I Have Earned the Right To Complain

I always hear older people – like older, older; not me older, which I am clearly becoming – say that they have earned the right to complain. “I pay my taxes, I worked a full career, I served in the United States Army…I have earned a right to complain” is something my father – who lives with us – says regularly.

Like daily.

Maybe it’s just him rubbing off on me, but I’ve caught myself saying a similar elderly person’s rant more and more as of late.

For example…

We live in a condominium owned by my husband’s family – purchased for him and his brother when they were single, and rented out only until this past June when we moved in.

We take care of the upkeep of the place – as in, we do and pay for routine maintenance and upkeep. There were a lot of things not tended to in the years it was being rented out, some even my husband’s fault from when he was living here before we met. We have taken care of all of them. All of them.

We pay the mortgage and HOA fees, every month.

We live according to the rules of the home owner’s association, we help organize a crime and safety group in the community, we contribute positively to the community however we can.

I have earned the right to complain.

Another example:

My husband works in film. He’s in editing for a television and video marketing firm, and he works at night and for a company that has no qualms with employees essentially living there. I see my husband for maybe two hours a day, if I’m lucky.

I can’t get him to remember to take his keys out of the front door when he gets home.

I can’t get him to remember to take out the trash when he gets up in the morning.

I have adjusted my own schedule every day to make sure to make him dinner at around 1 o’clock in the afternoon, before he leaves for work. One day I made soup and bread and he actually had the balls to ask if I should make sandwiches to go along with it.

We are unable to make plans with anyone, ever, unless it’s on a Sunday – the only day he is truly “off,” and even then it can’t be too early because he’s used to staying up late and sleeping away the morning.

Over and over and over and over, and over and over and over, again I have had to explain to little broken hearts why dad is not home for X sport, Y event, and Z family time.

Last weekend, my husband got back from work exactly 15 minutes before our 11 year old’s tennis tournament began. He had been up all night, and therefore fell asleep in the middle of the tournament – at one point falling over almost completely into the bushes next to his chair.

Right now I have been sitting by the front door, waiting since roughly 2:30 in the morning for him to get home so that we can leave for another weekend tournament. It is now 6:00, and there is absolutely no sign of him.

Enough anecdotal evidence? Sadly, I could go on for several blogs-worth…

I have earned the right to complain.

I have more:

I gave up my entire career and education to become a stay at home mom. That doesn’t go without the occasional feelings of remorse for all that work I did in grad school for nothing.

My life is often reduced to Disney channel and conversations with the only daily non-child interaction I have: the dog.

Then I have to hear people say that it must be nice to live my life and be a lazy housewife. A lazy housewife who cooks and cleans for at least 8 hours a day, acts as personal assistant, washer woman, and – by the way – also homeschools the other hours until I drag myself to bed lest I suffer death by exhaustion.

The grass is always greener, or so they say… But on a particularly bad day, when I haven’t had any other adult interaction in as long as I can remember, and I finally get some by going to Costco only to find food in my hair…

I have earned the right to complain.

Shall I continue?

Two months ago I got a cut and color at a new salon (well, new for me).

It was the worst cut and color I have ever gotten.

She didn’t actually really color my hair – you could still see my blonde roots coming through. To this day I still can’t figure out what process she did on my hair, maybe toned it? I’m not sure, but it certainly wasn’t coloring.

The hair cut was terrible too. It’s grown out in just two months, and looks something like a large rat’s nest sitting a top my head.

When I vented about it on social media, I was given shit for venting. I paid $165 for this “cut and color.”

I have earned the right to complain.

Here’s my point:

8f43e47f31b4c70ffedc43516f7e4edad6095b22b1f39a432b2ebe68e6e7f79bI don’t like being the person that everyone thinks is a complainer. Every single time the complainer opens his or her mouth, an assault of whining and bitching and griping and complaining comes out.  If you ever talk to me at a party, or watch my feeds on social media, you know that’s not the case. Complaints account for maybe 10% of what comes out of my mouth and my tippy-typing fingers.

But I also feel as though when people complain, however little they do, that there is now some need for the world to retaliate not with compassion, but rather with a social backlash. And that’s all people focus on: 90% of what I talk about or post online is positive, funny or informative; and yet somehow the 10% or less (complaining) is what they all focus on. I see it happening to others, as well.

People post e-cards about how the Internet isn’t for complaining, and you hear people talking at parties about how life is something to be always-positive and ever-grateful for. And they shame people that speak candidly about shitty situations with pithy statements like “just remember that other people have it worse off than you.”

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When did life become something we always, 100% of the time, have to be super positive about? Why can’t we all complain once in a while? I mean, crappy situations won’t get better if people don’t talk about it – right? If there is a problem in your community, you should complain about it. If you have a bad salon experience, you should share your gripe. Then, follow up those complaints, and do something about it.

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A few days ago, I realized that social media is starting to give me social anxiety. For one, I share a lot of articles  – like a lot – on social media. But that’s what I do to get more traction on my blog, and anyway they are damn good articles and people should be reading and getting educated about the world a little more. Then I saw a nasty post from a family member (who shall remain nameless) about how people who post a lot of things like news and world affairs on Facebook have no lives. Now I know that’s bullshit, but it still made me self conscious about sharing things the following day.

When I started reflecting on the realization that I was doing that – inhibiting myself for the sake of not having to hear shit from others – I realized how little I share about my own life anymore, as a result of this social media anxiety. I don’t complain online anymore, and I don’t complain in person anymore either. Family functions are a “hi, how are you? Me I’m good, same old same old” and the conversation is over. I want to complain about my bad hair cut and the drug problems in my neighborhood and the refugee crisis in Europe and the war on women in our country, but I stop short for fear that people will highlight that no one wants to hear a complainer.

Moreover, I want to hear other people’s complaints. I want to be there for others, and vent along with them about all the injustices everywhere between my local frozen yogurt stand and the world at large. I always thought that the point of having relationships – friendships, family relationships, romantic relationships – was to be there for each other, even when it’s over a complaint session about everything shitty going on. Sometimes, people need to share happy life events together; sometimes people need a shoulder to cry – or complain – on.

It feels as though no one is allowed to do that in this world of post-modern positivity. Everyone must be happy all the time. If you have something go wrong, no matter how big or how little it is, keep that shit to yourself – no one wants to hear it.

What a terrible world we live in, where that is the status quo.

On the contrary: I pay the bills. I live the life. I have to deal with the consequences of everything around me. I truly feel that I have earned the right to complain. Everyone has.

 

 

Things I’ve Learned When Moving. Again.

We moved again.

We’ve moved so many times in the last five or six years, I’ve essentially lost count. I mean I could figure it out, but it’s not like most people where they’re like “oh, we’ve moved once in the last five years” or “oh, we’ve stayed put for twenty.” Nope, not us. It’s been like six times.

Such is the life of a Southern Californian.

(Disclosure: I am not a Southern Californian. I’m just married to one.)

Renters forever, we found ourselves with no home again this spring when we received our lease renewal, and it came packed with a whopping $485 a month rent increase.

Yeah. Fuck that. I would highly recommend to you, oh faithful blog followers, that you avoid Avalon Bay Communities at all cost (they are, in fact, national).

So we moved on June 1st, and don’t even get me started on all the frustrations that led up to it. The short version of the long story is that my husband, his brother, and their parents own a condo that they bought pre-us. At first, my husband and his brother lived in it with some other roommates, then it eventually turned into a rental unit for a family friend. Fast forward to now: we received our lease renewal notice, and decided it was time to ask that the family friend be given notice so that we could occupy the condo.

So here we are. It’s bigger and more spacious, which is OK (until it’s time to clean, which I’ll get into in a minute). There are definitely some major maintenance issues that have gone unattended to for who-knows-how-long. But it’s a place to live, and we didn’t have to move back to Los Angeles (which was ultimately what we’d have to do if we didn’t move here), so we’re all content. For now, at least.

This move was the real kicker in the pants for me, though. Mainly because I did about 98% of the work for it. I’m talking the packing, the phone calls, the house projects, the moving day stuff, the unpacking, the handy work…I’ve done it all.

As a result, I’ve learned a few things.

A Double Vanity Means Double the Sinks To Clean

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The bathroom in my husband’s and my bedroom has a double vanity. We’ve never had this before; quite frankly we’ve always been sharing a bathroom with at least one person, so this is a real upgrade. To have our own bathroom, free of kid’s toothpaste gunk in the sink or my elderly father’s Groom and Clean hair gel scent – well, for a while it seemed like it’d be heaven.

That was until I realized how much more work it is to clean. Not only does our bathroom have the double vanity, it has a huge soaker tub and a standing shower. If you’ve ever watched those house shows on HGTV, you’d know this is called an en suite bathroom, and it’s great and all… If you have a maid.

If you have just me, it’s terrible and a lot of work.

I should also mention that I went from cleaning two bathrooms to cleaning three and a half. This is essentially double the work for someone that can’t stand any of it.

In That Same Vein, More Square Footage

= More Vacuuming

I just really hate cleaning, and it seems like I’m doing it every day.

It seems like? What a crock of bullshit that is. I do clean every day. Every. Single. Day. Of. My. Miserable. Life.

The smallest place we’ve ever lived in was 850 square feet. We now have a whopping 2000, and I’m finding myself pining for those days that I only had 850 to vacuum.

Sure, we were basically piled in like sardines in a can, and you couldn’t do a single thing in the bathroom without the entire apartment hearing you. But it was all worth it now, as far as I’m concerned, to not have to vacuum so much.

Renters Don’t G.A.F.

Nope. Nope, they don’t.

Renters don’t give a fuck. Not. A. Single. Singular. Fuck.

Family friend or not (quite frankly, I don’t even know the guy), the guy that was renting this place from my husband’s family ran this place into the ground. Like a fuggin’ pile driver digging for the center of the planet.

Everyone keeps arguing that this is just normal wear and tear. Just the standard course of affairs for an older home.

Um, first of all this is not an older home. Second of all, no. Just…no.

Destroyed carpet requiring an emergency – and expensive – carpet cleaning is not normal wear and tear.

The smell of rotting flesh and sulphuric eggs wafting from the washing machine is not normal wear and tear.

A broken hook rack on the back of the bathroom door, literally dangling from just one, rusty screw is not normal wear and tear.

A ceiling fan falling out of the ceiling, with tape hanging from it – as if some dumb fuck actually thought that masking tape would hold the thing into the ceiling – is not normal wear and tear.

Holes in the doors is NOT…normal wear and tear.

WRITING ON THE FUCKING WALLS IS NOT NORMAL WEAR AND TEAR.

There’s only one conclusion I can come to here: renters don’t G.A.F.

Having Your Kitchen Back Means People Expect Meals Again

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I packed up our kitchen maybe a month before we moved. We had other plans, vacation, and I just wanted it done.

What I’m saying is that for a month before the move, and for about a week afterwards, we ate nothing but crap. Total crap. We’re talking fast food. Take out. Frozen pizzas LIKE WOAH.

In a few words: it was heaven for this lady that hates to cook. I mean, I knew I was destroying my body and the bodies of my family, but my disgust for cooking overruled that. I kept telling myself it was temporary – which it was – so everything was spectacular.

Now that I have my kitchen back, though…it’s another story. Everyone wants real food.

No, I don’t mean real food like those losers on Instagram that incorrectly refer to whole fruits and vegetables as “real food” – as if Cheetohs and Cocoa Puffs aren’t something real I am putting in my body. I just mean three, square, home cooked meals. Every damn day.

With snacks. Homemade snacks. And desserts too.

Now that everything with the move has settled down, and I’m on my way to finishing the last of the house projects before settling back into my old routine of cleaning, cooking, and  acting as a chauffeur from tennis event to tennis event, I’m certainly glad it’s over.

But we’ve moved so many times, I just feel the next one breathing down the back of my neck. On one hand, my husband works in film, so it’s unlikely we’d have to move out of the area – which is the only situation under which I could see myself agreeing to ever move again. But on the other, you just never know.

Talking to Your Husband About Your Period

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There he is. Poor Nick. My husband. Smelling the inside of a maxi-pad.

This was during one of our many talks about my period. My husband – like many – is a little bit of a misogynist. He has never taken the time to consider the nuances of the fairer sex and always thought that women were just like him. Cold. Sterile. Emotionless.

Recently I decided that the best way to make him understand that women have different experiences, emotions, and needs than men was to talk at length about my period. Who am I kidding, though? A man understand women? That’s about as likely to happen as Kim Kardashian closing her legs and losing that huge ass of hers. So at the very least, talking to my husband about my period is a good form of punishment.

Talking to Your Husband About Your Period

Cramps

My husband rarely experiences bad bodily feelings. But when he does, it’s like the end of the world. I have noticed lately that he’s starting to feel the effects of age. His elbow hurts all the time when he uses it a certain way too much. I have aches and pains all the time, but you don’t see me rubbing them, blathering on about them, and putting icepacks on before lifting something. His stomach can no longer handle him eating three week old leftovers either. The endless conversations about how he had lost his appetite the last time he did that were enough to make me take an Ambien-Vodka cocktail.

What my husband has absolutely no concept of still, though, is being compassionate towards other people’s pain. When I had a really bad asthma attack years ago he told me I was acting like a princess. I had back surgery when I was 13 years old and still have stainless steel rods screwed onto my spine. And he still doesn’t understand that I have limitations. One time we moved my husband actually insisted I help carry heavy boxes and furniture up a staircase. By myself while he was at work.

Cramps are a really good way to help him get the point that people have their limits. Usually when I have cramps they progressively get worse and worse and worse. There is never a let off until I either (a) take some Tylenol, or (b) pass out and sleep them off. It’s always been this way, but it was only recently that I realized I should be sharing with my husband the nuances of it all.

“Nick, I can’t make dinner tonight, will you pick something up? … oh, there are about a million men trying to push their way out of my uterus. It feels like World War II in there.”

Talking to Your Husband About Your Period

Stomach Upset

I remember when I was in health class in high school, they always acted like a period was no big deal. You just bleed for three days and that is the end of it. And for swimming class, they’d only give you the pass on it for three days too; then still make you do super-strenuous stuff as a replacement activity, in spite of how shitty you felt. Now I realize that this was just a part of the cultural male agenda to try and minimize the plight of women, but let’s not get socio-philosophical here.

To begin, I’ve never actually bled for only three days. Maybe just four or five, but never three. It isn’t just a little blood for those days though, either. It’s cramping. It’s hurting boobs. It’s headaches and anxiety. It’s mood swings. It’s insomnia. And it’s stomach upset.

All of those are normal for a woman to have on her period. Normal. But if you are my husband, you have no concept of what is normal for a woman, so it’s all crazy and unreasonable and it’s like being in high school with the health class and the swimming pass all over again.

So a few weeks ago my husband ate leftover Mexican food that was over two weeks old. We were laying in bed, watching some shitty movie, and he said he had a stomach ache. Then for about thirty minutes he tap danced around just telling me that he had the shits from eating old Mexican food. It was the most awkward conversation I think I have ever had.

To me, if you are married you are there to experience everything. Why be skiddish? We’re married. This is why I have absolutely no problem at all telling my husband every little thing that’s wrong with me when I’m on my period (really, ever). My boobs hurt. I have a migraine. My sinuses are drizzling gooey snot down the back of my throat. I could continue, but the real gems are when my stomach is upset.

“I just lost forty pounds in water weight, thanks to my glorious period and too much dairy. I think I’ll skip dinner and take some Imodium.”

Talking to Your Husband About Your Period

The Scent of a Woman

Let’s not beat around the bush (no pun intended): periods can smell a little weird. I don’t mean like fish weird (that’s gross). I mean like dead blood cells weird. I mean like feminine products weird. That’s why they make scented tampons and maxi pads.

I don’t usually use scented stuff, simply because I don’t see much of a point. If you are clean and take care of yourself, there really isn’t much of an issue. And it’s only about a week anyway. But sometimes in the box there is a free sample for whatever their newest product is, and nine times out of ten they have some new scent technology.

Last night I opened this box of sample scent technology maxi pads and opened the package to smell a waft of lemon scent fly at my nostrils. Weird, I know. I started laughing and my husband asked what was so funny, so I figured I would show him. By having him sniff the pad himself.

But he didn’t understand, so I explained. First I squatted so he had a visual aid. Then I explained it to him.

“Sometimes a woman’s vagina smells rotten during her period.”

He interrupted “you don’t smell rotten on your period.”

“Right, that’s because I bathe a lot. Some women do not, so their vag smells foul when Aunt Flo is in town. So Always has taken it upon themselves to add lemon scent to the mix in hopes that it will cover up whatever foulness the period has to offer.”

And then I illustrated with the movement of my hands how the smell wafts out.

Horrifying, I know.

So the only question that remains here is if this is effective. So far it seems not. Poor Nick is not more compassionate, or understanding. Now he just blames everything that goes wrong on my period. But I do feel that this is just retribution for being a misogynist.

I also think that women should not be so ashamed of these things. Why? Why be ashamed? It’s who we are. Cramp-wielding, hormone-fusing, foul-smelling blood baths. Embrace it, ladies.

Screw Yourself Sideways, Spring Cleaning

I’ve been spring cleaning for about a week.

At first it was as it always is – like a new boyfriend. I was excited. My heart a’fluttered at the thought of trashing some of the crap we have and never use. The first night I couldn’t even get to sleep – the wheels in my brain were just turning and turning and turning over all the things I wanted to do.

Now spring cleaning and I have reached a parting of ways. It’s been a week (so, also much like a new boyfriend). I’m tired of having headaches from all the dust allergens flying around. There’s stuff. Everywhere. And for some reason I can’t get rid of this nagging feeling that I got rid of something I shouldn’t have.

Or is it that I didn’t get rid of enough?

Day 1

My Husband will rue the day he married this de-cluttering queen.

6496_522876140413_4968011_nWhen my husband and I first moved in with each other, I learned how much of a hoarder he really was. Is. Will have to get over.

We were unpacking stuff and he opened this big crate and dumped out a bunch of wires. The first thing I should have picked up on was that we didn’t really need any wires for anything we were doing, he just wanted to sort through his wire collection.

Pause a moment. Wire collection.

I asked what they were for and he said “in case I ever need them.” He thought it was funny. By contrast, I thought it was horrifying so I popped Xanax after Xanax because I was beginning to realize what I had gotten myself into.

We have gotten rid of a total of three of my husband’s things in the entire time I have known him. A bedside fountain that didn’t work. An African-looking knick knack that had rusted and cut me more than twice. And a ripped pair of sheets. A few years ago, my husband was given hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of clothing by his parents for Christmas. He got rid of two t-shirts to “make room.”

When I started spring cleaning last week, I realized that I just could not take all of his clutter anymore. If he wasn’t going to get rid of it, in fairness he had to find a better place to store it than on the floor next to our bed, or in areas of the closet that should be for me. I am the woman in the house, aren’t I?

Our conversation went like this:

Me: “We have got to start de-cluttering this place, Nick. I have to be here all the time, unlike you – it is making me feel sick and unsettled to have so much crap around all the time. Plus, it’s like some of this stuff is just here for me to clean. I have never actually seen you play those two guitars sitting propped against the wall over there. And the amp and pedal board that sits next to our bed – not a once. Ever.”

Nick: [Look of panic] “I don’t know what you are talking about. I also don’t even know why you care that there is clutter all over the place. I let you put away the Lord of the Rings cup that I used to like having displayed. How much more do I have to give up?”

Me: [Ignoring the look of panic, as well as the blatant stupidity] “OK, well if that is how you are going to be, I’m just going to do it myself and you can deal with it…”

Nick: Fine.

Nick is right. He let me put away the Lord of the Rings cup. By “let” of course we are all of the understanding that he had no choice. I love the Lord of the Rings movies; The Hobbit was my favorite book growing up. But there is no room for Frodo Baggins in my home decor.

Day 2

The bedroom and the kitchen. I figured I would start at one end of the apartment and move my way out.

To start, I wanted to pack as much of my husband’s guitar equipment into his side of the closet. Of course to do this, I had to start going through his side of the closet and getting rid of crap. Papers. Wire collection. Pussy Master 3000.

Wait, what?

You heard me right, faithful blog followers. I found the drawer full of gag gifts. Some of them I do remember as gifts – possibly gag, possibly serious (I never know with some of my friends). Lubricants. Handcuffs. Things never used, of course. Then there was something my husband consistently insists was a gag gift, although the details of said gift have never been disclosed.

Pussy Master 3000. Lubricant included. As the packaging goes, it’s for the guy who is sick of just using lotion, but needs an artificial vagina for those lonely nights while the wife is away. Fortunately it was still in the bag.

I moved into the kitchen after the Pussy Master and did a little purging and organizing. Then it was time to call it a day.

Day 3

Can’t deal with this spring cleaning shit. Let’s go to the mall.

Day 4

Can’t deal with this spring cleaning shit. Let’s go to my dad’s and mooch food.

Day 5

Oh shit, how am I going to finish spring cleaning in time for the Super Bowl party?! Super Bowl party … Super Bowl party … Let’s shop all day to get stuff for the Super Bowl party.

Day 6

Got my period. There is shit everywhere in my house now. I haven’t dusted in over a week. There is some gelatenous goo forming on the kitchen floor. I need tampons. Better to go get those and hang out at my dad’s house. It’s nice and tidy there.

Day 7 – Today

Screw yourself sideways, spring cleaning. It’s now just a few days away from the Super Bowl and we’re packing about 16 people into our tiny apartment. There’s a bowl, books, stickers, an open package of graham crackers, and a broken Dora the Explorer talking backpack occasionally splurting out “back pack back pack” on the living room coffee table. On the kitchen table is a pile of cleaning supplies, another book, a party bag full of Super Bowl-themed party stuff, and a package of Puffs tissues. I didn’t even bother to put the boxes of kleenex around the house and the extras away. Better to just pull the kleenex directly out of the package, left half-opened on the table.

9401It’s time to get away from this spring cleaning nonsense. I need to just put away all this crap and move on with my life. I discovered a bruise on my leg this morning while getting ready. It probably got there from the hundreds of times I’ve run into all the shit lying around here over the past week of “spring cleaning;” nonetheless, it reminded me that I’m a princess and don’t like scrapes and bruises showing up on my delicate skin. Pussy Master 3000 and Frodo Baggins will have to be it for now. Until next spring…

The Cost of Groceries, or My Weekly Bend-Over By a Random Guy Named Ralph

This morning I did what I always do. I woke up. I grabbed my computer. I scrolled through to see how people were disparaging me overnight on my blog. I’m not saying that people always do, just every once in a while someone disagrees with me and calls me something nasty. Anyway, so I checked my email and my blog, then my Twitter and Facebook … the usual.

As I scrolled through Facebook, I saw that Momspirational (another mom blogger) had posted a question for her fans: how much do you spend on groceries per week? Oh, you mean how much do I get bent over for every time I go to Ralph’s?

I should have just put in what we spend and been done with it.

I actually should have just kept scrolling and erased having seen the question from my memory.

I should not have clicked “see all comments” or whateverthefuck that stupid Facebook link says that opens to a long list of things other people said that you really do not want to know about. I should not have done this. But I did.

I immediately became nauseous. I very literally felt like I was going to puke.

People’s responses were pretty varied. Some paid about $500 a month. Others paid a little less. A few paid a little more. One woman said she pays $200 a week and doesn’t use shampoo but makes her own soap. That comes a little close to what we spend, but we don’t include toiletries in our grocery budget. (And I don’t make my own soap, either.)

Our food budget every month is close to $1300. This doesn’t include alcohol. It doesn’t include toiletries. It does not include house supplies. It does not include lunch every day for anyone but my husband (I know, seems a little unfair).

Puke.

There are a couple of things that go into this. Despite the fact that he’s going to get defensive and annoyed and come home acting pissed off because I was honest about it, I’ll just say it: my husband eats a lot. I mean a lot. As an example, last week we went out to eat with my dad for dinner and so I made my husband a chicken and vegetable stir fry that I planned on making for all of us. Since I planned on making it for all of us and it turned out being only my husband eating, I thought he would just eat about half of it and the rest would go to leftovers for lunches.

He ate the whole thing. Four diced chicken breasts and a large package of mixed, frozen vegetables. That was organic chicken, the package weighed 3.5 pounds. My husband’s meal that night cost $34.

He still ate dessert.

Had I not prepared that; had I halfed it and just put some in the refrigerator; had I made something lighter or had we eaten at home too; he would have grazed on top of eating dessert for the rest of the night. One night, after eating an entire meal he came into the living room an hour later with an entire peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Another night I had a writers group over and after it he gobbled up an entire brick of cheese that I had set out for the group. The whole, entire brick of cheese.

One time I made a 12 pound turkey and he ate 3/4 of it, along with all the sides. I had plans to make three other meals out of that turkey.

One time we went out for pizza and he ate almost the entire thing. You’d think that was enough; I mean I was still eating my first slice when he polished off the rest of it himself. I set down my slice for a second to take a sip of my Diet Coke, and he started to grab the pizza off my plate. Off my fucking plate, faithful blog followers. Off my fucking plate.

His lunches are worse. The stories go on forever.

So you get the point, my husband eats a lot. Rather than admit it, he generally gets defensive. He’ll come home tonight in a horrible mood and he’ll probably start blaming everyone else for all our problems to compensate for how the truth about this makes him feel. (Responsible. I know. How dare anyone take responsibility for their behavior?) And to be fair, I’m not really complaining. It is what it is. He has an appetite. If he eats less, he’ll get cranky. I’ve moved on, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to lie about it or hide the truth just to help him deny the realities he imposes on our daily lives.

Back to our grocery bill. So it’s about $1300 a month. We don’t eat fast food. I cook almost every meal at home. I have to use my share of the spending money to feed us lunch, because if I had that stuff around the house my husband would gobble it up too, and it just isn’t in the grocery budget anyway. Seems a little unfair, I know; but again, it is what it is. I’m choosing for us not to eat fast food. While I joke that we should just start eating at McDonalds like the rest of America, I never will.

There are other factors, though. We live in California where the cost of living is exponentially higher. When we were in Chicago earlier this year on vacation, my cousin’s wife went grocery shopping and bought more groceries than we have ever purchased in our house at one time, and she spent about 1/3rd of what we would have spent. I went to Whole Foods – the most expensive grocery store on the planet – while out there to get a cake to take to a party as well, and was just completely floored when the cake only cost me $8. Eight dollars?! Are you serious? The same cake at the Whole Foods out here costs $27.

So it’s about $1300 a month. When I see people talking about their grocery bills only costing $500 or $600, or even a cool grande with toiletries and house supplies included (we buy toiletries out of our personal spending and house supplies out of a separate, budgeted amount); when I see how much they spend and look at the last grocery receipt sitting in my wallet… Which was just bare essentials to get through the week. Bare essentials. Nothing extravagant. My husband’s lunches, breakfast food, and ingredients for dinner every night. When I see that and hear someone say that what I spent for one week is over half what they spend every month, I want to puke. I want to puke because while I always felt like I was getting bent over every time I go to Ralph’s, I didn’t realize it was really that bad.

Do You Ever Ask Yourself, “Is This Worth It?” I Do.

I do all the time. In fact, I’m asking myself that right now, over a number of different things. Sadly, the answer to myself is typically “no.” Actually, it’s usually a lot more assertive than that. It’s more like a “fuck this” with doors slamming and things being thrown (well, at least in my mind).

This morning as I was scrubbing the floor, I asked myself “is this worth it?” I mean, normally I use my Swiffer, but it doesn’t always do the job. But then why isn’t it? While I was scrubbing angrily, I found stuff on the floor that should not have been there since I just cleaned and mopped yesterday. Like Rice Krispies and spilled juice. How the fuck did Rice Krispies and juice get spilled when this motherfucking floor was just cleaned less than 12 hours ago? I thought to myself as my scrubbing got angrier and angrier. I just cleaned yesterday! What is the point of getting down on my hands and knees and scrubbing like CinderHeather, only for it to be dirtied up twenty minutes later when people that are clearly blind and incapable of cleaning up after themselves come through the room for another snack or something to drink?

This afternoon I got my car washed. It was so dirty; dirtier than your mom back on that trip to Cancun in the 60s. Nasty. There was milk spilled in the backseat. There were toys fucking everywhere. I had a week’s worth of mail sitting in the front seat and a package of toilet paper I forgot to bring in the apartment in the trunk. Outside the car looked more brown than blue, and part of my Bulls bumper sticker was covered in mud. When it was done and we got in the car, it was like a dream. I actually pinched myself, it was that nice. Then we got home and a bird shit on it and the kid spilled her apple juice from lunch all over the floor in the back. Is this worth it? Well it seems not, now that it needs to be cleaned all over again.

Just before writing this blog I was wrapping Christmas presents. You faithful blog followers know I handle Christmas shopping and wrapping in September every year, then laugh heartily at everyone else scrambling like chickens with their heads cut off all the way to December 26th. But as I was wrapping in the bedroom, where the air conditioning had not yet hit; sweating like a pig and making everything look beautiful and perfect and elaborate, I thought to myself “Is this worth it?” No one ever stops to admire my wrapping job. No one ever appreciates how nice it looks. They all just open the shit, throw it to the side and say “what’s next?” When I remembered this, I moved to wrapping in bags with extra paper. No one can complain about there being no fun with the messiness of the paper if there is tons of tissue paper to throw around, right?

So you see I ask myself this many times through the course of a day. As I’m writing this post, and I have an 11 pound turkey in the oven, I’m wondering if the elaborate meal I’m preparing will be worth it too. My husband will eat three-quarters of it and everything else will be shoveled down like feeding time at the barnyard. I’m almost tempted to say “screw it” and just serve Taco Bell.