Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween From the Eyes of a Parent

Happy Halloween everyone! 
       In between all the school parties, costumes, carving pumpkins, candy, and everything else you didn't get to, hope you can take a minute to read this—because it all goes so fast......

Halloween From the Eyes of a Parent

        When my children were in pre-school, Halloween was a much-anticipated, momentous occasion. It was a night in which the young were free to imagine, to giggle and scream, and to be who they truly were, deep in their five-year-old hearts. 
       Back then my kids put great thought into their elaborate Halloween costumes. My daughter was enraptured by Cinderella, and we bought the Disney maiden’s shiny blue dress weeks before the big night. Of course, a blond wig and tiny glass (plastic) slippers were essential.  
       Every piece of her costume had to be perfect; but unfortunately, because she had modeled the get-up for her daddy several times, my showgirl forgot where she put the show-stopping shoes. They had to be somewhere in the house. After tearing our living quarters apart for a solid hour, I glanced at the china cabinet.  
       Lo and behold, the silicone slip-ons sparkled in the illuminated display, occupying a place of distinction beside my glimmering wedding china. She forgot she had stashed them there, secure from her baby sister’s grasp. She concluded that the logical hiding place was, of course, among the china.

        Where else would you put “glass” slippers?
        As dusk approached on every All Hallows Eve, my husband and I spent grueling hours getting three kids ready, taking pictures, and simply striving for a photo in which no one was ogling at the camera with their nostrils against the lens. After I smoothed Cinderella’s hair and attached the last sash on my swashbuckler, my kids’ reality melted into a misty fantasy of fairy godmothers and fiery galleons on stormy seas.
        Whether the night was clear or whether a perfect storm brewed, a magical, mystical electricity penetrated their rationality. It stirred them into a suspended disbelief that vampires morphed into bats and goblins greeted those who dared to approach a house with no porch lights on. They relished the paranormal pageantry under the aura of dim streetlights but within safe range of strong arms.  
        Each stage of life melted into the next, and this year I must reluctantly adapt again.  For the first time, my son won’t be home this Halloween to steal peanut butter cups from his sisters’ pillowcases of loot. And there will be one less flickering jack-o’-lantern lining our entry hall of horrors as a glowing memorial to each family member.
        In May he walked across his high school stage and through the looking glass into another world. An adult world in which the roads are paved with promise and you have to pay for your own gas. On graduation day he donned his four-cornered tasseled hat and raised his treasured scroll. But my heart still pictures him donning his three-cornered pirate hat and raising his trusty scabbard. I turned around and a real five o’clock shadow replaced his black-marker mustache which was often eclipsed by a Gatorade one.
        Back then, each scrape and scar had a salty story, and a damsel in distress beckoned around every corner. At age five, he strode out the door to chase his dragons, and just a few months ago, he strode out the door to chase his dreams in college.  
        May his ship be guided by the compass of faith, and may his gleaming sword slay every giant that stands in his way.
        Through the years my little girl swirled into adolescence too. She traded her sparkly princess gown for a shimmery prom gown and now glides gracefully down the stairs in five-inch heels. 
        But I still see my Cinderella clack-clacking down the stairs in Barbie high heels, not bothered a bit that her crown slips precariously over one eye as she bounds over the last three steps. I cherished all the memories because I knew that in a moment her chubby little hands would clutch car keys instead of a candy pail.
        Years before, she flew out the door to carve her jack-o’-lanterns. And pretty soon she’ll fly out the door, trying out her wings in a great big world, carving her own future.  
        May her every pumpkin turn into a gleaming coach, and may she find glass slippers in the most unexpected places.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Retirement Is Not My Style...Neither Are "Mom Jeans"

I love fall because I can return my “tankinis” (bikinis for tanks) to the back of my closet where they belong.  Cooler temperatures give me a burst of energy.  I ride my bike to get my chin waxed, I do lunges while I watch “Murder, She Wrote,” and occasionally I get bat-crazy and add a little Grey Goose to my prune juice.  

Today I casually looked through the mail—bills, the Victoria’s Secret catalogue that my son reads when I’m not looking, and then...my brand new AARP card.  Buzz. Killer.  

The “R”, of course, stands for “retired.”  That’s like being put out to pasture.  Actually, rollicking alone in a pasture sounds fun, except for dodging the cow patties.  Instead, I dodge the wicked verbal barbs of teenagers, fail to help with math projects about how many meters-per-second Cheetos fall from our balcony, and explain to my pre-teen why those couples in the movie Bride Wars are sleeping in the same bed when they’re not married yet.  

If I were rollicking in a pasture, I wouldn’t have to worry about what I wore.  Clothes shopping is a challenge for someone my age.  I can either shop in the Juniors section where I have to wear a size 37 or go to the dead-woman-walking "Misses" department.  


I really don’t want to wear high-waisted “mom jeans,” but if I bend over and accidentally “let down my tailgate,” if ‘ya know what I mean,  my kids’ therapy is going to suck my wine budget dry.

I should just accept that I’m at the end of my forties.  Some of my friends need to do the same.  

My friends give me those "bless her heart" looks when I wear my sweatpants and Welcome Back Kotter t-shirt every day, but hons, you’re gonna get thrown off the island in those over-the-knee leather boots.  Save ‘em for the Fifty Shades of Grey party.  Ditto on the 24/7, over-stretched, tennis outfits. Just sayin.’”
Another questionable style element of the “I-actually-saw-Neil-Armstrong-walk-on-the-moon” crowd is Uggs.  They are expensive moon boots which were born ugly in the 70‘s, and after a suede remake, are still Ugg-ly.  Paired with Nike gym shorts, they are the staple of every teenage girl’s wardrobe.  Moms should also be allowed to wear that get-up too, according to no one.   


  Obviously, a monumental clerical error caused AARP to include me in their Cougar, I mean, Codger Co-op.  I admit I don’t Tweet very well and I only recently learned what hashtags are, but I am hip enough to have heard Psy, the one-hit-wonder Korean pop icon, sing “Gangnam Style.”  My style may scream “AARP,” but the only thing that may retire soon is my Welcome Back Kotter t-shirt.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I Was No Coppertone Girl

“Why These Kids Can’t Be Mine” day

I Was No Coppertone Girl


On fall break in Florida, I was surprised to see my daughter sitting on a beach chair covered from head to toe with a beach towel. 

Now as I posted yesterday, teenage girls are obsessed with tans.  Wrath is spewed if someone blocks their sunlight resulting in an inferior degree of crispiness.    

“I thought you wanted a tan?” I projected through the beach towel.

“I do.” (Of course, minimal information)

“Why are you covered up?”

“Mom, how do you expect me to watch Gossip Girl on my phone when the sun is so bright I can’t see the screen.” 

So I guess sometimes Gossip Girl trumps a tan.  I don’t know the rules anymore.

All I know is that when I was a teenager, tans were just as important as they are now. But I couldn’t go to a breezy beach at the drop of a hat so I “laid out,” as we called it, on a bath towel on the driveway. 

pinterest.com     DIY   by Brandy Garrett

Who remembers using this?

Just so you know, it was 1978, and baby oil was the potion of preference for the advance of the “Dark Arts.”  And according to the most recent U.S. data at the time, mixing it with iodine sped up the tanning process by 891%.  I mean, the U.S. was involved in a stagnant Cold War against the “evil empire,” but we were waaaayyy ahead of other countries in potions—like the Epidermal Crispus Mortem Potion, which is Latin for “potion for dead, crispy skin.”  By the way, literary journals agree that if you use “Cold War” and “Dark Arts” in the same paragraph, that’s really good writing.

Let me digress—remember the experiment in which sunscreen companies put two slices of bacon in the sun, one sprayed with sunscreen and one without?  The one without looks like it was blasted with radioactive matter.  The one with sunscreen looks like it has been in the microwave maybe ten seconds. The sunscreen protected the bacon, keeping the pork much cooler.  

Bottom line—before Mr. Coppertone, we got hotter when we “laid out” because we had no UV protection.  

To distract us from the infernal heat, we used our dial-controlled, AM radio that was never exactly on the station and only had one antennae.  The static was so bad you could barely hear Andy Gibb’s falsetto.  

My point is that it was BRUTAL.  Eight hours a day every summer until I was 16 and could get a job. 

But the damage had already been done.  I am now 75,000% more likely to get skin cancer, but more importantly, wrinkles.  This is why I require so much maintenance now, cosmetically AND mentally.  

According to reliable sources such as Cracker Barrel Magazine, long-term tanning with baby oil and iodine has been scientifically proven to diminish neutron activity in the brain.  I am proof of that.  I can’t remember anything, I repeat myself, and I say the first thing that comes to my mind, even if it’s vulgar.

But this is the “instant” generation.  Teens today don’t have the patience to brutalize themselves anymore like normal people.  However, I’m a little softer in my old age too.  Now when I’m on the beach, I embrace relaxation instead of pain.  Just give me shade, SPF 80, an umbrella drink, and a beach towel over my head so I can watch “Magic Mike.”

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Girl's Fool-proof Argument for Fake Tan Wins Her Coveted Spot at Harvard Law School

“I Like a Good Rant” Wednesday

Girl’s Fool-Proof Argument for Fake Tan
Wins Her Coveted Spot at Harvard Law School


Many of our local teenage girls are members of a certain high school sorority.  In December, the girls in the sorority get to ask unsuspecting guys to a Winter Formal, at which the gentlemen must wear something other than gym shorts, comb their hair, buy a corsage, and take pictures at the pre-party house until all the moms with cameras pause their picture-snapping to pour themselves more wine.  

Necessities for the girls are an awesome strapless dress which must reek of skank, hooker shoes, Spanx,  jewelry, a second or third piercing in her ears, manicure (possibly acrylic nails), pedicure, a professionally manipulated hairstyle, a makeover, a limo, pouty lips and most importantly, a fake tan, which may consist of spraying or lying under really hot lights, whichever is her preference.  
The reason for this custom is that she must look good in the pictures.  If she stood between two friends at the prom and looked like the middle of an Oreo, her social swag factor would plunge like the economy under Obama, and you just might as well nail her coffin shut right now. 

Many girls must wheedle, cajole, or negotiate with parents to finance a fake tan because many parents disagree with its necessity.  

“I mean, I “get” the cartilage piercing, but a fake tan?  I don’t know, Ashley.  We didn’t do that before our proms.”

“Mom you didn’t have tanning salons back in the Dark Ages.”

“It seems as if you’d like to begin negotiations on the limo, which previously was a done deal, party girl.” 

Young ladies have become very sophisticated in their arguments for the parental funding of orange skin, detailing its many advantages.  However, I believe the best argument is one in which the prom “eeeww-I-look-like-Michael-Jackson” girl describes to her mother in detail what will happen if she DOESN’T get a fake tan.

What will happen if I do not get a fake tan:       by Ashley

If I don’t get a fake tan, I won’t look good in the pictures.

If I don’t look good in the pictures, people will make fun of me.

If people make fun of me, I’ll have low self-esteem and make bad grades.

If I make bad grades, I won’t get into a good college.

If I don’t get into a good college, I will marry down and have six Honey Boo-Boo babies.

If I marry down and have Honey Boo-Boos, we’ll be poor and I’ll have a ratty car.

If I have a ratty car, it will stall near my trailer park.

If it stalls near my trailer park, I might get abducted.

If I get abducted, you’ll go broke because you’ll have to pay my ransom.

If you go broke, then you’ll have to live in my trailer and pay my rent because I lost my job when I was abducted for so long.

If you live in my trailer and pay my rent, you’ll go in debt.

If you go in debt, you’re going to have to drink boxed wine.



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

11 Excuses Teenagers Use To Get Out of Doing Chores

"Don't Make Me Come Back There" Tuesday

11 Excuses Teenagers Use To Get Out of Doing Chores

11.  I have to get something to eat!  (Moan!)  You don’t expect me to work when I’m starving, do you?  (Surveying pantry) Why do we always have the gross low-fat Oreos?  Are you trying to tell me I’m fat?  Can you go get some real ones?!   

10.  (After eating) I have to go to the bathroom. (Take a school book.  When parental unit says, “Get out of the bathroom!” I say, “I’m not done, and besides, I’m doing my homework.”)

9.   When you asked me Friday if I had homework, I forgot I have three papers due Monday.  One’s about “work ethic,” or something stupid.  I’ve really gotta get started on them after I get something to eat.  Do we have any real Oreos?


8.   Uuuuuugghhhh!  Mom, I didn’t know there was a time limit!!  You’ve got to trust me to do it after I download these songs!  I have to make a CD to play over the speaker while we warm up for our soccer game.  So I have to text everybody to see what songs they like.  

     Parental unit says, “You mean you’ve gotta text the players?”  

     “Uuuuugggghhh! No mom!  You never listen!  I’ve got to text everyone because everyone’s coming to the game and I want them to like it too.” 


7.   (An hour later) I had trouble with iTunes.  I’m probably going to have to download my whole library of songs again, plus some more.  I'm going to need your credit card number, m'kay?

6.   Have you seen the workout our basketball coach gave us to do in our spare time?  I don’t have ANY other spare time because I’m meeting Ashley at 4:00 to get ready for the football game.  It’s NOT my fault!

5.   I’ve got to meet Ashley, Ashley, and Heather to work on our vinegar and baking soda car for physics.  By the way, you need to take me to get some vinegar and baking soda and a plastic bottle to use for a car, some wheels, and zebra duct tape and a feather to decorate it.  Those are the parts I have to bring.

4.    I was coughing all night and I have a horrible headache. (Moan) I’m probably getting allergic because you made me pull weeds yesterday.  Do you see my eyes?  I’ve got to get some rest before Ashley picks me up.  Why don’t we have any Ranch Doritos and where’s the freaking remote?

3.   Why do I have to do it?  I did all of it by myself last week when Bella (sister) was at that soccer tournament.  That’s not my fault.  She's gonna have to cut the back yard.  Do you see my eyes?  You’re so mean. (Cough)

2.  I have to go to Mary-Alexander Margaret’s house to give back her earphones because she’s got the most important game of her life and she has to warm up listening to music. (Don’t tell parental unit the game is tomorrow)

And the #1 excuse - I have to shop online for a Homecoming dress because you won’t take me shopping for one because I have to do all these chores.

. . . Welcome to my life.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Wisdom Teeth, Then the Chicken Dance: My Empty Nest Plan

Studies claim women say about 100,000 words a day, and most men say 20,000.  My 17-year-old son says about 12—and one-fourth of those words are “What’s for dinner?”  

However, there’s nothing like a hit of Jack Daniels anesthesia to bring out the Joe Biden in people.  

Last summer my son had his wisdom teeth pulled.  We were advised to give him a “twilight” level of knockout-edness.  But, having had bad experiences, I wanted to make sure my son was dead for at least as long as a Southern Baptist funeral plus the altar call and pot luck.  Therefore, I ordered him a narcotic cocktail that could make Mitt Romney do the Chicken Dance with Nancy Pelosi at a Bruce Springstein concert and afterward ask her to go “three sheets to the wind” with him and Ann, if ya know what I mean.  

So needless to say, he was Robin Williams on speed when he woke up.

Driving home:

Him:  “Hi Mooommm.  You’re SOOO my best fwiend.  Can I have Smoothie King?  What’s in my mouf?  My wip is huge.”

Me:  “It’s gauze honey.  Bite down.”

Him:  (Oblivious. Mouth wide open)  “Why do I bite down?’

Me:  Because it stops the bleeding.

Him:  Dat makes sense.  You can get in da udder lane.”  

Me:  (Thinking) Like YOU could drive a foot-propelled Flintstone car right now.

Him:  Moooomm, what’s in my mouf?” he asks, like Dorrie in the Finding Nemo movie.

Me:  “It’s gauze.  Bite down to stop the bleeding.

Him:  “Why am I bleeding?  eeeewwww!  Mom.........MOM!  Can I have Smoothie King?”

Me:  Maybe later.

Him:  (laughing hard) How long was I asleep?”  

Me:  “Maybe 20 minutes.”

Him:  “Whad’s fuh dinner?”

Me:  “Soft things.  Maybe yogurt or jello. Do you want some mashed potatoes from KFC?”

Him:  Can I ha’ chicken?  

Me:  (belly laughing) No, sweetie. 

Him:  OK...(pause for a minute) Can I have Jimmy John’s sanwitch?” he SHOUTS.

Me:  You can have a milk shake.

Him:  (shouting) MOM........CAN I HAVE A SMOOTHIE KING?  You can get in da udder lane right ‘dere.”

Before surgery, he wisely asked me to take his cell phone away so he couldn’t act a fool and reach out to someone in a drunk-texting delirium.  I’m not gonna lie.  I’ve never been more proud of him.  

I feel certain now that he won’t publish any frat party Everclear escapades on Youtube so that no one will hire him, and he won’t have to live in my basement playing Bioshock with ten ferrets ‘til he’s 40.  

As The Parent Handbook states, now that we’ve paid for the removal of his wisdom teeth, our only remaining obligation is to get him in college.   Far away. 

After shipping three kids off to college sans wisdom teeth, all you’ll see is mine and Bobby Sue’s rear-view when we take off to the Slap-a-Ho Native American Casino in Mississippi.  That’s where all the 50-ish, botoxicated, Desperate Housewife-types in lumpy cheetah-print spandex and stilettos go.  

        I’m going early for the all-you-can-eat fresh snow crab and tater salit buffet.  After a few "Sak-a-Tonto" Sunrises and "Kumana-Wanna-Laya" Cocktails, you can find me in the lounge doing the Chicken Dance with Mo and the Navajo Funkmasters.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Utah girls soccer player knees foe in face

Utah Girls Soccer Player Knees Foe in Face!!
*This is long, but the violence is at the beginning.  Unbelievable!
I don't even want to think what my girls would have done to retaliate.......

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sister Act Steals Mom's Heart

Sister Act Steals Mom’s Heart

I love the circus, and I even volunteered to be in a skit with a clown once. I didn’t know what I was getting into—kind of like motherhood. My three kids built a three-ring theater of chaos, creating a whirlwind of mayhem and magic. I’m Bozo with funny make-up and clothes, trying to force all of them and their gear into a tiny clown car, and sometimes trying to force them into my version of what the circus should look like. Both endeavors are usually unsuccessful.

Managing my teenagers is like herding the big cats into the main arena when they know the smell of the raw meat is not coming from anywhere near there. They know that if they remain distracted, they can make a mockery of the poor lion tamer and avoid doing any tricks in the center ring—or the laundry room.  

Actually, distraction is an art form they’ve perfected. Late one night I yelled upstairs and asked my exhausted, giddy girls for their soccer uniforms so I could wash them. They were lying on the floor upstairs, and from below, I could only see their bare feet kicking the bannister and hear their giggling. 

flickriver.com   shutterbug2188

Me:  Go get your uniforms! I need to wash them!
C:  Mooooommm, we’ll just wear them dirty.  I was almost asleep.
B:  Yeah, I was getting under the covers.
Me:  I want you to get your uniforms.
C:  I want a golden toilet seat. 
Me:  (laughing)  What jersey number are you? 
C to B:  Don’t make eye contact with her, you’ll turn into a (incomprehensible mumble).  Do you know what number I am?
B to C:  Why are you asking me?
C to B:  ‘Cause it’s your turn to keep me.
B to C:  Keep you doing what?
Me (hearing their conversation):  I am gonna keep pestering you!
C:  Mom, you’re such a NAG!!
B:  Yeah, NAG-a-ramus, NAG-a-pottamus
C:  NAGmeister, NAG me with a spoon
B:  NAG-a-delic
C:  SHAG-a-delic
Me:  Where did you hear that?
C:  The Austin Powers movie.
Me:  When did you see it?
C:  Dad let me. He’s fun.
Me:  Being fun is not my job.  Where are your uniforms?
C:  Mooooommm! Stop nagging. You nag ALL the time!
B:  Yeah, ALLLL. Dad doesn’t nag. He’s fun.

This is the sweet stuff of my life. My kids sprinkle Gobstoppers and Gummy Bears into my single-scoop, vanilla world, and give me a delicious zest for life—and sometimes brain-freeze. They are the essence of bedlam and bliss, a beautiful mess all wrapped up in sugar and sass and stinky cleats. 

fotocommunity.com  by Rix Weber

I never had siblings so their relationship captivates me. Laughter and late-night whispering weave their teenage hearts together, forming a sacred sister-bond of private affairs and pinky swears. I marvel at the rhythm of their dance, an interplay in which they are as opposite as oil and water and as intimate as peanut butter and jelly.  
I love getting to watch them every day in their center-ring silliness. I don’t even mind being the clown. However, I’m pretty sure Bozo never nags.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Kid's Bad Habit May Score Cat a Spin-off Show

“Why These Kids Can’t Be Mine” Thursday

Kid’s Bad Habit May Score Cat a Spin-off Show

Sometimes I say things I never imagined I’d need to say under any circumstance.   For example,  “Go get a mouse.  Slither needs to eat,” or “No, that is not the dog’s giblet,” or “There’s a mole on your bra.”

The last phrase comes from a situation that arose this morning.  My teenagers are extremely busy playing school soccer, acting like they’re doing homework, tweeting, not putting away clothes, texting, shopping on-line, going to social activities, and watching Gossip Girl.  

When they pack their soccer bags with practice clothes in the morning, they pull out yesterday’s school clothes and leave them on the back patio.  At night they are busy not cleaning their rooms so the school clothes remain on the patio where creatures gather at night to get high with the garden gnomes on my herbicide-laced, ‘roided-out lawn.  

I refuse to pick up the clothes so they will often stay there until some raccoon watches Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo  through our window and sees Glitzy, the pig, root around in the clothes on the beauty queen’s bed.  Because raccoons can be TV stars too, he’ll likely grab my daughter’s shirt and scamper away to negotiate a spin-off show and get his own tiara.  I bet Honey Boo-Boo’s family sometimes finds their clothes in trees too.


This morning I walked out to the patio to feed our cat and glanced at the clothes still in the corner.  A cute, stiff little mole lay ashen on the colorful pile.  Either he had overdosed on some Ortho-licious trash can punch or the cat decided the mole was, well, a mole who tried to rat out the “funny fertilizer” backyard cartel.   

Anxious to board the cat-shaming band wagon, I ran to make a sign.  Unless they’re asleep, cats won’t cooperate like all those stupid dogs on Facebook.  

The deceased mole is on the pile on the left, 
behind her ear.

Of course, like the good journalist I am, I digitally documented the moment.  I texted my daughter, “There is a mole on your bra,” and sent her the picture.  

I’m getting ready to send this post to TLC.  Maybe they’ll give my cat her own show—Animal Cops:  Backyard Busts, Wrongly Convicted— If I Did It, Here’s How It Happened.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How Mom's Indecision Could Change History

“I Like a Good Rant” Wednesday

How Mom’s Indecision Could Change History

Since I'm frazzled, making decisions, even small ones, paralyzes me.  However, I’m quite talented at making decisions for friends.  

At the mall a friend asked me which running shoes she should buy—the cool, expensive ones, or the cheaper, boring ones with more reflective areas because she runs on busy streets at night.  

Without a hitch between bites of my giant pretzel, I said, “Hon, be safe. Get the cute ones.”

Let’s face it, tens of people look up to me, so making decisions regarding myself is complicated and the stakes are high.  

Let’s say I’m buying a dress for a charity event. My choices are:  a dress I LOVE in a department store or one I don’t love in a small boutique.  No one else at the event will likely be wearing the boutique dress.  But I might see four sluts women wearing my department store dress, and all those Real (Snooty) Housewives of the Heart Gala will think I shop at the “cheap clothes for cheap girls” store.  


Deciding on paper plates is also a serious issue.  Dixie plates are more expensive than the store brand but Dixie has a few more in it.  If I can’t figure out the best deal, I become panicky with a prickly sensation, and my cart heads to the wine aisle.  Although the prickly sensation could be caused by squatting down to check prices in sweatpants covering legs that haven’t been shaved since Labor Day.  

Nowadays grocery stores label shelves with the cost per paper plate.  That’s a little condescending.  

        Do I look like I can’t figure it out on my own?  Well, I can’t because I have normal girl genes, and that type of calculus is hard for me, especially word problems.  But they shouldn't automatically assume that just because I walk around the grocery store aimlessly in pink pajama pants that I don’t know the paranormal algorithm of explicit percentages like boy people.  

        My left brain (along with the “fun” part, according to my kids) was destroyed by watching ’70’s TV shows and stressing about stuff like whether Carol Brady would discover that Marsha and Jan were hiding reefer in their room.


Here’s how my brain works:

Me:  These store brand paper plates are five cents cheaper.
Angst:  How do you know they’re cheaper? Did you do the math?
Me:  Shut up.
Angst:  Last time that brand folded holding Coach Hubby’s spaghetti and meat balls.
Me:  Alright, but if I get the name brand, I’m gonna put the Dial soap back and get the Bored Simple brand.
Angst:  You need to put that cookie dough back while you’re at it.
Me:  No!  I never spend money on myself!
Angst: (Chardonnay coming out nose) Do you know how much wine you drink?

What’s with the explosion of store brands, anyway?  I mean, pretty soon stores will only sell their Bored Simple brand, (ahem, Kroger) and I’ll have no choices, and Communism will rule pockets of suburbia and will trickle up to Chicago and then to the whole Obamanation.  And then nobody will talk American anymore. There IS a lot at stake. 

Forget it.  I’m buying the “green” paper plates.  Faced with difficult choices, vacillating moms like me will go “green,” and eventually the whole country will eat nothing but granola and tofu and wear long denim skirts.  At least I’ll fit in with my hairy legs.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Embarrassing My Teens is Sweet Revenge

"Don't make me come back there!" Day

Embarrassing My Teens is Sweet Revenge

My teenagers dream of me morphing into an invisible valet that drives them around, keeps the fridge stocked with chocolate milk and, for God’s sake, doesn’t talk to their friends.  

My kids say I embarrass them.  I’m not sure why, on account of I try to be cool.  Ya’ feel me?

But that’s life.  I’m entitled to embarrass my offspring until my last breath because of all the toddler tantrums they threw and the sibling fights I had to break up in church which caused me to cuss in front of the preacher.


Apologizing to store clerks used to be my full-time job.  Once, in the grocery store, I turned around for five seconds and my two-year-old dumped a whole bottle of Hersheys chocolate syrup over his head.  I figure that gives me the right to pucker my lips and throw up a few gang signs when we take group pictures before the Homecoming dance.

I don’t think a kid should complain about her mom embarrassing her unless that kid can pay the mortgage.  When I’m driving and jammin’ to Prince, my daughter should just put on her Ray-bans and silently slink down in the car like every other teen as I get my raspberry beret and my Dance Fever on.


When I drop my daughter off at the movies and she walks toward her friends, I like to crank up Justin Timberlake and pretend to rope the girls disco-style with my air lasso and drag them back.  You know what I’m talkin’ ‘bout if you boogied to You Dropped the Bomb on Me back in the ’80’s, word.

The other day I was horrified when one of my friends got in my car and almost barfed due to the mildew smell from a bag of wet towels my daughter brought back from camp and left under the seat for a week. 

So the next time I drove her and her friends to the mall, I decided the wet towel humiliation gave me free license to follow a teenage driver into the parking lot, pull up beside her, and scold her for incompetence and for almost hitting me.  My daughter, hyperventilating, could hear the lonely clang of my hammer nailing her coffin shut.

I’ve blocked out of my memory many occasions in which my children have embarrassed me.  That’s how moms avoid slipping off the precipice of sane into the swirling maelstrom of manic.  However, I can usually recall any incident involving law enforcement.

Years ago a state trooper pulled me over for speeding, and I assured him that I usually drove under the limit.  

Making small talk, the deputy peered through the window and asked my five-year-old son, “Is this your mom, buddy?”

He looked straight at the officer and said, “Yeah, and don’t believe her.  She speeds all the time.”

Two hundred fifty dollars later, I think I’m entitled to scream his family pet name during soccer games any time I darn well please.


The next time my embarrassed kids wish I’d develop superhero skills and disappear into the woodwork, I’ll just use my sweet air lasso skills and drag them back to reality.