Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Trip Planning

I'm super excited to get away for a short trip without my family.   Packing and traveling solo is going to be so liberating.   Then I realized how much organization was needed to do to prepare my family for my absence.  Because you don't realize how much you do, until you need to write out a detailed, step-by-step instruction manual for someone else to follow.  Someone who might not even read and follow the manual.  This is a total pain in the ass.

Why am I going away again?

"Does dad even know how to cook?", one of my kids asked.  "I'm sure he'll be fine", I said.  Although  I can't remember the last time he cooked anything other than eggs.  But, there's always take out.  And those organic fruit snacks made out of real fruit that I bought to teach the kids about disappointment early.  Because I feel like it's my duty to adequately prepare them for life in that way.  So,  I made a kid friendly easy to make meal plan (which is the complete opposite of what I normally make for dinner) and bought all the ingredients and left all the recipes in plain sight.  

That's when I knew I screwed up big time.

Between buying the Valentine's day cards and treats for the kids, making sure I'd stocked up on my dog's special diet dog food from the vet, clearly marking the kids events on the calendar and stocking up on all life's essentials like toilet paper, I'd just made my job look too easy.  Way too easy, because I'd done all the unseen, thankless things that I already do every day.  Now, they get the fun part.  And my husband is already the "fun" one.

I totally sabotaged myself!

They're not going to appreciate me more when I get home.  They're going to think my job is easy. Fun even.  And my kids are going to continue to take me for granted.  I should probably hide all the toilet paper.  And mix some cayenne pepper in with the cinnamon or something.  Something must be done before this all goes horribly right.  Which would be so wrong!

Monday, February 8, 2016


Underneath my seemingly calm exterior I live with a raging envy.  I try to control it.  Telling myself I shouldn't feel this way.  That this is an unhealthy way to live my life.  But that only fuels my envy even more.

It's just not fair!

Let me spell it out for you, I don't have the metabolism of a teenager anymore.  But every day I have to watch my teenagers burn through a million calories.  Half of them empty even.  There are wrappers everywhere.  On their bedroom floor.  Stuffed between couch cushions. In the dryer.   In the bathroom next to the toilet.  There are fingerprints all over my fridge from them propping their arm to lean their bodies in through the open door while leisurely considering their food choices before they determine that there's $300 worth of nothing to eat.   And let's not even start on the forgotten nearly empty plates covered in a thin layer of dried cheese that has turned into super glue.  

It's disgusting! 

Mostly because, I can't do any of it anymore.  Because I have the metabolism of the slug.  And I have to be the responsible nag.  That's my job now.  Reminding them how expensive all the food is.  How we're going to get roaches from their unhygienic ways.  But most of all, reminding them that one day they'll turn into me.  A bitter forty-something with a slug-like metabolism eating salads salivating over their king size snickers bar and reminiscing about how I used to be able to eat like that.  And a bag of Doritos.  Washed down with a Pepsi.  In one sitting. Before I was back in the fridge an hour later for a post snack snack.   

Envy: it's not just a destructive emotion, 
it's a vengeful legacy we pass down to our kids.  

And, I can't wait to give it to them...'ll be like Christmas!  

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Snow Day

It was announced on Sunday night.   The good* news that the school district was closed for a snow day on Monday.  As if the weekend with a houseful of kids wasn't long enough, now it was suddenly a 3 day weekend.  It'll be fun*, I said to myself, trying to convince myself it was true.

Snow days suck.

I got up on Monday morning and made pancakes and bacon, to celebrate* the occasion.  Then the house filled with smoke* the way it does when I cook breakfast.  That's when the first kid awake announced he doesn't like pancakes and promptly poured himself a bowl of cereal with milk*.  And so marked the beginning of the end of my sanity*.

When everyone was up, it was time to ship them outside to play in the snow*.  And that's precisely when you find out your kids don't have boots or snow pants that fit them anymore.  It's also when you remember that the kids trashed* their sleds last year.  And then within an hour of my kids getting up way the hell too early to enjoy their snow day, they say it...

...I'm bored.

After giving a million* suggestions of things they could do, they respond with a coordinated wince and head tilt, "Nooooooooo."  Cause all they want to do is get on the computer*, which is clearly underutilizing their time, energy and creativity.  Clearly their talents are best used to degrade each other.  At this point it seems inevitable that one of my kids is going to kill another one of my kids.  And really, who am I to interfere with fate*?  

Snow days suck!

That's when it got worse.   We had 2 more consecutive snow days exactly like that day*, making it a ridiculously long 5 day weekend.  The kids go back to school today for a stunted 2 day week.  

Good* This is a matter of perspective not shared by parents who would conversely consider this 'bad'.

fun*  Nothing is quite as fun as sarcasm, especially when you're deluding yourself.

celebrate*   Carb loading the kids so they'd be sedated in a food coma for an hour or hopefully more.

smoke* Good thing the batteries in the smoke detector were dead or my kids would've woken up 5 minutes earlier than they did.  WTF do they get up early on days they DON'T have school?

milk* This is my lactose intolerant child I will be confined in a house with all day.

my sanity*  It was gone a long, long time ago.

snow* Kids don't play in the snow anymore unless it's virtual snow on Minecraft.

trashed* Which I'm positive was part of a malicious and calculated plan they started last winter so I wouldn't make them go outside.

million*  Million is an understatement.

computer* If they're on the computer then I can't get on the computer and waste my time, energy and creativity complaining about them on social media

fate* It's not like I have a god complex thinking I have any control over who lives and dies anyhow.  Plus, then I'll have one less kid (at least) to complain about dinner which occurs every day, not just on snow days.

day*  Oddly enough, these three snow days that were exactly the same fell over Groundhog Day.  Coincidence?  I think not!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Antisocial Pessimist

My name is Marie and I have social anxiety.

I've always been quiet.  But, it's far more than that.  Not only do I fear conversations, I'm terrified of people.  Not individual people, but groups of people.  The excruciating part is that it's not that I don't like people, in fact way down deep under my snobby, aloof, awkward exterior, I really love people.   I do.  Which creates a constant and unwavering internal conflict for me.     

I think my condition is terminal.  

Because it's not getting any easier with age. In fact, I think it's getting worse.  I still get nervous before any event with people that requires small talk.  Which when you think about it is basically everything in adult life.  Because when you have kids, your social world is expanded even more.  And then you have to pick kids up from their friends' houses which requires dialogue with their parents.  I'm so atrocious at dialogue, writing fictional dialogue for my book even leaves me tongue tied.  And I'm completely alone when I do that.

I can't even talk to myself without judging myself. 

My default setting when I run into acquaintances is to assume you don't remember me.  Like I'm invisible, which both comforts me and plagues me at different times.  Often these two opposing thoughts are doing battle in my head at the same time.  Then I don't know what to do, so I don't do anything.  Because overcoming these overwhelming thoughts constantly swirling around in my mind is so debilitating and exhausting.  And this is just the prelude to talking to someone.  What if they don't acknowledge me?

What if I say the wrong thing?

Which I probably won't, but that's because I probably won't talk.  And if I do, I'll say the absolute minimum.  To try to disguise my absolute inferiority.  Which I know will more likely come off as a superiority complex to the person I'm talking to.  I always feel like I should explain my behavior, which I would never do because it requires both talking and receiving attention which is exactly what I don't want.  

I know this makes me sound like a child.  

I feel like a child.   So small and helpless.  God,  what the fuck is wrong with me?   This is so stupid.  Stop replaying your mistakes over in your head and over thinking everything.  You don't have to be perfect.  No one is perfect.  Just try harder.  Put yourself out there more.  And if you can't do that, then do more social media.  But even that leaves me depleted and feeling like I come off as even more of a pretentious bitch.    

I'm positive my condition is terminal.  

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Getting Carded

You reach a point in life when you accept that you're not young anymore.  That you'll never have the metabolism of a teenager.  That your idea of pulling an all nighter isn't staying up all night, but sleeping for a solid 8 hours.  That you don't know it all, in fact you can't even remember things you used to know.  Like how to spell knowledgeable without relying on spellcheck.

And that you're not getting carded at the liquor store anymore.  

That was all a lie.  You never get used to any of those things.  Or needing glasses to find your glasses.  Or the creaks your body makes when you stretch.  Or just sit down.  The gray hairs, the chin hairs and the unmentionable curious, stray body hairs.  There's no way of getting around it (without creaking or breaking a hip)...

...getting old sucks.  

But, it gets even worse.  Now when you're out in public and someone refers to you as "Miss", you know it's meant to flatter you because the person saying it knows you're ridiculously old and that you need it to stroke your ancient and dilapidated ego.  But you're not flattered in the least because you know you were only being patronized by an ignorant kid that you've just calculated in your head you're old enough to be the parent of.  

Nothing's worse than being reminded you're old by a youngster.  
Unless it's using the word "youngster". 

I thought I'd finally accepted that I'm not 21 anymore, but a middle aged woman.  Or as I like to think of it, 21 with 25 years of experience and a rheumatic knee.  That's when I went to the liquor store to stock up on some bold and complex bottles of red wine.  I passed by the more economical and inferior boxed white wines the youngsters like because their palate is underdeveloped on the way to the cashier.  The cashier, a youngster himself, promptly asked for my I.D.  That's when I realized...

 I'm only getting carded to check if I'm using a stolen credit card.  
In retrospect, maybe I actually like being patronized.

Monday, January 25, 2016

I'm a Physicist

Photo credit:
I've never taken a physics class, but somehow I accidentally became a physicist anyhow.  Despite the fact that I'm abominable at math and science.  I'm not even qualified to help my 5th grader with her math homework or science project.  Unless in this day and age of participation trophies "F" stands for fabulous.  And not to brag, but I'm completely fabulous at failing.  Especially as a physicist.

When I started pole dancing, I thought it was going to be all fun and games.  And it was, at first.  A few spins here and a booty pop there.  It challenged my non-existent grace and showmanship.  And still does.  And, god knows, attempting to dance in heels, which I can barely even walk in, would send me to the hospital.  So, I do have firmly established boundaries for things outside my skill set that I should never, ever attempt.

As I got stronger and more advanced, I started to gravitate to more difficult pole tricks that I realized required *gulp* physics.   Many of them look damn near impossible.  But, I've done some of them, so I know it's not only strength that matters, but also strategy.  In short, it's physics.  Like this trick called "Miracle" I did over the summer.
And no, this is not photoshopped, I really did make that face.
So last week, I decided it was time to try the pole dance move that every pole dancer aspires to.   The one that marks your debut into being taken seriously in pole fitness.  The Iron X.   Which looks something like this...

...only less purple in real life.  Obviously.

So I put on some kick ass music and then, I gave myself an extensive pep talk.

  You're strong enough to do this!  
You can do this!  
It's all just physics!
Remember the trajectory equation!
Wait, maybe you should pre-dial 911 just in case...  

The result was more Mangled K than Iron X.  Because I forgot to factor in the fact that I have the torso of someone who's 6 feet tall, with the legs of someone 5 feet tall, putting my center of gravity that much further from the pole, making it that much harder to hold.  Not to mention my inflexibility to straddle that leg down instead of out.  I'm no mathematician, but if you put the wrong factors into the equation to solve for x, of course you're going to wind up with special k.  Duh.

But, with time, effort and determination, I can solve this, 
because I'm a physicist*.  
*I never claimed to be a successful physicist.

In case you wonder how I got into that position, here's a short, grainy video...

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Top 10 Travel List

While we were still in Buenos Aires, we started compiling a list of our favorite places to travel.  It seemed like a fun family activity and an opportunity to relive some of our favorite misadventures.   It wasn't.  It went the way everything else in our house does, it began a passionate disagreement and quickly escalated into a potential WWIII scenario.

So, when my husband and I were at a wine bar in the airport waiting for our flight back home and our kids were who knows where because after 2.5 weeks of complete 24/7 family togetherness, we didn't care. Go ahead judge me.  Later, the kids did care that Costa Rica didn't make the final list, as they all voted it in the top 3 which is the only thing they've agreed on ever in their lives.  Even in their miraculous semi-agreement, they were still completely wrong.  And they didn't pay for the trip. So they were overruled.

This list may be a bit arbitrary and capricious as it was written while under duress and the influence of alcohol.

1. France (Paris)
It's so cliche to love Paris.  But, if you've been there and you don't you're a heartless bastard.  I mean who can resist really old beautiful buildings filled with gorgeous antiquities stolen from other countries during imperialism?  Or the impeccably dressed, haughty Parisians who walk the streets and pollute them with cigarette smoke and thoughts that you're inferior to them.   WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE?
Monopoly Money

2. Thailand
You know what's really fun to do with kids?  Walk through the streets of Bangkok and have them ask what lady boys are.  Really.  You should try it.  And I know you want to sit on one of the world's most beautiful beaches eating food from a floating boat and then have food poisoning for 2 days.  CAUSE GOING ON VACATION AND LOSING WEIGHT IS WIN-WIN!
Thai'd Not

3. Italy
We've been to Italy 3 separate times.  Rome and Venice were when my kids were really little before I was blogging.  So I never did write about when I was living in Germany with 3 little kids and my husband got to come home for 2 weeks during his 15 month deployment to Iraq and we went to Rome.   Where I booked us a family room we could all stay in together.  With the beds all right next to each other.   What was I thinking?  Did I mention I hadn't seen my husband or had sex with him in 7 months at this point?  Italy is much better and sexier if you actually have sex during your trip.  GO TO ITALY AND HAVE SEX.  DO IT NOW!
Mangia! Mangia!

4. Egypt
Sometimes it's not the destination, but what you have to do to get to the destination and the timing of the trip that makes you fall in love with a place.  Being refused entry into the country, living in the airport for 40 hours before being sent home and then paying a shitload of money to return in the aftermath of a revolution are all it takes to make me swoon.  Apparently.  Oh, and bribes.   DON'T FORGET TO PACK THE BAKSHEESH.
5 Star

5. South Africa
Maybe it's Kruger National Park, Nelson Mandela or the tantalizing thrill of the bad reputation of Johannesburg.  But, it's probably just the sexy accent the locals have.  Even apartheid sounds sexy when they say it.  WHICH IS REASON ENOUGH TO GO, AMIRITE?
Lychees, Crazy Camp Dog and a Cocktail

6. Turkey
Turkey probably makes you think of Thanksgiving.  But really, it's an incredibly geographically diverse country filled with people with unibrows who think we Americans are fat and don't travel.  Ok, Greece could also fit this description.  And Greece is pretty cool and could've made the list, but we traveled there with a toddler.  So we had to return to the hotel for nap time every afternoon so as to not turn into Greek tragedy, so we didn't see near as much as what we wanted to.  BONUS: YOU DON'T EVEN NEED TO WAX BEFORE GOING.

7. London
My husband insisted in putting England in the Top 10 and I conceded.  If you're into the latest fashion trends or the worst abominations of them, love the contradiction of foul language delivered with a stuffy accent you can't always decipher,  especially when the person talking is drunk and shouting, London is the place for you.  Plus, everything's already in English so you don't have to worry about looking stupid.  EXCEPT WHEN YOU LOOK THE WRONG WAY BEFORE CROSSING THE STREET AND GET HIT BY A BUS.
London Calling Part 3

8. Morocco
There's really only one reason to go to Morocco.   Because it's super embarrassing to admit that the only thing you know about the country is what you saw in some stupid Sex in the City movie.     DON'T BE THAT PERSON.
3 Days

9. Australia
We went to Australia without kids, which automatically puts it in the top 10.  We rented an RV and drove up the Gold Coast and snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef.  But, we also went with Craig's brother traveling around in an RV.  Which was great, but this again, made for a sexless trip.   But, my spoiled brat world traveling kids really want to go to Australia (and New Zealand) which is another great reason it had to go on the list, to make them jealous.  CAUSE AUSTRALIA IS AWESOME.
Spoiled Brat

10. Argentina
Despite Buenos Aires, which was not one of my favorite cities.  (I didn't find the air to be all that good which really is false advertising, among other things), Argentina did make the list.  It was humbling Patagonia, the glaciers and Iguazu Falls that put it over the edge. Or maybe being told I looked like Nicole Kidman and was a natural at the tango.  It could've been that.  Or the Malbec. Unless it was the steak.  DON'T CRY FOR ME BECAUSE I'VE BEEN TO ARGENTINA.
Lessons from Patagonia


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...