We have hit a milestone: The husband and I have managed to survive our first five years of marriage. It definitely became questionable around year three, something (or somebody, rather) had to give, we were in desperate need of compromise, and with a little therapeutic help from our peers and parental figures we managed to stick it out.
It seems like it was only yesterday that we were gearing up for our wedding, which really was one of the most exciting days of my life (I just wish I could remember more of it). After it was all over, we hopped in our limo and headed to the Quorum in Tampa to spend our first night together as husband and wife (insert sappy "awwwws" here).
The next morning we were up at the crack of dawn and heading to St. Maarten for our Caribbean honeymoon. It all started to go downhill from there.
I am officially employed! Hallelujah! I begin my new job tomorrow morning; March is starting with a bang!
I love it. I feel useful, motivated and entirely ready to be around people again. I love my animals and all, but it will feel sooooooo good to be productive in a manner that is financially beneficial outside of the home. Now I only have to keep my date with cooking, cleaning and laundry (oh how I loathe laundry) on the weekends, and yes, this means that the husband will have to resume cooking again, Woot! Woot! (Sorry baby, but you really are a better cook than I am anyway.)
I am absolutely blessed to have found a job in this economy and I will be keeping every appendage crossed for anyone out there who is still searching for employment. It's amazing how four little words "I have a job" can affect your self-worth and purpose in one second. The minute I got the news today I was elated, jumping and yelling around the house, and singing "Mama's gotta job..." to the tune of "Janie's got a gun," both dogs staring at me with their heads cocked to the side. I even threw in a little air guitar (cheesy, yes, I'm aware). Indeed, I have spent entirely too much time alone.
How is it that my family comes to visit and it seems that as soon as they step off the plane I gain weight? Without any changes at all in my diet. I am attributing it to stress, subconscious stress. My subconscious says, "Your family is here, there could be possible altercations, you will once again be reduced to the 'baby' and decisions will be made for you, and by spending so much time with your parents you will no doubt become witness to their inevitable bickering and criticism of each other's driving skills..."
I could go on and on. We are one of those families that celebrates everything with food; our world revolves around it. Someone has a birthday we eat, someone has a baby we eat, someone dies, more with the eating. I think my body's cell composition just automatically senses that family is in town, there will be food involved and the expansion begins.
Hence, the automatic tightening of jeans and new scary numbers on the scale. Thank God, this particular trip only cost me three pounds; one time after two weeks in Hawaii with my family it was more like ten! My goal this week is to eliminate those three evil pounds and continue to strive toward a healthier, lighter me.
The problem here, as aforementioned above: I love food. If you put pretty much anything in front of me I'm game. Worse yet, the husband also shares my affinity for food. You know, I would be perfectly happy with a turkey sandwich for dinner, but "oh no!" the man has to have a full meal including: meat, starch, veggie and most times dessert and no matter how many times I try to explain that corn and carrots cannot be counted as "veggies," many nights we end up eating double starches.
One of the great things about being unemployed at the moment is the fact that I am in complete control of my diet during the day and I'm not tempted to go out to lunch and consume an insane amount of calories, as I was prone to do in the past. Of course, this doesn't always mean that I make the best choices, and I have noticed a disturbing pattern in the type of food I am consuming at home.
Leftover pizza for breakfast? Why not? Small bowl of ice cream for lunch? Sure. Fishsticks and grapes for dinner (what am I, in 3rd grade?). This state of affairs is sad. In an attempt to monitor what is going on in my body more closely, I have now downloaded a nifty App for my cell phone that allows me to enter items and count my calories. Now whether or not I remember to enter every single item I consume is the question...I mean really, aren't moon pies mainly made of air anyway?
Currently busting out of her "skinny" jeans,
The Unemployed Housewife
I had the most bizarre dream, a dream like none I had ever had before. It was like I was watching a story unfold in my head, with unique characters and crazy plotlines. When I woke up I was in a haze: What was that? I willed myself to fall back asleep so I could find out more, but I was awake and I was jazzed. A story, a book, a novel, I had to write it down immediately, lest I forget anything. I got out my journal, and I started writing and writing it was like someone had unleashed the floodgates of fiction in my brain. Is it good? I dont know, does it matter? It feels good, frantic and exciting, like being on a Red Bull bender.
So this is what happens when you are forced to shut off that part of your rationalizing brain that says, You must sit behind a desk for eight hours, you must put up with bureaucratic bullshit, and you must pretend to like people you cant stand. This is what happens when you give yourself over to your brain and your personality and you finally find joy. As a dear friend of mine said, Who wants to get to the end of their life and have their tombstone read, 'Here lies Michelle, she could make a really kick-ass spreadsheet,'" how utterly terrifying and depressing.
I am a firm believer that people should come with ingredients lists you know, so you can check their labels before deciding whether or not they would make good friends, co-workers, spouses, hairdressers, mechanics etc. For example, I think my own list would look something like this:
Michelle Hurds ingredients: Intelligent, quirky, sensitive, slightly introverted, young female, a bit neurotic, but very caring and sincere, she will have your back as long as you have hers. She will always respect you unless you disrespect her (and even then most people get more than one chance), may contain traces of bitchiness (usually hormone and stress-induced), extremely strong opinions, and a tad amount of stubbornness (okay, the husband says more than just a tad).
If everyone had these lists you would know what you were getting into. The problem is that most people dont wear their ingredients lists on their sleeves, especially if their lists contain the human personality equivalents of evil trans-fats or high salt content (thank you Dr. Oz). Instead you are presented with ingredients lists that you have to decode over time. Sometimes they can be decoded instantly (think that drunken guy at the bar starting a fight with every person who walks by and copping a feel on every girl he lays eyes on, all while his girlfriend is sitting at home), and other times the process takes months or even years. Here are some standard ingredients lists that I personally try to stay away from:
All about me ingredients: Loud, obnoxious, cocky males or females who continuously talk about themselves and their achievements ad nauseam, without once acknowledging your existence, because they are entirely too busy recounting their own; i.e. classic narcissist.
Absolutely no self-worth ingredients: Generally female, but Im sure there are male equivalents. Laughs entirely too loudly at your husband's jokes and cant seem to keep her hands off him , wears an incredible amount of eye makeup and a foundation that clearly doesnt match her Magda-style tanning-salon skin tone. Generally smokes Virginia Slims extra, extra long, and enjoys several glasses of boxed wine; i.e. classic Cruella DeVille-style tramp.
While the above ingredients lists are pretty straightforward and recognizable within minutes, it is the following lists that people should be on the lookout for even after several years:
Troll with a halo ingredients: A manipulative bitch to the core; she will pretend to be your friend as long as she is getting whatever she needs from the situation. She will invite you to be privy to the intimate details of her life to get you to divulge your own details, then find your weak spots and expose them to the world with her own negative embellishments. Will definitely contain traces of backstabbing, lying and general ugliness.
"Sad, alone, paranoid ingredients": This person is out for fame and fortune and will demolish any and all relationships in her path to get there. Usually marked by cloyingly sweet sincerity in the beginning (to see if there is anything to gain from you), then criticism, paranoia and assumptions set in. They become afraid and eventually cant even make eye contact or deal with confrontation of any kind. Fake, fake, fake...usually obsessed with image and very vain.
Let's go ahead and add "is PMS'ing and has a head cold" to my list this week...watch out!
The Unemployed Housewife
As the husband and I get closer to our five-year wedding anniversary I have been feeling rather nostalgic about our relationship over the past eight years. I never thought I would fall in love with someone with a child, never thought I would be the dreaded stepmom, and never thought I would one day be arguing over the cleanliness of a teenagers bedroom.
When I met my husband I had recently gotten out of an unhealthy relationship and had gone on to reinvent myself as a strong independent woman in charge of her own destiny. I had my own apartment, I exercised religiously, I ate consistently, I lost 30 pounds, I had my own schedule, and I made my own rules. Sometimes I still miss that independence. If I wanted to get up at 3 a.m., make a bowl of pasta, sit on my couch in my underwear, t-shirt and socks, and watch Chocolat over and over again, well I just did it. There was no one to question me. The day I moved out of that apartment and in with my future husband, I cried. I sat in the middle of my empty bedroom and sobbed like there was no tomorrow. I knew that part of my life was over and I knew I was going to miss it. I was embarking on a strange new adventure, and frankly, it scared the hell out of me.
Since losing my job in December the husband and I have been making decisions concerning our wants vs. needs. It has been established that pedicures are a want. I beg to differ. Granted, I have not had a pedicure since early December and I have been performing my own pedicures every few weeks, but not without much difficulty and frustration. I was never one of those girls that were artists when it came to painting toenails, or even fingernails for that matter, I always seem to get nail polish everywhere else on my digits except for where it is supposed to end up, and dont even get me started on the hot mess that is red nail polish, my feet then tend to resemble a Jackson Pollock painting after a bout with that stuff. Not only do I lack accuracy in painting nails, but for me to properly treat my feet I have to bend my body into some seriously sadistic evil contortions, of which oftentimes Im unsure I will be able to get out of without the assistance of 911.
There really is nothing like the experience of a pedicure, you just sit back with your favorite magazine, place your feet into a warm bubbly jet-filled bath of hot water, and all of your stress just melts away, and if you are lucky enough to frequent a shop with the massaging pedicure chairs, well its just simply hedonistic. The pedicurist very gently (well depending on how rank your feet are), sloughs away all your worries and lathers your legs up with lotion and kneads you like an aromatic ball of French bread dough. Great pleasure is found in picking out a color that closely resembles your current mood, so many choices to represent many aspects of your personality. Red, when feeling flirty and ready for action, purple when feeling fun and out of the ordinary, hot pink for summer months and beach days the possibilities are endless. You leave the salon singing "Happy days are here again" and practically skip to your car. Well that might be just me, but I'm sure many women have a similar experience.
My argument here is that the great pleasures that one receives from a pedicure should definitely make the need list. Pedicures promote well-being, high self-esteem, relaxation and the urge to play more footsie. Who wouldnt NEED those things? Im an advocate that pedicures should be placed on the needs list, whos with me?
Dreaming of salt scrubs and aromatherapy,
The Unemployed Housewife
I may have mentioned previously that my dear and gracious husband went shopping with me this week in pursuit of a new interview suit. The one I had in the closet was a bit on the shabby side and kind of thrown together you know, two blacks (of different shades) dont always make a right. We embarked on a slightly time-crunched outing as my interview was taking place at 8:15 the next morning. We headed to International Mall and the search was on.
I will say this first just to put it out there: I love my husband, I really, really, do. He is one of the few straight men I know of who loves to shop. The frustration lies in our differences in taste. Sometimes we can agree on many of the items I pick out; however, most of the time he picks out something black, lacy and extremely skin-tight and as we all know, I am no size 0, or 8, or even 12 for that matter. This is generally how it goes: You look great! he says as Im gaping at the nightmare reflecting back at me in the mirror. Really, which part of me would that be? My high foot arches or my earlobes? Because this is doing absolutely nothing for the rest of my body."
It's almost upon us people, the dreaded Hallmark holiday. Every year we watch the revenue of thousands of florists, jewelers, and Hallmark stores spike like crazy on February 14th, and don't even think about trying to find a restaurant to have dinner at unless you made the reservation months in advance. I am personally boycotting Valentine's Day this year because not only do we not have any cash floating around for frivolous, feckless gifts (see unemployed reference above), but shouldn't we already be expressing our love to our significant others ALL year long?
Now listen up lovers, if you are involved with the non-conventional, non-materialistic type just take them aside and say, "Why is it that I must wait until this one day a year to express my undying love to you? I want to tell you I love you everyday; in the Spring when the May flowers are blooming, I think of your love, when I hear the waves crash on the beach and the seagulls cry in the sunset, it is of you that I contemplate..." Okay, too much? Yeah, that's what I thought to, but you get my premise. As cliche as it may sound it really is the little things that maintain love in a healthy relationship; remembering to put the toilet seat down, allowing an 8 foot projection TV into your family room, spending a vacation with your in-laws, shopping with your wife for a $200 interview suit when she has no job...you get the point.
So, let's take matters into our own hands this year and let cupid continue to lie on his lounge chair in Cabo while sunning his buns, sipping margaritas and humming Barry Manilow tunes, after all he needs a vacation to.
Leaving you with yet one more reason to be happy your single,
The Unemployed Housewife
"Go suck a juicebox" is the quintessential insult to many of today's 10-year-olds. Oh, to be able to use (and find great pleasure in) juvenile vocabulary in our everyday lives as adults. Why at one point in our adolescence or young adulthood did we cease using phrases like "Go chew on a crayon" or "Ewwww! you have cooties" or the ever-famous "Sticks and stones..."?
A part of me really wishes we could employ these tactics as adults. I know I'm not the only one who wishes she could stick her tongue out at someone at least once a day, and could you imagine at your next office meeting licking your favorite cookie off the platter on the conference table and shouting out, "Dibs! That's mine!" This behavior could result in many dropped jaws, dry heaves and a possible disciplinary warning. You have to give kids credit, though; they are "keeping it real," and their broad use of imagination is like nothing they will ever experience again in their lives.
Sad, really, now that I think more about it; it's kind of like saying goodbye to an old friend when the juvenile imagination heads for the door. Now, don't get me wrong: not ALL juvenile humor dies with adolescence. I still know plenty of people who find flatulence to be a giggle-inducing, tears-in-your eyes laughfest. I personally can't say "downward dog" without snickering a little bit. I guess we just learn as adults that there is a time and place for such behavior, and we are molded by society's norms to fit in. Sigh, seems like a great waste of fun to me. I can think of several people I would love to shoot spitballs at or "accidentally" drop gum in their hair...I guess I will have to be content with, "Well, Judy I don't particularly like your tone" as opposed to "Shut up you crazy poo-poo head!" But wouldn't that be more amusing?
So, tomorrow when you are at work and the new dingbat addition to your office forgets to refill the paper in the copy machine, superglue his stapler to the desk and leave a couple boogies on his mouse!
Leaving you with yet more reason to mourn your childhood,
The Unemployed Housewife