Bewilder. Be Wilder. And Aslan is on the Move.

Jun 7 2016

I thought I could handle an unlidded coffee cup. I thought I could, so I filled it to the brim, my old, stainless steel mug that holds a whoppin’ lot of coffee, which God knows I need in the morning. And I decided not to affix the black, screw-on lid. Just for a moment, you understand. Just long enough to get the coffee back to my desk where I’d add the lid and avert the crisis.

Of course, you can see the foreshadowing, and you know this is the part in the horror movie when you scream at the angelic teenager with waist long hair and perfect skin as she foolishly makes her way across the darkened yard to the tool shed, “DO NOT INVESTIGATE THAT NOISE,” you yell, because you’ve seen this scenario before, “DO NOT OPEN THAT CREAKY SHED DOOR,” and so you already know I knocked all 16 ounces of coffee over because that girl will always, ALWAYS go into the shed and get her head lopped off by the ax. It will always happen. It was predestined before the dawn of time. Which is why the coffee tsunami washed over the desk and onto my keyboard and sloshed to the floor, and I spent the next 30 minutes sopping up the spill and trying to wick coffee from between the keys this morning. A typical morning, actually; mess and madness to think I can do adult things like drink without a lid.

I’m sitting outside on the back patio now. It’s evening and hot for our valley in temperate Oregon. My eyelids are sweaty, my legs are scratchy, and I’m content to watch my grubby nine-year-old on the rickety swing, going as high as he can in a pendulum rhythm over the patchy grass. I’m in my pajamas and the wind is blowing wildly off the hill, whipping my hair and stinging my face.

The wind rushes around me, unrestrained and uninterested in moderation, fulfilled in its intensity, and I keep thinking about the word bewilder. Bewilder, which means to baffle, mystify, bemuse and perplex. Bewilder, which keeps running through my head as “be wilder,” instead. Be wilder. Be WILDER. The wind rushes around me unbridled, unchecked, and I’m jealous of its freedom and its ease with itself, envious that it knows who it is and the role it plays in the universe and does so without wondering if its strength and force and power are too much, too loud, too bold, or too free. Bewildered is what I so often feel, and like I must fight the fetters and chains that tell me to be more quiet, more appropriate, more complacent, less mouthy. But, oh, be wilder is where I long to be, like the wind. Be WILDER and free.

I laid in bed last night with a kid who’s reading The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe for the first time, after fighting and fighting me on it. “There’s NOTHING in this house to read,” he said while Narnia sat on the shelf waiting for him to find the back of the wardrobe and feel the pine needles on his face and discover the lamppost and meet the faun. I knew it was there; I’ve visited before — over and over, actually — but he would hear none of it until I tired of his whining and made him read the first three chapters. “If you hate it after that,” I said, “I’ll stop bugging you about it,” by which I meant I’d continue bugging him about it after I took a teeny, tiny break. But he read those chapters and couldn’t put it down, so I was triumphant, and last night he whispered so no one else would hear — a secret just for those of us who’ve lived in Narnia — “Mom. Listen. This is IMPORTANT. Aslan is on the move.” 

ID-100250898Aslan is on the move, he said. And I whispered back, “Aslan IS on the move, Cai. Perhaps he’s already landed!” And, while Cai continued to read with huge, wide eyes because magic was happening right in front of him, I smiled and wept silently because magic was happening in front of me, too. The magic of a child in Narnia, yes, absolutely, and also the reminder that Good is on the move on behalf of the oppressed; that we live in troubled times but endless winter isn’t endless, after all.

Aslan is on the move, and he’s wild, you know. Not like a tame lion.

Be wilder. I hear it on the wind.

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course Aslan isn’t safe. But he’s good.”

We live in troubled times, and we’re troubled inside, too. Longing and longing to be free. And to fight for good. And to be wilder. But we spill coffee and make terrific messes and slog through the mundane and feel stuck, too. Like it’s all madness and mess and endless winter.

And I needed the reminder more than I can say.

Aslan is on the move.

With Love,

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“Will the others see you too?” asked Lucy.
“Certainly not at first,” said Aslan. “Later on, it depends.”
“But they won’t believe me!” said Lucy.
“It doesn’t matter.”

………

“Lion” image credit tiverylucky via freedigitalphotos.net

But First, Tacos

Jun 2 2016

Things you should know:

  1. I’m still alive, and
  2. I’m missing writing here,
  3. but one kid had surgery,
  4. and one kid has mono,
  5. and one kid, who’s in the special education class, told another kid in the special education class that she was taking out a hit on him because he didn’t let her help him with science, and everyone knows when someone doesn’t let you help with science the only reasonable solution is to threaten that person with death.
  6. Also, one kid has a tiny concussion. And maybe mono, too. But probably just the concussion. I told him if he has mono like his sister, I’ll spank him, so he decided not to have it, after all.
  7. I won’t actually spank him; partly because it turns out I’m not a spanker, and partly because he’s hard to catch, even with a concussion.
  8. Also-also, one kid is graduating high school Saturday, so we are preparing to Fake Having a Clean House for the party. The struggle is real.
  9. Also-also-also, my Coma Friend had a heart attack last week, which she did not technically do at me or to me, but it was still unacceptable and uncalled for. She has apologized, so we can forgive her, but we are writing it into the Friendship Contract that she shall not have another. On the bright side, I got a free night’s lodging at the hospital.
  10. This morning, I threw away my mostly-consumed tub of Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Chocolate Fudge frosting (aka, COPING MECHANISM) because I do NOT need to eat ANY MORE of that crap at night while reading Meljean Brooks’ steampunk romance novels,
  11. BUT DO NOT WORRY because this evening I dug that tub of processed sugar out of the bathroom garbage and am finishing it now.

All of these things are happening, and also more things — All of the Things, really — and we may get to them in the coming days, but first, tacos.

First, tacos, because I feel they are emblematic of All the Things and particularly emblematic of the last two weeks.

I saw this in my Facebook feed:

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“Start typing @m [in the comments] and the first person that pops up has to buy you tacos (no cheating)”

I thought, “Ooooh. I love tacos. I could TOTALLY USE tacos right now. I could stuff, like, A DOZEN FEELINGS about illnesses and momming and busy-ness and heart attacks with a plate of tacos. I would EAT THE HECK out of those tacos!”

So I did it, friends. I typed “@m” in the comments while I thought, “I wonder which of my friends will have to buy me tacos?! Maybe Melissa. Or Mindy. Or Monica. Or Mary Ellen. These are all friends I see regularly. These are all friends who have, in the past, bought me actual, literal tacos. These are all friends who, if I’m pathetic enough, will buy me tacos AND margaritas. This is a WIN!” Which is when I saw my results…

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… and the Universe cackled at me because the Universe sucks sometimes. “You know who’s going to buy you tacos, Beth?” the Universe laughed, “NO ONE IS WHO. You are ALL ALONE and TACOLESS.”

I wish I had a happy ending to this post, but the Universe stole it.

Waving in the (tacoless) dark anyway,
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P.S. One of the kids just stole the rest of my frosting.

P.P.S. I can’t get it back, though, because she’s been known to threaten to take hits out on people.

P.P.P.S. Actually, I think I will go get it back. If I have to die, doing it for chocolate frosting feels like a worthy way to go.

How to Get Kids to Pick Up Quickly and Enthusiastically

May 19 2016

I asked my boys to tidy their room, which was a disaster, and, because they’re smart, capable, 9-year-old children who don’t need to have everything explained to them anymore in excruciating detail, I gave them two basic directions, as follows:

  1. When you are finished picking up your room, gentlemen, I should be able to both see and walk upon the floor.
  2. Your things should be organized in such a manner that you can easily find everything. I’m sure I don’t need to mention that you can certainly not find everything — including the shoes, jackets, books, homework folders, etc. that you cannot find ANY of the school mornings — if you shove it all underneath your bed or in the closet. Correct? I do not need to point this out? That there needs to be a better system? No? You get it? OK. OK, then, boys. Full speed ahead.

They finished in 10 minutes.

They have NEVER finished cleaning ANYTHING in 10 minutes, but there they were, tumbling down the stairs in holey socks with giant smiles, proclaiming completion.

I clarified.

Me: I can see AND walk on the floor?

Them: Yep!

Me: And not just a teeny, tiny sliver of the floor?

Them: Nope!

Me: And you have organized your belongings?

Them: Yep!

Me: ALL of your belongings or SOME of your belongings?

Them: ALL!

Me: And I will find how many items shoved under your bed?

Them: None!

Me: And you have completed this entire task in 10 minutes?

Them: Yep!

Me: And it’s SO complete that you feel good about me inspecting it?

Them: Yes!

Me: Now?

Them: Let’s go!

We trooped up the stairs for inspection, and I patted myself on the back on the way because friends — friends — if you give your children FREEDOM to complete tasks THEIR WAY, and you DO NOT INSIST ON YOUR OWN, they finish jobs QUICKLY and ENTHUSIASTICALLY, and it’s a MIRACLE. I should write a Parenting Book! I have finally figured it out!

Also, here is their system:

CleanRoom1

As they say, “A clear path for walking and all of our belongings at our fingertips!” There is nothing under the bed anymore, and, in fact, nothing left in the closet, either, because they pulled everything out of it. Everything. To create their New System of Organization.

I asked where they got such a terrible, terrible idea, and they said — I kid you not — “We learned it from watching you.”

In conclusion, bless their hearts. Bless their punky, butt-nuggetty hearts.

Keepin’ it real,

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P.S. Their room still looks like that because they pointed out there’s WAY less vacuuming this way, and “it’s likely to smother all the bugs.” I’m having trouble arguing with their logic. Well played, boys; well played.

 

Brain Crash: Rebooting

May 18 2016

My brain crashed sometime last week. It was just all, “No. Nope. No. We’re done here. Over and out,” and that’s the last I’ve heard from it in a while. I honestly don’t know what to tell you about that or at all how this post is going to materialize because… BRAIN CRASH. So I’m not promising anything here like sense-making or coherency, but, let’s be honest, I rarely offer those things, anyway, so whatever. We’ll just do what we usually do here; buckle up and see how it goes.

So. My brain crashed sometime last week. It’s one of the symptoms of mental illness I get to enjoy from time to time. Wheeeeee! Anxiety grabs hold of the neurons, I guess, and, WHAM!, I move from a highly functional person to a non-functional person who fakes highly functional until I can find purchase again to pull myself back to the rational world where I’m not utterly distracted and intermittently breathless with tingly fingers and a heart that gallops for destinations unknown. I usually get away with it. The faking functional, I mean. Then I come up for air, mention to friends or family that I’ve been busy drowning, hear wonderful, sweet things from them like, Why didn’t you SAY something? and We would have HELPED you, and then feel panicky and anxious all over again because I’m doing depression wrong and letting them down. It’s just, while drowning, I don’t have enough air to breathe, much less tell anyone it’s happening. The telling would require oxygen — and also brain that works — and God knows during Brain Crash I have access to neither.

In conclusion, Greg has spent the last week asking me impossible questions like, “How was your day?” and “Where’s the tape?” and “Do we need anything from the grocery store?” And I have spent the last week looking at him with confusion.

The End.

Sincerely,

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P.S. My words are returning. But they’re slow. Bear with me. I’ll be back here again soon when they’ve finished rebooting.

P.P.S. We checked one of our third graders in for surgery this morning (it went fine) and the nurse asked if he was in any pain. I think she meant, you know, right at that particular moment, but Cai took it to mean Anytime Lately, so he said yes. With emphasis. And wide eyes. “YES,” he said. “I HAVE been in pain. Bad, BAD pain because my MOTHER popped my ear zit and it BLED ALL OVER and HURT but did she stop? Nooooooo,” he said, and then he mimicked my voice, all high pitched and cackly, “‘Just a little more, Cai,’ and, ‘It won’t hurt if you let me finish,’ but my mother LIED to me because it DID KEEP HURTING, so YES, I have been in VERY MUCH PAIN.” The nurse looked at me with raised eyebrows, so I shrugged, like, I don’t know what to tell you, lady. That’s all true. I’m a militant ear zit popper. 

P.P.P.S. The nurse also momentarily confused Cai’s chart with his twin brother’s — they ask for last name and birth date to ID patients — before she caught herself and said, “Wait. This isn’t you. Are you a twin?” At which point, Cai said, “Yes, I am a twin. But we are not identical. That means we are from two different eggs in my mom’s uterus and two different sperms from my dad’s penis. That is how you get fraternal twins.”

P.P.P.P.S. And then the anesthetist came in and made a cutesy joke asking whether they were operating on his knee instead of his ear, and my 9 year old looked at her and said, “I do not like being talked to like a little kid. I like logic and the facts and scientific explanations,” which was not particularly polite to someone about to drug him, but was excellent self-advocacy, so I let it slide.

P.P.P.P.P.S. In other words, I may have lost my words temporarily due to Brain Crash, but my son has not lost his, for which I’m both giggly and grateful.

On Finding Our Foundation

May 12 2016

My foundations are a little shaky these days. A little crumbly and in need of shoring up. Or in need of discarding, maybe; in need of abandoning as foundations at all and building anew, since I feel like I’m mixing sand and mud into concrete as fast as I can and throwing the muddled mess at the foundations of my politics… and the foundations of my religion… and the foundations of my religious politics… and it’s not sticking like I’d hoped.

Yes; my foundations are a little shaky these days. A little crumbly and in need of reconsideration, because, I suspect, they were built on shifting ground. Or over moving water. Or smack dab on a sinkhole, and WHOOSH, one day the ground moved. Trembled. Dropped out from underneath me. So I wondered where I’d built my life and how to find stability. How to be sure of my footing. Where I might find a solid base.

It’s just… they seemed like such good foundations. America! The Church! They said such pretty things. And they meant well. I just know they did. I was told they were worthy of my trust, and they sure seemed to be. They worked so well for so long. Or they didn’t, but I didn’t notice because I believed what they said about themselves, which amounted to the same thing for me.

Give us your tired, your poor,
your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

The foreigner who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you;
you shall love the foreigner as yourself, for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt.

Please understand I feel ridiculous saying this, but the whole Donald Trump thing had me feeling adrift and bewildered, a little hopeless and kind of unnerved, not to mention weary and wary and afraid. Not because of Mr. Trump himself, necessarily. Not really. Even Optimistic, Pollyanna, “Practice Gratitude” Me understands there are Trumps in this world who will make false promises, bully and belittle the marginalized, take advantage of people who are hurt and angry, and then use those emotions to rally vocal masses to spread hatred and exclusion as though those are solutions and not the Very Core of the Original Problem. Yes, I know there are people like Trump in this world and in our country; there always have been and always will be and they will try forever to find public footing and to be in fashion. So no, it’s not Trump himself who made me feel jittery and queasy and on edge. It’s the fact that I thought America was better than this. More open. More welcoming. More likely to Triumph over Terror than to buy into it. More interested in extending a hand than closing the golden door. More eager to seek solutions based on loving our neighbors as ourselves and more likely to understand, in the end, that everyone is our neighbor.

My foundations are a little shaky these days. A little crumbly and in need of shoring up. And I’m embarrassed to admit that one of my foundations was apparently the Way I Perceived America to Be. To be shaken by a Trump type, after all, makes this Uncomfortable Truth clear; I built a part of my life and a part of my understanding and a part of my world on the idea that America is on a constant, upward trajectory toward Inclusion and Equality and Justice for All — and that even the leaders I disagree with are at least well intentioned — instead of accepting and practicing my responsibility to Beckon the Huddled Masses and Practice Global Citizenship, to Welcome the Stranger and move us on that trajectory with whatever Small Engine I possess.

America as a Savior! America as a Redeemer! America as a Comforter and Healer, I thought. Maybe not consciously, but thought it, I did.

I was wrong.

In God we trust, we say, but it was America herself in whom I trusted.

Instead of Love.

And I was wrong.

Yes, my foundations are a little shaky these days. A little crumbly and in need of a fresh start. Everything is a jumble and a mix and a muddle, and I’ve had a little trouble knowing where, exactly, to plant my stakes and my feet. Turns out, it’s not politics or nationalism. That’s not the foundation. And it disappoints me to tell you as a Good Christian Girl it’s not the Church, either.

No, it’s not.

Sadly, the foundation isn’t the Church; though, as someone who loves Jesus, I once thought it was, and I idolized her in the manner I was taught. Worshiped the Church. Believed everything she told me, including that she should be my ultimate authority and I subject to her each and every whim, whether or not it matched what Love Incarnate had lived and breathed and etched on my heart.

The Church, though, is made of humans. And humans are made of mud and broken ribs and divinity and magic and mess. We are quick to anger and slow to forgive and unspeakably kind and generous. We are transcendent and terrible. Shaky and stable. As likely to be territorial and vicious as we are to be welcoming and warm, and God knows we’re unlikely to tell you truthfully which we’ll be on any given day since we don’t always know ourselves.

The Church, it turns out, is like a family. Some of us have great ones. Unbelievable! Wonderful! We couldn’t imagine life without them! And some of us have to escape horrific abuse. Most of us live somewhere in the middle where our churches and families are filled to the brim with people who mean well and don’t, who are charitable and cruel, sometimes simultaneously because they’re complex and complicated and unfathomable in method and motive, and beautiful and brutal, too.

And so the Church cannot be our foundation. It simply can’t. There are too many shifting tides and moving trajectories and muddy motives. Too much determining Who’s In and Who’s Out, as it’s always been for time immemorial. Too many endorsements of the Crusaders and the Trump types. Too much focus on yoga pants. Like any structure that wields power, we can participate in it; we can value beautiful bits and precious pieces; we can allow that it’s worthy of our time and investment because, when used well, it spreads compassion and kindness. And it’s still not foundational. Which means when it Screws Up Royally, it doesn’t need to shake us. Because our foundation comes from someplace deeper. Someplace stronger. Someplace less likely to pulse and sway and collapse with every tremor, every storm.

It’s true that my foundations have been a little shaky these days. A little crumbly and in need of reevaluation.

And the more I live with that, the more I think… isn’t this great, friends? ISN’T THIS FANTASTIC? To learn that our foundations are crumbly and broken? To learn in time to build someplace stronger? THIS IS WONDERFUL. This is AMAZING. That we have this chance to discard the chaff and grasp the wheat; to let go of what does us No Good and find Sustenance.

We get to dig deeper. We get to find truer truth. We get to suss out what Makes Us Real like the Velveteen Rabbit before us. We get to look for Kindness, and learn Gentleness, and seek Faithfulness, and practice Patience (which is the worst), and learn to our bones that, at the end, these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love. But, friends, the greatest of these is love. The greatest of these is Love.

This is our foundation. That we love each other. Deeply. Wildly. Wonderfully. Well. Love made flesh and dwelling, still, among us.

I am neither leaving America nor the Church. I am simply recognizing they are no longer my foundations. They are no longer my sources. They are no longer my idols, worthy of worship or blinding loyalty, and I will push them and question them and challenge them as such, standing on a firmer, deeper, broader foundation which is all that’s left when the other foundations fall.

My foundation is Love. My foundation is in the God who goes by the same name. My foundation is in loving my neighbors as myself, and recognizing that everyone is my neighbor. My foundation lies in sitting in the mud. My foundation lies in living honestly. My foundation lies in waving in the dark. And in holding hands when we’re lost and alone and cold and afraid. And my foundation lies in waiting for the dawn with you. Waiting, always, for the dawn which is coming which is the same to me as Love itself.

Sending love to you, friends, from the new foundation, firmer and free,

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Hold Everything! (A Group Remodeling Project: Part 6)

May 4 2016

Regarding the range hood, HOLD EVERYTHING, friends.

Our friend, Katherine, just sent us this picture, and I suspect it’s the Perfect Thing.

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That’s a “Vintage Hood” made to order by the folks at Antique Vintage Appliances. They can make it in any color and any size with several trims. So all the advantages of a modern hood, all the lovely of vintage. Here’s their shtick:

We manufacture range hoods patterned after a classic stove hood built in the 1940’s through the early 1950’s. We have updated the fan section with a Broan insert with variable speed blowers, removable filters and a two position light switch. A mounting bracket will be provided for easy installation. This bracket creates a 1/4” space on the wall so you can install a painted, tiled or stainless backsplash of your choice with a finished edge. These are manufactured in widths of 30” to 60” and can be painted to match any decor. The trim pieces and logo can be plated in copper, nickel, chrome or brass.

Questions for the Team:

  1. I assume if this doesn’t cost one thousand million ka-jillion dollars, we must have it as it is the perfect hat for Betty. Correct?? << This is the part where you weigh in quickly because I’m Mostly Sold already, so if this isn’t the thing, you must talk me down. If you need tips for talking me down, Greg can provide you with details, though, as an overview, you can try distracting me (food, blood and nudity are most effective) or looking like you ate something rancid and, when I ask what’s wrong with your face, saying, “Your life choices, Beth; your life choices are what is wrong with my face.”
  2. I further assume we shall order this in white with chrome trim because that’s what Betty’s wearing, and every lady from the 1950’s knows your hat must coordinate with your shoes and handbag.

The only downside I can see here is the fact that it reinforces it’s worth it to wait for the Right Thing rather than Rush the Job. As a lifelong fan of Rushing the Job, I’m afraid this is the kind of thing that will force me to reevaluate my priorities, and that kind of bites.

Thoughts, friends? Do share!

With bated breath,

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P.S. I emailed the Vintage Hood people 2 whole hours ago and have heard NOTHING yet. I suggest we all call them and kindly note that I need an answer. ASAP. Because I’m Very Bad at Waiting. I’m sure they’ll understand. Their number is 1-520-326-6849.

P.P.S. Here’s a pic of Betty with the Vintage Hood pic, too:

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I think they might be soulmates.

Several Problems with the Kitchen Remodel, Mostly Emotional (A Group Remodeling Project: Part 5)

May 3 2016

Friends! GOOD NEWS! Greg and I fought about the kitchen!

This means he’s not being crafty or wily or luring us into complacency before he springs his trap to derail us.

Unless he’s being crafty and wily by arguing to throw us off the crafty and wily scent. He IS better at chess than me. Probably. I’ve never played chess with him, but I assume, based on his passion for mathematics and strategy, and my inability to sit at a table for longer than two minutes before feeling jittery and panicky and like there are twelve other things I should be doing with my time, that he’s better at chess than me. Greg’s definitely better at Scrabble, though, so I feel like we can extrapolate. He takes five hundred thousand million years to take his turn so he can graph every possible letter combination and permutation and the trajectory of their positions on the board, and then he gets crabby when I poke him in the shoulder and say, “Greg, Greg, Greg, Greg, Greg, Greg, Greg. Are you going to go now? How ’bout now? Now? How ’bout now?”

The point being, Greg takes the EXCRUCIATINGLY LONG view of things so he could be throwing us off by arguing with us about the kitchen.

But I don’t think so. I think we’re in the clear. I think he’s genuinely disgruntled about a couple things, so WE’RE BACK ON TRACK and all’s good! We can proceed as NORMAL.

Which leads me to the problems we’re having with the kitchen remodel, none of which have to do with the remodel and all of which have to do with the counseling, encouragement and tough love you’re going to need to provide if we’re going to get anywhere. 

Specifically, our problems are as follows:

  1. Greg is Having an Issue with the chimney range hood concept (option 1 from the previous post). He does not like it. Does Not. Unequivocally. He only likes the idea of a cabinet and under-cabinet mount (which was option 2). Now, obviously this should not be a problem because Greg is entitled to have an opinion, I said I like both, and most of Us are all, “Meh. Whatever. No super strong opinion.” So whatever, right? I believe my exact words were, “I tend to like both and can easily be talked into either.” What I meant was I can easily be talked into either by YOU. Not by Greg. There is nothing — nothing — more likely to sway me toward pizza than Greg saying he absolutely MUST have a burger. So I found I NEEDED the chimney range hood, after all, and did NOT want — in fact, COULD NOT TOLERATE — the cabinet there. See how this complication is all Greg’s fault? Me, neither. 🙁 I came around. Eventual Maturity, I call it. I’d prefer just Maturity, but I’m not always issued that in my personality tool box.
  2. Greg is ALSO Having an Issue with placing the dishwasher further to the right of the sink than immediately next to it. I considered making this decision harder than it had to be, like I did with the range hood, but, since Greg does more dishes than me, he gets to pick. Me = Problem Solver! Also, Me = Dishes Avoider!
  3. But the Main Problem is we are officially 8 days into this project, and I would like to quit now. It’s not that I’ve suddenly decided I like starting my stove with an ice pick. The problem is I cannot sustain this much interest in myself or my house over the long term. This is the part where you say, “But, Beth, you are a BLOGGER. It’s your literal JOB to sustain this much interest in yourself.” And that’s when I’ll answer, “This is why I’m So Bad at Things; I do them wrong. CONSTANTLY,” and often on purpose. For example, I read articles that tell me my blog posts MUST be shorter — 500-800 words is “optimal length” — and I IMMEDIATELY sit down and write 1200 words as rebellion because No One Can Tell Me What to Do.

Now, I’m not rebelling against the remodel. I want to do it. It makes sense to do it. It’s just — it’s been 8 days — and I’d like to be done now because I’m driving Me crazy pestering myself with kitchen questions. It’s like one half of my brain is Me playing Scrabble, making hasty decisions and plunking down letters and Getting on with Life because there are More Important Things than Thinking Decisions Through and Being SURE About Them, and the other half of me is Greg playing Scrabble, talking through Every Possible Permutation. The Greg half is all, “Wait! I have to think of ALL THE THINGS,” and the Beth half is all, “Beth, Beth, Beth, Beth, Beth, Beth, Beth. Are you done yet? Can you go now? How ’bout now? How ’bout now?” until I WANT TO SLAP ME.

You guys. You guys. There are Serious Things Happening in the Real World. Trump is the presumptive presidential nominee for the Republican Party; THIS IS SOMETHING THAT IS HAPPENING. We should all be laying on the floor like Nancy Kerrigan when she got her knee beat to crap during the Olympic ice skating trials — laying there yelling Why? Why? WHY? And we are talking about a KITCHEN REMODEL, instead.

Which, I suppose, is exactly why we MUST talk about a kitchen remodel, yes? BECAUSE WE WILL SING WHILE THE SHIP GOES DOWN.

Blerg.

In conclusion, if anyone has any free counseling to offer, or encouragement, or pats on the head, or “there, there, sweet bunnies,” or kicks in the rear to offer, we’re at your disposal.

In the meantime, I’m sending love and waving in the dark,

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IMG_9476P.S. We DID have our contractor friends in to bid on the cabinet work. We’re waiting that to see whether there’s much of a cost difference in the range hoods/cabinet options, and we’ll tell you more when we know more.

P.P.S. Please do not be too worried about Future Arguments. I have explained to Greg that arguing with me in the future is actually arguing with All of Us as the Kitchen Remodel Collective. I helped him understand that we are the Borg, we will assimilate him, and resistance is futile. He took it well.