stuart. our precious little fuck face.


Earlier this year, the hubs and I lost our prized kitty Milo to some sort of mysterious medical phenomenon. We’re not exactly sure if it was an actual phenomenon or if they just told us it was so that they could spend 10K trying to figure it out. Apparently the hubs and I have “I’m with stupid” tattooed on our foreheads, because they milked us like a wetnurse. For money we didn’t even have. I didn’t blog about the experience at the time because I was so mortified at how emotional I was about the whole thing. I was like one of those dry wombed women. I would well up with tears every time I saw a Jewish BU girl in sunglasses walking down Newbury St. You know, because they all look like owls, and owls love mice, and Milo loved those little, furry, catnip-filled mice from Target. Everything in the world was an emotional trigger.

After I watched my 10K dead cat get carted off by the vet, I had an unexpected moment. I hadn’t made my way through the (however many) steps of grief, but I can say that in addition to being overwhelmed with sadness (he was, afterall, only three, and it was totally unexpected), I was overcome with the urge to have him taxidermied.

Now, you may be thinking “what the fuck is wrong with you, Caroline?” But truthfully I was in a very fragile emotional state and the only thing pulling me through my cloud of grief was imagining all the ways that I could use his marble-eyed, sawdust-stuffed body to scare the piss out of people. Ala Scrubs, I would probably have him done with his little arms hooked up in front of him so I could hang him over the back of a chair, or over a door– peeking over to see everyone. Then when people saw him, I could say really fucked up stuff like, “Silly Milo, he just LOVES being a part of the conversation” or “Oh! Be sure to scratch behind Milo’s ears; he goes CRAZY for that sort of thing.” Not unlike those women who have life-like baby dolls made to look like their departed children. (You think I’m fucking with you, Google it.)

Alas, my willingness to spiral out of control is always cut short by the hubs’ refusal to go down with me, so Milo was donated to a class of sniveling Ruskies at the Tufts vet school. C’est la vie.

In the weeks that followed, I made dramatic statements about how we just weren’t ready to bring another cat into our lives, or how we just weren’t sure that any other animal was going to be able to fill the void. Ultimately it was just that we had a few pre-planned vacays coming up and we were pretty sure we couldnt find anyone to care for the new addition. Just for fun, though, I made inquiries to all the shelters, letting them know that my husband and I were “just starting our search” and if they had anything to please let us know. (Let me tell you, Madonna thinks she had it hard? Try adopting an animal in Massachusetts. Children can go home to their crack whore mothers and eat moldy Wonderbread three meals a day, but if a productive member of society wants an animal, they better call in Chavez or whatever the fuck his name is, because unless your home is a nest of love and 12-hours-a-day free time to love and cherish your animal, you are going home empty handed.)

We were put on a list of “potentials” and occasionally I would get a call that Garfield or some such stereotypical nonsense was ready to start interviewing potential parents. The system–quite literally– involves a two-hour animal interviewing process wherein an animal psychologist assesses the compatibility of pet and owner. If you fail, you’re name is going down to the bottom of that list, right above Michael Vick. Eventually, my liberal and earth-loving facade started to crack and I was dialing up kitten mills up and down the eastern seaboard. There was not a one of those ten-children, twenty-cat households that was going to deny me a cat because I had a day job. A familys gotta eat.

We were looking for a 6-9 month old orange cat. We didn’t want a kitten because the brutality of having a small being in our midst made the hubs think about children and then his nuts would shrivel, and quite frankly anything that needs “love” in order to make it through the day isn’t going to last long around here.

Well, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. To that point my loving mother called me one afternoon with a wonderful surprise (ironically, I was standing in a cat house about to do a good deed and adopt an antisocial curmudgeon cat when she called). She found us a cat. Better yet, he looked like Milo and had a bunch of extra toes like Milo.


It wasn’t that we were ungrateful, but like a couple who has waited years for a little Asian baby, only to find out that they’re getting an accident from Kansas, we felt like we weren’t in control anymore. This new cat was coming into our home with no pre-interview. There was no pet psychologist to sign off on the acquisition. What happened if we couldn’t love him.

Well, we were about to find out.

Stuart Wayne George Beaulieu was brought to Boston in September. Not only was he not orange, he was not 6-9 months. He was so young that is age was mentioned in weekly increments, which meant that in addition to food and water, he needed the one thing the hubs and I couldn’t give him. Love.

Unlike his noble predecessor, he was not a couch-loving, prim-time-TV watching kitty. He didn’t have any catastrophic health problems that were unknowingly responsible for limiting his motor skills, thus making him the greatest animal ever. Stuart was young, vibrant, and totally vocal. The cat has a voicebox that wakes the dead.

In addition to his twelve meals a day, he likes to sustain himself during the long, lonely hours by snacking on paper products. While he particularly enjoys the subtle flavors in a roll of Viva papertowels, he’ll gladly take down an $8 birthday card, or even a semster-long drafting project. Super.

Sometimes the hubs and I will stand in the kitchen, staring blankly between his full food bowl, overflowing water dish, scattered neon plastic toys, and his small meowing body.

“What does he need?” we’ll silently ask each other.

And so the hubs will pick him up, sling him over his shoulder, and continue cooking dinner. As Stuart watches silently. Loving every minute of it.

as for me and my house, we will serve the shoes.

I’m sure that fanatics are going to rise up out of the woodwork to let me know how incredibly blasphemous and despicable it is that I altered a Bible verse for my own selfish purposes, but I’m going to go ahead and put it out there… I’ve come a long way since my days at Camp Travis and Tabernacle revivals. (Quick detour: when I as in the 7th grade, my friend Mary and I decided to get saved because we learned that the one-on-one “spirit sessions” overlapped with silent prayer time. Should we sell our souls to Jesus we would be exempt from eye fucking every fifteen-year-old God boy in the praise tent to pass the time. Needless to say I dont think either of us have gone on to do good works…)

Anyway. A few nights ago I was watching an MTV True Life marathon in order to avoid doing the work that pays my rent. After watching gay boys join the football team, hermaphrodites win beauty pageants, and cheerleaders learn to go to school without makeup, I was absentmindedly tuned in to watch True Life: I’m a Compulsive Shopper. I immediately knew that if it were anywhere near as delicious as True Life: I’m in Debt I was in for a real treat. After watching that particular episode I was inspired to go out into the world and spent some cash, mostly because I wasn’t in debt nearly as bad as those hot messes. True Life rarely disappoints, and within hours I was enraptured with the story line: two girls cant stop shopping. The hubs delicately pointed out that if you’re going to have a compulsion like that you better look like a fucking super model all the time, but it seemed that our little friend from Long Island preferred to accrue her debt buying endless supplies of Juicy Couture sweats and black hair dye. Eh.

The real true life was the eerie kinship I began to feel for these women.

Holy fucking shit. ( I realized.)

True Life: iCaroline is a compulsive shopper.

It was a painful realization. There was a point during the viewing when the hubs and I were angry and sad (respectively) watching the young girls sit on their fully-stocked-closet floors and weep out of longing for the perfect pair of black boots. Not the really high ones, or the sort of high ones. Not the knee high ones, or the calf ones. The ankle ones wouldnt work and the ones that were the right height didnt have the right heel. How could they ever leave the house?

I reviewed my findings with a good friend the next day over lunch. I probably could have turned a blind eye to the problem for the better part of my life had True Life avoided the black boot scenario; however I myself was coming off a black boot bender and after having purchased six or so pairs I still wasnt entirely sure I had a pair for any occasion. As I told him this I realized what an error I made. It was not unlike spouting specific methodology for snorting cocaine to a person you mistakenly assumed was a lover of the powder. It was clear that he was unfamiliar with dressing anxiety, and therefore couldnt be my support system.

Instead he issued a challenge: no purchasing of footwear or apparel until 1/30/09.

I took his challenge and swore an oath (and teared up a little as I said the words), and thus began the next three months of my life. And the next big plot on HTWL.

Day one: Caroline imagines no less than 30 items– non- clothing or footwear related– that she can now focus her attention on. New gym bag anyone? nikebag

kickin’ it (in high gear)

**Just an update.**

It’s clear that this nonsensical bullshit is not going to win me a Pulitzer. However, I feel very strongly that nonsensical bullshit coupled with illegally-obtained and rights-managed photos certainly will. So I’m going to try to start inserting images. (That and I’ve been told that my blog posts have too many words….I’m going to have to suggest that if you don’t like reading so many words, you read something with less words, like Perez. I use a lot of words.) Maybe spice things up a bit.

As for the new header, though it looks like I am missing a tooth, I can promise you that I’m not. It’s just one of those things that happens to me.

Feel free to post comments about the changes. Or about me. Or about whatever. I’ve even been known to take topic requests. I’ll put you in my liner notes.

the bathroom ninja

I’m constantly mortified by my apartment. In my mind, I’m a delicate cleaning flower. I hang my clothes up after work, open drawers and place thing neatly inside, clean up after myself as I cook a meal. But in reality, I’m a whirling tornado of horrifying mess, never understanding where everything came from. How did I end up with 26 loads of laundry? Why are there eight empty water glasses next to my bed? And where the fuck is my other shoe?

The worst part is that I fear if left to my own, I may not ever clean. Would I seriously bask in the filth of my own lifestyle for eternity? No. No, I tell myself, I wouldnt. My mother once told me that a friend of her’s husband left her because she was a mess. I know it was partly untrue because my mother told me, and because she has always lacked the reasoning skills to understand that not everything can be traced back to an Electrolux, but it really got me thinking. I don’t mind if I think I’m a mess, but I certainly don’t want other people thinking it. And the last thing I want is to try to explain to people that my marriage ended because I couldnt get my shit together– literally.

About a year ago, I was preparing for a dinner party. A friend of mine was over at the house watching me tidy (Swifer, vacuum, blow dusk off of picture frames, and Fantastic the counters) when she suddenly looked up and asked me if I wanted her to Windex. Windex what? She explained that she would Windex the mirrors in the bathroom, and the glass panes on our French doors (they are indoors, not out). Apparently she Windexed her mirrors and crystal every Sunday. I was torn between whether to be fascinated by her, panicked that it had never, ever occurred to me to do any such thing, or simply kicked her out. And uninvite her to my party. Who the hell spent her Sunday Windexing the bathroom mirrors, let alone those teensie glass squares in the picture frames? She did.

I blew it off, but later on it started to get at me. Was something wrong with me? Why didn’t I hop out of bed on Sundays, ready to right the wrongs, make things shine, and prepare my abode for the week ahead? Here is what I came up with: Thresholds. Everyones got a Threshold.

To my poor friend, a low Threshold. The slightest sign of dust, the vision of one glass awaiting its turn in the dishwasher, was enough to send her to the other side… the dark place. She needed to know that at a moments notice there would be no doubt in her separate-sponges-for-counters-and-dishes mind that a guest could arrive unannounced, a neighbor could drop in for tea and cookies. As for me? Practically no Threshold at all. The amount of work required to make those things happen doesn’t begin to compare to the mental relaxation of not doing them at all. It’s not like I leave things rotting and festering around my house, but I have been using the same disposable dusting cloth for 2 + years.

But there in the distant future is a Threshold. It doesn’t inspire me to oil the floors on Thursdays, or organize DVDs alphabetically on Saturday afternoons, but it does pick holes in my conscience until I feel an enormous amount of guilt. And guilt is as good a motivator as torture.

I’m generally on a six to eight week cycle. Every six to eight weeks I have a push that is equal-to, if not greater-than, the sum total of what others do during that entire period of time. The hubs often complains that when I take on “cleaning” I generally start by making an insane mess beforehand. I can’t just pick up the various and sundries around the apartment, rehang coats, and wash dishes (which I do on a MUCH more regular basis), I have to first reinvent the wheel. Before I hang up coats, I need to take everything out of the closet. I have to visualize how the coats are going to fit, what the hierarchy of needs will be, so that I can rearrange the closet accordingly. It’s sick, and very time consuming, but if I’ve learned anything from the hubs, it’s whole ass or no ass.

Unfortunately, sometimes I get tired midway through. Then I’m left with a half organized closet and twice as much shit laying around on the floor. To this point, there is the method by which I tackle more aggressive cleaning issues– anything involving a product. If I’m going to get out the Comet, there better be an entire afternoon and some yellow rubber gloves. And someone sequester the cat.

As of yesterday, it had been approximately 6.5 weeks since I last attempted laundry. It’s due in part to a self-diagnosed anxiety disorder that keeps me from gearing up to do laundry for fear that I will get everything together, lug it down to the basement, and then discover that there is a line until Tuesday. When it comes to doing laundry in a community setting, everyone is your enemy. Fuck your neighbors. In addition, our family penchant for Aqua Net aerosol extra hold means that everything that dares to enter the bathroom will eventually become shellacked to the tile beneath a generous layer of the Secret of the South. That, and Stuart loves to roll his body in anything liquid. It’s a miracle he isn’t shellacked to the floor. I had gone to yoga in my pajamas, which I took to be a sign that I needed to get my domesticity in check, so I decided that I was going to take care of it. Tired of being embarrassed that our bathroom showed signs of use, I got out the Soft Scrub, the Tilex with Bleach, the Clorox, and a spong. I went in and surveyed the area. I locked Stuart in the bedroom. And then I remembered that the last time I cleaned the bathroom I got so high that I nearly passed out on my couch. (Which does beg the question of what said products are doing to the ozone, but I’ll tell you, I haven’t had much success with the greener, less abrasive versions of my favorite cleansers.)

So there I was, standing in the bathroom, a black silk-blend cocktail napkin tied over my nose and mouth, the tip pointing downward towards my breasts, looking exactly like an extra from the latest Al Quaida hostage video. To complete my outfit, I stripped down to my black boy short pannies and black sports bra. I was the bathroom ninja.

Outfitted in my nimble gear, I was able to tackle soap scum in a way that few can attest to. The stains cried out in consternation. As if they thought, after four to six weeks, that I would not be back. When I finished with the bathroom, after I had polished the grout, gathered the fur and hair from every corner, rearranged the products in the cabinet to better reflect their usage, the hubs stepped upon the gleaming floors with city coated shoes. His body will not be found, nor his cause of death discovered. I am, after all, a ninja.

As I continued down the list of things to do, albeit with less fervor than what I exhibited with the bathroom, I couldn’t bring myself to take off the napkin. It had become an alter ego. I was not only the bathroom ninja but the laundry ninja. I sat on my couch, my neck sweating beneath what was now my ninja necklace (I had to pull it down from my nose and mouth in order for the hubs to understand what I was saying), folding clothes like a mad woman. Hiyah!

When it was finally time to go to bed, the hubs worked to untie the knot keeping my ninja mask on. As it came off, the cool air finally giving my neck some respite from the chemically charged poly blend, I felt like my old self again. I walked by the bathroom on my way to bed, not stopping to brush my teeth, because it would only mar the sink.

When I crawled into bed I took some time to think about all that I had accomplished. I was sure that waking up, going to yoga, cleaning the bathroom, doing the laundry– that it would all give me an amazing sense of accomplishment. Instead I felt defeated. I kicked my yoga pants off, leaving them on the floor, and realized that none of it made a bit of difference. By the time the next person comes to visit I will be between cycles. My living room will be scattered with boots, shoes, models of loft apartments, books, bills, cat toys and scarves. My kitchen will have empty bottles of wine on the counter, pepper under the mill, and dishes in the sink. The $80 diffuser in the foyer will be ineffective because my fuck face cat will relieve himself moments before I bring a guest into the house, sabotaging my efforts to appear clean and neat.

So this bathroom ninja is putting away her expectations. There are too many opponents, too many walls to scale, in order to feel like I am keeping up with the status quo. I’ll try to remember to vacuum if I spill something. I’ll Swifter when Stuart starts to sneeze at his own overwhelming contribution, and I’ll attempt to keep the odor to a manageable foul. But other than that, kids, I’ve got bigger fish to fry.

If you don’t like dirt, you shouldn’t walk around barefoot.

landmarks, milestones, and starbucks

texasroadsignFor people living in “walking cities” the repetitive scenery of the to and fro can be mind numbing. Without a gas pedal to push, or any chance of arriving at our destination sooner (save jogging to work, which is for crazies and people who work at City Sports), we can sometimes find ourselves creating markers.

When I graduated from college, I was sure that I would be the talk of the town. I would entertain job offers from the best in the business. I would be wined and dined by advertising executives and creatives, all begging me for a moment of my time. “Alright,” I’d tell them, “but only a coffee.”

The verite was that I was a nobody. So much of a nobody that not only was I not double booked, I was stood up three times by one the most powerful men in advertising. I felt like a gem. There I was, sitting in my “defy the man” outfit from Anthropologie or some such nonsense and I got stood up by the man.

Eventually I ended up in a United Colors of Benetton itch blend suit sitting in the marble lobby of a staffing firm. I have nightmares about it still. A woman named Becky (the size of my apartment) told me in her own loving way that not only was I not the talk of the town, I didn’t have the skill set to be an “admin”. (Due to some movement on the East Coast it’s considered highly inappropriate to call anyone a secretary. It’s like calling a Director of First Impressions a receptionist. We wouldn’t want to put anyone in their place.) Previous to Becky I thought that being an admin was about typing, filing, a generally good temperament. Clearly intelligence and common sense will help you climb the corporate ladder as well, but being loyal, paying attention, and not fucking anything up would suffice in the short term.

Nope. According to Becky you practically have to go to school for admining.

Needless to say, Becky eventually placed me at a corporate real estate firm. When I got the call that I had been hired to temp with them, I celebrated by getting so obliterated that my husband found me passed out naked in my bathroom. At 2PM.

I couldn’t believe it. What had gone wrong? My “specialty” friends were being courted by Lehman Brothers (oops), playing salary roulette by pitting their offers against each other, and I was contemplating pushing my wedding date back so I could stay on Daddy’s insurance. No one seemed to understand the unfathomable genius they were passing up on. It was torture to go home at the holidays. My mother had touted my unprecedented talents since birth and I was proving it by making spreadsheets weighing the pros and cons of generic brands of tape.

But working there I learned a lot. I learned to make friends, have reasonable expectations for life, and never, ever wear sneakers with tights when walking to work. (I also learned how this happens. It’s slow coming on, but once you reach the hump its like a fat-kid on a Vaselined trampoline.)

Years later, the vision of those women still haunts me. As I get older (and thankfully come into my own professionally), I am pained by my own desire to slip my tight-clad foot into the soft comfort of my gym shoes. “NO!” I tell myself, “this is not who you are.” I am that girl who endures. I will wear Louboutins on the cobble stone, I will teeter to work in thigh-high suede boots, not because I am a snob, but because getting dressed is like painting a picture. The picture is incomplete when you have on cross trainers with your St. John suit. (Or, in the case of the office mumu, your outfit is complete– but you dont have any friends.)

This is how I came to be a marker. When my feet start to swell, the delicate tissue on my inner toe rubs painfully against the side of my shoe, or my heel catches between the narrowly spaced bricks I start to wonder just hot long before I get there. It’s all I can do to focus on small metered divisions of my walk. I know that the distance between Starbucks and my office is about 1/3 a Banana Chocolate Vivanno– or 2 2/3 songs on my ipod. Some days I try counting, singing, or smiling. I look for the same building, read the letters across the top. DAINTY DOT HOSIERY. I make a mental note of its presence, just like the day before. I look in the window of the Super 88, I hold my nose when I walk by the noodle house, hop at the corner curb by the lofts, and scowl at cars who turn right into the cross walk. Mostly I try not to imagine ways of making Chinatown disappear off the face of the planet. Because I’m a democrat. So I don’t hate. (Like catholic priests dont love little boys.)

It’s a huge leap, but this method of marking space and time is as old as I am. I don’t know if I got it from my brothers or if they got it from me, or if maybe all children do it, but my memories of this behavior go as far back as I can remember.

When I was a child, we used to drive to Houston. Maybe it was because we didn’t want to go, but the drive was miserable. (My child-stupid, but altogether delightful grandfather tried to create strange traditions like drinking buttermilk. I secretly threw up in the guest sink of his house for most of my pre-adolescent life.) My brothers and I would be in the back of the car, angry, antsy, and hoping that one of the other two of us would get hit by my dad for making too much noise– mostly because it was hilarious and broke up the trip. We were like the Griswolds. We even had a station wagon.

Every trip we took we would stop in La Bange, Texas. Back then it was the halfway point between the my house and my grandfather’s. After David and I had sufficiently damaged Charlie (we famously renamed the title character in his favorite book “Bastardly Clyde” instead of “Cowardly Clyde”), we’d set in asking dad when we’d arrive in La Bange. There was a restaurant there with a picture of the last supper (painted on velvet) hung directly besides a flashing TEXAS LOVES DOS EQUIS light tube sign. Something about the entire set up made me be proud to be from Texas. There they were: Jesus and a cold (immigrant) brew.

When we arrived at this smoke-filled (the good ol’ days) nest of halfway, we ate chicken fried steak, allowed my dad a few beers to unwind from spending more than 15 minutes with all three of his kids at once, and then piled back in the car. Whether it was the velvet last supper painting, or the remnant glow of the Dos Equis sign, we were refueled, recharged, and ready to drive the rest of the way.

It wasn’t until I was a driver myself that I learned that La Bange wasn’t anywhere near the halfway point, and actually sat about 45 minutes outside my hometown. I bet if I stood on top of that little chicken fried steak place I could strain my eyes and still see the Austin skyline. I also learned that it wasn’t called La Bange at all, but La Grange. My father’s growling tone responding to our incessant questioning led us to never actually hear him say it clearly. To this day we still call it La Bange.

But La Bange was a marker. Despite it not being equidistant, it was an indicator that we were making some progress. We were moving forward and eventually we’d make it to our destination. And really that’s all people ever really want to know.

dear mr. obama,

This morning, as I was leaving the gym, sweaty from George’s painful “Hard Body Meltdown” class with my new friend Nicole, I happened to look up as I walked out into the open air. The air felt different this morning. Across the road from me was a voting poll where at least a hundred people were lined up. For the first time since all this mamby pamby started (8? 9 years ago?), I looked across at those people as a part of my team. There were democrats no doubt (this is Massachusetts afterall) and republicans, but standing across the road they were people. They were people who cared enough to get out, to wait in line, to read their Metros and drink their coffee, and some of them were even chatting with each other. They were people who understood that no matter what, no matter your job, your color, your income level, if you do not vote you lose your voice.

For me, I vote because I believe that I am a part of the change. My voice, though small, is powerful. There will never be a tie because of me. I will break ties, I will build bridges, I will bring men and women home from war, I will bring clear air initiatives to our country. I will vote. Without liberty I am tied to the home, I am denied jobs because of my heritage, my gender, my sexuality. Without liberty I am unable to vote, I am unable to speak, I am unable to make a choice for my body, for my family, for my life. Without liberty we do not lead lives, we endure existence.

I hope that you win today, Mr. Obama. Everyone has their theories. Will there be a Bradley effect? Will people seize in the final moments, thinking only of your skin and not your promises? Will people forget their children, forget their planet, forget their jobs and deny you the job you so rightfully deserve because you are black? For all our progress, there is still that possibility. I’m sorry for that. I apologize to you for that.

I will vote for you today. I’m actually going after lunch, with my husband. We’re going to go and wait in line, and vote, and hopefully I will get one of those “I Voted” stickers, because in the last election I didn’t get shit. I FedEx Overnighted a democratic vote to the home state of the republican incumbent. I dont think I would have gotten a sticker even if I were at home. This year, I’m getting my fucking sticker. I’ll probably take a picture too.

If you lose, I’ll keep that picture somewhere. And when my grandchildren learn about the executive branch of the government, I will take out that picture and show them. There I am, I’ll say. I was there.

And if you win, I’ll keep that picture somewhere. And when my grandchildren learn about the executive brand of the government, I’ll take out that picture and show them. There I am I’ll say. I was there. Only this time I’ll hold them close and look at their healthy bodies and their healthy futures and I will be reminded that I was more than there. I was here. I was making a selfless decision for the future. I was thinking beyond myself, my income bracket, my religion. I was thinking bigger than bottomlines and relentless capitalism. When I voted on Novemeber 4th, 2008, I was putting an end to the past.

Mr. Obama, I hope that you win this election tonight. I hope that people understand that where there is no experience there is will. There is a purity of passion and pursuit that is why you should win, not why you shouldn’t.

Mr. Obama, I hope that you win this election tonight, because I hope that my daughter grows up to love her body, respect it’s power, and honor her power over it. I hope that my sons grow to know their strength, yield it honorably, and never have to die in spite of it. I will not send my children to war. I will not allow an overzealous government to govern my childrens bodies. I will not send my legacy into this world to suffer and fall. And should my children come to me, bursting with love for another– -no matter who that person should be– I will not have them be told that their joy and love mean less in the eyes of this country. We, my husband and I, will sit in the front row and support them, smiling, elated– because our children were able to find love in this world. . .

I will vote for you today.

And I will hope.


alright already.

This month, for those of you who live in the real world, is National Blog Posting Month. I’m only telling you this because I was going to join the legions of bloggers who commit to celebrating this ridiculous holi-month by posting to their blog at least once a day for the entire month. (Black Americans get the shortest month of the year, bloggers get November. Surely Obama will do something about that immediately.) As it turns out, I have no self-discipline, so that’s not going to happen. (And because I realized at 11:58 on November 1st that I didn’t post… and was too overserved at that point to rectify it.)

In my own defense I feel pretty strongly that The Half Truth of a Whole Life has made a place in the world because of quality, not ridiculous quantity. In a world where I could aimlessly indulge myself in one-sided banter about how much I hate it when the hubs fucks up and buys Cottonelle instead of Charmin even though there is a huge fucking bear on it so you know you’ve gotten the right one, or my current feelings towards Moose Spice and Big Papa , I refrain from such rants to bring you the kind of quality you’ve come to expect from HTWL. (I just made that acronym up. ) I don’t even have a direct URL, and I’m thinking I should be a daily blogger? Who am I kidding?

Or, I’m a lazy asshole who gets overwhelmed by the pressure of delicately exploiting myself to bring you some entertainment and the thought of doing it every day for a month literally gives me an eye twitch.

The good news is that while I’m not going to be posting daily, I am going to post today. And I’ll think about it again tomorrow.

The trouble with the holidays is that blog fodder, though seemingly random, is not at all. One might imagine that during the holidays there is no end to the things to talk about, but the truth is that it’s all too obvious. Caroline waking up in her front yard? That’s the entire punch line. There’s no subtle and mortifying humor to build upon. Everyone wakes up naked in their yard occasionally.

The best months for blogging are when nothing is going on. The expectation is low, and my friends forget to be on guard. Suddenly someone will reveal they’re antisemitic in a room full of Jews and it’s all I can do to sit their quietly and allow the whole thing to play out.

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas… there will always be something to talk about, but it’s the same thing: alcohol + caroline = tearing through the streets of Boston assuming that everyone cares about what I have to say. Not true at all.

The good news is that I’ve stockpiled. For 24 years I’ve been stockpiling the horrifidy for the entertainment of cube rats across the land. (As well as the occasional non-friend who gets here via Facebook. Hey, we don’t care what brought you here, we’re just glad you’re here.) During the weeks and months to come there will be holiday-focused commentary, but it will likely center around deep emotional scarring and painful ineptitude, not singing Silent Night for sick kids. After all, if a Christmas passes without making you feel like your family has completely failed you, you simply weren’t paying attention. As for me, I can hardly wait.

For now, we have Lindsay. The she-trainer to the stars (I also made that up) who worked her tiny little tail off to make me a better me. Maybe you’re noticing the past tense?

We broke up.

It was a multi-fold decision, but hinged on the fact that Lindsay proved to be a very effective character here on HTWL, but not so effective in motivating me to live the life of a Barbie outside those walls. Perhaps we’ll see a reprise in my more lucrative years, but or now, unless one of my loyal fans wants to pick up her tab, we’ve had to say goodbye.

After our 12 + weeks together I should have known better than to tell her at the beginning of class. It’s not that Lindsay isn’t lovely and caring, I’m sure she just saves that sort of affection for her family. And I’m sure she’s been hardened by all the vapid fat asses to come before me. She can’t allow herself to get too close, to get too attached, otherwise she’d be heartbroken every time someone had to chose paying their mortgage over coming to see her. Mistaking me for a vastly stupider version of myself, she told me that the math was “like going to Starbucks” to which I could only respond with disgusted despair. Did she really believe that anyone in this cradle of a gym was forgoing on their grande mocha to pay for it? Furthermore, what the fuck does she think people are ordering that equals $800 a month? Not Tazo tea, that’s for sure.

Deciding to break up with her took me near two weeks (i.e. $400). I kept thinking I was going to ease into it between lunges (“God. I cant believe I cant afford to do this anymore. So sad.”), or maybe when she asked me about my holidays (“Always crazy. I probably wont be able to come in AT ALL.”– and then I would promptly switch gyms), but I never did it. I think it’s because deep down I didn’t want to see Lindsay dismiss me with such emotional vacancy. I didn’t want to know that I was just another $105. I guess I thought we were different.

What I hadn’t prepared for was my own stupidity. What idiot breaks up with their trainer at the beginning of a session? Lindsay knows I cant count, so she graciously keeps track of my reps, encouraging me with words like “two more” and “last set”. Not this time. I’ve learn over the last few months to keep track–vaguely– of my reps and as I passed the 20th rep on a 12 rep set I’d swear I saw Lindsay’s eyes glowing red. I was pretty certain that if she had her druthers, she’d just let me go. Until my arm fell off and thrashed around on the floor, blood pumping out of the tattered remains of my veins. “Opps” she’d say. “I think that was more than 12”. And then she’d kick my arm out of reach.

As The Last Session continued I could see that Lindsay had already moved on. She was mentally penciling someone else into my time slot. Imagining all the people willing to drink less latte in order to allow her to sculpt their wanting abs. I was like an orientation friend. A feigned BFF used only for the sake of not being alone, but someone you will never be real friends with. I was 16 minutes left on a time clock. I was an obligation.

I continued with my exercises. I started to think that I owed it to myself, to my maxed out American Express, to get the most out of The Last Session. Twelve weeks had yielded nothing, but these last 16 minutes were going to make the difference. I felt like Forest Gump running, on the edge of breaking free from my braces. When I emerged from the gym I was going to glow.

Then it occurred to me. Surely this behavior was a defense mechanism. Lindsay was masking her feelings about my departure, veiling them with trivial workout cruelties. She was a kettle bell away from tears and she was building her strength from my own. I owed it to her to be strong. To finish the workout. To never look back.

And then it was over.

I passed her in the locker room as I left to go to work. She looked at me with the eyes of a girl who saw me once in a picture, long, long ago. And then she greeted her 10:00 with all the love and longing I’d been hoping for.

As it turns out, she really just didnt like me.