Ikea Hates All the Single Ladies, or, If You Like it Then You Shoulda Putta Hex Bit On It

I'm writing this post from bed. This is more remarkable than you'd think:

A) after toying with this for over a week, I'm admitting defeat and officially saying that I have the stomach apocalypse.

B) I am actually in my bed, not on a mattress on the floor.

Last weekend while the kids went to their dads, I put my bed up -- my very pretty, very king sized, very Ikea bed.

I've put together my share of Ikea furniture in my day, but in hindsight I realize that I've put together my share of Ikea furniture in my day with soon-to-be-ex. Have I ever put Ikea furniture together, alone?

Um.

Er.

No?

No, I don't think I have. You know why? BECAUSE IT IS IMPOSSIBLE. I live in a part of the country that is densely populated with the religion that doesn't totally always frown on polygamy, and now I get why every city densely populated with this religious group has an Ikea in close proximity -- you need at least seven sister wives to put the [expletive expletive] furniture together.

For a company so big on space-conservation, you think they'd be a little more sympathetic to the single and/or child-labour-less, but alas, Ikea hates single people and punishes us with bed frames that require a degree in Tetris and the superpower of being able to hault physics for at least two hours at a time in order to assemble. Oh, and the $7.99 Ikea toolkit. Which, for the record, is the best $7.99 I've ever spent.  

So I'm up off the floor, in my platform bed, which is just high enough for a puke bucket, which I think I might need because I Can Haz the Tummy Crab. Hooked on Fonics Worked for Me aside: When you tell your daughter you're sorry she has a tummy cramp, she's going to hear tummy *crab* and be convinced for years to come that she has an actual crab in her tummy and must puke and/or poop it out. Everyone in your family will adopt the term tummy crab, and it will eventually stop grossing you the fuck out. 

Everyone in your family will adopt the word tummy crab because everyone in your family will GET a tummy crab. Even the dog was hurling last week. We got the King Tummy Crab, it seems. Last week we all had [something something poop @suebob just stopped reading this post poop something] and then yesterday, I kept almost passing out from the near constant nauseous-dizzies. Last time that happened, I ended up with a tummy crab and a half.

This time I have neither the means nor the uterus for that deliciousness, so while I'm waving my >>llama eyes<< at Jesus and yelling at him to get off mah barren wasteland, I'm pretty sure I just still have the flu. 

Which leads me to my grandmother. 

No, I haven't taken any medicine today, why do you ask?

My grandmother wasn't allowed in our house, or us in hers, for the better part of my life. This was partly due to the fact that my mother had a tortured relationship with her, but also because my grandmother enjoyed the finer points of Satanism for a while, before diving into the channeling of shockingly uninspired historic figures. Really, if you're going to summon one's spirit to speak through you, do your homework. Pick someone better than George Washington. LIVE A LITTLE. 

But everybody needs somebody sometimes, even my mother, and when we were particularly ill, she'd like Grandmom come over to take care of us. And I miss that, I cannot lie. There is nothing better than someone taking care of you when you're sick. My daughter this morning offered to walk her own self to the bus stop so I could stay home and get my tummy crab out, and while there's no way I'm ready for that nonsense yet, it made me smile to know she cares.

And my grandmother, for all her craziness, did 'sick kid' like a G6, yo.

She would read to us and brush our hair and play us songs from Oklahoma on the piano and make us eat weak tea and dry toast all day long. Weak tea and dry toast aren't actually items, they are the world for sick-food, kind of like my little brother referred to my aunt & uncle, Jean and Wayne, as JeanaWayne. Both of them. It was a title, and so is Weak Tea and Dry Toast. The tea was never weak, and it was full of sugar and milk, and the toast had the most perfectly halfway-melted pads of butter swirled around grape jelly on top of it. Still, Weak Tea and Dry Toast. 

Which is what I'm nomming on right now, trying to keep everything in that should just come out already, because I'm an idiot. But I'm an idiot who can't stand the idea of hurling out a Tummy Crab, no matter how much better I know I'll feel after. 

My big brother actually started a Facebook thread asking people what their family's sick-foods are, and I find this a fascinating adventure into culture and tradition. So, I'm curious, what are your sick-foods? 

Entertain me, please. 

Forward

I have this friend who has something like 600 cousins, and not in the 'OH-EM-GEE he has like sixty-eleven hundred cousins, squee!' way, either. He actually has 600ish cousiny-relations who all live within a reasonable proximity to one another, but more significantly, they all know each other. They know which ones are lawyers and which ones are accountants and who is in construction and how many are pregnant and they never want for anything.

My friend has 600+ people who would, at a moment's notice, lend him their expertise, their support and their good lobster pot. There is a difference between expecting others to do things for you and simply knowing there are those out there who will, and I believe that difference is called Having a Village. 

I do not have 600 cousins. I have one living biological cousin and I haven't seen her since her sister died in 1996. I guarantee you I won't ever see her again, either. I have three, maybe four (I'm not entirely sure) step-cousins, but I don't know so much as their full names. I don't even know the full names of any of my grandparents save my father's father. 

What I do have is one big brother and the most amazingly magical motley assortment of people who I've picked up along the way, people I can turn to when I need it - no matter what it happens to be. I know which ones understand me when I'm breaking, and I know which ones are willing to play mom or sister, and I know which ones to call upon on a Thursday night when I'm trying to write the most important document of my life thus far. I know they will answer, and I know they will charge for the guns with me if I ask it of them.

It's not ever going to be the same as having a bona fide family; I'll always feel like I'm imposing, like I'm not showing enough gratitude, like I'm not giving enough back. I'll forever wonder why my Six Hundred doesn't ride back the way my parents, my church and every person I ever tried to love did, but it isn't mine to reason why, I guess.

It is mine to charge forward, wildy. It is mine to do and die. There is a difference between living up to someone else's expectations and simply wanting to become the person everyone who loves you believes you can be, and I believe that difference is called Being Part of a Village.

With ::knuckles of respect:: to Lord Tennyson for, like, all of it.

I Sure Hope I Put That Netflix Movie in the Mail

Exactly one year ago today....
See this?



This is what I am doing tomorrow at 6 a.m. or so. With 3 kids. One of which who is under 2.

I think my Happy Meal is missing a few fries.

Our little one week vacation went slightly over schedule. We came, we saw, we stayed. Sometimes it flat out blows my mind how much can change in a year. Here's to my husband, who had the courage to try. Here's to my kids, who had the capacity to understand. And here's to me, who, for the first time in her life, attempted a little thing called forgiveness.

I'm glad we took that road trip. I'm glad we decided to make his Father's Day present us. I'm glad that I didn't intend this, or even want this, when I got into that car. It's been one of the hardest years of my life, this one, more internally than anything else. I don't know how to forgive, I have no earthly clue how to trust, but I'm learning. Every day, I find out one new thing about myself. This thing, this rebuilding a marriage, has been so much harder than anything I've ever had to do before.

But you know what? It's not impossible, it's not too hard, and there are days when I think that nothing in this whole world is more worth-while. The speed-bumps are annoying, the pot-holes really, really hurt when I hit them, but the times when the sun is out and the road is open? Those are the happiest times of my life so far.

Would I do it again? I honestly don't know. But, just once, I did that thing that I was most afraid to do. I took the road less traveled, just like I said on my wedding announcements that I would. And I am really lucky that I did.

I remember stopping at a pretty schwanky hotel in Boise tonight one year ago, the one I couldn't afford at all but got anyway, figuring we'd just eat mac & cheese for the rest of the month once we got home, throwing the kids in the pool, and calling Gigi to check in. I remember the sound of her voice, and the concern she was trying to mask, and I remember thinking that, for the first time in my adult life, I'd found home. That woman was home. I remember reading my comments that night and seeing Diane's, and realizing that she, a woman I still have never met in real life, was home, too. That I had real, grown up friends, that I had finally found my spot in Denver, in life, in all of it.

And then I just never came back.


I miss home, I really do. I ache for Denver, for Gigi's kitchen, for the possibility of taking in a Rockies game with Diane someday, for Molly and Marge and Aimee and David and Andy and Stephen and all of you in the Mile High Club. But, you know what? This right here, this couch, these pictures, my Mini-Cuisinart; that's home, too. And that's just fine by me.