Let’s be lovers, not judgers

I ate dinner with two of my friends the other night and, as always, a good dose of laughter helped to restore a feeling of equilibrium to a work-induced stressful week.

I was talking to my mom later about one of the conversations that my girlfriends and I had at dinner that night:

me: Wendy’s parents were in town a couple of weeks ago. She was telling us that her parents were pretty critical of everyone around. You know, like saying, “Look at that tattooed freak!” and “He looks like a bum.” And “So-and-so is acting stupid.” Wendy said that she said to them, “You two are so critical. You are always judging. You remember those children books about The Stupids?”

Mom: What? The stupids? There were books about stupids?

me: Yes, a family called The Stupids. I don’t remember them. I never read those books. I told Wendy that you wouldn’t have let us read anything like that because we weren’t allowed to use the word “stupid”, but she said, “They were in the library!”

Mom: Well, you still shouldn’t be reading everything in the library.

me: Ok, not the story. Anyway, she was telling her parents, “Remember the books about the Stupids? If we had books named after our family, it would be The Assholes! Cause we’re Assholes! Cause you judge everyone!”


Mom: And we’d be the “Love Everyone and Get Along With Everyone” Family

me: No, we would be the “Repress All Your Feelings” Family. The Repressors. We would be the “Swallow All Your Emotions” Family. The Swallowers.


me: Yeah, the Swallowers doesn’t sound so good, so let’s go back to Repressors.

Regardless of what you call our family, I have noticed a trend in the general population to be very judge-y and unkind. I have a Pinterest account and when I browse, I always see at least a couple of pins that are very “anti-my-fellow-man-I-am-better-than-you” themed pins, like these:

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I am as guilty as the next person (whom on Wednesday night was my friend Wendy, and we all know that she is an Asshole) to be judgmental, but it really bothers me how casually we fling out insults and criticisms about other people, often (mostly) when we don’t have the slightest idea about what they are really going through. Our immature attempt to make ourselves feel better is by telling ourselves that we are better, but at the expense of someone else.

The ironic and twisted thing about this method of self-soothing is this: Who is using me as their yardstick to make themselves feel better? Who is out there saying, “Well, I know that I blow, but at least I am not as bad as Cristy.” OUCH.

Because I’m sure that happens. (Double ouch, you asshole.)

I am going to make a concerted effort to leaving my yardstick in storage. Can you? If not, I’ll try not to judge.


It’s really crowded in this head of mine

I had a super, terrible, bad week.  It was just one of those weeks that kicked me six ways to Sunday.  (I just looked up what that phrase meant, by the way, and it still doesn’t make sense, but it rolls off the tongue well.)  Regardless, there was much crying and gnashing of teeth.

I wanted to do this:


This is what I felt I actually accomplished:

Home P2

I feel lucky that I realized my error.

In truth, I am sure that I was more and accomplished more than I actually feel like I did.  My problem is that I get caught up in my own head.   If it is possible to think too much, I do it.  Some thoughts are on a perpetual loop, playing over and over in my head; some thoughts are like boomerangs, they come in, fly around, then leave, and their trajectory is a little wild.  Some thoughts are like flocks of geese — they have their own seasonal pattern and can be counted on to show up on a recurring basis.  And some are like fire crackers — they are just popping off randomly — boom!  Boom, boom!  BOOM!  Boom, boom, boom!  BOOOOOOM!  It’s madness up there.

I have mentioned before that I have fought (and won) battles with depression in the past, involving some therapy.  During therapy I learned that some of my depression is caused by this conflagration of thoughts in my head.  I’ve tried lots of exercises to calm my mind, to strive for mindfulness, to concentrate on one thing.  It’s difficult, but it can be done.

That’s one reason why reading is so relaxing to me — I can turn my own thoughts off while I read.  It’s soothing.

Matt and I recently had a conversation that highlighted how differently we approached our surroundings:

me:  I’ve been thinking about finding another lawyer to do our wills.  I need to find someone to take Louie [my dog] if something happens to me.

Matt:  ok

me:  I talked to Mom and she said that she was sure that you would keep him if I died, but I know that you wouldn’t really want to.  And I don’t want you to be burdened and he shouldn’t be a burden to someone.  So I need to find a lawyer.

Matt:  this is what you have been thinking about?  Worrying about dying and what would happen with your dog if you did?  It must be hell being in your head.

me:  it is!  It is hell worrying about all this stuff.  Don’t you worry about stuff like this?

Matt:  no.

me:  well, what do you think about?

Matt:  kayaks.

I love that about Matt.  He helps keep me stable.  It would be awful around here if there were two of us all caught up in our heads.

Now, next week, I’m going to do some Epic Shit.  It’s a promise to myself and all my pesky thoughts.

Mysteries solved

I was driving to work on the interstate this morning when I noticed a bad smell.  A persistent bad smell.  As a girl who grew up in the country, I recognized it as cow manure.  It smelled like cow poop.

One mile passed, then two, but the smell maintained.

My dog, Louie, rides with me everyday.  I drop him off at doggie daycare (no comments, please, I’ve heard them all from Matt) while I go to work.

Louie on the way to work

Louie on the way to work

Thus, my natural first question after the smell persisted was, “Louie, are you farting back there?”  He didn’t reply, but I just didn’t think that it was him.

Then I started thinking that maybe I had stepped in something.  Or had run over a humongous cow patty that was making my car a roving stink bomb.  Or my upper lip was stinking.  Or (worse option of all) I was farting and didn’t even know it.

After about 10 miles of wondering where in the hell the stink was coming from I drove up behind and passed a semi-truck hauling a load of cattle.  I was so happy!  Not only was my bowel system not giving out, a mystery had been solved.

I LOVE when a mystery is solved.  I think that is why I love to watch true crime on TV so much — most of those shows are aired only after the mystery of who-dunit is answered.  I never liked America’s Most Wanted because the final act hadn’t been completed yet.  I like it when the pieces come together.

I always have felt this way.  Some of my favorite books growing up were Nancy Drew and Encyclopedia Brown.  Not knowing the answer makes me antsy and a little bit nervous.  I admit it — I pick up a book and read the first chapter or two, and then I skip to the back and skim the end.  I need to know — Does it have a happy ending?

I have thought to myself on several occasions that I can’t wait to get to Heaven just so that I can get answers to some of life’s biggest mysteries.  Like “Who was on the grassy knoll?”  My list of things that I want to know when I get to Heaven includes:

  1. What happened to the people of the Lost Colony?
  2. What happened to the dinosaurs?
  3. Who was Jack the Ripper?
  4. Is Professional Wrestling real?
  5. Is Politics in Washington real?  Has it ever been?
  6. Are there people on other planets?
  7. Is there a Big Foot and why does he look fuzzy in all his pictures?

I think that would give me some things to talk about for a long time.


I ate dinner with my friend, Nikki, the other night.  (**hi, Nikki**)  She knows that I have been feeling kinda down recently.  An extended illness, extended rainy weather and extended stress have created some blueness in my mood.  She brought me a card to make me feel better.




I felt better immediately.

And, she signed it with a Post-It, so I can give it to someone else.  That made me feel better, as well, in that I can share the joy.

Nikki–you are the best.

What we talk about on long car trips

Matt and I took a long weekend trip to the beach this past weekend. On the way, we passed a stretch of houses that all had names, you know like Scarlett O’Hara’s plantation was named “Tara”, and George Washington’s home was named “Mt. Vernon”.

None of these houses that we passed were as grand as Mt. Vernon or Tara, but they each had signs at the end of the driveways proudly displaying their names, asserting that they weren’t just someone’s house, they were someone’s estate.

Seeing this resulted in the following car conversation:

me: Let’s name our house. Like these houses and like big estates. It deserves a name.

Matt: Ok, you go first.

me: No, it was my idea. You go first.

Matt: Mmmm, what was the name of James Bond’s estate in Skyfall?

me: Skyfall.

Matt: Ok.


me: So, you’re proposing Skyfall? No, that’s dorky.

Matt: What’s your idea?

me: Deathstar.

Matt: Like from Star Wars? That’s dorky squared.

me: You next.

Matt: Elder Estate.

me: No, I want something creative. Like Peaceful Alliance.

Matt: Alliance? Is that a Star Wars reference again? Why do you keep bringing up Star Wars? You don’t even like Star Wars. Stop it.

me: It’s too bad we had those big pine trees cut down. We could call it something like Pine Valley, or Pine Swept, or Pine Song, or Pine Haven. We have those birches now, so it could be like Birchwind. Or Birch Star.

Matt: Really, stop.


Matt: You know the land originally belonged to the Moose family, so it could be something with Moose in it.

me: Moose Star! Moose Lodge! Moose House! Moose Haven!


me: I thought the land came through the Drye family, not the Moose side of the family.

Matt: You’re right, so it would need to be the word Drye.

me: Drye Land! Drye Winds!

Matt: I like Haven. Our Haven.

me: Our Drye Haven!


me: Yeah, that doesn’t work. It sounds like a rehab center.


me: Our Drye Moose Haven.

Matt: I like it.

me: Me, too.

So, that’s what we’re naming our house/estate. And we sound like we support sober moose. We’re good people.


After we got to the beach, we noticed that most of the beach houses were named. Do you think that there is a special place that people with beach houses go to find names? Here are some of the ones that we saw:

  • Seas the Moment
  • Luna-Sea
  • Mr. Krabs
  • 4 All Sea-Sons
  • Sea-esta
  • Nexta-C
  • Wait N Sea
  • and my personal favorite: House


I can’t wait to get a fancy sign that reads “Our Drye Moose Haven”. I’ll post when done. And remember: just because we now live on an estate doesn’t mean y’all can’t visit any time.