Flashback Friday….That Time an Old Boyfriend Called in a Welfare Check

“I’m fucking crawling out of my skin.  I should’ve left you at the flea market.” ~ Clementine, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

My preferred way of ending a relationship, back in the day, was The Ghost Method.

If you don’t know what it means, “Ghosting,” per the official Urban Dictionary definition is: 

The act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date. This is done in hopes that the ghostee will just “get the hint” and leave the subject alone, as opposed to the subject simply telling them he/she is no longer interested.

I know, I know, it’s shitty….but I don’t love conflict.  Or, having difficult, intimate conversations.  Or, conversations.

Instead, I preferred that the guy believed me to be an inconsiderate, jerk.  Which, to be fair, was kind of true.

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But that seemed better than having him think I was shallow for breaking up with him because….no matter how many times I dropped subtle hints about his horrible, tapered and pleated khaki pants….he still continued to wear them.

Of course, it was early 2,000 and my own fashion choices consisted primarily of peasant tops, shiny pants in pastel colors, chunky heeled shoes and all the accessories from Claire’s….but whatever.

Anyway, most of the time, the Ghosting worked.  After a few days/weeks of dodging phone calls, the guy would get the hint and I’d be off the hook.  Often, by the time I ran into him again, he hated me and wasn’t at all interested in even making eye contact, let alone asking, “Um, what happened?”

Essentially, it would be exactly like it never happened.  Most of the time anyway….but not all of the time.

I met Brandon when I was in college, at an off campus party I attended with a friend who was dating a guy, who knew a guy, who knew the guy hosting the party….Brandon.

Brandon was incredibly nice.  He was sweet, smart, thoughtful, and handsome.  He was respectful and polite, but soooo fucking needy.

And if there is one thing I can’t handle in a guy….besides tapered, pleated, khaki pants, gnarly fingernails/toenails, tightie-whities, and jean shorts….it’s an overly needy personality.

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I am not now, nor have I ever been, the kind of person who wants to spend all of my time with anyone.  I need space and alone time, like I need air.

Some women might love a guy who calls all the time and always wants to hang-out and showers her with his undivided attention.  But that makes me feel like I am suffocating.

I was an individual person, with individual interests and quirks that existed before I became a better other half.  And those things don’t just go away when you become a significant other.

And I was always really upfront about my space demands in the beginning of a new relationship.  Saying that I was not a needy woman, was always the truth and not the hook I used to catch the big men fish.

But apparently, though men claim they don’t want a relationship with a woman who will go through their pockets looking for digits scrawled on a bar napkin, or hack into their voicemail accounts (the last time I was dating, it cost a billion dollars to send a text and you only made a call if you were dying) they are liars.

Anyway, back to Brandon.  Like I said, he was a great guy, but also a stage five clinger.  He wanted to know and insert himself into everything.  Like, my Wednesday evenings spent with my girlfriends, drinking Boones Farm, direct from the bottle, while watching Beverly Hills 90210.

And our Caps Competitions, which were held every Friday night, in my friend Kate’s dorm room while we rocked out to music we downloaded from Napster.

He wanted to be invited to brunch on Sunday mornings, with my fellow Alpha Sigma Sigma (ASS) sisters (a sorority we made up as an FU to our colleges greek system) where we met up for $1.00 Bloody Mary’s at a dive bar and commiserated over our bout’s with the Bud Mud’s from the prior evenings festivities.

Worse than all of that though, he wanted to come along, when I needed to withdraw and be alone for a while to recharge and reset.  He couldn’t understand why I would want to go to a movie, or go for a walk, or visit a museum alone, when I could have his company.  When I tried to explain that it was just how I was wired, the questions would start.

“Is everything OK with us?”  

“Did I do something wrong?  Are you mad at me?”

“Are you depressed?  Is it something we can talk about?  You know you can talk to me about anything.”

ARGH!

He had to go.

But Ghosting is always difficult when you’re dating the kind of guy who is likely to show up with a boombox and stand outside your window, a la, Say Anything.

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So, I knew it wouldn’t be easy.  For days and then weeks, I avoided his calls.  He wasn’t a student at my college, so I didn’t have to worry about running into him on campus, which made it easy to be evasive.

Then, one evening, while making some soup on a contraband hot plate I had in my dorm room, I heard a knock at the door, followed by, “Campus Security.”

I immediately began scrambling to hide both the soup and the very hot, hot plate among a number of flammables in my closet before opening the door, prepared to lie, while also praying the room didn’t catch on fire.

Campus Security:  Are you James?

Me:  Uh, huh

Campus Security:  We got a call from your boyfriend, Brandon.  He said he hasn’t seen or spoken to you in a number of days.  He was extremely worried about your well-being and he asked us to check on you.  Everything alright?

Me:  Yeah.  It’s just that I’m in the process of breaking up with him.

Campus Security:  Does he know you’re breaking up with him?

Me:  Well, I mean, I haven’t returned any of his phone calls.  I haven’t acknowledged the flowers, or the card he slipped under the door while I pretended I wasn’t here by immediately shutting off all the lights, turning off the TV and sitting stone still on the couch until he went away, so I feel like he should….those are pretty solid hints.

Campus Security:  Why don’t you just tell the poor guy?  He was really worried when he called.

Me:  Yeah….

I never called.  I’m an ass, I know.  But I assumed that the security officer most likely called him back to tell him I was fine, but it was over.  So, you might argue that part of my college tuition went toward a security guard breaking up with a boyfriend for me and honestly, it was money well spent.

I imagine that Brandon probably went on to find a woman who loved to be smothered and for this, I would like to tell her, “You’re welcome.  I’m glad I tossed him back in for you.”

Why Can’t I Quit You Facebook?

“Facebook is like a jail. You sit around, waste time, have a profile picture, write on walls and get poked by guys you don’t really know.” ~Unknown….I saw it on Facebook.

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.

I love that I get to watch the children of my childhood friends grow-up without having to actually visit any of them.

I hate when my childhood friends post all the mommy wars crap.

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I love when my Grandma posts pictures of herself road-tripping across the country and learning how to make stained glass windows with her friends from the Y.

I hate when she posts stuff like this:

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Because, really, Grandma!?

You are practically old enough to remember the smell of the sea from the deck of the Mayflower.

You know damn good and well, nobody hopped off that boat and was like, “Awesome!  A Pow Wow, teach me your ways “

 

 


I love the links to Mommy Bloggers who manage to write about the trials and tribulations of parenting without being judgey and self-righteous.

I hate the links to the Mommy Bloggers who write things like: The 347 Things You Should Never Say to Your Child Unless You Want Him to Grow-Up to be a Piece of Shit Who Hates You.

Seriously ladies, just because you’ve been a parent for five years and have 4,000 Twitter followers, does not make you an expert.  Please.  STOP.

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I love that I’m able to unfollow family members who regurgitate ridiculous memes from sites called “Survive our Collapse” and “Conservative World Daily,” as though they are actual, reputable news sources, without those people knowing about it.

I hate that during, and in the wake of the last presidential election, I found out that a ridiculous number of my family members, who I had thought were good people, are actually REALLY big douche-bags and I had to unfriend them.

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But, I love that one unexpected benefit of growing up in a largely dysfunctional family, is that we only see one another when someone dies, or when someone get’s married….and in both cases, only if there is an open bar.  So, it makes the unfriending less awkward.


So, here I am….somewhere between hitting the delete button, but then not, because I don’t know if I want to lose a platform that connects me socially with the small number of people I still like, but don’t want to have to talk to on the phone.

Then, of course, there are principals to consider.  Like Facebook allegedly profiting off advertising placed by the Russian government-linked, Internet Research Agency, during the election.

It’s pretty messed up, actually.  Not just that it happened, but that people were possibly influenced enough by advertisements on Facebook, that it impacted their vote and then ultimately, the election.

I mean, how stupid do you have to be to read something on Facebook and then allow it to impact a major decision?  And if I may play the devil’s advocate for a moment, how is that Facebook’s fault?

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And yes, I recognize that the issue is much larger than just simple ad placement.  Data was mined and sold and perhaps not ethically and that’s not cool.  But, I use the internet with the understanding that it’s not safe.

I assume that someone is probably watching and probably super bored if they are watching me, because this morning, I spent over an hour researching kitchen cabinet hardware and it doesn’t get much sexier than that.

And it’s not lost on me that I think to myself, I’d like a new pair of Nikes, and then I log onto Facebook, or some other platform, and I’m bombarded by Nike advertisements.

I’m sure that somewhere along the line, I’ve clicked something that allows the internet to read my mind, but I’m not that interesting and I’m also not that easily influenced.

But if it’s true that these ads impacted the results of not just the American presidential election, but also the Brexit vote, doesn’t it speak more to the fact that we have become largely complacent and lazy?

That perhaps, we need to step away from social media and our phones and take a look around and educate ourselves and become a bit more involved in the change we seek, instead of just posting about it?

I mean, when I want to learn about something, Facebook isn’t where I go to seek knowledge.  It’s where I go to stalk people who were mean to me in high school, so that I can point and laugh at them from behind my screen.  Because, I turned out better.

It’s where I go to wish my third cousin a Happy Birthday, because Facebook was kind enough to alert me to the celebration.

It’s where I go to humblebrag by posting pictures and quips that make it look like I’ve got my shit together, even though….nope.

But then, Cher has deleted her Facebook account and Jim Carrey and whole bunch of other people, because #merica.

So….am I being complacent and lazy by not following suit?

Should I be more outraged than I am?

I’m still undecided.  I’m researching.

What about you?

 

The News You Can Use….For Nothing Useful

“Sundays are a good day to look at the limitless possibilities of the week ahead.  The key is to prolong that feeling by not reading the news.”  ~Bob Seger

In case you missed it, here’s a run down of last week’s, probably not top news stories, but at the very least, the news stories that won’t make you want to build a bomb shelter in your background, or homeschool your kids.

Elin Nordegren (AKA Tiger Woods’ ex) is selling her revenge house

If you’re in the market for a Florida mansion with 11-bedrooms, 18-bathrooms, two-kitchens, a roof deck, indoor theater, below-ground gym, custom wine cellar, outdoor swimming pool, twirling water slide, fire pit, basketball/pickleball court, a putting green (I feel like the putting green was a subtle f-you), a cabana house with its own kitchen, bar, and billiards table, two-guest apartments and 200 feet of direct frontage on the Atlantic Ocean….Elin Nordegren is unloading hers for $49.5 million.

I wonder if she actually used all 18 of those bathrooms in the time she lived in that house.  I bet she didn’t.


Geoffrey the Giraffe, the official mascot of Toys R Us, is out of a job

Probably thanks to Amazon and Facebook and Donald Trump, because everything is their fault, Toys R Us is going out of business.

Geoffrey the Giraffe is probably going to be euthanized….because Toys R Us and it’s companion stores can’t even afford to honor gift cards and loyalty rewards….let alone feed a giraffe.

Also, in what can’t possibly be purely coincidental, the founder of Toys R Us, Charles Lazarus, died one week after the company announced it was closing its doors.  Way to go Walmart.


Ben Affleck’s tattoo artist hates him

Obviously….

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Justin Bieber is the worst

The worst Saturday Night Live guest host, according to SNL alums Bill Hader and Jay Pharaoh.

The Biebs showed up to the taping with a huge entourage of servants who fed him pizza and Diet Coke, because I guess he was too exhausted to do those things for himself.

Because acting like a butt-hole all the time is really hard work.


Disclaimer:  I may (definitely) have paraphrased and might have (probably) editorialized a bit (a lot).

 

I Love Pampered Chef….and Other Lies I Tell at the Post Office

“My life is just a series of awkward and humiliating moments separated by snacks.” ~Unknown….I saw it on the internet

This morning, I stopped into the post office to pick up some bread and milk.  Just kidding…I stopped to mail a package.

Anyway, there was only one person working at the desk and a relatively long line.  After about five minutes, the woman in front me turned and asked if it would be OK if she stepped out of line for a moment to set her heavy looking package on the counter.

I smiled and told her I didn’t mind at all.

When she returned, she informed me that her daughter had just recently moved to Arizona and she was mailing her a box of duplicate Pampered Chef items she’d accidentally purchased more than once, while at different parties.

I thought about telling her the last thing my mom mailed to me were treasures from my childhood….covered in green mold and mostly broken….but I didn’t, because I’m working on improving my small talk skills.

“Obviously, I love Pampered Chef.”  She said.

“Me too.”  I lied….for literally no reason.  “I have so much of it.”  (Lie)

“What’s your favorite product?”  She asked.

“Fuck.”  I said.  (Lie)

I have one thing from Pampered Chef.  A pizza stone I bought when a neighbor hosted a party at least eight years ago and I doubt it’s the pinnacle of their product line.

What I actually said was, “Just one favorite?!  There are so many.”  (Lie)

She told me she had a lot of favorites too….including some kind of pan, that had some sort of foam thing and maybe a heart, I’m not really sure, I wasn’t really listening, but then she said her prized items were the knives.

That sounded good, so I told her I would have to agree. (Lie)

Apparently, those knives are pretty damn special, because she informed me she is the only person in her household allowed to use them.

I told her I was the only person in my household who ever cooked and that I doubted anyone in my family would even knew where to find a knife, let alone what to do with it if they did.  (Lie)

Then she asked if I purchased often and if I knew a consultant, or just attended regular parties. Then, I panicked.

I knew that if I told her neither applied, I’d probably end up leaving there with a business card, a catalog and possibly a commitment to host a party in the very near future.

So, I told her I had a consultant.  (Lie)

“That’s great!  Good to have the connection.  Is she local, what’s her name?”

“Fuck.” I said.  (Lie)

“No, not local.”  Her name is Wendy.  I’ve known her since college, she lives in Kentucky.”  (LIES….ALL LIES).

Then she gave me her card and told me that if I was ever interested in attending a local party and meeting some new people, to give her a call or send her an email.

“Awesome!  I definitely will!”  I said with enthusiasm.  (Lie)

Now, I have to find a new post office.

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Life Lesson #1….From a Self-Proclaimed Know-it-All….Drive-Thru Etiquette

“You know what really chaps my ass?” ~Harry Dunne, Dumb & Dumber

People Who Order $100 Worth of Food in the Drive-Thru

The definition of a drive-thru is pretty much this:  A drive-thru is for people who want less than three things, none of which are complicated to make and all of which can be tossed through the window in one trip, with a total transaction time of 30 seconds or less.

Don’t ask where I got this definition from, just trust me, it’s accurate.

Personally, I only use the drive-thru and I know exactly where to find one, no matter where I’m traveling, because I’m a planner.

I prefer it/require it, because I’m really introverted with a bit of social anxiety and so if I have to actually talk to someone, I prefer to communicate through some type of machine….because, no, actually, I cannot stop fidgeting and/or being super awkward.

We’ve all got crosses to bear and whatnot.

Also, I can be kind of lazy.  Having to park my car….especially in the winter months….get out, go inside, wait in line, order, make small talk, then walk all the way back out, etc., etc., etc., is just, ugh, not the kind of activity I want to waste my low energy on.

Which is exactly why my husband will always be the one who makes the Saturday morning breakfast run that includes things like:

  1. Everything bagel, lightly toasted with a smidgen of cream cheese, so smidgen-like as to be almost non-existent.  (My step-son)
  2. Blueberry cake donut, but only the donut, not the donut holes and if they only have the donut holes, then a blueberry muffin, but the kind with he sugary sprinkles on top, not the kind without and served warm. (My step-daughter)
  3. Bacon, Egg and Cheese on a toasted english muffin with extra cheese and extra bacon.  (My six-year-old son, dude loves his bacon).

Because, that’s the kind of order you walk-in for.

It’s not the kind of order you spend 15 minutes shouting into a speaker, while a very long line forms behind you, burning up fuel and patience….only to then have to wait another ten minutes for you to get your food, another three minutes while you rifle through the bag to make sure everything is there and another five while you shove the receipt through the window to point out all the things that are missing from said bag….only to then be instructed by the exasperated drive-thru worker to pull-up and wait while they remedy the problem and complete your order….which then requires the rest of us to maneuver around you in order to escape.

It’s bull-shit.

And so yes, if this is you, you 100% deserve the stink eye I will shoot your way as I drive slowly past, sipping my now cold beverage.

Also, yes, I have 99 problems and like 98 of them are first world.

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Flashback Friday….That Time I Tried Atkins

“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” ~ Kate Moss

Personally, I think her bony ass is full of shit….but, it took me awhile to figure that out.

Throughout my twenties, I did my fair share of fad dieting.  The South Beach Diet, the Cleveland Clinic Diet, Slim Fast and the Hydroxycut and Coffee diet I invented myself….which was kind of my take on the Super Model diet (champagne and cocaine).  But since I couldn’t afford cocaine, or champagne, I doubled down on the uppers and I’ll be honest, how I didn’t die of a massive heart attack, I’ll never know.

If I could go back in time, I’d just smack the post closing time Taco Bell, taco supreme out of my hand and suggest fewer buttery nipple shooters, in lieu of torturing myself during day time hours.  But, wisdom comes with age, or so they say.

I began my journey of unsustainable dieting after gaining a few pounds at my first office job post college.  I didn’t make a lot of money and so my food options were pretty limited.

Most of the time, I lived off Ramen Noodles, or Spaghetti noodles with butter.  When I had a little extra cash, I bought a few Banquet TV dinners and ninety-nine cent frozen pizza’s.  I ate whatever was cheapest, which meant I mostly ate crap.

The office was relatively small and the owner of the business liked to take us out for lunch a few times a week.  I quickly learned that if I ordered intelligently, I could squeeze several meals out of the leftovers.

This meant, I almost always ordered a hearty pasta dish, since the servings are typically larger compared to that of a salad or sandwich.  I also learned I could steal other people’s leftovers.

image3.pngEvery Friday, the office supplied bagels from a fancy bagel shop, along with a selection of gourmet cream cheeses.  I took my morning bagel and then casually returned to the kitchenette to snatch up the extra’s for home; hiding them behind piles of paper I had clutched to my chest, and in my purse while trying to make it look like I was just on my way to/from the bathroom.

Once, I pulled a container of cream cheese, with approximately one tablespoon of Pumpkin Spice remaining in it, out of the trash….because that’s wasteful and I had no shame.

And then there were the birthday celebrations and the grocery store sheet cakes that came along with them.

I liked to volunteer to clean-up the break room, after the five minutes of forced celebrating had concluded, so that it would make sense when I asked the birthday person if she wanted to take the cake home.

The answer was always no, because, who the hell wants to walk out of work with half a sheet cake?  Oh, ME.

So yeah, it didn’t take long before the one pair of Jaclyn Smith black work pants I owned, started crying at the seams.

One of my co-workers, Ned, a middle aged guy with horribly bad breath, suggested I give Atkins a try.  He’d been a devotee for most of his adult life….long before the diet peaked in popularity.

I was immediately lured in by the idea that I could go to McDonald’s, order a whole bunch of cheeseburgers, and all I would have to sacrifice would be the bun.

So….what you’re saying is that I can fry up a package of discount hamburger from Aldi’s and eat the whole thing in one sitting?  

I could eat an ENTIRE carton of eggs?

A WHOLE block of cheese?

ALL the bacon?

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It sounded so easy and I am all about easy.

I never made it to ketosis.

Shortly after I started the induction phase, Ned was hospitalized with a serious illness that had something to do with his butt-hole falling out.  Apparently, he wasn’t properly supplementing his fiber intake all those years on Atkins and the result was, Butt-Hole Fall-Outis.

I’m sure there was an actual medical term for whatever was happening and I’m sure there was more to the story, but all I heard was “Its like his butt-hole is falling out.”

Even though I didn’t really give much thought to my own butt-hole on a regular basis, it seemed the kind of body part a person would like to keep and so that was enough for me to hop off the Atkins bandwagon….immediately.

On my way home from work, I stopped in at the grocery store for a family sized can of  Beefaroni and a container of Planters Peanuts, that I opened on the way to the car and devoured while clenching my butt cheeks together.

But still, it took years of fad dieting and failure, before I discovered that weight loss/maintaining a healthy weight did not have to include suffering and/or the elimination of food groups.

Eventually, I discovered simple calorie counting and for me, it’s made all the difference.  Setting a reasonable and HEALTHY, per day caloric intake….along with exercise….has been key in helping me to maintain a healthy weight.  It’s also significantly improved my overall energy level.

Knowing  that I can essentially eat whatever I want….so long as I stick to my daily goal….helps me make better choices throughout the day (most of the time) and it allows me some slack when I want to indulge….all without sabotaging my efforts and throwing my bodily functions, off track.

I’ve also learned a lot about food in recent years….the differences between calories, carbohydrates and cholesterol….and the best way to give my body the fuel it needs to properly function.

But let me be clear….ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, I have written here should be considered, or taken as advice.  I don’t know anything.

I’m a cancer survivor and one of the benefits of that, includes a team of doctors and nutritionists who have given me new insights and instructions regarding my overall health these last six years.  I do what they tell me, because cancer sucked and whatever I have to do to prevent getting it again, I’ll do.

But, if you are on the look-out for great recipes that are healthy and don’t taste like cardboard, I am a huge fan of this lady:  Skinnytaste.

I don’t personally know the author at Skinnytaste.  I just really love her recipes and when I get compliments on her meals, I take all the credit.

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10 Things I Swore I Would Never Do When I Became A Parent….

“I would rather die than let my kid eat Cup-a-Soup.” ~Gwyneth Paltrow

I admit it.

Before I had a kid, I was 100% one of those judgey, know-it-all jerks who made grand proclamations about all the things I’d never do when I became a parent.

Which was pretty bold considering that, for years, I’d known nothing about raising children.  Like, literally nothing. 

Was it acceptable to put Kool-Aid into a baby bottle?

Did you wait to change a child’s diaper until it had reached maximum capacity?  I mean, diapers are expensive and if you can make a 24 pack last 24 days, that’s practicing good economics….no?

And, it’s not that big a deal to leave a toddler in the car if you’re just running into K-Mart for ONE thing, right?  So long as the kid is strapped down somewhere and unable to reach the lit cigarette resting in the cars ashtray?

What can I say?  I didn’t have the best example.

It wasn’t until books and television taught me that I was basically a degenerate, that I began to form loftier opinions about things.

The police never showed up at the Seaver residence because Maggie was in the backyard with an ax hacking up the lawn furniture after a fight with Dr. Seaver.

Mrs. Walsh, of Beverly Hills 90210 never hissed at Brenda, “I am going to kick your ass so far up around your neck, you’ll have to spread your butt cheeks to sneeze!”

And not one of those chick’s from the Babysitter’s Club, had to take their earnings and immediately spend it all on candy at a sports bar/grocery store called Smokies before their mother could steal their wages.

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Smokies #ICan’tMakeThisShitUp

So, it’s really thanks to the likes of the Tanners, the Camden’s, The Huxtables, Mr. Belvedere and Beverly Clearly, that I became self-righteous AF.

10 Things I Swore I Would Never Do When I Became A Parent

1.   Let my kid eat a hot dog

Fast forward six years:

Me:  Hey Snugs, want to have a hot dog and mac & cheese for dinner?

Snugs:  I had that yesterday!

Me:  I know, but it’s your favorite!

2.  Leave the house in my pajama’s

Post Kids:  Ok, I’ll never leave the house in my PJ’s without a bra.

A few more years post kids:  Well, if I’m staying in the car and just going through the teacher assist drop-off line, it’s not like anyone will notice I’m not wearing a bra.

3.  Let my kid buy school lunch

Me….Every Day:  Oooh, buddy!  French toast sticks are on the menu at school today and tomorrow, it’s nachos!

4.  Allow screen time

A hot minute after giving birth:  Get ready!  To Wiggle!  

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5.  Forego my personal hygiene

Post Parenthood Google Search History:

  • How many days in a row can you use dry shampoo?
  • How many days in a row can a person go without showering before the smell is too great to mask.
  • Is Listerine an acceptable alternative to teeth brushing?

6.  Give-up my corporate career for family

My employer (a year ago):  You haven’t made a career move in five years and we’re going to eliminate your current position.  You’ll need to either move up, or move out.

Me:  Cool, should I go ahead and start packing now?

I know I’m supposed to be leaning-in and pulling up a seat the table and bursting through the glass ceiling and blah, blah, blah, but I was over my career.  OVER IT.

I didn’t want to spend my time traveling all the over the place, working insane hours, while someone else raised my kid, all for the privilege of helping to stuff the already bulky pockets of the executives and shareholders of corporate America.

I decided I didn’t want to pull up a seat their table.  I decided to build my own table.  I’m sorry if this isn’t the choice I was supposed to make.

Actually, no.  I’m not sorry.

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7.  Participate in the Elf on the Shelf

Before my son was born, I considered the tradition to be an unnecessarily stressful addition to parenting and the holiday season.

Actually, I think I was just really jealous that I hadn’t thought of that bajillion-dollar idea myself.

After my son was born, I jumped right onto the Elf on the Shelf bandwagon and I’m not getting off anytime soon.

Quite frankly, I participate in the tradition for one person and one person only….and that person is me.

My childhood had all the magic of life at Spahn Ranch with the Manson family, so it makes me feel good to sprinkle my son’s youth with wonderment.

Also, that little Sprite gives me a whole month off from parenting….and I’m not going to lie, I can use the break….especially during the holiday season.

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8.  Formula Feed

To be clear, it never crossed my mind to judge another mother for the way she chose to feed her kid.  If it hadn’t been for Hamburger Helper, Chef-Boyardee and Tang, I might not have survived my own infancy.

So, fed is best, as far as I’m concerned.

But I had a lot of guilt about being diagnosed with cancer while I was pregnant and so I felt like if I couldn’t breastfeed, I would essentially be a worse mother than Susan Smith.

Mom guilt.  Am I right?

I wanted to breastfeed, but I couldn’t.

To make a long story short, my son was born premature, I had to finish chemotherapy and it wasn’t safe for my son to breastfeed while I was pumped full of R-CHOP.

I tried to “pump and dump,” but my body was all, “F-You.  I’m not cooperating.” 

Since starvation is, in fact, the worst of all options, I decided that what was best for my son, was formula.  And what was best for me, was to stop torturing myself.

PS….to that lady from the online La Leche support group I reached out to for advice on stimulating my milk supply, the lady who told me I should really consider stopping cancer treatment because, Breast is Best!

I still know who you are.  My social media stalking skills are on point and oh honey….time has not been good to you.

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9.  Subscribe to a parenting philosophy

Me, today:  I’m the I Don’t Give a F*ck Mom.

The IDGAF mom is the one who can’t even commit to the long term implications of a bumper sticker, let alone a parenting philosophy.

She’s the one who sometimes feels like she’s got all her shit together and then other times isn’t so sure, because she can’t find her shit.

The mom who roots for other mom’s, (except that bitch from the La Leche support group….I never let go of a valid grudge), because she knows that parenting isn’t actually a competition.

We’re all just doing the best we can to roll with the punches of parenting and life and in the end, we all want the same thing.  Nice kids who are healthy and happy and who go on to be productive and kind members of society.

But let’s face it, none of us know really know what we’re doing.

10.  Allow my kid to throw a tantrum in public

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I really thought I would have this one down.  I assumed that I was the adult, the one in charge.  I thought my firm, but loving approach to child rearing would be thing that would separate me from the mom with the toddler sprawled out and screaming on the floor at Target.

I thought that right up until the time my son was about three and I told him it was time to leave Chuck E. Cheese and he looked at me and said, “Over my dead body.”

Ok, so he didn’t actually say that, but trust me, his wails and feet stamping and fist pounding on the Skee Ball machine made it clear that I could suck it.

So, now I just like to tell myself that he’s strong willed and that strong willed children become adults who change the world.  I high five myself and hope that he’s at least a good dictator someday.

Then, I take another helping of humble pie with a side of crow, pull up my yoga pants and tell myself that, at the very least, I’m still way better than that La Leche lady.

 

Poop Talk….

“Some come to sit and think.  Others come to shit and stink.” ~ Poet Unknown

Since the advent of indoor plumbing, it’s pretty much an accepted fact that men’s public restroom’s are a cesspool of filth….with sticky floors and ample amounts of urine, caked and dripping, from every porcelain fixture.

Yet, for the most part, the women’s room has managed to eschew this reputation….undeservedly so.

In the movies and television, the women’s restroom is portrayed as some kind of pristine oasis, where we women go and set our dainty tushies upon gleaming white thrones and, I guess, shit lavender and roses?

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I’m sorry, but when it comes right down to it….women can be just as gross as men, maybe even grosser….it’s just that all our stalls are enclosed and we’re better at hiding it.

So, the other day, I was wandering through a book store, sipping a coffee….among my favorite hobbies….when nature called.

I made my way to the back of the store toward the restrooms, entered the “ladies” room and selected a stall.

Side note: The first stall in a women’s public restroom is always the cleanest, because it’s the least often occupied by female public bathroom users.

You are welcome.

Anyway, I opened door number one, to find that I wanted no part of whatever was in there.

It looked like someone had perhaps gotten the crap beat out of her….literally.

Or, perhaps a shitsplosion, caused by way too much espresso, had occurred.

And you know what, whatever.  I’ve been there.  I get it.  Shit happens.  (Yes, I have the sense of humor of a 13 year old boy).

But seriously, what kind of heathen makes that kind of a mess and then walks off all, “la dee da.”  As though her fecal matter is somebody else’s responsibility?

If you’re out there lady….and you know who you are….B&N on Route 1….I feel like it’s my doody (heh) to give you and ladies like you, a little Public Restroom Etiquette lesson.

Basically, I’m just like Emily Post.

Here goes:

1.  If You Sprinkle When You Tinkle, Be a Sweetie and Wipe the Seatie

Every woman has utilized the hover craft method at one time or another while trying to avoid cheek to seat contact with a public landing pad.

It’s a method that requires a bit of lower body strength, a decent core, balance and the ability to regulate flow in order to maintain proper control of ones aim….take away the necessary skill set and the result is essentially the same as shooting water onto a teaspoon.

Wipe it up!  All the necessary tools are there.  You know, toilet paper.  And don’t even try and say you didn’t realize it was there.  We all have to turn around to flush.

2.  Nesting

For those germ concious women who know their hovering limitations or simply enjoy a fully seated go on the pot….when toilet seat covers aren’t available, apparently an entire roll of toilet paper will do.

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I’ll admit I’m not particularly well versed on all the apparently horrendous dangers a public toilet seat is harboring and quite frankly, I prefer it that way.  I mean.

I don’t have the time or the architectural skills necessary to craft this kind of set up….but for those who do, please note that the rest of us probably don’t have the time, or the bio-suit, required to clean it up when you’re done.

So please, rather than render the stall useless for the rest of us, take your nest with you when you go.

3.  If At First You Don’t Succeed, Flush, Flush Again (Or Just Flush….Period).

No one is interested in what happened behind that stall door.  What you do there, what you drop there, flush it down there when you leave there.

4.  Everybody Poops

Unless you are actually giving birth….not just sounding like it….I have no interest in becoming involved in your moment.

I don’t want to know that Chipotle goes right through you, or that you must have had some bad fish the night before.

There is no need to apologize because your rear-end sounds like a kid playing a trumpet….because really….what do you expect to hear in return?  “Oh, haha, I know how that goes?”  Or, “No worries, just hang in there, you can do it.”

Everybody poops….but not everybody needs to be involved.

5.  Are You There Black Patent Leather Pumps?  It’s me, Nude Ballet Flats

As much as I don’t want to commiserate with anyone during bowel movements, I also don’t want to be doing any favors.

Personally, I always check the TP balance before committing to a stall.  I would rather do the wiggly shake and just hope for the best, than ask anyone to pass me a wad of toilet paper.

For one, how do I know where those hands grasping that tissue paper quality, public TP have been?

For two, conversations in a public restroom that start out with, “Can you do me a favor?” could go so many ways and I’d hate to commit to something I’m not willing to follow through on.

“The good guest is almost invisible, enjoying herself, communing with fellow guests, and, most of all, enjoying the generous hospitality of the hosts.” ~Emily Post