The Way Things Are



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Do I smell like Fritos to you?
2006-03-20, 1:28 p.m.

Thank you for the skin advice and commiseration. Itís nice to know Iím not alone. Because how humiliating to be 41 years old and feel like people are staring at my skin? Very, thatís how!

And yes, those were McDonaldís happy meal prizes. The White Witch from Narnia. I got a happy meal and ended up with two White Witches in my meal. It was a very happy, lucky day, but the White WitchÖshe had overstayed her welcome on my desk, and never performed any magic tricks that I could discern, so into the trash she went!

If she shows back up in my office, Iíll know that she is in fact one of Satanís minions, and weíll have a ritualistic execution, much like the one we had for the undead zombie balloons of months ago.

Today, my desktop and various previously cluttered office surfaces are very clean and paper-free, and I can walk around in here without tripping over anything. I would give you pictures, but how boring. Pictures of my clean office? Itís train wrecks you people want, not decluttering successes!

****

And speaking of train wrecks, I have two things I need to confess to my husband. Two very big things that are really none of his business, unless you subscribe to the philosophy that secrets can drive a wedge through a relationship, especially when the secrets are kind of big and take up a lot of space either in oneís brain, or in oneís checkbook.

Secret the First: takes up a lot of space in my brain. Itís this. What you are looking at. DW knows nothing of it, and in fact, says that online journals and blogs are the stupidest thing heís ever heard of. Who would want to put their diary online so people can read it? Well, me.

And it takes up a lot of space in my head, and Iím ďmeetingĒ people left and right, and have even met a person in real life, and I had to tell a tiny little lie about that. The good thing about DW is that he forgets most of what I tell him anyway, so I can sneak little references in and who know? Maybe I already told him about that before, and maybe not. But itís time for me to quit taking advantage of that particularly handy feature of his brain.

So, against some well-intended advice, Iím going to tell him about The Way Things Are. Itís not an ego thing that Iím just dying to share with him. Itís that it has started moving out of my computer and into my real life a bit.

Iím not going to tell him how to find it or where it is, but just tell him itís here. Because I need to not have to create bigger and bigger lies to explain how I know this girl, or how I might meet this other one eventually, if she can fool her family into traveling to Austin rather than Dallas.

Anyway, he reconciles all the credit card statements, and once a year, when my Mastercard shows a mysterious charge for what he thinks is ďDairylandĒ, I just say itís something I bought online. I need to come clean. There is no Dairyland.

Secret the Second: takes up a lot of financial space. Itís my new Ann Taylor account. But I think he already knows about it: I called Ann to check my account balance and find out WHEN she was going to finally mail me a statement. And I found that my account balance only reflected my second trip to the store, not the first. You remember, The Big One with all the pants.

So one of two things happened, and see if you can guess which one is most likely: either they forgot to put my first shopping trip on the account, and Mrs. Ann Taylor herself forgave my charges, or the first statement already came in, DW intercepted it in the mail, opened it up, and paid it without discussing it with me, or confronting me, or asking any questions.

Honestly, I canít figure out which of those is more likely, because I cannot IMAGINE a $300 statement for a new credit card coming in, and DW not having a few choice words about it.

So I need to go ahead and confess that one, even though I think he already knows about it.

In my defense, that statement was to be paid out of my own personal checking account, with all my Christmas and ďgood girlĒ money. Itís not so much the money I spent (and will likely continue to spend) but the new burden on our credit report that I incurred.

So what? I act like Iím being held prisoner here. If he wants me to be happy, heíll want me to wear lots of new pretty clothes and shoes, right? Because Iím shallow, and those are things that make me happy, right? RIGHT.

Whatever works for you, works for you. But in my own particular relationship, these are getting to be a bit unwieldy not to share. I think confession night will be tonight, and Iíll let you know tomorrow how that goes. Please feel free to express your dismay and reasons that this is a bad idea in the comments.

****

Our receptionist came back from her honeymoon cruise, and honest to God, I donít know anybody else who does this, but every time that girl goes on a trip, she brings back a souvenir for every single person in the office. Hereís what she brought me:

I know! Sheís awesome!

Itís a kind of big drink or parfait glass ( Parfait's gotta be the tastiest thing on the whole damn planet), filled with liqueur-filled candy things: I see Kahlua and Malibu (which, good God yíall, if I had the time and energy to be an alcoholic, Malibu might be my alkie-hol of choice), plus thereís a Cozumel keychain.

Itís not like she brought me back a loose stone or anything, but itís the thought that counts, and Iíll tell you people something else. When she went to Hawaii last year, and she brought me back a plastic Hang Ten keychain, I used that thing until it fell apart. So shall be the fate met by the Cozumel keychain. The time she took, plus she toted back at least a dozen of those glasses!, it is all much appreciated.

****

Do you like how I learned how to do that little centered-asterick subject differentiator? Because that way I can merrily skip from subject to subject, and I donít even have to label them. I alert you symbolically, and then I abruptly change course.

****

See?

****

And here I go again.

We had a little thunderstorm activity move through last night. This was the most rain weíve had in probably close to a year, producing 1Ē at our house, and one of those fast-moving, rogue storms knocked out our power at about 2:00 this morning.

BOOM!

The last time the power went out, it went out for no discernible reason. It just went out. And I stressed out, and I called the power company, and I reported it, and I retrieved my cell phone out of my car, and set the alarm, and worked through in my head how I would get myself and LG up and out of the house in the dark with no water. For you see, when you live in the country, and you have a well, and your well runs via electric pump, you lose your water as well as your power.

And that time, I stressed out, I lay there awake, I worried, and I lost about 3-4 hours of sleep over it.

This time? I am happy to report that I didnít give a big fat flying fuck. I rolled over, went back to sleep, woke up about 5:00 when the alarm usually goes off, saw that the power was still off, shrugged (I did! I lay there and shrugged!), rolled over and slept until the sun woke me up at 6:45, which is when we are usually leaving the house.

And did I care? Hell NO!

I got Miss Piper up and let her pee, and fed her, and got Mrs. Beans up and fed and out the door. Then I got Lil Guy up, and asked him if he noticed anything.

My people, it was like Santa had come. It is his dream come true to miss school due to weather. Around here, itís not snow and ice: itís rain. Since the power was out, I could neither fix my lifeblood Ė coffee Ė nor open the fridge to say, let him have a bowl of cereal.

So we left the house about 7:30, stopped at the coffee shop (locally owned! No Starbucks!), got our coffees and baked goods, and sauntered into school about 30 minutes late. He thought it was awesome, and whatís more, itís an excused tardy. Lots of peoplesí power went out, and what are ya going to do? It was the best first day of school after Spring Break the boy could imagine, short of us being actually flooded in and unable to leave the house.

I learned a great lesson today. Nobody dies and nothing tragic or devastating happens if the power goes out, we oversleep, and we get to school and work late.

And for the record, there was enough water in our lines and in the pressure tank to allow me to take a very quick, cursory shower. I found clothes in my closet via flashlight that did not need ironing (and if you recall, I like to push the envelope on what does and doesnít need ironing), and itís all good.

HEREíS AN ABRUPT TOPIC CHANGE

About the NEEDING to take a shower in the morning: do you? I do. My hair is so short that it gets all fucked up; it stands straight up on my head, and honestly, itís like somebody gave me Indian burns all over my head.

My late father, so I hear, used to describe bad morning hair as looking like a cat had been sucking on it. So I wake up each morning looking like a cat has been sucking on my hair.

Also, I smell like Fritos when I wake up. If youíre DW, you find that wildly attractive, but the rest of the world does not want to experience my Morning Frito essence, so a morning shower, even at the risk of draining the water lines, is essential. When I ask him ďDo I smell like Fritos to you?Ē, he always answers ďNo,Ē but I think heís just being polite.

I dunno. I really donít. I have no idea why my body dispels Frito essence while I sleep, but it does. Itís not a matter of feminine hygeine or anything: itís my skin, or maybe my hair. I do eat a lot of Fritos, so maybe thatís a good place to start when weíre looking for something to blame.

Coincidentally, Mrs. Beansí feet smell like Fritos, too. ALL THE TIME. It runs in the family.

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