Thursday, August 6, 2015

Spanx for Nothing

If I got paid every time someone told me how lucky I am to have a husband that does housework,
I'd be a VERY rich woman.

And I am lucky. I know I am. I've seen the look in they eyes of women whose husbands never help around the house,
and it's a lonely, desperate look.

Every time I describe the dusting, and the vacuuming, and the dish doing he does,
the woman I'm talking to inevitably gets a far distant, dreamy look and I question if they're even actually hearing a word I'm saying,
or if I should actually be finding a cold shower to push them into fully clothed while I call some sort of hotline.

And it IS nice.
Most of the time it does have it's merits.

I actually cannot even remember the last time I washed an entire sink full of dishes.

And he does fold t-shirts in the most perfect little square pouch-like bundles you ever did see.
He should probably do a tutorial.

But there are times it is not so nice.
Like when he finds things men aren't supposed to find.

Take tonight, for example,
at the end of a very long, exhausting day I lay my head back relaxing in a nice hot bath with a good book when in he came holding the laundry basket.

And all was well and good, with me reading and him silently folding until, in my peripheral vision, I saw him dig through and find something that he then held in his hand and turned over again and again.

I saw him glance at me for a second, and then he started towards me.

Oh gosh
I thought.
What is it NOW? He already asked me about Chloe's blue tank top with the baseball sized stain...

"Babe," He began with a slow, questioning tone that I have learned leads to nothing good.

"What ARE these?"

I turned, already annoyed to be having my bath time interrupted by all his LAUNDERING.

And this is when he produced the object of his wonder.


The Spanx I may have just bought for my high school reunion.
The Spanx that at least four other women were grabbing at at the same time in the store because, after all, it IS reunion season.

The Spanx that were actually none of his chore-doing business.

Now, if you ALSO don't know what Spanx are,
They are basically girdles for the 21st century.


The most gloriously, wonderful thing that you never want any person seeing.

"They're Spanx," I said.
"Just put them with my underwear."
I turned away feigning nonchalance, while I attempted to stop his questions, and move him towards my dresser with my mind.

But he DIDN'T put them with my underwear.

He just stood there.

Turning them over and over in his hand.
Looking at the tag.
Stretching them.
Flicking at the legs.
Holding them up to the light.
A look of true mystery on his face.

It was as if he'd found them on an archaeological dig.

I wanted to tell him to just, for the love of God, put them DOWN and stop trying to even figure them out.

Spanx are not a thing one even NEEDS to figure out, actually.
They just are.
Veritable partners with things like Time, and Space.


They're kind of like the butterfly wings of clothing.
They're beautiful.
They're smooth looking.
But you're not supposed to touch them lest they never fly again.

And through all of these thoughts of MINE, he was STILL holding them up.
And not just anywhere, but in the mirror, so that I could see not one, but TWO images of him investigating my woman secret.
It was torture.

I couldn't tell if he was trying to find the right way to fold them, or find the right way to try them on himself.

"They're like bicycle shorts," I offered. "For people who pretty much never actually ride a bike."

"But what are they FOR?" He pressed.

I'll tell you what they're NOT for:

They're not for stretching, and flipping, and poking,
and they're DEFINITELY not for you STILL to be holding and asking me about.


So you see?

Some women wish their husbands would learn to fold a piece of laundry,
Some women wish they'd unlearn it.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Red Rover


What a month for friends.

For the unwavering.
For the steadfast.
For the childhood one.
For the one you just met.
For the one next to you under the pop of the fireworks.

In the last few weeks my calendar has been full with plans, based on my own urgency to really CONNECT.
I've sought out true bond like a bee seeks nectar.
Crucial to life,
Crucial to legacy.
So much is changing these days. So much seems fleeting. I feel like grabbing at the solid things.

So I chose to grab at friends.

I've opened my door to welcome someone in still dressed in my pajamas.
And I've opened my door to go out with someone decked to the nines.

It's been a constant rotating door.

My old green couch is now sagging heavily in places from all of the sitting, and sharing life.

One friend giving me the feeling that I needed to lower her a life boat.
One friend giving me the feeling that we were rowing a boat together with the current of purpose, and a Greater Plan.

There were conversations about lost love, lost jobs, lost family bond, and lost babies.
Tears, laughter, and way, WAY too much caffeine.

We dove in to life head first with lukewarm coffees in hand, and dried mystery stains on our shoulders.

And as they all cycled through, I started to feel like this week was a turning point in my life.
I stood there slathering peanut butter beside them all,
(Because, somehow, there was ALWAYS peanut butter.)
And as I looked sideways at them,

Somehow it was something MORE than JUST making lunch.

It was LIFE.

it became everything.

Someone who also hears the shrieks, and fills the bowls, and wipes the butts,
but yet is somehow still, behind their eyes, the THEM they always were.

Somewhere beneath a whole lot of under-eye concealer, and a slightly dragged down look was the friend I'd danced with to a car stereo at the beach.
A friend I'd snuck out with.
A friend who knew things about me in a way no one else did.

Who had seen the THEN,
and still chose the NOW.

A co-laborer.
A person with whom to link arms

And RUN.

Red Rover, Red Rover. Send your true self on over.

Even when we weren't really able to talk for all of the pleas for goggles, and cheese-its, and someone to help wipe.

Even without one single word.

There we stood.

Side by side.

And that's something.

Because there's something about locking eyes with someone whose eyes bulge like yours.
Your own mirrored, crazy reflection.
There's a re-fueling that happens in that moment.

There's something about admitting that you don't have it all together.

Something about actually officially naming your couch
"The Couch Where People Don't Have it All Together."
Cross-stitched pillow as a label.

And what a beauty that none of them are the same.

Human snowflakes.

Because I know I need every kind.

I need the one whose face I've seen across from mine through every mountain, and valley of life.
The one who
I'd always call.

I need the wild-eyed one that lets me know I'm not alone.
The one who I count to three, and leap with.

I need the grounded one, that reminds me to breathe.
The one I thank later.

I need the one that lets her kids eat off the floor sometimes because...Well - I need REALITY.
The one I identify with.

I need the one with more kids than me that makes me feel calm.
The one I look up to.

I need the one with no kids that makes me remember myself.
The one that lives at the core of me.

Because then, what I remember is that I was a friend first.

Before all the noise, and goggles, and cheese-its, and wiping.

A friend.

To them.
To my husband.
To myself.

And that is such a beautiful thing to be.