Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I'm not who you think I am.

Dear Mr. or Ms. Spammer,

It has come to my attention that you have been sending me numerous emails, in hopes that I will purchase your product(s). I am writing to let you know that I am definitely not in the demographic you are trying to reach, and that you may want to focus your efforts on one of the other gajillion people with email accounts.

I do not need a product or pill which will "increase the bulge in my pants." All the bulges in my pants are already far too large. But if you come up with a product that will make me a size 6 while I sleep, get back in touch with me.

If you are a "single Russian female who is bored tonight," I'm not the person you want to come chat with you. I can probably come up with a hundred things for you to do to relieve your boredom, such as volunteering down at the local homeless shelter, or adopting 2 miles of highway and keeping it litter-free. Or perhaps sewing your own clothes, since you apparently don't have any.

Do I "like to cook and want to attend culinary school?" Most emphatically, NO. I've been known to burn water AND air. My kids put on helmets and goggles when I enter the kitchen. Do you believe a cooking school really wants a student who has exploded glass pans? I think not.

Am I "sick of dating?" Honey, I've been married for nearly 22 years. I wouldn't know a date if it walked up and kicked me in my bulgy pants.

The offers for "land in Costa Rica" are mighty tempting, but I'm pretty sure my family would find me there, anyway. And then I'd be stuck cooking jungle food, which is a lot harder than microwaving Ramen noodles, and I can't take that kind of pressure.

I don't really want to "claim my gift card," no matter which store it's redeemable in. One hour of shopping takes 10 years off my life. See my previous entries.

I'm sure your "replica Rolex watches" are just lovely, but I don't need one. I already own a watch which does a fine job of letting me know when it's time to start screaming at my daughter that she will just have to go without that particular mocha lip gloss which is lost in the debris under her bed, because we're extremely late for church and God really doesn't care about the color of her lips, anyway, so get in the car and get in a worshipful mood, dammit.

To all you South African widows who "need urgent help" (and my bank account number) to claim the $9.4 million from your late husband's estate: Am I the only person who thinks the death rate among rich men in your country is unusually high?

In summary, I think you can see that it is fruitless to continue to send me 350 emails each day. However, today I received a message with a link to "hundred of singles in my area," and I would be happy to pass that along to you to help increase your customer base.

Best wishes,

Monday, January 28, 2008

Awarding Idiocy

I'm not much of a TV watcher, but last night my kids convinced me to sit down with them for a show on the "achievements" (if growing one's toenails out to 15 inches long can be called an achievement) of people who are in the Guiness Book of World Records. Here's what I think.

  1. I don't know how mankind has survived as long as it has. You have to wonder when our gene pool includes people like the guy who ran barefoot across 140 hot stove elements. (I'm not sure if that number is correct, because while I was watching the guy, I was thinking, "Now, if this guy had 15 inch toenails that might burst into flames while he's doing this, that would really be something!")

  2. I think past humans were much smarter than recent generations. I mean, if God had suspected that Noah's sons, having a little down time after mucking out the giraffe stalls, would say, "Dude, let's see if we can hold the tarantulas in our mouths while we blow soap bubbles!", I'm pretty sure He would have bagged the whole ark idea and had Himself a do-over.

  3. 100% of the insane records are held by men. It has something do with the way their brains work, I guess. I don't know a single woman who would wake up one day and say, "Gee, my abs workout went so well yesterday, I think I'll let 7 trucks drive over my belly today." Or, "Hmm, there's not much on my agenda this afternoon. It might be a good time to hook some cables to a van and see if I can pull it with meat hooks pierced through my back muscles."

I think there's a chance one of my sons could someday be in the record books. They've already got a good start on one category: Largest Indoor Compost Heap Made Entirely of Hanes Underwear.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Mother's Revenge

It's been nearly a year since my last shopping adventure with one of my daughters. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you might remember that it was the day that ended with me pleading with a Gap salesgirl to stab me in my jugular vein with a broken hanger to put me out of my misery. (Full story here.)

Well, I thought I had finally recovered enough from the emotional trauma to take my other daughter shopping. She had received a gift card for Christmas, and she was afraid it was going to go Mission Impossible on her. "This card will self-destruct in 15 seconds. Good luck. Oh, and ballerina flats are in for spring."

After I had readied myself by drinking 8 cups of coffee, we set off for the store. Unfortunately, Sasquatch had decided he needed to go along. Right then, I knew we were headed for disaster, because taking a 12-year-old boy on a shopping trip for clothes is about as much fun as setting your hair on fire.

Once at the store, my daughter spent 30 minutes dragging me through the racks of clothes, asking my opinion about various pieces and then disagreeing with my choices. Eventually, she headed into the dressing room and I joined her with a few, uh, foundation garments for myself. Sasquatch waited on a bench at the dressing room entrance, trying to recover from the experience of watching his mother pick out bras by dreaming of which kind of candy bar he was going to nag me into buying for him.

It wasn't long until I heard Daughter say, from somewhere in a far corner of the dressing room, "Mom, would you look at this shirt and tell me how it looks on me?"

I did what any good mother would do. I called out over the top of my cubicle door, "I CAN'T COME OUT. I'M NAKED."

There was a nanosecond of utter silence, then I heard Daughter whisper loudly, "MOM! People are going to hear you!" Apparently, people did hear me, because I heard snickers from other cubicles. When I emerged, Sasquatch gave me such a look of horror that I knew that lots of other people had heard me, not just those in the confines of the dressing room area.

Ah. Success.

I spied Daughter back among the racks, but this time she was asking for fashion advice from a six-year-old girl and her Barbie doll. And Sasquatch was so anxious to get out of the store, he forgot to load up the cart with his usual "needs," namely, two liters of Monster energy drink, a party platter of petite cheesecakes, and some SpongeBob boxer shorts.

I daresay I won't have to take one of my kids shopping for at least another year.

Friday, January 25, 2008

This is your brain. THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON COFFEE!!

One might be considered an addict if one catches oneself saying, "But I've only had two doses of coffee this morning!"

Thursday, January 24, 2008

It's Not Much, But I'm Very Good At It.

One of the nicer parts of getting old is that you sort of figure out what your purpose in life is. You're way past that moment of panic when you realize your school years are finished and you actually have to find The Job: the career that helps you mine your talents to their fullest; the career that allows you to make the world a better place for future generations; the career that earns a you millionaire bucks in the first two years. In other words, when you get older, you realize you're not going to be Steve Jobs, Ben or Jerry, or the guy who started Starbucks, and that's okay. You're content with doing whatever it is that makes your life purposeful.

I've finally figured out that my purpose in life is to fall down. 


In front of large groups of people.

Just last week, I took a tumble in the lobby of a hockey rink, right in the middle of about 100 other parents. Actually, "tumble" is too mild a word. I pretty much just crashed to the ground like a C130 with all engines smoking and landing gear up.

The funny thing was, in the 1.5 seconds between standing and then pressing my cheek to the concrete floor, I had time to think about a bunch of things. No, not my whole life flashing before my eyes - I'm old, I'd need to fall off a 100-story building to have time for that. No, I was thinking about the last time I fell down in public, and how, once again, I was either going to 1) wake up later in the hospital, or 2) find myself staring at some strange man's shoes as he assisted me to my feet, while I was wishing I could crawl under the bleachers and hide among the KitKat wrappers. I was desperately hoping for Option #1, so as to avoid having to face all the people who were about to witness my unintentional stage-dive-without-the-stage.

Naturally, I ended up with Option #2.

And get this. When I told my kids what had happened, they said, "Oh, man, we can't believe we missed it!" A broken pencil gets more compassion around here than I do.

Anyway. Thank you for all the kindly concern over my foot. I think it's getting better, but right now I'm hardly noticing it. My attention has been focused on the blue racing stripe I'm sporting down my right thigh, and the way my right shoulder feels like it was ripped off and used to bludgeon my rib cage.

My big worry now is that my various groups of acquaintances are someday going to cross paths. If that happens, they might start sharing "Remember When TC Wiped Out In Front of the Deli Meat?" stories, and before I know it, they'll be buying me a walker with tennis balls on the bottom of the legs for my next birthday.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Anything but that.

Oh, calm down. I haven't passed on. Although it's not like I haven't had opportunities.

One morning last week, I climbed out of bed and promptly whacked the side of my foot against a box that's been loitering at the foot of the bed for, well, a long time. I think I ruptured a major blood vessel 'cause within minutes that sucker swelled up like it belonged to Barry Bonds. A few minutes later, the whole side of my bloated foot was a deep burgundy and it hurt to put on a sock.

Well, my big fear was that I was going to wake up the next morning and find myself d-e-a-d, dead. Bled to death as a result of being a crappy housekeeper. My obituary would read, "Died from clutter," because my family wouldn't come up with something more plausible and less embarrassing, like, "She was carried off by a pack of caffeine-deprived jackals," or, "She died of dehydration while waiting for her dial-up internet service to download a YouTube video." 

Actually, I never thought I'd die from my own clutter. I figured my kids' junk would do me in, in one of those bizarre home accidents you read about in News of the Weird. Something like, I'd walk in the back door, trip over a pile of shoes, and fall to the floor, where I'd suffer a fatal puncture of the left kidney by the barrel of a Nerf dart gun. Or I'd step on a hairbrush, and the accupuncture by the bristles in all the wrong places would cause my heart to stop. Or maybe a Cheez-It would slip out from under the sofa cushion, cut my thigh, and I'd die of cheddar sepsis. You never know.

Anyway. I'm fine now, other than the spectacular bruise left behind. Why do people describe a bruise as "black and blue?" My foot looks like fall foliage. Hot glue a couple of acorns on there and I'd have a nice centerpiece for Thanksgiving.

In other podiatry news, a large quantity of petrified socks showed up in the laundry on Monday. I could swear I haven't seen these since my sons "lost" them back in 1998. Judging by the odor and crustiness of the socks, I can only assume they've spent the last 9 years in a dumpster in Bayonne, New Jersey. I'm sincerely hoping the lost underwear never reappears.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Not the look I was going for.

So I'm entering into this new relationship with my hair. In the past, I treated my hair like my husband - if I didn't like the way it (he) was, I tried to change it (him). This resulted in a lifetime of changes and experiments, including cutting, coloring, perming, straightening, highlighting, styling, and the occasional threat to get rid of it altogether. (Not Hubster, just the hair. Although he could use a little styling, what with his wardrobe staples being torn t-shirts and baggy shorts mottled with wood stain.) For the longest time, anyone I met who hadn't seen me for the previous 3 months would say, "Gosh, you've really changed your hair." I was a walking art project.

But I finally reached a point where I'm accepting my hair for what it is. Or maybe I'm just too tired to care.

Anyway. The other day, after my hair had dried into its usual mass of long waves, I had an epiphany - I look like Dyan Cannon! How cool is that? Well, it would be cooler if anyone younger than 50 had even heard of Dyan Cannon. But here she is, in a photo from Oct. 2007.

I should probably mention that DC is 70 years old in this photo. I guess to be honest, I should say that only my hair looks like Dyan Cannon. The rest of me looks like Dyan Cannon's mother.

In any case, I've been reveling in my new confident self-awareness and radiating with love for my locks. Until yesterday.

Daughter #2 (age 14) said, "Gee, Mom, your hair looks .... "
I jumped in to finish her statement. "Pretty? Wavy? Full of volume? Stylish? Attractive? Great?"
Daughter paused, then replied, "... cave-woman-ish."

Monday, January 7, 2008

Great - if the wedding's at a monster truck rally.

I think clothes shopping with one's own kids should be declared unconstitutional, on the grounds that it is cruel and unusual punishment for the parent.

This is how it usually works in my family. Let's say my teens need something to wear as guests at a wedding, so we set out to go shopping. First we have the traditional "SHOTGUN!" fight, which helps everyone to get in the requisite foul mood. Then we have the traditional "Are you going to buy us lunch?" whine, which allows me to practice my 20-minute Do You Think We're Made Of Money lecture. Then the kids have the traditional Application Of The iPod for the remainder of the drive, which makes me feel noticeably cheerier.

We finally get to the store, and I hand each child about $25 and tell them, "Go find something suitable  to wear to a wedding. I'm going to pick up some socks and underwear for the boys, and then I'll be in the coffee aisle with my head in the bean grinder."

While I'm still looking at the Bale O' Socks and wondering if it will fit in the cart, the boys show up with bags in hand, announcing that they're done shopping and they're heading back to the sporting goods section, which is where they play Dodgeball Death in the basketball aisle. Of course, they don't tell me that last part, so I let them go.

Thirty minutes later, there is no sign of the girls, so I go searching, only to find them looking at artificial hair attachments. I tell them that unless they plan to go to the wedding dressed like Lady Godiva, they'd better get their butts over to the clothing department, and not only that, but they're going to need hair attachments because I'm gonna be dragging them out of the store by their scalps if they don't step it up. The odor from nearby boxes of Lady Clairol must affect their brains' ability to understand me, because they meander off, thinking that I don't see them drifting toward the towering purple display of "Huzzy Glitter Eye Shadows: Put a Fling in Your Spring!"

An hour later, I am looking at those Rubbermaid boxes that are roughly the size of Rhode Island and pondering whether I could slip into one for a nap. The boys are still in sporting goods, probably playing street hockey with a golf club, and tent pole, and a skateboard wheel, and wearing foam yoga mats as protective gear. I wonder if I should go over to the automotive department and buy a flare to send up so I can find the girls.

Many, many hours later, after we have returned home and I have indulged in some primal scream therapy, I finally get to see the kids' purchases.

The boys have each bought
  • A t-shirt that says something about flying monkeys on the front
  • A ball cap featuring a fake bloody eyeball peering out of the back
  • A package of temporary tattoos
They cannot understand why none of these items are appropriate for formal wear. I tell them they might as well save the stuff for their own weddings, because they're never going to be able to shop for clothes again. It seems every store in the neighboring eight states has banned them from the premises. Apparently, those sporting goods department employees have quite an information-sharing network.

The girls have each bought
  • $16 dollars worth of nail polish and lip gloss
  • Fuzzy slippers in lime green
  • A notebook with the slogan, "Yes, it IS all about me!" on the cover
  • Some bling for the dog
When asked what they are going to wear to the wedding, they look at me innocently and say, "Oh, we forgot to tell you that we're going to be babysitting that night, so we can't go to the wedding. But isn't this doggie ankle bracelet just so cute?"

Next time, I'm not only going to stick my head in the coffee bean grinder, I'm going to turn it ON.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

2008 Resignations

"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans."

In light of the above truth, I have decided to quit making New Year's Resolutions and start making New Year's Resignations instead. In other words, I'm going to accept certain undeniable realities. Here's how my list shapes up.

Resolution: I will lose 20 pounds.
Resignation: I will lose 2 pounds, and that's only if my doctor will agree to remove an organ.

Resolution: I will get my sons to clean and disinfect their bedroom.
Resignation: I will pray that the compost heap of dirty socks & underwear spontaneously combusts, thereby incinerating all the mutant bacteria growing up there.

Resolution: I will become an environmental activist in my community.
Resignation: The incinerated compost heap will obliterate the ozone layer and my family will go down in history as "The Boneheads Who Melted Antarctica."

Resolution: I will keep my vehicle in immaculate condition.
Resignation: I will continue to drive my dust-covered mini-van with the front bumper that's duct taped on, so as to be reminded to be humble because I'm this close to being poor white trash. Or possibly related to Red Green.

Resolution: I will spend less.
Resignation: I will cut back on purchasing non-essentials, such as food, electricity, socks, and underwear, so that I can buy gasoline each month, so that Hubster can continue to get to work to earn more money to buy more gasoline.

Resolution: Every day, I will look youthful and vibrant.
Resignation: Every morning, I will notice that all my body parts are continuing their slow, unstoppable migration toward the Equator.

Resolution: I will prepare healthy meals for my family, and teach them to enjoy exotic foods.
Resignation: My children will think that "healthy" means the can was not dented, and "exotic" is when the box of mac & cheese comes with little pastas in the shape of farm animals.

Resolution: I will blog about serious, relevant issues.
Resignation: What, Hello Kitty waffle irons aren't relevant?