rest easy, people. i am alive and well. since its start, not writing this blog for two weeks is almost unheard of, i know. my excuse? i guess i don’t have one. i’ve been reading. and hence, not writing. i only have so much time that i’m not with the kids each day, i guess, so that’s all i have in the way of explanation.
odd to go so long without writing about the kids and such. almost makes me feel a bit of writer’s block, like i don’t know where to start, or there is too much to say.
at times like these, however, i find it helps to just pick a small occurrence and begin from there.
i hate anniversaries. don’t you? for some, i guess, it’s just another blissful year to check off, a nice dinner and a small gift. for me, it brings back all of the awkwardness of the year greg and i were married, and raises all the old questions in my mind about our relationship and its beginnings. in my day-to-day life, i don’t tend to dwell too much on the larger questions of fate or meant to be or free will that have brought me to this place, but an anniversary is a time of reflection. a time to face that person going through life with you and ask where it all came from, where its all going and: is it good?
“i hope you got me something good,” i joked the other day, our anniversary. i say i joked because of course i knew that greg had nothing for me and nothing planned. that’s greg and has been greg since twelve years ago when we first met. most of the time, i accept this as “just greg”. but there is danger lurking on an anniversary. after all, aren’t guys supposed to be romantic and thoughtful and, i could be mistaken, but aren’t i supposed to be swept off my feet? reminded of all of the reasons i fell in love with greg so long ago? agreed to marry him and stay together for our entire lives? began a family together? all of the tv commercials are telling me so. i can always count on the mass media of this consumer-driven culture to tell me exactly what’s missing in my life. vacations, shiny cars and a large house, amiable kids and a buff husband who gets me my favorite gem stone earrings. wait. i don’t have a favorite gem stone.
it’s easy to forget that when i try to hold my life up to this supposed ideal that i’m supposed to be living, that all of my contemporaries are supposedly living. what is my problem? why can’t greg and i just jump on the bandwagon?
i’m digressing and losing my point. it was my anniversary. the anniversary of the day my mom yelled at me and embarrassed me in front of my bridesmaids right before the ceremony. the anniversary of the day every kiss greg and i shared felt plastic and cold. the anniversary of the day the stereo kept overheating, the music cutting out suddenly, leaving everyone in a strangely quiet room not knowing what to do with themselves until it would rev up again. it was a cloudy restless sort of day. maybe that was why i was suddenly upset that greg hadn’t bought me anything. that he had nothing planned. six years and two children later and i found myself wondering how it all started and what if….?
needless to say there was yelling. hello? have we met? of course there was plenty of yelling. and greg sputtering. he’s so good at it, isn’t he? and there was a gray cloudy day walk with the kids that soured my mood even further. finally, i found myself gesturing wildly, emphatically with my hands for all the neighbors to see as we walked down the street as i said, “for future reference, greg, i don’t expect much every other day of the year, but on anniversaries, valentines day, my birthday, and christmas, i’m telling you right now that you need to do something special for me. nothing big, but something. got it?” greg sputtering all the while.
well, after i got that off my chest i felt much better. and we had a party to go to so greg started to make cookies. and ruth helped. and then she wrote her name for the first time. and joel and ruth made a game out of throwing art supplies out of the sun porch window and yelling and laughing as they did so, creating a terrible mess to clean up, which i was suddenly not in the least bothered by at all. greg also made a huge mess in the kitchen making the cookies and ended up putting too much salt in them, which of course, was so endearing that i felt my hard heart start to melt along with the chocolate chips.
oh yeah, i thought. this is my life. these are my kids. and this is my husband. greg. the ever-sputtering man that he is. a great man who i admire. who i cherish. my best friend in this life. oh yeah. i looked around the house. not a large house. i looked at my car. not shiny. i looked at my husband. not buff. then i looked at myself and i saw….myself. not a model. not perky. not on top of things in my life. not even not smelly. real life. oh yeah.