The More Things Change


The more they yada yada yada…

Okay, so after being sick on the heels of dealing with demolished car and then getting sick again, Randy and I were able to get away for the weekend.

We drove 11 hours over two days in order to party for 9 hours with Mountain girl and the Bass player.

I have spent the last 5 birthdays at their home in Tennessee. This year we missed it by a week.

I was too sick to travel my actual birthday weekend. Turns out this was fortuitous, because last weekend they had torrential rains. This weekend, the daffodils were blooming, the sun was out and we didn’t even need jackets until sunset.

We very nearly cancelled this weekend as well as we were supposed to get hit with a big snow on Sunday.

We decided what we would do, is just take off as soon as we woke up Sunday morning. Randy and I hardly ever sleep in. I would love to sleep in. Sleeping in sounds like the best thing ever, but once I wake up, I’m up. We decided if we left early enough, we could at least get far enough ahead of the storm to be out of the mountains.

We were on the road by 6:15 am.

For being the scariest snowstorm ever, it was kind of wussy.

It was snowing pretty good by the time we got home, but the roads were just wet. It’s been hours now and we might have 2 inches of snow. Probably less.

So, not the best snowpocalypse. Not that I’m complaining. I have to drive to work in the morning. The older I get, the more fucking cranky I get about driving in the snow. I bought a Nissan Versa to replace the car that got smashed up. It’s a nice, zippy little car. No idea how it will handle in the snow, but if I have to guess, it’s going to be shitty. There’s not much to this car.

Risking travel in the snow was totally worth the gamble. I was presented with booze and brunch. Eggs Benedict, mimosas, a bloody Mary and then other stuff. It gets a bit hazy.

Mountain girl gave me a pair of TARDIS pajama pants. You guys, they are perfect. Very light, which is awesome because I’m always goddamn hot. Also, she bought them in a size smaller than I would have and they fit perfect. Not even “very nearly too small”, they fit perfect, which scientifically proves they are bigger on the inside.

Don’t overthink that. It’s complicated science. 

I guess it doesn’t matter that the celebration was a week late.

I didn’t just miss my birthday weekend in the mountains last weekend, I missed my birthday with my mom and sisters.

We made up for that Friday night. So, this weekend has been all about me. Not gonna lie, I didn’t mind it at all.

Just before Randy I left to go to my mother’s, I got an email from the woman who interviewed me for an article about multiple marriages. She said her editor wanted to know if I would be willing to include pictures from all three of my weddings. I don’t mind, but putting my hands on wedding pictures from my first two weddings would be a challenge. I’m going to do my best, though. I guess this means my interview is making the article, so that’s cool.

I called my mom on our way over and told her to get the pictures out. We had a job to do.

So, my birthday party with my mom and sisters consisted mostly of sorting through pictures and eating brownies. Well, and presents. The presents are always amazing.

I have to give a shout out to my mother for giving me the most amazing birthday present.

First, she made tote bag embroidered with “Shell’s Bag”, and inside was another tote bag. Inside tote bag #2, she put some socks, gloves, food bars, tissues, water bottles, a little money and gum. She made this tote bag for me to put in my car, so the next time I see a homeless woman, I can give her the bag.

On the one hand, I can’t wait to give away my birthday present. On the other hand, it seems a bit wrong to be excited to find a homeless woman. It’s very difficult being me.

Anyway, my youngest sister and I sat on the living room floor and looked through pictures. We found a few from my first wedding. Randy and I have pictures from when we got married at the Sedgwick county courthouse in Wichita, KS. It wasn’t fancy.

So far, I have not located any pictures from wedding number 2, but baby sister assures me she will find one. She knows they exist, she’s just not entirely sure where.

I have faith she will prevail.

While we were searching, I found a file folder that my mom had put together with things from my childhood. My high school diploma was in there. Report cards from St. Augustine elementary. She even had my kindergarten report card.

You guys, I was absurdly happy to hold that report card from 1968.

Anyway, I opened it and my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Olridge, had written a single comment:

“Michelle is often tired, but rarely listless”

Okay, that is hilarious.

What the fucking fuck? Who even uses terms like that to describe a 5 year old? I mean, how far is that from “Michelle does not care for needlepoint or mock turtle soup. I am afraid there is no hope for her.”

My second thought was “I haven’t changed at all since kindergarten.”

I wasn’t looking for any insight about my life while looking for wedding pictures from my failed marriages, but there it was anyway. I haven’t changed at all. If I were asked to describe myself in two words, I’d say “often tired”.

I didn’t realize that my tiredness went back that far.

I am probably listless more often now than 51 years ago.

Hahaha holy shit you guys, I was in kindergarten over a half a century ago.

I loved Mrs. Olridge’s comment so much I changed the blog tagline: Often tired but rarely listless.

What’s not to love about that?





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  • “Not even “very nearly too small”, they fit perfect, which scientifically proves they are bigger on the inside.”

    Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha! Thank you!

  • “Bigger on the inside” – even before I’ve finished my coffee, I caught the reference! Glad to hear you had an awesome, slightly belated BD…
    My double-nickel turned into an extended celebration too – a friend & I caught “Cold Pursuit” Sat night which turned out to be a terrific black comedy, all digits UP from Val!
    I can hardly believe that I’m going to Mexico next week (another belated BD gift to myself) but I keep staring in the mirror, practicing my best L’Oreal “You’re WORTH it!” husky stage whisper… We’ll see if this impulsive decision turns out Mostly Good, or another comedic/tragic episode very very soon.

  • All Doctor Who items are bigger on the inside than they are on the outside, unless it’s a scarf, and in that case it’s even longer than it seems to be. That’s part of the fun.
    Anyway I’m glad you had a terrific birthday and that no one tried to feed you mock turtle soup. Or real turtle soup.
    And if you’re ever in Nashville and still have your tote bag I can direct you to a homeless woman. Well, she may not really be homeless, but she stands on a corner and sells The Contributor, which is a newspaper by and about the local homeless people, so at the very least she’s in assisted living. Her corner is right across from a coffee shop that sells cake pops, which is very smart positioning.

  • Happy belated birthday. I thought I had written something but clearly I didn’t hit enter or something equally as intelligent.

    I lived in a province where kindergarten was not mandatory so Mom asked me if I wanted to go…who asks that? In her defense she was a teacher…is that a good defense?

    I didn’t go, but in Grade 1 my teacher wrote, “Diane finishes her work quickly and accurately and then proceeds to disturb everyone else in the class who didn’t finish as quickly”.

    That still sounds like me…I’m not so sure that the accuracy is still up there some days, however, I often did more than my co-workers so I deserved a break…bosses are less understanding than primary teachers.

  • Happy belated birthday!! My 49th was on the 16th. You may think you have not gotten any insight from the pictures, but it can definitely help you see that you are much wiser, much more insightful, and going through that may not have been easy, but it seems like you are a happy, successful, funny, and articulate woman. Granted, I don’t know you personally, but I try to build other women up and realize how amazing they are. And YOU are amazing!! I’m sorry about your car. Hopefully it won’t be to much of a hassle with the insurance company. I love reading everything you write! It makes me feel normal.

  • Happy Birthday!!!
    Sounds like the bomb!
    It’s fun to read those old report cards and things. What a funny thing for your teacher to write.
    Glad you finally got to celebrate though!

  • My grade 5 teacher wrote that I was “outspoken”. I haven’t changed much either. Also, do the insides and outsides of Tardis pajamas exist in different time periods? Can I get my calves of the present and my ass of the past? Cool.

  • Congratulations on the interview, and here’s hoping the pictures are found. We didn’t get grades in kindergarten, first, or second grades because I attended a school that was experimenting with different curricula… Remember “new math”? That’s what we got.
    I don’t know if it worked or not, I always hated math afterward, but when I changed schools in third grade I was ahead of their program a little, so there’s that.
    What a thoughtful present from your mom. Briana says you might want to put some tampons in the give-away tote.
    I’m glad the weather didn’t get you. I just had to look up the location of Lee county, Alabama, to make sure it was far enough away from Huntsville, where my friend Sara lives to allow me not to worry about her. (It is, and even if it wasn’t, her folks have an underground storm shelter. And when she lived here she was afraid of earthquakes.)
    I don’t have as many lists as I used to, but as of yet, I’m not entirely listless…

    • oh man, that was crazy down in AL. So tragic.

      Tell Briana, thank you! That is a good idea for an addition. I’ve already decided that when I give this one away, I’m going to make a replacement. I have a ton of old purses.

  • Happy Birthday! You deserve a day as amazing as you and your blog. Thanks for making Mondays better than they were!

  • OF COURSE the pajama pants are bigger on the inside! DUH! You know that your statement made ALL kinds of sense to fans of Doctor Who. (Also, if you abbreviate it to “Dr.” then there aren’t enough letters to anagram Torchwood, so please don’t ever do that again. Like it matters.)

    I LOVE the filled tote bag for a homeless woman idea! Unfortunately, I’d probably go broke giving those out in Los Angeles. Plus, not all “homeless women” here are actually homeless or grateful for the small necessities. There’s one that sits outside my Trader Joe’s and won’t accept an offer of groceries. Only cash money. They know her inside. I’ve been told her husband sits parked in their van, watching her, waiting for her to bring him the cash.

    Ennyhoo, I’m so glad you were able to have a fantastic, albeit belated, birthday. I’m trying to keep up with your blogging rate, and it often makes me tired. But rarely listless. 😉

  • Yes, you should definitely watch Torchwood. Well, if you enjoyed all of the Captain Jack Harkness moments/episodes of the Eccleston/Tennant Doctor Who days, then you definitely should. Not that there are any “shoulds” in Doctor Who. Don’t wanna “should” all over yourself. Ennyhoo, enjoy!

By Michelle


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