Ups and Downs

This week so far has been host to plenty of ups and downs.  Here are a few:

We had a lovely, relaxing weekend–complete with a romantic after-Theo-went-to-bed Valentine’s Day meal (with cream puffs for dessert!) and a movie (Up!).

Sunday-got invited to an interview (my first interview since I started job searching! Up!) I was given a choice of date and time and chose Monday at noon.  But no one ever wrote back to confirm (dooooown). Cue anxiety about the interview plus anxiety about not knowing when it was going to happen, cue nightmares.

Monday-still no word on the interview, so I called two numbers, got a full voicemail box and then another voicemail where I left a message, asking for confirmation about the interview.  12:30, someone calls, confused, thinking we had an appointment.  She said she wrote back to confirm, but I never received the email–hence all the confusion.

I get an interview on Wednesday, but now feel rather as if my attractiveness as a candidate is lowered.  Try to remind myself that I was once an hour and a half late for an interview, and still got that job.  (slight up?)

Have to bike through vicious winds to pick up Theo from daycare.  I HATE biking in the wind.  (Dooooooooown.)

Theo and I play a game where I stick my tongue out, he tries to poke it, and I close my mouth just in time–Theo is in hysterics, literally falling to the floor laughing (Up!)

I get Theo to take a bath without complaining once (using bubbles as a bribe, up!)

There’s lots more going on, but this is just a mini update of sorts.  My job interview is tomorrow, so I’m rather preoccupied by that.  Luckily, it’s at 10:30 in the morning, so although I’m bummed I didn’t get it over with on Monday, at least it’s in the morning, and I can hopefully relax away some of the stress afterwards.  Wish me luck!

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The Mussels Adventure

A little while ago, I got the strange urge to try mussels.

I just saw some pictures of mussels, and the broth looked so good, and the shells looked so fancy, and then they were on sale at our local grocery store, so I decided to take the leap and try them.  I bought them, took them home, and was pretty excited for the big experiment.

The recipe I had was pretty simple–just a basic curry/coconut broth, throw the mussels in, steam, and serve with crusty bread.  So I made the broth, was baking the bread, and finally it was time to crack out the mussels.

And then I found out they were alive.

In general, I have no idea about seafood.  Sometimes I make salmon (I usually overcook it) and I occasionally eat whitefish, and tuna sandwiches, but beyond that, I’m pretty clueless.  So I didn’t know the mussels would be alive.  It totally freaked me out.  Most of them were open a bit, and after reading that you shouldn’t cook mussels that are open because they might be dead and, you know, poisonous, I freaked out a little more.  I tried banging most of them on the counter, to see if they would close (most of them did) but I had the heebie jeebies, so Andreas graciously stepped in to do the sorting.  Happily, they were already de-bearded (?!?) and scrubbed, so the rest of the work was minimal.

Then there was the dumping of the mussels into the pot.  My guilt took hard hold of me.  They were alive!  Poor things…  I felt awful, but I’d bought them, they’d die regardless, and I knew that the show must go on, so into the pot they went.  Luckily, they don’t make any noises, and a few minutes later, everything was ready.

So we sat down.  And looked at the pot of mussels.  And then I googled “how to eat mussels” as we gave Theo a piece of bread.

And then we did it.  We tried mussels!  I was already, as I mentioned before, freaked out.  And mussels are weird.  They’re white and black and look like they may have tongues (do they? Nevermind, I don’t want to know) and ragged edges.  But we scooped one out each, and ate them.

Andreas doesn’t like fish, but he’s never really tried shellfish.  After seeing just how weird they are, I’m really proud of him for trying.  He tried two, but his stomach got a bit queasy after that, and he had to switch to salami on my homemade bread.  My first one went down pretty easily, and since we had an emormous pot of mussels, I ate a full portion.  I had to sort of try not to look at them as I ate them, and ate an awful lot of crusty bread alongside, but I was pretty proud to say that I ate a whole meal’s worth of mussels!

And then there was Theo.  I hadn’t really expected him to partake, since he doesn’t eat any fish, and hardly any meat in general.  We offer whenever we have it, but it’s usually turned down.  But mussels?  Sure!  Why not?  He downed them like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Like they didn’t look like they had tongues or eyes or small teeth.  He plowed through some buttered bread, a bit of breath, and probably a dozen mussels.

Go Theo, you’re the bravest of us all!

Oh, the Guilt

I’ve been feeling guilty.

But it’s really no wonder.  I think I’m one of those fragile beings just prone to guilt.  When I was a child, and I was laying in bed, trying to fall asleep, I’d realise that not all of my stuffed animals were in bed with me–some were on the floor (horror!).  How would I like it if I had to be all alone in the middle of a cold floor all night because no one cared enough to cuddle me?  So I’d hop out of bed (disturbing my older sister who complained nightly that I always “fluffed the cold air under the blankets”), gather up any stray stuffed animals, and cuddle them tightly, feeling just awful that they weren’t cuddled to begin with.

Once, I lost a small plastic blue frog on the bus.  When I got home, I couldn’t help imagining him, on the filthy bus floor, lost and confused.  I considered making LOST posters, but cried a lot instead.  My mother well-meaningly bought me a new frog, but it wasn’t the loss of the frog that I was sad about, it was the poor lost frog.

When I was in third grade, I started drinking chocolate milk at lunch.  My family never drank much milk, and while it wasn’t expressly forbidden, we just “knew” that we didn’t take milk at lunch.  The guilt ate me up.  I remember asking my mom to come into the other room during my little sister’s birthday-cake-eating so I could confess my chocolate milk sins, because who can eat birthday cake and enjoy it when you know you’ve been drinking chocolate milk?  My mom probably wanted to laugh, but she just hugged me, and told me it was okay.  Come to think of it, she hugged me pretty tightly, so she probably was laughing…

These days, I feel guilty for all sorts of things.  Dropping Theo off at daycare is the biggest weight on me right now.  It’s made worse when he has a rough morning, I know he doesn’t want to go, and when I’m leaving, he puts his lip out and makes his wanting-to-cry-but-trying-to-be-brave face, which is far worse than when he cries.

I feel guilty for staying home without Theo here.  Guilty that we’re paying for daycare before I have a job.  Guilty that Andreas is the only one making money, and I feel like I’m just spending it. Guilty that we can’t go see my family as often as we wish we could, and even guiltier for spending the money to go when we do.  Guilty that I don’t write poems as often as I should, like I’m doing my immensely inspiring college professor a disservice.

I don’t think I’ll ever be less prone to guilt, but I’m hoping that soon I can rid myself of some of this specific guilt.  That I’ll just have fewer circumstances in my life that pile guilt onto me.  That maybe soon I can feel prouder of the mother/wife/person that I am, and maybe thereby escape some of the guilt.

Oh, the guilt!