Viewing posts for the category marco

once upon a time

Tuesday, mar. 9, 2010   |   8 comments

Marco: Wait, so is it Wahnce? Or is it Wahnce?

Megan, Annie, and Evany: ?

Marco: Waaahnce or Waaahnce?

Megan, Annie, and Evany: ??

Marco: Wahnce [Holds up one finger] or Wahnce? [Holds up three fingers in a loose scout salute]?

Megan, Annie, and Evany: ?!

Marco: WAHNCE or WAHNCE?

Megan, Annie, and Evany: …

Marco: The movie? With the singing? Is it Wahnce with an oh, like “one time,” or Wahnce with a double-you, like “I want that”???

Megan, Annie, and Evany: Oh, you mean Wahnce?

Marco: You guys are killing me.

more words on: marco

relationship roulette

Tuesday, dec. 8, 2009   |   148 comments

One of the things that so freaked me out when I was pregnant were the (always sourceless) romantic-doom statistics that people kept quoting at me. Couples fight eight times more frequently after they have a baby! A couple’s split rate is highest in the baby’s first year! And so on and on. It got me worrying that by having a baby, I was recklessly gambling with my heretofore happy relations with Marco, and I wasn’t entirely sure I would prefer what lurked behind Curtain Number Two. Harmonious little family? Buxom blond astride cantankerous burrow? Matching bedroom set?

And having this baby has indeed been hard on our relationship. There are all the obvious reasons: the crippling lack of sleep, the crimped sex life, the sudden inability to hit the town at will. But also I’m not…entirely…at my best right now? Rather I’m an unkempt shrew with confusingly large and leaky breasts, snapping clichéd complaints at Marco (“Don’t Wake the Baby,” “Why Are You Spending Time with The Boys (and Not Helping Me at Home),” and “Money”) through clenched, unbrushed teeth.

My unattraction goes beyond the poor hygiene and poor-me whining. On a deeper level, I fear I’ve gotten into the bad habit of letting my lesser, more selfish self take the brain reins.

As a pregnant woman, you’re given the green light to be bitchy and whimsically needy. Bring me the black rose from the top of Mount Impossible! And some marzipan ice cream! Over the duration of my pregnancy, the basic human lessons I mastered in kindergarten — how to be nice, how to share, how to temper my tantrums — slowly began to unravel.

I keep thinking of this irrational pregnancy behavior as a deer run. Despite the No Trespassing signs, you let yourself go down it again and again, and eventually the overgrown little trail becomes a beaten path. Then a road. Then a freeway. Until finally it’s the only route you ever take, regardless of your destination. Crave a delicious morning bun(s) for breakfast? Don’t ask your pardner nicely if he would be so kind as to get them for you, provided he has time, or (crazy) go get them yourself. No! Stamp your feet instead! Weep! Wave your scepter! Until the world bends to your will and those mawesome rolls are placed, as if by magic, at your swollen feet.

Oh but then the baby pops out and suddenly you’re deprived of the blank check a swollen belly gives you to be a complete monster. Unfortunately by that time you’ve developed nasty habits of voicing your every frustration and expecting to have every whim satisfied. But weirdly your mate is no longer in any way willing to indulge these habits? Especially now that there’s a new kid in town, screaming and wailing out his every whim and frustration?

Another small but not insignificant part of the problem is that Marco and I are now spending more time in each other’s company than ever, never before. Constant togetherness is nice if you’re on vacation, sunning your parts on the Lido Deck. But it can be nerve-wearing over the longer, less-sunny haul of parenthood, especially during these dark newborn days, a frantic, sweaty time steeped in ineptitude and self doubt, and getting increasingly tense and pressurized. And when I’m finally ready to blow my top, a state I achieve at least five times a day, the only adult in range of the molten vileness is Marco. And vice versa!

Best of all, we exchange the majority of our petty hissing while desperately trying to get the baby to sleep, a time when we can’t actually hear anything due to the brain-fraying murrr of the omni-constant white noise machine — fuzzy static being a key aural ingredient in out constant battle to get and keep the baby asleep.

Evany, muttering: [Some sort of complaint wrapped in criticism infused with passive aggression.]

Marco, in a whisper-yell: “What?!”

Evany, eyes rolling: “Huh!?”

Miami Sound Machine: Murrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Until we just about want to stab each other’s brains out with forks. Quietly.

Of course it doesn’t help that the door to our bedroom is being propped open with a bowling pin, which randomly topples just as the baby’s drifting off to sleep. The hair-trigger smoke alarm isn’t doing us any favors, either.

Still, I think we’re doing okay, despite the alarm bells and hissing fits. We manage to find things to laugh about every day, and there are definite bright spots…sipping coffee in bed, decorating the tree, singing at the baby. Good, cockle-warming days! But for the first time ever, I can understand how something as small as a baby might unravel an otherwise happy twosome. Just as I can now see how a woman might go so crazy as to drive her kids into a lake, something I could in no possible way fathom before. Not that I would ever do such a thing. (Relax!) But I can sense the first icy glimmers of how such things could go that far.

It’s scary! But it’s a helpful scariness, the kind that keeps me alert and watchful and determined not to let things spiral downward. It also gives me a new empathy and forgiveness for parents, or anyone who makes bad decisions, or lets their lesser self take charge, or lets a good thing come to an end. And I kind of like this kinder, tender-er view of my world? But yeah: More sleep, please, and a pinch less petulant shrieking and kneejerkiness.

more words on: babytime, marco

fine dining

Saturday, dec. 5, 2009   |   32 comments

Lest you think all I’ve been doing lately is having babies and then complaining about said babies: We’ve also been decorating! (Wow. Could we be any more staid? I fear our break with the rebel alliance is now complete.)

After much consternation, and a great deal of trial-and-erroring, we’re finally done with the dining section of the house. But we sure did have to wend our way through a parade of tables and accoutrement before we got it right. (Eek! Sorry! The following epic description of this particular decorodyssey is super freakishly detailed…if you have a life to live, maybe just stick to judging the grainy, amateur photography?)

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Here we see (back in the corner over there) our original square table from the Alameda flea market. Sadly, it didn’t quite cut it in the new space, what with being too small at its smallest and too big and cornery and hard to navigate when expanded. Also I didn’t love the jumble of dark and light woods going on between the table, credenza, and chairs. I don’t necessarily need everything to matchy-match, but this combo felt a little too “look what we picked up off the street on big trash day!” random.

We decided a cornerless (AKA round) table was in order, so next we Craigslisted this little number from CB2. (Marco is a master Craigslister, obsessively checking the listings multiple times each day.)

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Unfortunately, this table turned out to be a little too little. Marco kind of liked it, but I felt it gave things a depressing “icky, flavored-coffee cafe” feel. Plus it didn’t have a leaf, so we would never be able to serve more than four people…not at one time, at least. And its dark wood-grained top actually exacerbated the wood-WOOD-WoOd problem.

So! Feast your eyes on our new, just-right Goldilocks table:

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The table is vintage (spotted at Eames Loft by Marco’s friend Janet), and it’s in crazy-beautiful condition, all gleaming and smelling of polish and elbow grease. It comes with a built-in butterfly leaf, which means it’s stored within the table, versus in some tippy, hard-to-get-at corner of the garage. In its leafless state, it’s a good 10” wider than the CB2 table, and just that little added girth really makes it feel proportionate with the space. It was spendy at $440, but the dollars Marco made for selling the other two tables got us almost all the way there.

With the table down, all we had left to do was accessorize, which Marco and I just so happen to love to do to, perhaps to the point of unhealthiness?

Little green bud vase (with bundle of sage): Heath Ceramics. Taller white carved vase (with cheap-o Safeway flowers): Sara Paloma Pottery. The white chairs are from Crate and Barrel, and I think they provide welcome relief from all the wood. They also tie in the white-white Ikea cupboards found in the adjacent kitchen. Comfy, too!

Sadly our beloved credenza was too deep for the space — a table centered under the light fixture just doesn’t leave enough room along the side for much else. So Marco found us a new vintage credenza on Craigslist:

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It’s very, very similar to our original piece, only it’s shallower by 7”, which fits the space much, much better. It weirdly was also the same steep $440 as the table, but Marco posted our original credenza on Craigslist and it got picked up as one of Apartment Therapy’s recommended buys for the week, which helped us get a tidy $460 for it. Net: $20!

Wooden iPod player: Vers Audio. Salmon-hued side lamp: Vintage, discovered by Marco in one of the antique shopies on the main drag in San Anselmo.

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The white faux bois vase was a $3.99 shopportunity from Marshalls. Marco disdainfully says it “looks like celery,” but sometimes Marco is wrong? Little ceramic bull: Jonathan Adler. Bumpy white vase: Ikea.

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Salty, peppery elephants: Daiso, $1!

Next up: Cuting up the Ikea-blank kitchen cabinets!

it's back

Friday, feb. 13, 2009   |   0 comments

Last night, as we were sitting down to my very favorite tacos in the whole wide world (at La Taqueria on Mission at 25th, make sure to order the carne asada with cheese), I heard Marco gasp. Something about the small sitting-twisting motion of sliding onto the stool had triggered old injuries, and just like that, his back was thrown.

On the half-block walk to the car, Marco was a sad, slow-moving hunch of a thing. “Wow,” I said to him, “You went in all young and strapping, and you left an old, old man.”

Marco, in an elderly mutter: “Stupid Dorian Gray tacos.”

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sometimes I worry

Thursday, aug. 28, 2008   |   0 comments

The other night I rewatched Lost in Translation and was struck anew with my love for Sophia’s way with the little things. This time, it was something that Scarlett said in the middle of a relationship freakout in a call home to a friend. So she’s tearfully unloading about how she’d gone to see some chanting monks and was all disturbed because the experience didn’t make her feeling anything. Then, onto her bonfire of complaints, she tosses in this tiny camel-breaking straw about how her husband has “started wearing hair products.” I just love that! It’s such a weird whatever kind of non-issue, but it’s the exact sort of small fact that would trigger a realization that the person you’re with is different than what you’d imagined or hoped or planned on.

Recently I spent some high-quality time with a friend who’s going through a not so awesome divorce, and I asked her if and when she first knew that it wasn’t going to work out between her and her husband. She told me that there was no big, horrible event or battle to blame, more it was a series of small misses and faulty communications over a long stretch of time that caused the unraveling. And that maybe if they’d stopped and nipped things in the beginning, when the issues were small and ridiculous, they’d still be together. But since they let the little things build and accumulate, they’d snowballed together into an impossible impasse.

I trotted out my favorite analogy about how long-term couples are like garden gates, where over time weather warps the wood and causes the frame and door to swell in different directions. And as the door loses the ability to swing clean, you either have to force your way through with a kick or a shoulder-shove, or make room by shaving off some wood. Otherwise the door freezes and you have to just let it go and maybe find a new way to get into the back yard. Etcetera.

Then I started ruminating on what the small schisms might be that would cause Marco and me to swell in different directions—because if we stay together as long as I hope we do, the law of averages and human nature dictate that inevitably there will be real hurdles and growing-aparts that we will have to clear.

Then my friend said, “Whatever it is, it’s probably happened already and you didn’t even notice.” I gasped, and then we laughed and laughed, because she and I both know how worrier me so loves to dig my teeth into paranoid thoughts just like that. Oh, we do have fun!

When I got home, the first thing I did when I walked in the door was corner Marco to tell him what my friend had said and then ask him what relationship-ending seed he thought might already be growing between the two of us. Marco, without even pausing for a beat: “Oh. Your worrying. Clearly.” Bam! Ha ha! Wait.

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