Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I Lied

Okay, well, I didn't lie.

I changed my mind.

I'm back.

It was hamburger and onions that brought me back, rereading an old entry inspired by a thread on a forum I visit. Hamburger and onions and kidisms and Dean Martin and a feeling that something's not quite with out practicing Space Age Housewifery.

Right now I'm relaxing with a nostalgic candle scent in every room and recapturing that elusively comforting autumn ambience that is the essence of October.

You don't have to welcome me back. You might say "I told you so," and that would be all right. It's better than lying the couch with my feet up playing Bubble Breaker and wishing there were something to say over a slice of pumpkin pie and a late-night decaf coffee.

Good night for now. I hope it rains tomorrow, so I can feel guiltless about making leaf-shaped cookies and hot cocoa with real chocolate marshmallows.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


The time has come for me to close up shop here at this version of The Space Age Housewife. These pages have served their purpose for me. I'm not going to delete the blog or its archives, but I will no longer be posting here.

If you are still interested in the midlife crisis of a Space Age Housewife, you can find me at my new location: Space Age Housewife.

I have also created a new blog, a place I'd like to use for writing fiction, essays, articles, and whatever else comes to my brain. You can find it at Writer's Block.

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Yeah, it's a mid-life crisis!

Turning forty was fine for me.

Okay, well, there was a little anxiety.

A little.

I decided to be thirty-ten for a while, but after only a few hours, it had gotten old. It wasn't cute. Neither was I.

Still, it was fine and not too troubling. Inside I still felt twenty, so what difference did it make?

That was before my daughter's twentieth birthday began looming. It's still more than two months away, but I find myself flashing back more often to my pregnancy with her, the unusual warmth of that spring, and my own innocent youth.

I've occasionally struggled with the idea that I am my mother's age (isn't she 40? 38? Something like that), but this is the first time I have struggled with the idea that I am my daughter's age. Those who say that age is "just a number" are partially right. Age is also in the perception. Old is relative. We all know the old saw - you're only as old as you feel. How do we perceive ourselves? How do I perceive myself?

I find it odd and fascinating that I can consider myself a peer to both my daughter and my mother when 48 years separate the two of them. Perhaps that's what they mean by "sandwich generation." I can relate to Kayla; I can relate to Mom. I feel the experiences of both and can nod and smile and say, "I know just what you mean."

This feeling is not unwelcome. I'm glad to know there are still new feelings to explore, that the dusty past can become new again seen through someone else's eyes. How, though, to reconcile that my oldest, my first baby, is about to leave her teens? She has her own life, her own chapters to write, her own feelings to explore and sort. She has dreams, beautiful, blue-skied dreams, and my only dream for her is that she's happy.

No one has ever been able to adequately define a mid-life crisis for me, and I've thought fleetingly in recent years that I was having one. I wasn't. I am now. I no longer need others' definitions, because I'm grappling with the bewilderment of mid-life right now, myself, trying to figure out where I fit in.

Mom turned sixty-eight yesterday. Kayla's careering toward twenty. Somewhere in between, I'm still the middle child.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Ever had a roommate?

I wrote this as an exercise on a message board, and it's all too, too true:

Dear Former Roommate:

You know, it's been almost 22 years, and I'm still a little angry with you. Maybe a lot angry. Maybe I should get over it, but the way you treated me and my belongings was horrendous, and I hope you have managed to grow up and learn some responsibility since then.

That jewelry you took with you when did the fly-by-night move? That was mine. You know - the earrings and necklaces that were in my jewlery box on my dresser in my bedroom. I know, I know. They weren't labelled as mine, but I had thought perhaps the location might give a clue to ownership.

Remember the rent? That monthly charge for living in the apartment that you never paid? The one-third that I kept covering, along with my own one-third, because you hadn't been "able" to find a job yet? Can I get that back yet? You did, after all, set up that complex repayment plan so I'd be sure to know you fully intended to make good on taking advantage of my stupidity generosity in paying your share. Just to show you what a stand-up woman I am, I'll forgive the grocery debt. I didn't really want to eat the food I bought anyway. It was just for looks.

The new outfit, though. That really hurt. I had my first credit card - a Dayton's store charge - and I had bought a perfect pair of jeans and a gorgeous purple sweater. When I brought them home from the store, you wanted to know if you could borrow the outfit. Never mind that you were one jeans size bigger than I was, and that you wore a D-cup bra as opposed to my A-cup and therefore would have stretched out my new sweater. Never mind that I hadn't even worn my new clothes yet. You wanted to borrow the outfit, and I said no.

I should have guessed when I left for the evening that you would have just gone ahead and taken the clothes anyway. I should have known, so I suppose it was my fault that you stole my jeans and my sweater. It certainly wasn't my fault, however, that you decided you didn't like your date after all and thought that crying "rape" would be a good way to get attention. That you admitted to me that that's what you had done was unbelievably insensitive and offensive, considering you knew that I'd been an actual victim of such a crime just a few years earlier.

When you told me the police had taken the clothes as evidence, I know I exploded. And you deserved it. "I didn't think you'd mind," you said about "borrowing" my clothes. Didn't think I'd mind? Didn't think I'd mind? I specifically told you not to take my clothes. How could think I wouldn't mind.

Your night flight wasn't long after that. I suppose you "didn't think I'd mind" about your taking my jewelry either.

You don't know this, but I went to the police station to recover my new clothes. Because I was not the one who signed the paperwork as the owner, the police would not release my property to me. I couldn't prove that it WAS my property. Your false rape case went nowhere, you disappeared, and I never, ever got those clothes back. They were my first purchase on my first charge card, and when the bill came later, I was bitter over writing out the check for a sweater and jeans I could never wear.

But it's not thanks for nothing, old roommate. I learned more life lessons from a few months sharing an apartment with you than I could ever have thought possible. That venerable old teacher Experience surely did sock it to me, didn't She?


Sunday, February 04, 2007

Who am I?

For years, I was a WOHM.

For years, I was a SAHM.

Now I have a job again, and I've gone to M-F noon to 3, with the occasional Saturday thrown in. That makes at least 15 hours a week, putting me solidly in the part-time arena.

So does that make me a PTWOHM? But if I'm a PTWOHM, and I also spend many hours each week at home or school doing SAHM stuff, does that make me a PTSAHM?

I seem to recall that one of the "rules" is that you can't work AND be a SAHM, so while there might be a designation for PTWOHM, indicating that she does not work full-time, there can be no designation for PTSAHM.

Now, if I calculate the number of hours spent at home, school, and children's activities, and they overwhelm the number of hours I am at work, am I a SAHM or a WOHM. Whoops, no, there again is the rule that any amount of work negates the SAHM label.

Does it change if I can bring my children to work with me? I work during the hours that Space Age daughter is normally in school, but it's after Space Age son's school hours, so he comes with me.

Does that make me a SAHM? No, because we're not at home. Does it make me a SAWM (stay-at-work mom?)? Does it make Space Age Son a WOHS (work-out-of-home son?)?

Maybe I am a PTSAHWOHM?


(As a note, I really don't want or expect answers to my questions - this was just a bit of fluff meant to poke fun at the labels we often insist on giving ourselves and how, unlike men, our identities seem to be wrapped up in parenting vs. working, as though somehow the two were mutually exclusive.)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

We interrupt this program for an important message

It goes without saying that what I miss most about Minnesota is proximity to my family, the important people who helped shape my life and love me no matter what.

I must admit, however, that there is something else from Minnesota that I miss with a startling amount of regularity. I want some right now. I want Old Dutch potato chips. And some French onion dip. And a Dad's root beer in a glass bottle.

I don't want much. Just Old Dutch.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.