Friday, April 17, 2015
In honor of my fellow Scary Mommy contributor Rachael Pavlik's post "3-D Lashes, Jamberry, & Other Ways to Lose Facebook Friends" going wildly viral this week, I'm re-posting an old favorite that I wrote about an experience I had at a Tupperware party a couple of years ago. My Tupperware post has gotten about 5,000 hits so far, so even if the Tupperware lady did win in the end, I'm glad because I got a pretty fun post out of it.
Recently, I went to a Tupperware party.
Recently, I went to a Tupperware party.
Let’s be clear, here. Normally, my friends know not to invite me to these things, because they all know my stance: Don’t invite me to “parties” where you’re trying to sell me shit. Why? Because I am a cheap tightwad bastard mother-effer, and if I can’t find it at Wal-Mart or Dollar General—or, when I’m feeling really fancy, Big Lots—well then dammit, I don’t need it.
And Tupperware—I’m even more adamantly opposed to those parties than any of them. Because I already have Tupperware. It’s called lunchmeat packaging, empty Starbucks cups, and all of the actual Tupperware I’ve stolen from my dad’s house with the ruse of taking leftovers home after family gatherings.
But this party was different. It was being held by my chef friend who really knows how to throw a party. I gladly accepted her invitation because I knew there would be delicious homemade sushi; potent, dark homebrewed beer; and all sorts of other fancy shit that I won’t find for cheap—much less for free—anywhere else.
I was there with bells on, bitches.
Most of my friends are as bad as I am, and we all knew that we wouldn’t buy anything. I think the hostess with the mostess did, too, but she owed her friend, the Tupperware consultant, a favor, so she felt like if she had the party, she’d be all paid up.
After my friends and I had filled up our plates with the fancy hors d'oeuvres and refilled our beer mugs, we sat and acted like we were going to listen to the consultant’s presentation.
As we waited, we began flipping through the catalogues that were strategically placed around the living room, looking for the cheapest shit that was sold so that we could at least try to be good attendees and buy a little something.
“You know,” I said to the friend sitting next to me on the couch as I showed her the page to which I’d just flipped, “the kids could actually use some new sippy cups—and these aren’t even that expensive.”
“You’re right,” she said, popping a cheese-stuffed olive into her mouth. “I might get a couple of those, too.”
The consultant, sensing a sale, sidled up next to us. “Have you found something you’re interested in, girls?”
I puffed out my chest, proud that I was behaving like the grown-up that I always pretend to be by investing in some Tupperware—a sensible item for a responsible, mature mother to have. “Yes, I do believe I have,” I said grandly.
“What is it?” she asked, smiling kindly.
“These sippy cups. And only $5.00 each. What a steal!” I said excitedly as I pointed them out to her.
“Oh, yes, those are definitely a great buy. And the lids that go along with them are only an additional $5 each!” she said brightly.
“What?” I asked, lifting my eyes to the consultant.
“Of course, the lids are sold separately,” the consultant said stiffly, forcing a smile onto her face as she sensed the sudden tension in the room. Her sale was about to go to shit, my peeps.
“But by definition, a sippy cup has a lid,” I insisted. “Otherwise, it’s just a cup that spills like any other cup.” I have absolutely no clue what the definition of a sippy cup is—or if a definition for a damned sippy cup even exists. But I know what I know, my peeps, and effective sippy cups have a lid.
Try telling that to a Tupperware consultant.
“Well, you can make it into a virtually spill-proof sippy cup by purchasing the lid…for an extra $5,” she responded through clenched teeth.
“Virtually spill-proof? What the hell does that mean? It’s either spill-proof or it’s not,” I said, now getting angry. Who the hell were these Tupperware assholes trying to fool?
The consultant double-checked the catalogue, now a bit flustered. “Well, that’s what the description says…virtually spill-proof.”
“But what does that mean? Does that mean I’m going to pay $10 for a sippy cup with a lid that’s going to spill either way?”
“I-I don’t—“ she stammered.
“Never mind,” I sighed. “I’m sure I’ll find something else.”
Luckily, our conversation never escalated into an all-out brawl. Good thing, too, as the friend who was sitting next to me on the couch and should have been throwing practice punches into the air in case she had been called upon to defend my honor was busily sipping her beer, flipping through her own catalogue to find something cheap enough to buy since sippies were now out of the question.
“Oh, here’s something!” she said, holding the catalogue up to the consultant and me. She had stuck to the cup theme by finding a set of cute little multi-colored cups topped with lids and straws.
“Oh, yeah,” I said. “I would buy a fun container to hold the occasional rum and Coke!”
The Tupperware lady was still mad at me. “Um, I think they call that a flask,” she snapped.
“And Tupperware sells those?” I asked, eyes lighting up as I lunged for another catalogue. I had to fight all of my other friends, though, who had jumped up from their perches throughout the house and run for the pile of catalogues when they’d heard the word “flask.”
Seriously, what the hell kind of drunken losers do I hang out with? I had picked them because I thought they made me look better. It’s like the lady I once saw on Dr. Phil who told him that he was ugly, but his wife was pretty and seemed cool, so she’d probably hang out with them if they lived in the same neighborhood.
I used a similar method when I picked my friends. I might be a huge bag of skank, but my friends all have professional jobs and don’t live in tents, so obviously if they hang out with me, I must be okay.
And now my dream had been flushed down the toilet with only one whispered word: “Flask.”
As I was pondering my new sad life realization, my friend decided to make a joke. “Are the straws included?” she asked, jabbing me in the elbow with her side. It was a cute joke and got a good chuckle. I mean, obviously the hard plastic straws featured in the picture would come with the cups through which they were jabbed. DUH.
“Um, no, actually they aren't,” answered the consultant hesitantly. “But that’s an easy fix! You just go to the store and buy straws. Any size will fit!”
We had to hand it to her, though. When she did her cooking presentation, she featured a hand-spun food processor disguised as a bowl that whipped up easy salsas and dip in two spins—all while she held her own glass of homebrew.
Throw a bunch of shit in a bowl, give it two hand cranks while you’re drinking your beer, and dinner’s served, bitches?
“We’ll all take one of those!” we shouted in unison. We made a toast to our efficiency as mothers as we grabbed order forms. “How much do we owe you?” we asked, bent over our forms, pens poised.
“Only 69 dollars! Plus 7.00 shipping and handling.”
We all stopped. Our jaws dropped, followed quickly by the pens that we had been holding, and then, just after that because they were so much harder to let go of, the dreams of making dinner in two spins while guzzling a bottle of wine.
I sighed and dropped my shoulders, defeated. I was the first one to speak (if you can believe that): “I’d like to order one virtually spill-proof sippy cup, please. With a lid.”
My friend quickly followed suit. “And I’ll have a cup…no straw.”
She had won. That godforsaken Tupperware consultant had won. But my friend and I—you can bet your asses we didn’t leave that party without raiding our chef friend’s cupboards for straws. And we found a brand spanking new box of them that we bet she’ll never even miss.
So screw you, Tupperware lady, and the straw you rode in on.
Thursday, April 16, 2015
I don't drink a lot of soda, so sometime in my early 20's it basically became a mixer for me that I only bought when I felt like having a drink.
Yet last night I found myself craving a soda with nothing mixed into it, so that's what I drank.
I wasn't sure what to make of it. So people drink it like that, then? Just...soda?
I kept calling it "Dr. Pepper on the rocks" so I could hold onto at least some sense of normalcy, because otherwise I was afraid that everything I'd ever known to be true in this world might slip directly from my grasp.
Or was I just being dramatic?
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
I woke up from a half sleep around 10 PM last night to realize that I had been trying to remember the names of the original cast members of the Real Housewives of New York City.
People. I swear I lead a busy and productive life, and I have other things to think about. Yet I literally lost sleep worrying about how Jill Zarin and Alex McCord were faring.
It's Bravo's fault. I know this happened because as I was drifting off to sleep, I was watching my DVR'd episode of the newest season of the Real Housewives of New York City.
You know, the season in which BETHENNY'S BACK...squeeeeee!
You know, the season in which BETHENNY'S BACK...squeeeeee!
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
My 3-year-old son is really, really interested in two things right now:
1.) Being a magician
2.) Picking his ass
3-year-old: “Mommy, I disappeared my hand and arm!”
Me, with mock horror: “Oh, no! Where did they go?”
3-year-old: “Oh, they’re in my butt.”
Of course they are, son. Of course they are.
Monday, April 13, 2015
It’s not yet summer, my boys are getting old enough to feel borderline silly using shit like this, and I don’t even like dogs. But still, I could not help but snatch up the entire supply (3) of these at the local Wal-Mart a few weekends ago.
My boys were sitting in the cart when I tossed them in. My kindergartener eyed them for a moment, doing some quick calculations.
“But Mom,” he said, “there aren’t even three kids in our family.”
I looked at him. Thought for a moment. Placed a hand on my hip.
“Well,” I said, nodding, “maybe we should start thinking about adopting a brother for you boys. It’d be fun to have another Ethiopian in the family, wouldn’t it, guys?”
My boys could hardly contain their excitement. “YES!” they squealed in delight, bouncing up and down in the cart.
My husband shot me a look. “Really?” he asked. “Really, you’re going to spring this on me in the middle of the—" he quickly scanned our surroundings— "useless shit aisle of Wal-Mart? You’ve picked this moment to have this discussion?”
I held my hands up, stepping back in mock surrender. “Or we could just use the third hot dog slicer when one of the neighborhood kids comes over for lunch. DRAMA QUEEN,” I added in a mutter as I shared a wide-eyed look with my boys. “Jeez.”
I do sometimes wonder how he puts up with me.
Friday, April 10, 2015
Last month, I bought my dad a coffee mug for his birthday. It came with a free refill coupon tucked inside of it, which he made me keep because he’s generous like that, and because he knew that I went to this particular coffee place monthly for my book club and that I would use the coupon.
I went to redeem it yesterday.
When I drove up to the speaker to order and the guy asked how he could help me, I responded, “I have a coupon for a free cup of coffee.”
“Huh?” he asked.
He was obviously confused, so I began to explain to him how I had earned the free refill coupon that I was looking to cash in.
He cut me off mid-explanation, saying, “Could you just drive around to the window?”
So I did. When I got there, I stuck my hand out of my driver’s side window so that the person there—a different person altogether from the guy on the speaker, which I knew because she was a girl—could grab my coupon. She studied the coupon for a few moments, then she asked, “Do you happen to have the mug with you?”
I shrugged apologetically. “No,” I responded. “I’m sorry. I gave it away as a gift. I was just hoping to get the coffee in a to-go cup?”
The girl nodded and said that was fine. She walked away from the window to make my coffee. When she came back a few moments later, she handed the Styrofoam cup through the window to me with this explanation:
“That coupon was for a 14-oz travel mug refill, and all we have are 16-oz to-go cups, so I just left some out of it.”
Before I could stop it (and really, why would I have wanted to?), I felt a huge bubble of laughter escape from my throat as I accepted my 2-ounces-shy coffee. I could not stop laughing as I drove away—that good, shoulder-shaking kind of laugh, and soon I found myself shaking my head, wiping away tears of laughter as I said aloud, even though nobody was in the car with me, “How’s THAT for customer service? And to be able to measure 2 ounces with the naked eye…such TALENT!”
When I posted a slimmed-down version of the story on Facebook, one of my friends asked if I was making it up. She explained herself by saying, “I seriously don’t know a better person to have this happen to!” and then she inserted a little emoji of a steaming coffee mug.
But I wasn’t making it up. I wondered “aloud” in the comment section why the girl had been so invested in that 2 ounces. I mean, sure, it wasn’t like she’d poured the 2 ounces out right in front of my face, but still. Had I worked there, I would have filled that sucker to the brim…just because.
I remember in college when I worked at Wal-Mart and a woman came through the checkout line with a spatula. It was missing a bar code, and instead of holding up the line to call for a price check, I just tossed it into one of her bags.
She was shocked, but I shrugged at her. What the hell did I care? It wasn’t like it was my $1.99 being given away…and besides, I was pretty sure that the Walton family wouldn’t miss it that much. Rumor has it, Wal-Mart is pretty successful.
I’m not sure what it was, peeps. Maybe management at the coffee joint lets the employees suckle the dregs at day’s end, and that was the girl’s favorite kind of coffee?
In any case, it made for a good laugh during a somewhat stressful day.
And besides, what can I say? I’m an optimist, my peeps, and I like to see the glass as 14-oz full…NOT 2-oz empty.