Tuesday, May 29, 2007

why me?

Sometimes I wonder why Ryan married me. Sure, I'm hot and hilarious, but I'm a total control freak and oftentimes a social retard. I had known and been friends with Ryan for several months before our first date, but on this date, I sat quietly in the car next to him utterly silent. He asked me questions; I gave him one-word answers. What he didn't know was that though it was silent in the car, questions furiously swirled through my mind: What should I say to him? Will he think I'm stupid? Will he hate me? Why does he like me? Does he really like me? How can he like me? I spent so much time paralyzed by doubt that Ryan thought I had no interest in him. And why wouldn't he? I was silent and frozen and strange.

My creepiness would be enough to drive a person away. But not Ryan.

This is a good man, you are thinking. Indeed he is.

Next, I took Ryan home to my family. My brother was lying in a pool of his own saliva on the living room couch, in withdrawals from speed. He reeked of body odor and hadn't shaved in at least a week. That's a long time if you are Italian, trust me. I didn't really think much of it until Ryan asked me what was wrong with him. There were a lot more instances like this.

But Ryan didn't care.

Fast forward eleven years. We've been married seven years this June. We have two kids now. I'm a stronger more stable person than I was when I was seventeen, but I still have one main problem: I'm a control freak. A really bad one. When the towels are folded the "wrong" way, it eats me up inside. When one puzzle piece is missing from one of Ben's puzzles, that piece lingers in my mind for days, weeks, until finally I find it. There is so much of this in my head that I do not tell Ryan. But what does come out is extremely irritating, I'm sure of it.

Take today. Ryan took Ben to get his hair cut (something I could not accomplish successfully) and took him to get fitted for his tuxedo for Bridget's wedding (something I was terrified to do). Ben came back measured and groomed and happy. And I didn't lift a finger. Still, when Ryan wanted to take Elliott to the doctor to see what was wrong with his stomach, I hesitated. "Do you know all of the details?" I asked, panicked. "His diarrhea record? His history of formulas? How many ounces has he eaten today?" These are the things that run through my head, a non-stop ticker of details about every aspect of our lives. I have all of our social security numbers and medical record numbers memorized. I am insane.

"I want to take him," Ryan said. And I let him. Because I need to trust him. Because he can do as much as or more than I can in a much less stressful way.

He is at the doctor now, with Elliott. And I am home, wondering what the doctor is saying, wondering what Ryan is telling him, secretly wishing I could control the situation from afar. I can't control everything; this I need to accept. I don't know if that will happen, but I'm grateful to have a person that would put up with me for this long, such a wonderful, loving husband and father.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

subject: my fat ass

I have one pair of jeans that sort of fit me, so I went to Gap (where I have a gift certificate I've been saving since Christmas) to see if I could find anything decent to wear as I contine the slow-motion process of trying to lose some damn weight. I could find my size, but they only had it in short or average. One of the men who works there said, "Can I help you find some denim." I told him my size. "Oh," he replied. It was the kind of uncomfortable, sad "oh" you get when you tell someone your mother is dead. "I don't think we carry that size," he continued. "You'll have to order it online." So in other words, my ass is too big to fit in any of the jeans they carry in the store, but I can special order them online.

Still determined, I headed over to American Eagle. That was a cruel, cruel joke. I didn't try anything on.

I tried on a pair of jeans at Express. They weren't too tight, but they were too short and the button popped off when I closed it.

Then, I did what I never thought I would do.

I went to Lane Bryant. And I tried stuff on. Their capri pants fit perfectly over my deformed stomach, cinching everything in and making me feel decent. But the crotches on every pair of pants there fit me weird, and I couldn't stand the idea of owning clothes from Lane Bryant. I'm not in the phase of my life where I have to wear Lane Bryant. Am I? Am I?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Sunday, May 13, 2007

mother's day...

It hasn't ever been my favorite holiday, but now that I am a mother, it is growing on me...I had a nice, relaxing day today. Ryan bought me a gift certificate to get a pedicure, which I'm severely in need of. Ryan's family made breakfast for the moms, and then we took the boys home, and we all laid down and took naps. (Except for Ryan, who cleaned the bathrooms, because he is amazing.) After their naps, Elliott smiled and tried to poop all day, and Benjamin danced and watched his Mickey and the Muskateers video. I love my boys so much that I can't describe it. No matter how annoyed and tired I get, I feel so lucky and proud that they are mine. I want to love them so much more and so much better than I was.

I try not to let my parents' selfishness and unravelling marriage have an effect on me. But because I'm a mother, because I was once as vulnerable and confused as my little brother and sister are now, because I see what they are doing to their children, it makes me very sad. This is something I try not to think about all of the time. This is not an easy thing to do.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Monday, May 07, 2007

my husband is a genius (and not just because he mentions me)

Here's proof:

60 Miles Inland

My majesty
of mouthless deliverance
follows me home.
She is not a female.
She does not know
my newest name.
I wrote her this little note
while listening
to the soundless roar
of the San Timoteo
of my Benjamin’s crooked little laugh
of my Angela’s burrowing lips.

The heart is not just an artery;
there are valves and sandwich makings and auto mechanics
eating Zucchini Sticks from Nick’s Burgers;
there are Route 66 car shows
with tapered women and men not looking into their
cherry snow blown eyes
and men not tasting the gracious salt in the air
or trusting that an ocean will soon be near
to silently spread its fresh new dusk
to drown every one of us in one uneasy year.

Thursday, May 03, 2007