To understand why I feel touched by yesterday’s events at Gilroy, other than as a concerned and outraged citizen, as we all should, I have to take you back to a young, stars-in-their-eyes couple, before Collin, back when Bryon and I were dating.


Bryon and I had our first date right before I left Edwards, where we were stationed at together, to go home for Christmas for the first time, since I’d left home to join the Air Force. I had been excited about going home and seeing my family, as it’d been a tough first year away. I’d been through Officer’s Training School, the worlds’ weirdest first marriage (a story for another time), and adjusting to being both single, and far from home, for the first time. I’d still not come to terms with my abuse, and I was still a little tethered to my home, not really ready to be away, feeling like that was my safe spot. It wasn’t.


Anyway, Bryon and I went on our first date, which was sufficiently awkward and beautiful to know that it’s the date you tell your children about as this was how you knew your father was “the one.” He took me to Round Table Pizza, because that’s where his family always went for Christmas Eve, and since it was getting close to the Christmas Eve, he thought he’d share a bit of his traditional self with me. Awwww.


Then, because the date was going so well, he took me back to his apartment, which was right around the block.


Get your mind out of the gutter, people.


I got to experience the special smell that was Bryon’s single-man life. I only went back to that apartment ONE more time. That’s how special the smell was. He claims it was because of his neighbors. I am not so sure about that one. We can agree to disagree. I’ve smelled wafts of it in our shared lives together since, in days when he’s done too much yardwork; or when he doesn’t put enough foot powder in his shoes; or when he’s had too much to wine the day before, and we should put an out of order sign on the bathroom door. Men need women. That’s all I will say. Sure, there was a curry undertone, but the special smell that was unique to Bryon’s place. That’s all him.


Anyway, in those few treasured hours together, I saw (and broke) the balsa wood bridge he made for a science fair (he thought it could support my weight - It did not). He showed me the photo scrapbook (not album) he made of his eighth grade (I think??) trip to England with his mother. In other words, he put on all his best moves, and I was in it for the long haul.


What can I say, I’m easily caught by geeky guys with no moves?


By the time he walked me to my car, I was smitten. His rushed and nervous kiss over my car door was all I needed to fall in love with him. We spent the entire holiday break either on the phone (yes youngsters, us oldsters still talked on the phone), or texting. I’d been casually dating another man at the time, one who sent me poetic texts over break like, “Let the moon light your dreams tonight, and the stars be your guides.” I still think I went with the right choice though.


He agreed to pick me up at the airport, when I arrived back from Michigan. It was no easy feat, as I had a dog with me. A dog! Who picks up a girl from the airport, with a dog, a large dog at that, that he’s only had one date with? The man of your dreams, that’s who.


Still, while we were standing at the baggage carousel, waiting for both my bags, and the “large cargo” that was my dog, I was overcome by a smell. It wasn’t just a mild smell, it was a horrible, try to avoid it smell. It was the kind of smell that you think, “Is that me? God, I hope that isn’t me!” You move around, hoping it’s the person next to you, so you can get away from it. It’s not, so you move some more. It’s following you. You can’t get away from it.


A horrible thought occurred to me: what if it’s Bryon? What if this man of my dreams, that I’ve fallen head-over-heels for, is the source of this horrendous smell, a smell that is permeating the air of the whole baggage carousel area? Can I go on?


I gave him the benefit of the doubt and assumed someone with terrible, and I mean terrible B.O. must’ve wafted through before us, and left it behind. If anyone old enough has ever seen the episode of Seinfeld where the valet with bad B.O. ruins his car, you’ll know what I mean. However, when we got in his truck to drive home, I was distressed to find that the smell followed us.


It was him.


I had a terrible choice. Recognize that this man that I’d been dreaming of for the last ten days smelled like death today, and live with it; or, find a way out. I lived with it. For months, I decided it was just a one-off and until we got to know one another better, I didn’t mention it, until….


He had garlic fries at a game. And, I mean GARLIC fries.


It wasn’t the breath, which, don’t get me wrong, was reason enough to be an issue. It was what happened to garlic in his body. Garlic is fabulous, wonderful and amazing. In reasonable, even profound quantities, it is fine in almost everyone. It’s even fine in Bryon. But, when he goes overboard, he smells like rotting corpse. The smell leeches from his pores for days, and not just a little bit, as if a green could of death is following him with green skulls and cross-bones following him.


This leads me to Gilroy and the garlic festival.


Bryon is from Central California, and for a time, both of his parents lived in Northern California, so we’d pass Gilroy every time we went to visit them. The first time we passed Gilroy, we had a long, hilarious talk about going to Gilroy’s Garlic festival, and how we would have to ration his tasty treats, or I’d have to leave him there to sleep it off, alone.


It was a long drive from Edwards, and then, as we grew, got married, and had Collin, from Los Angeles, to Central/Northern California. So, Gilroy was always a conversation point along the way. We always talked about Gilroy’s garlic. We’d point it out to Collin. We’d laugh about Daddy’s smell. We’d always talk about timing a visit with the festival, but never managed it.


We never stopped in Gilroy, not even to pee. We never went to the festival, but the town and the festival were as much a part of our family trips as the trip itself, sort of like passing the giant windmill in Solvang (where we have been). I’m heartbroken that anyone would desecrate a day of family fun in a place like Gilroy.


That’s not to say I am not heartbroken when anyone desecrates anyplace with gun violence. I am done with gun violence in America. Done. There is no place for this any longer. Yesterday, a six-year-old boy went to a festival with his parents, probably with some pocket-money to buy a souvenir, probably excited to get a treat like popcorn; instead, he was killed.


This is not what we should be about when we talk about protecting our rights. A child’s right to safety, a family’s right to safety, should be important, too. And, don’t tell me open carry is the answer. Violence begets violence. It’s time for a real change.


I may be naïve, and certainly if I say no more guns, someone will fire back at me and say, “criminals will still have them, so I want mine.” Eh. It ends slowly. But, it ends. It has to end. This cannot go on. We are a world leader, but it’s sad to be the world leader in this. This is shameful and devastating.

We Bought Furniture from a Drug Addict...Maybe?

Daphne’s gone. For people who don’t know us well, I’ve been telling them that she died. I know that’s horrible, but it’s easier than explaining the whole thing and being afraid that they’ll think we just gave up on her, which is the furthest thing from the truth. And to us, it’s a little like she did; she’s gone. But, we did all the right things: trainers, lessons, treats, stress-control, all of it. Nothing mattered, this neighborhood was too stressful for her, and she needed better. So, she got it. When we really started listening, from a dog’s perspective, it dawned on us, just how freaking loud it is here.

I always complain about the noise around here; I even wear noise-buffering headphones around the house a lot; but for a dog, it must be a thousand times worse. Constantly barking dogs; kids nonstop; lawn maintenance, seemingly every day. Of course, I could just be an eighty-year old woman, the kind who shakes her cane at those damn kids on her lawn, trapped in a young (?) woman’s body; or, it could actually be a damn loud neighborhood, in general. I’m not saying it’s a New York city street, but a quiet, tree-lined village, it is not. We have kids out till well passed dark, on lots of nights, and there is always, always, always, at least one dog having a nervous breakdown about something, within earshot.

Plus, our housing management company is so fucking cheap that they refuse to have the trees examined, despite the fact that four, count them four goddamn trees have fallen down in the past six months, on my block, alone. Thankfully, none of them have fallen into a house, or onto a person, but they figure, it’s more expensive to examine and trim them all pre-accident, than to just trim them post-fall, as it happens. I got this piece of information from the arborist that I demanded come to my house, because we have a sick tree that would fall into our kitchen. Anyway, this means that the chipper is out, in all its loud glory, a lot.


The thing that’s making her being gone a lot easier, at least on Bryon, is that he got to see how gleefully happy she was when she got there. He said she ran to the new family, the minute she got out of the car. Then, she discovered that she was allowed to push the door open, to her own yard, on her own. So, she kept doing it. And, doing it. And doing it some more, just running in and out, in and out, in and out, like a proud toddler playing, “look what I can do!” So, she’s pretty excited. She gets her own yard, and the freedom to use it as she pleases, in a quiet neighborhood. Perfect for her. Sad for us.

When I’m sad, I like to play “buy this, it makes the ouchie go away.” You may remember this game from such experiences as flares and depression. It works, but only in the short term. Shh, don’t tell Rachel; she tends to end up with lots of good stuff this way. But, this time, I roped Bryon into my game. How, I managed that, is beyond me, but we made a lovely day of it, and I can’t believe how much fun we had together. I was a lovely day-date. By the end of the day, we were exhausted, but blissfully happy, giggling, laughing and having quite a nice time together. It’s lovely when hiding from total sadness can turn into a romantic and glorious time, isn’t it? We had so many smooches that Collin screeched “ewww! Stop!” and “his tongue touched your mouth!” at us before running away. Sorry dude.

See, I’ve always hated our laundry room. Like, hated with a capital “H.” So, I guess I’ve always “Hated” our laundry room. It’s humungous. It’s at least twice the size of our master bathroom because our house was designed by morons with no sense of personal space. Most wives like to brush their teeth while listening to their husbands pee, or worse. And, because it’s where Daphne’s cage and food bowls were kept, it was a disgusting utility space, with zero style, and just a room I’d prefer to keep the door closed on. Yes, I know it’s a utility room, a place you keep your mops, but I always felt it was more blah than it had to be. Since her cage is the size of our master bathroom though, there wasn’t much we could do about it; and, because she drools so profusely, and her bowls are so large, there was no point in trying anything else. She was, essentially the utility room.

Alas, once all that stuff was out of there, I broached my ideas with the husband and told him, that, when he was ready, what I’d hoped to do in there. Surprisingly, because I said, “Criagslist,” or “the used furniture store,” he was game to look right away. Hooray for cheapskate husbands, and for knowing how to manipulate them into your ideas. Kidding. Love you, honey! But really, I didn’t want to spend a lot either. It is, after all, the laundry room. So, I showed him “expensive” pieces on Wayfair, to give him the general idea of what I wanted to do, and then I was off on the Craigslist hunt.

My ideas were to cover the damn hot water heater and heater with a curtain (easy – but waiting for one from Overstock, now). I want to get a new area rug for the room (done – waiting for my deal of the day, again from Overstock – hooray for President’s Day sales!). I also wanted to take down all the pre-installed shelves in the unit on the wall, and put up a cabinet of some type, preferably one with glass doors, to put our paper products in: toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, you know, “supplies.” I wanted to make ‘em look fancy. I’m thinking of putting my tampons in there too, just to shake it up a bit. Feminine hygiene should make others as uncomfortable as it makes me, maybe. The cabinet was the Craigslist shopping. I’d hoped to spend no more than $150 (more on that in a minute). And, I wanted to get some kind of bins for the un-foldables, in order to hide them. Martha Stewart claims you can fold sheets. She lies. Even if you can, I don’t wanna. No more “hacks” about fitting them into the pillow case, or any of that bullshit. I want to hide them.

I found a cabinet on Craigslist for $60. It was cool, unique and different, and it’d fit if we removed only two of our shelves, leaving us two shelves for storage. Hmm, intriguing. Sounds perfect. So, we go to this woman’s house, and before we pull up, I say, “I have to pee, do you think she’ll let me use her bathroom?” Apparently not, as she’s putting the piece of furniture onto the porch, so we don’t come into the house. Guess we’re not welcome into their home, which was fine, because you could smell her house from the street. From the literal street, like when you opened the car door. How lovely to be her neighbors. 

Her boyfriend, brother, cousin, no clue; her man-person (?) was sweating profusely, despite the fact that it was not at all hot. An older woman was inside the door, which was obscured by a rusted metal ghetto-gate. But, the older woman was pretty keen on making the sale, despite the fact that it was obvious we were going to buy it; she kept making compliments about how wonderful the “piece” was. The poster was a very kind, but jittery woman, who was sort of hopping around the porch in a dance I like to call, “withdrawal.” Takes one to know one.

As soon as I handed her my sixty dollars, she handed it to another woman, who I shit you not, ran down the street with it, after a few whispered words. I’m pretty sure that I just bought either meth, crack or heroin. Not sure which, but I know I bought something unsavory. I’m also pretty sure that I bought the top of her grandma’s, or other family member’s hutch, because this was not a cabinet, but the top part of a larger piece of furniture. The poster told me, when I pointed it out, “yeah, I didn’t know furniture came that way until recently.” I felt like saying, “so how long have you been selling off your stuff, bit by bit? Can I buy your house?”

We had to put legs on it to make it work as a single piece of furniture; thankfully, my husband is so handy. It looks pretty good. It was also covered in spider eggs, and spiders, which had to be cleaned off before it could come inside. It’s also, literally, filled with air fresheners right now, as to wipe clean the smell of nicotine. My toilet paper will smell like apple cinnamon, but not regret.

It’s also got a lot of water damage to the back, so we’ll have to replace the back panels pretty soon. But, we’ve got plans for it.


And, one of the “fancy” pieces at the top is a little loose and needs some glue, but other than that, it’s not in terrible shape. It might need something to hold the glass in a little tighter. It’s probably something we’d not ever think of, except that we move all the time, and movers wreck stuff that’s not a million percent perfect. Actually, they wreck things that are a million percent perfect. Last time, they broke our headboard. Our mover, who said he’d been doing this for thirty years, said it’s the first time he’d ever seen a mover break a headboard. Glad to be a first. Some are the first on the moon. Some are us.


It’s exactly what I was looking for, frankly. I didn’t want a cabinet that looked like something everyone else can find at Target, or a more expensive version of what everyone else can find at Target. There’s enough furniture already out there, that’s decent enough, why buy something new? Buy something with some life left in it. And, you can’t beat the price of $60 worth of meth, right? About an hour after we picked it up, I got a follow-up text from Madame Meth, which said, “I hope you really enjoy the cabinet.” How sweet, right? She was so nice to follow up. She didn’t have to do that, and despite being kind of a trashy person, she’s not trash. Goes to show you that nice is everywhere.

My sweet, exhausted by the time he did it, husband, even put contact paper around the recycle bin, to hide the filth inside it. Seriously, can I be any luckier with this one? The paper towels are because the paint on the legs is still a smidgen wet. We bought table/chair legs and put them on the cabinet. Quick, $3/leg thinking, right? Couple of new knobs too and we were set!

My sweet, exhausted by the time he did it, husband, even put contact paper around the recycle bin, to hide the filth inside it. Seriously, can I be any luckier with this one? The paper towels are because the paint on the legs is still a smidgen wet. We bought table/chair legs and put them on the cabinet. Quick, $3/leg thinking, right? Couple of new knobs too and we were set!

But, the bins on the top were expensive-ish. They were $30/each at Cost Plus. You’d think everything in there should be cheap. I don’t go in there much, so I don’t really know, but it’s all warehouse-y in there, and they have cost in the name. Leave it to me to grab the expsensive-ist thing in there. Maybe Cost Plus means that it’s cost-y, plus some more! I should’ve known! I used to browse through one, occasionally, when I was early to class, back in Virginia, and I loved touching everything, but I didn’t really look. There was a peacock painted end table at this one, this time. I wanted it. Bryon said no because it was something like $500. I agreed. But, I still wanted it, nonetheless. Cost Plus equals needlessly expensive, perhaps? I say this because I also found a hamper that I wanted, and it was $100. I can’t bring myself to spend that on a receptacle for filthy clothes, can you?

I’m not showing you the curtain’ed off water heater/heater area yet, because it’s got an icky curtain right now, but Bryon rigged some old curtain rods up there and it looks, meh, but livable, better than looking at a heater! I’m so excited about this new “room.” We had so much fun planning it all out. And, I’m always impressed by my husband’s innate engineering ability. Meanwhile, I just stand there and watch, waiting for the time that I can step in to do what I can do to help, which is wipe down the cabinet with wood oil. Yay! I helped! I wiped!

We had so much fun, in fact, that we didn’t notice someone, that I’m not going to name (Loki) sneak into the new room, as we were working, and pee on a throw rug. Damn cat. Angry peeing! Perhaps, his hatred of the dog was all an act, and he’s devastated at losing her from the family. Or, he is just pissed that I moved his favorite throw rug from the hallway to the laundry room, temporarily. He used to like hiding underneath the rug, so that unsuspecting hall-walkers would think it was just a small bump, and they’d trip on a moving target, nearly dying. I’m pretty sure Loki is a minion of Satan; because, alternatively, he’d hide and then jump out at unsuspecting hall-walkers, giving them a heart-attack.

Can you tell that this family watches a lot of Friends? Collin speaks almost exclusively in Friends quotes now. I fear I have damaged him, socially, for life. Oh well....

Good life advice from a awesome literary woman...not so awesomely translated to film. Good movie, but not greatly represented from the book. Read it. Trust me.

Either way, now I have to throw out the rug. Stupid cat.

I'm an Annoying Wife

These are the top three selfish things that I do that would render me annoying to any other human being, but that my family finds endearing. Well, I think they do. They tell me they love me, anyway.

I Shop When I’m Sick or Sad...And I Shop Poorly

I don’t just shop, I buy otherwise useless items. I have everything I could ever want or need.

I shit you not, this is HALF of my Frye boots and Frye shoe collection. HALF. Who needs this many boots? No one. Well, I do. If only because I'm obsessed. I stopped buying them several years ago because, well, obviously. I love, cherish, and wear them all. But, an example of why I need and want for nothing. Oh, and why my husband deserves a damn medal.

I shit you not, this is HALF of my Frye boots and Frye shoe collection. HALF. Who needs this many boots? No one. Well, I do. If only because I'm obsessed. I stopped buying them several years ago because, well, obviously. I love, cherish, and wear them all. But, an example of why I need and want for nothing. Oh, and why my husband deserves a damn medal.

In withdrawal, you feel like, well, shit. You spend a lot of time on the couch, or just lying on the floor, hoping the couch moves closer. I’ve been doing remarkably well, actually. I’ve been speeding through the process like an out of control semi, speeding down Mount Doom. But, when I feel poopy, clicking “check out now,” makes me feel better because a present is coming soon! And, when a box lands on the door, it’s like a surprise from me, to me! The trouble is, I buy ridiculous crap.

I don't spend much money these days. But, what I do buy is things like this. Taaa-daaa! Behold the idea I have birthed from my brain-hole.

I don't spend much money these days. But, what I do buy is things like this. Taaa-daaa! Behold the idea I have birthed from my brain-hole.

Case in point: exhibit A for "ridiculous crap." Still, we watched the training DVD yesterday, Bryon with a very skeptical face, and I think we can make it happen. I anticipate a very rough six to eight months on our babies. But, can you imagine if it works? No more litter! I will keep you posted on my insane purchase.

I Make Them Refill My Drink…All Day Long

I get dry mouth from not one, but two of my meds. I have cut my Coke consumption to one a day, both because, well, ew, and it tastes bad because of the dry mouth. The syrup accumulates in my dry mouth and sticks there like molasses. It’s actually quite disgusting. Tasty, right? Anyway, I’ve developed quite a taste for plain Le Croix, mixed with a splash of cranberry.

Why should this make my family hate me, you might ask? The reasons are two-fold. Firstly, I am drinking us out of house and home, going through a few cases of Le Croix a week. Since I started drinking Le Croix long before the hipsters started thinking it was the flavor du jour, I get to claim it as legitimately frustrating that the commissary runs out so often, sending us on a wild goose chase, all over town for it. I need my Le Croix. Other soda waters are good, but we’ve discovered they give me, shall we say, unpleasant side effects in the stinky gas arena. Additionally, I’ve become a pain in the ass, requesting refills all day long, like a spoiled princess. Okay, I only do this once a day or so; but still, it’s annoying. I’d be annoyed. I’m annoyed getting it myself so often, which is why I ask for the refill!

I Make Us Keep the House Cold…Really Cold

My meds, and especially withdrawal, make me hot. I don’t just mean warm, I mean hot. Hot. Hot. Hot. Alas, I torture my family with a household temperature that borders on torture. In the years that we’ve lived here, we’ve yet to turn on the heat. Only recently have we closed any windows. Our bedroom window is still wide open. Our house, at this very minute, sits at:

This doesn’t mean that I don’t bundle up to avoid the discomfort.  I’m certainly cold. Sometimes, I feel that it’s downright frigid, as it’s gotten a few degrees colder than 63. But, I refuse to change the conditions. I’ve sat in footie pajamas, two fleece robes, two blankets, an undershirt, gloves, a scarf, and a hat, and still refused to change the conditions. It’s easier to bundle up, than it is to cool down. It's a little awkward to sign for a package dressed like that though. Rather than provide an explanation to the clearly confused FedEx man, I just acted like it was totally normal. I figured it was the most disconcerting thing I could do for him, and thus the best story he could have for his friends.

Ahh, the coziness of being bundled up, reading a book. Or, am I "miming" reading a book? With white gloves, it's hard to be sure.

Ahh, the coziness of being bundled up, reading a book. Or, am I "miming" reading a book? With white gloves, it's hard to be sure.

For this, my family continues to tolerate me. They snuggle up next to me, and we watch a movie, or we play a game. My body seems to feel better, overall, when it’s cooler in the house, so they put on an extra sweater, and smile as mommy asks why it’s so hot in here. What they don't realize is that the colder it gets, the closer they have to snuggle to me. Bwhahaha! Lord help them when menopause hot flashes hit!

I love them to the ends of the earth, and I'm sure I provide them with something they find enjoyable too, because for all of my faults, they keep me around!

P.S. Isn't my kitten adorable?

I couldn't resist! Put 'em up!

I couldn't resist! Put 'em up!

Be in Love With Who You Are...

I have been making a decent supplemental income as a freelance writer, lately; and, I was writing an article on this viral post last night. I thought it was ugh, for so many reasons (check out my thesis below, if you are interested). Anyway, to write the article, I scrolled through several hundred of the top thousand or few comments on the original post. Writing articles that get picked up for a paycheck takes some actual research. Usually, comment threads on public posts are full of idiotic nonsense; but, I found a hidden gem, yesterday.

The post in question was filled with pretty foul language. Meh, who cares? At least, to me. I didn’t really notice that so much. I swear all the time. Remember this? But, someone made a comment about how it seems so inappropriate that this is how husbands and wives talk to each other these days, and how it’s basically shameful and disrespectful to both of them. It’s not that sanctimonious comment that I cared about; it’s the response that has stuck with me. Someone responded to the commenter that it doesn’t matter how a couple communicates with each other, so long as they are okay with it. She said she lives by a little aphorism that she heard a long time ago:

Be in love with who you are, not who others think you should be.

That resonated with me, and has really stuck in my head. Bryon and I are best friends, as I’m sure most husbands and wives are. At least, I hope most husbands and wives are. We aren’t just best friends in a greeting card slogan way; we’re really best friends. There’s no one else in the world who I confide my secrets in, who I want comfort from when I have a bad day, or who I laugh with, quite as much. But, that means that we have our relationship, our way. We are silly and sarcastic. We joke and tease.

For example, every time Bryon tries to talk about physics, I pretend to fall asleep; and, every time I try to watch more than one episode of Golden Girls before bed, he puts on his GG appreciation device (earplugs and eye patches). We are gloriously happy with the way our marriage is. I wouldn’t change a thing, really.

However, we’ve come across people who think that we should change how we behave, outwardly, or who are uncomfortable with the way that we communicate. They don’t like when we tease, or the way that we joke with one another most of the time. They don’t like that we laugh at self-depreciating humor, or humor at one another’s expense. Frankly, I think it’s nice to laugh in your marriage. We used to try to change who we were to accommodate others’ discomfort for teasing or joking; but, it’s really hard to change your communication style for a few hours at a time, just to abate others’ discomfort. Have you ever seen a couple trying to pretend they are different people; it’s soooo awkward. We look like we’re acting like Mr. and Mrs. Stepford, at least to us.

We’ve been married almost eleven years now. It’s time to stop that nonsense, right? Clearly, neither one of us is unhappy with the way things are going, and I think that after all this time, if we were having communication issues, it’d have become clear by now. Okay, we do have trouble communicating about whether or not he should take out the trash more often; he should. And, we have trouble communicating about whether or not I should continue to purchase copious amounts of whatever I want, at the moment; I should. It isn’t like we’re bickering, or screaming, or having fights in front of neighbors; we’re laughing together. And, our teasing doesn’t include calling each other names like:

Even if it did, meh. These people don’t seem to be too happy, but maybe they are? If they are, it’s no one’s business how they communicate with each other. The problem with their communication style, the reason it makes others uncomfortable, is that it violates social norms, and conventions. Bryon and I don’t violate social convention in our communication style; I can assure you of that.

When I saw that aphorism, it really stuck with me, that we are in love with the way we are. We send emails back and forth all day, filled with jokes and teasing that others wouldn’t get, because we are silly and dorky; and we probably call each other idiot a lot, but don’t really mean it. We also have, “I love you” sprinkled in there about a million times, not just at the end, like it might as well be a signature block that no one bothers to read.

When you are communicating all day with someone, just because you miss them, I think that means you kind of like the person, even if you call them a poopy-head. Bryon’s job makes him impossible to reach by phone anymore; so he gets a zillion and one emails, just to tell him things like, “my lunch was too salty, how about yours?” and I get ones that say things like, “my phone annoyed me.”  I also get a “wake-up” e-mail every morning from him, because he leaves the house so early now, that the first thing he does, when he gets to work, is send me an email, to tell me to have a great day. It’s kind of lovely to be greeted with an absentee good-morning.

When I started to get really sick, Bryon was the thing that saved me, really saved me. I will never, in my live, be able to express how thankful I’ve been to him, for all the nights he stayed up, watching me to make sure I didn’t die. I will never be able to thank him for carrying me to the bathroom, for washing me when I couldn’t wash myself, for sleeping next to hospital beds, and for taking down my last words, the nights I was afraid, truly afraid, that I wouldn’t see the morning.

So yeah, we are in love with the way we are. When I saw the phrase last night, I read it to him over the phone, and we were talking about it. He said, that he’d never change a thing. No one who’s happy should. Marriages, or any relationship that works, are complex organisms, and after a while, you’ve got to find the groove that makes it work for you. Once you do, who the hell cares what anyone else thinks anymore?

I felt it was icky for so many reasons. The first of which was the dad who seemed to have never met his kids. I’ve not seen a dad these days who has never once put his kids to bed, fixed a breakfast, lunch or dinner, or poured them a damn cup of juice. Then, at the end, she claims that her husband made her get rid of all the sippy cups. WTF? He’s never been home, or made a single parenting decision, but he makes proclamations about what kinds of cups the kids are allowed to use? Then, we have the fact that these kids are total jerks. I don’t judge others’ parenting, except silently, of course; but, if your kids are this bad, someone should remind you that you will, one day, be inflicting massive asshole adults onto the world. Please don’t do that. And finally, we are having a problem that no one is talking about these days, with “mommy juice;” she’s leaving with her victory bottles of wine, flung in the air like a champ. Sure, she’s probably not an alcoholic; but, the joke of “mommy likes to drink” isn’t funny anymore, and I’m not sure that it ever was. Wine sales have skyrocketed in recent years, right alongside alcoholism rates in middle-aged women. I don’t get the fact that, for some reason, the fact that mommy drinking every day, to deal with being a mom, is a joke.

Yeah, yeah, I can take a joke just like everyone else; and I get that most of the ideas in this post were jokes, exaggerated, to make a point; I’m not an idiot. But, my point was that when we ignore the issues above, and pretend that they are funny, we are taking huge steps backward in what we have rallied against, as modern parents (and people), to change. We want dads involved in childcare! You’ve got it! We want kids to be good, polite, non-self-indulged! You’ve got it! We want to treat addiction like the serious mental health issue that it is! You’ve got it! Whoopise! Haha! I’m not saying there weren’t hilarious parts of this post; there were. There were lots of parts that cracked me up; but overall, it was backward humor that was just…stupid.

--when the article goes live, I'll let you know, and put a link for you :)


A Toilet Paper Dress Made Me Cry...No I'm Not PMS'ing

A list of things I showed my husband, on my iPad, that I thought were either interesting, or that I wanted to “do,” yesterday:

  • Snowmen for the front yard, made out of staircase spindles. By the way, Pinterest, you’re a bitch; thanks for always making me falsely believe that I’m fucking, Martha Stewart. Holy crap, a comma makes a big difference in that sentence.
  • My credit card bill, along with photos of my friends, and an explanation of why they deserved such large care packages in the hospital. Not to worry, he’s a kind soul too! And it’s not 1952; thus, I’m “allowed” to spend our money, despite him having earned the bulk of it. Look! Modern times, folks!
  • An easy homemade wreath constructed of leftover toilet paper rolls, re-purposed tears, and holly berries. Just kidding, but I wonder if that is something I could find, if I looked hard enough.
  • That photo-journalism piece that’s pretty much gone viral, about where the Syrian refugees are sleeping. On the “by the way” front on this one, there’s a lot of ire associated with the refugee crisis; of course there is, because people aren’t people, unless we can disagree on things to hate. This whole crisis reminds me of the not-so-distant-past, when we were fighting over whose lives mattered more and it was equally ridiculous. So, I’m reminded of Matt McGorry, who said it best, and you might as well fill in Syrian, or Vets or Homeless, or whoever you are on your pedestal about:
“#BlackLivesMatter doesn’t mean that other lives don’t. Like people who say “Save The Rainforests” aren’t saying “Fuck all the other Types of Forests.”

And then, I showed him this:

   The piece de resistance - I'd add the accents, which I totally know how to place, because I speak French (ooh la, la, aren't you impressed?), but I don't know how to do it on the computer (less impressed now, aren't you?).


The piece de resistance - I'd add the accents, which I totally know how to place, because I speak French (ooh la, la, aren't you impressed?), but I don't know how to do it on the computer (less impressed now, aren't you?).

I cried because while I was showing him this, he interrupted me to ask me, for the billionth time, how I was feeling, if I needed anything, if I should try another nap, if I wanted a new ice pack. Whatever insane kind thing it was, I don’t remember (damn him for being so perfect and thoughtful, right?).

I blurted out, “I’m not just sick, I’m still me! Can’t you listen to the me that’s talking right now?

Not a shining moment for this gal. Perfect husband trying to take care of me, meets weird, raging wife, angry about a toilet paper dress. When sickness surrounds your whole existence, when you have to rearrange your living room to accommodate an end table that fits your prescription bottles to be within your “usual” reach, it creeps up on you as absolutely pervasive.

And suddenly, without realizing it, you realize that you can’t recall the last time you’ve had a conversation in which it wasn’t at least the first thing that was brought up, if not the only thing.

A simple “how are you?” becomes “how are you feeling?

As much as I want people to be aware of the things that are making me sick, the illnesses that are bringing me down, not because they are rare, but rarely known, and we need help; I want the people in my life to remember that I am still here. Underneath all the pain meds, sponges, robes and pajamas, I’m still here.

A toilet paper dress is still silly to me. Laugh with me. Show me things that you think Rachel would have laughed at because she still laughs. Notice how that description made me sound dead? Gross, right? I’m not dead!

So, stop that! So, remember that I still cry. I still want to laugh. Please remember this the next time you poke around the life of the sick. We’re not just sick.

We’re the same people we were before; we’re just us with special, super gross sauce that we can’t wipe off. It’s like when you order a burger with no mayo, but don’t want to send it back. No matter how much you try to scrape it off, it’s still there; there’s always a hint of it, but it’s still a burger. The main flavor is still meat, cheese and bun. Treat us like the burger, and stop paying primary attention to the mayo. Believe me, we wish we could send the mayo back too!