Category Archives: daily BS

So here’s a thing I think I kind of understand now.

Like most of you, I’m pretty serious about car seats and their safe use. Putting your child in the car is absolutely the most dangerous thing you do every day, and hopefully the most dangerous thing they encounter in their entire lives, for the sake of my nerves and sanity. It absolutely is dangerous for a child to be in the car. They are much more likely to be injured or killed in your car than anywhere else. Car seats do an incredible amount to mitigate potential damage, but they must be used correctly.

These are facts. You can’t argue with them. Well, you can, but you’d be wrong. These things are true and there’s not anything you can do to make them untrue, even if you find it incredibly stressful to think about the fact that your daily errands are actually the biggest risk to your child, and not, say, letting them walk home from the park two blocks away by themselves. The car is more dangerous and we do it all the time.

The fact that these are inarguable facts is what always ends up making car seat discussions so weird to me. The reaction of some people just never made sense. Because you can’t argue with facts. But you know how it goes – an article goes around Facebook, giving some tips about proper chest clip placement or a new guideline for car seats. And you or someone else shares it, because it’s information we all need. There’s some discussion, and then someone explains why it’s not actually the safe thing to do in their specific situation. Which, fine. That’s fine. We all have to make decisions for our kids like that, things that go against what everyone else does or what someone else might think is the best thing to do. You are allowed to do that. It’s your child, you know best. End of. You should be okay with this, no matter the decisions you make. For most people, I in no way feel that these choices aren’t made from a place of proper concern and care of the child.

However, your (the general your) choice not to follow a specific safety guideline does not invalidate that guideline. Your choice to do something different doesn’t immediately make your version of the rules just as safe as the issued guidelines. It doesn’t. You should feel confident in your choices, because you wouldn’t have made them if you didn’t weigh it out and decide it was the right way to go, but your choices don’t have a place in discussions of actual safety guidelines. You’ve evaluated the information on your own and made a decision based on those facts, your own life, and your own child. That does not mean it’s okay for others to make the same choice, or that others should be encouraged to discard guidelines.

And this is the weird part. In a lot of these discussions, it ends up being an absolute refusal to accept that the issued guidelines are the safest thing to do. Whether you follow them or not, they are the safest. When you choose not to follow them, you are trading a measure of this kind of safety for a measure of whatever works best for your family. And again, that’s fine. It could not be more fine. If you understand the safety guidelines and choose something else, you’re well within your rights and you probably have good reasons. There are people out there who don’t know the proper guidelines, though. Who place the chest clip too low, who turn the seat around way too early, who put their kids in giant bulky coats in the infant bucket. What they’re doing is not safe, because they don’t know the guidelines and haven’t made an informed choice to do these things. They’re just doing it wrong.

So what always surprises me is one, that refusal to acknowledge that whatever you decide to do, there IS a “safest way.” And two, how agitated people who don’t follow the guidelines get over the fact that there ARE guidelines they’re not following. It just keeps going, with justification after justification for not following them, as if they need someone to say, “okay, in your situation, that’s fine, because the guidelines don’t apply to you.” You must acknowledge that my child is as safe as yours. You HAVE to acknowledge it, or you’re a dick. But if you’re not following the guidelines, your child is NOT as safe as mine in a car accident. That’s just a fact. You can’t argue with it, and the other side can’t truthfully acknowledge that your kid is just as safe, because he isn’t. If you’re going to go against posted guidelines, you need to accept the fact that you’ve made that trade off and feel okay with the idea that it works for you, without approval from those who are guidelines-sticklers.

Until a couple of days ago, this phenomenon made no sense to me. It’s TOTALLY FINE to do whatever you want with your own child after availing yourself of the information and making an informed decision. Why are you getting so worked up that other people don’t agree that it’s the absolute best thing to do? It doesn’t matter. Your individual choice to go against whatever is in the article posted has zero effect on anyone else. On top of that, you probably understand that you’re going against the “rules” and know that it’s not a good idea to encourage others to do the same. So just… why so worked up?

BUT THEN. There was this article posted on Reddit. It discusses how children who receive general anesthesia before the age of 4 had “diminished language comprehension, lower IQ and decreased gray matter density in posterior regions of their brain.” And my immediate gut reaction was, “THAT’S NOT TRUE.” I was instantly aggravated and denied the possibility that it could possibly be true. Because Penny had surgery before the age of 4. I thought, “What was I supposed to do? She needed surgery. We did the right thing. It can’t be harmful, because we did the right thing.” And that’s when the whole car seat thing clicked for me.

It’s a fact – children who receive general anesthesia before the age of 4 do present those limitations and whatnot. But I instantly felt like it couldn’t be true, because I would never harm Penny like that. How dare some science article imply that my choice caused damage to my kid? I wouldn’t do that. But it’s true. It’s a fact, and my intentions matter nothing to facts.

That immediate, “I WILL KICK YOU IN THE FACE FOR THESE LIES ABOUT ME ENDANGERING MY OWN CHILD” reaction makes me kind of understand where the Facebook comment arguers are coming from. I’m a good (okay, decent) parent. I always have Penelope’s best interests at heart. To suggest that I don’t – even with facts I can’t argue with – is infuriating and upsetting.

But facts are facts. I did what was best for my kid, and the facts say there could be consequences. It’s upsetting, but I did what I thought was best with the best intentions. I need to be okay with that because it’s reality, just like people who choose different car seat practices need to be okay with the potential consequences of their own choices, provided they make them with plenty of information and the best intentions.

Anyway, that’s all.

pennyicecream

Baffled is the word. We’re going with baffled.

Let me tell you about this thing I’ve planned to post about for a couple years now, but every time I thought, “okay, today is the day I’ll post that,” someone would engage in the behavior I was talking about or a similar behavior, and everyone knows that you can’t say something annoys you without every person who has ever engaged in such a behavior one, assuming it is about him specifically, and two, concluding that you must hate them as a person in total because this one common behavior kind of annoys you. Then you have to go through the whole polite, accepted process of justifying why you’re annoyed and inventing circumstances that allow you to say, “No, it doesn’t annoy me when YOU do it. When YOU do it, it’s fine.” So I needed to achieve some distance from any kind of specific instance so as to fully assure everyone I know it’s not about you, I don’t hate you, and keep doing it, I don’t give a shit, I’m just writing a blog here.

So this is kind of in two parts, because if I don’t put it in two parts, I’ll just go off on a tangent on the real part, and you know how I hate to do that. This is the first part, which is something about me that I guess makes me more sensitive to the second part. Well, sensitive isn’t the right word, it’s not like I get my feeler hurt if it happens, it’s just a thing. But because of my personal experience, I probably note it happening more than other people might make a note of it, but I don’t know that for sure. I’m not you. Anyway. First thing. About me. I’m going to move to a new paragraph for ease of reading, not for dramatic impact.

I don’t really like movies. That might be too harsh. I’m really neutral on movies as a thing. I haven’t seen many compared to the average person, I think. I kind of find movie theaters uncomfortable and then just never really get around to seeing many at home. This isn’t new. I haven’t seen much in recent years other than the Harry Potter movies, and I haven’t seen a lot of stuff that’s considered standard for my generation. I don’t think this is a big thing, really, or unique to me. There are probably tons of people just like me. I do consider myself to be the most average person I know, so normally I’d assume a huge amount of the population is exactly like me. It probably is, but slightly less than the normal giant portion. I’m pretty used to the gasps of shock when things come up, you know, “WHAT? You haven’t SEEN THAT?” I don’t know, I was doing something else that day. Sometimes I remember exactly what I was doing that day, like when I opted to take a practice SAT instead of watching Jurassic Park or when my friend turned on Star Wars and I said, “Let’s do something else.”

It’s not a thing at the TIME, though. It doesn’t become a thing until the time has passed and you’re an adult, and someone is shocked that you didn’t see something that they – or a large number of theys – consider to be a quintessential part of growing up from  years 19XX to now. So, right, there’s fairly often a bit of “HOW have you not SEEN that?” in my life. I don’t know how often it’s in yours. I usually just shrug it off. There’s not really a “how” involved. I just didn’t watch it. It wasn’t required, I didn’t do it. That’s the whole story.

Moving on to part two, the actual thing. I am kind of baffled by – okay, I’m moving away from annoyed. I’m not really annoyed, it’s not the right word. Baffled is closer. I can’t work myself around to the mindset of people who say these kinds of things, because it me, it doesn’t really make sense. It’s baffling, so that’s what we’re going with. So, how often do you hear someone say something like – if the someone is you, that’s fine, I don’t hate you, none of this means I hate you – “I was talking to some high schoolers today and they had no idea who Popular Singer/Band/Actor of my time was!” Or “I overhead some college girls talking today and they had never heard of This Movie. I FEEL SO OLD.” Often followed with something like, “Kids today don’t appreciate the classics” or “It must be unique to this one specific young person because there’s no way huge swaths of people don’t know something that everyone knows.”

I don’t get it. I mean, I get it, but I don’t, when I really think it through. People of a younger generation don’t appreciate key elements that felt like a dear and important part of your growing years. It’s shocking, I guess, to find that something so deeply appreciated by and ingrained in you has not even bounced off the surface of today’s younger people. And I suppose it can make them seem shallow, because you have such a deep appreciation and if they don’t even KNOW who it IS, there’s no way they have such a deep appreciation of things.

But here is what I think: it’s not even remotely unusual that someone who grew up years separated from the cultural experiences of your youth wouldn’t catch a reference to them or even have heard of them before. Why would they? There’s no expected responsibility on young people to take the time to research into the back catalogs of everyone who came before. We didn’t, not most of us, not to any huge extent. I know – WE know who the classic rock gods who came before our popular music were. But so do they. They know the big names, generally. But when they’re thinking of appreciating classic songs and older music, maybe it’s… I don’t know, Green Day.

It’s weird to me to be shocked and appalled at the lack of cultural knowledge of younger people, because it’s assuming that your cultural knowledge and experience is the universal one, which is a natural thing to do. But how deeply aware of college students’ impactful cultural experiences are you, or of teenagers? Do you know all the songs that are going to remind them of their last year of high school, and have you seen all the movies they’re going to be excited to show their own kids some day? Probably a bit, but not the whole rich cultural background they’re going to carry to your own age. It doesn’t really make sense for you to do know all of it as if you’d experienced it, because you haven’t experienced it. Same as they haven’t experienced yours. All of it is available to everyone, but if you don’t feel like taking it in, you’re not going to, and why would you? It’s not yours, really.

It’s not really weird to be shocked at a younger person’s lack of what you consider to be basic knowledge or general experience, because it happens to everyone. But when you really think it through, it doesn’t make sense. There’s no real reason to be amazed that a person hasn’t seen a certain movie or has never heard of your teenage favorite band. They didn’t watch the movie because it wasn’t important to them. They haven’t heard that band because they were, at best, a fetus when the band was popular and fetuses aren’t known for their expansive knowledge of popular culture.

I realize I’m blending two things together here – my own “failure” to take in a lot of the popular media of my own generation and the perceived failure of younger generations to appreciate the popular media of my generation, but I think they kind of go together. There are a lot of weird things we do because they’re things we do, but when you take the time to think them through to the end, they don’t actually make much logical sense. So, that’s all.

This is what Penelope looks like now, if you’re interested.

Penny-043

Penny-188

How have you all been? What’s going on? Anything interesting you want to tell me? I’m here all day.

Don’t call it a comeback.

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’ve never done before?

We PCS’d to another base. Phil’s done it before, obviously, but it was my first time. I’ve moved a lot of times, but always by choice and always to places I wanted to be. This move was entirely different in every single way. Also, I went to New Mexico for the first time. And then I stayed there. I remain here to this very moment.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Looking back, I didn’t make any for 2014 because, as I said in this post last year, I knew 2014 was going to be a shitshow. When I made the post in December of last year, I already knew we were moving to New Mexico. I didn’t tell the Internet because, I don’t know, I don’t tell you guys everything, but I did already know. And I’m glad I didn’t make any resolutions for 2014 because it was a really hard year. A really, really hard year. We got through and that feels like enough.

I don’t plan on making any specific resolutions for 2015. Just the normal new year, clean slate type of stuff. I’ll attempt to be better in nearly every aspect of my life, fail at most or all of them, and then not feel even a little bit bad about it when this question comes around again next year.

You know what, I’ll blog more. How about that.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

I want to refer you to last year’s answer.

People I know gave birth, but no one close enough for me to visit them in the hospital. That’s going to be my new definition of “close” for these surveys going forward. Would I have visited in the hospital? That is someone close to me. None of those people gave birth in 2013. You should also know I would only visit someone in the hospital after she gave birth if explicitly invited. Just so you know. If you give birth and you’re expecting me to just show up because we’re close and you didn’t call me beforehand and say, hey, once the baby arrives, come on over, I won’t show up. Actually, not to put too much on you after you’ve just given birth, but you should probably let me know after, as well. Because maybe you told me beforehand, but then you had the baby, and I decide to stay home anyway because you never know beforehand how you’re going to feel after and I just think, better safe than sorry, and look, your baby isn’t bread and he isn’t going to go moldy, he’s going to be just as fresh when I come and see him later, you know? It’s nothing against you, it’s for you. It’s that I have a hard time imagining why you’d really want me there, probably the same way some people have a hard time imagining why other women might want no one around, you know? So maybe just have your husband send a confirmation text. Actually, I’m going to send a card or something, okay? I’m just not coming. I’m not. The answer to this question is just going to be perpetually no, because I’m never going to see anyone’s fresh baby in the hospital, thus by my own definition, no one close to me will ever give birth. So. That’s… a no.

I’m sticking with that answer, and also sticking with my resolve to not visit you in the hospital if you have a baby. I still feel really good about this answer. One, no one who I would visit in the hospital had a baby and two, I will never visit a new mother in the hospital. I’ve been there. If I was ever there again, I wouldn’t want to see any of you. No offense. Or offense, whatever, I’m not the boss of your feelings and that’s fine.

4. Did anyone close to you die.

Yes.

5. What other countries did you visit?

Stealing last year’s answer, which was stolen from 2012, which was stolen from 2011.

Stealing last year’s answer, which I stole from the year before, as I intend to do for the foreseeable future. And by foreseeable future, I basically mean forever. And look, I don’t feel guilty about it. I’m done feeling guilty or ashamed about the fact that I don’t care to travel. I don’t. Not everyone does. There’s nothing wrong with a person who has no desire to travel. There isn’t.

None. You can also retroactively write that down as my year end wrap up answer for every year since 1981, though it isn’t really fair to count 1981, since I was born in December of that year and didn’t even have my birth certificate issued until early 1982, let alone a passport.

Additionally, I don’t want to travel at all and I don’t feel bad about it. 2014 was a year of not feeling bad about stuff.

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

Control over more aspects of life.

7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched in your memory?

The day we all found out how sick Hugo was. It’s also a day that we coincidentally got some incredibly good news for our family, news that lifted an enormous burden that had followed us for a long while. I had more feelings that day than I’ve had in my life total. 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I was sick almost the entire year. For the majority of the year, I spent 4 out of every 7 days in bed. Things have turned a corner fairly recently, but for most of the year, the fact that everyone stayed alive and fed was pretty major. PJs was a pretty big achievement, as usual, but it doesn’t feel that big because I’m not big on effort. I also got Penelope involved in way more things than I have before, which feels like an achievement because I truly hate being involved in things, yet I press on.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Well, I spent almost the entirety of 2014 in bed, so.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Ah, yes. On a grand scale.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I really love the Vice 3 palette. I also expanded my makeup brush collection, and listen, you are never going to regret upgrading your brushes. You’re just not. I promise.

We bought a new car, which was amazing, because the one we had was paid off and mostly mechanically sound, but slowly driving us insane. Only the front windows worked. Only the passenger door would open from the outside. Most of the door handles were broken on the inside. Little by little it was falling apart around us and while it wasn’t great timing and it really chapped my ass to take on a car payment, it was a good choice. It’s amazing, too, because we were driving a 2004 model car and bought a 2014, so it was like leaping 10 years into the future. BLUETOOTH! RANGE ESTIMATORS! INTACT DOOR HANDLES.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

The Internet (parts of it) has really stepped up for a lot of people this year, and that was great.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

You know what, I’m going to stick with the Internet for my answer for this one, too.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Oh, you guys, my dogs. Brinkley broke his leg last Christmas day. Then he got an aural hematoma that required surgery. Then he got a lump in his eye that required surgery. Then, when he went to get the stitches out of his eye, we found out that the cough he’d had was actually Valley Fever. Shortly after he started medicine for that and just a day or so before we left Arizona, he developed an enormous abscess in his leg, likely from the Valley Fever, that took us literally months to heal. We thought he’d lose his leg, it was so devastating and terrible. Come the fall, he was finally about 95% healed, but the abscess and resulting lameness had taken away ALL the muscle mass in his back legs and his arthritis had gotten terrible, so he went for several different types of injections to help move him along more comfortable. And then? Sheldon got bitten by a brown recluse. That. Was. HORRIFYING. That happened at the end of October and he remains in a cone today. That’s where all our money went. ALL of it. Multiply whatever you’re thinking by 2. Or 4. Or 5. Thousands. Multiple thousands. We’d spend every penny of it again, of course, but for our sake and theirs, I sure hope we don’t have to.

15. What did you get really, really excited about?

Korean television. PJs. A Korean television star on the cake at PJs.

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? I’m super neutral right now.
b) thinner or fatter? I think about the same, though I was notably thinner sometime in between.
c) richer or poorer? Poorer. For sure.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Keeping up here. A lot went on in the last year and I really let it slide past because I was probably always asleep. I slept a lot this year.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Same as last year: yelling at Penny, procrastinating work, laying in bed.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

At home, just the three of us, just like we wanted. We spaced out the preparation this year after last year’s flu bit us in the ass and left us crying in the middle of the night trying to set up Santa stuff. We didn’t get sick this year, and almost every single thing was done ahead of time. In bed by 10pm. Perfect. Penny was incredibly spoiled by generous friends and family.

21. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX?

2013’s answer: this is a stupid question. I’ll delete it next year.

22. What was your favorite TV show?

It’s Okay, That’s Love was OUTSTANDING. It was so good. My Love From Another Star ended this year, too, and it was also just great. There’s a REASON I keep pushing people toward Korean television, and both of those shows were total standouts. I’ve really liked others, too, but if you’re going to watch some – and you SHOULD – try one of those. DM me on Twitter and I’ll send you my phone number and I will support you via text all the way through. You won’t regret it. Well, you won’t regret watching. You might regret giving me your phone number.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate at this time last year?

I don’t think so. Maybe a hate the same people with a more matured hate.

24. What was the best book you read?

I really did not read much in 2014. It’s a shame, really, because every time I pick up a book I realize how much I missed reading this year. But it just wasn’t possible most of the time. What should I read next year? Let me know. I like everything except stuff that’s terrible.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Kpop continues to delight me to no end. I really got into 2NE1 a lot this year, and Taeyang, along with Big Bang, Girl’s Generation, and a lot of other stuff, let’s be honest, you don’t care.

26. What did you want and get by year’s end?

I feel a lot better. It’s not perfect and it’s not great, but there were a lot of times this year when I was pretty sure I would never feel good again and my whole life was ruined, not in the teenage dramatics kind of way, but literally ruined. I just feel a lot better.

27. What did you want and not get by year’s end?

I want to go back to Phoenix really badly. That’s not going to happen any time soon, but that’s not going to stop me from wanting it. If anything, this move has really solidified for both of us how much we liked the Phoenix area and how certain we are that it will be our final destination after Phil retires from the Air Force.

28. What was your favorite film of the year?

It’s time to come clean. I don’t like movies.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

We sent Penelope to a sitter on base the night before my birthday and decided to go out for dinner. After driving around and trying to decide, we had Wendy’s because that’s what I like. Thinking back, we had Wendy’s for my birthday last year. I don’t even care. Bacon me. Then on my actual birthday, I was sick, just like last year. I am now 33.

30. What do you think would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Actually participating in it.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?

I have never in my life had any kind of concept for any aspect of my being, but I will tell you what, I am late to the game but have now fully jumped on the long shirts/leggings combo and 2015 is going to be the year of no zippers. I am not stuffing my c-section pouch into another pair of jeans if I can help it. Nope. Done. Forget it. Elastic exists and we should make use of it.

32. What kept you sane?

I don’t know if any particular thing is responsible for my sanity, but I can tell you that every week, I look forward to watching Running Man, and it makes my week every single time. Nothing makes me laugh like Running Man, and it just really puts me in a good mood.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Kim Jong Kook. He can show me his fancy any time.

34. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX?

2013 answer: I’ll also delete this one next year.

35. Who did you miss?

Phoenix. And I miss everyone from the shows I watch after they’re over. That’s a thing, you know it is. Except maybe it happens to you with books. That’s only because you’re not on the kdrama train yet. Get on board. Text me.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

I don’t.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.

I don’t feel bad about stuff.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up the year.

Nope.

 

Crotch Gate Gate.

Yesterday I mentioned that my post was going to be in three parts, and there ended up being only two parts, for two reasons. The first reason was that I kind of got carried away talking about how I was going to talk about The Wet Brush, which is kind of the problem here – it’s never what I want to talk about that ends up being so many words, but me talking about what I’m going to talk about, and the lead in to what I’m going to talk about, and the things I think about that are kind of related to what I’m going to talk about that add so much bulk on to what could be an average size blog post. What does an average size post weigh in at these days, anyway? What are all the kids doing? 1200 words? 1500? I don’t know. Probably somewhere in there, right?

And then the second reason that I had to abandon part three was that there was a whole other development to the story when Phil came home for lunch. I was initially already planning to write this little bit up, like I usually do, “Hey, listen to this ridiculous thing my husband does,” and wrap it up with something like, “So, at what point does he cross the line from thoughtless knob into total inconsiderate ass captain?” BUT THEN. He came home for lunch. And not only was he wearing the team uniform of the New Mexico Inconsiderate Ass Captains, he proceeded to break one of our number one marriage rules or possibly THE NUMBER ONE rule of our marriage, thus DOUBLE SEALING his place on the losing side of this situation, which is pretty much my favorite kind of thing to have happen.

We have this really big expandable baby gate that we bought when we were still living in Arizona and had this weird half wall situation around the den that we used as an office. We had tried several different gates and sent them back because we needed to find one that was the right combination of wide enough to stretch across the very big opening, but also short enough of go up against the very low wall we were dealing with on one side. We ended up with this Safety 1st Wide Doorways Fabric Gate. It’s 27″ high and expands up to 60″ across and it can be a little tedious to install, since you have to twist these little knob thingers on the top and bottom on one side to pressure mount it to the wall firmly. That worked for us, though, since we were renting and didn’t want to install anything permanently.

We kept it across the opening to the office area for awhile, but eventually moved it to separate the two halves of the split floor plan house, mounting it in the normal-sized doorway between the kitchen and the playroom. This effectively divided the house into a dog side and a Penelope side, with the kitchen, back living room and our bedroom for the dogs and the big playroom, two other bedrooms, and office area for Penelope. As an aside, I will tell you that that is not how this new house is laid out and the dogs are not pleased with the new development. (“Stop. Stop. STOP. HE IS RUNNING AWAY BECAUSE HE DOESN’T LIKE YOU.“) We kept it up almost constantly, because it served the dual purpose of keeping Penelope out of the kitchen and keeping the dogs out of the playroom (Brinkley is a toy-eater). Sometimes, though, we let it down, because we have a toddler, and we have dogs, and toddlers and dogs just go together, most notably when you don’t feel like getting out the vacuum, so you just let the cleaning crew rumble through.

Phil was usually the one to let the gate down, in the evenings, after Penelope had gone to bed (which means after I had also gone to bed, because I go to bed when Penelope goes to bed, no exceptions). In the mornings, I’d wake up and the gate would be back in place. Or it would look like it was back in place. If you’ll recall, I mentioned that the gate is 27″ high – convenient for the space we were looking to fill at the time, and I guess a convenient height for dogs and toddlers. Now, pardon me if I’m about to be crude, but it’s also the exact height of my crotch. I can’t just step comfortably over the gate. It touches. I can’t physically get over the gate without brushing it. With my business. It’s not that I’m very short – I mean, I’m short, but just regular short. You might meet me some day and note that I’m not particularly tall but it’s not shocking. You wouldn’t have to make a mental note to yourself to not stare or anything. I’m just regular not tall. I know that bringing up lack of height on the Internet is dangerous because it can quickly turn into a faux-humility pissing contest over who is the most petite and what you can’t reach on the shelves and whose crotch touches what but I will tell you now I don’t consider height or lack of height to be anything. And that is not a partial sentence, I meant to stop right there. I’m just stating a fact for this story, I am a regular short person. It’s not a thing I wish to bond over.

The problems would arise when I would step over the gate I assumed was placed correctly only to find that, no, in fact, it was not. It was placed BY PHIL. So in a perfect world, gate placed correctly, I’d step one foot over, brush, and place my other foot over. In the real world, gate placed BY PHIL, I’d step one foot over, brush, the act of brushing would DISLODGE the gate that was only half-assedly twisted against the wall, knocking it into the leg that was already over, usually taking me to the ground with it.

The first time? Weird. The second time? Weird. The third time? I’D CAUGHT ON, PHIL.

“Dude. If you take the gate down, you’ve got to put it back on tightly.”
“I do.”
“Uh, no, because it comes down and knocks me over.”
“Okay.”

Fourth time. Fifth time.

“Phil. Seriously. The gate.”
“I do put it back on tightly.”
“I was carrying her lunch. I threw it all over the playroom.”
“Sorry, but I put it back on this time.”
“No, THIS is putting it back on.”
“Okay. Okay.”

Six. Seven. Eight.

“PHIL. COME ON.”
“I get it. Okay. Sorry.”

And then we moved to New Mexico. Before we moved here, we talked a bit about the layout of the new place and where we were going to put the gate, and if we wanted to get a permanently installed gate, since the new place has stairs. Also, Penelope can just force this gate down now, no matter who screws it in, but she knows she’s supposed to leave it up when it’s up. It’s more of a symbolic gate where she’s concerned, but it does still keep the dogs where we want them. For now, we’ve decided to keep it at the bottom of the stairs, in front of the bottom step. We keep the dogs downstairs during the day, to keep Brinkley from running up and down the steps. In addition to his current injury, he’s also almost 10 and does have arthritis. We initially even considered keeping them downstairs entirely and went with that for a few days, but I thought they were lonely and we started letting them sleep upstairs at night pretty quickly. In the morning, Phil takes the dogs and usually Penny, if she’s awake, downstairs to eat breakfast and he replaces the gate. I leave it up for the rest of the day and it comes back down at night when everyone comes up.

CROTCHGATE

Incredibly boring picture of the scene of the crime.

Yesterday, I came downstairs with Penelope and went to step over the gate, as I do – you know, step, brush, step – only to enjoy my first New Mexico ass-over-tea kettling courtesy of the crotch gate. Step, brush, CRASH. It was not even half-assedly pressure twisted to the wall. I don’t even know if it was leaning against the wall. I swear, it was hovering there. Just balanced. Like he spent time and effort achieving some miracle of physics specifically to screw with me, so I’d end up with my face in the carpet. Why? Why, Phil? We haven’t even been here long enough for you to set up any hidden cameras. Why? Why do you do this?

I immediately started composing part three of yesterday’s post in my mind. What I was thinking was something along the lines of what I said about – when does someone cross the line from thoughtless knob to inconsiderate ass captain when it comes to something you’re asking them to do for you? See, I know that Phil really seems to think he tightens the gate enough. But he doesn’t. He doesn’t at all. When I put the gate up, I can safely step over it without it budging at all. It takes effort – I have to get down on my hands and knees to tighten the knob on the bottom or the lower half of the gate will swing freely, which loosens the top half. That’s why it’s not tight when Phil puts it up – he tightens the top knob, but he doesn’t bother with the lower one. Because it’s a pain in the ass. I know it is.

The first couple of times I fell, I brought it up to him nicely. Please tighten the gate properly, because I don’t know if you know this, but my crotch. It touches.

The next few times, I was annoyed, but I still brought it up pretty kindly. Dude. I ride low to the ground. You’ve got to tighten that gate.

The gate was still loose and still causing issues. Is he not getting it? Phil. I am physically being knocked to the ground. My body. My person. It is hitting the floor. Please. The gate.

And that’s where I was at lunchtime yesterday. I was going to pose that question to you yesterday. Has Phil crossed the line yet? Is his refusal to take an extra admittedly pain in the ass step to do something properly for my benefit alone (I assume his business makes no contact) over the line into inconsiderate ass captain territory yet?

BUT THEN.

HE CAME HOME FOR LUNCH.

I was making Penelope a quesadilla and I couldn’t find my piranha pizza cutter, also known as the best pizza cutter I have ever owned (I’ve owned three, which I think is enough). It was nowhere, so I was furious, because Phil has a habit of just putting things wherever, which he promised he wouldn’t do in this new place. I know that if I give a shit about where things go, putting them away should be my job, but still. There’s a line. And that line is put my piranha pizza cutter somewhere where I can find it when I need to cut a quesadilla, especially when I’m already pissed at you. (Side note: It turns out Phil doesn’t know where it is, either, which is a nightmare.)

He came into the kitchen, and I was stomping around, slamming drawers, and immediately started bitching about the pizza cutter. When he said he didn’t know where it was, either, I calmed down a bit, but I was already worked into a good huff, so I wheeled around and said, “THE GATE. I FELL. AGAIN. INTO THE LIVING ROOM. YOU NEED TO TIGHTEN THE GATE. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.”

And that’s when it happened. The biggest crime you can commit in our marriage, the number one rule, the thing we Do Not Do, the ultimate in unfairness: Retaliatory Anger.

“I DO TIGHTEN IT.”
“Obviously not.”
“I TIGHTEN IT PLENTY ENOUGH FOR ME!”
“Plenty enough for you? The fact that I’m still falling over it means there’s obviously a problem with your method.”
“WELL I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT ME TO DO.”
“What do you suggest I do, Phil? GET A VAGINA LIFT?”

At that point I went upstairs and I know it probably looked like I was storming away angrily, but I wasn’t, because I already knew I had double won. I didn’t need to be convinced I was in the right about the gate, because I am. I just am. He’s wrong. On top of that, I know I’m in the right about the gate, I brought it up to him, and he came back at me aggressively and angrily in response. Oh hell no. Not in our marriage. We may be weird and we may keep score and we may be locked in a lifelong battle to the death for superiority, but there is no retaliatory anger allowed. If I get mad at him, or he gets mad at me, if one of us has a legitimate beef with the other one, it is absolutely forbidden to get angry in response. No. Nope. You cannot get mad at me because I am mad at you for something you did. Is that a reaction that people do have? Sure is. That’s a thing that happens. That’s a thing that used to happen a lot in this relationship. That is also a thing We Do Not Do Anymore. So if you’re counting, that’s a Double Win for me.

Before he left, he came back upstairs in a much more docile mood, clearly having the experience to know it’s best to give in quickly and completely and let me beat my win out of you rather than holding on to pride, heading back to work, and letting me simmer on some kind of revenge for the rest of the day.

“Hey.”
“Hello.”
“I will try to tighten the gate from now on.”
“Thank you. You know, it’s not my fault I have a low crotch.”
“I know.”
“And I did approach you very kindly the first four thousand times.”
“I know.”
It’s not like when you used to leave the shower head pointed so it hit me in the face every time I turned it on. That was just annoying. I keep falling down.”
“I know.”
“So it’s understandable that I would come at you aggressively after reminding you so many times and you seemingly not caring enough to make an effort.”
“It really is.”
“I’m not an asshole for that.”
“You’re not.”
“You’re kind of an asshole for not making an effort and letting your wife fall over and over, really.”
“I am.”
“And then, when I finally get angry about it, which you agree is understandable, it’s not really fair of you to get angry back.”
“It’s not.”
“You’re kind of an asshole for that.”
“I am.”
“So you’re kind of a double asshole.”
“I am.”
“And I’m not one at all.”
“No, I am the asshole.”
“Good talk.”

Anyway, it turned out I actually didn’t need you at all yesterday, Internet.

Disclaimer: You will never find a serious marital issue or argument discussed on this website.

I won’t adjust to this and you can count on me for this. These are two different things.

I have three different things I need to inform you about today, three totally different and completely unrelated things. I was thinking that a novel way to tell you about three different and totally unrelated topics would be to write three totally different and unrelated blog posts and then maybe even post them on three totally different days, maybe even three consecutive days, but it turns out that that’s just not the way I wobble. Much like I now literally live in the actual middle of the actual desert, so too does this blog exist as a bunch of nothingness with occasional giant blobs of stuff. I guess in this comparison I am the giant blob? I think in my old age I’ve stopped giving even half a crap about whether or not people like me or not because I don’t have time to waste a thought on it when I’m sitting here thoughtlessly analogizing myself to a giant blob. If you’re out there not liking me, take an early lunch, I’ve got it handled.

First, a small thing. I’m adjusting to living here, but it’s in increments, because when you move, it’s not just that you have to get used to a new place and you get used to your new place in a big chunk as a place and that’s that. No, there’s a whole lot that goes into it. You have to shop in new stores and go to a new church and the traffic patterns are strange and people drive like different kinds of everyone’s a total idiot except for me. The washing machine is on the other side from where it was in the other house and Penny’s got toys in her room in this place and she didn’t in the other so she just does not go to sleep at night for hours at a time and I don’t care, just stay in there, because my bedtime is still 7pm. Nothing is in the place is used to be in and this house is arranged in a way that is completely unfriendly to my style of watchful yet gently neglectful oversight kind of parenting. I’m just saying, you can’t just sit in a new state, look around after a couple of weeks and say, “Well, I’m adjusted.” One thing at a time. One small thing at a time.

And sometimes? You don’t adjust. You don’t adjust to everything. And that can be fine, I guess. Not everything is going to be okay in your new place and maybe you’re going to have to come to terms with that, or not come to terms with that, and live with the fact that you’re not going to come to terms with that, and that you’re going to live with a non-adjusted something for however long, until you can get back to the way things should be. Maybe it’s healthy, once in a while, to live for a bit with something that is just not the way things should be, to experience something a little uncomfortable. That’s how people grow as people, right? You get a little uncomfortable and you really face up to what it’s like to — you know what, I’m just going to tell you, low flow toilets are an abomination and I shouldn’t have to live like this. The whole point of the toilet is to remove the evidence of the crime from the scene. I appreciate what you’re trying to do by going low on flow but you can only go so low. No. No. I object. These things leave me feeling like I’m either the world’s worst housekeeper or some mustache-twirling anti-environment villain with a heap of glowing barrels under a tarp in the backyard, just waiting for my next dead of night trip down to the river for a little stealth pollution.

I hate them. I refuse to adjust. I refuse. Whose idea was it? I mean, honestly. I get it. “I have an idea: less water in toilets!” Okay, good. I see where you’re coming from. But something went wrong along the way, or maybe you franchised and got lazy with vetting your franchisees, low water toilet guy, I don’t know, but walk the line once in a while, because it’s ugly out here.

I don’t know how to break between this and the next completely and totally unrelated idea (again, maybe a day would be good, but no), so here’s a picture of something.

pennytothesplashpad

Surprise, it’s my kid.

This second thing isn’t so much an actual thing, but something I want to establish now so that we can all lean on it for the future and I can call back to this time that I established it. Remember that episode of Friends where Paolo hit on Phoebe and Phoebe needed to tell Rachel about it, so she made her some cookies and used the fact that she made the best cookies to back up the fact that she never lied? That was killer technique right there, but I can’t do that, because it’s already established on this blog that I actually have made up good lies for fun, good lies that are so good that other people have reported back to me that they themselves have told other people the same lie about me. Oh, and also, when I was in college and for a while after, pre-Tobias, I used to tell people that I hated to be naked so much that I had a mitten that I called my shower mitten, and when I showered, I would put it on one hand and stick that hand outside of the shower to keep the mitten dry and use the hand inside the shower to wash one side of my body, and then I would turn around and put the mitten on the other hand and stick that hand outside the curtain and wash the other side of my body. And people would look at me sincerely and say, “Oh, wow, really?” No, idiot. I definitely made that shit up, what is wrong with you. Even if I did hate being naked that much, why wouldn’t I wear a bathing suit? Why wouldn’t I wear a mitten I could get wet?

 Anyway, don’t worry, I’m older now and I stopped doing that to people. If you think that chastising past me for my behavior is a good use of your time, let me know when your DeLorean is ready and we can go together, because I know exactly where and when my Elvis Zippo fell out of my car at the gas station. Besides, I have a kid now, and I can put way less effort into my lying and the lies come premade, and I only have to embellish some details about exactly how Santa gets into the house and why she found our shelf elf Roland Oriol in the bottom of a packed box in the laundry room. Also some family classics about unscrewing her belly button to watch her butt fall off. And I promise you, when her butt doesn’t fall off, I don’t call her an idiot. I just tell her I must not have twisted enough. This time. The point is, as long as I’m continuing to tell lies, even butt-centric ones to toddlers, there’s no way I’m going to convince you I never lie.

But that’s fine! Because I’m not trying to establish myself as a non-liar! I was just using that Friends example because I don’t remember anymore why. I had a reason when I started. No one made a pass at me, there’s just something about me I need you to know, going forward, so that I don’t have to tell you again – we can all just accept that it’s true and you can believe that it’s a thing about me that is A Thing, and you can rely on it as something that won’t let you down, like the fact that Phoebe was telling the truth when she said Paolo made a pass at her, because she backed up the fact that she never lies with the really good cookies. HA, TENUOUS CONNECTION, BUT I THINK YOU CAN SEE HOW I WAS CIRCLING AROUND THERE.

So, this is the thing: I am really very, very serious about saying something is “just as good” as a more expensive version. That is what I want you to know. In the past, I’ve said something inexpensive that I bought was probably just as good as the expensive version when I hadn’t even tried the expensive version, so I don’t know what I possibly could have thought I was saying. Since then, there have been several cases where I’ve had the opportunity to replace my less expensive things with their more costly counterparts to find that in some instances, more money meant more better. Obviously. Sometimes I had the cheaper option as a temporary measure until I could afford what I really wanted, but other times, I really assumed that there wasn’t/couldn’t be a difference and said as much. I’ve adjusted my stance on low cost/high cost versions of the same item over time.

Don’t get me wrong – I still want to pay as little as possible for everything, always. If you follow me on Twitter, you’re probably aware that I will helpfully enable you to do the same as often as I can. It’s just that I am way more hesitant to dub a generic or drugstore product and its name brand or higher end equivalent to be “just as good” as each other without thorough investigation. You know, like actually owning both products, past self.

There are a lot – a lot – of products where I will only use name brand. Like ketchup. Do not even approach me with watery, grainy garbage. No, I won’t try. I won’t give it a chance. I won’t. I don’t care if you think I’m a great big cents-waster, they’re my cents. And there are also a lot of products where I will only buy generic because I just do not give a crap. I’m drawing a definite line here between “just as good” – like how generic ketchup is NOT AT ALL JUST AS GOOD AS HEINZ – and “good enough for my needs.” There are plenty of types of products that have varietals all along the price scale, and my needs are met somewhere near the lower end. More needs could be met with more money, or someone else’s needs may not be met til closer to the top of the ladder, but for whatever reason, I’m happy close to the bottom with that particular product. Like lip gloss for example.  I buy drugstore lip gloss by the armload. I like it. I like it a lot. There is nothing that lip gloss does that is worth more than $8 to me. This is obviously different for everyone. I won’t buy drugstore eyeshadow. I just can’t do it.

AND LET ME TELL YOU A SEMI-COMPLICATING FACTOR. When there’s a product that is kind of pricey – or not even pricey, really, but just, you know, costs more money than another product, and I buy it, and it performs as promised, I get LEGITIMATELY PISSED OFF. Oh, how dare you be worth your cost. Asshole. I don’t know why. I just get mad. I think it’s because I’m ashamed to report to people, a little. “Yeah, I bought the thing that cost the money… but, guys, it shot rockets out its butt.”

EXAMPLE: The Wet Brush. I’m going to steal a picture from the Internet because mine has hair in it.

Thefreakinwetbrush

Image from The Wet Brush

Okay, so this is The Wet Brush, and it’s for your hair when your hair is wet. It looks like all the other brushes that I buy when I eventually lose my brush. It is the same shape. It has the same black bristles with the same plastic knobbly things on the ends. It is the same. It looks the same. Except this brush costs $9 and a “just as good” Conair brush with the same black bristles and the same plastic knobbly things on the ends costs $5. Is that a huge difference? No. It’s not. But when you’re at Target and you’re throwing things in your cart the way that you do at Target, all those little $4 differences and whatsits are what happens to cause that phenomenon known as “WHY CAN I NOT GET OUT OF TARGET FOR LESS THAN $100?”

I don’t know what happened, though, I bought it. I have so much hair. I just have so much hair these days. I can’t wear it up when I sleep because the size of the knob it forms on my head makes sleeping impossible. So I wear it down, but every time I turn over, I have to raise my entire upper body off the bed and negotiate my sheet of hair to my other side first in order not to inadvertently strangle myself. It’s a whole other misery when it’s wet. I took a shower before taking Brinkley to the vet the other day and threw on jeans and a t-shirt while I ran around getting him ready to go before Phil came home to stay with Penny. I was just putting my hair up in a ball of hot mess when he got home and turned around to ask if my shirt was soaked through down the back from where my hair was laying. Of course it was. Super.  “Don’t worry,” he told me. “It’s muggy out there. People will just think it’s sweat.”

Neat.

Before you ask, the idea of cutting it short to alleviate these problems has never once occurred to me because simple solutions to daily frustrations aren’t my style.

ANYway, I got this brush, The Wet Brush, and I’ve had it for a while. I’ve had it for a long while, actually, so long that it just feels like a brush to me. It didn’t even occur to me that I should say anything about it to anyone, because it’s just a brush. It’s just a brush with the same black bristles and the same colored plastic knobbly things on the end and I paid nine stupid dollars for it like some kind of idiot who doesn’t know that you can get a brush and wrestle it through your hair after a shower for only five stupid dollars. Because I do have to wrestle it through my hair. I still have to spray detangler and leave in conditioner into my hair and I still have to tug the brush through and if I wait too long after I get out of the shower, I still have to hold the ends in my fist and brush underneath where my hand is, you know that maneuver? So it’s just a brush and the other one is just as good.

BUT THEN I MISPLACED IT. And I grabbed a regular Conair brush – one of the $5 ones, not a fancy one – off the bathroom counter and I put it to my scalp and IMMEDIATELY yanked my hand back. I hadn’t even drawn it down through my hair yet, I just TOUCHED IT TO MY HEAD, and I pulled it back and looked at it accusingly. WHOA, BUDDY, a bit aggressive there, HM? That thing THUDDED into my head. With force. I don’t know what it was trying to do and what its intentions were, but I tell you, there was no kindness in its approach. Not the same black bristles! Not the same knobblys! Not the same AT ALL. After beating me lightly about the skull, it quickly reminded me of what I’d left behind when I jumped ship for The Wet Brush.

PAINLOTSOFPAIN

 In short, no. NO. Not “just as good.” Not JUST AS GOOD AT ALL.

And listen, you can trust me on that, because I take “just as good” very seriously. I hope we have an understanding on that going forward.

THING THREE!

Actually, thing three is going to have to wait until tomorrow, because it was going to be The Main Thing of the post, which I started to write before lunch, but then Phil came home at lunch at there was a Major Development in the thing, expanding it into an even bigger thing.

In place of Thing Three, here is a minor life update:

Before we moved, I gave you a really long but still actually brief summation on what was going on in our lives, including a really sketchy overview on what is going on with the Air Force and voluntary retirements and nonvoluntary retirements.

Well, just before we left Arizona, we got an update on that situation. The timing wasn’t right just then to share this news, but we found out a couple days before the movers came that Phil’s career field has been closed out for nonvoluntary retirements. He will not be facing the Enlisted Force Retention Board this year.

The whole process will be repeated again next year, which isn’t cool at all, but after that, the plan (ha!) is that it should be finished completely. While it’s still not in our plans for Phil to retire next year, it’s nice to have it off the table for this year and to have another year to make plans in case it does happen next year.

That’s it! Meet you back here tomorrow!

Item in drawers: a tale of husbandly betrayal, vanity progress, and the Anastasia Contour Kit-ish.

Before we got married – actually, before we moved in together – ACTUALLY, before we were even officially dating, I told Phil that I don’t move. I mean, I physically move, like my limbs and stuff, if I have to. I meant that I don’t move my belongings from place to place. I’ll pack boxes and I’ll clean the place I’m leaving behind, but I don’t lift them and I don’t load trucks and I certainly don’t lift furniture out of one door and into another door. I just don’t do it. I don’t. And it’s fine if you want to consider this a glaring character flaw on my part, we all have them, but what’s important is that I informed Phil of this flaw BEFORE WE WERE EVEN ACTUALLY TOGETHER. I laid it out there like, here it is. Your call, dude. I would like it known for the record that he didn’t start up with the puns until I was already in Arizona and had closed my only credit card, so I ask you, who is the actual asshole?

Anyway, knowing that fact, he still chose to pursue a relationship with me, and I moved (he moved my stuff) from Maryland to Arizona, and then we moved (he moved our stuff) from one place in Arizona to another, and then we moved again (he hired some guys for most of it) to another place in Arizona, and then we had to move to New Mexico courtesy of the military. He decided to take advantage of the full benefits of a military move and arranged to have the whole deal where people come in and not only load everything onto a truck, but also pack it all up as well. I wonder why.

The day the packers came, I took Penelope to the indoor park one more time, because there’s not really anything like that around the new place, not nearly as convenient, at least, and of course to keep her out of the hair of the guys packing up all of our possessions. The night before, we’d gone grocery shopping for enough convenience food, snacks, paper plates, and cups for the rest of the week, as well as put all of the clothes, toiletries, medications and whatnot that we’d need in the spare bedroom. Since the packers will pack everything that isn’t nailed down, what you have to do is mark off a room that basically won’t be touched at all and put everything you’re going to need in there and you best not forget anything. We took the mattress off of our spare bed and left that in the room as well, since we decided to get rid of it. We were able to kind of eke out a little extra comfort in this way by sleeping on the mattress for a couple of nights before we arranged for a bulk trash pick up to come and get it, then we had to sleep on the floor.

Pen and I left the house just shortly before the movers were supposed to arrive, but they ended up being hours late, so when her energy for playing started to flag, we had to kill time at the mall. Twist my arm. I stopped by Sephora and did kind of a double take when I saw that they had a whole pile of Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour kits which, at the time, had been selling out as soon as they came available online, so it was a surprise to see so many piled up right in the store. I went back and forth about grabbing one, because I’m pretty fair skinned and there are six colors in the kit, so the chances of being able to use all of them are pretty slim. One of my initial reluctancies (I see you, red squiggle) to pick up the contour kit was that I’d use up two or three colors and be left with three useless ones. Plus, uh, I actually don’t know how to contour well at all. However, there’d been a lot of talk about Anastasia coming out with refills in other colors for the kit, and I actually don’t own as much makeup as I do because I’m particularly talented. It’s because I like playing around with it. When I look at pictures of what I could do with makeup at this time last year or two years ago, there’s a world of difference, and it’s only because I’ve spent the time sitting on the bathroom counter working at it. Plus, I can be honest with myself, I’m kind of a hoarder/collector, and I just wanted to have it. So I grabbed it, and SPEAKING OF, this came up on the Anastasia Instagram two days ago.

ABHCKNC
Click through to ABH Instagram.

So these are all the refills that are going to be available for the contour kit. The six original colors, plus all of these new ones. There’s a lot of information available on the Instagram post, but to sum up: the refills/pans are going to be sold individually for $14 each, but if you buy six, it’s $40 and comes with a palette, so it’s the same cost as the original contour kit. So you can basically put together an entirely custom kit. Some of the shades can be used as correctors like for under eye circles and whatnot, which I think is pretty handy when creating a custom kit because you’ll pretty quickly figure out which couple contour shades and highlight shades you like the best and can pop a couple correctors into the other spots. It also says that these new pans will only be available on the Anastasia site for now. So that’s something.

I bought my Contour Kit while the movers were packing up our stuff, but until now, it’s stayed completely untouched and unopened, because all my stuff was packed, which includes my lighted mirror and my Happiness Hippo and all of my makeup. Don’t worry – when I say all of my makeup was packed, I mean packed by hand, by me, into two enormous boxes and placed into the spare bedroom where it wouldn’t be handled by anyone but me. But still, completely packed and not really usable. And it stayed that way (well, I kind of unloaded it into sinks and a bathtub recently) while I waited for my vanity to be ready for use. I did break into my older stuff, but a lot of recent purchases, swaps, and other acquirements have sat waiting for me to get moving on getting my makeup room slash okay FINE IT’S JUST MY BEDROOM assembled and ready to go. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that last night, the final piece to my desk was finally installed and I’ve moved my stuff out of the bathtub.

mvennui

Unfortunately, I only made it so far before I was stricken with ennui.

Also, I realized that there are still a couple of boxes completely illogically missing due to some weird packing, which include my lighted mirror and my Happiness Hippo and my More Than Just a Pretty Face note that Ulta sent me, all of which can be seen in this picture here, and how am I supposed to do my makeup without any of that stuff? Why did I move everything out of the bathtub? What’s the point of it? What’s the point of anything? Oh, I’m thinking about putting a big mirror on that blank wall there, not a decorative one, but one of those big, blank, flat, bathroom slab style ones, what do you think?

SPEAKING OF ILLOGICAL PACKING, YOU GUYS, OH MY LANDS, LET ME GET BACK TO THE MALL.

So we’re at the mall and I’m wasting as much of Penelope’s time and energy as I can, okay? Look:

LASTMALLING

Blissfully unaware there are no malls where she’s going.

MISSINGBRIBE

Ineffective good behavior bribe number eight of undetermined.

When we got home, the packers still weren’t done, of course, since they’d arrived late. Penny and I went back into the guest room where there was no chance in hell of her taking any kind of nap, and Phil and I switched off sitting with her and sitting in the living room awkwardly supervising the dudes putting everything we own into boxes. Eventually, late in the afternoon, they left for the day. They weren’t done and were going to have to return the next day, Tuesday, which was a huge pain in the ass. The estimate was that the whole thing – packing and loading – would take two days, which was why, as I mentioned yesterday, our dogs were boarded Monday/Tuesday. Instead, they were going to be packing alone on Monday/Tuesday and then loading on Wednesday. Ugh. But with moving and stuff like that, all these kinds of things end up having you over a barrel. What are you even going to do about it?

They cleared out for the day and I walked over to the kitchen counter to grab a granola bar. Granola bar. Granola… bar? HUNGRY. PHIL. WHERE GRANOLA. Well. See. The thing is. You know how he had had to stay behind to supervise the packing while I hauled Penelope around all day to keep her out of the way? He actually wasn’t really watching that closely and they packed all the food. All the food we just bought the day before, the food and the paper plates and cups and such that we were going to live on for the rest of the week. All of it. That we just bought. The night before. Gone. At this point, we’d already been eating out quite a bit, and while it wasn’t exactly gourmet stuff we were talking about, it was FOOD THAT COULD BE PREPARED AND CONSUMED IN OUR HOUSE and NO, I did NOT want to order more pizza, everyone put your shoes on, WE ARE GOING TO THE GROCERY STORE. Mama has a ramen habit.

I was slightly – okay, entirely – mollified when Phil had to hike up his pants through the entire store because under his watchful eye, the movers packed his only belt.

We got home and got Penny settled down in her room on the air mattress for the rest of the evening and I came out into the kitchen for my first time to really catch up with Phil in what seemed like days. We’d known we were moving for a long time and things went really slow for a while as we were kind of jerked around by the process, but then everything went SUPER fast, and we just kind of passed each other back and forth for a bit there, with no real chance to even exchange any information, like “Hey, protect our food.”

He came in from the office area and said, “These guys are really thorough, they even packed the stuff in the drawers.”

“What do you mean.”
“You know, those white and orange cabinets in the office, they packed the stuff in the drawers.”
“Do you mean ALL THE DRAWERS?”
“I don’t know, I guess?”
“PHILLIP GENE, YOU PROMISED.”

Now, here I need to back up and tell you a little bit more about what I told you before. If you don’t want something packed, like things you’re going to need during the move – medication, clothing, phone chargers – you need to put it in a “Do Not Pack” area. The movers never came into our spare bedroom because that was our designated area. I don’t own a lot of underpants, so I also put all my underpants in there. Because, you know. My underpants. Also, I don’t own a lot of underpants. I needed them all.

But on top of that, Phil told me that when they move dressers and stuff, they just wrap the whole thing, wholesale, in plastic. Just the whole thing, drawers and contents and all, and move it just like that. So I took something of mine – something of mine – and I put it in Phil’s sock drawer. You know. His sock drawer. Where there were already some other things any way. Some other things.

I took something of mine.

And I put it in the sock drawer. The sock drawer.

With the other things.

Back to our screaming at Phil program.

HE PROMISED ME.

I went running into the bedroom which was FILLED with packed and sealed boxes.

I flung open the sock drawer.

EMPTY.

I looked at the boxes.

ITEM. IT SAYS ITEM. WHY.

ITEM.

You guys. I took my turn sitting on the couch while a man packed up our bedroom. I sat on the couch and smiled at him whenever he walked by.

I was told there would be plastic wrap.

And? AND? The same guy, the bedroom packing one, was the one who came back alone to finish up the next day.

You know what, though? By the time we got to New Mexico, we’d been through so much other stuff with the car rental saga, and our dog, and the ridiculous unpackers on the other end that it all seemed kind of faded. Maybe it wasn’t so bad. How bad could it be, right? I mean, sock drawer. There were socks. How meticulous are strangers with other people’s stuff, anyway? You just dump a dresser drawer and then move on to the next one. End of the day, getting tired and hungry, want to go home. I mean, he didn’t even have time to add an “s” on to “item in drawers.” Clearly not detail oriented. It’s fine. It’s fine.

wemeetagain

We meet again.

Item hand wrapped in packing paper. That’s all I have to say about that.