Note: The "Trooper" in question is not actually in the military. It's a metaphor, people.

January 31, 2009

Shower Me

Last weekend I attended yet another baby shower. This time for my sister-in-law. The good news was that there was free-flowing champagne and my knitted baby blanket gift (the last of the baby projects for the year) was a big hit. The bad news was that my mom's yenta friends were there and asking when Wine Guy and I were going to get married.

It's no secret that I'm eager to tie the knot and get on with the baby thing. I basically wear my maternal clock around my neck -- Flavor Fav style. So these questions were predictably getting me a little down.

At least this time I have a valid excuse for delay -- my upcoming surgery. Yes, I am definitely having a second major surgery (March 23). Same one I had last January, except this time on the other hip. (I guess that makes me special - how many 36 year olds do you know who have had two hip surgeries?!) The recovery was awful and it took me about 9 months before I stopped regretting the first one. But now I don't and the other hip has deteriorated rapidly over the last year so I kind of have no choice. Here we go again.

So when the yentas asked me about getting married/having a baby, I said something pitiful along the lines of, "I don't think I'll get any kind of celebratory shower like this for a long time. All I get to celebrate is surgery." Yeah I know, poor me. I never said I wasn't a whiner though.

Then one of them said something quite interesting, "So why not have a shower for your hip?"

First I laughed. Kind of guffawed actually. But then I started thinking about it. Why not? Why do I have to wait for a wedding or a baby? This is a MAJOR life event that will effect my life substantially for a long time. I will need the love and support of my friends and family. And I'll need stuff to get me through it. So why the hell can't I have a pre-surgery shower? The idea of the "Hip Shower" was born.

Since then my mom and her friends are all over it. We've got a date picked out, a guest list (girls only), and a location (my mom is renting out her club house at her complex). There will be games and prizes, a champagne brunch, and we are asking everyone to come in their best PJs. My brother volunteered to make a bunch of earrings (he's a 'master beader' believe it or not) to give out as party favors. I am even going to register at Target.

I know it sounds ridiculous, but just the act of having something to look forward to over the next two months - instead of dread - has changed my entire outlook. And being able to laugh and poke fun at this experience has pulled me back from the dark place of "why is this happening to me?"

And now I can relax about the wedding thing for a little while because at least my mom can say she got to throw me a shower, right?

What do you guys think? Any ideas for games, party favors, etc? I'm thinking "Operation" will have to be involved somehow. Maybe a race on crutches?


January 14, 2009

Detour Down Revolutionary Road

You may recall that I recently got a little side job writing movie reviews for a local weekly paper. For the most part it's been total cake. I choose what I want to review, walk to the front of a long line, and get the best seats in the house for a commercial-free, preview-free, free movie. Then spend about an hour or two writing and editing what I thought about it. I even get a little money for the trouble. Cool.

The last movie I reviewed -- Revolutionary Road -- gave me a little more trouble than I'm used to.

This film elicited a very personal reaction from me (I'll tell you why in a second.). When the lights came up and I read over the notes I had scribbled in the dark, all I could see was the makings of a blog entry. Not a review fit for a newspaper with actual paying advertisers.

So I hemmed and hawed, typed and deleted. And ultimately, after about two hours of deliberating, decided to write the review first person and be relatively honest about how I felt...without revealing my whole personal life story.

Basically what I said was this: Revolutionary Road is incredible and you just can't deny it is a well-made film. But how you feel about it will depend entirely upon where you are in life -- and how you feel about where you are in life -- when you see it. If anything, it is thought-provoking and powerful. But it could also be pretty damn depressing, depending on the person. And not everyone is up for thought provoking and potentially depressing on a Saturday night at the movies. Me? Well, I love to brood.

But let me tell you what I really wanted to say in my review.

Are you married? If so, is it a good marriage?
Do you have kids? If so, do you ever wish you didn't?
Do you have unfulfilled dreams? If so, do you blame someone else for that?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, I highly recommend you don't go see Revolutionary Road. That is, unless you want to be really depressed.

As for me...I answered no to all the questions above, which is why, when the lights came up, I felt pretty damn good. In fact, this was the first time in my adult life that I actually thought that being unmarried and without kids was actually the very thing that made me "special" among those around me. It made me free. It gave me possibilities.

If you've been reading my blog for any period of time, you know that I am in a constant state of impatience waiting for the Ring, the Wedding, the Baby. That longing is there for everything I do, see, think. Every wedding invitation, birth announcement, family holiday card I get can set me off on another round of maternal clock hysteria. Sometimes I have to step away from the Facebook when I see yet one more person I used to know post pictures of their families. And let's not even get into all the dear friends that have slipped away into "mommydom" never to be seen again (except for the holiday cards of course). Let's just say it's a major THING for me.

To suddenly see my "predicament" as a blessing, for even just a moment, was a wonderful thing. So if you are anything like me - and you also happen to like beautifully crafted, acted and scored films - then go see Revolutionary Road at a theater near you.


January 4, 2009

Please, Mr. Sandman


That's pretty much the first thing I feel some Saturday and Sunday mornings while lying in bed. You'd think I'd be resting my head softly on my pillow, little puddles of drool slowly forming beneath my chin while my cat gently snores on top of my head. And sometimes this is the case - but I usually have to beg for the privilege of this undisturbed peace. What is the source of this weekend morning rage?

Wine Guy of course.

Now, when I wake up on a Saturday morning and WG is still asleep, here's what goes through my head. Be very quiet. Let him sleep. He's so cute when he's sleeping. And if he stays asleep for a little bit longer, I'll get some extra "me time" to read, channel surf or just enjoy a quiet morning.

Neither of us are the type to sleep until noon but I am willing to admit that I am a much bigger fan of sleep than Wine Guy. In fact, it might just be my favorite hobby. Have a couple free hours on a Sunday afternoon? Take a nap. Absolute heaven to me.

Wine Guy clearly doesn't get it. Nor do I get him when it comes to sleep. He stays up til all hours doing absolutely nothing, comes to bed at 3am and manages to function off 4 hours of sleep the next day. Me - I need 8 hours minimum. A few nights without my minimum in a row and I can guarantee you I'll get sick or, at the very least (and often worst), really cranky.

I suspect that Wine Guy's late nights are motivated by the same thing that keeps me nice and quiet in the morning. Time alone. But I think he likes the time alone from the entire world, when everyone is asleep at home, on the block, in the city. But if he's awake at 9am on a Saturday morning? Forget about it.

What's even more annoying is how he chooses to "inadvertently" awaken me. It's usually with some inane chatter to his cat. Then to my cat. Then to both cats. Usually about me. After a few minutes of praying to god that he'll give up and shut the hell up soon I'll quietly say "shhhhhhh..." hoping he'll understand that I'm not quite ready to wake up.

That rarely works. When it does I usually pay the price in jealousy because he'll leave the room and the house and go get some amazing coffee and breakfast pastry that I don't get to enjoy because, well, I was asleep. Jerk.

But usually my shushing just encourages him. Now I'm playing along with whatever cute cartoonish dialogue he has created between him and the cats. It can be cute, granted. But by NO MEANS is it cute in this moment.

And here it comes. the Rage.

He freakin' knows I hate this. Everyone who has ever lived with me (boyfriend, friend, mother) is well aware of the "Don't wake DT" rule. Really, there is NOTHING important enough to wake me. Not a phone call. Not a pretty bird sitting outside the bedroom window. Not even my cat doing something adorable. Nothing.

He's been warned. Hence, I am fully justified to be full of rage.

I try not to yell. Who wants to wake up yelling? But it usually comes out as a mumbling whine, "Whhhyyyyy???" This only encourages his playfulness. I should know better being the youngest of four children. Whining only makes it worse.

Today was the last day of our holiday "staycation" and I made sure to point out to WG that today was also our last day to sleep in before real life begins again on Monday. This was my warning to him. Let me sleep dammit. Overall he'd been pretty good on the break, mostly because he stayed up so freakin' late every night while I went to bed at a reasonable hour.

He did not take my warning. But he foiled my rage in what I can only call a brilliant maneuver. He bypassed all the cute cat talk - that charm wore off months ago. Instead, he went upstairs, picked up the dog (who weighs almost 50 pounds and is not allowed to venture downstairs where the cats live -nor does she want to), carried her into the bedroom and placed her on the bed next to sleeping little me.

I felt something placed next to me and rolled over, prepared to spew venom - IT'S THE LAST DAY OF VACATION! LET ME SLEEP!

But there, cowering next to me and clearly overwhelmed by not only entering the cat's lair but getting to lie on the coveted bed next to her mommy, is Luna. How could I possibly be mad about that?

I suspect Wine Guy is aware of his brilliant move. I've tried to counter it by saying, "You know, it's very confusing to the dog to be brought down here after being made well aware she is not allowed downstairs." But I suspect his desire to wake me up so we can begin our weekend day together is too strong to be counteracted by basic doggie discipline.

I guess it can be considered training for having kids one day. From what I hear, sleep is something you used to get to do before they came along and ruined everything. I just didn't expect Wine Guy to be on their side so soon.