Sittin

So I have more things to list.

1. I think the Doritos taco sounds gross. And I even like Doritos.

2. Now I want some Doritos.

3. I think I need a new phone case. Suggestions?

4. While I am not salivating for the new iPad, I think Josh needs one.

5. I guess no one actually NEEDS one.

6. Looking for a job is fruitless. Some days I just want to take copies of my resume and stick them under windshield wipers.

7. In about two weeks my baby will be two years old. This is unreal. She got her toes painted for the first time last night.

8. I should exercise more. These days my regimen consists of some yoga and a grueling course of YoGabbaGabba.

9. I cleaned out my Facebook friends the other day, and I feel a little guilty about it. I’ll feel guiltier when the repeat requests start coming in.

10. Seriously why do people do that?

11. I need to vacuum. But frankly, it’s not really worth the five minutes it will stay clean, especially since Lucy screams like I’m pulling out her fingernails every time she looks at the vacuum.

For 2011

Since this is probably the last post I’ll write this year, there are some things I need to say.

 

As (what I loosely term) a writer, thank you for reading what I have to say. Even when it’s rambley and pointless, and even when I fail miserably at being entertaining. 

 

As a mother, thank you for the advice. For looking at pictures of my kids, reading about issues, and enduring things I think are hilarious or great just because I happen to be a mom.

 

As a student, thank you for your encouragement. 2011 has been a year of decisions, and the decision to go back to school is one I’m particularly proud of. If it hadn’t been for the cheerleading I’ve gotten I don’t know if I’d have made it.

 

As a potentially crazy person, thank you for making me realize that no matter how strange or off I feel, I can be honest about it and I’ll still have someone(s) on my side.

From beneath a pukey fog

I am coming to you live from the Lazy Boy. I have on a sweatshirt, a t shirt, yoga pants, and my fleecy imitation Ugg boots (since I’m too cheap for real ones). 
Truth be told, I don’t get sick very often. The last time I was sick Lucy was about 5 months old and I legit thought I might die.
 
This time I don’t think I’m dying, but I think I might rather be. My skin hurts and I’m freezing and I feel like any moment I might hurl up the two graham crackers I was able to choke down earlier.
 
So excuse my lack of pithy wit. I’m going to see if I can convince Lucy to take a nap with me.

Should

Is the autumn a reflective time for anyone but me?

No? That’s stupid? That’s okay. I’m used to that.

So anyway, I have this blogging calendar and it suggests topics for most days, days like the ones when I just sit and stare at empty because I know of nothing to say. Days that I wonder why I do this at all.

THOSE DAYS PASS, OBVIOUSLY.

This calendar – which is meant to have you schedule all your posts and be very on top of things – one of the suggestions was “throw away your shoulds,” which is abstract but not so much that I’m going to ignore it.

I find myself thinking lots of shoulds. Lots of times.

I should be more patient with my kids.
I should run miles.
I should write 1,600 words a day instead of the less than 1,000 I have thus far.
I should floss and shave my legs. Not that I don’t ever – I do. I just should probably do it more.
I should study more.
I should eat broccoli and rice and I should like sushi.

I do have some rice. It’s in a big bowl and Max’s ereader (which he dropped in the toilet) stayed in there for about a month so I’m thinking I should probably throw that out before someone eats it.

I should have a job.
I should be a better wife. Clean house and all that shit. Make the bed.
I should remember birthdays and anniversaries and send sweet heartfelt cards.

There are so many things that I should be doing that I don’t and that I shouldn’t be doing that I do.
Like go back to bed after the kids leave for school or send peanut butter sandwiches every day.

Seriously, I could go on. For days.

But why? I waste so much energy thinking about things I should and shouldn’t do and then suddenly I realize I haven’t done anything except sit and think about how I should be doing things differently.

So, screw all that. I’m not great at living, but DAMMIT I’m really good at being me.

Throwing away my shoulds sounds a lot easier than it is, and I’m really not sure what good this is doing.

Maybe a little.

I’m just glad it’s Friday.

Today

Today is Election Day.

People all over will go and vote yea or nay or red or blue.

And I live in Mississippi, where the only time we make national news is because we gave birth to Elvis/Oprah/Britney/a million fantastic southern writers or because we’re the fattest state.

Well, now we have a new claim to fame – today we vote on Initiative 26, and if it passes, it’s a big deal. It’s a precedent for the whole country.

Now, I have opinions about this. Of course I do.

For just a minute, though, let’s not talk about what I think. Let’s talk about what this will mean.

Less birth control, in a state with the highest number of counties (17) featuring 40+% infant poverty. Not to mention the infant mortality rate (10.5 infant deaths out of every 1,000 live births), or the scads of children waiting in foster homes or institutions so they can be placed.

Fertility treatments….sure, as long as they don’t involve selective implantation or frozen embryos.

Raped? Pregnant? You carry that asshole’s baby because the law says so.

There are far reaching consequences regarding ectopic and molar pregnancies that I don’t even have the stomach to research (this is not hard hitting reporting, people).

Under this law, the miscarriage I suffered in January of 2008 may well have been the death of me, because only an abortion stopped the bleeding and saved my life.

The thing that bothers me about this is not that people disagree with my sentiment that this is one of the most offensive pieces of legislation I’ve ever heard. People disagree with me all the time.

No, what bothers me is that there are fifty bintillion churches who – over and over and over – have pounded into the hearts and minds of their faithful followers that this initiative is penned directly from the heavens. That by voting yes, they are personally winging their way into each Mississippi womb and cuddling thousands of fertilized eggs that may or may not become people.

It bothers me that if my preteen niece gets assaulted and molested, there won’t be a morning-after pill just in case. Her life could change and it wouldn’t have been her choice at all.

I respect the right of everyone to believe what they want. I do not respect anyone telling me how I have to believe and behave. Especially when they do it simply because a pulpit told them that was the right thing.

So go vote. If you live in Mississippi, please know what you’re voting for.

On a lighter note, tomorrow we’ll have a guest post from Lindsey at Campfire Song. This will be totally fun, you’ll see. She even mentions maxipads.

Friday night glam

Josh and I have said countless times how we were going to go to high school football games.

The weather’s perfect, football’s great, lalala.

We have maybe gone to one high school football game (aside from when we lived in Jackson and we were ALWAYS at those damn private school games).

Last night we intended to go, and then we went to eat and Lucy would have none of anything but coming home and going to sleep.

So that’s what we did. Josh worked on a website and I knitted, and after we were finished wringing the dregs of life from our Friday night, we went to bed.

Sometimes I think we’ve turned into such duds.

I mean, where’s the zing? The romance? The spark?

Is there a female alive who would turn away a little bit of corny sap from the person they love? No. However, I happen to be married to Ray Barrone and his mind apparently doesn’t work that way.

And then I realize that twenty years from now the kids will (maybe) all be gone and perhaps we won’t still live with Dan, and we’ll have all the time in the world for zings and sparking.

So for now, I think it’s okay. I’m saving up to buy stock in blue pills and bathtubs to put out in the forest and on the beach.

Things I’m embarrassed to say

You may think I don’t get embarrassed by much.

For the most part that’s totally true.

But at random, inopportune times, I get weirdly heady and self conscious and it’s vastly unpleasant.

Yesterday, I went to the doctor. Issues with my ear.

It was an impromptu stop in, and I knew I’d have to wait for a while, so I took one of my textbooks to read.
When I went in to a room and the nurse came in (after weighing me and here’s the first embarrassment – 150 pounds), she naturally saw my book.

“Going back to school?”

It was a simple question, friendly and pretty obvious – but it made me feel like a moron. Like the ash reeking, mall banged, tanning bed woman who used to sit next to me in English Comp I and Hermioned every question until one day she had to quit because her factory job got to be too much.

I don’t know why. I mean, I AM back in school. It’s not a secret.

But I felt stupid. Like I’d gotten caught stuffing my bra.

So that happened.

And then I came home and I started wondering why I get bothered by some of the stupid crap I do.

Like how I can feel great and glammy and then I get among people and feel like a donkey in drag.

I think I’ve said all this before. Now I’m embarrassed.

So, to avoid any further confusion, here are some things that embarrass me.

I drink Diet Coke out of the 2 liter bottle.
I suck at games.
I can eat a whole package of cookies.
Speaking of school, I’m taking all the subjects in this one semester that I never took in all my prior semesters because they were difficult. And now I pretty much know I’m not going to have this fab Dean’s List gpa. I totally won’t fail, but I’m not going to blow the doors off like I thought I should.
I have hairy toes.
I don’t really know how to put on makeup.
I worry I’m not interesting.
I fear my perception of people is sometimes off.

I know everyone has things that embarrass them. It’s my hope that if I put them out there like that, there won’t be anything left to worry about.

So if you see me out and I look like a glammed up chubby ten year old, just know that I already know that. And that’s ok with me.

I’m out. Time for Twizzlers.

This is a better option than homicide.

I’m pissed.

Seriously, so angry.

I know little girls are oversensitive.
Dramatic.
Flighty.

But you know what? I don’t care.

Ava is seven, which I realize is very young. Shallow and fanciful and still clinging to the idea of Cinderella in crystal slippers and a cinched waist ball gown with a willowy neck.

I remember being seven. While I knew I wasn’t stick thin and lanky like so many of the girls I knew, I still saw good when I looked at myself.

I also remember when my uncle mentioned I was getting fat. He told me I was too pretty for that and I needed to be a lady.

Ava came home yesterday like she always does. She was dressed in what happened to be the first Ava outfit of the school year – I’ve mentioned before how she puts together her outfits and damn them all, she looks fantastic.

She was showing me her papers, talking about homework and such. I looked up at her where she was standing beside me, and I reached up like I often do, brushing her hair back and telling her how pretty she was.

Except this time she didn’t smile, give me a kiss and saunter off. She looked at me and burst into tears.

“No, Mom, I’m not. I’m really not. I’m so ugly.”

This is so fucking unacceptable I cannot clearly put it into words.

I don’t know who said what or why my baby girl suddenly has been wrenched into this harsh and pathetic world of flimsy and fake.

But it pisses me off. How dare they? How dare anyone tarnish what was already destined to be a precious few short years where she could be comfortable and confident?

I’ve tried everything I know of to hammer into her head that she’s perfect. Lovely. Absolutely breathtaking. And of course I knew that eventually things would come to this.

But not now. Not yet. She’s just a baby, and look at her, would you? Look at her.

How – why – what the hell? Really? Is it too much to ask that she be allowed a few more years before being submitted to the absolute terror that is the world?

Ava, you are beautiful. Your eyes, your face. The way you smile and make me smile and the way I’m so proud you’re mine.

Everything about you.

I love you so much.

Don’t ever let anyone make you feel like you are anything less than amazing.

If they do, I’ll kick their asses. All of them.

Love,

Mom

In defense of black nails

I’m not one to be trendy, or even fashionable.

I realize this doesn’t come as much of a shock. I don’t imagine I exactly convey an it-girl with-it vibe.

It’s not that I don’t want to be snappy and sassy and on top of things, it’s just not something that comes easily to me. I very much feel all Devil Wears Prada heroine, in a way. You know at the beginning where Andi’s all unconcerned and kind of frumpy? That’s totally me, except at the end she gets made over and gets what she wants while she has perfect hair and designer jeans. That’s not me.

And I’m okay with that.

Except sometimes I’m not. Sometimes I really wish I could wear ruffles and curl my hair and lotion and coif.

I can’t. I’d very much like to put on a belt and a dress and not be concerned that I look like a basset hound in a tutu, but something – I guess it’s just left over high school insecurity? – keeps the squirminess at the forefront.

The thing is, I’m thirty one years old. I realize that’s not old, but…I really feel it’s too old to be still seeking out my style. Or to even care about my “style” in the first place.

I few months ago I started painting my nails. It was the first time in my life I’d been able to paint them and not feel like they looked awkward and inappropriate, and as stupid as it sounds, it made me feel good. Typing with lacquer tipped fingers felt a little more…polished, pardon the pun.

But I didn’t really care for the colors. I tried them all, since lucky for me I have a seven year old girl.

Bright orange. Blech.
Purple, which I was sure I’d like and didn’t.
Deep, maroony red. It was called “Rock Star” or something strange.
Green. It looked a little like my fingers were rotting.
Pink. With all my girlish aspirations, it still didn’t surprise me that it looked ridiculous.

Then for some reason I picked up a bottle of black. Lingerie, or something equally lame.

I had no intention of growing gothic talons or anything, but I’d seen dark manicures. Something about it appealed.

As with everything, I did some quick Googling.

I found this, and remarkably I understood every word. I knew those feelings, those lines of thought.

So I did it. I slathered my nails with the glossy tar, and it was…amazing. I didn’t feel like a rock star but I felt – different. A little edgy. Like just by having the testicles to have black nails I became a little bit of a badass.

I realize this sounds ridiculous. I know they’re just fingernails. I know that to even feel like this about what color they are is petty and asinine.

But it’s a happiness I’ve found.

And it doesn’t hurt anyone, though Josh acts pained every time.

So black they are. And I’ll pretend they make me tough and cutting edge, deep and meaningful, even as I struggle with lace and frills, bangs and belted waistlines.