The Holiday of Existential Crises

New Year’s is annoying.

Not for the usual reasons: New Year’s Eve with its accompanying inflated cover charges, the strange urge to wear glitter, and those annoying “restricted menus” restaurants always throw at you. No, I don’t want garlic herb chicken with steamed vegetables, Chad. I know you have stuff to make cheeseburgers back there.

Don’t make me hurt you, Chad.

No, New Year’s is annoying because it makes you think. Holidays shouldn’t make you think. Holidays are supposed to be about drinking too much around  your family just so you can handle the alarming amount of toddler warfare. Holidays are about eating so much sausage that you start speaking German. That’s what the holidays are about.

But New Year’s messes with your head, man. You start questioning your very existence and every choice you’ve ever made. You realize everything’s pretty much the same as last year (and the year before, and the year before that). At least it probably is if you’re a person who is married and in her mid-to-late thirties. Okay, late thirties. OKAY, I’M TURNING 40 IN 7 MONTHS.

And I’m handling it JUST FINE.

Because when most of your big “life decisions” like kids and marriage are already done and over with, what’s left? Soon the boys will be graduated and on their own. (And by “on their own,”  I mean probably still living with us but not paying rent or doing anything useful around the house).

So once the boys are actually gone, then what are Eric and I to do? Just sit around still being young and super-hot? That gets boring, guys. Trust me.

So exhausting being us.

Should we buy a cabin in the woods? Not a horror movie cabin where I’d get stabbed in a horribly inventive way, but a pimped-out fancy cabin that has a hot tub and enormous windows that I never have to clean because we’re stupid rich. I’ll learn to make jam and decorate my house so country modern fabulous, Pinterest will explode out of sheer jealousy.


Or should we buy a place in the city? We could live in a cool historical building from the 1800’s but someone else fixed it up right before we moved in so it has brand-new plumbing and a really strong WiFi signal. Plus a sick balcony where we can light candles for sexy times but also has total privacy because you know everyone wants to check us out. We’re young and super-hot, remember?

Maybe we’ll travel and live in a new place every year. One year in NYC. One year in L.A. One year in… where else is there? Those are literally the only two places they ever show in movies and TV.

Anyway, New Year’s sucks. And, for the record,  I knew this before Jennifer Lawrence, because she could be my daughter, almost. Also, these plans of mine sound pretty pricey, so I better get back to writing my book. There’s a lot riding on this thing.

Yep. This is me.

Warning: Random ramblings ahead

This post is mostly just an excuse to not do homework. Please enjoy my ramblings, brought to you by the gods of procrastination.

War of the Dip 2

Last week, Eric and I were arguing (again) about The Dip. He had just got back from the store and was making yet another batch. I told him before he left that we already had cream cheese and butter in the fridge (the main ingredients in this super-healthy snack).

He was in the middle of making it when he suddenly exclaimed, “This is mixing like paste!” He tasted it and made a face. “It tastes weird!”

He then accused me of sabotaging his precious dip with substandard butter. “This isn’t the butter I usually use.”

I squinted at it. “I didn’t buy that. I always buy the store brand.”

We then had a long, pointless argument about where this butter came from. He claimed I bought it; I said no way could I have bought it because I always buy the store brand. He always buys the name brand, ergo the gross butter must belong to him. He was about to retort when he looked at butter package and said accusingly, “It’s expired!”

“I don’t know!” I said defensively. “I thought you’d just bought it, I didn’t even look.”


And around we went again. Of course by this point we descended into ridiculous insults wherein he claimed my baking sucks because I use generic butter.

Sputtering, I responded with, “The only thing that sucks around here is you, because you’re a sucker for wasting money on name brand butter!”

He came to halt and repeated slowly, “‘The only thing that sucks around here is you because you’re a sucker.'”

I had to laugh. “Shut up! It makes sense.”

That’s marriage, folks. No need for a winner, we resolve our debates with laughter. Although clearly I won.

(In case you’re wondering, he ended up making another trip to the store to get his precious name brand butter and declared the next batch of dip as the best one yet. Tastes the same to me.)

P.S. or Why I need meds to get through life

Actual conversation I had with the Starbucks barista in my office (yes, there’s a Starbucks in my office. I know, right?):

It was the end of the day on Friday so the pastry options were slim pickins’. Then I spotted a lone slice of raspberry swirl pound cake. My mouth filled with saliva.

Me: May I have that lonesome little raspberry swirl pound cake?
Her: You sure can.
Me: Yay! It looks so sad and lonely. It needs to be in my mouth.
I should just not talk to people.

The War of The Dip

Hey, remember how I said I’d try to keep up with my blog? Neither do I, because GRAD SCHOOL IS INSANE, YO. I have no memory of anything anymore, because my brain has exceeded its limit. It’s overflowing with information and if I don’t empty it soon… well.


I really need to make more of an effort to get back to writing non-college-y stuff because clearly I’m losing my mind. The perfect segue to this story…

So my husband just had a birthday. He wanted a quiet birthday weekend because, you know, he’s old now. But then something happened.

Let me tell you the back story first: a few years ago Baby Mama unknowingly started a downward spiral of events in my house when she gave Eric her recipe for a chocolate chip cream cheese dip. I’m not sure of the exact recipe, but it’s mostly made of cream cheese and the Tooth Fairy’s tears. It’s the most fattening, delicious, sugary dip you’ve ever regretted eating.

My husband gets on these weird snack phases, and as I’ve mentioned before, he’s very protective of his food. So he was making this dip for himself, buying chocolate animal crackers to go with the dip (animal crackers are essential to this treat, apparently) and this became his new snack.

For months this went on. I cannot emphasize enough how fattening this dip is. First of all, a batch of it is meant for like, a large gathering of people, not one single, insane man. Because the other thing about it was, he would not share it. He’d give me and the boys a measly little taste every once in a while, but he watched our every bite.

We even caught him hiding it in the very back of the refrigerator, all wrapped in aluminum foil like some ridiculous dessert camouflage, meant to throw us off. But he wasn’t counting on this former reader of Nancy Drew, no sir. I spied the empty cream cheese packaging, the mixing attachments in the dishwasher and the not-quite-cleaned out mixing bowls. I wasn’t born yesterday, Mr. Pingle.

I really want to put an inappropriate joke here, but I'll restrain myself.
I really want to put an inappropriate joke here about Nancy and Ned, but I’ll restrain myself.

“You hid the dip in the back of the refrigerator?” I screeched. Both boys perked their ears and swiveled their heads first toward me, then Eric. We all stared at him, waiting.

“Uhhh…” he protested unconvincingly.

It was a dark day in the Pingle household.

He eventually weaned himself off  (after several interventions), and things settled down.

Well, I hate to tell you but The Dip is back.

It started up again a few weeks ago. The ingredients suddenly appeared in the refrigerator. Animal crackers showed up in the pantry.

The weekend after his birthday a bowl of dip beckoned enticingly from the fridge. I was alone and it was that time of day when it’s too early for dinner but well past lunch. I helped myself to some of the dip to tide me over until dinner.

Later that night Eric opened the refrigerator. “Who ate all my dip?” he roared.

All your dip? I barely had any!” I said.

“You had a lot.”

“Did not.”

“Did too.”

Pictured: Marriage.
Pictured: Marriage.

“There is plenty left! For one normal person, anyway. Maybe not enough for one ridiculous man,” I huffed.

Later, he set the empty (empty!) bowl in the sink. “That was disappointing,” he sniffed.

He would not shut up about it for the rest of the night. And there was enough dip for four people in that bowl, you guys. He’s insane. Insane.

And he’s allll mine. Happy Birthday, Mr. Pingle.

My uterus is still fine, thank you.

So, in case you didn’t read my About page, I married a divorced dad of two boys who didn’t want any more kids. In fact, he took extreme measures to ensure no more youngins would henceforth be birthed from his loins; this involved a doctor, some Valium and a little snip-snip (respectful pause while all men reading this wince and squirm a little).

Despite society’s best attempts to brainwash me, a part of me always knew that the whole Mom thing wasn’t really my jam.

A long time ago my former brother-in-law told me I was “selfish” when I said I didn’t really want to have kids.

Let me set the scene: I’m in my early 20’s, about as far from adulthood as I could possibly be and still feed myself. That evening I was most likely hungover and taking a reprieve from my regularly scheduled debauchery.

My nephew (now 15) was just a baby at this time. I was rocking him to sleep and even as I gazed at his tiny little face with auntly love (how is “auntly” NOT a word? Screw you, Spell Check!), after a few minutes of gentle rocking a part of me thought: Huh. This is kind of boring. I experienced no pangs in my ovaries, no maternal longing. Just… boredom. Plus I was getting sweaty. Holding babies is wonderful until you realize that one baby can reach the approximate core temperature of the sun. And have you ever walked with a baby? How a 10 lb. baby can end up feeling like you’re carrying a lead-based laundry basket full of wet towels is something science should really figure out.

And the longer you’re around babies, you realize that their whole existence consists of forever making noises and smells and spewing liquid goosh from every orifice. Why are you so disgusting, babies? 

Anyway, back to my nephew. I told my brother-in-law that I didn’t think I wanted kids. Not that I impulsively decided this while holding my nephew. It wasn’t like, I held him for five minutes and then shoved him back, saying, “Blech! That was awful. You actually like this thing?”

No. But it was something that had been stirring for a while and I finally voiced it, unfortunately to the wrongggg person. I forget his exact words, but it was something along the lines of, “Only a selfish piece of crap would not want children because that means you’re only living to please yourself and you will die alone after a bitter, sterile existence.”

Awesome. Great talk, bro. Okay, back to me.

Now, I know some mothers who used to feel the same way I do. Having your own is a totally different thing, I get that. And I know that if by some weird cosmic force, I became pregnant and had my own baby, I’d pimp-slap anyone who said my baby was less than a miracle delivered by unicorns straight from heaven and wrapped in rainbows.

But—overall I’m thankful that I never hopped on board the Baby Express. My uterus has no regrets.

When my hubby and I first got married, a lot of my girlfriends and even people I didn’t know were aghast when I said we weren’t going to have our “own” kids. Everyone said, “You’ll change your mind!” (I actually wrote a blog post about this a long time ago entitled, “Congratulations On your Wedding, Now What About Your Uterus?” Hence the title of this post. If anyone wants to read it, I can try to dig it up. The blog post, not my uterus.)

Well, it’s been almost 10 years, I’m now 37 and my mind remains unchanged.  I get to experience motherhood-by-proxy with my stepsons. They were tiny little guys when Eric and I started dating, just 4 and 7. I feel very blessed that I got to experience most of their childhood “firsts.”

Although I must admit that at the time I mostly thought, “Wow, boys are loud, like, all the time. Why do they get up so early? They sure do talk a lot. Can’t they fix their own breakfast? Is that crying or laughing? What is all that screaming?”

Eric remained maddeningly calm while I clumsily maneuvered my way through stepmotherhood. Eventually I figured it out and now that the boys are teenagers, I can look back on those days with longing (much like every other parent with teenagers, I have forgotten the horrors of raising small children).

Sometimes I ask myself: If my husband didn’t already have kids would we have had our own? It’s an unanswerable question. But I think God put me exactly where I was meant to be. I’m pretty sure He knew I was probably better off not having kids around 24/7.

I picture Him watching 20-something me stumbling out of various clubs, looking blankly at my girlfriends and slurring, “Which one of us drove again?”

Shaking His head in exasperation, “Oh, Me. No, no, no, no, this one should definitely NOT procreate.”

Zap! “Here’s a divorced dad, in like-new condition…. he comes with two pre-packaged kids, no delivery required. His sperm is disabled, but no worries! Everything works properly. I think he’s perfect for you. Now stop that. Stop that, I say.”

It’s like a fairy tale, right? And we all lived happily ever after.