Disclaimer: This post intends no disrespect to working moms or non-working moms or military (wife) moms (who I know deal with this issue on a MUCH LARGER scale) or moms who can’t get a job. Or my husband. Amen.

Thank you for joining me for yet ANOTHER edition of Wordy Whiny Wednesday. Today’s whine will be brought to you by my bad attitude, PMS and generally a childish outlook. If you’re one of those perpetually pleasant people you may want to come back in a couple of days. And if per chance you do make it to the end of the Whine, I thank you kindly and ask that you would please leave a comment… Either 1. Telling me to stop whining and being a baby 2. Telling me you that empathize with my pathetic outlook or 3. Something about cake. Like perhaps I should eat one.

I am JEALOUS of my husband’s job. Whhhhhiiiinnnnnne.

There. I said it. *Sigh*

Now when I say I am jealous I don’t mean I wish I could work. Noooooo. No. No. While I do periodically miss the fulfillment of producing something other than clean laundry, breastmilk and a lovely cupcake I have no desire WHATSOEVER to be in the workforce. Ever. I very much enjoy the ‘work’ of this house. Therefore this Whine should be taken with the grain of salt that it is worth.

We now proceed with the Whining:

You may or may not know that 3 days a week my husband is GONE. Like AWAY. Away from this house. He leaves. Get what I’m saying? He goes to work, but work as it so happens, is in a land far, far from here. He packs a bag. He gets in his car. He drives away. And I. Stay. Here.

Now you should also know that we knew FULL well that this was going to be the case when we were first dating. We knew it when we moved in together. We knew it when we got pregnant. Annnd when we got married. Annnnnd when Ella was born. Annnnnnnd when I quit working. And if we get pregnant again we will know it then too. We KNEW he would have to drive away to work and yet, we did it all anyway. We had to. It was love. But yeah. I don’t like it. Not a fan.

Before I further proceed with the Whine let me say this:

1. My husband is AWESOME. He is kind and caring and loving. He is smart and funny. (Also he’s hawt)
2. My husband does not WANT to leave here. He’d much rather be here changing diapers and playing with his baby girl. He’d rather drive kids all over creation and listen to tales of elementary/jr. high/high school woe. He’d rather sit on the sofa and watch Twin Peaks and snuggle with me at night in OUR bed. But he cannot. Because he has to go far, far away to work.
And
3. He does not GO to work far, far away with the intention of having any fun while I cook and clean and become perpetually sleep deprived. It’s just that sometimes… fun finds him.

Furthermore, I am not suggesting that my husband would rather be playing tennis while I fold the 87th load of laundry this week. But you know, maybe he gets the chance to play tennis (or run or whatever). And pretty sure no laundry. And I’m not saying that he’d rather be having a rare beer with a buddy while I’m bouncing a fussing baby or getting her BACK to sleep for the 11th time, but yeah, sometimes, that too. Beer. No baby crying. Also I’m not saying he’d rather get an ENTIRE HOUR to play guitar with no one grabbing him and asking him for anything AT ALL EVER. But yeah, he’s alone soooo. That. And not saying he’d rather be getting SEVEN STRAIGHT HOURS OF SLEEP IN A MOTHEREFFING ROW than be here with me next to him tossing and turning and co-sleeping with a wiggling 8 month old. But those things are in fact happening because he goes AWAY to WORK.

Ah work.

See most of the time it’s just boring stupid work that I’m sure he wishes he didn’t have to do. He just goes to his big office and does it ALL DAY for like a hundred hours and then goes to a lonely empty room (sounds awesome right?) where he calls me, tells me about his day and then sleeps 7 hours, gets up at the ass crack of dawn then goes BACK to the office where he works out, showers and then goes BACK to his desk, usually well before 8 am. At his desk he gets to have maybe a pastry he finds at a meeting room oooor a bagel on Wednesdays, cause that’s bagel day. And coffee. OH and leftovers he brought to eat from home. But every now and then things happen… like this one time when I was HUGE and pregnant (and I mean HUGE) and I was killing ants upstairs and falling over the cat and sobbing like a HUGE PREGNANT LADY while his office was throwing “us” a baby shower. With CHAMPAGNE. And CAKE people. CAKE. And when he called he said, “It was so nice. They gave us a shower.” And I replied lovingly, ‘WELL WHERE THE HELL IS MY EFFING CHAMPAGNE THEN?” Because I was not invited to the shower. I was only invited to the ant killing and falling down party. And ha, whaddya know I was the ONLY PERSON at that party. And sometimes he gets to go to lovely lunch where there is food that is not peanut butter that he doesn’t have to pay for. Food like lobster ravioli. And wine. Or beer. Or other drinks that are not cold coffee or water that tastes like feet (no really). And I am eating a stale sandwich that I made like 2 hours ago but never got to because someone started crying and then something else and something else. Etc. Etc. You get the point. And sometimes, ok only once so far but still, this is his view for two days:

THAT. IS. HIS. VIEW.

(In case you can’t tell. That is the OCEAN.)

Because in the world of the internet, companies fight to gain and keep loyalty. They fight hard. And dirty. And apparently that means a 4 star resort in Santa Cruz. Where there is a big soft EMPTY bed with no baby keeping you up all night. And there is no laundry. At ALL. And where they will cook for you. FOR YOU. And there are no DISHES. And they will give you an open bar (that my actually be untrue, but there will for sure be plenty of beer). And they will let you play ON THE BEACH. GAMES. On the BEACH, people. The Beach.

And I’m jealous. It’s the ugliest of all the seven deadly sins, I KNOW, but there it is. Rearing it’s ugly sinning deadly head. And he says “the weather isn’t going to be very good” OR “there is fire soot {from the BONFIRE on the BEACH} and I’m having to breathe it” or “I’ll try not to have too much fun”. And I say. PLEASE. SHUT. THE. HELL. UP (that’s hyperbole, I’d never actually say that) be quiet. Because I have a migraine from the screaming AND I WANT TO RUN DOWN THE STREET AND POSSIBLY TO THE NEXT TOWN AND MAYBE PULL A FORREST GUMP RIGHT NOW (I’ve never actually had a migraine. Also I’d die if I ran more than 3 miles.)

*sigh*

I feel bad about myself.

Because this is my view:

This is NOT THE BEACH PEOPLE. Even if there is some water somewhere in that hose.

But also there’s this:

So I KNOW I really CAN’T complain. I know this. Because I’m getting to do what I want. I’m getting to be with our sweet little baby every hour of every day. I get to see her grow and change and I know I’m INCREDIBLY LUCKY. I know.

It’s just that I REALLY would like to be lucky on the beach sometimes.

Thanks for playing.

Anyone get this? Anyone? Bueler?

marriage , messed up crap , mothering , wordy whiny wednesday , work

For days of yore, see here. And this is where it get’s serious.

So years passed… many of them. In 2005 a friend and I were chatting about the Man’s brother (as he was a mutual friend… like I’ve said before, small town). I went home thinking about where the Boy/Man was and what he was doing. Again. I hadn’t spoken to him since his graduation night in 1992 (where I said hello, and swooned, but he doesn’t remember).

I went to work.

I came home.

Rinse. Repeat.

Curiosity was getting the better of me. (For those who will inevitably ask… Yes, I was married. I had been for 12 years. No, I was not looking to rekindle anything, not being shady or seedy, just wondered what brilliant thing he might be doing with his life and wanted to find out. The very basis by which social networking thrives. Duh. (Admittedly more curious about what was going on with him than anyone else I went to high school with.)

I googled his name. It wasn’t hard to find his email address. Thank you World Wide Web. So I emailed him. We exchanged emails and quickly got caught up on each others lives. He was newlywed. I was on my way to a career in midwifery. We filled each other in and chatted about how he was going to be in town for a get together. I told him it was still hot in the valley. He told me he still hated it here.

Caught up on what he was doing with his life (being married, not having kids, working in the bay, playing in a band), I went about my life. He went about his. Etc.

The next year he emailed me at my birthday. (he remembered my birthday?)

I didn’t get the email (an address I no longer used). Another missed intersection point on our life graph.

Then I thought again about emailing him. Just to check in. Two years had passed. Certainly there was a little Boy (or Girl) running around by now. So I came home from work early one morning, got the kids of to school and I shot off a “HEY! What’s going on?!”email. And within a few minutes (literally like five) he emailed back. And no, no little Boy (or girl). He told me about his job and asked me about mine. We struck up a friendship. We exchanged opinions and talked about the upcoming election. We talked about religion. The valley we grew up in. Music. Our marriages. My kids. His cats. Work. We talked about running. Fitness. My half marathon training (and leg breaking). We bickered about why we had never really dated. We found we had a lot in common.

We became fast friends.

This went on. For some time. Like a long time.

While this was happening, other things were happening. My marriage was in the state of discontent it had perpetually been in. And the discontent was getting the better of me. The kids were older now and I was feeling less compelled to stay for the sake “of the children” as it were. I nearly left. Then I decided to stay. I spent nights on the bathroom floor. Sobbing. Staring at my own reflection. Trying to figure out what was the best thing to do. For them. For him. For me. (This is one of those life situations you really need to be IN to understand. It’s an ugly, sad, scary place.) The Man, as a good friend should, told me I should get to work on the marriage. And fast. For the kids. The vows. Myself.

I did.

Months passed.

It didn’t get better.

What happens next is certainly not the most unusual thing that’s ever happened to two people. But also far from ordinary. It sounds a little Montel Williams, only no screaming and punching.

I left. (The marriage that is.)

{I’ll spare you the details. Suffice it to say, it all eventually worked out.}

Anyway… After I left I decided to go see the Boy/Man.

I hadn’t seen him since I was 17.

And I. Was. Terrified.

But I drove to the Bay where he was living. A heap of trembling flesh. Sad but relieved. Scared but hopeful. Lonely but not alone.

And there he was. The same. But different.

And I fell into him the way you fall into a pool on a summer day in this valley’s unrelenting heat. Completely. And with reckless abandon. And all the way to the bottom.

And I don’t think I would be exaggerating if I said that he fell into me the same way.

Have you ever had the feeling that someone is the other half of your puzzle?

All the corny, cliche things that they make romantic movies about?

Yeah. That.

This happened in September.

Of 2009.

Go ahead. Do the math.

I wish I could provide you with some tale of an extended romance. Of courting and wooing. Something drawn out that would keep you suspended in anticipation. But the truth of it is, when you meet someone you want to spend the rest of your life with, you want the rest of your life to start right away.

And so it goes.

The months that followed were a blur of seeing each other when we could, talking on the phone until the wee hours and trying to build our future. All while trying to pick up the pieces of the past. He met the kids. I met his cat. By October we were partly co-habitating with him living in the Bay and here. In December we were getting engaged.

By the beginning of the year we were making a baby.

Then buying a house.

Then getting married (admittedly a little out of order)…

I call this one “Feigned indifference”

THEN having a baby:

And that, my friends, is our story.

Sometimes smack in the middle of an ordinary life, the universe gives you a fairytale.

He is mine.

love , marriage , the man , the story of we

Some people just have a standard “so and so introduced us” or  a “we met here or there” story. Our story looks a little like that and a little like something from a fiction romance novel. A little like a rom com. A little like fate. A little like destiny.

We met in 6th grade. I think I’ve already told you this, but just in case I hadn’t, it’s integral to the story. Cause dude, who meets the love of their life when they’re 11?

Us.

Anyway. We were both competing in the district spelling bee.

I did not win.

He did.

I loved him the second I laid my boring brown eyes on him. I am not making that up. That sounds cliche, and I know 11 year olds don’t know what love IS, but I loved doritos and I loved ho ho’s and fruit roll ups and orange slice and I know I loved him more than those and more than my cat(s) and probably even more than my esprit bag (ok maybe not that much. Those bags were a big deal.). But in any case, I was sold. He had me at first glance. I swooned. I gazed adoringly (alternating between moments of sheer spelling terror). I asked all the girls who he was. I found out his name. Matt. Matthew. Matt. Perfect. I thought about him all summer. I hoped we’d see each other in junior high the next year. (Pretty fair chance of this given there was only one junior high, not counting the country ones where the farmer’s kids went, and he clearly was NOT a farmer’s kid).

Eleven year old girls don’t have much to think about other than blue eyed boys they met at the spelling bee. So I spent my summer dreaming of the Boy. And having a dream wedding where doves carried the train of my dress and I descended down a spiral staircase adorned with  sprays of imaginary pink roses and my 12 imaginary bridemaids. And we had imaginary babies.  A girl and a boy. Also I painted my toes and got a tan that summer. But that’s less vital to the story.

In September we went to junior high.

See:

Weren’t we cute? Oh.Em.Gee. We were coordinating. It was meant to be.

Oh lawdy. That was 25 years ago.

Holy COW. That was 25 years ago.

Shit. That was 25 years ago.

In other news: Who picked out those earrings? Geez-us. The necklace? Good. Grief. I apologize to fashion icons everywhere.

In junior high and high school the Boy and I were like perpendicular lines on a graph. Every now and then we’d come together to form a right angle, but mostly we just ran in different directions.

But, because we lived in a small-ish town, and because I was stalking him refused to give up hope, we were always kind of around each other. Not necessarily (though occasionally) with, but always around. As sometimes happens when you’re recalling things that happened 25 years ago, the Man and I remember this time differently. I remember always hoping he’d ask me out. He remembers me going “out” with a bunch of other boys. I think I’m right in this case because I actually have a diary listing every boy I went out with in junior high and he’s number 1. Numero Uno folks.  Also in the diary… me writing JH + ME  TLA on no less than 37 pages.

Maybe we are both right.

No matter. I was a smitten kitten. He was busy trying to figure girls out. I never gave up hope that he would someday share my firm belief that we were meant to spend our lives together and take leisurely hand in hand strolls along the beach. And procreate.

Persistence people. Persistence pays off:

To provide evidence of the “around but not with” theory I give you the following:

I was looking through an old box of mostly stupid pictures of me and my friends wearing each others bras when I found these…

Christmas party. 1987

 

Why am I on the table? I have no idea. I like to pretend he is at my feet adoring me. Perhaps we were playing truth or dare. Or I was just being bossy. {probably that last one} Also this was the party where we played 7 minutes in my shower. I’d now like to publicly thank Jennifer Shugert for that dare. Even if the seven minutes were mostly spent leading up to the terrifying 5 second lip lock. Totally worth it. Totally. Also why is this photo crooked? Again, no idea.

14 th birthday party.

Yeah that was 1988. Oh good god I’m old. This was a Hippie themed party in case you couldn’t tell. Complete with handmade tie dyed clothing and Beatles posters. No weed though. Sorry to disappoint.

In other news, I had a lot of awesome parties as a kid. One thing my mom was, if she wasn’t busy getting married or doing tequila shots, was a heck of a party thrower. {I apologize if you’re reading this mother. Also you’re an excellent cook. Bygones.}

Next item of business: End of 8th grade.

15th birthday party.

The jury is out as to whether or not he just *happened* to be everywhere I was taking pictures (or having pictures of me taken) OR alternatively perhaps I was everywhere he was. Feel free to weigh in.

In our freshman year of high school we were both band geeks students. He played drums and I was on the tall flag.

You may make fun of me… starting… now.

Thank god for high school band. Because of our mutual love of band (please insert sarcasm), we took lots of bus trips. To places. I’m….. pretty sure. On one of the long bus trips the Boy and I occupied our time participating in the age old pastime of… Ahem. Use your imagination. NO. Not THAT. Geez. Get your mind out of the gutter people. (Word to the wise, don’t let your kids sit in the back of the bus.)

When the bus ride was over, I guess I told him that nothing had to happen further (allegedly). This is another one of those thing we remember differently. He seems to remember that he wanted to ask me out but thought i wasn’t interested. I seem to remember that I told him we didn’t have to be boyfriend and girlfriend because I thought he wasn’t interested. Defense mechanism to avoid rejection. Bad idea.

The next year I moved to a town not too far (but far enough) away. In the years that followed I would ask everyone about the Boy every time I was back in town (which was often) and he and I would run into each other a cross country meet or two. Every time I saw that his school would be where my school was I’d get all twitterpated again.

I’m not ashamed to admit that from 1992 when we left high school until 2007 when we again were in real legitimate contact, I dreamt about him periodically (No. Not THAT kind of dream. GEEZ.) I thought of him often. And generally always wondered where he was, what he was doing and if he ever thought about what happened to me.

And then I emailed him. And the rest, as they say, is history…

Turns out… some things are just meant to be.

love , marriage , the story of we

I’m reading, or should I say devouring, Elizabeth Gibert’s latest book, Committed, right now. (Thanks Stef for the reminder that I ought to pick it up.)

But first: Let me preface this entire post by saying one thing, I Luuuved Eat, Pray, Love. Capital L. Loved. I loved that book so much that it’s dogeared until the pages are all bent and it’s been dropped in the bathtub twice so that it now resembles some kind of bloated thing that used to be a book. Now, this book didn’t sing to all women across all lands I recognize, and admittedly some women said “Yeah. Stoopid. Not for me. She’s lacking realism and she’s selfish and I’m not interested.” I, however, was in the other camp. The “HOLY COW. This is HUGE.” camp. This is not to say that I felt a sudden urge to become a world traveler or that I’d surrender myself wholly to a life of pasta or yoga. (Though both do sound more than appealing.) This is to say instead that there were many days in the years of my first marriage (of which there were 16. Six-TEEN.) that I found myself in a position similar to hers. Crying on my bathroom floor. Hands raised to heaven (or at least on my head, sometimes on the linoleum). Pleading with a God or gods or Buddha or Krishna or Zeus or Mother Earth or Father Time or anyone or thing who would just PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD listen to me and tell me what the hell.to.do. Desperate for answers. I will now soar right over the topic of my previous marriage because it’s not important and you’re probably not interested. But I will say this: The person who needed to tell me what to do was me. And it is over. It needed to be over. The end.

And now I’m reading this book, the sequel if you will, to Eat, Pray, Love and the one where Ms. Glibert finds herself in love. Thirty something. And married. Again. And so, you see, while Ms. Gilbert and myself are not in any way alike as far as life circumstances go (for one I am not a famous author and she doesn’t have any kids. Two glaringly obvious differences) we are alike in this respect: Finding ourselves in a Second Marriage. Which, according to popular opinion and statistical data, is as likely, if not more likely, to end in divorce as a first marriage.

Though these people don’t really look like the divorcing type. These people look like they are in love.

Cause they are.

See this is not a statistic I enjoy thinking about. You can see why. I am a lady of numbers and my husband has a degree in math. But numbers be damned here because… I am in love with my husband. In. Love. And why would any person in Love want to think about the fragility of said Love? Why would you want to consider the data? The glaring facts. The painful truths. For no one WANTS their marriage to end. (Until you want it to end. Then you can’t get out fast enough. Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out as they say.)

So why consider the data? Well because sometimes the data can be helpful.

Take the case of the seagulls. Seagulls, like a few animals, are what is known as life-maters. There is no formal seagull wedding or contractual agreement that I’m aware of but they get together and they stay together. Presumably for life.

You know… unless they don’t

You see in about 25% of cases the seagulls actually get a pelican divorce lawyer (who takes several thousand of whatever seagulls use for currency) and they get an avian divorce. They fight over who gets the nest but not who gets the kids because they almost never have any. Because guess what, they do not mate. There are no fish to divide up because there are never any left over ( we all know seagulls will eat anything) and they go their separate ways. And then they go on to find a new seagull partner and pair up AND guess what? They stay together. Almost assuredly for life. (I made that thing about the divorce lawyer pelican up.)

This is an interesting scenario for me to consider, for the obvious reasons. While I am not a bird, I do think that human relationships sometimes work this way too. I don’t think that most people get married thinking they’ll get divorced. I think that mostly people get married because they like or hopefully love each other enough or sometimes maybe it seems like the next logical step in the steps of life or the right thing to do to make it honest, as they say. And it just. Doesn’t. Work. I’m not advocating the ‘starter’ marriage at all but I do think there is something to be learned from it. My mother has had somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 or 9 marriages (which I think actually qualifies as serial marrying). In any case, I lost count. And she has never gotten it quite right. But I think she could have if she’d been paying attention. Most likely. (Well actually probably not, but that’s a WHOLE other blog post)

Human beings, with our ability to learn and evolve and our opposable thumbs and all that jazz, can learn. I believe being married is a little bit marrying the right person but it is a lot like 90% being the right person. I just can’t view marriage number 1 as a mistake that marriage number 2 is going to fix. I have to see it for what it really was, an opportunity for me to see all the veers and turns in the road where i went the wrong way.

There were a lot.

As they say, understanding the past is the key to our future.

And I learned a lot. I learned what *I* wanted from a marriage. At 18, I did not know this. At 18 I did not know what I wanted from a PAIR OF SOCKS much less a person. Also I learned that fighting happens so you should try to do it fairly. Screaming is not fair. I learned that I am usually right sometimes wrong. And the most mature pf a partner can not only recognize this but also admit it. And I learned what I wanted from a partner. That is A PARTNER. A person who shared my goals in life and my political and religious (on non religious as it were) views, my environmental views and my views on raising children. It turns out, these things are kind of important pretty frickin vital to having a successful and productive relationship.

And I took what I learned into the world. As Maya Angelou says (in the quote I apply to mostly every life situation), “You did what you could with what you had. When you knew better you did better.”

One day it occurred to me that the guy I had the crush on when we were 11 I STILL had a crush on. And that crush evolved into good friendship. And no surprise that love soon followed.

I knew better. I did better.

And we are, as they say, life-mated. Human statistical data be damned.

We’re siding with the gulls on this one.

in love,

j

marriage , serious stuff