25 *Real* Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years of Marriage {and the One That’s More Important than All the Others}

Greg and I have been married 25 years as of yesterday which, as we say every year, is a long time not to smother someone with a pillow. A long, LONG time. And, in that time, we’ve learned a few surprising things, 25 of which I’ll share with you here. 

25 *Real* Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years of Marriage

(1) Any amount of time is a long time not to smother someone with a pillow. Listen, I do not care if you’re married 1 year or 100 years, (2) LIVING WITH ANOTHER HUMAN IS HARD. No matter how precious and wonderful and thoughtful and well intentioned that human is, that human also makes horrific, wet, gagging/choking sounds — above 80 decibels which has the ability to cause permanent hearing damage — when clearing his throat in public. Or that human, no matter how many times you tell him over 25 years, will never — NOT EVER — take some butter and pass the dish before meticulously and painstakingly buttering his own roll so that others at the table might have a go at the butter before he’s finished. It’s TERRIBLE but true. So BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE, we all deserve ALL the credit in the world for never — not once — sitting on a pillow on their face. WELL DONE, MARRIED FRIENDS. High fives all around. ...  read more

Why I’m Mad at Greg — and Thoughts on Whether Cat Butter is Humane

I woke up with a sick feeling in my gut. You know that foggy state of Near Awake when you viscerally remember Something’s Amiss but you don’t yet have the mental faculties to remember What Exactly Happened? It was That. I woke up sad and somehow lonely. I knew, at least, No One Had Died, so thank God for that. That Feeling is more Charcoal and Ash Grey, like sticky soot on the gut. No, this was different. I was just Hurt. Like the way your heart falls on top of your stomach when someone who loves you is thoughtless or cruel in a way that’s impossible to understand.  ...  read more

Sometimes I Think We’re Not That Weird. Then I Realize NOPE.

You know, sometimes I think we sort of have our crap together around here. Sometimes I think we’re Not That Weird. Or rather, if we’re weird, we’re weird like Everyone Else now. We have our quirks. We have our adorable dysfunctions. We try to love each other well, and we succeed and fail and succeed and fail, but we keep practicing. So I look around these days, and I figure we’re Normal.    ...  read more

Why It’s Important to Eat Together as a Family: A Story About Anal Beads

Just popping in to say hello.

HELLO.

And to ask whether you’re hanging in there since it’s the HOLIDAYS and holidays are, traditionally speaking, traumatic and terrible. And occasionally magical. But mostly fraught with Big Feelings and also Expectations which Anne Lamott says are resentments waiting to happen. 

 ARE YOU HANGING IN THERE?

I am. 

I’ve lowered my expectations which has helped IMMEASURABLY. ...  read more

It’s November! Why My Christmas Season Starts NOW (and Why You Should Let It)

I’m about to take a stand on a CONTROVERSIAL ISSUE, friends. Because I, apparently, have no sense of self-preservation. That coupled with Big Opinions means we’re doing this.

We’re talking about the fact that it is the very dawn of November, but Christmas starts NOW, and why that’s actually a good thing and you should let us do it.

Confession: Holidays have, in the past, stressed me out. Which is not much of a confession since it’s most people’s experience. It’s like saying CONFESSION: I sneak Oreos when my children aren’t looking. Tell you something you don’t know, right? Holidays have, in the past, stressed me out. NO SURPRISE. Except, of course, there’s an expectation that holidays are JOYFUL, dammit. OUR CULTURE DEMANDS IT. And it especially demands that mothers Make It So. Culture demands we make it so, AND we’re overjoyed by it ourselves. We are, in other words, supposed to be the Opposite Of Stressed Out by the holidays — we’re supposed to be CELEBRATORY and SERENE — or we’re somehow doing it wrong.  ...  read more

Your Thoughts Requested: Democratic Presidential Candidates (Also Some Thoughts on Cash Ransoms that Have Zero to do with Anything Else. You’re welcome.)

Alrighty. I’ve learned two important things in the last two days, as follows:

1. I’ll never be able to pay a significant cash ransom should any of my people be kidnapped, so cross fingers that doesn’t happen.

and

2. I just turned I Have to Be Home in Time for the Democratic Debates years old. 

Regarding Thing #1 — free tip from me to you — do NOT try to do bookkeeping in your head. Or, if you DO try to do bookkeeping in your head, be better at remembering expenses than I am. 🙄 Here’s the sitch… I paid a big farm bill via check. And I was pretty sure I had enough dollars in the farm checking account to cover it. So I didn’t double check. And then, in a shock to me and to zero other people because everyone else seems to understand my brain better than I do, there were NOT enough dollars in the account to cover it. That’s because I left the dollars in a different account. And did you know if you write a check without enough dollars in your account that the bank WILL NOT COVER IT just out of the goodness and generosity of their hearts? IT’S TRUE, friends. THEY WILL NOT. And then, because you don’t want to be more of an asshole to the People You Were Supposed to Pay than you’ve already been by writing a bad check, you will try to pull out All the Monies in cash so you can hand them a wad of bills like a drug deal instead of another check they may or may not want to trust. ...  read more