As a writer I’ve often been told to begin with the end in mind and work back from there. I just wrote that sentence because I have no idea where this post will go. I didn’t have an idea when … Continue reading
Happy 1st Blogiversary to me! It was this month almost a year ago to the day that I decided to start sharing some of my deepest and darkest secrets with anyone who would listen. Okay- some of them are not … Continue reading
I am fortunate to live in a little corner of the world where uninhabited islands are all around us. The waterways and our fellow seafarers are our own little microcosm of society- with secret passages throughout the greater expanse that … Continue reading
I’ve lost my main bra. I don’t know where it is. I’ve looked high and low. This is my basic, nude colored go-to bra. I believe (and hope) most women are like me (or this particular post is going to be especially embarrassing) and really only have 2 or 3 bras that are in the regular rotation. There’s the main one- mine happens to be nude, which by the way is kind of racist, just like band aids and so on- but we’ll save that for another time; and two black ones (and they’re actually black- not African American- just wanted to clarify in case my former statement confused you). Yes, we all own probably 10 or more, but for one reason or another they do not make the cut for everyday wear. Some are for special occasions- they push up so they can fill out one particular outfit- that you wore somewhere to impress someone who really doesn’t matter and therefore spent a fortune on a bra you’re never going to wear again; or they’re too small because you bought them 20 years ago and are denial that your boobs have actually grown with age or they’re lacy and pretty and you thought your husband/boyfriend/”lover” (I hate that term- it sounds so, yuck- ugh- I don’t even want to think about it) would find it sexy- but honestly its way too itchy. Or its a nursing bra and your kids are practically in college- but you still hold on to them just in case of an emergency- you know- a breast feeding emergency- because those happen all the time. Or they’re strapless. Holy Mary, heaven on high, how I hate strapless bras!! If you’re wearing a strapless bra, you’re probably attending an event where alcohol is present and by the end of the evening you’re having such a good time that that so called bra is now a belt and your boobs are just bouncing around to the delight of every drunk old man in sight.
This may be shocking to men (not married men- they are definitely in on the secret)- but stupid, clueless men (wait- isn’t that all of them?- um- excluding my husband of course- sorry honey- but, well… you know) who think women are walking around like Victoria’s Secret models- or the Sears catalog models for that matter, with matching panties and bras for each day of the week. What fools they are. What they don’t know, is that those sweet melons they’ve been eying are actually being held up (most of the time) with a pilly, graying, worn out bra. One of the under wires is probably bent or broken- but these bitches are expensive- so unless the under wire is about to puncture something- that bitch is staying in the line up.
As I type this, I’m starting to feel a bit of dread. Maybe I am the only woman who wears the same 3 bras day in and day out? Maybe everyone else is walking around in matching bras and panties? Fuck, this is why I haven’t written in my blog for a while- I felt I was sharing too much. But, you know what, who the hell cares. I can’t imagine I’m the only one with this particular, shall we say, quirk. I have a “lingerie” (and I use the term loosely) drawer that is jam packed full of Lord knows what- because it certainly isn’t anything I wear on a regular basis. It’s mostly some ugly holiday socks an old aunt thought I would just “love”. I’m not 6 years old. I do not wear Christmas, Halloween, Valentines or any other holiday themed socks. That is unless I’m going to bed and my feet are cold OR I’m wearing tall boots that cover them up and all my other socks are dirty- because laundry is a major pain in the ass.
No, the “lingerie” drawer contains my go-to panties shoved right in the front. And my go to bras? Those 3 sisters live on my bedroom doorknob- where God intended. Except my nude-colored one right now!! I’m really starting to panic- there should be a hotline you can call for times like these- a lost bra crisis center. Someone to talk you off the ledge and tell you its okay- that that beloved ugly ass bra will resurface- probably in your daughter’s dress up box, or in the dog house or under the bed with a thousand dust bunnies. I really should stop typing and look for it- because I’m limiting myself to dark shirts for the rest of my life without it- or until I can save up the 50 billion dollars it costs to buy a new one. But, then I’ll have to stand and look and….well, that’s just exhausting. It’s much easier to just sit here and write about it. Nah…when its ready, it will show up.
Bras are really a thing of mystery for men and women alike. Its only been in the past couple of years that I realized what a difference having a properly fitting bra makes. It truly does do wonders for your figure. So here’s a little inside tip for all you ladies- if you think you’re a B- you’re a C, if you think you’re a C- you’re a D, if you think you’re a D…well you better get yourself over to Penney’s where they have little old ladies who’ve been through some kind of highly classified government bra-fitting training program and will be able to properly size up your giant boobs into a triple F or whatever gargantuan size they are. Speaking of mountainous boobs, every time I do go bra shopping, I feel like the only bras available are either an A cup (why even bother) or some mammoth size I didn’t even know they made. Where are all the ones in between??
On the subject of A cups, I remember reading in Seventeen magazine- when I was 13 or so- because honestly, no 17 year-olds are reading that shit, that if you’re not sure if you should wear a bra or not than you should take the pencil test. Again- who is “not sure”? If you even have to ask that question- then just do us all a favor and put one on for the safety of everyone around you. If you’re not familiar with the test it goes as follows: take said pencil, rest it under your boob, if it falls down- you can go braless, if you can hold the pencil with just your boob- you better bind those suckers up stat- and don’t forget to take the pencil out first. (I know you’re all going to try it right after you read this- its okay- I’ve done it, and yes, I can hold a pencil). Personally, I want to know who, when and where this test was developed? Has the Tea Party investigated to see if any of my hard earned tax dollars were going to research such nonsense? Probably not- humph. And another thing, has anyone ever tried writing with the pencil while its being held up by their boob? Now that, my friend, would be a true talent- far better than any of the shitty flute playing, clogging, cart wheeling, baton twirling crapola you see in the Miss America pageant.
So, on a side note, because you know, I never like to get off topic….I just looked up bra in the thesaurus. Not Roget’s actual book- but you know the one on the next tab over on my browser. For you youngin’s we used to have this here thang called a book. It had two hard things on each side we called the covers, and a whole heap of papers in ‘tween we called pages that had writin’ all over ’em. Some old man named Roget (pronounced ro-shay not ra-jit) knew a whole mess a words that meant the same thang as other words and he done wrote ’em in this here book. It was sorta like Webster’s Dictionary- which you pro’bly never done heard of neither- and so why the hell am I even tryin’ to learn you….and why do I feel the need to describe it like someone from the heels? (that’s hills for the rest of you). Okay- I just like talking in funny accents and writing is just me writing down how I’m talking inside my head- yes I’m crazy. Anyhoo, let’s get off that off topic topic and back to the off topic topic I was on….do you remember what it was? I looked up bra in the thesaurus. And here are some of the words it suggested: undergarment, underpants (really- I think that’s the wrong end), undershirt (okay- I’ll allow it), and my personal favorites: boxers, briefs, BVDs, drawers and loincloth. What the fuck?
Alright, now I’ve got to get back to looking for my main bra. I’ve written about it, I’ve prayed about it, alright, not really- but I just wrote about praying about it so that’s sort of the same thing. Being a good Catholic girl, I think I’ll go dig a hole and bury a statue of St. Anthony the Patron Saint of lost things upside down in the yard. You non-Catholics are all shaking your heads right now- but I’m telling you, thousands of years of superstitious, rituals can’t be wrong- I mean if it didn’t work why do the nuns at the Catholic bookstore sell so many St. Anthony statues? I know, you didn’t even know that they sold them or that burying them upside down would help, did you? Well now you’ve learned two new things today: women wear the same bras all the time and nuns sell statues of St. Anthony. You’re welcome.
So here it is, 3 am, a week into the 40th year of my life and I’m wide awake. I’m awake for a myriad of reasons, the main one being that I’m not asleep. My mind races about everything. What needs to be done, what I haven’t done, what I should have done, regrets, grudges, shame, what will I do and when the hell am I going back to sleep? Perhaps firing up the old computer and writing at 3am is not the fastest way to get some zzzzs, but I’ve also been reading for the past hour and that shit ain’t helping either.
The past few weeks leading up to the official marking of me as a, horror or horrors, middle aged woman, I received a lot of unsolicited advice from friends of mine in their fifties. All of them seemed to be trying to reassure me that this was not in fact the end of my life. Geez a monetti, if you keep telling me its not that bad- well then it certainly is THAT bad. Lots of the advice sounded like it came straight from a motivational Pinterest pin. “You’ll love your forties”. “You’ll look the best you’ve ever looked”. And my personal favorite, “Forty is the new 20”. Really, 40 is the new 20? I really must take issue with this one- because honestly 40 is not anything like 20.
At 20, I was in college, taking naps in the middle of the day, staying out all night, drinking copious amounts of alcohol, chain smoking cigarettes and well, ahem, other items. I swore I would never work with computers. I would live my life as a performing artist. I did not understand why my college was forcing me to have an e-mail address that consisted of just a bunch of letters and numbers that no one, except maybe Rain Man, could remember- and I was never going to check anyway. I despised the idea of these new fangled cellular phones, because I did not want people to be able to track me down anytime of day. And quite honestly, even though I live and breathe by my phone now- I still don’t like idea that people can track me down anytime. I know I can put it on silent- its permanently on silent- but I’m going to have to check it eventually. If I left the house, I’d simply leave a note for someone telling them where I’d gone- or maybe I wouldn’t and they would just have to wonder- but they certainly couldn’t just call me and find my ass. I am wistful for the days when I just had a phone plugged into the wall and no answering machine. If you called and I wasn’t there than too damn bad for both of us- or perhaps just too damn bad for you…I didn’t want to talk to you anyway. I know this is a cliche attitude we’ve all heard a million times- but we’ve heard it a million times because its fucking true! We’re all too god damned connected.
At 40, I cannot stay out drinking all night long and show up for work at 8 am as if I’ve just had a good 8 hours of beauty rest. I cannot smoke cigarettes- because they’re going to kill me. I’m ten pounds heavier than I was back then (ok, we all know that’s a lie, but that’s the most I’m admitting to). I’m married with two kids, a mortgage, a pile of debt, mental illness (don’t act surprised, we all already know I’m fucking crazy), two email addresses, a plethora of social media accounts, a full time job, and volunteering for WAY too many things all because I’m an idiot who can’t seem to say no to anything. Except PTA…I can’t stand PTA- I know that makes me a terrible parent….but…well sorry- get off my back already. I can’t do everything….and those bitches are downright judgmental (sorry to my wonderful friends who are active in the PTA and make my childens’ school fucking awesome- but all your cute snack making, carnival coordinating and shit just makes me feel like a big fat loser).
Speaking of school, when have we, as a nation, decided that a leprechaun must visit every kindergarten room each St. Patrick’s day and tear shit up, pee green in the toilet and leave coins all over the place?? As if the fucking Elf on the Shelf isn’t bad enough? (see my hilariously funny post about that asshole- you’ll love it). That green bastard didn’t visit anyone when I was a kid. They’re supposed to be sitting at the end of the rainbow guarding their god damned pot of gold- not knocking over chairs and tearing up perfectly good paper in kindergarten class rooms. I love my children’s kindergarten teacher and I know this was not her idea- she’s forced into it because she can’t not do it when every other K class (I’m just going with K now because I’m tired of writing out the whole word) in the world is doing it. Then my child comes home wondering why the hell the leprechaun didn’t stop by our house? And we’re freaking Irish!! We invented this crap and no where in my “how to be Irish handbook” does it say the leprechaun makes visits to your house to spread cheer and glee to children. Isn’t that Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy’s jobs? In fact, St. Patrick’s day really has nothing to do with leprechauns at all. The truth is, according to religious theologians, and as cited in the Bible, and according to a myriad of Vatican resources, it is a high holy feast day that should be celebrated with reverence by knocking off work early and getting shitfaced. And as a good Irish Catholic girl (okay, middle aged woman), I abide by these rules stridently and with my head fully immersed in Guinness.
Alright, I know that as usual I’ve gotten way off topic here- so let’s get back on track. Forty is NOT twenty. It is TWENTY + TWENTY. My ass is tired. I work a full time job and take care of my children. And I don’t want this to turn into a big old fight between working mothers and stay home moms- because yes I’ve seen the bumper sticker, “Every mom is a working mom”. And its true, every mom is a working mom and it is a full time job. But, if you’re a mom with a job outside the home- well then you’re a person working TWO full time jobs. And that’s fucking exhausting. And I don’t like to hear about how women who “choose” to stay home do so because they value their children more than a career or some such bullshit. I would love to have the “choice” to stay home. I cannot count the number of times I’ve dropped my children off at day care and sat in the parking lot crying my eyes out because I DO NOT HAVE THE LUXURY OF CHOICE. I do love my children more than my career- but staying home ain’t the hand I’ve been played. So, if I want to bitch about having too much to fucking do and can’t make cutesy snacks and come to every goddamned PTA meeting- its because I’m working TWO FULL TIMES JOBS!!!! (motherfuckers) Again, sorry to my wonderful friends who are stay-at-home moms- you’re total rock stars and I’m jealous as hell.
Okay- again back to being 40. It is definitely not the new 20. But, I do find I am much more comfortable with who I am and care less about what people think of me. That’s part of why I started writing this blog. I was tired of hiding what I really thought for the sake of someone else. Here I can write about my life, insult, cuss, and be my true self (who apparently has a major potty mouth). Who am I kidding? I still give a giant shit about what people think. I’m still crushed with every rejection. I’m still scared every time I publish a blog post at what people will think, if they’ll hate me, if they’ll decide I’m unworthy- you know, the regular. I still am unhappy with my 125 pound frame (shut the fuck up right now…its true, it says so on my driver’s license). I still cry when someone I thought was a friend turns their back on me. A friend of mine was just telling me that if people do that then they’re not good enough to be my friend in the first place- but it still fucking hurts. But, I’m striving to love myself more and appreciate each moment. (Alright, now I’m starting to cry- fuck, why the hell am I awake??). I love my stretch marks and scars and see them as proof of a life where I’ve taken risks- lots of them- and I’ve survived.
And hopefully, my stay-home mom friends and PTA rock stars will not hate me. I’m 40, I’m tired and I can’t sleep. Cut me some fucking slack.
Let’s face it…all Lean Cuisines, no matter the “flavor”, all smell the same cooking in the microwave. No matter where you are… at home or in the office you can identify from one wiff, that it is indeed a Lean Cuisine. It doesn’t matter what you’re cooking, the classic French Bread Frozen Pizza or the Butternut Squash Ravioli, it all smells the same. No run of the mill low cal frozen dish here…but the premier, crème de la crème of frozen diet letdowns: Lean Cuisine. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Lean Cuisine. I eat it all the time. I’ve just decided that it is so much better when I add my own little twist. And then I’m still eating well, because it’s a Lean Cuisine! But, it tastes much better thanks to all the fattening, heavenly crap that I put on top.
I’ll get on to my killer recipe in a skinny minute, but I must preface it by saying Lean Cuisine is my favorite of all the “table for one” frozen dishes. I’m sure I’ve tried them all. Nothing says depression, more than a single serving of bland, tasteless diet frozen food. They make it look so delicious on the box, golden brown, on a beautiful plate complete with parsley garnish. You follow the instructions thoroughly in feverish anticipation of that beautiful dish that will also make you skinny.
First, remove frozen dinner from box. Done. Next, cut one slit about 2 inches long in the plastic film covering frozen loneliness dinner to vent. (This part is tricky because I’m never sure if my slit is exactly 2 inches- too small? Too long? Maybe this is what it feels like to be a guy?). Step 2 Done. Step 3: Microwave entrée for 3.5 minutes at 25%. (Shit, how the hell am I supposed to program the fucking Microwave for 25%?? Screw it, I’ll just combine it with Step 4). Step 4: Rotate frozen loneliness dish. Wear protective hand wear as the gourmet delight may be hot. Continue microwaving on 2 minutes. (Okay- so that combined with Step 3 should equal about 5 minutes on high?). Step 3 & 4 Done. Step 5: Remove Film. Stir so-called vegetables. Return to microwave on high for 2 minutes. Let stand in microwave for one minute after cooking. Enjoy!
Jesus Christ, that is a lot of instructions! I might as well be cooking if I have to do all this rotating and film removing and shit. The whole “remove from box” part- is why I love America. We are so dumb, you have to tell us to take the crap we’re going to nuke out of the flipping box. I also love America for being the home of the free and the brave, the crazy, the sane, the rich, the poor, the disenfranchised, the franchised, reality television, public television, hot dogs and hamburgers, IROC Zs, all the Back to the Future movies and Chevy Chase. I’m sure there’s more, but that sentence had long past the run-on statute of limitations. Oh and I’m writing about Lean Cuisine. Ok- next blog entry will be about zesting up your Memorial Day festivity- which you’ll probably be doing by yourself- with an all American tribute Lean Cuisine Recipe!
So you’re really starting to wonder about the Lean Cuisine recipe du jour? It’s really quite simple. And genius is born from stupidity. Is that a quote from someone? If it isn’t, it should be. I’m not really sure if it’s a compliment or an insult- but it does sound profound. Anyhoo, I learned all my cooking secrets from no one else than dear, old Mom. To say she was a whiz in the kitchen is like saying Stephen Hawking is an awesome figure skater. Some people hate “diet” food, but that’s the only kind of food she served- and if it could just be microwaved or heated up as is- all the better.
Mom was always on a diet- probably is now- I don’t know. I try not to get that “engaged” on the phone. She may think we’re pals and want to talk every day. As it is, I have her convinced that we have to rush the conversation since its, “long distance and all”.
But I digress, we’re here for cooking tips! So you too can take your depressing dish of microwavable loneliness and jazz it up! One of my personal favorites: Santa Fe Style Rice and Beans by none other than Lean Cuisine. Apart from not resembling anything on the box and tasting a lot like the actual box, the best thing I could say is the low calorie count was right. But, really, how do I know it’s really right? Can I test that? Aren’t we just using the honor system and hoping they tell us the truth? Shit, we may be on to a major conspiracy by frozen depression delights to keep us ensnared in their wicked web of frozen diet cuisine addiction.
Alright- here goes. Just to recap, the Santa Fe Style Rice and Beans- follow all microwaving instructions thoroughly as demonstrated previously. Gaze upon the pile of mush that comes out in the half melted cooking container and take in all its glory. Because, gurl, it is about to get a whole lot better! Step 1: Walk to the refrigerator. Step 2: Retrieve Sour Cream. Step 3: Get a big spoon. Step 4: Take a huge, spoonful of that creamy goodness and plop it right in the middle of that bland, cardboard tasting so called food. Step 5: Stir that shit up and throw some s&p in already. Step 6: Truly enjoy because when someone asks what you had for lunch you can honestly tell them you ate a Lean Cuisine. And then act all passive aggressive, high and mighty about how you’re sticking to a diet. Recipe: Complete!
My father has always been under the impression that everyone else in the world is getting older except him. That he is invincible and will live forever. He runs everyday, swims in the summer, drinks like a fish, travels the world and lives life to its fullest. I want nothing more than to feel the same way throughout my life. He is approaching his 80th birthday and old age is finally beginning to rear its ugly, age spotted, gray haired bald head. Nothing really horrible, just forgetfulness from time to time, the occasional unsteadiness on his feet, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, old people smell…you know, old people shit.
He’s had a few health problems as of late and went in for a check up a week or so ago. The doctor took a blood test and told him to lay off “the alcohol” for a week until the test came back. Well, everything is looking hunky dory, and the doctor gave him the go ahead to “go back on the alcohol.” However, he suggested he cut back his evening drinks from 3 shots of alcohol per drink to 2 shots per drink. Btw, one drink for my dad is the equivalent of 4 for any normal person- if you’ve read this blog before, you’ll remember- he’s a professional.
So, after he told me the doctor’s “suggestions” regarding his alcohol intake I asked him if he was having a drink. It was almost 9pm- an absolutely acceptable time. Remember, he’s a professional, he doesn’t drink during the day- he has rules (alcoholics do not have rules, professionals do), 9pm is the magic hour- and then he only has TWO drinks. Ahem- like I said two is the equivalent of four. Anyhoo, when I asked if he was drinking he said, “Well, yeah.” (as if I’m an idiot) “But, its just wine- not whiskey or anything. Wine is like juice. It doesn’t do anything. I’m only having 3 or 4 glasses.” I love it- “WINE IS LIKE JUICE.” Technically, he’s right- its grape juice- only fermented. And isn’t 4 glasses the whole bottle? But, who am I to tell an 80 year old man to part with his best friend? Hell hath no fury like an 80 year old (or a toddler) who’s had his JUICE taken away.
This got me thinking of all the wise advice my parents have given me throughout the years. Drugs are pretty much straight forward, don’t do them. After all, my mother told me, “Marijuana killed Judy Garland.” Well, if Mary Jane is what killed Dorothy then I definitely wanted to stay as far from that as possible. My parents pretty much missed the 60’s entirely, being busy raising little ones of their own at that time. So I don’t think she ever understood the difference between a joint and, I don’t know, shit like heroine, cocaine, prescription drug abuse…but whatevs.
She would also remind me every time I left the house on a foggy night, “Be careful, remember how Jayne Mansfield died.” WTF? First of all, Jayne Mansfield was a star about a million years before I was born and how the hell am I supposed to know how she died??? I’m pretty sure most of you are unaware as well. So fyi, in case you’re ever on Jeopardy or something, on a foggy night her car went under a truck and she was decapitated. Got it, Mom. (Btw, I haven’t fact checked that- I’m just trusting that she knows her shit.) Now, every time I see fog all I can think of is Jayne Mansfield’s decapitated corpse- yay- happy thoughts! But, I digress.
Of course, my Dad was the expert on advice for alcohol or more like friendly suggestions. I remember very vividly when Tylenol began coming in child proof bottles, I was about 8 and his “go to” for opening that shit. One time in particular, as I popped the bottle for him, he told me (again I’m 8), “if you ever drink too much, just take two Tylenol before you go to bed and you won’t have a hangover.” Good to know, Dad. I followed this sage advice all throughout college. That is until they figured out that- oopsy daisy- you could die of sudden liver damage by combining those two things. Thanks, Dad!
My other favorite piece of advice from dear old dad is regarding drinking and driving. Now to his credit, his story has changed as he has aged and he will NEVER drive after even one drink now and will not allow me to either. But, as a kid, I really can’t remember a time when I didn’t have to kick beer cans out of the way to climb in the back seat of his mid-life crisis sports car. One time we were weaving down the road and were pulled over by our local Barney Fife and he asked him, “Sir, have you been drinking?” Always the honest man, he said yes. There my sister and I were, bouncing around the back seat, no seat belts and surrounded by empty beer cans and all the officer said was, “Well, I suggest you be careful and get those girls home right away.” Thanks, officer! For you youngins, it was the 70’s and they didn’t really take all that shit seriously.
In high school he told me a full proof way of getting out of a drunken driving arrest. No matter that the legal drinking age was 21 and I was in high school- he is a realist so I guess he was trying to be helpful. His advice went something like this, “Act real innocent and just tell the officer, ‘Oh my! I never drink. I just left the company party and they must’ve had something in the punch!'” Yeah, I know you’re shaking your head, so am I.
A really great piece of advice they both gave me, and I mean this in all seriousness, was to major in something I loved in college- because once you get into the real world, unless you’re going to be a doctor or rocket scientist or something- nobody is going to give a shit what you studied or how well you did. You should study hard but have fun, because the real world is a bitch. I’ve been quite successful in my career and it wasn’t until just the past couple of years that the folks I work for figured out I majored in Theatre. See, people don’t even read that little “education” part on your resume- its all the other bullshit you put at the beginning that matters. Having majored in Theatre and had no jobs related to my field of study, I know, my friends, that this is advice you can take to the bank!
Watching them both, I learned that you have to let shit go, NOT CARE WHAT ANYONE ELSE THINKS, and go for it no matter what. They didn’t always demonstrate these qualities, sometimes they did- but they showed me in their joy and their sorrows that life is meant to be lived….the best lesson of all.
And fuck, I just read that last paragraph- it sounds like they’re dead. No…rest assured, they are alive and well and still giving me “awesome” advice all the time. I’ll be sure to share it with you another time.
If you’re a loyal reader or are new to my blog, you’ll find that I talk a lot about my parents, their shortcomings, their divorce, their impact on my psychosis- you know the usual crap we’re all dealing with. You’ll also know that I know, even though they drove me and continue to drive me bat shit crazy, that they love me. Since I started a few months ago, I’ve had friends ask me on more than one occasion, “what do you think your kids will be blogging about you?” Yikes! I’m sure it will be filled with things like, “yeah, she sure yelled a lot” and “that woman could put away some vodka” and “all the cuss words I know I learned from dear old mom” or “she wasn’t real good at filing”. I can only hope they remember that despite the yelling, drinking, cussing and paper piling bullshit, they will also remember how much I love them.
The one image I hold in my mind of my mother is of her asleep on the couch. The woman was depressed, beyond depressed and downright tired ALL THE TIME. She was always “resting her eyes” on the couch. I am quite certain that when my children look back, their mental image of me will be of me standing in front of the dryer, folding clothes- because that seems like ALL I DO EVERY SECOND OF MY LIFE!!! Grant it…I have a full time job, I write this amazing blog, I am an actor, a runner, a Girl Scout Leader, a mom, a wife, Bigfoot Hunter, tv addict, ghost whore, Alien chaser and all around busy gal. But, that damn laundry basket is NEVER empty. I mean come on people- if you’ve had something on for less than an hour, fold it up and put it back in the goddamn drawer, for Christ’s sake!
And don’t even get me started on clothes that are inside out. Why do you have to turn a shirt or socks or underwear or fucking anything all the way inside out to take it off? I don’t do that- but for some reason everyone in my family seems to think that turning it inside out is the only way to remove clothing from their bodies. So then I’ve got to not only, wash and dry the flipping clothes, but spend extra time turning them right side out so I can fold them and distribute them to their rightful owners.
Now, I know, I’m a complete idiot when it comes to this whole laundry thing. As soon as I was tall enough to see over the machine, my mother had me doing my own laundry, her laundry, my sister’s laundry- really anything that needed to be washed. And my oldest is plenty tall enough to take on this task herself. But, with all the yelling, drinking, cussing and paper piling I do- I feel like this is one of the few ways I can show my children I really love them. (I know, I just looked back and read that- and I’m a total lunatic- one day my kids are certain to say, “yeah, mom was a total bitch, but I know she loved me because she did the laundry”). Ahhh….my head is hurting from my eyes rolling so far back in my head.
And with all my talk about laundry, you’d think I’d have the whitest whites, all our sheets would be pressed and every drawer neatly organized. Boy, are you a dumb ass! I don’t treat stains unless it is on my own clothing. I figure if you’re not smart enough to either point it out to me as I’m putting it in the machine (not two days before when it happens) or better yet- DO IT YOURSELF, then I’m not treating it. You can live with that stain on your clothes for the rest of your life. A scarlet letter of what a sloppy eater you are for all the world to see.
Secondly, if you’re pressing your sheets, you are wasting your life. Please just fold that shit up and shove it in the linen closet like the rest of us lazy asses. You’re going to lay down on it to sleep, why the fuck do you need to iron it? I find once I stretch it out over the mattress, the wrinkles pretty much take care of themselves. Furthermore, you’re going to put a comforter or blanket or something over them- so even if someone does mosey through your room- they will not be aghast at your wrinkly bed sheets- because they won’t fucking see them, asshole.
And lastly, everyone in this family has way too many clothes. And despite all my good intentions of cleaning out the closets and drawers with each season to update our wardrobes for the appropriate weather (like Martha Stewart tells me to do)- let’s get real here- that’s never going to happen. So I basically just keep shoving shit in until either the drawer breaks- or I have a mental break down because I can’t close the fucking drawer anymore. Then I’ll start flinging shit out of the drawer, cussing with every shirt, sock, and worn out, pilly bra I come across until its complete- I’m organized for at least 2 days- or the next load of laundry gets done.
Ok- so this post started out as some kind of altruistic, introspection of who I am and how I want my children to remember me. And it turned it to a rant about laundry. My kids are so fucked.
As the new year approaches, I feel the need to reflect on 2013. At least that’s what Facebook told me to do and according to Mark Zuckerberg the highlights of this year included a lot of drinking and dragging my kids from place to place. Yay me! Carrying on the family tradition of drunk parenting. Humph. I hate you Facebook.
In all honesty, its been a very good year for me, I created my own position within the company I’ve worked for for 13 years, started performing again in a most fulfilling way, continued to hone my improv skills, reconnected with lots of old, positive friends, made new friends that support me in a meaningful way and started writing seriously again. And yet despite all that I’ve accomplished and all I have to look forward to in 2014, the terrible monster inside me that tells me I’m not good enough is still lurking inside. A friend of mine told me he calls his Carl. I’ve decided to call mine Nancy, as in Negative Nancy.
Nancy is a real bitch. She is constantly telling me I’m not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not wealthy enough, not thin enough, not anything enough! Despite many great triumphs this year, she is harping inside me that this is all a facade and that everyone will figure out I’m really just a scared 14 year old girl who doesn’t know what the fuck she’s doing. And Nancy is right. Most of the time, I’m totally faking it. I don’t know what’s going on, I don’t feel confident, I don’t feel good enough, I’m heavier than I should be, I’m don’t manage money well, I can hardly manage my day to day life….but if I just keep telling Nancy to go fuck herself long enough to get through whatever it is, then things are okay.
Nancy has been with me my whole life. Not in that fucked up Sybil multiple personality kind of way, but you know, the regular fucked up way. I grew up in one of the wealthiest counties in the US and we were far from being anywhere close to the median income. Thus Nancy started out very early in life comparing everything about me to everyone else. My parents were the first of anyone I knew to divorce. Nancy made sure I knew what a freak I was about this and used every opportunity to point out whenever another parent would look at me with pity. If there is one thing I despise most it is pity. I’m strong, I stick up for myself and even though I may end up in the fetal position crying my eyes out from time to time for no apparent reason, I don’t want to be pitied.
Nancy whispers into my ear all the time that everyone I know is having a “let’s have fun without Amanda party.” And she’s right. I’m sure there’s a party going on right now somewhere, where everyone is toasting and yucking it up over how much fun they’re having simply BECAUSE I’m not there. You sons of bitches- if I ever walk in on one of these parties- well I don’t know what I’ll do- but the party will definitely be over, because…well, I’ll be there and then what’s the point of the party? So there.
Nancy second guesses every compliment I ever receive. Now, I do have some manners. I know that when someone gives you a compliment you should just say, “thank you.” But inside, Nancy is telling me they don’t really mean it, they’re just saying it to be nice, they really just feel sorry for you and what a fool you are. Fuck you Nancy! Why can’t I just receive a compliment and enjoy it?
Nancy is even looking back at me every time I look in the mirror. She is sure to point out every imperfection. She especially likes to turn the mirror to the magnifying side so I can get a real close up look. Ahhh..I’d never noticed that one little black hair that’s growing out of the wrong place on my face, or those fine lines beginning to form around my mouth and eyes, or the black heads that go unnoticed by everyone else, but in that magnified mirror, well they’re like the goddamn Alps. She sees every dimple in my thighs, every stretch mark, every scar, every new spot (my mother calls them age spots- I like to think I’m just super hip and am developing a leopard print on my face- because, ya know, leopard print really never goes out of style).
2013 is the first year that I made a New Year’s resolution and actually stuck to it. Now, it wasn’t very hard, but at least I accomplished it. I ate on the fine china every goddamn day of 2013. And even though Nancy was against it from the get go, she did not win! I’ve even become a bit superstitious about it. If I have something extra special happening that day, I make sure I eat off the fine china or I fear things may not go so well.
I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to fully kick Nancy’s ass. I’m pretty sure she was born with a black belt, nunchucks, and chinese throwing stars. But, I’m going to try very hard in 2014 to ignore her nasty comments, to tell her to go fuck herself everyday, to tell her she’s the one with the complex and to evict her from my head. They (whoever “they” are) always say you should make resolutions that are attainable to achieve a sense of accomplishment. I’m pretty sure Nancy will be with me to the grave, but if I can just learn to duct tape her ugly little mouth shut more often- well I’ll take that as a success.
Disclaimer: If you think the “Elf on the Shelf” is the greatest thing since sliced bread- then beat it sucker- this post ain’t for you. If you’re a relatively new parent and considering purchasing an Elf on the Shelf- then let this post serve as fair warning. And for those of you like me that have stuff to do, I don’t know, like earn a living…you’ll appreciate this (I hope).
It all started out so innocently about 7 years ago. My eldest was a lonely only and just 3 years old. I was still bathed in the hope that I could be the mother I always longed to have; create cute family traditions, wear an apron and greet my children with cookies and milk when they got home from school. Ahh…what a fool I was. I don’t know why I thought the fact that a child had grown in my womb would somehow change my crass and cynical personality. But, when your little one is still just being naughty by not eating her peas, or saying no all the time, you somehow think you can still achieve the unattainable.
The most wonderful time of the year was swiftly approaching and I was starting to feel the anxiety of creating the best Norman Rockwell holiday season for my small family. My boss lady/dear friend and I were having lunch at a beautiful gourmet restaurant, surrounded by the city’s most fashionable. I was telling her of the trials and tribulations of the terrible 3’s (the terrible twos are just a myth- created by someone who couldn’t find some good alliteration to go with the number 3). And then she so kindly offered some friendly advice that she had just learned of from a friend of hers: The Elf on the Shelf! It was the latest and greatest parenting tool that you could only find in the most elite boutiques. The Elf would magically appear just after Thanksgiving and then keep an eye on your little ones and report back to Santa. An easy peasy way of getting your little ones to behave- right? Wrong!! Mind you, she’d never done this with her own child, who was practically grown at this point, so she was blind to the terrible horrors she was about to unleash into my life.
For those of you unfamiliar with this little demon spawn, let me explain. You (the parent) are supposed to read a cutey patootie booksie about a cutey patootie elfie that the jolly fat guy himself has somehow sent to your house – but don’t tell your friends because they might not be as special as you and have their own private elf. Each night after your little one is so sweetly tucked into bed… after fifteen trips to the bathroom, 47 bedtime stories and 75 billion other excuses for not sleeping….you’re supposed to REMEMBER to go move the fucking elf to a different location. Then, oh what fun, when they wake up each morning they get to search the house to find this little motherfucker hanging out somewhere.
Well, soon word began to spread, the elf was no longer available exclusively in high end boutiques. Every fucking card shop, drug store and convenience store was selling these little shitbirds. And soon, moving the little fucker- which I could barely remember to do anyway, was no longer good enough. Pictures were popping up on Facebook with the elf getting into mischief, eating cookies and spilling milk, taking a shit on the toilet, or tearing up long rolls of toilet paper. What the fuck?? I thought this little shit was supposed to make my kids behave by reporting back to Santa- not SHOW my kids how to misbehave. And besides all that, I can barely remember to move the blessed thing each night to a new location- much less give him creative activities. You know who has to clean that shit up?? Me- that’s who!! Like I need one more thing to do in my life.
And how many times, have my children asked forlornly, “Look mommy, the elf is in the same place as yesterday. Do you think he forgot to go see Santa?” The answer is too many to count. Fuck- knife to my heart- just one more item to add to my long list of parenting failures. “Oh no, sweetheart, I think he just found that spot so comfy he decided to go back to the same place.” Yeah, they only buy that lie one time- but when you’ve forgotten for 3 or more nights in a row, well let’s just say the magic starts to wear off. Even they stop looking for him- the bastard.
Now, I know, I have a lot of very talented friends. They love to post cute things their little elf is doing around the house on Pinterest and Facebook. Some of them even find time to move the little motherfucker several times a day. I’m happy for them that they get such a kick out of tricking their children and creating more work for themselves. But, stop making the rest of us losers feel bad.
And on top of it all, I’m now hearing that having one elf is not good enough. Oh no…-you must have an elf for each of your children so they can take it with them when they’re grown and shove this beautiful, consumer-driven tradition down the throats of their own little ones.
Today is the day after Thanksgiving, and I’m going to have to have that little shit show up sooner or later. I look forward to the days when my children can look back and laugh- or perhaps they’ll just be crying in therapy. Either way, at least I won’t have to move the fucking elf anymore.