Can I Borrow A Cup Of Paper Clips?

Blair and I separated in February, each of us moving into our respective apartments. (He has the newer, nicer unit but I have a patio and snagged the Saber grill.) Since moving, I find myself having flashbacks to my first apartment after college when I constantly found myself running up against those small everyday items you expect to find around the house that just aren't there. 

It has come to my attention that toilet paper, paper towels, light bulbs, batteries, rubber bands, post-it-notes, and hand soap don't just magically appear. I realized just two days ago that I don't own a fly swatter when a wasp got in the house and I was reduced to flinging trail running shoes at it as I ran screaming from the room every time I missed. 

Dear Blair: Thank you for filling our home with replacement paper products for the past twenty years. I'm sorry I didn't notice sooner. Also, if you have a free moment, there is a wasp trapped in my bedroom that could use your attention. I'm tired of sleeping on the couch. 



The Dena Hunger Games

Blair and I were watching The Hunger Games today and as the tributes were racing off their platforms into the woods, Blair turned to me. "You would be good at that," he said. 

"Nah,"I replied. "I'd do myself in on the first day from the stress of it."

"Not true," he said. "You'd be like (and here he morphed into his high pitched "Dena voice"):'PICK ME! I VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE!"

"And then," he continued, "the officials would be all like, 'Uh, Dena, you won last year. You can't compete again.' And you'd be all like (he lets out a primal wail): 'AAAIIIEEE!! I MUST KILL!!!" 

I was rolling. Whether or not it's because he completely nailed my personality, I'm not sure. 



Smug Marrieds: Disconnecting

Blair and I have started an experiment where beginning every night at 8, we disconnect from the Internet. No e-mail, no web surfing, no texting. The goal is to gradually move the disconnect time back to where we're spending the majority of our evenings technology free. (Except for TV. We're not giving up TV. Like, ever.

We're only a few days in but already seeing positive results. Personally, I feel calmer and more centered. I don't worry about leaping up to check a text or to post something clever on Facebook. My time feels more my own. 

I do find myself frantically checking e-mail or scanning Facebook at 7:45, 7:50 p.m., but it's actually a relief when the clock hits eight. I push back from my desk, turn my phone volume down (we're still accepting calls at this point) and turn the lights out in my office for the evening. 

It's a little scary the pull technology has on me. When a commercial comes on or I finish reading a chapter or we take a break from packing, my instinct is always to go check my phone. And it's a strong instinct, an actual physical urge. I've read that constantly checking e-mail and Twitter and updates provides our bodies with an adrenalin like buzz and I believe it. I really think my body/mind is in a form of detox as we attempt this disconnect. 

The good news is that I'm going to come out stronger on the other side. What the last four days has shown me is that there's just not anything that vital going on at 9 or 10 pm on the Internet that requires my attention. It--whatever that "it" may be--can wait until morning.



Moving Diaries: Choose Your Words Carefully

Blair and I spent the afternoon packing the library and front room. We were pulling photo albums and stray pictures out of a cabinet, deciding what stays and what goes. 

"Is this your mom?" Blair asked, handing me a photo of a 10-year-old blonde girl with a bow in her hair that had been laquered within an inch of its life to a piece of wood (woodshop project, 7th grade). 

"Yes," I said. 

"And what about this little fella here?" said Blair, handing me a picture of a chubby baby in a blue sweater sitting on a couch. "Is this your dad?"

"That's me, you igit," I said. 

Things took an ugly turn from there.