My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

Plus: I Couldn't Shop at a Store Called Jared

2005-02-14
Happy Valentine’s Day!

You know, just when you think you’re ready to kill your spouse, and then yourself – and not for any particular reason except that you’re sleep deprived and sad and depressed and it’s STILL fucking winter and you spent all day Friday at a Staff Retreat* surrounded by clueless provincial narrow-minded meat eaters – your spouse saves the day by reminding you that he’s still the thoughtful person you married.

And by “you” I mean “me.” Of course, you knew that, right? See, I’ve lost every brain cell I possessed by having a second child and holding down a 40-hour-a-week job. I simply cannot manage to do even the simplest things anymore. I can’t even bother to be nice to the people I live with. But, I did manage to make my husband a card and buy him a gift. I went with a CD this year, rather than candy since neither one of us needs the extra calories and sugar (esp since he’s had innumerable cavities filled in the past year).

And, apparently, we were on the same wavelength (wonders never cease) since I also got a CD – the soundtrack to Life Aquatic! Yeah me! Also? A box of Jelly Bellys which, if you read my Xmas wish list, is one of my favorite kinds of candy. Which means I’m going to have to get him some kind of treat today. I have never really understood why anyone would want flowers (which die in about 48 hours) or jewelry as gifts. Most diamond jewelry is tacky and, frankly, a waste of money. I’d much rather have a dishwasher than a pair of fancy earrings that I’d have to worry about. Maybe my poverty childhood is showing or maybe it’s because I’m way too practical for shit like that but……..I don’t get it. I basically don’t like things that require maintenance or that need to continually have more money thrown at them. Like dry cleanable clothes. Why should I buy clothes that I have to keep paying for? Why wash my car when rain is free?

Now, I like flowers. I grow flowers every year in my garden. But that’s where I like them to stay. Outside. Where they continue to live happily in the sun. Inside, they tend to stink up the place. Especially things like lilies and hyacinths and gardenias. Talk about headache-inducing! Keep ‘em outside where they belong.

So, last night, my husband asked if I’d gotten Dusty a card for VD. Dusty? A card? No. Shit. Because he had. “Oops,” he said, “I already wrote ‘love Daddy’ and sealed it.” It had not occurred to me to give my four year old daughter a valentine. I felt bad. Like I said, it was all I could do to remember my husband (who I’ve been passively pissed off at for a couple of days due, mainly I’m sure, to my unstable hormones and lack of sleep). This morning, as we swapped cards and gifts, he gave Dusty her card and said, “Happy Valentine’s Day. This is from me and Mommy but she hasn’t signed it yet.” Aww. He saved my ass! So, I signed her card………and then I signed his because – doy – I’d made him a card but had forgotten to sign it or anything. Somebody please call the rest home.

So, as I said, I got Life Aquatic and I gave my husband the soundtrack to Napolean Dynamite, which represents the two movies we’ve seen in the last (how old is Red now?) 8 months. Sad. And then, Dusty spilled her soy milk all over the paper and my CD.

Luckily, it still played (the paper, though, is a sticky mess) and Red and I got to listen to Seu Jorge sing “Starman” and “Rock and Roll Suicide” in Portugese on the way to the sitter's (her) and work (me). Bonus.

Speaking of Red, she can now pull herself into a standing position (!) which means no more table cloths or items on surfaces. And, she’s now going to bed at 10:30pm. While this should be good news, it actually means that she’s waking up THREE times during the night: midnight, 2am and 4am. My god. Will I survive this year? I hope so. I’m installing raised beds out near the barn and I plan to grow a massive crop of vegetables this summer, which I plan to eat. And flowers – nasturtiums, marigolds and zinnias – growing where flowers belong: outside deflecting bugs from my squash and eggplants and beans and tomatoes.

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* Speaking of the dreaded Staff Retreat: the lunch portion of said retreat was held in a greasy Mexican restaurant. I looked up the menu online beforehand and everything began with the words “Beef,” “Pork” and/or “Chicken.” Not only am I a vegetarian but I just can’t do most restaurant food anymore. The grease permeates my clothes so I smell like a fry cook for the rest of the day and I can’t physically stomach it. So, I skipped it and ate a sandwich in my office. Later that afternoon, I was chatting with one of the more enlightened co-workers. I mentioned my absence at lunch. I told her I’d been a vegetarian since 1988 (which I should print on a t-shirt, don’t you think? Veggie Since 1988) and she said, “Not even chicken?”

Now, I don’t know about you but, last I checked, chickens were meat. Why do meat eaters assume that even though you say you don’t eat meat, that you still eat the absolute most disgusting form of meat? I’d rather eat a piece of steak than a piece of chicken. I drive past the Tyson Co. factory weekly. I know how chickens are raised and “processed.” And? No thank you. That’s all I’m going to say about it.

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11:10 a.m. ::
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