Fan Club

Let’s just put it this way. Mr. E has a lot of fans.

I am fairly sure my mother likes him more than she likes me.  Any time she has ever gotten the slightest inclination that there was a chance we wouldn’t be together 4 EVA, she would fuh reek the hell out and inform me in no uncertain terms that she didn’t really think I was going to do any better and I should make sure not to mess this one up.  I once worked for a small university press in a shitty basement office and for some reason Mr. E came to visit me and after he left all the boring drones I worked with practically wet their pants over how damn hot he was.  I swear to god one of them was yelling “WHOO HEE” and fanning herself with an invoice.   At that point I felt I had to inform them that he sometimes Febreezed his pants instead of washing them, but they didn’t seem to care.  I used to joke about writing a newsletter called “Not As Fine As You Think” and handing it out to his students, because every semester one or more of them would send him an anonymous email asking him to father her children or telling him he was the most beautiful man she’d ever laid eyes on.  One of the other TA’s finally decided to just start the year off by announcing that Mr. E was taken, and to please for the love of god to quit asking her about him.  Someone once left a pack of cigarettes and a condom in his mailbox.  We spent New Year’s Eve in San Francisco one year and Mr. E wore a shirt that said something to the effect of “Tickle Me” and he got, uh, let’s just say, tickled, A LOT.   And one of our friends who is a LESBIAN (IE doesn’t like boys) told me awhile ago that it seems like Mr. E is a very interesting person but that she wouldn’t know because she has a hard time paying attention to him when he talks because he’s just so dreamy.  My best friend met Mr. E when he stayed with her one year for a work conference and for an entire year afterwards she would call me up and say “OH MY GOD WE LOVE MR. E SO MUCH”. His own mother adores him, his sisters still talk about when used to baby sit them, the neighbor lady might be in love, his dog never leaves his side.  I can’t think of anyone that doesn’t like him.

So, he has a lot of fans, it’s safe to say.

But of all the people in all the world, of all the people we know and all the people who love him, I am pretty sure that one Eli Ekd@hl is Mr. E’s number one fan.

When Mr. E walks through the door, Eli yells “DA!*” as loud as he can, and drops to all fours and scrambles to the front door as fast as his mad little scramble can carry him.  If we’re outside and he sees his dad come walking home from work, he’ll stick both hands straight up in the air, and point, and scream, and take off running, all the while emitting a high pitched “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” and shaking his whole body from side to side, vibrating with happiness.  At dinner time, he wants to eat only what his dad is eating, sitting on his dads lap, using his dads fork.  They share grapes and sit on the floor and color and Eli doesn’t like to be too far away from his dad at any time, and from the moment his father arrives home at night, he is intent on showing off, as hard as he can, out to impress his father with everything he’s got.  Last night he spent an hour toddling into his room, opening his pajama drawer, dragging out a pair of pajamas, carrying them into the living room to show his father, waiting for approval before carrying them back.  Over and over again, each time gauging the reaction, as if to say “See, dad, see what I can do? Don’t you think I’m cool? Do you like my tricks? Are you impressed?”

I am also in the Mr. E fan club, despite the whole leaving beer cans/socks/underwear/leftover tostadas lying around, so I get it, it’s nothing new to me, but it’s still delicious to behold.  I am starting to think there are no finer moments to be had in this life than those spent with the music cranked up, watching your husband and son dancing and laughing and spinning together, each so impressed with the other, each so madly in love.

*Please note, the child NEVER says Mama, but we’re working on it.

Wednesday Writing Prompt – I Wouldn’t Say It Was My Best Idea

I wouldn’t say it was my best idea, but when I was 17 years old, I decided to just stop eating.

It was surprisingly easy.  I set myself up so I didn’t have any choice.  I wouldn’t eat any breakfast, and then I’d go off to school with no money and no lunch. I’d spend lunchtime in the library or walking around talking to people in the cafeteria while they were eating, and the weakness and the stomach growling felt like victory.  When I got home from school I’d eat a can of soup or an apple, and at dinner time I’d tell my mother that I had too much homework to take a break, or I’d mention that I already ate before my parents got home.  No one noticed.  No one really seemed to care.

It was surprisingly easy.

I started out weighing 125 pounds, and at 5 foot 2. I was convinced I was hideously fat.  Eventually stepping on the scale turned into a game, and every time I would lose another pound, I’d tell myself that I wanted to see if I could drive it down even farther. And I could.  All I had to do was not eat.

It was surprisingly easy.

When my father saw me that summer his eyes sort of bugged out of his head and he told me that I looked like a waif, but he was the only one who seemed concerned. Everyone else told me how good I looked. My mother bought me new clothes, smaller and smaller.  We wore uniforms to school and I had to roll my uniform skirt up twice to keep it from falling down.  I bought myself a pair of the smallest shorts I could find, covered with stars, and I’d try them on every night in front of the full length mirror in my bedroom to make sure they still fit.  Then I’d pull down more and more things from my closet, trying on everything I owned, posing and preening in the small corner of my bedroom where the mirror was.  I could do this for hours, and when I was done, everything I owned would be piled in a heap in the bottom of my closet.  This was my favorite way to spend an evening. It made me feel calm, and beautiful.

There was a moment I will never forget as long as I live, when I stood up in biology class and one of the popular girls looked up at me, bitterly, and said “You are so skinny” in a voice tinged with envy.  It was one of the best moments of the entire year.  I keep it wrapped up, safe, in my memory, even now.

People were nice to me, for the first time.  Boys who had ignored me told me I looked good and kicked my seat, flirting.  I got asked to dances.   And I kept on not eating.

Eventually I started to feel sick, all the time, and that made it even easier not to eat.  I had a note and a doctor’s permission to eat in class, if I could, and I would eat one green apple, slowly, throughout the course of the day.  No one could figure out was wrong with me. I weighed 89 pounds.

This may have been when I first realized most doctors were idiots.

I still felt too fat to wear a swimsuit in public.

I wish I could tell you about the day I hit rock bottom, about how I smartened up and my brain got fixed and about how now I love my body now and happy happy joy joy, but that isn’t what happened.  No one ever said anything to me about my weight, and eventually I went off to college and I couldn’t keep myself from eating anymore, and i gained some weight and then some more and eventually I’d end up weighing almost twice that 90 pounds, and I’d be at the other end of the spectrum, wishing for the will power not to eat again.  I’d lose sixty pounds and then gain some back and then get pregnant and gain some more, and since that day I first decided to stop eating, I’ve spent the rest of my life feeling guilty over every bite of food I’ve ever put in my mouth.  Eating feels like failure to me.

I don’t know if I learned any lessons from starving myself into a skeleton. The sad truth is that I’ve felt fat since the day I hit puberty.  I felt fat at 180 pounds, when I was, and I felt fat at 125 pounds and at 90 pounds, when I wasn’t.  I feel fat now.  Before I had Eli when I running every day and I worked my ass off, literally, to get to my goal weight and I was wearing a size four, I felt fat.  There are always too many curves, too many handfuls I can pinch disgustedly. My body is never right.

So yeah, no magic answers.  The only progress I have made is that intellectually, I know that it’s not a good idea to just stop eating, and I would never do it again, no matter how much it may sometimes seem like a good idea. It’s not a good idea.

A good idea would be to learn to love my body at any size, but that’s one of those bossy little thing people like to just toss out at you, things like “calm down” or “You need to let go” or “Just relax” – but when they dispense this advise, they never tell you HOW. I am waiting to learn to love my body. I would love to just relax.  I need to know how, though, because I have no idea where to start.

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This Wednesday Writing Prompt was chosen by Jennie at She Likes Purple.

Other bloggers participating this week include:

Rantom Rantings – and she has the prompt for next week up as well.

American Family

Gentleman Savant

Raven

Let me know, either via a comment or email, if you would like to be linked here and I’ll add you.

Reminder: Today Is Tuesday. That’s How I Know That Tomorrow Is Wednesday

This weeks Wednesday Writing Prompt has been posted at She Likes Purple, it is:

“Start any story with, ‘I wouldn’t say it was my best idea,’ and go from there.” .

If you participate tomorrow let me know and I’ll link to you.

How To Hang Living Room Curtains In 33 Easy Steps

1.  Obsess over the Pottery Barn catalog from the time you are 14.  Think to yourself “Some day I will own some overpriced striped silk curtains even if I have to sell my liver.”

2.  Eat more pie than you ever thought humanly possible. Buy a house.

3.  Move. Feel immensely proud of superior organizational skills when you designate a box for all hardware during moving process. Put nothing in box. Lose all old curtain hardware immediately.

4.  Decide time has come.  Choose and fall in love with overpriced curtains at Pottery Barn. Get cold feet.    Wait until curtains are sold out to decide you will die without them.  Pay exhorbitant price for curtains on Ebay.  Try to think of how to explain large Paypal payment to “Sandy’s Cattle and Meat Ranch” to husband.

5.  When fabulous expensive curtains arrive, leave in old cardboard box for eight weeks.

6.  Begin to harangue husband regarding curtains.  Use well documented persuasive arguments.  Be sure to mention that he never picks up his beer cans and you don’t appreciate him leaving his flip flops in the middle of the floor every day and it’s not your fault you never have any time to do anything since he’s the one who had the big idea to have a baby.

7.  Do not, under any circumstances, measure the window where curtains will go.  At any point.

8.  Attempt to buy curtain rod using minion of satan self check out at Home Depot.  Poke other shoppers with curtain rod nine thousand times. Yell “Goddamn it, I did put my item in the basket!” nine thousand times.  Sigh dramatically.  Roll eyes.

9.  Continue the delicate process of forcing husband to put up curtains despite that fact that it will require actual work.  Bribe husband with toys a laser level.

10.  Have all pleas to put up curtains fall on deaf ears.

11.  Decide to take matters into own hands. Declare “I am woman, hear me roar.” Grab electric drill, charge into living room, rip open curtain rod box, pull out curtain rod!   Discover curtain rod is many feet too short.  Call husband accusitorily.

12.  Return curtain rod. Accidentally poke nine thousand Home Depot customers.  Know, deep down, that they deserved it.

13.  Pass out from shock when pricing correct length curtain rod online.

14.  Revive self using steady application of Diet Coke and chocolate chips.

15.  Ignore all moral compunctions and order new curtain rod in size ginormous from Walmart.  Have it delivered to dirtiest Walmart in town.  Listen to husband piss and moan regarding dirty town Walmart.

16.  Ignore 373 emails from Walmart reminding you to pick up your new curtain rod.

17.  Force husband to look death in the face and venture to dirty Walmart to retrieve curtain rod.

18.  Listen to husbands tale of woe regarding bad! customer! service! at Walmart. Note that said husband seems to have survived dirtiest Walmart in town.  Have husband concede, grudgingly, that it “might not have been all that bad.”  Pass out from shock.

19.  Once again, apply Diet Coke and chocolate chip patented revival technique.

20.  Wait for baby to fall asleep.  Wait for baby to fall asleep.  Wait for baby to fall asleep.  Wait for baby to fall asleep.  Wait for baby to fall asleep.  Wait for baby to fall asleep.  Wait for baby to fall asleep.  Wait for baby to fall asleep.  Wait for baby to fall asleep.  Wait for baby to fall asleep.  Wait for baby to fall asleep.  Wait for baby to fall asleep.  Wait for baby to fall asleep.  Wait for baby to fall asleep.  Wait for baby to fall asleep.  Wait for baby to fall asleep.

21.  Discover laser level emits sound which could piece the barriers of space and time whenever it is turned on.  Blame husband.  For waking baby and also all other problems in entire world.

22.  Have protracted argument with husband regarding placement of curtain rod, in which you declare he does’t know anything about interior design, your aesthetic, good taste, the english language, curtains, or baseball. Have him explain you may not grasp the properties of basic physics.  Explain you got an A- in Physics.  Explain that husband can suck your belotes.  Cry.

23.  Have protracted argument with husband regarding curtain tie backs.  Cry.

24.  After husband declares that no curtains of his will be tied back with deadly baby eye poking head stabbing curtain tie backs, loudly announce “Then we will just have to use RIBBON and I might have to order some more!” accompanied by emotionally cutting chin raise.  Complete by flouncing out of living room.

25.  Admire ribbon collection.

26.  Refuse to walk ten feet to retrieve step stool husband left in front yard.  Balance precariously on chair.

27.  Hang curtains. Hate instantly.

28.  Ask husband accusingly “Where are all the curtain rings that we used to have?” seventeen times.  Fix husband with evil “I know you lost the curtain rings” stare.

29.  Return to Home Depot.  Wonder which is louder, wailing shriek from child you are hauling kicking through store or the stares of death being cast your way by the entire population of greater suburban Sacramento who has chosen today to shop for screws in your Home Depot.  Buy new curtain rings.

30.  Hang curtains again using curtain rings.  Love.  Ask husband “don’t you feel that the curtain rings add the perfect touch of industrialism to the overall look, thus tying everything together in an eclectic, fun cohesive manner which really matches our overall design aesthetic and our personal feelings about life, the future, and the world in general?”  Ignore husband when he can only manage to grunt out a “Huh?”  despite vigorous prodding.

32.  Realize new curtains highlight all now obvious flaws with window, other furniture, entire house, dog, and life.

33.  Dog ear page in Pottery Barn catalog with totally impractical wildly uncomfortable looking $1200 bench which matches new, fabulous curtains perfectly and would also totally bring our your eyes and solve world hunger.

Now, with more pictures! Please ignore that giant rocking chair, it’s going in Eli’s room, eventually.

Candy Weekends and Rocky Road Dreams

Am I the only who goes to the grocery store and stuffs her cart full of healthy goodness and gets all excited about lettuce and celery and low fat butter and then comes home and thinks “Huh. Where the hell’s the candy?”

Happens every time, I swear.

Yesterday I got a giant iced tea from the McDonald’s drive through right about the time I wanted to kill Mr. E with my bare hands for having the cajones to be mad at ME because the whole world is just one pizza I can’t eat because I am trying to lose weight AGAIN and anyway the point is I was up till 4 am because drinking a giant iced tea at 7 PM isn’t really conducive to sleeping, you know, that same night, and so while I was tossing and turning DYING Of hotness I started to think about all these weird tv shows and books I sort of half remember from when I was a little girl….

Luckily Google always comes to the rescue and this morning I uncovered two tv shows I remembered from when I was a kid –  one of them is about some kids whose parents die in a car crash and they have to run the family ice cream parlor on their own.  It was, appropriately enough, called Rocky Road, and is it just me or is this IMDB commenter a complete stalker:

I loved this show. I think the first time I tried rocky road ice cream was due to this show. Wasn’t the shop located like right on the beach or something? I actually wrote back and forth with Marci for several years. I lost touch and wish I could reconnect now as adults. Anyone know where she is now? I wish they would put it out on DVD. I seriously doubt that since I think there maybe like five or six people who even remember the show airing in the first place. They just don’t make shows like this anymore, do they? I wonder if it would still hold up in this day and age. Do you guys know anyone that could burn DVD’s of the show they taped on VHS? I’d be willing to pay(within reason).

Yeah, total restraining order right there. No one tell her where Marci is!

The other show was this weird preteen soap opera called Swans Crossing, and I think it was the first thing Sarah Michelle Gellar was ever on.  I LOVED it, and rightly so, let me tell you, as there are episodes on You Tube and it effing rules. In the first thirty seconds of the first episode, SMG is being chauffered in a convertible! and they come across a family of swans crossing the road (it is, after all, SWANS CROSSING) and she just sort of growls, to the chauffeur “USE YOUR PEDAL” and he guns it for the swans.

OMFG so awesome.

PS From now on, I will be working “use your pedal” into my daily lexicon.

Also, speaking of tv, are you watching My Boys? I find it entertaining, aside from the fact that everyone knows that PJ and Brendan should be together and also have I mentioned that I love Brendan and why are they wasting all this time on that spiky haired lamo Bobby character?  Anyway, the point is that I super adore the name PJ and obvs I probably won’t even need any girl names ever since I’ll be giving birth to eight boys, but if I did, it’s driving me crazy that I can’t think of any girl names I could use to make the initials PJ.  Although I did just remember that I have a great aunt who was named Pocahontas and a great grandmother who was named Pulcifer, so perhaps the search for a good P name has ended.  Pulicifer Jane does have a certain ring to it, doesn’t it? I hope Aunt Tonta wouldn’t be offended.

So what are you doing this weekend?  Besides babbling incoherently, which I can now check off the list, we’re not doing anything too fun.  I have instituted Boring House Weekend, so we’ll be childproofing the kitchen sink and hanging curtain rods and you know, just generally getting all crazy with our bad selves.  I might send Mr. E to go see the Dark Knight, as I just can no longer take the delicate balance he is walking between sulkiness that he hasn’t seen the Dark Knight yet and sulkiness that when he does see it he has to go see it ALONE like a pathetic loser.  Whatever.  I for one am not up for Heath Ledger acting all crazy weird, there’s just something about that that I’m not quite sure about, and since Mr. E and I have no friends and no baby sitter it’s totally a moot point, so he can go alone or he can sit at home with me and watch 7,000 DVR’d episodes of House Hunters.  Suck it up whine pants, sitting alone BY MYSELF for three whole hours in the dark is my ultimate fantasy of all time at this point.

Actually, Mr. E is bringing me home three books I requested from the library and all I really want to do this weekend is lie around in the backyard reading and drinking Dr. Pepper through a Red Vine straw. In that case perhaps I shouldn’t have gone and had myself a baby who has to be held during every waking moment of his life unless he is eating dog food.

Really, I know this isn’t right, but I swear to god every single time I walk outside I find myself looking back and forth between my idiot dog and my, um, let’s just say…spirited child and thinking “Really?  Can’t we work something out here?  You’re absolutely for sure certain that a dog can’t watch a baby, just for a few minutes? The two of you just can’t…you know, just kind of look out for each other for a little while?”

Also, I think it’s pretty evident from this post that I’ve got absolutely tootely freaking nothing going on – unless you count the wild curtain rod hanging that may occur this weekend – and I am ashamed to admit that I’ve decided I’ve really got to do start doing some more exciting shit because otherwise I just won’t have enough cool stuff to blog about.  And that’s how you know I’m a winner.

For reals though, next weekend I am going to Thai Brunch at an actual Buddhist Temple AND I am also going to the Heath tile factory, and if that doesn’t make me the MOST exciting person you’ve ever met, well, let me just say it again.  A TILE FACTORY.

I know.  I know. I’m a rock star.

Oh Boy

I wanted a girl.

I find this difficult to admit.

People trot out the most ridiculous innapropriateness when they know you’re going to have a baby and one of the things they ask you is if you want a boy or a girl, and Mr. E always said his thing about ten fingers and ten toes and I just kind of let it go and said nothing.

It didn’t really matter to me anyway.  What I wanted was irrelevant, because I was 100% butt crazy absolutely no doubt certain that I was having a girl.

And if you wonder why I would even waste time making my mind up over something so arbitrary and ridiculous, why I would waste time deciding something that it was never up to me to decide, well, for reals, you might as well as just ask why Elizabeth is Elizabeth.  Ridiculous is just how I roll.

To be honest it kind of cracks my shit up when I think back on the whole experience and I remember that I actually considered not finding out the sex of the baby at my 20 week ultrasound.  Oh, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, me.  I just love being totally naive about my own raging insanity.  Senor Pants would have had a very pink room, let’s just put it that way.

I will remember the moment they told me that Eli was a boy for as long as I live, for the rest of my life.  I hope it’s one of those life flash moments if I ever get hit by a car or something…the ultrasound tech asking if we were sure we wanted to know, and then, sing songy, announcing “It’s a boy.”

I have to go on record though, and say that I didn’t cry at the ultra sound.  I wasn’t even that upset, I don’t think.  More than anything I felt sort of pissed off, if you must know. It felt oddly like Mr. E had won the big gender contest and I didn’t care for that, at all.  Plus, I mean, crying at an ultrasound over the sex of your baby is the kind of asshole move that I just refused to allow myself.   One must have some perspective in life.  People have ultrasounds and find out genuinely upsetting things.  People get pregnant and then don’t bring home babies.  It happens every day, and in a world where really, almost all the time, it all does revolve around me, I have to draw some kind of line in the self centered sand.

Let’s not pretend though, that i didn’t collapse in a sobbing heap three days later, on my birthday, when Mr. E hadn’t even wished me a happy birthday yet and no one had called to sing me the birthday song.   It all got to be a bit much.  But somehow when I bawled “You didn’t call to tell me Happy Birthday! Where is my ice cream cake? I really really really wanted a girl!” soggily into Mr. E’s shirt front and this good good just plain kind man laughed at me (!) and then just held me and let me cry I think I let go of that little girl I’d had in my head, that day.  And I let myself begin to fall in love with my son.

When Eli was born, I announced, loudly, a few minutes after he was born, “I wouldn’t trade him for all the girls in the world.” and of course, of course, I would not.  I would never.

I never thought I would be saying this, but if I ever have another baby, some day soon or far away, I sort of hope it’s a boy.  I have a really fabulous boy name all picked out and I just know Eli would love to have a little brother, and there is just something about a little boy in a romper just learning to walk that nothing beats, nothing at all, really.  There is just something so amazingly perfect about being a mom to this dimpled, serious, intense, blue eyed son of mine.

I mean.  After all.  Would you trade this one in?

I thought not.

Tell Me A Story – Wednesday Writing Prompt

I am seventeen years old, and I am wearing a humiliating catholic school gym uniform. It still feels like summer, but it’s a few weeks into the first semester of my junior year, at a new high school, in a new place, and I don’t know anyone yet. My loneliness is palpable, and I wake up every morning with a stomach ache that never seems to leave me.

Gym class is the very worst part of every day, in a day full of worst parts.

We’re supposed to be playing flag football, and I can’t imagine anything I’d rather do less than display my total lack of athletic prowess to all these queen bees I am somehow surrounded by. Each and every one of them is so ridiculously over the top perfect that the locker room scenes before and after gym class may as well have been dubbed from some dirty B movie. That I am expected to play a sport in which I might have to actually touch these girls, girls who can’t be bothered to know I exist – seems too impossible to be real.

I’m not sure what sadist is responsible for high school gym, but I am pretty much convinced I’ll spend the rest of my life trapped on this field with this pit of dread in my stomach, wishing I were anywhere but here. I genuinely wish I were dead. I simply cannot fathom how I will make it through these 45 minutes, this class, this year, this school.

I’m dragging ass as slowly as I can out to the football field and doing various calculations in my head, wondering how many minutes I can shave off of this experience – if I walk slowly enough maybe I can somehow manipulate 45 minutes down to 30, or 12, or none.

There are deep ruts leading out to the field and as I walk across them I wonder who would drive out here, and why.

It dawns on me that my gym teacher will almost certainly make us pick teams, and in that moment I truly do wish god would strike me dead on the spot.

There’s a slight stirring among the clusters of girls on the field, and then a rumble on the road behind me, and I emerge from my fugue and turn towards the sound. And there’s an old green convertible, top down, and a boy I know so very well is behind the wheel, streaking lines of dust across the field towards me. In an instant, I grow taller, and thinner, and blonder. Somehow, I’ve got the football, and I fling it behind me and a grin I can’t control breaks across my face, and then I am running and my gym teacher is yelling and there is shrieking and pointing and I’m across the field, away from school and football and mean girls and priests and rules and choosing teams and I’m performing feats of physicality I’ve never performed before and leaping into the passenger side of an old MG and then there is nothing but the two of us and pure joy and “oh I’ve missed you so much” and crying and kissing and I’m laughing and happy and I’m a different girl and everyone knows it. And my life has been changed forever by this instant and this day, this day has made me wild and popular and mysterious and almost as cool as Alicia Silverstone in an Aerosmith video and I am in so much trouble but I do not care because I am saved. Saved.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

A whistle blasts.

I am late for gym.

I am chosen last for the team.

I stand, awkward and shifting and alone, on the sidelines, and I make sure to not accidentally rub my unpopularity on anyone, and I try to look natural, as if I could care less about flag football or friends or girls or anything, anything at all. My fondest hope is that no one notices me.

That gym class, that day, that year – it must have ended, somehow. After all, I am here now. But I remember nothing else from that day. Not much from that year. After I emerged, I think my brain must closed that time off, as if to protect me.

And yet, there are some days, even now, when I am reminded of high school, or flag football, or gym class, and it’s as if I am standing right there, all over again, in that field, and if I turn and look, I can still see the dust on the road.

Other bloggers participating in this Wednesday Writing Prompt Are:

http://mommatimes.com/

http://www.mytwopercent.com/

http://www.shelikespurple.com/

If you would like to participate or to be linked here, please let me know!

Jennie (She Likes Purple) has next weeks writing prompt at the bottom of her post.