ABOUT ME

About me: My husband Chuck, our six-year-old Junior, our three-year-old Everette and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

This one time...at band camp

Holy shit. Last week was like The Perfect Storm. Postpartum anxiety, a move, two sick children, snow, and news that our house in Mulletville (the one that's on the market) has depreciated $70,000 since we bought it.

Panic attack.

But. It's nothing compared to what's happening in Japan. I keep reminding myself of that.

So far life in Mulletville Lite has been surreal. I find myself vacillating between "Yes! We're out of Mulletville!" and "Fuck, I used to vacuum this room for allowance money and now I'm vacuuming it because I have to." Mmm, bipolar goodness.

Putting Junior to bed in the room that used to be my childhood bedroom was just plain odd.

Looking down the hall at my old bedroom from what's now my room and was previously my parents' room was even odder.

Myah, sex? Kind of still suck in the "ew" stage.

And who turned the lights off? Even with street lights on, it's dark out there. We'ze in the country! I can hear crickets and blades of grass wafting in the wind. Sticks tumbling by the creek. My braids slapping against my cheeks as I forage for berries.

Ok, ok. This isn't Caddie Woodlawn.

Which, incidentally, I read in fifth grade. In this town.

This is going to take some getting used to.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Is that your conch or mine?

So. This is it. The movers are coming tomorrow, just in time for some snow flurries. Goodbye Mulletville.

As I was cleaning out closets in the house we're moving into—my childhood home—I found this basket of shells. They'd been sitting there since 1982.



My mother left the basket behind after my parents divorced and she moved out, and I hung on to it, like I did a lot of things (come swim in my pool!). My mother always wanted to live by the beach, but my father thought that was impractical.

This summer, she and my step-father moved to a house by the ocean, and yesterday I gave her back the shells.

I'm taking this as a sign that everyone is where they are supposed to be.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Two posts in one day. I can't help it. The kids are taking marathon naps and the word mommy is making me sick

I can't keep my mouth shut anymore. I have to say it: I am sick of the idea of motherhood.

It started when I read the post about the mom who admitted, for all the world to see, that she "thinks" she loves her son more than her daughter. People freaked. Mostly over her comment that "There are moments – in my least sane and darkest thoughts – when I think it wouldn’t be so bad if I lost my daughter, as long as I never had to lose my son."

People assumed she meant she wished her daughter would die. It certainly can be interpreted that way, though the mother denies it.

What bothers me about the piece isn't that the woman thinks she prefers her son over her daughter (it happens), or even that she wishes her daughter would disappear; it's the idea that yet another mother has yet another confession to make.

How many effin confessions are there left to make about being a mom? And why do we assume that our deepest, darkest thoughts and observations about mommyhood are so earth-shattering?

My favorite confession is the "I'm not perfect" confession, most recently made by Scary Mommy on CNN. I like Scary Mommy's writing and her blog. A lot. But is the idea that mothers (or fathers, for that matter) are imperfect really revolutionary? Haven't we established that? And if we haven't, could we please mark this date down as the day it was officially proclaimed so that we can all move on?

Maybe I'm on a different planet than everyone else, but I never expected perfection from my parenting. I hope to raise my children without severely damaging them emotionally, like my parents did to me. I hope my children know they are loved and that their home is a safe, nurturing place.

Most of all, I hope that the day they realize that I'm not perfect--a coming-of-age conclusion every child reaches--they understand that I did the best job I humanly could and that I loved them to the best of my ability, given the limitations of my own upbringing, how much sleep I had and how much wine was in the house.

Really, the whole idea that a mother (or again, father) should hold themselves to a standard of perfection is absolutely ludicrous. Look at what animals children can be. They keep you awake all night. They cry, shout and fling themselves on the floor over things like deflated balloons and whether or not they can put on their own shoes. They defy you. They cling to you. They want to watch you poop. They don't appreciate you. They won't let you eat dinner at a restaurant in peace. They're irrational. Sometimes their temperament reminds you of all the things you hate about your spouse.

How can anyone possibly maintain perfection in light of all that? And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

The answer is you can't. You just fucking can't. Why it's newsworthy that anyone is still trying is beyond me.

If you want a good laugh about mommy confessions, check out this one by Kaui Hart Hemmings.

If the toast had had legs, it would have run the hell away

In my last post, I said my trip to Assachusetts to stay with my mother was colorful, and I wasn't lying. But I'll get to that in a minute.

The trip started off on rocky footing. My mother drove down the night before so she could follow me back to her house the next morning. I told her that wasn't necessary, but before I'd hung up the phone she was parked in front of my house.

Off we went.

We left Mulletville when the two kids would need a nap, but Diddly woke up crying 20 minutes into the trip so I pulled over and fed him. We got back on the road. Thirty minutes later Junior started crying. He said he was going to throw up, so I pulled over, this time into a Friendly's.



While I was comforting Junior, my mother jumped into my car.

"I'm coming with you," she hissed. "I'll leave my car here."

"That's silly. We're fine. Junior's tired. He needs a nap."

"We have to get back on the road. You can't do it alone. The children are falling apart. Go! Go! Go!"

(Have I mentioned that my mother is someone easily shaken by stressful situations? The woman could talk you off a bridge.)

Off we went.

Thirty minutes later we realized we had no idea what town we'd left her car in. We called my step-father and begged him to call every Friendly's in southern Assachusetts and ask if there was a blue Subaru in the lot. He said no. A pipe had burst in their basement. It was flooded. There was no hot water. I shouldn't stay there. And he wasn't calling Friendly's.

"The gods are conspiring against us!" my mother cried.

I told her I should go home, but she remembered that her sister, who lived nearby, was in Florida for the week.

"We can stay at her house. It'll be perfect."

By that point I was exhausted. I'd been up since 4 a.m. I'd packed the car full of the kids' shit. I was worried about Junior's stomach. Neither kid had napped. I just wanted to get somewhere.

Off we went.

If only I'd known that a funhouse of visual vomit awaited. In the years since I'd been to my aunt's house, she had apparently developed a crazy ass obsession with colored textiles.

There were stripes and checkers.





Plaids.



Florals.



Gingham.



And then. Then there were the polka dots.



Every



where



you



looked.



Nothing



was



safe



from those



damn



little



dots



and circles.



I never realized how much I appreciate solid colors, how comforting my home of naked, unpatterned walls and furniture are. Quite honestly, this is my idea of hell



I'll take two crying kids, a frenzied mother, a lost car and no sleep over this



any day.

What about you? Do you polka until you puke? Does your dinnerware make people seasick? Do busy patterns brighten your day or bogart your brain? You know where I stand.

P.S. Special thanks to Chuck, who located my mother's car in a town called Seekonk.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Honey, can you cut a hole in the window so I can get some fresh air?

I'm back from spending a very colorful week with my mother and the kids, and I have the pictures to prove it (just wait). I can't say enough good things about getting away, even if it was to Assachusetts. There's a big world out there. New possibilities. Vast horizons.

I came home ready to move. Ass on fire. Balls to the wall. Let's do it.

I guess the universe read my Dear John letter to Mulletville and thought I needed just a little bit more fire in my ass. When Chuck and I woke up this morning, we found that our car window had been smashed and that someone had stolen our GPS. The idiot cut the GPS cable, so the GPS is useless.

So fitting.

Chuck was outside at 7:45 a.m. duct taping the window, since rain was in the forecast.



I've decided that if life in Mulletville were to have a theme song it would be a rendition of "The 12 Days of Christmas." One home invasion, two broken windows, three smashed pumpkins, four toothless crackheads, and an angry man with a shotgun (that'd be Chuck).

We got to see the Mulletville police for the last time when we filled out the report (at least I hope it's the last time). It's funny, I was going to dedicate a post to them before we moved. For some reason all the Mulletville policemen are hot, young and buff; I thought that warranted a gushy post. They barrel around town, chewed up pavement hissing from their wheels. They're at your side in a split second. My friend swears she saw a squad car that read "Don't even try it!" They could be the new TJ Hooker stars.



Or not.

Anyway, I promise this is my last post about this horrible town. I was done at Halloween for fuck's sake. I'm starting to sound like a woman who can't break up with her loser boyfriend. I'm that friend.

And now I have to go back to reading maps. Bastards!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Me and my fan are outta here


Chuck left me alone with the kids for the week so he could take care of some business out of state. Are we in trouble with the authorities? Is he meeting up with that Alaskan he's been sexting? Who knows.

Because the idea of being alone with a baby and toddler all by myself is absolutely terrifying, I ran away to Assachusetts, to the safety of my mother's house. I'll be back this weekend, just in time to finish packing for our move.

And then? Then I'm going on a bender with the ladies. A serious bender. Like, you'll be embarrassed to admit you associate me with kind of bender. (Oddly enough, two years ago at this time, I also went on a much needed bender with the ladies. Ok, it wasn't really much of a bender but hey, I left the house. Sometimes that's all that matters, right?)

P.S. Chuck, honey, since you weren't here to see it, this is what leaving the house with two kids looks like:



And yes, I brought the fan.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

How do you make me blue? Let me count the ways


It’s official. After seven months of talking about moving from Mulletville to Mulletville Lite, we finally have a moving date. In two weeks we’ll be out of here.

Even though I’ve hated on this town for almost six years, I’m not eager to leave our house. I love our old house, so much so I was having second thoughts about moving.

Then my friend said that she mentioned to a realtor that our home was on the market, and the realtor laughed and called Mulletville a shithole.

The realtor is right. Mulletville is a shithole, and the damn town almost duped me into falling for it all over again. See, what I haven’t mentioned is that when Chuck and I first drove though Mulletville, we loved it. The old buildings were grand and majestic. There was no traffic, no hustle. Homes were affordable. The downtown was decorated with banners claiming that Mulletville was on the cusp of a revitalization. The newspapers said so too.

It seemed the perfect spot to settle down.

The first year we lived here, we joined the townspeople in their excitement over Mulletville’s impending rejuvenation. It was so close, we all said. Soon the drug dealers would be gone. The vacant downtown storefronts would be full of quaint stores and restaurants. Our friends would stop mocking our move away from civilization.

Rah, rah!

Months went by. The banners started to fade and fray. Years went by. The banners came down. The downtown buildings were still vacant except for smoke shops and pawn shops. Instead of fewer drug dealers, there were now child molesting drug dealers. A new mayor was voted in; instead of rallying the people at town meetings, he slept (in a stroke of genius the people voted in a man who works the night shift at another job).

A few Mulletville diehards continued to sing the fight song but watching them was like watching a small crowd cheer for a 90-year-old one-legged, dehydrated, blind marathon runner with gout who was running in the wrong direction.

You wanted to shake them and shout “It’s over, dipshits. It’s Michael Moore’s ‘Roger & Me’ all over again, except Mulletville’s heyday was in the 1800s. Go home.”

So yah, I had a serious case of beer goggles when we bought our home, and my love of the memories we've made in our home almost made me bed Mulletville all over again. Slutbag! And it’s funny, I was chipper and snarky when I started this post and now I’m just sad. Even though I hate Mulletville, sometimes you want the sickly 90-year-old one-legged, directionally challenged, blind marathon runner to win the race. Just to prove the naysayers wrong. Just so you could clink your beer mug to the underdog finally getting his day.

But nope. A shithole is just a shithole and soon this town will just be a memory.

(Except for when we need to go to the dentist, pediatrician, hospital, general physician, Walmart or pawn shops. Curses!)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The postest with the mostest

I accidentally deleted my last post. You'd think I'd be on my game since I got more than five consecutive hours of sleep but no, I went gangbusters on the keyboard and voila, it was gone. And now? I ain't got nuttin'.

Except that today's National Anthem Day. And oooh, Florida became the 27th state on March 3, 1788.

...

...

Myah, nuttin'.