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Friday, March 11, 2011

The Man and the Fan

Things I like about a man . . .
When he gets caught up in his own stuff. When he's motivated to do the stuff he has to do and no one has to remind him. When he decides he has to change the ceiling fans, so we have to go shopping for them and I find myself staring at the ceiling at Lowe's without a single opinion in my head about fans. Just staring up and nodding and saying mm-hmm, I like that one, too.  Very modern in a traditional sort of way.  Then I hold the ladder and I know he's not going to drop a tool on my head like he did that first time I held a ladder for him. (A hammer.) I like his horribly baggy pants that fall while he stands on the top and is holding a screw driver in his mouth and the fan in one hand and he's trying to tell me something important like "whore is" or "hold this" and I'm so caught up in the way his laugh lines show when he purses his lips that I'm completely oblivious to the fact that he needs something - that he needs me to be a wife and partner and reliable and helpful. And I don't even apologize to him. I just keep it all inside and smile and watch him when he's not looking because it's important to me that I love him more than I let him see . . .

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Life Tip - Don't Apologize So Much

Sounds funny, I know.  Because I am a believer, and a statement like that doesn't sound very Christian, now does it? But I say it because like I believe it's an important life tenet.  And because I have to remind myself so often not to feel so bad about just about every thought, idea, and reaction I have. All day.  Every day.

They're not evil thoughts.  Not death wishes.  Just the normal everyday judgments and opinions that any normal woman has but doesn't admit to thinking.  I wouldn't wear that - EVER.  I'm sure you think you're right, idiot. I'm smiling and nodding because it's more pc than beating and choking.  Just the regular stuff.  But two seconds after thinking it, I feel bad.  And then I think about how I may not be the best mom in the world - or the best wife, if I don't have sugar goodness and June Cleaver tendencies.

But I'm not that person.  I'm me.  And I was born to be a wife and mom. And I'm okay with the mistakes I make. I'm okay with asking for forgiveness every night. I'm okay with being who I am and knowing that everyone has a right to be who they are.  Thinking this way makes me feel better about being part of the fabric of humanity. We're all apologizing, even though we're all the same.

I Have a Corndog in the Freezer, But Thank You

It was just a good line that my friend fired off today.  I snatched it up and told her I was snatching it up. Now it's mine, and I have to decide what to do with it. Is it an opening line? Is it a response to a misheard line? Is it a turn down to some poor fool?

I haven't been great at collecting my great lines.  I don't hear them all the time. That's the good thing. Just like I don't write all the time.  But I still should save them.  They're nuggets that make me think of my creative writing teacher at UofH. She kept her great lines and thoughts on stickies all over her apartment. We got to see it, too. She had us all come over at the end of the semester for a potluck. There I got to peek into her windows - got to see how a real writer lives. It was glorious.  I've never forgotten it.  And I've tried it once or twice - but I have a thing about stickies. You know the bottom part that flaps up and curls a little?  I can't have that - it bugs me. So, I like index cards better.  Not lined, though. That makes the whole thing seem like a cram session.  How picky can I be? As picky as it takes to keep me from writing . . . .

Too bad for me that I know that index cards come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and colors now - thanks to scrapbooking.

Do I dare set up a writing nook? Do I dare tell Brock and get his complete support and enthusiasm and tell him I want a writing nook because I'm going to get published?
Do I dare quit dancing around this thing and kiss it on the mouth?
Do I?

The Things I Think About We Go Out to Dinner

How long is it going to take to get seated?  Brock won't like waiting at the entrance with other people so close by. I hope no one coughs near him.

I have to pee, but I can't go now because Emma will want to go, even though she doesn't need to and then I'll end up having to go to the restroom twice because she'll need to go later. I'll hold it.  Oh please don't sit us at a table in the middle - not in the middle.  Put us in a corner because Ava is in a mood and Brock doesn't like middles of the room. This is perfect.

Need snacks, need sippy cup, need a pen and paper for when Ava is done with snacks and sippy cup.  Menu? Where are we?  Seafood? Fine.  Emma wants to sit near me, but she's already sitting down and if we let her get up now, she's going to think she can get up all the time. Hmm?  I'm getting them fish. They can split a child's plate. Emma loves fish, but once they bring the bread and cinnamon rolls out, that's all she's going to eat.  Ava is writing on my arm and staring at the people to my left. They think she's cute now, but wait till they see how long she can stare. She's 1, but she is an expert at sizing people up.  She's judgmental, too - little a little old gay man. She has a right is how she seems to feel. She's 1.

Hmm? I'm having the fish and chips or the stuffed crab. I don't feel like eating seafood.  Why are we here? Oh. I suggested it? That makes sense.  Emma is stuffing her mouth with bread. We keep telling her she's going to choke if she doesn't stop that.  Boy, I hope this restaurant doesn't collapse. We're on the second level. Wasn't there a story about a wedding in Israel a few years back where the building collapsed?  There sure are a lot of people in here. That man keeps looking at me.  Are my boobs showing?  Negative. Hmm. Still staring. Ava, take your finger out of your nose, please.  Calamari. Yum. My. Fave. Can't put my plate too close to Ava. She's like a wild monkey - she'll pick it up and hurl it somewhere. Dude's still staring. Hmm.  Wife's right next to him. Older. Red hair. She doesn't notice. Oh well.  Hmm?  I didn't hear what you said, Babe. Never mind, you say.  Alright. Can I have your tomato for Ava?  Ava sure can eat lots of tomato. Jeez. She eats them like they're grapes. Emma spied a mosquito.  Mosquito, Momma! Look out!  It's cold in here.  I wish I was at home eating a bowl of Raisin Bran Crunch. Why did I order ranch?

Emma wants to sit next to me.  Food's here. Oh good. Ava's choking on an animal cracker. Drink some tea, baby.  No, not ALL the tea.  All better.  Jeez that sucks. I need more tea. Now the mix isn't going to be the same.  I ordered stuffed crab? Okay.  Yuck. That sucks. The crab tastes like fish. If I wanted fish, I would order fish. Oh well, everyone's eating and they seem happy. Ava is writing on my hand. I wonder how we would get out of here if the building collapsed.

It's freezing in here.  I need to write this all down. My mind needs a secretary - someone to organize it and keep it on track.

Deep Breath

Deep breaths mean more as you get older, don't they?  Just a minute ago, I took a deep, thoughtful breath as I considered the state of the country since the Tuscon shootings and then the 2012 elections.  I read Sarah Palin's note regarding the "blood libel" and felt proud that she was able to succinctly call a spade a spade and remind us that it's not in the midst of a tragedy that we should throw political stones.  The killer, like so many other killers, was one thing above all else - crazy.  But my deep breath had more to do with the upcoming choices I will have to make as a voter.  I know the man in office was never fit to run our country. I know that just as sure as I know the sky is blue.  But his ineptitude brings up a question that I hate asking and will hate answering even more. Who's going to run?  Will I be forced to vote for anyone but him, or will someone who has the experience, faith and reverence for the job step in to re-inspire America?

I appreciate the work and ideas and energy that the more youthful Americans bring to the world, but you know what? There's no substitute for living longer and knowing more. No substitute for having been there and done that. Diversity is a wonderful thing, and I celebrate it, but I'm a tribal girl at my core; respect for my elders is a basic tenet in the society that lives in my own head. Quite simply, they've had more time in this world than I have,  and I'd prefer my plane to be flown by the pilot with more flight hours as opposed to the one who has seen a lot of planes on the Internet.

My father in law speaks in deep breaths.  When something troubles him and he's asked about it, sometimes all we get is a deep breath and a steady exhalation. My mother does the same thing, especially when there is tension between her kids.  Her deep breaths and sighs have always spoken volumes to me, but it's only now that I'm a parent that I understand the emotion behind the breathing.
When I was young and single, a deep breath was what followed up a round of raucous laughter or a frantic transfer of gossip from my mouth to my cousin Jenn's eager ears. I tried yoga several times, but I got nothing out of the deep, cleansing breaths that are so integral to the practice.  Cleansing breath? I would ask myself.  What the hell is that? I still feel the same as I did before. Where are we going tonight?

Ah, and then the anxiety set in in my late twenties.  Breathing takes on a whole new meaning when you have a tendency to let your nerves play Centipede with your calm. I learned breathing techniques that were downright mathematical in their approach. Helpful? Yes, they were. (

Buy now?  Now, I'm a woman.  You know, like all of you other real women. We're June Cleaver and Martha Stewart and Jillian Anderson and Pink all at the same time. And we've brought little people into the world to watch us juggle these personalities and hopefully take the best from our frantic efforts to be everything to everyone all the time. And I find myself sometimes not having the answers to the questions I get.  Sometimes all I have to offer anyone is a deep breath and the warmed, pensive air that leaves my body as I mull an idea.

What is lightning, Momma?
Why can't I wear lip gloss every day, Momma?
What's for dinner, babe?
Have you sent those thank you notes, Michelle?
When would you like to schedule that appointment, Mrs. Wilson?

All day, every day. Ceaseless. Inconsiderate of my mood or my schedule. And then I have to think, how many questions has my father-in-law answered? My mother? My grandmother with her nine children and nearly 30 grandchildren? How many deep breaths are we talking here? How many fevers and broken bones and near misses and loud days and quiet moments were there? How many times did she feel misunderstood and unappreciated when she was the head of the house - the glue keeping us all together?

I nominate my grandmother for President.  Because even at 74, she's still taking deep breaths and worrying for us - reaching out to us and knowing we'll find our way.

the frustrated mom

because they don't understand.

because there really is a tangible disconnect between the parents and the non-parents.

because what happens to them doesn't translate as well when it happens to a child.

because they don't know what a lack of sleep or a worried mind can really mean.

because your soul is dedicated to something different than theirs, but you're too smart to tell them that. (because you're a parent.)

because you can't jump up and down and scream "She fell on her head, you idiots! Don't you get it? Don't you care?"

because they are made in such a way and underdeveloped in such a way that no, they really don't care.

because so many of them worry that no one gets them, that they are being disrespected, that they are not treated as equal.

because they all forget we conceived them, we birthed them, we raised them and loved them, and they never need validation to know that they are enough, just the way they are.

even though they'll never get it until they get it.


**Disclaimer: I have NO idea why I was being so judgmental this day, but if you know me, you probably know that's just how I am sometimes - rude and judgy and mean. 

Me Thinks of Ink

Why do I like pens that bleed so much? I do. I will search high and low for them. I get great satisfaction from the wanton way the pen slides over the paper, leaving a dark, inky snail trail that dries thick and deep. I also like to watch live surgeries. Is there a connection there?

15 Minutes a Day? As IF!

I get so irritated when I see the headlines on magazines that claim all you need to have toned arms, a flat belly or a bodacious booty is 15 minutes a day  In fact, I laugh when I see that. I trained with a personal trainer for 7 months 3 days a week, and now I work out 6 days a week, down to one day with my trainer, and I am much closer to my goal weight and figure, but I'm definitely not bikini ready.  I was overweight before, and it has taken a LONG time to get the weight off because I'm doing it the right way.

So, when I see this crap on newsstands, I just want to track down the writer and say, "Hey, this hope and change crap is going a little far, so quit peddling the quick fixes and just tell people everything takes hard work - and more than 15 minutes a day."