Toto, We’re Not In Manhattan Anymore

manhattan ksGuess how many Manhattans there are in the country?  I’m not talking about the drink.  I’m talking about the town, city, borough, hamlet.  I’ll give you a minute.  And no cheating.

I have a cousin who lives in Kansas.  He posted a status on Facebook today that he and his wife were having date night in Manhattan and asked about a Thai restaurant.  To which I replied:

“Hey, it may be something you wind up loving! Go for it! And Mitch, Aunt Terry’s son, is playing a gig at Slattery’s Midtown Pub at 8:30 tonight. I was trying to go, but I’m not able to make it. How long are you in town for?”

His reply?  “I meant Manhattan Kansas.”


So, people.  You are about to get a geography lesson here.  What did you guess?  Because there is not just one Manhattan.  Not even two Manhattans.  There are 10. Ten. Diez Manhattans.  If you got that, you should get a prize.  Here they are.  In no particular order.

  1. Manhattan, KS
  2. Manhattan, IL
  3. Manhattan, MT
  4. Manhattan, NV
  5. Manhattan, CO
  6. Manhattan, FL
  7. Manhattan, IN
  8. Manhattan, MS
  9. Manhattan, NY
  10. Manhattan, PA

When it comes to geography, I am no genius.  Actually, that also goes with math, science and anything that I was supposed to pay attention to in school.  But really?  Who would have thunk?

I asked my Facebook friends this morning if they had ever heard of Manhattan, KS.  Because I was feeling a little dumb.  I received 15 replies.  Here’s the breakdown:

8 people said they knew.  7 responded with a resounding “NO.”  Of the 8 who said they knew, 3 claim that they wouldn’t know if they didn’t live there once or had a family member live there.  So, technically 10 didn’t know.  The way I look at it, that is more than half.  Okay, so that is more than half.  Like I said.  Not a genius in math.

Guess what?  I don’t feel so dumb anymore.  Eat that Manhattan, Kansas!  But I think I’d like to visit.  After all, I have a family member there.

Foot Mouth Disease

I have a disease.  It’s called Foot In Mouth.  And there doesn’t seem to be a cure.  I’ve tried everything short of sealing my mouth shut with duct tape.  I’ve made New Year’s Resolutions.  I’ve promised the family.  I’ve promised my friends.  The problem is that my mouth starts jabbering before my brain has time to process anything that comes out of that big, fat hole that lies just below my nose.  There must be a connection issue.  Seriously.  Maybe I should go see a brain doctor.

Every time I open my mouth and say something stupid, it hits me like a ton of shit bricks.  When it’s too late.  I waste more time apologizing for the crap that has escaped from these lips than anything else.  I mean, I could accidentally on purpose rob a bank and possibly feel better about that than what comes out of my mouth.  Possibly.

Let me give you an example.  Last week, I was at a party and talking with a friend who recently went through a divorce.  Know what I decided to say to her?  “I never really liked him anyway.”  Did I stop there?  Nooooo.  Why would I?  I was on a roll.  I followed it up with something like, “He never sat with me right.”  Well, that wasn’t cool.  It just wasn’t.  Besides being with him for a good portion of her life because she probably LOVED and LIKED him, he fathered her children.  As soon as it came out, I regretted it.  I like to blame the wine.  Yeah, that’s it.  It’s the wine’s fault.

I was cringing the entire ride home.  The next day I found myself texting a 2-page long apology.  Basically telling her that I am a complete dumbass and I didn’t deserve her friendship.  Did she mind the comment?  She didn’t seem to.  She didn’t even flinch.  Probably because she knows that my mouth is a completely different entity from the rest of my body.  I have Alien mouth.  My mouth is from Jupiter.

Another example of Foot Mouth?  At a wedding I attended recently, I was trying to get a friend to have a drink with me.  A friend who’s children were in the wedding.  Suddenly, one of her kids wanted to sit on her lap.  Because he was tired.  And wanted his mommy.  When you are a mother of a teenager, that world is a complete bygone.  Another life.  A far distant memory.  What did I say to her?  “Gawd, don’t you wish you could have left them home????”  WTF is wrong with me?  The Kid was in a wedding when she was a little girl and I LOVED having her there.  That time I like to say it was the Cosmo talking.  Blame the Cosmo.  Maybe it was plural.  Cosmos.

Again.  Cringe.  I am still cringing over that one.  My face is starting to just look like one big cringe.  You know when you cross your eyes and your mother tells you they will get stuck like that if you do it too much?  Yeah, well.  There you go.

Oh, there are SO many stories that sound very similar to the two above.  But I don’t really have the time to get into it.  And besides, I don’t want to scare away all the friends I still have left.  Just for the record, I don’t mean to sound so callous.  It just comes out that way.  I most definitely don’t have a way with words.

So, the next time you see me around town, and I look like this:


Don’t worry.  It’s my new look.  Because after all, mother is always right.  Now, if I could only figure out how to do that without looking like I have 3 chins…

The Big Flush


I have some words of advice for women who use the bathroom at their child’s preschool during menstruation.  Don’t put your tampon in the toilet.  I actually broke my own rule this day.  I usually never put a tampon in the toilet.  Even if I was at Caldor.  Or the mall.  Or a campground.  Because they are not good for the system, whether it be septic or sewer.  I know, I was very thoughtful.  Usually.

I was dropping The Kid off at her preschool when I realized I was having a problem down below.  I found a bathroom in the hall and used it.  The toilets were of the teeny tiny kind.  The kind where when you sit, your knees hit your chin.  And your ass cheeks hang over the side like a 1/4 Pounder shoved into a mini croissant.  Unless you are 4, probably not a good idea to try.  With or without your period.

I forgot my head, and suddenly realized I dropped the thing into the toilet.  I flushed.  It swirled around and around.  Like the Merry-Go-Round at the mall.  Needless to say, it didn’t go down.  Another flush.  And another ride around the rim it did.  I started to break out in a major sweat.  And felt like I had to poo (when I get really nervous, I get the sensation.  And I’m not talking about that kind you have from being on top of a cool mountain).

Now, there was a way to rectify the situation.  Stick my hand in and pull the sucker out, wrap it in toilet paper and toss it into the can.  Garbage can.  I even could have just left it there.  No one would have been the wiser.  But the old Catholic guilt was eating away at me.  Instead, I proceeded to the office of the school’s Director and told her about my problem.  There is nothing more embarrassing than having a woman who you do not know watch your bloody tampon do pirouettes in a toilet made for munchkins.

I got reprimanded.  “Mrs. M., please do not use the children’s bathrooms anymore.  We have toilets for big girl’s down the hall.  And no tampons.  Please.”  I was expecting her to slap the back of my hand and send me to the corner.  It was then that the thought of going fishing occurred to me.

Whenever I see the director around town, I literally run in the opposite direction.  Or hide until she goes away.  Not that she would remember that I was the tampon lady.  But just in case.  So, if you see me cowering at the local craft store between the acrylic and latex paints, you’ll know why.

Another One Bites the Dust

I worked a seven and a half hour shift yesterday at My Retail Job.  When I got off at 5:30 I was anxious to get home.  DH and I had plans to go out with some good friends of ours.  I still had to exercise and get ready.

I got behind a car doing 25 mph.  The speed limit was 30.  I was annoyed.  Because my elliptical, shower, margarita and more importantly, our friends were waiting for me.  I wasn’t tailgating because I don’t like tailgating.  Tailgating will get you in the ass.  Literally.  But I was cursing up a storm. Damning the driver in front of me to hell.

Suddenly, and I don’t know how, a mailbox jumped out right in front of me.  It was the darndest thing.  Well, it didn’t jump out IN front of me, it kinda stuck itself out.  And hit my side-view mirror.  I don’t really know how that happened.  All I thought was that DH is gonna kill me.  I thought I could fix it and he would never notice.  I wasn’t that lucky.

Remember this?


And the year before I did something like this to another mailbox:


I didn’t get the chance to take a pic of what I did…ahem…what the mailbox did to my rearview mirror before DH fixed it.  But pretty much the mirror part was hanging out of the thingy thing.  You know, the housing mechanism?  Whatever you call it.  You get my point.

When I got home, I ran to The Kid to tell her but I couldn’t stop laughing.  Her response?  “What did you do, mom?”  Just like the flagpole, I really didn’t find it funny funny.  But I found myself standing there trying not to pee my pants.

My conversation with The Kid after I showed her the damage:

The Kid: Maybe dad won’t notice.

Me:  (wave of relief) You think?

The Kid:  NO!  What is wrong with you?

As for DH’s response.  He was not surprised.  He asked me if I was sure it was a mailbox.  Well, yes.  I think it was.  When I looked in my rearview mirror to see what the hell that was, I saw a mailbox kinda waving a little.  But it was fine.  Still standing.  No real damage.

Besides the mailbox, I think I got hit with a good dose of Karma.  Because of the obscenities I was screaming at the driver in front of me going so slow.  I spent the rest of my drive apologizing to him and God.  I think I learned my lesson.  I just hope no slow poke gets in front of me today.  I really hate that.

The Mortified Lagoon


When your dad asks you to go to the movies with him because his original date — your mom — is sick and can’t go, confirm the movie you are seeing before you commit.  In 1980, we didn’t have the internet, so I was depending on his mature, grown-up ability to decipher what would be bad and/or good for a 13 year old girl to see.  Actually let me rephrase.  A daughter and father to see.  Together.  According to today’s standards, The Blue Lagoon isn’t bad.  In fact, it is pretty “G” rated compared to what modern movie production companies consider to be low threat to a kid’s psyche.

I recall that there were loin cloths, nude shots, sex scenes and the moment a teenage girl gets her period for the first time.  Oh, I forgot.  She also gives birth.  Remember, she was about the age I was at the time.  To make matters worse, the two main characters were cousins.  To rephrase what I’m sure my 13 year old brain was saying to itself, “totally gross.”

I was red with embarrassment.  The only thing I wanted to do was get on my hands and knees and make myself disappear under the seat in front of me.  Honestly, I don’t think I could look my dad in the eye for a week.

I recently caught part of that movie on some cable show.  It’s filled with plenty of cheese, but not much else.  The “sex” scenes weren’t too revealing and Brooke’s hair was glued to her boobs during the entire film.  But through the eyes of a prepubescent 13 year old girl, it may as well have been porn.  Porn that was watched with her dad.  Totally gross.  I’m sure “Herbie Goes Bananas” was playing in the theater next door.  That probably would have been a better choice.  Surely, Herbie’s headlights were a little less intimidating.

Girl of Steel


It was a beautiful morning in the summer of 1988.  I was driving to work.  My music was blasting (I’m guessing that may be part of the reason why I now have permanent ringing in my ears).  The windows were down.  All was good with the world.  Until I tried to merge onto I-287 and was met with an 18-wheeler.  Literally.

Ok, so it wasn’t my fault.  Right?  I mean, I had my blinker on.  So what if I was driving a little 2-door Honda CRX.  It was red.  The guy should have seen me and moved out of the way.  He didn’t.  He hit me instead.  Then decided to try and make a get-away.  Yeah, right.  Nice try buddy.

So, I did what every 100-pound 20 year old young woman should do.  I got out of my car.  In the middle of the lane.  In rush hour traffic on a major highway.  And I stood there with my hand up, screaming obscenities.  Picture Superman trying to stop traffic with his super powers.  Well, without the obscenities.  Except I didn’t have any super powers.  I was cute.  Sometimes that worked for me.  But not this time.  The trucker looked at me like I had 2 heads.  I know he thought I was nuts.  In retrospect, I was.

This was in the day before everyone had a “car phone.”  My future sister-in-law saw me standing there looking like a lunatic.  She was 2 lanes over and couldn’t get to me.  Like I said, it was during major rush hour traffic.  Outside of a city.  And she’s not an idiot.  When she got to work she called my future DH.

I was a damsel in distress.  Except I was gone by the time future DH got there.  Remember those SOS trucks that used to drive up and down the highways looking to help stranded drivers?  One of those guys stopped and basically told me to move along.  As for the truck driver, he did NOT think I was very cute.  Not at all.  I don’t know how it ends.  I can’t remember.  No one was hurt or arrested so all must have gone well.  My car even survived.

So, you know when I complain after working at My Retail Job for 7.5 hours on my feet the entire time and feeling like I got hit by a Mack truck?  I literally know the feeling.  Because I was hit by one.  How many people can say that?

Happy Memorial Day?

I know the perfect way to thank a Veteran for their service.  But I don’t suggest you take my lead.  It’s only perfect for me.  Anyone who knows me knows it’s very fitting.

If you have one of those cars with the backup “beep beep” that goes off when there is something behind you, there is a reason for that.  Because there is something behind you.  And when it goes “beep beep” really really fast to the point where it’s a long continuous beeeeeeeepppp, then that means whatever is behind you is going down.  In this case it was a flagpole.  Believe me.  I had fair warning.  But who pays attention to that back up beeping thingy anyway?

It wasn’t funny.  It really wasn’t.  But when you have two 15 year old girls in the car laughing their asses off, it is.  So, when I rang the doorbell to the house of the owner of this broken in half pole, with the flag sacrilegiously touching the ground, she opened the door to a laughing me.  Hysterically laughing me.  Like, cross my legs, I’m gonna pee, laughing me.  But I didn’t really find it funny.  Not really.  At all.

Luckily, I know this woman.  She’s really nice.  But I don’t think she was too happy with me today.  Can you blame her?  I knocked down her beautiful flagpole.  I friggin’ KNOCKED DOWN her flagpole.  With my car.  DH wasn’t too happy with me either.  But he also wasn’t surprised.  I can’t imagine why.

And Happy Memorial Day to everyone.  Thank you to all the men and women who put their life on the line for our country.

And the next time my car beeps at me?  I’ll stop and look.  Maybe.  Because last year I knocked down a mailbox in the same manner.  I think I’ll just keep my car in the forward motion.  I’m much better off.  And so are all inanimate objects.

Thou Shalt Not Pick in Public Places


I am the type of person who sometimes does inappropriate things.  Usually because I try to get a laugh.  Because I am a clown.  In my way early twenties while working in corporate, I did an inappropriate thing.  While I was in the elevator with a coworker/friend (Ali), I had the  issue of what you would affectionately call a “wedgie.”  So, because we were alone, I hiked up my skirt and un-wedgied myself.  Problem fixed.  No biggie.  And Ali laughed.  Just what I wanted.

2 Days later, via interoffice mail, I received a memo on official letterhead from the president of the company.  Basically, it was a letter reprimanding me for the inappropriateness of my actions. The letter mentioned something about probation.  I had no idea they had cameras in the elevator.

The blood immediately drained from my face.  I had the overwhelming need to either vomit or pee myself.  I started freaking out and tried to think back to that day.  Did I lift my skirt all the way up or just kind of put my hand up there?  I guess it didn’t matter.  All I knew was that some people are so touchy.  What’s the big deal?  The big deal is that I really liked my job and I didn’t want to lose it over the fact that I was merely trying to make myself more comfortable.  Okay, and make Ali laugh.

It turns out the joke was on me.  Ali got her hands on some “official letterhead” and mailed the letter to me herself.  That was a proud moment in my life.  I taught her well.  Carry on, Ali, carry on.




How many times have I sent out an email with that word in the subject line?  “Oops.”  Too many to mention.  But most recently, 3 days ago.

The kid has been diagnosed with a stress fracture in her left foot.  From too many toe stands during dance class.  The doctor is advising against any physical activity that would require her to use her feet.  In other words, she can do nothing.  Except swim.  And since I am the perfect mother, she only knows how to do the doggie paddle.  Hey, at least she can keep her head above the water.

I had to tell her tennis coach that she will be taking a bit of a break.  Here is what my email to her looked like:

“Hi *****,

I wanted to be in touch with you and let you know that (the kid) will not be able to play tennis until at least June 10. She was diagnosed today wit a stress frat urs in her left foot therefore her do for has advised her against any activity including her boved dance and gym.”

Okay, say what? She was diagnosed with what and by whom?  Yes, that went out.  The woman must think I am a complete nut job and/or a dumb ass.  And she would be correct in both regards. At least it’s in good company.  Once I sent the kid’s guidance counselor an email that contained my Christmas wishes that was supposed to be for DH’s eyes only.  (insert cringe here)

I immediately sent out an apology.  With the correct terminology and spelling.  Just one more embarrassing moment to add to my list of Embarrassing Moments.  Oh, and the nice coach lady informed me that tennis will be over before June 10.  Again, I am the perfect mother.  Because I knew that.  Didn’t I?

Oh Bloody Hell

When I was a kid and we were living in Germany, there was a nursery where my parents would take us if they wanted to go out.  Not a nursery where you grow and sell plants.  A child’s nursery.  Like a daycare center but I only remember going at night.  Although my mom argues that we only paid an overnight visit a couple of times, my brain tells me it was more.

I hated the nursery.  The sight and sound of this thing still throws me into flashback hell, with it’s creepy little tick tock song:

FPT-05Bb- Teaching clock - cropped

Nothing bad ever happened to me there.  In fact the women who worked there were terrific.  I was just like a dog going to the vet.  Planting my feet firmly in the ground, not wanting to go in.  There was no real reason for my fear.

There was nap time at this place.  We would take these naps in a little room with cots.  Once during nap time, I occupied myself by tying the shoes together of the little boy in the next cot over.  Genius.  When he got up, he fell.  The nursery lady on duty asked who did it.  I kept my mouth shut as I pointed right at him.  The boy didn’t even try to defend himself.

The nursery is where I acquired my pretty chin scar.  It was a late rainy night when the folks picked us up.  On the way to the car, I fell on my face and ripped open my chin.  I can still remember the blood soaked towels I had to hold to my face on my way to the hospital. An added bonus was the big light glaring in my face in the ER as I laid (or is it lain?) on a gurney as the on-call doctor did a “butterfly” number on me.  I hated that doctor.

My 40 year old scar

It’s called Karma.  For doing the shoelace thing.  And it’s a pretty little reminder of my evil side.  My alter ego.  She’s fun. Be careful or I’ll ask her to come out to play.  Are you scared?  You should be.  Just don’t turn your head when you are wearing strings.