Wednesday, April 20, 2016

I could be bare assed in my casket, and you'd never even know it.

Alex and I recently went to breakfast together and were asked, in a group of people, if we minded being seated at a group table. Apparently there were no more two person tables, and if we didn't elect to sit at a group table, it would be a while before we could be seated.

Being seated with a group of people is an introvert's nightmare.  My nightmare, actually.

Alex on the other hand, is the exact opposite of me, and can totally hang with anyone. He never seems uncomfy and he never says stupid stuff (well... he actually says a lot of stupid stuff, but I think I am the only one who notices).

So of course, we had to smile and say, "Oh sure! No problem! We just want to eat some breakfast!" We couldn't be the assholes who said, "Nah. We'll wait,"

Meanwhile, I'm inwardly panicking at having to talk to people and make eye contact and be sort of normal.

So we were seated with 4 other groups of two, a total of 10 of us, at one table. People immediately started chatting like they were old pals, nobody seemed uncomfortable with the arrangement. I of course was doing my typical sit back and assess the situation quietly thing. One lady was like, "Can you believe those jerks who said they wanted to be seated alone?" And while my husband gave me a sideways glance, I inwardly said to myself, "Phew, thankfully we weren't the jerks." Because I can't stand being looked at as the jerk.

So I have to be honest.  It was a pretty fun breakfast.  All sorts of interesting conversation was flowing. In the course of the breakfast, we learned that two of the women were a gay married couple, and one of them was a pastor.  I always thought that might be frowned upon, like being gay in a church-type situation, so it was pretty awesome that whatever church they belonged to seemed to be super accepting.  So the pastor lady discovered that she had something in common with this one single lady (who was there with a single lady friend), and that it was that they were both singers.  Gospel singers I think. 

The one single lady gospel singer started talking about how much she has overcome in her life, how she was a recovering drug addict (7 years sober! so awesome), and particularly, how she had her funeral completely planned out.

And I was like huh.  This lady couldn't be more than ten years older than I am.  Should I have my funeral all planned out? I mean I do send my oldest kid an email whenever I go away alone telling her what I want her to do if I die.  I suppose that is a plan. 

But the gospel singer recovering addict single lady was all, "I want a PARTY, a CELEBRATION. I want a full body casket because I look FINE.  I never leave the house without my hair and nails done. My kids know what I want to be buried in and it better show some CLEAVAGE. And I don't want anybody feeling like they only have a minute to talk about me, there is A LOT to say about me, so they can stay up there talking about me as long as they want!"

I just laughed... it was the funniest conversation.  I had literally just met this woman ten minutes ago and I knew a good portion of her life story, AND exactly what she wanted to happen at her funeral, down to the music and setting. Including the people she wanted to invite (to her funeral)... all of the past boyfriends she's ever had.  So they could look at her in her full body casket all dead and looking fine (her words) and miss her.

So that was probably one of the most entertaining breakfasts that I had ever been a part of.  I wasn't ready to leave.

When we wrapped up and my husband and I were walking away, I was like, "You know you better not put me in anything that makes me look like a fatass in my casket!"

And he was like, "Well nobody would see your ass anyway.  You'd be half covered.  You could have a bare ass in there for all its worth. In fact, maybe..."

So I said, "You would never!"

And he said, all smirking, "I guess you'd never know, would you?"

And I was like, "OH YES I WILL! I will haunt you!  I'm picking out my death outfit as soon as we get home and you better honor my wishes!"

So that's why I decided exactly what I want to be buried in when I die, hopefully far, far in advance. At least I know it'll be sort of flattering.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The pressure of projecting perfection

For a lot of years, I worked really hard at being the mom who had it all together. 

I tried to be the mom who had her kids in outfits that all matched for every holiday and/or photo op, the mom who decorated the house perfectly for every season, for every holiday. The mom who made homemade cupcakes with cute little decorations for all of the class parties, the mom who actually signed up to be the class mom every year, for each kid's classroom. 

I did all of those things because it helped me feel like a "good mom." Looking around and comparing myself to other mom's who seemed to have it all together, all of the time, put a ton of pressure on me. 

What's funny is, more than likely, nobody was judging me but me.  In looking back, I have to imagine that the majority of the other moms were far more concerned with their own little families than mine.  I put the pressure on me, because I always felt judged. I felt like other people actually cared if my kids were mis-matched in a family picture. But why?

Where does that come from, that feeling of being judged? Where does that feeling that everything needs to be perfect to the outside world, that you need to project this picture of perfection in order to be considered "good," or "worthy," come from?

For me, most of this came before the explosion of social media, where people became professionals at making their reality look like an elaborate photograph of sheer perfection that is the composition of their life. 

It's always been difficult for me to neglect the inclination to compare and criticize myself and my own life to falsified images that others create.  It took me many years to comprehend that the reality is, REAL LIFE IS MESSY SOMETIMES. And that's OK.

There came a point when I recognized that the pressure of projecting perfection was crushing me.  

I'm not saying that you shouldn't make (or attempt to make) cute cupcakes for your kid's class party. I'm not saying don't dress your kids in coordinating outfits for your annual family picture. I'm just saying that chances are, if you show up with store bought cupcakes to the class party, nobody will go home snickering about your shitty store bought cupcakes. They'll just be happy that you brought cupcakes. If you don't get around to taking a perfectly coordinated family photo for the annual holiday cards, chances are, nobody is going to discuss how awful it is that one daughter had a red dress on, and the other was wearing a brown skirt. They're just going to be happy that you sent a card, and that they get the opportunity to see how much everyone has changed and grown since last year's picture.

Something that my oldest daughter and I laugh about every year is the fact that every single birthday cake I make for her has a sunken middle. No matter how hard I try, I can not get her cakes to cook perfectly. It used to make me crazy, but it's turned into something really funny between us. I actually think if I presented her with a perfectly baked cake, she wouldn't know what to do with it.

When we look at family pictures from past holidays, one of my favorites is from a Christmas when Megan was a few years old, and she just had the worst smile on. Every picture looks worse than the previous one. I did not get a perfect holiday picture that year, but we always laugh when we look at those pictures. They're so funny, and they are so Megan. I wouldn't trade those pictures for "perfect" ones!

Looking back at your past, your real lived lives, however embarrassing or uncomfortable, can be actually be really healthy and enjoyable.

The reality is, perfection is unattainable. Perfection doesn't exist. Wanting to put your best face forward is entirely understandable, but the dark side of attempting to achieve this is deeply losing yourself, and negating your own authenticity to the degree that you no longer recognize yourself or your life, or your life experiences.

I think that until we realize this, we can't be the best versions of our true, authentic selves. I wish I realized this sooner!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Try to be understanding...

A few weeks ago, on the plane(s) home from FL, I ended up seated pretty close to a few parents with babies and/or young toddlers.


To a lot of people, that is like their worst nightmare.  There were lots of eye rolls and sideways glances.  They're thinking, I just paid $487 to sit next to some brat, obnoxiously crying for three hours and 57 minutes?!  To those people I have to say... invest in some good noise canceling headphones.

Trust me, the parent on the plane trying to entertain her kid for three hours and 57 minutes is just as horrified as you are.  Have you ever tried to keep a little one still that long?  Without a healthy dose of Benedryl? Just kidding. Kind of. It's hard!  I mean, there are only so many things you can carry in the allotted one carry-on plus one diaper bag, right?  Think about what it takes to entertain a 12-month-old new walker for four hours at home, forget about confined to a seat the size of my elbow.

At home, you have the exersaucer, the baby swing, the cradle for a cat nap.  The entire cupboard of pots and pans for noise making, the family room for exploring and testing out the new walking skills, the toy box filled with things to dump. Endlessly. A kitchen stocked with snacks and food, a highchair for eating those snacks and food, and a kitchen sink for an afternoon bath. A changing table for a smooth and effortless (haha) diaper change.  At times, four hours at home with a baby can seem to stretch on for days, but at least you have options.  At least you can pop your baby in the stroller and distract them with a walk around the neighborhood or something.

There are though, the parents that unapologetically let their kid scream it out.  I'll admit, that's kind of rough to witness.  Even for a non-judgemental person like myself.  It's just, when you're in a confined space with a hundred other people who cannot escape, you should really make an effort to corral and hush your kiddo.  It's just common courtesy.  And speaking of common, use some common sense!  If you know your child's crabby time is pretty much at 4:00 every day, don't schedule a 3 pm flight.  In fact, ideally, you should schedule your flight during your child's typical nap time!  Bring a bottle or two, the flight attendants can heat it up for you.  Also, you can request to be seated by an empty seat - which they are generally happy to arrange if the plane isn't full.  An empty seat gives you a few more square inches to utilize in entertaining.

One of the kids that I was seated next to was tough... she cried.  Literally for 3 hours.  She of course fell asleep during the landing.  But, the mom overcompensated.  And the dad did absolutely nothing.  The mom loudly and ineffectively tried everything, it seemed.  I think the thing that pushed most of the understanding people over the edge was that she called her baby (named Tyler) Little Bear, approximately once every four seconds.  It was cute initially, but after 3 hours and 57 minutes of hearing, "Little Bear, do you want my keys?!"  "Little Bear, have a cracker!!" "Little Bear, do you want to read a book/tear up this magazine/look out the window?!!" it definitely got old.  Thankfully I do have a great pair of noise canceling headphones.  And I definitely used them.

But I don't know, you can't get mad at the parent who is doing everything they can to keep their child busy and calm and quiet... because it's not like they're purposefully trying to bother others. They're in a situation where they have very little control.  You just have to try to be understanding.  You can get mad at the parent who looks away while their kid kicks your seat incessantly for the entire flight.  Or the one who pretends they don't notice their child is tossing crushed crackers at you while simultaneously jumping up and down on their seat, which is attached to your tray, which of course spills an entire glass of ginger ale in your lap.  Or the one who doesn't change their kid's dirty diaper, a diaper that was dirtied within the first 15 minutes of the flight.

I don't know why I have been so lucky, but with four kids who have flown several times, I have never had an instance where one of my children were difficult on a flight.  I prepared of course - filled a bag with as many toys, snacks and books as humanly possible.  I had portable DVD players, and stickers and crayons and play do.  Also, for take offs and landings and general bribing, I was armed with lollipops and gum.  

Also, my kids were firmly aware of my evil eye.  Along with packing the right stuff, I think it's every parent's obligation to perfect their evil eye before attempting a lengthy flight.  

What do you think?  Have you ever had a bad/embarrassing/annoying airplane-child moment?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

I really wanted her to love Lloyd Dobler


I love forcing my kids to watch old 80's movies with me. I really just want them to love the movies as much as I did when I was growing up.

OK, honestly, I don't have to force them that hard. They have liked everything I've made them watch so far, except Heathers. They didn't get it. In their defense, it is a pretty freaking weird movie. Weirdly AWESOME, that is. Though rather violent...


Anyway, I love Lloyd Dobler, he was always my favorite. I was trying so hard to find Say Anything the other day so I could show my kids how great it was. I really wanted Megan to love Lloyd Dobler as much as I do. I was so mad because I couldn't find it on any of the movie things! Nexflix, Hulu, iTunes - it was nowhere to be found! Isn't that ridiculous?


Speaking of 80's movie crushes, I also love(d) Duckie.  I so would have picked him if I were Andi (the girl in Pretty in Pink).  I know not everyone is with me on that, but it's no secret that I've always been into the quirky guys. I always thought he was so cute.  My absolute favorite part of that movie is when Duckie comes sliding into the music store and starts lip syncing Try a Little Tenderness. Aw. Everytime I watch that clip it makes me miss the 80's. Except the heavily hair sprayed hair for girls part. That look never really worked for me.

Back to Lloyd Dobler.  Seriously. What girl would be able to resist that cutie? You know, the whole boombox, professing your love, sweet adorable guy in a trench coat thing? Who could resist that?? 

Ah the 80's...  if we're talking about movies that made the whole decade (actually we might have been talking about boys, but that's neither here nor there) (BTW, I've never said 'that's neither here nor there' in my life), we'd have to throw in the Breakfast Club. I so love that movie. To this day I will watch it any time it comes on. Though I have to admit, I was never a fan of Judd Nelson. He has really big nose holes and they always sort of scared me. I do think he's a good actor though.


Speaking of the Breakfast Club, I just saw Anthony Michael Hall in a commercial for cell phones or something. Did you guys see that? He looked like a grown man. Which I suppose is normal, when you're in your 40's or something. But still, it's hard to not think of him as his nerdy teenaged self.

Oh yeah, Sixteen Candles!  Back in the day when there was no google, I remember trying to figure out who Jake Ryan was in real life.  Where the heck was the information highway when I needed it??  What an attractive guy. What a great movie.  Take note, if you're watching the movie with your kids, there is straight-up nakedness in there that I completely forgot about. I was reminded when I saw a very naked shower scene while I was watching the movie with two little girls on the couch beside me. So that was a shocking turn of events. Anyway, remember The Donger?  Hahaha.  I admit freely that I still quote that movie, and it came out like, forever ago.

Back to the Future, The Goonies, Footloose, Better Off Dead, The Karate Kid, Ferris Bueller, Dirty Dancing...  I'm not sure if this generation of kids is going to have such a group of defining movies to look back on when that grow up. Which is exactly why I try to bribe my kids into watching 80's movies with me every so often. 


I strongly believe that it's my duty as a parent to expose my kids to such greatness. What movies do you watch with your kids?

Monday, April 11, 2016

An unfortunate event at college, as told in text



















Yeah, so my son ordered Crocs while drunk at college. Using the fake ID that he apparently had previously obtained, but then lost, during the drunk at college part.  

Most of the memes are from my husband, who is addicted to memes.

Greeeeeaaaat.

Friday, April 8, 2016

This TGIF sucks!

So I was happily sleeping away this morning, dreaming about something rather inappropriate actually, and Brooke comes in to tell me that she texted me a poem.

The poem was about why she should stay home from school.

The poem:

Hey mother,
Do I have to go to school
Because I look like a fool.

And my nose 
works like a hose.

And I can't do anything above my neck,
So give me a sec,

Because that is a problem,
and usually I could solve 'um

Just not today.

So what do you say?
Wait I know what you would say, 
"give it a try"
But this time I would rather die!


Welp.  Good morning to me!  All week Brooke has been attempting to get out of school because she has a cold. Earlier in the week, she did have a fever, so I let her stay home because of course she was legit sick. Unfortunately she had some state testing this week, so I pretty much had to send her after that. Her fever was gone and she was still stuffy, but she was ok enough to go in my opinion. I even let her come home one of the days after the test just to rest up.

Her big issue is with her runny nose, mostly because she is embarrassed to blow her nose at school.  Also because with a runny nose, she has a little bit of redness from all of the nose blowing.  She is very concerned that people might notice the redness. God forbid she goes to school with a pink runny nose. Apparently, that's a nightmare in 5th grade.

So there was a lot of additional snffling and silent tears because she was trying to convince me for a bit.

Then, just to make the morning even MORE fun, Megan came in all blah and said she had a sore throat, hoping I would suggest that SHE stay home from school.

SO THAT WAS FUN.

I sent them both to school like a mean mom.

I did appreciate Brooke's poem though.

Now I'm kind of cranky, feeling like TGIF sucks. Also, it's grey out and my dog keeps looking at me like I'm not a very great pet owner beacuse I'm not playing with her. But we all know that I'm not a great player!!  I never claimed to be a great player. Also, it's very disappointing that I'm not rich because I found a really great kitchen makeover that has easily got to be 50 grand, which I refuse to spend on a house in my area. The housing market here is always so iffy... there's no way I'd get that money back around here. 

All and all, it's looking like a pretty sucky day.  Damn it.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

I have no desire to live in So Cal

Last night we were sitting on the couch half watching TV, half not. We were miscellaneously chatting, discussing the stupid weather that we're currently experiences here in upstate NY. We had our first snowstorm of the year a few days ago. My poor trees are so confused. Last week there were cute little buds popping out, getting all ready to make the trees full with leaves, and this week - ugh.

I love snow. Actually, I love winter. The cold is my favorite, in a weird way. It's also really nice to have different seasons... it's one of the things that I like best about where I live. But it's not winter anymore, it's spring. And snow shouldn't be making an appearance right about now.

Anyway, I was like, "Wow, I can't believe it's April! April 6th already! This snow is ridiculous."

And Alex, who's been super busy at work lately, was paying more attention to important work emails, absently says, "I know, right?"

"April 6th... is that Flag day? Something is on April 6th..." I said. Then I remembered. "Oh! It's (one of my old boyfriend's) birthday!"

And Alex looks up, "You remember his birthday?  That was like, 30 years ago."

So I said, "Well! I'm good with dates!"

Then we got into this whole lengthy discussion about a boyfriend that I had in like, high school. Living across the country, it's not like he and I would ever run into each other or anything, and also I'm pretty sure he hates me, but whatever. I haven't seen that guy's face in so many years. I wonder what he looks like as a grown up. I wonder if people call him by his real name, as opposed to his nickname. I'm not sure I could call him something other than his nickname, it would be too weird.

Then Alex was like, "His firm is one of the ones my group had recently talked about joining, wouldn't that be so weird? I think they can bring their families on their annual partners meetings. Imagine that?"

I was all momentarily startled, "Um, NO. I can't imagine that! That would be horrifying! You know that's my worst nightmare!"

One of my biggest anxieties is accidentally running into people that I used to know. It's probably what keeps me in my house so much. I need mental preparation so I don't come off as a moron. Coming off as a moron is definitely one of my worst things.

It would be much better if we didn't live in my little town where everyone knows everyone else. Everyone knows your past, your history, the branches of your family, the skeletons you have in your closet... everything. It's really one of the things that I don't love about living where I live. A lot of people really like that deep history... living in a place where generations of your family has lived before you. Alex and I both have a lot of history here, family-wise. I do like that I have roots somewhere, and I honestly like my little town in general. I just guess I think I would way rather live somewhere where I could just be me, now.

I'd rather live in a place where people could decide if they like you or don't like you based on what you put out to them, to the world, not based on how you behaved as a 15 year-old, or your grandparent's wealth or something stupid like that. I'd be more comfortable where there are no pre-conceived ideas of who you are. I hate feeling pre-judged.

ANYway, for my sanity's sake, I'm going to do my best to make sure my husband's group stays out of southern California, and definitely far, far away from an old high school boyfriend's firm. 


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

When he said, "WTF is a zoodle?"


You know how you can slyly give your husband the hot dog that you accidentally dropped on the ground?  And they happily eat it without ever knowing the difference? Because they're a guy? Well last weekend, the jig was up.  

My mom let the cat out of the bag! Thanks a lot, MOM. Now I'm getting suspicious looks every time I put a plate in front of my husband.

He's all inspecting his food like Kara (who DEEPLY looks at every last bite of her food, just in case), and suddenly thinks he sees something, "A-HA! A hair!"

And so very patiently, I say, "No honey, that is just part of a zoodle." 

And he's all, "WTF is a zoodle?"

And I'm all, "Oh just you wait. We are going to be having LOTS of zoodles! I found so many great recipes on Pinterest today!"

And he's like, "Fucking Pinterest..."

So speaking of hot dogs, we just had the first hot dogs of the season! It really felt like spring, and we were all so happy, except Brooke who was like, "I only like the blanket, not the pig."

And I was like, "Eat your damn hot dog, child."

OK, fine. I didn't say that. But only because I kept it in my heart.  I was definitely thinking it.

I actually don't care if she eats the pig, because I just can't get involved in dinner time hassles. There were other things on her plate that she liked, so who cares if all she eats is the blanket, go for it, 4th kid.

Huh. This is some post. Zoodles and hot dogs. Oh well, it happens.

Monday, April 4, 2016

If I can see your uvula, you're too close to me.



I think I appear warm and kind and engaged when I am in a conversation with someone. But I just can't handle when someone gets in my personal space. Close talkers make me very uncomfortable.

I mean, if I can see your uvula, you're too close to me.  If I can see your nose hairs, you are too close to me.  If I can see your ear wax, you are definitely too close to me.

What makes a person think that they can get all up in your mug and you'll be OK with that?  Seriously, isn't it uncomfortable for them too?

First of all, I have breath anxiety. I am very concerned that if I have bad breath and someone is a close talker then they will walk away and think, she must have had a shit sandwich for lunch.  That's my nightmare. That someone would think that I had a shit sandwich.

It's also my nightmare that someone with their own shit sandwich breath would be a close talker to me. I can't take bad breath in my airspace.  It makes me gag a little. Then I have to talk with my nose plugged from the inside. You know, plugging your nose without actually touching your nose.   

Also, if someone is a close talker I feel like it's very hard to make lingering eye contact. I hate lingering eye contact. I find myself focusing on their teeth, or their gigantic earlobes, or that tiny little scar under their eyebrow. And if I am not making eye contact, maybe they are thinking that I am rude and not paying attention. When in all actuality, I am just not digging the fact that I can feel their breath on my skin.

There are basically two instances when close talking could be appropriate. One, if we were in a club, and we were all off in a corner somewhere having a deep conversation and it was really hard to hear, then that is an instance where being a close talker would be OK with me. I mean, you practically have to be mouth to ear to hear over the noise of a hopping club anyway. Incidentally, I haven't been to a hopping club in a really long time. I have no desire to go to a hopping club, in case you were wondering.

And two, if we were like, getting close and cozy and couple-ish, close talking is appropriate, and kind of really good. But you know, your average random friend-type person and I aren't going to be doing that sort of thing. Because that's not how I roll.