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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Something from Nothing

Greetings, KuKd Strong'uns and Inquisitive Guests!

A few oh-so-important updates before my real post: 

FIRST, the lingerie saga. Scroll down to my last post if you aren't in on this...shall we say...little mishap.  For the record, the lingerie did eventually get worn again, utlized in a snot-free manner, appreciated in a way that Victoria herself would approve of.  I just had to make sure the world knew that the ending to that chapter was a happy and delectable one. 

(KuKd Mommas, get out there and buy something sexylicious if you haven't already! My current sense is that your man will like you in it, no matter how theatrical/self-conscious/fat/ridiculous it makes you feel, and no matter how far from a Maxim supermodel you consider yourself to be. This comes from a person who is very, very far from being a Maxim supermodel. If I can do it, you can do it! And of course, I expect a full report afterward.)

SECOND, regarding the lovely, spine-tingling, mouthwatering KuKd HUNK GALLERY: Because the Blogger poll is silly, I cannot simply add new KuKd Hunks to the gallery at random, and then add those lucious Hunks' names to the poll to be voted upon in droves. I had hoped that this would be something I could do, but alas, it is not.

SO.....

Every month or two, I'll announce the winner of the current gallery - which should not be a surprise, since anyone can see on the righthand side of this blog who is the current reigning champion. Note the number of days you have left to vote. (Listen up, SNOWDUDE! On the one hand, I hate you for beating my own Hunk thus far. On the other hand, I love you for being such a scrumptious, snowy, snuggleworthy ball of knocked-down sexiness. Truly, you are an achingly mysterious man who draws out a conflicting array of emotions in this poor girl's troubled heart.)

Once the current gallery closes and winner announced (damn you, Snowdude!), I will then start a new gallery with a new deadline to submit your Hunk, and I will make that announcement. As soon as I have at least THREE (3) Hunk submissions, the new gallery and accompanying poll will begin. You can - AND SHOULD! - resubmit your Hunk each time! Don't feel shy or vain or weird for doing this. You can bet that I'll be submitting MY personal Hunk each time. My only request is that it be a different photo. Seriously, let's get some variety here. Send your hunk-o-picture with a caption and a nickname to monica@exhalezine.com.  

With that, let me set JUNE 15th as the next Hunk deadline, giving us all a bit of time to scramble around and dig up those hot pictures of you-know-who. Don't worry, I'll remind you of this later.

Moving on.

* * *

Have you read Eat, Pray, Love like everybody else and their grandmother has? I remember tossing it begrudgingly into my backpack just as K and I were leaving for Ecuador, four months after Zachary's stillbirth. It was one of those books that I had refused to read for the longest time, similar to refusing to watch Titanic, because everybody was buzzing about it. Which meant it couldn't possibly be any good. Finally, I succumbed to the hype, toting it along as a mindless "beach read."

If you haven't read it, here is what I recall being the gist, from the sandy/beachy/sunny/cocktaily cobwebs of my memory: it's a memoir, written by heroine Elizabeth Gilbert, chronicling her own traveling around the world in order to heal from a nasty divorce. She is an obnoxiously pretty, blond, rich, talented person who gets paid lots of money to embark on this culinary, spiritual, and romantic journey self-discovery (and write about it), which makes me insanely jealous. But anyway.

I read most of it, skimmed through the boring parts, neither loving nor hating it, finding certain parts compelling. There was one part in particular that I felt was compelling, and that has stuck with me ever since. I was pretty sure I loved this little gem of insight so profoundly that I e-mailed a friend about it from a guesthouse in Quito (certainly with Kevin's hand on my bare knee and one or two or three rum-n-Cokes in my system). Sifting through my old e-mails, trying to remember what exactly that little bit of wisdom was and why I loved it, here is what I found, excerpted from a December 2007 e-mail:

There's a book called "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert, and I speed-read it during our week on the coast.  The book annoyed me on some levels but one important message I carried away is how the Italians worship the art of doing nothing - or, of taking some very simple ingredients or circumstances and making fun, festive merriment out of it. That is, of being in the moment, being where you are, not constantly planning and worrying. I really want to make sure I achieve this, which I think I can do and have done before, but I want to keep doing it. So, when we get back, I want to have a handful of close friends including you over, put out a red checkered table cloth and lots of wine, make pasta and just ¨make merriment out of nothing¨- that is, out of just a handful of friends, simple food, and wine. Can we do that?

xoxo, Monica

That was it.  I was thinking of that now, because...well...this past month or two have been characterized by my own attempts to do just that: make merriment out of nothing.  Lately, I've gotten totally obsessed with taking this childfree life, and doing things with it that I wouldn't ordinary be able to do.  A shrink would probably tell me there is some psychological term for this - Stage 12 of the Grieving Process.  Who knows. 

It's not even a bitter, begrudging, brittle sensation.  It's a real, vibrating, life-filled feeling of just enjoying the moment (apologies for sounding so cliche), not longing or hoping or yearning for something better, but rather creating happy moments in the spaces that would otherwise have been taken up by babies #1, 2, or 3.   Let me illustrate with some examples:

  • Lingerie in a hotel room (snot or no snot).  Sipping wine in bed with sunlight slanting in and a finelooking man by my side. 
  • Dinner parties with friends - several of them.  Setting the table with placemats, candles, and silverware!  Bringing out food arranged on plates: meat, vegetable, starch, in perfect symmetry. 
  • Collecting good people in dark taverns for drinking beers and talking about our personal lives.  
  • Sitting barefoot on a piece of driftwood at the beach with Kevin, each sipping a chilled Corona with lime.  Getting sunburned but not caring so much.  It'll peel off. 
  • BBQed pork ribs for dinner, juices dripping down my forearms. 
  • Wearing sundresses.  Haven't worn those in a while.  
  • Taking a bath with lavender-scented salts.  Soooo girly, but soooo nice. 
  • Coffee with lots of milk and sugar on the balcony. 
  • Breakfast with friends before work: once a week, yummy social-ness.  
  • Writing folksongs in my head during my drive to work, and belting them out in the car.
There are other things.  This is just a sampling.   Yes, I'll say it: I'm valuing the little bit of philosophy that blond Elizabeth Gilbert picked up in Italy (while she was getting paid to travel, eat procuttio, and take Italian lessons with hot men, let me remind you.   I'll bet she's the type that would vote for SNOWDUDE, too!  That beeyatch!). 

Oh, don't worry: it's not as though I'm Polyanna-cheerful all the time.  You can still count on me to be your partner-in-gloom.  For fuck's sake, we all know a KuKd momma can't act TOO happy, or society will get suspicious of you for getting over your losses too quickly!  It's just that right now, at this time in my life, I'm liking the kid-free-ness, and the moments and feelings that spring from that.  

I'll even end on a reassuringly gloomy note: all of this happy-go-lucky-reveling-in-kidfree-life doesn't come without consequence.  I've got a crimson sunburn on my shoulders and chest right now from baseball and beach-combing in the sun today, and a mild headache still from last night's wine.  

(Zachary: please send Mommy a care package from the Realworld Penthouse for Bitchin' Stillborn Babes ASAP containing heavenly elixirs for the sun/booze combo hangover.   Eagerly waiting to hear from you, my wise son!)




9 comments:

sharonvw said...

I have been trying to read Eat Pray Love for about 4 months now, I'm finding it so boring that I just can't bring myself to read it any further and am thinking about giving it up all together.
I still haven't figured out what all the hype is about!

Brenna said...

Okay, you just made me pee myself! SNOWDUUUUUUUUUUUDE!

For the record, snowdude brings out a conflicting array of emotions in THIS poor girl's heart, and she married the big galoot.

I love your life-affirming ambitions, Monica! I also had to laugh at how similar our reactions were to the Liz Gilbert book. I wish I lived close enough to attend one of those dinner parties of yours, which sound perfect and scrumptious and amazing. Our hunks could get up to some bad behaviour together in one of those dark places where people drink beer, I get the feeling...I mean that in the best possible way, of course.

Me said...

Hooray for dinner parties and tavern trips with friends! I went to a totally kick-ass dinner party on Friday night. The location was great, the friends were friendly, and the food was awesome. Here's hoping for more simple, enjoyable days/nights!

Kristen said...

Please just tell me that when the sexy ensemble got used, you weren't scrubbing the floor or doing the dishes!

Monica LeMoine said...

SHAZ: Glad we see eye to eye on this matter. I'm with ya.

KRISTEN: no, I was not doing either of those things. :-) Thanks for checking, though.

Coming2Terms said...

Found so much of myself in this post. You've captured the contrasts of loss and living -- and the opportunity to find joy in the moment -- perfectly. Damn shame you live so far away!

Lani said...

you crack me up. i did like that book when i read it but i do see your point about it. anyone who gets paid to do that is automatically a beeyatch. my sis-in-law included (sorry laura).

i will get my hunk up there soon. i promise.

and i do like that idea of finding the time to enjoy the nothing, but its so damn hard. even when we hang with friends and do fun things, i still have that nagging that its ok but i'd still rather have my baby.

Michelle said...

I could not get through that book. As much as everyone said I should.

This made me laugh " For fuck's sake, we all know a KuKd momma can't act TOO happy, or society will get suspicious of you for getting over your losses too quickly!" so true because your damned if you do and damned if you don't. Either your dwelling on it or it is too soon.

I really like all that you are doing. It is something I really need to strive for...to live in the moment. It is tough when you want something so badly.

Anyway, I have to really talk my husband into getting into the hunk contest...he's shy. :)

the misfit said...

Delighted to hear the lingerie had a happy ending.

And I completely agree with you about appreciating the little things. My problem is that, even before IF, I was a classic type-A, hypertensive, non-little-things-appreciater. But I HAD MOMENTS. And since IF, it's only recently - maybe the last year - when I've occasionally been somewhere with my DH and realized, "Oh, I just want to drink in this moment. And it doesn't need to be improved by having kids!"

So I shall take your wise advice - and example - to heart. Or, try to!