Monday, November 30, 2009

In the Silence That Follows

You tell him you love him, and when he doesn't respond, you tell yourself it doesn't matter. You pretend that his silence does not make you feel like the oxygen has been sucked out of the room. You pretend you don't need to hear those words anymore.

You tell him you love him, and the sentiment goes unreturned. The words crash down between you like an anvil.

You try to remember the last time you heard those words from him, and you can't.

You tell yourself, don't cry, don't cry, goddammit don't cry. And then you cry anyway.

Because in the silence, you start to wonder if maybe you really are The Problem, after all. Maybe you are simply not lovable.

Anymore.

And even if you are lovable...if the one person you want to be with can't see it, then does anything you say or do really matter?

You consider the harsh reality that maybe he can't say "I love you" back because, well, he just doesn't.

Anymore.

Maybe he cares about you to an extent, maybe he doesn't want to hurt you. Maybe he can still be a good father to your children. But does not love you.

And you wonder, is that enough? Can a marriage survive on that?

Can you survive on that?

You do not want to think about the answer. Now it's been quiet for too long, and you can't think of anything else to say.

And so you lie there, the two of you, in the silence.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Three's are the Days

Sweet baby girl,

This is the first photo we ever took of you at home. You were our beautiful blob:

Today you are three.

You are no longer a blob. But still beautiful, in all the ways I ever imagined.

I can't wait to see what kind of young woman you become. I can't wait to see what you do next. Happy birthday, Munchkin.


Love,
Mommy

Saturday, November 28, 2009

It Tasted Great, If You Closed Your Eyes.

Every Thanksgiving, I convince myself that my inner domestic goddess does in fact exist, and that I must unleash her in the form of a new and exciting take on our traditional holiday dishes.

And every Thanksgiving, said domestic goddess slaps me upside the head and warns me that if I disturb her beauty sleep for something like that one more time, she'll make sure I forget how to boil an egg and how to use my silverware.

I know, she's such a bitch.

But as usual, I was feeling optimistic a few days before turkey day and I put together a thoughtful menu consisting of my family's most time-honored dishes. And by "my family" I mean, "The Food Network website."

I came across a Paula Deen stuffing recipe that looked just phenomenal. It looked like something in which I might like to bathe while lathering myself with sticks of butter and pork fat. See?

So Thursday morning, after I stuck the bird in the oven, I got to work trying to recreate this creation of She Who Got Whacked with Ham. I dried out two loaves of bread. I cooked sausage, celery and onion and mixed them with rice, Saltines and bread cubes. Just before I got it ready to go in the oven, it looked just like the picture above. I just about danced around the kitchen screaming at Betty Crocker to kiss my ass.

The last ingredient made me do a double-take. Seven - yes, seven - cups of chicken stock. Garsh, that seems like a lot, I thought. But heck, I'd come this far without screwing it up, right? I believe in you, Paula Deen! With a shrug and a "yeeee-HAW!", I dumped all seven cups into the pot at once.

Oh, the stuff-manity.

The entire thing turned to oatmeal before my horrified eyes. My inner domestic goddess laughed so hard she snorted apple martini out of her nose.

"Oh, no," I whispered. "Oh nooooooooo!"

"What?" said the BassMaster from the next room.

"I think I just ruined the stuffing," I sniffled.

"I'm sure it'll taste fine," he said.

"It was so much work," I said. As if to say, what is up with that? There were all these, like, STEPS and sh*t.

"Can I do anything to help?"

"No...it's just... it was so much work!"

I baked the thing for about 45 minutes longer than normal, praying it would dry itself out and resemble something more like stuffing, less like dog barf. Still, this is what I ended up with:

I know. Dog barf.

Sigh. I should have known.

On a better note, it tasted okay despite a slightly off-putting texture, and everything else I cooked turned out decent. Hope your Thanksgivings were just as happy and food-coma-inducing.

Now, if someone could just re-learn me how to boil that egg. And what is this metal stick with the pointy things on top?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Oh, Fine, I'll Just Say It

Tonight I feel very blessed.

That's right, blessed.

I do not ever use that word. It goes against the general attitude of irreverence I've been honing for almost 30 years. Plus remember, I come from the great white north, where we like to think that Life Sucks and Then You Die.

But tonight, no joke, I feel blessed. I have some great friends who have great kids, all of whom made the Munchkin's third birthday party - the first real "kid's" birthday party she's ever had - so special. I feel blessed to have these people in our lives.

Without them, this might have been a very lonely time for us. But these friends have kept the loneliness at bay with playdates, laughter, sushi and inordinate amounts of coffee.

And maybe the occasional glass of wine. Of course.

Tonight I feel blessed to have had the patience to string up birthday decorations until midnight last night, to have spent the better part of today assembling party foodage and running last-minute errands while entertaining two kids. I come from a long line of women for whom the very idea of multiasking in this way makes them claw at their own skin.

But I had fun. Imagine that.

I feel blessed to have a child who started thanking me for her party at 7:00 this morning (eight hours before said party even began) and did not stop until she fell asleep.

Which I think was, like, five minutes ago. She had a lot of sugar.

And hey, you know what, BassMaster? I even feel blessed to have you in my life. Tonight I just feel like whatever it is, we're going to be okay.

Gah, are you still reading? I'm puking all kinds of hearts and flowers tonight, huh? It's much more interesting when I bitch and complain.

But whatever, I had a good day. Daily dose of snark shall resume after these messages.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

He'll Always Have a Place in Our Hearts. And Possibly Our Sewer System.

Dearly beloved, we gather today to mourn the loss of Bob the Fish.

Bob passed away two days ago at the ripe old age of 9 months plus however long he festered at the pet store. He died gasping for air as he apparently suffocated on something he definitely was not supposed to eat peacefully in his sleep and leaves behind a bowl of water that went months without a cleaning a loving family of four.

Bob's sister discovered his lifeless body lying sideways on the bottom of his bowl, with mysterious blue fibers tangled around his gills and head like a tiny Egyptian death mask. At this time, authorities do not suspect foul play. Authorities suspect that Bob was stupid.

She immediately notified their mother, who spent ten minutes insisting that no, Bob is not stuck, what do you mean "Bob can't swim," Bob is probably just sleeping and no, you cannot brush his teeth. However, upon entering the scene, she concurred that Bob was very much not swimming and she felt kind of relieved, actually became distraught with grief.

Bob enjoyed swimming, eating on the rare occasion we remembered to feed him, and cowering behind his plastic seaweed plant when little people banged on his bowl and screamed "ARE YOU SLEEPING, BOB?!" playing with his sisters.

Services were held at the potty. In a touching memoriam, Bob's sister asked if she could pee on him and then laughed like a maniac.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Get A New "Bob" Fund, or at least that's what we'll tell people as we pocket the money for the next Starbucks excursion. Cash only, please.

Rest in piece, Bob. Don't worry, someday I'll tell the Munchkin the real reason why you "got sick" and had to "go back to the ocean to be with your mommy and daddy," which is of course that you just wanted some effing piece and quiet, already.

Your secret's safe with me, buddy.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

This Post is Brought to You By My Fourth Pot of Coffee

Wow. Is it really November?

Which, let's face it, in Retail Nazi terms means, IT'S CHRISTMAS, GIVE US YOUR PLASTIC. Ugh.

My dad came into town for a few days last week and gave me so much time to myself that by the end of the second day, I could barely remember the girls names. Or their birthdays. Or the fact that I had children at all.

I shopped. I drank lattes at odd hours of the day. My girlfriends and I ate sushi sans children, without once having to say things like, "Sit down. Sit. SIT. Sit down. SIT. ON. YOUR. BOTTOM," or "Take that spoon out of your underwear right now."

All while my dad, like a little House Elf, went around fixing things I didn't even know were broken. I came home and suddenly that door didn't stick anymore, that baby gate got remounted, all my dishes - and I mean even the dirty ones, in the dishwasher - were organized by size and shape.

It was wonderful.

Now he's gone, I've resumed my role as the kids' Designated Activity Coordinator, and I confess it feels equal parts lonely and exhausting. It's funny, you get so used to doing everything yourself, then you get a break and suddenly you realize that you've literally been too tired to realize how tired you are.

Oh, and Daylight Savings Time is not helping. Kitt is so messed up by it that she sprouts devil horns at 4:45PM, and is down for the night by 5:00.

And of course, early to bed means dear-lord-you-cannot-possibly-be-awake-I-still-hear-crickets-it's-too-damn-early to rise.

Mommy officially needs a caffeine IV. Maybe I should put that on my Christmas list.