Monthly Archives: February 2012

Bonus Post! Mom’s at the Playground

I have always loved to take Jack to the park, especially if there’s a playground with a sandbox. My kiddo loves slides, sand and trucks, so he usually has a blast when we go to the park. I was super stoked to find out there was a playground a mere two blocks from our house. We’ve gone there a couple times before and it’s always been quiet and uncrowded, which is a welcome change from the Greenlake playground. Even the playground that was close to our place in Shoreline could get ridiculous on a nice day. So it was cool to find a playground with nice equipment that wasn’t crawling in older kids ready to bowl my child over. Today is Monday, and it’s gorgeous outside, cold but wicked sunny. So I told Jack after breakfast we’d go to the park.

We walked up there and found it much more hoppin’ than usual, but still not overcrowded. There was maybe three or four other moms there with one or two kids each. Most all were in the sandbox. It was obvious that these ladies had been friends or at least acquaintances for awhile. I put on my extrovert pants, and a smile as Jack made his way toward the crowd.

Now, even when I have my extrovert pants on I’m not one to throw myself in a conversation. I don’t want to butt in or step on toes, so I put on a smile and wait for the appropriate social cues; like returned smiles, comments about your child etc. I soon discovered, these moms had no interest in being friendly…like at all. I have never felt so unwelcome before. It’s not as if I felt like I had to leave the playground, we stayed for almost two hours, it was just really, really obvious that I was not going to be invited to join in the conversation.

No one made eye contact with me, smiled at me or said anything about my kid. Even when he was playing right next to their kids and I was standing next to them, smiling at Jack, at them. I was completely ignored. Even when Jack tried to walk over a kid and I told him to go around, or when he tried to steal a toy from another child and I intervened and talked about sharing, no one said a word to me.

There was one mom who almost talked to me. Her son and Jack had the same coat on and she said “Look Mason he has the same coat as you.” I thought there was an opening, her son’s name was Mason, I could talk about the popularity of the name, how a friend and my sister are both naming their sons Mason! But before I could even form words in mouth she had run off to the other side of the sandbox and started talking to someone else. It was really weird.

There were two moms that were friendly. I approached them as Jack started to play closer to their children and they both smiled at me. I smiled back, then heard them talking quickly in Russian. So apparently, if I want to make small talk and eventually be friends with moms at this playground I need to learn Russian.

As Jack and I walked home I thought more about their unfriendliness. I eventually decided that they probably weren’t moms I’d want to be friends with anyway. If they’re going to act like that when new people come around, I don’t want to be a part of a group like that. I hate feeling left out and worse invisible. So it’s probably better they didn’t put on their fake smiles and talk to me. Especially after hearing bits of their conversation, they are just not very nice. I’d hate to hear what they were saying as Jack and I left the playground, since we left with Jack in tears due to a missed snack and sharing problems.

The Commune Idea

Many of you may have heard my commune idea. Well really it was an idea that both Jordan and I came up with. We thought of all the lovely things we’d like to have, awesome cable, video game consoles, a trampoline, a pool, a boat, a pool table, a library of books, you know things like that. Of course to have that sort of lifestyle you have to be wealthy and we most certainly were not. So we thought about how we could achieve this. We came up with the commune idea.

The basic concept is to get a bunch of friends together, and by a bunch we don’t mean like five, we mean a lot, maybe between ten and twenty. Find a neighborhood that has a block or in a perfect world a cul-de-sac of houses for sale and buy them all. At each house there would be a sort of theme. One house would have sweet cable, with access to any show you’d want. Another would have all the video games, another a trampoline, another a pool and so on. You could even go so far as to have one house with the most epic kitchen where you could go have dinner on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Of course the logistics of bills and things would have to be ironed out, we didn’t get that far in the planning.

The best part of this is it would be very tough to get lonely. Not only would you have house mates but you’d also know and love all your neighbors, which is so rare these days. The longer I live alone the more appealing this sounds. A lot of people know I’ve been sort of lonely lately.

It’s strange because it’s been two years since Jordan died and I’m still having a hard time adjusting to the fact that I’m by myself almost all the time. I do what I can to get out of the house. I try to make plans with fellow moms and with friends, but the majority of my time is spent alone. It’s not as if I want to go out and party every night, I don’t. I enjoy quiet nights at home. I like TV and movies. I like knitting. The thing is, I guess I’m still not used to doing it all alone. If there’s a twist in the show I’m watching or an especially cool bit of special effects I find myself looking over at Violet and saying, “Whoa! Did you see that?!” And then I feel like a crazy cat lady talking to her cat who was obviously sleeping so did not see the sweet thing that happened on the TV.

There also seems to be a large lack of men in my life. I’m not talking about romantically, although that is lacking (read non existent), I mean in general. Before I came to Seattle I had a good handful of guy friends. I hung out with guys a lot. I, of course, had a few really close girlfriends, but the main core of my friends was guys.

That all changed when I arrived at SPU. The guys at SPU seemed terrified of being friends. It took me about a month to figure out what was going on. The guys were afraid of getting roped into a relationship. There was a whole “ring by spring,” “get your MRS. degree” thing at SPU. Even if you told a guy you only wanted to be friends they sure kept their distance. As a result I have very few male friends here in the great Northwest.

What’s worse is I’m not even sure I know how to be a friends with guys anymore. I used to be able to sit in their midst, listen to them be absurd and even joined in the absurdity quite often. But now I sit with a group of guys and wonder what the hell I should say and half the time I think they’re wondering what I’m doing among them.

It actually bums me out how we so often separate ourselves by sex. This happens especially at church events and especially among the married couples. Honestly sometimes I don’t want to talk about my kid, poop, working out and eating fucking chocolate while delicately sipping martini’s. Sometimes I wanna open a beer and be one of the guys, playing pool, throwing darts and talking about whatever shit guys talk about. See I don’t even know what the hell guys talk about anymore!

But now all the guys I know are married, engaged or taken in some other way. Seems to me even if I lived in the commune I still wouldn’t get the male interaction I’m looking for. So I guess I’m doomed. Doomed to talk forever about things I only care to talk about half the time.

Where Boys Fear to Tread

(The title of this blog is the name of a Smashing Pumpkins song. It has nothing to do really with this post, I just like the sound of it.)

I owe you guys a real post after my teaser Vegas one. Truth is I will never post about Vegas, because what happens in Vegas stays there! Unless it ends up on Facebook…which much of it did. So I guess there’s not much to tell.

And honestly I have been pondering a lot lately, but it’s been mostly pity party woe is me, why am I lonely spinster at 30 stuff and I don’t want to bring you guys down. So what should I post about?

I thought a little about celebrity crush lists or whatever. You know that list that a lot of people have, the one that has 3-5 famous people they are allowed to sleep with even if they are in a relationship. I had one, at one point. But I thought about it and it seems like a silly idea. Because celebrities are just people, people who may be in a relationship when you meet them. And seriously, what famous person is going to find a fan so captivating that they’ll go to bed with them? I don’t know, maybe I’m just being cynical.

I’ve been wicked cynical this week. Being sick does that to me. I don’t get sick often but when I do, I go all out. I had a sore throat, chills, fever, aches and couldn’t get enough sleep. I managed to kick it by Wednesday mostly. Now there’s just a little cough left. I hope Jack doesn’t get sick.

I also thought about posting about how awesome Jordan was. Cause he was truly outrageous, but I decided not to. I’m not sure why, it just seemed…like not good timing? I honestly don’t know why I think that, but something tells me not to do it, so I won’t.

I’ve been thinking about God lately and what I believe.

I’ve been thinking about money and how it totally blows.

I’ve been thinking about how having a job would enable me to meet more people. I’d like to have a job. Just a part time barista thing, something like that. But I don’t think it would would out financially (see the above thought). I’d have to find someone to hang out with Jack for free to make it worth it and I think that would make finding a sitter when I actually want to go out with the new friends I make even more difficult.

Having a job would be different than doing meet up groups, because having a job makes me interact with people.  I’ve done meet up groups and I’m too shy. I huddle in a corner and try to smile, but basically I’m afraid of making a total ass out of myself.

I thought about boys…way too much. And then I got super bummed out. Which led to the pity party, self loathing, spinster in her 30’s thoughts.

Now I’m on my way to my in laws to meet a baby horse and probably drink with my sister in law. Healthy habits!

Valentine’s Day

I don’t like Valentine’s Day and not for the reasons you may think. When I was a kid I would wake up on Valentine’s Day to find a cute card and candies or a small toy sitting at my breakfast seat. I would have a stack of Valentine’s ready to give out to my classmates. We would take time out of the day to make Valentine “mailboxes” out of brown paper bags to collect our countless cards. It was actually sort of fun when it was about showing kindness and sometimes love to your classmates.

As I got older, namely in Junior High, I began to notice that Valentine’s Day was about something else entirely. Which changed everything, because suddenly Valentine’s Day wasn’t about giving funny, Disney themed cards to your friends, it was about having a boyfriend or girlfriend. There were opportunities to send balloon grams and candy grams. You’d think that as a delusional hopeless romantic I would love this stuff. But in addition to being that, I am also deeply pessimistic and cynical. It’s an odd combination I know, which makes me a tad difficult to get sometimes.

I no longer like Valentine’s Day. Getting cards or candy from family and friends is of course lovely, no matter what it’s for. And I’m not going to tell someone off for wishing me a happy Valentines day. I’ve helped Jack make cards to send to family members for the last two years and I look forward to when he is in school so I can help him with his class Valentines. But in the meantime I will turn a blind eye to the holiday that makes the romantic in me ever hopeful and the pessimist in my vomit.

Ex-Boyfriends in Vegas

I was going to write a funny post about the Superbowl in Vegas and how I met up with an old boyfriend there. However! If you note the time this post is being written you’ll see it’s about 9pm. I have spent the entire day in the car fighting traffic after picking up my kiddo who was staying with my parents.

So now I feel like a bunny, canary hybrid, suffering from ADD and all hyped up on crack. So I’m just gonna say, I hate car accidents, I hate rubber neckers and I also hate traffic for no reason. That is all, till next week.

The Voices in My Head

As a writer, I constantly have a dialogue running in my head. Most of the time I’m simply narrating my life and Jacks, but sometimes these dialogues take on different voices. At the risk of sounding like an insane person with multiple personalities, I occasionally have a bunch of different voices in my head. Usually they’re pretty harmless, but there are two voices in particular that get on my nerves to no end.

The first, is the voice that pipes up every time I have even the slightest controversial thought. I could be pondering what to blog about and if said post has the potential to rock the boat at all then this little voice pops up saying “Oh dear! You can’t write that! What will your mother/father/mother in law/father in law/friends/sister think?!” Usually this voice is easy to beat down. I’m striving toward not being afraid of embracing who I am, so telling this voice to shut it and sit down is getting easier. The funny thing about this voice is that it’s usually wrong. For example, I thought that this post on bike riders in Seattle would get a few comments, not altogether kind, but it got nothing. While this post on the Sounders, which I thought to be harmless, earned me my first pissed reader and angry comment. I assure you that while I wrote the Sounders post Ms. Non Confrontational took no notice. But when I wrote the post on bike riders Ms. Non Confrontational was shouting at me, what the hell are you doing?! Don’t be mean! You shouldn’t even post this, kiss all your readers goodbye! And it got nary a nudge from the onlines. With that thought in mind it’s getting much easier to ignore Ms. Non Confrontational, because I think she’s sort of an idiot and gives dumb advice.

The second voice is Ms. Lazy. This voice is the destroyer of art, inspiration and discipline. It’s the voice that speaks to me the most. It’s the one that convinces me to stay almost asleep in bed even though an epic story idea just popped in my head. The voice that tells me to watch Glee instead of writing cause hey I can work on my knitting while I watch Glee. That’s like doing two things at once!! Suddenly chores are undone, stories aren’t written, blog deadlines are missed and I feel like the most crap writer/mother on the face of the earth.

There are times when Ms. Lazy is even too lazy to say anything herself and I have these bouts of discipline. I get so much done, I work out, I write, I run errands, I feel like an actual adult takin’ care of business. During those time I get over enthusiastic and cram way too much in, then I get burnt out. That’s when Ms. Lazy disguises herself as Ms. You Deserve A Break and tells me to watch more TV again. After all, she reasons, there are just so many shows you want to see and who knows when Netflix will make them magically disappear from your instant queue?

I had a bout of discipline around Christmas time, when I was packing, moving and helping my parents with the Holiday. But now Ms. Lazy is rearing her ugly head again. I had to make myself get out of bed on Monday night to jot down notes for this blog post. I literally had to speak out loud to myself and say get the F out of bed and grab a notebook, what’s wrong with you?

I’m really trying to get stuff done, to work on my new story, but I just love Glee. I love it so damn much, I love watching the dancing. I love singing along… Also I get a lot of work done on this baby blanket I’m knitting.