missing socks and PMS

The other day, the husband asked if he could please wash his own clothes. This is not the first time.

He is missing two socks.

We have been through this before. Somehow he feels the laws of laundry should not apply to him. He believes his sock pairs should always remain intact, matched, and never lost or separated.

Why does he think his two missing socks is more devastating than the handful of socks the rest of us are missing??  I keep them, patiently waiting for the prodigal missing socks to return. You never know….

Supposedly, when he was single and did his own laundry, he never lost a sock. Big deal. He probably  had the time to stand  by the washer and dryer, counting socks as he transferred from one to the other, and congratulated himself daily on his perfect laundry record.

Over here, in real life…. things are not so orderly. I have teens that occasionally help, when forced, with laundry. I have a zillion children and between them a countless number of socks. Many of them now have the same sized feet, and wear similar colored socks. This is ridiculous. I know, I just KNOW there is a place inside the washer that destroys socks. Or transports them to an alternate universe. Like a black hole.

Anyway…. the point is…. he wants to do his own laundry because he really likes this pair of socks and now he only has one left. I’ve looked in everyones laundry. Everyones drawers. It’s totally missing.

So, probably yesterday wasn’t the best day for him to say this to me. I’m a little hormonally unbalanced at the moment…. and so ended up getting very snarky with comments about how I was still good enough to clean his toilets…and him doing his best to avoid an actual argument about my inadequate sock washing skills.

A talk with my sister helped me realize that I might be over reacting. Slightly. After all, he apparently is just talking about one thing, his socks… whereas in my mind, I’ve already taken his rejection of my laundry efforts as the first step in the eventual demise of our relationship.

Perhaps…. he still loves me. And he just wants to try keeping his socks together himself. I suppose that’s a possibility.

I didn’t have full insight until later today…. as I chose to eat a huge chocolate peanut butter cupcake and watch “daddy’s home” instead of working out….. and cried at the dance-off at the end. Then chased those tears with a piece of french silk pie.

Hormones. They are no joke.



Sometimes, boys don’t like you.



I had a conversation with my daughter and her friend during a “pre-college” lunch……

A conversation about boys. Something I’ve noticed about plenty of these girls…. they make excuses for boys who don’t call them, don’t respect them, don’t seem to like them.

Instead…. the boy must have “commitment issues”, and deep down, he’s desperate to get closer. He’s scared…. he’s just really, really busy…., or he just needs more time….

I’ve heard these girls talking to each other, sharing their problems, and giving advice. Advice that centers on believing that this boy in question actually is quite interested in you, is most likely desperately in love with you, but somehow struggling with some huge barrier to being as available as he wants.

Maybe he’s a werewolf? secretly married?

Or, how about… as much as it sucks to hear it…..

He’s just NOT that into you. (by the way, a GREAT movie.)

So, during my lecture I recount a couple instances in my life, in my short dating history, when I found myself chasing after a guy….. who turned out to be not that into me.

One of them was older than me, he was 21 to my 17. Not a great gap in my mind…but he was far more mature in many ways. He dated me, treated me with great respect, let me meet his family….. but freaked out if anyone called me his girlfriend. I was NOT his girlfriend.

So, of course I felt I NEEDED to be his girlfriend, the one and only……

He was dating another couple girls as well, girls from his college. It drove me crazy, I cried over him… I kept thinking to myself that I MUST be important because his mom liked me, his sister liked me, and he did continue to call me, sporadically. I wanted to believe so much that I was going to “win”, and that I just had to keep hanging on……

It fizzled out.

To his credit, he knew it wasn’t going anywhere. He talked about our age difference, how we were in different places in life, I thought I could talk him out of that silly stuff. Thank God. I appreciate now, that he was the older and wiser one. He saw me for the desperate, hormonal teenager that I was, thinking I knew what I wanted in life. He knew I had no clue, and never took advantage of that.

Then there was the guy who seemed to like me, and then one day….stopped talking to me. This one really drove me crazy. He had a reputation, the “bad boy” that girls just can’t seem to stop chasing after. He was also a few years older, and way more experienced.

Things were fine, I thought. We went out several times….it’s hard to remember the exact number. I do remember professing that I was NEVER going to have sex….EVER…. maybe once or twice to him. Thinking back…that might have been a reason he just dropped off the planet??

At first I didn’t get it. I paged him. and paged him. and paged him. (yes, it was so long ago, that we used pagers instead of cell phones…) One day turned into two, then three. My frantic calls and pages tapered off…. and one day my cousin came home and told me she saw him with another girl.

The part that killed me was that lack of knowing… I don’t know what I was hoping to find out, now it seems pretty clear, the guy just didn’t want to waste his time.

I should not have repeatedly called and paged him after realizing that he was not going to be calling back.

I wish there was a way I could save these girls from making those same mistakes, or even worse mistakes-Just because they want a situation to fit their idea of how it should be. Just because they don’t yet realize they don’t need a boyfriend to be happy or successful. Just because they don’t have enough confidence in their own self worth.

This is why I am maybe too blunt when I talk to them.

“Girls!!! Trust me, if he likes you, and WANTS to get to know you….he will find the time. If not, please, don’t waste YOUR time!”



When mom grows up



Sometimes, moms find a desire to do things for themselves. This can mean putting aside time for leisure activities, or exercise, maybe lunches or dinners out with friends….. Sometimes this can mean going back to school, or getting a job after being home with the kids for possibly many years.

Sometimes, having mom not always available is a bit shocking to the family.

Sometimes, moms get blamed for being “selfish”, because she finds an outlet that she enjoys, like riding a bike for example…… and it makes her feel good about herself, healthy, strong, and energized.

I see this happening right now.

I see a mom I’ve known for going on 20 years, finally starting to care about herself a little bit. She was so introverted when I met her, never left the house other than to take the kids to school or other events around the kids. She was painfully shy, and lacked all self confidence. She was always at home, so if I called, she was available to talk. I got used to this, her being there, and always available.

But then….

Some things happened in her life, out of her control. Things that have shaken her up, and made her take a good long look at herself. She realized she could no longer depend on anyone else to care for her, while she cared for the kids. She realized she would need to become more self reliant, more interactive with the world, more able to care for the kids financially as well as emotionally and physically. To be a better mom, a stronger mom.

Fast forward say 5 years…..

She has changed. For the better. Grown in confidence, believing for the first time that she is worthy. Of happiness, of enjoying herself, of pursuing her interests. She is working, going to school, and participates in a cycling group where she is seen as a leader. For the first time she is willing to be noticed! She’s growing in so many ways.

As I say that, I can admit that I have complained and nagged her about how she’s “never” available for me anymore…I don’t even call the house, I call her cell. She’s busy!! I realize that I looked at her as my faithful friend, always there on standby if I needed to talk. How unfair of me to expect her to stay in her box, so I can take her out when I feel like it, and put her back when I’m done.

I know her kids, now a teen and preteen. I know how much she loves her kids, and how much time she has dedicated to them. So imagine how they feel seeing mom changing, doing new things, and not being home as much….ready and waiting them.

They feel abandoned.

I believe it’s scary for them, seeing her go through these changes. Maybe they wonder if it’s because she’s not happy just being their mom? Maybe she doesn’t love them enough? Maybe she loves herself more than them?

It is so hard for people to deal with change. And I wish her kids could understand her love for them has inspired many of the changes she is now going through. She wants to be MORE…for herself AND them. And change is hard for everyone. She is very stressed now, juggling a full schedule, and has cried over how much studying she has to do, wanting more time to do anything else! Her goal is to find a balance again……and she will, but it might take a while.

One day they will be older, and realize her efforts were not selfish. I hope they look at her dedication to school for what it was, a dedication to her family and an effort to be the best provider for them. I hope they remember the painstaking hours she spends-still-making the ridiculously amazing birthday cakes for them, always originally themed and requiring hours of hand numbing decorating, because she refuses to get store bought. I hope they realize her bike riding is right now her therapy, a healthy way to relieve stress, clear her mind, and strengthen her body.

I know as they grow, they will understand. But right now they don’t, and it’s painful for everyone as mom grows up.

But keep watching…….