EXPLAINED IT TO YOU IN PERSON, JUST TRUST ME WHEN I SAY THAT DOCTORS DO NOT ALWAYS KNOW WHAT IN THE HELL THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT AND NEXT TIME ONE TRIES TO "FIX YOU", RUN SCREAMING IN THE OTHER DIRECTION AND INSTEAD FIND YOURSELF A GOOD LOCAL BAR AND JUST DRINK UNTIL YOU FEEL BETTER AS THAT SEEMS TO BE A MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE SOLUTION FOR NEARLY EVERY ILLNESS I HAVE EVER ENCOUNTERED

1. Did you know that soup cans come with a warning regarding how NOT to hurt yourself on the can? Yes, they do. Campbell's Selections or whatever the hell they are called--the noncondensed variety--have a line on the can (should you ever be unable to move yourself and nothing except a soup can is within your line of sight to read) telling you to beware of sharp edges. Additionally, bottles of canola oil have a disclaimer about how to distinguish an oil fire, should one arise while you are cooking with said canola oil. You must wonder how many fools got sliced or burned before these labels were placed upon the can, to save us all from ourselves.

2. Your car will not go without the keys in the ignition. If anybody wants to get smart with me and give me some kind of nonsense about start buttons or whatnot, go ahead (and then keep one eye open while you sleep, as I'm currently highly unstable and likely without a conscience). Otherwise, it's true. If your keys are in your lap, you will sit in the driveway for a very long time unless you put the key IN the ignition.

3. Proper enunciation while reading aloud is much easier if you can focus on NOTHING in the universe other than that ONE SINGLE WORD at a time, because that ONE SINGLE WORD at a time become vastly important when you are unaware of ANYTHING else in the world. Likely, if one is overmedicated, one is much more likely to lose focus and forget to continue reading aloud, but rather to practice saying that one word over and over--in different accents--until someone unsticks you (like a broken record).

4. Fire, while fascinating, really isn't all that funny. Even if you think it will be. Pretty, yes. Funny, no. Particularly indoors (and not in a fireplace).

5. The Thai version of Guns N Roses's iconic song "Sweet Child of Mine" is actually somewhat alarming to listen to, particularly if it embeds itself in one's psyche and leaves you unable to stop hearing it over and over in your head.

6. There is a big damned difference between "tired," "lethargic," and "completely unable to move and pretty much a fucking zombie." One must be very, very clear when one explains that to people within the medical community.

7. Threats of bodily harm lose much of their effectiveness when one loses one's focus mid-threat and can't exactly remember what they were threatening or why they were threatening it. Which leads me to this bit of advice-- if you carry a taser, you don't have to threaten. You just tase first, speak later. It's a win/win.

Off to seek out serious amounts of caffeine, and perhaps, some uppers (preferably sold on a darkened street corner in Portsmouth, as those are probably the best--and cheapest--kind). Bon nuit.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Blunt Force

Yesterday, I met a lovely South American woman named Viviana. She dresses in bold colors, lots of jewelry, and has a heavy accent. Viviana is a mother, a grandmother, a doctor of medicine, and a kindred spirit. She is also perhaps one of the happiest, most easily excitable people I have ever met--the kind of person who bounces in her seat and talks animatedly with her hands when something pleases her, which seems to happen often. Normally, I would find this vastly annoying, at which point I would tell her that she was getting on my nerves and I would immediately proceed to the nearest exit from wherever Viviana happened to be.

Not this time. Viviana is lovely and charming. I adore her. Within about three minutes of meeting her I broke 3 rules: 1) I let her hug me; 2) I gave her personal information; and 3) I let her tell me straight up and in no uncertain terms that I am ridiculously stupid (yes, stupid, not awesome). That's right--Viviana said, near verbatim, "You are a stupid woman, to be so bright and educated. You need to find someone to care for your children and go out to work in the world." Viviana has a damn fine point. I am a stupid woman to be so bright and educated, I need to find someone to care for my children, and I need to be out changing the world. This girl has an awful lot of awesome in her to spend it doing laundry all day.

At this point, you may well be wondering if I have lost my mind. I would say that the chances of this are likely about fifty/fifty at this point, leaning towards the "lost" side, rather than the "nope, she's still sane and intact" side. I've known for years that I wasn't cut out for this stay-at-home Mommy nonsense, but that didn't stop me from landing waist-deep in offspring and going nowhere fast. The guilt, the responsibility, the circumstances--there are many reasons why I am as I am. But now begs the question, what on earth am I to do about it? Who shall I be? What shall I do?

Two roads diverged, yo. It's time to make a choice.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Take Another Little Piece

It was recently pointed out to me that I am emotionally detached. Ironically, this observation came from a person to whom I truly have no attachment: my grief counselor. She spoke of how often I can speak of things that I love or hate with no apparent feeling at all. Things that I say make me happy or sad, angry or frustrated are able to be voiced in monotone, without crying spells or washes of tears.

Well, of course they can. I don't actually HAVE feelings. Everybody knows that.

There is the old saying that it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Bullshit. I've loved and lost a lot. It blows. I've had so much heartbreak over the years that I could supply the entire country music industry with enough material to last them a lifetimes. Births, deaths, marriages, divorces, losing your old hound dog and getting your heart stomped by the unworthy--check. I've had people come into my life who, in my opinion, only swooped in long enough to obliterate my emotions. I've had people who have spent years toying with them, just to see how far they could go, pushing ahead then pulling back (Bellamy is one of these people--I think she's waiting until her teenage years for the ultimate upheaval, but I still have a few more years to worry about that). Hell, there's one person in my life whom I'm nearly certain only exists to make my heart ache, yet I'm still unable to boot them out for good to save my own sanity. A glutton for punishment, this old heart of mine.

Or, at least it WOULD be if I had those feelings I mentioned earlier.

You see, it's easier to just love nothing. More often than not, I only say "I love you" to the people whom I actually DON'T love. (Yep, I'm tricky.) The ones I do, I just don't tell, because that way you're less likely to be taken advantage of and hurt. Obviously, my kids and B don't count, but lots of others do. Love is a mirage. I love cake frosting and snow and my purple handbag. Love is summer days and mail that isn't junk or bills. Feelings are something far more complicated, and something I choose not to embrace.

So, yes. I am detached. Maybe for now, maybe forever. Because it sure makes my life a hell of a lot easier. Better to have loved and not felt it, then to have loved and had your heart broken yet again.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Today has been an interesting day.

First of all, I snapped awake this morning in a panic, thinking there was something big I should remember that I had going on today. Not so much. More that I have a friend who had something big going on today, and I suspect that was on the forefront of my mind. Second of all, I dressed and stepped outside, only to discover that it was FREEZING and I was not dressed appropriately. Oh, and that I had locked my keys in the house (we have a spare, but it is NOT easy to come by). After dropping Belly at school I realized that I had forgotten Sutt's bookbag, which lead to high emotional drama on his part (he inherited my OCD, which includes an extreme distaste for forgetting things) leading to the creation of an Imaginary Bookbag. This was followed by an excessively un-fun doctor's appointment, the discovery of a Corvette in a cow pasture, a discussion of babydolls and ghetto retirement homes with my mother (again, don't ask), and a horribly distraught 6-year-old who spent the entire afternoon in tears over the words of some punk-ass first graders.

I am, honestly, a generally eloquent, intelligent, steadfast woman. I back down from nothing (except snakes--even the little ones) and am perfectly capable of taking care of myself. I'm just having a difficult day. Somewhere, someone (possibly someone I know) is having the best day of his or her life. Happiness, good fortune, and wonder abound. For this, I am happy, but I wish the universe would spread the love a little. Seriously.

Maybe February will be my month.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Irksome Is A Nice Word

I'm feeling kind of itchy in my own skin tonight, so I have decided to compile a little list of things that frequently make me feel this way (aka: uncomfortable and out of sorts).

A LIST OF THINGS THAT, WHEN CONSIDERED EVEN BRIEFLY, MAKE MY SCALP AND UPPER ARMS ITCHY AND COULD POTENTIALLY CAUSE ME TO BREAK OUT IN HIVES IF I DID NOT USUALLY CHOOSE TO DISTRACT MYSELF PROMPTLY, THUS AVERTING DISASTER AND DELIVERING MY BODY TO SAFETY, FREQUENTLY IN THE FORM OF DRUNKENNESS

1. All things viewed beneath a microscope~ Cells are gross. Microbes, amoebas, and all things scientific and otherwise are gross when viewed at ten million times their normal size. I do not want to see what my bodily fluids look like up close and personal, thank you very much, which is why I have a B.A. instead of a B.S. So keep your creepy little magnified amoebas to yourself.

2. Jealousy~ I am not a jealous girl. I do not care if strange women rub up on my husband, or if he spends time with his exes. It does not bother me, because my awesomeness is clearly unsurpassed. That said, there are some situations that can, if handled properly, instill jealousy within me, and I cannot think of anything I hate more. Jealousy is weakness, and I am not weak.

3. Stickers~ We have covered this. I hate stickers. They creep me out. I have the literally fight the urge to vomit when removing them from produce, children, bathroom floors, etc. There does not seem to be a good reason, nor any rational explanation. I just hate stickers.

4. High blood sugar~ This is one that I get, but many of you won't (except Angela). Here lately my blood sugar has been a total freaking nightmare, and I honestly don't know why (although, for the record, I DID just eat a tiny slice of chocolate-peanut butter pie, but that's beside the point). When my blood sugar is high, not only am I irritable and bitchy, but I just feel horrible, like my insides don't fit right into my body. It's not a fun gig, this whole diabetes thing. Frankly, I'm kind of over it.

5. Weird kid crud~ Kids tend to get random nastiness upon them pretty much every single day. Rashes, snot, feces, etc....the list is endless and each item is more disgusting than the last. Normally, I can handle everything pretty well, but you give me a glimpse of a creepy kid rash and I'm a goner. I absolutely have no tolerance for anything that might even potentially be ringworm or anything fungal. I'm itching just thinking about it. There's nothing worse than some scaly kid rash.

6. Jon Gosselin~ Okay, so he doesn't really fit in with the rest of the list, but he does, indeed, make me feel terribly unpleasant. I would just like to say to the world at large: I do not care who Jon Gosselin dates. I do not care what he wears, what party he hosts, how much he paid for his penthouse, or what he had for breakfast. He is a chubby fame-whore who has yet to say one semi-intelligent word to the press. Plus, he's Asian, and as many of you know, I am not a fan of the Asian people in general. Suck it, Jon Gosselin.

7. Uncontrollable situations~ I am learning as time passes that sometimes things happen that I have absolutely no control over whatsoever. I can't stop them, I can't fix them, I can't change them. Hell, sometimes they don't even have anything to do with me, but somehow my emotions get tangled up in them anyway. Those are the worse, because you aren't even validated to feel as awful as you do. You can't talk to anyone about it, because then they will think you are nuts for being emotionally invested in something that doesn't even concern you (for the record, B is totally used to this happening with me, which is, to some degree, a relief). Bottom line, sometimes it's easy to take something personal that isn't intended for you at all.

My irksomeness and I have decided to retire for the evening, to try to reconcile with one another, and hope for the best. Wish me luck in shaking this cloak of weirdness.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Throwback

Everyone on FB seems to be posting their Throwback Photo-- visions of bad fashion, spiral perms, and braces on their teeth. You will notice that I have not posted a Throwback Photo, partially because I choose not to follow the crowd, and partially because I hate to shame you all with just how awesome I was, even in my younger years. (However, should you want to see my OWN spiral perms, bad fashion and braces on my teeth, you are welcome to peruse my photos, as there are several.) Despite marching to a different beat, I am marching nonetheless, which means you get a Throwback List:

REALLY BAD DECISIONS FROM HALEY'S YOUNGER YEARS, LIMITED TO ONLY THOSE YEARS DURING WHICH HALEY WAS UNDERAGE, MEANING AGES 5-17, NOT BECAUSE I WAS NOT UNDERAGE AT AGES 1-5 BECAUSE I WAS, BUT ONLY BECAUSE I ONLY HAVE A COUPLE OF MEMORIES FROM THOSE YEARS AND THEY DO NOT SEEM TO BE MEMORIES OF MYSELF MAKING PARTICULARLY HEINOUS DECISIONS, OF WHICH I HAVE BOUNDLESS FODDER FOR SUCH LIST POST-AGE 5

1. I kissed a girl and I liked it~ I may have touched on this before, but my first "boyfriend" in kindergarten was actually a girl. In my defense, she had really short hair, thick Coke bottle glasses, and a 5-year-old swagger that resembled something out of a bad John Wayne movie. It was not until I had announced to the world at large (aka: both kindergarten classes) that "that boy over there is my boyfriend" that I was informed that that boy was actually a girl named Pam. Oops. The relationship didn't last.

2. I see London, I see France~ Still testing the limits of kindergarten, I was once nearly kicked out of school for consistently exposing my underwear to my classmates. It only happened on one day, but it was a LOT that day. My mother (in a flash of poor decision making) had allowed me to wear my dance class red satin poodle skirt to school, and beneath it I had on a pair of bright red, ruffled panties that I thought were THE BOMB (they were, of course). Such devotion to one's panties can only lead to trouble, as well as the incessant urge to show other people just how awesome your underwear really are, which is exactly what I did. It did not go over well with my poor British teacher, or her strict Baptist assistant. (Side note: To this day, I think they could have just been jealous of my cool panties.)

3. Papa Don't Preach~ In the 3rd or 4th grade, my mother once again ventured into the world of poor decision making, deciding that sure, it was a GREAT idea to let me go to school dressed as Madonna. I wore no skirt, just a big-ass slip from my clogging days, a bright pink sweatshirt with the neck cut out (a la Flashdance--how that was related to Madonna, I'm still unsure) lots of jingly, tacky bracelets and necklaces, and my permed hair in a side ponytail with an ENORMOUS bow tied around it. My awesomeness was unsurpassed. My Mother should really have been turned into child protective services for that, and frankly, she'd better be glad there's a statute of limitations for things like that or her ass would be in trouble. Seriously.

4. In-vested~ Has anybody seen the photograph from the 7th grade Homecoming Dance on my FB page? The first dance of the school year, with my first junior high school boyfriend (Michael, are you reading this?)--I could not wait. Mom and I went to the mall one night to shop for an outfit, something casual, yet dressy. I suppose the 7th grade version of Business Casual, circa 1990. We found the perfect ensemble at Belk: gray pleated pants with blue striped cuffs, a blue shirt, and a floral brocade vest that incorporated both the gray and the blue, but added a lovely pop of maroons and peach. All I can say is, how can you go wrong flaunting your sex appeal with a brocade vest? You can't, I say.

5. Let's explore the string of bad romantic choices I made in high school. After finally ditching my junior high boyfriend, who had the IQ of a string bean and refused to get his hair cut in any way that did not involve shaving either a V or a lightning bolt into the back, I roared into high school ripe for romance. After developing a mad crush on a boy I met nearly the moment school started, who then promptly broke my heart by starting a long term relationship with a friend of mine, I plowed through a string of seniors (predominantly the baseball team), none of whom impressed me or were very good kissers. I then moved on to part of the football team (too dumb), interspersed with a handful of boys from the opposing high school (too dull), and a couple of guys from a school in Chattanooga (by far the least intelligent men I have ever met--didn't stop me from a lot of making out), which took up most of the rest of my sophomore year. Tiring of this flurry of silly boys, as a junior I decided it was time to find a boyfriend. Who did I choose? Brad. To this day, I have no idea what on earth possessed me to date this boy. There was nothing particularly wrong with Brad, other than his family, but he was not quite what I was looking for. However, time passed and he was fine, if a bit on the tame side. Thank God I didn't marry him.

6. Why I now need therapy~ Mom, I know you're reading this. And you need to know something. You fucked me up, at least in regard to my hair. Remember how you would always hassle me about wearing my hair down, how you liked it off my face? You gave me a complex, Mom. You damaged me to the point that my hair was never all the way down until I moved away from home and out of the clutches of your hair manipulation. You know why I always wear it down now? It's out of defiance for the many years of your Hair Nazi-ism. Yes, it is.

Wow, it felt good to get that off my chest.

7. Just getting warmed up~ My senior year in high school, some genius (whose name I will not name) made the incredibly intelligent decision to purchase WHITE warm-up suits for the cheerleading squad. We would wear them to school or over our uniforms when it was cold, we would wear them to various functions we had to attend, etc, etc. I'd like to mention again that THEY WERE WHITE. Why in the hell would anybody put a bunch of weight-conscious, 17-year-old girls who were ALWAYS starting their periods unexpectedly in WHITE warm-up suits? WHY? It makes no fucking sense. Not only did those things make us look fat AND showcase every drop of unanticipated menstruation, but they also got dirty within seconds of being worn. We were cheerleaders, for God's sakes. We were on the ground a lot (side note: some of us were on the ground more than others, particularly a few who spent an inordinate amount of time of their backs), so the white faded to a nice mocha or latte rather quickly. NOT good decision making, girls. Not good decision making at all.

While there is enough Throwback in my life to write an entire novel, I shall end with seven. I hope that you have all learned something from this. At least that way, I will not have suffered (in my floral vest) in vain.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

We All Fall Down

Of my readers, some of you have known me long and well, others lesser and for a much shorter period of time. This leads me to share a statement of truth, for anyone who is confused, unaware, or completely oblivious to everything around them and thus likely not functional in society or, at least, shouldn't be allowed out without a chaperon.

I am a love skeptic. I am an even greater marriage skeptic.

"What?" you say. "A love/marriage skeptic who has been married twice?" Yep. Never said I was a skeptic who made good, well-thought-out decisions, just that I was a skeptic.

There are many beliefs that come along with being leery of love. I don't believe there is one person out there for everyone, but yet many people whom we may or may not meet whom we may or may not choose to mold our lives around. I do not believe in love at first sight, although I do believe we can recognize souls we have loved in other lives and remember the feelings that we hosted for them in the past. I do not believe marriage should be work, because I do not believe you should have to work for love, but that it is something that should come, and operate, naturally and smoothly. On the flip side, I do not believe in happily ever after, as life encompasses far too much for a future made of fairy tales. Love doesn't equal marriage in my head, and marriage certainly does not equal love. Love is a choice. Marriage is a choice. They are not mutually exclusive.

A disclaimer: I am not angry, nor am I unhappy in my marriage. I love my husband, he is wonderful. We are yin and yang, night and day, but complement one another all the same. That said, I think marriage is a crock. The more I think about it, the more ridiculous it becomes, this tax break, this legal binding of two beings. Promising for better or for worse is bullshit-- making a promise like that is blind and and it's stupid. If B becomes an transvestite hooker someday, that's for worse, and you can sure as hell bet that I'm not sticking around. Should I be in an accident and become a veritable vegetable (and my family wasn't smart enough to pull the damn plug) I would expect nothing less than for B to find himself a someone new who was there, supportive, and real. Hell, I'd be railing at him from the Otherworld if he didn't.

We have these roles, these expectations, these hopes. There is pressure, from ourselves, society, our families--the normal is to chase, to claim, to breed. So often we want to "catch" someone, and then once we have them, we wonder what on earth the chase was all about. We make the best of it. We persevere, or at least try to, until we realize that we should have left a long damn time ago. We become muddled. We become lost. I have been there. I should know.

I am grateful that I am bound to a good man, one whom I do actually love, from an endless sea of those I did not. However, I still feel bitter sometimes that the law dictates my relationship, that God "blessed" our union, despite my never having felt his presence in our bond. I don't enjoy being told what to do, who to love, how to live. I think it is unnecessary and inhumane. For now I am lucky, but for eternity, I will love whom I love, and make promises only unto myself.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Woman Overboard

In my 32 1/2 years of meandering through this world, sharing my awesomeness, I have learned many lessons. Don't marry someone who proposes to you during COPS. Don't call someone bigger and drunker than you are a whore. Don't throw away your clothes in a mad frenzy while you're pregnant because they will, someday, fit again. Or at least, they would have fit, if you hadn't donated them all to Goodwill, and so now you're left without that fabulous little black Audrey Hepburn dress that you used to look smokin' hot in while wearing. You get the idea.

One idea that I never really seemed to latch onto that well is that idea that I cannot be in control all the time. That has manifested itself occasionally in the past (like when my uterus decided to implant that fertilized egg against my will), but I always seem to forget it, conveniently, and continue to hold onto any semblance of control with a death grip. I hate riding in the car while (most) other people drive, despite the fact that I'm a terrible, nearly incompetent driver. I hate letting the kids pick out their own clothes, even though I know it will save me a huge headache and regardless of who chooses the clothes, Belly is going to come through in sparkle tights and a tiara anyway. I hate when someone else puts food on my plate because I have a specific order I like to follow when I arrange food (meat and starches opposite one another on the plate, vegetables in between and opposite other vegetables) and it freaks me out if it's not in that specific order.

I am a girl in control. I control my diabetes. I control my weight. I control my cravings, free time, Passion Tea addiction, and schedule. I'm a Type A, full-on, pain in the ass.

But now. Now that I'm two days shy of the One Year Anniversary, it's starting to sink in that maybe I can't control everything. Losing Dad was a total loss of control. My life this past year has been an exercise in having very little control--of my appetite (mostly none), of my sleep (very little), and of my emotions (which tend to be completely unpredictable). Suddenly, "me" isn't always me anymore, and I haven't yet figured out how to cope with that.

Everyone says that some good comes out of everything bad. I keep looking around for the good, but so far, I've been too blinded by grief to find it. I'm starting to hope that maybe this whole control thing will end up being some of it. Maybe I'll learn that it's okay to let whatever happen, happen, because that's the way the world works. It's going to anyway. I can't control everything. Let's just hope I can accept that.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Coldest Day of the Year

It's bitterly cold in Virginia today, the first Sunday of the new year, below freezing with great blustering winds. (I like that word, "blustering.") Just walking to the car is misery, there's no chance in hell that the kids will be outside today on bikes or scooters, which means it's going to make for a long day for Mommy, Daddy, and YaYa unless we figure out a way to burn some energy off of the minions.

I remember well the first Sunday of the new year last year, another incredibly, painfully, blisteringly cold day. Late in the afternoon, we had taken the kids and gone to the grocery store to restock from having been in TN for the holidays. I remember fighting the crowds, and B taking the kids to the car while I waited in the checkout line. I remember pushing the cart full of bags through the parking lot, and swearing under my breath at the wind. I remember reaching the car to find B answering his phone (I hadn't heard mine ringing and had missed the call), watching his face crumple as he spoke to my brother, the stab of panic I felt, and then the total confusion as Bellamy turned away from us into the darkness and vomited in the parking lot (thankfully unrelated--the kid has a curry allergy and had unknowingly ingested curry earlier in the day via a fancy grilled cheese sandwich at a brunch with her Suffolk grandparents). I remember talking to my Dad and asking him to wait for me. This was the beginning of the end.

Obviously, this isn't a happy blog. But part of the purpose of this blog is to say what I'm thinking, and today, this is what I'm thinking--that I know exactly what I was doing a year ago today, and it wasn't fun. Damn you, memory.

My New Year is going to start on Thursday, after I've crossed the finish line of the First Year Without Dad. I don't know if I'm going to feel better or worse on that day, but I'm rallying for better. Dad would want me to feel better, no question about that, but Dad knows that I didn't always listen to him (even when I should have). He's probably somewhere shaking his head at me now, wondering when in the hell I'm going to quit being so damn stubborn.

Sometimes I wonder the same thing, Dad.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

32 1/2 Down


Normally I write a blog at the end of every year telling my favorite things of the past twelve months. Afterward. as best I can tell, there happens a massive shortage of said items as my extensive group of readers all rush out into the frigid January air to locate their own so that they can be just like me. It's to be expected, because I am rather fabulous and I have unparalleled taste in everything. However, my dears, I fear this year you shall be disappointed as I am not making my list. It would be far too short, and I'd rather just move forward.

Instead, the premier blog of 2010 is going to focus on my recent trip to our lovely nation's capital, Washington, DC, and the new and exciting things I encountered while there. Of course, said adventures shall come in the form of a new list, as there is no better way to start the year (except for maybe writhing beneath Johnny Depp's naked--yet hopefully showered, as he always looks rather unclean--body).

A MIND-BOGGLING AND OCCASIONALLY DOWNRIGHT FUCKED UP LIST OF THINGS THAT I WAS PRIVY TO WHILE VISITING OUR NATION'S GREAT AND ABSOLUTELY, MIND NUMBINGLY COLD CAPITAL AS THIS USELESS BASTARD OF A YEAR, 2009, CRAWLED ITS WAY OUT OF OUR LIVES AND THIS NEW YEAR, 2010, OF WHICH MY FEELINGS ARE STILL VERY UNDECIDED, CAME WHISKING IN VIA ICE, RAIN, AND THE PREREQUISITE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE

1. My First Black Penis~ I have seen the paraphernalia of black men in movies (don't ask what kind, because if you have to ask, you really don't deserve an answer), photographs, and random Internet searches for things so unrelated I'm still working through how they were included in the list. However, somehow I've managed to live all this time without every experiencing a black package in real life. No more, my friends. I have now seen a black warrior, up close and personal, and on New Jersey Avenue. It was flaccid, and it was urinating into a pile of filthy, melting snow, as its owner stood giving directions to a young lady in a Ford Explorer. I figured if he was comfortable enough to whip it out on the streets of DC, then he would take no issue with me taking a good look, so I made sure to give it ample visual study. (And for those of you who are wondering, if this dude was any indication, yes, what they say about black guys is alarmingly accurate.) I immediately mentally added "see black penis in real life" to my LIST OF THINGS TO DO BEFORE I DIE, then checked it off. I'm a girl who likes to accomplish her goals.

2. Sitting Pretty~ Late one evening, as I was patiently awaiting the Metro (red line, I think, in case you are wondering) and trying not to touch anything as I'm fairly sure my immunities are not mature enough to brave the various bacteria that can be found in the metro station, I noticed in my peripheral vision that a very tall woman walked up next to me. She was black, she had long, curly hair, she was dressed somewhat like an extra from Flashdance (leg warmers, off the shoulder sweatshirt, Juicy Couture sweatpants), and she was wearing a tremendous amount of makeup, particularly a healthy dose of hot pink lipstick. She was regal. She was proud. Oh, and she was a man. (Mental addition to list "ride the metro with a transsexual," mental check. Clearly, I was on a roll.)

3. The Pleasure Palace~ In my previous jaunts to DC, I have had little experience with Georgetown. This time, finding some time to kill, I ended up in Georgetown. Let me just say, for the record, that I FUCKING HATE GEORGETOWN. Dear Jesus, it's like this creepy little Stepford Pod of women who clearly spend too much time with their credit cards and flatirons, and men whom walk that line between gay and metrosexual so steadily that there is really no way to tell which way they will tumble. Everyone carried shopping bags from Anthropologie. Everyone looked vaguely bored. All the dogs were on designer leashes and wore hand-knitted sweaters, most likely created by poor little Indian kids in sweatshops on the other side of the world. It was like a special version of hell created just for me. However, I did find that Georgetown had one entertaining, thus redeeming, attribute: The Pleasure Palace. The Pleasure Palace is a sex shop tucked away in one of the perfect little brick buildings right in the middle of Georgetown. The mannequins in the window are wearing crotchless panties and pasties. There is a room in the back that specializes just in S&M. Some of the sex toys are so terrifying in appearance that I had no idea for what they would be used, and had to read the back to figure it out. One can buy artificial, lifelike lady bits there for their own personal pleasure in not just white and black, but also Hispanic. What made this all so fabulous? (Besides the United Nations of silicone vaginas, of course.) The fact that it was almost directly across the street from a bevvy of overpriced designer stores, and the only patrons I saw while I was there looked like very cheap, and potentially meth-addicted, hookers. Awesome.

4. Anytime Karaoke~ Some of you know of my fondness for REO Speedwagon (along with Cheap Trick and Foreigner). When one (specifically me) hears REO Speedwagon comes on the radio--or, in this case, the overhead muzak at the Georgetown mall--it should be sung along to, and loudly. It doesn't matter who is nearby, or who you might embarrass. You just gotta sing. So that's what I do, and that's what I did. As the New Year's Eve crowds meandered through the 3-level, holiday decorated mall, hurrying into Express Men for their argyle sweater vests and into Victoria's Secret for their "getting lucky tonight" lingerie, I belted out "Can't Fight This Feeling" by REO Speedwagon in loud, full-on Haley. At one point, I suspected I might be arrested. I'm pretty sure I might not have been allowed into Pottery Barn. But as I said before, when REO Speedwagon comes on, you just have to sing.

5. Step Back, Asian~ Just as I love REO Speedwagon, I do NOT love Asians. Asian people drive me up-the-wall, fucking nuts. They are just so damn happy all the time. I mean, seriously, what other group of people giggles nonstop? I'm fairly sure that it's the Japanese that I despise the most, but being a good southern girl who isn't even remotely concerned with her political correctness, I will just say that Asians in general piss me off. They are short, they are obsessed with Hello Kitty, and they are always smiling. It's creepy and unnecessary. Additionally, you can't walk half a block in DC without bumping into one of them, wearing a backpack, carrying Louis Vuitton, and giggling. I have been known in the past to assault Asians in DC, and it very well nearly happened again, as the sheer number of them alone sent me into a blind rage. I'm pretty sure that if I ever go to prison for (non-premeditated) murder, it will be because my blood sugar was high and some Asian got in my way.

I realize that this list only contains five items, rather than my usual seven, eleven, or thirteen, but frankly, I'm too worked up regarding the Asians to continue on at the moment. (This is just a lame excuse, as I really have a headache.) I still have things to say about Madame's Organ in Adams Morgan, not finding a cab during a soaking wet, freezing cold hike on New Year's Eve where I licked things for half a mile, watching B get propositioned by a cross-eyed Asian chick on the bus, and trying my best to coax my new friend, Nathalie, into sleeping with B so that she was in the loop (of the group of us hanging out at the Pub, she was the only one who had NOT had sex with my husband). Alas, another story for another day.

Happy New Year, Everybody.