A house plant for not being a wall flower

I’m not going to lie to you. Sometimes life can be a drag when you are responsibly adulting.

I feel like my life consists of problems at work followed by problems at home mixed in with laundry and household chores.

It’s a difficult time of year for me. The sailboat is snuggling under tarps on the shore. Hot summertime breezes and swimming at sandy beaches are put away until next year. I have to face the treadmill again. I haven’t seen the sunshine since I don’t know when. Gone are the weekends at the cabin up north. The things I love the most have been taken away in preparation of a cold dark winter.

That is why it is so important to take whatever joy you can find.

I was excited to go to a friend’s Halloween party this past weekend. At the wedding of my BFF’s son, a stranger came up to me and said that I look like Marilyn Monroe. Now granted, the guy was pretty drunk and probably couldn’t see straight. It was then that I decided to pull my Marilyn Monroe costume out of storage for the party. Once I did, I noticed the white dress had brown spots all over it. I threw it in the wash, hoping that the stains would come out.

I decided if the dress did not get clean in the wash, I would buy fake blood and smear myself in dirt to become zombie Marilyn Monroe. I was almost more excited about that idea, but the stains came out.

That night I left my worries (demons, responsibilities…) behind. I drank some home brew, sat by the campfire, played games, danced…all the regular house party stuff…and I totally let my guard down.

The next day I realized that the night before I thought it would be a good idea (as a black thumb) to give a home to a 6 ft tall half dead tropical plant. Oh, what did I do??

No more parties for me I guess. Just a cold sober changing of the seasons and a tropical house plant to remind me of the things I don’t have, summer.


Widows weekend at home

Is it sad that I would rather stay home and clean my house instead of going out with friends? Is something wrong with me? Or am I just getting old??

This is the traditional widows weekend in Wisconsin. Tomorrow is the opening day for deer hunting. Tonight is the night that the girls go out whether their husbands hunt or not.

Tonight I am staying home and cleaning my house.

Growing up I lived in isolation and most of the time I enjoyed that lifestyle. I grew up in a house filled with introverts.

Now I am surrounded by a family of extroverts. There are always people coming and going. My kids constantly ask if friends can come over for the weekend. It is busy, bustling, and loud.

Is it wrong to want silence??

The last couple of times out with friends, I was completely bored. I had to yell over the crappy music of an untalented band. People ran into me and spilled their drinks on me. I have a hard time dancing and having fun if the music sucks. I get hit on, grabbed, and groped by guys that I would have no interest in dating even if I was single.

Even the best of friends sober are annoying when they are drunk and the non-drinkers are a drag to hang out with.

Yesterday I ran into an old friend at the grocery store. I don’t know if she recognized me. I pretended that I didn’t know her. I was in a hurry and didn’t want to waste time talking about superficial things. I hate small talk.

If you are going to be my friend, you will be there in the good times and the bad times.

But frankly, I will probably push you away in the bad times because I don’t like to talk to anyone about my life. I am a very private person although you wouldn’t know it here. It seems safer talking to you folks, all complete strangers, that I have no chance of running into in real life.

Then during the good times, I will be upset that you weren’t there for me in the bad times even though I probably pushed you away.

It’s not that I have social anxiety or poor social skills. Sometimes I just want to be alone. Maybe I am not a good friend.

Dusting off my dancing shoes

Going out isn’t as exciting as it used to be.

I felt bored. I realized that small time bands in small towns suck. Just bringing live music in on the weekends creates a crowd. So I found myself in a bar that was packed beyond the capacity of 99. It was hard to get a drink. One of my companions drank too much and was telling me the same angry story over and over again an inch from my face. Loud angry words were spewed with spittle over the discordant clash of the band. My ears were ringing from the noise. I could feel the vibrations ripple through my hair down into my feet.

My companion talked louder and louder over the music, gesturing wildly almost hitting me while people bumped into me from behind and stepped on my feet. It was windy and cold outside but sweaty and dank inside. The smokers huddled outside the door bringing in a stream of cold steam and smoke as the the hordes of people came in.

I felt disconnected. My companion talked on and on and spilled her drink down my arm in an angry gesture. Some of my friends were dancing. Others were standing around bored like me. When was it time to leave?? Cori was planning on dancing all night. Then after the bar closed they were going out to eat. Her plan was to get home at 5 AM after being up for 24 hours straight. That Cori is a wild one. I had other plans.

The evening started out nice. We went to Cori’s house for a light dinner and games. I brought along the game Loaded Questions. It was fun until the question came up asking what was the worst thing you ever witnessed. Should I answer that honestly?? I did. I put down that the worst thing I witnessed was when my brother attacked my daughter. The guesser had no idea that was my answer.

They are or were some of my good friends and they know nothing about me.

I had a lot more fun Friday night with Cindy. We were going to go to a bar and grill. When we showed up the place was packed and a DJ was unloading his van. We decided to go to a hole in the wall in the middle of nowhere. The food wasn’t great. The drinks weren’t much better. There were only 10 people there. But we could have a conversation without screaming over crappy music.

I hate to say it, but sometimes I would rather just stay home. I can listen to the music I like. People don’t bump into me or spill drinks on me. My husband is a great cook. I can drink craft beer instead of unimaginative dribble. I can fall asleep when I’m tired. I don’t have to yell over loud bad bar music.

But every once in awhile, I have to be social and dust off my dancing shoes to get my required social time in for the year.. But to be honest, I had more fun wearing my running shoes yesterday and going for a 10 mile run than I did wearing my dancing shoes last night….

How messed up is that??!?

The dear hunter

For the last couple of years, my husband and son went deer hunting. If they didn’t bring home a buck at least on the last day they would bring home a Christmas tree. Today we are getting our tree. No buck or doe though.

When the men leave for the big buck hunt, it is widows weekend for the ladies. Local strip clubs bring in the male strippers. I never went to see the male strippers nor do I plan on doing so. But for a couple of years a group of friends and I would go out to eat and dancing in a small town.

I remember one year in particular rather well. It was the year that one of our friends was pregnant (designated driver). We went out to eat at a supper club that had happy hour basically all night. While we were eating, I ran into some old friends of my parents. Only a week before my mom told me that her friend’s husband kissed her many years ago. Guess who I ran into? Yup, those friends. Awkward! Even though this happened decades ago, it was still new news to me.

Afterwards, we went out dancing. Even as a group of married women not looking for men, we are used to hearing the same old pick up lines. “Hey beautiful, how about I buy you a drink?” Ho hum. But that one night was different. I had a man my age approach me with a pick up line that I never heard before. It was something I was not prepared for. He said, “I heard that you are a singer and I happen to need a female lead singer in my band.” Hmm, now that was interesting.

He bought me a drink and we talked about his band. Then he started to tell me that he was a divorced divorce attorney and he could help me with that too if I was unhappy in my marriage. I assured him that I was happily married to a great guy. I did promise that I would check out his band and call him if I was interested in singing.

I remember it was a really cold night as we walked around to see other bands up the block. Some of my friends slipped and fell on the ice. Too bad he wasn’t “that” kind of lawyer. I almost walked into a telephone pole. I was too busy talking and laughing with the girls to watch where I was going. His group followed our group around. I think that the guy was hunting for woman or business that weekend. After checking out multiple locations, it was time to go home. I lived 45 minutes away. But there was one small problem. Our driver lost her keys somewhere that we had stopped over the night and it was getting to be bar time. It didn’t take long for the guy to offer me a ride home. How kind, funny that he didn’t seem too interested in helping us find the keys.

My friend eventually found her keys and got us all safely home that night. The next day I looked up the guy’s band. It probably would have been something that I would have liked to do and I could have done it. Even though I really, really, really wanted to be a singer in his band, I didn’t want to end up being a divorced lead singer in a band. The cost of following that dream was a price I was not willing to pay.