Thursday, January 29, 2004

Thursday is Quote Day! Here are a few:

"A friendship can weather most things and thrive in thin soil; but it needs a little mulch of letters and phone calls and small, silly presents every so often -- just to save it from drying out completely." -- Pam Brown

"I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen." -- Ernest Hemingway

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." -- Eleanor Roosevelt

"True friends stab you in the front." -- Oscar Wilde

"For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: 'It might have been!'" -- John Greenleaf Whittier

Monday, January 26, 2004

Many people believe they are married to the "best" person of the opposite (or same, depending) sex. The truth is, I have secured the best man. I've known this for some time, but now and then I have to publicly proclaim it.

Last night, against Husband's better judgment, I talked him into watching a show we'd Tivo-ed (against his better judgment) on Discovery Health about The Woman with the 200-Pound Tumor.

The tumor weighed more than I do, even on fat days.

You half expected it to morph into human form and separate itself from the woman like an alien-esque form of asexual budding reproduction.

I have a grotesque fascination with things that go that wrong with the human body. Husband was outright horrified. He cringed and winced and watched sideways while I sat glued to each lingering camera shot.

Toward the end, we both promised each other never to get sick or sprout monstrous tumors. And then I felt a migraine coming on.

I've had migraines in the past. I've had them with increasing frequency in the past few months. Usually I see sparkly lights, take some pills, go to sleep for a few hours and wake up able to function. But this, this was the migraine to knock all previous migraines on their collective rear. We went to bed around 10:30 and by midnight I was sitting on the bathroom floor convinced that my brain was hemorrhaging.

And then I was a character in Our Town and the dragon from Sleeping Beauty wanted to marry my sister.

I kept Husband up for many hours, alternately wretching, sobbing, and hallucinating. If he would have rather been sleeping, he never showed it. He brought me water and tissues and made me feel calm. I ultimately convinced the dragon that I didn't have a sister, and he turned into a shower of brilliant fireworks that could be seen throughout all of Grover's Corners.

He's such a nice man. Husband, that is... not the dragon.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

The other night, I was pulled from a sound sleep, as I sometimes am, by this:

"Mom…"

Our bedrooms are close enough together that the kids know I'll hear them if they call in the middle of the night. And they don't even really need to call. I seem to be tuned in to their frequency. If they toss, cough, whimper, or simply open their eyes in the darkness and say, "Mom…" I wake up.

I try not to overreact, though. I usually give it two or three Moms before I leap out of bed. One to wake up with, another to judge which child is requesting Mom and with what level of intensity.

So with the first "Mom…" I opened my eyes and waited, listening intently.

"Mom…"

The second was as indistinct as the first. A mellow, unpanicked request. Faint, yet insistent. No hint of whimpering or discomfort. No clue to the child's identity.

"Mom…"

This was weird. It didn't seem to be either rising in tone or settling back into sleep. And I honestly couldn't tell whether it had come from an eight-year-old or a two-year-old.

"Mom…"

Four Moms in a few minutes meant that comforting of some kind was needed, even if the request was still entirely calm. I rolled out of bed and walked barefoot into the hall, still listening, still trying to determine whether it was sleep-talking or a false alarm.

"Mom…"

Which kid is that? I peeked in on Oldest, her arm flung up over her face, hair plastered to her cheek in a dead sleep. I rubbed her back beneath the comforter and kissed the top of her head. No response. Must be Youngest.

"Mom…"

Next door in Youngest's room, I stepped carefully over the carpet, avoiding the creaky floorboards, and leaned over the rail of her crib, putting my hand on her back. She was sound asleep on her stomach, bottom pointing skyward, pudgy cheek planted firmly against the sheet. Totally unawake.

"Mom…"

I felt a chill. I thought immediately of wind over crevices, air traveling through pipes, beams creaking, stray cats trapped in sewers, and other rational explanations. And of course, ghosts. I went back to our room, intending to wake Husband and insist that he search the house and find the lost ghost-child who was calling for its mother so that they could be reunited in the afterlife.

"Mom…"

I looked down at the foot of my bed.

"You little shit," I told the cat. She opened an eye and looked up at me.

"Mom," she breathed through her nostril, the air whistling against the bedspread.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

If I had time to cook today, I would make Baked Salmon Filets Dijon with steamed string beans and a wild rice pilaf.

If I had time to knit, I would make this sweater for myself and everyone I love.

If I didn't have so much trouble saying no, I wouldn't be attending a committee meeting today at 2:00.

If I weren't still trying to get caught up on work that got pushed off during the holidays, I'd have time to shove all of my Christmas decorations and cards into a desk drawer and forget about them for another ten months.

Friday, January 02, 2004

It’s an exciting time of the year here at the Weasel homestead. Having successfully weathered the financial upheaval of yet another holiday season, it’s time to [drumroll] Zero Out the Budget for the new year.

I will mentally gather all of our money together into one big virtual pile, from the lowliest stash of coins on our dresser to the dollar bills I had stashed in my desk drawer at work, all the way up to our savings and checking accounts. I will remove all earmarkings and intentions from all of our money. I will absolve it from any well-intentioned but ill-fated savings attempts. I will stop making the $50 that’s been languishing in the Disney World fund feel guilty about the -$2879 deficit in the Automotive Repair fund.

None of that matters anymore. This is a new year. All funds return to zero. For a brief few hours, all money belongs to all funds. We can, for a moment or so, entertain the idea of pouring all available money into the Furniture fund and going on a Queer-Eye-esque makeover spree for our house. We can imagine what it might be like to spend thousands of dollars each month on clothing and concerts instead of paying the mortgage or feeding the children.

Then when we finally settle in and start plugging realistic figures into the budget for the coming year, it should be depressing. But it isn’t. We’ve taken back the choice. We choose to spend $400 per month on groceries. We decide how much to put toward college funds, vacations, and new shoes. We’re reminded that things that don’t seem like choices, such as paying credit card bills, are choices when we decide to pay $5 more on each bill each month to pay them off just a tiny bit faster.

Now I can finally stop feeling guilty for “stealing” $4.55 per week from the grocery budget for a quick sushi hit. This year, there will be a Sushi fund. Maybe I will spend $80 per month on rainbow rolls instead of gas for my car…