Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I'm it!

I'm it!
Apparently, I have been tagged by the writer of this blog which I think is really great. I really admire Amanda Beth's ambition and commitment to style. Spend some time perusing!

I think being tagged means that I share random facts about myself and tag other people so they, too, can share. Here are the actual rules:

The Rules:
Link to your tagger and list the rules.
List 7 random facts about yourself.
Tag 7 people (and make sure you check back and see what they say).
If you're tagged, play along and pass it on!

1) Even though I can't sing, I once landed the lead in the musical "South Pacific." I lived in a very small town at the time so I think I got the part due to demographic default: I was the only one around who might possibly look like Nellie Forbush. After my brief career on stage, I retired permanently from musical theater.

2) By marriage, I am related to David Miller, star of "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes." (He is my cousin's husband.)

3) The colon (:) and semicolon (;) are my favorite punctuation marks; they are definately underrated.

4) I think Danny Elfman is underrated.

5) I considered dropping out of college to see if I could get hired to work on the set of "Wishbone." (I guess it's a good thing I stayed in school.)

6) I'm not a big fan of modern day celebrities. I prefer James Stewart, James Dean, Katharine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, and Grace Kelly.

7) I prefer the old, curmudgeonly Martha Stewart to the post-prison kinder, gentler, friend-to-the-stars she has become.

I tag the following people:
OK, peeps. Inspire us!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Coping With H.I.D.

In Utah, where I was raised, I was considered an old bride- almost an old maid. There was a collective sigh of relief from friends and family when my husband finally took me "off the market." I made it the first 27 years of my life single and unfettered. I have to admit, during those years, I often felt lonely and maybe even a bit jealous of my married friends. As happy as I am now to be a wife and a mother, I don't regret those single years. I had to accept that while many people are ready for marriage in their early twenties, I just wasn't. There was part of me that had to experience life on my own and learn to feel secure in myself before I could belong to anyone else.

During those single years, I bought my first car, rented several apartmets, dated and cried over break-ups, bought a dog, and established a career in teaching. Living alone in places where I started out knowing no one, I had to learn to depend on myself. There wasn't much I thought I couldn't do. I washed my own car, hung my own pictures (yes, usually on a trim nail driven into the sheet-rock with a high heel shoe), bought and assembled cheap furniture, painted walls, drove long stretches of lonely highway with only the dog and my stereo for company, and navigated my way (fumbling) through unfamiliar city streets.

I knew that when I met the right guy, he would love me for being established, secure, decisive, and independant. He wouldn't care if I was older than the average Utah bride, he would realize that my assests far out-weighed my age.

Now that I have been married six years, I wonder where that girl has gone. Not that I have lost my sense of self. Motherhood has convinced me more than anything I do have superhuman powers and a capacity to meet any challenge. However, I seem to be suffering from a terrible case of H.I.D. (husband induced dependancy). I no longer feel the need to be as intrepid as I once was. Where I used to do everything for myself, now I rely, very often, on my husband. Obviously, I can no longer so much as find the mailbox for myself. Brett is quite the handyman, so he doesn't even want me to attempt home improvement projects (he does them so much better.) His perfectionistic tendencies would never be OK with me missing the stud in the wall or with my shoddy painting skills. Am I insulted by this? Not in the least!

Most of all, I have lost all sense of direction while driving. I never was good at finding my way around, but I had to at least try. My H.I.D. has become so severe and acute that I am more than happy to let Brett drive while I sit shotgun and read a book. I no longer haul heavy objects, take out the trash, or open difficult jars. I will definately NEVER assemble furniture again. Sometimes, I miss the intrepid, independant girl I was, but I would never trade my present to have her back again.

Suffering from H.I.D.? Do share!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Re: Social Experiment

As promised, I am going to follow up on my checklist and provide my usual amusing (to myself only) commentary about my week without my husband. He returned bearing fudge so I decided to keep him. I was going to complete my report yesterday, but I was up grading papers until 2:00 AM the night before so I decided that if I tried to blog on that much sleep, more than my participles would be dangling. So, life without Brett:

I have to admit, it was nice to cut footloose for a few days. Overall, I did more shopping than usual (I had to fill those empty hours with something) and suprisingly, I found that some of my personal habits seemed to regress back to single life- not my pre-Brett single life, more like the single life of a bachelor. For instance, the day after he got back, Brett went out to the check the mailbox. He was met with an entire week's worth of mail that I forgot to pick up because he always picks up the mail. The idea that mail would still be accumulating in the mailbox even during Brett's abscence never crossed my mind. Also, I noticed that my dietary habits really took a dive without another adult to cook meals for. My kids ate an inordinant amount of pizza (frozen and otherwise). Meals were impromptu at best. Let's see what shall I serve the kids tonight? How about leftover pizza. What should I eat? Oh, vanilla wafers covered in left over frosting. Perfect.

Here is the run down of my week-without-Brett checklist.

1. Hit the Clinique counter at Dillards. CHECK!
I even ventured in with two two-year-olds. The toddlers were good just long enough for me to select my products and pick up my bonus days gift. We made it out of the store before we were asked to leave. I have my makeup and Dillards is still standing so, I would say I successfully completed that part of my to-do list.

2. Go grocery shopping with kids. CHECK!
Slightly less tricky than Dillards, but the same time bomb effect: shop as quickly and efficiently as possible and rush out the door before you can see anyone else's dirty looks because your three-year-old was rolling pumpkins across the floor of the produce section.

3. Make a giant shoe cake. CHECK!
Thus the leftover frosting. I wanted to provide a picture, but I don't have one just yet.

4. Find and hang new kitchen curtains. CHECK!
OK, I deserve very little credit for this one. My sister, Miriam, visited this weekend, so I saved this one for her. I am a cheapskate so I had to settle for some curtains from K-Mart's Martha Stewart line. What that means is they needed a bit of customizing. I am a notoriuosly awful seamstress so Miriam took over in the alterations department. Except, there was one panel that I thought I wouldn't need and them ended up needing later. Miriam had already left for home, but I had to have the project finished before Brett got home. Yikes! I had to sew!

Let me preface this part of my narrative by describing an existing snapshot of myself. There exists a picture of me sewing. (I am not going to share it because I am pregnant in it and I have really bad hair.) Anyway, in this picture it looks like I am hunched over the sewing machine with a cigarette in my mouth. I have so much anxiety about sewing no one would be surprised if it caused me to take up smoking. In fact, it is not a cigarette. It is a stitch-ripper kept handy because I end up spending more time using that than I do actually using the machine.

So I had to hem a curtain and I was literally in a cold sweat. My seam came out not nearly as nice as Miriam's or those done by nimble Chinese fingers, but I decided no one would look that closely at it anyway.

After I had my father-in-law hung the rods, the curtains were prepared to meet Brett upon his arrival home. I think Brett was pleased that I chose kitchen curtains with no apples or pictures of tea kettles on them.

5) Clean(ish) the house. CHECK(ish)

6) Organize the home office. Ha! ha! ha! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

7) Fill the van with gas. I used just enough gas that the gas light turned on the morning after Brett arrived home. That worked out nicely.

So, I did accomplish most of what I had set out to do, but it really was more difficult especially since my two-year-old was despondant in the abscence of daddy and about day 6 my five-year-old asked me when things would go back to normal with tears streaming down her cheeks. My final analysis: Next time I'm going with him and leaving the kids with grandma! Perfect.