Monday, December 21, 2015

Tater Tots at the End of the Tunnel

Phew. Friends. Rough times lately. Aside from the constant onslaught of global tragedy (which, in case you hadn't noticed from the tenor of my recent posts, seriously gets me down), life's just been hard for the last bit. I mean, socio-economically stable, American white-girl hard. Which calls to mind a quote I just heard:

"There ain't no situation that you ever had to respond to that's adverse. The messiest thing you've ever gone through was your purse." - Eminem, Phenomenal. From the movie Southpaw, which I liked quite a lot, surprisingly. If you're a fan of Jake Gyllenhaal, overacting, and sports-themed feel-good movies, I highly recommend it.

But damn Eminem. That's harsh. Hittin' a gal where it hurts, right in the mom-purse. Low blow, man.

I mean, I get it. In the grand scheme of things, my life is not that hard. Whenever I'm feeling really bad I just imagine what it would be like have cancer at the age of 30 or to be a Syrian refugee or a young village woman in Burundi or a human-American who honestly believes Donald Trump would be in any way, shape, or form suitable for the office of the President of the United States of America and I instantly feel a lot better about my problems, such as they are. If you've been around these parts for a while you may be familiar with The Scale of Suck:

It's all relative. But that doesn't mean I'm not going to whine about it from time to time.

Anyway. Now that we've put it in perspective. My first world problems were stressing me the F out. I just felt like I was hiking up this interminable mountain and I wasn't allowed to stop to rest and I kept stumbling and falling down and I couldn't see when or if it was ever going to end. I regularly asked myself, "How do people do this??? How does the majority of the world survive on a day-to-day basis and do all the things like make their house not look like a HazMat zone and feed their children every single day and keep their family in clean underwear? I don't get it. This is so hard!" I was literally giving myself pep talks morning and night like, "Okay! You've got this! Just a little while longer. Pull up your big girl panties and handle this shit." And I did. I white-knuckled my mom-purse-adversity with nothing but some spit and sunshine.

I realized I had arrived on "the other side" of these trying times a week or two ago, as I sat in the sun on a deserted beach, in December, inhaling an entire plate of "totchos" (a.k.a. tater tot nachos), while my husband and the critters frolicked in the ocean waves. If there is a heaven, let it look like this. But hold the onions, please :)

"You know life is good when you're taking pictures of your feet." - DM
Everything's comin' up fried potatoes.

We hosted our first Thanksgiving at our new home and normally that sort of situation is my worst nightmare but I didn't cook a damn thing and I ended up being super sick the day of so my sister-in-law expertly managed the warming of things (which is actually way more involved that one would think, given that everything was already cooked), and my husband and mom- and dad-in-law wrangled the children, and it was a totally enjoyable day despite feeling like fresh hell.

I got to have a grown-up date with my husband, at the concert of a band we saw for our first official date thirteen years ago <3

We roasted s'mores on the beach in December, which was glorious until the inevitable meltdowns because they got wet and sticky and sandy roasting marshmallows at the beach and I did not have sufficient "wep-wipes wifout chemicals" on my person to give them full hospital baths.

We got our Christmas tree up and decorated before Christmas. The dogs only ate one four priceless ornaments (so far). And I persevered the "OCD itch" for three whole hours before I rearranged all of the ornaments the kids put on the bottom two feet of the tree. Come to think of it, I've completely let go. The lights on the top third of the tree are 30% dimmer than the rest (because we ran out and had to go get more and apparently there is no industry standard for shiny brightness of fairy lights), AND, Daddy Mack just discovered two entire boxes of my most precious and fragile ornaments that we didn't even put on the tree and I'm pretty sure I'm just going to leave them for next year! I'm a new me who's fresh outta f*cks to give!

We started strong. That's all I can say about that. 
I got crafty as hell with my sis and a girlfriend.

And somebody thought it would be a good idea for that damn elf to come anywhere near my hours of painstaking handiwork.

Chuck Ferry, I swear to God and everything Holy, if you tarnish one glistening ball on that wreath, you will have a hot date with a glue gun and I can guarantee it won't be nearly as pretty as this.
I finished my Christmas shopping before Christmas eve.

My kids had multiple run-in's with everyone's favorite Capitalist incarnation of the birth of Jesus Christ. (I don't mean that as an insult, Santa is my own personal lord and savior.)

My dad and brother are coming for the holidays <3

One of my BFFs just had her FOURTH precious baby and it makes me smile.

As of today, 60,000 people have visited my blog. I know "real" bloggers get that much traffic in a day, but that's 59,993 more than I expected (and okay let's be honest, it's probably a combination of my besties and Ukrainian hacker bots visiting 30,000 times in a row but whatever, I'll take it :))

And, I just had my first official review at work (after 4 and a half years? I think they just realized I work here. Just give me my stapler and call me Milton). And they actually really like me ;)

Not to be like, "#blessed," or anything. But it's nice to be reminded of everything you have to be thankful for, especially on the heels of a patch where you're thankful just to get through the day. I write this to say, if you are in the shit, mom-purse-petty though it may be, and it feels like it will never end and you are not sure how you're going to be able to hold it together much longer, just keep on keepin' on. You'll get through it. And there are tater tots at the end of the tunnel.

And tonight as I'm listening to NPR on my drive home, hearing about how terrible everything is in the world. As it takes me 75 minutes to drive 27 miles. As my children are literally fighting about a goddamn eyelash. As I actually shed a tear over spilled milk. As I open the credit card bill for all of those expeditious Christmas purchases. I will repeat this mantra to myself: There are tater tots at the end of the tunnel. There are tater tots. At the end. Of the tunnel. Amen.

PS. In case you're thinking, "Nice humble brag, b*tch." Don't you worry, I got mine. I wrote this and before I had a chance to publish it, I caught a nasty stomach bug from my husband. Poor DM. Before kids, if he'd had a stomach flu I would have been like, "Oh honey here's some flat ginger ale and dry toast, may I hand-feed you spoonfuls of homemade applesauce?" (Actually I wouldn't feed him toast because he thinks toast causes migraines. But I would feed toast to a normal person with the stomach flu.) Now I'm like, "Don't breathe on or near our children. If they catch this shit I will f*cking end you." (I'm paraphrasing. ;))

Anyway, just when I thought I was in the clear, BOOM BOOM BARF. I was SO ILL, people. And I do not have any days in life to spare. I was also going to miss my daughter's first ever ballet recital. You know what's worse than missing your daughter's first ballet recital? Having to attend your daughter's ballet recital while you are in the throes of the stomach flu because your husband gets stuck in aforementioned hellacious traffic. And you are pouring sweat from places that shouldn't sweat and trying not to throw up in your mouth and/or sh*t your pants and Purell-ing the hell out of yourself and everything around you the while attempting to look totally normal, present, and overwhelmed with the adorableness. I felt like one of those people in the movie Contagion, or some zombie-apocalypse movie, where you have to pretend not to be "infected" otherwise they put you in quarantine and leave you for dead.

The Universe said, "This is what you get for counting your tater tots before they're nacho-fied, SUCKAH!"

But I gotta tell ya, the barfs really put it all in perspective. You know how when you get really sick, you're just like, "I can't believe I ever had such a joyful time in my life that I could think about, let alone eat, totchos and not projectile vomit. I would do anything to feel like that again." (Or, "I can't believe I could breathe freely through my nostrils and I didn't breathe ALL THE AIR!") When you recover, you really have a new lease on life! Donald Trump, who? I'm eating bread, bitches!

So yeah. Tater tots. Or dry toast and flat ginger ale. At the bottom of your mom purse.

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