• At the dentist last week my new hygienist said, “I can see that you used to clench your teeth. But not lately.” “How can you tell?” I asked. “You have some old groove marks on your enamel, and, well, check out your jaw muscles.” Yeah, my jaw muscles are pretty intense. And even though my life is better than it was last year and I no longer wake up with a sore face from clenching my teeth all night, I still maintain jaw muscles like golf balls.
• Since I’m generally gone for the day by the time she shows up, I don’t usually have occasion to talk to my housekeeper, but the agency put me in the 8AM slot this week, so I got to chat a bit before I left for work. I don’t remember what, but something in our conversation led me to mention that I got a divorce last year. I knew that telling her that was superfluous. No one is more acutely aware of your life situation than the ladies that routinely clean your house. They saw half of my closet suddenly empty one day. They saw me hovering in a corner, despondent, skinny, and weepy while they worked. They saw when my clothes finally migrated over to fill that empty side of the closet. They would show up to discover pieces of furniture gone, beds missing their mattresses, walls a different color, new drapes, and changed light fixtures. In her broken English, my Merry Maid said, “You are doing better now. You were so sad. Your house looks happier.”
• Here’s how you can know a gift is from me without checking the card: it’s wrapped in brown kraft paper. That’s the only wrapping paper I buy. Works for all seasons and all occasions.
• Here’s another way to tell that I'm the one who wrapped the present: it’s sealed using hot glue instead of tape. For me, the holiday season means burns on my fingers from dribbling hot glue. As I write this the lounge pants I’m wearing are covered with little streaks of hardened hot glue left over from when I cursed and wiped the molten liquid off my burning fingers and onto the nearest piece of cloth, my clothing.
• I need to write Jen Kirkman a fan letter for her book I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales from a Happy Life Without Kids. I listened to it last week. I’m listening to it again. She writes so much that works for my life choices. Like, I really want someone to get all over me about having kids so I can use the material I learned from Kirkman’s book. I’m ready. Unfortunately—or rather, fortunately—I’m divorced, so people are off my back about having kids. Since I’m newly without husband, no one expects me, even at my ripe old age of 31, to go out of my way to get knocktup.
On that, when I got divorced last year, I realized that my marital loss may very well mean that I’d never have kids. Like, in my world, since I didn’t intend to go find a mate, I may never marry again, and would therefore never spawn spawn. The realization wasn’t sad—or maybe back then it was sad, because everything in my life was sad; sunshine was sad for heaven’s sake—it just was. It was a piece of information to deal with. And I dealt with it like this: “Huh. Oh well.” I’ve never wanted kids. Not even when I was young did I think about being a mom. I mean, it’s crossed my mind, of course, because I am a woman of childbearing age and hips, but it’s never been a thing I think about wanting, just something that could happen if I felt it was time to do that. But seeing as my divorce meant that I was losing my in-house potential sperm donor, I had to face the idea that I probably really would never have kids and see how I felt about it. And I felt fine. If I want a kid one day, I’ll get a kid. There are ways. If that’s what I wanted, I could make it happen. It isn’t. So I won’t. But I could.
• Some of my friends address the Christmas cards sent to my address to Megan & Sophie Romo. It delights me. While I don’t consider myself Sophelia’s mom—I own her—she is my family.
• My beloved hairapist Hannah and her Chris eloped on Monday. They were planning a big, fancy wedding thing for next October, but they decided it wasn’t making them happy, so they made a reservation at the courthouse and got hitched. So now I know someone with a real-live elopement story. Lotsa couples say they want to bail on all the wedding nonsense and elope, but they are wusses and don’t go through with it. The LaShelles did. They are therefore badasses.