Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Somebody Needs a Girlfriend

The phone rang last night around 7:00 and the caller I.D. came up as Private. I only know of one private number that calls us and that's my older sister, so I answered the phone with an extra chipper "Hello?" and waited.

The person on the other end of the line didn't share my enthusiasm, instead they were crying and gasping for breath, and raggedly repeating, "Help me..."

"Who is this?"


By this point I'm almost convinced it's my sister having a massive panic attack--images of her crippled on the ground somewhere, convulsing, and struggling to catch a decent breath of air--unable to reach our mother and settling for me instead, but the voice was so breathy and painful that it was almost impossible to tell and I thought maybe it could be one of her daughters, or an elderly lady who dialed the wrong number instead.


"Who is this? I can help you! Where are you?!"


Now I was frantic. Whoever was on the other end of the phone call was getting worse with each plea and they were convinced I could recognize their voice and I couldn't, and I didn't know where they were, and I had to help them and I didn't know how. I was hanging on to the receiver for dear life as I paced back and forth in the family room, and I was almost crying out of frustration.

"I can send help for you, but you have to tell me your name and where they can find you! "

"gasp...I don't have a name..."

I hit the off button on the phone. I was shaking and I had goosebumps, and I was fucking livid.

The phone rang again, it was private, again, but I let it go to the answering machine.

"Ma'am, this is the prank calling company, and you were going to win a Grand Prize trip to Hawaii...FORGETITNOW!!"

If I ever find that stupid punk ass kid I will personally slap the shit out of him for crying wolf, and then I'll give him a pat on the back for devoting himself to the role. It was pretty good acting, I really thought someone was dying. Almost 24 hours later and the creepiness is still following me around like a dark cloud.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sunday Letters Vol. 3

This was written on Friday and I struggled with the choice between posting it early on Saturday morning, or posting it today since Jon and I wouldn't be home all weekend, and since I forgot to post it before we left bright and early on Saturday, I guess it'll be late. What's that saying? Better late then never?

Dear Jon,

We've been through a lot in the 10 years we've known each other, and when I think back to the beginning, on the very first day I met you, only one phrase comes to mind: "It smells like a damn salon in here." It's the first thing you ever said to me, and you said it just after I climbed into the front seat of your 1989 Chrysler LeBaron.

We were on our way to a picnic in the middle of February with a few mutual friends and I could have decked them for sticking me in the front seat with the likes of you. You see, your comment told me two things: a) you were a cocky SOB with no manners, and b) you preferred girls who smelled like dog crap as opposed to expensive shampoo. And as if that weren't bad enough, you spent the entire time at the outing comparing me to some girl named Jen (we had the same hair color, we both liked Dr. Pepper, we had very similar mannerisms, etc.) and I would later learn that she was the girl you wanted, and the girl you could never have.

I managed to bare with you during the picnic, even the next few times you came over to hang out with my brother, but I made no attempt to get to know you because I was harboring a grudge for that one, stupid comment you made. What can I say? I was 16, immature, and much like I am to this day, was very turned off by arrogant know-it-alls.

Then one day in July we all made plans to go to The Great Lakes Medieval Faire and you were going to meet the rest of us there. The image is still incredibly clear in my mind. You must have been almost 30 yards away but you stood out like a sore thumb--dressed in a t-shirt, plaid shorts, a pair of Birkenstocks, and a hat that was almost the exact replica of Gilligan's from Gilligan's Island. You were a character from a 1960s sitcom surrounded by 16th century knights and gypsies. I can't say that that's when I knew I wanted to marry you, but that is when all of my predetermined notions went out the window, and I developed a little crush on you.

Our relationship didn't really come about the way I had planned. I know now that you don't do subtle. You need everything to be short and to the point. You need the abbreviated version without back stories or subplots. If I had known that back then I would have just said, "You're my new boyfriend," while we rode the medieval version of the tea cups together. Instead, I spent the next 6 months nudging my way into your life, inviting myself into your plans, and even convincing you to move in to the apartment 2 doors down from my parents house. You became my best friend--you even told me that you loved me once and I almost melted even though you were sick and vulnerable and I knew you meant it in a totally friendly way.

I got my point across eventually, though. I needed a little encouragement from Kathi to just come out with it, and I did, but in a very over-the-river-and-through-the-woods-and-down-in-the-valley-and-up-the-mountain kind of way, until in the end you were all…are you saying that you like me? I had done it again. I gave you a long story with twists and plots and characters who hadn't been introduced yet, and you were following, but barely. So I answered your question--yes, I was saying that I liked you. We declared ourselves a couple later that day.

Almost 9 and a half years later we're still here, only happily married, with 2 adorable children, err…dogs. We've had our problems, usually revolving around the same communication barrier--me struggling to be blunt, you struggling to read my mind, but I don't think anyone could ever understand me the way you do. You know me better than I know myself most of the time, and while it usually annoys me at first, I've come to appreciate that you can identify one of my panic attacks or unnecessary worrying before they get the best of me. You've seen me at some of my most vulnerable moments, you've watched my body grow softer with age, you know my every little fault, and yet you love me more with each day.

You've taught me so much over the years through just accepting yourself and never holding yourself back. We all make light of your lack of an internal monologue, but as someone who always censors herself once, twice, three times over, I admire your ability and confidence to just say whatever is on your mind without worrying what other people will think of you.

You've taught me to relax and go with the flow and that no matter what, everything will work itself out.

You've taught me how to give love and accept love without having to worry about the millions of what ifs.

You've taught me that all I have to do is be myself and the world will become a much easier place to be.

I love you more than I could ever say in a letter, more than I could ever say in a life time…

Even if you don't like the way my hair smells.

Yours truly,


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Nothing About Us Is Uniform

Purchases we made yesterday:

1 Wii Fit - Is it sad that I'm sore? My trainer was relentless...and a little bitchy.

1 Toilet Seat - Hopefully Wii Fit (and buying a more expensive seat) will help us to not break them so often! Now that is sad.

2 Deluxe Camping Chairs - When we asked if we could sit in one to see how comfortable it was the store associate who helped us waited until my butt was only inches from the seat to say, in a very serious tone, "I think they say it can hold up to 100 pounds..." My butt remained suspended in the air until the guy started laughing and said he was just messing with me. Didn't anyone teach him it can be deadly to joke about a woman's weight?

1 Cooler - It shouldn't have taken 30 minutes to pick out the very basic model we ended up leaving with, but Jon had to test-push each one half way around the store before deciding that the smaller cooler, the one that wasn't on sale, had nicer wheels and an all around better feel.

2 Car Airfresheners - Cucumber melon was the least offensive scent and it fit perfectly snug in the backseat cup holder in my car. Jon spent a couple of hours detailing my car last night and with the addition of the airfreshener I am hereby banned from smoking in it again. I think I can live with that.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday Letters Vol. 2

Dear Ben & Jerry,

I'm writing in regards to your Cinnamon Buns flavored ice cream. It came highly recommended to me by multiple friends, so when I was finally able to locate this elusive flavor at the local grocery store with the description of Caramel Ice Cream with Cinnamon Bun Dough and a Cinnamon Streusel Swirl, I was beyond elated. For the first time in my life I didn't think twice about spending nearly $5 on a tiny pint of ice cream.

Later that night I pulled the day's only splurge from the freezer and sat down to watch an episode of Lost while enjoying my Cinnamon Buns. I figured I could do what I usually do with your ice cream--eat 2 of the ½ cup servings, and just before the ice cream starts to melt around the edges of the container, put it back in the freezer for another day. But what happened on this particular night was devastating--your Cinnamon Buns flavored ice cream was so delicious, so flavorful, and tasted so much like real iced cinnamon buns that I ate the entire pint in 15 minutes. I ate all 4 servings and all 1,160 calories in 15 minutes and I still frantically scraped at the sides of the cardboard container for just a little more.

I can see how you would think this is wonderful news, after all, how can it be bad for business when someone was able to enjoy your ice cream so much? Well, I have to tell you that 5 minutes after finishing the pint of ice cream, after the sugar induced euphoria went away, I was riddled with guilt and it felt much like I would imagine a usually responsible woman does after her first drunken one night stand. In hindsight, eating your ice cream was like waking up with an explosive headache and turning over to find a naked stranger in bed next to me. At that moment all you can think is, What the fuck have I done?

So, in conclusion, it's obvious that I think your product is absolutely and amazingly delicious, but I can't help but think of it as Eve's apple in the Garden of Eden--uncontrollably tempting, but extremely dangerous. You are playing with fire in a world of Weight Watcher's, 100 calorie snack packs, and 0 trans fat. If you are not careful all of those innocent people who have joined the 50 Million Pound Challenge will gain back the 2 million pounds they have lost already just by eating your ice cream. Do you really want that on your conscience? I know I wouldn't.



Thursday, May 15, 2008


Death Cab for Cutie w/ The Decemberists

May, 24 2008 at Les Schwab Amphitheater
45 S.W. Powerhouse Dr., Bend, Oregon 97702
Cost : $37adv, $39day of show

Ben and Colin finally join forces...on the other side of the country.

Are you kidding me? Are you freakin' kidding me?! What the hell am I doing in Ohio when I'm obviously supposed to be in Oregon! I am so jealous of anyone going to this show that I am this close to throwing myself on the floor kicking and screaming about never getting anything I want and how unfair life is!

I wonder how much plane tickets would cost...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sunday Letters Vol. 1

Note: Yes, I realize the subject says Sunday Letters and today is in fact Monday, but if I'm going to be completely honest here I started writing it yesterday, but I started crying, and then my husband found me, and I decided I needed to distance myself from it for a while. Of course, then one thing led to another and my A.D.D. kicked in and I lost myself in the Survivor Reunion Show. Sorry Mom, but let's face it, you would have done the same thing for Survivor!

Dear Mom,

When I first told you that I would be moving out on my own almost 8 years ago you started crying, and I felt stupid because I couldn't understand why. You and I weren't getting along very well anymore and I thought my moving out of your house would actually make you happy, but that didn't seem to be the case. A couple of weeks went by before I finally caught you alone and asked what you were so upset about, and to my surprise you admitted that between my depression in high school and the way I clung to Jon so quickly afterward, you felt you and I never really had the chance to bond like you had envisioned. I didn't understand what you meant at the time, but as the years passed I watched the relationship you had developed with Kristin while she was in high school and I finally got it. You and I didn't talk about boys, or dresses, or the caddy girls at school. No, you and I screamed, and we cried, and we worried until our chests felt like they were about to explode over whether or not I was going to make it through not only another day of school but another day of life. I was a train wreck for a solid 4 years and you were the frantic family member glued to the ongoing live coverage, hoping for a sign that I was alright. You saw me hit rock bottom every morning, and every morning you helped pull me back out. Only a mother's deepest love would have done that for me, and someday I'll find a way to thank you properly.

As for the mother and daughter bonding, though it may not have seemed like it at the time, through all of the crying and yelling and weepy teenage metaphors of those hectic years, you were able to see a part of me that no one else had seen before.

You once told me what you thought my visits with the psychiatrist were like--you said you always pictured me lying on a couch, confessing my fears and deepest, darkest secrets to the doctor sitting across from me, purging all of my negativity so I could walk out of the office with a smile and renewed sense of worth.

No offense, but I thought your idea of therapy was funny.

The truth is I faked a smile with the psychiatrists and therapists for every single one of those 1 hour sessions. I put on a fake smile before I walked in the door and I removed it the moment we got back in the car. And as for what we talked about, well, we talked about the good things and only the good things, because after all, I wanted to be likeable not crazy.

In the end, what the psychiatrists and therapists and all those other head doctors got from me were lies, but what I gave you every morning was real, it was me, albeit a little harsh at times, but it was me spilling my guts to you, reaching out to the only person I felt would really, truly listen to me. That was bonding, Mom, those heavy, emotional moments are ours and only ours to keep.

I think what neither of us had realized at the time is that I was an extremely complex, quiet, yet dynamic young woman who was trying to come to terms with her complexity and uniqueness when everyone else appeared so normal. You guided me through the toughest years of my life, and I'm here, and I'm doing just fine. I think that says everything there is to say about who you are as a parent--you're an amazing woman who did everything in her power to save me, and you did.

Here's to the woman I owe everything! Happy Mother's Day!

Love always,


Saturday, May 10, 2008

This Week Jon and I:

1. Finished the desk! Maybe someday when I'm not so tired (it's 2:30 in the morning and I can't sleep) I'll post a photo of the piece of furniture we slaved over for 6 months. Okay, maybe we didn't work tirelessly the whole 6 months, but it was hanging over our heads like an anvil the entire time.

2. Bought a new desktop computer despite my desire to disappoint President Bush by using my stimulus check for something other than frivolous spending. It's nothing extravagent, but it doesn't take iTunes 2 months to load, so we're extremely satisfied with our frivolous purchase.

3. Spent an entire day grooming the front yard. This is a great thing, because I was really starting to feel like the trashy house on the block. We may not have a lot of grass to mow, but ivy and rose bushes can be wicked and unforgiving. I've got the scars to prove it.

4. Went to see Iron Man. It was a pretty good movie, but I almost passed out when the guy told us it would be $18 for 2 tickets. That's double the price of our monthly Netflix fee in which we can watch unlimited movies! I say screw the whole Theatrical Experience, next time I wait until it's out on DVD.

5. Attended a party where I learned that tequila is actually a very good friend of mine and I don't remember much after that.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Decaffeinated Words

I would imagine most people don't have to worry about their journals attracting ants, but considering that mine is covered in a sticky, sugary mess I'm a little worried. I left the pretty spiral bound notebook complete with fancy elastic strap that I've been writing in for the last 3 months sitting on an end table last night and it became victim to a cold and stale cup of coffee Jon never dumped in the kitchen sink. It was around 11:00 last night when I noticed the mess and quickly zeroed in on the soggy brown pages covered in a blurry version of my already imperfect handwriting. I thought FUCK!! and just stood there, dumbfounded. Half of my brain was busy troubleshooting, assessing the damage from a distance and looking for a way to make every page perfect again, while the the other half of my brain was already crying in defeat--that was some of my best writing, insightful, brutally honest, surprisingly interesting, and it's gone now, I might as well just curl up in this puddle of coffee and die with my words!

Jon walked in shortly after to find me still staring at the mess, and he immediately began apologizing and taking all of the blame upon himself. I was so touched by the fact that he noticed how important this little notebook was to me that I didn't get upset or start spouting off things like "Well, if you would just take your damn dishes to the kitchen like I always ask you to this would never have happened!!" To my surprise I actually said, "Hey, I left the notebook sitting on the table so we're both at fault."

He didn't accept that as a reason to not feel sorry, which is good because it was a pretty lame attempt of accepting partial blame on my part because why shouldn't I be able to leave a book on the table? The important thing is that I stopped myself from going overboard. I stopped myself from pushing the matter further only for the sake of making sure he felt really sorry, as if making him feel like shit was going to make my journal new again.

It's true that misery loves company but my poor husband has had more than his fair share of being blindsided by someone else's misery, mostly mine. But then one day a few weeks ago I caught myself zoning out every time he talked because nothing he had to say about ESPN or video games interested me and I actually thought, "Why doesn't he get that I don't care about this stuff?" I think it was that thought that did it for me, because really, what would I do if he started acting like that while I was telling him about my day at work or my latest blog? I would be pissed, I would feel ignored, and I would most likely initiate WWIII right here in my own home if he treated me anywhere near as bad as I treat him sometimes.

So, for the last few weeks I've been watching myself, thinking before I act, and asking myself, would you like it if he did/said/reacted like that to you? How would you feel if he scoffed at you?

I guess it all goes back to the ethic of reciprocity or the Golden Rule: treat others as you would like to be treated.

What happened with the journal that might as well have been my arm was progress.

Now I just have to figure out what I'm going to do with the brown, crinkled pages that had to be torn out. I'm half tempted to just re-write everything on the remaining untouched pages, but then again, the coffee-colored ones smell pretty darn good.