Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Granny get your broom

The thing I like most about older people is that they will tell you exactly what is on their mind with little regard to feelings or appropriateness.

Growing up I lived very close to my great-grandparents so I spent a lot of time around them, especially my grandmother. She was a very sweet woman who was at church every time the doors were open. Sure she was there to read the Bible and praise the Lord, but she was also there to catch up on the latest gossip and swap stories with the other ol' biddies sweet Christian ladies. One of the things I remember most is the way she would slap her knees and say, Theeeeey Looooord, you don't mean it, with her thick southern drawl every time she heard the latest rumor going around the neighborhood.

Now my grandfather, Curt, was a different story. By the time I came along he was half-deaf, could barely see and spent most of his time sitting on the front porch chewing tobacco. Whenever I would walk up on the porch he would always call me by my mother's name and say, Terrie, is that you? Which would inevitably send my grandmother into a fussing fit that ended with her calling him a crazy old bat and slamming the screen door. The amazing thing about his hearing is he didn't have your typical case of elderly hard-hearing, oh no, he had selective hearing. He could hear a whisper a mile away if it was about him, but couldn't have a decent conversation if you were standing right in his face.

So one day, when I was around 10 years old, I walked down to the grandparent's house with the intention of sneaking one of Grandma's lemon juice packets out the of the fridge. For the most part I was usually unsuccessful because as soon as I would get in the kitchen and open the refrigerator door she would always yell, Girl, you better not be getting my lemon for my tea or I'll get a hickory and whip your ass. So I always had to settle for some Diet Rite cola and a Fudge Round.

On this particular day Grandma decided she was going to vent about the crazy old bat sitting on the front porch and my poor unsuspecting little old self was just going to have to sit and listen. So, she started fussing and he started hollering, Virgina, I hear you in there, don't make me get up woman, and she looked at me and we laughed because we both knew the man couldn't move fast enough to catch a snail even if his pants were on fire.

So dear sweet Grandma, with her Bible sitting on the bedside table probably with freshly turned pages from her morning devotion, decided she was going to tell me about the time she came home and caught ol' Curt in bed with another woman.

I came home one afternoon and there he was with some hussy right there in my bedroom. I was madder than old wet hen.

Me, having no idea what they would have been doing in the bedroom and thinking she probably just didn't want company in her room because that is where she threw all of the clutter and shut the door like my mom did when we had company, asked her what did she say to the lady.

I grabbed my broom and I started beating the hell out of that girl and she took off running out of the front door and she was whooping and hollering and didn't even have her brassiere on when she went running down the road.

Of course, I was sitting there wide-eyed and thinking she was trying on Grandma's clothes, no wonder she was so upset. My God, he was giving her clothes away.

She went on to say that she came back in the house and took her broom and beat the hell out that drunk old fool she was married to and made him get up and wash her sheets because back then they didn't have a washer and dryer and she wasn't about to break her back cleaning up after his mess. All of which went right over my head and I wasn't sure if she was trying to tell me to be sure to get a washer and dryer when I got older or to make sure my husband knew how to make up the bed.

Although I am still not sure why she felt the need to share that wonderful and inappropriate story with her young, innocent, and naive granddaughter that day, but I am glad she did. I just love it every time my husband asks me why I keep a broom in the bedroom closet and I tell him just in case he ever decides to give my clothes away.

Thanks, Grandma.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

More like crazy crazy

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed the Pop Tart commercials lately? First, let me say I love me some Pop Tarts. In fact I would even go so far as to say that I could qualify as a Pop Tart connoisseur. Yes, I start many mornings by popping these yummy pastries in the toaster and then spritzing them down with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray.

Clearly, I am a health nut.

Considering my long standing love affair with the Pop Tart you can imagine my horror at their latest ad campaign. You know, the one with the talking Pop Tarts. It is not the talking part that really bothers me. Aunt Jemima has been talking for years and I have no problem smothering my pancakes with her sweet goodness, so the talking isn't the problem.

It is the fact that there are people there, who are the same size as the Pop Tart, trying to befriend the Pop Tart and trick it into getting into the toaster so they can then EAT IT. Then you see poor Pop Tart scared and running or whatever when it realizes it is about to be killed and eaten. This is all wrapped up by a voice-over saying crazy good.

Um, no. It is not crazy good, it is just crazy, crazy. I don't know what kind of meth-laced Pop Tarts the Kellogg's folks are eating but I am hating the commercials. So thanks, Kellogg's, I now feel like a murderer every time I throw my Pop Tart in the toaster.

What's next, Ronald McDonald beheading chickens to advertise the next Mcnugget Happy Meal. Better yet, just have him chase down Big Bird. Hopefully he doesn't know how to get to Sesame Street.

You're welcome for getting that song stuck in your head.

Since I have talked about hamburger places, let me just go ahead and say obviously the folks down at Burger King are smoking some rocks too. The King is creepy. I mean, like the It clown creepy. If I woke up and he was standing at my window I don't think I would rush right out and get a crossianwich and coffee. Clean sheets maybe, but not breakfast.

Okay, so maybe it is just me, or maybe the Pop Tart from this morning is already wearing off. Is it lunch time yet?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Need a ride?

When I first got my driver's license I drove about an hour to get to school each day so my dad offered me lots of pointers to keep his daughter safe. Like the time when I still just had a permit and he decided that I should drive to school in the pouring rain because the sun wasn't always going to shine just because I was driving. That was a wonderful experience that lasted about 15 minutes and ended with him telling me I drove like an old lady and we didn't have all damn day to get there.

Way to build the new driver confidence, thanks Dad.

Also, there was the time when I went to actually take the driver test and as we were practicing driving in the neighborhood near the exam center, my dad actually told me to run a school bus stop sign because the bus was on the corner of the next street. It just so happened that there was a police officer behind the bus and he pulled us over and told my dad he was a moron for telling me to go and that he would get the ticket because he was the licensed driver (and did not have boobs).

Needless to say I failed the test later that day.

The best driving advice he ever offered was that he didn't want me driving on the intestate too long. Since a large portion of the trip to my school was spent on the interstate my dear old dad devised a different path that had me take the back roads and required I drive right by the local STATE PENITENTIARY. He told me traffic was not so bad this way.

Really, you think? Perhaps that is because the scenery is barbwire and guard shacks and in case we forget, home to lots of murders and rapists.

Good thinking, send you poor 16 year-old daughter down that road. I am sure that I looked really cute flying by every day with the windows down, radio blaring, staring at all of the inmates getting their sunshine time for the day. It was probably a lot like the rabbit on the fence at the dog track.

One afternoon I was heading home and had just exited off of death row onto the highway when I saw a van, otherwise known as a serial killer's trademark, on the side of the road with three men standing there and another one coming on to the road waving his arms. At first I wasn't sure what to do and then I remembered I had a secret weapon that would protect me.

I had a cell phone. Not just any cell phone either. Mine was a flip phone and was very high-tech. It was about the size of a small cooler and had a mouth piece that flipped open at the end. I am sure my service wasn't worth a grain of salt, but I probably could have beat someone in the head with it if the 911 call didn't go through.

So seeing that I clearly thought the situation through, I put the car in reverse and stopped to see if I could help these large and scary men with their situation. I placed my smoking gun, aka cell phone, on my lap so they would be sure to see I was armed and dangerous and I rolled down the window. The man explained to me that their van was broken down and they needed to get the nearest store to meet their friend who could help and asked if I would give him a ride.

Now remember these are called the back roads for a reason, NO ONE lives there and the nearest store was at least 5 miles. Being the smart and sophisticated teenager I was, I gladly agreed to help this poor man especially since he said his other friends would wait at the van so I didn't have to let all of them go.

See, that sounded reasonable, I just let one in the car, what could he possibly do?

Off we went, me and jack the ripper, heading to the nearest gas station when suddenly as a car approached, he started waving his arms like crazy and said, that's my friend, there he is. I honked to get the driver's attention and pulled over like he told me to do.

Really, I might as well have just tied my hands together and gotten in the truck and saved them all the trouble at this point.

He got out and started talking to crazy friend number two and explained that the rest of the crazy bunch was back at the van about a mile back. I really don't know what else was said because smart little me wasn't really paying attention. Obviously, I didn't fit the bill for the catch of the day because he walked over and thanked me for the help and told me to have a good day. So I drove away and didn't even give a second thought to how lucky and how incredibly stupid I was.

Now looking back, I think maybe I should have spent a little more time on the interstate. Who knows, I probably would have helped a trucker to two.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hanes so not my way

I am facing a major dilemma and I thought I would share this problem. I do have to warn you before you continue reading, especially those of you who actually know me, please forgive me for the mental image these words may create. I am not responsible if this causes you mental damage beyond repair.

Lately I have been having some major problems with my panties. I remember when I bought them they worked just fine and seemed to be just your average, run of the mill, pretty comfy cotton pantie. However, over the past couple of months these panties that used to cover my derriere now only want to hang out and gather smack dab in the middle of my behind.

Thank God for the cube wall because nothing says classy like digging your panties out of your butt every time you stand up.

I opted to purchase the bikini brief not the thong for a couple of reasons. One, I don't like the feeling of something in my booty crack all day. Two, thongs are not attractive when you stretch the string across one side of your cheek so it can no longer ride your crack (just the mere thought that my butt cheek is big enough to be a wedge is scary in itself). Finally, I am trying to hide my cellulite not showcase it.

Think of the children people, if I did not keep that stuff hidden they would probably vow to never EAT AGAIN.

So after discussing in great detail my problem with a dear friend she came up with a brilliant solution. Did she tell me that my butt had expanded and I probably needed to go out and buy some under garments that actually fit? Well heavens to Betsy, of course not. I said I was talking to a dear friend not my mother. Geez. So my sweet friend went out and purchased me a pair of Soma panties.

Now these little things are made of magic and will not crawl no matter what you do. For those of you who are also in denial when it comes to pant size and continue to wear yours after they are maybe just a little too snug (forget buttons, that's why God invented rubber bands, so we don't have to change pant sizes) - they don't show a granny pantie line either.

However, if you are anything like me you will think the same thing I did. Soma panties are nice but they cost soma MONEY. Similar to the other store, you know the one with the secret, these can add up quickly.

Speaking of stores with secrets, I no longer buy my panties there either because I can look in the mirror at my big ol' hippo butt FOR FREE. I don't need to accentuate it with lace and pretty string, it is quite noticeable with out adding decor thank you very much.

So here in lies the problem, keep wearing the crack riders or take out a loan and purchase some of the good stuff. It is sad when you have to finance your underwear, or accept the fact that you have gotten larger, just to be comfortable. I mean the the lengths a girl will go to.

Since we are on the subject of underwear I also have a bone to pick with the whole Calvin Klein boxer ad campaign from a couple of years ago. Remember the one with Mark Wahlberg? Yes, that's the one. I bought the husband some of those boxers and I didn't get Marky Mark, it was a lot more like the funky bunch.

But hey, I am no Heidi Klum either.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Got milk?

On my way home today I saw a state trooper attempting to pull over a PT Cruiser on the interstate and the car just would not pull over. He had his car crammed full of junk and there is no way he could see out of the back window so I don't know if he just couldn't see or hear the lights blazing behind him or if he was some kind of outlaw making a run for it. Although I didn't see the driver I am pretty sure it was a man because if it were a smart woman she would have pulled over and used her secret weapons.

The first time I realized the importance of being a girl was on the night I graduated from high school and was driving home to pack for my upcoming graduation trip. I was going through a small town, doing about 75 in a 25 mile per hour zone, being very cautious as all teenagers are, when I saw the blue lights come up behind me. So I pulled over, panicking and praying that if I did get a ticket I could at least hide it from my dad until I came home from the beach. After all, I wouldn't want a silly thing like a little ticket to spoil all my future fun. Of course, I had never heard the phrase reckless driving before either so I really had no idea just how bad the situation could be.

As the state trooper approached my car I was fumbling through my purse frantically searching for my driver's license and hoping he would not ask for my registration. I had always seen on TV when people were pulled over they were asked to show their license and registration and I had no idea what in the world registration even was much less where I would find it.

Thankfully as he walked up he just asked for the license as he shone a flashlight into the car. I guess he noticed my cap and gown in the passenger seat and asked if I had been at some kind of a graduation. I told him yes, I had just graduated and explained that I was on my way home to get my stuff because I was leaving for a trip in a couple of hours. He then proceeded to shine the light at what I thought was my face, and asked if I had been drinking. That's when I realized just exactly where the light was shining.

Of course officer you would be looking there because all teenage girls hide their flasks in their bra.

I told him I had not, as I stuck my bottom lip out trying to look all helpless thinking maybe that would help me get out of the predicament. Then he hits me with the phrase reckless driving and starts talking about court, tickets, blah, blah, blah. All I could think of was my upcoming vacation, my first ever parent-free trip, going up in smoke when I had to tell my dad about all the money this was going to cost him.

His light was still searching for the bottle of liquor he assumed I had shoved down my dress when I just slightly leaned forward and begged for mercy. I would like to say that I was just very persuasive but I am sure the fact that I was much younger, thinner and my wardrobe still had the theme less is more didn't hurt either. He let me go with a stern warning and a valuable lesson.

Never underestimate the power of the boobies.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Pimpin' for paint

I have officially decided that I am going to paint the cabinets in my kitchen and I am a little overwhelmed. No, I am not concerned about all of the sanding, painting and reassembling, that stuff should be a breeze considering I plan to get my husband to do the majority of the work.

It is my part of the deal that intimidates me just a little because I know that it has to be well planned and implemented correctly in order for things to go my way.

Now, I have already planted the seed by telling him this morning what his my plans were for the weekend. That conversation went something like this:

Me: Guess what I am doing this weekend?

Him: What?

Me: I am going to paint the kitchen cabinets black.

Him: The hell you are.

Can't you just feel the love? I think we are off to a great start, especially since it ended with me telling him how great it would look and how I was going to do most of the work myself and it wouldn't really cost that much and (I can't leave out the most important part) how I would be sure to thank him later.

Yes, that is right, I said I would thank the man later. I am not beneath prostituting myself out to my husband to get a little work done around the house.

So the plan is for me to go buy all the stuff which shall include paint not only for the cabinets, but the walls as well, a new light fixture, and possibly some tile for a new back splash. I just can't wait to see the look on his face when I walk through the door and crush his plans for a lazy weekend.

I know that I promised him that I was going to do most of the work myself and I plan to. Don't you know construction management is tough work? I plan to oversee each and every project. The same way I did when we installed the new lights in the dining room.

I read the instructions, and even stood on the table and held the light up as he attempted to get the wires in the right location, over and over again. The project that I told him wouldn't last more than an hour, turned into a day and a half and finally my brother had to come over and to fix everything he had done. I guess you can say my husband is no Handy Manny. I laughed so hard at all his bitching that I almost peed on myself while standing on the table bossing him around helping out.

Three kids people, the bladder is not what it used to be.

And, since I am not one to break any promises, if things go right I will possibly even shave my legs. Hey, desperate times call for desperate measures, really it's the least I can do.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The flying sister

When I was a child we had a wonderful tire swing on the hill beside our house. It was perfectly placed at the top of the hill so you could swing super high into the air. One of the games we loved to play was to grab the tire on the inside of the tire ring, pull it back as far as it would go, and then run and swing out over the hill. Yes, it was good times and good fun until the day it killed my sister.

My dad was outside cutting grass that afternoon and my sister and I went out to play on the swing. We decided to play that particular game even though we had been warned in the past by my parents not to swing that way because we could get hurt. Of course we did not listen because, really, what did they know?

So everything was going along fine and dandy until my sister took the tire up really high and went tearing across the hill. I guess she under estimated how high she was going to go until she was in mid-air and she panicked. She let go of the tire and hit the ground like a ton of lead.

Now I freak out and run toward her, praying that my dad didn't just see what had happened, when I noticed that she hadn't really moved since she hit the ground. She was lying there on her stomach with her face turned toward me with one arm sprawled out and the other arm tangled somewhere beneath her body. Then I see it. She has blood on her face.

So my nine-year-old self quickly assesses the situation and I realized if someone on TV is dead, they usually have blood coming out of their mouth.

Oh shit. She's dead.

I rack my brain and try not to panic, desperate to figure out what I need to do. I changed directions and decided not to go towards her but to go get my dad who is still cutting grass, unaware of the tragedy that had just taken place.

Dad, she's dead, she's dead. Hurry and get over there.

I ran toward him screaming like a wild banshee, pointing at my sister's crumpled body on the hillside. He finally noticed her and ran to get her as I zoomed past him for the safety of the house.

I must admit the thought of seeing my sister on her deathbed was a little scary, but I had much more important thoughts going through my mind at the time. I did not want to get my ass whooped for swinging on the bottom of the tire swing after we had been told not to. Hell, she was already dead what could they do to her? That meant I would be facing the wrath ALONE.

As the youngest of six children this had never happened to me before. I had never watched a sibling fall to their doom before either, but more importantly I had never had to face punishment alone and I was petrified. Normally by the time the parents got done punishing all of the other children, they usually had their frustration out and spared me. I believe the line went something like this, how old are you? Now how old is she? Alright then - you should know better.

I barely reached the top of the stairs when I hear my dad and my very-much alive and wailing sister come into the house. She is holding her obviously broken arm up to her chest and limping beside my dad who is screaming for my mother to get the car keys.

Praise the Lord, she was alive and better yet, he didn't know what we had been doing that had caused the fall. They were too caught up in the moment and only wanted to get the poor child some help so they didn't even ask how it happened.

Of course, she did break her arm in several places and cut up her mouth and it was summer time so she did have to go ALL SUMMER in the heat with a cast. I'm sure she probably has some fear of heights now and I bet it's safe to say she'll never go sky diving, but at least I didn't get a whipping so I think it all worked out just fine.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A basket case

Dear Three C's,

I would like to take a minute to introduce you to this wonderful item we have in our home. They are not new, we have had these for quite some time even before any of you were even born, but I don't think you properly understand how they work so I am taking the time out of my busy day to explain to you in great detail what these items are and how they should be used.

This is a laundry basket. Contrary to popular belief around our house they are not wagons, toy boxes, boats, or a cage to trap the dog. They are called laundry baskets because they were designed and even purchased with the sole purpose of holding laundry. You see kids, when you take your clothes off at the end of the day or change early in the morning you should remove the items and place them in said laundry basket. I know this will come as a shock but the floor isn't really meant to look like this:

Now, these items are centrally located all over our house in hopes you will soon grasp the concept. There is one in each bathroom, and brace yourselves, there is even one in each of your bedrooms. Yes, it is true. Believe it or not, but I have taken photographic evidence to show you children where you might find these handy baskets.

Yes, son that particular laundry basket was found right in your closet. I think you must have confused it for something else which is why I also found a pile of laundry located on your bedroom floor.

Now I don't want cause confusion or mass chaos but there is another reason besides keeping the floors clean that I want you to become acquainted with the laundry basket. There is a room located off of the kitchen that is called a laundry room. Inside you will find a washer and a dryer that keeps our clothes clean. You see your father and I have wasted lots of time picking up your dirty laundry and putting into laundry baskets so we can take it to the laundry room to spend more time washing your clothes.

If you open this door for a reason besides hide and seek, you will see I even have mesh laundry bags hanging on the wall for your convenience. You can put your laundry in the basket, carry it all in one trip to the laundry room, and then transfer the clothes to the bags on the wall and they never have to touch the floor.

AMAZING, I know. Then you have an empty laundry basket that you can carry back to your room with you and start the whole process over again.

Now I need to talk to your dad for a moment regarding his use of the laundry basket. Although I really, really appreciate your efforts, dear, when it comes to doing the laundry I just wanted to let you know that laundry baskets are not exactly the same thing as dresser drawers. Yes, that's right once the laundry has been washed and dried you can actually fold it right there in the laundry room and immediately put it away.
Maybe if the kids start noticing empty laundry baskets instead of you digging through them for clean clothes, they would start to understand the concept a little better. It would probably also improve the appearance of our living room if we didn't have a collection of laundry baskets filled with clothes surrounding the couch. That's not really what I meant when I said we needed a coffee table.

I have faith in you guys and know you can do this. It may be a little overwhelming now, but you will get used to the newly discovered laundry basket.

In high hopes,


P.S. You know that tall container in the kitchen? Yes, the one that gets filled with stuff. It is called a garbage can and believe it or not, you can actually take the bag out and remove it when it becomes full. You don't really have to cram as much stuff as possible inside it until it overflows onto the floor. Someone even comes to our house and picks up the bags each week if we set them near the end of the driveway. That is what the big cans in the garage are used for. AMAZING, I know.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

No medication needed

When I was much younger and newly married I clearly did not have a thorough knowledge of how the male mind works. That was until I came down with a stomach bug and my darling husband tried to comfort me in my time of need.

I had been puking all evening when he came and laid down beside me and said I know what will make you feel better. Naive and not knowing what he meant, I was almost flattered when I realized that he was coming on to me.

Man, I must be really good if you would risk catching a stomach virus.

I barely got the words out of my mouth when he responded, Oh I didn't want to kiss you or anything, I just thought we could do it.

How romantic. Let me just hang my head off the bed in case I puke.

I think it took him a minute before he realized I was being sarcastic because, he would never admit it, but he was looking around for a garbage can.

Then there was the time I came down with the flu and really thought maybe I was dying. I tried to wake him so he could get me a drink, but it was like waking a hibernating bear so I practically crawled to the kitchen out of sheer desperation, and was shocked when he woke up as I climbed back into the bed. I told him how sick I was and even contemplated on whether or not I should go to the ER and he lovingly suggested I give him a wet willy (and no, I don't mean a wet finger in the ear).

Really, you really think that will work? I mean I was thinking something along the lines of intravenous fluids and antibiotics, maybe some Tami flu or something but my God, I had no idea I had a magic stick here all along. I mean if I had only known that would make me better I would have woken you up hours ago.

Of course how could I ever forget when I had a terrible eye infection and he suggested that I take my hand and walk through the garden of love...

No thanks. I heard there was a snake there that bites.

Somehow, I don't think he was amused.

Needless to say this theory works both ways. If the man ever gets sick he can barely move, is totally helpless, and really thinks he is sicker than anyone has ever been before, but if he thinks he stands half a chance, you know what would make him feel better.

I just thought I would share this theory with you in case you ever come down with something and are open to suggestions. However, I bet if you are married, or dating, or know a man, you have probably heard this all before.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lift me up

A couple of years ago I was sitting in church on a Sunday morning minding my own business and trying to focus on the important stuff like praying and getting closer to God and all, when I witnessed a man get more excited about praising God than anyone I had ever seen.

On this particular Sunday a singing group had been brought in to sing some good ol' gospel music and everything was going along perfectly just like any other service. The music leader of the church got up so he could sing a song with the band, at the lead singer's request, and the music starts, then the clapping begins, and everyone is up there singing and having a good old time when I suddenly notice something a little different about the music leader.

I lean in and focus my eyes to see if I am really seeing what I think I am and sure enough, the choir director was really getting in to the music. Yes, he was praising the Lord in a whole new way. As he turned to the side, it was clear as day shining right through those khaki slacks - he was definitely lifting those praises up, if you know what I mean.

Now I can feel my face getting hot with embarrassment because I am staring at this man's crotch while in the house of the Lord. I might as well have had smoke coming out from under my seat as the gates of Hell opened so Satan could call my name a little louder.

I couldn't help but chuckle to myself at the show that was taking place right on the pulpit, but I had no one to share the laughter. I had kids on one side, the elderly on the other, what was I supposed to do? So I sat there in disbelief as this man moved all about the stage like nothing is wrong while his Christian soldier was at full salute.

I mean, for God's sakes man, get behind the podium or something. Help a poor sinner out here, I am begging you.

By the time the song ended, I had my eyes closed and my lips pressed tight and was trying to think very solemn thoughts about flames and damnation and where I was surely heading if I didn't get my mind out of the gutter. Thankful it was finally over, I jumped to my feet to join the other members of the congregation to show my appreciation for the beautiful singing that had just taken place when one of the ladies beside me leaned over and said I enjoyed that so much, didn't you?

I couldn't resist, it was quite an uplifting experience.

Yes, I know, the devil probably has me on speed dial by now...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Dear old dad

Since Father's Day is right around the corner I thought I would share some of my favorite childhood memories of life growing up with a dad like mine.

First of all, I think my dad has a pretty good sense of humor although I don't really share in his love for the whole pull my finger or did you see that mouse on the motorcycle bits like the grand kids do. No, I think he passed that trait on to my older sister. It's just not Thanksgiving until she passes gas at the table.

However, looking back there are a couple of times I can remember when he really outdid himself at my expense.

Like the time I was in the eighth grade and desperately wanted a pair of Reebok Pumps, you know with the little ball on the side that you could press and it would pump air into the chamber of your shoe so you could, well, look cool. They were white with pink and purple and all of my friends wanted them so I was over the moon when he took me to get a pair. I do remember that they were pretty expensive at the time, but since I was the youngest I usually got what I wanted because all of my siblings had made the mistake of being born first which meant they had to share and stuff, but they had all grown up, scattered and moved away, and left me alone to reap the benefits.

So we went to get the shoes and I gleaming when we got to the register to pay and I was thinking that I had the BEST DAD EVER and couldn't wait to get home to call my friends. Then as he was paid the cashier my dad looked over at me and said very seriously, well we might not have power next month but at least you will have these shoes. Thank goodness I already bought groceries so at least we can eat. I hope you are happy now because that is all that really matters.

I could feel the disgusted eyes of the cashier glaring at me as my dad chuckled under his breath and slipped his wallet back into his pocket.

Thanks, Dad.
Then there was the time when I was in high school and he took me to the mall to buy school clothes dressed in a T-shirt that said I fought the lawn on the front and the lawn won on the back, a pair of plaid shorts and my personal favorite, his black military socks with SANDALS. Not to mention he hardly ever wore shorts so he had very tan arms, and pale, lily-white legs. I tried to convince him to just wait in the middle of the mall for me, but oh no, he had to come into the junior section of every store and insisted on making small talk with all of the sales people as I tried on clothes.

Good times, good times.
How could I ever forget the summer before my senior year when he took me to get a cell phone. The very young and attractive sales girl was filling out the application and when she got to the sex question, instead of just checking M for male she made the big mistake of saying sex? to which my old dad answered, quite frequenty, how about yourself?

Oh. My. God.

I could have died right then and there.

So thanks, Dad, for all the fun and good times. I won't forget this when you are much older and helpless and need me. I will be there for you, just like you always were for me. Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Yummy, yummy, yummy, I've got lovin' in my tummy

For a short period of time, comparable to life on death row, we lived with my dad while the first C was a toddler. Really it wasn't a bad deal because the rent was free and we were poor so it worked in our favor. Besides, my dad was always at work and we pretty much had the house to ourselves.

So one morning the small tot, who was probably three at the time, and I were downstairs when I saw him coming toward me licking on a shiny wrapper.

What have you got there, I asked.

This banana candy Paw Paw left me, he replied.

I took the wrapper and turned it over to see what it was that my child was ingesting.

Oh sweet Jesus.

This poor, unsuspecting, sweet, and innocent child was licking the inside of a banana flavored condom wrapper left on the coffee table by his grandfather. Panicking I thought surely to God he didn't leave the inside of the package laying around.

I was feeling rather nauseous considering that I was holding a CONDOM WRAPPER USED BY MY FATHER. Because my God, my daddy didn't do that type of thing, right? I didn't want to believe that he ever really had a man part, and if he did he certainly didn't use it, right? I mean, let's just say he did have one, but surely he only used it for the sole purpose of having a baby, and right after I was born his fell off, right? I mean, he probably just prayed for his children and we were all conceived through immaculate conception because you know daddies just don't do that kind of stuff, right?

I was trying to make sure that my little son's sweet baby hands had not been subjected to touching the actual real insides of the "candy" laced wrapper. But how do you ask a three-year old this type of question? I mean it's not like I could have said, son you didn't happen to pick up a used condom along with this prophylactic wrapper did you? Hee hee. I just don't think he would have seen the humor.

You didn't see a flat balloon laying around did you baby?

I was desperate it was the best I could do.

Please God, I think I will vomit if I see something like that.

Thankfully, I was spared as no further evidence of the fornicating that had taken place there earlier was left behind.

I think I was on the road to recovery and had put this whole traumatic event behind me until a couple of weeks later when I was riding in the car with my mother. I was searching for something in her purse when thinking I had found a box of gum, I realized I was holding a small box of banana split flavored condoms with only one flavor missing. You guessed it - banana.

I told you they were a break up to make up kind of couple.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Does the caged bird really sing?

One evening not long after we were married, the husband and I went over to my father's house to find some items that I needed for our new house. In order to completely understand the story I need to provide you with a little background information here.

The house that my parents lived in had been under renovation for, um I don't know, about 15 years at the time and the back area of the house was closed off from some of the really important things like heat. Since it was late fall at the time, heat was a pretty important element so the back area of the house was quite cold on the chilly evening in question.

My parents had just recently spilt up, again, yes, I said again because it would be rude for me to say for the hundredth-millionth time, and since my dad was so fond of my mother at the moment he had shoved many of her belongings into the back room. You know where they would be safe and secure among the tools, saw horses, and sheet rock in the damp, cold, dark part of the house.

Part of her belongings included two small parakeets living in a small birdcage. Yes, I know you are gasping in horror, he put her birds in the back of the house! Why yes, yes he did.

Needless to say my parents must have really had some irreconcilable differences at the time. As awful as that now sounds at the time I guess I was so preoccupied with moving, marriage and my new found maternity status that the thought never occurred to me that the birds were probably not safe in this area of the home.

So my husband and I were making our way toward the back room feeling our way around all the boxes and trying to find the light switch in the dark without falling. There must have been a large box that I couldn't get around so I raised my leg to step over it and that is when it happened - I accidentally let one.

My husband immediately starts laughing and said I heard that.

What, I don't know what you are talking about.

I was desperately trying to save face and was grateful that we had not gotten to the light switch yet so he couldn't see my half-hormone, half-humiliation induced red face blazing.

That was those birds, they must have made that noise.

Just then he reached the switch and viola! we had lights. I could see him bent over laughing and pointing toward the bird cage.

You mean those birds?

I looked over and there they were, two non-flatulent birds, deader than door nails, in the bottom of the cage.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Washing machine queen

As I stood waist deep in a mountain of laundry this weekend I was reminded of the days before I had mastered the household appliance.

The first house my husband and I ever shared was small to say the least and was built of concrete and cinder block and had about as much charm as an average jail cell which is why I refer to it as CB 2788 (cell block for you non-delinquents). So the day we were moving in I wanted to show my husband how domestic I was so he would see what good care I was going to take of our little family. I decided I was going to do the laundry.

He had already left to get another load packed to bring in the morning and I stayed behind to unpack some items and clean up a little before leaving for the evening. Now a seasoned laundry veteran would have automatically known not to throw in a load of laundry late in the evening before leaving the house. A seasoned laundry veteran would know that you don't leave clothes wet in a washer because a seasoned laundry veteran would know that the clothes would not smell fresh and clean but would instead smell more like sweaty feet.

It is probably becoming clear that I had never done a load of laundry in my life and the only time I ever turned on a dryer was to throw in shirts to remove wrinkles because the only time I had ever ironed was in the fifth grade when my friend and I ironed each other's hair straight. Of course that didn't work out so well either because neither one of us took into consideration that if you lay your hair flat across the ironing board and leave your curved head in an upright position you are going to get a nice crease right across the back of your head.

However, I was much older and wiser now, and was in full housewife mode when I picked up a pile of dirty clothes and shoved them in the washer. I was extremely pleased with myself when I left a couple of hours later and the clothes were still swishing away as I locked up the house for the night.

The next morning I returned with my husband in tow, anxious for him to see the progress I had made on decorating our little corner of the world. Since the house was so small you could clearly hear any kind of noise from inside as soon as you walked in the door. He had a funny look on his face as he walked toward the kitchen/dining/office/laundry room.

Someone has been here, he informed me, and they are washing clothes. To which I happily responded, oh no that's me, I am washing clothes.

I could see the confusion growing on his face as he stared at me. Now I was glowing with pride, I guess you thought I didn't know how to do laundry. See I told you I could.

He then went on to say he didn't understand, we had just gotten there, how in the world could I be washing clothes. I remember hearing the water swishing in the washing machine as I sat there, still grinning from ear to ear.

I put the clothes on last night after you left, so I could dry them today. How is this confusing?

Now I could see the panic in his face widen as he ran toward the washing machine.

Oh my God, you mean this load of laundry has been washing since yesterday?


I really wasn't getting the reaction I had hoped for. He was frantically reaching into the washer pulling out wet clothes and throwing them into a laundry basket. By now the washer was slowing coming out of the spin cycle loudly protesting. I knew something was wrong when I noticed my nearly new red pajama pants were now light pink.

I was sitting there trying to figure out who those pink jeans he was holding belonged to when he asked how long did I think it took to wash a load of clothes? He was now laughing hysterically, you know really holding his amusement back in order to spare my feelings.

I don't know, a couple of hours maybe. This washer is old it probably just takes longer. I wasn't going to sit here and time the thing.

It was painfully clear to me now that it does not take that long to wash a load of clothes AND that you must sort laundry before washing unless your husband likes pink pants and undershirts. He went on to show me his laundry sorting skills and to explain to me that obviously the washer was not working correctly. Of course I was humiliated at how inept I was when it came to conquering the domestic world but I was determined to not let him know.

It's not my fault you got us a broken washing machine.

The only other time I was ever even close to that embarassed was a couple of months later when a female co-worker of mine mentioned that my clothes always smelled so good and asked what kind of detergent I used.

I am not sure, the kind with the little bear on the bottle.

She smiled, no that is your fabric softener. What detergent are you using?


Monday, June 15, 2009

Why, hello there doctor

After giving birth to three children and having several yearly exams, I think it is safe to say that I have spent a fair amount of time at the gynecologist's office. During these numerous visits I have made some observations that I would love to discuss with the doctor if I really had the nerve.

First of all, for the life of me, I can't understand how in the world male gynecologists ever have children. I work on a computer all day and the LAST thing I want to do is go home and spend all night staring at the computer. It just seems like he would be thinking could you please get that thing away from me, I have been looking at those all day...

Also, can you imagine being married to a pregnant woman in her last trimester if you were a baby doctor? Anyone who has ever been pregnant and desperate to deliver knows that you would badger the poor man to death. Please, check me come on I know that I am dilated, I CAN FEEL IT. When the truth is your doctor already checked at your visit earlier that day and told you that NOTHING had changed. Then thirty minutes later you would be asking again - can you check me now? How about just breaking my water, come on, I won't tell. YOU ARE MY HUSBAND YOU HAVE TO DO THIS. Seriously, he would probably need to stay at the hospital during the last month of the pregnancy just to avoid divorce proceedings.

Another observation I have made while visiting the doc for the routine pap smear is does he really need to ask how I am feeling today? If I could be candid the answer would sound something like this, I am sitting here stark naked wrapped in a paper towel. In a minute I am going to have to slide my big ol' rear-end to the edge of the table and place my feet in stirrups so my lady spot is exposed for the whole world to see. Oh, I am just grooovy.

Then my next favorite part is when they tell you just to relax and try to make small talk as they slide a cold, miniature version of the Jaws of Life into an area that it clearly does not fit and then proceed to take a two-foot long Q-tip and tickle your throat. Clearly, I am joking here, if your OBGYN has ever tried to insert anything into your throat you should probably change doctors and perhaps notify authorities.

Lastly, you are forced to lie still and smile up at this man while he feels you up and checks for lumps of cancer. You follow that pleasant experience by discussing your menstrual cycle and sex life. Nice.

The last thing I would say to the kind doctor when he offers his hand for me to shake at the end of the visit is - no thanks doc, I know where your hands have been.

Have you scheduled your yearly visit yet?

Friday, June 12, 2009

The dead fish

Since I had so much fun reminiscing about my unexpected pregnancy news, I thought I would go back even further in time and tell you all about another grand occasion from my younger days - my first time. Now I know what you are thinking, my goodness is she ever going to talk about anything other than the birds and the bees and her reckless teenage ways? Well, of course, don't be silly. I am married now. WITH CHILDREN. I no longer seek out places so I can secretly do it, instead I now seek out secret places to hide so I can avoid doing it.

Anyway, here is my story:

I was with my friend one day, yes the same friend from the test drama, and was discussing with her my very important decision to finally go ahead and go ALL THE WAY. Of course, I had some major concerns and wanted her opinion to help me overcome these obstacles. She immediately assumed that I was concerned with a trivial thing like pregnancy. I was appalled.

Oh my God, I just want to do it, I didn't say anything about getting pregnant, that is for old, married people. Are you kidding, I am worried about something way more important - I don't want it to hurt.

You see I already had a vast knowledge of the human reproductive system, in fact, I had been an advisor of sorts on the subject for years. Yes, even in elementary school when my best childhood friend confided in me, all teary-eyed and said her mom wanted her to use OB tampons and she was afraid. When I asked what she was scared of she looked at me with wide eyes and said of getting pregnant, of course. To which I responded, "With what, finger puppets?" So obviously, I knew all about how babies were made.

Back to the story:

My friend really wanted to help me with my situation, so with true teenage logic she explained to me that if your arm is relaxed that means your whole body was relaxed and if you relax enough it won't hurt. You know it's like getting a shot, if you don't tense up, you won't feel a thing, she said. I am sure that is what every man is going for - to make sure you don't feel a thing. She was a real Dr. Ruth in the making.

Now that I was armed with the great secret of how to be successful in the bedroom, I decided I was going to finally give in after four years of being a major tease to dating my boyfriend.

When the big day finally arrived we ended up at a very romantic spot, the Days Inn, I was ready to get the show on the road. All I could think of was how I needed to keep my arms relaxed. So, I laid there throughout the whole thing with my arms draped across the bed like limp rags. The only way I can even come close to comparing this to anything is that it must have been like doing it with a dying fish that was flailing around in air desperately trying to make it to water. Clearly, it must have been the time of his life all that he had hoped for and more.

So what's the point to all of this? The point is that maybe if your teenage friend comes to you seeking advice maybe you should talk a little more about the important stuff like, I don't know, CONTRACEPTIVES. And also, if you are having infertility issues trying doing the whole dead fish technique, it's pretty effective. If that still doesn't work, try using the technique in a car, works like a charm.

By the way, I called my friend yesterday to thank her for all of her wisdom and advice she had shared with me during our youth, but mostly, for having such a positive impact on my life.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

How my girlfriend got me pregnant

Since this is my first post I thought this would be a great time to tell you the story of how our family got started and how instead of living the life I had always planned for, I fell face first into this one.

It was the summer before my sophomore year of college, a long time ago, in a life I have almost forgotten. I was on my way to visit my friend who had called me up because she was facing a major dilemma. Since I was so mature and responsible at the very grown-up age of 18, I was rushing to her side to help her with the problem. Here is transcript of the conversation, to the best of my recollection:

Friend: I think I am pregnant will you go with me to get a pregnancy test?

Me: OK

Now standing in the middle of the store aisle.

Friend: Which one do you think I should get?

Me: Get this one, it's the cheapest. (pearls of wisdom, I told you I was mature)

Friend: OK, but I am going to get a double pack so you can take one, I don't want to do this alone.

Me: OK, if you want to waste your money.

There was no way I could have been pregnant because I had only done those kinds of grown-up things three times and all my friends had been doing it FOR YEARS. None of them had gotten pregnant because that only happens to the girls in the after school specials that they make you watch in gym class.

Now back to the house where I go first just to make her feel better and to prove that she has nothing to worry about.

Me: OK, I'm all done. It's your turn now.

Friend: What did it say?

Me: I don't know, I didn't bother to look at it because I know that I am not. I already told you remember?

She goes and looks at test.

Friend: You're pregnant.

What followed next was lots of denial, lots of money wasted on the better name brand more expensive tests, more denial, an expensive run to the doc in a box for a blood test (which is supposed to be more accurate and I was sure it would be negative), paid for with cash because I didn't want the claim to go on the parent's health insurance, some tears, more denial, a frantic call to the boyfriend, more tears, even more denial, the telling of the parents, WAY more denial, a runaway wedding, lots of swelling, some tears, the birth, more tears, the baby, tons of tears, and the hardest couple of years of my life honeymoon phase.

Now here we are almost twelve years, three kids, a degree, a house, and a dog later and the husband and I are still running scared going strong.

I almost forgot my friend still owes me lots of child support since it's her fault I got into this whole mess anyway. Oh yeah, in case you're wondering her test was negative.