Husband cannot cut the dogs nails or give them a bath. He hates to cause them any pain at all. More than pain, he hates it when the dogs don’t like him. He leaves that stuff to me.
And Me? Well, I am a passive aggressive worrier about the whole thing. I will give the dogs a bath because they stink but I’ll worry about it for days before and then spend the hours after avoiding their eyes or throwing extra love on them. And you can just imagine how discipline goes around here. Husband yells and shouts and grounds them then cuddles them like they’re dying while I am wounded by every destroyed bed or disobeyed order as I worry that I’ll be eaten when they gang up together to take me out.
We are probably not the best parents to three dogs. Heck, no “probably” about it. We are pretty sucky at this ‘taking care of other beings’ so don’t judge us too harshly when you hear this
On Sunday, Pepper the Wannabe Cat caught a baby chipmunk. That’s all she did, caught it and then dropped it and walked away to find something else to catch. Dropped it and walked away AFTER she’d broken the poor baby chipmunk’s back, or so we think. He very well could have been in shock – or so something else that made him not want to move his bottom half. What do we know? We’re not doctors.
What followed then was a weird moral mess between Husband and me about what to do next. Do we kill it? And, if so, how? He wasn’t exactly a bug we could squish. And as foul as I can get with my language and how much I threaten to kill asshats that cut me off on the freeway, I am completely unable to kill a thing. Last year, I inadvertently murdered a pair of chipmunks by not emptying a bucket of water and I mourned for days. Then, when they were pissing us off with the hole digging and the dog teasing, I filled up another bucket, watched a chipmunk fall in – and then rescued it because I can’t kill things.
Except relationships. I’m very, VERY good at killing those suckers dead!
And if we didn’t kill it, what do we do with it? We’ve already rescued two miserable mutts this year; do we now add a broken chipmunk to the family?
And Husband? Well since Husband can’t even cut the dog’s toenails you can imagine how freaking useless he was in this situation. I ended up scooping broken chipmunk into a pot and putting it up on the wall out of reach of the dogs near the trash cans. Of course, not before Joseph had a good slobber with/over it as I was getting the pot. Apparently Joseph is also not helpful in these types of situations. Wet Broken Chippy in pot, we went with the best of all the possible scenarios and decided he was just in shock. Husband got some birdseed for substance and we left Wet Broken Chippy alone in the pot with a bit of straw for warmth to give him a chance to recover and get away.
And then we both spent the next few hours worrying about Wet Broken Chippy and trying not to think about him and debating the ways to off the guy if his back was indeed broken that didn’t involve either of us actually doing anything with a shovel or gun or whatever to execute him. When we checked on him a few hours later Wet Broken Chippy had moved out of the pot and into a drainpipe. We figured it was a mater of time before he was all chipper and off to torture the dogs again. Or became owl dinner for Owl who was watching this all go down from the other side of the yard. We patted ourselves on our backs for our sort of good deed and went on our merry way.
We, and others just like us, are the reason awful people are trying to run our world - passive inactivity.
The next morning, Wet Broken Chippy was gone. Eaten by Owl or healthily running about the yard happy, it’s for you to decide. But here’s what I think – Wet Broken Chippy was helped to his house by a few of his Chippy friends where he told the story of the big people and the little dog. The story of our evil doings spread throughout the chipmunk world, and resulted in the head of all the chipmunks putting a bounty our heads. Why do I think this? Because yesterday, while Husband was standing outside managing the chaos that is the dogs, a chipmunk ran past the bushes, past the dogs, and RAN RIGHT UP HUSBAND’S LEG.
Seriously, the dude was aiming for his face! Had it not been for the “CRAP! THERE’S SOMETHING ON ME! GET IT OFF!!!” white man dance that Husband did as the chipmunk reached his waist, Wet Broken Chippy’s revenge would have been complete and I would have a Husband without a face.
We are now sleeping with little knives and our bed is surrounded by buckets of water. If you don’t hear from us in a few days, please send police for a well check. Actually, send animal control first. There’s likely going to be a need for big nets…
I’m good at making things out of crap. Some of my proudest projects are disposable or recyclable – and I love that. Much like theatre, my creations have a limited run and then are just the memory.
Check out my oven -
Give me a cardboard box and some paint I will go to town!
So, this year, when Husband and I had a conversation about our anniversary, we decided to scrap the gifts and just make cards. The gift giving just because of the day or year or whatever means we end up with all this junk that is culturing up the house. And what do I need with a steel bowl or whatever? So, making cards for each other was going to be a creative way to celebrate our love and not add to the clutter. And I was sure I would win - not that it was competition but seriously, I had it in the bag.
Then, I got sick and my creative mojo melted along with my feverish snotty self. Even so I whimpered and sniffed myself into the studio and I put together a card that summed up all things that Husband has been to me for the last eleven years – a combination of valium and shock therapy. It wasn’t my best effort but it was better than he would come up with – right?
Husband waited until I went to sleep and then he created a massive card that had arrows and moving parts and pictures of us from random happy moments from the past. AND it even had an emotion barometer that summed up all many personalities of ej. It was brilliant. BRILLIANT!!!
And I'm not showing it you. Sorry to be that vague-booker ass that only gives you pieces of information and won't actually show you the final product but I’m keeping his creation to myself. I will say that Husband won big time.
Which really means I won. Because I was smart enough to say “Um...yes?” when he didn’t propose all those years ago but really only asked me what I would say if he asked me to marry him. So I'm a winner! Yea me! And hIm. He seriously scored big with this one so YEA HUSBAND!!!
Eleven years ago, I piled myself into my boyfriend’s car and we set off on an eleven-hour journey to Vegas to get married.
I did not know then that his little weird food quirk would become an immoveable wall of OCD. He did not know that my little book of worries would grow to need a massive library complete with revolving doors to accommodate my substantial check out rate.
At the time marriage - for both of us - was going to be the illusion that Hollywood had presented. We were signing up for the pretty shiny happy version where no one ever farts or fights about money. Despite our age and the tragic experiences our friends and family had gone though, we were both a bit startled by the nitty gritty reality that marriage really was/is.
We were also surprised and continue to be surprised at how funny it can be to share a space, a life with someone. And not just because of the farts.
On our bad days, when everything he does irritates the skin off me and every word I say is nails on a chalkboard to him, we still manage to keep on keeping on. On our good days, we can even make ourselves sick with our smug self-satisfaction about how awesome we are.
Eleven years ago tomorrow, we got married by this guy in a drive-thru in Vegas.
I’d do it all over again. Because apparently Husband, with his OCD and all his issues, is my perfect match. And I, with my wacky rotating box of crazy, am his. Happy ELEVEN, Husband!
Because it is ELEVEN and he's Scottish and this is pretty much what a fight in our house looks like, I'm watching THIS and you should too.
And, while we're celebrating successes, a happy SEVENTY-FIFTH to my favorite reader, Val!!! I’ll toast a drink – or two – to you tonight and tell stories of Tori in Target to strangers to make you laugh! Hope it's a good one!!!
When the world doesn’t make sense and people are doing and saying horrible things to each other, it is imperative to find something to show the wonder in life.
It can be small like the rush of feeling as child snuggles into your arms or the joy in hearing the Owls talking to their babies even if you can’t see them.
It can be big like the Grand Canyon or the beauty that is the earth from space or the light of a thousand candles showing their support.
It can be human or humor or chocolate – just something that brings you joy and makes you appreciate each breath in and each breath out.
Like the beauty that is this swath of tulips. find the wonder –
And in the large photographer's ass that protrudes from the middle of the stunningly picturesque tulip stream... find the humor.
Because if you don't, all we have is mean words and bloody images and awful people and that is not okay.
Find the wonder in life and breathe in... breathe out... repeat...
Yesterday morning, Husband came up to me in my studio workspace and handed me a large empty box.
“Here,” He said.
‘What’s that for?” I said, slightly pissy.
“Put all your crazy in it and tape it up.” He said, very amused with himself.
Later, while sitting on the couch, staring out at the grey day, I caught him peering at me, nose right up to the side of my face.
“What the hell are you doing?” I snapped, well passed pissy and into asshats territory.
“I’m just trying to see the crazy wheels spinning.” He said, even more pleased with himself.
Apparently, I was having a rough day.
It might have something to do with the large Library of Worries I keep inside my head. The shelves and shelves of books filled with big fears and little doubts. Like the one about the vet I’m sure I offended as I tried to explain my point about dog allergies when I should have just shut up and listened. Or the waitress I shooed away three years ago that didn’t get my joke about not being ready to order because there were too many choices. Obscure and random anxieties perfect for pulling out and thumbing through on a cold dreary day when the round about of whacky has time to get going. Or at 3am while I wait for the dog to breathe so I can make sure we didn’t kill him when he chased the dogs that were chasing the chipmunk.
Crap. I’ll have to add a chapter to the worry book about the Vet.
I don’t think the pit of UGH I fell into would have been so deep or so dark if I hadn’t started the day with an uplifting epiphany about who I am and ended it with two men, who have just managed to destroy my self worth more than a time or two, invading my brain and making me feel worthless again.
I am fascinated by the solid logic that suddenly departs as past bombs of things they’ve said and done blow up my worth. I just stand watching as they shatter my façade of esteem and find myself unable to move. I know better. I know their insecurities and their own issues drive them/drove them to lob bombs at me and destroy others but that doesn’t help as I lie in pieces on the floor.
But you know what does? Stupid humor teased at me by a Scotsman still in his PJ’s at 1 in the afternoon.
Also when said Scotsman tries to get me to let go of all my worries by using the following analogy, “You’re watching TV and you have to go the bathroom but you wait and you wait and you wait and then you get up and go and it feels so good. Do that -but with your worries.”
Um… “You can’t even watch me go to the bathroom, how are you not freaking out by getting a look inside my messy brain?”
What followed was a complicated description of a recording thingamabob, which records for a specific amount of time and then tapes over itself. He is apparently only listening to a bit of the babble and then it deletes. It must be the same thingamabob I have in my brain that immediately switches off when he says the word “microphone.” We all must do what we need to survive.
And then Husband had me say whatever was in my brain for the next ten minutes straight. Everything. Ten minutes of full on stream of consciousness blathering about every little thing that popped up in my head came out of my mouth in a verbal stream of feelings sludge. It was not pretty - but it was pretty dang funny. We were both in stitches by the time the clock ran out.
It’s a mess in there. But it’s not hopeless.
Because of him. Because of bad days propped up by humor. Because of love that teases stupid pits of darkness into rainbows and giggles. Love that stays strong even through asshole moods and sharp stabby words and random bathroom analogies.
I always thought that a perfect marriage would be just that – perfect and shiny and pretty. But it’s not - because, as you well know, I’m totally not perfect in the slightest. And my person, my lobster, is awkward and messy and loud and sad and happy and smelly and talented and smart and very, VERY funny.
Which is a good thing because that damn Library of Worries is always open and I can't help checking out those damn books!
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