Author Archives: momfeld

About momfeld

I am a middle-aged married mother of one female college student. I love to laugh at myself so I have started blogging about my life experiences, being a mom and random thoughts to keep my sanity.

Our Family Christmas Letter – Volume 5

Fa la la la la and welcome to Our Family Christmas Letter #5.

The year of 2017 was the year of discovery.

I discovered that I can’t sleep past 6:00am and that I can no longer sit criss-cross apple sauce. If I do, I feel like my hips are going to crack out of their sockets. Also, I’m pretty sure there is nothing left of my knees. How do I know? It could be the fact that I cannot so much as walk to the end of my driveway without feeling like someone took a baseball bat to my kneecaps. Call it a hunch.

Why is all this happening? I don’t really know but I’m blaming the number 50 because it all went downhill starting on the magical day of April 6. Yes, I am officially middle-aged and it ain’t pretty.

I’ve also discovered that my pits have decided to sweat a river a day. I spent the better part of the second half of 2017 looking for the perfect deodorant. Just so you know, it doesn’t exist. Not even on the men’s shelf at Stop and Shop so don’t bother. Those dress shield things — otherwise known as maxi pads for your armpits — work well enough until one of them pops out of the top of your shirt. That’s a nice look. I highly recommend it.

I had my first colonoscopy which was a real joy. Everyone told me it was nothing. That the prep was the worst. I discovered that was not true and that my friends are all liars.

The worst part of it was vomiting upon waking from my procedure. Anyone who knows me knows I would rather give a speech about quantum physics with centipedes crawling all over me to a room of 12,000 people, than vomit.

Maybe that’s an exaggeration…let’s make it spiders.

Also, I still haven’t figured out how it was possible to throw-up when I hadn’t eaten in nearly 20 hours. One of the many mysteries of the world, I guess. Maybe I’ll discover why in 2018, as that discovery just was not to be so in 2017.

(Note: three polyps were found, so please don’t let the fact that I threw up deter you from having a colonoscopy. It could very well save your life.)

Work for me is going great. It took a few months, but the cobwebs are finally clearing out of my brain. I seem to have grown out of all my old work pants though, so I’ve been wearing the same four pairs.

I plan on fitting back into those too-tight pants this year, but my New Year’s resolution track record is not a good one; therefore, I wouldn’t count on it. I apologize to all my co-workers but I promise I’ll try to wash them as much as possible.

Our dishwasher died this year. So, in addition to not being able to prevent the occurrence of the River Nile from developing in my underarm region, I have become a literal prairie woman by washing my own dishes. My new nickname is Caroline Ingalls. You can call me Carol for short.

Our washer and dryer also kicked the bucket this year, as well as our microwave. There is nothing like having to warm up your leftovers on an open flame. “Carol” seems to be more fitting with every appliance breakdown, don’t you think? And no, I did not hand wash our clothes. I have to draw the line somewhere. Attention co-workers: I just lied to you back there.

As for the other members of the family, they are doing just fine.

Our college age dear daughter has decided when she comes home she is a guest; therefore, expects us to pull out all the stops. I put my foot down at putting out a pitcher of Perrier on her nightstand, though. Poland Springs will have to do.

Other than that, she is doing great. The college debt is building up just like it should be. The best part is spending an evening applying for FAFSA when we don’t get a dime. I find it entertaining to be declined. It makes me feel rich even if for just a moment when in actuality l’m pretty sure if you have at least a house made of cardboard, you are too wealthy for a government handout.

DH is doing well. Nothing much has changed with him. He still likes to park the motorcycle in the living room during the winter season. Even though I tried to explain to him that we are prairie people now and prairie people don’t do those things. He never listens.

He still has his job he loves. Last week, I caught him trying to poke his good eye out with a fork. I’m so glad I stopped him. It’s hard to do the job he loves with only half an eye. If you recall, he lost part of his eyesight last year.

He’s still slim as ever. To all you ladies out there who don’t want a fat husband, cook really bad food. Twenty five years and counting so I am living proof this method works.

Then what’s MY excuse? I love bad food. I’m selfless like that.

I almost forgot to tell you, we finally went on a real vacation! After months of planning, the three of us flew to Turks and Caicos. It rained five days out of six and I contracted something close to Dengue Fever and basically got our money’s worth in toilet paper but it was fun overall.

I’m pretty sure we’re the only people on the planet who come back from the Caribbean without a tan but that’s just how we roll. (Toilet paper + roll = pun — see what I did there?)

That’s it in a nutshell. I would write a recap, but I need to go help pick up the Christmas Tree that just fell in our living room.

Discovery #9: If it seems like the old plastic Christmas tree stand that is leaking, leans to one side, and that you’ve had since the beginning of time is not going to hold a hundred pound tree, it probably won’t.

Why is there a live tree in the living room anyway? Yet another discovery hopefully to come in 2018.

See you all in the New Year…be safe and prosper.

No Hold Barres Ever Again

A few weeks ago I took a Barre class with a good friend of mine. This Barre class really was of no interest to me.

Why not?

Because I’m embarrassed to say that the most exercise I’ve had in the last couple years has been random walks around the block with the dog, and twenty (really fifteen) minutes on the elliptical at the gym during my “I’m going to get healthy” phase that lasted all of two weeks.

So, how did I get roped into this Barre class thing, you ask?

The Kid and I were spending the weekend with a friend and her step-daughter. Every Saturday morning they take a Barre class. Who were we to stand between these ladies and their routine?

Besides, I soon found out that pretty much death is the only thing that could come between my friend and her Barre class.

So we scheduled a class for the next morning. Bright and early.

On a weekend. When I was supposed to be sleeping late, drinking cocktails, catching up with my friend and doing nothing. Let me repeat…doing NOTHING (all caps, bolded and italicized in case you didn’t quite get the gist).

Anyway, when the two young’uns woke up with liquid coming out of both ends due to eating a bowl of bad Acai berries, I thought we would be off the hook. In fact, I was pretty sure we were. You know, off the hook.

Remember I said only death would come between my friend and her Barre class?

It wasn’t a lie.

I supposed if two food poisoned-stricken young ladies could muster up the energy to sit (sit really isn’t the correct word here) through a fifty minute Barre class, then so could I.

I was wrong.

Upon our arrival, I warned the cute little class instructor that I was going to look like a complete jackass to which she replied, “oh, you’ll be fine.”

She soon discovered the joke was on her.

If you have never been to a Barre class (Is this even a proper noun? Is it really deserving of capitalization?), the room looks like a long and narrow torture chamber. With mirrors lining one entire wall so that you can watch yourself looking like the complete jackass you claimed you are (I certainly didn’t want to disappoint anyone).

Oh, and there are bars. Or Barres. Running up and down two walls. The kind of bars you would find in a ballet studio.

Except this was no ballet class. Not that I’m saying ballet is any easier. But I was in a room with ballet bars. I mean, why?

The instructor had us do some stretches. I think. I’ve blocked some of it out. I’m sure my brain went into protection mode.

You may think I’m being a tad dramatic, but I’m not. It was bad. And it hurt. It hurt in places that I didn’t even know existed.

During the first three minutes, I discovered that I could no longer touch my toes. The last time I couldn’t touch my toes, I was nine months pregnant. That should tell you something.

Apparently, the purpose of Barre class (there goes that capitalization again) is, and I quote, “to perform multi-directional dynamic movements to target different muscle groups simultaneously.”

Well, let me assure you that there were muscle groups in my body that were in a deep hibernating state since 2014 and they were none too happy with me.

It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase, “…a long winter’s nap,” don’t ‘cha think?

After correcting me seventeen times in the first twenty minutes, the instructor shrugged her shoulders and gave up.

There was not one move I could accomplish. I stood/sat/died there for most of the class, with my eyes averted. Looking on the ground pretending an earring dropped out of my ear.

And I don’t wear earrings.

I kept peeking around the room to see if I had a partner in crime. Someone I could be in cahoots with. Someone who was struggling like I was because, as the saying goes, “misery loves company,” and that expression could not have been more true during this fifty minutes of hell.

But nope, I was the only jackass in class. Everyone looked like they knew what they were doing and doing it well.

Even the food-poisoned young ladies.

IMG_8375After sweating through class, with my heart pounding so hard I was concerned the paramedics were going to be called, I realized one thing:

I am out of shape.

And not just out of shape. My body is completely deplete of any shape at all.

I am a fifty-year old woman whose body is that of a seventy-year old (I apologize to all you seventy-year old women right now, because you probably still look and feel better than I do but if I put the number any higher, I will most likely drop dead of a stroke from the thought of it).

When I get out of bed in the morning, it takes a good five minutes to warm up. My back hurts, every bone pops, and forget about my knees. Those babies are shot and are in dire need of a repair.

I can no longer sit on the floor. If I do, I resemble one of those baby elephants trying to get a feel for standing except the baby elephant has a higher success rate.

After I prayed hard for the class to end, it finally did. I glared at my friend and pretty much threatened her life. “NEVER AGAIN,” I proclaimed for the entire class to hear.

The instructor actually breathed a big sigh of relief.

There was one benefit to this class. And that is I realized how badly I need to make some changes.

If I don’t start moving my ass, I am not going to be in good shape by the end of the decade. I mean, even worse than I am now. And that scares the hell out of me.

Four years ago...FOUR lousy years ago! It took me over a year to lose 30 pounds, and mere months to put them back on. WHY????

Four years ago…FOUR lousy years ago! It took me over a year to lose 30 pounds, and mere months to put them back on. WHY????

How in the world did I let myself go? Four years ago I was running five miles three to four times a week. I could run circles around most of the young people I knew. I was thirty pounds lighter, fit, tone, and best of all I felt amazing.

Now?

I’m just a fifty-year old woman stuck in a seventy-year old body who can’t do Barre class without looking like a walrus trying to scratch his own back.

I don’t really know what that means, but believe me it can’t be pretty.

Cheers to healthier days. Maybe next time you see me, I will look less like zoo animals, and more like a woman in the prime of her life.

Endocolonoscopy Part II

You all know I had a colonoscopy a couple weeks ago. If you didn’t know, read this.

Everyone from the Pope to the girl at work said the worst part was the prep.

Don’t believe everything you hear. That advice right there is something we were given at a very young age, yet I went against it.

There are maybe two benefits to a colonoscopy:

1) Rapid weight loss within a 24 hour period. I don’t recommend it though because having your insides empty into a toilet bowl at the velocity of a 747 doing a nose dive is probably not so good for you; and 2) A colonoscopy can save your life.

There is something very awkward about meeting the man who will be shoving a 6′ hose where the sun really does not ever shine,\

for the first time on the actual day of said shoving.

Besides the fact that he said he had a hangover, I think it went well. He was joking by the way.

I think.

Not only will he be doing an unmentionable to you, he will be giving you a mind blowing and vomit inducing drug.

I’m pretty sure if this were a blind date, there would not be a second. This guy is everything your mother warned you about. Plus some.

The Pope and the girl at work were right about how you feel like you took a thirty second nap because before I knew it I was lying on a gurney in the recovery room with about a dozen other victims. I mean, people. Also recovering from whatever their procedure of the day was.

They sat me almost immediately in a chair, of which I did not feel ready for. Because I didn’t feel well. I didn’t feel well at all. The room was spinning and before I knew it I was yelling, “I’M GONNA THROW UP!!!”

It sure is amazing how quickly the nursing staff moves when they hear that because within 1.2 seconds I had one of those kidney shaped plastic bowl things shoved under my chin. With a nurse on one side of me and my husband on the other, I vomited who knows what exactly because there literally was nothing in my stomach.

But before that moment I have to tell you, I had a rather large bit of flatulence escape from my underside.

Did I saw large? Yes I did, and I meant it. I looked at DH in surprise and disgust. “Did that just come out of ME??? Please tell me it was the guy next door.”

So, not only did I pass gas in front of a dozen strangers but I vomited as well.

This day is not going as planned. All I had to do was burp and I would have covered all of the unpleasant bodily functions in record  time. In front of strangers. Just so you know, this was NOT on my bucket list.

So, with my head spinning and my breath smelling of vomit, my doctor came in to tell me what he claims he already told me which is weird because I don’t remember at all.

Here’s a question for you — why, if you know there is a pretty high chance that your patient is going to be, well, high, would you try to talk to them so soon?

Anyway, I had a little inflammation in my esophagus, as well as the removal of a Z-Formation. I don’t really know what that is, but he didn’t seem concerned.

During my colonoscopy, he found three polyps. They were benign but polyps can turn into cancer if left to their own devices.

Would I do it again? Of course I would. And I will. In three years. Because they found those polyps, and I not only care about my colon health, but my life.

So, the moral of the story? Go get a colonoscopy. It’s really important, and at the end of the day it wasn’t so bad. Just pretend you didn’t hear that part about the vomit.

 

Can You Say “Endocolonoscopy?”

I’m having an endoscopy and colonoscopy together at the same time tomorrow and I’m a little nervous.

The colonoscopy is for that screening they say you should have when you turn fifty. Because why else would someone go and voluntarily have a hose shoved up the darkest nether regions of your person where no one in their right mind should be?

(Unless there is a real legitimate reason like you have a family history of colon cancer or concerning symptoms, then please go and have that hose shoved up there.)

Can I say I can’t believe I’m “you need to have a colonoscopy for screening purposes” years old?

Moving along.

The endoscopy is because I suffer from really bad, major ugly, reflux. Literally, if I eat pretty much anything that is edible, I end up with my esophagus feeling like it is in a fire.

So basically, in the words of The Bloggess (she’s this super weird and a little nutty but entertaining blogger), I am going to be a “human shish kabob.”

I really wish I had thought of that expression because it’s genius and that is basically what it’s going to feel like.

A stick coming out of both ends.

Just don’t put me on a spit because although my insides are on fire most of the time, fire scares me. I believe I would enjoy that about as much as having a hose shoved into both ends.

So I’m having this procedure and I wasn’t worried at all but suddenly I am.

Because I can tend to be a tad of a hypochondriac, all kinds of scenarios are running around in my head.

Esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, parasites, some weird disease that they will have to name “Mo’s Syndrome” because I will be the first ever person to have it and there will be textbooks written about me.

Maybe they’ll make a movie too. If so, I want Jennifer Aniston to play me because we are look-alikes. It’s true. See?

Told you so

Told you so

I also keep thinking about what happened to Joan Rivers. Yes, I realize she was old and maybe not in as good of health as people thought and her doctors were idiots and totally careless. But it freaks me out nonetheless.

Anyway, I started the prep almost three hours ago and it’s taking that long to get this far in my blog post here because I’m in the damn bathroom every three minutes. No lie.

I need to tell you that I just got back from vacation and was pretty sure I contracted Dengue Fever or e-coli poisoning, or a parasite invasion (blog post in progress because my favorite thing to do is talk about my bodily functions).

In other words, I already emptied an entire third world country from my bottom half. So, to go for a second round so soon is really not very much fun at all.

Here I am. In the middle of my bowel prep. Worried I would be starving to death because my last meal was at noon. But after slamming back 16-ounces of this liquid that tastes like twenty year old 7-Up but not real 7-Up, I’m everything BUT hungry.

I guess there’s one thing I don’t need to worry about now. I should feel grateful, but strangely enough, I do not.

So, wish me luck. I will be sure to post how it went because I know you need to know. Also, take care of yourself and get a hose shoved up your nether area. You may save your life.

The Making of a Blanket. Or How Knit To.

When I was a young girl, my mother taught me how to knit. Or she tried to. There’s only so much you can do when your daughter is a lefty and can’t do so much as wipe her own face with her right hand.

We got as far as the knit stitch. My mom had to cast on and off for every project I did. That is, if you want to call my fifteen 7″ x 1″ Barbie scarves a “project.”

I will say this though: My Barbies had the warmest necks this side of the Hudson.

But as quickly as my new hobby started, it stopped. That was it. Done by the tender age of ten.

Until I saw something on the inter-webs last October and decided it was time to revisit that old forty-year dead hobby of mine. Except I didn’t remember how. And even if I did, I would only be able to do the knit stitch.

I had a friend who I knew would be able to get me started. Also, I know you can learn how to do anything from building a car engine to how to clean your toilet with Coca-Cola on YouTube.

Long Live YouTube.

I called my mom who immediately packed up all her knitting accoutrements, from needles to patterns, and put them in the mail to me. I could almost hear her say, “Sucker!” Because what I was really doing was helping her clean out her junk room.

I’m on to you, mom.

Anyway, I was going to be THE knitting phenom. I was going to have this untapped talent. I would be able to make everything from blankets to sweaters with those little sheep patterns on them.

I’m not quite sure what gave me this impression. Maybe because I’m really good at coloring inside the lines. Or it could be because art class was one of the classes I didn’t cut in high school.

Who knows? But I was pretty sure I was going to be good. Even though I hadn’t held a pair of knitting needles in my hands since 1977.

It turns out I wasn’t a knitting phenom. It wasn’t a God-given talent. If that’s even a thing. But more on that in a minute.

So, what exactly gave me the inspiration, after nearly forty years, to pick up my (mom’s) knitting needles again?

It would be this:

My Inspiration

Evil, horrible liar.

It all started with an accidental peek at a chunky blanket I spied on Pinterest. Or Etsy. Okay, I’m not sure where I saw it. It just saw it. Somewhere. And “they” said it would only take 4-5 hours to make.

A piece of cake.

Like I said, I had an epiphany and was 110% sure I could do this and do this well.

Me. The girl who uses the side view mirror of her car to pick off random mailboxes. The girl who has more squirrels running around in her brain than all of the Connecticut backwoods combined.

Anyway, I just HAD to knit one for my daughter for Christmas, who happens to be away at college.

I thought she could snuggle and think of her dear mommy every time she used it.

Because that is precisely what eighteen year olds do. Right? Right?

That friend of mine cast on for me and taught me how to do the purl stitch. We started with thirty-two stitches. After three days, I managed to increase it to forty-one.

I don’t know so don’t ask.

After approximately seven rows in, I decided to rip it all out. Because chances are I would have increased in stitches even more and my blanket would resemble a trapezoid something or other (thank you, Google) then, well, a blanket.

Holier than thou

Hole-ier than thou

Also, I kept forgetting if I was supposed to be purling or knitting. So in addition to it being asymmetrical, it would be bumpy too. You know, kind of like my middle aged body.

Two words: not pretty.

Now of course I could only rip it out to the cast-on row, that first row, because I didn’t know how to cast on (yeah, I know..YouTube. Well, I forgot to look. Squirrel).

Then I decided to completely change the pattern. By accident, of course. The actual only decision-making was the act of choosing to take this project on. The rest just had a mind of its own.

My attempt to be organized. Those red splotches is spilled wine. Wine and knitting. Maybe that's where I went wrong.

My attempt to be organized. Those red splotches is spilled wine. Wine and knitting. Maybe that’s where I went wrong.

Somewhere in there, I realized I didn’t like the knitting needles I was using so I hit Amazon and got myself new ones. And then didn’t like them, so I went back to the originals.

So far I have increased stitches, ripped, changed the pattern by accident, and switched needles. Twice.

A blanket pattern that claimed it would only take a half day of daylight hours to knit was now my life’s job. And it took almost my whole life to make the thing. Okay, so two months.

Christmas was fast approaching and my anxiety level was increasing. Not to mention the tension in my shoulders and back. Where is it said knitting is therapeutic? Sure. If you like to be tortured. I know a bed made of nails that is more relaxing.

Anyway,  after hours and many weeks, this is the finished product. I, at least owe you a good laugh:

finished blanket

Not really sure what that line is, but this blanket is one of a kind. I like to call it Couture.

So, have I hung up my knitting needles? No. Because practice makes perfect, right?

We’ll see because I’m making all my nieces and nephews who are having babies, a baby blanket. Whether they like it or not. I apologize in advance, but you know, I’m an expert.

Our Family Christmas Letter – Volume 4

“Bah humbug!”

This is the reply you would get from my dad whenever anyone said, “Merry Christmas” to him. I used to get so mad at him. But now? I get it. Oh.my.god. I totally get it.

What the heck is so “Merry” about Christmas? Besides the fact that it’s Jesus’ birthday?

Well, really Jesus was probably born sometime in the summer because according to the Pastor at our church, it most likely took the three Wiseman approximately five to six months to get to Him. It gives a whole new meaning to “Christmas in July,” don’t you think?

Feeling duped? So did The Kid. That probably ranks up there with when our children found out we’ve been lying to them about Santa all these years (and the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy). I should feel bad about that, but I don’t.

Let me rephrase — I do not hate the actual day of Christmas. I love Christmas (although I like Thanksgiving better because…food all day. Need I say more?).

I just hate the month leading up to it.

It starts with standing in the living room trying to figure out which dang light on the three strings of lights is causing all of them to go out and then after two hours of trying just throwing in the towel and running to Rite Aid to buy all new lights and fighting the crowds to get them (and that’s before you get out of the car), it’s just really not merry.

Or the lines that start in the parking lot of Costco. The lists on top of lists of things to do. The cookies to bake. The 105 nieces and nephews to buy for. The Wrapping. The Christmas cards. The pushing, shoving, and absolute madness of the entire season.

Oh my gosh, how did I get so off topic?

Where was I? Oh yes. My Family Christmas Letter.

2016 was a fine year. And I don’t mean “fine” as in “ooh, yeah Brad Pitt is fine.” What I mean is that 2016 was “eh.”

It was the year where I proclaimed I was going to lose my double chin, when I actually gained a third one.

Also, my face decided 2016 was the year to start growing hair. That’s really fun. My tweezers are happy to have a daily chore though.

It was the year of me being a working mom for the second year. It went well. I mean, except for the fact that I had to shower every day, get dressed in something other than sweatpants, use my brain, and actually talk to people.

I suppose all those things right there are positive but I really do miss my PJ bottoms. And I get the feeling my brain may still be in sleep mode. But you’d have to confirm that with my co-workers.

DH started a new job that was nice enough to let him work 14 hour days and weekends. He also almost lost an eye, but he didn’t so I suppose that’s a positive.

The Kid finished high school and left me to go to college. Oh, I mean, she spread her wings and flew to where she will learn to be even greater than she is. So she can have a meaningful career and support herself.

The bad thing about that is our vacation money is being spent on an education. My body hasn’t seen the sun in ages. Seriously. My doctor says I’m severely depleted of Vitamin D.

Staying in a hotel two miles from campus for Parent’s Weekend does not count as vacation. Neither does it help with my Vitamin D levels because she is not going to the U of Hawaii or Stanford.

I suppose I could always OD on milk. But that’s a problem when your favorite drink is red wine. But hey. According to the American Heart Association, a glass a day has heart-healthy benefits.

Oh. A glass a day. So, math isn’t my strong suit.

Well, that’s about it. We are happy and healthy. We have jobs, a roof over our heads, food in our bellies, and intact body parts. Overall, 2016 was decent, but looking forward to 2017. Here’s to hoping I don’t gain another chin.

Be well, my friends. Happy holidays and have a wonderful New year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Pointless Post About Dust

unknown-1“Where does dust come from?” This is a question that was rhetorically asked in a writing course I recently participated in. And because I am who I am, I remembered that I have always wondered that same thing myself.

I have a fairly large, dark wood coffee table in my living room. I love this table. Of course. I would not have chosen it to grace my living room and look at it every day if I didn’t. It has a big shiny surface. Which happens to be its only flaw.

Why is it a flaw? Because I can spend 5 minutes dusting the balls out of that thing and a mere few hours later? Dust. All over it.

And when the sun is coming through the windows just so (I love the sun coming through my windows, but only when no one is here, including myself), you can see it float down and land right on the surface of that newly dusted table and every single, ever-loving item in my house.

So, where does dust come from exactly? I wasn’t sure, so I looked it up. For all those who are like me and wander into strange places while thinking, or if you missed that day in fifth grade science class, here is where dust comes from. You’re welcome.

As taken from wiseGEEK (www.wisegeek.org):

“…it is largely made up of dead skin cells, fibers from clothing and other materials, pollen and dander, and tiny particles of dirt. Dust comes from objects in the environment, and from the people and animals that live in it.”

Upon further research, I found out that the average person loses about 40 dead skin cells every second. Most of that thin layer of white stuff you see building up on your furniture? It’s dead skin of you and whoever else lives in or visits your home.

So, basically you have little pieces of pretty much everyone you know in the air that you are breathing. Through your nostrils and into your lungs. That thought makes me want to go out and purchase one of those Walter White type masks. No offense.

maskwhite

I guess no one has has actually died from breathing in other people’s dead skin cells, so I suppose I’ll just have to suck it up (pardon the pun). I mean, I’ve survived the first forty-nine years of my life living this way. I think I can survive the next uh…forty-nine (it’s possible).

In the meantime, I believe I’ll be investing in some more Pledge. Oh, and can you do me a favor before coming over next time? Slather up with some body lotion, would you? Like, maybe bathe in it? I just really hate dusting.

Boys, Girls, and College

boys girls collegeI had plans to write a really funny and witty post about the differences between boys and girls and the preparation of college, but I may be falling a bit short (can’t you tell by my title?).

I had this brilliant idea to interview some friends who had experienced their son, daughter or both going to college (like I had the best idea in the world, because, umm, I’m pretty sure it hadn’t been done before).

I’ve been sitting on the results for a couple months. Results that really aren’t as dramatic or drastic as I thought they would be. Or surprising.

What I discovered is that boys prefer to just bring three to four pairs of shoes (holes and all), whereas girls will load an extra car full of them (as one friend put it, “enough for a display at Nordstrom”).

As if they might die if they come across an outfit that doesn’t have the perfect shoe to match. And they might. Actually, they probably would based on personal experience.

We should have bought stock in Steve Madden had we known it would be a problem.

In my opinion, college should be about sweatpants and Skippy’s but I didn’t go to college so I suppose my opinion doesn’t really matter here. Although, I did live in concert tees and Adidas in high school so I can’t be that far off.

I learned that girls need to have utensils, matching dish sets and a glass for every occasion.

You know, for those elaborate dinner parties they plan on throwing on the floor of their five foot by five foot dorm room. Chances of the Queen of England showing up is pretty slim, but you never know.

A boy? Oh, a Spork will suffice. Preferably plastic so they don’t have to wash any dishes. For those of you who don’t know what a Spork is, it is an eating utensil that looks like a fork but can be used as a spoon. I’m guessing this is the greatest invention for college boys since, well, condoms (which also happens to be an “essential”).

Boys need to be reminded that they should probably start a list, as well as reminded not to forget underwear and socks (not ALL boys mind you; some are very organized and a bit anal, but not many so don’t get too excited, moms of boys who have yet to experience the joys of college prepping).

Girls have their lists drawn up, laminated, and notarized by mid-April.  And their items all bought and organized alphabetically a month prior to their first day of class.

Girls need to take stuffed animals from their youth, photos of every friend from here to Timbuktu, pretty little lights, and stationary. You know, in case they want to write a letter.

Although today’s youth can barely write script and tend to send thank you cards via Facebook, but I digress, and that’s a topic for another time.

Boys are more simplistic. I saw some photos of boys dorm rooms on Facebook and with the exception of one or two, most are fine with a college pendant and their letter from high school football.

Don’t let a girl in there, boys. If given the opportunity, they will fill those blank walls. And fast I’m sure of it.

The long and short of it is that boys focus on functionality and don’t stress out. For girls, it’s all about the decorative touches, and the stress levels are through the roof. Like, duck if you see it coming. Like, “Sybil” crazy stress.

How are they the same?

They both pack snacks. Lots and lots of snacks. Pretty much enough snacks to last nearly four years. And depending on how far or close they are, they packed enough clothes for two to four seasons.

I don’t know why that last sentence surprised me. I thought for sure a sweatshirt would be good enough to get a boy and/or a girl through winter (if my memory serves me right, winter coats were an unnecessary piece of clothing at the school drop off line).

That pretty much sums it up. Girls stress out if they don’t have enough shoes and matching mugs. And boys can get by with crocs and a fork you can eat soup with.

So, for all of you with inquiring minds, who were losing sleep over it, there it is. You know what to expect. Either run for the hills, or accept the idea that you will have to do a lot of hand holding.

Whatever the sex of your child, college is a pretty cool experience. So, take a deep breath and enjoy the ride. It’s over before you know it.

The Getaway Part III – The Conclusion

If you need to catch up, click here for Part I, and click here for Part II.

Ready?

Needless to say, we didn’t go to Fire Island. The idea of us walking in the dark in a place we’ve never been to didn’t really appeal to either of us. Lord knows I love food, but I didn’t need to work that hard for it. Ocean or not.

DH remembered a restaurant someone recommended…an over-priced italian place right on the sound. We decided that sounded like a nice place to celebrate our anniversary dinner, so he called to make a reservation.

Unfortunately, the only open spot was at eight, but at that point we were pretty happy with anything so we took it.

Since we had so much time to kill, we decided to go into town to see if we could find a cute place where we could have a cocktail on the sidewalk. Well, not ON the sidewalk exactly. That would be weird and probably illegal or something.

We quickly settled on a trendy little spot (with some tables outside) with THE BEST margarita with muddled cucumber. Don’t knock it ’till you try it. I raved so much about it, the server actually got the bartender to write down the recipe for me.

But I totally digressed there.

When the maitre de showed us our street-side table, I noticed a woman leaning over the fence/wall, right where we were going to sit. I maneuvered myself around her bobbing and weaving body and sat pretty much right under her. I didn’t ask her to move because I don’t like confrontation. I was fine with her hair hanging down into my plate. Really, I was.

At first I thought she had an impairment. A disability of some sort. But then the stench of alcohol permeating from her pores was so intense I almost didn’t have to order a drink because I was beginning to catch a buzz off her breath.

After about five minutes, the man she was with was able to finally pry her off the wall/fence and into a waiting car. Just in time too. My blood alcohol level had most likely reached .08%. And that was before I ordered a drink.

We slowly drank our cocktails, but somehow we still had some time to kill. We stopped into a liquor store and picked up a bottle of wine to share for a nightcap later on our private balcony, then ducked into a dollar store to purchase a couple of wine glasses, and headed off to dinner.

img_0556It was dark when we pulled into the parking lot, but the restaurant was lit up like a Christmas tree. It was beautiful. There was a wedding going on and the atmosphere was lively. The way I like it.

DH spoke to the hostess and explained it was our anniversary and asked for a table out on the back deck. We were led outside to a table “on the rail” except the rail was a solid concrete seawall that came to my neck.img_0544

I know there was salt water on the other side because we were told so. I just couldn’t see it. Unless I stood on tippy toe. Even then it was so dark out, I would not even have known there was water out there save for the working lighthouse a mile or two out.

DH ordered a beer, I the house wine. My wine tasted like swill. I had barium better than that. Somehow I was mistakenly under the impression that the house wine in a fancy italian restaurant would be good.

Not sure where I got that idea from.

For dinner, I had the clams as an appetizer and the spaghetti and meatballs as an entree. Simple, sure. But I wanted something comforting for some reason. Besides, we were in an italian restaurant. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to order?

Needless to say, half the clams wound up in my napkin. They were so chewy, if I didn’t actually take them from the shell myself, I would have thought I ordered cow balls.

And the meatballs? My Irish grandmother made better. I made better and I don’t even make meatballs. As for the sauce, I was pretty sure it was taken right out of Chef Boyardee’s kitchen.

Sorry, Chef B.

We had a nice time though. It’s about the company, not the meal. We laughed it off. Anyway, it seemed to be par for the course that weekend.

After we got back to the hotel, we uncorked our bottle and sat on our plastic adirondack chairs on our private terrace, and sipped wine out of our dollar store glasses while overlooking our little piece of water.

But it doesn’t end there.

On the other side of the shore, there was a building. We didn’t know what it was because it was dark, but we did see a couple of cars pull into the parking lot and turn off the headlights while their vehicles were still in motion.

We immediately went into Magnum PI mode. Trying to crack a crime that may or may not have been happening. A couple of dark figures got out of their cars and walked into the shadows. Was it a drug bust? Disposing of a body? A heist?

Most likely just a couple of kids sharing a joint, but it was fun to imagine something sinister.

Fast forward to the next morning (because you don’t need to know the in-between…wink wink). That long-awaited spa-like shower I was looking forward to taking was not to be.

The faucet was broken. The water temperature couldn’t be regulated nor would it turn off once it was turned on. The water was hot and getting hotter by the minute.

Well, there was always breakfast.

After we got dressed, we made our way down to the 5×6 foot lobby to eat.

img_0561On our way down, we saw a lady come out of the front door with a package of Pop Tarts. I turned and made a joke to DH about it.

When we entered and made our way to the “buffet,” we saw that our choices were stale bagels, three types of cereal, and frozen Leggo My Eggo waffles.

I was desperately searching for the Pop Tarts that suddenly didn’t seem so bad, but the early bird catches the worm, and I lost out.

I settled on the bagel and cranberry juice when what I really wanted was a diner and a stack of pancakes. DH had the same but with a cup of coffee.

We took our Top Shelf breakfast back up to our balcony. Across the way, where the night before the Crime of the Century was going down, we saw was actually a fire training center.img_0564

Yes, a building on “mock” fire with firemen trying to put it out with big hoses, and all the works. It was cool, but just the topper to the end of our weekend.

As we were leaving, DH told me how much he enjoyed our little room. Anyone who knows him, knows he is not a traveller and especially abhors hotels. His comment was worthy of a heart attack, but made me happy nonetheless.

Long of the short, but long story…I discovered that Long Island does not mean The Hamptons. After all that it was a great anniversary celebration, Hamptons or not.

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Cheers from our Dollar Store wine glasses!

The Getaway Part II – The Upgrade

If you missed Part I, click here and come back. I’ll wait…

Are you caught up? Now where was I? Oh right (ants on the sill in case you forgot).

So, surprisingly we weren’t upset. Typically this would be something that would set one or the other off. But we were here to have fun and enjoy each other’s company, so basically we would have laughed off a natural disaster. Well, maybe not a tsunami. Those things scare the hell out of me.

The 1950s girl looked at us in disbelief when we walked through the lobby door. I almost felt sorry for her sitting there in her poodle skirt. I just really wish she was wearing saddle shoes. I love saddle shoes. I actually had a pair in 1979. Let’s just say, they didn’t make me a lot of friends.

I let DH talk to her because I am not a fan of confrontation. So I went outside to take pictures of the parking lot. When I came back in I heard her say she was giving us the best room in the house. The one that typically costs $320 a night but we were getting at no additional cost. You know, for our troubles.

Mind you, there was not a room to be found on the Island of Long and so far, in the last fifteen minutes we were able to move to three separate rooms in one hotel with no problem. Just an observation.

Moving along.

We walked up the rusty, I mean rustic stairs for the second time and made a hard left to a locked gate at the end of the walkway that looked more like Leavenworth and less like our own private terrace.

Of course, we couldn’t make the key work so I stood there and watched over our bags while DH traipsed back to the lobby.

I tried desperately to avoid eye contact with our new neighbors who were sitting on the other side of their large plate glass window by keeping my gaze out over the parking lot. I was getting to know that parking lot pretty intimately. Just so you know, there were exactly 78 parking spots.

The broken key was just operator error, but I can only imagine the look of terror on 1950s girl’s face when DH walked in that lobby again. Maybe I should have gone with him. That could have been the entertainment for the night.

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Ignore the smoke stacks. What smoke stacks? I don’t see any smoke stacks.

When we got through the gate and turned the corner of the balcony, what to our wondering eyes should appear?

Water.

No, not the kind that gets stuck in a sink. But the kind where boats live. And docks. And seagulls. We had a view of the bay, and it was lovely.

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The Vanity/VCR/Alarm Clock All-In-One Station. Where else can you get one of these gems?

We turned to unlock the door to the “best room in the house.” And stepped into, umm, I’m not sure what we expected, but that room was not $320 a night for the decor.

It seemed all the lampshades had the same disease. And the carpet had seen more dirt than, well, earth. But we had water. A view of the water trumps all else. Pretty much most of the time.

Believe it or not, it was clean (except the carpet — just so you know, I didn’t take my shoes off). It actually smelled nice, and the hubs liked it. He is not a fan of hotels, so I’m still getting over the shock. Seriously. I needed a little bit of smelling salts to make me come to.

You can just barely make out the rain showerhead. I always wanted one of those.

It had a rain shower showerhead. I always wanted one of those. Too bad the next day was not “wash my hair” day.

It had an amazing updated bathroom. The shower was big enough for a foursome and the tile was new (observation #27 – only renovation in probably thirty years).

It looked nice even with the old coffee pot half filled with sludge water, that sat on top of a mini fridge that had probably been there since the Nixon administration (observation #28 – a fridge in the bathroom is weird, and so is a coffee pot especially since poo can splash out from the toilet into your coffee but I digress).

After we looked out over the water for a bit, we realized we had some time to kill before dinner. We thought we would go into town, grab a cocktail and mosey on to the restaurant.

What were our dinner plans, you ask? We had reservations on Fire Island. All I wanted was to have dinner looking out over the waves since I didn’t get to the ocean this past summer and I really needed my fix. The only place I found on the Internet was in a little section on Fire Island called “Cherry Grove.”

Which was a gay community unbeknownst to us (we found out quite accidentally). Not that it mattered, but DH, when we realized, quickly figured out why the nice lady who answered the phone hesitated when he said, “my WIFE and I are celebrating an anniversary…”

“So, how do you think we’ll get there,” asked DH, the sensible one who plans everything from vacation to which foot gets dressed in a sock first.

After doing a bit of research, I found that there aren’t any paved roads on Fire Island. No paved roads means no cars pretty much.

If left to my own devices, I would have thrown caution to the wind. But a little voice (DH’s) inside my head said we should probably check things out further.

So, I called a water taxi company. After the lady who answered the phone very exuberantly exclaimed, “OH MY GOD, WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO?” she told me that we would have to walk from the parking lot (Robert Moses parking lot — surely you’ve heard of it — it is right up the street from Jones Beach according to Google Maps) to the lighthouse.

See that lighthouse way bottom left corner? Robert Moses is to the left of that. WAY to the left.

See that lighthouse way bottom left corner? Robert Moses is to the left of that. WAY to the left.

“How long is that walk?” I ask. Her reply was “a half an hour.” Then we’d have to catch a water taxi from there that would take an hour, plus pay approximately $44 round trip.

Phew. This story is getting long. Maybe I should stop here and write Part III – Dinner and Beyond. Besides, I’m tired and I have to work tomorrow. Darn work, always gets in the way of a good story.

Stay tuned once more. Just once more, I promise.