Archive for December, 2006

Published by PaintingChef on 29 Dec 2006

The Time Machine.

Eventually, most all of us grow up and leave home. We carve out new little places in our new little worlds and we spread our wings. We learn how to create our own spaces and our new spaces are almost always influenced by the spaces we grew up in, some of us try to copy them while others of us venture as far in the opposite direction as possible.

I was thinking about this while I laying on my old bed in my old room at my parents’ house and looking around I noticed that it was kind of a shrine. That’s right. NOTHING had changed. That’s not true. There used to be a little couch but now the couch in is my dad’s office and has been replaced by a daybed so it just looks like it ate the other couch. Good times.

So as I am still feeling somewhat of a Christmas hangover and have no fully-formed thoughts inside my skull and haven’t even shown you my NEW! LAPTOP!, I’m going to share with you my cavernous bedroom looking almost exactly like it did in about 1998. Why is it that they would choose that period of my life to enshrine? Even I didn’t like me then… And please tell me something else…is it just me or is there something deliciously scandalous about bumping uglies in your parents’ house in your old bedroom? Yes? No? Just me? Okay then…

I present to you…the shrine.

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Published by PaintingChef on 28 Dec 2006

Puzzled.

Every family has their own set of holiday traditions, right? My clan is no exception however sometimes I do think we have an excessive number of them and each with a few too many rules. Passing cookies (don’t ask…I could write a book), stocking stuffers (we all fill each other’s stockings), opening presents (one person at a time and one gift at a time), the advent calendar, and the tradition that I’d been neglectful of due to becoming a human ping-pong ball, the Christmas puzzles. I LOVE the Christmas puzzles.

Patrick and I took a different approach this year, more of a “divide and conquer” than in the past. In our unplanned activity time, he would usually be at HIS parents’ house and I would be at mine. This did mean we spent a lot less time together but as he so eloquently pointed out, “I see his ugly mug all the time, anyway.” But for the first time in 5 years I wasn’t stressed 24/7. I was able to just relax. I could drink more than one glass of wine before having to be somewhere else without feeling the need to pour it into a shot glass. I didn’t fall into bed trying to think of ways to convince Patrick to run away to Bora Bora next year. And? I could once again, work on the Christmas puzzle.

Puzzles were a huge part of my childhood, my family loved puzzles. I remember one time when we were very young, my sister and I woke up ridiculously early one morning and worked every puzzle we could find and made a sign that said “Puzel Tabel” and sat patiently, waiting for our parents to get up and see how hard we’d worked. Looking back, they probably just wanted to have us committed but at the time they hid it quite well.

I’m thinking that maybe we’ve turned a corner, maybe we’ve finally figured out a way to make this whole Christmas thing work for us. At least until we have a kid, then I suppose we’ll be back to square one but with the added advantage of a bargaining chip… Huh. Maybe I should have started this whole “having a kid” thing sooner…

Published by PaintingChef on 27 Dec 2006

Overwhelmed by the holiday spirit…

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But we made it through just fine…I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. Happy New Year!

Published by PaintingChef on 20 Dec 2006

Still learning how to function as one half of a whole.

Have I told you how much Christmas stresses me out? We are talking about a level of anxiety that brings about severe insomnia and a full shut down of my digestive system. I get mean and cranky and I look for trouble in every word that is uttered in my general direction. It ain’t good my friends…

See, here’s the thing. Patrick and I basically grew up together. This would, naturally, place our families in the same area. But we aren’t just talking in the same state. His parents and my parents live FIVE. MINUTES. APART. I know what you’re thinking…I do… you are saying “You whiny nasty bitch! That makes things BETTER! You don’t have to choose which family to spend Christmas with! You can see EVERYONE! More exclamation points and random capitalization!!” And technically? You are kind of totally right. Except for one tiny detail… our Christmas isn’t divided up into days we spend with each family, its divided up by hours. By meals. By minutes. And by the short car trips punctuated by the arguments we can’t have with our families that I strongly believe will define my Christmas memories of, at least, the first five years of our marriage.

I hate it. In the past few years, I have found myself dreading Christmas with the kind of sheer panic I used to reserve for the aftermath of a bonehead, class-A fuck-up at work, breaking up with a boyfriend or the proximity of black olives to my personal space. I usually commence with the hand wringing and schedule anticipation about 2 weeks in advance. And I will start bringing it up in conversation with Patrick a good week before the actual holiday. (Maybe more…) The result of this conversation is that it awakens the latent eternal optimist in Patrick that I was NOT notified of in the fine print of our marriage contract while all I want to do is whail and moan about our how stressful and difficult Christmas is going to be. Also? It makes me ever so slightly psychotic…

The holiday tug of war that exists in a marriage is one of the most painful and detrimental things that the majority of couples must deal with. My only hope is that time must erase it from your memory because our parents are wholly unsympathetic to the stress they put us under. Do they not remember how difficult it was for them to sort it all out? The fights they had as soon as they left wherever they had been for the past two hours that were fueled by the frustrations they could only take out on each other? Did they not silently cry when they were trying to fall asleep because their Christmas, the one that they spent what seemed like a lifetime anticipating as a child, was vanishing before their very eyes only to be replaced by things that were unfamiliar and uncomfortable?

Its so hard to remember that while no, we do NOT marry someone because of their family (usually its more in spite of their family) it is that same family who helped to make them the person we fell in love with. So while I will always be grateful to them for the amazing man they raised, I do have a stressful relationship with my in-laws. Given the choice, I would prefer to spend time with my parents instead of his. But guess what? Chances are good he feels the exact same way about my parents. I don’t enjoy learning how to weave someone else’s lifetime of holiday traditions into my own. It sucks and I’m selfish. But I have to keep reminding myself that he’s not enjoying it anymore than I am and we need to just suck it up. And that in the course of this ridiculous balancing act we will discover our own Christmas. We will take a little from here and a little from there and eventually, we will learn to make it our own. And in 25 years, we will finally get our chance to make someone else’s life hell for a change…

Published by PaintingChef on 18 Dec 2006

If this were a first date I would qualify as a little too fast and loose with the details…

Somewhere between the three trips totaling about 2 hours spent at the post office and the other two hours I spent fighting holiday crowds, a side of me emerged that I thought was long gone. Or at the very least had had her innards crocheted into an afghan by the far more powerful Crazy Psycho Clomid Wife. But no, apparently I was mistaken and after a hibernation of many years, Angry Girl was reborn. I felt the scowl etching itself deeper into my features as every dim-witted, slack-jawed, inbred idiot felt it necessary to park themselves directly in path and spontaneously start their career in mannequin modeling.

So, this said, I am breaking the meme ban. Because first of all, I’m freaking exhausted and secondly? I was tagged by Lianne who I totally dig and would do just about anything she asked. Because I kind of love her. Naturally, she picked the most difficult one of all given the fact that the barrier that is supposed to exist between mind and mouth-slash-fingertips seems to be an area in which I am deficient. But we’ll give it a go so without further ado, I give you…

Six Weird Things You Don’t Know About Me.

1. I detest Tom Hanks. I don’t really know why, no particular reason, but he gives me the heebie-jeebies and I think the last movie I saw him in that I was able to sit through without throwing up a little in my mouth was… actually, I’m totally drawing a blank but it seems like there is one, I’ll have to ask Patrick.

2. I frequently have dreams about other bloggers. Not creepy dreams, just dreams that we’re hanging out, having drinks, whatever. But I think that’s weird. And I don’t think I’ve told you. So that’s the second one.

3. I ALWAYS and WITHOUT FAIL put my right shoe on first. If I accidentally put my left one on first, I have to take it off and start over with the right one. That is psychotic. I need therapy.

4. (Am replacing “A Drunk Girl Kissed Me” story here with something less scandalous but INFINITELY wierder.) I am a little psychotic about bread. I will not eat bread that has been in the freezer. And if you try and pull out previously frozen bread on me? I will KNOW. Every time. I will also only eat about the middle two-thirds of a loaf of bread. When I open a new package of bread, I immediately reach past the end piece and about the next two pieces, get what I need, and then replace the “buffer bread”. This results in two things. First? Patrick kind of wants to kill me a little. And second? There are all these little abandoned mostly empty bags of bread in my cabinet. Did I mention that also it makes Patrick totally crazy?

5. I love going to the mailbox and getting the mail. I get mad at Patrick if he gets the mail before I do. I have no idea why. (Pretty lame when it follows the now-deleted “I Got Kissed By A Girl” story…huh?)

6. (I can’t believe I’m going to tell you this…) My cat likes ear wax. If I’m lying very still, she will crawl up next to me and start licking the inside of my ear. It is VERY weird. I don’t know if its weirder that she likes ear wax or that I know about it. But it did prompt me to but this whole ear wax removal kit because that is one strange way to wake up. I assure you that my ears have never been nasty; I’m kind of fanatical about cleaning them. But let’s not lie; we all have a little ear wax. You cannot scratch the inside of your ear in front of my cat because if she sees it she will try and attack your finger. So ear scratching MUST be followed by hand washing in my house.

I feel so exposed. Far too raw to tag anyone.

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