Friday, November 19, 2010

Mommys and Martinis

This happens to me all the time. You know why? ‘Cause Jesus? He’s FUNNY.

“I am telling you, La. You’d be an awesome mom.”

It is around this time that I realize that the best thing about dirty martinis is that if you hold it up to your eye and look at the person across from you, it makes their face wiggly and wavy, like the movie Fantasia.

And if you drink enough of them, your eyes will do it for you; you don’t even have to look through the liquor.

I am trying to accomplish the latter.

“Seriously, you are so good with Baby 1.” I look at Baby 1 sleeping in her stroller next to where we are having lunch. And it’s true. I am great with her. When she is sleeping.

“I don’t doubt that I could be a great mom. I just doubt that I want to. There is a significant difference between being afraid of motherhood and genuinely not being all that excited about it.”
“How is that possible?”
“I’m sorry?”
“You’re a woman!”
“All that means is when I don’t skip the placebo week of my birth control that I bleed once a month like the rest of you hoes. Doesn’t mean my uterus is aching with envy at the sight of your pot roast belly.”

Her hands, already parked on her protruding mid-section, as they have been all day, instinctually start to rub circles around her belly button.

“Really though, La. It is the most amazing thing.”
“I don’t doubt it. I just don’t care for it.”
“You will change your mind as you get older. I forget what a baby you are.” I give her The Rock eyebrow.
“Are you, like, trying to recruit me or something? Is this what the yoga moms do? Leave after mommy and me yoga and go forth and try to spread your doctrine? You are like a Jehovah’s Witness but instead of coming to my door, you trick me to coming to my favorite lunch spot to Scientology me into being a mom.”

We laugh at me, her laugh far too loud to not be overcompensating and mine much too hollow to be anything other than defensive. I don’t have the heart to tell her that ever since she waddled herself in here appearing to be what must be AT LEAST 11 months pregnant, pushing this far too expensive stroller with her previous excursion into failing Sex Ed strapped in tight, that all I have wanted to do is wheel her around in a stroller because her ankles must be SCREAMING.


But really, I want to ask her, what about Italy?

See, this friend used to have a thing for cooking. She was a sous-chef before she became a mommy. And she used to dream of going to Italy and studying real Italian cooking; traveling the entire country, spending a year in each major city, learning the small differences that would make her cooking authentic.

Now, the closest thing she gets to Italian cooking is probably spaghetti-o’s.

And maybe this IS what I fear about motherhood. Not necessarily the whole having the child part (though I must admit that the idea of carrying said child and giving birth to it gives me neither warm nor fuzzies). But rather the losing yourself that seems to go hand in hand with so many mothers I know. The putting aside of your own big dreams to potty train and relish first steps. Hell, even losing your name. It’s not bad enough you lost your last name when you got married, but now your first one is gone too because you are only referred to as “Mommy”?

Make no mistake, while I advocate wholeheartedly for the right of any woman to make motherhood look like whatever she wants, at what point do you get to still be a person outside of a mom? How do you reconcile the things you give up with the things that you gain?

And if you can’t answer those questions yet, should you REALLY become a mom just because you get older?

I not-so-craftily switch the subject to neutral territory; shoes.

Later, when the check comes, we are both unloading our ridiculously large bags (both Coach but one filled with bottled and diapers, the other with makeup and condoms), and I put down Travel + Leisure on the table as I dig for my wallet. She picks it up with a sigh.

“This is beautiful,” she says staring at the scenery on the front.
“Isn’t it? I picked it up because I thought it might give me some ideas of some out-of-the-way places to travel. Or info on Greece, which I am currently obsessed with.”
“It’s lovely there. Hubby and I went for our one year anniversary.”
“Oh, that’s right. I’d totally forgotten.”
“Yeah. We were supposed to go to Italy for our two year anniversary but-“ she gestures absent mindedly at the stroller. I barely know what to say.
“But you got something better, right?” She snaps right back into Stepford mommy role before I can blink.
Of course I did,” she says with so much emphasis that I sit back in my chair. “I would never trade Baby 1 for a trip to Italy.”
“I know that. I wasn’t implying-“
“I know you weren’t. I was just being defensive. I’m sorry. That was just the ‘what ifs’ talking, I suppose.”

She looks away from me, past even the shrubbery she appears to be gazing in the direction in, maybe all the way to what could have been. And it strikes me that I wish that more women had these conversations, these honest, frank conversations, rather than the conversations they are supposed to have about all these things we are supposed to do.

“And who knows,” she says turning back to me, “maybe one day I will still get to Italy.” I put my hand on hers.
“Of course you will.”

We look at each other, mirrors of the same wry smiles, and we both really want to believe it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Inappropriate Reasons to want a Live In Boyfriend

If you follow me on The Twitter ©Betty White then you know that periodically I espouse random, but totally necessary reasons to have a live-in boyfriend. I have never had a live-in before as I enjoy not having to talk to people, sleeping in the middle of my bed, and drinking in the morning, but I imagine that these are the reasons why people move in together. But apparently some people move in with people ‘cause they, like, love them and stuff? Or because they actually want to? It’s super weird. I dunno about all that but I do know about not wanting to get up at 7am on the Saturdays I don’t work just to walk Honey. That is some bullshit.

Some of my male followers have given me some flak for my (totally valid and reasonable) motivations to want a live-in, but um… so? If you aren’t doing these things, then what is the point of my sharing my space with you? If I just wanted company, that’s why I have a dog.

I haven’t done a list in a good long while, and y’all know I love them. So here is…

Inappropriate Reasons to Want a Live in Boyfriend

1. Anything that has to do with my car.
Anyone that knows me knows that I LOVE cars. Love them. I get this love of cars from my daddy who used to quiz me on the year, make, and model of each car on the road according to their body style and specific modifications (for instance when Ford bought Jaguar in 1989, the body style of the XF started to look quite a bit like the soon-to-be-discontinued Ford Contour, and continued to look that way with minor tweaks to the headlights, taillights, mirrors and grill until Ford sold Jaguar in 2008) and made me learn to change my oil and brakes so that I “would never have to wait around on someone to do it for me.” (Read: so you will never get married and not need me.) You know what I do NOT love about cars? Going to get mine serviced. Mainly because due to the fact that I have tits, mechanics assume they can tell me I need new brakes when I bring my car in for an oil change… two weeks after I have had my brakes done. (True story.) I would just rather a man deal with that while I am at home in bed on Saturday mornings.

2. Carrying things upstairs.
I live on the third floor. It seemed like a good idea at the time. You know what is NOT a good idea? Bringing in groceries into said third floor apartment. I have to make NO LESS than three trips most of the time. And don’t let there be something heavy like cases of dog food or water. They are likely to stay in my car until I can manage to bring them up a few cans/bottles at a time over the course of a couple days. And as my dog likes to eat everyday and I drink more water than a fish, THERE ARE ALWAYS CASES OF DOG FOOD AND WATER. I’ll do all the grocery shopping and bring up some light bags. But I would surely toss the keys at my live-in boyfriend’s face upon my return and tell him to get on the heavy lifting.

3. Eating Leftovers.
I have a problem. I don’t know how to cook for one person. At all. Everything I’ve ever learned to cook was family portions. This is great for taking leftovers for lunch and nights where I don’t feel like cooking. The problem is, that it seems like something is always going bad because I never get around to eating it. And for someone who doesn’t like to waste anything, this is a problem. And I feel like if I can grocery shop and cook, you can AT LEAST bring up the heavy stuff and eat.

4. Kill bugs.
‘Member how I said I live on the third floor? Well I also live on the third floor of a building facing the woods. Which is lovely and quiet, but tends to lend itself to my apartment becoming a safe house on the underground bug road. And I don’t appreciate it. I am not nearly as terrified as I once was about killing the miscellaneous creatures and spiders and flies (oh my!) that have found their unfortunate way into my house. But the truth is, I don’t wanna. Come kill this damn bug and go get groceries outta the car. This is why I have you, Hypothetical Live-in Boyfriend.

5. Reach things.
A bitch is short. There is no other nice way to put it. And while I can usually climb the counters in the kitchen to reach the things in my upper cabinets that I need, my closet is a different story. I have a rack in the top of my closet that seems like it would be great to use… except I cannot reach up that high to actually access it. Puberty foils me again.

6. Lotion my back, clasp my bracelets, zip up a dress, etc.
Does anyone remember that episode of Sex and the City where Samantha called a guy over to have sex with her just so she could get him to clasp a bracelet for her? You have not ever truly lived the single life until you have done this. There is one bracelet in particular that I love, love, LOVE and it takes me NO LESS than 30 minutes to put it on. Common sense would dictate I just not wear the bracelet anymore, but it was handmade by a friend and I just adore it. Besides I would MUCH rather just move someone in to help with these sorts of things especially if it means…

7. Splitting the bills.
If the idea of splitting all your household bills with someone doesn’t absolutely make you wetter than David Beckham in boxer briefs, I wanna know where you work and what economy you are living in. It must be nice there. Seriously, dual income is where it’s at. I obviously don’t know this from experience but I have been rocking out with this whole single income thing for awhile and I can ASSURE you it is not the shake. I told my mom that I was going to get married in 2011 and she got all excited…until I told her that I meant strictly for the dual income and tax incentives. She was crestfallen. But then again, she has never had to pay student loans. “Split down the middle” is absolutely the best foreplay I can imagine right now. Speaking of which…

8. Put out AT LEAST 3 times a week.
This is non-negotiable. NON-NEGOTIABLE. You mean to tell me there is a program I can get with where I don’t have to sit through two hours of boring chit chat about what we do, our upwardly mobile, educated, much-too-small-in-this-city circle just to get him to put out?


What’s that you say? I don’t have to get dressed? I don’t have to put on heels (though it could be fun to keep them on)?!

*hands go up… and they stay there*

Sign me up.

I listen to the tales of my girlfriends with live-ins and I am absolutely 200% envious. I am pretty sure the only thing better than really great dick is really great CONVENIENT dick and what is more convenient than RIGHT NEXT TO ME? As it stands, I have to go through way too much to get laid. I think I deserve this.

So what about you? I know I am not alone. What other totally inappropriate but still important reasons do you have for wanting a live-in boyfriend? Leave them in the comments.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Early Check Out

It's almost 2011.


And I am 26 years old.


Where did my time go?

I will be forthright and admit to wasting it. All of it. The whole thing. This entire 11 months has mostly been a waste for me. I have done some things, sure. But as I look over the last year, the last few years, I wonder, is this all?

Objectively I recognize that I am no different than any of my contemporaries caught in the net of the quarter life crisis. And really, the best thing I ever did was get older friends who reflect back to me that life is more than what it seems like it isn't in your 20s.

But still, I constantly find myself dogged by the question, is that all there is?

I can't really remember where I was a year ago. I think I was fresh off a trip to Chicago with Bob, trying to decide if I would deal with the issues left dying on the pavement after we imploded or walk away.

I walked away, by the way.

And here I am, a year removed from my removal, some things changed, some things the same, but everything seemingly... dormant.

Is that who I have become?

For the longest, this year especially, I have just been trying to remember how to feel. I haven't been. At all. And maybe this is why I am not writing. Because I haven't been feeling like I need to.

Or anything, really.

Intellectually I can say that the reason that I am right where I once was is likely because rather than going through, I just shut off. I have completely checked out on my own life. On a deeper level though, I have to admit it was not a conscious decision. I did what the BP oil rig was supposed to do; shut off automatically when the pressure got to be too much.

I have checked out. Instinctively. And now I have to see if I remember how to check back in.