Category Archives: housewife crap

The Creature at the Bottom of the Fridge

I just had one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. Thank God no one actually SAW it. I sent the Hubby out into the yard to do chores so he would not share in my shame (although he probably caused more than his fare share of it). Naturally, I decided to share my mortification with all of you.

Now, honestly, how often do you clean out your fridge?  Not just checking for stinky cheese and expired salad dressings, but take everything out and scrub the shelves and walls. If you are like me, the answer would be “I didn’t know you were supposed to do that.” Come on, seriously — once a month? Once a year? Once a decade?

With the holidays coming up, I knew it was time to make some room for trays of candy apples, chocolate pretzel rods, and a full Christmas dinner. My fridge was already packed (because, I am  a grocery shopping addict) and I knew I needed to make room for pies, turkeys and extra wine and so forth. So I figured a Saturday morning would be a good time to do a little cleaning out and rearranging for maximum space.

And then I started taking things out.

Easter bunnies, tons of Christmas candy (LAST years), tiny jam jars which expired two years ago.  A Costa Rican juice box and a cool version of Costa Rican Oreos (keep in mind, we were there in June of 2009). Oops.

I took out all the shelves on the door and sopped up the leaky salad dressings and marinade goo.

Then my morning took a disgusting turn.  I took out the shelves and drawers in the main section.  Do you know what is living under your cheese drawer?

I sure as heck did not. I wasn’t’ sure if it was alive or long dead.  Any health inspector would have fined me more than my mortgage payment. OSHA would shut this kitchen down.  I was going to take a picture of it, but I think I would feel less embarrassed and exposed if I posted a picture of myself eating ice cream naked.

And my MOTHER might see it {shivers of housewife failure}.

Parmesan cheese (I hope) and a glass of chocolate milk or perhaps black olive juice covered the bottom. It looked like something from a black and white fifties horror flick.  I broke out the pure bleach and gloves. My sponge was not touching this jiz, so I wadded up a roll of paper towels and used a frosting knife to pry the solidified crud.

I am just shocked my family hasn’t been hospitalized for any strains of food-borne illness.

It was pure nastiness. I had no idea.

When it was all sanitized, organized, and put back together, I felt like the little lady from Poltergiest: This fridge is CLEAN. 

My PSA for the day:  unless you prepping for your kids’ future science fair project, discover what is lurking at the bottom and back of your fridge…and be prepared with a gas mask and hazmat suit, preferably.

Filet tastes on a franks & beans budget: My October Challange

While wasting time being productive on twitter last week, I stumbled upon a tweet which piqued my interest. 

Groceries? Money? I followed the link to the Official USDA Food Plans: Cost of Food at Home at Four Levels.  After I pushed my jaw back up from my chest, I found the information exceptionally interesting. According to these scientifically and mathematically formulated charts,  my little family of three should be spending at the grocery store each month:

$4880 – thrifty plan
$633.90 – low-cost plan
$783.80 – moderate plan
$964.40 – liberal plan

$964 per month? We’d have to be dining on filet mignon with a side of every off-season fruit and veggie sauteed in truffle butter each night for dinner. Maybe some homemade tiramisu as well (that darned marscapone cheese IS expensive). I could make all the recipes I wanted to try —  like truffled deviled eggs — from the new Cook Like A Rock Star cookbook I am reviewing for Bookshelf Bombshells. I would never have to clip another coupon in my life.

Now, these numbers are assuming all monthly means and snacks are prepared at home. Hubby and Kiddo brown-bag lunch and we almost never eat out, so these number should mesh, right?

I am not about to reveal our wine budget. 
You must possess top secret wino clearance to be privy to that information.
What a fabulous idea. I believe I will.

I  blogged last year about my grocery shopping addiction. If you haven’t read that post yet, you should — it explains my love affair with grocery stores and the rush I get when I score fabulous deals. Not all of us can climb mountains, jump out of perfectly good airplanes, or afford a vicious drug habit — a girl has to get her thrills somewhere. Everyone needs some hobbies, and well, I love food and I have a puney budget, so I have learned to make due.

I am nowhere near an extreme couponer; those people are certifiably crazy and I’m sure there will be an official disease named for them soon (couponaholic? suffering from extreme unnecessary stockpiling syndrome?). I do not illicit looks of terror form the cashiers when they see me coming.

I shop at three stores. I hit Costco for frozen meats, paper goods, and sometimes produce. I go to Publix for whatever is on sale (BOGO dry goods, frozen foods, and a tiny bit of meat and produce), and I use Aldi for just about everything else (milk, eggs, produce, and many other things are ALWAYS cheaper there).  Oh, and I hit the Entenmann’s outlet for bread and bagels ($1 for whole grain Arnold breads and Thomas’ bagels, okay). 

Yes, this takes some extra time, but time I have, money I don’t. It works for us.

So this month I am going to save all of my grocery receipts so I can discover what I really spend on food. I don’t have a set budget; I buy whatever is on sale. Some weeks I spend next to nothing, some weeks I stock up. I will be curious to see how it really evens out.

I am also starting will a full pantry and freezers (they are always full). Technically, we could go an entire month without shopping and not starve, but that would just be no fun. I will shop as per normal.

I have a couple of birthday parties and family entertaining events to work in this month. How much will that add to the bottom line? I’ll find out and let you know.

This should be interesting. And I will see if I have to eat my words…

Time Destroyed my Thyme: Failures of a Suburban Organic Gardner

I was Queen of the garden, guardian of nature, supreme boss of the land.

 These photos showcase delectable memories…

…of last year’s amazing garden.

 An army of multi-colored sunflowers stood guard against my garden fence, their bright and showy blooms following their namesake across the sky each day.

Plump, warm tomatoes hung from sprawling branches no cage could contain and mingled with sweet basil and savory green onions.  Oregano and thyme trailed over the garden wall, perfuming the air each time we brushed past. 

I scavenged through cookbooks and websites in search of new recipes to utilize the bountiful harvest.  Graceful flowers mixed with aromatic greenery covered tabletops and counters. The essence of summer permeated our home.

After the success of last Spring’s garden I decided to kick it up a notch: this year I would grow all my plants from seeds. I would be a suburban organic farmer and locovore extraordinaire. Better Homes & Gardens would be knocking on my jasmine covered garden gate begging to do a photo shoot.

I planted my two favorite varieties of tomatoes, basil, parsley, thyme, green onions, chives, sweet red onions, yellow squash, zucchini, four types of peppers and two kinds of corn.  I worked organic manure into the soil with my thinly gloved hands.  I tied homemade tomato cages together with biodegradable twine.  I nurtured my seedlings with daily waterings, organic fertilizers…I may have even sang to them a few times, encouraging them to grow vigorous and healthy.  I was going to have a garden to rival Martha-Freaking-Stewart.

Bees and dragonflies darted between the delicate blossoms.  Green tomatoes small as peas and mini ears of corn poked from beneath green leaves.

Then the trouble began.

A family of field mice conducted nightly raids on the yellow squash and zucchini decimating the harvest until Hubby wiped them out in revenge. The young plants never recovered (though neither did the mouse colony).

My tender seedlings needed daily watering. The lack of rainfall this Spring doubled my monthly water bill.

Finally the rains came and brought with them a plague of mosquitoes so thick I had to douse myself  with half a bottle of Deep Woods Off AND wear long sleeves, pants, and an utterly unattractive scarf/hat combo just to pull a few of the never-ending weeds erupting from the soil.

Then came this Amazonian heat and humidity. Summertime arrived with its red hot guns blaring. June brought afternoon highs topping 100 degrees. Nighttime temps hovered in the 70s. Just a peek at the garden and I was soaked with sweat. All I could do was stay inside and hide in the A/C.

  Unfortunately, my garden wanted to do the same…

The weeds and repressive heat threw a coup d’etat on my garden.  My harvest consisted of one dish of lackluster tomatoes.  One 3 by 5 inch dish. Only brittle skeletons of my beloved herbs and crops remain.  The once beautiful plot now looks as if it was the victim of a forest fire or plague of locust.  The wild weeds have taken over and mutant mosquitoes reign over the land like Dracula’s spawn.

Bye bye dreams of BH& G. Screw you summer and Martha-Freaking-Stewart.  Screw. You.

Next year I’m just going to hit the farmers market and save my sanity and my skin.

I get the point Mother Nature.  I know who’s the boss now.

Mama’s Losin’ It


What Does My Inner Rock Goddess Wear?

Do I want to look like a clubbing queen, a rock star, a fashionista, a SAHM, or an ethereal goddess? Thursday night the Kiddo is staying home and Hubby and I get to hit the Hard Rock to see a sold out Florence + the Machine concert.  We haven’t been out in ages.  And I am having a wardrobe crisis.

As a SAHM/blogger/writer I don’t get out much, but I like adore clothes.  My closets and drawers are overflowing, and yes, there are many items I have never worn.  Not the everyday boring stuff  like  yoga pants and tanks to wear to the gym and  errands after if (I don’t feel to bloated and lumpy in the clingy clothes), shorts and tanks, skirts and tanks, and almost always flip flops.

The day I wore a pencil skirt and red wedge sandals to the grocery store I was stared at as if I had grown a third breast and a tail.  It just isn’t done at 10:30 on a Tuesday morning around here.

So going out–and to a rock concert at that–makes for some major wardrobe decisions.   I’m going to drink beer and dance my ass off.  And I need to be able to stand for hours, so comfy shoes are essential.

Adding to the challenge is this week’s temperatures in the upper 90’s. Take a couple of thousand sweaty and drunk bodies dancing and bouncing  against each other on top of that and it’s going to be ridiculously hot.  No jeans, no pants, no sleeves allowed.  And prey it doesn’t rain.

Two hours wasted playing a racier grown-up version of dress-up and I still don’t know what the hell I’m wearing. 

Finding the perfect balance of hot but not slutty, hip but not like I raided my hypothetical teenage daugher’s closet is hard freakin work.

Do I show off lots of leg with black hot pants and a sleek black top?   Too short?  I spent twenty minutes staring at the back of my legs searching for cellulite.

Too black?

I find an irridescent emerald green top and belt it tigh around the waist. Damn, the Victoria’s Secret bombshell bra (aka boob job in a box) makes me feel like a stripper.  But the green sets of my red hair and makes my eyes glow–awesome.  An infuriating line of ruffles going down the center has got to go.  I spend a half hour cutting the huge ruffle off and try it back on.

But my parents are babysitting.  My Dad will pitch a fit if I walk out the door in heels and hot pants.  Next.

How about a sexy but classy black dress?  Hmmm, lots of cleavage and skims my sides just right, but it comes down just past my knees.  I feel too respectable.  And old.  Next.

Why don’t I go long?  I slide on a black halter maxi dress.  I feel mature.  {sigh}  But it could work.

Another black dress (why do I have so many?) discarded.  Clingy but neckline is too boring.

I try on a green halter top maxi dress with a patterend flowy skirt.  Hmm… I pin a flower in my hair.  I look pretty, not like a rock star.  Do I want to do pretty?  Will I dance on my skirt hem?

I find a vintage silk skirt covered with Warhol’s Cambell’s Soup cans.  Interesting.  Love this piece but I have never had any place to wear it–it’s dayglow colors just scream “stare at me.”  I try pulling it up to make it a strapless dress–nah, too blousy.  I pair it with a salmon strappy tank top–interesting.  Very comfortable.  Does nothing for my hair or eyes.

But the show is sold out.  We are going to be packed in there like oily tinned sardines.  No one will even be able to see my skirt.  So it’s all about the top and staying cool, right?

Tops…how about the Asian halter with a pencil skirt?  Or the black trapeze with the annoyingly flowy middle but interesting shoulder straps?  Ugh, it makes me look as if I am knocked-up with a beer in hand.

And why do I even care?  It’s not like I’m trying to pick up a date.  Hubby already thinks I’m a catch (and if he didn’t tough luck–he’s stuck with me).

Sometimes I hate being a woman.  These outfits all suck.  I’m too old and boring and it seems my smoking hot rock goddess jumped ship years ago. Maybe I’ll just shove it all back in the closet and wear shorts and flip flops.

What do you think?  Help a girlfriend out, please…..


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Just DO it.

A quick welcome to all the SHE WRITES BLOG HOPPERS who may be stopping by for a quick read.  I cannot wait to discover all of your blogs about books and writing, my greatest passions.  Thanks for dropping by and feel free to sit down, relax, and stay for a little while….

I’ve been on a bender.  A writing bender, that is.  (Well, there was some wine involved, but regular consumption doesn’t count and is good for you.)

I’ve convinced myself that I have no hopes of ever finding a real paying job due to the crappy economy, hiring freezes at all my previous places of employment, and my complete absence from the job market for the last seven or so years.  I can imagine the human resources director, her face screwed up as if she has just been squirt with Tabasco sauce, as she reads that I have “wasted” nearly the last decade at home raising my kid.   SHE manage to work and raise kids.  What have I been doing all that time besides eating chocolate covered Oreos, taking tennis lessons, and catching up on all the fine daytime television programs on Lifetime and WE? 

I’m not even going to begin to defend myself for being a SAHM and raising a fabulous kid. Or mention that I basically remodeled my house with my own two hands.   Or that I wrote a book.

Oh wait, I haven’t finished that yet.  But I’m working damn hard on it.   I work on my manuscript as if it is a real job.  If I win the writing lottery, it’s something which might actually earn me a pittance someday so I can deduct my lovely home office on my tax return.  It’s something that brings me overwhelming joy and a sense of accomplishment some days, while others I want to chuck my laptop into the pool–kind of like a real job.

As of today’s count I am at 65,000 words.  That’s a whopping 260 pages of words, my words, flowing across the pages…err…screen…and maybe they don’t all quite flow…yet…  Okay, so I may have 260 pages of absolute crap that would embarrass a 5th grade teacher–I just don’t know yet.  Some days I am exuberantly proud of what I created, others not so much.  I hit my goal of 5,000 words per week for the last two weeks.  I am inching closer to the end of my first draft, the plots are coming together in a somewhat tidy little bow and  the end is in sight.  I can get there, I CAN.

And then the rewriting will begin.  The merciless editing.  Can I  rip sentences and entire scenes I agonized over for hours or even days to shreds?   Will I be able to banish them from the manuscript completely into the black hole of the delete button?  Can I do it?  Am I that strong?   I think I need an editing boot camp class.

I am desperate to find some critique groups, others writers or editors who can read whatever crap I may be spewing out and tell me how utterly screwed up it is (and how to fix it).  I need to reread all the grammar and structural guides I poured over during school.  I want my killer Northwestern journalism professor to attack my printed pages with his omnipotent purple pen, slashing away at my misplaced modifiers and dangling participles.

But first I must just do it. Writing is something I love, something I need…even if some days I am terrified of my own keyboard.

The Battle of the Bed

Last January I fought the Defective Maytag Washing Machine War.  It seems this year’s campaign will be The Battle of the Bed.

The Master bedroom, especially for anyone with kids, is supposed to be a  haven, an adults-only escape from the craziness lurking outside the door. 

Okay, so this is not my bedroom…
…or this one…but a girl can dream…


I’ve been working hard to create our sanctuary. I painted my walls a serene blue, surrounding myself in tones of the sky and sea.  I refinished all the furniture and dusted the tops with scented candles and cherished photos. The floors and bathroom were painstakingly remodeled with my own bloodied fingers, gallons of sweat, and occasional tears.  The baby/kid stuff is banished.  The decor now sets the mood for comfort and tranquility. But I still can’t get a decent night sleep.

My damn bed squeaks like a rusty summer camp cot.

Now, I know many beds tend to squeak a little bit.  And yes, sometimes couples pride themselves on how loud they can get that bed rocking.  But I’m talking about moving a hand, wiggling a toe, an 8 pound cat stretching and we are rudely roused by the metal springs screeching.

All.  Night.  Long.

At first it was funny.  (Hey, maybe we broke the bed…wink, wink.)   At times it became creepy.  (Was that a mouse?  A branch scraping the window?  A monster dust bunny prowling under the bed?)  Eventually it became unbearable. (Can you fix me a Chardonnay &  Unisom nightcap please?)

The bed is under warranty by Sealy.  It was purchased from Costco.  I am caught in the vicious circle of each party saying the other has to do something about it.   I just want SOMEONE to take responsibility for the valid warranty and do something about the problem (i.e. replace my squeaker with silence).

I just sent my Hubby of to confront Costco again. I get too frustrated and flummoxed in the face of deaf customer service reps.  Together we often play good cop/bad cop (or irrational PMS woman and her poor husband who deserves a break because he has to deal with her) but I’m just not in the mood to get my blood pressure soaring today.

And if we finally do wear Costco down and they agree to return or exchange the mattress set, how do we transport it without tipping our little car over?  Don’t laugh–we came very close one time (see previous post with 20 foot tree hanging out of trunk).

I wish we could afford to just junk it or trade it in for one of those space-age foam mattresses.  I always wanted to practice cheer-leading jumps while resting a full glass of wine on my mattress–haven’t you?

Maybe it’s all a plot by my husband so I won’t nag him about his teeth grinding habit anymore.

I’m just ready for a non-medicated night of silence and solid sleep.  
And if the bed starts squeaking it’s for a good reason.

Launrdy Day From Hell…Part Deux

Today I was supposed to spend all morning getting serious about organizing my novel notes and setting some goals. It was penciled in my calendar. My notes were waiting in a discombobulated pile on my desk. I had read more “how to get started” chapters in three of my writing manuals. Then it struck again…

…The Washing Machine From Hell.

I was staying home to write, so I could sneak a quick load or two in between segments, right? Wrong. Very, very wrong. The damn thing is broken, again. So all my creative strength was then channeled into keeping myself from taking a golf club to that possessed piece of crap. Then I had to call the company and manage to keep the swearing in check and the tears of frustration from streaming.

Do not by a Maytag. Ever. The cute little commercial about the bored Maytag repair man is a colicky crock of horse manure.

I spent a lovely–no livid–morning at a laundromat. If I had been a bit less angry and unfocused I could have used the place as a character study. I finally found a vacant chair, popped in my ear buds in an attempt to have Jack Johnson soothe my seething temper, and opened my book to pass the time. But I couldn’t help looking around–between the screaming kids and worries that someone would steal my clothes I couldn’t concentrate. I noticed that no one else was even attempting to entertain themselves. They sat quietly watching their clothes turn round in their driers, paced the narrow corridor between the noisy washers, or just stared vacantly out the window. What were they all thinking about? Jobs? Lovers? Kids? Dust bunnies? Quantum physics?

More drama was still to follow… Wednesday afternoons are usually spent at the playground around here. School gets out early and the Kiddo has an extra hour of energy to expend. Since it was a bit chilly today (even here in the Sun Belt) the pickings for playmates was pretty slim. There was only one other boy there and Kiddo waltzed right up to this little giant (even thought he was a foot taller and twice his weight) and asked him to play. Great, lovely, I can once again try to read and decompress while I keep an eye on him. Then this big kid starts hurling rocks at the squirrels. Big rocks. And he had quite an accurate arm. I yelled for Kiddo to get over here and stood up staring in disbelief as the little giant’s mother just watched while she yakked at an obnoxious level on her cell. Kiddo went back and told him to stop, he was being mean. He laughed and grabbed a bigger stick. The mother just watched. I HATE confrontations, and truly had my fill this morning. Not in the mood to go head to head with this oblivious mother. Kiddo and I left after we told the little giant to cut it out. First squirrels, then dogs, then people… I expect to see that kids mug shot in the paper in a few years…

I need to get rid of all this negativity swirling around me…think of some GOOD things from the last few days….hmmm…I found not one but 2 new bathing suits before spring break, an awe-inspiring accomplishment…I found fun little V-day gifts the Hubby and Kiddo will love when they open them Sunday…my taxes are done and the refund is one the way through cyberspace…and oh, I hear my amazing Hubby pouring me a glass of wine as I type…how did I get so lucky…

It’s off to fold (and read) I go…

Today is officially Laundry Day From Hell. Yes, I know, no one LIKES doing laundry (except perhaps my Mom, but she has some very peculiar hobbies), but attempting to catch up from a week away followed by a week of a broken washer is just unbearable. And the washer is less than a month old. And it was delivered 6 weeks late. I am beginning to believe it is inhabited by a wicked sprite and we are not going to have a very agreeable working relationship.

I know some moms only do laundry once a week. I know some single guys are lucky if they remember once a month when the closet is completely empty (you can only turn those boxers inside out so many times). I cannot imagine forcing myself to endure one entire day of sorting and folding all day long each and every week. I think I would have to call in sick that day. Or run away from home. My theory is that laundry is a bit like cough syrup. You don’t really like it, but it is sometimes necessary in small doses and if you take too much at once you will end up hallucinating or in the loony bin. A much better system for me is one simple load a day. No sorting, no stressing, just dump all the dirty in together sometime during the morning, remember to switch it into the dryer around lunchtime, then the dreaded folding and putting away late afternoon. And usually I treat myself to a few minutes of what I actually want to watch on the telly while I fold–Sponge Bob is silenced while I bliss out to a few minutes of HGTV or Food Network. Everyone has to leave me alone. Then it’s done–no big deal–and the Hubby thinks I am a Domestic Goddess.

But today I have two weeks worth of smelliness and funk to deal with. I haven’t even figured out how many loads–I think if I put a number on the madness I will cry. I will deserve vast quantities of wine and chocolate this evening.

On a completely different topic, I am still trying not to be frustrated by the whole concept of blogging. The Hubby still thinks that all I have to do is post consistently to my blog and tens of thousands of fans will find it and read it and we will be making a fortune within a few months time. Huh? Another friend thinks I should concentrate on making my blog marketable and not worry about writing my novel. Double huh? I see this solely as a way for me to force myself to write, to bring my writing skills out of hibernation, and frankly, to mouth off about whatever I want. No one has to like it. If they do, wonderful. But this is for me.

I posted a few weeks ago about how I can never remember what I have read. I had another unfortunate example of this Sunday morning, on such a scale that I wonder if I should be tested for early-onset Alzheimers or perhaps I am suffering from the long-term effects of having a bit too much fun in college. I thought I finished a book Saturday night and started reading a new one Sunday morning. I was about 20 pages into Elizabeth Kostova’s The Swan Thieves when the talk about psychiatry caused me to ponder if one of the characters in Marian Keyes’ Brightest Star in the Sky had managed to drive her bike into a car after all…wait…did she…? Oh, damn! I never finished the book! I know I was distracted by the Munchkin’s unrelenting commentary as we were watching a Star Wars film fest, but come on…. How embarrassing.

I was very diligent last month and managed to keep a running list of all I read. Here it is…

January 2010 Booklist
Kristen Harmel, The Art of French Kissing
Douglas Preston, Impact
Whitney Gaskell, Good Luck
Audrey Niffengger, Her Fearful Symmetry
Charlane Harris, A Touch of Dead
The Gourmet Cookbook (yes, I read it cover to cover)
Steve Berry, The Paris Vendetta
Lolly Winston, Good Grief
Stuart Woods, Kisser

Agh, the damn dryer is screaming for me…Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to fold I go…

how the hell did I end up as a SAHM?

I am a SAHM of a hyperactive nearly 5 year old moppet, trapped here in a little ranch house in suburbia. I never dreamed I would be here. Ever. Ever, ever. But somehow, here I am…

I was going to be Carrie Bradshaw long before I ever read Sex and the City. I was going to be a fashion magazine editor living the high life in NYC, or maybe an ad exec in Chicago or a photographer in Seattle. I was a pretty damn good actress in high school, the lead in all of the school plays, so I fully planned on being at least nominated for an Oscar at some point as well. (I always HATED Nicole Kidman because from the first moment I saw her in Days of Thunder and I KNEW she was going to steal all of MY roles…)

I always knew I was going to go to college. I dreamed of Columbia or Northwestern, but did not want to be saddled with the student loans so I ended up at the best state school. I wonder every day what would have happened if I had been able to go to the 4 year Master’s in Journalism program at Northwestern. I guarantee I wouldn’t be sitting here.

I was going to be a career woman. It was expected of me. I graduated in the top 5% of my high school class, I was English student of the year, and everyone had such high expectations of me. Yet I spent my morning shop vac’ing my house, cleaning the cat puke up off the porch and fetching the moppet processed fruit snacks. Right now I SHOULD be heading out to local wholesale club for my bargain groceries.

Instead I think I will type here for a while so I don’t explode. Or perhaps implode would be more accurate. Folding up into myself because I don’t really exist for anyone except maybe my DS, my DH, and my parents….

So, while in college I changed my major from journalism (because I discovered I could write—at least at the time—but I could NOT spell to save my life) to advertising. I loved the creative aspect of it. By the time I realized that all of the jobs were in the sales side it was too late and I just wanted to graduate. I had to get away from the college town, the disintegrating long-term relationship with the “bad boy” and start my life.

I still have not found what I want to be when I grow up. I know I don’t want to work in retail again, no matter how high up the food chain. I sure as hell don’t want to work in anything related to the bridal industry again. I do want to help people and make a difference, but not as a hands-tied social worker again. I DO want to make sure I can make my son the most amazing person he wants to be. SO that’s what I have been doing for the last 4 years.

My mom was a homemaker until I went off to college. I hated her for it. I resented the fact that she gave up her life, her ability to be something, to vacuum the floors every day. Her days seemed like they just floated off the ditto machine, one after the other, nothing to distinguish them, nothing to look foreword to, just…nothing…. (God, I LOVED the smell of fresh dittos…) Make breakfast (alternate between pancakes, oatmeal, waffles, cream of wheat, all from scratch of course); get the hubby and kiddo off to work/school; vacuum 1200 square foot house, mop, dust, make sure there is not an item out of place. Make the house perfection. Laundry. Maybe eat lunch (usually too busy to finish). Clean the pool; work on tan; do aerobics. Watch some soaps. Wait for family to come home. Shower. Make dinner (homemade meatloaf, spaghetti, the usual). Clean up. In bed by 7:30. Wake up at 5:30 a.m. And do it all again.

I just could not understand how she wasn’t insane.

Maybe she was.

Yet here I am. Career-less. A bit hopeless. Filled with loneliness. And I HATE to clean.

I have googled some of my best friends from high school. They all look great and seem to have fabulous careers in the big cities. Lawyers, internet gurus, communications consultants, political advisers, radio personalities… I feel as if they would be so disappointed in me if they saw me now. I didn’t escape our childhoods. I’m back in the suburban safe bubble we longed to escape, only in a different city. I think they would be so disappointed in me. I think they would hate me. And sometimes I hate myself for that.

But I have to remind myself what I have that they don’t. I found my “soul mate” (I think) and have been happily married for…8 1/2 years now…wow… I have the most amazing son, who is smart, sensitive, funny, and adorable. I CAN stay at home with him, raise him to be the best man he can be, not ship him off to daycare for someone else to raise. That would have broken my heart. I haven’t had to miss one step, one word, one potty training mishap. Okay, perhaps it would have been nice if I could have dumped him off at a potty training school for a week to have him come home fresh, clean, and diaperless. My floors and washing machine would have thanked me for sure…

What are the chances those fabulous career women would look at my life and want to trade places? Are they longing for a home of their own, a kind husband, 2 cats in the yard, a few moppets running around, and the ability to enjoy it all….?

I just don’t know. So that’s one of the reasons I enjoy my cheap wine at the end of a long day. In a big plastic wine glass. What can I say…we’re on a tight budget, have tile floors, and a bouncing little boy. Need I say more?