Married Conversations: Part 1


Loads of statistics and people seem to be a little Glass-Half-Empty when it comes to marriage.

“Sure, you love each other now, but then—it’s misery! The end of your life!”

I may not have twenty years in yet, but I still think those statistics and people are stupid. I could get up on my little sunshiney soap box about this all day long, but I’ll save it for another day. Instead, I’ll just leave it at that I don’t agree and that if anything, so far, marriage has just made my personal love story with my hubs more entertaining. To an extreme level.

My hubs finally got a day off from the World of the Iron Beast (A whole weekend off!), and I would like to present to you a summary of this rare occurrence in which we get to hang out together for 2.5 days straight, never changing out of our pj’s while we have coffee in one hand and a bag of Fritos in the other. Add a new TV in the mix and now we get to judge and cackle at people we don’t know on a bigger screen.
This is heaven, right?

Allow me to present to you the first installment (because how could there not be tons of these to come?) of a weekend full of Married Conversations.


Me: “You’re home, you’re home! Let the weekend festivus BEGIN!”
Hubs: “I had a bad day. I’m going to take a nap.”
Me: (A switch flicks and I go all THIS IS SPARTA! on him) “Shug, [my term of endearment for my hubs. It’s a shortened form of the word “sugar”] are you kidding?! It’s the weekend! You are off, you are awesome! Did Leonidas take a nap or did he take 300 guys with some serious weaponry and show everyone WHO’S BOSS? Huh? Would you rather be the guy who takes a nap after a bad day or the guy who DINES IN HELL?!!!!” (This goes on for roughly ten minutes as I also throw in references from history/fiction land such as Spartacus, Batman, and The Punisher…Oh, you thought I only get crazy with embellishment and imagination with the books I write? No. It falls out like verbal vomit every time I speak.)
Hubs: “Okay, okay! I’m up! No nap!” (Walks out of the bedroom)
Me: “Where are you going?”
Hubs: “Alcohol…I need…a drink.”
Me: “We can’t leave. It’s a blizzard outside.”
Hubs: “I don’t need to leave…I have root beer vodka, Dr. Pepper, and….”
Me: “Netflix?”
Hubs: “Netflix! Russia’s Toughest Prisons?”
Me: “This is why we are soul mates.”


(It’s been a day of mindless TV and comedies. As the sun sets, things are about to get real)

Hubs: (Walks in the kitchen) “What are you doing in here?”
Me: “I’m making this our personal pub. (I turn on the speakers and start jamming out Black Sabbath. I point at the kitchen tile) That’s our dance floor.”
Hubs: “I’m going to shovel the driveway.”
Me: “What! Why? It’s just going to keep snowing and your hard work will be in vain.”
Hubs: (He chuckles because I am not from the North and I am still learning things—especially about snow. Still, he is amazingly patient with me as he teaches me the ways of the Arctic) “It’ll just make things worse if I don’t shovel a little bit now. Things will turn to ice and…”(He proceeds to give me this logical explanation on why he needs to shovel a bit of the driveway tonight. My mind wanders to this idea I have about strapping a plow to the front of a golf cart and I accidentally stop listening to him.)
Me: “Okay…but no more than ten minutes out there.”
Hubs: “Deal.” (He goes outside and returns ten minutes later to me dancing with a glass of wine to “LaGrange”.)
Me: “Heyyyyyy!”
Hubs: “What happened to Ozzy?”
Me: “I accidently hit the shuffle button and it became the DJ.”
Hubs: (Sits down)
Me: “Dance with me!”
Hubs: “I’m wiped out! I just shoveled the driveway!”
Me: “I have an idea that will refresh your spirit! Let’s go watch old music videos from when we were teenagers on YouTube!” (Hubs bounces up, totally into this idea.)

(Five hours later, we’ve successfully watched every video from mid-nineties to mid-2000’s, bowing down to these memory triggers of nostalgia to BSB, Daft Punk, Muse, Savage Garden, Matchbox Twenty, Justin Timberlake, Oasis, Eminem, and Outkast…the list is endless. Is there any better way to spend a Saturday night with the love of your life? )


Hubs: (As we finish our morning coffee and Investigation Discovery is rolling criminal stories in the background) “Sam’s Club?”
Me: “Before the church crowd and late sleepers hit the streets?”
Hubs: “Let’s go!”

(Two hours later, we’re both cranky and are convinced humanity is lost. We are also coming up with new ways to get a buggy [shopping cart] through a parking lot of nine inches of unplowed snow)


(We’ve been watching the Grammys and all the pre-shows since 6)

Me: “Look at that hat—does he think he’s a Canadian Mountie? Does he know he’s on national TV?”
Hubs: “Who is that? And that? And that?”
Me: “Google.”
Hubs: (Googles these unknown Grammy nominees on his phone, reads off the list of 90% of the “celebrities” on this show who we have never heard of)
Me: “This is depressing. We know maybe 5 out of the 500 people on this show. All I wanted to do is just to see Paul and Ringo perform…why do we have to sit through 5 hours of these kids to get to that point?”
Hubs: “We are so old…ugh, look at her eyebrows.”
Me: “Gross. Look at that one’s dress. I mean, why didn’t you just take the slit all the way up your body since we can already see your underwear.”
Hubs: “She’s wearing underwear?”
Me: “I’m gonna go with the hope that she’s wearing underwear.”
Hubs: “How does someone keep all their stuff in that kind of dress?”
Me: “Tape. Lots of tape.”
Hubs: (Winces) “Doesn’t that hurt?”
Me: (Sigh) “The things we do in the name of beauty. You have no idea…Oo oo, I know him! Finally! Oh, and look at her—gorgeous!”
Hubs: “If clubs impose dress codes, so should the Grammys.”
Me: “I never thought of that, you are so right.”
Hubs: “It’s like, I can’t come in wearing jeans, but this guy is wearing a jean suit. Really?”
Me: “He just called his award a gold sippy cup. Must be nice to have money. Hey, we should buy a lottery ticket. I want a gold wine sippy cup. I’m serious.”
Hubs: “Where are the Fritos? I’m about to eat my emotions.”
Me: “Why? Not into the gold sippy cup idea?”
Hubs: “No, I just want to hear some real music. Some good music. What’s with all this loud, no-talent, everything sounds the same crap?”
Me: “Wow. Did you just hear yourself? Are you eighty years old?”
Hubs: (Gives me a look) “You know you agree with me.”
Me: (I’m laughing pretty hard now) “ ‘Merica!”
Hubs: “Aren’t you a comedian.”
Me: “No, no, no, I totally agree with you! That’s why when I get pregnant, I’m going to blast the kid’s ears with classics. Queen, Rolling Stones, AC/DC, The Who, The Beatles….when music was GOOD. Do they make earphones for your belly? I should invent that if they don’t….”
Hubs: “It’s my turn to ask YOU how old YOU are now.”
Me: “Whatever. You’ll thank me when your kids burst in the house singing “Thunderstruck” opposed to twerking like they have some kind of mad cow disease to a Justin Bieber tune.”
Hubs: (Thinks this over) “Okay, you definitely win on this.”

See? Married life is kind of awesome….and this is only a small slice of just how entertaining it can be.





It’s Monday, folks.


Yes. That’s exactly what my Monday has been, in a nutshell. And probably yours, too. Actually, every person’s Monday probably looks like this because, hey, Monday is an eternal jerk.

So, I went to Wal-Mart today. (You already know this is going to be a good story, don’t you?)

It started out just fine. Even though the sun has yet to come out, we ARE having a heat wave up here in the Arctic (46 degrees, y’all!)

Things didn’t start to get real until after my shopping trip was over. As I began the fun checkout process, it was pretty clear that the clerk was super chatty. No problem. I can make some really great conversation with a rock wall if I have to, so let’s talk, sir!

“Oh, my!” the guy says abruptly and I look up at him from my current Facebook stalking on my cell phone, a little startled. His name is “Frodo YES!”…that’s what the sharpie has penned out on his name tag.

“You are from Georgia!” Frodo YES! continues his announcement. He’s looking down at my driver’s license (which I refuse to change because I am from Georgia, not the Arctic…4-ev-errrrrrrr!)

“Yep,” I give him a smile, though he is making me a little nervous with his clumsy Frodo elbow so near the bottle of champs I’m trying to currently purchase. (Champs is Tabspeak for “Champagne”)

“Wow, Georgia, Georgia, Georgia…” Now Frodo YES! has completely forgotten about my order and is looking up at the ceiling in some kind of wonderment, lightly slapping my license over and over against his (probably sweaty) palm.

“So, what’s the major export in Georgia?” he asks me. His gaze is bright and excited, directed solely at me now.

“Peaches,” I answer, with a laugh. Because I’m sure Frodo YES! is just joking…

“Oranges?” he asks. Oranges? What the hell is he talking about? Did he not hear what I just said? The word peaches most definitely does not ever sound like the word oranges.

“Peaches,” I repeat, and I laugh again.

“Hmm, hmm,” Frodo YES! nods and bemuses this over. Really? It’s one o’clock and I haven’t eaten today. I’m running on just two cups of coffee and I’m ready to get out of this place.

“What else do they make there?” He’s not going to stop. There are three people in line behind me, but Frodo YES! seems to have allllllll day.

“Cotton.” The word fell right out of my mouth. I should have made something up like, “WE HARVEST PINE CONES!” Then maybe he would have decided I was too boring to continue on talking to me.

“Cotton!” He’s grinning from ear to ear now. “Wow!”

And then—are you ready? Here it comes.
“Do you guys get clothes really cheap in Georgia? I bet you do! That’s just great!”
I’m staring at him, wondering if I accidentally walked into a Will Ferrell movie today instead of the Wal-Mart.

Frodo YES! is staring right back at me, waiting for me to confirm his theory.

“Sure,” is all I can manage and as he opens his mouth to continue, I am saved by the husky woman behind me in line who barks at Frodo YES! suddenly,
“Hey, can I get some Virginia Slims!”

I rip my license and receipt out of Frodo YES!’s hands and take off out of the store.

I’m also laughing to myself as I load my groceries into my car, and honestly after these few minutes have passed, I’m wondering if ol’ FrodoYES! had a point on the whole “t-shirts should be almost free when you live next door to a cotton field” concept.
“Hey! Hey, you! That’s rude!”
I’ve got one leg in my car and I freeze, somehow sure this hollering from across the parking lot is directed at me. I think about continuing to get in my car and ignoring it (I am the queen at playing oblivious. Sometimes it’s not acting…just ask my hubs about losing my car’s side mirror while backing out of the garage. “Side mirror? I didn’t even THINK ABOUT THAT, honey!) But for whatever reason, I pull my leg back out of my car and look around.

There’s a man with a little kid by his side standing beside the shopping cart holder. The man’s face is scrunched up and splotchy red and it’s like he’s the guard of the holder.

I realize what he’s talking about immediately. As usual, when I’m lost in thought, reality becomes far away for me and I do things that I am unaware of (Yes, it’s scary how not-in-tune I am on this planet sometimes) My shopping cart is just chilling all crooked in the empty parking space next to mine.

Now, I normally put shopping carts where they go and I also normally am pretty laid-back and nice.
But today—today on this gross, gray Monday in which I was still recovering from the bizarre conversation inside at checkout five minutes earlier…today, I wasn’t so cool.
“What—are you the buggy police?!” I yell at the man, even twitching my left eye a little to show him how crazy I am. He’s too far away to see it, but it makes me feel better.

The anger on the man’s face morphs into a look of confusion, and after about five seconds of silence, the little boy holding the man’s hand looks up at him and asks,
“Dad, what’s a buggy?”

Then, it happens. I explode.

“Oh, I’m sorry!” I’m screeching now, doing some weird spastic dance with my hands. “I DIDN’T REALIZE I SPEAK LARRY THE CABLE GUY!”

I get in my car and speed off, almost flipping the car on a ginormous pothole because up here in the Arctic, there is no such thing as smooth pavement.

I feel bad as I drive. It’s not the guy’s fault. Sure, he should mind his own business—go flash your hall monitor badge at FrodoHEY! for being an idgit. But really, he was just the last straw in an explosion that was definitely bound to occur at some point. You see, up here in the Arctic, I have realized just how different I speak as a Southerner. I’ve got words and sayings for things that really make no sense at all. And every time I use these slangs of language (for instance, “buggy” as opposed to “shopping cart”), people always look at me like I’m about to get profiled for a butt search at the airport.

Poor buggy police man. He was just the martyr for all those before him who needed a translator for me.
I’m still going to say “buggy”. Probably stick it in every other sentence now. Just ‘cause I’m spiteful like that.

Happy Monday, y’all. Git ‘er done.


(Originally posted January 14, 2014)



Ok, ok. I did it. I caved. Here I am, people.

Due to some extensive pressuring of professional (and personal) peers around me, I am finally entering the blogsphere.

Is that what you call it? The blogsphere? Or did I just accidentally put in for a new Webster word, to soon be added after twerk, frenemy, and lindseylohanrealityshow?

I had a blog set up since I began my career as an author two years ago, but it was really just because I had to. I think I had three posts over eighteen months. I guess that’s not technically how I’m supposed to do things in the blogsphere.

So, happy 2014! Here’s to a hopefully colorful and entertaining handful of blurbs involving my reality-tv-show-worthy personal life (Hey, “Battle Cats” got its own reality show. Don’t judge me so quick.)

I’ll start basic.

Hi, I’m Tabitha. I write books for teenagers. It’s my full-time job, a dream come true, and I have a ball doing it. It’s a pretty awesome gig. Also due to the fact that I can wear my flannel jammies to work every day.

I’m a Southerner, born and raised in Georgia, and I just merged that already loud culture with another even louder way of life–my husband is a Romanian Railroader. Tall, dark, and handsome, with a European romantic streak that will knock your knees together and cause an explosion of cartoon hearts to erupt out of your ears. He comes with a family that is My Big Fat Greek Wedding on Red Bull. They are emotional, raging with passion, love, and adventure, and can convince you that Vodka is a food group. It’s great.

When I met my husband two years ago, I left my warm, Southern sunshine to be with him in the tropical heaven of….Cleveland, Ohio. (Yes, I’m really sarcastic.)

When you have that thick, warm-weather blood running through your veins, anywhere above the Mason Dixon line feels like the Arctic. So, instead of referring to my new home as “Ohio”, we are just gonna go with “the Arctic”. Got it? Great.

Once I arrived in the Arctic, my husband pushed and pleaded for me to quit my normal job and chase my dream of being an author. I finally caved, and somehow, it actually turned out right. With a solid backing of love, support, and enthusiasm from my hubs, I don’t think I could have ever allowed myself to fail at this…and I was actually lucky enough to make it my full-time career.

Well, aside from being a Real Railroad Housewife, of course.

Ah, the Railroad. The steel this country was built on, still rumbling through all powerful now. It’s not Polar Express, people!

The Railroad is the Mistress in my life. It takes away my hubs for days on end sometimes, leaving me to walk around my house mumbling new stories to myself while shamelessly in the same wine-stained t-shirt and grungy sweatpants for a week.

When my Railroader is home, the clouds part. (No, no, I’m not being sarcastic this time) He is really an awesome man who seriously sits there after working a 48 hour straight shift and intently and patiently listens to me ramble on about a chapter I just wrote this afternoon about an ordinary girl who had to fight off a gigantic seamonster on a paddle boat.

Have you seen the AT&T commercials with the man sitting at a round table with all the little kids, listening and talking to them as if they are adults with some logical thoughts?

That’s exactly what my kitchen table looks like when I corner my husband with my fictional bubble I’ve been in all day. He’s a good sport.

So this is my life, in a nutshell. It’s half fake characters having a party in my brain and half real characters in my life constantly blowing sparkly confetti out of a Ke$ha-made glitter gun.

I hope you’ll enjoy the shenanigans with me as we begin this new year.

Now, I’m off to write about the newest tale in the cloud bubble above my head….something about….apocalyptic female gladiators?

Hmmmm, now this should make for an interesting Wednesday.


(Originally posted January 8, 2014)