Housewives and husbands at home

Today my husband worked from home. He can do that, thankfully, because he can do his job from basically anywhere there is a computer connection. It’s a blessing most days. A curse on others. He can’t always get away from work, even when we’re on vacation, or out to dinner, or other very inappropriate times.

Today, however, is an exception. He drives a truck that we bought brand new, literally off the show room floor. 12 years ago. Last night on his way home, it was acting up, so he dropped it off at the wonderful Tuffy across the street from us. So guess what that means? Yep. He’s working from home today.

So here’s what goes through my mind when he’s here: Is she really going to eat THAT for breakfast? When is she going to take a shower? Is she going to keep flipping through the channels? But the biggest, loudest voice inside my head is What does she DO all day??

The life of a stay at home mom is not glamorous, but it’s also not jam packed every single day with back to back to back action items that could be cataloged on a spreadsheet. Some days I have only enough time to eat half of a cold bagel in the car as I go non stop til time to pick up after school. Some days, I have nothing pressing to do but catch on my Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (or Orange County, or New York, or New Jersey….but who’s counting?) on the DVR while the laundry is going.

Today is one of those days. Oh, I showered before 8am, had a Greek yogurt for breakfast, and the 4th load of laundry is still going. So I’ve snuck off with my iPad to the bedroom so I can watch General Hospital.

Shhhhh, don’t tell him I’m in here.

The art of business socializing…from my perspective

There are certain duties a wife is expected to perform when married to someone climbing the corporate ladder. Most of these are done within the home and need no further discussion. OK, well, maybe further discussion, but on another day.

One of those duties that reflect directly on your husband is how to respond in social events. I hate to call it a “duty”. That makes it sound like something on a checklist or worse, something negative. I don’t look at it that way. But let me back up start at the beginning and give a brief overview to help explain this.

My husband is not a college educated guy. He was going to be a musician. He plays piano so beautifully it has brought tears to my eyes before. Then he was going to be a chef, even enrolled in cooking school. He still cooks dinner for us almost nightly because he enjoys it. But the hours were killer and the pay not so much. So he started working as a contractor fixing copiers. Glamorous, right? Then, he went to another company as a contractor to work help desk for IT. Then, as a contractor for another company actually fixing computer issues for other companies. This went on and on, with him getting better and better, his technical skills growing with each new job. But always as a contractor. Contracting work sucks. Lets be honest. No benefits or if you are so lucky to work for a bigger contractor that offers them, the cost is outrageous. And the pay? Well, you might get billed out for $125/hour but your cut of that is more like $20/hour. Sucks, right? So we paid to send him to get his MSCE+. This is pretty good stuff, and most IT guys don’t have that. He also got certified in a bunch of other stuff that I don’t even begin to understand, but lets put it this way, if he listed all the letters behind his name, his business card would have to be longer to fit them all.

He used this to parlay himself out of contracting work and into a full fledged corporate gig. We were ecstatic! A real job??!! With benefits and a 401k and actual paid vacation and sick time?? Seriously?? YES!!! And he moved up within that company quickly. He has proven himself to be a very valuable player in his company and so far has been rewarded for it. And along with that, comes the social aspect. Which is where I fit in.

This past weekend we had our first formal gathering with his peers and his bosses. And his bosses bosses. And their wives. I was walking into a situation where I knew not one soul other than my husband. I wanted to be gracious, funny, proper. Not stuffy like I had a stick stuck somewhere, or uppity where the other wives thought I was looking down on anyone. Not too loose, not a foul mouth, not one who had too many glasses of wine. I wanted to give the perfect balance. I was going to be looked at as an extension of my husband and his reputation. How could I live it up to whatever they thought I was going to be??

I wasn’t going to be the skinniest, or the richest, or the best dressed, or anything in any category. I wanted to blend in, be proper, be FUN. I was so nervous that I felt sick as we rode the elevator down to the lobby. My nerves showing on my neck as beautiful red splotches. Lovely. More powder! I need more powder!

As we collected our name tags and walked in with drink coupons, we both looked around. The room spun and I felt like every head turned to see who just walked in. Not that they did, not that anyone even cared who just walked in. Breathe. In and out.

We found a table and I asked for a glass of white wine. Oh please, hurry up with that. Should I have ordered 2 right off the bat so I could gulp down the first one and relax and then sip the other? To late. So I sipped. Better not to be drunk and stupid.

The other wives came and we hit it off beautifully. They took mercy on me, took me under their wing. It was so wonderful to be embraced and welcomed into the fold. We talked. We laughed…. a LOT! We discussed our husbands and how hard they work and the next business trip they would be taking. We talked about children, or the lack of children. We just talked. The husbands had gathered in a corner, discussing who knows what and we sat a table laughing and enjoying each others company.

By the end of the evening, when we had all had our fill of wine and then coffee, and everyone was heading back to our hotel rooms, there were hugs all around. Smiles, more laughter, and promises of getting together for lunches. I think I pulled off that balance I was seeking. At least I think so and for now, that’s all that matters. The next one won’t be nearly as nerve-wracking. At least I hope not.

Lying Liars who Lie

Everybody is talking about Lance. How could he lie? How could he cheat? What about all those cancer survivors who only got better because of Livestrong? Well, I have news for all of these shocked and outraged people. EVERYONE lies. Everyone. Some are little “white lies” to avoid hurting someone’s feelings that don’t really hurt anyone else. The “does my butt look big in these pants?” is the cliched example. No husband/friend wants to say “Oh my God, you’re butt looks HUGE!” to avoid those hurt feelings. But wouldn’t it be better if said husband/friend said, “Ya know what, yea, they kinda do. Maybe you should wear something else.” Because the world doesn’t need more touchy-feely, you’re great, I’m great, la la la la la.

But there are bigger, more powerful lies that are far more damaging, more life altering, more irreversible than whether or not something is wearing the wrong jeans. Spouses who are having an affair and lying. Addicts who look you right in the face and lie about whether they used their substance of choice. Trusted advisors who lie about how they didn’t take the money you gave them to invest and headed to the track instead. The friend who says they have your back, while they’re the ones lying to everyone else around you about you. All of these lies HURT. How does someone ever truly trust someone who can look another person square in the eye and lie. I have been on the receiving end of most of those examples. It changes a person to be lied to constantly. It changes the lens you view other people, no matter how much you don’t want it to. The little annoying voice in the back of your mind is yapping that you are being tricked. You’re gullible. You’re naive. If anyone knows how to get over that, please feel free to comment and let me know. Because short of cutting all ties to that person, I think you’re kinda stuck in that “I like you, but I’ll never completely trust you ever again, ever ever ever” and that’s a sad place to be.

But that brings me back to Lance. Will anyone ever be able to trust a word out of his mouth ever again? I watched the first part of the interview last night, mainly because nothing else was on, everyone was talking about it and I wasn’t ready for bed. I should have just gone to bed. Because after he admitted he lied for years, how he doped before every single win of the Tour De France, everyone in America should have just turned it off. Why believe anything he said after that? Because he’s now some upstanding individual who is baring his soul and coming clean. Give me a break. Lying liars who lie only come clean for one reason…..they’re about to be exposed and they’re trying to get ahead of the lie. Lance knew he was about to be exposed by his own drug test from his very first race. He is still scheming and manipulating and to me, still being a liar.

I feel sorry for the people who think he is the reason they beat cancer. THEY beat cancer. Lance didn’t do it for them. Doctors, nurses and today’s incredible technology helped them beat cancer. Many more didn’t and that’s something we need to work on, but please don’t ever think that Livestrong did that.

Sam’s Club Addict

So today I’m making my monthly trek to Sam’s Club. I could be going to Costco, which is closer to my house, and way more convenient. But I will drive half an hour, one way, to go to Sam’s.

There’s a few reasons for this, none of which truly justifies my actions. So I have come to understand that I have an addiction to the place. I can’t break the cycle.

I started going to Sam’s Club when it was the only warehouse type shopping in the area. There was no Costco in all of Central Ohio. So it was Sam’s or nothing. I liked Sam’s 20 years ago. It was close to where I lived. They have lots of cool stuff. I could charge my monthly purchases on my Sam’s Club card. I loved that! I would pay for it the next month when I came in if things were tight that month. At Christmas, it was amazing! I could go to Sam’s for big ticket gifts, jumbo rolls of wrapping paper, and did I mention the huge cookie platters? Yes! I could also use my card at WalMart, which made it even more convenient during the holidays. Then I could pay on it over the next few months. Sweetness!

Then the area began changing. Not for the good. This is not because of the Sam’s Club, or because of the WalMart next door. The area has one of the largest immigrant populations in Central Ohio. I don’t know legal or not, I don’t ask for green cards when I see someone. But I can tell you, most do not speak English. At all. I can also tell you they are rude, and mean, most have a daily agenda of going out of their way to terrorize middle aged white women. I have had people literally cut in line in front of me and put their stuff on the belt when my stuff was already there. I have been yelled at in some language saying things I don’t understand, but hands are flying around and they get their way. I have seen their kids running loose in the store, knocking displays over. Store managers shake their heads but don’t say a word to them about it. It’s truly like inmates running the asylum.

When the people cut in front of me in line, I SWORE I would never be back there. And I haven’t. But there’s another Sam’s further away. It’s clean, it has the products I look for each month that Costco doesn’t carry, I can charge on my Sam’s card which you can’t do at Costco. And I don’t feel like I entered a third world country just to get a deal on Tide and boneless chicken breasts.

If this newer Sam’s becomes like the other one, I might have to stop warehouse shopping altogether.

Or I might learn to embrace Costco.

Ok, ok

So my goal was to write here daily, and already I failed. Not that I’m shocked by that, but some days my life seems to take over what I want to do. And yesterday was no exception.

Our 13 year old refrigerator seemed to develop some problem on the freezer side on Monday. So repairman was called and he came first thing yesterday. Good thing I had at least showered before he showed up, cuz THAT would’ve been embarrassing! Luckily, this is my regular repairman, I trust him, he does good work and he fixed the issue with only the cost of a service call. Woo hoo!

Then I had to take my beloved dog, Izzy, to the groomer for a long overdue hair cut and nail trim. He’s a Border Collie and some kind of mix. Lab? Shepard? Whatever he is, we rescued him when he was only about 4 weeks old, too young to be at a shelter and he is The Smartest Dog. Ever. I know all pet owners say they’re pet is the smartest, but seriously, Izzy is the smartest dog in the whole world. I love him as much as my children!

So after I dropped him off, I had to go get beautified myself. This took a bit longer than I thought, guess I needed extra work! But by the time I was done, my hair was gorgeous and I had to run to get Ryan from school. Then we had to run to get Izzy. Now my whole day is gone. And I’m exhausted!

So those are my excuses for yesterday. Today I pledge to TRY better. Doesn’t mean I will be, but I’m going to try. I’m also going to get on the treadmill downstairs today. I had lost 35 lbs this summer. Ok, ok, 37 but who’s counting? But when school started back and my running partner had to go back to work, we stopped. I stopped. I tried to go on my own, but no accountability has a way of leading to sabotage. And guess what happened? Yep. 10 lbs, back on and I’m in the “lets beat ourself up for it” phase. Best way to get out of that and to kick my own ass on the treadmill. I promise to let you know how it goes and I also vow to be honest about it.

I’ll report back later.

Blogging – ME??

So I’m jumping into the world of blogging because friends seem to think I have something to say. Of course they’re right. I always have something to say. Very little leaves me speechless and tongue tied. The problem is, most of the time, what I have to say gets me in trouble to some degree. I guess that’s where blogging comes in. This is my blog. I can do what I want. I can say what I want. No one is making you read it, but I hope you do. I hope it makes you laugh, think, something.

I’m starting this today because its my birthday AND a Monday. It’s like it was meant to be. I like starting things on Mondays. Because let’s face it, if you don’t start something new, or life altering on a Monday, why start it? Tuesday, no. Nothing good ever started on a Tuesday. Wednesday? Really?? The week is half over now! Thursday? Well, it’s REALLY almost over now. And by the time you hit Friday, well,it’s the weekend now, so it can just wait til Monday. So here we are.

It’s also my birthday. I don’t feel the need to get into specifics right off the bat, but lets just say I’m older than I feel most days. My oldest child is in his mid 20s, and suffice it to say, I did NOT have him when I was 12, so I’m slightly older than 40. I also have my youngest son, who is 15 and a Freshman in high school. That fact alone provides enough entertainment for most people.

I plan to update this frequently, at least daily. I think it will be a fun journey and I hope you, my reader, will want to come back for more. If anything, just to see if I’m still around and not locked up in a sanitarium or jail. Or sitting in the corner rocking back and forth. Stick around for the laughs, you won’t be sorry.