November 29, 2007

It's Not the Strangest Thing I've Ever Done

It was Tuesday afternoon. I finished work early.

"Score!" I thought. "Whatever shall I do with this unexpected free time?"

My mind immediately turned to beads.
Yes. You read that right. I said beads.

A long and winding road with twists and turns that overlap and intersect beyond even the most imaginative of imaginations yet with a very practical purpose, found me standing (for the second time in as many days) in one of the many aisles at Michael's, completely absorbed in the rapture of columns and rows of beads and bead accessories.

The first time, my sister had been with me. That Tuesday afternoon, I was on my own.

Another woman entered my aisle. I looked up when she spoke.

"Do you know much about this stuff?" she queried, brandishing her handfuls of beads and bead accessories.

"Well. No, not too much," I replied, "Just enough to be dangerous." I smiled.

She tripped my gaydar bigtime. I don't know if I tripped hers. I considered the odds of two dykes ending up in the same Michael's bead aisle at 2:30 on a Tuesday afternoon.

Turns out we were both looking at the same thing, contemplating the same question, puzzling over crimp rings and appropriate sizes. WTF? Again with the odds! She set off to consult a saleswoman and shortly returned to share the answer that was not really an answer at all. Crimp rings sizes remained shrouded in mystery for us both.

Left alone again in my aisle, I shopped on. Movement caught my eye and I glanced up. It wasn't the dyke this time. It was my dear friend Tina, Mistress of All Things Crafty.

I think I blushed. I don't know if she noticed. I felt like a little kid caught with my hand in the cookie jar. I have no idea why. The moment passed. We chatted. She headed off to shop for whatever it was she was shopping for that day and I returned to my scrutiny of beads and bead accessories.

On the way home, I stopped at Starbucks for a venti eggnog latte and spent the rest of the afternoon playing with my beads. Crafting.

What the hell has gotten into me, anyway?


November 27, 2007

Youthful Photography

One of our nieces, four-year-old Alice, came to visit over the Thanksgiving holiday. She entertained herself with our digital camera while the adults chatted.

"Excuse me," I heard her softly say, "May I take a picture of your face, please?"

Dudley was happy to oblige.


November 18, 2007

Does Anyone...

.... ever like being told they are acting like their mother?


November 15, 2007

I Turned 40 and Lived to Tell the Tale

People do it every day, right? I don't get why women freak about turning 40; I consider them late to the party I guess. My own "crisis" birthday was when I turned 30.

The year was 1992. My best friend Kerry baked me a cake. It was in the shape of a coffin, the icing gray, the perky sentiment "Happy 30th Birthday Suzanne!" whimsically lettered in black. So very festive! So apropos. The cake inside was bright white, moist and delicious.

As much as turning 30 seemed a death of sorts, turning 40 felt more like coming into my own. What a difference a decade makes.

I had cake that year too, the year I turned 40. It was a surprise. I thought Wendy and I were going out for a romantic dinner. Turns out she had arranged a party at a local restaurant with friends from all corners of our life. A surprise party. Wendy. That Wendy. My shy, quiet, quasi-anti-social girlfriend. I never suspected a thing. Why would I? I loved it even more because she strayed so far out of her comfort zone. For me.

The allure of age 40 sparkled early in my life: "40," I planned, "I want my kid(s) to be grown by the time I'm 40." And so it was The Boy graduated high school and headed off to college when I was 40. By then I knew 18 years did not a grown man make but he was well on his way.

I hadn't thought much about what my own life would look like at 40. Just that the kid(s) would be grown. Thinking back, I marvel at my lack of concern. And at the fortunes that landed me where they did.

I am now halfway through my fourth decade. The slopes of my life have taken on more definition, my vision is clearer. Could be my eyesight is going bad, but some lessons are plain. I've learned the best laid plans can go awry and that can be a good thing. I've learned to trust my heart. I've learned being kind is always worth the effort.

My friend Teresa turns 40 today.
I hope she eats cake.


November 13, 2007

That's the Sound of My Brain Cracking

According to some who know me, I am the ultimate hypocrite. In this case, I can't help but agree as they make a good point.

Here's a story. Well. Sort of a story. My hypocrisy will be highlighted while other emotional investments that may or may not be swirling like mad whirlpools threatening to drown us all will be omitted. Right here it's all about me. Being a hypocrite.

On occasion, The Boy hosts overnight visits with his girlfriend at our home. Wendy and I revel in such events; we truly enjoy having young people around. Young voices, young appetites, young muscles, young spirits. Oh, and young love. Good energy, that.

It's never been up for discussion. It matters not what I may or may not know about their sleeping arrangements when they sleep elsewhere: The Boy and his girl are assigned separate bedrooms. For now it remains that simple.

We have friends, peers with children, young adults rather, friends in their own right, around and about the age of The Boy. Family friends. Friends who have become family. One of the daughters is a lesbian.
**carefully skirt the enormous deep hole where all the gory details that comprise the understory are crouched attempting to remain unnoticed and unaddressed. do not look down as you pass, I beg you.**
On occasion, said lesbian daughter spends the night at our home with her significant other. Here's where my hypocrisy, like cream, rises to the surface: I've got no problem with them sharing a bed under our roof.

To recap:

The Boy + his girlfriend + visit = separate bedrooms
Good friend's daughter + her girlfriend + visit = pillow talk

Is anything ever simple?
Of course not.


November 12, 2007

The Number One...

.... thing I don't want to hear my girlfriend say while she's waxing my eyebrows: "Whoops!"

There will be no pictures.


November 9, 2007

100 Things 2007

I re-read my 100 Things.
Circa 2004, it's grown stale.
Imagine that.

So here ya go.
100 Things 2007
Just in time for 2008.
  1. Children go off to college.
  2. They come back different.
  3. That's a good thing.
  4. Our nest is officially empty.
  5. I survived the transition.
  6. Who knew it would be so hard?
  7. My money still comes from the same people for doing the same jobs.
  8. Eh, it's a living.
  9. Family can die.
  10. Suddenly.
  11. Death really sucks.
  12. I only know from the perspective of the ones left behind.
  13. So far, anyway.
  14. That's humor folks.
  15. Go with it.
  16. We're still working on our house.
  17. The end, believe it or not, is in sight.
  18. I can see for miles and miles.
  19. We've learned a lot.
  20. About a lot of things.
  21. Sometimes we remember it when we need it.
  22. I've often said that being a parent just gets more satisfying as each year passes.
  23. That still holds true.
  24. Being a daughter has become challenging.
  25. I'm still in training.
  26. Who knew?
  27. Watch your back.
  28. You could be next.
  29. We have a five year plan.
  30. It began on January 1, 2007.
  31. It's a good plan.
  32. More on that later.
  33. Maybe.
  34. I now own a hairbrush.
  35. And other hair management tools.
  36. I have bands and bows and clips and ties.
  37. My hair is longer than it has ever been before.
  38. It has become a fashion statement.
  39. I have no idea what it says.
  40. I'm okay with that.
  41. George Bush is still POTUS.
  42. Yeah, I can't believe it either.
  43. Soon, my friends.
  44. But not soon enough.
  45. My son urges me to take calcium.
  46. Sometimes I actually remember to take it.
  47. Not as often as I should.
  48. I like it when he nags me.
  49. I've quit smoking three times since 2004.
  50. I need to do it again.
  51. Yeah, I know. WTF?
  52. I recently turned 45.
  53. A friend told me I was acute.
  54. Then she gave me a lesson on angles.
  55. Good stuff, angles.
  56. Beer is the nectar of the Gods.
  57. Gods with a capital G.
  58. Bless their little Godly hearts.
  59. All of them.
  60. Who sings that song "Harden My Heart"?
  61. Wait. I'll go look it up.
  62. Oh nevermind.
  63. I asked Wendy.
  64. It's Quarterflash.
  65. She knows things like that.
  66. It seems like something to avoid.
  67. That heart hardening stuff.
  68. It's a good song though.
  69. I'd like to learn how to make pupusas from scratch.
  70. Plus the spicy cabbage stuff to accompany.
  71. Plus the salsa.
  72. Gotta have the salsa.
  73. The Boy is now a working actor.
  74. He is the most beautiful person I have ever known.
  75. Warts and all.
  76. Eh, we all have 'em.
  77. May as well give 'em a nod every once in a while.
  78. I have a collection of lolcats.
  79. I may share them with you some day.
  80. Maybe I already have.
  81. Need a smile?
  82. Look at lolcats.
  83. I dare you to resist smiling.
  84. I'm a simple woman.
  85. For that, I am grateful.
  86. Wendy and I still can't agree on what date our anniversary is.
  87. We know we have one.
  88. We just don't know when.
  89. We'll figure it out someday.
  90. Meanwhile, we're in love.
  91. Maybe you knew that.
  92. I drive a boring car.
  93. I'd like to drive a hybrid.
  94. It'll still be a boring car.
  95. But a healthier one.
  96. I just am not that excited by cars.
  97. They are merely a means to an end.
  98. It's football season.
  99. And fire-in-the-fireplace season.
  100. Life is good.

November 7, 2007

One Fine Morning

I woke up cranky. I don't much like being cranky. It's far too much work.

My face assumed a thoughtful yet cranky expression. My brain mulled a mix of Get Happy Behaviors.

The question was posed: "Self, what's the best way to relieve this crankiness?"

My Brain: Let's don our favorite pajamas and get back in bed.
The Rest of Me: Not an option today. Try again.

MB: How about we don our favorite pajamas and get back in bed?
TRoM: Can we please move on!?

MB: More coffee.
TRoM: That's better. A good start.

MB (with a flash of clarity): I've got it! Dress fabulous!
TRoM: Brilliant!

And so the crankiness was banished.

Sometimes it's just that simple.
Caffeine and the right outfit.


November 5, 2007

She Must Love Me

I am joyful. Fall has arrived, bringing with it, among other things, cool temperatures and close-toed shoes.

It began on a Wednesday. Opening my sock drawer, I dug through the neat rows of socks in various colors looking for something in basic black. I'd already worn black socks both Monday and Tuesday. My sock drawer contains a third and a fourth and a fifth pair of black socks, but one has a hole in the left toe, another is just too short, and yet another not what my feet had in mind.

My brow furrowed. I briefly considered, then rejected, alternate colors.

The little angel on my shoulder encouraged me to settle for the pair with the hole in the toe. "Just wear those and keep your shoes on all day," she counseled.

My little angel is ever the practical one.

The little devil on my other shoulder whispered urgently, "Yo Suzanne. There's another whole drawer full of socks in that other dresser!"

I perked. My little devil can be practical too.

My angel gasped. "But Suzanne! Those are Wendy's socks!"

My devil smirked. "Oh come on now. She won't even notice."

I inched closer to the other dresser, intending just to take a quick peek. My angel tsk-tsked.

The drawer slid silently open revealing a wealth of soft, dark socks nestled inside. My hand slid into the mix, my fingers automatically reaching for the blackest pair. I caressed the soft marino wool from which they were crafted.

"Oh my," I sighed. Extracting them from the drawer, I took note of their composition. Knee socks! Divinely soft and not too thick. Blacker than coal. My heart pitter-pattered in response as I rubbed them against my cheek, breathing in their fresh clean scent. Perfect. That pair of socks was exquisite!

My angel tsk-tsked again. "Put those back before you do something you'll regret!"

I ignored her. My decision had been made. I sat on the corner of the bed and pulled on the first sock. (My left foot. I always sock my left foot first.) A shiver went up my spine. That soft marino wool snuggled my skin from the tips of my toes all the way up my calf. I wriggled my toes joyfully before slipping on my shoes.

The devil stuck her tongue out at the angel, who fluttered her wings in dismay. All day long my feet were cozy, there was an extra lightness in my step.

And so it was that, come Sunday, my efficient and adorable Queen of All Things Laundry questioned how so many of her black socks ended up in the basket when she had worn none that week.

Oops. She noticed. How could she help but? You see, I hadn't stopped with one pair. The next day and the next after that my feet had been clad in black socks purloined from my lover's stash.

Sometimes it's good to listen to my devil.
Sure, Wendy noticed.
But she didn't seem to mind.


November 2, 2007

There's a bunch of lunatic lesbians out there who are responsible for a silly grin I can't seem to wipe off my face.

Y'all rock.


November 1, 2007

The Sound of One Pin Dropping?

When a blogger takes an extended break, characteristic or not, do blog readers like to hear about why said extended break occurred when said blogger finally does return? Or would they just prefer to jump back into the routine of regular posts?

More importantly, perhaps, are they thankful when a blogger who took an extended break finally does re-grace them with her presence? Is anyone still out there? (Yes, of course I know. That's a flagrant request to hear that someone missed me. I can be a whore that way. But not a cheap whore. Be kind. Don't forget I bake a mean pan of brownies. I may bake some for you one day.)

It's been a frenzy here in suburbia. A frenzy of family. The Boy came home. Then the in-laws arrived.

Our home. It has been full.
In all the right ways.

Now it's kinda quiet again.
In all the right ways.

(btw, how do you people with resident families ever find time to blog?!)