Monday, August 31, 2009

That Old Familiar Feeling

It used to be a constant, dull ache that wasn't usually noticed, but never really went away, either. Silly me had gotten almost confident enough to say that for now, I've gotten beyond it.

And then?

Then that stupid bitch that is infertility sucker punched me in the gut.

I was getting our dinner ready on Saturday when there was a knock at the door. It's back to school season, which - at least in our neighborhood - means door-to-door fundraising season. The magazine subscriptions are easy to refuse, and we can usually manage to not "sign up" for anything. But, the Grumps and I both have a sweet tooth, so those overpriced candy bars are hard to say no to, especially when the seller is about the cutest little nervously grinning kid you've ever seen!

So, Grumps opens the door, agrees to buy some candy, and goes in search of singles (those kids NEVER have change, and we DO NOT NEED $20 worth of candy bars, nor are we rolling in it in ways that would allow me to have the kiddo "keep the change"), leaving the front door open enough for the Kaylah girl to wedge her furry little head out to see the kids.

And oh the squeals! of delight! and excitement!

Grumps, being the softy that he is, immediately opens the door so that Kaylah can go visit with her newest fan club members (we actually have kids in the neighborhood that come over to ask if she can come out and play). He then steps outside with her to chat with the mom and 3 kids that are now fighting over "who Kaylah loves the most".

Almost an hour later, he finally makes it back inside with a VERY TIRED PUPPY. And all I could think was that it should be OUR fucking kids that our dog is so excited to play with. Why the FUCK isn't it our kids?

Fucking sucker punch!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Desperately Seeking....

Serenity? Well, kind of, but that's not quite right...

Sanity? Close, but again, not quite right...

Simplicity! Ding ding ding, winner!

This last trip up north solidified it for us. We are not urban, or even suburban, people. We crave the peace and quiet that comes with not being able to see (or hear!) your neighbors, and of being able to tend to a garden without worrying about breaking some bullshit city ordinance. We fit in a place where "going for a walk" means spending an hour travelling the perimeter of your own property, instead of your neighborhood.

It's going to take some time, and planning, and sacrifice. But, we have a definitive goal in mind. In about 16 months, when Grumps has his degree and is fully certified to work anywhere in the state (and many other states, for that matter), we'll be looking for a new area to call home. Not necessarily a new state, but most definitely a new area...

The simple life is good for our souls, and we need to make it our everyday!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

Short, sweet, and to the point:

This week I am thankful that


Gone camping with Grumps and the furkids! NO INTERNET ACCESS! Just us, good friends, good food, a few board/card games, some books, a local county fair, and a whole lotta booze!

Back in town on Monday, but may not be back online until Wednesday!


Friday, August 14, 2009

The Original BFF, Part 2

There was a falling out, and this was a big one. It was over men, of course. She suddenly didn't like the choices I was making, and I was so wrapped up in my choices that I no longer had time for her. I'd like to say that I was torn up about it, inconsolable even, but that would be a lie. I was so wrapped up in the warm fuzzies of new love that I hardly noticed the loss of my best friend.

Years went by without any contact at all. I thought of her occasionally. Hoped she and her (my?) family were well. Got over the hurt and anger of the fight, a fight which ended a multi-year friendship, and of which I can no longer remember the details.

And then, late last year, the inevitable happened. After over 10 years of no contact at all, I ran into her (my?) parents one Sunday morning at breakfast. They recognized me, and called to me before I had noticed them. I immediately ran over to them, big hugs for both, and sat down at their table. We caught up on all the major things in life (marriages, deaths, births (or lack thereof), etc). I didn't have any paper with me, so I found a business card in my wallet, added my personal email, and told them that if H was interested, I'd love to hear from her.

A month or 2 went by without anything. I had almost forgotten the encounter, when a friend request popped up on facebook. It was H. We chatted a few times through FB and email, and quickly made plans to meet for breakfast.

To say I was nervous for that breakfast would be an understatement. I couldn't decide what to wear, and settled on going the "comfort" route, over the "style" route. I woke up 3 hours early. I drank a pot of coffee and smoked a half pack of cigarettes before leaving the house. I drove the mile to the restaurant with my hands shaking and my stomach doing somersaults. I arrived 30 minutes early, got a table, drank another 2 cups of coffee and smoked 3 more cigarettes before she arrived.

She walked over to the table, and I immediately jumped up to hug her. Conversation was slow and awkward to start, but soon fell into our old familiar rhythm. We updated each other on surface things (education, marriage, travel, boyfriends, blah blah blah), and grazed a little more into the meat of some more intense issues (infertility, relationship issues, etc). It felt natural and comfortable, and truly as if we had just picked up where we left off 10 years ago.

When we finally pried ourselves away from the table (almost 3 hours later!) and got into our cars, I headed home with a light heart, and a giant grin on my face. I had found my friend once again. A friend that I realized I had missed terribly over the last 10 years. My long lost sister was back in my life, and I was going to soak up every moment of it.

A few weeks later, the high wore off.

We hadn't gotten together again, as her new semester of school had started, and Grumpy's mom had gotten very very ill. But we chatted regularly via email, and I believe there were even some phone calls in the mix. But something felt, off. Forced, almost.

And than it hit me.

Our friendship hadn't changed, but I had.

I was no longer the giggly school girl wrapped up in boys and reading between the lines of every conversation I ever had. I was no longer interested in impressing people, or "keeping up with the Joneses". I wasn't into the bar scene, or driving downtown to check out the new restaurant, or spending a night in Royal Oak having cocktails and people watching. I wasn't interested in attending internationally themed dinner parties and discussing politics.

Sure, I could do those things on occasion, but they weren't my life. They weren't comfortable for me. That's not who I am. And honestly, that's not who I want to be. I've worked hard to build the life I have, a life centered with my marriage and my home, surrounded with friends and family that I trust and care for deeply, and free from outside drama and unnecessary conflicts.
I like the life I have today, and I'm not willing to alter it to fit a friendship that felt natural, but in reality, I've long outgrown. It feels strange to realize that I've outgrown my Original BFF.

And to be fair, I'm certain that H has outgrown it as well. This is not meant to attack her AT ALL. Simply to illustrate how 2 like-minded little girls can grow up to discover they've become women who not only aren't on the same page about life, but are quite literally in different books.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Original BFF

I think we all had one... that first person you shared everything with. Bad grades, horrible crushes, silly giggling secrets shared in hushed tones while listening to Journey (I can't be the only one that came of age in the 90s that thought I was OH SO COOL to be listening to "old school Journey", can I? CAN I?).

H wasn't my first best friend, if I'm to be honest. There were childhood friends before her, summers spent at the pool, learning to smoke behind the school administration building in the park between our houses, games of tag with the neighborhood kids. But H was the first one that really mattered, that really stuck.

We met on our first day at Jr High, and were completely inseparable from that point on. We learned to drive together, we drank for the first time together, we got our first jobs together. We shared and swapped boyfriends, we shopped, we giggled and gossipped and played Ouija and pretended to be psychiatrists. We did our homework and studied for exams at the little table in her kitchen. I think I spent almost as many nights sleeping on her bedroom floor as I did in my own bed. She was the sister I never had.

There were times in high school where are interests parted. She always had a flair for drama and creative writing, and I was always the logical straight-thinker. I took 4 years of Italian while she struggled through 1 semester of French simply to meet the requirement. She took drama and creative writing, and together we took Gothic Literature (this time only so that I could meet the 1 semester requirement).

We hit our junior year, and things started to change. I fell into a steady relationship (awww, first love!), and she spent much of her free time working with the drama department. Weeks went by without phone calls between us (remember, this was in the days before email). Months went by without me waking up on her floor to the sound of her younger brother fighting with her (and my emotionally adopted) parents.

During those last two years of high school, we never really had a falling out. Our lives changed, and we each pursued more and more activities that held no interest for the other.

And then life changed for both of us, and we rushed back to each other's worlds. We spent the summer after graduation almost inseparable once again. Most nights I could be found sleeping on her floor, most days she was occupying the shotgun seat in my sad little Mercury Lynx as we gallivanted around town our went off to our respective jobs.

In December of 1996, I met Grumps. My world was turned upside down almost instantly. Those nights spent on her floor were swapped with evenings falling asleep in his arms, setting the alarm to insure I had barely enough time to make it home before curfew. Days spent giggling and chatting with H were replaced by days with Grumpy, seeing movies, having dinner, getting to know each other.

H was still a good friend, still the best friend I had, and was most definitely by my side as I made the gradual move from my childhood house to my home with Grumps. We all spent a good amount of time together. We rang in 1997 at a memory filled party at Grumpy's house. H started dating one of Grump's friends. Game nights and underage drinking and double dates became the new normal.

And then everything changed.

To be continued

Friday, August 7, 2009


I look around at my life today, and it's completely different from what it was a year ago. And I know there are many, MANY more major changes to come in the next 18-24 months.

My marriage is better, stronger, happier than it's been in a while. It's not perfect (I'm not a believer in perfection anyway!), but it's good. Genuinely good.

Our house, our health, our conversations, our connection - have all improved to levels that we weren't striving for, and yet we've somehow managed to achieve. It's like I woke up one morning, looked around, and realized that I LIKE my life. Again, it's not perfect (ahem - children!) but it's really, really good!

Grumps is happier with his career life than I've ever seen him. Obviously he's not actually in the career yet, but the fact that he's pursuing it, and preparing for it - has brought about a light in him that I've never seen before.

I'll be honest and say that I'm nervous for the changes that are coming. 2 years from now will bring a new career for him, a new lifestyle for us, and quite possibly a move to a completely new part of the country. I live in the same city that I grew up in, and that my mother grew up in. We bought our house from Grumpy's grandma, and it's the house his Dad grew up in. We have roots here, and they run deep.

But, changes that normally would - and possibly should - terrify me, are only making me nervous. Because right now, I know that no matter what life throws at us, or what decisions lie ahead, Grumps and I will be getting through it together, working towards a common goal.

That knowledge has brought me more peace than I have ever known.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

so I missed last week, but I'm back at it again! This week, I'm thankful:

  1. That the patch seems to be working for me. I'm not a non-smoker yet, but I'm much MUCH closer than I've been in a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time!
  2. That Grumps and I are really and truly, for the first time since we've known each other, completely on the same page about our finances. It's wonderful to have a real partner in the fight to clean up our mess.
  3. That our ghetto neighbors gave up one of their dogs (the fence-jumping, dog-aggressive pit-bull). That puts them at 4, which is still double the limit allowable in our city. But, it's progress!
  4. That the horrible charity event that Grumps gets suckered into (and I resent) every freaking year is OVER!
  5. That I can truly enjoy the peace and quiet of our drama-free life. And that we've BOTH worked SO STINKING HARD to get it, that we both really do appreciate it!

Have any thanks to share? Please do so in the comments!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Picture This

You've lived in your new home for a few weeks now. You're finally unpacked and settled in. It's summertime, the weather is gorgeous, and you decide to throw yourself a housewarming party.

You cut the grass, plant some flowers, and buy a screened in gazebo for the yard. You get the charcoal heating up on the barbecue, the beer chillin' in the cooler, and the ribs marinating in the sauce.

You've invited all of your family, and your friends from the old neighborhood. You've made your sons drag out their stereo system, and have your favorite motown cds stacked along side it. Your daughter has even harassed you into FINALLY learning the hussle.

People begin to arrive. Tunes are playing, folks are laughing and eating and dancing and having a great time.

Don't you think, at some point, it would have dawned on you to take the laundry in from the clothesline you strung between your 2 sheds?

Apparently not, if you live next door to me.