Hear ye, hear ye

I’m getting married.

You hear me? Married. MARRIED!

I’m not sure I ever really believed I’d do such a thing.

Once upon a time I was in high school when marriage was entirely abstract and I had dreams about Husbands and Children but in reality I knew I had to go to college and do some other shit first so it was a nice thought but nothing too pressing.

And then some boys told me they loved me but mostly they didn’t mean it. And that’s totally fine.

And then one time I got knocked up and went around telling my family (and myself) that I was going to get married to the man whose child I was having, even though he hadn’t asked me to or ever actually exhibited any interest in doing such a thing. I told my folks that so they wouldn’t freak out so much over the whole unwed mother thing. And to soothe my own aching heart, which wanted so badly to believe that I was intentionally building a cozy family life, starting right there in my uterus and branching out to the people around me.

Didn’t happen. And that’s perfectly fine too.

None of that made any sense until I met the man I was meant to marry.

Love came to me out of nowhere. I had tried to remain open to love after a period of feeling completely deflated and unworthy, in a relationship where we didn’t care much for each other at all and resentments built up and curdled like cups of milk left in the sun. Insanely, wonderfully, I did not even have to wait that long or try that hard to be loved once I freed myself from that toxic relationship. It makes no sense to me. It blows my mind. I’m so grateful. I left the bad shit behind and got out on my own and this lil dude came along right away, all funny and real and sincere and woke and smart and handsome and kind, so insanely kind, and he was over here crooning and playing guitar too. He was perfect in every way for me and instead of making me guess about his heart, he let me in and let me love him. And he loved me back, no reservations. I was guarded at first and tried not to fall too hard but we both got stuck on each other real fast. Hot damn.

I knew early that the thing we had was special. At the time I was trying to sit on it so as to not show all my cards but it did not take long for me to understand that our chemistry was rare. We didn’t have to try too hard; it was just ridiculously easy to love each other in ways big and small. I’ve never had a man look at me and be totally delighted by all the shades of my ridiculousness. His kindness, encouragement, empathy and understanding: I knew six months in that he was the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I’m not sure when he came to that conclusion. I’m honestly not sure how I’ve convinced him to do this crazy thing with me; I sincerely do not feel worthy.

A hundred other dudes would have been weirded out by the fact that I have a 5-year-old. This one made it his mission to build something meaningful with my son. Something not superficial. I watch them together and am awed by how quickly they’ve built a bond. Mom is usually pretty serious but Richard goofs around and wrestles and plays mucsic and buys water guns. When Holden and I FaceTime when he’s at his dad’s house, he always asks where Richard is.

It’s not always easy, the life we are living, but my heart feels swollen and full most of the time.

I am eaten up with gratitude and so crazy excited to make this thing official. I’ve waited a long time to pair up with someone who I feel is an equal partner.

I’m excited to see where this adventure takes us.

Blogging is hard!

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“I was good at blogging and then sucked at blogging before you were even born!”

This is an actual insult that I am preparing to spit at some youngstuff should I ever need to.

Seriously, people, when did this get so hard? I started two other posts tonight but then hit walls with both where I just realized, “Nope! I don’t have the gumption necessary to hit publish on either topic!” And it’s not like I’m over here rebooting War and Peace or anything. Sad!*

So anyway in lieu of anything actually real, here is a photo of a caladium that I potted and that promptly withered up and wasted away (to return, I hope, once it settles in to its new home).

* Historical footnote, for aliens or archaeologists reading this in the future: At some point in 2016/2017, everyone started punctuating everything with a one-word insult followed by an exclamation point as a way to show our allegiance to our ineloquent overlord, one Donald J. Trump.

America, I’m coining a term*

There are digital natives and there are the digimudgeons.

The digimudgeons are already over the internet.

They were clicking and dragging Geocities sites before most people even had dial-up in their own homes.

They joined Facebook when it was a college-only site. The signed up for Twitter in 2007 before their bosses and families were on there.

They miss Television Without Pity and Google Reader.

And they are pretty sure the social web is destroying the fabric of reality.

*I googled and in true digimudgeon fashion, this term has already been coined.

Grey areas

grey areas

The thing for ladies to do these days is put shocks of pastel in their hair. You see it everywhere, across race and class lines. Lilacs and pinks and teals and robin egg blues. A sea of bobbing cotton candy, as far as the eye can see.

Not me. It reminds me too much of my high school, where girls would bleach their hair with peroxide and use Kool-Aid paste to color it a rusty red-orange when their mothers wouldn’t buy them real hair dye.

This morning I colored my own mop brown. Just plain old brown, like it used to be, before the grey crept in. It started taking over last year. It’s hard to say if it was circumstantial or if it’s just age. Maybe both.

I remember being so upset with my mom while I was a pre-teen when she openly contemplated coloring her greying hair. I felt like it was a betrayal of who she really was. My mom had this beautiful, lightly salt-and-peppered head of impossibly curly hair. Hugely curly hair. My mom wasn’t the sort of woman who was preoccupied with capturing and holding her youth hostage. My mom was aging beautifully and would never try to fool anyone. That’s what I thought at the time. That hair color was a lie.

I was a kid. I didn’t have any idea that the years would come for me too, some day, before I was ready.

Now, of course, I would tell my mother, “Do whatever you want! Be happy! Be free!” Life’s too short to let a sullen pre-teen make your decisions for you.

Mom never did color her hair. Still never has. Now it’s nearly all grey. Still huge and curly. Beautiful, of course, just like her.

As for me? I’m addicted to the boxed stuff. I battle the creeping grey invasion every few months with a new box, a new set of disposable gloves, a new chemistry set inside. Sometimes I think I’ll just leave myself be and let nature take its course and try to live like one of those fabulously sophisticated women with long, grey locks. But I am not those fabulously sophisticated women. I am still trying to get comfortable in this earthbound body and here it is changing shit up on me.

The grey got to me before I was ready. I’ve got to beat it back, like a fire. I’ve got to live the lie. The lie for me is more true than the grey.

2013 is a blink away from over, somehow

heading home

I spent a lot of time this year working on a project that more or less fizzled out when I realized it was not going to make it. It was one of those projects that took over everything in my head, one where I thought, “Yeah, this is the one. This is going to change everything.” And then it’s not the one and it doesn’t change everything, and that’s okay. It stings a little to have to take my lumps and move on, and it means I lost a lot of months to a thought process that ended up not getting me where I thought I needed to be, but that’s how life works and that’s how we big-brained monkeys learn and it’s evolution, baby. I learned things and I think I’m better for it in several ways, although I’m still not where I want to be and I’ve got a lot more grey hairs sprouting like tiny fireworks from my scalp than I did this time last year. (I stood in front of the mirror the other day and tried to pluck the ones I could see, and then I found a patch, a whole village of them, living together, and had to stop plucking or risk a bald spot. That is a corner turned.)

In some ways I feel ancient and world-weary and in other ways I feel like I have another life that’s incubating just below the surface and waiting to hatch when conditions are perfect. I’ve been super productive for a few weeks now, with little bursts of creativity here and there that have surprised and delighted me. I’m also quite exhausted and, in strong lighting, I look like a nightmare. I should get more sleep and drink more water. But there aren’t enough hours, are there?

In a couple of weeks I will turn 32, which is an age that is respectable and boring. I feel 32 in every possible way. I’m not complaining, necessarily.

Saturday morning on the porch

On a Saturday morning in the middle of October, you will sit on your porch and let your coffee warm itself in the sun. Your child will be nearby, toddling around in a shirt and a diaper, peeking through the shrubs to watch the traffic — constant, hurried, loud. The cat will be somewhere around you, eating spider webs and green things, relishing his momentary freedom. You’ll be planning your day, trying to plot out showers and travel times and parking spots and meals and naps. You’ll look at your child’s head full of hair and wonder how the spinning globe we’re riding on got us all to this one moment in time, and you’ll sip your coffee again, its warmth extended for a little while by the sun’s efforts.

Existential crisis, party of whee

My mind is this great humming butter churn of a thing, moving unformed chunks of ideas around slowly and with great struggle.

I have nothing to write about. It is driving me fucking bonkers. I have been sitting here staring at this screen, trying to make it happen, trying to remember something, anything, worth sharing and I have nothing. Everything is extremely mundane. I can’t just write about my kid all the time, cool as he is. I can’t write about work, insane as it is. That’s it, though. I don’t have anything else. I’m not overly happy or overly sad about anything. I just continue to have absolutely nothing to fucking talk about and I think it’s time to pronounce the blog dead because maybe then I will get my mojo back.

I can’t keep writing about not writing.

*&^&^%#$#@$%#$&*^()((&*^%$%@#!#$@$#%$*&(

OK. Now that I got that out of my system, I am just going to write. Some stream-of-consciousness shit helps unclog the mind, doesn’t it? I swear I think I have done this before here and yes I did just search my archives for an example and I came up short.

You are going to think this is ridiculous but I just made myself cry up there, when I decided to consider killing the blog. I’m not even PMSing. I am that emotionally constipated and frustrated. This thing that is mine that used to give me such joy is such a point of stress now. Self-imposed, completely stupid stress! No one cares! Once Google Reader is dead, there might be four people who ever remember to come by here and they know how fucking crazy I am anyway and don’t expect anything from me!

I’m, like, three months behind on Holden’s month-by-month posts. I feel a ridiculous amount of guilt about that, which is sort of making me feel like I shouldn’t write about anything else until I get those out of the way. Stupid.

Is it living in Nashville that has sapped me? Because crazy shit used to happen to me and around me all the time in Memphis. Nothing happens here except sometimes I get irrationally angry at a song Pandora will play. I don’t ever see or interact with people except for the ones I live with or the ones I work with, and all those people are off limits from my (public) online smartassery. I want to tell stories about all you delightful weirdos, dammit! Middle management has taken that from me.

I was thinking earlier about how I have been a middle manager at heart my whole life. How I always wanted to do roll call at school and take names when the teacher left the room. I always wanted to please the authority figures in life so they would know that secretly, despite my age, I was one of them. This explains why I never snuck out of the house or blew curfew without calling my parents and letting them know I’d be a smidge late.

Being a manager, though, has been an interesting trip. I have always always always been nonconfrontational and uncomfortable with delivering bad news or having to provide discipline or critique. It’s the people pleaser in me who is crippled by the thought of hurting someone’s feelings or saying something that will make them like me less. Learning to be OK with people not liking me has been a lifelong struggle, even though I am POSITIVE that there have been plenty of people throughout my life who haven’t liked me. Because, as I discover every few years or so, I am a serious asshole sometimes.

So now I kind of have to get right with that asshole part of me and harness it for good. Harness it to keep people honest, to foster productivity, to pressure people to stay on track. Use it to provide a push but not too hard.

WHY AM I WRITING ABOUT WORK? OH MY GOD, NO ONE CARES.

I’m sorry.

Work is my life right now. I think about it almost obsessively. How can I be better, do better, cultivate better results?

Is it because I think I’m a terrible mother? Or do I think I’m a terrible mother because I am so focused on my career?

Ew, those feelings are sticky. Best not touch them.