Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How I Lost One of My Best Friends and Got In Touch With My Jerky Side

Pin It One of my best friends is (was?) a gal named Terri.

We met when we were about nineteen and hung out together for the next few years - sharing an apartment, a circle of friends, and a crush on the same guy. As we got older we drifted into different social circles and circumstances and gradually drifted apart, but we would still talk on the phone now and then and keep in touch. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding and drove all the way from another state to attend my baby shower.

We were the kind of friends who didn’t have to talk every month, but when we DID get around to talking, it was as if no time had passed at all, and we would laugh and giggle and feel nineteen again.

A while back she called and left me a message. It was a bad week for me. I was in the middle of two hundred things at once so I didn't call her back. It wasn’t a big deal. Sometimes we would play phone tag for weeks before actually getting in touch with each other, and it was almost never urgent.

The next week, she called me again. I was in a non-social kind of mood that day, so I didn’t call her back, but made a mental note to call her the next day. I didn’t get around to calling though, because mental notes are pretty much useless when your brain is a sieve.

The next week, she called me again. I didn’t call her back, but thought, MAN, I really need to call her back.
The next week she called me AGAIN, sounding understandably peeved. This time I thought, MAN, I really need to call her back, with a side order of wait, before I call I have to think of a good excuse for why I didn’t call her back the first three times. So I made a note to call her RIGHT AFTER I thought of a good reason.


The next week she called me again and left a message saying, “I guess you’re never gonna call me back. I don’t understand what’s going on. Are you mad at me or something?”

Ashamed of myself, I finally called her back and apologized.

Oh, except I DIDN’T. I felt dumb, because I’d created this big dramatic thing out of thin air, simply by not calling back. I was too embarrassed to call and tell her the truth - HEY, I’m sorry, I’m a lazy and THOUGHTLESS JERK. I thought she would just be mad if I called her, and I hate drama, and because I’m a cowardly coward who cowards I thought, ah, well, we never talked all that often anyway. So basically I threw our friendship away. Swish-swish-swish, into the trash. Over NOTHING.

Because I’m a self-involved idiot with the emotional maturity of a gnat.

I ask you, who DOES that??!

When I told my sisters about this on Saturday they sat and stared at me for a minute, speechless, shaking their heads at my complete and total social idiocy and dorkitude. I know they were wondering what was missing in my SOUL that I would do that to somebody. So yes, I know. I KNOW. I KNOW!!! (Don’t tell me in the comments – I KNOW! I KNOW!!!)

Why didn’t I call her? Why did I put my own feelings of embarrassment ahead of our friendship? ACK!

I know what the answer to the question is of course. I didn’t call her because I’m a JERK.

I kept thinking, you know, if I had her email address, I could just post about it and send her the link to my blog instead of calling her to apologize (like an actual grown-up). Because heaven forbid I should have to feel awkward for two-and-a-half minutes or actually ask for forgiveness for something I did to hurt someone. But that would kind of be a jerk move. Also, I don't have her email address.

So today? TWO YEARS LATER? (I KNOW - SHUT UP.) I'm going to call her.

Wish me luck. On the phone call, and on perhaps someday achieving emotional maturity.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

And Then I Bought A Five Gallon Drum of Purell

Pin It Earlier this week, I helped to chaperone a preschool field trip to the Las Vegas "Zoo."

Guys? I'm using the word zoo, very, very, very loosely, here. It has animals, but it is not affiliated with the city, and not accredited, and it is also just – NOT RIGHT.

I would describe the condition of the place, but when I googled “Las Vegas Zoo -SAD” it zipped me right over to a very funny post on this blog, which describes it perfectly:
Two words come to mind when trying to describe the Las Vegas Zoo

1. Ghetto
2. Sad (so very, very sad.)

Yeah. What she said.

What I'm really concerned about though, is the little sanitation issue they seem to be having. If bird flu ever gets off the ground, this is where it will start, because the place is COVERED with pigeon poop.

Now I’m not a germophobe. If my kid drops a piece of his sandwich on the ground, I’ll sometimes pick it up, blow it off and hand it back to him. Good for the immune system and all that.

But when we walked toward the entrance and I saw hundreds of pigeons milling about, I started to get a bit nervous. We paid our admission and once we were inside the gates, I could see that 90% of the structures were made entirely out of pigeon crap.

I was a bit disconcerted.

“Oh look,” I cried, “There’s poo EVERYWHERE.” I laughed nervously, aware that my voice was just a little too loud. I looked at one of the other moms. “Look! Poo! All this poo! It’s on everything! Oh. Wow!”

I spent the next hour trying to make sure that my children didn’t touch anything and obsessive compulsively wiping Abby and Carter's hands off. "Did you get poo on yourself?" "How about now?" "How about now?"

At one point in time the pre-school teacher tried to get the kids to sit at one of the picnic tables to have a snack and I loudly objected.

“But look! There’s poo on it.”

“They can just not touch the top of the table,” she said calmly.

I laughed loudly. “Ha ha ha ha. Um.”

“They’ll be fine.”

I laughed again. “Ha ha ha ha. It’s on the benches." I pointed at one of the kids. "Look – he’s sitting on poo! That’s – that’s – really bothering me a lot.”

After snacktime, we walked around the zoo, all three acres of it, checking out the lion, the alligator, and the chimpanzee (who delighted my children my picking his nose and eating his boogers – they GOT that, it was their kind of comedy).

Did I mention that there was a lot of poo? Everywhere?

So basically? I do not think we will be coming back.

Here are some other fun comments about the zoo, also brought to you courtesy of Mr. Google:

  • This is by far the worst "zoo" I've ever been to. I have no idea why they have so many chickens running around, except maybe to eat all the mice I saw.
  • This zoo is a city haven...for the pigeons.
  • This zoo is a real DUMP, and the folks that run it are to blame along with the city of Las Vegas. The poor, poor animals. May God forgive you all for this sick place!!!!
  • I strongly suggest just not going.

Yeah, me too, buddy. ME TOO.

And now I must be going. So little time, so many things to bleach.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sometimes I Wear Floaties

Pin It (Alternate Title: Wow, This Got Long and Boring Very Fast - Don't Say I Didn't Warn You.)

I find it highly inconvenient that the people who pay me to write things want me to actually finish stuff. They keep giving me deadlines and expecting me to meet them. How am I supposed to blog under these conditions?

Oh. Wait.


Right now I'm supposed to be exploring the intricacies of database analysis (while resisting the urge to stab myself in the eye with a fork), but I wanted to pause for just a second to answer the burning question that is apparently on the minds of readers everywhere, judging by my email - namely, variations on the theme of "have you no shame?"

“How can you write about your financial problems? Aren’t you embarrassed?”
“People you KNOW read your blog.”
“Have a little pride.”

There are certain topics that are off-limits for the blog. (My husband: "There ARE?" Me: "Should we talk about last night, with the untimely falling asleep?" My husband: "Point taken. As you were.") Our financial struggle isn't one of them.

I'll admit it. Sometimes it can be awkward. There are a few people in my new church congregation who barely know me but who've read a little bit of my blog, thanks to my avid advance guard blog-stalking. It’s a little like going up to someone you’ve never met before and saying, “Hi! I’m bankrupt! And a hypochondriac! Let’s be friends!” And though they've been universally welcoming and friendly, I know some of them are probably not quite sure what to think.

I have old friends who read the blog, old non-friends who read the blog, and friends of my mother who read the blog. I would imagine that some of those people empathize and wish me well, but I'm sure there are also people who read with a less sympathetic eye. There are a few who I can imagine cackling and rubbing their hands together with glee. "Well, that brought her down a peg or two." (Yes. It sort of did. Congratulations.)

I write about our financial problems because it's part of our life. I write about it because writing helps me to sort through what I feel about it. I write about it because this is the one place where I try to be as honest as possible. In a way, being honest about it is almost selfish. When you stop trying to keep up a facade and open the door, people have a chance to come through it, offering support and friendship and cookies. The support I get from writing about it? It's like my very own personal floatation device.

When I was a kid, my mom would sometimes take us to a different community pool, one that had a high dive and a low dive. I loved to jump off the high dive, reveling in the frightening feeling of freefall, followed by the giant splash into the water. I’d plunge down, down, down, touch the bottom and push off toward the surface, kicking as hard as I could. Once I broke through, I'd tread water for a minute while I got my bearings, then swim for the safety of the side of the pool, delighted that I'd done it, once again.

Losing your business is kind of like that. When you first realize you are going down, and that the crash at the bottom is coming, you might wave your arms and kick and shriek, but you are already in transit. You can’t deny the pull of gravity. It’s inevitable, and all that is left for you to do is to make the best of it, to try to minimize the damage and kick for the financial surface as quickly as you can.

When you are back above water, you have to get your bearings, to reframe not only how you will make a living and where you will land financially, but who you are. Some of your identity gets stripped away because the things you always thought about yourself turn out to be not quite true.

The fairy tale you always told yourself (poor girl makes good, achieves success, keeps up with the Joneses) may not have the ending you pictured, but you learn other things about the main character - that you are more resourceful than you thought, stronger than you thought, more resilient than you thought.

My husband and I never really struggled. Things were relatively smooth sailing once we got married. We were never really sick, we got along like gangbusters right from the start, and we were never really poor. We used to talk about it sometimes, how things had been so relatively easy, and it was almost scary, like waiting for the other shoe to drop. I never really knew – was I, were we - strong enough to handle something Very Bad?

Last month we had the public creditors meeting for our bankruptcy. At that meeting, your creditors have the opportunity to question you under oath to ensure that you aren’t hiding any assets. I was – so looking forward to it. Really. I was barely able to sleep the night before because I was JUST. THAT. EXCITED.

It was anticlimactic though. No creditors attended. It was just us and the bankruptcy trustee, who asked a few questions before dismissing us.

On the way out, my husband gave my hand a comforting squeeze. “You know what this means, right?”

I sniffled. “We’re huge losers, doomed to a life of bad credit and worse teeth?”

“No. Duh.” He rolled his eyes and gave me a big cheesy smile. “It means we’re DEBT FREE.”

I gave him a dirty look.

He grinned at me. “Come on! DEBT FREE! People work their whole lives for that! And we’ve done it! We’re living the dream!”

I half smiled. “Yeah, and all we had to do was lose our business, house, cars, boat, and all of our savings! Paying bills is for SUCKERS.”

We gave each other a big hug and did the laughter through tears thing, and I thought, we're gonna be o.k.

Somewhere out there in blog land, maybe someone else is going through the same kind of stuff. Maybe she's thinking, how are we gonna get through this? If I lose my house, how will I face people? Where will we live? How can things ever be o.k. again?

If that person is reading, here's what I'd want them to know:

  1. It doesn't matter what people think. It really doesn't.
  2. People will always talk. About anything. About anyone. Even if I only ever blogged about potato salad, there would be people who resented my stance on mustard vs. mayo. (Pro-mustard all the way.) Try not to worry about it.
  3. You can go through something like this and come out of it o.k.
  4. You really can.

So get out there and swim, baby, because the water's fine.

And if you need to borrow my floaties?

They're all yours.

P.S. That weird ripply thing in the water? Not an alligator.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Pin It IMing the other evening, my friend Azucar and I somehow got to talking about the horrible, no good, very bad culinary pranks our parents liked to play on us. AZ reminded me about powdered milk and wheat gum (VOMIT). I cannot talk about that particular bit of wretchedness without having horrifying flashbacks, but luckily AZ just posted about it here.

(Ooooh, also, my sister wrote about powdered milk a few months ago on her food blog, here. I love how in the comments my brother's wife says he is still traumatized, and my mom tries to disavow her role in it. NICE TRY, MOM.)

My mom had other cooking quirks. For a while there she had this thing about gluten, or as I like to call it, wheat dregs. Once she made us gluten and oatmeal cookies. Let me repeat that. GLUTEN AND OATMEAL COOKIES. And she told us they were treats. That is NOT. RIGHT.

We were not allowed to have chips or any kind of sugary cereal. No Fruit Loops or Fruity Pebbles for us. No sireee, we ate Wheaties. Except, and I've never been able to quite figure this out - they let us put brown sugar on TOP of the Wheaties. And they would just - hand us the bag. Here kids, eat this nasty brown tasting cereal because it's good for you, except, also, HERE'S a SHOVEL and a bag of sugar - knock yourselves out. TELL ME HOW THAT MAKES SENSE.

My mom used to lock the fridge. To be fair, she did not really have a choice. There were NINE of us. Defensive measures had to be taken. She had this bungee cord and she would hook one end to the fridge handle and one end to a hook on the wall, and if you tried to open it and actually managed to get it unhooked, it would basically snap you so hard you went unconscious.

Sometimes, if the fridge was unlocked and mom was in another room, we would just rush it and take anything we could find and run away to another room where we would eat it, crouched in corners, stuffing the food into our gullets while keeping a watchful eye on the doorway. I once ate seven raw hot dogs, just because I could. Because they were there. (This explains so much about my eating philosophy. Oh, look, there it is! Hurry, hurry, hurry EAT IT NOW! EAT IT NOW! BEFORE IT'S GONE!)

I remember very clearly that my mom came after us for that one. She said, "Who ate those hot dogs? WHICH ONE OF YOU ATE THOSE HOT DOGS?! They were raw. RAW! You ate RAW MEAT. What are you?! ANIMALS?!"

I pretended to know nothing. "It wasn't me," I said. And then I threw up on her. (So I think she figured it out.)

If we were very good, my mom liked to serve a little dish she called Chocolate Treat. Chocolate Treat consisted of four ingredients. Peanut butter, unsweetened cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and a dash of milk. She mixed the ingredients together until it was the consistency of thick frosting, and gave it to us to eat with a spoon. So basically her philosophy was, "Here my children, eat Wheaties for breakfast and then you may have a nice bowl of lard."

This is me and my older sister. (I'm on the right.) See the nice healthy sheen on our hair? TOTALLY FROM THE LARD.

Ah, memories. So, what foods did your parents inflict on you?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

And the Walls Come Tumbling Down

Pin It When I moved to Utah four years ago, it took me about a year to really let my guard down. People I didn't know would wave to me as we drove through the neighborhood and I had no idea what to do in response. After all, I didn't KNOW them. How could I just wave? INSANITY.

In Vegas, you don't wave to strangers on the street. In Vegas, you don't make eye contact with store clerks. In Vegas, you go about your business, are polite but distant with strangers and neighbors, and interact primarily with your family and friends.

I'm not sure if you notice it if you've lived here your whole life. You can't really understand that it isn't like that everywhere, that it isn't normal not to acknowledge a neighbor in the front yard a few houses down, or to pretend like you can't hear your neighbors out in their yard on the other side of the six foot cinder block wall. When someone points it out to you, you may not even really understand what they mean, because it's something you've always taken for granted. It's a normal distance - an unfriendliness borne not of meanness but of culture.

There are people of course, who are friendly everywhere they go, no matter where they live, no matter how other people react. They are the people who surprise you by engaging you at the grocery store, at the post office, at the park. And you may enjoy the interaction, but a part of you is saying, "That was odd. She just jumped right in and started talking to me. Wasn't that odd?"

I had to go to the bank yesterday to talk to them about a Very Important check they'd slapped a two-day hold on. It was destined for Important Things, and I desperately needed them to release the funds.

At the bank, I talked to the teller, who looked bored as she told me that actually, it was a NINE day hold.

It took me a second to process that. "What? Nine - nine days, but that's - I can't - NINE?!"

She nodded, a tired expression on her face. I'm sure she dealt with this kind of thing all the time. I'm sure she was used to people freaking out about money, taking their financial stress out on her when there was nothing she could really do about it.

"Can I talk to your manager?" I asked her quietly.

She waved her manager over and I explained as politely as I could that I could wait two days, but not nine, that in nine days, Very Bad Things would happen, and please, was there anything she could do?

The manager didn't look at me as I spoke. She kept her eyes focused on the screen, tapping the keys as she reviewed our account status. I could tell I wasn't an actual person to her, just a transaction, an interruption in her workflow. She wasn't rude or impolite, but she was detached and curt. After a minute, she shook her head. "There's nothing we can do. Your account is too new, and its an out-of-state check. It'll be released on the 22nd." She tapped another key.

The 22nd. I couldn't help it, tears welled up in my eyes.

Even though we are mostly back on our feet, with good jobs and good income, we've had to pay for so many things lately - security deposits and attorney's fees and licenses, not to mention the occasional bag of groceries, and the money seems to fly out the door faster than we can earn it. But this check - THIS was supposed to be the one that gave us breathing room.

I felt overwhelmed, pushed past my capacity to deal with everything that had happened in the last year. I could handle the bankruptcy, I could handle losing our business, but this one little check was going to push me right over the edge and into a nervous breakdown, I could feel it.

She finally looked over at me, and was obviously startled at my expression and the tears in my eyes.

"Please, isn't there anything you can do?" I said with as much dignity as I could muster, given the way my nose was running.

She stared back at me for a second and her eyes softened. "Let me see." She walked over to another computer and started typing.

I waited nervously, watching as Abby and Carter charmed the loan officer into giving them suckers. The teller really looked at me now, and made sympathetic small talk.

A few minutes later, the manager returned. "I was able to release the funds - all of them." She smiled at me, a real, honest to goodness up-to-the-eyes warm smile, as though I was a friend and not just some random stranger, and I suddenly wanted to bake her cookies.

I tried to smile at her through my tears. "Thank you so much. Thank you. You have no idea - this really - I really appreciate this..." I showered grateful thanks on her, on the teller, on the loan officer.

"No problem," she said, and she shook my hand. She looked genuinely happy to have been able to help.

I took Abby's hand, took Carter's hand, and we walked out of the bank. I was smiling from ear to ear (groceries! gas! wheeeee!), and not just because of the money.

I know it wasn't a big thing. It wouldn't even qualify as a Hallmark moment. A bank manager helped me out, overrode policy - big whoop-de-doo. But the thing is - for a minute she really SAW me.

It meant something to me.

We forget to really LOOK at the people around us. We get so cynical. We learn too many hard lessons about people, and we shut out everyone but those who are closest to us. We save our mental and emotional energy for the people we love, and pretend that the other people we deal with (the checker we fail to acknowledge at the grocery store, the lady we cut off in traffic, the crossing guard we ignore) aren't really REAL people, they're just obstacles in our day.

I'm not saying we should talk to every stranger who crosses our path; but we can acknowledge them, can't we? Acknowledge that we see them, and acknowledge our shared humanity? Smile at someone? Nod politely as we pass each other?

Simple things. Baby steps. That's how it starts, right?

Because as it turns out - that whole Love Thy Neighbor thing? Has its merits.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hilarious Blogs You May Not Know About Written By People Who Should Totally Be My New Best Friends (Call Me!)

Pin It

Need a good laugh? Visit these people:

Kacy, because she feels about her hamster like I feel about my dog

Nicki, because we both have serial killers after us

Heidi, because everything she writes makes me laugh

COMMENTS OFF (Twice in one week? Yes my friends, the Apocalypse is clearly at hand.)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A List for my Mother

Pin It Thanks for making me practice the piano, even when I had an absolute fit about it, screaming like a banshee as you grimly dragged me back to the keyboard.

Thanks for insisting that we, "for heavens sake, turn off the TV and go play outside." I don't remember much about the shows we protested over, but I remember playing with my brothers and sisters and friends - cops and robbers on bikes, don't-touch-the-ground tag in the backyard, rollerskating up and down the street with packs of neighborhood children.

Thank you for dragging the whole brood of us to the library, over and over and over again, and for unlocking my imagination by introducing me to the Boxcar Children, Mrs. Pigglewiggle and The Little Princess, to Roald Dahl and Anne of Green Gables.

Thanks for making me take swimming lessons - for chasing my six year old self around the pool as I screamed "I DON'T WANT TO DIE!" Later, when we spent summer after summer at the rec center pool, I was grateful that you'd been so VERY MEAN.

Thank you for getting me the pink, poofy, STORE-BOUGHT dress I so desperately wanted for my seventh birthday. I will never forget the feeling of a wish truly, sweetly fulfilled.

Thanks for singing with us, for filling the house with music, for letting us do crazy Broadway style dancing in the living room (not even visibly wincing as we leaped on and off the furniture), and for being the attentive audience for an infinite number of impromptu talent shows in the family room.

Thanks for helping me clear off that branch on the mulberry tree because I was in love with the quirkiness of the idea of sitting there to read, and for letting me read there for hours every day when I probably should have been doing chores.

Thanks for sometimes pretending not to notice when I would read in bed at night, flashlight under the covers. Now when I catch my own daughter reading chapter books in the hallway long after she should be sleeping, I smile. (Well, o.k., sometimes I yell GET IN BED, but - you know, lots of other times I smile.)

Thanks for teaching me what it means to look on the bright side. (I think I'm finally FINALLY getting it.)

You know all those times I screamed and lied and had tantrums and was ungrateful and mean and just generally a little snot? Thanks for letting me survive into adulthood. I can't imagine raising nine children and not going stark, raving mad. The fact that we are all alive and in one piece today is kind of miraculous.

There have been times when I judged you harshly. Kids are good at keeping score, at weighing and measuring their slights and hurts. All too often I kept track of all of the things that seemed unfair, storing them up so that I could throw them back at you during our many arguments, all the while swearing I will never do that to my children.

And now each time my children are angry with me, when they shout, "That's not fair," and tell me how I've hurt their feelings, I learn a little more about what a tough job it can be, and how well you managed to do it, and I pray that my own children will be more forgiving than I sometimes was.

Thank you for the countless things you've done for me - and for all of us.

I love you Mom. Happy Mother's Day.


Friday, May 09, 2008

My Ears Are Broken

Pin It
Mom, can I play 'puter? Why not? Why not? I wanna. I wanna play it. I wanna play da guy who takes da word and shocks it POW and goes up high and makes a beep and you get a star and it goes bigger and da guy turns into a monkey. Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on. Let me do it. Mom, COME ON.

(Five minutes later, climbing on me) Oh, mom, I love you. Why you so sweet? Huh? Yous a sweet mommy. Let me hold yours face. Let me kiss yours nose. You so cute. Look at me. Look at me. I love you. I love you. I love you. Mom, I love you. I love you. I love you. Hey, mom, I’m gonna play 'puter. Why? Why? WHY? BUT I LOVE YOU! LET ME PLAY DA 'PUTER!

(Later) Oh Mom, I love you. Gimme me a hug. Gimme me a kiss. Gimme me anudder hug. Hold me. Hold me up. No, not sittin' down. Standin' up. Hold me standin' up. Standin' up. HEY, I SAID STANDIN' UP. Aaaaaaa! AAAAAAGH! STAND UP! NOW!

I don’t wanna go in my room. I won’t! No! Never! NEVAH! NEVAAAAAH! Hey, put me down. Put me down. HEY, I SAID PUT ME DOWN. I won’t stay in here. I won’t. I won't! NEVAH! LET ME OUT!

Hey, mom, I want lunch. Turkey sandwich wit crusts OFF. I didn't want it cut like that. NOT LIKE THAT. AAAAAAAH! Hey! Where you takin' me? Hey! Put me down!

(creeping out of room) Hey mom, look at this. Look at this picture. You like it? It’s for you. Hey mom, look at this. Look at this picture. You like that? Hey mom, look, another picture. Do you love it? Do you love it? Do you love it?

Hey mom, look at this. Look at my finger. Look at my car. Look at my army guy. Look at my shirt. Look at my eye booger. Look. Look. Look. Look. Hey mom hey mom hey mom hey mom hey mom hey mom hey mom hey mom hey mom hey mom hey mom hey mom hey mom hey mom hey mom hey mom hey mom hey mom hey mom.


Thursday, May 08, 2008

Accidents Happen, Part II (This Time Not Fictional)

Pin It I'm ALIVE and feeling much better. Thank you for the well wishes and the comments (and the sometimes a little bit scary intensity). I have been watching the comments on my last post with excitement, gratitude and fascinated interest, but I have not had time to post because I was in an accident yesterday.


I was backing out of my garage when I was completely blindsided by a large truck.

Luckily, I'm fine. There is a hole in our bumper, but there were no injuries. I keep reminding my husband that he should be grateful I'm alive, but he keeps rolling his eyes at me.

O.k., so technically, it was our truck that I hit, and technically, it was just sitting there behind me in the driveway. So I guess it wasn't really that I was blindsided as much as that I - sort of forgot the truck was there.

(Hey, I had IMPORTANT THOUGHTS in my brain. You try writing the great American novel in your head and also not hitting stuff with your car. It's HARD.)

Besides, it was kind of sneaky of my husband to just park it there in the driveway. Usually he parks on the street. He was kind of asking for it. I did NOT point this out to him when I told him what had happened:

Me: "Honey, I hit the truck."
Husband, staring at me blankly: "With what?"
Me: "With the car."
Husband, spluttering: "How did - how - it was parked - did you even --"
Me: "Um."
Husband, now examining hole in the car: "How did you not see it?"
Me: "I'm not sure."
Husband: "Did you look?"
Me: "I'm sorry?"

This is the hole I made in the bumper:

To my husband's credit, he didn't get angry, he just sighed a lot. He had to know it was coming. It's been almost ten years since I've been in an actual accident. Granted, I tend to run into stuff, but it's usually it's more like - a house or a building or something.

NOTE: Things I've run into: the house, the boat, the car, the garage door, a pole, the door of a loading dock, a shopping cart holder thingie, my bicycle, and my husband (I TOTALLY didn't see him.)

Oh, I just remembered something. When I was 19, I stopped at a 7-11 to get a Big Gulp. When I was done, I pulled out of the parking lot, looked to my left, saw that it was clear and proceeded to make a right turn - directly into into a parked public transit bus.

The bus driver came out of the bus and had pretty much the same reaction that my husband had.

Him: "How did you not see it? It's a BUS."

Me: "Um."

I did not want to tell him the real reason - that 95% of my functioning brain cells were currently devoted to thinking about boys, and it had not occured to me to look to my right. (In my defense, I DID look left. So if you want to look on the bright side, I was actually half-right.)


In other news, my weight loss efforts are off to a fine start.

The other day I somehow found myself at Golden Spoon (as you do), a nearby frozen yogurt place. Basically it's ice cream, but they try to make you feel all virtuous and healthy for eating it, which would be fine if I wasn't eating enough for four people and topping it with cookies and chocolate sauce.

Once inside, I stood in front of the counter for a WHILE, trying to figure out what would be more virtuous, calorie-wise: a Mini vanilla with yogurt chips or a Small vanilla with strawberries. Standing there, I started thinking about how many miles I would have to walk to burn off the calories in that yogurt. It dawned on me that I could NOT eat the yogurt and that would save me a LOT more calories. I could walk out. I could put the spoon down. I could do it.

And so you know what I did?

I ate the MEDIUM yogurt, and then also, I put snickers on it.

So really, this isn't so much a weight loss victory story. It's more like - a cautionary tale. Because once I start thinking like that, denying myself stuff that is more or less healthy (shut up) and fits within my calorie budget/plan for the day, I'm headed for a downward spiral of disordered thinking ("even fewer calories if you throw it up" "even fewer calories if you don't eat anything at all, all day," "hey, I've heard people on meth lose a lot of weight,") and I give up.

I'm a regular font of inspiration, I know. You're welcome.