Thursday, April 21, 2011

How Kate Met Lydia - Part 4

 And, now for the end...


That night, after the hour-long torture that is “putting the children to bed”, I told the Cap’n what happened in the parking lot with Kate.  He just nodded.  “I always thought you should reach out to her.  You know that.  I’m pretty sure she needs a Lydia.”

Maybe he was right but I couldn’t help thinking that if she didn’t want a Lydia, that I had just told someone I wasn’t sure I liked far too much about myself and my family.  I felt sort of sick.  I feared this was going to be another time I would think back over things I’d blurted out and wish I’d never said them.  Sadly, it was a sensation I was used to.

A few days passed and Kate and I didn’t run into each other at school or reach out in any way.  I sure as hell wasn’t going to.  I had no idea if she felt as queasy as I did about the whole experience.  I’ve spent my entire life regretting being too open and having total strangers tell me random things.  This was just another one of those times…  Except that I felt better for having said it all out loud.  I felt like the Cap’n was right and maybe it was good for both of us that I had reached out to her.

I had spent my life building up walls. Based on this crazy flawed theory that, if I never really let anyone into my life, then I never have to watch them go racing for the exits. A dear friend gave me a refrigerator magnet – because really, life truly can be boiled down to the pithy perfected logic that fits on a 2X2 artwork holder – that said, “True Friends are the ones that know all about you and like you anyway.” It’s a nice sentiment; in my life, it’s also crap. There are nuclear disposal facilities that would kindly pass on the psychological soup that I’ve been brewing up these nearly 40 years.

Walls, fortresses, even a moat for the really good juicy tidbits, complete with crocodiles just to keep the Lydias of the world at bay. But this particular Lydia? I’m not sure how she did it. It was like she just appeared inside. Like some kind of yoga pants wearing Dumbledore. I was terrified. I was going to have to leave, or move or quit the church. Or just volunteer to be the guinea pig for a new remote colony. On Saturn. What was I thinking? Lydia knew WAY too much about me, and I don’t think either one of us knew what to do next.

For two days, I took Happy to school, and didn’t see Lydia. The first day, I showed up with this pit of nausea in my stomach. What was I going to say, “Oh, heeeeeyyyy. So, how’ve you been since I verbally vomited all my secrets all over you? Yeah, it was gross. But, you’re used to sticky, smelly things on your shirt right? Right?”

The second day, I was kind of hoping I’d see her. I wasn’t sure why. The truth was, while I wasn’t sure of my feelings at the moment, when we talked, I really had felt better. Normal. Not like I was playing some role. And, the more I thought about the kind of person Lydia was, the more I was sure she’d never be the kind of person who gossiped. Sure, about silly stuff and Lindsay Lohan and possibly a church member who had one too many cocktails at the Family Dinner Night, but not this.

I didn’t see her that day, or the next. Lydia has this way about her that just invites people in. Me? Not so much. So, what would happen if I reached out? By the next week, the fear of the meltdown, the idea there could be a real friend to confide in, and – let’s be honest – the fact that I needed to borrow a kid thing and she had one, had gelled. And I sat down at my computer.

I got an email from Kate.  She didn’t mention our hour-long mutual meltdown in the parking lot.  Instead she asked how I was doing and if she could borrow a Pack-N-Play, as she’d given hers away and had friends with a baby coming to stay.

I emailed her back right away, saying no problem, when did she want it and did having houseguests mean that she actually had to clean her house.  This started a volley of back and forth emails where we asked each other questions like:
  • How old do you think children have to be before they stop barging in on you in the bathroom?  Because I haven’t peed alone in six and a half years.
  • How is it that laundry came to dominate my life?  I used to read books and now I just fold things.
  • Is this thing that happened to my boobs permanent?  Because they used to be awesome and I miss them.
  • Why do husbands never know the sizes of their children’s shoes but know how much the first baseman for the Nationals weighs?
  • Why do normal people claim to be tired all the time?  If I hear one more non-parent say, “I’m so tired” I’m going to karate punch them in the neck.
  • Is it wrong that I drink more coffee and wine each day than I do water?
  • What happens to little boys’ underpants?  They just disappear.  I have spent $17,000 on size 4 Spiderman underpants in the past three months and I have no idea what’s happened to any of them.  Where do they go?
Kate emailed me back and said: “That’s it.  I’m doing something about this.  Click here.”  And underneath was a website, a blog she had started called: Rants from MommyLand, the name of the book we had joked about in the parking lot.  I emailed her back: “Rants! From! MommyLand!  And so it begins…”

The. End.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011


  1. i just got all tingly. the corner of my right eye *might* be moist. =p i love you ladies! you inspire me. =) i only have one tiny terror so far...she's 13 months...and walking like a champ. and she already has an attitude. -.- here's a toast to all the mommies who get it. to all of us who know we suck at times, and that's just fine. *clink* =) thank you for being so real. <3

  2. Awesome Ladies. So glad you found each other. My 2 BFF mommy friends are the ones that I have known since our oldest started preschool and we have seen each other at our worst. But instead of calling CPS we hand each other a glass of wine and let the band of boys (8 between us) out in the back with the hose. (boys + water + dirt = 2 minutes of peace)

  3. I seriously love you guys.... you are so real and it's all okay-dokay! Being a mom is hard freakin' work. People who don't have kids, don't get it. At.All. Then there are the Paltrows of the world that you want to go all Chuck Norris on and tell them to join the rest of us in "Real Mommyland". You gals tell it like it is... no frills, no painting things pink and rosey. (kind of like my speech to Pretty Princess #1 when her "monthly friend" arrived for the first time last month. Now THAT'S a subject we should chat about girls.... omfg HORMONE HELL.)

    Here's what mommyhood is like... if you can't handle it, back the hell up and run away.

  4. Awesome, with a side of sauce! I haven't been on in a while and so I got to read all 4 parts at one go, a great thing to do instead of finding my floor (it must be under there someplace - I mean, SOMETHING is holding all that crap up).

    Thanks, as usual, making me feel a mite less guilty about taking a few minutes to read something kind of grown-up, instead of turning the hamster wheel a few more times.

  5. What a gripping tale. I'm sorry it's over, but I guess it's really not ;) Thanks so much for sharing (this story and all he others)!! I was looking forward to the installments every morning. I can relate to the word vomit, the connections, the queasy feeling after an accidental self-disclosure session. Love you both!!!!

  6. Why am I sitting here crying when I already knew how this story would end? Because this is the birth story of something that has changed profoundly my life. And I might be getting my period. Shut up.

    I gotta go karate punch my someone in the neck now...

  7. This. This is awesome. I love hearing how friends wind up friends, and when the outcome is something like the two of you, and your fabulous blog, it's even better.
    My own closest friend and I began in a similar way. I did not like her at all because she was beautiful, thin, a fabulous belly dancer, more than a little intimidating...and dating a guy I'd had a thing for for a couple years. She thought I hated her (which is not true, really), and was put off by my coldness toward her (which was really just a good dose of shyness, topped off by intimidation). Now...I've never had a closer friend. In lots of ways, seeing as I live next door to her. It's funny when circumstances like that pop up and shoot your life in a whole new direction!


  8. I have been looking forward to reading this 4 part series all week. I was dying to know how the blog started. It is amazing how close it could have come to never happening. It reminds me that as women and moms, we should reach out when it does not feel comfortable, because it is usually the right thing to do and first impressions can be so wrong. I am going to be nicer to the "perfect mom" at daycare today, she might just be like me, keeping my head above water, wondering how I got to this place, in total love with my children, but in need of a friend I can co-mom with, someone who does not judge. I think these kinds of people in our lives are usually not who we would have picked if we looked into a crysal ball years ago. So in honor of Kate and Lydia's story, I am going to strike up a conversation with perfect mom this morning. Who knows what might happen. Thanks for an inspiring, real, funny blog that I look forward to reading everday!

  9. This is such a great story! It can be tough to find great friends that you really connect with. I am glad you two found each other.

  10. Finding a Mommy friend that you can so brazenly share your extreme highs and (what you perceive) to be shameful lows is like the Holy Grail of friendships for a time in a Mother's life when it all seems so crazy!! Ups to Lydia and Kate on finding each other & sharing the hilarity, the joys, the WHUCKS that have ensued along the way. I love it ladies & I love reading about your thoughts and adventures in the mystical, magical, maniacal world of Mommyland. Muaaahhh to both of you lovelies & keep the posts coming :-) xoxo

  11. Love this story, I'm sad there isn't going to be a book, I would totally buy and read it! Thanks for the great blog that gives me a smile.

  12. Thank you both for all the sharing you do. Helps to know we are all in the same sinking boat!

  13. Is it really over?! I need more - yes I'm being a selfish snitch and demanding more! Just stop everything you are doing, you know - the important things like child-rearing/work/cleaning house/being a wife - just stop it all and write more. No? okay fine.

    I just want to say, I know a majority of your fans and readers are mommies...but I don't think you realize what you also do for us married gals that don't have any kids yet. I read you every day - and sort of feel like I shouldn't because I'm not in the official mommy club. But it's like I'm getting a real glimpse into this secret society. I think when the time does come I'll be so much more prepared and, hopefully, will have better wits about myself and will be able to embrace whuck the hell is happening with a sense of humor and be all "ah...that's what they were talking about - and now it's happening to me." Thanks gals - y'all are the greatest.

  14. I love this story too. I am sad it's not a book, but alas, we have RANTS FROM MOMMYLAND!!

    Let's talk about husbands for a second come they are often as bad if not worse than the kids?

  15. Thanks for sharing your story and for having the guts to open up to each other. I still feel sick about the playgroup we used to belong to where all the moms would hang while the kids ran wild in the gym and I just never got a connection with any of them. I used to walk away each week with that queasy feeling after trying to make friends with mothers of other kids. If I said something about my self or my thoughts I only received the "look". I never understood why moms couldn't band together instead of being competitive. Maybe it has to do with all our insecurities. But, I am happy to report that we have since moved to another town and have meet so many nice people and there are a whole bunch of moms who want to be my friends. I totally enjoy your rants - keep em coming!

  16. This really makes me feel like you are real people. Please write this book. I love it.

  17. That was amazing! I think you girls should finnish the book for your fellow mommylanders. I think once they see the following you get there is no way they would refuse to buy it. Love you guys!

  18. I got goosebumps too ;) Thank you for sharing your How You Met Story with us ;) And I am so glad I found this site. sigh...I need to find me a Kate (I am very much a Lydia in terms of boob-stainage)

  19. Yes! Yes! Yes! You two are so inspiring. Perhaps sharing our secrets with other mommies isn't as scary as lots of us think. Putting this blog out there gives hope to those who haven't found the courage- or the right situation, or the breaking point- to reach out to another mommy-on-the-edge. THANK YOU for this. I know it's only the beginning of great things to come. Everything about this blog is just too good to be overlooked for long.

  20. You guys make me happy cry. I am so loving the "how we met" stories, and thank you so much for all you do. I have such a lighter feeling when I read your posts as every day I feel a little less weird. Thank you so very much for sharing.

  21. Hey Ladies-

    I LOVE your honesty and candor. I always joke that when I had my triplets they removed what was left of my filter as well. I just call it as I see it...not making a ton of friends with this new affliction, but the ones I have are keepers. So glad that you found each other and that you started the post. You make me giggle and for that I thank you.
    Lisa Ager

  22. God, how I get this and it makes me cry... I went out for drinks with a neighbor last week (while sporting my elastic waist jeans and a sweatshirt) after she had helped me round up my 7yr old daughter who had run out of the house after a massive tantrum earlier in the day. We were discussing the insanity of the situation with my daughter amongst other randomness when she says, "I'm learning a lot about you tonight." HOLD UP. I'm sorry, I can't here you over the alarms going off in my brain. I pretty much shut down after that and hid behind my drink because what I heard was, "Wow. You're a real nut job, aren't you?" Anyway... reading your story gives me hope that maybe letting my guard down with this woman will also benefit me like it did the both of you.

  23. This is going to sound silly, but this made me cry. I don't have a Lydia or a Kate. And I am neither one myself. I have no one to rant with and this blog has been a life line of sorts to me. I am so happy to know how many other moms out there are going crazy every day! And I am jealous that you two have each other, but so glad you share yourselves with us like this. Please don't ever stop! And if you know any awesome moms in New Haven I need a mom buddy to drink wine with and laugh with and cry with.

  24. If you wrote a book I would totally pawn the kids off on mu husband to read it, the last book I read was the car seat manual. Anyone who doesn't want to give you a book deal is out of their mind and will have 1897 followers track them down and kick them in the junk.

    You get me through the crazy parts of my kid-filled day. Like now...I better have a stomach bug but my hubby thinks #3 might be bakin' (#2 is almost 3 months so NO!)

  25. I've read your blog and laughed so hard my kids thought I was losing my mind. Then I forgot about it, as I've been trying to write my own blog. Well, today, thanks to Single Dad Laughing, I'm back, and I just read all 4 parts of how you met, and I'm all choked up.

    I've been there. I'm somewhere between Lydia and Kate. I'm the volunteers-a-lot but not A LOT mom who wears jeans, tees and chucks and feels constantly inferior and ineffectual. I'm getting better at the whole thing as I get older (and my kids do, too) but I've been there - thinking no one else gets me. No one else knows what my life is really like. Everyone thinks I'm a great mom and I think I'm a wreck. And while I've got some friends, I don't know that I have one friend who so completely gets me as you two do each other. I'm glad you realize you've got something pretty amazing, and I'm certainly glad you write this blog!


    What's the name of the publisher who rejected your book idea? I'm going to need his name and home address. K, thanks.

  27. I just want to share that along with some cute little thing that may or may not have been on her baby registry, I share the Rants From Mommyland website with any and all expecting Moms. She may not THINK she needs it...but she will....oh yes, she will....

    Thanks for letting me know that I am normal. When you reach out to someone, friend, potential friend, complete and total can often land on your face. But, when you get caught in the arms of someone awesome, who GETS it, well, that's when beautiful things happen.


  28. I adore you ladies :) You remind me daily that we all go through many different incarnations of the same crap, and that we really aren't alone in going, "Whuck?!" and hitting the t'box ;)
    It has been a pleasure reading on how you two met. I lost my 1st "Kate" about 15 years ago, from a sudden hear attack at age 27), and it has taken me 12 years to find another treasured friend like she was as I was just as shell shocked and insecure as could be till I found her. Now we t'box lots :D and I have the added benefit that she lives REALLY close ;).

    Take care of yourselves and each other...true friends are a real blessing :) (((Hugs))) to you all :)

  29. What could be better than to be here, at your blog for the first time, and read here, for the first time at your blog, the story of how you 2 met and came to be here, at your blog. ~;D

    LUV'd it!

    Krikit ~:0)

    P.S. Dan Pierce @ SingleDadLaughing sent me. Good dude! Good recommendation!

  30. I loved every bit of this story and would definitely read your book. I am so jealous of your friendship...maybe someday I will have a breakdown of my own (likely) and I can only hope a Lydia will be there.
    And I laughed so hard at the image of Lydia as a Dumbledore in yoga pants. Oh my gosh.

  31. and we are all SO glad you two met and started RFML! Love you both!!!

  32. This was like reading a book I was addicted to.

    WRITE A BOOK. Seriously.

  33. Yay! This 4-part story made me WAY happy in the pants! I <3 you ladies! And I agree with the above! WRITE A BOOK!

  34. I loved this. I wanted to scream - MORE! MORE! MORE! I want to hear the rest of the story! But then I remembered - this blog IS the rest of the story.

  35. "I feared this was going to be another time I would think back over things I’d blurted out and wish I’d never said them." Sadly, this is a sensation I am used to, TOO.

    I loved your meetcute story! I love knowing that I'm not alone in my rantiness, that sometimes there *are* friends who love us in spite of and because of our flaws, and that I'm not the only one drinking more now than I ever did in college.
    Book? no way. write a screenplay.

  36. I don't know why it took me so long to find this on here, but I'm so glad I did. I love you guys!

  37. Not that my story is exactly the same, but you ladies have a similar dynamic that me and my best friend share. She's thin and beautiful and nearly perfect. I'm... not so thin... and only (barely) pretty sometimes and a hot mess most of the time. But I love her even though she's way more conservative than I am and she loves me even though I have the tendency to make violent threats towards those around me just for funsies. I think that "opposites attract" is a very appropriate phrase to explain our friendship and it's nice to know we aren't the only ones.

  38. So I'm late to the party. But I have to say how much I enjoyed this series. Being up at 4am with insomnia while a kid uses your organs as bongo drums sucks royally and it was nice to spend some time reading about two people becoming friends.

  39. love this! it bad that it took me until the last 3 paragraphs to figure out A) the switching back and forth of POVs and B) whuck the shoes were for? sigh. excuse me while I go wipe spitup off my brain...

  40. Dang, I just messed up my comment. It went something like... I read all 4 of the how we met posts... it was AWESOME.

    The best female-female relationships start with a certain amount of disdain.

  41. A young friend is about to get married and they are planning for kids. My advice to her was to be sure to find a mommy friend who was willing to admit that sometimes she just wanted to sell the kids and run away because it is hard and pretending it isn't just makes it so much harder. You ladies stand in for those who can't find one IRL and I both love and hate the friend who first alerted me to your blog because I only just started reading a few months ago so I have millions of words to catch up on and I start reading when the kids go to bed and suddenly it's 11pm and I haven't done a damn thing.

    btw - it also took me til part 4 to figure out how the shoes and the POV worked. I swear I was really smart before I had kids!

  42. I have my own Lydia. She's my awesome best friend Lindsey. I am her Kate. We keep each other going. Do you know how hard it is to find friends like that?




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