Pumpkin’s Demise

One day, long after I had moved out of my parent’s house, I received a phone call from my mother.

“Pumpkin has gone missing again. This time he’s been gone for two months straight. I don’t think he’s coming back this time.”

Pumpkin was our fat, orange cat. He was known to leave the house for weekends or weeks at a time for one reason and one reason only. He was a whore and had sexy cat business to attend to with the other kitties of South Berwick. We never knew where he went or what made him come back, but every so often he’d leave, get himself a good amount of tail, and then strolls back into the house innocently and starving, looking at us like, “What? Can’t a cat get a little ass once in a while without being looked at like a whore?”

I always found it amusing. I liked Pumpkin’s priorities in life, his inability to conform to society’s cat dwelling rules, his love of female cats of every flavor. If we could all have the life Pumpkin was leading, we’d probably all be thrilled.

A few weeks passed and I received another call, this time peppered with tears and sadness. It was confirmed. My mother had found Pumpkin by the mailbox, at the end of our driveway. His vacation filled with adventure and sex was over. Apparently, on his way home from bedding his latest hussy, probably that of the Calico or Siamese variety, he was hit by a car. Poor thing.

And so in realizing she had to bury our cat pumpkin, our mother did what seemed logical. She pushed a wheelbarrow a quarter mile down our driveway, out of the woods, out to the mailbox. She picked up Pumpkin, surely brushing him and talking to him while she placed him in the rusty, old wheelbarrow and pushed him back to the house. I know without even being there how traumatic and dramatic this one-woman processional back to the house was, as my mother is a feeler of all emotions, one of those Empath people, though her acceptance of feeling others’ emotional also extends to animals. Fucking bizarre talent to have, but she has it. I myself do not have such a talent. I can barely feel my own fucking feelings, forget those of other people and certainly not animals.

A bit later, she took the time to gently bury our resident bad boy in the backyard, with the other animals that expired early for one reason or another. We all felt badly, but since none of us had seen him in a while, I think we all preferred to pretend he was just out chasing tail. That and we didn’t live at home anymore and I think Pumpkin was at least ten, meaning we were over it.

And then I got another call.

Katie called me one day to update me on “a family development you will find very interesting.” There are very few family developments that are actually more interesting than disturbing, sad or fucking weird, so I was ready for anything.

“Pumpkin is back. ”

“I’m sorry, what? Pumpkin? Mom buried Pumpkin a few months ago. How’s he back?”

“Don’t know. He’s just back and you’re going to love this.” Oh, I knew I would. I live for these stories.

One day, while washing dishes in the kitchen, my mother sees Pumpkin, ten pounds lighter, ragged and crazy looking, prancing out of the woods toward the house. I think any other person on the face of the earth would have thought, oh, jesus, is that our cat? Or, Good god, I hope that ragged ass stray cat doesn’t think he’s coming towards this house. But no, no, that was not the reaction. Instead, my mother lost it, and called my sister to tell her that Pumpkin’s ghost was back, and that it waltzed right back into the house through the sliding glass door, as though the sliding glass door was a gateway back into the here and now. And so then he was Pumpkin again, not the ghost of.

“Woah, wait. So the real Pumpkin is back, and she buried Pumpkin’s doppelgänger? She buried the wrong fucking cat?”

“Yeah, someone else’s dead cat is in our backyard.”

Pumpkin ended up living a few more miserable years. That was his last whoring expedition, and the rest of his days were filled with stalking the front yard, hissing and spitting in the nastiest of manners and generally showing us all how ugly slow cat death can be. My sister ended up having to put him to sleep on day while my parents were away. It was about six months overdue, but we won’t ask her about that. That little story tends to cause a lot of family fighting, even though it is another great story. Maybe for another rainy day.

Rest in peace Pumpkin. You were always one of my favorites.

The Year of Silence

I saw him twice in The Year of Silence.

The first time was on Halloween, a few months after our blow up, and I was standing in line with two girlfriends outside of a bar, the bar we used to frequent together, dressed as Slutty Cowgirl, waiting to get inside to drink and dance the night away. It didn’t surprise me when I saw him walking out with her, leaving for the night early, I assumed I would see him, I had wanted to see him. Out he came, dressed as a sheep fucker, which to this day I have no idea why that is a thing, but I didn’t ask what it was about because one, what do you say to someone that has a sheep stuffed animal attached to their privates and two, he only offered a quick hello, a side glance and kept moving, his little twit attached to his arm, glaring at me the whole time. I’m not sure what she was, because she was basically just dressed as herself, a dumb fucking slut, and it was hard to differentiate from her daily slut wear, though she did resemble Little Ho Peep, which I suppose would make sense with the whole sheep thing going on. No part of their stupid couple outfit amused me and I pretended I didn’t care about their little exit, and went right back to flirting with Snap, Krackle and Pop, the three douchebags standing in line in front of us.

The second time I saw them was in the parking lot at our old apartment. I was there to pick something up and they happened to be standing there when I pulled up. We exchanged pleasantries, fake pleasantries, I wished she would die a painful and slow death in my head and they walked away. It made me sick. I hated seeing him, I hated seeing them, I hated him, I hated her. I hoped they both got hit by a fucking truck on the way to whatever miserable place they were off to.

I left, feeling defeated and tormented, and went back to my apartment for a night of binge drinking my sorrows away. I began my attempt at drinking a 12 pack, and lined up an evening alone with nothing but dramatic shows to watch. I wanted to own my sadness, I wanted to own everyone’s sadness, the whole wide world’s sadness, and so I started with Grey’s, dove face first into The Office and planned on ending the evening watching The Notebook until I burned a hole in that DVD.

I watched an episode of Grey’s Anatomy first, back when it wasn’t stupid, when Meredith and McDreamy couldn’t figure their shit out but spent a lot of time sharing silence and awkward sexual tension in elevators. You know which episodes I’m talking about. The ones where just as McDreamy would start to say something like, “About last night…” and Meredith would be all, oh my god, he’s going to finally ask me to stay, to be his, to be his person, and then the fucking elevator door would open and some ex wife of McDreamy’s would appear and ruin my life and Meredith’s.

I started to cry. I started to cry the ugly type of cry, and I was sobbing, and I was half laying off the couch, crying for Meredith and crying for me and my own McDreamy. WE WERE GREY’S ANATOMY WHY DIDN’T HE LOVE ME? I fumbled for the remote and flipped to one of my favorite episode of The Office, Season Two finale, Casino Night, obviously the one where Jim and Pam are standing outside and Jim finally tells Pam he loves her and they kiss and I had been waiting the entire season for that very perfect moment to happen and I was obviously Pam and I should have been kissing Chris in the darkness or at the very least some sketchy back alley in Dupont and I started to cry harder, making awful sobbing noises, now laying on the floor with my head down, snotting profusely into the dirty rug beneath me.

(In case there are people not as pathetic as I was, here is the clip of the turning point of Jim and Pam because it’s a good one and we will always be our own Jim and Pam and if there are people that don’t understand this, I’m sorry then, we can’t be friends. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNOVQoVNSCg)

I woke up the next morning at 4am with my clothes on, beer bottles laying on their sides next to me, the cat sitting on my face because she was an asshole. I woke up with an awful headache, the kind that pounds behind your eye sockets, like there’s a tiny, angry man standing in your ear, smashing your temple with a hammer. My heartache, though, was far worse than my headache. I was beginning to believe I’d never see him again. I’d never have my moment in the streets, a scene that involved drinking and declarations and How to Save a Life playing in the background as our film score. I WANTED MY FUCKING FILM SCORE WITH CHRIS.

And then there was hope.

It was May 27, 2006 and I was in the middle of attempting to arm bar a friend in a vodka fueled wrestling/kick boxing battle of extreme proportions. I was red in the face, wheezing and sweating profusely, refusing defeat as I was being bent into a sweaty and belligerent pretzel.

“You will never fucking beat meeeeeee,” I spewed, split flying, and I launched myself off the couch onto them, missing and slamming hard on the floor. I was in the middle of watching an equally important fight on pay per view, the Hughes v. Gracie fight, and my love for Hughes, King of the Arm Bar, at the time was strong and undying. He was winning, my excitement only encouraged more vodka drinking, but at that moment, I was recovering from having the wind knocked out of me, and I was wheezing and sweating in the spot where I landed like a ton of bricks.

My phone rang across the room and I bolted for it, looked at the screen and thought to myself, a Boston number? Who could be calling me from the 617 OH MY FUCKING GOD HE WAS CALLING ME. My hands started to shake and I walked quickly up the stairs so I could answer the call in silence, alone.

“Hello?” I pretended to not know who it was.

“Hi.” His voice was like a swift kick to the stomach.

“Hi.” It wasn’t that I didn’t want to offer more, I didn’t know what to say, where to start. All of the conversations I had planned in my head for an entire year somehow disappeared immediately. My hands were still shaking and I thought my heart was going to thump itself out of my chest, rip itself straight out of my body and launch itself on the floor in front of me dramatically. I had to remind myself to breathe. I was on the border of a full blown panic attack, and I needed to get my emotional shit together before I started hyperventilating on the phone, a surely awkward response to the phone call I had been waiting for for a fucking lifetime.

“I didn’t delete your number. I didn’t delete your number because I couldn’t imagine never talking to you again.”

It was 11 and I could hear that he was outside of the bar, and without having to ask, I knew which bar, our bar, the bar we had sat at hundreds of nights together, shit talking, watching games, pretending we didn’t like each other, pretending we were just friends.

“How have you been? When did you guys break up?” There was no point in me screwing around. I didn’t need him to tell me he was single again. I knew the day I moved out of his house I’d never hear from him again if his little shitshow of a girlfriend remained in the picture.

He laughed. I know him too well, even with the time that had passed, and he knew it.

I briefly wondered, though, how it took her a full year to ruin their relationships for good, what I hoped was for good. Surely they had broken up once or twice in the year I was gone. It seemed sometimes that this one would never fucking go away. This one, The Worst Girlfriend on Earth, she was a nightmare packaged in a tiny body with massive tits, which is one reason I assumed she was the girlfriend. It certainly wasn’t her intelligence, as the most stable job she had in the two years I knew her was her stint as a florist. Who in the fuck transitions from a waitress to a florist? Seriously, she was like the Miley Cyrus you see now in the tabloids. The one with the stupid boy hair, with her gross tongue always hanging out of her mouth, with a dildo strapped to her crotch, humping the air and wearing latex and tight clothes and shit that just makes absolutely no sense. I had honestly seen her hump the air on a number of occasions.

“Do you want to get together this week? Do you want to get drinks?” I could tell he was smiling and I was smiling so hard my fucking face was about to crack in a million pieces.

“Mmmm, I’ll see if I’m free one day.” And then I laughed, because for drinks with him, I was free every day for the rest of my life. I’m pretty sure he knew that.

“Oh, we’ll see I guess. I have to get back inside. I’ll talk to you later.”

“I’ve missed you.” I blurted it too quickly, like I was afraid I would never get the chance to say it again. I wanted to seem so casual but I wanted to never see his back as he walked away from me again.

He didn’t say anything for a second. My palm were sweating and I didn’t dare to swallow, afraid of making a sound or choking on my own spit and dying in the middle of the most important phone call of my adult life.

“I’ve missed you, too.” And we both just sat there, letting it all hang in the air for a brief moment in time.

I hung up the phone and threw myself on my back on my bed. I was going to get my motherfucking film score moment.

Adele, Queen of Heartbreak

I saw the Adele video for Hello for the first time today (without warning) and now I’m laying face down on the couch, sighing dramatically, flopping around, wondering if the Mr. would pretend like he wants a divorce just for the weekend so I can put that shit on repeat all weekend.

We had this exchange about it a few days ago.

“The song Hello makes me wish we were going through a break up so I could sit around and be dramatic and listen to it.”

“You mean a divorce.”

“Yes. Temporarily. CAN YOU IMAGINE WHAT MY LIFE WOULD HAVE BEEN LIKE IN MY 20s WITH ADELE SINGING MY LIFE SOUNDTRACK???” These young bitches have no idea how good they have it with her voice serving as the foundation of many of their breakups.

“Remember when I used to be heartbroken over you in the basement as roommates?”

“Diddling yourself on your bed?”

“No.” I glared at him. “Listening to fucking Celine Dion on repeat, sobbing and,”

“Diddling?” He obviously thinks he’s hysterical.


It’s like he wants a divorce.

For those of you that never heard the story, How I met Mr. H, Part One, here you go.

It was June, 2003, and I had just moved to DC at the fresh young age of 23 to start a new life in politics. If you can imagine, I was a younger, longer haired, louder, more naive, less jaded, less toned down version of myself. I was living with a coworker on her couch until I could find a place in a new city, surrounded by people I’d never met, making the wages of a sweat shop worker and living a lavish life filled with drinking .25 pitchers at My Brother’s Place, playing Senate softball poorly and dancing off anyone in Adams Morgan until I either passed out in a chair or close the city down. I was somewhat homeless but having the time of my life, making no money, meeting lots of people, being entertained daily by the delusions of the Senate and drinking my organs into stage 1 of failure, all while looking for an apartment daily on Craigslist, the world’s sketchiest yet most reliable online yard sale.

One day, after vetoing 500 ads in the Housing section that were filled with pedos, Smith Point douches, creeps, weird hippies, druggies and awkward college kids, I found what seemed like the most amazing ad on the planet, as though I was meant to read it:

(paraphrasing having no record of real ad but I assure you, I am being mostly accurate)

Looking for a new friend to add to our three-story townhouse in Old Town. From New England, loves New England sports, drinking and traveling. Not looking for drama, douches or anyone high maintenance. Must love dogs and hanging out and having a good time. Email me if interested.

Well, I was interested. I was from New England. I loved dogs, hanging out and drinking. I would pretend to be not dramatic and move in with two guys on the water in Old Town and it would be perfect. I answered the ad with something equally casual sounding, downplayed my dramatics and excitement and set up a meeting where I said I’d get a ride, not needing to meet him at his Jeep at the train station, though the offer for the, “I’ll be the guy in the Jeep with the dog,” seemed appealing, charming and also creepy.

And so one day, mid-June in 2003, I arrived on the door step of 1203 Michigan Court only to have Mr. H, then a decade younger, open the door with that smile that would ruin me for the entire next year straight. He was wearing his typical metro outfit of cargo shorts, some tee-shirt with an international city on it, his hair short and lighter (but not blonde like he claims) and his accent straight out of Southie. He made gave me a tour of the house and my soon to be basement bedroom and bath, nodded briefly towards the, “really sweet and fun but excitable dog outside” (who he happened to not let in or near me which should have been the real warning sign that dog, Dante, would spend the next year of my life biting me and tormenting me) asked me a bunch of questions and then told me to hit him up if I was interested and if not we could all hang out sometime.

And so 24 hours later (I forced myself to make it a full day), without any thought, I signed myself up for $750/month in rent, making only $1200 a month total, which shows I have great judgment, am super good at math, enjoy punishing myself and make terrible decisions in life when faced with good-looking and charming men. Either way, there was something about that house and the roommate and I had to be involved.

So technically, I did meet the Mr. on Craigslist, but just in the Housing section, where it is usually assumed we met in the casual encounters or missed connections folder, which is 1. disgusting and 2. stupid. 3. in theory probably would be typical of us.

My mother will tell you that when she moved me in a week or so later that she “knew you would marry him” but 1. she’s not psychic and 2. in fairness, we were with other people, who at the time, we intended on staying with. Really. I say really because while it actually took only 6 short days at most to actually fall in love with the Mr., months to admit it and slowly ruin my real relationship, a year for the entire shitshow to blow up and 6 years for us to get it straight and get married. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

You want the falling in love part, right? Well, that part was easy and equally awful.

The Mr. and I were instantly best friends from night one, which was great for anyone looking for some entertainment, but pure torture from my standpoint. We’d spend most of our time out after work at happy hour, drinking, watching the Sox and talking the nights away–about family, about friends, about big dreams, about dysfunctional DC and a very strong and very mutual hatred of anything New York. We’d play Trouble and games we made up over shots. We made a lot of eye contact and we spent more time with each other than most people in an actual relationship, truly enjoying every second of it,and it was as self-destructive as it was intoxicating because the Mr. was pretty captivating. I had never met anyone quite like him, with his laid back attitude, adventurous spirit, fabulous cooking, love of shot taking and boyish smile, and well, I was smitten.

It was the second weekend in the house where the trouble began and from that moment, there was never a good chance to look back. It was a Friday, it was mid-day, and we had found ourselves on the back patio, drinking beers, smoking and talking about life, first drinking our way through a beer or two, then three, then six, then it started to rain. It rained lightly, then harder, then painfully and soaking us, pouring, yet neither of us moved an inch. We couldn’t, you see, as we were smack in the middle of a deep conversation about whether or not we were with the people we were meant to be with. Were we settling? What is the meaning of life? Are there really exact matches for people in the world? Basically, we were acting dramatic and philosophical and the sexual tension and electricity was enough to spark a real storm of epic proportions. 30 minutes turned into hours, puddles were forming and the only move we made was to the store to get more beer, and then into the city for a night of endless chatter, ridiculous bar tabs and a shot for every time the tension got to be too much. I drank a lot of shots that summer.

That night, like most others that summer, ended with us parked in our driveway, a few doors away from the house, windows steaming up while we talked about something that did NOT require attention at 3am in a running car, like Wakefield’s pitching or our next camping trip or what cheese makes up the best grilled cheese or interviewing a new roommate or anything, really, just so we could sit in the car longer and not go back in the house. And so we did. More chatter to replace non existent kissing and more sighing and staring out the windows at the same time, to replace real words, I suppose, and to avoid going back inside to phone calls to the boyfriend back in Boston and late night visits from the girlfriend.

The Mr. had morals and standards that I did not and refused to address this ridiculous behavior we were displaying. He was a stubborn one, refusing to kiss me drunk in cabs, refusing to do much of anything but give me that eye in public, or pull my hair, or punch me in the arm, or anything weird and pathetic that I could add to my, Yep, he definitely loves me right back, list. He also, however, refused to stand too close to me when he saw I was looking aggressive, refused to be near the stairs to my room after too many shots, refused to speak words to me about the “us” that was going on in my head, and he also refused to give in trying to make his relationship with his girlfriend better and work, which was bizarre considering by fall they had broken up and gotten back together at least four times. Reconciliation was something I saw no sense in, considering at that point, I threw a not so secret happy hour to celebrate each break-up and despised her just for breathing, which was easy, because there were plenty of other good reasons to hate her, like the fact that she had a boy name or that she was 90 pounds and had D boobs or that she cut her hair like a soccer mom or had a tendency in public to high kick and rub her nipples and shout SUPER STAR and then promptly leap on his lap and shove her tongue all over his face, pissing all of her girlfriend urine all over the territory she rightly owned. For an entire summer he went on with, “You’re not being fair, Heather.” and I was all, “You’re not.” It was really working out well for us.

At some point I realized I couldn’t take it anymore, somewhere between sobbing endlessly to Celine Dion in my spare time to drinking my sorrows and heartache away in heavy doses of tequilla, all while playing the happy but tormented roommate for 6-8 months with minimal dramatic outbursts. One night, I stayed up late, wrote a 5 page letter expressing my love, my confusion, my apologies for doing this and I signed it, knowing I could never go back. I woke up early, placed the letter in his bag near his metro card, went to work shaking and tried to not vomit for the entire day.

I spent the entire day watching the Notebook on my computer, knowing that in a few hours, I was in for an evening that would rival my favorite romantic movie, and I barely stand how slowly the time went. While I wanted a romantic evening of epic proportions, I also wanted to leave work to start drinking until my face went numb, with him hopefully of course, in what I figured would be the first night of the rest of our lives–a night filled with kissing and declarations and SoCo and lime shots to celebrate freedom and true love and the future. Instead, my other roommate and I met him and the 4th roommate at the sketchy 7 Eleven down the street accidentally, made no eye contact, bought enough beer to kill a horse and promptly went home to tie one on, the four of us, which I assumed would THEN lead to the above.

After a few hours of nothing happening, I waited. At 3am when the troll girlfriend strolled in, I was still waiting. I went down into my basement room, laid dramatically and drunk on my bed, listening now to Ben Harper, over and over, waiting for him to come get me until I passed out with my clothes on. The next sober morning filled with hallucinations and regret and hard liquor bile, I waited. I waited another day and a week and month and he never said a word. Not one. Not one fucking word and by day three I had already gone through his man purse at least twenty times looking for that damned letter and it was gone and there was no draft back waiting for me to read and make kissy faces to.

Feel free to turn on your loud and pathetic copy of Celine’s “To Love you More” and put it on repeat with “All by Myself” 80 times and you have yourself an accurate version of the next four months of my life in the basement. I blame those fucking violins. Also sprinkle in a few failed attempts at breaking up with the boyfriend, a few verbal confrontations with the troll girlfriend and there you have it, adult decision-making at its finest.

After about a year, it was clear we couldn’t play the game much longer. My boyfriend had decided to move down, he was making up daily with his girlfriend and I was going to light the house on fire, jump into traffic or commit myself and so I was moving out. One week, I’m not sure when, with the boyfriend moving down, we were going to attempt one last drink-off and I figured I’d just get over it. Get over it and then throw myself on the bed, stare at a wall and alternate for years between depression and blowing out vibrators as I played out the sex life I was supposed to be having with him for all of eternity. Seriously. That year I blew out two high powered, battery operated vibrators effortlessly, if you’re wondering.

That morning I took him to the junk yard/impound lot to claim his Jeep for the 90 millionth time in a year and clarified that there would be drinking that night on my last night and he would be attending. Troll girlfriend had a funny way about her those days in finding any excuse to keep him away from the house, away from me and away from group drinking. It was annoying and I wanted none of it on my last night. We, as roommates, were going to have one last send-off, and also, she wasn’t invited. It was casually confirmed, but it didn’t work out that way.

It was me, a few friends and the other roommate and girlfriend that started drinking that night, and drinking hard and being loud and while having a good time, we missed him, he who was apparently being held captive on the second floor within shouting distance. Apparently he was not allowed downstairs and he was being nice by staying up there and the only good it was doing was for the liquor distributors because I was drinking anything I could get my hands on at an alarming and soothing rate.

Then I started to get emotional and dramatic.

Then I started to be loud.

Then the roommates and friends took my side, mostly I think so they didn’t have to witness our awkward love affair any longer, and they knew I was leaving. We were all shit talking him for staying with her. He was awful. He was badly behaved and whipped and awful and one day we’d punish him. In twelve hours I’d leave and he was ruining it and technically ruining my life and I hoped he could hear us but knew he was probably smart enough to have on a loud movie or ear plugs.

And then the doorbell rang. Then footsteps. And then she came down the stairs. Alone. To collect the pizza she was going to hoard with him ALL NIGHT LONG.

And so we did what all nice and not jealous and spiteful and mean adults do. We heckled her and we taunted her and we demanded he be let downstairs to come play.

And she did what all whiners and babies do. She went right up and told on us.

And then it happened.

There was the slamming of the door and he was racing down the stairs angrily and I knew I was going to be in trouble but it was too late for that and so I filled up my vodka and slammed it back and my heart started racing and I was mentally prepared and sweating and also slurring and unattractive but no bother, I assumed most people are when they take their last stand.

“What in the hell is wrong with you? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU ALL?” He was standing there with his arms crossed making a face that slightly concerned me and he was yelling all but I didn’t have to be sober to know he was looking right at me, not that I could tell while I was detailing the floor with my eyes. And he kept yelling, which I had never heard him do before, which made me kind of stop breathing but I was also gaining confidence of the liquid variety which was going to be good for no one.

“LEAVE HER ALONE. SHE HAS NOT DONE ANYTHING TO YOU.” He started to go back upstairs but then in an interesting move I’m sure inspired by gang violence, my other supporters started defending our group violence in a way that delighted me and made me want to clap like a seal.

“She’s awful. She won’t let you drink. She won’t let you come say goodbye to Heather. It’s her fault. Come down. Come hang with us. Stop being a hermit.” A number of other things were shouted out to him as reasons to come down, none of which made any sense and suddenly in my vodka haze it became very clear that he had chosen to stay up there and he had chosen to not come down on my last night and he had chosen her. He had chosen her and not me. I sat there quietly, probably because I was almost unable to form words, but mostly because I have no verbal self-control. I said nothing until he basically MADE ME.

“Anyone else? You? You?” He was looking around the room wildly and stopped with me, which honestly was his biggest fucking mistake and he knew it. “WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY?”

And with that, he fucking asked for it and so, without thinking twice, I let him have it.

“Why don’t you go back up there and tell her what you told me?” He gave me one look of warning which I shot fire back at with my eyes and carried on screaming, “YOU GO TELL HER THAT YOU DON’T LOVE HER AND THAT YOU ARE WITH HER BECAUSE YOU FEEL BAD FOR HER. Go tell her.”
Technically I don’t know if he ever said those exact words to me or if I just heard them but it didn’t matter in that moment. His eyes had changed and I was dead to him and he looked at me and the ground and without saying a word, he went upstairs and shut the door.

I spent the rest of the night in my basement, crying and drinking.

I woke up that next morning to meet my mother and the packed van at 6am. He was gone. He was gone for the day with not a note in sight, no goodbye, not a second glance back.

And that was the last time I talked to him for a full year.

Potty training 101

Two weekends ago Mr. H was off celebrating his birthday in Scotland with his friends and my mother and I were camped out with both boys at home, hoping for a relaxing weekend filled with mild mannered children, naps and all day snacking. It was sweltering hot, though, the kind of hot that makes your thighs sweat and leaves you without anything to say because speaking takes effort and the heat we were experiencing had made us lethargic, aggressive and just plain cunty.

The unofficial rule at our house on days filled with insufferable heat is that pants are not required.  In fact, we encourage nudity, or at least as much we’re capable of with both neighbors having a direct view into our backyard, patio, and the entire first floor.  The neighbor part has never stopped me from meandering around topless, but usually I have a pump attached to my teets, making the vision entirely unappealing, if not disgusting, if you were to ask Mr. H.  The neighbors have learned by now to not look in my windows and only children are allowed outside with no pants on.

So there I was, filling the kiddie pool, setting up the sprinkler and blasting Sawyer in the face with water by allowing him to “help” “fix” the hose by pointing out the areas in which the hose was twisted and then telling him to take a sip of water while I untwisted the wrapped up parts.  Great, clean, parenting fun if you ask me. He squeeled each time, I laughed my ass off and we continued doing the same act over and over again for about ten minutes, mostly because he has the memory of a ladybug and because he trusts me and listens to what I say for the most part, in this case, most unfortunate for him.

After splashing around in the pool for a half hour with little relief, I took Sawyer’s diaper off, too lazy to run inside to get his bathing suit, thinking we could accomplish a few things: battle the heat wave, skip bath time, clean up lunch face, practice potty training if the situation arises, which I hear with boys is very convenient if you can start in the summer by allowing urination in the grass.

He wandered around the yard for over an hour with no incident, chasing his best friend Bull, trying to squirt my mother with the hose, helping wash the dogs and dragging around a rake before he got bored.  

I was pumping on the couch a few minutes later and looked outside to see him standing on the other side of the glass, tiny fists pounding the window yelling HEY hEY HEY, smiling from the other side. “Heeeeeeey!” I yelled back, just as he started to pee on the porch. 

I realized he had never seen himself pee by the look of horror and confusion that covered his face. He jammed his pudgy pointer finger in the stream of pee and then shrieked, I guess not realizing urine is liquid and his mouth dropped open and he held his finger in the air for me to see. He looked from his zucchini flower to me and then back again over and over, shouting uh oh uh oh uh oh ohhhhhh noooo and pointing to the new puddle on the patio. He look vaguely traumatized and I realized I had to behave like a parent and stop laughing like an asshole, even if just for a minute. 

“It’s ok, Soy, good job! Yaaaay Sawyer! you peed! That’s pee pee! Yaaaaay Soy! What a big boy!” I was using my best happy voice, clapping like a seal and giving a thumbs up and waving my hands wildly over my head. He smiled big and clapped his hands too, so proud of himself, now that he thought he did something worthy of attention. 

“Mom,” I yelled, “Sawyer peed on the porch. Could you come dump water on it?” I didn’t need him splashing around in it with his bare feet and getting urine all of his legs and the floor inside. He clapped and smiled as my mother dumped a big bowl of water on the pee puddle, forcing some of it through the cracks of the porch as she went back in the house.  I watched as Sawyer looked at the bigger puddle and then back to me, then cocked his head to the right, looked pained and pointed at me, yelling boobies. 
I looked down to see milk overflowing and squirting out of my pump setup and frantically started undoing my tubing and wiping the milk up shouting back, “ok, Soy, I told you not to make that face at me when you see Mommy’s boobies,” and sighed, knowing my almost 2 year old son is disgusted by my clam strip resembling nipples. He had stopped clapping and shrieking, though, so I looked up quickly to see what he was doing. 

There he was, on the other side of the glass on his hands and knees, face pressed firmly against the porch, casually lapping up diluted urine. 

“Oh my fucking God! NO! No Sawyer! Noooooo! STOP!” I was screaming and scrambling to put a shirt on. My mother, thinking he’s fallen off the porch comes racing around the corner, breathless and clearly Petrified shouting “what’s happened? Where is he?” Looking frantically outside. 

We both looked out the sliding glass doors, feet away from him, as I muttered “right there, licking up his own pee,” in the most defeated tone I had used yet as a parent. 

“It won’t be the last time,” she assured me as he sat up and waved at us proudly. Then he turned away again, slapped the pile of pee with his tiny, fat hand, threw his head back and giggled. 

And so here’s to those of us NOT raising future Nobel Peace Prize recipients. 

Labeled a social misfit yet again

I had this exchange with a German spa this week through email.

“I’d like to book a massage, foot reflexology and a face massage. I’m 37 weeks pregnant, can you confirm this is ok with your spa?”

“No, we cannot do pregnant women. Danger not for us.”

“My doctor said she would write a note saying she approves.”

“This is not possible.”  They love this fucking phrase.  It drives me crazy how many times a week I get this goddamned phrase.

“But she said it was fine at this point, and I could even use the steam room and sauna and pool, in small doses.”

“Nein.” Oh, we were apparently done the English version of this conversation. “We suggest you do not use the facilities due to dripping.”

“Dripping?” She must have been using Google translate so I looked up what other words were the same for dripping in German.

LEAKING?  LEAKING. Leaking was a word that could be using the same German word, which is super because I have never been told I can’t use something due to the fact that someone didn’t want MY VAGINA DRIPPING ALL OVER THE PLACE.

“You don’t want me to leak? Like my bodily fluids in the water?”

I wanted to be violently angry but in true German form, I had just been handed the most literal, in my face explanation about why I was not wanted in their establishment at this time. Not, no, we suggest you wait. Not, no, it might not be a great time, would you prefer after the baby is born? Not, no, we apologize we can’t accommodate you because nudity for pregnant women is not allowed during your last phase of this beautiful experience in our spa. Just no. We will not have you leaking your vagina everywhere.

“Yes. This is not possible.”

Even as someone who admits her vagina of late has been like a goddamned Elmer’s glue factory, I thought it was a bit much that she insisted on making me feel like a misfit of society, one who freely distributes bodily fluids in public places, laughing in the faces of unsuspecting, non-leaking Germans. But she did and that was the end of that conversation.



I think we all remember that even though I have a child now and one on the way, by nature, I despise 90% of the world’s children. I like my children. I like about ten other children. I tolerate a handful of others, but for the most part, I think most children are unnecessary, spoiled, awful, stupid, ugly and a poor decision in general. Having a child has made me forget this temporarily, but I assure you, I was reminded why I hate children and I’m going to go over today’s little incident and all of you who have been parents for more than 3 seconds in life can have a good laugh at my anger and tell me that it just gets worse.

So this morning I’m sitting at my desk, minding my own business and working when daycare calls and starts with their standard, “Hi, Mrs. Hopkins, just a courtesy call about Sawyer.”

This is normally followed by, he fell while running or he bashed his face off a truck or a table or the door, or he’s bleeding and we don’t know if he knocked out a tooth, which is my personal favorite call to receive, considering falling and putting my teeth through my lip is a top 10 fear of mine. Once they called to tell me he had ring worm but in my head I heard them say tape worm, and I panicked and called the Mr. immediately shrieking about that must be why he’s refusing to eat dinner and we are awful parents for letting him swallow a worm and off I went to immediately get him out of school. Then they told me at school that it’s ring worm, not tape worm, and I immediately wanted to know whose dirty kid is a tiny wrestler, because in my life I’ve only ever heard that wrestlers get ring worm and it makes sense to me to blame an entire sport and not say, the mats that would be used by both high school wrestlers and toddlers.

So that’s what I normally get called about. Today, though, a bit different.

“Sawyer has a few bites that are bothering him and we thought we’d let you know.” Huh, I thought, maybe that’s why he was itching his back this morning on our way out.

“Bug bites? Is he itching them?”

“No, not bug bites, child bites.   A child bit him. Twice.”

WHAT IN THE CANNIBALISM FUCK ARE THEY CALLING ME ABOUT?  You do not start a conversation telling someone their child has a few bites and assume I’m going to guess human bites above fucking bug bites.

“I’m sorry, what? A child bit him? Twice? What happened? Is he upset?” I refrained from launching my fat self out of my chair and marching over there to take a look at the crime scene and judge which shithead child bit my angel. I bet it was that sloppy haired, moon faced annoying one that tried to stomp on my flip flop wearing shoe for giggles the other day when I went to pick Sawyer up. He fucking smiled at me while looking at me in the eye and I already told that fucking overgrown toddler that Sawyer’s mom is hot and big lately and doesn’t have the patience for tiny halfwits with behavioral problems. I would match that child’s teeth to my son’s bites and deal with this myself.

Yes, I am 100% going to be that parent.

“Well, we aren’t sure what happen because it happened pretty quickly but they were on the slide and there was some commotion and the child ended up on top of Sawyer and bit him on the face twice. He has bite marks on his face and look worse than they are, probably because he’s so fair, and he didn’t really cry until we put ice on his face but now he has marks and we thought we’d let you know before you come back today.”

ON THE FUCKING FACE?  ON. HIS. FACE.  ON HIS PERFECT AND ADORABLE AND POTENTIALLY EASILY SCARRED FACE.  WHAT IN THE HOLY HELL I AM GOING TO SPANK THE EVIL OUT OF SOMEONE ELSES CHILD IN TWO GODDAMNED SECONDS. And why in the Christ has daycare become like some jail yard scene from Sons of Anarchy? I am going to find that child’s father in the email system and parade my ass into his office and have a talk about acceptable public behavior of children. Snacking on my fucking child’s face like a fucking psychopath menace to society does NOT MAKE THE CUT AT DAYCARE. And let’s not blame Sawyer’s porcelain and perfect skin when a child is using him like shark bait before lunch on the one day I was not aggressive about anything.

“Does this child have his shots?” Because if this child is one of those non-vaccinating motherfuckers, I am going to fucking choke his entire family while filming it.

“Yes, he has his shots.” Does he also have a fucking death wish?

“Please call me if Sawyer is unhappy today or if anything else happens. I’ll talk to you more about it when I come over this afternoon.”

And then I hung up, called the Mr., gave this exact account, which he found far more humorous than I did, probably because he thinks that I care more than Sawyer does at this point, and he did express concern when I told him children will be children does not fucking apply to my child and that I would be spending the weekend training Sawyer in Mommy Approved Mortal Combat.

No one uses my child as shark bait and gets away with it.

The queen of awkward run-ins

I’ve had a number of awkward encounters with famous or influential people and having had one just two weeks ago, it reminded me of the others I’ve had–all the political ones, like the time Joe Lieberman rescued me from the press near the Senate floor, the time I told the President in the elevator that people used the word scrumptious to describe him, the time a female Senator insisted I stole a book from her, the time Senator Thurmond pinched my ass in his office during a photo op, the time Ted Kennedy forced me to throw a ball to his dogs as payment for taking a photo with him, and other less memorable moments where I inserted myself in a public setting.

There was also the time I thanked Melky Cabrera for his part in the 2004 Red Sox World series win, thinking he was Orlando, when they look nothing alike but I got caught up hearing that Cabrera was in the same bar as me and acted instantly like an idiot. I blame excitement.

And the time during Pedroia and Ellsbury’s rookie season that I stood behind them in the dugout while they were hanging out stretching and shouted, TAKE YOUR SHIRTS OFF ROOKIES, repeatedly, from 20 feet away, like a lunatic, until they turned around and said REALLY? to me, confused and somewhat disgusted, which I chose to ignore.  That one can be blamed on Vodka and my undying love for Pedroia.

The most recent example is more toned down and innocent, though still awkward all the same.  I was reminded of it last night when I saw a picture of this person standing behind the President giving a press conference, thinking to myself, ugh, you are such a disaster sometimes.

Two weeks ago Germany exploded into flames and my entire body began morphing into Shrek at 3pm daily, like clockwork.  To rectify the situation, I found myself two plastic kiddie pools and a sprinkler to set up for the rest of the heat wave.  The Mr., though, pointed out we were missing a sprinkler part and so off I went to the PX in a lovely pregnant ensemble consisting of yoga pants worn so thin you could just see my bloomers from a football field away, a sports bra and tank top I had worn for two days straight and flip flops, the only thing I’m interested in slipping my fat feet into these days.

So there I am, wandering the two aisles in the Home and Garden section out back when I round the corner and almost bounce an oncoming guy off my stomach, in a very, not looking but leading with my stomach type way.

“Oh god, sorry,” I exclaim, barely glancing up, just slightly noticing an older and normal looking guy who doesn’t appear to be disgusted or angry towards me.

“No, I’m sorry, excuse me.”  How polite of him for recognizing the importance of my large existence and duty to breed the next generation.

Standing in front of the sprinkler part section, I go back and forth between fingering sprinkler parts and comparing them to the picture the Mr. sent me off with.  The only job I have is to match them up like a Memory game and I’m failing miserably.  They all look the same and I’m tempted to just buy the big box that has a new sprinkler AND all its parts together.  Then I heard the man coming closer and so I waddled over to him, tapped him on the back and launched myself into what I consider a normal way to approach an unsuspecting victim of mine.

“Excuse me, Sir.  Would you be able to help me with this?  I am unqualified at locating sprinkler parts and here is the part I was told to get and they all look the same and you seem to be qualified for the job.  Any way you could come around here and help me?  I bet you can help me.”  I jammed the phone in his face, barely made eye contact and swung around on my heels, doing a quick penguin shake over to the parts area to show him the three sprinkler connectors I thought were the closest.

He gets down on his hands and knees and is rummaging through the parts and double checking my phone and I can tell he isn’t sure of what he’s doing which makes me feel sad and better at the same time and so I just continue blabbing on, to make up for the uncomfortable fact that I’ve got someone else’s husband trapped on the floor working for me, only because I’m fat and pregnant and bossy and he has probably been taught not to say no to anyone with another human in their stomach.

“If you can’t figure out the part, don’t worry about it, I’ll probably just buy a whole damned new one.  I mean look at me,” I gestured to my profile like I was Vanna White, “I can’t be sitting around LIKE THIS at my house hot and sweating and swollen.  The other day my feet turned into cinder blocks and I’m turning into an ogre but don’t worry if you can’t figure it out.  I’ll just buy them all or just have my husband spray me with the hose for the next week. I mean even my almost two year old is looking at me in disgust and the Germans don’t think nudity is always appropriate and my doctor says this massive child is almost 8 pounds already which I am not looking forward to but don’t worry about it if you can’t figure it out.  This is not your problem.   Oh, maybe your wife needs a sprinkler by chance while you’re here?  Would be a good time to get one, don’t you think?”  Surely his wife could use a new sprinkler in her yard.

And then as I went to grab the parts out of his hand, he thought I was shaking his hand and so we had an awkward little claw grabbing session as he says, “You know, maybe I should get a few parts myself,” as he looked up at me, still on his knees, and I saw it.

I was talking to the 4 star General and Commander.  About sprinkler parts.  While making him squirrel around on his hands and knees for the crazy lady talking about heat waves and large children.  Horrified yet star struck, I took all the parts, said a quick goodbye and thank you and waddled as fast as my tree trunk legs would get me out of there.

I should really be put in a cage.