There is a movement afoot
to only keep the things in life that bring you joy
Items that bring a happy rush
a smile in fashionable form
I’m a hoarder
Not of things
though my husband might disagree
I am a hoarder of feelings
Of little hurts and insults
I keep them tucked away safe and secure
so that I may pull them out on a rainy day
And look them over
Marking each scar, reliving each wound
Taking note of those that bled
Picking at them until they hemorrhage again
I am a saver
I keep the painful memories running on a loop
so that I may watch them at any time
Remembering each tear
each strangled cry
The volume muted as the emotions
rip across the screen
I store those little barbs
letting them fester
Keeping the thorns close
pressed beneath the skin
Letting the ache feed my angst
Giving the throb a place to call home
I am a collector
Of insignificant insults
to my self and to my soul
Wrapping my suffering about my shoulders
Tucking the hatred in tight
so that no warmth will touch my reason
Batting the friendly gestures of peace aside with my righteousness
I am a hoarder, a collector, a saver of sorrow
No one understands my treasures
or wants to see what I’ve squirreled about me
At least not more than once
They are only interested in their own museums
Their own collections
Their own galleries of darkness
I am a hoarder.
But I am not alone.
When your dog was stupid enough to hit the patch of ice on the front steps at full speed and gash a large chunk of her leg and requires staples and drugs and a cone, don’t be fooled by those big puppy dog eyes and forgo the cone of shame. She will wait until you leave the room to take her big sloppy tongue and lick that sucker gooey. Then, when you get that cone on her, leave a note for Husband to keep the cone on or else, know he will fall for the eyes and the whimpering “Why are you doing this to me? I thought you loved me?” and cave like the softy he is. This means you are the evil one who forces the cone of shame and other atrocities onto the poor undeserving dog forever. You will have to counter that dishonor by smearing her pills in peanut butter knowing that your fingers will smell forever of nuts and the sticky stuff will be all over the cone, dog and furniture.
When you’re assisting a two-and-a-half-year-old in a public bathroom and you’ve gotten him out of his shoe and one leg of his undies and sweatpants and onto the toilet, don’t crouch down in front of him while holding him so he doesn’t fall in. He doesn’t need your help. Because, even if the stream of pee is heading down into the toilet, if you turn to make sure the stall door is locked, he will look up to see what you’re doing. And, when he looks up, the pee will no longer stream into the toilet but will change directions and angle up just enough to pee all over the front of you. When that happens, be thankfull you’re in a stall with lots of toilet paper. Did you know two-and-a-half-year-olds think peeing on you is fascinating? They do. They will tell you, repeatedly, that they peed on you. And know that this little dude is way smarter than you. The next time you take him in, he will inform you and everyone in the bathroom that you have to “stand over there” near the door so you don’t get peed on again.
When you’re driving into your friend’s driveway and you can see that the drive is icy with a few clear ruts where her very large SUV drove, don’t think your dinky Smart Car can make it up the drive. And, when your dinky Smart Car actually manages, on the third try, to make it up to the dry ice free spot on the driveway, turn that sucker around, even if it’s a fifty-point turn. That way, when you leave your friend’s house and try to reverse down the driveway, you don’t hit the icy patch and slide slowly off the drive and onto the frozen lawn. Then, when your husband comes to tow you off the lawn, pretend you’re as smart as that two-and-a-half-year-old and “stand over there” while he navigates the large icy patch in front of her garage you’d avoided, slides all over the place but still manages to get the dinky car down the drive for you, don’t get angry when he starts to lecture you about your driving choices. Especially when you finally make it home and he tells you he doesn’t understand why you thought you reverse down the drive “because you’re rubbish at it.” and that you were “driving too fast for road conditions.” Just laugh in his face and point out that you gave him an opportunity to use his new towrope, thank him and leave the room. You’re not two-and-a-half-years-old. He’s not the boss of you.
When you’re teaching a class of six through ten year olds and you ask them to figure out what kind of person you might be based on how you look, try to see the humor in the situation when they tell you you are old because you have grey hair. And try not to blurt out loud “I don’t shave the sides of my eyebrows!” when the ten year old tells you he thinks you do. Or when you have them walk around the room pretending they’re different ages, don’t read anything into the eight-year-old who is acting out forty by lying on the floor dead. Or the nine-year-old using a cane and hobbling about as a fifty-year-old. They're not two-and-a-half. They don’t know anything. Just be thankful they didn’t say you smell like pee and move on.
This past week, despite the forced Snice (snow/ice) vacation in our homes, has been very educational for me. I learned about ice damming - where ice builds up on your roof and melts from the underside and into your house. Only in our case, it was ice building up on the front steps and, when the rain started on Saturday, not letting it run off the front steps and into the yard but back into the brick and down into the basement where we had the last few remaining cardboard boxes stored. The cardboard boxes filled with totally useful things like Husband’s entire DVD collection of ‘Friends’ and my treasured copies of ‘Waiting for Guffman’ and ‘Pride and Prejudice’ featuring my grandmother and Lawrence Olivier. Cardboard boxes that became a soggy smelly pulpy mess filled with contents that weren’t much drier.
This is what my studio/office floor looked like in the aftermath. That is wet bamboo flooring on top of the table. Flooring that will someday be the basement floor - if it's not too damaged and we can fix any future damming issues.
And under the table - wet smelly stuff, stuff and more stuff.
And then I learned that when Tigger the Dog - who is not a fan of the cold and wet and didn’t listen to my panicked “Slowdown! Slowdown! Slowdown!” after her morning bathroom visit - when she hit the brick steps at high falling speed, it wasn’t at all as funny as her sliding off the driveway had been earlier in the week. Seven hundred dollars, four staples and a cone of shame not funny.
And I learned that Husband is a sucker for that dog. This is a picture of him at 12:30am trying to coax Tigger the Dog into the cone of shame so that she wouldn’t lick her wound.
And this is Tigger the Dog giving him the “Why do you hate me so much when all I give you is love?” look.
Half an hour later, Husband gave up, got her a dog bed from another room, put it next to his bed and let her sleep cone-free in her drug induced coma next to him where he could touch her if she moaned in the night.
And I'm pretty sure he would have done the same had Tigger the Dog been a cat. Despite what he said at the emergency vet's office when they went off to put a serious dent in our credit card - "If this were a cat, I wouldn't bother. I'd just ask them if they had any spare ones in the back."
And I learned that after almost ten years of marriage, I still like the man I married. Being stuck with him in a house for a week while he had a serious case of the man-flu could have resulted in death or divorce but really just highlighted the things we do well together. We are a good team – sometimes a loudly yelling one – but overall, a good team.
Of course after my fall on the ice on Monday, his fall on Friday and Tigger the Dog’s fall on Sunday, we are a very bruised and broken team but we are a team nonetheless.
We’ve been snow-iced in since Monday. Sniced. (If I cared enough, I'd Trademark that word...) Anyway, it’s been a surprisingly entertaining albeit totally useless time despite Husband having a Man-Flu.
MONDAY: I showered for work, got back into my pjs when I found out it was cancelled and then spent the morning watching the doom and gloom on the “news” in my pjs. Put lots of coats over my pjs, pulled on boots and gloves and took a blow torch out to thaw off the satellite that was covered in ice because that's what Husband told me to do. And I then spent the afternoon cleaning up my office studio space – still in my pjs – while watching the neighbor kids sled down their driveway.
TUESDAY: I spent the morning watching the doom and gloom on the “news” in my pjs and then got dressed and tried to clear off a section of the driveway. Husband joined me at one point. As we hacked and wacked at the ice I tried to video Husband’s inevitable fall – and fell myself stabbing myself on a chunk of ice and creating my favorite new cuss word: Icehole.
WEDNESDAY: I spent the morning watching the doom and gloom on the “news” in my pjs before I finally got out of my pjs, dressed and did laundry. I then stripped some wire for my tree project and helped Husband sheetrock part of a wall, showered, got back into clean pjs and spent the afternoon napping on the couch and obsessively checking the internet for something entertaining to me and refilling the birdfeeder.
THURSDAY: I spent the morning watching the doom and gloom on the “news” in my pjs and then got dressed in eight layers because it was 3 degrees (!!!) and Husband and I spent two hours trying to clear the two inch’s of ice off the driveway. At one point, he disappeared into the garage and came back with a sled because I’d mentioned I’d never sledded before. After the first sled broke on the second run, he built a sturdier one and we played like we were twelve for about an hour. An hour later we looked out the window to see the neighbor across from us had driven her car into a ditch. And by driven I mean hit a patch of ice and slowly slid off her driveway and into the culvert on the side. After a failed attempt to get her car out, I went back into the house, showered and got back into my pjs to watch the tow-truck pull it out of the ditch.
Today is Friday. It’s current 10 degrees and we’re due another Snice mess this afternoon. How can it be that I’m stuck at home with writing and art projects to be done and I am doing nothing but looking out the window and chatting with virtual friends and dreaming unattainable dreams and eating everything in the house that is bad for me? Well, BECAUSE IT’S 10 DEGREES AND COVERED IN ICE OUTSIDE!!!
It’s sure to be another entertaining and totally unproductive day.
None of these pics are as pretty as the real thing - as pretty and as freakin' bloody cold - but I tried.
My experience with religion mirrors my experience with drugs; I’ve dabbled a little bit due to peer pressure from friends but nothing ever stuck. I have never been addicted and never really wanted to delve in deeper, and something try more.
Which is why this sign confused the snot out of me.
My limited understanding of religion does not really explain this… um, convenience of a drive-thru for a holiday like Ash Wednesday. Aren’t the ashes supposed to be a symbol of humility and sacrifice? Can you really get that leaning out your car window at the church drive-thu?
I totally realize that this is very much kettle/black snarky comment because I totally got married in a drive-thru chapel in Vegas BUT in my defense, we weren’t taking the wedding seriously. The marriage, yes but the wedding, we thought, could be something simple and cheap and entertaining. And it was - $25 dollars worth of entertaining. Sure it was a drive-thru but we weren’t sticking our heads out a window and asking to be absolved of all our sins. Heck, we were in Vegas. We were planning on committing some.
It’s always easy to judge from my side of the drug-free fence but at least I’m getting out of the car to point fingers.
My name is ej. I'm a girl. I say that because with the short hair and the short initials, folks aren't always sure. More brilliant insights to who I am in About me