~Friday, December 28, 2007

It's amazing no one was bleeding by the end

Christmas was exhausting. With both our parents divorced, we visited four houses all across the state to not disappoint anyone. When we reached my father's—our last stop—I cried from being stretched too thinly. My step-siblings couldn't wait any longer for me to get there and they gathered their families and moved on to their next house, leaving a handful of presents for me under the vacant Christmas tree.

Scott loved his knives, although it didn't come without its own drama. I told everyone what I was getting him, yet when I opened my present from my brother, I unwrapped my very own cook's knife. From J. A. Henkles. Scott gasped with glee at the sight of a brand! new! cook's knife! and the momentum of my present was stolen.

"Um, that's nice," I muttered, unable to hide my disappointment. You could argue that he perhaps didn't know, but I told him in person. In October. And I distinctly remember saying that I decided on Wüsthof, because he said he had Henkles and then we started to bicker over Wüsthof versus Henkles. Yes, we pretty much hate each other.

My mother later confessed to me that she told my brother twice that I got Scott the knives, and when I later relayed the story to my father, he also said he told my brother the same thing. So he heard it no less than four times. And maybe I'm being petty, but if he really wanted to get me the exact same thing I told him I was buying for my boyfriend thus ruining my surprise, he could have at least got a knife from the same brand so they would match.

"You can exchange it, if you want," his wife offered.

"Where?" I chirped entirely too quickly.

And with my ungratefulness, she ran upstairs on Christmas Eve and didn't come down for the rest of the night, solidifying my position as Ruler of All That Is Evil for another consecutive year.

Scott was still happy when I reluctantly tossed my present at him with a "Here, you may as well open this now." He said his knife set that was stolen out of his car years ago was Wüsthof, so apparently he's on my side of the Wüsthof versus Henkles debate. God, I love him.

I also love what he got me:

~Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Or, if you're naughty, use protection

As seen in my doctor's office.

~Thursday, December 20, 2007

"Brighter Pastures," and Other Idioms that Describe both Work and Death

This year's annual review went a little better than last year's. For one, I knew I was getting a raise from back during that whole two monitor kick in the face. I'm still the butt of jokes at the office because of that, by the way.

The raise was nice and blah, blah, blah, I'm still going to leave the company. Mainly because of two comments my boss made. Bright lady as she is, she is completely socially inept.

"My ideal employee is one who can read my mind and do the work without me having to tell them to," she said when talking of her expectations. I smiled and waited for the inevitable but. But that's impossible! or But that's just plain crazy talk! or even But you'll do! The but never came and I felt my smile wobble until it was some sort of awkward grimace: lips curled back, teeth exposed. The lady was serious.

"So what are your plans after you work here?"


"I mean, you obviously don't want to do this forever..."

This position? Not so much, but that's what things like promotions are for, right? You know, growing with the company? So I began to ramble about different aspects of the job I enjoyed. Writing company press releases and web design is fun, perhaps you'll create a marketing department and I can head that?

"No, I meant other plans," she clarified. "Like your coworker says she wants to go to grad school. What about you?"

Oh, you mean my job is a complete stepping stone and that there's nowhere for me to go in this company. That the word career apparently doesn't apply to me. And by the looks of this conversation, you don't expect me to be here this time next year, waiting for another raise. You plan instead to get some other chump out of college and pay them monkey wages instead.

I feel you now.

~Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Drink, Drank, Drunk


I got home from work and was greeted with a sleeping Scott. I wedged myself in the crook in front of his side on the couch and shook him, "Baby, I'm home. Wake up and play with me!" I've got that 2-year-old annoyance thing down.

"We have to talk," he murmured without opening his eyes.

"What?" I asked, the tone of my voice audibly dropping. Inwardly I grimaced, but I knew this was going to be nothing more than an inconvenience. He's used the dreaded expression several times, and they all were in reference not to some horrible grievance of mine, but of something regarding him.

Instead of responding, Scott's body began to shudder. After a closer examination, I saw that he was crying. I softened up, "What's wrong?" And when he didn't respond and cried even harder, "Baby, talk because you're scaring me."

"I have to quit drinking," he finally worked out. "It's not fair that I can't be like everyone else. I can't go to Christmas parties. I can't drink and not get drunk. I'm an alcoholic. And I don't want that. I don't want the stigma that's attached with being one. I preferred NA-"


"Narcotics Anonymous."


"I preferred NA to AA because you weren't allowed to talk about drinking in NA."

"Well that's probably why you liked it."

"And they told me. They told me I had to give up alcohol too. They told me this would happen.

"Today, on my day off of work, I drank a 12-pack and I was stumbling around the apartment by myself. That's no way to live," he continued to cry some more. "I'm going to go to AA tomorrow. And I don't want you to leave me."

"Oh!" and I wrapped my arms around his neck. This was probably the least painful thing he could say. I've been waiting and wanting for him to say it. "Whatever you need me to do," I told him, "I'll do it. If you want me to go with you to AA, I will. If you want me to go to Al-Anon, I will. If you need for us not to keep any alcohol in the house, or if you need me to stop drinking too, I'll do it." I tried not to laugh out of happiness.

He wept again, "Why always me? Why can't I be normal?"

"Scott, you throw yourself completely into things. And that's not always a bad thing; sometimes it can be really good, like when you throw yourself into relationships and work. But it also has its drawbacks when it comes to substance abuse. Besides, this isn't entirely your fault. Alcoholism runs on both sides of your family, and pretty predominantly at that," I tried.

"I've been down this path before [with the drugs]," Scott explained. "I already know what's going to happen. And I know how it's going to end. This will kill me if I don't quit. But I'd rather have a life and babies with you. I want to do this for myself, but I want to do this for you too." He reached over and grabbed my chin, "Do you think you could be with an alcoholic? Would you want to be?"

"I already have," I said, still leaving out large chunks of detail in my life. "While it's not a quality I would seek out, I wouldn't give you up over it," I answered truthfully. "We'll do this. Together."

~Thursday, December 13, 2007

New, Weird Fantasy

Have sex while Bell Biv Devoe's "Poison" plays in the background.

I'm shaking my head right now too.

~Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Drink, Drank, Drunk


In the past 25 days, Scott has not had any liquor. To my knowledge. I feel the need to add that there. I don't think he has had any at all, but addicts are excellent hiders. Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters with their relative plots have been spot on every week to the point where I ask Scott about it.

But the monitoring of liquor has made me become conscious of Scott's drinking. While I would go three weeks and then have half a glass of wine, Scott continued to drink more. And more. After a while I noticed he would take beer to work with him in the morning. When he came home for lunch, he'd drink a few. There was always a silver can in his hand. Another cigarette, another beer.

On the Sunday in which we went to my father's Thanksgiving dinner, Scott drank an entire bottle of wine before noon. Blue laws in my state prohibit the sale of any alcohol on Sundays, and my wine was the only alcohol in the house. Scott actually bought it for me. It was a new kind of wine from my favorite vineyard, and he bought it so I could try it. I still don't know what it tastes like.

After a couple of weeks of this, I asked Scott to stop drinking altogether. "I think it's the best Christmas present you could give your mom," I encouraged.

Scott rested his head on the back of the couch and closed his eyes. "I need to stop drinking," he confessed. "If I was being honest with you, I would tell you that when I come home for lunch, my hands shake from not having any alcohol."

"Well then you need to stop."

"I'm going to," he resolved. "People think you quit cold turkey, but you can't--it's dangerous. It's going to take a couple of weeks, but I have to taper off. It isn't easy."

And the next day Scott came home with a 6-pack instead of a 12-pack. The next morning when I picked up the garbage, I threw away four cans, and I had to pour out beer from two of them. I was so proud of him, and I made sure to tell him that. The rest of the week continued the same: he'd have two to three beers a night. I think only once during that week did he have one during work hours. We were going to do it!

The second week, we weren't so lucky. Scott only has one day a week off--Mondays. And because it's an atypical day off, he spends it alone. He spends it alone sitting on the couch watching TV and slowly getting drunk. That Monday he got up at 5 am to go to the store and get alcohol. He started at 5 am and drank 18 beers that day.

Tuesday he tried harder, coming home with only the six-pack again. Only when he finished the beer, he opened another bottle of wine he bought me as a peace offering and drank the entire bottle within 45 minutes. Not only did he drink my peace offering, but he left me to clean up the puke when he inevitably got sick a few minutes later.

I didn't know he drank the wine until I went to put on my coat and gloves to drive to the store in the middle of the night to buy him Pepto and ginger ale. And when I spied the empty bottle I was angry. Instead of throwing it out, I took out the trash and left the bottle and the cork out alone on the counter.

"And that's why I don't drink wine," he chuckled when he called me at work the next morning. "Thanks for taking care of me."

"I'm worried about your drinking."

"That was not fun," he joked. "I've learned my lesson."

And somehow he made me feel better about the incident. Although now I can't think for the life of me why.

~Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Drink, Drank, Drunk


What can I say about Scott's drinking? It's seamless. I don't notice how much he drinks until the next morning when I'm taking out the trash before I go to work. He gets up for a cigarette, and opens a new beer. Another cigarette, another beer.

I knew we were drinking a lot back when we first started dating. It's my M.O. to get tanked on the first date. But it's also my M.O. to all but stop drinking once I'm in a relationship. I don't need it to calm my nerves anymore. I'm no longer constantly second guessing myself; I'm no longer damning myself. When I reached that point with Scott, I was still in the pattern of buying the cases of beer. Only now I would consume maybe three of them. Because I had severely slowed down my alcohol intake, I told Scott I wasn't buying the beer anymore. And I haven't since that day. My checking account bounced back into the black, and I was back on budget with my finances.

But I also stopped noticing that there was at least a 12-pack of beer circulating through the house every day. Another cigarette, another beer.

Then one morning, I saw a bottle of Jaeger when I went to tie up the trash. Usually I know when he brings a bottle home, but somehow I stopped noticing that too. He's so seamless. He said the Jaeger would enable him to drink less beer. But the Jaeger changes him in ways the beer does not. The only times Scott would ever yell at me or talk down to me was when I saw the little green bottle on top of the trash the next morning:

"Why are you yelling at me?"

"It's the only way to get you to understand! I would say something and you don't react. I have to yell for you to get it!"

"So I bring it on myself? I deserve to get yelled at?" I learned there really is no point in trying to reason with a drunk person.

When we hung out with my friends, we would always have to leave early because Scott got too drunk. We did it when we met M-Joy, we did it at the Beer Olympics, and we had to do it at Friendsgiving.

Not to mention the drunk peeing. Things of mine Scott's drunkenly peed on, in order:

  1. The couch
  2. The bed
  3. The shower
  4. The laundry hamper
  5. The oven
The shower was the easiest to clean up, and the laundry hamper was full of his clothes, not mine. The bed was the worst. This was in my old apartment. He got up and went home. I ran down the hall after him screaming, "What about me?" I just got peed on and I couldn't sleep in my bed anymore until everything had been washed. The oven was the weirdest, especially since I was awake watching TV and watched him do it.

So I made the decision. No more liquor. I sat down with him at dinner one night and I told him 30 days—starting that day, November 17th—no liquor. He could have his beer, but the liquor changes him.

"What if I don't agree to this?" he asked.

"Then I'm going to seriously think about this relationship," I retorted.

"What? You're going to leave me?"

"Yes." I said it, but I wasn't sure I could do it. I just wanted him to think I meant it.

"I refuse to lose you over alcohol. 30 days," he agreed.

And, to cover my ground, I also told his sister Thanksgiving day of our deal.

"Good!" she said. "But why just 30 days? Why not for good?"

"I was hoping it would lead to that."

"You know, he doesn't need to drink. At all." After she said it, it became official. Every single member of his family has now pulled me aside and told that to me. They all ask me under their breaths if he's drinking and tell me he doesn't need to do it. I smile and say I'm watching him, but I wonder why his family is putting this onto me. Why are they making it my responsibility? We're not married. Scott is their son, nephew, and brother—why don't they tell him themselves?

I already know the answer to that: they already have and they're hoping I'll be able to make the difference.

~Friday, December 07, 2007

Another workday and

Fuck, I bought the shoes.

I also managed to buy Scott's present. An ex-chef de cuisine, he loathed my colorful (and cheap) IKEA knives. His knives were stolen out of his car years ago (why someone would leave knives on the seat of a car parked downtown is beyond me.) So I called my father up and asked him what the nicest chef knives are.

"Well there's J. A. Henckels, but if you're really going for snobby, get Wüsthof."

"Wüsthof it is then."

And as it turns out, Wüsthof is really expensive at around $70.00 - $100.00 per knife. My IKEA set cost me at most $10 and included five color-coordinated knives and a holder. It's been great at slicing stale baguettes and opening boxes.

Using my trusty shopping researching skills, I scoured the Internet and found a website that offered three knives for $169. And as an added bonus, they threw in two sharpeners (the sharpening steel and the hand-held one) and a nine-slot block to store them. Essentially I got six pieces for $169. I added to cart, gave them the numbers off my plastic, and they'll be here in three to five business days.

The shoes will take five to seven.

~Thursday, December 06, 2007

I've got your target demographic right here

I don't feel like writing anything. I feel like shopping on-line. I would find this an acceptable activity if I felt like shopping on-line for anyone else but me. Shoes, scarves, hand bags, cars: I wish I could buy myself all this crap and wrap it up and put it under the tree for me to open on Christmas morning. Now that would be a merry Christmas.

I don't know what my parents want, I don't know what my siblings want, and I don't know what their kids want, but I do know I want those ballet flats in silver, please.

And seriously, the only reason I'm typing this now is to keep me from clicking that juicy little "Add to cart" button. It's calling me.

It's taunting me.

I need to not sit at my desk right now.

~Tuesday, December 04, 2007

For Me

I met Scott exactly two weeks since I had ended things with Jack. In those two weeks I concentrated on making myself happy to try to repair what shreds of self-esteem I had left. Shopping became my form of therapy. I decided to redecorate my apartment, which had purposely been gender neutral in case I ever met a man. I filled it with things that would make me happy: a flowered quilt for the bed, a vase of pink roses for the night stand, a spread of candles to match the quilt and the roses, all pink. I turned my bedroom from a place a man wanted to be to where I wanted to be.

I was embarrassed that first night I took Scott home and led him into my bedroom. I thought he would see my new purchases and think less of me for not being classic. That my whimsy would come off as flippant and flighty. That it would make me any other bobble-headed blonde. He never said a word. Six months later and he has yet to make a comment about the femininity he sleeps in every night.

It's also how I met Scott. I had just ended The Worst Date Ever with a guy from the dating site on which I had signed up (I never got around to blogging about that, but I will.) It was also a Saturday afternoon and I didn't have anything to do for a few hours, so I decided to go look at scooters (of the Vespa variety, not of the I've-fallen-and-I-can't-get-up variety. And yes, it was quite a shopping binge I was going though.) I was always interested in owning a scooter since I moved to the city. Jack thought they were silly and rebuked me for wanting one. And since I was doing things that made me happy, I walked into that store and met Scott. I love that I met him while doing something for me.

The same goes for all the after-Christmas sales last year when I decorated my tree. Adam had kinda, sorta, but not really resurfaced and I was in another bout of bad dating. Only this time my attitude was a little more resigned. Instead of "me power," it was "I'm doing to die alone an old spinster and may as well enjoy it a little."

So that's my very long introduction to my tree:

Scott said it was "one pink fucking tree" at the initial sight of it, but has since admitted that I did a good job with it. The only colors on it are red, pink, white, and silver and I love it so much that Scott has caught me on more than one occasion with my head resting on the back of the couch, staring at it for no apparent reason.

How I love glitter.


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