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Curiosity Killed the Cat

21 May

Occasionally K from Two Adults One Brown Baby does a post I believe she calls “Nosy Nancy” (I’m too lazy to go look and make sure). Anyway, I loooove when she does that and totally stalk the comments on those posts.

I’m a naturally nosy curious person. One of my most favorite things in the whole world is going to someone’s house for the first time. I love to see how people live – Are they clean or cluttery (that’s totally a word)? Do they decorate or just throw random shit on the walls? How big is their house? Whose faces are in their picture frames? And on and on and on. I stop myself from going through bathroom cabinets when I need to use the restroom, but in all honesty, sometimes it’s hard not to peek.

I don’t know what this says about me. I’d like to think it says something profound about my nature – that I’m deeply interested in the human condition, and what makes us who we are. I think it simply means I’m nosy curious.

So, in light of this (possibly disturbing) information about me, I would like to ask you some questions, Internet, in the hopes that you will answer honestly and satisfy my disturbing endearing curiosity:

How often do you change your sheets?

I heard on the radio recently that the average is once every three weeks. I don’t want to offend anyone, so I’m going to withhold my commentary about that, but I religiously change mine once a week. When I get rich (ha, ha) the first thing I’m going to do is hire someone to change my sheets DAILY.

How often do you clean your house, as in dust, vacuum, sweep, clean kitchen, clean bathroom?

I do this once a week too and feel so … yucky … if I don’t get to it. Am I totally OCD?

Do you use plug-in air fresheners?

(You have to be thinking I’m totally crazy right now, right?) I ask this because my house never smells like an air freshener. Ok, that sounds weird. Here is where I’m going with this – some people’s houses smell so delicious all the time. Mine … does not, unless I have my Scentsy plugged in or just sprayed air freshener or something. I don’t think it smells bad, but it doesn’t smell obviously good either. Is there a secret? Is it all about the plug-ins that are continuously providing delicious smells? And here is something to FURTHER illustrate my crazy (as if you weren’t already convinced) but I once saw a picture online (and the internet NEVER lies, right?) of a plug-in air freshener that had caused a house to burn down entirely. Ever since then I have been leery of them.

Sometimes I see people with personalized license plates that say things like “BLSSD X4” or “LF S GOOD” or “LUCKY” and I think “Oh, how nice that they appreciate their life.” But most days I think “Yeah, right. Show-off.” Am I just a bitch or do you roll your eyes too?

I have no justification for asking this question other than I’m worried that my disdain for these types of license plates is an indication that I’m not very nice. Also, why do people get personalized license plates that say things like “YLW STANG” on their yellow Mustang? Now, again, I don’t want to offend anyone, but CLEARLY you are driving a yellow Mustang. CLEARLY.

Ok, back to my questions about your home. How small does a home have to be for you to consider it small? How big is your house?

I live in the Midwest, where I know a typical home is much, much larger than a home in, say, Manhattan. My house is 1250 sq. feet, 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, and I get a lot of comments about how small our house is. And it is, in comparison to  average home sizes in our area, but we wanted to be on the lake and had to buy what we could afford and have plans to add on and yada yada yada.

Ok, I think that will satisfy my curiosity for a little while. Bonus points if you send me a link to a post with pictures of your house!

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Mommy Brain

7 Sep

You guys, I had what I thought was a really heart-felt and nice post for today. It was almost ready. But then something happened this afternoon that made me think that perhaps I shouldn’t qualify anything I’ve written today as “good” so I’m going to spare you.

Oh, what happened, you ask? Let me tell you.

When I went to leave for lunch, I couldn’t find my keys. But don’t worry, I found them. In the trash can.

I’ll let that sink in.

The. Trash. Can.

Luckily there was only paper in there, but still. Let’s not even talk about how I knew to look for them in the trash can in the first place. But what could possibly have been going through my head at the moment I threw them in there? I threw away a paper towel that my breakfast sandwich was wrapped in, but why my keys?? What was going on in my head? I didn’t find any trash in my purse, so it’s not like I threw the paper towel in my purse and my keys in the trash. And I have a METAL trash can. HOW DID I NOT HEAR THEM FALL IN THERE?

I’m blaming my job. And my freelance stuff that is keeping me super busy. And my husband. And my dog.  But mostly, I’m blaming my kids.

I swear to you, I used to be smart.

On Pink Princesses

8 Aug

 This has been on my reading list for a while and the other day Ryan from Pacing the Panic Room wrote this. As always, it was amazingly and thoughtfully written and I haven’t stopped thinking about it

I’ve known since the moment I found out I was having a girl that I wanted to be very careful about how much “princess” stuff I exposed her to. I think she has had one outfit with the word princess on it, and that was a pair of pajamas handed down to me from a friend. She has a pair of Disney princess shoes, a Disney princess towel, and a Disney princess couch, all given to her as gifts. (And in an effort at full disclosre, I love that little couch. It folds out into a bed and it’s just super cute.)

For starters, I think the sparkly pink princess clothes look kind of tacky.  The clothes and costumes are poorly made to optimize proceeds, and you can tell. Also, clothes for young girls are modeled more and more after clothes for young women and I don’t understand the appeal of dressing your toddler or young daughter in clothes designed for teens or twenty-somethings. Not to mention, have you ever strolled through the Halloween aisle at Target? Every year, I am astounded at how skimpy these costumes are for young girls. Sexy cats, sexy pirates, even a sexy Dorothy from Wizard of Oz.  The traditional princess costumes aren’t too bad, but they always come with make-up and a purse and high heels and it’s sending a message that girls have to be “pretty”. 

I once saw a shirt on a 3-year-old girl that said (in sparkly letters, no less) “Flirt”. I can’t even begin to understand why someone would want to put forth that kind of image for their toddler. As parents of really young children, we control what they wear. If we don’t buy it, they don’t wear it. Why would someone want their daughter to wear shirts proclaiming her to be a flirt, or  too-short shorts and not-big-enough tops? I certainly don’t want anyone looking at my daughter in a skimpy outfit when she’s 18, let alone when she’s 8!

I think that allowing girls to become too steeped in the princess culture also teaches them that women have a specific place in the world – to be pretty and wear pretty clothes, and if you aren’t already pretty and wearing pretty clothes, that should be your goal.  Even worse, it perpetuates the assumption that a “Prince Charming” will come and rescue you from all your troubles. And that just covers the Cinderellas and the Sleeping Beauties.

Today’s princess culture is being combined with the “diva” culture and it’s fostering an attitude that being a girl gives you the right to get anything you want – that girls are princesses and divas and people should follow their orders, cave in to their demands and tolerate their selfish behavior. I was watching Toddlers and Tiaras yesterday (SHUT UP. I can’t stop.) and those little girls will flat out tell you, “I am a diva, I get whatever I want and you have to do what I say.” Those parents are doing their children such a disservice. The world does not work that way. You don’t get whatever you want. People don’t always listen to you. And most of all, you don’t deserve to have whatever you want anymore than anyone else deserves to have whatever they want.

I worry that the beauty pageants and dance recitals and cheerleading competitions in which we cake our daughters’ faces with make-up and tease up their hair are sending a message that to be pretty and to get attention you have to change yourself.   That you, and you alone, are not enough. You have to be tan, have perfect hair, wear flashy, skimpy clothes, shake your booty. That you’re only special if people are watching you and commenting on how you look. I feel like it objectifies them. (Please don’t get me wrong. This is certainly not about dancing or cheerleading in and of themselves. Those are sports and it takes talent and practice and skill to be good at them. I would be damn proud if Tessa worked as hard at dancing or cheering as she did at school or soccer or anything else. I’m simply talking about the idea that you have to make yourself look “better” – that simply being talented isn’t enough.)

I know this is more about the clothes my daughter wears or books she reads or movies she watches. It is my job as her parent to provide her with a well-rounded and realistic view of the world. It’s my job to teach her that sometimes life is hard and she is going to have to work hard to be successful – that looks alone won’t carry her. But kids are impressionable and I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to keep her from being swept up in this princess culture. She will inevitably be innundated with media forcing the belief upon her that she has to be pretty and dress well and wear make-up and that all she needs out of life is a man to take care of her.  But if I start introducing it to her when she’s too young to understand, even if it’s just in the form of a princess t-shirt or a skimpy Halloween costume, what message am I sending her? I’m forcing something upon her and not letting her decide what kind of woman she wants to be. It minimizes the importance of being smart, or funny, or kind, or creative, or athletic.

My parents certainly didn’t perpetuate the idea that I had to be pretty, or skinny, or wear trendy clothes. But I still felt that pressure. I was never really a “girly” girl, so I always felt less-than in the face of all my friends who knew how to do a perfect “smoky” eye, or who wore the trendiest (and skimpiest) clothes. I felt like those girls were the girls the boys wanted. And I was right. High school boys are caught up in looks. It’s part of being a teenager. But there is a pervasive assumption out there, in high school and beyond, that the only way to attract the attention of a boy is to be skinny, pretty, or have perfect make-up.

I know now of course, that isn’t true, but when you’re young and all you want is a boyfriend, it’s easy to believe that your looks are the most important part of who you are. I just so badly want to raise Tessa in a way that allows her to be proud of whatever makes her who she is. If she is good at sports and her favorite color is blue and she hates dresses, I want her to love that about herself. I don’t want it to make her feel somehow less-than all the girly girls out there.

And if she decides that she likes to wear dresses and 98% of  her clothes are pink and sparkly, and she wants to dance and cheer, then that’s fine with me. But only if she does those things because it makes her happy and she enjoys it. Not because it’s what she thinks a girl should do. I still want to raise a girl who, while she might be decked out in pink and sparkles, can stand up for herself and take care of herself and doesn’t take shit from anyone.

I know that nothing I’m saying here is new or revolutionary and I certainly don’t want to make it about my issues. I’m just terrified of raising a girl who, like me, felt the pressure to be prettier, skinnier, more popular, and more of a “girl”. 

I understand my daughter is only 15 months old. I don’t know what I’ll do when she wants to dance or cheer and I’m forced to tell her yes, you can dance and cheer and I’ll be there to cheer you on, but no, we don’t wear fake eyelashes at 5 years old. I hope I can stick to my convictions. I hope that I can preserve her innocence for as long as possible. I hope that I can help her understand that she is much, much more than her looks and no amount of make-up or hairspray is going to improve upon what is already perfection- her, just the way she is.

(Another) New Project

26 Jul

So I’ve started a new blog. Don’t worry, it’s something completely unrelated to what I write here, so I won’t be begging asking you to update your readers AGAIN.

I’m just asking you to read more of my drivel writing. Ha.

Me and Hubs are taking on a new project. We’re nervous. And excited. And nervous. I’m going to blog about it here:

http://duplexdiaries.wordpress.com/

I would love it if you guys could hop over and check it out.  

Hold me.

We interrupt this broadcast…

5 May

First of all, if you’ve followed me here, I owe you a big fat thank you! Seriously, thank you so much. I know it’s annoying when someone inexplicably takes down their blog with no explanation. Sorry about that. Seriously. But I’ll be able to explain in a few days.  

It seems like some of you were really interested in my sorority story and then I just up and took down my blog and left you hanging. I’ll continue with Part 3 this weekend or early next week.

But I’m here to make this place my new home. To be honest, I never really felt like the No Mom’s Land blog was my home here on the Internet. Also, if I’m going to make this writing thing work, I wanted a space that is a little more neutral, and a little less about being a mom. I have no illusions about becoming the next Dooce, but I do want a space I can be proud of, that I make into exactly what I want it to be. So the name might change, the layout might change, who knows? I’ve got lots of plans for this space, once I have some more time to devote to it (which, to foreshadow very sneakily) will hopefully not be too long.

So! Thank you again for following me here. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

That time I was in a sorority, Part 1

20 Apr

This is part 1 of what I think is going to be a 3-part story. I don’t talk much about this, mostly because I look back on it with lots of regret and I don’t like to dwell on it too much. But for some reason, I’m feeling compelled to write it down. Probably because when Nolan and Tessa go to college and say they want to join a fraternity or a sorority, I want to give them my opinion as objectively as possible, and would like to be able to refer them to this story (before too many years pass and I can’t find my pants, let alone remember what happened when I was in college in 2001).

One more thing- I totally understand that most people have really positive experiences when they join sororities or fraternities. I don’t mean for any of this to sound as though I’m pigeon-holing anyone or judging someone’s choice to be “Greek”. I just think it’s only fair that people who haven’t been Greek know what it’s really like.

When I was a kid, I had a really hard time spending the night at friends’ houses, and even other family members’ houses. Some of my earliest memories are of trying so hard not to cry when it was time to go to sleep, but inevitably not being able to get it together. I always had to call my parents to come and get me. I remember crying all day in class one day in second grade because I was supposed to go to my cousin’s house that night to spend the night. I was so upset at just the idea of staying overnight that I couldn’t even get through one day at school.

It wasn’t until sixth grade, when I was given an opportunity to go away to a selective summer camp, that I was able to stay away from home overnight. That week was not without tears and calls home, begging my mom and dad to come pick me up. They didn’t. We had made a pact that I wasn’t going to come home early. I stuck it out and was, of course, glad I did.

I’ve never been able to figure out where the terror of staying away from home overnight came from. To my recollection, nothing  bad ever happened to me when I was away from home, but that fear of being somewhere else at night was always there in the pit of my stomach.  It was embarrassing and hard to deal with. I never stayed for slumber parties and my friends didn’t really understand why I wanted to go home. I know it contributed to my overall sense of never really fitting in and feeling as though I wasn’t as cool or grown up as my friends.

When it came time to decide where I wanted to go to college, I wasn’t scared to be away from home anymore, but I still wasn’t willing to move across the country. I wanted to get just far enough away from my parents to have a little freedom, but close enough that I could get home quickly if I needed to. I chose a school about an hour and a half away from home. I didn’t anticipate having any problems being away from home and was looking forward to it.

As it turned out, when moving day came, I was a mess. I didn’t want my parents to leave and for the first time in six years, I had that awful feeling in the pit of my stomach and the voice in my head saying “Go home! Go home!” It didn’t help that I had just gotten back together with my ex-boyfriend and he lived in the same city as my parents. I didn’t want to be away from him and was just overwhelmed in general. I was afraid that I was going to turn around and run home, just like I did for years.

My roommate was a girl I’ve known since preschool, so that helped. And she had a boyfriend at home too so we were both homesick and fighting the urge to go back home. We decided that if we were going to stay in school and not run home, we would have to keep ourselves busy and find a reason to stay.

We decided go through rush and pledge a sorority.

Can't even think of a clever title…

16 Apr

So are we all sick of hearing about how much I hate my job yet? No? Great. Let’s jump right in then, shall we? I’m in a funk. For no good reason other than it’s Saturday night and I’m already crabby thinking about how I only have one day left of the weekend. It’s ridiculous. And I’m going to go ahead and let the cat out of the bag here but that new job I was hinting at? I want to be a writer. I don’t have any grand dreams of writing a book (although if I had to pick one life career goal, that would be it) but I want to freelance. I want the flexibility of deciding where, when and how much I work. I don’t want to feel guilty when I have to take time away from work to visit my kid’s preschool. I don’t want to spend 45 hours a week living for the hours I’m not at work. I don’t want to squeeze a week’s worth of errands into two lunch breaks. I want to do what makes me happy.

But tonight, looking at another rejection from one of my proposals on Elance.com and seeing the tweets coming from the successful bloggers attending  Mom2.0 this weekend I’m overwhelmed by the number of truly talented writers out there. Not to mention the surprisingly high number of blogs I read whose authors are consistently offered freelance positions but whose writing is often sloppy, full of errors and generally nothing impressive (not to say that what I write here is stellar–but I just think, if they can do it, surely I can!). These people are already getting paid to do what I want to do. But what I have no real experience doing. No one is going to hire me just because I want this really badly.

So I sat down at my computer tonight, intending to work on more proposals, but I couldn’t come up with anything. And then I get more frustrated because if I can’t come up with anything now, how the hell am I going to make this a career? How am I going to find the time to build up a clientele when I still have to work full-time?

I’m not fishing for compliments here. I just need to write this out. I’m nervous and scared because starting my own business and taking a leap of faith like this isn’t the type of thing that comes easy to me. And if I’m being totally honest, I’m not sure I’m good enough.

*****************************************************************************************************************************

Have I ever told you we live on a lake? Well, we do. Tonight Hubs and I were walking down to the dock so he and Nolan could fish for a little bit. I was pushing Tessa in a stroller and Nolan was walking along side her, reaching out to touch her head and making funny faces to make her laugh. I felt Hubs’ arm around my waist and knew he was thinking the same thing I was.

“We have  a really special little family, you know?”

“Yes, we do.”

***********************************************************************************************************************

I am so lucky. I have so much. I know this. I don’t want to be in a funk. In the face of everything I have dealt with in my life, this job thing is nothing. But in spite of all my attempts to make the best out of the situation, it is dragging me way down. I don’t want to jump into another 9-5 I hate.  I guess I just need to find some confidence buried deep down somewhere and get this show on the road.

Short Cookies

15 Apr

A couple of weeks ago I gave Nolan a cookie after dinner. When he was done, he said “Mommy? I’m feeling like my cookie was too short.” I laughed, of course, because it was cute and innocent but that pretty much sums up how I’ve been feeling about everything lately. I’m so focused on how much I hate my job and I’m spending what little free time I have working on getting a new career started that I feel like all my cookies are too short. I don’t have nearly enough time to spend time with my husband and my kids and do the things that make me happy. So! Today you get randomosity, because really I don’t think I can string together something interesting and/or well written.

  1. And already I’m drawing a blank. I can’t even bring you randomosity! Worst blog ever!
  2. Let’s try again. I want you all to know that every single time I get in the car to drive anywhere, another driver inevitably pisses me off. I really think that I have a sign on my car that says “Please! Be in a big ass hurry to pull out in front of me and then drive 10 MILES UNDER THE SPEED LIMIT. Also, I really LOVE it when you sit at an intersection NOT TURNING RIGHT even though there is no sign indicating that you CANNOT TURN RIGHT. And if you would really love to make my day, please reduce your speed to approximately 5 miles an hour on road with a speed limit of 45 BEFORE YOUGET INTO THE LEFT TURN LANE.” I guess that would be a pretty big sign, but you get the picture. Also, you may now understand that I suffer from a bit of road rage. Ahem.
  3. I’m tired of worrying about my weight (excuse me, I had to pause to take a drink of my Coke THAT ISN’T EVEN A DIET COKE). We’re still faithful to P90x but my results aren’t as good as I was hoping they would be at this point, with only 2 weeks left to go. I have only lost about 4 pounds and yes I have muscles and yes my clothes fit much better and I’ve probably lost a size or two but I still don’t look the way I want to look. It’s frustrating. Part of it is my fault because I’ve not been eating the way that I should (*ahem*Coke*ahem*). But I think I made a mistake in jumping right into P90x. I think that I should have started a more cardio intensive workout to burn off some fat before I started working my muscles. Now I just have muscles still covered by flab. Ugh. It’s frustrating. I’m sick of worrying about it. I want to get down to my goal weight and be done with it. If only it were that easy, huh? I think my plan after our two weeks is up is to start running again, get back on a diet and see what I can do on my own in two months. Then after that, I’ll reevaluate and maybe do a modified round of P90x or a round of the 30 Day Shred. The good news? I’ve been working out so long that I don’t see my momentum waning at all. I don’t want to stop because it will probably take another year to get it back if I lose it now.
  4. My baby turned one on Saturday. One. Hold me please. She is walking and talking and she isONE.
  5. Do you and your significant other fight about the same things all the time? Hubs and I do.ALLthe time. The fight usually starts because of something really stupid (Monday, we got in a fight that started because of a pizza. A PIZZA.) but always inevitably leads to the things that are really the root of our problems and then turns into a big huge serious fight. It’s so dumb. If we would just address the issues at the root of our fights we wouldn’t fight over stuff like pizza anymore. But that’s easier said than done when we don’t even have time for a date much less addressing all of the Big Serious Issues in Our Marriage. (And for the record I’m not talking about anything that is a deal-breaker here, but just the recurring themes in our relationship that we both know we need to work on.) What’s the silliest fight you’ve ever gotten into?

 And yeah. That’s really all I’ve got. 756 words worth of nothin’. I can’t even think of a way to sum it up nicely.

What’s up with you Internet?

When you can't find the words

4 Jan

How do you explain something to a three year old that you don’t really understand yourself?
 
I run into this problem a lot. Like when Nolan asks me why the sky is blue or what our chins are for or how dolphins jump so high or why there aren’t any dinosaurs or why I married Daddy.  He doesn’t accept “I don’t know” as an answer. He isn’t placated by “God just made it that way.” He wants to know why, and he wants a detailed answer. Most of the time I can come up with something that sounds relatively intelligent and not too confusing. I can give him enough information so that he feels as though his question has been answered, but he isn’t overwhelmed by peripheral information that he can’t yet grasp.
 
But sometimes I can’t.
 
“Mommy, sometimes you get sad because you miss Uncle Nathan.”
 
“Yes buddy, I do. I miss him a lot and I wish I could see him.”
 
“It makes me sad too because I will never get to see him.”
 
“Yes angel, that makes me very, very sad too.”
 
“But where is he?”
 
“He lives in heaven with God.”
 
“Why?”
 
“He died and had to go live with God.”
 
“But why did he die?”
 
Fuck.
 
I’m okay with telling Nolan that Nathan lives with God. I’m okay saying that he died. I’m okay with us talking about him and how much we miss him. Where I fumble is when he wants me to explain why and how he died. I don’t know how to explain it to him in a way that he can understand that won’t also scare him.
 
Do I tell him he died in a car accident? I don’t want him to be afraid of getting in a car.
 
Do I tell him that something hit his head? I don’t want him to be scared every time he or his sister falls down.
 
Do I tell him that God decided it was time for Nathan to come to heaven and that it happens to everyone? I don’t want him to be scared that God is going to decide it’s time for him or Tessa or Mommy or Daddy to die.
 
This is when I fumble. I don’t know why Nathan died. I know how he died. I don’t know why. And I don’t know how to explain that to a three year old when I struggle every second of every day to try to figure out why.
 
“Oh baby. Uncle Nathan got a boo-boo that the doctors couldn’t fix and he died.”
 
“Oh…”
 
The silence descends over us and I see his little brow furrow between those beautiful brown eyes.

 Fuck.

 Now he’s going to be scared that the doctors can never fix him or Tessa or Mommy or Daddy. I can practically see the wheels turning in his little mind, wondering and worrying about what will happen if he or Sissy or Mommy or Daddy gets a boo-boo the doctors can’t fix.

 “Sometimes people get boo-boos the doctors can’t fix. Doctors can fix boo-boos almost all of the time, but sometimes they can’t. But I don’t want you to worry. You and Sissy and Mommy and Daddy won’t get any boo-boos that the doctors can’t fix.”

 Fuck.

 Now I’ve lied. Not only have I given the impression that my brother ever stood a chance of surviving (he did not) but I’ve also made a promise I can’t possibly guarantee.

 “Okay Mommy. Look Mommy!! That is where we go to church school! Do you know that God is in our hearts?”

 “Yes baby, I do. That’s right.”

 Thank God for Sunday School.

 I’m scared I’ve handled this horribly wrong. Because both Hubs and I talk about Nathan frequently, death is on Nolan’s mind a lot. He asks about it a lot. On one particular day we were all in the car and Nolan’s questions about death were incessant. Hubs, thinking that it was going to make me upset and sad, asked him to stop talking about it. But I told him it was okay, because I don’t want it to be a taboo subject. Whether we like it or not, death is a major part of our lives. I don’t want to discourage my kids’ questions about my brother or about death. I don’t want them to associate death with Nathan and therefore feel like they can’t talk about him.  But fuck. I just don’t know if I’ve responded in a healthy manner.

 I wish someone could explain it to me.

Please excuse the insanity contained within this post. Seriously. You may want to stop reading now.

9 Dec

I’ve never really been good at making new friends. I would LOVE to make new friends, especially because I find myself in this awkward time of my life in which all my friends who are married or have kids like me are too busy to properly maintain friendships and all my friends who are not married and don’t have kids are not as enraptured by my children’s pooping escapades as I am. Read: they have the kind of lives where being up at 3:00 a.m. doesn’t mean making  a bottle, it means drinking from a bottle — like Bud Light. So I find myself kind of lonely. Don’t get me wrong, my life is full, my husband is by far my best friend, but I guess I’ve just never had the kind of friendship like this. But I’ve always, always wanted one.

I would also like to say that I love the friends I have. They each provide me with a different kind of love and companionship and I am so very grateful for each and every one of them. BUT. I still feel kind of lonely. One of the things that I’ve promised myself in my quest to be healthy and happy again is that I will find and make new friends. Not because I need  to, or that my life is missing something, but because I want to. The problem with making new friends lies with my self-esteem issues.

You see, I always worry that there is something not normal about me. Like new people are going to thing I’m insane because my husband hunts 8 months out of the year (and that some of the fruits of his “successful” hunts are now stuffed and/or hung (in our garage! I’m not THAT person) (SHUT UP he likes it AND it keeps him out of my hair at least three weekends a year)(and trust me when you’ve been married for SIX years sometimes you need to get out of each others’ hair)) or that I read book s in the bathroom (does everyone do this??) or that I absolutely no way, no how, never ever ever ever will ever eat shrimp that is not dunked in breading and fried in vats and vats of grease (YUCK TEXTURE, EW). Will they judge me because I’m a working mom? Will they judge me because my house is small, because my kids’ faces are sometimes dirty, because I don’t have designer shoes?

 Over the past 5ish years I’ve been through A LOT of major, life-changing stuff. More than some people will go through in a lifetime. It has left me feeling kind of adrift and unsure of who I am anymore. And as someone who has never exactly known who I am, all of this upheaval has made it even harder for me to have a solid grasp on what makes me, me. So, for example, let me tell you this story. A few months ago I joined a writing group, hosted by some fellow bloggers. Bloggers who, by the way, are REAL WRITERS. Like write for a living. And are WELL-KNOWN. I didn’t realize what I was getting into until I began reading their little introductions. And threw up in my mouth a little. I was going to let these REAL LIVE PEOPLE WHO ARE PROFESSIONAL WRITERS read my drivel. AND I had to tell them about myself. I sat down to write my introduction….and….crickets. Nothing. I could not think of a single thing about myself that was interesting and/or worthy for an introduction. You guys, I AGONIZED over this intro. Finally, I pieced something together, but the whole time I was sure they were going to kick me out because if my introduction sucked so bad, why would they ever want to subject themselves to more of my writing? (They didn’t kick me out. Because they’re awesome. But OMG the anxiety.) Even now, even though I’ve written a couple of things that they seemed to like (But again, they’re awesome and were probably lying to be nice) and I even edited some of their writing, I have hesitated to e-mail them and tell them I’m blogging again. Why? Because I’m afraid they’ll come read this. And find out I’m crazy.

Yet ANOTHER example. My husband plays hockey in men’s league. A couple of months ago, at one of the first weeks of the session, another wife was there with her baby. We talked and talked and talked and I really liked her. I was thinking we had a ton in common and that I could totally be friends with her. But I didn’t ask her for her number or if she would be back at the rink in the coming weeks. I didn’t want her to think I was crazy and I kept thinking What if she doesn’t like me and wants me to stop talking to her??  I assumed I would see her again sometime at the rink. I haven’t. And I’m really sad about this. I don’t know how to get back in touch with her without seeming like a total stalker, and if I had just had the confidence to set something up to see her again (why does this all of a sudden sound like I’m trying to pick her up for a date??) I might have a wonderful new friend by now.

ANOTHER (yes, there is more) example of my social awkwardness. I recently crossed the line with a fellow blogger and we exchanged addresses for Christmas cards OMG. Now let me make clear that I absolutely-maybe-in-a-weird-way-probably-way-too-much LOVE this writer. She makes me laugh and cry, sometimes all in the same post and I can’t believe she talks to me, but OMG we are exchanging Christmas cards OMG.  I’m super nervous about this (not because I think she’s like a serial killer or something but what if she thinks I’m funny looking??) but really, I just totally want to be her friend. I don’t want to come across all Internet Psycho Stalker, but where is the line? Can I search for her on Facebook? Is that too much? OMG. And now she is reading this and she is very seriously regretting her decision to give me any of her personal information.

See?? Do you see?? I do not know how to make new friends. Good lord.

Also? THIS is why you do not blog when you have the day off tomorrow and decide to drink wine because your husband is working late.