Tag Archives: laughing

Leave my ass alone

Leave my ass alone

Seriously:  what is it with men and women’s asses?  I have to think it’s not just me.  My mother completely commiserated with me about this very issue not too long ago.  My mother who is a woman of a certain age and married for 48 years to my Alzheimer dad – he still can’t keep his hands off her ass.

Last night I exploded.  Enough already.  The Boyfriend Candidate doesn’t grab my ass in some sexual, erotic or even remotely intimate way.  It’s more like a lift and jiggle or a grab and shake or even a poke like you would a water bed to see the ripple effect.  I loathe it.  I’m not some thing, some object, here for perverse entertainment.  I’m certainly not a bowl of Jell-o setting in the fridge waiting for the test poke.

My mother tells me that when she hears Dad walking into a room behind her, she tenses and tries to turn before he can get to her ass.  I know this feeling.  She’s been coping for almost fifty years and can’t get him to stop.  And she can be mean.

I finally told the Boyfriend Candidate last night, “How would you like it if I grabbed and jiggled your package just to watch it flop around?” And I demonstrated in case he didn’t get the picture.  He accused me of hurting him.  Duh.  That’s my point.  There is hurt with this kind of objectification by the person you adore (but seem to be adoring less as each instance occurs).  I was confident I made my point.

Until an hour ago.  He scared the hell out of me by doing a peeping Tom thing in my office window.  I screamed and started crying.  I was precariously close to peeing myself.  He came in and was obviously concerned the joke had gone too far.  He opened his arms, tenderly embraced me, wiped away my tears, and jiggled my ass.

 

A view from the laundromat

A view from the laundromat

Maybe two years ago my clothes dryer died.  At first I was broke and couldn’t afford to get it fixed.  Now, I’m just obstinate.  I could get it fixed, but I rebel against the plumbers that charge a $90 house call fee.  They tell you what’s wrong and how much it will cost.  They then apply the house call fee to the cost of repair.  It guarantees that there is no problem which is going to be less than $90.  What if it’s a loose wire or it can’t be fixed at all?  Really?  $90?  I also discovered that my electric bill went down $20 when I quit drying in the house.

Do the math:  I do two loads of drying a week.  That’s eight a month.  Eight loads for $20 in electricity and who knows in water and gas.  So let’s say clothes drying costs me $25 a month at home.  A fabulous local laundromat charges thirty cents for 10 minutes of drying in a double load dryer.  So I can dry all my clothes in one load for 30 minutes.  That’s $1 a week or $4 a month.  So I save $21 dollars a month by going to the laundromat.  Plus the freakin’ $90 for the house call.

And I have fallen in love with it.  Every Sunday at 4pm I pack up the kids and we drive a few blocks to the Clean Scene.  There’s a pizza place next door that sells $6 cheese pizza.  We go, we start the load, we walk next door and order pizza.  Ten minutes later either Steve or Mario will deliver it to us at the laundromat.  The manager of the laundromat – Andrew – is a really nice young man.  He is the middle of three boys so when my three little guys come in, I think he looks at me like an echo of his own mother.  There is a big screen tv and he’ll usually change it to the Simpson’s or some other kid friendly kind of thing when we get there.  I always offer him pizza and he always very politely declines.

There are lots of regulars and I’ll talk about them another time.  I find it mesmerizing being a part of this community.  It’s an intimate thing: washing your clothes.  It reveals so much about you: what you think about material possessions, how you care for them, personal taste, the types of people in your family, what size bed you have, the level of clean freak that you are.  The relationships are amazing.  Who do you bring to the laundromat?  Why?  There’s a woman that brings her grandmother who is in a wheelchair.  I imagine for the same reason I bring my three kids:  she won’t leave her alone and doesn’t want to get a sitter.  But maybe I’m totally wrong.  Maybe Grandma just loves it the way I do.  You can’t make any assumptions about the people in a laundromat.

It took a while for us to become regulars, but we are, and it’s some kind of weird wonderful.  I wouldn’t give it up.  For one hour on Sundays my kids and I are part of this tenuous, ethereal thing.  It’s a microcommunity.  We come together for such a short time then fall away. Then back again.

Kind of like a tide – or maybe I should say Tide.

 

4.5 seconds flat

4.5 seconds flat

So the Boyfriend Candidate was over not too long ago.  It was getting late.  The kids were half asleep in the living room.  Naturally we steal away to the kitchen to make out like teenagers.  I love that, that whole notion of recaptured youth.  I never saw it coming as one of theose benefits of being divorced.  I get to slip through a wormhole and improve upon mispent youth.

So we’re in the kitchen and he starts whispering, which I find annoying because I’m trying to listen for little feet which may be walking in our direction.  We might get caught!  And there it is: high school.  Back then when I was making out in the kitchen I had half my attention on where my mom and dad were and what they were doing.  Were they talking?  If so, where in the house were they?  How many steps would it take for them to get to me and would that be enough time for me to straighten myself out.

I’ve gone full circle.  There is something beautifully insane about being afraid of getting caught by your own children when just yesterday I was afraid of getting caught by my parents.  Is someone always trying to catch me?  Is my attention always going to be divided?  How nice, how unusual it would be during these deeply meaningful, developmental make out sessions, if I could just enjoy and listen to my own internal musings.  How much of lust is ultimately riddled with fear?  It does make me wonder if they are intertwined and related.  And is that ultimately dishonest?  If I’m not paying attention to me or my guy in those moments, am I really there with him?  Can I really enjoy it?

What a bunch of BS.  Oh yeah, the moment can be enjoyed.  Just as long as I can get my clothese back on in 4.5 seconds.

It’s a big adventure

It’s a big adventure

I was laying down with my youngest little boy tonight.

Me:        You use to be so little!

Sam:      One day I’ll be 100 years old!

Me:        Make it 150!

Sam:      And you’ll be dead!

Me:        Maybe I’ll die on a big adventure….

Sam:      Like in the desert.  I don’t want you to die.

Me:        I promise I won’t die until you don’t need me any more.

Sam:      I’ll always need you, so you’ll always be here?

Me:        For as long as you need me!

I started thinking.  And I’ll let you in on a secret:  I think in weird loops so here goes.  I started thinking it’s interesting that children see the end of your life story, not the beginning.  I see the beginning of theirs, but if everything goes the way it’s suppose to, I’ll never know how their story ends.  Thinking about my children dying then made me wonder why I had them in the first place.  Thinking of them dying, maybe in pain, maybe alone…. ugh.

So from there I went to thinking that’s a good reason for me to tell my childless friends why their occasional doubts about their decision (or unintended consequence) to stay childless is really ok:  you don’t ever have to ponder your children dying.

Then I had a mental argument with myself.

Me:        Dying, so what?  The joy that your children will feel will far overwhelm any pain or anguish that comes into their lives.

Me2:     That’s bullshit.  Where in your life experience can you say your joy has surpassed your anguish?

Me:        OK.  That’s a good point.  It does seem like the stress and anguish far  outweigh the joy.  But maybe that’s because anguish happens to you and you have to get off your ass and create joy.  Joy doesn’t just happen.  It takes effort.  Anguish happens.  If you want more joy, if you don’t want to be laying on your death bed thinking the scale tips toward disappointment, then you have to do something about it. You have to create it.

Me2:     You’re a self-righteous bitch.  What you’re suggesting is I laugh more, I make more friends, I seek out moments of happiness and enjoyment, I see the positive side.  Oh good God, that means making an effort.  And I’m tired.  You know that.

Me:        Get off your ass.  Do it now.  I don’t want to linger in the shadows with you.

OK so all of this happened in about two minutes.  Most of it while brushing my teeth watching Sam trying to lay flat under the sheets so I wouldn’t see him.  My God, I remember doing that with my mother.  In Oklahoma.  In the bedroom she grew up in.  The beginning of her life story which I would know nothing about.

Today my almost ex-husband decided to scrap the dissolution we’ve been working two years on.  For a marriage he desperately wanted to end, he can’t seem to let it go.  And that little bit of anguish will continue.

Tomorrow I’m going to a 5 year old birthday party.  I’m going to solidify friendships with these new people in my life.  I’m going to laugh really hard and leave my phone number with at least one other mom to set up a play date.  I really don’t want my life burdened by anguish.  I don’t want to leave that model for my children.

When I die on my big adventure in the desert, I want my kids to know I was laughing.

Hanging on!

Hanging on!

One of the things that has always stood out for me is Jane’s natural motherhood. I have never observed a mother so calm and consistent with her screaming brood, the youngest constantly hanging from her like a chimpanzee in a safe jungle, not skipping a beat in our conversation as he swings from her left arm to her neck and then upside down off her torso. The kid’s got Cirque de Soleil written all over him.

Jane is unflappable, and her wry humor has served her well. I love those boys, and after an evening of running around making sure they are not maiming themselves or each other, I realize that you either have it or you don’t. She’s got it. I’ve got cats.

Sex for the first time again

Sex for the first time again

I’m recently divorced after 16 years of what was probably pretty typical marriage.  Except for those last four years when he moved out of our marital bed because he suddenly needed to watch TV before going to sleep.  Oh, and then he quit wearing his wedding ring because of eczema.  And then there was that last year when he just stopped coming home because of the long days and late nights trying to save his business.

I mention this not because I can’t bitch enough about the ex – I truly believe he did the best he could for a guy that didn’t want to be part of a family.  I mention it because about two months after he finally left, I went on a date.  I’m not one of those women who swore off men.  On the contrary, I’m one of those women who was furious because her ex was standing in the way.  If you don’t want me, move on so I can find someone who does!  So first date – and sue me – I start thinking about sex.

How is this going to work?  I mean I know basic physiology.  I have three children.  But I had this whole deer in the headlights thing about “Oh my God, what if single people today are doing things differently??”  Date Two goes by and Date Three is approaching.  My young single girlfriends tell me this is the critical date.  Date Three is usually the sex date.  Since when?  My very good friend Erin bucks the trend.  She tells me to resist.  Wait at least a month because the honeymoon period will likey be waning and perhaps I’ll see him for what he is:  54 and balding.  Erin, at 26, can’t imagine there is anything sexy about 54 and balding and wants me to reconsider the whole thing.

Well, I’m happy to say I held out til Date Four.  And you know it wasn’t a big deal.  Four glasses of wine later I was feeling very confident.  But you know, it was completely different from the sex and dating of 20 years ago.  I wasn’t concerned about accidental pregnancy since I’m past ovulating.  I wasn’t concerned about my reputation because who the hell cares.  It actually felt odd, laying there in the dark, post coital whispering, NOT worrying about any of those things.  I was liberated.  And then he asked the question:  “How long has it been for you?”  Considering the short time since my husband had left, he was very surprised to hear that had been four years since I’d had sex.  Something I actually had never told anyone.  No one is proud of a sexless marriage.

Then he stole my heart by saying, “Yeah, about the same for me.  I just don’t understand these kids today who can’t get past the third date.”

Dating old guys

Dating old guys

I remember when I got divorced, I did not swear off men.  I swore off that particular man.  Seriously, it took about 48 hours from the time he told me he was leaving for me to decide on a dating website and get on with it.

I had my first date a month later.  It completely freaked me out.  I showed up early, then he called to say he’d be late.  I was sweating in spite of layers of Sure Fresh Scent.  I waited at the bar and confided in the bartender.  She was completely supportive, “You know, the emergency exit door by the restrooms isn’t really locked.  If you need to run, well, you have a way out.  Don’t tell anyone I told you.”  She got a big tip on that Diet Coke tab.

He showed up, taller than I thought, which is good, but also older, much older.  The whole time we were at lunch all I could think of was that he was so old.  And he dyed his hair.  Badly.  My God, we were the same age.  Was he thinking I was old too?  Am I old?  Who goes out looking to date an old man?  Not me.

The conversation was good, I think.  I know we had a zillion things in common.  Even our parents’ professions were the same.  All of that should have left me starstruck about how the forces of the universe had brought us together, but instead all I could think about was seeing him naked.  Visions of gray pubic hair filled my mind.  Or what if he badly died the nether regions as well?  It’s painful to think about even today.

He had a business meeting and excused himself thereby saving me from making a mad dash to the “restroom” and down the  rabbit hole.  We didn’t speak again.  I was a little less anxious at my next date and so relieved that he was fit and hot and had beautiful, albeit thinning, salt and pepper hair.  He was funny and confident.  He was young no matter what his numbers were.

I did not immediately look for the exit.  That would come almost two years later.