We moved into our house five years ago. For five long years, we've been hiding a dirty little secret in the basement...
...boxes upon boxes of STUFF that we never unpacked.
I know. I'm so ashamed.
For the past few weeks we've been taking advantage of the boys' bedtime to go through these boxes and purge, big time. The next morning, Jete takes as much as he can to the Goodwill on his way to work. It's sad, but healthy. There are books and trinkets and bobbles that are semi-sentimental, and looking through them brings back memories. But really? They're just clutter.
(Besides, if we haven't had the urge to look for something in the past FIVE YEARS, we probably don't need it.)
The other night, Jete brought a box over for me to go through. "You'll enjoy this." I opened it up to find dozens of old letters and cards that I gave him when we were first dating. After almost an hour, I'd only gotten through a handful of them. (Note to self: my wordiness and rambling is a bad habit. And definitely not a new one.)
It was strange reading them, like I had discovered someone else's diary. They were written almost ten years ago. I'm so far removed from the moment that I've forgotten what little references and jokes meant. In hindsight, some of what I wrote as we got closer to the wedding was slightly prophetic. "I know we've been through a lot so far, and I'm sure it will only get harder."
The underlying theme in most of the cards was the same: "I love you. I am sorry I do ___ (insert crazy thing). But I can't help it. Because I love you."
Most of the "crazy things" were related to my insecurities. I'd keep him on the phone for hours, even though he was falling asleep, because I couldn't bear to hang up with him. I'd cry when we parted, because I wanted to be with him all. the. time. I'd tell him over and over that I didn't believe he could really love me.
I know. I'm a real gem.
In our first year of dating, he worked for his uncle, doing physical labor for long (12 hour) days. I was in college, and worked weekends, so our time was pretty much limited to evenings. Most nights, we'd hang out on my parents' couch and talk. Within an hour, he'd fall asleep. Sometimes he was too tired to even leave his house after work, so we'd just talk on the phone.
Reading these letters reminded me how crazy I was back then. (Well. Crazier than usual.) He was like a drug. I was high when I was with him, and miserable when he was gone. If I couldn't see him for a few days, I was depressed. I ached for him. When I finally saw him again, I couldn't take my eyes off of him.
My obsession led to tension with Sete and some of my friends. I was a lifelong goody-goody, but suddenly, I was ignoring my friends, neglecting my studies (a little) and disobeying my parents. But I didn't care. He was like air. It was a matter of survival; I just didn't feel alive without him. If I had to alienate people to stay alive, so be it.
I read an article recently in National Geographic about the way the brain of a person in love works. It was pretty interesting, especially the way they compared being in love to OCD. This quote sums it up: "Scientists say that the brain chemistry of infatuation is akin to mental illness." Looking at my flowerly, rambling letters from those early days, I can totally see their point.
The article explained that the body can only handle that kind of stress for a limited time. That's why the Crazy Love usually only lasts a year or two. The initial spark fades; the mad feeling that you are flying, out-of-control with happiness goes away. You either move on completely, or settle into something else: a steady, slow-burning love.
It may be hard to believe, but I'm not nearly as crazy as I once was. I still love Jete completely, but as they say, the honeymoon is over.
I'm lucky that my friends and family loved me enough to forgive me for my myopia. They could have held a grudge for all the times I snubbed them, took his phone call instead of theirs, or chose to spend time with him instead of them. I wouldn't blame them if they did. Although I think I could make a pretty good case for temporary insanity.
And really? I don't regret a minute of it. I'm a little sad that it's over. And even if it all ended right now, I wouldn't give up those Crazy days for anything. I'd go back and do it all again in a heartbeat.
You just haven't lived until you've gone Crazy.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
We moved into our house five years ago. For five long years, we've been hiding a dirty little secret in the basement...
Monday, February 13, 2006
Dear Giant Fuel Company:
I greatly appreciate the bill I received this month. It was very colorful!
You might have noticed that I am currently almost two months behind in payments. Therefore, I think it was unwise to include SIX envelopes asking for donations for the Good Neighbor Energy Fund.
While I'd love to help pay a stranger's heating bills, I should probably work on my own first. I'd kindly send the envelopes back, but I can't really afford the extra stamp.
Hugs and kisses,
Posted by Mete at 10:38 PM
Sunday, February 12, 2006
...I'm thinking of moving.
It's not you. It's me. Really. There are things I want out of life that I'm just not getting here.
Like the look around here, for one thing. So drab. So dreary. I'm just not loving it. I like that I can change things a bit, but it just isn't enough. I've literally tried on every outfit in this closet, and none of them look good on me.
I've come to realize that I just need more. Like Categories. I'd like to group my thoughts, just in case I ever want to go back and read everything I ever wrote about math all at once. Maybe I'd like to add Previous and Next links. Maybe a calendar. And I'd like to do all of these things WITHOUT having to get a Phd and doing lots of fancy magic tricks.
What can I say? I'm high maintenance.
Also, the address. I'm tired of it. A name is important. And what does mine say about me, other than the fact that I couldn't think of anything better at the time? It's not a name to remember. I've noticed a lot of people search for "Mete", "Jete" and/or "Ethan" to find my site. That makes me think they've forgotten the title. And really, who can blame them? There are so many "__ Girl" sites out there: Brooklyn Girl, Indigo Girl, Nervous Girl. Who would remember me?
Plus, let's be honest. Indecisive is just plain hard to spell.
So I'm thinking of moving on. I'm staying here until I get things settled elsewhere. But I wanted to let you know that the day is coming. I'll be posting a forwarding address as soon as I'm moved in. And I really, really hope you'll all come to visit.
You don't even have to bring a fruit basket.
Friday, February 10, 2006
Soooooo, the dreaded Valentine's day is coming up, or as E and I call it, VD day.
Now some of you may be thinking, "But you have a partner. You should love Valentine's day!" But some of you? Would be wrong.
As I think I've made abundantly clear, I love Love. I do. I love sappy movies. I sing along with every love song I can find on the radio. I cry every time I see that "Life" commercial from Chase credit cards.
But Valentine's day is not about Love. It's a holiday designed to depress people. I believe it's a conspiracy among the greeting card, jewelry, and grocery stores out there. They get half of the people to shell out tons of money to buy guilt-induced gifts, and the other half to buy chocolate and tubs of ice cream to eat on the couch out of depression.
Married or not, my history with VD day has been nearly all bad. Pre-Jete, they were lonely. I watched the OTHER girls get roses delivered, or talk about their romantic plans. My first VD day with Jete was supposed to be our first official date - until I got nervous and cancelled it. For several years after, every VD day ended in a fight, mainly driven by ridiculous expectations we both had about how each of us were "supposed" to behave.
Finally, the two of us gave up (okay, I gave up) on the ideals society had been forcing. Why do we have to be romantic on this random day of the year? In the middle of one of the coldest, darkest months? When our heating bill is soaring and everyone's got a cold and we just aren't feeling like being lovey-dovey?
So we aren't. We're romantic if and when the urge strikes. He cleans off my car when it snows. I buy him those muffins he likes. We show our love on our own terms. And because it isn't dictated by the calendar, it means so much more.
In honor of February 14th, and to distract you from the hype, I bring you a list. Enjoy!
- Listening to people butcher the name: "Don't forget, next Tuesday is ValenTIMES day!"
- An overwhelming supply of chocolate. Because I am, in all seriousness, a chocoholic. I can't just have "one" Hershey kiss. I have to have 20. And these days, they're everywhere.
- Cinnamon red-hot hearts. I know, I know. People love them. I just don't see it. YUCK. Why not just stab your tongue repeatedly with a tiny needle?
- Conversation hearts. Okay, these aren't as bad tasting as the red-hots. But the "conversation" part is beyond corny: I'm Sure, Be My Icon, ILU. Now they're trying to be modern with ones like Fax Me and Page Me. Maybe "Bite Me" will be available next year.
- Seeing pepto-bismol pink everywhere I look.
- Being asked 73 THOUSAND times: "So what are your big plans for Valentimes day?". As if I'm getting the day off of work or something.
- Kids' valentines. I hated VD day even in grade school. The dreaded fear that someone wouldn't give me one. Choosing just the right Garfield valentine that told my secret crush "I think you're neat!", just to have him throw it away.
- The envelopes those Garfield valentines came with. The cards never fit right, and there was never enough glue to actually seal the envelope.
- Those ridiculous greeting cards that are two feet high. Why? WHY would you buy someone a greeting card that couldn't even fit in a drawer?
- The recent pushing of this movie as the "romantic" film to buy or rent this holiday season.
- The pressure to propose. If you're dating but unmarried, you know what I mean. When Valentine's day rolls around, everyone expects a ring. (And no offense to anyone who does, but Valentine's day is the least original day to propose in the first place.)
- Red roses. I loathe red roses. I think they're the biggest cliche going. If you're going to send me flowers, at least put a little thought into it.
- A dozen red roses that cost $100. They're just flowers, people. In two weeks, they'll be back down to $19.99.
- Those horrible diamond commercials. "Every kiss begins with Kay..." As if the only way to show your love is to spend more money than you can afford on an overpriced piece of jewelry that she probably doesn't even want. Despite the myth, most women aren't golddiggers. Really.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Ethan had a routine kidney ultrasound yesterday. He has them every few months to make sure his Topamax isn't turning his kidneys into tiny bags of rocks.
Good news: no kidney stones.
Bad news: my faith in the medical field is at an all-time low.
Ethan's ultrasound tech was a young Indian woman. I mention that she was Indian - not because her race has any relevance on her abilities -because she had a very thick accent. So thick, that we had to wonder if she understood what we were saying at all.
When we arrived, she started talking to Ethan. This is a regular practice for people who work with children. Don't talk through the parents, have respect for the child and deal with them directly. It makes sense. The only thing is, Ethan doesn't talk back or interact in any way, even with us. He doesn't really know you're there. But we appreciate the effort, and we'd never ask someone to ignore him. So we let her try to talk to him.
When she started waving Hello in his face and saying he looked sleepy, we felt it necessary to explain. Jete took the reins. "He's legally blind." She just said, "Ohhhhh." Then she grabbed a sheet of colorful stickers off the counter. "He like sticker? E-than! Sticker?"
Maybe she didn't understand the "legally" part? Jete tried again. "Well, he's BLIND, so he can't see them." She said, "Ohhhh" again. She brought them closer to him. "You want sticker Ethan?" I just firmly said NO, and she put them on the counter.
She went in the other room while we took Ethan's shirt off and Jete and I gave each other the biggest eye roll possible.
When she put the gel on his side, Ethan let out a little gasp. She said, "O-kay. I'm not hurting you." Jete used this as an opportunity to help her understand again. "Since he can't see, everything is a surprise." She laughed. "Ohhhh! That make it easy for me!" Jete and I looked at each other. HUH?
She did the fastest ultrasound we've ever had and pronounced - in the middle of it - that everything was normal. Then she left the room to, I assume, go check with her superiors that everything really was normal. We've never had an ultrasound tech give us any results before checking with the other doctors.
While she was gone, I showed Jete a book I had noticed on the chair next to me: a study guide for the ultrasound tech exam. Ahhhh.
Just a note to all you students out there: we know you're students. We know you have to learn by doing, and we know our routine exams are probably a good opportunity for that. But don't flaunt your inexperience in our faces while confidently asserting a diagnosis you haven't even verified yet. And maybe leave the book in your bag next time?
She returned and said, yes, everything was fine. We put Ethan back in his stroller. As we packed up, she told us how handsome he was. We thanked her. Then she waved rapidly in front of Ethan's face again. "Bye-bye E-than!" We smiled tight smiles and said goodbye. We couldn't bother to try to explain again.
I guess they didn't get to that chapter yet.