Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Furniture Saved My Marriage

Okay. Maybe it didn't save it. We weren't on the verge of divorce or anything, but we didn't spend all that much time together even when we were home.

My husband had his man room with a comfy couch that he loved and all the History Channel that a man could watch. I tended to be downstairs or in the bedroom. I would bring him dinner upstairs, and he would stay there. He always asked me to come into his space, but I would get tired of watching his shows or being without most of my stuff. His space was his, and I feel out of place there.

We would make conscious efforts to spend time together by eating dinner together or doing dishes together, but we would always end up back in or respective corners of the hours because we were tired after long days at work.

We're throwing a huge party at my house for my dad's birthday, so we decided it was time to grow the house up a little. We bought almost a house's worth of new furniture, but the best investment was the living room. For the downstairs common area, we got two really comfortable leather recliners. Out went my old couches that got me all the way through college and that the dog slept on when we weren't home. (He thinks he's fancy.) It was time for them to go. They were gross, and neither of us wanted to sit on them. Now, we share two super comfy relaxation pits. To make my husband happy, one of them is a power recliner. To make me happy, they don't look like couches you would find in a 70s rec room.

They're ours. The space is ours. Now we come home and hang out together in our space where the furniture is ours and not mine or his. We talk. He shows me cars he wants on his laptop, and I show him possibilities for a new kitchen table on my iPad. We talk about our days. We are, like, involved in each other's world.

It's nice to have ours.

The slobbery dog who runs in to things is still his, though.

As always, it's hip to be square (and together!), kids.

Monday, April 15, 2013

I Struggle With "Glee"

Before I even start this, I want you to know that I fully understand that I invest way too much of myself in stupid television shows. I feel all best-friend-ly with people I've never met or who might not even exist.

I am not ashamed (okay, kind of ashamed) to admit that I love, love, love Glee. I sends me in a time warp to high school and theatre and a person who I haven't been in a long time. The whole Finchel relationship reminds me a frustrating amount about my one true (read: terrible, awful, dickish) love. I like most of the characters, I usually love the music, and I appreciate that they dive head first into differences and accepting others in the campiest way possible. 

Glee as a concept makes me uncomfortable, though. Not because of the ridiculous story lines or the improbability of it all, but because, as an adult, I am always concerned about the example that we are setting for teenagers.

Now, don't get me wrong, I know that teenagers are going to do what they're going to do, but I remember watching pubescent dramas when I was that age and thinking that I would do everything they were doing. I can't decide if I'm okay with them portraying teenagers doing what they do anyway like drinking, having sex, and shacking up with their bed buddies, or if I would rather see the idealized version of teen life where they just don't do those things. I know it would be unrealistic, but if it prevents one teen pregnancy, is that worth it? If it deters one kid from getting drunk and driving, isn't that okay? 

Maybe it's because I deal with kids who get into trouble on the daily, but I just hate that we set an example that making bad decisions is the accepted norm. They might be the norm, but they certainly aren't happily accepted. If they were, then they wouldn't be "bad decisions". Furthermore, these decisions stay with you for a long time. Getting pregnant in high school and then giving the baby up for adoption is not just something that goes away when the season is over. That stays with you forever. You don't just "bounce back". 

I know the show is made for adult but their primary demographic is impressionable teen-somethings. Most of the messages they send are about acceptance and individuality, and I love that. But while being individuals, kids just don't have to grow up that fast. 

Maybe I'm a prudish 80-year-old in an open-minded 26-year-old's body, but these are the things that I think about. I don't believe in censorship, and I think that it's the parents job to police TV viewing, but I just wonder if setting these examples makes stupid decisions "okay."

As always, it's hip to be square (and ponder-ish), kids.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Pepper Potts

For the majority if my existence, the only way to get anything done seemed to be to just do it myself. Even when I would contract out for projects, they almost never got done. I have a firm objection to begging people to take my money. You either do the work, or you don't, but I'm not going to chase you when I'm paying you.

Wacky, right?

Anyway, when my work life became my only life, and then stayed that way for more the a year, and then I became unable to find a minute in my day to schedule doctor's appointments or get my hair cut or file things that just became huge piles of paper in my supposedly paperless office, I broke down and decided I needed help.

For the record, that was like a huge thing for my stubborn ass. I mean, I am as close to a fucking island as one person can get.

Okay. I'm more like a peninsula.

Terrible metaphor over.

Anywhozie, I put out some feelers for someone who could help me with keeping my work and home life both organized and SEPARATE, but I was super hesitant to hire a total stranger because of the access they would have to, well, me. It took me almost a year to finally take the leap.

I did a couple of interviews of people I knew, but everyone had a reason why they just were not perfect.  Doc begged me to stop looking for perfect and just look for trustworthiness.

Then in came Pepper Potts.

No, that's not really her name, but it's what we all call her, so it works.

She is a flipping godsend. She's thorough, careful, not afraid to ask questions, smart as whip and just so effing on top if things. She also lives about 45 seconds from me, as that is RARE in the area we live in.

More than all that, she picked up on my quirks after day, like, 3. She always knows where my keys are. She remembers whether I locked my car because I never do. She reminds me to do things. She asks me if there is anything I didn't so. AND SHE REMINDS ME ON THE REGULAR TO DELEGATE. I struggle with that shit.

For the first time in many years, I can breath a little. I will never be the type of person who just relaxes, but I have also never had be opportunity to completely hand something really important over to someone and know it's going to just get done.

PP, you're a blessing from G-d, Allah, Buddha, Tom Cruise and L. Ron himself.

As always, it's hip to be square (and relaxed-ish), kids.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pregnancy Makes You Want To Do WHAT?!

I fully understand that you cannot understand pregnancy or childbirth entirely until you go through it. I claim ignorance on the matter on the regular. I haven't even had any close friends get pregnant, so I really have only a distant understanding of the whole baby-incubating thing. 

I have heard about the joys of pregnancy and the horror stories, of course, but there are certain things about pregnancy that just don't get mentioned often. When other mothers or pregnant women hear about them, however, it's just treated as a sort of occupational hazard, but for those of us who are unaware of the process, it's all like WHA?????

I am a big fan of of Jill Krause over Baby Rabies. She makes me laugh on the regular, and I follow her on Twitter like the blog fan girl that I am. Then she tweeted this the other day. And I was, again, all like WHHAAAA???

So, I went to my good friend The Google and researched pica. Uh, pica had a totally different meaning in my page design class in college. People actually want to eat sand? And gritty things? And ickiness?

Okay. I can deal with that part. I think what really got me was that other pregnant women and mothers just, like, treated it like just another thing. 

At no point in my entire life has it ever occurred to me that making babies would lead to eating dirt or other scratchy things. 

What else am I missing out on? 'Cause, I still have lots of time to change my mind...

Yeah. Like that's going to happen.

As always, it's hip to be square (and WHHHAAA??), kids.

Monday, April 8, 2013

His Last Name

My husband and I have been married about a year and a half now, but using his last name still feels like playing dress up. It just sounds weird.

Growing up, I think I always assumed I would take my future husband's last name. Once I got to be an adult, however, the idea of changing my name was really strange to me. My last name was part of my identity. It made my first and last name nearly identical to my dad's which, although confusing for others, was really important to me. It was about the family that had me first. It was about what made me the person that my future husband would love.

I guess the thing that I never thought about in all of this was how important it would be to my husband that I change my name. Independent women still have to think of the feelings of their man, no matter how much they are irritated by the existence of said feelings.

My husband was adamant about it. He is the only boy out of four children and the only one who would get to keep their family name. I am the only girl out of four children, so there are plenty of chances for my brothers to pass on the name no matter how slim of a chance it seems that they will reproduce.

I wasted time and "forgot" to do the paperwork for longer than I should have after we got married, but I did eventually do it. My name is legally changed on most things, and the ones that still have my old name are just out of laziness. I guess it's more about the future than it is the past, and growing up sometimes means moving on (even in purely symbolic ways). My maiden name is now one of two middle names. I guess as my dad has to fight for attention with my husband, they also have to duke it out in my signature for dominance.

And, eventually, I'll stop feeling like I'm wearing my mother's shoes and get used to the whole change.


And, even if I don't, my mother has awesome shoes, so it's cool.

As always, it's hip to be square, kids.

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