Thursday, April 21, 2016

Life Lessons Learned at the Mall

I went shopping with my 18-year-old daughter before she left for college.  I was rapping loudly to a Drake song on the radio and grunting on the words I didn't know, which were most of the words.  For some reason she seemed tense—slinking down in her seat with her head in her hands and white-knuckling her phone.  

http://lifeexperiencemash-up.blogspot.com/2012_01_01_archive.html

To be fair, she WAS feeling tense and torn about leaving for school.  She lamented leaving the local Boyfriend (BF), but she was downright giddy anticipating liberation from "tyrannical" parents whose worst offense was occasionally asking where she was at 1 a.m.


At that point in her life she wavered between "I love you" and "Leave me alone."  


But that's normal, right?  They say it's God’s way of helping moms let go.  

On the way to the mall, we stopped at my friend's house and talked in her yard.  A friendly cat without a collar sauntered up and my daughter petted it while we chatted.

We got back in the car, and I figured I should probably use our rare, precious girl-time to ask how she felt about college and life and to weasel out of her how she truly felt about BF.  


"How do I FEEL?" she asked, clinging tightly to her aloofness.  "Mom, I just want . . . to jump out of the car." (She really didn't say that last part, but the eyes are the windows into the soul).

She tweeted to her constituency, 

"Captive in SUV.  Please advise."  


http://www.femside.com/health/healthy-living/6-habits-that-are-stopping-you-from-anything/

Delighted by our bonding, I smiled at her and noticed her face was beet-red and her eyes looked like the morning after I drank too much celebrating the NEGATIVE line on my pregnancy test last month an errant fly ball hit me in the eye at a Cardinals game.

"Oh, this is just GREAT!  She's allergic to the freaking cat!  It's always SOMETHING with her,”  I thought, distraught with motherly concern.  

“Last month she had Mono for gosh sakes.

WOW, that's really welting up.  She should take a selfie.

Crap, now I'm gonna have to take her to the doctor, and that's really gonna cut into my happy hour."  

buzzfeed.com

She asked me to stop for Benadryl so I guess between that and showing her how to stop her nosebleeds with a tampon, I'd taught her SOMETHING through the years.

After the Benadryl kicked in, we had a good time at the "Cheap-Clothes-For-Cheap-Girls" store where we waded through hootchie clothes.  She tried on a bright, beautiful sweater, and I said "NO" in all caps because "it's cheap and made of acrylic  . . .


                  and it has a future full of lint balls."


She frowned for a second because she wanted to buy it (ME to buy it), but she placed it back on the rack because she knew I was right. 

It was then I realized I may have taught my teenager something else — it may be what everyone's wearing, it may make you feel confident, and it may feel good on your body and against your skin.  But it's cheap.  And it won't last long.


In a few short weeks she would be on her own.  Had I spent enough time teaching her how tempting cheap substitutes can be in real life?  



Especially when he feels tailor-made for you and he makes you feel good and his breath is hot and fast on your neck?  And when no one will know he's a cheap substitute but you?

I'm old, but I know things.  Because I've endured my share of lint balls.


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Maybe through the years, our time "just shopping" was more than that.  Maybe by osmosis, I accidentally taught her not to settle for second-best. 



I knew she'd be fine on her own at college.  She's got a good head on her shoulders, she knows how to treat an allergy and a bloody nose, and she knows acrylic from cashmere.

As long as she doesn't pet any strays.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Geek Squad Rule #1: Run From Mom Jeans


Geek Squad Rule #1:  Run From Mom Jeans

Yesterday I went to Best Buy to shop for a computer.  Seeing as how my memory bank is full of irrelevant stuff like the “Gilligan’s Island” theme song, there has been no room in it to learn about new technology.  


theguardian.com
In order to compare computers in the store, I took pictures of them on my iPhone and typed their specs in the “Notes” section of the phone.  Hoping to attract a salesperson's attention, I looked around and spoke to myself out loud..

"When I write in 'Notes,' I wish I could put pictures with it."  

Rajeev, a nice salesman nearby, made the tragic mistake of looking me in the eye.  He was now going to have to engage me in a sales conversation. 

Poor Raj was a fairly new employee, and he had just been thrown under the bus by his “Team Member” pals who scattered at the sight of approaching mom jeans.  


examiner.com
Rajeev addressed my dilemma bravely.

“Ma’am, this might help you,” he said with a voice of dread, like he was slowly sinking in quicksand.  He pointed to the little jumbled black and white square by the computer descriptions. 


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“Those squares remind me of that game ‘Tetris’ we used to play!” I said excitedly.  

Raj stared at me, silently cursing his Geek Squad agents for leaving him with someone who was alive when Elvis was.

Please note, he did not stare at me like this . . .


fanpix.famouspix.com


But like this . . .


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“Do you have a QR Reader?” asked Raj, seriously expecting me to know what that was, despite my mom jeans.  “It’s an app.  Here, let me see your phone.”

He searched for a second and found it right next to my app “1000 Glorious Ways to Swear Using Emojis.”  




  
    

   +






I do not know how either of those apps got there.

He opened the app, “QR Reader” and took a photo of the Tetris-looking box.  Like magic, the picture and specs of the computer I was looking at popped on my screen.   My eyes widened and my mouth dropped open with delight just like when there was only one line on the pregnancy test I took last year.

philipbrasor.com
I grabbed the phone from Raj and tried it myself.  As Raj babbled on about stuff, I couldn’t get the camera to work.  Raj snapped at me.

You're MISSING it!"

“I am NOT missing your point!” I rebutted, having no clue as to what he was just  babbling.  

“No,” Raj said patiently as he touched my hand softly.  

“Whoa.  Why did he do that?  I know I’m looking nice in my jeans and I just got my roots done.  But Raj, it just couldn’t work.  I’m almost 40. (bwaaahhh ha haaa!)  How am I going to break this to you gently?”

“No, you’re MISSING,” said Raj, interrupting my thoughts.  “You’re aiming at the BAR CODE—not the um . . . Tetris-box.”

“Oh, my bad.”

Raj took a deep breath, implying he wished he was in the break room writing code, as usual, for The Cloud instead of dealing with me.

In a final, desperate attempt to get commission for this freaking sale, he spoke to me slowly on account of me being a moron and all.  

“First, hold the phone over the Tetris-box, NOT the bar code. 

Second, do NOT press the button to “TAKE” the picture!  QR Reader will AUTOMATICALLY take the picture when it's focused, for God’s sake!”

marketmenot.com

Why didn’t he say that before?

Well . . . maybe he did.  It’s not my fault I couldn’t concentrate.  While he was babbling, something else was blaring in my mind.

"Here's the story of a lovely lady
who was bringing up three very lovely girls . . ."


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Can't Wait to Get My Personal Drone


Can’t Wait to Get My Personal Drone


Recently my youngest child started driving, (Note to self: increase meds) and sometimes I feel my teenagers don’t need me anymore.  Then I get the calls from school.

“Can you bring my cleats?”

“Can you go buy a journal for my English class and bring it to school?  I didn’t buy one this weekend because Heather and Josh broke up.  I had to help her, Mom.  It’s not my fault.”


themotherofnine9.wordpress.com
“Can you pleeeeeese bring Chick-fil-a for my advisory group in 30 minutes?”

“Can you bring my Friday Dress clothes?  It’s not my fault that I forgot!”  (umm . . . because Friday came on a different day this week?) 

And my favorite:

Teen:  “Mom, can you bring my tennis shoes because it’s raining and now practice is gonna be in the gym.”

Me:  “I told you to take your tennis shoes this morning because of the rainy forecast . . .  and you chose not to.”

Teen:  “Mom!  Oh my gosh!   I can’t control the weather!  It’s not my fault!

Maybe my teens still need me.  But I think they just need a personal drone.  Amazon is researching using drones to transport packages.  I could’ve used one last week to deliver a soccer jersey thirty miles away when “someone” forgot it and “someone” was going bat-crazy and it “Absolutely, Positively” had to be there in fifteen minutes. 



topnews.ae

One day drones will accomplish our everyday tasks, leaving humans enormously fulfilled. (Kind of like when scientists discovered Sudoku)

I can’t wait for a “Mom Drone.”  It’ll bring me my morning coffee in bed, find cute cat videos, and praise my pizza puffs.  And of course a Social Security drone will monitor a teen's social interactions because I think we can all agree that if you believe there’s such a thing as a “trustworthy teenager,” you’re an oxymoron.  (Just kidding, kids!)

Drones will also help you live longer because they’ll undo all the kids’ behaviors that drive you to your grave.  For example, on long car trips with preschoolers, a drone will be assigned to each kid.  When a child becomes fussy, the drone will be programmed to practice soothing techniques from a Level 1—humming an up-beat tune, to a DEFCON Level 1—strapping them to the luggage rack.  (Of course, in their carseats.  What kind of reckless monster do you think I am?)

buzzfeed.com

Additionally, drones will rescue marriages by neutralizing a spouse’s annoying habits—drones will shut dresser drawers, re-adjust the thermostat, and remove clothes draped over the treadmill and hair from the freaking shower soap. 

They will also benefit spousal communication.  A husband will speak into the drone and it will translate a card-carrying Martian husband’s annoying carping about “Why the heck can’t you bring the trash cans up from the curb?” into a sweet, Venus-esque suggestion about bringing the trash cans up from the curb and how you looked especially beautiful this morning and why do you even wear makeup?”  If I heard messages like that, I’d be happier and he’d get luckier—a win-win.  

http://www.pinterest.com/sophienette/my-tv/

Imagine how the divorce rate would drop.  Lawyers would no longer be needed, except to handle Mesothelioma cases.

Since people would be less stressed, most psychiatrists would go out of business too.  I’d hate to see folks lose their jobs, but as long as I can still get my meds . . . 


dailymail.co.uk
As you can plainly see, using drones in the household will have fantastic benefits.  For one, I’ll have a lot more time for Sudoku.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

"Perk" Me Up, Sexy!


"Perk" Me Up, Sexy! 

Ever notice how products like shampoo, shape wear, and cars have sexy names?  

I can wash my hair with “Feelin’ Floozy Frappé” and slip into my Tease ‘n Squeeze Body Cincher,” but then I can’t bend at the waist to get into my “Probe.”

Coffee jargon, especially, drips sexiness, and cafés have embraced the risqué trend.  For example, at “Cowgirls Expresso” near Seattle and “Perky Cups” near Denver, girls serve java dressed in bikinis or lingerie. 

tdn.com

Someday I’d love to open a coffee shop named "Hot Toddies" (“SexxPresso” is taken) and jump on the “sexy” bandwagon.  In fact, a bandwagon with iron bars and a hot, shirtless barista of the male variety inside, dancing . . . the “Charleston” for all I care.  As long as he’s fluent in the Bench, I mean, French Press.

unlocklasvegas.wordpress.com

Instead of hot “baristas” preparing "Hot Toddies" coffee beans, hot male “grinders" will do the deed, all named Todd—Todd the policeman, Todd the Doctor, Todd the Cable Guy, etc.  

thebacklot.com

And all my scantily-clad men will have foreign accents on account of it has to be a real classy place.  Customers will sit at tables with their eyes level to Todd the Roaster’s six-pack abs, while he croons, “Would you like some-zing with a bloom, love?”

menshealth.co.uk


My grinders will ensure patrons get MORE than their money's worth by offering stellar service.

I can imagine a few scenarios:

When Todd the Construction Worker pours cream for Mary, she looks into his sultry eyes and drops her spoon on the floor.  Instinctively, he grabs another spoon and asks, “May I stir you?”
dunbarcostumes.co.uk

My java experts will also "raise the bar" for cafes by enlightening customers about obscure coffee terms and procedures.

Bernice orders espresso, and her grinder, Todd the Astronaut, responds, “My beans are roasted Full City, which means that I take them just to zee verge of zee second crack.  Therefore, my grind eez too full-bodied for Americans, love.  Would you like me to lengthen eet with hot water?”  (If you think I've lost my mind, click on "Full City," above.  I'm not a perv)

Bernice chokes on her croissant, and Todd clarifies with a grin, “That’s called zee diluted ‘Cafè Americano,' darling.”  Leaning closer he’ll purr, “Or, might I indulge you with a ‘Shot in the Dark?’”  

“(COUGH)  ‘Scuse me?” she says, with intrigue and shortness of breath. 

“Coffee with a shot of espresso.  Eetz very stimulating,” he explains, holding his percolator.

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When Silvia asks if her lukewarm coffee can be reheated, Todd the Lumberjack responds, “We have no microwave oven, love, but I am very skilled weeth a steam wand eef I say so myself.  I will have you heated up soon.”

And why not host bachelorette parties at “Hot Toddies?”  My grinder, Todd the NFL player, will detail his intricate brewing procedures to a table of eager ladies. 


commons.wikimedia.org
“I will use a naked portofilter with a handle on one end and a filter basket on zee other with zee bottom cut out so it eez fully exposed in plain sight.  It enables me to watch as zee espresso shot progresses so I may check for errors in technique.  Then, loves, I will whip up a sweet, beautifully textured microfoam for your sensory pleasure,” explains Todd.  

I’ll follow Starbuck’s lead by offering a “Hot Toddies” Card with which you can pay for your drinks and even tip your grinder—much easier than carrying around a bunch of dollar bills.

Right now I’m pouring myself another cup of coffee made from my custom blend.  When I open "Hot Toddies," I’ll call it “The Cowboy”—Robust, quick on the draw, and rides into the sunset with a sweet, lingering finish.  Good to the last drop.

generationaljustice.net

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Get Over It. Life's Just Not Fair


Get Over It.  Life’s Just Not Fair

Last week my high school daughters played basketball against the Memphis Homeschool Team, all of whom were six-footers.  Where do they get all those tall girls?  I’m pretty sure you can’t grow to be six feet tall eating only bean sprouts and granola.  And since their team doesn’t play in a regular “league” that checks their ages, I bet 95% of them are old enough to have watched the first episode of “Friends.”

prospect-central.blogspot.com
The Homeschoolers are phenomenal because they do a couple of hours of classwork in the morning and play basketball the rest of the day while our kids have to go real school and learn stupid stuff like Latin (like, who even SPEAKS that anymore?) and endure Taco Tuesday.

A typical day for a Homeschool basketball player consists of getting up at 5 a.m., eating a yummy tofu scramble, playing online “Jeopardy! (quantum physics edition),” shadowing a Mayo Clinic neurosurgeon in an on-line internship, AP Calculus/Trig/Legos, followed by lunch of organic bean curd and “home-school ham,” composed of hand-pressed tofu and pink jello.  Then AP Adventures in Ancient Mandarin, AP Neuro-biometrics and Episiotomies Lab, and AP Cello.  


teenchive.com
At 12 p.m. basketball practice begins with the “make 100-three-pointers in a row or run til you puke drill,” flying to Louisville for a light scrimmage with the Louisville men’s team, and AP Sportsmanship. (stalling techniques when you’re winning by 40)

Adding to their humiliation, our girls have to watch their pre-game warm up.  Why warm up?  They could win with a serious case of pinkeye and one arm tied behind their back drawing graphs of exponential antiderivatives—with a PEN.  Instead of honing their 360 degree dunks, they should all just grab a carrot stick and listen to Yo-Yo Ma on their headphones.

It’s not fair that we have to compete against girls who play basketball all day and who actually understand how hang time and backspin affect trajectory.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&docid
=BkM7AygFGPIMtM&tbnid=bko0rY
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But, you know, a LOT of things in this world aren’t fair.  For example:

Having to go to jury duty.  It’s fine for you guys, but frankly, I’m kinda busy.

That without shoulder pads I look bottom-heavy. 

When networks interrupt Swamp People to run the Democratic National Convention or something stupid like that

That Luke and Laura left General Hospital

That I can’t get my 19-year-old son’s grades from his college because it violates his right of privacy, but the government can spy on my phone calls

That some people don’t realize that when you’re pretending to be on your cell phone, it means you don’t want to talk to them

Bruce Jenner now vs. Bruce Jenner then.  What a tragedy.  (I’m terribly sorry for you X-gens.  Google him, for the love of perfectly stunning Olympian gods).  We used to adore him with that strong jaw, long brown hair, short shorts, muscular legs . . . um, sorry, I digress.


lifeandstylemag.com
stoopidhousewives.com
Bruce, I know it’s NOT FAIR!  You didn’t realize what you were getting into when you were strapped down and stretched tight by Kardashians.  Kris should make it up to you by finding the identity of the Target credit card hackers.  Maybe they can help you get your man card back.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Meeting Big-Time Authors: All In a Day's Work


Meeting Big-Time Authors:  All In a Day’s Work


Last week I attended a fund-raising luncheon for Literacy Mid-South where W. Bruce Cameron, a New York Times best-selling author, was slated to speak.  He’s only just the funniest writer of all time, and I had the chance to meet him!   But to me, social situations where everyone knows each other feel like the front-yard lamb roast in My Big, Fat Greek Wedding.  Me being the lamb.  And honestly, it’s been a long time since my sweatpants and I have been apart that long.


http://www.brucecameron.com/books/8-simple-rules-for-dating-my-teenage-daughter

The morning of the luncheon, I placed my hands over my heart chakra, greeted my Spanx respectfully with “Namaste,” (we had a little bad karma from the last Open House debacle) and successfully squeezed into rubber fabric the diameter of a garden hose. 




Arriving at the luncheon, I perused the books for sale and noticed a smaller room adjacent to the lobby where two mom-friends from school mingled with Mimosas.  Obviously this was the room for me, so I grabbed a flute and mentioned to them I wanted to meet W. Bruce but I was extremely nervous.  My friends were no help because they do not meet famous people every day like me, being a journalist and all.

I'm usually calmer after a drink and, I must say, I ALWAYS look better.  But I soon realized bubbly isn’t something one should drink when one’s mid-section is wearing an iron boa constrictor.  

Just then a sweet woman asked me if I’d like to meet Mr. Cameron.  After three mimosas, my swag was more than ready to take on a guy worth a gazillion dollars—I mean he’s just a writer like me, right?  (What??  Dear God.  The oxycodone from my root canal just shook hands with my friend, Korbel Brut)   

She introduced me.  “Heeyyy, Mr. W.,” I said.  “Ummm, sorry.  I called you W.  Wad’nt he a awesome president?” I asked in my Southern Brut accent.  The woman who introduced us flinched.

Mr. Cameron politely commented that winter is so bad in the South this year he probably wouldn’t come back for a while.



danoah.com
As I tried to redeem myself, a champagne burp, sparked by a Spanx revolution, rose and parked in my esophagus, and I was racked with angst because an expulsion of air was imminent.  Should I turn away?  Act like I was whhhhhispering Mimosa instructions to the oblivious bartender?  Or let it fizzle through my nose while he was talking?  That would've burned, and Dr. Oz says that's not safe AND it’s the leading cause of belly fat.  

I couldn't concentrate on what to say because my Spanx were hissing too loudly in Parsel-tongue, squeezing my mid section up into my brain. (Ok.  Parents of teens ARE my demographic, and you haven’t seen Harry Potter?)


http://www.deviantart.com/art/Parseltongue-298676672
  OH SORRY!!! WRONG PICTURE!!



brooke-johnson.blogspot.com

Then, I realized if I stifled my burp, it Had. To. Expel. Somewhere.  

I got so nervous, my dress started sweating.  I casually crossed my arms while listening to W.’s writing tips and realized it was my shapewear that was sweating . . . spray Pam.  How else do you think I got the $%@# things on?  (FYI, there’s an online Spanx forum hosted by “Smart Physics Gals and Cross-dressing Divas,” since you ask.  I can’t think of that scientific stuff myself!  For the love of all professions with zero earning potential, I’m a writer!)

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Soon another newbie writer wandered up and I bolted for the Ladies Room, exhaling something about squeezy snakes and 
“s-uurrrp-ents,” which I’m sure will surface on Youtube soon.

While cutting off and disposing of my Anaconda, I missed Bruce’s comments about his teenagers, the inspiration for his first book.
  
In “8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter,” he writes that his opinions are often out-voted and ignored by his wife and girls, but he never backs down from his role as Decision-Maker because—“I’m the Father, that’s why.”

Like Bruce, my opinions are ignored by my kids, but I still have to perform motherly obligations like signing forms and other really important stuff.  Besides, I still get satisfaction embarrassing my 15-year-old and her friends by driving them to the movies, loudly rocking my “Raspberry Beret."  I've totally earned that—because I’m the Mother, that’s why. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Getting Back to the Gym Shocks My Chakras


Getting Back to the Gym Shocks My Chakras

I recently started going back to GloboGym, as I call it, a name based on the powerful motion picture “Dodgeball,” winner of the prestigious “Rob Schneider Ill-Conceived-Film-We-Hate-To-Love” award.

cinema.theiapolis.com
I didn’t want to start attending again, but a friend dragged me by the muffin top and we waded into the vast, unfamiliar Elliptical Sea.  

My problem is I don’t like working out around people.  Actually, I just don’t like people.  I could medal in Avoiding Eye Contact, and I don’t want to talk to anyone at the gym EVER. (Can I make that any clearer, people?) 

Listen up gym talkers, I don’t want to converse with you because first, I am sweating Chardonnay. (unassuming, yet oaky with a hint of fruit, since you ask) Second, even though I’ve known you for years, I do not remember your name nor what you said to me the last time. That’s decidedly too much pressure early in the morning. 

I also feel like everyone’s judging me at the gym, and I don’t want to see young, thin girls, reminding me I used to . . . well, never look like that.  

Not only an expert in Avoiding Eye Contact, I could also grab the Gold in the Smoke and Mirrors event because I’ve mastered tricking people outside my family into thinking I’m put-together and somewhat cool.  I work hard to be aloof and indifferent, and my jig would be up if people saw me do ANYTHING in Power Studio Jam Dance class.
http://www.pinterest.com/rachelbrooks/fashionactivewear/
In a gym, one also exudes coolness by wearing the right clothes.  I noticed right off my workout clothes were out of style.  As everyone knows, ladies now wear yoga pants in which one Vinyasticates, which makes the pants so much more pretentious and yoga-ier than regular sweats.
prolificliving.com

Yesterday I went to a GloboGym yoga class.  I really don’t "get" yoga so I just watched.  After observing for fifteen minutes, my keen journalistic instinct (not everyone has this) told me I pretty much knew everything there was to know about yoga, except for foreign phrases like “Vishti hatha ashtanga recaca,” which I believe translates, “Vishti has ripped one with a strange odor.”

gradydoctor.com

To me, yoga is like golf.  If I’m gonna spend an hour or two at something, I want to burn lots of calories instead of centering myself.  I mean, I can “center” with Benadryl, Kendall Jackson, Michael Buble, and my Skymall massage mat.  Dang, I’d be all kinds of centered.

I don’t think the yoga siri, or whoever, could read my aura as I watched the class on account of I don’t have a sociology degree.   But my aura wasn’t exactly positive.  As she babbled about keeping our chakras checked and other Utter Hooey, I watched a few downward dogs and decided everybody should forget their doshas, and work on their tushes.
supportiveyoga.com

I probably won’t go back to yoga, unless it’s to actually give it a chance.  Because of my unwavering commitment to indolence and the Queen Latifah show, I’ll probably just continue to stay active by cleaning Cheetos out of the couch cushions. 

I really need to get my “asana” stationary bike, but it IS almost happy hour.   Maybe I should ease into yoga by giving the “centering” thing a try.  
deonthaiyoga.com
Do a little Partner Yoga with Kendall Jackson, sing a few mantras with Michael, and become one with my massage mat.  If anyone asks, I’ll be in Nirvana.
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