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Author Archives: Jenni

Wifey

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He reached for me and I swallowed hard as I felt his nails dig into my wrist, slightly. They’d been drinking all day and I’d just gotten off work. Being sober in a bar at midnight is no laughing matter, and it was a full house of what looked to be, inebriated teenagers.

I needed booze on board, post haste.

The dirty Bombay Sapphire martini in my hand, felt like a liquid security blanket, even though I appeared to be the only person in the room with an actual glass. His hand on my wrist made my heart race, and the icy cold gin wasn’t helping quickly enough.

Something had shifted with him and I could feel it hanging in the space between us. I set my glass down and he pulled me out the door and across the street, to another bar.

We’re standing at the end of the bar, halfheartedly trying to order a drink, when a man interrupts us.

M- Hey, Hi- excuse me! I can see that you’re having some sort of romantic and special evening, it’s your anniversary, isn’t it! Can I squeeze in and order?

I blink at Perfection. Completely speechless and thankful for the dark, because I’m positive I’m ruby red.

P- It is. What’s it been, wifey- 3 years? Oh no, 3 years and 10 months.

I’m amazed my shaking knees are holding me. The butterflies in my stomach are making me a little nauseous and I feel feverish. I wish I had a drink in my hand so that I could do something other than look stunned. I finally choke out an awkward response.

J- Sure, hubby. Wow, you’re a daddy too.

P- Bonus!

I’m thankful for my sobriety, and manners…because they were the only things keeping me from propositioning him right then and there. The strange guy just wants to buy a drink, but now that he’s celebrating our anniversary with us, he insists on buying us a shot. I am still so stunned by what’s going on with Perfection that I cannot make up my mind about what I want.

J- Not Fireball or Rumple minze. Anything but those. You decide, Darling.

P- I insist, wife. What do you really want? Tell me what sounds good?

The answers that come to mind would leave him equally as speechless, but his hand is drifting lower on my ass and I can hardly breathe, let alone speak. The stranger is looking at me, expectantly.

J- Washington apples. Thank you.

I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone. Is this real life? Am I hallucinating? Am I really wasted and I just feel far too sober?

We take the shot and the stranger wishes us well on our marriage and leaves. Perfection leans in.

P- Do you know how many times I’ve had dreams about you?

J- Are you feeling alright? I think you’ve been overserved.

Ever have one of those moments where you’re a million miles away from the noisy room you’re standing in? I can feel his heart racing and hear him struggling like me.

This is real life.

This is Perfection.

This is what it’s supposed to feel like. In and of itself, it is a huge relief that I can recognize that. He doesn’t live here, the timing is wrong and he has a few loose ends I don’t want to get tangled in…

But…. it is fanfuckingtastic to have a Perfect evening, and remember what it feels like to be wildly attracted to not just anyone, but someone really and truly special.

Maybe I’m not a catlady, after all.

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The Ugly Panties

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Thank GOD I wore the ugly panties.

I realize that’s an awkward prayer, but today I am tossing thanks up to the heavens for my laziness in undergarment choice last night. I was getting ready for work, looking for substance, not style. They’re comfy, and cover the necessary parts… but if you were to find yourself in the arms of your biggest crush?

They’re a whole lotta cockblock in one not-so-sexy garment.

From the beginning, I’ve had a crush on Mr. Perfection. I met him years ago, through some of my closest girlfriends, whom he also happened to be close friends with. There was a dia de los muertos birthday party and he’d shaved all his hair off and painted his entire head. I love a man who can dress up, but I worship a man who knows he’s walking into a bar as the only painted man with a handful of painted lady friends. He’s a beautiful soul, who loves his mama, works hard and tells everyone close to him how important they are. To be loved as his friend is to know what it is to have a family. I named him well, and it is no sort of exaggeration.

If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you know that he is part of a small group of good men I’ve been attracted to. More accurately…. Perfection stands alone. In my bemused quest towards cat lady status, he is my Achilles.

In the chaos of going through a breakup during the 11th hour of my pregnancy, I gave up on men. I really truly have. I am not interested in dumbing myself down to have a conversation that bores me. I can’t pretend  to care about having a boyfriend. My life is focused on raising my girls and growing too many veggies. My 40th birthday is this coming Tuesday and my pregnant cat is due with the most spectacular birthday gift an aspiring cat lady could ask for. I am wholeheartedly unavailable, and happier than I’ve ever been…

… so when Perfection walked in the doors last night, I was gobsmacked. He’s sparkly smiling and hugging me tightly while I’m fighting off goosebumps. It’s a scintillating rush after not having been touched in 3 1/2 years. I was a little speechless, and he was more than adorable. I have been in serious hermit mode, and don’t do anything socially. At the end of the day when I need to unwind… I knit.:) So when he invited me out for a drink after work, I agreed. Who am I kidding… I watched the clock tick slowly while the last few hours of my shift ran out.

Seeing him for the second time, did not help my situation. Surrounded by mutual friends all celebrating his return, things started crackling. Accidental touches turned into some good ol’ fashioned temptation.

Which is precisely when Miss Jenni got her groove back.

I’d forgotten how good it is to be soundly kissed by the one you crave… which reminded me of a few other things I’d forgotten I miss.

Buttons popping. Teeth dragging along my neck just enough to allow my reason to escape. His silky smooth hands grazing my hip were like a white hot reminder.

Dear God. I have my hot pink motherfucking ugly panties on.

FML… if it’s one thing we ladies know and can agree on- it’s that we certainly don’t want the first time we get wild and naked with someone we’ve adored for years, to be on a day we’ve chosen the ugly drawers.

Every woman has a pair, and I’d be willing to bet that you love yours too. Mine are smooshy soft cotton in brilliant hot pink with BABYDOLL in rhinestones on the ass.

It’s a childhood nickname and I was not buying them for style or a show.

They are also, quite possibly; the last thing I’d want to be  wearing in front of anyone, ESPECIALLY him.

My hot pink insurance policy helped me collect myself, my thoughts and my moral compass, which had gotten tossed along with his shirt. I’m kicking myself a little while his cologne on my skin continues to torture me, but relieved that I’m finally in a place where I can decline momentary satisfaction. If it’s going to happen, I want it to be right, and if it isn’t right, then it isn’t meant to happen.

But gawwwwwd… of all the days to wear those damn underwear.

Tula Love

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When I found out I was expecting my last child, I bought myself the Baby Bjorn of my dreams. It wasn’t easy to spend $80 on a baby carrier, but I remember how helpful it’d been the first few months.
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I’d had the original navy blue wonder with my second child, and had loved carrying her until she was around 7 months old and it became painfully uncomfortable.

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When she grew so big the Baby Bjorn felt like it was splitting my spine in two, we transitioned to the Kelty backpack carrier. A little much for vacuuming, but what can you do. It gave me a few more months, but getting her into the pack was cumbersome and not terribly comfortable for her. She wasn’t content for long.

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My last two are 13 years apart, and a lot had changed. Someone told me I needed to buy a Moby. I bought black, because most of my clothes are black. My sweet babe was born the first week of July. Consequently, I feel like we were both lucky to come out of the Moby without only a heat rash, and not full blown heat stroke. Getting her in felt like a live origami experiment and I was never completely confident that she wouldn’t fall out through a hole in the 18 yards of fabric I was drowning in. Oy.

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I found an Ergo at my local consignment store, and figured it was worth $60 if I loved it like some of my friends love theirs. It wasn’t bad. She loved it and I liked that I could throw some cash and keys in the pocket and leave the stroller behind. This was the carrier that made our stroller move from the back of the car, to the garage. The straps weren’t terribly comfortable, but I could carry her and everything else, simultaneously.

It seemed like I’d found one that worked. I missed her being able to face out, but after everything I’d read, I knew it was bad for her hips- so I was happy to forgo that feature.

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Which is when my dear friend loaned me a Tula. I had heard her ramble on about her DISO and WC’s and thought she’d lost her mind a little. I love her- crazy or sane- so I agreed to try out her beloved carrier. I was surprised she’d want to loan it out, when she explained she had 6. She was trading her way to the Tula of her dreams, with a market value of $1500. Again, I thought she’d lost her mind.

But.

Nothing fit like the Tula did. My sweet girl was asleep in minutes, and had never fallen asleep in any carrier. It was warm, while breathable- so a light jacket kept us both warm on a brisk fall walk. In a matter of days, I would find my little lady trying to buckle herself in. She asked to be “up” and picking the green beans had never been easier.

I decided I needed one, and hopped online to find a deal.

Ha… I had the misfortune of falling in love with Tula at the same time as everyone else in the free world. Deals were nonexistent in Tula-land. These days they have done a lot to keep up with the demand, and with the recent purchase of Baby Tula by Ergo, hopefully supply will increase without losing quality. Ergos are great, but they are definitely not Tulas.

I decided I’d try to “score”. Scoring means being online at precisely 3 PM PST every other Sunday, when Tula releases its highly sought after wrap-conversion Tulas, and managing to purchase one in the 3 split seconds you have before they sell out. These are considerably more expensive, but also increase in value over time. The preview of the Tulas that will be for sale is posted on Friday. I fell in love with a brilliant magenta full wrap conversion, and told my friend I was going to bite the bullet and buy it.

She had a good laugh, and told me she’d been trying to “score” for 8 months, with no luck.

Sunday came around and I’d saved my $330 the carrier cost. I was sick to my stomach spending so much, but this is Tula and common sense is the first to go. My alarm went off and I began following the “scoring” instructions.

Hit refresh, hit refresh, hit refresh… Oh MY GOD… The pictures start to load and I see mine. Blind click, add to cart, submit payment, done.

I scored. I didn’t even know what I bought, I just knew I saw pink and said yes.

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I don’t know where my stroller is. Somewhere collecting dust. We hike, walk, pick beans…and dance in the Tula. As a single mother, I don’t know that I could have done it without it. I know I wouldn’t have been able to hold her as much, or as often as I have. I know the sleepless nights would have been harder and at nearly 40… I’ll take all the help I can get in snuggling her close while she grows at the speed of light.

We own three Tulas now. One for the car, one for home and one to share with other mamas who have no idea what they’re missing until they try one on.

Don’t even get me started on the http://http://www.tulababycarriers.com/collections/blankets….

30 Days of Truth, Day 6

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Day 6: Something you hope you never have to do.

Now we’re talking!!! I was just about to throw in the towel on this 30 Days of Truth, nonsense.

I hope I never have to go on another date.

Oh… I mean it.

I can’t even fathom having a conversation that lasted long enough for a man to ask, and that feels wonderful. After the dreadful time I’ve had, trying to coexist and cohabitate with the opposite sex, I’m cutting my losses and beginning my collection of yarn and cats.

With yarn, the worst that can happen is an overabundance of hats and toys. Knitting brings me such peace… and did I mention that it utterly decimates your sex drive? It turns out that you can’t worry about blow jobs when you’re counting stitches and working cables. My ex used to threaten to hide my knitting needles.

The cats are dual purpose. They’re wonderful fluffy bits of love that will deter even the most determined man, in large enough numbers. I have three… which is definitely not enough to scare off an ardent fan. Once you get to 7, 12 or 16 cats… then you’ve attained true cat lady independence. Ever walked through a house with 16 cats?

You’d only do it once.:)

Aside from them fucking with my yarn, it’s perfectly wonderful.

Unlike dating.

I think back, (or better yet, read back) and can’t believe I had such low expectations for myself. The internet dating was a blast after I decided to do it purely for the writing material, but as a real woman, looking for love?

No.

Two thirds of the men dating online are looking for sex, only. The other third is creepy. There’s two or three guys that you’d actually want to get to know…. but they’re married.

Dating someone locally means hiding from someone locally after it doesn’t work out. I live in a small town, and that is a REAL problem.

Most importantly, my baby girl is at an age where she’s realizing she doesn’t have a daddy like the kids she sees. Her dad pays his child support and calls, but he’s not present physically. She saw him a handful of times last year. So if I were to date, she’d have to make sense of it, and I just don’t feel like it’s fair to add to her already confusing situation. Her dad is already engaged and being a dad to three other kids. She deserves to be my #1.

Is it lonely? No. I suppose it may get lonely at some point, but the animal shelter is only ten minutes away.

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Playgroup

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It’s the great American dream to raise your children in a cozy small town, especially if you grew up dreaming of Mayberry.

I grew up IN Mayberry… or the closest thing I’ve ever seen to it.

I STILL live in Mayberry, which is not my dream come true.

Don’t get me wrong, I have an incredible bunch of friends, all of whom are amazing women and men, and my children have grown up in the safe cocoon of an impossibly small and close knit town. There are great benefits that I wholeheartedly appreciate… but it’s not all rainbows and sunsets.

My sweet baby girl loves a local playgroup that is held once a week at a local church. There are a few moms I really like, but ultimately… we’re in it for the bouncy houses and free-range room full of small people. Its not religious, though you are welcomed to join their church services. We went regularly when she was a baby, and have started going again recently.

It is interesting as hell, to say the least.

I’m a lucky mom, because my baby is sweet and shares happily. She doesn’t have anyone in her life that doesn’t share with her, so it’s more a wonderful consequence of the 13 years between her big sister and her, than it is a reflection of my fantastic parenting. The downside, is that she gets a little mowed over at playgroup. It’s good for her, and she’s learning to defend her stuff these days.

She was happily marching a little hot pink double stroller around the busy room, when another little girl ran up and ripped the stroller out of her hands. She stared at me in horror, turned and stomped her tiny right foot.

B- NO! Be nice! Shaaaaaare.

The thief’s mother had appeared to return the stolen stroller. My little dumpling smiled and thanked her. Offering one of the babies to the angry little girl, who promptly threw it back at her.

Playgroup offers more than just bouncy houses. Playgroup is her first lesson that some people are just assholes.

Which is when I spot one I remember from high school. Great.

Remember that god-awful popular girl in high school who liked to call attention to people in their worst moments? Yeah her. The bad news is that she’s spawned. The worse news is that one of her little carbon copies is the same age as mine.

She has ankle boots like my teenage daughter, full hair & makeup. She’s smirking down her nose at the clusters of pajama clad moms, throughout the room. She’s eyeing up my Yoga pants, ponytail and complete lack of so much as moisturizer with more contempt than I’ve seen since 1993.

Her Irish twins are in the bouncy house with my Sugarplum and her eldest is trying to face stomp her baby while she lovingly “guides” her children with kind words.

Y-“Milwaukee, use your body with kindness towards Wenatchee. Wenatchee is small and needs you to help her learn. Milwaukee don’t use your feet for hurting. Milwaukee use your feet to jump and see how happy it makes you feel”

Milwaukee is attempting to break Wenatchee’s leg.

I am subconsciously peeing my pants in hysterical fits of laughter every time she says their names. I love uppity women who give their kids elitist white trash names. LOVE them.

I looked my daughter in the face and set the whole house straight.

J-“Don’t jump by that baby. She’s tiny and you need to be kind. Got it?”

B- “Got it!”

Miss Popularity frowned at me and I saw the recognition hit her. Uh oh.

Y- Jenni, isn’t it? We went to school together.

I smiled at her and she sort of half-sneered in my general direction. I’m easily 50 pounds heavier than her, in yoga pants and what’s left of my makeup from work last night… but she looks twenty years older than me, has bratty kids and too much patience.

Playgroup never disappoints.

I escape the high school reunion, only to run into another. A stay-at-home mom of one and only. Ugh. She wants to talk about poop and pull ups and all I can think of is signing up to be a foster parent so that we could have a built in playmate and avoid playgroup altogether.

A little singing and we’re out the door and home to the safety of the four walls that keep the familiar strangers, away.

Until next week, Mayberry.

tp

30 Days of what the hell…

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I’m back to dreading this and I was just remembering how much peace I found in clearing my head with a thousand typed words.

That 30 days of truth shit is no joke… and I’ve been in a particularly difficult head-space. With bills piling up and a surplus of coworkers during a shortage of tables, I’ve been extremely overwhelmed.

I have been at the same restaurant for nearly 4 years. Things have been rough lately and I’m in a place I never dreamed I’d be. I’m burned out, but tied inexplicably to the little old lady with an avocado allergy, who loves how I make her drink, the little kid who comes in when he gets good grades and brings his spelling test to show me, the family that drives hours to catch me up on their winter and their college kids, and the wonderful woman who made me an incredible gingerbread house this Christmas. customerloveI love the customers, and they love me right back. I get requested a lot. It would be easy to write off as me having lived in our small town forever, but I’ve met all these affectionate strangers, over their first bowl of rice with us. I always wanted a big family, and serving has given me one, because I adopt each of my favorites.

One of those customers has become a dear friend, both in appreciating my taking good care of them during their dinner, and outside of work, as a mother and friend. When I was offered a job in their restaurant, with completely different food, etc, I agreed immediately and panicked afterward.

I hate being the new girl. But.

The bills aren’t paying themselves, and as the months tick by, it isn’t getting any easier. I’m ready for a change of scenery if only to cure the cabin fever that sets in during the lengthy grey season. I had just agreed to take the job, when the phone rang with the nanny job of my dreams.

Isn’t it funny how the whole damn world stops on its axis when it realizes you’re willing to get your shit together and do something to help yourself be happier?

Ask and ye shall receive…and receive…aaaand receive.

I started the new job and it’s wonderful. A breath of fresh air with a small menu, friendly helpful staff and spectacular food. Exactly what I needed to shake off my server burnout.

Ooooh and the nanny job. Be still my heart. A 2 year old dumpling to match my own, and a squishy pink newborn gentleman. I was born to rock babies and play tea party. That’s all there is to it.

Thank you, Universe.

Now if I could just get through the remaining 25 days of excruciating truth.

30 Days of Truth, Day 5

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move

Something you hope to do in your life.

I hope to get the hell out of the small town I’ve been stuck in for my entire life.

Shared custody has determined that I continue to reside in the same damn small town I grew up in. I love my children, and it was a happy sacrifice for many years… but I’m in the home stretch. My eldest daughter is in high school and when she graduates, we are both set free.

I’m counting the days until I can throw my snow shovel in the trash along with my Idaho plates. I appreciate the childhood I was blessed with, and the safety I was able to raise children in.

But.

Who’s a girl gotta blow for an entire day of strangers? I realize that sounds a wee bit dramatic, but I would give a kidney to grocery shop, anonymously. I can’t even imagine the joy.

My Uncle recently relocated from Los Angeles, and listening to him talk about the traffic is hilarious.

F- I drove home at 9 o’clock on a Saturday night and didn’t see another fucking soul. Not a headlight from here to Canada. That’s when I realized I really did move to a quiet town.

He’s not exaggerating, and it wont be his last quiet drive home.

People complain aloud that I wouldn’t like Oregon because “it rains too much”, but its grey here from about December 1st- March 20th, which marks the beginning of mud season. I can’t plant safely outdoors, until May 15th at the earliest, and my garden has never frosted later than October 15th. It’s beautiful for a very small amount of time, and during the many cold, grey months… everyone has far too much time on their hands to discuss everyone elses business.

Seasonal restaurant business means half of the year, I live paycheck to paycheck. More like shift to shift, as a server, since the federal tipped minimum wage has not increased in 25 years. The closest college is further than I’m willing to risk driving in the winter as a single parent, but the second we escape this educational vacuum, I’m enrolling in school. I’m very good at what I do, but I count the seconds until I never have to take another drink order or hear about someone’s gluten intolerance.

History isn’t always helpful. Imagine how bad it sucks to constantly run into the same perverted creep you’ve been avoiding since high school, only to realize he has sons your daughters age. That’s my reality, and one I will not miss.

I want a museum, a college, a city library and a sea of unfamiliar faces. A fresh start in a strange place full of strangers. Ahhh.

I hope we are home sweet home somewhere else, in 3 years.

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