Wednesday, November 30, 2011

what it's NOT about

i have mixed feeling about christmas. of course i loved it when i was a kid. i would wake up around 2:30am and then my brother and i would try to keep our giddy selves occupied quietly until 5am when we were allowed to bust open our stockings. we woke the parental units about 7 and then started on the present frenzy in the living room. there were freshly home baked cinnamon rolls to gobble and gifts that were just what we wanted.

we read and talked about the biblical version of the christmas story in an effort to remember what it was all about. we gave birthday presents to Jesus and ate sugary goodies. there were so many traditions and the reasons to feel happy were endless.

as an adult i've tried to find my way to some traditions of my own. things that are special to me or make it feel like the christmas season. but i lack. i love giving gifts to the people i love, but i lack money to buy great things. i lack ideas for how to give gifts that are free or inexpensive, but still meaningful. i lack motivation to decorate.

for the past several years, brooke and chris have done the majority of the holiday decorating. i wouldn't care if we did no more than erect a christmas tree with lights and call it a day, but that's not enough for those who share my home. they need more, more, more! i tolerate it. i try not to display my lack of enthusiasm for all the red and green pretties being sprinkled, plopped, strung, wound, hung and dumped around my space. they make my people so happy, but for me, they cause the exact opposite reaction.
see how nice and clean and pretty this looks?
nothing overwhelming or all consuming about the decor in this room.
just the way i like it.

i don't know why, but decorations make me feel claustrophobic. they feel like clutter and chaos. they're like noise to my eyeballs. in very small doses, decorations feel nice and pretty, but the more there are, the more i feel like the walls are shrinking in around me. like every time i walk into a room that's heavily froo-frooed with shedding greenery and bows and feathers and angels, i can feel myself tense up and it's as if there's an internal stereo blasting inside my head. i want to get away from it. i want to avert my eyes. i don't want to let any part of my skin or clothing brush against that fake green piney mess.
omgosh, my heart rate literally started pounding when i laid eyes on this pic.
i can hardly even look at it. must ... look...  away!

in the minds of my family, i guess i'm the scrooge. probably because i wrinkle my nose like something stinks when i see a room filled with decorative pretties and hear non-stop christmas tunes for two months straight. i think part of it stems from knowing that i'll have to clean up all the bits and glitter and scraps that land all over the house. i'll have to pick up the broken pieces of ornaments that my cats have broken or little light bulbs they've bitten and shattered. i'll have to pull the cat down from the top of the christmas tree over and over.

i've declared my bedroom and bathroom to be decoration-free zones. as long as i can get ready or relax in places that haven't been infiltrated by the fluff n stuff, i'll try to keep my cool. i'll try to remember that christmas is a happy, wonderful time where we remember Jesus more than some other times of year. and i'll try really hard to resist the urge to run around screaming, knocking down or throwing outside the millions of sparkly things that surround me through the rest of the house.

Friday, November 25, 2011

women behaving oddly

i've been inspired by the post from a few days ago where there were people standing on toilets.  we thought it might be fun to work up some opportunities where we could get my mom, brooke and myself into some pics together for some three generational charm. but simply smiling for a camera in front of a picturesque backdrop isn't enough for us. oh no, we can't be that vanilla. when the wackiness is planned ahead of time, very strange things can occur.

we're the red jacket club. our motto is "red... or dead."

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

recycled food

you know what i hate? i hate it when i eat something and realize that it's slimy or too crunchy or in some fashion unacceptable to my mouth, so i discreetly spit it out and put it over onto the edge of my plate or bowl because i forgot a napkin. then a few minutes go by and i accidently eat it again. then, not only is it still too slimy/crunchy/unacceptable it's also now wet and cold and has that major yuck factor guaranteed to poof out my cheeks, tighten my stomach, and hunch my shoulders forward into that pre-puking position. that's when i get off my lazy rump and go get a napkin. and maybe an airline sick bag. because it's only considered good form to vomit in an upright position in the presense of others if you do it into an airline barf bag.
i'm the one on the left.
you guys really want to invite me over for thanksgiving now, don't you?

Monday, November 21, 2011

making the most of my assets

we all have things about us that we know others appreciate, right? if you've got great eyes, you play them up with makeup and flutter your eyelashes to get out of trouble. or if you've got a phenomenal ass, you swing it as you walk away if you know someone's likely to be watching. we like to be appreciated and noticed and if we can get our body to work for us, that's an added bonus.

for myself, i realized that my boobs were going to be one of my hottest assets when i was still pretty young. i believe i was 13 when i was walking down a city street with my mom; a group of teenage boys was walking toward us. as they got right up to us, they were staring at me and snickering amongst themselves when one of them said loudly, "hot damn! nice tits!" we were both dumbfounded and i'm sure i broke out in hives to have my in-coming lady lumps mentioned so brashly right in front of my mother. it was scandalous and empowering all at the same time.

as i got older, i used to occasionally cross my arms below my bust to make the most of my cleavage when i wanted something from a male who looked like he might be susceptible to my "charms." i got out of speeding tickets and i often got free services like oil changes on my car or food in restaurants.

but i haven't always treated my twins very well. for example, when i was, well, let's just say i was still young enough to be playing with markers. i really wanted a bikini, but i wasn't allowed to buy one because my parents were really conservative. so i drew one on my skin with my markers. and they weren't washable. the first two colors i used ran out partway through coloring my bikini, so there were stupid areas where the color was thin and then abruptly changed to a different color. it wasn't pretty. it didn't look like a bikini. but it sure lasted for a long time. good thing it was winter and i'd made it strapless so that i didn't get caught with my marker bikini peeking around the edges of my clothing.

and then there was my wedding dress. it looked good, but not a feasible choice for wearing with a supportive bra. there's never been a time when i've found a strapless bra that actually held the girls up without squeezing things far too tightly. so what's a girl to do when she needs her boobs to look sexy but can't wear a bra? she buys one of those sticker sets. you ladies know what i'm talking about. they're supposed to stick firmly to your skin on the under side of the hoot and pull up on the sides so that it's stuck in place until such time as you peel that wonder sticker off. i got them in place and realized that it wasn't quite working as planned, but since it was nearly wedding time, i had to figure something out.  i ripped open the spare pack that i'd purchased and positioned the second set of stickers on top of the first, attempting to wrangle the boobs into an acceptable non-tubeish shape while keeping them elevated. i had to trim off some of the sticker bits that were showing out around my arm pit and cleavage regions, but it was a "make it work" moment.

it did work and i made it through the ceremony with my tits in proper position. only later that night when i got to the honeymoon suite did i realize just how unattractive they looked in my double sticker bra. there was no way i was going to let the man see them wrapped, taped and mangled, so i pulled one of those, "i'm going into the bathroom to change into something more comfortable" lines and went slinking off to unwrap my chest in private. unfortunately, when i peeled off the stickers, the adhesive disagreed with my skin and left me with bunches of juicy blisters all across my boobies. i didn't realize just how bad it was until shortly thereafter when the brand spanking new husband ran his hand across one and jerked it back with a look of disgust because a blister had popped and squirted juicy juice onto him.

since then i've managed to take better care of my assets most of the time. and now and then i still imagine that i might be able to use the girls to my advantage if i needed to get out of a scrape.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

where i belong

do you ever hang out with your family members and suddenly feel like you really belong? they say or do something and it just confirms that you belong to each other, peas in a pod, wackies in the quack shack. i get to see way more of my parents now than i have in years and it continues to amuse me how we just fit together.

when my dad suddenly takes a big, deep breath and then lets it out in a huge sigh and it's as if his spine just evaporated because suddenly his posture goes straight in the crapper and his chin is resting on his chest - that makes me love him even more because i have my own similar version of detoxing out the day and letting myself melt to the point where it's visible to bystanders.

when my mom is watching the video where the "double dream hands" guy is teaching some really hokey choreography and she suddenly starts trying to do the moves, i see myself in her. there she is, jumping around, spastically kicking her legs and waving her arms around while laughing herself silly, and i know that i belong because that's exactly how badly i'd do it too if i'd gotten the wild urge to participate.

we went to see a matinee a few days ago and because we all seem to suffer from SBS (shrinking bladder syndrome) we stopped in the bathroom before finding seats. we were the only ones in there and it was a big bathroom, so it was entertaining to make funny noises to test out the accoustics. we also noticed a long line of open stalls which looked interesting because you don't usually get to observe that many toilets in a row. of course i had to take a picture because you never know when a blog post might need a picture of toilets.

but that wasn't enough for us. nope. we needed to push it a little further, so we shucked our coats off onto a bench and my mom and brooke scampered into a couple stalls while i snapped pictures.

i'm only sorry there was no one else around to take the pic so i could have been standing on that toilet on the other side of my mom. because i think that's where i belong.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

if you need anything...

you know how people like to say, "if you need anything, let me know"? and they always say it with a gentle smile, perhaps with a compassionate nod of the head. they sound like they mean it, but do you think they really do? and does anyone ever take someone up on one of those open ended offers of help?

i would like to propose that we start making specific requests whenever someone is kind enough to make one of those statements. we should make our needs known to our kind hearted well wishers.

next time you're at church and a polite lady with a southern accent asks how you're doing, tell the truth. tell her that you've been feeling pretty crummy lately and more tired than you usually admit. tell her that the bags under your eyes look like football makeup, but thank the kind Lord for some concealer so you can show your face in public. she'll likely pat your hand and say something like, "if there's anything i can do to help, you just let me know." generally we'd thank her and go on our cranky way, but not this time. the truth has started flowing and we're on a new path now.

this time you need to say, "well, since you asked.... i sure could use some help with the kids. is there a time next week when you might be able to keep them? what days are good for you?" or perhaps you don't have kids. so instead you might say, "i sure do hate grocery shopping and since you offered, would you mind picking some things up for me? here's my list and i don't like generics."

next time you walk into a store and an artificially perky sales associate greets you and asks if she can help you with anything, the answer is yes. you should pick out an armload of stuff that looks like it might be good, preferably in at least 2 sizes each because you need to be prepared. she'll help you carry it. she offered, right? then i think you should invite her into the dressing room with you. it's always great to get a second opinion, plus since she's available, you should have her hang up all your rejects and return them to the proper racks.

when you're at the bank, making a deposit or withdrawal, the teller always ends it with, "is there anything else i can do for you today?" i think that's the right time to turn your back to him and point to that pesky spot between your shoulder blades and tell him about the itch you just can't seem to reach. you might clumsily demonstrate with the chained down counter pen how you can't ever seem to contort your arms enough to get it really well. ask him to please scratch it for you. if he doesn't make a solid effort the first time, you should lift up the back of your shirt and ask him to please not be shy because this itchy mamajama's been bugging you all day.

when next you go out to eat at one of those restaurants where they leave you with a little treat at the end, like a little cookie or a mint, watch closely. you want to be paying attention when your server pulls it out of her apron pocket and places it on the table or check. right before she walks away, she'll always ask, "is there anything else i can get for you?" that's your cue to say, "actually, i'd like a mint that you haven't been carrying around for a few hours in your apron. because (and here is where you pick it up and mush it flat between your fingers) i have an issue with eating snacks that have been melted by your pubic heat."

and with that my friends, i leave you with the hope that you'll make your needs known. don't be shy, don't hold back. they offer, you accept. the world will be a better place for us all.

Friday, November 11, 2011

flat as a pancake

we all have moments in our past that we'll remember distinctly forever. moments where we heard or saw something unforgettable. or got news that we can never un-know.

i had one of those moments when i was 23 and was working retail; i was helping to open a new store. there were about 30 people all in one room working in little clumps here and there, getting everything arranged and set up and we were freely chatting about whatever we wanted since there were no customers about us to help us regulate our conversations. i was having a good time talking with a couple ladies who i didn't really know and we were discussing that i was a newlywed and having to adjust to living with a man for the first time. one lady said, "you know what i hate about living with my husband? i hate sleeping with him. not the sex part, the sleeping part because he always rolls over on my titties and smashes them while i'm sleeping."

it was like on a tv show where you hear the screeching record and everything comes to a dead and silent stop. i stared at her in awe. i didn't know that such a thing could happen and it sounded downright awful! i was still young and perky and all my pertinent bits tended to stay close to home and fairly self contained even when they weren't wrapped up in strict undergarments. i was pretty busty, but i couldn't imagine one of the girls rolling far enough across the bed to be smashed by my bed buddy.

as the years have gone by, i've discovered the truth in that older lady's wise "protect your lady lumps in bed" advice. it hasn't been much of a problem so far, but i've definitely seen things stretching out and loosening up in the chesticle region, so the potential is clearly there.

last night, i was lying on the floor with brooke, reading her books and just talking before tucking her into bed. i rolled onto my side so i could look at her while we talked. i'm not exactly sure how it happened, but brooke apparently wanted to get something and she was using her elbow to leverage herself up off the floor. unfortunately for me, her elbow landed squarely on my left nip and dug in. i let out a blood curdling scream that reverberated around the house like a thousand gongs. i tried to pull away, but alas, i only managed to stretch out my still pinned nipple. brooke looked at me in horror, but didn't remove her offending elbow, only dug in a bit harder as she shifted to look at me.

it probably only lasted 3 seconds, but i felt like it went on for an eternity. it was long enough for me to picture myself spending the rest of my days with a gaping hole in my chest where the nip, areola and all, had been ripped right off.  long enough for me to imagine that i was going to look like a monkey with one of those floppy, drooping nipple sacks from years of having a clingy infant dangling from her breast. long enough for me to wonder if it would look the way it had when i was a nursing mom and i had to pump out the breast milk and that crazy pump machine would pull my nipples so far down into the tube that i swear they looked like thumbs.

i'm still in a little pain today, but there appears to be no lingering damage. except, of course to my pride as i adjust to the fact that i'm now droopy enough that i can be rolled on and wounded inadvertently by someone close enough for a snuggle. sigh. and so it begins.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

there comes a time in everyone's life

sometimes when i write my facebook status, i like to put some thought into it. figure out a way to use words for the optimum punch. other times i go through a dry spell where the best i can come up with is, "went to the library" or "cheese is my friend."

last night i was feeling the need to status update and i was wracking my brain for a good one. i kept hearing the line "there comes a time in every woman's life when she..." but i couldn't come up with a good ending. so i decided to throw it out there like bait and just see if anyone else could come up with a great suggestion or wisdom or humor. of course it didn't take long before i got a bite. and then a couple of my girl friends copied it to their own status and got some great bites of their own.

here are some of the gems that i've peeled off the statuses i've seen where people contributed their wit and wisdom. there comes a time in every woman's life when she...

"realizes her body composition is literally 42% sharp cheddar cheese. Oh, wait, that's just me....."
hmm, that slicer looks disturbingly like that thing i used to slice up my feet.

"takes off her bra, lets the boobs drop, and has a little 'o' right there, standing in the living room."

"Realizes she should have used wrinkle cream BEFORE the wrinkles appeared."

"Prefers pants with an elastic waist."

"renounces perfection in favor of joy"

"wishes she was a man"

"looks at the guy next to her and says, "I married that!?" (this from our very own al penwasser)

and my very favorite of the night was actually the first one that arrived on the scene. my fantabulous friend rachel who never fails to make me laugh said, "throws away her crotchless panties."

in following with a couple of the other posts i've written that stemmed from something on facebook, like "if we woke up in jail" or "how did we meet, but make it a lie" i'd love to see what delightful suggestions my lovely and unerringly funny blog friends can come up with.

"there comes a time in every woman(or man)'s life when s/he..."

Sunday, November 6, 2011

toga time

i've always liked the look of togas. they seem to scream "easy to wear" and "eat lots of food while still looking simply sexy." i kind of wish that i lived in the time when they were appropriate and would be fashion forward, rather than looking like i was going to a frat party.

i was just googling togas to see what the current options are and i've got to say, there are plenty of choices out there. there's the short, hootchie toga. it looks good on her, but i'm thinking the length might cause me some problems at this time in my life. i like to have some fabric under my bum when i sit down. and if i bent forward, you'd be able to see what i had for lunch.

there's the classic, conservative toga with the lovely hair and snake headband to go with it.

we have the plus sized couples option which looks like a lot of fun. there would definitely need to be an event to make these special outfits really shine. maybe chris and i can get and wear them to the next baby christening we're invited to attend.

unfortunately, i'm afraid that my dreams of lounging comfortably in my toga wouldn't turn out quite the way i'd planned. more than likely, i'd have a wardrobe malfunction and the next thing you know...

Friday, November 4, 2011

tipsy chickens x2

15 years ago, when chris and i were dating, i was living at my parents' house and i was working in a little office. one weekend, my parents and little sisters were out of town and chris was driving a limo, so he was out pretty much all night, which meant that i was left to my own devices that friday night.

after work was over for the day, a couple co-workers and i decided that we were going to go to tgifridays, across the parking lot for dinner and perhaps a drink or two. the tables were all full, so we sat at the bar. somehow i think i forgot to eat dinner that night and accidentally had about 5 drinks instead. i was drinking royal flushes, which i'd never had before (or after, for that matter) and they were just so fruity and delicious that i kept guzzling them and ordering more. eventually, my co-workers needed to go back to their lives, so they left me there because of course i assured them that i was absolutely fine and didn't need anyone to babysit me.

when i was finally ready to go, i tipped the bartender excessively, stumbled out of the bar, and back across the parking lot toward my office where my car was parked. on the way there, two men who were sitting in a parked car stopped me and asked if i had any tattoos. i did and showed them my body art. then they asked if i wanted a cigar, which i did, so i climbed into the back seat of that car with those two strange men and smoked a fat stogie. when i was finished, i got back out and kept heading toward my car. once i got there i realized that i really shouldn't be driving, so i managed to unlock my office door and bumble my way inside. i wasn't sure what i was going to do while i was in there, probably drunk page chris a few times or take a lil nap till i thought i was sober enough to drive my stupid ass home. i had only just tripped through the door when my boss returned to the office to check on me. i guess it had occurred to him that i probably wasn't in any state to be taking myself anywhere and he was kind enough to come back in order to taxi me home in his crappy chevette.

i got back to my parents' house; i went inside and collapsed into bed. it wasn't even dark yet, but i just couldn't stay awake. i took the phone to bed with me because i was hoping chris would eventually have time to call me back since i'd paged him repeatedly for no good reason.

around midnight i woke up sick and ran outside (it was closer than the bathroom) and puked by the back door, all over the ground and then crawled straight back into bed, still in my work clothes. around 3am i woke up again and by then i was approaching sober and noticed that the back door was wide open. i got a little bit nervous that i'd been sleeping with the house open and there was no one else home to protect my foolish self, so i snatched the phone out of my bed to try calling chris, but the phone had no dial tone. i ran upstairs and checked the kitchen phone. that one was dead too! i was suddenly positive that someone had cut the phone lines, snuck into the house, and i was in imminent danger of being raped and killed.

i ran straight out of the house to my parents' next door neighbor where i proceeded to bang and ring until the kind, little man came down in his pajamas to see what the heck was going on. (maybe i wasn't quite as sober as i thought) he came back to my house and went room by room with me, poking through every nook and cranny looking for the boogieman. we made it to my room last and that's when he discovered that my cordless phone had been left turned on in my bed, so the lines weren't cut, it was just off the hook. hence the lack of a dial tone. i felt rather stupid after that and walked him politely to the door and thanked him for saving me from my imagination.

i was able to reach chris after that, which was good because he'd been concerned that i'd paged him multiple times but when he called me back, he could only get a busy signal on the house phone.

the next morning i was feeling pretty stupid about my escapades of the previous night and i went out back to find a hose so i could clean off the patio where i'd hurled my royal flushes so indelicately, but the patio was practically spotless. where had the barf gone? that's when one of my sisters chickens came waddling over, pecking around the edges of the patio. finishing off the last scraps of my stupid evening till there was nothing left to show for it... but tipsy chickens.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

chainsaws and cacti

i was hanging out with my girl tonight while she had a relaxing spa time in the bathroom. she'd eaten a bunch of sugar because it's chris' birthday so of course there was cake. and starbursts. it made for a very chatty half hour and for once she wasn't talking about her toys or favorite computer games. she was talking about puberty and when she'll be old enough to shave her legs and things she wants to do in her life. she asked me what things i wanted to do when i was a kid that my parents wouldn't let me do.

well, that list was pretty much endless, so i just picked a few. one thing i told her that i'd wished to do when i was a teenager was to go on dates with boys. she looked surprised and asked why they wouldn't let me date. i told her that they didn't trust the boys to behave themselves.

i debated on whether it would be appropriate to explain any further, but before i said anything else, she shook her head and with a knowing look said, "they were afraid the boys would bring chainsaws and cacti, weren't they? those teenage boys can be very irresponsible with chainsaws and break delicate things like clocks or even your arm!"

and once again, she was my sweet, naive ball of childhood innocence. i'm so glad.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

nobody's perfect

you know how we all like to say, "nobody's perfect" and "everybody makes mistakes"? (i'm hearing the hannah montana song in my head now) it seems easier to apply that standard to ourselves than to others and their mistakes, doesn't it?

i've had an abundance of screw ups in my life and i generally accept them as lessons learned and not to be repeated.

like the time i went out of town for the weekend. brooke and i were at a rest area for a quick piddle when she looked quizzically at my feet and said, "mommy, one of your shoes is brown and the other one is black." she was right. and i learned not to get dressed in the dark, particularly when going out of town with no extra shoes. no more punky brewster moments for me.

or the time when the wee one was still a baby sitting in a car seat. i took her seat (with her in it) out of the car, set it on the garage floor, picked up the various bags and whatnot that every mom carries around and then closed the car door. except that it didn't close. because i'd set brooke's seat too close to the car door and the bottom of the door banged into her forehead. causing screaming and a bruise. thank goodness she was too little to talk because i wouldn't have been thrilled with her telling people, in response to the question of the bruise's origin, that "mommy hit my head with the car door."

and speaking of accidents involving children who COULD speak, i have another shame filled secret. one that still twists my guts when it comes to mind. when i was 19, i was hired to be a nanny. i'd done loads of babysitting for many different families and i felt that i was ready and capable of caring for 3 sweet little children full time. on my first day there, mom left the house, leaving me to care for her littles. we were playing and having a good time. the kids were crawling around all over me, poking, prodding, asking inappropriate questions, giggling. a good time was being had by all until the 4 year old girl stuck her finger into my open mouth & then yanked it out quickly. i was surprised by the oral invasion, but she thought it was funny and did it again, then laughed when i pretended like i was going to bite her, so we kept playing this game over and over. until one time when she didn't yank her finger out. and i bit her. and drew blood. oh my gosh. i thought my first day was also going to be my last day. i doctored up her little finger, complete with hellokitty bandaid, and prayed that she wouldn't tell her mom that i'd bitten her.

she did, but thankfully that mom was wise enough to know that even good nannies make mistakes, especially when they're only 19 and wearing outfits of all denim.

care to share one of your more memorable mistakes?