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Friday, May 11, 2012

Death to Mrs. Molly Mormon!!

I often get accused of having everything in order, of having the picture perfect life. People think I don't have a thing go awry - ever; that my day flows smoothly from the second my feet hit the freshly vacuumed carpet to the flowers that grow in whimsical pastel colors in my window sill, from the 5 children who are manicured and groomed to perfection to the pets who never have accidents in my house.
I'm here to set the record straight.
I am no Molly Mormon.
Because you people have obviously not seen the cockroaches which have bought time share in my pantry. Afterall, I sold it to them.
Don't judge me! I have to find some way to buy all the supplies for the 17 scrapbooks I'm making to give to my children on the day they leave the house to venture out on their own. They have to have some way of remembering who I was because up until now I have been nothing but a blur of cleaning supplies, mac and cheese, and diaper rash ointment.
On a more serious note, I've been married for almost 15 years.
To the same man. Quite an accomplishment nowadays.
We have 5 children, 4 of our own and an infant we just recently adopted (see 2 previous posts).
I joke that adopting once you've had your own children is a lot like making your very first craft project and everyone oo's and awe's over it. You make another one and the excitement is still there but fading. By the 3rd or 4th one everyone's like, "Move along, sister. We've seen it all before. Everyone's making them now." And then, you walk into a store and a project you've been meaning to make is there on the shelf for sale. And it hits you...
It's just easier to buy the thing!
We have a big gap between the youngest and next-to-youngest. 8 years to be exact. In just 4.5 years we will have 4 teenagers roaming free in the house. (Oh, have mercy on my soul!) My oldest daughter is 13 now and the teenage attitude seemed to just morph into her once the 12th of July hit last year.
I realize now why some animals in the wild eat their young.
And I think something might be wrong with her. Lately, her eyes have been doing weird things and her breathing has become erratic and heavy. But apparently it's going around because other moms of teenagers are seeing it.
Looks something like this:


People say she'll outgrow it, but I don't know. It seems to happen only when I mention chores or when I'm trying to prove a point.
A typical conversation with her goes something like this: (Names have been changed to protect the innocent).
Mind you, my first mistake is asking her how her day went.
"Ugh. Mom, do you remember that girl Allison? She came to my birthday party like 4 years ago? Well, she's mad at me and I can't figure out why. I mean, she says it's because I look at her funny and don't sit at the lunch table with her anymore, but Trina says it because I like Josh and she likes Josh, too. But it's not like I'm dating him or anything. I mean, sheesh, I can't even date right now anyway and she knows that, she just wants to be mad at me. She just can't be mad at me when he comes home from college or his mission and he asks me to marry him. OH! And Jamie said she wants me to come over to her house to spend the night with her on Friday night and I saw that you had a workout scheduled with Monett that day but I just erased it so you could take me over there. I ran so hard in track today and I need a shower so bad. I need the hot water so I'll go first and everyone else can go after me, because, well, I need the hot water. By the way, band, choir, track, softball and speech meets are next week and I'll need $100 for each. Do you think I should go ahead and ask dad tonight or do you think he would totally freak out? Maybe YOU could ask him for me? And I'll need to borrow all of your shoes."
I swear...she was born with a set of iron lungs and an endless supply of oxygen. Not mention the brain of a hyperactive chihuahua.
But I love her.
Most days.
When she's sleeping.
She's definitely been hit by the love bug. Took that after me, unfortunately.
Her daddy, on the other hand...I was his first kiss.
Yeah, it's super sweet. I hear you all oo-ing and aweing.
Wait till you hear the story.
We'd been dating for several...days...and at the end of this particularly sweet date Jonathan leans in for what I think is going to be our first goodnight kiss. Instead, he whispers in my ear, "I really want to kiss you."
Yes!...
Well?...What are you waiting for?? I'm thinking.
"But not tonight", he says. "Next date. I promise."
Shucks. I had no option but to agree because he was already high-tailin' it to his car.
Imagine my surprise when he pulls up to my house and his 13 year old sister is in the front seat!
I was a bit miffed, to say the least.
He's chickened out! He got the worst case of cold feet I've ever seen in a guy to bring his little sister with him tonight, I think to myself.
Gee, I'm surprised he even came.
So, off we go sharing popcorn and a movie on a date that feels more like an awkward FHE gone terribly wrong than a date at all!
Afterwards, he drives me home and I expect to just get out of the car and walk myself to the door because there is OBVIOUSLY no smooching going on on my front porch tonight!
But, he's still the gentleman and walks me to the door.
He leans on the porch post and gives me a suave look.
"I had a nice time tonight." he says.
"Yeah, me too." I shrug my shoulders indifferently.
"The, uh, popcorn was... really good," he manages to say after a slight pause.
*Confused look*
 He clears his throat and shoves his hands in his pockets.
"Well, you know what today is don't you?", he asks me.
At this point, I look over to his car and see his sister staring us down eagerly from the all of 3 yards he parked from my front door.
"Uh-huh."
"Oh. Right, well then..." he says.
...and the pause he inserts here is so long and deafening I could almost hear God say in a low frustrated tone any father would have had seeing his son get himself into an unbelievably awkward situation such as this: "Now, boy," he begins. "If you don't bring your A game to this meeting soon, you're no son of mine."
I'm waiting and waiting and now even my palms are beginning to get sweaty. But it's only because it's 100*+ outside in the middle of July.
FINALLY, he breaks the silence with this extremely smooth suggestion,
"On the count of..."
....
He can't even finish the sentence?? Do I seriously have to do all the work? I mean, I even have to come up with a number we're gonna do this thing on?
"3?" I finally suggest, unsure if that was even enough time for him to gain his courage and composure.
"Yeah, yeah. That sounds good," he agrees.
...
"1," he starts. Oh, boy. Here we go.
...
"2." At least he can count. And believe me, people, there was no romantic mood music going on in my head at this point. Unless, of course, you count the sound of his little sister vehemently smacking her gum in the car.
...
...
...
And somewhere in here God gives him a good swift kick in the rear because the number 3 comes finally, but not like that. I hear from him, instead these words:
"Oh, what the heck."
I was almost choking with laughter.
And as he starts leaning in, I'm noticing that...he's off-center.
He has his eyes closed so tightly and he's moving so slowly I feel as if I'm watching Tom Hanks in Apollo 13 and the words, "Houston, we have a problem" resonate in my ears.
Yeah, we have a probem! He's gonna miss the docking station if he doesn't get a grip! Abort! Abort!!
So, I'm leaning and ducking and trying to manuever myself into the area I predict he will land.
But it was to no avail.
He hit the corner of my mouth, milli-inches from my lips and as soon as he hit, his lips morphed into 2 mega springs that bounced him back off at warp speed and catapulted him back into his car and I didn't see him again for 3 days.
But, the next time I saw him -
he asked me to marry him.
And, I've been blissfully in love ever since.

My little world is NOT movie screen perfect.
It is NOT Hollyowood styled.
There are plenty of things that have happened in my life that I wish I could take back.
There are plenty of things I wish would happen in my life, but most likely never will.
I'm NOT a perfect Visiting Teacher, if I do it at all.
I teach seminary in the early mornings in my home and then go back to bed so I can sleep in a little longer. As a result, I let my kids do their own hair instead of doing it myself. I rarely even see what they look like before they go to school and am usually embarrassed once I pick them up at 3 because my son has a mohawk the size of Idaho and my daughter is wearing pink stripes with red polka dots, (pink and red together is my biggest pet peeve of fashion).
I justify my actions. A lot.
My house is clean, I mean really clean, maybe once a quarter.
I say curse words when I'm really angry.
I bite my nails.
I wear fake eyelashes and fake nails, (partly, to deter me from biting my real ones down to nubs).
Did I mention I justify my actions?
I tan even though I know it will most likely give me skin cancer.
I am a vain and foolish person.
I am addicted to diet pills.

So, no, I'm not perfect. But this isn't about pointing out my flaws and wallowing in my guilt. It's just being raw and honest about a few things. But I don't wander around calling everyone I admire a Molly Mormon or a Susie Homemaker or whatever. That can be more destructive in a way people don't even think about. It's like pointing out someone's flaws with a smile and a pat on the back and walking away feeling like you just did that person a favor. Instead, I walk away thinking, "They really don't know anything about me",  or "That person has higher expectations of me than I have of myself and I just can't measure up to that." That quickly spirals into a deteriorated sense of self. It begins to remind me of the things I'm not doing but should be; of things that I feel should be of more importance to me but that I've neglected. But there's obviously a facade that I'm putting on for people to see these failures in me as successes. So, now, I find myself a hypocrite.
It's not like I can't look at this quirky moniker in a more positive way. I can and it's totally my choice, I understand that. But, I kinda like not being perfect. I like not having to feel the stress of upholding a higher standard than I'm ever capable of in my life just yet.
Oh, I'll get there. But it probably won't be till I'm dead and gone.
THEN, you can call me whatever you want!
;)


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