conversations worth sharing

These three conversations all took place within the last 24 hours. If nothing else, it does show that truth is way better than fiction.

1. Setup: A friend emailed me about a dress she bought being a touch snug after some much needed dietary relaxation. We conversed about the possibility of juicing and elliptical training like a mad woman for two weeks, but my suggestion was much simpler: buy Spanx. The ones that go all the way up, and all the way down.

J: Update: Holy Fuck!  Just tried on the dress with Spanx and it’s almost too big now! (JK about the big part, but still!!!!)

me: YAY! I told you…

J: OMG. I’m still going to go crazy with the elliptical trainer til then, but yayyyyyyyyyyy!

me: I’m so glad it worked. I’ve lost like 30 Spanx lbs before. Did you get the ones with the pee hole?

J: Yes! That was a bonus score.

2. Setup: Dear friend and blog loyalist text messages me while I’m out having dinner and cocktails with the hubs. (At Bistro du Midi, my stomping ground.)Reference is to yesterday’s blog post (below).

D: I like Combos.

me: You’re dead to me.

D: I am going to sneak into your apartment and lay them everywhere.

me: I’m going to then smash them and sprinkle them in your bed.

D: Well, perfect. I will have a late night snack.

3. Setup: This doesn’t need a setup.

anonymous woman: Is that a boner?

anonymous man: It’s a half boner.

anonymous woman: Get it off my thigh.

anonymous man: It’s called a semi. It’s perfectly normal morning blood flow.

anonymous woman: Awesome. Get it off my thigh.

Happy Friday!

if i want to write a book, i’m going to have to get fat

(Who’s book would you rather read? My point exactly…)

I’ve been working on making some new friends. I know it’s hard to believe, but I have a really difficult time meeting new people. I’m very, very awkward in real life. Very. Painful. But the pressure is on now. I still have BF-H, who will always be numero uno in my life, but I’m learning that if I’m walking down the street and H is busy or ill, there aren’t a whole lot of people I can call. (I know a few people reading this who are now offended, but don’t worry, I’m remembering you, there just aren’t very many of you…)

For instance last night my mojo went missing so instead of going to the gym I decided to go to dinner and visit my friends at Bistro du Midi. I texted every person I know and not only did I not find a partner to dine with, I didn’t get any returned texts. Blow. To. The. Ego.

The good news is that I have a met a new friend and things seem to be going well. I feel like I’m dating again. We’ve been out a few times, have lots to talk about, seem to have similar tastes in most things; she smart, cute, well read, comes from a good family. On paper I’d say we’re doing really well. I have even introduced her to H. Big step.

One of the nice things about meeting someone new is that you’re suddenly reminded of all the wonderful things about yourself, the things that your good friends know, but don’t mention to you anymore because the courtship is over. New friends say things like “you are so funny!” or “you have such great style!” and it makes you feel like you’re the hottest shit around. My new friend has been really good for my psyche.

The reason I’m even speaking of my new friend, besides knowing that a blog mention may take us to the next level, is because of a comment she made while we were having drinks a few weeks back. We were talking about blogs (I had yet to share my blog with her, I tend to wait until I know how it will be received) and she mentioned that a friend of hers used to keep a riotously funny blog. Unfortunately her friend was only funny when she was unhappy. Much to the dismay of all her followers she got happy. End of blog.

It’s a terrible thing, hoping that someone will stay unhappy for your benefit, but it’s not uncommon. Just as we all hope to be slighter thinner or better looking than at least one person we know, we can also be selfish with friendships. I’ve hoped that friends would stay in jobs they hated so that I could continue to get the perks. (Namely the hubs…) I’ve even found myself resentful when friends “do what’s best for them” and take a job that alters my ability to see them regularly, or affects their lifestyle (and in turn mine). It doesn’t make me evil, it makes me human. A little bitchy maybe, perhaps a touch unsupportive, yes, but not evil…

At any rate, I am intimately aware of the inverse relationship between unhappiness and good blog fodder. Some of my best blog posts are the ones where I come off like a pariah. I’ve always subscribed to the belief that people, namely women, do not want to read about some skinny girl with a fabulous life, delicious husband, and cush job. That will do nothing but incite a riot resulting in boycotting. On the other hand, a blog that pokes fun at other people’s shortcomings is the express train to having thousands of people let you know exactly what they don’t like about you. People like to read about people that make them look healthier, thinner, saner, and smarter. Hence, The Half Truth. What could possibly make you feel better than reading about my epic day-to-day failures and inability to navigate interpersonal relationships? Nothing I can think of.

Unfortunately my life isn’t really that interesting. And while I love to talk about how much I dislike myself, now that I’ve taken the bulk of my “I’m married! Weeeee!” weight off, it’s a little cruel to talk about my resemblance to a hippo. (Mostly to other people, I don’t mind calling myself a Hippo…) Plus there’s nothing fun about talking about working out once you’re pretty good at it. Wanna talk about the six miles I sweated out on the treadmill? Probably not. Maybe the yoga class I did today? Nope. What about the heavy girl with the tramp stamp downward dogging next to me? See. You want me to tell that story.

So where does this leave me? I think if I want to get a book deal I have to get fat. I’m miserable which translates to funny. I’m uncomfortable, which gives me excellent material for visuals, and I pretty much hate everyone so I have no problem picking on pretty people, thin people, fit people, athletic people, or my very favorite, thin and stupid people. God how I love a good thin stupid person. As an added bonus I love blaming my problems on other people, so there will be the added suspense and week-to-week questioning over whether or my marriage will survive. Or maybe if the hubs will slit my throat in my sleep. Always a possibility.

I think of it like this: if I had to read a book about written by a contestant on The Biggest Loser I would much rather read about a 600lb woman trying to stay on a treadmill for six minutes than an empowering ghostwritten piece of nonsense about how if they can, anyone can. Puhlease.

And you?

stuart is on a hunger strike

There are many, many reasons I don’t have children, the least of which being that I don’t care for them.

When I got married I was really young. I’ll be the first to say that it’s not entirely advisable. The hubs and I have worked hard to make our relationship the object of such reverence and desire. I wouldn’t take it back, but I would weave a cautionary tale to all those youngsters out there. In order to ensure that I don’t wake up at 30 and feel like I fucked everything up, I have a firm commitment to myself not to have babies until I’m at least 30. I don’t think there is anything wrong with having babies before 30, I’m just sayin’ that it’s the right decision for me. I know how being the little wifey can make you feel like playing house, but YOU CAN’T RETURN BABIES. They stay.

(I’ve actually had dreams where I have a baby and promptly decide it was a huge error. I shop it around for a while and finally just give it to the orphanage. I think I walk away and go have lunch at Houston’s or something. Baby? What baby?)

Because I am so thoughtful and level headed about this baby business, I have plenty of time to observe, objectively, other people’s children, as well as identify all the magical ways that I am bound to screw things up. My big fear is that I couldn’t love an ugly baby and there is a whale of a chance that between the hubs tree trunk legs and my original nose our baby is going to be fugs. The only shred of respect I have left for Madonna is based solely on the fact that she hasn’t sat Lourdes down and told her that 6 billion people worldwide think her eyebrows are super fucked. I don’t know if I’d have it in me to let my child be a child with two werewolf caterpillars betwixt her eyes.

The body issues are another thing entirely. My own mother did her very best not to pass on the body issues. Unfortunately she failed, but it was not for lack of trying. She really did just want us to eat healthy. It was no one’s fault but my own that I loved Snickers bars to the point that my parents had no choice but to sit me down and tell me I was getting a little soft around the middle. I forced their hand.

Now that I’m all grown up I grapple with how you teach anyone (friends or children) how to eat right. I’ve tortured the hubs into submission by controlling the grocery shopping which means that no meats cross my threshold, nor do any processed foods, General Mills products, milk, or off-brand toilet paper. There was a time that he put up a fight but he’s given up. He can snack on olives and carrot sticks.

Up until now I’ve been mindful of Stuart’s diet, but I haven’t focused on it. To be 100% honest it’s been difficult for me to come to terms with the difference between truth and lies in the people food world, so tackling cat food seemed really daunting. And expensive. But then the hubs brought home Meow Mix as an emergency bag to get us through the week and all I could think was that we were basically feeding our cat Doritos for every meal. Stuart, of course, loved it. I felt like a mom who finally gave up and fed her kid a happy meal because it was cheap and easy. I was choked by the realization that this is how it happens. You let go for one minute and allow your husband to be in charge of the children and he takes them to the drive thru before sitting them in the front row of the movie theater with a jumbo box of popcorn and some Sour Patch kids. Next thing you know they’ll be running through the house in Super Man pajamas with Foot by the Foots wrapped around their thumbs smelling like a post-recess third grade classroom.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Stuart needed new food. That was the end of that. I wasn’t going to allow him to continue eating the Cocoa Puffs of cat food. Armed with my Google-acquired knowledge I went to Whole Foods to get some new food. No corn. No soy. No meat by products. (Heave.) Stuart was going to have more energy, a shinier coat, and a better temperament. I bought a teensy bag of food for $26 or something insane like that and took it home. I was so excited to show Stuart that I pushed the Meow Mix to the back of the cupboard and opened the new food. (Which smells like rotting salmon. Guess that’s what actual dried meat smells like.) He was starving, weaving through my legs, jumping against the wall. I poured the food and waited for him to turn around, cup my face in his paws, kiss me lovingly on each cheek, and thank me. Instead he sniffed the bowl, looked up in disgust, and walked away to ask dad to get him a Happy Meal.

I couldn’t believe it. One bag of Meow Mix and we ruined him. It’s been three days and he won’t get near the bowl unless we sprinkle of cat Doritos on top. Even then he does everything in his power to just pick up the Doritos and not touch the sophisticated kitty food.

What to do? How do I teach my child cat to eat well and respect his body? How do I make him care? How?

really? before google?

I’m not really clear on what life was like before Google. I may have actually blocked it out. Sort of like computers and cell phones, only different. I don’t remember the moment that Google came into my life. I don’t remember thinking “HOLY FLAMING MONKEY BALLS! THIS IS AMAZING!” Nothing. I vaguely remember my cousin showing me a “search” he did on the “world wide web” and then explaining to me that it was like a card catalog. Or something. It’s almost as if from there, without my knowledge or consent, it became an appendage. It’s like going to the bathroom when you wake up. If you have a question, you Google it. Without Google I don’t even know what color my own eyes are.

It amazes me that it can be so a part of my life and yet I can’t remember when my dependency began. I remember my first cell phone. It was a humiliating second hand Ericsson from the discarded pile of cell phones at my dad’s office. I was so embarrassed by it that I immediately did everything but turn tricks until I could afford to buy myself a Motorola StarTAC. (I’ve always been a touch materialistic.)

My first computer was in ’94. It was a Dell. My brother David immediately downloaded porn onto the desktop in a folder labeled “David’s Research Report.”

But again. No idea about Google. None. Nothing. Don’t remember my first search. Don’t remember why I abandoned Ask.com and Yahoo. I know nothing. Except nowadays I wouldn’t know my face from my asshole if I couldn’t Google it and get a diagram.

Someone recently told me that Internet searches are killing the planet faster than GM which completely wrecked my day. I tried to go a day without Googling anything and I make it until about 10:30AM. It was at that moment that I felt it imperative that I immediately know the calories in a kiwi and the whole plan was shot to hell. That opened Pandora’s Box and I was back to my usual. The sickest part about my searches is how they go completely off the rails and I end up millions of thought miles away from my initial search. I’ll start off Googling recipes for dinner and end up with live video of earth worms having intercourse.

My internet history at work is famous for it’s list of search terms. Just last week I started researching baby names after I saw something on Facebook about the growing popularity of certain names. After calling the hubs twice to tell him factoids I’d learned about baby making (did you know it’s best to avoid lubricants and use egg whites? Say what?) I was cut off. By the end of the day I had put together a ten year baby plan based on the information that I learned. By the time I got home the hubs was a father of three (the ideal number for bonding) and managing his schedule to be home with the boys (I know the secret to dictating my babies’ sex) in the mornings (children mature more holistically when one parent is available to them full time in the first five years).

When Bing came out with those commercials, I knew I was not their target audience. The product actually murdered everything I love about Google. I like to be led down a dark and windy path. I like now knowing if mustache is going to yield the obvious or something more scandalous and R rated. I don’t want Bing to decide. I don’t want Bing to make my life more focused and succinct. I want to continue to grow my useless knowledge base exponentially until I don’t even need Google because I will be Google.

That’s right. I’m going to be Google.

what inquiring minds want to know, i find out

Even medicated I have a lot of anxiety. I don’t consider myself an anxious person, but I do have a lot of anxiety. Right now I’m anxious about renewing my drivers license. I checked the date and it expires in 2012. That’s less than two years away. I feel like there is this big black X on my calendar two years away and I’m going to spend the next 18 months marching towards it, panicking about having to deal with the mind numbing idiocy of the fucking DMV. I have similar anxiety about my debit card. It’s expiring next year. Where will the new one come from? Will they send it to me? Do I need to call someone? What if I want to buy something and I can’t because my expiration date is too soon! AHHH! Panic! Agony. World ending. Puppies dying.

Like I said, this is with meds.

I experience similar anxiety about a myriad of teensy little things throughout the day. I don’t want to run into people I know at the grocery store. I’m never sure whether I’m supposed to kiss French people on the right or left side first, so I’m in a constant state of fear and anxiety about that. I get anxious about brushing my teeth and getting in the shower. Typing it all out I’m starting to feel like a few weeks on a ranch somewhere could do me some good. (Like a special ranch, not at home with my mother.)

I’m not helpless though. I am actually usually pretty good about alleviating my anxiety by simply asking questions.

“Mr. French client who always wants to kiss me, which side first?”
“Do I have this dress on backwards?”

“Am I supposed to eat those flowers made of carrots?”

“Do you think I’m crazy?”

So, in the interest of alleviating one of my more plaguing anxieties, I decided to have a little impromptu q&a with my beloved gynecologist. (No lie, I’m obsessed with him.) The beauty of the entire conversation is that because of MA state law (or maybe law everywhere) a female nurse must be present while the doctor is taking care of business. So rather than just ask my question, I was able to open a dialogue about the subject I was so curious about.

Does the gynecologist judge the lesser groomed? Moreover, does he/she expect a little pre-appointment grooming?

After regaining his composure (which was completely lost after I candidly asked my question), he answered that really he didn’t care either way. There was definitely no judgment, but due to the location of his work he couldn’t help but notice the different…err… styles. The nurse in the room said that in all her 38 years it had never occurred to her to pretty it up for the nice doctor, but now that I mentioned it she did feel like it was important.

The doctor did add that he had a particular Brazilian patient who told him that it was customary in her country for women to go for the full grooming before the appointment. It was disrespectful to show up all shabby. It dawned on me that it was kind of like showing up to the dentist with dirty teeth and foul breath, or going to the proctologist with a pooey po. I could tell that he was trying not to make any statements that could get him in hot water, but I mentioned that next time I’d be more attentive to my goods and he seemed to feel like it would be beneficial to all parties. He ended by saying that it was only ever a problem if he “couldn’t find it.”

It was then that I lost my composure.

tonight you’re a fly on the wall

Monday through Wednesday at our house is tough. Monday and Tuesday nights the hubs has class and doesn’t get home til almost 11 and Wednesday nights are always yoga with BF-H and whomever else wants to join. (Uh hem…) I usually get home between 8-10 on these nights so dinner can happen as late as 10:30. Don’t know why I feel you should know all that, but whatever.

While we’re being all detailed and stuff, I’ll paint an even clearer picture. Tonight, the hubs got home around 8:40. I’d walked in a few minutes earlier. I’d come from yoga and was about to eat my arm off. Not a problem usually, but we’d decided to have steamed artichokes for dinner and those take about 45 minutes. I could hear the nutries voice in my head, telling me not to snack, wait, drink water, pace, anything but start snacking, but I require about 2,100 calories a day and I was hovering at about 900 and shit was about to get ugly. Needless to say there was a storm of mini snacks while hubs steamed the chokes. (Usually we eat them alone, but since we’re both “training” for the half marathon in may I thought I’d make some tilapia with a miso glaze. You know, protein and stuff. Super simple and takes about 10 minutes. Happy to email you the recipe.)

At 9:45, about twenty seconds before I fainted from the lack of nutrients, We sat down to dinner (in the official and grown up dining room) and began to enjoy our fish and chokes. Twice the hubs asked me why I was eating so fast. I ignored how loaded and offensive the comment came across, but I opted to tell him I’d try to gentle eat for the rest of the meal. i.e. Blow it out your ass, buddy. I’m fucking starving and now is not the time to go all OA eating tips on me.

We decided to eat in the dining room because we had all sorts of grown up stuff to talk about (money, weekend plans, etc.) and the dining is way more conducive to focused conversations. The hubs started talking about work which usually includes a reminder of how much he hates his job, a remark or two about the idiots he works with, reinforced by a story or two, and concluded by an interesting bit of information he learned from a customer or one of the few people he works with who wouldnt be better off mute.

Tonight’s conversation was too good not to share.

hubs: Did you know that most vegetarians don’t eat eggs?

me: Yes.

hubs: Yeah… but there’s an name for it and everything, ov–

me: Ovo vegetarian. Like ovary.

hubs: Are you sure it’s not from the French word for egg?

me: Can’t be sure, though I feel certain the French word comes from ovary anyway. Like ovulation.

hub: Anyway, learned that at work today.

me: Huh. Wonder if there is an assumption that pescetarians eats eggs? I guess not because I’ve heard the term ovo-lacto-pescetarian.

hubs: Are you fucking kidding me? That’s the stupidest fucking thing I’ve ever heard.

me: Well, I guess. But technically that’s what I am. I’m a vegetarian who eats eggs, cheese, and fish.

hubs: I don’t care what you are. Don’t ever tell anyone that. Ever. Just tell them you are picky. I don’t want to know any of the miserable, stupid fuckers who actually categorize themselves as ovo-lacto-pescetarians.

me: I don’t call myself that. I’m just saying, that’s the technical term for what I am.

hubs: Fine. But I’m the only one who has to know. Keep it to yourself.

me: Did you have a bad day at work?

So, between you and me, I’m an ovo-lacto-vegetarian picky eater.

my thoughts on marathon monday

I’m surprised that WBZ news didn’t call for my commentary on the goings on around Boston yesterday. I suppose with all the mayhem caused by the volcano keeping many of our European runners away, they forgot what a valuable contributor I would have been. Their loss, the blogs gain.

In the interest of truth and honesty, you should know that I’ve been living in Boston for nearly six years and have never seen the marathon. For two or three years I actually lived on the route and just never wandered over to watch. It’s terrible, I know, but I can’t change the past. Nowadays my company doesn’t give us the faux Patriot’s Day holiday and I really can’t justify taking off work and using a vacay day to watch a bunch of people show me what little self discipline I have.

I think I’m also secretly afraid that I’d be so overwhelmed with emotion and good spirits that I’d do something stupid like sign up for the marathon. It sounds out of control, but that’s exactly how my life goes. After finishing my last half marathon, I made a video explicitly to remind myself to never, ever do it again. Apparently I wasn’t clear enough with myself because I’m running another half in about a month.

For those of you who do not live in the Boston area and/or are not familiar with Marathon Monday I’ll give you the highlights:

• lots of people. It’s actually a little hard to tell who is running the marathon and who is dressed like they are running the marathon. Lots of jogging happening, which is usually a big “I’m not actually running the marathon” red flag. Everyone knows you don’t go running around willy nilly when you’re supposed to be running a marathon in 24 hours.

• plenty of open restaurant reservations… as long as you don’t want to eat at 5:30. I dont know what it is about runners, but they eat dinner at 5. Then they go get crazy at an oxygen bar or something and are tucked in watching Dateline by 8:30.

• jackets, jackets everywhere. This is a faux tradition and the jury (me) is still out. At first I thought it was cool to see people from every year wearing their respective jacket, but then I found out you can buy the jackets at City Sports and I didn’t feel quite the same about it. And then I got to thinking about it some more and wondered how I’d feel if that’s how the world worked. Could get sticky. I mean, do olympians wear their track suits from previous years to the opening ceremonies? No. And you know why? Because unless you hit someone with two by four or accidentally got hooked on meth post-games no one is going to remember your name. And it makes you seem a little sad. Like I said, though, I’m still deciding whether I think it’s weird or not.

• velociraptor women. I feel kind of bad for these women, but I suppose turning into a tucked-up-mini-arm jogger with a jutted chin is the price you pay for being addicted to running. It’s not unlike leather faces with tributary lips… no ones fault but their own for not putting down the Dorals. Even when these ladies aren’t in their Asics and short-billed running hats there is no mistaking them. There’s not a sweater set in the world that can disguise a velociraptor.

• gratuitous outdoor activities are mandatory. It’s as if Boston cares very, very much they the throngs of marathoners and spectators understand how much we, as a city, value outdoor recreation. You have never seen so many speed walkers, roller bladers. picnickers, photographers, or joggers in your life. Trust me, I live here year round. The jogging you see in and around Marathon Weekend is for show. (I think it may also be a mating ritual. Casual girl jogger impresses boy marathoner with her sprightly pony tail and perfect form. We can all hope that next year he proposed to her at the finish line.)

• The news coverage goes from sun up to sun down. I’m fairly certain a nuclear attack on the US wouldn’t keep us from reporting upon whichever Ethiopian stomped all over our hopes of bringing the title back home. (I think we’ve even extended our definition of home to be “the general land mass of North America, including any disputable land masses near our shores.” Even a fucking Canadian would be patriotic at this point…

• The stories of soldiers running for their wounded or dead friends is enough to make you want to have an affair with a soldier.

I for one watched the coverage from the treadmill at Equinox. Let me tell you something, despite my general disinterest in the marathon, nothing in the last 6 months has made me feel like as big a loser as watching marathon results from the treadmill of my swanky gym. (Where I was panting through 5.5 miles.) Amputees we’re crossing the finish line in under three hours and there I was pissed that I’d left my iPod at work and was going to have to jog on a padded floor in an air conditioned room without tunes.

It’s an entire universe, you know.

It’s an entire universe. It’s not just you or your apartment. It’s not your life and your friends. This town does not belong to you, this state does not know you. You are not defined by your country, nor are you spoken for by your leaders. It’s an entire universe.

When you cry, the sound is muffled by tragedies you cannot fathom. The moisture is so insignificant that your body doesn’t miss it, the earth doesn’t notice it. Your wondering floats up into the clouds where it meets a billion other worries and a trillion other wonders and they dance and play and laugh and sing. They look down upon you and giggle. They talk about how selfish you are. How little you understand about the universe.

When you ache, the pain you feel is absorbed in the margins of life. There is no ceremony, no pomp or circumstance. The wind blows moments through the trees and into the sky where they disappear like everything before and everything after.

This is an entire universe. It’s a painting. We are not even a color. We are not even a stroke. If we fade or chip or float softly to the floor, if we get swept up in the whirlwind and drift away silently, that is all there will be. Silence.

It’s an entire universe you know. She is busy. Her ache is real. She catches the aches that are absorbed along her margins, too many to sort, too overwhelming to address. She scoops the laughing wonderment from the clouds and tosses it into the night sky, where it dots the darkness with light. She stares upon the canvas and one big wonder, like a single red balloon, floats above her head. Why do they not see it? Why do they feel so different, so important, so alone? They are so small, so one, so same. They are blurred together. They are merely the moments. There is no direction of progression, digression, transgression that does not need them all.

It’s an entire universe, you see. It’s not you or me. It’s not she or he. It’s a sum of laughter, an average of tears. It’s a fabric of quilted thoughts, sewn together by sadness, anger, wonderment, and confusion. It’s not about you. It’s about the universe.