Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The one where tigers eat zebras and the cat is out of the bag

First, I totally have a confession to make. I'm not nearly as nice and sweet as people think I am. I'm just really really good at biting my tongue and not saying what's actually going through my mind at the time. I find this seriously helpful in dealing not only with the general public, but also with other relationships. And the way that you'll know I'm angry is if I stop talking. No, I'm not deep in thought. No, I'm not just super interested in what you have to say. If I'm not talking in a truly animated fashion and gesturing with my hands, I'm probably pissed off and plotting your slow demise in my next short story. Unless I've been drinking, in which case I'm quite liable to come out with exactly what I'm thinking. Which never ends well, thus the reason I don't drink much. And the reason my husband prefers I don't drink at work functions. Case in point we were discussing someone the other day and I said that I would never drink much around said person as I was afraid the conversation would go much like this~

Me: Do you realize how bad your people skills really are?

Person: I don't know what you're talking about. Besides, you like me.

Me: No. You just think I do, because I happen to have excellent people skills.

And Sean said "Yeah. I can pretty much see the conversation going exactly like that".

And now for the big news I mentioned the other day...I'm going to be a grandma!!! And this is how it happened~

*I'm in my office/family room in the middle of writing a story on the Chilean miners visiting Israel for the holiday season when Lu walks in. I glance up quickly to see who has entered my domain and then look at the clock. It's only 8:30 am which is really early for her to be up on a day she doesn't have to be at work.*

Lu: Remember when you said you'd love me forever no matter what?

Me:*slightly annoyed because I'm pretty sure she's going to ask me to make her a cup of tea and I'm right in the middle of an article* Yes?

Lu:*pulls out two positive pregnancy tests (different brands even) from behind her back and promptly bursts into tears*

Me: Wow. That is so not where I saw this conversation going.

Of course, then I hugged her and we sat in the chair and discussed things. I told her that what we had was a huge case of irony (considering she and Luke had broken up the week before) and that the Universe loved irony. There was no question as to what she'd do, I know her well enough to know she'd keep the baby. She'll live at home and start community college in the fall. Since I work from home, I can watch the baby. She's trying to work on a friendship with Luke so that they can deal well together when the baby comes. She's smart enough to know that a troubled relationship doesn't get better when a baby is added. If it didn't work before it's not going to then.

The timing is off and it sure wasn't in her plan right now, but she's handling it well. Luckily, she'd had the splenechtomy so her ITP is still in remission. She's had two blood tests since she found out she was pregnant and platelets are holding steady at a very high normal. Since she was already on iron for her anemia and folic acid the baby has a good start. And she was already a healthy eater so she's ahead of the game. She sees the doctor for the first time on December 8th but all estimates put her at 7 weeks along. She is already sporting a noticeable baby bump though so she may be farther along. Although, multiples also run on both sides of her father's family.

All the key players (Luke, parents, grandparents, aunts & uncles) have been told so she told me I could share the news with you. Which is awesome, because I was about to bust! I don't even mind the grandma jokes. Much.

And last but not least, a conversation I had with Sean a few days ago~

*we were discussing a certain person and their complete lack of proper responses*

Me: Well a wise woman did tell Mo and I the other day that in 22 years of her line of work she had learned for sure that zebras can't change their stripes.

Sean: of course they can't. It's because zebras are pansies. Take me for instance, I'm a tiger. And I'm not going to change my stripes because I like my stripes. Cause I'm a freakin tiger. And tigers are bad ass. So we don't change our stripes. Zebras try to change but they can't. Because they're zebras. And they're all "I'm gonna stand in this field and hope the tiger doesn't eat me, maybe I blend in with the tall grass". See? Pansies.

Me: I'm pretty sure you lost me back at "I'm a tiger". I don't really understand where you were going with that analogy but um. Okay?

Sean: *head nod, eyebrow raise* That's right. Tigers.

Yeah, it really went down just like that.

Have a happy "day we celebrate how we cheated the Indians out of their land" day!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The one where a hatchling leaves the nest and why I will never be famous...

A friend and blog reader emailed me the other day just to check and see how things are going in "Spotsville". I replied that things are hopping. And its true. I wish I could tell you all about it, but some things will have to wait. But first, I want to thank each and everyone of you for not only reading about my vida loca but also for caring about it. And to the many of you I keep in touch with outside the blog...I adore you.

So we are currently down in household size from 6 to 4. And no I don't mean because Mike is so busy working on the dining hall roof that he's hardly ever home. Although that is true and is a small bone of contention. I mean who else can say that the "other woman" is a tin roof her husband is building. Complete with "floating rafters" (whatever the hell that means). He even sent me a picture in a text message the other day of the roof. I answered "um. wow. It looks roof-y?"

No, Luke and Lu have called it splitsville. Well, actually, Lu decided it was splitsville and so he moved out roughly two weeks ago. Sometimes, things just don't work out and you have to move on.

And Bobby is leaving the nest. His brother bought a house and asked him to move in with him and his girlfriend. It's twenty minutes closer to town and not on a gravel road. We agreed that this was a good time for him to test his wings. We also made sure he knew that if it didn't work out he still had a home to come back too. I will miss him. And yet, I'm proud. It's a funny bag of mixed emotions.

And now for some random conversations that have taken place over the last few days:

***As Lu and I were standing in line to see the play "Forever Plaid" at the local community theatre:

Lu: *leaning over to kiss me on the cheek* Thanks.

Me: For what? The tickets were free.

Lu: No. For making me pretty.

Me: Um. Well, I didn't have a lot to do with that. That's more of a "thank the Universe" kind of thing. What brought that on anyway?

Lu: I was just looking around and looking at you and you're pretty and I look just like you, therefore I'm pretty too.

Me: Oh. Well in that case, you're totally welcome. You're really just glad I don't dress horrible and embarrass you, aren't you?

Lu: Yeah, that too.

***The other day when Mike came into my office in the middle of the day:

Mike: Are you working?

Me: Generally if you hear the keyboard typing non stop I'm working yes.

Mike: Oh then I won't bother you.

Me: You kind of already have so you might as well just tell me what you need.

Mike: I don't need anything.

Me: Then why did you come in here?

Mike: I was just checking on you.

Me: Checking on me how? What did you think had happened to me exactly?

Mike: I don't know.

Me: *sighing* well I'm glad we cleared that up. I'm fine thanks. I just bid on a new job. It would be a lot of articles though. I'd probably have to start taking myself a little more seriously and really putting in 6 to 8 hours a day.

Mike: you don't need to do that.

Me: I know. But I want to. And extra money would be nice, it would pay really well.

Mike: You don't need to do that because we keep you plenty busy around here taking care of us.

Me: Did you honestly just say I can't further my career because you and the kids are so needy?!

Mike: Yeah. That's pretty much it in a nutshell.

Me: You should probably leave my office now. *And that my friends, is why I'll never be famous. Because my family requires too much of my time.*

***Sean and I talking before he went to bed last night, Lu was in the room too.

Me: So who painted your nails this time?

Sean: Dawn at work. I need to take it off before Monday so she can do a better job. She was in a hurry.

Me: Are you going to take it off before your scout thing tomorrow?

Sean: Nope. I did the last one with sparkly pink nails that my supervisor painted.

Lu: Only you would be able to find a job where you get to do such ridiculous things and still get paid.

Me: Are you going to take it off before your date with Lizzie?

Lu: Where are you taking Lizzie?

Sean: Hamilton Family Diner. I promised her some ham fam next time she was back. And no, I'm not.

Me: I wish you would.

Sean: Why? Are you being gender stereotypical?

Me: No. I just don't like fingernail polish on guys. You know how goth guys wear black fingernail polish? I just don't like it.

Sean: It's not black. It's Burgundy.

Lu: *Explodes into giggles.* It's Burgundy!!

Me: I don't care what color it is, I just don't like it.

Lu: *more hysterical laughter* It's Burgundy!

Me: Um. Are you alright there Lu?

Lu: Yes. You guys just crack me up. You should blog this. It's Burgundy. *giggle snort*

And that's what's going on around here.

Have a great weekend,

Monday, November 8, 2010

The one where Sean gets served

So not many people commented on my last blog so I'm thinking maybe you don't like it when I get serious or maybe it's just a skinny people boycott. Whatever. If you guys are going to play that game I guess I'll just go ahead and give you what you want. I know, you want the "funny". Fine. Here. I hope you all snort liquid out your noses. (No, really, I do!)

A couple of weekends ago, Sean's "not girlfriend"(which is a whole confusing state in and of itself) Lizzie came home from college for the weekend and we'd already planned that she would come to our house Friday night. We said we'd make dinner (and by "we", I totally mean "I") and then we'd (now I mean "we") teach her to play Mexican Train Dominoes. Don't laugh. It's fun. And we are all extremely competitive so it involves a lot of trash talking and a couple of swear words. So she arrived on a Friday night and we gathered round the table to chow down on some pork carnitas (duh, what else would you eat but Mexican food when you're going to play Mexican train dominoes?). It was Lizzie, Sean, Lu, Bobby (who was still off work from his accident) and myself. Naturally our dinner table conversation took several small leaps off track. And I'm just going to warn you right now-- if you get embarrassed about the word "vagina" or are easily offended STOP READING RIGHT NOW. Also, if you think you might feel the need to offer me parenting advice or something-- don't. I won't listen and I happen to think I've done a wonderful job. Thus ends the warning.

Me: Lizzie, how did W's 21st birthday party go? Wasn't it her first time ever drinking?

Lizzie: I don't know for sure that it was, but I know she was always against underage drinking whenever she was with K & I. But she drank alot and puked twice.

Me: Gross. But sometimes when you puke you feel better and can keep partying. Not that I recommend that.

Lizzie: Yeah, she puked the first time at the party and then the next time after we got home, she was on the porch and the window was open.

Sean: Did she make it to the bathroom at the party?

Lizzie: I don't know for sure.

Lu: Well I hope she didn't puke in her purse.

*We all start laughing*

Sean: Why the hell would she puke in her purse?

Me: That's totally gross. Who would do that?

Lu: Well it always seems like a good idea, until the next morning. It's just a really bad idea.

Me: Please tell me you don't know this from personal experience!

Bobby & Sean: She totally does! Look at her face!

*by this time we're all laughing hysterically*

Lu: It's really not that funny!

-now I know some of you are going "she just sort of admitted to getting drunk" and yeah, it can be viewed that way. But for the most part if you think your teenagers have never snuck a drink or two, you're fooling yourself. Besides, it's not like I can ground her for sins of the past. If you could, my parents would probably still be trying to ground me for shit I pulled they never knew about. There's got to be a statute of limitations on that kind of stuff-

From there, the convo takes a bewildering turn-

Lu: I don't know why Axel(my tiny female cat) is so mean to Sparkplug(Lu's male cat) anymore. They used to be the Romeo & Juliet of the cat world.

Me: She hasn't wanted anything to do with him since he came home from the vets.

Lu: Maybe she just knows he can't put out anymore. That's okay Sparkplug, you stay away from her vampire vagina.

*All of us turn to stare at her*

Lu: I read it in that cat book you got when Axel was pregnant. When cats have sex the female has these little barbs in there that make it impossible for the male to pull out before the deed is done.

Sean: So let me get this straight- you think cats have fangs in their vaginas?

Lu: No not fangs, barbs. But whatever, they're like vampires.

Me: *struggling for breath because I'm laughing so hard* Vampire Va-jay-jays! Man, where's Elly when you need her?!

Bobby: thank god humans don't have those.

Me: seriously, people would never have sex. And boys would learn to say no.

Sean: No! Keep that vampire vagina away from me girls!

Me: Do they sparkle?

Yeah, we ran that conversation into the ground. And the rest of the night anytime anyone said "vampire" we all started laughing again. Which was very confusing for Mike when he finally made it to the house.

Sean ended up winning the game. And the highlight of the game was Sean kept shouting "Stop looking at my dominoes Lizzie!!" He gets highly irate when you look at his dominoes. And then once, when he had to draw a domino, Lizzie told him he'd had one he could have played all along.

Sean: Then why didn't you tell me?

Lizzie: Because you keep yelling at me to stop looking at your dominoes! Besides, I needed that space.

Yes, Sean, you did just get served.

Hope Monday isn't treating you all too badly,

Friday, November 5, 2010

The one where we talk less about weight and more about self-confidence

Hello bloggy peeps! Remember me? Yeah, I don’t blame you at all. I have been seriously neglectful of this blog and since it’s the very thing that got me so far to begin with that is truly unforgivable. But I think I’ve kicked the case of “bloggy blues” that I seem to have been suffering with lately. (And it wasn’t just me. Did you notice how many other bloggers seemed to have struggling lately? Must have been some sort of weird co-alignment of the planets). But I’m back and hopefully to stay this time.

Now, normally you know I don’t do a lot of reactionary pieces. I respect everyone’s right to have an opinion that differs from mine and don’t find a lot of fulfillment in arguing just for the sake of argument. But I feel I must speak up this time. If you’ve been on the webs at all in the last week, you’ve heard about the horrible blog at Marie Claire bashing fat people. It’s gotten a lot of attention and evoked horror from most people. I was content to ignore it. People are dumb, right? Then I read it. And while the author did say some insensitive things, I don't think she truly meant to hurt people. (But you totally spelled "heroin" wrong, sweetie. There's no "e" on the end of the drug). But then I happened to have my attention called to another blogger’s response to the article. I know she was trying to be helpful, but her blog was almost as bad. She says that the times in her life when she’s been fat, she felt invisible. That most people ignore fat people. Girl, you could not be more wrong!

First, I don’t think anyone who claims to have been overweight for roughly three years out of her life knows much about being fat. And the author completely fesses up that at these times in her life she’s been miserable, hating her own body and desperately wanting to change. So of course when she goes out into the world, armed with her horrible self-image and expecting to be treated poorly, she seems invisible. That has more to do with attitude than extra weight.

Let’s get this straight. I am a big girl. I’m not morbidly obese, but I’m no one’s idea of thin. I have been thinner in the past. High school, after my first baby, after my second baby. Oh don’t get me wrong; I was never a skin and bones girl. I was curvy. And always, I had to be careful to maintain that weight. I had to get plenty of exercise and say “no” to desert. Then I got pregnant with my third child and 17 years later I still haven’t lost all that baby weight. Oh here and there I lose a few pounds, then I find them again, and so on. But I am far from miserable in my skin.

I don’t binge eat. I don’t hideout and scarf food where no one can see me. I cook healthy. I don’t fry foods and I don’t eat them if I can avoid it (except for the occasional greasy cheesy goodness from McDs). My blood pressure is good. My cholesterol is low and my heart is healthy. I do not have diabetes or any other weight related health issues. I would like to lose a few pounds but mostly that’s because I’ve been forced into inactivity lately by circumstance and feel better when I can get outside and hike or stay in and play Wii. So I’m heavy, but relatively healthy.

But here’s the thing. I am not invisible. No one treats me badly because of my size. Men still hold doors for me, I still get flirted with and I still feel sexy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those “fat is sexy” girls who run around in body revealing clothing. I wear age appropriate classic clothing most of the time. (sometimes I splurge on something silly but that’s just my fruit loopness coming out). I feel sexy because I’m self-confident. It has nothing to do with the way I look and everything to do with my personality. People smile at me because I smile at them. I meet their eyes and I don’t look away. I’m friendly and positive. I don’t hide. Want an example? I was at Wal-Mart the other evening and I left Mike and Sean in the hunting department to head over to pick up orange juice. As I walked down the aisle, I saw a guy stocking and he turned, smiled at me and said:

Him: Didn’t you used to work at Waldenbooks?

Me: Yes.

Him: I worked at the calendar store one year.

Me: (I really don’t remember him, but I don’t want to be rude) Oh yeah! Hey! How’re you doing?

Him: Great. Wow. It’s really good to see you!

Me: You too. Take care.

And I strolled on, apparently quite visible. The topper? It was the day I’d been in the ER, so my hair was slightly messy; I was wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt, obviously completely un-ravishing. But it was probably my personality that he remembered not my beauty.

And now, lets talk about that dirty little secret that no one ever talks about. Skinny doesn’t equal self-confidence. I know just as many skinny girls who are miserable in their own skins as heavy girls. In fact, sometimes I wonder if skinny girls aren’t even more insecure. Skinny girls feel like everyone judges them on their appearance instead of getting to know them. I know because my sister is a stick. Seriously. Like they divided the fat genes in my family 90/10 and I got the 90. Does it mean she’s uber self-confident? Hell no! Does it mean she’s healthier? No. She complains about just as much joint pain as I do, she just won’t go to the doctor and do something about it. My daughter? Size zero. Self-confident? Not as much as I would like. And constantly worried about gaining a pound.

I have skinny friends and I have friends who are way larger than I. So here’s the point. Be you. And be happy being you. You can choose to worry about your size, hair color, height, boob size or weight. Or you can choose not to worry. The choice is yours. Not everyone who’s fat is gross and not everyone who’s skinny is hott. So why don’t we stop discriminating? Why don’t we stop beating each other up over it? Why don’t we learn to base self worth on personality, kindness and accomplishment? Why?

Bottom line: I do not want to see two fat people having sex. I do not want to see two super skinny people having sex. Personally, I don’t want to see anyone having sex. But if I were forced to, I would prefer it were two healthy people, regardless of a few extra pounds more or less. So if fat people gross you out, close your damn eyes and don’t watch.

Be you. Be happy. And don’t let anyone (ever) make you feel bad about it. Regardless of your outer shell, you have what it takes to shine.

Sorry for the length peeps, but if you made it through, you deserve a snack. A snack of your choice-a be it healthy or chocolate.