Thursday, November 20, 2014

Disheveled and Braless, Fuckin' Superheros

You know what I discovered? Single mom is NOT a good look on me. It looks greasy and disheveled and braless; clad in yoga pants and baby food laden shirts, all while too exhausted to really care. Maybe this is why people get married before breeding: No, sir. You cannot leave. There is this piece of paper that requires you to still call me pretty even though I have poop in my hair!

Two weeks ago I flew to Indiana to help my sister because her husband had been in the hospital all week (with they didn’t know what) and she had no help. She has three children: three year old twins and an 11 month old. Suffice to say, I assumed she would be falling apart and needing family and an extra two hands.

The twins started pre-school early, on account of my niece being special needs spectacular, but being three years old, they only spend three hours in school. So after a weekend with them, I had everyone to myself on Monday. The eldest woke me up at 9:35a and I thanked her for letting me sleep in. My sister’s house is small so I was sleeping in the toddler bed and when the eldest came in (she was sharing a bed with my sister) and woke me, I put on my glasses to discover the 11 month old had been staring at me from her crib for quite some time. When I looked over, she smiled. The younger twin was still fast asleep. This is to say these children are rather ‘easy’, from a child care stand point.

I’ve decided when I have children I’m just going to give them to my sister for two years and then take them back once they’re all properly calm and awesome and just wait in their cribs smiling at me until I’m ready to wake up. That's what us that are 31 and childless like to think it is like anyway. Otherwise no one would ever breed, right?

So my day as a single SATM looked like this: Put the eldest in front of the TV with raisins and milk. Change the 11 month old; feed the 11 month old. My sister took the keys to the backdoor, so I climb over the fence to feed the dogs. Then head back to the kitchen and start breakfast for the twins. Pick out outfits for school. Wake up the younger twin, change her, and position her on the couch to out-groggy herself before breakfast. Finish making breakfast and feed the twins; clean up the babes and their trays. Give the eldest her clothes to get dressed; help her. Dress the other twin. Dress the baby. I am still in yoga pants, no bra and my now greasy hair is dangling from whatever half-assed bun I slept in. I consider taking a shower, but at this point it is five to 12 and I know that the bus comes at 12:30 and the last thing I want is to miss the bus. I put off my shower until just one child is loose. I go to clean the kitchen. I hear a THWAP! The baby got out of her Bumbo chair and fell off the couch onto hardwood. Whoops. I react accordingly, which is to say I didn’t react at all and just picked her up and took her to the kitchen with me, which immediately calmed the surprised terror off her face. 

Whew. Crisis averted.

I tell the older one to go pee. For whatever reason, getting her to pee is an incredible struggle. (Although I still don't condone "so-and-so went on the potty!" facebook posts, I get it. A little. Not enough that I think it should continue to be public knowledge, but a little.) So I turn off the television and entice her that it can be put back on once she goes. She does. I tell her to put on her socks and shoes. She gets the right feet. Go her. I put socks and shoes on the younger twin who is now so full of blueberries, bananas and scrambled pizza eggs (I don't know, it seemed like a good idea at the time) that sitting still is just about the last thing she is interested in doing. Ten hyperbolic minutes later we’ve got shoes on both kids. It's 12:25p. I stare out of the door for the next 15 minutes waiting for my shower -- I mean the bus. It's 10 minutes late, but I feel a bit of success in accomplishing my first real goal of the day which is to just get them on the damn bus. It felt like a huge fucking victory at that point. I encourage the eldest to get on the bus. The younger twin is in her own world and not listening, so – with the baby on my hip – I grab the twin from the porch, put her on the other hip, get her backpack and carry both to the bus. I hand off the child and the pack and explain I’m the aunt when they think I'm the mom. Either I'm doing something right or I'm just looking the part. But, who cares bye now because I’d like a shower. I head back in and, with the baby still on my hip, get a glimpse in the mirror.

Oh, the horror.

Single mother is NOT a good look on me. I look completely disheveled and like I haven’t showered for days. At least, I thought, I had the decency to put on a bra for the bus ladies. I immediately take a shower, but not before putting the baby in a laundry basket to drag into the bathroom with me. I did not want her falling off the couch or something again. Every few minutes I’d poke my head out of the shower I was singing in to make sure she was enjoying the concert fine. After I dress, I head to the kitchen with my laundry basket baby and we do the dishes and clean up as I put on a one woman show. Afterwards, I feed her again, and put her down for a nap. I had time to clean the living room and put on my makeup/dry my hair. I almost looked human again. And then it’s time to pick up the twins from school, so unfortunately I had to wake her up after a short 20 minute nap. She didn’t care.

So into the car we go. When I pick up the twins, I’m two minutes late. The eldest screams my name joyfully. We head out. She then begins to cry and scream for someone to help her when the teacher picks her up because she is refusing to walk through the parking lot. I think, "Oh shit. They're going to think I'm stealing these children!" Everything became fine when she got to grab onto my shoulder as I carried the other two to the car. Aww. She wanted ME?! I melt. Once in the car, she’s still upset so I ask if she’d like a milkshake – mostly because her auntie wanted a burger and shake all day, but hey, two for one – she says yes and by the time I get to Steak and Shake, she’s asleep.

We get back and I put the asleep one on the couch. (Oh, did I forgot to mention her kids also sleep through damn near everything? It’s very convenient.) I feed the younger twin her burger while I put the baby back in her crib to nap. Then the younger twin was super hyperactive in my face – which might have been the milkshake I’d given her – but I figured was her different little way of saying she was tired, so I put her in her bed. She fell asleep. Suddenly I noticed ALL OF THE BABIES WERE ASLEEP! Holy shit this is great. I can take over Netflix! An episode of Parks and Recreation later, my sister came home to a clean house with sleeping babies and when she walked in the door said, “Wow. You’re good.”

THANK YOU! But fuck man, good is really difficult. And it makes me realize that I’m totally okay being childless for quite a while longer. Even the logistics of getting a simple cup of coffee are completely elevated to the level of “fuck it, water wine is fine” when it involves strapping little humans into seats and shit. Our mom was still at my sister's when I called yesterday to talk about my going back this weekend and even she said, “I don't know how [your sister] does it. I have no idea how I did this with you three! And I really have no idea how your grandmother did it with five of us!!”

Me neither mom, but thank you. Holy shit. And thank you.*

*Mothers are fuckin' superheros.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Scientific Method

There are a number of things that I do that one might call "experiments". They may also call them any one or combined number of these items: cheap, broke, lazy, absent-minded, clumsy, curious, drunk and/or bored. Stemming from these kinds of experiments are all kinds of little dos and don'ts (mostly don'ts) I've learned throughout the years, such as:

  • Do not stick your thumb in the wheel of a grocery cart because it will rip off your thumb nail and force your mother abandon the Cookie Crisp and run four year old you to the hospital.

  • Do not put your finger in an empty light socket of a lamp while it is plugged because it will shock the shit out of seven year old you. 

  • When your grandmother is trying to get you to eat she will lie and tell you things like 'pork rinds are just pork-flavored potato chips', so do your homework. 

  • Do not go home with a bartender you do not intend to sleep with because he will kick you out and leave you stranded.

  • Do not take off leggings and wear them as a scarf even if your male friends convince you it looks good because it does not look good.

  • Do not sit in the front seat of a cab at 3am chatting with the driver with leggings - previously removed and tried as a failed scarf - in your pocket and in knee high boots and a tiny sweater dress because a cop will accuse you of prostitution. 

  • Popcorn does not absorb alcohol, so don't expect it to. 

  • Do not try to GPS home drunk walking because it will take four hours and two miles to go the three blocks to your house. 

  • Do not decide you're too cheap to cab five miles home (with the logic that you run the five miles sober in tennis shoes without issue), while barefoot and after a pedicure so intense the guy says, "There you sexy now; you get a man with your baby feet.", because it will hurt like hell and take forever.
  • *Although I still drink for free to this day, so maybe that one wasn't so bad.

    So it seems over the years I've learned all these little tid-bits but it hasn't really occurred to me to share them until now. The latest happened this past weekend when I knew what I was doing could go either way, but considered it an experiment. It all started with a pack of turkey hot dogs that I had opened a few weeks ago, but had yet to expire. Although, I completely ignore expiration dates anyway. I don't believe in them: Smell is typically my expiration date. However if there's a vein in an egg, the egg is in the trash immediately, but ironically, (as I learned while making a hot dog mac'n'cheese breakfast on Saturday) if one hot dog in the pack is moldy, I don't trash it immediately. Yea, I realize that's gross.

    Although I don't consider it as gross as the moment in September (while we were battling pantry moths) when I poured my last box of mac'n'cheese (I swear I don't eat that much mac'n'cheese) in the boiling water and immediately noticed the parade of eggs and larvae dancing around the pot and deeply contemplated scooping out the babies and eggs and eating it anyway. (Don't worry. I didn't.)

    However, this does remind me of the time when I was around 10 and my mom made broccoli soup from scratch with broccoli from our garden. My sisters didn't like veggies and I ate eat anything, so just as I was about to dig in alone, I asked my mom what the white things were floating on top and she said, quite curt, "It's just onions! EAT IT!". So I did, until she sat down five minutes later with her bowl of soup - and mine half gone - and told me to stop. Because once she glanced at hers, she realized the onions were actually little worms. Apparently you have to carefully wash these normal broccoli-dwelling worms out of your broccoli before using it. (Life before Internet was hard.)

    • Wait until the cook eats until you do, particularly if there are any questionable items going on with your meal because it could be worms.

    Back to the hot dogs at hand. There were five left in the pack. Not one to waste, I decided that since they didn't feel slimy they were fine aside from the mold. So I pulled out the moldy one, and threw the other four in the pot of boiling water with the macaroni. I hypothesized that it would kill whatever bad things were lurking in the mold. After about a minute in the water, I pulled out three and let the fourth stay boiling until the pasta was finished and then went about making a normal bowl of mac'n'cheese with hot dog - because apparently I'm five. I ate the bowl and immediately my stomach began to gurgle and then I became deeply fascinated with my bathroom for an hour.

    • Do not eat moldy hot dogs even if you boil them because duh.

    I was aware it was an experiment at the time, but now I'm not sure if it went awry or deemed successful. But according to the Scientific Method, it's not science until I share my results, so here we are: Moldy hot dogs are bad and don't eat them. Aren't you glad I do this leg work for you? You're welcome.

    Tuesday, November 4, 2014

    A Large Part of the Human Condition

    Well we might as well follow this soap opera through since we've brought it step-by-step this far...

    So there I was on Friday, I had just been coaxed into going out for Halloween, via text, while out to lunch with coworkers. I had a last minute costume all figured out - since it was last years original until the skirt I bought from Japan was too small and I turned into Sandra Dee instead. I was going as a pin-up. Or something close enough - who cares, I wasn't planning on going out anyway.

    On my drive back to work, I get a text from the Turk. A brief exchange follows:

    So the night begins. He texts me his location around 11p. My girlfriends and I are at a house party on the other side of town, but we want to go dance. The area he is in is my new favorite and my current place to dance since my old roommates E and M went to a Body Language concert in September and then got to this bar/club early enough after the early concert to have the whole floor to ourselves and wriggle like no one else existed. (Those are my favorite kind of nights.)

    I response to his text, I told him I could text when we left the house party if he wanted. When we got to the bar near him, I told him where we had ended up, which was a couple of blocks from where he was. I think he thought I was going to be alone and meeting him, because his only response to the where we were and you can meet us text was, "Us?"

    After an hour and a half, at 2 am, with no further response from him after explaining the 'us', I texted back, "Cool. Thanks." And I was ready to leave since it was way too packed to dance and I was irritated after I had gotten dead air from this dickhead again. My girlfriends, however, were not. So at 3am, the bar was closing and we were being kicked out (thank God) and on our way to pray to the LBJ that we could catch a cab (since the metro closed at 3). Walking down the steps, at 3:04am, I get a call from the Turk who asks where I am and, when I say leaving the bar, he asks which, where, and that he'd be there to pick us up. FANTASTIC! Whew. Free ride and not dealing with the lack of cabs and Ubers on Halloween! 
    "banana for scale!"

    And then, midway through the taxi-bration, my brain went "what the fuck", which was quickly pushed aside while we entertained ourselves on the sidewalk and did things like take pictures with strangers and fruit. 20 minutes later, he pulled up with the same friend that he had made get a hotel the night we met so he could go home with me: Apparently he always drives his friend in his friend's car when they go out clubbing. Getting into the car wasn't quite as bizarre as maybe now I think it should have been. But you know what was bizarre in the moment? That he kept putting his hand behind his seat - I was seated directly behind him - to try to hold my hand; rather get me to hold his hand. I flicked it and high-fived it instead. Very mature. He turned sideways in his seat so he could see me when traffic was crawling or stopped. He looked at me that weird, adoring way again. And all I could think was: WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS.

    We drop off my two girlfriends at their place and the two Turks drove me onto mine. The Turk's friend asks if we were going to go to the diner we went to before: The one we at at until 5am the night before the Turk left for Turkey. That place, I later was told, where I was teaching a girl at another table to do yoga and the Turk looked on amused. See, I'm fucking funny.

    Both the Turk and I said we weren't going to the diner. One, I wasn't hungry and two, it was 4am and I wasn't particularly drunk. Tispy for sure, but not drunk enough for waffles at 4am dressed as a pin-up - and especially not with this guy that gave me the shove off a month ago and is now trying to hold my hand like nothing bad happened. As a concession, the other Turk said he wanted coffee so I invited him in for a cup. I made him his coffee then went to my room to change out of my costume. The friend headed to the living room to drink is brew and the Turk followed me into my room.

    He sat on my bed and pulled me toward him. To cuddle. Not to kiss. Not to bang. He wanted to fucking cuddle. WHAT THE BLOOD CURLING SCREAM OF A FUCK.

    To be honest, though, it was nice to be wanted, to feel as though I wasn't crazy enough not to be missed, to have that body and warmth and spoon. Was it him? I wondered, or was it that anyone would have been nice? But that didn't matter, it was him there: It was this guy that jerked me around, who gave me a shit send off. Who I mulled over until I realized he didn't matter in my life and if he drove off that road, good riddance to him. I asked if he missed me and he refused to say anything; he said he wouldn't answer that question. A few moments later I asked, "What are you doing here?" while we lay intertwined on my bed.

    "I wanted to make sure you got home safe."

    "Well, I'm home," I said matter-of-factly, as he looked at me quizzically. "So what are you doing here?"

    "I wanted to see you," he said.

    "Well," I said dryly, "you saw me."

    "Are you kicking me out," he asked.

    "No," I said, "But I want to know what you are doing here." I can't even remember the response, so suffice to say it was nothing worth remembering. More time passed, mostly in silence or general chatter. He smelled me; I could hear and feel him smell me...You smell me?!

    Laying against each other at the edge of the bed, he looked into my eyes and we said nothing. And after about a half an hour alone, I kissed him with hesitance and lustful necessity; smashing my red lipstick all over his mouth, pulling away with a giggle as I saw this man - who wants to always be so in control - painted with a crimson lust. I wiped it from his face as I declared, quite confidently,"You missed me."

    "I'm not going to say anything," was his response - or something like it.

    "Well did you miss me?"

    "What do you think," he said in that way that suggests you're stupid for thinking otherwise.

    "I don't know," I said, because, you know, I didn't know.

    "Did you miss me?" he responded.

    "No," I said, "I hated you." A hyperbole, I realized, but I hated the moments and ridiculous situation(s) he put me in well enough. I hated thinking about him. I hate that he ditched me. I hate that he tried to force something I wasn't ready for. I hated that he was back and I let him be back. And that I didn't hate him. In fact, I almost liked him there.

    To which he retorted, "Well that's good! If you didn't hate, you were indifferent. If you hated me, then you had feelings." Oh yea, good, that's great, Captain Mindfuck! 

    Moments passed as we lay there together - listening to his friend rustle about in the living room while giving us our time alone. It was nearly 5am. I was sitting up when he asked about a trinket he had bought for me and hung on my wall during the first week we were dating. A trinket he couldn't possibly see from the position he had been in for 20 minutes, which means he noted it when he walked into the room. I asked him to repeat himself - one, because facing the opposite way it didn't make sense so I wasn't sure what I heard and two, to gauge the kind of reaction he would have from saying something as vulnerable as 'I noticed you removed me from your life'.

    He wouldn't repeat it. So I went on talking about the trinket and that I took it down - however, I didn't throw it away. (I can never bring myself to throw gifts from exes away. Whoops.) The trinket missing from the wall lead into another discussion about what the fuck he was doing there because "Why the do you care if I got rid of something you gave me". And why he was back and he's the one that actively went away. AND WHY ARE YOU FUCKING WITH MY EMOTIONS I DO NOT DESERVE THIS I JUST GOT OVER YOU AND DIDN'T CARE AT ALL GO AWAY PLEASE NOW WTF, ETC, ETC. Except that last part was just in my head, instead I said, "You're the one that stopped talking to me, remember? And I understand hooking up, but you're clearly not here to hook up, so WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE."

    And, as if my dream was a foreshadow of the nearly the exact events to come the following days, he said, "I don't want to do this. I don't want to talk about this."

    "Neither do I. You're the one that brought it up," I said as I laid back down on his chest - like that was a good fucking idea. Just as good as the the fucking idea I had a few minutes later, that was barely worth the effort, but really was my entire goal the whole night - so I can't kick myself. Although, I got from it a ridiculous story from the tryst -- that I just HAVE to save for the book - as well as the shit realization that the feelings for him I discarded were merely buried just beneath the surface, all while I thought I'd snuffed them out entirely with logic and time.

    Well, that sounds fucking familiar.

    Damn you, heart. Damn you, boys. Damn this shit; these games. I just want to shut the door in his face (which I haven't ruled out yet), but I am reluctant to ever leave something open to ever asking, "what if". They haunt me, the 'what if's', and likely not for my greater good. And they continue trample me in the aftermath of 'I only know its a mistake if I make the mistake'. That sounds like a large part of the human condition. And I suppose we all have to suffer.

    But fuck, man. Enough already.