- PMS paints everything with a nice gray glow. See a red door? It’s not red. It’s dirty pink. Now paint it black.
- Shaving my legs in the shower today, I nicked my ankle, for the second day in a row. Reaction? What kind of an idiot nicks herself two days in a row? An idiot with obviously fat ankles. Gotta love the positive outlook of PMS.
- I bawled twice yesterday, once while watching Five People You Meet in Heaven (the end scene, ok?) and once while listening to LeAnn Rimes. Then today I had to run away from a volunteer signing up organ donors when she told me she was alive because somebody donated a kidney. Jesus, PMS should be sponsored by fricking Kleenex or Puffs.
- Is this what it’s like to be emo? No wonder they wear black and look so miserable.
- I did not get to say good morning to my youngest daughter today and it felt like my heart was dripping from my chest. I realized this morning I am a vampire sucking life from my daughter’s youthful buoyancy to keep myself afloat. Then I realized Disney knows this, hence all of the evil middle-aged villainesses. Ahhhhhhgggghhh! My feminist core shriveled a little more.
- I read a blog this morning about a little girl with a genetic disease who passed away on Monday and, instead of making me sad, it pissed me off that her parents were writing little posts from this child about wanting to go to baseball games. What kind of a jaded monster am I? Then I donated to www.fightsma.org because everybody should live long enough to write their own bucket list.
- I look like I’m three months pregnant. This (mostly) happened while I was sleeping. Thank you, water retention.
- The world is going to hell. I am powerless to change it. And in two days, I’ll be contributing my life’s blood to the core of the Earth, which pulls it from me in streams and globs. Yes, that’s gross. Menstruation is gross, people. Damn gross.
- Happy Friday to those of you MFs not PMSing.
So this morning started out ok. It’s Thursday, nearly the end of the week and my calendar didn’t look too scary. At the end of the day Community, The Office, 30 Rock awaited. I woke up early enough to read a bit before I had to get out of bed. Bonus.
Trust a teenager to bring it all crashing down, or at least start the downhill slide.
I missed our oldest daughter leaving this morning and had gone to bed before she’d gotten home the night before (yes, I know) so called her after we got in the car (yes, I know) and asked how her evening had been. She answered in short snips of words and when I asked about tonight and then tomorrow night, I got some ‘tude with my snips.
Ok, so I’ve screwed up with that child. I’ll try to connect with preteen son sitting next to me. I lean over and chuck him under the chin. He’s wearing a fedora that’s adorable because it’s hat day at school. That calls for a chin chuck, right?
Apparently not. He chucks me back, but not in a cutesy way. “And your hands are cold,” he says.
Strike two. Quiet remainder of the ride. He gets out at his school. The little one still likes me. Always my refuge, my shelter in the storm of adolescent hormones.
Until we get out of the car to cross the street to preschool and she announces as I reach for her hand, “Mom, I’m a big girl,” and puts her hand in her pocket. She’s turning five soon.
“I’m 39 and I still like to hold hands,” I say.
“Thirty-nine. That must have taken like a hundred birthdays to get to,” she says.
“Actually, like 39,” I counter, sticking to her shoulder since the hand has become an issue.
I transfer her to her teacher and slink back to my car to head into a classroom full of young adults who are not exactly dying to hear what I have to say about the sixteenth century.
As I get out of the car I contemplate starting a petition on one of those social activist sites to create a morning happy hour. Think anyone would notice if I put Bailey’s in my hot chocolate?
So why is this post called hugs from the potty?
Because when I get home, my daughter, the one too big for holding hands, is sitting on the potty and calls me into the bathroom. Seriously, I think, aren’t we beyond needing someone else to wipe your butt?
I steel myself for some serious intimacy with a bottom and a wet wipe and instead she says, “Can I have a hug? I haven’t seen you all day.”
I’ll take it. Thank you, Thursday.
Yesterday we spent the day at an indoor waterpark.
Waterparks are good for many things, but people watching has to be high on the list.
I tried to keep a tally of how many people had tattoos, but decided it was easier to count those who did not. Most of them were over 50.
I realized I’m a bad mother because I do not have my children’s names tattooed anywhere on my body.
I realized I’m not hip because I don’t have any reptilian/insect/mythological creatures tattooed anywhere on my body.
I realized that I am glad to have carefully chosen the location of the one tattoo I have so that, when my body begins to stretch and then sag, as all appear to do without surgical intervention, the said tattoo will not be as easy to mock.
My favorite tat yesterday was a scorpion whose tail curled around the nipple of a man whom, I’m guessing, was moderately buff in his teens/early twenties but who, now, in his mid- to late-thirties, resembles more a teapot than a tall glass of anything.
On the other hand, tattoos are relics of our youthful optimism that we are always going to look beautiful with little effort, that our skin will always glow and that we will always want to draw attention to our bodies.
And it’s hard to complain about anyone having optimism, even if it’s a bit misplaced.
Like that scorpion tattoo.
Fast food is a reality of my life. I drive, I eat. Often I drive and eat food that tastes only moderately worth the calories I’m consuming.
Not so with McDonald’s limited-time offering, the Strawberry Cream Pie. Even typing it I realize it sounds improbable. A tasty cream pie from McDonald’s? Cream and heat lamp do not shout logical partnership.
Until you bite into one.
The Strawberry Cream Pie manages to combine the tastes of a strawberry cheesecake with the best of McDonald’s ability to crisp up fat. And, unlike the Sugar Cookie pie, which was offered during the Christmas holidays, I was not left wondering what chemical cocktail had created the sensation of flavor. Each bite of the Strawberry Cream pie offers a combination of strawberry and cream cheese in perfect proportion to the crispy, flaky taste of buttery crust.
As an added bonus, this pie is drive-thru safe. No burning, oozing cherry filling incidents here.
It’s Lent, which, in our household, means fish on Fridays. Or at least no meat with legs. Well, legs that don’t scuttle on the bottom of a body of water. Yes, I realize there are a million arguments for why this is silly, but it’s a tradition we’ve adopted and we try to stick to it.
Several years ago there were fish fries all over our area. The Moose, Eagles, and other animal-themed confraternities used the famed fish fry as a fundraiser and social event. And we let them raise our funds.
The last two years, however, the fish fries have dried up. Even the regular restaurants have become stingy with advertising fish specials on Fridays.
Why is the American Council of Bishops not meeting to discuss this? Forget the Blunt Amendment! How can we be good Catholics without Lenten fish fries?
This sad contextualization leads us to this particular Friday evening. We headed out in search of a fish fry knowing that, as a last resort, we could seek refuge at a small-town dining establishment that offers fish on its menu. My husband even hoped for a fish buffet.
No fish fries and no fish buffet. Indeed, downgraded to a series of plated fish dinner specials.
We had been there no more than five minutes when I was reminded why this was our last resort.
The tables look like they came from inside recreational vehicles. The chairs were designed when Americans were six inches shorter and fifty pounds lighter. The whole restaurant feels like a mobile home that’s been gutted and outfitted with this fine dining furniture.
The walls are adorned with bronzish metal sculptures of flowers (lots of metal flowers in our area) and trains along with the occasional abstract metal shape, each of which bears a tag proclaiming the artist and a price. Whose aunt makes those? And have they ever sold one? These grim reminders of our area’s lack of high culture and, let’s just be honest, taste, do nothing to minimize the grim reality of the tiny chairs and tables crammed together inside the flimsy walls.
The wait staff, on the other hand, tends to be robust, which makes the tiny aisles between tables more dangerous than interesting.
At least the wait staff are clearly distinguishable from the patrons. Their t-shirts have sleeves. And their shoes are close-toed.
Old men wearing flip flops. Aging breasts improperly supported by equally aging bras. The collective wardrobe the product of sweatshops across the developing world. Undershirts worn as outerwear, and not by young women seeking to be sexy. Everywhere proof that the American population leads a sedentary lifestyle that makes us vulnerable to clinical obesity. Victims of this lifestyle consuming plates of fried fish. An ambulance waiting in the parking lot with paddles charged. I felt positively svelte. And well-put-together. It’s all relative.
I hate to sound like such a snob, but the visual hits were coming at me fast and furious and I hadn’t even brought my phone to be able to text my husband discreetly from across the table. Where do texts go when you can’t send them?
Apparently your blog.
A trip to the restroom with our daughter. A voice from the other stall asks, “Hello?” and, just before I, surprised, respond, the conversation continues and the occupant/interlocutor invites someone to join her for dinner. When my daughter flushes, the response, with no shame, that, “yes, I’m in the bathroom.”
Virgil, where are you? What ring are we in? Can we please go back to the lake with souls trapped in the ice? And can you ask Jesus if next Friday we can just eat whatever is in the fridge?
If it helps, I promise to fry the hell out of it.
Get into an elevator and it’s a sure bet you will have an urge to flatulate.
Eat Thai food and…..feel fine the next day.
Eat Italian (braised beef ravioli) and have a near infantile experience in McDonald’s the next morning.
On our recent trip to Chicago we went out for Thai, which is not something that’s available in the whitebread part of Michigan we call home. I was expecting some intestinal issues the next day and made sure to scout the nearest bathrooms everywhere I went.
But damned if it wasn’t the Italian two days later that wrought its evil. And it tasted so innocuous. So melt in my mouth.
My toilet experience was so extraordinary that, having run away from my husband in McDonald’s, I felt the need to share on the way back to the hotel.
“I know you don’t want to know this, but that looked like legit roast beef. Roast beef, like in strands and shit.” Yes, this sounds very intellectual and sophisticated, but please remember I had just emerged from a breakfast-shattering elemental occurrence.
My husband tried to be polite, but as we approached the cross walk and my guts began to rumble, mere minutes after their initial explosion, I started to sweat and said, “oh my God, not again,” and he bust out with,
“Are you going to have a Bridesmaids moment here?”
That scene, where the bride sinks into the street and says, “It’s happening”, and the scene right before it where Melissa McCarthy’s character shat [classy verb, eh?]in the sink, were my favorites of the entire movie. I nearly peed my pants watching it. I’m sure I’m not alone in that scatalogical confession.
God love my husband for his sense of humor, but when a person is trying to hold their sphincter together so tightly that nothing get can out, not one single drop of emulsified rejected nutrients, laughing, especially in bursts, is to be avoided.
“Shut up, shut up,” I said and then stole his line from earlier in the week, which had also made me bust a gut, but when my sphincter was safely dry and under control, “I’m approaching Defcon 4 here.”
I don’t know if there’s such a thing as ass-kegels, but during the remainder of the very brisk walk to the hotel and the ride up the elevator, my husband felt the need to hold forth on their merits.
You would think I would never want to see braised beef, or any beef for that matter, again. However, in case my inability to outrun predators left me wondering, my desire later that day for braised beef ravioli confirmed the fact that natural selection has not been allowed to weed me out, as would be most appropriate. Sorry, kids. At least you got some humor genes to help you laugh at the genetic failings I so lovingly passed along.
Pass the grated parmesan, please. And point me to the nearest facilities.
We were just watching Modern Family and I was laughing my ass off at Cameron. That got me started thinking about the polarization of attitudes in this country about homosexuality. There are those who are like “eh” and shrug their shoulders. It’s the equivalent of saying someone’s favorite color is yellow. Then there are those who think that homosexuality is a grand conspiracy to break down western civilization (because everyone knows there are no homosexuals in any other cultures). Many of those people voted for Rick Santorum today.
Why has Cameron helped make homosexuality ok to come into your living room every week? Because he’s not sexual. Tonight he was making eyes at Gloria’s ex, but it was funny, not sexy.
And that’s the problem.
Most people in the world fall into the category of people whose sex lives I don’t want to think about.
When we identify people by their sexuality, we immediately bring their sex lives into the forefront. I don’t look at Newt Gingrich and think heterosexual right off the bat. Because I don’t want to ever think about Newt Gingrich naked. Ever. Sorry, Newt.
For those in the heterosexual majority, we don’t have to identify “that” way unless someone confuses us for a homosexual. Just like white people aren’t usually identified as white. White is the given. Anything else is what needs to be identified.
So to even the playing field, I’m thinking we need to broaden the spectrum for heterosexuals. I’m a lazysexual. I’m a onceaweeksexual. I’m a selflovingsexual. Then we can all be equally grossed out by thinking about other people’s sex lives. Unless we’re talking to Colin Firth or Daniel Craig. Then bring it on.
Don’t even get me started on LGBT. Especially the B. Unless it’s in front of Newt Gingrich.
Twelve years ago I was pregnant and traveling all over Europe doing research. I had three outfits and one carry-on-sized suitcase. I had been travelling for weeks and had acquired some souvenirs and a couple of additional pieces of clothing. My suitcase was bursting. I walked into a German department store and bought an inexpensive black roll away.
I still have that bag. The pull-out handle is broken on one side, but the zipper is solid and its black sides look much like they did the day I rolled it out of that department store. It has some scuffs, but they’re war wounds that make me love it even more. Every time I have to jam the broken side of the handle back in or people look at me sideways for using this bag with a broken handle, I glance at my little black piece of luggage protectively. Is this weird?
I realized today that I love this little piece of luggage. I will be sad when it finally has had one bounce too many onto a conveyor belt or has been zipped over too-full contents one too many times. How can a person fall in love with a fairly non-descript piece of luggage?
Because every time I get it out, I can see that department store with its glass walls and hear its German customers rattling to each other back when I could follow the pace of real German dialogue. I can smell the crisp autumn air in central Germany and see the pollarded trees bereft of their leaves. I can feel my much younger belly taut over my firstborn and feel all of the promise that adulthood spread out before me. I had just travelled, pregnant, young, and female, across Europe with a vague plan, a suitcase, a backpack, and letters of introduction. I had spoken (sometimes mangled) three different languages and maneuvered all types of public transportation systems and cultural traditions. I had slept in places I would never have thought possible, both because they were alley traps and luxurious resorts. I had seen six-hundred-year-old manuscripts and handled four-hundred-year-old printed books that had only been viewed by a handful of people since Europe had its first World War. It had been a hell of a trip and that little black bag became a talisman, a relic, something more than a memento. Because it did not go on a shelf or a wall. It continues to travel, to have experiences of the foreign at my side.
And it cost less than $100. That’s a lot of bang for the buck. Love ya, little black piece of luggage, even if the flight attendants and hotel lobby clerks look down their noses at us. Looks don’t make the luggage.
So the planet’s population has reached 7 billion, but not much has changed in my part of the planet. I still see the same set of people: the couple of handsful of people I love, a couple I like a lot, and a handful I wish would just disappear. This set me to thinking about some important contradictions that govern life in the modern first world.
1) We have more people than ever, but feel more lonely.
2) We have more channels than ever, but can’t find anything to watch.
3) We have more food than ever, but enjoy it less.
4) We have more time-saving devices than ever, but less time.
5) We have more means of communicating with one another, but don’t know what to say when.
6) We are the most advanced civilization that has existed, but we lack civility.
7) We spend more years in school on average than any people before us, but we are less educated.
8 ) We have extended the legal protections of childhood to unprecedented lengths, but childhood is getting shorter and shorter.
9) We are a global world, but most of us know nothing about how the people next to us live or even who they are.
10) We enjoy the highest average standard of living seen in history, but are the most unhappy and dissatisfied.
Seven billion people. Maybe one of them will resolve some of these contradictions. And then share the answers with the rest of us.
Am I ever glad Freshly Pressed finally freshened up! Ah, the power of a little-known blog🙂
Now I can read about what I should be doing with my life, why Google Reader is the best social network, and I can see pics of the Northern Lights that I missed two days ago because I was too busy blogging.
On that note….
Why I’m Stuck with the 10 Things I Must Let Go Of Today.
Guilt. I’m Catholic. A convert even. I chose guilt and now we are in an inseparable union. Check it. The Catholic church does not dissolve those kinds of bonds. Unless you go through a helluva pile of paperwork. I’ll get started on that next week.
Negative thinking. I’m the descendent of German Mennonite farmers. There’s not an Optimist Club member in the bunch. I have tried, but it’s genetically impossible. Like growing bigger breasts. Ain’t gonna happen with this DNA.
Need for approval. I’m the first born. Every move I made was examined and praised, celebrated. I’m not complaining. It was awesome. I took in approval quicker than breast milk. And approval has continued to reward me. My parents continue to praise me. My teachers continued to praise me. My coworkers and boss continue to praise me. If I were to quit praise, I would need some chemical subsitute, which does not meet with societal approval. Closing the loop here.
Anger/Heartbreak. I’m a stepmother and have been for 17 years. Show me someone who has dealt with that mixed up bag of emotional blackholes and who doesn’t suffer from anger/heartbreak and I’ll show you someone who has found a chemical substitute for praise and broken the loop on needing approval. There’s another list of 10 that applies to them.
Fake friends. Can’t let these go because I don’t have any. I revel in the fact that my friend count is small. I can say it’s an elite group and that gains me the approval of those in the group and lessens my heartbreak over having fewer Facebook friends than my archnemesis, whose friends must be fake because come on……
Procrastination. I’m in a hurry, so I’ll answer that one later.
Envy. That’s just un-American. If I don’t envy my neighbors and desire the material possessions they have, I’m not motivated to do my part to reenergize the economy. I don’t covet my neighbor’s wife or his donkey, so I think I’m covered with the commandments. Envy is in the process of becoming a recognized Olympic sport, so I’m holding out for when I can compete for the gold and win approval from millions for my advanced skills in envying.
Self-doubt. I’m an introvert, crave approval, envy those around me, deal with anger/heartbreak/insecurity issues stemming from my liminal position as stepmother, and I’m a middle-aged woman in a culture that fetishizes thirteen year olds and defines women first by their appearances. Best of luck on that one.
Limitations. If I tried something beyond my comfort zone, I might fail, and failure contributes to self-doubt, anger/heartbreak, guilt, and does not meet with approval. This is just vicious. I’d try to come up with a wittier analysis, but I’m just not bright enough.
Time. Sorry, but this one is a socially agreed upon reality. I can’t make today Sunday no matter how hard I try. And I’ve tried. I could try to live like it were Sunday, but I’d probably end up fired and/or committed. And I’d have to feel guilty for skipping church on two days of the week rather than just one.
I love all of these ideas, but, absent a year to eat myself happy in Italy, pray myself happy in India and love myself happy on some Pacific island, I’m stuck with just accepting who I am, forgiving myself for it, and ceasing the endless need for overhaul of my entire being. Today no less.