well, today is our fifth and likely final wedding anniversary. as nostalgia sets in and i reflect on our years together, i can’t help but wonder exactly what caused our marriage to take a turn straight into the flames of hell.
after careful thought and a great deal of chocolate eating, I’ve come up with a number of possible contributing factors. right out of the gate we had challenges that even the cast of “SURVIVOR” wouldn’t have made it through. a twenty-one year age gap, three kids who didn’t want a stepmother, and my husband’s decision to move us a mile down the road from his first family (in what i can only assume was an attempt to play out some disturbing mormon fantasy), just to name a few. we probably have to factor in that our wedding day itself was a volatile disaster. it began with no one knowing whether or not the groom was even gonna show and ended with us almost getting kicked off the island for disturbing the peace when i screamed several obscenities during our wedding reception for four and stormed off to our bungalow without getting to eat a bite of my damn wedding cake. or perhaps it was deciding to get pregnant five minutes into the marriage and gaining fifty-two pounds as a newlywed that doomed things from the start. i don’t think I’ve ever been able to forgive him for leaving me at home during most of my pregnancy unsupervised with all the ice cream.
clearly we didn’t think much through. i mean, i married a successful man TWENTY-ONE years my senior and never even got to experience my rightful reign as a Trophy Wife for christ’s sake. surely i was entitled to at least a year or two of parading a new pair of boobs around town and doing nothing of any substance.
however, instead of living in superficial bliss, by our first anniversary our twins were over 2 months old, i was still wearing my maternity pants and we were too freaking tired to celebrate surviving the year so we went to Duffy’s Sports Grill with my stepson for an hour and called it a night. i was hardly anyones trophy wife constantly covered in vomit, piss and stretch marks. instead i crowned myself Queen Frumpty Dumpty and scheduled a tummy tuck STAT.
whatever the reasons may be, we’ve found ourselves in the ‘one of us has to change or one of us has to die’ predicament that so many married couples face. though i fear we’ve reached this milestone at a much faster rate than is healthy. technically we’ve been together for ten years but the first five were by choice so we really shouldn’t be at this point just yet should we? we recently had one of THOSE talks where nobody cried and nobody yelled. i think the adults call them “mature discussions”. we decided to give our marriage some serious effort and agreed to make a list of what changes we needed the other person to make in order for us to be happily married. to each other. we would meet the following night to read our lists and the rule was that we were not allowed to say ANYTHING until the person reading had finished. then we would each decide what we were realistically willing to sacrifice or change and go from there.
the next night i sat myself on the couch with my “why i can’t fucking stand you” list handwritten about a page long. he hadn’t even walked in the room yet but i knew exactly what was gonna be on his list. the same three wifely “shortcomings” he’s been complaining about our whole marriage; i don’t cook, i don’t clean, i spend too much money. each time he brings these up i remind him that he’s always known i was a reckless spender and have zero skills or interest in anything to do with a stove or sponge. I made very clear to him i would be his wife, not his chef or his maid and he chose to marry me anyway. so as far as i’m concerned he forfeited his right to bitch. i wonder how he would feel if i woke up one morning suddenly resentful that he is older than me and was shocked and disappointed he hasn’t gotten younger every year. to make his argument lose even more validity we have a full time housekeeper. what does he want me to do? follow her around the house with another broom? since i knew we’d have to go through this same tired argument yet again, earlier that day i told him he could go first with his list. i wanted to get his out of the way so we could focus on the real issues i wanted to bring up.
he entered the room shortly after me armed with a laptop. sat down, and opened up a microsoft word document containing his “why i can’t fucking stand you” list. typed. THREE PAGES. SINGLE. SPACED.
just as i was about to let out a gigantic “WHAT THE FUCK?!” and break the no talking rule, he began:
- “You’re incredibly high maintenance.”
- “You don’t let me parent our children the way I want to.”
- “You became a private investigator.”
- “You keep adopting pets.”
oh thank God! although i was relieved, i really did wish he would stop complimenting me and move on to the areas of concern. after all, it was already 9pm, my bedtime was an hour ago and we had a shitload to cover. as if he read my mind, without warning, his list took a turn for the infuriating.
- “You spend a zillion dollars on these pets you insist on having only to hate them an hour after they move in. And then we all suffer through the havoc they wreck on our lives until their inevitable mysterious disappearances. Remember the pig?!”
heeere we go. again with the FUCKING PIG! in our marriage this pig is the equivalent to an affair. you know when someone cheats and their spouse decides to forgive them and stay with them but EVERY time they get pissed about anything they bring up the affair? it ALWAYS goes back to the affair. well in our case, it ALWAYS goes back to the fucking pig. i bought a piglet that was supposed to stay adorably small. i had it flown here from some farm. during this time we were renovating our home so we had moved into a condo with minimal living space, five kids and three huge dogs with no yard. i didn’t even know if pigs were legally allowed there but who would notice the tiny thing? well in a few short months it was gigantic, repulsive and the fifth worst mistake I’d ever made. that hideous disaster tried to eat EVERYONE it came in contact with and destroyed everything we owned in its constant obsessive quest for food. our nanny had a nervous breakdown and threatened to quit over the beast. my husband drop kicked it every time it blocked the TV and it screeched like a demon from the pits of hell if you tried to touch it. it almost ended our marriage so i gave it to a friend by telling her it was a darling little thing and then it almost ended her marriage. shortly after that it boarded a plane never to be seen or heard again. and i’ve yet to get any appreciation from gil for removing it from our lives or for naming the damn thing after him…
- “Most women will attend their husbands work related events even when they happen to be pissed at him for something. They will put their feelings aside and support their spouse for the evening. I would like it if you would do the same.”
if i do not like you in the house
i will not like you with a mouse
i will not like you here or there
i will not go with you anywhere
then came an oldie but goodie:
- “Would you PLEASE agree to take a cooking class? I’ll even go with you. It will be fun!”
He sounded like a parent trying to convince a toddler how great it would feel to put on a shirt that itches the shit out of him.
WE HAVE A CHEF! i silently screamed. i’m not sure whether he read my mind or my expression when he added,
“Having a personal chef is costing us money we shouldn’t have to spend.”
- ” I value my privacy. I would REALLY appreciate it if you kept our private life private.”
“I mean, you even air our dirty laundry in our family christmas cards!”
- “I don’t think it’s fair that I should have to get the kids ready and drive them to school every morning when I’m in town. “
you don’t think that’s fair? you know what i don’t think is fair? that i am going to be spending the prime of my life changing your diapers, carting you around to doctor’s appointments, making sure you get your medications and checking you in and out of hospitals. so forgive me if i am less than sensitive to your great inconvenience of driving 3 miles to the school so i can sleep an extra hour.
just as i was about to say GAME OVER he went where no man should ever go:
- “And honey… PLEASE…Once in a while would it kill you to wear something sexy to bed? I mean, if I have to look at those fluffy socks one more time…..You dress for bed like you’re about to go sled riding during a blizzard.”
FUCK THIS! i have a thyroid condition! THAT’S IT! your ass is gonna be in a nursing home before breakfast tomorrow.
i started to drift off to sleep at 1AM somewhere around the beginning of page two. my final thoughts before i welcomed unconsciousness was how i could have ignored all of gil’s attempts to get me to recognize that i’m the world’s WORST wife. there’s hardly a week that goes by when he doesn’t tell me that living me with is like being trapped in an “I Love Lucy” episode you can’t turn off. i always thought it was a compliment. and looking back, maybe he was trying to get my attention through instagram. the pseudonym he chose for his account that’s filled with photos of our family is ‘slowpainfuldeath’ and still i had seen no cause for concern.
after what seemed like a week it was finally my turn to read my list which took considerably less time. we had an eerily peaceful 48 hours after that when we didn’t piss each other off. while i still refused to change really anything about myself i did try my hand at something new called ‘compromising’. for example, although there was no way i would ever turn on the stove, i promised that i would stop ordering take out when he pays someone to cook for us. that’s the best i could do. everybody’s got their limitations. imagine my gratitude when three days in gil fucked up on one of his promises to me so i got to use it as an excuse to call off the whole experiment and return to my argumentative, inconsiderate, happy self.
i am proud to say that we didn’t give up on each other even though our efforts failed miserably. instead we decided to try to rescue our marriage another way. couples therapy. turns out i’m a huge fan! it truly DOES work! after just one session i already feel incredibly motivated to strengthen some of my wifely weaknesses that gil repeatedly felt inclined to mention during the hour. for instance, i am FINALLY going to start cooking!
Dinner is served Your Majesty! Enjoy your side of arsenic! if my husband and marriage survive the day (and this blog post) we’ll be
mourning celebrating our five year miracle tonight at and who knows, we may even renew our vows while we’re there…..
in closing: while i’m certainly not a good wife, and i never got to be a trophy wife, i’m sure all would agree i’m the World’s Worst Wife and to achieve that status with only five years under my belt is accomplishment enough for me. it’s empowering to know the reason our marriage exists is so everyone else can feel better about theirs.
*I’m Lauren Anastasi-Peter and my husband approves this message.
may 18th, 2014
now do you know what today is? it’s interesting because even the people who are supposed to be recognized today most likely have no idea it exists. there actually is such a thing as National Stepmother’s Day. the third sunday in may. there are no advertisements for it, no spouses and stepchildren scrambling through stores searching for the perfect gift to say “thank you”. this day will go by as every day does for most stepmothers; with no recognition. no appreciation. in short; no one gives a shit. this is surprising to me given the growing number of stepfamilies in our country. divorce and remarriage are everywhere. stepmothers are spreading around the globe like cancer. and treated as such. you either are a stepparent, have a stepparent or know a stepparent. and yet still the world is trying to ignore our existence. we aren’t asking to be recognized on mother’s day anymore, we got the shit beat out of us over that one. now we have our very own holiday, one day out of 365 when the stepmother is to be, dare I say, honored. appreciated. loved? well now i’ve gone way too far.
perhaps we have walt disney to blame for the bitter taste in ones mouth when we say “stepmother”. but at least he gave us a role in the family. can’t say the same for the mothers. he killed those poor bitches off in the first scene. but not all stepmothers are wicked. most of us are pretty freakin fantastic. i choose to honor all the courageous souls who have been CHOSEN to take on this challenge. God is too smart to make mistakes. he elects only the strongest, most resilient, most empathic, and those with the greatest capacity to love for this gig. he knows how extrafreakinordinary you are. he made you this way on purpose. because even though they don’t know it, and you probably don’t either, those kids need you. and so does your spouse.
think of what goes into the decision to marry someone who doesn’t have kids. there’s a helluva lot of contemplating, probably years of auditioning for one another (unless you’re one of those vegas brides). a whole lot of pros and cons and that’s just to decide whether to share your life with ONE person. now think of what goes into the decision to marry a person with kids. all the above times the amount of children he has plus there’s your ability and willingness to deal with the kids mom to factor in. you’ll have to agree to give up the honeymoon period, the newlywed year when you’re supposed to have sex all over the kitchen 8 times a day without having to worry about children around to get grossed out and traumatized. you’ll have to give up your social life and weekend date nights because you’ll have the kids on weekends even when you two have worked so hard all week that you barely got to speak to one another. you will always be married with kids, there will never be a time when it will just be the two of you. the exciting milestones in your life that you have waited for FOREVER that will make you so freaking happy you’ll want to explode -your wedding, the birth of your own children, etc. you’ll celebrate quietly because they’ll bring pain and mixed emotions to his children which will bring stress and worry to your husband. the child in you will resent them for that. the adult in you will try hard not to. the marital challenges you two will have he never had to face the first time around because there wasn’t a divorce, or hurt children. and even after ALL that thinking and determining, after you’ve made the decision to love everyone he comes with, to sacrifice, to open your home, life and heart to all of them, you STILL had no freaking idea what you were getting into and you’ll want to punch the people who insist you must have.
your marriage begins when everyone else in the family has reached their wit’s end. so basically your marriage has all the makings for a nuclear disaster and you’d be lying if you said you didn’t want to bolt out of it at least once a week. and yet you stay. we stay. because there will never be anything we do that is more challenging therefore nothing could ever be as rewarding. even when no one acknowledges the things you have given up, changed, done YOU know how far you’ve come. how much you’ve grown. how great you feel during a bonding moment with your stepchild. YOU are proud of yourself. and you damn well should be.
i always say the ingredients to make a stepmom are:
1. marry a man with kids
2. have 1000 layers of skin
3. possess the ability to bite a hole through your tongue.
the ingredients to survive being one:
1. expect NOTHING. then instead of being disappointed, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
2. keep on doing the next right thing.
the ingredients to make a successful stepmom:
i have no fucking idea. i’m not that good a cook.
so HAPPY STEPMOTHER’S DAY to all my soul sisters out there!!!! and if you have a stepmother in your life choose today to not be an asshole to her. she is not your mother which is all the more reason to thank her for what she does for you. just in case i’m the only person to appreciate you today you could always pretend you got these cards in the mail: and to the three gifts in my life i am eternally grateful i chose; Casey, Cameron and Christian- being your stepmother is my greatest challenge and greatest reward. you are free to hate me, like me, tolerate me or love me. i have and will continue to make many mistakes as your stepmom. i have done and will continue to do many good things as your stepmother as well. remember we are all navigating through unfamiliar, uncomfortable territory together as a stepfamily. trying to draw lines within boundaries and love is like creating a piece of artwork. it can be as beautiful or as disastrous as we choose to make it. i promise to try to be a grown up even though you know it goes against everything i am! and no matter how tumultuous things may get between us over the years ahead know that you will always be my Princess Buttercup, my Teeny and my Tiny. but don’t let things get too tumultuous cause karma’s a bitch and you never know, one day you may become a stepparent! lastly, to my husband who made me a stepmother-i’m getting you back one pet at a time…….
if opposites really do attract, then gil and i will be married for the next thousand life times.
we couldn’t be more different. he is conservative, traditional, and extremely private. i am wildly liberal, believe most traditions need to be replaced, and think living your life as secretive as batman makes for a very boring conversationalist.
there is no topic we have yet to disagree on more than how to raise our kids. i’m in a unique situation because i had stepkids before having my own which is sort of a cheat sheet for parenting. most step-parents have little decision making powers so i just listened and watched and took mental notes every time my husband made a parenting decision i didn’t agree with. i have a whole drawer in my brain so jammed it can hardly close with notes entitled “he’s never doing it that way when we have kids”.
problem is he stands by his decisions and sees no fault in them. but he’s quietly stubborn and i’m loudly bitchy which means he’ll have to give in if he ever wants peace around here. and besides, i have the wild card i get to throw in when i’m fighting for public instead of private school, organic food instead of mac n cheese, and tap dancing instead of lacrosse:
“You got to do it your way three times already! I get to decide for these two!”
they’ll be one in four weeks (hallefreakinlujah) and i’ve already started an argument that we won’t be up against for ten years.
SUMMER CAMP. hell no. not ever.
my stepsons left for their first summer of camp two weeks ago. they won’t be back till mid august. they are eleven. the first week we got letters from them detailing the new skills they are learning, what activities they have been keeping busy with and how much they are loving the camp experience.
then this past week gil gets a sad phone call from one of his little boys wanting to come home at the half way point. he told him every camper goes through this and once he gets past the homesickness he will make friendships that will last a lifetime and how he’ll be a stronger person for having stuck it out and yada yada yada. what he is saying has proven true for several members of our family. our nephew went to camp for eight summers, was terribly homesick at first but his parents insisted he stick it out and he has grown into one of the most committed, responsible, and successful young men we know. my stepdaughter also had a very difficult time adjusting her first summer but now sobs every year on the way home and keeps in touch with her camp friends all throughout the school year. while i understand all this i still say ‘let the poor kid come home!’ he’s sweating his ass off in the middle of the woods with no electricity, no internet, and access to a phone only once a week. i’ve never been to camp, but they sure sound more like concentration camps than the home away from home camper alumni make them out to be. the thought of my little youtube-less skid laying his tear streaked face down on his pillow made of bark at night and not even being able to call home makes my stomach sick. i say commend the kid for lasting this long, which is longer than i ever would, and bring his mosquito eaten body back to civilization.
another problem i see with this whole camp thing is that the only way to communicate with the campers is through letters which i’m learning are impossible to write. i was in the middle of typing them a one-way-email when my husband slammed the computer screen down on my hands to stop me. i was in the middle of telling them how much we were all missing them during our vacation at the jersey shore last week. how their cousins all say hello etc etc. apparently you are not supposed to tell new campers anything about your summer. you have to write as if you haven’t left your couch since they have been away because hearing about what their family is doing without them could make them homesick. understandable, but then what are you supposed to write? its pointless to even ask them questions about their day because they can’t reply to our emails and once their hand written letters full of answers finally arrive it’s been so long that i’ve forgotten all my questions. i’m terribly afraid of writing anything that could trigger homesickness, so after a few drafts of something along these lines:
‘Hi honey, I hope you are having the time of your life at camp! The rest of us are just sitting on the sofa with our thumbs up our asses until you return’ i decided to stop writing letters and start sending them pictures of their baby brothers instead.
in an attempt to persuade me to agree our sons will be future campers, gil keeps trying to put a positive twist on the whole thing. he keeps reminding me what an incredible experience camp has been for his daughter and for his nephews, how life changing and character building it is. he even suggested a compromise that when the time comes i should go to camp with them as a counselor so they get to go to camp and i still get to spend the summer with them. i can’t imagine what in the seven years of knowing me could have led him to believe that i would ever spend the summer at a camp site. i told him there was no way i was suffering through that and there was no way i was suffering without them for a summer. he asked if i was really that selfish that i would deny them of the experience because i refuse to go and i refuse to let them go without me.
his family insists by the time our boys are eleven i will be counting the days till i send them off to camp. not likely. i’ve already cried myself to sleep twice thinking of the day they will move out for college and they aren’t even one yet. i am an italian mother of sons. my husband better get a court order and a bodyguard if he thinks he’s ever sending my sons away from me for six weeks.
so honey, how about you agree to send this camp fantasy off into The Land of Never Gonna Happen and end this issue today so it’s one less thing we need to fight about in 2021.
there comes a time in every marriage when you just gotta go out and flirt. with other people.
my married girlfriend and i were talking today and she was expressing a strong desire for a girls night out. now, i can’t speak for everyone, but any girls night out i’ve ever been involved in there’s been flirting. and lots of it. my friend was saying that she’s been feeling kinda crappy about herself lately, her husband tells her she’s beautiful and yada yada yada, but it just wasn’t making her feel any better. sometimes we women have a lapse in self-esteem that only drinks bought by Nameless and Faceless can cure.
i mean, let’s be honest. when you have little kids your marriage becomes about them. this becomes your conversation after you’ve put them to bed:
“what did colt eat today?” “has jett rolled over yet?” “what color was their poop after lunch?”
is it any wonder you start craving for a stranger to tell you your shirt brings out the color of your eyes? after all, when your husband sees that shirt the only thing he tells you is how many times he’s seen your son puke all over it.
now please understand i am talking about HARMLESS flirting here. there is such a thing. i’m not condoning affairs, i’m not encouraging you to exchange numbers or room keys. unless of course your hubby has pissed you off and then i suggest you and the kids dress up super cute and hit the town to play a little game i like to call “are you my stepfather?”
i can talk the talk but my husband knows i’m totally out of the game. after all, if i did get any stepfather offers what would i say? “wanna come back to my place and count my stretch marks?” gil affectionately calls the aftermath of my stomach ‘the anti-cheat’ so he can rest assured i’m not sneaking gentleman callers into the bedroom.
when i go out for girls night i am finding it hard to have fun now. ‘fun’. interesting word. it’s constantly transforming itself throughout your lifetime. it starts out meaning swing sets and chasing ice cream trucks. then it becomes too many long island iced teas and a walk of shame, and now it means catching bubbles in your hand with a ten month old.
i notice it’s my childless married friends who choose to get their flirt on at the bars. when they give me shit for not wanting to go out i tell them to go out drinking, get home at 1:00am, set their alarm for every 15 minutes until 6am, and then run on a treadmill until 6pm. THEN come bitch at me for being a boring friend.
many of my equally exhausted married with children friends opt to do their harmless flirting at the gym during daylight hours. i find this location even less appealing than the bar. i feel my most unattractive when working out in a gym. gorging myself in a restaurant is pretty high up there too. if you happen to find me doing either of these please do not make eye contact with me, and just walk away.
the gym is a horrible place where the devil is your spin instructor and every work out is an audition.
men comparing and contrasting the row of spandex asses on the elliptical machines in front of them. women stretching out their bodies on mats to prove how limber they are. i can always tell the single or unhappily married women at the gym, they are the most stretchy. i, however, work out in my husbands sweatpants (i prefer looser quarters for my jiggle to wiggle) and find nothing sexy about sweat pouring off everyone’s bodies stinking up the equipment. not to mention i run awkwardly at best. i run like elaine dances. it should never be done in public but being in shape is important to me so i must endure the humiliation.
speaking of humiliation, a few days ago male perfection stepped onto the treadmill right beside mine. automatically i pushed back my shoulders (aka stuck my boobs out), slowed to a brisk walk because he can’t see me run, and reached to turn the volume down on my ipod cause i’m sure he could hear the show tunes blasting from my headphones. too bad my hand got tangled in the headphone cord which pulled it out of my ipod and sent it flying over to HIS treadmill. the ipod landed just horribly enough to prominetly display the blue, pink, and yellow orignal broadway cast of THE WEDDING SINGER album cover. he stops his workout to pick it up, gets enough of a glimpse of it and hands it back to a very flushed faced me.
suddenly the treadmill is a time machine running me back to junior high where i am the most unfortunate looking girl in the school.
i mumbled “thanks” without even looking at him, faked an exhausted exhale, reduced the speed to snails pace and hopped off. never mind my entire workout had been 3 minutes and 42 seconds. i wonder if he noticed the time displayed on the screen? WAIT A MINUTE! I AM MARRIED! not only do i not need to care about what this object of perfection thinks about me but i’m not even allowed to care! i am legally and morally required to be my show tune loving self because i was already cast as a wife in someone else’s script so i don’t have to audition for his! the awesomeness of marriage finally hits me. it’s like permanent permission to be as dorky as i am. how comforting that i have already tricked somebody into loving me forever so i don’t even need gym guys approval. but it’d be nice to have it….
i don’t seem to be a good candidate for gym or bar flirting, but i think it’s important to keep looking for places to exercise this right as a wife and mother. i believe flirting should be a lot like ‘fun’; the way you do it changes once your married, it shouldn’t end, but it best be altered!
we fly to nyc with the twins tomorrow. me, the nanny, and the husband. the nanny and i will carry the babies, the husband will carry everything else.
i’ve been mentally preparing for this flight for the past week. the last time i flew with the boys they were 3 months old and actually enjoyed being held. this time around i anticipate a great deal of screaming, kicking, and escaping down the aisle.
and that’s just me and the nanny. i can’t even imagine what the babies are gonna be like…..
my husband’s experience will likely be a bit different since he took the liberty of bumping himself up to first class. he graciously offered to come back and ‘check on us’ after he gets through with his dinner.
i really hope he enjoys his serving of divorce papers for dessert.
i’m not exactly what one would call a wife. i just never saw the point or had any interest in being one. i’ve never told gil this but the day i met him i knew i’d just met the most important person in my life. i didn’t know what that meant at the time but it didn’t take me long to realize (warning: this oozes with cheese) he’s home to me. (i know, i puked in my mouth too). it’s true though. he knows me almost as well as i know myself and after eons of therapy i consider myself to be a professional self-discoverer. i’m 1000% myself with him and he loves and accepts me anyway. so when i decided i wanted to be a mother and he said he wouldn’t procreate with me unless we were married, i found myself saying fiiiinnnee. and here we are. husband and “wife”.
let it be known i don’t even meet the minimum basic requirements of a wife. my version of clean is slightly less detailed than my husbands and when i say i don’t cook what i mean is i don’t even know where the cooking equipment IS. but since my family would probably like to eat once in a while what’s a domestic invalid to do?
hire a wife on craigslist.
so i did.
i found a smoking hot, 28 year old to be the ceo of our home. my children were my first proof that god exists and she is the second. she does the grocery shopping, cooks gourmet meals complete with hors d’oeuvres. she’s thrown dinner parties for our friends, does the baby shopping, clothes shopping, baby proofing, organizes every square inch of our house, and takes my car for oil changes. i came home the other day to find her drilling a hole in the wall to secure wall straps to the tv so it would never be able to fall on the babies. there is seriously nothing she can’t do perfectly AND WITH A SMILE ON HER FACE so no, she’s not a trafficking slave. although it does feel illegal to have her. as far as i’m concerned it is slave labor. i told her when i interviewed her i could not think of a worse job and no matter what we pay her it’ll never be close to what she deserves.
this is why housewives don’t get paid for their work; no one can afford them.
The Smoking Hot New Wife actually seems to take pride in excelling in all these tasks so as far as i’m concerned she’s insane. regardless, every household in the world should come with one of her. she’s a younger version of my mother-in-law who is 156 highly capable people all combined into one super human.
my sons are intoxicated by her. she walks into the room and they stare, grinning at her like creepy little drunks. my husband certainly has a lot less to bitch about now. he doesn’t care who is cooking, cleaning and doing his laundry just so long as it’s not him. and thanks to craigslist, and my being strangely secure in our marriage, he has someone younger, hotter, and thinner than me doing it for him. the skids are happy cause fruit by the foot is no longer the only option at our dinner table. and i’m ecstatic because everyone’s off my back so i can concentrate on my nanny job.
do i feel ashamed, intimidated, insecure, and threatened over this beautiful woman who runs my home, cares for my husband, and nourishes my children far better than i ever could? do i feel resentful that she does everything that i am “supposed” to do as a wife and much better?
(well, there’s one wifely duty she isn’t doing. to my knowledge. but if she is she’s probably doing that better too and i’ll bet she’s even able to do it without staring at the baby monitor the whole time……..bitch).
i’ve done a great deal of soul searching and the honest answers to my questions are NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT! all i feel is freaking grateful we were able to hire this Smoking Hot New Wife to do all the crap i suck at and have no interest in. i find no shame in being replaced by this younger, hotter, better version. i am only regretful i didn’t go craigslist shopping five years ago when i moved in with gil. would have exempt us from italian-german wars 1, 2, 6 & 8. .
our recent dilemma is that our New Wife is threatening to divorce us with talk of cutting back her hours to “pursue other interests”. how could she imagine the grass could be any greener than here at Shawshank? i said when we hired her that it wouldn’t be long before she came to work with a chisel and started shopping on ebay for a rita hayworth poster. hmm i’ll bet she was really drilling her escape route in the wall that day until i came home unexpectedly!
we’ve lost whatever limited ability we had to function as a family without her, so i’m thinking we gotta get creative here in order to keep her from leaving us. i wonder if it will help her understand the depth of how much we need her if i tape this lyric to the dishwasher:
“if she ever tries to fucking leave again ima tie her to the bed and set this house on fire”. “today i don’t feel like doing anything, i just wanna lay in my bed. don’t feel like picking up the phone so leave a message at the tone cause today i swear i’m not doing anything. nothing at all. nothing at all. nothing at all.” 05 The Lazy Song
the only thing more draining than living with five kids is that three of them play sports.
every other hour there is a soccer practice or a lacrosse game or a tournament for months on end. now look, i love my skids and am very proud of their talents and accomplishments. I really, truly want to support and encourage them in all they do. INside.
hockey? wrestling? skeeball? i’m your girl. i’ll be in the front row with pompoms, but a soccer field in the middle of a florida afternoon? kill me.
soon after having the twins i began to realize they were a built-in excuse to stay in air conditioning. i couldn’t go to most of their athletic events anymore and no one could get mad at me. they were my get- out- of- jail- free card.
each sunny afternoon i would have to say, “Oh no, boys are down for their nap, I can’t go” frown.
“Crap, boys can’t be around large groups of kids till they’re vaccinated” sad face.
“Babies can’t wear sunscreen until they’re six months old. It’s too dangerous for them to be in the sun” tear.
now that they are eight months old the entire family’s pretty much caught on to me and i’m out of excuses. so there i drove sunday afternoon, babies in tow, to my stepson’s lacrosse game somewhere between purgatory and hell.
it was 846,000 degrees that afternoon. if you flapped your arms quickly enough to air out your armpits you might possibly have felt some hint of a breeze.
i layered the babies in sunscreen before leaving the house and continued to add a layer every 20-30 minutes while outside (yes, i’m one of THOSE moms). i brought our dome-shaped tent with us where they played, laughed, and pulled at each others bonnet-like hats i insisted they wear.
after the fourth or fifth time of knocking the tent over with their super human baby strength, i got tired of fixing it and took them out of the tent. i passed one off to daddy who was very engrossed in the game and i kept the other. my husband immediately put his on the grass in front of him which worried me . what no-nos would he find on the ground to put in his mouth?
i kept reminding my husband to make sure he was watching what baby Jett was doing while i was busy entertaining Colt (yes I’m aware of the irony of having kids with football teams for names).
“All okay on your end honey?”
“Yup” he said without ever removing his eyes from the game.
“You’re sure he’s not putting anything in his mouth?”
“He’s good.” (barely a glance down at the baby) “SCORE!!! YEEEEEES!!!”
as soon as the cheering parents quieted down i heard it. Jett gagged, then coughed, and a mother seated on the other side of my husband looked at me and yelled:
“You’re baby! He’s coughing up leaves!”
she might as well have said he was sitting on a land mine. my sweaty crotch leapt off the lawn chair, plopped Colt in the tent, and ran to
beat my husband in the face with a hammer my son. it took me about a moment and a half to get to Jett and in that moment i visualized every unimaginable horror from having his stomach pumped to his funeral. (i call terrifying thoughts such as these ‘mama traumas’ and they pop into my head multiple times a day ever since i had the boys. i’ve tried everything short of a lobotomy to stop them and i’m pretty sure the condition is incurable).
when i reached Jett he had pulled a tiny brown drool covered leaf from his mouth and was clenching it in his fist, smiling up at me with pride. i searched his mouth. clear. searched around him, no leaves. had he swallowed some? or could it be that the woman’s panic and baby’s gag had been from this one tiny leaf? if he had swallowed any he certainly didn’t seem to mind. and for the record, my babies gag on EVERYTHING. even when there’s nothing in their mouth. they just gag.
even though Jett was as fine as could be and the mother seemingly overreacted, i still went looking for a hammer. not only could our child be at risk for……for…….some sort of toxic leaf syndrome, but more importantly, my husband made me look like a BAD MOTHER in front of another mother! are there greater grounds for divorce?
that woman whom i will likely never see again is walking around the planet considering me someone who neglects her baby and lets him choke on things.
and why is it that mothers blame the mothers? why not blame the fathers whose fault it usually is?
she was sitting right next to him. she MUST have known he was the one in charge of Jett. she had to have heard me continuously caution him to pay attention and still she yelled, accusingly, at ME.
unless……….mayyyybe she yelled to me because she saw his dad was too involved in the game and knew she’d have as good of luck as i did getting his attention?
maybe she wasn’t passing blame or judgement but only looking out for our baby? perhaps she understood my frustration because her husband can’t parent and watch sports at the same time either?
i realized i was the one accusing, blaming, and judging me for being a bad mother because i felt like one. no matter who i put in charge of my babies they will always be my responsibility. i will always ultimately blame myself for every leaf they eat no matter who feeds it to them.
and who am i kidding? other mothers probably will too.
hmmmm…. i wonder if the threat of dangerous leaves at the field will excuse a few of my absences in the future?