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.

Knitting, Football, and Rescue

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Random Stuff from the past week and a pinch (pronounced peench by Papa Poopster):

  1. Football season is here! I love football. I have a billion teams at this point and have someone to cheer for or against almost every game. It’s my fave time of the year. Also, it suddenly becomes socially acceptable to eat chicken wings 24/7. I’m into wings. You may remember that. Sidenote: long term relationships are great and all, but you get to realize all the things your significant other did that were odd or noticeable but not particularly troubling when the relationship started but now fill you a soul-searing and unbearable rage. Yay, love! So, Mancandy has this thing where he tears his fingers apart fidgeting. Not his fingernails, his actual flesh. Fun fact, Papa Poopster does this too. I’m quickly working up from “huh, that’s familiar” to “DEAR LORD STOP OR YOU DIE”. But I digress. Whilst watching football it’s hard to block out the sound of Mancandy tearing his fingers apart. I can HEAR it. So. To keep ourselves from killing eachother we’ve started knitting. Yup. We’re officially old. So now I’m super excited about knitting and have the tiny beginnings of a very knobby, unfortunate-looking scarf I’m extremely excited about. This is completely normal. I’m sure of it. Also, Dak looked so good this week and the Cowboys are on fire! Also also, the refs are killing my Saints. Seriously. Uncool.
  2. Hobby stores are mildly scary. I suckered Mancandy and Minicandy to go to a craft store with me. I wanted the softest scarf stuff I could find. They probably wanted to smother me with fabric. The individuals who inhabited the store, ourselves not excluded, were an odd bunch. The store was extremely hot and humid, so everyone was slightly sweaty. There was an odd smell. There was a man arguing about a sewing machine and an older lady glaring at everyone around her. We got the heck out of there, but I’m not going back there. It was the beginning of a Stephen King book.
  3. I am able to access the security cameras of my most beloved rescue. Watching dogs sleep isn’t creepy, right? Even creepier, you can talk to them. I don’t, I feel like it’s asking for them to have serious anxiety disorders, but the best thing is you can hear. So I’m constantly popping in at odd hours to see if I can catch ghost activity. Don’t judge, I live a boring life. Today, my arm was sore from holding the knitting needle up (I’m that out of shape). So. I popped into the shelter cams to see what was up. One room, sleeping dog. Next room, sleeping dogs. Next room, washer and dryer and… DEAR GOD SOMETHING MOVED. I almost threw my phone. As it happens, it was someone walking in to do laundry. But, for a minute there, my blood pressure and stress responses were tested unexpectedly.
  4. I’m going to be traveling for work quite a bit in the next couple months and there is a place in Knoxville that’s been recommended as “The” place to go for chicken wings. I am beyond excited. Big Kahunas in Knoxville has a chicken wing festival of some sort every year and everything. I’m pumped. If anyone has been please let me know if I should temper my enthusiasm or go ahead and get stupid excited. I’m sure there will be work and stuff I’m supposed to do, but right now all I see is chicken wings.
  5. I ate a massive cookie from Cumbl Cookie in Murfreesboro (highly highly highly recommend) and now I want to puke. So I’m going to lay here in misery and wonder why I can’t lose weight. Have a lovely week people!

Swamp Monster Weekend

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Weekends are a fantastic thing now that I don’t work retail. This weekend has been exactly what I desperately needed.  I’m one of those people that needs alone time. I need to be able to retreat into my space like a hermit crab. One of the major adjustments when moving into Mancandy’s domain was adjusting to not having my own space and therefore, not being able to retreat anywhere. I wish I was someone who felt refreshed being around my family or my friends. While I do enjoy both of those situations, I need time to myself. I didn’t realize exactly how much I needed that until everyone left. A boy scout camp out weekend meant all the male Minicandies and Mancandy would go hang out in the woods and live as nature intended. This left me completely alone for two full days and Friday evening. I have soaked in the quiet. I took a nap (If you’re a light sleeper who lives with other humans you know how hard this can be to manage). I listened to a book on tape while working. I cleaned, and no one messed it up. I took a shower, I cleaned the shower, and I wandered around in my underwear (so I didn’t start immediately starts sweating as soon as I was out of the shower). I cooked nothing and ordered food from Doordash two nights in a row. What? Yes. Complete luxury. The Doordash dude is the only person I’ve seen or spoken to in two days. Just throw me my food, wave, and go on your way, sir. He got it. He may be my new best friend.

Random Things That Occurred This Weekend:

  1. The one thing I looked forward to and ordered with extreme enthusiasm was wings. I don’t know why as an adult rapidly approaching middle age I’ve become a dude in his 20’s, but wings are my fave. No one else in my house is as enthusiastic as I am, so we don’t do that often. I did my thing with the Doordash dude (his name is Richard and I adore him), sat down with my paper towel roll and drink, prepped what I wanted to watch on YouTube, and dug in. As I’m eating my very first wing (but because I’m a swamp monster I’m already completely covered in sauce) I hear that huuuuurk huuuuuurk HUUUUUURK sound of a cat preparing to puke. I scramble to grab my paper towel and set my wings aside. I’m wiping up my fingers and begging the cat not to when I watch her hurl right in front of me on the carpet. She then glares at me, flips me the bird, and saunters off. I grab paper towels to grab the evidence before the dog can eat it. Dogs are awesome but gross. As I’m grabbing up puke and watching the dog to make sure she doesn’t sneak a snack, she realizes there’s a better target on the couch. My beloved wings. She takes off in that direction faster than an old kid should be able to move. I find myself running across the room carrying my newly acquired gobs of puke carefully. Then I have a dilemma. Both hands are full of puke bombs. I try to squish the puke bombs into one hand and puke oozes out and plops on the carpet. Again. The dog eyes the puke, eyes the wings, and looks at me to see how I prioritize this situation. I’m cursing, but she’s mostly deaf and pretending to be fully deaf. Wings won out and as I grab them in my one free hand she dove for the puke. I tried to pivot and block her with my hip but I’m clumsy, overbalanced, and landed directly in the puke. It was still warm. Not exactly what I was going for. I slammed the takeout box of wings shut with my one clean hand, swoop up the paper towel roll, and grabbed the bag under the takeout box to stick the puke bombs (slightly deflated) into the bag. From there I was able to get my foot mostly clean, get the rest of the puke cleaned up, and wash my hands and foot in the kitchen sink like the true classy lady I am. I eventually got back to my cool but unmolested wings, and thoroughly enjoyed them, but I felt like that was all planned out by the animals and I’d somehow passed a test I wasn’t prepared for.
  2. I got a text from Papa Poopster that Little Poopster got his poop snake this weekend! She has a traditional name, but her name will remain Poop Snake to me. I’m still highly amused by this situation and look forward to seeing if Poopster will revert to pooping in his pants now that he’s gotten his prize. Her pic is the Featured Image at the top of this post. Stay tuned for updates.
  3. I got a video from Mancandy last week that didn’t come through until after my last post. It’s fantastic. If I knew how to upload it I would, but I haven’t a clue how and so I shall just describe its awesomeness. Just know, watching it is probably better. Mancandy had text me about Minicandy schedules. I responded, but in my typical classy fashion, I included the word poop. He responded letting me know that he was having his vehicle read my texts and it was funny to hear the car read that word. I was amused at the concept and sent texts such as “Giant flaming piles of poop” “Aggressively poop all the poops you can poop” “Will it say shit?” “What about damn” “Are the kids with you, I want to try more aggressive words but don’t want to scar them”. In response, he sent the video of the car reading the texts. It was probably the most fun I’ve had other than being left alone to do whatever I wanted. If anyone you know has a car that reads their texts, go wild. It’s fun.
  4. I hear the sounds of Mancandy and Minicandies returning OR a hoard invading the house. I should probably investigate. If I stop posting, the hoard got me. Make my eulogy funny.

Teenagers are worse than cats…

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Minicandy, Mancandy’s 16-year-old son, is in AP Chemistry. As someone who absolutely hated chemistry and fought like a banshee to get through it and never look at it again, that seemed like poor decision making. But no one asked me. He is also afflicted with the disease known as teenager. The once sweet child has turned into a demon spawn of sarcasm and snark. I’d like to point out I did not have children because:

1. I’ve seen how that happens and ew.

2. I didn’t like teenagers when I was a teenager, and I sure as heck don’t like them now.

3. My patience level has decreased as I age.

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One thing I’m mildly insane about is education. I know how much I struggled in college and it cost me tremendously. I never developed much in the way of study skills in high school. So I was extremely offended to realize once I got to college I couldn’t get through just skating by on my memory anymore. It hurt my pride, hurt my feelings, and in my idiocy, it took me much too long to learn how to study. Take someone struggling to figure out how to study under pressure and dump some catastrophic stuff on them, and they break. Or close enough to it. So yeah, I’m a big fan of teaching kids discipline and study skills before the lack of them causes them dearly.

Teenagers think I’m full of shit and should shut up. Which is also rude.

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This weekend the Minicandy decided he was going to make me go insane and also homicidal. A large chemistry test was about to happen, half on Friday and half the following Monday. On Thursday he tells me he doesn’t need to study. He feels confident. He’s fine. When I suggest he study to be sure he’s fine, I was given the brush off. When I pointed out that the decisions we’d been talking about, and how to decide between good and bad and that in this case he was making a bad decision, he shrugged flippantly and walked out.

A slow burn started.

Once Mancandy tuned in and realized there were zero plans to study on Friday (after the first half of the test has been taken on his good flipping feeling), he insists a book and notes are produced.

“I didn’t bring my book home.”

We blinked at him. Several times. And my sassy side blurted out “Oh, that’s because you had no plans to study, right?” (I was still butthurt from the night before and was not about to let that go any time soon).

Missing my sarcasm completely he happily nods and grins at me. Like I’m the stupid one who just caught on.

The slow burn is now accelerating. Innerds are catching fire.

He then asks if he can go to a concert. At some random kids house. For an unknown length of time with unknown people.

We do not acquiesce to his desire.

He was displeased.

He continued to bring up the concert, his lack of socializing, how unreasonable we are, blah blah blah. I told him, with no small amount of restraining my own snark, that he had decided to make a poor choice. He’d even been given a reminder it was a poor choice. Then, when he could have corrected that choice, he decided to flash us the middle finger and gallivant on while blaming everyone but himself for his grades and their impact on his social schedule.

Then he had the audacity to invite one of the random individuals (of the female variety) to come swing by and “talk”.

Sidenote: One of the things that I don’t understand about teenagers is what in the holy hell do you have to talk about? You literally do NOTHING. You have zero experience with anything. You can maybe talk about video games and how much food you can cram into your face at one time. That’s it. Now, I realize that’s unfair. I remember being quite opinionated as a teenager (and that hasn’t abated). I waxed poetic about all sorts of topics I knew nothing about. So sure I was right and I could solve all the worlds problems. But seriously, I have zero patience with that crap. My point on this was the fact it circumvented the fact Minicandy was being minipunished. He got his way. He got to hang out, not studying and trying to impress another teenager of the opposite gender.

My gizzard was ablaze.

Mancandy and I have this fun thing where I get angry, he ignores me hoping I’ll stop, I don’t stop, and he tries to win me over with ice cream. I realize it is not a compliment to be so easily won over, but I freaking love ice cream. Don’t judge me.

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Mancandy is not really worried about the social interactions and shunning of discipline but he also doesn’t want to listen to me bitch about it anymore. So he recommends ice cream. I agree, tell him to grab his on-my-poo-list kid and get rid of the other one and I’ll throw a bra on and we’ll take our classy selves to the DQ.

Sidenote: I had tried doing all the hair curling things my coworker with the most amazing yummy hair ever recommended. It sort of worked. Kind of. But my hair is not yummy and wonderful like hers and that did not help my mood. I want to be yummy. Instead, I will give you indigestion.

I stomp out of the house, ready to be soothed with ice cream and candy.

A tiny creature in a white lace dress and black converse is standing in the driveway.

I do my usual slow blink.

It does not help me comprehend.

Mancandy is awkwardly inviting tiny waif child to get ice cream with us. She awkwardly agrees. Minicandy awkwardly lurches to the car. I stand blinking while my liver and spine catch fire with my gizzard.

Sidenote: there is a hiking trail named Fiery Gizzard in Tennessee and that makes me so happy.

So. I’m sitting in a vehicle with Mancandy who was going to owe me SO much ice cream after this. A little waif of a kid. And Minicandy. Who I sincerely wanted to throttle. Who was also smashed up against tiny Thumbelina in the middle rather than sitting on the other side of the car like a normal damn person. I don’t know why that fired my already fiery innerds, but it did. I held my tongue and glared daggers at Mancandy.

Mancandy was studiously avoiding looking at me. Hardcore avoidance. We get out of our subdivision, not even to the main road, and Mancandy asks Thumbalina why she seems so nervous.

She started crying.

Mancandy Man-panics and screeches to a halt on the side of the road. His eyes were wide, really white, and doing that “horse about to panic” thing. He asked her if her parents knew where she was.

She cries harder, makes whimpering sounds, and stutters out “n-n-n-n-n-n-noooooo” in a wail.

I don’t know how I wasn’t charred to death internally at this point. I turned around and mentioned in a calm voice that if I were her mom and she called to tell me she was someplace she wasn’t supposed to be I’d be upset. However, if I found out after the fact, like looking at her GPS on her phone which she was apparently already doing, I would be so much more upset.

This does not calm Thumbelina. She starts awkwardly telling us a story through her tears. Now, to be fair, she was tiny and crying and I understand why the guys were stupid. She looks like a baby bunny. A crying, lace clad baby bunny. However, she was telling the age-old teenage story of how her parents treat her like a child and she just wanted to be able to do something. It was a selfish, bratty, typical teenager statement told in the most endearing, pitiful manner possible.

Mancandy then asks her if we should take her back to her car so she could go home. Showing more teenage stupidity her response is no, she’ll go home later. She’s supposed to be at the concert so if she goes home early they’ll know something is up. And then she and Minicandy had a whispered conversation that I guess they thought we couldn’t hear because….we were facing the other way….about turning off the phone so GPS wouldn’t track her.

I was livid. To the point, I didn’t even want ice cream. I rarely get that angry. Ice cream is the most important thing ever.

I was ready to light everyone on fire with my eyes.

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Then Minicandy starts getting an attitude about being punished and us being overprotective and how teenagers don’t deserve to be treated the way they are. And while I wanted to do bodily harm, I restrained myself and tried to respond calmly. Mancandy redeemed himself by making a few solid points that seemed to get through to Thumbelina. Minicandy, however, was firmly in showing off for the little lady mode and kept throwing out sarcasm and snark.

Mancandy has quite a temper, but for some reason when Minicandy hits below the belt there’s no immediate response. It makes me crazy. So I swung around in the seat and tore into him. If teenagers were really mature they wouldn’t be lying to their parents and then blaming their parents for getting caught in the lie. If teenagers were really mature they would be honoring the promises they made instead of blaming everyone else. If teenagers were really mature they would have discussions instead of being sarcastic twits. If teenagers were really mature they would take care of business, act responsibly, and be given trust. That being punished is supposed to be punishment, not hanging out in the driveway full of angst and hostility and then getting a freaking ice cream treat. But if teenagers are caught lying and acting like idiots constantly, they don’t deserve trust and since they were ruining my lovely ice cream excursion with their stupid teenage whining they really need to JUST SHUT UP. That all went from a quiet, intense voice to something akin to a screech. I don’t think they could even hear the words, just the tone.

He came back with “You made me come get ice cream! I’d much rather be at home with Thumbelina! I don’t want to be with you! I had no choice!”

I don’t think what came out were even words. I just launched into demon tongue and had to physically restrain my own self from injuring him. His eyes got big, but I knew he wasn’t going to back down in front of his little lady. I looked him in the eyes and told him as calmly as I could manage (which was not as calmly as I’d have liked), that I was having a really hard time not ripping his face off of his skull right at that moment so he really did need to shut up. Right flipping then.

We got to the DQ drive up around this time and I was trying to decide if I even wanted any. I don’t think I’ve ever been sitting outside of a DQ and wondered if I wanted any. I then wondered if I was having a heart attack or stroke or something.

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Distracted by ice cream and whispered conversations with Thumbelina, Minicandy actually stopped talking to me. Thank God.

Mancandy and I start discussing Nirvana (it came on the radio) and the conspiracy theories around Cobain’s death. Thumbelina, showing some actual personality outside of her teenage parasitic selfish annoyingness, got excited talking about the various theories. That’s the thing that kills me. If teenagers were just useless little vapid things all the time they wouldn’t get under my skin. But occasionally the human beings way down deep in that murk of annoyingness float to the surface and I find myself liking them. A little. Not a lot, but still. And within 3 seconds she floated back down into the murk and she and Minicandy struck up the conversation about how restrictive and stupid parents are. And me. I’m not a parent. But I’m super stupid too. Just so you didn’t think I’d been spared.

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And, to top off my annoyance, they are both slurping and slopping ice cream around in their mouths while they talked and breathed and annoyed me. It sounded like someone in flip flops running through mud. Mancandy was asking questions of Thumbelina who was happily answering around mouthfuls of ice cream and brownie. Minicandy was chiming in while slurping and sloshing. I tried to just sit there and be quiet.

I managed two miles, tops.

It shouldn’t be that hard to just be quiet and eat ice cream. That is kind of my idea of heaven. But I couldn’t. We got almost back to our subdivision before I lost my mind. There was some combination of snarky comment, rolling eyes, sighing dramatically, and extra loud sloppy slurpy sounds, and I snapped. I don’t even know what I said. I just started at a normal tone and escalated until I was yelling about disgusting mouth sounds that made me nauseous and were so freaking rude and dear Lord close your freaking mouths when you chew you disgusting creatures!!!! I was also turned in my seat on my knees hovering over their stupid slurpy faces before I even realized I’d moved.

Everything got very quiet. I sat back down in my seat and tried to count to 10 and pace my breathing.

When we pulled into our driveway the kids basically tucked and rolled out as fast as possible. I did the same, as I’d seen our neighbor and was so excited about an actual adult that I basically tackled him and forced him to talk to me. Thankfully, he’s old fashioned and tries to always be super polite. So I forced that poor man to stand out in the heat and talk to me about their weekend plans while we sweated and I slowly burned from the inside out.

He watched Mancandy walking over to the teenagers standing beside Thumbelina’s car. I’m sure my face was doing weird things. He looked back at me and grinned.

“They’re the worst, aren’t they? Teenagers?” he happily asked.

I responded that I needed a night of adulting, where we talked about our latest medication routines and cholesterol levels and went to bed early and no one gave me attitude for TRYING TO HELP THEM. Ungrateful little turds.

He promised we would do so.

I went inside furious with everyone and everything and didn’t enjoy my ice cream. Mancandy came in first and I only had a few minutes to quietly but intensely rip into him about allowing a teenager to ride with us whom we KNEW was lying to her parents. We were essentially kidnapping!

Minicandy came in just then so I hushed, grabbed my phone and my pup, and started to walk upstairs. I could not believe I was the only one who thought that the entire situation was a mess. I wasn’t sure who I was angrier with. And suddenly the deceptively quiet sounds of a dangerous Mancandy came to my ears. He was calmly asking Minicandy if he’d encouraged Thumbelina to lie to her parents. The response in the negative was barely audible. Then the wrath of an extremely unhappy Mancandy roared into being. In the scariest, ugliest tone, he ripped Minicandy a new one. In a much more cohesive, well thought out manner than I would have given him credit for. And while Minicandy doesn’t like when I’m upset with him, when Mancandy is genuinely angry, everyone hunkers down and gets nervous. Even teenage boys who mistakenly think they’re big and bad.

I was SO proud of Mancandy! He’d controlled his temper much better than I had. And that is not the usual around here. Minicandy left the room tail tucked and miserable looking. My gizzard finally stopped burning.

Batman

For those concerned: No children were harmed in the making of this blog. And they weren’t in real life either. Despite wanting to harm them more than I wanted ice cream. Which, for the new folks, is a hell of a lot.

I am going home for about a week in a couple days. I’m ready for a break from the teenage manchild. For those of you considering the miracle of bringing another life into the world, take this as a warning. They are hideous little selfish goblins. That’s it. I’ll let you know if it gets better. But I’m guessing it will just be more of the same as the twins are hitting the teenage stage of life and the youngest isn’t far behind.

Just typing that made me want to move back to the mountains and hide.

Here’s to hoping they eventually get past this stage. Because they will definitely not survive me if they stay in it forever.

Butt Faces

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For those unaware, Mancandy is conservative. In some ways, he’s a redneck trapped in a Midwesterner. He says organization hilariously (think Organ-I-zation), and I’m pretty sure he’d say pop instead of coke if left to his own devices. To be fair, I’m a Yankee trapped in a southerner. I love boiled peanuts and crawfish and the angrier I get the thicker the accent gets, but I don’t go to church and don’t own a dress and tend to agree with those on the left more often than those on the right. I don’t have a problem with contradictions or depth of character, I enjoy it. But, occasionally I do want to beat him with his own arms. More on that in a minute.

The Mancandy family also leans conservative, especially his mother. She is very much a fox news sort, while my mom is much more of an MSNBC type. Again, I don’t mind people having different opinions. Most of my friends and extended family are conservative. Mother O’Candy is extremely hardcore to the right. I suppose the fact Mancandy and I are a unit (a rather odd unit, but still) meant she assumed we shared similar political and religious ideology. I politely declined invitations to church without explanation and whenever politics is brought up, I stay quiet. I don’t particularly like to fight, especially when it will change nothing, so I try to avoid political battles whenever possible. Also, I can’t fight. My sister got that talent, she’d quick as a whip and flings insults with casual grace and speed. I resort to “well your face looks like a butt” immediately and it goes downhill from there.

I was added to the Candy family group chat last holiday season. It started as a way for everyone to coordinate during a difficult time. It has become a way for the Candy family to talk to an audience. Brother Candy’s fiancé is also added to this group. We hardly ever participate. It’s usually strictly a Candy affair. I’ve wondered why they don’t just text each other directly but didn’t want to actually participate in the conversation that would guarantee, so I just muted the group. The inability to remove yourself from group texts is sincerely one of the most annoying things in the universe. Right below mosquitos and fire ants.

Part of the reason I muted the conversation is that every political hot button topic is brought up. For instance, immigration was brought up in the form of “When will those bleeding heart liberals learn….etc.” When fired up, the comments may range from that tone to more aggressive or openly hostile terminology to discuss those of my ilk. I have never responded because even though it’s highly offensive at times and often inaccurate assumptions and gross generalizations to boot, the statements are made under the assumption it’s a group in which it is safe to blow off steam. I’ve stayed quiet in the group text and in my home whenever these rants occur. For years I’ve stayed quiet.

Mancandy ruined it. This annoyed me because 1. I obviously didn’t want to make a thing out of it and 2. If I had decided to make a thing of it I had a glorious conversation ending rant ready to roll out. I had the element of surprise and the boon of choosing time and place. I’d carefully constructed my future performance to be classy, elegant, cold, and perfectly timed to show the hubris and arrogance of many of their comments. I was prepared and often rehearsed my future takedown mentally while ignoring more of the same types of rhetoric.

And he ruined it. That day he was the ruiner of all things good in the world.  And I couldn’t beat him to death with his own arms because he was honestly trying to help. Granted, he did it in the same way we explain to children that calling the fat kid fat isn’t very nice. With that sing-song tone and gently chiding manner. I was in the kitchen, loading the dishwasher with Mancandy while he and Mother O’Candy talked. I ignored the political discussion until I heard my name. I tuned back in to hear him say, in that god awful tone of voice, “Kristin doesn’t really think the same way we do about politics. She tends to agree with the democrats.”

The silence was deafening. My beautiful element of surprise was gone. I stared at him while holding a dirty plate and dripping dirty gunk on my feet. He happily ignored me and jabbered on, something along the lines of “she’s a dummy but she’s my dummy and sometimes she’d funny and she cooks better than I do so…what can you do?” Now at this point, he would object and say he said nothing of the sort. And to be fair, he didn’t. But it was damn well implied.

The betrayal ran to my soul. He’d taken away the one defense mechanism I had. The knowledge I could challenge it all out of left field (ha, the left charging in out of the left) and choose the time in which I did so was everything. The one subject I was not likely to continue to stay quiet on was the Me Too movement. It’s too personal. I have left the house in the past to get away, but I wanted to use that topic as my pièce de résistance when it was time to strike, should I decide to do so. I had a script. Dammit.

I don’t remember what else was said. I have no idea how long it took me to realize my feet needed to be scrubbed clean of plate gunk. But I am sad I didn’t get to have the last word. And also begrudgingly grateful Mancandy kept me from having to engage his people in battle.

But I’m still mad.

And his face looks like a butt.

Swamp Monster Sunday

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As a certified swamp monster, I have funky skin and features and…well….I’m just an odd duck. So, the fact I have – in my mid-thirties mind you – fallen in love with makeup (especially colorful eyeshadow) is just the weirdest damn thing ever and mildly embarrassing.

I work for the state of TN and as such, I’m supposed to look like a professional human. Swamp monsters with colorful sparkly glitter smeared all over their faces are not encouraged. So, I bought a few really bright, really fun palettes with all these dazzling awesome colors…and have absolutely no reason to smear them all over my face. It’s been bugging me. I’m too old for this; I don’t even know what I’m doing or how to apply makeup, but I am right this moment resisting the urge to buy a palette of nothing but yellow eye shadow. Do I EVER wear that color? No. Would it likely make me look jaundiced and even less attractive? Likely. But my brain has never been a fan of logic, so I just want it. Here’s a picture of it (That I stole from ColourPop’s website. Not sure if I’m allowed to do that, blogging rules are not well explained, but it’s free advertising and I own nothing of value….so let’s just cross our fingers and hope).

yellow_palette_a_800x1200

As part of the swamp monster package, I am also the owner of a weird body. It’s overly large, pale, ungainly, and uncoordinated.  I have been telling myself I’d lose weight (and become hot in the process….which is COMPLETELY different from losing weight….but I digress) since around the first time I heard someone refer to someone else as fat. My earliest memories are disliking how much bigger I was than the other kids, I towered over them and outweighed them and had to wear a training bra at like…6. Since my weird body decided to malfunction regularly and I go to various specialists quite often, my endocrinologist is extremely interested in things like…my BMI, my proportions, my insulin levels, my exercise routine (I lied and said I had one of those), etc. I really do want to be healthy. So, I actually have to get an exercise routine (ick). And maintain it. And not eat my feelings. And other people’s feelings.

So. I tell you all of that to tell you that I woke up intending to do none of the things I have done today. I woke up and just wanted coffee. That’s it. But, once I got up and got moving, I wanted to puzzle. Mancandy and I are working on a puzzle because we’re old and that’s what old, boring, antisocial people do. We puzzle and we drink coffee (our version of drinking and knowing things).

Mancandy was not in a puzzling mood. I found that annoying, but it’s hard to motivate someone to puzzle.

“Please come sit with me and be as frustrated and annoyed with 87616814 pieces of cardboard that have various portions of leaves that are all the same color.”

Though he did not want to puzzle at that exact moment, he claimed he would want to puzzle soon. That statement made zero sense to me, but I shrugged and tried to figure out what I wanted to do with my beautiful precious time off. I thought of all my pretty, shiny, colorful eye shadows just sitting here while I slather myself in boring colors day in and day out. I decided to play.

The Blue Moon palette was the first thing I saw, so it’s what I decided to smear upon my face hole flaps.

Blue moon

I meant to take a picture to show you how unskilled I am at this. But, I didn’t. I’m going to insert a picture from Pinterest showing what this might look like were I talented. It’s not at all what it looked like, but whatever. It’s my story. Enjoy this much better representation of blue eyeshadow. This is not me (so obviously not me that it’s funny to write it, but please don’t sue me if this IS you, because I’m super jealous and also I don’t have anything worth suing to take).

BM Look

Instead, I went downstairs and announced extremely loudly, “I’m blue and bold, bitches, lets puzzle!”

I found this to be a funny statement. I usually crack myself up. Unfortunately, I had not looked to be sure Mancandy was awake. He was not. But he jolted awake at my declaration and restrained what looked like a fairly strong urge to throttle me. He also looked at my face, which was 1/3 bright blue, and just said: “oh my”. I felt like I should probably be offended by this, but chose not to be. Mostly because he says stuff that could be insulting all the time and I don’t have the time it would take to be offended.

We puzzled for a while. I got 5 pieces into the puzzle and felt remarkably accomplished. Set low goals and you’ll never be disappointed, my friends. We decided we should move the elliptical machine my boss gave us (yay boss!) into the air-conditioned part of the house. As obviously that was the only thing holding me back. So we did. And then he announced he was going to mow.

I hate that moment. I feel like I should do something equally horrible, but I don’t want to do any horrible things. So I declared I would work out. While he mowed. And then I realized I’d said it out loud, the elliptical was inside, and I actually had to do it now. Dread set in.

So I worked out. Put on a sports bra and athletic shoes and everything. I don’t understand these people that say, oh yes, the endorphins, it is a rush, working out is fun, blah blah. I apparently don’t possess endorphins. I spent every single minute of the time I spent on the elliptical screaming internally that I was not allowed to stop yet.

Fun fact, the elliptical is third hand and I am grateful to have it, but it squeaks like you’re skinning something alive. So the longer I worked out, the louder and more aggressive the skinning of the thing became. The cats were horrified. They may be scarred for life. The dog equated skinning alive with thunderstorms and fireworks and started panting and stress whining as if to duet the shrieking machine. So the entire time I’m on the damn thing the dog is singing along to this really annoying shriek squeak, and the cats are running around trying to escape the demonic noise but unable to find a place to do so.

Within 4 seconds I was drenched in sweat. Not just a little glisten, no ma’am and/or sir! I take sweating seriously. So my shirt is stuck to me and my sparkly blue face now has rivulets of blue running down it and on down my neck. It looked like I was painting some sort of river scene across my face, but in my typical “enthusiasm makes up for lack of talent” way. I stopped when I was pretty sure I’d just have to fall sideways off of the machine because I had jelly for legs and was gasping so hard I thought I might pass out. Probably 4 minutes in. No, it was more than that, but not as long as it should have been.

I sat down on the tile floor (likely leaving an impressive butt outline in sweat) to cool my rumpus and contemplated puking. When that didn’t sound like fun anymore I got up and started up the stairs. That was a mistake as I likely can’t go back down now. I’ll just live up here. Please fling food up occasionally. This will be my new diet plan.

I shambled my sweaty, miserable, gasping, slightly nauseous self into the bathroom. Stripped down. Turned on the shower. Turned around to set my hair tie down by the sink and accidentally looked into the mirror.

I looked like I’d eaten a smurf alive…aggressively….in a very messy fashion. My hair was plastered to my sweaty skull and there was blue smeared all over my face. I don’t even know how it was possible to be that gross, but I managed.

A shower has never been so lovely. And now I have to look forward to doing that same thing over and over and over until I’m less horrible at it. Dying young is kind of looking mildly appealing. But that doctor will get to hear all about the “exercise routine” I’m working on.

Just need some W-D 40. Or the cats may not survive it any better than I do.