For sitting on my ass about 10 hours, I sure got a lot done today

Every once in a while, we have to take a step back and ask ourselves: am I spinning my wheels?

Am I running on empty?

Is something burning me out?

Two things happened last night – besides that whole food thing I wrote about earlier today – that contributed to me sitting on my ass for the majority of today. I think it was about ten hours, in total.

1. My daughter broke my heart and told me, completely out of the random and for no reason at all, that she sometimes thinks of me as a birthday candle that tries too hard to stay lit, but as a result has very little left because it’s all burned away.

She’s very wise for her ten years.

2. My old friend Period Pants showed up, and not in the subtle way she normally does. There was no taking her sweet fucking time to get going, giving me a day or so to prepare myself for the carnage of her monthly hormonal fluctuations. I had no opportunity to “pre-med” (take plenty of Ibuprofen the night before shit gets real so as to minimize the pain.)

Nope, this time she just came stomping in the door, around 11:30 at night.

When I’m really stressed out, she does this. First I get sick, then in about 45 seconds I develop cramps no amount of over the counter painkillers could fix. Then I get really hot and headachy until my brain catches up with my body, realizing that I need to slow the fuck down and relax while Period Pants resets my body.

It’s all in good fun, and yes I’m sure you all didn’t want to hear that much detail. But it’s not like I’m talking about freebleeding under my dress, or knitting sweaters with fallen pubic hairs or anything; so just get over it and understand my point. This happened, forcing me to slow down and calm down and remember that my body is going to tell me when I’m going too far on the stress-o-meter.

Needless to say, when I got up this morning I had – again – remembered the point of this all. I asked myself those questions: am I spinning my wheels? Absolutely. I’m cleaning and yet nothing is really getting clean. I’m cooking food that isn’t being eaten. I’m making efforts when I know the effortlessness of others will make it all moot anyway.

Am I running on empty? You bet I am. It isn’t that I’m physically tired, it’s that I’m mentally exhausted. I can’t think straight most of the time, and I’m so scattered I have a hard time even paying attention to the book I’m reading, the painting I’m painting, and the blanket I’m knitting. And then there is that simple fact that – for the fifth time in a day – I put my keys in the freezer. My brain is trying so hard to escape this situation, it’s become almost nonfunctional.

Is something burning me out? Yes. Activity is burning me out. Constantly having plans and activities and errands and projects and expectations from others and of myself is burning me out. Life is burning me out.

So today I decided I was going to take a break. I mean I’ve really tried to make an effort to cut back on activities and giving a fuck for some time now. I wear yoga pants and comfortable sweaters most days of the week, now. I’m worrying less about things like the placement of the towels in the bathroom as well.

But this overwhelming sense that I need to justify my Stay At Home existence with constant movement and nonstop commitments has me occasionally heading down this path of bodily pain, and metaphorical burn out, that tells me I haven’t done enough to have a healthier balance in life.

I started out planning – intending – to spend the majority of my day on Pinterest and in front of Netflix. As I started to destress, though, I thought that what I’d really like to do is write. (So I wrote 20 pages of good, solid fiction.) Then I destressed even more, and decided I would get up and bake some Valentine’s Day cupcakes for my husband to take to work later in the week. And as I calmed down more and more, feeling Period Pants calm her ass down as well in the process, I decided to write a blog, do some marketing, and I even did a Fiverr gig I had waiting to be done.

So what I’m saying here is that I got more work done today while I sat on my ass than I have probably gotten done in the past couple of weeks.

What I didn’t do was run errands or return phone calls I had no interest in returning. I also didn’t worry about making a fancy dinner; and – for once – I just let the laundry from the last two days continue to pile up.

The moral of the story is – I think – that when we force ourselves to slow down, we realize the path to do more meaningful, balanced things.

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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.

What a Terrible Tuesday

Today has been such a terrible day that drinkie time has been pushed up a little bit. I was originally supposed to have afternoon cocktails with some friends before my Trailer Trash Mom’s nightmarish text message put the kibosh on that anyway, so I’m doing it big. Before I describe this Terrible Tuesday to you, though, faithful blog followers, let me first start with a little disclaimer:

Every time I post a blog like this where I’m either (a) venting about my day; (b) describing some horrifically ridiculous situation; or, (c) both a and b, I am not – by any means – trying to solicit pity. I constantly get comments from people that say things like “I’m so sorry you had to deal with that” or “why do you put yourself through that, B(itch)?” And while I appreciate those words of thoughtfulness and encouragement to the highest degree – to the highest – I really do kick back and find humor about all the stupidity that seems to surround my life here in beautiful southern California. All my rants and dramas about my Trailer Trash Mom; all my complaining about my often-jerkish husband and his family that hates me; all my encounters with the assholes in my community – from the horribly opinionated summertime overachieving parents (SOAPs), to your everyday judgmental members of my community – all of what I share with you, my faithful blog followers, is purely anecdotal. I want you to see the bizarre and sardonic humor of it all like I do.

So with that being said, here’s my Terrible Tuesday.

My dad’s afraid of a lizard the size of my pinkie

Okay, so I think I recently mentioned that my father lives near to us and I like to call his home my “Free Laundry and Storage Facility.” Last night we went to do our laundry there (of course the husband always stays at home); and I ended up staying the night because the laundry wasn’t finished, and quite frankly dad had bought donuts for breakfast.

This morning though, it was about 180 degrees in his house, with just one window open. Two things happened at this moment: first, I got up and saw that my blog’s Facebook fan count had grown to literally quadruple what it was last night (if you aren’t a fan, you really should become one …) and then the other shoe dropped and my 69 year old dad flipped the fuck out because of a small lizard that is apparently his arch nemesis.

To sum it up in a nutshell: a few weeks ago, a small lizard, no larger than my pinkie finger, got into my dad’s garage. Since then he has seen it twice and decided that the only way to keep this little baby lizard out of his house is to keep it airtight shut, with the exception of one window.

So this morning, it was already something like 180 degrees in the house and I was finishing my laundry, sweat dripping from places I didn’t even know I could sweat. And then we had bath time, which added another 30 degrees to the house because of the humidity and then there was whining that a donut was not enough and “why can’t you make scrambled eggs?!” and now it was 250 degrees in the house and the heat from the stove as I scrambled the motherfucking eggs was actually blurring my vision.

You can see how the day got started. I wish the high of an additional 543 Facebook fans withstood this drama.

Then my fruit roll-ups were ruined, my cooking utensils put away, and the cabinet was reorganized.

Ugh. So then we got home and brought the laundry in. I went to the kitchen to see that my fruit roll-ups had again been ruined. This is the second time and it isn’t that it’s a bad recipe at all. I don’t want to talk about it beyond that.

But then I was getting to work prepping everything for dinner because my two elderly grandparents are coming over for dinner, along with my Trailer Trash Mom; and I saw that not only had my Ninja been put away when I wanted it to be left out, but my cooking pans cabinet had – again – been reorganized. My husband has never really gotten the whole concept that I need some space of my own, for things to be my way; he also has forgotten time and again that I have steel rods on my spine and a rotator cuff injury from forever ago. The cabinet is organized the way I need it to be organized, for both ease and physical ability, which is “messy” to him, so he constantly reorganizes it. This weekend, the refrigerator was reorganized and it was done so horribly that yesterday I was going to get eggs out and the egg carton fell, breaking three eggs into some fresh vegetables – ruining the whole thing.

You see? I have things set up a certain way for a reason. And it is my space. At this point in the day, I decided that (1) drinkie time was definitely coming early, and (2) tomorrow I will be heading to my husband’s work and rearranging things there so that he can see how it feels.

And in the coup de grâce of this Terrible Tuesday, my mother learned to text message, and showed up 4 hours early

Who shows up to dinner four hours early? I said seven. Not three.

But it gets better than that.

You all know about the antics of my Trailer Trash Mom. About a year ago she married this awful hillbilly guy she knew in high school and since then it’s all been downhill. She’s never really qualified for mother of the year – I mean, abandoning my father and myself when I was only 8 kind of set up the precedent for that. In any event, she’s back from her home in New Mexico, where she resides for part of the year with her husband, the other part here near my grandparents, helping them out.

So she sent me a text message shortly after we got home and it said the following:

Wood you lke to GO SwmMG? G n G n I Wll b there @2 or 3

She apparently was asking if I wanted to go swimming. At my own pool. A little later she sent another, saying she’d bring her bathing suit J N C.

Indeed. My mom texts now, and incoherently (at best).

So then they showed up and it was 3 o’clock, when I told them 7. No big deal, right? Wrong. I had plans. Plans to have afternoon drinks with a couple of my friends that were going to be coming through town. This annoyed me, but I had already started my own early drinkie time so – whatever, right?

Wrong. Then my mom broke out the “souvenirs” she brought from her and her hillbilly husband’s trip to Nebraska.

“Heather, we ate a lot of corn, and Nebraska is the Corn State and all … so I went to Ralph’s down the street and got you guys some popcorn. Sorry, though … I ate a couple of the bags last night when I got to town.”

Are you fucking kidding me?

Then it went where it should never have gone. She broke out the bottle of wine that she got for dinner, as my grandparents were in the other room completely out of earshot.

“I have never heard of this Menage a Trois wine before, but I’ve always wanted to be in a threesome so thought it would be a good one to get.”

Indeed. In. Fucking. Deed.

Please note: it is only 3:30. God only knows what will happen from here. This Terrible Tuesday can only go down – down into the depths of family dinner hell. Who knows what else this day has in store?  But again, we should all be laughing about this, because – quite frankly – it’s freaking hilarious. I’m laughing right now.

Why I Could Never Be a Golddigger

Note, this blogpost is not titled “why I don’t think it’s right to be a golddigger;” or “why I would never be a golddigger.” It’s Why I Could Never Be a Golddigger, which I’ll get to in just a minute.

Why I do think it’s right to be a golddigger, quite simply put is because golddiggers get shit done. Today we were at Target, picking up more canning supplies and body wash, and I saw what was clearly a golddigger with nice clothes, a Gucci purse, tons of diamonds, and a guy about three times her age with his hand on her ass.

Hand on her ass. The dude had to be 70.

While my husband was keeping his body wash separate from mine so that he didn’t accidentally get charged for it, this lady had a cart full of all the terribly useless crap Target has to offer. She had tons of expensive shampoos and hair products. She had – like – four kitchen appliances and a new suitcase. When we walked passed them, she was saying something about how “cute” some Target home decorative thing was and he said “anything for you, baby.”

Anything for you, baby. Words I have never heard.

Golddiggers get shit done. I’m sure there is a happy medium between being a golddigger and being a “give the milk for free” kind of gal. But not only do golddiggers get shit done, they make damn sure they get treated with the respect they deserve.

Why I would be a golddigger, were my husband and I to ever separate – quite simply put is because this cow ain’t giving out milk for free anymore. I have gone on way too many dates where the guy was cheap – something no woman should ever tolerate. My own husband has never actually taken me out on a real date. Our first time out he asked me for my half of the In ‘N’ Out order.

I’m not intending to talk badly about my husband or anything (actually … who taught him to treat women like that?); and there are plenty of things that make up for how cheap he can be. I’m just trying to illustrate just how much milk I have ended up giving out for free over the years. Maybe it’s California because before meeting my husband I dated a lot of guys out here that were very similar – cheap and expecting everything to come to them.

The point is that a golddigger demands the respect she deserves by virtue of her golddigging. Again, I’m sure there is a happy medium between nothing and everything. In the meantime, let’s hold fast to how much respect the golddigger commands.

Now to the point of this post altogether: Why I Could Never Be a Golddigger, quite simply put, is because I’m a slob. A pigslob. I’m an uncouth, unkempt, self-professed gutter whore.

#1 Every other word out of my mouth is a curse word. I mean every other fucking word. I don’t really swear around the Pookies, but every once in a while one slips. And then there was that one time (about an hour ago) that I announced “I think I pulled my left ass-cheek muscle vacuuming today.”

#2 I am terribly unkempt. Today was a particularly long and arduous day. I baked. I cooked. I made a delectable dinner that everyone bitched and complained about. I cleaned the bathrooms. I dusted. I did three loads of laundry. I vacuumed. And I scrubbed down the kitchen. Tonight I was sitting here working on my blog and eating some frozen yogurt to reward myself for all the work I did and I dropped a little bit on my shirt. No big deal, right? Just get a napkin and wipe it off, right? Well the napkins were too far away, and quite frankly I didn’t want to lose out on any speck of my fro yo, so I just licked it up. Licked it right up faithful blog followers, off my shirt. Then I went about my business.

#3 I say what I’m thinking irrespective of where I am or who I’m saying it to. I don’t act like a total jerk about it; and oftentimes I censor myself for a moment or two so as to not be rude. I also avoid conflict, but when I have something snarky or funny to say – I say it.

A great example of this was last night. We went out to dinner to what we thought was a restaurant/sports bar – but that had apparently remodeled since we were last there – to create this faux French bistro theme. Everything seems to be french-themed in our community these days – the fucking Eiffel tower is plastered everywhere, much to the disdain of those of us that actually have lived in or visited France, studied the French, or are Francophone. Nonetheless, it’s close to our apartment and the only other option it seemed was the Italian place next door that specializes in Barilla lasagna and fish tacos (I know … huh?).

When I looked through the menu, I immediately saw that the things they claimed to have added a “French twist” to were the exact same items as were available when it was a restaurant/sports bar. I didn’t know that the French serve BBQ Western hamburgers and turkey with mashed potatoes! The prices were a little higher as well; maybe that was the French twist. But all my old go-tos were the same: BBQ chicken salad, chicken sandwich with fontina cheese, and caprese thin-crust pizza, so I was happy to just go with the pizza. French you say?

So I had two classes of wine (not French, I might add) by the end of my not-French meal and was feeling a little lippy. It was loud and there were a lot of people there, so I didn’t think it would be a big deal if I leaned over to my husband and cracked a joke.

“Nick … this place is about as French as my asshole. You know what … I’m going to open a restaurant called ‘My French Asshole and Italian Hoo-Haa.’ Our main dishes will be hamburgers, donuts, and fish tacos.”

My husband immediately leaned a little closer to me, I could only assume to applaud my crass humor (that has never actually happened), and pointed out that the manager of the restaurant was standing right behind me to ask how our meal was.

So you see, faithful blog followers: I could never be a golddigger. It isn’t that I wouldn’t (because I would), or that I would have some sort of moral opposition to it (because I think in many cases it’s the only way to get shit done). Nope, I couldn’t be a golddigger because I’m a crass pigslob.

And on another note, we could also have an alternate title to this blogpost: Reasons That Birth Control Should Be Added To My Water Supply.