Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I Don't Know How She Does It

I attended a very lovely graduation party last weekend, and no less than three people gave me crap about not posting on my blog, which is flattering that they care, of course, but then I start getting antsy and my chardonnay seems less crisp and cold and I start thinking about all of the things I need to do that aren't getting done, and as I looked at every woman at this very large party, every one of whom was impeccably dressed and seemed to have their shit together, I thought,

"I don't know how she does it."

I say this about approximately three in every five women I meet.  Single, married, working, at-home, multiple children, no children.  They all seem to know what they are doing.  Here is what I know for sure - I like food, I have children, my clothes are probably wrinkled and/or inexplicably stained, and I am always Beverage Impaired.  After that, it's all a crapshoot.

I recently read Tina Fey's book, Bossypants (which I loved, by the way).  In it, Fey says the bolded statement above is the worst thing you can say to her.  Here is an excerpt from her book:

"How do you juggle it all," people constantly ask me, with an accusatory look in their eyes. "You're screwing it all up, aren't you?" their eyes say. My standard answer is that I have the same struggles as any working parent but with the good fortune to be working at my dream job. Or I just hand them a juicy red apple I've poisoned in my working-mother-witch-cauldron and fly away.

About six years ago, a friend and I sought the answer to the "How Do Good Moms Do It?" question like Indiana Jones searched for the Holy Grail.  Was it through the use of well-organized binders with color coding and menu plans?  Was it through gluten-free, sugar-free, and video game-free lives?  Was it through carefully scattered vintage postcards and framed family photographs, organized by season and decade and kept in hermedically sealed Rubbermaid Tubs in the storage facility sectioned off by month and seasonal holiday themes?  Was it through the generous and abundant use of Xanax?  Perhaps only truly good mothering was to be hired off to an army of housekeepers and tennis/golf/sailing/engineering lessons with the "right" coach and college-aged nannies on speed dial.  Because we know people who have done all of these things and more, and on the surface, they all seem to be Norman Rockwell families with The Answer. 

We also talked about the book "I Don't Know How She Does It," by Allison Pearson, at great length.  I've been all the flavors of professional motherhood - full time working, part time working, owed my own business from a store, owned my own business from home, full time at-home mom, and guess what?  The employment situtation does NOT make the mother.  I was, and am, the same type of mom no matter how many hours I spent working outside or inside the home - disorganized, well-intentioned, funny yet slightly manic depressive and a totally incompetent housekeeper.  In the words of the great philosopher Popeye, "I yam what I yam."

"I Don't Know How She Does It" and the like do women a disservice by basically saying you ruin your children by working outside the home.  You can also equally ruin your children by devoting your every breathing moment to them by being at home all the time, or worse, re-living your childhood through them.  I know women who are really awesome volunteers at the school, who do it for the betterment of the school and the kids, and I know women who use their "status" at the school as a tool to bully other moms and make them think they are "less than", which really pisses me off, because aren't we all just trying as hard as we can?  Give a sister a break!  However, Betty Freidan also did women a disservice by essentially putting forth in "The Feminine Mystique" that women should say To Hell With All That and leave the home behind them.  Where is the happy medium?  Why can't we work and donate store-bought cookies without judgement?  Why can't we be at home and blow off one volunteering "opportunity" without judgement?  Why can't we be without judgement? 

Sarah Jessica Parker is starring in the movie version of "I Don't Know How She Does It", which is already a tiny bit disappointing because it is now American, whereas before it was set in London, and I do love me a British accent in my films.  Here is the trailer:

So after six years of careful study, here is my conclusion...are you ready?  The working moms generally love to work outside the home, love the paycheck, wish they had more vacation or could work out a schedule of three or four in-office days a week.  They feel guilty when there is a child event and they get to see other moms who don't work in action.  The at-home moms love being at home but some days are going stark raving mad and just want to dress up in something nice and feel respected, and feel guilty when their daughter raves about the mom who is the doctor.  There is a consensus in both camps that they would like it if someone else would PLEASE CLEAN UP THE DAMN KITCHEN.

The best nugget of parenting wisdom? 
"To each her own."

News Flash - there is no "right" way to do it, and anyone who tells you that she's got it down pat is completely delusional and should be given a pitying hug and a chocolate.  Every home has a closet with No Vacancy for skeletons, and for the people who look perfect, you don't know what goes on behind closed doors and applause to them for making it look so awesome, but realize that they cry themselves to sleep sometimes too.  The best thing that could happen is that we all stop being our own worst critics.  By the way?  Sometimes those people who look like they have The Answer actually do - sometimes they are honestly happy, well-balanced people, and we can all quit mocking them for being happy.  (But we can still be a little bit jealous, that's okay.)

And so, I propose The Ovarian Revolution. 

The first rule of the OR is that you don't talk about the OR.  Oh, wait, wrong club.  The first rule of the OR is Love Thy Ovaries, Love Thy Self.  Sorry guys, but we DO actually do more than you do, and we should stop the self-flagellation and go out and buy ourselves a drink and get a pedicure.  I'm willing to bet OPI will name a color after the OR, like "O-Vary Pink" or "Good in the Kitchen, Better in Red" or "Volunteer Violet" or "Working Mom Wine".  Then we should all get on a comfy couch and watch an Italian film and dream of Tuscany.  We'll always have Tuscany, darling.

Ovarian Toes Unite!  This rant is over.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Call of the Sirens

Current Husband always seems to know when to get the hell out of Dodge.

Growing up in Nebraska, I loved tornadoes.  My parents, being the responsible people they were in the mid-70's, would have people over, light candles and cigarettes, crack open the booze, and have a party.  We'd all stand outside, or right in front of the eight huge plate-glass windows in my house that looked over the lake, and watch the storm roll in.  Yay!  Fun!

I had Oldest Daughter in 1997, and my first tornado warning came when she was about three months old.  Instead of the rush of adrenaline I usually felt, I was shocked to feel abject terror.  "WHERE IS THE DIAPER BAG? WHERE IS THE BLANKET? WHERE IS THE CAR SEAT?  WHERE IS THE DOG?  WHERE IS OUR WILL?  WHERE IS THE BABY!?!?"  I sat huddled in the corner of our basement, surrounded by water bottles, flashlights, baby supplies, and the phone, lying over the top of the baby strapped in the car seat, praying to the Jesus of my youth.  CH?  He was at work.  He didn't even know there was a tornado warning.  No Yay.  No Fun.  I'm sure I probably yelled at him later, because clearly he should have driven home in a Tornado Warning so we could all die together.  I wasn't exactly lucid back then.

Fast forward to yesterday.  Current Husband has a trip to Chicago planned, so he leaves.  He calls around 4 p.m. to say that the weather is looking rough in our area, so keep an eye on The Weather Channel.  Okay, sure, Thanks Junior Meteorologist.  Sure enough, around 6 p.m. our tornado sirens go off.

In the past year or so, the Quad Cities has changed their warning system so that the sirens go off when there is a Thunderstorm Warning AND a Tornado Warning.  Let me tell you how Quad Citians have reacted to this change - they now ignore the siren.  When we moved here five or six years ago, if that siren went off, it not only blared, but there was a Hitler-like voice that yelled with it, no shit, that said something along the lines of, "This is a Tornado Warning.  Take shelter immediately!" AND YOU DID IT.  It might as well have yelled "SCHNELL!  SCHNELL!  ACHTUNG SIE BITTEN!" because you knew something wicked this way comes.  Now?  You hear the siren and think, "When I finish this chapter I'll get up and make sure it isn't a Tornado Warning."  It's the equivalent of crying wolf.  It's a Storm Warning System Fail.  The end.

BACK TO PRESENT DAY...actually, yesterday...
So I round up the kids, a comforter, my laptop, my purse, and the dog, and head downstairs.  Why my purse?  Because it has my cell phone, my cash, my ID, my credit and debit cards, my car keys, my reading glasses, Tums, Zyrtec, cough drops, Aleve, my Von Maur card...all of the things one needs in an emergency.  I get the kids and George the Superpet in what seems to be a safe room, and open my laptop so I can be a stormtracker on weather.com, but of course, pictures of Joplin, Missouri pop up on the screen, and my kids FREAK. OUT.  I explain that is not a picture of our weather here, and then try and talk them off the ledge.

I turn on our flashlight/weather radio, and the National Weather Service is announcing where the wall cloud/funnel has been spotted, and what do you know? THE TORNADO IS CALLING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE.  Or it might as well be.  Now I'm a little nervous.  CH starts literally phoning it in.  He is texting, "how are you guys?" and "hang in there" and "it's almost over", which in some ways is really sweet and in some ways I'm thinking, "If you are texting from Dick's Last Resort on Navy Pier with a bucket of Bud Light I will kill you."

George the Superpet finds this an appropriate time to start dog-farting, which quickly earns him a spot Outside of The Comforter.  I don't need a Dutch Oven from my dog in times of crisis.  Youngest Daughter decides this would be an appropriate time to develop restless leg syndrome, and The Son thinks maybe he should lie down and listen to Eminem on his iPod - "Lose yourself in the moment, you own it, you better never let it go...."  Oldest Daughter can't wait to bust out of the Panic Room, and she is rolling her eyes so much I wonder if she is having a seizure.  Nope.  Still just a teenager.  False alarm.

After 45 minutes of this Quality Time, the sirens stop and we emerge unscathed.  Youngest Daughter begs to sleep with me in CH's spot, and I acquiese, because it will be nice to have someone there, but at 2 a.m., after four hours of nonstop kicking, I cry uncle and move her to her bed.  I go to work this morning on under 5 hours of sleep, and had to do a cello lesson run and a baseball game tonight.  I was Really. Really. Tired.

How do they end up sideways?  This was taken at midnight,
so CH could see what he was missing.

At the baseball game, it's the top of the 6th and our team is losing, and the opposing team's coach has his undies in a bunch for some reason and is complaining to the umpire, and I take a look around.  It's a lovely spring night.  The park is green and there are beautiful tall trees all around us.  There are kids playing ball on three fields I can see, and I watch people walking their dogs to the nearby dog park. 

And then I think of the people in Joplin, Missouri, and my heart breaks.

Their night is nothing like mine.  Those horrible pictures of the neighborhoods and hospital all smashed, the trees all torn up and stripped of bark, the cars tossed all over and flattened, the death toll.  My husband texted that he loved us, and I am so grateful that we are okay and able to tell him we love him back in person when he returns.  We can bicker about petty calls in baseball, and drive back to our homes when the game is over and know where we will sleep tonight.  So I made a donation to The American Red Cross, who show up in domestic times of disaster, are able to mobilize quickly, get people in touch with their loved ones, and get them immediate shelter.  Here is information from their website, at http://www.redcross.org/:

The Red Cross depends on financial donations to help in times of disaster. Those who want to help people affected by disasters like tornadoes, floods and wildfires, as well as countless crises at home and around the world, can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. This gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS; people can also text the word “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to local American Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

Texting the $10 donation was easy easy easy.  I should do it again and again until CH speeds back to wrest the phone from my charitable hand.  But he isn't here now, is he?  If everyone would just do that easy $10 text one time?  A big big difference, not just for good old Mizzou, but for the recent disasters across the South as well. 

Have a good week, Wifers, and in the words of Edward Cullen, "Be Safe".

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It's Whoreticulture Friday!
Issue 63

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. Or people I work with. Or neighbors who are raising feral cats.

Today's topic: The Footskin Interview
Hello Wifers!  Welcome to the FIRST EVER Whoreticulture Friday interview.  I've been hearing a lot lately about Foot Aversion.  When an Attorney Friend Who Works For An Unnamed Corporation in Kansas City experienced some unwelcome foot intercourse, I decided to investigate.  Reporting from the Quad Cities, home of Fred Garvin, male prostitute.

Hello, Anonymous Attorney.

Hello Julie.

Can you tell my readers what happened to you?

Simply put, I was laid feet on.

Could you elaborate?  I mean REALLY elaborate (we need about 750 words)?

Um, okay.  My doctor said I need to learn how to de-stress and recommended Yoga, as opposed to a bottle of wine and a good book which was my go to de-stresser.

Let me just interject to say that your doctor sounds like a pain in the ass.  Please go on.

Since my stress isn't going anywhere, I started going to yoga once a week. I was already a bit skittish about all the exposed feet. I have issues with feet. Particularly, women with man feet. I'm very open minded when it comes to people and their orientations. Be who you are and all that. More power to you. Except, when it comes to feet. It is confusing and slightly disturbing to me to see unpainted gnarly toenails on a woman because frankly, men's feet are their least attractive feature. Don't get me wrong, I love men. I just think their feet should be covered. To see a woman with man feet is just discombobulating to me. Painted toes look well groomed. A well pedicured foot may be just as dirty as the next foot but my mind falls for the illusion of cleanliness.

I'm going to tell you that I'm happy you can't see my feet right now, because I left my last pedicure polish on too long (love to stretch that $30 over two months!) and I have a slight fungus on my toenails, so now they have to breathe.  In short, my feet now have a penis.  Back to you, this is your story.

Yoga is all about being barefooted so I've been very desensitized to my foot phobia. I've seen all kinds of feet--painted and unpainted. Cracked, bunion ridden and slightly decaying on the soles. I just kept my poses and deepened my breathing. I really have made progress until Monday, when the male instructor for Yoga Basics was in charge. He's excellent at yoga but doesn't have the same soothing style as my favorite female instructor. He's more chatty and loud. He's former military. He's hippie and militant at the same time. He cases the room for his victims and presses them deeper into their poses. This time he found me.

I was in the bridge pose. Which is when you rise from your back and you balance on all fours. My feet were planted at the bottom of my mat when all of a sudden the teacher stood on the tops of my feet with his BARE MAN FEET. Correction, sweaty bare man feet. You know how it feels when you shake hands with someone with sweaty palms? That is how it felt on the top of my feet. He stood there while he explained to the class how we must keep our feet firmly planted on the floor. I started to shake. I could feel hysteria, and the bile rising in my throat. Just when I thought I couldn't take it any more, he stepped off and surveyed the room for his next target. However, my traumatized feet moved out of position and WHAM! he was on them again like a hawk on its prey.

The bridge pose will never be the same for me.

I gave myself a bleach soak when I got home while drinking a bottle of wine and reading a good book.

So he got on your feet, dominated them, and then left you in the wet spot.  It's like he didn't even care how your feet felt.  Your feet certainly got nothing out of it.  On another topic, do you ever hear anyone fart in yoga? I had a farter in one of my yoga classes.

No. Surprisingly not. Snoring or really scary deep raspy breathing.

Have you ever looked up and seen a down dog that has made you want to throw up?

Yes but too traumatic to recall.

That's a lawyerly answer.  I want dirt.  Is there any chance your feet got pregnant?

His feet seemed neutered.

What sort of legal action can be taken for a foot violation?  

Restraining order definitely.

When his feet touched yours, did you hear the disco music in the background like on General Hospital when Luke raped Laura (and led to their marriage)?

No. It was more like bad Yanni musak.

If Yanni is good enough for Krystle Carrington, he's good enough for me. 
If his feet touch yours again, are you going to ask him to give you a toe ring?

I would need see his credit score first. I'm nothing if not practical.

And you might want to get tested for warts.  Just saying. 
Thank you, Anonymous Attorney for an Unnamed Corporation in Kansas City, for sharing your story.  I sincerely hope this pedi-phile keeps his dirty digits off of your bridge in the future.  Perhaps he should put a tube sock on it.

Happy Whoreticulture Friday, Wifers, and remember - feet in thongs don't deserve to be fondled, but it's more likely they will be than if you are wearing Clarkes.  Safety first.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Don't. Say. It.

Have you ever had a day when you wake up and discover you are out of coffee while remembering that you are on Day 2 of Another Period On Your Great March Toward Menopause and you realize you are late and still have to make the kids appealing yet nutritious lunches, only to find that the little buggers ate all the snack packs of chips over the weekend but left the big empty bag in the cabinet, thus giving the appearance that you are NOT out when you went to the grocery store the day before?  AND you forgot the coffee?

Have you ever had a day when you drove to work yawning the whole way and remembering that you are somewhat iron deficient during that time of the month and that you need to schedule both a pap smear and mammogram because they are both overdue and yours always turn out irregular, thus making you THINK you have cancer and writing goodbye letters to your family, only to thankfully find on the third test that you don't, in fact, have cancer yet, and you're so relieved that you forget to delete the letters and your husband finds them months later and thinks you're suicidal and he's totally missed all of the signs.  And then you get to work and the first middle-aged man you see says, "How's the Hooker today?" and in your mind you say, "A fucking hooker on the verge of homocide, you jackwad" but then you realize that not only have you joked about the hooker thing but that you are having your period and might black out while kicking him over and over with the steel-toed Danskos you just HAPPENED to wear to work that day and your review is next week so maybe not such a great idea?

Have you ever had a day where you shoved so much food in your mouth while thinking, "I'm having my period, I NEED THIS!" and at the same time thinking "Holy shit I'm getting fat and I'm seeing college friends in July and high school friends in November, I need to eat a tapeworm" and then saying out loud, "I'd like a Whopper Jr. and a Diet Coke...with sprinkles" and pulling ahead to pay?

Have you ever had a day when you were irrationally pissed off and could lead a co-worker who looked at you wrong around by the short hairs, making him sing "Sweet Caroline" and tell you you're Number One?  Have you ever had a day when you looked at all of your friends' vacation pictures on Facebook and then spent an hour at work researching flights to island resorts and pre-ordering your umbrella-and-pineapple laden drinks?

Have you ever had a day when you complain to your husband about your lower back pain, your bloating, your upgrade to purchasing Ultra Super Lamb size tampons, but if he was to say, "Geez, who's having their period?" you would shove the rest of your king-sized Symphony bar in your mouth and drop-kick him in the giblets? 

Or you started crying because:
  • You overcooked the pasta.  
  • The scanner wouldn't work for a project you need done by Thursday.  
  • The dog's paws were covered in mud and he walked in the kitchen. 
  • You thought about all the lonely people, and where DO they all come from?
All within a four-hour time period?

You didn't? 

Oh.  It must just be me.  Never mind.

Just two or three more days to go, then.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Best in Show

On Friday, I went to the doctor and found out that I have yet another respiratory infection, which results in me hacking up gross things the size of a marble and coughing all night.  If I wasn't sexy enough, this is putting me over the top.  It's unfair, really.  The doctor put me on Zithromax and a bumped up inhaler to Albuterol, and told me to use the neti-pot and take Zyrtek.  I was telling a friend about this and realized, "Oh holy shit, I'm so old all I can talk about are my medical problems."  I should be in a deli, getting lox and bagels and saying, "Oy, Levi, my chest, it feels like I have a matzo ball stuck in it."

I decided I needed to rally.  We went to a friend's house for dinner, and this friend happens to own three lovely Corgis and shows them.  In the discussion, we found that she was actually in the middle of a two-day show, and asked The Son if he would like to tag along to help.  Dogs?  Helping?  His sisters weren't asked? Of course he's in!

Our friend picked him up at 7:30 a.m.  On Sunday mornings, I'm not quite lucid then, so I waved goodbye, braless and in my pajama shorts, and crawled back in bed.  I told our friend I would be there between 9 and 10 to check out the show and get The Son.  At 9 a.m., I decided to take a shower, so we didn't get out the door until 9:45, and then I realized I needed $5 cash to get into the show.  Youngest Daughter went with me, and immediately announced in the car that she needed Kleenex and possibly Skittles.  I stopped at the nearest convenience store, a Dollar General, and bought Kleenex with the idea that I could get cash.  In the checkout lane, I didn't get the cash option when I ran my debit card. "We don't offer that anymore."  Crap.  Okay, I need some Kilz primer for my basement walls, so I pulled up at the next store, K&K Hardware.  I ran inside with YD, bought a gallon of Kilz, a brush, and some flamingo stringed lights because they appealed to the white trash in me.  I'm in the checkout lane, and $50 later I discover they also do not give cash back for debit cards.  WHA?  Now I'm 30 minutes late and out $80 total. 

There is a bank across the street from the hardware store.  I decide to bite the bullet on the ATM fees and just get out some cash.  I get my $5, all is well, I'm driving toward the Expo Center and...NO.  You have GOT to be kidding me.  I get my period.  On my way to a warehouse full of dogs, who will all look up when I walk in, lift their noses in the air, sniff, and then bark out, "Tough break, lady." Or try to hump me.  But these are well behaved dogs, and they neither bark nor hump.  At least not without a command or a treat.

I tour the facility with Youngest Daughter, and I'm dying.  Most of the people showing dogs there appear to be normal, lovely people who love dogs.  But some of them?  Are from the movie "Best in Show". 

It's real, people. 

My friend informed me the night before that Best in Show is actually closer to a documentary than fictitious movie.  George the Superpet would last about a minute in here before he would be escorted out in shame.  I tried to take pictures, and then I tried to upload them, but so far all I've ended up with is this picture and a crashed Blackberry:

This is of a whole line of dogs being groomed,
but of course, Techno Granny can't get the shot.

I got a picture of a woman with her dog by her side and her dog grooming comb stuck in the top of her ponytail.  I got a picture of some Maltese with their ponytail on top and their side fur from their jowls all wrapped up so it didn't ruin the grooming (and when I asked the owner if I could take their picture she said in a very fatigued and put-upon way, "Thank you for asking!").  I got a picture of about 6 adorable St. Bernards lined up.  I did not get a picture of the couple bickering in front of me about how maybe the dog didn't do well because of the handler, not the dog.  I did not get a picture of the woman in her floor-length hot pink North Face parka with her Chanel sunglasses and Gwen Stefani lipstick, barking orders at her male companion while he blow-dried the Scottish Terrier they seemed to claim.  I did not get a picture of the woman fastening silver halogenic David Bowie-esque "Ground Control to Major Tom" capes around her brindle Boxers.  I did not get the best in show of the pictures to be had.

And that, my friends, is a Damn Shame.

The closest I've come to a dog show before this is watching the Westminster Dog Show with Current Husband in the dating/early years of our marriage, when we would make strawberry dacquiris and eat nachos while wagering which dog was going to win.  I highly recommend a dog show to anyone who hasn't been.  There is an agility competition nearby on Father's Day weekend, and I'm going to cut a hole in one of my purses for a secret Dog Cam, and get the dacquiris chilling.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Clash of the Phitens

Let me preface this post by saying that it is really effing hot here, which is convenient because I had nothing left to bitch about.  When it is hot, I need to hydrate, and my hydration of choice is special German water:

Mmm.  Das ist Gut.

Actually, I have enjoyed two ice-cold glasses of this German delight and a large cock someone gave me for my birthday:

I was going to say something about this cock being very erect,
but I don't know most of you and am not sure how much you can take.
My mother, however, is laughing.

So anyway, it is hot, I've been drinking, and I've just made a major purchase.  Those of you with boys older than 8 may be familiar with the Phiten necklace.

The Phiten is a piece of rope that has a presumably toxic metallic dust in it that retailers sell to anyone who wants to appear to be an athlete, or is an actual paid endorsement athlete.  The faux athlete pays $30 to over $100 for the priviledge of wearing said piece of rope around their neck.

This is the Phiten necklace:

This is the Phiten philosophy:
At Phiten, we focus our energy to develop products that work for you. We got our start by trying to help a friend in need. Today, after extensive research and development, we are helping people enhance their quality of life all around the globe, building on our Phiten philosophy of health, energy and well-being.

Origin of our Name: Phiten

Based on the Greek letter PHI Φ and the exponent 10, we crafted a name which symbolizes our goal: maximizing the perfect balance found in the natural world.

Ahhh.  It's Greek.  Like the people who founded the Olympics!

This is the Phiten founder:

What the...?!? 
Long Duck Dong is a billionaire?

Oh come ON, that is not racist, he does look like the Donger.  You know, from Sixteen Candles!  He certainly does not look like Jake Ryan, and that is good because of my recent discovery that Jake Ryan encourages date rape.  The Donger does not.

This guy is laughing because he is RICH!  RICH, I tell you!  At an average of $40 a pop, every kid in little league baseball and 70% of the middle school population is wearing these things.  Oldest Daughter got one for Christmas, and The Son decided he needed one for baseball.  Oy.  I took him to Dick's Sporting Goods, which makes him laugh every time, and perused the Phiten display.  The Son wanted a 22", I selected a nice 18".  I explained to The Son that besides being $10 cheaper, and I am cheap, it would fit him better.  The Son disagreed.  We took one to the checkout area, and just as it was rung up, The Son changed his mind.

We went back to the Phiten display.   Upon further discussion, he selected a 22" that he liked.  We were going to be late to pick up Oldest Daughter, so okay okay okay, ring it up!  We set off the alarms going out of the store, to the stares of those walking in.

On the way to pick up OD, The Son put on his Phiten and started to worry.  "Is it too big?" he said, as it hung down mid-chest.  "I personally think 22" is too big, as I told you in the store," I said.   "But it's up to you."  By the time we picked OD up from cello, he was in a full blown panic.  He had made the wrong choice.  It was the wrong Phiten.  His life was irrevocably altered.  I picked up OD and turned to drive back to Dick's.  (hee hee)

We walked into Dick's, set off the alarms, walked back to the Phiten display, and let OD, the seasoned Middle Schooler who knows what is cool, select it.   We got the same cashier, who was now ringing us up for the third time and was no longer laughing at my jokes.  We walked out, set off the alarms one more time, and got in the car.  The Son had his Jock Jewelry, OD had her cool creed reaffirmed, and I was out $35 for some voodoo rope.  Long Duck Dong was laughing even harder as he counted his money.

The Son admitted I was right the first time about the placebo necklace.  Not that it is a .50 piece of rope with the word "Phiten" on it, but that it was too big.  He is going to wait until he is college and 'roided out before he can upgrade to the 22", and then he will say, "I am truly a man" as he snaps it shut. 

But next time his mommy picks something out for him?  He's not Phiten it.
(Oh yeah.  I went there.)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Of Mussolini, Motherhood, and Margaritas

If we're going to be clear about anything on this blog, let it be this - as a mother, I'm not an A+.  I wouldn't even say I'm a B+.  I'm probably a pretty solid B, with some B- days.  A lot like my college GPA, but I tried a lot less there.  (Sorry Mom and Dad.  It's true.  I was a world-class slacker.)

I hope you all had a lovely Mother's Day.  Let me tell you about mine.  The only real requirement I have for Mother's Day is that I get to eat out somewhere.  Usually I prefer it's somewhere I like, which means they serve alcohol in one of the four meal drinking groups:  Bloody Mary, Beer, Margarita, Wine.

8 a.m. -  Current Husband grumbled "Happy Mother's Day" as I got out of bed to make coffee for myself.  By 9:15, I'm drinking the coffee I made, watching the kids start to eat Garden Salsa Sun Chips because everyone is hungry, and eyeing CH, who is still asleep in bed.  "Fuck it", I think to myself, and make everyone pancakes.  CH smells pancakes, rolls out of bed and comes to the table, and Youngest Daughter says, "Happy Father's Day!"  The other kids quickly shush her, and angry whisper, "It's MOTHER'S Day!"  An uneasy silence descends.  They quickly throw a card about feral cats and a Starbucks gift card at me.  I am temporarily sated.

10 a.m. - I announce everyone is going outside to do yardwork.  The Son picks up a shovel, puts it in the ground, and comes around the corner, holding his shoulder and wincing.  Here is what he says:

"Um, Mom, I know how you hate it when we hurt ourselves, but I think I've done something really bad to my shoulder."

OUCH.  Do I really have such a hissy fit when they get hurt that their first impulse is to swallow back the bile of pain and apologize for inconveniencing me?  I guess that makes me a summa cum laude graduate of the Mussolini School of Mothering.  So I call CH out and tell him to take The Son to Urgent Care.  Hello!  I made the pancakes!

11:00 a.m. - They leave.  Breakfast is off the table, and so is brunch.  I go to Home Depot and buy 15 bags of sand for the flagstone walkway I want, four bags of wet potting soil, and four bags of mulch.  I carry said bags of sand, soil, mulch, and flagstone. 

3 p.m. - CH and The Son come home - his arm is in a sling, and they say he needs an MRI.  Last week, Oldest Daughter came home from school with a headache, and the school suggested I take her to a neurologist, so I'm not sure if everyone is trying to save themselves from potential lawsuits or they think my children are Seconds From Disaster.

4 p.m. - I am now sweating like a hog and have two days of stubble in my pits and three weeks of stubble on my legs (I know - CH is one lucky son-of-a-bitch).  The men announce they are hungry after three hours in urgent care, and I don't have time to shower, since everything will fill up shortly.  Anywhere that serves liquor is going to require a shower, unless we take the kids to a motorcycle bar, and honestly I would probably get kicked out of there as well.  The Son is hungry and slinged up.  "This is not about me," I have to repeat to myself.  "If you choose a margarita over your son's comfort, you are a rotten bitch who deserves food poisoning AND chlamydia."  (Note:  I do not currently have either of these maladies.) 

4:30 p.m. - We go to Sonic.  I sit in the front seat, stubbled legs holding a cheeseburger and onion rings (yes, like Velcro), chocolate malt in my hand, and listen to my kids laughing in the back of the van.  Okay, this isn't so bad.  I can drink all I want when they move out of the house.  Naked.


There she was.  A mother duck, outside of my van window at Sonic.  She picked my window, probably because she got up at the ass crack of dawn, gathered up all the waterbugs herself to feed the ducklings, cleaned up the nest, and all she wanted was a margarita and saw a kindred spirit.  I threw a big chunk of bread out of the window, and then another, and another.  It's Sonic for both of us, honey.  They'll leave the nest soon enough, and then I'll take you out for a jumbo margarita.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

A Mother's Day Ode to you:

May your coffee be hot
May all your stress fade
May your cards all be bought
(Perhaps you'll get laid?)

A short line at Village Inn
The kids won't speak loudly
Calls to your kin
Display your new clay taco proudly

Oh yes it is. With hot sauce.

May you do what you please
Without any spat
And know that today,honey
You are All. That.

Happy Mother's Day, Wifers!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Oh Sod Off

This has been an unusually stressful and crappy week on most fronts, and all I want to do is drink a big glass of wine and sleep for three days.  Instead, there is still a baseball game, a school festival, and basement issues to tackle.

I know it's Whoreticulture Friday, I do.

But I just got this:

And this:

And yes, I have issues.
I will never resist a bad pun.  Never.

I am a total Anglophile.  I love all things British.  Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Tony Blair, Jane Austen, Winston Churchill, the entire Royal Family, the BBC, Pride & Prejudice, tea & crumpets, mini Coopers, the Union Jack, Benny Hill, Monty Python, Lily Allen, Coldplay, Gwyneth Paltrow....I even think those smashing red coats during the American Revolution were smart.  Too bad their king at the time was such a short-sighted asshole.  One of my ancestors on my mother's side was a participant in the Boston Tea Party, and I can't blame him.  But.

My greatest regret from college is not taking a semester in London my senior year.  But then I probably would have married some bad-toothed pint-chugging wannabe soccer player who is sexually repressed.  So it worked out the way is was supposed to.  (However, to my male Brit friend?  You are a keeper!)

So tonight, I'm going to get my tabloid on and do a little British indulgence manuevers.  Have a great weekend, and God Save the Queen!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Foreplay in the Cellar

The basement waterproofers are coming tomorrow, and nothing.  I mean NOTHING. keeps the magic alive in your marriage like getting a basement ready for waterproofing.

I saunter down the stairs in my stained yoga pants.  These are the sexy ones that give me camel toe.  I pair that with a t-shirt that is just short enough that whenever I lift my arms, it slides up over my muffin top like a pat of hot dairy butter.  Current Husband is wearing a ripped t-shirt over his fast food physique with a pair of gray sweats.  One of the legs of said sweats is tucked into the top of his tube sock.  We look at each other with that knowing glance that says, "WHAT!?!?"

We begin to work.  The basement is all dank and dusty, probably the same conditions in which 90% of all porn films are made.  We take apart the ping pong table, gazing at each other in that loving way couples do when they've been together for 20 years and have moved all kinds of heavy furniture.  He looks at me as Edward would gaze at Bella, and says, "There's no fucking way this is going up the stairs."   I flutter my eyelids and say, "Turn it upside down, LIKE I TOLD YOU THE FIRST TIME!"  He pushes the base of the table back down the stairs and says, "I hate this piece of shit."  My voice goes up an octave as I exclaim, "Don't break it!"  It's one of those moments when you know you are going to make sweet, sweet basement moving love.

He unhooks the washer and dryer, and yells "Goddammit!" and I rush to his sexy side and I immediately get wet.  Wet because he hasn't turned the water all the way off and there is cold water spraying all over us.  We fight against the surge of passion we are both feeling, and start beating the faucet mercilessly, likely picturing the others' face on the knob as we hit it over and over and over again.  Finally, the water stops, just before we decide to make another baby.  Thank GOD the water stopped.

We lovingly speak to the children, saying things like, "Where do you think YOU'RE going?  This isn't done yet!" and "That's enough attitude young lady!" and "Is the ironing board going to walk itself upstairs?"  We form a joyous line of family love, marching back and forth to the garage, carrying our treasures, like a broken Kinectx set, a broken Nerf gun, an old Sega Genesis, Christmas decorations, and meaningful future family heirloom metal shelving units.

George the Superpet, never one to be left out, has apparently vomited up a lump of grass on the rug.  Of course, there is only one rug in a basement that is otherwise tiled, but the rug seemed like the obvious place to puke.  I'm sure he stood in the basement for five solid minutes, dry heaving and working that bale of grass up, and said to himself (in dog language) "The rug.  It's clearly the optimum puking spot down here."  I clean the puke, thinking warm thoughts about George, and how lucky I am to own this particular 106 pound omnivore.

CH asks me to help him move the refrigerator, but what he is really saying is, "Our love is so powerful that it moves appliances."  We move it, like we move mountains together, and CH stops and yells, "I love you!" No, wait.  He actually yells, "Swing it out to the left, you're hitting the ductwork!  Your OTHER left!" and I stop and gesture to him my appreciation of his directing me.

We look at each other with a sheen of sweat on our foreheads, panting slightly.  Oh yes.  This is what Golden Anniversaries are made of.  Meet me upstairs in the bedroom, my Prince.  I'll be taking an Aleve and figuring how to hold the pillow over your face until you quit kicking.

And then I shall play ping pong.