Being a goof

Accepting adult responsibilities can be so dull.  Being a parent requires even more careful action.  I can’t just be a silly bum all the time because my children do, in fact, need a few positive role models.

That doesn’t mean, though, that I can’t goof off.  And recently, I’ve been doing it a lot.  It feels great.

Can you tell I’m not the only one?  Katie insisted that Drew needed to wear the crown.  Because he’s a prince.

I actually have quite a collection of crowns in the house. Two competition crowns I was gifted by my mother and then a bunch of plastic tiaras.  Doesn’t everyone need one?

Okay, scratch that. Not everyone needs a tiara.  But everyone does need the chance to unwind and be a goof.  Some people are not easily prone to doofus-hood, but anyone without a quirk is a dull boy or girl. Bor-ing.  And maybe even devastatingly unhappy.

I like to dance like a maniac. Preferably to the song Maniac (you know, that “Flashdance” song where Jennifer Beals spins in wild circles shaking her head like a…well…maniac).  I like vulgar humor.  I like watching fat people reality shows (usually while eating fried Chinese food).

At a book club meeting recently, I brought an Augusten Burroughs book that features funny essays. One of them is particularly disturbing and includes a bit about hardcore pornography.  I realized while talking about how hilarious I found the book that I have a pretty liberal sense of humor.  That I’m tickled by things that might horrify others.

But that’s okay.  It’s my own thing to like that kind of humor. To cackle like a madwoman, enough to frighten my children into uncomfortable laughing of their own.  While they wear their tiaras. And dance like maniacs.

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March 19, 2011. Tags: , . Getting happy. Leave a comment.

Will my soul survive the suburbs?

Fair question. Really, I swear.  I grew up in Memphis, TN.  No, not in Germantown or Olive Branch.  In midtown Memphis in the heart of the city.  I went to college in that haven of urban grit Baltimore, MD.  After that, though, I moved to Golden, CO, for a little less than a year.  That introduced me front and center to the suburbs.

Sure, I’d been exposed to some of it before that. My dad and his family built a home in Kennesaw, GA, getting to decide such things as where to put the garage (left or right), the finish (stucco or brick–only the front mind you, since the rest was all siding), or other little things.  Really, their house looked exactly like everyone else’s in the neighborhood.

Around the same time as my college graduation, my mother moved to Metairie, LA, and lemme tell you.  Metairie consists of miles and miles of homes that look alike.  Block after block of 70s ranch houses. It’s easy to get lost.

But I always said that really raw urban life was for me.  After my time in Golden (which was glorious in many ways–mountain life was fun, even though I don’t remember much of it. I worked at Coors Brewing Company.  Two words: free beer. ‘Nuf said.), I moved back to urban life, always living in midtown areas.  I love the traffic, the stores, the dirt.

In Kansas City, however, it’s not working for our family.  We live in the Northeast area north of Independence Avenue.  It is wonderful in many ways. Beautiful homes with lots of character, people trickling into the neighborhood and buying old Victorian houses that need some TLC.  Our rental is one of those houses.  Our landlord has done some work to it, but it’s not finished.  Can’t beat the price.  Heck, we could even buy this house if we wanted!

We don’t want to buy it.

We’d like 4 bedrooms.  We’d like a big yard.  We’d like for Ryan to be closer to work.  We’d like for us to have good schools for the kids.

So we’re moving to the suburbs.  Well, I should qualify it.  First of all, we’re not moving yet. We haven’t even put in an offer on the house we like.  But we’re headed to the agent’s office this afternoon to put together the paperwork.

This house has 4 bedrooms, a nice yard, a decent commute (with access to public transit! YES!), and great schools, one of which is merely around the corner.  So we’re making a move.

Will this compromise hinder my “process”? NOPE. It will help. Sure, I won’t get my 4 story Victorian mansion (which I could have here in Northeast. Yes, I could), but I’ll get a fixer-upper I can make my own.  I’ll get convenience. I’ll get a safe grocery store.  I’ll get Ryan commuting less.  Lucky me.

March 9, 2011. Tags: , , , . Getting happy. Leave a comment.

No doubts

I’ve learned this week that not getting the house in order is OK. I’m still working on it, but just getting *ready* to get things straight is helping my attitude.  Wearing a little makeup.  Having my hair blown straight.  Flossing regularly.  I don’t feel like such a louse even if the baby is demanding to be nursed almost all day.

But what comes next?  I got an email from Career Builder with 10 jobs that I could easily take, although I won’t assume I would easily be offered, so should I go back to work?  Has this whole process been a little too quick and easy?

No. I don’t think so yet.  Not even close.

This month’s Vanity Fair features an article on the Twilight star Robert Pattinson.  He complains a lot about all the press he receives.  Having a beer at a bar in peace is a challenge.  Although he admits to how ridiculous it is to complain about fame, he feels most concerned by the people who claim to know all about him. How is that possible when he doesn’t even know himself?

That got me thinking about whether I know myself very well at all.  What makes me tick?  What bums me out?  I have announced in public that I don’t give a rat’s about what people think about me. That. Is. Bunk.  Though I do feel much more comfortable in my own skin at age 30 than I did at 18, that doesn’t say much considering how outrageously UNcomfortable I was as a teenager and young adult.

So what do I do about this?  I think for now that I’m just going to make a concerted effort to observe my own behavior closely.  When am I most relaxed?  When am I biting my nails like crazy?  And when do I regret my knee-jerk reactions?  My life is not a tragedy, but maybe a little deliberate living will help it become as happy as I’d like.

March 5, 2011. Tags: , , . Getting happy. Leave a comment.