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!"


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."


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.