July 09, 2007

Internet notoriety

Holding each other in the darkness. Kissing.

And then he says...

"Did you brush your teeth?"

"Did I- what!?", my hand leaps up to cover my mouth. "YES! Of course I did! Why? How could you just SAY that in the middle of kissing me?"

I jump from bed, furiously grabbing my tooth brush, AGAIN, then rinsing with mouthwash for good measure.

"Sweetie, come on, it's not a big deal, I just thought you maybe forgot."

"Forgot? Seriously? It was so bad you couldn't just let it go for the 12 minutes we needed?"

"Hey, be nice. Maybe 15 minutes. It wasn't that bad, really. Just seemed like you hadn't brushed since this morning. And, you know, we had garlic with dinner. Maybe you forgot, it could happen. Sometimes I forget."

As he talks on, digging the hole deeper and deeper around him, I shake with outraged laughter.

"You're really still going with this? You realize that the more we talk about my stanky breath, the less chance you have of getting any kind of action, right?"

"Awww.... come on, it wasn't that bad." He tries to reach for me, pull me back in.

"Seriously, mister, you need to hush up."

Laughing, we lean towards each other, the potential of the moment starts to return. Then, just as our lips meet again, still laughing a bit...

***THHHBBBBBBBPPPPPPTTTTTTTT***

"Oops. Sooooorrry. Excuse me... you made me laugh, I was all relaxed. No! Don't go over there! Come on, sweetie... you brushed your teeth and everything!"

"Oh. My. GOD. I love you, babe, but the moment is over. Gone. Done. Go to sleep."

Silence for a moment, heavy sighing from his side of the bed.

Then, "This is going on the blog, isn't it?"

"It is SO going on the blog. Good night."

July 06, 2007

Why I go to Starbucks

Inside my life, it's a mess. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, psychologically... basically any "-ly" you can get, I've managed to trash it up a little.

In the literal sense, there's my car. Anna's car seat is full of crumbs, crackers, raisins, sand and an ever-so-faint leftover smell of vomit. Silvia's has dried spit-up on the straps; well, actually, on everything. There are dirty blankets, old shoes, burp clothes, Kleenex, baby carriers, old crackers, grass, science experiment sippy cups, and on and on and on.

It's a dumpster on wheels.

And that's just my car. Apply that image to my mind, my closet, the playroom, my relationships, and you'll start to get a better idea of the chaos that is me.

I don't want to be a mess. I try not to be, I really do. Sometimes I even manage to keep it all together. But even on the good days, I'm having trouble. I seem to be spending a lot of time doubting myself, my fitness as a mother, a wife and a friend. I try to laugh it off, shake myself and just get through the day, but a fine web of cracks has broken through my armor. I've never been all that tough, you see, and lately I feel about as formidable as a feather.

I keep trying to figure out why this is so hard. Other people do what I do, and more, every day and they seem to keep it together just fine. That line of thinking always leads me down a path I would love to never see again, a path that I can't seem to get off. Maybe I can't do this because I'm weak, I'm less than all the other people that are just fine, I'm flawed in a way that they are not.

Because every time I start to feel like I've gotten on top of my life, within days or even just hours, I fall backwards, breathless and out of control, feeling lost and a little more helpless than the time before.

This week it started with a gray fog, settling down over my vision, muting colors, blurring priorities, numbing emotions. How it's possible to look out at a summer day, full of life and heat and color, and see only dry wind and brown grass, I don't know. But that's exactly what my sight has been limited to.

Then every time the girls would cry, I'd flinch a little, then everything I hadn't done that I needed to do started to become, instead of just a list in my head, a physical obstacle that I could not walk around.

So what did I do? Well, as always, I turned first to Kurt. He's my center, he keeps me grounded, brings me back when I feel like I've gone too far away. We're trying to get through this together and I'm absolutely convinced that I'd have to be locked up if it wasn't for him.

But then, after a reality-check and (yes, I'll admit it) an ego-boost from my rock of a husband, I did the next best thing. I went to Starbucks.

I know it sounds stupid. "Starbucks? That makes you feel better? Seriously?"

But here's how it works. Internally, I'm all messed up, I'm chaotic and stormy and inconsistent. I look through the glass into that little coffee shop that sits on every corner of every town across the country. It's the same, wherever you go. Warm, inviting earth tones envelope the people inside. They sit in big comfy chairs or around small bistro tables, relaxed and contained, sipping from white cups filled with poise and culture and intellectual thought.

Usually I'm just hitting the drive-thru, looking into that enlightened atmosphere from the confines of disorder and confusion that is my car. The girls might be crying and I've got "Twinkle Little Star" playing on a constant loop. The barista (see, she's not even just the sales girl, she's a barista!) hands me my drink through the window with a smile, and with it she hands a little bit of what's inside.

It is a promise land of everything I lack. Peace, uniformity, cerebral stimulation all packaged neatly up as a frothy hot beverage. I sip, close my eyes, feeling the heat from the coffee course down into my body. It's not just espresso and milk, it's fortification against the haze that clouds my vision.

I know it's all just a lie...but it's a really good, convincing lie and I'll take it.

July 02, 2007

It's so OBVIOUS

Why can't men listen? I mean, come on! Women, in general, are very clear and concise and up front about our needs and desires. Women are the natural communicators of the species. I just don't get why guys have to tune out half of the information and then go into full offended-dignity-mode when we point out that they completely missed EVERYTHING.

Here's an example. Sunday afternoon, a miracle happened. Anna went down for her nap and then suddenly, Silvia decided she was tired, too! They went to sleep AT THE SAME TIME. It was amazing. I came out of the nursery and stood for a minute, reveling in the total quiet that was cradling the house.

The plan of action for the afternoon was clear; both kids were sleeping and Kurt and I were alone in the house! It was nooner time!

I went downstairs to the kitchen, smiled, and gave my hubbie The Look.

"I'm going to head to the grocery store while the girls are asleep, is there anything you need?"

OHMYGOD. What was WRONG with this guy?! I sent him The Look again, and since he was being extra oblivious, I also went over and gave him the Extra Tight Hug.

"Ooooof! Careful, sweetie, my back's sore today."

At this point, I started to get mad. I hate it when he just totally shoots me down like that. He needed to apologize to me, which of course he would when he saw how much he had hurt my feelings. I headed over to the couch and plopped down in a Major Pout, waiting for his mea culpa.

And waiting.

And waiting.

He was in the kitchen, still making his stupid grocery list! I was sitting on the couch in the other room, clearly very upset at his cruel rebuke of my sexual advance, and he was just ignoring it! By this point I was totally furious.

"Okay, sweetheart, I'll be back in a little bit..." He looked at my face more closely. "Ummm... is everything okay?"

"Yes."

"Oh, okay. You're sure?" He was standing there like everything was okay! What was wrong with this guy?

"Yes. I'm FINE."

"Okay, I'll be back in a bit." And then he had the nerve to kiss me good-bye.

So, I sat and fumed while he was gone, going over the whole encounter in my head. We had an obvious opportunity for some quality time, I flirted and propositioned him, he turned me down, and then refused to apologize when I made it clear I was very upset.

When he came back with the groceries, I was Not Talking To Him.

"Why are you so quiet?"

I glared.

"I got salmon for dinner, I'm going to grill it on cedar planks."

I rolled my eyes and stomped off to the refrigerator.

Fine. Since he was going to play all obtuse, I guess I was going to have to bring it up. It's not good to let these things fester. How come I always end up doing all the WORK in our relationship? Doesn't he understand that it takes effort and maintenance?

You know," I said, "It's just possible that I'm feeling a little under-appreciated right now. It's just possible that I need some attention."

He stared at me, eyes big and round. "What?"

Twirling around, I bit off the words. "I can't believe you decided to go to the grocery store instead of having a nooner with me! You just turned me down flat!"

Kurt glanced frantically around the room, like he was looking for something; probably a fast exit. "What? When? How did I miss that?"

Sigh.

"Well, it's too late now, Anna's waking up. You never listen to me."

A heartbeat of total silence.

Then, with a deep sigh, he said, "Oh, boy." He got up, gave me a hug, said something about getting together after the girls go to bed, and started to put away the groceries.

And that's how it goes, all the time. I just don't understand how he missed all of that. It's so obvious what I was saying, but somehow he just tunes out half the information.

Men!

Honestly, what do I have to do? Spell it out for him every time?

July 01, 2007

The morning after the morning after

I am getting old. It's the only conclusion possible at this point.

The night I met Kurt, I was out at the bar, drinking and flirting with this REALLY CUTE GUY (ohmygodhedrivesaPorsche) until 3 in the morning. He dropped me off at my friend's house, where my car was, and I napped on her couch until I was able to drive at about 5:30 or so. Then I went home, napped a little more, showered and headed to work by 8:30.

And I was fine. A little sleepy, maybe, but fine. No headache, no suspicions that something had died and putrefied in my mouth over night, no sudden dizzy spells, hot flashes and unsightly burping (too much information, hmm?).

When Kurt came into the bookstore to see me at about 11 that day, I was chipper, excited and flattered that he remembered my name. And I was ready for another long night out drinking and partying into the wee hours.

Without having to take a nap.

I am not that girl anymore, sad to say. My wild night o'wacky fun was Friday, and I was home and unconscious by 12:30 A.M. I crept through the day yesterday, wincing at the splinters of daylight stabbing my brain all afternoon and napped for two hours before dinner. I treated my hangover with Tylenol, water, coffee, food, Tylenol and finally... a glass of wine. Nothing like the hair of the dog that bit ya, right?

We went over to our friends house last night for some grill burgers. It's a bit of a tradition for us to hang out there with the kids. We sit around and drink a bit and let them wind down with the TV and toys until they pass out, usually carrying their sleepy little bodies to the car close to midnight.

We were home before 10.

And now it's the morning after the morning after and I'm just starting to see my full recovery hovering on the horizon. Nothing actually aches anymore, I have finally brushed my teeth enough to clear away the last of the roadkill, and my stomach seems to have settled down and resumed it's normal programming schedule.

I am getting old, my friends. I just can't bring it like I used to and I definitely can't bounce back like the night life never happened. I feel like someone should be responsible, right? What happened, what changed in my life that weakened me so? I'm sure you can see the connection, right? Right? The moment where it all turned around? Five years later and I'm a hung-over-sad-sack for days after the fact?

Kurt. Exactly, y'all.