Monthly Archives: November 2018

My part of Houston loves gaslighting

Bougie Memorial house

The above house is pretty much the template for new expensive Houston houses. In the swamp, we like brick. And we like gas lanterns because… the South. 

Sales pitch: Are you ready? This one’s just going to be introspective hand-wringing and therefore might be the most boring thing you’ll read today. 

Stepson #1 (A.) had a tennis party to go to last night- “Tennisgiving” they called it because… tennis+Thanksgiving. And I should have known that whomever offered to host would have a BFH (big f’ing house). They always do.

But I Google Street viewed it, and was pleasantly surprised to see a wee little ranch house (I call them grandparent houses, because in many neighborhoods, the only ones that haven’t been torn down for a McMansion are owned by the elderly.) When we pulled up, I saw that the grandparent house had VERY recently been leveled and, yep, replaced by a McMansion complete with the flickering gas lanterns beloved by southern bougies.

“I want a rich friend.” C. exclaimed.

In their school district, they probably have several already. There’s certainly money to be had in Houston, albeit much of it is the “live well while the world burns” variety. But our house is not in their school district (where the money is)– they’re zoned from their mom’s house, which made a lot more sense logistically years ago, and still makes sense from a “that’s the better school district” perspective.

So desirable is Memorial/Spring Branch, that it is among the places in Houston where people choose to buy up the tiny lots and build McMansions with no yards.

But I digress.

I liked these people’s house. It was very on-trend. I liked their bougie gas lanterns, though I make fun of EVERYONE needing to have those. I hated that they had Christmas decorations up already, including two gaudy Christmas trees (can’t buy taste!)

Mostly I hate how it made me feel. Like, if I’m playing this game where money is why I do things, I need to win it. Because I always need to win everything. Even though I like my quirky house, and I like that it needs renovation so that I get to do it. And I genuinely love home decorating.

I think part of it is that at age 40 (in 2 days), I feel like I’m just starting out and that I’m horribly behind the curve in life. Never mind the amazing adventures I’ve had- OTHER people are mid-career.

Having two kids ages 14 and 12, and then two who are 2 means that I’m constantly crossing worlds, between established folks and young families just trying to manage the drama of small children.

Who do I want to be as an adult?

I don’t want my uncertainty to keep manifesting as disdain towards these people whom I’ve never met. I don’t really feel disdain. I feel like I’m still finding my way.

I think I need to read this book, just for the title: What if This Were Enough?


p.s. Somewhere along the line I signed up for notification of incoming UPS deliveries. Yesterday I got notice that I am going to be receiving two UPS packages from a law firm today.

The problem with being anxious is that I’ve spent the past 24 hours preparing to find out that M or I have done something horribly wrong and been sued. I can’t think of what this horrible thing would be – but the only interaction I’ve had with the legal system in my life has been our current custody filings. Oh, and the time my ex-roommate took me to small claims court for moving out of our apartment early (underscoring why I wanted to move away from her). I go out of my way to avoid trouble.

I think by the time you read this, I’ll know what the stupid packages are.


A literal p00pshow

Walking with the twins

We spotted 4 alligators during our Sunday walk in Brazos Bend State Park with M’s family

It’s been a strange week and my rhythm is off. Work meetings prevented me from both yoga and barre class, which help me to feel less like a desk-blob. The election. Toddlers. Not sleeping well….

This morning I was changing CW’s diaper when FJ approached me:

“I wanna go on a walk.”

Well actually, first he said he wanted to go Trick or Treating, which thrilled me. He liked it this year! 2.5 marks the beginning of a fun time in our Halloween lives. Anyway, I reminded him that he needed to get dressed for school first.

The next thing I knew, there was a turd on my kitchen floor.

FJ had decided to wriggle out of his pants and diaper- but he’d pooped. And as he’d pulled the diaper down he’d rubbed it all down his legs before “dumping it” on the floor.

“Is that my poo poo on the floor?” he asked me, as he stood there covered in it.

I laughed. M thinks it’s a good sign that I didn’t lose my… shit. Honestly, I was too tired.

I’ve been waking up at about 5am and tossing and turning for a while. I want to be asleep, but I’m not. So today I’m feeling a mix of incompetent, ambivalent, and cranky about everything.

And my 40th birthday is less than a week away, but this year my strategy has been to pretend it isn’t happening, for some reason. M and I are going to California so I can give a presentation (that I haven’t written yet), and I sort of assumed a hasty getaway was all the present I could ask for. Plane tickets to Silicon Valley sure aren’t cheap!

At one point I made a list of things I wanted for my birthday. It included a massage at Dolce Vita, to get our bedroom painted (finally), and new bath towels that I’d picked out. And it included gathering with friends in some way.

Instead, I have been paralyzed on all fronts. I feel like I sit around a lot of the time, telling myself I’m about to spring into action, but instead I just pick off “quick wins” on my to-do list all day.

More soon. Earlier today, I mulled over visiting my stepsons’ mom in jail (she’s still in jail, and has been since early July), but I came to the same conclusion that I always do- it would be weird for everyone. Yeah, I know I can’t just drop that as the last sentence here and run away, but that seems to be my m.o. this week. I’ll tell you about the jail thing some other time.