I’m not all that good with first impressions. In fact, more than one friend has looked at me over a wine induced conversation to confide that they didn’t like me when they first met me. I’m used to it and it honestly makes me laugh. Every single one of them sounds shocked that they’re my friend. Of course they don’t know that I’m laughing because it’s the third or sixth time this has happened (or some variation of it).
This is the thing – for someone who writes a blog that divulges personal facts…I’m actually quite private in person. Most of the people in my office learned that my husband has M.S. the same way the world did…via Mamapedia or this blog (I learned he had it one week before my first day of work…nearly nine years ago). I’m not good at making friends and I’m not someone who is going to remember your birthday (well, pre-Facebook anyway). I will show up at the hospital, a funeral, baby christenings and of course any wedding that has an open bar. But what I’m really known for? I will send you copies of articles that pertained to a conversation we had, links to products that I know you’d like or advice you didn’t ask for that usually involves an embarrassing story about myself so you don’t have to experience it too (kind of like this blog). It’s my way (it’s a family trait).
My point? Friends are important – especially when you’re married with family. Whether we talk every day, once a year or meet for coffee every other month – I value my friends. I won’t be there every day, but I will be there when you need me. I never really thought about it until my husband recently came out of remission.
A good friend of mine once told me that she lost half her friends when she found out her daughter had a brain tumor. People didn’t know what to say and, in desperation not to say the wrong thing, they didn’t say anything. (We already know you’re glad it’s not you – we don’t hold it against you, trust us).
It’s an awkward moment explaining to a new friend that your husband has M.S. Nobody likes being Debbie Downer at a dinner party nor do you want to lie if a question comes up at the wrong time. You just don’t know how people will react. Suddenly you aren’t part of the picture perfect friends that someone else created in their head or they just feel weird around you. Suddenly, three weeks have passed and four and then we are no longer friends because nobody knows what to say.
The truth is – you don’t have to know what to say. Yes, most people look at me like they want to cry and say “I’m so sorry.” Yes, thank you. I would also be happy to hear, “God that F-ing sucks ass.” Actually, I’d be happier because I’d be laughing. Yes, laughter happens when the chips are down – especially if it involves free shots. I don’t want to sit and talk about it all night either, but it’s sure nice to know that I can when I need to.
So for other mothers (or fathers) out there working so hard to make their life perfect, please understand my entry today. Trying to have it all doesn’t mean that life is perfect. It doesn’t mean you drive a BMW, have a new house or a remodeled bathroom. It means taking your punches and getting back up and never passing an opportunity that you want when it comes along. It isn’t a glossy magazine. Having “it all” is complicated and messy. It is living with AND and without fear. Because for better or worse is going to happen whether your toes are perfectly pedicured in Jimmy Choo shoes or not.
Mad Hatter Tips for Domestic Juggling
What worked this week…
I have many nicknames. Most of them mean the same thing so I will tell you the nicest one – The Bulldog. I grab a project and I just don’t let go. This week I have been on the HUNT DOWN for duvet. I mean seriously, who knew this would be so difficult? One would think that duvets are cheaper because you already own the stuffing right? Nope. I have been to every brick and mortar store in the metro area. So I will spare you. More affordable stores like JC Penney and Sears have about two choices. Macy’s has about thirty different choices for $250-$400 a piece. I’m a practical sort of girl. Could I afford that if I REALLY wanted it. Yes (no going out to dinner though). My husband would be irritated, but he would get over it as long as I’m happy (because that’s just how he rolls). But I would be afraid I’d drool on it in my sleep or let my child scream and jump up on it for a pillow fight. However, when I voiced my annoyance on Facebook an old friend told me to go to Ebay. My first thought was to ask her why the heck she was buying used bedding items. HOWEVER, there are companies on there that sell the unused returns and over runs. Suddenly the hunt down got a little easier…on my husband.
Again? Why is one single duvet more expensive than a huge comforter bed in a bag kit? Why?!