Apr 20, 2011

I Am Not a MILF

Last week I installed (okay... Peter installed) a full-length mirror in our bathroom.  It's been over a decade since I could see my reflection below the waist.  None of my houses had a full-length mirror and, honestly, I didn't miss it.  Shoulder height and above was fine with me.

The mirror hangs on the bathroom door so you can see yourself when you get out of the shower.  The day after it was installed, I stepped out of the tub and scared myself.  Who was this lumpy, dumpy, unattractive behemoth dripping all over my bath mat, looking back at me from the mirror?

Holy crap. That's me. Ugh.

Honey... I think we need to move that mirror.

When I graduated from high school I was 5'2" and weighed under 100 lbs.  Now, nearly 23 years later I am 5'6" and... more than 100 lbs.  A LOT more.

I was never the cute friend.  I'm not looking for anyone to argue that fact and tell me I was... I know I wasn't.  In the groups of three that I ran with (and there always seemed to be three) there was the beautiful friend, the sexy friend, and me.  I'm not complaining, I got plenty of play.  Some poor guy always had to take one for the team in his group of three, and that was usually me.  I'd like to think that I made up for it with my sparkling personality but, the reality is probably more like they could burp and fart in front of me and I didn't get offended.

The sad fact is, I probably could have been the hot girl if I put a little effort in to it.  I just didn't know how.  It's not that I didn't care... I just couldn't be bothered with things like hair spray and push up bras.  At that time in my life, there was nothing to push up.  Which is why when I went bra shopping with my mother as a teenager and she saw what size I would wear she held it up and proclaimed, loudly, "Oh, Andrea.  Why would you even bother?"

Thanks Mom.

I was a child of the 80s and, when everyone else was sporting mall hair with bangs three inches above their heads, I had a super short pixie hair cut.  Which is sad, really, since I could have had EPIC mall hair.

When everyone else was wearing neons and Benetton, I was wearing sloppy sweatshirts and black. Not 'cause I was goth (or whatever they called goth back then) but more because black went with everything and I didn't have to think about it.  I guess I was (and am) fashion-lazy.

My sense of style, or lack thereof, carried over through the college years and beyond.  XXL sweatshirts and jeans I could pull off without bothering to unbutton.  I still have clothes from my 20s that fit me.  Not because I'm the same size -- far from it. But because I always bought everything huge so I didn't have to try anything on.  Lazy.

I look back at the Andrea of my youth and think -- maaaan.  If I had that body now I would be naked All. The. Time.  I wasn't sexy, but I sure was perky.  I never appreciated it when I had it.  Whatever "it" is.

The one time of the year that would change was Halloween.  I LOVE Halloween. Absolutely adore it.  It's the one time of the year you get to be whatever you want and what I wanted to be was slutty.  Really, really slutty.  Some of my memorable costumes include Lady Godiva (nude bodystocking and a long blonde wig.  That's it.)  A cabaret dancer (tuxedo jacket with no shirt, little tiny tap pants, fishnet stockings and sky high heels.  I waited tables on that Halloween and let me tell you -- I made bank that night.)  And then there's my favorite, the year I went as a dominatrix.

I was living in Grand Rapids, Michigan at the time and we were having a party that night.  My friend and I had worked hard on our costumes, even getting our "accessories" from an S&M shop.  I had on a lace up leather vest with only a Wonderbra underneath, teeny little leather mini-skirt, thigh highs and 4 inch heels.  The handcuffs and choke chain with the key were a nice touch.  I looked so good I had to call my Mom to let her know that, should something happen and I was arrested, I was NOT a prostitute -- it was my costume.

When I walked in and my best guy-friend asked me, after checking out my chest, where I'd been hiding those... I knew I had accomplished what I set out to do.  One day a year, lose the sloppy sweatshirts and baggy jeans and get in touch with my inner tramp.

And now here I am... middle aged and two kids later and I wonder, "what the HELL happened???"  I did okay after the first kid, back down to a size 6 at his 6-week check up.  But things went seriously off the rails two years later when I had my daughter and I just never bounced back.

I look around at my friends who have popped out two, three, five kids and they all look great.  And there's me.  I mean... my friends are Princess Spice, Trendy Spice and me... Chubby Spice.

My man tells me every day, multiple times a day how beautiful he thinks I am.  Unfortunately for him, I think he's (a) blind and (b) a chubby chaser.  And sadly, his opinion doesn't even matter that much.  See, women care what other women think.  Guys... when we get all dressed up to go out... we're not doing that for you.  We're doing that for the other girls in the joint.  We want to compare ourselves to every other chick in the place and feel like we come out on top, at least the majority of the time.

And sadly, I never have.  And, by the looks of things in that god-awful full-length mirror, I never will.  See -- being skinny my whole life right up until I popped out kid #2 -- I have no idea how to diet.  I don’t live on McDonald's and cheese but I also don't think I could subsist on a lettuce leaf and two bites of yogurt.  I love to cook, and I love to eat.  And if I suddenly had to give up eating well... you wouldn't want to be around me. 

My laziness spreads out into other areas of my life too.  I know I should exercise.  I just don't want to.  It seems like so much work and really... if I had that much extra time I'd rather go take a nap.  Plus, I don't like sweating.  And the thought of someone seeing me huffing along trying to jog as everything wiggles and jiggles makes me shudder.  And sure, there are exercise videos that I could do in the privacy of my own home but really... if I'm going to watch TV I think I could find something better... like an E! True Hollywood Story.

So here I sit on my big dimply behind writing to you, dear Reader.  I am, most definitely, not a MILF and I'm trying to be okay with that.  But first... I really think we need to move that mirror.

Apr 11, 2011

Sticks and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Quinn in Kindergarten
I am very fortunate in that I actually enjoy my kids.  I'm not talking about loving them -- of course I love them.  And of course I want what's best for them. I want them to grow up to be healthy, well-adjusted, productive members of society.

What I mean is... I actually like my kids.  I think they're absolutely hysterical.  They are people I would want to be friends with, even if they weren't my kids.  Which, occasionally, gets me in to trouble.

You see, my son Quinn is -- in a lot of ways -- mini me.  He has a belly laugh that will crack you up, no matter how grumpy you are.  And it doesn't take much to get him going.  He's a bit of a dork, a definite non-conformist, has a completely sarcastic sense of humor and is very often cheeky. I absolutely adore that about him.  I hope he always stays that way.  My daughter is a "goodie-goodie", a rule follower, a people pleaser.  I love that about her too, but I find it harder to understand.  I guess I have always been, and will always be, a bit of a rebel.

Which is why, when my then three year old saw a picture of Maddox Jolie on the cover of People magazine and said he wanted his hair cut like that -- I said, "Sure!"  I guess that it didn't occur to me that the people who ran his stoic, Midwestern, Christian preschool would find a three year old with a three-inch blue spiked Mohawk a bit unconventional.  Oh well.

The muddy nudist
It's why, when my pediatrician said a little bit of diaperless time was good for your baby, I took that advice completely to heart and raised a nudist.  He absolutely loved running around the house naked.  And do you know how hard it is to catch a streaking toddler?  It wasn't until Quinn turned nine that he finally realized that clothing was not optional.

I have also encouraged Quinn's taste in music.  He lists The Ramones, Iggy Pop, Daft Punk and the Dropkick Murphys as some of his favorite groups. He's also been turned on to his mother's obsession with Mumford & Sons.  He can sing every word of the Beastie Boys' Brass Monkey.  Lemme tell you -- that makes his Mama proud.

Quinn has always been an exceptional student as far as academics but, those conduct grades?  Not so much.  We'd had trouble with his first and second grade teacher (same teacher -- both grades) and when I moved him to Michigan I was a bit worried that we would have problems again.

Shouldn't have worried.

His 4th grade teacher, when they had to write a short essay about a solid, liquid or gas, totally supported Quinn's decision to write about farts.  She thought it was hysterical.  She said he simply picked the topic every other kid wanted to pick but was too afraid to.

Quinn loves his teacher. Hmmmm... wonder why?  Could it be that he feels his teacher supports his partiality for potty humor?  I mean, if you want to get Quinn going on that belly laugh of his, all you need to do is say the word "butt" and he's off and giggling.  Throw in a "boobie", "wiener" or "poop" and it's full blown, fall-down-on-the-ground laughing.

A few months back, a good friend of mine, who has not yet been blessed with children, came to visit.  Brian has a well-known affinity for Katy Perry's, ummm, assets.  He made mention of his crush and was left speechless when my son, my darling little dork, walked up to him and matter-of-factly said, "You know, she has a video where she shoots fireworks out of her boobies.  I saw it on You Tube"

God, I love that kid.

Apr 10, 2011

The Sweetest Thing

The other day I was lucky enough to hang out at the local courthouse waiting to be a character witness at a particularly ugly divorce proceeding.  And by lucky enough I mean I spent about three hours fantasizing about putting a quicker end to the whole sordid affair by shoving the plaintiff over the second-floor banister.  Yeah. This is why I worry about my karma.

When I wasn't indulging that little daydream, I was watching the defendant's 80+ year-old grandparents.  I never knew my maternal grandfather, and my paternal grandparents died when I was very young, so the whole idea of still having your grandparents at 40-some years old enthralls me.  Plus, Peter's grandparents are just so cool!

I can't imagine that they were looking forward to hearing all the dirty details of their grandson's divorce -- but they were there.  In full support mode.  I wonder sometimes if Peter realizes how lucky he is to have them.

I got such a kick out of watching Peter's grandpa fuss because the wood floor of the hallway was squeaky.  I half expected him to run out to his car to grab the tools and supplies needed to fix the annoying squeak.  I am in awe of Peter's grandmother. She takes care of her two great-grandchildren at least once a week, works at the local blood bank, is an amazing cook and baker and still has time to make everyone in her family (kids, grandkids, great grandkids and all their significant others) homemade Christmas gifts.  I'm half her age and yet I have about half her energy.

I loved watching as they kept it classy in spite of circumstances that would make it pretty easy to not do so.  It's a true life lesson to watch how you can be FOR one side without being AGAINST the other.  It's a lesson that those people on the other side of the hallway haven't learned yet.

As it ends up, I wasn't called to testify in the trial since, for the most part, a lot of things were settled while we were waiting in that hallway together.  And, while I can't say there weren't about a dozen things I would have preferred doing, I don't view those hours to be wasted. 

You see, there's something special about being in the presence of true, honest-to-goodness, love.  Peter's grandparents have been married over 60 years.  They've raised five children together, with all the ups and downs that that brings.  And yet, when Peter's grandma left to go to work at the blood bank, she bent down, patted her husband on the cheek, and gave him a kiss goodbye.  Sixty years together and that was the kiss of someone who still loves her husband, maybe more than she did on her wedding day.

Sitting there, in courthouse hallway, watching the ugly end to a miserable marriage, I had a glimpse of what true love looks like. And had my faith in it restored.  That, my friends, was worth a "wasted" day.

Apr 9, 2011

High School Never Ends

Me in 9th grade... circa 1984
I belong to a super-cool, ultra secret club on Facebook. I'm risking my membership by talking about it here. Sssshhhhhhhh. Don't tell anyone.

I can't reveal the name, or the secret handshake.  But that little group of 31 people is so gosh-darn entertaining, I feel I must blog about it.

A high school friend of mine, who also happened to be a teacher, started the group. She started it because she wanted to have a place to vent, and since she was Facebook friends with a lot of her students, she felt like the topics she wanted to vent about (and perhaps some of the language she wanted to vent with) would not be appropriate for her students to read.

It's an "anything goes" kind of place.  Need to bitch about your boss?  Go right ahead.  Did your ex do something particularly stupid?  We've got your back here.  Fed up with your mother, your brother, the kids in the carpool?  Let it all out.

I think it's kind of awesome that, although only about half the members actually know each other, everyone supports each other.  For example, I invited a friend to join that no one else has ever met or knows.  She invited a friend that I've never met. And when that friend was going through a really hellish divorce and came to the "club" to vent about the latest stupid, insensitive thing that her soon-to-be ex was doing, everyone in the club sent words of encouragement, commiseration, and the occasional offer to bop the idiot over the head with a bat. 

It's that kind of club. Everyone should have one.

We have not one, but two resident geniuses who can write dirty limericks that will make you scream with laughter.  Everyone gets one on their birthday.  It's worth aging to get your very own, personalized, insult-laden limerick.

And we have several people who, when you really feel like you're overwhelmed and have no idea what to do -- are more than capable of giving you good, worthwhile, free advice.  Of course, that advice is riddled with curse words, but that's kind of the theme of the group. 

The other day, one group member put up a post asking how do you hack in to your child's Facebook account.  She was concerned that an older boy was sending inappropriate things to her very young teenage daughter.  She ended her post by saying something to the effect of, "does my daughter really think she's going to get away with this... I was a 14 year old girl myself once."  And before you know it, there were over 300 comments between that thread and a couple other spin-off threads.

We had so many posts we crashed our group's page.  It was a banner day.

The funny part is that, while the group did answer the posters original request, we ended up going completely off topic and sharing our stories of what we were all like as teenagers.

We covered it all: the bad hookups, ugly breakups, first drunks, first loves, first times...  We called each other out, we told on each other, we purged all of those memories in a gluttony of embarrassment and laughter.

It. Was. Awesome.

All the little hurts, the BIG embarrassments... they were discussed and, ultimately, laughed over. Our middle-aged selves realize that some (not all) of those horrible teenage moments just aren't that big of a deal when recalled in the light of day -- 20+ years later.

And another interesting thing happened.  In some of those posts, we healed. 

Two members admitted that they were a wee bit scared in high school of one of the other group members, for which she apologized.  Another group member confessed that she had been terrorized by a guy one of the other posters dated, and hopefully the girl who was terrorized took solace in the fact that the girl who dated that guy "accidently" ran over the big jerk with her car.

I'll give you three guesses who the driver of that car was...

Apr 6, 2011

My Baby Daddy

As most of you know, my divorce was finalized in January of this year.  It took just over a year to go through the divorce process.  My divorce, like 99% of divorces you hear about, was an ugly, acrimonious affair.  It was not without its fair share of mud slinging and dirty laundry airing.

My ex and I had been essentially separated for three years before we ever even filed for divorce.  Although we lived in the same house, we basically lived on separate floors and mostly came together for social obligations and the sake of the children.  Neither of us were unhappy to be divorcing.  We fought mainly about custody issues.

I'm not going to go in to all the dirty details of our divorce, because they're no different than the dirty details of anyone's divorce and we're past all that.

And we are. Past all that. To my intense relief and satisfaction.

To my surprise, we actually get along really well as divorced parents.  Granted, we still have some trust issues and we still have the occasional flare up.  But for the most part -- we're pretty darn good.

I'm proud of that.  I'm shocked, considering where we were a year ago... but I'm proud. And maybe, just maybe, a little bit smug too.

You see, when it came to issues about the children, we were, even in the worst of times, able to have rational discussions about what was going on, what we should do, and how we should do it.

For example, when I couldn't locate black dress shoes in my hometown for our son, I called his father and asked him to please find some. He went all over town looking, finally found them, and brought them the next time we met for visitation.  There was no discussion about how much they cost, how I needed to pay half... I asked for shoes for our son, and he got them.

At Christmastime, we had multiple discussions about what we should get the kids.  It wasn't a competition about who was going to get the kids more, it wasn't trying to top each other.  It was about what was best for the kids. And when I couldn't locate the princess Zhu Zhu pets for our daughter... I once again sent him on a search mission.  Which he completed without complaint.

I think that's actually pretty cool of him.  Good job, EJS.  Well done.

I talk to my children's father just about every day.  I tell him everything that is going on in our children's lives.  From the good, the bad, the ugly at school, to their health issues, to silly things they say.  He is their father, will always BE their father, and he has that right -- to know everything that is going on in their lives.

When the kids got their (amazing!) report cards, we called their dad.  When I was really upset because another child had been exceptionally mean to our daughter, I called her dad.  When both kids spent time at the hospital this year, I called their dad... a LOT.

It's not because I want to talk to him, or even that I need to talk to him. It's that it's the right thing to do. For. Our. Kids.

I guess maybe it's all in your mindset.  I chose to have children with this man. Our relationship didn't work out so well, but regardless, he is going to be in our lives for... well... all of our lives.  So I have a choice. I can either resent that, fight that, and end up losing my relationship with our children, or I can embrace that and make sure we're the best damn co-parents out there.

I chose Option #2.

So, for our daughter's birthday this year I invited her father to come to share in the festivities.  I picked him up at the airport (driving through a blizzard to do so -- at one o'clock in the morning no less), he spent a night at my house, I let him use my mini-van for the weekend... all because that was the right thing to do for our daughter.  I can't say that it wasn't weird, or that it thrilled me, but it certainly thrilled our kids.  That made all the weirdness worthwhile.

When I look around at the other divorced (or divorcing) single mothers that I know, I only see a few who are taking care of business with their kids welfare forefront in their minds.  One friend puts my good relationship with my kids' dad to shame.  She actually invited her ex-husband and his new girlfriend to stay at her house for a visit.  THAT is impressive.

But mostly, I see bitter, angry women who are using their kids as weapons against their baby daddies.  Women who fight about everything -- just for the sake of fighting.  Women who lie, who bad-mouth the dads TO the kids, who won't let the fathers have contact with the children even though the children have ASKED for it.

There's the woman who, despite being in a relationship of her own, has absolutely gone after her ex-husband's fiancé AND her family.  To the point of making false allegations of drug abuse about this poor woman AND her kids!  All because he, the ex-husband, has the audacity to simply move on from their divorce.

There's the woman who has asked her friends to stalk and harass her ex and his girlfriend, asking people to take pictures of them in the hopes of garnering some purported "evidence" to use against them.

There's the woman who has done worse than that -- too bad to mention here.

To these women I say, what is WRONG with you?

Do you not realize that every time you put your child's father down in front of them, you are putting down one-half of that child too?

Do you not realize that your children recognize your lies for what they are, and you are just losing your credibility?

That when you refuse to allow your kids to talk to their dad, you're only hurting THEM.

This is where my smugness comes in.  My children's father and I -- we aren't perfect by any means.  We've both slung some mud. We both have made missteps and wrong turns along the way.  But, at the very least, we were able to keep the focus on doing the right thing for our kids.

Good for us.

Apr 4, 2011


Claire at Three Years Old

I have a daughter.  She is eight years old.  She is smart, and kind, and creative, and sweet... everything you could want in a little girl.  She is also, in my absolutely biased opinion, beautiful.

However... I do not tell her she is.  And I strongly discourage other people from telling her that as well.

Instead, I tell her, "Pretty is as pretty does."  I tell her she is smart, and kind, and creative, and sweet, and everything I could ever want in a little girl.

But I don't say pretty. I don't say beautiful.

You see, I want Claire to focus on being the things that matter: smart, creative, kind. Beauty is superficial, in the eye of the beholder and, ultimately, doesn't matter.  Being told she is beautiful by me won't matter because there will always be someone, somewhere, who will tell her she isn't. Either out of jealousy or spite or just a difference of opinion, they will tell her she is ugly, and I want her to absolutely, unequivocally NOT CARE.

I don't ever want her to get a job because she's beautiful.  I want her to get a job because she's the best damn candidate in the bunch. 

I don't want someone to fall in love with her because of her giant hazel eyes, her wide smile, her cute little pixie chin.  I want someone to adore her, worship her, admire her and love her because her heart is beautiful. Her spirit is gorgeous. 

About 3 years ago I came across Katie Makkai's "Pretty".  It's slam poetry, a genre I'm not terribly familiar with.  But it is absolutely spot on:

"The word pretty is unworthy of everything you will be, and no child of mine will be contained in five letters. You will be pretty intelligent, pretty creative, pretty amazing, but you will never be merely 'pretty.'"

Apr 3, 2011

What's in a Name?

The other night, I gathered with some friends for a lovely dinner.  One of the topics discussed was names.

Our hostess with the mostest is dating a "Daniel", but we've all known him (since before high school) as "Danny".  His girlfriend HATES referring to him as Danny -- he is Dan.  Her reasoning?  It's hard to take a grown man seriously when they're using the diminutive form of their given name.  Joey for Joe, Nicky for Nick, Billy for Bill...

I completely understand.

Naming my kids was one of the hardest things to do.  I remember, when I was pregnant with my son, absolutely scouring the baby name websites and books.  I knew I wanted an Irish name and I knew I wanted it to be a strong name.  My rule was, you needed to say the child's name with "Attorney at Law" after it and not crack up laughing.

Try saying "Amber Destiny, Attorney at Law" and see if you don't crack a smile. (No offense intended to any of the Ambers or Destinys currently in the legal profession.)

Thus, one of my initial favorite names, Declan, was discarded.  I thought "Declan Sargent" sounded great... but "Deck Sargent" sounded like a porn star. (and someone, somewhere, at some time or another, would have shortened his name to Deck.)

Throw in things like avoiding initials that spell out something silly or rude (if I had married someone with the last name of Edwards or Evans, my initials would have spelled A-P-E).

Then there are the meanings... I considered the name Cameron until I found out the meaning was "crooked nose".  That pretty much ruined that.  Well, that and... I'm not a Cameron Diaz fan.

Which brings me to the next issue -- memories.  You can't name your kid the same thing as any ex-boyfriend or -girlfriend.  You can't use the same name as the 6th grade bully who made fun of your glasses.  The head cheerleader that you hated with a passion... these all go in the "no" pile.

Then there's things like family names.  Thankfully, I didn't get any pressure from my family (well, beyond my mother proclaiming that one of our name choices, Griffin, sounded like a dog's name) but I know of a lot of friends who dealt with unwavering pressure to name their little bundle of joy after Aunt Mildred or Uncle Eugene.

And, when you are pregnant, EVERYONE wants to know the names you are considering because EVERYONE has an opinion on what you should name your child.  And what you should not.  So, while you may absolutely love the name Grace or Cooper, someone will tell you about the Grace that tortured them in elementary school or the Cooper that stole their bike and tell you what an absolutely awful choice that would be to name your progeny. 

This is why I also know a LOT of expectant parents who refused to tell people the names they were considering.

Then there is my personal prejudice against "E" names, what I refer to as cheerleader names.  Now, before all of you with names that end in the "E" sound get your panties in a twist, let me explain... ;-)

There was a time in my early 20s where every single girl friend I had was this adorable, teeny, happy, fashionable, former cheerleader with a cute little "E" name: Becky, Traci, Stacey, Darci, Jenny, Cindy, Ashley, Mandy... you get the picture.  Every damn one of them.

And then there was me, with my heavy, plodding three syllables...

An  Dre  A.

Now, don't get me wrong... I've always liked my name.  But when faced with the overwhelming perkiness of all those "E" names, I felt like the baritone in the all-soprano choir.  And, while I indeed had the option of becoming an "E" name myself and going by "Andy". I don't think that would have made me any perkier... it just would have made me boyish.

One would think that since I felt so odd-man out with my non-"E" name that I would want my children to fit in and would purposefully name them an "E" name.  To them I say... you don't know my contrary nature.

So, a strong name. No diminutive.  No funny meanings. No bad initials.  No "E" names. No weird family names...

Now you know why I thought this whole naming a child thing was hard.

Eventually we settled on "Quinn" for our son.  And we used my maiden name as his middle name.  It's a strong, one syllable name (thus unable to be shortened) that means "wise" and his initials don't spell anything.  Perfect.

Quinn is ten now and would you like to know what his very best friend in the whole world has called him since he was three years old?  "Quinnie".

Quinn and his best friend

Apr 1, 2011

An Ode to the Overwhelmed

A poem by Samantha Bennett

My friend, confidante, sometimes assistant, and fellow Mother of the Year shared this poem with me today.  "Could any poem be perfecter for us?"

Answer:  No.

Thanks for sharing Jenny.

And as you stand there
Late again
Because you forgot to allow time to park
And the elevator was slow
And you left 10 minutes late to begin with

With your shoes that pinch
And your pants that are a little too small
Since you started eating white bread again

And as you paw through your bag
Looking for the suite number
That you’re not sure you wrote down to begin with

Let us now praise you.

You, the untidy.
You, the careless.
You, the easily distracted by sparkly things.

The money you spend on late fees alone
Could feed a family in Africa –
Which reminds you that you meant to send in the kids’ Unicef money and

And that despite your best efforts
You rarely eat a square meal
You almost never get enough sleep
And exercise seems like a word that magazines have developed
Just to make you feel bad about yourself.

But you are good and brave.
You, flying by the seat of your pants
Making it work
Putting out fires
Saying your prayers
And dancing your dance of now and later and maybe and

As innocent as each morning’s sunrise,
You are a fount of good intentions.
Your good humor is as graceful as a baby giraffe,
Even if that joke you were trying to make to the hotel clerk fell flat
And your toast at the wedding came out sounding a little… funny.

But you have gifts that no one knows about.
You have the strength to bend in the wind
You have the joyful spirit that loves a good belly laugh,
You have the wisdom to understand that everything will all come out all right in the end and
You have the faith to light a candle rather than curse the darkness.

That is, if you could find the book of matches from that romantic restaurant that you went to for your anniversary but since you didn’t have a reservation they made you wait at the bar for half an hour during which you had two appletinis and the rest of the night is a bit of a blur.

So much for the overpriced lingerie.

You are beautiful.

You are beautiful.

Frazzled and overworked and underpaid
You are the one who forgot your wallet
And forgot your receipt for the dry cleaners
And forgot your keys which you just set down five seconds ago, so where could they possibly have gone?

But you never forget to say, “I love you”
And you never forget to give a big smile to that nice parking guy
And you never fail to show endless patience when the
Too-tightly wrapped and overly-conscientious start to offer their
Oh-so-helpful suggestions about how you might feel better if you would just learn to alphabetize your spice rack.

You are beautiful.
So, wear the lingerie on Monday for no reason.
And why not just refuse to participate in the bake sale this year?
And give yourself a compliment for something you did well today.

Because you are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever known.