Please… no one give the man a microphone at my next wedding.

I’ve had the epiphany that every close relationship I have in my life is unconventional for the title. Gail isn’t just a friend and Gramma isn’t just a grandma. My dad and I are no different. The best way to explain my father is to admit that I watch Tim Allen in Last Man Standing, because it reminds me of him, as does every other Tim Allen character. Even Buzz Lightyear grossly exaggerated everything. Yeah. That’s where I get that.

My dad wasn’t in my life during my teen years. If he had been, there might have been structure and actual parenting involved, and my whole world would be different. But I like my life, despite the parts I leave out of the fantasy tale I accidentally spun for my coworkers. I also love my relationship with my dad. While I will be ‘kiddo’ until the day he stops dropping his G’s, I have a strangely adult bond with him with no Freudian context. Perhaps this is because I’ve not considered him a true authority figure since I was 12, so I don’t have to watch my mouth or my thoughts. Perhaps it’s because he gave me his humor in addition to his laugh. It’s probably a combination of things, including its age, as we started to grow close again when I was about 19. It’s becoming less tentative now as we have weekly lunches and even the occasional text conversation, but as cherished as it is, it’s not exactly from a country song and I don’t know if I’d change that. It’s foundation is simple: the things that shouldn’t be said… and the things that should.

timtool time

buzz lightyearscott calvin

 – These are all direct quotes. –

The Things That Shouldn’t Be Said:

Talking about step-mom’s birthday.
Me: “Yeah, I was going to send her an E-card as a joke, but I wasn’t sure if it would be too much.”
Dad: “What was it?”
Me: showing him phone
fifty birthday

Discussing the family drama that had pissed him off because it made his little girl cry, and the cause, a woman who has a bad habit of discussing far too personal things.
Me: “Why would I even want to go to her stupid Thanksgiving dinner? So she can talk about her clitoris over turkey?”
Dad: “As far as I”m concerned, the best part of her ran down her momma’s leg.”
Please… no one give the man a microphone at my next wedding.

Me: “Ugh. I’m never getting married again. If I decide I want children, I’ll either get in vitro or pick up somebody in a bar. Just what you want to hear from your daughter, right?”
Dad: laughs “Yeah. Exactly.”
Me: “Yeah, Gail gets mad at me for saying ‘trolling for dick.'”

Me: “So I called Gail and told her ‘We’re gonna be WEINER BUDDIES!'”

Dad: “Hell, just go write yourself a Fifty Shades of Grey book and make millions.”
Me: “Dad, I’m not so sure you want me to go out and get the experience it would require to write that.”
Dad: “Well, shit, apparently she didn’t know what she was talking about either.”

Over lunch, my brother had just said that he didn’t believe a priest could keep a vow of celibacy, as I sat next to my dad.
Me: “Why’s that so hard to believe? I don’t have sex with people I don’t love.”
Brother: “Yeah, but for the rest of your life?”
Me: “Yeah, if I don’t find someone I care about, probably.” not lying or being pious… have deep-seated emotional issues
Brother: “Yeah, well, I’m a man and I don’t believe men can give up sex like that. Men are different.”
Me: a little too loudly in a restaurant “Oh, my ass! Just because I have a vagina, doesn’t mean I don’t like sex!”
Dad: roars with laughter “I always said your sister could stand up for herself.”

My dad holds a high-level blue collar position with the electric company, but still has to climb poles when the weather’s bad.
Me: “I love you, daddy. Be careful in this. Don’t fall off a pole or anything. Make me your sole benefactor if you do.”
Dad: laughing “Alright.”
Me: “You know what I always tell Bea. When you die, I get more.”

Dad: “I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna buy my Kimber.”
Me: “Oh, you are so full of shit. You’ve been talking about buying that gun for two years now. My ass.”

– These are all direct quotes, too. –

The Things That Should Be Said:

I was 9. It had just hit me what aging was. Time was passing and I couldn’t stop it. I was sitting on my bed and bawling my eyes out, while watching a home video.
Dad: “What’s wrong?”
Me: “I want to be a baby again!”
Dad: stunned silence for a beat as he hugs me “Well, hell, I wish I was 10 years younger, too.”

Me: Knock on door
Dad: “Well, hey kiddo, whatcha doin’?”
Me: “I’mgettingadivorceI’msorryIruinedChristmas.”
Dad: “Do what?”
Me: “I’m getting a divorce. I’m sorry I ruined Christmas.”
Dad: hugs me as I burst into tears “You did not ruin Christmas.”

Me: defeatedly “What about me is so terrible that it makes the people in my life who are supposed to love me want to hurt me… my husband… my mom? What did I do to make God want to punish me?”
Dad: “Hey, now. There is nothing wrong with you. The only thing you did wrong is let these people hurt you. The rest is on them.”

Crying hysterically over the phone after failing my graduate portfolio
Me: “I don’t want you to be disappointed in me.”
Dad: “Hey, you listen to me. No matter what you do, I could never be disappointed in you.”

Dad: “My biggest regret in life is that I didn’t take both of you kids when I left.”

Me: “Never again will I be with someone whom my family doesn’t approve of.”
Dad: “Now, I don’t wanna hear that shit. I want you to be with someone who makes you happy.”
And that is precisely why I’d trust his judgement.

The blog post is coming from inside the bathtub.

So, Gail finally came back from North Carolina. We hadn’t hung out in a week, exactly, and I was getting the shakes. She quickly pointed out, however, that that might have been for another reason entirely.

Me: “I found the best blog while you were gone. You should have read this at your dead grandma’s funeral. It would have been a lot better.”
Gail: “Wow. I can tell you haven’t really been sleeping lately.”
Me: “Whatwhy?”
Gail: “Because the less you sleep, the faster you talk.”
Me: “Huh. Iguess I hadn’t reallythought aboutit. I didgoto bed ataround 3:00, 2:30 lastnight?”
Gail: “And got up at, what, 7:00?”
Me: “Um. Yeahactually.”

I’ve since realized that I must just be really stressed over the whole graduate portfolio thing… so much so that I needed Gail to tell me so. That might also be why I haven’t been eating. Is that not the coolest fucking stress reaction ever? I get a Masters degree or my life is over and I get skinnier?!?!? So it begins… my stress-induced insanity. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the summer of 2011 required I be medicated from a concussion to get any sleep during finals. The spring semester of 2012 ended with me propped up on a bunch of pillows, trying to drown out all distractions as I worked on my final project… from behind the closed shower curtain in my empty bathtub… sucking my thumb and crying. Seriously. If you’re thinking about getting a master’s degree: stop it. The thing is… that was in May. It’s fucking February, y’all. I deliver my portfolio in mid-April and I have already taken up my post in the empty bathtub, where my blog can apparently still distract me. Psh. Whatev. I only care about the ends. Fuck the means. Apparently, Gail and I have funnier conversations when I’m high on exhaustion and we haven’t hung out for a week. We had a late lunch (a side salad for me) and visited the art supply store today.

Gail: referring to demands on her time “They all get a piece of Gail.”
Me: “We’ve known that for years now.”

Me: “I’ll give you $5 to bark mid-orgasm the next time you have sex with Terry.”
Gail: laughing “It’s not like I can control whether or not I bark mid-orgasm…”
Me: laughing hysterically “Can I quote you on that?!?! ‘It’s not like I can control whether or not I bark mid-orgasm.’ Abigail Frederickson.”
Gail: “That’s not what I meant!”
Me: “It’s not like I can control whether or not I bark mid-orgasm. Really, though, Gail… can any of us?!? That’s going on your dad’s quote of the day calendar.”
I’ve been threatening to make this calendar for ages.

huge mirror

Me: “Why would you want this one? Is it for when you get really fat and tall?”
Gail: “I like the really sizable ones. Okay, get ready to say ‘We’ve known that for years now.’ I like them sizable.”

pretty bathroom

Gail: “Why would you hang a picture in your bathroom of a prettier bathroom?”
Me: “Maybe you could get a couple of the mega mirrors and make it look like you are in that bathroom.”

not plush egg

Me: “Oh, my gosh, these look like they should be plush and I just felt a moment of complete rage when I realized they weren’t.”
Gail: “You’re insa… oh, my gosh, they do look plush.”

glitter testicle

Me: “Ohmygosh. I have the strongest urge to just go all out and decorate for Easter in glitter testicles.”

Me: “That beef jerky had better be made out of fucking unicorn meat for $10. I doubt you could eat unicorn meat, though. It seems like it would be like polar bear meat and just be toxic to your system, because it’s mythical and you’d die.”
Gail: “Wait. What? You can’t eat polar bear meat? Says who?”
Me: “Everyone. That’s like a thing everyone just knows.”
Gail: “No it isn’t.”
Me: “Yes it is. Just because you don’t know it, doesn’t mean everyone else doesn’t know it.”
I google it, because smartphones are bomb.
Me: making a placating guesture with my hand “Polar bear liver. I’m sorry.”
Gail: incorrectly imitates hand motion “What, is that some kind of ‘nuh-huh!’ gesture?”
Me: “No. That’s ‘calm yourself’. But see. I was right and you’re just stupid. You die if you eat polar bear…” :drop voice to a whisper: “livers.”
still scrolling through phone
“Polar bears aren’t able to force geese into extinction and science is really upset about it! Or they’re taking note of it. I guess it doesn’t elaborate on their feelings. They should be upset about it. Wait. If polar bears are some kind of natural predators to geese, we need to get us some fucking polar bears up in here!”
Gail: “Oh, my God. Are you listening to yourself? You are insane when you haven’t been sleeping. ‘We need to get some fucking polar bears up in here!'”

I have an intense Once-Cried-at-the-Zoo-at-Age-23 fear of birds, particularly geese. We have too many fucking geese here.

Fuck. I am being super unproductive. Even in the bathtub.

studying in bathtub
Where might one come by some cocaine?

“Marry me, eh?”: Post-Christmas Empowerment

How long until the Christmas tree can just be considered to be up really early? I mean, it’s a new year. Christmas 2013 may be a long way away, but Christmas 2012 was last year. I’ve just got a jump start.

I have this really loud laugh. Gail calls it a cackle. My guys compare it to the sound of a dolphin. It’s my dad’s laugh. Fucking bastard. I say that in jest. I love my daddy.

Guy in bar: “I love your laugh.”
Me: drunk and aware that this is a line “Really? Because no one else does.”

Twice this week, I’ve laughed loudly and uncontrollably in restaurants. Both times have been with Gail and about things that we shouldn’t discuss in public.

discussing anal sex, which I’ve told Gail she only likes because it “makes her grandma cry”/is tabboo
Gail: “You know… the thing that makes my granny sob.”
Me: “You call it your granny?”

This lead to maniacal giggling and disgusting jokes about how you could create euphamisms for not having sex, such as “My grandma has a nose bleed.”

The second time was at McDonald’s. Both of us are nervous about this country’s future and I was looking up the requirements to move to Canada the other day. Gail talked about it as well, because we’re oddly attached to one another.

Me: “I highly doubt I’ll ever move that far from Gail and if she moves away, I imagine I’ll follow and I don’t care if everyone in the family thinks I’m a lesbian because of it.”
Dad: “Hey, I don’t care either way.”

My redneck daddy told me he doesn’t care if I’m a lesbian. Awwww. I mean, I’m not, but still…

So, I told Gail that Americans always say “I’m moving to Canada” as a threat (not so much me, as I’m actually intersted in Canada), because we’re stupid. It’s  apparently really difficult to move to Canada.

Me: “I imagine if I wanted to, I might be able to get a visa based on my education, which is apparently a thing. Otherwise, I’d have to find a job where they want me badly enough to go through the trouble to help me get a work visa.”
Gail: “Which means it would be really difficult for me to work for their postal service.”

(I’d like to interrupt to clarify that we’re not packing our bags for Canada. We come up with these schemes all the time. We’ve already moved to North Carolina, Colorado, Oregon, and New Zealand in our heads.)

Me: “Not necessarily. You see, I was thinking, gay marriage might be legal in Canada. They’ll allow you to move there with a spouse. So… I move to Canada and then…”
Gail: “I think I would rather stay here under The Regime than be your wife.”
Me: “Come on. It’s not like we have to be practicing lesbians. We’d just be lesbians on paper. Marry me, eh.”

Then Gail tore the corner off some trash and gave it to me like a ring, as she once had a dream where her ex-boyfriend proposed to her that way and I make fun of her for it all the time. She then told me that she thinks that vaccinations are possibly just the United States government running experiments on us and she’s aware that she’s completely paranoid, but still. I interrupted her for my faux crying panic impersonation of her.

Me: mock hyperventilating “Oh, my gosh! We didn’t land on the moon! We didn’t land on the moon and now I’m going to have to move to Canada and be your lesbian wife because of it! Do we have to consumate this marriage? Is that even possible with lesbians? Does that even count? How do lesbians even consumate anything?!?!?!”

When we joke around, there’s always this point where we’re giggling like crazy over something that’s not even funny, because we’ve both gone off the deep end. We call this a Rice Cubes moment, not because we’ve ever giggled like maniacs over the phrase, but because we would. Once, when I was heartbroken over some mommy issues, she tried to cheer me up by mentioning this.

text message
Gail: Rice cakes!
Me: Um… I think it was rice cubes.
Gail: Oh. You’re right. I was trying to cheer you up, but I guess that was just a snack.

Surprisingly, that worked.

I’ve been writing this blog on and off through the day while taking breaks from taking down my Christmas tree. At the moment, I’m lying in my living room floor, surrounded by Christmas lights and storage boxes, struggling to type with a Band-Aid on my finger so I don’t get blood on the keyboard. This shit is hard, y’all.

When I put up the Christmas tree, there was a point where it was on the floor in pieces, along with a lot of broken glass. I ended up crying on the couch texting Chad to come help me put it up, because I’d accidentally broken the stand and couldn’t get the new one on. I was pretty pissed that I couldn’t get the tree up on my own. I also knew I’d pay for that glass. But you know what? I got my tree down all by myself. You wouldn’t think that would be empowering, particularly since I injured myself multiple times doing it, (and at one point dropped it on the dog) but I’m still getting the hang of this Solo Woman single girl thing, so I’m pretty fucking proud. One day, I’ll surely find a nice boy to help with my Christmas tree, but on that day, I won’t doubt that I could’ve handled it alone. Go me.

christmas tree on judeHe did not even care.

decorated judeSo I pushed the tree aside and decorated him.

Conversations with Mother f*$#%*% Teresa

This is us… giggling about vibrators.

I can tell Gail anything… at all.

Text Message
Me:Totally just sat down in the bathtub before testing the water. I think I burned my vag.
Me: – photo of bleeding knee –
Me: Most painful and unrelaxing bath ever. Next time I’ll just throw the hair dryer in.

We also know each other’s humor well enough that we never have to verify when we’re kidding, even through text messages.

Text Message
Me: My first dance at my next wedding will be to I Love the Way You Lie.
Gail: What next wedding?
Me: You’re right. Your first wedding should be your ONLY wedding.
Gail: Mhmm. That’s how good people wed.
Gail: “Second weddings are for lazy and uncommitted people.”
Me: “And sluts.”
Gail: “Yup.”
Me: “If anyone will have them.”

Me: referring to the idea of keeping girls out of boys’ sports “Girls can be anything they want to be, as long as it’s pink.”
Gail: raises hand for a high-five, as the last person who high-fives

Me: “Every time I see the words ‘egg product’, I want to kill myself and everyone in this IHOP… probably a bad week to joke about that, huh?”
Gail: “Yup. Probably.”

We never have to explain where our texts and thoughts come from, because of our constant running textersation.
Gail: “No clue why the beer with Jesus song is so popular.”
Me: “Ugh.I know. ‘If I could shoot the shit with Jesus… we’d probably talk about that lady’s tits.'”
Gail: “Purdy much.”

Where most people have a beating heart, Gail has the cuddliest little kitten instead. Not even a normal kitten, but like a sleeping one with a little bow. That would be fucking adorable. She’s the most nauseatingly genuine and giving person I’ve ever met, as the only 25-year-old who actually tithes 10% of her paycheck, not because Jesus told her to in the super religious Midwest, but because she thinks it’s the right thing to do. I always joke with her that she only hangs out with me so she can be the sweet one. It’s true. She loves being the sweet one.

Scene – IHOP a few weeks ago
Gail: points to a man in army gear “Can you bring me that gentleman’s check?”
Guy in army gear: “Thank you, ladies very much.”
Me: silent… totally pretending I helped

In actuality, I figured that clarifying that I did not, in fact, pay for this soldier’s meal would only make both him and Gail uncomfortable, seeing as how I bring the finesse and it would’ve gone something like this:
“It was her. I mean, I’m glad for what you did for our country, too, but I didn’t pay for your breakfast. I mean, I don’t really have the… thank you. Have a great day.”

Scene – IHOP, today, because Gail is the fucking Fairy Princess of IHOP
Gail: “Can you bring me the check of the table that was nicest to you?”
Me: feigned disgust “I’m Gail. I shit money. You see that woman over there? Can you tell her her cancer treatment’s been paid in full? I’m best friends with Mother fucking Teresa.”
Gail: laughing “What? I make the most money at a time of year when you should be nice to people, so I’m being nice to people.”
Me: “I’ve been plenty nice. Just buy my breakfast.”
Gail: laughs “No, thank you.”
Me: “Tis the season, Gail. Don’t be a cunt.”
Me: “It’s going to be awesome if it’s like $70. They ordered IHOP to go for the week.”
Gail: “‘Yeah, they were all equally nice, so I just put them all on one.'”

She actually just bought me lunch last week. The funny part is, Gail is the cheapest person alive. Last summer, she wore the same pair of broken $1 sunglasses for the entire season, explaining that you couldn’t tell they were broken, because her hair hid the missing temple (that’s what the ear piece is called and I taught you something). After breakfast, we went to The Dollar Tree.

Gail: “It just doesn’t seem warm enough.”
Me: “I don’t know what to tell you. You probably shouldn’t buy your winter wear from The Dollar Tree.”

Regardless of the fact that she makes me look bad, she’s my sister in every way that matters outside of a CSI episode.

Me: “See ya. Love you.”
Gail: “Love you, too.”
I have no idea when we started saying this to each other.
Me: “So, when did that happen?”
Gail: “I don’t know, but it probably has something to do with the reason people think we’re lovers.”
Me: “Nah. They probably just think we’re family.”

It’s fantastic to have this best friend thing going on as an adult. I’m blessed to have someone who knows all the stories, because she was there for them; someone in whom I can confide anything at all, with no judgement. Don’t worry. I return the favor. My jokes are all exactly that.

Friday: A Day in Quotes

Text message from Gail after reading my last blog entry
Sung to the tune of Proud To Be an American
“Oh, I’m proud to be a woman!
Well, at least I know I’m a ‘she’
And I won’t forget the men who died
To keep some rights from me
And I’ll gladly sit down next to you
And pretend I don’t know what to say
Well, there ain’t no doubt I obey my man
Let’s bake a pie today!”

Another text message conversation
Me: “D on 50: ‘I just skimmed through the sex for the plot.’ What plot? Did she read it or not?
Gail: “For real. That’s hardly possible.”
Me: “Seriously. It’s erotica. The ‘plot’ was tertiary.”
Gail: “I haven’t had plot in ages. I need some plot. Desperately!”
Me: “My mind is aching for it… deliciously throbbing for plot so thick and deep I can feel it in my soul.”
Gail: “Lol. Ew.”
Me: “You’re welcome for that. My kids are wondering why I’m laughing.”
Gail: “I don’t suggest explaining.”
Me: “Oops. Should’ve said so sooner.”

Boys are disgusting

Ward bends down to get my phone after I get in C’s truck
Ward: “You dropped your phone.”
Ken: “Take a big whiff while you’re down there why don’t you.”
Jay: “Do I smell rotting fish?”

Ken: “Belle, you’re not gonna scream in this movie are you?”
Me: “No. I was just telling…”
Ken: “Chad, is Belle a screamer?”
laughter around the table
Me: “Yes… I am.”
They all rise to pretend to leave me at the restaurant

Discussing the book The Host
Me: “It’s not like Twilight. It’s written for adults and just a lot different.”
Jay: “What’s it about?”
Me: “It’s like the body snatchers from the view of the body snatcher. But like, this woman has two people in her at the same time so…”
Chad: starts cracking up
Me: “That’s not what I meant and you know it!”

Jay: “Like you’d know. You can’t even pass your portfolio.”

Ken: “Belle has crabs.”
Me: “I’d have to have pubic hair to have crabs.”

Me: “K, how does Twitter work?”
Ken: “You post twats.”

Me: “Ward, now if you get scared, you can always hold my hand.”
Ward: “I can’t wait!”
Me: yawn and stretch to put my arm around him

Ward: “This movie is disgusting. I’m about to walk out.”
Me: “If you want to leave and tell the guys you’re not feeling well, I won’t tell them otherwise.”

The screen pans over naked dead body parts
Me: “Look, Ward. At least you got to see boobs… twice. You’ve gotten to see FOUR boobs.”

Ward cringes
Me: “It’s completely illogical to bring that gun to kill a serial killer.”

Ward cringes more
Ward: “Who’s idea was this movie?”
Me: “Ken’s. That’s not even how bones work… or how skin works.”

Text to Gail under my coat
Me: “First horror movie in 3 years. Last horror movie in always.”
Gail: “What?”
Me: “I’m watching people get mutilated. A lot. A lot a lot. To the tenth power. That’s the plot.”
Me: “Like no joke. I am actually trying to comfort W.”
Me: “That movie made Saw a romantic comedy.”

After making them listen to Gilbert Godfried read 50 Shades of Grey on Youtube
Ken: “EW! Is this actually in the book?!?!”
Me: “Its…..” laughing… “word…” laughing…
Ken: “What?”
Jay: “It’s word for word.”
Ken: “Do you know how much porn I could watch in the time it takes me to read one page of that?”
I explain my opinion that reading it is better, because it’s pretend.
Ken: “PORN’S pretend!”
Me: “It’s real people doing… you know.”
Ken: “Pretending love. They’re just pretending love!”
Me: “‘Pretending love’?”
Ken: “People say ‘I love you’ in porn all the time!”
Me: “What kind of porn are you watching?!?”