I Run a Tight Ship. Until I Don’t.

I’m just going to say it: I have a major stick up my ass. It’s way up there, wedged somewhere in the deepest cavern of my innards. I like to call it “a raging case of OCD,” but sometimes I think it’s worse.

I think I’m Type A. Although I’m not entirely certain what that means, so what do I know? I do know I have all of the signs…

I run a tight ship. We have a schedule, a daily schedule. Particularly busy days have an hourly schedule. We have a homeschool schedule. I have a daily chores and cleaning schedule. I schedule our meals, rather I plan out what we’re going to eat. A month in advance.

ChoreChecklist

Every Saturday I update my calendar for the following week, then I make check lists for every day – combining all of my various schedules into one list, that is usually several Post-It Notes long. I tape them together, then every day I tape my list to my bedroom door.

See what I said? Pretty sure you’re all sitting at your computers, mouthing the words “this bitch is neurotic.” You would be right.

Even though we homeschool, and for the most part it’s an un-schooled, project-based kind of plan, I also demand that everything on the schedule for the day be done. Chores have to be done before technology. Tennis has to be done before TV.

There are rules; they get followed. I run a tight ship.

That is, until I don’t.

You see, for every list I make, schedule I create, and meal I plan, I inch one step closer to total – but temporary – abandonment of this organized lifestyle of neurotic proportions.

Checklist

When I abandon my plans and throw caution to the wind, it’s almost laughable what I mean when I consider myself to be doing so.

Instead of following my meal plan, I just cook whatever we fucking have. Sometimes there aren’t three servings of fruits or vegetables with dinner. And on more than one occasion I’ve just made a box of Macaroni and Cheese and literally felt like my next step was selling cocaine.

My daily checklists go missing; although, usually it starts with me checking things off my checklist that I haven’t actually done. All the while I rationalize to myself that it’s not necessary, when really I know that it is; then the next thing you know a Saturday comes and I’m tired of writing or making lists or whatever, and I don’t make the checklists for the following week. Then nothing gets done.

I let the homeschooling go more often than I should too. Though that’s the one thing that’s excusable, as we school all year – because no school work typically means unruly behavior. But when my tight ship goes down quicker than the Titanic, I – again, temporarily – don’t care about the unruly behavior.

Usually because my ass is parked on the couch, eating vanilla frosting straight out of the canister, on my twelfth episode of Criminal Minds. You can’t be upset about your kids’ unruly behavior when you’re comatose.

So this week my husband started a new job, and it’s a night job. It’s a big step for our family; and a huge step for his illustrious film career (I say illustrious only half-in-jest). But as with all major life changes, it’s a big period of adjustment.

And if there’s one thing I know about adjustments, it’s that they are usually the driving force behind my abandonment of my aforementioned tight ship.

Tonight I went through the rest of the week’s checklists and sort of mentally checked things off of them in advance. Also, today I was supposed to make quesadillas, rice, and salad for dinner.

I served rolled up pieces of ham and a jar of olives.

Ultimately, I think that everyone deserves a break. And, when you run as overbooked and understaffed of a household as this one, you’re bound to need a time-out every so often. The good news is that my reprieves are brief, maybe a day, sometimes two. My record longest was a week, and that was the last time I had a cold; my record shortest was an afternoon when I just threw everything out the window and watched nine episodes of Murder She Wrote.

Nonetheless, this is my life. Like an oscillating fan, I wave back and forth between neurotic overachiever and slovenly lard ass.

So I am sure that if I really do take a break from running around this place like my life depends on three, square meals a day and strict adherence to an unrealistic daily timeline of chores and responsibilities, that break will be brief. Then again, maybe it won’t…

 

Advertisements

I Might As Well Move To Stepford At This Point

Did any of you see the Stepford Wives movie? Either the first, or the second – if you didn’t, you really need to.

It’s about a town called Stepford, where everyone acts so stereotypical in their gender roles you’d be crazy to not think something was up. As it turns out in the end (spoiler alert!) the men have basically turned the wives in to robots, or killed them and made robots of them (something like that). In the newer one with Matthew Broderic and Nicole Kidman, the twist at the end is that it’s actually the female founder of the town who turned her husband (Christopher Walken) into a robot, so that he would then go on to turn the remaining and new wives of the town into robots so that everything would go on being very 1950s-honey-here-are-your-slippers-how-was-your-day-I-made-you-an-apple-pie.

So this morning my friend Stacy came over to do this instructional video thing for a class she’s taking. She’s in my craft group, which should be a real red flag for you: that this is Stepford; I am living in Stepford; because where else can you find a craft group but Stepford? We did the video thing (I showed how to make your own homemade foot scrub…….how Stepfordian, I know), and then when we were done I made her a cup of tea. She sat down while I did dishes. And we caught up on local drama and where we buy our cleaning products.

Where. We. Buy. Our. Fucking. Cleaning. Products.

Preview

In the middle of our conversation, she burst into laughter and said “I’m sorry, I just realized we are having a total Stepford moment here.”

We were. And the worst part is this: I am always having a Stepford moment. My life is just one, long Stepford pause.

Just a week ago, we returned from our annual fall vacation to Oregon. As typically happens on vacation, as soon as my head was out of the smog and the sludge of LA, my mind cleared and I asked myself just what in the actual fuck has happened to my life.

I get up in the morning and start doing chores. I make breakfast, I dust and vacuum. I put away the dishes and start the laundry.

After I’ve worked out and showered, I throw on my mom pants (yoga pants) and a tank top and resume the chores while administering homeschooling and making lunch.

Some days I chauffeur to and from tennis. Other days I’m running errands, all of which have to do with cooking, cleaning, and making a home.

Yes, I just said the words “making a home” in complete and utter earnestness.

I make dinner, I do more chores. I fold so much laundry that we recently installed a television and DVD player in the laundry room. More chores. Bedtime routines. More laundry. And so on.

But it isn’t only my daily routine that is insultingly in line with my stereotypical role that is so Stepford.

Funny-Memes-HushIt’s the fact that I cut my husband’s hair for him. Who does that anymore? Seriously. I genuinely believe it’s the right thing to do.

It’s the four course meals on the table, every night.

It’s that I bide away my occasional and rare free time with sewing and knitting projects, instead of pedicures and massages.

There was a day that a pair of socks with holes in them went in the trash. Now, I darn them. I darn socks.

It’s the “oh you’re in the mood for chocolate chip cookies? …well I’ll just whip up a batch right now!”

It’s the fact that when I have an actual conversation with an actual adult, in actual real life, what I actually discuss

…is where I buy my fucking cleaning products.

stepford-wife-tune-up

As I said to my friend this morning, the only thing truly sticking between me and truly being a Stepford wife is the fact that I still dress like a slob. I wear yoga pants and tank tops everywhere; I have an at-home hoodie and a  fancy hoodie for “special occasions.” Yesterday I wore jeans to a birthday party, for all of an hour and a half, and was back in yoga pants within a minute of getting home. My hair is essentially a rat’s nest sitting atop my head; and make up – which used to be a regular and celebrated thing – is something I now loathe putting on.

In that sense, I am able to calm myself when my head clears and I question what has become my daily reality – when I am on vacation, or just have an extra amount of down time and an opportunity to sit and really take stock in my life. My life may be set on a permanent, Stepford pause. But at least I’m not in a poodle skirt and buttoned-down pinafore.

Yet.

The other thing I forgot to mention about my morning Stepford tea with my friend Stacy was that she’s a librarian and today she brought me a book. A book we’ll have to delve into next time, because I’m so afraid for my rat’s nest of a hair do and my daily yoga pants habit to even open it…

12045647_856479496613_7346418433441964455_o

 

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

11150471_834275553493_5566020635756346406_n

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

11377346_833984112543_3608787117151082658_n

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.

I Think I’m A Pinterest Mom

Counting the Deviled Egg Disaster of Easter 2015 as the recent (and glaring) exception, I think I’m a Pinterest Mom. And even so, the Deviled Egg Disaster of Easter 2015 was inspired by the famed pin site.

11081253_814605203033_452861631427318767_n

It was like Night of the Living Dead meets a traditional, holiday appetizer.

When my husband said that the only thing he cared about on Easter was that I make a lot of deviled eggs; oh and by the way can you make those guacamole ones?; oh hey you should do those colored ones you did a few years ago…; oooh look at those bleu cheese buffalo spiced deviled eggs … well you can see I was overwhelmed. I also saw a pin where the person made the deviled eggs look like baby chicks, and immediately felt up for the challenge. This is around where it fell apart – I was just in way over my head.

It also didn’t help a single bit that my husband’s cousin and his wife showed up with this bullshit cheese and chartreuse platter. I call it bullshit because it was SO. DAMN. AMAZING that it put everyone else’s nonsense to shame. I could have brought in a watermelon carving fashioned in the likeness of Jesus Christ himself, and it wouldn’t compare to that goddamned cheese and chartreuse platter.  They actually hand-carved the platters at home, out of what I can only assume was wood they gathered from the homes of the gods on Mount Olympus.

So you can see, in the case of the Deviled Egg Disaster of Easter 2015, I was set up to fail from all sides. But this isn’t the normal course of affairs.

Usually I’m all over baking homemade dog treats, making my own laundry detergent, and hanging cutesy signs through out the house – that I happened to cross-stitch or paint out of, naturally, up-cycled materials I already had around the house.

Consider Exhibits A and B. After spending hours working on these, I can’t help but wonder if (a) anyone in my house will ever pay attention to them; or, (b) just how insane others will think I am when they visit the house.

I mean really… sock buddy system? How annoyingly cute can we get here?

Exhibit A

10422369_818497897043_8824299653159100125_n

Exhibit B

21777_817434837423_2781956437841444547_n

Birthday parties aren’t just birthday parties anymore. They are events. Events where every food item is perfectly labeled.

Exhibit C

10982460_803953449233_7939506804885813113_n

Themes and color schemes are strictly adhered to.

Exhibit D

11724_803872636183_4961249466921341982_n

And there is always – ALWAYS – a dessert table.

Exhibit E

10988285_803954896333_8279605214838178423_n

In Exhibit F you’ll see I’ve created a monogram for our family. It’s a fusion of our last name initials (P and S), and has taken over our house in monogrammed towels, wall letter art, and the labels I put on everything.

I actually have a day set each month to make more of those labels.

Exhibit F

10305978_806548608513_1049397443594279875_n

As time goes on, I’m making more and more from scratch. I’m getting to the point of needing nothing more than a cow, and I will be fully sufficient. I can for canning season. I make homemade dog food, from-scratch Chex Mix, and homemade butter.

Yes – moving on to Exhibit G, now – I make my own butter. As in I churn it.

Exhibit G

11062390_814602927593_4347305648816470088_n

And on the off chance that I’ve missed a beat, or something comes up like the Deviled Egg Disaster of Easter 2015, I feel that I have failed. Failed miserably – not only as a Pinterest user, or a Pinterest mom, but as a human being altogether.

tumblr_n0o4rm1zP71somw7ho1_500Why? Because like many of you, I can’t help but compare myself, both to others as well as to that vast world of pins and pictures and examples of the far greater things out there. As I see it, Pinterest is just the new era of Better Homes and Gardens and Modern Woman magazines. And this is why women have been comparing themselves for ages.

We could talk about the social problems with this for ages, the fact that it happens is just that: a simple fact. No matter how many positivity-be-myself-and-love-it articles I read on Buzzfeed and Huffington Post, a part of me is always going to wonder if I could do as well as the others.

But it isn’t just a matter of self-comparison, because – quite frankly – a lot of the time I couldn’t give a lick about what others do. It’s more like a challenge. There is better out there, and I know I can do better. So I’m going to (unless it has anything to do with deviled eggs).

So I think I’m a Pinterest Mom. That means that a lot of you hate me. Like really-really hate me; like you’ve written your own articles about how I’m a big asshole making everyone else look like a pile of crap.

And here I am, feeling like my own pile of crap because of a fucking cheese platter.

Well there are a few saving graces, here. (One) is that a lot of my Pinterest projects likely come out looking more like the Deviled Egg Disaster of Easter 2015 than I’m able to admit. (Two) is that unlike a lot of people I know, I can only keep up charades for a relatively short period of time. Which means that before we know it I’ll be back to my bargain basement decorating skills, coupled with parties that consist of no more than a bucket of chicken on my cluttered dining room table.

As I get ready to make a Moving Day Binder out of printables I printed off Pinterest tomorrow (that is, literally, the only thing I have planned for the entire day), I hold steadfast in my hope that this Pinterest Mom phase will pass quickly.

11182338_818509643503_8508502359531359588_n

 

Three Signs He Isn’t Cheating On You

A lot of people think my husband cheats on me. They have for a long time. I can tell with some, by the looks they give me. You know them: the looks of pity that this poor woman is just so stupid she doesn’t see what’s really going on. Others outright tell me. Sometimes my mom and her husband refer to Poor Nick as “that lying’ cheatin’ S.O.B.” and still other friends and family are more eloquent about it than they.

To their credit, he does act like it. He comes home late all the time. He says he’ll be home at a certain time and shows up hours later. He can be kind of a jerk to me at times. By jerk, I mean he blows off my birthday, sides with strangers over me, tries to shame me for being a woman, and ignores the majority of our conversations. He says things like “excuse me, I have a life outside of here” in reference to our family. He withholds affection about 95% of the time. He lies. He spends a considerable amount of time deleting things from his cellphone. He picks fights over petty things. I could go on, but I’m not helping my point here.

Because then there are the signs that he isn’t cheating on me. There aren’t many, but I do know that as long as these status things are in place, all is well in the matter of our marital monogamy.

His feet still smell

IMAG1380My husband has always had the most rancid smelling feet on the planet. I remember when we first started dating. He had a shoe rack by the front door of their condo, and the scent was so overpowering I would always try and find excuses to go in through their garage whenever I went over there.

No amount of foot spray or foot powder or foot anything helps the smell, either. He uses a daily foot spray to avoid spreading his athlete’s foot issues to everyone else in the house, but it does nothing to contain the smell.

Have I told you faithful blog followers about this before? I’m sure I have. The problem with Poor Nick’s feet is his shoes. All of them are at least 10 years old, some of them disintegrate every time he wears them. He has these sandals that are so disgusting – and quite frankly cheap ($30); when he wears them, his feet sweat so badly that he comes home and there are black chunks of sandal stuck into the in-between of his toes. He asked for a new pair for Christmas, and I said “are you going to throw out the old ones then?” to which he said NO. So he got no sandals. On more than one occasion, I have been so horrified by the stench this whole sandal-sweat-disintegration debacle created that I’ve made him go wash his feet.

As long as Poor Nick’s feet still smell like a rotting animal carcass, covered in sweat and mildew, I know his heart is still with me.

He still eats like he’s packing it in for a long winter

One of the classic signs of someone cheating is they change their eating or exercise habits. It’s totally cool to eat more healthy or want to lose weight if you are in the red on either of those fronts. But if it’s sudden, unexpected, excessive, unwarranted, and secretive, you do have cause for concern (although concern over what is iffy – cheating, depressed, eating disorder, etc).

On one occasion, I did actually question what was going on when I saw Poor Nick download a weight loss app to his phone. Those of you that know him know that he is already underweight. The thought that he would want to lose weight horrified me; but then he followed it up by packing in two beers, a meal that had an entire day’s worth of calories in it, plus a dessert. Since then, I haven’t heard or seen anything about weight loss, so I’m resting easy that he isn’t cheating, depressed, or developing an eating disorder.

As long as my husband eats like he’s packing it in for a long winter, I know we’re good. And it isn’t just how much he eats, but what he eats. Red onions in copious amounts. Garlic by the baleful. Hot dogs smothered in relish. There isn’t another human being on this planet that would tolerate the way my husband smells after a rousing game of “let’s see how many hardboiled eggs I can eat.”

He continues to do entirely idiotic experiments with his various areas of hair

epic-photo-fail-cholo-bathtub_13140115414

Am I the only woman on the planet whose husband plays experimental game with his hair – head, as well as facial?

“I want to grow it long.” “I told her to just trim the top but let the back grow.””I decided to just buzz it all off.”

“I felt like the feel of a smooth face.” “I like this little patch of facial hair here!” “What’s wrong with hair growing down and around the back of my neck?” “Sideburns are in again.”

This is a weekly thing in our house. Poor Nick is constantly playing games with his hair, which is rife for embarrassing family photos and people thinking I’m in a relationship with a fifteen year old. When he shaves off all his facial hair, he looks like a teenager – really, he just looks so young. When he leaves some but not a full beard, he does this ridiculous gang-banger, cholo thing. Once I Googled it and found picture after picture of gay gang members – all sporting the same facial hair.

Here is how I know my husband isn’t cheating on me right now. In spite of some of the mean things he’s said recently. Besides the fact that he let another woman (the carpool lady) keep him at work two hours late, waiting for her to get off at her respective job, then yelled at me that I just didn’t understand the demands of her career. Spitting in the face of the two hour argument he picked over whether or not we should switch to only two DVDs on Netflix a month to save $3. I know my man is still my man because of his most recent bad haircut.

“I told her just to trim it up” turned into short on top, spiky on the sides, and long in the back. The back actually poofs out behind his ears to make what is perhaps the most amazing inadvertent mullet of all time.

At this point I’m kind of hoping my husband doesn’t read this blog. In more ways than one, I’ve taken him down much further than even Chinatown. But it’s all true, and it’s a good thing – I know he isn’t cheating on me! But if the intoxicating odor of his feet, or his diet and hair habits ever change I know I’m in trouble.

One day, it’s liable to happen though. Poor Nick will walk in the door and his hair will be clean-cut. He’ll say “I’m tired of playing games with my hair, and I’m not hungry tonight. I’m going to the gym. Alone.” Then when he gets home, I’ll notice all new shoes and a surprisingly fresh scent wafting up from his feet. That’s when I’m screwed.

Do you have signs that your significant other is remaining faithful? I bet they’re not nearly as … unique.

Talking to Your Husband About Your Period

IMAG2471

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…