Saturday, July 28, 2012

Turns Out I'm a Little More Country and a Little Less Rock and Roll

I recently bought tickets to see the Zac Brown Band in October, and I started contemplating all the concerts I have seen over the years.  I thought, based on my ipod playlists, that I had pretty eclectic tastes.  I’ve got Barry Manilow, Hank Jr., the Beastie Boys, CeeLo, Conway Twitty, Def Leppard, Elvis Costello, Gotye, Harry Chapin, Ice Cube, Willie Nelson, Jane's Addiction, Janis Joplin, Juliana Hatfield 3, David Allan Coe, Kid Rock, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, The Byrds, Metallica, Michael Buble, N’Sync, Led Zeppelin, Juice Newton, Neil Young, U2, Neil Diamond, OMD, Ozzy, Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd, Pure Prairie League, Ronnie Milsap, Johnny Cash, Salt & Pepa, Sir Mix-a-Lot, the Sundays, and Taco, to name a few.  That’s eclectic, right? 

Then I started thinking about the concerts I’ve actually attended.  Turns out I’ve got a bit of a “type.” 

Beach Boys – this was my very first concert.

Coolio – ‘member?  He had that song?  I think it was 5 bucks a ticket in college.

Indigo Girls – and this was before I even owned Birkenstocks.

Reba – I’m kinda over her now . . .

Tony Bennett – I went by myself.  Hubby bought me a single ticket (so I actually had a really good seat) because he was promoting his Duets album and he’d be singing with James Taylor.

Free Bird!
Lynyrd Skynyrd – what?  Nobody else is wearing their sterling bead necklace?  This place was like a Jorts Convention. 

Toby Keith – the man can rock a stage and I can rock some Miller Lites.

Brooks and Dunn – we took Large to this concert in the Baby Bjorn when he was about 5 weeks old.  Best.  Parents.  Ever.

Alabama – I knew they were in town when I saw their trailer parked at the HoJo’s where I lived my freshman year of college.  (Long story.)

John Denver – I have great memories of sitting on the lawn at Wolf Trap listening to John Denver and his guitar.  To hear "Rocky Mountain High" live was to be close to God.

Kenny Rogers – he still sounds great but he needs to embrace his age.  Embrace it, Kenny.  Don’t fight it.

Justin Roberts - He's a children's performer, but his stuff is so catchy.  We're total groupies and we're  kinda stalking him.
Justin Roberts.  Hot, in that nerdy sorta way . . . 

George Jones – He showed up.  George Jones fans will understand why this is a big deal.

Phil Collins – I knew the words to EVERY song.  Hello 1988!

Genesis – not as good as Phil by himself.  Totally different vibe and many more old people mumbling about Peter Gabriel.

Toad the Wet Sprocket – College roomies were really into Toad.  If you are cool, you just call them Toad.  Toad.

Barry Manilow -  very sparkly.  Loves me some Barry.

James Taylor – um, I’ve seen him once or twice.  Hehe.  James Taylor is the only concert for which I’ve spent the night outside for tickets. (And it was in the 90’s, not the 60’s!)  I’ve seen him almost every year since 1992.  I’ve gotten his autograph, had my photo taken with him, and traveled to various cities to see him perform live.  I've been to the Today show more than once when he's been a guest.  I even saw him in concert 9 days before I delivered Large, when I was HUGELY pregnant and it poured rain.  I like him.  A lot.
Hello, James.  It's me again . . . 

Ben Taylor – James’s son. 

Kate Taylor – James’s sister.

Steve Miller – I was worried it wouldn’t be a great concert because of all the instrumental “stuff” they’ve got going on, but it was flippin’ awesome.

Chicago – so very 80’s.

Carole King -  it was a package deal with James Taylor.  She made me feel like a natural woman though.

Hootie and the Blowfish - bought the tix for Hubby because I thought he'd be psyched.  Big birthday disappointment.

Kenny Chesney – before he got big . . . I think he was opening for Toby Keith?

Simon & Garfunkel – Saw the Old Friends tour.  They are geniuses, and it’s a great memory because I saw them with my friend “Mary” who passed a few years later.

Bon Jovi – saw them in Vegas when we were on our Babymoon, and I’m pretty sure I got high from second-hand smoke.  It’s all good, man, but puff-puff-pass.

Don Henley -  he was at a charity gala, which is cool if you’re a big fan, which I am not.

Eddie from Ohio – used to see them in local bars.  Now I listen to Robbie Schaeffer on Kids Place Live.  My, how times have changed.

Keith Urban – I’m gonna say it . . . not a HUGE fan. 

Sugarland -  I group them in the Reba category.  A little too twangy and forced for my taste.  I’m more of an acoustic type of gal, and I always feel like I want to give her a lozenge.

GooGoo Dolls – in Seattle when Hubby was on a business trip.  Wore ear plugs.  I like them, but I’m in my 30’s for goodness sake.

Clearly I was born in the wrong generation.  I know all the words to "White Rabbit," but I can't tell you the difference between the GooGoo Dolls and Green Day, and don't get me started on the new boy bands.  I'm still trying to figure out how Justin Timberlake evolved from that curly-headed adolescent geek into the man who brought sexy back.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I Went to the County Fair and All I Won Was This Knife

I’ve often said that I was cut out to be a Boy Mommy.  If I had had a girl or two, I’m sure I would have risen to the challenge, but I think the Big Man knows what he’s doing when he blesses us with our children.  The thought of having to sit through a Barbie movie or a Tinkerbell marathon makes me cringe.  Sitting through the new Spiderman movie on a rainy day, however . . . not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

Boy Mommies, since I am busy perpetuating stereotypes, get to do things like visit the County Fair and the Demolition Derby.

My boys had never been to a Demolition Derby.  Because I grew up in a neighboring county, I am well versed in activities of the Demolition Derby / Tractor Pull / Pig Wrestling variety.  I tried to explain that a Demolition Derby is kinda like bumper cars, except with real cars and real people and engines gunnin’ and mud and bald tires and . . .

Well kids, we’re gonna watch them tear some sh*t up.

Generally I avoid rides at venues such as these.  I’m a tad concerned about putting my babies on a ride that was in pieces on a flatbed the day before and which was assembled by someone who has maybe a 7th grade education.  My anxiety level goes through the roof as I contemplate the lack of quality control and I visually inspect every nut and bolt on a machine that is spinning my first-born around at warp speeds. 

I’m sure they check the mechanics on those things every day, right?  Right?!  With all the mud and the cords on the ground, it’s obvious that safety is paramount.  

This totally reminds me of the
nuggets we just got at the
McDonald's drive-thru . . .
Next we can go to the Beef Barn
to see where burgers come from.

It costs the equivalent of $4 to ride these death traps, although I’m not convinced the vendors realize we’re on to their scheme.  You see, I have a college education.  When I purchase 40 tickets for $40 and it then costs me 4 tickets to ride, that’s $4. 

I’ve got good smarts.

Unfortunately, because it costs 4-friggin-dollars to ride and I have 3 children plus the neighbor kid who want to ride, MY children will not be going to college.  We just blew their tuition on the Ferris Wheel.  Sorry kids . . . hope it was all you thought it would be.

Because the Fair is a family environment and your safety is their primary concern, your 10-year-old can win a pocket knife if he wins one of the various games.  Giant Styrofoam-stuffed teddy bear?  No thanks, I’ll take the buck knife. 

Exhibit A:

Pay no attention to his wonky eye.  Surgery is scheduled for August 10, and if it’s not successful, I’m sure he can find a job in the carnival arts.

Monday, July 16, 2012

In Search of Preppy Clothes for the "Fluffy" Woman

First, I apologize for being away so long.  It’s these damn kids.  They need parenting, like, EVERY day.  It’s exhausting.

Hubby, God bless ‘im, bought me a preppy little polo dress at Vineyard Vines.  He was all excited when he got home because he had seen this dress and knew it was my style.  I have several from Lands’ End, and I love the fit because it’s, um, generous through the mid-section . . .  a nice coincidence since I, too, am generous through the mid-section. 

I tried it on, but it was too snug for my taste. 

“It’s cute,” Hubby exclaimed. 

“It’s too tight through here,” I replied, sensuously and seductively grabbing my gut.

“That’s whatcha got . . . you gotta work it,” he said. 

So while I am flattered that Hubby loves me just the way I am and sees no reason why I should cover myself up, I knew I simply would not feel comfortable in the dress.  I decided to return it and look for something else.

I love the style of Vineyard Vines, and I was so excited when they opened an outlet store near our home.  The last time I had been to a Vineyard Vines was when we vacationed on Martha’s Vineyard.  (Or simply The Vineyard, as a true prepster would call it.)  However, they need to extend their women’s sizes.  They have clothing for larger men, but not for larger women.  Worry not, though: I have already emailed Shep and Ian, the founders, and expressed my concern that “fat girls want preppy clothes too.”

They haven’t written me back yet.

So I went to the outlet to return the dress, but they have a strict return policy.  Technically, customers cannot make returns.  I approached the two twenty-something saleswomen behind the counter, who were both adorably clad in Vineyard Vines attire,  and explained my situation. 

We had an awkward conversation in which I presented the XL dress that was too small, and we went through the whole I’m-sorry-it’s-our-policy-well-can-I-speak-to-a-manager routine.  They politely asked me to browse while they called the manager at home.

I could hear their hushed conversation:

“This lady has this dress and she has the receipt.  The dress is too small . . .  We don’t have any larger sizes than XL. . . . I feel so bad . . . I know, but it’s too small . . . “

Finally, they convinced the manager to let me return the dress and exchange it for something that would fit.  (Something from our Men’s section, perhaps?)

I mean, their logo is a whale, for goodness sake.
You'd think they'd have some large clothes.
So here’s my question, Shep and Ian:  WHY don’t you have fashions for the fluffy woman?  Is it because it requires SO much extra material to make clothing for a woman with a little meat on her bones?  Is it because you don’t want to picture a woman stuffing a Big Mac down her craw while looking preppy in one of your skirts and a string of pearls?  Is it because the men on Martha’s Vineyard are allowed to carry a little extra weight but the women are not?

My request is simple.  Instead of me putting forth the time and effort (which I am doing, btw, but it takes a looooong time) to lose weight, I want your corporation to extend your entire clothing line in order to accommodate my beer baby.

That is all.  Good day to you, sirs.

Monday, July 2, 2012

What's in YOUR Bag?

Last night after dinner I decided I wanted to go to a local department store to look at tote bags.  I already own several thousand tote bags, but not THE PERFECT tote bag, hence my search.  Plus, I figured tote bag shopping would provide some much-needed alone time.

No such luck.

For some reason, Large decided he wanted to come with me.  Below is a sampling of our conversations while shopping for THE PERFECT tote bag.

LARGE:  Mom, these jeans look very large.
ME: Well, they’re a size smaller than what I usually wear.
LARGE: Wait, stand still.  Let me hold them up to you.  Um, where’s your waist?  Is it here? . . . Here? 

LARGE: (holding up a tiger-print, one-shouldered blouse) Look at THIS, Mommy!
ME:  Have you EVER seen me wear something like that?
LARGE:  No.  How come you never wear stuff like this?
ME:  I’m what they call a Plain Jane.
LARGE:  What’s a Plain Jane?
ME:  It’s someone who wears simple clothing – nothing flashy or animally.
LARGE: You mean like how you always wear a white shirt?
ME: Exactly.

LARGE: ooooh . . . look at THIS bag!  Is this fake zebra skin?
ME:  I don’t think that’s really my style.
LARGE:  Well, what are you looking for?
ME:  I’d really like something shiny like this one (pointing to an orange patent leather tote) that has a zipper up  top and pockets inside.
LARGE:  Well, what’s wrong with this zebra one?
ME:  I just don’t think I’d use that one.
LARGE: (sarcastically.  I don’t know where he gets it.)  Oh, like you’d use a shiny orange one.

LARGE: How come all these shoes are so high?
ME: Some women like to wear high heals because they look pretty.
LARGE: Look!  These almost fit me!  (Athletic socks and all . . . )
ME:  Super.  Daddy will be very proud.
LARGE: . . . But they’re hard to walk in.

LARGE:  (holding up a pair of driving mocassins.)  These shoes look like cleats.  But not football cleats.  Baseball cleats.  They should make these baseball cleats.
ME: Awesome.  You’d be the most fashionable kid on the ball field.

We were not successful in our quest for THE PERFECT tote bag, so I am still carrying my monogrammed Lands’ End tote.  It’s the only thing that fits all my crap.

Just for kicks . . .

  1. An Inventory, from left to right:
  2. Diapers and Wipes in handy clutch
  3. Orioles baseball cap
  4. Card from Edible Arrangements I received on our anniversary
  5. Hair ribbon
  6. 1 Kellogg’s Frosted Mini Wheat
  7. coupons, expired
  8. race car, red
  9. umbrella
  10. game schedules
    •  Baltimore Orioles
    • Richmond Flying Squirrels
  11. Nail files from my last manicure, weeks ago
  12. Clutch with emergency paraphernalia
    • Epi-Pen
    • Benadryl
    • Advil
    • Sea Bands since Large gets car sick
    • Inhaler
    • Band-Aids and Neosporin
    • 2 tampons
    • Off FamilyCare insect repellent towelettes
    • Dramamine
    • Tums
    • Burts Bees
    • May Kay Nourishine Lip Gloss in Bronze Bliss
  13.  Clutch of emergency lollipops and Craisins
  14. Wallet
  15. Pens of various sizes, colors, and permanency
  16. Binder clip
  17.  Sunscreen
  18. Empty bottle of party bubbles
  19. Bakugan ("borrowed" from cousin)
  20. Nasal spray
  21. Diet Coke
  22. sunglasses
  23. mints
  24. 2 trains, Thomas and Percy
  25. 2 cars
  26. athletic supporter
  27. appointment cards for doctor appointments
  28. Dental Floss
  29. Small’s sunglass tether, no longer tethered to said sunglasses
  30. Ticket to Strawberry Hill horse races which occurred on June 2
  31. Loudoun 8U Aces Lineup
  32. JoAnn’s Coupons
  33. Barrettes
  34. Score book from Minor League ball game

Just thinking of all the sh*t MacGyver could make out of all this stuff makes my head hurt.  Perhaps I’ll take one of these three unidentifiable pills I found among the sand and pretzel salt in the bottom of the bag . . . 

So let's hear it, mommies.  What's in YOUR bag?