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.
Adam and I took advantage of his work travels when I met him at a hotel in DC hotel on a rainy Friday afternoon. With both of us already having seen the city, the crappy weather, and not having the kids with us, we decided to stay in for the night to raid the minibar, get room service and watch a little porn. We were married just long enough that that order of events was acceptable – get drunk and full first. After eating steaks and sweets and drinking a full bottle of red wine while wearing the hotel provided robes, we flipped through the X-rated movie menu. Remember this is a time that was years before iPhone and iPads, where dirty movies – and a ton of other stuff - are now more privately available any time of day. On our mission circa 2001, we made our selection and we both got ready to get it goin’ on. Before the non-plot could thicken and before anyone even got naked on screen, the movie cut off. We found the remote to put it back on again. Same thing happened. Being a $20 movie, we debated only for a moment about calling the front desk to get someone from IT to help us. Believing that they never put the movie titles on the bill – isn’t that what they tell you! - we figured we wouldn’t have to say what movie we were watching when the screen went black. But they did know. There was an evident awkward pause from my end of the phone, when I heard the woman at the front desk say that she wanted to confirm it was “Robin Head” that was giving us trouble. OMG. This whole situation was trouble! She said she’d send someone up to check my box. God – this was just getting more worse and awkward with the unintended sexual puns and random people coming into our room to make sure we had access to dirty movies. When the IT guy finally got to our room, I was surprised when Adam ran into the bathroom like a girl with the fluffy cotton robe flying behind him. What the hell?! He is just leaving me standing here to look like a lady of the night? The IT guy knowingly smiled at me when I opened the door. I tied my robe a little tighter just for effect; it kind of felt like this could be the start to our very own porno with a threesome storyline. But nothing sexual here. The IT guy and I talked about the city while he fixed the problem and Adam remained in the bathroom (eyeroll!). When the guy finally left, Adam emerged and undeterred we ordered the movie again. Yes!! It was playing through the cut-off point from before. It was only after mutual goals were achieved that Adam unabashedly brought up that we waited almost 40-minutes to fix the problem for just 5-minutes of video that brought about the reward. Good thing it’s a 24-hour movie rental…maybe we’ll see 7-minutes next time.
I love to eat. If I need to be on a diet, I can totally cut back - even starve if I have to. But when I am allowing myself to eat – I do. I love the three C’s: carbs, chocolate and cheese. Which all impact the three H’s: hips, heart and happiness. I am a tall, full-figured woman with a little more in a lot of places (except my boobs – they are like speedbumps on my curvy highway. Sigh). But sometimes I am embarrassed of how much I can actually consume. And in this one instance, it’s not embarrassing but brilliant. I think, anyway.
Around the holiday season many baskets of cookies, food, fruit and the like get delivered to offices. In my field, they are usually sent from vendors, freelancers, media partners, even clients. For the most part, they are addressed to one person on the team or in the agency. That person normally takes a little bit for themselves and brings the rest to the breakroom, which by mid-December looks like an exploding cornucopia of excusable calories.
One year I got a tower of goodies from a local bakery. The gift was about six boxes tall and each one got smaller in size as they stacked up to an enormous red bow. Our receptionist Janell, brought me my delivery and handed me the card that went along with it. I deliberately read it out loud “To Nicole & Team – Thanks for all of your hard work and efforts! You are amazing and Nicole is a great lead on the account”. I smiled and looked up at Janell; she told me that it was a nice card – I agreed.
I tore into the bottom box and took out an apple and a pear, from other boxes I took a sleeve of chocolate chip cookies and one with vanilla cookies filled with jam, a package of chocolate covered raisins and a little bag of almonds. I then brought the rest of the boxes into the kitchen to be devoured shortly after placing them on the table.
I spent the next few days eating my treats. Yes. I ate it all. Don’t judge. I had the card hanging up on my corkboard behind my desk. One of my better friends at the company walked in and remarked on the nice note and asked who it was from, because she noticed, it wasn’t actually signed. I started to laugh.
“It’s from me.”, I answered.
“You wrote that card?” she asked
“Yup.” I waited for her to figure things out a little further.
It clicked. “Did you send yourself that delivery”?
“Yup!” I said laughing. “I sure did. I do think I am doing a great job and I am a great leader and I wanted a giant tower of food that I could dive into first.”
“Oh my God! You’re insane!”
“Yea well I left you a sleeve of cookies, a bag of nuts and a mini-muffin on your chair.”
“Oh my God! You’re the best!”
“I know! Wait until you see the wine I sent myself!”
You know when you are a parent and you are wondering what your kid will be when they grow-up? When they do something smart in school, you think there is hope! They might be something great! Then they will do something stupid like put a bucket on their head and bang into walls and you think, crap – there is no chance for this kid. They might be clever and answer a worksheet question literally. Like, saying “1895” when asked what ended in 1896. Technically, this is not wrong! Or they ask you a question so simply frightening like “why do I have eyes?” and you are again wondering if you should just spend their college fund on a family vacation. Vanessa’s latest question, or rhetorical question, or observation – whatever you want to call it - had me wondering what the future holds for my little hot mess. Here’s the scenario:
I am watching a movie. Vanessa is in the room with me but she is playing waitress. Two things are wrong here from my end – while the movie is in her background, it’s still probably not something she should be watching. And well, I keep asking her to fill my wine. Don’t judge. I’ll tip her.
As she is walking back into the kitchen with her tray in one hand, apron around her waist and my wine bottle in the other, she stops to look at the TV which is now featuring a scene in a strip club. The music is loud, the girls are gorgeous and truly impressive as they defy gravity swinging around their dance poles in moves that would hurt my back, make me dizzy or look like a total ass even trying to pull it off (imagine a curvy women with a soft core twirling around a pole while on tip-toes trying to swirl down into a sexy ground pose but rather gaining too much speed on the swirl so that she is curling around the pole and sliding to the ground like a snake shot with a tranquilizer. Very hot). But Vanessa sees something else in her mind – she has high hopes when she asks “Mommy! Isn’t she pretty? Can I do that when I grow-up?”
Well…stripper or waitress seems possible today but maybe she’ll do something great that will make it seem like a doctor or teacher could be possible too! I guess I can start filling an empty wine jug with singles and also keep buying savings bonds until her path is clear. I’ll be ready for anything – and so will she.
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.
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.