I am two people.
On one hand, I am the loving mother, the caring wife, the true believer, the dutiful daughter, the empathetic sister, the dedicated worker, the woman content to be recognized and loved for who I am by those closest to me.
On the other hand, I am the ambitious woman, the cold wife, the truth seeker, the rebellious daughter, the antagonistic sister, the restless spirit, seeking recognition and fame by the world around me.
One of me is perfectly suited to the lifestyle I have chosen; satisfied, even. But the other? The other me bucks against my life, restlessly, uneasily, chomping and straining at the bit. Driving for freedom. Spurring me on. Trampling any who dare stand in my way. Pushing for... what?
An incessant voice whispers urgently, Hurry! Hurry! You might miss something! You're going to miss something!
As time passes, as I watch my children grow, I see their endless possibilities stretching before them. It is then that I notice that one of me appears to be sinking slowly into obscurity, hidden in a darkness only I perceive. Drowning.
What happens if one of me disappears?
As the year swiftly and fleet-of-footly comes to a close, I am reminded of my many blessings. Please join with me as I count down my Top 10 Blessing of 2004:
10. I have a job where comments such as "I hate English!", "Shakespeare is so gay!", "Can I do extra credit?", and "Will this be on the test?" are thankfully absent from the conversation.
9. Since my trip to the gastroenterologist, my constipation issues are all but resolved. (Heh. That pun? Totally intended! Get it?! "All but resolved"? Har.)
8. I have a job that allows me down-time to update my newly-minted blog-sites. Eh? Eh?!
7. There is water here. Lots of water. And trees! Green ones! Pretty!
6. I haven't had to shop at, or even set foot in, a Super-Walmart yet. Because there are malls here. Big ones. Am I in heaven?
5. Um, did I mention the lack of constipation issues?
4. No one asks me every stinking day if Shakespeare was gay, and if so, why we have to learn about him and his works. Because he was gay. And wrote sonnets to men. And was totally gay.
3. I discovered that whistling on the Metro attracts attention. And any attention is good attention, right? Right?
2. I've come to realize how important my family is, and how much I miss them when I'm away from them.
1. My husband and kids are with me now, and we are happy together.
Say it ain't so! A cloned-to-order pet? $50,000? Hello? Is anyone else frightened?
Ten bucks says the cute little kitty grows to ginormously large proportions (I'm talking hippo-sized, people!), begins hearing cat-voices telling him to "Kill! Kill!", gets hopped up on catnip, goes full-on psycho, and takes out the rich old lady, Siegfried-and-Roy-style. Any takers?
I can't believe he was "in the neighborhood" and I missed it... I may just die.
For this, I can almost forgive his Scientology zealotry.
In the cubicle directly across from me, a gaggle of women stand discussing assorted holiday cookie recipes. Ooooh, drizzled honey? Nuts on top? What are they saying? Rum? What?
I looooooove cookies... cookies, cookies, cookies! Mmmmm! 'Tis the season, ya know what I'm sayin'? But the mother of all Christmas cookies would be my mother's very own top-secret, scrumptiously-tasty, super-special Cuckoo Cookie. Oh yes. The Cuckoo Cookie. Oh yes.
It's this wonderful little circley (not a word? no?) delight of a thing, with a fluffy chocolate cookie base, a slightly toasted marshmallow on top, and to-die-for chocolate glaze over the whole darn thing. Chocolate glaze! Over the whole darn thing! And sometimes nuts, but not always, 'cuz somebody is allergic, or unnaturally averse to them, or some such nonsense. And did I mention the glaze? Because... yum.
Oh, I'm feeling all tingly inside just thinking about them.
Anyhoos, awesome cookie. But the name? Not so much. Come on, Cuckoo Cookies? What the hell? Are they so good, they make you go cuckoo? Are they the preferred cookie of the European Cuckoo bird family? Did they originate someplace called the Cuckoo Pen in some obscure English village of my ancestors? The possibilities are limitless. Honestly. It's a conundrum. BUT, my sister, Jenny, has a theory. She believes it was simply an error in translation. She is logical that way, Jenny is. It's amazing, really. Now Jenny, she theorizes that when my mother's mother's mother bucked the oral tradition and set this particular recipe into the written word, way back when, she accidentally wrote the word "cuckoo" instead of "cocoa." Oooooooh, I get it! Because there's a whole lot of cocoa in the cookie! Get it? See? Jenny is smart. And "cuckoo" does sound an awful lot like "cocoa," especially with a British accent. Really. Try it. I'm not kidding.
Huh. So really, Jenny's theory makes perfect sense. Heh. Great-grandma was all cuckoo for cocoa cookies! (Come on, like I could let THAT opportunity pass by. Please.)
Crap. The gaggle of women has dispersed. Now I'll never know the drizzled-honey, nuts-on-top, filled-with-rum cookie recipe. What a shame. Guess I'll stick with the Cuckoo Cookie.
Wow. For all of you, uh, three people reading this (hey Aaron! 'sup?), check out this article by Peggy Noonan (contributing editor of The Wall Street Journal) entitled, "It's Policy, Not Poetry."
What an impressive discourse on the Democratic Party's need to stop advocating the antireligious zealots' war on religious expression in America! If the Democratic Party would take heed, she propounds, it would improve its standing and increase its popularity. I must say, it's an interesting concept. Take a look.
And let me just say, merry freaking Christmas, happy Hanukkah, and God bless you, every one.
Horrified Observers of Pedestrian Entertainment (H.O.P.E.) = hilarious.
(please let Lindsay Lohan be their next project... please let Lindsay Lohan be their next project...)
Okay, so I just got my credit card bill and I'm all, Hey, it's not my fault! How was I supposed to resist the look on my child's face of Please God Let My Mother Buy This One Stinkin' Toy For Me And I Won't Grow Up Dysfunctional And Need Therapy!? HOW. COULD. I. RESIST?!
And that was just the beginning of the spending, what with family pictures, Christmas cards, postage for Christmas cards, shipping and handling charges, gratuitous lighting displays and assorted festive paraphernalia, Black Friday impulse buys, presents for kids, spouse, parents, grandparents, co-workers, bosses, teachers, and party hostesses, not to mention the last-minute gifts I had to buy-- full-price!-- to reciprocate gifts from People With Whom I Did Not Know I Was Exchanging Gifts.
So, um, Citibank, can't we just overlook this [insert obscene amount of money here] bill and just be friends?! Can't we?! Huh?!
Foiled by the Spirit of Pagan Commercial Greed, and my five-year-old-daughter's baby blue eyes.
Just when does a husband finally get sick and tired of the hormonal fluctuations of his wife? I mean, at what point do he say, "Oh, to hell with it, she's just not worth this anymore," and walk away? At what exact second does his patience run too thin? Is it when his wife tells him, "Maybe selling our home and moving our family all the way across the United States WAS a bad idea," or is it when she yells at him for chewing his gum like a freaking cow chewing her cud, or is it when she sweetly informs him that if he is going to get the kids all sugared up he can damn well put them to bed on his own? Because lately, I think poor TGIM is counting down to that exact second.link | posted by Cat at 1:25 PM
Buying sugar cookie supplies during rush-hour on a weeknight: $12.32
Taking the D.C. Metro subway system to your co-worker's house, holding tightly to the three dozen sugar cookies rolled lovingly into tiny little gingerbread men by one harried momma and three over-enthusiastic rolling-pin wielders: $7.50
Buying last-minute powdered sugar, milk, and food coloring supplies to decorate three dozen sugar cookies (because your co-worker is a swinging bachelor and apparently NEVER cooks): $8.62
Breaking into "The Muffin Man" bit and screeching "Not my gumdrop buttons!" over and over again at the top of your lungs while decorating tiny little gingerbread men at the holiday staff party at your co-worker's house: Priceless.
Kids say the darnedest things, don't they?
My six-year-old daughter Hannah, out of the blue, waxing philosphical:
"It's not very nice or good to say that Jesus is stupid."
"But, really, it wasn't very smart of him to turn that woman into a pillar of salt."
Of course, we all ran for cover, to escape any stray bolts of lightning.
Aaron came home from work the other night and mustered from the profound Depths of his Soul such a Truth as has never been uttered in the Lambson Household. He stood still for a moment, watching me as I went busily about clearing the assorted dirty dinner dishes from the table, periodically shouting at my two little bathers, "Girls, stop that splashing in there!", throwing in the occasional, "Tanner, you'd better not be on that computer again!" for good measure, all the while maneuvering around the play house slash impromptu puppet theater Hannah and Tanner built out of a cast-off box that never made it to the dumpster, and he said with palpable sincerity-- truly, I saw it in his eyes as I scurried by with the crusty noodle pan-- "Cat, kids are hard."
Ah, wordy word, my friend. Wordy word.
On our walk home from Allison's and Hannah's after-school program on Friday, Allison told me that a girl in her class told her that her shirt was ugly. Oh, no, she did not! Ugly?! The seriously cute little faux-western number with blue flowers and pearl snap buttons, bought on sale at Old Navy for $5.99? UGLY?! The nerve.
Of course, I seized upon this moment as a learning opportunity. All the way home we practiced the three magic phrases intended to foil rude comments from impertinent peers. Allison leaned toward Phrase Number One, the classic, "How daaaare you?" complete with eyebrow raise and attitude, although her earnestly sarcastic Phrase Number Two, "Thanks for sharing," in my opinion, showcases her dramatic tendencies a tad better. Hannah preferred the more disparaging Phrase Number Three, "Your opinion means nothing to me," which, when executed correctly, is dryly effective and suits her personality perfectly.
Throughout the weekend, I took it upon myself to periodically criticize hair, shoes, even scarves, honing my daughters' freshly developed snark skills to a new level of competency. Even Tanner joined in on the fun, when he responded to my criticism of his less-than-fresh breath with a resounding, "How daaaaare you?!"
Am I a great mother or what?
Just go ahead and situate yourself in the stall right next to me in a public restroom-- when three others are clearly wide open, mind you-- and commence groaning and/or sighing while make obscene noises with your straining nether regions. Right next to me! In Public! That's revolting. Granted, we all make some pretty awful, and--okay, I'll admit it-- sometimes downright funny noises while using the facilities, but come on. Have a little decency, show a smidge of decorum! Because it's revolting. It's a public restroom, not a Jim Carrey movie, for cryin' out loud! (No pun intended. Heh. Okay, maybe a little.) Did I mention how REVOLTING it was? And if you just can't control yourself-- or your bowels, for that matter-- if you are ready to pop and have no other recourse but to sit right next to me, in a stall, in Public, in front of God and everybody, and just let it all out, PLEASE do what I do... FLUSH. Before. During. After. Because, damn. It's just revolting.link | posted by Cat at 4:22 PM
One should remember that sensitive young children probably don't need to know all the grisly details of a capital murder trial. They probably also don't need to know that a man would premeditate to strangle and kill his very pregnant wife, then dump her and their unborn baby boy named Conner into the ocean for flesh-hungry sharks to eat, until their headless, armless bodies are washed ashore for beachcombers to find. They especially don't need to know that the only reason the bastard did this was to be free to pursue a relationship with his skanky, adulterous girlfriend. Even if they ask. They don't need to know. I mean, nightmares would be a given, right?
Seriously, what kind of mother would tell her kids this story?! Even if they totally asked?! Not me. No sir.
Oh. Me. I would.
No, really. Why have I not been arrested?
ETA: I suppose Scott Peterson's girlfriend wasn't technically his "skanky, adulterous girlfriend." More like "unknowingly adulterous, and a tad skanky." Poor dupe.