22 December 2008

Holiday Lull; Decision; A Story


The past week has found me with a serious case of the blahs, hence my blog silence. 

I hate winter, but who wants to hear me whine about that?

I had a series of days where stupid, annoying things went wrong. Eh. Happens to everyone.

I'm worried that our flight out to Oregon on Christmas Day won't make it out because the weather is so bad in Portland, but I'm trying not to worry about things over which I have no control. I'm failing.

Had to cancel a dinner with friends due to weather. Memo to winter: BITE ME.

I've been letting the kids watch a lot of Dora.

I've been reading a lot of very emotional, beautiful, and painful writing by other widow(er)s. It's haunting and addictive.

My brain feels like it's in neutral. Coherent thoughts are not in residence. I actually do have some semi-coherent thoughts on the definition of single parent, but it's the kind of post that is going to cause controversy and I'm not in the mood for disagreement right now. Maybe in '09.


I miss John. I miss having a spouse. I talked to John the other day, out loud, for the first time in I can't remember how long. Oddly, I talked about Mr. Coffee. Why I chose to talk through my Mr. Coffee feelings with my dead husband is a total mystery to my conscious mind, but that's what happened. Upshot? Next time Mr. Coffee and I see each other it's so I can tell him that we're not going to see each other any more. No regrets, no harm, no foul, and I will miss him. But ultimately I need someone who can put me first, and I don't think Mr. Coffee can do that. And I don't think I can look for someone who can while devoting brainspace to Mr. Coffee. I am poor at multitasking beyond what my daily life requires of me. 

Not sure what my plan is for dating. I let my Internet dating service subscription lapse, not because I thought I'd found The One in Mr. Coffee, but because the profiles were starting to bore me. Maybe another service? Maybe a break? I'd be happy to go on some more dates, just not sure how I'm going to go about finding them.

A Story

Last week, the twins and I were in the car on the way to Whole Foods. I listened to Maddie and Riley engage in a long (for toddlers; must have been about three minutes) conversation/negotiation during which they determine that it is acceptable to both parties for Riley to borrow Maddie's panties.

They move on to the details of the arrangement.

R: I can wear the white ones, YaYa?
M [horrified]: NO! No, Riley! Those white ones are on my vagina. [Ed.: Not true; she was wearing pink panties that day.]
R [thinking]: OK. I can wear the pink ones?
M [complete with sigh and eye roll]: Of course. Of course you can, YaYa. Of course you can wear the pink ones.

So the next morning, I offer Riley a pair of Maddie's pink panties, which he accepts with delight. We discuss the fine details of panty-wearing.

Me: So, what do you do when you need to make a wee?
R: I say, "Mama! I need to wee!"
Me: Absolutely. And then what?
R: ????
Me: You make a wee on the potty!

And here I thought we were making some potty training progress. Perhaps not.


AmberP said...

Lull...I hear you on this one! Winter can BITE me also... if my friend does not get in on Christmas Eve - I might just snap. And not just a pretend snap, I mean a full on SNAP!
Decision... you deserve more than you are getting, and I agree - this is a good decision! *Hugs*
A Story... I am dying of laughter over here. Your son sounds like mine... oh the joys of parenting!

Anne said...

Hi Snick,
Just sending care and support... you are a very smart woman. I admire your thoughtfulness about choosing what is right for you (er, um, I have "spoken" to my late husband also... if you are religious you may believe it is possible, if you are not you may use it as a way of processing what someone who loves you and has your best interests in mind might think).
Sending my best wishes for your happiness,

Donn24g said...

Snick, you have lots of support when it comes to lulls of Winter. But let your holiday be bright and create the happiness you hope to have in it.

Your story was hilarious, post some christmas pics of them soon!

Pam said...

While I am sorry to hear about Mr. Coffee-I am very proud of your decision. That sounds strange, but I think you know what I mean. I spent lots of time with guys who didn't offer me what I needed. Good for you for realizing that now-it takes a very smart and strong woman to do that. I hope your Christmas plans work out.


MFA Mama said...

Lull--ME TOO. It sucks.

Decision--probably for the best, but blah, not the most fun.

Conversation--OMG...*falls over laughing*...I don't know what killed me more, Maddie's explanation of why Riley couldn't wear the white panties or Riley's horror at the idea of using the potty!

Shosh said...

Your kids are hysterical. They sound so smart and adorable!

Lyndsay said...

1. I hate winter too. Pretty much everything about it.

2. While I'm sorry to hear you will miss out on the good things that Mr. Coffee brought to your life, it DID sound like he had a lot going on and you DO deserve more. And about talking to John about it - it makes sense to me. Who else would you want to talk to about something so big besides your best friend?

3. Your kids are just the cutest.

Susan said...

Hi Snick - hang in there. I hope your trip on Christmas day is non eventful and that Portland simply clears up!!! I'm only a cyper reader but again I think your decision with Mr. Coffee may be the right one. Who knows, if it is meant to be, he will be back. Wishing you and your cute kids the best for the upcoming new year.

Giovanna Diaries said...

Winter Blues...I get 'em every year too. Hey, you have me & Jen to look forward to the first week of the year. Movie extravaganza!
When you get back let's coordinate our calendars, k?
Safe flight.

Lori said...

Re:Decision and weather,
Both suck, but they will pass. I think you deserve someone more present as well. I wish you the best of luck but I'm no one to offer dating advice. I'd be a newbie if I had to do that again, so we're on the same page.

Anonymous said...

I hear you about the lull and your decision. I'm single (never married), but find myself in a dead-end "relationship" that isn't giving me what I want ... I keep telling myself I can keep him around while I look for "Mister Right" - but reading what you wrote clarified for me that that just doesn't work. If I want to devote mental energy to looking for "Mister Right", I need to not devote mental energy to "Mister Right Now". So thanks, for encouraging an internet friend to do the right thing :)

Happy holidays - and your kids are adorable!

Watercolor said...

eharmony is quite good if you are in or very near a large city. The quality of the men there is better than anywhere else I've tried. Something about it costing more and having to fill out that giant questionnaire seems to weed out the most flaky of the men.

I'm not having the best of luck, but then I'm in a more rural state where the choice of single men is much, well, less.

Take the holidays off and try again after the first of the year.

And by the way, any man I have ever dated that had kids, never put me anywhere near first. Just fyi. It comes with the territory of dating men with kids.

OTRgirl said...

As a former griever, I suspect you'll feel much better in January. Christmas is hard. Be gentle with yourself and don't try to feel or do more than you have to.

In terms of the decision? Sigh. I'm bummed it's not going to work out, but I'm really glad for you to see what you need and value that enough to go for it.

Your kids are hilarious! I love how you handled that whole thing.

carosgram said...

In college I wrote a paper saying that increased prosperity was one cause of the French Revolution. When the people had enough money to have some time to think they realized how poor their living conditions were. But when they were using all of their energy just to survive they were unable to actually think about their situation. I think grief is like that also. You are finally in a place where you can think about your situation. OTRgirl is right on target. Christmas is a tough time of year. You'll feel better come spring. Thinking of you and wishing you the best.

Anonymous said...

I concur with your sentiments on winter from the Canadian North. We already have snowbanks taller than I am. I'm over it.

I can't tell you what to do with Mr. Coffee.... I just admire you for actually getting out and dating as a widowed mother of young twins. My husband passed away in July of 2007 and my twins are now 3. I haven't had a date yet, nor have I had the time or energy to consider how to go about getting one.

You gotta love twin toddler conversations. The negotiations are hilarious. My son was way behind my daughter with potty training.... she would frequently tell people that "he's a boy. He doesn't use the potty." And then shrug like, what can you do?

Hope you get where you want to go for Christmas and that the weather cooperates.

Snickollet said...


Touché re: men putting me first. I would not expect anyone to put me before his kids. What I really meant is that I expect to come before the JOB.


Anna said...

FWIW, I recommend 3000mg of fish oil daily for the winter blahs. There's actual proof that it helps, if you wan to google it.

Congratulations on making a decision about Mr. Coffee. You have good instincts and you're also smart enough to pay attention to them.

And at the risk of having this sound like assvice...I keep reading your entries these past few months and I keep wondering why you don't move back to Portland. So I'm just going to ask. I know you've thought about it in the past. It just seems like maybe you could just lay down your burdens a little with all that family to pitch in.

Watercolor said...

Snick, Yes, of course. I knew that. And almost wrote that and then a dog pooped and the other dog went for it and I had to get up yelling to keep poop from being eaten and..... well.... I left that out... lol. Sorry.

Yes, you should come before the job. Most certainly.

Ideally, a relationship should come before the kids in some respects as well.

I've dated men who couldn't commit to a date with me until they had talked to their kids to see if there was anything they might want to do first on a weekend they didn't have the kids. Which left me hanging about which night, if any, I might have a date so I could make other plans with friends.

I've dated men who canceled on me when their little darlings called and wanted to go see a movie and daddy just couldn't say no so canceled on me instead.

I've dated men who brought the kids along without asking me if that was okay because, "my kids are cool with me dating." Um, yeah, but I'm not really cool dating your kids just yet.

THAT's what I meant. :)

Watercolor said...

And those are situations when the kids should come second to the adult relationship.

NanarocksWeen said...

Sometimes we all just need a "breather" -- everything feels to heavy, decisions too hard to make.
That's what I'm feeling with our attempt to purchase a "retirement" home (i.e. very small)... we've been renting for years. It seems like we'll need a LOT more liquid $$$ than we have right now. Different decisions than you're having to make -- but a bit overwhelming none-the-less. Maybe we all just need to NOT think, and just try to enjoy the holidays. I think being with your family again over Christmas will be comforting.
And because you're such an attractive, smart, witty, thoughtful young woman - the new man will come...it all just takes time (and we never have enough!)
Happy holidays, Snick. From Nana Sharon who's on the "other" side parenting - grand-parenting now. But at sixty, still no useful wisdom to impart. Just hope.

Becky said...

Hahahaha, that panties story is hilarious.

I think you're making the right decision about Mr. Coffee. It doesn't sound like he has enough time in his life to devote enough attention to you.

~ Jolene said...

*sigh* Just letting you know I'm still reading..not always commenting, but always reading and keeping you and the twins in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

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Crash Course Widow said...

Yeah, I have my own affliction of the winter bitchy blues right now too--or at least a very conflicted love/hate thing toward it right now, being in that said horrid weather in Portland--and Christmas isn't helping matters any. If it weren't Christmas in 2 days, and if it weren't Charley's birthday yesterday (which usually doesn't bother me, but it could always be a potential minor or major minefiled too), and it weren't for my 5th wedding anniversary all within 2.5 weeks of each other, I'd think the snow would be great. Getting old and irritating, sure, but not as loaded as it is right now.

I've been meaning to email and see if your holiday plans are still on. Email me, k, and let me know if you're still interested in getting together and/or how your schedule's shaping out. I'll be in so. OR for the first portion of your trip, but I'll be back before you fly out (if I'm remembering dates right).

I talked to Charley for the first time in ages the other night too. Can't remember what about. Alas, it wasn't anything as titillating as a Mr. Coffee, as I have none.

My eHarmony subscription's about to run out next week, and I'm actually relieved...same as I was last time. I didn't even actually talk to any of these guys this time, much less go on any dates, because I was so darned apathetic, bored, and also irritated with the whole thing. I'm planning to happily let it expire, until I get bored enough again.

Pink panties, eh? You could always take the Ri-Man to Darcel's (or whatever that drag queen place is downtown) when you're here and see what he thinks then. ;o) Just teasing, obviously. I doubt you could get a decent enough fake ID for a 2yo. ;o)

The weather has been utter SHITE here. I think they're currently saying that there could still be snow falling up through Wednesday, but Christmas Day should be above freezing, I think (if I'm remembering right and if the forecasters are even right). Probably a good idea to bring snow boots, suits, and all that other obnoxious crap with you (unless you can borrow it from someone once you're here) because the kids will need it to walk outside anywhere.

Bizarre weather.

Be well, my friend! (And sorry for the long comment. I shoulda just emailed instead.... =))

buddha_girl said...

Snick - I'm sending heat and warm breezes your way. Jack Freaking Frost may intervene, but the thought is there.

Talking to John? I think that's priceless time well-spent. I do it all the time with my Dad. *hard hugs*

Anonymous said...

Just got done reading all the comments and I think I like what Watercooler has to say. Understandably with raising children we go through the motions with our spouses because caring for the kids takes everything we both have...however, it is so important to keep the relationship with the spouse alive somehow through those years and YES, a husband/wife need to put their relationship ahead of the kids sometimes. We don't think this when our kids are babies/toddlers and even teens that they are growing up and leaving us. Who does that leave....yup...the couple. And the couples that have ignored their relationship don't make it when the kids leave. It is very important to figure out the priority list with your whoever. I give you loads of credit of figuring it all out.

Badger said...

Much love to you, as always, Snick. I was going to suggest a rendezvous in PDX, but I don't think I'll be making the trek up from Eugene. :P

Nonetheless, as always, you're in my thoughts.

Curious: what book are you reading?


Sandi said...

I also have thoughts on the term single parent. I will be watching for your post.

And I also have the winter blahs. No, that's not true, I have the holiday blahs.

As for watching a lot of Dora--at least it's not Spongebob.

Nichole said...

The weather sucks ass in Mpls too (but that's to be expected, I know) and I agree with the fish oil recommendation. It even helps my dry eyes, for pete's sake.

Your quiet strength has given you so much, including an ability to see situations for what they are. You clearly know what the right thing for you is...and I'm sending support for your decision. Take extra care of yourself over the holidays.

I'm trying to comment more and be less of a lurker!

Anne said...

Can't wait to hear your thoughts on the single parent term, even if it's next year.

Sending you warm, warm wishes and still laughing aloud at the twins' conversations. What a delight they are!

Anonymous said...

Your twins are so cute! Riley just cracks me up.

I've got nothing to say about your decision except good for you. And I'm hugging you from here.


Lindsey said...

It has sounded like Mr. Coffee has not been very involved for a while now and good luck with your conversation...I'm making the assumption from your posts that you used match.com. I tried that when I was single several years ago and it seemed that everyone there was looking for a casual date/bf/gf but nothing long-term or serious. I've heard the most success stories with eharmony, so maybe give that one a try?

Have a very Merry Christmas and a great trip! I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers about the weather!

Mama Mama Quite Contrary said...

The conversations between Maddie and R make me look forward to having twins! LOVE the panties story! That helped relieve *my* winter blahs.

Thinking of you this holiday. I hope everything (travel, holiday, Mr. Coffee) all goes smoothly!

Oh, and I think "talking" to John is a very healthy thing. I have my usual voice in my head and then I have my therapist voice which helps me cope with all the things that my usual voice says.

Anonymous said...

I gotta give you credit. I cringe when my daughter screams "boobies" every time we go thru the bra section at target. (my husband is to blame). I think I would just die if she screamed "vagina" in public. Not that your daughter does but you get my drift. You are way more cool than me :). Not sure where you are going with the single parent thing but believe it or not, I think of you and another blog I read when my husband is home cuz it is so much easier when there are two. Regarding Mr. Coffee, good move on your part. Hope you get to go on your vacation. Maggs

Annie said...

Thinking of you and hope you have safe travels, warm hugs and good food on your trip.

Ali said...

Hope you get out of town for Christmas. I know here in the midwest the weather sucks too.

What boy wouldn't want his sisters pink underwear??? LOL He will do it someday.

As for Mr. Coffee...as much fun it was to read about him it does sound like he is not what you need right now. If you were a single woman with no kids, maybe. You know what you want and you have to do what is right. It does sound like it isn't really going anywhere anyway. Good luck with that conversation.

beyond said...

love the underwear conversation! and i am glad you know what you want and you know what you need. also, i think talking to john about everything and anything is a good thing. trivial stuff, important stuff, sad matters, jokes. why not? happy holidays to you and your loves ones.

amyinbc said...

Hoping you and your gorgeous kids have a great Christmas..

If you can find flaws with Mr. Coffee now then I agree, time to walk. As one married to a workaholic (16 and a half years now with 3 kids) I can completely respect your reluctance to continue. I love my husband dearly but wish he were home a hell of a lot more often than he is. You deserve more and I admire the fact you know that.

Merry Christmas Snick Family :)

Anonymous said...

Have a very Merry Christmas! I love Christas at this age with kids!

Keen said...

Seriously, what is with the weather in the Pacific Northwest? I'm crossing my fingers for you that things go just fine tomorrow, and I know once you get there you'll have a blast with your family.

I'm curious about your thoughts on the definition of single parent. I currently have some coherent thoughts on vaccinations, but I think that post will forever go unwritten, because, oh, the VITRIOL. Not my thing.

Sorry about Mr. Coffee, but happy there are no regrets. And I'm glad you had fun.

Oh, and Riley is a boy after my own heart. My boys won't go near the potty. Your story made me laugh 'till I cried.

Merry Christmas, and lots of love to you and the twins.

mary said...

LOL. that's cute

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about Mr. Coffee but it sounds like you had fun and it is what it is...just what you needed at the time. Nothing wrong with that. But one small request...now can you PLEASE tell us his nationality? SO curious! LOL

And Happy Holidays!

Mama Nabi said...

*hugs* I think you're handling all of this quite splendidly.

Clover said...

Too cute!
re: dating- are you open to blind dates? I may know a few single guys (or friends of friends who are single) in the area. Let me think about it. Merry Christmas!

clueless carolinagirl said...

My friends have had the best luck with eharmony and chemistry.com

Kelli said...

I'm a mother of b/g twins, and my son is the same way. My daughter is potty trained, but my son (who will be three in a few weeks) has no interest in it. He loves panties from time to time (also started with his sister's) but does not want to use the potty himself.

Boys are funny, aren't they?