(And for all you sickos, yes, vibrators mentioned.)
Over the last few weeks a few kind souls have taken the time to email me and say nice things about this blog. I haven't responded as quickly as I would have liked, but without getting too long winded I tried to let them know (eventually) how much it meant to me.
Really. It did.
When I started this blog back in mid January, I had no idea what I'd really write about; it was just something to do. There were all these amazing women blogging away and I admired them. I wanted to be one of them, and though I knew I couldn't, it was still a good way to waste time.
Birth of a blog.
Three weeks in, I stopped being able to post. (Netscape problem, still don't know what's wrong.) I asked J to look into it for me and he couldn't figure it out. His final word: it must be the antivirus program.
Death of a blog.
Over the next few months, I thought about blogging occasionally, even wrote a little here and there and saved it in Word, but gave for the most part gave up. I couldn't publish anything, so why bother?
Then in April, something changed. I changed. I didn't understand it at the time, nor did I even realize to what extent I was no longer myself. But there it was.
Honestly, I thought it was depression. I have been depressed before, but nothing like this. As I am normally a private person I didn't seek help, and my life just kept spiraling downward.
In May, a friend of mine, the wife of one of J's friends, emailed me and we started talking about relationships. (Jen, if you are reading, yes, you!) Pretty quickly, even though she was looking for support herself, I started unloading on her in big ranting emails about J. I told her how after 8 years of marriage that we weren't at the point, yet, but that I considered divorce a real possibility one day. Not now, I said, but years from now.
Liar. I was thinking more like tomorrow.
Believe it or not, this was a really big step for me, to admit to anyone, even myself, that the marriage that everyone doubted from the start was anything less than perfect. Because we were so young when we married (I was 19, he was 22) I'd spent the last 8 years defending my marriage, even to perfect strangers who didn't give a rat's ass, trying to convince them that it wasn't the biggest mistake ever. Jen seemed like the perfect candidate for the spilling of guts and secrets. We haven't spent much time together in RL, but the short time we have we've always clicked. While J and her husband go way back, she has only known us for maybe 5 years. Basically, a wonderful gal, a married gal, who never doubted us but understood what it means to be in a committed relationship. Perfect.
Even though nothing had changed (except me) everything in my life felt like a disaster without a solution. Divorce seemed like a good start. I was pissed. J was an asshole. While I didn't want to blame the Cracker but (mommy guilt) I did a little: suddenly he was 3, and my perfect child was acting less than perfect. I wasn't the mommy I wanted to be, J wasn't the husband I wanted him to be, and the house was a disaster. (Petty, I know, but this matters to me because if I'm going to be home all day I don't want to be surrounded by chaos and filth.) I fantasized about leaving J, being happy alone, because dammit, I had a vibrator.
I know now I wasn't depressed, I was angry. The difference? From a line in an email I got the other day, "Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm." I don't know who said it, and since no one is paying me to research it, let's just credit good old Anonymous. I had tons of enthusiasm.
(UPDATE: According to the email it was Steven Wright. Oops.)
After ranting to Jen, one book of an email after another, I started thinking about my blog again. Instead of scaring the poor woman with my deliriousness I could rant on the internet. Anonymously.
I finalized a few older posts, wrote a few new ones, and over the course of a few days vowed to take my mania online. And I had a light bulb moment...since Netscape didn't work with the blog anymore, maybe I should try MS Explorer.
Within a few days of my first new post, I got a few comments. What? People were actually finding me? How the hell? With all the stuff on the internet these days, I never thought anyone would see it unless I dragged them there.
And as I started writing again, I found my other Heidi. Yes, there are two versions of me. First, there is the Heidi that most people know. She is shy, reserved, somewhat antisocial, and a wallflower who wonders why she has any friends at all when all she does is nod and smile. She is boring. But she is also safe, and she is for the most part the person I have been since moving the LLL and having the Cracker. It's the strangest thing to be such good friends with someone but know that the don't know who you really are. And I sit there, fully aware of it in the moment, and just go right on being that Heidi. (Jessica, if you are reading this, seriously girl, why the heck do you hang out with me?)
And then there is the other Heidi, the silly, dramatic, sometimes embarrassingly outrageous version of me. This Heidi held her husband's little sister captive as they visited every adult shop in town looking for the perfect vibrator. As much as my SIL wanted to go (we were shopping for her) she would have just bought the first thing we saw, provided that they could have wrapped it up quickly. But no, the other Heidi doesn't operate that way.
In the nastiest naughty store ever, named Adult XXX Video, two 20 somethings attempt to walk out:
"You ladies didn't find what you were looking for?"
"No. Thanks! Have a good night!"
"Wait...I'm sure I can help you."
"Nah, we know what we want, but you don't have it."
"Vibrator with a moving clit stimulator, preferably corded with an AC adapter."
"Did you see this?"
"Yeah, not it. Thanks!"
"Wait! You know, batteries really are much better."
"Yeah, but I gots to have a fresh battery for power, so..."
"No, batteries are better. Just make sure you buy alkaline."
"I do. But I'm sick of that."
"What brand are you using?"
"I've found that Costco's Kirkland brand has the most juice fresh from the box and they last so much longer too, but I'm tired of buying batteries. I've tried Energizer but they suck."
(Yes, I really do know this from experience. Don't waste your money, just plunk down $45/year and join Costco. Trust me.)
My poor SIL, she was freaking. I like to be nonjudgmental, but this guy was Skanky, and sweating buckets, and I couldn't see his hands.
"Oh my God, I can't believe you talked to that guy! He was so..."
"And when he started telling us about his favorite vibrator...OMG!"
"I can't believe HE uses one."
(A few minutes later...)
"You know, that was kind of fun!"
"Where are we going next?"
And by the end of the night, she was having a blast. Suddenly, my very shy SIL who I suspect had maybe only been to an adult store once before, was yelling from across the room "Heidi, I found the vibrators! And they're really pretty! You have to see this purple one! It's a little beaver!"
So why bring this up now? Because fun Heidi was the one writing the posts when I started blogging again. And the more she wrote the bolder she got. I was proud to be her. I even started sharing my blog with a few friends, and then the women bloggers who'd inspired me. And within those first few days I also got a mention on Blogging Baby. Wow! (Thanks Rachel!)
The other boring Heidi? Oh she has good comebacks, just an hour after the fact. She's thinking the same things, but can't find the right words when she needs them.
I was still pissed as hell with J, and I was hating life, but this blogging thing was a hoot.
Not knowing what to do, I went to the library for books on parenting toddlers. I was in need of a good dose of “your three year old may drive you crazy by…” so that I could shout to no one in particular “YES! ME TOO! OMG! YES! YES! YES!”
Instead, accidentally, I found “The Lazy Husband: How to Get Men to do More Parenting and Housework” by Joshua Coleman, PhD. I took it off the shelf, hid in a corner, and began to read.
Holy shit on a stick this man is a genius! And I am not one to assume that anyone with a PhD knows what the hell they’re talking about any more than I do because I am that cynical. But this guy!
Even though I was mortified, I hid the book under my coat, waited until no one was around, and then used the self check out.
No I didn’t steal it.
I drove to the other side of town to a Starbucks where I knew no one would find me and read; I was eating up every single word. I dug into my purse for some paper so that I could mark the pages that I would refer back to later when I wrote my manifesto. J was going to get an earful.
56 pages in, when I ran out of scraps, I realized I had marked all but one page.
Wow, this guy was really good!