(Disclaimer: YES I’m holding a gin & tonic in that photo. It’s okay, I wasn’t at home alone in the daytime, Karen Walker-style. I was a bridesmaid at a fabulous wedding in Connecticut, melting my ass off in polyester.)
Okay, so I know I’ve been posting less and less lately. But this time it’s because I think there’s too much I want to tell, but I’m afraid that I’ll OVERSHARE, much like I do when the cashier at Publix makes the mistake of making small talk with me. I don’t get the chance to talk to people very often here, so small talk becomes large, philosophical talk very quickly.
I’ve also been struggling with my blog. I’ve been trying to figure out if it’s always supposed to be funny now, because I’m surprised by how funny people have found it, or if it’s supposed to be my reaction to my new life, because the two are definitely not always the same, especially lately. I haven’t wanted to write about something that might concern my friends and family back home and lead people to think I’m unhappy. I’m not unhappy. But that doesn’t mean I’m always happy, and it can be hard to find the humour sometimes in what I’m doing here.
I recently cried at a dinner party in Connecticut after about a ten minute chat with a stranger named Rosemary, who was a fabulous conversationalist. Having a daughter my age, about to enter similar circumstances, she zeroed in on the changes and challenges in my life pretty quickly, and concluded, in those ten minutes, that my life sounded “horrible.” Except that writes harsher than it sounded coming from her, because she had a cool Australian accent. I’m not sure if it was the Veuve Clicquot Rosé I was tossing back, the heat of the kitchen with three dozen boiled lobsters, or the snugness of my Gap skirt I refuse to retire from 2003 that was making me feel hot and flustered on top of the interrogation. But I cracked. And I cried. I was sweaty and red faced already, so few people noticed. And I tried to explain – it’s not horrible. But it also wasn’t the plan. I had to reiterate to her that becoming a housewife, without a house, really, for three years, was not the plan. Giving up working and earning an income just when I was really getting started in a career back home was not the plan. Moving to the southern US to watch reruns of Will & Grace on my couch all day long was not. the. plan. But I’m attempting to be flexible enough to adapt to the new plan.
Upon reflection since returning from Connecticut, I’ve decided that this blog is not just supposed to be funny. It can be, I guess. I do laugh a lot. The Publix cashiers now call me Lucy, from I Love Lucy, because I laugh out loud so much, and apparently that’s not very common in a grocery store. But this is supposed to be real talk. My life, as it, funny or sad or awesome or horrible as it can sometimes be.
So I’m sorry, fam, if it bums you out to learn that I cry about once a week sitting on my memory foam bathmat, wondering what I’m doing with my life. But it happens. And I’m going to talk about it, because I was also reminded in Connecticut when chatting with an old friend from home, that I am not alone in my experience. It felt so good to talk to her about being a housewife, feeling at times without purpose, without drive. It felt so good to not feel alone. And I started to laugh a lot more just by talking with her. So maybe I’ll inspire another housewife with my honesty. Maybe us housewives can unite in our chores, our fears, our boredoms, our wonderful wide range of emotions, by just talking about how weird this existence can be. A life that really isn’t taught to you, or recommended to you, while you study and educate and dream about your life as a career woman. So sometimes it can feel awkward to describe to non-housewife folk. I’m not embarrassed by my life. Yes, it can make me cry, but then I think back to about two years ago when my boss moved to Toronto and I was left on my own, and I cried at my desk about once a week for the entire fall. So really it’s not so different. There are still struggles, but the obstacles can just seem much more insignificant now and therefore the tears much more silly.
Today’s post is not so much a story I’m sharing but a promise to myself to be honest. There’ll be no spin on what I write. I’m glad people have found my posts funny so far. I didn’t mean for them to be, it was just my life, as told by me. But writing about my life and sharing it with pretty much everyone I know is helpful to me. It keeps me accountable to myself and my feelings. It’s a wonderful tool for my husband’s own personal reflection. It keeps me from having to cry when trying to explain my new life face-to-face, because you’ll already be up to speed, and therefore when I see you, we can skip right past it.
I can be honest. I think, as the person who may have accidentally flashed her brother’s wedding guests, that it’s okay to own my actions. Own my life. Laugh at myself. Not deceive myself, though, either.
Two things I’ll share honestly right now:
- I poisoned myself with tzatziki sauce on Thursday and now as I write this, I’m still suffering from the effects of wrongfully, yet knowingly, putting such a diary product in my body. And in such great quantity. I have a HIGH intolerance for milk fat, but got swept away with my incredible housewifery skills in the kitchen last week, improvising delectable recipes night, after night, after night. I made Greek meatballs and an awesome Greek salad, and then proceeded to eat my face off because WHO DOESN’T LOVE FRESH MINT? Until about twenty minutes later, my belly distended so far, I looked 36 weeks pregnant and it hurt to breathe, let alone move. After a failed attempt of curing myself with ginger Gravol (it’s basically my candy), I dumped myself in a hot shower to stay conscious from the delirium and pain. But the shower made me want to faint even more, so I got down on my knees and proceeded to vomit, in and out of consciousness. Sounds terrible? Yes, yes it was. Frighteningly, it wasn’t the first time I’ve done that. (I once played a symphony concert just three hours after such an episode.) But what’s even
scarierstupider is that I brought it all on myself because of my stupid love of Greek food. And who eats Greek food without tzatziki sauce?! Well… guess I do, now.
- I applied for a job in Toronto and I got it. I decided it was a worthwhile exercise for me to keep a current resumé and still actively pursue my dream of working for a non-profit arts organziation. So that maybe, someday, when I’m no longer a housewife, I’ll remember what it’s like to be in the workforce.
I didn’t take the job, honestly, since I’m being totally honest here, because it wasn’t enough hours a week to make it worthwhile. Then, obviously, because I have a husband here in Florida. Then, because I have an awesome trip home already planned for several weeks and I feel okay about my life through to New Year’s. But it was a fun exercise. One that my husband and I are still hashing out in case some day it’s a job that is worthwhile. My self-esteem went WAY up that day, and I felt valuable. I felt smart. I felt strong and capable. I read that exact description in a crappy chic-lit novel recently. The author described a woman in one short sentence. “She was strong and capable.” And that was the most poignant part of the whole book for me. I would like to be described as strong and capable, I think, more than anything else. I shared with my old friend in Connecticut that these days, I often feel fragile. I hadn’t said that out loud before and I surprised myself when I did. But it was accurate. She looked at me, jaw hanging, with immediate awe and recognition and shouted “YES!” Because that was exactly her experience, too. And already in being honest out loud to her, I felt stronger.
So I leave you now with this JAM from Working Girl. An excellent reminder than a man’s name shouldn’t take top billing in any story (or life) with a female protagonist. Sorry, Harrison, not even yours.