taking the passive out of passive-aggressive

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Moving is a pain in the ass. Comcast tells me that I can't have my cable Tee-Vee for two weeks because a supervisor needs to do a survey. I don't know what that means, and at ny rate I had to pull the information out of the customer service rep over the course of twenty minutes because she had some undientifiable accent and I couldn't understand what she was saying. I suspect Comcast is outsourcing its customer service not to India, like other sensible companies, but to the Speech Pathology Institute.*

This is not to mention the fact that somehow I managed to use 982 extra minutes on my cell phone this month (1,982 minutes? I spent two thousand minutes on my cell phone this month? How sad!) and so I owe Sprint the pincely sum of $500. Verizon won't hook up my home phone for days, despite the fact that all they really have to do is throw a switch or press a button or something, and between that and the Comcast, I'm utterly disconnected. Luckily my neighbors have an unsecured wireless network. Thank you, neighbors!
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*I say that with more empathy than annoyance, being as I'm afflicted with the inability to pronounce my voiceless postalveolar fricative (in other words, SH) and MOST especially my voiceless postalveolar affricates (tch). Former husband thought this was very cute and so he always wanted me to say "Cash, check or charge"--the phrase that had been the bane of my existence as a retail sales clerk.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

So, I hit the Rock n Romp yesterday, towing the Bee, the Panda, and the Panda's BFF from school. The Panda and her friend wanted nothing to do with me, being as it was a ROCK SHOW and clearly I do not ROCK at all. On the way over, Amanda kept telling me that Nick Drake SO does not ROCK and neither does that one Shins song, and that its lack of rockin'ness was bothering the baby, who does, according to the Panda, rock.

Needless to say, the two of them played it very cool, staying away from toddlers, hanging out by the swings looking aloof. And Bee dug the whole thing, clapping her hands and stomping her big legs and eating ice out of the keg bucket. (Which I let her do without guilt until some dad came up and admonished his son for doing the same thing. Suddenly I felt quite remiss and lamely said "Um, well, I'm just letting her do that so she can build up her immunities." He was cool about it but I suspect behind my back he's like "Did you see that SINGLE MOM with that I HEART NERDS t-shirt? Yeah, what a bad mom!" Or maybe guys don't actually do that kind of thing.)

Anyway. It was my first foray into the world as a Single Mom and it felt weird, all these people who are married and talk about their spouses/sig others in this way that I know I talked about mine not too long ago--a comfortable way, as though their spouses were old couches they still liked, despite their sprung cushions.

Afterwards I brought the Bee back home (Panda was having a sleepover) and I thought What have I done? This is so strange. My whole life, my whole supposed purpose, gone. And yet my house when I came home was so very much mine, my time was mine, my choices mine alone. No one to stress me out, because the children never really do. It was never motherhood that bugged me, as it turns out. And what a strange thing to realize--that I lived for over ten years under a delusion, a facade of a building we'd built together but never really lived in. We lived out back, in separate little shacks we made from twigs and bark.

He came over tonight for dinner to see the kids and you know, he's like a friend I'm fond of but never really knew that well. And that explains so much. It explains everything. I wonder how many other people live lives like mine and don't even know it?

Friday, June 24, 2005

Odd things about my new home:

1. I had the mistaken impression that my back patio was "private space." Not so! Hillary, my neighbor to the left, drops by unannounced to chat about babies and the use of the communal hose. The landlord shouts to me from his deck: "Hey babe!" (Which seems awfully familiar.) Maybe this is the difference between townhouses and actual houses--no one really expects any privacy outside their four walls.

2. The landscapers landscape A LOT. I mean every day. I've been there a week and my bushes have been mulched twice already. How much mulch do they need, for god's sake? They landscape so much that they accidentally cut the cable line the other day through oversealous pruning--which I only knew because suddenly the wireless line I was squatting on went out, and then my neighbors told me (since, you know, we get to converse a LOT.) Also, they carve the bushes into perfect squares.

3. There appear to be children around, but the children are remarkably silent. Not much shouting or running going on. I'm hoping my little beasts will lively up the place. One thing my children are not is quiet.

4. The pool opens only at mysterious and undisclosed times. Evidently no one knows when those times are. Lifeguards appear and disappear on no apparent schedule. Years ago, a friend of mine lived above the poolhouse of this development, and as I recall no one really used the pool except us, late at night, while drunk.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Townhome of Dismay is now up and running!

I have to blog from work now, because I don't have an internet connection at home yet, so this will have to be short because, well, I have actual work to do and shit. But I'm so very excited about my little house!

I moved my stuff in on Saturday. I was weepy, watching the moving truck drive away from the old house. I sat in my car and cried for a while. More like sobbed my eyes out. The foreman of the moving crew was a very nice Israeli man who told me about his own divorces (2!) which sounded far worse than mine, so that made me feel a little bit better. And then I got in my house and I was kind of flummoxed. For one thing, I didn't bring the living room furniture because we need it still in the old place in order to show the house to buyers. So I sat on a box for a while and looked around like "What now?"

I did eventually get the place into some kind of order, the kids arrived yesterday, and I fed the soon-to-be-ex-husband some hamburgers and corn on the cob, because I felt he needed a good meal. I bought my groceries and dropped a whopping $400 at Target on small appliances and supplies. I wrangled with the BGE people and dealt with a locksmith over the weekend. With the help of friends and family, I got a table to sit at and the crib set up and the TV in the TV cabinet. All I have to do now is sell my house, so if you know anyone who's looking for a charming 3BR in Roland Park for the low low price of $550K*, please let me know.

*Dismay not included; the home's dismay actually moved out on the truck too.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Since the separation began, about four or five months ago, I have lost around 15 pounds. It was actually shocking to stand on the scale at my mother's house--I knew my clothes were a little loose, but I'd no idea how much weight I'd actually lost. And since I wasn't hefty to begin with, the 15 pounds actually show.

And then I sensed an opportunity. Americans love new diets! I should write down what I'm doing to lose all this weight and call it the Home of Dismay (TM) Separation Diet (R)! It'll be the next South Beach, the next Atkins!

But for you, dear readers, I will share my dietary wisdom free of charge. The Home Of Dismay (TM) Separation Diet (R) is divided into two sections: 1) things you do every day and 2) things you do once a week or so. Here goes:

EVERY DAY:

7am: Breakfast
1 immodium and half a pot of half decaf, half regular coffee.

10am: Mid-morning snack
Perrier and 1/4 bag of pumpkin seeds.

Noon: Lunch
Toasted cheese sandwich with tomatoes, seltezer water
OR
Lean Cuisine
(1 Valium--optional)

2pm: Mid-afternoon snack
5 packages of sweet tarts
OR
1/4 bag of cheezits

AND 1 16oz, full-carb Rockstar energy drink

4pm: Late afternoon snack
Seltzer water

6pm: Dinner
3 beers

ONCE A WEEK:
Once a week on my diet, you must have each of the following:
-Half a box of linguine with butter and cheese
-Four fried eggs
-Large steak with asparagus
-Nachos
-A large cosmopolitan

EXERCISE:
My exercise regimen has been an important part of my weight loss. Every day, it's important to do at least an hour of:
-house painting
-box-lifting
-baby-chasing
-running up and down stairs
-moving furniture
-fidgeting restlessly on conference calls
-pacing

So there you have it! I may be twitchy, unkempt, and stressed out, but it don't matter 'cause I'M THIN!

I think the only problem is my diet plan might need to be vetted by some sort of medical professional. I need to find some kind of quack doctor to sign off and I'll be set.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Everyone in the house is depressed except the Queen. She might be, too, because everything I ask her, she shakes her head back and forth and says "noo!" "Did you have a good time at the pool?" "Noo!" "Did you like Zoe?" "Noo!" I suspect she thinks that's simply the appropriate response to any question. See, this is what happens growing up in a broken home.

The good news is that the husband and I found houses to rent--and, get this, right next door to each other. I'm (somewhat) thrilled to pieces, he's not so much. It's convenient and all, but maybe he's not really all that interested in waving across the backyard. Still, the houses are great and the neighborhood is nice and quiet, and I'm outta here as of two or three weeks from now, which will ease the pressure on everyone. The landlord (who owns both houses) thinks that we're very strange for wanting to live next door to each other, and he might be right, but see--I still love my husband. I know that's difficult for anyone to understand, least of all the husband himself, but it's actually true.

And I have to admit. I'm really, really excited to get my own place. I've never had a nice place all my own and I can't wait to fix it up with my nice things and go to bed in a giant bed in my big bedroom all by myself. Is that horrible? I feel a bit abnormal thinking that I can't wait to go be by myself, but there it is.