Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's a WONDERFUL Life!

The other night I was peacefully laying in bed getting ready to fall asleep, when suddenly my phone chimed, letting me know that I had a message. When I checked it out, it said that my sister Sybil had posted a message on my Facebook wall - the message read:

"You have such beautiful children. Great pictures of your life. I am so happy your life is WONDRFUL! Love you Ethel. Happy Holidays."

Awwwww, so sweet, right? At first glance you would be correct, but it feels like she's throwing a jab of bitter jealousy and irritation directly at me for the whole world to see. In a matter of seconds, I went from drifting off to sweet slumber to being completely awake and ready to tear someone's head off.

Sybil is a good person at the core of it all, but she has habitually made VERY poor choices as an adult. She hasn't ever worked more than a few weeks PER YEAR (at best), and has never pushed herself to make her own way. She goes from place to place, and falls on the mercy of others. HOW she manages to continue finding these people to help her, to foot the bill for her lifestyle, and to give her use of their cars/house/etc is beyond me.

It's frustrating that she looks at my pictures and comments how happy she is that my "life is so wonderful". Shit like this undercuts the hard work and sacrifice that it takes to be a dedicated wife, mother, employee, etc. Most women that I know understand what it feels like to be in this rut of busting their ass just to maintain status quo and keep their heads above water.

The most wonderful parts of my life are the ones that I have worked diligently for and labored long hours to achieve.

WONDERFUL doesn't just happen.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Holiday Etiquette: If Someone Sends You an Invitation

Howdy Folks...

Laverne here again, taking a quick break from dazzling the world with my mad Christmas decorating skillz (I spelled that with a Z so you know I totally mean it) this cold, Texas afternoon, to talk to y'all a little bit more about etiquette. Yeah, yeah. I know what you're thinking.

"Did I just stumble across the Miss Manners blog?"

No. That's not it at all (plus, I totally hate that uppity bitch). But, it is the holiday season and I feel like it is my personal responsibility to pass along these unspoken rules of etiquette (and by unspoken, I mean, things you just cannot, must not do) to those who may be totally unaware that society dictates that we treat others respectfully. Whether or not they deserve it is a completely different story.

So, here is a holiday anecdote about my friend Gina. Which is totally not her real name, but you know, we can't go around just exposing everyone...

Gina is a nice gal. Sweet. Very smart. Incredibly witty, dazzlingly gorgeous. Always gentle and kind with great hair. She has four of the most handsome sons you will ever meet, who are (of course) well-mannered and polite. You would be totally jealous of her if you knew her. Trust me.

A few years ago, Gina was busily preparing for Christmas. She had two baby showers to plan (because she is ridiculously generous too), a home to decorate and clean, food to cook, and lots of shopping to do. And because she is so kind and generous, she offered up her home to her in-laws that year, in addition to her very own family, thinking that it would be nice to all spend the holidays together.

(okay, that last part is a load of crap, because her parents are divorced and hate each other, her husband's father and his wife are insane burned out hippies and her mom probably would have beaten her dad's new wife to a bloody pulp, but that didn't really fit in with the story here so...)

After much hemming and hawing, her in-laws (blessedly) declined and so Gina went about her normal holiday business, happy to have one more thing crossed off her Christmas list.

Weeks went by. Her list dwindled, plans were made, her home glistened and sparkled, gifts were wrapped and under the tree, everyone's favorite holiday sweaters were clean and pressed, family had arrived and before Gina knew it, it was Christmas Eve!

She had just gone to switch out a load of laundry that morning when her phone rang.


Hello Gina, this is your fabulous mother-in-law calling from Tennessee!

Oh, hi there! How are you mother-in-law?

Well, I was just calling to see if you had received your surprise Christmas package yet?

My surprise Christmas package? No, I don't guess I have.

(Gina's wheels were turning fiercely at this moment, wondering what her mother-in-law meant)

Well, sister-in-law just happened to mention that my ex-husband called from the road to say that they are surprising you for Christmas.

(Gina, rarely flustered, was totally caught off-guard)

No, mother-in-law, I'm afraid you misunderstood. You see, they told us they weren't coming for Christmas. I can't imagine that they'd tell me no if they really meant yes. This is quite the conundrum.

Well, good luck to you Gina. I certainly hope I'm wrong.

(okay so the conversation didn't exactly go that way, but it also didn't fit with Gina's sunny disposition, so...)

Upset and confused, Gina quickly called Mr. Gina.

Ah, yes. I seem to recall grandmother hinting that they might be on their way here.

Gina hung up the phone, reeling. "Who shows up for Christmas unannounced on Christmas Eve?"

Suddenly, the phone rang again.


Hello. Do you need a Christmas ham?

A Christmas ham? No, I don't believe I do. Are you offering one?

Oh. Well, we thought we would bring one this evening for dinner.

Did you? Well (nervous laugh), I guess we could always use extra! What time should we expect you?

Right about now....

(Gina looked out her front window to find a familiar car pulling up to the curb)

Now, as I've said before, Gina is rather generous. She is kind. She can be tolerant. And so, for the sake of keeping the peace at Christmastime, she chose tolerance. It would not be the last time Gina carelessly made this mistake with her in-laws.

And because Gina is always prepared for guests, she made room at the table for an extra two people. She served them beer and wine graciously (even though they carried enough in their suitcases to keep a bar operating for days), laughed when they joked about ruining her holiday, and hid her displeasure each time they rudely insulted her family. She didn't so much as flinch when she was berated for daring to buy Christmas gifts for her husband and children (and not herself) with the hundreds of dollars they apparently "only" sent for Mr. Gina. She did not complain when she was given a $25 gift card for a mall 800 miles away. No, Gina held strong. And it would not be the last time Gina made this mistake either, but she is kind and generous with a good heart and so she is stupid enough to think that maybe at some point they will change.

(for the record, they don't)
So, here is a recap of today's lesson.

-Do not decline an invitation if you plan on actually accepting it

-Do not show up unannounced

-Do not show up unannounced on Christmas Eve with a burnt maple and brown sugar ham that's just spent two days in a car wrapped in plastic wrap.

-Do not take advantage of other people's hospitality

-Do not treat your daughter-in-law's family poorly.

-Do not show up drunk or continue to get drunk to the point of embarrassment

-Specify who you're sending money to, so you don't yell at your daughter-in-law on Christmas Day

-Don't buy a gift at all if your sole intent is to be an asshole

-Do stay in Tennessee for the holidays and spare everyone the agony of your presence

I think that's it.

Happy Mannerly Holidays, friends!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

We Split the Sheets

Today I'm linking up with Mama Kat's Writers Workshop. My inspiration for this post came from Prompt #1 - Have you ever had a fight with a long time best friend and never made up?

Mama's Losin' It


You may be thinking, "Hey, this post supposed to be about a friendship gone wrong, but "splitting the sheets" is a reference to divorcing, splitting up, or separating". WHATEVER! It got ugly. She was a bitch. And there's not enough thread on the spool to mend the mess that our friendship we split the sheets.

**The curtain raises**

This story begins with me starting a new job, in a new field that I was going to learn from the bottom up. I also didn't happen to know a single soul at the company, so it was exciting to be befriended by someone fairly quickly after arriving on the scene. Ashley and I were similar in age, and were both married with no kids.  We seemed to have a lot in common - similar interests, lived on the same side of town, and she had only been with the company less than a year herself.  We would eat lunch together, seemed to work well together, and even became friends outside of the office as well.

After we had been working together for about six months the drama started. If I wasn't doing my work exactly like she thought I should, she would run to MY BOSS's office and make it sound like I was completely incompetent.  For crying out loud - I WAS LEARNING!!  I also began to hear, through the grapevine, that she was talking smack to other coworkers about me.  She rarely ever addressed her gripes with me directly - she would just gripe to everyone else.  Nice, huh?

In addition to the childish antics of tattle-tailing and her playground politics, began to get even WEIRDER!  When I started trying to get pregnant...low and behold, Ashley decided to go off the pill, too. Fred bought me a really nice dress for my birthday...and amazingly, Ashley found almost an exact match to my dress, that she absolutely HAD to have for the company Christmas party. I got pregnant right away...and wouldn't you know it, she started taking the ovulation tests and ended up getting pregnant three months after I did. It was WEIRD!! There were countless other creepy instances, but you get the idea. She was a nut.

The movie Single White Female came out around this time, which was unnerving, because it felt like Ashley was becoming a complete copycat like the psycho in the movie.  All of this "let's do this together" bullshit was way more than I could handle!  Anyone who really knows me, knows that I am totally a "my space....your space" person. We can hang out, and it's cool that we have similar interests, but we ARE NOT going to plan on wearing our yellow shirts and pink Converse to yoga class tomorrow. Got it? Ain't gonna happen. You do your own shit, and I'll do mine. Too much togetherness makes me uncomfortable and feel suffocated.

As time passed, her copycat routine one minute, and naggy co-worker the next, began to wear on me.  We would argue, distance ourselves from each other, eventually "make up", and then attempt to be friends again. This cycle of behavior continued for a couple of years, until she took a job offer from another company and put in her resignation. OH HAPPY DAY!! My problems were solved! She was finally gone.  I could breathe again.  My life felt joyfully absent of a needy shadow....and it was GREAT.

Unfortunately, existing peacefully didn't last forever, because it wasn't long before she realized that the grass wasn't greener on the other side.  Much to my dismay, and the dismay of some others, upper management let the psycho back in the front doors, gave her a desk, and put her crazy ass back to work. Ugh.

It didn't take long for the final installment of our friendship to blow a PERMANENT fuse. It got ugly, obnoxious, unsavory, and spiteful. I pulled out all the stops to sever every last shred of friendship and harmony that we had ever built. I didn't want there to be any question in her little pea sized brain at the end of the day that there might be hope for continued friendship. I wasn't just DONE, I was FINISHED and out for blood.  I wanted my space back, respect for the work that I did, and to live a life that was absent of her presence.

We kept the battle generally under wraps and relatively civil while we were at work. She moved to another department which helped, but the real "cut" came when I quit after having one of my kids.  I quit answering her phone calls and didn't respond to emails.

Do I think about her? Yeah, I'd be lying if I said that I didn't.  We had become, in my opinion, really good friends in the beginning.  And I liked Ashley a lot, but as time passed it became more of a codependent, needy relationship.  And Homey don't play that!

Do I wish that we would reconnect and ice things over? ABSOLUTELY NOT.


Monday, November 29, 2010

God Save the Queen (and Our Secret)

Last week, Gretchen a.k.a. Texan Mama discussed how watching Say Yes to the Dress is a guilty pleasure of hers.  She likes to see all the drama surrounding selecting a wedding dress and is absolutely appalled at the price some pay for their dresses.  She issued a call for everyone to write a post this Monday about our wedding dresses and their accompanying stories and link up over on her blog.

I had loads of drama surrounding my wedding, but not my dress.  I messaged her telling her what happened but that there was no way I could post that story on my blog.  She wrote back saying it was a great story and couldn't I find a way to publish it anyway?  Why yes, yes I can!  So.. I headed over to The Clothesline to dish my dirt.

One summer, more than a decade ago, I went to visit my then-boyfriend who was stationed overseas.  I stayed a month and while there, we decided we couldn't live without each other any longer and began making plans to marry.  We called his family and they freaked the hell out.  Until that moment, I had no idea his family didn't like me.. they were always very nice to me.. but impending marriage brought out their true colors and war was declared on me.  His mother actually called back a little later and tried to talk him out of it.  We knew right then that the wedding- which we were planning for four months away would not go well.  And it didn't.

There was so much drama surrounding the wedding it was ridiculous.  Two days before the wedding, we all went to see my husband's nephew play hockey and in the middle of the game, my future sister-in-law decided to lay into me(completely unprovoked).  She just started telling me off in public.. telling me how selfish I was and how she didn't think we should get married.  She was yelling at me in front of everyone and I totally didn't see it coming.  I was mortified and upset that my fiancee wasn't coming to my rescue.  He told her a few times to stop it, but she wouldn't and he just sat there and let it happen.  I found out later that these tirades were very typical for his sister and he thought nothing of it because he was used to it.  When I started crying, she started taunting me, "Oh.. go call your mommy... baby!  See?  A BABY shouldn't get married."  I will NEVER forget it.

It caused a huge fight between my fiancee and myself and the night of the rehearsal, he called me to ask a question.  While on the phone with me, his mother was in the background and said she was running by the florist in the morning to pick up the flowers she ordered for the altar and was there anything there I wanted her to pick up for me.  I told him yes, the flowers I had ordered for my mother and for his were there and could she pick them up and bring them to the church.  He relayed the message and his sister was in the background and started mouthing... " No!  I'm not picking up SHIT for her!  She can get it herself...." etc etc.  It caused another huge fight and we went to the rehearsal that night barely speaking to each other.  His sister did not come... she made a grand scene before all their family that had travelled in for the wedding announcing she did not support the marriage and would NOT be attending any of it. Which in turn caused all of them to BEG her to go, which is what she wanted.

The day of the ceremony and the reception were equally as drama-filled because, of course, she decided to go and show her ass.  If I wrote the whole story, this would be a novel, so I will just leave it at the fact that I was thankful we were leaving and moving far far away from them all.  My wedding was NOT a happy event and not anything I care to remember.

But, here's the juicy part:  In a flash of brilliance, we anticipated the wedding might include drama amongst the families ( we didn't anticipate that it would be THAT nasty!) and four months earlier, after the phone call with his mother, we made a very important appointment.  And three days later, at the Shire Hall with our British neighbors as our witnesses, we married- just the two of us- in a beautiful old village in England.  And afterwards, we walked through the town centre- Ricky in his suit and I in my white dress- and had lunch at McDonald's.

So, I will always tell you my anniversary is November 21- but I'm telling a white lie.  It is actually July 25.  And I DO have a happy memory of my wedding after all.

Here is a photo our witnesses took of us walking through town centre on our way to McDonald's.  I think it is far enough away, that you can't see any distinguishing features.

(image is of the actual Shire Hall where we were married and the actual McDonald's where we dined, but are not my own- they were obtained from a google search online)


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Accident at the Disco

Remember when you were growing up and you would play outside for hours? You would come inside for a quick snack, and then hurriedly rush back outside again so that you didn't miss a minute with your friends? And remember "holding it" as long as you could, to avoid having to rush back inside to go to the bathroom? It was such a nuisance to have to go allll the way back home just to pee.

Scarlett recently went to "the disco" with a bunch of her friends and had a blast! They saw a play; there was dancing, choreography, and singing. She went with other friends that are her age, along with a few adults for supervision - they had a great time. The performance was at a mega arena where there were also plenty of concessions, souvenirs, and other exciting treasures for the taking, in exchange for a pretty penny, of course.

The adults let the girls get a drink and a snack before the play, took the mandatory potty break, and then went down to find their seats. Scarlett got a drink and an icy/slush. "Lots-o-Liquid" might be the favorable term for her snackage choices. *CHEERS!*

Anyway, after the play had been going for a while, the next event in the sequence occurred...Scarlett needed to go to the potty. My little darling, who has a bladder the size of a nickel, had reached her limit and was in desperate need of a bathroom...QUICKLY. She let one of the adults know that she needed to get moving and the adult told her to just sit tight. After another minute or two she mentioned AGAIN that she needed to go to the potty and was told, "If we leave now we'll miss part of the show". Well, DUH!! So she sat there....trying to hold it....and finally, when she couldn't hold it any longer, she told the adult, but they didn't move fast enough and she went. Scarlett didn't just go a little bit either, she went A LOT. So much that she had to wrap a jacket around her waist.

Once the adult finally got her ass in gear and began trying to do damage control/clean-up, she had the audacity to ask Scarlett why she didn't speak up earlier. WHAT!?!

I found out about this embarrassing fiasco after Scarlett got home. And I was PISSED. Scarlett hasn't had any accidents in YEARS! Yes, she tends to wait until she almost "pops", but not ACCIDENTS, for crying out loud! Which makes me even more irritated, because she told her leader that she needed to go to the bathroom THREE times - not just once.

I knew that if I made a phone call to the adult/leader it not only wouldn't go down well, but it wouldn't pack the wallop of a face to face "discussion". So I waited. It was hard though. Nobody jacks with my kids and gets "a pass", it just doesn't happen.

Finally we saw them last weekend. I kindly asked what had happened and gave her time to explain her side. To which I replied, that my daughter hasn't had an accident in YEARS, and it was infuriating to hear that she had told "you" three times that she needed to go to the potty and was told to "just wait". There were other comments and issues addressed, but it was discussed face to face, and the adult could not hide from the issue or avoid the confrontation.

It still makes me angry.

Once it was all said and done, I talked to Scarlett about it one last time. The embarrassment of the incident still stings, but she is okay. This particular situation also gave us a great segway into discussing how she is ultimately one responsible for taking care of herself and her body as she gets older. If someone isn't providing for her, treating her with respect, or ignoring her needs, it's HER job to get their attention and not just sit back down and wait for something that may never happen.

If you want something, sometimes you have to stand up and fight for it!!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Insufferable Family of Assholes


My name is Laverne. And I have a problem with Insufferable Assholes.

(Hi, Laverne)

A few weeks ago, Lucy and Ethel kindly asked me to write a guest post, surely in the hopes that I would bring my hilarious wit and wisdom to this fair blog. Not that I think they need it, I just like to toot my own horn here people. I quickly RSVP'd with a "frackin' absolutely" and then, like any etiquette-minded woman of the south would do, I buried it in my inbox and promptly forgot.

Obviously, I do not have much room to talk about rudeness here. But, let's pretend that I do, okay? Because, I feel obliged to tell you all about my traumatic experience at the local picture show Saturday morning featuring none other than The Insufferable Family of Assholes.

Here's how it started.

My oldest son's orthodontist was kind enough to rent out four screens at the movie theater in order to let his patients see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows free of charge. Pretty sweet, huh? Parents were allowed to reserve as many tickets as they wanted and upon receipt, I discovered that we would also be getting a large popcorn and drink. For free. Not a bad deal, especially for opening weekend.

Me being the nerd that I am, snapped up three tickets. One for me, one for Boy Number One and one for BNO's best friend, though feeling a tad bit guilty over our three whopping tickets. After a few minutes of internal debate, I decided that I'd probably paid for those three tickets more than enough over the course of BNO's orthodontia experience. And apparently, I was not the only person who felt this way.

The theater was a madhouse. Packed to the gills for 8:30 on a Saturday morning. The three of us quickly grabbed our snacks, made a break for the potties and then headed for theater eight.

Now, I should point out here that I am an awesome mom. Awesome. Because, even though it made me absolutely, terrifyingly nauseated, I let the boys pick their seats in the middle of the second row. I did not encourage them to sit in the back, where my feeble eyes could see. I did not ask them to anything equally lame, like hold my purse. I even hid my tears when Dobby died (look, if I'm giving something away at this point in the game, it's your problem, not mine).

So, we sit down and I immediately take note of the Insufferable Family Of Assholes sitting in the row in front of us. That's right. Insufferable. Family. Assholes. This adequately describes the scene.

Honestly, it's not like you could miss them. A family of six. All roughly 350lbs. All squeezed into their seats with their tubby little hands clamped down on the popcorn like someone was about to steal it right out from under them. Little boy whining because he wanted more soda. Parents fighting over who has to go to the bathroom before the movie starts. Yelling. Cursing. General bad behavior that would have embarrassed Grandmama had she stopped making love to her damn pickle for two minutes and taken notice. Pretty sure someone smelled too.

And as if that weren't enough, they made four (yes, that's quatro for our Spanish speaking friends) trips out to the lobby for more popcorn and drinks in the twenty minutes before Harry, Ron and Hermione made their appearance onto the screen.

Yes. Really.

Satisfied, though apparently not stuffed to the gills because they all kept complaining, they settled in just as the theater went dark. And that's when it started.

You know how when you're in a movie and you're tryin' to get all comfortable and you might accidentally lean back too far and smush the poor person behind you? And, you think to yourself, "well crap, that was kinda bad." Yeah. Apparently, Grandpa didn't have the good sense (or human decency, your pick) to stop doing it.

The first time, I let it go.

The second time, I might have sighed or rolled my eyes.

The third time, I cleared my throat.

The fourth time, I loudly whispered "seriously?!"

The fifth time? I kicked him back.

By the time Junior got scared and started whining to sit with Grandmama (which caused all of them to heave themselves from the chair and change places), I was ready to scream. I may have also been gearing up to kick some Insufferable Asshole hiney. But then, Nagini the snake jumped out and scared the living daylights (and possibly a few other things) out of me and I'd momentarily thought about excusing myself and running to the Southern Belle's Room.

Thankfully, that shut them the hell up and the rest of the movie was relatively pleasant.

I hope they thanked their damn lucky stars.

So, let's recap here.

Someone does something nice for you, which makes the following things unacceptable:

Inviting the entire county to this free event.

Enjoying an all you can eat buffet at the expense of the host and other guests.

Irritating a room of 300 people by yelling, "MAKE HIM TAKE A PISS ALREADY!"

Airing out your dentures (although, this is basically never okay in public).

Using your cell phone to text the person next to you, check Facebook or Tweet that you're watching Harry Potter for free and wish you could have another pickle.

Ramming the woman behind you in the knees with your seat to the point where she's about ready to beat the shit out of you with her hot pink Croc.


*Disclaimer: I'm not hating on fat people. I am one. Though, I'd describe myself as cherubic, chubby, adorable, pleasantly plumped, voluptuous. Surely you get where I'm going here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Are You Really That Stupid Or Are You Just Fucking With Me?

The other day I was looking through Junior's school folder and looking at the grades on his papers.  As I was flipping through I came across a class project that the kids had obviously done in groups of three, because there were three little names scrawled across the back of the construction paper.

What REALLY caught my eye though, was the fact that Junior's name had been misspelled.  For instance, (since this is an anonymous blog) his name was scribble down as JUSTIS instead of JUSTICE.

A bit later, after getting the homework phase of our afternoon completed, the kids went out to play and I started getting dinner ready....and then it hit me!  My husband was once an idiot like that too!  But he was an even BIGGER idiot, because he thought he could play stupid, not use his brain even a little bit....AND GET AWAY WITH IT!!!?!  Dumbass!  My bullshit-o-meter is much to good for the likes of him.

Here's the crux of it.

Fred went through a phase where he SPELLED MY NAME WRONG.  You got it!  Your mouth is hanging wide open right now isn't it!?!  And to make it even MORE insulting, this wasn't even when we were dating, getting to know eachother, or "warming up".  This series of fuck ups happened over the course of SEVERAL YEARS, after we'd already been married for a while.  I wanted to administer a crushing blow to the nads every fucking time I would see "DarcIE" written down, rather than "DarcY".

Fred, you fucking derelict, my name ends in a Y, not and IE.  And if you ever think that I'm going to spread faster than hot butter for you EVER AGAIN, you will get that shit straight!!!

But he didn't.

And I would just continue to show my disgust and irritation.

And he would still "forget" every now and then.

And the cycle would continue.

UNTIL the day that he wrote JUSTIS instead of JUSTICE on our son's paperwork.

I.  HAD.  A.  F-I-T.

There was screaming, name calling, arms were was UGLY.  It basically got down to this primary point...  "If I matter, if your son matters, and IF THE PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE MATTER, you will spell our names correctly, or this charade is OVER."

My name is spelled correctly EVERY time now.  And Fred pays must more careful attention to the way he spells people's names.



Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ahhh... The Holidays are Upon Us!

Every year, our families ask for Christmas lists for the kids.  I always have a few items written down to dispense upon request, but I never just give out the list.  I know times are hard and I don't expect anything from anyone.  If requested, I will provide a list.

My sister-in-law emailed me the other day requesting a list for both kids.  I complied by suggesting a DS game for Little Ricky and a tutu and/or ballet slippers for Sprout.  I thought those were reasonable suggestions.  A few days later, she called and spoke to my husband and suggested she get those items AND a trampoline for the kids.

Now, we go through this EVERY CHRISTMAS.  EVERY FLIPPING YEAR SHE WANTS TO BUY THEM A TRAMPOLINE AND EVERY YEAR I REMIND HER THAT OUR YARD IS TOO SMALL TO ACCOMODATE ONE.  It's like she doesn't believe me (and she's seen our yard).  And then, to further drive the point home, I also tell her ( EVERY DAMNED YEAR) that while it might be warm where she is almost year-round, here, they would not be able to play with the trampoline until at the very earliest March, but most likely, April.  Who wants a Christmas gift they can't play with for three months?

I was not home, so Ricky told her he would talk to me about it.  Just like he does EVERY YEAR because he doesn't want to be the one to fight with her, leaving it up to me to look like I just don't want to let her get a trampoline.  Fuck.  I am sick of this shit!

So, I politely called her and reminded her (ONE MORE TIME) that it would not fit in the yard and even if it did, they couldn't play with it until spring.. blah blah blah.  So, she asked me to come up with something equivalent because she wanted to get them a joint big gift in addition to their small gifts.  I said I would think about it and let her know.

The next day, I emailed her and told her that the television in Noah's room has finally died, and perhaps she could get him a little 19" flat screen tv because they can be purchased for about the same price as a trampoline.  She agreed and hung up.

She called back last night because she knew my husband was home and she spoke to him.  He said she is going to send US the money to pick out the television (more work for us- YAY) and then began to complain about how her husband didn't work for six months and although he is working now, money is really tight.  Then, she implied that I was asking too much but she would send us the money anyway.  HOLY SHIT!  I didn't ask for A SINGLE THING.  She asked ME what to get and I suggested small things.... and she was unhappy with that, so I suggested something bigger.  GODDAMMIT I cannot fucking win!  And I don't know why this shocks me because we have been married twelve years and I have never been able to make her happy.  Someday I will have to tell you the story about how she made our wedding miserable and managed to make it all about HER and was successful in focusing all the attention on herself for the rehearsal dinner and the reception.

But, for now.. Happy Holidays... I can't fucking wait.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Awkward Conversations

Barnes is getting ready to leave for school right now.

I was up late lastnight reading an awesome book making the kids' lunches, and I am dragging.

When he comes into the kitchen every morning it's always a surprise to see how the morning will unfold. Will he be chipper, chatty, a little on the bitchy side, or quiet. God forbid he's quiet!

So this morning he drags his barely dressed self into the den and grumbles a little bit about how tired he is. Then he bangs around in the kitchen to find something to eat. At some point he realizes, "hey, I need to get some new music on my mp3" so he rummages around, brings it to me, and I get him loaded up with some new tunes.

This is about when he drops it on me...

What's a douche? Is it really shaped like a baby bottle?

REALLY?!? It's not even 6:00am and you throw this at me?!


So I did what I always do... I took a deep breath and told him all of the nitty-gritty details. I felt awkward, I'm not gonna lie. I don't know if HE did. But hey, now he can get on the bus and have an educated conversation about feminine hygiene, cootchie stank, and what a douche REALLY looks like, and how it works, right?

It makes me feel better knowing that that he heard the correct information from me, rather than the maybe-not-so-accurate bullshit information that he has obviously heard from someone else's idiot child at school.

I need more caffeine...


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bullying- Part2

If you missed part 1, you can read it here.  I was new to my school and two classmates started bullying me on the playground unexpectedly.  When the incident was over, I thought and hoped it would never happen again.  It did.

A few weeks later, a classmate invited my best friend and I to her slumber party.  We were so excited and quickly made plans to stay up all night-giggling and doing all the things girls do at slumber parties.  I couldn't wait.

The day of the slumber party, my best friend was sick and didn't go to school and was unable to attend the slumber party.  I was sad, but still looking forward to the party.  The girl that invited me lived in my neighborhood, we got along well and there were others from my class invited, so I was feeling pretty good about it.  That is, until I actually showed up.

The two mean girls were there.  I hadn't even considered the fact they might be invited.  My heart sank, but I was already there and didn't want to leave.  The whole evening was a blast- we had pizza and cake and watched the birthday girl open presents.  There were games and laughing.  Her dad and stepmom were there the whole time and everyone was really nice and the two mean girls, just didn't really interact with me.  They weren't ugly to me or anything, they just kept their distance.  I figured I could make it through the night by just hanging out with the people I liked and avoiding them too.  I was wrong.

After my friend's parents went to bed, it was like a switch was flipped.  All of the girls assembled in the living room and sat on the couch to watch television.  The two mean girls spread out a little so that there would be no room for me on the couch.  I noticed, but pretended I didn't and went to sit on the other end of the couch at which time one of the other girls kicked me off.  Literally kicked, with her foot.  They told me that babies couldn't sit on the couch. And, still too stubborn to leave, I sat on the floor to watch television (secretly feeling sick to my stomach) and one of the Meanies, turned off the television and announced very loudly that she wanted to play a game.  They went down the line on the couch one-by-one and basically said something about me.  "You have chubby thighs."  "You're ugly."  "You're stupid." " You're a baby."  "Those are ugly pants!"  and the abuse went on.  They laughed and giggled and went down the row over and over throwing insults at me.

I couldn't understand what I had done to deserve this.  Why did they dislike me?   Finally, I couldn't take it anymore and I felt the tears welling up and I got up and ran back to the girl's bedroom.  I have a very vivid memory of sitting on her bed trying to nonchalantly play with her Rubik's cube while staring at tears falling on the brightly-colored squares of the toy.

They followed me back there.   " Oh look! She IS a baby!  Cry baby, cry baby... go home to your momma!!"  And that was really all I wanted at that point, but it was almost midnight.  I didn't care, and I picked up the phone to call my mom to come get me.  As soon as I picked up the phone, the girls continued to taunt, but the birthday girl panicked.  I don't know if she was afraid she would get in trouble or what, but she started begging me not to call my mom.  By then, I already had my sleepy mother on the phone and I asked her, through sobs, to please come get me.  She said she was on her way.  About ten minutes later, her car drove up an I left.

I don't know what the birthday girl told her parents about why I left, but I do know that the following Monday at school, she told me that her stepmom said I wasn't allowed over at their house anymore.  Leaving me to feel that I had somehow done something wrong and that I was to blame for the whole incident.

For reasons unexplained, the bullying from those two in particular let up a few weeks later.  I don't know if they felt I was sufficiently tortured or if they found someone else to go after, but it stopped and I was thankful.  One of the girls moved a few years later, but the other one went to school with me all the way up until we graduated and she never liked me.  And I never knew why.

**Note- Until that point, I had never even considered myself fat (and I wasn't) but I suddenly started seeing extra skin as fat.  I WAS fat and I WAS ugly.  Stupid too.  I began to believe what they were saying.  And this caused undue stress as a teenager when I weighed NINETY EIGHT POUNDS and thought I was fat.  I don't care what people say- bullying does have lasting effects on those that were victimized.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

It's Not Even The Holidays Yet...WTF?!?

Tonight Fred looked at me and said, "I want to move to a remote cabin surrounded by lots of trees, and it needs to be a place where our families will never find us". I could not agree more!

There is a birthday family celebration coming up on Fred's side of the family. A noteworthy celebration, of course, but not one that I would make me think, "Hey self, you should get in there and make some crazy plans for this!" Which is precisely WHY I've been tending to my own shit laying low. Well, at least I was trying to lay low until the standard "Mertz Delegation of Duties" got fully underway...and this is how it went down.

Lorraine (Fred's grandmonster) called George (Fred's father) and said, "Have you decided what we're [you're] going to do for Poindexter's birthday this year? We [you] need to do something nice - he does alot for the family, you know."

George responded, "Well, I haven't really given it much thought, but maybe Fred and Ethel would be able to throw something together for the occasion. I'll call Ethel and see what she can get done."

So my question is this: HOW THE FUCK DID THIS BECOME MY PROBLEM?!? And how do I go about messing this event up so exponentially that I don't get asked to pull awesome-daughter-in-law duty again for a long, long, LONG time?  George is a huge pain in my ass.

Moving on.

The holiday season hasn't even officially begun, and already I feel like January can't get here fast enough!  Will someone please pass the vodka, and make it SNAPPY!?

Gripe #1 - One of my siblings made flight arrangements without checking with anyone first, and will be here (in town) for TWO FULL WEEKS. She's great. She's awesome. BUT she's also going to want to get out and do things, and I have to WORK!!!

Gripe #2 - We will celebrate Thanksgiving TWICE this year. This is as a result of the fact that one of my other sibs has a nut-muncher of a significant other, and my sib wants to do Thanksgiving with normal people our side of the family BEFORE going to spend the actual holiday with the nut-muncher's family. Not a HUGE issue, but according to Marie Claire's bitch of a columnist, Maura Kelly, I am well on my way to making her feel sick when she looks at the likes of me after stuffing my gullet not just once, but twice, on traditional Thanksgiving fare. FUCK HER!

Gripe #3 - Christmas is going to be at my house this year. BOTH sides of the insane asylum family are invited, and it's a safe bet that Josephine (the grandmonster) will be her naturally bitchy, rude self. Oh, how I am looking forward to hearing her snide comments.

Gripe #4 - Fred and I had wanted to just go someplace ELSE for the holidays this year and leave all of the other degenerates behind, but we made the mistake of telling a couple of other family members....and VIOLA! It became a trip to hell with all of the weirdo knuckle-draggers in tow.  Needless to say, we decided to cancel that nightmare and not pass "GO" or collect $200.  Somethings just aren't worth it, ya know?

So that's where we stand. I haven't gone completely nuts, but I am on my second bottle of wine tonight. Fred put a trashcan by the bed and I wrote out checks for the kids to buy their lunches tomorrow instead of having to make them while being super hung over and all.

Please tell me that I'm not the only one with holiday drama brewing on the horizon?!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Bullying- Part 1

Bullying has been making the news a lot lately.  Something needs to be done when children are taking their lives because of bullying.  The adults in their lives are failing them.  There are many people who were bullied as children that grow up and say that it made them stronger as adults.  That may be so, but I guarantee you it still affects them today.

Even though it happened when I was 9, which was 29 years ago, every detail is still vivid in my memory.  The recollection brings that same anxious, panicked feeling making me want to cry, to refrain from crying for fear of the teasing getting worse, to hide...

I grew up in a rural area in the south.  I attended school in one small town through first grade and moved to a neighboring town and started second grade in the new school.  I didn't know anyone in my new school, but quickly made a couple of friends.  There were two girls in my grade that were in another class.  I recognized their faces from seeing them around, but I didn't even know their names.  And then one day on the playground, I was sitting with my new friend as we did every day talking and giggling under one of the many oak trees on the playground.

I still remember the smell of hot, humid, wet, dirt mixed with pine that hung heavy in the air.  We were oblivious to what was going on around us as we sat and drew pictures and word games in the sand as the tree shaded us from that gulf coastal heat.  And then I heard it,  in a laughing, sing-song, happy voice, "[Lu-cy] is a ba-by!  [Lu-cy] wears dia-pers!"  It was those two girls.  I barely knew them and I had no idea what I had done to anger them.  One was sitting on the other's shoulders and they were skipping and dancing around the tree singing that I was a baby.  That I peed my pants.  That I wore diapers.

I was completely confused.. I had no idea they even knew my name or why they were targeting me.  My friend just sat there quietly.  Probably afraid that if she said anything or drew attention to herself that they would target her too.  This was my first experience with bullying.  My innocence had been taken from me. Until that point, everyone had always been nice to me and I didn't know this could happen.  I immediately began to wonder what *I* had done.  What was wrong with *me*?  What made me inferior to them?

"Don't cry."  I told myself as I could feel the sting, shock and hurt welling up inside me.  I wanted my mother... I wanted her to fix it and make them stop.  I wished someone... anyone would make them stop!  Where was the teacher?  And then I began to beat myself up... if I was ready to cry and wanted my mother, then I MUST be a baby!  No wonder.  " Don't cry, [Lucy]!  It will only make it worse."

And I began to laugh like it was the funniest joke I had ever heard.  I hoped they would move on, but they didn't.  Others thought it was hilarious and began singing the song too.  I continued to laugh and then I looked down and saw the first tears pool in the dirt.  I couldn't stop it.  I was crying. Sobbing.

Recess was over and I went inside, thankfully, to a different classroom than those girls, but that wasn't the end.  Because I was invited to a slumber party and so were they.


** I feel like a coward posting this on an anonymous blog, but I graduated from that same small school and people that went to school with me read my personal blog... I still feel shame over this, even though the adult in me knows it was not my fault.  I'm embarrassed it happened to me and I don't want to discuss it publicly under my identity.  

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Won't My Mommy Be So Proud of Me?

About thirty seconds after Mama Kat emailed out this week's writing prompts, my cell started ringing. Ethel was calling me to tell me to check my email and pay specific regard to prompt #3- Why I'm not inviting my mother to read my blog. We laughed.. hysterically.

You see... this prompt has our names written all over it! For crying out loud, we started a whole anonymous blog so our mothers wouldn't read it! But the question seems a bit more specific- so the reasons I, Lucy, am not inviting my mother (or any other family member for that matter) to read this blog:

My sister is bat-shit crazy. Not in the I-like-to-say-my-slightly-quirky-family-member-that-does-quirky-annoying-things-is-crazy sort of way, but in the I'm-pretty-sure-if-she-would-drag-her-crazy-ass-into-a-professional's-office-she's-be-certifiable crazy. And you just can't have that kind of front row seat to crazy and not share some of the stories.

Because my sister-in-law and my sister should be twins- despite there being a twenty-eight year difference in their ages, they act identical. Add to that the fact that my in-laws absolutely loathe me.. and that's material too! Double my blessings in the crazy department. Who's a lucky girl? I AM!

Then there is the fact that my mother is a bit nutsy too! She holds a grudge- and carries out her revenge with the conviction and maturity of a pre-teen girl. Either I am the only sane one or I am just as delusional as the rest of them. Either way- win for you, the reader!

There are so many more reasons that will just have to unfold within the confines and secrecy of this blog, but I have to leave some space for Ethel to tell us why she doesn't want her mother to read this blog.

The reason why I, Ethel, will not EVER be inviting my mother to read this blog is because:
  1. I would like for my mother to continue wearing her rose colored glasses. She's a good person who loves others and tries to see the best in them, above all else. I fall short on this order and tend to see things in a more literal, sometimes a tad cynical, light.
  2. Family relationships and friendships, where honesty IS NOT the best policy, would probably never recover.
  3. Mother wouldn't handle it well if I told her that her sister is a narcissistic narrow minded ballbuster who only sees the world one way - HER WAY.  After the last few times that we've been in close company with she and her offspring, it's safe to state that I will ONLY spend time with that branch of the Truman family again if there is an absolute emergency, a family crisis, or I have a planned escape route.  It's just not worth it anymore.
  4. My mother is sympathetic, to a fault, regarding my loser sister, Samantha.  Sam lives her life like an aimless adult child.  It goes without saying that she has children of her own, doesn't work at all, floats from man to man, has a substance abuse problem, and STILL manages to prey on my mother's sympathy.  WTF?!?  This is where I proudly wear my snobby-unfeeling-judgemental-bitch-of-a-sister name tag.  
Some things are better left alone and unacknowledged by certain eyes.

So, there you have it, folks- the very reasons we started this blog and proof to you, the reader, that we have loads of material to keep this blog going for quite some time....or eternity, which ever comes first.  And we would also like to take this opportunity to tell you that if your Mom does read your blog, but you have something you need to post about that you fear might not be Mom-approved, feel free to shoot us an email and you can guest post for us.  If you are brave, we can identify you and link to your blog, or if you truly need an anonymous platform for your rant, we will keep your identity totally under wraps.

We love to dish the dirt, but we can also keep a secret.

~Lucy and Ethel

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Toy Hoarding, Rough Play, and Daisy

We have a neighbor that drives me FUCKING NUTS.  Daisy can be as sweet as pie one minute, and as irritating as hemroids on a hot August day the next.  She's just that way.  She is the mother of two heathens that we will further refer to as "Frick" and "Frack".  Frick, the older child, is slightly more tollerable than his little bastard brother Frack, but they are both a pain in my neck.

Since they moved onto my turf our street, a case of excessive tutelary toy hoarding has surfaced.  Because she is so obsessive about their things not getting broken, she will have her boys take their things inside rather than keep them out for others to play with and risk damage to their belongings.  Daisy fusses and gets her panties in a bunch when her kids' toys get torn up, a Nerf gun bullet goes unaccounted for, or someone rides her boy's bikes a little too rough.  This isn't just a one sided deal, though!  We've ALL sacrificed toys for the good of group play, and most times the toys aren't broken intentionally.

News flash to Daisy...KIDS TEAR SHIT UP, and yours are not blameless!

Example #1:  Frick came out to play with my youngest's brand new RC car that he got for his birthday.  Frick decided that he wanted to KEEP the RC vehicle as his own.  Frick was told that he had to hand it back to my son, and then Frick proceeded to pull the antenna right out of the car, rendering it useless.  

Example:  Frack scratched Fred's precious foreign import vehicle because Frack's mother wasn't paying attention when he went into our garage, unattended, with a long stick of some sort and managed to scratch the car coming and going.  Grrrr.

Example #3:  Fred installed special valves on our outside water faucets because Frack will come over to our house, turn on the water, and LEAVE while the water is still running.  Now the little pecker has figured out how to maneuver the special valves, so I have to watch him when he's in our yard again...because his mother DOESN'T.  Shocker.

Example #4:  Frick plays full contact sports.  The fun part comes when their dumbass mom doesn't scold them for "playing" full contact with the other kids on the block who are not trained in such sports...  So the other kids end up getting hurt, and Daisy's brilliant response is...are you ready?...  "Well that's what he's been trained to do."  Holy.  Shit.

I wish that these kids had been blessed with two sensible parents.  Parents that had half the sense that God gave a billy goat.  Billy goats aren't that smart, so you get my drift.  And one of these days, I hope that they can stand back and see WHY the other parents on the street try their best to keep interaction as limited as possible with their family.



Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fred's Mowing Diggs

Some people are such idiots. REALLY.

While I maintain an immaculate, pristinely kept home where the bed sheets are ironed, and there are decorative soaps in each of the bathrooms, Fred and Barnes handle all things "outdoors". The two of them are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the yard. That's just the way it is.  And when they are tending to the yard, the guys always wear their finest. :) Fred wears old shorts, a grubby hat, some boots, and a t-shirt with the sleeves cut off during the summer months. He won't be featured on GQ, but he dresses for WORK. Nuttin' but the finest, folks!

Several of our neighbors also do their own yard work.  One of our particular favorites is a clown who has a riding lawnmower and wears a pair of those headphones that the gun range lug nuts use to protect their ears from the loud noises.  The houses in our area are built on about 1/3 of an acre, so it's totally manageable with a regular mower.  Oh yeah, and he frequently sports his Revenge of the Nerds physique...SHIRTLESS!

I got a phone call from this particular neighbor's wife one Saturday morning.  She called giggling...

NW:  Hey Ethel, I was just looking out my front window and saw Fred out there mowing the yard.  (chuckling)

Me:  Oh yeah!?

NW:  Have you ever seen that show "Swamp People"?  (more laughing)

Me:  Yeah, we love it!

NW:  Well I was just thinking that Fred looks like he could be on that show!  He's dressed about like they do on the show.  You know, with the hat, boots, and the pretty shirt?

Me:  He really dresses up, doesn't he?

NW:  Yep!  I just thought it was too funny, so I thought I would give you a buzz and have a laugh.  :)

Me:  Thanks.  He doesn't exactly mow shirtless, but he does have his own brand of class, right?

....we chatted awkwardly for about 30 seconds longer and then said "good-bye" after a few niceties.

How nervy that this wife-of-a-lug-nut would call me just to say that my husband resembles the kind of knuckle draggers that are featured on "Swamp People"?  Those people need SUBTITLES, bitch!

I couldn't even mask my irritation.  We haven't really run into eachother since that fateful morning.  Peculiar!?  I think not.  She should rethink her angle before punching my digits into her phone next time.  After all, she's married to the dude who mows his 100 sq ft on a RIDER!  Maybe this is his idea of "a warm up" before he starts shopping in "The Scooter Store" catalog?  MAYBE?  Hmm?  Hmm?  Idiot.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It's Time To MAN UP!

I'm sick. Terribly sick. I think I have the flu. I went to the doctor yesterday and was told that it is some sort of "virus." I should be good to go in 7-10 days. The problem is, my dear husband doesn't get it. He thinks that I'm not-so-sick just because I didn't get a prescription. Perhaps I should appease him by taking some sugar pills? I don't know.

Last night, he dragged me all over town running errands, with the promise of dinner on the other end. I was so tired I could barely eat. He did the same last Friday, the day I first got sick. He expects me to keep up with the kids, laundry, chores, and all just because I'm a woman and that's what I normally do anyway. Yeah, it's my job. Well, guess what? He's off work this week. If he's going to invite his brother over to dinner (which he did, he comes tonight), then why can't my dear husband get off his lazy ass and pick up all of his crap?! If the doctor sends me home to bed, then why can't I just go there? Why? Oh, right, because I'm not that sick.

Now, in all fairness, my dear dear husband has spent the better part of the past few weekends working around the house, doing home improvement-type projects. He's in the middle of one now. But, you know what? The project is outside and it rained all day yesterday, yet who do you think was still stuck changing the baby's poopy diapers?  Man, he needs to man up. I'm going to bed. I'll get up when my cough, aches, and fever are gone or the house falls in.


Discover a myriad of musings, tales, recipes, random thoughts, and quotes of the day, all taken from snapshots of the adventures of One Creative Housewife.

Thanks Lindsey for being our first ever Guest Blogger!!  Come on back and sit a spell...there's dirt to dish, and friends who want to hear what you have to say.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Soccer Gospel According to Lucy

Dear Soccer Parents of Three-and-Four-Year-Olds:

First of all, the Parent Information Letter you received when you signed your sweet, tiny little soccer star up stated very clearly that this league is instructional only.  That the sole purpose is to begin to teach the kids to dribble the ball, not to touch it with their hands and touch on other fundamentals such as passing.  It all clearly stated that because this is most of the children's first soccer experience, once coach cannot possibly cover the entire team and parents are EXPECTED TO PARTICIPATE WITH THEIR CHILD.  

Just to clarify- and I realize this is MY interpretation of the above- but "participating" does not mean pulling up your folding chair to the sideline and texting/making phone calls/ updating your Facebook status/armchair coaching from the sidelines.  It means get off your lazy ass and get out on the field with your child and help them understand what it is the coach is asking of them.

 I do.  Every bloody week I haul my non-athletic ass out on that field and I help my three year old understand the instructions.  I'm not there to stand in for your lazy ass and help your kid too.  I think your kids are adorable, all of them, but I'm trying to concentrate on my child. So, your child constantly tapping me on the shoulder and saying,  " Umm... my dad spanked me on the way here."  and "Excuse me... I has new pink shoes." while very informative,  is really taking away from my task at hand.   I'm trying to help MY child... I can't help it that your child is feeling neglected.  That's because your ass is sitting on the sidelines not even watching except to glance up every once in awhile and shout, "Go, Timmy!" which is actually inappropriate because Timmy is currently sitting midfield picking his nose.

And I'm a bit annoyed that because no one else.. not one of you fucking stellar parents got up to help and it was just myself and the coach, that I sort of ended up being the "assistant coach" and asked desperately by the coach to help by taking half the team and running drills with them.  Here's a tip:  I don't know anything about soccer beyond- you gotta kick it in the goal and then shout, "GOOOOAL!"- so do you really want my fat ass responsible for teaching your child soccer rudiments?

Because if you don't, then get off your lethargic lazy ass and get out there and help me.  And if you don't care who teaches your kid or if I even know anything about soccer- then you'd better look up from your iPhone once in awhile.  Or else I will teach them to kick you in the nuts/nutella.


Friday, September 24, 2010

10 Things I Am SICK Of...

  1. Fixing dinner EVERY night of the week...well, most nights anyway.  I've gotten lazy lately, and am just sick and tired of opening the pantry door to discover that nothing excites my taste buds.  Just the same old boring shit, that no one else is going to make.  Which means that, YEP, once again I'm on the hook for cookin' up the grub.
  2. Skid marks.  Not the skid marks on pavement, I'm talking about the ability that my kids have to lay tread in every damn pair of drawers that they put on.  I potty trained them myself, so it comes as a bit of a shock that they have since forgotten how to wipe their little asses.  Doesn't that start to itch at some point?!
  3. Bad grammer/speling.  The red squiggly lines under the shit meaningful prose that you are typing means that you jacked it up folks!  Give the little backspace button some love and TRY AGAIN, genius!
  4. Hood-rat pants.  These would be the obscenely over-sized shorts/pants that guys wear.  I think that these pants are actually intended to be an "accessory" to the boxer shorts that they are wearing.  They probably wouldn't wear their pants in this manner if they knew what this means in prison.  OUCH!!!  
  5. Hot weather.  It's almost October and we are STILL suffering in temps that are just a few degrees cooler than HELL.
  6. Employees who don't want to A) work hard, B) get along with eachother, C) keep an accurate time card, and D) all of the above.  NEWS FLASH:  There are millions of other Americans out there who would give 150% MORE effort and just be thankful for a regular paycheck.  Think about it and let me know if you still want to come to work tomorrow.  No hard feelings if you decide otherwise.  Really.
  7. Homework.  I've finished my education, but now I have my kids' homework to contend with....and they bring home A LOT.
  8. The cat's litter box.  I clean it out, and by the end of the day it's shitty and stinky again.  Oh, who am I trying to kid, I just dump it all out once a week.  or two
  9. Moms who don't make their children behave.  FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, can I beat your rotten heathen for you?!  Because no one in Chick-Fil-A gives a rats ass that you're just trying to teach him to "use his words".  He's screaming and ruining everyone's lunch, you daft moron.  Here's $20 to take your brand of crazy some place else um-kay?
  10. Cleaning my house.  Self explanatory.  Our house is clean, but I am not one of those women who gets warm fuzzies when I walk down the cleaning supply aisle at WalMart because there's a new Pine-Sol scent that I can't wait to go home and mop my floors with.  It's called houseWORK for a reason, not houseFUN.



Death By Spork

Yeah. You read the title right - Death By Spork.  It sounds like a plausible consideration at the moment.

Shelly, the woman who dreams of yesteryear when she dated Fred in high school, has inquired about "sitting together" at the homecoming football game. I mean, REALLY? Are we still teenagers passing notes in the halls or something?

Anyway.  When she brought up the whole "your daddy was my boyfriend in high school" thing to Scarlett a few weeks ago, it really put an edge on any friendliness that I may have been inclined to indulge her in.  After pulling that little stunt, the walls are up and I intend to stay on MY side of the fence.  I mean, who's to say that she wouldn't decide to show up at the game with her afore mentioned Memory Book just to take a walk down memory lane?!?  'Cause that's just what I need, you know.  Some nut job pushing me to the natural limits of sanity at a high school football game, surrounded by my REAL friends, while she opens Mary Poppins' magic carpet bag chock FULL of hearts, rainbows, and bubble-letter-writing. *bleck!*

Here's a clue SHELLS-BELLS, you made a seemingly normal situation unbelievably AWKWARD!!! It's not my problem anymore - it's all yours.

What makes this whole scenario fucking hysterical slightly amusing, is that she has worked Fred's last nerve too.  He avoids answering her comments or posts on social networking sites.  Even before she that nasty case of diarrhea of the mouth, she was starting to get a little to cozy for his taste.  LOL

We aren't meeting up at the game.  We won't be sitting together.  I am not answering the "Where are you?" texts.

I am done.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

I Fought the Law(yers) and I Won

I'm very non-confrontational.  Hence my passive-aggressive venting on this anonymous blog.  Because I'm too chicken shit to own up to some things.  But, I digress.

I used to work in the corporate world for some partners that were cut-throat.  They were more interested in the money we generated for them and less in our own mental and physical well-being.  The place was a poisonous place to work with people pretending to be your friend left and right only to sell you out to get ahead themselves.  I always just quietly did my work and vented to my husband at home at the end of the day.  It's funny, really, that they continuously surprised me with their inconsiderate management and lack of human decency.

Then one day, I had enough.

Apparently, some people had been abusing overtime and a new policy came down that we were not to work overtime without prior approval of our supervisor.  It made sense.  Some were deciding they could use a little extra money and doing the work they should be doing during normal business hours after hours for more pay.  Therefore, a supervisor needed to review our load, our average progress during the day (those kinds of things were carefully monitored and tracked) and determine if we truly had extra work that needed to be finished or if we were slacking during the day.  Understood.

Now, our regular work week was only 37.5 hours so, even a few minutes of "working over" did not equate to overtime pay.  One week, during a time my husband had been deployed to an undetermined location, I was under stress from all directions.  I didn't know where my husband was, when he would be home or if he was safe and I had, as one of my clients, the notorious client known around the workplace as really, really demanding.  The entire office was aware of the demands of this client and no one wanted to deal with.   So I don't know if it was because I was professional and patient with my clients or because I just sucked it up and did my work without complaining but the dreaded client landed in my workload along with several others.

One particular day, our receptionist put a call through to me at 4:45.  It was an irate person whom had just received a summons.  I listened/took the verbal abuse and managed to calm the person down and get them actually talking calmly to me and we went over their account and my patience with them paid off in that I managed to talk them into a legal payment arrangement.  The call was over at 5:35 but we were never allowed to leave something unfinished, especially when it involved money.  So, I spent the time typing up the legal arrangement along with what happened if the person followed through and paid off the debt as well as what would happen if the person defaulted on the agreement.  When I was finished, at 6:00, I logged out of the system and left.  The rest of my department, including my supervisor were already gone for the day.

I forgot about the whole incident until the following week on payday when I was sitting at my desk having just arrived to work getting ready to start my day.  While reviewing my emails, one of the clerks walked around the corner and dropped my paycheck with a big hot pink sticky note on it into my in-bin. I picked it up to see: " PAID 37.5 HOURS EXTRA HOUR WORKED NOT APPROVED PER MEMO DATED[date of stupid memo] STATING PRIOR APPROVAL IS NEEDED BY SUPERVISOR FOR ALL OVERTIME"

I was livid.  Still in control of myself, I calmly walked to my supervisor's office where I explained what happened.  She would not budge.  She said I was well aware of the rules and did not have prior approval to work that extra hour.  I calmly ( but perhaps a little sarcastically) asked if in the future, I should either a) tell the receptionist I would not take a call past 4:30 in case it might go over b) take the call, but at exactly 5, tell the person I am talking to that I am sorry, but I am off the clock now, and they will have to call me back at 8:30 in the morning when I am back on and hang up or c) tell the person on the phone to hold at 5 while I go ask my supervisor if I am allowed to complete the call and to assume if I don't come back within five minutes, that I cannot and they can feel free to hang up and call back first thing the next morning.  She basically told me not to be a smartass, but never answered how I was to handle the situation.  And she still would not bend on the pay for staying an extra hour.

I walked back to my cubicle, picked up my phone and called downstairs to the personnel office and told them I would be taking a personal day and I grabbed my purse to walk out the door.  My cubicle partner peeked around the corner when I slammed the phone down and asked if everything was okay.  It was at that precise moment that I lost complete control of myself.  I answered, very loudly, " NO I AM NOT ALRIGHT! THESE BUNCH OF ASSHOLES DECIDED NOT TO FUCKING PAY ME FOR THAT HOUR LAST WEEK THAT I SPENT DEALING WITH THAT [client name] ACCOUNT THAT I DIDN'T WANT IN THE FIRST DAMNED PLACE.  I DIDN'T ASK FOR THAT FUCKING CLIENT, I DIDN'T ASK FOR A PHONE CALL AT QUITTING TIME, BUT I GOT IT AND IT WORKED IT BECAUSE IF I HADN'T THEN THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN FUCKING UNPROFESSIONAL OF ME AND GOD FORBID I'M UNPROFESSIONAL AT A PLACE OF BUSINESS THAT IS SO OBVIOUSLY FUCKING PROFESSIONAL...... (and I went on and on and on.... I couldn't stop)

By that point, I could see heads popping out from around cubicles all over the place wide-eyed because the quiet, calm, girl had lost her mind and her temper.  I left and had a forty-five minute drive home during which my cell phone was blowing up with phone calls from people in the office telling me to get back there before I ended up being fired.  I said I would be GLAD if they fired me because I hated it there, they were ungrateful bastards and if they fired me, they would have to pay my unemployment.

I went back in the next day fully expecting to get fired.  Of course I didn't because they would have had to pay me benefits and we couldn't possibly have that.  Instead, I got called in the Office Managers office and totally yelled at like I was a three-year-old.  He told me not to EVER act that way again.  I still, calmly, held my ground on the issue and he held theirs.  No pay.  Suck it up.

One week after that, I found out I was pregnant.  Three weeks after that, I had a miscarriage.  Two weeks later, I quit.  I didn't want to put myself and any future pregnancies through that kind of stress.

But, damn, it felt good to throw that tantrum.

**inspired by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop, Prompt #2- "Tell us about a day you were sure you wouldn't get through."

Mama's Losin' It


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

If I Had a Hammer...

...and my name was Ricky Ricardo, I would put the fucking thing back where it belongs so my lovely, dear wife Lucy could find it.

Ricky and I have been married awhile.  This isn't a new complaint.  In fact, in order to live in harmony, I bought myself my own little tool kit within the first five years of our marriage and kept it under the kitchen sink.  It was a small box with a hammer, screw driver, measuring tape and various sizes of screws and nails.  That's all I need, really.  And then one day, I went to find it and it was missing.

I asked my dear sweet Babalu if he happened to know what happened to it.  "Umm, yeah... I got it out because I didn't feel like going outside and I broke the hammer."

So I went awhile without one and complained enough that Ricky bought a new one to replace the one he hijacked.  It's been sitting happily under the sink ever since.

So, this morning, I decided to put out all my fall/Halloween decorations.  Ricky is away on business and I can't find the fucking toolbox.  I just spent the last hour in his stupid shed and found an assortment of sockets in every size, wrenches, screws, other "I-don't-give-a-shit-what-this-does-and-therefore-don't-know-it's-official-name" tools.  But not one fucking hammer or one fucking nail.

That's all I need.  A hammer and a nail. 

How hard is that, really?


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thanksgiving Throw Down

In the not-so-distant past, we were pleased to celebrate Thanksgiving with the outlaws at our house. Everyone from far and near had descended on the Mertz household to roast the turkey, make delicious pies, savory casseroles and watch some football. The morning had started out wonderfully, everyone was chatting, snacking, putting puzzles together, enjoying the time together....the way that holidays are supposed to be spent.

Customarily, in the extended Mertz family, anyone coming to share the day will bring a dish, beverages, snacks or SOMETHING to contribute and share with the crowd. It helps ease the pressure off of the hostess, and honestly, that's just that's just good manners folks! At this particular point in time, Fred and I had just recently relocated and were in the process of settling, so I even asked for a couple of the ladies to bring some extra serving bowls, serving utensils, etc. Not a big deal. So here were are.... Chaos and craziness in the kitchen as the women are preparing the meal. And there's the boisterous hootin' and hollerin' by the guys in the family room over calls that the refs are making.

As the morning progressed and assembly started begin, Fred's grandmother Josephine, came into the kitchen and stood watch to see all that was going on. She kindly asked if she could help do anything, and of course (being the gracious hostess), I told her that everything was under control, but would let her know if anything changed. So she continued to stand, watch, and chit chat. Now keep in mind that Josephine is KNOWN for not having a filter on what she says, and can be quite a thorn in my side bitter pill to swallow contrary at times.

After what seemed like only a few minutes had passed, the mashed potatoes were finally ready to be put in a serving dish, so I asked Sarah (my mother in law) if she could grab the serving bowl that she had brought with her.  It was at this particular moment that Josephine turned her withered, irritable head to me and said, "What would you do if we hadn't all brought dishes and things for you to use today?"

To which I replied, "We wouldn't be having Thanksgiving at my house".

Once the words were out of my mouth, I was positive that we were going to have a grudge match right there in my kitchen....just sure of it! The other ladies standing in close proximity could be seen with eyes wide open, holding their breath. It's no secret that I have a low bull shit threshold when it comes to people making rude comments directed at me.  And I DO get that sometimes things just "need to be said".  But if you're going to let it all hang out and go balls to the wall trying to make ME look inferior in my own damn kitchen, you better brace yourself and expect that your TART comment will get a firm reply.

Prompt#5 - Describe an awkward conversation you had with someone recently.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

I've Done My Time

I remember how it felt when my children were young. It was fun, exciting, chaotic, noisy, adventurous, and busy. I worked full time until our first was well into school, and then became a SAHM when the others came along. When the juggling act would become a little overwhelming, I would sometimes think about how many more years I had until they were all graduated and out of the house. It sounds awful, I know, but anyone who says that those thoughts NEVER cross their mind is just flat lying.

At any rate... It is fucking irritating amusing to me when I am having one of "those" days and mention my struggles on a certain social networking site, only to have someone say "Well I have a lot longer to go than you do". Whaaaat? Are you kidding me? Because last I checked, I started having my babies when you were in elementary school biznatch!!

I have EARNED each and every day of mothering that I have under my belt, and if you don't like it I really don't give a shit! Suck it up and breathe through it. Motherhood is no picnic, so if you need someone to pat you on the back or give you a hug when you've had a hard day - I'm your girl, I've been there too. Just save the sappy, needy responses about how much worse your lot in life is than mine.  Even though my kids were reading on a collegiate level in preschool (hahaha!), my kids didn't exactly potty train themselves.

No more potty training, no more weening them from the binkie, no more screaming temper tantrums in the grocery stores, no more preschool. I have traded all of that for trying to make sure that my child doesn't sneak out of the house at night, arguments before school about appropriate school attire, why MY money is not THEIR money, discussions about a first car (that's a laugh), and being "The Enforcer" on days when homework doesn't have quite the same appeal as playing outside.

I've done my time!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

I Need to Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair

My husband, Ricky, was transferred to a new job with a whole new schedule about five months ago. His new job sucks. He works "twelve hours shifts" from 7pm to 7am. I put that in quotes because more often than not, it is 14 and 15 hour shifts. There is no overtime pay. We rarely see him.

A friend told me that I would like it much more when the kids started school and I had them out of my hair and I could accomplish tasks and would have the added benefit of spending my husband's days off with him. Just as a couple, sans kids. I was excited about this prospect. My husband works weekends too, so his days off are Wednesday through Friday night.

The kids started school this past Tuesday and having just come off his shift, my husband slept most of the day. I got some things accomplished, but I couldn't vacuum, or put away laundry or clean out the attic because he was sleeping. I told myself no big deal because I could do that on his days off.

Yesterday, I drove Ramona to school while Ricky stayed home to put Geezer on the bus. I got home around ten a.m. and Ricky was sitting on the couch watching television. That's fine with me, he works hard, he can rest and relax. I put some groceries away and fixed myself a late breakfast and sat down on the couch when husband smiled at me and said, " Let's go have sex."


I can see this plan is really going to suck. It isn't that I don't love my husband or that I don't enjoy being intimate with him, but I have been waiting all goddammed summer to clean out the fucking attic and on the first bloody day I get a chance to do it, all he can do is think about sex.

Then, after that little detour in my plan, he passed out and went to sleep (of course). I climbed up in the attic and began tossing things down. I was apparently too loud and woke him up upon which he began stomping around the house with attitude because he was trying to sleep and I interrupted him.

I have had LESS time to myself than I did with the kids home! I only got to sit down here and play with blogger because, thank God, he is napping again. Shit... it's like I finally got to send BOTH my kids off to school only to gain another one at home. And this one is MORE demanding and temperamental.

Where the hell is my ME time? FUCK FUCK FUCK. Thank you very much almighty governmental establishment that screwed up his job and hours. When duty calls, it is all about YOU and not about ME. And we all fucking know.. it IS SUPPOSED TO BE ALL ABOUT ME!



Sunday, September 5, 2010

Memory Book Upset

Barnes has a date for Homecoming this year.  (YAY!)  I don't know where the tradition of mums came from, or who thought of such a thing, but we are tradition followers, and therefore "Project Mum 2010" is officially in action. My hot glue gun is ready for action, and I have tons of gaudy ribbons, bells, glittery lettering, and items to create the wonderfulness that every high school girl looks forward to.

Fred has a friend from high school, named Shelly, that had offered to help answer any questions that I might have on putting one of these deals together. So after a couple of trips to the stores to collect a preliminary batch of supplies, I began to feel the need to make sure I do it right the first time, and decided to take her up on her offer. She kindly said that we could drop by that afternoon, at our leisure.

NOW, according to Fred, he and Shelly dated in high school but it was never a big deal, they were always more friends than anything else. He maintains that it was never really a serious relationship. They reconnected through FB about a year ago, and we've even gone to dinner with she and her current boyfriend. They're really nice couple and it's been a pretty positive experience as of yet.

So I told him that I was going to go have her look at my preliminary collection of SHIT and let me know if there was anything else that we needed to get. He just laughed and said, "She made mums all through high school, so she'll be a good person to ask. I'll bet you $20 she even still has her memory book!" HAHAHAHA....whatever. Scarlett (our daughter) decided that she wanted to go along with me, so we loaded up the goods and drove over to Shelly's house.

Shelly was VERY helpful! She gave me tips on the assembly, ideas for little things to add, and let me look at some of other mums as a reference. Then, as we were talking I mentioned, "Hey, Fred was laughing when I told him that I was going to come over, and said to ask you if you still had your memory book!" LOL ....Of course she did!! Her daughter found the box and brought it right down for us to see.

As she was flipping through the book she showed Scarlett and I several pictures of her Senior mum. THEN she flipped to the pages (yes, not one but TWO full pages) that were solely devoted to her and Fred. She had drawn hearts. His full name written in her very best handwriting. Pictures of them together, hugging at various events. Yeah, they weren't just friends...they were HIGH SCHOOL SWEETHEARTS!!! Looking at the book made me feel like someone had just punched me in the stomach. She cheerfully said that, at some point after high school, someone had told her that she should try to get back together with Fred. She also told me that when we were on our way over to her house, her son had asked her who Fred was, and her current boyfriend said "Your mother's high school sweetheart". ....Nice.

Scarlett and I didn't stay very much longer after that whole revelation. I don't know that there's a Hallmark thank you card that would quite capture how I felt. Maybe....

"Thanks for the help! Now it's time to get a grip and move the fuck on!?"


"Thanks for the help! I liked you BEFORE, but now you seem less interesting and more ignorant."

I think that there are appropriate ways to discuss prior relationships with someone's wife. Mentioning that there were considerations about trying to rekindle the old flame?....not so much! Needless to say, if I have any questions about mum assembly from this point on, I will be looking for answers elsewhere.