Why We Wine

Adults Know All

When I was a kid dreaming of becoming the famous person that I am, all the grown ups around me seemed to have life figured out. They had it together. Bills paid, scheduled car maintenance, starched clothes that looked professional and well-planned, mortgages, taxes, family organizational skills… all the adults were killin it as far as I could tell. All of them. {Except the guy that owned the store that we all knew was a cover for his weed business. But that guy served a different purpose.} I always assumed that there was some magical age where I would start wearing matching socks and get regular oil changes. I’ve since learned that there is no magical age. Turns out, grown ups in the ‘90’s were just really good at faking it (wink, wink).

Reality Bites

Based on my juvenile observations, adulthood wasn’t supposed to be chaotic and overwhelming. Finding love was never supposed to lead to heartache. Parenthood isn’t supposed to feel impossible. BUT IT IS, IT DID, AND IT DOES! Let me tell you a little secret if you haven’t discovered it for yourself already: the grown up world is rotten with the stench of reality. A reality that would be much more palatable if it weren’t falsely presented as perfection to us as kids through TV and movies, leaving songs such as “Purple Rain”, “You Outta Know”, and “Here I Go Again” my only hint as to the truth of reality. [And, I don’t know about you, but I thought “Secret Agent Man” by Johnny Rivers was really a song about a secret Asian man, and that’s just ONE example, so you can understand the messages of song were lost on me.]

For example: Walt Disney is a lying arsehole. I’ve never met a guy who would attempt to slay a dragon for my honor. I HAVE, however, met a few guys who would named their man hose “Dragon”. If Sleeping Beauty (AKA, the princess I most identify with) met a guy that her family warned her against, who lied and manipulated his way into her heart, knocked her up, then left her for someone younger and more ethnically diverse, I’d say he was describing my first marriage. It would be a warning to all little girls to look out for liars. And it would be useful. But that’s not what he did. So I thought all guys were protective and chivalrous… turns out, some of them are… noooooot.

Also, whoever wrote the Brady Bunch is a lying arsehole. Families don’t resolve their differences in 30 minutes or less. I didn’t know that and didn’t understand why my sister and I were still arguing after 31 minutes. I have one family member who has been holding a grudge against me for YEARS. But, then again, we don’t have Alice with her quick quips to help us see the light of reason.

Additionally, the guy who started Pinterest: AN ABSOLUTE ARSEHOLE. Pinterest is the sole reason women everywhere feel inadequate upon seeing our results after trying to bake from scratch the impossible candy-filled unicorn mirror glazed cake. And don’t get me started on the homemade charcoal mask that takes the top 6 layers of your face off. Could we get a social media platform that bakes the cake for us? Cuz that would be great. Oh, wait. Hey, Uber Eats! How you doin’?

The last example provided in this super-impactful, news-worthy, and vividly-made point: the male creator of Wonder Woman is a lying arsehole. When I run around in the same outfit as Wonder Woman, no cool music plays, I don’t gain any super human fighting skills, and people threaten to call the police. Also, I’m still waiting on my magic lasso, which, by the way, has yet to even SHIP! I bet it doesn’t even work.

All these realizations have culminated into a big let down. You know how you felt when you learned that Santa, the Easter Bunny, AND the Tooth Fairy were all made up? Yeah, like that. I feel like that every. single. day.

It’s Fine

Because reality has been a bit different than I imagined, I’ve found ways to cope with the misalignment of expectations. For example: “It’s fine.” I say that a lot. It’s such a versatile phrase! Shat goes south but I’m trying to convince myself that it’s survivable- “it’s fine”. My husband picks a restaurant I don’t really want to go to because he’s super healthy and I just want fried chicken bathed in honey mustard and chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream for dessert but I don’t want to disagree because I’m a hopeless co-dependent AND I want to pretend like PMS isn’t ruling my life right now- “it’s fine”. My son strings gum out of his mouth and then wraps it around his neck before I can stop him- “it’s fine”. My daughter makes muffins and dumps half of the batter on the floor and now the dogs are “cleaning up the chocolate chips”- “it’s fine”. My dog gets scared by a passing dump truck and poo’s on the floor minutes before our house warming party… you guessed it! But sometimes “it’s fine” doesn’t work.

Now What?

We don’t have to go very far to hear what we’re doing wrong. We don’t exercise enough. We exercise too much. We shouldn’t dress like a school marm. We should really dress more conservatively. Have a career. Don’t work so much. Let your kids sleep in your bed. Don’t. You’ll kill them with your fat rolls. Don’t hug your kids too much… they’ll spoil. Discipline your kids, but not THAT way. Count calories, count fat grams, count carbs, eat carbs, don’t eat carbs, kale is all you should eat, and cauliflower is pizza now. Take meds to manage the stress, don’t take meds to manage the stress. I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO ANYMORE! Who does? Who can tell me what to do cuz I have no fuq’n clue.

We are doing our best some days just to keep everything going. Relationships, careers, parenthood, expectations pile up like the unfolded laundry mountain and it’s easy to find yourself crying in a closet firmly grasping a bottle of champagne (hey, at least I keep it classy). But what if we were all more honest and forgiving with each other? What if we stopped hiding behind the fake perfection of staged social media pictures and smiles and showed what it’s REALLY like to be a grownup so that maybe it’ll be a little easier for those who will go through this stage of life after us? What if by sharing the hardships we all learn how normal it is to cry in the closet, go on mini-vacations to Target, or hide from our kids in the bathroom for just one moment of peace so that the next new mommy who comes along doesn’t think she’s doing EVERYTHING wrong?

You’re Enough

What’s rare to hear is what we’re doing RIGHT. Have you ever received a genuine and sincere compliment that has stuck with you all day, maybe for years? How great is that feeling?! What if we did more of that instead of breaking each other down so that we could feel superior for one second? We are more prepared for any journey when someone who’s already traveled that path tells us what to look out for. What if we did that for each other more often?

Yes, life is hard. Some good, some bad, some stupid… But there’s so much humor and beauty and good in the imperfect. If you ask me, that’s where the stories are. So, grab a glass of wine and accept the chaos. And maybe snap of picture of it. #whywomenwine We’ll swap war stories.

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5 Things I’ve Learned from My Marriage

My husband holds a special record in my life. Our relationship is officially the longest relationship I have ever been in. In the 8 years we’ve known each other, I’ve learned some things. Below is a list of 5 things I’ve learned so far:

  1. I have to compromise. I have to compromise. I have to compromise.
  2. People who snore go to sleep faster than I can find my favorite wine in Costco. And I know exactly where it is. And I get that before I get anything else. So it doesn’t take me long, that’s my point.
  3. His hugs make me feel safer than I’ve ever felt in my life.
  4. Watching him comfort our children makes my heart cry happy tears.
  5. The hard days feel like I’m fighting for the heavyweight championship but the other 99% of the days are wonderful and make it all worth it.

My husband is my best friend. And I love him with all my heart. Unless he’s snoring. Like he is now.

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Divorce-A-Bration

My awesome cousin just got married. He deserves it and I hope he and his beautiful bride have a lifetime of happiness together. I hope their union is the opposite of my first one and much more similar to the one I have now. My hope is that they have the type of marriage that brings laughs and smiles and fun and comfortable respect to each other.

It took me surviving a failed marriage to realize that relationships aren’t supposed to be tragic. Yes, they’re hard work. But you aren’t supposed to cry. (Unless he pegs you with a Nurf gun ball on accident). Marriage isn’t supposed to make you second-guess who you are. (That’s what watching “I Am Cait” is for). It’s supposed to make you strive to be your best for your partner. It’s supposed to make you feel complete.

I never thought I would have a “mulligan” marriage. I don’t think anyone gets married thinking, “meh, we’ll give this a shot. Prolly won’t last long. Next time I think I’ll just go to the drive thru in Vegas”. You get married with hopes and dreams of your future together. You get married with plans for family and a lifetime of memories and having someone to grow old and fart in public with.

The moment that dream starts to fade you grab on to it with all you have and sacrifice yourself to bring it back. The worst feeling is knowing that someone you love doesn’t love you back. Divorce is tragic, crushing, devastating. It isn’t something that should be celebrated. Until…

He kicks you out of the house. With a baby. And takes his girlfriend to his graduation ceremony with his entire family to become a green beret instead of his wife and new baby after you’ve put your whole life on hold for 2 years so that he could follow his career. And draws out your divorce after promising not to just to twist the knife a little more. And owes you a shit ton of money. A person can only take so much before they break.

One day I stopped crying. One day I stopped expecting to get his love back. I stopped looking for that one word to say that would win him back. That was the day I felt free. And you bet your sweet ass that finally, a year and 2 months after I moved out, when our divorce was final, I celebrated. I cried happy tears. One of my best friends, Betsy, even had a Happy Divorce cake sent to my office. And I celebrated with everyone. You’d think I was retiring early after winning the lottery (because I promise I’d come back to the office for that and wouldn’t move to the beach immediately with my middle finger in the air).

I was like the Oprah of Divorce cake, “And YOU get a slice! And YOU get a slice! And YOU, never seen you before but YOU get a slice!” It was over. What began with such promise and hope had ended with no more feelings. I had no more hate for him. I had no more love for him. I was blessed with a beautiful daughter from that wretched union. I got the best of him. And now I’m still celebrating. I’m celebrating my freedom, my happiness, my self-esteem, my family that I so desperately wanted.

So, is divorce something to celebrate? No. It isn’t. But when your life is stolen from you and you get it back, THAT’S worth celebrating.

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Wasted Day

I get so excited when I have the rare day off that happens to be a company holiday (meaning I don’t have to use a precious vacation day) AND the kids have school because it means I get the day ALL TO MYSELF!  But then I get so overwhelmed with all I WANT and COULD do that I end up running around in circles like a cray-cray dog and at the end of the day I’m exhausted and have wasted a perfectly great day off.

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Slight tangent alert:

It’s super awkward to sit down at the only available table at Starbucks and realize you’ve sat next to a table of men who are holding a marriage intervention with one of the guys at the table.  And that guy is talking REALLY LOUDLY about all his issues.  It is vurry entertaining, though…

 

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Never Say Never

Sounds like a James Bond movie, doesn’t it? Brilliant.

Almost every time I’ve declared, “NEVER!” I think God has smiled a little inside, grabbed some popcorn, and settled in to watch the critically acclaimed miniseries, “NEVER! Well… maybe… Ok, FINE!” starring ME.

First up, we have babies. Nope. I’m not gonna have any. Too much responsibility! Plus, I don’t know what to do with a BAY-BEE!

So God gave me this one:

silly bella

Then he gave me this one:

FullSizeRender

Turns out, I’m the BEST MOMMY EVER! My kiddies both said so… soooo that means it’s true.

Ewe. I’ll never shop at a “MOM” store. Blah. Oh! Look at that cute dress at New York and Company! Hey! Look at the new shirt I got at CATO! I’m so stylish. Funny, God. Vurry funny.

Um, no, I don’t do oysters. That I still won’t do. Yuck, those nasty loogie-textured things…

Mini-van? Nope. I’ve held out by getting a Yukon instead. Aka, the mini-van for moms who refuse to get a mini-van. Does that count?

Oh, to drink? “I’ll just have water with lemon” I’ll never say! Who orders “WATER”??? I’d never order gross water! Well, now I do. Judge away, younger me!

Next up, we have divorce.

Awe, bless her heart. She’s divorced… that’ll never happen to me. I’m going to read all the articles and pray really hard and nope, no d-i-v-o-r-c-e for me!

Turns out, if you marry the first guy I married you’ll end up divorced. Just ask his newest ex-wife.

Which brings me to my next “NEVER! Becomes FINE!” moment. When my ex-whatever-he-was and I divorced, it was mainly because he “fell in love” with someone else. While I was pregnant. And my dad had a stroke that left him permanently disabled. And my dog died on my birthday. And I was 3,000 miles away from home. Cue anything by Willie Nelson.

At first I didn’t blame the “other woman”. But… then I realized she knew about all of it. She knew he was married. She knew I was pregnant. Needless to say, I wasn’t her biggest fan. I would NEVER forgive her for her part. Ever. I didn’t want to speak to her, I didn’t want her to be near my baby, I didn’t care to ever hear her name (which, unfortunately for me at the time, is a very popular name).

Fast forward 6 years, they are married with one baby and one on the way. Then he takes me to court so that he can exercise his visitation in Seattle. Awe, that’s cute, right?? A military guy who just wants to see his daughter. UH-UH. He talked to my daughter maaaaybe once a month on the phone and miiiiight see her once every 18 months. I was desperate. And I was convinced that there was something motivating this and it wasn’t “fatherly love”.

One lovely day, a dear, dear friend divulged some interesting information: there might be trouble in paradise and she might HATE him.

Ugh. What do I do? She might be the only person who can help make sure he can’t take my baby… I prayed… and thought about it… and crossed my fingers… and reached out to her.

Let’s just say she was more than willing to help me. My bet paid off. It was risky. She could have double-crossed me. It could have backfired. Are we best friends? No. But before I picked up the phone I’d already forgiven her for whatever part she had. FYI, if it weren’t her it would have been someone else (Seriously. I can rattle off ten names right now).

After the divorce that left me bitter, angry, and hollow do you think I swore off marriage??? YOU BET I DID!!!!!!! Am I now married to my best friend? You bet I am. God, that’s some sense of humor you have! But if this guy is the punch line, I’ll be the joke 😉

I’ll never be one of those weirdos that eats organic. Such a load of crap. I’ll never like spinach. I’m not a runner… I’ll never run a 5k. I’ll never wear mom jeans (in my defense, I didn’t realize they were mom jeans until I got home from the store. It was quite unfortunate). I’ll never clean! (I said that one just the other day. Then I thought a friend was coming over and I was embarrassed that she might see my house in that state.) All things I’ve said and all things that have turned out happening…

So just for shats and giggles:

I’ll NEVER be rich! I’ll NEVER have a huge beach house! Heh… 🙂

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