Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Interesting YouTube video of the week...

I was watching a documentary tonight on the last 48 hours of Kurt Cobain. Pretty interesting stuff. I have to say...his daughter, Frances Bean, looks eerily like him. Kind of like my generation's Lisa Marie Presley. I found this video of her covering the Foos' "Times Like These" on You Tube. A little poppy-sounding, but the girl can sing...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Losing my Mother's Day Virginity at the Senior Prom.

I've had some fun pseudo-stepmom moments in the past three years, but it wasn't until last weekend that I actually felt like the real stepmom that I officially became a few weeks ago. It was Senior Prom weekend - a huge deal nowadays. When I went to my senior prom (the same year my stepdaughter was born, actually), it wasn't as much of a 'to-do'...I basically just slapped a bow on my ass, put on some blue eyeshadow, made my hair super big (I did live in the South, after all), and wondered who was buying our beer for the night. Now, it's like attending the Oscars. There are nail appointments, hair appointments, makeup appointments, stretch-Hummer rentals, pre-picture parties, orchestrated after parties, and next-day King's Island roadtrips. There's a printed schedule of the day, for chrissake. It's absolute insanity.

My 18-year old stepdaughter asked me to help her get ready that day - I was elected the chick who made sure she was gorgeous and ultimately zipped her dress. I was excited, because I knew it'd be a blast and I'd get to live vicariously through her as I remembered all my own Prom memories (i.e., Lee press-on nails flying off as I danced to Whitesnake with my date). Most important, though, was the fact that she asked me to be part of such a hugely monumental day. I mean, let's face it - Senior Prom was the biggest night of her 18-year life thus far.

Fast forward to today. I was wished "Happy Mother's Day" for the very first time. Not only did I get a huge card, some dark chocolate, some potpourri, and this month's Cosmo (they really DO know me better than I thought), but my stepdaughter also orchestrated a card "signed" by my two dogs, Tess and Zeke. My husband later informed me that Crayola fingerpaint is definitely non-toxic if ingested off their paws. He knows this, because he ate some himself, he said. Nice.

I was somewhat shocked to receive such accolades on a holiday I never dreamed I'd celebrate personally. I'm an official stepmonster now. In fact, there is a whole Mother's Day section of Hallmark for chicks like me. It's a wonderfully strange feeling to be thanked for being some sort of a maternal figure in the lives of two young people I didn't even know a mere four years ago. I didn't birth these kids, and I don't really see myself as extremely maternal most of the time, but I'm without a doubt a definite adult female force in their lives now. I recognize this, and while I do take it seriously, I also have never stopped being myself in their presence. I've made it a point to always just be me, knowing in my heart that doing so would either drive them to proclaim my insanity or serve me well. I have never tried to be something that I'm not - namely their Mother or someone who's trying to pretend to be their Mother. I've just let them see all the weirdness and quirkiness that defines who I am. I do Chinese fire drills on the way home from family outings. I turn the radio up and encourage them to dance. I occasionally have too much of my 46-ounce margarita at the Mexican place and laugh too loud. I curse like a sailor at times. I answer questions about sex without flinching, and I slap their Dad's ass when I feel like doing so - whether they're watching or not. I have opinions about work, religion, politics, fashion, education, and life in general - and I spew them freely. My husband loves this about me, and consequently, I think the kids have followed suit by default. They already have the Mom...so with me, they get a second opinion. An alternative way of thinking. An add-on option they didn't know they were going to get in life.

Am I maternal at all? I think so, as I do clean up after them, I root for them when they're playing sports, I drive them to various activities, and I make sure they're safe and healthy when in my care. I give advice when asked, and I give opinions when I'm not asked. I worry about them. I want the best for them. I want to see them become unbelievably productive, well-rounded, and happy individuals in life.

At the end of the day, though, I just like these young friends I feel like I met three years ago and have ultimately chosen to hang out with. I've found that I love them like I do those friends I can count on one hand - with that unconditional, pure, steadfast loyalty that's really hard to describe. Maternal? Perhaps.

Who would've thought I'd be a stepmom? Not me....but today solidified the fact that it's a welcome role. One of my favorites thus far. Huh.

And there you have it. Now, back to the duties at hand. Or as the old saying goes, "off like a prom dress...."

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Mr. and Mrs. Daisywriter

A Daisywriter Wedding and a toast to yet another chapter...

It's been a little less than three months since I wrote last. The longest stretch of non-spewing since I started this little blog back in November of 2005. It seems like both yesterday and forever ago when I started writing here. I'm the same girl I was then - just with a different set of eyes, I believe. Back then, I was single and living in Chicago without a pot to piss in but the vodka tonic in my hand. Today, I'm married and living in the cornfield with two stepkids, three dogs, and my very own ATV and Dixie Chopper. And, who would've thought that my husband makes the best vodka tonic ever...

It's absolutely, hear-a-pin-drop quiet in my house today. The silence is mixed with the occasional heavy sighs of two lazy Great Danes, the nails of a Boxer on the hardwood floor, and birds chirping outside. It's about 65 degrees, gloriously sunny, and this is literally the first time in two months that I've had the house all to myself without a huge to-do list to conquer. It's days like today when I really appreciate the house I built with my husband (still new and weird to say, I'll admit). It's a nice-sized house - not a shack and not a mansion - with a lot of windows. The whole back side of the house is more or less windows, so on days like today, you really feel like you're part of the acreage, and that's precisely why I'll always love this house. I'm reminded of being out in the country when I see things like three coyotes in my yard, about 20 feet away from my own dogs, and the 9 horses that flank us on both sides. You can't help but feel healthier out here when your view is void of concrete, other cookie-cutter houses, and smog. Even the John Deeres are really starting to come out in full force. Much like blogging, I haven't run in months, so today, it was great to put on my running shoes, get outside, and give my lungs some real, fresh air.

"Significant Other," or "SO" as I like to call him, must now be upgraded to "husband-person." It's official. Or shall I say, we're officially official. We were married on April 19, and despite my huge fear of commitment AND a rainy day, it ended up being perfect in every way. We met our family at an old, crusty chapel in Greenfield, Indiana (just behind where James Whitcomb Riley was born), and casually got married in about 15 minutes by a non-denominational woman minister. Husband didn't wear a tie - he's not a tie kind of guy - and I wore a red dress with leopard heels. It's quite possibly the coolest dress I've ever owned. We said our own vows, and I wasn't allowed to read my husband's until just about a week or two before the ceremony (I think he wanted me to proofread it, truth be told). My personal favorite to him was my vow of never making him eat anything that I have made. My favorite vow of his, and the only one I'll share here, was this one:

I fell in love with you for the qualities, abilities, and outlook on life that you have, and I won't try to reshape you in a different image

It's my favorite for many reasons. It's precisely why I am finally at ease and able to just be myself and not give a shit what people think of me - because I finally have the guy who accepts all of me - flaws and all.

After the ceremony, we went home, changed into jeans, and ate, drank, and got merry with about 40 other people. When the party faded and the guests all went home, we changed once again into sweats and I ended up playing beer pong with my best friend from college, who of course came up from Nashvegas for the festivities. For the unfamiliar, beer pong is like the drinking game "quarters," only instead of bad top-spin on a quarter toss, bad ping-pong shots are the source of your drunk demise. Instead of two old broads playing beer pong in a crowded place, our game took place in our bonus room with my new stepdaughter and her boyfriend actually doing the playing, while we did the drinking (after all, I'm liberal, but not THAT liberal - she's only 18, people). My new husband and my 14-year old stepson were spectators, all while playing Guitar Hero. Quite the unconventional end to a amazingly unconventional day.

The next morning, as we sucked down coffee to forget about how many beers we chugged the night before, my best friend looked at me and said, "You have such an amazing family..."

She's right. I do.

One day later, husband and I were off to Mexico to forget about life for a while, and that we did. Simply put - honeymoons ROCK. I hope to have countless more with him.

Before we got married, I went back and forth about the whole name-change thing. I was vehemently opposed to losing my maiden name, and I held onto that notion for a long time. I never once asked my husband what he thought, and when I finally did - thinking he'd go along with my thoughts of feminist hyphenation (he's pretty progressive himself) - he looked a little hurt. I was somewhat shocked - I mean, I never even though twice about what it meant to him for me to take his name. But when I brought it up, I could actually see it in his eyes that he was hurt by my decision. So, I gave up the notion instantly. Other feminist-forward women would berate me for this, I know, but I don't give a shit. I don't want to hurt my husband. It's just a damn name, and I believe my maiden name means penis in Yiddish, so there you go.

Since we returned, today is the first day I've been able to take some deep breaths and just sit. For over three months now, I've been in job hell; this time, it's because I'm now one of those maniacal managers - the person who stands up in front of people and runs meetings and acts all important and stuff (OK, I don't act important; I just try to pretend I know what I'm doing most of the time, so acting is integral). It's truly weird. I'm not writing professionally now, which I'll complain about in another blog entry on another day. My selling out to the corporate machine deserves its own rant. Needless to say, my hands, as well as my brain, are somewhat rusty. I never thought they would be, but they definitely are somewhat atrophied. So, today, I just want to get my fingers moving again in the right direction. Get my groove back, if you will.

Mrs. Daisywriter is married with stepkids. Stay tuned.