Feet Don't Actually Taste Very Good At All

Every married couple has some thing they like to do together, and my man and I?  We like to walk.

Oh, now, I have to admit that when we first got together, we did a lot of walking, and then the kids came and we made new friends and we went through that whole "hating each other" phase, and then we didn't walk so much.  In fact, we'd go months without.  But as we've grown older, and the kids have, too, we've fallen into a nice rhythm.  We set the time aside for each other, and we are finally really able to enjoy our walks together.

I used to be a really slow walker.  I am, truth be told, really slow at most things in life.  I don't even wear a watch; I'm just never in that much of a hurry, you know?  The Donor is a much more efficient walker than I am, for sure.  He walks tall, takes long, powerful strides, makes each step count.  Me?  I start with a bang and then I'm all FLOWERS!  and SUNSHINE! and BIRDIES! and then I realize I've wasted all this time and energy, and so I power on out to the end.

You can learn a lot about a person by the way they walk, I've noticed.

Anyway, after a few years, we kind of figured out how we could accommodate each other's pace and sort of keep up with each other just enough to finish our walks at the same time.  We could just as easily take a walk by ourselves, I suppose, but it's just more fun with each other.  We got married so we could do stuff like this together, right?  Right.  A decade in, we'd finally gotten ourselves settled into a nice place where we were keeping pace with each other, and then I had to go fuck it all up.

Lately, I seem to have gravitated towards speed-walking.  I don't mean to; I always start out fully intent on soaking in the scenery and enjoying a nice, relaxing stroll, but I'll be damned if walking that first half with him, pushing to keep up with him, doesn't get my heart racing and kick me right into overdrive, and then I'm all pile-driving my way through the second half, leaving my poor man behind to eat my dust.

On the rare occasion when he gets really going and makes it around the track before I do, I'm usually pretty happy to just throw in the towel and call it a day.  Call me lazy, but the Starbucks stop after is just as much fun for me as the walk itself.  But when I am the first one to the finish, well, he's a little more dedicated to the cause than me.  He's an athlete.  He's going the distance.  The problem is, this is where I'm totally screwing myself over.  If I'd just stayed with him, we could be chatting about the weather or the election or something, but since I didn't even have the consideration to hang back with him, now I'm stuck having to wait and he has to decide whether or not to hurry it up already so I don't get bored or whether to take his time and enjoy his damn walk that he was trying to take with pequeño Senorita Speedy Gonzales in the first place.

I was thinking about the sudden change in my performance, and I got to thinking about the reasons why.  I'm not a competitive person, really, so I thought there had to be some other reason for the difference.  And then I remembered that not too long ago, I switched from the regular anti-depressants that I take to the extended release kind.  Which means that at certain points throughout my day, I get this little zing of activityableness (is to a word).  I take advantage of the zing to get the floors swept or the laundry folded.  There's no reason that isn't playing right into our walks.  It seemed perfectly reasonable to me that it wasn't so much that he was motivating me to walk faster or inspiring me to really push myself, but that pharmaceuticals were to blame.  (Or be credited, depending on how literally you're taking this post.)

Which, by the way, is a terrible thing to say to your husband while you're out on your first date in just about a year.  Yeah, honey, it's not you, it's the drugs.

Happy Birthday

I lieu of a post today (I have the cold from hell, and the mother in law from there, too) I was just really hoping that everyone could run on over to Ron's place and wish him a happy birthday and tell him he still looks pretty hot for being old enough to be my dad.

I can't explain to you how Ron and I met, and I can't explain to you the complexity of our friendship, because there are some things in life that one just is forever at a loss for words about.  But Ron, I am so very happy to know you, to have had you share my journey through life with me here, on these pages.  I wish you the happiest of birthdays and peace and love and a not-so-wicked hangover tomorrow.


"Alice laughed. 'There's no use trying,' she said. 'One can't believe impossible things.' 'I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it half an hour a day. Why, sometimes, I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.' "

I am not a woman of faith. I do not believe in almost anything, and I dare say this is my greatest character flaw. But of all the things I do not believe in, and the list is long, the one thing concept that I have rejected above all others is, apparently, myself.

I live in a state of almost constant dread, and I have for as long as I can remember. I am not afraid of Armageddon, not bothered by the idea of global-thermo-nuclear-warfare, and am even nonchalant when it comes to the baggage retrieval system they've got at Heathrow.* What gets me is whether or not something's stuck in my teeth, or if my panty line is showing, or that's I'll open my mouth and the wrong thing will come flying out, as it is so apt to do. I am self-conscious to a large, San Andreas sort of fault.

The problem with that is that I have allowed this to more or less stop my life. I have never considered myself worth all that much. I am overly apologetic for nonsensical things. I am completely incapable of asking for help, not because I am too proud, but because I am certain that I am an inconvenience to all those around me. I do not aspire, in general, because I know I will fail.

Knowing that almost solidifies the fact that I will. Prophecies tend to self-fulfill, you know?

I have no misconceptions of being alone in this; I think most us tend to resign ourselves to some fate at some point in our lives. We work jobs that we don't love because we feel that we have to. We stay in relationships we shouldn't because we feel obligated to. We live beyond our means on other people's dreams because we think that's succeeding**. We do what's easy, because it's possible.

I never went to college because I didn't deserve it. I had already blown an amazing education and was therefore doomed to serve drunk people drinks in dark bars. I never tried to get an awesome job, or forge a career path, because I have no marketable skill, and am useless to most employers. I have accepted what has been handed to me and made the best of it and have called that things like Brave and Daring.

It is not Brave, it is not Daring. It is totally cowardly chicken shit.

There is a point where we have to come to terms with the status quo. I stay at home with my three children, I live in a foreign country (it's really not all that foreign, and the money is cooler here) and my husband works 8 bazillion hours a week. I don't really want to live where I live, am pretty sure I'm not cut out for the Homemaker gig, and would like to remember what my husband looks like some time this decade. These things are just non-negotiables in my life, though. They are THE WAY THINGS ARE. This is the sacrifice I make for my family.

If you bought that line, I have some lovely beach front property in Denver I'd like to show you.

There is no reason that I don't get up off my ass, enroll in school, get a job, hire a sitter and go sit in my husband's bar one night, or move. Not one good reason, except that I am scared shitless to do any of the above. I am afraid to put myself out there. I am afraid to fail, and so I don't try.

I rationalize this away as, 'Oh, we can't afford another student loan payment' or 'I'd have to put the kids in daycare and any income I made would just go to that' or 'I have all this ironing to do on a Saturday night'. Whatever. I know it's bullshit, but I let myself get all martyr-y about it, because it makes me feel better about the whole situation. The one thing I know I'm excellent at is dying for a cause. Jesus ain't got nothing on me, yo.

Which leads me to my point.

I don't think I believe in the status quo anymore. I don't think that we have to be limited, by almost anything, if we really want something badly enough. I think that with a little courage, we can all shake our shit up and make something happen. Whether it's downsizing your life to make the life you want achievable, or it's moving into your parent's basement for a while to give yourself time to sort yourself, whether it's going to stand in front a crowd of a thousand women in San Francisco and talk, something will give in that.

I am 33 years old and aside from cranking out a few kids, I have done nothing with my life thus-far. Sure, I am raising some fine children, but I lost myself in the mix. The one interesting thing I have done is right here, and I have spent the better part of 4 years convincing myself that it's some silly little hobby of mine, that it doesn't matter.

Maybe it doesn't, but maybe it does.

Fall has neatly landed in my lap.  Lattes are suddenly appropriate afternoon delights.  Pumpkin pies are crying out to be cooked, and NaNoWriMo is coming.  I am going to write The Book, goddammit.  It's right *here* on the tip of my tongue, and I think it's time.

Now, what the hell do I write a book about?

*The first person that correctly identifies that gets moved to the top of the blogroll. Not much of a prize, I know, but still.

**Or that one.

It's Not A Sin If We're Married, Right?

The first day with the mother in law, I have to admit, went pretty damn well.  The Donor headed out to the airport to pick her up with the kids at noon, leaving me two hours to frantically clean everything I've ignored for a year take a shower, get dressed, and relax.  3of3, who hasn't seen her gramma since she was 5 months old, took all of 30 seconds to warm right up to her.  We had a late lunch, a later dinner, an awesome gift exchange, Ding Dongs for dessert and then everyone headed to bed.

I'm sitting on the couch right now looking over the laptop at my husband.  A shockingly large pile of Kit-Kats separates us.  He's got the UFC on; I've got the blog up.

Good god, I have never wanted to jump on someone so bad in my whole life.

I remember when I was young and just starting out in the world of doing it.  I was 19, engaged to a fabulous boy (who will hate me for writing this, sorry) and living at home with my parents.  He was, too, but my parents were a bit more open-minded than his (understatement of the year) and so we spent most of our time at my house.  We made most of our time at my house.  We got really good at sneaking around, at being quiet, at hiding that shit.  We never once got caught, even when we were doing things on the dining room table 20 minutes before the dear old parents came home from work that no one should be doing on one's parents dining room table, even when we were right in the middle of the living room when the dear parents were upstairs watching tv.  We were stealthy, and yeah, it was totally fun.  Maybe it was the whole 'it's more exciting when you don't have permission' thing, or maybe I'm just a perv.  Bygones.

Either way, here I am, 14 years later with my husband's mother sleeping one wall away from us, and I have to keep eating Kit Kat after Kit Kat just to keep myself busy enough to not pounce on this poor, unsuspecting man.  I really can't explain it; it's just that damn naughty factor that is always my undoing.

We really need to get that hotel room already.

I have this $50 gift certificate for Smarty Pig, which is an online, FDIC insured, short term savings account thingy that I won from Jeremy at Discovering Dad which I could totally put to use saving for a lovely weekend getaway, except the damn thing only works for Americans.  Pshaw.  So, whoever shares the best 'dear god we need/needed/will be in need of a hotel room story' gets it.

Do your parents live with you?  Are they coming to visit?  Did you lose something rather important to you on Sunday, January 16th, 1994 while your dad was right above you upstairs cooking bacon and eggs?  Leave your story in the comments, and the juiciest story wins on Friday.