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Welcome to Hell

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According to our neighbor, Hell is the house on the corner.

You know the one. It has green shutters and dried ivy sneaking up the chimney.

It is a blasted wasteland of exposed dirt. A place where dandelions roam freely in the backyard and trees grow out from the middle of other trees. [GASP! Oh the horror.]

Even without the fresh fertilizer that I just spread this afternoon, our yard is a hellhole.

Or at least, that’s what I’m told.

Among my many other faults as a co-homeowner I am:

  • self-absorbed … you know. Like you do when you’re a millennial who works 40 hours a week for the public school system and yet manages to volunteer with two separate organizations.
  • a liar … because we are not actually putting in a rock garden which I so flippantly suggested last fall.
  • and that being 7-months pregnant is just another excuse for not actually doing anything in my yard.

Today, I learned much about residing in the underworld.

Writing on the sidewalk is an attention-getting pastime.

Asking our lovely German neighbor from across the street to weigh in on the state of our yard is juvenile.

Being repeatedly told that our yard is shitty is apparently not, however, sustaining verbal abuse. Huh. Could have fooled me after a 15 minute tirade without any provocation.

Since my mister and I are living in a fantasy world, where we believe that planting things in our yard is a way to magically make things better, I’ve been trying to figure out who exactly that makes Mr. Pirate and I.

We’re not high-ranking enough, I’m sure to consider ourselves Lucifer and Lilith. Probably not Hades and Persephone for that matter. Ellie is clearly our Hell-spawn and her play structure in the backyard is evidently the Devil’s playground.

I wonder if this means that we should get a dog and name it Cerberus?

Tomorrow, I might process the truly eerie photos that I took of our yard, the portal to the underworld, and our adorable little spawn.

For now though, I will contemplate cross stitch — one hobby I have not yet managed to undertake — and leave you with this delightful homage to the Bayeux tapestry.

Crafty credit to stephXstitch.

Crafty credit to stephXstitch on Etsy.



Sometimes A Toothbrush Is Just A Toothbrush

This is one of those posts that will possibly scandalize my mother.
Sorry Momma. For all other readers, please consider this your adult content warning.

Brushing your teeth is a lot like having sex.

After a certain age, most people do it but no one really talks about it in casual conversation. There’s really no wrong way to brush your teeth. Sure, plenty of people have opinions about how’s the best way or what works for them. When you get right down to it though, as long as you’re happy with the results, it really doesn’t matter how the job gets done (As long as it’s consensual and you respect one another’s boundaries that is.).

Couples and other people who share space will talk about it as a sort of courtesy to one another. “Hey, is it cool if I brush my teeth?” You know. Just to make sure that those around aren’t going to be inconvenienced by the fact that you’re going to be carrying on for some time and completely hogging the sink.

But you don’t talk to your co-workers about brushing your teeth. You don’t waltz through the office with a toothbrush in your mouth advertising to everyone that you prefer a vibrating brush over a manual one.

So then why is it that people seem to think it’s OK, to ask women if they’re pregnant? Giving birth once does not automatically grant permission for people to inquire about a woman’s reproductive health.

Scratch that.

NOTHING gives ANYONE permission to inquire about a woman’s reproductive health.

(We’ll go back to dental hygiene in just a minute.)

Elle is almost 2-years-old and I am asked regularly: “When are you going to have another baby?” Not once has Mr. Pirate been asked that same question.

Not. Once.

My work is such that I have one set of immediate co-workers and then two sets of peripheral co-workers. This second set is occupied by people with whom:
a) I have regular interactions because we’re all in the same department.
b) I have regular interactions with because we’re both the blue-collar side of the white-collar education industry.

This morning – while feeling a bit gross because honestly my body has never functioned well before the sun’s up – a female colleague (of the set 2a) asked if I was feeling alright. I told her no, not feeling the best and then she asked, loudly, “Are you pregnant?” In front of three other male colleagues.

She might as well have declared that my breath stinks and demanded if I’d brushed my teeth yet today.

So I told her (and three assembled male colleagues), “No, I’m not pregnant. You have to have sex first for that to happen and I’ve been missing out on step one. There’s your quick sex ed lesson for the day.”

Courtesy of:

Courtesy of:

Yep. I volunteered WAAAAYYY too much information. But she wanted to know.

Later, she apologized and we talked about it. I explained that Mr. Pirate has NOT. ONCE. been asked this same question so it makes me a little tetchy.

Like I said. Elle is almost two. I’ve been asked this question — or variations on the same theme — frequently since she was four-months-old.

I understand that people mean well. I get that they’re trying to make conversation. But, it can come across all too easily as prying into things that are painful. Or inappropriate. Or just plain none of your business.

A better question might be, “Hey, how’s your kid? She/he’s how old again? Wow. That’s a really great age.”

Better yet. Let’s just assume we all brush our teeth and call it a day.