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Category Archives: Marriage

Looking for things to do in England

With all of the stresses going on these days, my trip to England can’t come fast enough.  I desperately need a vacation, and if I’m honest, I need to see my family over there.  It’s a funny dynamic.  Living so far away, and with my mom being gone, I often feel isolated from my family.  I go on Facebook and I see some of my cousins experiencing life with their moms, and I feel a bit envious.  It’s hard not to, especially since my mom and her sister were so alike, and I know I would have a lot of the same experiences as them if she were still alive.  In some ways, I feel isolated, but on the other hand, being around that also makes me feel comforted.  They know a part of me that almost nobody else does. I’m excited to introduce my kids to my family again (they were very young last time) and to show them a country half way across the world.

We have about 7 days to experience as much as possible, while getting as much fun and relaxation as we can too.  I have always been of the mindset that travel is exciting and exhilarating, but it should also have time to relax and enjoy it as well.  For me, it’s about the people, and I know the kids are super excited about seeing my cousins’s kids as well. That being said, England is rich with history, and how often do you get to go visit a real castle in the US?  Not too often.  My husband has always been a lover of old places, old architecture, and interesting spaces.  He loves roaming old graveyards, looking at the stones of people who lived and died about 200 years ago or more. He loves the gothic stone churches, the little villages and the pieces of history.

Unfortunately, with us going near winter, some of the houses/castles I was hoping to take them to are closed.  I had REALLY wanted to make the trek to Highclere castle, where they filmed Downton Abbey but it’s closed to the public while they film the movie.  For now we are looking into Chatsworth, which they decorate for Christmas about the time we are traveling.  I’m still looking into other interesting places in the East Midlands. If you know of any, please let me know.  With the long travel time and the need to get around to visit people, I need to stay somewhat local (can you believe I have never really been to London aside from a flight layover where we got stuck?)  London is on my bucket list, but I don’t think we’ll make it this time.

Some day, I hope to take the kids over for Christmas.

For now, I just want to make their trip as magical as possible.

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Some random facts about me, in case you (never) wondered:

myself

Some random facts about me, in case you (never) wondered:

Some are silly musings, some are a bit deeper in nature.  Maybe if one is interesting I’ll blog about it later.

I talk to myself in the car, Every. Single. Day.  It’s where I work out my problems, get out my frustrations, and narrate my life to myself.  If you’re driving along side me, you’ll probably see me having a full on convo with myself.  Ain’t no shame in my game.

When I was little, I trained with olympic coaches for figure skating.  I was ambidextrous, which was desirable.  I quit after my skin split from the cold and started bleeding one night, and my babysitter at the time freaked out.  Her fear scared me, and I decided I didn’t want to skate again after that.  My parents were sad, but never pushed me into anything I wasn’t comfortable with.

Little dogs make me anxious, probably because they seem more delicate.

I lost my English accent when I was a kid, but it comes back when I am in England or talking to my family from there.  I wish I had it all the time. My brain just switches and I don’t have any thought into it.

When I was a toddler, I had imaginary friends that I would talk to every night.  I always wanted my door shut and the lights off, and if my mom came in the room I would cry she had frightened them away.  One day, I saw a picture of a couple in a book and asked my mom how she had gotten a picture of them….it was a couple who had lived nearby who died long before I was born.

I have had several experiences that lead me to believe in spirits, however I’m not religious and struggle with the concept of God. The two seem to go hand in hand but for me, I can’t reconcile it all.

I believe that the more someone tells you how real they are, the more full of shit and deceptive they probably are.  Real people don’t need to advertise it.  They just live their lives.

One of my favorite quotes is “you are never to old to be what you might have been”-George Eliot.

Self esteem is the root of many of our problems, in my opinion.  If we all believed in ourselves more, loved ourselves more, we’d make MUCH better decisions and put up with a lot less nonsense.

Ice cream is one of my favorite things.  The texture, the temperature, the multitude of flavors….just everything about it makes me happy. I rarely say no to it, and I’ll sometimes allow my kids to have it as a treat before dinner.

Someone told me today my dad was one of his heroes.  My eyes teared up and I welled up with pride.  My dad is such a quiet guy who doesn’t really share all the amazing things he does.  I wish I knew more, but he’s humble and doesn’t think to really share such things.  I’m so proud to be his daughter.

I like silence.

I have about 16 tattoos.  Most people think I have 4, (small ones).  A former coworker once sat and told me how they hated tattooed women and how they thought it was horrible.  They became very uncomfortable when I explained my husband tattoos and I have quite a lot of them.  They responded “well, at least you can’t see them”, as if that made their comments any better.  I just laughed and walked away, knowing they felt really uncomfortable.

I have a stalker. She checks my blog on the regular and created fake accounts to get notifications of when I post, to harass me with on other platforms, and to stalk others. I almost moved the blog and changed the name, but I decided for now to keep it as is.  I know her IRL.  Awkward.  On the bright side, things seemed to have calmed down, so I’m hopeful it will end.

An ex of mine was black.  I’m about as fair as it gets.  When people tell you that racism doesn’t exist, when they tell you that black people and minorities are “exaggerating” how bad racism is, they are lying or they are ignorant of what really goes on.  I never really experienced racism growing up, but I learned quickly during that relationship just how deep it goes.  Racism isn’t always in your face.  Sometimes it flows like a silent, underlying current, or it’s whispers.  Going to an event with my ex and someone white sidled up to me and whispered asked who invited the “N*****” to the party with a laugh.  I was horrified, first at the racist comment, and then at the fact the person felt just so comfortable in saying it to me, clearly because I was white.  I guess they thought that they were talking to someone in the “white club” who would share their views. Their laugh quieted very quickly when I called over to my ex and asked him to come over to introduce himself.  We then politely turned to mingle elsewhere, while that person sat looking inherently uncomfortable.  Yes, it was the classier thing to do, but looking back now I wish I had told the person off.  Then again, I think they learned at least a small lesson.  Sadly, they are probably the same ignorant racist but perhaps they will be less likely to spread their thoughts to others.  While that relationship with my ex eventually ended (on good terms as well) it opened my eyes and ears to an issue. Which leads me to:

When we know others are suffering, but we say “well, it doesn’t impact me so it’s probably not my business”, we are ignoring a basic truth that we are all people, and that kindness matters.  One day, that hurt may come our way, and we would hope someone would stand for us.  It’s not easy to stand for others sometimes, but it is necessary if we wish to raise empathetic children.

I am sometimes really awkward. I’m also generally self aware enough to know when I am being awkward, which makes me feel even more awkward.  Ah well.

When I was a little girl, a neighborhood kid tricked me into sitting in dog shit so the other kids would laugh.  That humiliation was DEEP and it stayed with me.  I’d probably punch her in the neck now if I had my chance.  Her name was Cindy.  That’s all I remember.

My best friend growing up has a dad who is a hoarder.  I’m to this day one of the few people he is comfortable letting in the house, because he knows I don’t judge.  I have a bit of a fascination with hoarding.  I believe it’s way more common than people think it is, and I’ve had several friends who have relatives who hoard. My house is messy. (I’m sure you figured that out by the blog title) but not at hoarder standards. I think the combination of working full time, limited free time, 2 kids, and a lack of organizational skills in the home is the root.  It bothers me a lot because my mom was a neat freak and I wish I had inherited at least a little bit of that.

I love comedies.  Laughing is one of my favorite things.

I often try to see both sides of a situation.  Sometimes this drives people nuts.

Being born British has its perks. For example, nobody expects me to be a very good cook.  Usually they ask me to bring plates or soda to events.  Luckily nobody expects any highly complicated dishes from me.   I’ll admit I’m not a fancy cook.  I have a few things I make pretty well, or at least well that people will go for seconds for.  That being said, I love British food, but then again, most British people probably do. 🙂

Speaking of British food, fish and chips is my comfort food.  It is hard, though, in the US to find a place who can make it JUST like it is in England.  It’s often close, but never quite right.  A Salt and Battery in NYC has it to a science. If you’re in the area, GO.  Then go next door to Tea and Sympathy for hot rhubarb crumble with custard.  You’ll thank me later, even though you’ll have to roll yourself to your final destination because you’ll feel like a fatty after.  It’s utterly delish!

I love getting comments on my blog.  Drop a line sometime.

 

 

 

 

 

Rose and Thorn

A friend introduced me to a game called Rose and Thorn, which is where you basically lost the best and worst parts of your day. I always liked it because it allows you to vent your bad part while happily reminding yourself of the good part of your day. Sometimes, you have an awful day, and the universe seems to drop something great down as a consolation prize. Other times, your day is wonderful but then there’s something to take you down a peg or two. Feel free to post yours in the comments! Today, I’ll share mine.

Roses: my daughter attended a birthday party and while that was taking place, I got to relax and enjoy good coffee and a donut with some of the moms whose company I enjoy. I came home and managed to accomplish some yard work. My husband also offered to do a tattoo for me on his day off. Woohoo! I topped off the day with an invite from the neighbor to go have dinner at her house. She makes the most amazing empanadas! Good company, many laughs were had, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Thorn: before I get into this, note that when your day is going fabulous, sometimes the universe will drop a tiny turd on the day to keep things balanced. Today, I learned what hell is. I stepped in dog shit while wearing FLIP FLOPS. This prompted me to recoil, shriek in horror loudly while pointing at my now surely diseased foot and scream “kill it with fire!”. I bleached my own foot while wretching. Even now, hours later as I lay in my bed, I feel like one foot has shitcooties on it.

Balance. It’s all about balance.

Wha’ Happened?

Facebook is an interesting thing. It has it’s positive points, like the fact I can now easily communicate with and keep up with the lives of my family overseas.  I love seeing pictures, jokes, and funny anecdotes shared by friends.  I enjoy the feature where I can see posts from the past.  On the other hand, there are the political bullshit posts (how many of you are tired of THOSE?)  Whenever people from “the other side” of politics post something attacking my views, it’s sometime worthwhile to take a deep breath and keep on scrolling.  Sometimes I wonder if Facebook hurts as many friendships as it helps.  In the middle of the endless political posts, jokes, TMI posts, etc, there are the weird posts that come across that make you wonder….”wha’ happened?”

Two such posts crept across my newsfeed recently.  A friend and former coworker, who I follow on FB but don’t see outside in the real world now we have different jobs etc, suddenly posted a pic of her with a new fella. When I met her, she was married long term, with a son.  I knew she desperately wanted another baby, but it never panned out for her.  She posted pics of her and her husband on cruise ships, buying and renovating a house, and other, normal family type activities.   “must be a new friend” I mused, and kept scrolling.

Then I notice she tagged him in lots of pics and posts.  This was CLEARLY a VERY good friend.  Then the love post appeared, and a post of the two of them with her son and his kids.  I caught the post where she said she was hoping they would have a baby between them soon. Husband, it appears, was long out of the picture.  Or perhaps not so long. Who knows? As with any breakup of a marriage, it’s often hard to know what to feel.  Sadness for a dream that ended?  Sadness it couldn’t work?  Happiness that a possibly bad situation is over?  Happiness for new beginnings?  It’s always tough for those in the ripple effect around a couple splitting to know what to feel.  I felt sad her marriage had ended, clearly after a very long go of it, but I was happy to see a sparkle in her eye.  Still, I wondered what happened.  How do couples who have been together 20 years or so suddenly call it quits?  I suppose Facebook is what you let it be, and she hid what was going on very well.  I am very much an open book, so I doubt had I been in her situation I would have been as discreet.

Fast forward a few weeks, and another former coworker, from the same company now that I’m thinking of it, posted she was with her ill mother.  She made a comment about starting a new life alone is hard, especially without her family around. For all intents and purposes, it looked like she too may be at the end of a marriage.  This was a military wife who had been married since her late teens or very early twenties I believe. Another multi decade marriage, apparently at the end.   Again, I felt saddened by that.  Then I noticed in her pictures she was looking a bit happier, so I chose to be happy for her.

I’ve been married 12 years.  I got married during the simultaneously best and worst year of my life.  I got married, moved, had a baby, dealt with some post partum depression, lost my mother to cancer, went back to work, and was a new mom without my own mom to guide me.  It was amazing and hard, and joyful and it brought me to my lowest points.  It was a year of utter chaos.  We got through it together, my husband and I.  We’ve been through babies, new beginnings, the death of parents, fights, making up, and all the little life moments. We only really see each other a day and a half a week, but perhaps that makes it easier.  We manage well on our own but work really well as a team.  We don’t see each other every day, so we don’t take each other for granted.  It works for us, but certainly it wouldn’t work for everyone.  Nobody makes me laugh like he can.  Nobody makes me feel safer or happier than he can.  I’m very lucky, and I wish everyone felt that way in their marriage.  Unfortunately, not everyone does.

I’m at an age now where I’m more comfortable with myself than ever before.  Life seems easier in a lot of ways because I know who I am and I act accordingly.  Once you get a grasp of that it sure makes decisions easier, although don’t ask me what I want for dinner…..please don’t ask me that because while I know who I am, my stomach has no idea and it wants to do the equivalent of Rumspringa. Unfortunately, I am also at an age where my friends’ parents are starting to pass away, marriages are sometimes ending, and some of my friends who had kids early are becoming empty nesters.  It’s a different time that when I was younger.  I see a lot of endings and new beginnings cross that Facebook newsfeed.  Sometimes I don’t see the ending.  Sometimes, I miss the middle, and sometimes the beginning is subtle.  I assume I will see many more.

I sometimes wonder what causes long term marriages to end.  I suppose I can understand shorter term ones.  Sometimes, marriage is hard.  Sometimes, the person you marry lets all the habits they had hidden while dating suddenly go free, and some are deal breakers.  Sometimes people change.  Sometimes, the person turns into a bad person.  Sometimes, people just realize they aren’t as happy as they could be, and that life is too short not to be as happy as they can. That being said, 20 or so years into a marriage, what makes someone say “NOW I want to leave.”?  I don’t begrudge the choice, I just find it interesting.  I have an aunt and uncle, married well over 30 years.  They just announced a divorce.  I thought “you’ve put up with each other’s shit for this long…what was the straw that broke the camel’s back?”

It’s not my place to know.  It’s not my place to ask.   It’s not my business.

But I’m still curious.   I’m curious by nature.  I always wonder why people make the decisions they do, what their life story is, what happened in life to make them who they are.  I love to study people and their behavior.  I probably should have made it a career.

Again, I’m not sure what to feel when I hear these stories.  I have one friend who is trying to get a divorce from her husband.  He’s a horrible person, cheats, lies, bullies, intimidates.  He has a girlfriend and a baby with her, but won’t divorce my friend, instead dragging it out.  In her case, I will be happy for her the day it is final.  I have other friends getting divorced, and I feel a bit sad, because they always seemed happy to me, but again, I’m not living with them, so what the hell do I know anyway? I suppose I feel sad for the loss of the dream.  Nobody gets married with the thought “I’ll ride this out for 10 years and then I’m bailing”.  We get married with the hope of forever. It saddens me when those hopes and dreams don’t come to fruition for people.  Divorce and splits are more common that they used to be, but by the same token I’d hate to see anyone sitting in a bad marriage just to keep the masses happy.

So while the dream is gone, it does pave the way for new dreams, new adventures. For that fact, I am happy for my friends.  I have always stood by one very simple statement: “you are only one choice or decision from an entirely new life.”  It’s scary sometimes, it’s amazing sometimes, but at the end of the day, the person making the decision is opening up a world of new possibilities.  I’m very happy in my marriage, and everyone deserves to have that same happiness.  Sometimes they just don’t find it the first try.  That’s ok.

While I wouldn’t ask them what happened, what changed, I wish my friends the very best.  I hope that Facebook shows me their new futures with smiling faces and happy adventures.  I hope perhaps I eventually see new weddings.  Marriage, after all, is supposed to be love, trust, respect, hopes, dreams, and happiness.  That’s why so many celebrate it with such pomp and circumstance.  Those wonderful things are meant to be celebrated.  When they don’t work out, sometimes they are quietly skipped over on facebook, leaving those curious about the change to wonder “wha’ happened?”

 

 

 

‘Tis the Little Things

Sometimes, romance is a new air conditioner.

After a brutal summer with a subpar air conditioner in our bedroom, it was clear that our air conditioner had reached it’s end of days.  While in many ways I am tough as nails, a little known secret about me is that you can defeat me purely with a temperature change. I despise being hot or being cold.  There is a sliver of self approved temperatures I can be comfortable in, but anything too hot or too cold makes me really uncomfortable.  I start to think I feel hot, and from there is sort of spirals in an OCD way to being all I can pretty much focus on.  Many a night my husband laid on the bed next to me and heard me comment “It feels really warm in here.  The AC is on.  It’s just so hot in here!” Now I’m sure y’all might that what happened next might be because he got tired of me constantly feeling too hot and commenting on it, but I’m going to be the everloving optimist and say it happened out of love and romance.  Ok, maybe a little bit of the tired of me commenting on it part may have been a SLIGHT factor.

Saturday night I asked him what he wanted to do yesterday, since we were both off work.  He responded “I think we should go get a new air conditioner”.

WOOHOO!  My joy was palpable.

Romance is not dead.  To a woman who likes to be comfortable temperature wise, these words fell on me like a soft down feather comforter in winter (with just the right amount of feathers, and not too hot of a comforter, mind you).

Off we set yesterday, on a hunt to find an air conditioner.  It’s common in the northeast to use window air conditioners to cool homes.  Trust, I’d love to be a central air girl but it’s just not in the cards.  Apparently it is also so common in the NE to have an AC unit that there were none around.  Well, unless you wanted an $850 unit that will cool your whole house that is.  We needed something much smaller and compact.  After hitting multiple stores in multiple towns, we found one.  I can’t explain the glee I felt as he loaded it into the car.  Nighttime comfort!

Romance isn’t all grand gestures.

Romance is working from home and finding a surprise iced coffee in the fridge he got from Dunkin while dropping the kids off.

Romance is texting me obscure movie clips or jokes because they are part of a private joke between the two of us.

Romance is driving by each other in two different cars and giving each other the middle finger at exactly the same time and then laughing the rest of the way home.

Romance is the little things.

I froze my ass off last night.

Romance is not mentioning that we were a little too exuberant with the AC.