Thursday, May 27, 2010

Simple Questions

On Monday, I went out to lunch with a good friend of mine, who in the past few weeks has started dating another very good friend of mine. We all hang out in the same group, and a lot of things in their situation reminds me of how Kev and I got together. I was asking her about how things were going, and she responded. We chatted for a bit, then she asked me something that really caught me off guard.

"How are things with Kevin?"

Things with Kevin are great. He makes me happier than anybody, and, despite a lot of madness in our lives this year, I've never for one second doubted that we should be married or that I love him more than anything else. I realized, though, that none of my girl friends had ASKED me about him in a really, really long time. It felt really, really, good to have some girl chats about how big of a crush I still have on him.

Why is that? Since we've gotten married, nobody has asked me anything about my boy. Sure, people ask how he's doing, what plans we have, how things are going with grad school or the condo. All of those things are fine, but nobody asks for the real dirt. It's almost like people are afraid to ask, or just not interested. If I've learned one thing about being married so far, it's that doing it doesn't solve everything or automatically imply happiness. Our marriage is about choosing to be happy, finding ways to continue to show each other that we're interested in dating them, even though we know we've signed up for being eachother's plus one at every event from here on out. I still get excited about finding the perfect weekend plans for us. I still put thought into what I wear and enjoy pondering new ways to surprise him. Just because you get married, the dating part doesn't stop. I miss being able to tell my girls about something he said that puzzles me, or about some way he surprised me.

When you're in a new relationship, people get excited to hear about the details, and when you're really happy, you want to share some things. However, it seems like getting married has put an invisible veil between me and some of my girl friends. Now, when I dish about something fantastic that we did, people roll their eyes. They say "well you're married, of course you went on an awesome date or wore the sundress he likes best on you for no reason at all." It's not true, though. Living together, making decisions together, can kill the excitement, and cause a real potential for things to be not fine. And when they aren't, well, that's when you sit and wish someone would give you the opening to talk about your struggles. Just as when you're happy, you wish you could share that without sounding like you're bragging.

I was so, so, relieved my friend asked me about how things are going. Not because they are going horrible, but because I'm so happy. Sometimes I need to talk about how things are to remind myself about how great I have it. Friends, if you're reading this, don't be afraid to ask. Don't assume that just because we're married we are different and somehow untouchable and don't have good dirt to share about life. We're married, we're not different. Don't forget to ask.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Little Problem

I almost got divorced this morning. Seriously, it was bad. In the process, I think I lost a lot of wife points, and am now plotting smart hockey things to say while feeding Kevin Beam-and-7ups when I see him this evening. I am in that much trouble. Yipes.

One of the fundamental problems in Kevin's and my relationship is our opposite approaches to the mornings. Kevin leaps out of bed, happy and well rested, and tackles 7 projects at once. He chats with the cats, tries to chat with me, and whistles a happy song as he thoughtfully chooses the appropriate attire to wear for the day.

Me? Not so much. I cannot emphasize enough how much I hate mornings. I am a total beast to deal with, and after hitting the snooze button as many times as humanly possible, I stagger out of bed, rifle through piles of clothes until I find the easiest thing to wear, and stumble around blindly, muttering about how miserable I am. I'm like the hunchback of Notre Dame and Medusa combined. It's simply awful. It's also a good thing I live so far from my work and have to leave earlier than Kev on weekdays, because I need a good hour of silence and staggering before I'm able to morph back into my usual awkward and giggly self.

In the past, we've had several discussions about the use of the snooze alarm. Kevin uses it maybe one time if he stayed up a little to late the night before. It's an emergency situation only tool. I, on the other hand, consider every time I have to wake up to an alarm clock an emergency, and accordingly hit the snooze at least four times. There's just one little problem-the alarm clock is on Kevin's side of the bed, and he's a big guy. I can't hit the alarm without him waking up. He is less than pleased with the whole arrangement, to say the least.

This morning, the alarm went off, and I drowsily asked Kevin what time it was.

"5:50," he replied, "Time for you to get up."

"WHAT?!" I responded.

"Yeah," he said. "I thought I would just set the alarm later to let you sleep longer since you've been so tired lately."

Now, I realize that in theory it sounds like a kind and thoughtful thing for Kevin to do. Knowing I've been super busy and exhausted, he thought an extra 20 minutes of uninterrupted sleep would give me a little boost- a chance to let my batteries re-charge a little longer, and attack the morning a bit more happily.

What Kev failed to take into account is that I am physically incapable of exiting the bed without a little doze. So, I asked him to hit the snooze KNOWING I had to get up right that second, which meant I did not get out of bed until 6. I have to leave the house at 6:25 to make the train ride up to my school. What followed was a prime example of bad behavior on my part. I stumbled, I cursed, I ranted, I raved, I even yelled at the cats for moving my shoes in the middle of the night. I left the house feeling panicked, and barely made the train. Worst of all, Kevin woke up after my fifth stage-whisper of a terrible curse word, and got out of bed to help me find my shoes, school's t-shirt, and lunch. I am officially a horrible person.

Marital Lessons Learned:
1) I should have the alarm clock on my side of the bed.
2) I should never be allowed to speak before 8 a.m.
3) The only thing that allows me to survive the mornings is my routine. I do not handle disruptions well.
4) Surprises are not meant for mornings.

Wish me luck as I attempt to smooth this all over. Maybe I should buy Kev some nachos, as well.....

Friday, May 14, 2010

Reasons I Love My Job

Sorry for the delay in blogging, folks. The past few weeks have been jam packed with grad school fun, getting organized for the end of the year at work, and trying to maintain my marriage, sanity and health in between.
However, I feel like I'm slowly coming out of a fog, and I have something delightful to post to you about- kindergarteners.

For the past few years, I had taught second and third grades, and the move to kindergarten was unrequested. At first I was really nervous about being able to teach them well, about trying to help them learn and grow and become decent human beings that wouldn't cry all the time or wet their pants a lot. For the most part, I've been somewhat successful, and I've really been surprised by how much I've enjoyed my lil' peanuts this year. Now that we are mostly reading and writing, I'm so impressed by how much they've learned in nine short months. I've also discovered another use for them.

You see, a few months ago, I had a friend named Katie who was going through a rough time. I also had a mail project to teach, and we needed to practice writing letters. So, I had my kiddos write Katie some letters to make her feel better. They sent her advice such as "Don't forget to take your dog for a walk," "We can share your toys together," and "I hope you feel better and more smiley." The letters have since been passed around to our group of friends, and have become legendary. Last weekend, my friends and I started planning a beginning of summer outdoor dinner party for 20, and I decided that rather than writing out invitations myself, I should once again put my kids to good use and have them write the invites.

Today, I spent some time with my kids asking them to help me. I told them I needed good writers and good helpers to create some invitations for a party, because Chef Colin would be too busy cooking to make sure people could come. I put the pertinent information on the board, and told them they needed to make sure all of the words were on their paper, and to add some decorations that would really make people want to come to a party.

Some of us really understood the directions and made Hallmark worthy notes, while others got carried away with the decorating and fanciness of it all. Still others seem to have missed the boat all together. I'll let you decide which are which. Hopefully, you will have equally festive and delicious parties in your future this weekend. Happy Friday!