October 30, 2006
Family Ties
Polls are fun. Especially when you design one in a pale shade of grey and it comes up all Helly Kitty and stuff when you publish it. I’m not closing the post down yet, in the interest of rocking the vote, Election Day and a hope that Bill Clinton might reprise his swinging sax performance. After you, my dear thirty readers, have each very democratically voted thrice without registration cards, I’ll get to penning posts of interest just as our forefathers would have wanted it. But I refuse to use the quill anymore. Not quite as romantic as Ralph Fiennes made it seem.

Moving along.

One of my irritating lite radio stations informed me that we have shockingly few days left until the holiday season begins. In many homes, this means peace toward men and those awful silver trees and keeping spiked cider out of the hands of Uncle Roy. In my family this usually means reservations made at one of two places open on Christmas Day and no products requiring assembly. And that little stocking stuffer we fondly refer to as My Mother Not Talking to Me.

Silence is a tool my family uses with great skill, the Miyagis of my clan passing it down through generations, a craft refined through rigorous training. Mother is the master of this interpersonal device. She has gone as long as six months without talking to me, in the days before email contacting me instead by letter to tell me just what else is so highly irritating about me and my role in The Fight That Started it All (that particular time). At one point, during the tropical storm that brought a panic I had not before known, I stood in my living room in two feet of water not knowing if she would even pick up my frantic call. She did.

But she isn’t right now. We had a terrible fight, the kind that leaves you gasping for breath through tears just as you did when you were seven. The familial routine, fear of months of the silence and my new instinct to treat people better than I have in the past, Goddamnit! prompted me to write a sincere apology within minutes of arriving home. I had written many of those words dozens of times before, knowing full well I would never hear an apology from their recipient. I’m sorry I blew up, that was out of line. This is what was going on in my head at the time, and why I felt hurt by what was said. I have become quite adept at these letters, ensuring it’s about my feelings and not her actions, taking responsibility for my role in The Fight That Started it All (this particular time). I’ll try to be better. I’ll really try. You are so important to me and I love you very much. Her reply: more Kris bashing, more pushing the buttons that make me explode. It has now been six weeks since we last spoke.

Then last Thursday, the email came. Kris, your sister is coming to town. We really hope that you’ll join us when she is here, as we miss you when you are not around and a part of our family.

And it feels like you’re opening a gift on Christmas morning that you just wanted forever and never thought your parents would really buy! Hope exists! Maybe things won’t always be this way!

But you know to keep reading. Because the beauty can never stand alone, the arms never completely open and welcoming. An ultimatum had to follow, a backhanded statement paraphrased in my disappointed mind as we’ll allow you back into the fold if you take responsibility for the Bad, Very Bad and Wicked Bad ways in which you treat us. Because if you fix you, our beloved Kris, and get the help that you really need, all will finally be right with our family.

And suddenly my hot air balloon is hanging precariously from a tree. I’m left standing with surprised friends as the boy I kissed just passes by with a turned head. Brought to my knees by manipulation and a kick in the gut when I was most vulnerable.

And as I tear up in my office I remind myself just as so many times before: this is not okay. This is not an acceptable way for people to treat each other.

Yesterday: a visit with my sister. And the question: what are you trying to prove by not giving in? Just say or do whatever they want you to and move on with it. Nothing changes, Kris. Nothing.

And I want to shake her and my Mom and my Dad and scream until something clicks. Has this black sheep worked this hard on herself, learning to take responsibility for her role not only in this life but theirs, only to reward those behaving badly at her expense?

That isn’t even a real question.


October 27, 2006

Kris, I really wish you'd write more about . . .

Your strange relationship with food and wine

Travel beyond the motherland of New Jersey

Those strange, neurotic habits/thoughts/obsessions you allude to but never provide pictures of

Your lengthy history failed relationships

Your beloved cats, and the dogs, birds, fish and hermit crabs you owned before that

Nothing, I'm pretty much done with your blog anyway

Other, and I'm gonna tell you so in your comments, be-otch

Free polls from Pollhost.com

October 25, 2006
Just five more minutes, ma
5:00 am. Bug maws and paws until I am awake. I ignore him.

5:30 I choose getting up to feed the hairy ones over throwing either one or both out of the window. Trip over Cricket as she skids across hardwoods to the kitchen.

6:30 Cell phone alarm goes off, screaming Ain’t No Other Man until I can’t take it anymore and I smack said cell phone until it ceases its incessant noisemaking.

6:40 Fatigued yet ever obsessive, I worry about oversleeping, reset cell alarm for 7 am.

7:00 Repeat 6:30. Turn on Today Show. Hope for war or plague or brownout and resulting cancellation of various activities. Disappointed, I convince myself that it really is imperative that I stay in bed until I can hear that story about the man gone for months who has no memory of his life or THE WOMAN HE IS ABOUT TO MARRY, because truthfully, people, just how much would that suck FOR HER?!?

7:20 Still in repose. Matt Lauer informs me that the psychogenic fugue story isn’t up until the next half hour, in which case, I convince myself that it is really in my best interest to a) wait for the segment in the interest of humanity and furthering my immense medical knowledge in case I should ever become a psychiatrist, and b) go back to bed until it’s broadcast.

7:22 Worry about oversleeping, reset cell alarm for 8 am.

8:00 Bug, apparently forgetting that he consumed half his body weight in kibble only hours earlier, maws and paws until I am awake.

8:01 I shower. I forget to shave one leg. I dread having to dry my hair.

8:10-8:40 I brush my teeth ten different ways and contemplate tongue removal as I just don’t understand why they don’t feel clean, dammit; I realize the outfit I had planned out while showering isn’t ironed, and grab black pants and some benign and completely unfashionable top deemed “acceptable,” I actually consider leaving the litter box unscooped as I think I did it last night, then compromise by cleaning the litter but not taking the bag out. Put on foundation in case I see Cute Neighborhood Boy. Feed cats again so Bug will remove his claws from my calf. Even give them fresh water.

8:41 Intentionally forget bags of garbage. Unintentionally forget hair clip, gloves, Nano, lip gloss, AMEX, brown handbag. Try to forget that I never did see that damn amnesia segment after all.


October 23, 2006
Even a chocolate-covered strawberry didn't do the trick
I’m annoyed, cranky, and generally foul today (think a bag of potatoes left under the sink for too long; not the ones that have grown cute horns but the ones that smell of death. Those ones.)

My mother has not spoken to me in at least a month, I never get to see my best friend anymore, and Cricket’s vet bill (see sidebar, now with 33% more updates!) has put a serious dent in my world. Not that I don’t love her. Not that I wouldn’t do almost anything for that little hairball. But 700 duckets for a differential diagnosis of asthma/bronchitis doesn’t really require a heartworm test, now does it?

Hmmm. There is not enough room in here for my irritation.

Egan may be right. Lost may very well have jumped the shark.

I also can’t seem to get up all the cat hair that blows like tumbleweed over the hardwoods. I have a toe ache. I’m bitter that I had no cavities last week but somehow three years ago my last dentist managed to find 11 at one visit. Did I mention never having a cavity prior to the age of 26? Scams apparently abound.

I even hate my lip gloss. If it wants to be worn so badly it really could come up out of the bottom of the tube so I don’t have to break fingers trying to get the last of it from the corners.

Not to mention that Meredith Grey can be so damn irritating and needs to just grow a pair.

October 18, 2006
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Ways
MSN got all up in my grill this morning with an article detailing the 10 Reasons Men Won’t Commit. I was pretty excited as I thought they were referencing my favorite subject: homicide, but apparently they were talking about the coupling that is marriage. Despite my disappointment, I read on. Their reasons, and my reactions*, follow.

10 Reasons Men Won't Commit

Reason 1: Men can get sex without marriage more easily than in times past. So can women. What’s the point? And given how many Mary Sues have been shipped off for nine months to their “aunt’s house in the country,” I’m gonna go ahead and say it probably hasn’t been all that difficult to get it for some time now.

Reason 2: Men can enjoy the benefits of having a wife by cohabiting rather than marrying. If by enjoy the benefits of having a wife, they mean “have someone pick on you for leaving your towel on the floor, criticize the type of mediciney mouthwash you insist on using, and less frequent sex,” I’m not really getting it. Maybe that’s just my old relationships.

Reason 3: Men want to avoid divorce and its financial risks. Are women still getting 50% of their spouse’s assets? I know some women who are giving that much to their husbands in their divorces. Esquires, please do weigh in on this one. And note that I typed esquires. Escorts can keep quiet.

Reason 4: Men want to wait until they are older to have children. This one makes sense to me. Anyone see that GA-Runaway-Bride-eyed contestant on the Bachelor? The one who’s 23 and incessantly talking about her timeline? And stressing the fact that being on the show and marrying the Blaine look-alike will put her right where she needs to be to procreate by 30? It makes me shudder. I can’t imagine what it does to the opposite sex. Dude repellant.

Reason 5: Men fear that marriage will require too many changes and compromises. Which is clearly so much worse than living in your parents’ basement, Cliff Clavin.

Reason 6: Men are waiting for the perfect soul mate and she hasn't yet appeared. SPOILER ALERT: There is no perfect soul mate, asshats! There are perfect days at the beach with a breeze and without a burn, perfect pizzas with just the right balance of cheese and sauce, and perfect margaritas. Perfection is an unrealistic expectation for someone who will spend decades sharing your roof. Or so my Chicken Soup books tell me.

Reason 7: Men face few social pressures to marry. In all seriousness, do women face social pressures to marry? I feel the pressure to have children (inspired by such insightful statements as, “but who will wash you when you are too old to wash yourself?”), but interestingly enough, no pressure to marry. Discuss.

Reason 8: Men are reluctant to marry a woman who already has children. Because we all know how mean, unnurturing, uncaring, inflexible, and hardhearted mothers can be. Next.

Reason 9: They want to own a house before they get a wife. I’m actually all for this. I’m pretty sure that I will never be financially stable, so if he comes with a home and a working car or skateboard, even better.

Reason 10: Men want to enjoy a single life as long as they can. I don’t have that much to say about this one. I can definitely appreciate the thinking behind this. And we all know that space is hard to compromise and routines hard to break. But I would hate to think that men would miss out on the beauty of a long-term commitment because they were afraid nights with the guys would suddenly be taboo. Which of course they would be.

*I am not married, nor have I ever been, nor will I likely ever be, unless this adopt-a-Malawian-husband thing pans out, so all opinions should be taken with a grain of salt and the knowledge that they are based upon a rather long series of fulfilling yet failed relationships. Awesome.


Promises, promises
I have a secret. Shhhh. I don't post every day.

This irritates me. Not sure why.

I've decided I want something new on this site on a daily basis, so I'm going to at least update the l'il pink box on the right. Every day that I'm not on a zip wire in Costa Rica or lounging poolside with Clooney. Updates should include my latest tiny rant, or miniature tidbit about something weird/neurotic that I do, or yet another picture of my cats.


I'm pretty sure I'm going to post later today, but who knows, I may end up in a Diet Coke coma or ONE OF THESE WINDOW WASHERS WHO HAVE BEEN OUTSIDE MESSING WITH MY HEAD FOR SIX WEEKS might wisk me away to Cancun.

Yeah. I'll probably post later today.

October 16, 2006
I'm a Size 2
I lie.

A lot.*

For those who know me in the Real World: DC, don’t fret; I lie not to you, close confidantes and drinking acquaintances, but instead to strangers. On the Metro. In the freaking Dress Barn (please don’t ask me what I was ever doing in Dress Barn; surely flashbacks and non-hilarity would ensue). And I lie at restaurants and to neighbors and the homeless for no apparent reason.

Setting: Retail store, Northern Virginia

Store clerk: “Can I help you find something, or are you just here to look at our shoes?”

Kris the Liar: “No, thank you. I’m just here to look at all of your items . . . Can't help myself. I just LOVE shopping.”

Truth: I abhor, detest, hate and loathe that reportedly female pastime called shopping. I buy online when at all possible (I don’t think I entered a mall during the last holiday season, and if I did, I blocked it from my memory just as I do my annual ob/gyn visit). I was there for the sole reason of checking out their shoes, as I have had the damndest time finding an acceptable pair of brown boots for fall. I didn’t mean to fib; I just didn’t want this lovely woman to woo me and my wallet by detailing the personal benefits of purchasing the black ankle-height pair at 20% off and bringing out photos of the grandchildren she hasn’t seen since last Easter at Joan’s house. And had I seen the bedazzled turkey sweaters all mine on a two-fer? Ugh.

Setting No. 2: Grocery store checkout line, Washington, DC

Cashier: “Ooooh. This pasta looks great. What are you thinking of making?”

Kris the Fraud: “Probably baked ziti. It’s really good!”

Truth: What? I knew full well as those words passed my lips that the only place I ever consume baked ziti is at my mother’s dinner table. I also knew full well that I planned to take that pasta home, boil it in an inadequate amount of water, in my infinite hunger strain it before it had even reached al dente status, dump cold Ragu on it, and consume it while plopped on the couch watching Forensic Files. No reason to lie. That answer would have been sufficient, however unfortunate the interpersonal scarring my lengthy account may have inflicted on the kind cashier.

The baby Jesus weeps in a manger far away.

And perhaps most egregious, Setting No 3: Outside a 7-11, Washington, DC

Man: “Miss, could you spare any change?”

Kris the Phony: “Ooooh, sorry. I just charged these things (dramatically hoists up bountiful bags of 7-11 goods) and don’t have any cash on me. I’m sorry . . .

Truth: I probably had at least a Vegas day’s winning of unneeded quarters and dimes and most useless pennies in my purse. But I was in a hurry and the bags were kind of heavy and wasn’t I a good person anyhow being that yesterday I gave real cash American money to that homeless woman at the highway exit? And after all, I did have that excellent episode of First 48 to rewatch at home, given that I really didn’t get the full flavor of the Memphis Homicide Department or that corpse in the bathtub the FIRST THREE TIMES I WATCHED IT. Ugh again.

Now if you'll excuse me, I really must run. You see, Bug somehow glued his back legs together with epoxy and Truman Capote is on his way over for mac and cheese . . .

*I should admit here – in the interest of truth and the Hall of Justice, of course – that I have written about this pathology before. I frankly am too lazy at this moment to search the archives and feel the need to confess the offense anyhow.


October 11, 2006
I have to admit that it has been one of the best online relationships I’ve ever had. We have spent an awful lot of time together – it's embarrassing, really – late nights until I almost couldn't keep my eyes open, early mornings, moments I’d steal away while at work just to see what he had to say, just to check up on the most current comings and goings of our favorite friends.

But our partnership has grown tiresome. I don’t like who I become when he is around. It pains me to say it, but I turn into that woman, needy and obsessive and fixated and fanatical. Not the woman I want to and am trying to be. So as with all things that just might not be meant to be, it has to end. That’s why it's over with me and StatCounter.

I remember when I first discovered this amazing, newfangled functionality (likely two to four years after most of you did). I was simultaneously a) overjoyed at the thought of being able to see where all three of my readers lived and/or surfed for p*rn, and b) mortified that those sites I had already stalked knew that I did so, refreshing their pages every few seconds and scouring their archives while I ate Froot Loops and brushed my teeth. Ugh.

In our early days together, StatCounter opened up a whole new world for me. Someone in South Africa is reading my post about Celine Dion! Someone in South Jersey – who interestingly enough was looking for Google’s answer to: Is your wife a wino or a winner? – made his way to my corner of the Information Superhighway! (I won’t even touch the searches placed by those interested in purchasing diva maxi pads, the person I wanted to crack who claimed he was going to kill this God damn cricket slowly, or all the winos, the dozens and dozens of beautiful winos, who found my site while looking for a good, sturdy girdle.) For a long time, it was a beautiful thing; I got to see what corner of the world readers were coming from. And what you were reading. We were on the same page.

But then began our disagreements. As with all of my relationship failures, then entered neediness. No longer could Stat watch Monday Night Football in peace. There I was on the couch next to him, wanting to talk at length about WHY DID MY STATS FALL THROUGH THE FLOOR ON SATURDAYS? or WHY IS IT THAT I GET SO FEW HITS COMPARED TO [insert your name here], DAMMIT? Don’t get me started on grabbing the remote out of his hand when he refused to discuss at length whether my e-friendship with [insert your name here unless male, and then you’d insert the name of your favorite female blogger, other than me, of course . . .] was over given that she really doesn’t visit much anymore?

Are you getting the gist yet?

But the most awful act, the point at which I knew I had to come back from the e-brink, occurred during my breakup, when registered hits from a known offender translated in my mind to meaning I was loved, cared about, THAT MY WRITING ABOUT MY CALF CRAMPS AT SWIMMING AND N*KED LOCKER ROOMING AND MY SINGLEHOOD WITH FELINES WAS DAMN FUNNY. Before I knew it I was burning incense and listening to Tori Amos in the dark and rocking myself to sleep in the fetal position.

Not really.

But I don’t like being chained to it. Don’t. want. to have to check it. I’m hoping that when people visit, they’ll leave a little imprint by way of a comment (check my profile occupation, I’m admittedly still in 12 step for that obsession). No more reliance.

So goodbye, StatCounter. It was a good trip and I’ll surely miss the early days. Now if you don't mind, could you give SiteMeter a ride on your way home?


October 10, 2006
Kris-Ra, Princess of Power
On Saturday morning I changed my own passenger-side headlight. In heels. And a great looking pair of jeans.

Yesterday I Maguyvered the plastic trim back on the window with nail glue. And still made it to my lunch date on time.

I felt like a rock star. A rock star who needs a new car.

October 7, 2006
On Penchants and Passions
I've been worried as of late. (Again, shocker!)

Encouragement from friends about the relationship demise has led to introspection about the disintegration of my dreams.

I know. UGH, say you my dear readers. Here we go again on the Self Deprecation Train. Just remember: I never promised you ALL chick lit.

For the past decade, it's been goodbye to the days of the good book (hello, People mag! Katie is SO brainwashed AND emaciated! Not to mention Ms. Mary Kate!) and hello to too many hours spent on the couch with college football and ordered-in wings (don't get me wrong, I still love both, and the sauce they produce in DC dives is stellar, people, I mean STEL-LAR, like spicy and pass-me-the-tissues and are you going to eat all yours? gooooood). Despite a youth spent traveling through Europe, plans for international travel were put in the back of the "Someday" file. Hobbies on the backburner behind the mac and cheese. Just. going. along with the crowd. Life became damn mediocre.

Somehow, without even knowing it, I let go of me.

I know I probably don't talk about myself nearly enough for your tastes (*cough*), but the me I knew 15 years ago, the woman who would THRIVE! if I'd stuck with my gut instinct, is only partially here.

Full disclosure? I knew not to go for that grad degree. When I filled out each of those those 23 apps, my insides actually ached. But a Ph.D. was the right choice, of course. What a nice ring to it! And I'm so good at Psych! Forget my passion for creative THIS and the anecdotes of the history of THAT. Just keep moving on.

Warning: spoiler ahead! People, I knew not to stay in those relationships. Those pairings were not a fit, not quite right for me, and despite it paining me to say it (gulp!): insufficient. My gut? It's done. You aren't getting what you want from this partnership. It's over. You are strong enough to move away on your own. My reality? Bandage the damn thing with four miles of gauze so it looks like it might be healthy someday. When that doesn't work? Treat him poorly. Until he leaves you. (Dramatically washes cowardly hands of it.)

(Yes, pause if you must for crickets.)

I (and Consumer Reports) knew not to buy that Sentra sans pickup, knew not to smoke that one Camel Light on the 11th-grade ski trip, knew not to treat people as subhuman so they'd move along. I just never stopped to hear my voice.

I'm done. Done and done.

I'm finally listening.


October 5, 2006
Your Morning Latte, Miss
Late. To. Work.

Sound asleep having dream about living in Moscow (or was it Krasnoyarsk?) with Jim from the Office. Ex-boyfriend Ben Affleck is there too and being a nuisance.

Full update on the dream after 84 ounces of Diet Coke are consumed.

p.s. Like the new digs? Mama likes pink. Pink blogs, pink cotton hoodies, pink cats.

October 4, 2006
My Role on the Bachelor
I would SO be the one who would get out of the limo, first make sure my boobs were in my dress (I got it at Ross!) and only next change out of my Keds into some heels the producers picked out for me.

I would NOT pull my lower eyelids down to scrape black eyeliner on them.

I would probably have roots, and would pick my thong wedgie in the hall out of camera sight.

I'd freeze some competitor bras in the villa icebox. Oh, and I'd actually wear a bra. Even 23-year-old breasts aren't what they used to be, Ms. Mansfield.

I would sabotage any woman 1) named Desiree or 2) who didn't know enough not to get tanked on bubbly on opening night.

I'd capitalize on the fact that the Bachelor went to school close to my NJ hometown for a year. "I screwed a guy from your school!" I'd tell him. "Did you know Brian Lyons?"


I would not use the words "jealous" or "genitals" or "my extensions" no matter how much ABC paid me. However, "Your inheritance" and "drink, sucka!" are fair game.

I might invite him to IHop and/or Taco Bell during the Get to Know Ya Sessions.

If I didn't get a rose, I would have the limo drive me to town for 1) tequila, and 2) a little man who would most definitely know where to buy me a pink carnation.

I can't decide if I'd run or make out with the Bachelor if he said marriage would "suck" if you didn't get along 20 years into your marriage. I'd probably run. In my Keds. Back to Taco Bell.


October 3, 2006
On baring all and Geritol
Well, I would be remiss if I didn't thank you for reading and writing and baring your dating souls last week. You've at once left me saddened for your many losses and on the verge of dry heaving at the thought of ever entering another relationship. That and completely in awe of the fact that you thought enough of me and the Internets to share these painful memories and utterly unbelievable statements. Oh, the complete lack of humanity in so many humans.

I thought about balancing the last post with one about the overwhelming adorableness of baby hedgehogs, or one requesting your fondest love memory (my friend Erika nearly beat me over the head when I mentioned that one), or yet another about my newfound obsession with Wikipedia and the fact that Look! You can find out anything you want to about Buddhists and Dooce and vas deferens, all in one place!

But I came up with old people. That's right, old people. (Don't cringe, I'm not going to write about the freaking Notebook again.)

I was behind an elderly woman tonight at the CVS who was plucked right out of a 50's Woolworth's, party people. A summer hat, a pale polyester wrap dress, black nursing shoes and socks, and an accent that said she'd spent years drinking sweet tea. She greeted the young cashier with a smile and placed on the counter the largest economy-sized package of toilet paper one ever did see. My grandfather, a Depression-era survivor himself, horded and bought items in batches of at least 888, so this was endearing to me.

And then she did that thing that makes me want to lose it, and sweat, and beat myself about the head and face as I do only when THAT WOMAN at Giant FIRST THINKS TO TAKE HER CHECKBOOK OUT AFTER THE CASHIER HAS RUNG UP ALL 476 OF HER ITEMS AND TOTALED HER ENTIRE BILL. ("Do you have a pen?")

Beatdown, people.

She paid in change. And counted it all out. And would look over her shoulder every two minutes to see if we were still waiting.

Even my tampons were sick of standing up.

But then there are the old folks I love, like Elly who used to live at the nursing home I worked at after school when I was 17. Once a week, I'd paint her nails a lovely shade of whatever was in the donation box, parking her wheelchair on one side of me and Lucy's chair on the other. One particular day I was giving Lucy the grand treatment when I heard a moist chomping coming from my left side.

Crap. Coffee hour was long since over.

But Elly hadn't cheeked any sponge cake. Instead, she was gleefully and spiritedly and quite awesomely, I might add, chewing on two oversized cotton balls. All while managing the largest grin on her wrinkly, crinkly old face. And she was so going to swallow.

So naturally I screamed. I called for a nurse. And I did the dumbest thing a person could do other than pass out: I stuck my hand right into her mouth.

And so Elly then did the smartest thing she should have done to a dumb girl sticking a finger down a smart old woman's throat: she bit down as hard as she could. And only then did she give up the cotton.