Then All (Spider) Hell Broke Loose and That’s Why I Needed Some Retail Therapy

Suggestion for the day: Use Grammarly’s plagiarism check because if anybody copies anything that my brilliant Yale Professor Angel Boy writes, they are gonna have to deal with ME, the fiercest Mommy Monster EVER. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

BLOG WARNING: If spiders freak you out, pour your favorite adult beverage and take a sip or two before you continue. Keep refilling as needed.

Last night in the middle of the night; was it a dream or was it real?

I don’t know what sleep state I was in, but I FELT something crawly on my arm.

You know how sometimes dreams can be SO real?

Like when you have to pee but you’re not sure if it’s just a dream or for reals and your subconscious says if you don’t wake up RIGHT NOW YOU ARE GOING TO PEE THE BED and then you’ll remember next time that you should have listened?

No? Just me?

Too much? 

Well, this time I dragged myself out of whatever level I was in and woke all the way up and saw that I was holding my left arm with my right hand, which was pretty amazing in its own right, right?

I ever so carefully turned over and flipped on my bedside lamp with my left hand all the while holding firm with my right hand to my left arm. Get the picture?

Can we say awkward?

Slowly, ever so slowly, I cautiously spread apart my fingers  — which by now had a major death grip on my left bicep.

OH HELL NO.

YUP,  IT WAS A SPIDER.

IT WAS A MOTHERF***ING SPIDER.

BIG AND BLACK  WITH EIGHT NASTY HAIRY BLACK LEGS.

www.outback-australia-travel-secrets.com

http://www.outback-australia-travel-secrets.com                                           It wasn’t this big, but that’s how big it SEEMED.

(Thank goodness it wasn’t a black widow, but I wasn’t thinking about that at that moment.)

ALL HELL WAS BREAKING LOOSE IN MY HEAD.

A SPIDER WAS ON ME.

How did he get there?

What would have happened if I hadn’t awakened?

What if it bit me? OMG.

What do I do? What would YOU do? I didn’t know what to do.

With the tugboat man out of town for the week at some stupidass seminar, I couldn’t  punch him out for — well, who cares for what– just for being there, I guess. Of course it was his fault somehow. ‘Cos that’s the way it works. No matter what, he gets blamed for it ha ha.

I had to deal with this by myself. Alone.

My heart was beating so hard that I thought it was gonna pop out of my ribcage and I simultaneously started swearing and hyperventilating.

I only had two arms and two hands and they were still clenching each other and trying to contain the dinner plate-sized SPIDER from moving anywhere. (It wasn’t that big, but you know, that’s how it FELT.)

I mean, what the hell do you do in that situation?

If I took my hand away, he would continue on his merry way up my arm to who knows where, and if I smashed it ON my arm, I’d have a dead spider with spider juices all over my arm.

Quite the dilemma I was in, don’t you agree?

With my agile toes, I grabbed the tissue box that was on the floor conveniently nearby ‘cos I’d been having allergies and was sniffly.

With my right hand still virtually superglued to my left arm, all those years of ballet training came into play as I plucked a tissue from the box with the toes of my right foot and very gracefully (NOT) brought my toes and my mouth to meet, kind of contorting in a forward fold OVER my arms.

Envision a human quesadilla.

Good to know I’m still as flexible as a twenty-year-old, I noted to myself with pride…

With the tissue secured in my mouth, in the blink of an eye, I lifted my right hand, grabbed the tissue, and scooped up the probably by now brain damaged spider where I believe he’d been paralyzed in terror, ran to the bathroom, threw the spider-filled tissue in the toilet, and flushed.

Bye-bye spider. On to the afterlife for you.

Who could get back to sleep, right? I was traumatized. I grabbed my laptop, Tweeted about the incident and composed a list of things to do the next day, which always calms me down. List making is like that.

Which brings us to retail therapy.

Because my tugboat man’s been home for a while, I’m out of practice– and like any sport, it’s imperative to drill on a regular basis and stay in tip top shape with consistent training to hone and sharpen skills.

I’m gearing up for a daylong shopping excursion to South Coast Plaza (OMM) and thought it’d be good idea to start with a little local therapy.

I mean you wouldn’t run a full marathon without first trying out a half marathon, right?

After Boot Camp, I hit all of the local spots in an impromptu training sesh  – Target, Michaels, World Market, Tuesday Morning, Marshalls —  flexing my shopping muscles and getting my groove back.

I was pleased not to have lost my quick reflexes; whipping out the plastic in 2.5 seconds, tying my former record.

A couple of necessities, a tray adorned with roses (how could I resist), pink push up bra, cutest ever flip-flops, card for our anniversary…not too bad, nothing spectacular, nothing major, even a couple of one dollar books from the library.

No Chanel, no Louby heels, no jewelry…baby steps, baby steps.

It felt good, though…real good — to get back in the saddle.

It really is just like riding a bicycle, you never forget.

And the retail therapy successfully helped to erase the psychological trauma of sleeping with a spider. 

shoppingtrip

annivcardThe inside text: “Listening and Understanding…The key to every good relationship. Happy Anniversary.” Pretty funny, huh?
My tugboat man’ll like that. 
flipflops Who could resist gold + sparkles + a bow? Not me.

Next time, watch out! South Coast Plaza, here I come.

(FYI I get a $20 gift card for using Grammarly.)

I said TWINE not WINE

I came late in life to the Facebook party – I’m a FB menopause baby — and it really proved itself as a forum for support and compassion when I was faced with a dilemma. They talked me down off that ledge of compulsive behavior.

A Tugboat Wife Confession
I’m slightly OCD  —  I emphasize slightly because it’s not something that cripples my daily life, and I mostly kind of love and embrace all my little idiosyncrasies.  I think it’s kinda cute to be SUH-LIGHTLEE crazy. It’s what makes me ME. It might be a bit tough to be married to ME, but my tugboat man is pretty cool with it.

We OCD-ers are the ones who love a clean house, am I right? We can’t ALL be slobs, if ya know what I mean…

Hold on a sec, I’ll be right back, I see a picture on the wall that’s off just a skosh, I gotta go straighten it out. ………………………………………OK I’m back. Whew. All better.

See, it comes in handy to be slightly OCD, who needs a level when I’m around? Right? I can eyeball a shelf, a pic, anything slightly askew – I have a built-in level in my brain.

Don’t get grossed out —  but a few days ago I was sitting on the….ahem…toilet. Right across from me there’s a floor shelf unit with towels, my hair dryer, iron, straightener — and a ton of seashells. I had lovingly arranged each one in a specific location. I noticed a shell/rock combo shifted and was facing in a less than feng shui direction.

It bothered me enough that I stopped what I was doing — ahem — got up, shuffled over, YES, pants around my ankles, moved them a smidgen, and sat back down. I had a bit of a convo with myself about it — should I get up, should I wait ’til I’m done, does it really bother me, and I remembered what my very patient and tolerant hubs always says to me in similar situations, “Is it something you can live with?” and I told myself, “No, I need to fix it, because that’s what will make me happy” so I did and then I chortled to myself thinking about what my tugboat man would say when I shared the story.

So…a couple days ago my OCD manifested itself again when I shopped for twine. That’s right,  I said twine, not wine.

TwineI needed twine for the snowpeas in my garden.
Plain old useful-for-a-zillion things twine.

I went to True Value Hardware and bought a ball of twine for $2.99, did a few more errands, bought a scarf at Marshalls, and stopped at the dollar store. They had twine for ONE DOLLAR. Uh oh. I drove home with all kinds of thoughts fomenting and swirling around in my crazy head. Should I take back the twine I bought from True Value? Those stores are on opposite sides of my city, not a great distance, but more than a hop, skip, and a jump. I got the brill idea to put the power of social media to work and pose the question to my FB family:facebookpage

I got tons of much needed help, but the consensus wasn’t clear. 50% voted for a return, 50% said don’t sweat it, remember the dollar store for the next time — and I’m sure quite a few were shaking their heads, thinking they were really glad they weren’t married to me and wouldn’t have to deal with this on a regular basis, am I right, y’all?. Ha Ha!  The family joke is that I’ll waste five dollars in gas to return a fifty cent item, and that is absolutely true. On the other hand — designer handbags… need I say more?

After my BootCamp class yesterday, I returned to the dollar store and did a twine by twine comparison. Yes, the dollar store offering was only $1 but it contained HALF as much twine as the $2.99 option from True Value  — 120 feet versus 230 feet

So… I did my due diligence and felt comfortable with the original purchase and hadn’t wasted any money. I’m grateful to everyone who took the time to share their thoughts and opinions. Social media rocks!

It was a definite burr under my saddle for a while. Prolly should have just bought a bottle of WINE and saved myself and everyone else a whole lotta stress!

sweetpeasAnd finally, here’s the twine helping my darling little pea plants grow straight and tall!

Are you in the OCD club with me?

Are you special, too?

Today is a boot-nanza and a boot-tacular day!

All my whining and whinging and going on ad nauseum about how poor little me can’t find the perfect black boot and my stingy hubs won’t let me spend $2,000.00 on those Chanels HAS FINALLY COME TO AN END!

I have closure, I have fulfillment, I have reached my bootgasm. Aaaahhh. And it feels AY-MAY-ZING!

Since he left on Monday my tugboat man has taken three flights and an eight-hour boat ride to reach his ultimate destination. Sworn to secrecy, I can’t tell where, but let’s just say it’s remote. 

Enough about him. On to ME and MY day.

I’m back on the horse, all systems go; a protein drink for energy in my belly, and I’m off to SHOP!!!

After spending Tuesday cleaning like a madwoman and falling asleep after New Girl, my shopping desire became a hunger that rose with the sun. Instead of going to Pilates, I left the house at 9:45 a.m. in order to arrive at Nordstroms Rack at 10:00 a.m. Right on time for the opening, I  snapped a pic of my morning mecca. Blue sky, palm trees, great parking spot.

Life. Is. Good.nordrack

With a single-minded determined march to the footwear department, I surveyed the landscape like a five-star general. Shoes to the left, boots to the right. On to victory!

 nordaislenordaisle2There were a couple of other women in the same size area. I usually wear a 5 or a 5  1/2. It just depends. I grabbed a bunch of boots to stake my claim, just in case they got there first. It was woman against woman and “boot war” rules apply. It wasn’t quite the kind of madness you’d find at a Kleinfeld’s clearance, but we were circling each other; wary, squinting, attempting to strategize while seeming nonchalant. I know all the tricks, beeyotches!

bootsnord

Cinderella (me) tried on many boots–and shoes too, duh, who’re we kidding? I spent two hours in that one part of Nords–and this is what I came out with; not one, but two pair of boot! (Notice the entirely gratuitous shot of my Grand Shopper Tote CHANEL?)

The black boots are Via Spiga. I feel very empowered and beeyotchy in them, a sure sign that they contain the MAGIC. They fit snugly around the calf, which I love, ‘cos most boots are too roomy. Motorcycle cop, anyone? Or polo in the Hamptons? And then I couldn’t help but get the second pair. They are just so darn CUTE with those little studs. I feel like a TOUGH gang chicka. The color is cognac and they’re Steve Madden. I love shorty boots with dresses. Adorbs with an attitude, don’t you agree?

newboots boots2

For the final coup of the day, I went next door to Marshalls (!) and found these…COULD. NOT. RESIST.hkshoes

That’s my day, how’s your Wednesday?

haters

“…We sail tonight for Singapore, don’t fall asleep while you’re ashore” Tom Waits

Here’s today’s Daily Prompt Challenge: Hindsight.  Now that you’ve got some blogging experience under your belt, re-write your first post.

This is MY deja vu–my first blog re-do–obviously my life is a deja vu redo Groundhog Day repeat. The captain was gone again, I was alone for a very long time…I’ve learned to use tags since then–maybe THIS time it’ll get read! 

My First Blog Post

“…We sail tonight for Singapore, don’t fall asleep while you’re ashore” Tom Waits

Day 60: Alone again! It’s 8:00 p.m. on a Sunday evening and I just completed a copy editing assignment for a brilliant young neuroscientist. Since my first pink lock and key diary at the age of eight, I’ve filled notebooks and journals with my thoughts and observations, and even minored in creative writing in college, but the hardest thing in the world for me to do is to let go of my own words. (I’m a word hoarder. Hah!)

Update: Now I’m a word spewer–since I started blogging, I can’t STOP writing!

Although I easily re-write and proof and edit the work of others (and love to do it), my own words seem to be trapped somewhere; I am never quite satisfied with the finished product; I always feel that one more re-write is always needed—just one more, and then another and another–and I am determined to overcome this obstacle by blogging about my life as a wife of a Merchant Mariner. To other MM wives, I’d love to share our experiences, problems, frustrations, and solutions. There are thousands of us around the world—let’s create a community and help one another. What do we all do when our guys are gone? In what ways do our lives change when they’re away on assignment and when they’re home? How do we cope with the work-related absence of a spouse, whether it’s due to the military, MM, or any other career that involves a lot of travelling? Are you sad? Maybe relieved sometimes, if you were to be completely honest?

Update: Still hoping to create the community of Merchant Mariner Wives. I’ve met Snipewife who’s awesome, but there has to be others! Come out and play! 

Also, from time-to-time, I will review either a product I’ve used or a book I’ve read and share my opinion. I have great things to say about Sally Hansen Smooth and Perfect nail polish. I have it in Satin 04. It claims to hide ridges and imperfections with a “breathable porcelain-smooth finish.”  The website says it’s enhanced with ginseng, camellia oil, and lotus to promote stronger, healthier nails. I was really impressed with the finished product and it really does give a professional look. I’m going to try it in other colors and will let you know. Update: it worked great, very shiny, lasts a decent amount of time, and is inexpensive.

Here’s a mini-version of my back story: I’m a (was a) stay-at-home mom; when my son left for college, I stayed home. Don’t you think that’s funny? I do. That’s my standard joke/response when I’m asked what I “do”. Some people think it’s funny, some people think I’m obnoxious. Story of my life.

I’ve been married to a Merchant Mariner tugboat captain for about eighteen years, nineteen in February 2013. For the first fourteen years or so, our life was pretty ordinary and except for a few assignments that took him away for a week or so, his schedule kept him working in local ports.  In 2009, he changed companies and became the kind of Merchant Marine who goes out to sea for extended periods of time and travels to the four corners of the globe. When I tell people that my husband is a MM, most either think he is a “Marine Marine” or they don’t know what a Merchant Mariner is or what they do. My guy is an academy graduate (he won’t let me say which one ‘cos he’s paranoid that someone will figure out who he is) and has been working in the industry since graduation.

merchant marine sealWhat exactly is a Merchant Mariner?? For those of you who don’t know, the United States has a fleet of  Merchant Marine vessels,  ships which are owned and registered in the US and fly under our flag, but are separate from the military. (We are proud supporters of American-flagged vessels.) For example, car ships carry cars (obvs!), container ships hold cargo of TVs, bananas, soda ash, or even sand and gravel.

tug barge

NOT the captain’s tug, but a good photo of a tug pushing and pulling a barge. Tugs are hard little workers. I think I can, I think I can…

The Merchant Marine supplements the military in times of war, transporting goods and equipment to areas where it is needed. The people who crew Merchant Marine vessels are known as Merchant Mariners. Perhaps you remember hearing about the Maersk Alabama, a container ship seized by pirates a few years ago? Tom Hanks stars as the captain in the soon-to-be released film of the Navy Seals’ rescue of the ship and her crew. People who work on tugboats are called Merchant Marines. My guy is a tug and tow Master, although he has decades of experience on yachts, passenger vessels, and just about every type of boat, excluding fishing. No Deadliest Catch stories here! Tugboats pull (or push) barges all over the world, assist all types of ships in and out of their berths, and work in marine construction and the oil industry. It is really more complex that than, with a rich history and great anecdotes, but I am only the wife of, and my perspective is a different one.

Update: I begged and pleaded and guilted and flattered my captain to get him to audition for the Tom Hanks pirate film–they liked his initial video audition so much the casting director even sent sides (that’s a script to those of you who are NOT in the know like I am), but he didn’t get the part. He really should have. I was totes planning to go as his personal manager to Morocco where they were filming.

Back to my story…this lifestyle has been quite an adjustment. When he’s home, he’s a 24/7 at-home husband, just like being retired, and a different routine ensues–one of compromise and diplomacy. When he’s away at sea, I become a sort of “grass widow” (a woman whose husband is away from home frequently or for a long time, as on business) and have learned to structure my time alone to stay occupied while waiting for my best friend to come home. We modern mariner wives are really no different than wives of a few hundred years ago whose husbands went out to sea. We might have email access and satellite telephones, and are able to stay in touch more frequently than the occasional letter posted from faraway ports, but we are essentially on our own for a great deal of time. We have to be completely independent and solve problems and fix broken washing machines and cars and take out the trash and mow the lawn by ourselves, unless we have kids still living at home on whom we can foist these chores.

My confession du jour? I fully rely on retail therapy to help me cope. That doesn’t mean I actually PURCHASE a lot and spend a lot of money, rather, I am an accomplished fashionista BROWSER, (which should be an Olympic sport, as far as I’m concerned.) I have endurance and I possess stamina. I’m a hunter AND a gatherer. A shot of wheatgrass and I’m good to go for hours in my quest for a treasure, a good deal, or something I just have to have, and can’t live without; the next get. You know that Shopaholic film? I’ve seen it about a dozen times; it’s like a training film for me…  A day or so after my MM leaves, I fortify myself with a protein drink, a double shot of wheatgrass, and lay out my itinerary with quasi-military precision. I first make the rounds of my local stores; TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ross, Target, Homegoods, just like a warm-up in my boot camp class, and then move on to H&M, Anthropologie, White Market/Black House. After that, I venture further away to the Nordstrom Outlet, DSW (yes!!!), and then our local mall for BloomiesNieman Marcus, and the boutiques-Tory Burch, Hermes, and the holy grail at South Coast Plaza in the OC…Chanel…Chanel…Chanel. I want/need a Chanel 2.55, the original black quilted bag with the chain strap. I am saving for a pilgrimage to Paris to pay homage to Coco at the original location. I. can’t. wait.

Update: I just can’t do it to y’all again, I know I’m probs on your last nerve with the whole Chanel thing, but it was cool for ME to tell myself, “Hey girl, your dream DID come true! Way to go to think it, believe it, and it will happen!”

Today, I was on the hunt for another blazer; blazers are super trendy and forever a classic fashion staple,  but it has to be the right blazer in the right color and cut. I ended up at a local consignment shop and while I didn’t find the desired blazer, I discovered the treasure of a Tory Burch sweater with gorgeous logo buttons. I found a similar style for around $250, and I got it for $40. It’s in perfect condition and looks like it’s never been worn. The pic doesn’t do it justice; it’s a rich cocoa brown with TB logo buttons and totes adorbs. Update: This is the same consignment shop where I just scored the vintage Valentino.tory burch sweater

Well, it’s back to editing for me and building my Etsy store where I can sell all the ropework jewelry and beachy décor we create. I hope you’ve enjoyed this first glimpse into my world.

Update: STILL working on that Etsy store! Almost done tho, hopefully so I won’t completely miss the holiday season…

Thanks to one and all who’ve read me and followed me and commented and offered guidance and humor and friendship. The world still revolves around me, I suppose it always will…alas, that’s the cross my long suffering tugboat captain must bear…And if you’ve un-followed me, don’t forget that Santa could leave a lump of coal in your stocking, so maybe y’all need to rethink that decision. Right???