Tag Archives: eccentric

How Does One Make the Perfect Life Choices?

I’m sitting in an airport waiting for a delayed flight, wearing bright orange compression socks, thinking about the latest book I’m writing. It’s been harder to write.

The main character is divorced. She was pregnant when her husband left her for her friend and she had to quickly get a job. She goes back to school to get a secondary education degree because her bachelor’s was in English.  

She had planned on getting a Master’s and possibly a Doctorate in English but then she met John. They fell in love. He got a job and they got married and she didn’t get a Master’s. When she got pregnant with their first child, she kept working. Then the two of them together decided she would stay home with their son. After childcare costs, it made more sense. And he made enough. Plus, she believed her kids would be better off if one of them could stay home. He made more, so she stayed home. She often thought about getting her Master’s, but then a kid would get sick and she wondered how she would do it all. She kept putting it off.

Until the day her husband came home and said he wanted a divorce.

She doesn’t think much about her choices (Why bother? It won’t help) until she has to work with a graduate of hers who has just finished her bachelors and wants to go get her Master’s. But she met this guy….

So Grace looks over at all of her decisions.

And this is where I’m stumped.  

Of course women should get an education and support themselves. Of course they should accomplish all they want to accomplish. But what if the two spouses decide that one parent could stay home. They think it would be better for the kids. But then the spouse who stays home loses potential income. Loses years of experience. May pass up on education that would help because they put their trust in their spouse.

Is this possible anymore?

Do both parents need to always work because relationships seem to be so fluid these days?

I stay home. Yes, I’ve had different jobs and done different things, but when I thought of applying to be a substitute teacher and saw they wanted 3 professional references, I started to cry and didn’t finish the application. I couldn’t think of a professional reference. Sure, I had people who would give me a reference, but I hadn’t worked for anyone in years.  

At the same time, I think having one parent able to stay home is great for a family. I think I’m slowly going insane, but besides that, I think it’s a good idea. If possible.

I had a parent home until I was about 12 or 13 and then I would come home and be alone for about an hour. It wasn’t that big a deal. I would do my homework and watch Days of Our Lives. The worst thing I did was eat a whole box of Kudos and then throw up. I never ate another Kudos again and I’m not even sure they make them anymore. They probably heard my story and realized they didn’t have a future.

But I remember when I missed the bus and I couldn’t get a hold of anyone. I was scared. I thought I’d have to stay at the school over night. My neighbor came and got me and it wasn’t a big deal except for the 30 minutes when it was.

I’m around if my kids forget their lunches or nice clothes for a presentation. I pick them up for appointments and make sure things generally run smoothly.

Except for those times when I mix appointments up and I show up at the right time a day late. Or when I give each kid a different kid’s lunch so when I see one on the counter and it says my youngest’s name but I know I gave him something, I just eat that lunch myself.

I’m not a very domestic stay at home mom but I’m a “I’m here if you need me” one.  

As I write from my character’s point of view, I wonder if this is still a good idea.

If I went back into the workforce and actually used my law degree, I would never make the money I would’ve made had I stayed working. I’m so far out of the game, I wonder if I could get a job.  

Some people volunteer and keep up their resume that way. I haven’t kept a file of what I’ve done. I think I was taught you don’t get credit for volunteer work. It’s a service. (And if it gets around that I’m a helpful person, people may actually ask me for help. No one wants that.)  

So what’s the answer?

Is staying home still a viable option?  

How does one make the perfect choices in life? And never regret them?

I would love to hear your views.

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I’ve Made a Rash (and yet Delicious) Decision

I’ve made a rash decision and I’ve done so without discussing it with my husband.  I hope he understands but if he doesn’t, it’s really too late.  I hope it doesn’t do any permanent damage to our relationship but I feel as though it was a personal decision and I was ready.  It’s taken a few years to get here but I feel as though I’ve matured enough now and it’s time.

I signed up for the Fruit and Cheese of the Month Club.

I’m kind of excited.  Fruit of the Month seemed like a really big decision and I couldn’t do it.  But then I saw that I could get it with cheese and it was as though the whole world expanded.

With cheese, Fruit of the Month becomes educational.  I figure Harry and David will do all of the work matching what cheese goes best with what fruit and all I have to do is blend the two.  By the end of the year, I will know how to eat cheese and fruit TOGETHER.

I also feel as though this gives my children a hand up in the world.  They will grow up knowing what cheese goes best with what fruit.  Something I didn’t have at their age. Who knows what doors this may open?  I’m pretty sure it will help with the Harvard applications.  (Although truth be told, I’ve been flirting with Stanford lately.)

I will keep you updated.  I promise to share my new knowledge.  Otherwise it would really just be selfish.

I hope my husband understands.

Does it come cut up and dipped in chocolate too?

Does it come cut up and dipped in chocolate too?

How I Prepare for Catastrophes

Occasionally I watch Revolution.  The show scares me to death.  But I like Billy Burke.

All my life I’ve been told to keep between 3 months to a year’s worth of food storage.  I’m supposed to have a 72 kit that’s mobile.  (I have this last one and I’m working on the 3 month one.  Of course I’m not sure I know where the 72 hour kit is, but I’m unsure how important that is.)  (Actually, this is a lie.  I have a couple days worth of Captain Crunch in my basement.  I’m going to work on this very, very soon.)

But now that I’ve watched Revolution, I don’t think this is enough by far.  I need sword lessons, hand combat skills, computer science skills, and to be able to perform surgery with a sharp knife and whiskey.  (How the whiskey should be used is a bit ify.)

I’m just not ready.  Maybe that’s why I don’t have food storage.  Then no one will attack my house because there’s nothing of value in it.  I think this is a sound approach to the world falling apart.

I wonder if “amazing wit” would come in handy.

I'm saving perfume samples.  That should count for something.  Especially if I can memorize that model's intense glare.

I’m saving perfume samples. That should count for something. Especially if I can memorize that model’s intense glare.

I Need a Sign for Days I Try to Hide Out

There’s this odd phenomenon in my life and I want to know if others have it as well.

On certain days, when I know I don’t have to go anywhere until my kids come home, I’ll shower, get half ready, put my pajama bottoms back on and wait to put any make up on.  And I love it.

BUT if the doorbell rings, I panic.  How dare someone randomly stop by on a day when I don’t put base on until 3:05pm?

Today, it was UPS.  The package is still on the porch.  And it will be.  Until 3:10.

But then I think: why do I look as comfortable/bad as I can when someone coming by brings complete and utter terror?  Should I make a sign to put on my door?  What should it say?

I really am home, but until I’m no longer in my pj bottoms, I will not be opening this door.

Leave whatever you’ve brought and back away slowly.  Any resistance will be met by a Medusa-like creature.

Real people with real lives don’t come out until after dark.  PS  What’s your blood type?

Unless you have chocolate cake, don’t ring the bell.

What would your sign say?

You can see if I'm in my office as you walk to the door.  (And I know our lawn is AMAZING)

You can see if I’m in my office as you walk to the door. (And I know our lawn is AMAZING)

I Am Passing Judgment (while wearing a nice fall ensemble)

Lately, Facebook seems to be so judgmental.  It’s kind of getting me down.  Now, some of you may think, “But aren’t YOU judgmental?”  My reply is simply: “Yes.  But I’m FUNNY.”

I think judgmentalness, which is not an acceptable a word, is an acceptable state of being.  As long as you do it quietly.  Or you make me laugh.

I understand not everyone is funny.  This makes me very sad.  But I have a solution for this.  (Naturally.)

If you aren’t funny, instead of posting judgments of other people, make fun of yourself so that I can judge YOU in the privacy of my own home.  I think it would be the nice thing to do.  Especially on Tuesdays.  Tuesdays can be slow news days.

And wear more burnt amber colored clothing.  It’s such a nice color to wear this time of year.

Resolution: Become Vain

I am trying to get a few relatively achievable goals.  I would like to not be discouraged this year, seeing as I have my “novel” to finish and that is discouraging enough.  And I have to do the laundry.  So this year, drum roll please, I have decided my New Year’s Resolution is to become vain.

Now I will admit that I am a little vain.  I believe anyone who gets out of bed, showers, combs their hair, and chooses what they will wear is slightly vain.  You graduate in vainness by how long you take with your hair; how much make-up you wear; if your clothes match and have no stains on them.  On a scale of 1-10, 1 being you cut your hair with toe-nail scissors and 10 being you get a blow-out every other day, I believe I range from a 4 to 6 on a daily basis and around an 8 for special occasions.  Looking at my scale, perhaps I don’t have enough gradations in it.  There is a mighty big gap between toenail scissors and blowouts.  Oh, well.  This is my reality and I am sticking to it.

I have decided to become an 8 in vainitude.  This is going to take some effort.  I may have to stop wearing fleece and ponytails.  Maybe I should get my hair cut into a style that must be done instead of growing it out and wearing a newly knitted hat over it.  I have tons of eye make up.  I will have to start using it though.  I may have to start wearing base as well.

I am also going to have to enter a twelve step program that will help me get over my resentfulness toward the time it takes to shower, and put gel in my hair.  I got up late Friday and I almost decided to not do any of it.  Until I realized I would be going out in public.  I swear if it weren’t for the public, I would only wear pajama bottoms with fuzzy slippers.  Instead of ten pairs of shoes, I would have ten pairs of fuzzy slippers.  If I did that now, people would think I was trying to look like a high school student.  I wish that would stop being a fad.  Because then I could do it without looking desperate.  Fuzzy slippers for Everyone!

In order to accomplish an 8, my children can no longer come near me unless they sanitize first.  I will put signs in the bathroom: “members of the family must wash hands after using the bathroom if they would like to come within 200 feet of Mommy.”  Too bad only one kid can read.  I’ll put another sign with an x over soap = an x over my picture.  Then we can have a dinner conversation devoted to what these signs mean.

I will also need my husband to get another job.  I will need to start wearing $200 heels that pinch my feet.  I will also need $500 jeans that fit just so and really large diamond earrings.  Like the ones Oprah wears. In fact, I think I need every one of Oprah’s favorite things starting from 1995.  Maybe my husband can get a part time job at the local bookstore.  I recently read a wonderful essay on how fun a part time job would be.

Ich bin eccentric.

I have tried very hard to become eccentric.  It can be very difficult when you are married to a dentist, live in the suburbs, drive a, oh the horror, minivan, and have three young children.  My children think I am exotic if I get a salad at McDonald’s but I would like to be a bit more unique.

So I was feeling so eccentric on Tuesday when I drove to Ennis for a skein of yarn.  Ennis is an hour and a half from my house.  I got up and went.  It was very exciting.  Until I talked to a couple friends and realized that because we live in Montana, this isn’t very eccentric.  We don’t have many stores in Helena so a lot of people go to Missoula to shop.  People know what street a store is on.  They know what is around this store.  It is amazing.  I barely know where Target is and I live two blocks from it.

To top it all off, I was driving all this way for YARN.  How domestic and boring is that?  I can’t even come up with something eccentric to buy.  We tried to go to a butcher while there and that could have been a little eccentric.  If we bought a lot of jerky.  But they were closed for a wedding.  Stupid domestic bliss.

But then I thought of the conversation I had with the proprietor of the yarn shop.  She was from Germany, had moved to LA and become a screenplay editor, had a falling out with a screenplay writer, followed The Horse Whisperer to Montana, and fell in love.  I spoke to her about writing and then I spoke a little German with her.  She told me I could call her and talk with her in German occasionally to get my language back.  I need to speak more German to strangers.  Especially the ones who actually speak German.

I decided that the conversation in the yarn shop was on the side of eccentric.  I am going to keep trying, though.  I will find ways to be eccentric.  Without using a lot of cats.