Monday, November 26, 2012

Lessons for a future Monster-in-Law

It's cyber Monday and I thought that called for a guest post. No, it's not hubby. Although, after all the encouragement he has received on Facebook (yes, two people is encouraging) and in the comments - hubby is seriously considering guest posting. (At least that *might* be what all the sighing is about?)

This comes from a lovely friend and reader who would like to remain anonymous. And as I do with all fabulous pieces of writing that I read and concur with, I say, "Yes. What she said." I heart you, Anonymous!

Dear future daughter-in-law:
I am writing to you, taking full advantage of “cyber” archival technology, taking fully for granted that my son will marry (a girl) and hopeful that mine and my husband's child rearing ability will prove him capable of choosing a lovely, nurturing, emotionally and mentally capable mate, to impart some of my expectations for our future interactions.

This being the future, I can utilize my own mother-in-law’s mannerisms and behavior with me towards better fostering a loving respectful relationship with you, hopefully my future grand kid(s) and keep you from encouraging my son to prematurely put me into some purgatory elder care facility.
So here is a list of some habits I will promise either to do or at best, to avoid:

  1. I will try to remain flexible at all costs, especially when we go out to dinner, and will not torment the wait staff with extraordinary and impractical requests, i.e. keeping a char-grilled piece of meat from tasting as if it were put on a flaming grill (“char-grilled” as it were).
  2. Although I do occasionally enjoy being the center of attention, I will not steal your child’s thunder by comparing his school project to a ridiculous “first prize” that was awarded for bringing a candle collection to school (a million years ago). Or talk about my underwear choices, past and present.
  3. I will always cede to your authority in your kitchen, will not second guess your capability to stock your pantry and will not bring my own recipe ingredients unless you ask me too.
  4. On the previous thought: I will not overstay my welcome, and do my best to stay in hotels with swimming pools when visiting, unless you directly invite me and your future father-in-law into your home which has large enough guest accommodations (that make it seem like we aren’t even there) that hopefully my son has provided you with.
  5. I will babysit, change diapers, and let you have quality time with my son at every given opportunity, or keep your kid(s) and mine entertained so you may escape our family dynamic as necessary.
  6. I promise not to obsess over minutia...for hours...and flag down innocent UPS drivers who are just trying to do their job on a holiday weekend when driving on your street (true story).
  7. Even though I do have a natural competitive nature, I will not whine when I play Sorry with your kid, and I will be a good sport when I’m losing.
  8. I will try not to tell you about all of my health issues unless you ask, and not bring up death at the corner of every conversation.
  9. Have I mentioned that I will not steal your thunder, or your kid’s, or anybody else’s for that matter? And I will not dominate the conversation or steer any abstract topics of conversation to revolve around some aspect of my life (ie: how driving directions can somehow turn into how an elderly elementary school teacher refused to remember me at a 50 year reunion 50 years later).
  10. If I want to know what to get my son for Christmas or his birthday, I will ask him because he probably knows what he wants or needs is hopefully mature enough to realize the “magical surprise” of the holidays or birthdays should be reserved for children.  And I won’t bring lame catalogs for your kid(s) to pick lame gifts from.

My dearest future daughter-in-law, may you be my son’s perfect mate, and may I always be on my best behavior.
Love, Your Future Mother-(not Monster)-in-Law
PS:  Should you prove to be a harpy in the guise of a dove, know that I have a war chest stocked with experience and have learned from the best.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

How To Letter to Hubby on His Death Bed

This really happened at around 2:00 a.m. the other night.  (Hubby is an insomniac and comes to bed around 2:00 a.m. when I have been sleeping peacefully for about four hours.  He is Not Quiet so I wake up.  Usually I go right back to sleep.  Except when he wants to discuss philosophy, the history of the world, politics, or science with me.)

Hubby:  I learned something that I had previously had wrong today.

Me:  (This space is intentionally blank.)

Hubby:  I had always thought that the moon waxes and wanes the opposite of what it does in relation to low and high tide.


Hubby:  Y'know?  I always thought that when the moon waxes it was low tide and when the moon wanes it was high tide.  But, really it's just the opposite.


Hubby:  Babe?  Did you know that?  Were you confused, too?

There's more.  Much more.  But, I won't put it in the post because I think you get the idea.  In case you are slow, let me lay it out for you. 

1.  I did not even know that the moon waxed and waned in relation to low and high tide.  I was on the "A" honor roll for I think my entire life, but I have a short-to-no-term memory.  So, although hubby claims I should have learned all this in school (elementary school), I don't remember any of it. 

2.  I like to sleep.  A lot.  Next to breathing, sleeping is my favorite thing to do.  When I fill out any kind of application and they ask for hobbies, I put "sleeping."  It follows that I do not like my sleep interrupted by things I do not know and do not care about (at 2:00 a.m.). 

3.  I think expecting me to have an intelligent conversation (involving science, politics, history, or philosophy) at any time is slim to none.  At 2:00 a.m., it's like getting Girl 3 to eat spinach.  As I am sure hubby will tell you - I know pitifully little about these subjects.  He often says to me - in *kind of* a condescending tone, "And you have a master's degree?"  So, really.  I just can't do it or I might throw up.

Fast forward to the following day.  We were outside eating breakfast and hubby had made this roaring fire.

Me:  This is a great fire. 

Hubby:  Thanks.

Me:  Someday I need to learn to make a fire like this.  But, with like flint and sticks like you did.  Not kerosene and a match.  Because someday I might not have kerosene.  Or a match. 

Hubby:  Mm-hmm.  You probably should learn that.

Me:  In fact, don't die because then I won't be able to have any fires like this.  And, by the way, how did you get that camp lantern to work again?

Hubby:  Oh, it just needed blah, blah, blah (when he speaks to me about stuff like that it sounds just like Charlie Brown's mom.....if she were also Chinese).  You just need to blah, blah, blah and then you can insert the blah, blah, blah into the blah.  It's pretty easy.

Me:  Well, don't die because I won't be able to get the lantern to work either.  Y'know there's so many things I won't be able to do if you die.  I think I'll take a pen and paper to the hospital when you are dying and I'll make a How To list really quick.  And then you can tell me everything I need to know before you die.  In fact, that's a good idea.  I probably need to start writing down all the sh*t I can't do and don't know now so I can be prepared to take the list to the hospital.

Hubby:  You could just do it now.

Me:  What?  The list?

Hubby:  No.  You could just learn to do all the stuff now.  Like before I die.  So, you'd know how?  And you'd know stuff

Me:  Like now?  I don't have time to learn all that stuff now!  I barely have time to make the list!  What are you, crazy?

We continued for a little while longer and then (after a lot of sighing at me) hubby got up abruptly to get more coffee (I think he even said something like, "I'm gonna need more coffee."  Rude!).

But, these two conversations shocked me into thinking I really don't know enough!  Hubby has been covering my a$$ in the political, historical, scientific, philosophical realm for far too long!  And I love my idea about the How To list.  So, I've decided to start my list.  Here's what I have so far:

How To Letter (or just How Letter or just Can You Please Tell Me This Sh*t Letter) to Hubby on His Death Bed

1.  How do you make a fire?  And a wheel?

2.  How do you put those little white flammable thingies into the camp lantern to make light?  Those white thingies make the light, right?

3.  How does the moon change in relation to the tide (because now, frankly, I am intrigued)?

4.  How does photosynthesis work again (that ones mostly for when Girl 3 asks because I am pretty sure last time it came up all the other kids explained it to me)?

5.  Who shot Lincoln again?  And why?

6.  Why are we here?

7.  Where do we have all the other money?  Like the money I can never spend?  There is other money, rightRIGHT?

8.  Who was Genghis Khan again?

9.  What's a Libertarian exactly?

10.  How does the Yukon engine work and why do I need to know this?

I know it's not nearly as comprehensive as it needs to be, but I'll keep working on it and I figure when hubby's on his death bed ready to kick out it will give him a little something to hang on for.  Y'know? 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Day in the Life's Top I Am Thankful For List of All Time (you're welcome)

So, it's one day before Thanksgiving.  Not my favorite holiday.  It's not that I'm not thankful.  I am.  Most of the time.  Sometimes.  Sometimes when I'm in a good mood.  So, thankfulness might not be my strong point.  But, I can roll my tongue!  That's something like a strong point, right?

Anyway, here we are.  Mere hours away from gorging in front of a football game and then reheating leftovers a few hours later because your eating schedule was all screwed up and something in your brain mistakes nausea for hunger.  Did I mention I abhor football?

I thought you might need another Thankful List since there aren't quite enough floating around on Facebook.  So, for the love of God, be thankful.

Before I came up with this year's list, I did a little research.  I know.  You're shocked, right?  Rest assured, I went to school.  I know how to do research.  I Googled "holiday eating tips" (because Lord knows I could use a few) and this little gem popped right up.  Does the Internet know me?

I admit, I didn't thoroughly read it, but the title intrigued me.  Of all time?  Really?  Were Jesus and the disciples worried about holiday weight gain, too?  Isn't that just a tad pretentious?

So, not to be a one-upper (but, I *kinda* am) here's my list:

A Day in the Life's Top I Am Thankful For List of All Time (you're welcome)

1.  I am thankful for the person that invented Spanx and I'd like to send him/her a piece of the chocolate pecan pie that I made this afternoon.

2.  I am thankful I had all the ingredients in the recipe for said chocolate pecan pie that I googled seconds before making it this afternoon, thereby avoiding another trip to the grocery store and possibly having to punch someone in the face (because that's probably not a very thankful thing to do).

3.  I am thankful that my toilet hasn't overflowed the last ten times Girl 3 has flushed about a half a roll of toilet paper down it.

4.  I am thankful I have a toilet.

5.  I am thankful that I didn't die for all the times I didn't send emails to nine people when the email said I would die if I didn't send it to nine people.   

6.  I am thankful that nearly everyone in my family loves football and I hate it because it will make it easier on my conscience to sit at the table by myself and eat a third piece of chocolate pecan pie.

7.  I am thankful that I only have to write a list of what I am thankful for once a year.

8.  I am thankful my kids' teachers still speak to me.

9.  I am thankful I don't homeschool.

10.  I am thankful for all the witty people that put adult references in kids' movies.  I kinda want to send them some pie, too.

I think next year I'll just make lots of pies and send them out to random people that I want to thank.  (That *might* be easier than making this list.)

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!  If you brave Black Friday, try not to get trampled.  Or shot.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Because I need a platform.

In the spirit of bipartisanship (bi - what?  whatever.) and because I need your vote, I thought I would bring you a short list (I have real work to do, damn it) of what I'm promising in the next four years.

1.  I will somehow embarrass myself athletically most probably this will occur while running in my neighborhood.  (I can only hope the high school students who congregate at the bus stop will not be involved.)

2.  I will leave approximately 15 loads of laundry in the washer overnight thereby leaving my family to go commando.

3.  I will cook approximately 4000 meals for six people - two of which will be eaten with no complaints from anyone.

4.  I will balance the budget numerous times only to find:  the washing machine is broken, hubby has 27 crumpled up, torn, and stained gas receipts in his console, my kids' feet are bigger (all of them), someone has a birthday (damn them), Christmas is weeks away, or someone requires urgent medical night...on a weekend...that falls on a a leap year.

5.  Instead of wearing the outfit I bought directly off the store model, I will mistakenly think I have a sense of fashion and make a slight deviation.  This will result in me making a fashion faux paux that will haunt me for months to come.

6.  I will attempt cake pops and fail miserably.  Then I will do it again.  And maybe again.

7.  I will procrastinate on the internets until I have to stay up all night finishing work, or something I promised the kids, or making cake pops, or wrapping presents, or re-washing clothes.  (That might happen today.)

8.  I will have multiple hair-brained ideas of how I can make more money and of what I can be when I grow up.  I will tell these to hubby with my excited voice.  He will just stare at me.

9.  The kids (and hubby and I) will take turns having bad days so that we will have 1460 days of someone having a melt-down.

10.  I will spend approximately two full years preparing myself for about 47 times I will be seen in a bathing suit.

I'm committed!

Have a great weekend.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Happy Blogthday To Me.

Today is my blog birthday.  So, my blogthday?  Since I usually avoid birthdays like the plague, I've not ever celebrated my blogthday.  But, I'm in the mood for cake, so here it goes.

What I've learned in four years of blogging.

1.  I'm a pretty shallow writer as evidenced by my writing topics which have ranged from lice to cleaning house to Pinterest.  However, this does not make me a shallow individual.  After all, this year I did consider running for office (of what was never quite determined, but I did vet and choose a running mate).

2.  I love my kids with all my heart.  This does not compel me to write about their fabulous traits or glorify them on my blog.  Rather it makes my flaws as a mom and their flaws as kids stick out like back fat in a two piece.  I choose to write about the back fat.

3.  I am a comment whore and I love the internets.  Turns out - I love comments and interacting with people that I do not know nor have ever met.  So, I guess it's a good thing I'm happily married?

4.  I would rather read other people's blogs than clean my house or do laundry.  So, blogging has taken my procrastination to new (and exciting?) levels.

5.  As much as I abhor grammatical errors and as much as I scour my posts for them, I still find them in posts that were published days and weeks earlier.  Blech.  And, it still makes me cringe.  Like fingernails on a chalk board.

6.  For me, the urge to write directly coincides with the amount of work that is piled on my desk. 

7.  I'm not the only person out in the world who:  has crazy, whacked out kids, has a husband who (although I love dearly) occasionally drives me nuts, has a family that is kinda like the family in Little Miss Sunshine, and who likes to write about all the confusion and chaos.

8.  Since I don't really believe in therapy for myself, I *might* be addicted to self-diagnosing and then solving my problems (and then paying myself with Starbucks coffee).  Blogging helps this insane compulsion.

9.  I've changed a little on my blog in the past four years.  And, I guess it's because I've changed a little in real life.  I'm older now, so I care less what other people think and I've somehow managed to gain a teensy bit more confidence.  I still suck at dressing myself, buying bathing suits, parenting, and staying on a stupid diet.  But, what's changed is that I really don't mind admitting it anymore.

And, last but not least.  I may not have 9000 readers.  Or even 10 on a good day.  But, I still like them all.  And I still like blogging.  Just like the recently re-elected president, I'm probably in for another four years.

So, here's to blogging.  I'm eating cake.  If you feel like it - send me a present.  I don't mind belated ones.  I'll even save you some cake. 

Or maybe I won't. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Exactly what she said.

I try not discuss politics or religion because they both piss me off.  But, I've been kinda bummed lately.  Facebook is my BFF and before the election it turned into a venomous hate-spewing creature of the evil mother-in-lawish type (not mine because I love my MIL).  So, for the weeks leading up to the election - I just chose to log on a little less and actually do something around the house (or work, God forbid).

After the election I was happy because I thought that crap making me want to vomit in my mouth would be gone.  But, no.  All I see now are a lot of sanctimonious, self-righteous shiz about Armageddon and the world ending.

It makes me kinda sad.  Sad because my BFF is not my BFF anymore and sad because people can be so shallow.

I can't write about any of this myself because I am not a great writer when it comes to things that actually matter (I can only write about poopy bottoms and dysfunctional families and then only to the 8th grade level). 

But, a great thing happened today when I logged into Facebook.  One of my most amazing friends' husband (and he's pretty amazing, too) had posted this on my wall. 

It's really well worth the read - whoever you voted for (and yes, I know I ended that with a preposition - apparently that kind of grammar comes after 8th grade).  I realize this blogger has like half the world for readers and I have like two readers, but I wanted to post the link anyway.  In case you need some perspective (or more likely - since all of my readers are AWESOME - you know someone who needs more perspective).

Because it's kinda like I felt when Steve Jobs died.  Perspective, people.  Really.  It's all about perspective and not losing your shiz.

Have a great weekend!  And hopefully I will have my BFF back soon and I can write a post of my own (course, it won't be nearly as good, but it will be mine).

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The results are in. My kids are the wittiest.

Election conversation of the day (possibly the century):

Girl 1:  Mom, I kinda feel sorry for Gary Johnson.
Me:  Gary Johnson who?
Girl 1:  See?

Oh my gawd

In my defense, we were not even talking politics.  And, later I had to explain what libertarians believe.  Cheesus, I'm glad that's over.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It's the White Vote!

As usual, Chris Rock speakin' to the people.  Now, get out and vote, people.

Thank you, E.D. for leading me to this, which I had not seen yet I nearly spit up my coffee.

Monday, November 5, 2012

LOVE your hairdresser. But, don't let her get you pregnant.

I started today (my second day of having one extra hour - whatever) with nine things on my to-do list (to-do before 3:00 p.m. when the kids get off the bus and my life spontaneously combusts).  It is roughly 2:00 p.m. and I have accomplished five of them.  Since I promised to blog whenever it was convenient this month I decided to fore go working out and doing laundry and whatever else is on the list - and fulfill my promise to you guys.  You're welcome.

As you might know, after a long and sordid relationship with my last hair dresser - we broke up.  Or, I broke up with him and he might not know it yet.  Whichever, I am currently seeing someone else and I love her.

In our short relationship, here's what she's taught me.

1.  Even though my hair is as straight as a board, I can still benefit from straightening my hair.  This logic is kinda like the logic...oh, wait.  I am trying not to be political on the day before the elections.  So, just know that this logic is not logical.

2.  When you want to attempt that "straight from the hairdresser look" you can do a couple of things after you've had it cut, colored, and styled.  You can not wash your hair for as long as you can stand it, or until your kids start to comment rudely.  Or, you can wash it and try in vain to attain the look you had right before you washed it.  Or, you can just confess to your hairdresser that you don't have the foggiest idea how to style your hair and can she show you.  She showed me.  And she talked slowly.  I can style it better now.

3.  All women can have silky smooth hair that is soft to the touch.  Even old women like me.

4.  Wax isn't just for the bikini line anymore.

5.  And lastly, hubby freaked out a little when he saw these in the cupboard.

He calmed down a little when I said, "RELAX.  They're for my HAIR!"