Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pukers and nose jobs and beer, oh my!

I’m finally sober.

I think.

I’m betting that the two people who puked aren’t. Maybe the girl who threw up at 8:30 p.m. Probably not the girl who was down on all fours in front of the toilet at 11.

I want to personally thank them for making my 15th high school reunion last night so memorable. There’s nothing quite like seeing one of the popular girls—one who looks like she does Pantene/ Crest White Strips / pilates commercials—hugging the bowl in her designer jeans as her friend brings her a puke bucket. I wish I hadn’t seen her wiping up her own mess and apologizing for being in the way. It kind of made her likeable.

Kind of.

The other puker? She sent out an email this morning saying how sorry she was for ruining everyone’s reunion. I wanted to write back, Oh honey, you enhanced it. Someone beat me to it.

Our class president had traded her striped tights and hot pink hair tips for a sunny disposition, a cardigan and jeans. She thoughtfully made name tags using our senior year yearbook picture. I actually had forgotten what mine looked like because many of my wonderful friends wrote “pearl necklace” all over it, to the point where my face was buried under ink. (That wasn’t my nickname gutter dwellers, I made the unfortunate mistake of wearing pearls that day and having an uncanny number of perverts for friends.)

Eric Rothbaum did not keep his sexy blonde curls; he was sporting a shaved head. And a gut. The boy I first kissed in eighth grade was also bald. I didn’t get close enough to his mouth to tell whether his nickname “wet sock” was still appropriate (as far as first kisses go, I so deserve a refund). His wife had too much to drink and started a fight with his best friend. Why do people bring their spouses to these events? The bar looked like a doctor’s waiting room: all those men, bored as hell, yawning as their wives reminisced about their favorite cheerleading poses.

(For the record, I was not a cheerleader. High school is tough enough without getting mooed at at football games. Besides, I was too busy shotgunning Golden Anniversary beers behind the band entrance before us marching band folk took to the field. Come on, you think I’m hot, don’t you?)

The food at the reunion looked wonderful but overdrinking and not eating worked so well for me at my wedding reception, I thought I’d give it another whirl. Apparently a lot of other people did that too because conversations morphed from polite inquiries—“Tell me more about your advanced accounting degree”—to loud postulations and pointing: “That wasn’t a deviated septum! That was a fucking nose job. And she’s still fat and ugly!”

Yes, things started to feel so familiar, I almost forgot 15 years had gone by. Until it was time to leave and a group of people said they were going to the casino—the one right next door to Mulletville.


I’ve grown so accustomed to Mulletville being my unmagical kingdom I actually forgot that people come here on purpose. People from the outside world. People who knew the former me but don’t know Junior or Chuck or My Grown Up Life. When my brain tried to meld the two it exploded. Again.

Thankfully the puke bucket was still handy.

P.S. I rocked the Dutch Boy. Oooohh yeeeahhh.

Friday, November 28, 2008

It all makes sense...

Of course! The urge to blog about the cool moms at the estrogen fountain? The dream last night that my friends went to lunch and no one stayed behind to wait for me? The ruffled bloomers outfit I was wearing as I stood at the cafeteria entrance?

It can only be one thing. HSRS...High School Reunion Syndrome.

I can't fricken believe it.

Self, repeat after me: You are being ridiculous.

I wish I could offer you something more memorable, like a recap of our Martha Stewart Thanksgiving, but it involved an abscessed tooth (my brother's; his face swelled to the size of a basketball) and a friend's sheltie that tried to hump Junior every time he sat down. Oh, and my former prison guard uncle who showed up in his clown outfit.

No one knew he was a clown. I've never eaten turkey with a clown. Or had a clown take a nap on my couch.

I hope you had a great holiday. And I can't believe Aunt Burty came back as a sheltie. It's nice to know that in the afterlife she's still, you know, feisty.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Could've been so beautiful...could've been so right...

I brought Junior to the park this morning because I took the day off and it was 45 degrees out, which felt like 80 after the cold spell we had last week.

The park in Mulletville is a nice enough place. There are some swings and a duck-laden pond. The local high school track team practices there so sometimes we get to watch skinny, out-of-breath pimpleheads run by (Where’s Waldo? always seem to come to mind).

There’s also a fountain by which moms congregate.

I don’t like the fountain. There’s something intimidating about moms who clump together and pass around Cheerios. For a group that’s supposed to be so nurturing and supportive (I’m grossly generalizing here), they can be downright snarky. They size you up, size your kid up, whisper, etc. It’s enough to make you feel like you’re back in your fifth grade cafeteria.

Needless to say, I’m not an infiltrator; I’m more of a fringe hanger.

I’m also a heckler. As Junior and I made our way to the path so we could avoid the bustling matriarchal fountain, we passed a chain of four moms doing lunges and Mountain Poses as they pushed their strollers. Ick. Blech. Stroller yoga? I don’t want to watch anyone’s spandex creep up her ass as she reaches for the rising sun. Don’t pretend you live in California; accept the fact that you live in a gray, barren state and do your muscle communing indoors.

So back we headed to the fountain.

And that’s when I saw her. Pale skin. Long, black hair. No rat tail. Fit, but not neurotically so. Standing away from the crowd, watching the ducks with her toddler son. Quiet or anti-social? It was hard to tell. The sunbeams reflecting off the fecal-encrusted pond caught her earrings and I thought Would you be miiiine? Could you be miiiiine? Won’t you be…my neighbor?

Ever notice how trying to befriend a fellow mom can feel like you’re picking someone up at a bar? I mean, you both have kids but so what? You both have arms and yet you don’t go out in public and strike up conversations about that.

“Hi, I, uh, noticed you also have a limb with a hand attached to it. How’s that, uh, going for you?”

Nonetheless, she had a smokin’ rack so I pushed Junior’s stroller closer. Junior, in his social vomiting way, yelled, “Hiyeah. Moon. Uh-oh. Illy. Dada. Hiyeah. Mama. Happy. Nose. Juice. Eye. Oh no. Hiyeah.”

Her son, who was sitting on the ground eating Cheetohs straight from the bag, gave me a blank look. That should have been my first clue, but the woman kind of nodded, so I did that thing where you wear a perma-smile so as to convey the fact that you’re sunny, approachable, sketchy. She smiled back.


“The ducks look cold,” I offered.

Idiot! A) It was practically warm out and b) how about, “Hi, my name is Mrs. Mullet and we both have kids so why don’t we talk about the one thing we have in common in that sardonic, fatigued way moms do?”

I can’t understand why the mothers at the park aren’t begging me to join their elite Cheerio circles.

She snickered and picked up her kid. “If I was a duck, I’d only fly back to Connecticut to take a shit.”

Well, there you have it. Clearly we would not be sipping hot chocolate together as we discussed our children—or our appendages. Though as I walked back to the car I did realize our mutual disdain for this state could have been our saving grace.

If only...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Is that a drumstick in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Is there someone special you think of every Thanksgiving? Someone, perhaps, who knit you a warm, fuzzy hat with your initials or who baked you a blueberry pie even though blueberries weren’t in season? How nice.

Well—Marcia, Marcia—I’ve got someone I think of too.

Aunt Burty, God rest her wrinkled soul, was my second cousin’s twice removed aunt, or something like that. You know those fake eyes you hot glue to crafty projects? The eyes that don’t line up and have a mind of their own? Now put those eyes behind bottle glasses and add red lipstick and a newt. That was Burty.

She was engaged to an opera singer in her twenties, but he died. She never left her parents’ house after that; she never loved again.

I’m not sure how exactly Burty ended up at our house that Thanksgiving of ’95. She looked as surprised to be there as we did having her there. Whoever dropped her off must have told her she was going somewhere divine because she arrived in a fur, pearls, and heels.

Sadly for her, the festive ambiance at the table was limited to my brother Teddy’s armpit farts.

For a 98-pound geezer, Burty was surprisingly agile. She plopped herself at the end of the table, and every time she wanted something she’d pull the tablecloth towards her so she could reach it. Which meant as soon as you saw your plate moving you’d have to grab on to it.

And, um, did I mention that when her hands weren’t busy with that they were navigating Sud de Burty?

Yes, she and her giblets had a grand old time. As soon as her hands crept yonder, my mother would try to come up with reasons for her to keep her hands above the table, like could Burty please pass the salt? Hang a picture? Show us the lovely embroidery on her sleeves?

Alas, if someone wants to dial her rotary phone, nothing is going to stop her—not even a request to applaud Teddy’s armpit performance (do you have any idea how difficult it was for my mother to ask him to “play” a song so everyone would clap?).

Yes, my loves, nothing quite beats eating turkey while an old woman soaks the whisker biscuit and your brother’s sweaty, pubescent armpit deflates.

Norman Rockwell, if you’re up there, I’d love to see your rendition of this.

P.S. All that paddling the pink canoe must have been good for her health because Burty lived to be 93.

P.P.S. If you’re ever at a loss for slang terms for strumming the banjo, check this out.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I never thought I'd say this, but Jessica Simpson is the only one who can save me

When I was in college, I had a roommate who did what every woman contemplates but often doesn’t have the nut to carry out: She took a pair of scissors and hacked off all of her blonde hair. She was beautiful enough to get away with it. And skinny. And glamorous. Blah, blah.

Every time I thought about it—and even got as far as bringing the scissors close to my head—I heard the voice. No, not Winona. This voice was more like Dudley Moore narrating a very sad children’s book: “She had been such a pretty girl. And then she went and ruined it. And sat home every Saturday night until her hair grew so long around her it eventually swallowed her whole. The end.”

Despite the knowledge that I could never pull off a jagged self-coif, I have always, always wanted to hack it all off. Especially lately. Long hair takes forever to blow dry. Ponytails give you pattern baldness (it’s true!). And Chuck, being the bald man he is, has always encouraged/bullied me into changing my hairdo because he has hair envy and let’s be honest, there’s only so much you can do with facial hair. (Though if I were a guy, I would totally have a handlebar moustache. Why the hell not? It’s badass!)

So, um, yesterday morning I went to the hairdressers and said “Chop it off!”

And now I look like this:

Just in time for my high school reunion this Saturday.

Lesson? The voice, whoever the hell it sounds like, is always right.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

We're off to the fat farm

Dentist: "Mrs. Mullet, you're a wimp and your teeth are going to fall out."

Pediatrician: "Mrs. Mullet, your terrible cooking has turned your son's intestines into the badlands."

Vet: "So you don't have time to walk your cats, Mrs. Mullet? Well, do you have time to give them injections for the feline diabetes they're going to have because they are both morbidly obese?"

Did she have to be so mean about it? It's not like I feed the cats cinnamon biscuits and pound cake. I'd have to successfully bake those to feed them to someone. And did she really have to give me a worksheet?

The whole reason we got cats is because they self-maintain. They're supposed to be like stuffed animals that occasionally move and make noise. We've been duped!

But hey, look, I got a rockstar award from this hot mama because I'm "all business up front and party in the back!"

Fat, toothless, poopless wonders saved by the mullet. This is why I have a blog.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A weekend-long vegetable orgy is in order

Does this sound like you? Peel back the cover. Fondle the goods. Yawn. Stick it in. Tap your foot. Count the seconds until it’s over. Clean up and live in dread of the next time.

Yah, me too. It’s kind of what happens when you microwave one too many Morningstar Chik Patties and you look over at your child and he’s already shaking his head saying, “Nooo, noooo” like a frightened peasant woman who’d rather eat yak than another godamn chik pattie.

You have to understand: Chuck and I are Cereal People. The staples of our diet have been Special K, Honey Bunches of Oats, and beer. I did deviate one year when I ate a lot of frozen corn (Chuck was doing his own thing with General Tso’s chicken), but we have been remarkably content with food stuffs that float in milk.

Which is why one of my bridesmaids gave me this for my wedding present:

And why she inscribed it with this:

Well, isn’t that cute of her. She who can cook! She who can go into a supermarket, randomly select ingredients, go home and whip something up. Something that people will eat instead of pushing it around on their plates then politely suggesting pizza.

Want to know what I made Chuck the first night we lived together? Chicken parm. It was easy: I baked a few turkey breasts, slopped on some American cheese, then doused it with jarred spaghetti sauce. The next night I fried up some Italian sausage in butter then tossed in undercooked pasta and Italian salad dressing. Don’t forget the side of candied carrots.

Cereal, as you see, was just a natural progression.

Do you know how I yearn to breeze into my kitchen and successfully use exotic things like cumin and leeks and capers? Some days I daydream about the nanny coming over to find a counter full of freshly baked goods sprinkled with Juniper berries and Cardamom and shichimi-togarashi, whatever the hell that is. She’d stuff her face all day then go home and tell everyone she knows that Mrs. Mullet feeds people the right way. She’d say how satisfied she and her kid and Jager are. And I’d feel satisfied.

See, that’s the crux of it—I want to be culinarily fertile. I want to leaven a lasagna, birth a moist banana nut bread, souse a Succotash.

But more than anything, I want my son to go “mmmm” when he eats something I made. Not something from a box. Not even from a recipe. But from La Cucina de Mrs. Mullet, dammit.

Do they make a chik pattie patch? Gum? They’re just so springy!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Shield yourself: It's all coming out

I beg to differ with WYM: Bodily functions are NOT fun. They are not fun at home and they are certainly not fun when you take Junior to the grocery store to buy Tylenol and he upchucks on his slippery winter coat and starts sliding down your slippery winter coat and the two of you look and smell like alleyway rats trying to engulf each other in a horribly awkward embrace.

Yes, no sooner had I finished writing about Junior's Raisinets® woes than he decided to give us the gift of every bodily function possible, along with a fever. But you have your own kids; you certainly don’t need the grimy details of mine.

I want to tackle a tag I got a bit ago from TAWM. I feel kind of Marcia Marcia for doing it, but I kind of still smell like puke, so indulge me?

I’m bored with the generic seven things so I’m changing the tag. Ready for my rebel roar? Here are the 7 important things I’ve learned because of blogging:

1. I don’t have to have a vagina to be a good writer (scroll past the creepy photo to BS Sunday).

2. People are in need this holiday season. This mother needs underwear.

3. I should never call myself a bad mom because this person has already claimed the title.

4. Mom fashion is regionally elitist. You’re only a cool mom in your bunny boots if you live here.

5. I should be a better person.

6. Dads are people, too. Lovable, in fact.

7. Stuffing your pants full of weed, cigarettes, crack pipes, and condoms will get you in trouble.

If you think some of those are strange, check out this woman who sports a monkey in her spare time. (Yeh, that's shameless self promotion but I told you I was having a Marcia Marcia moment, didn't I?)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Here's some information you might want to sit on. Or you could sit on Hugh Jackman

I was never one to talk about poo before I had a kid, and I swore I wouldn’t do it after, but you really can’t help it, can you? Especially when you have friends over for a round of Wii and everyone puts down their joysticks to watch the real match: Junior vs. His Large Intestine.

Despite our best efforts (vats of stewed prunes, moon howling, pear juice), Junior just can’t seem to produce anything larger than what might come out of a rodent. In a word: Raisinets®.

So this morning, I took him to his pediatrician, Dr. L.

Depending on the visit, Dr. L. is either charming or churlish. He looks like House; he acts like House. He is more apt to talk about Hugh Jackman’s enviable physique than cater to my paranoid questions (in all fairness, they’re not that paranoid). He asks us every appointment if we like his bright yellow Audi. He doesn’t appear to change his socks.

The funny thing is, he thinks I am crazy. When I asked him whether he thought Junior would be developmentally happier in daycare or at home with a nanny and a playmate (the question came out more like “should I give him his daycare wings and set him free?”), he patted my shoulder and said in all earnestness, “Mrs. Mullet, your son is not a caterpillar.”

Today, Doctor L. listened patiently as I described Junior’s symptoms (a tomato-red face, popped blood vessels, grunting) then told me to sit down.

“Junior has CMD,” he said.

“What’s CMD?”

“It’s pretty serious.”

“What? What is it??”

“Colonic Motility Disorder.”


“Yes, I’m sorry. Junior is extremely constipated. And now they have a fancy name for it.” He waited for me to laugh.

And he waited…

And waited…

I might have laughed had I not had a similar experience with my dermatologist, who told me he couldn’t remove the mole above my eyebrow because I would forever have a permanently raised eyebrow. He warned me I would always looks suspicious, or rather, that would people would feel I was always looking at them suspiciously.

For years I kept the damn mole. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I made an appointment and said I would risk the suspiciousness—just please get the damn thing off my face—and he burst out laughing.

He had been kidding.

What’s with all the doctors who think the you’re-dying-just-joking shtick is funny? I’m thinking of starting a petition called “Raisinets® have feelings, too” and bringing the dipshits down.

Mwahahahaha. Are you with me? I swear I won't look at you funny.

(If you want to read more about CDM because you think you might have it—ew—read about it here.)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

How do you recover from the most exxxciting night ever? You do the Macarena

Yawn. Stretch. Crack.

Is it really after 10? Does my brain really feel this clear and mountain-fresh clean?

Yes. Yes it does.

Last night was our first childless night since March, when we let loose and did this. If you don’t like happy little cookie people, I'll give you a quick synopsis: Chuck and I hit Lenscrafters and downed a 6-pack in the mall parking lot for Date Night I. Do I even need to tell you that expectations for Date Night II were much higher? I mean, through the roof higher.

So hold on kiddies, here we go:

Venue #1: Mulletville’s version of a lounge bar
After dolling ourselves up, Chuck and I walked to downtown Mulletville and had some sliders. And beer. And Red Headed Sluts. I ran into the publisher of the local paper. Apparently my editorial board contributions have been completely unremarkable because I had to re-introduce myself for the 15,000,000th time. Chuck and I befriended an octogenarian named Corky, whose wife left him to clean his dentures in some Sam Adams while she played Black Jack at the casino.
Time of departure: 6:45 p.m.
Tab: $38.72

Venue #2: WalMart
Chuck bought the new Hellboy and I bought Woolite. For shits and giggles I threw a Glamour in the cart. Just to, you know, keep up appearances.
Time of departure: 7:25 p.m.
Tab: $31.86

Venue #3: Mulletville’s version of an Irish pub

After we pulled into the driveway and realized it wasn’t even eight o’clock, we decided we were utterly pathetic. So we walked back to downtown Mulletville and hit one last bar, where we had more Red Headed Sluts and I ran into a co-worker dining alone. Apparently my graphic design contributions to my company have been completely unremarkable because I had to re-introduce myself for the 15,000,000th time. The cure for his contrition? More shots.
Time of departure: 8:44 p.m.
Tab: $40.11

Venue #4: Home
Chuck popped in Hellboy and I promptly fell asleep. Can you blame me?

Ok, so we have become the lamest couple on the planet. But you know what I've learned? A night without Junior is good for the noggin. And I've still got it: Corky thought I was cute. Really, really cute.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, we’ve already missed a wedding ceremony this morning, and I don’t think blogging is an acceptable reason to miss the reception.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The oh-so-long road of self-suckitude...made better only with German engineering

No sooner had Chuck and I moved on from my residence in his ass than he finds out he’s not getting the pink slip—at least not this year. After.all.that. Of course, I came home from work and shared the good news with Diana, who got all teary and told me she’s so relieved because she’s never been happier nannying for someone, blah blah. She went on for a good 10 minutes. When she was done she said, “Now you know how much I like you guys. I hope you feel the same way?”

Fucking A. It hit me that in the three months she’s been in my home I have not once said, “Great job!” or “Thanks for liking my kid and my cats and my crumbling front walkway and my Mulletville neighborhood and my psychotic mother.” Not once.

The woman drives more than 45 minutes to come to my house. She brings educational toys and homemade hummus and an uncanny amount of cheese with her. She didn’t get angry when we brought her son’s gingerbread cookie man toy to Cape Cod and I accidentally spilled rum and Coke on it and changed its song from “Let’s make cookies!” to a sticky, creepy “whah smake wookieeeens.”

I like her. And I never even told her. I mean, I told her today but still, I feel like I should send her a card. Or flowers. Or a sweater made from my cat’s fur balls (it was Pablo Guero’s idea.)

Folks, if you have a nanny, put down your mouse and call the woman (or manny) and tell her how much you adore her in a nonsexual way. There should be a freaken nanny holiday. That way dipshits like me would stop for a minute and appreciate the sweet set-up they have.

I think I’ve covered my atonement for the month? Though there is that poor boy I devirginized back in ’92…oh God, and my gym teacher. And that Boy Scout.

Screw the Furminator. Only a 535i xDrive BMW Sports Wagon in cherry red can save me now (5-speed, please). I promise I'll send loving thoughts to all I've emotionally maimed as I'm driving...I swear!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Carrie Bradshaw's voice makes self introspection feel icky

So you like pictures of hairballs but not of a frog and a bear canoodling in secret. Interesting.

I didn’t arrange them like that; when I went to put Junior down for bed last night I caught them red-handed. Then I called Chuck in to have a peek and he laughed—probably for the first time in awhile.

The mood in the house has been downright shitsville, and I have myself to thank. I thought I had gotten to the point with my husband where I understand the concept of space. Normally when something is bothering him—like an impending pink slip—and he holes up in his Man Room until the wee hours of the morning saving the world (excuse me, playing video games) I don’t linger in the doorway. I let him do his thing.

But lately, as I’m lingering in the doorway, my mouth is spewing out this:


I can’t understand why he avoids me.

The thing is, I know that the more you push, the more someone retreats. But I can’t help it. I’m like a chainsaw going after a melancholy bunny rabbit with a broken leg. If I could just catch it, we could get this over with.

This morning it finally came to a head. Chuck yelled, “Is this what Junior’s wearing today?” The TV was on and I was blow-drying my hair so it sounded like “Wha wha wha wwwa waaaaaa wawawaaa?” (that’s a Peanuts rip-off, I’m aware). I calmly stopped what I was doing and shouted back about four gazillion decibels louder “I CAN’T HEAR YOU WHEN YOU SCREAM AT ME!”


Sigh. That’s what happens when your husband interrupts an internal conversation you’re having with him while taming your frizz; a conversation that goes something like this: “Please, for the love of God smile and let’s move on with our lives!”

I apologized, but on the way out Chuck spit on my car, then backed into it.

That Chuck!

No, really, he called me at work to apologize for being in such a funk. I was immediately contrite for how I have been trying to cheerlead him into sunnier pastures instead of letting him wallow in his muck. (Really, I’ve been downright annoying.)

After we hung up, I got to wondering (ew, how very Carrie Bradshaw): Why is it so much easier to apologize after someone else has done it first? Why do we needle our partners when we know they need the opposite?

And why, oh why, didn’t the frog and bear just tell me they had a tawdry thing going?

When stuffed animals go bad

Monday, November 10, 2008

If you're a dog lover, check in next week when I tackle the Kyjen Hardcore Firehouse Dog Toy With Squeaker

Well, this is a first. Someone wants me to expand on something. Usually it’s the opposite (oh, you may not have requested it directly, but I've heard your disgruntled rumblings).

Small Town Mommy left me a request:

I know you have sworn off of all things cat, but I want to hear more about the Furminator. I keep finding that same ball in a pile on my rug (usually after being ingested by a cat). Perform a public service and talk more about your Furminator.

I’m going to assume that by “small ball” she is referring to cat hair and not her child (come on, that’s fair, my cats are large enough to ingest my child) and go from there.

STM, I, too find the same ball of fur on my rugs (see above). Every time the damn cat sits, he leaves tufts of fur. He has a dreadlock on his ass that’s the size of a jumbo muffin. We try to have him professionally shaved every so often because the sight of him cleaning himself and eating his fur makes me vomit uncontrollably, but he doesn’t like to leave the house.

In fact, the last time I dropped him off at a pet spa, the receptionist left me a nasty message an hour later telling me that I had to get my animal right away because he’d bitten the groomer and it’s the spa’s policy that if an animal bites the groomer, the animal must be picked up within 30 minutes or they charge you a fee. (They could have been creative and named the fee something like “your pet sucks so bad fee" but they weren’t—they were just blandly angry. Yawn).

I got there as soon as humanly possible, but the receptionist was still a bitch. And the poor kitty! He was in a half-shaved, half-crazed state. He looked like he had mange! And they still wanted me to pay.

Which I did. Right before I asked her when I could make another appointment. (If you’re going to behave like an asshole then I am going to behave like a moron, it’s called the ying and yang of commerce.)

But let’s get back to that Arnold Schwarzenegger of fur removal shall we?

At first I wasn’t that impressed, but once you get going and the fur starts flying, it’s hard to stop (I mean it, I'm thinking about doing it right now). The biggest problem was the stupid cat. I had to chase him from room to room then jump as he lunged for my hand. At one point I put a pile of treats in front of him so he’d sit still. I wanted to get my Furminating hands on his fluffy belly so bad, but that would have required a muzzle.

The pile I so diligently documented took about 20 minutes to harvest. I’m guessing it was about five Starbursts high (see below). The nice thing is that the brush keeps collecting fur no matter how full the teeth are, so you’re not constantly stopping to clean it. Next time I might order the larger model— the Equine Tool perhaps—because the cat is the size of a small pony.

My only concern is that the brush is metal and you have to rake kind of hard to catch the fur, so I worried I was hurting him. But when I was through with him, he looked about 10 pounds lighter and happier. And yes, shinier.

So, wrapping up, I’d highly recommend the Furminator if: (a) you have time to dedicate to brushing, (b) your pet will sit still long enough to get the process going and (c) you remember not to wear socks while you’re Furminating because you will look like Sasquatch when you’re done.

STM, I hope that answers some of your questions.

This is the Furminator Queen officially signing off. (Seriously, I feel like I'm starting to infringe on Daisy's turf.)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Nothing says baptism like milk jugs and a wet monkey

I’m happy to be off the cat kick and on to…monkeys. That looks like a monkey, doesn’t it? Chuck thinks it’s a bear. Its name is Mel and thanks to Junior, it was dunked in holy water about 50 times this morning.

At the ripe age of 16 months we finally had Junior baptized. We would have done it sooner, but Chuck had to take Catechism classes and I had to quit my Wiccan knitting circle.


Junior did so well—up until the actual water part. It didn’t help that the priest spoke broken English and kept losing his place in the book. By the time he was ready to douse my kid, Junior was a mess. The only thing that calmed him down was the sight of Mel in the cistern. He’d yell “bat” (bath), pick Mel up and chuck him in again.

Luckily, the priest had a sense of humor. Unluckily, no one told me that the flash from the camera was capturing my leopard-print bra oh so clearly.

Guess who was taking the pictures? Chuck’s dad. The same guy who had a bird’s eye view of my gals that whole picnic back in July (I'm not going to link to that post because I'd like to put the past, ehem, behind me).

Seriously, the guy must think his daughter-in-law is hooter-hyper. Maybe I'll write him a letter:

Dear Chuck's dad,

Please stop taking pictures of my goods, even though I appear to be showcasing them at every family function. In truth, I am a woman of granny bathing suits, not, as you would seem to believe, bursting bijongas. It’s, um, too bad you have actual photos that would seem to prove otherwise. See you at Christmas (I’ll be the one wearing the turtleneck, wink wink). Best, Mrs. Mullet.

Ah hell, maybe I'll just let it go.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I'm putting this pussy to bed

It's Saturday night. We have friends coming over, I swear. But before they get here I have to show you this:

It's disgusting. It looks like a terrible, hairy marshmallow creature but it's no longer on my cat thanks to the Furminator. I'm a little surprised by how habit forming the brushing was. Once I got started, I couldn't stop. Thankfully the cat attacked my hand so I had to.

Do you like the leftover Halloween candy I used for reference? (I ate it after the photo shoot.)

This is my last feline/fur post for a loooooooong time. I'm starting to creep myself out (and looking at all that hair is actually making me gag).

Friday, November 7, 2008

I'm goin' places—FUR real!

I was being facetious about the blogger fame to which I have ascended. I really was. Didjya think I was being all boasty and shit? Huh?

I won't lie. Some days I like to pretend I'm Rocks in My Dryer or Immoral Matriarch but then I think, why be a Saks when you can be a Harry's Drive-in? Sure, when you've reached cult blogmama status you get to sample fabulous purses, armchairs and gemstones and your life is all devour-my-brilliantness-my-lowly-peon-readers but come on, if I wasn't the wee little Mrs. Mullet I wouldn't have come home yesterday to find this:

Yes! The lovely people at Furminator saw my whiny post about my fat furballs and sent me a Furminator, some shampoo, and a spray bottle. Wasn't that nice of them?

Design Mom? She ain't got shit on me.

(Do I have my doubts that a five inch metal brush can tackle that beast to the right? Hell yes.)

It's like Oprah's favorite things—sort of

You know you've reached the highest peaks of blogging (BMW) success when you mention (BMW) a product on your blog and (BMW) their PR firm promptly sends you a sample. I (BMW) can't go into more detail (BMW) just yet—Junior is shaking his cage (BMW) and I'm still in my bathrobe—but let's just say (BMW) this product is fun for the whole dang family.

You are going to be so jealous.

(Yah, I know the BMW thing is a long shot but why stop while I'm ahead?)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A headless mother at story time? Say it isn't so!

I played hookie today so I could take Junior to story time at the library. My mom has been hinting that she’d like to take him one of the days she baby sits, so I had to beat her to the punch.

I had to.

Call it sad. Call it queer. I really don’t care. When you get home from work one day and see that your mother has changed your son from the “Mom” shirt he was wearing into a plain, navy tee for no apparent reason other than she wants your baby to be her baby, you must be the first to bring him to story time.

The impetus for all this neck-and-neck (besides the wardrobe switch)? Last night. Junior and I were watching the election countdown and he was standing by the couch, letting go with his hands and beaming as he balanced. I said, “Come here!” and, like something out of a Hallmark made-for-TV movie, he did. My little gremlin took four steps—four very even steps—and fell into my arms.

Do I even need to tell you that I scooped him up and covered him with mom slobber? I was in Working Mother’s Heaven. I have been begging him and pleading with him not to take his first steps while I’m at work and there he went—stepping right into my open arms.

Chuck was at a late meeting; I had to call someone and share the news.

“Mom? Junior walked to me. He took his first steps.”

(There was a time when I used to call my mom and she’d have to call me back because she was vacuuming the dog; how I wish that had happened here.)

“He walked?” my mother asked. “Did he do that for you?”

“What do you mean, ‘for me’ ?”

“Nothing. He’s only been standing for me. Just standing. Yesterday when I was there with him—and Chuck—he let go and stood there—three small steps—stood there—didn’t come to me—just small steps—and standing—there—and—barely saw it—small—standing—”


“You must be so happy you saw it. Since you’re out of the house.”

Screech. Out of the house? What the fuck kind of esoteric comment is that? What does she think I have been doing Peddling pixie dust? Inviting people to the circus? Writing love letters to Richard Simmons? I have been working to help my family keep our house and eat and enjoy amenities like clothing and shampoo.

When I got off the phone my head exploded. It was really gross. Poor Chuck had to order me a new one. Luckily it came just in time for story time. And luckily the library let me borrow the new and improved “Grammying for Dummies: How not to stomp on your daughter's heart.”

When I recorded the cheery and exclamation-riddled “first step” entry in Junior’s baby book I had a good laugh (I’d had some wine at that point). And I thought, Oh, Junior. Your baby book is so emotionally gilded it makes my fillings hurt.

Monday, November 3, 2008

As far as I know, Mrs. Robinson didn't climb any mountains

So it’s November. Big month, yesiree. For instance, tomorrow. And November 5th, which is Art Garfunkel’s 66th birthday. Then there’s November 15th, which is America Recycles Day, and the obvious ones, Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving. November is also Aviation History Month, Epilepsy Awareness Month, and Peanut Butter Lovers Month (come on—we need a month for that?)

What you don’t know is that November is the month of my first-ever high school reunion—a mere 15 years after the fact. Our class president actually hated our class. She was chunky alterna chick meets fleet of JCrew v-necks (I’m not sure how she got elected, my class was way too homogenous to vote for someone who didn’t wear cable knits). Anyway, give someone 15 years to grow hazy on past grievances and of course she’s going to get nostalgic and plan a reunion…at a shanty lobster shack.

I’m going. Screw it. I got the damn invitation the very same day I found my first gray hair. That’s obviously a sign: You’re aging jerk off, so go see who turned out to be really hot. (That’s the truth, you can’t deny it, we all want to know if Eric Rothbaum kept his sexy blonde curls).

Out of 252 people, 50 have RSVPed yes. Counting me and my two carpooling friends, that’s 47 unique visitors (oh, you insidious blog lingo, you). That’s pathetic!

Moving on…November is also the wedding month of the boy—Pete—who formerly had a crush on me. Now, lots of boys have had crushes on me (it’s true, like 589 have), but as we all know, crushes are often one way streets. I could never love Pete. His fingers resembled mini Jimmy Dean sausage links and he ate steak in a way that…let’s just say I could envision him at a steak house in 25 years with a gut that rivaled Mount Everest.

Nonetheless, Pete is the boy I was with the night I met Chuck. And he knew Chuck liked me so he kept his stumpy hand across my chair all night so Chuck couldn’t move any closer to talk to me. Even more, when Chuck asked him for my number, he said no. So Chuck found out where he lived, went to his apartment under the guise of renting the spare bedroom and while Pete was in the bathroom, Chuck stole my number from his Rolodex (this was 1997, when the Rolodex was en vogue).

Chuck liked me that much. And he loves me so much he doesn’t mind that I go to my high school reunion solo.

Sucka! (Just kidding, honey.)

That’s all I’ve got for tonight. Now get off the computer and go send Art Garfunkel a birthday card!

(And yes, I chose the prime rib plate for Pete’s wedding, just for old time’s sake.)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Foreplay never looked so breezy

My dear dad gets me subscriptions to Smithsonian and National Geographic every Christmas. Last year, he accidentally got me one for my married name and for my unmarried name. I wonder which subscription he sent in first?

Anyway, I had the rare opportunity to sit down and thumb through this month’s Smithsonian (seriously, I'm backlogged to July 2003) when I stumbled upon what is possibly the most comical description of mating I have ever encountered:

“If a female is fertile, the male will try to mount her. The female may keep walking, causing the male’s forelegs to fall awkwardly back to the ground. In the only successful coupling [ever] witnessed, a male pursued a female—walking alongside her, rubbing her neck—for more than three hours before she finally accepted him. The act itself was over in less than 10 seconds.”

Buying a woman roses and assuring her 10,000,000 times that she’s not fat so you can get some nookie doesn’t sound like such hard work anymore, now does it? Didn't think so.

Can you guess what animal this is (hint, it’s not your husband—I hope). No cheating! Smithsonian promised to alert me if any of the above words were Googled en masse. First correct guesser gets my extra subscription to Smithsonian.*

*One whole issue!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The real trick of Halloween is actually on November 1

There are a lot of chapters missing in parenting books, most notably “Daylight Savings Time: Your new arch nemesis.”

Until Junior, I had no idea I could be so passionately opposed to something as seemingly innocuous as changing the clock. Now I know: It’s the manmade evil that guarantees your child will wake an hour earlier.

I know everyone says your child will readjust to the time change and eventually get back on his or her previous schedule. But I’m not a gullible newbie anymore. I’ve got a year of practical experience under my belt. Junior didn’t readjust last year. I distinctly remember not only catching Krista Tippet’s broadcast every Sunday morning at 7 a.m., but having time to tailgate beforehand with coffee and Eggos (NPR, I swear our donation is coming).

Of course back then, I was happy with six thirty. I was so sleep deprived I was appeased by the promise of consecutive sleep, never mind reaching for the heights of a late morning.

But now? Now I am greedy for sleep. And this morning, in what can only be described as a major big bitch slap from the Universe, Junior slept until eight. Glorious eight! He’s been sleeping later and later and I know—I know!—that that was just a taste of what’s to come.

If only...

What I wouldn’t give for a one-way trip to the Grand Canyon right now. The clocks there aren't fickle.

Make laundry fun — and punishable

I don't know why there's so much effing laundry. Yes, there are five of us, but we aren't going anywhere. Part of me feels ...