My Garage: Metaphor for Life

Disclaimer:  If you usually come here looking for laughs, you might find a few in this post, but you might find it more poignant.  If you hate poignant, you might want to just roll out now.  I can’t give you everything.

I decided that after years of neglect and basically just throwing all things I wanted to avoid into our garage, it would be a good idea to rethink that philosophy and try to get in there and clean it.  I thought about this for 8 years.  That’s right.  EIGHT.

This was, undeniably, a task I did not want to tackle.  It seemed insurmountable.  I mean, I had successfully avoided the Garage Issue for a long time.  Because honestly, as soon as we moved into this house we immediately turned the garage into The Land That Time Forgot.  You could technically move around in there, but not well or without difficulty.  It was filled with useless stuff.  Oh, did you need a double vanity with a granite top?  What about a power washer?  Perhaps I can interest you in a smoke machine?  It was a cornucopia of shit on which we could have made a fortune on Craigslist.

But as I said, this shit was daunting, and it wasn’t just a bunch of big weird stuff, there was plenty small stuff as well.  SO MANY NUTS AND BOLTS.  Just strewn everywhere.  So messy and dust-laden and spider-filled.  “Let me in there,” my spirit called out.  “Fuck you,” answered my weary heart.  Until one day.  One beautiful day in a Texas July like no other July.  We had a streak of cool weather (and I mean waaaaay cooler than normal) and I just bit the bullet, opened the garage door, and stared at things.

I think I stared at everything for 10 minutes.  Then something in my brain said, well, nothing’s going to happen if you just keep staring at it.  And thus, I began.

It really amounted to throwing almost all of it away.  And by “away”, I mean I set all that shit out on the curb.  I started, and then my husband joined me later that weekend in Project Free Prizes for Neighbors.  We had people there looking through our stuff as soon as we set it out.  And honestly, that made me happier than any amount of money Craigslist could have ever brought me.  1)  It was gone RIGHT THEN and 2) someone wanted it, they got it.  For free.  That’s great for them, and all we had to do was walk down the driveway with it.  I gathered and organized much of the nut-screw-bolt situation we had going on, placed it on shelves that made sense.  I organized the boxes of Yule decorations I wanted to keep.  Shit was clean-ish, y’all!  I felt a huge sense of not just accomplishment, but a true sense of weight being lifted.  I declared to anyone who would listen that it was perhaps the greatest thing I have ever done.  It felt THAT GOOD.

I have been successfully parking in my garage ever since, and while there’s still work to be done, it’s leaps and bounds better than it was.

It’s not hard for any of you to read between the lines of metaphor.  But for those of you who are musing to yourselves “ok your garage is clean, welcome to being an adult and not living like a fucking hoarder” I say:  It’s bigger than that.  Way.  It’s taken 8 years for me to deal with the crippling obstacle that was my garage.  That doesn’t seem like very long when you compare it with the lifetime of other shit I had successfully (or not) avoided in LIFE.  I avoided it at an extremely functional level as far as your little eyes could perceive.  The twisted beauty of a garage is that as long as you keep the door closed, no one really has any idea of what kind of mess is behind it.  I treated my own person much like that garage:  Just a void where I pushed away anything I thought didn’t matter.  What a shocker when I realized that it actually mattered very much.  I avoided by drinking.  I numbed by taking meds because they helped me be “even.”  I comforted myself with the all-encompassing fuzzy blanket sewn with the Love of Other People’s Problems.  I CREATED A LIFE AROUND ALL OF THIS.  And I woke up every day with my first utterances being angry, hate-filled, woe-is-me-isms.  Good times, y’all.  Good fucking times.

Fast forward, and skipping all the therapy and delving and soul-searching (because hey, that shit never ends, we can talk about that ANY time):

It has been over 6 months since I’ve had a drink.

It has been over 8 months since I’ve taken prescription medication.

I AM NOT LOOKING FOR YOUR PRAISE.  This is what has worked for me.  It is my experience.  It is not everyone’s.  And while I can be proud of myself, I’m not special.  I am just like everyone else, with my own issues and ways of dealing with them.  But that’s just it, isn’t it:  I’m dealing with them.  Not just pushing it into a hidden space.

I wish I could say they have been the BEST MONTHS OF MY LIFE EVER, and while they have been infinitely better than many times in my life, I’ve been raw, vulnerable, and without any door to fucking hide behind.  It is uncomfortable.  It is sometimes painful.  It is, at all times, awkward and surprising and immobilizing and unfathomable,  and a giant dichotomy inside my brain that I mostly don’t have any way to resolve.  And that is why two words are the only ones that can make any sense to me most of the time:

LET GO.

Because hanging on is for suckers.

I guess now everyone gets to find out who I really am without that door hiding the mess.  Including me.

Should be fun, and I’m really not saying that sarcastically at all.  I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world.  And, more than anything, I am completely cognizant that it took all the other experiences to get here.  I am grateful for every single minute that has led me to where I am, for a garage that I’m not scared to be in, and a door that’s open for perhaps the first time.

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Wine Me, Dine Me…But Really, Start with Wine

Originally written and posted for this awesome site right here.  Buy some tiny shiny hiney shorts.  These girls know about booty.  
When contemplating what to serve gentleman callers, you can offer many refreshing choices – bougie mixed drinks, plebeian beers, or the ever-popular yet completely monotonous water.  What that guy sitting on the couch waiting to fondle you really wants, besides your boobies, is a beverage that is the Essence of You:  A trashy act in a classy package.  Let me present:  WINE.  In all its forms.  Here are just a few out of a veritable plethora of choices, but the wines listed below I can personally guarantee are winners all around, and any and all will land that aspiring doctor/actor/television thief directly in your, ahem, bedchamber.
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First, how the guide works:
PRICE:
$ – Probably bought it off a bum
$$ – Common grocery store prices
$$$ – I am a rich whore and want to impress people
INEBRIATION CALCULATION:
 – it will take 2 Solo Cups to achieve your dream of speaking more slowly
 – it will take 3 Solo Cups to contemplate listening to Creed or 3 Doors Down
 – it will take 4 Solo Cups to make out with literally anyone in the room

HANGOVER INTENSITY:
 – Coffee will totally cure this
 – Pretty sure these bites are from a human
 – I think I was hit by a car last night

So without further adieu, here is your list.  Carry it with you on all shopping trips.  Or just commit it to memory.  You don’t need any other kinds of wine but these.  To try more is simply foolish, unless someone else is footing the bill.
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BRAND:  TARGET CUBE
FLAVORS:  CAB/SHIRAZ BLEND, WHITE SANGRIA
PRICE: $$
INEBRIATION CALCULATION:  
HANGOVER INTENSITY:  

Allow me to propose the notion that there are few things more enjoyable than a delicious 7-11 Slurpee cup full of Target Cube wine.  If you have not yet dropped a Jackson for this little box of heaven, go immediately to your nearest bulls-eye logo and get you some.  Not only is it super-convenient, your man will know you mean business when you buy the box that’s the size of half a cinder block, yet HOLDS 4 BOTTLES OF WINE.  Also, this wine has won awards, y’all.  Get with the damn program.  Buy some sandals and pocket-tees while you’re there, and you’re good to go.
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BRAND:  FALLING STAR 
FLAVOR:  MALBEC 
PRICE:$
INEBRIATION CALCULATION:  
HANGOVER INTENSITY:  

From the moment you twist the cap off of this decadent crimson bottle of glory, you are hit with an aroma that is surprisingly tangy yet slightly reminiscent of a night during your junior year of college, a night on which you had a blast until someone threw up behind your couch.
Then you remember you have purchased this at the dollar store for $5 (little misnomer there, non?) and now, you will serve it.  Because you do not actually care how this date goes, you are ready to get schwasted.  Tip o’ the cap to Wreckliz & Dangerous for coining that little term.  I added the “c” for intellectual purposes.
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BRAND:  FIRESTEED
FLAVOR:  PINOT NOIR
PRICE:  $$
INEBRIATION CALCULATION:  
HANGOVER INTENSITY:  

Well well well, what’s this?  By name alone, I think I need you in my stable, Firesteed.  Clearly you promise hours of pleasure, or headache.  Whichever.  At about $9.99, this prevalent bottle can be found while grocery shopping, or on your hasty run to QuikTrip to buy prophylactics.  FIRESTEED delivers – it’s not too pungent, not too subversive – it’s just the right amount of both.  You’ll have him eating sugar cubes out of your hand in no time.  You will also wake up to an amalgam of throbbing noises in your head if you insist on drinking the entire bottle by yourself.  You might wish you were actually kicked in the cranium by said Fiery Steed, because that is absolutely how harsh the climb off really is.  Own it.  Try not to pee in a closet.  Just sayin.
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BRAND:  BOTA BOX 
FLAVOR:  CLEAR
PRICE:  $$
INEBRIATION CALCULATION:  
HANGOVER INTENSITY:  

If nothing else, I can certify that if you’re looking for a wine that will make you say “I loooooooooooooovvvvvvvvvvvvve you”  without any prompting whatsoever, STOP LOOKING BECAUSE YOU’VE FOUND IT.  If you are willing to serve and/or drink it out of a coffee mug, this is the method preferred for superior enjoyment.  This tastes great with ice cubes, 7-Up, and really any other non-alcoholic beverage you have in your possession.  You will not regret drinking this in mass quantities.  You will eat everything put in front of you to get rid of the hangover that will ensue.  Wait until your man-friend leaves the vicinity for the inhaling of homemade nachos made with stale tortillas and cheese made out of nuts.  That’s what I said.  Remember your mom bought it for you at the fancy organic store?  Exactly.  Put some broccoli on top.  Wash it all down with some Raspberry Zingers.  Fucking yum.  Go vomit immediately.
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BRAND:  CARLO ROSSI
FLAVOR:  PAISANO (Literally, “Peasant” but could also mean “Gullible Asshole”)
PRICE:  $
INEBRIATION CALCULATION:  
HANGOVER INTENSITY:  ZERO – IT WILL NOT BE IN YOUR BODY THAT LONG

It was YOU that night in college.  YOU threw up behind your own couch.  YOU DRANK A GALLON OF THIS.  Don’t ever do that again.  Stop at half a gallon.
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As mentioned previously, you cannot go wrong with these choices, as they are all stellar and will no doubt get you laid.  EVEN THE LAST ONE.
In our next installment, we’ll discuss mixing vodka with 4 Loko.  Don’t worry,  I do not advocate that you offer this concoction until date #2.