Monday, May 28, 2012

I really hate those good-bye bagels

Today is an important day. First and foremost, it's Memorial Day. I'd like to thank all the men and women who have served, and continue to serve, this country. One of these days, when I finally find an American flag that's actually made in America, I will fly my flag with even more pride.

Until then I will continue to grimace at the "Made in China" label scorched on the handle.

Today is also my last day at work at Mulletville Corp.

Yes, that's right. After years of talking about it I finally did it.

I timed my exit so I wouldn't have to work my last day. I also called out sick half of last week so I'd miss any farewell parties planned in my honor. You may think me an asshole, but my departure was long overdue. I'd mentally said good-bye months ago. Eating cake (or a dreaded bon voyage bagel) alongside my co-workers would have felt like a final—and very sad—pity fuck.

I'm elated and terrified about leaving Mulletville Corp. Elated to stop trying to juggle two children under the age of five, grocery shopping, a full-time work schedule, nursery school, laundry, a husband, and pooping all at once.

Terrified to think of how we'll manage financially.

On the bright side, I landed myself a part-time job (no, not with the teeth people). I'll be doing some freelance graphic design and writing. I'll be tutoring. If all that fails to bring in enough money, I'll stay up until the wee hours trying to write the next Fifty Shades of Grey (Seventy-five Delineations of Adultery, maybe?) or I'll just breed something, like geckos.

Mmmm, geckos.

There's something I never mentioned about Mulletville Corp. Sure, there are countless posts about the crazy antics of my co-workers and the insanity of my superiors (if you feel like sifting through this blog a little you'll stumble upon them soon enough), but I never told you one of the most important memories I have of the place.

It's this: Almost 10 years ago, after my second interview with the head of the company, I knew the job was mine. I knew it. I got in my car. I imagined myself working there. And I started bawling my fucking eyes out. I knew that even though the money would be great and the benefits would be great and the vacation time would be great, I knew I'd be miserable there. There was a sickness in the air; a toxicity in the water, if you will. You could feel it.

Leaving that place in an ambulance was so fricken fitting, as were all the workplace injuries.  My body literally was throwing itself into furniture so I would get the message and quit. Though I still chuckle about the breastfeeding committee. By far that is my favorite memory. Or was it the bus riding turkey?

So much stupidity, so little time to blog about it. 

That's my big Memorial Day news. What's yours?

Monday, May 21, 2012

The best game to play with your child

Tonight after work, I collapsed onto the couch. To put it mildly, I was tuh-ha-hoasted. Junior came over and plopped down next to me. He asked if we could play a game.

"Ok," I said, "but all I can do is lie here with my eyes closed."

"Ok," he said.

"And I can't talk. My brain hurts."


"So what kind of game could that be?"

"I know!" he shouted, after thinking a minute. "We can be on a light speed mission! You can be my patient. We can be in search for a new tongue for you! Fire photon torpedoes!"

"Photon what??"

"Watch out! It's the Borg! And I thought you couldn't talk. Close your eyes! They'll see you!"

I learned two valuable things tonight:

1. Lying down while your child plays is fabulous. I should have started playing this "patient who can't talk or move" game a loooooooooooong time ago

2. Speaking of games, Chuck's been letting Junior watch him play Star Trek computer games a helluva lot more than I realized. Junior knows of the Borg? He's firing photon torpedoes?

Game's on, Chuck.

Right after this nap.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I am totally sick of boobs

Mother's Day this year was a little strange. It's two days later and I'm still scratching my head over it. If I had to pick a color for the day I'd pick something like pea green or fuchsia. You know, one of those slightly off colors.

Chuck was out of town working all weekend; he didn't get home until mid-Sunday morning, so sleeping late wasn't in the cards. After the kids awoke at 7 a.m., I texted 12 of my friends who are mothers and wrote, "Happy Mother's Day! I hope you're still in bed."

Seven of them texted me back to tell me they weren't.


At 9 a.m. I turned on Sunday Morning, one of my favorite shows, and was pissed to find that instead of producing a fabulous and touching show about motherhood and mothers—really, the topic is ripe for introspection and storytelling—they decided to open with a story about breasts—specifically how they are "inspiring and vulnerable."

What the fuck? Inspiring to whom? Men? Vulnerable to whom? Children's teeth?

Good Lord! It was Mother's Day. Couldn't they do better than boobs? The last thing I wanted to hear about— after years of having my breasts fondled, grabbed, shoved into clothing, shoved into my children's mouths, and accidentally kicked by children —was breasts. I once had a lactation expert pick up my breast and squeeze it like it was a bath toy.

I wanted to be reminded of that?

No, I wanted a vacation from my breasts. Instead Sunday Morning wanted to tell me about the history of the bra, how men/society/men are fascinated with breasts, and how there is a "disagreement over whether [breasts] evolved for food or sex."

How titillating!

I clicked off the TV and spat on the ground. The recent Time magazine cover may have added to my ire just a smidgen. (Incidentally, I'd rather eat nails slathered in skunk shit than dignify their "Are you mom enough?" cover with a response.)

So yes, the morning wasn't off to a glamorous start.

Chuck came home at 11 a.m. with flowers and a declaration: I could do whatever I wanted for the rest of the day. I should have gotten into the car and raced around Connecticut, baring my inspiring and vulnerable knockers to the state's fine residents, but I couldn't get out of my fuchsia funk.

I couldn't come up with an answer. What did I want to do on Mother's Day? I already got what I wanted. Now what? Champagne and oysters? A picnic on the lawn? A pool boy and whips?


Noon came and went. Then two. I may have been abducted by aliens around 2:45 p.m. because before I knew it, it was 4:30 p.m. and we were talking about dinner options. Soon it was bath time. Bed time.

As I lay in bed that night I told Chuck I felt detached—apathetic even—to the hoopla that's supposed to be Mother's Day. I said I felt loved every day. I told him how lucky I was to have two beautiful children who clearly think the world of me.

"Maybe it's like Christmas," I said. "After a while the commercialism gets you and you just feel blah..."

Chuck put his head on my shoulder and told me it was okay. He reached out his hand and waved away my uncertainty. Then his hand wandered downward, ever so slightly, and started to make its way toward my most inspiring and vulnerable of places.

"Chuck, " I said. "I'm never watching Sunday Morning again." Then I kissed him, rolled over and went to sleep.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Screw hand washing. The front door should come equipped with bleach and a shower head

Welcome to Germs in My Formula! The blog that coats you with germs while you sit and read! We've got plenty to go around this week. Today's specials are sinusitis, an ear infection, and a stomach bug. (If you have commitment issues, you can dabble in light stomach cramping and an aching head instead).

Ah, children. How I love them. How I love the veritable petri dishes they are.

They're a great invention, I tell ya. They go out into the world, pick their noses, shove their fingers in strange places, handle every surface known to man, then come back home and share all that germy goodness with the whole family.
I've been home sick from work all week. Chuck's been limping along in gastrointestinal distress. Everett's been a delight as he sprouts 29,765 new teeth and battles an inner ear infection. My four-year-old, Junior, was keeping us afloat and then tonight, it all went down the crapper.

Junior started complaining about his stomach right after dinner. (Why must children always get sick on the nights you serve spaghetti? Why?)

He made it to the bathroom (if you have children under the age of three, you understand what a special gift an independent puker is) then asked if I'd carry him, his stuffed animals, and his puke pan upstairs so he could go to sleep.

I said yes, of course. Even though he weighs over 50 pounds and I only weigh 125 (roughly, ehem). Even though our stairs are pitched at a 90 degree incline. Even though I am still weak from being sick myself.

Even though the last thing I wanted to do was to carry him up a steep flight of stairs and risk throwing out my back.

I picked him up, balanced the stuffed bear and giraffe under my arm pits, and cupped the puke pan in my right hand while clinging to the railing with the left.

Halfway up he told me he was going to be sick. I stopped, held the pan under his face, and let him do his thing.

Quite nicely he thanked me, then nodded for me to continue my climb—which I did with all the seriousness and determination of a climber trying to make the summit.

At that moment, as I held the pan and surveyed my surroundings, I was struck by thoughts of what I'd like for Mother's Day.

I realized I don't want diamonds or a spa retreat. Nor do I want fancy clothes, an exotic pet, or a yacht. I don't even care if I get roses. No, I decided that what I really, really want for Mother's Day is to not stand on the stairs—my legs quivering like jelly—while holding a 50-pound vomiting child, a stuffed bear and giraffe, and a puke pan.

And this is what I love most about motherhood: When you exist in a vacuum of bodily fluids, tantrums, and Elmo everything—and I do mean everything—seems so much more wonderful. Everything else is tinged with gold.

And hello, Chuck, this is a gift that is so attainable. I mean, you've got this in the bag, right? Chuck! Quit clutching your stomach and pretending you're in terrible pain. Chuck!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Anyone know a good taxidermist?

Last August I spent hours sweating and shoveling on my lunch hour. Hours. Just so the person who bought our old house—which is still on the market one year later—in our former town of Mulletville wouldn't get the beautiful flowers I had planted.

I transported all those bulbs and roots to our new house (which is also my childhood home and so, um, not really new at all) and replanted them. I was so pleased with myself.

All this week I looked around our yard, waiting to see those little leaves poking through the soil, leaves that would give way to pretty blossoms, aka the fruits of my sweaty labor. It wasn't premature. It's spring. Besides, everyone in our fricken neighborhood is a landscaper. I know hostas and other fluffy flowers are blooming. I can see them all from my window.

I mentioned this to my mother last night. The kids were in bed. We were sitting at the table having a glass of wine. I was tired from a long week at work. Chuck was still working. She was tired from babysitting.

She turned on the outside light and told me to come outside. She brought me out back and showed me the dents in the ground. She shook her head.

"A woodchuck ate all your bulbs," she said. "Either that or a chipmunk."

"All of them?"

"All of them. Nothing is going to come up."



There really wasn't anything more to say after that so we just looked at each other. 

"Fucking fuck," I finally said. It wasn't just the flowers that got me, but everything: working and struggling, missing Chuck, tripping on laundry, registering children for kindergarten, finding waffles stuck to my ass when I get out of the car, misplacing glasses, burning toast, the cat meowing, wet towels on doorknobs.

"I know," she said.

And she really did.


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