Marriage of Convenience

poison-coffee-1393811431I used to say my marriage was held together by my husband’s great sense of direction and common debt.

Really, I used to say that. Maybe I’ll keep saying it, who knows. You never can tell with me.

Upon reflection, there are probably many things that hold it together. For example, everyone talks about how love will keep us together, but then Captain left Tennille or maybe Tennille left Captain and if those two stalwart denizens of love didn’t have all the answers, what hope do the rest of us have?

I’ve watched a few of my friends reenter the dating world after divorce and witnessing this has given me some insight on what really holds my marriage together – pure, unbridled fear.

It’s true that I have a divorce behind me, but I was 26 when that happened and my body was still under factory warranty. I was a certified preowned human. But now I’m 50 and the transmission could blow at any time.  I don’t go past 2nd gear and rarely can hit the highway speed limit anymore. And one of my headlights is pointing straight down.

The truth is, I can’t even reach some of the places a single person would need to shave before going on a date.

So while love may keep us together, it’s more than that. It’s more than common debt. And now that we all have GPS on our smart-phones, it’s definitely more than just his good sense of direction.

Getting back into the game is terrifying to me. And it’s more than just the thought of shaving the back of my thighs, it’s breaking in a whole other person about all my many many foibles and flaws. About where that itchy spot on my back is. About how anxious driving in the rain at night makes me. About how I have to eat my Kraft macaroni and cheese right out of the pot while it’s still very hot because if it gets cold, gross, just throw it in the trash. About how the sound of someone chewing can make me homicidal and IT’S CALLED MISOPHONIA, LOOK IT UP, IT’S A REAL THING, I CAN’T HELP IT – IT’S SCIENCE!

And we won’t even talk about my body. Holy hell, the thought of putting my 50 year old body back into play is enough to leave me rocking in the corner catatonically, if only my body could still squat down and assume the required fetal position which it can’t so I’ll be rocking figuratively in my Barcalounger.

The truth is I’m not confident enough to handle a hip cramp during a first-time sexual encounter so I guess I’ll just be married forever, over here cushioned in the safety of my unshaven thighs and my screaming hip-cramps and my unapologetic misophonia.

None of that sounds very romantic, so we’ll just call it love, OK?

Love. Love will keep us together. Just ask Captain and Tennille – they know.

ps: I don’t even have a Barcalounger. I’m 50, I’m not dead.

By |July 10th, 2015|Indiscriminate Drivel, Married Life|Comments Off on Marriage of Convenience

Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life

cocoa puffsToday is it. The first day of the rest of your life. WELL? Are you going to do something with it, you lazy bum? No pressure.

Still, keep in mind that tomorrow is also the first day of the rest of your life. So is the day after that, and the next one and the next one. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself today is what I’m saying. Plenty of time… plenty of time.

I quit my job. You might have read about that. My last day was Friday, just a couple of short days ago. This is my first Monday without a job so, of course, my brain was up at 5AM.

Brain: Hey, Linda? Linda! Wake up.

Me: It’s 5AM, Brain. Go to sleep.

Brain: But no. Hi. Wake up. Guess what? YOU DON’T HAVE A JOB.

Me: Yeah, I know. Kinda the point of quitting.

Brain: You said you weren’t going to squander this time off. You were going to write, you were going to exercise, you were going to clean your closets. Why are you sleeping? GET UP!

Me: Plenty of time for that. Maybe 7AM would be good – pencil it in.

Brain: But 7AM is 2 hours from now. I can’t wait that long. I neeeeeeeeeeeed you, Linda. Get up!!

Me: I swear to God, Brain, if you don’t go back to sleep, I’m going to take the blue pill!

Brain: No, not the blue pill! Whatever you do, don’t take the blue pill! I’ll behave, I swear. I’ll just be over here mentally alphabetizing your spice rack. You go right back to sleep. I’ll be quiet as a church mouse. I won’t make a peep. I solemnly swear to stop having anxiety attacks over your chickens before they hatch. I shall serve no wine before its time. OH MY GOD THE WEIRD SWIRLING THOUGHTS WON’T STOP!

It might sound like I regret quitting my job, but that’s not true. I mean, look at all of you having to wake up right now and shower and get ready for work while I’m sitting here with no pants on writing on my blog. No regrets. I may forgo pants all summer. It will become known as The Summer of No Pants, and after a 72-hour involuntary psyche-ward hold in September, I might be ready to join society again as a productive member.

Part of quitting my job was to write more, so here I am.  I meant I would work on my book (I intend to finish my book, but shhhhh – I don’t want you guys to hold me to such a lofty expectation so let’s stick with ‘work on my book’) but I want to write here on my blog too, because writing is a muscle and you have to work it or some stupid thing like that. Hey, TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

I’m going to get me some Cocoa Puffs and then jump right into it.

So far, the first day of the rest of my life has been pretty OK.  It’s early though so check back with me at 8AM to see how it’s going.

How to Quit Your Job in 10 Easy Steps

Linda PanicSo you want to quit your job, huh?

You got those dreams, those silly dreams that have been plaguing you. Your biological clock never ticked regarding human reproduction because, hey, you got a jump on all that and had your first kid at 18. Then your second kid at 20. Once you had those two kids, the only choice was to work. You worked hard and long and created a living that would support your family – not just those two, but the rest that came along back when you thought you could totally handle that many kids. No, the biological clock you hear is the DEATH clock.

Let’s face it, you’re a little dramatic. You’re only 50, after all. Laura Ingalls Wilder didn’t write her first book until she was 64. They probably gave her some big writing award and she said “Eh, sonny? What’s that? Do you have any Metamucil?” So while you’re certainly not dying, the truth is you want to enjoy some sort of accomplishments around your dream before your need for Metamucil overshadows things.

These dreams…. they haunt you. Do you have what it takes to chase them? Those buggers run pretty fast. How will you ever know if you don’t try? So yeah, the job is getting in the way.

Step 1: make the decision to quit your job.

Step 2: reconsider it, procrastinate, talk yourself out of it

Step 3: make the decision to quit your job again

Step 4: spend countless hours thinking about the right timing

Step 5: realize there is no right timing

Step 6: hyperventilate

Step 7: look in the mirror and repeat over and over “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And doggonit, people like me.”

Step 8: change your mind a hundred times

Step 9: make the decision to quit your job

Step 10: quit your job

Now that you’ve quit your job, you realize that was the easy part. So now what?

Fantasize about taking the summer off. You started working when you were 15 and the only time you’ve ever gotten 6-12 weeks off was because you pushed a baby out of your vagina. This time, maybe you’ll take some time off with no 2 AM feedings. Sure, you’re 50 so you’ll have to get up frequently in the night to pee, but still. You haven’t yet had to depend upon adult diapers (see what I did there?) so you can just go right back to sleep.

It might be a good idea to check with your friends. If anyone has recently purchased a new refrigerator, ask them to save the box. If you do need to live down by the river in a cardboard box, it’ll come in handy. Try to get your hands on a Sub Zero box. After all, you still have your pride.

Tell yourself a hundred times a day that it’s going to be fine. Write. Write some more. Go chase those dreams, girl. You’ve earned this chance. You can do it!

So, anyway, I quit my job.


Did I mention I’m a contributor in another hilarious book? No? Well, I am.  You can buy it (or them) HERE.