Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Trashy Shorts: Parenting with Love and Hardly Any Logic

I was getting ready for work this morning when I noticed the tip of a plastic machine gun poke around the corner of the bathroom door and point directly at me.

So I said, “[Insert full name of my 6-year-old] had better be completely dressed—including socks and shoes—and ready for school—including teeth brushed—before he decides to shoot me with his machine gun, or else…”

I watched as the tip of the machine gun was quickly retracted, then heard the pitter-patter of little bare feet rushing down the hall toward—I assumed—the green tub in the living room where we keep the shoes.

Isn’t it funny how this parenting thing works?  One day you can threaten to bag up all of their newest toys to give to the homeless shelter if they don’t help you clean up, and those little bastards will actually go grab a trash bag and place the toys inside because dammit, they want to try their hands at this stubborn thing, too.

Another day, you can give an empty threat—I mean, I hadn’t even finished the damned sentence because I didn’t know what the “or else” would even entail—and they’ll be totally compliant, ready to answer to your every parental wish and desire.

Confusing little shits, aren’t they?  

Gotta love ‘em.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

An Open Letter to the Runner Who Got all Sourpuss About the Catcalls

I love running and reading, so reading about running is naturally another thing that I love.  Here is my response to an article entitled "Austin Runner Wants to Make Catcalling a Punishable Offense" that I read recently on runnersworld.com:

Listen, lady. Don’t ruin it for the rest of us.

Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who gets catcalls all the time. But if you’re like me, catcalls are few and far between and anytime I’m out running and I get one—well, it’s cause for a damn celebration.

And celebrate, I do.

I’ve been known to slow down my pace, throw my hands in the air like I just don’t care, and give a “WOOT WOOT!” just before bending over for a quick bow—the thought of tripping over my own shoelaces while I’m showing off for my would-be suitors be damned. (You think I’m lying? You think a whole gaggle of construction workers didn’t witness that whole debacle I just described about three months ago, causing them to whoop at me even more so that when I finally did stop bowing and jog away, I finished the rest of my run with an ear-to-ear grin on my bright red, sweaty, huffing—yet appreciated—face?  I felt like a goddamned rock star, and even the sight of my slumped over, 5-miles-in jogging stance in the reflection of a store window couldn’t take that away from me.)

But today…well, today was a different story.  I jogged a hot, hilly 6 miles with nary a catcall, whistle, or honking horn in earshot.  And I made sure to jog really slowly.  

Okay, I always jog really slowly, but in this case, I’m going to claim that my turtle-in-peanut-butter pace was just my own little way of making sure that all passersby had ample time to notice me and give the appropriate response.  (And NO, “appropriate response” does NOT mean a half empty beer can whizzing by my face, missing my humongous nose by just a hair. At least throw a cold, full one next time so that I can pick it up and drink it when I’m finished, DICKWAD IN THE BLACK PICKUP TRUCK.)

Anyway, I think I’m going to write Congress and ask that they pass legislation ticketing anyone who drives by and doesn’t pay attention to my fat ass waddling up the many hills on my route.  I'll be happy to whip out a pen and paper stowed in my sports bra for the sole purpose of recording the license plate numbers of any offenders (or should I say non-offenders?).  Lord knows I jog slowly enough to make writing easy.

Yeah, that’s what I’m going to do.

I’ll let you guys know how it goes.

**Speaking of reading, head over to my Facebook page to "like" and share this status update for a chance to win a big book giveaway!!**

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Reading with My Preschooler

Isn't it amazing how, in the most unexpected of ways, God senses what you need and swoops down in order to fulfill it?

Take, for example, last night, when my preschooler came to me just before bedtime and requested that I read this book to him:

And I know, it's not really "unexpected" to find fulfillment in reading to your child because A.)  if you're like me, you realize every day how blessed you are to have children and B.)  reading to your children is one of the sweetest things in the world.

But although both of those things are quite fulfilling and all that jazz, I'm talking about that extra mile that God went for me when He made sure that I read a book that included this page:

Because I'm really mature, I began sputtering with laughter.  Both of my boys looked up from the book, eyeing me quizzically and waiting for an explanation about what the hell was so damned funny.

I paused for a moment.  I thought about trying to explain what I thought was so funny, but then responsible adulthood took over and I thought to myself, "Shay, they are SIX and FOUR.  They are not old enough to hear nut jokes, and to even think about telling them would be reprehensible."

Okay, really what I thought was, "Shay, they are SIX and FOUR.  They are not old enough to understand nut jokes, and to even think about telling them would be a total waste."

So instead, I sighed a long, wistful sigh and gave myself a moment to reminisce over sweet college memories of slut days gone past as I thought to myself, "I hear ya, sweet hedgehog.  I hear ya.  I can't even begin to tell you how many times that exact same thing has happened to me."

Of course, I never knew exactly what the apple was for, but whatevs, you know?  I just figured it was all part of the college experience.

**Speaking of books, head on over to like and share this post on my Facebook page for a chance to win my big book giveaway!**

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Book Giveaway!!

I did a ton of reading this summer, and holy shit, were there some great books.  

My dad has always said that you'll never lonely or bored if you love to read, and I couldn't agree more. His advice especially helped me in my teen years, when I got into a huge fight with my group of friends because I broke plans with them one weekend to hang out with my new boyfriend.  

"Theriouthly, you guys?"  I lisped through my braces.  "You're mad about this?  I have braces, stringy hair, a huge nose, and tiny boobs.  No one in the world ever thought I'd get a boyfriend, and now one of the hot football players wants to make me chicken wings and fried rice at his house." (This really was one of our first dates, and it was awesome; there were many more like this to come.) "Shouldn't you be encouraging this instead of hating me for missing another one of our Friday night sleepovers?  And aren't we too old to be playing with Cabbage Patch dolls, anyway?"

I think the key words were "hot football player." Of course none of us ever thought I'd get a date, and yet one of the most sought-after guys in school, by chance, landed in a desk next to me in study hall that year and, by some miracle granted by the grace of God in a Catholic high school, managed to look past my...well, my teenage face...and fall in love with my personality.

It happens a lot, you guys.  You learn to hone shit like sense of humor to perfection when you have a nose like this to compensate for.

Anyway, those bitches were jelly. And in the months to come, there were many weekends when they would not speak to me based solely upon that very first date when I stood them up for a boy. 

And although he stood by my side for the 2 1/2 years that we were together and remains a good friend even now, there were times when I missed my friends.  But that's okay, because I fell back on my love of reading to get me through until I met good friends who didn't gang up on me and ditch me for one small mistake that I'd made on one Friday night.

I read a ton of books, learned a lot, and ultimately became an unpublished blog authorette who has to hide her identity because she likes to cuss and often talks about what a dirty slut she was in college. So SCREW THEM!  I totally win!


To this day, I carry a book with me wherever I go.  (When I say carry a book, I literally mean carry a book. I am a creature of habit, an old-school kind of girl who hates change, so, much to the surprise of my family and friends who know how much I love to read, I haven't gotten an e-reader.)  And you know what?  My dad is right.  I'm never lonely or bored.  In fact, I've learned to love taking my car in for an oil change.  Wait time 45 minutes?  That's okay! I've got a book.  Take as long as you need, boys.

These are some of the hard copies that I carried around with me over the summer:

In order to generate some publicity for my little blog, I'd like to give them away to you now.  Please know this about my giveaways:  It's normally shit that I've already used--especially when it comes to books.  You don't think I could have a book like Girl on the Train sitting around my house and not snatch it up and read it before passing it along, do you?

Another thing:  I'm a tightwad.  The Girl on the Train and The Vacationers are the only 2 that I bought brand new, and that was only because I was at the local Wal-Mart and they literally jumped into my cart.  At least that's what I told my husband in order to assuage my guilt for paying full price for them.  It's not like he even cares.  He says there are much worse addictions to have--like the "having sex with random guys" addiction I had in college. He'd much rather me be reading books behind the Dumpster of the local bar than giving hand jobs.

The rest of the books were bought at a secondhand store. There may or may not be a couple of coffee stains on the pages, and although I'd like to blame the previous owners of the books, I will admit that I'm guilty as charged. There's nothing I like better than relaxing with a cup of coffee (or, if it's after 8 PM, a Captain and Coke) and a good book.  You'll notice that Malala has a coffee stain smack dab on her lip. No, that's not a birth mark on her beautiful, inspirational face. It's coffee.

Speaking of Malala, her book almost got me kicked out of book club. It was interesting and inspiring and actually a very quick read, but during the particular point in the summer when I was reading it, I simply didn't have a lot of time--and during the time that I did have to read it, I wanted to take my time and learn from it.

The other members of my book club, however, had different ideas. They wanted to discuss the book and move on to our next choice, and they threatened to boot me if I didn't hurry up. The worst part about it was that one of the other members of book club who finished before me was my little sister, who is pretty much illiterate. Had you told me back in high school that my little sister was going to finish a book before me, I might have just ended it all right there.

Instead, I had to deal with her berating me for being slow with the book.

"Um," I remember pointing out after the initial threat that I would be kicked out if I didn't hurry up and finish, "somehow I don't think that Malala--the girl who was shot by the Taliban for standing up for education--would approve of you kicking me out of book club."

My nostrils flared with arrogance as I made what I thought was an awesome point.  Seriously, who could argue with that?

Apparently my little sister.

"OR," she said, raising her eyebrows all sky-high on her mile-long forehead, "she might be like, 'Bitch, I finished a physics text in the time it took you to get through the intro.  Step it up!'"


Either way, I read the book and I enjoyed it.  And like I said, it's a quick read--if you're anyone but me, apparently.

So what I'm doing now is giving all of these awesome books away. And not to be annoying, but what I'd love for you to do in order to enter is head to my Facebook page and "like" and "share" the book giveaway post that's over there.  I need some more Facebook followers, dammit, and hopefully this will help. And if not, then hey, your odds are great because I am currently up to, like, 5 readers.  I'll draw a name on Friday, September 4th, and the winner will receive all of the books in the picture.

Good luck!!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Fifty Shades

I was visiting my sister-in-law about a month ago, and, like so many times that I go to see her, we decided to relax by having a couple of drinks and watching a movie while our kids played.

She has a humongous house and a glorious downstairs playroom that keeps all of the cousins occupied for hours; each time the hubs and I set a weekend aside for a visit, we spend the night—and usually spend another night, too.  It’s so relaxing that sometimes she has to set up this, like, pulley and lever system to forcefully slide my fat ass off the couch so that I’ll leave and she can go back about her daily business.

But that was just the once.  Usually I’m pretty good about trying not to overstay my welcome.

My husband wasn’t with me on this visit, but it wouldn’t have mattered, because a couple of weeks later when he was there with me, she asked the same thing with an excited look on her face, which was this:

“Do you want to watch Fifty Shades?”

“With you?” I said.  “No.”

“Oh,” she replied, clearly disappointed.  “Well, I’ve got Orange Is the New Black, too.  I rented them both.”

“Yes,” I said, sinking into the couch, relieved.  “Yes, let’s do Orange Is the New Black.”

“Alright,” she sighed, closing the opaque case for Fifty Shades with a loud click before setting it on the entertainment center.  “But are you sure?” she asked, her hand wavering over it.  “This is actually the 3rd time I’ve rented it.  It’s really good.”

I looked at her, mortified.  “Yeah, dude, but the last thing I want to do is watch some pervy shit with my sister-in-law.  Isn’t it pretty porny?” 

I had read the books and had wet dreams for 3 days.  (TMI?)  I didn’t want to experience all of that in front of my husband’s sister.

She shrugged.  “Just soft porn.”

Isn’t it funny how you see a person one way for so long, and then that moment comes when you realize that they’re just as awful as the rest of us?  

My sister-in-law, five years older than my husband, has always been the sweet, responsible one of the family, the one who mothers him but not as aggressively as a nagging mother-in-law would so it doesn’t ever get annoying. She’s the one who never fights with her brothers and sisters because she’s the peacemaker of the family if and when they need one. Everyone goes to her to fix relationship shit if there’s relationship shit to be fixed, and she always does it gently.

And here I was finding out that she’s just a big dirty pervert, ready to whip out a PowerPoint to illustrate the differences between soft and hardcore porn.  Who knew?

“Oh, so there’s no penetration, then?” I asked.  “No full-on camera angles as he slips the anal beads in?”

“No," she said, and then added, "Which was kind of disappointing, actually."

“And yet you’ve rented 3 times…”

“Yep,” she confirmed, nodding as she turned back to the TV.  “Alright, then, so Orange Is the New Black it is,” she said, grabbing the other DVD case off of the entertainment center.  I swear I saw her roll her eyes and mutter “Prude" as she slipped the DVD in (pun totally intended).

So we watched a couple of episodes of Orange Is the New Black and only had to pause it a few times when the kids came up and grabbed snacks.  The next day, as my boys and I were getting ready to leave, I went downstairs to the playroom to do a sweep and make sure we weren’t forgetting to pack anything back up.  That’s where I came upon this scene:

Well, at least we know my sister-in-law’s addictions aren’t affecting her children at all.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Trashy Shorts: A Conversation Between Brothers

As my boys have gotten a bit older, I've come to realize that some of their best conversations happen in the back seat of the car when we're on our way somewhere. Here's how a recent one went:

Younger son:  I love Mommy, but she's really annoying sometimes.  I tell her, 'You don't have to tell me so many times.  You tell me once, and then you tell me again and again and again...'
Older son:  And again and again.  Yeah, she totally does that.  It's like, We heard you the first time, Mom!
Me: You guys.  I'm right here.  Right up here in the front seat, driving.  I am looking at the road, but I can still hear you with my ears as you talk a bunch of shit about me.
Both sons: Giggles. [Author's note:  "Shit" gets 'em every time.]

This was a couple of months ago, before my younger son turned 4. That means they were 6 and 3 when this conversation occurred.

My, I can't wait until they're 16 and 13.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Trashy Shorts: Me and Jesus and the Toilet Paper Roll

Nothing makes you feel quite as dumb on a Sunday morning as not being able to figure out how to change the goddamned toilet paper roll at your sister's house.

See?  This is what I get for skipping church.  

Jesus was all like, "Suuuuuure, Shay!  Go ahead and sleep in!  I know you've had a rough week, what with the boys starting back to school and you drastically increasing your work load.  Go ahead!  ENJOY this time relaxing with your family!

"Enjoy it--because when you wake up, I'm going to take every opportunity I have (and I have a lot, because I can, like, create them) to remind you of what a dumbass you are."

Ah, that Jesus.