The Big Wait

I walked a half a mile to spend eleven dollars at a pharmacy, shielding my eyes from the sun. As I trudged back through melting sleet, the once frozen dirt embraced with the sidewalks who bore them as they warmed and spread over the city landscape like honey. A vagrant asked passerbys for a quarter to buy a cup of coffee despite the unseasonable warmth. I complied, praying for good karma as he smiled and thanked me.

Once I got back to work I strolled into the bathroom, trying hard not to run. One, two, three, four, five.

I waited two minutes, fingers tapping impatiently on the back of my phone. Disappointed I waited another two, just in case, my lunch break slowly being eaten away by an invisible ticking clock. I frowned, scowling at the lack of physical presence of it. I dug for the directions in my bag, elbow deep in receipts and junk until I found the box and quickly pulled it out, although I already knew I had done everything right. It’s not rocket science, I scolded myself. Shit, how many times have I done this already in the last year? Dozens, easily.

The unfolding of paper echoed off the bathroom ceiling and old tiles; it reverberated around the ancient stalls when the door opened and someone walked in. Click, click, click, click; her heels tapped past. Click, click, click, click, slam! I stopped all movement and my body turned to marble. My tired eyes read the map spread out in front of me, held by an unwavering grip; its’ directions and visuals became blurred pink nonsense. I looked down at the non-existent line and sighed. The toilet next to me flushed; click, click, click, click.

I know it’s here, buried deep within me. I can feel it and know that I’m different today. My heart is bigger, my will stronger.

I just need to see it soon, before my dreams melt away like the snow outside.

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Confessions of a Shitty Wife; T Minus 2 Days

Difficult as it is to admit, I forgot about our wedding anniversary last year. As much as that day was deeply etched into my heart, the fact that we had a baby almost 10 months to the day of getting married threw me off; I seriously thought I had an extra day. I’m sure he got me something nice, or at least a card that’s probably still buried under a pile of stuff somewhere in the Hoard upstairs. Maybe I got him a card, too; I can’t remember what I did yesterday morning let alone a year ago. All I know is that I can’t fuck this one up too; he’s a good man and I’m grateful that he loves me.

To be fair I’m not a completely shitty wife, it’s more of a part time thing. For example, I bought him his favorite beer for Easter and turned his 12 pack into an Easter Beer hunt around the house; watching him & the baby look for their respective items was adorable (although Mommy also purchased herself some beer, and had Daddy hide it as well).

For his birthday? Homemade card, complete with hand drawn pictures and a scavenger hunt for his presents.

It was badass, and I dropped a stupid amount for his gifts, which were a mix of fun (real life scavenger hunt, concert tickets) and practical (new sneakers, work shirts). I’ve been trying to cut down on general nagging and nitpicking as well, which I feel like should count for a lot too.

Last week when I realized that our third anniversary was quickly approaching (whoops), I had not planned to be out doing door knocking for a union campaign in a neighboring county the two days prior (double whoops), so I thought I had more time to work with. But it is what it is, that’s where I’m going after work, and I get stuff done under pressure.

According to Dr. Google, the third anniversary is the “leather anniversary”. It sounded gross until I read a bit more about it: “The 3rd wedding anniversary is often when a couple is aware of their durability of their relationship. That is why leather is the traditional gift for this celebration.” So what the hell do you get somebody that’s made out of leather? He already has a wallet, doesn’t wear jewelry, and honestly doesn’t need any more stuff. Despite some suggestions from my girlfriends, I am not getting him a whip. But a belt? It’s something useful and still symbolizes the strength of our relationship. Perfect!

Wish me luck!

Update

I haven’t been very good at writing anything the last couple weeks.  BB’s growing faster every day and we’re struggling to keep up with him; plans have begun for his second birthday party.  I still don’t understand how this happened. 

We FINALLY began renovations on our home and my Negotiations Committee reached a tentative agreement with our employer, all the while I dream of better things.  I just want to create and make things better.  I have so much more love to give. 

Issues in our neighborhood are beginning to boil over again but our Block Club isn’t doing much to help; we’ve arrived at a strange point where we can’t take on any more “projects” but deliberate, swift action may be necessary, and only if we initiate it.  Our hands are sticky from being thrust into as many cookie jars as they already are.

BB’s godmother was hospitalized a couple weeks ago.  We physically had to carry her weighted, unconscious body downstairs and load her into her SUV, then drive her to the hospital.  She was in a coma for over a week, and between visits to the hospital and dealing with the aftermath of her choosing not to return home, it was unpleasant.  In the mean time RB and I are trying to talk more, and I’m making a conscious effort to be a better wife, but I’m far from perfect.  I’m never happy and I’m not sure whose fault it is.  I never feel more lonely than when I’m with him. 

Above all that, my father is dying.  And I don’t know what to say to him when we are around each other.  We have years of estrangement to try to compensate for, but the little changes – sent regularly through silly Bitmojis and texts that say I love you – will hopefully help us both be more at peace in the end.  He has between 12-30 months left. 

A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes

It’s hard to focus with so much going on.  Our buddy bailed on us and we have no contractor to fix our old home, which may be falling apart faster than expected.  We’re only going to be able to do about half of the home repairs/updates we had planned on doing, but now for an extra $10,000-15,000 (ballpark).  Our financial situation is the same, just now scarier.  We’re nearing the end of month two of our budget experiment, and although we’ve made subtle changes that will hopefully result in some moderate savings eventually, overall we still suck and blow money on stupid shit.

My parents are coming home from their 3 month jaunt in Florida.  My father’s health is deteriorating and I continue to have unresolved guilt about our relationship over the years, especially when we blamed his medical issues on his drinking problem before his diagnosis.  I’m optimistic we can rebuild something, and he can develop a relationship with BB, before it’s too late, but I’m a realist too.

I rediscovered that media is one of my biggest inhibitors to being productive.  What is it about screen time that dilutes our desire to create, to be close to others?  I get on RB constantly about staying off his phone around BB during our time together, but after BB’s bedtime we’re both guilty of it.  Constantly.  Why are we not held to the same standard of protection as a toddler?  If I view technology as bad for my son, why is it okay that I allow it to dictate so much of my life?  I understand it’s a sign of the times but I dream of a future for BB where he’s not socially conditioned to mindlessly stare at a screen and have his imagination, creativity and interest in the world around him sucked out.

Despite my perpetual shortcomings I took a full day workshop on how to start my own business on Friday.  I feel scared, and already like my dream won’t be feasible, but I’ve been finding myself think of creative solutions instead of just becoming hopeless and brushing off my ideas like I usually do.

The future is still up for grabs.

 

 

 

The Great Budget Experiment

One of my goals for 2017 has been to be able to effectively budget my money and get a better idea of how our household is really running.  This has been difficult to do since, until a couple days ago, I only had cooperation of half of our household (ME).  

It was super frustrating not having RB on board, and this has been an ongoing point of contention for the last 2 years.  It began when I, a pregnant newlywed, discovered that my groom had thousands of dollars in undisclosed debt.  It’s something we’ve really struggled with and hasn’t gotten any better.  

But hey, new year!  We’re planning on having our kitchen and dining rooms remodeled as well as adding a half bath downstairs, which would make potty training (coming in the foreseeable future) a million times easier.  Because of this (and my keen ability to get super shitty about all sorts of unpleasantries at midnight when he’s trying to fall asleep in an unpredictable, domesticated “airing of the grievances”) we actually had the talk.  He agreed to try to set a limit for his “miscellaneous expenses” during the week, throw more money onto his credit cards with the highest interest, and contribute more directly to our house account.  My contribution will also include more money to cover bills (I just paid my student loans off after over 15 years, woohoo!) and trying to maintain and navigate this “budget” thing, which has been difficult in part because RB doesn’t have online banking, and until last night didn’t pay much attention to how much he spent.  So if he pays for pizza, gas, or groceries I have no way to track it.  

I can see you shaking your head, and I get it. 

 You’re asking, “Who the hell makes it to their 30s without having to budget their money?”  Or perhaps starting your sentence with, “What kind of privedeged asshole…” I see where you’re coming from, and I am embarrassed about it.  Honestly, the key word there was priveledge.  We’re both from middle class families who were poor back in the day, but we don’t remember much, if anything, about those days since we were little and our parents shielded us from it.  We’ve both had living wage jobs for the better part of a decade (longer for him, since he’s older) and we’re used to swiping our debit cards and not having to worry about it being declined at this point.  It’s a shitty excuse but it’s the truth.  

So now, in my mid 30s and with a toddler, I’m trying to learn shit that I really should have figured out sooner.  We’ve also found ourselves shorted by about $3,000 on our tax return this year, which is where a good chunk of our home renovations were supposed to come from.  Surprise, bitch!  We’ve got about a month and a half to come up with some serious cash so we can move forward with our home improvement plans…..  If you don’t hate me yet for this post, wish us luck!  

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