Archive | September, 2010

Some Thoughts about Autumn

IT’S HERE!

Fall is finally here!! Oh, it’s worthy of eleventy exclamation points, what with the not sweating ourselves to death and wishing for spontaneous combustion because that HAS to be cooler than the pavement.  The autumn has arrived, and with it: lots of sunshine, highs in the 70s, the kind of constant breeze that really only lives on the beach, and the fall menus.  SQUASH IS ABOUNDING.  Life is good.

Here are a few fall hints for you:

  • Super smart shortcuts! Everyone loves the Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks.  Look, I get it.  I’m not really a latte person, but those are just super yummy.  But they’re LADEN with calories.  Insane amount of calories.  So do this instead: if you’re a strong coffee person, order a Misto .. if you’re not an espresso fan, order an Americano.  Ask for three pumps of Pumpkin Spice syrup.  TA DA!  Cheaper, tastes just as good, and your thighs will thank you for it.
  • Bask in the sun!  Fall is a happy time, but for those of us who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, winter is looming around the corner.  Take this opportunity to GET OUTSIDE.  Take a walk on your lunch break, play with the kids, have your morning coffee on the porch.  In the blink of an eye, we’ll lose daylight by the HOURS, so get it in NOW.
  • Start packing for the winter.  Animals are not stupid.  They know that food is scarce when winter hits, so they make sure they have plenty around to eat.  BE THAT SMART.  Keep tons of healthy snacks around you, everywhere you’ll be sedentary, so that you’re less likely to 1) go hungry or 2) eat something awful.
  • Save your sick days.  Flu season is knocking on our door.  Stock up on Lysol wipes, vitamins, hand-sanitizer, and chicken soup now.  You know what else helps?  EATING WELL.  GETTING EXERCISE.  Basically all of the stuff I just listed.

COMPLETELY UNRELATED TO THIS POST:

Here is my child being adorable and displaying his innate musical skillz:

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Let’s Talk about Sister Wives.

Oh, wow.

I knew Sister Wives was premiering on TLC on Sunday night, but to be honest, it came on after my bedtime.  Since I’m usually at work by 7:00 a.m., my morning routines require that I’m in bed by nine.  I’m kind of old that way.

SO I TIVO’D THAT BIATCH.

I watched it last night.. rather, I should say, I was forced to watch it last night.  I was ecstatic about watching it until it came time to, and really, the reality of being exposed to a lifestyle I don’t understand (or condone, really) made me crazy uncomfortable.  Bryan turned it on, even though I passively said I didn’t want to watch it, and we were at the races.

Y’ALL, THIS SHOW HAS ME SO CONFLICTED.  On the one hand, I really like the wives.  All of them, to an extent.  Like, I would befriend these women.  They seem unexpectedly normal.  They wear makeup, they wear jeans, they laugh and tease and enjoy the gaggle of children.  They remind me of my friends.  And that?  I was not expecting.

Then Bryan hit the nail on the head.  “I think watching this show is like a lot of people feel about gay marriage.  It’s not wrong or awful or sick, it’s just not traditional.  It’s just different.”

OH GOD, I’M BIASED AGAINST POLYGAMISTS.  That’s not cool, Sarah!

And?  The wives had TONS of logic that I couldn’t argue with.  It gives me more time to do things I want to do, they’d say.  Well, HELL YEAH.  I’m all about throwing my kids at another mom and heading to the movies.  That’s pretty damn awesome.  Our kids have always had this, so they get the benefit of three different parenting styles.  I think that’s pretty nifty, too.  The kids seem fairly well-adjusted, minus Wife#3’s need to name her children bizarre, spelled-wrong names. (Ysbel? Mykelti? Aspyn?)

But then: there’s the husband.  And, look, while I’ll agree that he seems to be a very loving father who dotes on his children.. I cannot get past the kid-in-a-candy-store look that this guy wears.  All the time.  “I fell in love.  Then I fell in love again!  And again!”  Um .. yeah, can’t agree here.  “Love is meant to be multiplied, not divided.”  I agree; I guess I don’t feel that a traditional marriage divides it.

And then he drops the bombshell: he’s looking to add a fourth wife.

So he’s been courting Robin, who “grew up in the lifestyle”, but is a single mom of three kids. (I HAVE TO KNOW THIS HISTORY.  How can you grow up in a fundamentalist lifestyle and then divorce?  DOES NOT COMPUTE.) Also.. I’m sorry, but she has HOMEWRECKER written all over her.  Even I, who has no dog in this fight whatsoever, felt protective of the current wives and their children when I saw her.

Aside: what happens in these families with the patriarch passes?  (Bryan: Well, I’m pretty sure it’s customary that they feed on him.  Then the eldest son takes over the Head of Household and is then expected to seed the wives.  It’s where “Feed & Seed” comes from.)

And although Kody the Husband made the Big Announcement to the whole family about courting a new wife, I am not believing that all twelve kids, ranging in ages from 5-15, are especially excited about this.  A few children expressed hesitance, and all adults jumped on them.  And a doe-eyed blonde girl bubbled over with excitement about sharing this news, to which the family instructed her to NOT TALK ABOUT IT.  “This is family business,” Kody the Husband warned her. 

… that level of secrecy is unfortunate.  I’m not sure if it’s unfortunate because it forces the children to live a life of lies outside of their home, or because it feels VERY MUCH like the speech pedophiles use to intimidate their victims.

All in all, I’m really, really torn.  The kids seems smart, happy, well-adjusted.  And they are my #1 concern in this.  Don’t know if y’all caught this, but I yearn for a large family.  So if you view the tableau in a Monet fashion, with overarching broad strokes, I find a lot of this family appealing.

But there is something dark in there.  I can’t put my finger on it, but it left me strongly unsettled for the rest of the night.  I hope I’ll be swayed into the happy lull of Reality TV in future episodes by crafty editing, but the “This Season, on Sister Wives” clip at the end of the premier seemed to be rife with tears, angst, jealousy, and anger.

I really, really wonder how the polygamist community feels about this show.

Okay, enough: who else watched it?  SPILL.  There is no judgement here.

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Sally Hansen Saves My Day.

As I mentioned here earlier, I’m now working a full work week for Big Corporate Company.  Again.  Same place I worked before, and oddly enough, I’m working with the first manager who ever hired me.  Which is weird, in that whole full-circle kind of thing.

I usually invoke the law of Dooce here and don’t really speak about work, so you probably won’t hear me say much from this point outside of vague references to the degree of my busy-ness.

But there is one thing.

For some reason, working with folks that knew me when I was younger makes me want to be all grown-up.  Now, clearly, I’M OLD anyway, but I am trying to show them how PROFESSIONAL I can be too.  I wear jeans.. often .. because on any given day I may be hauling something or lifting something and after the first day in a skirt I realized that it’s just not practical.  But I do my make-up.  EVERY DAY.  I do my hair.  And lately, I’ve been aching to do my nails.

I haven’t gotten my nails professionally done in .. like .. a really, really long time because I can’t stomach the prices.  I wore acryllics for YEARS when I was younger: $25-$30 bucks every two weeks like clockwork for me to dread the next appointment.  I HATED ACRYLLICS.  But I loved the leisure of having my nails done, and I loved the look of them.  I typically got a french manicure or a really, really light pink.

I tried this week to go have my nails done, but .. I just couldn’t.  I couldn’t spend time in the waiting room, I couldn’t shell out the money, and I just couldn’t.  I don’t judge you if you do, cause clearly we all have our splurges, but it just didn’t work for me.

So I went to WalGreens instead.

I took a chance on a Sally Hansen Instant Manicure Pen, which I’m sorry that I can’t find a picture of, but here it is included in an entire set:

And it has changed my life.

It literally took me ten minutes to have a perfect french manicure on Wednesday.  Two coats of Hard as Wraps on top, and I’m golden.  And if it chips (which it hasn’t yet)?  No skin off my back or money down my drain, because I can just remove it all, paint the tips white again, and we’re back at the races.

Like I said, I can’t find the pen listed by itself online anywhere, but I did pick it up at Walgreens.  Cost wasn’t more than $4.

Word of caution: technique may take a while to perfect.  I noticed that you can get the pen in two tip sizes, regular and fine.  If you think you’re going to be “challenged” in this endeavor, go with the fine tip.  I went with the regular and while I wasn’t crazy frustrated, I could see where some folks would be turned off.

And, of course, if you need it, Sally Hansen does also make this correction pen for erasing mistakes as you give yourself a home manicure.

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The Divorce

Some people call it a mourning, but it’s not, really.  A mourning is more freeing, more luxurious; you can take your time and indulge in it, and no one begrudges you the cost.  Because, hey man, someone died here.  A divorce is not really like that, because life still goes on and you’re still expected to participate in it.

It’s way more like a divorce.  Life is fine, and suddenly, it’s not.  Life is still going on, but you’re just only in half of it.  Maybe it happens gradually, with words that finalize the actions; I think most often it just sneaks up on the relationship, with people drifting in other directions.

And in divorce, so I’m told, there’s a careful line to be walked when talking about the event.  You can be the sour divorcè, who spills their guts to anyone who will (or won’t) listen.  Or you can be the tight-lipped one, who only shrugs with turned up lips and says, I don’t really know. People are going to talk, they’re bound to, but you never know what’s being put out there. (Especially if you’re the tight-lipped one, cause then you never ask either.) And when do you start seeing other people?  When is it considered okay?  And do you tell them?

You only know that there are eighty million times a day when you’d laugh and look to your left or reach for that Favorited number in your phone, only to realize that there’s emptiness on the other side.  That there’s nothing there anymore.

I was told yesterday wisdom that, perhaps, I didn’t want to hear: friendships have lifespans.  It’s more common in theatre, I think; you’re almost living with a cast for two months, and then you honestly may never see any of them ever again in your day-to-day life.  But when it’s a REAL friend, someone that was blood to you, it’s like a divorce.   It sucks, it’s excruciating, and even when you think you’re okay, you’re probably not.  Not really.

“Divorce is like an amputation. You’ll survive, but there’s less of you.” – Margaret Atwood

Yes.  That.  Losing a friend is like that.

“The worst reconciliation is better than the best divorce.” – Michael Cervantes Saavedra

I can only hope so.

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Sunday Anxiety

It’s a Sunday afternoon.

The temperatures are unusually high, even for Alabama; our forecasts have topped out in the high nineties, leaving us sweltering in heat ten to fifteen degrees higher than our usual September warmth.

In the cool of our A/C, every occupant of the house is napping, four-legged children included.

I can’t sleep.  I’m thinking about Monday.

Monday, I start back at the grind I was so eager to leave.  I start back with 40 hours, same circumstances that I survived when I was 24.  Once more, one more time, this time with feeling.

And though I’m grateful.. money = eternally grateful .. I am approaching all of this with dread.  I was so miserable the last time, so encompassed with work that I was not compensated for, and I know it made me less than whole everywhere else.  I am terrified of peering into that looking glass again.

It couldn’t have ALL been that bad, Sarah. I tell myself this over and over.  There were happy times.

Yes, there were.  But I never felt useful, I never felt needed, and I never felt fulfilled.

I’ve had a taste of that now.

So we’ll see.  We’ll see if I can be shaped.  We’ll see if I can start demanding what I’m owed, while giving everything I have.  We’ll see if I can think more like a man this time.  We’ll see who I let myself become this round.

But I made this decision for lazy Sundays, I remember.  For routines, for consistency, and for the chance of lazy Sundays.

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