Walking my girl

 Lola 1

My girl.

She’s been going through it lately. Well, for a dog, anyway. She had a brush with an ear infection, found out that she has a tilted vulva (don’t ask), got a haircut, and, to add insult to injury, it’s been raining for several days now.

I wouldn’t call her miserable. After all, I don’t think any creature who lives as well as she does could ever be capable of true misery, but she’s been down in the dumps. Mopey. Clingy. And, oh, the sighs that come from this dog.

Meanwhile, I’ve been chugging along, cheerfully assuring her that everything’s great — on the way to the vet [ears and vulva], on the way to the pet wash [haircut], when we’re standing out in the rain to potty [her, not me].

But yesterday, I started my new part-time job. My manager, as managers are wont to do, asked me to tell him about myself.

MANAGER: So you’re in school?

ME: Yes. Studying social work. I’m going to be a licensed clinical social worker and, hopefully, do therapy and counseling with combat veterans.

MANAGER: That’s really cool. So, when you’re not in school, what do you do for fun?

ME: Well, I’m ignoring the fact that I should be finishing my novel. And I have an Etsy store. And I substitute teach.

MANAGER: Oh, that’s really awesome! …But what do you do for fun?

Kittens, I didn’t have an answer. I certainly didn’t want to say “Watch tv,” though, recently, my recreation can be boiled down to watching Miranda on Hulu in bed while stress-drinking an absurd amount of tea.

I wouldn’t call me miserable. After all, I don’t think any creature as blessed as I am could ever be capable of true misery, but I’ve been down in the dumps. Mopey. Clingy. And, oh, the sighs that have come from me.

That question, “What do you do for fun?” has been plaguing me.

I was walking Lola this morning. It’s raining. The grass is wet. And, as we’ve covered before, I don’t think I loathe anything in this world as much as Lola loathes wet grass. Or even damp grass, really. So here we are, mincing our way down the driveway – she, trying to find the least wet patch of grass in the yard while I, on tiptoe, try to avoid stepping on any of the approximately 7 million earthworms littering the pavement. Because they gross me out. I’m frustrated at her for being so picky while she, undoubtedly, is frustrated for my refusal to understand her “issue.” (pronounced in the fancy way – “iss-you”)

Eventually, we both gave up. Lola heaved a giant sigh and waded into the wet grass and I’m pretty sure that I stepped on a worm. Or nine.

I think we both need a little shake-up in our lives, Miss Lolabear and me. She needs the hair trimmed from between her toes and, I’ll admit, a bit of an attitude adjustment. (It is not your bed, Lola. It is our bed and we let you sleep in it.)

I, on the other hand, need to chill the f*ck out.

And yet, it’s hard to tell myself to do that. The world seems to have gone mad. Really and truly mad. Dear friends of mine are hurting. It seems that everyone is hurting.

The papers will get written. The work will get done. The bills, somehow, will get paid. Everything will work out. What’s that quote? “Everything will be okay in the end and, if it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.”

I guess I need an attitude adjustment of my own. I’ve missed this blog. I’ve missed attempting to make you laugh. That used to make me really, really happy. That used to be a lot of fun. And, in this time of great struggle for our world, I think we need more laughter and fun. After all, when the laughter stops, things get very scary very quickly.

Sending you all so much love. We’ll get through this. It has to stop raining eventually. But in the meantime, I leave you with something that’s been making me laugh quite a bit the last two days. Thanks, Barry. You’re tops.

A Snapshot of Marriage

As some of you know, I’m married. As those of you who are married know, marriage is defined as “a relationship wherein you are yolked to a person until one or both of you dies, characterized by vacillating feelings of intense love, disgust, and loathing.”

Last night, I was making gravy. As those of you who make gravy know, gravy is defined as “an amalgamation of starch, fat, and liquid which, if you turn your back, will congeal or break and ruin your f*cking day.”

It’s not the easiest thing to accomplish. The fats must be right. The thickener must be right. It must simmer and reduce for the right amount of time. It’s not difficult per se, but it requires finesse.

Enter my husband.

CARTER: I’m gonna stir it, babe!

ME: It doesn’t need to be stirred.

CARTER: It’s fine. I’m gonna whisk it.

ME: Please don’t touch it. It’s reducing. It doesn’t need to be stirred.

CARTER: I’m gonna do it. Babe, you just don’t have the culinary instincts that I have.

ME: Dont. Touch it.

CARTER: Give it a little whisk, a little stir, babe. I’m gonna.

ME: I’m gonna crazy person murder you.

CARTER: Well that seems a bit harsh.

ME: Will you hand me a knife?

CARTER: What kind?

ME: A sharp one.

CARTER: Well, not now.

ME: Babe, I need a knife. I have to cut this broccoli.

CARTER: You just told me you were going to, and I quote, “crazy person murder” me and now you’re asking me to hand you a sharp knife.

ME: I can’t right now. You know that. You don’t have any money to dig.

CARTER: Ah, yes. Your plans to dig my gold. You know you’re the worst gold digger ever, babe. Right?

ME: It’s the long con, my love. I’m in it for the long con.

 

Disclosure: I would never harm this man. Well, I would eat the last piece of Havarti on purpose and I hope to live to be in my eighties just to spite him. But I would never, ever harm him and he knows this. I may be prone to theatrics and exaggeration. It’s my nature. Don’t you dare judge me.

As for the gold digging, contrary to what he says, I am not the worst gold digger in the world. After all, I get to sit around in my satin pajamas stained sweatpants while I eat bonbons do homework and start a home business and sip on champagne all morning lukewarm coffee all day. So, yea, I think I’m doing pretty well for myself.

Marriage. Lifetime Original Movies, you’re doing it wrong.

The toilet paper aisle on Senior Day is a metaphor for life. I think.

I’ve recently found myself with more time on my hands. Naturally, I’ve been spending a lot that time at the grocery store.

Is this only a phenomenon for me and my family? Whenever I’m working 1.5 jobs and not sleeping, I go into food-based organizational hyperdrive. I plot meal plans, make a grocery list for the whole week (two if I’m feeling super awesome), and shop with the precision and drive of THE Ohio State University’s marching band at halftime. With all the pomp and “Smoke on the Water,” too, kittens.

I’m not in hyperdrive anymore, however, which means that I’ve been to the grocery store nearly every day for the last week, each time with the precision and drive of my beagle when one of her legs has fallen asleep during a nap.

Do I need anything? Hardly, though I always manage to leave with a single beet or yet another set of nail clippers.

It’s happening.

Slowly, but surely, I’m becoming my grandfather.

Because, somedays, I just “want to see what the leeks look like.”

And I do.

My new favorite day to check on the status of the Belgian Endive and rotisserie chicken selection (which included all flavor options but BBQ last time – get it together, Kroger) is Senior Day.

Once upon a time, I hated Senior Day. So great was my loathing that, if I needed food on a day that just happened to be Senior Day, I would go to Target and risk emptying my bank account on a cart full of items ranging from yoga pants to new Swiffers to umbrellas, just because they were on endcaps.

And God forbid I fall ill and need to pick up a prescription on Senior Day. I would do it, but I would think really pissy thoughts as I waited in line behind a woman picking up 43 prescriptions, all of which are absolutely necessary for the preservation of her life.

What can I say? I was an asshole. Actually, no. I was still classified as a “youth.”

Youths are assholes.

If that wasn’t enough for you:

Ah, Schmidty. I’d marry you if you didn’t say words like “hair chut-en-y.” And you were a real person.

…..and I weren’t already married.

My days of pissing people off because I’m young and inconsiderate are done, however, and to that, I say “Good riddance.” Senior Day is now, frankly, one of the highlights of my week. Because wisdom. Though, the automatic 15% discount doesn’t hurt. I may not get to partake in the free day-old danish and pastries, but I do get to absorb some savvy and experience through osmosis. (I think I remember this being a thing from 7th grade science. Science nerds, don’t judge. I’m just a regular nerd with an addiction to fine paper goods and cartoons.)

If I weren’t spending my Wednesdays around troops of gaggling octogenarians, I never would have been privy to the moment where I received ultimate wisdom and understanding.

My Senior Day grocery trip began with the best intentions to peruse the imported cheeses for a Manager’s Special gouda and then self-loathe for a while in the chip aisle. Because P90X3.

The tell-tale signs of Senior Day were present. The parking lot was full of Lincolns, Buicks, and Cadillacs. The tiny carts were all gone.

The produce section, however, was deserted.

The imported cheese aisle was deserted.

I met only one person in the chip aisle – another woman in yoga pants looking incredibly peckish and annoyed, cradling a bag of Ruffles in her hands and muttering under her breath what sounded like “F*ck you, lovehandles. F*ck you.”

This is remarkably similar to what I say when in that position, only replace the “lovehandles” with “Tony Horton” or, if I’ve been working out with my husband that day, his name. He’s an extroverted exerciser and wants to pump everyone up to his level. I, on the other hand, am an introverted exerciser who just wants to do the workout and plot the demise of the instructor and his/her instructor all the while. Though, that’s a story for another day.

Where were the seniors? How would I know whether the milk was priced properly without their commentary? How would I spot a good Manager’s Special without seeing a flock of people rifling madly through the tilapia bin? I began to panic that I was wrong for thinking the kids from my high school were full of shit for believing in that “Left Behind” nonsense and instinctively grabbed for a jumbo bag of garlic croutons. Because, in the apocalypse, I definitely don’t want to be without a bag of food that will cause me terrible agony.

You can imagine my relief to discover that those kids from my high school were, in fact, full of shit when I found every senior in the store in the toilet paper aisle. Given the number of pocket calculators present, it seems that I’ve been buying toilet paper all wrong. Calculating not just the price per sheet, but the price per ply, these savvy seniors were not going to be swindled by the bath tissue oligarchy. 

A man leaned over to me and said, “Don’t pay attention to the penny pinchers. Trust me. If you want to be good to your downstairs business, this is the stuff to use. It’s got ripples. They’re great at grabbing things. You can’t take too good of care of that downstairs business, gal.”

It was, at once, the creepiest and most considerate thing any man has ever said to me.

You might think it odd that the most important, potentially life-altering decision of Senior Day rests in the toilet paper aisle. Considering how my colon’s reliability and, let’s be honest, loyalty have dwindled over the past few years, however, I don’t find it so crazy. If I make it to 80, you bet your downstairs business I’ll be really interested in how “grabby” my tissue is. I imagine I’m not alone.

Of course, if that recently published NASA study is correct, it won’t matter since we’ll all be taking care of our downstairs business with leaves or shreds of our former civilization.

Or we’ll all be dead of measles. #You’reAnIdiotKristinCavallari

There’s a metaphor in there somewhere. Granted, it’s probably more of an analogy – a really shitty one (no pun intended) like when high school comp students write things like “She was as unhappy as when someone puts your cake out in the rain, and all the sweet green icing flows down and then you lose the recipe, and on top of that you can’t sing worth a damn.” [source]

It’s there nonetheless, however. I’ll try to parce it out today while I’m following my fearless, senior leaders to the best bargains on foods and goods that I most assuredly don’t need. 

Pay no attention to that sobbing woman in the corner.

Credit: Hyperbole and a Half

Apparently, I’m a crier now.

Once upon a time, I approached life with the measured rationality of a German or, as Tiny Fey so aptly puts, the torpor of a possum. Certainly, I cried when life threw giant curveballs my way – death, loss, extreme duress. Naturally.

I didn’t, however, get weepy at such silly things as thank-you cards, butterflies, or not being able to tie my running shoes tightly enough. But now? Now, I am a crier, my friends, and I f*cking hate it.

It wasn’t a gradual thing either. One day, possum status. The next, I was at dinner relaying information about gluten free flours and just started crying.

Apparently garbanzo bean flour kicks me in the feelings. Hard.

It’s getting bad – like, Kim Kardashian Crying Meme bad. Last week, when pulling out of our driveway, I commented on the fact that, due to the ice storm, the neighborhood had to cut down half of the trees in front of our house. “Oh no, Jo!” I exclaimed, “Your one beauty!”

All of us in possession of ovaries know that quote is from Little Women. Carter, fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your persuasion, does not possess ovaries and, therefore, did not know the quote’s origin. Thus, I relayed the entire plot of Little Women to him. Because of course.

I say that I relayed the entire plot, but that’s hardly true. I got to the part where Beth died and recited the whole “Now I’m the one going ahead” soliloquy, which I know by heart, and just lost it.

Sidebar: For those of you shrieking and pulling your hair because I didn’t shout “Spoiler Alert” before spilling the beans that Beth kicks the bucket, the book is more than 100 years old. You’ve had time. Don’t try to tell me you haven’t. And if you shrieking maniacs are women who have gotten this far in life without reading Little Women, well, I don’t even know if I can look at you anymore. ….through this screen. *sigh*

Don’t even get me started on the Budweiser commercial with the puppy and the clydesdale who are best friends. I saw it on tv the other day and sobbed inconsolably for 15 minutes. And while, yes, I know I’m prone to exaggeration, let me assure you that I mean that I cried for a very literal 15 minutes.

In fact, here is my crying log. I created it because, for the last 15 years of my life, my eyes didn’t leak very often. The startling regularity of this event of late has made me curious and, like any amateur scientist, curiosity means the rigorous collection of data. Or at least that’s what I think I remember from high school chemistry. Here is my log, complete with the cause of the crying and then, in column B, how long I wept without hope of consolation while clutching my beagle and making my really ugly sobbing face.

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I can’t even talk about this whole Olympic thing. I was at home when Meryl Davis and Charlie White won the gold in ice dancing and started sobbing because she looks just like a Disney princess and he looks like the male human version of Lola and, somehow, the combination of those two facts turns me into a crumpled heap of Slanket-wearing hysteria.

Before any of you scream “pregnant!,” allow me to assure you that I know, for a fact, that I am not. How do I know? I am a compulsive taker of pregnancy tests. It’s pretty much my superpower, though that is a topic deserving of its own post. Someday, my loves. Someday I will give you the full view into my crazed, neurotic mind.

We’ll chalk it up to hormones or something like it. Isn’t the root of all evil hormonal in nature?

Of course it is.

As it’s finally Friday, however, I’ll try to keep my weeping to a minimum and exclusively relegated to things cute, fuzzy, and non-literary.

Any big weekend plans, kittens? I’d love to hear about them. Also, ladies over 28, did you notice a gigantic emotional shift in your late 20’s? Enlighten me.

No, really. I want answers.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to have a glass of chocolate almond milk.

Given recent events, I’ll probably cry because it’s not ice cream. C’est la vie, AmIRight?

“So, you’re team Jacob because he’s not always putting Bella in a situation where her limbs could be ripped off?” – A Snow Day Tale

This post contains the longest title ever.

This is post also catalogues a classic “If You Give a Moose a Muffin” scenario.

If your mom watches the third Twilight movie, but hasn’t seen the prior editions (or read the books), she will have lots of questions.

If she has lots of questions, she will wait until you come up for lunch and ask them of you.

If she asks you all of those questions, you will be forced to answer them.

 

If you answer her questions, you will realize and display that your knowledge of Twilight, while incidentally absorbed from reading the books once, while substitute teaching, so that you could understand your students, is expansive.

When you have expansive knowledge of Twilight (incidentally!), you will find yourself going on and on about how, of course, vampires need a governing body with a strict, no-tolerance policy of punishment. Because immortality and superstrength.

 

When you go on and on about vampire pugilism, you will end up making shockingly specific comparisons between the Anne Rice-ean vampire lore and the diluted wierdness of Stephanie Meyer and Twilight.

When you start comparing Twilight to Anne Rice, you will end up pointing out no less than 15 ways in which Stephanie Meyer takes established vampire lore and throws it out the window for the sake of convenience, i.e. “We can go out in the sun, but only in Washington state, and we don’t incinerate, we just sparkle.” Because, apparently, glitter.

When making these comparisons, you will wind up bringing True Blood into the conversation because you’ll realize that your mom never read Anne Rice, but devoured the True Blood series, books and television.

 

When you bring True Blood into the conversation, you’ll start making comparisons between Evan Rachel Wood’s Vampire Queen of Louisiana to the Volturi.

 

When you start making comparisons between ERW and the Volturi, you’ll start talking about abuse themes running concurrently with vampire narrative.

When you start talking about abuse themes, you’ll start to quote psychology papers that analyze Bella and Edward’s relationship as classically abusive.

When you start talking about vampiric abuse themes as they pertain to Twilight, you’ll inevitably bring up the abuse themes in Twilight Fan Fiction, namely Fifty Shades of Gray.

When you realize that you have discussed, with authority and knowledge, Twilight and Fifty Shades of Gray, you will need to go have a cookie. And read some war literature. Or watch a documentary about global warming.

Ugh.

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