January 17, 2008

Wardrobe Malfunctions and Other Realizations

Yesterday morning when I got dressed, something didn't feel quite right. I shifted around uncomfortably on the way to work and it wasn't until I was drowning my early morning sorrows in a grande coffee and a cranberry-orange muffin from Starbucks that I realized just what the problem was. Me. Or, more specifically, an over-abundance of me. Turns out that the belt I chose to wear - the belt I've worn for years - was implementing a comprehensive strategy to drive my kidneys out of my body by way of my ears. This was not surprising but I've been living for a while in a state of denial. I've always been the skinny kid. For thirty years, I had a metabolism that allowed me to eat whatever the hell I wanted. I'm thirty-five. The math is obvious - I'm about five years late surrendering to this knowledge.

So yesterday, I acknowledged reality and made an emergency wardrobe stop. I bought a new belt. It's pretty much the best belt ever. The American Idol champion of belts, the triple threat - it fits, my pants stay up and it's not threatening to burst my spleen.

Realization #1. As I was in my retail outlet of choice looking for the aforementioned belt, I heard a voice exclaim, "you better walk dammit because I'm not carrying your ass all over this fucking store." I rounded the corner and was horrified to find that this beast of a woman was addressing her five year old daughter. Realization? You should never judge a book by its cover but you can always judge a person by the way they talk to their kids (certain exceptions apply, of course) and this woman was a quintessential asshat.

Realization #2
Me: You know who my favorite person in the whole world is?
Mia: No.
Me: Do you want to guess?
Mia: I don't know. You tell me.
Me: You! You're my favorite person in the whole wide world.
Mia: I'm not a person. I used to be a person but now I'm a little girl.
Me: My mistake. You know who my favorite little girl in the whole wide world is?
Mia: Me! Mia!
Realization? My daughter is hilarious. And growing up way too fast.

Realization #3
. Over the past several weeks I've done some crazy shit totally uncharacteristic of me. I've driven around for god knows how long with a burned out headlight and brake light. I left the gas cap off when I filled up the other day. I've actually forgotten about a meeting or two despite the fact that my calendar has told me about them repeatedly. And I can't seem to remember simple conversations I have with people on a daily basis. Realization? I'm kinda freaked out about having this second kid.

And you? Whether profound or silly, what have you come to realize recently?

Posted by Chris at January 17, 2008 7:09 AM

Hmm...I've realized that buying myself flowers cheers me up inordinately, but doesn't manage to compensate for I don't even know how long without a decent sleep. At least I'll be prepared in at least one way for parenthood, when the time comes :P

Posted by: Heather at January 17, 2008 7:37 AM

I have realized that, compared to the people I am around day in and day out, I am not very smart.

I need stupider acquaintances.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 17, 2008 8:15 AM

That quintessential asshat probably won't look so much like a quintessential asshat a little further down the parental road. lol Not that it's cool to talk to your kid like that, but I'm just saying!

Posted by: Suz at January 17, 2008 8:24 AM

I'm glad you asked this question because it's been a blog entry in the making for some time. I have realized that although I went to school for writing and love to write and basically did it ALL the time, I haven't done it since I had a kid. And since I haven't been writing, I think I have lost touch with a lot of my characteristics like tenderness and empathy. Weird, right?

Posted by: claire at January 17, 2008 8:32 AM

I've realized that no matter how old your child gets you never stop worrying over them or trying to help them. Ever.

Posted by: daisy at January 17, 2008 8:46 AM

Oh, I hate when I hear people talking like that to their kids. Especially when I then have to explain it to my kids because they overheard it, too.

Posted by: Alissa at January 17, 2008 8:57 AM

Your mia sounds absolutely adorable!

I feel your pain. I just turned 30 last year & I swear it seems like all of sudden my metabolism decided it need to slow way down. ug.

WOW! What a HORRIBLE asshat of a woman! People like that royally piss me off & I don't have children. One day I was in my local grocery store & actually saw a lady use the strap of her purse and beat her child with it. WOW, I so wanted to scream at her, but she was ginormous & I was afraid she would beat me, too. HORRIBLE!

Posted by: Alli at January 17, 2008 8:58 AM

I have realized that I do not need to force anything. The universe is in balance and the good and the truth rise to the top ALWAYS. AKA I can outlast my asshat boss because the founder of our company is on to him.

I have also realized that when I eat fatty foods I get cottage cheese legs. GROSS.

One last one: I need to walk the dog. NOW!

Posted by: Stella at January 17, 2008 9:15 AM

Upon reading the Rolling Stone top 100 songs of 2007, and having it dawn on me that I only knew three and liked only one of the three I knew (Springsteen, BTW), I realized that I'm no longer hip. Furthermore, I realized that I do not care. I recently heard Douglas Coupland postulate that once you hit 25 or so, you have your box of vinyl, and those are pretty much the ones you'll listen to for life. It took me nearly a decade longer than that, but I think I've finally hit it. I'm just going to go live in the world of late 60's British Invasion and punk, 70's pop, motown and disco, 80's big hair, metal and electronica, and 90's grunge and goth... maybe a peppering of emo from the early 2000's. The next generation can take all the rest of this crap they're generating today... I gladly surrender it.

Oh, and get off my lawn.

Posted by: martin at January 17, 2008 9:45 AM

I am always AMAZED listening to how people talk to their kids in stores. And I don't mean the people who are obviously frazzled, have had a long day, and are just worn out. I mean the people like that lady, who obviously talk like that every damn day.

My realization: I am going to have a shitty day today and it hasn't even started yet.

Posted by: Aimee Greeblemonkey at January 17, 2008 9:46 AM

Carrying a gym bag back and forth to work every day (in the car!) does not constitute exercise.

Posted by: Loth at January 17, 2008 9:52 AM

I've come to the crushing realization that no matter how much he claims to be "on the fence", my husband really really does not want any more kids. I should be happy with the two beautiful kids I have now, but I guess I was still happy with the possibility of more. Other crushing realization that comes with that is that having more kids would probably be detrimental to our relationship anyways. He requires too much "me" time, and I can only spread myself so thin.

Posted by: varinia at January 17, 2008 10:13 AM

I have recently realized (or perhaps have just come to fully appreciate the fact) that I am totally freaked out about moving across the country! And about the fact that I may still be paying rent on my apartment here through May 1! AAAAACK.

Ahem. Sorry. Back to you.

Posted by: Dawn at January 17, 2008 10:20 AM

I realized that my life is really pretty good, actually. I have a job that's interesting and that I like, I have two daughters that are funny and smart and empathetic and kind (most of the time), I live in a nice house surrounded by really great neighbours, I have lots of friends on both sides of the computer screen, an extended family that loves me, and control of my destiny.

I know that last part sounds kind of dorky, but I am realizing that the scariness of making all the decisions for the girls and myself is more than balanced out by the satisfaction of doing things for us by myself and not having to run decisions by anyone else.

Posted by: alison at January 17, 2008 10:22 AM

I have come to realize that I am a horrible judge of character. Always have been and....have no idea how to change that.

Posted by: Leilani at January 17, 2008 10:35 AM

I don't like bugs. And I live in Florida. So, I need to move. Or live in a plastic bubble.

Posted by: Sarah R at January 17, 2008 10:39 AM

I was the same way when I was pregnant. *grin*

Posted by: kalisah at January 17, 2008 10:48 AM

I've been a gym-goer/runner for over a decade. I turn 35 on Sunday. Things are starting to not work as well as they used to and I can already see the day when I continue working out like a 25-year old then suddenly pop something or spring a leak.

You should've answered the store asshat with, "OK, I'll walk, you skanky whore, but I'd better get some graham crackers later as a mother-f*cking 'thank you'."

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at January 17, 2008 11:35 AM

That there are so many upcoming events that I'm actually AFRAID to write them down on my calendar. Afraid because I don't want to see just how crazy the next month really looks.

Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen at January 17, 2008 11:37 AM

Dude - yes, some of us still say dude - you know how to do the father thing. I have 3 kids two of whom aren't even mine. One's a 14 year old girl. Trust me, if I can muddle through this, you can too.


Posted by: Edge at January 17, 2008 11:56 AM

I realized that when your world seems to be falling apart its a Big Ol' Blessing to have a husband that thinks you are best person ever and bestest friend who is not shy to tell you to get your head out of your bum.

Posted by: Dee at January 17, 2008 12:46 PM

I have finally come to realize that all of the dozens of times ladies have said to me, "It's not you; it's me..." it actually was me. Go Figure. Cheers!!

Posted by: Matt-Man at January 17, 2008 12:55 PM

I've realised that I need to get anti-wrinkle cream now :( 35 must be a magic turning point.

Posted by: Jenty at January 17, 2008 1:09 PM

It sounds like you have succombed to "pregnancy brain". I have no ability to retain conversations/appts/etc.

Posted by: alfredsmom at January 17, 2008 1:12 PM

I have finally come to realize that no matter how hard you try you can't please some people.

I have to stop beating my head against this brick wall and just go with the flow. I know I am smart and can do things right......and my kids love me no matter what.

(It has been a bad day, week already.)

Posted by: Kali at January 17, 2008 1:59 PM

I have finally come to realize that no matter how hard you try you can't please some people.

I have to stop beating my head against this brick wall and just go with the flow. I know I am smart and can do things right......and my kids love me no matter what.

(It has been a bad day, week already.)

Posted by: Kali at January 17, 2008 1:59 PM

I realized in the last week that if I quit putting shit that is bad for me in my mouth, I feel so much better. My skin is better, I lost some weight and I don't wake up with headaches anymore. I also realized that by doing this I finally fit into my "benchmark" jeans (you know that pair you grew out of but won't throw away?) which is good for my chubby assed ego!

Posted by: SleepyNita at January 17, 2008 2:06 PM

i've come to realise that there's a lot of hours in a day. like, waaaaay more than i ever remember there being before.

also on the newly realised list: sometimes filling all of thouse hours with meaningful action can be quite difficult, but that your bathroom and your kitchen will never be cleaner than they are while unemployed. even behind your stove will be spotless. oh, and your socks will be sorted, folded, and actually put away in pairs.

Posted by: meg at January 17, 2008 2:39 PM

If my stupid ex-almost SIL had a 5 yo daughter, that might have been her you saw at the belt store. She talks that way to her 18 month old... I guess after 6 kids you get tired of them wanting a parent that loves them...

Sorry... that just hit the wrong chord today.

My realization... I have a "Winter Gala" on Saturday, and I don't know if I'll fit in the dress that I bought. Ugh.

Posted by: Karen at January 17, 2008 2:39 PM

Realization? That most people don't really want a complete, honest answer (with diagrams and flowcharts) when they ask "How ya doing'?" as you get on the elevator with them. Those are they days when you tell yourself that if the elevator gets stuck, and you're trapped having to listen to someone's entire medical history, you're going to take your chances with the greased cable.

Posted by: J at January 17, 2008 3:13 PM

I've learned that I can do a lot more on my own than I ever thought I could.

Posted by: Sharri at January 17, 2008 3:56 PM

The baby is almost here. That's why you are so forgetful@!

Posted by: Maribeth at January 17, 2008 4:57 PM

Wow ! What an ingenious concept. Gain weight, buy new clothes. You may have quite the idea here Mr. Cactus.

I've reminded myself that keeping extremely busy is a great way to avoid dealing with reality !

Posted by: Heather at January 17, 2008 6:35 PM

I realized that no one can ruin your day unless you let them, but they'll sure as hell knock themselves out trying.

I also realized that a two year old has no concept of time and sitting on a potty doing absolutely nothing for a half hour in a stall at the grocery store doesn't bother them a bit.

Posted by: hrmommy at January 17, 2008 6:37 PM

PS: That would be the same toddler who yelled insistently "haffa go potty" about 80 kajillion times before arriving at aforementioned location.

Posted by: hrmommy at January 17, 2008 6:38 PM

Realization 1: Yup, so true.

Realization 2: I am glad you're getting in Daddy and Mia time, because soon it will be tougher to have that... :)

Realization 3: This made me laugh and say, "yup, kid on the way!" :D

My realization as of late which I'm pretty sure I already shared is that life happens and there's nothing you can do but hope for the best. I know you can't help freaking out about the major change you know is coming, but take a few deep breaths and accept that it's coming and you can't change that and you don't actually wanna change that, and you'll be fine. :)

Posted by: Poppy at January 17, 2008 7:06 PM


On any given day, I might sound like that asshat with one of my boys (2,4,7). I love them, I am not always like that, but, well... wait until you have three.

I love my boys more than life itself... but, I love my husband that much more - he is my everything. (sounds cheesy, I know, can't help it).

Posted by: K at January 17, 2008 7:18 PM

I have realized that I am a mom of a week and half old boy. This is entirely frightening to me, and I am grasping for dear life at the fact that I am really a mother. Scary dude, plain and simple.

Posted by: Cheryl at January 17, 2008 7:25 PM

I have realized that I don't want to work every weekend for the rest of my life. I love to do hair, but I don't want to give up seeing my family on the weekends. If I don't get the manager position at the new salon I will not continue to slave away where I am now. After realizing this I realized that I want to teach and I am going to use that college degree that my mother thoughtfully and often reminds me that I have.

Posted by: SarahS at January 17, 2008 8:20 PM

I particularly enjoyed your realizations!

I have come to realize that it really doesn't matter what other people think of you or how they perceive situations. If you know the truth and carry with you no guilt - what all of those other asshats think don't really matter.

People who you think you know really well can still turn out to be someone you don't know at all.

Kitchen faucets are really effing expensive.

New jobs are scary as shit and completely thrilling, all at the same time.

You can accomplish just about anything you want. All you need is a plan of action and some willpower.

Posted by: Emily at January 17, 2008 8:31 PM

i've realized i dont want to finish school, but i know i have to.

today i wondered what it would be like to just live with my kids....

you're just scatterbrained because you gots a bay-beee on the way....it'll be okay.

Posted by: kimmyk at January 17, 2008 8:38 PM

That Mia is so freaking adorable. "I used to be a person..." - that's classic.

Posted by: Allison at January 17, 2008 9:59 PM

I have realized that asshats like that are the people who blame everybody but themselves for their kids when they grow up to be totally f'ed up.

I have also realized that it is insanely geeky that I continue to play Guitar Hero nightly, even when my teenage daughter isn't at home. I am way beyond any measure of help. But is sure is a great way relieve stress!

Posted by: Tara at January 17, 2008 10:43 PM

it is really disturbing when parents speak that way to their children. i understand being stressed or annoyed or even angry, but there's never an excuse to use the a-word or the f-bomb.

Posted by: ali at January 18, 2008 12:15 AM

Yeah, you're totally pregnant. Snicker.

I think I realized that my internet friends are exactly as important to me as my real life ones. Sappy, eh?

Posted by: Mr Lady at January 18, 2008 12:33 PM

That even in paradise, there are nut jobs and violence just like anywhere else.

Just got to Hawaii and not 10 minutes into the bus ride, we witnessed the very recent aftermath of a crime that stopped the island traffic for the afternoon. Some dude kidnapped a baby and threw him/her off the overpass to the traffic below.

Aloha indeed.

Posted by: oakmonster at January 18, 2008 1:56 PM

I just realized that repeated deployments do not get any easier. I was operating under the delusion that his leaving would be easier on both me and my daughter this time around. Not so. Way not so. Please keep positive thoughts for our troops, and those who pray, please do so. Thank you.

Posted by: jaycie at January 18, 2008 2:43 PM

That I'm freaked out to have a second kid too and that I'm glad you are doing it first. :-)

Posted by: Jessica at January 18, 2008 4:12 PM

I too, have come to the realization that I am no longer a young and spry (and thin) twenty year old.

I realized that when the button on my pants blew off and pinged my best friend in the nose. Which would have been funny if it was someone else's pants and blubber gut and not my own.

Posted by: Redneck Mommy at January 19, 2008 1:37 PM

Well, Mia is bound to be hilarious, with her set of hilarious parents. :-)

Posted by: NM at January 21, 2008 11:18 PM