I know my blog is one of very few readers and because of that I have not felt the need to jump to the keyboard and justify my online absence before today.
But tonight, while lying in bed with my baby girl, crocheting some granny squares and watching Mr Selfridge, I felt was the night to do it.
Me and Erik have been victims of a crime. Neither of us is hurt physically but we’ve been broken down emotionally and these last two weeks, we’ve done nothing but detective work like reviewing our book keeping and interviewing friends and colleagues. We’ve also been sweating, shaking and crying and occasionally we’ve been throwing a chair or two, breaking it against the wall across the room and yelling undeservingly at our innocent children.
Now that the picture is getting clearer and the pieces of the puzzle all seem to fall into place, Erik left this evening to visit my dad and play Mansion of Madness while eating falafel and avoiding subjects like Near Death Experiences whilst I am chillaxing with my sleeping children. And we’ve both been able to breathe a little bit, get some closure and rest with the knowledge that we have our friends by our side.
I don’t know when I will be posting again, this struck us hard and we need time to recuperate. But in the meantime, in the spirit of the International women’s day, enjoy this:
Our Valentine was the best. Erik gave me flowers in the car. I wrote a blog post that resulted in a teary hug (and a few comments on Facebook thanks ).
The evening that followed did not turn out as expected when the babysitting plans were shattered by someone wanting to buy our babysitter’s friend’s dog right when she was supposed to come to our place. Yet a simple thing like feeding the kids first, putting them to bed and then sitting down to a candle lit dinner all by ourselves was more than enough…
Valentine flowers in the car
We haven’t had an evening like this in oh so long. Instead we’ve been partners, in the practical sense. We’ve been splitting chores at home and discussing business at work and we’ve been falling asleep after numbing our tired minds with movies with an ongoing excuse of “but there’s only three left, then we’ll read in bed instead” (first homeland season 1, then homeland season 2 then the nominated Oscar films… we only have one left now. I hope we get some breathing room before Mad Men and Game of Thrones start again!).
Which leads me to the question: is marriage really the best solution to Life, the Universe and Everything?
There was this great article about marriage back att Jezebel.com the other week that got me thinking about what I really thought of marriage. Both mine, and marriage in general. Because I spent my childhood and teenage years thinking about getting married to fill that stupid loneliness-hole I felt. I pretended I didn’t want a family but I was blatantly lying! Of course I wanted to get married. And I wanted to be a mom at like 14 years old, the first time my period was late.
And did marriage fill that “loneliness-hole”?
First marriage: nah, not really. I love my first husband to bits, he’s like a brother to me, but we were way too messed up at that time in life to give each other anything but headaches (as a testimony to that, he says he’ll never ever ever ever get married again whereas I…)
Second marriage: hell Yeah! Erik is my best friend in the world, as previously stated and any feeling of being alone in the world is instantly swallowed by… conversation? Talking about feeling bad with someone who understands me? Instant shrinking (as in “psychologist”, not “getting smaller”)?
Then again… because of this built-in best friend thing, I haven’t bothered to build on my existing friendships with kidless friends for example. Neither have I been developing new friendships that are deep enough for sporadic phone calls about everything and nothing.
But this partnership-thing is great right, like we split all tasks equally amongst ourselves, you take the laundry and I do the dishes?
After my first divorce, I was alone with Charlize for a few years, I always sublet one room though so I wasn’t completely alone in the household… but alone enough. Couldn’t ask my tenants to clean up the sheets my daughter had peed on nor to change any diapers. Yet, somehow I managed. I did it all by myself, I made home cooked meals, I left my daughter at kindergarten, I read to her at night and every sunday I had a few extra cleaning hours where I’d mop the floors and clean the kitchen cabinet doors and such.
Now… well, it’s not much easier. In fact I’m much less inclined to clean up now that there’s someone else that “should” do it. The house is in much better shape when Erik is gone for a few days. Simply because I have no choice other than doing it myself…
So marriage makes me lose all my close friends and keeps my house messy. What’s so good about it then?
I guess, if you have a healthy marriage, you always have someone that might say yes to sleeping with you without you having to go through the trouble of going to the pub and chatting someone up first.
Also, sometimes, while lying in bed after a bad movie or a bit of leggy-in-the-air-business, your spouse might stand up and say:
“I’m so hungry. You want a sandwich?”
And you might actually be hungry, secretly wishing for a sandwich but not having the energy to get it.
And that my friends, is happiness.
Now, everything I’ve listed seems to apply to any type of long term relationship. So getting married in itself is mostly a simplification of paperwork and also, if one chooses to, a great excuse for a fabulous party that you and your spouse is the center of attention of.
What are your thoughts on marriage and long term relationships?
I’ve started working like a normal person again. It’s true! I’m packing parcels for our customers and answering email about tracking delivered boxes and stuff! Yesterday I did an inventory of our stock. I love my work. It’s so.. normal, I feel so in control.
Erik on the other hand cannot bare to be at work. So I have to take the bus. That too is cool. That too gives me a feeling of accomplishment I never get from planning and starting businesses and such abstract things.
But being me, I can’t just sit there and do nothing and since I get a bit motion sick, especially around our area full with hills and twists and turns, I can’t read.
So I have projects instead. This is my weeks project:
Lengthening the arms of a beautiful woolen cardigan.
I got this cardigan in Paris. It’s a second hand find but second hand in Paris is really expensive so it was like 35 Euro. And first time I washed it I took it to my grandma’s so she could help me not shrink it (one of my other “finds” in Paris, a Kenzo top for 40 Euro was worn once before Erik shrunk it. It is now Viggi’s shirt. Viggi has a leopard Kenzo top). She told me it wasn’t wool. I swear, she did. So Erik washed it and it shrunk. Not as if it had been all wool, but enough to make it a bit short in the sleeves…
So this is what I’m doing on the bus:
So, first three rounds of single crochet, a round of double crochet chain-1 4 times double crochet in next chain-3 space, single crochet in next chain-3 space.
Then I switched colors (to be honest because my first effort didn’t lengthen the sleeves enough), and did one more round of single crochet and another round of 1 4 times double crochet in next chain-3 space, single crochet in next chain-3 space.
So this is the result:
I know, it’s not the same cardigan anymore. And maybe I have to lengthen it over the tummy too, but I think I like it anyway. I’m not sure. What do you think?
A “Les Mis”-special.
Just the feeling of being in Paris 1989. Le bicentenaire de la révolution.
Hats and brooches made out of tricolore crèpe paper and my teacher Mme Massouni all excited about getting to finally show us what the revolutionaries were like. We felt it, didn’t we?
We watched movies and I spoke in a condescending tone of anachronism, as my father had just taught me the word, bullshit, I said, she couldn’t possibly say that the baby woke her up at three o’clock in the morning as they had no watches or alarm clocks during the French Revolution.
A guy was shot at the Prise de la Bastille and his girlfriend, who had rushed to mourn him was shot in her turn. Héloise, my dear friend, said it was for the best, she (not unlike a wounded horse) was better off dead or else her suffering would be too great. It was the first time I was confronted with the thought that there were things that were worse than death.
In the end I wasn’t even in town for the 14th of July. Nor for the gigantic défilé at Champs Elysées that was filmed and watched by 800 million people all over the world. And look at this. I didn’t see this either. Come to think of it, 1989 for me was a year where we made crepe hats and watched movies about the revolution.
Yet somehow, when I watch the revolutionairies on the barricades in Les Miserables it’s a little bit like a Céline Dion song. From me to the French Revolution:
…when you shoot guards like that
And you get shot right back
I just have to admit
That it’s all coming back to me…
Because it wasn’t just Anne Hathaways brilliance that made my cry. Nor the kindness of The Bishop of Digne. It was the memories of childhood I thought I had lost.
(Right cause that didn’t sound pretentious at all )
In the 50′s you got strong by eating oatmeal. Strong like a lion actually!
Here’s a new illustration from my grandfather Åke Rosenblad’s archives:
“Oat strength, Lion strength: Svea Rolled Oats”
So we’ve spent some time in front of our screen on the wall despite new year’s resolutions and such. Old habits die hard and the cinephile in me wakes up sometime around the end of January and doesn’t go to sleep until the winners are announced.
(Well not entirely true; after our second child we no longer do the “Oscarsvaka” where we watch two nominated films, stay up all night, eat snacks and bet on the winners just to receive some plastic toy or discarded DVD from the 90s if (and for me it has never happened) one wins)
We’ve seen the important films, the ones nominated for bets film and best acting, excluding Amour but including Searching for Sugar Man. Perhaps the most important category is Best Animated Feature Film and I want to take you on a little tour:
This is the only film in the category that passes the Bechdel-test. And with flying colours! In a world the daughter/son-father relationships where mothers are either dead, unmentioned or sooper-passive it’s a breath of fresh air to see an animated feature where the female lead is not very attractive (except for her really cool hair of course), is not in love nor the love interest of any male, is better than all men at archery AND whose story revolves around a complicated relationship with her mother.
My rating: 6,5/10
Of course Tim Burton is always a favorite. A favorite of mine and of the whole world. He’s like the Wu tang Clan of film. And as always this stop-motion film is about Life and death and love and macabre things like giant Seafriends, catbats and Ratzillas, in a black-and-white 50′s horror film feel. The strangeness of all characters and the retrocoziness makes this beautiful film enjoyable to watch. It has been accused of being a bit flat and unoriginal (where Burton is a curator of old filmscraps). Granted it’s a valid point but it didn’t bother me while watching.
(Did not pass the bechdel-test although it’s good to have Winona back!)
My rating: 7,5/10
Real name: Agatha Prenderghast
What’s most visually striking about this film is that everyone is so charmingly ugly! Apparently, the production team used 3D-printers to generate all the character’s faces and perhaps that’s why there are no beautiful faces (or body for that matter) to be seen. And the feel of the film is stop-motion clay meets computer animation meets wooly creatures…
In witch town Blithe Hollow, Norman sees dead people and hence forth is not very popular amongst the living. Until he has to save the town from the witch’s curse that is. It’s a bit scarier than most animated films, actually I would go so far as to call it a horror film, and I’m not sure Viggi, almost 4 y.o., could watch it. But Charlize and I enjoyed it very much.
Oh and bonus (SPOILER ALERT): Neil’s big brother is the first openly gay character in an animated film like ever!
My rating: 8/10
Pirates! Band of Misfits
If I’d thought I’d be anywhere near original I’d say… no, I won’t say anything about anything meeting anything. Hugh Grant is Captain Pirate, a graceless, non-worthy pirate, a good-enough employer to his band of misfits and, for some reason, a contender for the “Best Pirate”-competition amongst three much more worthy contestants. Yet, despite him being as clumsy as usual, he seems to be much surer of himself. That’s funny! And it is a very funny film but its debt might be another topic of discussion.
My rating: 6/10
Now Sarah Silverman is my favorite comedian. And the story behind Wreck-it Ralph is endearing. And its quite fun to watch. But I got a bit of an quasi-epileptic shock from the computer game-scene.
My rating: 6/10
Bechdel Black test: for all of the above: 0/3
Just to show you I mean business I’ll prove to you that I want to be a good wife. I’ll start being a good wife by sharing a few of the things I love about my husband:
1. He was so funny this new year’s eve when he got drunk for the first time in a year or two.
Deeply involved in a discussion about pipes 31st of December 2012 (going on 13)
We dressed him up 40′s style and he was jolly and really talkative and everyone listened to him and laughed. Unfortunately he was so full of himself he didn’t get all cuddly drunk
(And sometimes, he’s funny sober too!)
2. He learns quickly, he’s very knowledgable.
He’s got a thirst for knowledge. He reads the Quoran and the Bible right now after learning about Al Quaeda and we have Rosetta Stone at home so now he wants to learn Arabic. Just like me he wants to understand people. He also studies to become a health coach at The Institite of Intergrative Nutrition.
Oh and right. He’s like replacing my father as “the one you ask things”. When I was little I used to tell my friends my dad knew EVERYTHING and if not everything then at least almost everything. We rode the train together once and I saw a girl my own age (4-ish) a little further down the aisle. I wanted to play with her but was a bit too shy so I thought I’d give her the opportunity to talk to me first. So I walked up and down that aisle, first without a word, then, saying “hello” while looking straight ahead and not adressing anyone in particular. She never did respond to my invites though. But one who did was a middle aged lady from Finland/ Finnish Sweden who grabbed my arm and said:
“Hey you! Do you have ants in your pants or what?”
I spent the rest of the trip writing a letter to her saying how my dad was going to get angry with her
“… and he knows almost everything!” I hoped she was going to get really intimidated and realize her mistake once she knew how great my dad was…
Well, that’s the way I feel about Erik now. Whether it’s a question I have about geography and statistics (especially then!) or history or mathematics (and I’m pretty good at maths so usually I come up with the answer before him, but at least I do ask him) he almost always knows an answer.
(In the name of feminism Erik asks me about: English or French words, excel and numbers, food and cooking, mending stuff, films, actors and gossip, French, Japanese, Icelandic, Italian and Senegalese stuff in general…)
3. He likes spending time alone with my dad and brother, he likes my mom, and regards my grandparents as his own.
He’s a nerd inside out. He likes board games and he sits with my dad as a tutor with his programming and web designing. He jokes with my grandmother and my sisters. This thing about my family is very important to me. I am very close to my family and a relationship has never really felt right unless my partner has connected with my family. Fortunately for him, Erik is the first one who’s done so on a deeper level. He’s also very close to his family which also is a plus.
4. He rarely gets angry. When I’m a shitty wife and mother and have no patience whatsoever, he feels for me and asks what I need to feel better.
And he can manage himself during tough times too…
5. He wants a healthy life, a life full of good stuff and a long life with me.
Salads give you a long life
6. He’s a good father. A lot of times he’s a better father than I’m a mother. He knows how to dress the kids and when to feed them and such.
7. Things I take for granted: I trust him more than I trust myself, I know him in and out, he knows me completely, and he’s my best friend. We talk about everything.
8. He does his best with himself.
What does that mean? Well, sometimes one is not as perfect as one wishes. And there are those who feel bad about it but accept that this is how it’s supposed to be (= a personality is fixed, people do not change and so neither will I) and there are those who think well, maybe the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same results. Need I say which category Erik belongs to?
9. He supports me in my goals in life.
I do not need to justify what I choose to do with my life. He trusts me in doing what I need to do to make our lives as easy as possible while not doing so much as to sacrifice the little zwing I’ve got left in me when the kids are in bed.
10. We share the same values. He’s a feminist and an environmentalist and we want to make the world a better place with what we have to give.
11. He shows me a lot of love. Even when he’s at his worst, I know he loves me.
12. He pees sitting down.
I don’t know about it myself because I’ve never lived with four other hormonal young males peeing standing up but apparently it’s not pleasant cleaning up after them.
So that’s about it. I love nothing else about him. I’ve listed it all!
(No, I’m lying to my teeth)