Would you like to come to my cocktail party? It is only virtual, which is why you should totally come. An ACTUAL party at my actual HOUSE would involve me being so stressed out that I would need to be serving ativan canapes in order to enjoy myself at all, and I hear that drugging yourself discreetly is okay but that drugging your guests is somewhat uncouth. So.
See, Liz tagged me for this party meme thing, and I’ve been cooped up all day with TWO sick children (now with twice the mind-numbing boredom!), so it seemed like a good time to acquiesce. The alternative is an entire entry along the lines of “Monkey had nothing but two ounces of juice all day long so I should probably be worried, but mostly I want to pluck out his liver and eat it, do you think that makes me a bad mother?”
The problem with a meme that challenges me to tell you five things about me that you don’t know is that—with nearly three years of soul-baring blogging under my belt—there isn’t much I haven’t told you, seems like. Or, maybe I haven’t told you because it’s so boring or stupid that even I don’t care.
Hey! Maybe I never told you that, um, I like chocolate! Oh, wait….
Okay, okay. Go freshen up your drink and grab a handful of mixed nuts. Here’s five things about me you probably didn’t know.
1) Doh! When I was little, there was a box of sugar cubes on a high shelf in the pantry, and my brother and I used to sneak them sometimes. Ours was a house that usually had some kind of candy or cookies around, so it’s not like that was our only option for something sugary. I think it was the novelty of them (to this day I wonder why we had sugar CUBES) and the thrill of having something forbidden.
My brother regularly caught me doing things I shouldn’t and told on me. As the beleaguered younger sister, this was one of the great tragedies of my life. So you can imagine my glee when I walked into the kitchen one day and found him standing on a chair at the pantry door, sneaking a sugar cube. I couldn’t wait to tell on him and get my revenge. And I told him just that.
He, being the far brighter of the two of us, suggested that I have a sugar cube as well, and it’d be our secret. Camaraderie! That would be even better than revenge! I accepted. He handed me a sugar cube and I popped it into my mouth. He then put his back and went and told on me. Jerk. (Note: My brother is now a perfectly nice guy, and I only required a few extra years of therapy because of this incident.)
2) Freaks and Geeks. I spent my first semester of college at Simon’s Rock College. The average age of incoming students there is around 15.5 or so. I turned 17 days before classes started and was one of the oldest freshmen there. While I have tremendous respect for the school and its vision (an outlet for gifted/creative young people who are ready to start college early), the place is a magnet for troubled kids. “Ready for college” is another way of saying “high school misfit.” (Lest you think I’m being unfair, that applied to me as much as to my classmates.)
I spent one semester there. A few years later—when I was in my senior year at a different college—the school made national news when a student went on a campus shooting spree. Two people I knew were killed. My problems with teenage angst when I’d been a student there suddenly seemed pretty trivial.
(Bonus intertwined lives factoid: Otto did some coverage of the shooter’s trial for the AP. By that time I was living in California, but I remember emailing about it with him.)
3) The lie that bit me on the ass, or at least made it very sore. I spent a semester abroad in England while I was in college. A friend and I planned a long weekend in Scotland together and set off feeling very adventuresome and grown-up. We hitchhiked around the countryside (perfectly safe, though the very thought makes me shudder, now) and did touristy things and had a grand time.
We decided that we wanted to ride horseback around Loch Ness, which is a fairly standard tourist offering. (I guess just standing around and looking for the monster gets boring. Why not ride a horse while you’re waiting?) My friend called to make reservations at the stable and was asked if we’d ridden before. She was an accomplished equestrian, but I had not been on a horse since I was 5 and someone at YMCA camp had led it around in a circle in a barn. In fact, that particular horse may have been dead. I’m not sure. But it was either stated or implied that we had to have experience, and so my friend assured the questioner than I was “a little rusty” but I had plenty of riding experience.
My horse hated me. I was terrified, and he knew it. It was one of the most miserable afternoons of my life, and I went to bed sobbing that night because my butt and thighs were so sore and I hadn’t even had any fun (I had spent the entire outing trying to convince that horse not to run away).
4) There but by the grace of God…. I have a soft spot in my heart that reacts to those horrible stories of post-partum psychosis on a level I’m not sure I want to fully understand. I have never made a secret of the fact that I suffered post-partum depression with both of my children.
It was bad, after Monkey. So bad that by my 6-week check-up I was 10 pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight and very much aware that I was in trouble.
What I don’t often tell people is that it was just as bad, but much more insidious, after I had Chickadee. By the time I had Monkey, I knew what it looked like, and I knew how to get help, and I knew it would get better. With Chickadee, I was so ecstatic to finally be a mom that I pretty much just assumed that would be enough and I was fine. I thought I was fine.
In fact, I thought I was fine one Saturday when she was about 9 months old and my ex and I got into a stupid argument over something (I cannot remember what) and I… just… broke. I threw on a pair of shoes and my coat and slammed out of the house. It was about 10 degrees outside. My hair was wet (and long, back then) and I was freezing and I walked and walked and eventually realized I was seriously contemplating never going back. That’s as close to crazy as I’ve been in my adult life, and it was closer than I ever wanted to be. (I went back. I got help. I didn’t drown any of my children in the bathtub, and I have very rarely regretted that.)
5) The dry years. I was 20 years old when I graduated from college, which meant that I was never old enough to drink legally when I was an undergraduate. That was fine, though, because I was a holier-than-thou non-drinker throughout my college years. I drank before college and I eventually returned to it years afterwards, but during that time, I was Little Miss Designated Driver.
I was also Little Miss You All Turn Into Assholes When You’re Drunk, and Little Miss I Don’t Need To Drink To Have Fun The Way You Who Are Morally Lacking Do. I was SO MUCH FUN at parties!
It was a long time after college that I discovered that I could 1) drink moderately and responsibly and 2) I didn’t have to be such an insufferable bitch to everyone who figured that out before I did. (I still reserve the right to be an insufferable bitch to obnoxious drunks, though. Let’s not get crazy.)
Well, I hope you enjoyed this little cocktail party. I’m supposed to tag 5 other people but I’m lazy and also, I suspect, the last person in existence to get to this particular meme. If you want to be tagged, consider yourself tagged and blog away. Go!