Friday, April 30, 2010

Potty mouth

Hi, how are you?

A common phrase, we all use it and is normally followed with, fine and you? At least we hope it is. But there is always that one person, and we all know one, that you dare not utter those words unless you want to stand there and get a full play-by-play of their medical history. This is for you, and the people like you, who love to share all of that personal information like how often your bowels move or how often they do not,  so take a note and remember this the next time you are in this situation.

How many times have you stood their providing your medical background to some poor soul who simply asked how it was going and their response has been - Well, bless your heart...

Let me help you out here and explain what most of you southerners are already aware of. The phrase, "Bless your heart" is what all nice southern people say when what they are really thinking is Oh sweet Jesus, please save me and get me away from this person.

It is the southern version of if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

My mother is the world's worst for sharing too much information. She is a repeat offender of the worst kind. Case in point, she was supposed to go to a baby shower and was not going to be able to make it. If memory serves me correctly the phone conversation went a little something like this -

Expecting mother: Hello

My mother: Hey hun, I just wanted to let you know that I am not going to be able to make it to your baby shower this afternoon. I am sick.

Expecting mother: Oh, I am sorry to hear that, I hope you feel better soon.

My mother: Me too, I have had the worst case of diarrhea, I have been up and down all night, I tell you it is just awful.

Expecting mother: Well, bless your heart...

Do you see how this works?

First of all, you should never discuss your terrible case of the runs with anyone whose name is not followed with the letters M.D. No one wants to hear that. So for the love of all that is good in the world, please quit sharing too much information about your bodily functions with the rest of us. We don't really need to know that you have been on the commode all night and now your hemmoroids are so flared up you can barely walk. Do us all a favor and get some Tucks and keep it to yourself.

So remember the next time you are posed with the question simply say these three little words - fine and you, and instead of hearing bless your heart, I guarantee you will hear a sigh of relief.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Leavin' on a jet plane

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have always been close to my dad, you can read more about him in this post. The older kids had already left home and began making their own way, and it was just me and Dad, so it was inevitable that we would have a stronger relationship. The joke between the brothers and sisters is their dad and my dad are two different people. Now as an adult, I didn't see him every day or anything, but we talked at least several times a week and if I needed him to come by or pick up a grandchild or let me borrow a tool, or whatever the case may be, he was there and I knew it.

Dad has been married a few times, like neck and neck with Larry King, but who's counting? I don't want to embarrass him or anything, let's just say I have been through the whole dad's new wife routine at least a time or two.

So sometime around Christmas of last year when he informed me that he was considering moving to Alaska with the latest missus I didn't really think it would happen. However, as time passed and he knew he could no longer avoid the conversation I began to realize he was probably going to go. Without me. Yes, of course, I know that I am married, with children, and have all these other trivial things like a job and a house to take care of, but that is besides the point. He was moving to ALASKA. Which, in case you didn't know, is no where near my house in Alabama.

To fill you in a little and give you a better understanding of my dad, he is very good at only sharing the information he wants you to know. You know, the mundane, unnecessary events of every day life, he will tell you at a moment's notice, but the important stuff, like I am moving to ALASKA and I am leaving on this day and I will or will not be back on this day, he will conveniently leave out of the conversation in case you have, you know - questions.

It's kind of like selective hearing, except in reverse. In his defense, I think it's more like trying to make everyone happy but you know you really can't so you just tell people what you think they can handle and try to avoid all the rest.

So when the day finally came and he was set to go, there wasn't a long visit or a party to say goodbye, there was only time spent with the wife's family and a quick call to me to say goodbye. While this may all sound a little absurd, it was a song and dance that we had spent all week perfecting, I had intentionally avoided going to his house so I wouldn't have to see packed boxes and feel the sting of reality, and he had not come by mine so he wouldn't have to see how much it hurt me to see him go.

So the night before I was restless and could not sleep and decided at the last minute to go the airport in the wee hours of the morning and make him say goodbye. The flying sister, went with me and since she is the emotional one, I spent the entire drive down talking to her about not making a scene. We arrived and intended to say a rushed goodbye, hope you hate it and come back soon wish them well and then the sister and I would head back to the house.

What happened next is a rare event and I am truly sorry to all of the early-morning, groggy, rushing travelers who were minding their own business and just trying to catch a flight that you had to witness such a scene. I got to the airport and saw my dad and cried like a fool. I mean twisted-face, running nose, sniffling, snorting, crying like a baby. And although, I certainly did not save face in the airport, I said my goodbye and that is what truly mattered.

It was the first time I had ever felt sorry that I left home and started my own family and left him so soon. All those years before I felt all grown up and was so caught up in my own plans and moving foward that I never stopped to think about how my dad must have felt to see me moving on without him. I had to learn what my dad had already witnessed at least a half a dozen times before. He didn't try to stop me, or talk me out of it, or beg me to stay because he knew it wasn't fair to me and that part of loving someone really is letting them go. He is much smarter than me, and probably less shelfish too.

So my hope is that my children will forgive me one day when I stand there with the twisted-crying face when they follow thier own dreams. As much as I don't want it to, it is bound to happen, and thanks to my dad and his journey to Alaska, I might be a little more prepared. And even though I know he's not just down the road anymore, I hope, that he, and one day my kids, will still remember the way home.

Monday, April 26, 2010

How does your garden grow?

I am not one of those lucky girls who barely has any arm hair, or naturally thin eye brows, or light hair on her legs that allows you to go weeks without shaving and it not be noticed. Oh no, that is not me. I can wax my eye brows and a week later they need to be done again. I am total mustache denial. I don't only have to shave my legs, I even have to shave my big toe.

Don't be a hater, you know you do too.

So with bathing suit season right around the corner, not my favorite time for many reasons cellulite, stretch marks, jelly belly, thunder thighs that shall remain unnamed, I am once again faced with the daunting challenge of the bikini line. Or in my case, the lack thereof. Let's be honest, I would have unwanted hair down to my knees if I wasn't careful.

Laugh all you want, you know you have been there.

Of course there is always the first option, the plain and simple one, the razor. The razor and I share a love/hate relationship because while it does get rid of the squirrel tail, it also leaves behind a horrible case of what looks like teenage acne on the top of my thighs. And no, not the kind Proactiv can clear. Of course I have tried all the creams, the alpha hydroxy, the Bikini Zone, the powder, the bend-over-backwards and turn-three times to prevent razor burn method.

Nothing works.

I have seen the commercial that shows all the skinny tramps, I mean lovely ladies, prancing around in their shorty shorts with their smooth legs and I have dared to Nair. Sure the hair washed down the drain. So did the nasal hair that has burned out of your nose from the horrendous burnt plastic smell of the toxins you have just smeared into your skin to get rid of a little unwanted hair. It works fine until the next day when the stubble returns in full force. Are we sure Nair and Rogaine aren't made by the same company?

I have even dared to try to use a home waxing kit. Of course I know I can go to a salon and pay some poor soul to do this for me. I refuse. I can't bring myself to do it. No one deserves that kind of torture. If you think you are having a bad day at work just think about doing that job for a living. The nightmares. I can't imagine.

Back to the home project, I bought the kit with the best of intentions, followed the directions and heated up the wax, made sure it wasn't too cold or too hot, and then I proceeded to rip the skin off of parts of my body that will  never fully recover. Not to mention the wax got cold a lot faster than I expected and I thought I was going to have to take a trip to the ER to the have crack of my rear end surgically reopened. Saying it did not get well is an understatement. A huge understatement. I still break into a cold sweat when I see a jar of wax or a popsicle stick.

So until I come up with a viable solution, there will be no string bikini here.

Anyone know where I can find a nice wetsuit?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The facts of life

The husband I decided it was time to have the big talk with the big C and tell him all about where babies really come from. He turned 11 and we knew it was time, so we did what every good parent does - we put it off as long as possible. Then he turned 12 and I told the husband we could not wait any longer. Nor could we continue to live in the ignorant bliss that our oldest child had no interest or knowledge of the grown-up subject.

Come on, I know what is right around the corner. I had three teenage brothers in '80s so I know what tube socks were really used for.

After much discussion and preparation (flying by the seat of our pants and praying for it to soon be over) the husband and I teamed up on the poor unsuspecting child. At first I didn't think it was going to be so bad and then the husband, this boy's father - leader, mentor, teacher, began to speak.

Son, sex is when a man and two women...

Holy mother of god, what is he talking about? You mean a man and woman, I said. One woman, two people, one boy, one girl.

Yes, that's right. Son, one boy and one girl. See they get together and then he proceeded to try to explain things using big, grown-up, clinical terms like private place and lady spot. Clearly, our son was now well aware of the trap he had just fallen into and was balled up on the couch with his hands around his knees and his face pointed downward.

I know about this, ok, I know, please just stop, he begged.

I felt sorry for him, I understood this torture. My poor husband was still rattling on about girl spots and boy spots sounding more like we were having a discussion with a kindergartner about strangers than trying to tell a half-grown boy about sexual relations.

I tried to help by explaining that we just want him to know the facts, to know that he can talk to us. Then the husband starts in -

Husband: You see, son, in the Bible it says...

Me: The Bible, why are we talking about the Bible?

Husband: Yes, the Bible, the story of God, we like God, you know the Bible says to wait until you are married.

Oh, aren't you slick, I don't remember you talking about the Bible and the importance of saving yourself when we were dating.

Me (desperate to save face): Of course we like God, I love God, God is great and while I do think you should wait until you are married, or at least grown, the sad thing is many people today don't wait (in my best motherly voice, mind you).

Then the husband, father of my children, life partner, supposed best friend, totally hangs me out to dry.

That's right, take your mother for example...

Me? Me? You want to talk about me? Um, excuse me, you want to use ME as the example here? This coming from the boy who put his address on the bottom of the chalk board in high school with the words Sex Shop above it.

Me (again desperately trying to rescue any self-respect I have left while not exposing traumatizing secrets about his father) loudly said: This is not really about US, son. This is about you and making sure you understand things.

Then I went on to tell him how we knew he would talk about this with his friends but not to really listen to them because they would be confused and misinformed but that it was ok to talk about it with them, and to not send naked pictures of anyone with his phone because it would make someone's daddy very unhappy and if he were older he could get in serious trouble. And on, and on.

So basically I rambled and fumbled my words just like the poor husband who was trying to explain the horrible, evil world of porn and I thought was doing a good job until he followed up with - it would be awful for you to see it now because it would probably scar you for life but man, when you get in college have I got some things to show you. Nice.

When we were done and the poor boy had left the room and his humiliation was finally over, I looked over at the husband who at this point had his face buried in his hands. It wasn't so bad, I said, except for maybe the menages a trios, the whole your mother is a whore, and your dad is obsessed with porn, part. I think he will recover. Besides, you will be better prepared when your daughter starts her period sometime in the next couple of years, we will be old pros by then.

The look on his face said I had gotten all the revenge I needed.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Meet the C's

Ok, I know, it has been a long time. So long, I debated on if I should do this again but I have been thinking about and thinking about it and have decided that it is time, so here we go.

If you have ever read this blog before, then you have probably gathered that the three C's are my children. They are the most important C's and they provide me with lots of funny material to share. I plan to continue to do that, but in the meantime, if you wish, you can learn more about them here.

Now this is the part I have been really thinking about. The other C's in my life. I have debated and debated over whether or not I should share them because not that many people know about these C's. I have Hepatitis C. No, I didn't not get it from a prison tattoo gone array, or by doing a string of x-rated movies in the 70's. I simply received a blood transfusion when I was born and thus the love affair with my liver began.

Out of 6 children, I am the only one who has never smoked, I don't drink, and I have never done drugs. See, it took my parents six times to get it right. Anywho, it is very amusing to me that out of the whole brood, I would be the one to end up with cirrhosis. I mean, there was the one time back in 2005 when I had a sip of a pina coloda while on vacation, and once I drank a half of a wine cooler at a friend's bachorlette party, and in high school, I may have drank less than a handful of times. LIVING ON THE EDGE, I know. But there it is, me, the one who walked the straight line, except for the whole pregnancy thing, is the one who ends up with a drunk liver. Go figure.

However, I decided to let you in on it, because it is a part of my life and at times, it can also be funny. Like this for example -

Thanksgiving a few years ago -
Sister- my head is killing me.
Me - really, it is my liver that's getting me.
Sister - not funny.

Liver biopsy 5 years ago -
Radiologist - if you don't mind me asking, how did you get cirrhosis at such a young age?
Me - middle school rocked.

Endoscopy last year -
Doctor - All I am going to do is put this tube down your throat, all you have to do is open wide.
Me - Why do I feel like I have heard this line before?
Doctor - laughed but turned 10 shades of red

It took me a long time to decide to do this because for people like me there is no pink or red ribbon and no one wears red for us on a Friday. There is a stigma attached with having something like this, but there should not be. You can't catch it unless you were thinking of asking me to be your blood sister or you like illness and carry needles in your pocket and go around jabbing people and then sticking yourself. I will assume you are not a needle-carrying maniac with a death wish. The truth is, there are lots of people out there just like me and I thought this would just be a good way to talk about it. So, if you would like to know more about me and the C's visit here.

Next post I will have to tell you about the recent birds and the bees talk we had with the big C. He's 12 and I hope we didn't scar him for life. So come back if you want, I am not going to turn this into a sad blog or anything. My liver may be jumping ship, but I am certainly not.