A Six Year Comparison

Subtitled: The One Where I Rehash My Intense Hatred of My Old Neighbor

I found this on Facebook – God bless Facebook for reminding us of our insignificant memories from 2010, in an effort to reaffirm our values in 2016.I can’t remember why I did it, or why I thought it was important enough to post online, but hey ,that’s the beauty of the interweb, right? You can post WHATEVER YOU WANT, WHENEVER YOU WANT TO!

You’re welcome .

1. What was the last thing you put in your mouth?
Diet Dr. Pepper, courtesy of my Pop. He likes to stop in and bring me drinks at work, and then hit on my co-worker.

2016: My father still likes to hit on that, specific, coworker, although she and I no longer work together. We’re just friends now, which is easier, because she doesn’t have to be disappointed when I don’t remember to drop the mail off, she can just laugh at my lack of giving a fuck. The last thing I put into my mouth was coffee, third cup, after my small child spilled half of the second cup on my leg and then yelled at me when I attempted to wipe it on her. 

2. Where was your profile picture taken?
In The Playroom that we created so that the Kid Mess would exist in a pseudo-contained state.

2016: THAT is not a flattering photograph of my daughters – that’s right, they’re both female children, despite what the one on the right looks like. She was an odd looking baby, I’m really not going to lie to you, and she’s an incredibly odd child, but she is much cuter in real life than she was in this horrible depiction. See!

Perhaps this pic isn’t much better… It’s funny as shit, though. I call it (Cl)american Gothic. Get it? It’s a CLAM! 

My current profile pic on Facebook was taken in a mirror (mirror selfies, because I’m THAT kind of a woman) in Athens, Georgia, when my wife and the kids and I all journeyed down for a wedding. I’m never quite sure of how I feel when I’m wearing red, but HOLY BOOBS, BATMAN! 

Also, this is the product of not one, but TWO body shapers. #thanxspanx

3. Can you play Guitar Hero?
Nope. I wasn’t born with those skills. I cannot play regular guitar, or plastic-fake one, as it turns out.

2016: Guitar Hero much have been much more relevant in 2010. I can honestly say, I think I touched that entire system once. ONCE. I’m not one for video games. Please do not kill me. I am not opposed to them, I am just horribly uncoordinated. 

4. Name someone who made you laugh today?
A restaurant manager. He just left my office, like, ten minutes ago.

2016: My wife’s brother-in-law. At seven a.m. he went downstairs to fetch his tennis shoes for a bike ride and came immediately back up, wearing a concerned expression. He then looked at my daughter (the one featured in the iconic (Cl)american Gothic photo) and said, “Say, do you know anything about the clam shells in my shoes?” This was her response: “Oh, right. About those… Sorry.” 
5. How late did you stay up last night and why?
Ten-thirty, maybe? We managed to unpack everything, get the kids wrangled, watch the episode of True Blood we missed from LAST week, have five beers and talk to our neighbor.

2016: It’s ironic that the “we” in this response is my ex. Well, that’s not ironic, but it is entertaining, at least to me. Also, I still really like True Blood. I wish the last, like, two seasons had been better. Last night I stayed up until maybe eleven? I watched the sunset, had a can of wine (a CAN OF WINE!!! the wonders of the modern world), and finished up the latest Bridget Essex, A Dark and Stormy Knight. 

6. If you could move somewhere else, would you?
I would love to live closer to the ocean. With a hammock. And a great hairdresser, because my hair tends to frizz in high humidity.
I like the sound of waves on the beach. I also think I was a fish in my previous life.

2016: I WAS A FISH IN MY PREVIOUS LIFE! And I would probably still say I want to relocate somewhere closer to the ocean, but maybe somewhere in Costa Rica or Panama, and somewhere without a hammock. I’m not a hammock person, and I wasn’t a hammock person when I wrote that six years back. I think I was just trying to be bourgeois.

7. Ever been kissed under fireworks?
Nope. I use too mucha hairspray for that. This afro would go up like a Roman candle.

2016: YESSS, GIRL! #same

8. Which of your friends lives closest to you?
The Girl Who’s Right Next Door.

2016: This puts me in quite a conundrum. I just spit Diet Coke all over the computer.

That’s not the conundrum.

That Girl – The One From Right Next Door? She turned out to be absolutely psychotic, in a laughably intense, right-wing sense, and it rattled me to my core. I mean, I live in the Deep South. I know most people around me are not okay with the fact that I married another woman, because most people around me are unaware that homosexuality is a thing that you can’t control, that you don’t pick. But This Girl? The one with the monogrammed wine glass? She took the cake. She took the damn cake, had it frosted, and hefted it up on to the crucifix with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

As my first marriage was crumbling, because sometimes marriages do that when one partner has not come to terms with her overwhelming GAYNESS, This Neighbor Girl invited me out for coffee. That was unusual. Most of our conversations lived and died by the front stoop. We were neighbors, obviously, and we both had kids, so alone time was relatively unheard of. I do remember thinking, “What’s Her angle here?” But I thought she was my friend, you know? I thought maybe she realized what a hard time we were all going through and wanted to help, wanted to, I don’t know, NOT BE A HUGE BITCH.

So we went out for the coffee.

Correction – we left to go get coffee, but we never actually made it there, because she locked the doors of her Mercedes SUV, ministered to me, and informed me of three key facts:

  1. God made women to be subservient to men. 
  2. Daughters of divorce will become promiscuous and low-functioning. 
  3. God made women to be subservient to men. 

She did this, in her words, in order to avoid being “confronted in heaven” by Jesus Christ, who would hold it against her that she didn’t “fix” ME when I needed it the most. As in, she was reasonably convinced her eternal salvation rested squarely on my shoulders. 

Um, no. 

Just..No. 

The cherry of this adventure came when she pointed out that the ladies of her church women’s ministry were waiting at the Starbucks to “guide me” further, then she gave me a Bible. 

I can sum up my response with one phrase (also illustrating the age-old notion that you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl).

“Bitch, if you don’t unlock these doors, this will not end well for you.”

Days later, after Bitch did unlock the doors and drive my fat ass home, a close friend called me – the friend I had passed the Bible on to.

“Voss, you didn’t read this, did you?” She asked.

“If you start to minister to me-” I snapped.

“No,” She stopped me in my tracks. “Your Neighbor highlighted a bunch of scriptures about the role of women in marriage.” 

#subservience
9. Do you believe exes can be friends?
Sometimes, sure. But a significant amount of time needs to elapse between the dating and the friendship and the relationship would have to have ended on decent terms. I am sort of friendly with an ex who cheated on me, like, a dozen times, but we were kids. And his wife is adorable so it would be stupid to care at this point.

2016: Sure. My ex and I are on good terms. Of course, those kids help. 

10. How do you feel about Dr Pepper?
I LOVE IT in its Diet form.

2016: Same, but Diet Coke is my jam. Actually, Latin American Coca Cola Light is my jam, when I can find it in the states. 

11. When was the last time you cried really hard?
I don’t know. It’s been a while. I got a little misty when Zac Efron took his shirt off in the Charlie St. Cloud movie preview, but that was more artistic appreciation than sadness.

2016: TF was I trying to prove with that Zac Efron comment? I think the last time I cried really hard was.. I don’t know. I’m a morning crier. I usually cry in the car, in traffic, listening to Disney songs and muttering, “I will rise like the break of dawn, Elsa. I really will.” 

12. Who took your profile picture?
Me, with the trusty, ragged enV 2.

2016: I HAD AN enV2? Jesus, what a putz. I took my profile picture. Selfies fa days. 

13. Who was the last person you took a picture of?
My smaller child. She was wearing a vending-machine mustache. God love Shoney’s.

2016: My older child holding a HAPPY BIRTHDAY sticky note for My Dad, about fifteen minutes ago. 

14. Was yesterday better than today?
Nope. Today’s my dad’s birthday. That makes it AWESOME.

2016: Same. Except, I saw a stingray yesterday, and that’s always a mood enhancer. 

15. Can you live a day without TV?
I don’t know. I’ve never tried. I am a slave to mindless entertainment.

2016: I do it all the time. Look at me being all grown up and shit. I cannot, however, live a day without Netflix. Who would watch all of the episodes of Murder, She Wrote?

16. Are you upset about anything?
I’m upset that Russell is apparently the shadow dude who slaughtered Eric Northman’s family.

2016: Spoilers, 2010 Voss! God. I had forgotten that happened on True Blood. I’m rewatching, but I’m only on Season One. So now I’m pretty upset about that. Also, humidity fucks with my hair in a way that makes me livid, Bae bought Oreos for the kids and I want to eat them all, and I woke up this morning and, once again, I DON’T look like Beyonce. 

17. Do you think relationships are ever really worth it?
I do – both romantic and plutonic. You put everything you have into them and, even when it’s hard and you feel like you want to quit, the rewards you reap are amazing. You learn so much about yourself and about what you want from life.

2016: Absolutely. To think that I would be the type of person who ever said no to that question is foolish. I value my first girlfriend, even though she dumped me. I value my ex, even after everything we went through. I value every stepping stone that led me to Bae, who, despite my light-hearted and capricious blog persona, is the literal breath in my lungs and a large reason I wake up in the morning. I am grateful to her, I am grateful for her, and I love her more than words .

18. Are you a bad influence?
I’m sure some people think I am. I didn’t get 15 tattoos for nothin’.

2016: I have sixteen tattoos, and I am a horrible influence. 

19. Night out or night in?
Depends on my mood. Most of the time, I’m a homebody. With beer. And movies on HBO On Demand.

2016: Definitely, I am a homebody. I like Bae, I like our bed, I like my dogs, I like true crime shows and I like The Food Network.  

20. What items could you not go without during the day?
Burt’s Bees Honey Lip Balm, my broke-ass cell phone, Diet Coke and Aussie Sprunch Spray.

2016: A lip balm (I’m too poor to just have Burt’s Bees. I will use anything, at this point.), my iPhone, Diet Coke, bobby pins, and hairspray. 

21. Who was the last person you visited in the hospital?
I don’t do hospitals, unless I am in them.

2016: My hairdresser, when she gave birth to the most beautiful baby in the world!

22. What does the last text message in your inbox say?
“Great!”

2016: Correct.

23. How do you feel about your life right now?
Like my goals need improvement. I’m almost 30.

2016: Like being being in my thirties is really the most freeing period of my life, so far. I have given up NOT wearing real bikini bottoms, I have given up on trying to make everyone else happy, I have given up on pretending I’m not a lesbian, I have a good marriage, two healthy kids, and I have written four books. 2010 Voss, you were right. You just needed better goals. 

24. Do you hate any one?
That would be a waste of my energy.
But there are lots of people whose Friend Requests I do not accept, either the Facebook variant, or the actual, face-to-face variant.

2016: No. I mean, yes. Some. I don’t fixate on it. I’m not obsessed with it, but if I see That Neighbor out and about at Target, honey I flip her the bird and keep on going. My mother says the best revenge is to live a good life. 

25. If I look at your FB inbox, what msg would I find?
Lots of messages about new 31 catalogs.

2016: Dear God, the LulaRoe. It’s everywhere.

26. If they did a drug test would anything be found?
Pure, unadulterated sexiness.

2016: Just that old-school sexy charisma.

27. Has anyone ever called you perfect before?
I highly doubt that, given that I am the furthest thing from perfect. No one likes me.

2016: Shit no. I am fun and I am loud, but I am flawed, just like everyone else. I think Bae will occasionally tell me that I’m perfect “for her” but not plain “perfect.” Perfect is for Barbie dolls and seven layer cakes. I am neither. 

28. What song is stuck in your head?
“So airplane airplane, sorry I’m late
I’m on my way so don’t close that gate
If I don’t make that then I’ll switch my flight
And I’ll be right back at it by the end of the night”

2016: “You’re as smooth as Tennessee Whiskey, You’re as sweet as strawberry wine, You’re as WAAARRRRRRMMMMMMMM as a glass of brandy, I stay stoned on your love all the time.” It’s Chris Stapleton and that song is the BOMB when my wife sings it to me in the car. 

29. Someone knocks on your window at 2:00 a.m., who do you want it to be?
Eric Northman. In character, obviously. I don’t want the actor that plays him.

2016: Abby Wambach, but I’m not sure I want to hear her talk. I might just want her to walk around in her underwear. And the actor who plays Eric Northman is Alexander Skarsgard, whose brother is Floki on Vikings. 
30.Wanna have grand kids before you’re 50?
Let’s see… I was 22 when my oldest daughter was born (2 weeks from 23), so if she’s 22 when she has a baby, I would be 44. I do not want to be a grandmother at 44. At 44 I want to be Sheryl Crow. Or Jennifer Aniston. Jennifer Aniston’s not a grandma.

2016: Why the hell have I done all of that math? The fast answer is NO. No, I do not want to be a grandmother by the age of 50. 

31. Name something you have to do tomorrow?
Send a check to daycare because I forgot today.

2016: Buy my kid a pirate hat and write a chapter. 

32. Do you think too much or too little?
Too little. I do what my gut tells me, like Agent Gibbs.

2016: Too much. I analyze every situation to see how badly I have screwed it up. 

33. Do you smile a lot?
I do. I try to laugh as much as I can because it makes my days pass happier.

2016: I smile constantly. I love my life, I love the people in my life, and I love to laugh. I think laughing lightens your load exponentially. 

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