Friday, May 18, 2007

Seven Random Things

I was tagged by the wonderful lady behind My Ice Cream Diary to do a Seven Random Things About Me thingee. And since I'm all kinds of random and welcome any opportunity to brain barf when I can (Hi Sarah!) I thought it'd be fun. :-)

1. Lucid dreams are a total rip-off. I very seldom have a dream wherein I don't know I'm asleep and dreaming. I hate that. It'd be soooo much more fun to dream about being L.L. Cool J's favorite girlfriend ever if I thought it was really happening. Although regular dreams have their drawbacks too. Whenever I get to have a regular dream I always wake up thinking I need to quit smoking all over again. (See Number 4.)

2. I collect enamelware. Love! enamelware. I love this and this, and especially this! Aren't they beautiful? I actually have a refrigerator box like that second item, but it's the same green color of the third one. I matched that green for the paint in my bathroom. I have dish pans, bread pans, bowls, platters, buckets. Love it. Enamelware just fits right in with my farmhouse theme I'm trying on. Of course, I try not to buy a piece I won't use. Try.

3. In 1980 I began training to be a member of the 1984 Olympic swimming team, but in 1981 my mother made me quit. My brother, Markie, had drowned in our back yard pool that Summer just a few weeks shy of his 2nd birthday and she couldn't handle being around pools.

4. I used to smoke a pack of cigarettes a day. Camel in a box, please. None of those girly-man cigs for me. I quit almost 10 years ago and I've never looked back. But oddly enough I'm a smoker in every. single. dream. I've had since quitting.

5. I had a stalker (his name is a matter of public record so I'll share it here) named James Schneider in 1995 and 96. His luck ran out when he tried to climb in my shower with me at 5:30 a.m. on September 16, 1996. Of course, I screamed bloody murder. And of course, he was caught. He took the Alford plea (too much evidence against me so there's no way I could defend myself - which means I did it but I refuse to plead guilty) but the judge threw the book at him because of two things: a) he scared Ashley (4 yrs. at the time) beyond repair and that offended the judge's grandfatherly sensibilities; and b) the dude's wife was using my vacuum that he'd stolen when the police arrived to arrest him. He served 18 months of a 2-year sentence for burglary. We couldn't prove he'd been the one coming into my home at night while I slept and doing God knows what besides stealing my stuff. We could only prove that he'd been there once and that he had my stuff. I still see his name in the paper now and again.

Number 5 leads into Number 6.

6. After my story hit the AP wire (for what earthly reason, I'll never know - who cares about a girl in Washington catching a burglar?) I was contacted by quite a few people. One of them was my grandmother in Oregon wondering why she had to read about me in the paper instead of hear it from The Horse's Mouth. (Sorry Gram!) Another was Belinda Jackson, producer of the Leeza Gibbons Show. Yes, they wanted me to come and participate in a show they were doing about avoiding being the victim of a crime. Soooooo, I did it. I flew to LA in January of 1997, taped the show, and felt the entire time that I didn't belong there. The other people on the panel had been tied up and raped, stabbed, or their children stolen and murdered. "Helloooooo. Ummm, I caught a burglar? One of these things is not like the others!" They assured me it was alright, so I stayed. The show aired on May 29th of that year. I only know that because it was my mother's birthday.

7. I would sell your first born child for a big old platter of piping hot fresh-from-the-oven tater tots. They're my biggest enemy when I'm trying to lose weight. I just can't resist! If they're in the freezer I have to eat them. And really, what's not to love? Mmmmmm. Tots. Nice and crispy outside, soft and mushy inside. Seasoning salt. Fry sauce or ranch for dipping. Yuh-huh-hum! Just thinking about God's Favorite Processed Potato Product makes my tummy talk.

Dude, I'm hungry.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Time to feed the fish

Have you ever felt like you've no identity inside the four walls of your home? Yeah, me too. What's more, I'm getting the distinct feeling I'm trapped here. Just thinking about my inability to venture beyond my own doormat for anything besides the grocery or visits to the orthodontist has me feeling suffocated.

I heard this song on a Scrubs (Season 2 disc 2) re-run the other day. I don't know what it's called, but the tag line throughout the song was "I'm waiting for my real life to start." It was part of a little dream sequence in which a dying woman was singing to her friends and family about what was coming in her very near future. The arrangement was smooth and reflective, almost had a mournful quality to it without being sad. Anyway, as I sat there listening, I realized I was almost jealous of that woman. Not jealous of the fact that she was dying, God no, but that she had something different to look forward to.

I know. Boo hoo Dellaina, y'big whiner. But wait, this'll all make sense. I hope. I'm still shaking it out myself.

See, it's like this. I sometimes feel like I'm in my own little ranch house-shaped fishbowl, looking out at the world from my kitchen window... or from my minivan windows... or from the pediatrician's window... Like there's this whole big world thing out there and I'm trying to figure out a way to reach out and touch it without getting scooped up by the Laundry Net or the Dishwasher Net or the Poopy Diaper Net or the Tantrum Net and wind up plooped back into the bowl.

Is there more to it than this? Am I only Dan's wife, Ashley, Jonah and Mary-Beth's mother, Hazel's source of kibble and water, and various other roles I play during the day? What part of all this is me? At what point do they become an apron I can hang up at the end of the day so I can wear my own uniform?

I can't believe I'm saying this at my age, but it's like I'm waiting for my real life to start. And since I like to play my own devil's advocate I have to ask myself: do I even know what that means? What exactly am I waiting for? And would I recognize it once it started? Would I be happy then? And what exactly does "then" look like? Weird? I'm not unhappy, but I'm sure not feeling like "a reliable and useful engine" as Sir Topham Hat would say.

Dammit. Even my euphemisms are from children's shows. That's sick, man.

I've recently told someone that she's got a responsibility to her family to make life happen for her and her children, that to sit back and let life happen to her is unacceptable and inexcusable in her situation. Someone had to say it and we all know I'm okay with that person being me. But now, faced with having to eat my own words, I'm wondering how to practice what I preach but without hurting my family in the process.

I don't want to spend my time feeling like the invisible wife in that commercial who goes unnoticed through her home fixing this and folding that. And I'm almost positive it's not on the shoulders of those I live with to make this go away. I need to fix this myself, I know that, but somehow without neglecting my family. See, I really do love and adore them, and I wouldn't want to be out in the world somewhere, feeling liberated and autonomous, but ignoring my husband and children. Honestly, given the alternatives, I'd much rather be here in my fish bowl and be Dan's wife, Ashley, Jonah and Mary-Beth's mother, Hazel's source of kibble and water. Is there truly no way to do both?

I have about 30 regular readers who most likely have been there. So tell me folks, what's the solution? I can't be the only one to sense that stepping off your doormat and into the world without looking back won't solve the problem. Is there a way to claim my own identity without sacrificing my family on the altar of Dellaina's Lib?
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