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

February 25, 2009

Wednesday Epiphany

I just had a huge relationship epiphany, sitting here on the couch knitting. American Idol is on the TV, Wine Guy is on the computer at the kitchen table. During a commercial break my mind wanders to plans for the weekend and beyond.

I ask him, "Hey, that screening of 'The Watchmen' you wanted to come to is next week. Monday night. That's the same night as your pilates. Do you want to come and cancel pilates or should I ask someone else to the movie?"

I meant this question exactly as I said it. A simple statement of fact. He and I had discussed the press screening awhile ago and I thought he would want to come since it's a "boy" kind of movie. He said he did. But when I checked the date today, I realized it was the same night as his favorite weekly event besides wine tasting - pilates.

So I was telling him this and asking him what he wanted to do. No big deal.

He responds, looking up from his computer screen, "Huh, what?"

Problem #1. I have to repeat myself since he really wasn't paying attention to what I said the first time. I do not like repeating myself.

I ask him again, "That screening of 'The Watchmen.' You said you had wanted to come with me. But it's on Monday, your pilates night. Do you want to come and cancel pilates or should I ask someone else?"

He responds, "Uuuh, yeah. I do want to see it...shoot. Can I think about it and let you know later?"

I want to kill him. What is so hard about deciding to go to a movie?

So I say this, trying desperately not to sound as irritated as I am. "No. Just tell me. Do you want to go to the movie or not? It's not that hard of a decision."

I sense a fight.

He is also clearly trying to restrain himself from sounding as irritated as he is.

I repeat, less irritated and more heartfelt. I sense we are at a point where we could either break out into bickering or just cut the shit and say it like it is. "Just tell me. I'm asking. Please. Do you want to go to the movie or do you want to go pilates? I'm fine either way, I just need to know what you would like to do."

From the look on his face, I think he might have actually heard what I said. This is familiar fighting territory. Me trying to make a plan. Wine Guy trying to avoid one.

He breaks, "Ok, Ok. I just really don't want to miss pilates, OK?"

I breathe a sigh of relief. Not just because I got an answer to my simple question, but because it confirms something I have suspected our entire relationship. He's stringing me along.

I exclaim inappropriately, "I knew it! I knew that all this time you have been just stringing me along ---"

He interrupts, "No, I wasn't. I do want to go to the movie. I just know that I'll feel awful if I miss pilates. And I am afraid I'll make you angry if I say so."

I almost laugh - is that what has been going on all this time?! "Oh my god. You have no idea. When I get mad it's not because you don't want to do something with me. It's because you won't give me a straight answer! That drives me more crazy than anything! I have plenty of friends to ask, dude." (Yes, I say dude in times of complete honesty. I am from So Cal you know.)

"OK, OK...." He clearly wants to end the conversation, thinking the problem is solved so he should be able to get back to his computer. I need him to understand how huge this is.

"No, you need to understand how huge this is. From now on, don't worry about making me angry if you want or don't want to do something. Just tell me and I'll deal. OK?" I am slightly giddy with how much a small shift like this could change our daily communication.

"Sure, fine."

I can see this as gone as far as it's gonna go in his world. And I think maybe he understands. I hope he does. We spend far too much time fighting over stupid things like this that are clearly about something larger. And I think it has created a vicious cycle:
  • I plan things.
  • I ask him first to accompany me - he is my boyfriend after all.
  • If he doesn't want to or isn't excited about it, he tries to postpone committing, assuming that telling me "no thanks" will make me angry.
  • Meanwhile, I am getting angry about him pushing me off.
Vicious, I tell you.

Now I am ferociously typing my epiphany while Wine Guy watches inane America's Funniest Home Videos, waiting for me to watch last night's Daily Show with him on the DVR. Always a plan we can agree on.


February 24, 2009

February 20, 2009

Whine Country

Wine Guy and I are stopped half way up to Central California wine country, where we are spending a long weekend. We're taking a break for the night in lovely Carpinteria and here I am holed up in the Holiday Inn Express (free Internet - woo hoo!) while WG is taking a shower.

We're fighting. And it's all my fault. I'm just being a whiny, argumentative little bitch.

The problem is, I have no idea why.

Yes, he is annoying me beyond belief. God I hope it's normal for your significant other to drive you so crazy sometimes you want to scream until he goes up into a puff of smoke. The endless circling of the parking lot, slowly scoping out his options while spot after spot rolls by. The nervous driving the moment we hit the Los Angeles county line, as if suddenly everyone is out to kill us.

OK, these are driving related annoyances and I believe they are pretty common with couples. But it still doesn't explain why, once we got to our hotel room, I continued to want to kill him. He has no idea what the f*ck is going on. Neither do I.

I'd blame it on PMS - which I do get pretty bad sometimes - except I have my period right now and it's winding down.

If I'm honest with myself, I've been feeling this extreme level of irritation at just about everyone close to me, especially WG and my mom, with occassional close friends and unsuspecting coworkers thrown in.

Before you tell me to get to a shrink, I assure you I am already there. And what we've figured out - and this sounds like such a cop out but I think, after my behavior tonight, it has to be true - that I am just highly anxious about the upcoming surgery and it is tainting everything else around me. It just feels like something is "wrong" all the time. So it must be the way Wine Guy is treating me. Or it must be the tone my mom is taking with me. Or it must be that I am on the wrong career path. Or it must be...whatever.

Strange since, just a few weeks ago, everything seemed pretty darn was fine.

So I have to decide to chalk it all up to pre-surgery anxiety. Who knew that having my hip bone cut, shifted into a new position, and pinned back together would be something that would make me nervous?

Bear with me people. Especially those who have to love me, OK?


February 18, 2009

Guess What? A New Blog!

Just when you thought you couldn't get enough of me.....

After one year of thinking, "That would make a great blog entry," I finally decided to start a blog dedicated entirely to the subjects of conversation that arise during my Tuesday night knitting group affectionately called the Chickenheads.

So check it out. It's called Chickenheads Knit.

Subscribe, comment, share with friends, enjoy. I even have a new obnoxious sign off, but you have to go there to find out what it is. I don't know why I like sign offs so much. I guess they just make me feel so D-O-N-E.


February 12, 2009

The "Hippest" Shower Ever!

It's official - the "Hip Shower" is ON!

I sent out my evite to about 30 female friends yesterday and already have 8 yes RSVPs! It's a nice mix of my friends and my mom's friends, who've I've pretty much grown up with. So far it seems like people "get" what I'm trying to do. I know with the way I've been feeling lately (stressed, depressed, anxiety-ridden, self-pitying), I need to do whatever it takes to keep my focus on all things positive in my life. What better way than a party!

Still working on game ideas and taking suggestions.

Of course, I wish all of you out there could come too. But I promise to keep you f
illed in. Thanks for your supportive comments and good wishes.

Here's the text of the evite. How would you RSVP?

The "Hippest" Shower Ever!

You've been to bridal showers and baby showers ....but have any of them been "hip?"

Now you can answer "Yes!" to that question when you attend
DT's Hip/Recovery Shower!

She's having her second hip surgery on March 23 and, thank goodness, she'll be all out of hips when this one's done. She's got a long recovery ahead and wants to bring the good wishes of her friends along to help her through.

Come dressed in your finest pajamas/recovery wear!

Brunch will be served, along with mimosas and Bloody Marys (and some non-alcoholic stuff too). Be prepared for games, good company and the hippest shower ever.

We'll be in the Club House at the development where DT's mom lives.

*What kind of shower would this be without a registry? Yes, DT is registered at Target.

Guest List:

Who's Hip? (yes)

I'm Feeling Hippish... (maybe)

Ain't Gotta Hip Bone in My Body (no)

February 6, 2009

I Knit, Therefore I Am...

At the request of Anonymous in the previous post's comments, I am sharing some pics of a few of my knitting projects. But first, allow me to gush.

It is official: I am obsessed with this hobby.

But after about 8 months of doing it, I definitely understand why, when I tell people I knit, so many respond with a wistful, "I tried knitting once."

Knitting is a hobby that you will drop very quickly if you don't have a support group to help you through the learning process and the inevitable knitting disasters you will face with just about every project. If it wasn't for my group of Chickenheads, who I meet with every Tuesday night, I can easily see myself as one of those women who "tried knitting once, but couldn't stick with it," and has that shameful bag of unused yarn and a few pairs of needles still in the package shoved in the back of a closet somewhere.

But, thanks to the support of the Chickenheads, I got over that very long, often painful learning hump and can now walk into a yarn shop without having a total nervous breakdown. Last week I even started my first, non-pathetically-easy knitting project on my very own without any help -- a beautiful merino-silk neck warmer in a wave pattern. I picked the right pattern to go with the yarn I had in my stash, already owned the necessary needles in my supply (a sign I am maturing in the hobby), and will be halfway completed with the project by next week's knitting night. I can't wait to show the group and know they will all ohh, and ahh and praise my progress - because that's what we all do for each other - even if it's just some lame ass scarf. When else do you get that kind of validation as a grownup?

I also know that knitting will quite possibly save me from losing my mind during my long surgery recovery. I plan on stocking up on yarn, patterns and projects to keep me busy most of the summer. I predict most of my friends and family will get knitted gifts for birthdays this year. So beware. (But no more baby blankets.)

And finally, my new-found knitting obsession has introduced me to some amazingly talented and hilarious women writers/knitting freaks who have shown me that knitting is not just a trendy hobby but, in fact, a physical representation of many of our inner neuroses and inexplicable desires to torture ourselves. Check out Stephanie Pearl McPhee (aka the Yarn Harlot) if you haven't already. She is a goddess.

As promised, photographic proof of my new obsession. I keep forgetting to take pictures before I give them away, so these are all I have for now.

1. Hooded Baby Blanket with fleece lining knitted for Baby Quiet, born December 2008

2. Neck warmer for a friend's birthday.

3. Pics of my felted purse and first hat are posted here (scroll to the bottom of the post)

If you are at all tempted to learn, go for it. But I highly recommend the Buddy System.