I remember swirling dishwater around your stainless steel sink, standing on a stepstool and holding a tiny wooden mop.
Andes mints in the stiff and prim living room, dancing to “You Can Fly” and “Bare Necessities” while you clapped and watched. I think of you every time I watch Peter Pan or Jungle Book.
Digging mud rivers with your flatware, rivulets of water and slopped mud into pie tins with clover and grass for garnish on top. I would bury piles of pennies wrapped in Kleenex – and then when I went digging to retrieve my treasure I would never be able to find them. Once you let me be a tree surgeon to get sweetgum sap and even though I’m pretty sure I killed that tree, you were never anything but proud.
You always cleaned me up and gave me something else to do. You bought me clothes and you were a person who actually used the powder in those big frilly tins people keep on their bathroom shelves.
You taught me to crochet and I made chains upon chains, garland for my room and decor for your mantelpiece. We pressed flowers and went for walks. You would always tell me about the things that would be mine when you were “gone,” even though I never really understood what that meant.
You turned 92 this week.
You don’t know us anymore.
We gathered around your hospital bed last night, singing happy birthday. You sang along and watched us all, happy we were there but without a clue as to why. You wore a tiara and smiled at us. Someone had painted your fingernails pink. I’ve never seen you with painted nails.
I don’t visit you like I should. I know that. It’s selfish of me. But I like to think you understand. If there’s any part of you left inside, I hope you can see why I would rather hang on to you as all sass and instructions.
I’m probably wrong. You’d probably tell me to get my bottom to that nursing home more, show you pictures and tell you about my kids. And then when I didn’t you’d throw your hands up and shake your head, like you used to do when I made a mess and giggled about it.
I love you. I’m sorry I don’t tell you more, but I think somehow you know. Happy birthday.
As you may recall, I’ve talked once or twice lately about a contest I’m a finalist in.
There’s this website, http://www.inthepowderroom.com, and the best way I can think of to describe it is like a mom/women online magazine/talk show. They have daily articles that are hilarious, timely, sometimes poignant, and always at least a little thought provoking.
They’ve had a contest to fill a “permanent blogger” spot, which basically means that the winner has a static gig of one published article a week, a spot in the community, and moves up at least six points on the stalkable scale.
I want it, I won’t lie.
I have wanted something like this for years. An audience. Motivation. A reason to watch some TV (you know, for cultural relevance).
A “hey, you’re not bad at this, come be a part of us.”
I never said I wasn’t needy.
So, the contest runs until the end of the month. One vote per person/IP address is permitted.
You can vote by clicking here, which should open up your email with the subject “emylibef”. Just send it, that’s a vote.
I’m being featured on the site today, and if you’ve come from ITPR to check me out, then read this because it’s my favorite recent post.
I will work my ass off for this. And as anyone who knows me knows, I don’t have much in the way of ass. Flab I’ve got, but ass is precious.
And mine is yours.
So I signed up for some email writing courses. I get the emails in the morning and basically thereafter I exist in a cloud of guilt until I complete the day’s assignment.
It’s good. It’s keeping my mind busy.
Also, I’ve made the decision (well, I decisioned a month or so ago) that I want to migrate this blog to be hosted apart from WordPress, giving me more specific control and a better insight to people who actually do read, where they come from, all that.
So in light of that decision, I’ve been fiddling. Servers, hosts, php, SQL.
I have always kind of thought of myself as a pretty technologically sound gal, but…..guys.
I tried yesterday to set up the hosting? It was like being dumped in the middle of Greece with no clue how to speak Greek, except at least in Greece you can get by with being the foreigner and maybe channeling Nia Vardalos.
Not so with web hosts and blogging outside the WordPress cocoon.
I’ve been so sheltered.
So, be warned that soon some things about the website might be a little glitchy and bugsome. Please do not think it a fault of your web browser or service provider or me. It’s all the evil code.
I’ve never been one to thrive on cryptic status messages and song lyrics.
Well, that’s not entirely true. There were days years ago where I posted quotes in Italian and talked in code like nobody could Google.
I was getting the weirds out, ok? We didn’t have the internets in my youths.
What I’m saying is, were I currently given to posting cryptic mystery messages and provoking curiosity, I totally could.
I could say, “You’re so wrong,” or talk about regret and holding grudges. I could passive aggress my way around every issue and I could make the point for anyone who was in the loop. I could never name names and still hit nerves.
But you know what? I did that shit in high school.
There are people I was thick as thieves with in high school who I would inconvenience myself now to avoid. People I rode backroads with and snuck wine coolers and Marlboro Lights, who have turned into Bible thumping Republican pageant moms.
So I choose to stay clear of them. I would rather sit home and make doilies than surround myself with people who pain me.
The same goes for organizations who are comprised of people who just enjoy the power they think they have.
And here’s where I get real.
I understand, folks. Maybe you don’t like my husband. Maybe you think he’s an arrogant prick. That’s ok. He’s my arrogant prick. While it’s his choice to allow people to treat him however, I don’t have to stand for it and I won’t. My children will see that I don’t approve of people who exclude others because of hearsay. Or wrongs so old no one even really remembers them.
I get that I am just one person. I’m not a big loss. But I am what I am. And it’s not okay for you to play with people I love.
So….basically all that stuff I just said about how I’m not going to be cryptic and mysterious?
My kids have been gone since Wednesday.
It’s Sunday night, and we’re waiting for them to come home.
Anyone with kids realizes what a long time that is for them to have been away. I knew it was going to be different, but…well, I’ll just say it: I didn’t think I was going to miss them very much.
GASP. I know, I know, it makes me a horrible mom and a generally shitty person. But hey, it’s summertime, and I’ve been missing some of the sanity that comes with the kids being gone for multiple hours a day.
But a couple of days ago, I caught myself thinking I saw Ava Thomas peeking in the garage door.
Well, now they’re home, and by the time you read this they’ll have been sleeping for several hours.
I caught myself waiting by the door, watching for headlights down the road.
It was like waiting for a date. Why do we do that, anyway? I mean, seeing a car coming your way does not then make said car arrive any sooner. It does make you look doucheish, and a bit like you have no life. But hey, the truth hurts.
I’m glad they’re back. I’m saying that now, because I’m pretty sure in a few hours’ time all my sweet sentiments will be gone.