To My Valentine Gushy Love Stuff

It’s been a rough year. That sentence doesn’t even come close to expressing what I’ve put you through. The fact that you’re still here after this year… Either you really love me or you’ve got mental issues that you probably should explore. Quite possibly both.

This time last year, we were driving each other insane baking things, but I wasn’t holding up. Every now and then, though, I would see you through the fog. That’s what kept me going as long as I lasted. I love watching you work with your hands. I love watching you really get into something that you enjoy, when you’re excited about it.

You loved me while I was a turnip. That’s not something every husband can say about his wife. I did something stupid and selfish, and you turned it into one of the most selfless moments anyone could make. You stayed with me even though I can’t remember it. You fought for me.

You brought me home and took care of me for months. And it hasn’t been fun. I wish we had been playing doctor this whole time. You learned to read lips when I couldn’t talk. You encouraged me to write. You keep encouraging me to write more.

I’ve spent a lot of time these past months in silent contemplation. I watch you, and I think about how ridiculously lucky I am to have found you. I think about how much I admire the spirit that is you, your creativity, your wit, your passion. When I close my eyes, I see your face, your eyes, your smile. I feel your heart, the goodness that is you.

So, here is my Valentine to you, my love. I can’t promise you smooth sailing or sunny days. I won’t offer you the moon and stars above. I’m afraid I can’t even give you a great romantic meal. What I give to you is simply me with all my imperfections, warts and all. And know I love you with all my heart and all my soul.

Why I’m an Ungrateful Bitch Bless All Your Little Hearts

I’m going to come at this from a Christmas sucks and all you jolly people can rot in hell standpoint. It’s just been that kind of year.

Things to get out of the way — not everything has been bad. Paul and I are still together. Our third book is coming out in the spring. We do still have a roof over our heads. Our assorted parental figures are healthy and not living with us.

I, despite my best efforts to the contrary, am still breathing. Is everything hunky dory? Um, no. I have a plastic tube down my throat that hurts like bloody hell, I can’t talk like normal people, my memory is hit or miss. Our cats have names? I don’t always know them. Or what year it is. Much less what day it is. So don’t ask. And if one more person tells me how lucky I am to be here or how God must have something really special in mind for me, I’m going to tell them that that something special is to skull fuck them with a fluorescent purple dildo strapped to my ass because God’s just kinky that way. It’s his version of tea bagging.

Not to disparage your faith or make baby Jesus cry, but yeah. Don’t say that to someone who tried to commit suicide and didn’t quite punch the piƱata. We’re conflicted about it, okay? Just smile and nod. Give us a hug if it makes you feel better. I’ve stopped wearing bras because life’s too short for underwires, so hugging me is all kinds of fun. If I’m still here because God wants me to be here, that’s between him and me.

As far as luck goes, I don’t think I’m all that lucky. Lucky would have been not being bipolar in the first damn place. Lucky would have been not having to have a plastic tube shoved down my throat at all. Lucky would have been not being bitchy to my husband who wouldn’t have been an asshole on that particular day. Need I go on?

I’m alive. I’m dealing with it. It’s not fun. I made a whole host of new problems for myself and the people I care about. I am the quintessential example of a bitch.

And Christmas sucks because I don’t have a tree up because the cats would just knock it down. And if they didn’t, the beagle would appreciate the indoor toilet facilities. These are not maybes in my world.

There would be no presents under it because Paul and I just don’t give each other gifts that way. And the rest of our family members already have their gifts from us for better or worse since my parents’ gift arrived damaged and the post office couldn’t find their house to deliver Patric’s gift, so it got shipped back to TX. Paul’s mom bought her own gift, but we took her to the store, so that has to count for something. Anyway, bah humbug.

Food gifts? Don’t we cook? Normally, yes, but right now I have this disgusting tendency to eject mucous from the tube in my throat at unpredictable intervals. So, no gifts from our kitchen this year. Unless we don’t like you. If you get a bag of homemade goodies from us this year, we really are trying to tell you something. See the paragraph about God and tea bagging. Bless your heart.

What did you do to deserve all of this? Probably nothing. Like I said from the get go, I’m an ungrateful bitch. So have a holly jolly, very merry. From all of ours to all of yours. And I’ll go skulk in my corner with a nice big drink. Just pretend I’m not there.

Dammit, America Have we sunk so low?

Thanksgiving is behind us. Christmas is on the horizon. We are at peak green bean casserole time. No, it isn’t gourmet. And it certainly isn’t healthy. But it’s tradition.

Many, not all, find it tasty. Your host likes it because it is one of the easiest dishes to get on the overloaded holiday table. A couple cans of green beans, a can of cream of mushroom soup, and a can of those crispy onion string things. Throw it in a baking dish, pop it in the oven, and PDQ you have a heaping helping of healthy veg swimming in heart attack juice.*

So why in the name of Grandpa Jones does this abomination exist?

Why, Grandpa?

Why, Grandpa?

We love Costco for its convenience. One convenient purchase there and we can conveniently forget about toilet paper for the next year. But this is going too far. We are becoming detached from reality. It’s a slippery slope from here to “Ow, My Balls!”

Welcome to Costco, I love you.

*I suppose that I am only contributing to the decay of our society by leaving you with an incomplete recipe. May I, therefore, recommend this classic version** from French’s, royalty in the worlds of mustard and fried onions.

**Angela would like to point out that I might even be able to pull the world back from the brink a bit by suggesting an actual homemade recipe. Thus I give you this yumminess courtesy of Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman.

Jenny Lawson Is My Hero And I'm (not) as crazy as I thought!

So, I spent the entire day listening to Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. And coughing up blood. The two were not related, and apparently the blood thing is gross but not something to be concerned about because of the fucking tube that’s still in my throat. All I want for Christmas…

Anyway, Jenny is awesome, and if you haven’t listened to the book, you really need to. I can identify with her. I have always been the awkward kid in the room who hid behind books and never made friends. And I get panicky in social situations. My adorable quirks do sometimes drive my husband insane. And I had a childhood filled with “interesting and educational” animal encounters.

Take, for instance, when my grandfather taught me how to tell safe snakes from poisonous snakes. It’s their eyes. Easiest way to tell. Poisonous snakes have vertical pupils like cats. Safe snakes have round pupils. Simple, right? Do you realize how close you have to get to the bitey part of the snake to actually see the pupils?

He had a demo snake so I could see. Just a king snake. My mom freaked the fuck out. I mean, I guess I was all of six, and I was right down in that snake face. My grandad told her it was a safe snake. But she didn’t quit screaming until my grandfather decapitated the poor snake with a shovel. My mom is bloodthirsty when it comes to snakes.

I was still totally fascinated. My grandfather humored me, and we dissected it. Which is a completely normal thing to do. Or at least it was for us. Something died, we cut it up. Shut up. I was into science. And snake guts are cool.

As an aside, I also had a dried out baby snake that had been flattened by a car. I loved that little guy. He just vanished one day. I blame my mother the snake hater.

So, yeah. I had an interesting childhood that has in no way influenced my current state of mental illness. And Jenny Lawson is my hero.