I believe in owning your truth. A local restaurant seems to be doing just that. With this sign, they’ve just come out with it, like, “Yep, our restrooms are effing disgusting. Protect yourself.” Warms my heart.
It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts. So, obviously, I’ve accumulated quite the list of thoughts and happenings, some of which relate to our recent trip to New York City.
We “vacationed” to NYC over Thanksgiving. Given Thanksgiving wasn’t going to be what we expected, we decided it’d be best to go completely non-traditional. For us, it was a good decision – a welcome distraction. NYC is a distracting place, and it’s such a melting pot that at least half the people there appeared not to give one flying eff about the holiday, which we appreciated.
This isn’t to say we aren’t thankful for what we have. I think we’re now more thankful than ever, because we know first-hand how quickly and tragically life can change. But celebrating and giving thanks isn’t exactly top of mind after losing Matthew…
Moving onto other thoughts and happenings…
On our flight home from NYC, I had a mini-meltdown. Per usual, we sat in the exit row (Mark’s 6’5”). I’ve heard the exit row speech MANY times. I get it. It’s not confusing. But, this time, it was. The flight attendant zeroed in on ME, asking me ~seven times if I saw the plastic plate covering the red, emergency door handle. I mean, usually you just answer “yes” to indicate you’re capable of sitting there, amiright? Well, I’d already answered “yes”, so I don’t know why the hell she was still talking to me. She kept asking, “See? That plate?” So finally I ripped the plate off the door and handed it to her. Ten rows of people erupted into laughter, including Mark, who refused to acknowledge her behavior was confusing. I didn’t talk to Mark for an hour. Later, as I pretended to sleep, the flight attendant told Mark I’d brightened her day. Grief obviously messes with my brain function.
So here’s something I never thought I’d say – I purchased a selfie stick. Some observations:
- They actually take great pictures.
- They’re dangerous – tourists holding these three foot poles on the crowded NYC streets could totally poke your eye out.
- It’s fun to watch people use them, especially if they’re alone in Central Park taking pictures of themselves in the exact same location at 400 different angles (true story).
I about died when, last Thursday, just hours after posting this, AB emailed, “I want curry!” This WOULD happen to me. Mr. Curry’s was nasty again (I choked down some lukewarm yellow rice). But the music made it worth the trip. And, AB, JVB, and I want to start filming our lunches for our own YouTube Channel. We dream of becoming internet-famous…
I’ve said this before… Often I yell, “Fuck you” in my mind to less sensitive co-workers. Well, the other day, an employee yelled just that (except not in her mind) to a co-worker. Said employee was fired. Note to self…
Mark turned 30 on November 30 – his golden birthday, which doesn’t seem “golden” given what we’ve been through… But we celebrated over dinner in NYC. Given how fragile life feels now, 30 honestly feels like one big freaking miracle, so I think we were right to try to make the best of it.
The other day at San Sai (<= I could begin so many sentences like this), a customer asked an employee for a side of honey. The employee was like, “I cannot offer you honey, but I CAN offer you teriyaki sauce!” Thrilled, the customer happily accepted the teriyaki sauce like it was just what he’d asked for. Now, each day, AB jokingly asks for a side of honey. And I took some packages of honey from the Starbucks down the street, so we could put them at San Sai for that customer.
This past weekend we flew to Minnesota to visit some friends. Again, we sat in the exit row. And, again, it was eventful, but in a different sort of way. Our flight out was empty, so the 70-something woman in front of and across the aisle from us had a seat to herself. Sometime after we gave our drink orders, I glanced over and noticed she was watching something risqué (actually, a porno). We laughed with the guy next to us, and I think more noticed, and I think she noticed we noticed, but she seemed to not give two shits. It was funny (don’t worry, no kids were around).
Since mid-August, Mark and I have lost a combined 100ish pounds, so we’re down a high school cheerleader, pretty much.
Since Matthew died, I’ve become more aggressive at work. The other day, I emailed a Senior VP, demanding, “Please send me your budget today, or I’ll make up some numbers for you.” It worked.
AB and JVB continue to distract me. The other day, after lunch, we pulled a prank. We left a dollar bill on the counter in the office workroom. A super honest co-worker found it, and, knowing we’d been in the workroom, asked if it was one of ours. We said it wasn’t, so he returned it to the workroom. We then decided to move it to a restroom stall instead – stall one, or, as we like to call it, #stallone. People like to camp out crap in #stallone, so we know not to use it. But, we thought it’d be funny if someone sent a company-wide email saying they found a dollar bill in stall one (someone once sent a company-wide email saying stall one’s toilet was clogged). But, instead, it took only ~five minutes for someone to take our dollar bill. Somewhere out there, a #stallone user is $1 richer.
Last Monday, I cooked for the first time since July 13. Mark was out of town. I made chili. Grocery shopping and cooking was hard work. I feel bad that, over the past five months, Mark’s done all this for me without complaining. I’m going to try to do better.
In NYC, I drank ~20 chai tea lattes (I’m obsessed). One morning, we sat in a swanky organic coffee shop, and I watched as an energetic, 20-something female barista interacted with local patrons. An obvious free spirit, she seemingly had no care in the world. A patron asked her, “What happened to you? I haven’t seen you on Instagram lately.” She replied, “Oh… Dude, I think my account was shut down again!” The patron asked, “Why?” She replied, “Dude, I post a lot of inappropriate things.” I chuckled at the interaction, and it made me miss my happy-go-lucky side.
Mark and I love Million Dollar Listing New York. So, on Sunday in NYC, we attended several open houses. If agents asked, we pretended we were relocating. We perused condos from $1 – $10 million, none of which we could afford (obvy). The $1 million condo didn’t have flooring, but the $10 million penthouse condo in Tribeca was PERFECTION. Never once were we given the side-eye or questioned on our ability to purchase a $10 million condo… I guess so many people are rich, they can’t question. And, it was fun to pretend to be someone else for a day.
Since Matthew died, I’ve slacked on my cleaning responsibilities, so, the other day, Mark hired a cleaning company, which was sweet, but it made me feel like a failure. Though, I’m proud of myself – I’ve picked up my cleaning efforts since then.
I love my neighbor who taught me about #dogsofinstagram. On Instagram, when in doubt, I just post a picture of Howie with #dogsofinstagram, and it’s an automatic ten “likes” (at least), which is a self-esteem boost. To do it, all you need is a dog, a camera phone, and an Instagram account.
Though we had fun in NYC, I cried every day. One day, I cried all day. It’s because we went to church… There were so many families, and all I could think was how we’re the only ones who’ve lost a child, even though I had no idea their stories. Why do we do this to ourselves? Assume our lives are so much worse than everyone else’s?
Two weekends ago, a friend from college visited. I was a little nervous, because I hadn’t seen her since July 13 (so much has changed, and I’m nervous to see ANYONE I haven’t seen since July 13). Though, she’s been extremely supportive, so I thought it’d be okay. And, it was more than okay, actually. To say I enjoyed her visit is a gross understatement. She too has been through some stuff over the past year, so Saturday we talked about life, love, and loss, while still managing some fun conversation too. Love you so much, MP, and so thankful for you in my life!
Yesterday was Matthew’s five month birthday. Five months. It feels like yesterday and a lifetime ago, all at the same time. I can’t believe he’s been gone five months. And, I can’t believe, somehow, I’m still here. I don’t know what I expected, but I guess it wasn’t that I’d just be… Here.
These days, it’s easier to function. The blunt force trauma shock of it all has softened… But, though it’s easier to function, losing Matthew really isn’t any easier. I don’t know if that part ever will be. I’m functioning despite my grief, not because I’m better.
And I’m still overwhelmed when I think about how difficult the last five months have been, knowing I have a lifetime of missing him ahead of me. I can’t quite wrap my brain around this. I miss Matthew so much, and I hope he’s flying high up there.
We love you, sweet boy. ❤ ❤