Forward Ho

 
I hereby greet the new year.
 
There are lots of superstitions about bringing in a new year. 
 
I stayed in one spot for a full extra thirty seconds after Lucy hurled on my shoulder and hair just so I could get my midnight kiss on Saturday night. 
 
You’re welcome, surrounding partygoers. You’re welcome.
 
My point is that there are lots of things that tradition dictates one must do or not do to usher in a new year.
 
Eat certain foods. 
Be loud at midnight to scare away evil spirits.
Refrain from paying bills.
Postpone laundry (something I only found out AFTER I put the puke clothes in to wash).
Along with lots of others…some that make sense and some that simply sound stupid.
 
But it can’t hurt, right? Like avoiding black cats or throwing salt or not stepping on cracks…why tempt fate?
 
Except I think sometimes I get so focused on the why-not-it-can’t-hurt-just-do-it mindset of a new calendar that I overlook some things that might actually be useful.
 
Like starting new. Forgetting things past and having a clean slate, letting go of baggage which serves no purpose besides gall.
 
So instead of remembering why QR Nobody  annoyed the shit out of me in 1999, or what Sal Asshole did to give him his Asshole name, I’m clearing accounts. 
 
Starting over.
 
Cleaning out.
 
Second (third, fourth) chances all around.
 
I feel it will help my soul.
 
Happy new year. Look ahead, not behind.

Untitled because I can

This week is drawing to a close and oh my GOD can you believe it’s December? That is just crazy. Really, insane.
I mean December is for Christmas and holidays and Hanukah and Kwanzaa.

Max asked me one year if we could celebrate Kwanzaa. However I wasn’t really sure what all that entailed so I told him we could have a menorah and that seemed to appease him.

I generally despise Christmas.

I love giving gifts, it’s one of my favorite things in the world. I just don’t like giving gifts on a strained budget. I want to buy everyone the iPads and iPhones and xboxes they want and I want to watch their faces light up because they got a kickass present from someone who loves them. Me.

I just can’t do that yet. Maybe one day.

Oh, and there’s some exciting happenings with school stuff, maybe I’ll be able to fill you in soon. Yeee!

I am out of sorts with the weather. I love the cooler, but it’s moving a little too quickly into bitter ass cold. And that’s not cool.

Now if you’ll excuse me, Lucy has a permanent marker.

My guns aren’t his guns or hers

I’ve made reference before to issues I’ve had with a local organization and how they don’t like the Steens.

Basically, in a nutshell, for those of you just tuning in: our community theatre, for one reason or another, has effectively banned Josh and I from ever taking part again. Unless we grovel and beg or something.

And that ain’t happenin’.

Dan, though, is still pretty involved with that organization, they like him and stuff.
Which is great, I mean, good for him. And them. And whoever.

My misgivings have resurfaced lately with my kids’ desire to be involved.

It’s a mishmash of strange feelings I’m not really accustomed to…

When I was little, I very much wanted to be involved with the theatre. I even auditioned once, but I wasn’t cast. Consequently it took me years to muster up the courage to integrate myself. I don’t want that for my kids.

Now that they’re old enough to actually want to do things and be involved, I don’t really want to stand in the way.

But how to explain that? “Kids, the people there don’t like me or Josh so have fun, I’ll watch the DVD of the show.”

No. Think what you want, but I wouldn’t do that.

Which I guess means that I will go. Of course I’ll go. I’ll watch the show and Lucy will yell with glee (oooh, speaking of Glee, I am SO glad it’s back on. Seriously, enchanted.) and we will stride in and out amidst a huge cloud of weird.

But it’s worth it, right? I mean, no matter how many puckered glares I withstand, I’m totally not going to break. And if I’m honest…if I cared what anyone thought about me I probably wouldn’t say all this shit anyway.

And who am I kidding? These kids are awesome – I’d let anyone look sour at me if it made them happy. Because they won’t remember me going to a den of tightly drawn assholes who don’t like us…they’ll remember I saw their show. And that’s fine by me.

Same as it was

I’ve never been one to thrive on cryptic status messages and song lyrics.

Well, that’s not entirely true. There were days years ago where I posted quotes in Italian and talked in code like nobody could Google.

I was getting the weirds out, ok? We didn’t have the internets in my youths.

What I’m saying is, were I currently given to posting cryptic mystery messages and provoking curiosity, I totally could.

I could say, “You’re so wrong,” or talk about regret and holding grudges. I could passive aggress my way around every issue and I could make the point for anyone who was in the loop. I could never name names and still hit nerves.

But you know what? I did that shit in high school.

I’ve grown.

There are people I was thick as thieves with in high school who I would inconvenience myself now to avoid. People I rode backroads with and snuck wine coolers and Marlboro Lights, who have turned into Bible thumping Republican pageant moms.

So I choose to stay clear of them. I would rather sit home and make doilies than surround myself with people who pain me.

The same goes for organizations who are comprised of people who just enjoy the power they think they have.

And here’s where I get real.

I understand, folks. Maybe you don’t like my husband. Maybe you think he’s an arrogant prick. That’s ok. He’s my arrogant prick. While it’s his choice to allow people to treat him however, I don’t have to stand for it and I won’t. My children will see that I don’t approve of people who exclude others because of hearsay. Or wrongs so old no one even really remembers them.

I get that I am just one person. I’m not a big loss. But I am what I am. And it’s not okay for you to play with people I love.

So….basically all that stuff I just said about how I’m not going to be cryptic and mysterious?

Ignore that.

At least I can admit it.

I said in an earlier post that my husband has spent the last couple of months in rehearsals for a local production of Bye Bye, Birdie. Remember?

I don’t know how much any of you know about community theatre – and I know some of you know a lot – and while pretty much everyone has a place to be involved, the one thing it does take a lot of is time.

I’m no stranger to this. Community theatre has been a constant in my life for years. It came with the territory when Josh and I became an us, much like golf, Alabama football, and only pooping when I’m alone.

So Josh has been away with rehearsals and such, and the show went up this weekend. He was fantastic – they pretty much all were.

My thing is, I’m glad he’s having such fun. He’s made new friends and he’s doing what he loves. I would never, ever begrudge him something he loves so much, especially because I love seeing him so happy. And I know that feeling. I get the same feeling on a smaller scale just by writing every day and knowing one or two people read it.

Have I made my point sufficiently, that I’m glad he’s happy and doing what he’s so good at? I want to make it clear that I don’t want to take anything away from him.

But the last time I was this jealous, I was nine and my sister was getting her driver’s license.

I know it’s awful.
I know it’s childish.
I hate that I’m even admitting this.

I mean, it hasn’t been bad.

I’ve spent lots of time with the kids. Lucy’s saying real words now, and I can’t say I haven’t been having fun.

I’ve….made lots of things. I’ve watched lots of Yo Gabba Gabba.

I got to go watch Josh perform and I sat practically bursting with pride.

But it’s like he has this whole other life. One that I’m not a part of and that I’m not invited to.

And the nine year old inside me wants to scream and punch and keep him here with me so if I don’t have fun, no one does.

I know that’s not how it works. I know I would just be miserable if I made him miserable like that. And I would do nothing but resent him if he tried to corral me in that way.

I don’t need to be told to join a group, or go make some friends, or get a hobby.

I don’t want to do that. Can you not see I’m whining?

I know that one day the kids will grow and I will have free time again. I’ll miss these days of cartoons and board games and lots of mud.

I’ll look back and remember how proud of my thespian husband I am. It’ll all be worth it in the end.

But right now, I just need to be a brat.

I’ll be over it soon.

Art from nataliedee.com