Thursday, December 30, 2010

Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Program of...Whatever it is I Normally Do Here

Y'all I got a Kindle for Christmas. I have not been that excited on Christmas morning since the year I got Teddy Ruxpin and all you can hear on the Christmas video for that year is what sounds like a hog being slaughtered. For two hours. (I clearly recall being way more adorable than that; unfortunately, my family video taped everything and it's very clear that I was not at all adorable. Also see that one year at Easter where I pitched a fit and fake cried loudly (and with a real tear even!) and everyone ignored me because I fake cried all the time to get my way. Even though it didn't work because everyone ignored me. Because I was not only not adorable I was also apparently mildly retarded).

The day after Christmas might go down as one of the nerdiest ever. I spent all day reading on my Kindle while my husband was determined to conquer Uncharted 2 on the PS3 (which he did, by the way). It could possibly have been nerdier had one of us written a blog post in elvish while the other spoke Klingon all day, dressed as our favorite Star Wars/Star Trek/Lord of the Rings and/or Harry Potter* characters (yes, we have one of each. Favorite characters, I mean, not costumes. I swear on whatever is holy to you that I do not own character costumes from any of those things) but just barely.

Other gifts of great excitement included hand milled vegetarian soap that has my bathroom smelling quite lovely, a pair of shoes I have been wanting for some time, a cover for the Kindle (now the precious can stay warm and protected), and money to buy things to put on the Kindle. Which I spent in about 10 minutes. But I have a bajillion things to read now plus a couple of cookbooks, one of which resulted in the best homemade macaroni in cheese ever created. And THAT is the gift that keeps on giving. Also, a lovely necklace I requested from the World of Hunger site, which funds a donation of about 25 cups of food, a few bracelets, and a sweater I will never wear except when I visit my great aunt.

I also bought myself a Christmas present. I did not actually want to do this, but I had to. I killed my cell phone with a bottle of Febreeze (they were battling to the death in my purse) and had to replace it on Christmas Eve.

So I'm at Verizon, explaining to the guy that my Febreeze and my cell phone were locked in epic battle the night before and the Febreeze was the definite victor ("No, really, smell the battery! It smells like Tropical Gain Febreeze!") And I should mention that the Kindle is something of an anomaly for me, because I am, relatively speaking, incredibly low tech. My cell phone made phone calls. That's all it did. Technically, I could text with it, but it was the kind where you hit the number button a jillion times to make letters. It could also take pictures, if one wanted an incredibly low resolution picture of something that you would be unable to identify later. I had forgotten how long lived that cell phone was until the sales guy reminded me.

The man spent a good minute looking from me to the phone in my hand back to me, with an expression of horror on his face before he finally gasped, "What...what IS that? I have not ever even SEEN a phone like that before. long have you had that?"

Which hurt my feelings. That phone had longevity. And character. If I wasn't a complete moron it would have lived for who knows how long? Other people's phones break every 6 months and my phone was alive for at least 3 years. That phone totally earned some respect, and it was barely even cold in its grave before he started trash talking it).

"Uh...a few years, I guess? It's an LG flip phone."

This caused him several moments of heart palpitations. Which, okay, I get it. It's not a new phone. But it's not like it was the 20 pound Zach Morris Special, complete with 18 inch antenna or something (also, if you don't understand that reference we clearly cannot be friends anymore).

Finally he tells me I'm eligible for an upgrade and starts showing me phones, asking what I need.

"I make and receive phone calls? Maybe a few texts here and there?"

" don't do anything else with your phone? But you can get e-mail on your phone now and take pictures and get on the internet and..."

"Calls. Texts. The end."

So he very reluctantly sold me a phone that will be free once I get the rebate back. And the sales guy thinks I live under a rock and do not make full use of my opposable thumbs. He tried to talk me into a smartphone for a while, but I was like, "Dude. I've seen an iPhone. My husband has one growing out of his head. I use his for any emergency look-uppie things." I do have a keyboard now, which is kind of awesome and makes texting seem a lot more logical.

And that's how I bought myself a cell phone on Christmas Eve while reggae music played overhead.

*Yoda, Spock, Gandolf, and Hagrid, if you're interested.**
**Mine, I mean. His mileage may vary.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Exactly Like the Waltons, but with More Punching and Animal Carcasses

I got a Christmas card from my dad's family and he wants me to call him. I have not spoken to him in over 5 years, and I haven't found it particularly challenging not to do so. Moreover, I can't figure out why he suddenly sends a card saying he's been trying to get in touch with me at my office to no avail. Without ever once leaving a message, apparently. I don't for a minute believe he is feeling any real sorrow over our lost "relationship" either.

I guess it's just that I don't feel like he's my father. He didn't want to take the time to call me, or pick me up for his visitation rights. He didn't teach me to ride a bike, or catch a fish, or throw a ball, or shoot a rifle, or swim. He didn't teach me to drive a car or change a tire. I know how to do all those things, but not because of him. As a small child, he was the big scary man who hit my mother and locked us in various closets and put his fist through the car window. While we were in it. Because we were going to get a happy meal and he didn't get a chance to say goodbye. He was the guy who dragged me to deer camp and illustrated the finer points of field dressing a deer for the child who cried when anyone smashed a freaking spider. (He thinks I'm a vegetarian just to piss him off. I'm a vegetarian because of that fucking skinned deer you made me look at, Old Man).

As a teenager, he was that strange guy who always told me, "I hope you ain't dating any colored boys," when he remembered to call, but who mostly seemed to forget my existence. He's the person who made me cry on my birthday because he called to tell me he had forgotten my birthday and it was my fault. The last visitation I had with him as a child, he threatened to beat me if I didn't go to sleep and when I woke up he was screwing some strange woman. Because his booty call was more important than whether or not his daughter would ever be able to think about sex at all.

The only thing he said to me when I told him I was getting married was, "Well it will have to be a small wedding. We don't have a lot of money, so don't go ordering anything too expensive." I paid for my own wedding. Which he did not attend.

On the other hand, he's an old man now. I think he's in his 70s. He's been married to my step mother for at least 20 years. He quit drinking and he quit smoking and he has had some heart problems. Maybe I should give him another chance (not that he thinks he needs another chance...he still won't admit he ever did anything wrong).

Sorry about all that. Happy Holidays?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New Restaurant in Town

I just...I just NEEDED to share this.
God bless this fuxing state.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Kelly, stop it. Seriously it's making my head hurt. I wasn't intended to do this much thinking.

Ya'll make Kelly stop being all thought provoking and shit. I mean it.

I've always been something of a loner. I need quiet and time alone fairly frequently. But Kelly got me to thinking a little deeper about my issues, and the truth is, I'm afraid of disappointing you. I don't really worry that other people are going to disappoint me. I tend to assume the best of other people. I don't worry that they will hurt me or that they will leave me. But I worry about hurting them.

Christmas is an excellent example. I was thinking last night of the Family Guy episode where Lois hulks out because everyone takes all the Christmas preparations for granted. I was thinking about that episode because so far, I have decorated the house, planned a menu, purchased and wrapped ALL of the gifts including the gifts from other people to other people (meaning, all my husband's gifts to his family, also my mother's gifts to my husband and his family), I've purchased all the stocking stuffers, I've mailed all the Christmas cards, and I'm getting ready to make salt dough ornaments. I was also thinking about it while I scrubbed the kitchen floor on my hands and knees with a sponge because the mop is a huge failure at actually cleaning the floor. It isn't that I have that much Christmas spirit (or really any at all) as that I want everyone to be happy and have a wonderful Christmas and if I have to KILL MYSELF to accomplish this, I will do it SO HELP ME GOD. And that's how I am. If I care about you too much, I want to do everything in the world for you, and there's only so much time in the day. And I fear that if I CAN'T or DON'T do these things people will be disappointed and unhappy and it will be all my fault because I didn't make the twice baked potatoes from scratch.

BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE! (Of course there's more).

The thing is, I start to resent doing all of this and I get pretty angry on the inside. And just when I'm getting ready to totally Hulk Out, someone says how wonderful, you are just the nicest person ever, I could never do all that. So people think I'm sweet and awesome, and then I hate to disillusion them by letting the angry resentment out and re-double my efforts in an attempt to be what they think I am, but I can't be the person they think I am because she's not real and it's really going to disappoint them/hurt their feelings if they find out. P.S. this also makes me a doormat. Which starts the resentfulness all over again.

So it's easier to be alone.

I understand all of this, where it comes from and why I do what I do, but the part where a therapist might come in handy is in telling me how the hell to stop it. And I can't afford a therapist, so right after Christmas I'm totally turning back into a misanthropic hermit with a hygiene problem (just to make sure no comes to see me).

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Weird or obnoxious, those are your only choices.

A while back Kelly posted a question about whether or not love was an emotion or a decision and Lilly posted something about how we all eventually settle, and those two things seeped slowly into my brain and have been bothering me ever since, and then my brain cells accidentally bumped into one another and this was born. I'm not sure what it is yet. I have either produced the blog equivalent of the funny smelling kid who eats paste and boogers and can't spell his own name, or I have produced that obnoxious little girl with the perfect hair and the clean dress who can't do anything fun because she might get dirty. Neither of these is really what you want to have, but those seem to be my choices.

So. Diving in.

Firstly, the idea that love is a decision we make rather than an emotion we have no control over reminds me of church. I think it's true in a general way. Love is something of an action. If I sit around waiting to spontaneously "love my neighbor" I will probably never actually get around to it. However, if I get off my ass and help my neighbor rake her yard...get it? It's a concrete love. A love that can apply to the little kindnesses we do for strangers and family alike. But romantic love? I think this can apply to romantic love, in the sense that we need to practice this kind of love in order to keep marriages or relationships strong. But I have never been able to "decide" to feel romantic love. If we could do that, none of us would be alone if we didn't want to be. If that makes sense. Because you could just decide to be in love with the next person that decided they were in love with you, and there would be a lot less heartbreak. But you can't force that to happen. Maybe because physical attraction is such an important component of being in love. If you could just decide to be attracted to someone...well, how many people have fought homosexual urges for years because they believed it was wrong? (ps - I don't happen to believe it's wrong; I think it's a decent example because I know at least 2 people in my own family who would be attracted to the opposite sex if they had a choice just because their lives would be easier because we still live in the south and people still like Jerry Falwell). I think that we can be more open minded than we are about love (dating out of type, giving someone a chance that you would normally reject) and sometimes you end up having sex with someone you never considered before, and sometimes it turns out that you still aren't attracted to that person.

If we were able to make those kinds of decisions I probably never would have ended up with my husband. He wasn't my "type" and he claims I wasn't his (although, I would love to show you a picture of his last serious girlfriend before me - we could be TWINS and not the Danny DeVito Arnold Schwartzeneggar type twins; also see every girl he ever dated, they all look a lot like me). Granted, my type was generally all over the map physically and mentally. But this was different. This was...a REPUBLICAN, for God's sake (he's actually more of a vote for who he thinks is best kind of guy, not a straight ticket voter, but he quoted Reagan and was so Alex P. Keaton I actually DECIDED he was a republican before we ever actually discussed politics). But I was open minded and went out with him anyway. The trick there is that I was attracted to things I never thought about before. The way he actually talked to me about real things, how smart he was, how he was completely not threatened if I knew more than him about a topic or if I could do something better than he could (by the way, this only happens when the planets align exactly and Halley's comet is passing the earth and a solar eclipse happens at exactly the same moment...which is to say, not very often at all).

Which leads me to the idea of settling. The idea is not so much that you just finally give up, as that you realize no one is perfect and start to look for as perfect as possible. I mean, he's a cocky asshole who is annoying by virtue of being good at EVERY FUCKING THING EVER. He's not predictably thoughtful (never remembers to help me bring in the groceries, never cleans his facial hair out of the sink) but he does things that are so weirdly thoughtful I can't stand it. He doesn't send flowers often because he knows I don't really like them, even though the women in his office give him a hard time. He could pick out clothes or jewelry for me without my input because he pays attention to what I wear and what I like. He tells me I'm beautiful at random moments on a regular basis. He cleans the shower drain because it gives me the wig (even though its mostly my hair).

If I was able to decide who to fall in love with, and perfect people existed, I'd probably be married to an independently wealthy doctor who did lots of charitable works and never farted in the living room or described the weird crap he'd taken that day. I'd have total control of the remote control. He'd help clean and cook and love small children and babies and give me whatever I wanted, and I would be so fucking bored I'd probably lose my mind and do something completely insane (rather than the moderately insane things I do now).

This is all kind of stream of consciousness. I don't know if it makes sense or not. But I'm kind of glad I didn't decide who to fall in love with, and I'm glad I settled.

Hey Mister: Love you and Happy 30th. (Jesus. You're all old now and shit. I'm gonna have to start shopping for a new one. As God is my witness, my next husband is going to be an automechanic).