Cherry is the Best Flavor of Metaphor

I love Twizzlers. I LOVE Twizzlers. they are the perfect (for me) candy. They are not too sweet, not sour, not bitter, they don't taste like chemicals, they don't leave grainy or gritty or sticky residue in your mouth. They're versatile: you can untangle them or chop them into little pieces or suck on them until they melt or nomnomnom a whole bag in one sitting. They're great for movies because they last a while and they don't melt all over your hands. You can use them as a straw if you have 7-up and some time. (Do not try this with milk; trust me on that one.) They don't get too terribly stuck in your teeth. They're delicious. 

I love Twizzlers. I LOVE TWIZZLERS. And I can never eat one again, for as long as I shall live. 

The moment I eat a Twizzler I will be on the floor having something close to a seizure. You see, there is something in Twizzlers that just doesn't work with my body. I'm allergic to red food coloring and there is not a single thing I can do about it. I can love Twizzlers with all my heart and it doesn't matter. They hurt me, every stinking time I try, no matter what I do to prevent it.

They can't help it, either; they are who they are and I am who I am and we simply don't work. 

I ate them for a long time anyway, because the pain was worth it. Eventually the pain stopped being worth it. Eventually they were the bell and I was the dog - every time I saw them my head started to hurt, my body clenched up, and I braced for what was coming. Now I don't try anymore. Now I keep my distance and simply remember how much I loved them, once upon a time.

Sometimes if my kids leave a pack laying around, I'll pick it up and take a long, deep inhale. I love the smell of them still. Enough time and distance has made me able to enjoy, nigh savour, the smell of them and every happy childhood memory that smell brings back for me. (Except that milk bit. *shiver*) Sometimes when I'm having a weak moment, I want to lick one of them, just to test the waters and see if maybe, this time, after all this time...but I know what will happen, and I resist.

I've licked enough Twizzlers to know that the end result never changes. I can't will myself out of this reaction I have to a perfectly fine-for-someone-else piece of candy.

We simply don't work.

We never will.

So it goes. 

This post that, while entirely true, has very little to do with candy, is brought to you by the letters M.E.T.A.P.H.O and .R, a healthy dose of DayQuil, and this very lovely post on BlogHer.com. Because this would have made a hellofalong comment. 

Uncorked

Last week in New York, I walked along crowded sidewalks beside and old friend and we talked about our lives. Our real lives. The lives we don't talk about.

It's funny, how so much of me is laid bare in these pages, yet really, you don't know me any more than you know any other transgender pseudonym on the internet. Everything I tell you could be some elaborate fable. I could be the 389 pound phone sex operator you are *convinced* is 18-and-three-weeks old and totally into you. You and I have no tangible relationship relative to reality and yet, everything I haven't told you, every lie of omission in the story you read about me has effectively stopped me from writing all together.

***

She and I walked through Central Park under the cold, damp, creamsicle streetlamps, eating pretzels with too much Gulden's, talking about how difficult it is to hide some of our story and share the rest of it. We naturally want to keep the most tender parts of ourselves held back from the harsh LED lights of the internet, but those are the ones that push the hardest to come out and in order to stop them, we have to shove a cork so far down our throats that not another word can pass by.

***

Last month, I had to go through my archives for last year to pick my three favorite posts from 2011. It took me 8 minutes to read *all* of my archives. Three years ago, exactly on my 33rd birthday, I signed with a literary agent. One who approached me. One who signed me without so much as a proposal for a book. And three years later, I still haven't written one tangible sentence.

***

It gets to the point where, until you say the one thing you can't, you won't be able to utter any other words.

My husband is an alcoholic.

He was missing for seven hours tonight.

I am more afraid of what will happen next if I don't say that than I am afraid of what's going to happen once I do.

Mostly, I am just afraid.

 

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

There is a reason I go to bed hours before my husband does, and this right here is exactly it.

It is 1:06 am and I am sitting on the couch with that exhilarated feeling you get in your head and your forearm for exactly 1.37 seconds when you just *know* that this time, the lawn mower is going to start. 

My father will tell you with no hesitation that my first step-mother attempted to murder him in his sleep one night. He woke up in the middle of the night to find her straddling him (easy, tiger, it's a family blog) with one hand over his mouth and the other pinching his nose shut. 

They say we all marry our fathers. I guess I married my father's sinuses. 

When I was very, very little, we lived in a house made of stucco and mud. The walls were ridiculously thin and my bunkbeds shared a wall with my father's headboard. Knowing this fact, you think they wouldn't have let me watch hour after hour of The Incredible Hulk, but no one ever said my parents were smart and more nights than not I ended up wedged in between them in their bed where I could confirm with deafening certainty that the source of that horrible, wall-shaking noise was my father's face. 

I guess it's not until you're married for a few years that snoring goes from lullabyish soothing to force-choke worthy.

Tonight I laid in my bed, counting chain saws, trying to figure out why I let him go to bed first and how much duct tape it would take to remedy the situation. I tried to channel my inner four year old and find a way to be comforted by the audio reenactments of the book of Revelations on the pillow next to mine, but it turns out that pretending your husband is your father, even for a second, it just a terrible, rotten, no good very bad idea, indeed. 

 

You Don't Bring Me Flowers

67 years ago today, a baby girl was born in Zanesville, Ohio, who would change my whole life.  See, that girl would grow up to be a college student who met a football player, and they totally did it.  Three times, in fact.  And thanks to her, I have someone to talk shit about on my blog.

My husband is really great.  I'm just going to say that now and get it out of the way so he doesn't kill me when he reads this.

That motherfucker never buys me flowers.  EVER.  I mean, come on.  Three of your spawn carved their initials in the walls of my uterus, homie.  Would it kill you to throw a rose my way once in a while?

He's going to say, "Shut up, ho, I totally give you flowers."  And I'm going to follow that with a, "Whatever, hosehead."  It's not that he doesn't ever, really, I guess.  It's just that his delivery is all wrong.

Example:  Pick a Valentine's Day, any Valentine's Day.  The routine is he gets up, has some coffee, opens the fridge, says, "Oh crap, we're low on milk!  I'll be right back!", hops in the car and comes home an hour later from Safeway with the very last flower arrangement they had crammed in the back of the cooler right next to the milk, which consists of one near-frozen rose, about 8 tons of baby's breath, and some asparagus because someone bought all the bamboo stalks.  But at least he tried.

But there was this one year, and oh lord, he actually outdid himself.  He came home from work the night before my birthday with ohmygod this bouquet of flowers.  I can't even tell you the flowers.  The thing was bigger than my torso (no small feat).  There were lilies and roses and shit I ain't nevah seen before.  It was actually arranged. The vase was this ginormous round glass bowl, so you could see all the stalks.  It was To. Die. For.  I don't think I have ever loved a gift more from him.  Like, I called his MOTHER to tell her about it, that's how happy I was.  Like, I'm pretty sure I had sex with him because of it, too.  THAT GOOD.

For a few days, I was totally thrilled.  I suppose I harped on it a little too much, made too big a deal out of it, was too happy that he'd totally wasted what was obviously a buttload of money on me, because he started trying to disclaimer it, like he was hurt that I was so overly happy about one bouquet of flowers or something.  He'd start in with, "Well, I just grabbed it fr..." SHUT UP, DUDE.  Do NOT ruin this for me.  A bit later he'd say, "It's just some stupid thing I.." UH UH.  No you don't, fool.  He kept it up until one moment, when I didn't catch him in time, and what does that moron blurt out?

"It was JUST a left-over bouquet from a function at work, that's all!"

Oh, no he didn't.  He did not tell me that he grabbed something off a table at work and gave it to me as my gift, did he?  Yes, yes he did.  That was information I could have gone my WHOLE LIFE not knowing.  Talk about a buzz kill, yo.  I'm pretty sure I un-had sex with him that night.

Point is, though he totally provides for my every need, buys me awesome Christmas gifts, gave me a shiny new laptop just because, and does not throw anything at me when he has to spend his one day a week off washing the laundry I was too busy blogging to get to, he sucks at flowers.  And flowers are the key to any woman's heart, I don't care who tells you what.  Diamonds are for cutting glass, that's it.

There's more, but it's at my review blog, and I'm all about giving you the option to pass on that, so follow if you like, don't if you don't, but I actually have a little something to give away, in case you're interested.  And no nudity this time, sorry.  Or you're welcome, depending.

It's Not A Sin If We're Married, Right?

The first day with the mother in law, I have to admit, went pretty damn well.  The Donor headed out to the airport to pick her up with the kids at noon, leaving me two hours to frantically clean everything I've ignored for a year take a shower, get dressed, and relax.  3of3, who hasn't seen her gramma since she was 5 months old, took all of 30 seconds to warm right up to her.  We had a late lunch, a later dinner, an awesome gift exchange, Ding Dongs for dessert and then everyone headed to bed.

I'm sitting on the couch right now looking over the laptop at my husband.  A shockingly large pile of Kit-Kats separates us.  He's got the UFC on; I've got the blog up.

Good god, I have never wanted to jump on someone so bad in my whole life.

I remember when I was young and just starting out in the world of doing it.  I was 19, engaged to a fabulous boy (who will hate me for writing this, sorry) and living at home with my parents.  He was, too, but my parents were a bit more open-minded than his (understatement of the year) and so we spent most of our time at my house.  We made most of our time at my house.  We got really good at sneaking around, at being quiet, at hiding that shit.  We never once got caught, even when we were doing things on the dining room table 20 minutes before the dear old parents came home from work that no one should be doing on one's parents dining room table, even when we were right in the middle of the living room when the dear parents were upstairs watching tv.  We were stealthy, and yeah, it was totally fun.  Maybe it was the whole 'it's more exciting when you don't have permission' thing, or maybe I'm just a perv.  Bygones.

Either way, here I am, 14 years later with my husband's mother sleeping one wall away from us, and I have to keep eating Kit Kat after Kit Kat just to keep myself busy enough to not pounce on this poor, unsuspecting man.  I really can't explain it; it's just that damn naughty factor that is always my undoing.

We really need to get that hotel room already.

I have this $50 gift certificate for Smarty Pig, which is an online, FDIC insured, short term savings account thingy that I won from Jeremy at Discovering Dad which I could totally put to use saving for a lovely weekend getaway, except the damn thing only works for Americans.  Pshaw.  So, whoever shares the best 'dear god we need/needed/will be in need of a hotel room story' gets it.

Do your parents live with you?  Are they coming to visit?  Did you lose something rather important to you on Sunday, January 16th, 1994 while your dad was right above you upstairs cooking bacon and eggs?  Leave your story in the comments, and the juiciest story wins on Friday.