This morning, I fed cucumbers to my dogs. They—the cukes—were getting soft and I wasn’t going to use them but I hate to throw away veggies. So, my canine garbage disposals volunteered to take one (two?) for the team. Well, the girls are messy. I have a somewhat high level of indifference, and per Kate-brain, forgot there would be mutilated cucumber all over the floor.
My husband, let me assure you, is not messy, and for the life of him, he can’t spell indifference. It’s not allowed in an OCD brain.
He came downstairs, saw the cucumber remnants everywhere and proceeded to lecture me on the 49 disgusting insect species that would break into our home and do a little seed looting. He then closed his speech with, “If you use my vacuum cleaner to suck these up, I’m going to be upset.” Really he said “pissed,” but I’m trying not to be crass today.
My point is… he said his vacuum cleaner. That’s right. I’m not allowed to clean. I don’t do it right. I did use his vacuum cleaner once and it took me 20 minutes to find the power switch. The sad thing is, this was not the first time in my life that I couldn’t turn on a vacuum cleaner; you will never see domestic diva next to my name. It’s a foreign concept to me.
So, after his rant, I started laughing and told him that lately, every time he opens his mouth, I need a notebook.
True story… this was the conversation in my house two nights ago, before we went out for drinks:
Husband: Are you going to get ready? Maybe get dressed, fix your hair and makeup…
Me: I’m going to get dressed, yes. I’m putting my hair in a ponytail. No makeup. Are you going to be wearing makeup?
Husband: I would if you asked me.
Me: No, you wouldn’t.
Husband: It’s not socially acceptable.
Me: Guyliner can be.
Husband: Have you seen my eyes? I don’t need guyliner (*note – my husband’s eyes are the most ridiculous shade of blue you have ever seen). . Anyway, I’m more of a woman in this relationship than you. I dust and do all of the cleaning. I do the dishes. I make the bed. I do most of the laundry. I take out the trash. I do everything. And you work from home!
While his list is, in every way, sexist, I don’t have an argument because he is the one who does all of it. All of it. Oh wait, I make dinner. Every night (that we eat at home). And do the grocery shopping…daily. He eats the equivalent of what two professional football players eat, so that has to count. I walk the dogs, pay the bills… if you ask me, it’s even-steven.
You know, we have conversations like this all the time. He likes to pretend he does everything and I don’t appreciate him. I do appreciate him. Halle-freakin-lujah, I don’t have to clean. Ever. I would yell my appreciation at the top of every mountain if he asked. For now, I’ll just post it on CheekySkirt…he gave me permission. 😉
My job is done here. Ladies, my number is listed.
I made it 42 years without ever stepping into a police station. And let me tell you, there are many who just read that and are searching through their mental rolodexes to disprove me. Now, there was an ill-fated night at 16 when I spent the better half of an evening in the back of a state trooper car for underage drinking, which I wasn’t even participating in that night—not because I was a Milk & Cookie, but because they weren’t serving anything I liked at that particular high school party… off some back road in my small, northern New York town. Ahh, childhood.
Where was I…
Tuesday, I took the afternoon off from work and drove the 90 minutes to the Lakeland Police Department to follow up on the asshole who stole my identity, created a debit card with my information on it and spent $165 of my money at a Lakeland Walmart. Thank the big guy upstairs for the red flag because the bank immediately called me and canceled that card, right as the scum-sucking, shit-for-brains attempted to spend another $157 on that card at the same store.
I have to admit I was a little excited to see the inside of a police department and catch the action as it unfolded. But there wasn’t a cell in sight: no cage; no uniform dipping his donut into a cheap cup of joe; no prostitute passed out on a cot; no drunk and disorderly prisoner teaching me new curse words while yelling that he needed to make a call; and no stench of cheap, beer-soaked stale pee. Nothing. Just a massive, beautiful entryway with a receptionist. It looked like a medical office. I took the day off for this?
From all of the TV cop shows I’ve seen, I was not expecting any of this―nothing was as it’s portrayed in Hollywood. Weird, I know.
Earlier that day I had emailed the affidavit paperwork to the fraud department at my bank and by the time I got home from Lakeland, the money was already put back into my account. You know – on Monday morning when I went to the bank to get the paperwork, I told them that I had filed a police report and they seemed surprised; apparently not many people do it. I get that the bank is going to give you your money back, but I can’t understand why somebody would not file a police report. I want these people caught: they stole my identity and my money. I had to take a day off from work. I had to drive 90 minutes each way and hang out in the police department for quite a long time while everything was being processed. Am I the only one with so much time to waste? Speaking of which, it’s CSI time.
I have saggy knee caps. It’s true. I saw them this morning. They almost fold over the knees, like an elephant’s trunk. I’d like them to stop sagging. I think if they moved up a couple inches—back to where they belong—it may ease up on the bathroom scale a little, too.
I’m not complaining. Truth be told, I’m extremely lucky. While my knees suck, my face is aging well… really well. I don’t have any wrinkles. Not a one. It has nothing to do with the coconut oil baths I suffocate my pores in or the resveratrol in my cabernet. It is pure genetics – Scottish-Irish genes. Actually, I may have just made that part up. Regardless, my face is blessed, and with my landing strip of a forehead, I better not complain.
Karma is real, and she is, in fact, a bitch.
Today, I’m forty-two. Thirty twelve. A Mariano Rivera Jersey. Twice the drinking age. Eight short of fifty. Eight. Short. Of. Fifty.
Twice the drinking age. Just like that. Legal, twice. I swear it was just last weekend that we stole Christine’s peach schnapps for a Saturday afternoon buzz before finals. The years before I turned 21 seemed like five eternities – and also like they were yesterday. Every birthday, back then, just another reminder of how long it would be before I could actually walk into a store and legally buy it… all .0005 percent alcohol that was probably actually inside a Boone’s bottle.
And here I am, 21 twice. The second 21 years, a blur in time. Did I just steal that from someone? Oops. Sorry.
I’m still discovering myself… making lots of mistakes, fixing others, laughing all the time. Mostly at my husband, but that’s his own fault – he does victim well.
Here is what I can’t figure out… I continuously set myself up for failure—self-sabotage—knowing, KNOWING, that I’m making a mistake, knowing the end result is going to be bad for me. Then, with everything I have, I plow forward like it’s the best idea, anyone, ever, in the world, ever had. Or, I ignore it, like it will just go away, and that somehow it will all work out. And, plot twist, it always backfires. So, what do I do? Well, of course, I do it again. But better each time. Look, kids. Big Ben! Yes. I’ve used that one before.
I’m a smart person… just ask my mom.
So, why do I keep inflicting pain on myself…ahhh, something to do, I guess. It drives my husband crazy. He is the most responsible, level-headed person I have ever met in my life (sober, of course). He can’t for the life of him, figure out what makes me tick and why I continue to sabotage my life…not doing the things that I love to do and occasionally making myself sick on lattes. But then, I guess if he figured that out, and I figured that out, he’d be bored and I wouldn’t have anything to write about (yikes, preposition).
Originally posted December 10, 2014.
Coffee. Hot. Black. Naked. Overflowing.
I’ve been known to include a word or two, maybe a dissertation or three about coffee in my writings. So, my apologies, but today of all days I would be remiss if I didn’t at least do a small, teeny little ode to my favorite beverage and season. I promise it will be short… and sweet… unlike coffee. Coffee should never be sweet.
What better time of year to celebrate National Coffee Day? Late September. Autumn. Cornfield mazes. Hayrides. Down vests. Hot coffee. That smell in the air; that beautifully blended scent of crisp apple cider, smashed pumpkins, red and orange leaves crunched under your feet and hazelnut coffee beans… when they come together and mingle, stir up that oh so familiar autumn aroma. New England B&Bs… no coffee ever tasted better than when sipped at a New England bed and breakfast while sitting outside in an Adirondack chair taking in the brisk, fall air.
We don’t have true autumn here in Florida. So, if you live in my world, you make it up: overload the aromatherapy diffuser with oil blends of apple, pumpkin and cinnamon, then run the poor thing into the ground until it’s actually sputtering from exhaustion; have cheap and toxic autumn-scented candles burning at all times – they have to be the cheap, shorten your life by five years, toxic kind if you want to get the most pungent scent; turn the air conditioning on super high so you have to bundle up when you’re inside; keep the plantation blinds closed at all times so as not to be reminded it’s sunny and 90 outside – OK to open them during dark and dreary thunderstorms; and of course, while doing all of that, you must drink coffee – hot, black, naked and overflowing.
I may have a slight obsession with coffee (and apparently the word naked); that is, if thinking about coffee all day–every day, craving it, dreaming about it, constantly living in anticipation of the next cup and getting that twinkle in my eye when I head up to bed at night…because I know the first thing I’ll do when I wake up the next morning is to make coffee…isn’t the way everyone lives, then yes, maybe I’m a little obsessive. Hmmm… maybe about run-on sentences, too.
I blame my grandfather… for the naked thing. He’ll get a kick out of that. Summer of 1997 – we were having dinner at The Club Car on Nantucket. And I wanted coffee with cream. His eyes got small and beady, “You can’t put anything in your coffee! You have to enjoy the natural taste of coffee or you’re not a true coffee drinker. You have to savor the aroma and taste of the coffee itself.” I watched him take a lemon rind and twirl it along the edge of his cup of espresso. He told me it brings out the full flavor of the bean. So, of course, I did the same. That was it. I loved it and was hooked. Seventeen years later and I still think about that evening all the time. So, there you have it…the Glenn Mathiasen Rules & Regulations on Drinking Coffee.
That’s it. A promise is a promise. Short and sweet. If you haven’t already, give naked coffee a try… you never know. I promise to try and not mention coffee in a blog in the near future. And don’t let the picture scare you – naked coffee… naked Kate.
I bet you didn’t know I used to be a model; had a pretty regular gig, too. My showbiz mom would get the call, drop everything, brutally yank me from playtime with my friends and rush me down for my fitting. I didn’t mess around either; most days, they had me in leather and suede. Sometimes there would be tassels. Always, there would be men. I can still remember the office – 1970s decor… itchy orange and brown upholstered couches.
Then one of the men would start poking and prodding me to see how everything fit… sometimes, if the size was too small, the leather would leave marks on my skin.
How does it feel, he would ask. Can you move around comfortably? Too snug? Give it time, it will stretch. Do you like it? Yes, my dad knew all the questions to ask.
Boy, to be nine, again.
I do miss those moccasins.
It was fun growing up with sample-size feet. My dad worked in the corporate shoe world and that meant lots of free samples. Trips to the mall with my dad were fun, too. He would have no problem stopping someone to talk to them about their shoes. He’d even poke and prod them a little. Something about him – people loved to chat with my dad. Still do.
Life as a child model… they even named a shoe after me; my mom and sister, too… but this walk down memory lane is about Kate. Duh.
Because of my dad’s job we moved around every few years. This meant a lot of goodbyes but also many new hellos. You would think it might be a scary experience—and I’ll be honest, the first day of school was always scary, especially at lunchtime when you either sat by yourself or hid in the bathroom to avoid worrying about looking out of place—but we always welcomed the new change. Yes, it was sad leaving our friends. That was always the hardest part. But we always made new friends… usually on day one. *And now with Facebook, we’re able to revisit those old friends every day.
I’m always hearing about families that have opportunities to try new adventures but refuse to do so as they don’t want to uproot their children from the comfy existence they’ve always known.
I get that. I do. Well sort of.
Actually, to each their own, but if you ask me—and who wouldn’t want my opinion—moving every few years, the way we did, was a great way to grow up and see the world… or you know, Michigan and central New York. *I feel like I should maybe elaborate on the whole uprooting children thing… but my plane is about to board and I really don’t want to add to it.
That’s it. A little tidbit from my childhood. I know… it has cliffhanger written all over it.
*So kidding about mom brutally yanking me away from my friends…come on people, it’s Mimi. And, ahhhh! Grammar, Kate!
Kiki. That’s what they’d call me. Who? My massive tribe of foster kids.
Big kids. Teenagers. Attitudes up the wazoo. Pains in the tushes. Obnoxiously selfish. Teenagers. Mine, all mine.
At 44, I’ve figured it out. Shit, it took me a long time but I know. I know with every ounce of my being what I want in life. To the core, I know this is right. I know. I so f*cking know. My heart is full just thinking about it. What I want and need most in this world follows:
A big house – nothing spectacular – just big enough for us. A house kissed with a colorful past – a story to continue for generations. Lived in – with all the bumps and bruises that people have. Cozy. Fun. Full of music and life. Full of laughter – new, genuine laughter. Full of tears. Full of whatever comes its way. Safe. Safe for those fabulous teenage kids who need a place to crash… permanently, semi-permanently, whatever works for them. Safe for them to share the shit they’re going through and not be judged and juried.
I want to hear them. I want to hear – really hear – them. Their thoughts, their dreams, their scares, their happies, their sads, their everything. In case they didn’t know it before, they know it now. They’re wanted. They’re needed. They’re meant to be. They’re important.
They’ll come home—whether it’s been an hour or a year, it’s their home and they know it—drop their stuff on the floor, kick off their shoes and tell Kiki about their day. Or maybe they won’t. Maybe they need alone time. That’s cool. If that’s their safe, Kiki gets it.
So, yeah. I’m Kiki – the middle-aged, rosy-cheeked quirky chick they live with – well, me and my full-time tribe.
Drama Club performance. Baseball tournament. Science fair. Quidditch match. When they look up, they see someone out there, someone who came to watch them perform. Someone proud of their every accomplishment. Someone smiling back, with a little wink to let them know, “you’ve got this, and we’re here to cheer you on and hug you when it’s over.” Someone who, 20 years from now, they come home to for holidays and vacations and just drop-in moments. Someone who they know will always be there. Someone who opened a big, welcoming door for them.
It’s funny the hints you get in life. When Ashly was in high school, her friends loved me – they did. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t a mom – well that, and at 35, I looked 18. Even had an older sister of one of them tell their mom they all got into a car with another teenager when it was supposed to be an adult… but it was me, and I was 38, and I digress.
So yeah, Ashly’s friends always loved tagging along with whatever I was up to, and along the way, telling me the good, bad and ugly of their day-to-day lives – many times sharing the not-so-great stuff they were going through at home. They didn’t want me to solve their problems; they wanted me to listen to them. They wanted us to be equals.
We even had our share of kids who wanted to move in with us, and we’d have taken them in a heartbeat. Ours was a safe, kind (but extremely firm) and fun home, and we loved those kids.
Today, those kids always message me on Mother’s Day (can we say swoon, cuz it always gets me). Swoon.
I still have the younger generation reaching out to me for advice – all the time. I am no one who should be dispensing legit advice, but I listen, and I don’t judge. And I get a kick out of them wanting to share their ups, downs and woes with me.
All I’ve ever wanted in my life was a house full of kids and dogs. Well, I didn’t get to be a mom, and I’m patiently waiting for more pups to come my way. But I think that “me not getting to be a mom” thing was also a hint. I’m too selfish for babies. I like them when they can wipe their own asses and brush their own teeth.
We’re not rich. But we’re here, and we’re stable, and we hang Christmas stockings for everyone in our home. It seems to me this should be such an easy goal to accomplish… I wouldn’t even know where to begin… wiggle my nose and a big house full of kids appears?
You know, my real name just happens to be Mary. If that ain’t a hint??
Well, I guess the question is… do pipe dreams come true?
Kat? Yes, Kat. I think they’d call me Kat.