Friday, September 28, 2012

The Gremlin in My Closet

Last week was picture day at school. D came out in one of her cutest dresses with her hair braided. I didn't notice until later that she was wearing my red cardigan. I thanked her for not asking. "It's not a big deal mom." This week I was in my room when she visited my closet. "I need to wear your black cardigan." Did you hear a request for permission in that one? No, I didn't either. Last night she had a short choir performance. As I sat there listening to her beautiful voice (and scanning the rest of the choir to figure out which is the boy that she currently likes), I noticed she was wearing an outfit I didn't recognize. Is that a dress? Where did she get that? I don't remember seeing it before. Afterward, up close, I discovered that she was wearing yet another article of clothing that doesn't belong to her.

"Is that my black shirt?"
"Ha ha, yes."
"You can't keep taking things out of my closet without asking!"
"You weren't there and I didn't have time."
"What if I wanted to wear it?"
"Oh well. I didn't have time to get anything else."
"You have to ask first."
"Again, Mom. I didn't have time."

Like I'm the one that doesn't listen.

KY said I should be flattered that a 16-year-old is even interested in anything in my closet. Maybe, but I'm not. I'm annoyed. This morning I had an outfit in mind. When I went to get the sweater I needed to complete my casual Friday ensemble, it wasn't there. D was still in bed when grit my teeth at her. "You can't keep taking my clothes!" Her response? "Ha ha. That's too bad."

I'm not enjoying this phase. I may start bleaching her clothes one item at a time. That will teach her to both stay out of my closet and do her own laundry.

Gremlins are evil little creatures after all.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Our New Family Member Gave Me a Genius Idea

It's been a couple or three or four weeks so I think she's going to stick around. I had to make sure one of the dogs didn't gobble her up before announcing that we have a new family member. Her name is Jellybean and she's a hamster. I think she's a dwarf hamster from what the internets told me but whatever, she's totally cute. Really, super duper cute.

And the best part is that she likes me most. D swears that every time she holds her, Jellybean bites her. I keep telling her that it's probably because she wears perfume or lotion that makes her smell like tasty candy and she just wants to take a nibble, but it's probably because she senses the evil that emanates from the teenage soul. Because she doesn't bite me. Not often. In fact, she has given me little teeny tiny hamster kisses.

Anyway, she's so totally cute that I wish everything was as small as she is. Well, not everything. Obviously. That's like crazy talk. Because size does matter. But things like kitties and puppies and ponies. (Ponies especially because they are assholes and then you could just stuff them in your purse when they start biting you and then all they'd have to bite on is the random dirty penny in the bottom of your purse.) But right? How cute would that be? Little hamster-sized pit bulls and Siameses? If you pleases.

Now, I am not advocating that we breed these poor animals down to nothing. That is immoral and unethical and wrong. It creates health problems you can't even imagine. No, this is going to take real magic, people. Like a leprechaun or Mickey as the apprentice or maybe a unicorn can poop them out. I need you to scheme on that for a while. Get back to me if you have any ideas on that.

I'm going to go hold Jellybean and get some little hamster kisses.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Very Important Debate

A friend and I had a very serious conversation yesterday. These are the real issues, people! Pay attention!

Me: My salad has walnuts and I am sick to death of walnuts. I am. At least these are candied.
Cashew-hater: Walnuts are awesome. Don't knock the walnuts.
Me: I did. I am. Walnuts are retarded and useless.
CH: Uh huh. If any nut is retarded, it's probably the cashew.
Me: WHAT????? I love cashews!!! How dare you!
CH: Are you serious? Look at them, all curled and wrinkly-looking.
Me: And delicious!!!
CH: Eh, they're ok. Nowhere near as good as walnuts.
Me: And curled? Walnuts are wrinklly!!
CH: Walnuts look like brains, which is awesome. Cashews kind of look like deflated balloons.
Me: They look like little smiles.
CH: lol. On a demented clown maybe!
Me: Seriously? You're comparing a cashew to a clown? You have some deep-seated issues, my friend.
CH: Oh, tell me about it.
Me: This is getting blogged, you know.
CH: Yeah, I figured. What will my pseudonym be?
Me: What would you like it to be? Cashew-hater?
CH: hah Sure. Knock yourself out. 

As you wish.
And cashews are better.
The End. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Why I Now Need a Baby

Well, the number one reason I need a baby is because I no longer have one. What I have now amounts to a roommate. A roommate who doesn't have her own car and needs to be driven around regularly. She also doesn't pay rent. Or do her own laundry. Or pay any of her other bills like choir, library fees, retreat costs, clothing, food, gas that I use driving her butt around, etc, etc, etcetera!

I happen to have given birth to my roommate, which is why I suppose she thinks she is entitled to all of the free meals and the warm bed she sleeps in. I think I am entitled to her not growing up too fast but she's not holding up her end of the bargain. She ditches me on a regular basis so that she can have her own life. With friends. Whatever.

I remember the first time I knowingly broke my mom's heart. I was 16 (hmmm... like someone else I know) and she offered to set aside a day to take me shopping for school clothes. I flippantly remarked, "Oh, that's okay. I'm going with Lori next week." Now, my  mom is the least sentimental person I know. I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen her cry in my life (while I need both hands and feet of everyone I know to count how many times I cry in a month), but I saw the look of hurt in her eyes and heard the tinge of sadness in her reply, "Oh. Well. Okay." I immediately regretted what I'd said. As proud of myself as I was for growing up and doing things like a Big Girl, I wasn't completely insensitive to the fact that my mom didn't always feel the same way.

And now I don't feel that way about D. Of course, the times she is being a total pain I start counting down the days until she's someone else's roommate, a real one who pays her own bills. But a lot of the time I'm happy that I still get to be the one still in charge of her. And a couple of weeks ago I got a taste of what my mom felt that day.

She has been going to retreat after retreat the last few weeks for everything she's involved in. A couple of weeks ago it was the cast camping trip with the play that she is in next month. I overheard her conversation with a Boy the night before she was to leave. "Why do you need to text him tomorrow morning?" I nosily asked. She replied, "We're having coffee and then he's dropping me off at the camp carpool." Oh. Well. Okay.

The next morning the Intruder Into My Relationship With My Daughter showed up. Of course she wasn't quite ready so there was the awkwardness of having to invite him in and then I ran off to go over the packing list with her repeatedly. Sunscreen? Yes. Bug spray? Yes. Books to read? Flashlight? Toothbrush? Yes, mom. I have everything.

I hugged her tightly, glared at the Intruder, and sent her off. KY said, "Well, he seemed nice. Most guys that age don't look you in the eye when they're speaking to you." And I was like, "Whose side are you ON!?!?" So he's nice enough. So what! I am the one who is supposed to see her off on her little adventures. I am supposed to meet the adults I am passing her off to. Not some teenage boy who has no idea what it's like to worry every minute of every day about your baby her first year of life. And then every minute of every day after that. Because it doesn't stop.

And she may be growing up, but that doesn't mean I stop being her mom. It doesn't mean I stop worrying. Or making sure she has everything she needs. And it doesn't mean I want to stop. I still want to be the one to hug her before she goes off on retreats. I want to be the one that tells her she is going to be great and everyone will love her. I want to be the one making her lunch even if that's the only part she will let me take.

I want her to be my baby until she can't anymore. And, since she is absolutely, 100% opposed to there being an actual, new baby in the house, she's going to have to hold up her end of the deal.

I just wouldn't mind a little gas money now and then.

Friday, September 14, 2012

9 to 5

I don't actually work 9 to 5. Who wants to stay that late? Plus most of my meetings start before 9. But I felt like writing a list about work and "The Top 10 Reasons I Like Working Where I Work" sounded too long and stupid. It's Friday, I don't want to work that hard. Just read the list.

1. We have birthday cake every month. I think we would even have it if there were a month with no birthdays.
2. Today there were three deer right outside the window. Bambi, his brother, and their momma.
3. People say bad words which makes me giggle.
4. People bring me coffee and frappuccinos. I am well-caffienated.
5. We wear costumes at Halloween and have Easter egg hunts and find eggs months later.
6.  Our building is over the river with lots of things to see, depending on what  you are looking for. Eagles? Got 'em. Hot guys on paddleboards? Yep. Girls in bikinis? If you like that kind of thing.
7. Our building has a deck and we have BBQ's. We make the managers do the grilling.
8. We have potlucks and Waffle Wednesdays and pizzas and bagels and holiday meals. I will never go hungry here.
9. People say things in meetings like "star-bellied Sneetches".
10. I get to leave early today.

Let the weekend begin!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Why Teenagers Are Evil and Must Be Destroyed

Me: Did you take my Hydro Flask? The one I put my coffee in EVERY day?
D: ......Maybe.......
Me: YOU are in SO much trouble!!!! I tore the house apart looking for that!
D: Seriously?
Me: Yes, seriously. Do NOT mess with my coffee.
D: I'm seriously in trouble?
Me: Yes. That doesn't belong to you.
D: I didn't have any more water bottles.
Me: Then go without water.
D: Mom, I can't go without water. It won't happen again.

Later that day.....
D: Did you get your precious bottle?
Me: Yes. No thanks to you.
D: You ruined it anyway. Every sip of water tasted like coffee.
Me: HA HA HA!! That's what you get!!!!!!
D: Wow, Mom. Just wow.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Wedding Do

I'm a girl. A girly girl. I love shoes and pink and wearing dresses. I giggle and I cry at sad movies and pet commercials. I'm terrible at sports, I scream when I see a spider, and I don't like getting dirty. I love Disney and princesses and I know almost every word to every song in A Sound of Music and My Fair Lady. So what I am about to tell you may not make sense.

I hate weddings. I don't necessarily hate the idea of them and I know they're some kind of tradition and rite of passage and ceremonial whatever, but I hate going to them. I cringe when I get a wedding invitation. If you are trying to cut back on your guest list, feel free to remove me from the invite list. My feelings won't be hurt, I will breathe a sigh of relief.

Seriously, weddings are only for the people getting married and maybe their parents, if the parents are happy about it. Nobody else really cares. Not about the actual ceremony part. It's boring. First you sit there waiting forever because it's against the rules for a wedding to start on time. I have been sunburned sitting at outdoor weddings. And then there's the ceremony with the words. Sometimes there are too many; sometimes you can't hear them. For me, it's all one big yawn-fest.

This weekend I totally figured out how to do a wedding right. Skip the ceremony. Pass Go, and go straight to the reception. It's brilliant!!

KY's friends got married this weekend. We were coming back from Portland and got in town about 10 minutes before the wedding started. I had the perfect excuse of having a presentation due for school so I bowed out gracefully. And then I got bored. And also realized that I hate doing some things alone and I was probably a Very Bad Girlfriend for not being there. So I threw on a dress and headed down to the reception.

This is definitely the best way to go to a wedding. Because it's the party part, duh. You still get to see the white dress and the bridesmaid's dresses. But you get to drink booze and talk and relax and eat and laugh. Plus, the reception is where the bride and groom are doing all of that too. They're past the nervous part and the possibly-sad-teary part and they get to be themselves. Their best party selves.

When the sister of my best friend in elementary school got married, my family was only invited to the reception. This is because her family was Mormon and, because we weren't, we weren't allowed inside the temple for the ceremony. I assume the reception was not in the temple, but I don't know because we didn't go. Something about my mom thought it was tacky and we weren't good enough to be in their church or maybe it was just a long drive, I don't know. All I know is that is totally the way to do it. Maybe I should befriend a bunch of Mormons so I have a legitimate excuse not to go to the wedding but I can still go to the party.

Maybe I can start a new trend. I don't even think the couples will mind that much. I'll still bring a present. And toast to happiness. I will be the best party guest there. Just let me skip the "I dos" and go straight to the booze.


Thursday, September 06, 2012

Out of Context

These are random things I said today, which taken out of context are either retarded or criminally insane or both.

"It's the only food that can taste you back."

"Isn't that who she was yelling at yesterday?"

"It isn't 'my job' to listen to someone fighting and it isn't 'my career path' to sit here tense all day."

"I'm going to go get the tongue out of the refrigerator."

"Tongue tacos or tongue stew?"

"We could dress them in matching sweaters."

"Go home and take it out on the fam."

"I absorb protein better when it's in chocolate."

"Who really cares about a hernia?"

Monday, September 03, 2012

The X-Ray of My Soul

Depression isn't sadness. Not real depression. Sadness is caused by something. Your pet dies. You break up with your boyfriend. Your favorite TV show ends. There's an impetus to sadness. A + B = sad.

There's no equation for depression. One day it just shows up, invites itself in, and makes itself at home. Sometimes it does wear a costume of sadness. Just to shake things up a bit. But it's at the oddest times. "Hey, I'm with friends! People like me, this is great! Oh, wait? What IS that? Why am I suddenly crushed with sadness? Get it off, get if off!!!" Yeah, it's kind of a mind-fuck like that.

Have you ever gotten an x-ray and they put that heavy coat/vest/doormat thing on you? Even if you're just getting your teeth checked? Depression is kind of like that. Heavy, only all over. Over your very soul. It's debilitating and makes it hard to breathe. Only it's invisible. Like an invisible cloak, but not in a cool, Harry Potter way. In the way that all you can do is crawl under it and drag it around until it gets a little lighter, then a little lighter, then lifts. It disappears for the same reason that it appeared. For no discernible reason at all.

And what does it look like to the people around you? Well, because it's invisible, it looks like you're being an asshole. It looks like you don't care. Because you don't. Depression makes you numb to caring, not just about other people, but about yourself. It's impossible to care about anyone or anything when your soul is covered with this heavy darkness.

And then it lies to you. On your better days, you know you're smart and capable and deserving. When depression knocks, it makes you believe that you're worthless and stupid and wrong. No matter what you do, it will be wrong. You know that you have things to do, that people depend on you. People you care about. Depression tells you those people don't care, that you're a disappointment, that the effort of trying is too much. And even if there are other voices saying, "No, do it! You can! You're someone who matters!", depression's voice is louder. Only it's not loud, because it's in your bones. And your bones are heavy and you're tired and you can't do it anyway because you're shit, so you don't. You give up.

Then people are disappointed. And you explain yourself until you're blue in the face but it doesn't matter. "Can't you see? I'm trying!! Can't you see? I care!!" No, it's like a one-way mirror. You see it, but they don't. You know you're different, that something is wrong and that you don't want it, but they only see the appearance of apathy, self-absorption, and discourtesy.

So you wait. You give yourself a time-out and face the corner. Which, by the way, is also rude and viewed as being a supreme asshole, but you can't worry about that. You can only wait for the heaviness to lift. For the lies to stop. For the moment you can smile again and really feel it.

One day you're happy again. What is happy for you, anyway. Once in a while you even forget for a little bit. You allow yourself to be carefree and silly and let the joy in. But it's there. It's at the edge, it's waiting to come back, unannounced, uninvited. You can blur the line for a little bit, you can put a few steps between you. But it will be back.

It always is.
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