Category Archives: Marriage and Home Ownership

Proportions

Yesterday was The Boy’s birthday. He’s 14 now.

The length of his lifespan computes to approximately 29% of my own life. In this case, statistical calculations do not offer an appropriate representation of the value of those fourteen years. For fourteen years and eight months, The Boy’s existence has been central to my own. Since the moment I found out about him, he has been a cherished and essential element of my daily consciousness. My transformation from individual traveler in the Universe to  parenthood is one of the greatest and most humbling changes I have ever experienced. In my case, this identity shift occurred by choice and deliberate action, and was sanctioned by a religiously and federally-approved marriage with an equally committed co-parent. It is, however, precisely the same gift that my friends and neighbors have experienced through adoption, gamete donation, family blending, and devotion to the people with whom we have all formed homes.

Love makes a family.

If you are lucky, you are a member of a family formed by love. If you are loved, you are statistically more likely to succeed in life.

This statement begs the question: How do we define success?

If you have found this blog post, some portion of our society has already defined you as “successful.” Rest assured, I am not arrogant enough to think that reading my blog is a mark of success. Access to any site such as this one, however, is an indication of a certain type of cultural capital. You are literate. You have the means to use a computer and a link to the Internet. Depending on the time of day that you are reading this digital missive, you have probably eaten at least one healthy meal today. I hope that you slept in a warm bed last night, and that in the past 24 hours, someone has told you that you are loved. If you are loved, you are not alone. If you love, someone else is not alone.

I’m writing this post on a Sunday night. Over the weekend, we have spent time with The Husband and The Boy, with my very best friend and her daughter, with four of The Boy’s closest buddies, with one of our dearest friends, and with my parents. I spoke to my precious niece. All of these people are part of our family. It’s a family formed by love. It’s a family formed by choice. The Boy chose the people he wanted to be a part of his birthday weekend. He chose well.

My boy is 14. He loves, and is loved. He has a family, built through biology and choice. There is no percentage or numerical exercise to determine the value of the people in his lives. There is no greater gift.

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Flav-O-Flav

It’s gift-giving season.

We’ve been purchasing items for our loved ones for weeks now, gathering “just right” offerings to give during the holidays. The list of recipients has grown shorter over the years. Along with with most of our grownup friends, we’ve all agreed to focus on the children, rather than the adults who are fortunate enough to have just about everything they could need or want. Still, The Husband and I like to exchange gifts with each other. In the nearly two decades that we’ve been together, the challenge of finding an ideal present for The Husband has proven to be quite daunting. Continue reading

Snow Day(s)

It’s winter here in New England. We’ve settled into the season of sleet, slush, icicles, cold wind, and dark mornings. We’ve also settled into hot soups, steamy latte, flannel sheets, layers of fleece clothing, and that rare, unexpected treat: the Snow Day. Continue reading

A Room of My Own

The Husband has been urging me to write about my new room, but I must say I’ve been hesitant. I’m a bit embarrassed to be blogging about this topic.

For the past eight years, “the blue room” has been a guest bedroom, sort of. The other, real, guest room is outfitted with a king-sized bed and is much more private and spacious than the blue room is. When we first moved into the house, we bought a twin bed with a pop-up trundle for the blue room in anticipation of the possibility that we might have two visiting parties at the same time. In eight years, there has been exactly ONE time that we needed to make the blue room guest-ready.

In the meantime, I’ve been using it as an all-purpose catch-all room for my school materials, cookbooks, makeup table, and the dresser for my workout clothes. The Husband has been using the closet in that room for his wardrobe because, well, the closet in the master bedroom was completely filled with some of my clothes. The rest of my clothes have been on seasonal rotation in and out of storage bins. The whole system had become unwieldy and disorganized. So we concocted a plan, a la Sex and the City, to convert the blue room into one giant walk-in closet/dressing room/total-girl-haven. We moved the trundle bed into The Boy’s room for his sleepover buddies, bought beautiful wooden clothing racks for all my hanging items (ALL of them; not just one season’s worth!!), then moved The Husband’s stuff out of the closet and into the master bedroom. We put all my knitwear, handbags, and scarves into the blue room closet. Shoes are now organized and stacked by season and style. Black dresses are all together. Skirts are arranged by color, length, and sometimes style (all the flouncy ones are together, and all the flowery cotton ones are together). Belts are hung on hooks; hats are displayed nicely so that they won’t be crushed. The full-length mirror is tucked perfectly between two racks.

It’s like having my own private boutique. And everything is in my size! I’ve been joking around about how I get to go shopping in there every morning.

Someday I will write more about how my strong feminist tendencies align with my fashion indulgences. But right now, I’m just loving my decadent new room.

Vegetable Uncertainties

My guys have been exhibiting unnecessary concerns about squashes and pumpkins lately. Continue reading

Domestic partnership

Funny role reversals around here over the past few days…

Continue reading

Of mice and marriage

The mice are back. You’d think that with the warm weather and the enormous amount of edible biomass available to them outdoors, they’d much prefer to make their nests under the porch or over in the wood pile. I’m not sure what is so appealing about the wall spaces in my house, but then, I’m not a mouse.

I’m amazed by the amount of noise a 2-ounce creature can generate when it starts scratching around inside the walls. Equally amazing is the fact that The Husband cannot hear it at all. (OK, actually that part isn’t really amazing.)

Anyway, there we were getting ready to go to sleep the other night, reading (him) and doing the crossword puzzle (me).  In the late-night quiet, the sound was unmistakable: skritch, skritch, skritch. It was also coming directly out of my closet. I had left a shopping bag from Bloomingdale’s in there a couple of days before, and this noise was most definitely being made by a small critter scuffling up against the side of the tissue-filled paper tote.

“Can you hear that?” I asked. “Hear what?” he responded.

“There’s a mouse in the closet.”

“It’s probably just in the wall.”

“It’s not in the wall; it’s definitely in the closet.”

Being a guy, and not having any concern about the basket filled with pashminas or the many shoes that might become nesting spots for the unwelcome creature, The Husband promptly turned off his light, rolled onto his side, and began to snore. I returned to the puzzle, gave up after a few minutes, turned off my light, and tried to ignore the sounds coming from my closet. It was no use. I got out of bed, went into the kitchen and got the really big flashlight. My plan was to shine the light into the closet, scare the beastie out of there, shoo it into the hallway, and close the bedroom door. After five minutes of light-shining, no little beady eyes appeared. At this point, The Husband groggily joined the party.

“Go look under the sink and see if there’s a mousetrap. I’ll set it for you if you can find it.”

Back into the kitchen I went, found the trap and summoned my trusty hunter.

Here’s the scene no one ever imagines while they’re standing in front of God and Man making their wedding vows:

It’s 12:30 am. A middle aged couple (Wait–make that one middle-aged man and his Role Model wife) are in their kitchen on a warm June night, barely dressed. She is holding a very large flashlight. He is using a toothpick to blend brown rice and organic peanut butter with a toothpick; this is the bait that will be spread  onto a waiting mousetrap. Outside, a car passes by, its headlights glowing through the windows. The wife begins laughing so hard that tears come into her eyes. “What do you think that driver was thinking when he saw us in here?” she asks.

And there, my friends, is the Zen of fourteen years of marriage: preparing a healthy last meal for a small brown pest.

PS–the mouse never re-appeared.