Month: July 2011

That How I Do

Greetings and salutations, friends.

Well, I cinched up my big girl pants today and decided that my half-assed approach to quitting smoking wasn’t doing me any good, so I called in the help of my doctor to discuss options, aside from glueing my mouth shut, but after careful consideration, having my mouth permanently closed would be quite the disadvantage, considering I’m thinking of diving into the dating pool in the future, so I went the medication route.

I’ve been getting mixed reviews about this, as I got a prescription for Chantix. Controversial at best, and I’ve heard a lot of pros/cons about it, but after speaking with the Good Doctor Zuercher, and expressing my concerns for contraindications with my other medications, he assured me that it would be safe. Obviously, as with any drug, there are going to be side effects, such as nigh terrors, nausea, depression, and increased cardiovascular problems, but honestly, my dreams are already fucked up, I can deal with nausea as it will give me a chance to eat ginger candies guilt-free, depression is so commonplace with me now, I feel odd if I’m NOT depressed about something, and despite my family history, my ticker is good, so giving this the college try. On a related side note, maybe I’ll become less depressed once I quit smoking, as I was told the efficacy of my medication is affected by nicotine, so I may just turn out to be a merry ball of sunshine and puppy dogs. Perhaps I’ll reconsider….

I digress.

While I’m on the subject of doctoring, I was weighed today. Oh. My. God. I weigh fifteen pounds less than I did when I was at my heaviest weight, and that is far too close for comfort. I have gained thirty pounds over the course of eighteen months. Fuck you, stress. Fuck you in your stress-y asshole.

I have moments of when I accept myself as-is: tall despite my short little legs, full thighs, round belly, thick arms, ample bosom, and in defiance of my efforts to crane my neck just so, a double chin, and on extra good days, I even consider myself mildly attractive.  And then there are times like today, especially after I looked down at the glaring digital numbers displayed to mock me on the scale at my doctor’s office, I hate every single stretch-marked inch of my body, from my toes all the up to my greying hair and all the territory in between. I know I’ll never be a size 8, I know the stretch marks on my belly and breasts will never disappear, and I know I will always have the nose my dad gave me as a genetic gift, but damn. A girl can fantasize, can’t she?

I need to make a conscious effort to take better care of myself. I know I’m only thirty, but also, I’m thirty. My knees ache with the arthritis that has set in, which is compounded by the excess weight, which means I need to exercise more to lose weight, but it sucks to exercise because I can’t breathe due to smoking and my knees hurt. Oh, vicious cycle, you terrible bitch.

First things first: cut the cancer sticks. Fin. No mas. Done-zo. After I successfully quit smoking, I’ll delve into the magical funtime happy place that is weight loss. But not both at once. No thanks. I was asked to give up both drinking AND smoking last year while I was in rehab, and boy howdy, that was not a good week. I mean, the drinking I cut out, but I clung to smoking like scared child clings to its mother’s leg when the Easter Bunny comes around at the mall.

To recap: Chantix, no smoking, I’m chubby, and the Easter Bunny is terrifying.

Join me next time for a look at how I’m surviving. Ciao!

Anita

The E Train to Queens Plaza. This is my daily route. This is the route I’ve taken for over 70 years, and I sit in the same seat every day–right by the doorway. Not because I’m a nervous man and need to sit near the exit, but because this is the seat I sat in when I met my wife.

 I moved to New York when I was twenty for this woman.

I had been in town on business. I was a traveling salesman, mainly pedaling kitchen ware to Midwest housewives, and there was a convention my boss insisted I attend. I reluctantly went, hesitant to leave my familiar surroundings in my quiet town for the hustle and bustle of New York, but my tune quickly changed when I got on the subway and met Anita. She was sitting next to the door, and I could not take my eyes off of her.

 She had jet-black hair and crystal blue eyes that locked on yours and held their gaze until you had to look away for fear that you will never see anything as beautiful ever again.

I sat staring at her and missed my stop, but I didn’t care. I waited until she got off and I followed her, not caring where she would lead me. I was instantly smitten and knew that she would be my wife one day. She walked quickly up the stairway to street level and she continued down the sidewalk, casting nervous glances over her shoulder at me. I kept my pace and did not relent. Finally, after we had walked about five blocks, she stopped abruptly and turned to face me.

“You have a lot of nerve, pal,” she scolded me. “I saw you staring me on the train, and now you’re following me, like some sort of lunatic.”

I tried to stammer a response, but my tongue twisted into a thousand knots and I stood before her, mouth agape.

“What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue?”

Finally, after stumbling over my words, I managed to mutter the only thing I was thinking: “I’m going to marry you, you know.”

She let out a deep, throaty laugh, tossing her head back and letting her hair tumble down her shoulders.

“Is that so, huh? Well, how do you suppose you’re going to manage that? From the looks of your suit, you don’t seem like the marrying type, fella.”

“That may be so, ma’ am, but I’ll do everything in my power to make you my wife, as God as my witness.” I was surprised at my courage, speaking so bluntly to a woman I had just met.

She tightened her mouth into pursed line and squinted her sapphire eyes at me. After what seemed like an hour, she stuck out her right arm for a handshake. “My name is Anita. If you’re serious about me marrying you, you had best get to work. I’m hungry and thirsty, and your luck should have it, there’s a diner on the corner. Buy me a meal and I might reconsider your offer.”

It took some persuasion and a ring that cost me a pretty penny, but eventually, Anita became my wife.

We traveled this subway train every day until she died about ten years ago. The woman had never been sick a day in her life and she died suddenly and peacefully one night in her sleep.

I miss my wife something awful. I miss looking into those eyes of hers, running my fingers through her hair, but as long as this train keeps running and as long as I’m alive to ride it, I’ll always have my Anita.

The One Where I Ramble Incoherently For A Bit

…and this is different from my other posts how?

Today is The Day. I’ve dealt with it well so far. Yesterday’s post was very cathartic for me, and I was able to air many grievances and clear my mind, so hooray for that. I’m focused on bettering myself, on moving on. So I’m getting divorced. Not like I’m the only person in the entire world going through this now. It still stings because I wanted us to “make it,” but that’s okay that we didn’t. I give us props for realizing we were through before things really got ugly between us. I still see Jason often, and the old feelings of “why don’t you love me anymore?” are being replaced with maintaining a friendship. I love the guy still, but not in a romantic way…despite a slip-up I had a few months ago where I was uh…”missing” a certain aspect of our relationship and seriously considered asking to “meet” with him (please note I made an epic Freudian slip and typed “meat”). Thankfully, I came to my senses–no pun intended–and saved myself the awkwardness and inevitable shame something like that would have had for me.

So. I turned thirty-years-old a week ago. It’s been okay so far, with the exception of my biological clock set five minutes to midnight. Yes, that was a Watchmen reference. I am a nerd. But yes, my “I want to be a mommy” voice is starting to get pissed and is yelling at me constantly. I’ve gone so far as to think about using an anonymous donor and impregnating myself. This will not happen, because that’s a goofy idea, but I am ready for children. Let me tell you all a story about this…

First, some TMI. I am not sure I am able to have my own children. Jason and I were never careful. I used oral contraceptives at the beginning of our marriage, but I’m a terrible pill taker, and plumb forgot to take them. We’d use back up protection, and then none at all. Basically five years of doing The Lord’s Deed as it was meant to be done, and nothing. I”m not sure if it’s me, per se, or if I was dealing with defective merchandise, if you catch my drift, but you get the idea. Or, it was pure science, and forgive me a moment as I explain to you what I mean about this.

I have the blood type of O with an Rh factor of negative. So, in layman’s terms: O negative. Because Jason is who he is, he never knew what his blood type was, but if he had an Rh positive blood type, this means that any child we produced would either be Rh negative or positive. If it was positive, and the baby’s blood was introduced into my system somehow, my blood would then create antibodies against the baby’s blood, in short, causing mayhem. I would treat the baby as an intruder into my body and I would essentially attack it. So, chances are quite high that Jason was Rh positive, we had been pregnant, and due to my body doing its natural defences against an “outsider,” the pregnancy ended in miscarriage.

There was your science lesson for the day. You’re welcome. “But Erin, what if you want to have kids and you know your mate’s blood type is positive?” Well friends, this means I will have to have an injection of immunoglobulin (Rhogam) to prevent me from attacking the baby. Yay, science! Also, and sorry for more TMI, but the downstairs plumbing is wackadoo…I have uterine fibroids, which is a fancy way of saying I’ve got shit growing in me, and that also prevents the egg from attaching to the uterine wall for baby making. I’m all sorts of medically messed up, kids. For reals.

I just said “uterine wall.” Ooky.

Okay, there is a point to this all and it is that I want kids, be them from me or meeting a nice fella who already owns some. I know my mother is dying for more grandkids to spoil ruthlessly and unabashedly. Patience, Mom. Patience. It’ll happen some way or another.

I had something I wanted to talk about, but I’ll be buggered if I can’t remember it. I admit–I’ve drunk some wine this evening in …celebration (?) of the day, and well, red wine slaps my butt something fierce, so please forgive my momentary lapse of stupidity.

Having said that, I’ll give this post a pair of cement shoes and toss it in the Hudson River to sleep with the fishes.

Good evening, and thanks for playing.

As always I stay,

E

Let Loose The Bunnies of War

Cutest. War. Ever.

Hi friends. Time for your free ticket to the train wreck that may very well be my life.

I thought I’d be more melancholy and full of remorse and “woe is me” platitudes as July 12 is a few minutes away (for those that haven’t been following along, that day marks the one year anniversary of when my hope-to-be-ex-husband and I called it quitsies), but I am finding myself getting increasingly angry and bitter. This isn’t good. I think there’s a statute of limitations on this kind of crap, and I’m long passed that. I realize that everyone deals with major life changes in their own special ways, but really? One year later and I’m just NOW getting pissed off about this? Elisabeth Kubler-Ross would not be impressed with me now. “You’re fucking up my grieving process!!” And I feel like a total tool for applying divorce to the same model for dealing with death. Grant it, it’s like a death to some context–the person with whom you’ve spent so many years of your life with suddenly isn’t there anymore…and chances are you wish death upon them at some point, but still. I feel like I’m stealing the thunder from people who are legitimately struggling with the loss of a loved one. “Waa waa, my husband left me, waa waa.” (On a terrible side note, there were many times I wished he had died instead of us just growing apart–dealing with the certainty of death would be a welcome respite from knowing that he’s not here, but is still out there…I’m disturbed.)

Honestly, I feel I should be over this business by now, anyway, but I keep sliding backwards.  I also feel like a broken record at this point. How many times do I have to whine and complain about this crap? Get over it, move on. Jesus. But I can’t. Or I won’t. Probably won’t. I mean, I want to, but I am preventing myself from doing so, and that’s not healthy for me. Neither are some of the activities I’ve decided to engage in as of late–my drinking increased, my smoking has increased, my overall “I don’t give a shit about myself” attitude has increased, and I feel like I’m deliberately trying to kill myself in a very slow and tedious way. I’m overweight, I haven’t exercised in months, I wheeze when I breathe…in short, I’m a goddamn mess. I think I have the mentality of “no one cares about me, so why should I care about myself?” and by “no one,” I mean Jason. The one person to whom I cared most for no longer does so–well, at least not in the way I want and need to be cared for. I need to have a fuss made over me, someone to treat me like I’m the most important thing in their life, and I lost that. I want that back, but surprise surprise, I’m also preventing that from happening. Remember that date I went on a few weeks ago? Had I not been afraid to move on, that might have turned into something…maybe. Or I could have at least tried harder. There are other factors that played into why I didn’t pursue this further, though, and I really am not ready to date yet because I need to work on my deeper rooted issues. Putting myself and someone else through that is unfair to us both, so until then, single I shall remain.

Getting back to the Kubler-Ross stages of grief thing, I’m stuck in the depression stage, even though I take medication (when I remember), and saw therapists. I am, however, a manipulator. It’s very easy to tell people what they want to hear. I learned that very quickly last summer when I was in the mental ward of the hospital for threatening to kill myself. The moment I was admitted to the hospital, I wanted out. I did not belong there. I told my psychiatrist things that made it seem like I was not serious about committing suicide any more, and by the stars, he believed me, and by the stars again, I was released. Same thing for my therapy sessions. You  learn to pick up on the queues that make counselors say, “you’re making real progress.” The last time I visited my psychiatrist, he asked me, “so, how are you feeling towards your husband now?” Now, I had been sitting in the purgatory that was his waiting room for over an hour, and then hustled back to his office to wait for another half hour, so by then, I was tired, pissy, and just wanted to get the fuck out of there. My response? “I’m not angry anymore.” LIES!! BLATANT LIES!! This, friends, is why I do not see a therapist right now. Why waste my money and both of our time on something that isn’t helping? And besides, I fancy myself quite the self-therapist. I am fully aware of my actions, why I’m doing them, etc. For instance, today at work: everyone was annoying me to the point that starts scaring me. Those of you that know me also know that I’m probably one of the most patient people alive. It takes a great deal of effort to really miff me off, and by golly, today was one of those days where no one could do or say anything right. I could feel the anger bubbling up inside me, so I sat quietly at my desk all day and brooded. While sitting there, stewing in anger, I was analyzing myself. Why am I being such a cunt today? And then I looked over at my calendar, which I have taken a black permanent marker to July 12 and scribbled the shit out of it, and it hit me. I was suppressing my emotions about tomorrow–well, technically, by my clock, today.

How do I let myself be free of this horseshit? I’ve considered getting a hold of Jason–figuratively, as in call him up, not literally, as in strangle his neck–and lay it all out. Tell him everything, as I know I’ve said before in earlier posts, I never actually came out and told him about my affair, I just assumed he figured it out himself, as he is pretty smart for a complete moron. That’s mean…he’s actually quite intelligent, just has an amazing lack of wanting to apply that to anything. Anyway, I’m talking myself out of doing that because it would mean putting myself into a situation I loathed when we were married–getting the fucker to listen to me. I am recalling with no small amount of fondness one of the first “lover’s quarrels” we got into when we were first married. I don’t remember the exact cause of the argument, all I remember is trying to talk to him in our usual way: in the bedroom, laying on the bed. I may ramble on and on here in word form, but when it comes to actually vocalizing my emotions, I suck. I have perfect conversations in my own head, but I cannot for the life of me say what I’m thinking or need to say. It’s super fucking annoying. I digress again. So, we’re laying in bed, I’m trying to muster the courage to speak, my mind racing at all the things I need/want to say, and when I finally get the courage to speak up, I hear soft snoring…the stupid sonofabitch had fallen asleep on me. In the middle of our discussion. Hoo boy. Hey, you know what not a good idea? Fall asleep when you’re wife is trying desperately to talk to you. Yeah. Don’t do that. Good christ, that was nearly 9 years ago, and it still infuriates me whenever I think about it. So, point is, because there is one, I don’t want to talk to him because I know I will murder him in the process. I’ll ponder this some more. I need to get this crap out of my head finally. Open to suggestions on how to do so.

Let’s see…what else can I babble incoherently about for a while? How about complacency? Okay! I don’t blame Jason for a lot of things that went awry in the marriage, because like so many things with couples, it takes two to tango. I do,  however, blame him for my apathy; my unwillingness to do anything. I have always wanted to move away from Nebraska. Jason did not. I got tired of broaching the subject with him, got tired of trying to convince him we’d be fine on our own, that moving would be an adventure for us. I’m kidding myself into thinking I’m content where I’m at, and I’m not. My job is becoming tedious, I don’t like coming home, either, as I spend far too much time doing nothing. I need something different. I need a change of scenery. I need distractions. My sister-from-another-mister Jamie is moving at the beginning of the year. I have a bad habit of saying, “Yeah! I’ll do it! Let’s go!” But when that time rolls around…oh, what’s this? Yeah, guess who is a giant pussy and opts out? If you said “Erin,” you’d be 100% correct. I want this time to be different. I want to go. I need to go. I have precious little for me here anymore. I just need someone to constantly kick me in the ass to motivate me. I’m thirty-years-old for Christ’s sake. I’m having a third-life crisis. I’m too old to be playing games, yet too young to just sit and let myself rot in a town I really don’t like. Lincoln is fine, it’s been home for 8 years, but it’s not my home. I don’t belong here. I need to find a place I want to call home. And jesus christ, can I be anymore cliché right now? Fuuuck. 

Let’s switch gears for a second, or at least topics. It’s still going to be whiny, but damn it, this is kind of helping me out right now, so deal with it. Please.

Writing. I love to write. Sometimes, I think I’m actually pretty decent at writing, and some of you seem to agree, which is such an empowering feeling. Writing is difficult, and finding people to read what you’ve written is even more difficult. I have always considered it a hobby, as something I’d do every now and again, but I haven’t really taken it seriously until about 9 months ago. I met a person who encouraged me to write more, and got me involved with that Fictionaut site I piddle around on. It felt so good to be writing more frequently, and to be getting positive feedback (sometimes negative, too, which is also good). I view this person as my mentor and muse. I am eternally grateful for them and I swear to Jehovah, if I ever get published (my next point), I will give them full credit for my work and take them out for a nice sushi dinner. I swear it. Booger, goddamn it, if you’re reading this, I promise you this will happen. Buuuutttt…this brings me to my earlier mentioned point: I am so fucking lazy. I see my counterparts succeeding in their writing, getting published in literary magazines, shit, being bona fide authors, and while I genuinely am so happy for them all for their wonderful accomplishments, I am so freaking jealous of them, it’s a little ridiculous. I like to ask the question “are you jealous of other writers?” when I interview my ladies for HeartOnSleeve Review (visit the site at heartonsleevereview.wordpress.com!)(shameless plug in the middle of my own goddamn diatribe…awesome), and if I were to be asked this question, I would answer without a moment’s hesitation: Yes. I am. Green with envy. I think to myself, “I can fucking do that!” and oh, what’s this? I don’t. I let submission deadlines pass, I just sit and daydream about being discovered, which really fucking pisses me off because THAT’S EXACTLY HOW JASON FUCKING ACTED ABOUT HIS MUSIC. “Oh, I love to make music, it’s a passion of mine, and I’ll make some pretty sweet fucking songs, but that’s about it. I’ll just wait for greatness to find me.” BULL. SHIT. BULLSHIT. BUUUULLLLLSSSSSHHHHIIIITTTT. And the goddamn kick in the face is, I know this isn’t how you achieve notoriety. I would make fun of Jason all the time for being complacent. “Dude, a producer isn’t going to break down in front of the house and hear you dicking around on your guitars and fall in love with your music. You have to put forth an effort. Make a name for yourself.” Oh, hello, kettle. I’m a pot. You’re black. (that sounded better in my head…) But see what I mean? I want to have my stories published! I do! But I don’t do a goddamn thing about it! What the fuck! Have I mentioned I’m not right in my head? I hope it’s painfully obvious now. I should seek help…oh, wait…I tried that.

Seriously.

Here are the things I need help with, in no particular order:

1. Moving on.

2. Building bookshelves. Not really joking about that–I’m running out of room here, and I keep buying more books. Will I ever learn?

3. Cliche alert, but fuck it (heh…ahem): I am a good person, and I deserve to be treated as such.

4. Another cliché–things happen for a reason. This divorce? Happened for a reason…several reasons, actually, but what I mean is this: Jason and I were not meant to be together. Sad, hell–devastating to think about, but it’s the truth. We got married too young, we grew apart, we’re both happier now, to certain extents. My amazing friend Mary coined this phrase for her own first marriage: it was a training wheel marriage. And she’s right; this is. I was wobbly and uncertain with this one, and hopefully, I’m ready for my big girl bike. Or a guy that rides a motorcycle. I’m not against that at all. I’ll have to find a helmet big enough to house this giant German cranium of mine, though. Thanks, Dad.

5. I need to live. I do not want to spend the rest of my life wondering “what if I had done that?” and grow old sad and alone and pissed off because I missed everything cool.

6. Same applies to writing. I need to remember that editors to lit mags are not all my mom, and they won’t all love my stuff and tell me how special I am. Grow a thick skin, and submit the shit out of pieces. Just because one place rejected you, doesn’t mean they all will. Jesus christ, I sound just like Tom Pluck…

Seven. (shut up–the seven key on my keyboard jumped the shark) I think that was it. If I missed anything, please, let me know. Ass kickings are also permitted, but only for a short time. One per customer, and no double coupons accepted. You don’t get to kick this ass twice.

Okay then. That’s about the long and short of it.

As always, thanks for tagging along for the ride. Bless your faces.

Your humble servant,

E

 P.S. I’m not sure how this happened, but my spelling is atrocious these days. I used to be a champion speller. Ask my mommy.

It’s My Birthday, And I’ll Write If I Want To

Thirty years old. Twenty-five years plus five. Half of sixty. Three decades. Two hundred and ten dog years.

I admit, I do not feel thirty. As the old saying goes, “You’re only as old as you feel.” Well, I guess that makes me…not thirty.

I am surprised natural selection has not picked me off yet, given me my pink slip, my cheap gold watch, a going away party attended by a bunch of slack-jawed, blurry-eyed peers, sipping on weak coffee and eating t00-dry cake, their heads full of thoughts of their own demise. Hey guys, it’s not my fault I’m still here, much to my sometimes dismay, as for whatever reason, I have had this impending sense of doom lately where I am convinced I will not live past thirty. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s my desire to have Billy Joel’s song “Only The Good Die Young” played at my funeral. Or it’s the depression punching me in the head. Either way, it’s a morbid thought.

Having said all of this, I may have just jinxed myself into now becoming the oldest living woman. I’ll be interviewed by the great-grandson of Matt Lauer on the Today Show, an old and wrinkly one hundred plus years, hunched over in a chair, my eyes glazed over with cataracts and just their will to stop working (my god, woman; you’re 112! You’ve seen it all, so forgive us for not wanting to see now), wild white hair sprouting from my head, but oddly enough, I’ll still have that same mischievous grin, and somewhere deep in the catacombs of my ancient brain, the memories of all my years, hidden away. Every now and again, a memory will come to me, and my eyes will sparkle with familiarity and that grin will slowly creep across my mouth.

Maybe that wouldn’t be so bad after all. Living beyond thirty, that is.

However, I have decided I’m going to observe the Patton Oswalt Theory of Birthdays from this day forward: I am now only allowed to celebrate each decade of life, so for instance, next year’s birthday (31) is moot and pointless, but I can celebrate forty, fifty, sixty, ect, until–Good Karl Willing–I make it to ninety-years-old. At ninety, you are legally allowed to steal, because if you’re some decrepit oldie trying to steal a flat screen tv out of the back of the truck and you can accomplish this without ripping your shoulders from their sockets and pooping your pants, then by golly, you deserve that tv. At one hundred, you are legally allowed to commit murder. At one hundred and ten years, you automatically become President of the United States.

I think that’s a genius idea.

Okay then. Oh, and before I forget, my 1000 Word A Day Until My Birthday Word Count total is…10,538. Not too shabby.

Alright. I’m done for now. I hope you all have a safe 4th, and remember the REAL reason for today–for dumbasses to get real hurt real bad by playing with miniature explosives. And my birthday. Mostly my birthday. But not Tom Cruise’s birthday, because he’s a liar, and he was actually born on July 3rd.

Happy 4th of July!