Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Happy Anniversary, Baby, I got you on my miiiiiiiiiiiind

"Honey, exactly when was our anniversary?"

This question was posed to me when I was in the kitchen last night, fixing Lucy's medicine food. I faltered, gulped, and answered "Um...yesterday."

"Would that be the same yesterday in which you apparently had better things to do than to spend time with me?" I felt my face flush with shame.

It wasn't that I had better things to do; I cleaned most of the day, putting stuff in the shed that Todd had been after me to do for a month. I mean, heck, it was my only real day off...a day with nothing else to do.

Well, except maybe to celebrate our anniversary. A milestone that honestly just slipped my mind.

I don't know why it's been okay for Todd to forget our anniversary every year we've been together (nine, by the way, if anyone's counting), but the one year I forget, it's a major catastrophe. If I understood him right, he said it's typical Todd-behavior to forget, but for me to forget means I've simply stopped caring.

That's not true. I just...forgot.

And who can blame me? I've had a lot on my mind. My mom has been in the hospital, and will be going back in for surgery soon. I've been hounded almost every day by Todd asking me when I was going to start bringing stuff out to the shed. Plus, he was gone just last week, which meant I had the additional task of taking care of two very needy dogs, both on medication and both who wear diapers, along with my normal every day stuff.

Additionally, let's not forget the fact that Todd scheduled a date for the very next day after he arrived back from Idaho he got in late Friday night, and had a date scheduled for Saturday. Apparently our anniversary didn't mean a whole heck of a lot to him, either, if he was scheduling dates with other women.

So, yes, I feel a bit shamed, however I don't believe it means I stopped caring. Obviously, if I still get jealous over the parade of women that springboard in and out of his life, I still care.

I'm simply just an old woman with a feeble memory and a brand new shed to fill.

Living in a Pig Sty

When I tell people (and I often don't!) that our house is messy, they don't get it. They either tell me I'm neat, and I must be talking about just a tad bit of clutter, or they laugh and say something like "Oh tell me about it! My house..." But if they saw the inside of the house I live in, they'd run for cover.

Hunky is a pack rat. And he has a shopping obsession. Almost every day, we receive one or two packages from UPS, mostly from Amazon, but also a few packages from Sit Stay, Wysong, and Raspberry Fields thrown in. Since he knows what is in the packages, he often doesn't open them. Instead, he stacks them in the entryway until it becomes difficult to even walk through the front door.

But, and I hate to admit it, he's not the only problem. I, too, have some stuff that is problematic. The main thing is that when I first moved here, hunky let it be known that he wasn't really a fan of my decorating style ("too kitschy!"), so he didn't want me to start decorating the house with the stuff I brought from my own home. So, it pretty much stayed in the boxes it was packed in, which we stacked along the dining room wall.

And then there was the cottage...a disaster I don't like to think about much. My parents were excited that I was going to have my own place, and even though I had plenty of stuff to decorate my cottage with, they bought me more. Much more. So, when I would come back from a visit with my parents laden with stuff meant for the cottage, I would pack it lovingly into boxes and put those boxes in the dining room, and eventually the living room, waiting for the day I would be able to move it all into the cottage. A day that never came.

Add my boxes to his boxes and throw in hunky's slovenly ways (for instance, leaving piles of receipts where ever he emptied out his wallet, and other piles of stuff, like bags he never emptied from stores) and you've got one heck of a mess.

When I first moved here, I wasn't working, so I used Fly Lady's techniques to keep the place pretty neat and tidy, despite the pack rat tendencies. I employed the 27-Fling Boogie weekly, and that got rid of magazines and other things I simply didn't need. However, once I started working ten hour days, Fly Lady slowly slipped away from me.

After about two years, I wasn't following Fly Lady at all, except for the occasional Hot Spot attack and 27-Fling Boogie. So, eventually we ended up with piles of stuff all around the house (and I'll admit, some of it is mine, because I simply didn't know where to put my stuff). And the state of the house stressed me out so much that it caused a strain in our relationship.

I became uninterested in sex or in spending time with hunky. Because, just sitting around the house lounging together left me feeling piggish. How could I just sit and watch TV with hunky when there were piles of stuff to attack? The stress also took away my desire for sex (well, that and the onset of perimenopause, but it was actually both things that ate away at my libido). Soon, we were in big trouble.

In the last month, the state of the house has finally gotten to Todd as well. So, when a friend of his said "I really need some money for rent; can you put me to work until my job starts next month?" he said yes. Yesterday was her first day here, and already there has been a huge dent made in the family room.

I am so ashamed of the way we live. If my mom saw it, she would just shake her head and say "You didn't learn this from me!" And I know that. However, at some point it became too overwhelming to clean up after myself AND Todd AND still manage to have a bit of free time. The times that I did manage to clean up areas, like the front entryway, it would all go to hell after a week or so, because Todd would just populate the area back up with his many boxes from Amazon. After awhile, it just didn't seem worth it to try.

When I got home from work yesterday, Todd's friend Elaine was cleaning (in a slinky skirt, slit up to the thighs, but I'm trying not to go there!), and I felt so ashamed. Because, if she thinks any bit like I would expect a woman to, she probably thinks I am the main problem. After all, we are conditioned to clean up after our men. To keep home and hearth joyful and clean. And I have failed miserably.

So, I did what I do best: I hid upstairs until she left.

When I finally went downstairs, we had room to breathe. Oh don't get me wrong; there is so much more to be done. So. Much. More. But it feels good to know we can get on top of it.

About two months ago, Todd said "What happened, honey? Your place in Milpitas was always so neat." Well, yes it was. But I also only cleaned up after myself, and I normally didn't make too big of a mess in the first place. Trying to keep on top of someone like Todd, along with six animals and my own messes, while working full time, has become quite a challenge.

After we get this mess under control, I am going back to Fly Lady. I know it works, and I have no idea why I gave up on it. Well, wait. I just wrote a whole entry on why I gave up on it. But maybe this time it'll actually work, as hunky as said once we get the place under control, he is going to hire another friend of his to come in and clean (once a week? twice a month?), so we can keep on top of it.

Well. So, here I am, a failure at cleaning and apparently a failure as a girlfriend. But that's another entry for another time...At least the family room is kind of clean, and that's a start.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I Am My Mother

When I was growing up, everyone who saw me would either say "You're just like your father," or "You look just like your dad."

While I looked very much like my dad, and have a lot of his personality traits, as I age I realize I am more like my mother.

I'm not always really sure how I feel about that.

Don't get me wrong. I love my mom. I wouldn't trade her for any other mom in the world. However, my mom has a black and white way of looking at things, and a rambling way of speaking, both of which I seem to have inherited.

One of the main reasons I haven't been on here much is because my mom was in the hospital. It caught us all by surprise, especially my mom, who hadn't been in a hospital since my brother was born. However, after days of not being able to pee or do other things, she found herself in a lot of pain. My dad finally convinced her to go to the emergency room. Good thing, too, because it turned out she had diverticulitis. Basically, she had an inflamed pocket in her colon, and if she had kept refusing to go the hospital, it could have ruptured and caused her death.

Because my mom isn't in the best of health, her hospital stay was longer than the doctors first expected it to be. And, little by little, it got to her. She couldn't sleep at night, because she would be interrupted by nurses checking her vitals and the "moaner" in the next room. She couldn't sleep during the day, because she was poked, prodded, and intruded upon. But sleep wasn't the only evil; quite frankly, just being away from home was a hell in and of itself.

She got home in time for Mothers Day, and I went to visit. Everything went well, however it was difficult to see my normally fairly active mom relegated to the couch and laying around in a nightgown.

She'll have to go into the hospital again soon for surgery. I'm glad to hear she's actually going to go. I could see my mom coming up with all kinds of reasons not to go, but she's following through. She's taking her meds, and she's changing her bandage, and she's doing everything the doctor told her to do.

I can relate to this, because deep down inside, we're both good girls. We follow the rules. We don't cause havoc. We do what our loved ones want us to do.

Just one more way we're both alike.