One of my goals for the new year was to “spend some time living outside the computer, even though the real world is fast and scary and full of people who wear jeggings.” It seemed a bit loftier than “Not become Lil Wayne” (which I should add, is a resolution I’ve managed to keep for an entire month and a half now) and loads better for my self-esteem.
See, people are all, “bloggers are introverts who have no social skills and hate crowds of people,” which makes me all, “um, not so much.” Because while I may greet you for the first time by humping your leg while eating a hot dog, THAT DOESN’T MEAN I DON’T HAVE SOCIAL SKILLS. In fact, I’d venture to say that it means I EXCEL at social skills. Just ask all the people who have restraining orders against me.
What can I say? I’m a friendly sorta person.
But when I dared to tell myself that I had to be more social, the Universe was all, “bwahahaha, sucker,” and threw me a wicked case of the flu. Two weeks and counting.
(and yes, Pranksters, I’d go to the doctor if I actually had something worth treating)
So when my good friend Dana showed up at my house unexpectedly, I was all, OMG A REAL PERSON IN MAH HOUSE. I ran around frantically to find a hot dog to eat while I humped her leg. It was pretty wicked to have someone over. Especially since I can now make people spend at least ten minutes oohing and aahing over my purple-flavored walls.
We sat and caught up for a couple of hours while Amelia performed tricks in front of her Auntie Dana like a good ickle show-dog. It was nice. I can’t remember the last time I spent any amount of time with someone who didn’t want to talk about work.
(what, me a workaholic?)
(you shut your whore mouth)
She also noticed how clean my house was, which made me all barrel-chested with pride. See, I like a clean house. Problem’s been that my husband works a kajillion hours a week and doesn’t seem to care one way or another whether the house looks like a shot out of a Hoarders episode or not. I’m not entirely convinced he’s not blind.
Plus, the three crotch parasites used to delight in pulling absolutely everything out and leaving it in one ginormous pile for me to break my toes on. I tried to keep up with the mess, but damns, it was hard.
Then a magical thing happened.
My children grew up. They got anal about house-cleaning. Dave started giving a shit about the house. The Guy on the Couch helped me clean.
And most importantly, I have been sticking to my other OTHER New Years Resolution – “one a day.”
I’ve been donating, dumping, and throwing away one thing every single day. It sounds really hard, right? Like, one thing a day for a year is a fuckton of shit to dump. I hate committing to things that take a year (mostly because I’m an impatient sea-hag).
You know what?
It’s been easier than I’d thought. I’ve managed to get rid of more than one thing each day, which means that my house becomes more manageable each and every day.
In the same way that it feels good to hear, “damn, you look like you lost weight” when you’ve been dieting, it felt amazaballs to hear “your house looks the best I’ve seen it,” from someone who knows you well.
(others might have been offended, but not me)
Now if only I could find a home for that stupid monogrammed embosser thing I’d bought (while probably drunk) that I’ll never use.
I’m not a creative person.
I’m not saying that to elicit sympathy or fish for the occasional, “there, there, Aunt Becky, you’re SO creative,” because I know it’s a hot pile of bullshit. I’m not creative.
Take, for example, the time in high school that I took a drawing class as an elective. I sat there, my beret perched neatly atop my head, all, “Imma be an ARTIST,” until I had to actually draw my first picture. A still life of a bowl of grapes looked more like a pile of testicles hovering over a tire than actual fruit. It took a few weeks, but after I realized I had no artistic aptitude, I simply copied the work of someone much more talented sitting next to me – the first and only time I ever cheated in a class.
My desire to be a creative genius, a veritable child prodigy, went back a lot further than that, though.
We always had Lego sets lying around when I was a kid. My brother, the actual creative one in the family and a full ten years my senior, was able to build these amazing creations from a bin of random Lego bits. I figured I could do the same. It couldn’t be THAT hard, right?
One Saturday, as I watched the morning cartoons, I decided to prove to the world – and my family – that my mug belonged squarely on the cover of Time Magazine as the “World’s Most Awesomest Kid” (alternately, “The World’s Best Genius.”) – I wasn’t sure which would be more effective.
I schlepped down to the basement in my footie pajamas, careful to avoid slipping down the stairs, on my quest for the basket of Legos. Tucked away in the corner, right behind the antique butter churn and some ancient copies of the New Yorker, I found it.
I brushed off the dust (my brother had long-since traded Legos for sports cars) and lugged the basket up the stairs. I plopped it in front of the television, marveling at all the ways I could make super awesome stuffs. Like a pirate ship. Or a pony on roller skates.
After, of course, I cleaned the cat pee off the Legos.
I sat there, in front of Jem and the Holographs and started trying to put something together out of the random bits of Lego. Hrms. I couldn’t create a pony – no horse head. Roller skates required wheels, which I didn’t have either. And a pirate ship? Well, not so much.
But I tried.
And after about an hour of blood, sweat, tears and Legos, I looked down at my masterpiece. It was a square box. With one window – no door. Even the house I tried to make looked all janked up. Who the fuck can’t make a house?
Me. I couldn’t.
I sighed deeply. Clearly my “muse” was a lying fucking bitch. Ever since, I’ve eschewed anything Lego-related.
That is, of course, I had children.
My eldest, who has autism, loves Legos. There’s something innately soothing to him about lining up all the wee parts, following directions, and creating something grand. That is, of course, until a piece goes missing. With two smaller siblings and a mess of cats, that’s pretty much all the time. Shit, I STILL can’t find my whore pants, which are, needless to say, much larger than a piece of Lego.
Once a piece is lost, the set is “ruined” and he refuses to play with it.
I’d mostly banished Legos from my house until The Guy On My Couch moved in – there’s too much pressure to make sure the sets are in pristine condition for me to actively buy Legos for my kid.
The Guy On My Couch, he loves Legos. I know, you’re probably all, “so, he’s an overgrown teenager, right?” to which I would reply, “yes, but he also cooks.”
I find his obsession with Legos more endearing than not – one look at my orchid collection and you’d know that he’s not the only one in the house with collecting issues.
He’s been carefully assembling Hogwarts Lego sets and putting the completed pieces in my china cabinet (I will soon have to find a new place to store my china and Cock Soup packets), which has sparked the Lego bug deep within my children. Apparently a love of Legos is created by osmosis. And I get it – the finished kits are pretty fucking cute.
I wouldn’t mind living in Lego Land so much if I hadn’t stepped on approximately 800 Lego pieces in the last week.
I started work at age sixteen (no, not uphill both ways in the snow) in a fancy restaurant. Before I could serve tables, I had to turn 18, so I spent those years as a hostess. I’m telling you – you’ll never learn more about people than you do if you are forced to massage egos – very expensive egos.
It was there, at the now-defunct Mill Race Inn, that I learned about Valentine’s Day.
That’s not to say that I didn’t know about VD Day before working there – I simply didn’t understand the great lengths people went to to create the “perfect night.” I also didn’t understand the ire that was evoked by having a “perfect night” go awry. I don’t know how many people pitched fits when they didn’t get sat at the perfect table, but it had to be in the hundreds. One perfectly normal looking woman actually got down on the floor and began kicking and screaming. In the middle of a crowded restaurant. With no shame.
Valentine’s Day was always a cluster of fuckery.
I personally haven’t had a typically romantic Valentine’s Day regardless of relationship status – one year I ordered us a heart-shaped pizza. Other years, I went and purchased myself something shiny. It never mattered to me much.
Most importantly, it never changed the way I felt about the holiday – I love Valentine’s Day. Pink, puffy, glittery hearts type of love.
When Ben was a baby, my best friends and I found ourselves (rarely) single at the same time on VD-Day. Rather than mope about our doomed relationships, as we could easily have done, we decided that it was high time to start a new tradition: Lesbian Valentine’s Day.
No, no, we didn’t do a Four Girls One Cup kinda thing – that’s for amateurs. Instead, we fed my (now-deceased, overly large and awesomely adorable) cat bacon cheeseburgers. We ate Wendy’s there in my living room, the lot of us together, laughing and talking until late in the evening. They’d interrupted my studying for the evening – something that I rarely allowed to happen – and we had one of the best Valentine’s Days ever.
So what if we weren’t drinking Cristal atop the Hancock building? So what if no one had purchased us baubles and trinkets? So what if we didn’t have a special someone to tell us all the reasons we were worth loving?
We had each other.
We had Lesbian Valentine’s Day.
We also had Big Pink.
Yep, my best friend bought the lot of us Big Pink – the world’s best vibrator.
I will tell you here and now, it was by far, by FAR, the best Valentine’s Day gift I’ve ever gotten. Even better than the heart-shaped pizza and the diamonds.
Although, I’d have been pretty happy with a Shut Your Whore Mouth Shirt (that’s the perfect VD Gift, I’ve seen), had I created any at that time. P.S. I started a Zazzle Store, which I’ve been working on in pieces. That shit is confusing.
What’s your favorite VD-Day memory?