ABOUT ME

About me: My husband Chuck, our six-year-old Junior, our three-year-old Everette and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Maybe the Fall 2009 issue will be better...for lining the cat's litter box

Chuck knows what a magazine whore I am, so he’s constantly stealing magazines from doctor’s offices and magazine racks for me. Last week, after his follow-up ass inspection, he pilfered a magazine called Hybrid Mom. It’s from Fall 2008 but these mommy rags should be timeless, right?

Before I even started reading the articles I had to know what exactly a “Hybrid Mom” was. I wanted to get rid of the mental picture I had of a mom that ran on gas and electric and who resembled the Terminator.

Thankfully the founder, Stacey Smith, explains that a Hybrid Mombot is “a woman who is guided by an entrepreneurial yearning because she knows that being the type of mom she wants demands it.”

Yawn. Butt scratch.

Smith continues, “[Hybrid Mom] works. She plays. She lives. She decides.”

Oh gawd. What a crock of sappy, over hyped shit. Is this an ad for Nike? I’m now going to live in fear that the whole “She works. She plays” bullshit is going to end up on a t-shirt, the shade of which will probably be some custom-blended color the Hybrid Mom people will call—oh heck—“Hybrid Mom Blue.” Can’t you just see it? A short-sleeve v-neck for $49.95, described as “emboldened” and “no-nonsense.”

(If you think $49.95 is expensive then I don’t think you’re a Hybrid Mom, because Hybrid Moms decorate their Hybrid Offices with Davenport desks that cost $2,399.)

More clues you are/are not a Hybrid Mom? Well, if you’re a just-gave-birth Hybrid Mom and you’re having your first Girls’ Night Out, when someone says she's thirsty “you whip out your boob.” (Ah yes, you’ve been so enmeshed in breastfeeding that you can no longer discern between the thirsty cravings of your baby and those of your 35-year-old female friends.)

You also can’t put down your cell phone “in case the nanny/babysitter/clueless husband calls.” Poor husbands. Seriously. Must they always be portrayed as clods?

Finally—I won’t give you a page-by-page rundown of the whole magazine, I swear—there’s an article, “Don’t call me...” The woman under the headline is holding a nametag that reads “mom” so I am assuming we are to fill in the blank.

To quickly synop, the author is annoyed that the male physician’s assistant in the ER asked, “So what happened, mom?” when she brought her kid in for staples. In her own words: “I did not warrant a name—Mom was good enough.”

Oh, Christ. Lady, you were in an ER with your child, and the man probably thought he was being cute. Men often think they are being cute when they’re not; it’s why they sometimes have trouble getting laid.

On the very next page, the author finishes with this: “For me, the name mom is reserved for those to whom I gave life. It’s a powerful name that should be treated with respect. Every once in awhile my husband will look at me in awe and ask, ‘How do you do it all?’ and with a flick of my red cape I reply simply, ‘I’m mommy.’ ”

Few things. 1) Dressing like a Superhero isn’t going to help you command the respect you so crave. 2) If the name mom is reserved only for those to whom you gave life, shouldn’t you have answered your husband’s questions with, “I’m Nancy”? 3) If the name mom is a powerful one, why were you so pissed off the man in the ER called you by it?

I have no time for such blatant inconsistencies. Where the hell was this woman’s editor?

Hybrid Mom, you are going into the recycling bin. I’m done with periodicals that try to sell me a new and improved version of motherhood. Can’t we all just get over ourselves? Please, take your Davenport desks and your overzealous, perpetually eager lactationers and beat it.

(Just curious, would you be incensed if the male physician’s assistant in the ER called you mom instead of by your name?)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Random Tuesday thoughts

randomtuesday

I’m beginning to loathe the Island of Sodor and Thomas the Train. For one, Thomas has psychological issues. He’s either cross or tooting. I think he needs a mood stabilizer. Second, there’s too much wheeshing and shunting. I try not to snicker when the narrator says “Thomas shunted Gordon home” but I can’t help it. I hope Thomas at least buys Gordon a drink before he shunts him again.

It was so hot at work today (how hot was it?) people started congregating in the bathrooms because that’s where the air conditioning was working. There was talk of a walk-out. Instead everyone just complained and sweated. Forget solar energy: There’s enough pent up anger in Corporate America to run the planet.

I envy people who look sweat-less and composed in warm weather. When I was in high school, our gym class had to run around the track in the spring. My face would turn bright red as soon as we stepped outside. The teacher told me it was because I had a great internal cooling system. I’m still waiting to reap the benefits of my internal greatness.

One of the copier repairmen at work has a crush on me. He calls to check on the printer but begins the conversation by saying, “I was thinking about you.” Yesterday he said he drove by my house and saw Chuck and Junior in the yard; he recognized them because he’s seen their pictures in my office. I swear, if he pulls a Glenn Close on me and boils our fat cat, Mr. Cat, I’m going to be pissed. Even though Mr. Cat leaves tufts of fur on my rugs and attacks his sister when he’s hungry (which is every couple hours), I still love him. Besides, if anyone's going to boil that furball it's going to be me.

We’re having a potluck lunch at work on Friday. The owner of the company wants us all to get to know each other better. I want to send him an email and tell him that through the mutiny exercise in the bathrooms, we’ve already accomplished his goal. I’d also like to suggest that we affix place cards to each potluck item. Truthful place cards. Place cards that read, “I swear to God I did not lick the spoon while making this”, “I may have licked the spoon a little” or “not only did I lick the spoon, my dog did too, and then I scratched my butt and dipped my finger in the batter.” I cannot eat another bite of cornbread without this knowledge.

Thanks Keely. Again. And again. And again.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The world is a cruel, cruel place and other neck brace reflections

1. Everyone looks at you funny and snickers when you’re wearing a neck brace. Everyone. Even if you don’t catch them doing it, you know they are because you would too.

2. Even if you know it’s not true, in your mind you look like this:



3. Nothing really goes with a neck brace. Not a tank top or blouse or cute dress. Your best bet is a potato sack, Jackie O sunglasses and a wig.

4. Even if you don’t normally have a double chin, you are now the proud owner of one.

5. If you sunburn easily and you forget to apply sunscreen and spend the day outside, when you take off your clothes that night you will look like a barber’s pole.

6. If you eat dinner outside and spray yourself down with bug spray, your neck brace will stink like it into the wee hours of the morning.

7. If your chiropractor is friends with your boss and casually mentions to your boss that he gave you a neck brace to wear until Tuesday, you cannot leave the neck brace at home Monday morning because your boss will call your chiropractor and tattle.

8. No one will offer to autograph your neck brace; it’s not a badge of bravery, it’s a donut of displeasure.

9. Your husband will probably tell you he’s “never done it with a chick wearing a neck brace.” Even if this is true, neither of you will act on it.

10. Your loving friends will ask you to send pictures of you in your neck brace so they can laugh at you. You’ll post one on your blog instead because you’re headless and appear more buxom than usual.



Now if you'll excuse me, I have a date with a bag of frozen string beans and a muscle relaxer.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I've plain old had it

Mrs. Mullet is in bad shape, my pets. I rolled the wrong way again in my sleep and pulled something in my neck. Perhaps Chuck and I should trade our haystack in for a proper mattress.

I went to an acupuncturist, who offered to help me disrobe then got pissy when I took my clothes off myself. Scuse me, but it’s not every day that a 50 year old woman wants to pull my socks off.

I got even by stealing a magazine from her waiting room.

The needle therapy didn’t work so I went to a chiropractor, who gave me one of these:


Oh, God, noooooooooooooooo.

And now Junior is pointing at it saying, “Hold it! Hold it!” cause he wants to wear it and Chuck can’t fend Junior off because Chuck’s at his follow up butt appointment.

Seriously, how we haven’t been nominated for the most glamorous couple of the year is beyond me.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Do they make Nicorette for your ears?

My eardrum has been vibrating for the last few days. It's been driving me nuts. At first I worried that a beetle or other winged creature was flying around in there (before you get grossed out and poo poo my overactive imagination, let me tell you that a beetle took up residence in my friend’s ear in sixth grade and I will never, ever forget it).

Alas, nothing has flown out of my head.

So I made an appointment with a local ear, nose and throat doctor.

The office was located in a brittle house with creaky, tilted floors. When I got there, there were two nuns sitting in the waiting room. Whenever I see nuns I feel compelled to make some kind of statement to let them know I am an upstanding individual. So while I waited, I had this running through my head:

“God bless, sisters. No, no, don’t say that. How about, ‘Lovely mass on Sunday. Praise Jesus.’ No, that’s stupid…”

Thankfully, the receptionist called me in.

Let me tell you something, the newspapers have it all wrong. Walter Breuning is not the oldest living man in the United States. ENT Doc Crochety of Mulletville is. He was wearing one of these:



(From what I can tell, they’re used to reflect light towards the patient and fell out of fashion when flashlights were invented.)

While the doc lifted the sagging flesh from his inner thighs so he could sit down and cross his legs, I told him about my vibration problem. He sloooooooowly grabbed his ear looker thinger and stuck it in my ear. Then he shouted, “Jesus Christ, it’s like the Sahara in there!”

I have to admit, I was intrigued at the thought of a desert ecosystem existing between my eyeballs. It certainly explains the sand I’ve been finding on my pillow.

“How many Q-tips do you use?” he barked.

“None,” I lied. “But I chew a lot of gum.” (I have no idea why I said this, but you know what? He wasn't listening to me one bit.)

“Are you a secretary?”

“I was until my Dictaphone broke.”

“I’m going to whisper in your ear while I flutter a stack of post-it notes in your other ear. Ready? Whisperwhisperwhisperwhisper.”

“What?”

“Whisperonewhisperninetywhisperninewhisperwhisperwhisper.”

“You’re one-hundred and ninety-nine?”

He took a metal hook with a cap and stuck it into my nostril.

“Your nose tissue is inflamed.”

“Is that because of the camels?”

He told me to say “ah” then hit the back of my throat with what looked like a golf club he’d stolen from a doll house. Then he sat back and shook his head.

“I’m prescribing you drops. Ask your fellow to help you. When you bathe, let some water into your ear. And lay off the Goddamn Q-tips.”

“I’m just curious. Do you blaspheme like this in front of the nuns?”

“Call in two weeks if you’re still having problems. Irene will ring you out.”

As Irene the receptionist took my co-pay, I said a little prayer that the desert nomads would take well to the drops because I really, really don’t want to go back to Doc Crochety (he's obviously in cahoots with Dental Dick). I looked at the nuns for a sign that they were receiving my telepathic cry for mercy, but they were too busy reading about Salma Hayek's second wedding in Italy.

I don't know if I can kick my Q-tip habit, but I'm sure as hell going to try.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Random Tuesday thoughts

randomtuesday

Last week when I wrote about the “corners and edges,” people seemed confused. Well, ok, they were confused. What happened is that my officemates and I were talking about holding a meeting on a Wednesday night. One woman said, “Oh no, I can’t. My husband and I do the centers that night.” Everyone looked at her like she was a freak so she explained that when they vacuum, they do the middle of the rugs midweek and save the corners and edges for Sundays. Everyone still looked at her like she was a freak, but she didn’t mind. Normally I’d applaud that; in this case, not so much.

Chuck’s best friend’s brother is getting married. He borrowed our camera at Junior’s first birthday party and took this picture:



I’m thinking of making it into a card for his fiancĂ©e that reads: Congratulations on your engagement / Looks like your wedding night’s gonna be a big, fat disappointment. But maybe she already knows that.

We’ve been feeding our obese cat less and he’s pissed. At 5:30 a.m. he runs up and down the stairs making a noise that’s something between a meow and “I hate you!” One of these days Chuck’s going to come home to find that cat mounted on the wall.

Junior ate a sandwich by himself. I don't know why this seems like such a milestone, but it felt like I was watching a real, little person accomplish a grown-up task. There wasn't a line in his baby book for "ate first sandwich" so I'm documenting it here. Thank God.

I forgot about springtime gnats. They're right up there with Celine Dion and Kathy Lee Gifford.

That hippie chick hasn't called me. It's probably better this way. I forgot to mention that her kid was wrapped up in a wool blanket, and I don't hang with people who wear wool. I prefer people who put mini carrots in their pants and who have strategical plans for maintaining their area rugs. Snap!

(Keely, I actually waited until Tuesday this week. Does this mean we're un-broken up?)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Fine, fine so I'm fixating on the horse because of my ab insecurities

I'm so tired.

But I'm also very happy. Happy you can’t see my backyard, that is. It’s an embarrassment. Chuck and I have neglected it for two years. No mowing, no clipping, no raking, no pruning. Nothing. When Chuck goes outside to grill I tie a rope to his foot so if the weed things grab him I can pull him back inside.

Now that Junior’s nearing two, we’d like to have a yard that’s not going to eat him. That’s reasonable, right? So we made a list of backyard improvement projects and asked Chuck’s friends to barter their sober services. (We all know what happens when you mix tequila and home improvement projects—you end up with pile of grass seed and five guys taking bets on who can piss over it higher).

After four months we finally had a taker.

Chuck’s friend Aaron—who looks exactly like Van Gogh, crazy eyes and everything—said he’d help Chuck lay bricks for a patio if I looked after his three-and-a-half year old son, Jake. It seemed like a fair trade. Except that Jake, like his dad, is a royal pain in the ass know-it-all. I’m serious. A conversation with Aaron goes like this:

Me: “When Junior cried as a baby I—”

Aaron: “Jake never cried. We used the Ferber method, the Elizabeth Pantley method, the Baby Whisperer method and the Molly McButter method. Talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk you’re an idiot and I’m brilliant talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk you’re an idiot and I’m brilliant talk you’re an idiot and I’m brilliant talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk you’re an idiot and I’m brilliant talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk you’re an idiot and I’m brilliant talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk you’re an idiot and I’m brilliant you’re an idiot and I’m brilliant you’re an idiot and I’m brilliant you’re an idiot and I’m brilliant talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk you’re an idiot and I’m brilliant talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk you’re an idiot and I’m brilliant talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk you’re an idiot and I’m brilliant talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk you’re an idiot and I’m brilliant talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk you’re an idiot and I’m brilliant talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk you’re an idiot and I’m brilliant talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk you’re an idiot and I’m brilliant talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk you’re an idiot and I’m brilliant talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk you’re an idiot and I’m brilliant talk talk you’re an idiot and I’m brilliant talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk.”

After an hour of pre-paver chit chat, my head was close to exploding, but I reminded myself that thanks to Aaron, we’d have a lovely new patio. I put Junior down for his nap and got out my tub of crayons so Jake and I could spend a few hours coloring (ha! how naive is that?).

Now look, I’d never say I hate a child but this is how it went down:

Me: “All right. What should we draw?”

Jake: “You say ‘all right’ too much.”

Me: “I didn’t realize that. I’m going to draw a horse.”

Jake: “That doesn’t look like a horse. You’re not a good drawer.”

Me: “I think my horse looks exactly like a horse, all right?”

Jake: “You say ‘all right’ too much.”

Me: “What are you drawing?”

Jake: “Do you have a big belly because there’s a baby in there?”

Me: “You think I have a big belly?”

Jake: “Yes. Your juice tastes funny. When our juice tastes funny my dad says it’s because it’s not fresh.”

Me: “I’m going to hit you with a rubber mallet right now. It shouldn’t hurt too much.”

I have a new agreement with Chuck: We will pay his friends in booze. I’d rather look out my window and see a whizzing contest than spend another afternoon in Crayola hell. And come on, my horse is the best horse ever.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Personally, I think I'd look better over the fireplace

You know how I mentioned I’m a graphic designer? Well, because of my field—zee arts—I meet other artists from time to time at networking functions.

Blah, blah.

Yesterday, one of the painters I met asked if he could paint my portrait. Immediately I thought of that scene* from Titanic. You know that scene. Wretched Celine Dion popped into my head. I said I’d think about it.

When I got home I told Chuck that a well-known, respected and quasi famous artist wants to immortalize me on canvas. Chuck put down his beer and said, “So now you officially know you’re attractive.”

Oh, praise Jesus! I t’aint ugly! I’ve been wandering the planet for 34 years with an inkling that I might not be hideous, but now I wonder no more. And to think I missed the pageant circuit because I never knew The Truth.

“So I should do it?”

“Are you going to keep your clothes on?”

“Of course.”

"And you're not going to have an affair?"

"Of course not."

“Great. We’ll hang it over the couch.”

Apparently as soon as you officially find out you're attractive, you immediately turn into a hoebag.

*If you need a refresher, here’s the sorta-kinda scene. I have no idea why they ended the video the way they did, but they're a cute couple so I forgive them.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

You can laugh at my near-death experience if you want. I kind of did…after I coughed up the hairball



Until today, I’d only come to close to dying once before, when I choked on a chicken finger at a pool bar. I don’t know if you’ve ever choked at a dive bar; if not, I don’t recommend it. Even though you’re flailing your arms and hopping up and down, no one really cares. People would rather take their pool shots.

As I was choking, I rushed over to a friendly looking biker man and mouthed “eeellppp me!” He grabbed me in a reverse bearhug and tried to make a milkshake out of me, at which point I elbowed him; then he dropped me. Thankfully a woman who happened to be a nurse came to my rescue. The whole time I was thinking, a fucking chicken finger is the cause of my demise? I’d settle for asphyxiation from ogling Hugh Jackman while hanging from a rope hanging from a helicopter while flying above his mansion. But choking on a chicken finger at the Lakeview Tavern? No.

Fast forward to this morning. At 6:30 a.m. I’d gathered my unwashed hair into a mound on the top of my head and shoved 20 bobby pins into it without the visual aid of a mirror. I didn’t think anything of it until I started getting strange looks in the hallway at work. When I went to the bathroom to examine my head, I realized I was sporting...a hair beret.

So I began the task of removing bobby pins and stuffing them between my clenched teeth (I wasn’t going to rest them on the germ-encrusted sink). I was halfway through when my friend, Ellen, walked in. She’s one of the few people I actually like at work, so I eagerly greeted her by grunting “ello.”

And by inhaling several bobby pins.

And a few strands of hair.

Of course, I immediately started gagging and drooling and coughing. I couldn’t breathe. I panicked. Ellen rushed over, cranked open my mouth, hooked her finger around my tongue and pulled out the bobby pins. Then she shook me by the shoulders and called me an asshole for scaring her before she'd had a chance to caffeinate.

When I got back to my desk, I emailed Ellen my profuse thanks for saving my life. She wrote back, “I’ll never use a bobby pin again. And what the hell is going on? I had to reach down my grandson’s throat this weekend to get a chicken finger.”

If I wasn’t sure life had a twisted sense of humor, I sure as fuck know now.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Random Tuesday thoughts feel so right

randomtuesday

The other day I told Chuck we need more intimacy in our relationship. He looked at me in all seriousness and said, “But I asked you to look at my ass [after the surgery].” Because I wasn’t sure I’d heard him correctly, I said, “Are you telling me that we're doing fine in the intimacy department because you asked me to look at your ass?” He said yes. Then he told me he didn’t ask any of his friends to look at his ass. He only asked me. In his estimation, we couldn’t be any closer than we already are. Thank God we had that talk.

Once I went on a blind date with an oceanographer. I wore sneakers on the date because I thought he was going to take me to the beach so he could point to crabs and barnacles and seaweed and tell me their scientific names. Instead he wanted to get ice cream. When I ordered coffee ice cream, he said, “Gross.” He didn’t even pay for it. I’m not sure why I still think about him; maybe because I’d like to go back in time and tell him he sucked.

A coworker told me she and her husband save the "corners and edges" for Sunday nights; it's their thing. At first I thought she meant something kinky. Then she told me she meant the rugs. She made me feel better about the Chuck/intimacy thing. Slightly.

I took Junior to visit my uncle the firefighter at his fire station this weekend. At first it was cute how Junior kept pointing to the trucks and yelling “am-blance” and “fire [f]uck.” After 10 minutes I wanted to yell, “I know! I’ve been alive for 34 years. I know we are standing next to ambulances and fire trucks. I freaking know.” Instead I kept saying, “Yes, honey. Good job.” That made me tired.



Why does Chuck's brother keep calling Junior “the baby”? As in, “We can’t come see the baby this weekend.” I feel like he’s saying he can’t come see the Pope or an exhibit at a museum. I mean, Junior has a name. Maybe if his sucky wife gave him back his testicles and they actually left their house, his life would come into focus again and he’d start calling things by their proper names. Then again, I thought the same thing about the oceanographer. And look where that got me.

Thank you, UnMom. I feel lighter already.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

This post is possessed. It published itself twice before I was ready and now I'm just annoyed

Something completely unexpected and not all premeditated happened yesterday. I was in the kitchen churning butter when Chuck (aka the Butt Patient) walked in.

“Oh, good, you’re finally up and walking,” I said. “Maybe you’d like to wash some dishes. Or vacuum. Or do some laundry. Mop the floor. Sweep. Take out the trash. Fold socks. Bleach towels. Shovel. Rake. Bake. Grocery shop. Iron my tunic. Comb my hair. Bathe Junior. Feed the cats. Weed. Dust. Unload the dishwasher. File my bunions. Do anything other than clench your behind and wail “oooooh, my ass’.”

Chuck cheerfully said, “No thanks,” and then, “I think I need to go lie down again.”

What happened next is clear as day. I grabbed the churner handle mabob and whacked Chuck over the head.

So now I’m single.

That’s right, my peaches, Mrs. Mullet is back on the market.

Since it’s been awhile since I’ve advertised my treats, I’m a little rusty. But thank God I kept this from eighth grade.



Look at all the hunks I’ll be able to land (hey, I’m a Cougar now so those strapping young lads are super dreamy!)



This man-catching bible is chocked full of answers to girls’ most important questions, like whether or not boys want you to have a great body. (The answer is no—mmmhhmmm—“but if you’re overweight and unhappy, dieting is the answer [and] if you feel you’re too skinny, obviously you’re not eating enough.”)

So that’s why I’m only 55 pounds! I keep wearing the baby back ribs instead of putting them in my mouth.

The Get Him System (TGHS) covers everything, from the importance of good hygiene to the fact that guys who only have one thing on their minds are called “users” (weird, I always knew them as just plain old guys.)

It’s my lucky day that the TGHS talks about intimacy issues, because I’ve been a one-man woman for almost a decade. So I jumped right to the kissing chapter, specifically “Should I wait until a guy kisses me or can I kiss him first?”

This is crucial knowledge here; I always see men I’d like to kiss and until now I’ve restrained myself. But did you know that if you want to kiss someone, not only can you kiss him first, you should take advantage of “kissing freebees” like Christmas and New Years Eve? Yup, even birthday parties are a great time for proactive kissing! As long as after you French kiss everyone you explain that “today is a kissing freebee.”

Gold. Pure gold.

Speaking of swapping spit, I was dying to know if making out is a big part of going out, since the last time I actually made out with someone was in 1989, and even then it may have been with a stuffed animal. Well, according to TGHS, if making out is a big part of going out to you “then that’s all that counts.”

Eureka! If this isn’t the green light to set up shop on a street corner and be the biggest slutbag there is, I don’t know what is. Color me Chlamydia!

Aren’t you jealous you don’t have a book like this?

I was just about to wash my hair (guys like clean, fresh-smelling hair), eat something, put some emotion in my eyes (girls’ eyes are more attractive when they’re expressive) and stop flaunting my killer gams (guys don’t like girls who strut) when Chuck came to.

He was so relieved to be alive that he sorted the whites and now we’re in love again (I guess the book is right when it says that patience, forgiveness, compromise and shared household duties—I mean, respect—keep the romance alive.) I even took advantage of the fact that today is Easter and therefore a kissing freebee and manhandled him a little.

Thank you, TGHS! Thank you for saving my marriage.

As a parting note, I’ll leave you with what is perhaps the most important—and grossly reiterated—pearl of wisdom from the TGHS bible: “Looks don’t really matter to guys. All that really matters is whether or not you’re happy with yourself.”

Ah, shit, that’s funny.

My friend and I bought the TGHS in eighth grade from the back of Seventeen Magazine. Tune in next time for great advice from its paperback companion, Secrets of Great Kissers.

Friday, April 10, 2009

And yes, I did match Junior for this occasion

I have today off (from work and the blogosphere) and I'm dragging Junior to get his picture taken with a large fur-covered man who has bulging black eyes, antennae-like ears and sweaty felt gloves.

Can't imagine why children scream so...

If you want a piece of me, I guest posted over at A Reservation for Six. If not, pppppssssfffflt!

Now go dye those eggs!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The obvious solution: a nudist colony

After I wrote my woeful “I’m having issues with the hippie chick and we haven’t even become friends yet” post, I got an email from my friend, Amy—no, not that Amye—who formerly lived in Mulletville. She wrote:

I read your post tonight and wanted to remind you that even if I don't have a child I still want to be your friend, and I wear yuppie sweaters because I too would like to wear funkier clothing items but am too uptight as well I know this is a very large run on sentence but I have had a lot of shiraz.

Ok, do we love Amy? Yes.

Two things struck me about her email. First, you don’t need to have children to be my friend—that’s madness. There’s an application form, yes, but you don’t need to have birthed anything to fill it out.

Second, Amy hit the nail on the head with the whole “too uptight” thing. I mean, that’s it. That’s why I’m not a mellow hippie chick. It’s not so much that I’m a yuppie; it’s that I’m too uptight, especially about my clothing.

And I know exactly whose fault it is.

My damn mother's.

When I was a little girl, my mother, Linda, loved to dress me in color coordinating outfits. A typical outfit was:

a) yellow and green striped shirt
b) yellow pants
c) yellow and green striped socks
d) yellow and green striped barrette
e) it’s none of your business about my underwear (but they were probably green with a yellow ladybug)
f) green shoes

I probably also only ate yellow and green food that day.

Up until the age of five I was a good little brainwashed minion, until one morning Lori Dixon announced at the bus stop that she had chosen her own ensemble. She was unkempt and her Mickey Mouse shirt was stained, but she was everything I wanted to be.

So the next morning, instead of wearing the clothes my mother had laid out for me, I selected my very own outfit. Because I was such a considerate child, I incorporated some minor matching elements to appease her hunger for matchy matchness.

My mother didn’t talk to me that day.

We’ve recovered from that incident, obviously, but as you can guess, Junior’s miniature frame has reignited Linda’s passion for dressing little people like freak dolls. Seriously. When she used to babysit Junior regularly, I’d come home to find Junior dressed in something entirely different—something matchier—than the perfectly fine outfit in which I’d dressed him that morning.

Understandably, it pissed off Chuck. So on the days she came, we intentionally dressed Junior in unflattering color combinations just to see her expression and to see how long it would take her to change him.

Some days I wasn’t even out the door.

But then Chuck got laid off. Linda stopped coming up, and Junior stopped wondering why he was getting dressed twice a day—once by cackling parents and the other by a zealous matchnut.

But then Chuck had his operation and became a bedridden sack and Linda started babysitting again. Just the other day, she took Junior back to her lair so I could have a night to myself. Sensing that she was hungry to clothe him, I let her pack his overnight bag. This is what she packed:



For one night.

The woman has issues.

So now you understand why every time I stand before my closet I long to pair that polka-dotted shirt with the plaid pants just because I can, but I can’t. The stripes run too deep.

Sigh.

P.S. I hope Amy isn't mad that I used her tipsy email. It was so cute I couldn't help it!

Monday, April 6, 2009

I met someone. And I have a lot of questions

Let’s take a break from Chuck’s hiney, shall we? I know I could use a break.

Let’s talk instead about how when Mother Nature blesses New England with a nice day like yesterday you freak the hell out because you don’t know what to do to maximize every possible second of niceness.

From the moment you awake, you drive your immobile husband crazy with questions. Should you take Junior hiking? Biking? Walking? Window shopping? Strolling? Sprinkler jumping?

The real bitch is that every second spent deliberating about what to do with the one nice day is a second of time you could have been outdoors gone. So you start speeding up your questions to your immobile husband, who at that point knows exactly where he’d like to tell you to go, but he knows that you’ve been waiting on him for more than a week and that if he ever wants to eat or show someone his battle wounds again he better grin and bear it.

I decided on the beach.

As I was leaving, I turned wistfully to Chuck and said, “I need a friend in Mulletville. Like, now.”

Do you know what? As Junior and I slid down the cliff that is our front lawn, a woman who was walking down the sidewalk with her baby stopped and called hello. And she was cute! She was wearing straight-legged jeans with a patch on the butt; she had a ponytail with bangs. She kept smiling at me—Mrs. Yuppy Sweater (I’ve always secretly aspired to be a cool hippie chick, but a) I own too many blouses and b) I’m not mellow enough to pull off mellow clothes.)

We shot the shit for a few minutes. When we were done, she asked if I ever wanted to go walking on the weekends, and we exchanged numbers.

She picked me up, and it happened fast.

But, um, now I don’t know what to do. There’s the whole awkward burgeoning friendship stage to muck through—while we’re winded no less (she had skinny legs so I’m guessing she’s going to speedwalk). And I’m a nervous blurter. And she seems so much cooler than I am. Not that I’m a dweeb, but I don’t do well around calm people I don’t know. I tend to want to verbally jab. It’s how Chuck and I met. I assaulted him with my diction. I still do.

I know. I’m looking the gift hippie chick in the mouth (she has all her teeth, by the way). But I can’t help it. I’m used to being hit on by copier repairmen.

Have you ever been picked up by another woman on the street? If you have, did you become friends? Or were you the picker-upper? And why, if the universe was handing out plates of What You Asked For, didn't I say to Chuck, "I need a shopping spree. Like, now"?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

You say influenza, I say holiday

It’s been almost 12 years, and I still have trouble being frank with Chuck’s mom. Joyce has a habit of announcing her plans instead of asking if they’re ok, and when she calls I feel like I’m under some kind of sissy mindmeld. Maybe it’s because she only calls once every three months; I need more practice. Or maybe I need the book “Standing Up for Yourself When You’re Trying to Talk Your Mother-in-law Out of Visiting for Dummies.”

It sure would have come in handy last night.

Chuck started running a fever, and while I was pouring Tylenol down his throat I made the unfortunate mistake of picking up the phone. It was you know who.

When Joyce heard how frazzled I was she cried, “I’m coming right up!”

The thought of Chuck’s mom visiting at 10 p.m. turned me into a crazed chicken. You should have seen me whirling around the kitchen: Balk balk baaaaaaaalk! Balk balk balk bagaaaaaaaalk! She’d get Junior out of bed to play and she’d make me leave the house so she could have him all to herself. I’d be walking the streets of Mulletville all so she could bogart Junior. I’d probably get Mullet-jumped and end up lying in some alleyway.

I tried everything from “no thank you” to “that’s really not necessary” to “how nice, but maybe another time.” Nothing. I pulled out the big guns: “I have a contagious case of flesh-eating bacteria.”

The woman would not take no for an answer. So I chucked the phone at Chuck, who winced and slurred out a pain-bloated “nooooooooooooooo” (in response to her visiting, not me beating him again).

Did I mention Joyce is a nurse? (She actually had one of my relatives as a patient—on her psych ward—but that’s another post.) She prides herself in her medical know-how. She is Florence Nightingale.

When she realized she wasn’t, um, needed, she got all nursy on me.

“Chuck could have a fever from gangreneassitus. He could lose his sphincter if you don’t soak his left gluteus maximus in a prep bath of iodine and ¾ Crystal Light. Or if the fever is from peridontusbuttpox, you really should be monitoring the tubal ligation of his rear bowel. Sigh. If I were there…”

Chuck, drugged and writhing in pain: “Noooooooooooooooo.”

Turns out Chuck has the flu. The fucking flu. The sad part is, I’ve been licking his cups and using his toothbrush so I can get it. There’s a Project Runway marathon I’ve been dying to watch—even if I have to view it through the foggy haze of fever and vomiting.

Even.If.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Dunkin Donuts man is my soulmate

Tonight, because I am a blogging foo-foo-fooool I'm trying something new. I'm trying Mama Kat's workshop, and I chose this prompt:

Why did you do it?


There are many, many reasons why I did it. I did it because I was bitter about the hospital gown with the warm air hose. Because even though I'd pointed out the similarities between Chuck's spinal anesthesia and my 27 epidurals to the nurses and doctors at the hospital, no one took the bait and let me tell my southern pain stories. Because tonight, after I'd done the dishes, churned the butter and knit four sweaters, Chuck said he only wanted one grilled cheese; after he ate it he said, "I sure could use another..." even though I'd offered to make two in the first place.

And mostly because life feels like this right now (without the thrilling sense of purpose that swoops in at the end):



So, like my father did with my cat when I was 11—the one who had an affinity for peeing on the couch—I took Chuck for a drive to a neighboring town and let him out at the corner. If Chuck somehow makes his way back, like poor Courage* did, I'll set out a plate of grilled cheeses for him.

* The cat was named Courage by my dad's at-the-time girlfriend, who volunteered at the animal shelter in town. She dubbed him that because she found him living at the town dump and when she called, "Here, kitty, kitty" he leaped across three oil drums, or something Evel Knievel-ish like that. The cat did find its way back to our neighborhood after the goodbye drive, but he decided he liked our neighbor, Gail, better. To this day, Gail still talks about her precious kitty. So you see, good things can happen to animals and/or people who are dropped off on random street corners. Trust me.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It's fanny-ily over



When I brought Chuck to the hospital today, the nurses fussed and tittered around him. All five of them. They dressed him in a hospital gown that had two holes in it. A hose attached to the holes and blew warm, calming air all over his body. The nurses handed him the TV remote and asked if he would like a fresh pair of socks or his pillow fluffed.

He said yes.

Then they started the painkiller drip.

He lay back in bed and smiled.

That's when I raised my hand and said, "Excuse me, I'd like to check my butt in, too."

Sigh.