Monday, July 19, 2010

Suck It, Barbie

So, I've been running. Well, I call it running, but it's more of a mishmash of running (1%), jogging (85%), walking (10%) and limping (4%), combined with a LOT of sweating, a plethora of cursing and so much head shaking (as to why exactly am I doing this god awful activity) that I get dizzy.

Not only am I running, but I get up early to do it. Yet another conundrum in my world. I am the furthest thing from a morning person. Hell, I'm barely an afternoon person and only a semi evening person. I'm a sleeping person. And yet, 4 days a week, I get up early, like in the 5am region, to go for a run. My husband is both amazed and impressed that I'm doing this. That makes me feel a little better.

When I am out on my runs, I happen upon various specimens of humanity. Take this past Saturday. As I trudged through 12 miles of humidity and wind, I encountered:

1. Creepy Guy. Chances are good he was perfectly harmless, but he was out for a walk at an early hour, wearing long pants and a grungy t-shirt. I noted all distinguishing features, noted my escape route and picked up my pace a little. I'm sure I had my bad ass expression on too, so even if he was Creepy Attack Guy, he knew he couldn't take me.

2. College Girl. She was adorable in her ponytail, fresh face and ipod. She didn't know what a wrinkle was, most likely had no kids at home waiting for her return, only had to wash her own laundry, didn't know the benefits of 2-day old coffee and had yet to experience her first gray hair. She said hello pleasantly and went on her merry way. She made me a bit wistful.

3. Middle-Aged Lady. I don't really know what middle-aged means, because for some strange reason that particular age gets further away the older I get. I don't think I'll ever reach it. In my world, middle-aged is like my mom's age. This lady was a little heavier set, rockin' the arm weights, doing her morning exercise. It looked like it was a new routine for her, like she was doing her best to get healthier but wasn't about to not eat that baked potato at dinner that night. Rock on Middle-Aged Lady. Good for you for working out and doing your thing.

4. Victoria Secret Model and Abercrombie Man. You know these two...the chick in the size 0 super short shorts and running bra and the bronzed dude sporting an 8-pack and sunglasses. They bopped along, perfectly timed, glistening in the sunshine. If they were dead white, I swear they would've been vampires. I just shook my head and kept sweating.

5. The Mom. We ran past each other twice. We both wore determined faces and you could tell we were both trying to enjoy some alone time, but instead, were making various lists in our heads. We sort of smiled at each other, shook our heads in the "can you believe we got up early to do this" way that only 2 non-runners can easily interpret and moved past each other, each thinking, "I wonder how much shit she has to do when she gets home."

6. The Barbie. This was the 45-year old woman with the blond ponytail, swinging in timed perfection. She had on a pink tank and black bike shorts. Her stomach was perfectly flat and I instantly hated her. Yeah, I know, she probably hasn't had a kid in the past 5 months, but still. It's the principle of the thing. A woman 10+ years my senior should not have pants smaller than mine. It's simply wrong and it makes me bitter. It made me even more bitter when she wished me "Good Morning" in a voice so chipper and sweet it made my teeth ache. I wished her a good morning as well and continued on my run. As we went on our merry ways, I comforted myself with the following thought:

Well, maybe she's actually only 23 and never had a child and just looks REALLY old.

It could happen, right?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Guilt Free Parenting

Yesterday was a day at my house. Yes, I realize it was, for all intents and purposes, a day at everyone's house, but it was one of those days at my house. The girls were coming down from a sleepover/birthday party high, which means a little extra brattiness, a little extra sass and a whole lot more arguing over who gets to play with the new toys. I was exhausted from hosting the birthday party, the house needed to be re-cleaned, the children still needed to eat at regular intervals, I lost the 3-hour potty training poop battle I had raging with my 2 year get the picture. By 3pm, I was cranky and didn't want to do anything other than sit down with my book and a glass of wine. I gave serious consideration to calling the high school girl who sits for us on occasion, just so I could get away from the noise for a couple hours. But, it was a little late to call her, so I hopped on Facebook for a few minutes and ended up IM'ing for a few minutes with a friend down in AZ. Getting a little adult interaction helped quell the crabbies. My friend doesn't have kids, but she did live with me for a few years, so she understands my natural introversion and the necessity of naps in my world. As I rarely get a nap these days, I think she's just impressed my head isn't doing an exorcist move most days.

After a quick chat, I slathered up the girls in sunscreen, turned on their new Hello Kitty sprinkler, put the baby down for a nap, grabbed my book and poured a glass of wine. I felt a little guilty about it. My husband worked like a crazy man all last week and this week he's doing it again. His job is very physical and he comes home tired and sore pretty much every day. He rarely works less than a 10 hour day and here I was, with my book in hand, sipping some Chardonnay. Sure, I felt a little guilty. But then I thought: So what? A little guilt isn't going to make this day any worse at this point. I need a little break and I'll be damned if I'm not going to take it. I'm going to sit here, relax for a bit, let the kids play and then get dinner started. I'm not totally checking out for the evening. Just for an hour or so. That's reasonable, right?

So, I took my "break", got interrupted about 7,000 times and the day continued as it always does. The world did not come to a screeching halt because I read my book for a few minutes and wasn't 100% immersed in the land of 2 and 3 year olds.

And maybe a little guilt isn't really that big of a deal. Hell, I was raised Catholic...I've got it down by now.

By the by, my friend also sent me this link last night. Perfectly topic appropriate, right?