Category Archives: Everyday Life

Flying Purple People Pleaser

Image courtesy of Cosmopolitan -- thanks Cosmo. For being my 2nd favorite drink and for having the perfect image for my blog post.

Image courtesy of Cosmopolitan. Thanks Cosmo — for being my 2nd favorite drink and for having the perfect image for my blog post.

I’ve always been a people pleaser. Always afraid of saying the wrong thing. Hurting someone’s feelings. God forbid if I say “no” to somebody. I don’t sleep for days.

The same thing goes for responding to texts, Snapchat and Facebook messages, phone calls.

I always feel the need to respond immediately. Any and all my friends and members of my family know they can text me any time of day and they will receive a reply from me fairly quickly. The only things that would keep me from responding is if I’m being mauled by a mountain lion or am dead.

And since neither of those have happened to me yet, that point is moot.

Some of my friends — actually, MOST of my friends — don’t live by my rules. I have friends who I will text and won’t receive a response from for days. Sometimes weeks. And on the very rare occasion, never.

When they do finally respond, my invitation to go out for drinks has expired. Or the news I wanted to share has been forgotten like the name of my first grade teacher.

I know my friends are there for me when I need them. If I texted my bestie, “I need help now,” she’d promptly reply with a concerned response and one foot in her car preparing for the worst, to help me off a ledge if need be. I not only know this because these are the types of people I surround myself with, but because it’s happened. On more than one occasion, sad to say.

Do I take it personally? Oh heck no. If I was that sensitive, I’d be curled up with my blanket in the corner, sucking my thumb. I gave that practice up in 1974.

Why do I do it? Does it go back to my earlier statement? Because I’m a people pleaser?

Maybe.

Here’s part of my problem, or at least what I’m blaming my nimble texting fingers on: I am one of those mothers who thinks if she hasn’t heard from her child in more than two hours, she most certainly must be in a ditch somewhere. Bleeding profusely from her big toe on her left foot because she was propelled from the car she was driving and said car is now crushing it.

The problem with this scenario is she doesn’t have a car at school. Also, she wears her seatbelt. So, this image that pops up in my head is, in actuality, next to impossible. Not to mention a waste of my time, energy, and adrenaline.

Anyway, my point is that I always have my phone with me so I can come to the rescue when and if the time comes. Which translates to being there for everyone else. Including those pesky telemarketers who have now learned how to speak Chinese.

Whatever it may be, I don’t want to do it anymore. No one else does, so why should I? My life is just as busy. Which really isn’t the point, I’m just being sensitive.

So, I’m not doing it anymore (maybe). There. I’ve said it (kind of).

If you need me, I’ll be in the corner. With my blanket. Sucking my thumb. My phone will be close by though. You know, because…ditches.

I’ll Take One Cardboard Box…er, Microwave Oven, Please

What happened to the good old days — days that existed before I did — where everyday household appliances lasted longer than Betty White?

I know this to be true because my mother-in-law gave us her old Electrolux when we first got married. You know the kind. It had a turquoise blue canister that you dragged around behind you. The only reason we don’t have it anymore is because we were tired of dragging it behind us.

But that baby sucked. And good.

About six years ago, we renovated our kitchen. Gutted it to the studs. It was past due by about two decades. The flooring was this weird blue or gray or Blay-something linoleum with a mystery burn mark from 1989.

The cabinets were resurfaced so many times, veneer was being held together by Scotch tape. Want to know how many pieces of Scotch tape? I can’t tell you because I can’t count that high.

The ceilings were made of popcorn. Not the kind you eat. The kind that is ugly. The “kernels” of the ceiling were unclean-able. But this post isn’t about my ugly unclean-able popcorn ceilings.

Or the cabinets.

Or the linoleum.

Which were all replaced anyway in The Great Kitchen Makeover.

With our new kitchen, came all new appliances. A fridge, dishwasher, oven, stove top, and microwave. Beautiful, gleaming, stainless steel, gorgeous appliances.

Word to your mother: Stainless steel is a pain in the literal ass. I love it, and there really is nothing else I like better. But dang, don’t touch it or you’ll be sorry.

The microwave started to go last fall. Or winter. I don’t remember the exact timing. What I CAN tell you is it was one month past the five year extended warranty we purchased with the, umm, purchase.

Want to know what DH was told when he called? “Well, sir. This is why you should have bought the 10-year warranty.”

This guy was the start of our troubles -- not the towel, the towel is great -- the microwave.

This guy was the start of our troubles. Not the towel. The towel, which was a gift from a friend of mine, is awesome and if I knew you were coming I would have ironed it. So, no. Not the towel. The trouble I speak of is this here microwave.

Yes, he said that. He basically implied, in so many words, that this happens. The lifespan of an appliance is five years. Five. Cinco. Fem. Five.

You know what lives longer than this microwave? A fire ant.

That’s embarrassing.

He then proceeded to inform us that we were basically shit out of luck. You know, in so many words.

Unfortunately, this man doesn’t know my DH who does not take “no” for an answer (legally, of course). After many phone calls, going into the store that shall remain nameless countless times, emails and more phone calls, it finally got fixed. Albeit, six months later.

Or maybe it was longer. When you are in microwave-less hell, time marches on like waiting for a sloth to cross a six lane highway.

I mean we had to pay for it. You know, because our five year warranty expired. But for unexplainable reasons, we had to just about sell our first born to get someone out here to repair it.

That is just as big of a mystery as the burn hole in our 1989 linoleum.

It wasn’t easy either because the microwave is set into the wall. But I don’t need to explain the specifics because I don’t really care. It’s fixed. Although I will add that every time we get some kind of electrical storm, we have to turn off the power that runs to it so it doesn’t get fried.

It’s great fun running into the basement to pull the fuse when we hear thunder in the distance. Remember that old trick we used to do when we were kids? Counting between thunderclaps to see how far away a storm was (one one thousand, two one thousand…)? It’s not so fun when your life –I mean, microwave — is on the line.

We spent a lot of money on these appliances. We could have paid for a trip around the world for one. Ok, so that’s an exaggeration, but we definitely could have gone to Disney World. Twice.

Next to go? The dishwasher. My treasured dishwasher. The dishwasher I cannot live without. I do not do dishes. Even emptying the dishwasher is a chore. I cried for a whole month when The Kid left for college. Not necessarily because I missed her (I did), but because that was her thing.

Not by choice, but because I made her.

I’m an awful mother who hates manual labor and all kids should have to pay their dues anyway, you know?

But I’d take emptying the dishwasher over washing dishes any day. I sometimes wonder if, in a previous life, I was horribly mauled by a wild boar while leaning over a river washing dishes.

Anyway, I think the dishwasher must have felt the same way about washing dishes as I did. It would run. It would SOUND like it was doing something. But it wasn’t, sad to say.

Note: only buy a dishwasher that loves — no, LIVES — for washing dishes. One word: Research.

The next thing to act up was the lower left burner on the stove top. We can turn it on, but can’t turn it off. Well, we can with a swift smack of your hand in the middle of it by someone who has enough power to knock some sense into it, but that requires third degree burns and a high pain threshold.

I really liked that burner too. It’s the kind that you can connect to the back burner to make it one long burner. Perfect for those big griddles to make pancakes and such.

Next? Our oven. Kind of. It hasn’t actually died. It has just slowed down. In it’s heyday of 2013 it would heat up faster than a rocket being shot up into orbit. Now it takes forever. I can probably build my own fire in the backyard, cook up a gourmet meal for ten, wash my dishes in the river, and it would still be warming up.

I’m afraid to say this out loud, but the fridge is the only guy standing. It’s still going strong. Until tomorrow. Because I’m superstitious and that’s just what happens. (Knocks on wood)

So, what do you think? Is this the biggest conspiracy since the whole “Elvis is still alive” thing? Maybe. I mean, I’m pretty sure I saw him in Shop Rite last week.

 

Weight For It – A Random Tale of the Girl With More Than One Chin

Courtesy of Pinterest somewhere

Courtesy of Pinterest somewhere (Dobardor.com to be exact)

I am at an all time high in the weight department.

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Me in Florida a few weeks ago. I’m wearing a fat suit on my face. I’m sure of it.

See? I told you.

See? I told you.

Ok, so I was about 24 here. Why can't I look like this again? WHY????

Ok, so I was about twenty-four years old here. But why can’t I look like this again? WHY???? God, if you let me look like this again, I’ll…oh, never mind.

I had never really had a problem with weight. When I was in high school, I could eat my lunch, all my friends’ leftovers, go home and eat Steak-umm sandwiches and Twinkies washed down with cherry Kool-Aid and still only weigh ninety-eight pounds soaking wet.

Well, it seems those days are gone.

I can no longer eat Twinkies — it turns out there isn’t a food group for chemicals anyway.

Why can’t I eat them? You know, aside from the fact that they are made of ingredients that are virtually unpronounceable, and umm, soap?

Because now they just take a detour to sit on my stomach, upper arms, and anywhere else they are not welcome.

Practically everyone I know is on Weight Watchers. I have always avoided the big WW or any other kind of weight loss program. I’ve always been in the camp of “just eat right and exercise” and you will be able to lose weight.

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Smack in the middle of my running days

Just over four years ago I did just that. I lost thirty pounds. I took up running and I journaled every single morsel of anything I put in my mouth.

A chocolate kiss? Twenty-two calories. A single potato chip? Fourteen.

I ran. The one thing I declared that I would never, ever do. Yet, I fell for it. Hard. I loved it. But it didn’t love me back. After a short few months into my new hobby, my meniscus tore in two places.

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Look ma, no Spanx!

After my surgery, I would cry tears of frustration whenever I would pass a runner. Aside from step class in the late eighties, running is the only exercise I actually enjoyed.

Anyway, I was in the best shape of my life. It took me a year to take off the weight, and a mere months to put it all back on, plus an extra five pounds for good measure.

Do you know how hard it is to lose weight once you hit fifty? Also, something happens to your middle. It grows and well, sags. It gets in the way of doing simple daily tasks. You all know what I’m talking about.

I don't know what this is, but be assured I ate it.

I don’t know what this is, but rest assured I ate it.

So, I kind of joined Weight Watchers. No, I do not go to meetings. Meetings have never been my thing. I have the app on my iPhone and I have been following it for almost a month now. They actually have pretty good recipes. DH is also on Weight Watchers, he just doesn’t know it.

And I’m down four pounds.

If I'm at a restaurant and I don't finish it, I always have to take it home. "One doggy bag to go." Except it wasn't for my dog.

Waste not, want not. And I wanted it.

The point of my blog post here is to say that I ate. I ate a lot. I always ate way more than DH does. The way I piled food on my plate, you’d think it was my last meal. Or that food was going to go out of fashion. Or a shortage was coming. Or an apocalyptic event.

I love bread

My love affair with bread.

I’m not talking vegetables and boiled chicken either. If I had a hankering for a plate of nachos, I would make some. I would stop into a McDonald’s on a whim. Not smart for someone who has struggled with genetically high cholesterol since 1986. Don’t lecture me. I know. My doctor is none too thrilled either.

When I started WW four weeks ago, I would bet I cut down my intake of

This was Buffalo Chicken dip. I made it on a whim and ate the entire thing. In one sitting. With tortilla chips.

This was Buffalo Chicken dip. I made it on a whim and ate the entire thing. In one sitting. With tortilla chips. .

food by a pound or two a day. Seriously. If I had a scale and actually weighed what I ate, I would be able to prove it to you.

For now, you’ll have to settle with eye-witnesses who can corroborate my story. And there are a lot of them so take your pick.

Again, my point is this…if I went from eating like a sumo wrestler to eating like a rabbit, why is it I only lost four pounds?

Oh, and I also cut back on my wine intake. Like, A LOT. You’d think I would have lost a ton of weight in the first week just based on the sheer volume of wine I no longer throw back.

I eat so many vegetables now, my nose is starting to twitch. And I haven’t even had so much as

All kinds of fish -- even shellfish -- are zero points. That's right, ZERO!

All kinds of fish — even shellfish — are zero points. That’s right, ZERO!

one ounce of red meat in thirty days.

I’m not saying losing a pound a week is bad. It’s a good and healthy way of losing weight. Slow and steady wins the race, right? I’m just saying, well, you know, I’m just surprised given what I’ve stopped ingesting.

Since I can’t run, I am having a difficult time getting back into the swing of exercising. Because, let’s be honest here. Exercising kind of sucks. I can always find other things that I’d rather be doing with my time.

You know, like swim with piranhas. And I can’t even swim.

The excuses I have for not going to the gym (which is FREE and three floors down from my desk at WORK), would impress even the Generation Z set.

So, I’m going to start up at the gym again. Also, I downloaded an app where they guarantee you will lose weight if you do what they tell you to do for seven minutes a day. So far, I haven’t opened it. Part of me is afraid of what will be required of me. You know, like moving. If apps could collect dust, I fear it most likely would start to resemble the elliptical in the spare room in no time.

So here I am, about day thirty. I’ll keep you posted. Hopefully, you won’t find me binge eating at the local McDonald’s. If you do, look the other way.

 

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.

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.

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.

 

Stop Trying To Sell Me Something Dammit!

I had to run a quick errand this afternoon. I didn’t want to. I was comfortable in my nice warm house. Outside it was snowy and cold as hell. The last thing I wanted to do was go out. Or get dressed.

I walked into Stop and Shop. I saw her in the corner of my eye. I tried to avoid her by turning toward the pineapples. My mistake was that I wasn’t fast enough. And also that I answered her.

Her: Excuse me, ma’am?

Me: (here it comes…shit. What do I do, what do I do?) Yes?

Her: Do you own a home?

Me: (I should lie. You know, tell her no.) …uh, Yes?

Her: Have you ever thought of solar panels for your house?

Me: No and I’m not interested. (I should have said I already have them, but lies always lead to more lies and before I know it she’s asking what manufacturer and I’m saying “The Solar Guys” and she’s all like umm, I don’t think there is such a thing and I’m saying you must not know your stuff and then she’s googling it to prove I’m wrong and then I’m feeling super bad and will need to stop into the local church on the way home to confess my sins.)

Her: Why?

Really? Did she just ask me why? Because I’m not, that’s why. Because I’m here for a f**king fruit basket I need to buy for a neighbor whose husband died 3 weeks ago but because my head is so far up my ass, I didn’t know so I missed all the services and I feel really bad so I’m going to say I’m sorry through apples (I’m not alone – yes, I just threw you under the bus my other 2 neighbors who also didn’t know).

I waved at her like those angry old men you see at the mall who are irritated by the teenagers playing their iPods too loudly. I heard her snicker under her breath. I have officially crossed to the other side. And I thought my wrinkles were bad?

I have to say I’m kind of tired of sales people who are put where they shouldn’t be. I get the Girl Scouts selling cookies outside of Office Max. I get the veteran’s looking for donations for the wounded soldiers outside of the market. I get salespeople. This isn’t about slamming the salesperson. These are jobs. There need to be salespeople for the world to carry on.

But the people that are set up inside of stores that have nothing to do with the store itself? Bothering the customers? Come on.

I understand that the kiosks at the mall are just running a business. So are all the other businesses there. But I don’t see some chick from Victoria’s Secret running after me with a pair of thongs promising that I will feel 30 years younger if I try them on, do I?

There’s the guy with the hair straightener. He’s coming at me so fast and furious, I swear he’s going to club me in the head with it.

There’s the lady who promises my hands and cuticles will be softer than a baby’s bottom if I buy her lotion. I actually fell for this once. It still sits in the cabinet in my bathroom. It started out blue. It is now green. And full to the brim.

The one that gets me the most is the guy pawning his e-cigarettes. What even is that? Whatever it is, please don’t assume I’m a smoker and try to sell them to me. It’s an insult.

If I’m interested in your wares, I will approach you. Otherwise, I will avoid you like the plague.

I actually have a route that I take so that I can avoid them. Which really sucks. I don’t want to have to avoid these people. I want to be able to go to the mall or the grocery store or even the gas station without being pounced on. I want to be able to shop in peace. It’s bad enough that my home phone rings all day and night. And they aren’t friends or family calling either.

Everything has gotten out of control. Technology, although grateful for it, has gotten out of control on some level. The way we live, has gotten out of control.

I long for the easy days of corded phones and playing outside. When the only people who called were your friends or grandmother. Easy shopping and writing letters. That’s what I want.

I kind of feel bad for our kids. They don’t understand. They don’t know who Paul McCartney is and that it’s not okay to talk to strangers on the internet.

When did that happen? I don’t know. But please. Can’t we at least keep sales to the sales office? It really would make me so much happier.

And making me happy is what it’s all about, right? Did I mention that we also live in a self-absorbed world? Houston, we might have a problem.

Confessions of a Slob

I have a confession to make.  I am a slob.  A pig.  I really, really am.

When you come into my home and I say to you, “excuse my dirty house.” I’m not lying. I’m not saying that to fish for compliments. It is dirty. Well, to the naked eye, it may not appear to be. But people, I promise you if you get too close, you will see what I’m talking about.

If you’ve been to my house, you have said, “Mo, your house is so clean all the time.” No. No, it’s not. Do not come over here with your white glove because you will be sorely disappointed. Also, you better call first and not do one of those “I was in the area” kind of things because you will totally catch me and feel like our friendship has been a complete sham.

I had a conversation with a friend recently. We were talking about cleaning and how much we hate it. I commented to her that I haven’t cleaned my house, like really, really cleaned it in quite some time. She’s been to my house. I had to go retrieve the shovel out of her garage to pick up her jaw.

I have a secret weapon. Actually, I have 2 secret weapons. Secret Weapon #1 is DH. He abhors clutter. He is always “straightening” up. Picking up crap that I or The Kid have left all over the house because I don’t care what. If it’s been a long day and I come into the house with crap, I will drop that crap right wherever I am standing and worry about it later. Like way later. Like, if I didn’t have DH, it would still be there, later.

Secret Weapon #2 are those cute little Lysol wipes that you can buy in Costco in a three pack. Here’s how it goes: My phone rings, “ring, ring.”  “Hello,” says me.  “Hey Mo, it’s Justin Timberlake. I feel like I want to pop on by. Are you free?” “Hells yes, JT. I’m always free for you.” I’m all panicky inside for a moment. But not to worry because I have SW2 (Secret Weapon #2) sitting in just about every closet in my house.

 

Look, JT is all "damn girl, your house is clean."

Look, JT is all “damn girl, your house is cleeeeen. Yeah.”

I whip out a canister and go to town. I wipe down the counters, the bathroom sinks, the heating baseboard thingies, I even stick my hand in the toilet and wipe clean those unsightly, nasty rings in there. Why does that happen? It’s so gross. But don’t worry I wash my hand real good before I make you a ham sandwich.

Oh wait, my rug. Damn, that foyer runner gets dirt and paper lint and whoknowswhatelse all over it. But have no fear! I have the cutest little vacuum cleaner that doesn’t even need to be plugged in that hubby bought back some time ago.

I go retrieve that from the little mud room and VOILA! It’s super powerful and super fast and I don’t have to worry about unwinding the cord and finding an outlet and tripping all over it and then winding that bad boy back up and then shoving it back into a closet that has so much crap in there that it’s nearly impossible to close the door.

I guess I really have 3 Secret Weapons. Okay, sorry about that.

So, by the time JT gets here, my house not only sparkles, but it smells clean too. Even if he is just at the corner, I have literally cleaned my house in 37 seconds. But the trick is to not give him a tour of the ranch. I make sure the upstairs is off limits. You know, make up some little white lie like “we’re having the master bathroom renovated and there is just dust everywhere. I’m telling you. Those damn bathroom renovator guys are so sloppy.”

Here’s the thing:  life is too short for cleaning all the time. I can’t see a reason to be on top of it.  So what?  I’m pretty sure no one has actually died from having a less than perfectly clean house. I mean I never actually did any research on that subject, but I’ll bet I’m right.

When I was first married, I was really good at keeping the house clean. Once a week no matter what, I’d clean the house from top to bottom. Even when The Kid was born. I would strap that baby to the front of me in one of those fake Baby Bjorn things and go to town.

And then DH asked me what I wanted for my birthday one year. “A housecleaner” came out of my mouth without thinking about it twice. This was when I went back to work as a temp so it was justified. It was heaven on earth. Every other week this house would get a scrub-down. And on the other every other week? Eh. Why bother? The housecleaner was coming in 7 days.

Then I lost my job. And DH and I thought it was an expense that we didn’t need to have especially since I had all this new free time. Now? Well, I just told you. The end.

Wanna come over? JT will be here any minute. Oh, wait. He didn’t really call, did he? Never mind, you can’t come over. The house is a mess.

My One Hundred and Eighty Dollar Shirt

checks

I could not wait to graduate high school. I had it all planned out. No college. Good paying job. Apartment. In that order.

It didn’t happen that way. Well, mostly it didn’t happen that way. I didn’t go to college but you all know that because I’ve mentioned it once or twice or fifty times.

I did get a job. I landed a job with a large corporation making 15 thousand dollars a year. I remember being so damn proud of that 15 thousand dollars that I actually contacted my shorthand teacher from high school and told her like it was the biggest news since the invention of the toaster.

And then the credit union told me I could open my own credit card. I COULD HAVE MY OWN CREDIT CARD, PEOPLE! I screamed it from the rooftops. And then I ran to the mall.

Let’s just say that there is nothing worse than trying to buy a 75 cent pack of gum and having the store clerk cut up your credit card before your very eyes because you have reached the limit. Three months after you receive it.

Then, I got checks. A whole, entire checkbook full of them. You know that expression, “I can’t be out of money, I still have checks left?” That was me. My checks bounced more than a Super Ball. I’m surprised the feds didn’t come after me.

Then I met a man. This man not only never bounced a check in his entire life. But he never racked up even a dime’s worth of credit card debt. And he still hasn’t 28 years later. How do I know? Because I married him.

It makes him crazy. The way I spend money. Give me 10 bucks and I’ll have it spent before you leave the room. I don’t know how. It’s a talent I have. Seriously. You’d be amazed. I probably should get my own show in Vegas.

Anyway, back to what I wanted to talk about. What was it again? Oh, right. My early life plan.

No college. Check.

Good paying job. Umm, let’s just go with “paying” job. Half Check.

Apartment. Fail.

Why did I fail? Because I didn’t have any money. Because the credit union gave a 19-year-old baby-faced girl a credit card with a $2,500 credit limit and a book full of checks.

I sometimes regret my errant ways. Sometimes I do. I mean, I do okay now. Because I have DH. He keeps me on the straight and narrow.

He takes care of the bills. I did take them over once but I accidentally wrote an extra zero on the end of our mortgage payment. Yeah, that went over about as well as a fart in an elevator. But, it was a good way to get out of that chore.

Also, when you vacuum? Bang into all the wood furniture. It’s a sure way to get rid of that chore too.

See how devious I am? I amaze even myself. That, my friends, is the best advice I could give a new bride. Dent the furniture. It works. Skip the sex talk on their wedding day, teach your daughter how to get out of household chores. She’ll thank you later.

Whoa, did I ever digress there. Phew. Sorry, I’m into a couple of glasses of Prosecco.

prosecco

Here’s the proof

Anyway, I think my point is that young girls (and boys, but since I’m not a boy, I can’t really speak for them) everywhere should really be careful with their finances. If you aren’t smart about it early on, it could potentially be a life-long problem.

But damn, did I have the best wardrobe ever when I was 20. Unfortunately, that $30 dollar shirt was more like $180 by the time I paid it off. Interest. It’s called interest. The credit union forgot to tell me about that. Or maybe they did. I also had a problem with listening.

Still, I was pretty cute in that shirt.

What’s the lesson here? Stick to your plan, don’t spend too much money and if you have checks left? It doesn’t necessarily mean you have money in there. Check the balance. That is, if you kept a balance. Then you’re screwed.

Procrastination Is Making Me Late

I was born of a mother who has a Type A personality.  I would even venture to say she is Type A+.  Even though it probably doesn’t exist.  But it has to exist because she is one.  I swear it.  Me on the other hand?  Type B—.  Triple negative.  My Type B is so Type B I’m almost dead.  Well, not really.   Because that’s a little morbid.  But you get my point.

After I quit My Retail Job, I thought it was a great time to catch up on all that I let slide because I just didn’t have the time.  I started by making a list.  These lists have lists.  Then I took a calendar, a beautiful calendar that a good friend made, and wrote what I will do every single day.  Good start, right?

Two words:  Major Fail.  Why is this happening to me?  Then I remembered what my good friend who made the calendar said to me once.  “You are not a list type of person.”  And she’s right.  I hate structure.  I hate organization.  I like to fly by the seat of my pants.  I could have a full day of cleaning and organizing planned out and if a friend calls to meet for lunch?  I’m out the door before she can even finish her sentence.

calendar

This is my list of things-to-do. I got 2 things kinda done.  As you can see.  Oh, wait.  Maybe 3.

Does this just flat out mean I’m a procrastinator?  Because I will put off and put off and put off until the cows come home.  Even longer than that because the cows come home eventually.  I have procrastinated so long that my projects have projects.

Now I am in a place where my brain is so over-whelmed that I think it has shut down to save itself from being fried.  You know, short circuiting.

I don’t know where to start.  I want to start.  I do.  So I can finish.  And so I can turn my brain back on because I kind of need it.  But I’m not a list person and I don’t know how to do it without one.  See my problem?

I seriously feel like a dog chasing its tail.  Call me Spot.  “See Spot Run.  Oh wait, what is Spot doing?  He is chasing his tail.  But, that is not how the story goes.  Spot is ruining this story.  We need a new Spot.”  See?  I told you my brain has shut off.  I don’t make sense.  How did Spot even get in my story?

revelI know.  Like the Nike commercial says:  “Just Do It.”  Okay.  Here I go.  Oh heck.  I’ll start next Monday.  I’m just going to do what the calendar says to do.  “Revel in my messiness.”  I didn’t even notice that until yesterday.  Looks like I wasted my time and ruined a perfectly good February.

All this procrastinating is making me sleepy.  I’m going to take a nap.  If you need me, flip the ON switch.  It’s to the right of my … oh damn, where did I put that thing?  Wait.  This was supposed to be about procrastination.  Not short term memory problems.  I’m going back to bed.  See you Monday.