Ewe

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Why do designers make clothes with wool?  Yes, it’s toasty.  But that crap itches like a bitch. Sheep look so warm and cozy in their wooly fur.  But perhaps it should stay where it belongs — on the sheep.

A very good friend of mine gave me a gorgeous sweater for Christmas a couple of years back.  I love it.  It’s my favorite color, great shape, perfect fit.  It has it all, including wool.  The first time I wore it, I nearly scratched every body part north of my waist right off.  When I removed the sweater that night, it looked like I had a fight with a feral cat and lost.

I thought I would rectify the situation by going to the store and buying a long sleeved shirt to wear under it.  It worked well enough.  Until I did spring cleaning and threw that shirt away.  Don’t ask me why I threw it away.  I’m a pack rat.  I hate throwing things away as much as I hate throwing food away.  So, now I can’t wear the sweater because I don’t want to itch myself to death and I haven’t made it to the store to purchase another long sleeved shirt.  Even though right now is the perfect time to wear it because it’s so friggin’ cold out.

But I’m off topic.  My question is if wool itches so much, why do manufacturers/ designers use it in clothing?  And why does it itch so damn much?  Does it make everyone itch or is it just me?  Oops, that was three questions.  Itchy Wool — one of the great mysteries of the universe.  Well, my universe anyway.  I think I’ll stick to cotton.

The American Girl Bait and Tackle

This is the biatch that started it all
Scam Artist

May I tell a story about how American Girl sunk her manufactured teeth into our middle income wallets?  I’m sure many of you can relate.

It all started in December 2003.  My mother-in-law, the kid and I are in a taxi cab going to see the Christmas Show.  When, what to my MIL’s wondering eyes should appear but….The American Girl Place.  Why oh why did you have to look, mom.  She’s got enough Barbie’s to choke a small horse.  She certainly doesn’t need any other doll, that’s for sure.  I wanted to tell the driver to step on it.  But it was too late.

MIL:  (Gasp) Look what they opened!!!

The kid:  (gasp, gasp, and more gasping)

ME:  Oh help me Lord.

I’m not quite sure how it happened, but we somehow wound up at “The Place”, along with 90% of the city’s spoiled little rich girls and their mothers.  After we get trampled on by over-priced doll loving brats and make our way up the escalator, we see this store has a cafe.  Of course it does.  Lucky for us, there is an opening.  Joy.  They seat us.  But they do not seat us alone.  No.  We have a guest.  Her name is “Samantha” and she is seated down to the kid’s left.  She even gets her very own teacup and saucer.  How nice.

We have a marvelous time.  It’s truly magical.  Memories to last a lifetime.  The only problem is, Samantha doesn’t get to come home with us. No, if we want our very own “Samantha” it’s gonna cost.  And big.  All I can say is, thank God this joint serves wine.

ME:  Ok, honey, say goodbye to Samantha.  She has to go back to see her friends now.

The Kid:  Oh, but mommy, I am so attached to her.  I just love her so…

She has mustered up the cutest little tear in the corner of her right eye.  Yup, I fell for it.  Hook, line and sinker.

On the train ride home, there is one happy kid and one dumbstruck mother whose bank account has been depleted of $100+ in a matter of seconds.  DH is gonna love this one.

It turns out, Samantha makes for a great conversation piece:

The kid:  Oh mommy thank you so much.  She is my best friend!  I LOVE her! (blah, blah)

MIL:  You are such a wonderful mother. (blah, blah, blah)

And so that’s how it continued for 73 minutes.  Hearing about how wonderful the doll and I are.  So happy to be placed in a category with Miss Samantha.  It warms my heart.

That little jaunt was the start of a very expensive addiction.  9 years and 12 dolls, clothes and accessories later and guess where they are?  In the attic with the mice, bats and cobwebs waiting to sink their teeth into a new generation.

Let this be a warning to all mothers of doll loving little girls…do not eat in the cafe.  They are running quite the operation.  I am living proof that this is true.

It’s a Sticky Situation

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DH and I bought some new wine glasses.  Red wine glasses.  Because DH has decided after 20 years of marriage he DOES like red wine after all.  So, now I have to share with him. But that’s ok and I’m getting off topic.

What I want to complain about is the stupid price tags and stickers that stores and manufacturers like to put on glassware.  I would like to just once wash the glass and be ready to use it. But no.  That’s not how it works.  We try really, really hard to remove the stickers in one big piece.  Of course, it never goes down like that.  A tiny piece inevitably rips away from the mother ship.  So, we stand there chipping and splitting our nails cursing at the little bastard to come off.

When we finally get it off, we are left with an unsightly sticky film.  We have to completely remove the sticky film because otherwise our hands will get stuck to it every time we use the damn glass.  To do this we have to try to soak them in water and sometimes that isn’t enough.  I usually have to resort to using a butter knife to scrape all the bits off.  Times all this work by 6 or 8 depending upon the size of the glass set you have just purchased.

The same thing goes for picture frames.  Except there is usually a big splotch left where a loved one’s face would go.  There isn’t enough Windex in China to remove that shit.

Please, I’m begging.  Can’t someone come up with a solution?  We have phones that talk to us and magic erase sponges (which, by the way don’t work on stickers because we have tried) but we can’t figure out a better way to price this crap?  For the love of God.  Please don’t make me resort to grocery store plastic.  Wine just doesn’t taste the same in those.  I don’t know how I know this, but I do.

14 Years Equals A Trip Around the World TWICE

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 The kid is an irish dancer.  For anyone who has a child who partakes in the irish dance world (or any major sport for that matter) you understand that it will cost DH and me enough to send her to Harvard 3 times over by the time she is done (ok, I’m exaggerating just a little, but still…).

I was day dreaming today and thinking of all the things I could do if she decided to just join the debate club at school instead.  I felt the need to share to put it all into perspective:

  • 1 year of tuition x 14 years = one in-ground pool
  • 3 solo dresses = a 2-bedroom apartment in NYC’s Upper West Side for a month
  • 3 team dresses = LASIK surgery for my left eye
  • Wigs & Crowns = Tiffany necklace
  • Soft shoes, hard shoes and poodle socks = 27 inch iMac
  • Private lessons (really stupid since we pay an arm and a leg for tuition) = a full body massage
  • 7 years going to Regionals = A 2.5 week trip for two to Hawaii
  • Going to Worlds once (secretly hoping it stays that way) = LASIK surgery for my right eye
  • 14 years of local competitions = One master bathroom renovation
  • Dress alterations = full body massage PLUS facial & manicure
  • 1 happy kid = Priceless or I have to have my head examined, whichever way you want to look at it

When I signed her up, I had no idea what was coming.  Not one person warned me that it would turn into a 4 class a week, competition led sport.  Not ONE!

To add insult to injury the kid loves it.  She dances around the house all day, all night.  Down the hallway, in the shower, during dinner.  If you ever run into us at the mall, you probably will catch a performance.  Rally one, Rally two.  AAAAHHHHH!!!!!!

So, instead of a trip around the world TWICE, I get to sit at competitions all day long.  Who can relate in one form or another? Let’s see, 3 years, 4 months and 21 days until our money is ours again.  Oh wait.  I forgot about college.  Never mind.

Pass the Soap

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I’ve got a bone to pick with the manufacturers of all automatic public restroom appliances.  Whether it be the soap and paper towel dispenser, the sink and even the toilet—they all suck.  For the record, they are not supposed to suck.  They are supposed to wash, rinse and dry your hands.

Let’s start with the soap dispenser.  Holy hell.  Spit some damn soap out, will you?   We stand there waving and waving.  If we are lucky, we may be rewarded with a teeny squirt enough to wash the tip of your finger.  3 minutes go by and you may have enough to actually wash an entire hand.  Forget about trying to add some water, that’s another 3 minutes.  I feel like I’m playing musical sinks running from one to another to get one that actually works.

And the automatic paper towel dispenser?  Again, they give you enough to dry half a hand, so we stand there and listen to the motor pump out an inch of paper at a time begging for more, only to feel like a total loser.  Nothing like INCREASING our carbon footprint.

One more thing.  Who likes to get sprayed in the nether regions when we least expect it?  I can’t even begin to imagine what kind of bacteria was just splashed at my hoo-hoo.  I find myself in a race against time to step away before it’s done its thing.  Too often I lose.

So, hear hear to the old fashioned pumps, faucets, flushers and manual handle turning of yesteryear.  Screw it if we contract flu or malaria.  It’s totally worth it.

That Sink-ing Feeling

I spent 5 hours cleaning the first floor of my house this past Monday.  No, I don’t clean my house like this every week.  It’s just that I hadn’t cleaned my house since before Christmas.  As you all know from this post — Manual Labor Was Invented by the Devil — I am not a fan.  But it was getting pretty nasty in here so if I didn’t want a divorce, I figured I should probably do something about the dust monsters under the couch and the Christmas tree needles, well….everywhere.

You know that feeling when you have completed the task of scrubbing down your house?  It feels really good.  But if anyone comes in here and walks around on the floor or messes up the soap dish, you want to kill them.

Every Monday night I get together with some friends.  I know.  It’s great.  I highly recommend it.  I left at 7:30 and got home at around midnight.  It was pretty late, so I went straight to bed.  When I came downstairs to help the kid with breakfast the next morning, this is what greets me:

photoLet’s see…I was gone 4.5 hours.  When I left, there were 2 people in this house and 0 items in the sink.  There are now 2 plates, 2 bowls, 6 glasses/cups, 1 pot, 1 spoon, 2 forks, 2 knives, 1 measuring cup, 1 wooden spoon, 1 rubber spatula, 1 serving spoon, 1 strainer, 1 pan from the toaster oven and 1 sink strainer basket that has mac & cheese, tomato pieces and strawberries in it.

There is actually an allergy to dishwashing machines.  Yup.  I looked it up.   Apparently it has struck 2 of the 3 people living here.  Hmmm.  I guess I shouldn’t complain.  These DID make it into the sink.  And that counts for something, right?  RIGHT?

Soft Skin is for Woosies

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What is the aversion toward lotion for men?  I mean, in what book does it say, “All men shall go without moisturizer?”  Is there a law in some guy book?  If I’m missing something,  please clue me in.

My DH, God love him, is so particular about his appearance.  Every crease in his pants have to be pressed just so.  His tucked in shirt cannot show a wrinkle, a crease or a fold.  I can’t share a bathroom with him because he takes too damn long.  But hand him a bottle of lotion and he looks at it like it’s going to give him Herpes Simplex 2.

And my dad…he is a different story altogether.  The guy has enough flakes coming off his legs and feet to rival that of the Swiss Alps.  My mom has to wipe down his bedside table every morning because of the dust that has collected during the night.

We women must make a stand.  What can we do to get these guys to understand that using body lotion will NOT turn them into a girl?  I say to them, “embrace your feminine side”…and we promise not to call you Sue.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…NOT

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And I’m not talking about Christmas either.  The kid has been a member of the Girls Scouts since 2003.  I love the good ole’ Girl Scouts.  I talk them up every chance I get.  My daughter has learned so much from being a GS.  She can light a fire (I mean camp, and she better keep it that way), she can pitch a tent, she is a master crafter, she has learned respect.  And last but not least, she can make new friends AND keep the old.

One thing she is not good at…selling GS Cookies. Nope, somehow that has become MY job.  What happened to the days of those cute little girl scouts going door to door?  Perhaps it was the realization that there are perverts and child molesters lurking about.

Yup, so in order to keep her safe, I took over the job.  Her leader (God bless her, I don’t know how she does it…in other words, better her than me.) would like for each of them to have a goal of 50 boxes sold.  Sure right okay, as soon as I charter that first flight to Mars.

Look, I know people SAY they look forward to GS cookie time, but do they really?  I have been asking, begging, promising favors in return, for my friends, family, coworkers to buy for years.

It’s for a good cause.  Yes, you can freeze them.  No, you don’t have to pay now.  You’re on a diet?  Well you can donate cookies to the food pantry because they are so nutritious.  My personal favorite complaint: “but they are $3.50 everywhere else.”

So, every year, I moan, groan and bitch when I see that blasted cookie order form and start on my quest to fill the orders.

On my honor, I will try….oh, who wants cookies???

For the Love of a Log

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Everyone knows how much I love the grocery store.  Well, I didn’t go just once this week, I went TWICE.  Why, you ask?  Because I’m the dumb ass who forgot something, or some things.  Forgetting stuff during Can-Can week is a mortal sin in my book.

I was expecting some friends over Monday night and in addition to some essentials I had, um…forgotten, I wanted to get one of those Dura-Logs so we could have a nice cozy fire.

Anyway, I can’t find the damn log.  I have been up and down every dang isle TWICE looking for it.  I wish Shop Rite would stop moving crap around.  To top it off, I can’t find a single staff member.

I’m ready to sock the idea when I finally see not one, but two store employees talking amongst themselves at the end cap of isle number 14.  I squeeze in as closely as I can to avoid being stampeded and stare at them for a good half minute hoping to catch their attention.  They look at me and continue on.  Great.

So, just to recap real quick…I’m pissed because I’ve walked all over the f’ing store not once, but twice.  I can’t find a single employee who can help me and when I do find an employee, I’m completely ignored.  Oh, and I’m dodging can-loving freaks like bullets.  Do I sound like I’m in a good mood???

Suddenly, I hear this — “look lady, pick a direction and move in it.”  When I look up, I realize he is speaking to me.  He reminded me of Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz with his fingers pointed in both directions, but not so cute.  “You’re holding up traffic.”  Geez, if he only had a brain.

The look I shot Scarecrow could have frozen the Amazon.  I think I actually saw fear in his eyes.  And the log?  I passed the whole blasted stack of ’em coming in the front door.

Confessions of a Grammar Nazi

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I have many, many pet peeves.  But let me tell you about the one that tops the list. The improper use of too/to, there/their and your/you’re.

This makes me cringe:  “It’s you’re job too get there kids.”

This makes me bonkers: “Their, their, don’t cry.  I feel the same way to.  Your only human.”
This makes me want to jump off a freaking cliff — what I call the mother lode:
“I, to, love spaghetti so my friend invited us over there house too have some.  But they live way over their, on the other side of town.  Do you think you’re sister can stop by too pick us up since she’s going to?  Thank you, your such a peach.”
So please, tell me…who was your grammar teacher?  Dan Quayle?