Thursday, April 30, 2009

the OCD hugger

my daughter goes to school with a hugger. the hug lasts for an eternity (according to my daughter). it is the infinite hug. it is the energizer bunny hug that keeps on going, and going, and going. it is the STD hug that keeps on giving, and giving, and giving.

victoria loves affection. but not from the hugger. but not at school. but not all day long.

with only 11 more school days, we are looking forward to the end of kindergarten a.k.a 'kinderhuggin'.

we have learned nothin' from kinderhuggin.

victoria adamantly demands the obvious, "stop". but the hugger continues on in delusion. perhaps, "stop" in hugger language means "more". although, the two words sound not even a little similar.

unfortunately, i have witnessed this particular hugger in action. she wraps her arms tightly around the victim, hugs tightly, and forgets to let go. she hangs.

as for victoria, my daughter stiffly stands with her feet planted on the ground and her arms glued to her sides. victoria's stature resembles a wood plank. she is unwavering. she is unwilling. she is unhappy. her facial expressions tell all.

is this hugger socially inept? how can she not read body language or facial expressions at six years old? children are much more in tune with the world than adults. children can feel long before they can articulate.

we proceed to our car after school. victoria begins to unload now that we are in private. "i told her to stop. i told her i didn't want to catch swine flu from her. i told her 'no'. i told her that if my baby sister dies from her germs then my daddy will kill her." victoria continued on... "mommy, i hope you don't mind i used daddy's name. i didn't want to hurt your feelings because you would kill her too. but i said daddy because baby sister is his favorite (since i am your favorite and HE gave her brown eyes).

i sigh. i am exhausted. i can see the end. eleven more school days. this has been ongoing for one-hundred and seventy three afternoons. i am praying that the 'swine flu' threat will cease hugs. but i doubt it.

what else happened today?

victoria suddenly remembers, "when i said all those things to that hugger, i looked at her hard, i stared right through her almost". my head screamed at her: "my forehead reads 'stupidass' and my finger's pointing at 'you', how come you can't see them"?"

then with her giant kindergarten heart and mind, victoria explains, "don't worry mommy, it was just my head talking. i didn't say that out loud so i never really even said that bad word at all."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


'tis the handmade, homemade, diy generation. i cook, i clean, i launder, i take care of the children, i sew, i make, i paint, i create, i garden, i iron, i fix, i wash, i compost, i inebriate.
some time ago, i decided that i needed someone to come to my home and help me clean. not much. not thorough. not expensive. just the bathrooms and flooring. and so my quest for the unreasonable began.

my first attempt at 'hiring' a helper was "kate". her name and phone number arrived like destiny in my hand from friend A. friend A and i were on a play date with our children. she convinced me that this was the ONE.

i eagerly called and hired all in one breath.

me: kate, how much and when?

kate: $50 for a cleaning (not an hour, whew!) and i can come every other tuesday.

so, tuesday it is. husband's at work. daughter's at 'mother's day out'. the price of fifty was due to the amount of bathrooms in my home (three) and the total cleaning time would be at least three hours.

our first tuesday together was everything i had hoped it would be, and more. kate cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. my house was immaculate after three hours of scrubbing, scouring, washing, rinsing, polishing, and dusting. not that it was really very dirty since i have a bad habit of cleaning before 'help' comes to the rescue. (husband and mother would probably disagree). i was very blissful and googoo-eyed just as every newly infatuated relationship begins. i glowed and gushed, "see you in two weeks" as i handed over the very worth it money.

two weeks later, she cancels. reschedule. a week later, i cancel. reschedule. finally, a second cleaning to begin at 9 am. since this woman knows a friend of mine (for a few years now and they did meet at church), i decided to use her cleaning time to run a couple of errands that desperately needed to get accomplished. at 9:15 am, i left the money in an envelope and told her where it was just in case i didn't return before she was finished. i really didn't think i would be out until 12 noon. and i wasn't. i finished up my errands at 10:15 am and arrived at home ... to an empty home. no, she did not steal anything. she just wasn't there. she was gone. she didn't even leave a note. i knew she was not returning - it's not like she ran out of windex.

my house did not smell clean, it did not look clean, it was not clean. it was vacuumed. and for fifty green bucks, i sure as hell could push a vacuum. i was not mad, as in mean-revengeful-mad. i was just bitter. i paid a woman money to vacuum a small home. that was the fastest fifty bucks she earned, i'm sure. fifty bucks for thirty minutes (who thinks she stayed an hour?) -- that is one hell of an hourly rate. i am totally in the wrong business.

so my house stayed dirty for a very long time. perhaps my husband will suggest some help for me. when manatees fly. perhaps my husband will help out. when pigs dance. meanwhile, friend A got wind of my maidless home and called to remind me that "kate" only SURFACE CLEANS. what the hell is that? i do that daily! needless to say, friend A no longer employs "kate" as well. honestly, i didn't have anything to do with that. i just took a personal stand against hiring someone to surface clean.

my maidquest has continued over the years.

wanted: monthly cleaning

i'm easy -- i clean before you arrive

thorough cleaning preferred

i provide products -- drinks -- snacks

even friendly conversation, if you speak English

(se habla espanol tambien y nihongo o hanashimasu mo)

stay tuned for part II of my search for the perfect cleaning partner. does she exist?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Holy crush

I should go home, I know this is wrong, I am glued to my chair, I just sit here and stare

he's got your eyes
he's got your smile
he's got your face
he's got your bald head

I am fixated on the figure standing before me. He knows how to captivate an audience (unlike you who has to be "mr. center of attention" at any one's expense).

This person is the image of a love I once had. And I find it amusing to sit here and dwell on my crush on the man before me considering that I actually despise (ok, HATE) the person whom he reminds me of.

The person he unfortunately digs up from my suppressed memory and places into my consciousness is a liar, a cheater, and an A+ bullshitter. And my condolences go out to his current wife.

I frequent my crush's hangout on Sundays at 9:30 am. If only it were the coffee shop down the street, the neighborhood market, the local restaurant... but it's not.

I hang onto every word he utters (or that I eavesdrop upon) although his words don't actually register in my brain. I really don't know what he is currently saying since I am daydreaming and have lost myself in "missyland".

I suppress my crush for two very different reasons:

(1) I am happily married to a "one-of-a-kind" man who (thank, God) has no lookalikes in this country to my knowledge, anyway.
(2) he's a Father, you know, as in a Priest (the non-marrying kind)

I conjure up ways to approach him. I have visions of matchmaking my single friend, Jennifer, and this Priest. Perhaps, a visit to the confessional after several self-induced drinks is on my list.

me: Father, forgive me for I have sinned

F: yes, my child, go on...

me: if you insist... I would like to set you up on a blind date with J. You would be the perfect couple. Your both Catholic, family-oriented, kind, considerate...

F: I do not understand

me: we can go on a double date, if you are not comfortable with the whole blind date situation.

F: I am a Priest

me: right, but, you can find a new job.

F: you are dismissed. And for your penance, please do all your confessing to another Priest from this day forward.

Father was transferred at the end of the month. In fact, I believe he was transferred out-of-state to ensure that people like me do not transfer their parishioner-ship (or stalk). I can't help but wonder if he is still a Priest??

He is an excellent Priest. But he's an even hotter Priest.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Capetown, ZA

My new and most recent fascination is with Capetown, South Africa. I love the ZA. Z is an underutilized letter of the alphabet. So, thank you ZA for using a "Z".

I have a preoccupation with traveling to Capetown. or Johannesburg. or both.

I purchased Lonely Planet's South Africa (by the way, Lonely Planet is the BEST book -- I have traveled with LP books for twenty years!) I print information from the internet along with photos to entice my husband with the 'idea' of traveling afar. I found a cottage to rent for a week (very cute with a kitchenette!) I hang a beer from a string and dangle it in front of his face. I am not trying to be 'coy' with suggestions or possibilities -- I want to go to Capetown and I am extremely blunt about it.

I believe ZA has some new and interesting beers that we have never even heard of or tasted before. We could add those beer names to our repertoire.

I suggested traveling in January (a Capetown climate-friendly time to vacation) to my husband. He acted as if he had never even heard the word Capetown before. For a moment I wondered if he even knew which country or continent that I was referring to. But then I concluded that, of course, he did know -- it was just a 'stalling' tactic to get me sidetracked and off course.

"Are you serious?" (me: why wouldn't I be serious? I am not just pontificating for my benefit!)

"I thought you were just 'talking' about Capetown, I didn't know you wanted to travel." (me: how did you miss this 'hint'? I have all but booked the airline tickets. I just thought you might want to be involved with the travel plans.)

"Send a postcard!" (me: this is tempting!)

"Why do you want to go? Do you know how long it takes to fly there?" (me: first let's address the flying time. flying is definitely a faster option than sailing by about several days. second: I want to go because I have never visited ZA. Yes, I have been to Morocco but North Africa is not the same as South Africa. Plus, the Victoria and Albert Waterfront bears the name of our child... I want to introduce her to all the worldly places that bear her name.)

The Capetown discussion has taken on a whole new route. We have veered down the road and turned a sharp left into the world of "Victoria". "If you insist on going to Capetown just to see the waterfront that bears our daughter's name, then why stop there?" He's right, yes -- I admitted it (once) -- he's right. Why stop there?

What about Victoria, British Columbia? Victoria, Australia? Victoria, Texas? Victoria, Minnesota? Victoria, Virginia? Victoria, Kansas?

Are there any more locations? Because I could definitely start on other "Victoria" namesakes -- the Victoria statue in Berlin. The Viktoria hotel in Warsaw. The Viktorjia yacht in Hvar, Croatia. The Victoria Falls. The Victoria Station in London.

But what about our other daughter? I guess we will only be going to Jordan for her namesake. And! I just discovered there is a marathon in Jordan -- what a great way to experience her namesake!

Husband, you win! Momentarily, I am sidetracked from my obsession on traveling to Capetown.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

544 Ounces

It has been -- two weeks, or 14 days, or 336 hours -- since Easter Sunday. For some people (like me) Easter Sunday also symbolizes the end of Lent and the beginning of my binge. Lent is a time to give up something you truly enjoy. For me, it is always the same, year after year, for the past 19 years. And the same binge occurs -- obviously, year after year.

So, why do I even bother to give up "diet coke"? If I end up drinking more and more in my binge, then what good am I doing my body by depriving myself of my one addiction for 40 weekdays throughout Lent?

My binge lasts longer each year. Last year, my binge lasted from -- Easter Sunday 2008 to Ash Wednesday 2009. This year, I have only passed the two week mark and I have already consumed 544 ounces. That is equal to 34 gallons of diet coke. 34 gallons of aspartame-induced, caffeine-injected, caramel-colored carbonated water. I crave diet coke.

My vehicle doesn't even hold 34 gallons. It holds 22. I could travel 510 miles if my vehicle's tank held all the diet coke that I have consumed recently. I could have driven to New Orleans ... I love NOLA! I could have driven half-way to my childhood hometown. We're talking 8.5 hours in a car.

After totalling the number of ounces I have consumed recently, I cancelled my doctor appointment. I begged for an appointment because I insisted that I had developed diabetes due to the amount of time I spend emptying my bladder. And I pleaded for the doctor to see me, squeeze me in for a check-up, since I am not sure when health care is going to become socialized. And, IF, I have diabetes then I didn't want to have to "wait in line" for a year before being diagnosed. UGH!

Perhaps, I should really rethink what I am truly giving up for Lent in 2010. I should probably not give up diet coke -- 34 gallons in 14 days is borderline Obsessive-Compulsive. OCD is not really a label I wear. But this behavior is definitely worth asking for Prozac.

In 1990, the first year that I abstained from diet coke, I switched to iced tea. It took all forty weekdays for me to acquire a taste for iced tea. And now, I have another addiction. Don't worry, I was already addicted to coffee before 1990.

I am at a complete loss for giving something up. I suppose I will give up a "time-waster" and then use that extra time for ME. However, if I knew what was currently wasting my time, then I would surely try and change it NOW and not wait for another year to pass me by.

My daughter's choice for something to "give up" was to not watch "scary shows" on TV. I think she was referring to the commercials that she sees on TV regarding CSI. She doesn't watch these shows so I know she sailed through Lent without any hardship. The other ideas she entertained for "giving up" were school (not an option unless the school wants to prorate tuition), homework (in which she has none in Kindergarten), tootsie rolls (that we do not have in the house but I could buy a large supply for torture), and church on Sundays (which is also not an option).

My husband's choice, which he also does year after year, is to not drink beer unless it is free. Dor is not social. He prefers to be at home ... and more specifically, our home. However, every Lent our social outings multiply. We attend every birthday party, every work event, every club social, every sporting event, and every volunteer organization (in which we participate) event. He gets his free beer and I spend the next six months playing hostess in our home as we reciprocate with parties of our own!!

I have 46 weeks to think about what I want to give up for Lent 2010.

And 46 weeks to learn to drink diet coke in moderation.

But first, I am going to pop the top on 12 ounces and savor the taste.