Tiny Bit of Crazy

A chronical of the laughter, revelations and transformations that are possible when you embrace the crazy

Timing is Everything September 7, 2011

I have two things I wanted to blog about, but neither one is really long enough or interesting enough to be their own blog. I feel like if you are going to take the time to click the link, or type the address into your browser, or open your google reader, it should be for something that in quantity at least, if not quality, makes the effort worth it. Because I’m always thinking about you. I’m a giver like that. And then I realized they are both about timing (in a way), so I’m doing two blogs in one 🙂 You’re welcome.

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1. Chris’s neighbor hasn’t been seen or heard from in a while and I’d almost forgotten about our rivalry. Then last weekend, on Saturday morning as Chris and I headed out to get our Hurricane Irene storm supplies: Kettle Corn, hard lemonade, and pastries for breakfast, we came around the corner from his front door to find his neighbor and her rarely seen husband  standing on the sidewalk in front of their town house.

She had her hair in a messy ponytail and was wearing only a bathrobe and an “Oh shit” look on her face as she saw us come around the corner.

I felt a flash of pity for her. I’ve been in her position: You finally run into the guy you’ve been crushing on and fantasizing about in your darkest loneliest moments and you look like crap and/or you’re doing something stupid.

.

That may, or may not, be the summation of my romantic life from ages 18-24.

Moving on.

My flash of pity is quickly erased by the realization that  I’ve totally won this round! I’m dressed, and while my hair is wet, that’s actually when it looks the best right now and Chris is… well Chris is his normal delicious self.  As we get closer, she clutches her bathrobe at the neck and starts to stammer about the squirrel that has fallen out of the tree and is presumably dead on the other side of the sidewalk, while pointing to her husband who is so absorbed in studying this baby squirrel he barely acknowledges us as we walk by. She’s talking too fast and we don’t understand everything she’s saying, so we smile and nod and make “too bad” noises about the squirrel as we move toward the parking lot.

Once inside the car we talk about how awkward that must have been for her. “Poor girl, that probably ruined her morning,” I say, possibly with a huge grin on my face.

The next day, Sunday afternoon, Chris and I are returning home and she’s standing in front of her house with another neighbor talking about how they weathered the storm. She is dressed in a tight t-shirt and shorts with her hair and makeup done. As Chris and I walk past, she breaks from her conversation to excitedly and somewhat awkwardly call out to us to let us know that the squirrel has been removed and put into a box, or something…again, she was talking a little too fast for me to fully process what she was saying. Plus I was still thinking about how I was winning. When Chris and I nod and smile without actually saying anything she playfully (desperately?) calls out “Hey, you can have the box if YOU want to take care of it!” just as we are rounding the corner toward his front door. Chris rewards her with a polite laugh and says “No thanks!” I smile at her in a mostly friendly, only slightly superior way, before taking Chris’s outstretched hand as we walk up the steps to his door.

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2. Speaking of Chris, as I’ve mentioned a few times, I’m in uncharted territory with this long-term, functional relationship thing I’m doing. And I really want to make sure I’m doing it right.

I’ve heard women in long-term relationships sit around talking about their boyfriends/husbands, and they all seem to speak in a type of shorthand with the same complaints, the same stresses, the same rules and expectations for their men, which their men consistently violate.  And this feeds my theory that there is a formula, some set of Standard Operating Procedures for people in relationships.  Have I missed a memo, possibly titled “Things to Get Upset About”? How do I even get on the mailing list? Is it automatic after a certain point? And if so, when is that point???

I have So. Many. Questions. But no answers because every time I ask one of these people they deny any such memo or manual exists. So I’ve been reduced to obsessively studying the behaviors of people who have been in relationships longer than I have in an attempt to learn their secrets and understand the SOP, but it usually only confuses me more.

Like the other day, we had a minor earthquake in the afternoon, and the boss decided the best thing to do was to close the office early and retreat to the bar across the street.  So I’m sitting at the bar with my co-workers, 2 hours before we would have left the office on a normal day, and my one male co-worker says to the other male co-worker, “If my wife knew where I was I’d be in so much trouble!” and the other says “oh I know! My wife can never find out about this,” and then they both laughed clearly sharing in a male bonding ritual of some kind.

I spent most of the rest of that afternoon  trying to figure out what problem their wives could have with this situation, but couldn’t come up with a single reasonable scenario. Which then triggers my anxiety that I lack the natural knowledge or ability to do the girlfriend thing. AND what if I’m also depriving Chris of being able to have this type of bonding moment with his male counterparts?

Then, a few days later Chris and I were watching Pawn Stars, a reality show about a pawn shop, and I commented on how often men go in to sell something that they loved/collected/just liked having, because their girlfriends/fiances/wives told them they had to get rid of it.

After Chris agreed it was a solid pattern of this show, I started to panic and asked “How am I going to know when its time for me to start doing that? How will I know when I’m supposed to start making you get rid of stuff you like and making you feel bad for having fun?”

And Chris, proving yet again that he’s always got my back said, “I’ll let you know.”

Phew. Finally, a plan.

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The Top 10 Reasons Why Mer Would Make a Spectacularly Awful Super Hero August 11, 2011

Remember a few weeks ago when I was all “I’m a guest blogger!” ? over at Do These Kids Make Me Look Crazy? (Btw, the answer is, “li’l bit”)

So now its Tara’s turn to be a guest blogger on my page.  And she’s not holding back.

But before you read it, I’d just like to say that while I know its hilarious, and hilarious always equals “totally true”, there are a few things I would just like to comment on before you start reading why I’d make a terrible super hero.

First of all, I did not watch every episode of 90210. I totally missed like at least half of the final season because I was in college with my own “for real” drama, which it turns out is way more interesting than TV drama. (But only because they didn’t have reality TV back then, cause that shit beats real life every time.) However, Luke Perry is probably at least 70% to blame for me failing 9th grade math.

Second, yes my boyfriend is super cute, isn’t he? (But um, pssst, Tara? Even though I love you like a sister and I’d do anything for you, get too friendly with him and I’ll cut you and not feel bad.  Just sayin’).

Third, I would argue that points 4 and 9 actually are super powers, not anti-super powers, as Tara believes.

Here’s why: #4 keeps people off-balance and often leads to great spontaneous comedic moments. Especially when small children repeat me. And funny is always good.

Always.

And worth corrupting minors and offending grandmothers and priests for.

As for #9 – this pretty much means I get whatever I want. In high school I had a TV and VCR,  in my room, along with a phone and a double bed that was perfect for sleep overs. Tara was always jealous of my sweet set up (made more sweet, I like to believe, by the gray and pink early 90’s inspired design elements), but did she ever think to wonder how I got all that? And all the traffic tickets I’ve gotten out of, the jobs I’ve kept despite gross incompetence? You’d be surprised what a few tears can do…they even led to Eunice Kennedy Shriver being nice to me for 5 whole minutes.  If that’s not a super power, I don’t know what is…

Anyway…I’ll let you all read her post and see what you think, because now that she’s reminded me about the squirrels, I have to figure out where the bathroom is in my office building (again), so I cry in private.

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Remember a few weeks ago, when Mer was a guest contributor on my blog?  She was all, “Tara almost starved her children because she’d rather see their cold, dead, emaciated bodies lying on the floor than crack an egg or risk getting burned on the stove top.  So I had to drive down there just to make those sweet babies some pancakes and rice krispie treats.”

Um, that was an exaggeration.  They’re not that sweet.  And they’re no longer babies who can be fed via my breastmilk, fully saturated with chocolate and caffeine, which is why they are in a constant state of near malnutrition.  Finally, they certainly weren’t near death, as several friends had dropped off some treats in the last month or so and we hadn’t even resorted to picking the last of the strawberries out of my neighbor’s garden.

So don’t go thinking Mer’s some sort of superhero or anything.

Truly, she’d make the worst superhero ever.   I mean, sure, she could rock a pair of thigh-high boots and her cleavage would look majestic in a sequined spandex top.  But that’s where the likeness ends, folks.

And because she was so focused on bragging about how she can melt butter and marshmallows together in a single pot, she didn’t stop to think about how I know approximately 134,577 secrets about her.  I’ve known her since we were twelve years old and we’re now, like, 100. I know that she once owned a Thighmaster.  I know that if a clown even looks at her, she’ll cry. I know that she’s watched every single episode of Beverly Hills 90210 and lusted after Dylan McKay and his scarred eyebrow so hard that she almost failed ninth grade math.  I even know how and with whom she lost her virginity.  The first, second, and third time, mind you.

(Dry spells that last longer than 1 year = renewed virginity, y’all.)

See, she forgot about my extraordinary knowledge base in her quest to showcase her ability to hypnotize my hungry children with her fancy pancake shaper-thingies and a liberal use of sprinkles.  She also failed to consider that I have an underdeveloped conscience, a verbal filter that crapped out on me the day my husband ran for the hills, and an active aversion to the delete key on my laptop.

As an additional factor, she’s got this really cute boyfriend whom she’s still trying to impress.

(Hiiiiiii, Chris.)

Anyway, let’s talk about the Top 10 Reasons Why Mer Would Make a Spectacularly Awful Superhero:

1)      She has absolutely no sense of direction.  None.  I’m not just talking about east vs. west.  No, I mean left/right and up/down, too.

2)      She has no pain tolerance.  Like, she can barely handle a hang nail without excessive whining, an unveiling of her wound as though she’s displaying a newborn baby, and at least three phone calls to her mom, who studied homeopathic medicine for this very reason.

3)      She loses stuff.  Aside from obvious stuff, like her virginity and self-control around M&Ms, she has also lost tickets to an awesome concert, at least 50 dollars in cash, all her tax records from 2008 and 2009, and the left shoe from a pair of kick-ass heels that she once wore to an event attended by the Kennedy family.

4)      She really enjoys using the word “f*ck”.  In front of children, preferably.  And it’s done in a sneaky, non-angry way, so you don’t even have any warning.

5)      She absolutely falls apart when she’s around someone who is in a crisis situation.  Like, if you are ever in a life-threatening situation, please understand that you will die.  And as you are taking your final breath, there’s a decent chance she might reach out to you for comfort, as watching you die is obviously very traumatizing and will linger in her mind long after your wretched death.

6)      She doesn’t like being too hot.  Or too cold.  Or wet.  Basically, she really can’t handle the elements.  Like, if she could fly, instead of being all, “Omg, I can fly”, she’d just get super pissed if a bug flew in her mouth or she got sunburn.   Oh, and “camping” is not a term that she’s ever going to look favorably upon, no matter what she tells her ex-military boyfriend.

7)      She’s not brave.  At all.  Once she became nearly catatonic for several hours after watching a momma squirrel eat her baby squirrels on her back porch.  We were all super worried about her and ended up having to stop making little baby-squirrel-screaming noises every time she walked into the room.

8)      I can’t even bear to discuss the concept of “Mer” and “weapons” in the same sentence.

9)      She’s a crier.  Big time.  She tries to normalize it by saying that my ability to hold my shit together when I watch the final scene in romantic comedies means I’m “dead inside”, but my extensive experience as her friend tells me that this girl is a crier who can be tipped into hysterics about as quickly as it takes a momma squirrel to eat her first baby.

10)   She’s a little bit racist, so she’d probably only be willing to save white people or Asian babies. Okay, that’s a lie.  She’s not racist at all and she has no particular affinity toward Asian babies.  But when she read this, she was probably like, “What the f*ck?  If I could stop crying long enough to find my left shoe and figure out which way was south, I’d totally kick her ass.”

There.  You see?

I’m super confident that this list has thoroughly convinced you that Mer should never, ever, EVER be considered a superhero.  Well, not for the general public anyway.

The thing is . . . she’s kind of my superhero.  Sure, she might not be brave, or organized, or particularly good at problem-solving in a crisis, but she is stellar at feeding my little ones, driving seven hours in order to spend New Year’s Eve making me margaritas and watching Redbox movies, reading all the drivel I write on the internet, listening to me whine about my failed marriage, lending me her Thighmaster, letting me making fun of her guest post on her blog, and agreeing that I’m smarter and prettier.

Okay, I may have made that last part up.

Regardless, she’s mine.  So, hands off.

 

 
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