Wednesday, April 30, 2014


My fingertips are tacky with various colors of spray paint. I can’t tell if my sleeping pill is kicking in or if I’m just high from all the fumes emanating from my garage. Painting house stuff. Turning bronze lamps orange and so on. I’m sporting a look I like to call “vagrant chic,” hair all over the place, no makeup, paint-speckled loungewear, filthy feet from barefooting it in the garage. As Sophie is my witness, I look very getting-things-done-devil-may-care. 

But where have I been, right? My Whitney-sister is always the one to remind me that my blog has been in a drought, which she did last night. “Why haven’t you written on your blog?” asked she. “I’m busy and stressed out,” replied me.

Why though? Goodness, why would I be busy or even—oh my!—stressed a bit?

A wedding, merger, moving, and renting out my house might do the trick.

Daily, I get asked again and again some version of, “So are you all ready for the wedding?” Gawlee. Yes? No? Who can be sure? I finally nailed down a dress. My first. Si, I was married before, but I didn’t want a wedding; I didn’t want to be a bride. I wore, like, a pinstriped skirt and a white button-down. But this go ‘round, per my therapist’s insistence, there will be a wedding ceremony with people and chairs and straws and cake and a flower girl and boutonnières and, yes, me in a white-ish dress. Which is totally on my nightmare list. Tip o' the iceberg: I look horrible in white. I am white. Wearing white just makes me look naked.

While The Wedding is The Big News and the thing that everyone asks about, what really occupies my head all the time is moving details. My darling love, Jim, has been doing plenty to the house to make it work for us. We replaced every single non-recessed light in the house. It’s been painted, ceiling-to-baseboards. He remodeled the loft into an office for me. For that office, he built a peacock blue barn door with a recessed magnetic chalkboard on the back. He’s mid-remodel of the master bath. And now that the basic stuff is done—color and lights—I can think about how to put it all together visually. We’ve moved my furniture over to his house, he switched out all his ceiling fans for my new ones, he switched out the doorknobs from one house to the other, and I’ve been throwing myself at art selection and family photos and frames and gallery wall structure, really just throwing myself at the walls to see what sticks.

This evening I spent a good half hour sitting at the bottom step of my stairs, staring at all the knick knacks and accent whatnot and art that’s destined for Jim’s pad. Figuring out what goes where is a consuming task. But when it’s done, I give you my word, it’s gonna look awesome. Else I’ll pull out all my hair and steal someone’s Xanax, seeing as I’ve not script of my own, for I find benzos a scary drug class to be avoided.

Then there’s that other thing—the blending of the family. A family with children. I don’t talk much about that aspect on this blog mostly ‘cause it [appropriately] scares the shit out of me. In how many ways can I eff this up? They are innumerable. And my anxiety about the whole kid-thing, while fluctuating, is incalculable.

It’s rather surprising, isn’t it, the happily childless Megan marrying a man with four kids, two of which are minor kids that live with him 50% of the time? What’s that about? Have I lost my mind? Perhaps. Perhaps my mind went when I lost my heart to Jim. He makes everything worth it and interesting and collaborative and so on. He couldn’t be more impressive. I’m stupid smitten. But back to that earlier thing: Megan doesn’t want kids. Megan is marrying a man with kids. Uh? A lapse in judgement?

Not necessarily.

I am absolutely not a kid person. Put me in a room where there are many kids and I’ll back myself into a corner and try to disappear. Not having kids myself, I am not immune to/deaf to kid noise like parents seem to be. I have no idea what to do with a child. I don’t know how to talk to them or play with them. They are a thing where I’m unsure and it knocks me off my game. I’m inexperienced and that was by design.

Now while I’m not a kid person, I am a Josie person and a Ben person. I don’t just arbitrarily like kids as a group. In fact, as a group I dislike them. It’s the individuals in the group that I can enjoy. I don’t like Josie and Ben because they’re kids. I like them for the people they are. And that’s what matters. That’s the thing that doesn’t go away. While their personalities will develop and change, the fact that I like them for who they are will remain. If I liked these kids because they are kids and then they started to grow up, I’d be a disappointed freak. Instead, I enjoy watching and contributing to their progression toward independence.

That’s what makes this work on my end. Never ever did I think that I’d date a man who had children. I didn’t want to date at all. Then I fell headlong into this thing with Jim, and I’m never ever coming out. Turns out he has kids. It can be pretty complicated at times as we define roles and boundaries. But it occurred to me a couple months ago that even though the childrening is complex and really freaking rough sometimes—what kind of an inexperienced childless dummy marries a man with not one, not two, not three, but four children and a [kickass] son-in-law? Even better, what kind of a dummy wants that for a wife?—I wouldn’t prefer that Jim’s not a dad.

I’m not one of those childless ladies out looking for a man with built-in childrearing opportunities. I’m the opposite kind of person. But I like Jim as a father. He’s terrific at it. He’d do anything for his kids and they know it. The Elliker children never question how much their dad loves them or their place in his life. It’s a great element of my sweetheart that —very surprisingly—I wouldn’t want to do without.

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