Thursday, April 25, 2013

The List That Practically Begged to Be Made Fun Of.

Have you seen that list titled "A Bunch of Crap You Better Do if You Don't Want Your Marriage to Fail" (or something like that)? I saw a condensed version (about 10 items) a few years ago and I've recently seen a much more extensive one (60 things - that's SIXTY, as in SIX-ZERO) circulating around Facebook over the past few weeks.

I'm not going to bash the entire list...or even the idea of the list...because I really do think it's important to nurture the relationship with your significant other, and sometimes that takes a concentrated effort. But, y'all. Some of the things on this list are just fiddle-dee-diculous. As in I think the person that wrote it just thought up a bunch of crap so the list would end on an even number. Or maybe they were high. Hard to tell.

Like I said, I'm not gonna talk trash about the list in its entirety because a few of the ideas are actually good bits of advice, if my opinion counts for anything. Which it likely does not. Whatever. I'm sharing them with you anyway.

The ones I liked are:
  • Kiss every day. We do this. Except when he's traveling. The logistics just don't work in that scenario. 
  • Be honest. Relationships don't thrive when there are trust issues. So don't lie. Except when I look ugly. Or fat. In which case it's totally okay to lie. Take my word for it, men...if you and your lady are getting ready to go out and she asks you if she looks fat and even follows it up with, "I mean it. Be honest," and you bite the bullet and say yes...that date is OVAH. I'm not saying she'll be mad at you (she will), but I AM saying she's damn sure not leaving the house so y'all can go get your steak on at the Sizzler. I don't care if it IS all-you-can-eat shrimp night. She ain't goin'. Use your best judgment on this one. 
  •  Laugh together. I love this about our relationship. We laugh a LOT. Mostly at each other, but still. It's a good time. 
  • Argue fair. I'll admit I need to work on this. Sometimes I just can't help but shout out mean and hateful things when the fight is a direct result of his jackassery. But, I realize I shouldn't do that. At least I'm headed in the right direction. Admitting you have a problem is the first step. 
  •  Sleep in his t-shirts. I'm only mentioning this one because I do it on occasion and maybe you find yourself in a similar situation regarding sleepwear. I feel like he sees it as a welcome change from the hole-ridden non-matching shit I usually wear at bedtime. When you set the bar low, it takes little to impress. You can lock that in the vault.
That's about it for the ones that aren't total nonsense. There are quite a few that didn't get a reaction from me either way so I don't feel like they are worth a mention.

But then there are the ones that are either a) So stupid I laughed out loud, or b) Cannot be applied in our relationship because we are very immature. Okay here we go (I think it is worth noting that I've worded these exactly as they were in the list)...

  • Surprise each other. I'm going to need this one to be a little more specific. Sometimes we hide behind doors and jump out and scare the shit out of each other. Does that count?
  • Meet him at the door. Do I wear my heels and best apron? Should I be holding a gin and tonic? His pipe? WTF? It's 2013. What if he gets home first? Will he meet me at the door? This one falls under the stupid/antiquated/since when am I June Cleaver category. 
  • Hide notes in secret places. Am I supposed to be working under the assumption that he will actually find them one day? Is there a time limit on this hide-and-seek game? I can ask the man to get me something out of the refrigerator and the item could sprout legs and do a dance right in front of his face and he still won't see it. 
  • Renew your vows privately with whispers and memories. The way this is worded just makes me laugh. Whispers and memories? I picture us standing in our living room whispering our vows to each other with music from 'Cats' softly playing in the background. And now I'm just short of hysterical with this image in my head. The kids are staring. You'll have to give me a minute to compose myself before I can go on...

Okay, I'm back.
  • Set reminders on your phone to remember him/her throughout the week. I don't get it. Am I in danger of forgetting about this person that LIVES IN MY HOUSE? Like, I'm walking through the grocery store and an alert goes off on my phone and I'm all, "Oh, shit! I have a husband! Almost forgot. Thank goodness I set myself a reminder."
  •  Dance together - soft music (alone) - or rocking out with the kids. I am again picturing us in the living room staring at each other with my hands on his shoulders and his hands on my waist doing the junior high sway and I'm starting to feel the hysterics come back so I'm just going to move on.
  • Choose not to be annoyed by an irritating behavior/disappointment from your spouse. Oh! We can "choose" not to be annoyed? Why hasn't anyone ever told me that? The time I could have saved.
  • Lay in bed together and stare into each other's eyes, without talking. Tell me you're not serious. Are you serious? For how long? Until one of us cracks? Because that's like 2 seconds at best. This one. is. killing me. 
  • Share furniture - sit in his lap. Again - for how long? Like a minute? 'Til he loses sensation in his lower extremities? A whole television show? The entire duration of 'The Hobbit'? It makes a difference because I don't care how much you love each other - that arrangement is NOT comfortable.
    • Wear shirts that tell the world you love your spouse. For realz? Like those giant groups of people that go on vacation together and wear the same shirts so they can pick each other out of a crowd? This is so hilarious that IT IS HAPPENING. I'm having these babies printed up immediately. My husband is going to be so excited!

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013

    This Makes Me Feel a Lot Cooler Than I Really Am

    I'm stoked, y'all.

    "Why's that?" you ask.

    First of all, today is Wednesday. So, it's not Monday and we're halfway to Friday. So, that's good. And Wednesday is also our family's no after-school activities day. And that, my friends, is something worth celebrating.

    But, most importantly...I'm on Scary Mommy today! Do you even know who that is? Well you should. But if not, her name in real life is Jill Smokler and she's a lady that could totally walk around with one of those t-shirts that says "I'm Kind of a Big Deal"...and mean it.  Because, yeah - she's hot shit.

    She has written not one, but TWO books - the first of which was a New York Times best-seller. The second one was just released this month, but I have no doubt it will make its way to the top as well. It's called 'Motherhood Comes Naturally and Other Vicious Lies'. I know, right? Genius.

    Click on this picture and the magic of the internet will swoop you right over to Amazon where you can buy those babies. (She didn't ask me to promote her books...I just figured it was the least I could do since she's letting me hang out with her for the day. Also? It's a really good book and I promote literacy.)

    Plus she's real classy. She was on the Today Show (THE TODAY SHOW, Y'ALL!) and she didn't even laugh at Billy Ray Cyrus and his stupid outfit and ridiculous hairdo when he was sitting right in front of her. I could hardly believe my eyes because I don't think I would have been able to look at him with a straight face for longer than 0.2 milliseconds. He had on sunglasses, people. Inside the studio. I'm telling you - she's a real class act, this one.

    Anyway. I'm over there using up her internet space talking about some of the ways life changes post-motherhood. Go here to read it and all of your wildest dreams will come true. (They totally won't but only because I bet some of you have some pretty whack dreams that are just a bunch of nonsense.) But, you might at least smile and nod your head a time or two.


    Thursday, April 18, 2013

    It's Right There...Front and Center

    Our country has seen its fair share of tragedy in the past year. It's been a lot to deal with.  Too much, in fact.

    Some days it is hard to convince myself that I shouldn't pack up our family and go live in a cave. Remove us from society. Pretend that evil doesn't exist.

    It is easy to feel like humankind has entered a perpetual spiral down a pit of despair. But you know what? The fight between good and evil has existed since the dawn of time. The media just wasn't there to capture and share the news with such immediacy.

    I sat watching the Today show this morning as they discussed the week's tragedies and showed video footage of the horrific scenes. At first I could think only of how depressing and broken the world felt. In light of recent events, it's hard not to feel that way. But as I continued to watch and listen, I began to see something that wasn't depressing or broken at all.

    Onlookers flocked to an area where bombs went off only minutes before. To render aid. Marathoners continued to run to area hospitals to give blood. To save lives. People opened their homes to displaced citizens, offering whatever they could to help complete strangers. To show compassion.

    What was I seeing?  Bravery. Unity. Selflessness. I was seeing love.

    There is SO much good in this world, y'all. For every one evildoer, there are so many more helpers. So many more heroes. In the wake of these tragedies I see evil in the background. But, in the foreground? In front of the fire and smoke and blood? I see good. And I have to believe that good will triumph. WE have to believe that good will triumph.

    We will always grieve when faced with the unimaginable. We will mourn the lives lost and will question the reasons why. We will be heartbroken. We will feel afraid. And we may even begin to feel hopeless. The day of the bombing in Boston a quote by Mr. Rogers began quickly circulating around Facebook. A line of it said, "Look for the helpers." Yes. When we find ourselves feeling hopeless and afraid, we have to try - as hard as it may be - try to see the good. Try to see the helpers. Try to see the heroes. Try to see the hope. It's easy when you know where to look.

    Because it's right out in front.

    Monday, April 15, 2013

    Down With the Assholes.

    I'm sick of assholes, you guys.

    Check this out. My Mom is here visiting and she offered to keep the kids so Charming and I could go out without having them all up in our grill. And we did not turn down that opportunity because we are not stupid people. There's a new outlet mall about an hour away and we decided it would be a great time to check it out since we wouldn't have to listen to our little people bitch about their legs falling off the entire time. Plus I love a good bargain. And also Wetzel's Pretzels.

    We drive up and notice that there is that yellow police caution tape around one of the stores so I'm all, "Great. Somebody got murdered up in the Nike outlet over some pumped-up kicks and now this whole operation is shot to hell."

    We walked up to the mall entrance and found out that someone called in bomb threats to the Ralph Lauren and Love Culture stores. Of course they did. Because everybody knows nothing says "I mean business" like threatening to blow up a bunch of preps and trendy 20-somethings. Good. Lord. So, of course, the cops have to come in with all their gear and bomb-sniffing dogs and whatnot and close down all the stores because they have to take bomb threats seriously. Because explosions can be dangerous. But everyone knew that it was just some asshole being...well, an asshole...because he (or she) knew that it would wreak havoc on people's day. But rather than creating mass chaos with people screaming and running for their lives, everybody was just standing in line outside the Coach store being really pissed that they were missing out on the 50% off everything (everything, y'all!) sale. And I was pissed because I wanted my very own cup of pretzel bites that I wasn't even going to have to share with the little vultures I usually carry along with me (or at least a hot Nestle Tollhouse cookie), and I didn't get either.

    You know, it takes a conscious effort to be an asshole. I imagine it must be exhausting. Waking up every morning having to come up with a plan of whose day they're going to ruin. I mean, I have a hard enough time remembering what day it is and which kid has which lesson or sports practice after school. If I had to throw in a meniacal plan to destroy humankind, I'd be toast.

    What I'm getting at is this: don't be an asshole. I know I'm simplifying it, but seriously. Just don't. It's easier to be nice. You know what? You don't even have to be nice. Just exist. And let other people exist. Chances are most people are doing a pretty good job at making some bad life choices on their own without your help. Do you even realize how much better off the world would be if everyone abided by that one simple rule? Perhaps you're an asshole because someone was an asshole to you. Well, break the cycle. Do it. Put all the effort you use to be an asshole into...oh, I don't know...not being one.

    You're NOT an asshole if you click on this banner.
    P.S. You can click on it every day. And that makes you even cooler.

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

    The Time I Did Something I Said I'd Never Do.

    I've been working out real hard at the gym (people-watching while walking at very low speeds on the treadmill, and also pretending to know how to use the weight machines) which, as it turns out, is not the miracle cure I'd hoped it'd be for my flattening blogger ass. And what happens when things flatten? They widen. It's science.

    Charming signed up for a new workout program a few weeks ago and I thought maybe I'd try it.

    Sidenote: I have a tendency (as in always) to be oppositional defiant. If you tell me to do something, I immediately want to do the exact opposite, and vice versa. I don't do it on purpose. My brain does it all by itself. I must have been a positively delightful 3-year-old.

    Anyway. Back to my story.

    I told him I was considering signing up, too, and this conversation followed.

    Charming: "I really don't know if you can do it. It's pretty tough."

    Me: "What did you just say?"

    Charming: "I'm just saying that this kind of thing usually isn't your cup of tea. I think you'd probably hate it."

    Me: "Did you grow a human being for three quarters of a year and then expel it from your body? Twice?"

    Charming: "..."

    Me: "That's what I thought. Don't tell me I can't do something."

    And then I did the thing I said I would never do. Never.

     I went to Crossfit.

    Here's the breakdown.

    1. Arrive at gym located in a warehouse that looks suspiciously like a prison yard. Get panicky because you forgot to bring your shiv.

    2. Sign waiver saying you won't sue if
    -any of your limbs fall off
    -you have a heart attack
    -you die.

    3.  Attempt to interpret a series of acronyms and work-out terminology written on a white board and feel very stupid.

    4. Feel better because someone notices your confusion, tells you what they mean, and assures you that you're not stupid. Decide these people are nice and that you probably won't need your shiv after all.

    5. Do a series of exercises. Feel lightheaded. Learn that was just the warm-up. Silently repeat the words "Oh. Shit." over and over. And over.

    6. Stand gape-mouthed and mildly terrified as instructor explains the Workout of the Day (WOD...see what I mean about #3? Super cryptic, right? This coming from someone who originally thought LOL meant Lots of Love. For like 2 years. Shut up.)

    7. Begin timed workout. Scope out nearest trash can in case the puke you feel rising in your throat decides it can no longer be contained.

    8. Consider crying.

    9. Tinkle - just a little - every time your feet hit the floor while jump-roping. For 200 times. Hope no one notices the puddle.

    10. Decide you are not going to quit because you suddenly remember the conversation you had with Charming. Oh, HELL-TO-THE-NO.

    11. Force yourself to finish the workout without any puking, crying, or loss of limbs. Lay lifeless on the ground until someone walks over to kick your leg making sure your aren't dead. People at Crossfit are caring.

    12. Get talked into signing up for more classes because right now you feel like a total badass. And you like feeling like a badass.

    13. Fast forward several hours - feel not so much like a badass anymore as you can't quite figure out how to get up from the couch because your legs don't seem capable of standing. Remember you paid in advance so you have to go back. Tomorrow. Revisit #8.

    Lesson I will never learn (see what I mean): Never. Say. Never.


    Sunday, April 7, 2013

    The Voices in My Head

    I can't think of anything to write about. Which is weird. Because my brain never shuts off. Never. It's annoying. I wish I could look forward to going to sleep for a short reprieve, but I typically have very vivid dreams (that I almost always remember) and I only wake up confused as to why we invited Craig T. Nelson over for dinner and also pissed because he complained about what I served. Very ungracious if you ask me. And especially irritating since I have to put up with that shit from my family so I sure as hell don't want to deal with it from guests. I really expected someone like Craig T. Nelson to have better manners.*

    *Actual dream I had a few nights ago. I have no explanation for this.

    Yesterday I was upstairs folding laundry when Charming walked in. My brow was furrowed, which tells him I'm in deep thought and that he should proceed with caution. He generally doesn't like hearing me say things like "I've been thinking," or "I have an idea." Potentially volatile conversations are sure to follow.

    Charming (hesitantly): "Uh-oh. What are you thinking about?"

    Me: "I think my blogging is making me a headcase."

    Charming: "Your blogging is making you a headcase? How's that?"

    Me: "Because of all the crazy thoughts. They never stop."

    His unsettled look suggested I should elaborate.

    Me: "Not like stab-you-in-your-sleep kind of crazy. More like the-thoughts-never-stop-and-if I-said-everything-I-was-thinking-out-loud-you-would-question-my-mental-stability kind of crazy."

    Charming: "Well. Okay. I'm going to Lowe's to buy some paint."

    And then he just looked at me and walked out of the room. Which tells me he probably wasn't all that concerned about being stabbed in his sleep in the first place.

    And then I started thinking that if I actually said everything that went through my mind out loud then maybe he would take me more seriously. But then it might not be because of what I was saying but instead because I'd suddenly started walking around talking to myself all day. I don't know - it's all very confusing. Because sometimes there are so many thoughts at one time that I can't even piece them together in a way that is at all logical.

    Kind of like this post.

    And now you've just lost about a minute and a half of your life that you can never get back. I apologize. I promise to try harder next time.


    Tuesday, April 2, 2013

    Giving PMS the Credit it Deserves

    I know a lot of women get all bent out of shape when their husbands blame their irrational (whatevs) behavior on PMS, but I honestly don't. Mostly because I'm never irrational. Ahem. We all know that our hormones get out of whack and that there is very little we can do about it (any male readers out there: I'm not even close to kidding.) Self-control becomes virtually non-existent and it is a total crap-shoot as to what emotion is going to surface in response to a situation. It is the closest to an out-of-body experience one can have without actually having an out-of-body experience.

    Ladies, wouldn't you agree that it's kind have this built-in (and might I add legitimate) excuse to overreact? Not that you (or I) would ever overreact.

    Let's just say your husband asks you to pick him up some new socks the next time you go to Target. And you don't write it on your list because you don't make lists. And then a week later he asks if you remembered to get him socks any of the three times you went to Target. And then you proceed to name the hundreds of other things you did remember to do that week but NO YOU DID NOT REMEMBER TO GET HIM NEW SOCKS WHAT DO YOU LOOK LIKE A COMPUTER AND MAYBE IF HE DIDN'T WEAR UP ALL HIS SOCKS SO FAST HE WOULDN'T EVEN NEED MORE SOCKS DID HE EVER THINK OF THAT? And then you start crying because you are a failure as a wife and mother because you can't even provide socks for your family and how have any of them managed to deal with your shortcomings for so long? And then your husband is left standing there expressionless wondering WTF just happened and instead of justifying your reaction with a response he picks up his keys and goes to Target to buy socks.

    OR when no one can find you because you've shut yourself in the pantry with a spoon and a jar of Nutella and you hear "Mom? Mom? Mom, where are you? Mom?" but you don't answer because CHOCOLATE and finally someone opens the door and sees you standing there in your chocolatey shame and you say nothing but the look on your face says, "GO. AWAY." and they shut the door and obey because of the crazy eyes.

    Those are just hypotheticals, obviously, but isn't it nice to have the PMS excuse to fall back on in case something like that were to happen? "Hormonal" has a much nicer ring to it than "psychotic". Ya' know?  As a matter of fact, I kind of wish there was an actual condition that caused PMS symptoms to flare up randomly - even if it's not "that time". I just Googled it and didn't find anything that seemed legit. I thought about looking on WebMD, but whenever I go on that site I end up clicking on a trail of links that leads to me diagnosing myself with a rare and fatal disease that you can only get if you've recently visited Ghana (I haven't). So, I'm just going to assume it's not a thing. Dammit. I think I could really capitalize on that.

    Now, I'm not suggesting that it's not okay to get upset when the husband makes a truly bone-headed move and the wife loses her shit and the husband is all, "Is it that time of the month?" in an attempt to avoid taking ownership for his wrongdoing. That is exactly a time when it is acceptable to get upset about being asked that question and catch him between the eyes with the remote control. Or calmly suggest that he shouldn't have said that. Whatever works.

    But for all those other times...the times when you go apeshit over crumbs and goo all over the kitchen counter, or dirty dishes left in the sink when you JUST EMPTIED THE DISHWASHER, or no one replacing the toilet paper roll even though there is a full holder right next to the toilet and a trash can 3 feet away, or when you walk around the house to find seven York Peppermint Patty wrappers scattered on various surfaces throughout the house. That's when it would be nice to be able to place blame on your RPMSSD (Random Pre-Menstural Syndrome Symptom Disorder).

    I just made that up and hereby declare it a thing. You're welcome.

     Clicking on this banner is in no way irrational. So do it.