It’s Day 2 and I’m back at it again with a fresh blog! What a streak!
First, let me start with a HUGE thank you to those who dropped in to read my post from yesterday. I wasn’t thrilled with the way it came out, but I received some encouraging words from friends and readers saying they were happy to see a new post. It still shocks me when people tell me they enjoyed a post and it was something they could relate to, or got them through the day. Hearing that pushes me forward and I’m forever grateful. You’re all the best!
Today’s writing prompt is an interesting one: When is the last time you did something brave? What happened?
Damn, BlogHer, why you gotta make me feel feelings and shit?
When I was about 4 years old, I started figure skating. Looking like a calf attempting its first steps, my ankles bent at dangerous angles, ready to snap at any second. I was not the picture of natural talent. Continue reading “Father Nose Best”→
For the past two weeks, I haven’t had to fight with the fitted sheet on my mattress. Specifically, the upper left corner.I simply pull the covers down and get into bed. No more tugging, pulling, inadvertently bending a nail back as I plead with the elastic to please, please, stay the fuck down for one goddamn night.For almost two years, I’ve engaged in this nightly boudoir battle, each morning waking to defeat. Suddenly, one morning, it was over. The sheet stayed down, compliant in its position. At first I was thrilled. FINALLY! As the nights ticked by, my celebratory mood turned sour. The left corner is mocking me. Continue reading “See You In 183 Days”→
Today is our eight year wedding anniversary. Crazy, right??
That was the first thought that popped into my head this morning when I woke up, and it made me smile. Such good memories! You are dressed in a beautiful wedding gown with flawless hair and makeup. People fawning all over you, taking pictures. The only thing you had to do was show up! When does that ever happen? We were surrounded by lots of loving friends and family, ready to have a huge party and celebrate this awesome day.
When I was at work the other day, I got a text from my boyfriend. At first, I wasn’t sure what I was looking at. It was a picture, but it was hard to see what it was. I clicked on it to enlarge, and there it was: it was a picture of poop, floating in a toilet.
I was ecstatic.
This was a historic moment, and I wanted to share it with someone. Grabbing my phone, I intended to show my co-worker, sitting behind me. Halfway out of my seat, I realized it probably wasn’t the greatest idea. (Still not my worst, either).
“Is this some weird kind of scat fetish?”
I should probably tell you those turds belonged to his 3 and a half year old son, who is in the midst of potty training.
How did this become my life?
It started a little over a year ago, when I first met my boyfriend. Both new to stand-up comedy, we met at an open mic. I thought he was hilarious, adorable, smart, charming. He had a job, a car, and his own place. (You wouldn’t believe how difficult it was finding someone who met those three basic requirements.) He was everything I wanted in a partner, except for one major obstacle: he had a kid.
Full disclosure: I never wanted a relationship with someone who had kids. In fact, it was kind of a deal breaker. I could barely handle one adult relationship; how could I deal with a child? In my mind, dating a man with kids meant not doing what I want, when I wanted. It meant sacrificing time, attention. It meant I couldn’t be selfish. That’s not an easy admission. But, after some serious self-reflection, I decided to break my own rules and give the relationship a chance.
Once we had been seeing each other for a while, he decided to take the next step and introduce me to his son. I was petrified. I really liked him and didn’t want the relationship to end. But, what if his son didn’t like me? What if he didn’t like me with his son? Even worse, what if I didn’t like his son?? These thoughts scared the proverbial shit out of me. I wasn’t sure if I was ready for that kind of commitment.
I was wrong.
Of course, his son is beyond adorable and I can’t believe I ever questioned my decision. I’m having the time of my life. I look forward to seeing him, hearing his tiny (yet very loud) voice shout absurd declarations, mostly about needing more apple juice. Even the dog, who could care less about us, gets excited that he’ll be chasing him around the house for a week.
Gone are my days of day drinking and lounging around in my free time. Instead, we plan days and weekends with trips to the park, children’s museums, looking for bugs, monster truck shows, spontaneous glow stick parties, and digging in sandboxes. He makes up hilarious stories and has us laughing all the time.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned has been to trust my heart, not my head. If I never gave this single dad a chance, I would have been one giant turd.
This past weekend, I had about an hour and a half of uninterrupted television time. It’s Easter season and I was trying to get in that cheery, “mob kills a man who then comes back from the dead to save your soul” mood. I found myself settling on the critically-acclaimed HBO series, Six Feet Under. Yes, the same Six Feet Under that premiered in 2001. I know, I’m a bit of a late bloomer.
For those of you who DON’T know what the show is about (mom), it depicts the Fischer family, whose family business is running a funeral home. There is the overbearing wife and mother, Ruth. David, the neurotic, perfection seeking, closeted middle child. Claire, who is a late-teen/early twenty-something who’s only concern in life is getting high and living recklessly. Lastly, there’s Nate. He’s the eldest son, the one who escaped to Seattle and away from death. Alas, he didn’t get too far. Why? Oh, because (14-YEAR-LATE-SPOILER ALERT!), the patriarch of the family dies in a car accident and he now needs to run the business.
What was interesting to me as I watched was how much I could relate. It wasn’t that my family ran a funeral home. It was the sudden and tragic loss of the father, and what happens after that. I’ve written about this loss before, but more on funny stories of him when he was alive. I’ve never really written much about him dying and what happened after that.
While I watched the episode, I was flooded with the memories of thinking how absurd life is in the face of death. There’s a great scene when Claire gets the call from her brother. It’s Christmas day, and she’s supposed to be home with her family. Instead, she chose to go hang out at a friend’s house to smoke crystal meth for the first time. Suddenly, in an instant, everything changed. Instead of enjoying her high, she had to literally tell her friends, “Sorry, can’t stay. My dad got hit by a bus and now he’s dead.”
I totally related. (Well, except the high on crystal meth part). For me, I was at a party the night he died and had gotten home about 15 minutes before my mother called me. I wasn’t exactly in the best frame of mind. Nothing sobers you up more than getting that phone call late at night.
My dad died on May 18th, 2001. When I think back to that time, what I really remember is how confused I was. I recall thinking how strange it was that the following day was beautiful, sunny. It was the end of my junior year at college and I was already in the process of moving back home for the summer. One of my roommates was helping me because I was completely useless. We were driving on Route 95, steadily passing cars in traffic. I remember looking out the window and thinking, “How are people driving along, moving on with their lives?” I couldn’t wrap my head around that concept, that people were going about their lives. Didn’t they KNOW that my father died? How can that woman be laughing with her friends? Or that man, casually pumping gas, on his way to work? Didn’t they understand that this was all ridiculous? My processing abilities were gone. Nothing made sense. I had to focus on the trivial things because it was the only thing that grounded me. “What kind of dress should I wear to bury my father?” or “Should I get my nails done? I don’t want to have ugly nails when I’m BURYING MY FATHER.”
It was an out-of-body experience, like I was moving under water. I don’t remember crying much. My instinct was to get through it, move on, don’t dwell. If I thought about it, I would crash. I busied myself with the details of the funeral. Who was doing what? Where were we going after? Anything other than thinking about the loss my family endured.
There are a lot of details that go into a funeral. A LOT. You never think about it; why would you? You have to make so many decisions at a time when you don’t even know how to have a coherent thought. It’s expensive, time sensitive, sad and scary. And….also hilarious.
My family and were at the funeral home, picking out the casket and writing the obituary. We had covered all the important things, but needed to finalize a few details. One of those details was what kind of prayer cards we wanted for the wake. You may recall, my mother is a devout Roman Catholic, so there was definitely going to be a religion-heavy theme. My mother, two older brothers and I were all taken to the office of the funeral home to go over the options. I was at the end, sitting next to my middle brother. The funeral director was the nicest guy in the world; quiet, comforting. He explained that he had an album of cards that he would show us, and to pick out our favorites. Page after page, he pointed out the names of the cards and a brief synopsis.
“This is the Virgin Mary. The reading is of finding salvation in death.”
“St. Francis and a prayer for peace.”
“Head of Christ……..”
Jesus does not find this funny.
I lost it. I knew it was going to happen, but I hoped it wouldn’t. I could feel it coming out of me and there was no stopping it. I had the world’s worst case of church giggles. It was awful, and I knew my mother was going to kill me, but I couldn’t hold it in. Maybe it was that this man was kneeling in front of us, holding a photo album of cards with weird bible verses and saying, “Head of Christ”, like he was offering up a fine wine. Then, out of the corner of my tear-filled eye, I could see my brother cracking. Hard. The two of us are convulsing, laughing directly in his face. He’s continuing on…like a BOSS. It wasn’t long until my mother and other brother looked at the two of us and had to relent. The more I tried to apologize, the harder I laughed. Finally, the funeral director closed the book and gave us a few minutes to compose ourselves. I don’t remember what we picked out. I didn’t care.
It’s been 14 years, but feels like yesterday. I’ve learned a lot from my loss; it’s ok to feel sad, confused, and alone.
….and it’s also ok to laugh in a funeral director’s face.
Yesterday was “International Women’s Day”, so of course I made a snarky comment about celebrating in the kitchen. I don’t believe in God, or karma, or any of those things, but I woke up today feeling like a pile of poop threw up another pile of poop. I think Gloria Alred put a curse on me. I got about 3 hours of sleep total. It was awful, especially since I was laying next to my boyfriend who seemed to be having the best sleep of his life. I’m pretty sure he smiled at one point. I was miserable.
Being the independent woman I am, I woke up and dragged myself into the shower (read: I have to go to work because I don’t have a sugar daddy). Every 20 seconds or so, I had that gun-to-your-head decision: puke or poop? Absolutely awful. Somehow, I managed to get out of the house and into work. As soon as I stepped in, my coworker literally said, “Yikes. You look like you’re still asleep.” That just translates into, “You look like garbage.” Awesome. Continue reading “Dr. Feelgood”→
Holidays are tough. For me, Christmas is the worst. It’s not because of the presents. I don’t have any particularly memorable Christmas dinner memories. My family is small, so we didn’t have a huge party.
What I miss the most can be summed up in this picture:
My dad and this amazing outfit on Christmas morning. Everyone, take note. THAT is the look on Christmas. Bathrobe, white tee, no pants, pipe. If there was a shit to give, my father did not have one. He would make his instant coffee (Sanka, of course), get his pipe, and park it on the couch where he would unceremoniously unwrap ties and homemade ashtrays.
Then, my dad suddenly of a heart attack when I was 21 years old.
Hey! Guess what?? My blog just turned one today! Let us all sit back and bask in the glory of this.
Ok, we’re done now. Let’s not make this weird, ok?
Speaking of turning one, I’ve had a lot of friends whose kids are having first birthdays lately. That means a lot of cute invites to parties, trying to figure out who needs what, which kids hates Thomas the Train, who loves him, can this kid play with plastic toys? Are his parents going to have real cake or some gluten free shit? Can I eat peanuts at this party?? It can all be very daunting.
While I love that most, if not all, of my friends have kids, I can’t but help feel like the walls are closing in on me as each year ticks by. (I’ll spare you the imagery that just popped into my head when I typed the former sentence). Slowly, I’ve become the one, if not only, woman in my group that doesn’t have a child. It’s been happening for a few years now. At first, I hardly noticed. In fact, for a very long period in my life, I was adamant against having kids. I didn’t feel like it was something that I needed in my life. Both my ex and I were on the same page; we would just have dogs and it would be the same thing.