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.

I am too “old” to “wedding”

Dear Self,

I am only just now able to stare at this screen long enough to write to you. After all, you and I have spent the last 36-48 hours hissing at sunlight or wearing sunglass inside the house. We’re not douchy. Just really hungover, self. I don’t know if you knew that. You probably assumed we were dying. Allow me, the more reasonable of our halves, to reassure you that we are not dying, just really, really dumb.

Just in case you thought that, just maybe, wearing your sunglasses inside the house was even a little bit cool yesterday, allow me to enlighten you:

 

Perception

Wonka 2

Reality

Wonka 1

Get it?

It would seem that we are entirely too old to do silly things like mix more than one type of alcohol in one evening or walk around barefoot. You f*cked up both of those things, self. Rookie mistakes. I thought you were better than that. I was wrong.

We both know that you are too old to party like you used to. For that matter, you are too old to “wedding” like you used to.

Before you start protesting that we’re not that old, I’m going to stop you. You’re right. We’re not actually that old. That said, we live the life of a quiet, stable octogenarian. We spend our evenings sipping Sauvignon Blanc and cross-stitching. We go on walks after dinner to aid with digestion. We fantasize – yes, literally fantasize – about going to bed before 10 o’clock and not having to put on pants in the morning. Truly, if we could get away with wearing a muumuu everyday, we would. You know we would.

We are best suited to Saturday evenings spent in Snuggies, eating fine cheeses, and watching Netflix.

Let’s face it. We are not a cute drunk anymore. Long gone are the days when we could giggle and half-whisper, “I’m so buzzed right now!” and it pass as silly and adorable and fun. I repeat: GONE.

Now, we corner people and drunkenly slur about the importance of proper pronoun usage when discussing or dealing with gender. We’re not wrong, self. We’re not wrong at all. But nobody wants to talk about masculine entitlement at a wedding. NOBODY.

Except us, apparently.

First of all, what is it with us cornering people and then dragging the mood way, way down? “Hi! Nice to see you! Are you having fun? Isn’t this such a great party? Filled with lighthearted revelry and joy? Let me talk to you about armored cavalry units in Vietnam! Did you read that article about the puppy born without his front legs and how sad he was until his family built him a little cart and now he’s only a little bit sad about not being able to jump on the couch but how they’re also building him a ramp so he won’t be sad at all anymore?”

Stop it. Just stop it.

Secondly, why can’t we ever remember that wine and weddings don’t ever mix? We have been to no less than 12 weddings in the last year. The ones at which we drank all the wine never led to good mornings the next day. Rather, they led to headaches, nausea, and threats of divorce.

We cannot afford for Carter to divorce us, self. We successfully deluded a man into thinking we are charming once. We won’t be so lucky again. Also, you remember what it was like to date. We don’t want to be out there again, self.

The rules are changing, self. When we were in college, the rules were simple:

1. Don’t die.

2. Get some nice dude you know to walk you home.

3. Don’t invite him in.

4. Eat a fistful of animal crackers and drink a big bottle of water before you go to sleep. (Because rule #1)

 

Now, however, the rules are long and many. And, after this weekend’s escapades, growing, apparently.

1. Drink more water than you drink anything else.

2. Wear close-toed shoes if you’re going to mainline all the wine. After all, if we’ve learned anything in life it is that door jams are not our friends. Neither are stairs. Or decorative armchairs. We should have listened, self. Then we might not be in this fabulously attractive boot from the doctor because we destroyed our pinkie toe.

3. Drink water more than you drink anything else. This is non-negotiable.

4. Eat the damned granola bar you brought. You have a gluten allergy. You won’t be able to eat the wedding cake. You might not be able to eat 50% of the dinner. That said, apparently, you will be drinking all the wine.  EAT THE LUNA BAR.

5. Pick a liquid and stick to it. If you’re going to be all naughty-feeling and drink bourbon, stick to bourbon. Do not think that your body is capable of withstanding a switch from bourbon to wine. It isn’t. You will regret it. For 3 days.

6. Did I mention water? Drinking it? Drinking lots of it? You forgot about it Saturday, self. I feel the need to drive it home.

7. You are and always will be terrible at The Wobble. Just come to terms with this. You can still do it, just stop making that ridiculous dance-y face.

8. You may or may not be responsible for your spouse now. Take turns being the responsible party. If it’s your night to turn into a shriveled mass of booze-soaked self-loathing, then your SO needs to stay competent and capable of the responsibility that is you. And vice versa. Communicate this arrangement early on. Stick to the plan. Or else you will end up as the one ordering pizza at 3am because you are only slightly more responsible, a task which you are just barely capable of completing. You will trip, you will break your toe, you will curse the day you got married and the marriage of the people who brought you to this lowly state tonight. And in the morning, you will both stare at each other and, with one eye squinted open, play “nose goes” for who has to go to the grocery store. Just because you’re stupid, drunkpants, doesn’t mean you don’t need groceries. We’re  f*cking adults, self.

I hope you’re happy with yourself, self. I tried to tell you that we should stick to the bourbon. I tried to warn you about putting wine down the hatch. I even tried to show you that we cannot, in fact, be taught how to “Dougie.” Look me in the mirror-eyes when I say this to you, self – you will never “Dougie.” Let the dream die.

And while we’re on this subject, stop making “Thriller” arms during The Wobble. Allow me to remind you:

 

Perception

Reality

Pull yourself together and bid a responsible farewell to your headstrong youthful stupidity. And say hello to fiber, probiotics, and the worst hangovers you have ever known to date. Let’s avoid that last one in the future, self? Shall we?

Sincerely,

Me

P.S. This is why we stay away from the animals after drinking.


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Sugarbean, Just Hitch That There Plow to My Spanx. We’ll Have This Field Done In No Time. (Repost)

I’m going to a wedding tonight. 

I’m wearing this dress that screams, “Hey, fancy lady, you lost two dress sizes!”

I’m freaking out. 

In honor of my great discomfort and anxiety, I thought we’d take a little trip down memory lane with this gem, originally from November 15, 2012. 

So I have a wedding to go to in 9 days. Carter and I are very excited because it’s the first wedding we’re going to being married ourselves, which is pretty cool, right? Yes. But I’m dreading it.

Let me clarify. I’m not dreading the wedding itself. I can’t wait to watch one of my family’s oldest and dearest friends walk to down aisle to a man who is truly deserving of her.  And I’m not dreading the trip. I’ve never been to New Orleans and I’m super excited to see it! What am I dreading?

Have you ever witnessed sausage being made?

If you have, and you’ve ever worn “ shape-wear,” you know exactly where I’m going with this. I am dreading squeezing my ass into Spanx and wearing, again, like at my wedding, a taffeta sausage casing. But this time it will be knee length. So I’ll be a cocktail weenie.

For those of you who haven’t ever needed to wear shape-wear,  you suck. Officially and irreversibly. That being said, I am ridiculously jealous of you. You have never known the personal hell that is trying to shove all of your wobbly bits into what is essentially a knee-length ballet leotard built for a toddler that has the tensile strength of Kevlar. Nor have you ever experienced the embarrassment that is a significant other walking in the room at the precise moment you have finally wrestled said leotard over your ass, witnessing the most unflattering moment of the entire process: where the spandex is squeezing all of your body fat up like toothpaste out of the tube (Because it has to go somewhere and there sure as shit isn’t room for it down in the bike short portion of the ensemble.)and you now appear to have a large flesh inner-tube around your waist, giving you the appearance of a really, really unappetizing popover just bursting from the confines of its pan.  You know nothing of personal trauma. Just like I know nothing of such anatomical fortune.

I’m of strong German heritage, right? Well, from my observations, there are two kinds of Germans: Heidi Klum and everyone else. Heidi Klum is leggy, lean, and impossibly tall. She was once quoted as saying something to the effect of, “Women always ask me how I have my body after 3 kids. They ask me if they can have a body like mine after having kids. I always say, ‘Well, if you didn’t look like me before kids, you almost certainly won’t look like me after.’” Thank you Heidi. You’re an insensitive asshole.

Most other people of German descent look like me…. And every other woman in my family. We tend to have wide hips (For the child-bearing of course. We’ll have 3 or 4. Unless you’re German Catholic, which we are. In this case, you’ll have 6 or 7.). We also tend to have broad shoulders and rib cages to house our large, German workhorse lungs, the very lungs that give us the ability to complete heavy farm labor. It also makes us quite adept at tossing kegs, since we’re being stereotypical here. We may be slim in our youth, dainty even. And then we turn 23. And all shit breaks loose. Not only does all that other shit happen, but your ta-tas finally “come in.” And let me tell you, they come in with a vengeance.

This happened to me a few years ago and I still haven’t gotten over it. It’s called a “Pioneer Metabolism.” This means that, if this were 1843, I could starve through the long winter, give birth to my monstrous German baby in mid-March, and somehow have the strength, with baby on my back, to pull the plow in the spring. Yes. Pull the plow. Where are the oxen in this scenario? They’re off being the lazy piece-of-shits they are down at the local watering hole, boozing and talking up the local cows.

Actually, we probably would have eaten them in mid-November and I would be wearing them as boots by planting season. You know, since I’m pulling a mother f*cking plow and all.

What does this mean for me, the modern woman? Well, for starters, I can’t wear anything with a drop-waist because it literally makes me look like Grimace. You know, the really dopey looking McDonald’s character from like 1986? Yea.

Get the dropped-waist dress, they said. It will look stunning on you, they said.

It also means that I can’t wear skinny jeans unless they’re tucked into boots because I’ll look like a lollipop. A really snarky lollipop.

The following are also off limits:
–          Really short and yet really full skirts.
–          Really short things period.
–          Things that would be low cut on a normally “chested” woman. I will look like a friggin’ prostitute.
–          Most fake equestrian boots. Because they have a calf circumference of like 12 inches. This means they are built for dolls (or Lindsey Lohan), not plow-pulling horse-women like myself.
–          Anything with a corset bodice. You’d think this would work out for me. And it does in the waist area. But up top? Up in the region literally choking me to death from all the cleavage and everything below being squeezed upward and into my throat? Madness. (Again, think toothpaste. Because a corset is nothing except for Spanx that go way higher up.) Again, prostitute. (Albeit a very snazzily dressed one.)

Dieting? Well, dieting works when the temperature outside is more than 80 degrees. Anything lower? Forget it.

But CLEARLY you’re just not being strict with your diet.

 

OBVIOUSLY you’re not working out. That’s the ticket.

 

You simply MUST be adhering to the wrong diet. Have you tried the diet that is based on your blood type?

 

You don’t know my life. You’re all wrong. All of you. And here’s why: my body, when the temperature dips any lower than “light jacket” weather goes into hibernation mode. I can get on that elliptical and roll until I literally fall off and die and will not lose an ounce. I can go vegan and swear off all of the food-proof that there is a God who wants us to be happy. I can go low-carb, no-carb, gluten-free, white starch-free, juice-free, juice-only, high-protein, or Special-K and none of them, I repeat, none of them work when it’s cold outside.

(Note: It is worth pointing out that the Special K diet is the absolute best way to drive yourself to homicide. Whoever the copywriter for their commercials is needs to be taken out back and forced to follow the Special-K diet. “But I’m so satisfied! And I get snacks!” Newsflash, sister: that “snack” is nothing more than the solid, rectangular form of high fructose corn syrup and cardboard shavings. And those shakes? They’ll keep you full for hours? Horse shit. Let’s get something straight here, kittens. There is nothing worse than being on a diet where you are hungry all the time and your spouse or significant other is sitting next to you on the couch, chowing down on Cheetos and drinking  beer, even if it is light beer. You know, because he’s a health nut. And there is nothing that will make a person homicidal faster than that significant other losing 10 lbs in two weeks simply because they reduced their boozing when you, you who have been starving yourself and sustaining your body on nothing more than sawdust and “protein shakes,” have gained 4 lbs in water weight because your body clearly hates you. Yea, whoever said the Special-K diet would leave you satisfied and full, in your tight red dress and your “I just LOVE eating ¾ cup of wood shavings for dinner” afterglow, whoever said that is full of shit. And can we bring up another thing that really chaps my ass? Have you SEEN the women in those commercials? “Oh, shucks. I can’t fit into my Size 0 jeans because I’ve recently given birth to those beautiful fake twins over there that don’t even look remotely like me but make me seem like I’m part of an interracial couple which makes me look neutral and nonthreatening. But I’m so insecure in my size 4 jeans. I’m such a fattie! Look at this back fat – I can pinch my skin a little. Look at me! I’m disgusting! My thighs almost touch when I walk! The horror! I must lose 40 lbs in 2 weeks or everyone at my high school reunion with call me a heifer!” Listen up Special-K Lady in the Red Dress: when your thighs “almost touch” so much that you’ve gotten a massive heat rash from them “almost grating together” in the summer when you’ve worn a skirt to work, call me.)

Wow. That escalated quickly. Where were we?  Oh yes, my hibernating metabolism. Because I have a pioneer’s body, when it senses cold weather nearing, it clings onto every ounce of body fat with all its might. This means that I must do all of the heavy weight loss efforts from May-August. But I didn’t this summer because I was just too lazy. I also moved, started a blog, and got married. No biggie.

Bring on the shape wear!

I’m blessed with a husband who doesn’t mind that I’m curvy and has never once said condescending bullshit like “There’s more of you to love” or “There’s more cushion for the pushin.’” Because that’s rude. If your boyfriend has ever said either of those things or anything resembling them, he’s a dick. Just calling it like it is. (Because you keep coming here for my brutal honesty. It sure as hell isn’t my charm.)

I’m dreading this wedding like I dread going to my yearly appointment at the gynecologist. There will be some lovely people there and in the end, I’ll have a grand time. But the prep is disgusting.

Ok. So it’s not at all like that.

There will be lovely people there, some of the best people I’ve ever had the fortune of knowing. And I will have a grand time. I know I will because not only are they the best people I know, but they are also the most generous and hospitable. (Greg, Mary, Kaitlyn, Michaela, Mags, and Jeff, I mean every word of that and I can’t wait to see you on what will be a mind-blowingly beautiful day.) Carter and I (and Kara) will dance and drink and laugh and have the best time that anyone ever had. (I will spend most of the slow songs dancing with my arms around both Kara and Carter because Kara is the Arthur Spooner to Carter and my Doug and Carrie.)

I will work out today. And I will eat healthily this week. But I will eat like the German I am on Thanksgiving. Then, two days later, getting ready for that wedding, I will curse God and my ancestors for the body I inherited while I painstakingly tuck, stuff, and shove all of my squish into that spandex, all the while shrieking “feminism be damned!” (Because shapewear is apparently unfeminist as it is in direct contrast to all of the liberation that resulted from the burning of bras and girdles. I’m a feminist. But I am a feminist that does not like the appearance of my back fat creeping over the top of my dress like the foam from a bottle of coke you shook too hard. Deal with it, ladies.)

I will curse Carter for saying really supporting things on the other side of the bathroom door. Because that’s not embarrassing at all. I know that he’s so sweet and just trying to be helpful but when you’ve got one leg up on the bathtub so that you can stretch the spandex out enough that you’ll be able to walk and you’re billowing out everywhere  “Can I do anything to help?” is literally the last thing you want to hear. Maybe I’m the only one who’s so insecure that she would rather have a pelvic exam than put on a cocktail dress and go out in public. (I am aware of how sad that is.) But I’m willing to bet that I’m not alone.

I’ve invested in a new pair of fancy shape-wear that is not only supposed to suck in and smooth your wobbly bits but also promises to lift your ass and cure cancer. Because I’m that excited about this wedding. Let’s just say that I only endure the hossing of my body into Spanx for really special people. Kaitlyn and Jeff: you’re totally worth the effort.

Happy Thursday, y’all!

(I realize that I didn’t end this post as cleanly as I would have like. But any more writing on this topic and I would have given you a blow-by-blow of the last time I put on Spanx when I got all tangled up in them, fell, cut my elbow, and bruised my ribs on a stilletto. And no on wants to read about that. Particularly not my father, who stops by the read and it probably mortified by all of the detail as it is. Sorry, Dad. I ended the post without a concrete conclusion for you. You’re welcome.) 


Popover: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/popovers-10000000604765/
Grimace: http://wellthatsjustgreat.tumblr.com/post/12213125934/i-could-never-write-anything-as-amazing-as-the

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.

Screen shot 2014-02-20 at 9.11.30 PM
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?