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.

The Bookless Book

My mom texted me the other day.  Here is how it went:

Mom: I have a book question.  Is “We Are Water” better than other Wally Lamb books or on par?

Me: Geez, I don’t remember.  I know it was really really good probably one of the best books I ever read.

Mom:  We Are Water is his newest book.  U finished it?  I was asking cuz I was looking for a recommendation as to which of his older books I should read next.

Now, you wouldn’t think there was anything wrong with that text exchange, right?  Except I am currently reading “We Are Water” by Wally Lamb and I am about an eighth of the way into it.  And it is new.  My memory is bad, but come on.

Why didn’t I know she was talking about a book I am currently reading?  Because I own a Kindle.  And I don’t know any freaking book that is on that thing because it doesn’t have a cover.  If it doesn’t have a cover, then I can’t be reminded every ever-loving day and night when I pass by my nightstand.  It’s a problem.

That looks like a cover but it's an ad for another book.  See what I mean?
That looks like a cover but it’s an ad for another book. See what I mean?

So, if it’s possible to be embarrassed by something you said to your own mother, the answer is “yes.”  I felt like an ass and had to explain myself.  Also, because she is a book worm and can read 2-3 books at one time.  Me on the other hand cannot do that.  Because I have ADD/Squirrel Brain.  Not possible.  No way, sista.

Anyway, she recommended I read this Wally Lamb book.  I didn’t realize he wrote another book and he is one of my favorite authors ever so I was glad to hear this.  But my mom has a habit of asking me how I like books she recommended.  Like from the moment she recommends them.  Okay, so I may be exaggerating a little.  But just a little.  (It’s okay mom, I don’t mind really.  Kind of.)

Here’s my other problem:  Lately it takes me weeks, sometimes months, to finish a book.  Mainly because I am absolutely obsessed with this blogging gig I started for myself and also because I can no longer read a book for more than a page or three without my eyeballs doing the back-of-the-head roll thing.  But I digress.

The Kindle.  I’ve owned it for a year or two.  Maybe longer.  I don’t know because time marches as if it’s being chased by a one-eyed monster on methamphetamines.  Two years is really ten.  Get what I’m saying?

I was looking through photos the other day and I swore a vacation we took to Boston was only about 4 years ago, but it was more like 8.  How can that possibly be?  But I digress.  Again.  I am the Queen of Digression.  Called me Queen D.

Do I like my Kindle?  I’m not sure.  The jury is still out on that one.  I’ll write a pro/con list like I did in high school when I wanted to break up with a boyfriend.  Okay, I actually didn’t do that because that would have required too much work.  But I had friends who did.  I think.  Whatever…

Pros:  1) I can download a sample. So I can check it out later.  This way I can’t forget.  Which is a problem for me.  Well, the forgetting part isn’t the problem.  It’s the remembering part that gets me every time.  2) I have a bookstore at my fingertips.  3) It fits in my pocketbook real easy-like.

Cons:  1) No cover.  But I already said that.  2) It’s a pain in the ass to charge the darn thing.  3) I can’t get used to that little percentage number in the bottom right hand corner that tells how much of the book is left.  4) Sometimes I think I’m just scrolling back a page but then realize that I scrolled back, like 10 pages.  What???  5) I miss holding a real book.  And smelling a real book.  And seeing a real book.

So, I guess the answer is “No.”  No, I don’t like my Kindle.  But I think I do.  Did I ever tell you I also have a problem with making decisions?

Love,

Queen D

 

Good Bye Dr. Suess

Except this.  This was her favorite.  Or was it mine?
Except this. This was her favorite. Or was it mine?

I was one of those weird pregnant ladies who would read poetry to my womb.  Every morning.  Before work, I would toast myself 2 frozen waffles loaded with butter and syrup and sit down to read a few chapters from a book of Mother Goose collections.  Don’t judge me.  I had to eat waffles because they were the only thing that didn’t make me feel like I had to hurl.  Besides, she was getting some nursery rhymes in return.  Swapping brain food for umm, brain food?  What’s so bad about that?

Why did I do it?  Not the waffle thing, but the poetry thing.  Because I had read somewhere that if you start reading rhymes to your fetus, they will turn out brilliant.  Brains courtesy of Little Boy Blue.  Who would have thunk?  This habit of reading to her continued on from the day she was born until she just didn’t want me to read to her any more.  When was that?  I can’t pinpoint a date.  I  will wager a guess at somewhere right around tween-dom.

Needless to say, we had accumulated about a million books throughout the years.  A million.  And now here I am almost 16 years later with them all over the house.  In her room, on shelves, in closets, in the playroom that is no longer the playroom.  Everywhere.  It was time.

So, with all the energy I could muster, I got myself a couple of cardboard boxes and started neatly piling children’s books into them.  One by one.  Each one a memory.  Angelina Ballerina, Dr. Suess, Goodnight Moon, Tomie dePaola, just to name a few.  I gave them to a friend of mine who has a bunch (yes, a bunch…no lie) of young children.  I knew they were going to a good home.  Why should I be selfish and keep them to myself, allowing them to collect dust?  Not being touched by anyone?  It was time to share the love.

I was surprised by my emotions.  I know I sound sappy.  But it was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in a long time.  So many memories.  I used to love bedtime.  Not only so that I could have quality time with my glass of wine, but because The Kid and I would snuggle up in her bed and I would read to her (no, I didn’t drink wine while reading to her).  Three books.  That was the limit.  Three books of her choosing.  Every night no matter what.  Well, I would swap with DH but he read to her too.  Every single night.

Aaah, those were the days.  Now I have to worry about her driving in a couple of months and going out with boys and hoping she doesn’t try marijuana.  Oh Lord.  I’m having a panic attack.  I think I want my books back.  Or at the very least, visitation rights.  Think my friend will mind?

Why I Hate Grocery Shopping More Than umm…Anything

grocery shopping
Trying to keep it clean people. No matter how hard that is for me.

I went to the grocery store today.  The Kid opened the refrigerator this morning and proclaimed that there wasn’t a thing in it.  So, I guess I needed to.  Even though it seems I just went.  I don’t know why, but grocery shopping day comes real quick-like.  Don’t you think?

Anyway, it was 17 degrees outside according to the temperature gauge in my car.  Tried as I may, I could not find a blessed spot closer than a football field away from the front door of the store.  So I parked.  And sat there.  And sat there.  I heard car doors slamming shut all around me.  Other people were not just sitting there.  They were getting that crap done.  Because they are smart and did not want to prolong the inevitable.

I mean, I had stuff to do while sitting in my car.  Like text a friend.  Check Facebook.  Update my status.  And when I was done with that, I googled “will pigs ever fly and if so, when?”  When I finally got the courage — yes, you need courage to drag your ass out of a warm car with butt warmers into freezing cold temperatures — to start my excursion, I noticed there were several empty spots.  Even one that was right next to the handicapped spot.  Figures.

I realized pretty quickly that I should have tried to convince myself to stay in my car a little longer.  Or at least until Spring.

  1. “Don’t look.  Don’t look.  Don’t look.”  That’s what I said to myself as the nice cart attendant was gracious enough to grab me a cart.   Out of the corner of my eye, I saw hanging from his nose, one of those mucusy, thick snot strings.  You know the kind that are so thick, they don’t even move with all the head shaking in the world?  That kind.  But I looked.  It’s kinda like a bad car wreck.  You really don’t want to look but you are compelled.  All I can say is, I’m surprised I purchased as many groceries as I did.
  2. One of the things that irks me the most is when people find it necessary to have a reunion smack in the middle of the cereal aisle.  Standing 6 people deep, carts included, makes it kinda hard to pass, in case you were wondering.  My dad used to say, “you make a better door than window” whenever we would stand in front of him while he was watching television.  Well, what I wanted to say was, “you make a better door, vault and Fort Knox than a nice, CLEAR OPENING IN THE CEREAL AISLE SO MOVE!!!”  But I didn’t.  I stood there.  Huffing and puffing.  Because I’m passive-aggressive like that.
  3. I just wish people wouldn’t walk backwards in the grocery store.  Because if they do, they stand the chance of getting run over by my cart.  Well lady, you shoulda used your rearview mirror. Or better yet, you should not walk backwards in the grocery store.  She seemed a little miffed.  I don’t know why.
  4. I find it funny that you suddenly feel really bad about some of the choices you made while you are putting the items on the conveyor belt and someone is standing behind you in line  watching your every move.  Even with the mucus snot image branded into my brain, I got a few extra fun snacks.  To help pass the time while we are all home staying warm.  Thank God I grabbed some broccoli.  You know.  To dip into the Ranch dressing.
  5. “Don’t look.  Don’t look.  Don’t look.”  This time it was the man in line behind me who only had 4 items (I have good peripheral vision).  “Oh God.  I should probably offer to let this guy go in front of me.  That would be the nice thing to do.  Oh screw that.  I want to get home just as much as he does.  Why is MY time any less important.  If I pretend I don’t see him, then he won’t think I’m selfish.  Because if I didn’t see him, then how can I have the opportunity to ask if he wants to cut me?  Besides there are like 3 Express lines here.  That’s his problem if he doesn’t want to use them.”  “Excuse me, sir.  Would you like to get in front of me?”  Yeah, I looked.
  6. They really outta invent brakes for shopping carts.  Either that or stop building grocery stores with sloping parking lots.  I’m tired of running after my cart.  Well, that actually didn’t happen today.  But it could have.  If it did happen, I most likely would have let it go.  Because I seriously haven’t the energy.  This season should not be called Winter.  It should be called the “I can’t get out of bed because I’m tired all of the time energy sucking” season.  Don’t you think?  Anyway, what I am tired of is thinking of ways to get my cart from running backwards down the hill.  Do you know how hard it is to keep your foot behind the wheel while unloading that thing?  I can barely chew gum and walk at the same time.  It’s a damn circus act.

Ok, so this was going to be a quick post.  Because I have a ton of laundry to do and I haven’t even finished putting away those darn groceries.  But it wasn’t so quick.  Sorry about that.  Anyway, this is a great excuse to not do those things, right?  For both you AND me.  You’re welcome.  Stay tuned for “Why I Hate Laundry and Putting Away Groceries.”

The Polar Vortex Is Not a Shirt

MjAxNC05MWJhMDkwMWUyNGU2MWZl_52cdab3adf93d
I’m very distracted by the number of typos in this card. But you get the picture.

Last week, I asked my readers for some ideas for a topic.  One of them suggested Polar Vortex.  So here goes.  This is what I know.  Or more accurately, don’t know.

I have to be honest here.  I did not know what Polar Vortex was.  In case you haven’t realized by now, I kind of live under a rock.  I hate the news.  It depresses me.  When DH puts on the evening news, I zone out on my iPhone like a prepubescent teenage girl.

Now that I have that out of the way, what comes to mind when you hear these two words?  Polar = cold.  Like Polar Bear.  Not that a Polar Bear is cold exactly, but he lives in the cold.  When I think of Vortex, I think of, well, um…some kind of material that you wear to keep sweat from touching your skin?  Or it could be something weird going on in your brain.  Wasn’t there some strange movie about that once?  Probably not.

I looked it up and here is the real meaning:  “A persistent, large scale cyclone located near either of a planet’s geographical poles.”  Well, that’s the short version.  I don’t understand the rest.  This is good enough for me.  So, in layman’s terms, there is a cyclone at the North or South pole?  Am I close?  Again, probably not.  But I have to ask.  What does a cyclone at the North Pole have anything to do with us?  I’m so confused and still feel like I’m in the dark.  Maybe if I tuned into the news?  Nah.

Whatever it means, it’s a bit nuts.  I’m telling you people, this winter sucks minus.  It doesn’t seem to matter what part of the country you are from.  Florida doesn’t even seem safe.  What the heck is going on?  I mean figuratively.  Because we already know  what’s going on literally.  In case you zoned out, it has to do with a cyclone or two (I think).  I mean, I’m not equipped for this business.  My parka isn’t even enough to keep out the cold.  The last time I checked, I’m not an Eskimo.  If I wanted to partake in this crap, I would have moved my buns to Alaska.

Below zero temperatures is cruel.  It’s like a bad joke.  And then we wake up 2 days later and it’s 52 degrees.  People have become so accustomed to minus 10 degrees that when it’s 50, they feel it’s okay to bring out the shorts and tank tops.  Seriously.  I, myself, have contemplated pulling out the tankini and catching a few rays.  The snow?  It’s no longer white and fluffy.  It’s a disgusting mess of mud and slush.  It’s everywhere.  On your car.  On your legs.  All over those really cute riding boots you got for Christmas.

Ok, so is it over?  This Polar Vortex business?  I hope so.  Today hit around the 45 degree mark.  I didn’t wear a coat to work.  And when I got out of work at 5pm and stepped outside, I wasn’t even cold.  Now do that in August and we’d be freezing our asses off.  It’s just so weird to me.  It’s January people.  JAN-U-AR-Y.  Did I get off topic?  Sorry.

And the material you wear that keeps sweat from touching your skin? That would be Gortex.  See?  I know what I’m talking about.  Kind of.

What’s In My Name and Other Stuff

My name is Maureen Catherine.  My close friends call me “Mo.”  My mother wanted my middle name to be spelled “Kathryn.”  But that’s not how Catholics spelled it in those days.  The woman at Town Hall told her so.  Bully.  My father wanted me to be “Dawn Marie.”  I’m glad he didn’t get what he wanted.  I do not look like a Dawn.  And with the way I am with songs, every time someone said my name, Tanya Tucker would be popping up in there.  Every time.  I just know it.  The other day at work someone yelled, “COME ON EILEEN!”  Not good.  Especially since that is probably one of my least favorite songs ever.  Just so you know, it’s still rattling around in my brain.  But I digress.

When I was a kid, I must have asked my mother what my name meant.  Which is really weird for me.  Because I was a simple child.  I didn’t think much.  Seriously.  I’m not hating on myself.  I just was not known for my thinking skills.  I’ll give you an example:  When asked on a test if I was Male or Female, I didn’t know the answer.  I figured I had a 50/50 shot at getting it right so I guessed.  Of course, I guessed incorrectly.  Which happens to be the story of my life (you know, guess the wrong answer, get in the wrong line at the grocery store…).  Unless I had grown a penis overnight, I was female (and still am, I swear).  I was about 7 when I took that test.  And that statement about me figuring I had a 50/50 shot?  That’s not true.  I just took a stab at it and failed.  Accompanied by a mini anxiety attack.  I can still see my 7-year-old self totally freaking out because I hadn’t the foggiest idea what the hell that meant.

Another time, while standing in line at the school cafeteria, a girl asked me what my nationality was.  I looked oddly at her for a second and then I just turned around and completely ignored her.  Yes.  I ignored her.  Just like that.  Turned my back in the hopes that she would go away.  It worked.  I couldn’t even remember the word to ask my mom when I got home.  But when it came up later in life, I had one of those “aha” moments Oprah is always talking about.  Sorry to the girl who was probably trying to be my friend.  I’m Irish.  And for the record, you are a show-off.

little house on the prairie dress
I loved “Little House” so much that I asked for a prairie dress for my birthday. This beauty touched my toes.  I’m sorry you can’t get the whole effect.  You’re missing out.

Anyway, my mother, or someone,  said my name meant “Mary.”  I was thrilled at this news.  I knew that Mary was Jesus’ mother.  I also knew that Mary was my favorite character (other than Charles for reasons I do not need to explain) on Little House on the Prairie.  When I went to school the next day, I wrote my new name on every single assignment.  Because I figured if that’s what it meant, then I had a right.  Besides it took less time and energy to write it out.  My teacher was not empathetic.  And gave me an “F” on all my assignments that day.  That was the beginning and end of Mary.  It turns out my name doesn’t mean Mary at all.  It means “bitter.”  Hmm.

I was born in New Jersey to an Army father and housewife mother.  We moved all over the country and even lived in Germany for a few years.  I never went to college, but attended a trade school where I honed my typing and shorthand skills.  Skills that are falling by the wayside because I can’t find a damn job but that is a story for another time (or did I already write about that once or twice?  Yes, I am Bitter.  I’m allowed.  That’s my name after all).  I met DH when I was 19.  We married when I was 25 and we settled in Connecticut.  We have one child.  My life is full of excitement and adventure.  Have you seen that new show “Naked and Alone?”  Yeah, well, I did something like that once.  Except I was wearing clothes and I was in my backyard.

So, that’s it.  Are you amazed?  I know.  Try to contain yourself.  I’ve been trying to get TLC to do a reality TV show on me, but they refuse.  I don’t understand.  I could be a big money maker for them.  Big.  Their loss.  They’ll be sorry when NBC comes knocking on my door.  Until then, you can find me hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro.  Just kidding.  I’ll be on my couch. watching reruns of Friends.  I’m so glad Ross and Rachel ended up together.  Aren’t you?

I Need a Wife?

I like that she can make cocktails too
It would be a bonus if she came with a cocktail shaker.

A friend of mine recently asked me to write about the need of a wife for a wife.  I would love to sit here and say, “Lord, I need a wife.  BAD.  I’m tired of the cooking and the cleaning and the laundry and the…did I mention cleaning?”  DH reads my blog.  He would laugh his ass off to a heart attack if I lied.  So, let’s pretend.  A little.  Because I do lots of stuff.  I do.

Aaaah.  I am so tired.  Do you know what I need?  A damn wife.  Seriously.  If I could only at the very least clone myself, my life would be complete.  If I had a mini-me, here is what I would have her do:

  • She would do ALL the laundry in a timely manner.  Meaning, the laundry would be washed, dried, folded and put away.  She would even iron. My clone would save my house from burning down because she would have the memory of a freakin’ elephant and unplug the iron when she is finished.  REALITY:  I do a load when the clothes are spilling out onto the floor.  I leave the load in the washer for a day or two, then when it makes it into the dryer, they sit for another day or two.  I don’t iron anything unless absolutely necessary.  Sometimes even just wearing wrinkly clothes because I can’t be bothered.
  • Every Sunday, my clone would sit and write out an entire weekly menu.  Then write a grocery list, not forgetting a thing followed by going to the grocery store.  Again, not forgetting a thing.  My clone would cut coupons, therefore saving us money.  REALITY:  I write a half-ass list.  Then run out the door when I only have an hour to shop.  I forget half the crap on my list, therefore forcing me to visit my most favorite place on earth several times a week.  I haven’t cut a damn coupon in 18 years.  After all, the little plastic card on my key ring IS the coupon, isn’t it?
  • My clone would clean the house every single day.  I envision Alice from The Brady Bunch.  REALITY:  Hmmm.  Maybe I shouldn’t tell you the reality.  My mother-in-law is reading.  She thinks I’m a clean freak.  I seriously don’t want to blow my cover.  Let’s just say thank the Good Lord for Clorox Wipes and that if MIL calls and says she’s coming over, I have an hour to get my shit together.  It’s also good to have a teenager to make do stuff.  That’s partly why I had her.
  • My clone would make beautiful, extravagant dinners every single night while wearing an apron and then put all the dishes in the dishwasher, clean the pots and pans and wash the floor.      REALITY:  I make dinner about 4 nights a week.  Sometimes 5.  Ok, so the dinners may be the same week after week, but it’s dinner.  I have ruined every single shirt I own because I forget there is such a thing as an apron.  I try to clean the kitchen before I go to bed but sometimes I forget.  Or more accurately, I sit on the couch with a glass of wine and get into lazy mode.  I vacuum up the floor at least once a week.  At least.
  • She would write out the bills, balance the checkbook, put loads of money in the savings account and send us on an extravagant (there goes that word again) vacation every July.  REALITY:  DH does all but send us on an extravagant vacation.  Because The Kid is going to college in two and a half years.  I haven’t touched the checkbook since I accidentally put an extra zero on the end of our mortgage payment in 1999.
  • My clone would drive The Kid around to all her activities.  Even her friends.  REALITY:  I actually do this.  It’s out of control.  I need to start charging a fee.  Professional drivers charge.  So why not?  Too bad all of The Kid’s money comes from me (actually DH, but I’m not talking about him needing a wife, am I?  Ooh, maybe I shouldn’t say that out loud.).
  • My clone would have a cocktail ready for DH at the end of his busy day.  REALITY:  Bahahahaha!  Oops, I just peed a little.  And DH usually makes ME the cocktail at the end of a busy day.  True story.
  • My clone would work on my projects.  Including my office.  REALITY:  That shit is going to be there for life, I’m afraid.  I’ll just throw a sheet over it.  No one will ever notice.
This is my office.  I can't sit in my office.
This is my office. I can’t sit in my office.  Ooh, I think I see a coupon in there.  Think it has expired?

Damn.  That was exhausting.  I need to rest.  And to all you women out there who actually do all that stuff, I commend you.  Or I should say condemn you.  You really make me look bad.  Still.  I think I need a wife.  They clone sheep, don’t they?  So, it’s not completely out of the question, right?  RIGHT?

A Pointless Blog Posting About My Closet

I am a self diagnosed slob.  It’s not just me who agrees with that diagnosis.  DH thinks I should get a prize for it.  So, I’m a little on the lazy side.  But who doesn’t just stare at that wadded up grocery list that somehow managed to work its way into the corner of the kitchen floor every time they walk by it?  It takes some serious energy bending down to that level at our age.  Or any age really.  Please.

My “office” space makes Oscar look like Martha Stewart (Oscar the Grouch or Oscar Madison?  It could go either way.).  Every time I eat, something inevitably ends up on my shirt.  One of the things on my ever growing “to do” list is to buy stock in OxyClean.  And my closet?  That’s a whole different story.  I actually haven’t really entered my closet, like really entered it, in a while.  My summer clothes are kept in a drawer and so are my jeans.  My closet also contains clothes that are predominately to be worn in an office setting and since I can’t find a job in an office setting, they have been hanging there pretty much collecting everything but my dry skin for years.

I decided to venture into my closet, I would say about 17 days ago, because DH and I were going to go out to dinner.  It was a chilly evening and I thought a cute sweater with some jeans would be good.  My closet is not nice.  The Kid has a huge walk in closet.  I don’t know who designed this house, but they got it wrong and it pisses me off.  Really pisses me off.  I have the type of closet that is about 2 feet deep by 6 feet long with bi-level doors.  Is that what they are called?  Bi-level?  I don’t even know.  But the type where when you pull on the knob, they fold in half.  Hey, I never claimed to be a closet OR door aficionado so get off my back.

Well, when I opened my little bi-level doors, I was smacked in the face with a major mess.  The shelf at the top is spilling over with pocketbooks I’ve had since the Bush administration.  The first Bush.  Lingerie that I will never, ever wear because they were my mothers (there’s a very good explanation) and shoes that have sentimental value to me.  Including caked-on-dried-up-mud-on-the-heels wedding shoes from 1992.

photo

98% of my tops are hanging from wire hangers.  And anything that has not been worn since my first temp job at a now-defunct pharmaceutical company seems to have a slight layer of dust on them.  Okay, so maybe a bit more than “slight.”  It seems that a very wet cloth is in order.  And forget about the floor.  I have shoes that fell out of style when The Fanny Pack came into style.  And dust bunnies that have grown into full grown rabbits.  Big ass mean rabbits with fangs.

          No Wire Hangers!
No Wire Hangers!

Since I was trying to get ready to go out to dinner with DH, and I’m pretty sure he was talking about going out to dinner that evening not next Tuesday, I had to pick something and get out.  Quick.  But there was another problem.  I soon discovered that nothing fit.  Nothing.

So, I need to clean out my closet.  Not only because it is the pig sty from hell but because what is the point of allowing clothes that do not fit take up perfectly good real estate.  I thought for sure that that would be a project I would do while recuperating from my surgery.  But it turns out that I can’t stand for more than a few minutes without it feeling like a big rubber band has wrapped itself around the middle of my leg.  

And anyway, I really hate projects.  What will happen is I will be all enthusiastic and start tossing clothes into a heap.  Then I will look at this heap and it will suddenly feel overwhelming.  And then I am going to want to do everything BUT clean up that heap.  Like go pour myself a glass of wine or try to run around the block with my broken knee because that pain would probably be better than the pain of cleaning up a mess that I willingly created all on my own without anyone telling me to.

Yesterday I decided to bite the bullet and start on Project Closet regardless of what my knee felt like.  I pulled on the little knobs and opened the doors.  I started to the right by grabbing a fistful of hangers with dresses on them.  I stared at these dresses for a minute.  Placed them back and closed the doors.  Then cursed in my mind.  Well, actually I cursed out loud but no one was there to hear me so it’s basically the same thing.  Then went downstairs and watched reruns of “Grey’s Anatomy” before they killed off Dr. McSteamy.  Damn.  I miss that man.  And maybe I’ll clean my closet tomorrow.  Maybe.