Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas day confession.

I. Want. These.

But here’s my big confession:

Not only do I already own each book (I mean, duh), but I own all four hard covers, all four paperbacks, all four e-books, and the special movie editions of Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse.

Stephenie Meyer? You're welcome.

Yes, I HAVE A PROBLEM. (We already knew that.)

Now I want these. These pretty, shiny new Twilight books. I have barely been able to restrain myself from ordering them this morning. It’d be so easy to irrationally justify a Christmas present for myself. Sigh.

I must be stopped.

Anyway... Merry Christmas, peeps.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The sad and lonely Christmas edition.

Dear Jon,

It's Christmas Eve and totally doesn't feel like it. I can't help but wonder what you're doing, who you're spending the holiday with. It leaves me wondering what we'd be doing if we were still together. Which then leads me to thinking about how we've spent holidays past. Cooking. Wii bowling. Baileys and/or champagne (maybe probably both). A movie in the evening.

Tonight, my mom was feeling restless, bored, said it didn't feel like Christmas. (Guess I'm not the only one.) I finally offered to treat her to Starbucks and take her to Roger's Gardens to see the Christmas displays. We got in the car. It was 6:30. My mom turned to look at me and said, "Wait. Do you think it's open?"

Oh. Right. It's Christmas Eve.

So, we went for ice cream and drove around to look at Christmas lights while listening to Christmas music. (Most of which I can't stand.)

And I couldn't help but think of all the Christmas seasons you and I spent together and how, each year, I'd complain that we weren't doing enough. I wanted to soak up as much holiday spirit as I possibly could! I wanted to watch all the movies, and look at lights, and bake, and decorate, and buy presents. Christmas was my absolute favorite! And, sure enough, each year it came and went much too quickly.

Well, this year, in comparison? Quite sad. I think I've been trying to forget exactly what time of year it is... and, at the same time, I can't stop thinking about it. Last year, I was frustrated that we were still unpacking during the holidays (moving at the end of November totally cramped my holiday style), but... I was happy. Last year, I would have been shocked had someone suggested we'd spend our next Christmas apart.

This year I scowl at Christmas decorations. And candy displays. And happy shoppers. And red and green everything. And garland. And Santa Claus. And my boss when he asks me to play Santa's little helper in the lobby. (Smile? And be nice? To children? I don't think so.) This year, I could teach the Grinch a thing or two.

I'm glad I'm going to work tomorrow. I hope I can even work some overtime. Because the thought of spending any of tomorrow without you makes it difficult to breath. At least work will provide a distraction. And then it'll be December 26th. Just any other day. And I can look forward to next Christmas. I fully intend for it to be my favorite holiday again next year.

Your friend,
Merry Christmas,

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I left my heart in St. George.

Oh, sure. The rest of you are full of the holiday spirit, taking extra time off work and spending it with your loved ones, baking and eating and wrapping presents and waiting for Santa... while I, on the other hand, spend all my time at work. Or with my mother. Playing Cafe World.

I have reached an all new level of pathetic.

And to make matters worse, I'm just three days into a two-month weight loss contest. RIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS. But four people, each in for a hundred bucks, winner takes all? Peeps, I'd spend Christmas at the gym to win $400. (And if it weren't scheduled to be closed.)

So, in case you couldn't tell, I'm in a very un-holiday spirit-ish kind of mood. But instead of ranting on and on about how this Christmas might just be the second worst Christmas ever (yeah... there's been worse) I thought I'd share something I love. (You're welcome.)

(I make no guarantees that a very Grinch-inspired post won't make an appearance in the next couple of days.)

Wait. Let me clarify.

(Please notice the bag of chocolates.)

My sister adopted a black Lab several months ago. Her name is Amalie. And if I thought I could sneak her 80+ pound body out of my sister's home and into my mother's, I totally would have tried. Because I absolutely fell in love. She was such a love bug. So sweet. (And I wish I could say I was above the use of baby talk and kissy noises, but this dog brought out my inner moron.)

My sister and I spent a lot of time in her kitchen. She wanted to make gingerbread houses with real gingerbread. This meant rolling out about a billion balls of dough. And Amalie... well, she just wanted to be wherever the people were, which meant...

She sometimes found herself in the line of fire flour.

She would greet me with a (surprisingly strong and sometimes painful) wagging tail and an onslaught of (very wet) kisses every time I walked through the door. We took a lot of walks. She pooped Every. Single. Time. I could take her off the leash and she'd stay right by me; always came when called. And, most nights, she slept right next to me. How could I not fall in love?

She was quite possibly the sweetest dog I've ever met. (Also, quite possibly, the drooliest.)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Expect to miss him.

I realize that what might feel like forever has, in reality, only been a few days, but I'm not sure I can handle this feeling of loss much longer. It's raining here in southern California and it's supposed to continue through the week. My feet are cold, my ankles damp, and my hair is frizzy. I had to stop by The Husband's apartment to pick up mail and a package that came for me (a package that I, a complete imbecile, picked out with him in mind) and as I make the drive back home,  I can't help but think of what should be. I should be home with my husband. I should be dry and warm. We should have the TV on, a fire going. The cat should be stretched out lazily across my lap. I should be reading a good book while, next to me, The Husband plays online poker and flips from one awful movie to another. We should be happy. We should be together. A friend told me a while ago, "You're going to miss him. You need to expect that." But how do you know when missing someone is simply just that... or is something more, something that closely resembles this is a huge mistake?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Kindred Spirits

Hershey's Drops. They're new. They're fantastic. They're the reason my pants are too tight.

I spent the first week of December in Utah with my sister and her family. I took a bunch of pictures while I was there. I was actually planning on blogging while I was there, but then realized I had brought my entire life EXCEPT for a way to upload my photos.

My four-year-old niece helped me with this one. I told her that in exchange for her help, she could have all the chocolate she touched. Then she proceeded to carry around that little plastic bag full of candy for hours. She loves sweets as much as I do.

She also loves the color pink and points out Edward whenever she happens to see his picture. She is a girl after my own heart.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Just 'cause.

'Cause I finally emptied my camera's memory card.

'Cause I like pink.

'Cause I got nothin' else.

What's new, peeps? How goes the holiday planning?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Love should be enough.

{ This is a really... long... post... and I'm not even going to leave the comments open. Consider this forewarning and feel free to pass. }

On October 23rd, I had new tires put on my car. It was a goal. It had to be done. However, as much as I wanted to think otherwise, I couldn't do it alone. (I had tried just a couple days prior. The man behind the counter kept calling me "gorgeous" and I didn't have to be a complete sucker to know that he was trying to rob me.) I e-mailed The Husband. I was very direct and to-the-point. "I need tires. You're going with me." He agreed.

And that Saturday... that was one of the best days.

Have you ever had one of those days, the kind that starts off very nothing unusual... and somehow, somewhere along the way, it turns into something that you just know you'll remember for the rest of your life? I've had a few.

Once I dragged The Husband along with me to Long Beach because I wanted to tour the Queen Mary. Along the way, his allergies decided to throw a party in his nasal passages and, by the time we got there, he was miserable. I was disappointed. I suggested we have lunch at a local brewery. We did. We got out of the heat, had a couple of beers. His allergies finally calmed down and a couple of beers turned into margaritas at an old dive bar in Huntington Beach. Margaritas turned into us getting home very late. We had so much fun. Seriously one of the best days ever.

Another time, back in the day (I think it was a Saturday) when I was a supervisor, I was scheduled for work at ten o'clock. When I arrived, I was told that our swing shift supervisor had called in sick and they asked if I could leave and come back later that afternoon. At first, I was appalled. I did not want to spend my day driving back and forth to work. But I'm a trooper, so I agreed. I called The Husband, filled him in, asked if he wanted to catch a movie. We saw Madagascar and had lunch. After, we sat together on a bench, soaking up the sun and enjoying each others company. Then we had to part ways. We hugged and we kissed... lingered over it... and finally said goodbye. I went to work and still it was one of the best days ever.

One more. This one I've written about before, but I still think of it often. We rode our bikes to the beach one morning in August. It was something we did fairly often. On this particular day, we went for Starbucks and to check out a local candy store. We left early, got our coffee and, realizing we had time until the store opened, walked out onto the pier to watch the surfers. We stood there, mostly quietly, just watching and enjoying the perfect weather. I still remember the feel of the sun on the backs of my legs. Finally, we decided to get breakfast. We sat at a table on a patio of one of the many restaurants on Main Street. We talked and laughed and people watched. Then, having such a good time, we ordered mimosas. It was a relaxing, beautiful day at the beach. What was supposed to be a morning trip turned into something more. We didn't get home until evening. Again, one of the best days.

So, on Saturday morning, what started out as getting tires turned into something completely different. While we were waiting, we ran across the street to the K-mart. (K-mart is the least of my favorite stores, but it was the closest.) I needed wiper blades. Since we had time, we browsed. It was very similar to other shopping excursions... it included laughter, us making jokes and teasing each other, often tripping each other down the aisle like a couple of fools.

After we retrieved the car, I convinced him to go to breakfast with me. He wasn't hungry, but I was starving. I ordered something totally fattening. The Husband ordered a fruit plate... then promptly launched into a diatribe of why he hates melons, specifically cantaloupe and honeydew. The plate was full of both.

He was worried about the time. He had plans to take his mom car shopping. I told him to have her join us. She did. The three of us sat and talked and laughed. It was nearly noon by this point. We decided to make it a champagne brunch.

Then I joined them for car shopping. Quite frankly, I hate helping people shop for anything, but being around The Husband was fun and very carefree. Much like it had been in the past. Before all the drama.

I had to leave that afternoon for a friend's birthday party, but thought of him the entire time. We texted each other back and forth and I left early to go back to his place. I spent the night. We slept (SLEPT) next to each other and at one point during the night, I woke up, saw him sleeping there next to me, and all was right in the world.

The next morning, I had to leave early for work. I woke up at five-thirty, got ready, and before I left, did something that had been very natural for me during our marriage. I went into the bedroom to say goodbye. The Husband was half awake, watching the news. Without saying a word, I crawled into his arms and we snuggled (yes, I said snuggled) for a few minutes before I finally had to leave.

I went back again after work. We joined friends to watch the Vikings game. I spent the night again. On Monday, I had had enough. I was tired of fighting the desire to be with him. I told a friend that it felt as if I were trying to rip my own arms off. I loved him, I wanted to be with him. Enough was enough. Like my mom is so fond of saying, "It was time to shit or get off the pot."

On Tuesday, we talked. We felt the same way. I started to move my things in. Not everything, it was too soon for that, but some clothes and toiletries and other things I needed. We were going to take it slow, but we were ready.

I was not prepared, however, for the onslaught of anxiety that I woke up to the next morning. I can't explain this part very well. I don't know where it came from. Maybe it was just a case of too much, too soon... or maybe it was my body's way of saying, "wait, something's not right here." Or it could be that I was off my meds and in the midst of a bout of depression the likes of which I never knew existed.

Whatever the case, I ran. I went back to my mom's after explaining to The Husband my thoughts and feelings and fears. I said I needed time; I needed to visit the doctor, figure out what was going on. He understood.

Now, here's where I need to explain something, but I'm going to be very vague about it. (You're welcome.) Throughout our marriage The Husband and I have really only had one problem. I'm not going to tell you what it was, but feel free to speculate. This problem was the root of all our evils. And, even though I knew it was a problem, I don't think I ever took it seriously enough. It seemed like such an easy thing to fix. And, sure, we'd try for a while... just to eventually fall back into the same ole bad habits.

(You know, sometimes it feels like I'm regurgitating the same posts over and over and over again.)

(No wonder heads are constantly exploding around here.)

It wasn't until I saw The Husband again, just a few days after moving in and back out again, that I began to fixate on this problem of ours. It suddenly felt as if it was insurmountable. There was absolutely no way around it. Nothing we could do to fix it. Might as well give up now!

During the weeks that followed, I became obsessed. I loved spending time with him, but I could not stop from constantly thinking about this one thing that I was sure was going to keep us apart. I kept thinking, I'm never going to change. I'm never going to be what he wants. I'm never going to be able to make this work.

Quite a depressing train of thought.

And here's where we get to the heart of my current problem. After six weeks, I finally told The Husband. I said something along the lines of: "This is who I am and it's not what you want and there's nothing I can do and us getting back together, knowing that we have this problem, seems like a huge mistake, like we're just asking for the same damn problems to arise which will inevitably lead us right back to where we are now."

And we stood there across from each other, both of us quiet. I tried to control my emotions, but I can't help that everything I feel comes out my eyes. I felt the corners of my mouth twitch, a telltale sign that I'm losing the battle to not cry. I clenched my teeth and took deep breaths. Don't lose it, I told myself. Nothing worked. The tears leaked out anyway. The Husband asked, "Why are you crying?" Stupid question. I looked at him and said, "I just wish I didn't love you so much." Because love should be enough.

It's been days since I drove away from him. And one question haunts me. Did I convince myself of something that wasn't true?

About two years ago, just before I was diagnosed with PMDD, I was in the midst of what was, at the time, the worst case of depression I'd ever experienced. I lost interest in everything and was horribly irritable. I had no energy, no patience.

One afternoon during, The Husband had met up with friend just a few blocks away from our apartment. He sent me a text message and asked me to come meet them. I had just gotten home from work and was beyond grateful to come home to an empty apartment. I didn't have to deal with anything or talk to anyone. I could just watch TV, which is all I wanted to do at the time anyway. When the text came through, I balked. I didn't want to go, but it was important to him. He kept pressing and I eventually caved in. I cried as I got ready to leave. I found it physically painful to go through the motions.

I thought this behavior isn't normal, but I didn't know the cause. It wasn't intentional, but I blamed my unhappiness on The Husband. For two weeks, I found fault with him over every little thing possible. I was convinced I wanted out, he couldn't make me happy, our marriage was over.

One evening I even sat down with him, said we needed to talk, and told him how I felt. I sobbed while telling him I was afraid that we were just too incompatible. In the same breath, I told him I didn't know why I felt this way or what was wrong with me. He said, in his calm way, "we'll figure it out."

I saw several doctors after that. The diagnosis was easy, a relief, and I soon felt "normal" again. It saddened me to look back on that conversation with The Husband. I hated that I was afflicted with something that could make me feel that way, and feel it so strongly, that I could come so close to making a horrible life-altering decision based off those feelings.

Now, present day, I can't help by wonder, is that what I've done now? Six weeks ago, I was depressed, thinking the worst. I started hyper-focusing on that one problem. Can't change it, don't want to, not interested. It was never gonna work. But I gave myself time. Time for my hormones to balance out, time to think, time to see how I was really feeling.

I'm afraid that I convinced myself of something that wasn't entirely true. Sure, our problem was just that. A problem. It was a major difference between us. But could we have fixed it? Could we have each compromised  to find a happy medium? Did I talk myself out of my marriage? I mean, what happened between wanting, more than anything, to be with him... and then suddenly not?

The Husband and I have dealt with our fair share of drama since I started this blog and I have written my fair share of "did I do the right thing?" posts in that time. I can't help but continue to wonder. Maybe it's because we've dragged this on for so long (did you know we've been separated for the better part of a year already?), but I still love him and my heart still aches. I still think of him whenever I go somewhere, buy something, make plans. I still want him to be a part of my life.

When I got home the other night from what may very well have been our final goodbye, I was filled with regret and sadness. What's totally unfair is that all I could suddenly think about were all the things I love about him. Forgotten were all the arguments, the problems, the pet peeves, the mistrust. All I could focus on was all that I loved about him and all that I'd be missing out on if we got divorced.

I kept thinking, this isn't right. I sat down and opened my laptop. Suddenly I had this radical idea that we should just go for it and give our marriage another shot (number 235). I started an e-mail that basically said let's move back in. Before I hit send, I stopped myself. Despite what you might think, I'm not trying to drag this on and on. I don't want to make mistakes. And I certainly don't want to cause either of us any additional heartache. I didn't send the e-mail because I couldn't stand the thought of moving back out, of leaving and saying goodbye all over again, if it turned out it really wasn't going to work.

So, maybe time will tell. Maybe things will get better and I'll realize this really was the best thing. Maybe I'll take my mom's advice and seek counseling for myself. Maybe this isn't the end. Who knows. The only thing I'm certain of at this point is that this post needs to end. (Like, 2,000 words ago.)

(If you made it to the end, you deserve a prize.)

(I"m sorry I don't have any prizes.)

(Goodbye forever.)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Too fool for school.

I was a terrible student. I ditched classes, didn't do my homework, and lied to my parents about it. And all for no good reason. I wasn't drinking or doing drugs. I didn't go to wild parties  or hang out with boys. I just plain loathed high school.

Then I turned 16. Everyone thought it'd be best for me to move on. I took a test, passed, received my "diploma" and enrolled in classes at the junior college. The first thing I had to do was placement testing. You'd think this would be the easy part. I mean, it's not like you can fail your placement exams. However, I was nervous when I arrived. I didn't know what to expect. I was a snot-nosed 16-year-old kid. I didn't belong.

The fact is, from the moment I entered high school, I felt out of place. (I blame it on the fact that I was late to my very first day.) To make matters worse, I switched high schools just three months into my freshman year. Talk about a horrifying experience. I didn't know anyone. I felt like there was a huge neon "LOSER" sign hovering above my head.

Those feelings feelings were hard to shake and lingered even after I left. Sitting in a room full of college-aged kids absolutely made my skin crawl.

The test started and things were going smoothly. The room was dead silent. As only a room full of strangers can be. Of course, in my pea-sized brain, I still saw that sign flashing above me. I was sure if push came to shove, everyone in the room would band together in their contempt for me. (Yes, I was very self-centered. As only a 16-year-old can be.)

An hour into the test and, wouldn't you know it, my stomach started to growl. Loudly. (Guess I should have eaten breakfast.) I was mortified, sure everyone could hear my rebellious stomach. Every time it grumbled, I'd sit up straighter... or slouch back... or cross my legs. Anything that might drown out the sound I was sure was reverberating throughout the room.

Chances are, no one heard it. Stomach growling is pretty much like chewing. Both sound louder in your own head. And even if my neighbors did hear it... WHO CARES? It's not like I had uncontrollable flatulence. I was hungry. Hungry. That's all.

However, even though I'm an adult now and I realize that it was nothing to get worked up over, I did learn my lesson. You see, a few weeks ago I applied and was accepted to a local college. And guess what? I get to retake my placement exams. I tried to tell them it had only been ten years since I was last in school and how much could I have possibly forgotten (a lot) but they wouldn't hear of it.

I get to take the exams on Wednesday. And you're damn right I'm going to eat breakfast before I go.

I'm still a bit nervous... but at least the flashing loser sign is gone.