Wednesday, February 28, 2007


The road to being an adult is never an easy one and once we become adults it is never what we thought it would be. As children we imagine meeting Prince Charming, having 2.5 kids, a cat, a dog, the high-powered job and a home-cooked dinner on the table by 6. When we become adults we realize there is no Prince Charming, 2.5 kids is way more work than we thought and if you have a high-powered job dinner is delivered by 6 on a good day.

I started my first foray into adulthood at 19. I met my Prince Charming and; despite everyone's best efforts, I married him in less than a year. He joined the Air Force and we were soon living 2000 miles away from anyone we knew. I managed, after many fits and starts, to graduate from college and get that high-powered job. Seven years later and we were both beginning to glimpse a much bigger world out there.

We tried marriage counseling and after a particularly difficult trip home for the Holidays we knew it was over. He asked for a divorce on New Year's Day. That began the most difficult year of my life.

I was shattered and terrified. I had built my life around him, our friends and our hobbies. I quickly realized it was actually his friends and his hobbies and I was on my own with no idea who I was. Less than two weeks later I was on my parent's doorstep 2000 miles away from the life I had built.

Not one to hide under the covers, I set out to prove to the world what a strong woman I was. I was on to adulthood attempt number 2.

Barely four weeks after ending a marriage I had moved into my very first apartment and started a new job in a city where I had never lived and had no friends. I immersed myself in work to avoid being alone in my apartment. I would sit on my front step late in the evenings and smoke one cigarette after another listening to the noises from apartments around me just to feel like I wasn't alone. Every Friday I would leave work and drive the four hours to my parent's house. Mom was going through her third bout with breast cancer and I wanted to be there with her as much as I could. I was 26 years old.

It was on one of those weekend trips home that I met my next Prince Charming. I went to visit an old friend at a local bar. I showed up in old jeans, a ratty shirt and leftover makeup from the work day. He told me I was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. I was wearing flannel. That should have been my first clue that he was trouble. Three months later I was in love and he was suddenly "busy." He told me he loved me but it was bad timing. He left for parts unknown. I walked into my bathroom and calmly took a bottle of Vicodin.

I woke up the next afternoon, lying on my bathroom floor. My parents came and that is how, barely six months after my victorious launch into single adulthood, I ended up back in my old room at Mom and Dad's.

It was during this same time that I got an offer to move back to Seattle to help a friend build a business. We would be partners and our first million was merely days away. Two weeks after my pill popping debacle and I was driving across country officially heading into adulthood attempt number 3.

Building a business was, at that time, the hardest thing I had ever done. I ate it, slept it, lived it and breathed it. I worked as many hours as I could and I was desperately unhappy. I lived in my friend's basement room which was right next to the room we were using as our "headquarters" and it was impossible to escape work. I also felt very much like an interloper in their home so I tended to stay in my room when we weren't working. They had four children and quite a routine. I was often in the way.

I picked up a job waiting tables a few nights a week for spending money. Our new business was making some money, but not enough for salaries. I had one friend who kept me in cigarettes and my restaurant job kept gas in my car. I discovered, upon doing my taxes for that year, that I earned a total of $1,968 in six months yet somehow I managed to pay my car payment and insurance and the few small bills I had. I still don't know exactly how I did it. Sheer stubbornness most likely. I also met a man who looked out for me when I needed it the most.

My Mom was going through chemotherapy during this time and had become too debilitated to work. My Dad was trying to work and take care of her all on his own and things weren't going well. Between my Dad, my friend and my brother I was able to fly from Seattle to Texas in September, October and November for a couple of weeks each time. I would fly home, spend two weeks taking care of Mom and set up a schedule for the next two weeks where her friends would come by and visit with her. She was never left alone and every night of the week while I was gone a friend would deliver dinner. I'd go back to Seattle, work for two weeks and start the cycle over again.

In the meantime, we all suffered the horrors of September 11 and our business went under. In October the man I met told me he loved me. In November we closed our business. In December my mom died.

That year turned my world completely upside down and when it was over I was, for the first time, an adult.

I am married to the man I met that year. He isn't Prince Charming. He's better than that. He is real and he is flawed and he loves me like I never imagined possible. He reminds me every day that life is extraordinary. I am also a mom and because of my son I am able to still see the world through the eyes of a child.

I miss my mom every day and at times I am taken by surprise because I laugh like her and that brings me comfort.

Being an adult may not be everything I dreamed it would be, but I can deal with that because it is so much better than I could have possibly imagined.

Monday, February 26, 2007

And you call THAT a secret??

If you read the news or watch Oprah you have probably heard of the new book, "The Secret." Some woman from Australia wrote a book about how to improve your life and bring good things to your own personal world. She proposes that you simply meditate and visualize good things and focus on images of what you want to be/have and those things will come to you. As an example, if you are overweight and want to be thin then you should visualize being thin, but also avoid looking at or thinking about anyone who is fat.


Does that also mean that I should avoid eating a hamburger since that makes me think of cows and thinking of cows makes me think of fat? If we follow that logic then I should eat lots and lots of chocolate because that makes me think of Valentines Day which makes me think of sex and that means I get lots of sex.

I suppose I better warn Eric…and buy bigger pants. Unless – I eat lots of chocolate AND avoid looking at fat people. Sheesh. I am starting to confuse myself so I better stop before I visualize myself into special education.

In all actuality, what this author is proposing isn't exactly groundbreaking. Scientists have been able to prove that if you visualize a time on the clock then your body will wake you up at that time without an alarm clock. As an eternally sleep deprived person it doesn't work for me, however. My mind is completely unable to visualize anything earlier than 10 am so I am chronically late even with an alarm clock. If I start to visualize a daily wake up time, rather than set an alarm, I better consider a career change into something along the lines of "professional pillow stress tester."

I think my issue with this particular book is that it is yet another person proposing yet another way for the teeming masses to better their lives. It is as if we are surely all sitting around just waiting for intervention since our lives must be a constant barrage of horror.

I have a secret for you and I won't even charge you for it. It's simple actually…


How is it that we can accept those we love with no questions asked? We look past the warts and quirks and idiosyncrasies and we love blindly. However, we heap abuse upon ourselves in regular doses.

My husband, bless his heart, tells me every day that I am beautiful and sexy. I, on the other hand, tell myself every day that my ass is deserving of its own zip code and my boobs are lop-sided. All I have managed to do is create a deep-seated desire to back out of all crowded rooms and a pledge to never purchase spandex pants.

We just need to be nicer to ourselves and the rest will follow. Good things will come to us because we will be open to them instead of closing ourselves off to the wonderful things we all deserve to have.

So…here's "the secret" for absolutely free. I might even throw in some steak knives if you call in the next 10 minutes….


Happiness will follow.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Why do they call it "the blues" anyway?

Depression is such an odd, odd thing. No one who has experienced it can explain it. No one who hasn't experienced it can even begin to fathom it. I have struggled with depression for most of my life and I have been around a wide variety of friends and family members who also suffered from it at one time or another. I certainly don't consider myself an expert on the subject, but I definitely have some good experience.

I find myself struggling through yet another round of the blues. It is so funny how it happens. I am feeling fine and content and life is great. Then one morning I wake up and everything has changed. Maybe it is raining or cold or I have a headache or I oversleep. It doesn't really matter what it is and most of the time I can't even tell you what it is, but something sends me into a downward spiral. I see it and feel it and I know it is happening. I even tell myself to snap out of it. The problem is that I can't. I just have to ride it out - sort of like the Bush Administration or a tax audit.

The last few weeks have been tough and this week was the worst. I finally took a shower today. First one since Monday morning. Gross - I know. I knew it was gross all week...I just didn't care. Today I decided that I care so I showered. I feel a little better. I smell a LOT better.

I have managed to work. Mostly from home. Drew has been sick so I have been hanging out with the little guy making sure that he gets better. Taking care of him really helps me because I don't focus on me. Not focusing on me is a really good thing when I am down. It's hard to feel sorry for yourself when you aren't thinking about yourself.

I do want to share some of the things I discover about myself when I am depressed. Most of these are immediately forgotten as soon as I feel better.

1. I am so fat that I am in need of medical intervention and have been know to start researching stomach stapling. I tend to stop eating when depressed and the nice thing about that is my clothes fit better. Unfortunately, I am too depressed to notice or care.

2. I am so ugly I should avoid going into public because it could start a panic. The downside of that is I end up sitting around the house in my grubby pajamas and don't shower. The upside is that I end up sitting around the house in my grubby pajamas and no one has to smell me.

3. I can't do anything right. Ever. I tend to watch a lot of TV when depressed and avoid cooking, cleaning or otherwise acting as a productive member of society. I am not sure there is an upside to this one. I guess I avoid breaking things. That would be sort of an upside.

4. Anger is easier to handle than sadness. Basically what that means is that I am really, really pissed at absolutely everyone for absolutely no reason. Unfortunately that ends up with me having temper tantrums over really stupid stuff. You will probably never see the tantrum though. I have them in my car or in the shower where there is no one around to hear me.

I am sure there are more things to list. I am just too lazy to write them down. Since I finally showered I think I am going to venture out into society and do some errands I have been avoiding. I even put makeup on so there should be no panic!

The sun is out. It isn't too cold outside. There is Starbucks in my immediate future. Today is a good day.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

I think I might be a bitch...

Friendship isn't always easy. Most of the time it is dinners and movies and BBQs in the summer. In my world there seems to be a lot of dancing and drinking which is great, but from time to time friendship requires that you put down your beer for a second and WORK AT IT. maybe it requires that you pick up another beer and work at it, maybe even order a round of shots, but either way there are moments where it gets hard to be friends.

When we were kids we just picked up our Barbies - or for you guys, our GI Joes - and went home, but now that we are adults it isn't quite that easy. Have you ever tried to re-pack the case of beer after you already stuffed it into the party fridge? It never seems to fit back in the case right and when you pick it up and the bottom falls out and the beer lands on your foot...ahem...sorry...I digress...

Anyway - I have just have a few questions about friendship and I figured who better to give honest feedback then my myspace friends. I am actually looking for real feedback from others that will help me determine if I am a good friend or a bad friend. I won't tell you my answers to these questions - I will simply pose them and based on responses I will do a little self inspection to determine how I rate.

I am a little nervous. I hope I rate myself highly. I think I have test anxiety coming on...

Here we go :
1. Do you believe you should question your close friends actions if you strongly believe they are completely deluded?
2. Do you still question that person's actions if they are convinced they are doing the right thing and genuinely seem happy?
3. Do you tell your close friend if you think their significant other is a complete douchebag?
4. Do you tell your close friend if everyone who meets their significant other thinks (s)he is a complete douchebag?
5. Do you tell your friend that everyone thinks their significant other is a complete douchebag if you know for a fact that everyone is lying to your close friend about whether or not they think the significant other is a douchebag?

OK - moving on:

6. If you have a close friend who suddenly drops you like a hot rock because they have found the (wo)man of their dreams do you welcome them back with open arms just because they suddenly find time to talk to you?
7. Do you forgive that same close friend if they admittedly ditched you in your time of need "just to spite you?"
8. Do you call your close friend to the mat when they state that you hate them because they changed when you don't hate them at all and even if you did hate them it certainly wouldn't be because they changed, but instead it would be because they had absolutely no regard for your friendship the second they met their significant other?

Hmmmm - I don't think any of that makes a lot of sense anywhere but inside my head, but those are the questions I felt compelled to ask tonight.

I always felt like even though I am flawed (like most people) I put effort into my friendships and work at them when they need to be worked at. I have had some friendships that ended on a positive note and others that just ended, but very few that ended ugly and STAYED ugly. Even the most volatile of my relationships settled into a kind of mutual fondness after some time passed.

Most people who know me (I hope) would say that they can count on me to be there when the chips are down. I have been known to completely REARRANGE my entire weekend and my family's weekend just to be there to take care of (drink with) a friend in need and I ALWAYS bring the Kleenex (chocolate cake shots).

I just hate passive aggressiveness and I get so angry at people who condemn you because you believe in telling it how it is. I don't lie to my friends and my friends all know that. I call them on their crap and they call me on mine. Don't get me wrong - if you are having a shitty day because your cat died I am not going to point out that it was a crappy cat that had a smelly butt and peed on the rug. It isn't about being mean or trying to hold people down. It is about knowing that there are people in the world that love you enough to be honest even when it isn't easy. THAT is friendship. If that makes me a bitch then you can call me BITCH! I'll consider it an honor.

Oh...and the next time my pants make me look fat you better freakin' tell me!

Monday, February 5, 2007

Trust me...sanity is highly over-rated.

There are days where it just doesn't pay to get out of bed. Today was one of those days. The minute my little piggies hit the floor I should have known there was a bad moon risin'.

I just had a frustrating morning and about the time I thought I couldn't take any more from anyone a miracle happened. Our entire block lost phone and internet. No email. No phone calls. Nothing. No one could reach me and I didn't even have to feel guilty that I wasn't calling them. It was fabulous! I spent the entire afternoon working on stuff that I meant to do weeks ago. I didn't have to wade through a mass of incoming email or talk to stupid people. It lasted for a blissfull 3 hours.

Then the phone rang.


Anyway, now I am home, sitting in my chair trying to fight an impossibly horrible headache and plotting my escape to Tahiti or someplace suitably tropical. I would love to have a drink with an umbrella in it - delivered by a scantily clad individual whose only job is to keep me happy.

Instead of receiving a swedish massage on a warm beach I am being beaten with a light saber by a 4-year old that is hellbent on taking the last of my sanity. I was normal once. I might even have been cool for a few seconds. Not so much anymore.

Now I am that lady that Bill Cosby talks about on "Himself." You know the one...Jeffrey's mom. "Jeffrey stop it, Jeffrey sit down, Jeffrey come here, stop it, Jeffrey, Jeffrey, I told you to...Jeffrey, I mean it, Jeffrey, Jeffrey, Jeffrey."

I am one more lightsaber wack away from hiding vodka bottles in my panty drawer.