Friday, February 25, 2011

Facebook, I Wish I Could Quit You . . .

Facebook, I wish I could quit you. 

But I can’t, for the following reasons:
  1. It’s how I keep tabs on my brother, the Redneck.  We don’t talk much, as he flew the proverbial coop at 18 and has made a life for himself in South Carolina.  Facebook allows me to keep a big-sisterly eye on him.  This is how I found out he has a girlfriend, who is now also my “friend” on Facebook even though we have never actually met.  It’s also how I know that the glasses he wears are too small for his big friggin’ head; they look like Mr. Potato Head glasses.  And it’s how I keep in touch with all his ex-wives.  Hehe. 
  2. I have been getting decorating ideas by creeping through the posted photos of high school classmates, former colleagues, and friends of my Hubby.  Wait . . . is that creepy?
  3. I secretly harbor this notion that all my ex-boyfriends are pining away for me because I’m the one who got away.  How will they be able to wallow in the Misery that is Life Without Me if I don’t stay on Facebook?  So really, it’s a favor I do for THEM.
  4. I am so desperate for adult interaction that I spend way more time on Facebook than I should.  And by “spend,” I mean “waste.”  If my choice is do another load of laundry or find out that my 2nd grade classmate is headed to Bible Study, I choose to live vicariously through my more exciting peers.  Amen.
  5. I am naturally nosy curious.  I believe I was put on this earth to be a fabulous mother and raise upstanding young men snoop into other people’s business.  It’s my destiny.

So which one are you?

Um, Cupcakes . . . I should
probably quit you, too.
  1. The New Mom.  She is SO excited about the impending arrival of her bundle of joy.  Apparently she is blissfully unaware that she is not the first woman to EVER give birth.  Here’s a little tip: that sweet little infant is going to humiliate you in the Frozen Foods Section in about 3 years.  I guar-an-tee it.
  2. The Exerciser.  My girlfriend, Mama Mia, is constantly updating her status with her latest exercise accomplishment.  She deserves a shout-out because she has made some amazing changes and she looks awesome, but every time I read one of her posts I can’t help but wonder where my next cupcake’s gonna come from. 
  3. The Gourmet Chef.  He/She posts the nightly menu of various epicurean adventures which include obscure spices and seasonal vegetables.  To this, I cannot relate.  In the BoyMommy Household, our menu consists of nuggets, tots, fish sticks, grilled cheese, and meatballs.  Repeat.
  4. The Sports Fan.  If I wanted a score update, I’d watch Sports Center.  I.  Don’t.  Care.
  5. The Meteorologist.  It’s always sunny and 70 where the Meteorologist lives, which means her kids get to play outside.  My kids are riding their laundry baskets down the stairs and making sculptures out of masking tape, because it’s raining for the 17th f*cking day in a row!
  6. The Politician.  This poster has it ALL figured out, and you, dear reader, are an idiot if you don’t feel the same way.  I’ve mentioned before that Hubby and I are a Bipartisan Family, but we respect each other’s views.  (Well, ONE of us is a little more respectful and does not yell at the television . . . )  This is America, folks.  We’re all entitled to our opinion.
  7. Little Miss Sunshine!!!  She LOVES everyone!  And she’s always happy!  And she’s so blessed!  And she uses a lot of exclamation points!!!!  Because one exclamation point wouldn’t do justice to the level of excitement she feels!!!  About EVERYthing!!!!
  8. The Abbreviator.  I need 2 unfriend this poster b/c he doesn’t follow the rules of language.  LOL.  Dude, u r 40.  U look like a moron.  WTF?
  9. The Toker.  His posts are so cryptic and incoherent, I’m gonna give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he smoked a doobie before he sat down at his computer.  Or perhaps I should smoke one so his post will make sense.
  10. The Slacker.  She’s watching movies.  Now she’s taking a nap.  Now she’s meeting her BFF for drinks.  Now she’s going to bed.  Now she’s watching movies.  I want this life.

I only post when I have something funny to say.  The problem is that I always think I’m funny.  Hubby tells me this is not the case.  This is why his Valentine card, which made reference to processed cheese, (as all good Valentines cards should,) was funny to me but not to him.   

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Stuff That Could Only Happen to Me.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: you can’t make this sh*t up.

All I wanted to do was sell my light fixtures on Craigslist so I could fund the purchase of fabulous new, more BoyMommy-appropriate lighting.  I figured I’d post an ad which would lead to a drama-free transaction between two consenting adults with differing tastes in lighting, and we’d be on our merry way.

Lo and behold, I found a buyer.  Using my master sleuth skills on the World Wide Internets, I discovered, inadvertently, that they are worth more than I first thought, so I placed the ad on CraigsList.  After a few days with no bites, finally a gentleman said he was, to use his words, "VERY interest" in all three pieces.  I told him I was firm on the price, he agreed, and he prepared to send me a check.  And then it got weird. 

Turns out “Frank” is not local.  He’s REALLY not local.  He’s from a state that I shall not name in order to protect his privacy, but let’s just say it rhymes with Schmichigan.   Therefore he has hired a mover to come pick up the light fixtures for him.  Frank told me he had mailed the check and that I would be required to use the excess funds he had sent to pay the mover he has hired to pick up the light fixtures.  It seemed like a lot of effort to go through, but I am willing to comply, and I expected that the amount would be for $200 or so more than the price of the light fixtures.  When I finally received the cashier’s check in the mail, however, the total was TWICE the price we had settled on.  So he's paying his mover just as much as he's paying me.
Dallas - deep in the heart of Schtexas!

But instead of paying the mover with that money,  I have now been “instructed” to send the remaining funds to a woman whose address indicates she lives in a state we’ll call Schtexas.  Wha?  Now I'm supposed to write a big, fat check to some woman who lives in the heart o' Dixie?

Then I get an email that “instructs” me to please continue correspondence using a different email address because he’s having “problems” with his other account.  And then I am told, and I quote, “You are required to send excess via money gram from any walmart shop or money gram outlet near you, the cost of sending should also be deducted from the excess.”  For the sake of brevity, I will ignore the obvious errors in grammar, mechanics, spelling, and syntax, though it pains me to do so.  I’m also going to ignore Frank’s tone, which I do not appreciate. 

At this point, I’m kicking myself for thinking this transaction was going to be simple, and I’m getting worried that I have gotten myself involved in something shall we say skeevy.

And then came the phone call.

It seems that, in Frank’s humble and unsolicited opinion, I am not conducting “good business.”  Apparently, I can trust Frank.  He told me so.  And if I am trustworthy, why then clearly I don’t have any reason to worry.  Frank wants to know, “why can’t you just complete the task?” 

Really, Frank?  IF that is indeed your name? 

I am done.  I am prepared to tell Hubby, “you were right.”  (You saw it here first, folks.)  Hubby was right.  I should have been content with those f*cking chandeliers and just let them continue existing like enormous, brass, formal eyesores in my otherwise casual home.   I mean, what goes better with Walmart slipcovers and too-small area rugs than fancy Framburg Napoleonic Lighting? 

So I tell Frank that I am not writing a check to Miss Ellie at Southfork, but that I will be happy to return the excess funds to him if he will provide me with an address.  This makes him nervous.  He mumbles something about “family,” reminds me that this is not “good business,” questions me again about “completing the task,” and says that he will get back to me and that I should wait for further instruction.

Here are my thoughts:
1.   One possible scenario: Frank is going to smuggle pounds of cocaine (Liters?  Kilos?  Bricks?  How does one measure cocaine?) in one of those chandeliers.

2.  Frank, who now has my home address, (which he needed for the check,) and my home phone number, (which I provided for purposes of correspondence,) is going to send someone to my home to breaka my kneecaps.

3.  I am going to stand trial for money laundering, tax evasion, drug smuggling, racketeering, etc. in front of Judge Judy, who will not appreciate my biting humor and witty sarcasm. 

4.  I will not do well in prison for several reasons:
  • ALL the beds are close to the door.  [Please refer to BoyMommy's Hotel Room Theory.]
  • I tend to cry when people are mean to me.  I think people in prison are not very nice.
  • I’m quite sure their wine list will be too limited for my liking.
  • I’ve already tried to knit one of those Martha Stewart Jailhouse Ponchos, but it did not go well.
  • I will suffer from performance anxiety when I have an audience to pee, I’ll hold it, and, consequently, I will develop a bladder infection, to which I am already susceptible. 
  • Orange is not my color, and I’d have to wear my flip flops with socks, because I sure-as-hell ain’t wearing open-toed shoes without a fresh pedicure. 

    I leave you with this: should I go missing, tell my family I love them, and check for my body in Schmichigan or Schtexas.  Wink, wink.  Otherwise, I'll be hanging out in the slammer with my new,  above-pictured BFFs.

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    The BoyMommy Guide to Romance

    First, I need to make an ammendment to yesterday's blog post, as THIS is what happened at Target this morning:
    I'm sure they clean these things after each use, right?

    OKAY, so the topic du jour . . . in the spirit of post-Valentine romance, I offer you The BoyMommy Guide to Romance.  (Because who better to give you love advice than a perpetually exhausted mother of three who has been married for 12 years?)

    1. Communicate with each other throughout the day.  I’ll call Hubby at work and seductively greet him with “Hello, Lover.”  Then one of two things will happen: I either identify myself as his wife, lest he have me confused with another caller; or, he replies with “Barbara?  I told you not to call me at work.”  [I realized after the original post that I need to establish that my name is, in fact, NOT Barbara.]
    2. Make an effort to look nice for each other.  Sometimes I stay in my daytime clothes until bedtime, instead of putting my sweat pants on at 4:30 in the afternoon.  Because I’m sexy like that.
    3. Recognize your partner’s contributions to your relationship.  For instance, if Hubby and I weren’t married, I wouldn’t own an ENORMOUS television and he wouldn’t own a really fabulous chandelier!
    4. Leave each other sweet little love notes.     

    5.  Use “I” statements in order to avoid placing blame on the other.  “I find you annoying right now"    sounds so much more pleasant than “You are annoying me."
    6.  Set a good example for the kids.  Just yesterday, Medium told me, “I love you like old people love chicken.”  It’s important that the children learn how to love.
    7.  Laugh with one another.  We leave little toys in compromising situations.

    8.  Give romantic gifts.  Nothing says I love you like a mini fridge or a steam cleaner.
    9.  Surprise each other.  Just the other day I came home with brand new nail clippers for my beloved, just because I was thinking of him while I was at the Walgreens.
    10.  Use special nicknames for each other, but don’t call each other names.  I was very grateful on the day that someone asked Large what Daddy calls Mommy.  His answer was “Hey Babe.”  It could have been SO many other things if our relationship were different. 

    So there you have it  . . . the BoyMommy strategies for keeping the love alive.  You're welcome. 

    Monday, February 14, 2011

    Humorous Photos of Inappropriate Toys

     No babies were harmed in the making of this blog.  He is a busy, busy little man . . .

    computer cord

    the dog's reindeer antlers

    a broken swing

    Friday, February 11, 2011

    Missing Mary

    I feel blue.  This is generally a tough time of year for me, as it is for many people.  I think I have some seasonal depression goin’ on, and when the weather is gray and cold I start to feel pretty down.  Add to that the fact that winter holds some pretty significant anniversaries for me.  I lost my mom in December and my friend, whom I will call Mary,  in February, so the winter months can bring a lot of sadness.

    I went out last night to get my toes done.  That’s right . . . I had two whole hours to myself!  I got my toes done and then went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond where I made a purchase that I now need to return, Walgreens, and a Chinese restaurant from which we will no longer be ordering.  (Cat.)  It was all VERY glamorous.  While I was at the nail salon, however, I heard Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” 

    Years ago when Simon and Garfunkel were on their final tour Mary and I went to see them in concert. Mary was not known for her musical knowledge, but she humored me several times by going to see James Taylor in the pouring rain and John Denver in the scorching heat.  She said the Simon and Garfunkel Old Friends concert was one of the best she’d ever attended.

    Often music serves as the background in life - I know “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by heart and I’ve sung it in the shower a gazillion times.  But last night, I really listened to the lyrics and I’ve been a little weepy ever since.  

    When you're weary
    Feeling small
    When tears are in your eyes
    I will dry them all

    I'm on your side
    When times get rough
    And friends just can't be found
    Like a bridge over troubled water
    I will lay me down
    Like a bridge over troubled water
    I will lay me down

    When you're down and out
    When you're on the street
    When evening falls so hard
    I will comfort you

    I'll take your part
    When darkness comes
    And pain is all around
    Like a bridge over troubled water
    I will lay me down
    Like a bridge over troubled water
    I will lay me down

    Sail on Silver Girl,
    Sail on by
    Your time has come to shine
    All your dreams are on their way

    See how they shine
    If you need a friend
    I'm sailing right behind
    Like a bridge over troubled water
    I will ease your mind
    Like a bridge over troubled water
    I will ease your mind

    Mary died of heart failure in February of 2009.  I think of Mary all the time and I miss her terribly.  She would have adored Small and it pains me that she will never know him, especially because she knew exactly how much and how long we had hoped for him.  

    I had the first of two miscarriages in 2008.  I was scared and feeling isolated in NYC.  My entire support system was back home in Virginia; I really needed my own mother, Hubby was out of town, and my mother-in-law was unable to come up to help out with the boys.  Mary said simply, “I’ll come.  I want to do this for you.”  She hopped on the train and was with me within days.  She came with me to the doctor’s office, and I remember lying there, terrified. I was shaking and I was cold. She walked in the room, silent; she held my hand and cried with me.  She took on my pain and my fear as if they were her own, and in turn lessened my burden.  It’s ironic, because her demise a year later was largely a result of her feelings of weakness.  She never recognized her own strength.

    I wrote once before about my failed friendship with my former BFF.  One of the reasons we are on the outs is because she says she feels I judge her.  Once when we were with a group of my friends, she said that she found it interesting that all my friends were so different from each other.  I explained that I have dear friends whom I know from different areas of my life. 

    I have girlfriends whom I’ve known since we were three years old, I have girlfriends from high school, girlfriends from work, mothers of my boys’ playmates, etc.  My friends are Republicans, Democrats, free-thinkers, status-quo’ers, gay, straight, educated, blue-collar, pot-smokers, hard-partiers, teetotalers, spenders, shoppers, single, married, divorced, artists, intellectuals, athletes, bookworms, actors, Catholics, Jews, Buddhists, Mormons, private schoolers, public schoolers, meat-eaters, and, like me, chicketarians . . . the list goes on.  Our differences, our strengths, AND our weaknesses are what makes the world go ‘round.  Mary was struggling with her demons, but I loved her unconditionally.  I know she loved me too, and THAT’s what makes a true friendship.  It was not a cursory friendship – it was the real deal and I feel a huge void with her gone. 

    So I’m feeling a little sad, and wishing still that I could have helped her battle her issues.  Life goes on, and we learn how to adapt to the changes that come with a loved one’s passing.  The loss becomes a part of who you are and ultimately gives you a silent strength . . . a resilience borne of necessity and a means to honor those we have loved and lost.

    For those who are interested, the following is the eulogy I gave at Mary’s service.  I include it here because I still feel that it captures her essence and it makes me smile to remember her with laughter.  Here’s to my friend . . .

    One of the first things that drew me to Mary was her sense of fun.  I first met her when we were both teaching part-time at GFHS.  It was my first “grown-up” job after college and I was eager to establish myself as a professional.  And yet one of my first memories of her is of us at Staples.  We had gone to pick up school supplies and somehow we found ourselves in the office furniture section of the store, pretending to page each other to the office:  “Mrs. L, please see me in the main office.”  Hanging out with Mary was, quite simply, fun.  She brought out the silly in all of us. 
             Mary was a beautiful blend of glamour and craziness.  When we first started at GFHS she had these cat-eye glasses with rhinestones that I never would have been able to pull off.  She put much effort into what she wore and how she looked, and we often said that if we’d been on Gilligan’s Island, she’d be the Ginger to our Mary Annes.  She was polished, but she was real.  When M was around 3-years-old, she had fussed at him one day before coming in to work.  She was so upset with herself, she said she felt like crawling under her desk and hiding.  And then she did!  I distinctly remember a group of us teachers reassuring her that the situation would work itself out and trying to convince her to come out from under her desk because, well, it was time to go teach the children.
             Mary was the one who brought fake parking tickets on a road trip so that we could give citations to fellow travelers at the rest-stop.  She kept a mannequin, whom she named Lafonda, in her classroom and she was the proud owner of a giant stone cat with painted toe nails that now graces her back yard. Normal people have random keys tucked in a junk drawer somewhere, afraid to throw them away lest you discover what they actually unlock.  Mary has probably 100 useless keys proudly displayed on a bulletin board in her kitchen.  And she was not a practical gift giver: I now own an expandable fork, a “complimentary” cereal bowl that tells me I’m wonderful! And a fairly blasphemous mirror, because it’s important to be “lookin’ good for Jesus.”     
             Mary was game for any adventure, as long as it didn’t involve camping.  Mary was a Waldorf-Astoria kind of gal, not one who pees in the woods.  Her sense of mischief turned even the mundane into entertainment.  During an inservice at the school board building, she and I took photos of each other sitting in the superintendent’s chair.  There we were, feet up on his desk, filing our nails, with Dr. Ed’s nameplate prominently displayed.  Probably not the best career move for two probationary teachers. 
    Her creativity was evident in the kitchen, in her art classes, in her classroom and in her home.  Not many mothers take photos of their children and then paste googly eyes on top – those were some bizarre family photos!  I will miss her annual entry into the Manassas Gingerbread House contest and the Washington Post Peeps Diorama contest, where entrants make a scene constructed of Marshmallow Peeps. 
    Being Mary’s friend was not always easy, but I suppose true friendship never really is.  Many of us, her friends, have experienced the entire cycle of life with her.  We struggled with her through her husband’s illness and death, and tried to help her get back on her feet as a new widow and mother to young children.  We celebrated engagements, marriages, and new babies, and we grieved miscarriages, ailing parents, and death. 
    Most of all I will miss my friend.  I hope that I am always able to emulate her commitment to her family.  She spoke often of her parents and her siblings and she was proud of where their lives had taken them, whether it be close to home or to a foreign land.  Mostly she was fiercely proud of her children.  Mary loved teaching and loved being with her colleagues, but when she left school, she gave herself over 100% to being a mother.  Mary’s greatest accomplishment in this world and what will be her legacy is her children.  E, I am saddened that I didn’t have the pleasure of watching you grow up as I did R and M.  In all sincerity, R and M are two of the finest young men I know – they are warm, kind, polite, strong, generous people who each have their own strengths and dreams.  I am awed by the contributions they’re sure to make to this world.  Let’s not forget that Mary did that.  She made them who they are and has encouraged them to be true to themselves. 
    Mary was far from perfect, but she was real.  Life handed her some tough circumstances and she did the very best she could.  And she struggled, as we all do from time to time.  My heart is broken, but it’s broken because I loved her, and I was blessed to have experienced the whirlwind that accompanied her friendship.  I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.

    Thursday, February 3, 2011

    A Vomit-Induced List of Reasons I Adore My Husband

    Hubby is not a big fan of the blog.  He says he feels like I trash him on here.  That is certainly not my intention; my intention is to write about real life, and sometimes we are not perfect.  I am giving a BIG shout-out to Hubby today, though.  Some days I love him for entirely different reasons, so these are the Top Ten reasons I love him today.      

    First, a little background.  All you really need to know from the outset is that our family has been struck by some sort of stomach bug, and Daddy came to the rescue in a big way.

    1. The only words I could get out were “please don’t go to work today.”  I literally begged him.  He didn’t once mention how much work he needed to accomplish or any meetings he would have to cancel.  This may be due, in part, to the fact that I was sitting on our bathroom floor, clutching the toilet for dear life, and dry heaving because ALL of my stomach’s contents had already been purged during the dozen or so previous times I had visited the bathroom during the night.

    1. He washed all the sheets.  Large and I spent ALL day laying in bed, either sweating with fever or shaking with the chills, so Hubby did a large load o’ linens before the family retired for the night.  (AND he put the stripes on vertically because he knows I hate it when the stripes are sideways, but that’s another blog.)

    1. During one of my puking excursions, he must have noticed that I was wearing his pajama top over my nightgown.  Go ahead and take a moment for that image to sink in . . . me, sitting next to the toilet, hair looking like a rat’s nest, clutching a bath towel, and yakking while wearing my granny pj’s and HIS pajama shirt.  I had gotten the chills again, and it was right there.  I’m pretty sure seeing someone else projectile vomit while wearing your clothes is a deal-breaker in some parts of the world.  He never even said anything to me about it, but I noticed it in with the clean clothes today.  Obviously he felt it needed a good washin’.

    1. He made two trips to the grocery store yesterday to stock up on crackers, soup, Gatorade, and Ginger Ale, and then he hand-delivered it to us in The Cesspool of Germs and Virus, formerly known an our bedroom/love den.

    1. He picked Medium up from the bus on time.  If you are a frequent reader of this blog, then you know that this is a task that even I do not complete 100% of the time.

    1. He cleaned the play room, did the dishes, did lots o’ laundry, got Medium to and from school, and entertained Small, who was very confused about why Mommy was around but was not paying any attention to him.

    1. He put Large in the bath to try to ward off the chills and break his fever, and then asked if he could run a bath for me too – complete with bubbles.  And I didn’t even have to put out in return.

    1. He made soup and didn’t complain when I didn’t eat it.  I woulda pulled the old I-made-this-now-you’re-gonna-eat-it. 

    1. Our bed is positioned so that his side is closer to the door, which works out well for me because when the kids get up in the middle of the night, they usually stop at Daddy’s side first.  He got up with Large that first night and Medium last night.  (This is not to be confused with my hotel room theory that states that I must have the bed furthest from the door . . . this way, if robbers and/or monsters break in, they’ll get to you first.  This works well when I stay with my girlfriend, A, because her hotel room theory is that she needs to be in the bed closest to the bathroom.  We are perfect travel companions.)  I was so out-of-it, I didn't even realize I wasn't the only one who was sick.

    1. He refrained from fussing at me about all the lights and the television being left on in the basement.  My legs ached so much I couldn’t bear the thought of going up and down the stairs, and then I accidentally fell asleep before I could ask him to do it for me.  This is one of his big pet peeves, so it's a major accomplishment.

    So for all my b*tching, I have to say he takes pretty damn good care of us.  I’m not easy to live with on a good day, so I imagine going to work today was a welcome reprieve for him.