Thursday, March 20, 2008

On the Mend, Little By Little

It feels like I have been sick for a thousand days. Yesterday was borderline awful, but much better than Tuesday. I sort of dragged myself around the apartment, keeping tabs on the girls, laying on the floor whenever possible. I was their jungle gym (where does this word come from anyway? Jungle gym?) and trampoline and soft place to land, as always. They were good, which made the day infinitely more tolerable. Nicole came home from work early to relieve me, but the girls were taking a late nap, so we got to lay down on the couch and watch the previous night’s American Idol, that train wreck.

We also played an adjective game. I saw this on another blog and thought it was a interesting exercise in Who You Are and How Others Perceive You. The idea is, write the five adjectives you think best describe you, then ask someone else to write the five adjectives they think best describe you. So this is how I described myself, in no particular order:
1. loyal
2. craft-acular
3. strong
4. funny
5. hard-working

And Nicole used the following to describe me, in no particular order:
1. creative
2. witty
3. bright
4. sexy
5. loyal

So there was overlap, in the loyal category and the funny/witty category and the creative/craft-acular category. “Sexy” seems like a stretch, especially as I was sitting there in pajamas and a sweatshirt with messy hair and a foghorn cough. Interesting. I think of myself as strong (emotionally and otherwise) and hard-working, but I guess those are also selective qualities, in that I am not always strong and I am not so hard-working, if it is something that I don’t believe in (or don’t want to do).

And then I used these to describe Nicole:
1. generous
2. stable
3. beautiful (inside/out)
4. sacrificing
5. mellow/go-with-the-flow

And she describes herself as:
1. practical
2. logical
3. loyal
4. witty
5. generous

So in this case, there was overlap with generous and I argue that “stable” is a by-product of “logical” and “practical.” And another interesting thing: Even though it is in no particular order, I put “generous” first on her list and she put it last. On my list I put “loyal” first for me and she put it last. That is interesting.

Not putting witty on my list for her was an oversight, especially since, as Nicole reminded me, she was voted Class Wit in high school. I also like to use every opportunity I can to point out that she was also Homecoming Queen or Prom Queen. And class president. And sometimes she wore ties to school. And she played softball. And was the stage manager for the play productions. And she had NO idea she was a lesbian!

In happy sleep news, the girls went to bed at 6:30 last night and slept until 6:30 this morning. A few little cries in the night but both slept in their cribs and we slept alone in our bed.

And on the embarrassing book front, I just finished two that qualify, I think. One was Tori Spelling’s autobiography; the second was Kathleen Turner’s autobiography. I read both for specific reasons: The first because Tori has been very upfront about having a difficult relationship with her mother. And really, when you think about it, there aren’t too many books that dissect this interesting and often difficult relationship. I wanted to read about another woman’s damaged relationship with her mom. And there was lots of anecdotes and lots of moments to relate to. In the end, though, I wanted more. I didn’t feel closure, and I suppose Tori doesn’t either. “It is what it is” is one way to get through life, but that way of thinking doesn’t sit well with me. I want to know why things are the way they are. This book didn’t really answer that, but I think that is because Tori hasn’t cracked the code yet herself.

And the Kathleen Turner book. Now I got this book because I read somewhere that in it, she talked about her drinking problem. And I love books in which people talk about addictions and how they overcome them. People who overcome addictions are my heroes in life. Truly.

One of the surprising things I learned was that she is much more of an activist than I ever knew. And she gets a little dishy about some of her co-stars. But most of the book seemed like a response to stories about her. Like: “Remember that time when the world thought I was forgetting my lines on the stage? Well, I was really sick that production….” That is not exactly what was said, but it is the idea. I’m not being heartless or anything but she made a lot of excuses for a lot of behavior and I think I would have respected her more if she didn’t.

And her drinking, wow. She went to rehab, but she talked about it an such a detached sort of way. Even though she abused alcohol for so many years and went to rehab, she still drinks. She says she knows when to say when, and maybe I am just jealous that I can’t do that, but for some reason I doubt that she can. Very few people return from the stumbling drunk category back to casual drinker. She says she asks herself if she is drinking because of an issue or is she drinking because a glass of wine will add to a fun evening with friends. That might explain the first drink, but what about the second sand third and fourth and fifth?

Something both books had in common was a strong voice, not necessarily in a good way. You literally could hear Tori and Kathleen talking. Their vernacular, little catchphrases, it all was so casual. It makes me miss good literature.

And in terms of bad literature, I have read almost all of the VC Andrews library! At a young age, too. Flowers in the Attic I read in fourth grade. Talk about inappropriate. I remember calling bookstores to see if they had the new book in whatever series by her. I devoured every word she wrote. Sometimes I think about rereading some of them, but there are just so many books I want to read, and they kept getting pushed to the bottom of the list.

Pictured above, Avery scooted across the floor on her knees like that, while Maddie watched closely. You have to wonder what goes on in little minds. What was Avery thinking? And what was Maddie thinking? Below that, a rowing machine, still in its box. It is still in its box because once it is out of its box, Nicole has to start using it. And if she uses it then I have to stop buying her cookies and making her cakes and feeding her candy and other crap. You can’t really blame weight gain on another person, but I can take at least half of the responsibility for any weight gain on Nicole. Maybe I am not the one making her eat tater tots but I certainly bring them into the house and cook them for her and put them on a plate with ketchup and mustard!


Denise said...

I have read most of V.C Andrews books. After the Heaven series they just got to be the same old thing. Poor girl finds out that her parents are not really her parents. Finds out she is rich, lives in a big house with a mean grandma. Then when Virginia died of cancer and the ghost writer took over it just wasn't the same.

sara said...

I also read as many V.C. Andrews books as I could get my hands on when it was definitely age-inappropriate. And I love feeding my partner as well-- somehow it makes it easier for me to eat well if I can feed her all of the things I'm not eating. It's like I'm imposing my eating issues on someone else. Great-- another thing to think about.

Melinda said...

I don't think your reading Tori Spelling's book is as embarrasing as my tivoing "Tori & Dean Inn Love" AND ordering 90210 season 3 on Netflix. Just saying.

SJayneI said...

I'm glad you are feeling better; I can't imagine how hard it was to be sick with your adorable girls needing you. Stay well.

judy said...

OOOOH I am buying both biography's tomorrow. I am a multi-genre reader, Shakespeare to tell all's. btw- feel free to ignore my whiny plea for help in your last post comments.


I also get the vibe that Kathleen Turner still drinks in excess- I can picture her losing her cool in a dressing room after a bottle of gin. Strange imagery.

Maybe we can do a play date one of these fine days (although we have yet to leave the freaking apartment) I am taking a stand and getting this kids bad nyc oxygen tomorrow.

Feel better!

judy said...

Hey go here and spread the word

Travelher and Pufferfish said...

Wow, I thought I was the only one reading Flowers in the Attic in 4th grade. Good to know there are more out there-we should join a club.

I just found your blog and am really enjoying reading it.
I'm amazing that you have time to write and be so funny with 9-month-old twins.
Good for you!