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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Where It Lives: Part 1

Greetings, Guests and Regulars!

PREFACE: In the course of writing this post, which was supposed to be about my dog but ended up going in a different direction entirely, I had to type the words "diarrhea," "scenario," and "mozzarella" about five times apiece before correctly guessing how to spell them. I'm a writing teacher, for fuck's sake! I should know how to spell those words! Alas, I feel like a fraud.

Moving on to the post itself (from which ended up omitting the reference to "diarrhea" - sorry to disappoint you).


* * *

Clouds settling in over Seattle, a warm mug of caffeinated Dark Elixir balanced precariously on my lap, wedged between my belly and the edge of my laptop. If anything out of the ordinary happened - sudden movements, forceful sneezes, earthquakes, hiccups, jolt-worthy telephone rings - this coffee would spill onto the keyboard, with milky-brown rivulets seeping into the crevices between each letter and symbol, which I can't imagine wouldn't cause irreparable damage.

Still, I keep it there, because I enjoy the sick thrill of living on the edge in this way.

Last night, Kevin and I went on a date, as part of our explicit effort to carve out more one-on-one time together. He points out, as he always had, that I tend to get overtaken by my own extrovertedness, planning more gatherings with friends and family than our lives can really hold, cramming our calendar with far too many parties and dinners and happy hours. Part of this stems from my deep-rooted fantasy that life can and should be like an ongoing episode of Cheers or Friends - where everyone is surrounded by a close-knit group of people at all times, woven into your daily life, bringing out each others' best and most friend-worthy sides, co-venting and gossiping about big and small things alike, from current events to bowel movements to what you had for lunch.

The point being: that sort of living-in-a-tornado-of-friends lifestyle isn't exactly conducive to quiet romantic evenings. Hence: last night's date. Our date consisted of driving halfway to Seattle's Lower Queen Anne neighborhood, which is urban and gritty and makes our own street feel like rural Illinois by comparison, and walking the remaining 20 minutes to our destination, the Uptown Cinema.

First, though, we ate at a Greek cafe called something totally Greek-sounding like "Athena" or "Acropolis" or "Baklava." I wore mascara in honor of the occasion, something I don't often do, and made sure I pointed it out to Kevin, who otherwise wouldn't have noticed it (why is it that guys NEVER EVER NOTICE IT WHEN WOMEN WEAR MASCARA, even though mascara is about the coolest and most beauty-enhancing make up product on the face of this earth, requiring great finesse to apply???!?).

Anyway.

It was one of those depressing eating-out scenarios where your eating companion chooses the "right" thing to order, and you, unfortunately, choose the "wrong thing." You are left to begrudgingly force your own flavorless or tough or overly fatty or just plain disgusting meal down your throat, cursing the menu for tricking you into thinking this would be a good selection, and casting jealous sidelong glances over to your dining partner's correspondingly flavorful, tender, perfectly-but-not-overly fatty, superbly delicious plate of food.

You are mildly happy for your lucky and happy dining companion, you guess, yet you bitterly wonder why YOU got the short end of the culinary stick. Down in the darkest place in your heart, where your most evil and unspoken thoughts click around like cockroaches, you wish for a brief and sadistic instant that THEIR food was as bad as YOURS, just so you wouldn't feel alone (not to mention hungry).

Then you realize that you're thinking like an infertile or dead baby momma whose friends keep having babies, and you shove those bad thoughts out of your mind and eat your sub-par food quietly like a good and unselfish person supposedly would, soaking in your own self-pity as the scent of your partner's obnoxiously wonderful food wafts into your nostrils. You do it because you know there are children starving and genocides happening all over the world, so you really should clean your plate without sulking about your bad luck, and because you did pay $8.99 for this flavorless mound of mushy, salt-and-oil-coated peas from a can, which is precisely what I did.

Back in our courtship days, Kevin would have felt sorry for me, or pretended to anyway, letting me graze off his plate and eat half of his smoked-mozzarella-and-eggplant sandwich (which tasted like hot dogs - that's how damn fucking good it was). He would have said, "here, Monica. Have some of mine," knowing that this simple act would fill me with gratitude and leave me feeling full and content, exponentially increasing Kevin's odds of getting laid that night.

Nowadays, though, as we approach our seven-year wedding anniversary, we're more like two siblings or best friends that fight over food, watching each others hands and plates like protective vultures, policing one another for food-stealing. Okay, it's not totally like that, but somewhat. Dude, we're old.

But none of the above, actually, is the point of this post - which, as I said, was supposed to be about my dog, and ended up being about something else entirely. And even that "something else" isn't what I really wanted to talk about here.

What I REALLY wanted to talk about was where loss lives inside of a woman who has lost, particularly a woman like me, who avoids sappy sentiment like the plague. Where does loss go if you aren't the type to brood and wallow and think too hard? And how does it manifest itself, or does it?

And this has to do the movie that Kevin and saw after I had forced down my canned, oil-coated peas while smelling his mysteriously and torturously delicious hot-dog-scented "vegetarian" sandwich: Rachel Getting Married.

But I didn't get to the point this time, as often happens, so stay tuned for "Where It Lives, Part 2" coming soon to a blog near you. This blog, in fact. Just don't eat at Athina Grill (that's what it was really called) beforehand, and if you do, avoid the vegetarian shit platter.

6 comments:

Brenna said...

That's a very good question, and I'll set to contemplate it once I get this out of my system:

TEBOW BUTT! ooooooo Dog butt dog butt dog butt

I have a total thing for dog butt. I love watching their twitchy little behinds jog in front of me on our afternoon outings, and have been known to provide my own soundtrack to accompany the movements of each doggy behind (Sierra's sounds different from Liam's, you know!).

Okay, now that I have that out of the way I can say that I'm really looking forward to Part Deux of this post, because it's a question I've often wondered about (this from someone who's probably the wallowy, broody, think to damn much type).

Sorry about your shit platter. I once cried when we ordered Thai delivery and after waiting 45 minutes mine came with egg in it--after I specifically asked for no egg. I was just so excited for that food, and I HATE EGG. It sucks not getting what you expected.

sharonvw said...

Love the new pic of Tebow, it has a wonderful sense of freedome or joy about it.

Looking forward to part two, mostly because I don't know where IT lives in me, I know its there and it crawls out every now and again, but I'm not sure from where!
(((hugs)))

Parenthood For Me said...

"I wore mascara in honor of the occasion, something I don't often do, " I love that line because mascara and blush are my way of "wearing makeup" for special occasions.
I just found your blog . I am reaching out to my fellow bloggers to introduce my non profit, Parenthood for Me.org. Our mission is to provide financial and emotional support to those starting families through adoption or medical intervention. Please visit our website and blog and pass the link on. Thank you for your support. I look forward to reading your blog
Sincerely,
Erica Schlaefer

Parenthood For Me said...

"I wore mascara in honor of the occasion, something I don't often do, " I love that line because mascara and blush are my way of "wearing makeup" for special occasions.
I just found your blog . I am reaching out to my fellow bloggers to introduce my non profit, Parenthood for Me.org. Our mission is to provide financial and emotional support to those starting families through adoption or medical intervention. Please visit our website and blog and pass the link on. Thank you for your support. I look forward to reading your blog
Sincerely,
Erica Schlaefer

Parenthood For Me said...

did you get my comment?

Monica LeMoine said...

Brenna: thank you for liking Tebow's butt. I've relayed that compliment to him.

Shaz - yes, his butt is truly steeped in joy.

Parenthood 4 Me- hello and welcome!