It’s the unbookclub book club.

It’s really not a book club; it’s a book exchange.

Bring books you have read that you loved, leave with books you want to read.

No book assigned to the group, no discussion, no cleaning your house or cooking dinner for people on a weeknight—just a quick book swap.

Date: Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Location: George’s Neighborhood Grill (6935 Lake Plaza Drive, Indianapolis, IN)

Time: 6:30-7:30PM

Make sure to label your books with your name and email address.

Is there a book you are looking for, hoping it shows up at the exchange? Post it in the comments section and hopefully someone has it to share!

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I love this guy.

On our 18th anniversary, he was at work and I was doing laundry.

I washed all the towels in our bathroom and you know when you forget you did that and you hop in the shower only to get out and have no towel?

Well, in an effort to help him avoid that, I said, “Fair warning: I washed all of our towels.”

He said okay and acknowledged he would need to grab one in the morning before getting in the shower for work.

“Fair warning,” he says, “I washed the shower curtain.”

“Why does that require a warning?”

“Because,” he says, “just in case.”

It was clear that he was saying that just so I took note of the fact he did something to contribute.

“Dude, there is no warning required. I told you about the towels so you could get one. Not because I wanted you to say ‘wow, she washed the towels’” I said.

“Yeah, I know. Me too,” he said and moved on.

Wha???

“Mom and Dad…”

When those words wake me out of a dead sleep, panic instantly races through my body. Maybe it was just a dream.  But no, because next I hear…

“…Andy’s throwing up.”

Oh yeah, people. It’s not a dream–it’s a nightmare.

“Where is he?” I asked laying foot after foot on the floor.

“In the bathroom,” Sam reported.

Jeff jumps out of bed too and I ask if he made it to the bathroom before he threw up.

“No,” Sam says and then I see Jeff coming back in to the room with his shirt pulled up over his nose. He confirms he didn’t make it to the bathroom.

It was much worse than I could have imagined in that split second. But, I guess in retrospect, it could always be even worse.

There was only one way to tackle this job (and no, I did not stop to take a selfie in the middle of the clean up; this is the next day).

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Ugh. The worst. I felt so bad for him, though. He kept saying, “I’m sorry, Mom.” I kept telling him—through the mask—that it was okay and I knew he couldn’t help it. He was running a little fever and was white as a ghost.

This was a Monday night. Just the day before, Andy’s little buddy was over. They were playing outside in the nice weather. They came in for a little break and I asked his friend how his sporting event was over the weekend.

“I didn’t do so good,” he said, “I was throwing up all day.” That ‘all day’ he was referring to was like, yesterday day–like 12 hours ago. He adds some details to the story that he threw up six times and the next thing I know, I hear Jeff from the other room say, “Okay, everybody get outside,” and he made them go back out. We both looked at each other and were like, dude, WTF, not cool.

About 20 minutes later, I discovered the kid’s shoes and asked where they were. One of mine responded by saying they were upstairs in Andy’s room playing Legos. I freaked and made them come downstairs and go outside. Andy argued with me a bit but I was insistent.

Andy came back in alone and asked why they couldn’t play inside. Besides the obvious (that we have been inside for six months and the sun was finally out), I told him that his friend said he had been sick and he shouldn’t be around other people for at least 24 hours after being sick—he was just sick like 10 hours ago. Not cool.

So not cool that a mere 30 hours later, I had a puking kid.   Thankfully, no one else in the house caught it (I am telling you, that mask is the bomb) but I want you to know I kept my kid home from school for two days until he was fever free for at least 24 hours. Come on, people. No one likes sick kids. Play along and keep your kids home and away from others until they are no longer contagious. Even if they are bugging the crap out of you and want to go play with friends…just say no!

 

I have to rant here for a second. I need to grab a megaphone, stand on a soapbox and let everyone know this thing that has been weighing heavy on my mind. Are you ready? Please listen, people:

Crime is everywhere.

Sorry, it’s true. We all wish it wasn’t…but it is.

You are not excluded, exempt from the opportunity of crime; you are not living in a safe area. There is no such thing. Safe is a state of mind; it’s a feeling. It is not a measure of crime in an area; that is a crime rate.

My husband accidentally left his police radio on yesterday after he came home from his shift. He usually turns it off and puts it on the charger, but he must have forgotten. As I walked up the stairs and turned in to our room to make the bed with fresh sheets out of the dryer, I heard voices. I thought I must have left the television on from earlier, but it was the radio.

It was about 3:30 in the afternoon on a Sunday and man, things were hoppin’ on North District. incomplete 9-1-1 call with no answer on call-back, serving a warrant at a run down motel and a suspect that fled a domestic but was caught in the next jurisdiction. A traffic stop, an accident, an alarm at a business and then a call to check on the welfare of a person: a man wondering the street in red shorts who was disoriented.

Next, a dispatcher called out two cars to respond to a man pacing on the sidewalk waving a gun in response to a domestic disturbance. Cars were on their way, but soon dispatch reported the woman who called in had lost sight of him but confirmed he was armed. Shortly after, there was a call out for a K9 unit.

I recently saw a post on Facebook with a mother ranting about how sad she was because her son had worked so hard and saved up his money for so long only to have is truck stolen out of his own driveway. He was warming it up in the driveway on a cold morning and someone stole it. All the comments were about how terrible that was, how sad, what is this world teaching him, etc. My comment would have imply been, “dumbshit.”

I don’t care where you live. Did you know there are people who literally drive around looking for people who practically open the door to crime? Cars running, garage doors open, laptops in plain view on backseats. Get smart, people. Don’t give them the opportunity.

A few weeks ago, I saw someone on television talking about a recent rash of home invasions in their neighborhood. “This has always been a safe neighborhood,” she said. But the truth is, it hasn’t been. No place is safe. It means people felt safe until they were violated. Now they feel unsafe. Crime rates would indicate that neighborhood has always had crime; it just didn’t affect the people who had a perceived feeling of safety.

Crime is happening all around you—all the time. Sometimes it starts at one intersection and ends at another; crime bleeds. You perceive yourself safe, but trust me, sometimes just blocks away something bad is happening and you might never know about it (by design, which perpetuates your feeling of safety). When that happens, you just got lucky that it didn’t bleed to where you are. We are all vulnerable; no one place is safe but you may feel safer in one place or another.

Criminals can drive, walk, bike, take a bus, whatever to where there is something worth stealing. That means the criminal is mobile—looking for people who make mistakes because they believe they are exempt. People are vulnerable when they mistake safe for a measure instead of a feeling. The measure is a crime rate; safe is a feeling.

You need to know that random acts of violence are very rare. What is more common is random crime: theft, burglary, armed robbery. Do everything you can to avoid inviting those crimes in to your life. Check your surroundings, leave lights on, lock your doors even when you are home, don’t leave your car running, get an alarm or a dog, don’t leave your garage open and for the love of God, don’t walk to your single-white-female ass to your car alone on a dark street at 2:30AM.

I ruined the end of a perfectly good date night on Saturday with a fight about a piece of thread on the floor.

Just as we were leaving for our night out, the boys said they wanted to spend the night at a neighbor friend’s house. But they clearly had some details to work out, so I told them to text me later and tell me what they decided. I checked my phone during intermission and saw a text that said, “we are all spending the night.” That meant we were free! We could stay out later and would be returning to an empty house.

When we finally got in the car to head home, we were both shocked that it was almost 11PM. I went to make my coffee for the next morning and realized the sink was still full of dishes and there was a pan full of macaroni and cheese on the stove.

“Someone didn’t put the leftover mac & cheese in the fridge,” I yelled out to Jeff.

“Oh, that was me” he said.

“And the dishes…?” I asked, knowing the answer. The sink was literally overflowing with dishes. Not necessarily dishes that required hand washing, but dishes that needed to be moved to the dishwasher.

I couldn’t do them; it was too late and I was too tired. I left it—all of it, including the now ruined mac & cheese—for the morning.

I was mad.

We both head upstairs and I start the argument by harping on the dishes. See, I had been out most of the day with a friend; Jeff was home with the boys. Indeed, he was doing laundry and did make a quick run to Kroger for me to pick up about 10 items. But, other than that, he was home.

“I didn’t have time. I was really busy today.”

I couldn’t let it go. He was insistent that his day was crazy busy but I knew what he had to do (and had done) that day and it just wasn’t adding up that he wouldn’t have three minutes to move dishes to the dishwasher after cleaning up breakfast and lunch with the boys.

I continued to argue about it. He continued to defend himself. I continued to go over and over his day, quizzing him on just which part was too busy for the dishes. I really projected the, “I do way more than that on any given day. Somehow I manage to get it all done” vibe. Okay, maybe I didn’t just project that vibe—maybe I used words very similar to those to try to get my point across.

“Well, congratulations. But it’s not a competition,” he snapped back at me.

I wouldn’t –I couldn’t—let it go; I wasn’t done with it. Finally, he looked up and asked me why I was continuing to argue about this when he had already apologized.

Kidless night ruined.

I crawled in bed and gave it some thought as I drifted off. I realized the source of my frustration and anger actually happened a few days ago.

There had been a piece of thread on our bathroom floor. We have what we refer to as a “one-butt” master bathroom. I point out the size of the room only to illustrate the fact that anyone in the bathroom would have seen the thread on the floor. We have a natural colored tile on the floor and the thread was dark, almost like an army green. At one point, I thought it might be a long blade of grass but then decided that was next to impossible given the fact that it was February in Indiana.

I looked at it, and left it. I do these stupid things every once in a while…just to see…to see how long it takes someone else in the house to pick them up. I am always disappointed in the results.

About two days later, the thread was still there. “Oh, no worries, I got it” I said when he was close enough to hear and picked up the thread, tossing it in the trash.

We laughed and of course he made a joke out of it, saying he “saved it for me” because he knows how much I enjoy organizing and picking up things.

I laughed too, but there was a real point in there for me. A real sense of being under-appreciated and almost taken advantage of for my high need for keeping things organized and tidy.

The dishes were just like the thread: another thing that had been left for me.

I fell asleep and when I woke up in the morning, I apologized and told Jeff that I was angry because I feel under-appreciated. I pointed out how hard I work to keep things on track, organized and tidy around here and sometimes, I just want the same in return.

This got me thinking about our division of labor around the house. Here’s a pretty solid breakdown: Jeff

What’s the division of labor look like at your house? Do you feel your hard work is adequately acknowledged? Do you feel appreciated?

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