Category Archives: Getting Real

Boys, Girls, and College

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How are they the same?

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

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

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

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

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

Running Around Naked With Scissors

60ccf2df6085019eb4bc1636128d0296Two weeks ago, we dropped The Kid off at college. As we were leaving, DH teared up, The Kid teared up because DH teared up and I teared up a little. Okay. That’s a lie. I cried. A lot.

We left her behind in her new place. The place she will call home for the next four years. A place where she will lay her head every night. A place that may be unfamiliar now, but in time, will become familiar.

I was worried as all mothers do, about many things. Will she be homesick? Will she meet new friends right away? Will she like her roommates? Will she like college in general? Will she be safe?

Will she miss her parents so much that she cries herself to sleep? How about her dog? Will she miss him? Her bedroom?

These thoughts ran through my head on the drive home. These thoughts gave me anxiety throughout the evening, keeping me from a peaceful sleep.

And then it happened. It happened almost immediately. I started receiving pictures of her and her new friends. She was smiling, happy, carefree and worry free.

And my heart lost the heaviness it was feeling for the last 24 hours. Then it got even better.

I received this text from her: “I’m not homesick at all! I’m having the best time!”

I took a deep breath. The first deep breath in hours.

I shrugged my shoulders, said to myself that our job was done, and welcomed our new status with open arms.

And I’m gonna be honest…

BEING AN EMPTY NESTER IS FREAKING AWESOME!!!

DH and I are getting to know each other again. The couple we were before our child. Before the stress and worry of raising a person.

We can run around the house naked if we want. And I do. DH doesn’t because he thinks the neighbors can see. But I say, it serves them right for looking in our window. One look at me running around naked in my present physical condition, and they will learn their lesson. They will learn a big lesson. And fast.

S-E-X (it does sound less naughty when you spell it out, doesn’t it?) somehow got better. Before we would plan it out, triple-dead lock our door, spend twenty minutes hanging up sound proofing material (I caught my parents a couple of times when I was a kid, and believe me it is nothing you can ever unsee).

During it all with one ear open to hear if The Kid got up to go to the bathroom or was yelling out for one of us. By the time we got down to it, the mood had usually passed. (I’m joking about the sound proofing, but I’m not sure why I didn’t think about it at the time.)

Hmm, let’s see…what else?

Dinners are less of a hassle because I don’t feel the need to have to actually cook a nutritious meal for my kid every night. Her room stays clean. And there aren’t thirty-two pairs of shoes at the back door by Thursday.

I can take my bra off at the end of the day or not wear one at all if I’m hanging around the house on the weekend without hearing these words, “mom, my friends are coming over.”

There is nothing worse than putting those babies back in the cage. I have apologized to my breasts more times than I care to admit. There should be a law about how many hours we are allowed keep the girls bound up each day. But I digress.

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I may not be hanging from the rafters yet, but it could happen.

We can just get up and go and do what we want when we want without worrying what The Kid wants to do or is doing. We see friends more often. Laugh more often. Spend more quality time together.

Do I look forward to seeing her next month at Parent’s Weekend? You betcha. Am I looking forward to spending almost a month with her when she comes home for winter break? Hells yeah. Do I miss her? Very much so.

Do I look forward to her emptying the dishwasher because I dislike that chore more than scrubbing the toilet? Can I get a ‘HECK YA!!!”

Do I love being her mom and cherish the last eighteen years? Without a doubt. I wouldn’t change a thing.

But it was time. It was time for her. And it was time for us.

Children are only meant to be with us for a short period of time. They are not meant for us to keep.

We are here to teach them how to grow into respectable, functioning adults. To be able to contribute to society. To be well-adjusted people who can raise some kids of their own.

It’s her time to be independent. It’s our time to be ourselves again.

So, to all you parents who are raising kids and are wondering how you will do when your offspring fly the coop? It’s okay. You will be okay.

Welcome it, embrace it, love it. It’s freaking awesome. Except when you have to empty the dishwasher.

 

You Say You Want to Go to College? Be Prepared to Give Them Your Blood.

Pint of BloodI am not a connoisseur of higher education. I barely made it out of high school, so the idea of college for me never even entered my mind.

With that being said, I know college thirty years ago is not the same as college now. Not only has the price of college gone up dramatically since the mid-80s (500% — I looked it up) but it has gotten extremely competitive.

I’m surprised they don’t ask for your first born. But I’m sure that’s coming.

It starts with taking your sophomore/junior on the college rounds. Making a list, checking out schools, going on tours. You spend hours, days, nights driving, flying, staying in hotels. (Never mind the cost of all that. No offense, but I know an island I would rather have spent my money on going to that includes palm trees and Pina Coladas served on silver platters by cabana boys. But I digress.)

You get the typical spiel — they are all the same — from each school.

They cover what your ACT/SAT scores need to be, make sure you’re well rounded — GPA, job, extracurricular activities, community service, sports. Blah blah and more blah.

And you better make sure you show a real interest. What does that mean? Go on a tour or two. Or three. Call them, email them, send them a love letter, be in their face. Literally.

But guess what? It isn’t enough.

The Kid goes to a public school where she is getting an awesome education. One of the top high schools in the state.

Her class is extraordinarily smart. The Kid is smart. She gets good grades. I will say, her GPA suffered a bit because of her head injury at the beginning of the year, but she still meets the criteria. She takes extremely difficult AP classes and works hard.

She is community service girl, does sports, competes in dance, belongs to several clubs at school.

She meets all of the requirements and even exceeds some, for every single school she applied to.

But guess what? It’s not enough.

We let her apply to eight schools. She wanted ten, but we had to stop the madness somewhere. In my opinion, eight is ridiculous but we allowed it nonetheless.

Within the first couple of months, she heard from five of the eight. She got in each one with no problem. She received some merit scholarships and was even accepted into honors programs.

But none of these schools were her top choice. No. The top choice we would have to wait for. How long? Another three nail biting, sleepless months.

So, the day is coming up. We’re all a nervous wreck. Stress dreams fill our heads at night (yes, me too because you want your kid to be happy even though you know she’ll be just fine no matter where she winds up).

You wake up, check the college portal and find she’s been waitlisted. Tears ensue and dreams get crushed.

You say to your kid, “but, you met all the requirements. You wrote a kick ass essay, you gave them what they asked for.”

It wasn’t enough.

I am finding out it’s not just her. The smartest kids in her class, and friends she knows from outside of school, are not getting into their “dream” schools. These kids are no slouchers.

Kids who exceed 4.0 GPAs. Kids who excelled at and even got perfect scores on their SATs and/or ACTs. Kids that are the top ten in their class. Kids that work, do community service, sports, meet and exceed all the requirements necessary.

What the hell is going on?  Like I said, I am no connoisseur when it comes to higher education, but I don’t need to be to know it’s out of control.

I was talking to a friend whose oldest is about ready to graduate from college. They went through this process four years ago and she says it has changed even from just that short time ago.

These schools need to chill. Seriously. They need to stop with the 50-60+ grand per YEAR sticker prices, so kids can actually afford to get an education.

They need to stop with the ridiculously high demands they put on these children, so kids can stop stressing out and enjoy their childhood instead of starting to build their resume at the tender age of five.

I get that schools need to be competitive. I really do understand the need for that. But at what expense? Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it a bit excessive?

All I have to say is, I’m happy we have only one child. I don’t have the strength, energy or heart (or pocketbook) to do this again.

I hope my grandchildren don’t have to go through this. I hope something happens to force these schools to take it down a notch. The world would be a much better place. Then I could grow my nails back. And sleep again.

Another Cliche Filled Blog Post About New Beginnings

don't be afraid to live
I write this as I lie here nursing a hangover. Too many white chocolate martinis will do that to a person. I guess New Year’s Eve of 2009 taught me nothing.

It is now 2016. More than half the decade is behind us. This year I turn 49, have my 30th high school reunion and will be the mother of a college student.

Can you believe three gray hairs sprouted out of my head during the making of that last paragraph? It’s true.

It is also the year when if you write 2015 on your check you can easily change the 5 to a 6 (creds go to my 17 year old for pointing that out), but that’s just an extra perk.

Anyway, a few months ago I had one of those episodes where the breath gets sucked right out of your lungs, you start to sweat ice and your heart races at 783 beats per minute.

No, I didn’t get hit in the gut with a baseball. Or remembered that I forgot to DVR last night’s Grey’s Anatomy (yes, I am that obsessed). It was much worse than that.

I suddenly came to the realization that my life is half over (actually if I’m going to be accurate, midway probably came about five years ago but let’s not say that out loud).

I wasn’t freaked out that my life is more than half over. I was more terrified of the fact that there is so much I still need and want to do in my life. Somehow those first 48 years blew by with ne’er a stiff breeze.

bucket listI have experienced some wonderful things. I fell in love, became a mother and went to Ireland. I have a good life. I am generally happy. But is that enough? I realized my bucket is still pretty full. And having a full bucket is not the same as having a full glass or full belly. It isn’t satisfying.

What is in my bucket? Besides Clorox and hot water on cleaning day? I want to go to Italy, make love under the stars (ok so I did that once but I was 20 and drunk so it doesn’t count), and write a novel. Just to name a few.

I also want to be healthier (I understand that should be on the resolutions list but I’m lazy), volunteer more of my time to my community and fill my weekends with more than television and Candy Crush.

So, I have proclaimed 2016 to be my year (right along with about 10 million of you). What makes 2106 any different and special from the other years? I mean, I have been making myself Queen since 1995 and have done nothing but fallen off the throne halfway through January time and time again.

Because I realized my life is half over and there is literally no more time to f*ck around.

Life is fleeting and can change in an instant. I don’t want to be on my deathbed with regrets that I didn’t live my life to the best of my ability. That I didn’t accomplish the things that are important to me, or at least gave them a good fight.

So, welcome 2016. You are my year. I can’t wait to get started. Right after I take a shower.

 

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day. It means different things for different people. For some, it means four generations of mothers/daughters dressing up in the same outfit and flaunting their threads at the local Chinese buffet.

For others, it means hosting a party and inviting every mother within a ten mile radius.

And others still, a nice quiet day with the family or breakfast with mom is all they wish for.

I have done all of the above at least once in my nearly seventeen years of being a mother (except the twinsie thing; as cute as that may be, it’s just not for me).

Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate and appreciate your mother. Or if you are a mother, for your children — those little creatures you’ve helped bring into the world and raise — to appreciate you. Or both, of course.

Since I am lucky enough to still have my mother, I will stop and show my appreciation with a phone call, an e-card and a gift she practically ordered herself. She knows I appreciate her. But it’s my day too. Call me selfish, but I’m still raising my kid and that shit is hard work. I need a f*cking break.

Every year there is really only one thing I want to do. Be alone. I know, I know. I should want to spend the day with my kid. I’m being completely selfish (again). What kind of mother am I? But can I ask one question? If I do decide to spend Mother’s Day with my child, what makes this day any different from the rest?

I have a friend who used to get completely incensed at me for wanting to just be left alone on Mother’s Day. “Mother’s Day is so you can spend the day with your children.” No. Not for me, it isn’t. Oh and hey. Do me a solid. Don’t judge my decision and I won’t judge yours.

I love my crotch fruit more than I do myself or any other being, dead or alive. I will lay myself down in front of a speeding freight train and move mountain and earth for this kid. I will drop what I’m doing at any given moment if she needs me to. I am there for her through thick and thin. I don’t need to spend my Mother’s Day with her to prove that.

Quite honestly, I would like to let my family off the hook. Go. Go do something else. Go to the mall. Go to a museum or for a walk. Go read a book. Go pick your nose if you want to. Just don’t do it within ear or eye shot of me.

HAPPY MOTHERS DAYAnd when The Kid is a grown up with children of her own? A phone call or card will be fine with me. I know we are always mothers until the day we depart this fine world, but my job will be done. It will be time to pass the torch.

So, what am I doing today? What I always would prefer to do, whether I get there or not…sit on the back deck with a good book and a pitcher of margaritas. Alone.

I think I make it pretty easy. So, happy Mother’s Day to all mothers near and far. I hope you get what you want. Now, I’m going back to my margarita so leave me alone.

 

It’s All About the Boob and Being a Boob – Part I

I met Wendy @WendiPopRock a few months ago who interviewed me for a local on-line newspaper. Actually, I hadn’t met her in person. We “talked” over Facebook and private messaged each other a million times and we became friends. Friendship courtesy of the Interwebs. Not really an uncommon occurrence these days.

It turns out we have a few things in common: we are both irish, our daughters happen to dance for the same Irish dance school, we love to write and we love wine. I have since met her for real. Once.  But that doesn’t matter because I feel like I’ve known her for forever.

Wendy hadn’t been feeling well for a few weeks. She talked about how she just wasn’t herself. She even cancelled out on a wine get together I had. I knew she must not have been feeling well if she cancelled out. You just don’t cancel a date with wine if you don’t have to. Well, I don’t. And even though Wendy is a new friend, I get the feeling she doesn’t either.

She mentioned that she was going to go get some testing done. My wine get together was on a Friday night. On Monday she went on her appointment. Wednesday morning I received a Facebook private message from her. “Bad news…I have breast cancer…”

My heart sank. I gasped. My boss-friend asked me what was wrong. “My friend Wendy has breast cancer,” I heard myself say. Good Lord.

Guess how she found out? She was dying her hair and dropped a blob of dye on her left boob. When she was wiping it up, there it was. The lump.

20 years ago, someone I worked with had a boyfriend who had accidentally elbowed her in the breast. It hurt and when she rubbed the area, there was a lump.

Another friend of mine was having a routine mammogram a few years ago. The test results showed she had breast cancer. She was lucky. They caught it in the very early stages. Her lumps were too small to even detect with just an exam.

See where am I going with this? These three ladies were lucky. Either something happened to make them see a doctor or they had their routine mammogram.

They talk about early detection by giving yourself a self-examination. It doesn’t take long. Do it in the shower, in bed, while making dinner. I don’t like doing it. I have extremely cystic breasts and the feel of all that lumpy tissue under my fingers really gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Last year as I was lying in bed, I happened to feel my boob. I felt a fairly large lump. I kept saying to myself, “oh, it’s probably nothing. I’m PMS’ing so my ducts are swollen. It’ll go away.” After a month, it didn’t go away. So, I made an appointment with my gyno.

He did an exam and agreed that I had a lump. He said it was probably just a cyst, so he attempted to aspirate it. But he couldn’t get any fluid. After some nervous waiting, a mammo and an ultrasound, I was cleared. Luckily. But waiting a month isn’t smart. I should have gone immediately. Even though this story had a happy ending, the next time may not be so happy.

I’m still not good with the self-exams, but I will do them on occasion, which I am fully aware is not enough. I have my annual mammogram and because of my cystic condition, it is always followed up with a thorough ultrasound.

But if Wendy had waited for her annual mammogram, it may have been too late. If she didn’t drop that God sent glob of hair dye on that exact spot, who knows.

If my friend Pat’s boyfriend from 20 years earlier didn’t elbow her, the outcome may have been completely different.

If my other friend Tee didn’t go for her annual mammo, I shudder to think of the outcome.

I know I’m either too late or too early, depending on how you look at it, for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but I’m here to say, feel yourself up, ladies. Just do it. It’s important. It will save your life.

There is another way we can bring awareness to breast cancer. Go on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or all three and post a pic of you and your left breast (fully clothed please) and let’s see if we can get it trending.

Type in #MyLeftBoob. I’m doing it. Won’t you? For my friend Wendy. And all the other breast cancer victims, past and present.

Now reacting to the news of Wendy’s cancer? You’ll have to wait until tomorrow. Yes, it includes Jack and Ass.

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It’s there, my left boob. Just hanging out under my PJs. #MyLeftBoob

 

Girl Scout Cookies. The Bane Of My Existence.

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You can suck it.

The Kid is a Girl Scout. She has been since she was an adorable little Daisy at 5 years old. She used to LOVE the Girl Scouts. She’s 16 now and of course, she isn’t in love like she used to be. She’s hanging in there though because she only has another year left and let’s face it…it looks good on the dreaded college resume.

It is GS cookie time. It has been for over a week but I keep forgetting. Somehow the job of selling cookies always lands on my shoulders. She used to love going door to door (with me, of course) up and down the neighborhood streets. Asking people to support her troop.

She also wanted the cheesy awards you got if you met certain goals. You know those awards that probably didn’t cost more than 50 cents to make in some third world country? Totally worth it.

When she was old enough to start selling cookies, her form would be practically full. Now? There’s so much white space you can write an entire novel on it.

Anyway, I forgot about the cookies until someone posted something on Facebook about them. So, I wrote this status on my wall:

“Aww crap. I keep forgetting it’s Girl Scout cookie time. Ugh. If anyone wants any, let me know. But you have to be within driving distance because getting them to people is a major pain in my ass and after over 10 years of this I’m kinda done. How’s that for customer service? Lol! (sssh, don’t tell our troop leader…). But I will gladly place an order for you with a smile!! xoxo”

Yeah, I know it was snarky. I know my friends are going to say I’m being mean and bitchy. Maybe I was a little rough. But I’m not kidding when I say I’m done. You don’t even need to put a fork in me to tell. It’s obvious because I have the appearance of a piece of chicken that was left out on the barby for too long.

Girl Scouts is an absolutely awesome organization. I don’t regret for one minute, the day I signed up my little angel. She has learned about respect and commitment. She has formed great friendships. She can pop up a mean tent and make chicken parmesan out of a cardboard box oven that would rival that of Martha Stewart’s.

But anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a lover of volunteering. And it pretty much takes a village to run a troop. Yes, her leader is awesome and does 99% of the work (thank you Miss K. You have literally helped raise my child, I am forever grateful to you) but I believe I have paid my dues. Both figuratively and literally.

Years of being cookie mom, running magazine drives, filling out those address books so your troop can have an extra $2 added to the account, having to be a chaperone at meetings, encampments, field trips. The f*cking permission slips for every dang thing. My hand a throbbing hot mess after writing out multiple forms in a row. I swear it takes an hour for the blood to start circulating again.

After being involved in the Girl Scouts for almost 12 years, I am tired. I will give to the poor, I will volunteer my time at the soup kitchen, I will make coffee for the parishioners at church. But please don’t ask me to sell one more god darn Girl Scout cookie. I just can’t do it anymore.

So, who wants some? We have Trefoils, Do-si-dos, Thin Mints….

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.

My New Year’s Resolutions That Are Meant To Be Accomplished, Maybe.

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Happy 2015! Is it going to be happy? I sure hope so. I do hate when a new year starts though, really if only for the fact that it takes me 5 weeks to remember to write the new year on my checks.

If I’m being honest here, there is something else I hate about a new year: the dreaded Resolutions. They are tweeted and Facebook’ed about on the daily, declaring life changes for “real this time.”

You see the “I’m gonna lose 50 pounds this year” one day and 2 weeks later, that same person posts a selfie of them scarfing down a plate of fries at Red Robin (guilty as charged – uhh, bottomless fries — hello?).

With that being said, I am here to declare my New Year’s Resolutions to you. I have all good intentions. I really do. (“Good Intentions.” That counts for something, doesn’t it?)

  1. I will try something new. That something new is Hot Yoga. I came, I conquered (sort of), I paid $20 for 2 weeks of unlimited classes. Prediction: after the 2 weeks is up, I will most likely not set one more painted toenail in a yoga studio – look for a post on that coming soon to a timeline near you.
  2. I will come out of my comfort zone more than once this year. See #1. Also, by “comfort zone” do they mean to choose the salad bar over the raw bar at the local chinese buffet? Prediction: my natural ability to be lazy may take over my unnatural ability to leave the comfort of my cozy couch. I mean, come on man, it’s cold. And when it’s warm? I will be on the beach. Maybe I’ll set up my chair in a different spot.
  3. I will lose 10 pounds. Repeat after me: I will lose 10 pounds. I will lose 10 pounds. Yes, I will lose 10 pounds. I will exercise 5-6 days a week and write down everysinglething I put in my mouth on the LoseIt! app on my iPhone. And I WILL lose 10 pounds. Prediction: I will revel in my svelte new figure that will be able to house the size 4 jeans without too much of a muffin top that fit the last time I lost 10 pounds. I will repeatedly swear I will never, ever gain weight again. This will last precisely 8 weeks or until the next family party (if you have met my family, then you understand what I mean). How do I know? It’s called deja vu.
  4. I will spend time trying to gain new fans on my Facebook page. I will spend hours befriending other bloggers, swapping out “likes,” selling my first born so that I can reach into the double digits. Prediction: After about 2 weeks, I will realize that it’s just bullshit. Besides, it’s so much more fun to stalk people from high school instead. (Note: I really do love my blogger friends, but I love them for them, not to do favors for each other, well, unless we want to)
  5. Think before I speak. Before I open my mouth, I will think about what I allow to come out of it. Prediction: I will forget to think.
  6. I will take a writing course and develop my skills. Actually, here is one resolution that I hope to accomplish. I have signed up for a writing course which starts this Tuesday and lasts 6 weeks. Prediction: I will pass with flying colors and be the star of my class. Okay, maybe not the “star” but I will pass. I swear. Because I have $400 on the line and if I don’t, I would have wasted a good Christmas present. And you all know how I hate wasting.

So, there you have it. The Resolutions of 2014 2015 according to Mo. Good luck to you all. I hope this year brings health, happiness and at least one accomplishment that you resolved to do. If you don’t? Eh. There’s always next year.

Hormones vs. Hormones

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I woke up in a bad mood this morning. A real bad mood. Even the text to my mother was full of venom. I’m pretty sure she was praying. Thanking the good Lord that she was 639.59 miles away. Safely tucked away in the sweet plains of The South.

I don’t know why I woke up this way. I just did. It happens. So, when I told The Kid to empty the dishwasher, she replied through gritted teeth with a “PLEEEASSSE???” You know, the kind of “please” you say to your two year old when she demands a lollipop.

This was probably not the best day to get snarky on me. Peri-menopausal women are a force to be reckoned with. “Force” as in an Uzi With A Vagina. But what does she know? She’s only 16. So much to learn. Poor thing.

What was my reply? “I don’t think so, child. This is your chore. Why I feel the need to remind you to do your chore is beyond me. So no, I will NOT SAY PLEASE!”

When she was done with her chore, I told her she had an attitude and that I didn’t like it. “Mom, can I say something to you?” she asked.

The previous night I was at the high school for a seminar. It was about drug awareness. Three kids from our town came to speak about their drug and alcohol addictions. A child professional got up and spoke for a bit. One of the things he said is to listen to your child. Never dismiss her.

Usually when I am in this type of foul mood, I would say something really stupid and completely against what all child development people would recommend saying. They would not only cringe at my reaction, but would probably have my kid in some kind of therapy for the next 20 years.

When I am in this mood, it would sound something like this: “no, you can’t say anything because whatever you say right now will not help you. Now go upstairs and get ready for school.” But I didn’t. I stopped and I thought before I spoke. I know, this is a shocker. My mouth is usually louder and faster than my brain.

“Yes, you may.” I nearly had a heart attack at my own reaction. “Mom, why is it every time YOU’RE in a bad mood, we have to suffer?” I looked around for DH. So sure he was hiding in the shadows with a $20 bill.

I was rendered speechless. This is the second “attack” I’ve had from my family in a week. I use the word “attack” loosely. It was more like an awakening. The first time, when we were in the car going somewhere, it was what I like to refer to as a “come to Jesus” meeting. Except I’m the only one who didn’t get the memo. “We think you are going through menopause and we don’t like it. You’ve kind of been mean lately.”

They were as nice as they could be about it. But I sit here thinking about these occurrences. Yes, I have been pretty bitchy around here. Not always. I’m not one of those raging lunatics who should probably be committed. But I have my moments. Perhaps a little more than less lately.

And I know why. Sure, hormones play a part in it. I was born hormonal. You should have seen me as a teen. Think Regan without the complete head turn. Damned as I tried, I could only get my head to go 3/4 of the way around.

I haven’t been taking care of myself as well as I should. I stopped exercising. Exercise plays a huge part in feeling good. It’s got something to do with endorphins. Endorphins are your best friend. But I digress.

Whatever the reason, it’s not a good enough one to treat the people you love the most in this world the worst. No, I seem to save my best mood for everyone else. Friends, strangers, people who I try too hard with.

So, in my eye-opening last two weeks, I’ve decided that I need to lighten up on the closest people to me — my family. I can still be great to my friends. Kind to strangers. Civil to everyone else.

I’m going to save my good energy for my people. The people who, even though I act like Sybil at times, still love me back and never give up on me. Even in my peri-menopausal semi-crazed rage.

With that being said, we are still allowed to get upset with our children when they don’t listen. When they don’t do what we ask them to do. Perhaps I don’t need to spit blood, but I can be a little exasperated. And I’ll try to keep the Regan to a minimum. I promise.