Posts Tagged ‘friends’

It was when I was 43 that I realized my obsession with Sex and the City had lasted for 15 years.  I began watching this show during my first marriage.  That was long over.  The show lasted far longer than that and spawned two movies.  Now Carrie and the girls had become my eternal contact to single life and adventure that would never be achieved in my life.

Now I never wanted to live in New York City.  Really.  I’m not just saying that because I could never afford it.  Also I am way too scared to love there, though I did live in Philly during college.  I also feel like I could live in Boston, but NYC, never.  Too small.  Too crowded.  And I don’t have the wardrobe for it.  I suppose if you are independently wealthy or have your grandmother’s rent controlled apartment, you could have a nice life in NYC.

I love the life I live.  My husband is wonderful.  He makes me laugh, and he’s my best friend.  We have amazing sons.  They crack me up.  We do have adventures.  Just a dinner with my husband’s baked beans proves to be an adventure.

Still, the escapism Sex and the City offers is too tempting to ignore.  What if I could spend hundreds of dollars on shoes?  What if Miranda and Charlotte didn’t insult me in the second movie with the throw away line about admiring women who manage it without full time help?  Sometimes the shit they complain about is ridiculous and even more first world problems than I complain about, but I love the escapism.  It’s riskier than I would ever be in my life and so it’s like a giant fantasy world.  It’s a cartoon for grown ups.

Still, when did I become so obsessed?  I’m overly fixated on Sex and the City and the “clean” version, Friends.  Man, was that an incestuous group.  Phoebe is my favorite.  I feel I am a kindred spirit to her.  Definitely as ditzy as her at times-though I think she may have been the true brains of that group when you think about it.

Watching these shows helps me to escape the crappy commercials that target me.  Really, juice pouch commercials pitching women against each other as to who is the cool mom?  Fuck you.  Isn’t it hard enough to be a good mom and raise good kids without a fucking juice pouch making me feel like crap if I don’t chaperone every field trip?  Sadly, the commercial is spot on.  I see those women all the time when I’m chaperoning the field trip…oh shit.

So I escape with Carrie and the gals.  Their ladies night out is racier than mine but I do have one coming up.  PTA fundraiser, biggest of the year…oh shit.  Damn you, juice pouch commercial.

How does it happen that this PTA stuff and juice box phenomenon take over?  It seeps into the brain and becomes the mentality.  This is what I wanted in life–I wanted the happy marriage, kids, dog, six cats, four fish, and two bearded dragons.  No picket fence.  We’re a corner property and the zoning makes it really difficult to have a nice fence, so we didn’t bother.  I’m trying to work on the yard this year.  A bit more landscapy-ish than it is, but the backyard is still a lost cause. The boys are digging for a fossil.  Somewhere along the line I became a mom.  Everything shifted.

It just slips in there.  When you are least expecting it, your whole focus becomes your kids.  Your family.  And somehow I got swept up in the “keeping up with the Jones’” mentality.  That’s got to end.  Our house is very cluttered.  My one friend calls it the house of chaos.  It is.  My husband’s practice is in the bottom of the house, so during the day the door is constantly opening and closing, lots of random voices, people using the restroom.  Someone once asked the boys if it was weird for them and they said no.  Why would it be?  It’s the normal childhood they’ve grown up with.

Cluttered house…not as neat and tidy as some would have a house be.  We LIVE in our house and it is a home.  I’d love to not have to step on Legos, pick up socks every day, and remind the boys not to pee on the toilet seat, but this is our house.  At least for another decade or so.  Then it will seem quiet and empty once the boys are grown.  So I need to savor it now.

But then I watch SATC or Friends and see the people with their tidy homes, organized days, and calm and breezy approach to life.  I want that too.  Am i just lazy beyond all belief?  Am I spending too much time watching those shows?  Would my house be less cluttered if I got off of my ass, turned off the television, and cleaned?  Yes…but after working all day, I just want to hang with my family, throw in a load of laundry, and chill out.

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“Find someone to sit with you.  You’re not strong enough to do it on your own.  No one is.  Find someone to sit with you.” That’s Wallander’s dad’s advice to him.  His father is facing his death and he tells his son to look at the world.  He tells him to find someone to sit with.

Doesn’t matter who, in the end, it’s about having someone to sit with you.  You may start out thinking one person is the one who will sit with you, but you really can’t know what life has in store for you.  If for the person you planned on changes, find another.  Spouse, friend, lover, sister, brother, cousin, child.  Someone.  For me, it’s Hubby.  At times, it’s my boys.  But mostly, my Hubby.

As Pooh always says, it’s friendlier with two.  Say hello to someone today.  Sit with someone today and look at the world.  Don’t miss it.  It’s a beautiful thing.

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Younger son’s best friend came over today along with his two sisters.  In total, I had a ten-year old boy, a ten-year old girl, two eight-year old boys, and a three-year girl in my house for four hours.  Plus the 15 pets (1 cat, 3 kittens, 1 dog, 2 bearded dragons, and 8 fish…okay, the eight fish don’t require a lot of attention).  It was a full house of chaos.

At one point the three-year old girl said, “You talk about me.”… “No, we don’t. Why would you think that?”… “I dreamed about you and Younger Son. And you talked about me.”

Then there was a loud noise competition between the three-year old girl and my oldest, the ten-year old boy.

Another moment during the afternoon, I hear “I’m done!”  I looked around, not sure what that meant.  The ten-year old sister stood up, and sheepishly explained it meant her sister was done in the bathroom, ready for help, heading down the hall to the bathroom.

Sitting at the dining room table, my two sons and the three-year old were all still eating pizza, when the sweet little girl passed some gas.  My sons looked at me, at each other, back at me, then she passed a little more gas.  They looked at me again and I gave them the look that said, “she’s three, she can’t help it, and I know what each of you are capable of at this table, so let it go.”

These are the joyous moments of motherhood that make me realize I am glad I have an eight-year old son and a ten-year old son.  I do not miss diapers, playpens, toddler years, preschool years.  I loved those years when we were in them (how did I have the energy?!?), but I love where we are even more.  Those early moments are so very precious.  Each stage of childhood is precious and I’ve never been one to look back and sigh, missing the stage that had been grown out of.  Today, I realized I barely remember the stages the boys have grown out of.  I loved the silliness, the discoveries, the wonder of the world through their eyes, but I love where they are even more, so much so I don’t miss where they’ve been.

I also realized I have brought out a good number of breakable items that had been packed away for so long while they were little, little boys.  Okay, the items weren’t packed away all that long, but it felt like a long time while we were in it.  The boys are just such interesting people…I love watching them discover more and more about themselves.  I realized their days do not revolve around me (like days do when they are so little) and that’s a good thing.  Hell, sometimes I’m just the annoying mom now.

I love that my sons stay up till around midnight most nights whispering in their room, having “bro talk” about topics ranging from Lego design, to life dreams, to deep conversations about how to handle peer pressure.

I love that younger son tells me and Hubby that we are addicted to Law and Order SVU and that he’s going to call Dick Wolf and tell him to take it off the air.

I love when older son steps up by stepping back and letting his younger brother take the lead.

I love that they still share a room and have the other room set up with their Legos and beardies.

I love that they take turns walking the dog and they are nurturing the kittens with such love and attention.

I love that we live in our house, the house of chaos.  (In the middle of the street…it was our castle and our keep…)

I love that they love that song.

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This spam comment makes me think of the Friends episode when Joey is writing a letter of reference for Monica and Chandler to provide to the adoption agency (yes, I know, their twins would 9 years old now.  I’m in therapy for it and doing well).  Joey decides to use the thesaurus to make his letter sound smarter and ends up signing it “a young kangaroo”.

“I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an nervousness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this hike.”

There were 82 spam comments, mostly from dumpster rental sites.  What’s up with that?  Is this a way for cyberspace to tell me my blog is trash?

If I were the paranoid type, I’d be worried.

Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

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First, my back really hurts from carrying the office tree out to the curb for the township to chip in the chipper.  Yes, I’m married to a chiropractor but he’s not available at the moment to fix whatever I knocked out of whack.

Second, my sugar was low and I just ate cheese, pepperoni, and crackers as a snack.  Yummy.

I am pondering why General Mills feels the need to identify some of their cereals as “Kids” when many adults enjoy the marshmallow-y goodness with a full serving of grains.  Monster cereal countdown is back to single digits…9 months and counting.

I only just finished folding the laundry because I was the worst mom ever and let the boys stay up an extra hour watching me play Skylanders.  They were very proud of their mom when she finished the game.  Thank you, thank you, first video game ever finished, but it’s only 33% complete so obviously I need to go back in and finish some stuff.  But first I need a magic Skylander.  Yes, it’s official.  I’m addicted.

But the saddest reason of all for me not being asleep yet…

I love the story arc of the episodes of Friends tonight on Nick at Night.  “Oh my God!  That is brand new information!”  It it the four-part story arc that ends with some guy, Ken Adams, and the backpacking story.

videotape episode “The One with the Videotape” is probably my favorite episode.  Excellent performances by Joey and Phoebe.  Great timing in the delivery of lines.  I laugh until I pee a little…I’m a mom-we do that.  Especially if you had big babies.  I could pull out Season 8 on dvd and watch it a lot quicker, but if you refer back to #1, I don’t feel like digging around in the back of the bottom shelf.  Note to self-move the Friends dvds so they are easier to get to even when my back hurts.

Dave Matthews

And I need to get the House episode “Half-Wit” on dvd.  It’s the Dave Matthews episode.

Back to Friends, I love Joey’s couch.  Not to be confused with the PIVOT couch.  I like the yellow leather couch Joey has.  We’re going to have to buy a new couch this year…hmmm.  When we do get rid of the current couch we will squeeze it through the sliding glass doors (as we did to get it in the house).  Happily we do not have to gently lower it down from the deck.  We’ll just throw it over.  It’s a huge couch.  We’ll probably have to PIVOT to get the couch out!

Well, I’m going to enjoy the remaining two episodes of the evening.  Some guy…Ken Adams! joey as ken

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Each day offers moments that will become memories.  Some days are more loaded than others.  Today is one of those days.  Last night I raced from class to see the last half of older son’s last ball game of the regular season.  This morning I saw my dad at his induction into the Olde Guard at his alma mater (also my alma mater).  I’m off to “Spring into Poetry” for younger son.  Tonight hubby and I are going to a dinner dance for the theater company with which I played “Vera” in Mame.  But the neatest moment today is that ten years ago my hubby became my hubby.  Ten years filled with laughter, love, tears, loss, happiness, craziness, Addams Family-ness, and the two greatest sons any two parents could ever hope to have.  Happy anniversary to the world’s greatest hubby!

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The schedule will become even tighter than usual over the next couple of weeks and will stay that way for about six weeks.  I’ll be working my regular job during the day and then teaching at night four nights a week.  With this upcoming restriction to my time with my family, the time with them this week has been all the sweeter.  It has forced simplicity to the foreground.  The five minutes alone with each son after work matters.  The ten minutes with my husband is sweet.  The quiet time once the boys are asleep is valuable.  I am multi-tasking quite wisely.  I’m not trying to over multi-task, but throwing in a load of laundry before dinner and then after dinner throwing it into the dryer.  I can fold it tomorrow.

Dinner was not rushed and the conversation with the family was fun and free-flowing.  The boys took their showers with minimal resistance because of the promise of Lego building once they were all squeaky clean.  They got to hear two pages of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (only two pages because they had to brush their teeth).  More pages tomorrow.

I watched Murder by Death this evening but also wrote three case studies for one of my classes.  I cleaned up the dining room table.

The odd thing is that even though the schedule is getting tighter, I’ve been accomplishing a lot in little bits and pieces.  Some folks say they work better under pressure.  I don’t always, but right now I am and that’s a lovely surprise.

And each day I’ve spent some time with God.  Praying about the boys and their days at school.  Praying for patience at work in each task I need to complete so I accomplish it as well as I can.  Praying for grace and patience with my sons before work in the brief time we share each morning.  And again at night in the hours we spend together before bedtime.  I want to let them stay up late each night but that’s not fair for them.  They truly need their rest since they are growing boys!  I need quiet time at night to take care of house work and my own thoughts.  I need to go to sleep by a reasonable hour as well.

Little changes in schedule and habits can release such energy.  I feel like I am accomplishing more in each day.  It’s powered by time with God and my family.  Try a little change in the schedule.  See what you can do when you shake things up a bit and add a dash of simplicity and grace.

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What a difference a day makes.  Also walking away from the problem offers such wonderful perspective.  That and a few friends commenting on fb that they know exactly how I feel.  And chocolate.  I can’t forget the chocolate.

But you know what the best thing I reflected on today was?  I ate supper with my family yet again this week.  We’ve been rocking the dinner time lately.  Doesn’t matter what the dinner is, it’s the time together.  My sons have finally gotten the swing of sharing something fun about their days.  And I’m going to admit it…write on virtual paper…we use the convenience stuff to make dinner.  Yes, there are fresh veggies (asparagus at the moment since it’s in season-though I don’t eat it).  But the main entrée was one of those skillet dinners.  If I didn’t have to work, I’d be cooking home-made stuff.  Ah, well…do the best you can with what you have where you are.  Teddy Roosevelt, not me.  I wish I could write something as pithy as that.

Perspective comes in many ways.  You just have to be open to it coming in and opening your eyes.  Be open to the other side of things and examining the issue with other eyes.  Turn it over and over.  Challenge it, question it.  Pray on it.  Focus on simplicity and grace to rise above the feeling of mediocrity.

So what am I going to be when I grow up?  I have no idea and realized today that part of the reason I feel like I’m floating and looking for my thing is that I refuse to grow up.  I still love learning and have a thirst for new experiences.  If a particular experience, idea, or goal doesn’t materialize, no biggie.  There will be another.

And until another shows itself, I have buckled down and examined what is on my plate and what I can do with it.  How I can do each project.  Why I am doing each project.  I asked myself if I still feel each one is fun.  Theater had become not fun, but when I gave it a whirl this past fall, it was a blast.  Why?  Because I was just an actor.  So I now know I’ll never be on a theater board again.  Takes the fun right out of it.

A very fun project coming up in the summer are the dino digs we’ll be going on for fossil hunting.  I think I may be more excited than the boys.  Older son still wants to find more substantial fossils than what we should find on these digs, but we’ve been talking about the fact that you need to start where you’re at and grow from each experience.  We talked about how he needs to learn how to dig and these three trips will help him do that.

I’m sewing again.  Other than Halloween costumes, I haven’t done that for a while.  It’s a costume for a friend who is going to a film-fan convention.  So far it seems to be going well.  I enjoyed making the patterns and they are working nicely.  We’re having a fitting this Saturday.

Of course, I’m in VBS prep mode.  We’re going to Babylon this year.  Oh yes, there will be a hanging garden.  I’ve been working on that for the past month.

Prayer, meditation, studying my Shakespeare and Grimm, reading some Uncle Stevie, it’s all good.  Just need to get off my arse and work out the issues in my legs.  This week’s been a less than stellar week, but it is still so much better than it had been for the past few years.

And it’s almost summer.  Now I do not do the beach thing.  There is sand at a beach and I don’t do sand.  We will go to the lake, and yes, there is sand there, but it’s not overly crowded.  There are pools we’ll go to and the boys will do a lot of swimming.  Maybe they’ll teach their mom.

I do attempt the garden thing, but have been horrible with it the past few years.  However, sons and I have already weeded and cleaned out two of them and are working on a third.  But I really need to trim the bloody holly trees.  They are a mess again.

What most of these have in common are my family.  Which reminded me that I’m not doing that bad if we’re doing all these somethings and even some days of nothings together.

Salieri, if only you had known to step away.  To reflect and take inventory.  To count your blessings.  And to not take it all so seriously.

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Today I slept in till 9:30 and it was lovely.  The boys had grabbed breakfast and were watching cartoons.  I took a leisurely morning and then gave the boys Jurassic Park chores.  You may recall, Gentle Reader, that we let the boys but a large lot of JP toys on credit with the bank of Mom & Dad.  They have chores to work off the balance.  Younger son did an outstanding job cleaning the lower kitchen cabinets (he even earned a “cash” bonus).  The boy loves to clean!  He got that from me, that’s for darn sure.  Oldest son was told to clean the bathroom sink and bathtub.  He got his cleaning genes from his daddy, that’s for darn sure.  But he tried.  He just doesn’t love cleaning like me and younger son.  We’re both a little bit Monk and Monica Geller.  Younger son’s face had pure joy as he saw the food stains coming off the wood.  He asked for fresh water.  He used different “scrubbing” techniques (he explained them to me…so cute).  He was so intently focused, it made me smile to watch him.

I worked on the dinosaur room.  You can see oldest son’s desk.  It’s amazing.  You can see most of the floor.  We agreed (otherwise known as I decided and convinced them it was their idea) that we would narrow down the toys.  I can’t get them to do it.  They try, but being the little pack-rats that they are, they can’t let go of things.  They got that from both mommy and daddy.  So I’m doing it.  They’ll be keeping Jurassic Park toys, Legos, K’Nex (they just received three sets of those from friends and they’re loving them!), trains, and Pokemon cards.  The other piles are being sorted through and will be donated appropriately.  Junk will simply be tossed as it should be.

I put two large objects that were littering the backyard out to the curb last night.  No one took them which tells you the state they were in!  The yard looks nicer already.  I need to put out my shade garden but it desperately needs more mulch.  I had hoped to work in the yard, but it has been so bloody windy that it hasn’t worked out.  Supposedly this weekend will be nice and warm, so I’ll clean the yard Saturday.

A friend came over this afternoon.  We hadn’t seen each other for quite a bit and it was a lovely visit.  I’m going to make her costume for Comic-Con.  I cannot wait to pull my dressmaker’s form down from the attic.  I haven’t used it for several years but you don’t get rid of something like that.  I miss sewing.  But it’s not as if I couldn’t be doing it.  I simply don’t make the time so this is a wonderful way to get back into it.

I am slowly coming to realize how much time I can fill on my own because all of a sudden my boys don’t need me the way they used to need me.  Obviously they still need me, but they both have their own things they are doing.  This staycation has shown me how much they have grown up.  I guess I’ve grown up a bit too because it’s not making me sad.  I’m not cursing myself for “missing it” but starting to realize that whatever time we have together is good time.  I’m able to be there for the BIG things but also for the little moments that truly make up life.  I’m in a nice place.

The vitamin D seems to be working.  I can make it till around 8pm without severe pain if I take short breaks in the day.  I’m not just sitting in the chair at 6pm and asking the boys to bring the stuff to me.  I still hurt but the amount of pain killers I’ve been taking has dropped dramatically.  I’m able to be on my feet longer, although the legs still don’t work like they used to work.  Maybe one day…

It was a lovely day of simplicity.  Another day off tomorrow…what will the day hold?  I know one thing for certain…simplicity.

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I want to have lunch with the younger generation.  I want them to turn off their cell phones and not text while we’re having this lunch.  That will be the biggest challenge-to convince them that they don’t have to be connected for the hour we would spend eating together.  I worry about them.  What do they talk about?  What do they text?

The classic films are lost…the movies today are okay, don’t get me wrong.  Still, do they know that the movies of today wouldn’t be possible without the classics that came before them?  The filming of yesteryear set the tone for so many of the accomplishments made in film-making today.  I think back to Song of the South and Mary Poppins…putting people into animation.  This made Who Framed Roger Rabbit possible-putting animation into live-action.  The classic musicals created so many cultural moments.  Singin’ in the Rain, Hello Dolly, Brigadoon, On the Town.

Even classic children’s literature is falling to the wayside.  My sons have read only one American Tall Tale in school.  I make sure at home that they read a variety of Tall Tales.  We also read Aesop’s Fables, Hans Christian Andersen.  Of course, we’re still in our Grimm phase.  We read “Little Snow White” last night.  The text is full of such rich words and vibrant images.  These pieces of literature help children develop their imaginations and learn about the basics of crafting a story.

Music is different too.  I know, I know, I sound like that stereotypical old person (no, I’m not old…) “back in my day” but I’m serious.  Someone said to me recently that in a class about the history of rock he had just learned about a band called The Queen or something like that.  I said do you mean Queen?  He said, yeah, yeah, that’s the name.  Now obviously I’m biased about that particular band, but how does one get to their 20s and not know Queen?  Or the major shifts in music and how each change brought about new genres.  Why do youngins need to take a class to learn this stuff?  I suppose the radio is no longer in existence in their worlds…did “Radio Gaga” and “Video Killed the Radio Star” really come to pass?

I know there are cycles to culture.  I know the pendulum will swing back again.  I know it’s ironic that I’m posting this on the internet, one of the causes in this shift.  Why and how do they feel the need to be connected all the time?  I have survived for so long without being connected 24/7.  Yet so often I sit with people of the younger generation who cannot turn off their phone or tablet or the soon-to-be archaic laptop.  Radios don’t matter, they have 8,000 songs programmed on the teeny-tiny player.

If you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, friend of someone younger than 25, take them somewhere and make them disconnect.  Help them experience life with a person and not an electronic device.  I’m battling right now with my sons.  They are obsessed with the telly and on-demand.  They can’t get enough of the computer and online video games (based on the shows from the telly).  It’s ridiculous.  They get so angry when I say no.  So I say no more frequently.  When they don’t get angry anymore, I won’t have to say no as much.

Tomorrow night is the Earth Hour at 8:30pm.  Turn off your lights, phones, tablets, computers, any and all electronic devices and devices charged by electricity.  Talk to each other.  Laugh with each other.  Tell ghost stories.  Inspire each other.  Sing “Hello Dolly” or “Dream On” or “Radio Gaga”.  Go ahead, sing it with the clapping.  Or go for “We Will Rock You” with the clap/clap/stomp.  Go for it.  Turn off everything and be connected the old-fashioned way.

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