Friday, July 29, 2011

Mowing The Lawn (And Other Formerly Penilarily Held Jobs)

Let me start by saying, in order to alleviate any false hopes/fears about the topic of this post, that the mowing of the lawn referenced in the title refers to ACTUAL lawn mowing. 

It's NOT a euphemism for anything else (although I'll probably tackle that topic in a future post titled something like, "Holy Fuck In A Truck, I'm Single Again"). 

(also, making up the word 'penilarily' was way more fun than it probably should be for someone over the age of 17)

But for now, I'm talking about the literal mowing of the lawn.  Which is something that, in my thirty-coughcough*ahem*cough years, I've never actually done before. 

I'm not sure how it is that I've never had to do this before.  Maybe it's because I lived at home (yay, stepdad!), then lived in apartments (yay, landlords!), and then my house (yay, husband!) so it was just always...done.

However, now that I'm separated, it would appear that this job now falls to me.

Because there's all this grass in my yard.  And, well...

It keeps growing.

I keep hoping it will stop, or that maybe one morning I'll wake up and it'll just be, I don't know, shorter or dead (seriously, it was like 900 degrees last week, how it's not burned to a Shredded-Wheat crisp is beyond me) or something like that where I won't have to actually DEAL with it. 

This is generally my go-to method for coping with such things.  I also use this for problems including (but not limited to):  That Weird Noise My Car Is Making, That Weird Smell In the Basement, and My Mom.

It pretty much works about as well in those situations as it does with the Grass Growing Dilemma.

Lawn mowing is not the only formerly penilarily held job that now rests in my hands. 


FOR INSTANCE:  I'm now the primary bug killer in the house.  I'm okay with this when it comes to things like tiny little ants (I'm talking about a few here.  Like, less than 10.  Any number higher than that makes me think of scary movies my stepdad used to watch involving thousands and thousands and thousands of bugs or other creepy-crawly things swarming on people's faces in places like the shower.) 

Holy crap am I itchy now. 

Also, I'm down with spiders of the itsy-bitsy variety. 

But anything with a stinger, pincher, biter, more legs than I have dollars in my wallet right now (which would be about TEN, oh ye Muggers and Robbers of the world), or larger than a baby's fingernail, and we've got a problem. 


We get mice.

It's not that my house isn't clean.  It's simply that it's older and located outside, and so...

Mice Happen.

Perhaps, if I were a cat or an owl or a snake or anything else but a female human, I would enjoy this whole mouse-hunting business far more than I do.  But the whole reason I live in a house as opposed to, say, a wigwam or a Swiss-Family-Robinsonesque Tree House, is to put a little distance between myself and all Creatures That Roam The Earth

Really, the only mice I want to interact with are the ones who run around making pretty dresses at night singing "Cinderelly". 

However, I've yet to wake in the morning to a new dress. 

Mouse poop?  Yes. 

Fitted A-line ball gown?  Not so much.

And then, finally there is the tra-



(Author's Note:  Twenty bucks says that someone will land on this post because they Googled the words 'mice' and 'fuck'.  People are MESSED. UP. YO.)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

These Little Earthquakes

It’s funny, the things you hold on to; the things you save because they remind you of a particular time, a particular place, a particular person.

Or, maybe, a particular version of yourself.

Trinkets. Tickets. Trifles. Things that would be meaningless to anyone else, but that hold so much weight in your own hand, you can barely stand to touch them.

I once had a plain wooden box, chosen specifically to belie the importance of its contents. I filled it with a thousand different words, as much of my soul as I could spill on to paper.

I filled it with things.

Into this box went a dried flower, a tiny key on a blue string, a thin silver key ring, the pink empty shell of what was once a balloon, a seashell, a napkin with quick, hasty words scribbled across it. Things that would look like trash to anyone else.

But to me, they were things to hold on to, to touch, to open up and remove and say, “Remember when?”

Now I am grown.

Now I sit, alone, on the edge of my bed.

In my hand lies a tiny pink heart-shaped box, made for me by my 7 year old for Mother’s Day, with the word MOM written in blue marker.

I run my fingers across the top, skipping along the tiny beads so meticulously glued on.

There is no box large enough to hold what I’m trying to put away this time.  There is only the physical evidence we have left behind: this house, these children, this life.

These rings.

I'm surprised by the sound they make, the reality of their weight, as I plunk first one (my hand is stretched out against the steering wheel, the sun bouncing off of this new diamond ring, throwing light in a thousand different directions, a thousand different possibilities for this life we're about to start), and then the other (take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity) into the tiny box. I put the top on quickly, afraid they might jump back out at me, grow teeth, and sink themselves deep into my flesh, cutting so deep as to never stop bleeding, never scar over, never heal.

And then I push the box into the back of my drawer, buried under bathing suits and sports bras.

As if they can be hidden.

As if I will forget that they are there. As if, every time I open that drawer, I won’t feel my heart race just knowing they exist, knowing that I could reach my hand in and pull the box out and open the lid and face the sadness that threatens to swallow me whole, face it straight on.

Look it in the eyes. Stare it down. Break under it. Conquer it.

But I will do none of these things.

Instead, I will leave the box buried beneath the bathing suits and sports bras.

I will walk out of my empty bedroom.

And then, quietly, I will close the door behind me.