Monday, August 26, 2013

How to be the most annoying spouse ever. A step by step guide.

I hate the new vacuum.

We tried to buy a new vacuum last spring, and I couldn't decide which one to get. This indecisiveness is a very common occurrence and definitely not limited to vacuum purchases.

I am pretty sure it also earns me the award for most annoying spouse ever.

I really, really want to be the person who just says "Whatever you think/want/decide. dear." with a big sincere smile. But it just doesn't go down that way. First, I have to study all of the features. And then, there is the price shopping, consumer reviews, warranty information, etc. And then even after all of that careful deliberation, sometimes I *still* end up returning the item or exchanging it for something else.

I annoy myself.

But back to the vacuum. Sam went out and bought a vacuum while I was away this summer, which was a bold move on his part. I applaud him for that. However, because I hate the vacuum he purchased, the applause is more of a slow clap with a clenched jaw and a Clint Eastwood stare.

Today I needed to vacuum our bedroom because, sidebar, Sam doesn't actually use the vacuum that often. And I can't get it out of the closet.
There are several reasons for this, not all of them the vacuum's fault, so I didn't beat it with a hammer like I was tempted to do. But fuck, it is really hard not to be angry right now.

Do you remember the movie "When Harry Met Sally"? Do you remember the scene when their 2 best friends moved in together and he had that hideous wagon wheel coffee table, and suddenly that table was the cause of everything that was wrong with the world and their relationship at that moment, and it got dragged to the curb in order for their romance to continue?

I am right there with this vacuum cleaner. This vacuum cleaner is the symbol of everything that is wrong.

My life these days is like an ill-fitting shirt. It's just not quite long enough, it has an itchy tag that is bothering me, and it has overly-complicated washing instructions that are pissing me off every time I try to wash it.

I love my husband. I love my life. I love that he went and bought a vacuum cleaner knowing full-well that there was a 50/50 chance I would hate it.

What I do not love is the near-constant feeling of aggravation I live with. This vacuum cleaner is just the tip of the iceberg, and my life is on a Titanic-like collision course, where it is every man for himself. It feels like PMS, but it NEVER GOES AWAY. The response to this vacuum is just a symptom of the inner turmoil I am wrestling. What it boils down to is that because I am so unsettled, everything feels wrong all the time.

The big question here is: is it me? Or everyone else on the planet?
And of course, it's everyone else. Duh. (I'm kidding. It's me. I get it.)

So the first step is to identify my triggers. The second step is to find a healthier way to react to them.
And so I give you:
How to be annoying in 5 easy steps, and how to hang on to your last shreds of sanity when you are annoyed.

1. Asking unnecessary questions.
This can be anything from "Mom? MOM? I just wanted to know where you were."
"What's for dinner?" or "Where are my ____?" (pants, shoes, keys, phone, etc)
Now of course, the challenge here is to filter out necessary from unnecessary. This is even more pressing when the person you want to ask is at work, or driving, or otherwise occupied. Common sense is your first resort. Your last resort should be asking the person if it is okay to ask them a question. I fucking hate that.
Take a deep breath. If questions are coming via text, either turn off your phone, or tell them you cannot text and will be in touch later. When you don't want to wring their neck would be a good time. If questions are coming in person, stop whatever it is that you are doing and make eye contact. Answer their question and then explain that you cannot be disturbed for a while. Maybe set a Timer of Silence which I use to let the children know when the next time is they can ask me for another snack or to help them glue/write/spell/draw/read/color/fix something.

2. Not handling your own business.
If you use up the last of something, or if something is broken, or if you need something done or purchased, you should definitely take note of it. In writing. In a place that is easy to refer to - like a cellphone, for instance. But by all means, if you can just handle it yourself, you definitely should. Please do. If you are concerned that someone might take issue with you handling it yourself, please see above for guidance in terms of asking about it.
You want them to handle their shit, so you can't get all bitchy if they try to do that and then you don't like the results. Either quit complaining and take care of it yourself, or let them handle it. Stop being such a fucking martyr/control freak.

3. Passive Aggressive Bullshit and Excuses
This could mean doing a shitty job so that you are never asked to do it again, or it could mean earnestly doing something without thinking it through and then, when faced with the consequences, putting the burden of the responsibility on others to deal with the aftermath of your poor planning and lack of foresight.
Don't do this.
Also, don't pussy out and walk away in the middle of the conversation, or throw your hands up in despair and complain that everything you do is wrong so why should you bother. You have to talk this shit out, or it will keep happening.
Dealing with this is exactly why you feel crazy, right? So you have a choice: either try to explain - clearly - what you want/need and why and then hold them accountable all the way through (which could absolutely take more time than doing it yourself) or find some other way that they can contribute, and take care of this shit yourself. Because is it worth the aggravation to show someone else how to (for example) clean a bathroom properly? Possibly not.

4. Doing shit no one asked you to do, and doing that shit wrong.
This can range from buying gifts that you like with no concern for whether the recipient will like them, to seeing something that needs doing and - in an attempt to help out - really fucking some shit up.
This is a tough one. Because in most cases, there is plenty of good intention - it is just terribly misdirected. And so, you must temper your response. This is where the phrase "They mean well" comes from. Because they did. Whatever they just did wrong, it will crush their spirit to hear that it has upset you in any way. This is where it is important to be gracious and kind. This is what being a rational grown up is all about. And it sucks. If you have to excuse yourself to pop a Xanax or smoke some weed before you can handle it, you go right ahead.

5. Just being a total idiot.
Being a total idiot.
I will be the first to raise my hand and say that I can be a total idiot sometimes. In general, I am a pretty smart chick, but I do some really dumb shit. And when you do something really dumb, man it can be embarrassing to admit it. AMIRIGHT? I try to reign that stupidity in as much as possible, but not everyone is that considerate. I have found that if I pay attention to the 4 rules above, I eliminate a lot of opportunities to play the moron card. I try to think things through, do what needs doing,  think of others, consider the timing, and not bother people with my dumb shit as much as possible. It's a 50/50 shot most days.
Sympathy. You gotta have sympathy for someone who truly cannot see the forest for all the damn trees. Sometimes, people just fuck up. Or they don't know what they are doing. Or they are just not paying attention. And cutting them some slack is incredibly difficult when you are working so hard to keep your shit together. But we all have to learn to give everyone a chance. A chance to be heard. A chance to try again. A chance to make it better. A chance to do it right. And for them to succeed they need information. Communication is key. Share your knowledge and insights, and let it benefit someone else. No point in re-inventing the wheel.

Even if it makes a kick-ass coffee table.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Cross Dress for Success - all about the last time my husband wore a dress

"Honey!" I called from the laundry. "Can I put your new dress in the dryer?"

"I don't know," Sam yelled back from the hall. "I didn't check the label."

"Well, fuck it. It's getting dried." I grumbled. "I hope it shrinks. And catches fire."

Sam and I have a new agreement. He's not allowed to dress like a woman anymore.

He bought the dress by himself, at Savers, and texted me a photo of him modeling it. "Only $9 - can you believe it?" the message said.

Sweet Baby Jesus.

It was supposed to be funny, I know this. But it didn't feel fun, or funny. It felt.....weird. Uncomfortable. And it also - maybe because I do know several people who are transgender - felt vaguely mocking to cross-dress as a joke.

Sometimes my political correctness can lean towards the ludicrous. I know this.

But my "hangup" is a very real thing. The fact is, my husband was at a party wearing a dress, standing next to a guy who was dressed like a woman - and one of them was not joking. I was embarrassed. Should I have been?

I can't really say, one way or the other. Because fashion has evolved to such a point that most clothing is unisex, dresses are pretty much the very last bastion of femininity. The last frontier of womanhood. Bras don't count, because they are, in my opinion, strictly utilitarian. Bordering on punishment. No one should *want* to wear a bra. Sorry, I digress.

With or without a bra underneath, I think we can all agree that wearing a dress is definitely a bold move for a guy. Especially a spandex one. Maybe I was uncomfortable because it made me - for a moment - question whether he liked dressing as a woman. He seemed pretty damn comfortable in that dress, and enjoyed the convenience of his handbag a little too much for my liking. I didn't check to see if he had boxers on underneath, I just had to hope for the best. (And feel grateful that my thong wouldn't have fit him even if he tried.) He bought - and wore - lipstick. He left his long hair loose. From the back you would literally NEVER KNOW he was a dude. But then he turned around and you got hit with the one-two punch of a beard and copious amounts of chest hair, which caused veritable whiplash throughout the evening. I almost felt bad for the guy who grabbed his ass. To complete his "look", Sam stuffed the top of the dress with pink balloons, which added to the cartoonish quality of his appearance and kept things light. Lighter, anyway. I was trying to be game. Trying to play along. But I did not want his lipstick on my collar. When he leaned over for a kiss, I backed away.

When I announced that they needed contestants for the motorboat competition, and he jumped in line with those balloon boobs, well. That was my emotional last straw. The costume went from annoying to upsetting to, well, gross. Just..........gross. I couldn't handle watching men put their faces in my husband's pink latex cleavage. Honest to god, I would have preferred to have him motorboatING instead of getting motorboatED.

Man. I never thought I would say something like that. You see how fucked up this is.

To his credit, when he saw the look on my face he took the boobs out. And popped them for good measure. And later on, when I explained that I do not kiss - and certainly do not have sex with - men who are dressed like women, he got the message loud and clear.

I am an open-minded, enlightened, fun person. So why can't I just relax and have fun with this?
I don't know what my issue is.

I am very clear on my gender, far more comfortable in stilettos and miniskirts than slacks and a shirt. Steadfastly feminine, to the point that I feel uncomfortable wearing a fake mustache. You might be thinking to yourself: "Well, I don't see that as being much of a problem." And you would be wrong. I have gotten into *numerous* drunken arguments about why I am not wearing fake mustaches. I have been called a "stuck up little priss" for declining to stick fuzz under my nose. It is sad how many times I have had to say "Oh, no thanks, I don't wear mustaches. No, not even for a little while. No, not even as a joke."

They make my nose itch, for starters.

And when my girlfriends dress like men (and again, you would be surprised how often this comes up) I have the same creeped out reaction. When they lean in for a hug, I lean away. They look really....... manly. And I don't like it. Not one little bit.

So there it is. I know you have been waiting for the one thing that I can't handle. Cross dressing as a costume is my line in the sand, apparently. Turns out boundaries are awkward. Who knew? Thank goodness I have so few of them.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A simple explanation for why I don't eat in front of my children

"Hi Mom."

"Good morning, sweetie. Are you hungry?"

"No, not really. Not right now."

"Okay. Just let me know."

Lucy wandered off down the hall.
I opened the refrigerator and pulled out an egg and some bread. I put the bread in the toaster and dropped the egg into boiling water to poach. Three minutes later I retrieved a plate from the cupboard and set it on the counter just as the toaster dinged.

Lucy was standing in front of me, eyes pleading. "Can I please have some toast?"

So, by "not right now" what she meant was not right now - as in, not right that very minute. But 3 minutes later? That is a different story. A different story entirely. Especially if there was a hot breakfast available.

Except, see, there wasn't.

"Sure, you can have some toast. Lucky for you we just got this 4-slice toaster!" I continued buttering my toast calmly.

To her credit, Lucy was unfazed. She went and got herself some bread and put it in the toaster and waited patiently. But that is not the point to my story.

The point is that everything I consume in front of my children is noted, commented upon, and requested. If I am eating it, they want some. Not sharing makes me feel guilty, sharing means I am still hungry. And I am starting to get hangry. (hangry [HAN-gry] adjective feeling or showing anger because of extreme hunger).

I am tired of having my food intake so carefully scrutinized. I do not want to have a separate mealtime, nor do I want to be afraid to feed myself because I am then going to have to feed everyone else first, further delaying my own meal.

Please do not misunderstand. I feed my children constantly. I always have snacks in my purse and in the glove box and I frequently have a cooler in the car. They each carry a water bottle at all times, and the refrigerator and pantry are fully stocked and easily accessible. I feed them 3 square meals, plus numerous snacks. I simply cannot stress enough: Food is readily available to them at all times. But they don't want just any food - they want MY FOOD. It's as though they are royalty, waiting for someone to test the food for poison, and then stepping in and graciously taking the plate for their own (because my children are almost always very gracious as they help themselves to my food).

My frustration is definitely made worse by the fact that I have been with them almost non-stop since June 1st. My whereabouts tracked, my location reconfirmed every few moments by one or the other:

"MOM! MOOOOOOMMMMMMM? Where ARRRRRE YOUUUUUUUU? Oh, there you are. What were you doing? I couldn't find you?"

"I was right here!"

"No, no you weren't. I was just here and you were GONE!"

"You mean, when I walked over there to refill my glass?"

"WHAT ARE YOU DRINKING MOM?! I am so thirsty! Can I have some?"

"Water. It's just water. Why don't you drink your own water?"

"I can't find it."

"It's in your hand. Your left hand."

"Oh. I forgot. I need more ice. Can I have some of your ice?"

or maybe:

"MOM! What are you chewing? You have something in your mouth. What is it? Are you having a snack? Can I have some? Gum? You have gum? I LOVE GUM."


"If you are getting a cup of coffee, can I have a hot cocoa?"

It just never stops, and I don't think I can take it any more. So if you need me, I will be sitting behind the house quietly, eating some breakfast. Please don't tell my kids.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Daffodil Campbell and the Sweet Ass Taurus

"That shit is cherry."

I swerved across oncoming traffic and came to a screeching halt, as my mother gasped and Sam muttered "Jesus Christ!" under his breath while the kids cackled like maniacs.

I'd had my eye on her for a week now, and I couldn't believe she was still available. How could no one have snapped her up already? Clearly this was a sign. We were meant to be together.

I threw my brother's sub-compact into park and hopped out. (Side note: how and why would they produce a base model - complete with hand-crank windows and manual locks - with an automatic transmission? If you are getting a base model, you gotta start with five speeds. Or maybe four. Anyway.) I pressed myself against her, sliding my hand along the curves. My mother was unimpressed, and remained seated. Sam hurried around the back of the car and joined me at her side enthusiastically. The kids tumbled out after him.

This was a sexy beast. She had to come home with us. We both wanted her So. Badly.

And really, didn't we deserve it? Didn't *I* deserve it?

But we couldn't let the kids know. So we tried (and failed) to play it cool.

"Did you see her back end?" I sighed deeply and stared at her, longingly. "Perfect."

"Do we have any tapes?" Sam crowed excitedly as he checked out the am/fm cassette in her dash. "Oh man."

"There's room for three up here!" I had my eye on the driver's seat as I yelled over my shoulder, gesturing wildly. "THREE!" Sam shook his head. "It's too good to be true."

We walked reluctantly back to my brother's car, where my mother was still sitting in the backseat. Two doors are just not worth the hassle of climbing out of the backseat sometimes, and she was watching the love match coming together from a distance. "How old is she?" mom shouted through the window.

"Ninety-one, I think." I answered. She looked good for her age. Maybe I had misunderstood.

As the kids got settled next to my mom, Sam and I snapped the front seats upright and climbed in, adjusting our seat backs like one does every time they have to let anyone out of the backseat of a 2-door. Cursing to ourselves as we slid forward and back trying to get comfortable.

"She would be great." Sam said with a grin.

"She is gonna be a sweet ass ride." I agreed. "Just short term. For the summer."

"You should call Dad!" mom piped up. "Maybe he'll come back with you tomorrow!"

"Are you kidding?" I yelled over my shoulder. "She's mine! I'm not sharing. No way is getting his hands on her."

"We aren't taking her." my mother scoffed at me. SCOFFED AT ME. "We need something bigger."

"Do you think I can have her when you're done with her?" Max asked.

"Oh, maybe I'll have a turn....." Lucy said dreamily.

"Man" I just couldn't get over it. "SO perfect. I would love me a sweet ass station wagon like that."

We drove on through the night, reminiscing about station wagons we have loved before, and third rows that face out the back window, instead of facing forward.

"The only thing she's missing is wood paneling." I said sadly.

"We can fix that," my mom assured me. "Just a quick trip to the craft store, or maybe we can use some adhesive shelf paper."

"I have to have her," I said flatly. "I want that sweet ass Ford Taurus."

"Yeah!" Lucy piped up from the backseat.  "I hope everyone can see how enthusiastic I am about that sweet ass Ford Taurus." I raised my eyebrow and looked at her in the rear view mirror. She grinned.

"Your grandfather loves a nice Ford Taurus," mom assured her. "He will be very happy to go check it out tomorrow, I'm sure."

"But it's mine." I reminded her. "My sweet ass Ford Taurus."

"Yes dear," my mother rolled her eyes. "that sweet ass Ford Taurus is all yours."

"Wow," Sam was still dazed. "That was a sweet ass Ford Taurus."

"Mom," Max said agreeably, "that is a sweet ass Ford Taurus, but I have a question. What does 'cherry' mean?"

"It means good as new. As nice as when it was brand new." Sam explained.

"Oh," Max said. "Yes. She was cherry. That sweet ass Ford Taurus was definitely cherry."

"Yeah!" Lucy shouted. "Cherry!"

"But she's mine." I reminded everyone.

"But I love her!" Lucy whined.

"I know, honey. Me too."

We pulled in the driveway and I went straight to the computer where I took the next natural step, stalking her online. I pored over the photo spread, read all the intimate details, mused on her mileage and how many people might have taken her for a ride. And I fell asleep with dreams, dreams of a glorious Ford Taurus station wagon rushing through my head.

She will be mine. Mark my words. She. Will. Be. Mine.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Care and Feeding of Your Writer

I am writing to you from the keeping room in my childhood home. I am here because it is quiet, and no one is standing next to me or perhaps just outside the window, asking me questions or just "saying Hi".

I don't want to say hi. Or answer questions. And the very last question I want to answer right now is "How is that book going?"

The book is not going. I had hoped to have the book edited and sent out to friends for their reviews, re-edited and published by the end of the summer. This was not a lofty goal, had I actually sat down every day (or even every other day, or even a few hours a few times a week) to work on it. But I cannot.

There are several reasons for this.
First, I find it very hard to concentrate, and spend a lot of time searching for the perfect writing situation that might allow me to write uninterrupted and undistracted. (Spellcheck is saying "undistracted" is not a word. This is very distracting to me. And so it begins.) This place which would provide the perfect writing situation may or may not exist.

And second, my children - ages 12 and 8 - do not nap, and are completely incapable of entertaining themselves without making tremendous amounts of joyful noise, bickering incessantly, or staring at a screen - none of which makes it easier for me to work. The guilt and frustration of this is such that I have continuously put the book aside in favor of trying to find a way to keep them occupied, and then hoping that, perhaps, it might last for a few hours. Then maybe I could relax, knowing they were busy elsewhere, doing something worthwhile during their summer vacation. And then perhaps I could write.

The mommy guilt, it is crippling.

As I sit here in a straight backed chair, the only quiet place I could find, I can still hear my son - metal garbage pail lid as a shield, yellow plastic whiffle ball bat held aloft as a mighty sword, occasionally roaring like a viking as he bashes everything in sight (and he's the 12 year old, might I add) while his sister runs in circles around the yard, leaping on and off of the lawn furniture, shrieking here and there.

Very, very peaceful.

My husband is doing home repairs. While it might seem like that would be a good thing, and would keep him busy and out of the way, somehow this involves asking me a lot of questions. Even though this is not my home, and I do not know any of the answers to questions like "Where do you think the electrical box is?" and "do you think I should just keep drilling holes in this wall looking for the electrical box?" My answer to any question that begins with "do you think I should keep drilling holes" is always going to be "No." which is, evidently, the wrong answer, judging by the number of holes that have been drilled in assorted walls hither and yon. (note: this message just interrupted by my husband, asking me about the wall. And the holes he has drilled looking for the aforementioned box.)

And so, rather than work on my book, which is apparently a lost cause, I have compiled for your (and my husband's) reference, some notes on the care and feeding of a writer. In the hopes that they might actually be able to write something.

1. Go away. Either the writer, or everyone else they know, must go away.

Writers, I recommend finding a quiet coffee shop where you don't know anyone, and where they have a bathroom and snacks. Important note: do not go somewhere that offers table service. Waitresses do not want you sitting in their section for 5 hours nursing a cup of coffee and will interrupt you as often as necessary to get you to leave. I know other writers that have gone to hotels to work - I do not do well if I know that there is a hot tub nearby that I could be sitting in, or a bed to nap in.

Lovers of writers, I recommend going somewhere free. After all, you will be doing this quite often if your writer is going to be writing on a regular basis. Begin compiling a list of places to go on the spur of the moment, so that you can always find a way to keep busy that will be fun for you. Your writer doesn't want to add to your stress, or feel guilty about wanting to be alone - they just want to write.

2. Stop talking. It is hard to concentrate.

I wish I could remember what it is I was going to tell you about this, but my aunt just came to find me, in order to introduce me to her carpenter, and to tell him that I am from Hawaii, and then to discuss the state of roller derby. This is a topic that I could talk about for hours, and I was about to launch into a huge discussion about roller derby then vs. now when I realized that I was supposed to be writing. I excused myself and I have now moved out to the barn where we are sleeping. Almost immediately after I closed the door and sat down in here, my son came in to hand me $22.75, because he owes me $12.75 from a model tank I bought him 2 weeks ago. Could I please give him $10 change? "But no rush, mom" was hastily tacked on when I looked up at him vacantly.

3. Do not attempt to be quiet.
That is actually more annoying. Really, just go away. See #1.

4. Do not bring food or drink unless asked.
Because having someone come and ask me if I am hungry, and then what I want to eat, and then the specifics (wheat or white? Toasted? Mayo or mustard? coffee? Cream and sugar? Regular or decaf?) are even more tiresome.

5. When asked to bring food or drink, just go ahead and get that for them.
Because if a writer who is writing has managed to come up with something they want to eat or drink, but they are unable to tear themselves away from the writing to get it themselves, it means they are in a very good spot  or perhaps they have found their rhythm or maybe they are really on to something. Regardless, they can't stop working now, and if you really want to support them writing whatever it is they are trying to write, then feeding them is a good idea. Or they might never finish.

6. Go on about your life.
Your writer does not want to inconvenience you in any way - they just want to write, which shouldn't be a bother to anyone else. It is a very quiet pastime, done in solitude for the most part. Knowing that people are waiting for them to finish adds immeasurable amounts of stress. They know how to reach you, so just go right ahead and do your thing, and they will catch up. The satisfaction of writing whatever it is they are trying to write will far outweigh the disappointment at missing whatever it is that they miss while they are writing. So let them be allowed to miss stuff now and then, without guilt. Just go. See #1.

Let me give you some real life examples of how to live with your writer:

scenario 1- morning
You wake up, and hear your writer typing away in the other room. How lovely! But they are sitting outside of the bathroom, and you need to use it. What to do? Get out of bed, walk up to your writer, say "Good morning dear, happy writing!" and walk into the bathroom and close the door. Turn on the water and do whatever you need to do with the water making white noise, drowning out whatever noise you might make, and allowing your writer to continue to write. Then, with a quick "See you later!" walk out of the bathroom and leave your writer to write in peace. No flashing of nakedness, suggestive comments, hugs and kisses, quick questions, or chat about the rest of your day.

scenario 2 - mealtime
You are hungry, but your writer is busy writing. Decide what you are making, and make enough for two. Then put some of that food on a plate and pop your head into the room where your writer is writing, to offer it to them. If they say no, go back to the kitchen (or wherever you were sitting) and eat the food you have just put on the plate. If they say yes, hand them the plate with silverware and napkin, and say "Enjoy!" and then go make another plate for yourself. NOTE: If your writer is writing in the kitchen, please see #1.

scenario 3 - you need something in the room they are writing in

Learn to live without it.
Alternatively, if you absolutely must go in the room where your writer is writing, make it quick. No chatting! And if you don't know where that thing that you need so desperately is, well, I repeat: learn to live without it. By no means should you ask your writer to help you locate that missing object.

Scenario 4 - bedtime
You are ready for bed but your writer is busy writing. Give them a kiss goodnight and say "See you tomorrow!" and then go to sleep. Do not go sleep on the couch. Do not wait up for them. Do not turn the light out on them. Just climb into bed, close your eyes and then magically it will be dark and you can sleep. And whatever you do, do not fucking snore.

There. Does this help? I hope so. Please keep in mind that every writer is different, and some writers may have a very different set of wishes and desires - so if the above does not work, it would be best to ask your writer directly how they would like to handle situations that arise while they are writing.

Just don't ask them WHILE THEY ARE WRITING. As that would be very counter-productive indeed.

(note: this list can be applied to anyone who works at home. And remember: when in doubt, just go out)

And with that, I am off. I have banished the family to the beach so that I could finish this, but now I find myself sitting in the barn where there is a bed for napping, and no drinks or snacks. I have broken 3 of my rules already, and I see another day of writing slipping away. Perhaps a quick nap would get me back on track......but I doubt it.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Las Vegas. Shirts, pants optional

I'm lying in bed to write this. I had to unplug the clock to charge my laptop, so I have no idea what time it is. My phone is off, and.......somewhere around here, I guess. Maybe in my fanny pack. Yes, that's right, I said it: FANNY PACK. I wore one. Deal with it. I could use the clock on my computer, but it's in Hawaii time and I am not sure if Vegas is Pacific or Mountain, and honestly rather than googling it I am just enjoying the mystery of it all. Ignorance is bliss.

Sami is asleep next to me, Sarah is asleep - I think - in the other room. We have an "other room", you see, because we have a suite way up in one of the towers. We are high fucking rollers, literally. Rollercon and all that.

A one bedroom suite at the Riv is kind of like driving a top of the line Yugo. It's circa 1983 up in here. Case in point:

multiple ashtrays in all the rooms for convenient in-bed smoking - they even provide matches!

The biggest thing so far about the room is that it has two bathrooms, which is fucking awesome. It also has 3 doors to the hallway - a door in the bedroom, and a set of double doors in the living room. I hate those fucking double doors, because I always try to open the one on the right - which doesn't open. I also spend a lot of time opening the closet door instead of the bedroom door. And people keep kncking on - and sometimes trying to enter - the hallway door to the bedroom. Too many doors. First world problems, holla.

But by far, the most exciting part about our room is that when we exit the elevator in the lobby, we are looking out glass doors and across the parking lot to my version of an oasis shimmering in the desert heat.

The Peppermill.

The Peppermill is the happiest place on earth because they don't care whether you are dressed appropriately - appropriately here in Vegas is wide open for interpretation, and I am pretty sure we test the limits at least once a day during Rollercon. Notable was that one time I wore nothing but underwear. Now that I am not drinking, I am more aware of social niceties like, you know, wearing pants in a restaurant. Shirts are still a gray area, so last night Sam went in at midnight wearing half a suit - pants and vest - but no shirt. Also, the vest doesn't fit, so it was unbuttoned. Also, he had an unfortunate incident while repairing our deck - so unfortunate that he had to warn me about it before he took off his shirt. His entire right side is covered in an enormous bruise, with patches of healing skin where his stomach scraped against the foundation when he plunged not-quite-but-almost-to-his-death through the joists last week.

Apparently my husband needs a spotter when doing home improvements. Noted.

Anyhoo, the bruise is pretty gnarly, and he was wearing it proudly last night. I am sure our fellow diners were thrilled. But we had to go out to eat, because I needed some straws. Read on, I'll explain.

Rollercon has been fantastic - my highlight reel includes learning how to transition from skating forwards to skating backwards (next on my list: figuring out how the fuck to skate backwards, because oh my god no) and attending Vagility - a one hour roundtable discussion about harnessing the power of your genitals to do really important stuff like smoke and drink water. Because hydration is very important in Las Vegas. Las Vegas is also the last place in the US where smoking indoors is acceptable,so this was the perfect time to learn how to smoke a cigarette using your vagina. After all, I already had an ashtray. But I needed to practice control of airflow with a glass of water first. Thus my need for straws. Which is why we were in the Peppermill at midnight. This is how my life happens.

So we enjoyed a lovely meal, paid the bill, thanked the staff because really they were very lovely even to old shirtless Mr Magic Mike himself. As we walked out, Sam froze.

"What's wrong?" I asked.
"I forgot the straws."