I’m going to go with something I do that never fails to gross out the spouse: I snack on Pringles with ketchup. Which I LOVE. And the very idea of which makes Rich want to barf, which I don’t understand — to me it’s the same principle as fries with ketchup. He vehemently disagrees with me on that point. No matter what he thinks, though, this is still one of my all-time favorite snacks.
Most of my and Rich’s dates consist of dinner and a movie. Assuming money wasn’t an issue, I guess a dream date would be somewhere far away from everyone and everything, and where we didn’t have a set agenda and could take our time deciding what to do. I’d also love to do something we’ve never done before: a hot-air-balloon ride, renting a boat for a weekend, visiting a new-to-us country (Spain, anyone?). Needless to say, this date would also involve Coraline overnighting at my parents’ house.
Since those kinds of dates are literally just dreams, I will continue to enjoy and appreciate the rare dates we enjoy these days, which are often dictated by a big Marvel movie release. That’s right — our next date night might very well be the day Captain America: Civil War comes out.
Day 11: Your current relationship; if single, discuss how single life is
I’m an old married lady. You already know that. Next month we will celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary.
I’m glad I’m not single, though. The downsides as I imagine them: working up enough interest to want to date, finding men I might be interested in, finding time to date, all while still spending as much time with Coraline as I could. I’d also worry too much about introducing a new man into Coraline’s life, and I don’t even like the idea of Rich introducing a new woman into Coraline’s life. So it’s good that we’re married and that’s a non-issue.
If I were single, though, you just know that I’d be looking for the tallest single man I could find.
I’ve talked a little bit before about having grown up with an alcoholic father. Which is where I should stop and give him a shout out for his 24th year of sobriety. But the years he was a drinker definitely screwed up my views on alcohol — how could it not? I didn’t really try drinking until I was 25. I still don’t drink very often. Rich likes to tell me my vice is not having a vice, and it’s true. You know how at the doctor’s office you always have to check the box detailing your alcohol consumption? There’s not an accurate option for me, which would be less than one drink a month (on average). The way this week has been going, though, my monthly quota has already been met and will likely be surpassed.
I joke a lot about drinking or getting drunk. I don’t know if that’s normal for someone who grew up in my situation. I’m guessing it’s a coping mechanism. It lets me show that I’m in control of how much and when I drink, that I don’t routinely grab the nearest bottle when things get too rough or to take the edge off. So what is my view on alcohol? Seeing as how it’s still America’s drug of choice, honestly, if Prohibition made a comeback, I’d be OK with that. Although I would miss having the occasional wine cooler.
As for drugs? I’m not a user of, well, anything. Never have been, never will be. I did try some “magic” brownies once, and I’m glad I never tried pot in college. I would’ve gained the freshman 1500 based on the epic munchies I got; I wanted to basically eat all the food on the planet after those brownies. Then I fell asleep. But did I get some euphoric high, a relaxed feeling, feel the stress melt away, whatever it is pot is supposed to make you feel? No. As for anything harder than that … Narcotic painkillers make me barf. When I’ve had to be on them, it’s been miserable. Doctors would have to prescribe an anti-nausea medicine for me at the same time, which combined with the painkillers would just knock me out for a day. No fun.
I don’t understand why people turn to drugs when things get so horrible. OK, I do — they want an escape, to numb themselves to whatever is going on, but knowing that the hard stuff like heroin/oxy/cocaine/meth is addictive? Why willingly open yourself up to that kind of addiction? Have I struggled to find coping mechanisms over the years? Absolutely. And I still do, which is where therapy came in handy. Did I want to escape, numb myself to what was going on? Yes. But never once did I think drugs were the answer. Probably because I know the likeliness of addiction thanks to my soused genes.
I have mixed feelings about the legalization of pot. While it doesn’t do anything for me — and I never plan to try smoking it (or anything else, for that matter) — I think it can be used recreationally. I think it does some good for legitimate medical reasons, which it seems like a lot of people can’t claim. But, like with alcohol consumption, I worry about how many people would drive while impaired. And I hate the smell of pot. That was one of the worst things about being in Colorado last summer, walking through clouds of it and trying to shield Coraline from it. It’s enough that I have to deal with regular cigarette smoke when I’m out and about. I don’t want to deal with pot stink, too. But could I live with pot being legalized? I think I could.
An easier question would have been: What am I not worrying about. The people who know me best know I’m a worrier. I normally function at a baseline of anxiety, which ratchets up easier than I like to admit. It doesn’t take a lot to get me stressed out.
So what am I currently worrying about? Oh, so many things, which I won’t list here. I guess what I’m most worried about these days is the political climate in our country. At this point I’m for anyone not named Trump, be they Republican, Democrat, or Other. I think that oompa-loompa orange, cat-hair-toupeed, stubby-fingered, delusional, tantrum-throwing narcissist would do irreparable damage to the U.S. He’s saying what people want to hear, which they’re (unfortunately) responding to. I get that people are fed up with the two-party system — who isn’t at this point? — and tired of lying politicians — again, who isn’t? — but this is not the outsider who will make things better. He will not make America great again, largely because so much of his “platform” (it’s hard to take him seriously when he doesn’t offer specifics) is flat-out anti-American. So much of what he espouses goes against the very foundation of what America was founded on, which makes it all the more depressing to me that people are buying into what he’s selling.
I think this year it’s more important than ever that every voting American really thinks about who they are going to vote for, and doing the research to validate their choice. I’ve never been one to vote along party lines; I vote for who I think will do the best job. I’ve voted Democrat and I’ve voted Republican based on who I had faith in. We shouldn’t ever blindly vote for a candidate simply because that’s who our respective parties are offering up as their best man/woman/circus attraction for the job.
That’s my piece on the matter (you can see why I don’t often talk politics). I really feel like no matter who wins this year’s presidential election, our country is doomed. How doomed is up to us, though. We can elect a new leader who might manage to do a bit of good, or we can elect a bully businessman con artist who will lead us to ruin and cement the U.S.’s place as a universal punchline to a joke no one asked to hear in the first place.
And here I was complaining about lightweight questions just a few days ago. Ask and ye shall receive.
Frankly, my opinion on cheating on people is that it’s reprehensible bullshit. I think it’s awful even when you’re dating and not married; I hate when people say “Oh, they were just dating.” If you’re in a committed relationship, you should honor that commitment, be it dating, living together, marriage, whatever. If you love your partner, you shouldn’t stray. If you value trust and honesty, you shouldn’t stray. If you respect them, you shouldn’t stray.
Relationships are hard. I call bullshit on the people who say they never fight or even have little disagreements; I believe those are the ones most likely to implode thanks to holding in everything. Relationships take work, and that work includes honoring the person you’ve made a commitment to. Granted, my perspective is as a long-time married. Has our marriage always been easy? No. Have we had some knock-down, drag-out fights? Absolutely. But do we work at making our marriage work on every level? Every single day. We both believe in upholding our wedding vows, and those vows applied to the two of us. No third parties allowed.
I interpret this for what it sounds like: a question on a note passed to a middle-school classmate. For many obvious reasons, Rich is the person I like. He’s been my best friend pretty much since we got serious many moons ago. Over the years I’ve watched him grow and change, as he has with me; I like to think we’ve both changed for the better. In most ways and the ones that really count, at least. I still find him as good-looking, smart, and funny as when we first started dating, but he’s definitely matured. Which is a good thing, especially since it’s expected of humans in general. He’s evolved into a great husband, provider, and (I think) most importantly, a father. He’s also become much handier over the years, a point of pride when we tackle home improvement projects or repairs. He’s also embraced his creativity and pursues his art in a way that inspires me to pursue my writing, although he functions on much less sleep than I can, so he makes much more progress than I do. It’s a good thing I like this guy, since he’s the one I’m planning on growing old with.
Enjoying lunch at a restaurant in Colorado last summer