Thursday, December 30, 2010

I Am Featured Today at The Red Dress Club!


The Red Dress Club is made of a supportive group of writers. Every week, you can link-up to share your creation (fiction or non-fiction) based on the prompt provided by these lovely ladies:

http://www.mommypants.com



http://inthesesmallmoments.com


We call this Red Writing Hood.

Today, The Red Dress Club is featuring my Family Secrets piece. This was the first piece I wrote for Red Writing Hood and is one of my favorites! I had fun creating awkward family moments, interesting and surly characters, plot twists, and witty dialogue (if I do say so myself).

Feel free to check it out again by clicking here!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Highlights (And you thought YOUR family was crazy???)


1. I can never hear my son call my brother, Scott, “Uncle Cock,” or just plain, “Cock,” too many times. Never gets old.

2. It was good thinking to keep the child locks on our windows so that my mom was unable to roll down the window and shout things at houses when driving home from Christmas Eve dinner. We have learned from past mistakes.


3. I truly loved watching my brother fall off the couch into the firewood basket. In my mind, I replay the moment in slow motion.

4. I was very grateful that even after slaving away in the kitchen for a delicious prime rib roast, my son actually ate his whole dinner – a mini microwaved cheeseburger.


5. On our last night together, our family got to watch old footage from the late 60’s – early 80’s from our growing up years. My mom’s boyfriend converted all of the footage onto DVD as a Christmas gift. Every scene had so much atmosphere…err…cigarette smoke billowing around the camera lens as all the kids played in the house. It was really a great effect.

6. Isn’t it great watching everyone else play with your child? Finally, a break from endlessly being asked to play hockey and cars.


7. The real stars of the holiday were: pepto bismol, mucinex, and anti-anxiety medication.

8. Gift opening and mimosas. Greatest tradition ever.


9. Movie choice (during naptime for little maniac) on Christmas Day – The Hangover! Hilarious. Gives you so much to be thankful for. Hey, one of my sayings is, “We’re doing alright as long as a naked Chinese man doesn’t jump out of our trunk.”

10. It was fun to watch my niece trying to help my son navigate his Lightning McQueen car around the backyard. My son drives like me. He pushes the gas and then just smiles and has a blast looking around at everything. My niece chased after him to stop the car from going into the fence, our pond, the shed, a tree, and the sandbox. On a similar note, I drove our car into the garage shelves when pulling in the day after Christmas. Oh, well! Whatever….

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Soul of a Tree

In 1994 I was a freshman in college at Northern Arizona University. I had to write a descriptive essay for an English class. I loved English and writing, always have.

For Christmas, here is that blast from the past. (I have edited it down from the original.)

The Soul of a Tree

Something is calling me. I pull the covers off and get out of bed. It feels good to get out of the blanketed cocoon; my bones are restless. My mind is too. I know I must answer this calling, this tugging at my gut. I grab my journal and leave my room. I move through the thick silence that envelops the house. My senses are heightened. I hear a hum as the refrigerator kicks on, and I see the turning pages of a magazine as the heat hits it from the vent.

Another world exists in houses at night. I feel like an intruder in the darkness. No longer do the furniture pieces seem like mine. They look bigger, and they seem to have distinctive personalities and characters about them. They wonder why I'm awake and moving through their territory. What usually seems so comfortable to me during the day feels awkward now: corners hold mysterious secrets, the walls watch me, and every sound or move I make seems amplified. A part of Adrienne Rich's poem, "Song," enters my mind, "If I'm lonely it must be the loneliness...of being the one awake in a house wrapped in sleep."

I set out to do what I was going to do. I push the plug into the wall socket and stand back to admire a rare from of beauty. The Christmas tree lights illuminate the room, and they strike a chord in me. The tree stands tall and majestic in the corner of the room. The lights shine like they are about to sing. The little glass lights contain such life. Strength lives in their fragility. I sit on the couch and draw my knees up to my chin, gazing at the brilliance of the lighted tree. All of us, the furniture and I , bask in its radiance. I am hoping that the tree lights will bring a little beauty to my soul-searching nights, and they have.

I get up. I want a closer look. I position myself lying under the tree on my back. My legs stick out from underneath it like a mechanic working on a car. I feel the felt of the tree skirt under my head, and the carpet itches the backs of my legs. This must be what my cat sees as he lays under the tree during the day wrapped in slumber. I can understand why my cat bats at the ornaments on the lower branches as I look at the toy soldier that stares ominously down at me.

I see the branches that come out in all directions from the sappy trunk; they seem to go on forever. From this perspective, the tree looks like a giant redwood shooting straight up from the forest floor. The lights sparkle and dazzle my eyes,. I am part of the tree now; I am its root. I listen for it to whisper answers to me, but the lights just smile down, knowing something I don't.

It is time now to go to bed. I feel exhaustion in my limbs. I unplug the cord. As I walk away, I thank the tree for its time. My journal is put away, and as I fall asleep, I vow something to myself, "I will not lose sight of this."

........................

I know now that I meant I would not lose sight of the simple treasures that exist all around us. Keep your eyes and heart open to the beauty in everything.

Have yourself a very Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Are You Cut Out to be a Mom?


Oh my goodness. Last night, I had flashbacks.

Not flashbacks in the sense of, “Whoa, I’ve done way too much acid, man.”

More like, flashbacks of when my child was an infant, and we were in the throes of dealing with reflux and colic and CONTINUOUS, angry crying.

I felt shell-shocked. Anxious. Overwhelmed. Heartbroken. At a loss. Scared. Not sure. Full of doubt. Inadequate.

I picked up my son from daycare today. He apparently has a stomach virus, causing awful diarrhea. There must be some kind of stomach cramping involved too because my son acts as though the devil has taken over his intestines.

(As a fun aside, at least my son describes things in an entertaining and truly perfect way. Puke is called “poop sneeze.” Diarrhea is called “poop puddle.”)

There was a time last night when my son was completely inconsolable. Throwing things, hitting, kicking, screaming. He was covered in his own diarrhea, and I couldn’t even get close enough, without being attacked, to do anything about it. This went on for so long (about an hour, a little longer) that I wondered if we needed to GO SOMEWHERE.

I’m thinking, “Is his appendix bursting as we stand here?!”

Eventually, we got him in the bath, with his clothes on, scared, trembling, and screaming. Once he was clean and changed, finally, all was calm. He watched a movie and ate a banana.

I stood in the kitchen, and I felt…like shit.

My nerves were on edge. I had to make dinner. I didn’t want to eat. I felt like I used to. When he was an infant.

And, there was the old fear. The fear that, I believe, every mother has sometimes.

I don’t think I am cut out for this.

And, I remembered how I used to feel that way. Low on sleep and holding an infant I couldn’t soothe. I didn’t think I was cut out for it.

I learned to tell myself, “You were meant to be Parker’s mother. You ARE cut out for it. You were cut out perfectly, for him.”

In the moments of chaos and crying and pain and doubt, you do not think you are cut out for it.

But, you are. You are cut from the same cloth, and only you can be his mother.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

An Ornament is a Piece of History

Only a few of my favorites:

(Please forgive the quality of photo. No matter how many times or settings I tried, I just could not get a fab pic out of our camera. Hmphf.)

A grad school friend gave this to me many years ago and ever since she has always had a top spot on our tree. There is just something about her that makes her one of my favorites. Always.


I received this ornament on my wedding day. It was June 26, 1999. My mom, grandma, and I were having lunch in downtown Flagstaff, Arizona, after I had my hair done. My grandma gave this to me at lunch.


This is an old classic, a family ornament. I wonder what year it was made and bought? I only remember it always having a place on my tree as I grew up. A simple, little nativity.


I bet no one else in the world has this ornament, or one like it, on their tree. My friend gave this to me when I was pregnant. It was a gift tag, but I tie it on my tree every year because I like to look at it and laugh. It says, "Mama," up above the picture. Below the picture, it says, "Sometimes I'm just not into this mothering thing at all."


What are your favorite ornaments and what pieces of history do they give to you?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Meet Me on Monday


Welcome to Meet Me on Monday sponsored by Java!

Blogging is a funny thing...we tell our most intimate thoughts for all to read and yet most of the time I find myself sitting and wondering, "who is this person!?" I know them...but yet I don't know them! I want to know who the person is behind all those words so Java thought of a great way for all of us to "meet" each other! Every Sunday she posts five get-to-know-you questions that you can copy and paste into your own Monday post and we can all learn a little more about each and every one of us!!

Questions:

1. How do you order your steak?

I hardly ever eat steak. I do like it, but I never order it in a restaurant. I only have it grilled by my husband or someone else who grills, so it is all in their control, but I prefer medium.

2. Are you superstitious about anything?

I am not really superstitious about anything. I will walk under a ladder just to make someone else shudder.

3. Who is your best friend (not including your spouse)?

Juli and Jen! I have written about Juli here and here.

4. When is the last time you wore a dress?

I rarely wear dresses, but you are in luck! I actually wore one last Thursday to work!

5. Do you have any trips scheduled?

No. I absolutely love that I am not the one traveling for the holidays. I like people coming to me. I really want my best friends to visit me next year! HINT, HINT.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

First Love, True Love


This week, Red Writing Hood provided this prompt:

Write a short first-person story about your first love, or write a short fiction piece about a character's first love.

Mysterious Ways

I noticed him right away. He was new blood in this soul-less place. He looked kind. That was why he was so…noticeable.

I approached him with all the bravado and confidence that I had honed over the past few years.

It looked as though I wasn’t even relying on liquid confidence, as I held a diet Pepsi can in my hand. But, little did anyone know it was filled with spiced rum and hardly even burned anymore every time I took a sip.

“Hi,” I said, an actress, using my body and my eyes to say a little more than just “Hi.”

“Hi,” he said with a smile.

Little did he know I was damaged goods. Not worth much more than a, “Hi,” but I no longer had much to lose.

“How’r’ya tonight?” I asked, coyly.

“Good, and you?” he asked, politely.

The conversation quickly, surprisingly, became interesting. We talked excitedly and lost track of time. We spoke of our current situations and future dreams, and he never passed judgment, only showed curiosity, only gave me the attention I craved. I didn’t want the night to end.

……………………

His eyes, his eyes, always looking, looking for a connection. I was not used to a connection. There was only warmth there. Instinctively I knew I could trust him.

We looked at a map of his home state, his home town. We listened to music. We talked a little more about what was deeper beneath the surface. The sun was rising.

I gave in. I finally held his gaze and was just beginning to learn that I deserved it. Could I really trust this? Would there be another time? Was he really…kind?

The next day, and the next – a phone call, some letters. He cared. I started falling in love.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Everyone Has Irrational Fears, Right?

A dear thank you goes out to Momagement Matters for bestowing me the Versatile Blogger award! This is an award I have received already, but I still eat up all the love I can get like the mega-attention-monger I am.


In the spirit of…versatility…I will do something a little different today.

My Top 10 List of Daily Irrational Fears

10. That I will not be able to poop when I need to.

9. That my pants will suddenly not fit.

8. That I will be asked to perform some feat of accomplishment, and I will fail miserably.

7. That my need for sleep will not be fulfilled. Sleeping rituals include: earplugs ready on the bedside, white noise machines going, pillows situated “just so,” a light breeze (even in deep winter) from the fan above, positive self-talk, etc., etc.

6. That I will have something occur that will interrupt WHAT IS TO BE EXPECTED.

5. That I will run out of wine.

4. That there will be no available coffee between 7:30 am – 11:00 am.

3. That I will be exposed to very annoying things, like sloppy eating, gum popping, dog slobber, ice chewing, apple eating, whistling, and assholes in general.

2. That I have annoyed someone. Other people can REALLY annoy me, so it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to think I have annoyed someone. Please do not tell me if I have ever annoyed you. I am a very sensitive person and would be destroyed.

1. That I have been too honest, therefore, inciting negative opinions about me.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Play Hard



This weekend, my husband was gone, mountain biking in Albuquerque. I wasn’t looking forward to doing it all “alone” this weekend, as I was feeling a little depleted.

I knew I would need to keep my son and me busy. I had all sorts of things in mind. We could go to Target! (The Go-To Activity when it is cold outside.) We needed to go to the grocery store. I could ask my friend if she wanted to do a play date. We could go to the movies and see Megamind. There was a list of places I had in mind to pass the time.

Well, as EVERY parent knows, the best laid plans…

You never REALLY get to choose what it is you would like to do, right? Right.

Yesterday, Parker, uncharacteristically, did not want to go anywhere. Every time I mentioned anything, “We could go to the movies! We can eat popcorn and get candy!” I shouted, thinking for sure this would work.

“NO! Stay home! Stay home and play!” Parker would shout.

Ok, I thought. Whatever, we’ll stay home and play.

I decided to totally participate because I think there is nothing worse than sitting around for HOURS while your child plays, and you are bored out of your mind.

Boy, did we play. Wow. WE PLAYED ALL DAY! I did not try to tell him, “No, Mommy needs a rest.” I did not tell him, “You play by yourself,” or, “Let’s put a movie on.” I just kind of went with it.

We painted, we played in the sink, we played the Wii, we pretended to be Lion King and Scar and wrestled around growling on the floor, we played cars, we played robots, we played catch (in the house!), we threw a stuffed chicken up and down at each other across stairwells, we made cookies, on and on and on.

Is anyone tired yet? Can you imagine how I felt? It was a lot of playing. It really was great, but man, when bedtime came last night, did I feel like I had EARNED some ME time? Oh, yeah. I stayed up until midnight, watching TV and reading, simultaneously worrying that I would be so tired in the morning when the maniac woke at 7:00 am, ready for more.

Today? We went to Target and the grocery store. The maniac is napping now. When he wakes up? I think we’ll watch a movie.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Moment of Magic


Mama Kat has challenged us this week with a prompt:

If you could relive any moment in your life…

A Moment of Magic

When Grandma came to visit, she stayed in my bedroom because I didn’t sleep in there anyhow. To my brother’s embarrassment, I slept with him until he grew too old, had enough, and kicked me out.

One Christmas Eve, I left my brother’s bed in the middle of the night. I crawled into my own bed, with Grandma.

Grandma was not like other Grandma’s I knew, and I wanted more of her. She was beautiful, ladylike, wore sparkly jewels, hummed to herself almost all day, had boundless energy, smelled good, and took me to exciting places like New York and San Francisco.

Grandma always made this little “pooh” puff-of-air-sound when she slept. It made me giggle.

As I giggled, Grandma started to wake.

“Grandma,” I whispered.

“Kristy,” she said with a smile and held me close. “Has Santa come?” she asked.

“No, it’s the middle of the night!” I whispered excitedly.

“Oh, well, we better get to sleep then so that Santa can come,” my grandma urged.

“Yes,” I said and snuggled against her warm body, waiting to hear the “pooh” sound from my grandma’s lips.

Moments passed. I was a little startled when my grandma said, “Do you hear that?” she asked.

I thought she was falling asleep.

“No,” I said, “What?”

“Listen. Listen close. I think I hear reindeer hooves on the roof,” she said.

Grandma continued, “There! Right there – did you hear it that time?”

I was straining my ears. I couldn’t believe it! Was Grandma serious? I wasn’t even sure if Santa really existed, but maybe…

“Yes! I hear it,” I almost shouted, “I hear the little sounds of hooves, Grandma!”

“Keep listening. You may be able to hear the jingle of bells soon,” my grandma suggested.

Amazing what you can make yourself hear if you want to. Amazing what you can make yourself believe if you want to.

I swore I heard the hooves on the roof that night and the jingle of bells. For many years, I would think back on that, holding onto a childhood’s dream of Santa. Remembering a night, close to my grandma, that only she and I shared.

A moment of magic.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Take a Breather

December is a busy time, no? It is unavoidable.

Therefore, I feel I have earned the right to re-post a long-ago post that only two people read (according to my comments from January).

I have chosen this particular post because Thanksgiving just slipped right by with all of its reverence for gratitude. Now, we enter into a precious season (Hanukah, Christmas, New Year’s) that can easily be over-shadowed by long to-do lists, exhausting lines and crowded stores, and a fear that you’re just not going to be able to get it all done.

This post reminds me of what’s really important.

I Choose Us


It’s all about family. As I get older, I realize this more and more. The most important thing in life is all about relationships and the connections you have with the significant people in your life. No matter what is going on in my life, no matter the things I have or don’t have, no matter the health I am in, life is always a little better with the people I love close to me. There is nothing more important.

There used to be a time when it was very important to me to go out and be part of the “social scene.” That has become unimportant to me, and it amazes me to think back to when I looked forward to being at places that were loud, crowded, and hoppin’. I would get bored and complain if my husband wanted to be somewhere SITTING and chatting. Nowadays, if my husband and I actually have a rare opportunity to go out without Parker, the only kind of place I would want to go would be a place to sit and sip wine and talk and connect with my husband and friends. And when I go out, I want to be home and in my bed between 10:00 and 11:00 pm (which would already be past my bedtime). The fact that I prefer to go somewhere to SIT is on my list of reasons I know I am getting older (along with using the word “hoppin” and buying a one piece swimsuit and cover up skirt).

Before having Parker, I thought we’d be the glamorous couple that has a very regular babysitter and still gets gussied up to go out a couple times a month. I thought, “We won’t have to change our lifestyle THAT much.”

Well, I honestly quite enjoy going out to dinner as a family and going home to watch a Pixar movie (isn’t Pixar great?!). If I’m being very truthful, planning a night out for Richard and me without Parker still makes me anxious.

So, the bottom line is, given the choice, I choose Friday night family movie nights. I choose take-out Chinese and wine at home. I choose going to the restaurants with good kids’ menus. I choose Saturday morning play dates with my friend and her children. I choose to make the people in my life my priority. I choose us.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Get These People Out of My House


I had a chance this week to watch the movie Motherhood with Uma Thurman. This is obviously not a review of this movie, as it is not even considered a new release, but it was a new release in my world.

Boy, could I relate to that movie, as I’m sure many of you out there can. Sure, there were many differences between her life and mine, but so many experiences and thoughts she had rang true.

For example, here I am, in a rush, literally sweating as I frantically grab (what I hope to be) an hour for writing. Moments ago, I was hanging laundry, putting away groceries, and Putting Things In The Right Place (a never-ending chore), when all of a sudden I heard golden words:

“Come on, Parker, get your shoes on!” Richard, my husband, shouted out.

“Whatchya gonna do?” I asked.

“We’re going to go to Home Depot!” He said.

“Parker go witch you!” Parker shouted.

Yessssss, I think. I will stop everything and WRITE. I can be among others when I write, but it is best if I am alone.

“Let mommy help you change your pants and get your shoes on,” Richard says (which means he is asking that I change Parker and put his shoes on).

“Yes! Come here, Parker! Let’s get changed,” I say, glad to help.

“NOO! No change! Stay home with mommy!” Parker shouts.

“NO!” I shriek in quick response, “You go with Daddy, you ride the tractor!” I continue.

“Maybe there’ll be M&M’s for good boys,” Richard adds.

“Yes,” I try to hold onto whatever I can to keep my moment for writing that is dangling over a precipitous edge. “Parker, you get changed, you get M&M’s!”

“M&M’s!” Parker shouts. He comes right to me and lays down for his change.

Oh, thank god. I think. Get them out the door. I mean, I love them and all, but geez.

And, here I am, writing. In bed. Sunset. 4:30 pm. Glass of wine at the bedside. Silence.

I’m off to dive back into my character for a while and work on my novel. Love to you all.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Highlights of Our Thanksgiving

Round here, it's been all about family. And fun. Hope you've been having a taste of the same thing!






Monday, November 22, 2010

Forget Turkey and Stuffing, I'll have Pennies and Dimes!

Does anyone else out there find it disturbing that The Internet can either tell you that everything is going to be alright, or in the next page load, that death is imminent and the emergency room is calling your name?

So many people caution against using The Internet for medical advice, but it is hard to resist when you have a burning question about, for example, your child eating a penny.

I am happy to say this did not happen on my watch. My son “might have” eaten a penny the other night while my husband was watching him. Now, do not be upset with my husband. He is a good, dear father, and those pennies are tantalizing things, I hear, to the average two year old.

My husband told me yesterday, “I think Parker ate a penny last night.”

“Are you serious?!” I asked looking down at Parker. What does this mean? I thought.

My husband goes on to say, “He was playing with his piggy bank, and then I heard him make some kind of coughing, choking sound in his throat, but he looked fine. I didn’t see anything happen. Then, I asked him, ‘Parker, did you eat a penny?’ and Parker said, ‘Yes.’”

I just stood there with my mouth open and looked down again at Parker. Parker just looked up at me.

My husband went on, “He had a poo this morning and there was nothing in it.”

I couldn’t get to the computer fast enough. But, tell me, why do I go to The Internet when I KNOW that some sites will say, “Not to worry!” and other sites will say (in so many words), “Death is imminent!”

We don’t even know for sure if he actually swallowed the penny.

Most of the respectable sites said it could take a few days for the penny to pass without any incident. There would be other signs if it was lodged somewhere dangerously in the body somewhere. So, it is a waiting game, if it exists.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A LIttle Abandon Goes a Long Way


This post was inspired by The Red Dress Club's Red Writing Hood prompt to write a story based on a song...

A Little Abandon Goes a Long Way

“WOOO HOOO!” wailed my brother as he raced down the top of our roof on my scooter. He flew through the air while I held my breath, and he landed in our pool.

My brother’s best friend, Garrett, was jumping up and down in excitement. “Yeah!” he shouted and jumped in the pool after my brother.

It was the summer of 1988, and my brother and his best friend were like two misfits looking for trouble wherever they could, especially while stuck at home in the summertime, and our parents worked.

Although, nothing would have kept them stuck at home. They pretty much did whatever they wanted to do.

I was in awe of them, particularly when they took my scooter and rode it off our rooftop and into our pool.

I was twelve years old, and I was so pitifully UNCOOL in my desire to be liked by them. They were a Very Cool Age of fifteen.

They, of course, hated me. And the fact that I was The Younger Sister, hanging on every word. Following every footstep really did not afford me any points in The Cool Department.

I was just glad to have them around, just for a little bit. They were usually off, like I said, getting into any trouble they could. Increasing the number of gray hairs on my parents’ heads. This added to the already sometimes stressful household of a father who was a recovering alcoholic and a mother trying to keep it all together and working very hard at it.

Ignoring the stress of the adults, a lot of focus was placed on my brother and the trouble he was getting into.

I learned to worry about everyone around me at a very young age.

…………

My parents came home from work, tired and tired of the heat. I kept my mouth shut about the scooter on the roof because I knew what was really good for me.

My brother and Garrett called everyone to the family room.

“Come here, Come here! We want to show you something!” they shouted.

We all came to the family room and sat on the couch, not sure what to expect.

“We’ve been practicing something and you’ve got to see it!” they said as they got a record ready on our player.

My parents and I were silent. Obviously my brother and Garrett were getting ready for a performance. This was a little uncharacteristic for them. This would display a vulnerable side, something they were not used to in The World of Cool. We were tense as we waited for what they had planned.

They took their places. My brother acted as “drums.” Garrett acted as “guitar.” (Nothing better than air instruments, right?) They both sang…er, lip synched.

As the music began, it evoked a slow and sad kind of feeling. Wistful, emotional…

“On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair…” the song began.

My brother and Garrett were impressively accurate with their timing – in their lip synching and in the movements of their instruments. My parents and I all smiled and had our mouths open, at the same time.

Eventually, we started moving our bodies to the music a bit, showing our appreciation. We all shared in the moment. Even my brother and Garrett could tell we were impressed. This increased their confidence with the performance, and the pure emotion and movement they gave to it was…beautiful.

The song did its crescendo into the more aggressive guitar and drums in the instrumental last half of the song, and the energy in the room was of pure fun.

Finally, a moment, a break from all the exhaustion, from the heat of our day-to-day.

The misfits got something right. And they knew it. They ended their song with great emotion and gusto, and we exploded into applause and adoration for the uncanny performance.

There would be many more times and other nights that we would demand, “Do it again!” And, they would. Perfecting their timing every time. And, we would marvel at the joy it brought to us, at the moments we were all brought together by something.

In those moments, we were a family. All of us. (Even Garrett – absolutely. Shortly thereafter, he would live full-time with my family for years.) Nothing pressing on us, no needs to chase or fill. Only a little fun. Only a little music…

“…And still those voices are calling from far away,
Wake you up in the middle of the night
Just to hear them say...

Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face
They livin’ it up at the Hotel California
What a nice surprise, bring your alibis…”

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Head in the Clouds



Wishing, and hoping, and dreaming...

You can find Wordless Wednesday at Live and Love Out Loud.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Let's Have Some Monday Mayhem


Today's meme questions from Monday Mayhem are just Silly PONDERISM Questions fill in the blank style.

1. I used to eat a lot of (pizza rolls) until I learned that (I cannot stop after 20).

2• There are two kinds of pedestrians: the (they-must-want-to-die-pedestrians)and the (the-world-is-my-playground pedestrians).

3• Life is (full of surprises).

4• Healthy is (hard to do for more than 3 days in a row).

5• The only difference between being stuck in a rut and a grave is (that at least in a grave new worms come and go all the time).

6• Health nuts are (afraid to live dangerously).

7• Have you noticed since everyone has a camcorder these days no one talks about (the unexpected and thrilling surprise of a newly released sex tape) like they used to?

8• Whenever I feel blue, I (remind myself that it could be worse).

9• All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It (can turn hot and cold whenever it wants and doesn’t need to blame it on PMS).

10• In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people (have only themselves to blame).

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Promises

This piece is inspired by The Red Dress Club to write about this picture from Easy Street Prompts:


The two friends, Josie and Sarah, walked into the bar, feeling comfort in its darkness. It was a familiar place to the girls – a favorite haunt. The music from the jukebox was mixed with edgy, alternative rock and classic rock. Sometimes a band played, but not that night. The ceiling was low and there were many little rooms and spaces – corners to hide in if that’s what you wanted. Before heading to their favorite room, the pool table room, where most of the guys were, they approached the bar for their first shot and a drink. Getting to a certain level of non-feeling was first on the list.

As soon as the edges were dulled just a little bit, they walked into the pool room, looking for friends, looking for attention, looking for some fun. They saw some people they knew, joined their group, and began talking and laughing, intentionally acting in a way to liven up the party.

Josie scanned the room, always looking and waiting for the next thing, when her eyes came upon an old woman she had seen before.

“That old woman looks like she’s been ridden hard and put away wet a few too many times!” the guy next to Josie shouted in her ear.

Josie smiled, giving the guy approval, but inside she thought, What the fuck is that supposed to mean, you idiot?

The old woman sat away from the crowd at a table by herself. Her long gray hair lay across her back in thick strings. She was overweight and a bit…dirty…weathered…it was hard to tell but easy to assume she hadn’t seen a shower in a while.

Every time Josie saw the old woman, always in different bars in the little town, she had a deck of tarot cards with her. She gave readings to people for tips, Josie assumed, but she hardly ever saw anyone sitting with her. The old woman usually sat alone, feeling her cards, turning them over, looking at them.

“What’r’ye gon’ do, go get a reading?!” another guy asked Josie, close enough to give Josie a whiff of his breath.

Josie didn’t say a word and just started walking over to the old woman. She had always been intrigued about psychic readings, surely not every self-proclaimed psychic was a kook? She was a little scared by the information she could be given – would she have a fatal illness, would she always be lonely, would she never make anything of herself at all? And the worst fear - would all her dark secrets be exposed? Would she stand before the supposedly all-knowing person hot with shame and be judged for the sins of her past?

Well, this night, she had had enough to drink to not care. She felt no fear. She wanted to test this old woman out. Find out about her future. What dreams could be attained? What promises could be made?

“She’s going to tell you that you’ll DIE TONIGHT in a horrible car wreck,” screamed one of the guys behind Josie. “Don’t do it, Josie, you don’t want to hear THE TRUTH! Bwa, HA, HA, HA, HA!!” The idiot continued.

Josie approached the table and sat down. The old woman looked up at her and smiled.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday Tirade


Babes Rockin Mami does a Tuesday Tirade, and I think I’ll join her.

One of my favorite sayings is, “Never underestimate the power of stupidity in a large group of people.” It’s like, when a big, huge group gets together, sometimes individual brains are forgotten and one giant stupid brain takes over.

Take, for example, Daylight “Savings” time.

There are so many things wrong with this unnecessary event that we willingly allow to royally fuck up our systems. Many people seem to agree with me. Many people want to jump off the crazy train called, “Hey! Let’s all change our clocks an hour and see what happens!” Unless, these people just nod their head in agreement at me, wondering when I’ll stop complaining.

If so many people have suggested that this event be eliminated, if Arizona and Hawaii have the wherewithal to JUST NOT PARTICIPATE, then why do we keep doing it?

Here are some things I’d like to point out about Daylight Savings Time that particularly irk me:

-In the Fall, there is no “savings” on the daylight. We get home at 4:00 pm and it starts getting dark. Yet, whoopity-do, it is light at 5:00 am. Gee, thank god for that.

-You might as well go bang your head against a wall if you want to hear over and over for weeks on end in the Spring how tired everyone is because of their lost hour of sleep.

-I have come to terms with the fact that my toddler son will now wake up on the weekend at 7:00 instead of a more lovely 8:00 – whatever. But, it is really annoying to deal with all the grumpiness and downright evil that can come from my son when he is so hungry and doesn’t understand why we are not eating dinner at 4:45 pm. Last night, I tried to give him a snack, to no avail. He sat at the dinner table and demanded that it is dinner time. It was 4:15.

-All babies, toddlers, and children’s bodies do not know what the hell is going on. If you are a parent or work with children in any way, this is Very Annoying. For everyone involved.

-My snacking increases as I squirrel away like a hibernating bear in the dark early evening, waiting for dinner time to come.

-Once we are all adjusted and have left the hell of Daylight Savings Time behind us, we will do it all over again in the Spring, but, wait, that one is EVEN WORSE. We all lose an hour. You know, in the interest of Daylight “SAVINGS.”

How is that smart? For what REAL purpose does this serve? If there is a real purpose (I have done research, people. Trust me, there is no real purpose), then is all of this worth it? Why do we let it continue on? What kind of legislation needs to be started? For crying out loud…

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Snippets – Poop and Goats



Sunday Snippets is hosted by Pure Unadulterated Softthistle, and it is just the right thing for Sunday afternoon. I’m in the mood for sharing some fun and favorite things about my little maniac as of late!

One morning while we were getting ready for work, our lovely cat puked on the bathroom floor. We were rushing around, unable to attend to it right away. Parker came toddling in, pointed straight at the cat puke in an accusatory manner, shouted, “Ook!”

“Yes, yucky! Don’t touch! Dobby threw up!” We shouted.

Parker looked at us, “Poop sneeze!”

Yes. Poop sneeze.

……………………

The Husband was doing dishes after dinner. Parker walked up to him. Richard looked down and said, “Did you poo poo?”

“No!” Parker replied.

“Oh, then what is that horrible smell?” my husband asked.

…(a long pause)… “Poo?” Parker answered in a high, slight voice.

……………………

When we were trick-or-treating, there was a teenager dressed as a scary looking ghost type thing, sitting outside of a house. Presumably, to scare people as they walked by. He looked almost fake. At first we thought it was only a decoration.

I stood there, frowning and shaking my head. “I don’t like it when people do things that are scary to the little ones. My gawd, look at this thing. I hope Parker doesn’t have nightmares!” I complained.

“It’s fine; he’ll be fine,” Richard said as we approached.

Parker slowly and carefully walked by the thing as though he was scared.

I stood there, giving the thing a dirty look, like, “You better not scare my little guy, you fucker.”

At that point, I could see the chest move up and down. It really was a real person! Were they annoyed with me, was I making them squirm, were they trying not to laugh?? I instantly felt weird about standing there, staring at him, realizing that this whole time he was listening to me.

We went walking away after Parker got his candy at the front door, and now we have never heard the end of the scary goat (translation: ghost).

“A goat! A goat is chasing us!” Parker will scream once in a while.

Thanks a lot goat fucker.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Write Like No One is Looking Over Your Shoulder"


My greatest strength is my greatest weakness. I think too much.

I have been sparked with excitement about NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month); however, it really stresses me out as well. I had never heard of this event until just a couple of weeks ago.

Originally, I was planning on really starting to work on a fiction novel and polish my blog material into a “mom memoir.” My plan was to have exactly one and a half of these things done by the end of next year.

Then I hear about NaNoWriMo, and my heart is all a-flutter. I think, “I must do it!” Then, I think, “I cannot.” (One thing is for sure, I will now always remember that November is one of the months with only 30 days.)

Here is what I’ve decided. I want to begin that novel now. I want it to be fiction. I will not be able to write the required 1,700+ words per day, but I will block out time for writing toward my novel starting now. Two days ago I wrote 1,500 words! This is great, this is wonderful, I am fulfilling my life’s purpose.

However, I am having a hard time nailing down my character, getting to know this person, and make her live and breathe. This is probably due to the fact that I cannot stop writing from my own experiences. I certainly want to draw from my own experiences, but I did not originally intend to write ONLY from my own experiences.

It seems that in trying to “get to know” my character, I am still only trying to get to know myself.

And my mind? It won’t stop. I am constantly thinking and pondering and wondering about this character.

What does she look like?

How is she different from me?

What does she learn?

What problems does she face?

I would also prefer to have a “premise” figured out. What do I want my readers to feel? What do I want my readers to learn?

I am so indecisive about it all, and it swirls around my head like a million question marks. I am fretting.

This is not the purpose of NaNoWriMo, in which you must not edit and only write like mad for 30 days. I am also haunted by a quote from Writing Down the Bones, “Write like no one is looking over your shoulder.”

All that spews forth is….me, and not a fiction character. Do I go with it? Do I force a fiction piece?

I know. I hear you out there. Just write.

(So…Any ideas or answers for me?)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Meet Me on Monday


Welcome to Meet Me on Monday, sponsored by Java.

She writes, “Blogging is a funny thing...we tell our most intimate thoughts for all to read and yet most of the time I find myself sitting and wondering, ‘who is this person!?’ I know them...but yet I don't know them! I want to know who the person is behind all those words so I thought of a great way for all of us to "meet" each other!”

Every Sunday five get to know you questions will be posted that you can copy and paste into your own Monday post and we can all learn a little more about each and every one of us!!

Questions:

1. Have you ever been on a cruise?

No, I haven’t and I’m not sure if I would like it. The last couple of friends of mine that have gone on cruises complained about dizziness for so long afterward, I was ready to hit them on the head to see if that helped. I’d like to just lie on the beach in Mexico, thank you.

2. What is your favorite way to eat eggs?

Depends on my mood. I love eggs! I love to make omelets for dinner. Ask my husband, I make a mean omelet. I love fried eggs, and I love fried egg sandwiches. Scrambled is just fine as well, and sometimes a little cheese sprinkled in does the trick. Hard boiled eggs are a good snack. Well, I guess I just haven’t ever met an egg that I didn’t like.

3. What is your favorite reading material?

A book I get lost in. I have a varied taste in books. The most recent book I got lost in was The Heights by Peter Hedges. Currently I am reading Augusten Burroughs latest book of short stories. I don’t know how many stories that man has in him, but keep them coming.

4. Name all the pets that you have ever had?

Childhood – Honey (cocker spaniel)

Kepper (I don’t know what that dog was)

Janette (cat)

Socks (A gerbil, which I accidentally killed while cleaning out his cage. I left him in the garage while I cleaned the cage. We lived in Phoenix. The garage was raging hot. Didn’t take very long for the poor guy to meet his demise.)

Carroll (My most beloved childhood pet. My male cat named Carroll. He was Janette’s son.)

Ubu (Our golden retriever)

Adulthood – Gweniviere (A stray cat I took in during college and kept in my dorm.)

Currently living – Dobby (Our empty-headed, silly cat)

Matt (Also known as Matt Baby. Our fish.)

5. Were you ever a girl/boy scout?

I was a girl scout, and I discovered that it just wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. The girls were mostly mean, the den mother’s or whatever they call them were mean, there were too many rules, the outfits were ugly, and it was hard work walking the streets trying to sell cookies. I wasn’t a girl scout for very long.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Creation of a Brat



This post is inspired by the Red Dress Club prompt to describe a villain. I chose to revisit an earlier character that I created named Samantha Celeste. She first entered this world in my post Shock Value, as a surprising, shocking, spoiled, and assuming young artist.

Samantha Celeste scowled at her au pair.

The au pair began, “Sam, you -"

“Samantha,” Samantha clarified sternly.

The au pair sucked in a breath. “Samantha. You really must get your literature work finished. You still aren’t done with your final painting, and I know your mother will be -"

“If YOU would leave me alone, I could get something done. The MOST important thing here is my art, but how am I to focus on anything when I have a nanny hissing in my ear?”

The au pair stood rigidly, exerting all of her self control.

“I will leave you to it then,” she said and walked out, careful to demonstrate restraint and shut the door quietly.

Spoiled, rotten, evil brat, the au pair thought. No one will love her. Ha! She is ugly and nasty and will die alone. Someday, I WILL LEAVE her and this place, and I won’t be the first to leave her sorry ass…

Back inside the room, Samantha took a cleansing breath, shut her eyes, and meditated for a moment to calm her anger, always the anger, so she could begin to put color to the canvas.

People could never understand me,
she thought. The pressure, the talent within – I am unlike no other. Someday, someday, everyone will see what is truly inside me.

From a distance, Samantha could hear the distinct clicks of heels approaching. The familiar dread crept in, and she looked around the room, assessing her surroundings.

The door opened so quickly it banged against the wall behind it. Samantha’s mother stood unsteady in the doorway. The cocktail glass, a familiar prop, was half gone in her mother’s hand. She scanned the room before noticing Samantha.

“Where is the painting?” her mother said, already starting to slur a bit between words.

Samantha looked her mother coldly in the eyes. “I’m not done, Mother.”

“Don’t talk to me like that – you think you are something special?! You. You are NOT something special. You are lucky to have even had the last showing. I have made it happen for you. All of this – everything you have – you ungrateful…” she paused as her body swayed from the energy of her yelling.

Her mother stumbled. Her expression changed. She looked confused. She turned swiftly to walk out of the room and slammed the door.

Samantha’s anger swelled inside her. It spread out to all of her limbs in a flash. The anger, always the anger, uncontrollable and just below the surface started to race forward. Samantha was electric with rage as she grabbed the can of paint at her feet and hurled it at the canvas.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Friendship is Born

I will be linking up to Mama Kat on Thursday for this prompt:
What made them so interesting? Remember a unique classmate from your past. Write about him/her.


At a large high school, it was scary to be like a lone Nemo freshman among all the sharks. Just like in Napoleon Dynamite, you need a Jose. You need protection.

It was very important to always have a partner to walk with from class to class. I had a close friend with me during all the right times, except walking to math class. I needed to find someone to walk with to math class.

I don’t even remember how we began talking, but we did, and I was all set.

She was so confident. If you didn’t have her attention, she would breeze right past you with her head held high. She was usually alone, and fine with it. She was beautiful, with curls in her hair. She was daring, with high heel pumps almost every day. Even through the feminine grace, you could tell that she had an edge. She carried herself as though she chose her own feelings. She carried herself with a hell-be-damned attitude. It was probably a bit of a wall, a bit of a defense against what had hurt her before, but at the time, it just came off as very impressive.

From our “honors,” smart-kid language arts class, we would walk together to our math building. We would chit-chat, make small talk, nothing much of importance.

There was one condition. Upon entering the math building, we would have to stop at her boyfriend’s classroom on our way to our math class.

She was that cool. She even had a boyfriend. He was older. She got to stop everyday and be held and kissed in front of others.

I would hang back and wait, trying not to look like I was watching. But, I found her, and her whole world, so interesting.

At the end of that school year, we never spoke through the rest of high school. We never again had classes together and had no reason to walk together. A friendship had not been born, yet. Her boyfriend was enough for her. I would see her walking, and wonder and marvel…

……………..

Unlike other college students who may turn their noses up at living in a dorm, I was heady with the excitement of living away from home, no matter that I was confined to a small boxy room and a strange roommate. I welcomed the independence and fresh start. I was tired of the labels and confines of the high school social structure and ready to break out of my shell.

One floor below me, she was moving in to the dorms. Gone were the heels, grunge was in style. But the attitude was the same, and her charisma pulled me to her.

We met, again, and a beautiful friendship was born.

Sixteen years later and still going strong. My best friend, Juli, and me.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I Feel Festive and Cozy. Let’s Do Crafts, Read Blogs, and Get Day Drunk!


We are officially entering the holiday season and Fall, beautiful Fall, is in full swing. It seems to get so many of us feeling cozy and creative. Fall really is a muse to so many artists. It is only natural at this time of year, as you enter into winter, to be mindful of the gifts of the previous seasons.

I also start feeling all home-body-like.

I want to harvest the rest of my basil and make fresh pesto to be frozen for use in the winter.

I want to cook delicious dinners, but mostly I want to eat a lot of bread.

The weak afternoon light makes me feel all romantic, and I find myself thinking, “Mmm, let’s sip a little red wine while the maniac naps and get day drunk.”

I peruse crafty blogs and think, “I might actually give that pumpkin doily/fireplace mantel craft a try!”

I start to plan and organize and THINK about gifts for others. The online and retail shopping starts to put crazed thoughts in my head, “Ooh, I could get that for so and so; do I need a new tablecloth; maybe I should buy myself some sweaters too; I better start ordering stuff now!”

As I enter this time, I must remember that festive can soon turn crazy, and I don’t need to be getting all in a bunch about how-many-more-decorations-should-I-buy-at-the-dollar-store.

Just enjoy watching the very last leaf fall. Just enjoy watching the last pile of orange and yellow leaves be swept away, into the gutters.

P.S., Because I am feeling so…gracious, I would like to recommend a couple of posts for you to read.

I was so entertained by Motherhood Uncensored’s labor story post. It is the most unique and AMAZING labor story post I have read yet. Even better than my own! Truly, wow! She JUST had another baby, and her blog is a must read.

Also, Glen’s Life posted about the men’s perspective on women’s body issues. If you are a woman, you should read it if you want to get into a man’s head a little more about what they find attractive (which is pretty much everything, what a relief). If you are a man, you should read it so that you can remember to TELL your woman just how much you love everything about her.

Happy reading!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The First Fight is SPECIAL


Disclaimer: Although the writing that follows is a “memoir” piece, many details may have been…adapted, or created (in my favor) because, at the time, I was quite drunk.

This is a prompt from Mama Kat's Writer Workshop: Write about a fight you once had that you were very passionate about, but now you find it silly.

In the summer of 1998, I was 22 years old and almost engaged to be married. We had picked out the ring and were waiting for it to be made, so really, I pretty much was engaged.

What a romance! When my now-husband and I fell in love, we fell in love hard – with much love and energy and positivity. It was obvious when we met that there were forces beyond our control bringing us together.

We went an entire year after we met in the summer of 1997 before we had any argument. There was not one fight…

Then, one day, we were on vacation.

We were tent camping in Estes Park, Colorado, and having a grand time, enjoying the outdoors, and the little town of Estes Park. One day, we drove into town to find a nice spot for happy hour. We felt like having some drinks before returning to our campsite and campfire.

We found a cute, little Mexican restaurant on the “main strip.” We sat at the bar, ordered our margaritas, and assessed the situation around us.

There was a group at the end of the bar that had possibly been there all day. They were loud and laughing and talking with the outgoing, feisty bartender. Soon, of course, they asked where we were from, and we all began talking and laughing together. Our spirits were high, and it was like we had started to create our own little party.

These people had been travelling all over. They INSISTED that we HAD TO hike in Bryce Canyon and pretty much the entire state of Utah very soon. Our lives depended on it. We shared that we were waiting on a ring to be made before The Proposal occurred. One of the men piped up, “I have an online pastoral certificate! I can marry you right now!”

Hoots and hollers all around!

Richard and I got married right there in this little bar of a Mexican restaurant in Estes Park, Colorado, almost a full year before our “official” I do’s.

The jolly group of people started buying us drinks. There was probably a congratulatory shot.

The woman in their group kept insisting that I MUST have one of the strawberry margaritas because they were the BEST EVER. My life depended on it.

I do not like sweet drinks. I do not have a sweet tooth. I do not even eat chocolate. Hardly ever. The last thing I wanted, at that already very drunk moment, was a strawberry margarita, and I needed it about as much as I needed a hole in my head.

“Oh, no thank you, I’m fine. I bet it is good!” I would tell her every time.

It seemed the group suddenly decided they needed to leave. Our little party dwindled. The gracious bartender told me, “Here, I’ll make you one of those strawberry margaritas on the house!”

I was starting to spin. I had had too much to drink. I was hoping to leave soon after the other group left, but here this bartender just whipped up a strawberry margarita and plopped it down in front of me, expectantly.

Just looking at it made my stomach churn.

I leaned over to whisper in Richard’s ear, “I need to go.”

Richard sat back, looked at me, and with shock and horror hissed, “We can’t leave! You have to drink that drink! She made it SPECIAL for you!”

Here began our first fight ever, and it probably goes down in history as our worst one ever.

Obviously, Richard had forgotten that he was travelling with his future wife (or actual wife, depending on how liberal you are about Mexican bar weddings officiated by a drunk Internet pastor). He must have been mistaking me for his bachelor roommates who consider it “alcohol abuse” (the worst social disgrace) to leave any alcohol behind.

I sternly hissed back, “I DON’T CARE that she made it for me, that was her choice, and I don’t have to drink it. I should be able to say no thank you, and leave. I am too drunk to have anymore!”

He said, “No! That is so rude! You have to drink it!”

I sat there in disbelief. This was my future husband (or husband, depending…) telling me that I HAD TO DRINK something that I DIDN’T WANT TO? That I clearly COULD NOT drink because of the state I was in? Did he not care about my health and well-being?! Why wasn’t he on MY SIDE and letting me do WHATEVER I WANT?!

Richard paid the waitress. We left. We got outside. It was still light outside! We were raving drunk. We could not drive back to our campsite. We saw a park across the street and decided to go sit it out.

As soon as we sat down at a park bench, we started bickering still about The Drink. Our bickering escalated to all out yelling, and then you can probably guess what happened. I started crying. We were a scene. We were fighting with passion, completely convinced that our own side was right, and the other person was VERY WRONG.

In the midst of all this, about 20 feet away, a group of teens from a local church start singing Christian songs for passersby.

In a moment of clarity, we realized what a mess we were. The sun was starting to set. Park people were possibly planning an intervention for us. We started laughing. And then, the laughing didn’t stop. We were so over it. We got up and started walking.

We got back to our campsite and started a fire, and we were back to having a grand ole time, listening to music, roasting marsh mellows, talking, and laughing through the night. (That night is also marked by my eventual falling into a hole in the darkness, and we, literally, rolled on the ground laughing about it.)

This argument is like a historical story now in our relationship. We laugh about it still. At the time we were both, SO MAD and OFFENDED at the other. Truly. And, now? We see it as so silly. There are many times you can hear one of us say, as an inside joke, “But they made it SPECIAL for you!”

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tech Dumb


My friends know that if I don’t care about something, I’m really not going to give it any time. I don’t care about sports. I have no desire to learn about any, watch any, or participate in any in any way. I cannot even act like I care when people talk about sports. I just sit there.

Tech stuff. Don’t really care. I have a phone that does basic functions, and I just recently began texting.

Some of the tech stuff mentioned in blog world, I kind of just glaze over. Learning some of it would take time, and I spend time on things that I truly care about, or are necessary.

I look at some stat stuff, but I don’t really get some of it. I have a Feedburner count, I check my followers, and I look at how many comments my posts are getting.

I tried to install site meter, but I did something wrong, and it doesn’t work, so I have not pursued that any more.

I installed site counter and enjoy checking that about once a month, but like I said, I don’t really “get it.”

I have read many of you out there talking about Google stats and such. I have tried to “google” stuff about this and have no idea what you are talking about.

So, imagine my surprise when I finally discovered by accident the little tab at the top of my Blogger design settings “Stats.” Wow. Right there! DUH!

How much fun was that?! The most interesting thing to me was looking at what my MOST POPULAR POSTS have been. I thought I knew from the comments. I had no idea!

My friends and other bloggers have commented on a very memorable post I wrote – “It’s like a movie!” “It has all the great story elements!” “I think of it often in my own life!” Besides all of those lovely verbal comments, it is the post that has garnered the most comments so far on the blog. Enjoy it again, or for the first time:

Scenes from an Airport, Part 2 (or, Read This to Feel Like a Better Mother)


But, this was not the most popular post on my blog! That would go to:

Shock Value

I am sure that the title has something to do with that. But, honestly, it was so much fun to write, so it must be so much fun to read too! (Thank you, Red Dress Club!)

Then, I just had to chuckle over what was #2 in popularity because my husband was…annoyed…at that post. So, thank you hunny for being great material for us to enjoy!

Daddy Anxiety

I was also happily surprised to see the popularity of A Safe Place, which takes a spot right after the afore-mentioned Scenes from an Airport, Part 2. Yet another story inspired by Red Dress Club, this time memoir-writing about a child I worked with who had a significant emotional disorder.

And, in case you’re wondering, YES! There is a Scenes from an Airport, Part 1 (A Cautionary Tale)! It is fun too, but had to give most of the spotlight over to the drama of Part 2.

I had fun discovering this, so I just wanted to share it all with you again!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Date Night Anxiety


Everyone likes date night right? Everyone looks forward to a little grown-up time sans kids right?

Hmmm. I’m about to discuss something controversial. Every mom blogger knows that the most controversial thing you can write about is anything having to do with your husband.

Well, I am going to venture a guess that I am not alone in date-night-related-anxiety.

Usually, when date night is planned, it is in response to an over-stressed schedule and the recognition that we must remember we love our spouse and need to give them attention too.

So, the date night is put on The Calendar.

Then, my worrying begins. I cannot help it. I know it is irrational. I don’t want it to happen every time, but it does.

Will Parker be ok? Will he get upset or sad or have difficulty going down to bed or give the babysitter problems? Are we even going to have that much fun going out or should we just stay home? Will we stay up too late and be too tired tomorrow? Will it be worth it? Will I have enough energy to go out? What am I going to wear? I don’t buy “going out” clothes anymore. Do I need to wash my hair? Oh my gawd, are we going to have sex later? Have I shaved my legs in the last week? How LATE are we going to be up?

Every time, my husband is surprised by my anxiety (like he hasn’t lived with me for 13 years), and I tell him, “I’ll be fine. As soon as we’re gone, I’ll be fine,” and then I sense that he is put-off that I am not as excited as him about going out, and I worry about that.

I also know that as soon as we are gone, I am fine. Truly. And yet, I still put myself through the same useless anticipation and guilt before-hand as if I have to earn the right to go.

Is it just a natural why-fight-it type of thing that all mothers go through?

I hear some mothers get really excited to go out, look forward to it, do multiple Woo-Hoo’s! in their mind as they get ready to go, but then they get “out” and have a hard time enjoying themselves. The worry and guilt creep in.

I am just the opposite. My anxiety starts a few days before The Date Night and crescendos just at the moment we step out the door. And, as soon as we’re gone…I’m fine. I enjoy myself. It’s all worth it. Parker is good for the babysitter. He goes to bed fine. We stay up late, and we’re tired the next day, and we survive.

Why do I put myself through it? How do you handle date-night-related-anxiety?