Hey, thanks Colon Cleanse Spam, but my colon doesn’t get as many visitors as my house does. If you can send some small gnomes to clean my dishes, I might reply to this email.
I’m literally on my hands and knees scrubbing our kitchen tiles. It’s my husband’s birthday today: June 18th. I’m listening to him put an IKEA shelf together with the children in the other room. What a way to spend your birthday, I think. Hey honey! Let’s clean the house!
The thing is, this is how we roll. We don’t have a cleaning person so if the kitchen is going to get presentable, I’ll be the one to do it. We don’t have lawn boys to do our yard work for us so if the weeds are going to be pulled, it will be our family pulling them. We have a lot, and I’m not even being dramatic here, a lot of work to do on our old 1963 “well loved” velveteen-rabbit of a house. And if it’s going to be done, we’ll be the ones to do it. Every weekend. For ever.
I have friends with cleaning people, or yard people, or nannies. I have co-workers that run the math for me about money versus time. I’m sure we’re not utilizing our time as efficiently as possible as I theoretically could spend all evenings earning more income with freelance and all weekends farming out our chores while we bond as a family.
I know these facts and yet, this is how we choose to do things. We might have the ugliest fireplace in the history of fireplaces but when we change it out, we’ll be painting it together. We might have the hole in the wall from the previous owner but it’s become a lower priority to all the other chores. The children’s bathroom is still broken and I know we’ll get to it eventually.
My four year old son plays “who can pull the biggest weed” with me. We laugh at just how big that root is, or how tall that weed got or watch a worm crawl in the dirt. We let the children wipe up the tables and teach them to take off their shoes when they walk in the front door because mommy just cleaned the floor and will lose her shit if you muddy it up right away. It’s a timeless middle-class adage that the chores come first before play. We try to do both, simultaneously, and listening to my husband show the kids how to put together a shelf and recycle the box it came in, on his birthday, reminds me why I married him in the first place.
Happy Birthday, Babe. Let’s clean the toilets next.
northwest experience. I thought I’d help out since it was a last minute party and offered to bring some beer. I mean, comon, you need beer at a party for bloggers. Or anyone, for that matter.
I stopped at the brewery to pick up a growler of local fare.
“Can I see your ID?”
Sure you can. Thank you for asking. Oh, hon, you’re just so lovely.
Let me find it here. Hang on.
Ok, it’s in here somewhere.
No, I don’t know where else it would be. It would be HERE. HERE IN MY PURSE.
It’s gotta be here. One more check.
Ok, look, I’m thirty-five. Can I just have the beer?
“No, Ma’am, I need to scan your ID”
Look, you just called me MA’AM. That should work, right?
“No, I can’t let you have the beer.”
DUDE. I have grey hair! Do you see this body? THIS IS A WOMAN’S BODY, not a girl, not a young, mid, late twenties. Hell, not even early thirties. I’m Mid-Life now. AND I NEED BEER.
“Yea, no, we can’t do that. I’m sorry.”
The people behind me are starting to foam at the mouth. Their beer is within reach and this lady, THIS OLD LADY, is arguing to get her damn beer from a 19 year old who probably isn’t even old enough to be in the bar.
Gah. Fine. But I’ll remember this!
I leave empty handed and head to the party. I relay the story. People think I should be flattered. “It’s flattering! They thought you were young!” It’s a load of crap but it’s nice.
Thankfully there was plenty of beer at the party already so no bunnies got punched in the face.
Just to prove we’re the kind of rad people who send our friends off to California all proper, I even gave Tricia a lap dance.
‘Cause that’s what we do when we’re old. And I did it better than a 19 year old.
———————In other news———————-
I’d like to congraluate my parents on their official marriage. They tied the knot via facebook this morning.
All I have to say is thank you for being such a great example to your grown children. It’s about fucking time.
Last night I drove in to town for the SMC Seattle event my friend Maya put together. I say “Drove In To Town” because home-girl lives outside the city and in the past year has transformed from a Houston-size-city-girl to someone who can’t navigate anything bigger than Wichita Falls.
I put the address in to my GPS and my iPhone puts up a message, “Go toward the fucking Space Needle. Then ARRIVE IN SE-ATTLE.” No, I swear it said that. I’m pretty sure my phone called me a moron.
Forty minutes of sitting on a floating bridge head-bobbing to people in cars next to me as we do a dance of this-or-that-lane later, I fight, literally, to arrive at a parking spot that costs more than 5 half gallons of ultra organic milk flown in over night from France. Thankfully I wasn’t even late.
Walking in to the room now shaking and feeling the traffic sweat stains lining my shirt, I find exactly four people I know. No! Five! I met one other girl briefly a few years ago. That counts. There is a large crowd of faces. There are all types of people with vaginas and five - tops - people with the other parts. I find a group of three young men standing in a sea of women. “Uh, you know this is about connecting to MOMMY BLOGGERS,” I offer in case they didn’t realize we’d all have baggage and thought this was some sort of freak-awesome party. I sort of look out for people like that. Setting expectations and all.
The panel itself was lovely. All the panelist were genuinely fabulous and Maya couldn’t have found a more diverse group to speak. Sitting next to me was the most lovely, sincere, amazing new-blogger and local TV personality Jenni. She’s pretty much an angel. In our answers she’s talking about how to leverage her traffic to give things to charity or work with brands to benefit the homeless or solving world peace and helping all children get medical attention and I’m all, “OH! You know what? VEEV sent me a bottle of this amazing Acai Berry spirit and I LOVED IT…. IT WAS GOOD, Y’ALL. NO REALLY.” I lost brain cells just opening my mouth. Thankfully the audience laughed with me most of the night. There’s something comforting about hearing laughter. Not in the way that the cheerleaders and jocks did in Jr. High the time you had your skirt tucked in to your pantyhose walking down the hallway, but more in the sense that you feel like THEY GET YOU.
In fact, I felt that a lot last night.
As we talked, sharing our stories, our experiences, it wasn’t a social media discussion anymore: It was people connecting as people. It was all up in the “EYE ARE ELL” as I saw people smile or nod or laugh or start to doze off. These are the faces behind the computers. These are people tweeting shit that comes out of my mouth. Shit that actually turned out pretty decent since they made it so easy to be honest and real.
In a sea of perfect strangers, I connected with so many women and exactly two men. Sarcasm, geekhood, stories. It was a space where I could be myself, even if less than perfect, or self conscious, or regretting my shoe decision. In the end, Scott Berkun was right, a crowd of strangers is really just a group of future friends.
And nobody has to be pictured naked.
13 guests here now.