Monday, October 10, 2011


Saturday 6:45 a.m.: Car broke down seconds before pulling in to the parking lot at work. Not broke-down-wouldn't-move, broke-down-probably-shouldn't-drive-it-home. That's kind of what you get when you drive a 20 year old car and the only thing classic about it is how old it is.

Saturday 12:15 p.m.: Decide 2 minutes into drive home that it's not probably-shouldn't-drive-home, but definitely-shouldn't-drive-home. Since this particular part-time job is 35 minutes from home, I call my in-laws who live nearby to come get me and take me home. My daughter's birthday party was to commence less than 5 hours hence and they were coming anyway. I'll pick up my car the following day, when we come back for a birthday party of their own.

Saturday 9:30 p.m.: Party went well. Food was good, house somehow got clean. I hear Scott outside playing hide-and-seek with the girls in the dark. They have faux but sometimes real screams. It would make me smile if I weren't so tired.

Saturday 11:00 p.m.: Bed is beckoning. In spite of the happiness, it's been a long and tiring day. Husband and I still manage to roll around together. We're newlyweds, after all. I sleep well, in spite of the giggling girls.

Sunday 9:00 a.m.: Making waffles and bacon for the girls and husband. Turn phone on. Text from my mom that my cousin died sometime while I slept soundly. Call her.

I call. And she tells me all.

Such a sad, sad story all by itself.

But sadder when she tells me that she can't come home because she had surgery two days prior to remove melanoma spots on her back. Spots I didn't know she had. Spots she probably wouldn't have told me about if she didn't feel like she'd better have a good excuse for not coming home at a time like this. Spots I shouldn't tell anyone else about.

She probably didn't think it was a big deal. Or she didn't want us to think it was until it was a big deal. Two things about that:

1) When you keep a secret, it's pretty hard to come clean, because then you have to be honest about the secret in the first place.

2) It is a big deal because two years ago, there were spots on her face. And there was chemotherapy. A topical chemotherapy that hurt to look at.

And so there's a history.

And she wasn't going to tell anyone. And I can't tell anyone.

Only I'm angry. And I did tell someone. I told two someones. I told my brother and I told my sister. I told them because, no matter what my mother, my beautiful, smart, wise, hard-working mother thinks, it isn't only her business to tell or not tell. It's our business, too. Even if we didn't love her as much as we do, it's our business. But we do love her as much as we do.
So, I told them.
That's what I want to say tonight.
Monday 8:09 p.m. The Tigers are on. The Lions are on. Both are big deals. But the biggest deal is for me to say to my mom that it is my business and it is my brother's business and it is my sister's business. It belongs to us and all of her friends and to everyone who loves her just as much as it belongs to her. She doesn't get to pick. And honesty hurts so much less in the long run than secrets. That's what I want to say tonight.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Grown Up

This year, my son started 3rd grade. He's going to take the MEAP for the first time (a test in which, contrary to what I'll ever admit to publicly, I do believe in). He is halfway to middle school. He has 100% on all of his spelling tests thus far. He gets himself ready in the morning for the first time.

At 6:45, before I leave to drop my daughter off at her grandma's on my way to work, I wake him up. I make him wake up enough for him to to kiss me goodbye. I'm not sure what happens after that but, based upon what my husband says, my son goes back to sleep.

He forgets what I told him about making sure he puts his homework in his backpack. He forgets that his light is on and he has to get up. He forgets that I squeezed him and told him I love him the most. He goes back to sleep.

And then my husband walks by and wakes him again. He gets up. He gets dressed. He eats breakfast and watches cartoons.

His step-father leaves for work. He puts his bowl by the sink. He watches cartoons some more until his alarm goes off.

He puts his phone in his back pack. He goes to the bus stop. He kicks around at the storm drain until the bus comes.

That little boy is the love of my life.

And I don't have to do everything for him anymore because he can do it and when I get home he doesn't run to hug me because he's too busy getting ready to go outside and play with his friends and he doesn't want to come in until dinner and then he wants to go back out until all his friends are beckoned by their parents who love them the most and then he wants to bathe and watch Disney.

Last and maybe least, he wants to cuddle just 5 minutes before bedtime.

And I miss the time when the first thing he did when he saw me was jump on me like I was the best thing he ever saw.


Monday, August 15, 2011

I Love You

He had to tell me to my face. We were so young, it was so early, so scary. We must have looked so small to passerby. After the struggle of our lives thus far to be together, he looked at me with very serious, sincere eyes and told me that he loved me. So many things happened inside my body in that moment that I could never re-tell it, even if I had gone home and documented it right then.


We were sitting on his couch kissing. I said it first, "I love you." He told me not to say it if I didn't mean it. I didn't. But I lied and told him I did. He was very happy and from that day on for the time it lasted, he said "I love you, babe" like he was the happiest guy alive.


On the phone. We weren't even dating yet, just friends. I was crying and relaying a conflict I was having. He had this inspired we-can-get-through-this speech. When I thanked him and began cheering up, he told me he loved me. I said it back, not even knowing everything it would mean. And we began dating.


Again, on the phone. I just explained something to him he previously did not understand and never would again even though he acted like the sky had opened up. He gave me a seal of approval by telling me he loved me. It was the second happiest I ever was to hear those words.


It was a perfect summer night and we were lying in bed, naked. He was on top of me, I thought he might be slipping into sleep as I ran my nails over his back. Instead, his face still buried in my neck, he said, "I've been thinking and I want to tell you that I love you." There was something so very special and distinctive about the intimacy we shared while maintaining an odd sense of responsibility. I will always remember the ways that man showed me and told me he loved me. And still does.

I'm reading, for the first time:

Monday, November 29, 2010


This morning, I was "alerted" on the news that Zagat had released it's compiled list of airline winners. You can find it here. Somewhere on that page, you can download all survey statistics, which is sort of what caused me to think and sort of what launched me to write today.

Also, there may be vodka involved. *shrugs*

So, pre-vodka (as I am very conscious of early morning limits), I was watching about this list of top airlines and this list of top airports. You can only find the latter if you download the stats.

My favorite airline, Frontier, didn't make the cut any where.

My favorite, airport, Vegas, didn't either.

I have found Frontier (a regional line, thus the non-mention, I'm sure) to have the best value and experience. McCarren was mentioned, but only after other, less drool-worthy airports, like Midway.

As much as I don't like to admit it to people I've met over the last two years, I was once in a long distance relationship. Only once.

Prior to that, I traveled via airplane exactly once in my life- during a family vacation in which we embarked upon a cruise ship to the Carribean Islands. The popular ones.

When I began the LDR, things changed. I boarded many an airplane in 18 months and became quite the novice airline reviewer.

The thing is, I don't always remember much about the airports, only that I only noticed what was happening in them relative to my LDR.

I remember which cities I've boarded airplanes from:

Las Vegas
Salt Lake City

I can't recall how many times I flew or how many times I picked him up. I remember that the arrivals were magical and the departures cursed.

I remember how every time I heard "Welcome to Detroit" I held back the tears of someone who was FINALLY home. Unrelated: in an interview, Sarah Silverman told her interviewer that depression feels like being homesick- even when you're at home. But, when I heard the words "Welcome to Detroit," I was HOME.

I remember the joys of seeing him come down the escalator in Vegas and kissing passionately and how I tried to steal away on departure day while he was sleeping so he wouldn't come with me to the airport. It had been that miserable of a trip.

I remember being so afraid I would miss my departure in Salt Lake City because of traffic and how I had to get home, how I couldn't wait another second. I remember losing my favorite cashmere cardigan at the gate. I remember texting one of my best friends at the time and her offering to procure me some weed and laughing out loud. Still I cried the whole way to Austin, then to Denver, then to Detroit, then for days, all for some idealized version of a person that didn't exist. For a poseur.

There are so many things about what held me to him that I don't understand and don't want to.

I told myself I would never again enter a LDR, but I think I was wrong. Were I to find myself a single gal again, I just might remember all of the good things about it. I might remember that I never had to change the way I lived for another person. I might remember how it felt to always long for someone and never long to go away from them. I might remember how it felt to be with a perfect human being because you didn't have day-to-day evidence that he wasn't. I might remember that I could still be alone every single time that I wanted to, I could be a slob if I wanted, my life was still about me and no one else.

Best of all, I could be driving with the Detroit skyline ahead of me, and then behind, and know I was home. Even if it wasn't a physical structure that contained me.

Monday, October 11, 2010

"We're standing still, JENNY!"

I could actually get in trouble for posting this and I may have signed something somewhere along the way promising to never do so. Legalities.

One of our country's major retailers trains its employees by using a fictitious family headed by Jennie and Mike. Naturally, they have two children (a boy and a girl as their good luck would have it) and a dog. I don't recall the names of the children or the dog.

Since we all know that the moms do most of the family shopping, our major retailer focuses on Mom. Jennie.

It is taboo to say "We have to get this stock out to the floor so the customer can buy these sweaters at the sale price." Instead it's, "Jennie's sure going to be mad if she comes in to buy this sweater and it's not on the sales floor!"

Everything is about Jennie and the employees at every level talk about her like she's a real person.

But she's not and why doesn't this hypothetical talk sound ridiculous to anyone else but me?

What kind of people have conversations at work naming Jennie as if they've met her and competing for the best hypothetical situation to drop Jennie's name?

"We need Jennie to open a credit card today!"
"Jennie's average sale is going to be $92.04!"
"The out of stock report was done Sunday so we have those jeans in Jennie's size and she's not going to have to go somewhere else!"
"Jennie is going to love this jacket!"


One time, upon trying to convince a customer that the sweater in her hand was the exact shade of red she was looking for, the salesperson was unsuccessful and the customer walked away unconvinced and deposited the sweater on the nearest table.

The salesperson turned to the closest stockperson and said, "Jennie's so fussy!"

The stockperson waited with a baffled look on her face to see if the salesperson was making some sort of humorous quip about this ridiculous Jennie business. Alas, the salesperson was completely serious.

The stockperson is more determined than ever to never use the name "Jennie" in a sentence and to never, ever make friends with someone named "Jennie." Particularly if her name is spelled with an "i-e" at the end.

I'm reading:

I'd like it better if it wasn't cutting into my Harry Potter series re-read. 39 days until the new movie!!!