Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Dutch Oven Thanksgiving

Yesterday evening, I was outside with my boys during that short one-hour span of winter daylight that’s left after I get them home from school and give them a snack.  That one hour is precious to my boys, but it’s especially precious to me, as it helps them to run off at a little bit of their craziness.

A little bit.

As has become customary, some of the neighborhood kids joined us.  One of them, a little girl named Sammie who’s about 9 years old, came by with another neighborhood girl, Allison, who’s around the same age.

Sammie and Allison parked their bikes on the sidewalk and walked into my backyard. They’re still at that adorable age where they pause as they walk through the yard, trying to decide whether they want to play dump trucks or have light saber wars with my boys or whether they’d like to act more mature and walk the rest of the way to the back deck so they can sit and have a chat with me. This time, I won. Apparently Sammie had a lot on her mind and needed an adult’s perspective.

“Hey, Shay,” she said as she trudged my way.  She wistfully eyed my boys, who were busy building a fort to keep out the imaginary bad guys. She had some insight for them, I could see, so I knew our conversation wouldn’t be a long one. She wanted to play.

“Hey, Sammie,” I said, setting my magazine to the side.  I looked to Allison, who was a few steps behind her.  “Hey, Allison.”

Sammie stopped in front of me and sighed dramatically. She got right into it.

“So I’m going to have a miserable Thanksgiving,” she announced.

“Yeah?” I asked.  “That’s too bad, Sammie, because Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday!  How will it be miserable for you?”

She cocked her head and widened her eyes at me, a look that said, Oh, you can’t even possibly FATHOM.
“We’re going to be out of town,” she explained.  “We’re not visiting family, though.  It’s for some tournament that my brother’s in.”  She rolled her eyes.  Her brother is in middle school.  “He feels bad that we’ll be stuck in a hotel for the holiday, so he promised us a Dutch Oven Thanksgiving.”

I had to choke back my laughter.  I’m 12, you see, so the phrase “Dutch oven” gets me every single time.  It’s one of the most hilarious things I’ve ever heard.

But I didn’t want to ruin her punchline, so instead of laughing, I waited.

Except Sammie didn’t say anything else.  She just stood there, blinking at me.  I looked toward Allison.  She was doing the same thing.

And then I understood. 

Those little shits thought I was so old that I wouldn’t understand a phrase like “Dutch oven.”  They thought I was going to look at them quizzically so that they either had to explain it or walk away, shaking with laughter that the old woman with the two little boys down the road didn’t even know what “Dutch oven” meant!  Oh, the hilarity that would follow as they told all of their friends!

I mean, they’re good girls, but everyone loves a good prank.

Except the person who’s the butt of it. And I wasn’t going to let that be me.  So I decided to call her bluff.  I said:

“You mean he’s going to fart under the blankets at the hotel room and make you smell it?”

And Sammie blinked again.

“Um, no,” she replied slowly, casting an unsure glance at Allison.  “I mean that he’s made brisket in the Dutch oven before, but he’s never made turkey.  I’m just not sure how good it’s going to turn out.”

We all sat there silently for a moment, unsure of what to say to one another.  Finally, I went, “Oh.”

Luckily the neighborhood kids don’t hold the dumbassery of the mother against her two little boys. Sammie and Allison, satisfied that they’d gotten to complain about an older brother to a listening ear—even though I’d proven to be not exactly the kind of understanding adult they’d bargained for—turned and joined my boys, spending the rest of the hour helping them set up their little army guys on their dirt fort.

I texted my best friend the whole story.  I was shaking with laughter by the time I was finished typing.

You guys, shit like this happens all the time to people like me who suffer from the problem of over-the-top honesty.  Of course, I don’t spill other people’s secrets or act disrespectful by giving my unwarranted opinion in the name of “honesty.” No, I'm only brutally honest when it comes to my own issues that nobody else in the world has any business of hearing.

I swear it’s some kind of mystery honesty gene that I received from somewhere.  (We all know it’s not from my mom; that woman can’t tell the truth to save her life.  She’ll go, “Oh, that’s not what happened?  Well I thought I heard it somewhere…”)  It’s kind of like winning the lottery, I guess, except that winning the lottery doesn’t usually make a person look like a dumbass.

Once, I was at a job interview to teach 8th and 9th grade Spanish at a Catholic school. I was smashing that interview and could tell that the principal loved me.  At the end of the hour, during which we had sat and chatted amicably, she opened her mouth and I could tell that an offer was going to come out of it. 

Before she could say anything, though, I felt it very important to say, “There’s one thing you might want to know.  I’m living in sin with my fiancĂ©…although we haven’t really had many chances to be sinful lately because he travels a lot for work.  Anyway, we’re getting married next month, so maybe we could just try not to 'do it' until then?  And then we’d be legit?”

We Catholics pretend to be really strict about all that no-sex-before-marriage stuff, even though tons of us break that particular rule. I wasn't exactly sure which type she was, so I was just covering all of my bases.

I remember she looked at me and furrowed her brow for a minute, trying to decide what in the hell to do with me.  In the end, my sparkling personality and honesty won out.  I get lucky that way sometimes.

“If people find out, that’s okay.  Just don’t make it a point to tell anybody,” she said.  I have to say, she had a lot of confidence in my ability to keep my mouth shut, as I had just spilled it to her within an hour of meeting her.  But I agreed, and thus began four of the best years of my career life.

When I called my dad all those years ago to excitedly inform him that I'd gotten the job, I told him about the interview.

"You know, Shay," he began when I finished talking, and although I could hear the smile in his voice, I could also sense his frustration--a kind of, What the hell did I do wrong with this one?--when he said, "you don't have to say everything."

"I know, Dad," I said.  "I'm not sure why I--"

"It's like that time we were trying those fried turkey balls at that fair because they were famous for them...remember that?" my dad asked.

"Yes," I replied, sighing heavily. I knew where this was going.

"And you said, 'Mmm, Dad, these taste much better than human balls!'  Remember that?"

"Yes, Dad," I muttered. I mean, first off, I'd been pretty drunk at that fair.  And secondly, some people just won't let things drop already.  It happened, like, 16 years ago, for eff's sake.

"I didn't need to know that, Shay.  I mean, what father in the whole entire world wants to know that his daughter prefers the taste of fried turkey balls to those of humans?  It was just something that didn't need to be said."

"But they do taste better...I mean, if you have to choose one or the other..."

I guess the moral of the story is that I probably won’t ever learn how to not say stuff that most adults consider uncouth, but then again, that’s part of my charm, right?


Oh, and also, have a happy Thanksgiving—whether it’s a Dutch Oven Thanksgiving or a normal one, sitting around and guzzling fried turkey balls and wine with loved ones.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Intervention and Hoarders and Trailers

My boys were building with Legos a few weeks ago, and, as usual, they called me into my older son’s bedroom so that I could ooh and ahh over their creations, which I love to do.

My 4-year-old’s masterpiece was a square built using several different Legos, the whole thing attached to a pair of wheels.  “This is a house, Mommy,” he explained as he held it one inch from my nose so that I could get a really good look.  I had to cross my eyes to see it.  “When I grow up, I want a house on wheels!”

I patted him on the head.  “It’s called a trailer, son, and I’m glad that your father and I have taught you to keep your aspirations high.”

I had a similar conversation with his older brother a few weeks prior.

“MOM,” he had called from down the hall, addressing me in that intense way that he does because EVERYTHING IS IMPORTANT.

“Yeah, buddy?” I’d asked, stepping into his bedroom.

“Mom,” he’d said again, “we need a spot for my Legos where Bubba can’t get them.  He’s been ruining the stuff that I build.”  He used upturned palms to indicate his Lego table, the site of the wreckage.  And he was right; there were several elaborate creations torn halfway down, the work of his younger brother and his sweet, fat preschool hands.

I had nodded sympathetically. “You’re right, buddy.  We do need a spot for your finished Lego projects that you want to hold onto for a while before breaking them down.”  Here, I looked around his room.  “You’re probably going to have get rid of some of the stuff on your dresser to make room, though, because the problem is, kiddo, you’re kind of a hoarder.”

My son’s eyes lit up like he’d seen a celebrity.  “A hoarder?” he had repeated in an awed whisper filled with pride. “Like all of those people who lived in long houses full of cool stuff on that show you used to watch?”

“Trailers,” I’d supplied, as he’d forgotten the word since our last conversation about them (see below).  “And yes. You’re just like those people.”

I realized my error then.  I had mistakenly thought that he hadn’t been paying attention during my nights watching Hoarders marathons on A&E when he was younger. It was a guilty habit, kind of like how I used to watch Intervention back in my mid-20’s and think, “Yeah, I might be drinking beer alone as I watch this, but at least I’m not trading a blow job behind the Dumpster for Quaaludes (anymore).  I can have a few drinks if I want.”

But then mid-20’s somehow very quickly turned to early 30’s, and there wasn’t a lot of time—even on a Friday night—to leisurely knock back a few beers because I was too busy raising my kids. And anyway, hangovers are so much worse when you’re old.  So my guilty pleasure shifted from Intervention to Hoarders—but the sentiment kind of remained the same.

I was feeling guilty one night because I like to have everything cleaned up before I go to bed. It was my turn to do the dishes because my husband had cooked, but I hadn’t gotten around to them yet.  I gave my husband a sidelong glance from the couch, where we had settled to watch our DVR’d episode of Hoarders. “You know, I might’ve left the dirty spaghetti dishes from dinner in the sink tonight, but at least I don’t have a pile of decaying cat skeletons in a hole in the wall next to the bath tub,” I pointed out.

“There is that, at least,” my husband murmured, never taking his eyes off of the TV.  “There is that.” 

I’m lucky I married someone who can always see the silver lining.

So, rather than try to change my children’s perceptions about the good things in life, I’ve chosen to embrace them.  And it’s about time, I’d say, because they’ve always been enthralled by the simple life.

When my older son was only 3, we drove past a trailer park.  This was just after a conversation we’d had upon seeing an illustration of a trailer in his Highlights High Five magazine.  “MOM!” he squealed happily from his 5-point harness in the backseat.  “Look!  Trailers!  A whole bunch of them!”

“Yes,” I said, catching his eye in the rearview mirror.  “It’s called a trailer park.”

He smiled at me, then turned his gaze out the window so as not to miss a single trailer.  “I want to live in a trailer park someday,” he said quietly, almost in reverence.

“I’m working on it, kiddo,” I said back to him, and, just to make good on my word, turned into the nearest convenience store to buy a six-pack of Natural Light, some ciggies, and a $10 scratch-off.

Now, lest I sound like a hifalutin asshole, allow me to remind you that I once dated a really hot guy who lived in a trailer.  The managers of the place tried to church up the trailer park by assigning everyone suite numbers for their lots.  His was Suite 28, which we always spelled “Sweet 28.”

And then he unceremoniously broke up with me, effectively smashing my little dude-in-a-trailer-loving heart into a million pieces just as I was about to break the lease on my own condo and move into Sweet 28 with him.  Okay, I wasn’t actually going to do that, but probably only because he hadn’t asked. 

And if I’m being completely honest, I didn’t live in a condo, anyway; I lived in a dilapidated old 2-bedroom apartment at the end of a cul-de-sac, which was also just a really nice way of saying “dead end.”

You want to say “Sweet 28”?  Okay, then I want to say “Condo at the end of a beautiful cul-de-sac.”

It was this particular apartment to which, when I had blind dates who were picking me up, I would give directions like this: “Okay, you’ll take a left onto Canvas Street, and you’ll see these really nice condos—like, really gorgeous places—on your right. Keep going.  Yeah, pass those right up.  My apartment is at the end of the street on the left.  It’s the one that looks like it should be burned…or maybe like it already has been. Most people don’t like to sit on the carpet.”

So see?  A trailer would’ve been a step up.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Life Lessons

I tell you what, peeps: God has been all about throwing me a few helpful life lessons this month—and it seems like most of them have to do with wine.

I talked about one on this post on Monday, and writing that little blurb reminded me of something else that happened recently when I got invited to attend a fun little mom field trip.

The trip included a big yellow bus, a shit-ton of alcohol and snacks like cream cheese, ham, and pickle pinwheels packed next to deer sausage into coolers and stuffed under the seats, a tour of all of the local wineries, and a sober driver—who was quite fairly compensated, I must say, if not by the hot(tish), inebriated moms in all different shapes and sizes stumbling up and down the aisle of his bus all day, but by the many times I drunkenly spanked his ass and told him what a hotty he was. 

On second thought, that poor man.  Perhaps I should find him and pay him extra money.  (If that restraining order that I later found out he took out against me has finally worn off.  That was kind of an awkward conversation with the hubs.)


I learned a lot of things during that winery bus tour on that gorgeous fall day.

The first thing I learned was that dramatically pulling that month’s book club selection (nobody on the bus was a member of my beloved book club) from your brand new, oversized charcoal gray purse as soon as you settle into your seat and holding it up for everyone around you to see while saying, “I brought my book in case you bitches bore me,” is probably not the best way to make/keep friends.

The two that I knew best rolled their eyes and swore that because of my actions, they were not going to speak to me the rest of the day. 

It lasted 10 seconds.  I’m just too fun, you guys.  And when I pointed that out, they were like, “Dammit, you’re right.  You are.  You’re lucky.”

About 15 minutes later, after a killer bloody Mary from one of the aforementioned friends, I was too drunk to decipher words on a page, so I couldn’t have read even if I’d been bored enough to try.  Which I hadn’t been, because my peeps were a blast.

They’re lucky.

Anyway, I learned that no matter what I said or did, I would pretty much never be left friendless.  This, however, was not because I’m fun, like I had originally thought.

Oh, no-ho-hoooooo.

I found out why later in the day.

What happened was, during one of our several stops, my girlfriends and I sidled up to the wine-tasting counter.  We were taking turns buying a bottle of wine at each winery, and it was my turn so I got to pick.

I love me a semi-sweet white, so after I’d cleansed my palate with a Goldfish cracker and taken a sip, I was sold on a particular one.  “I’ll have that one,” I said, nodding my head at it as I unbuttoned my purse.  “How much?”

“Nineteen fifty,” the girl at the counter answered.

It was at that point that my life—or at least a scene from it—flashed before my eyes.  I was 19 again, sipping wine with my ex-boyfriend’s sister, who was trying desperately to be a sophisticat.  I remember that she was flaring her nostrils and using words like “wafting” and “tannic acids” as she swirled her wine.  Finally, I said, “Um.  We are drinking Boone’s Farm from Styrofoam cups in the back of your brother’s truck that’s parked in a corn field.  Shut the hell up.”

Anyway, I guess I’ve always been a Who are you trying to fool? type of person, and with that comes times when, simply because I am in the habit of being myself and not trying to fool anyone, I gasp involuntarily and say “HOLY SHIT” like I did in response to the price that day at the wine counter.

I mean, not just on my end. Who were they trying to fool?  It's not like they were the highest-class winery I'd ever visited and could charge $20 a pop with a straight face. They’d given us Goldfish between sips, for eff's sake, not fcking caviar.  And they weren’t even the goddamned flavor-blasted kind.

One of my friends said, “SHAY!” and then proceeded to laugh so hard that she had to wipe tears from her eyes.  I’m not sure if I’m just that hilarious or if it was the 4 (5?) glasses of wine she’d consumed prior to the moment making her react like that.  In any case, I felt that I should explain myself to the lady behind the counter, who had absolutely no personality and wasn’t even close to cracking a smile.

“It’s just that I’m used to paying, like, $7 for a bottle of wine.” Here, I leaned across the counter and lowered my voice conspiratorially, like we were friends.  Which, judging from the way she leaned farther away the closer I got, we totally weren’t. “And honestly—7 bucks is even stretching it a bit,” I finished.

I realized that day, though, that I’m a valuable friend to have. Because in my inability to stop myself from saying and/or doing stupid shit (aka just being me), I make people feel better about themselves.

I once had a friend say to me, “Oh, Shay, you’re the crusty friend.  Everyone needs a crusty friend.”

“I’m glad I can fulfill that role for you, dickbag,” I’d responded.  But honestly, I was elated.  It still ranks as one of my all-time favorite compliments—right up there with my rich friend who said she loved me because I reminded her, in all of the joy I’d gotten over some couch covers I’d scored at Big Lots for $10, to appreciate the simple things in life.

“All we’ve heard about for 2 days is those goddamned couch covers,” she said one morning, smiling over coffee back when we were both stay-at-home moms.  “Such a simple thing to make a person so happy…such a simple girl you are…”

We then caught each other’s eyes over our coffee mugs and she didn’t even try to backpedal as we laughed our asses off—so hard that we hurriedly set our mugs onto the table for fear that we’d spill coffee on the babies that were cradled in our arms. We both knew that it had come out sounding like an asshole compliment.  But she really did mean it in a kind way, and I loved her for it. 

What I’m saying is, trust me, peeps:  I’m not in danger of losing any friends, because you want to hang on to a friend like me.  I am good to have around when you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom.

In the end, though, I won because one of my friends puked into a bag on the bus.

I have to hand it to her: She was the most talented puker I’d ever seen.  I watched in awe as she held the plastic grocery bag under her nose just so and silently retched into it…almost as if she’d done it once or twice in her day after overindulging in the drink.

Or else she’s just a lightweight.

Either way, I think I’ll hold onto her.

Her puking in a bag made me feel a ton better about myself that day—like, hey, I just got yelled at for slapping the driver’s ass for the 108th time, and he threatened to leave me by the side of the road 35 miles from my house if I didn’t cut the shit.

But at least I didn’t hork into a bag.

Trust me, peeps.  You want to hold onto a friend like that.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Whine About It Wednesdays

It's never a good idea, especially when you're already 3 stiff drinks in, to grab your sister's full glass of wine and, in an attempt to illustrate Matt Bellassai's Whine About It Wednesdays, chug it before a table full of horrified onlookers who are all still on their second drinks because they're clearly not as fast of drinkers as you are.

Lesson learned.

But seriously--who hasn't heard of Whine About It Wednesdays? 

And why does my little sister hang out with such pussies?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Grandpa's One-Liners

My dad is the king of the ridiculous one-liners.  They never make any sense and, if said by anyone else who didn’t deliver them in the exact way that he does, they’d sound really fcking stupid.  As it is, some of them already do, but most times, he’s spot on.

Take, for example, all of those years we were growing up in the Catholic church.  Every single Sunday, the five of us kids would trudge our tired asses to Mass because Mom and Dad made us.  If I thought I was tired then, before I fell in love with Saturday night drinks, well, I hadn’t seen anything yet.  I’m glad I didn’t understand the hangover misery that awaited me in my mid-twenties when I revitalized my faith after a several-year hiatus from Sunday Mass.  That’s when the phrase “sweating like a whore in church” took on a whole new personal meaning for me.

Especially if I happened to spot one of my many one-night stands in the pew next to me, hands clutched tightly in prayer as he knelt, trying to gain forgiveness for his premarital sex with a stranger the night before, too.

Ah, Catholic guilt.

Anyway, the point is, we went to Mass and it was kind of boring, but Dad always made it fun when, for two seconds of the entire hour, he would allow himself to break his stern fatherly stance after the priest said, “Let us pray.”

My dad would slightly tilt his head downward to whatever kid was standing next to him and say quietly, out of the corner of his mouth, “Why can’t the tomatoes pray?”

Then the five of us, thinking that was permission to act a tad unruly, would start giggling like it was the funniest thing we’d ever heard—which it was, at least during that hourlong Mass. And then, inevitably, Dad would get all stern again and smack whichever giggler was closest to him in the back of the head—one of those quick, flicky-wrist smacks that he reserved for occasions like Mass when he had to be all stealthy about it.

Oh my gosh, I can hardly type these memories without laughing my ass off.  It was almost always my brother who got the head smack. I think I only got it once.

Okay—so my point…what was my point?  Yes.  My dad’s one-liners. 

One of my all-time favorites was the one he would use when dropping us off at school or at our first middle school dance at the YMCA or, during my personal favorite situation, when he walked us girls down the aisle at our weddings, where he had to say it a little more quietly.  It would always go a little something like this:

“Bye, Dad. Love you!” one of us would say as we hopped out of the car, slung our backpack over our shoulder, and began an easy jog to catch up with our group of friends, all gathering at the entrance of school to go inside.

“Love you, too,” he’d yell out the window.  “AND DON’T SHIT YOUR PANTS!”

Seriously, what the fck? But it didn’t even embarrass us.  Instead, we’d get to our huddle of friends, where at least one of them would always mutter pitifully, “I wish my dad would tell me not to shit my pants when I leave for school.  It’s like he doesn’t even care.”

“Yeah, man, that sucks,” I’d agree.  “My dad tells me not to shit my pants, like, every day.”

The only time it wasn’t all that funny was when my older sister actually did shit her pants when she was giving birth.  But technically she didn’t shit her pants because she didn’t have any on. But anyway, like in the above whore-in-church scenario, the phrase did actually take on a whole new meaning. 

But it didn’t ruin it for us.  We still use it.

Once, when my older son was 3, my dad called to talk to him about his birthday party.

“What are you going to get me for my birthday?” my boy asked excitedly.

“Um…a bag of poopballs!” I heard my dad answer on speakerphone.

My son held the phone away from his ear, looking at it quizzically.  I mean, seriously, had he heard that correctly?  Why would a grown man tell him he was going to give him a bag of poopballs unless he was being serious?  And was there something cool about a bag of poopballs? Like, maybe it was something he should want?

From a very early age, we recognized that my son was a thinker, a very vocal thinker who can take a few moments to puzzle things out and come to a conclusion that it takes many more people a lifetime to figure out.

I made the executive decision that day that a bag of poopballs from Grandpa wasn’t something I wanted him to spend time dwelling on, the least of my reasons being that it might have cost me several thousands of dollars in therapy for him later. I grabbed the phone from him and hung up on Grandpa, but not before whispering, “Good one, Dad,” and laughing.

Hmm…perhaps, on second thought, I should go ahead and make that therapy appointment…for me and my dad.

So last week, when my dad called for a quick chat with me and my boys, my younger son asked Grandpa what he was going to be for Halloween.

“Um…a refrigerator!” my dad answered.

Both of my boys squealed and laughed with delight, because that’s a pretty cool costume, right?  Of course, my dad wasn't actually planning on dressing up as a refrigerator and he let them know that he was joking, but it was still funny, and my boys spent the rest of the afternoon talking about being refrigerators for Halloween.

You guys, I can’t wait to let my dad drop them off at school one of these days.  But I’ll wait until, like, the first day of high school, when Grandpa’s shouts of “DON’T SHIT YOUR PANTS!” will make the most impact.

Lucky kids.

Friday, October 30, 2015

This Is Why I Hate Dressing Up

The weather’s been pretty unpredictable around here lately.  The weatherman—aka my husband, checking the weather app on his phone—tells me each day that it’s supposed to be “around 60—and that’s the high,” reminding me to dress appropriately because I always think that everything’s capri weather and then I get to work and my calves are a little bit cold.  It’s hard being me, you know?

I finally took his advice last week and wore actual pants that covered my entire leg.  (Those extra five inches of fabric are just so cumbersome.  Ugh) Apparently a heat wave came rolling in that day, and I was left experiencing premature hot flashes in my office, cursing my husband and the inventor of full-length pants.

Yesterday, I had it all figured out. I wasn’t listening to my husband or his stupid weather app anymore because I didn’t believe them.  So I threw on my favorite pair of “dressy casual” capris,  a short-sleeved shirt, and a brand new lightweight cardigan that could easily be taken off in the event that my husband had, once again, been a goddamned liar about the weather.

I love that cardigan. I bought it at the end of the season last year, and I’d just been waiting for the perfect opportunity to wear it.  It’s one of those trendy ones that are a little bit longer in the front and sort of flowy while at the same time being really slimming.

It’s the kind that you’d pair with a great set of skinny jeans—if you were in the habit of wearing skinny jeans. As it is, I kind of avoid them because they cut right into the flesh, dividing my midsection into the multiple stomachs of a cow.  (I do have a pair of $12 denim jeggings from Wal-Mart with an expandable waistline…do those count?)  Anyway, if I had a great-fitting pair of dark-washed skinny jeans and some long boots, this would be the perfect sweater for the outfit.

Instead, I threw it over my little t-shirt and capri combo and added a really cute pair of ballet flats, feeling great about myself. I felt so spiffy, you guys, that after I pulled it on, I slapped a hand on my hip, thrust that sucker out, and shot my own reflection a wink in the bathroom mirror.

I’m pretty sure I even blew myself a little kiss before I turned to shut off the bathroom light and walk out the door.

I was feeling good.

When I walked into the living room, where my boys were sitting on the couch trying to fit in an episode of Wild Kratts before we had to leave for school, my 4-year-old jumped up and ran to me.  He was dressed in his Halloween costume because his class had their party yesterday, and all week long he’d been asking the rest of us what we were going to dress up as—because in the mind of a 4-year-old, surely if he and his class were dressing up on Thursday, then the rest of the world would be donning costumes that day, too, right?

“Ooooh,” he breathed, a huge smile on his face as he stared up at me in awe, clearly impressed.  He smoothed the fabric of my sweater with his sweet little preschool hand, and I started doing that swishing back and forth thing, like, Hey, look at me, aren’t you glad you basically have a supermodel for a mom?

And then my 4-year-old, with innocent, wide eyes, said, “You dressed up like an old lady for Halloween!”

Whatever, you guys.  Despite any weather forecast that my wannabe meteorologist husband might have pulled out that morning, I wasn’t going to let my son rain on my parade. I wore that sweater to work, and I wore it proudly.

And anytime I got a compliment (which I did, I got like 4, I swear the sweater is really cute), I would turn to the giver, smile appreciatively while thanking her, and then say, “My 4-year-old says it’s an old lady sweater.  I guess you have the taste of the blue-haireds, too.”

Misery loves company, that’s what I always say.

Happy Halloween, everyone!!!

For more of the reasons I hate Halloween, click here. As always, thanks for reading!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Trashy Shorts: Packing Checklist

My packing checklist for an overnight trip that I went on with family this weekend:

1.)  Lamisil cream to keep my foot fungus under control
2.) Tweezers to keep my whiskers from becoming an all-out fluffy beard
3.) Over-the-counter pills to keep my fever blisters from flaring up again

And then I looked to the heavens and I went, Why, God, why?