A wedding….a new friend….and lip gloss…

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There was a wedding this weekend. I attended. And wrangled children. And got into skirmishes. And spent too much money trying to make my hair look like normal people’s hair. And had lip gloss smeared in my hair. It was an event. I’m sitting here looking at my suitcase trying to get up the energy to deal with it. I have to go out of town again this week for work so in all reality it will likely just sit there until I need to do something with it in the morning.

The reality of it is the wedding adventures started out more in line with a disaster. Mancandy and eldest of the Minicandies were in a big spat on the road which caused all candies to turn into vengeful, irritable, unpleasant riding companions. None of us were terribly fond of each other by the time we arrived at 1:30am. The next morning the family O’Candy was one giant mass of pissed-the-hell-off. I, unsurprisingly, found this not at all fun and became even more pissed-the-hell-off. I was my usual mature self and stayed quiet but kept score every time a snarky comment was made, a snappy tone was used, or a broody silence hung in the room. I am pretty sure the O’Candy’s are used to being the angry, vengeful ones. I tried to be polite and hold in my wrath.

I failed.

Without turning this into a giant post (you’re welcome) suffice to say, I got fed up with snappy, nasty attitudes quickly and ended up so having the first panic attack I’ve had since my father died about 8 years ago. It was not a fun adventure. I need time by myself to recharge and settle, having no time to do any of that combined with tons of negative emotions being blasted at me with no ability to influence the situation just did not sit well with me. So multiple O’Candy’s felt my wrath.

I have no regrets. My sister calls that stage banshee mode. She ascertains I’ve hit baby banshee phase and will enter the teenage banshee phase soon. I am not excited about it, but it is what it is. I’d had enough.

All that to say, the day of the wedding came and I was not in the best mood. I actually wanted to set everything on fire and dance in the flames. Instead, I dressed up, put on my girl face, tried to create girl hair, and went to the church. I wasn’t sure where to sit, I’m not family but I’m not really a friend so I wasn’t entirely certain where to plop. I ended up sitting at the end of a pew with extended family. A man with three children around him was the closest person to me. The smallest of his children crawled over him to crawl right up to me on the pew. She got an inch from my face with a big grin and a suspiciously greasy lower face area.

“I have lip gloss” was whispered directly into my face from roughly 2 inches away.

“Lip gloss is good stuff” I whispered back.

She grinned and held up her bracelet.

“The lipgloss is in my bracelet.” She explained.

I must have appeared as confused as I actually was. She took the bracelet apart, pulled it into one straight line, and held it out to me.

“Make it into a toy and you can have lip gloss” was whispered into my ear. And I do mean directly into my ear canal.

I explained that I did not know how to make a bracelet into a toy. She was a smidge less thrilled with me. I felt disappointed in myself but was still unsure how to proceed.

Her father was consulted.

He figured out how to make it work.

My new little friend came back to my side, squished up against me, and proudly showed me her bracelet-now-turtle. The turtle shell was opened slowly with gestures reminiscent of Vanna White. Inside the shell was a secret compartment that had the appearance of a mini tub of grease. A tiny little finger swished around in the shell compartment, came up with a glob of grease, and smiled at me while happily smearing grease on her lips and all surrounding areas for good measure. She was a well moisturized little thing, kind of young for skincare but who am I to judge?

I was then treated to a show of her turtles jumping and running skills. When I admired how fast the turtle could “run” across the back of the pew she carefully explained that we were playing pretend, it was not real, but we could keep playing as long as I understood we were just playing.

I solemnly nodded and complimented her turtle for a while more.

Eventually, the wedding started and we had to be quiet.

I felt a little hand on my arm. I was being petted.

She continued to pet me and brush at my hair while smiling happily up into my face. It was disconcerting.

She had very greasy little fingers.

She halfway crawled into my lap. When I moved my arms to accommodate her she slipped back into the pew beside me while explaining she had been about to sit on my lap. I nodded and said she could. She shook her head and explained she had been about to but decided not to and would continue sitting on the pew. I said okay. The purpose of this conversation eluded me, but she calmly explained again that she almost sat on my lap but didn’t. I imagine there was a kid message in that, but I didn’t get it. I still don’t. I put my fingers to my lips and gestured to the wedding, hoping the ceremony would distract her.

“Are they kissing yet?” my new little friend asked with equal parts dread and enthusiasm.

“No.”

She nodded as if that business was complete and launched into a new effort to pet my sweater and slick back my hair. She began concentrating on the effort to give me a greasy mullet. It was a catholic service so we were up and down frequently. She was a patient little thing, pausing to let me stand up along with the rest of the church and going right back to her mission as soon as I was seated again. She eventually stood up in the pew to reach the top of my head (that was carefully sprayed and fussed with so as not to lay flat) and began petting my hair down and back in a windswept yet chicken grease imbibed style that gave me pause. Unsure how to keep it from becoming a scene, I let her stand in my lap to address the front of my hair, slide around to the other side, and accommodated the slimy little hands grabbing my face to turn it this way and that.

In between asking me if the dreaded/wonderful kissing part of was upon us, she mumbled to herself like any good beautician does when they realize my ineptitude with all things girl. Her little forehead wrinkled up and she muttered to me about my hair. I didn’t understand anything she said but it was the same tone I’ve heard my entire life. I was unsure how to avoid the judgmental beautification treatment of my little tyrant when she had had enough of me.

The wedding was moving toward the end and my little friend thought her siblings might be more fun than my frumpy, newly greased up self. They tried to quietly squabble while their exasperated dad tried to quietly strike the fear of dad’s everywhere into them. The older two would settle, but I had befriended a warrior princess who was not the least bit worried about her dad.

After much swimming and squirming up and down the pew, she wiggled over to me to announce that her family was mean to her. I noticed we were at the part she’d been waiting for and pointed out the groom and bride were kissing. She glanced over, shrugged, made a noise equivalent to “ew” and turned around to tear into her brother about being mean. We were able to escape the pews and the crowd and I hid in the back of the church while everyone filed out.

My new friend was apparently done with me though, she kicked me to the curb as soon as other children were available to play with. She did, however, make a long ceremony much more interesting and humorous (although the priest did his best, and was the most epically awesome priest I’ve ever seen). I’m hoping to find more bracelet/toy/grease-pots so I can send a few for Christmas, I figure at the rate she was going she’ll have run out of grease already.

I’m still unsure about kids, especially greasy ones carrying their own grease pots increase the grease level dips too low, but she completely changed my mood and was obviously her father’s greasy little social companion. We ended up chatting later at the…after wedding party thing who’s name escapes me…reception? He finds socializing a difficult affair (I ended up in the corner with all the older gentlemen and occasionally a younger one cycling through to avoid social obligation) and appreciates the fact his daughter has never met a stranger. It makes it easier for him. I inquired about borrowing her for future awkward engagements. He politely laughed but was obviously distracted. I looked over to catch him staring at my hair.

“Your kid glossed my hair along with the lower half of her face. But it’s okay, you’ve got a smear of gloss along your cheek and into your beard there.”

I believe in equal humiliation.

Thanks, Eva. You were magical. Greasy, but magical.

 

Running high is a myth. Fight me.

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Happy Saturday! I have been on a long health journey of sorts and man do I suck at staying on track with anything. But, I’ve been doing the doctors and medications and programs and all that stuff. There has been quite a bit of success over a long period of time and I was pretty darn happy with it. Unfortunately, I’ve got a long way to go. One of the major things I struggle with is my weight. Swamp monsters tend to be a larger sort of frumpy folk. But, there has been some progress. Mancandy and I have been following the Couch to 5K program. He’s a former marine (you can’t say ex-marine or you will be forced to listen to a really long lecture…save yourself the torment). He ran every day for 8 years and was on the track team before that. He likes to exercise. And his motivational tactics are straight from the military, insulting and annoying. You can probably guess how well I respond to insulting and annoying people.

I, on the other hand, have not really followed any sort of exercise program since junior high. And I hated it then. Being a consistent sort when it comes to hatreds, I hate it now as well. And I’m a crap ton older, so I extra big big hate it. But, I’ve been doing it. He’s so dang happy I’m doing it, and I know he’s trying to help, but I hate his help. Every time he speaks to me while I’m sweating and sore and miserable I want to punch him in his nose. Hard.

The best part of our jogging crap are the bodyguards we’ve now peer pressured into jogging with us. Our two inside/outside cats, Neo and Tsuki, aren’t sure what’s going on but they feel duty-bound to go through it with us. They do not suffer in silence though. We jog to a chorus of meows. They puff up, dance around, fly past, trip you darting between feet, race ahead, run behind, and in general create a fuss. Anyone out walking or jogging ends up laughing at the ridiculous circus we make. We get questions from everyone. Usually, “Do you know there are two cats following you?”

I enjoy their enthusiasm, but I hate jogging. If Mancandy asks me if I “want” to run extra laps, he’s going to end up kicked in the noodle. Who “wants” to run at all? Not me said the flea. It just makes for extra laundry, extra sweat, extra showers, and extra sore everything. But here we are.

Also, no one told me jogging makes you have to pee immediately and desperately. I have to pee immediately before leaving my house and then by the time I get back (not even two miles at this point) I am desperately trying to strip out of wet clothes so I can avoid peeing on myself.

Also also, sports bras were made my a stupid, evil man who’s never worn a bra in his life. And they’re expensive torture instruments! I bought two because I knew I had one here someplace. Three to get through running three times a week. At least while I’m starting. But can I find the sports bra I already own? No. No, I can not. And nothing is quite as miserable as trying to rip a wet sports bra off of one’s person without damaging the stupid expensive torture device. So much worse than wet swimsuits. It’s revolting.

So. That’s the latest adventure. I’m sure there will be many more posts whining about it. You’re welcome.

 

That time I was the jerk…

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Explaining why I’m upset with someone is not my strong suit. I’d much rather just peace out brussel sprout and be done with the situation. However, since I live with Mancandy, ghosting is difficult to achieve. So. I like to fall back on the standard “let it all build up until you freak out over non-freak-out-able things”. I know it’s not the mature way to handle disagreements. But, it’s what I do.

The trigger for this latest bout of snark was this long discussion we had as a family unit. Mancandy, Minicandy, and I all sat down and hammered out an agreement to relieve some of the unfair distribution of work around the house. It took a long time. There were details written down. We signed the stupid thing. And then, none of the items I was so excited to hand off to someone else ever happened.

Why bother me with a discussion and debate and so much stupid time talking if it was never going to be adhered to? That did not sit well with me. And every time I ended up doing the thing assigned to someone else, the anger was fanned and flames would erupt. I’d wait, give them time to see if they’d magically decide to not be crappy. Not surprisingly, that never happened. They would sit there while I cleaned the areas they were assigned to clean and not even move out of my way.

On top of that, if I asked for items to be taken out of the refrigerator or prepared before I got home so that it would cut down on my cooking time (they get home a few hours before I do), it was rarely done. And when it was done, it was done right before I walked in the door, which defeated the purpose. Then, once I walked in the door and started getting ready to cook, it was always to a dirty kitchen. And Mancandy would stroll in to “do the dishes” as I was trying to cook in the same area. This absolutely enraged me. He had hours to take care of it. Yet every single time I would try to throw dinner on the stove so I could go change and have a few minutes to myself, he was in my way. Talking incessantly while I desperately wanted quiet. Sometimes he’d call Minicandy in to clear out the dishwasher while he was at the sink and they’d both be in my way.

Even when Mancandy would say “I will vacuum the stairs today” it never happened. Every time I took it personally. It was a fight I was losing that he wasn’t even aware he was involved in. Every week that passed I got that much angrier.

We went for a drive when he needed a tux fitting and when he asked why I seemed so stressed, I unloaded. My job, at its essence, is taking care of someone else. I don’t want to be in the position I’m in long term, but I take pride in my work and try to do my best. I put effort into being useful. While I very much enjoy my boss and most of the time enjoy my job, it is more difficult than most people would assume. To constantly be on alert and trying to look ahead for any future issues and focus so completely on someone else can be tiring. To then come home and have to not only take care of most things here but to also be frustrated by lack of follow-through or thought out systems just wears me down after a while. I explained how the lack of follow-through on promises wasn’t fair and hurt. I’d been excited about a different workload. I’d planned on having time for projects or just get some time to decompress and not think about doing everything by myself. It stresses me out when the house is a disaster and there’s so little I can actually impact since it’s technically not my house. I finished up a long dissertation about how tired and stressed I was with the explanation about the lack of planning. If the kitchen is cleaned before the person trying to cook gets home, things go faster and are much less stressful. But how do you not look like a jerk when you appreciate the help you do get, but wish it was at a time that made more sense? I acknowledged I sounded like a brat but wasn’t intending to. I stand by that assertion.

Mancandy nodded a few times and quietly said, “Well, I hadn’t thought of it that way. I just looked at it as a way to spend time with you, I like being in the kitchen with you and talking about our day. Cleaning gave me something to do that I thought you’d like while I was there with you.”

That answer was the perfect way to make me feel like a lukewarm turd.

And here’s the thing. If I’d bothered to have a conversation about it before I got upset, I would have known why he did that and I wouldn’t have gotten upset. It would have been a nice gesture and I would have had much more patience. However, I’d decided everything they did was to spite me and I just got more and more upset each time it happened.

I stand by my thoughts that everyone should chip in. When I was looking for work and home all day, cleaning everything didn’t bother me. I was using that as a way to earn my keep. However, I work really long hours now. I’m home the least of anyone in this house. And they should help. But, instead of being a brave wounded heroine valiantly pointing out inequity, I blasted Mancandy for doing something when he was trying to be thoughtful and do something healthy for our relationship. Life lessons abound.

But let me say, realizing I was handling it wrong and having to absorb that information after being so righteously angry for so long burned the entire way down. It physically hurt. Which probably aims to teach new lessons. But instead, I’m determined to never be wrong again. I’ll let you know how it works out.