About Me

My photo
I write novels, eat dark chocolate, raise three children, love my husband, scrub toilets, ignore the laundry, and love a good story, but hardly ever in that order.



Powered by Blogger.




Friday, January 22, 2010

Elevator Music

Photo by Bert Hardy

One thing about birthing children is that it has made me friends with all other women who have gone through the same ordeal. I find myself chatting up anyone pushing a stroller. In previous phases of my life, I would have needed to screen possible friends with questions like:

“What was your major in college?”
“What book are you reading?”
“What’s your favorite restaurant?”

These are COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY now that I only need a stroller for prospective friend-prey. First, it doesn’t matter what our majors were because we don’t use one bit of what they taught us any more, even if we work outside the home, because we’re too tired to think about things like higher education and Venn diagrams. Secondly, books are beside the point because we don’t read anything that doesn’t rhyme and/or is by a woman named Stuart. And finally, we find talking about our favorite restaurants confusing. Do you mean which one has kids-eat-free tonight?

It’s really very convenient to find friends with the stroller approach. It’s SUPER efficient. I can get to a nitty gritty conversation in a matter of seconds. Today, for example, I met up with a woman in an elevator. She, like me, was pushing a double stroller. She, like me, was desperate for adult interaction. I found out about her family, her ethnic heritage, her political views, her thoughts on the precarious peace in Israel, and even used the word “perineum,” all in the time it took to descend two floors. EFFICIENT, I tell you.

This chumming up with random mothers makes my husband nervous, and not just when we discuss birth stories. I think it’s worrisome to him that I don’t know these people and I’m engaging in memorable conversation with them. He’s more into forgetting what others say almost as soon as they say them. For example, Marc can have an hour-long conversation on the phone with any given relative and not remember ONE WORD of what was exchanged.

Kim: “How’s your mom, honey?”
Marc: “Um, fine?”
Kim: “Is that a question or an answer?”
Marc: “Not sure?”

So the idea of bonding immediately with Melissa, who has three children, one who is in school and having a hard time with her spelling words but really loves soccer, in the elevator and then remembering the whole conversation over dinner, well, we’ve got something of a divide.

In the meantime, I’m happy to talk with you while our children stare at each other with Goldfish-crusted faces. Just PLEASE don’t ask me what my college major was.

P.S. GREAT NEWS FROM THE DESK: Thanks be to God, I’ve finished the rough draft of my next novel! Woo hoo! Lots of nipping and tucking to get it to the shape I’d have you all see, but I wanted to share the news. The working title makes me giggle, but I’ll have to ask if I can share. It’s my favorite book so far, which I say every time, but can you really trust a woman who uses the word “perineum” in idle banter?

Can’t WAIT for you to read this one! ☺

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Year of Slack

I’ve been AWOL here and with all the usual eggnoggy reasons. We’ve been Christmasing big time. Have you ever heard that Karen Carpenter song where she says she’ll be “Christmasing with youuuuuuu” in that buttery kind of voice? For the record, it was my husband that brought Karen Carpenter with him to the marriage. Karen, ABBA and three copies of Vanilla Ice’s debut and only album. I brought Amy Grant and the Indigo Girls, so I think I might be morally superior.

Anyway, we have been, like you all, happily exhausted and are just now starting to look like normal, paler versions of ourselves. I’d like to mention here that it is UNFATHOMABLY COLD where I live. I’m talking single digits when we’re really tropical and negative temps when we’re not. Mostly, this kind of weather makes me want to do three things:

1. Eat high calorie foods and finish every meal with a chocolate lava cake.
2. Lock my children in their rooms so I can read a novel by the fire.
3. Curl up to the humidifier and tape my lips around the wet air. You knoweth not dry air until you knoweth Iowa in the winter.

Unfortunately, no one around here seems to want to accommodate any of these requests. I could eat the cake every day but I’d also have to make the cake every day. Also, by about the eleventh day, I’d start looking a lot like the cake, lumpy and liquid in the middle and such.

I suppose I could lock the kids in their rooms but what about the Department of Child Welfare? We do have one of those in Iowa and although I could get a couple of hours lead time just because of the snowy road conditions, I still think it’s too big a risk.

As for the humidifier, the tape on my lips starts to hurt after about four minutes, though I got a great (and cheap!) upper lip wax.

In the absence of getting what I want, however, I will not be coerced into doing what I do NOT want to do which is make a list of New Year’s resolutions and show them to Marc. All my life, from the time I could write my name, my dad made me write a list of goals for the New Year.

Or at least that’s how I remember it.

Then I went and married Part Deux! Marc’s no better. He just uses his laptop and makes spreadsheets. I followed along for the first ten years (learned helplessness) but have decided that this year, no, I won’t! I will live a live without goal sheets! No goals! Intentions, perhaps, but that’s it! And if after a month or so, I’m dying in wilderness of goal-lessness, I’ll write one or two down in ancient Babylonian script so no one asks me next year what they say and if I did what I set out to.


Ha ha!

Did you see that Big Wheel in the background? I think I’m due for a spin. Ha!