A Turkey Tale November 23, 2011Posted by Kimmothy in Baptists, Fam Damily, Holidays.
How did it get from the first football game to Turkey Eve already? That was a quick minute; damn.
I feel like I’ve been so lucky this past year, I honestly can’t think of any thing I want right now. “Thing,” of course being defined as material item; I’m always going to wish for more time with family and friends, more time to travel, more time to read…so maybe if I can find a good Black Friday deal on a time hoarding machine, I’ll spring for that.
A private jet would work well too, but I hear they’re starting to tax private jet owners a lot so that won’t work for me.
But instead of getting sappy/nostalgic (there’s still a lot of holiday time left for that), I’ll share a Mother-in-law story, because mine is always good fodder for a giggle.
Cooking and Iris go together like [insert cliche’d metaphor here]. She’s always prided herself on it, but when she retired a few years back it became even more front and center in her identity. That’s not news; it’s that way with a lot of women, but around holiday time, she not only goes all out, she goes all out of her damn mind.
In August, friends of theirs asked them to join them on a five-day cruise. Knowing they wouldn’t be getting home until the day before Thanksgiving, she was a little hesitant, but it was months away, she’d never been on a cruise before and she figured she could handle most of the food ahead of time. She asked me at that time if I thought it would be too much trouble for me to go over there and take the turkey out to defrost the Saturday prior to the holiday.
No problem. In fact, I was eager to help with something, because the only contribution from me she wanted for the holiday meal is Brown ‘n Serve rolls, the kind that come in aluminum foil trays that you remove from plastic bags and warm in the oven for a few minutes. Because apparently that’s where she believes my cooking skills begin and end. She happened to ask me that in front of my sister a few weeks ago and Sister was all, “Oooh, burn.”
Yeah, I know.
The day before they left for the cruise, I got the phone call I was fully expecting.
“Hey, Key-im, are you still going to be able to take the turkey out on Saturday? Because if there’s a problem, let me know and I’ll figure something out. We can’t have Thanksgiving without a turkey!”
Me: “Yes, no problem; I’ll be heading over there tomorrow.”
Her: “Do you still have your key to the house? Because I can leave a spare key somewhere if you don’t, or give you the garage door code, or, or…”
Me: “Got the key right here on my keychain; no problem.”
Her: “Well, I was thinking about just taking it out tomorrow morning before we leave, but I’m worried that might be too early…”
Me: “Nope; wouldn’t want to take a chance on that.” (Thinking: No way in hell would she deviate from the timeline that was established in her head since August.)
Her: “I just don’t want to chance it. But only if you’re sure you can make it over!” (Laughs nervously)
Me: “I’m sure.” (Sure that this isn’t the end of this conversation, not by a long shot)
Her: “Okay. Well make sure you take out the right turkey; it’s in the deep freezer and it’s the nineteen pound Butterball, because you know I only use Butterball for Thanksgiving.”
Me: “Got it.” (As opposed to accidentally taking out the small turkey breast or deli sandwich slices?)
I don’t have the energy to transcribe the entire forty-minute conversation that went down, but I have to included that she did call back ten minutes after we’d hung up to give me the garage door code “just in case,” and to remind me to make sure the refrigerator door was shut all the way, because sometimes that old fridge out in the garage, well, the door doesn’t always want to shut by itself.
I’ll skip the suspenseful part and just say I managed to get the job done.
A Dream, Realized August 16, 2011Posted by Kimmothy in Fam Damily, Home Life.
I’m pretty sure everyone who blogs regularly (maybe except for the Famous Bloggers or hell, maybe them too) has experienced a dry spell where they feel like, Okay maybe I’m done. I don’t know that I’ve reached that point as much as I literally have felt all summer that I’ve had nothing much to say. To friends, family, my written jounral, the internet. The 140-character limit of Twitter has been just about right lately, and even Facebook is feeling more like a chore/morbid curiosity than anything resembling fun.
This wouldn’t be the first summer I’ve turned hiding inside from the shitty heat into an actual life crisis; as much as I bitch about it, I don’t think people really realize how adversely it affects me. Like Seasonal Opposite Affective Disorder. To compound the malaise, I didn’t get my annual week-long trek to Florida this year due to losing my leave when I took my three-week hiatus from employment in the Spring. I thought I was dealing with it like a reasonable adult until I realized it was seriously bumming me out. It may only be a week, but it’s my reconnection back with the people who mean the most to me (besides that guy I live with, obvs) and something I look forward to to help bridge the gap between my Hate Season and Fall.
I’ve been a big pissy stagnant armpit and I hate it when that happens.
Until a couple of days ago and as it usually is, timing is everything.
Brian’s dad lives in Florida now, but he’s held onto the house he built and lived in here. For a lot of reasons: he designed and pretty much built it himself. It was his home for a lot of years, a quirky split-level that largely resembles one of those ski chalet places you rent for a week on the side of a mountain. Instead of a mountain, this one sits on the shores of a lake; Lake Murray, in this case. It’s a lake I’m very fond of and have some history with, as my first adult house was also located in one of its coves and I also got married a few feet away from its edge. Right in his dad’s back yard in fact, which is now very soon going to be OUR back yard.
His dad’s offer came completely unexpectedly and unsolicited by us – we would never presume to ask for such a thing. In fact, nothing against him, but we never dreamed he’d even offer it to us. But he’s had bad luck with renters and he’s sick of dealing with a property management company that can’t seem to get people in there who have any lasting power beyond a few months. He’s thought of selling it but luckily the real estate market sucks way too much for that to have been a viable option. He’s had Brian do some fixer upper things to it over the past few years and knows he cares about the place a lot. Me, well I’ve loved the house since the moment I first stepped inside of it, some fifteen years ago. Mentally decorating it, ruefully shaking my head over his spartan man-decor that was 90% function and 10% late mid-90’s Hunting Lodge. My favorite spot – on the deck I threw my bridal bouquet from, the deck that’s high up in the air, practically in the trees that overlook a wide green lawn that leads down to the water – I always visualize a “Serenity Now” thought balloon over my head when I’m out there.
It took a few days of intense discussion over the move, what it means in terms of commutes, budget, responsibility and logistics. The pros trumped the cons like a bitch and the final decision was made today.
Sometime on or around the first of October I will literally be living in the house of my dreams. I don’t even think it’s really hit me yet, but all of a sudden lists are being made, the first boxes came home with me today, and the forward momentum has blasted us out of the real and/or imagined rut and damn does it feel good to be out.
In Like a Lion March 10, 2011Posted by Kimmothy in Celebrities, Fam Damily, Music, Photoblog.
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For a pop culture enthusiast such as myself, all this Charlie Sheen stuff is overwhelming. At some point I’m going to have to just look away, because there aren’t enough hours in my day to get laundry done lately, let alone spend time listening to cocaine-fueled psychosis. The “winning” jokes alone are enough to complete my sensory overload daily.
Just got back from a weekend in Orlando with Sister, brother-in-law and this cute little thing:
She’s about to turn four and that’s just hard for me to believe. As anyone who’s ever been around a kid that age knows, they can be a loud tornado of roiling emotions but I truly enjoyed her. The fact she calls me “Aunt Sistee” doesn’t hurt the cute meter any either, and she wasn’t even shy with me at the beginning of the visit this time. She’s smart like both her parents, stubborn like my sister and has a very funny little personality. The sucky part is how little I get to see her, because the old cliche’ about them growing and changing so fast is definitely true. I just want her to know she has an aunt who may seem far away but who loves her a lot.
Sister and I also did what we like doing together the most and went to see Kid Rock for the billionth time.
I’ve honestly almost lost count, but I’m pretty sure it’s her 9th time seeing him and my 10th. We’re not above feeling a little ridiculous about it sometimes, but apparently it floats our boats so who gives a crap. He just turned 40 himself and he’s the one jumping around on the stage without a shirt on, so there’s no reason for us to feel embarrassed for being fully dressed in the audience. Not to mention we were far from the oldest ones in attendance. /Justification
I always get stressed about traveling and then once I’m back home I feel happy, refreshed and excited about planning my next trip. It’s a vicious cycle, but the good news is there’s always plenty of material for my therapist. Talk about winning – she gets to listen to people like me all day. I’d send her a fruit basket if I wasn’t already helping pay for her Mercedes and recent trip to the tropics.
I finally reached my down payment goal, so I’m hoping to start car shopping this weekend. After a year of sharing the Sanford & Son truck with Pig Pen, it’s going to feel luxurious to be in my own vehicle again. I have in mind what I want, but there are a lot of variables (mainly the mystery that is my credit rating at the moment) so I’m trying not to get my hopes up too much but they kind of are. It’s kind of an exciting purchase in one’s life and I’ve always enjoyed my car time, so I’m psyched about it.
Pysched. Yeah, it’s a definite 80’s word but thanks to Sheen apparently 80’s slang is cool again. Sure.
Don’t Go Away Mad, Feb, Just Go Away February 26, 2011Posted by Kimmothy in Books, Exercise, Fam Damily, Home Life.
The best way to describe how the past couple of weeks have felt: You know when you’re in a hurry and you stick a tampon in and maybe don’t get it quite right so when you stand up and start walking around you realize it’s bad but you don’t have time to fix it right then so you spend an hour or two feeling some discomfort and the occasional stab? That.
But it hasn’t all been a pain in the vagina. A lot of the craziness has involved working our non-day jobs, and that means extra money, which is of course good. I’ve tried to think the last time I’ve actually had any substantial amount in a SAVINGS account, and I think it was when my parents were saving for my college fund. Shameful. Which you’d think I’d just feel positive about, but that’s not in my genetic make-up. What I first feel is happiness, but that quickly slides into “Uh-oh; this must mean something expensive is about to go wrong.” It’s not a fun way to live but it’s unfortunately how I roll.
Which is the perfect segue to the fact that our bathroom is sinking. It quickly went from the initial, Hmm do you think the floor feels weird quickly to, Holy shit, what’s happening!?! We’ve determined there’s a leak in some pipes near the tub that is rapidly spreading throughout the sub-floor. Brian, who has a lot of sheetrock, drywall and tile experience but knows almost nothing about plumbing, seems to think this is something a quick trip to Home Depot and some floor chopping will take care of, but I’m pretty sure that’s not going to be the case. This is us we’re talking about; come on! And since it’s easier to run around doing other things that *earn* money and put off something that’s potentially going to *cost* money, nothing has been done to fix this yet. I’ll be sure to let you know the moment when instead of a nice bathroom skylight, all of a sudden we have a new ground light.
I’ve sort of been half-assedly working on taking off the seven pounds of “holiday weight” I gained during prime eating season, which means taking advantage of cool sunny days and walking during lunch hours, trying to keep up the ridiculous water intake I seem to require to make a difference and sporadically using my elliptical thingie and new bicycle. I realized I’m down to the point where food is my only acceptable drug though when you use food as a drug you run the risk of not being able to breathe when you put on your pants. Or being able to put on your pants at all. What I’m doing now isn’t the best plan, but you do what works at the time and hope for the best. Of course I’m not back down to where I was last Fall when I was doing everything right, but I’m hoping I’ll find the energy somewhere to get back there eventually, please God.
Work has been brutal in terms of random idiocy and general fuckery, and though that tends to happen from time to time, it’s been exhausting lately. The economy is affecting us because obviously we’re not immune and so a lot of the time lately I’m hating being there while simultaneously thanking God I’m there. This coming week I’m going to Florida for a long weekend and though it’ll only be two extra days off from work, I’m very much looking forward to the break. I’m excited to see Sister, Brother and Niece because when I’ve gone too long spending time with Brian’s family and not my own, I start to feel like I’m in some surreal identity crisis where everybody talks too slow and nobody gets me. I love his family, but I need to get back to my people for reals and it’s been too long since I have.
For relaxation right now I’m reading the book Away by Amy Bloom. If you’re feeling a little stressed and upset about your own life, reading about a Jewish Russian woman in 1925 who goes to live in New York City after her family is murdered certainly helps to put your problems in perspective. I guess The Diary of Anne Frank has that same effect, but I’m not feeling quite *that* masochistic at the moment – a little levity mixed in with the tragedy seems to be the perfect balance. I guess that’s true not just in books, but life too.
Forty-two February 13, 2011Posted by Kimmothy in Experience, Fam Damily, Foodies, Holidays, Home Life.
Ten years ago today when I turned 32, I was unaware that the year would bring separation from my husband, leaving my home to live like a nomad for several months and losing my dad. At least I was oblivious to all that on my actual birthday.
Twenty years ago today when I turned 22, I was in love with Delorme and making preparations to leave home and move with him to South Carolina. It was a heady time and several friends with birthdays near mine threw us a combined birthday party, in which I happily and drunkenly told a lot of people we were moving away.
Thirty years ago when I turned 12, I didn’t know it at the time, but that year would bring pivotal things like my first period and moving to Inverness, the small town where I spent the majority of my formative years – I started seventh grade there, graduated high school there was a slacker a couple of years post high school there and consider it to be my hometown, in the John Cougar Mellencamp sense.
I don’t remember exactly what was happening the day I turned 2, but I’ve seen the pictures and it looked like it was fun, except for the singing of the Happy Birthday song to me, which always made me cry and I still do not enjoy to this day. The center of attention has never been where I want to be and that’s pretty much the epitome of it, besides walking down your wedding aisle but that’s so surreal it kind of puts the terror on the back burner for those few seconds.
Today we’ll be going out to lunch at a place called Country Buffet, which I enjoy mostly because of the self-explanatory name. His mom made me a cake, so we’ll go to their house to eat that (Her cakes are something I’ve tried to replicate for years and have failed – homemade icing, for hell’s sake) and then the rest of the day Brian said is whatever I want to do. It’s sunny and the high’s are getting into the mid-60’s, so even though I haven’t quite made up my mind yet, I’m sure it’s going to involve being outside a good bit.
He’s usually fairly deferential to me, but way moreso around my birthdays. Last night, I asked if we could go out to eat since Red Lobster is heavily promoting that Dinner for Two for $30 campaign and even though going out to dinner isn’t his favorite thing, I know the promise of seafood makes it more attractive to him. As we very slowly made our way through town, inching along in traffic and seeing all of the full-to-bursting parking lots at the chain restaurants, I realized with a sinking feeling a lot of people probably had the thought We’re out-smarting those suckers who are planning to eat out Monday night for Valentine’s Day. As we attempted to pull into the Red Lobster parking lot where there wasn’t an empty parking space in sight, he looked at me and said It’s up to you, baby. And right then, I glanced over to the restaraunt’s front door with the many people spilling out of it and pictured us waiting and literally felt my stomach growl and said No. He laughed with relief and we got the hell out of there and went to a fast food place that has great fries and were eating within fifteen minutes. I loved the fact he was willing to do whatever would make me happy, but I’m not a moron.
I’m ignorant as to what the next year will bring, but I’m hopeful as always good things will prevail.
The Haps February 9, 2011Posted by Kimmothy in Celebrities, Fam Damily, Home Life, Weather, Whatever.
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I don’t know how it’s possible I’m turning forty-two Sunday. When people say “I don’t feel (insert age),” I totally get that, because I don’t. I still listen to Eminem. I find South Park, Family Guy, the Jackass franchise and farting to be way funnier than any cartoon I’ve ever seen in the New Yorker. I’m going to my tenth Kid Rock concert in a few weeks. I watch Glee. I mean…are these normal enjoyments for someone well into their 40’s? Somehow I didn’t picture this way back when I was still feeling like a teenager in my 30’s. Really the only changes I’ve noticed are that I pay more attention to moisterizers, small print is starting to look swimmy even when I’m wearing my glasses and after a couple of nights of staying up too late, I go on coma-like sleeping benders to recover.
The in-laws are on my last nerve lately. And by in-laws I mean pretty much his entire family. It happens this way sometimes, where because we moved back here (by choice, let’s not forget to rub that in to me when I’m bitching about stuff like this) partially to be close to them, there are periods of time it seems they are all up in our grills (yeah, forty-something white women probably shouldn’t be using that phrase either) and demanding our time and attention. And while I do enjoy them most of the time, especially the ones on his dad’s side who I can comfortably curse in front of, Brian is literally being pulled in two different directions right now as we speak, trying to fit into his work day doing something for his dad while having spent the last three days doing something else for his step-dad. Who called me up Saturday to help him “vacuum” a house that would be better served burned to the ground. I guess I’m not the only one who has trouble telling people no because that doesn’t seem to be in his vocabulary when it comes to his family lately. What happened to the long-haired twenty-three year old Prodigal son I met in a bar? Fifteen years, I guess. And the stupid part is, I love that he cares so much about family so then I feel like a whiny bitch for saying something to him about it. At least I have the birthday excuse to pull this weekend and oh yes, I will utilize it.
I was rushing around Friday, trying to grab a quick bite to eat before the monthly therapy appointment and dropped my phone into a toilet. It was one of those situations that seemed like it was happening in slow motion and my brain was screaming NOOOO. By the end of the day I was the shocked but happy owner of a Droid. By yesterday I was no longer happy, as I have no idea how to use most of the cool features I was once so happy about. When I get a spare hour, I’m heading to Sprint to either get a lesson on usage or to trade the damn thing for something that doesn’t make me feel like a simpleton.
As much as I talk about fall, winter, snow, I want it, I love it, fireplace, blah blah – I think I have a little case of spring fever going on at the moment. We’ve had schizo weather this winter and here lately some cold/gray/wet/bone aching days. Then every so often a sunny high fifties day will pop up and I notice my mood and energy level immediately improves. I give serious credit to the people I know who live in unforgiving climes this time of year (Heather, my NY relatives) for not turning into Jack Nicholson from The Shining. I wouldn’t blame any of them for hacking through a door with an ax, all HERE’S JOHNNY after dealing with the nastiness for months on end. Serious props for that, because I know deep down I need variety in my weather like Charlie Sheen with his porny friends to be truly happy.
I’m getting really close to my goal for the down payment I want to have for a new vehicle. It’s been almost a full year of driving that beast which is really a work truck in the sense it’s Brian’s so it’s always dirty and filled with things needing to be taken to the dump. Whatever I get is going to feel luxurious and like MINE ALL MINE. I’m really looking forward to it. That, and I’m buying myself a bicycle for my birthday. New transportation all over this place! And in keeping it age-appropriate, I have my eyes on a purple Huffy right now, one that will look so cute with a plastic daisy basket and the Justin Bieber license plate I have picked out. Oh, I’m kidding about that last part. It’s obviously an Eminem plate, personalized that reads “The real Kim Shady.” Obviously.
Pissin’ Cousins February 3, 2011Posted by Kimmothy in Fam Damily.
To help mend the forlorn heart I have this evening due to the absence of the man, I deemed tonight Clean Sheet Night, my thinking being I’ll actually get three nights of fresh linens out of it, since he won’t be home until Saturday and somehow things in general just remain fresher in the absence of maleness. Fresher, cleaner, quieter. Of course I’ll miss him, that goes without saying. Once I get a chance to, that is. We just got off the phone after a long gossipy talk about his family.
Of all the stereotypical Facebook “friends” I have, you know – the slut from high school who now spouts Bible verses as status updates, the ex-boyfriend who tries to slip in passive-aggressive “jokes” about times between us I no longer even remember, the completely unimaginitive acquaintance who posts nothing but famous quotes in the attempt to make themselves sound deep – there’s one person right now who at once makes my blood boil in anger and whom I can’t tear myself from due to my morbidly curious and self-punishing tendencies. If there was a way for me to profit from her stupidity and ignorance, I hate to admit it, but I’d do it. I’m thinking recurring guest character on a TBS sit-com? She would fit the bill to a T.
I accepted her friend request after one of Brian’s family reunions last summer. She’s a first cousin of his and though they don’t live very far away, we rarely see her or this sect of the family. And though most of his family are your typical eccentric southern characters, this group is kind of the Big Lots Discount Store version of the rest of the family. In fact, they did not make the cut as guests to our wedding, when Brian vetoed saying, No; I don’t want your family meeting them – they look like something out of Mad Magazine. His words not mine, though I saw the resemblence immediately. And I’ll be the first to tell you – my family isn’t without its humiliating components by any means and we both acknowledge the weirdos on both sides, to keep things fair.
But this girl, MAN she’s been getting to me. The simple solution would be to hide her status updates but you know – where would be the fun in that? I check in on her illiterate drama daily, if only to feel better about my education level and life in general.
She and her husband have been together since she was fourteen, so roughly twenty years. Knocked up at fifteen, she went on to bear him four children. At the time of the reunion, I silently congratulated them on beating the odds and staying together all this time, happily even, because seriously that is impressive.
This past fall he was deployed to Iraq for a year and not long after she’d posted patriotic pictures of their family with the American flag and him tearfully hugging them all good-bye, the “I miss my man” posts started. Okay, understandable. Totally. And despite her daily list of complaints about the kids, her many ailments, vague threats to whoever pissed her off that day, still things weren’t too bad. Until about a month ago.
Out of nowhere, suddenly here comes hateful messages to “that cheating dick and his homewrecker,” along with pictures of a woman who apparently is not only serving her duty in Iraq as well but apparently also servicing Kevin. Is there actual proof of any messing around on his part? No, but that doesn’t stop her. Does she provide him a forum on which he gets to defend himself? Certainly not publicly which is strange considering she has no problem sharing every other detail of this sordid tale. No, she’s made her mind up and without giving any benefit of doubt or rational thought whatsoever, she’s now posting songs like the Eminem/Rhianna Beat Me Up Watch Me Burn song, Single Ladies and Dirty Diana (?) and talking about how hot and ready she is (much like a Little Caesar’s pizza) and can’t wait for the next girls’ night out, where they’re gonna get CRAZY y’all, yeeHAW.
I don’t know why it even bothers me to the point I felt the need to write about it, except that there are four kids involved and they’re getting to see their parents’ marriage implode along with the rest of the family, all over the internet. I don’t have all the facts, so I still try to reserve some judgment, but it’s so easy to read between the poorly worded and misspelled lines. But because I know firsthand even infidelity is able to be overcome and have a marriage come out intact, it’s frustrating to watch this happen. She is the type who will ask for your advice and help and then completely ignore it. Which means it’s time for me to step back from the whole thing because it actually doesn’t affect me or my life at all.
Does this mean I’ll stop reading her posts? Hell no.
2010, It’s Been Real December 30, 2010Posted by Kimmothy in Experience, Fam Damily, Health, Home Life, Life, Lists.
Yay, it’s still snowing on my blog! I don’t know how long that will last but I always enjoy it while it does.
It’s that week between Christmas and New Year’s where I always feel like I’m stuck in some kind of Twilight Zoneified limbo. The days feel like they’re oozing by, yet I know that hateful moment when the first alarm goes off to signify it’s back to work is going to be here before I know it, so I’m trying my hardest to make the most of what’s left of my freedom.
For the first time in a really long time I feel like the past year has been significantly good. In list form:
– We paid off both vehicles, two huge monkeys who had resided on our backs for way too long.
– We were able to upgrade our dinosaur of a desktop into two cute laptops and a printer that actually prints. I realize for most people that’s not much of an accomplishment but for us it felt like a technological epoch we jumped.
– I sweated and counted calories until almost twenty pounds came off my body; slowly and painfully, but they did come off. The holidays have put back about three of those pounds and I was at a stand-still before that but at least I know I can do it now and I’m motivated to keep going (after this weekend of course; I’m not a superhero – sheesh).
– Besides my usual trips to Florida (one driving, one flying), I made it to Savannah again (during which time I got to eat at Paula Deen’s restaurant thus achieving a big food goal) and up to New York for an awesome weekend with my favorite cousin. I do tend to somehow always end up somewhere along the eastern seaboard so maybe in the coming year I’ll make it a point to try to go west for once.
– Along with my day job and our foreclosure work, I landed a sweet side job (thanks to Sister) proof reading transcripts for her court reporting company. This is significant in that it let me achieve a life dream of actually reading for money which to me is amazing.
Unfortunately there were a few deaths in Brian’s family that were untimely and really sad: his 17-year-old cousin Justin who died of an accidental drug overdose, his mom’s cousin Keith who was 54 and whose house on the river we went to every summer for family reunions, and most shocking of all our sister-in-law Toni, whose death I’m still having a hard time understanding. She was 37 and her kids and husband are getting ripped off by not getting to have had her longer. Brian is there right now spending some time with his brother and the kids and I can’t imagine how they got through their first Christmas without her. But they did, because that’s what you do.
When we first found out about her, Brian grabbed me into a hug and said, “It just makes me want to be a better husband to you,” and I knew what he meant. It SUCKS, but what I’m trying to take from all of it is to appreciate and acknowledge our health and happiness. Because all the material things, the financial goals, whatever – none of it means anything compared to that.
Even the other day when we were riding around looking at the post-Christmas day snow (also in 2010 it snowed here twice – woo!), I said to him, “MAN I’m thankful I’m not blind so I can see this.” That sounds silly but it’s true. And I guess that’s my main resolution: to pause in the middle of a good moment like that and to recognize it as it’s happening.
Not So Much Blues as Blahs December 14, 2010Posted by Kimmothy in Fam Damily, Holidays, Moods, Youth.
As is fairly common for people this time of year, the other night I was stressed and foul and disgusted with humanity. It was however quickly remedied with stringing the little white lights through the ficus tree and over the mantle, Brian getting a good fire going and watching A Charlie Brown Christmas. I’ve never made it through Linus’s Bible quote without tearing up and it’s impossible for me to be in a bad mood while hearing that music. Above all the Christmas specials, that one is my childhood for me.
I said, “Remember when Christmas used to be exciting? It’s so NOT anymore.”
He replied, “Damn – I better step it up with the presents!”
And not to be totally cliche, but I said it has absolutely nothing to do with the presents. Yes, I do realize I’ll never again have that exquisite joy of excitedly trying to sleep on Christmas Eve and waking up to a tree buried in gifts, but it’s so much more than that. My parents made a huge deal out of the holidays for us (I very much appreciated the fact, even then, that besides lighting a candle for the menorah each night of Hanukkah, they felt Christmas was a lot more fun for kids and went the Santa Claus route for us). We had the usual traditions – going for the Christmas lights ride, visiting our Italian friends who opened their presents on Christmas Eve (I used to strongly campaign for that for us to no avail), eating bagels, lox and cream cheese on Christmas morning…yeah, that one was probably just ours, but still.
For me, the entire month of December used to be one long anticipatory stream of glee and that lasted well beyond high school. Even after I went away to college, that month meant school breaks and reuniting with friends to drink beer in the woods and really it felt like one long party. And I know obviously part of this whole current malaise is because we no longer have my dad – he made everything more fun, let alone the most fun time of the year. And I also realize I’m not unique in missing a loved one during the holidays. I can easily identify the reasons for these blahs; the challenge is in trying to figure out how to fix them. Or if they’re not fixable I guess learning ways around them? Something.
I just reread all that and like always, I feel guilty for even giving voice these “problems.” Awww, I’m not EXCITED anymore – go tell that to the homeless people down at the bus stop freezing their asses off this morning and see how much sympathy it produces. I know I’m lucky to even have the luxury of being warm right now, being at work and not working, drinking my sweet sweet coffee. And I have been actively trying to remind myself of all the good things I have so as to knock the meh out of me, which does work to a certain extent.
But still. I want some Christmas magic, damn it.
A Very SPECIAL Thanksgiving November 27, 2010Posted by Kimmothy in Baptists, Fam Damily, Holidays, Home Life.
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At this point the months are flying by like on a bad movie where they show calendar pages quickly flipping past to simulate time passing.
I’ve stayed pretty busy with work: my day job, helping Brian with foreclosure stuff and proof reading. With the dismal unemployment statistics, I feel very, very lucky we have full-time jobs and also these extra sources of income. That scares me though; if we’re finally doing okay financially, that certainly must mean some sort of apocalypse is nigh. It’s fun to think like a Jew – you should try it sometime.
Even though stores have now given up any pretense and now blatantly display Christmas decorations right along side their Halloween candy, I don’t feel like the Holidays Have Arrived officially until Thanksgiving dinner has been consumed. There was a big crowd at the inlaws’ this year and it’s always fun for me to see Brian’s extended family together in a group. Fun because I do actually enjoy his family and also fun because: WEIRDOS GALORE. I’ll break it down:
Aunt Janice – the family’s Official Cat Lady. At this point they have so many cats crawling all over the inside their house, she’s not even sure how many are there at this point. It’s come to the point her family refuses to enter her home anymore and prefer to sip their tea on the front porch or in the driveway, including her beloved son Josh who now sleeps at his grandmother’s house when he comes home to visit. She’s a good cook but no one wants to eat her food anymore; the cheesecake she gave Brian and I to take home had actual cat hair stuck to the container. It would normally pain me to throw away cheesecake – not this time.
George’s Brother Frank – I’ve talked a lot about George’s oddities. Frank makes George look completely normal. These people somehow missed out on the social gene that makes interaction with other human beings easy. At one point I felt someone holding onto my hair and turned to see Frank touching it and looking like he’d never seen something so amazing. I said, “Um, you’re touching my hair?” He said, “It’s pretty! It’s red!” I knew right then it was time for us to leave.
Cousins Josh & Brooks – I’ve known these two since they were little and I’ve always liked them. I’m the type who usually prefers to hang out with kids rather than adults at family functions because the kids are more interesting and don’t tend to discuss politics, so they’ve always liked me a lot. Brian made the comment he thinks they still like me a lot, as they were following me around all day. Yes, Josh does have some creepy stalker qualities, but at least he’s progressed to showing interest in females other than his mom, though it’s mostly all his girl cousins. Hey, progress. He text’s me quite often, and Brian made the comment the other night, “He never text’s ME,” and I said “Because you’re not a girl cousin.” That’s okay; nice boys, both of them.
Other Aunt Janice – (this family has two Janice’s, two Iris’s and twin, two Kim’s and twin uncles Boyce and Royce) She’s a mousy, shy school secretary who all of a sudden busted out with appropos of nothing, “I could wear leather chaps to work and carry a whip but no one would even notice!” Closet family freak – all right!
Cousin Scott – we haven’t seen him since Christmas Eve of 1997, because he’s spent most of the years in between either in jail, missing, or at rehab. He seems better, but “better” is a relative term with him. Crack is a hell of a drug and you can’t ever get those brain cells back. Brian hesitantly gave him his phone number when he asked and we didn’t even make it home before Brian’s phone rang, he turned to show me who was calling and then hit the Ignore button. We’re both happy Brian kept it very vague when Scott asked him where we live.
So, a fun holiday and plenty of fodder for my evil sense of humor. I’m in no way insinuating MY family is normal by any means and I know every family is crazy in their own way. But Brian admits the ratio is larger than normal in his and he loves them all anyway. So do I. And I’m really looking forward to the Christmas get-together.