Monthly Archives: April 2014

Most Ridiculous Inconvenience Part 2

mri sign

I had another MRI the other day (click here if you missed my first one).  Because it’s been 6 months since my meniscus surgery and I am still suffering from knee pain.  The kind of pain that takes me twice the amount of time to climb a set of stairs.  Last time I checked I am a person, not a sloth.  Although I do have to admit to feeling like a sloth at times.  But that’s a whole other problem.  All I can say is I promise you I know what it feels like to be 96.  And it sucks so bad.

Anyway, this was my second MRI ever and I am a total expert by now.  Here is what I noticed this time around:

  • Why do they give you that questionnaire thingy when they don’t even look at it?  How did I know they didn’t look at it?  Because the guy re-asked me the questions.  Like I was lying the first time.  Yes, that’s what it was.  I was lying.  On second thought, I do have some shrapnel in my body.  My bad.
  • It is confirmed to me that I have adult ADD when I do something like this:  not listen to a thing the nice man is telling me when I have to get dressed for my procedure.  “Put on these pants and then….”  “Did I turn off the oven?  Wait.  What?”  Ok, so do I put the gown opening in the front or the back?  Did he even say I had to put it on?  Hello?  I’m having my knee x-rayed.  Not my boobs.  Pay attention, pay attention…ooh, a squirrel.

    Me with the gown opened in the back that I didn't need

    Me with the gown that I didn’t need.  Opening in the back.

  • Thank you for the pretty picture of the beach you put on the ceiling.  Too bad that by the time you roll me into the machine it is behind me.  And because you said I couldn’t move, I had to roll my eyeballs all the way up practically into my head so I could enjoy it.  Except I totally looked like I was either having a seizure or a bad drug experience.
  • How come when The Kid had her MRI on her foot, they let her choose the radio station?  Is it because I look like an old hag and they just assumed that I wanted easy listening?  Aren’t they breaking some kind of Equal Opportunity laws or something?
  • Apparently, Barry Manilow is the go-to guy for MRI’s.  Except instead of singing to Mandy, he actually sang to me.  I know this because he said, “this one’s for you.”  Thanks Barry.  You the man.  Well, the MRI man, anyway.
  • Why do the most itches happen when you can’t move?  I could go all day without noticing an itch.  But when instructed not to move for 25 minutes?  It’s like a spider had babies on my ankle and all her little spider babies made their way all the way up to my ear.  What is that?
  • I suddenly remembered a time when someone I knew had to have a test and they couldn’t swallow. “Okay Mo, don’t swallow.  You can do this.”  Oh, wait.  What am I doing?  I’m here for an MRI.  Right?  Squirrel.
  • Oh God, I’m gonna sneeze.  Ooh, remember a long time ago that trapeze family fell to their deaths while doing a circus act because one of the members sneezed?  That was terrible.  But that won’t happen to me.  Honestly, the only thing I’m worried about is the keys flying off the wall and stabbing me in the brain.  It could happen.

So my prognosis?  Something about the cartilage not healing all the way so I need to have some gel injections until it does heal.  Whatever.  Just as long as they don’t have to cut me open again.  I can’t take any more old lady knee.  Not that there is anything wrong with old lady knee.  But I’m not ol…oh, never mind.

 

Generation Bad News

love-poster-quote_1800-2What is it about this generation?  When I was a kid, all we worried about was if Maria wanted to fight you because you kissed her boyfriend.  “Meet me behind the school after the last bell.”  So, we might go home with a black eye or get punched in the stomach and forced to vomit the meatball sandwich we ate for lunch, but so what?  We had our life intact.  No one thought to bring a gun or a knife to school.  I’m not saying it didn’t happen, I’m just saying it didn’t happen often.

Last Friday a bright young woman’s life was snuffed out.  For no reason.  She said “no” to a boy who asked her to prom and he didn’t like that answer.  So instead of being a man and walk away with his head held high, he decided to be a coward instead.  He took out a knife.  And without thinking about the repercussions, he took her life.  Just like that.

Last month, a teenage boy choked his girlfriend to death, then threw her in a stream.  All because they got into a fight.  This happened in my parent’s town in North Carolina.  In another part of the state, a teenage girl poisoned her grandmother because this grandmother took her cell phone away from her.

A year and a half ago, a young man went into an elementary school and killed 20 children and 6 others.  Then there’s Columbine.  Virginia Tech.  And this isn’t all.  Google “violent crimes committed by a minor.”  You will be shocked.  Children as young as 12 are on this list.  It’s disgusting.

So, here are my questions:  What are we doing wrong?  Why are our children killing others?  Why is there such total disrespect for human life?  Where is the fear of God?  Or morals?  Are we being too permissive?  Are we not imposing enough boundaries?  Are there too many outside influences beyond our control?  Too many violent video games?  Too much social media? 

I am in an outrage, as I’m sure many of you are.  I’m not happy that I can no longer feel that my child is safe at school.  That every morning there is a police officer standing at the entrance of the school in the event that some kid may lose his crap and start shooting at people.  I’m not saying that I’m not grateful for this police officer.  I am.  I understand that this is the new normal.  It still doesn’t make it right.

How did it get out of control?  I’m not judging.  We allow our teenage daughter to have her head in her phone way too long.  We give her not only what she needs, but what she wants more times than we probably should.  Maybe she doesn’t have enough chores around here.  But she has boundaries.  She knows right from wrong.  We took the time to show her the importance of compassion, how to love others.  We taught her to be strong and confident.  How to handle rejection.  How to be a good sport.  Respect human life.

We, as parents, need to step up and raise our children.  Don’t you have conversations with your friends that sound something like this:  “Geez, when I was a kid if I talked to my mother the way some of these kids speak to their mothers, I’d get an ass-whooping.”?

I don’t condone hitting your child.  I don’t agree with that.  But something is lacking.  Somewhere along the way, we messed up.  I could be wrong, but doesn’t it start in the home?  So, people, let’s fix this thing.  I can’t take another news story of a child taking someone else’s life.  There is something so wrong about that.  We need to stop the violence.  And we need to stop it today.  Who’s with me?

 

10 Reasons Why I HATE Walmart

walmartHate.  It’s a very strong word.  I was brought up to never use that word.  I was and am never to hate anyone.  But I’m getting a pass here because Walmart isn’t a person.  It is a thing.  And I HATE this thing.  All caps.  I used to dislike Walmart immensely.  Until a couple of days ago.  On Easter Sunday, a day that is all about faith, love and celebration, I decided I would turn my disdain into pure, unadulterated hatred.

Sure, it’s partially my fault.  I was assigned a salad to bring to a family Easter gathering.  But I’m only partially at fault.  I’m sure of it.  Anyway, as I’m walking out the door (I went solo because The Kid was home sick with tonsillitis, strep throat and a fever and DH won the job of caretaker), I realized that I completely forgot the dressing for the salad.  It’s a salad I make all the time and that I like to use a specific dressing for.  But I forget this dressing.  Why and uh, Duh?

I’m an ass.  Immediately, I thought it would just require a quick stop into Shop Rite and I could be on my way.  But no.  Shop Rite was closed.  I ran into the Panera next door hoping they would sell me some dressing.  No, they wouldn’t.  Bastards.  Oh, there’s Target.  Target never closes.  This I know because that was the place of My Retail Job for over 9 months and they never close.  Guess what?  They do on Easter.  Huh.  Xpect Discounts — nope.  Super Stop and Shop?  No no NO.

As I pass the Walmart, I see that this lovely is open.  I am flooded with relief mixed with complete and utter dread.  From the road, it appeared that every Tom, Dick and Harry in the Free World PLUS each creature, living and dead, of and in the entire Universe is there.

After fighting off and pushing through a zillion people, I find the dressing aisle.  Of course, I have to settle on whatever dressing they have which was NOT the dressing I wanted, but whatever.  So there I am, standing in line at Walmart with my one item.

And here is why I now HATE, not just loathe, but HATE Walmart:

  1. The fact that they are the only store within miles open on Easter really sucks poppycock.  I should love them for this, but I don’t.
  2. The fact that I have to push through a zillion people just to get a freaking 2 dollar bottle of salad dressing.  And then stand on the stupid zillion person line to purchase this 2 dollar bottle of wine.  Oops, did I just say wine?  Silly me.  I mean dressing…makes me want to…um, drink a bottle of wine?  Yes, indeed.
  3. There were plenty of registers open, but every line snaked halfway to the back of the store.  Do you know why?  See #4.
  4. The guy on my register was in absolutely no rush.  Nope.  Apparently, he didn’t have to rush home to an Easter dinner with family.  And no amount of staring, bitching or pleading was going to make him go any faster.  “Oh, this is a lovely dish towel…beep.  This is a great price for these socks…beep…”  MOVE IT ALONG, MAN!
  5. I have black and blues from all the millions of times the little girl behind me hit me with her pile of $1 chocolate bunnies and fruit snacks.  She apologized the first time, but continued to do it.  STAND BACK CHICK OR SOMEONE IS GOING TO GET HURT.  I DON’T CARE THAT YOU’RE TEN!
  6. It was a day for children to be let loose in the store.  Not only are the children loose but they like to carry loose change.  Only loose change for these certain three boys who were buying a crapload of candy for themselves.  Yup.  I’m pretty sure my register guy counted it correctly after the third attempt.  “Two dollars and fifty-three cents, two dollars and fifty-four cents, two dollars and fifty…oops, where was I?”
  7. Why do people insist on bringing more than 8 items to the Express checkout lane?  It’s just not fair.  Honestly, if I weren’t in such a rush, I would have snitched.  Probably.  Well, maybe. Umm, most likely not.  I’m passive aggressive like that.
  8. Walmart did not…repeat…did not carry MY salad dressing.  Had I have known, I would have grabbed one of the 40 bottles of unopened dressing in my pantry.  But don’t feel bad, Mister Walmart.  Totally not your fault.
  9. Their parking lot blows chunks and I can never find my car.  And the fact that I had to park a mile away from the store entrance, does not help their case.
  10. This post should be called “9 Reasons Why I HATE Walmart” because that’s really all I got.

When I reached my sister-in-law’s house and ranted about my holy hell Walmart experience, she simply said, “you should have called me.  I’m sure I have salad dressing here.”  Oh.  Rant over.  Next year I won’t forget the salad dressing.  Lesson learned.  I hope.

My New Job

The youngest wearing my glasses.  She's the cutest thing EVER.

The youngest (#7) wearing my glasses. She’s the cutest thing EVER.

I got a new job.  I started this new job 2 weeks ago.  I totally forgot to tell you.  Well, I shared a little something that my new boss posted on Facebook, but if you don’t follow me on Facebook or don’t even have Facebook, then you didn’t or don’t know about my new status (you can read her blog posting about it here).

What is this new job, you ask?  This new job of mine is that of Personal Assistant.  I was hired to help with her kids, chores around the house, errands and admin work for her blog when needed.  My new boss is actually a friend of mine.  Should I call her Briend?  Or Bross?  It’s strange.  Calling her “boss.”  Working for her isn’t strange.  Not strange at all.  In fact, it’s really awesome.

Anyway, basically she needed a personal assistant and since I had quit My Retail Job a couple of months back, I was available.  I only work for her 20 hours a week.  It’s perfect.  I still have time for my things.  Like my own blog, writing, housecleaning (sometimes) and everything else.  And I make more money than I did when I was working My Retail Job.  Which isn’t completely unbelievable because retail pays crap.

My Briend is totally cool and funny and has a lot on her plate.  She is mother to 7 kids, has a blog (I already said that), runs an online fitness course, coaches swim and started a furniture refinishing business (I’m pretty sure I’m missing something.  Let’s just say no moss grows under her feet.).  How does this woman even have time to wipe?  No, I don’t do that.  Well, unless one of her small children has an accident, then I might but that’s different.

In a nutshell, her current (or the one before me) assistant didn’t work out.  In a conversation we were having, she casually mentioned that she was going to fire her but she was not looking forward to starting the whole process of finding someone else all over again.  Suddenly, I heard myself say, “I’ll do it.”  Like she was just going to say, “you’re hired.”  Fortunately for me, that is what she said.  This was a Thursday.  I started the job on Monday.  That’s how fast it happened.

I was already going over there every Thursday morning to give her a hand with laundry, dinner and whatever she needed.  So I already knew her children.  And where she keeps her Tupperware.  I love her children by the way.  They are really quite awesome.  So, this should be a snap.  No problem.

My first week, my friend-boss was sick.  Really sick.  So, I spent the first few days helping her to keep the kids out of her hair.  I was thrown in.  No learning curve.  No nothing.  Well, except for what I learned on Thursdays but I am a mother so I could do this.  Sure, I only have experience with one at a time, not 5 (the two oldest are teenagers so I don’t include them because they don’t scare me.  Although, they should.  Because they are teenagers.).  There is a beautiful inground pool at my friend-boss’ house.  They recently had it uncovered so it could be repaired.  It was a nice day on that first Wednesday and the kids wanted to go out and play on the swing set.  Sure.  No problem.

I should probably mention that my friend-boss is pretty laid back when it comes to kids.  She’s a former teacher and an awesome mother, and she isn’t uptight or neurotic.  Like I was with my own.  She lets them play without looking in on them every 3 seconds.  It’s great.  It actually reminds me of my own childhood when things were a bit more carefree.  She’s a perfect mix of protective and attentive without being overbearing.

One of the things that bothered her about her previous employee was that she was uptight.  Up the kids’ butts every second.  This woman didn’t know how to balance keeping an eye on the kids and do other things at the same time.  She became a babysitter.  She did not want a babysitter.  Sure, she needed help with the kids a bit, but not a full-on babysitter.  So, when they wanted to play outside, my bross said from her sick bed, “just make sure they don’t go in the pool.”  No problem.

Shit.  Okay, what do I do?  I had things to do in the house.  My Fross was in bed all but dying.  And 5 of her children ranging in ages 2-8 were outside playing in the backyard.  They also happen to live on a busy road.  With no fence.  I know the kids know better.  I know they have been taught to stay far, far away from the road.  Still.  I was a friggin’ nervous wreck.  But I had to be a nervous wreck without showing it because I didn’t want her to get annoyed at me.  No problem.

Every 3 minutes, I went out on the deck and counted heads.  1, 2, 3, 4, 5.  1, 2, 3, 4, 5.  1, 2, 3, 4…Oh God.  I threw on my shoes and ran outside.  “Where’s Number 7?” (My friend-boss refers to her children as numbers instead of names on her blog.)  Number 4 did a huge intake of air, covered her mouth and said, “Oh no, I FORGOT ABOUT HER!!!”  I immediately got that butt-pucker-that-makes-me-feel-like-I’m-gonna-poop-when-I-get-nervous feeling.  I had visions of Number 7 toddling along the busy road.  I lost all composure.  I am not always great in a crisis when it involves children.  (I lost my best friend’s 2 year old when I was watching her kids while this friend was in the hospital recovering from thyroid cancer.  Do you see a pattern with 2 year olds?  This may be a problem.)

Should I keep you in suspense?  Nah.  Everything was just fine.  I went out the back door, she went in the front door and it was as simple as just not crossing paths.  Phew.  My butt unpuckered.  All was well.  I lost another 10 years off my life.  But I didn’t have to break the news to my poor, sick Fross that her youngest was half-way to the next town.

Aside from that little incident, everything is great.  I’m having a good time at my new job.  I mean, come on.  I work with a friend, we can bitch and moan while I work.  Damn, if there weren’t a million children in the house at any given time, it would be the perfect opportunity to pop open a bottle of wine.  But drinking on the job with children about probably isn’t a good idea, is it?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.

So, like My Retail Job except only a million times more pleasant, I’m sure I will have stories to regal you with.  So stay tuned.  Hopefully, I won’t lose another child.  But I’m sure I will lose more years and gain more grays.  Whatever.  It’s fine.  It’s bound to happen anyway.

Smells Like Teen Spirit. Or Beer.

I'm 17 here.  I know because my sweatshirt says 1985.  My favorite sweatshirt that I got at NJ and some chick stole from my gym locker.  I cried.

I’m 17 here. I know because my sweatshirt says 1985. My favorite sweatshirt that I got in Long Beach Island, NJ and some chick stole from my gym locker. I cried.

I am abso-freaking-lutely amazed at what kind of mother I have turned out to be. I mean, I actually have limits on my child. I expect her to do well in school. I abhor it when she is sassy.  I am petrified of her drinking at a party but realize this may happen so I tell her if she does drink to be smart and call us before getting in a car.  And when I say “smart” I mean think-about- having-one-beer-or-maybe-even-just-a-sip-and-dump-the-rest-out-in-the-bathroom-sink-so-your-friends-don’t-call-you-a-nerd smart.

Am I serious?  Who said that?  Wait. Let me look in the mirror to make sure that is me talking and not some wack-a-doo who has taken over my body when I wasn’t looking.

Hey man, I may be 47 (cough gag spit) but my brain still feels 16. I often reminisce about my teen years. The friends I had, what we did, how we did them, how I would miss a class here or there.  Telling the parents that I went to see “The Karate Kid” when instead I was hanging out at the A&P parking lot downing a Bud Light or three with my gang.  Totally rad and bitchin’ fun, man (80’s lingo in case you missed that).

Solo cup also holds Koolade.  Although, that's probably not in there.

Solo cups also hold Kool-Aid. You know, because that’s what I’m drinking.  Wait.  How did Kool-Aid get in my beer?

Even with all that, I act like a middle aged tight wad of an old hag. “Mom, I got a 78 on my history test.”  “What???   You got what? You’re smarter than that. What’s wrong with you?  Why didn’t you study harder?”  Really?  This coming from the woman who as a sophomore in high school was lucky to score a 65 on a test?  Seriously. She doesn’t score that low often.  And it’s not even that low. What’s wrong with me?

And drinking?  Ha!  Beer and Bartles & Jaymes orange wine coolers were my drink of choice when at a party. Yeah, I was not one to go for the cola bar.  Unless it was accompanied by Jack.

And a little sass?  Hell, I remember an incident when I actually picked up a chair and threw it at my mother. I got kicked out of the house for a night for that one.

When I was 15, I wanted to stay out until the wee hours of the morning and hang out with friends. When my stodgy parents put a curfew of 10pm on me, I pouted and swore that when I grew up and had a daughter she would be able to do whatever the hell she wanted. And I meant it too. “I HATE YOU MOM YOU ARE RUINING MY LIFE!” was my mantra.  I flipped her the bird more times than I care to admit behind her back. I did it so much, I’m surprised my finger didn’t actually fly away.  Yeah, I was sweet.  I drank beer, pretend smoked cigarettes (because although I thought I was a badass, I was part Pollyanna in disguise.  Ok, so maybe Pollyanna is pushing it), ran away from home, cut school and got poor grades.

Well guess what?  I grew up. I had a daughter. And that daughter is exactly the age I was when I proclaimed to the world that the night could be hers, even if it meant partying with no curfew and having all the beer she wanted at her fingertips.

Guess what else?  Even though I feel like I’m still 16 at times, my brain must have matured. Because, yeah right.  I don’t think so. Over my dead body. And if I find marijuana in your room, you are grounded for life.  And trust me when I tell you, I will never go for that “I’m holding it for a friend” business.  I may have bamboozled your grandparents from time to time with that one, but you will not bamboozle me.  Also, you will be tested when you get back from the movies.  Don’t worry I trust you.  Kind of.

Today Is Your Birthday…I Mean MY Birthday

Hey all!  Today is my birthday.  Yup.  April 6.  Besides me, Paul Rudd, Candace Cameron, Bill Dee Williams, Marilu Henner, John Ratzenberger and a whole bunch of people I’ve never even heard of also have a birthday today.  All my life I thought I shared a birthday with Houdini, but I just found out I don’t.  That’s embarrassing.  I also share my birthday with a couple of friends, which is totally cool but not.  Get your own birthday!  JK.

So, I’m 47.  Or as my sweet dad likes to say, “you’re in your 48th year.”  Thanks dad.  I can officially say that I am in my late 40’s.  Although I would really prefer not to say that ever.  I don’t know why.  I feel good, I’m in a good mental state (well, most of the time), I’m fairly happy with the way I look (Except my eyelids.  They droop so bad, it looks like I’m sleep walking.  When did that happen?).  I’m doing something I absolutely and completely love, love, love.  So, what’s my problem?

I’m almost 50.  Sure, you may think it’s not a big deal.  And on the large scale, it isn’t.  It’s just a number.  I need to embrace it.  Sure, okay.  I will.  But first I need to say this:  Like my eyelids, WHEN THE HELL DID THIS HAPPEN?  And freak that.  It is a big deal.  Holy Hell.  I’m almost 50.

Just yesterday I was 19, when I met my husband-to-be.  DH had a grandmother (she lived to be 99 — love and miss you Mem).  She was in her seventies when I met her.  I used to say, “Oh, I’ve got plenty of time before I’m that old.”  Well, guess what?  I’m closer to there than I care to admit.  I barely remember the first half of my life it whizzed by so fast.  That is what scares me.

Why do I think about it so much?  Because.  There is stuff happening to me that makes it quite apparent that I am aging.  How is a girl supposed to NOT think about it when…

  1. I swear, I lose an inch of height a year.  At my tallest, I stood at five feet five and three quarters of an inch.  Now?  Let’s just say The Kid absolutely LOOMS over me.  I can’t even post a picture of us on Facebook without someone making that “are you kneeling?” comment.  My name is Mo and I am shrinking.  There, I said it.
  2. I think that's Broadway running along there

    I think that’s Broadway running along there

    The backs of my hands look like a road map of Manhattan.  Where did you say you wanted to go?  Madison and 37th?  Oh, here it is.  Right beneath my left ring finger.  Kind of convenient, wouldn’t you say?  No.

  3. Every morning when I get out of bed, I have more aches and pains than an athlete who just finished a marathon followed by the Iron Man.  No, actually, I think I hurt more than that.  It takes me a good 10 minutes to loosen up in the morning.  I may need a cane soon to get me to the bathroom so I can go pee.
  4. Speaking of pee…when I go, it doesn’t stop.  I think it stops.  But it doesn’t.  I have been known to leave a lovely trail to the shower (follow the yellow pee road).  I’m sorry.  I can’t help it.  All the Kegels in the world don’t help.
  5. Holding my arms out to read something no longer works.  I don’t really want to talk about it.  Let’s just say there are a pair of readers in every room of my house, in my car, pocketbook and on my head at all times.
  6. My eyelids are just about reaching my boobs.  Which is pretty bad because my boobs are now half way down my stomach.  They haven’t quite reached the belly button though.  And for this I am grateful.

    There is that damn perpetual eyeglass mark on my nose.  #11 why getting old sucks.

    There is that damn perpetual eyeglass mark on my nose. #11 why getting old sucks.

  7. I call everyone under the age of 40, a “kid.”
  8. I think my hair has more gray than blonde.  But I wouldn’t really know because I hide it with highlights.  In fact, I don’t even know what my real hair color is anymore.  And I have a feeling I should continue to stay in the dark about that for as long as I possibly can.
  9. I graduated high school 28 years ago.  When The Kid graduates, I may be going to my 30th reunion.  Oh Dear God.
  10.  When you start running at the age of 46 and need knee surgery less than 8 months later, then maybe you shouldn’t start running at the age of 46.

I think that’s enough.  Today is a happy day.  Today is my birthday.  So what that I may have to start adding Metamucil to my wine.  Mentally, I feel like I’m 15.  A 15 year old with a short term memory problem.  Whatever.  It could be worse.  My boobs could be hanging down to my belly button.