I shop online for pretty much everything – clothes, shoes, appliances, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, cases of gum - anything. I wasn’t always this way. I used to love going into stores – the bright lights, all the pretty things, the smell of new clothes and plastic shopping bags! (OK sorry, that last one might be weird). But it changed when I became a mom and it seemed impossible to take the kids shopping. In fact, I remember the exact moment I said I would never shop in a store again. I had both girls with me and was going to try on a bathing suit. Ella was around six and Vanessa was about three, still in a stroller. Since the stroller wouldn’t fit in the fitting room, I sat Ella on the bench and put Vanessa on the floor on my jacket in our small dressing space. I turned around for a split second to look at myself in the mirror and Vanessa crawled out under the dressing room door. This may have been fine if the dressing rooms were tucked in the back of the store. Instead, they were right in the middle of the place. She crawled away fast like a little bug scurrying for it’s life. I tried to open the door and couldn’t – it was completely locked or stuck or something. It tried for seconds to open the door, twisting the knob furiously. In a state of panic, I crawled under the door after her. Do you know what that must have looked like? Here I was a giant grown woman, wearing an ill-fitting bikini waaaaaay before it was flattering. I was crunched up like a ball to make it under the door – all my milky white middle was stacked like rolls on top of each other and my big fleshy ass was high up in the air. When I caught up to her I picked her up to hug her because I was glad I didn’t lose her. And, holding her was helping to cover up my half undressed body. Look, I never care about being overexposed but it has to be on my terms. Because then I am sucking in or I know my tits are hard (and looking perky) or I am standing in a position that flatters. This was not one of those moments. At all. I walked back towards the dressing room, still using Vanessa as my body shield. I found Ella playing with a tampon that she clearly pulled out of my purse. She held it up and said “candy?” I shook my head in disbelief and defeat. That would make this a perfect shopping excursion – everyone seeing me leave the store with my runaway baby and my other kid sucking on a vagina cork. That night I started my online Amazon account. Can you blame me?
A few years ago I worked a PR event with a celebrity guest of honor, Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer. I don’t really follow that royal stuff but it was very exciting to meet an actual Prince. Or maybe he was a Lord. I don’t know – he had a fancy name and was Princess Diana’s brother (I really rocked this PR job…nothing like knowing the details! Eeek!) In the green room we had tea – I am guessing because he was English and they seem to like their tea time. (Shit – I am really making a lot of assumptions here!) So I am going to say that this was not one of my better career moments. And for more than just these brainless things……
While the Prince/Lord was relaxing before his appearance and enjoying his hot, lemony brew, I worked hard to make sure the pastry plates, tea pots, tea bag box and sugar bowls were always full for the guests going in and out prior to the actual event start. I also kept the room clean – throwing away unsightly used teabags or half eaten treats.
As Charles was talking to someone, I started to clean up a bit and collected teacups that were sitting around the room, seemingly finished. Just as I walked towards the back of the room, I heard him say “someone has gone and thrown away my tea”. With his lovely English accent, it was hard for me to tell if he was pissed (doesn't everything sound better when someone says it with a nice accent?)
I kept my back towards him while I hovered over a garbage can. If he saw my face he would know I had tossed his drink since I was beat red and my mouth was open so wide, I could have caught flies. Or maybe I just filled up with air because I can’t even believe what I did next – I actually spun around holding a blue and white porcelain cup with a drop of liquid in it and a gnarly, used teabag plopped on the saucer and said to this Royal guy “I think this was it….?" and sort of handed it to him.
He looked at me like I was crazy for offering him a cold cup of tea that could have belonged to anyone. Not to mention that I practically just pulled it out of the garbage can.
I felt like I was having an outer body experience – looking down on myself saying “Stop standing there with this gross offering. Just turn and walk away.”
Before he could respond to me, a colleague said she’d get him a fresh cup. She too looked at me like I was an idiot. Yes, well cheerio, I was definitely going to hide in a pile rubbish….and do a little thinking about my next career move.
Our town gets a lot of snow sometimes. It’s great for the kids when they want a snow day but for me and Adam, it’s annoying because they are all over us all day and we can never get any thing done at home for work. But this one snowy day, I too woke up excited to see everything blanketed in freshly fallen flakes. Now, I hate the cold. HATE it. I won’t stand in front of a freezer for too long. But again, something about today – I wanted to go outside and play in the snow. Actually – let me say that we are such a big, lazy family – our idea of playing is the snow is lying there and eating it. Sooo….that’s what we wanted to do. Adam, the girls and me all bundled up and went outside. Feeling like a stuffed sausage in ill-fitting snow pants, I didn’t last long out there. I walked back into the house while everyone else stayed out to play. I thought I would do something Martha Stewart—y and microwave up some hot chocolate for when everyone was ready to come back in. (Ok , so sure Martha probably doesn't have a microwave. But my kids don’t know fresh made hot chocolate versus anything else, so its all the same to them and super easy for me. Perfect for all!) The phone started ringing as I seriously struggled to get out of my snow boots and clothes (I really fucking hate winter. It was such a chore to get dressed…and now to strip down. Ugggghhhh!) I grabbed it just in time. It was the school. They were asking me why the kids weren’t there today. I didn’t say anything as I looked out the window and watched my family rolling around in puffy winter gear on the snow covered front lawn and licking the snowy ground like they were dropped inside a giant tub of ice cream. The voice on the other line again said “hello”? I didn’t know if I wanted to say that we thought it was a snow day so we never sent them in to school. I would look like an idiot. I told her they were both sick and apologized for not calling. Considering we have neighbors that all have kids in the schools in town, we must have looked like a bunch of degenerates out there while those kids were heading off for their normal, state-mandated routine. As I hung up the phone, I realized that now I had to get the kids to lie to make sure they said they were “sick”. This would set Ella over the edge – she’s such a goody-goody; and this would further propel Vanessa as a my little risk –taker. Oh God. Looks like Mommy’s putting some Bailey’s in her hot chocolate.
Last year, Adam wanted me to go with him at twelve o’clock on Thanksgiving night to partake in the Black Friday Midnight madness. I honestly couldn’t imagine doing this after sitting by the fire, drinking wine and pigging out on food all day but he was determined to get me to come with him. We left my cousin’s home after family dinner and dropped our kids off at my parent’s house. Being still buzzed, I chatted his ear off the entire ride about everything and nothing. I then stumbled up the stairs, twirled around in my holiday dress and fell onto the bed only to be woken up about two hours later by Adam gently shaking my shoulder. After being pulled from the small food/wine coma I was in, I lifted my head - totally sloth like and disheveled. Adam asked me if I was ready to go. I smiled at him and he jumped back – not only were my teeth practically stained gray from the red wine, my lips were also sucked dry from alcohol dehydration and now bleeding. Yeesh. I would make a fine shopping accomplice. Maybe I’d get good deals out of pity. Wellllll, we would never know….I woke up the next morning still in my party dress, with blood caked to my pillow and red wine soaked lips. OK, so full price holiday shopping from Amazon it is! At least I can drink my wine and shop online – a purple and snarly smile would make no difference at all.
The kids we're in a mood the other day when we were running errands. And not the fun kind of errands - cleaners, Shop Rite, liquor store. My attempts to make it fun by writing all the stops on the car windows in erasable marker, weren't helping either (but yay for me with a "cool mom" idea! Or so I thought anyway). In and out of the car, in and out - the girls were growing impatient and irritable with each stop. As we pulled into the CVS drive-through to get prescriptions - as we do about every 3 weeks - Vanessa whined "why do we always have to come to CVS?" I casually replied "because mommy needs her crazy pills. We don't want Mommy to go nutty, do we?" The way they both replied "No" so quickly and in unison, it made me wonder how much of a "dragon mommy" I really become when I am stressed, sad, pushed to the edge or worse - forced to hang out with my family while sober. Better take this next dose with a swig from the double bottle of Pinot I just bought. Hmmm....Nicely planned pick-ups, if I do say so myself.
When I was pretty well into my pregnancy Adam came with me to one of the last ultrasound appointments. It just so happened that on this day, there was a covering doctor. She walked in and Adam almost passed out. I think she may have only been wearing her short white lab coat with high-heeled boots that laced up to her knees. Her hair was cascading down her back and her voice was soft. When she dimmed the lights so we could see the monitor better, Adam asked her if she could put on soft music. What the fuck? I gave him a smack on the back of his head and knocked him back into reality. Besides, what did he think she was turning out the lights to do? Make out with me…or him? Eye roll!! I can assure you that there is nothing like feeling like a beached whale and thinking that your husband has little interest in you or his unborn child, because he is ogling over some hot – super thin - doc. Seriously though, who hired her how does she not feel bad looking that way around large pregnant women? What a bitch. Sigh.
Yay! It’s Back-to-School time! And the first and probably last day that my kids will actually make the bus. From here on out, I will likely be the parent screeching through the parking lot at 60 miles an hour in order to get there before the bell rings. The scene will be awesome as I scream at the kids to unbuckle their seatbelts and get ready to get out of the car the second it stops. As they run to the doors, I will yell after them reminding them to go directly to the office without getting a late pass and to just tell the teachers that they were using the bathroom when the bell rang. I will get pissed when I see them walking towards the office. Argh! Why did I teach them to do the right thing? With the start of a new school year, I wonder if I will have to go back to bribing them to make the bus on time. Last year, it was only February when we got a letter from the principal about all of the accrued lates. We really had to start making real efforts to get the girls to school on time until the end of the year. And in keeping consistent with making some of the worst parenting decisions ever, I promised each of them $100 in cold, hard cash if they didn’t get one more late pass until June. And it worked! On the last day of school, I found myself at the bank asking the teller for 200 singles. Feeling like a stripper with a bunch of loose bills in my purse – and secretly liking it – I picked up the girls from school that day and handed them their reward. Yea, seeing it’s success I am so not above bribery. Since my girls weren't either, I should have anticipated that being at the bus stop today – the first day – it would present the perfect opportunity for my oldest to ask “So Mom, how much do we get this year for not getting any late passes?” Like finding out that the Tooth Fairy pays some kids more than others, let’s hope my girls don’t talk to your kids or we just might ourselves breaking up a juvenile ring of corruption.
Always looking for a new (and quick) weight loss technique, especially in the summer, I tried cooking and eating dinner naked one hot night. I figured that if I could see all my blub I'd eat less. It didn't work. I just got burned by oil splatter in unfortunate places and actually dropped broccoli on my crotch. That's a new one! And so now I am still fat but with burns and food particles on my body. Super hot, huh? The only thing burning from here will be all bathing suits….
I have a rep among friends and family for being a failure in the kitchen. And without hesitation, I will pretty much agree to this. I can admit that I once Googled how long to cook an egg so that it was hard boiled and to confirm what color sauteed garlic should be before it is considered burnt. Looking up other things like "how many cups equal a quart" and other metric conversions, goes without saying (like. what the hell is a "pinch" really and how can anyone rely on "add to taste"!?). And after learning the hard way that mayo is not a substitute for eggs when making cake, I now take to the internet before trying to figure out substitutions on the fly. Even with all my cooking lows, there were always some things that I could handle with confidence and ease and freezing water was one of them. But when the fridge at the beach house was so fancy that I couldn't figure out the ice maker from the ice box thing to the ice trays, I wound up having to ask a room full of the family that had already know my limits, the lowest culinary question - "so, um, how do I make ice?"
Collection of comic strips that illustrate the madness of my life - career, marriage, motherhood...me!
Click on any of the categories above or the "previous" link at the end of the page to see some moments that have stripped me of my sanity.