The Bold…The Beast and The Beautiful

I stood for awhile tonight at my bathroom mirror. I actually stood and peered into my own reflection…looked into my own eyes to see what lies behind the flesh and bone. Someone told me recently that my eyes sometimes talk and I wanted to know what they said. They didn’t talk. Maybe I have to be looking at, or thinking of something before my eyes say anything. I actually twisted my face around to see what would happen. Not many wrinkles. No spots…just a couple of left over bug bites from a trip through the swamps of Chincoteague. Does my skin bounce back? Am I getting old? Should I get a face lift?

Ugh…those of you that really know me know that my beauty regime is minimal. Wash my face, brush my teeth…maybe do my hair…why the hell am I staring at myself in the mirror? Am seriously about to let my hair dred again cause I so do not feel like messing with a brush.

Because a face tells many stories. It’s the beast and the beautiful in all of us.

Colin watched me contorting my face in the mirror.
Him: “Mommy…there are 16 lines on your face!”
Me: “Really? Where?”
Him: “Beside your eyes…they’re funny when you laugh.”

Laugh lines. Only sixteen? I did count and he’s right on of course.

Laugh lines…awesome! From here out…every stress will bring on another laugh line. Every down moment will elicit a humorous outlook…every bad thought will cause an equally hilarious thought to cross my mind. I want 72 laugh lines before I’m forty! We’ve got 5 months.

Tomorrow I’ll stake up my lilies so their beauty will show through the scrub.

Tomorrow I will be beautiful despite what the beast inside me tells me I am.

Tomorrow I’ll kiss someone just for the hell of it.

Tomorrow I might dance some more…kitchen parties rock.

Tomorrow I might imagine the future.

Tomorrow I will laugh like crazy at anything I can find.

The beast won’t find me.

It’s all good.

Even when it’s not.


Cheating Husbands/Crying Wives

I have a few thoughts on this week’s sordid news flash regarding Spitzer’s adulterous relationship with expensive prostitutes. I don’t usually pay much attention to this stuff but this one really gets me. On the Today Show this week, the ex-wife of ex-governor Jim McGreevy (NJ) appeared to talk about how wives feel when their governor husbands do something stupid like have an affair.  NBC ran parallel news clips showing McGreevy’s apology speech and Spitzer’s apology speech. Both men are wearing the same red/white striped tie!!! It must be the “I’m sorry I got caught with my pants down” tie. Both wives are wearing blue suits.  What’s up with that?!

Men, if you are going to do something so amazingly stupid and selfish as hire a high priced escort, here are some rules to follow:

Don’t meet her on Valentine’s eve.
Don’t buy her online.
Don’t (for Pete’s sake) use Western Union wire transfers to pay for this crap.

If you have a few extra thousand dollars left to spend on something, your wife could probably really use a spa weekend or a new tiara!

My husband is extremely clear on what would happen if he was in Spitzer’s shoes. Or rather, what would NOT happen. He apparently told a co-worker yesterday that no way would I stand next to him on a public platform to listen to him apologize to the world for humiliating me unless I had a gun to his back the whole time. He’s absolutely right!

I do not ever expect to deal with a cheating husband. But, if I do, I will be on the first flight to a tropical beach. I will not stand around to be humiliated in public nor will I crawl in a corner and cry.

I will leave. Lay on a beach for several weeks drinking umbrella drinks and watching the waves (and the cabana boys). I will let my stupid cheating husband behind with the kids and all the chores. If I’m ever gone for awhile and come back with a killer tan and a tattoo, you’ll know what happened.

He will be very very sorry he didn’t buy me a tiara instead.

Sweet Childhood

I can’t believe it’s been a month since I wrote anything! Not that I haven’t thought about it.

My two older kids came home from a church function last night soaking wet. A water fight apparently took place outside the doors and both of them ended up in the middle. I haven’t seen such a satisfied, carefree expression on Erin’s face for months. It was as if all her anger dissolved in a water battle; she danced to bed.

Idyllic childhood.  My husband’s childhood is not filled with laughter or craziness, magic or imagination. His parents didn’t tickle him, laugh with him or make tents under tables. He behaved. It’s hard for him to break out of that with his own kids and not get angry when they come home soaking wet from a water battle. I watched a little conflict pass through his thoughts last night before he smiled at them.

My childhood was full of imagination and stories. Warm laps and fun. I remember being dragged around the house in a blanket screaming each time I hit a table leg. I remember being high up on a tree limb, legs wrapped around a rope and just jumping out as far as possible. When the moment was right, letting go and landing in a huge mud puddle. That was joy! I am the opposite of my husband; I love the chaos and drama of wrestling children and dogs barking at them. I love mud and puddles. I really love water battles and sprinkler fights. I don’t behave enough.

When did we decide that laughter gets too loud and giggles too silly? When did we, as parents, feel the need to reign in the fun if it’s bugging us? Why can’t we go barefoot outside if it’s wet or too cold? Who cares if our clothes match when our friends are waiting for us to hurry up and come out!

Right now there are goldfish cracker crumbs in my bed and marbles under my table. There are handprints on the fridge and dirty socks in the kitchen. There’s a little booger stained boy asleep in his bed with a smile on his face cause he had fun eating those crackers in mommy’s bed.

I want to stop worrying about towing the line and start living life again to the fullest. I want my children to feel each and every ounce of the day deep inside their souls. To try something fun even if it’s messy. No one has died from going to bed dirty. Each day they watch us to see what it’s like to be a grown up. I want them to look forward to it!

We only get one chance at each day. Dragging ourselves through it and managing to collapse is no way to live. Scheduling the hell out of our families so we don’t get bored or miss something is stressful and hurried. Having dinner at 6:00 and bedtime at 8:00 every day is just crazy.

Eat pizza in your pajamas, fill the bath tub with bubbles.  Read Dr. Seuss with all the voices. Stay up late if there’s a good show on. Tuck your teenager in for once. Turn up the music really, really loud. (Best if it’s Duran Duran or The Cars).

Get up in the tree and jump!


Netflix is sending me Farenheit 9/11 today in the mail. I may be the last person alive who hasn’t seen it. Andy (my dear hubby) had one simple statement to make when he heard it was coming. “It’ll probably really piss me off.” And it probably will. My peaceful, Mennonite thinking, “war is wrong” attitude lives juxtaposed with his veteran status and patriotic pride as an American. He doesn’t agree with the state of our current war in Iraq nor does he see the killing of innocent people as acceptable. He does, however, agree that war is an option and that America must defend itself. On this point, we may never agree, and we have decided that it’s best not to broach the subject very often. It causes quite a bit of dissention in an otherwise amazingly peaceful marriage.

Andy doesn’t understand that I am not proud of being an American. Living overseas all my life and looking back at my country of birth through the eyes of another nation probably contributed greatly to my overall view of the great USA. I do feel lucky to have been born here and to carry the privileges that brings. But, patriotic I am not. To me it seems there is a lot of anger wrapped up in patriotism.

We as a nation have not conducted ourselves very maturely for a few years now and what’s there to be proud of? We have more than anyone yet can’t be satisfied. We are slaves to fear. We possess the land as though it is ours to rape and wonder where the farmland went. We often declare ourselves a Christian nation and politicize God as though we are the chosen people and the rest of the world can go to hell.

So, when Farenheit 9/11 hits my DVD player, I’ll try to keep my mouth shut. I want to respect my husband’s feelings; I don’t have to agree. I just wonder what it takes to convince someone that other people’s children hurt just as easily as mine.

When Did Sexy Get So Lumpy?

This post proves that I suffer from flight of ideas and that when I die, scientists will likely dissect parts of my brain to see what the heck happened.  I think women might appreciate what I say here a little more than men, but alas, I cannot keep men out of cyberspace.

Last night I told my husband that if he dies I’d have to keep all his t-shirts or I’d have nothing to sleep in. (For more on the intimate conversations I have with him see this post) It went something like this…

ME: “Do you like matching pjs on women? I mean, do you think it’s sexy when someone wears real pyjamas to bed?”

HIM: “I think it’s a little wierd.”

ME: “Why? Some women really want to please their husbands and try to look nice all the time. Does it bother you that I’m not like that? I sort of sleep in whatever is handy.”

HIM: “Are you comfortable?”

ME: “Yes.”

HIM: “Good.”

End of conversation. But all I kept thinking was when did sexy get so lumpy? He obviously doesn’t care what I wear to bed as long as I’m there to keep his toes warm. I think I’m cute most of the time. I mean, my husband is a very lucky guy in my opinion. I don’t spend too much time constructing outfits or wearing push up bras or anything like that, and yet he’s somewhat attracted to me after all these years. I now have lumps and bumps where there used to be flawlessness. I have marks and dimples and spider veins starting.

In the beginning, I was a little hippy chick wearing patchouli and tempting dreadlocks at times. I had those hair wraps with bells on the end (and I still would if it wasn’t for adulthood creeping in). I wore sarongs around the house and boycotted shoes and lingerie as much as possible. I was a teeny weeny size 4 and didn’t care too much about covering my midriff if it was hot outside. It had nothing to do with sex appeal, simple weather related clothing choices. But HE liked it and thought it was sexy and that’s what got this whole thing started. Then I started wearing khakis and sweaters and shoes with heels. I began shopping at Christopher & Banks instead of Salvation Army. My clothing choices got all grown up and middle-aged-suburban-mom-ish.

Except on the inside I’m still me and still forget to comb my hair after a shower. I still would rather go barefoot to the store and wear bells on my ankles. I still crank the tunes in the car with the window down and I still think Jerry Garcia is pretty good.  I wish I’d let that Hindu lady pierce my nose on the beach in the 80s and I am seriously considering a tattoo. I spent a night or two in the Everglades sleeping in a VW bus once and I’d do that again in a heartbeat (except the part about the cop in the morning looking in the window at me!)

I recently had a client pull out a quarter bag, seperate the seeds and stems and roll a big fat joint right in front of me…so he obviously thought I was still cool! Silly man.

I guess maybe my husband has realized that the lumps and bumps are merely signs of perfecting with age. He is somehow able to see past that (even with the lights on) and find the sexy somewhere. That’s a good thing, ’cause he’s pretty much stuck with it! I wish I could do that as well as he does.