Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bathroom Pigs

None of my female coworkers are here today, so I’m turning to my blog to vent. I work in a medium-sized office building in an office park. I’ve been with the same company for nine years. Some tenants in this building have changed, others have not.

The other company that shares our floor has been here just as long. In fact, I believe that company used to fill most of this building, but now just occupies a few suites throughout the building. Given that my office is comprised of mostly men, I blame any of the challenges I face in the bathroom on the other company.

I’ve been in a lot of public restrooms in my life. In fact, now that I’m a mother, I see even more of them than I want to. I’ve used bathrooms in airports, camp grounds, amusement parks, concert venues, bars, water parks, my girls’ schools (seriously, were the toilets that freakin’ little when we were kids or is my ass really that big?).

I’ll admit to being a little bit of a germaphobe, I don’t like to sit on a public toilet seat so I hover or cover it with toilet paper. I don’t touch the flusher with my hand and will use my foot, no matter how high I have to reach. This method of flushing caused me to panic last week when I visualized my flip flop falling into the potty. Dear God. The horror.

If there is anything in the toilet when I enter the stall, whether it be “leftovers” or a hair on the seat, I will not use that potty and will find another empty stall. I realize that others use the same toilets, but to use a toilet that has visible evidence of a prior user left behind? I think not.

So I’ve seen a lot of messes, in a lot of places. But this bathroom, here in this office building where PROFESSIONAL people are supposed to be working, takes the cake. I have seen wadded up toilet paper thrown on the floor. What, did we miss the toilet? I’ve seen crap stuck TO THE SEAT… again, did we miss? There have been feminine products (pads and tampons!) left behind in the stalls-on top of that cute little container installed for us to leave said items-and thrown on the floor.

I’ve walked in and overheard women talking on the phone while they are going #2. My question here: where do you put your phone when you are wiping and pulling up your pants? Or are other people coordinated enough to do both at the same time? I’ve walked in to find women popping their acne and leaving the mess behind on the mirror. I’ve walked in to find the lights off because the automatic timer hadn’t detected movement in more than 15 minutes, only to realize there is someone sitting in a stall. Judging by the smell, I’d say she wasn’t napping! I’ve seen spit (I think?) left floating in the sink, paper towels all over the floor. Many days, the counters are flooded with water, so when one of us crazy hand washers uses the sink, we step away and our shirts are soaking wet.

I won’t even mention the number of women I’ve seen walking out of the restroom without even glancing at the sinks where they should be washing their freakin’ hands!

Since the behaviors in the bathroom haven’t changed much over the years, despite the seemingly high turnover rate of the neighboring employer, I’m left to wonder… is there a standard interview question that is asked to ensure that every generation of worker for that company behaves like a complete fucking pig in the bathroom? 

Ice Princess

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Stealing Thunder? That would be Tacky!

There is a ridiculous energy that comes with having the shit scared out of you. You stay awake for hours later than your normal bedtime-wondering, worrying, thinking. It’s the thoughts that get you down and keep you up, awake and terrified. The lumps and bumps and bruises that you consider “no big deal” until someone else makes a big deal about it.

A smart girl would go to bed and try to sleep, but not this girl. This girl weighs every possible outcome in her mind, wondering… will these bumps in the road be no big deal-a fat ball or a Lindt truffle embedded under my arm- something to laugh about in a week or two? Or will this end up being a case of “get your affairs in order?” The realm of possibilities scares the hell out of me.

I’ve been having pain in my side for a while and now it’s radiating down my arm. I assumed that the pain was related to my beautiful new bras. Because that makes sense in my world. I mentioned this on Thursday to EN and he started feeling around and found a lump in under my arm. As is normal in our relationship, he immediately freaked out, while I told him he was full of it. There’s no lump there but HOLY CRAP! Don’t touch that spot because it hurts like a mother fucker. Don’t fucking touch me and please stop talking about it, because YOU, my dear husband, are full of shit.

So we woke up this morning and didn’t speak of it. Then the cancer-laden broad from down the street popped over for a visit. We were laughing and having a good time when EN said, “Did Ice Princess show you her armpit?” Why EN, your social skills need a lot of fucking help, just shut up. And the two of them lectured me, I need to call the doctor immediately. My friend said something pleasant like, “Yeah, keep waiting because Stage Four would be a whole lot of fun.”

Really? I don’t need to surround myself with a bunch of fun suckers. I need to defriend you all.

I called my doctor’s office and spoke to a nurse. She was less than reassuring. I think she wanted to join that group of fun suckers that are in my world. She set an appointment, basically giving me 45 minutes to make myself presentable and drive to the office. Fine, I will be the queen of your drama club.

I showered in record time, put on my face and left for the doctor’s office. The medical assistant that weighed me and took my blood pressure (bitch) tried to be reassuring and told me that lumps that hurt were almost never cancer. I decided I liked her then, and we had a great conversation about a woman I heard about at the local grocery store. She comes in every two weeks and buys seven cartons of cigarettes. We came to the conclusion that the longest break her lungs get is when she goes into the store to make that purchase.

The doctor came in and felt my sweaty armpit. I could smell how scared I was, as if my crazy blood pressure wasn’t enough of an indicator. He handed me a fabulous paper robe and told me he’d need to do a breast exam. Without even buying me dinner first. Where do these guys come from?

He left the room while I undressed and came back to feel me up. When he checked the other armpit, he found another lump. He told me to get dressed and he’d be back. Fantastical, a two-for-one deal.

He came back into the room and told me that he was pretty sure I just had cysts (ie, fat balls) under my arms, even though he couldn’t find their “points of origin” and that if it was lymph nodes, under BOTH arms, that would be… He didn’t finish the sentence. Nor did he make eye contact. Instead, he issued orders for me to get an ultrasound and mammogram.

If this was a big deal, they would have wrapped me in bubble wrap and ambulanced me immediately to a facility to get these tests done. Instead, I have an appointment on the 30th to get this shit looked at. I’m sure I’m fine, three of the women that I am in contact with very frequently have cancer. They don’t need me to join their club. I’m not into stealing anyone else’s thunder. I’ll make them dinners and send them cards and chocolates. Let me, for once, be the underachiever that has cysts and not cancerous tumors.

I know I’m a tacky broad. I love shit that’s animal print and bedazzled. But to join this group of cancer chicks? That would be tacky.

Ice Princess 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Taking a Step Back

I have been struggling for the last week. It’s become even more of a struggle because I am aware that others are judging me, based on the current situation only.

They do not know or understand how long this relationship has caused me pain, suffering and anguish.

They do not know how it feels to know that no matter how much I gave and gave and gave, it was never acknowledged… nor was it ever enough.

They do not know what it was like to be used for things. It was ok to want the world from me, but my words, thoughts, opinions, feelings never mattered. In fact, I learned a long time ago that the best rule for dealing with this relationship was to shut up and put up.

They do not know the grief, hurt and disappointment I felt nearly every single time I drove away after interacting with this person.

This person had the ability to deeply wound me from the time she was three years old and I was in my mid-twenties. Even then, when I tried to be a positive influence on her, to correct her and teach her how to interact with adults in a way that was respectful, I was told to mind my own business. “All kids behave that way, wait till you have kids of your own” was the message I was to hear over and over again. 

Of course now I do have children of my own, and I teach them the same lessons I tried to teach her. Since they’re my own kids, my lessons aren’t ignored. I wouldn’t stand for it! In my close-minded little world, there’s just a certain way that people should treat one another. It’s not OK to refer to a teacher as an asshole because he fails you for not showing up to class. It’s not OK to take the easy way out because you’re lazy.

I’ve recently made the painful decision to step back from this relationship. It’s been fairly easy to do because she’ll walk out my parents’ front door when I come in the back door. I haven’t seen her or spoken to her in months, aside from sending her a text and an empty card on her birthday. I’m sure the lack of cash bothered her more than anything else.

This 19-year-old child now has a child of her own. I long to hold that baby, to love her and be kind to her, and to teach her all the things I think she won’t learn at home. But I’ve learned my lesson, and I’ve learned it well. It’s simply not OK for me to try to teach anyone else’s child things that I feel are important… at least that’s the lesson that was crammed down my throat.

I can’t help but wonder, if I died tomorrow, would she miss me? Would she take the lessons I’ve tried to teach her, and teach them to her own child? Somehow I don’t think that would be the case at all. 

Ice Princess

Friday, July 13, 2012

I Raised My Hand and Got Selected

The coworker that is the most rotten to me used to be a good friend. In fact, a crew of us would head out to lunch almost daily and have a fun time together. He could be very funny and told lots of stories that left us in stitches. He would talk about the time spent in the Navy and said the biggest lesson he learned from the military is what Navy stands for… Never Again Volunteer Yourself.

That memory is what popped into my head first when I received an email from the superintendent of our school district informing me that my application was approved and I had a position on the committee to study the problems at our middle school.

I have blogged in the past about the issues that Sugar had at school this year. There was the time in December when another student chased her down in the playground and sat on her until Sugar’s friends pulled her off. Then in June I found out there was a group of girls that had been tormenting Sugar for months before school. Then there were the communication issues about lockdowns and student suicide that infuriated me.

There has been a lot of press in my state about my small town and the school board and middle school. There are endless Letters to the Editor that describe a hostile work environment. All of the letters that I have seen have been written by one specific teacher, who no longer teaches at the school. I can’t say I don’t believe her, because I don’t know her and I really don’t know the details of what she’s gone through. However, I’m somewhat familiar with the way unions work and I know that teachers in this state belong to a union. If there was a hostile environment in the school, why aren’t other teachers coming forward and why isn’t the union doing anything about it?

I’ve also seen many, many comments on Facebook and in the local papers about the principal. It would be an understatement to say that the man is not well-liked. In fact, there’s a rallying cry to see him fired. Again, I keep my mind open. I don’t know much about him or what he does around the school. I hear complaints that all he does is direct traffic before and after school, and spends his workday holed up in his office. I will say that I have seen him at some of the school activities I’ve attended, walking through the hallways, interacting with parents and students. Given that the entire town dislikes him and says he’s not very involved, it could be just a fluke that I’ve seen him around a lot. I honestly don’t know enough about him to form an educated opinion.

Unlike other times when I’ve been pissed off about something, I put my money where my mouth is. Everyone in the district received an email a few weeks ago that invited parents to take part in this committee. I filled the application out immediately, but almost didn’t get it turned in on time. Given that I had recently exchanged emails with the superintendent describing my feelings about the communications coming out of the middle school, I never expected to be chosen for the committee.

My initial reaction was shock.

Then I thought WHAT THE FUCK?

Then I thought, yup, I’m probably the only parent stupid enough to sign up for this mess. I was room mother for Sugar’s first grade class… I know just how much parents participate!

I emailed my friend the super back (we are now on a first name basis) and confirmed my spot and asked how many people would be on the committee. For all I knew, I could be the only person on the committee! I mean, I know I’m fat and all, but definitely not large enough to be an entire committee. She responded immediately and thanked me for volunteering and said there would be 25 people on the committee. The committee would be made up of parents, teachers and support staff. Further internet research tonight shows that there will be only six parents on the committee, two from each town that sends students to the middle school.

Of course I’m bitching about having been picked, but on the inside, I am pleased. I might not be the mother that volunteers for field trips, but I am present and participating in every other activity that goes on. I send food in for the class parties, I donate money and goods for every single charity drive, I sell stupid shit for fundraisers, my girls are always prepared with completed homework assignments and we attack special projects with gusto. I may not be present at the school every day, but no one could argue that I am not involved.

I look forward to time spent on this committee. I think it will be interesting to see what the issues really are and to somehow make a difference in the education of my children. If this committee ends up being nothing more than a shitshow put on to get people thinking the administration is concerned about the school I’m getting NAVY tattooed across my forehead. Only you and I will really know what that means. 

Ice Princess

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Running Down a Dream

Roll your eyes and mutter, “Here we go again” before you even start reading this post. This is post #137 about exercise and weight loss and how I’m really going to lose weight this time. Seriously people, that’s why I don’t properly tag every blog entry with topics. Who wants to be reminded of what a failure they are? Definitely not me.

We have this new outlet mall a mere 20 minutes from my house. There are fancy stores like Ann Taylor, White House Black Market, Saks 5th Avenue… and many of them have super cute clothes. However, I’m so embarrassed by the sight of myself in a mirror and the size of my fat ass that I refuse to buy myself anything new until I’m a more reasonable size. My dream is to buy a pair of size 10 jeans that are bedazzled with gems and shit. I tried to search for a picture of the jeans I dream of, but I can’t find any that have enough junk on them. I may need to buy a Bedazzler too. Nothing wrong with being a tacky broad. In fact, I embrace my tackiness.

In post 136 about exercising, I talked about how I really wanted to start running. I made an honest effort to start.

First, I bought these super cute shoes.

Cute, right? Shannon and I had a discussion about them. I had forgotten that in the Midwest, anything sneaker-ish is referred to as “tennis shoes.” However, we tight-ass New Englanders know that tennis shoes are shoes that one plays tennis in only. We are a very proper people. So those pink bad boys are my running shoes.

Then, I brought a sports bra… or ten, and maybe tried on DOZENS. If you’ve been shopping lately in my neck of the woods and come across a crazy lady in a dressing room, jumping up and down, that would be me. It’s called test driving a sports bra. None of them work. My next option is to buy one online and see how that holds up. After that, I may try wearing two… or simply making my own with duct tape and ace bandages.

And oh yes, the point of this post. Losing weight and exercising… So yeah, we’ve been going out walks with the dogs on a regular basis. It’s really a great way to have time with the girls with no interruptions. We don’t bring cell phones, iPods, anything electronic. We just walk (or they ride bikes) and chit chat…

I had talked to Sugar in the beginning of the summer (before becoming completely frustrated by the lack of good running bras for big chested gals) about this running program I had found online ( and wanted to do. I know I’m not coordinated enough to run a stopwatch and run at the same time and Sugar happily volunteered to help me out.

Obviously, we’ve not been doing that program, but WALKING COUNTS TOO!! Sugar really is a spectacular nag. She nags me all the time about going for walks. Since we’ve actually been doing that, she’s now on my case about the running gig.

Last night, she and I were walking with the dogs and Spice was on her bicycle. She rides twice as far as we walk because she races ahead, then comes flying back when she misses us. As we trotted along, Sugar started in again about when we would run. I tried to explain to her that I couldn’t find a bra that was supportive enough, so she kept nagging. Finally, we reached a spot where there were no houses and a brief jog would be relatively private.

I clapped my hands over my boobs, while still holding the dog’s leash and I jogged. It felt as exhilarating as I remember running being. However, my hands weren’t enough to support the girls so my chest was in pain long before I needed to stop running because I’m old and fat.

But the best part was that Spice had no idea what we were up to as she had ridden on ahead. So there we are jogging with the three dogs when Spice got to the corner and turned around to look to see how far back we were. It was like something from a Bugs Bunny cartoon. She nearly fell off her bike and her eyes bugged out of her head. Her bike helmet seemed to lift right off her head and crash back down at an awkward tilt. She simply said, “Go Mama” and got back on her bike and rode away.

Yes, this mama CAN go, but she might have sprained a boob in the process. 

Ice Princess

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Anyone old like me might remember the song “Insensitive” that was performed by Jann Arden and released in 1994. If you don’t remember it, I borrowed this link from Youtube so you could watch it. Have at it:

I loved this song. It just so happened that my divorce coincided with the endless playing of this song on the radio. I wasn’t yet in that dark place of the break up when I related every song, every nuance, every phone call to my relationship status. I just loved this song and would belt it out every time it came on the radio, despite the fact that I sound like a castrated frog when I’m singing.

So I’m going through this shitty break-up and my husband decides one random Sunday that he wants to play “happy husband” so we took a road trip to a place I no longer even remember. The song came on the radio. Now, I don’t sing in front of anyone, so I hummed along and that ass turned to me and said, “Doesn’t this song bother you now?” Oh, you mean this song should bother me because the first lines are, “How do you cool your lips after a summer’s kiss?” and you got caught skulking around with your hoebag coworker? No, not in the least, I love this song and you can’t ruin it for me.

Fast forward nearly twenty years, and I am divorced and have been remarried for a long fucking time. And that “Insensitive” song? I still love it. It’s even one of the first songs I downloaded onto my first iPod. I don’t ever think of that idiot first husband when I hear that song. Instead, I remember ever damn time someone has accused me of being too sensitive and I wonder how I can train myself to be insensitive…

I had a very rough day on Sunday. In fact, I was so weird I felt like I was being secretly taped for an episode of Punk’d or something. I won’t go into specifics here, but I had been providing a lot of help to my sick friend and was starting to feel like nothing I did was good enough. Everything that I had done over the prior three days was picked apart. If had been only my sick friend, I would have overlooked it and blamed it on her “Incredible Hulk Mean Pills,” i.e., her post-surgery pain medication. However, her husband jumped all over me as well.

The final straw was when they started in on Spice. Now, I have been around their kids a lot and I never, ever thrash on their behavior. If my friends are present, they can discipline their own kids and handle things as they see fit. It’s not my business. If parents are not present and kids misbehave in my care, I try to handle it on my own and say, “Things could have been better” if the parents ask how the kids were when we return.

I realize that I am more sensitive than not, but picking on someone’s kid brings out the Mama Bear in me and every single mother I know. Don’t do it, it’s just not cool. Sure there’s a time and place when a kid needs to be ratted out, but really? Tattling out my kid because she only had three bites of pizza for lunch and then asked for dessert? Did you try saying no and telling her she needed to finish the pizza? If we are going to start nit-picking every move my kid makes, you bet your ass I’ll start calling your kids out as well.

I try very hard to be sensitive to other people’s feelings. I don’t make negative comments about their spouse, children, house, occupation, anything. Our lives perfectly reflect the choices we’ve made on our own. Your choices are no business of mine. So I’m appalled when confronted with someone who sets out to tear people down. And making rude comments under the guise of humor is bullshit too. Here’s a rule people: if you have to say, “I was just kidding” after teasing someone, you know good and damn well that the person you just spoke to didn’t think your comment was funny. In fact, you most likely hurt someone’s feelings. And guess what? Once a comment is said out loud, there aren’t any taksie backsies!!

Oh, there I go being OVERsensitive again, because that’s what I’m told when I mention that I don’t think put-downs or rude comments are funny. That’s what I’m told when my feelings are hurt. If it isn’t obvious already, I need to take some time to learn to be insensitive. I need to stop caring about other people’s feelings, and just let the words fly… and if the person I’m speaking to doesn’t like what I have to say, I can laugh and say “Just kidding!!!” right? Because hurt is erased as long as you say that afterwards, right?

I’ll never be the girl that has some “advice to give... on how to be insensitive.”

Ice Princess

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Why God Didn't Bless Me with Sons

If you’ve read this blog for more than one post, I’m pretty sure you realize that I am the mother of two little girls. Sugar is 11 and Spice is six. While parenting any kid is no easy feat, I get girls… I am one, after all. When I was pregnant, I didn’t care either way whether we had boys or girls. In fact, the entire time I was pregnant with Sugar, I was convinced we were having a boy. Imagine our surprise when she popped out, we didn’t even have a name for her!

Since I’ve become a mom, I’ve had many occasions where I’ve been in charge of other people’s kids. Again, mostly girls as my kids’ playdates are usually of the female variety. I have a low tolerance for bullshit and high expectations for kids to use manners and behave like human beings. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect kids to behave like perfect little adults. I’m ok with them rolling around in dirt, belching their ABCs, belting out a tune with the word “ass” in it. Kids like to test limits, I get that. In the last several weeks, I’ve been around kids of the male variety more than usual and I’m wondering if I’m a complete tight ass and need to loosen up, or if this behavior is really over the top. Cases in point:

Situation #1:
I see this 11-year-old boy for the first time in months. He is wearing a shirt that says, “Nice story babe, now fix me a sandwich.” When I made a comment about the shirt, he said, “Know your role.” I said nothing in response.

As our visit progressed, I asked him about his grades and he mentioned that he had gotten several Fs and that he had been suspended five times. He laughed about being suspended and said, “I’m glad it wasn’t six! Then I would have been expelled.” At this point I couldn’t hold it in any longer and said, “Suspension would have happened only once in my house” to which he started to say, “What the fuc…dge?” I said nothing, but looked at my mother who said, “All boys swear, doesn’t matter if they live in a good neighborhood or a bad neighborhood.”

Apparently, my mother, who mothered two girls twenty years ago, knows more about how boys should behave than I do. Again, I’m not the mother of little boys. That child’s parents obviously bought him the t-shirt and know about his suspensions, so it must be ok for a 5th grader to behave that way. I’m certain I am overreacting.

Situation #2
I was recently caring for siblings, an eight-year-old boy and a seven-year-old girl. I have been around these kids a lot, but usually with their parents. I was in charge of picking them up and taking care of them for a few hours.

I’m a freak about seat belt and car seat laws, so despite the boy’s insistence at sitting in the front seat, I made the three of them sit in the backseat when I took them out to dinner. The boy sat between the two girls, his sister and my Spice. As we drove, he started pinching, pushing and smacking the two girls. I asked him repeatedly to stop and finally told him to sit on his hands, which he refused to do. The only viable option I could come up with at this point was to pull over and put him in the front seat. However, images of a car accident and his eight-year-old body flying through my windshield sent chills through my body. So he remained in the back seat and I did my best to get to our destination before there was bloodshed.

We arrived at a pizza place and were seated immediately. We ordered a pizza and the boy started loudly complaining about how long it was taking. Not for nothing, but I almost NEVER complain at a restaurant… always afraid that someone is going to spit on my food.

My salad arrived and I started eating it. The boy reached across the table and took food off my plate, then proceeded to try for more. Then the girls got riled up because the boy got something they didn’t get. Without a doubt, I know if I had asked them to eat salad, they would have revolted. Our pizza finally arrived fresh from the oven and was obviously very hot. I put a slice on each plate and asked them to blow on their food. I didn’t think it was unreasonable since they had all had a snack less than 45 minutes before, and taken multiple items off my salad. The boy picked up his slice and tried to dunk it in his water to cool it off. I told him not to do that and to just blow on it. He gave me a look that said, “Oh yeah?” and proceeded to blow on it so hard that the toppings lifted off and I was pelted in the face with cheese and sauce.

The dinner ended with an orange soda being dumped on my white pants. I finally just took our leftovers to the counter and asked for the check. As I reached into my purse for my wallet, the boy grabbed the side of my purse to pull it open and looked inside, “OH, YOU HAVE SOUR PATCH KIDS?? CAN I HAVE SOME?” Um no, you just reached across the table and forcefully took your sister’s soda. I think you have had enough sugar. AND STAY OUT OF MY FUCKING PURSE!!

I drove them to where they needed to be and sat outside for their grandparents to collect them. The boy jumped into the way back (technical term) of my Jeep and refused to get back into the back seat. He proceeded to jump around and shake the whole car and torment the girls until his grandparents arrived to take them away.

That’s it in a nutshell, folks. I’m not used to dealing with other people’s kids, especially those of the BOY variety. I’ve already said I have a low tolerance for bullshit, so I’m sure that I’m overreacting to what happened in these instances. I know I’m strict about certain things… I expect my girls to be polite and respectful to everyone: waitstaff in restaurants, their families, their friends and their friends’ parents. Every time I leave them with another adult, I remind them to behave and to use their manners. If I was told after the fact that they misbehaved, I would be mortified and there would be hell to pay when we got home. I expect them to do to what I ask them to do and belligerently disobeying is just cause for hell to be raised.  

I am trying with all my might to be less of a tightass, to be more tolerant of the way other peoples’ children are allowed to behave, even when they are in my care. My kids aren’t perfect and I don’t expect them to be… I just ask that they use reasoning skills and the brains God gave them before they make decisions, before they react to situations going on around them.

This behavior is allowed in other households. In fact, I’ve seen both these boys behave in the manners told above, if not worse, in front of their parents… so it must be ok. It’s me overreacting. I just know it is. Therefore, I thank God every day for not giving me boy kids because I never would have known how to handle them. In fact, I’m not even sure what I’m doing being married to a man as he’s pretty sure my horror and dismay is nothing more than me overreacting.

Ice Princess 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Goodbye Makes Me Cry

As I travel through life, I often match song lyrics to whatever I’m going through at the moment. If I’m drinking out of a red Solo cup, Toby Keith sings in my head. If I’m sitting on my front porch enjoying the warm air and appreciating my life, Lonestar sings to me but I change the words to, “My front porch looking out,” even though most of my thoughts are about "lookin' in."  Today, when I dropped my friend off at the airport JT Hodges sang to me. Every time I hear the song, I sing, “Goodbyes made you cry,” even though I know the song is, “Goodbyes made you mine.” Saying goodbye almost always leaves me feeling sad for a while.

Our visit was wonderful, a little slice of heaven actually. I picked her up from the airport Wednesday afternoon and we went right to dinner, then to see Rock of Ages. That movie was a perfect start to our weekend. How could we go wrong with a movie about OUR era? We knew every word from every song. We should have been rock stars. In fact, we were so excited about the movie that we stopped at Walmart afterwards to buy the soundtrack.

The rest of our weekend was filled with lots of shopping, eating out, hanging out with friends-some that she had met on previous visits and others she hadn’t. We are never very motivated when we are together, so we did spend a lot of time TALKING about what we should do and talking about getting our asses in gear to go do whatever it was we had decided on.

Throughout the weekend I kept thinking about how leisurely the time was passing and I enjoyed her company. I was pleased that the visit wasn’t going by too quickly after all. Suddenly, it was Sunday afternoon and she was packing up a box to be shipped home (I said we did a lot of shopping!) and the visit was nearly over. How could that be? It seemed she had only landed a few hours ago. I wasn’t done spending time with her. We don’t get nearly enough time together. Over the last four years or so, we’ve been able to visit almost annually, but it’s just not enough.

I don’t know what it is about Shannon that I love so much. Perhaps it is that we had such a bond through part of elementary school and all of middle school. Once we hit middle school, we were never in the same classes. We had different circles of friends, yet we remained in each other’s lives.  I moved during the summer between 9th and 10th grade. We saw each other once during high school and got together after we both graduated to celebrate that achievement.

It’s so interesting to me that we have remained such close friends. When I moved, I will admit to being angry and bitter at my parents. I hung out with a wilder crowd than I had before but never got into too much trouble. I became the quintessential “80’s rocker chick,” while Shannon continued down the “nice girl” path. We both went to college, but neither of us finished the degrees we started on. We each married our first husbands around the same time and our divorces happened at the same time too. We’ve married our second husbands and had our youngest daughters within months of each other. However, I still work full-time and while she cannot due to her surgery, it was always her dream to stay at home and be a full-time mom. I’d never be able to handle that life.

Since she was leaving so early in the morning, she said good night to my girls as I put them to bed. Both girls seemed to have gotten attached so quickly, but I was surprised by how well Sugar held it together and how much Spice fell apart. She begged to come to the airport in the morning, but I knew that I wouldn't be able to handle listening to her cry all the way home. 

As always, on our last night, right before bed, we talk about our favorite things… the restaurants we had eaten at, the places we shopped, the people we saw. We reminisce about our visit and Shannon said, “As great as it is to have company, I’m sure you are ready to have your house back.” Normally I agree, but for some reason this visit just didn’t feel long enough to me. I don’t feel like I was done playing with my friend. Our playdate was over far too soon.

I drove home from the airport at 6 am today and I thought about how goodbyes make me want to cry. My heart is sad and I’m afraid to breathe in all the way… for fear that my breath will catch and the tears will fall. I continue to try to figure out my relationship with my friend and I think more about song lyrics that I love so much. While this song is really a love song, part of it perfectly reflects who we are to each other:

I’ve been your late night call, your shoulder to cry on
Out on the highway listenin’ to sad songs
Talkin’ all night ‘bout stupid things, makin’ you smile
I’ve been right here all of these years…

Now I realize that we don’t have to have loads of stuff in common to be great friends. Instead, we are the friends that turn to each other in times of need or times of joy. Outside of my marriage, she is the person whose opinion I care the most about. She is the straight and narrow to my badass. Our relationship is based on wonderful childhood memories and a mutual respect that develops after being in each other’s lives for thirty years.

And oh, how that goodbye made me cry. 

Ice Princess