Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What I Remember of Eclipse

Last night was a night of penance.

Oldest Daughter and a friend of hers spent an entire day last week cleaning to prepare for my open house, so I promised I would take them to the midnight showing of Eclipse last night.  I know.  The sacrifices I make for my children are enormous.  

I think a hallmark of really good parenting is creating rewards for your children that actually benefit you.  It's the ultimate in multitasking - they're happy, you're happy, everybody's happy.  Some examples of this method are:
  1. "If everyone does a good job with their chores, we'll get Dairy Queen Blizzards."
  2. "If you're all really good, we'll let you go to Grandma's for a couple of nights."
  3. "If you clean my house for the Open House, I'll take you to Eclipse."
I'm a hero, and I get ice cream, a night alone, and some Edward time.  I'll put that in the WIN column.

To prepare for our Eclipse night, OD and her friend decided to make t-shirts to commemorate the occasion.  Everyone there would have Team Edward or Team Jacob shirts.  At the tender age of 13, young women want to feel like they are participating in a Pop Culture moment while equally shunning it at the same time.  What's an angsty teen to do?  My daughter and her friend decided to make Team Billy t-shirts.  Billy, for the non-Twilighters, is Jacob's father, and one of the Quileute elders.  He is in a wheelchair and says he is "Down with the kids" and Charlie, Bella's dad, says, "Yeah Dude, you're the bomb".  He's a pretty minor character.  Their shirt choice was the perfect non-conformist, "I'm involved yet above all of this" solution.

 And?  They put fuchsia streaks in their hair.  
Because Team Billy is just that crazy.

Leaving for the show at 11 p.m.  I vetoed my Team Billy shirt.

We left for the midnight movie, located five minutes away from my house, at 11 p.m., thinking we had plenty of time.  Wrong.  The entire parking lot was jammed with cars, and there were Twilighters everywhere.  The theater had five midnight shows going, and all were sold out.  The lines to wait to get into the theater to sit were snaked down the hallways, and I was surrounded by texting teens.  There were moms there, yes, but the predominant audience member was a teenager wearing a tight t-shirt, short shorts, flip flops, and a glowing phone with their fingers flying over the keyboard.

Much to my chagrin, we had to sit in the third row of the theater, and the girls behind me kept putting their feet up on the back of my seat.  I thought about yelling at them, but instead, I took a bag of contraband candy out of my purse and said, "Hey, I have an extra bag of candy, and my girls don't want you?"  They took it, and didn't put their feet up on my seat again.  I literally caught more flies with honey.   The movie began, and every girl in the theater started screaming, including the ones over 40.  

Edward.  It's been too long.

The movie was pretty good.  Edward's makeup has greatly improved since the first movie, and Jacob never disappoints.  The sex talk between Charlie and Bella was funny, and the Cullens got to go all badass, which was great.  In New Moon, my big distraction was Spot, the ring of hair around Rob Pattinson's nipple.  In this movie, it had to be Jasper's hair.  WTF?  Did a stylist really do that on PURPOSE?  He looks like Jack White from the White Stripes, which is great if you are actually Jack White.  Otherwise, you look a bit like a cross between Johnny Depp as Willie Wonka and the pedophile that lives down the street.  

My angsty teens said Eclipse was the best Twilight yet, but it was late, and I'm old.  I'm going to have to see it a few more times before I can make that kind of judgement.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Opening Your House Can Be Hazardous to Your Marriage

First, what do you think of the new template for ADITW?  I think it's pretty awesome!  This is the blog redesign I won through the Mummy-Time SuperMegaAwesome Giveaway, and was done by the ultra fab Sarah, of Blog Designs By Sarah (see her button on the bottom right-hand side?).  Group Slow Clap for Sarah today!

So many of you know Current Husband and I put our house on the market last Wednesday.  Holy Mother.  Of course, when one lists a house on the market, it is time to finish all of those projects you wanted to finish in the previous few years.  All I can say is thanks to the power of Prednisone, I have been on Roid Rage for the past 10 days.

I had this really funny post about all of the stuff that happened leading up to the open house, but CH came in and told me that I shouldn't blog about the house while we are trying to sell the house, so I had to delete it.  I guess he has a point, but it's ALL I'VE BEEN DOING and I really have very little else to write about.  Here is what got past the censor:
  1. I painted a few things.
  2. I only showered every couple of days.  Or three.
  3. We had Taco Bell twice. 
  4. I stripped Nancy Reagan (and this only got by because I already wrote about it.)
  5. I alienated my husband and frightened the kids and George the Superpet.
The downside is that I have killed approximately 5 million brain cells with paint fumes.  The upside is that I now have biceps.  Seriously.  If I had any sex drive left, CH would be on me like white on rice, but every time he tried to touch them I'm like "REALLY!?  REALLY!?!  ARE YOU EFFING SERIOUS?!" and he backed away whimpering.  There is nothing like listing your house to make you turn on each other.  You start keeping track of who does what.  You start getting tired and delusional and seeing your spouse like this:

But the results have been sparkling!  Too bad I didn't do these things over the past four years! 
Here is some of my work:
New valance, new fluffy white towels 
and fresh white walls!

Suck it, Nancy Reagan!  I win!  The ceilings in here are 9 feet. 
Arms up for the wallpaper death march!

The open house was scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m., but on Wednesday we got a call from someone wanting to see it before the open house, on Saturday night at 7 p.m.  POOF!  There goes 18 extra hours to prepare for the open house.  I popped a Prednisone, turned green, tore my shirt, flexed my biceps, and growled.  Bring it, Mr. Clean, you are my wingman.

All the cleaning and sprucing in the world might not sell your house, so I decided it was time to turn to a power higher than paint fumes and steroids:

A lovely friend gave me this St. Joseph and brought YD a Happy Meal on showing day.  Win-win.  I felt like St. Joseph needed a little extra something for luck, so I told CH I was going to bury him with a mini bottle of Bailey's I had in the fridge, but CH thought that was sacrilegious and therefore detrimental to our cause.  Again with the buzzkill, CH.  So instead, I buried St. Joseph with some delicious raisins, because the Sun-Maid Raisin Girl is kind of cute and I thought they might hit it off.

He is happily ensconced in a garden bed near a cute little bunny nest.
Work your magic, St. Joseph, because I am still on steroids and am unstable, and I know where you are buried.

Tomorrow, Oldest Daughter and I are going to the midnight showing of Eclipse, because after all of this house stuff, I need me some Edward and some Dots.  Can't wait!

Thanks again to Sarah, and thanks for sticking around, Wifers!  I read all of your comments and appreciate your support!  You people rock!

Friday, June 25, 2010

It's Whoreticulture Friday! Issue 31

Whoreticulture: The industry and science of whores and whore-related topics. Whoreticulturists work and conduct research in the disciplines of OB-GYNery, Brazilian waxers and shavers, adultery, personal hygiene mavens and easy women. The word is composite, from two words, whore, from Greek meaning "harlot" or "dear", and the word "culture". Like NPR's Science Friday, Whoreticulture Friday exists to educate and spark discussion on the science of Whorology. Whoreticulture Friday is not for children. Or squeamish people. Or Mother-In-Laws.

Today's topic: Whoring my house.

Hello gentle readers.  Sorry I've been remiss on posting, but
I've been out of my f*cking mind!!!! 
And not in the usual way.  Let me break it down for you:
  1. Current Husband and I find another house we like.
  2. We decide to make an offer and sell Current House.
  3. Offer is accepted contingent upon sale of Current House.
  4. I start going completely apeshit crazy.
  5. I begin the process of putting my house in jewel-toned spandex, black lace bra, six inch patent leather stilettos, and bright red lipstick, and give the house a large box of condoms.  "Make it happen, Sugar", I whisper to the house.  "Don't you come back until you have something to give Big Momma or I will beat your ass."
 The problem that nearly every homeseller has is that to sell the house, they have to suddenly do every single thing they've been meaning to do in the house for the time they've lived in it.  You start with one simple project, and the next thing you know, everything you've known in your life to be true has changed.  You are living in the Matrix.

I give you the Nancy Reagan 

Wallpaper Death March.
I have never liked wallpaper.  I've stripped more wallpaper in my life than I care to admit, and it's becoming a dealbreaker on houses for me.  I don't care what DIF tells you, once that paper is up, it ain't coming down without some intervention from Jesus, vodka, and power tools.  The wallpaper in my bathroom was installed when we were Just Saying No and The Gipper was saying "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall!"  I wish I had the presence of mind to take a picture.  So we're selling the house, and I'm thinking, "I think I'll tear down that wall!"  I pull a little corner of the paper.  It comes off easily.  And that was the last piece that came off without a struggle.

Throughout the rest of the house, I've been painting ceilings and wood trim and walls.  I've been cleaning and purging and organizing.  I've made use of countless Rubbermaid tubs to store things away that we don't use every day.  But last night, I finally decided it was time.  I opened a Smirnoff Green Apple (delicious and oh so icy!) and grabbed my trusty scraper, a sponge, the DIF, and the Bible. Various members of the family had tried to tear Nancy Reagan down - the rule was that every time you use the bathroom, you have to remove six inches of Nancy - but the project was at a standstill.  With an open house on Sunday, it was time to act.  I started at 6 p.m.  Throughout the evening, it became more and more personal.  At one point, I remember talking to the wallpaper. 

ME:  "Oh, that was a piece bigger than an inch!  Give me another one..."
NANCY:  silence.
ME:  "Hey, that wasn't very big.  You need to be nicer to me."
NANCY:  silence.
ME:  "Listen bitch, you need to get off of my walls, NOW!"
NANCY:  silence.
ME:  "I'm going to get another Smirnoff, and then you'd better cooperate or I will just expand the kitchen and take you down as an entire wall."
NANCY:  (whispers) "You'll never get me down...." 

When I scraped off the last bit last night, I didn't know my name or age.  My feet were swollen to the size of large red meat slabs, and I could hear birds tweeting outside.  It was after 5 a.m., but I smiled, because I had finally exorcised the demons of Nancy Reagan from my bathroom.  Next stop?  Scrubbing the glue off of the walls, then priming and painting them.  And the next person in this place had better gaze upon those walls lovingly, and if I find out they wallpapered over that paint, Big Momma will come down here and beat their asses.

Of course, if whoring the actual house does not sell the place, I am not above whoring myself.  I have my zebra print bikini, and have taken a home selling course from Mocca:

I think I smell a house selling!

We are burying St. Joseph tomorrow, I will try to record the ceremony for posterity to put on the blog.  Happy Whoreticulture Friday, and have a great weekend!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Quit Luring Me Into Drug Use, Meth People

Well now I've gone and told Current Husband that I won't blog about him for 48 hours for Father's Day, so what the hell am I going to write about?

Oh, I guess I could write about how we've decided to sell our house and I've gone completely batshit crazy.  See how I am already swearing more?  You should hear me around the house.  All of the filters are gone.  We have a terrific house - I love it, I really do.  But when you are going to list the house, you have to do a few things:

  1. Clean like you haven't cleaned in four years.
  2. Take down Nancy Reagan-era wallpaper in bathroom that someone attached to the wall with Crazy Glue while on heroin.
  3. Make it look like no children have lived there.
  4. Make sure the dog hasn't puked anywhere.
  5. Stop actually living in the house.
  6. Hide your taxidermied squirrel.  (Sorry Todd.) 
We are going to list the house tomorrow, and we are having an open house on Sunday.  The Son has two baseball games this week, I am (happily) hosting book club at my house on Tuesday night, and we are taking two of the kids to stay with friends through Sunday.  This is where those meth commercials look appealing.

Sign me up.
This is where I thought the Don't Do Drugs people sort of messed up, because I know a lot of moms who would be thrilled to be able to stay up all night cleaning the floors with a toothbrush, be all skinny in their skivvies, and have the cleanest house on the block.  Know your target audience, drug people.  You are actually enticing us into drug addiction.  And my face already looks like that and I'm itching all over from my second outbreak of poison sumac, so your endless scratching doesn't frighten me, Drug Mom.

We spent Father's Day trimming hedges, moving six cubic yards of mulch, scraping the aforementioned wallpaper, and painting a room.  When I was in the shower to scrub away the pollen and inevitable poison sumac I probably lunged into again in the bushes, my thumb started throbbing and turning purple.  Grabbing the washcloth was the last straw for my thumb, and I apparently broke a blood vessel.  This is unfortunate for my thumb, because the wallpaper stripping and painting is not done.  A male in my home whom I will not refer to as CH because I am not writing about him wanted to know if I am icing my thumb.  Oh, absolutely.  I have a large ice pack strapped to my thumb whilst blogging, scraping, preparing dinner, painting, or paying my meth dealer.  Because that is something moms do...they take care of themselves first and let the important things fall by the wayside.

And I am the Princess of Sweden, living a life of anonymity and solitude in the quaint Midwest, savoring the ordinary life of a middle-class housewife, with my talking taxidermied squirrel and my magical unicorn, all biding our time until the beanstalk grows large enough that we can all climb back home.

It is midnight, gentle readers, and this means my Smirnoff Green Apple has turned into a wallpaper scraper and my gown has become a ratty tank top and some cut-off khakis.  Back to Nancy Reagan wallpaper, which will inevitably whisper "Just Say No" while I am thinking about the skinny chick in the panties cleaning her immaculate bathroom.  Well played, Nancy Reagan.  Well played.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

It's Whoreticulture Friday! Issue 30

Whoreticulture: The industry and science of whores and whore-related topics. Whoreticulturists work and conduct research in the disciplines of OB-GYNery, Brazilian waxers and shavers, adultery, personal hygiene mavens and easy women. The word is composite, from two words, whore, from Greek meaning "harlot" or "dear", and the word "culture". Like NPR's Science Friday, Whoreticulture Friday exists to educate and spark discussion on the science of Whorology. Whoreticulture Friday is not for children. Or squeamish people. Or Mother-In-Laws. (Yes, KAREN, that includes YOU!)

Today's topic: Signs you are totally immature.

I'm just going to apologize up front to my mom and the three non-English speaking people who read this blog, because I am going to be a tiny bit of a slacker for the next week.  We have a little something going on the land of The Wife, and it's going to eat up all of my time for the next week, but I'll post a couple of times at 2 a.m., sleep deprived and high on paint fumes.  Soy perezoso, Carmen.  Lo siento.

Tonight, Current Husband and I met a lovely friend couple for dinner.  They are en route to a new home in Chicagoland from Seattle, and they stopped in our hood for a bit, so lucky us.  Double bonus is that they are hilarious, and always have the funniest stories.  I could choose from so, so many.  Like, for instance, the minute we sat down her husband said, "Look behind you.  Look now.  Now.  Now.  Look now."  So I look, and there is either the best themed costume dinner ever, or the retired Real Housewives of Coney Island were sitting behind us.  In Iowa.  I kid you not, at least six leopards died for dresses at that table, the jewelery was costume and teal and clunky, and the bleach in the beehive hairdos was enough to clean a crime scene.  The force was strong with them.  

When our waitress came to the table for our order, he said to her, "I'd like a picture of everyone at that table" and motioned to Cougarville.  I bow to the Master.  Although when I ordered my beer, a local brew called "The Duke of Wellington", I said, "I'll take a Duke.  Bring lots of napkins", and her husband and I cracked up.  Then when I ordered another one I got to say, "I need to take another Duke".  CH and my friend just looked at each other and rolled their eyes, much like exhausted parents with their unruly preschoolers in a restaurant, except that the preschoolers were drinking.

However, one of the funnier stories of the night was about sign language.

I am a huge fan of sign language.  I love language in general, but when you add hand gestures it becomes something altogether different.  It's fun to say "Fuck you" when you are mad at someone, but thrusting that middle finger in the air is so satisfying, yet somehow less dirty.  Or how about the "grab the package" move?  Michael Jackson brought it to mainstream, Madonna gave it to women, and the guys from Jersey Shore have made it seem like a normal way to communicate.  When I get annoyed with CH, I like to say nothing, make my eyes really big, and throw my hand in the air like "WHAT!!!!"  And he knows exactly what I am saying.

My friend described how she took her 10-year-old to her local Children's Hospital, where they had a seminar about how to talk about sex with your child.  She took her older daughter to the event a few years ago, but this time there was a sign language interpreter for the hearing impaired, and my friend found herself watching the signer during the talk.  At one point, they were talking about erections, and the signer had her hand in a fist and her arm extended and slightly lifted.  The speaker was saying, "Sometimes boys get erections, and they won't go down.  They won't go down." and the signer is pushing down on her arm, and then her arms boings back up, and then pushes down on her arm, and then it boings back up.  My friend and her daughter are both watching the signer and start giggling.  Later, the daughter is having lunch with her dad, older sister, and her grandmother, and she is recounting the occasion.  When she gets to the part about the erections, and shows the motions, her grandmother, who raised three boys, said, "Well if it doesn't go down you just need to flick it at the top of the head and it will shrink back," and the dad was like, "Uh, MOM, you are talking to my DAUGHTER!"

I'm listening to this story, and I'm thinking "Sign language is AWESOME!"

So, as a service to my Whoreticulture Friday readers, I am going to be sure you know all of the appropriate ways to sign sexual things, because it is important.  And it reminds me of when I was in fifth grade and my friends and I looked up all of the "dirty" words in the dictionary.  (She said DICK-tionary.....hehehehehehehehehee!)  Unfortunately, I can't link you to the individual words, so you have to look up the words in the dictionary on this site,  Just click on the linked lines below and it will take you to the site.

Would you like to say "You are a dick"?  Simply point at the person for "you" and then make this sign for "penis":  Look up Penis in the dictionary, and it will give you the video directions.  Notice that the woman's mouth smirks slightly while she makes the sign.

Say to your husband, "You are a huge pussy."  Again, thrust your finger in his direction, and make the sign for a va-jay-jay.  Look up Vagina in the dictionary, and watch the vid.

There are lots of other great signs you should know, like Breast, Birth Control Device, Urine, Penetration, or my favorite, Condom.  That chick looks like a ball breaker when she does the sign, and then smirks afterward, like, "just kidding, let's still do it."  

I love this site.  I think everyone should know sign language, and how awesome to know's like you can speak the Zoom language, Ubbi Dubbi, or you know gang signs, but it's actually useful and you'll be so glad the first time you need to know it and can.  Since I spent so much time on the site looking up body parts and functions, perhaps I should study a sign that the deaf community will associate with me - the sign for Pervert.

Happy Whoreticulture Friday!  Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Shrek: The Midlife Crisis

Let me just say that if you haven't seen Shrek Forever After, I am going to spoil it for you.  It sucked.

I loved all of the previous Shrek movies.  They were funny and cute and had a nice little message.  Of course, the first one was the funniest one  with the best story, but the second and third ones were funny and I loved them all.  Shrek Forever After was like watching American Beauty in animation.  And I loved American Beauty, but not with Kevin Spacey as an ogre and Annette Bening as an ogre/princess.  Really, I thought Shrek was going to end up shot and bleeding on the floor at the end because he lusted after Snow White.

 See the similarities?

It was a "message movie".  Shrek is enjoying his life with his wife and three kids and going through the day to day, and suddenly it becomes drudgery and he ends up wishing for his life as an single ogre.  He meets Rumpelstiltskin and makes a deal to be an 'Ogre for a Day'.  His wish is granted, and he gets to spend the day yelling at people and taking baths and eating whatever he wants and being alone.  However, he suddenly realizes that he is alone, and he wants his family back, but TOO LATE buddy, it's all over.  Shrek is sad because he realizes he didn't appreciate what he had.  It was at this point in the movie that I leaned over to Current Husband and said, "Fairy tale!"

It was like they weren't even trying to be funny.  The storyline was weak, the jokes were weaker, and even the message was bad.  Don't get me wrong - I can totally get behind a sister who has struck out on her own and is embracing her inner feminist, as Fiona has done in the movie - but the whole thing was just lame and lamer.  The funniest part of the movie was the woman sitting behind us who laughed at EVERYTHING.  Puss in Boots making the big eyes?  BAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!  Donkey saying he's not a dog and then smelling something like a bloodhound?  BAHAHAHAHAHAA!  Shrek farts?  BAHAHAHAHAHA!!!  After about the tenth time it stopped being annoying and actually became the funniest thing going on there.

The interesting part was that CH and I saw the same movie, but had completely different takes on it.
ME:  "I can't believe we saw Shrek the Midlife Crisis."
CH:  "What are you talking about?"
ME:  "You know, how Shrek got sick of his family and had to split."
CH:  "Uh, NO, he just wanted one day to himself, and he got tricked."
ME:  "Uh, NO, it was a metaphor for midlife crisis.  He might as well have bought a Camaro."
CH:  "Julie, all he wanted was a day to himself.  That's it.  He was tricked by Rumpelstiltskin.  He wasn't ditching his family."
ME:  "Bullshit."
CH:  "Whatever."

It made me wonder if all men would see it the same way.  And if so, they are wrong.  And men?  When you are out pricing your Camaro and suddenly lifting weights and trying to talk to the ladies, you are not wanting a day to yourself.  You are having a mid-life crisis. You're welcome, men.  Glad I could be of service to you.

Women have mid-life crises too, but we just have hot flashes and mental breakdowns and get divorces.  Sometimes homicides are involved.  But at least we admit that our behavior is not normal.  It would be interesting to see this in animation. I give you:
PocoHotFlash:  The Death of John Smith
The Little Mermaid Never Stops Crying
Sleeping Former Beauty

I will be waiting by my phone, Disney.

Friday, June 11, 2010

It's Teeniculture Friday! Issue 1

Teeniculture: The industry and science of teens and teen-related topics. Teeniculturists work and conduct research in the disciplines of sarcasm, attitude, mood swings of epic proportions, and coolness. The word is composite, from two words, teen, from Greek meaning "still a child" or "knows more than you", and the word "culture". Like NPR's Science Friday, Teeniculture Friday exists to educate and spark discussion on the science of Teenology. Teeniculture Friday is not for teens. Or their friends. Or their siblings.

Today's topic: What the kids are saying.

I admit it, I get kind of a kick out of teenagers.  When they aren't completely pissing me off, they're funny.  Since the past few weeks have been a little on the vibrator side, I thought maybe it was time for some immature fun, which happens to be my favorite kind.

The other day, Oldest Daughter and I were in the car talking when a Ke$ha song came on.  If you are unfamiliar with Ke$ha, she is a whore.  Or at least she wants you to think she's one.  She also would like you to think she has a drug addiction, multiple personalities, and brushes her teeth with Jack Daniels.  But she's fun at a party, and that excuses most behavior (Point of reference?  Me, high school.)  I start talking to to OD about Ke$ha, and why we will not be friends with the Ke$has in school.  OD responds by rolling her eyes, and then performing her new trick which is to retort to any statement with "YOU do it".
For example:
ME:  "OD, I don't like how Ke$ha is like a love-sick crackhead."
OD:  "YOU'RE a love-sick crackhead!"
ME:  "That's not funny."
OD:  "YOU'RE not funny!"
ME:  "Knock it off."
OD:  "YOU knock it off!"
ME:  (glaring at her in silence)
OD:  "YOU glare in silence!"
She laughs the entire time this goes on, and it's actually pretty funny for the first two minutes, and then it's like she's three all over again and wants to watch Barney.  I get tired of it, so I fume and drive.  OD seems to sense I am a Woman On The Edge, and says this:

"On a scale of 1 to Chris Brown, 
how mad are you?" 

I think that's about the funniest thing ever.  She breaks me. It turns out that there are about a million Facebook pages with similar sentiments.  Here are a few she has 'liked' for your reading pleasure:
"On a scale of 1 to Ke$ha, how drunk are you?"
"Things magically appear when your mom looks for them"
"Where WERE you?  Chill Mom, I was in Narnia"
And then there are the "LOL jk" pages. Thousands of them.
"It's not you, it's me.  LOL jk, it's you."
"I'm ridin' solo...LOL jk, my mom's driving."
"We're all in this together...LOL jk You're all alone" (67K)
"Your tan looks great ...LOL jk Willie Wonka wants you to get back to work" (I million)

It's true.  The Willie Wonka tan page has over 1 MILLION Likers.  My FB fanpage has 252.  Who says teenagers don't have power?  So find a teen.  Befriend them.  Find out what is on their iPod and what Facebook pages they Like, and then go out and do the same thing so it renders the trend uncool.  This is how we keep the teens busy and occupied so they stay sober and un-pregnant.  Trust me, it will be epic.  So Possum.  See how uncool these previously cool teenage words become when I say them?  Double True.

Happy Teeniculture Friday, and have an epic weekend! 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

That Awkward Third Phase

Current Husband and I were married in August of 1995.  That summer, everyone was getting married.  We attended either 14 or 16 weddings between April and September, and being the classy people we are, we prided ourselves on usually arriving at the wedding so late that we were the last people to see the bride before she walked down the aisle.  This was Phase One:  The Marriage.

When I first graduated from college and people started getting married, I was really bad at being a wedding guest.  I never got my RSVP's in on time, I didn't book rooms at the hotels and crashed on people's floors, and I was clueless about gift registries.  I just got them something I thought was cool, like an Annie Liebowitz coffee table book (you know who you are) or placemats or something.  I had no point of reference, and my parents just didn't take me to weddings (with GOOD reason).  I didn't know how to do the Chicken Dance, and thought the Dollar Dance sounded vaguely porno.  I apologize to those couples whose special day was graced with my presence, and my presents.  Once I was engaged and figured out what the hell was going on, I was completely addicted to gift registries, and I loved checking them to be sure people were getting what they wanted.  It was a bit like gambling - "I'm going to say 3 to 1 I'll get 12 place settings in the Mikasa!" - and it all just seemed so happy and fortuitous.  

Then, a few years later, people started having babies.  Lots of babies.  Again, not so good in the baby department myself, OBVIOUSLY.  I didn't like babysitting much, and little babies sort of freaked me out with their ET-Phone-Home-ness, so again, I apologize for the ridiculous baby gifts I doled out.  "Here's a breakable bead necklace, some lead paint blocks, and a Charms Blow Pop for your baby.  Congratulations!  Wanna stay up all night drinking?  No?  Why?"   

This was Phase Two:  The Baby Phase.

I got better at the baby thing when I had a few of my own, and suddenly buying baby gifts was easy...diapers, books, thermometer, multiple onesies, case of wine and one glass.  Now I am a baby gift professional, and I even make those crazy yet functional diaper cakes.  I had a retail store for four years with a baby SECTION.  Don't mess with me.

So now here we are in 2010.  It's been 15 years since CH and I were married, and it has been the best of times and the worst of times.  However, I am finding myself a rookie again, and it's because so many of our friends are contemplating or getting a divorce.  And I am really bad at it.  I want to be exactly what my divorcing friends need, and I'm not always sure what that is, exactly.

It's tricky, le Divorce.  
That awkward third phase.

You're friends with a couple, and then suddenly they are splitting up, and not only do you find yourself taking a "side" in the divorce, but suddenly you find yourself looking at your own spouse and thinking, "hmmmm."  I think it's almost impossible to have someone close to you get divorced without sizing up your own relationship, for better or for worse.

Almost seven years ago, two different friends of mine were getting divorced.  When our group would get together for coffee, they would talk about all of the bad parts about splitting up, but I had a seven-year-old, a four-year-old, and a newborn, and all I could hear was "...and he gets them two nights a week and every other weekend.  Does anyone want to go to a movie?"  One of the women lived across the street from me, and I swear to God, every Friday he would get the kids and she would walk outside with a bottle of champagne and a stack of magazines and sit in her deck chair for two hours, drinking and reading and listening to her iPod.  EVERY. DAMN. FRIDAY.  I would stand with my nose pressed against the glass, watching her and drooling, listening to my kids fight in the background amongst the mess, waiting for CH to show up all crabby and hungry and tired too.

I would fantasize about those two nights alone, able to eat Long John Silver's and drink a 64-ounce Mountain Dew and stay up reading and then sleep, blissfully sleep, until I decided to wake.  One less person to cook for, clean after, do their laundry, listen to.  I could hold the remote.  The seat would always be down.  Sweet freedom. 

So at first, the whole divorce thing sounded great.  And I was bad at being the support friend, because I would vacillate between "get the hell out of there!" and "are you sure about this?"  Now we've been through a few, have a few divorces wrapping up and a few freshly filed, and I have a couple of friends who I know are secretly contemplating it, and I know a little more.  Enough to know that until you've been through one, you have no idea what you are talking about.  You don't know the reasons people are doing it, you don't know what goes on behind closed doors, you don't know the pain or the relief or the technicalities, or sometimes the joy.  Sometimes you're pretty sure it's the right thing, and sometimes you're not so sure.  You just want everyone to come out of it okay.  Unless the husband is a dick, of course.

I hope I'm always married to CH, but there are no guarantees in life.  My wagon is pretty firmly hitched at the moment, but I have learned that the minute you take the whole thing for granted is the moment it starts to slip away.  We try to communicate and make time for just the two of us and not freak out about kids or money or dishwasher issues and my obsession with British men and musicians or my lack of paying work, but marriage is damn hard work.  He's cute, and he laughs at my jokes, so I'm keeping him. 

So teach me, oh wise readers, to be the experienced, empathetic friend of potential divorcees - Do you know people getting divorced?  Have you been divorced?  Do you think there is a prevalent time in relationships when things fall apart?  What do you think are the major factors?  What do you think was the best thing you did for a divorcing friend?  As a divorcee, do you regret it or wish you had done it sooner?  What is the best thing someone did for you during your divorce?  I await your wisdom.

In the meantime, what is the best gift for a friend going through one?  I think I might know:

Monday, June 7, 2010

Here Comes the Son

Eleven years ago today, I woke up at 2 a.m. for my bi-hourly pee.  Only that time, it didn't stop.  At 6 a.m., Current Husband drove me to the hospital, and we walked through the doors for Baby Number Two.

The birth of the Son was my most unpleasant.  Since my water had broken but contractions hadn't started, they had to put me on Pitocin.  Then I started having such hard contractions that I dilated 8 cm in 45 minutes, and there wasn't enough time to get an epidural.  Again.  Mommy was pissed.  CH was having a great time.  When Oldest Daughter was born, he only had time for a bowl of Lucky Charms in the morning, and then didn't eat again until that night.  It was quite traumatic for him, and he wasn't about to go through another harrowing, hungry birth, so he made sure he brought a nice deli sandwich and watched MSNBC while I was hanging onto sanity by my fingernails just a few feet away.

But I'm not bitter, and that's what's important.

Me?  Tired, haggard...yellow, even.
CH?  Happy, well fed, up on business news.

The Son has been about the cutest damn thing ever since.  I can't stand it.  It's true, all of the tales about Momma's Boys and Daddy's Girls.  Maybe it's because I know I'll always be close to my girls, but The Son is on loan to me until some other girl takes the baton and runs.  Let me just apologize to my future daughter-in-law...I know the chances of us getting along are iffy, because I already refer to you in my mind as 'That Bitch Who Had Best Not Break His Heart'.  Please don't take it personally, it's my uterus talking.

 Anyone touching him must prove DNA connection.
Even today.

He is sort of an anomaly in our family.  He's relentlessly cheerful and motivated and determined.  He has a thirst for knowledge and wants to know everything there is to know.  He's funny and optimistic.  CH and I are unsure where we've gone wrong, but somehow we've managed to not break his spirit.  Oldest Daughter watches him and scowls, and calls him The Suck Up.  Youngest Daughter watches him and schemes, and calls him very sweetly when she wants something and very sourly when she doesn't get it.  

He wants to be a vet and a construction worker and a professional basketball/football/baseball player.  And play the piano or drums or guitar in a band.  And be an engineer.  And a professional dog breeder.  Every night at dinner we ask about everyone's favorite part of the day, and every day, The Son lists everything he did, because EVERYTHING was so AMAZING that day.  It's exhausting, really.  How can I continue to bitch about my varicose veins and the beds not being made and the thank you notes not being written when he stands there smiling at me?  It's like kicking a puppy.  So I don't kick the puppy and I sort of growl under my breath about his inability to support my bad mood.

In this photo, I am forcing him to put Preparation H 
on Santa's Cookies for our Christmas card photo.  
Screwing Santa over?  Still smiling!

I sound like I'm complaining.  I'm not.  I love this kid with everything I have.  I just can't understand how he stays so cheerful despite his cranky, curmudgeonly family.  So on those days when I just want to growl, I need to embrace his light.

Here comes The Son, and I say, It's Alright.  Happy Birthday Little Man!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

It's Whoreticulture Friday! Issue 29

Whoreticulture: The industry and science of whores and whore-related topics. Whoreticulturists work and conduct research in the disciplines of OB-GYNery, Brazilian waxers and shavers, adultery, personal hygiene mavens and easy women. The word is composite, from two words, whore, from Greek meaning "harlot" or "dear", and the word "culture". Like NPR's Science Friday, Whoreticulture Friday exists to educate and spark discussion on the science of Whorology. Whoreticulture Friday is not for children. Or squeamish people. Or Mother-In-Laws. (Yes, KAREN, that includes YOU!)

Today's topic: Good Vibrations, Rabbit style.

Last week was all about The BeBe.  This week, we'll discuss a better known and more widely used vibrator, The Rabbit.  The Rabbit was apparently made popular by Sex And The City, which I wouldn't know because we got HBO for the first season, and then Current Husband started the downward spiral against cable television, starting with the premium channels.  So what I'm really telling you is that I have a large gap in my pop culture education.  I have a confession to make - I didn't even SEE the first SATC movie, and I've heard so many bad things about that second one that I have no intentions of seeing it either.  This means I will be unable to participate in about 35% of the conversations women will be having this summer.

To get everyone up to speed, so to speak, here is the SATC clip that made it all famous:

Is anyone else ished out by the fact that Carrie and Miranda just grab the Rabbit, presumably after Charlotte has been using it all afternoon, and the Miranda sticks it in her PURSE?  I love my friends, but there are LIMITS, people.

When people talked about The Rabbit around me, I conjured up an image of a Micheal Graves-looking thing, kind of white and industrial, and actually looking like a rabbit.  
This is a Michael Graves pepper mill.  
But you can see the possibilities.

Instead, I went to the website for The Rabbit, and now every time I go to The Bloggess site, The Rabbit Vibrator comes up in my search history, and I feel a little bit dirty.  When I clicked on the link for The Rabbit, my screen was filled with various versions of this:
 I guess there is a rabbit on there, 
but I'm having a hard time finding it 
next to the HUGE PINK PENIS.

Here is what the people at The Rabbit Vibrator company are saying about this apparently must-have accessory: 
"Very similar to The Original Jack Rabbit Vibrator, Japanese craftsmanship, known very much for its superior quality, takes the Rabbit Pearl Vibrator to a whole new level. If The Original Jack Rabbit Vibrator is the Honda Civic of rabbit vibrators, then the Rabbit Pearl Vibrator is undoubtedly the Acura TSX. Unfortunately, all the analogies in the world wouldn't do justice to this truly amazing vibrator. The moment you slip it in, you're taken to a land of ecstasy, a land that only other Rabbit Pearl Vibrator owners really know. Do yourself a favor, give the Rabbit Pearl Vibrator a ride."
 While this sounds intriguing, I can't get over the image of driving an Acura TSX in my vagina.  Anyone who has birthed three human beings vaginally knows that this isn't entirely out of the realm of possibility.  But that story is for another Whoreticulture Friday.

The other thing I'm thinking about are the Japanese.  Are they the International standard for vibrator craftsmanship?  Does their trade secretary brag about this sort of thing?  "We very good make sex toy."  Do people buy cheaper vibrators and then regret it, as in, "I saved $40 on this rabbit vibrator from Turkey, but it totally doesn't work.  Why did I not go with the Japanese model?"  Wouldn't you expect the best vibrator to be produced in Bangkok?  I worry about these things.

And another thing - don't get me wrong, I love sex, but what honestly takes me to the land of ecstasy is a huge piece of warm chocolate cake with ice cream on top, a superb glass or two of merlot, and the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice.  Colin Firth, you had me at "she's barely tolerable...not enough to tempt me."  And then he dove into the pond with that shirt on ...mee-ow.  If you haven't seen the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice, which aired on A&E, then your life is not complete.  Get thee to a Netflix, stat!  It is the basis for Bridget Jones' Diary, another must-see favorite movie.  But we are talking about The Rabbit, about which Jane Austen never wrote.

SO, in conclusion:
  1. I have no personal experience with a Rabbit.  Partially because I worry my children would find it and be traumatized further than they already are. 
  2. It was on SATC, which should probably mean something.  The writers on that show seemed to be up to speed on sex related topics.
  3. It is similar to driving an Acura into your lady parts.
  4. The Japanese know their shit about dildos, Acuras and sushi.  Coincidence?  I think not.
  5. You need to see the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice.  Seriously people, don't put it off.
Of course, I would LOVE to hear about your experiences with The Rabbit.  And so would CH, honestly, because he does read all of this stuff religiously in case I write about him.

Happy Whoreticulture Friday, and have a great weekend!


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Channeling Jerry Lewis

Last night The Son had a baseball game (which I now enjoy and yell things like "Nice cut!" and "Be a hitter!" and "Good eye!" like the other crazy mothers.  I'm sure they'll take me to the dugout soon and wipe the blood of a sacrificed umpire on my head and the conversion will be complete)During the game, I had to hold napkins on my lap so I could occasionally blot my chin, which was dripping oily blister juice, and put them between my damp blistery chest and my t-shirt since I was sticking.  Really, I'm too damn sexy for my shirt.  So sexy it hurts.  Really.  It hurts.

Last night before I went to bed I covered myself in gauze strips and band-aids so as to not stick to clothing or sheets, but after a restless night of gauze slippage, I declared that a Total Fail.  This morning, Current Husband walked around the corner into the kitchen, jumped and yelled "AHH!" when he saw me standing in a black strapless bra and underwear, gauze strips hanging off of me, hair up in a pony tail, groggy-eyed and taking my first sip of coffee. 
ME:  "WHAT."
CH:  "Nothing, you just startled me."
ME:  "What startled you?  I'm always in here."
CH:  "Uh, the crusty gauze strips are a little scary.  Like Frankenstein."
ME:  "I can't HELP this, you know."
CH:  "It's time to see a doctor."

And so I finally bit the bullet and made an appointment at 11:30 a.m. today.  When checking in at the front desk, the receptionist took a good look at my huge is-it-nuclear-radiation-or-is-it-herpes rash and didn't really want to take my insurance card.  "OH, your copay is $45?  Keep it, I'll just mark it on the chart.  You can write your check here."  Because obviously she expected me to come out of the office in a HAZMAT suit and unable to write checks.

I went back to the exam room and they did the vitals, and then the PA came in.  She looked at my chin and very seriously went "Hmmm" and "wow".
PA:  "So this is the only place you have it?"
ME:  "Oh no, there's more."  (I open my shirt to reveal Alaska after a statewide forest fire)
PA:  (flinches and puts her hand over her mouth) "OH MY GOD, why did you wait so long to come in here!  Oh my God...where else?"
ME:  (lifting shirt up) "Well it's here on my stomach, and there are these strips down the sides of my abdomen, and I have it on both hips, those are starting to weep, and then I have new bumps on my arm and my thigh, and I'm concerned about these new bumps on my cheeks..."
PA:  (has backed away and is writing a prescription)  "You are going on some hardcore Prednisone.  And the next time you get even a small bump that looks like this, you are a High Reactor - you need to call us and we will get you on something immediately.  Do you understand?"
ME:  "Prednisone?  Will this make me blow up like Jerry Lewis?"
PA:  "It is a small price to pay to get rid of it."

And then the seriousness of the situation sinks in.  This woman is willing to let me look like Jerry Lewis to get rid of this stuff.  Holy crap, I could look like this:

I am now moving away from this:

And getting terrifyingly close to this:

Because my understanding is that Prednisone makes you blow up like someone is shooting air into you.  Hello, poolside!

The PA said, "Do you have anywhere you need to be this week?" and I said "No, this week is pretty slow."  She said, "Good.  I want you to wear a tube-top strapless flowy dress, with no bra or underwear.  You need to let these sores dry up and heal without friction on them."  Then she added, "Oh, and with the Prednisone?  You'll need to EAT.  And I'm not talking about a Diet Coke and a bag of crackers.  I mean actually EAT something."

Okay, now tell me the BAD news.  Because you are one People magazine and a Project Runway marathon away from making me the happiest girl alive.

Here is what I was wearing the day I got into the chipmunk-clearing sumac:
I am sure that I whacked the mutant poisonous evil sumac, smacked at a bug on my chin, then used my right hand to adjust my left bra strap and then pull up my shorts, thus giving me blistering creepiness on my chin, left chestal region, and right hip, and then the oils just started spreading from there.  Here is my post-trauma outfit:

That's right.  It's Julie Ho, Don's wife.  

I just need a scotch on the rocks, rollers in my hair, and a ciggie in my fingers and the look will be complete.  And?  I'm not wearing any underwear.  And let me just tell you that this picture doesn't even do the patches justice.  There is a huge red ring around each of these darker red areas, and they are scabbilicious.  And they seep oil constantly, which is why I have my hair in a ponytail, because my hair keeps getting caught in it.  My God, I'm gorgeous.  And the farmer's tan from gardening?  Even better.  Producers of Real Housewives of Iowa?  I'm waiting by the phone for my call.

In the interim, I'm too sexy.  Too sexy for my shirt.  I hope our dinner guests Friday night have strong stomachs and enjoy eating with Jabba the Hutt, because I may just be in my Princess Leia bikini to serve.  

Well played, chipmunks.  Well played.  You little bastards.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mother vs. Nature, part 2

Continued from last night...

So Todd and I are  battling mutant rodents in the yard in hand to hand combat, but they are retaliating by bringing in giant rabid raccoons to crap next to the house.  I decided to eliminate their cover by hacking through the jungle of weeds and hedges that abut the garden.  As I'm climbing behind the garden fence with my pruners in hand, I swear I hear little squeaky voices saying, "Stanley!  Grab a beer and a camcorder, this is going to be great!" and another squeaky voice saying, "The dumb bitch is going to fall for it!" and a third, deeper voice yelling, "Alvin!"

I cut back into the weedy growth and hedges about a foot, so if the chipmunks are approaching the fence, we can see them and use our 30 foot flamethrower to incinerate them.  However, about 12 hours later, I realize that I have been handling this:
 Say hello to poison sumac.

It started as a little bug bite on my family gobbler chin.  I sort of absentmindedly scratched it, and thought, "Huh.  I need to use bug repellent."  Then it sort of spread, and then I could feel it developing on my chest where my bra strap would be, and then on my hip, and I thought, "Uh oh." Because whenever I get into poison ivy, oak, and now sumac, I turn into a balls-out leper.  Think I'm kidding?  Get a load of this action:

 This picture?  Is actually flattering.
I have a patch of this the size of a tea saucer on my chest, and a long 2-3 inch wide strip from my abdomen down my hip on either side.  At least I can rest assured that I will not get pregnant this month.  Glass half full!

You might be asking yourself, "Self, what is poison sumac like?"  Well, you are in luck, because my public humiliation is your learning tool.  It burns like when James bit Bella on the arm and Edward had to suck it out but he wasn't sure if he could stop. (By the way, why didn't Edward's eyes turn red after sucking Bella's blood?  Huh?)  It is blistery and oily and crusted over, and looks like there are tiny disgusting water balloons all over me.  Tonight I was working on the porch, my FAVORITE place in the world at this time of year, and Youngest Daughter was eating a bag of Cheetos in a nearby rocking chair.  Suddenly, out of NOWHERE, she throws down her bag of Cheetos and yells at me.  "I wish you had never gotten into that poison stuff because your face is so disgusting I can't eat!" and she stomped out of the room, crying.
YES, my face makes children cry.

And?  Oldest Daughter had to tell me my chin was dripping as I drove her to school today, which is every middle schooler's dream next to having her mom show everyone the Thriller dance in the middle school gym.  I had to carry a napkin with me to the Son's baseball game tonight so I could soak up my disgusting sap on the bleachers with the other parents.  They all gave me a wide berth.  I'm also lactating boil secretions through my shirt, and it's been a long time since I've secreted or lactated.  Yay, me!  Even Todd "Hot Nuts" Epstein is eying me funny.  

So I guess I am on house arrest for the week, because this is really too disgusting for words.  When I was 11 I got the chicken pox and had my mom get me a yellow shirt with glitter rainbow letters that said, "POXY LADY" because weirdly enough I loved Jimi Hendrix back then.  I mean, I love him now, but at 11?  I was ahead of my time.  So I'm thinking of what t-shirts I could get for this.  Here are some ideas:
  1.  "Kiss me, I'm a leper!
  2. "You should see the other guy!"
  3. "It's not syphilis - yet."
  4. "Kiss the Cook!"
  5. "Crusty the Clown Did This To Me"
  6. "Seeking Pro Bono Dermatologist"
So the chipmunks have won this battle, but they have not won the war.  I plan to give them smallpox infested blankets and acorns rubbed in cold sores.  If they want to go to dermatological warfare, bring it on, baby.  I got all summer.