Ironies in My Home

Friday I ranted on STFU Fridays about hipsters, which is very close to home for me because I’m married to someone that wishes with every breath in his body that he were a hipster. From his belief that he has a superior taste in music, to the douchey Fedora and neon green-rimmed sunglasses he hasn’t worn since he came back from Coachella a few years ago, my husband is infatuated with the idea that he is ironically cool.

I’m not sure if there is a correlation, but in our home we have a lot of ironies too. It likely has nothing to do with the fact that my husband loves expensive vintage-looking things and dumpster diving to save the world of being wasteful (while using twenty napkins at every meal); still the same they are there too.

Hypochondriacs that ignore being sick

Whenever someone in this house starts to feel sick, there is a barrage of questions that come along with it. Whenever I have a stomachache, I overanalyze it until I’ve diagnosed myself with some horrible, life-threatening condition. Within 30 seconds of saying something is awry (cramps, headache, stuffy nose, choking), my husband asks the very same question “are you going to take something for that?”

But then when we are actually sick, we ignore it. We’ve all had head colds since sometime last week. It hasn’t been bad at all – in fact, I wish every cold was like this. Runny nose, scratchy throat, and that’s about it. Yesterday, as my husband’s nose was literally dripping onto the couch, I suggested he call in sick and just rest all day to get rid of it so it doesn’t develop into something worse. “I’m not sick,” he responded.

You don’t say?

Well if you aren’t sick, then I’m clearly not sick either, despite the fact that my voice sounds like my throat got gang-banged by a gaggle of horny frogs. I guess doing my wine-salsa-spicy-soup blow out yesterday, followed by a gallon of OJ today, will all be for naught too since I’m “not sick.”

Californians that do nothing but work

When we got up this morning, Pookie said to me perhaps the most depressing thing I have ever heard come out of her sweet, little mouth. She asked if my husband’s bosses forced him to hate us and love working more than spending time with his family. I had to walk into the bathroom and cry over that one.

It’s true though: we never stop working. My husband is never off the clock. Every evening, every weekend, is interrupted with emails after text messages after thirty minute phone calls sitting outside with work. I started technology-free hour every night a few weeks ago and over three-quarters of them have been missed. He doesn’t even remember how many personal days he is supposed to get every year since he never takes them.

But it isn’t just my husband working like a crazy person all the time. Our house is pretty high-energy. We are always moving; I am always cleaning something or cooking something or picking up after people, because I have a terribly unhealthy fear of the cleaning situation getting out of control (as well as how depressed I will get if I sit down and look at what’s happened to my life). My husband can never sit still when he’s home either, which means that we are the Californians that are supposed to be all relaxed and laid back and chilled out, smoking weed and shit on our way to surfing and lying on the beach; and yet “relax” is not really in our vocabulary. At all. The closest thing I’ve come to relaxing was weeks ago when I put my feet up on the back of the seat at the movie theatre.

Way to let loose, Heather.

A cook that hates cooking

Have I mentioned before that I hate cooking? Fucking hate it. I don’t know what it is. The high cost of cooking? The patience required that I just don’t have? The sweating over a steaming stove? The look and feel of things that I realize gross me out while cooking them – like raw chicken or ground turkey, mashed in my hands? Kind of makes a girl lose her appetite to wash blood and guts off tonight’s dinner.

And yet I cook all the fucking time. I cook breakfast every morning. I make lunch sometimes (maybe 1/2 of the week). I cook dinner almost every night. I bake constantly, so we’ve always got cookies or cake coming out our ears and assholes.

I’ve recently gotten into making things and sending them out for people to try too. I was on that canning kick for awhile and have now moved onto this homemade, low-fat pumpkin bread that I just threw together the recipe for. After my cold is gone I’m baking 10 more loaves of it and sending them out to friends.

But I will hate it the entire time I’m doing it. And afterwards I will collapse on the couch and whine about how my feet hurt; shoveling pumpkin bread in my own mouth to deal with how depressing this kitchen slave life is. Then I’ll get up a little later to cook another meal, willingly.

So these are just a few of the ironies in our home. There are a lot others. So many that the statement “those people are so ironic” makes you almost think it should really say “those people are such hypocrites.” I suppose it depends on how you look at it. On STFU Fridays last week I ranted about hypocrites too, since hipsters are like the gods and goddesses of the hypocrites. Perhaps I’m the authority because that too is so close to home.

Even B(itch)es Need Breaks

… now before you all get your party hats on and begin celebrating at the thought of me taking a break from B(itch)logging, think again. I’m not talking about a break from writing on my most spectacular blog of misanthrope and ridiculous encounters. I’m talking about a break from life.

That’s right, this b(itch) needs a vacation.

“But your life is a vacation, isn’t it Heather?” is what I am sure some of you are asking. I assure you it is not. Sure, I sleep until about 9 every day and have cocktail time around 3, but a cakewalk my life most certainly is not. Homeschooling and managing a household with a husband that is gone at work for a minimum of 12 – 16 hours every day (plus often on weekends) is tough work. Not to mention trying to write a book in the process of it all, I’ve been racing towards burn out for some time now.

Now I’m going on vacation for three weeks in just under two months, but at the rate we’re going right now I won’t even make it to that point. I’m not trying to pretend like my life is more difficult than others – I know in some ways I have advantages in ways others do not. But this does not mean that I am blind to seeing the results of burning the candle at both ends either. This past week I’ve been sick with a sinus infection and finally my Ear, Nose, Throat doctor has broken the bad news that it’s time to seriously consider sinus surgery. For years he has threatened me with this and only this time he has outlined to me how much worse my sinus and allergy problem has gotten in the last year or two.

I really don’t want to have surgery. I’ve had other operations in my life and they are absolutely miserable. So I’ve decided to go another route: I’m taking a break in hopes that a little R&R will clear my head (and my nose).

Of course things will fall apart if I just ignore everyone and everything, so I’m setting up some perimeters right now. I’ve also planned this entire week to prepare everything for me to take such a “vacation from life.” That means spring cleaning, purging our house of old things we no longer need, stocking up on bulk food items that we only purchase a few times a year, planning homeschooling for the remainder of spring, getting everything ready for the actual three week vacation that’s swiftly approaching, as well as a host of other things – all are happening this week. Getting all of that done is not what I’m worried about, though; what I’m worried about is sticking to my guidelines.

So here they are and I’m counting on you, my faithful blog followers, to hold me to them.

B(itch)’s Vacation From Life Rule Number One: the vacation will last through and including April 15th.

This is my 30th birthday. I know I’ve said this before, but I’m not taking the turn very well. It isn’t that I feel old per se, it’s that I used to hold 30 up as the year I wanted this laundry list of life’s achievements to be completed by. Even my short list revision that I made a few months ago probably won’t be finished in its entirety though. So why even bother – I’m vacationing until I’m 30 and it’s going to be the most relaxing remainder of “the 20s” that anyone’s ever had.

B(itch)’s Vacation From Life Rule Number Two: I will not tolerate people making me feel defensive about taking my vacation.

I’m starting to get a little sick and tired of people making me feel like I have to defend my lifestyle. One great example: we have a cleaning lady come once a month to do the real tough stuff. We have a family full of allergies and so it really is the best thing for us to do to make sure we’re as sanitary as we can be – and that lady cleans in ways I never could. In addition to that, one of those surgeries I mentioned above was a spinal fusion when I was only 15. That’s right, the B(itch) is robotic – I have stainless steel rods fused to my spine that corrected my scoliosis, and while I do a lot of physical work around the house, there is only so much I can do before my back starts causing problems.

But having the cleaning lady doesn’t mean I never clean, though. I live with total slobs – I’m constantly cleaning up after them, as well as cooking and doing all their laundry. And the old “I’ll do the cooking, you do the dishes” never really seems to have caught on quite as it was supposed to. Whenever the cleaning lady is mentioned anywhere, though, someone always feels they have a right to tell me that I shouldn’t have her coming (often my husband’s family).

Well on my vacation from life, I will not be tolerating that. If someone doesn’t like that we have a cleaning lady once a month, or that I’ve decided to relax a little rather than run around like a chicken with my head cut off – well, that’s the way it’s going to be and anyone that doesn’t like it can suck it. I’ll be telling that (in so many words) as well.

B(itch)’s Vacation From Life Rule Number Three: while on my vacation from life, I will not be doing any of the following…

1. Folding laundry. I’ll wash the shit, but I’m not folding it. Time for others to pitch in.

2.  Going to see children’s movies in the theatre. (I’m sorry, but it’s time for the husband to take a turn on these… I’m pretty sure none are coming out anytime soon anyway and I watch enough at home to make up for it.)

3. Driving more than ten miles to go to any family-related events (with the exception, of course, of when we are on our actual vacation).

4. Organizing anything. Everything is so terribly organized our place looks like a museum. If shit gets messed up, somebody else is going to fix it. Or it can wait until after April 15th.

5. Arguing with anyone. If something needs to be discussed that may turn into a disagreement, it’s going to have to wait until after April 15th as well. I don’t see this becoming a problem, but just so everyone has been warned.

6. I’m not doing any dishes, unless someone else does all the cooking.

B(itch)’s Vacation From Life Rule Number Four: I will only work on my book if I feel so inclined to do so. 

I will not work on my book because I feel I have to. I will not write for anyone but myself. I will not go to any writers groups, writers critiques, or share anything with anyone. I will not feel indebted to anyone to work on my book quickly. My poor manuscript is a little torn and tattered at this point and I feel it’s because I feel obligated to write, rather than doing so out of a genuine desire.

B(itch)’s Vacation From Life Rule Number Five: Internet and telephone time will be limited.

I spend too much time being available. Every day from 11 am until 3 pm, my phone is going to be turned off so I can do all the things I really want to do – read, write, have fun with the homeschooling projects we do, investigate the Korean Hooker Hostage, watch Desperate Housewives, among other things. And I’m only allowing myself to use Facebook, Twitter, email, and my blog. There will be no obsessively reading the news, no checking every social network out there. No Tumblr, no Pinterest. No LinkedIN. No networking.

So that about sums it up, faithful blog followers. As of this week, I’m on a vacation from life. But vacation from life sounds a little cliche doesn’t it? So does much needed me time (even though that’s exactly what it is). Earlier today I said that this next three months is “the three months of Heather,” but really I think “the three months of the B(itch)” has a much nicer ring to it.

So begins The Three Months of the B(itch).