Me More Than You

I started working from home about six years ago, after I moved to Canada and got everything I ever asked for. Everything I ever asked for was, of course, to be able to stay home full time with my kids (and not totally suffer for it - I did in fact stay home full time with my sons and we ate sogoddamnmuch Kraft dinner and it was worth every bite). IN Canada, I actually wasn't allowed to work. Visas are weird. So is being a full time stay at home mom in a new country where you literally don't know a single person except the people directly to either side of your condo and you only really know them because that one night that you left the country in the middle of the night with your kids in tow, they'd offered to hold you while the cops beat your door in with sledgehammers to retrieve your children from their deee-runk! father. 

Can you tell I haven't been writing in a while? All of that should have been seven words. Man, when the levee breaks, I tell you WHAT.

So there I was, after a year of being a single mother with three very small kids and a potentially-ex husband in an entirely different country while living off of my two nights a week at the bar tips and a pathetic amount of assistance from the kids' dad in an 800 sq ft apartment, standing in the middle of the most gorgeous place on Earth in a quaint townhome and nothing at all do to but take care of it, and those kids.

I hated it, of course.

Thanks to the magic of the internet, the right someone was able to find that post, and he offered me a small little side gig that paid out of America, so Canada could shove it in my house-shoes and smoke it, and my days of working from home commenced. 

They quickly expanded beyond the confines of that small little side gig into a real live big girl job with a title and a teency bit of supreme executive power and a'ight stock options and a lunch hour and everything

Before all of that I waited tables. I loved waiting tables. I was really good at waiting tables. I gave waiting tables a lot of shit, but you know what? Waiting tables was something I couldn't do at home, and my kids never once asked me to stop serving that Côtes du Rhône and help them fold a duct tape wallet RIGHT NOW OR EVERYTHING WILL END.

My family has never really figured out what working from home means. They get mad if I won't let them play games or get on the computer after school because GAH, YOU ARE ON THE COMPUTER. The kids' dad used to expect to come home to dinner and a clean house, and I was like ARE YOU GOING TO COOK AND CLEAN? and he was like I AM WORKING and that my friends is THE POINT. I don't leave, so they don't think of it as work. One of the kids once said that their dad deserved to sit on the couch and watch TV instead of helping me with the dishes because he worked all day every day. 

Brains sure are hard to scrub off of popcorn ceilings. 

They think I type all day, and that is not an exaggeration  I took my two sons to Mom 2.013 Summit with me this year because I wanted, no, I needed them to see exactly what it is I do all day. They were like YOU GET FREE STUFF FROM PRETTY GIRLS IN SUPERHERO COSTUMES ALL DAY?

arm & hammer heros.jpg

My plan clearly needs some rethinking.

They did get a bit of a glimpse, or at least some context, into what I do at the computer all day, and I think it may have helped some. Of course, that didn't stop TXU from calling me yesterday to tell me, not ask me, to bring his homework to him that he'd left in his overnight bag from his dad's. This is where you point at the monitor and judge me, because you know that if I bring him the homework, I'm the problem, right? Well, I am, and I did, but only because A) I could and B) he'd worked all weekend on that homework and I have divorce-guilt.

Had he left it on the computer, that may have been another issue entirely. Which is exactly what he did this morning. 

So it's 7:38 am and he is ringing my damn phone of it's non-existent hook, and I just keep ignoring his call because he wants SOMETHING and I am not in any state to deliver ANYTHING except coffee to my face at 7:38 am, and he gets the point eventually and hangs up. And then he calls me from the school. And then he starts texting me.


Can you get it to me by 8:03 am?  My boss would be hard-pressed to say that to me.

But the thing is, he worked SO HARD on that music. I should know, I listened to him play and replay and note and re-note and play and play and zomgmakeitstop until he had all the music written out perfectly. He's so squirrel! with everything in his life that when he really focuses, when he sits down and does something all the way start to finish, I just want to hold onto it because I know that he must really truly madly deeply love the hell out of it. I knew what would happen if I said no, I wouldn't bring it - he'd panic, then he'd get angry, then he'd get upset, and then he'd have a shitty day. I don't want to be the cause of his shitty days. I also don't want to have to drag my seven year old daughter out of her morning routine to go rescue her brother who could finish his work (bravo!) but couldn't get it from the desk to his backpack (boo!).  

So I told him no.

And I heard it. I heard him run through panic, then anger, then sadness. And it broke my heart, but I had to do it. At some point, these kids all have to be let to fall on their own, of their own, and they have to figure out how to get back up on their own, by their own. Their mother isn't going to be there with their homework and a cape all of their lives, and if I keep letting them think I will, then I am the problem.

Turns out, he explained what happened to his teacher and she is giving him until tomorrow am to turn in his assignment. I had nothing to do with this conversation. I'd be willing to bet, however, that he learned a way more valuable life-lesson during that negotiation than the reiteration of my unboundaried love for him would have reaped. And it only hurt us both a little. 

I Think There May Have Been a Reason I Didn't Celebrate Holidays Growing Up

So I took myself out to lunch and then a mani/pedi for Mother's Day because if you want something done right, don't breed with an alcoholic who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Aside right here in the main content aside: Mani/Pedi just sounds harsh in the singular, don't you think? Like sewing, or words, mani/pedis should happen with friends. Particularly this one. She was the best mani/pedi-mate of all time, and I hate Indiana and Arizona for breaking up our very emo, feathery, glittery 70's grunge band. But anyways. 

I'm a Pisces, so pedicures are pretty much my Asian porn.  I wonder why I get shitty search rank in Google. I already go in every two weeks because I inherited my father's luscious chest hair and formidable foot callouses, but I figured that since my kids' dad had them all day long on the one day a year I could actually stand a chance of getting them to do anyfuckingthing for me (aside from being your amazing, awesome selves, kids; your momma wuves you - now stop reading my blog) and also YOLO so I went in for a Bonus Pedicure With Additional Manicure on my off-week.

So I deserve everything that happened next. 

They're already annoyed with me when I show up because I brought my own polish again and The Pedicure Gods do not like to use your inferior nail polish, even if it is the superest sexiest color in the whole world that you straight up stole they usage rights to from your co-worker *and* you've bought it three times in a row because you keep losing it, so it's actually $24 nail polish but they don't give a shit because NOT CHINA GLAZE. I got invited to sit in the 'twenty minute wait' pedicure chair which roughly translates to 'Oh, what, our polish choices aren't good enough for you? Ha! You will sit there and read that Seventeen Magazine and prune all the nasty ass callouses off your feet until we are damn good and ready to get to you, which may be this week. Also, you need to lose some weight and get out of the sun.'

And I sat in it.

Because Mother's Day.

Later this year, my pedicurist came over. Now, I go to this nail spot every two weeks like my eternal salvation depends on it. Occasionally, I bring all of my children with me. They handle my manicures, my pedicures, and my waxing. Of my face. Screw the rest of that noise. (I took the F word out of that sentence. See, Google? I'm making an effort.) I once got a Rose Marie Reid wax and I now question everything I thought I knew about life, love, and theology.


I mean, pain like that can't have come to be by accident. There *must* have been some intelligent designer with some sa-heerious mommy issues behind it. So my pedicurist comes over and oh good, it's the lady who usually does 3of3's toes. She's nice, she doesn't make me talk to her too m....oh, wait. She's sitting down at the chair beside me. Weird, I was totally here first. And then he came over.


A. Man. There are no men in pedicures. (Well, there was one dude in there with his wife, but he was adorable and by adorable I mean insanely hot and so we all smiled at him and did not drool at all and admired that he loved his wife so much he'd get a fucking lotus flower salt scrub pedicure on Mother's Day with her. That's devotion.) (Fuck Google.) (Also, my very insanely hot boyfriend is also into public displays of affection on Mother's Day, but I am pretty sure he draws the line at people touching his feet. We all have limits to our love.)

So this guy, whom I've seen at the nail place before, starts giving me a pedicure. I had just enough of The Patriarchy beat into me that there are not enough massage chairs and paraffin dips on earth to make me okay with a man admistering my pedicure. I was all WHAA? and he was all later you shall understand and I was like dude, you shall never wash my feet and he was all unless I wash you, you will have no part with me and then I was like well shit, go ahead then.

No, that was Jesus. Nevermind. 

Jesus for dummies aside: Snoop Dog needs to make the next audio-recording of the Bible. I'd totally play that bullshit on roadtrips.

So this guy is giving me a pedicure and at first I  don't even know what to make eye contact with or anything but then he started scrubbing my feet with the callous remover thing and oh my god you guys? Seriously? THE CLUB COULDN'T EVEN HANDLE HIM RIGHT NOW.  

Upper body strength - 1; 17 year in a patriarchal cult - 0.

And it was like nothing for him to do it. That much force would have seen my normal pedicurist up onto her open-toed, clear-heeled, bedazzled platform pumps, putting her tiny little delicate back into it. Him? He was like tra-la-la-lala Jeff Foxworthy sure is funny NOMORECALLOUSESFORYOU tra-la-la-lala

And that's when my guard came a'tumblin' down.

Next thing I know I can't even feel my calves because they are now fucking lotus flower salt scented jello and some show that I can only guess is called Are You Smarter Than a Christian is on the tv - and I am p0wing the fucking shit out of it. I realize this whole thing is going down exactly like Misery but I can't make it stop because this crazy ass man has me by the feet and if I do not spell Nebuchadnezzar correctly in the next 15 seconds he is going to cut me. 

Did I mention I also ate kale for the first time yesterday? That's an experience I don't intend to repeat except to, like, save the world n' stuff. 

And then it was over. He applied my $24 nail polish and I learned a valuable lesson - men can and should give pedicures, but under no circumstances should you ask even the most Foxworthy-loving-combover-sporting-Hollister-wearing man to apply your $24 nail polish. My five year old son did a better job than this clown

Everyone stopped reading two hours ago, so no one is going to click that link aside:

 TXU, helping his pregnant momma out. And being really adorable. 

TXU, helping his pregnant momma out. And being really adorable. 

So of course, the only way to end this night was to take myself to dinner, which ended up being me and the kids and their dad because he was just running them through the drive through for burgers on his way to bring them back to me so I invited them to join me. For Mother's Day dinner. Because Opposite Day. And then we came home and watching Mama because the only person with more delicious mommy issues than either the asshole who invented bikini waxing and Walt Disney is Guillermo del Toro, and we know how to take any holiday celebration entirely too far. This was fine, of course, until 3:27 this am when I had to go pee, so I went in the boys' bathroom because I was sleeping on the couch because I was too afraid of my daughter to go sleep next to her and right as I walked out of the washroom, my 15 year old walked out of his bedroom door.

Hilarity ensued.

The end.

This Week in Gratitude

After barely-squeaking through a week of being too sick to do much more than work and sleep - and neither of those things to any real degree of effectiveness - i have never been more grateful than I am right now for Platex Purple Plastic Dish Gloves


I try to keep the a/c off as much as possible when the kids aren't home, because (like pimpin') a/c ain't easy. When my March electric bill, with no ramp up or warning or anything, leaps straight for the clitoris and exactly doubles itself, I find myself willing to endure a little more in-home sauna experience than usual. Which you'd know is really saying something, if you've ever smelled me in the summer.

Sex Education aside, because you totally forgot about this, didn't you? You're welcome:

My kids have pretty much been left to their own devices this week, because my skin, something inside and under both my right rib cage and right hip bone, and all the glands from my belly button up declared mutiny this week, and so there has been a lot of breakfast-cereal-with-a-side-of-Xbox for dinner which is great in an air-conditioned college dormroom, but isn't so idea inside the tandoor ovens they try to pass off as Real Estate in the Sun Valley. 

Lucky-Charms-milk left out on the counter for just two or three hours in the desert heat turns was the inspriration for The Leprechaun. Fact*. You should probably just take my word for that.

And so now it's Mother's Day, I'm off the Lance Armstrong dose of predanose, and I have a week of dishes to catch up on. Because nothing says Happy Mother's Day like opening up your dishwasher and finding all your good mugs stained damn near black from tea, and probably your mother in law's soul. 

You see, my mother in law, who I've managed to say pretty close to not a single word to since her son and I broke up once and for all, came to spend some quality grandma time with 3of3 while the boys and I hit the road for Mom 2.013. Which was very nice of her. I kind of thought the giant super fancy dishrack on the counter, the purple dish gloves hanging over the faucet, and the utter lack of dishwasher detergent in the cabinet would have been clue enough that we don't really use the dishwasher in this house, and if you leave all of your dishes in there, I'm going to find them a week later having just come off of Autoimmunopocalypse and you are going to cease being my best friend. 

It wasn't.

Maybe I should stop talking to her in smoke signals and hints and grow the fuck up.


And so I'll be spending most of Mother's Day wearing a scrunchie and Playtex Plastic Purple Dish Gloves, scorching the last week's yuck off of our dishes, then our floors, then the laundry, and bleaching my ex-mother in law out of my Starbucks Architectural Mug collection while my not-so-little one spend the day with their father going to see Iron Man and swimming and yard-saling and doing whatever it is they do on his days with them that don't have anything to do with me anymore - so that when they get home tonight, we can just be. Together. With no distractions. Because the only Mother's Day present I need or want is to be theirs**. 


**That, and I have the a/c set to 76 today. And I have the whole house to myself. #rebel

How to Make the Perfect Ham and Cheese Omelette in 10 Easy Steps

Step one: Give hives. Get, like, covered in hives, all over your entire body, head to toe.

Step two: Pay particular attention to your chest and calf hives, make sure they get good and inflammed.

Step three: Wait two weeks

Step four: Go to urgent care, but only after you're pretty sure one of your lesser-used internal organs has exploded.

Step five: Get prescribed 120 mg of prednasone a day.


Step seven: Decide you want an omelette. And some chocolate shavings. And pho. And a Nerds rope.

Step eight: Start cooking your omelette, except now, everything IS CRYSTAL CLEAR AND MAKES SO MUCH SENSE NOW.

Step nine: Drink some water. You sure do have a lot of roid rage going on.

Step ten: Enjoy the world's most perfect omelette.