Idk why i feel like i need to explain this right right now of all times.
I sometimes remember- i should explain this!
And then i forget.
Many many years ago, when the internet was AOL, i used the = sign invariably to represent eyes, the way people today use the : sign.
Some of you may remember that once famous show “equals 3” as in “=3”.
WELL i always thought it was a cat, you know, with the eyes and the chubby cheeks…?
I used to sign my emails that way.
Then one day, not sure why, my husband saw it and said, Why are you typing penis?
Me: What do you mean?
Him: That emoticon. It’s a penis.
Me: No it’s not. It’s a cat. You know, like the YouTube show. Equals Cat.
Him: *tilts head* Yeah i guess in a really innocent person’s mind that could be a cat but on the show, it’s a penis.
Thus i came to find out i had been signing my emails “Have a great day! Penis, Ave.”
Mope wasn’t always named “Mope.”
Long ago, he was an “André,” fearless puppy of the night, keeper of justice for the barefoot children that played soccer in the alley.
Brought up on chicken and tortilla scraps, with all his shots current, he had a bright future ahead of him.
He would follow Alexis to school everyday, wait for him by the gate, walk him back home, watch him do his homework, and then he would responsibly destroy said homework.
Around eight they would have dinner together, and he would listen in from the corner on how everyone’s day had gone.
Papa Edmund had a new secretary at the bank.
He would take the kids to the beach that summer if they got good grades.
André had never been to the beach.
He’d seen it on T.V. and other dogs had talked to him about it.
He looked forward to romping in the waves and running through freshly built sand castles.
Mama Mayra said the meat had gone up at the butcher’s and fruit never seemed to be in season anymore.
Sister Sylvia said she was trying out for the volleyball team.
Alexis fed André bacon under the table.
Then, religiously every night, they would go play soccer with the neighborhood kids.
The months went by and the weather got warmer and warmer.
The beach vacation became more and more prevalent in the family dinner discussions.
Everyone talked about what they would pack.
Papa Edmund would take a cooler and a barbecue pit.
Mama Mayra would take a picnic basket and wine bottles, sunscreen, and her crochet needles.
Sister Sylvia would take her volleyball, a couple of mystery novels and her new bikini, which her dad had been unaware of until then.
Alexis would take André, a soccer ball, his snorkeling gear and a boogie board.
André would take his favorite bone and cushion.
The last day of school was excruciatingly hot and Alexis brought water for André, who was faithfully waiting outside by the gate in the sun.
When the bell rung, Alexis, Sylvia and André ran home from school and packed their bags while their mother yelled “Don’t forget this! Don’t forget that!” from the living room downstairs.
The a/c had broken the day before and everyone was sweating or panting.
Papa Edmund came home from work and the family gathered around him, welcoming him home with a big bear hug.
“Mayra, we need to talk.”
The couple entered the bedroom and André ran under their bed before they closed the door.
“What’s wrong?” asked Mama Mayra.
Edmund sat down on the bed.
“You look upset. Did something happen?”
Edmund didn’t look straight at her, but mostly looked past her toward an open window. He got up to shut it.
“Edmund, it’s 100 degrees up here! Leave the window open.”
“Stop telling me what to do! There you go again, giving me orders.”
Mayra bit her lips and shook her head.
It had all seemed too good to be true.
She started pacing around the room packing more things into her beach bag.
“We’re not going to beach, god damn it, Mayra! Stop packing!”
“Well I’m not going to stay here. You promised the kids. At least one of us has to keep their word.”
“I lost my job.”
Mayra stopped packing.
She tried to hug her husband, but he just stood up and pushed her away.
Edmund’s cell phone rang. Mayra looked at the caller ID. It was his secretary. Mayra crossed her arms and her face and looked intently at Edmund.
He took the call in the bathroom.
A few hours later, Mayra had packed the station wagon full of as many things as a family relocating could possibly pack in a situation in which they are fully incapable of packing the most important thing of all.
The kids were crying in the back seat and André, confused, put his paw on little Sylvia’s face, alternating licking each child’s cheeks.
They had driven about two miles when Mayra pulled over and said, “You know what? We have nowhere to put that dog.”
The children screamed in resistance.
Engulfed by jealousy, she was willing to get rid of anything that reminded her of any decision her husband had ever taken without consulting her, including bringing home this mutt.
“What are we going to feed him? I don’t even have a job! We have nowhere to live!”
The kids protested in indistinguishable whimpers.
She opened the back door, picked up André, and left him on the side of the road.
She turned red as she realized, walking back to the driver’s seat, the unrighteousness of her vengeful act.
André barked and ran after them for a good three miles, while Alexis stuck his head out the window, shouting that he loved him and he would return for him.
Eventually, André lost sight of the station wagon and he had nowhere else to go but back home.
When he got there, he was thirsty as hell and ready to collapse on his cushion.
Papa Edmund had been hitting the bottle and now he seized the opportunity to take out his rage on someone.
“So you’re the only one who came back? Stupid beast. Where are the rest of them? Are they gone because they can’t stand to see me like this? Because they’ve always known I’m a liar?”
André looked down and rested his head on his paws.
Then, Mr. Edmund did something that André cannot believe to this very day.
He took the bottle and broke it straight into André’s right eye.
The next morning, still hungover, Edmund took André to the pound and said he was a stray he’d found near his house.
André is no longer a puppy.
No one has adopted him because they say all he does is mope in his cage, so the staff there baptized him “Mope.”
He awaits Alexis’s return to this very day.
I had mentioned several months ago that my church’s Spanish congregation had been dissolved in this particular town i am in.
Today we formally began to meet here, although for now it is only to visit those who were previously interested.
We are sent off in pairs but when there is an odd number of us, i get assigned to my husband and his pair.
I’m a third wheel of sorts.
Or the other brother is.
Depends on how you look at it.
I wait in the car while my husband and the third wheel visit a man who invites them to sit and chat.
Earlier, this elderly brother accompanying us complained that we’re just visiting popsicles, since most in this area are apathetic toward biblical topics.
He himself reasoned that we must still preach.
“So where are we going?” he asked.
My husband directed him toward said Popsicles.
This is the third home we visit.
I see my husband greet the man of the house like an old friend, though they’ve never met.
He takes personal interest in every word the man says.
After a couple minutes, the edges of the Popsicle-Man have melted and they are invited to sit.
I had gotten out of the car while writing the above introduction because of the heat.
My husband saw me leave and texted me to come join them.
They were speaking with a Catholic counselor (not sure what his formal title is).
The man was seemingly polite but he got agitated when i read him a text from his Bible.
He said i was showing-off and i had failed his psychological test.
I said i wasn’t sharing anything of my own but that it was out of his own Bible i had read the text.
He called me a show-off again and i perceived that he was not accustomed to a woman teaching him.
My husband told him we do not visit people to psycho-analyze them and God doesn’t test anyone, for it would be unkind of him to do so.
The man said, “One needs to be very humble to talk about these things.”
I assume he was saying that in regards to himself, since we all know i am as humble as they come.
I restrained from adding carbon to the fire and tried to shut up.
The man said he’s seen some from our church drinking a beer, and the elderly brother told him the Bible does not condemn drinking moderately.
That reminded me it was almost lunchtime, so on that note we left.
My husband said he was not satisfied with the way the conversation went.
I wonder if i made things worse when i joined them.
But i tried not to dominate the conversation.
The man was criticizing us for preaching to the population at large, while saying he focuses on alcoholics and drug addicts- “those who really need it.”
I praised him for helping “those who really need it” before asking him for permission to use his Bible.
The text i read him lists nine sins that prevent people from inheriting God’s kingdom, not just one or two.
And i reiterated that some of our members had participated in those sins before becoming Christians, so it’s not like we’re not helping anyone.
He said he carries the Bible with him but doesn’t go around using it.
“That would be showing off.”
We meet different people everyday and i’ve been doing this for quite some time.
First time ever someone tells me i’m showing off.
I don’t think handling a Bible well is showing off, much like i don’t think people who are not familiar with the Bible are ignorant.
“I’m a nobody,” i had replied, “what could i possibly share as far as wisdom? All i can give comes from God’s knowledge, not mine.”
But when he told me again that i was showing off, i decided, again, to shut up.
It is not uncommon for our visits to leave a bitter taste in our mouths.
My husband’s demeanor throughout never seizes to impress me.
The way he discreetly but very effectively teaches about God leaves me in awe, like when he explained that God doesn’t test anyone.
This was, of course, in response to the man telling me i had failed his psychological test.
The same thing happens when i accompany my mother in the ministry.
Her calm demeanor when people are being flat out rude is just beyond me.
And her compassion tape runs three times longer than mine.
I am the opposite.
Sometimes i wonder if i do more harm than good.
I may not talk back but my personality can be somewhat transparent.
It’s easy for people to tell when they’ve exhausted my patience.
Especially if they follow me on Twitter.
As a minister, i am most effective with people who have low self-esteem.
Awesome people, like me.
Patience is not my thing.
The man asked me twice if i would go give a 3-hour sermon at his church and i replied that men head the congregation under Christ, not women, but that i minister by giving home Bible studies.
His wife had passed by twice without acknowledging our presence in any way.
It is not difficult to be Christian.
What God asks of us is straightforward and doable.
Yet, it is very difficult for me to be a minister’s wife.
It is very difficult to dominate my own wants and passions and subject them to the priorities of an imperfect human.
A Christian shepherd should always have serving God as his priority, and a large part of that is serving the congregation.
My husband does an amazing job at that but our own shortcomings can create frictions at home.
It is very difficult to not walk out and look for someone who makes me his priority instead of a large group of people.
It seemed unrealistic of me to maintain “platonic” friendships with guys who subtly or openly hit on me from time to time.
Almost half of the married friends i had ten years ago have ended up getting cheated on, having affairs or getting divorced.
I’m not so different.
I’m only human.
Close guy friends who never hit on me have come to ignore me all together.
So i cut off the ones that were left last November.
(I’m referring to local men i was friends with over several years, not people who live far away and i occasionally talk to online).
It is easy to get lost in my husband’s shadow.
For instance, a sister who has been in our congregation since January was surprised a couple weeks ago when i told her i worked.
“I thought only your husband worked,” she said.
Which would make perfect sense… if i was ill, had a baby or a zoo… or living off a rich uncle’s inheritance…
Anyway, what i’m trying to convey is that as a minister’s wife, much of my role in the congregation, which is also hard work, goes unnoticed and i just have to bite the bullet.
Or perhaps she thought i am so supportive, she just assumed i had all the time in the world.
My husband, who is a minister in two capacities, both in the preaching work and within the congregation, sometimes forgets to acknowledge my relevance.
Then i have to remind him that i exist and i need him around too.
He usually takes to it but sometimes he puts up a fight.
(That’s when i try to kick him.)
It is not easy being a minister’s wife.
I would recommend a life of self-sacrifice and social service to hardly anyone.
But when i look back at what i wanted from life when i was a teenager, i know this is it.
This is what i wanted.
This is what i got.
But there are people out there who make it worthwhile.
Now and then i’ll meet someone who reminds me of me, and they just melt my own popsicle heart away.
If at the end of your life, you were given the option to live one day out of your life over again, just one day, just for the next 24 hours, what day would you choose?
Who would you spend your last day with?
More importantly, how do i come up with these questions, and why do i try?
We were eating at California Pizza Kitchen, one of my favorite places (even though today they put bacon on my veggie pizza and brought me the Seasonal Sam Adams instead of the Draft) when my mind drifted to when we ate pizza in Florence.
Next my mind drifted to when we visited Lago di Garda in northern Italy.
And I then asked myself
How do I work this?
And I then asked myself
Where is that large automobile?
And I then told myself
This is not my beautiful house!
And I then told myself
This is not my beautiful wife!
j/k ok sorry, i thought, i would love to live that day over again.
The day we spent at Lake Garda.
So naturally i asked my husband the question at the onset of this post: what day would you live over?
His answer didn’t shock me but it was a wake up call.
“I would choose the day my mom told us she was expecting my brother.”
Aww! How sweet, right? Wait. There’s more.
“Because everyone was there. My brother, in my mom’s womb, my sister, my dad and my mom.”
Everyone was there.
As in- everyone that matters?
Everyone you would want to spend more time with?
Everyone who isn’t your wife (aka- ME)?!?
Wait- there’s more.
“I was going to say our wedding day but my sister wasn’t there.”
I wish i was making this up.
But it’s practically verbatim.
Then of course i proceeded to get all teary-eyed, after which his usual reaction of having no idea what’s going on with me- the “did I say something” script.
I tried not to dwell on it and changed the topic to pizza.
Then he asked me the same question.
“What day would you choose?”
I was embarrassed of my initial choice.
I ransacked my memories for alternates.
I came up with a couple other memories i could do over.
Both with him in them.
“It’s not important,” i said, dipping my pizza crust in ketchup.
He insisted to the point that i figured he must be thinking i must be thinking of some other guy, all the while i was really thinking, ‘don’t let him know you love him more than he loves you, don’t let him know you love him more than he loves you.’
I had to come up with a better answer fast.
“You know, i haven’t really thought about it. Rather, i need to give the answer more thought.”
So now i’m thinking, whatever day i would want to live over- i probably haven’t lived it yet.
Cause if all my favorite memories are post-marriage, and yet my marriage-mate essentially does not see me as part of “everybody,” then perhaps i’ve overrated my life thus far.
Maybe, if God gave me the choice, i’d just say, “uh, thanks, just shut me in a cell with an ocean view instead. That way no one has to spend any more time with me.”
Because if i’m not “everybody,” then I must be some form of opposite of that.
At least not anybody important.
The good thing now is, i’ve got two cats that really look up to me.
Sure, i’ve had more suicidal thoughts in the last couple weeks than i did in the last 6+ months, but it’s hard to leave or kill yourself when that would disturb your cats’ daily rituals.
Also, i’m not sure my alter-ego would be able to update this blog as well as i do.
If you are a married person, don’t invite your spouse’s ex-BFF to dinner telling your spouse last minute when said ex-BFF has only kept in touch with you but ignored your spouse for the last five years.
And if you are the ex-BFF, don’t keep in touch with your ex-BFF’s spouse for five years after you called your then BFF to tell her she is a whining, self-serving hypocrite while she was at school and you’ve made her cry in public and then ignored her for five years.
I haven’t posted anything in a while.
That is a classic line used by all bloggers when they are about to write a lame blog post.
Which this probably will end up being.
It’s late Thursday.
Husband’s in the shower.
That gives me about 10 minutes to write this post and tag it before he starts to “subtly” complain.
There are a lot of great things about marriage but that is one thing I hate- having to accommodate my night schedule to his. Ok… well i did warn you about the quality of this post.
The ongoing heat’s stressing me out.
And there’s a little bug that keeps landing on my head but I can’t quite manage to kill it.
I have spent the better part of tonight going over my personal finances and am quite upset at myself that I am so much in debt.
Mostly it’s just my student loan and the house’s closing costs that my generous brother lent me.
Also all that time after I graduated during which I wasn’t working full time, I still had to buy a few basic necessities.
(Like those dresses in Milan.)
Oh and then there’s my invisalign.
I just miss being free of all those obligations.
It doesn’t feel like it was all that long ago that I was doing what I loved.
I should have never let anyone tell me what was important.
I should have never-
(Oh I think I finally got the bug.)
Husband is trying to sleep.
The Italian doctor sent me a Facebook friend request.
I was so excited, I didn’t know whether or not to accept it.
Then *poof* just like that, I woke up.
So I’ve had a hell of a week, even though it’s barely Monday, I am counting today as part of last week.
This last week I only slept for a couple hours on 4 separate nights.
Then Thursday at work, our loan broker texts me: “Hi there!! We have our loan approval…”
Five minutes before that, my co-worker’s real estate agent had just texted her that her house is now in escrow.
She was very sad about that since she did not choose to sell the house; the decision was made for her.
So there she was, standing right in front of me, crying, when I get the text that our home loan got approved.
Perhaps I shouldn’t have told her, it was bad timing, but I was excited and she was right there, so I showed her the text and she was happy for me.
Extremely ironic. Extremely awkward.
I texted a few of my closer friends to share in the festivities with me.
The next day while I am getting a cleaning at a dentist’s office where my friends work, literally while I am in the chair, our broker sends me a message that they made a mistake and the loan is not approved.
I kind of held it under control during the cleaning but then when I was back in the waiting room I was so mad I couldn’t stop crying.
Thankfully my two friends were there to comfort me.
I called my husband and let him know what was going on but he seemed to be taking it a little too well, which was disconcerting.
We tried to go out to dinner that night but he lost all patience with me and after chasing him down in the car and then pretending I was going to divorce him so he’d come back home to talk to me, it turned out he never got the text that said our loan had been approved.
Only I got that text.
I just assumed they had told him too.
That is why he didn’t understand why I was so disillusioned and making such a big deal about our loan broker being dishonest.
I think by then it was like 2 AM.
The birds woke me up at 4:30 AM.
I went back to sleep at 6 AM.
My husband’s alarm woke me back up at 7 AM.
That was Saturday.
Yesterday he got upset at me about something else.
I guess cause supposedly I have really bad timing when bringing up things he hasn’t done.
You mean half an hour before you’re supposed to give a speech isn’t a good time to tell you you still haven’t installed the software you promised me on my Mac?
Well yeah. I can see it now.
But yesterday it seemed perfectly logical.
This bad timing thing seems to be a recurring issue for me.
I am supposed to start Invisalign this week which I guess by blogging about it it kind of defeats the purpose of its being invisible. (‘—‘)
As for the Italian guy- I think I looked at his profile too many times cause now he’s appearing in those little Facebook boxes that say “people you might know.” *0*
If I were to send him a friend request I’m pretty sure he’d accept it, but I am under the impression he’d accept a friend request from a squirrel.
So then I’ll just be lost in a sea of acquaintances, I’ll still be a nobody to him, and it’ll break my heart much like asdfghjkl;.
Even worse would be the alternative to that- the alternate ending in which we fall madly in love with each other and sail away to the moon.
…Because the moon is across the sea.
My husband did do something quite grandiose for me today which is that he helped me overcome my fear of steep hills.
No, he didn’t push me down one.
We went hiking and he walked at my pace. …After I texted him to wait up.
I will hereby refer to it as the hike that saved our marriage.
I sit alone here dunking Trader Joe’s Chocolate Coated Chocolate Chip Dunkers cookies into my orange juice.
Typically I would be complaining about my day to my husband while he cooks me dinner, but apparently someone at church did something stupid cause he called me and said he has to stay there til who knows when.
He is more understanding than I am.
I don’t see why his life just can’t revolve around me the way mine revolves around him.
There he must go trying to save the world again.
Or a lost soul. What about me?
I tried Facebook but no one’s even on it.
Maybe cause I blocked half my friends.
They were kinda boring.
Twitter’s pretty slow today too.
I guess people just have kids and then they have to put them to bed on Wednesdays.
Glad that’s not me.
I prefer the cookies.
Kids are probably not edible.
Last night I had this fantastic dream that I bioengineered a microorganism that feeds off of the dead or ill part of a plant, disintegrating it, so the rest of the plant survives.
I was so cool.
Why can’t I be like that in real life?
Cool n stuff.
And why do I always fall for guys that are way outta my league?
Why couldn’t I just have fallen in love with someone ugly?
Then he wouldn’t be popular or successful and we could actually spend time together.
Sure, he’d have to wear a mask, but he could take it off in the dark.
Oh great now I’ve gotten cookie crumbs all over the bed.
At least they’re not baby crumbs.
Long distance relationships are hard.
Especially when the other person doesn’t know that he’s in love with you.
Let alone, that you even exist.
So I became a little obsessive this week over the Italian doctor whom I will probably never ever see again for the rest of my life.
I didn’t even know his name so I had to think of a way to figure that out.
I found it on an app for the place we worked at.
From there, it’s all been fairly easy, since it turns out he’s rather successful in his field, especially given his age.
(Yeah, I know that too. He’s 2 years 9 months older than me).
I now have his phone number, email, work address, facebook page address… Along with several pictures of him.
One of which really does him justice.
I also read a paper he wrote about a device he invented.
As I got to know him better, I became more and more aware that we have very little in common.
He likes sailing and mountain biking.
The first, I’m not familiar with.
The second- I am physically incapable of half the time.
(The half that is uphill.)
He seems so free spirited and at the same time, determined.
Quiet, shy, but is that actually arrogance?
He is like 20 leagues above me.
There is no way I could ever translate this into reality.
Not everything I found out is positive.
It turns out he smokes, which is a major turn off, especially considering he is a doctor.
There was an Italian guy at another place I used to work, but he was from my hometown.
He was super cute and always hitting on me, but I never felt that attracted to him because he was a smoker.
Also, I remember one time he promised to make me pasta, and I was really looking forward to it but then he forgot.
I am under the impression that people who smoke lack self-control, good judgment, and let others pressure them into doing things they otherwise wouldn’t do.
So when I compare apples and oranges, my husband is really one in a billion.
If only he were in love with me, he’d be perfect.
But I guess a lot of people aren’t in love with the person they married.
It’s just a minor issue, really.
It’s probably annoying having someone always writing poetry for you or giving you flowers and chocolates and things.
…Or calling you but never actually saying anything on the phone.