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Poppin’ the Giveaway Cherry


This giveaway is no longer accepting entries.  I used to select the comment number of the winner, and the winner is:

Rebecca! (Who likes a Pinot Noir.)

Thanks to those who participated — I wish I could send plant nannies to all of you!

This morning I promised a surprise, so here goes.

Today, I was shocked – shocked – when I went to the Domestiphobia Facebook Page and saw that 100 people like it:

I mean, seriously?

I don’t think I could name 100 people who like me in real life.  So the fact that you come to this site and read it and maybe actually even get something out of it from time to time, really – and I mean really – means a lot to me.

It’s a better feeling than successfully making coq au vin.  It’s a better feeling than tiling your own backsplash.  It’s definitely a better feeling than breathing in capsaicin.  And it might even be a better feeling than intentionally falling headfirst out of a Cessna Caravan.

Wait, that’s a lie.

I’m pretty sure there’s no better feeling than jumping out of a plane.  Or maybe I should say, there’s no feeling like it.


To celebrate this little milestone (in addition to attending a wine tasting for employees at the bar tonight, because we all know that free wine = good times), I’m doing 2 things:

1)  Announcing that Domestiphobia is now on Twitter.  I created the account about 3-ish weeks ago and still don’t really know how to use it.  But if you’re on Twitter, and you happen to want to “follow” me, it might encourage me to… I don’t know… actually figure out what I’m doing over there.

2)  Conducting a giveaway.  (Is conducting the right word?  Hosting?  Having?  Doing?  I think I’m losing my mind.)  That’s right, my friends – I’m going to give something FREE to one lucky commenter.

Just what are you giving away? you might ask.  Because I know what you’re probably thinking.  You’re probably thinking, I bet she’s giving away a crappy coupon book for free hugs or that old dishwasher she can’t get rid of that’s been sitting in her garage for the past 2 years.

And to that, I say, What the hell is wrong with a coupon book for free hugs?!  Seriously – mine usually go for like $5 a pop.

And while I still think the hug thing is an excellent idea – especially because I’d likely get to travel somewhere new and interesting just to deliver said hug – the giveaway is more along the lines of the dishwasher option in the sense that I’m getting rid of something I’ve had sitting in the closet for quite some time and never got around to using.

Plant Nanny for Wine Bottles

No, I’m not giving you a bottle of wine.  Like one of those would sit in MY closet unused.

Remember when I bought these Plant Nannies to use in my garden?  Well, I never opened one of the boxes, and at the rate my last garden was destroyed by termites, I’m thinking it might be a long while before I use them again.

So today I’m giving away my last box of (4) Plant Nannies!

Plant Nannies

Oh, yikes.  That sounded a lot more exciting before I typed it out.

Is this a crappy giveaway?  If so, I’m sorry.  I’d love to give something more extravagant, but I’m unemployed, people.  So you’ll take my ceramic plant feeders and you’ll like ’em.

And you don’t need a garden to use them.  In fact, they work great in pots as well, if you just want to try your hand at growing one plant at a time.

Wine Bottle Plant Nanny

See?  They make your plants look like winos.

Which is really pretty hilarious.

And if you actually take the time to remove the labels from the wine bottles, it can look quite pretty.

Wine Bottle Plant Nannies

But I think we all know I like to do things half-way.  ‘Cause that’s how domestiphobes roll.

So anyway.  If you win these totally awesome nannies for your plants (because all nannies should feed their kids wine), you can go get all stinky in your garden and grow some beautiful and/or delicious greens to make your life a little better.

And speaking of stinky readers, maybe that coupon book of hugs wasn’t such a good idea.

No offense.

The not-so-fine print:

1.  I’m really really sorry to my international readers, but Justin will only support me shipping this within the continental U.S.  You see, until I’m actually making money, he’s not that thrilled with me giving ours away.  Which, dammit – makes sense.

2.  To enter, simply leave a comment to this post telling me what kind of wine (if any) you prefer.  Chardonnay?  Sweet red?  Boxed?  With some fava beans and a nice chianti?  And if you don’t drink wine, why the hell not??  (Allergies, pregnancy, and legal age limit are the only real excuses I can think of.)

3.  I will use some type of random comment selector thing to pick the winning comment.  All entries must be in by 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 18th, 2011.  Once the winner is randomly chosen, I will announce it on this page and contact the lucky reader for a shipping address.

4.  This box of plant nannies has never been used.  I will pack them as cushily as I can, but I am not responsible for any that might break during shipping.  If any of them do break, I deeply, sincerely apologize.  And I’ll send you a complimentary virtual hug – no matter how stinky you are – to make up for it.

I Still Can’t Remember How to Write. But at Least I Have Pictures.

*If you don’t want to read this post in its entirety, which is completely understandable, you might at least want to skip to the end for an announcement.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Have you ever had a weekend that’s so utterly fantastic that you just can’t stand for it to be over?  And the beauty is that it was so great, you didn’t even waste any time worrying about the fact that it would eventually end.  Every millisecond was spent in blissful enjoyment – in the here and now – and not an ounce was wasted on worry or dread over its impending end.

Now that it’s over and I’m coming down from the high, I feel less sad and more satiated.

Dare I say?


Did you know that it’s constant worry that does that to us?  Worrying about the future and longing for happy times of the past takes our lives away, bit by bit, making us forget to just sit back and enjoy the ride.

I blame my recent lack of living in the present for the faint lines across my forehead and shadows beneath my eyes.

But the good news is that my eye crinkles can be blamed on laughter.

So I’m not a total loss.

And this weekend, I did enjoy the ride.  Thoroughly.  Friday was as relaxed as it gets, with nothing more than eating and dog-walking on the agenda:

Breakfast sausage casserole.  Recipe to come.

When it’s hot outside, we all could use a dip in the lake.

Saturday was Justin’s graduation day, and it was filled with wonderful friends and amazing food.

And wine.  Lots of wine:

I whisper-yelled, “Justin!” and they both turned around.  Guess which one’s mine?

Beautiful mother-to-be, Alaina.

My favorite would-be brother-in-law, Dirk.  And not just because he picked a great bottle of wine to go with lunch.

The Nice Guy, from Inside the Nice Guy doing his thang.

The Wine doing its thang.

The Street doing its thang.

Later that night, the steak also did its thang.  Mostly to my thighs.

(Dirk and Alaina bought a cow awhile back.  Then they brought like half of it – in the form of three 800 lb. steaks – to our house for dinner.)

Besides wrinkles from worry and crows’ feet from laughter, I’m sure I’ll have a few more lines to blame on my own stupidity for going to the beach and forgetting sunscreen the sun.  Due to a family emergency, Catherine wasn’t able to meet us at the lake yesterday.  We were bummed, but we reasoned that we are in a coastal state, and it’d be a shame for Matthew to make it this far without seeing the Atlantic Ocean.

So we grabbed a few necessities – towels, bathing suits, sunglasses, and of course cameras, completely neglecting the most obvious of beach-going accoutrements for pasty white Midwesterners, which is sunscreen.

(And kids, when it comes to sun safety, I don’t like to play.  No, I don’t find it amusing that I have a bow-shaped burn line on my back from the tie on my bathing suit top, nor do I find it amusing that I could die from melanoma. Fortunately, we all know I won’t have to worry about bow-shaped tan lines in Spain.  Only burned nipples.  Which might, admittedly, be worse.  So it’s safe to say I won’t be forgetting the sunscreen there.)

Aside from our lobster-like appearance, our impromptu trip to the coast inspired the elusive joy that travel-on-a-whim never fails to make me feel.  I was reminded that I don’t always need to fly far to experience a life less ordinary.

What is it about the beach, anyway?  I mean, it’s hot and dirty and I always end up with little sand mosaics embedded into my skin and we won’t even talk about the other pitfalls of sand ending up in places sand really shouldn’t be, but still we go and we complain about the crowds and we dig in the sand and we crisp in the sun just to experience that wash of awe when we realize we’ve gone as far as we can possibly go without a little help.

Or a yacht.

In a couple of weeks, I’ll be on the other side of that water.

Crazy, huh?

Speaking of crazy, Domestiphobia reached a milestone recently.  A milestone I plan to celebrate later this afternoon.  So.  If you’ve made it this far in this post, you probably, definitely, for sure want to check back later today for something I’ve never done before.

I realize I started this post by telling you to live in the present and not worry about the future, but you should probably forget all that because this is something to get excited about.

It’s a Beautiful Morning

I know I’ve been kind of MIA lately.

And I’m sorry for that.

But I have an excuse.  See, first there were 2 days of painting.

Then a day of cleaning and grocery shopping.

So basically, it was 3 days of a domestiphobe’s worst nightmare.

And now?

Now we have a house guest.  And contrary to how most people feel about house guests, I feel like I can finally relax.

Want to know what a leisurely Friday morning looks like to a couple of bloggers?

Yeah.  It’s not too shabby.

Matthew (from Inside the Nice Guy) is here for Justin’s college graduation this weekend.  So we knew each other way before our blogging days.  In fact, I met them both on the same day – exactly 8 years ago on May 20th.

Today will be relaxing.  Filled with eating, dog walking (when it’s not raining), movie watching (the boys are seeing Thor while I sit blissfully through some brainless chick flick), more eating, and occasional drinking (coffee and orange juice included).

Saturday is graduation day.  Friends are coming to celebrate with us, and it should be another excellent day filled with wonderful food and even wonderfuller (yes that’s a word according to me) people.

Then on Sunday, we’re meeting up with another blogging friend, Catherine, from Simply Solo, at her family’s infamous lake house.  We’ve never met in person, but if she’s half as cool as she seems on her blog and Facebook, we’re in for a good time.

I’d love to write more, but when you bring two self-proclaimed geeks (who also happen to be lifelong friends) together in the same kitchen, it gets hard to type over the constant buzz of laptop movie trailers and George Lucas analyses.

But you won’t find me complaining.  Right now I’m surrounded by close friends, delicious food, and excellent coffee.

It’s pretty much the way life should be.

If Paint Could Double as Makeup and Hand Creme, I’d be in Business

Soo… does anyone know how to quickly defrost a used paint roller?


More important, does anyone know how to get paint out from under my nails?  And out of my hair?  And how the heck did it get in my bra??

What?  I have to take a shower?

Well forget that.

Paint-laced sweat is now my signature scent.

I think the customers at work tonight will really love it.  Because at this point, there’s clearly no way I’m going to have time to finish this and shower before heading to the bar.  So they have to love it.

But back to my frozen roller question:  See, after wiping down all of the trim and baseboards, removing the switch and outlet plates, taking pictures and mirrors down from the walls, patching holes I know I won’t use again, and moving some of the furniture, I only had time to do one round of cutting in with the brush and one coat with the roller before the room was full of shadows and my body gave out.

Plus, Justin had come home with Thai food and once I sat down to eat it, I didn’t really feel I had the option to get back up again.

(By the way, when I say things like “cutting in with the brush,” that’s fancy painter speak for, “I had to outline every damn inch of crown molding, base boards, inside corners, window trim, and door frames – that’s EIGHT door frames – in our living room and hallway with a paint brush before I could cover the walls using the roller.)

So when I finished Round 1 last night, I wrapped my roller and leftover paint in the tray with plastic wrap and stuck ’em in the freezer.  This usually works well for re-use in a day or two without having to wash the roller and waste all that paint, assuming you remember to… that’s right… take it out of the freezer.

**UPDATE: My friend “laxsupermom” over at Sugar & Spice in the Land of Balls & Sticks informed me in the comments that I am, in fact, a crack head and paint rollers should go in the refrigerator — not the freezer, otherwise you end up with “paintcicles” (which I did).  She also said freezers are for vodka, which would explain the looks I get from guests when I pull my vodka bottles out of the garden. Clearly, I still have some learning to do.

I finished Round 2 of cutting in this morning, washed my brush, ate some lunch, and then realized my roller was still in the freezer.


And with just over 3 hours before I have to leave for work, I’m wondering, really, if maybe a darker paint border around every wall and piece of trimwork surrounding a patchy, single coat center might become a trend if I just leave it like this and post pictures of the “finished” room all over the internet.

What?  I’m not that cool?

I bet if these guys did it, you’d think it was cool.

Whaddya say, Sherry and John?  How about only half finishing a paint job in one of your rooms to make me look good?


Well fine.

I guess I’ll have to finish.  My left bicep will thank you, but the rest of my body?

Let’s just say the road to forgiveness is a long one.

I Really Should Start Doing This Professionally.

Well, happy Monday morning, everyone!  Or is that just me because I’m sitting here at my computer in my kitchen wearing shorts and a t-shirt and sipping coffee while the rest of you suckas are like dressed and working and showered and stuff?

If it makes you feel any better, I worked hard for the money this weekend — so hard for the money.

Flashdance, anyone?

Except, of course, dancing is not what I was doing.

I was serving food and beverages to patrons who, for the most part, are usually pretty cool, but for some reason this weekend were mostly complete asswipes who couldn’t bring themselves to tip more than 10%, which might be okay for some crummy waitress who never smiles and messes up your order and doesn’t refill your drinks, but trust me when I say I’m nothing if not great at my job and if you’re tipping me only 10%, there is seriously something wrong with you.

Really.  It’s not me.  It’s you.

(The exception on Thursday was the lovely mother/daughter duo who had me take their picture and almost made me cry over the sheer… genuineness of their relationship and also tipped me $18 because they’re pretty much the best people in the world.)

Also, I’m painting my entire living room today (and most likely tomorrow because, as I’ve explained before, painting is not necessarily just a let’s-slap-some-color-on-these-walls-and-call-it-a-day type of project — it’s a meticulous, tedious, back-breaking, laborious undertaking, the likes of which I’d wish on all tight-wad tippers of these Great United States for the rest of eternity).

I painted the crown molding last week, a task I’ve been putting off for four years since we painted the living room the first time without taping off the molding because we knew we’d be painting it (eventually).  And unfortunately, now that the molding is all crisp and clean and white and looking brand-spankin’-new, it’s become painfully clear that the walls need repainting as well.

The thing is, it really would’ve made more sense to paint the trim first (oh yeah… I still have to paint the baseboards, too) because I can do that without taping off the walls, and then I can use my awesome little short-handled brush to cut-in along the trim with the wall paint without having to tape anything off, just like I did in the office.

Sure, I have to be a bit more careful while I’m “tracing” the outsides of the room, but I assure you it’s quicker (and cheaper) than applying all that tape.

So why am I repainting the living room?

Two reasons:

1) It was the first room we painted when we moved in, and we had no clue what we were doing.  The “neutral” color we picked turned out to be pretty yellow, and while I personally loved the green accent wall around the fireplace, we realize that one day we’ll actually have to sell this place and it’s probably wise to choose something that will appeal to more buyers.  Also, we originally used a semi-gloss paint, which unfortunately shows every little flaw in the walls, and that just won’t do when you live in a 17-year-old house previously occupied by renters.

The colors are slightly more muted than this in real life, but this should give you a good idea of how they look now:

Reading Corner

2) One of our first projects was patching up these speaker holes on either side of the fireplace, and let’s just say we didn’t do the greatest of jobs.  Pair a crappy patch job with semi-gloss paint, and you have one fugly wall.



So recently Justin re-did the patch job, which affords the perfect opportunity to just go ahead and repaint the whole room.


Oh, and our friend Matthew from Inside the Nice Guy will be arriving for a visit on Thursday, so I have T-minus 3 days to complete this project (and other guest-prep tasks) before he gets here.

There’s nothing like the imminent arrival of company to motivate me for house projects.

Since it’s already after 8:30 a.m. and my coffee is all gone, I should probably get started.


Small SNAFU already.

Do you think Justin would have a problem with me removing our giant plasma t.v. from the wall by myself?


Oh well.  No one can say I didn’t try to get started.

I Used To Be A Bartender, Back When I Was Working My Way Through Bartending

While the movie, “How Do You Know?” required no less than 3 alcoholic beverages for me to get through it, I have to say — a couple of the lines were real gems.

Like, Never drink to feel better — Only drink to feel even better.

Good advice, no?

And, Don’t judge anybody else until you check yourself out. That way you’re lucky if it’s your fault because you can check the situation.

That’s so… zen.

And, I think I’m in love with somebody when I wear a condom with the other girls.

Never have truer words been spoken.

I even felt a certain kinship with Reese Witherspoon’s character, Lisa, when she was talking about how it seems like everybody’s “regular plan” is to fall in love, get married and have babies, but she’s not sure she’s cut out for everyone’s “regular plan.”

Umm… Domestiphobic much?

Seriously.  There were so many profound thoughts and quotes stuffed into this movie, they could compile ’em to create volume 537 of Chicken Soup for the Existential Soul.

But it turned out there was one that worked its way out of the mass of banality to stick in my head like gum to a shoe and I can’t figure out why.  At one point in the movie, Paul Rudd’s character George says,

I used to be a bartender, back when I was working my way through bartending.

At first I thought it was hilarious.  I mean, what a clever way for him to describe a time in his life when he really was just doing what he was doing.  There was no bigger plan.  There was no ultimate goal.  The plan was to make enough money to pay that month’s bills, and the goal was to go home with the most attractive woman in the bar that night.

That was it.

But as I thought about it more, it became… less funny.

Because I realized, if most of us were really honest with ourselves, we’d recognize that we’re doing the same thing.  We’re fairly certain our lives are heading for something better, but until then, we’re just floating along, trying to get from one day to the next.  Sure, we might have generic goals, like buy a house, find our dream career, start a family… and it’s awful because we’re so sure that once we achieve these goals, we’ll finally be satisfied.

George even says, “We’re all just one small adjustment away from making our lives work.”

Many people love that line.

I happen to hate it.

I mean, really George?  I just need to make one little change — finally buy that throw pillow I’ve been eying?  Pop out a couple of kids?  Quit my job and move to Costa Rica?  Tell me, what is that thing that will finally solve all my problems?

Quench my restlessness?

Satiate my unhappiness?

Because if I knew what it was, and I knew it would make everything roses and double rainbows for the rest of my life, I’d do it without hesitation.

But that’s the problem with this type of mentality.  If I’m constantly making these adjustments and waiting for the next thing to happen with the expectation that I’ll finally reach this ultimate level of satisfaction, I’m probably going to be waiting forever.  My life will be spent like the greyhound chasing the fake rabbit ’round and ’round the track — thinking, if I could just catch it, my life would be complete.

The fact I have to grasp is that I won’t catch it.  And soon I’ll be too old to chase it.  And even if I did catch it, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t taste how I expected.

Contrary to how it might read, this isn’t intended to be pessimistic.  It’s meant to be a revelation, of sorts, on my part.  A way for me to say to myself, It’s okay that I’m going to work in a bar tonight.  It’s okay that I still haven’t sent any pitches to any editors.  It’s okay that I’ve been writing this blog for over a year now and WordPress still hasn’t Freshly Pressed me.


As cliché as it is, I need to start finding joy in my every day, because they’re passing by at an alarming pace.  I can still make daily goals and work on things I want to accomplish, but no more thinking, “If only I had this, then I’d be happy.”

It doesn’t work that way.

I just need to be.

And the happy will come.

What Happened to Miss Independent?

One thing I write very little about on this here blog is not the fact that I’m a spouse – but that I’m a military spouse.

I hint at it on occasion, like how I need to be respectful of Justin’s superiors at holiday parties and how sometimes our house shakes with explosions and it makes it hard to concentrate on anything but… you know… explosions and how it’s generally frowned upon for spouses to get speeding tickets for going 20 miles over the limit.

On base.

While driving a government vehicle.

What?  I didn’t write about that last one?


I guess maybe I haven’t gone into details about these things because I feel like there are about a billion and a half blogs out there written by military spouses for military spouses, and I should probably leave the advice-giving to the actual good, non-domestiphobic military spouses who’ve managed to not only accept, but embrace this lifestyle — the ones who visit the Commissary (that’s the on-base grocery store for you non-military peeps) on a weekly basis; the ones who head to the Bx or Px (Base Exchange or Post Exchange) for their various sundries first, before making a stop at Target or Wal-Mart; the ones who are actively involved with the FRG (Family Readiness Group) and attend the spouse get-togethers and know their commander’s name and mumble acronyms in their sleep.

Okay, I lied.

That’s not really why I don’t write about it.

I think I don’t write about it because there’s a chance — and this is only like a 98.9% chance — that I resent it.

A little.

A lot.

You see, everywhere I go, I’m labeled a dependent.  Even back when I had an actual job and made money and paid taxes.  Even when Justin had to leave for 3 months and I had no way to reach him and the house, the cars, the bills, the dogs – everything was my responsibility and mine alone.  Even now, when I can still successfully complete menial tasks without assistance and speak in complete sentences and buy my own vino and wipe my own ass.

Still.  Just.  A dependent.

And I’ll tell you this:  That awful word — that dependent word — brings my ailment of Domestiphobia to unprecedented levels.

There are people — military spouses and active duty members specifically — who would, and have, cut me down for saying things like this.

But it doesn’t change how I feel.

Sometimes I get confused and I think it’s Justin I resent.  But then I realize that’s not true.  Not even a little bit.  He was dedicated to the military long before we met.  I love him, and it’s a part of him, but that doesn’t mean I have to love every aspect of the military.

I don’t have to love the fact that I have no say in where we live.

I don’t have to love the fact that it would have been increasingly difficult to maintain my career path anyway, had I not succumbed to my quarter life crisis, quit my job, and moved to Costa Rica.

I don’t have to love the fact that at any moment my husband could come home and tell me he has to leave and I won’t see him for days, weeks, or months.

And I have it easy compared to many military spouses.

When I’m honest with myself, it’s clear I haven’t done a stellar job of embracing this aspect of my life.  I’ve let the resentment — not for Justin but for his career, for his passion — malignantly grow for way too long, and lately it’s become my crutch — my excuse — for everything I don’t like about myself.

For everything I’m not doing.

And that’s pretty damn ridiculous.

It’s time to stop fighting it and really own what all of this means, which isn’t just the bad stuff — the deployments and the uncertainty and the career upsets, but also the good stuff — the uniqueness and the travel and the opportunities his job affords me if I would just go with it.

So.  From now on, I will try to be more cognizant of the happenings on the installation.  I will try to shop more frequently (or at least more than never) at the Commissary and Bx.  I will try to get to know the other spouses instead of being afraid that they’ll judge me for being weird and outspoken and childless and stubbornly… fiercely… independent.

I will stop trying so damn hard to be a normal citizen because nothing about this lifestyle is normal.

Unless, of course, you’re in it.

UPDATE:  Just as I hit “Publish,” a helicopter flew directly over my house.  Low.  Like, scary low.  Like, they-probably-could-tell-whether-or-not-I-was-wearing-a-bra low.

Welcome to my world.

Kitsch for my Kitch(en)

Have you ever felt like you have a million things to write about but no way to write them?

I have all of these things to tell you, but I feel like I lost my voice.  The words aren’t there.

Well, I have some words, but they aren’t witty or thoughtful or seductive in any way.

What?  They aren’t normally?

Well, crap.

Let me just tell you about the lovely little pottery festival I attended this weekend, otherwise known as “pay $10 to get sloshed on wine samples then $5 to walk around trying not to break any handcrafted pottery and then head back to the wine tent when you realize you never really wanted any pottery to begin with – you just wanted to drink the wine and listen to the music, which, you realize, is even more fun when you’re not the one serving the drinks.”

Now that I think about it, that pretty much sums it up.  So thanks, Danielle, for the awesome time!

I didn’t buy any pottery, but I did get some fantastic local honey, some seasoning stuff, a bottle of chardonnay, and this:

It combines my desire for a globe and my need for a place to store keepsake wine corks in one, fun-filled piece of kitsch.

Yes, we all know how I feel about buying crap just to have it – I normally stick to art and photographs since not only do they look nice, but they evoke memories and emotions, but c’mon people – it’s a globe and a cork holder.

It’s like it was made for me.

Sorry for the blur.  Apparently I can’t take photos and drink orange juice at the same time.

Who knew?

A Moment Long Awaited

Dear Big Brother,

Do you remember the time when I was maybe 6-years-old and you asked if I wanted to play hide-and-seek?  My panic-stricken little mind wildly inventoried the best possible hiding spots while you slowly counted to 100, the anticipatory inflection at the end of each number causing my excited-yet-scared heartbeat to increase to an unprecedented pace.

Scrambling to the cobweb-infested basement, I mustered all of my bravery to worm myself into a zippered laundry bag and what was ultimately the best hiding spot in the history of ever, where, upon your imminent failure to find me and my subsequent failure to work the zipper back down, archaeologists would discover my body in 200 years and conclude that I was the young victim of a heinous crime, not recognizing that they’d just discovered the remains of the hide-and-seek champion of the world.

“Ninety-eight…ninety-nine… ONE HUNDRED!”  I heard you yell from the top of the stairs.

“Are you ready?” you called, and I could tell by your voice that you were nervous that you’d lose this battle of wits to your dear baby sister who surely had the superior mental capacity combined with an advantageous small body frame to best you at the very game you taught her.

“Yes!” I called, my voice muffled by the fabric.

“Are you sure?” you asked.  Ahh.  You wanted to play fair – to ensure I’d found the best possible place so that, if you had to lose, you could lose like a gentleman, knowing the victor had earned her spot in the Hall of Hide-and-Seek Champions.

Yes!” I assured you, giggling at the thought of you searching for hours, possibly calling Mom for help once the panic set in and you thought you’d lost me for good.

“Are you really sure?” your voice yelled even louder.

Yesss!” I yelled.  Are you seriously this deaf, or is my hiding place just so awesome that it’s difficult to hear me?

“Are you really really sure?”

YES!” I screamed, my frustration getting the better of my lady-like charm.

BOO!” you yelled as the zipper flew open and I screamed in surprise.  And then you laughed.  You laughed in my face after you CHEATED while playing hide-and-seek with a 6-year-old girl.

For shame.

In the 20+ years since, it seems like we’ve made amends.  It appears as though we’ve gotten past your silly teenage antics and can treat each other like adults.

But I think you should know… I’ve just been biding my time.

Waiting for the day I’d taste the sweet nectar of revenge on my patient little tongue.

And today, dear brother, is that day.

The day that I can finally, with all the zest and spirit of a 6-year-old girl shouting, “I’m definitely ready!” across the vast and very public arena of the internet, say to you:




I can’t believe how OLD you are.

Oh, and you know I love you immensely.