Friday, March 30, 2012


My eyes have been twitching for nearly a week now.  It's mostly my right eye, but every now and again my left one freaks out a bit.

I have two theories:

One is that I'm tired.  Between how I was out galavanting the other night and how I've been staying up late reading blog posts and doing blog link ups, I am not getting enough rest.  I mean, I don't get enough sleep on a regular night when I'm crashing by 9:30.  I really have no business being up until 1am when I need to be up at 5:30am.

The other theory is that I'm stressed.  I should point out that I'm painfully aware that I have been stressed out over one thing or another since you met me.  It doesn't matter which of you is reading this and how or when or where you met me, chances are I was stressed when it happened.  Chances are also that I told you so.  I'm sure I at least told you I was tired.  See my first theory above.

So the stress.  Someone told me I shouldn't.  Stress that is.  I don't think I've ever not been so I almost feel like there's no chance I ever won't be.  Sometimes trying to relax makes me feel like I could have a panic attack.  I know.  I'm a mess.

I wish I could not stress.  Some of it is work stress.  It would be in poor taste to give details, but suffice to say it's busy and there's a lot going on.  I realize this is true of most jobs.  My husband jokes (at least I think he's joking) that it's the busiest time of the year at my job for 365 days straight.  But the last few weeks?  Ugh.  I need a vacation from my life so I can catch up on work stuff.

Some of the stress is just the day to day of family responsibilities.  Again, I know, I only have one child and I have a husband.  I shouldn't complain because I have a good situation and many people don't.  However, I have responsibilities and a house to take care of and a kid that keeps wanting to eat stuff and a geriatric dog and, and, and...  You know how it is.   We all have it.  Sometimes it's overwhelming.  The farthest I've gotten on my Spring Cleaning to-do list was writing the list.  I need a vacation from my work so I can catch up on house stuff.

And then there's the writing.  I don't want to call it stressful lest you tell me it's "just a hobby" and I should stop.  It isn't and I won't, but it takes up a lot of time.  I'm trying to become the Queen of the Blogoverse (that's not true) and I've been reading a lot of other bloggers (I call this research).  I've been doing things to promote my blog and I've been writing tons of posts.  I think I have at least a dozen in some stage of editing.  And here I am writing another instead of getting those finished.

As if all this blogging wasn't enough, I'm also working on a memoir.  It's not light subject matter - my mother's illness plus other fun trauma - but the words need to find their way out of my head and onto paper (or a screen, as the case may be).  I'm sure it will be years before it's even remotely publication worthy, but it has to start somewhere.  Some of the pages I write though, they wipe me out.  I'm thinking about scenes from childhood I haven't thought about since childhood.  I need a vacation from work and life to get more writing done.  And then I'll probably need a vacation from the writing.

At night, when I finally go to sleep, I dream about work, writing, blogging and in-person interactions with the people on Twitter that I don't actually know in real life.  When the Twitter dreams happen, the people all look like their Twitter pictures, so their heads don't move.  And the people who have pictures or drawings instead of faces, they look like their icon in my head.  Most of these dreams involve me frantically trying to get things done and always being behind schedule.  So basically it's like I'm still awake except I'm horizontal for a while.

Oh, did I not mention that part of the reason I can't get stuff done in my dreams is that I'm in bed out in the world?  Like, my bed is in my office or at the grocery store or whatever.  The bed dreams are always such a huge stress indicator.  And there's nothing worse than being in your bed some place completely inappropriate and not being able to get stuff done.  My stress dream stresses me out.

So it's no wonder my eye won't stop twitching.  At some point I will crash and it will be epic.  Nervous breakdown, sick as a dog, I'm only going to watch 25 episodes of Hoarders on Netflix Instant sort of epic.  Maybe that's what I need - an epic crash.

Not sure when I can fit it in though.  Let me check my calendar...

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Remembering Again.

I originally wrote this post on November 20, 2010.  I'm linking up with Alison and Ado's First Blogoversary Blog Bash.  We were invited to share our favorite post.  It was hard to pick a favorite, but I like this one because it sticks with me.  It was the first time I really tried to talk about something difficult to share.  Given the topic, I don't know if favorite is the right word.  But I'd definitely go with special.

Happy Blogoversary Alison and Ado and thanks for letting me share in it with you!
This week is a tough one for me.

Part 1: Wednesday was my mother's birthday, her first since she passed away. In a way I used to dread her birthday because it meant trying to go see her not on my terms. Visiting my mother wasn't easy. Nursing homes and 3 year olds are not a good mix. When Nathan was really little, it was ok because he could stay in his carrier or I'd hold him, or we could sit him on my mother's bed. But once he started moving it was much more difficult.

The drive to see her was an hour each way. If I didn't time it right, I'd sit in terrible traffic. If Nathan fell asleep, it would screw up his bed time. If he didn't, I'd endure complaining about the drive. Either way it was not the most pleasant. But I recognized how important it was to go see her, and for her to see Nathan, particularly on her birthday. But it wasn't my terms. I had to go THAT week, THAT day. And if I didn't for a good reason (one of us was sick, or she was) then I felt terrible guilt. Talking on the phone to her was not easy either. Either she couldn't get the call because her phone wasn't working or it was on speaker and her busy-body roommate would jump in or eavesdrop (if you can call it that when a phone is on speaker). If I left a message, I never knew if she got it until the next time I talked to her, so enter the feeling of "should I be feeling guilty because she thinks I didn't call her."

But this year, I didn't have the guilt, I didn't have to plan a visit (which is good, because Nathan and I both have colds I wouldn't want her to catch and therefore I'd feel guilty). I didn't have to try to call and listen to her stupid roommate. I didn't have to try to think of something to get her and then have her tell me that it wasn't right for whatever reason. I didn't have to listen to Nathan complain because he didn't even know. I'm not sure any of this is any consolation since she's gone. And I miss her.

Part 2: Today marks 4 years since my grandfather passed away. While he and I were talking in the months before he passed, the few years before that we were not. It's a very long story why, not worth rehashing here, but suffice to say I regret that time. I would love to say if I had it to do over I'd do it differently, but I know me and I know him and we were both too stubborn to have it any other way until I found out he had cancer.

And it's not lost on me that calling him for the first time in years because I found out he was sick is really cliche and lame. But it's what happened. I was pregnant at the time he passed, due in 8 weeks. It was evident he'd never meet his first great-grandson. This saddened me deeply and still does.

I think he would love Nathan and get such a kick out of him. I also think that when Nathan was acting up, he'd tell me how fresh he is (he'd be right) and how he is just like I was. And he'd say that in a disapproving way, just like my mother did. Then I would get mad, he wouldn't know why and we'd be arguing. But I'm not sure avoiding all that is any consolation now that he's gone. And I miss him.


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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Breakfast.

Whatever time my child wakes up on a Sunday morning is too early.  This Sunday in particular is a challenge since we got a sitter last night and went to watch our friends' band play.  I really do try to be a patient parent.  I have to try even harder after a night of galavanting, but hey, whose fault is that?

We rolled in last night around 12:30ish maybe.  It's unclear.  I "fell asleep" on the couch soon thereafter and woke up there at 5am, at which point I went to bed.  I slept in a bed that was unmade because I stripped it to wash the sheets yesterday and never put it back together before we went out.  I put down the flat sheet and grabbed the afghan and the pillowcase-less pillow and slept for one whole hour before my child was up.

6am is pretty late for him, so I really should be thankful.  However, 5 hours of sleep without the involvement of alcohol doesn't cut it.  You can imagine how my margarita and beer infused slumber therefore did nothing for me.  And since I was up until 11pm on Friday and 1am on Wednesday reading and writing, an intelligent person would have stayed in and slept on Saturday.  But I've gotten off track here.  The point is I'm kind of tired.

Nathan always wants breakfast as soon as he gets up, which is fine.  Today he had a bowl of cereal and then he wanted toast.  In between fetching him food and juice and a napkin and a show to watch and this and that AND fighting with my stomach, I did eventually get to sit down with a cup of tea to attempt to be able to function.  When he finished breakfast he set to work on constructing some sort of Lego tower.

After some time I was finally awake and gastrointestinally strong enough to attempt breakfast for myself and the kid was busy so I figured I could do this.

Nathan:  Are you going to go eat your breakfast now?
Me:  Yes.
Nathan:  Oh, because I'm hungry.
Me:  Of course you are.

And I say of course because every Sunday morning for the last several years, this child has become hungry the exact moment it has been declared that I was going to go make myself something to eat.

Me:  What do you want?
Nathan:  Can I have that fortune cookie I saw in the kitchen?
Me:  No, it's not even 9 o'clock in the morning.
Nathan:  Whinewhinewhine (I actually don't know what he said.  Something about how he waaaaaaanted it so baaaaaaaadly.)
Me:  You can have fruit or yogurt or more cereal or a cereal bar.
Nathan:  I don't want anything, I'm not hungry.
Me:  Are you sure?  Because once I start eating you'll have to wait, so if you want something please tell me now.
Nathan:  I'm sure.
Me: OK.  I'm going to make my breakfast now.  Go play.

And no sooner did I hit start on the microwave to make the mini-pancakes I've been dying for but didn't eat because I was dieting, did the child reappear crying that he "haven't aten anything in SOOOO long." After correcting his grammar, I asked him what he wanted and since he still couldn't tell me I told him again he had to wait.  More tears.  More complaining about how I don't ever feed him.  He needed a MEAL and demanded to know why I wouldn't just get something for him.

5 year olds are not rational creatures.

Nathan: (having spied my pancakes)  Are you going to eat pancakes?
Me:  Yes.  Do you want pancakes?
Nathan:  No.  I wanted that fortune cookie but you won't give it to me.
Me:  That's right.  Tell me now what you want or else you will have to wait until I'm done because my food is ready and I'm about to eat.  What do you want?

Nathan sat on the floor and began spinning on his butt as if nothing from the last 5 minutes happened.

So I sat down to eat.  Suddenly a small boy appeared to my right.
Nathan:  I'm going to sit next to you.
Me:  OK.
Nathan:  Are those pancakes?
Me:  Yes. (You can see where this is going right?)
A pause, and then...
Nathan:  Can I have some of your pancakes? I'm hungry.

I gave him a bite.  Then he requested his own plate.  I made them, he ate them, then he asked for more. He ate half of the second batch and told me they smell weird like salt (?) and he couldn't eat them.  Also he wasn't hungry.

Every.  Single.  Week.


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Saturday, March 24, 2012


I was arguing with my coworker about whether or not living in New Jersey is something to be proud of  (this is a whole other post, by the way, but not for today).  She and I both grew up in northern NJ, about 10 miles outside of Manhattan.  She's got the pride, I do not.  It's not that I hate my state, it's that I don't understand being proud to be born somewhere.  I'm not judging, I legitimately don't understand it.  It just so happened my parents lived here and this is where I was born.  My mother also lived in Maine and Michigan, so I could have just as easily been born in either of those states.  And those states are nice enough but a bit cold for my taste.  

It's really no secret that I want to move to the San Diego area someday and again, not because I hate Jersey, just because I like California.  Coworker argued that I should want to stay here and it is nicer here because we have the Jersey shore and its wonderful beaches. Yes, the shore is fun; my family visits there frequently.  But I don't think it's reason enough to stay East since California has beautiful beaches as well. 

And then this happened:

Her:  Yeah, well, California has sharks in the...  uhhh... whatever ocean is out there.

Me:  Um, what?  Seriously?  Please tell me you're kidding.  Please tell me you know what the ocean is out there.

Her:  Atlantic?

Me (in my shrillest voice of disbelief):  WHAT?!!!???!!!

Her:  What's the big deal?

Me:  It's basic geography!  How could you not know this?

Her:  I don't care about that.  I do my part, I recycle!*

Me:  Get out.  Get out of my office right now.

But then I followed her to yell at her some more. 

She called another coworker's extension and asked her if she knew what ocean was off the coast of Cali without asking anyone and she said, "How the f*#@ should I know?"

How should you know?  You should know, and I hate to harp on this, because it is basic geography!

I sought out another of the office young-folk (they are all early 20s to my mid-30s) and I ask her if she knows.  I begged her to please know.  Her response?  "I don't know what I did ten minutes ago, why would I know that?"

I can't.  I just can't.  Someone kill me please, this is absurd. 

Thankfully, when I asked the 4th young woman, she did know and joined me in mocking the others.  It might have been brought up that perhaps this is something "older" people know.  Luckily I don't condone violence in the workplace.

Since I just can't let things like this go, I had to grill Coworker #1 on other things - location of states on a map, state capitals, etc.  She didn't know the capital of New York is not New York City.  When I told her it was Albany she asked why. (Why.  She asked me why Albany is the capital...)  She explained to me that everyone knows when you say you're "going to New York" you mean you're going to New York City.  I wasn't aware that the capital can only be "where everyone goes" and I'm also pretty sure that people go to Albany.  She said she would have guessed the capital of Mexico was Cancun, because she's been there.  Because apparently that's the measure for if a city is important enough. 

And, by the way, she's never been to Albany, so there you go.

It would just be mean of me to rip this poor girl apart publicly if I didn't say it was (sort of) all in good fun and I like her very much.  She's fun and I enjoy her company, which is not something I say of many people.  We work in very close proximity to one another and we chat (too) often.  We have great conversations and laugh quite a bit.  She is good at her job and she is smart about computer-y things in a way that I most definitely am not.  But if you need to know where places are, I highly suggest you come ask me.

I'm all for gentle ribbing in the comments, but don't hate on her too much.  Maybe you want to stick up for her because you don't know where stuff is either.  Maybe you want to gang up on these young ladies for referring to 35 as "older" - I'm all for that by the way.  Maybe you think I should cut her some slack and you have a reasonable explanation for why 75% of the people in my office under age 25 don't know where the Pacific Ocean is.

*Please don't get me started on why I think her recycling practice is about the dumbest reason why she doesn't have to know geography because I'm pretty sure my brain is going to explode if I continue to think about that.

Edited to add:

After I wrote this post, I showed it to her and she approved me posting it.  It's her birthday today.  I'm thinking of getting her an atlas.  I wonder if she knows what an atlas is...

Since this incident, she now knows that it is the Pacific Ocean that is located off the coast of California. She also tells me daily that she knows and, apparently, I'm supposed to be impressed.

I'm linking up again this week with Yeah Write!  Click the link below and you will find a grid full of wonderful writers.


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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Big Kid.

Every age and every stage comes with its ups and downs, but I am loving 5 (mostly) so far.  It seems like most traces of baby are gone.  He has these long, drawn out thoughts and contemplations and often they are pretty insightful for a kid.  Sometimes they are entirely made up, like how he told me he spent the night on his grandparents' couch in his sleeping bag and then fell off landing completely upside down and vertical.  It would seem his head was on the ground and his feet were straight up in the air.  He told this story with such detail and gusto that I wanted to believe him.

I have to admit though, when the little kid fears come creeping into his big kid mind, it takes all my strength not to laugh.  Yesterday I decided he was big enough for me to take the child safety lock device off the car.  He's been wanting to open the door himself and I think he's a pretty responsible kid, so I flipped the switch and told him I did so.  His brow furrowed and the color drained from his cheeks.  His lip quivered and his eyes filled with tears.  Then he wailed, "NOOOOOO!!!!"

When I asked him what was wrong, he just started yelling for me to change it back.  I calmed him down and he was just doing that deep breath hiccuppy sniffle thing where he sucks air in.  I asked him again what was wrong.  In his most serious manner, or as serious as one can be with snot dripping from his nose, he asked me if the door can be opened while the car is still moving.  I explained that it will only open if he pulls the latch so if he just doesn't touch the latch, the door will stay closed.

"Oh.  So I just shouldn't touch it unless you tell me?"

"Yes.  When the key is out and you're allowed to unbuckle your seat belt, then you can open the door.  Otherwise, hands off."

"Oh."  But the little wheels in his head were spinning, you could see it in his eyes.

A little while later, safely in the house and away from the car door, he asked me again if the door could open when the car was in motion.  I explained the answer just as I did before.

When we got in the car to run an errand, I noticed he kept his hand neatly folded and away from the door.  I might have giggled a little.

But when the car was stopped and the key was out and he unbuckled his belt and looked at me bright-eyed with a "Can I do it now?" look, he had no problem at all opening the door and jumping out like the big kid he is.

Now I just need to teach him to shut it before he runs to the front door.


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Friday, March 16, 2012


In September of 1992, my sophomore year, I decided I was going to sign up for the cross-country team at my high school.  This decision was based entirely on my ability to sprint short distances.  In case you don't know, cross-country is about pacing yourself for long distances.  I was beyond terrible and so, in September of 1992, I quit the cross-country team.

Imagine my surprise when in January 2005, I got a wild hair up my ass to run a marathon.  Yes, I was going to run 26.2 miles.  I started training the way any serious runner would, by jogging inside my house.  I couldn't run outside in the cold because of my asthma and I didn't have a gym membership.  Did I mention I was also about 15 pounds overweight?  Yeah.

I soon realized that I might want to set a more attainable goal of a 5k, a mere 3.1 miles.  The race I picked was listed as easy and flat, so I thought it would be good for a beginner.  It was at a high school with "Highlands" in the name. (Foreshadowing!!)

I joined the gym.  And then I actually went!  My times weren't laughable for a beginner and I was getting stronger and losing weight.  I was almost able to run the whole thing without walking breaks and I was getting some confidence.  My friend (who had run an actual marathon) was giving me advice and kept saying that it is much harder to run outside than inside on a treadmill.  We went on a run together and she promptly kicked my ass.  But then she made me a smoothie, so we are still friends.

Race weekend approached after about 6 weeks of training.  I had a friend coming in from out of town plus a few local friends all geared up to run too.  Did I mention that they were all runners?  Not a bunch of newbies content with making fools of themselves with me, no, I chose to invite my RUNNER friends to run with me.  I told myself I just wanted to finish (100% not true) and that it would be great if my time was a personal best (sort of true).  I bought a 5k outfit.  We carbo-loaded the night before.  I planned a healthy brunch at my house for post-race.  It was going to be awesome.  I was going to be awesome.  Marathon, here I come.

As I stood at the starting line, I contemplated backing out.  My friends wouldn't let me.  The race started and I had a good pace through the parking lot of the school.  We got out on to the road.  The experienced runners were off in the distance by now and I kept my pace.  There was a hill.  Not huge, but earlier on than I thought.  I got to the top to find there was another hill.  This one was bigger.  I was slowing down.  Crap.  Another hill.  People were passing me.  I was tired and it was cold.  I started crying but I kept going.  I walked a little here and there to catch my breath.

The hills, though, just kept coming.  I'm sure you've heard older people say they used to walk uphill to school both ways in the snow?  I am fairly certain that this is the school they were talking about.

As I was making my way up the final hill, I heard footsteps behind me.  I turned and it was an older man.  By older, I mean in his 80s.  He passed me.  He PASSED me!  Behind Grandpa was the ambulance that closes the race and blocks off traffic.  It was official.  I was last.  I cried the entire final quarter mile or so back to the school, all the while with this emergency vehicle following me, lights swirling, holding up the cars behind it for this mess of a "runner."

When I got back to the school, I realized I didn't know where to go.  Everyone else was done, the old guy was nowhere in sight and so there was no one to follow.  I saw my friends in the bleachers waiting patiently for me.  I hugged my one friend and sobbed into his shoulder.  I knew him fairly well at the time, but we were not close enough for me to be snotting all over him.  They asked if I crossed the finish line because they hadn't seen me and I said no.  Because I couldn't find it.

It was right in front of me. So as if this whole thing wasn't humiliating enough, I ran down the bleachers, out onto the track and headed toward the finish line.  "Wait!" I heard someone call out.  I looked up and realized they didn't know there was still a contestant and they were starting to take it down.  I crossed and my time was noted.  My first 5k was now in the books.  I came in 86th.  Out of 86.

And then I got back to my sobbing.  I felt like and was, quite literally, the biggest loser.  We headed inside to get our T-shirts and for the awards ceremony (2 of my friends won for their age/gender categories - Go them!).  A woman approached me and put her arm around me.

"First race?"
"You picked a tough one."
"I'm an idiot."  There might have been more tears.
"You're not.  You did it.  You should be proud.  Most people wouldn't have even signed up."

She was right.  I knew it in my heart that I had done something great.  And now, 7 years later, I can even laugh really hard about all of this with only a tiny bit of still wanting to cry.

It's not easy for me to put myself out there for the world to see.  It's hard enough to fall on your face when no one's looking, let alone when the world is watching.  I've been putting more and more of myself out there lately, which is overwhelmingly frightening.  But I figure no matter what, can any of it really be any worse than being followed by an ambulance up a country road while I weep?

I'm linking up with Yeah Write again this week!

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Just Crackers.

Sometimes I have a story I want to tell here that I can't because no matter what I do to strip away the details to protect the privacy of others, the story remains completely transparent.  If you knew me at all in real life, even just a little, you'd know who or what I was talking about.  I do file them away though because they are wonderful "you won't believe this" type stories and they need to be told someday.

But, since I can't tell you those stories, I'll tell you this one instead.  It's about a friend of mine.  No, really.  A friend.  This wouldn't happen in my house.

One day, my friend bought a box of crackers.  Maybe it was a box of organic, 27-grain, mega-fortified crackers from that high-end grocery store where everything costs five times what it does in the regular store.  She bought this box and she took it home thinking her kid would like the crackers or he would at least tolerate them and it would be a good way to sneak 27 grains into him since he doesn't want to eat anything remotely healthy (not that I'm judging my friend or her kid here, you see).  She put her hopes and dreams of a healthy life for her child into this box of crackers.  He took one bite, spit it on the floor and she realized she just wasted $9 on these crackers because they tasted like dirt.

But she refused to call this a loss.  Those crackers were going to get eaten come hell or high water!  She took a bite.  Through gritted teeth, sort of chewing, trying to choke that nasty thing down, she smiled and told her child that those crackers were good.  She asked if he was sure he didn't want to try another.  He didn't.  He ran away.  She was relieved, because then she could spit the thing out too!  She put the crackers in the cabinet and give the kid Goldfish.

Later, her husband came home and tried the crackers.  He told her they were horrible and she agreed. He was not thrilled about wasted money.  She assured him they would get eaten.  Secretly, she was creating a mental list of who she could give these crackers to so as not to waste.  Her friends' kids who like healthy stuff?  Her healthy friends?  A coworker?  The dog?  Someone had to want these stupid crackers.

Every day when she would get her kid a snack or pack his lunch or reach for the nearby cereal, there were the crackers, smiling at her.  Taunting her.  When she would buy new groceries, she was always smacked in the face by how they were taking up precious shelf space where she could put something edible.  Yet she wouldn't move them.  She would not let these crackers defeat her.

Months went by and the crackers were still there.  Eventually she got used to the crackers and they started to bother her a little less. Some days her anger towards the crackers would flare up and she might have a little meltdown about them, but once she blew off some steam, things went back to normal.

But then one day, her husband had had quite enough of these crackers and said, "Can I throw these things out, please?"  She shrugged it off, "Yeah, whatever."  And just like that, she heard them hit the bottom of the garbage can with a thud.

It was then that she realized she was free!  The crackers were finally gone!  There was now a 2 inch wide space in her cabinet where she could actually put something yummy!  She hadn't really accepted the crackers after all.  She was simply waiting for fate (or her husband) to step in and deal with the crackers.  She no longer had to look at or feel guilty about or have anger towards a cardboard box with a plastic wrapper inside filled with small discs of putrid grains.  She might have even acknowledged that maybe she shouldn't have had this many emotions towards a box of crackers that wasn't really worth her time.  She might have also vowed that next time she buys bad crackers, she will just cut her losses and pitch them immediately.  But it didn't matter now.  None of it mattered now because those crackers were OUT OF THERE!

Phew!  That felt good to get out.  Um, I mean it must have felt good for HER to get that out...  You know, when it happened and all.

Friends, I promise you this:  That story is about my friend and her crackers and nothing else.

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Saturday, March 3, 2012

E's Mother Strikes Again.

I just have to share this story.  I went to pick up my child from school the other day and E, his classmate from this story, came barreling out of the classroom and ran right into me.  Her mother followed right behind.  E said to me, "Are you Nathan's mother?"  I told her I was and she ran off down the hall.

Then E's mother and I had this conversation:
Her:  Oh.  You're Nathan's mother?
Me:  Yup.
Her:  I think you gave me an invitation to his birthday party and I still owe you a response.
Me:  Um...(and before I could really say anything else)
Her:  When is it?
Me:  It was in January.
Her:  Are you sure?
Me:  Yeah, pretty sure.  I put the invite in her cubby in December and a follow up in January.  You never RSPVed.
Her:  Oh.  OK.  Maybe the one I'm thinking of was for a different party. Whatever.

And then she walked away!

If she forgot, or didn't care to respond, or just hates us, or whatever, it's all fine.  I really and truly don't care what this woman thinks or does or if she brings her kid to Nathan's party or not.  And it's not like I was harboring resentment about the lack of RSVP, again, I really didn't care.  But when I told her that she didn't reply, why didn't she just say she was sorry or too bad she missed it or something?  Her rudeness and lack of social grace is just so astounding that I am constantly floored by it.

I'm all for not caring what people think of you, but not at the expense of general politeness.
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Friday, March 2, 2012


"The best laid schemes of Mice and Men
oft go awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!"
- Robert Burns (To A Mouse, 1785)

"Life is what happens to you
While you're busy making other plans."
- John Lennon (Beautiful Boy)

I can't tell you how many times people have quoted the above to me in some way.

I'm a planner.  Once I get an idea, I want to figure out every little detail as soon as possible, regardless of how far off in the future the planned thing is and then I don't want anyone or anything to mess it up.  Because there's a plan.  And because I said so.

I received a full 4-year scholarship to the one and only college I applied to.  Because I couldn't afford college otherwise, it was imperative that I finish in the 4 years without any summer classes.  Since I was a social work major and there was a very specific program that had to be followed, I did not have a lot of flexibility in the classes I could take or when.  Some were only offered either in the Spring or Fall semesters and there was a tremendous amount of interning that needed to be done.  I also had a job or two and responsibilities at home, but I don't want to pat myself on the back or anything.

Anyway, my point is that in order to accomplish this goal, I had to plan wisely.  During my second semester, I sat down and planned out my classes for the next 3 years.  I had a binder which contained the program for my degree, the course book for each upcoming semester as it became available and some charts and grids.  It mostly worked out and I did graduate on time.  Planning.  It works.

When I got my ticket for BlogHer in January, no sooner did I receive my email receipt did I start to freak out think about the logistics of where I'd stay and how I'd get there.  I've mostly got it pinned down (there are two options for travel into the city) and after hours of hotel searching I ended up booking a room at the host-hotel.  I only get a little nauseous when I think about traveling in the morning of, but once I fully commit to a method, I'll feel better.  I'm still struggling with what I'll wear and how I'll pack, but it's in August so I have a little time to figure it out.  I won't feel at ease until it's all settled though.  Planning.  Seriously, it's my downfall.

Yesterday I went to pick up the registration packet for my son for kindergarten.  He starts in September.   Last summer, a full 14 months before he would start, I was looking into after-care for him. The local program, run by the YMCA, looked reasonable and affordable and seemed to have some good enrichment opportunities.  I had a plan.  I could continue my current work schedule with only a minor adjustment to my hours.  I could walk him to school, get to the office, leave only a little later than I do now and pick him up at after-care.  So imagine my surprise when I find out that they will NOT be offering after-care at HIS elementary school.  No, instead he would be transported almost a full mile across town on a Bus.  With Other Children.  Some who are OLDER than he is.

Mama-panic.  I don't want him on a bus.  He could get lost walking 10 feet from building to bus and vice versa.  What if he trips on those big bus stairs?  What if there's no one for him to sit with?  What if someone's not watching him like a hawk every single minute?  What if??

{At this time, I'd like to point out that my child has been in pre-school since he was 18 months old and that I am generally alright with the idea of him being out of my sight.  Except when I think about it, which I tend not to do.}

I'm not comfortable with the idea of him being in a large school that houses K through Grade 6.  I'm not at ease with the idea that he will probably be given some amount of responsibility to move about the school somewhat unattended, like to go to the bathroom and stuff.  In essence, I'm not OK with him growing up at all.  I can't even tell you what the pit of my stomach feels like when I consider the idea that someday he won't live here and I won't know his whereabouts at any given moment.  Someone should have mentioned to me how awful this letting go thing was when I contemplated having a child.

Oh, so back to the plans.  Yeah, so I made them and they fell apart.  Now I ONLY have until September to figure out what I'll do about my work schedule.  I don't think it's fair that I have to rethink my schedule to accommodate an entire school district and YMCA.  Honestly...

I wish someone would have told me just how much control I'd have to relinquish to the Universe when I had a child.  Someone should have told me that I could not plan every aspect of my life (or Child's life) several months or years in advance.  Someone should have...  What's that you say?  Robert Burns and John Lennon told me?  Yeah?  Well... whatever.  [Crosses arms.  Stomps off.]

Edited to add:  Comments are turned off on this post because it was getting killed with spam.

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