Category Archives: Life In General

Introducing: Hendersonville Yard Sales page (HSY)

YOU. GUYS. I belong to this group on Facebook called “Hendersonville Yard Sales,” (HSY) which is basically like Craigslist for our small town (we’re too small to have an actual Craigslist page – true story). Here’s the thing, if you’ve ever searched through Craigslist, you know that typically there are some bizarre ads up there, not to mention atrocious spelling & grammar, and sometimes you wonder, “what kind of people respond to these?” The beauty of a Facebook page, is that you can actually see these people. You can read every comment, you can see photos of every person posting, which makes this the most entertaining thing to come out of Facebook. Ever. Every struggle I have ever gone through in this move was worth it, since it all led me to join this page. Where I can see gems like this:

Puppy ransom

Is this guy selling a puppy or holding it ransom? By the way – NOT ONE of the ELEVEN comments referenced the fact that this photo looks like a terrorist situation. Unless it is a terrorist hold-up, in which case I probably shouldn’t be making fun of it on the internet. Except that if all you’ve got as a hostage is a puppy, you’re probably doing it wrong. OR – someone caught up to the fact that while no one cares when a person dies in a movie, they ALWAYS freak out when the dog dies. So maybe this guy is actually a genius. But for now, I’m gonna go with “probably not” on that one.

BTW – you can try to join the page, but there’s a wait list. Yeah, exactly. Screw your big-city clubs, this is the place everyone actually wants to be.

Lame omens

This isn’t a real post. It’s more of an announcement that the internet has officially made me feel old. Did you hear that internet? You win, so slap yourself some high-fives and lay off for a while. See, I’m 29. 2-9.  I still proudly tell people that I’m “in my twenties,” when in every other way I relate more to people in their 30s. Case in point: As an attempt to avoid actual work last week, I looked at this link:

30 Hashtags Every Thirtysomething Actually Needs

And I was like, this post is speaking to me (except the being single stuff. Thank god I accomplished something society asked of me. That thing about turning down music? True story.) Then I looked at this link:

20 Hashtags Every Twentysomething Actually Needs

And I realized – I cannot relate to any of these anymore. I have vague recollections of what it must have felt like to be this person, but now she’s gone. (Side note – I’m sure there’s a much sadder conclusion to be drawn about me judging my life stage by BuzzFeed lists, but let’s just let is slide for now.)

Also – THIS. THIS is when I realize I’m older than I ever imagined. Continue Reading →

First Signs of Spring

Forsythia Tulips 2

Forsythia 2 Tulips

There are few sights more welcomed than those first forsythia buds struggling to bloom, or the green tulip leaves peaking out from the remnants of last year’s garden. It means the end is near, that is, the end of a depressing, soul-sapping winter and the start of a warm, joyous Spring. Someone make sure Mother Nature got the memo. That woman is forgetful.

Embracing the imperfection

If there is anything I’m tired of hearing myself say, it’s “Sorry I haven’t called/texted/remembered your birthday/been a decent friend, I’ve just been really busy.” Which is unfortunate, since it has become my personal mantra the last few months. I find myself constantly looking forward to “next week” like a beacon of hope, as though all I need to do is get through to the next few days and then I’ll have time to get organized/make a meal plan/return phone calls/write blog posts/look like I have my shit together. I have been waiting on this magical “next week” is since last fall, and it has stood me up like a bad date.

This video may have come at the perfect time, and made me realize that instead of resisting the constant, unending flow of life, perhaps it’s time I started to embrace it. I may never be the person who keeps her kitchen spotlessly clean at all times, or has all her meals planned out weeks in advance with a corresponding grocery list, and I am almost certainly going to be late with a few more birthday gifts. But maybe it’s in the pursuit of this unattainable goals that I can find my best self, even if it is less than perfect. And that may be just fine after all.

Our pre-marriage counseling missed a few things

Conversation from last night:

Me: I recorded, “Home Alone.” Don’t you love that movie?
Chase: ehhhh, it’s okay.
Long pause.
Me: Sometimes I feel like I don’t know you at all.

Taking into consideration that Chase also hates Winnie the Pooh (!), I’m pretty sure this is grounds for divorce. We’ll file it under “irreconcilable movie preferences.”

This is why people have children

Since moving back to this small town I have joined a women’s club in an effort to “engage with the community.” But really, I only joined in hopes that I would meet someone my age who didn’t have children, which I accomplished at the first meeting. Since then, I have come to believe that these clubs exist just so women can stand in a room and one-up each other with who has the busiest schedule. First, the career women will lament their deadlines or clients in a slow build of one-upsmanship that builds as each working woman comes in late, demanding a glass of wine in rising levels of exasperation.

Children, of course, outweigh any job, and mothers are in a different bracket all together. Those with children in school are slightly lower on the totem poll, since hey, they have days free, right? However, your rank will go up if your kids are old enough to be enrolled in 20 different activities per week, but are still too young to drive. Kids under 6 months of age are a trump card. The mere reference of a 6-week baby is enough to evoke gasps and sympathetic faces from everyone within earshot. Game over.

There is of course a purpose to all this, beyond the general feelings of superiority that must be felt by those that are “doing more” to hold their schedules together. Our club purportedly benefits the community with our good works, which means that at some point, someone actually has to do work. Your ranking in this pecking order is what will establish the level of participation you will be required to put in. Which is why I and the only other childless member found ourselves wrapping a large pile of Christmas gifts for needy children by ourselves yesterday afternoon. It is also why I found myself halfway through a bottle of wine before 5 PM. Of course, the moment we began finishing up the other club members finally showed up with excuses ranging from pushy clients, to a son’s basketball practice to a crying baby.

If I end up pregnant in the next year, it won’t be due to a pull towards motherhood. It’s because I need an excuse to get out of this shit in the future.

I Am Not Hibernating

Conversation at home this morning:

Me: This shirt has gotten really tight.

Chase: You’re probably putting on some hibernation weight.

Me: It’s too early in the morning to be mean.

Chase: No really, we all put on some extra weight to get through the winter.

Me: Ummm…I think that you’re referring to bears.

Chase: Well, we’re not that far from bears.

Me: Actually, I think people are pretty fucking far from bears.

Chase: I’m like a bear.

Me: Oh really? Explain to me what you have in common with a bear.

Chase: We both have hairy chests.

Me: …I can’t tell if just won or lost this argument.

The Married Girl’s Dating Scene

I have not been in the dating pool since I was a teenager, when pairing off was more like a gravitational pull then the strategic chess match that my single friends describe. However, I have been reintroduced to it while trying to make friends in a small town. Until now, I have never considered friendships to be a scarce commodity. I had more social obligations than I could keep up with, and constant guilt from neglecting those second-tier friends that asked for my time. I’m not saying that I was super popular or anything, it’s just that when you’re in college and/or living in a huge city, it’s almost impossible not to meet people that you instantly connect to and consider part of your clan. So really, who cared if I went to a party and made a bad impression and some bitch didn’t like me? I’d meet someone cooler and more fun the next week anyway.

Small towns are not this way. When we moved here, my list of qualities for potential friends included: young (under 35), cool, childless, liberal leanings preferred, great sense of humor, being gay is a bonus. 10 months in, and I’ve pretty much abandoned everything on this list. The childless thing was the first quality to go,  since apparently the only reason people below the age of 50 move here is to raise children. Now, my list of qualities has expanded to: must be young (under 45), have a sense of humor (or at least won’t get offended at my jokes), must not be a homophobic redneck and/or a member of the Tea Party.  In Hendersonville, these qualifications narrow the field down to approximately 10 people.

So on those few occasions when I actually come in contact with someone I would consider as a potential friend, I feel the nervous butterflies that most people probably feel on a first date, especially after those first pangs of desperation have begun to set into their soul. I mean, there are only a few people left to meet in this town, so DON’T BLOW IT. There is a careful selection of what to wear (I want to look cute, but not like I’m trying too hard), what to serve, how far should I go with my jokes, etc. It’s nerve-wracking. And then, after our date or get-together or whatever, I can’t help but go over everything in my head that I said and wish I could take back.

All I want is for it to be like the old days: you go to someone’s house, have a few drinks, make inappropriate jokes and form lasting bonds with the people who laugh. And then you live happily ever after, until next week’s party…

Bad decisions often lead to a rash

In addition to dealing with the aftermath of losing my mother and trying to catch up on work,  I spent the last couple of weeks fending off an itchy rash that managed to be more distracting than anything else combined. See, I got poison ivy while weeding my garden in shorts and a tank top, and while the excuse of, “I’m grieving,” has been getting me a lot of perks and out of a lot of social requirements, poisin ivy was the first thing to basically say, “f*ck you and your grief, I’m still gonna give you a rash.” Leave it to those oily green leaves to teach me that yes, you can be grieving, but you still need to act like a normal human being and make wise decisions. Poison ivy doesn’t give a shit about your personal problems, so put some damn pants on.

Side note – the other day I actually texted Chase that I wish someone would take away my period cramps and poison ivy rash. Now really, don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?

Well, the little red demon bumps on my arms and legs have finally started to retreat, which means I can concentrate on other things in my life, like answering emails, mopping my floors or willfully ignoring all those thank-you cards that I should be writing. I desperately need to get back into my kitchen and work on new recipes, since I know that Chase is tired of eating grilled cheese and omelets 3 meals a day, and I’ve got some renovation updates to share here.

I’ll be back soon, thanks for reading. xoxo

And then, she was gone

My mother passed away last week, after a long fought battle with illness. I have been struggling to write about it, unable to put what I’m feeling into words. Mostly because…I don’t know what I’m feeling. My mother was bedridden and unable to communicate for the last three years, completely dependent on others for the most basic needs. For someone who fiercly guarded her independence, that existence was the last thing she would have wanted. So on some level, I feel an intense sense of relief, even gratitude, that she is no longer suffering.

If I have learned anything in this period of my life, it is that grief is perhaps one of the most confusing feelings to cope with. As a society, we have expectations on how people should behave when grieving. They should appear stricken, slightly teary eyed, with profound words to mark the occasion. Reality is not like that. It’s more of a roller-coaster, marked by low dips of all out sobs, followed by a need for humor that is strong it results in inappropriate jokes that would be all to easy to misconstrue. I spent a lot of last week avoiding phone calls not because I was unable to speak through tears, but because I worried about judgment if someone overheard the peals of laughter echoing off the porch as we told story after story of mother’s life.  People asked if I wanted to speak at her service, and I vehemently declined, because I cannot possibly think of any words that will live up to what I feel should be said. When it comes to “proper” grieving, I am falling short.

Of course I miss her. Of course I wish she was here, and that I could talk to her. But those feelings have been brewing inside of me for the last three years, they are nothing new. In the last week so many people have offered condolences, have looked at me with pity for  the loss that I’ve suffered, and I want to laugh at them and say, “You’re acting like I just lost her. You don’t understand that she’s been gone for years.” I remember vividly that in those first few months where my mother had lost the ability to speak and would sleep all day, only to stare vacantly when awake, and I couldn’t understand why no one around me seemed to be feeling the loss in the same way I was. I wanted to grab everyone I saw by the shoulders and scream, “Don’t you understand that she’s GONE?? I know you think she’s in the next room, but she’s GONE.” This is the struggle with losing someone who has been ill for such a long time – the grieving period of those close to her doesn’t coincide with the rest of the world. Continue Reading →