Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Members of MENSA

{Photo un-related to this post from here. I haven't been this excited since 1995.}


I am beginning to develop a complex over the fact that the machines and devices in my life are much, much smarter than me. Or, maybe it's the people who program these items that are actually more intelligent. I can't decide. All I know is, the things in my life are getting to be quite bossy.

Remember my old car? It was a great car, really. The best part about this car wasn't its reliability, it was the fact that it said "HELLO!" to me every single time I started the engine. It was quite friendly and thoughtful. But I've moved on since then, to bigger, newer and (apparently) smarter vehicles.

My new car is a member of MENSA, I have decided. Why's that? Well, because my car tells me all sorts of things I don't even know are happening. Here's a sampling:

Attention driver: you have not correctly replaced the gas cap. Check gas cap immediately. You are a giant idiot. You must be a blond. So, is that natural blond or did you get that from a bottle? Clearly you're a woman. I hate women drivers. They are the worst.

OK, OK. Maybe it didn't say all of that, but it did tell me (one slow, painful line at a time in the dash mount) that I didn't put the gas cap back on to my car's obviously discriminating standards. You'll never find a boyfriend if you don't lower your standards, car. Everybody knows that.

Then, not long after, it began telling me that one of my tires wasn't inflated properly. Front right tire to be exact. I had to look over my shoulder to make sure I wasn't being watched. Or bugged.

It tells me other things too. Like the artist, genre and title of the songs I jam out to each day. Also, it reminds me when I'm driving my car in an economical manner by flashing what I can only assume are gang signs at me. What else am I supposed to assume "ECO!" means?

There are plenty of other devices in my life that also have an IQ of MENSA-like proportions. Take my remote control, for example. It told me last night that its batteries were getting low and it might be a good idea to replace them. Then--then!--to ensure I was paying attention to its commands, it forced me to select "OK" before continuing to watch the Cincinnati Reds clinch the NL Central Title. {On a personal side note: BRUUUUUUCE!}

But there are plenty of occasions when I truly appreciate the devices in my life telling me what to do in a less than polite manner. Like, when my phone reminds me of my appointments. Or, when my heart rate monitor reminds me to pick up the pace. This I find to be helpful, in what I can only say is the least creepy manner possible.

The truth of the matter is, when the devices start telling me things, I'm reminded of myself. Because I'm that person who hovers over your shoulder offering "helpful" advice to your problem. You know, because saying you are helpful is a kinder, gentler term than being viewed as completely nosy and incredibly obnoxious.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Beer Mule

I am eternally wishing, hoping and fawning all over things that I cannot have. Like candy corn, which clearly I am only able to have two months of every year. Or, a pony. Because everyone knows that a pony is 1.) A giant waste of money and 2.) Never going to amount to anything.

It's true.

So, let's talk about something else we cannot have at our house but still continue to hurl our pale, lanky bodies upon out of pure desperation. What is it? Oh, just Yuengling. You know, America's oldest brewery? Every one's favorite old pal? Offer-er of the Brew Crew and crafter of fine, American beers? That place?

We cannot have the Yuengling. We've tried everything we know how to do, really. Like praying. And visiting Pittsburgh for vacation and drinking $9 drafts at the Pirates stadium during a 3-hour rain delay. Then there's the time we called the fine people at Yuengling and pleaded with them to tell us when they will give us their fine beer in the great Buckeye State. No such luck. They asked us what a "buckeye" was and then told us to suck it. In not so many words. And with a pleasant tone. Clearly they didn't get the proud and bold name of "America's Oldest Brewery" by being rude. Rude people can't stick around the beer brewing business for THAT long. They would be shoved out by the pleasant people at that foreign German brewery that bought American staple Bud Light. Or, Sam Adams. Those people seem pretty nice on TV, too.

But we still pine for the Yuengling. We seethe with jealousy when others are seen imbibing said beverage in our presence, demanding they immediately tell us right now asking them politely where they had the pleasure of purchasing such rare brewskies. Turns out, these people who make us jealous with their Yuengling ownership and drinksmanship had something that we did not: a friend/relative/beer mule residing on the East Coast of the United States of America. Someone who cheerily ran home, bought this rare beer, then returned with their special delivery from America's Oldest Brewery.

We need friends and relatives, we decided. Why can't WE have East Coast friends and relatives like everyone else does? It's just not fair. Not fair at all. So, we sat on it. Thinked it over. Hung out with our relatives who reside in the Hoosier State (seriously, they should be asking those people about what their state's name means, not us) and noticed something: they were drinking our beer. OUR beer! The beer we pined over endlessly! How did our immediate family members manage to get their equally pale and lanky fingers on this brew while we were left crying on our buckeye necklaces?



Turns out, we forgot a small--but important--detail in the family tree. The cousin and her husband who live in West Virginia. God's country. Yuengling territory. And they had become beer mules for our relatives. And somehow we didn't get in on the beer mulery. We immediately contacted said relatives, arranged a delivery and now? And now we have this in our garage. And all is well again.

Monday, September 27, 2010

WWMHD: a hilarious weekend in review


{Photo from here}

Personally, I am all about using the weekend as a method to completely forget about the week. You know, like a little tiny vacation at the conclusion of each work week. It does wonders, save the moment my alarm clock begins to lull me from a deep sleep at 6:00 a.m. on Monday and coldly shoves me back to reality.

This weekend, in retrospect, was quite hilarious. This is because I find everything (and I mean everything) to be hilarious even when it's not all that funny.

On Saturday, my better half departed early in the A.M. for football-related activities. Saturday is a day where I refuse to wake up early, so I was still in bed when he left. I'm told that the garage door was refusing to close and he informed me (in my sleepy haze) that he was going to leave the garage door open and locked the door from the kitchen to the garage. Sounds great. Well, after informing me of this fact, the door decided to close. Must have been all the work I put in with my socket wrench set, no?

No. So, the door was closed and everyone was just fantastic and life went back to normal. I continued to sleep until it was time to drop the dog off at the kennel and began my preparations that usually cause her to go into a tailspin because we're going somewhere in the car and that's always really, really exciting. Really. I headed out into the garage to get something from the car and the moment that the door closed behind me I had a flashback: the door was locked. And we bought the world's stupidest door handle, that can be locked and still allow you to open the door and lock yourself outside. Which is what I did. In my pajamas. With no bra on. And Crocs on my feet. And no key. And no cell phone. And no anything else that would make it possible for me to do anything, really.

So, I attacked this conundrum with the logic that I would refer to as WWMHD: What Would My Husband Do? Because he's the rational one. He's the problem solver. I'm the crazy one. Who can't think rationally in high pressure situations. So, I sat on the steps in the garage and thought things through, tapping my Crocs-clad foot and coming to the conclusion that I had just a few options:

1. Go next door in my white shirt with no bra and ask to use the neighbor's phone to call my husband and come let me in the house
2. (Attempt to) break down the door with my tiny, but powerful, body
3. Cut the screen on the kitchen window and shove my tiny, powerful body through the window

Both you and my husband would be thrilled to know that I selected option numero tres. I located the tools of the trade (box cutters, Werner ladder) and proceeded to break into my own house. It was much easier than I imagined. I sliced two small sections, popped that baby off and shoved my body through the window, over the pile of clean dishes in the sink, all whilst the dog observed in quite an un-helpful manner.

In true fashion, I had to make a joke out of this less than hilarious predicament. So, I did what any wife would do, and tried to give my husband a heart attack.

Me: Hello, guess what? I have good news and bad news for you.
Him: Oh boy. What now?
Me: OK, so the bad news is that someone sliced the screen in the kitchen, climbed through the window and broke into our house. Good news? It was me.

Funny, right? In my mind, people who cause me to be locked out of the house deserve to be given a mild heart attack. It's only fair.

But, I believe in karma. And karma reminded me yesterday that it was truly alive and well. You know, because the guy who locked me out of the house Saturday puked out of the window of his parent's moving vehicle less than a mile from our home. Let's just say it was a windy day. And a disgusting windy day at that. Helloooo, karma.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The 100

100 Things

There was recently a note going around the world of Facebook, requesting individuals to write down 25 “random” things about themselves. I obliged, but it got me to thinking about all the things we have to say about ourselves. In reality, I believe we each have many unique and interesting facets to our lives. Why limit a list about you to only twenty five? So, I’ve come up with 100 random, but true, things about me. I hope you’re sitting down—this might take a while.

1 I love a good sale and am a sucker for price reduction. I get really excited about paying a fraction of the cost for something--anything--fabulous.

2 Getting married to my husband was, in my opinion, the best decision I’ve ever made. I can’t imagine my life without him.

3 I’m horrible at good-byes and ending conversations. I love to talk, but have a hard time figuring out when it’s appropriate to depart or stop talking.

4 At any given moment, there is always a very wide variety of fresh fruit in my refrigerator. It's a requirement.

5 I’ve never eaten brussel sprouts or chicken wings. I plan to die without consuming either.

6 I am one of four children. There is a 16 year age gap between my oldest and youngest sibling.

7 I’m horrible at taking care of my hands and nails. I have ugly, raggedy-looking nails and dry, cracked hands. To me, a manicure is a pure waste of money.

8 I love vintage and vintage-looking jewelry. I love the quality and look of something old, even if it really isn’t. I also love that old things have a story to tell—even if I have to make it up.

9 I want to be the editor of a fashion magazine when I grow up. I love the thought of writing about fashion, attending fashion shows and having access to the coolest new stuff.

10 I’d be lost without my dog. I think she’s great, even when she wakes me up in the middle of the night by whining until I pet her.

11 There’s nothing better than the excitement of having something new. I just love admiring and owning something that’s new—it’s one of the best feelings on earth.

12 I’m a terrible cook. I’m not patient and organized enough to be a skilled chef, which is why I married one.

13 I don’t like sports. I don’t care enough to understand or become interested in the world of sports. I mostly oblige because my husband has a love affair with all sporting events.

14 I’m extremely annoyed by people who use incorrect grammar when they speak or write. I often hold myself back from correcting them, but cannot resist my urge to cringe.

15 I’m always multi-tasking, but I’m not very good at it. I’m very easily distracted and incredibly forgetful.

16 I try on a minimum of five outfits every morning before work. Depending on my mood, things can get ugly in my search to find an outfit.

17 I never eat 3 square meals a day. I don’t like to be tied down by real meals that don’t include a bowl of cereal.

18 Although I realize their stupidity, I am a sucker for sleazy reality shows. I watch many, many of these shows; more than I’d like to admit.

19 As a child, I wished for nothing more in life than my own dog. At age eight, I got a little brother instead.

20 My hair is the true bane of my existence. It’s thick, curly and mostly frizzy on a good day. We’ve always had a love-hate relationship.

21 I can’t live without crazy shoes. Bright colors, obnoxious patterns and pointy toes are just a few of my favorite things.

22 I rarely wear bracelets, mostly because they are too big to fit around my ridiculously small and bony wrists.

23 I was a lanky, awkward late-bloomer with crooked teeth as a child.

24 I didn’t have my first kiss until high school. (See #23.)

25 Writing is, and will always be, my life’s passion.

26 I feel sorry for people who don’t run. I think they’re missing out on something great.

27 My biggest fashion splurge: a black pebbled leather, full-price Coach bag. My greatest fashion steal: a Kenneth Cole men’s watch from DSW for less than $40. Both play a starring role in my daily life.

28 I think mailing someone a hand written note is truly the sweetest gesture.

29 My biggest work-related pet peeve: people who call me instead of walking down the hall to talk to me. Seriously, would it kill you to walk 10 yards?

30 I’m very critical of others, but only behind their backs.

31 I would be late to just about everything without the aid of my cell phone calendar and audible reminders.

32 I cannot control myself around snack foods. I once I start eating them, I can’t stop—so I usually don’t even start.

33 I can’t sleep unless the closet door and all drawers in my bedroom have been closed.

34 I’m still afraid of the dark, even in my own home.

35 My favorite part of the weekend is drinking coffee.

36 I hate talking politics, but I believe abortion and the death penalty are wrong. I think if you want to own a gun and you’re a responsible person, you should. I believe the sheer greed of wealthy people has led us down this horrible economic path.

37 I always feel guilty spending a lot of money on something, even if it’s worth it.

38 I believe in karma. I think it's alive and well, and each of  us will get exactly what we deserve--in this life or the next.

39 I have a really small mouth. As a child, the dentist pulled out several of my teeth because there wasn’t enough room in there for all of them.

40 I could happily live the rest of my life eating the exact same thing every day.

41 I have no intention of ever owning one, but I think anything that involves cats is absolutely hilarious.

42 The only way I can fall is asleep is by laying on my right side, curled into the fetal position. I can’t sleep with pants on; they are just too restricting.

43 I hate mornings and despise getting up early. Coffee is really the only redeeming quality the morning has to offer. (See #35)

44 I didn’t really enjoy high school, but I loved college.

45 I’ve never broken a bone, but I have received a black eye after falling off my bunk bed in college.

46 I carry the stress of the world in my hands and mouth. When I’m under a lot of pressure, the joints in my hands ache like nobody’s business and my mouth blooms with canker sores.

47 Like my mother, I always root for the underdog. I love a good story of someone prevailing over adversity.

48 Like my father, I’m fascinated with the story behind everything. I love hearing about a great journey or fascinating tale; I love the history behind things.

49 I don’t like milk and never drink it. I opt for soy milk instead, but only in my cereal.

50 I eat 6 hard boiled egg whites every day. People at work think I’m crazy.

51 If I don’t have a pack of gum in my purse at all times, I start to panic.

52 I own two cell phones, which I find incredibly annoying.

53 The first time my husband came to visit me in college, he got a speeding ticket because I gave him the wrong directions.

54 I refuse to give up my "big city" cell phone number from even though I’ve lived elsewhere for 5 years.

55 I believe DVR is the world’s greatest invention. I’d marry it if I could.

56 When I like a song, I listen to it over and over again until I no longer like it.

57 I have a very sharp tongue and an incredibly soft heart.

58 I think astronomy is a crock, but I’m a Leo through and through—from my mane of hair to my intense love of attention.

59 Before I was born my parents couldn’t agree on a name for me, so they made a bet. If I weighed less than 8 pounds, I’d be Emily. If I was over, I’d be Jessica. Emily, my mother has always said, is a name for someone who’s tiny.

60 I have a lot of freckles, many in strange places. I have one on the palm of my right hand and two on the bottom of my left foot.

61 I scrunch my nose when I laugh.

62 When I’m nervous or stressed, I chew on my lips.

63 I love sarcasm—it’s the spice of my life.

64 I’m a collector of inspirational quotes. My screen saver is always a scrolling quote, which I change each week.

65 I think Wally Lamb is the greatest writer the world has ever known.

66 I’ve always wanted to get a tattoo, but felt I needed a good reason to do so. When my grandfather died, I found my reason.

67 I actually enjoy pulling weeds from my flower gardens. It's like soothing therapy.

68 I sometimes wonder if retirement is going to be really, really boring.

69 Life, I believe, is all about perspective. Changing your thinking can change your world.

70 No matter how many times I clean and organize my office at work, it never stays that way. At home, everything is neat and organized in its proper place.

71 Much like Pavlov’s dog, I’ve become accustomed to eating fruit and protein every 3 hours. I begin a slow decline into insanity when my schedule is interrupted.

72 I really, really love my job and look forward to coming to work every day.

73 I believe that a smile and being polite can take you further in this world than anything else.

74 When I’m talking to someone with bad teeth, it’s all I can look at during the entire conversation.

75 I’ve always been jealous of creative people who can make things. I can describe and paint you a pretty picture with words, but I can’t make squat.

76 I never carry a small purse—ever. I need a gigantic purse to hold the insane amount of stuff in my life.

77 I’m a rule follower through and through. I don’t like breaking rules or being part of something that doesn’t follow them. It makes me really nervous.

78 Though I have no intention of ever moving back, I’ll always feel like I left a piece of my heart in a big town.

79 I’m very impatient. When I get it in my head that I want something, I have a hard time waiting around for it to happen.

80 I’ve run three half marathons and collectively, they were the hardest thing I have ever done. I don’t think I could ever run a full marathon.

81 I hate being stagnant. In all aspects of my life, I have an inherent need to always be working towards something specific.

82 I am very forgetful. If I don't write it down or enter it into my Smart phone, it will be forgotten.

83 I ask a lot of questions about everything, especially during movies and Daylight Savings Time.

84 I am a maniac behind the wheel of a car. Once the engine starts, I’m a raging lunatic. Outside of the hunk of metal, I’m really quite meek and non-confrontational.

85 I have very realistic, very strange dreams every night that I remember almost every morning when I wake up.

86 It took me roughly 25 years to realize that the people who have the most “stuff” aren’t always the people with the most happiness.

87 I believe the creative genius behind the Target Corporation is just that—a genius.

88 Mice and snakes don’t scare me, but spiders and heights do.

89 I’m always in a rush, regardless of whether it’s warranted or not.

90 I’ve never been athletic or good at sports, but have an intense love of physical activity now that I’m an adult.

91 If I could only wear one color for the rest of my life, it would be black.

92 I’m supposed to wear glasses when I drive, but I rarely do. It hasn’t caused any problems—yet.

93 I believe secretaries are the most under-paid and under-appreciated employees in the world.

94 I rarely notice someone’s eye color, but I always know what their hands look like. In a hand lineup, I could very easily identify you.

95 In college, I chipped my right front tooth on a beer bottle; I told my parents I was drinking Snapple. I’ve had a cap on that tooth ever since. {Hi mom!}

96 Gin and tonic is, and will always be, my very favorite drink.

97 I like talking about myself, but hate being asked pointed personal questions in a public arena. I find it incredibly offensive.

98 I love dressing up, even when it’s not appropriate. If I had my way, I’d always be in high heels and something fabulous and completely un-casual.

99 I’ve always been incredibly nosy and interested in being in the middle of everything. In first grade, my teacher told my parents that I need to learn how to mind my own business. You could say PR was a calling.

100 I’m not a big fan of candy, but every fall I become completely obsessed with candy corn. I consume many bags, and then retreat to a candy-free life when winter rolls around.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

An "Important Message" from "A Good Friend"

As I've stated time and time again, the only way to get through life is to find a way to laugh at everything. Seriously. How else could I possibly manage to reside 4 years in a home that has linoleum flooring screwed into the walls??

Today, my dear friend Alidou Balare provided me with my daily dose of humor. It's funny that he called upon me, of all people, to help him in this important time of need.

FROM THE DESK OF : Mr. ALIDOU BALARE,

AUDITING AND ACCOUNTING SECTION,

BANK OF AFRICA( B.O.A )

OUAGADOUGOU BURKINA-FASO, WEST AFRICA .

DEAR FRIEND,
I am Mr. ALIDOU BALARE, Manager Audit Accounting Department BANK OF AFRICA ( B.O.A ) Now i have the intent to contact you over this financial transaction worth the sum of Nineten Million Three Hundred Thousand United States Dollars ($19.3m)for our mutual benefit. this is an abandoned fund that belonged to one of our foriegn customers who died along with his entire family through plane crash disaster since few years ago.

meanwhile i was very fortunate to come across the deceased file when i was arranging the old and abandoned customers file inoder to sign and submit to the entire bank management for an official re-documentation and audit of the year against 2010. be informed clearly that it was stated in our banking rules and regulations which was signed lawfully that if such fund remains unclaimed till the period of some yaers starting from the date of death of the customer,the money will be transfered into the bank treasury as an unclaimed fund

As an honour and advantage bestowed to our foriegn customers base on the rules guiding our bank, it was stated obviously that if you are not a citizen of Burkina-Faso,you have the absolute authority to claim the fund hence you are a foriegner despite your differences from country of origin of the deceased.

on the transfer of this fund into your account,(40%) will be your share in respect of the account provision and your assistance rendered during the transfer of the fund into your bank account,(50%)will be my share being the coorfdinator and pillar of the transaction while the rest (10%)will be shared to the respectable charity homes which has been my second dream to be of help to humanity.

Now,if you are really sure of your trustworthy,accountability and confidential on this transaction without dissapointment, reply with the assurance, come up with the information showed below and call me +226 787 62 077 .

1)YOUR FULL NAME.....

2)YOUR AGE..........................

3)MARITAL STATUS...........................

4)YOUR CELL PHONE NUMBER..........

5)YOUR FAX NUMBER............................

6)YOUR COUNTRY...........................

7)YOUR OCCUPATION............................

8)SEX............................:

9)YOUR RELIGION................

10)YOUR PRIVATE E-MAIL:

YOURS FAITHFULLY,
REGARDS,

MR ALIDOU BALARE

I was going to respond, but unfortunately I am not so sure of my trustworthy, accountability and confidential. Besides, it's against my religion to help others. Sorry, friend. All I want to know is this: if sharing money with respectable charity homes and to be of help to humanity is truly your "second dream," then what---pray tell--is your first dream? Giving money to American strangers?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

On Joy & Sorrow

{From Happy Things}

Then a woman said, "Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow."

And he answered:

"Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.

And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.

And how else can it be?

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?

And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow,"

and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."

But I say unto you, they are inseparable.

Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.

Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.

When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall."


Kahlil Gibran - The Prophet (1923)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Career Choices

{Photo from here}

As a child, I told anyone who would listen that it was my life's dream to be either a veterinarian or horse trainer when I grew up. Then, I grew up. And I realized that horse trainers really need to know something about horses and veterinarians need to be good at biology. Clearly, I do not fit the bill for any of the aforementioned skill sets as I probably touched a horse one time and I hate the sciences. They really are the worst.

Then, in my teen years, I surmised that a career in business was the life for me. Until I applied to business school and realized that I wasn't good at math. Also, I enjoyed crushing all of my life's dream by realizing I was not proficient in any of the skills required for a successful career in said field. Pity party, table of one. Can I major in dream crushing instead?


{I still want to be Lady Gaga when I grow up.}

So, I realized that really the thing I am good at is writing. And talking. And being nosy. Lucky for me, I found the career path and major that suited me and my fantastic personality: PR. But, what about my other dreams? What about a life of ease teaching horses to behave and fixing the feeble and sickly animals of the world? What about my DREAMS? Well, sometimes we just have to let our dreams go. Let them fly free in the breeze and understand that really, it just was not meant to be. Little girls need to be taught that they can only dream about realistic things. Through debilitating failure.

But anyway.

This weekend, I realized that another of my (potential) career paths was not meant to be: I am not destined to be a painter. I'm just not, ever, going to be a painter. I won't be wearing white coveralls to work every day. (Why white, btw?) Sure, I can paint and I'd like to think I'm pretty darn good at painting. Then again, painting every wall surface in your home can do that to a girl. Oh, and painting 456456 oak kitchen cabinets in one week's time. That has a way of doing crazy things to you, too. I continued on my tirade of painting by tackling our master bathroom this weekend. You know, the one with that weird plastic window. How could you have possibly forgotten that place?

I haven't, but that's because I live there. This bathroom was beyond gross and I'm wondering how on earth we managed to not realize this earlier. The paint was peeling in quite a disturbing fashion, which meant I had to patch, sand and prime the walls before I even dreamed of painting. And allow me to be the first to inform you that I like a lot of things, but extra steps are not included in that list of things.

I finally got around to slapping on some paint yesterday afternoon, and I like to think of painting as a time where I enjoy a front row seat to my very life flashing before my eyes. This is mostly due to the fact that I am the worst when it comes to using a ladder. Oh, don't lean off the edge of the ladder to reach something far away because you're too lazy to move the ladder 2 feet? Pssh. Don't boss me. What's that? Don't drop the ladder that has a large gallon of paint on the little paint shelf on your big toe then scream bloody murder? Puh-leaze. Huh? I shouldn't put one foot on the ladder and the other one a tiny shelf THIS big in the shower to reach the highest corner in the bathroom instead of getting a taller ladder? Shut it, already.

Despite several opportunities to break my neck or smash my face in, I managed to walk away from yesterday's painting extravaganza with just a bloody, gouged toenail to show for my efforts. Oh, and orangey paint on the ceiling and primer that appears to be permanently fused to my epidermis. Battle scars, people. Battle scars.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pssst. Over here.

{Image: Happy Things}

There is, as they say, a lesson in everything. And I really do mean that. The good stuff and the bad stuff all has something to teach us. I guess it's just a matter of whether we're ready to start listening. Whether we have begun to actually hear the words that are being spoken to us--because listening and hearing aren't one in the same. Isn't it funny how some words cut to the very core of our being, while others simply skim the surface and are easily forgotten? Without realizing it we firmly grasp onto some, allowing them to sink in, while we let others slowly float away from our minds.

It has been said that God speaks to us in small ways. Small taps on the shoulder, light touches on the arm, cool breezes through our hair. But, when we aren't listening, being smacked over the head becomes a requirement. We sometimes require a larger push to understand what we aren't hearing, what we have chosen to gloss over with what sometimes becomes our selective take on life. When subtlety doesn't work, extreme measures become necessary.



{Image: Happy Things}

We move slowly through the ups and downs of life and sometimes, it feels like we're wading through mud. But in the end, there is a method to the madness. This is not an easy lesson for us to learn. Some things do not make sense. Good people will die long before their time. We will feel alone in a crowded room. We will question why life has brought us to this point without giving us the secret code on how to get through it. We will be scared.

But it is deep inside of these moments, the ones that make us think that nothing makes sense anymore, that we stop and realize that we are lost because we stopped listening--and hearing--the message being played over the loud speaker of our lives. We ignore the call to step outside of our comfort zone because it scares us. Or, we become complacent with mediocrity. Whatever the case, we have forgotten to listen to the whispers that remind us that everything is happening just as it should.

For me, I always come back to the one thing that has always kept me grounded. It's that gentle reminder that I mentioned I have sitting by my computer screen:

The Serenity Prayer
God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as a pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His will;
That I may be supremely happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I'm your biggest fan



{Photo from here}


I have a tumultuous relationship with the devices in our home. It's like they hate me and really have no intention of hiding their true feelings. Like when the washing machine literally chewed up and spat out my bra. Or, the time our really gross and incredibly old oven refused to die so it could be replaced. Then, there was the moment our vacuum cleaner stopped sucking--and it was a bad thing.

But as of late, it's the ceiling fan in our bedroom that is starting to turn on me. And I don't mean that as a joke. But it is funny, right? Anyway. A ceiling fan, particularly in one's bedroom, really is a fantastic thing. It's soothing. It's calming. It creates a delightful breeze. Really, who doesn't love a ceiling fan? That's right: no one.

Our ceiling fan is nothing special to look at, but it's a delightful fixture. Recently, though, it has begun to act like a stubborn child. At one time, there were at least five fan speeds to choose from, ranging from barely moving all the way up to what I can only describe as "Mach 5." Currently, just one speed is available for usage and ironically, it's Mach 5. Really? Really! That's all there is to offer, hope you enjoy sleeping inside of a wind tunnel! That's not something I enjoy, so we just stopped using the fan entirely.

Then, last night the fan began acting normal again. There were plenty of speeds to choose from! All five even! Pick your favorite, proclaimed our ceiling fan! Sounds great, fan. Thanks, old pal. So, my husband went to bed to read and enjoy the cool breezes of the ceiling fan while I caught up on quality programs like Oprah and Rehab: Party at the Hard Rock Hotel. Stop judging me, it's a good show. Promise.

After I had thoroughly removed twenty brain cells from watching reality TV garbage, I headed to bed. To find a peculiar scene: the ceiling fan was smoking. And it wasn't a cigarette. And somehow, no one but me seemed alarmed by this particular issue.

Me: The ceiling fan is smoking and it smells like burning in here.
Astute Observer: What? I don't know what you're talking about?
Me: Smoke. Fire. Death.
AO: Yeah, I guess now that you mention it I probably smell and see smoke or something.

Right. Or something. So, in true fashion I proceeded to freak out. Because my greatest fear is evacuating my home after it has caught on fire. What would I take? How would the dog get out? Should I get her leash? What about my clothing? Should I grab our wedding photos? What about my jewelry? See, this is why it's good to be paranoid. And a good planner!

So, we turned the fan off and I began staring at it, waiting for the inevitable bursting into flames that was about to happen on the ceiling above my bed. It never happened. My favorite astute observer calmed my fears by explaining, "Nothing is on fire. It's just a little smoke."

Um, haven't you heard the old saying? You know, the one that assures you that the only way you will see/smell smoke is if there is a fire nearby? Hmm?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The greatest gift

Sometimes, we proclaim that an item is the "best" gift we have ever received. Naturally, this distinction changes with the hands of time. I likely thought this was some sort of doll at one point in my life, or some fabulous expensive purse or piece of jewelry as of late. Possessions.

The fact remains, these things really aren't our best gifts. The best gifts we receive are small, simple and meaningful--and don't cost a lot of money. At work, a mystery person has been giving the occupants of our office such gifts every Christmas. It's always something special, something unique and meaningful and is something I treasure dearly. It changes each year, but the meaning behind the gift is always inspiring.



Last year, it was this ornament. It's a plastic globe with a feather and some glitter inside; really nothing special at face value. But it was the message attached that meant something:

I am an angel feather sent from God above
to serve as a reminder
of His most gracious love.
I am from your guardian angel to remind you
that each time you stumble or nearly fall;
thank God and all his angels
for answering your call.

I've kept this ornament in my office, just behind my computer screen, ever since. It's a nice little reminder. Besides, it's in good company next to my other treasures: a reminder of how long we'll be waiting (on the first-waiting-waiting list) for adoption, a sweet card from a friend, my grandmother's address at the nursing home and the Serenity Prayer. It's good to have all my best gifts together.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Have you seen my baseball?



I'm a pretty good wife. How do I know this? Well, because I'm good at things like cleaning, laundry, dog maintenance and painting. I wear pearls. I curl my hair in hot rollers every morning. I'm perky. I drink entirely too much coffee. I wear pumps. I use the word "pumps" in relation to my shoes. I carry a fancy handbag on my forearm.

However, I think most of those traditional things wives are "supposed" to do just aren't consistent with the type of woman I am. I'm not subservient. I speak almost exclusively when I'm not spoken to. I don't follow directions. I have a really smart mouth. I like to pick up on shortcomings and exploit them with jokes that cut directly to the core of your self-confidence.

I mean, I could be in the kitchen baking a blueberry pie without my shoes on and with a large belly filled with a child. I could. But, I'm not. Besides, it's important to be realistic in regards to this scenario: I'm never going to make a pie. Ever. Too many steps involved, really.

But today really was my shining moment in great wife-ery. You see, my husband is obsessed with sports. All sports, really. Mostly baseball. And Cincinnati Reds baseball. The Reds, as you might have heard, are doing quite well in said sporting event and are headed towards the 2010 National League Division Series (or the NLDS, as they call it in the 'biz) and my better half was selected to purchase tickets for said potential momentous occasion. The problem? Oh, the problem. The problem is that tickets went on sale this morning at 9:00 a.m. sharp and my husband was busy doing his job teaching Algebra II to our future leaders to be bothered to purchase NLDS tickets.

But me? Well, I'm happy to purchase NLDS tickets. Thrilled, even. So, I got the world's longest a very specific explanation last night of how to purchase said items. There would be a virtual waiting room. I wouldn't be wearing a paper gown or filling out medical forms, however. I would be twiddling my thumbs in super exciting 15-second increments instead.

So, this morning I arrived at work to an e-mail from my better half, which read:

Don't forget about the tickets!

Then, a few moments later:

Let me know how the tickets go this morning...

My response:

It's kind of like you're worried about a baby or something. It's funny.

His response:

In a manner of speaking, yes. Yes, I am.

Don't worry folks, the baby is just fine. I got into that virtual waiting room ahead of all the other patients with bizarre ailments and purchased tickets for some hypothetical game at some hypothetical time and date. For being so non-specific, they sure were expensive worth all that virtual waiting.

Monday, September 13, 2010

I judge you based on your design choices

Our home really is a fine place. Built in the glory days of 1992, it once stood as a true homage to the wonderful world of grainy oak, shiny brass, florals and the color pink. A shining example of all the late 80's and early 90's, it had its moment in the sun. But, as they say, every dog has its day. And that day has passed. Like a freight train. And it's entirely up to yours truly to ensure this journey happens quite quickly. I take this responsibility more seriously than you could possibly imagine.

I have invested quite a large portion of my life attempting to rid my early 90's abode of its early 90's feel. I've painted every surface, refinished the cabinets and torn apart more than I can begin to describe. But this weekend, I realized that my journey is far from over.

But, like everything else in my life, I only manage to traipse through this journey by poking fun at others and laughing at the sheer hilarity I manage to locate in--well--everything. Seriously, it's UN-possible to laugh at these things.



Like the fact that someone, who I can only imagine was drunk at the time, spent their time, funds and energy to screw strips of linoleum flooring into the wall leading into the basement. You know, for that super classy "tile on the walls" look without all the hassle of buying tile and grout and other tiling supplies! Then, because these large black drywall screws would not have been enough to hold the flooring to the wall on their own, they framed out the floor covering on the wall with moulding. That doesn't line up. And looks like this:




My husband finds it to be quite hilarious that I announced this eyesore was the "first thing to go" when we moved in. It's been three years. The flooring on the wall remains. I had no concept of what home ownership meant back then.

But the bevy of fantastic ideas don't end on the stairway to the basement. I have reason to believe it's only where they began. It's like the stairway to our upstairs heaven. These design concepts continue into the downstairs bathrooms, where they continue to lack what I can only call "common sense." Because you and I both know screwing linoleum into the walls is very non-sensical. Someone spent extra money--and again time--on this delightful item:




What is it? Well, I really don't know. I have a few ideas:

1. A window that allows whomever is on the toilet to see whomever is at the sink
2. Vice-versa
3. A place for my husband to store his glasses & contacts
4. An eye sore
5. A new, interesting way to torture me with questions about how to get rid of something so awful



The thing is, I really believe someone thought this out. It's framed quite nicely in oak moulding, which leads me to believe it was actually done, gasp, on purpose. But here's the thing---it's made of PLASTIC. Etched plastic, even. Which means I have absolutely no idea how to prevent it from being so awful. It just cannot be contained.



But then again, life sometimes has a way of making sense during moments of grief. Take this weekend for example, when I finally found my way into the master bathroom to slap on a much-needed coat of paint. I cracked a hook off the wall and found that the plastic-window-in-the-bathroom-people also chose to allow this item to stand out with this paint color:


Somehow, it all begins to make sense again.

So tell me: what should I do with my plastic window? Deal with it? Paint it? Use it to wipe my tears??

Friday, September 10, 2010

Self-control: I have it 10 months of every year


I pride myself on a few important attributes that I have mastered in my life thus far and self-control is high atop this list. I have very serious and strong willpower. Don't test me. I can control myself. I am dedicated. I don't sway from the plan I have written in blood. You know, the plan that says I exercise regularly, don't eat fried foods and refrain from drinking pop and eating junk food. It's a simple--but serious--plan.

Except? Except when it comes to candy corn. I cannot--I will not--control myself in the presence of candy corn. It is simply not an option. It's the only candy I love, and it's only available in stores for a very limited amount of time. This only adds to the obsessive urgency of consuming massive amounts of candy corn during the months of September and October. If you loved something dearly that you could only eat two months of the year, wouldn't you eat it until your skin turns orange?

Don't answer that.

Everyone knows that sugar is addicting. Once I am flying high on some bizarre candy corn induced sugar buzz, I only want more candy corn. And I want it now. 2 big bags for $3? Sure, sounds great. I'll take 12. I don't even know why they bother to refer to them as "big bags" when in reality I consume one in its entirety every 24 hours. All by myself. While watching shows about weight loss, like "Thintervention with Jackie Warner" on Bravo. That's right. I was shoving my face with mellow cream pumpkins while the super ripped Jackie barked at her clients about how sugar makes them fat and threw away all the toxic sugar-laded crap in their kitchens. Pass the mellow cream pumpkins, please!

Besides, I can afford to gain a few pounds. Apparently. Yesterday, a co-worker (and neighbor, if we're keeping track of these things) who I haven't seen in a while didn't recognize me. He seemed to find great difficulty in understanding why (Is it your hair? Did you do something different with your hair?) until it hit him: I recently loss massive amounts of weight, he declared. Yeah, that's it! Massive, massive weight loss. "Like, 25 pounds at least!" he said.

Huh?

OK, so maybe I have lost some weight (5-ish pounds, maybe) due to stress, but nowhere near the neighborhood of twenty-five pounds. Not even the next street over. Or, in the same city even. In fact, I have never lost that much weight ever in my life, let alone recently. But, when you already have the build of a rail, does five pounds look like TWENTY five pounds? Maybe.

Clearly, this is a sign that I should eat more candy corn.

Once November rolls around, I'll be back to the old, boring me. But for now I'm happy being the crazy candy corn eating me who has little to no self-control when it comes to orange food coloring and corn syrup.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

It's Complicated

If my alarm clock and I were in a relationship on Facebook, it would read, "It's Complicated." Because, well, it is. I love my alarm clock. I hate my alarm clock. I can't decide exactly what I feel for my alarm clock. I just don't know anymore. We need to go to therapy. To talk about our feelings, of course.

It's not just MY alarm clock, I think it's all alarm clocks. They really are awful. But, there are so many great things my alarm clock has to offer! It plays my iPod! It charges my iPod! It has a radio! AM and FM! It gives me 5 million radio pre-sets! It wakes me up every morning! It has a gigantic snooze button! It tells me the time! And? And! It tells me the date! Plus, it's thoughtful. It wants me to be on time for everything, including important and non-important events. It doesn't discriminate, it just wakes me up any time I ask. Without asking any questions. I hate questions. They really are the worst.

But things can be rocky with my alarm clock. It gets poor radio reception unless we take that stupid wire thing and string it through my bedside lamp. That is quite unsightly in my decorating opinion. Despite our three years together, it always takes me approximately five minutes to figure out how to turn the damn thing off. Sometimes, it takes two tries. There are lots of buttons to choose from, OK? Other times, it just never turns off and I come home and it literally sounds like the alarm clock is screaming bloody murder at Rudi. Who, of course, is sleeping through the obnoxious sound like a tiny, newborn baby who has no idea what the big deal is. This is why dogs are late to everything and most people find them to be quite inconsiderate. The nerve!

I think things really took a turn when I met my husband, who introduced me to the delightfully wonderful world of hitting the snooze button. Before him, I was a total non-snoozer. Today? Today I am a minimum three-snoozer. I'm the person who sets my alarm early just so I can snooze--in heavenly 9-minute increments of course. This has created a tumultuous relationship with my alarm clock. In my sleepy haze, I sometimes think the snooze is the off button and I over sleep. Or, I can't tell if I hit "off" or just turned on the radio. Or, if I turned on one of my 12 optional radio pre-sets. I don't seem to recall reading in the owner's manual that I can set 4 alarms in 15 minute increments by pressing two buttons at the same time. Who in tarnation needs that function? What kind of alarm clock is this anyway?

This morning was no exception. I set my reliable old pal for 6:00 a.m. sharp. Like clockwork (har!) it awoke me with obnoxious beeps at my requested time. I hit snooze. Three times. Then, I began my morning routine. Which begins with washing my face with the other fantastic invention that plays a large role in my life: the Clarisonic Mia. It's the best thing ever and totally worth the investment. Also,  it's sort of loud--especially when I'm washing my face and the water is running. So, the alarm clock is doing that thing where it sounds like it is screaming at the dog and I can't hear anything. Except my husband screaming. And Rudi barking. It's chaos. Chaos, I tell you!

For some reason, those two decided to act like our house was on fire instead of putting their heads together and figuring out how to turn off the alarm clock. Because I only have a college degree and I'm not sure how to turn it off. I mean, one of them has TWO degrees from an institution of higher education and the other knows basic commands in my baby voice. Can't one of them turn off the alarm clock without my assistance? No, no one can do that without me. Me and my lovely face, dripping with soap suds and my Clarisonic Mia humming a familiar tune in the background.

We need a less intelligent alarm clock, because I'm pretty sure this one has its PhD in Annoying from MIT. And no one in our house is allowed to be smarter than me. No one.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The first coat is the deepest

{photo from here}

Three day weekends really are fantastic. I mean, anytime I am given full permission by the U.S. Government to sleep in and not go to work on a Monday I'm thrilled. Labor Day was no exception. I slept in, I snuggled with my dog and drank massive amounts of coffee while watching Jersey Shore on my DVR. Life, as they say, does not get much better than this. Especially when Sammi "Sweetheart" and J-WOWW engage in a good, old-fashioned, cat fight.

Anyway. I decided that if I was going to truly enjoy this extended weekend, I was going to have to accomplish something worthwhile. Other than catching up on my DVR, of course. You and I both know that watching the shows I record is neither "worth" or "while." Or, a combination of those two words. I thought (for .5 seconds) about folding the clean laundry monster than lives in my laundry room, but grew bored. Because it's the laundry room. Everyone loves having a laundry room, but no one actually LIKES the laundry room. It's a sad, sad place where my random socks go to die.

So, instead of being trapped in that awful place, I did what any good homeowner would do: I painted. Sherwin Williams was having a 30% off sale (and you know how much I love a good sale!) so I invested in not one, not two, but THREE gallons of paint. In the daring shade of Copper Mountain. It fit the description of what I was looking for to a T. The fine people at my local Sherwin Williams see me coming and run to the nearest corner. You know, because I say things like:

"I'm looking for an orangy, burnt umber, coppery, brownish orange brick color that isn't too orange and isn't too brown. Or brick."

I mean, who wouldn't want to punch me in the face? So, I somehow--via a miracle handed down by God Himself--managed to locate the color combination that sounds like it doesn't exist. Lemmetellya, it exists. In three gallons of paint. At my house. I purchased said wall covering for two purposes: 1. To paint the upstairs hallway and 2. To paint the master bathroom. Both locales are in very desperate need of paint. Also, both locales are currently painted a very light color. So, changing them to that extended description above is just a BIT of a change.

After many hours of painting, cussing (just thinking about orange/brownish/burnt umber paint splattered onto a white baseboard makes me hyperventilate) and listening to Pandora, also known as The Best Invention Ever, I was finished with the first coat. And almost passed out. Cuz it's a big change and I'm scared of change. And orange. But, the first coat is always the scariest. And I think there's some saying like, "Don't judge a paint color by it's first coat" or something about a book and its cover. I can't remember, but I'm pretty sure it's deep and meaningful. Like my new paint color.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Test.


In this little world of mine, everything is a BFD*. Things like gnats in my bedroom. And dog vomit on the carpet. And blueberry juice staining my pristine white sink. Normal stuff like that.

But, I seem to recall someone once telling me that before outwardly declaring that something is a really, really big deal you must first undergo a simple, but effective, test. You need only to ask yourself one question: Will this matter in 20 years?

Most of the time, the answer is no. I probably won't care about a stained sink in 20 years. And all the other things, the stuff that I am convinced really matters and is a really big deal? It means nothing. It wasn't worth the worry or the stress or sleepless nights. It was just details, faint and fleeting memories that will dissolve with the hands of time. Today, it's real. Tomorrow, in essence, it will be an obscure memory. I will move on to other problems, different things to worry about.

Life really is about perspective, as it turns out.

*That's Big F-ing Deal for those who don't insist upon using acronyms for everything.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Itchy & Scratchy Show

{Photo from here}

There is more itching and scratching going on at our house than an itch-less, scratch-less gal like me knows how to handle. You see, everyone who lives at our house, except for yours truly, has allergies. And from what I hear on the daily radio farm shows, the pollen count is currently through the roof. Whatever that means.

The only thing that I am allergic to is the popular antibiotic, Amoxicillin. Which, truth be told, is actually quite annoying. Because I have to remember its correct spelling for my medical charts when filling out excessive amounts of paperwork. And, I have to listen to every M.D. I have ever had the pleasure of knowing say, "I see you're allergic to Amoxicillin?" Then, I have to decide whether the statement that sounded like a question requires an answer. It's quite taxing.

My husband as you might recall, is allergic to cats. He's also not a fan of ragweed, pollen, dust, mold and every other thing on Earth. My dog is allergic to some unknown thing in the atmosphere because she has two parents who are too cheap to find out what's ailing her. This is because the vet (who charges $50 just to make me wait for 25 minutes, then give me the side-eye) informed me that an allergy test for my dog will cost me roughly 5.5 million dollars and my left arm and may or may not even tell them what she's allergic to because technology just really isn't "there" yet. Sounds like a fantastic bargain. Where do I sign?

While my husband is sniffling, wiping his nose and living in intense misery, Rudi has taken another approach: scratching incessantly. It's loud. It often involves a loud foot thumping on the ground in our bedroom at 3 a.m. which interrupts my beauty rest and excessive nose-wiping on my off-white carpeting. Again with the white carpeting! Why do you insist upon wiping every part of your body on something that is the opposite color as you? More importantly, who decided it was a good idea to buy something that was the opposite color as you? All I know is, it was not me. It was the previous owners (who were both veterinarians, of all people) who not only decided on off-white carpeting, they also decided to train their cats to NOT use the litter box.

But I digress. As usual. Topics as traumatizing as attempting to remove cat urine from the sub floor of my lovely home have a way of distracting me from the conversation at hand. Who could blame me?

So, we're soothing our itches with allergy pills and balms for itches. But we didn't get the balm from a Maestro.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

On Canning.


I did not grow up in a household that had a mother who engaged in an activity known as "canning." We didn't dance the can-can and we didn't can things. It was just the way things went.

However, when I moved with my better half to our current locale I began to realize that this "canning" stuff was both rampant and quite popular. I knew this was the case when we began looking for a house. One house in particular caused an alarm in my brain to sound. It had two kitchens; one upstairs and one in the basement.

"Who in their right mind would want TWO kitchens?" I practically screamed as I saw my husband drooling over the man cave basement with the full kitchen. "Seriously, I hate cleaning one kitchen. Why would I want to clean TWO KITCHENS?!?"

Then, innocently enough he replied, "Well, this can be your CANNING kitchen!"

Needless to say, we did not buy that house. We bought a different house, one that does not have a canning kitchen. To be fair, some days I actually wish we had said kitchen. Like when my snow white Corian brand sink is stained with _______ juice.

My husband is really, really interested in canning things. I say "things" because it's not just one item that is being canned. Take this weekend for example: he canned homemade BBQ sauce and blueberry juice. A few weeks ago it was pickles and spicy, pickled baby carrots. You read that correctly. And yes, as you probably are imagining, they are disgusting.  Then last night, he canned peaches. Lots and lots of peaches. Which always makes me think of this Will Ferrell skit (and repeatedly say, "Awww PEACHES!"):



Oh, and did you know that when you buy a really large box filled with peaches there is always a prize at the bottom? Especially when you leave them in the basement and completely forget about them to ripen for 4 days. That prize is called MOLD. And it's disgusting. And hairy.

Don't get me wrong. Please, anything but that: having fresh, delicious things to eat is awesome. I'm almost positive that some cold, December morning I will have a hankering for blueberry juice and will thank my lucky stars that I have 724632 pint jars of it at my disposal in my underground bunker.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Not letting go



{Photo from here}

Are you good at letting go? Is it easy for you to move on? Can you pick yourself up, dust your ass off and stand up after you've been cold-cocked in the face? Me neither.

Lately I've been thinking (ad nauseam, of course) about the idea of learning to let go. Of not having children. And of really, actually being OK with it. In fact, I would confess that I have become entirely obsessed with the idea. In my ever-churning mind, it seems like my only choice. Plus, I just feel this overwhelming compulsion to live the manner in which I have declared to the world. I am, for some reason, desperately holding myself to some meaningless promise I made out loud on my blog one day. Time and time again, I say it's time to move forward and get on with living and to quit feeling so awful.

But I have to wonder why I feel it's such an urgent task, one that needs to be completed immediately without distraction. What's the rush, I ask myself as I'm rushing through everything. I'm always in a hurry, I am eternally impatient and I hate reading the directions. But what happens when there were no directions in the first place? Where's the instruction manual for this thing, anyway?

It's not that I don't want to move forward. I do. It's just that I can't tell myself how to feel. I tell myself other things, though. Like:

Quit whining. Stop complaining. Enjoy your blessings. It's meant to be this way. It could be worse. Think of all the other things you have to treasure. Life is beautiful just the way it is. This is happening for a reason. You are deathly afraid of stretch marks and a flabby belly, so this is what you want, right? Besides, kids are annoying. They take up time. They cry and poop. And you can't take any vacations or sleep in anymore. You like sleeping in. And you don't like poop. And going out with your friends is fun. Get used to it, already.

The thing is, the only person telling me to shut up and get over it already? It's me. I am the one who thinks it's about time to shut up, suck it up and quit complaining about it plz and thankyoucuzthisisgettingannoying. It has felt like the right thing to do because I rush everything else in my life, why not rush the way I feel, too?

But really, when I sit down and look at a calendar I realize the event that changed everything really wasn't all that long ago. It wasn't years ago. Hell, it wasn't even A year ago for Pete's sake. Actually, it was just a few months ago. A few seasons ago. Sure, the process has been ongoing for nearly two years but the words, "IVF is your only option for conceiving a biological child please sign here and give us a check for $14,000 cash money for one single try that only has a 50% chance of working kthanksbye." wasn't nearly as long ago. The moment that we said no (hellz no, actually) and walked away from what felt like the Worst Odds on Planet Earth for Anything, Especially a Baby was only four months ago. That's not a long time.

It will always feel like an eternity away, because it's much easier to remember it as a distant wrinkle in time. Simpler to act like I have to squint my eyes shut tightly to even recall what it was like. It's easier to process something terrible when it's tied up in a neat package that has been sitting in the attic for five years in an old steamer trunk. Someday, I imagine, I will venture up there and wipe away the cobwebs and revisit that moment for old time's sake. Then, I'll put it right back in its place to be viewed again some rainy Sunday when I'm bored.

The reality is, there hasn't been enough time for cobwebs to form or even the dust to begin to settle. And more importantly: it's messy. What I need--what I truly owe myself--is more time. When people hear about infertility and I tell them about adoption, I watch quietly as they process the information and I always wonder what they're thinking. Most times, they don't say anything. But when they do, it's usually: "So, how are you doing?" My answer is always the same: "I'm getting there." or "I'm a work in progress." Then, I change the subject. This is because I have become an ongoing project for myself.

But the thing that has my head spinning is this: will I always be a work in progress? Will time heal this wound, like it does all the others? Or, will I always be haunted by this thing that is eternally out of reach? I like to think that I'm quickly moving forward, but the reality is that it's a slow crawl. It's a time-consuming, slow-moving, are-we-there-yet-ing process. It takes time--more time than four months--to get to whatever destination I'm headed.

All I can hope for is to live long enough to learn how to let go.

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