If we went to lunch…

I love going to lunch with friends, catching up on all the good (and difficult, and crazy) things in our lives and spending an hour or so having a genuine heart-to-heart chat. In that spirit, if you and I went to lunch today, this is what I would tell you (this post idea is blatantly hoisted from Nilsa over at SoMi Speaks, btw):

I would complain about the pollen and my insane seasonal allergies and the cost of prescription strength (but not covered by my insurance) medication. I love the springtime blossoms, but I love the rainy days even more because it keeps the pollen on the ground where it belongs and not in my nose, eyes, throat, and sinuses. I may also tentatively suggest that winter stick around just a little longer; I hate the heat, am no fan of the sun, and definitely don’t mind snuggling up with some peppermint tea and a good book.

I would gush about how much I am enjoying my job. It’s not something I thought I’d get in to, or stick with for so long, but after 4 years I am dedicated and invested and I really love it. I have consistently asked for additional responsibilities and projects, and have been given the opportunity to prove what I can do. My to-do list is miles long, I stay late many evenings (balanced by no-work weekends and a few early-off Fridays), but I am happy; happier than I’ve ever been from an employment situation.

I would confide that learning to live with a boy full time has been…an adjustment. We are fine, that’s not what I’m trying to say, but I didn’t realize how much of a change it would be having Blue Eyes home every night. We are living together, really, for the first time, only without most of those honeymoon-y butterflies. They have been replaced with humorous (but also, sometimes kind of annoying) statements like “Why is your hair always clogging the tub?!” and “Is it so hard to just throw your dirty socks 2 more feet so they land in the hamper!?” and “Why is my towel wet? Did you use my towel?” We are learning and adjusting, but, um, it’s a lot of adjusting. Apparently we were both pretty set in our individual ways (and sock-throwing habits).

I would announce that last year I gave up sugar and carbs for Lent and I’m trying it again this year (but not for Lent, just, you know, for the last little while). It is both harder and not nearly as bad as I remembered. The harder part comes from the days where my planning leaves a little to be desired and I’m trying to eat on the fly and find something that fits into the “no pasta, no bread, no rice, no cookies, no corn, no carrots, no fruit, no sugar of any kind” restrictions. The easier part is that, oh yeah, this isn’t actually as bad as it sounds. Lots of veggies, protein every day, a small snack between breakfast and lunch. It takes planning, but it’s not difficult planning. (This is a short-term “cleanse” type of thing, not a forever diet change.)

I would sigh and admit that as much as I enjoy my job, I sometimes daydream about being one of those ladies of leisure, the type that goes to mid-morning yoga (or can go to yoga AND the gym any given day without making working out the only other priority in her life outside of the office), or sign up for a weekly painting studio session, or a cooking class, or go to long lunches with other leisurely ladies, and volunteer for a Good Cause more whole-heartedly, and sometimes, to be completely honest, to spend several days parked in front of Netflix with a bevy of sweet and salty snacks and a never-ending supply of Diet Dr. Pepper. I know that after a little while I’d crave the structure and workings of an office and co-workers and the projects I’ve spent the last 4 years contributing to; and I also know ultimately that a life of leisure would not make me happy. But GOODNESS, sometimes it just sounds so wonderful.

I would let you know that being a stepmom is hard. Not that hanging out with Blue Eyes’ kiddos is difficult, nothing like that. In our situation (kids live out of state, I see them every couple of months for a weekend and then a longer chunk of time in the summer and at Christmas) I see my role in many ways as closer aligned to that of a favorite aunt than that of a parent. And I’m really good at being the favorite aunt. No, for me the kids are not the difficult part. It’s Blue Eyes’ x-wife. For years she has been the biggest cause of angst and anxiety and rage for both of us (and, sometimes, between us). She is truly a piece of work; I try and keep most of the bullshit off the internet and in my therapist’s office, but DAMN, she is a particularly nasty brand of CrAzYtOwN. If you recall, this is the woman who told outrageous lies about me and my writing and, ultimately, bullied and badgered me into shutting down my old blog completely. I tell you, she’s a gem. And SHE is what makes being a stepmom so damn difficult, not Blue Eyes, not his kids, not the child support and other payments, not any of that kind of stuff, just her. All by her (nasty) self.

I would probably swoon over the fact that without necessarily intending to, Blue Eyes and I have taken a page from RA’s book on not scheduling social things for at least one or two evenings per week. Last week Blue Eyes and I had zero social obligations; we both worked late here or there, but there was no rushing to somewhere else, no faking happiness or lack of fatigue when we’d really just prefer a nap, and no trying to one obligation early to tray and catch the tail end of another one, and no pinchy pants or shoes. We’d come home, change directly into pajamas and just…be. To end the day with snacks and books and conversations and Netflix in jammies and fuzzy slippers for SIX DAYS IN A ROW…ohmygoodness, it was the most refreshing thing. Dear Self: Please Create More Evenings Free of Obligations. Love, Harriet.

How about you? If we went to lunch (or out for coffee, or whatever), what would you tell me?

Harriet sig

21 thoughts on “If we went to lunch…

  1. Nic

    If we went to lunch, we’d have to get another frozen hot chocolate. I’m just sayin’.

    I’d agree with you about pollen and allergies, and remark on my own 30+ year journey of sneezing misery and some of the things I’ve learned to do about it. (Be thankful you live in a dry state and not back east where allergies are a thousand times worse.)

    I think we could discuss photography. I know a thing or two, and I recognize the natural talent that you have for it. That would be good conversation and I think we could learn stuff from each other.

    I don’t know much about children or ex-wives, but I’d listen if you wanted to vent. I’d also question the whole no sugar or carbs thing you’re doing. That sounds especially horrible to me. I tend to believe in the “everything in moderation” idea, especially when it pertains to delicious things.

    I would also attempt to convince you to write a book. I feel it is long past time. 🙂

    1. Feisty Harriet Post author

      Allergies, man. THE WORST!

      I’d love to talk about photography!! And writing, although I’m probably more comfortable with photos because I feel it’s less vulnerable. 😉


  2. Meganhrh

    You have free evenings! Why am I not inserting myself more!? Actually, that is a fantastic idea and something that would be a really great idea for me. Yet I lack faith in my ability to do it because I’d probably freak out and come over to your house if I had a free night. 🙂

  3. audrey

    I would commiserate with you about the socks 2 feet away from the hamper, but regretfully tell you that it never really gets better. I’ve threatened to just not wash anything that’s not IN the hamper, but in the end I’m too nice to follow through and still go on my weekly scavenger hunt, gathering up socks from around the house. Marriage is all about sacrifices sometimes. 😉

    I’d tell you how happy I am that you’re happy in your job, and ask if you company might have a need for an offsite editor/writer in the Colorado area. Things at my job are…not great at the moment. Which sucks, because I used to really love my job.

    I’d tell you how amazing and hard it is having a new baby and a toddler in the house, and express my frustration at how it’s so damn windy all the time that we can’t get outside nearly as often as I’d like. I love my neighborhood so much, and don’t plan to move away, but, man, the wind out here drives me crazy sometimes.

    Mostly, though, I’d just be so thrilled to be having lunch with you. Let’s make it happen for reals someday, okay?

    1. Feisty Harriet Post author

      Once upon a time we had an off-site editor, but the department she (and I) worked for was disbanded and we went our separate ways. I’ll keep an eye out, though.

      I’ve never had a baby, or a toddler, and certainly not both, but from everything I’ve heard it is exactly as you say: amazing and hard. Sending hugs and wine.


  4. San

    Ugh. I hate that you have to deal with a nasty ex. I just don’t know why some people just can’t seem to grow up.

    Oh, and the thing about the leisure time… I just think it would be nice if we would get longer vacations in this country. I am sure you would be just fine if you had a little bit more time each year for leisure 😉

    1. Feisty Harriet Post author

      Yes. Exactly that. Some of her behavior is just so juvenile.

      And yes on extra vacation time!! I really feel that I would be far more productive during my work hours if I had more free hours, ya know?


  5. Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks

    Love that you lifted this idea from my blog, though I’ll be the first to tell you I wasn’t the originator of this idea.

    I have another friend who deals with a nasty ex (who lives in another state and has the kids almost full-time, minus a stretch in the summers) and it’s just so unnecessary. That totally bites. I’m sorry to hear it puts such a damper on life sometimes.

    If we were to have tea, I’d probably tell you I’m ridiculously exhausted. On top of work (which has been very busy lately) and momming a crazy-active 3-year old, I’m also President of our condo association board. And, while everyone really does a great job of jumping in to help out on all the projects, I have my fingers in every project. And it’s exhausting. On our plate this week: ridding our building of a little rodent problem (eiwwww!), getting our stupid broken buzzer system that hasn’t worked since November fixed and trying to track down an attorney we’re working with to push forward on a lease amendment to our by-laws (something that’s been on the books for us for well over a year).

    1. Feisty Harriet Post author

      Other people’s x-wives are the WORST. Seriously, I tell you. Blargh!

      I do not envy you your association board responsibilities, I get anxious just thinking about it!


  6. Katelin Bannan (@katelin)

    If we went to lunch I’d probably sneeze 15 times because my allergies are driving me bonkers as well. I’d also say I need a nap because I just can’t seem to catch up on sleep. I’d also tell you all about my new bathing suit and how it’s the most amazing thing ever and I don’t even remember being so excited about a bathing suit before, ha.

    1. Feisty Harriet Post author

      Yep, allergies, me too. They suck.

      I got a great swim suit a few years ago, and I was surprised at how much I immediately loved it! So, absolutely no judgement from me on your amorous feelings to swim wear!!! 😉


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