Take a gander at my new lunch box!
Isn't it cute? It even has my last name embroidered on the other side. In big letters! How it came to be my new lunch box is kind of a funny story.
The kids spent a few hours with their dad on Christmas Day. That's how it's been for the past few years. In the early days post-divorce, we adhered to the decree pretty faithfully (which goes to show it's never too late to start being faithful!). Holidays were divvied up on an odd/even year schedule. After a while, though, the holiday visits went the way of the weekends and two-dinners a week: kaput. So, overnights at Christmas became 11-5. Fine, though...they're spending time with him, with their stepmom and their half-brother. That's all that matters, right?
So a day or two after Christmas, I was standing in the doorway of Molly's bedroom. She was showing me the gifts she'd received from her dad. She got a pair of Uggs! I was secretly relieved about this one. I'd been searching the world over (okay, mostly on Amazon) and had decided that Uggs were out of my price range. So, yay for Molly, right? And might I say, good call, Big Daddy and Secretary. Actually, let's be honest here and say good call Secretary. I was married to him for 13 years, people. I know who does the shopping.
I noticed the black and white lunch box then, and picked it up. Our last name was stitched on the side, so big and proud. "This is cute!" I said to my daughter, as I examined the tote. "Yeah" she said. "Secretary gave it to me. She said she never used it and asked if I wanted it. I just said yes to be nice. You want it?"
Now, had this exchange happened a few years ago, this is how it would have panned out: I'd have picked up the bag with two fingers, like it was a stiff, smushed squirrel corpse my dog had deposited on the deck. I would have made some sort of comment, maybe along the lines of 'oh how sweet of her! She's such a generous soul' and then I'd have thrown it away.
But time heals all wounds, and it also mellows angry ex-wives. I did let myself delve into a moment of snark, and envisioned Secretary getting this lunch tote as a gift. "Oh for cute!" I imagined her saying, holding the tote up for all of the other people at this imaginary gift opening event, "Look, it has my new last name on it! To die for! Thank you so much, Kassidy!". Because I imagine her talking like an aging Valley Girl and also hanging out with women who are named Kassidy.
After that moment passed, I took my new lunch box into the kitchen and plopped it into the pantry with the other insulated bags. I mentally patted myself on the back for having grown up so much, for becoming a bigger and better person who doesn't let past hurts and insults bleed through into today.
Molly came into the kitchen then, holding a little box in her hand. "Here" she said, handing it over to me, "she gave me this candle, too. I don't want it." I inspected the box, and found a lovely little Thymes candle inside. I'm a candle junkie, and although this wasn't a Fresh Linen scented one, I took it.
Later that day I lit the candle, and let the fragrance of "Kimono Rose" fill the living room. I think, though, that there was an underlying note. Kinda smelled like "Questionable Morals". Or maybe it was "Marriage Built on Lies". Whatever it was, it was pretty and helped mask the smell of big dog and bigger teenagers. Win/win.
Baby steps, folks.
Thanks a bunch to one of my favorite blogger friends, Nicole of "Sisters From Another Mister" for the heads-up. Join another one of my blogging idols, Fadra Nally, for these Sunday Stream of Consciousness posts. Five minutes, and no editing? Gah. Good times, ladies!