I decided to have a dinner party tonight. No one is invited. I’ll bring out the good dishes, which are gently used paper plates, and whatever utensils are clean. I can’t find any spoons so I won’t be serving soup. Also, I don’t have any soup. No one does. The kitchen table is covered with board games and a half completed 1000 piece puzzle so we will be eating standing up leaning against the walls. The floor is scattered with tossed Monopoly game pieces after a particularly intense game last night, so watch your step, the Scotty dog has sharp edges. I still haven’t decided what to cook for dinner and will be selecting what ingredients I have left at random, setting a timer and seeing what I come up with, just like an episode of Chopped. Bring Tums. I’ve made slightly expired cupcakes for dessert and you can save the wrapper should you need to use the bathroom since we are out of toilet paper. Don’t mind the mess. I actually clean every day but it doesn’t matter. The mess comes back doubled. My iRobot quit and I’m thinking of going with him. Also, the house smells a bit like boredom and adolescence but I have my candles working overtime to try and combat the stink. In an effort to look my best tonight to impress no one, I decided to dye my hair. Since it has been so long, I had to dunk my whole head in a vat of dye like I was bobbing for apples. My hairline looks like Dracula now but no grays, so that’s a win. I’m also planning on wearing my “good sweats” and possibly a bra. I’m so excited to have something to look forward too as I have already watched too many disturbing documentaries on Netflix and every episode of The Golden Girls twice. Oh that Blanche just kills me. It’s going to be a great time. Please RSVP with how many of you will not be coming to the party, so I can plan accordingly. I can’t wait to not see everyone!
I’m 44 today. Sometimes I fall off of the earth for a while but always make it back. I think it’s good to do that once in a while. I’m genuine and kind. I’m realistic and can’t handle drama. It makes me nervous.
I have expensive purses but wear a backpack from Target instead. I have good kids, well they aren’t felons, and I wear $6 sunglasses. I’m a very loyal friend and I have a work ethic we don’t see much anymore. I married my high school sweetheart and I still love him to pieces even though we are complete opposites and I want to kill him when he snores. I go to church. I go to bed really early. I do laundry every day and never sort it first. Occasionally I drop F-bombs but mostly I say things that sound like real curse words, but aren’t.
I have wrinkles and cellulite. I don’t know how to use filters but somehow my phone does and I’m grateful. I like to write but found people don’t like to read anymore so occasionally I make a funny meme and post it. I’d love to make some kind of living through my writing someday. I always wanted to be an anesthesiologist or a writer and stand-up comedian but decided to clean teeth instead. I believe in working hard for what I have or I don’t want it. I love my job and I’m really good at it.
On the day I die I’ll complain that I need to lose 10 pounds. I love animals and when I talk to them, I speak in a language that even I don’t understand. I don’t have a lot of friends (on purpose) but I cherish the few I have. I have no sense of direction and a really clean microwave.
One of my longtime friends told me that social media is just the highlight reel of people’s lives and she was right. Once you realize that life is easier.
I’m currently in a DietBet. It’s an app, you can look it up later. So for this bet I pledged $25 to lose 4 percent of my body weight in 4 weeks, with weigh-in being today. Everyone that chose this same bet put their money in a pot. If I lose the weight I get my money back plus I get to split the money from the people that couldn’t lose the weight. Losers. Easy right? Totally. I’ve done this a bunch of times. The one catch is that you can’t lose too much weight or you won’t get your money back because DietBet encourages you to lose the weight in a healthy way and blah blah blah. For the last 4 weeks I’ve been really good and was actually a little underweight. Until this morning. Dang if I wasn’t 3 pounds more than I was last night. TMI coming your way. Seriously just scroll on unless you want to hear about my morning that you will most likely regret reading about. So here goes, don’t say I didn’t warn you. I didn’t want to lose my money and I totally wanted to take a piece of the Losers money too so I had to figure out how to cut 3 pounds quickly. I found some 12 year old suppositories that I must’ve gotten after my last c-section. Perfect. I used one and whoa that’s gross and waited to see what would happen. I thought it was so old it probably wouldn’t work. Well it did. I spent hours on the toilet. Stuff I ate in the 90’s came out of me. I cancelled plans that I have 2 weeks from now because I’m not sure how this will play out. Long story short, yes I lost the weight I needed to lose, no I won’t be leaving the house anytime soon. I felt a little bit like a cheater but seriously I’ve worked so hard over the last month. I deserved to win this bet. It was worth the pain. I finally opened the app to log in my weight and the jokes on me since I don’t have to weigh-in until Tuesday. Awesome.
I’ll never be Mom of the Year which is fine because it seems like a lot of work and pretty much impossible since at the moment I don’t even know where two of my three kids are. I’d rather be known as Mom of the Right Now. I’m not the wait in line for 2 days and throat punch someone to get the last Tickle-Me-Elmo kind of mom but I have held a funeral for a bearded dragon and spent an entire night walking around outside searching for a missing cat. I’ve chased down runaway baby chicks with a pool net while the mama chicken tried to kill me and been knocked off of my feet by a baseball to the head while playing catch. I’ve been to the ER, the scene of a roll-over car accident my son was in, also watched him ride a bull, and relocated a 3 year olds Nurse Maids elbow, without freaking out. I might not have a home cooked meal on the table each night but my family never goes hungry. Neither have the horses, pigs, chickens, turkeys, dogs, cats, and reptiles that have lived at our house. I can mod podge stuff and paint foam balls to make them look like planets, at midnight. I’ve been a Girl Scout Leader and the Cookie Mom and don’t even get me started on all of the time I volunteered on the PTA. For years my weekends have been consumed by sports and driving endless miles at the crack of dawn to get to events. I might have permanent marks from metal bleacher seats and irreversible skin damage to prove it. I’ve watched numerous school plays, dance recitals, tennis matches, baseball games, and karate classes. Traveled miles, once by airplane, to water polo, soccer, and softball tournaments, and sat through hours of blistering hot swim meets just to watch my kids swim for about a minute. I’ve done my share of snack bar shifts, fundraisers, carpools, and team mom duty all while keeping a full-time job, and I’ve loved every minute of it. There are so many single moments of mom greatness in the relatively short time that our kids are actually young that go unnoticed. I can’t say that I’m a great mom all year long but I am great Right Now a lot. Yeah, I totally mom the heck out of the Right Now.
I just left the DMV. My license was expiring next month so I decided that when I renewed I’d get the Real ID. From what I’ve heard, once you get the Real ID the government will know your every move, which for someone like me is probably a good thing since I get lost a lot. I mean really who cares? I’m more worried about Siri. Seriously, I dream about something and the next morning my iPhone shows an advertisement for it.
So here’s what happens when you go to the DMV without an appointment. First, you wait in a long line to be directed to the actual line you are supposed to wait in. Then after the second line, you check in and fill out an application with a lot of personal information. I tried to fill it out electronically but I couldn’t figure out the mouse they had. It was a huge ball with buttons all around it so I filled out the paper application instead. Turns out the computer also had a touch screen but I didn’t know that. I had to answer questions like my hair color, weight, and height. My hair color I think is called 4N but I’m not sure why they need to know that. Weight? I thought the weight I had on my current license sounded good, so I just put “same.” I mean do they want my weight with or without shoes? In the morning? What are they asking here? My height is the only question they asked that doesn’t vary almost daily. I finished filling it out and sat down for about 1 minute before my name was called. I was thinking how cool it was that I didn’t have to wait very long. When I went to the window the lady needed clarification about some of my application answers. Seriously? She asked about my hair color and told me I should have put “brown.” Oh. Then she looked at me and looked at my current license and asked if I meant that I weighed the same as 15 years ago when I got my license last. Yes, Janice, that’s what I meant, geez. I sat back down for about a zillion minutes before I finally got called back to another window to finish up. The lady asked for a ton of paperwork proving who I am. I brought everything. Passport, birth certificate, car registration, social security card, several utility bills, marriage license, Costco card, and the results from my latest pap. I think my grocery list was even in there. I was not going to wait there all day just to be told I didn’t have the right stuff and have to come back. I paid the fee and they retook my picture, which is hideous since I wasn’t prepared for it. I didn’t do my hair and I was wearing a shirt that expresses my love for tacos. I don’t think I can even put that picture in my wallet. I don’t want to disrespect Michael Kors like that.
So that was my experience getting the Real ID. We are all supposed to have one by 2020, so I suggest getting it now. Just make an appointment, gather up all of your paperwork, bring hand sanitizer, and you shouldn’t have a problem. In just a few long hours you too can have your Real ID and a virus, just like I do.
It takes a village. Or at least in my case it took a neighborhood. Back in the days when I started my day with Mr. Rogers instead of Mr. Coffee, I was fortunate to grow up in a house that resembled Leave it to Beaver. Dad worked hard and mom stayed home and took care of us and the house, minus the heels and pearls. She was always working while we were outside playing from sun up until the street lights came on and we stayed within earshot of her, or else. Dinner was always made at home and was served at 6pm. We played in a giant Pepper tree, used eucalyptus leaves as currency, and had bikes for transportation. You didn’t need a phone to communicate with us. The only text message we knew was typing “boobies” on our calculators, and you could find us by seeing which house had a pile of bikes on the lawn. We had a neighbor that yelled at us whenever we went in her yard, day or night, but all and all, life was easy.
I had a best friend on each side of my house. On one side there was chain-linked fence between our houses. We started climbing it around 3 years old and stopped the day I got married and left the neighborhood. Her and I are 10 days apart in age, which I hated that she was older when I was little but am totally cool with now that we are in our 40’s. Even as a really little kid she had chores to do before playing and I didn’t. I think it was because I am the youngest of 4 and was able to sneak out on chores. She did things like water plants, sweep the pool and wash cars. Every day I waited impatiently for her to get done so we could play, “Ok but Rainbow Brite was hoping to hang out with Teddy Ruxpin so bring him over when you are done.”
On the other side of my house, on top of a hill, was my other best friend. She had 6 siblings. That house always had a lot of people there so adding one more wasn’t a big deal, and they never locked the door. I used to show up early in the morning and sneak upstairs to wake her up. Then we’d lie on the floor of her huge family room and watch TV and play board games until everyone else got up.
All three of us turned out to be successful, hard-working adults and I know that the neighborhood raised us well. I use the lessons I learned as a kid every day raising my own kids. They know that working hard and having dinner as a family is important, having chores to do as a kid builds adults with integrity, respecting other people’s property is a must, and locking the doors at night is probably a good idea.
The 80’s. The time when a stranger came to your house and offered you ice cream and candy and your parents were cool with it. Our ice cream man’s name was Danny. He wore a pinky ring and a short-sleeved button up shirt with a pack of cigarettes rolled up in the sleeve that he left open to his mid chest. He had a tattoo of a naked lady on his right arm and wore his dark hair slicked back like Craterface from Grease. We thought he was so cool although looking back, he was probably straight out of prison.
We would stop what we were doing when we heard the high-pitched jingle of the ice cream truck’s arrival. We’d yell, “ICE CREAM MAN!” and race to find money and catch him even though he drove only about 5 mph. If we missed him as he drove by, we’d wait for when he came back down the road on the other side. I wasn’t allowed to cross the street so my brother would carry me piggy-backed to the other side so I wouldn’t miss out. We’d impatiently wait in line hopping from one foot to the other trying to avoid burning our bare feet on the hot asphalt as we waited our turn. I usually got something that had a rock-solid frozen piece of gum in it or a push-up. It didn’t matter which one I got since it was so hot any ice cream melted all over my dirty hands before I had a chance to finish it. I loved it anyway.
Those were some of my best summer memories although, as a parent, I can’t help wondering what in the world my parents were thinking?
My kids hate it when I watch shows like Hoarders and Tidying Up. They know that right after I’ll be on a cleaning rampage and I don’t communicate with our belongings or thank them. I don’t even want to analyze why we have so much stuff. I don’t care. Thanks to Marie Kondo and Gladis the hoarder from Hoboken, I have donated, sold, and trashed most of our stuff. I can host one of those help messy people clean up shows, I totally could. However, I would take it to the next level. I’ll just grab at random items and sling them over my head into a giant pile without much thought. I could do this so easily and the show wouldn’t take up an entire hour. It would be more like 10 minutes. I’ll call it “I’m Throwing Out Your Crap-You don’t need it, it’s gone, get over it.” Tough love. So, hey, if anyone needs help, I’m your girl.
There are 3 times in a mom’s life that her kids need her the most. When she’s on the toilet, on the phone, and the instant she turns on the vacuum. When my kids were little it was always something urgent like watching a dance that was made up on the spot or listening to a play by play dialogue of the show they just watched for the first time, again. It always starts with “Hey, Mom?” Followed by a question that could be very easily answered by dad but since he’s watching TV, or sleeping, or doing nothing at all, they don’t want to bother him. Of course not. They bust into the bathroom and ask, “Hey, Mom? Can you sign this?” Go ask Dad! Come on! He has opposable thumbs and has been signing his name since the third grade. I’m not sure that they understand “parent signature” includes him. Or when I’m on the phone and I finally get through to an actual human after navigating a thousand options and being on hold for 30 minutes, “Hey, Mom? Can you help me with my math homework?” Did you just walk past your dad to come in here? But my favorite is when I’m vacuuming and my kids, who have basically ignored my existence for the entire day, pick that exact moment to ask me a question. I can’t hear you! I swear if I have to turn the vacuum off for this it better be good. The only time the kids ask dad first is when it involves something cool they want to do that they know I will absolutely say no to. Like my son’s latest, “Hey, Dad? What do you think about me bull riding?” Uh, go ask your mom.
Raise of hands of those who have kids that clean out their reusable water bottles and don’t leave them scattered all over the house. No one? Ok, neither do mine. Half the time the inside stinks because they just refill them a million times without cleaning them. We have been a plastic water bottle free family for a while now. It was purely to save the planet, which is necessary, and keep water cold for 4 days, which is not. Instead of 27 half empty plastic bottles littering the floor of my car, I now have at least 2 heavy, metal, possibly deadly projectiles if ever in an accident, reusable water bottles rolling around my car. Each kid has a few different colors and sizes so no one can ever complain about being thirsty as I remember being for most of my childhood. We would ride our bikes for miles and stop at the park to drink hot water from a crusty water fountain that barely spouted any water or find a random hose and fight over who got the first drink after hours of playing Red Light, Green Light. We couldn’t drink that water fast enough. That’s probably why us 80’s kids are so awesome. We drank dirt, lead, and whatever else came through the pipes in our tap water and we survived. Recently, my daughter had the nerve to complain at a soccer game that her water was warm because she forgot to add ice to it, which immediately prompted a “When I was your age” lecture from me. She was disgusted that we actually drank from hoses. Whatchu talkin about Willis? Really, she was commenting on what I did when half the time her water bottle smells like Sea World?