Wednesday, November 19, 2008

And We've Only Seen 3 Inches

I promised myself that I wouldn't gripe too much about the weather this winter, but I bet you've noticed my silence. I have to find a balance between writing for pleasure and complaining about snow, so I just have this one story to tell and then I swear I'll find more interesting things to write about--like the other morning when I walked into the kitchen to find the empty carton to a six pack of beer on the counter top and a bottle opener in the refrigerator. The best part about that story is that he doesn't remember a thing about it.

So anyway, back to the weather.

If the last two days of snow are any indication of what we're in store for this winter then I know two things for sure: 1) It is going to be an absolutely beautiful winter, and 2) I will be unemployed by the end of it. If I have to spend even one more night fighting traffic for TWO hours to get home I may just gladly give my house and cars and other expensive belongings back to the bank if it meant finding a new job within walking distance. That was two hours spent banging my hands against the steering wheel and screaming, "How long have you lived in Ohio, asshole?! Why the fuck do you have to relearn how to drive in snow every year?!" Yeah, road rage is rare for me, but when it hits, I talk like a trucker.

So yeah, here I am sitting in traffic for a really long time, and despite my cold demeanor I'm actually very, very scared. I was really confused by my fear because I'm a good driver, probably even more so in the snow because I'm that much more cautious. I know all of the rules--slow down, keep good distance from the car in front of you, pump your brakes, and keep your hands on the wheel at all times. It's really not that hard, just be careful, and watch out for the idiot in the SUV who thinks they're invincible.

I felt the strangest thing driving home last night, slowly creeping along in unison with hundreds of cars ahead of and behind me. I had all of these people around me, and yet I felt so incredibly lonely and scared. The loneliness was understandable because I wanted to have someone in the car with me, to talk to, to help the time pass, but the fear was confusing because I felt I had mastered the snowy, icy roads of last winter and as little as a few days ago, I felt completely ready to meet them, but here I was on the second real snowfall of the year, ready to cry like a baby because I was afraid of dying. That's the only difference I can find between this year and last--I wasn't afraid of dying last year. I wasn't necessarily suicidal, but I didn't have any enthusiasm to keep going either.

This year is entirely different. I feel like a frosty film has been lifted away from my entire body and I can see and hear and feel things so much more clear now. I want to live. I don't want to die in some random car crash on slick roads.

There was a postcard on PostSecret a couple of weeks ago that could have been my own if only I had been genius enough to come up with it. It said something along the lines of, "We have never been more poor, or more in love." Man, I really wish I could remember the exact wording but my memory is sucking at the moment. Anyway, I feel that that is undeniably true in my life right now. I have never felt more strapped or confined in my life, but I truly feel more happy and free than ever (read: I hope these people can learn how to drive in winter again, because I want to keep kicking).

Monday, November 10, 2008

Another Tree War in the Making

This morning the rooftops had a thin layer of white frost, the last of the leaves had fallen, the birds had finally headed south, and my steering wheel felt like a block of ice. It's like it all happened over night. You'd think I would have hardened myself to cold by now, yet it shocks me every year. Winter is just so gray here.

On the bright side, I'm always most excited about the holidays at the end of October/beginning of November. The first signs of lighted Christmas trees and red and green ornaments make my heart flutter.

I can already feel the need for a fancier Christmas tree churning. That's probably not good news.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Random Thoughts, Part 2

Tuesday night’s election was awesome, inspiring, and renewed my confidence in democracy.

I can see the sky from my backyard again, but I have to stand knee deep in leaves to look at it.

I woke up Friday morning to find this note on the kitchen counter:


Hey love, I like your butt too!

Saturday night is the absolute best time to go grocery shopping even if it is humbling to be squeezing and sniffing produce while all your friends are out having dinner.

A man who was neither old nor ugly hit on me the last time I went grocery shopping on a Saturday night, so maybe it’s not so humbling.

2 more months and George Bush will be forced to stop making a complete mockery of the U.S. with his frat boy antics. I cry tears of joy every time I think about it.

I have to give my little sister that gigantic jar of unopened Jif peanut butter shoved in the back of the cupboard.

Do peanut butter cookies taste good when made with all natural peanut butter?

I think I watched Macy die and then come back to life on Thursday morning. One minute she was walking, the next she was dry-heaving and stumbling, and before I could get to her she was on her side with her legs sticking straight out and didn’t appear to be breathing. I’ve never felt so frightened and helpless in my life. Luckily, the moment I touched her she shot right up and climbed into my arms.

I need some new music to listen to, and preferably something new from The Format. Too bad they called it quits back in February.

3 more pounds and I’ll be under 200. October was an absolutely terrible month weight loss wise. Damn you McDonald’s and your evil Monopoly pieces--Ronald should be hanged!

Dear God, it’s not like I have to get pregnant right now, it’s just, you know, a sign that I’ll be able to give birth sometime in the foreseeable future would be fabulous. Love, Kate.

I am 2 hikes away from getting that totally cheap yet rad hiking staff that I could easily make out of a broomstick, but I think it’s going to be too cold to hike tomorrow. I'm bummed, because I really want that hiking staff.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pick Me Up

“Are you binge eating?”


“Then why are you shoving handfuls of Doritos and M&Ms into your mouth?”

“It’s called emotional eating. It only looks like binge eating because I’m trying to get happy very, very quickly.”

“Don't be stupid. It’s not worth it, Kate.”

I’m going to ignore the fact that Jon was stumbling drunk when we had this conversation and take away from it what I can.

This weekend from Saturday morning on was pretty rough. I think it was mostly due to a lack of sleep on Friday night and taking part in a lot of over-thinking. I let all of my fears and worries roll up into one big ball and I let down my emotional guard, releasing a flood of teary gibberish on everyone I saw, but fortunately I didn’t see many people.

I won’t go into a lot of detail for the sake of privacy, and also because sometimes I can’t explain why I react to things the way I do, sometimes I fall off my rocker without good reason and once I’ve fallen I decide to wallow in it for a while. When in Rome…

When I pulled away from my emotional distress I came to the understanding that although it may not always end on a pleasant note, every relationship with every person I've ever known has had a purpose. And even though I've always criticized Jon for not being as empathetic and understanding as I feel I need in a time of sadness, I realized that he isn't here to coddle me. At a time when I think all I want to do is stare at the ceiling for days, he's there to tell me to snap out of it and pull myself together. He won't sugarcoat anything and most of the time he doesn't let me ramble on and on about what's bothering me, but this is a good thing, because somehow he understands that letting me ramble is only going to let me wallow all the longer.

All these years I'd thought Jon was a little callous and completely unsympathetic to my needs, but I've finally realized that his purpose in my life is the most important--Jon's purpose is to make me a stronger person.

All those years I spent writing about being stuck in a hole that I couldn't climb out of, so I was given a guy who's willing to stand at the top of that hole forever and demand that I climb back out every time I slip.