I’m starting to sense a theme here…

The other day, I received the following in the mail from a dear friend of mine:

Unicorns are Jerks coloring book

Why? Well, for no other reason than the fact that it’s hilariously funny AND a coloring book. I mean, coloring bad ass unicorns? What’s not to love?

Then a few days later, this arrived in the mail from my sister:

Be a Unicorn

My friend and my sister do not know each other. I do not have an affinity for unicorns. They know I do not have an affinity for unicorns. (Not that I have any problems with unicorns. Unicorns are awesome. Fantastic, really. It’s just that, I’ve never had an opinion on them one way or the other.) And yet, the universe is apparently conspiring to ensure that I develop an affinity for unicorns. Because why else would I receive two unicorn related gifts within days of each other from different people who know nothing about one another and are aware of my indifference towards unicorns? Apparently, it is my destiny to become a fan of any and all unicorn related propaganda. Which would officially make me a dork. Which I am not okay with. Is this karma? Or does the universe just have a really quirky sense of humor?

I don’t know. Either way, it was totally weird. And both my friend and my sister were very excited about these gifts. I’ve already been asked if I’ve started coloring in my coloring book yet. (The answer is no, by the way.) And my sister seemed overly concerned that she got me the wrong color and size for the t-shirt… as though I would be wearing it out in public… ever. Not only is it pink, but it has unicorns on it. Do I strike anyone as a pink unicorn kind of girl? (Although, it was “Mug Sister“, and she does have a weird sense of humor. But she sounded very serious about the whole thing over the phone…)

*sigh*

ANYhoodles, so apparently, I have a thing for unicorns now. Keep that in mind next time you need to buy me a gift. Annie’s a big ol’ fan of unicorns.

Go unicorns.

(PSST! If you click on the pictures, it’ll bring you to the places that make these fantastic items. Theo Nicole Lorenz is a fantastically funny artist whose products you can find on Amazon, and City Shirts makes some pretty epic clothing items so… be sure to check those out.)

The Secret Lives of Boys – Part 3

See? I told all ya’ll that I would get around to the 3rd installment. And all ya’ll were like, “Psh. OKAY. I’ll believe it when I see it, Annie…” Well, believe it, oh ye of little faith. BELIEVE it.

Okay…where was I? Something about men… or boys. Or some combination of the two. Hang on, let me get my notes…

Okay, so we covered how I had all these ridiculous expectations for the men in my life, but how those expectations didn’t apply to my brother. And after the terrible, harrible, no good, very bad event in my life, I realized that women’s efforts to “polish” up the men in their lives was having a very bad effect on men.

And… I think that’s where we left off, right?

Which brings me to now… and the most important part of this series: The Secret Lives of Boys.

I mentioned how after the terrible, harrible, no good, very bad event in my life, I had become a lot closer with my brother. And suddenly, we were doing a lot more talking, and a lot more confiding . And he was doing a lot of confiding about his past. At first, his revelations and confessions were enough to make me plug my ears while singing at the top of my lungs, because quite frankly, living in ignorance about the saint that was my brother, was just easier. And the idea that my brother was anything less than perfect was… well, it made me lose faith in men. My big brother had always been on this pedestal, against which I measured all men. He was honest, and kind, and brave, and honorable, and he did everything that was good and right and pure.

Except, that he didn’t.

You see, he had a secret life of his own that no one knew about… especially not his mother, his sisters, and his wife. This “secret life” wasn’t something scandalous or terrible. It just consisted of all those things he had done as a stupid youth that he had never divulged to anyone for fear of being judged, condemned and sent to hell for.

Things like… playing with fire, driving recklessly, not behaving like a perfect gentlemen, swearing, drinking, smoking, carousing, pushing boundaries, breaking rules and behaving like… well… like a man.

When I found this out, I was all…

And then I was all…

Because, I’m sorry but… What the hell?!

Here’s this dude against which I measure the worth of all men, and he’s full of it like the rest of them? So, in the aftermath of my terrible, harrible, no good, very bad event, I was pretty much convinced that all men sucked, and weren’t deserving of anything good in life.

Once I stopped being angry and went back to being awesome, it occurred to me that… my brother wasn’t perfect. He was human like anyone else. Likewise, all men are human. Therefore, no men are perfect. And I realized, I had been trying so hard to convince myself that somewhere out there was a perfect Mormon Eagle Scout, that I was forgetting that perfect people don’t exist… and the more you try to polish men to fit into your idea of perfection, the more you rob them of the personalities they were born with. I was doing precisely the same thing my sister-in-law was doing to my brother – the very thing I hated. I had been looking for a perfect robot void of personality, void of history, void of life-experience, void of any imperfection that made them interesting and worthwhile and awesome. I wanted a man without a secret life. Apparently, I wanted a man who wasn’t a man at all… but just a blob of compliance, obedience and perfection. I basically wanted a monk.


Stay tuned for Part 4. Because I will wrap it up… I plomise. (Yes, I see that typo. But it makes me laugh. Because plomise sounds way more awesome than promise, so I’m leaving it as is. Maybe I’ll add it to my vernacular.)

For Part 1, click here.

For Part 2, click here.

Gif Sources: http://lifesucksthenyouregenerate.tumblr.com/post/4711623921, www.thenug.com

The Secret Lives of Boys – Part 2

Missed the first part? Find it here: The Secret Lives of Boys – Part 1


So, basically, I had these unrealistic and completely unreasonable expectations for the men in my life.

And then I got married.

Obviously, I didn’t carry all of these unreasonable expectations into marriage with me (because, let’s be honest… if I had, there would have been a blood bath after the first month), but male behavior still bewildered and baffled me. It didn’t help matters that my husband hadn’t grown up with any sisters, but instead 4 overgrown babies of brothers who couldn’t handle much social interaction outside of scratching, farting, burping and making poop jokes. Basically, my in laws were the cast of “Alaskan Bush People” (and that’s only a slight exaggeration). This did not bode well for a girly girl who thought men were already weird in the first place.

Despite this, I never tried to all-out change my husband. (Note to all women everywhere: You cannot, should not and will not ever change your husband/boyfriend/fiance. Stop trying.) Sure, I rolled my eyes at his gross jokes, and showed my disdain when he’d fart in public, and I tried to get him to dress more nicely… but, I never tried to change him. Polish him up a little bit, sure. But change him? Not so much.

At least I didn’t think so…

The funny thing was, when I was around my brother and he would show these same “male” traits, I would just laugh, and then roll my eyes at his wife when she would get mad at him. With my brother, it was funny. With my husband, it was  unacceptable. I realized the disconnect there, but I could never pinpoint the reason for it, nor change it. Why were the same “boy” things okay for my brother to do, but not okay for my husband to do?

In recent years (and especially in the months after my divorce), my brother and I have become quite close. So, it bothered me when I began to notice that the weirdo freak of a brother I had grown up with was turning into a brow-beaten stump of a husband who was supposed to behave properly at all times. In a word, he was whipped. Suddenly the things that my sister-in-law and I would commiserate over (why can’t men pick up after themselves, what’s with their obsession over cars, why do they think it’s funny to tell dirty jokes in mixed company, WHY CAN’T THEY JUST BE NORMAL?!) became reasons to suck the life and personality out of the men in our lives. Suddenly, as a single woman, I wasn’t okay with that. In an attempt to be “normal” and more “acceptable”, my brother was losing the personality that had made him so funny and awesome in the first place.

Had I done the same thing to my husband? Were women doing the same things to their husbands? How long had we been doing this? “Where have all the cowboys gone?” I DON’T KNOW… MAYBE WE “POLISHED” THEM TO DEATH?!

As a single woman, I was suddenly seeing things from a new perspective. And I didn’t like what I was seeing…

“I love decorating, don’t you all?”

That’s what my sister’s e-mail ended with when I found it in my inbox this morning. (No, not mug sister, and not “My 6 year old is a dictator in the making” sister either.) I don’t think I’ve ever written about this sister before. We shall call her, “Decorating Sister Who Lives Far Away.”

She was responding to a previous e-mail from Mug Sister about how Mug Sister had redone 1 of her 3 living rooms in pale blue accents rather than red. (Mug Sister has some money… thus the reason she has 3 living rooms.) Mug Sister had sent all the sisters pictures of her new blue accents in order to garner some approval and feel better about herself. (She lives with 3 men. Men don’t care about decorating. They probably didn’t even notice the new colors.)

Mug Sister’s new blue accents were lovely and I told her so. However, I left out the part about being jealous that she has 3 living rooms to decorate, a perfect husband, 2 perfect children, a perfect dog and a perfect little house in the suburbs complete with a perfect backyard firepit and grilling area. (Losing pretty much everything after a divorce at the age of 31 makes you hyper-aware of everything you suddenly don’t have and everything everyone else still has, and it’s occasionally a struggle to not become bitter. I’m not bitter. I just hate people with perfect lives. Mug Sister not included.)

Decorating Sister Who Lives Far Away finally got around to responding to the pictures, (which, in itself is a feat, seeing as she seems incapable of answering phone calls and/or texts or responding to any type of communication in a reasonably timely manner. She actually sent my 30th birthday present to me on my 31st birthday, because it took her a year to get to the post office. And no, I’m not making that up. Why would someone make that up? Who would even believe that?) and ooh-ed and aah-ed over the new blue hues (see what I did there?) and then told us all about how she was redecorating her office with butcher block countertops from IKEA and how much she loves decorating and we should too. (Decorating Sister Who Lives Far Away is well on her way to establishing her perfect life, thus giving Mug Sister a perfect run for her perfect money.)

And then I look around the bedroom I once shared with Decorating Sister Who Lives Far Away which I have lived in since 1983 (give or take a few years for college and marriage… I guess “There’s No Place Like Home” should be my new life motto???) complete with 2 twin beds, a pile of stuffed animals, an ugly-ass, dysfunctional floor lamp and a Rubik’s Cube, and I think…

Dear Lord,

I really don’t want to hate my perfect sister’s and their perfect lives because I know their lives aren’t perfect and they truly are wonderful sisters (most of the time… the Great Sibling Debacle of 2008 not-with-standing) and I don’t want to become a bitter old maid. But sometimes, it’s really, REALLY hard not to and some days (like today… or any day on my period… which we really need to talk about, by the way, because it just seems kinda mean that you let women go through this on a monthly basis because it SUUUUUCKS) I really don’t feel like pulling myself up by my bootstraps and plowing ahead because it’s not fair that I should have to because my life was fine the way it was. And some days I just want people to know how good they have it, and okay… maybe I want them to have to experience even an nth of the crap I’ve gone through, but I would never wish that on anyone and I know that’s a horrible thing to think and I’m really sorry I did, but just… REALLY?!

Love n’ kisses,

–Annie

*sigh*

And yes, I know I could redecorate and make this place my own but then that just means I’m resigning myself to the fact that I might be here long-term, and quite frankly, I don’t know if I have the money or the energy to go through all of that. I’d rather curl up in the fetal position and feel sorry for myself. It seems much more productive and less costly.

So, if you’re keeping score, this is how things are shaking out… Perfect Sisters: 1, Annie: -3,542

So, that’s how my week is starting. How’s yours so far?

It’s beginning to look a lot like…

A certain stress-induced insanity, many of us continue to fondly refer to as Christmas.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Every. Dang. Year. And every year, once the dust has settled and the credit card bills start rolling in, and we’re left licking our wounds, we vow to never do it again. But, of course, it never sticks. And somewhere, around mid-December, the stress begins to build and the list of “Have Tos” gets ever-longer, and before we know it, it’s December 23rd and we’ve either worked ourselves into such a frenzy that we’re at risk of developing an ulcer, contracting the flu, or experiencing a massive coronary, OR we’re just so dang tired and cranky that the thought of actually enjoying the holidays seems a distant memory or a mere twinkle in our eye back in November.

It’s craziness, people. And it’s not worth it. Putting our health, our happiness, and our peace at risk for what? A couple days of celebration which never turns out as picture-perfect as we had planned on anyway? Why do we do this to ourselves? Why can’t we learn to simplify? Why can’t we just let it go? Who cares if the packages aren’t wrapped and the tree isn’t fully decked out and the food isn’t ready? That’s not what Christmas is about. It’s about a wonderful gift being given to us… a gift of hope and love and life. And we totally miss the point and go on our greedy little binges trying to be perfect, making ourselves miserable in the end. And for what? You know, as long as you have people around you that you love, and a safe, warm place to sleep, and some food to fill your belly… let’s call it a win and cut all this other crap out. It’s just not worth it.

Who’s with me?

More random crap… because you know you love it.

It is the gloomiest, foggiest, darkest, most oppressive day I have ever seen in my life. It’s like…

Ugh.

Mer.

Blah.

GAH! Get me out of here!

Like… literally. Even Winston is following me around mewing questions and comments at me like, “What the hell?! Why is it so dark? Is it day time or night time? Clearly, it is close to midnight and you have not fed me yet, you heartless bastard. I am so confused. I don’t understand. Why don’t you love me? Oh, so what… you just hate me now? Screw you. Feed me! I’m hungry… I think. Wait. What day is it? What time is it? NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY SENSE!”

Winston

See? Not only is he confused, he’s royally pissed off as well.

To top it all off, Christmas still has not made an appearance at the house. No tree. It is 10 days before Christmas, people! I want to shake my mother and scream, “Get your crap together, woman!” Because of her OCD tendencies we had to move furniture around FIRST, and THEN remove the old TV stand, unpack the new TV stand, put the new TV stand together (which took THREE freakin’ days because the instructions were NOT written for the layman and neither one of us could make heads or tales out of it….), put all the items back on the new TV stand, plug in all the electronics, dust the furniture just for the heck of it, and then and ONLY THEN, can we get out the tree. I love her… but I kinda want to punch her in the face. SERIOUSLY?! All THAT just to put up a freakin’ tree? Plus, on top of all that, she moves…

SO.

INCREDIBLY.

SLOW.

Again, I want to scream and slap her and say, “WOMAN! YOU ARE NOT THAT OLD! PICK UP THE PACE!” I am not exaggerating when I tell you it will probably take her the next two days to put things back on the TV stand. So… we’ll have the tree up by Thursday. Grrrrrrreat.

So, in order to cheer myself up and prevent myself from possibly committing matricide or caticide, I decided to put my Christmas list together. It is as follows… in no particular order. Just so we’re clear…

4a0becf83b4eae7d3ceca2c178625826 6fbaff43abb25a4576620a2e19f005a5 8c0f9007429dab570fe284dcd4000773 305d8ee04f0591326f74c6d2d0cf14326aa5b07b3e00f0979fb92c60e7657b75Kay. That pretty much covers it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go talk Winston off the ledge now. Toodles.

Things that made me go Hmm… Week 4 (Or, “Meet Tyrone”)

Crap.

How is it Saturday already? Didn’t I just do this?

*sigh*

My work is never done…

The things that made me go “Hmm…” this week are going to be a bit different. More of a recap to the holiday festivities. Here you go…

  • It has come to my attention, that my sister is one raving lunatic of a control freak. (Mug sister, not “My 6 year old is a dictator in the making” sister.) It has become somewhat of a tradition in my family that every Thanksgiving will be an opportunity to get crafty and create special Christmas decorations. So far we have created fabric Christmas balls, painted Christmas balls, bell ornaments, snowflake ornaments, and a bunch of other crafty crap I can’t think of right now. This year, we made sock snowmen. My control freak of a sister had already created a few to show us what they would look like and to provide us with a template of which to follow. The snowmen were adorable, but they all looked exactly the same…
sock snowmen

Sure, they’re cute, if you’re into cookie cutter cuteness.

So, I took it upon myself to create snowmen with personality… Meet Tyrone:

Tyrone

Tyrone is a bad ass. He knows what’s up.

I thought my sister was going to die. Why was he so fat? Why were his eyes so big? Why were his eyes so close together? Why was his face so short? WHY WAS I DOING IT WRONG?!

Clearly, there is a right way, and a wrong way to create sock snowmen. My way was the wrong way. My way was the fun, creative way. Her way was the stupid way. My way was far superior to her way. But when it comes to being the Martha Stewart of the family, there is a right way and a wrong way to craft, and I was not taking the craft session seriously and my snowman was not cute and he was weird and what kind of a name is Tyrone for a snowman anyway?!

Clearly, I win because Tyrone is fantastic. (And okay, I may have gotten copious amounts of satisfaction from doing it the ‘wrong way’.)

  • My cat is a total cuddle slut. He doesn’t care who he gets cuddles from as long as he’s getting cuddles. This was evident when I walked in the door yesterday evening, and he looked at me and yawned. He didn’t care I was home. My dear friend who had stopped in to check on him in my absence was good enough for him. He was getting his cuddles. I was just another cuddle-giver to him. No loyalty what-so-ever. Sometimes Winston is a bastard.
  • And lastly, Kristen Bell is a total fruitcake when it comes to sloths:

That’s all I’s gots, peeps.