Apr 30, 2006

The Long and Winding Whine

See title. Don't say you weren't warned!

A little background: My family has always made a very big deal of birthdays - balloons, streamers, chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, etc. I've been married 8 years and 50 weeks now; he's fully aware of this and usually tries even though he'd prefer to ignore all birthdays.

So, as you may have noted, my birthday was last Friday. No, you know... let's back up to the week prior to my birthday...

Two people are sitting at a dinner table. It's Friday night, April 14th.
Man: So, what would you like for your birthday?
Woman: (thinking, what the hell are you asking now for, you're not going to have time to get anything - particularly since just about anything I could think of to ask for would need to be ordered) Um. I don't know. I'd ask for the new Stargate S8 and S9 DVDs but I don't think they're out yet. (thinks some more, heck of a time to ask, you *know I can't think of stuff like that at the drop of a hat)
Man: (changes topic)

Fast forward to Friday last (April the 21st)...

Woman: (hmmm, card, small cake - diet alert, diet alert - no balloons, no streamers. Well, we are going away. Maybe he'll make more of a deal when we're at my folks tomorrow. Hey, where is he anyway?)
Man: (comes in)
Woman: Thanks for the card, honey! Come have some cake.
Man: Can't. I have to go vacuum the car for our trip. *You should eat it.
Woman: Oh.
(contemplating the minicake) Are you sure? (hopefully) I can wait; I don't mind.
Man: No - go ahead! I'll be back later.
Woman: (disappointed. wheee - birthday cake by myself. Woo freakin' hoo. Oh, I feel so special now. Oh shut up.)

Fast forward to Saturday, April 22nd.

Woman: Thanks for the present, Mom!
Mom: Don't forget to remind me to transfer the money!
Woman: Ok. (well, now, *that would be awkward -- excuse me, have you given me my birthday present yet?, but it was a nice thought for her to think of flying money. Looks like John *didn't get me anything after all. Oh. Well, maybe next Saturday when we go to dinner.)

Fast forward to Saturday, April 29th.

Woman: (unable to stand it any longer, coyly) So, what'd you get me for my birthday??
Man: Well, you said you didn't want anything... (awkward pause) So, what do you want?
Woman: (sorry, too late now)

Which means, of course, that I didn't get anything. And, as I recall, I didn't say I didn't want anything; I said I couldn't think of anything at that particular moment.

Would it kill him to put some thought into it? This is why we don't exchange Christmas gifts anymore. I know it's hard for him, that's why I suggested, from the beginning of our marriage, that we not exchange anniversary presents either, because I didn't want him to have to struggle to think of something 2 weeks after my birthday. This is the ONE opportunity each year he has to give me a present. And he can't fuckin' be bothered.

You know, I keep my ears open throughout the year for things that might be good for his birthday -- a little mental "gee, that'd be a good present for John" list. I've mentioned a couple of times over the last month, month and a half, or so that I'd lost one of my pearl earrings, the earrings I most often wear. I even asked me to help me find it. (I dropped it while standing at my dresser and it vanished. Of course, did I think of pearl earrings when he asked me, a week before my birthday, what I wanted? No. But, you know, he *could keep his own mental list.)

And, you know, this isn't about the stuff because, frankly, the best gift he could have possibly given me would have cost nothing except his time. He could have offered to let me have an entire day to myself. One where he took care of the baby the entire day, took care of all the fussing, the diapers, the feedings, the changing, the getting up and the putting to bed. He knows my biggest frustration is that I can never accomplish anything because, just as I get into anything, I get interrupted. To have an entire day where I could do whatever I wanted would be amazing.

I had better birthdays when I was single. At least, then, you *expect you're going to eat your birthday cake alone. (And, yes, I did make myself a birthday cake when I was single.)

I know, I know. I should count my blessings. And I do. But, you know, this makes me wonder where I stand on his list. Clearly not anywhere near the top. He just can't be bothered. And that hurts.

Apr 25, 2006

You Know, To Be King You Don't Need A Castle

I was on the way to the grocery, by myself (this is what passes for fun in my life these days!), listening to the Bosstones. And this song came up. Everybody's better than I am; I think everybody's better than me. And I'm thinking to myself, how sad it is that people get so down on themselves.

Not 1/2 hr. later, I'm washing the baby's bottles in the sink and pondering how, while my brother, sister, and I all have pretty good voices, my brother and sister are better than I am.

Add all this to graymama's post at the beauty of gray (link at sidebar) earlier today about making judgments and my reply to same that we need to make judgments to survive but that we should endeavor to make them based upon facts and not emotion.

Mix and stir, stir and mix.

I'm not sure that's possible. I think self-judgment is inherently unreliable. Either we think too ill or too well of ourselves -- and sometimes both, depending on the area we are assessing.

Everybody's acting like I don't matter; everybody's in on the act. Too many of them to avoid, it could be that I'm paranoid. I matter, as a matter of fact.

As a tangent to this, I was marveling at irony in how it often seems that things we are fondest of doing are often not the things we are best at. And the things we are best at are often the things we like least to do. Just doesn't seem quite fair.

Apr 23, 2006

A Bad Case of Anthropomorphism

Well, the 39th anniversary of my birth (Friday) was really rather uneventful, as was the 2nd anniversary of my attainment of my pilot's license (Saturday).

I got to spend Friday first working, then frantically packing, then riding 6.5 hours in a car with a motion sick 7 month old. Woo hoo. I did get a Cinnabon at the Vince Lombardi Service Plaza though. That was pretty tasty.

Saturday, my mother and I cleaned her attic in preparation for putting their house on the market. It's so hard to throw things away. I am envious of my sister who can pitch just about anything -- no emotional attachment to items she no longer uses. Me, I remember when I used the item and how I felt then and what my life was like. At any rate, Katie is now the owner of her great-grandmother's doll bed, built by her great, great grandfather in 1915, among other family items.

I think that's my problem -- I love history; I love using family things. That and a bad case of anthropomorphism. Forget the secret life of bees... it's the secret life of family heirlooms. It's as if they are more than inanimate objects but are self-aware in my mind. I feel cruel throwing things away. (A plant has to be brown from stem to every last leaf for me to throw it out and even then I feel like a plant murderer!) It also feels like, by rejecting a family item, I am rejecting the family member that used/made the item.

We came home today. (Aren't you just thrilled to pieces?) The trip only took 6 hours this way.

I was going to gripe about my birthday but I think I'll restrain myself. Or at least wait for another post to do it. I'm too tired to work up a full head of steam at the moment.
;-) (You can sigh in relief now!)

Apr 20, 2006

The Lilacs Are Coming! The Lilacs Are Coming!

Or, more accurately, the lilacs have budded. I am beyond thrilled. I planted those lilacs the spring after we'd moved into the house because the house I grew up in had lilacs on all the corners. When I planted them, they were only about a foot tall; they're taller than I am (5' 7") now. They were supposed to bloom 3 years ago (according to lilac lore) and I'd pretty much given up hope.

I went out to look at my garden today and glanced at the lilacs with the usual dose of frustration when I noticed some frondy bits. I looked closer. I did a jig while holding the baby.

Ok, so I didn't do a jig. I'm just not coordinated enough for that. But I did rejoice in heart and soul.

Apr 19, 2006

It's an Idiom, Idiot.

A plague on both your houses
often quoted as a pox on both your houses

Frustrated curse on both sides of an argument.
The phrase is commonly applied to criticize warring
factions whose rivalry brings ruin to others.

From Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

MERCUTIO I am hurt.
A plague o' both your houses! I am sped.
Is he gone, and hath nothing?

id·i·om n.

1. A speech form or an expression of a given
language that is peculiar to itself grammatically or
cannot be understood from the individual meanings of
its elements, as in "keep tabs on".

Cut and pasted from these sources:

None of which means I wish my daughter, my cat, or my
husband any true ill (Although I might wish my husband a
temporary itchy rash somewhere inconvenient) no matter w
hat my husband thinks.

And I am furious that he'd believe I would truly wish my
infant daughter, no matter how frustrating at times, ill.

Apr 18, 2006

High Dudgeon

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to stop being cross? Even when you know you're being cross and you know it's just making people around you not want to be around you which is making you even more cross, it's really difficult to stop. The world has it in for me. It always has. It always will.

It's so wonderfully, awfully delicious to sink into a gray and skulking dungeon of general crankiness. The world has it in for me. It always has. It always will. Meanwhile, the world starts noticing the cumulonimbus skirting your hairline and withdraws. See? The world has it in for me. It always has. It always will.

It so addictive to wallow in the slovenly mud of self-debasement. Even knowing that I am doing it to myself, I continue to strain to hear the drumbeat. The world has it in for me. It always has. It always will.

Apr 11, 2006

Conference Crying?

Ok, so I'm sitting here at work. The company is having a company wide conference call at noon. No problem. I'll call in from upstairs even though I'm in the same building as most of the company. That way the baby won't be a bother to everyone. Easy. Just push the "mute" button if she gets fussy. My co-worker gives me the phone number to call and I dial in.

Talk, talk, talk.

Baby's getting fussy.

Oops, baby's getting really fussy. Better mute.

Oh shit, there's no mute button on this phone. WTF, there has to be a mute button. What phone doesn't have a mute button??

::turns phone around carefully::

There's still no mute button.

::hears steps on the stairs::

Great, it's so disturbing they sent my co-worker up because the baby's bothering people and I can't find the mute button.

Hmmm... he can't find the mute button either. Crap. I'll try to cover the mic with my thumb.

Ack, she's still fussing. Shhhhhhh, baby!!!!!

This isn't working!

::hears steps on the stairs::

Great, we must really be disturbing the call.

Oh, thank God, she's got a pamphlet - please tell me that's the phone booklet!!

It is - woohoo!!



Apr 2, 2006

Personal Trainer

Who'd'a thunk it? There are personal trainers out there that will come to your house for little more than you would pay them at the gym. And you don't have to leave your house. And you don't have to buy a gym membership. And you don't have to leave your house. And you can work with the equipment you have. Did I mention you don't have to leave your house?

I am making the first staggering steps to losing the baby weight. It is painfully (if deliciously and lazily) obvious that I need someone to keep me accountable, someone who will make sure I'm doing the exercises that will make most efficient use of the minimal amount of time I have available to exercise. I don't want to live the rest of my life being forced to shop at the fat chicks shops. (Yes, I know I should do it simply for wanting to be healthy but, frankly, that's just not as a big a motivator as not being able to find pants to fit my thighs. Sorry.)