At one of my jobs, I was a part of a pretty important pitch team. And while I knew my section of the presentation inside and out, I was still nervous about presenting. I sat with other colleagues as we waited to be called into the meeting room for our turn. As the moments ticked on, I was getting more and more jittery. And I wasn't the only one – everyone had their own way to pass the time: someone was pacing, another reading over his notes, someone else chugging water (I swear she had three bottles in two minutes.), and someone else kept showing us memes from Facebook. Seeing - and likely feeling - the stress, our boss encouraged us to stand up and stretch. In the large lobby we were tucked over in a corner and fairly hidden away. Our small group of four, wearing our suits and smart dresses, gathered around our boss. She took a deep breath in and channeling her own mellow – yet empowerment method - she popped into her "power pose". Her arms were stiff in the air in a “V” shape, opposite to her legs in the same shape but upside down. Her head was back towards the sky, her eyes were closed, and in a soothing, breathy voice she was telling us to feel confident and strong. Like I also do when I am in exercise groups with my eyes closed, I opened just one eye and looked around to see if everyone else was in the power pose. Everyone was – but I just wasn’t feeling it. I quietly sat down and reached into my purse and fished around for a medicine bottle. When I pulled it out, everyone heard the rattle and looked over. All I said while twisting the lid was that “yoga moves and breathing was one way to deal with stress, but this was mine.” And I popped a Xanax without regret or hesitation.
I am a pretty anal-retentive person…I might even have a touch of OCD. I never really had it looked into because well, I have a host of other crazy behaviors that probably need more focus than being annoyingly organized and regimented. In this instance, my routine is about the end of the work day. Each night before leaving I do the “day’s end” lap . I walk to the printer to check that I have gotten all of my print-outs (especially the personal ones like coloring pages for Vanessa, softball schedules for Ella or online shopping receipts for me). I stop at the bathroom and then go through the kitchen to fill a water bottle for the ride home. Finally, I head back to my desk to pick-up my parking pass, car keys and purse. On this particular day, I was ready to by-pass the printer to go straight to the bathroom since I had so much water throughout the day. But because I am this person of habit, I started the norm with an overly full bladder. Tapping my foot and doing a little dance to keep from peeing my pants, I waited for what seemed like forever for the printer to finish printing all of my documents. I couldn’t even fathom going over the water cooler with having to go to the bathroom on my mind. After practically pulling the last page of my print-out from the copier, I broke routine and ran on the tips of my pink high-heeled shoes to the bathroom. On a mission, I pushed open the door like a sailor on his first time home to his bride. I chose the first stall because it was closest and barley even locked the door behind me before I had one hand yanking down my pants to take position. Now – I know that the cleaning people come each night and I know the asses of my fellow co-workers but I still find the need to hover over the bowl – no skin to porcelain contact. With the pressure of the bladder bursting open, my stream was as solid and fierce as water from a fire hose. I was a bit embarrassed of how loud it was when I realized someone was in the stall next to me. As I moved just slightly to collect some toilet-paper, albeit while I was still engaged in going, my body shifted and my big ol’ rear moved away from the bowl. I suddenly heard the sound of my pee hitting the water change to my pee hitting the floor. I moved back into a target-right position and when finished, I bent down to clean up the little puddle on the floor. It was then that I actually saw the feet in the next stall. I know those manicured toes peeking out from the sensible beige shoes. It was my boss. And there were little droplets of my pee on the side of her shoe! Yikes!! I stood there with my face frozen. In fact, I think I stopped breathing. When I heard her flush, I started silently mouthing the words “fuck” over and over and praying that she’d leave the bathroom pronto so I didn’t have to meet her at the sink. Once I heard the bathroom door open and assumed she walked out, I used my foot to press down the handle to flush and instantly regretted having on pretty unique shoes - if she saw them it would be telltale that I was the offender. Just to be safe, I never wore those same shoes again. And neither did she. Her, for better reason.
I had a feeling I would be a bad mom when I went stood in front of the glass in the maternity ward looking more at my reflection than at the newborn babies that were before me. I was kind of pissed that everyone let me walk the halls like I looked – my hair was a total mess, I had dark bags under my eyes, I didn’t care to put on a bra and so my nipples were uncomfortably evident under the sheet-like material of the hospital gown. Although, for once in my life I didn’t really mind that because I finally had a decent set of boobs thanks for my newly engorged breasts. After I stood for a moment trying to fix my hair and wipe running mascara from under my eyes using my reflection in the glass window, I began to realize how ridiculous I must look to the nurses. I was being quite vein. So I started to look beyond myself and was now focused on all of the babies in their plastic bassinets. Among the sea of what looked like a lot of burritos with tiny heads thanks to swaddling, I found my daughter and couldn’t stop staring at her. While cooing to her, I was in mid-motion of putting my two hands together to make both halves of a heart when the nurse lightly knocked on the window and simultaneously pointed to the bassinet two over from the baby I was talking to and mouthed the words “that one is yours”. Awesome. I was bonding with some other baby. Could I be a good mother, even if I didn’t know who I was supposed to mother? Only time would tell. And this blog. This blog says a lot of my parenting. Yikes. That other baby in the bassinet really dodged the bullet.
I started working out recently. You have to understand how ridiculous that statement is. I am as lazy as they come when it comes to exercise. I think the walk to the mailbox is too far. It just really isn't my thing. However, dressing the part - totally my thing. I look like I belong in the gym once I get there. But aside from the cute tank, sneaks and spandex pants, I am an obvious mess. Half-way into any aerobic class - or whatever the hell modern term is used - I am gasping like a fish and looking like I am about five seconds from a heart attack. I sweat like a roasting chicken and what little hair I have, is matted to my face and the back of my neck. I think I might even smell like a mix of onions and feet. I want it all to end the minute I start. People say they get energized. I lay on the floor for a crunch and I want to nap. But nevertheless, I am trying. Or was trying. I really don't want to go back to the gym because of course I had to have a small snafu. Or maybe it would be better to say "sna-pu". I was just lying there, stretching out like the instructor was saying...minding my own business at the end of class...wondering if anyone would miss me from the death that I felt was near upon me...when the instructor guy walks up to me, kneels down and takes my leg in his hand. The music was soft and his move was slow. I said nothing, I looked around - no one seemed to care. I looked at him and looked away quickly. He was saying something to the class about relaxing. He now had my leg up over my head and was pushing it down into my shoulder as far as it would go - I could practically lick my kneecap. What? What was he doing? Oh God, now he was leaning on me and slowly pushing my leg in little pulses. Some stretch thing? Something else? I was too unfamiliar with this to really know what was going on and he knew it. He was totally fucking with me...right? He kept talking to me and the class about relaxing. I looked around again. Everyone looked chill but all I could think was not to get too relaxed that I would toot in this guy's face with my big leg in the air and my ass all up towards him. He finished with me and proclaimed the class complete. I stood up as he turned to walk away. Geeze, after that, the guy could maybe buy me dinner. Huh. I passed the mirror to get my stuff and noticed at that point that my ass crack was one huge line of sweat. It was spreading down my thigh and when I swiveled to look at my front, I had two lines of sweat where my fleshy thighs made a "V" around my vag. I looked like I might have pissed my pants there was so much wetness. Why? Why? Why? OMG - did that guy see my perspiration problem? Ew. This is why I hate gyms, and working out and swussy (swampy pussy, for those of you not in-the-know). No girl should have to have her heated-up lady bits on display, if no one is getting laid in the end. I once saw some motivational poster that read "sweat is fat crying". Well apparently, my ass was crying me a river. I couldn't wait to get out of there and back home where I would happily drown my fat sobbing sorrows. But first - a shower!! Ick!
My friend and I took our kids to the movies. Between us we have three girls and two boys. Or rather - three walking hormones and two daredevils. In a range from the ages of 7 through 10, there are five of them beside us - and a thousand Minions in front of us. So what mother wouldn't try and sneak in a little beverage or two to find some personal enjoyment in a situation that was set up to be quite the opposite. Between fights about who was sitting next to who, who had more snacks, one fallen bag of popcorn and a spilled Slurpee, we were screwed way before the 15-minutes of trailers even began. But in fairness to our beastly, little gang, once the movie started, they were all behaving. It was my friend and I who were the two to get us in trouble. With the lights dimmed and the movie well underway, I opened the first small bottle of wine. It was a travel-size, personal bottle. We had four, four ounce bottle between us and a long way to go. As I opened the first bottle, the metal casing around the twist-off cap made a loud cracking sound. To an avid drinker like me, I would have guessed what that noise was from the back row of the theater - but no one seemed to notice. Glug, glug, glug our glasses filled. This all sounded so loud and so familiar to me - but again, not one person paid any mind to us. Woo-hoo! We sat there with our chilled Pinot G's watching the movie, periodically checking our texts or popping online to shop (OK, the second part of that was me. But how could I not? I was comfy, I had my wine, and my kids were quiet and preoccupied. This was fantastic!) Naturally, just as I was about to hit send on the order for a new (must have!) pair of shoes - one of the kids had to go to the bathroom. As I stood up, I totally forgot about the two empty wine bottles on my lap. They didnt just crash to the floor as I rose from my seat. No - that would have ended things. Instead they rolled....and rolled...and rolled. Making a clattering noise along the way. They stopped at the front - literally right up to the screen. I couldn't have done that again if I tried....it was nearly seven aisles! People turned to look to see where the bottles had some from. If I wasn't holding my breath, I'd would obviously be me since I could probably start a fire with a sharp, alcoholic exhale. My oldest daughter would be the other thing that would give me away since she pointed at the bottles and yelled "Moooooom." OK. So much for discretion. I whispered to her that they weren't mine but everyone knew they were. I swear even that one-eyed little yellow character was looking down from the screen at us. Just as my friend and I were whispering frantically about what to do, feeling like we did when we were five years old and getting in trouble, a loud part of the movie grabbed everyone's attention. We let the moment pass....and it passed throughout the final hour of the show. When the lights came on we dared not move. Beside us, the kids were yammering that they wanted to leave. We needed to wait and walked out of the empty theater before the staff came in to clean the place. As we were walking out, I tossed my purse high onto my shoulder where the two remaining mini-bottles of wine were kept for the duration of the movie. The bottles in my bag clinked loudly together as one of the staff was walking by me with a sweeper set. He and I both paused for a beat. "Do you have any recycling?", he asked. "Nope. I'm good" I said. And my friend and I hurriedly left with the kids, saving the remaining drinks for the drive home. Just kidding. Not really. Yes I am. We opened them once we were in my driveway and the kids were babysitting themselves in the house, causing havoc of uncertain proportions (thank you movie food!). Forget the movie, I'd give our parenting "two thumbs up."
Let me spare you any humiliation......the “Catcher in the Rye” has nothing to do with baseball. So if you are playing charades and this book title is your word – using baseball cues or acting like being a catcher or pointing to your hand as if it’s a mitt - is not going to get you any points. It will only piss you off when no one is guessing your awesomely acted out clues. Whatever. Aside from a stupid game, who the hell is talking about that old book anyway? Ha. Somewhere, some Lit teacher’s head just blew off. Whoopsie!
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?
Nothing is sacred when you have children. Not even the bedside table and that one drawer that everyone knows usually holds private things. Clearly not respecting that fact, I found Vanessa rummaging around in my personal drawer looking for a pen. OF COURSE instead she whipped out my vibrator - I was only mildly stunned by this because truthfully, I haven’t used it in quite some time and kind of forgot it was there (well, now at least something good comes out of this! Happy Day to me!) Thank God it is a mini, bullet-like thing and so when she asked me what it was, it was easy for someone uneducated in sex toys, to believe that it was lipstick in a purple case. When she went to turn up the base to see what color lipstick it was, it turned on. She asked why it was buzzing. Damn her! I stumbled a little and told her it was also lip plumper and the vibrations would tickle your lips and make them bigger. This was going down a sick path of lies and producing really terrible mental images. I grabbed the hot little device and told Vanessa to head into the kitchen and we’d go find that pen she was looking for. As I walked out of the room I opened up Adam’s underwear drawer and threw it in there - I was certain that the girls would never have a reason to rummage through his boxers. And well maybe his find would be my lucky gain….well now, Happy Tomorrow to me too!
Sometimes my girls are in a mood and I will ask them “why the puss face?” Today Vanessa tried to say something similar and she yelled “Ella you have a pussy face”. Oh my. That would be unfortunate.
My mom is always telling me not to say things in front of my kids, if I am worried that they might repeat it to the wrong person or at the wrong time. I hate admitting when she is right – but I have to hand it to her this time.
If you know me, you know I am pretty open about anything and everything - whether it is right or wrong, I am the same way with my kids. And sometimes I turn it up a little just to be funny for them.
Case in point….the other day, I was taking a shower and since like most moms, the bathroom is no longer a private place, my kids were standing outside the shower doors, knocking on them and trying to talk to me like I wasn’t trying to have a personal moment. The water made it hard to hear them and the hot steam, made it even harder. As their voices were muffled under the constant cleansing stream, all I could think was “Fucking – go away….let me be”.
But they didn’t – they wouldn’t. It was if they waited for me to go in the shower, to determine that this was the optimal time to engage in conversation. So as I was shaving all my parts, I thought it would make them laugh and get grossed out enough to go away if I told them something silly.
My youngest was mid-sentence about an annoying thing her sister did to her when I said "Vanessa, please, stop talking, I am trying to shave my asshole and I cant do this with you going on and on.”
She cracked up. So did I. Because isn't it ridiculous that I would say that to a child? (I’d say it was ridiculous to say I was shaving my ass, but hey, I am Italian and firmly believe that all women should groom generously).
And wouldn’t it be just my ridiculous luck that the next day, Vanessa told her class that her mom “shaves her butt”. I am not even sure I can put into words the feeling I had when she told me she said this and that she got in trouble for it. Ok – I was glad she didn’t use the curse word, per se but OMG – this was wrong on so many levels – I honestly didn’t even know how to do damage control. So I let it go. I never brought it up again. It was too embarrassing - which again, says a lot for me. I really don’t get easily embarrassed.
Luckily, in having a good kid (for the most part), the teacher didn’t seem to really want to bring up something uncomfortable for either of us – so it became something never addressed, never to speak about again. It was a definitive end to the subject of my end.
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.