Archive for How to Love

Pants On Fire

Posted in Family Matters with tags , , , on February 2, 2011 by Alison Amok

Liar Liar Pants on Fire!

– Every Child Since Forever

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Husband is on my list.  You know the list, the one that makes me look at you all squinty eyed.  The list containing the crazy lady at Wegmans who had to discuss with the cashier the pro’s and con’s of each and EVERY item she was purchasing and then discuss the proper packing of her twelve thousand reusable grocery bags and the idiot driver who decided to use the breakdown lane to pass me on Route 1.

You husband, who I just discovered was STEALING from me.  Stealing from your poor, poor, berry deprived wife.  Stealing my berries from my Kashi cereal.  My favorite Kashi Strawberry Fields cereal.  You, sir, are lucky I like the cereal just the way I thought it was, perfect corn flakes with just the right amount of sweetness.  I have to admit that I do feel a little better knowing that my cereal could theoretically look like the box and much better when I know that Kashi wasn’t trying to scam me out of a few freeze-dried strawberries and raspberries.

I still love my cereal and of course I still love you even if you are a liar-liar-pants-on-fire-stealer of berries and of my heart.


Animal Farm

Posted in Animal Farm with tags , , , , on June 8, 2009 by Alison Amok

“I like pigs.  Dogs look up to us.  Cats look down on us.  Pigs treat us as equals.”

-Winston Churchill


It’s almost stereotypical in our house these days.  Along with the other childless, Husband and I have created our own family out of animals.  The joke is on us though because I swear our house has ostensibly become the living incarnation of Animal Farm.  Daily, it seems as if our animals act in congress and are constantly deliberating the state of the union and the pros and cons of continued human co-habitation in our home.  Quite honestly, I often feel that if our cats ever figured out how to open the canned cat food for themselves, then Husband and I would be handed an eviction notice, tout de suite (like, yesterday).

You know, I read somewhere recently (seriously people I can’t remember everything) that cats communicate mostly through body language and tail movements and meow, basically, only to feeble-minded humans (they don’t even bother with dogs).  Because they know from birth that humans ultimately are beneath them and have only been placed upon the earth just to serve them.  From the beginning, like that popular girl from high school, they only speak to you to talk down to you.

We have three such creatures in our home.  Three cats.  Each with their own personality, their own likes and dislikes and each is a dictator in their own right.  The brilliant Jean Cocteau (he wrote Beauty and the Beast) once said “I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul”.  Because seriously nothing better defines the madhouse we live in than these three oddball characters who run my home.  I think in order to fully understand our little moth poachers, I’m going to have to name some names.  And as a little background, so far, Husband and I have found character appropriate names for our furriest family members from the timelessness of Disney.  (I say furriest because Husband leans towards being pretty furry himself 😉 )

First comes Bagheera. She is as black as her character in The Jungle Book and just as temperamental.  True to character, she leads the pack with a thinly-veiled contempt and composed exasperation for the buffoons in her charge and has fine tuned her snobbery to an art form.  She is the Princess Grace of our home and can be normally found posed regally as if anything else is just too undignified for her to even fathom. She also is the brave adventurer of the group and she spends quite a significant amount of time observing our comings and goings.  No detail is missed by her steely gaze and often it feels as if our behavior is being catalogued a la Jane Goodall for some anthropological primate research study.  She is incredibly playful and has an affinity for playing in her water bowl but it would be incredibly undignified for her to be found doing such.  She waits until she thinks you’re not watching and then she plays in the water like a toddler in the bath.  All she needs are some Bagheera-sized boats and water toys to make the image complete.  But as long as she is being watched, she is the feline version of Audrey Hepburn, all elegance and grace.

Our middle child is Louis.  Or as he is officially known, King Louie, named also from a Jungle Book character, although he prefers the more formal name of Louis.  Louis is my accident child.  Husband and I were quite satisfied with our one kitten, when we got a the fateful call from the local ASPCA.  Let me tell you, they sure saw Husband coming when he started volunteering with them because they totally knew how to tug his sentimental heartstrings.  “Hello Mr. Amok, I know you said you weren’t interested in any other animals but we have this cat that will have to put to sleep unless someone adopts him by tonight.”  And that was how Louis joined our family.  From the beginning, we knew he was, well, special.  Most days he can be found sleeping in awkward positions, hanging from furniture and snoring little kitty snores.  Lately, he has taken to standing in the corner by our front door.  Faced into the corner, like a petulant child in time out or being punished by grumpy nuns at the catholic school.  I have absolutely no idea why, but he seems content enough.  Occasionally, one of the others will visit him there as if they too are trying to figure out the mystery of the corner but they don’t stay long as apparently only Louis possesses the proper corner intuition.  Just like his namesake, Louis, more often than not, is draped across and over the edge of our furniture.  He is the hang-e-est cat I’ve ever met and is not content unless his overweight body is perilously dangling over the side of something.

Kitty, is the newest addition to our home.  Kitty came to us from Miami by way of my sisters home in North Carolina.  Dee found Kitty while on spring break in Miami and could not leave this poor, defenseless kitten in the wilds of Miami.  So because of a combination of allergies, dorm policies and fate we ended up with this vicious Kitty.  Kitty was actually named because that was the only thing she came to but we kept it because there actually is a Disney character called Kitty.  In the movie Monsters, Inc., Sulley is surprised by a stowaway little girl who mistakes his excessive fur for that of a cat and calls him Kitty.  So Kitty stuck and became a part of our dysfunctional family.  Amelia is the bane of her existence and throws quite the kitty-fit and hisses anytime Amelia dares violate Kitty’s air space.

Those who know me, as well as those just becoming familiar, know though the true baby in our family is Amelia.  Amelia is a Weimaraner, a regal breed, bred for German royalty.  Amelia Wright is her name, Wright for where she was born in Dayton, Ohio – hometown of Orville and Wilbur Wright.  And apparently the cash register, which was invented in Dayton too, who knew so much famous came from this unassuming heartland city.  Anyways, most people know an Amelia, were related to an Amelia, they like/love/hate the name.  As a child I delighted in reading the adventures of Amelia Bedelia and her literal interpretations of her housekeeping duties (she made a sponge cake out of actual SPONGE!!).  I remember learning this whole other world of words, learning that what you say isn’t so important as how you say it.  You need to read the books but this is not where Amelia got her name.  Amelia’s name comes from the movie The Aristocats, which funnily enough is Amelia’s favorite movie and she actually will sit and watch this movie.  So in the movie, the cats on their journey meet two geese sisters, Amelia and Abigail Gabble.  These talkative sisters had that geese waddle that our little puppy had down to a science.  And Amelia joined our family and has been absolutely spoiled rotten ever since.

As I said earlier, cats apparently only meow to talk to humans and my Bagheera obviously has a lot to say because she talks quite a bit to me.  About the same time each day, she joins me and will tell me her thoughts.  If I have been gone for a few hours, I am normally greeted with a loud run down of what I missed while I was gone and how her day has been going so far.  She occasionally comes to me to loudly complain about something, normally some frustration around Amelia occupying her nap space, Louis pestering her or the substandard drinking water in her bowl.  And God forbid she gets locked in a room because then you’re in for a talking to.

I think its funny because she doesn’t really talk to Husband that much.  She does like him quite well as a warm sleeping space though and his continued approval for remaining in our home is contingent of supplying a warm, human sized sleeping area. So until the day we are handed our walking papers by the High Court of Cat, Husband and I continue to graciously live in our cat’s home.  Luckily they allow us to have pets, because it would be hard to find a new castle for Princess Amelia.


Posted in Comments from the Peanut Gallery with tags , , , on June 4, 2009 by Alison Amok

“There is no one on the planet to compare with moi.”

-Miss Piggy


When you start a blog you the biggest reason is because its the best way to talk about yourself in the great medium that could potentially reach MILLIONS.  So whats better than me talking about myself?  Someone else on their blog talking about me.

My best friend, Liz, has her own blog called The Wit Factory.

Liz is my best friend from high school and well…its like we’ve been best friends forever…

So read this fabulous post about moi, but stay to read her other posts.

Because she is beyond hilarious and my best friend.

Oh and because I said so….

Happy Birthday Baby

Posted in Family Matters with tags , on June 3, 2009 by Alison Amok

“Just so you know, there’s a space that only you can fill.  Just so you know, I loved you then, I guess I always will.”



Dear Husband,

I just wanted to begin your birthday with a little sentimentalism.  I love you but I wanted to know, how do you feel old man?  The simple fact is that today, on your birthday, you are now officially old.  As of today and for another one-hundred and twenty-nine days you will be the exact same age as me, therefore just as old as you have been telling me I am.  So ha, how does it feel to be so old?  You know you officially start dying at age 27, that is only three-hundred and sixty-five days from now.  So you’d better make them well worth it.

In all seriousness, Husband, I wanted to take this opportunity, this very public forum to tell you happy birthday.  Yet another year has gone by and you’ve grown older, wiser and better looking.  Another year standing by me and taking care of me and tolerating my fussiness. You truly are a great man and while I’m sure your parents are responsible for laying the foundation, you have pushed past all my expectations. You are my best friend and daily I am happy to see you walk through my door.  You are unbelievably brave, understandingly smart and not to mention quite a hottie!  You remain, my favorite person.

So old man, as my present to you, for today only, you can be right.

I lova you!!!!


“Age is something that doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese.”

-Billie Burke

Shoe Fly…Don’t Bother Me

Posted in Shopping 101 with tags , , , , on May 20, 2009 by Alison Amok

“What becomes of the broken-hearted?  They buy shoes.”

-Mimi Pond


I have an addiction.  And as with all addictions, the first step is admitting you have a problem.  So here it goes…

Hello, my name is Alison.   And I have a shoe addiction.

Ok, seriously now, I’m not trying to make light of addiction problems.  But seriously, shoes are my weakness.  Lets just say, I own more than my fair share of shoes.  And to be completely honest, I own more than several women’s fair share of shoes.

I.  Love.  Shoes.

I think Jennifer Weiner summed it up perfectly in her book, In Her Shoes: “Clothes never look any good, food just makes me fatter, but shoes always fit.”  This is a thought I’m sure has been silently whispered by every woman and immortalized in words by this modern author.

Look at Cinderella, every little girl has drifted to sleep with this magical fairy tale in her head.  What a wonderful story of true love and the importance of simple things.  And I feel grateful that Husband understand my obsession and indulges my fantasies.  He understands that shoes are more than an object of clothing, they make the outfit.  And he is indescribably understanding, albeit slightly confused, why I need yet another pair of black patent leather Mary Janes.  Because, Husband, I don’t have these black patent leather Mary Janes.  That is why I need them.

I rarely get as excited as I do when I get a new pair of shoes.  Especially when they’ve been bought on-line.  The anticipation of this nondescript brown package delivered by an anonymous mail man, a carrier of joy.  Romantically, its as if I’m receiving a gift, a love token, from a secret admirer.  This little package speaks nothing of the beauty and joy held within.  Nothing of the splendor and glamour of life.  And it definitely speaks nothing of the magic a great pair of shoes can do to your life.

Every pair of shoes in my closet is carefully stored.  Pairs are individually stored in clear plastic boxes, guarded and sheltered, impervious to the elements.  Perfectly preserved yet visible to me every day.  Every pair put on permanent display for my personal entertainment.  A private museum of shoes.  Every pair possesses a memory.  They are the representation of my dreams and hint at the fantasy in my mind.  Every pair speaks volumes of stories, of inside jokes and adventures to be individually worshiped and wistfully retold to future generations.

The glittering pink stilettos are reminders of the new love, excitement and the anxiety of marriage.  These shoes represent our union with a strong foundation and a touch of whimsy.  These beautiful, fanciful shoes supported me the day before my wedding.  The lifted me down the aisle, aided me in practicing the most important walk of my life.  Their support and beauty epitomized my love for Husband and his positive influence on my life.  Their sisters, identical in style but different in color.  A sparkling black, these are the shoes that I wore to the celebration with friends and family for my bridal shower.

Often, I wander into my closet and sigh.  I see this mountain of shoes, this mountain of stories and a mountain of memories.  Occasionally, I select a pair, carefully pull them out of their boxes and assume a new persona.  Or I use the shoes as a way to remember a moment, a minute space in time that occupies a great place in my heart.  Each new pair is an opportunity to re-invent myself.  Each new pair is an opportunity to stay true to myself.  Each new pair is a way to display my personality, my hopes and dreams and put it out there for the casual perception of strangers.

I am in love.  I am in love with each and every pair.  I am excited that each shoe has the potential for new miracles.  I look forward to the future.  I look forward to donning these new shoes and creating new memories and walking, beautifully garnished in new leather and satin, into new adventures by the side of my very own Prince Charming.

PS – You can now be jealous because I’ve added these fabulous new shoes to my wardrobe.

Pink Shoes

** UPDATE ** 21 May 2009 **

So due to popular demand…. drumroll please…. My organized shoes.  This is about half my shoe collection, the other half is still packed away in a box from my move mostly because I’ve been too lazy to actually seek them out.  And the mess of sheets next to my shoes is until I can figure out a good way to organize my linen closet.  Stay tuned for more organizational p*o*r*n.  I had no idea people were as weird as I am and love seeing things in perfect order.  It makes my little heart happy.

Adopting A New Mindset

Posted in Family Matters, Infertility with tags , , , on May 15, 2009 by Alison Amok

“The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him.”

-Pablo Casals


Infertility is a bitch.  And to be frankly honest, so am I.  So why is it so hard to give up the fight?  Why do we continue with the stress and the drugs and the tests and the never ending negative pregnancy tests?

Adoption is an option.  An option that unfortunately is a source of great heartache between Husband and me.  I want to adopt.  I want a baby.  I want a child.  I want to know that this little person is ours and will forever be my family.  Husband wants his OWN baby, his OWN child.  A child that biologically is his.  This is a stance that I cannot seem to grasp.  I try to explain to him that even an adopted child will be HIS child.  His son.  His daughter.  Because as I like to remind him, it’s not like you can return them.

I come from a large family.  My mother was one of eleven.  Yes you read that right.  Eleven children!  Eleven children , nine of which had children of their own.  You are never at a loss for friends when you have a gajillion cousins.  Yes a gajillion.  This big, loud family was the norm for me.  I love the noise, the companionship, the constant conversations.  I LOVE the fact that there is always fourteen different conversations going on at once.  We all have opinions, we all have our own personalities, we were never at a loss for a good debate.  No subject was taboo – sex was talked about at the dinner table, religion debated over coffee and current events for breakfast.

And as much as I love Husband, I admit I find myself wistfully daydreaming about the day when my own house will be the madhouse I know and love.  Husband is a quiet man.  Well thats not intirely true.  He is a shy person but once he is comfortable around you, you can hardly get him to shut up.  He is passionate, intelligent, well read and honest but he is most comfortable with quiet.  His family is the incredibly quiet kind.  The kind where you could be around them for days and not have a conversation more derisive then the weather patterns.  Don’t get me wrong, his family is fabulous and I honestly love them.  I, daily, am grateful for being lucky enough to have in-laws that are honestly good people and crazily enough, they like me!

It just is that I normally do not operate with a verbal filter.  I tend to say exactly what pops into my mind and verbalize these crazy thoughts without forethought to how incredibly stupid I probably sound.  And when I’m around the in-laws, because I know I lean towards filter-less, I get incredibly nervous and then tend to say even stupider things!  I often feel like the undereducated, southern hick that I am.  I mean I know I’m really smart.  I know that his parents like me.  But for whatever reason I tend to be even more open-mouth-insert-foot than normal.

But back to my original point.  Husband has agreed that no matter what, we will eventually adopt.  We both honestly feel that we are two level-headed, intelligent beings.  We have good morals and values and believe we can offer a good household to any child.  Where we go off course though is that I’m ready to adopt now, Husband is not.  I can see his side, he wants a child that is “his”.  And I know Husband is nervous about children.  I know he has little experience with babies and the little he does have was due to my borrowing friends kids so he can experience them.  I know he is fearful of the unknown.  I know he will be the best father ever because I would never of married him otherwise.

I think I press the adoption issue more because I believe Husband will be a great father.  I believe he deserves children who love him and he loves.  I believe that more than anything Husband wants to be a father and I am daily heartbroken that I cannot provide him with children.  Aside with my personal feelings towards the incompetence of my fertility, I grieve for Husband and the children he so dearly wants to love.  I know that even though an adopted child is not biologically ours, that child will be fiercely loved.

I want to provide Husband with a child, I need to prove that even though I am useless producing children that I will be a good mother.  I need to prove that he choose right when he married me and somedays it seems that being childless undermines our marriage.  I have failed him.  I have failed myself.  I have failed our parents who long for grandchildren too.  But mostly I have failed him.  I know Husband loves me.  I do know that even if we never have children and only have our dogs and each other that he will be happy.  I know that we only need each other but I want to give him this.  I need to give him children.

The idea of our potential family is never far from our minds. So, as one day turns into another, we will continue on this road together.  We will continue to grow together but I think we always leave a little space in our lives for the children God will eventually provide us with.  And while we continue to pray for the empty spaces at our table to be occupied, I think we learn to love each other a little bit more.

Happy Mothers Day

Posted in Family Matters with tags , , on May 11, 2009 by Alison Amok

My mother.

God I love her.  She is better than a friend, she is my mom!  I cannot believe how lucky I honestly am.

My mother is also the craziest person I know, well besides myself and Husband of course (and to be frankly honest my father isn’t far behind her)!  Its so funny because Husband is always fussin’ at me because I’m loud.  I talk loud.  I have zero filter.  And God forbid I get worked up about something because you’d better start passing out the ear plugs.  But the funniest part is that I never noticed that my mother is the exact same way until I was visiting her and started to say “Mom you’re being loud”.  OMG, let me tell you, I’ve become my mother!  And its hilarious because apparently I was the last person to know, except for maybe my mom.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

I lova you Mom and I hope one day I have half as good a daughter that I am.  Err…. um… oh wait thats wrong…. I mean I lova you Mom and I hope one day I can be at least half the great mother you are because then I’d still be pretty damn good.