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.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Maimed by an evergreen. Healed by a thief and a swinger

I’ve never been the type who’s impervious to other people’s haste. I wish I could be, but I’m not. If someone in line behind me is in a hurry and visibly rushed, I get frazzled and hurried too. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t fall apart, I’m just acutely aware—and when faced with the option of expediting vs. lollygagging, I choose expediting.

Which is why I am now the proud owner of these.



And this.



Yes! First, I gave you The Smushed Finger. Then, The Smashed Toe. Now, I’d like to present The Sprained Ankle.



You see, there’s a stairwell at work that’s two platforms high and yesterday, I was walking down it when a co-worker came up behind me. Said co-worker is a towering tree of a woman, and she was in a hurry. Literally, she was on my heels. I could feel her breath on my neck. So I picked up the pace. My intent was to get to one of the platforms and move aside so the Redwood could pass. But just as I was about to step aside, my heel got caught in my pant leg. I landed the wrong way and went down. Against the rail.

Do you know that the bitch never even stopped? She kept going.

Guess who saw it all and came running? Orgy George. And Steve. In mere seconds there were by my side. For a minute it felt like the ending of Big Fish, when all the people with whom you’ve had complex and troublesome relationships come to your side one last time and you cry with joy.

Or immense pain.

George and Steve held my leg in the air (yah, that was awkward) while I sat on a step. I have never been so relieved to have freshly-shaven legs. They brought me icepacks and called 911. They found my missing heel (it had flown off and over the side of the stairwell at the moment of impact). They were great.

The good news is that it’s only a sprain and I get to catch up on shit TV while I heal. The bad news is that I won’t be able to pick up my son or navigate stairs unless I go down on my ass.

But you know what? I now know what it feels like to leave work strapped into a stretcher and to watch my office building grow smaller and smaller through an ambulance window. It’s not such a bad way to go. Sure, people will talk, but they won’t expect you to return their emails for awhile.

And for once I am in no hurry.

Redwood Bitch.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I had no idea so much was at stake

I pulled off a major coup this weekend. I threw a surprise picnic for Chuck in honor of his birthday. I had it at a park far, far from Mulletville. The park was spacious, sprawling and free. The best part was that there were picnic tables galore and they weren’t chained down, like they are in Mulletville, so we could build a barricade to other picnickers.

There’s nothing worse than an errant picnicker at a party.

To get Chuck to the park, I made up this lie: My family was having a picnic and I had to drive there early to have lunch with all the ladies in the family (because nothing’s more common than a pre-picnic lunch). Chuck needed to be there no later than two.

While Chuck’s friends and I were setting up, Chuck called everyone and their mother and begged them to save him from my family’s picnic. Around the fifth call, I started to get pissed. My family’s not that bad. Around the twentieth call, people had to stop me from throwing a picnic table into the water and calling off the festivities.

I’m glad they restrained me. After Chuck arrived he explained that he had called everyone because he knew I was up to something and he wanted to see if any of his friends would slip up.

There’s nothing worse than a strategic spoilsport at a party. Outwit me? Never!

The party went swimmingly. The grills worked. The sun shone. My bestest friend made the cutest cake. (I like how she stabbed the ghosts with the candles.)



As we were packing up, Chuck’s best friend said that I should pat myself on the back for a great party and for the fact that Chuck was so punctual.

“You told him to be here at two and he arrived at two-ten,” he explained. “That’s dedication.”

“Really?” I asked.

All the other men nodded knowingly.

So wow, there’s a whole component to relationships that I was never aware of. According to Chuck’s best friend, women can use punctuality, or the lack of it, as a barometer for devotion. Am I the only one who didn’t know this? Apparently there’s a pie chart in men’s locker rooms that breaks it down by the minute:



This changes everything.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Yes I'm falling apart, but my cheeks are stunning

I’m brain dead. I’m not sure if my brain cells are working overtime to heal my finger and toe or if my brain has decided to begin its geriatric decline in anticipation of my 35th birthday (relax, you still have six months to get me something).

So in lieu of an anecdote or rant, I wanted to share some my favorite things. No one paid me to say any of the following. These are actual items I have in my home. And they rock my world.

First, Clean and Clear Oil Absorbing sheets.



If you’re like me and your face becomes an oil slick mid-day, these blue sheets are fabulous for blotting. I’ve tried every other sheet out there and nothing compares—not even the ones from the Body Shop.

If you don’t want to spend the $5, the free toilet bowl liners (the waxy paper ones) in public restrooms actually do a good job of removing excess oil from your face (notice I said face). During an impoverished and OCD phase of my life I actually stole armfuls of the liners, took them home and cut them up into little blot-sized squares.

Obviously that was a time in my life when I should have been medicated.

The only caveat to the Clean and Clear sheets? If nosy co-workers wander into your office mid-blot, they may inquire as to why you are covered in Smurf-colored paper.



Tell ’em to suck it.

Next up, Benefit Cheek Stain (feel free to disregard my dusty window sill in the background).



I know, I know, it costs $28, but it smells like roses and lasts forever. Stick it in your purse, dab a few drops on your cheeks and bammo, you are rosy and flushed. No powdery streaks, no creamy gloops. Just pinky, tarty cheeks. I am a blush whore. I will be buried with this product.

And finally, from Mrs. Mullet's bathroom, Bumble and Bumble Straight.



If you blow dry your hair straight, you must use this. Don’t waste your money on the drugstore stuff; this leaves your hair shiny and glossy every time. At $25 a pop it’s expensive, but I bought this last November and I’m not even halfway through the bottle. Just don’t use too much; you’ll look like a greasehead.

Moving on to the kitchen. My friend recently turned me on to Pepperidge Farm* Deli Flats bread. Clearly I don't have a future in product photography because this looks totally unappealing (mmmm, sweaty wheat bread), but you get the idea.



I practically dry humped the bread I was so tickled by it. It is perfect for toddlers. There’s no crust, and the slices are thinner than bread, so the sandwich gets eaten instead of wasted. I cut up Junior’s sandwiches in the shape of triangles. He loves it. He calls it “peanut butter and jelly pizza.”

That Junior.

And lastly, Funky Monkey freeze-dried fruit ($2.49 in Connecticut).



The word freeze-dried doesn't sound very appealing, but I love these because the flavors are juicy and the fruit pieces don’t taste spongy or airy like other fruit snacks. They’re crunchy (crispy even), so it feels like you’re eating something naughty, even though they only have 110 calories per bag. I don't know how else to say it: Every flavor tastes good. And not to sound all Pollyanna, but I feel better knowing that Junior is snacking on fruit.

The only drawback is that there’s no seal on the bag. If your toddler is a grazer, like Junior is, there are usually leftovers. But hell, the problem is easily solved with a clothespin or clamp. Another bummer: You can’t get them at the usual chain supermarkets, so if you live far away from a Whole Foods, like I, it’s hard to get your hands on them. If your husband likes to down them like candy and you make a special trip to get them for your child, you’ll probably want to hide a case—

—Oh shit, my last brain cell just exploded on the monitor. Gross.

*Arnold Bread also makes these; they're called Sandwich Thins.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I'm all set with the month of September. Next, please

I slammed my toe in my office door.



I won't go into the gory details but it's bad. And here I thought I was on the mend after my thumb-in-the-car-door incident last week.

This time Chuck didn't rough anything up. He just handed me a box of bandaids. Meanwhile, Junior's been following my toe around like a stalker.

"What's that? What's on toe, Mommy? You have a boo boo? Can I have bandaid? Can I touch bandaid? Do I have boo boo? You have feet? Do I have feet? Are my feet big? Are Dadda's feet big? Are you big? Am I boy? Are you girl? Is Dadda man? Is Dadda big man? Does Dadda have big wiener?"

What??

Is it too late to change my mind about the whole wiener thing? Maybe pick something more arcane for when we're in public? Or should I go around shouting, "Yes! Yes! It's huuuuuuuuuge! I'm the luckiest girl aliiiiiiiive!"

Parenthood is so not what I expected.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Random Tuesday thoughts

randomtuesday

Instead of my usual funereal work clothes (shades of brown, black and gray), I wore a bright yellow shirt to work yesterday. BRIGHT yellow. I’m not sure what I expected. The seas to part? Co-workers to drop to their knees and shout, "Mrs. Mullet, you are a fucking lemon goddess"? I guess I thought that something should happen. But nope. When I put the shirt in the hamper I felt like yelling, “Hah! Boy did you blow it.” Then I imagined all the drab clothing around it snickering.

And I hadn’t even been drinking.

It's probably good I didn't go into teaching.

While I was wearing said yellow shirt, Mr. Doll asked me for a favor. At first I said no. He asked what it would take for me to say yes and I said, “A cinnamon doughnut.” So after lunch he brought me a box of Munchkins, mostly cinnamon. That was disappointing because the chocolate were much better. I called him and said he shouldn’t have. He shot back, “Well, you shouldn’t have asked then!” When I hung up I had a flashback to the playground. You know, when boys used to push you down and spit on you because they liked you.

I didn't end up doing him that favor.

I think I’ve solved the whole how-to-get-everyone-to-relax-on-the-playground dilemma: coin-operated kegs. And you'd need someone to check IDs, so voila, there's job creation.



Sometimes I miss laundromats. When Chuck and I had an apartment pre-Junior, we’d drag our asses to the laundromat on Sundays. We’d get coffee, read the paper and window shop at Raymour and Flanigan next door. Then we’d get potato pancakes and drink more coffee. At the time I was irritable: I wanted my own washer and dryer but now, those days don’t seem so bad.

I bet if I had to go back to using a laundromat I'd reconsider that last statement.

For more randomness head on over to the Un Mom. From what I hear, she wears yellow all the time. And you know what that means.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Don't look at me like that, Mr. Beer!


You know what? Playgrounds are really stressful.

First I wasn’t sure what age Junior should be before I stuck him in a swing. Because I’m a freak, I falsely believed that any time before one year would warrant a phone call to DCF from some mother who was watching me from across the park and telling her friends, “I can’t believe she’s sticking her newborn in that death trap.”

Now that Junior’s a toddler who acts like an 80-year-old on the playground (seriously, he’s so cautious he reminds me of my grandfather piddling around his kitchen), I live in fear that he’ll get trampled.

But carrying around all that paranoia and angst is stressful, so I’m really trying not to be such a parental mental disaster. Instead of worrying that everyone is judging me for how I’m handling my child or that Junior is holding up the line at the slide, I’ve been seeing playgrounds as a chance for Junior to run free while I watch from the sidelines.

Imagine that.


But you know what you hear when you sit back and just listen?

“Don’t scream, Billy! Use your inside voice.”

“Be CAREFUL, Samantha!”

“I told you not to jump on that!”

“Eric! Wait your turn!”

“Say sorry to that little boy for hitting him, Jamie!”

“Gregory Allen Smith! I said no yelling. We are leaving RIGHT NOW!”

“If you can’t go down the slide the right way, you’re not going down at ALL.”

“The swings are not meant to be used like that, Rickie!”

“Elizabeth, I said stop throwing rocks!”

“She was on it first. Now apologize for cutting her.”

“Did you just hit that boy? Did YOU?!”

“Jacob, he’s smaller than you. You HAVE to set a good example and NOT run UP the slide.”

“Don’t run so fast.”

“Don’t run so slow.”

Now, I’m a 34-year-old woman with ripened, fine-tuned coping skills (ahem) and sometimes I feel like beating my chest (or the parent in front of me) and screaming and running just to make the voices stop.

I’m not kidding.

So I’m asking nicely: Can we please give our children some breathing room at the playground? Can we let them run and fall and yell and shove each other without intervening? I know we’re trying to instill manners and proper etiquette but part of navigating a playground (and subsequently the world) is learning how to cope with others on our own.

And to the mother and father tag team who gave me “the look” yesterday for not supervising while their six-year-old son held Junior’s hand and helped him down the slide, your son was doing a fantastic job. His gentleness almost restored my faith in humanity and I almost walked over and said that, but I was happy in the moment.

Ahhhhhhhhhh. Imagine that.

From here on out, I've decided that if I’m going to go down the slide with my son or help him learn or cook or sew or grow or speak Prussian—anything!—I’d rather do it with my head outside of his ass. And I think that’s the best gift I can give him.

And playgrounds? So close to being done. Or bringing a 6-pack.

Friday, September 18, 2009

I'm thinking it's going to be one of those "no pants" Fridays

Today is Chuck's 37th birthday, and I'm giving him a brick. Not just any brick, this brick:



I saw it while on hellcation in New Hampshire.

Chuck, honey, there's a lot of shit that's up in the air right now (your job, my job, should we sell our house? should we get rid of our fat cats because we're tired of vacuuming? should we have another baby? should I cut my hair? should you stop farting so much? do we really need to fix the car door?), but really, a lot of it will fall into place as it's meant to.

I hope this brick offers you some peace of mind. I hope you have a great day. In fact, I hope it's your best birthday ever. And I am not jealous at all that you and Junior get to spend the day together while I'm at work.

Because I am mature and self-sacrificing and fabulous.

And a lying sack. I wanna stay home too!

Er, Happy Birthday, honey. I love you.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It made passing the gravy very awkward

One of the most glorious parts of being a parent is marveling over your children’s milestones: first tooth, first solid food, first steps and yes, the first time your child finds flatulence funny (where’s the spot for that in the baby book, huh?).

Junior’s encroaching on another milestone, which is the realization that Mommy is a girl with girl parts and Dad is a dude with dude parts. I suppose I could play this one by the book and use formal terminology when instructing Junior, but part of the fun of being a parent is coming up with crazy ass names for your junk.

Right?

Take my mom. When my brother Ted and I were growing up, she called a penis a wingle—which sounds like something you’d stick to your roof. Like, “Is that damn wingle loose again?” When Ted got his first, um, you know, erection at Thanksgiving when he was a toddler, and he started yelling, “My wingle won’t go down!” at the dinner table, my aunts and uncles were perplexed.

“What the hell’s a wingle?” my grandmother shouted.

(My dad took Ted into the bathroom.)

Also bizarre was my mother’s nickname for vaginas. She called them cooties, which really confused me on the playground. Why were people giving each other vaginas? How could a boy possibly have a bad case of vaginas?

It still throws me off.

But now the fun begins. Now it’s my turn to assign some ridiculous pet name to our body parts. For the manstick, I’ve chosen the ever-popular wiener, just because I love the word. I wish my name were Wilhelmina Wiener, in fact, because then I’d been Winnie Wiener and no one—no one—would ever be able to say my name with a straight face.

As for the cha-chas, Junior’s kind of beat me to it. He thinks the girls are extra bellies. Just this morning he patted them and said, “Mommy, you have nice bellies.”

So, holyshit, he’s a boob man, not a leg man.

I’m telling you, the baby books are missing lines for all the good milestones.

Do you have a funny nickname you use with your kids when you talk about body parts, or did your parents traumatize you with strange nicknames? Don't leave the wingle hanging!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Clearly I should run for city alderwench

Mulletville is such an easy target, I sometimes feel bad for pointing out its shortcomings. And maybe you’re tired of my blog posts about this decaying town. Maybe you’re wondering why the hell we just don’t move already? Maybe you think we’re the most irritating kind of people on the planet—you know, the kind of people who complain without ever trying to fix their situation.

Well, look, we’re trying to get out of here. But first we need to figure out where we want to go. Then Chuck needs to get a job. Then we need to sell our house. Then we need to break the news to my Hand-that-Rocks-the-Cradle mother (not necessarily in that order). Until then, we’re here.

In the meantime, I suppose I am going to keep trying to make it work. I was never good at breaking up with boyfriends, why should it be any different with a town? And what does that say about me if I admit defeat? There are hundreds of toothless rednecks who swear that at any moment Mulletville is going to experience a rebirth, and I’ll be damned if I miss it.

Mulletville, I won’t leave you to die alone!

Ok, I’m totally lying. I’ve given up on Mulletville. Right now, I’m just going through the motions. I’m having the equivalent of pity sex with my hometown. Or worse, I won’t admit that Mulletville has erectile dysfunction and that no matter how much Cialis or Viagra I shoot into its arm, it just won’t matter because it’s limp and lifeless and that’s just the way the franks and beans crumble.

How depressing is that?

Do you think this mother at the Mulletville park feels the same way?



Yah, that’s right, after I got done with the hillbilly fair yesterday, I dragged Chuck to the Mulletville park. I’m sick like that. Chuck got mad when I asked him to take this picture for my blog. He said, “You’re being immature. You should know better. I won’t have any part of it.”

In the end, I convinced him to take the picture. I told him I was compiling a list of Mulletville fashion don’ts, which I was going to submit to the Mulletville town council. It’s a public education campaign, you see. I will bring decency and common sense back to this wretched town! I will rescue the mulletheads and g-string jelly roll exhibitionists!

See? I told you I couldn’t break up with anyone.

(Glowing halo. Fade. Cut.)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

We didn't stay for the redneck relays

I was a very brave girl this weekend.

Today Junior and I met my friend and her toddler at a hillbilly fair. I don’t know about you, but I love walking around fairgrounds after a weekend of rain. The animals smell so…ripe, and the mud and garbage that pool in the walkways aren’t at all tempting to toddlers. Mmmm, squishy flip-flop goodness.

I don’t know if it’s because we were near Mulletville, but the animals in the petting zoo seemed a little off. A little dopey and slow. But I don’t know many sheep or goats (only this one) so maybe I’m just projecting my feelings of resentment and anger toward innocent livestock.

Oh shut up, there are worse crimes.

And what the fuck? Mulletvillians let their kids walk around with these



but freak out about germs? I understand you're supposed to sanitize your kids' hands after they've been licked by strange petting zoo animals, but there was a 40-person pile-up at the tent exit because parents were literally stopping in their tracks to douse their kids. What's the point of surviving E.coli poisoning if you have hair like that?

Finally, we decided to leave. On the way back to the car, as I struggled to push Junior's carriage through the rocks and mud, I overheard the most endearing exchange:

Wife: “You’re so stupid and useless.”

Husband: “I ain’t stupid.”

Wife: “Fine, you’re useless, but you ain’t stupid.”

Husband: [pause] “Thank you.”

Tune in next weekend when Mrs. Mullet adopts her other persona, the very scared girl, and hides behind her couch for three days.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It was like the adult version of when I spank the table and say, “Bad table” after it has given Junior a booboo—without the therapeutic outcome

According to Heather Whipps on Yahoo! News, yesterday (9-9-09) “represents the last set of repeating, single-digit dates that we'll see for almost a century (until January 1, 2101), or a millennium (mark your calendars for January 1, 3001).”

Great suggestion, Heather! I’m usually pretty good about marking birthdays and anniversaries ahead of time, but sure, let me flip through my datebook a few thousand years and make a note.

Hopefully by that time I won’t be wearing this anymore.



Isn’t it purdy? It goes so well with my surgical stockings and neckbrace. Well, ok, I don’t have to wear either of those, but I do have to sport the thumb guard for a few days. See, I wasn’t paying attention as I was getting out of my car after work, and I caught my thumb in the door.

Multi-tasking + slammed car door = pain

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the female passerby who saw it happen, dropped her grocery bag and ran over to inspect the damage. My thumb didn’t swell to the size of a watermelon and turn a grotesque shade of black, as she promised, nor did I need a doctor to drill a hole in my mangled thumb to alleviate the pressure, as she swore, nor has my nail curled, rotted or fallen off my thumb.

I really hope the woman doesn’t have children, or if she does, that her husband is with them when they fall, otherwise I’m guessing playground mishaps sound something like this:

“Oh God, Billy, noooooooooo! Your scratch will be ravaged by flesh eating bacteria that’s going to crawl into your brain and render you sterile while you sleep and then oh God next comes the coma you’ll be a vegetable, oh God, noooooooooo we must amputate!”

Understandably, I was in a pissy mood when I walked through the front door.

But that Chuck! Do you know what he did to make me feel better? He took a drive in that same car to get me some ice cream. Awww. And because he takes affronts against me so personally, he left the back door open and reversed alongside a cement wall at the ice cream shop and tore up that door accordian-style. Just to show that car who’s boss.



Busted car door + $400 repair bill = $0 in bank account

Isn't Chuck the greatest?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

From the grave: Miley needs to come down off the pole, plus, a winner (finally)

After I finished mourning my made-in-China American flag on Sunday, I took Junior to visit my friend, Sandy, in Assachusetts. I had an extra day to burn thanks to Labor Day; what better way to spend it than in the state that’s home to the world’s worst drivers?

Sandy’s other friend was also spending the night with her three-year-old daughter, Bella, who is Junior’s girlfriend.

Yah, that’s what he calls her. His girlfriend.

Am I ready? No. But they were lying in bed together and all hands stayed above the diaper line so I’m guessing I have a few years before we need to have the talk. Though if Miley Cyrus keeps pole dancing and the marketers succeed at funneling little girls into exotic dancing careers—which seems to be their master plan—I may only have a few months.

While the kids were canoodling on Sandy's bed, we admired the photo of her beloved Grandma Adele.



Sandy was in the midst of explaining how Grandma and Grandmpa Adele had met when suddenly Junior stopped, pointed to the picture and said, “Her grandma lives in the dirt*!”

“What, honey?” I asked.

“She lives in dirt. She's in dirt.”

Sandy grabbed my hand and shrieked, “What?? Grandma Adele is dead! He’s right. She lives in the dirt!”

“Ooooooooooooooh,” we all said.

“Does this mean Junior sees dead people?” I asked.

“It makes sense,” said Sandy. “His father is a ghostbuster.”

Everyone thought the prospect of Junior communing with dead people was great. Not me. My prenup specifically says only one ghosbuster in the family. I don’t care if Chuck gets slimed with ectoplasm. But not my baby—even if it is with Sandy's grandma's goop. She's cute and grandmotherly, sure, but she is...well, dead.

And hello, Haley Joel Osment was creepy. No one wants a toddler pulling at your shorts saying, "I see the dirt people."

After we put the kids to bed, we sat in the living room. Had some drinks. Shot the shit. We were about to put in a movie when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. It was white, glowing and moving slowly. I grabbed Sandy's leg.

“It’s an arm! Agggggggh! A floating arm!” I screamed. Everyone jumped.

Sure enough, there was a pale white arm reaching for the doorknob. The arm belonged to Bella. She wanted a glass of water.

The lesson? Chuck's ghostbusting is making me a nervous fucking wreck and if he doesn't get a TV show from it, I am making him trade in his thermal camera for a proper briefcase/toolbelt/I don't really care what it is as long as it has to do with the living (and making a living, for that matter).

Harumph.

Speaking of marital bliss, I'd like to announce the winner of the tungsten ring. It's Riley's Mis-Adventures. She may not want it after I slammed her home state, but I'm sure Grandma Adele will vouch for me in the Afterlife.

Or maybe not.

*I realize it's a sepia-toned photo and that that may account for the dirt thing but come in, it is eerie.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Seriously, America?


We can't make our own flags?

Happy Labor Day. I guess.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

At least I can admit that I'm emotionally immature, juvenile and unsupportive. Subtitle: Chuck could have done better



Try as I might, I cannot stop fantasizing about Chuck being creamed by a Mack truck (I know, poor Chuck, you must think I am the wife from hell). But listen, I don’t want him to die. I just want him to stop having so much weekday fun with Junior.

Today—which was sunny and 80, with no humidity—he called me at work to say that he was on his way to meet his friend and wife at a park. They would be there playing tennis (does anyone work?). While they volleyed, Chuck would amuse Junior on the adjacent playground. Afterward, they would all get lunch. Then Chuck would be on his way home.

Even though I promised I would not make comments like “Must be nice, asshole,” and “I guess I’ll just keep on winning that bread” (because it’s emasculating and rude, I know), I couldn’t help myself. While Mrs. Mullet toiled away, Chuck was able to:

1) see friends

2) answer to no one but himself

3) play with Junior

4) breathe fresh—as opposed to recirculated—air

5) poop in the comfort of his home or in the anonymity of a public place (as opposed to a shared office bathroom)

6) be free from Corporate America

Even though I promised I’d do better, I’m right back to where I was before, which is not mature enough to handle this situation. I want to be, I swear. I try to be grateful every day for the fact that Chuck is a great dad and he’s doing a great job and we don't have to worry about daycare because that’s what the mature part of my brain tells me, but the comments slip out. The call to the Mack truck driver gets placed.

The thing is, I know I’m not alone. As of June 2009, the male unemployment rate was 10 percent, versus 7.6 percent for women. Some of those women must be jealous freakazoid moms like me.

Before working fathers get ruffled, I know you get jealous, too. CNN covered it, so it must be true. And I just got an email from a male friend who wrote, “Yesterday I had Michelle for a couple of hours while Jen went to the eye doctor. I got a good glimpse of what life at home is like during the day. Michelle, t-shirt, jeans, a walk around the hood, Moms, strollers, nowhere important to be, no rush to get there...I’m pretty sure we’re getting shafted on this deal.”

Now, I know that the grass is always greener. I know that the life of a stay-at-home parent isn’t glamorous or fun all the time. But to help us shaftees, could you please lie and tell us that every day was a day from hell? Could you not tell us when you go to the park? Could you pretend to be a little less in tune with the needs of our child?

And could you stand just a little closer to the center lane?

Kidding! Omigosh, I am so kidding! (Though after reading this, I may just volunteer myself as roadkill.)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

So I may not attract a zebra mate, but I bet the chinchillas would be all over me



Do you see that dress? I bought it in April. I was on a skinny streak and I thought, yes, flowy linen! I was also on a 34-year I-only-wear-brown-and-black kick and thought eureka, zebra print! The best part? The dress was 40% off. So falalala, I bought it. I envisioned myself wearing it to summer weddings, when I was high tea-ing in Mulletville, sleeping, showering, it didn’t matter: It was perfection.

Eagerly, I rushed home to try it on in the comfort of my home. Somehow it had shrunken in its plastic Banana Republic bag (yah, that’s right, I went back). Instead of slimming my figure, it smushed my breasts together, making them look like a band of deflated muffins. And linen? You sit down once in linen and this happens



Ok, fine, that’s denim, but you get the point.

I looked like a fat, flattened zebra. If a male zebra had been near me he would have rammed me in my poofy ass, not tried to mount me. If a dress doesn’t make a zebra want to mount you, there’s no point in wearing it.

It had to go back.

But wouldn’t you know it, the store is halfway between Mulletville and New Haven and every time I happened to be driving past it, Junior was asleep or it was raining or we were trying to outrun the police. Every time. For five months.

Last night, I finally made it to the store.

I was ecstatic. But when I got to the register, I couldn’t find the receipt. The waif clerk told me that without a receipt, the $54 dress was now worth $20.

“Listen here,” I said. “I’ve been driving by your store for five months, and I have the receipt. I will get my money back.”

So I huffed it to the car, rummaged through the landfill that is our trunk (Chuck, you are a fucking slob) and found the receipt. See, look? I had my golden ticket.



But when the waif clerk examined the receipt, she told me that 90 days had passed since the purchase, therefore I could only get a store credit of the dress’s current value, $20.

Excuse me? What? Based on 30 years of returning clothes, I know full well that people get a store credit for the full amount when they have their receipt. It’s practically law.

The waif could tell I was about to flip my lid. How could I not? I had finally arrived at the finish line —receipt and zebra dress in hand, tags in tact—only to be told that my trek was worth a measly $20.

“Sorry,” she said sheepishly. “Do you, um, still want to return it?”

“Never!” I screamed. “I will wear this dress. MARK MY WORDS.”

So now I’m home. With the dress. I don’t care what it takes, I will make that dress work for me. I’ll belt it, I’ll slap it, I’ll hogtie it—whatever it takes.

I’m also starting a petition to Banana Republic. It’s called the “Take your zebra dress and shove it” petition. Here’s what I’m lobbying for:

a) When the skinny BR salespeople ask for your zip code at the register, they factor in how far a BR is from where you live. The further you live, the more time you get to return things. Duh.

b) They make drive-thrus for returns. The drive-thrus also serve fries and Frosties.

c) If you’re a mom, dad or pet owner (or hell, even if you have demanding siblings or parents), you get an extra year to return something. That’s right, MoFos, a year.

And, obviously,

d) The BR salespeople start eating whole apples instead of just 1/4" slices.

Billie Jean said it best, folks. Fair is fair!



$%#&*ing zebras.

P.S. Don't forget, today's the last day to win a free tungsten ring from Tungsten Rings Online. Go to their site, find something for $120 or less and tell me what you want in the comments section of the previous post. Comments close tonight at midnight, EST. Open to residents worldwide.