Happy Monday, friends. While I'm downing six gallons of coffee (with only a minimum of Kahlua, I SWEAR.) and getting my chubby butt on the treadmill to work off the weekend hangover, I offer you a much better way to wake up-with this hilarious guest post by the fabulous Kris, of Pretty All True. She's been married to her hubby Mark for 20 years, and has two great kids, Maj and Kallan. I love her style and wit and she is awesome enough to be spending her birthday here with us! Show her some love.
Filled with Grudge – by Kris
Mark is annoyed with me, “You never told me when Maj’s next appointment with the orthodontist is. I want to put it on the calendar.”
“Don’t get all sassy . . . it’s on a little reminder card in my purse. Hold on, I’ll get it.”
I get my purse and sit down at the table with Mark. I reach into my purse and grab a huge handful of papers and receipts and notes and credit cards and library cards and garbage. I put that handful on the table and spread it out.
I reach into my purse for another handful of folded-up menus and crumpled coupons and wadded dollar bills. Assorted notes and lists. Some wadded-up tissue paper.
Still no reminder card.
I reach to the bottom of my purse and scoop out the small stuff. Big scoops of membership cards and discount cards and my driver’s license and my insurance card.
I dump the rest of my purse onto the table . . . coins and chapsticks and toys and rubber bands and sunscreen and hand sanitizer and earrings and pens and several notes from the school about events long past.
Together Mark and I stare at the pile.
Mark laughs and looks at me, “Seriously? You just carry a mountain of shit around with you everywhere you go? How do you find anything? Don’t you have a wallet or something? Something to help you keep the important stuff organized?”
I reach into my purse, unzip the side pocket, and take out the last item . . . a black leather Coach wallet.
Mark picks it up and looks at it, “This is like new! Why is it empty? Haven’t you had this for a few years?”
“Yes. I carry it everywhere I go but I don’t use it. Duh. I carry it as a reminder of my 40th birthday. It’s not for using . . . it’s for holding a grudge.”
I hold it up and fan the wallet’s emptiness in Mark’s direction, “See? No room for anything in there. It’s all filled with grudge.”
Mark stares at me, “Yeah, because that’s sane.”
People? You’ll understand.
Five years ago. My 40th birthday.
I was having a really hard time with this birthday.
A REALLY FUCKING HARD TIME.
So when my birthday arrived, and I knew for a FACT that Mark had not yet gone shopping or taken the girls to get me a present? I was for a moment filled with insane white-hot perimenopausal rage. Luckily Mark was not home at that moment, or this story might have ended quite badly for him.
I decided I would be a grown-up.
I would go out and buy myself three gifts . . . one for Mark and each of the girls to give me.
I had never done that before, by the way.
So after delivering Maj and Kallan to school, I went out shopping. I never shop for myself, and there was a weird luxury to being able to select things because it was my birthday. I was all emotional and crazed about turning 40, so the items I chose were immediately imbued with magical 40th-birthday power.
I seriously never shop for myself, but knowing that these items were really gifts for my family to give to me?
I was granted a freedom I never feel.
I selected an impossibly soft dark purple robe . . . from Maj to me.
I selected a gorgeous blown-glass paperweight . . . from Kallan to me.
I selected a beautiful black leather wallet . . . from Mark to me.
The girls came home from school, and I explained that Daddy had called to tell me that he had bought presents for Mommy. Daddy would show them the presents when he got home, and the girls could help wrap them. Neither daughter seemed thrilled with this development, as they wanted to help pick the gifts, but I managed to win them over with boxed-cake mix and chocolate frosting.
Mark arrived home, filled with apologies that he hadn’t done anything for my birthday.
This was going to be awesome! I had saved the day!
I showed Mark the gifts I had bought and told him the plan.
I so told him the plan.
The girls ran into the room filled with questions and excitement . . . where were the presents he had bought?
Mark hugged them, “Mommy bought herself some presents! So we’ll just wrap those up and pretend they are gifts from us!”
Both girls immediately burst into tears.
I burst into tears.
Mark saw immediately that he had fucked up, but there was no fixing it. I frosted the cake with stiff murderous jabs. I listened as Mark and our two weeping heartbroken girls wrapped the “gifts” for me in the other room.
I was livid.
I opened the gifts.
An impossibly soft dark purple robe . . . from me to Maj.
A gorgeous blown-glass paperweight . . . from me to Kallan.
Both girls were delighted at this turn of events.
I opened the last gift, and Mark asked challengingly, “What are you going to do with that? You can’t give it to me.”
I leaned to kiss him on the cheek, “No, I will carry this with me always.”
And I have.
I am a tiny bit grudgy.
Today is my 45th birthday.
Turning 45 is way easier than turning 40.
But just in case? I have cleaned out my purse to make room.
Just in case.
Maj’s orthodontist appointment is on April 10th, by the way.