Monday, June 25, 2012

Sometimes I'm an Idiot.

I must be GORGEOUS by now.
I was just on the phone with my Mom, describing the home-made marinara sauce I had simmering in a crock pot all day, ready to freeze for quick dinners in the future. I had assembled said sauce after a 6am run through Pittsburgh with Brett, had a cup of coffee, and was dicing tomatoes while humming along to Jason Mraz by 7:30am. By 8am the sauce was simmering, I was out doing errands, and came home to shower, test out a new dish washing detergent, and paint my nails. I made a healthy lunch, (lettuce wraps and grapes,) logged on to watch a lecture for my online class, drank a kombucha drink and did some yoga.

I was chatting with my Mom as I unloaded the dishwasher, and I stopped her mid-sentence to curse (not so softly) under my breath.

It went a little something like this:

Me: "ShitFuckDangNabbit." (I add childish curse words to real ones sometimes. I sound like Elmer Fudd. I don't get why I do it, but- moving on...)

Mom: "What?! Are you ok?"

Me: "NO. I am so annoyed! There is still a milky film on our nice glasses, and I  specifically bought a detergent that specifically claims to combat that! Oh, this is just great. These are nice glasses! An investment! What am I supposed to do?!"

Mom: "Um. Maybe not put them in the dishwasher?"

Me: "....Mom..."

Mom: (flustered.) "I don't know! I'm sorry! Your step-dad will know, let me go ask him."

Me: "No, Mom...stop. Don't...I mean, do you hear me? Do you hear what I am complaining about? Dishes. I am 28 years old and I am having a mental breakdown and AN ACTUAL CONVERSATION detergent. DISH. DETERGENT."

Mom: (giggles nervously)

Me: "I need to go. I need to go get a tattoo or something. Call you later."


Now, there is nothing wrong with my day of playing housewife at all. In fact, I got more done today for my body and my family than I ever do. And I do take a certain amount of pride in that. What worried me is that I definitely lost myself in the details of the day- the mundane ones- and I gave them a hefty amount of importance that they didn't really deserve. So what if the dish detergent didn't work? They are glasses. Replaceable. The fact that I spent more time worrying about that than I did...say, practicing guitar, or writing a letter, or doing something for someone else or enjoying my conversation with my Mom...that worries me. I refuse to be someone that doesn't see the big picture. And I didn't today. At all. I selfishly only saw myself and my filmy glassware. How boring.

I'm lucky that I have this entire summer "at home" to finish my class and paint my freakin' nails at will. Brett works a lot, and I recognize how easy I have it right now. Very soon I will join the working class and probably look back on this blog post and want to slap myself. But, part of this blog is committing to the experience, right? And this is kind of what I am experiencing right now. Selfish as it may seem.

I know exactly what is the underlying issue here. I have all of this time, all of this glorious, unwritten time...and I spend a lot of it alone. BOO HOO and all of that jazz, I know. But, sometimes I feel very much adrift in the unknown and (slightly boring, sorry,) waters of Ohio and Pennsylvania, and all of my lovely and colorful buoys are too far to reach. My main buoy (Brett) comes within my grasp from time to time, and I am so lucky for that. But, my friends, my family...they all seem so far away. I try replacing the hole their absence leaves with things like marinara sauce, long episodes of "Lie To Me" and chatty blogs like this. And it doesn't work. And sometimes I let it permeate through what should be a happy and relaxing time.

And then I have a breakdown over a defunct dish detergent.

I can rely on Brett, absolutely- but I cannot lean too heavily on him. That is not fair. I'm a big girl, I need to remember that. And you know what else I need to remember?

My friends and family may be on the other coast, but they are not gone.

My Mom and I chat way more than is acceptable. My sister Ashley sent me a picture of her feet today, infested with bug bites. (She's a charmer.) My friend Katie called me the other day to say she was wearing a "Melissa outfit!" "So, pajama pants and unkempt hair?" I asked her. "No!" she laughed. "A sweater, scarf, glasses, AND my hair is in a bun! My outfit made me think of you!"

(That was kind of a love letter to my soul, actually.)

I've chatted with my amazing girlfriend Corey in Boston, my sweet, sassy girlfriend Davlyn in New Hampshire. Facebook allows me to monitor and stalk every-one else, just like I would do physically anyway. And, when a group of my cousins went to a baseball game the other day in gorgeous San Francisco, they sent me a text that said: "WEATHER IS HERE! WISH YOU WERE BEAUTIFUL!"

So, I'm surrounded by those buoys, even if I can't physically touch them. And, Brett will come home tonight and hopefully tell me HOW AMAZING OF A CHEF I am. And maybe not notice that our glasses are probably ruined.

And we'll eat, and we'll laugh, and I will go for another run tomorrow.

And not take that day for granted.

(Unless I can't find a better dish detergent. I mean, let's be rational here.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Desperate (for exercise) Housewife.

              (She feels schmexy. And she knows it.)

I just tucked Brett into bed to give him a head start on sleep since I still have the "sparkly hips" from the other night. Meaning: I am trying to be a good wife and spare him my tossing, turning, pillow punching, sheet wadding escapades. I can't keep still lately.

I was telling him this as I paced our bedroom floor in his t-shirt and his boxers. (You would think that I don't own actual clothing, but- I'll get to that.) "I'm wired all of the time!" I said, continuing the pacing as he lay on the bed covering his eyes, hoping for sleep. "My mind is going a million miles a minute, and...and..."

"And you need to work out tomorrow. Please. For the love of God." He groaned.

Now, I consider myself a cool, fun-loving wife. But, I could be freakin' Gisele, and you do not mention that I need to work out. However, I have known Brett for a long time, and I know if he ever thought I was truly fat, he would say it. Politely. The man is nothing if not honest, and we've both learned that the hard way. (Bless his courageous heart.)

So I knew in this moment he was just asking me to work out because he was tired of my midnight Olympics in bed. The un-sexy kind.

His honest moment struck a chord with me though, because I have been feeling so very gross and so very...not myself lately. I hate to submit to the whole calculated "this-is-what-you-should-look-like" Cosmopolitan norm. I avoid those magazines (except when traveling. Hey, give me a's kind of essential reading material for cross country trips involving a pack of Twizzlers and a glass of wine, ok?) and I never check my scale. I like to think that if my jeans fit, I feel good, and maintain a healthy, active and balanced life-style...I'm golden.

Except I haven't really been doing that. Like, any of that. Um. For...awhile.

Rewind to me wearing my husband's clothing.

I started the day in my own clothing: a cute pair of jeans and a summery top. I left to go get coffee and reading material, and when I came home told myself that "Oh, the humidity has really made these jeans a second skin. It has nothing to do with the fact I ate fried oysters AND steak AND drank 2 glasses of wine at dinner last night. No, no, no...this impossible humidity!" So I changed into Brett's boxers.

And then his shirt.

And then ate macaroni and cheese for lunch.


Suddenly, the little lies I had been telling myself became more and more insane. I love my wine, but do I need it every night? Um...yes. Ok, no. NO. But...


I love my chocolate, and my cheese and my...well, anything yummy and decadent and delicious. And that is not a problem! I am clearly not a woman that thrives under extreme control. I like to live life and NOT be one of those girls who orders a "skinny margarita," (seriously ladies? Stop that.) at the bar. I did it once and promptly decided it was foolish.

Life is made to be lived, right? We only get one ride on this little food-laden carousel. So, take it easy. Enjoy things in moderation. ACTUALLY WORK OUT AND DON'T COUNT YOUR 1.45 MILE WALK TO WHOLE FOODS TO BUY CAKE AS EXERCISE. (But it kind of is...if you walk fast. And buy wine. Wine is heavy.)


All I am saying is this: there is no "right" size. At all. I won't divulge my weight, but I have friends that weigh less than me, more than me, and everywhere in between- and they rock it. One of the most beautiful women I ever met went to my regular yoga class. (About a year ago. I'm totally slacking.) And she was a bigger woman. But, she was tight. And sexy. And...most importantly...she knew it. I would lay on my mat and just watch her duck and dive and shimmy through the motions of our class. And it was sketchy as hell on my part, but I could not get enough of her.

I think of her when I run. She makes me want to run more. Because, when I do actually run, I come home and strut around in my sports bra and feel like the hottest thing around.

Not so much when I am eating macaroni and cheese in my husband's clothes.

So, I'm just encouraging any lady reading this to do what it is that makes YOU feel sexy. Hiking, biking, pole dancing, running, laying on a yoga mat watching people like a creeper...

Embrace your body. Embrace your femininity. We're so lucky to be women. Don't you think?

I think I'll slip on some clothes that are MINE tonight...and go for that run tomorrow.

And then dance around the living room to Beyonce.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Just Keep Swimming.

  " Hey there, Mr. Grumpy Gills. When life gets you down do you wanna know what you've gotta do?"

The good thing about actually living with your husband is that you get to have actual conversations with him. Like, talking ones. Like the one we had this morning.

I had crawled back into bed after sleeping on the couch all night since I couldn't keep still and didn't want to wake him. In a fun twist, I wasn't sleeping on the couch because we were fighting. (And yes, we totally cater to that silliness. Except, I always sleep on the couch, I never make him do it. Our first fight after moving in together when I took to the couch, he stubbornly sat cross legged on the floor by my head until I relented and joined him back in bed. Now, he's like, "see ya! Here's an extra pillow!") Anyway, I slipped into bed as he was showering and my head was groggy from perhaps too much wine with the ladies the night before and the lingering confusion over where I actually was...since we seem to sleep in a different city every night. I bundled up in bed and sleepily called out to him through the bathroom door: "WE'RE NOT FIGHTING! GOOD-MORNING!"

He came out, toweling off, thoroughly amused.

"I know we're not fighting. But, we could have been. If you kept up the Olympic craziness you were doing while I was trying to sleep."

(Me, still very, very groggy.) "I can't help that my hips are sparkly."

(Brett, snorting. Not groggy at all.) "Your hips are sparkly all right."

"I made you breakfast. I'm a good wife. Pasta and chicken from last night. And I think I stuck a loaf of french bread in the cupboard, because I am a very good wife and you love french bread."

"Melissa? I think you are still sleeping? And I think I'll pass on the chicken and pasta at 6am? And eat at the office?"

(Me, trying to whimper, but ending up in a half snore as I fall asleep again...or continue to sleep.) "But I made you breakfast. Because I am so proud of you.....and you look good in your suit."

"That's really sweet, honey. Ok, you get some rest. I'll see you tonight."

(Dozing.) "You don't like my glasses."


It sounds silly, but I love these random interactions. Maybe they are not the most romantic conversations ever, but they remind me that Brett truly is my best friend, and he can listen to me mumble about french bread and my hipster glasses at 6am and be completely unperturbed. How many men are there out there like that?

Not many.

When I woke up I had a text from him with some lines from the movie "Finding Nemo." I giggled as I read through them, because I knew why he sent them to me. When people are pressed to define their partner based on a fictional character, Brett never says the obvious. I wish he would say Jo from "Little Women," or Elizabeth Bennet from "Pride and Prejudice," (helllllooooo. I so am, and HE IS SO DARCY. OHMYGOD HE IS DARCY HE IS DARCY HE IS DARCY. HE EVEN INSULTED ME WHEN WE FIRST MET. AND WE HATED EACH OTHER FOR A YEAR. OK, I'LL STOP WITH THE ALL CAPS.) But no, when pressed, Brett says I most remind him of Dory.

Yes, the flighty, forgetful, colorful fish from "Finding Nemo."


But, you know what? I'll take it. Just keep swimming and all of that. And isn't that a great message to come away with? Just keep swimming. No matter how rough the water, no matter how confusing the passage, no matter what lies ahead or behind. We can't know what is beyond that watery bend. But...just keep swimming.

So, I leaned back against the pillows, texted him back: "P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney." And started my swim through my day.

But, he really does hate my glasses. Just saying. 

Monday, June 18, 2012


                                                                     My ladies.

About a year ago (almost exactly,) I was hauling boxes up our ridiculously ramped apartment, cursing and sweating and melting in the east coast heat and humidity. As I lugged box by box I was extremely aware of the fact that in a few weeks time I would be boarding a plane to California. By myself. I set Brett up in the Pittsburgh apartment, decorating, buying, painting and sweeping every nook and cranny until it felt perfect. But it wasn't mine. And I knew that.

(The blog entry from that time:

THAT BEING SAID. It was a weird time for me. I fell in love with this apartment, already being in love with my husband, and felt like I was missing out on something. I polished our wedding silver. I febreezed. I had dinner parties here where I whored out our wedding set like a pro.

And then I left.

And a lot of crazy shit happened.

Coming back into this house felt like stepping into a chapter I had forgotten but desperately missed. We came "home" to Pittsburgh late last night, our bags full, the morning early, and our eyes heavy. I stepped inside and literally dropped my bag to smell.

This is what my life here smells like: Cinnamon, 'Fresh Cotton' Febreeze, Pine Sol, a touch of Windex, dryer sheets, and vanilla laced with nutmeg. There is literally no scent on earth to me that feels like home more than this does. In the heart of a gritty city, this bouquet of scent thrills my senses. It is pretty heavenly.

Brett and I got into our bed and simply could not sleep. (But NOT in the way you think.) We talked. We tossed and turned and discussed fears and happiness and the fact that I seem to twirl a lot when I should be still. 5 am came and went. Brett dressed for work. I slept until 11.

The globe kept turning.

In the morning, Brett did what he always did early in our marriage. He tucked me in, kissed me on the forehead, and slipped away quietly. Usually I was never awake for this ritual, but today I was. He didn't know that, of course. I kept my eyes tightly shut and actually felt the moments of our morning. I focused on the pressure of his lips against my slightly sweaty brow, I calculated the pressure of his hands on my shoulders as he reached down to embrace me...I lost myself in the moment.

Because, how many moments do we get?

Today I was talking on a phone as I crossed a street in the city, and did not notice that a car was screaming towards me. (Because I was on my phone. Talking about T.V. I am shamed.) I had to jump put of the way, literally throw myself, and the driver and I just exchanged a look like: HOLY SHIT WHAT THE FUCK. It was actually incredibly scary and made me feel like I CANNOT DIE IN THE MIDDLE OF PITTSBURGH IN A CITY THAT IS SO SAD 'BATMAN' WAS FILMED HERE. It made me think about my life and wonder how I can live it more. And not in the cool way where I throw myself into traffic.

Tonight I made dinner for a few girlfriends and we drank wine, talked about everything from sexual positions to kindergardners to the best thing to add to a spinach salad. I had a moment where I looked at these two woman and felt so happy that a year apart had not stifled anything about our relationship. We still giggled, teased each other, sneaked large pourings of wine when the recipient wasn't looking- and we connected. It didn't matter I had spent a year away- finding myself, losing myself, re-discovering myself. What mattered was that we cooked together, shaved Parmesan into our pasta, poured more red wine, and ended up boogying to J-Lo as the night went on.

Life is never what we expect, is it? Take a few chances. Move. Laugh. Drink wine until midnight. Tell secrets. Tell jokes. Hug. Kiss.


I can't wait for tomorrow.

Who knows what is there for me.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sister, Sister.

            "Dear God....Thank you for my sisters.....and for wine...."

Day 3 in Ohio with the family, day 3 without Brett after our brief reunion, and day 3 was magically the day that depression sort of oozed in and I refused to get out of bed until the promise of coffee and an episode of "Glee" lured me away from my cozy nest.

In truth, I am not a "take-to-my-bed-when-the-world-wrongs-me" kind of person, (and for some reason, my entire family slept in as late as I did, so there.) but I am the kind of person who, when truly depressed begins to pull into myself and away from other people. Which is alarming if you are a social pterodactyl like me. (NOT EVEN A BUTTERFLY. I'M BIGGER AND A BIT MORE OVERWHELMING.) Anyway, my family definitely noticed my subtle mood change this morning, especially when my mom offered to take me out to lunch and I gave her a half hearted, "Oh, no thanks. I'll eat something here." This is a big warning sign. I adore eating out. I never want to just "eat something here." My mom immediately grew alarmed when she found me slapping together a half sandwich as I stared out the window.

It was so not like me.

I guess a few things hit me today, and in total Melissa fashion I let them all pile up so I could tackle the heap of them and not individually like a normal person. 1. Brett works a lot. He will be working even more. I am equally so proud of him and so bummed out at the same time. Maybe because I don't work at all. Right. That needs to change. 2. My sister Kayla is ENGAGED-HOLY-FUCK-WHERE-HAS-THE-TIME-GONE. Even though I am so happy for her, and love her fiance, my heart remembers when she was a BABY and I did stuff like change her diapers and fish bits of weird-junk-she-found-on the-carpet-when-she-started-crawling out of her mouth. And now she has this adult life and I am having a very hard time being an adult and accepting that. (Its also made me spend a lot of time looking at my wrinkles in the mirror, and her comments about my "almost 30-year-old-eggs" haven't exactly been helpful. THANKS KAY.) 3. Being here...being home...for the past few days has made me realize how very much I have missed out on. Yes, I needed to move to California to start my life, and yes, it meant that I had to make sacrifices to reach an end goal. But, stepping in to this life and seeing my family all grown up and angsty and getting married and having kids...OH MY GOD.

I've missed everything.

I combated the weird mood by sneaking out of the house when I thought everyone was preoccupied. I slipped on my swimsuit quietly, cracked open a beer, and tiptoed out onto the deck where the pool waited for me, gorgeously vacant and cool. And, I dove neatly under the water, wiggled up onto a floaty chair, and titled my head back to the sun. Perfect. Alone with my thoughts. Soaking up the sun and able to pick through my thoughts by myself, just me...


Kayla's sweet voice called to me from a window above, her faced pressed anxiously against the screen. "Who is out there with you? Are you alone?"

"Yes," I stammered, "but..."

"Oh no." She cried. "You shouldn't be alone. I'll be right down!"

Two seconds later found Kayla at my side, re-applying my sunblock as she talked about how amazing her fiance was. I decided to commit to the moment, and grudgingly asked her questions. We talked about things I haven't dared talk about with her before. Maybe because I want to keep her a little girl, and with her illness, I definitely want to preserve her and keep her pure, and young and...well...mine.

Once I realized how STUPID AND TWISTED that was, I opened up to her more, I guess in an effort to make up for lost time. I told her my dating horror stories from when I was her age, we talked about sex. (gulp.) We laughed over boy talk, she gave me advice (gulp again.) and...we connected. As adults. (Triple gulp.)

My sacred pool time had been disturbed, yes, but in the best possible way. I suddenly felt lighter and more open to the ever-changing flow of life. After she went inside to rest, my step-brother came out for a chat. And when he went inside my Mom came out. And climbed in the pool. And tipped me over in my raft.

So, I never got my "restful" afternoon. But, I learned a lot about committing to the flow of things. And, when Kayla did her treatments tonight...instead of watching her from afar as I cursed the world and its unfairness, I joined her for some goofy pictures. Like this:

and this:
oh, and THIS:
and then we ate junk food and watched junk t.v. and all normalcy was restored.

I know this blog isn't very funny or light-hearted or really "myself." But, for someone that faces her mortality every single day, my sister really made me realize that maybe bundling myself up in blankets this morning and boo-hooing into a cup of coffee, or trying to sneak away for a private pool-pity-party made me less of an adult and more of well...maybe a douche bag.

And here she is, 18 years old, newly engaged...and maybe...just maybe knows a little bit more about life than I do.

I'm not ashamed to admit it.

And I can't wait to figure the rest out. One interrupted pool party at a time.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Babies shouldn't be allowed near me. With water.

    (but hopefully no buckets were involved.)

I know you have heard this before, but my family is absolutely insane.

In the best...absolute best...possible way.

Only two days into our reunion, Brett had to hit the road for travel, so I naturally decided to stay the week with my family because I am unnaturally afraid of zombies, break-ins and child that order. My family is the perfect clan to disappear into when you are feeling  really unsettled and shaken up. Mainly because they, in normal form, are bat shit crazy.

Brett dropped me off and stayed for a BBQ, and I have to admit my eyes were trained on him for the better part of the afternoon. He was just raised in such a quiet and...normal family, and even after 7 years together I sort of stress out when my mutual worlds collide.  He handled himself expertly well, however. He only raised his eyebrow at me a few times, expressed quick and (to his credit, mild,) shock when I got into a heated, innocent, and VERY VOCAL debate with my mother, and he played with my nephews so hard they basically forgot who I was. Which kind of made me feel like the last kid picked for the team, but whatever. It was an amazing afternoon. I even fed my baby nephew his first bite of goat cheese. Which he promptly threw up. BUT STILL. MEMORIES.

This week enables me to be something more than a wife- something that I was before the aisle walk and the "I Do's" and the arguments over who squeezed the toothpaste in the middle: A sister. An aunt. A daughter.

I have two gorgeous nephews in Ohio, and my sister Ashley, ( their mother,) is the exact opposite of me, and that is NOT A BAD THING AT ALL. Case in point: my entire family was sitting on the deck, eating, drinking, laughing, and swimming, and my mom came up with the GRAND IDEA to give baby Liam (1 and a half years old,) his own bucket to play with. Full of water. I sat there and wrung my hands as I watched him splash around, picturing every single worse case scenario ever and sweating it out before it could even happen. AND THEN IT HAPPENED. One second. One tragic, quick second, and Liam went top heavy into the bucket, face submerged...and his little body couldn't pull himself up.

I was a nanny for so long. I'd even say a decorated nanny. People actually wanted to hire me for their kids, and even competed a little bit. (Sorry. I can't be humble right now, it is proving a point you will soon realize,) SO, the fact my gorgeous nephew suddenly went belly up in a FLIPPEN' BUCKET in front of me, and all I could do was freeze in silent kind of made me feel like less of a person all together. I couldn't move. I screamed, frozen.

And then my sister scooped him up, patted him hard on the back a few times, and all normalcy was restored.

My sister (Ashley) and I fight like cats and dogs, and- (being the older sister,) I naturally know what is best for her, her kids, and everything else in her world- ALL OF THE TIME.  So, seeing her react and be such a kick ass just made me feel like maybe I don't always know all of the answers. Maybe I think I know what is best for me, and for everyone, but...maybe I don't. 


Anyway, all I know is that I have my family for one week...and I don't know anything at all. I know I am a fun aunt...I catch fireflies, I jump in pools fully clothed, I allow sweets on the sly and I know every Disney song. I know my family is flawed, but gorgeous. They live large and loud and full- we fight, cry, rage, love...and there is nothing that can contain or hold us back. My sister has raised 2 boys that cuddle into my bed in the morning, forgive my lack of knowledge on all things Sponge Bob, adore their mother and don't mind when I don't mind when they are drowning.

I'm pretty lucky. And pretty loved. And pretty ok with this new phase of life.

Just no buckets of water. Like, ever.

Friday, June 8, 2012

How to Be a Wife from...0 Miles Away

Part 1.

Here it is. New chapter started, bags unpacked, new and unfamiliar house settled into, and a husband that slept next to me all night. (The novelty! I was getting used to a double bed shared with an actual battered teddy bear. This arrangement feels a little more grown up.) I'm sitting in our new (for the summer) kitchen, battling jet lag and still wearing what I call my "single girl" pajamas. (Flannel. In ridiculous humidity. I have "wife" pajamas around here somewhere, but oh God...flannel.) Last night I tossed and turned into the early hours, overwhelmed and buzzing from all that is now and all that is to come. I'm like that the eve before something big. I run my life through my head like a film in technicolor, wondering where I would have slowed down and where I would have edited heavily. I vibrate with fear, hope, excitement, trepidation, and anticipation. It sounds a bit dramatic and anything but restful, but hey...have you met me?

Traveling here yesterday was sort of a milestone on its own. I use to be terrified of solo traveling. And now, after of year of boarding planes at least twice a month and getting a routine down- I can literally do it in my sleep. Literally. I have. And hallucinating once with a ridiculous fever and an accidental overdose of NyQuil- BUT I GOT WHERE I WAS GOING, ALIVE, AND THAT IS THE POINT. I realized yesterday as I boarded my second plane and smiled warily at the young man sitting next to me clutching a Bible, (because I was clutching a filthy smut book and was trying to figure out how to crack the spine without him noticing I was essentially reading porn on the plane) that this would most likely be one of the last times I travel alone. I ordered a glass of wine at that moment in a sort of toast to the past and a welcome to whatever lay ahead of me in the future. The flight attendant handed it to me with a smile and refused payment.

"Oh no you don't!" she trilled. "The other attendants told me you are finally reuniting with your husband! It must have been so hard for you, him being deployed and all that."


This was when I realized I talk waaaay to much to random people when I travel. I indeed had struck up a conversation with a flight attendant as we waited in line to board. I was clinging to a bag of pottery in my hand and casually told her it was something my husband made in California, and I was bringing it to him after we had been apart for a year. "It's time for us to be together again. It's been a war! It's been hell. I'm ready for it all to be over."

I didn't mean an actual war. 

After I explained it to the confused flight attendant, she was so flustered she just gave me the wine free anyway. Which sort of ruined the whole thing because I felt like a world class douche and Mr. Billy Graham to the right was eyeing me with contempt as I sipped it shame-faced. So, because he already thought I was Jezebel, I cracked open my smut book and read 200 pages.

A nice celebration, I think.


I came home with my husband to a beautiful apartment he filled with things I like. Boxes of Annie's Mac N' Cheese lined the counter, a rose' wine was in the fridge, a pile of Women's Health magazines by the bed, (ironic, no? Wine...macaroni and get it, right?) AAND he actually bought me coffee. Which he hates that I drink. And usually fights me tooth and nail on, and I end up sneaking it like cocaine. But there it was...the future sitting there on the counter...a bag of coffee. (Half decaf, but he's trying.)

So, this morning I woke up in a new bed. I unpacked everything from my suitcases and realized that the only thing I forgot was my bag of make-up. I promptly called Brett at the office.

"So, I left my face in San Francisco." I practically whined into the phone.

"I'm pretty sure I saw your face this morning. On...your face."

"Not funny. I'm serious. I don't even think you should come home. I have NOTHING. Like, not even blush. You can't look. Don't come home."

"We'll replace it, for God sake."


(DISCLAIMER: I actually go without make up quite a bit. But, in true Irish fashion I am pale and freckled and benefit from a little enhancement now and again. I am not a diva by any means, but my first day with my newly home from deployment husband I would like to have lips and maybe eyelashes too.)

We ended up laughing over my "predicament" and made a plan to buy me a new face on the way to dinner tonight. Which isn't half bad for a first day together.

So, new face, new life. And who knows, maybe I'll go for a new shade of lipstick. Shake it up. buy colors and things I have never used before.

Let's see where this goes. I'm up for the ride.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cooking up the new Chapter. Or mixing it up in a shot glass. Whatever.

So, guess what?

I think we are at the end of our journey, kids.

Right now I am sitting in my husbands child-hood room. I'm wrapped up in his native-american-style blankets, looking at the random dead animals mounted to the wall, the only touch of me and his adult life being my wedding dress hanging in the corner. (I really need to preserve that, but I am so not a fan of the wedding dress coffins all of my friends have.) On top of it's my last night in California.

The "experiment" is over.

My friends, once hearing that I would finally reunite with my husband, expressed their well wishes but a few had more poignant things on their mind. "What will happen to the blog?" My reaction was simple: It's over. I was ending it. This was supposed to be a flawed snippet of my bumblings through this weird and chaotic life. In my mind, once I was living with Brett again, all normalcy would be restored. There would be no need for a blog because I am so normal and awesome and so good at life.

And then I remembered.

Um. No. I'm not.

And that is ok, right?

While reminiscing with friends over my journey a lot of interesting tidbits came up. One night this past week, a few of my closest friends and myself sat bundled up by a fire- the Golden Gate bridge twinkling in the background, our scotch glasses full and our laughter plentiful.

"Remember how Brett drove away and Melissa was so sad she accidentally broke a door and was bleeding immediately and slightly drunk 2 hours later?"

"Remember the first dinner Mel made in the apartment? She was trying to copy Brett's fish recipe? But we almost died from food poisoning?"

"Remember the night we tried breaking in to her apartment? Because she left her keys in the fruit basket in her house? With the fruit that she never ate? Because she only eats frozen fruit? And we realized her apartment was really hard to break into? So she felt safe? 9 months after living there?"



Ok. I added that last bit.

The funny thing was, through the night and through the stories I could actually listen to myself grow and change over the giggles and the exaggerated re-countings and the embellishments. I looked into each face of the people I loved- lit by firelight and Dewars, and I felt very lucky that Brett and I had souls in our lives that hovered around us- no matter what. I slept soundly that night, my belly full and warm with the love poured into me. That alone is a memory I can take away from this last year- a memory that will last a lifetime.

But the good-bye's continued.

The most significant good-bye was a good-bye given by a very unlikely person: the owner of my local deli. I go in about once, (ok, 3,) times a week for sandwiches and wine. That's usually it. And rice krispy treats. AND WINE. I went in the other day and he immediately started in on me because he hadn't seen me in two days.

(in a thick Italian accent:) "Mrs.! Where have you been?! We were a-worried you died in a gang war!"

(Me. Not in a thick Italian accent, although after 5 minutes with them I start to mimic their accent because I am obnoxious and cannot help myself.) "I am a-live! I'm moving though. So, who else is going to put your kids through college with the sandwich and wine purchases? HA! Sorry. Not funny. I'm sure your kids can put themselves through college. Ignore me. I'm immensely white."

(them. Flawlessly Italian.) "You crazy, lady."

(me. Flawlessly white.) "Ah. Yep."

a little more banter like this finally revealed that I was moving to Ohio AND I KID YOU NOT the entire deli stopped what they were doing and gasped. LIKE, STOPPED MOVING. And the guy behind me in line shuffled his feet, looked down, and murmured, "Well, shit lady. Sucks to be you."


The thing is? No. It doesn't suck to be me. Is Ohio the mecca of artistic and cultural and foodie delights? Maybe not, but they do have drive through liquor stores. AND YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE THEY HAVE?

My family.

So, I guess this experiment paid off in a way. Yes, long nights of scotch and conversation and craziness are welcome, but they do not define me. You know what defines me? I'm a wife. I am a sister, an Aunt...I am a daughter and mother to my fat goldfish...I want long nights of reading books to my nephews, dancing in the living-room with my mother and my siblings. I want to finally sit down to dinner with my husband, listen to my brother talk about art...even when he has smoked pot, and love on him. I want to help plan my baby sister's wedding, and hold her in my arms because she has been fighting Cystic Fibrosis her whole life and every milestone is a significant and glorious one.

And I want to tip toe in to the rooms of the ones I love...and kiss them on their salty, summer-kissed foreheads...and thank God I was allowed to be in their lives.

So, this experiment has paid off, don't you think?

I'm ending this chapter...but starting a new one.

Stay tuned.

WIFE EXPERIMENT 2.0...Because, honestly. We are never, ever done with this experiment called life.