Before I became the wisened, mature, matronly type of gal I am now, I had the particularly satisfying habit of - as an ex-boyfriend called it -"beating the hell out of inanimate objects."
This habit consisted of, well...mainly beating the hell out of inanimate objects. For the most part.
In my defense, they totally deserved it. I was only giving them what they so richly had coming. But he found it disturbing nonetheless, so I tried to cut back and would only kick my car or smack the side of the television or throw myself violently into a stuck door when he wasn't around.
The relationship ended anyway, but those of you who know me in real life know that my sophisticated and genteel manner remained. And it's probably a good thing, too, as occasional slip-ups (one memorable incident where I ever so gently applied a BFH* to the icemaker, par example', have proven to scare both young children, innocent spouses and domesticated animals. (Although the icemaker has not given me a lick of trouble since.)
I write here today only to seek your support to keep me from smashing the living hell out of my dryer, whom I previously loved With. All. My. Heart. It is beautiful and shapely and has logo badges so exquisitely reminiscent of a vintage automobile that I matched my laundry room tile to them.
After twelve years of faithful service, it has suddenly decided that all my clothes are better suited for a four-year-old than me. "Ahhh," you say, "Little Girl, use your Big Glasses and see the light! You should not dry your apparel! Rather, you should take all damned day to spread it jauntily around your home! It should lay or lie or whatever perfectly flat and air dry! Afterall, that's how the pioneers did it, and you never saw Laura Ingalls Wilder bitching that her tank top was the width of a iPhone!"
That'd be great, dear helpful reader, but here's the thing. The freakin' washer is in on it. My lovely, reliable, kind and wonderful front load dream washer with matching vintage automobile logo on the front is either in cahoots with the 2000 degree as only setting dryer or it's being seriously peer pressured to ruin me. It spends the entire wash cycle carefully taking my shrinkable tops, my air-dry-only shorts and my "fine washables" and hiding them - sneaking them into other clothes where they cannot be found until after the dryer has done her evil deed and I am left to open the door to the steaming horror of an organic cotton sweater now just an organic cotton ball.
So I'm just saying, I'm probably going off the wagon. If you hear crashing, pounding, perhaps blow-torching...that's me. This bitch ain't goin' down without a fight. You hear me, inanimate object?
*BFH - Big effin hammer, for those of you not violently inclined.
Today's installment of I'm On Vacation and You're Not features another of my favorite people I found floating around the ol' dubyadubyadubya, Heatherty Featherty. She is a super smart super talented super busy mommy of two little boys. She has a full time job that makes her travel all over the place, a husband who surprises her with old car parts and a puppy who is to being potty trained. and for fun? She sews. Like really well. Not like how I hem up a sheet and call it a "duvet cover" and act like I'm all talented. She actually uses patterns and fancy fabric that isn't sheets and makes wearable, cute clothing. Weird, huh? Her stories are funny and real and I'm pretty sure if we lived in the same neighborhood we'd have a bunch of fun.
I asked Heather to give me her memories of being a Little Girl with Big Glasses...because I just had a feeling...
Penne is the greatest. There, I got that out of the way. I think that's a prerequisite to writing a guest post, right? Thank God this time the praise wasn't hard to do or totally lame like "Oh, I'm sure if I knew Penne in person she would...ummm...smell super great and have the right toenail polish on."
Back to how she's awesome? Yeah, she's also on vacation. So she asked if I would be so kind as to fill the silence here on Big Glasses with a little story about how super cool I was when I was a little girl with big glasses. Because weren't we all, at one point in time? Don't pretend you were born with your flashy Lasic surgery. I hope she doesn't go gambling on one of those Indian reservations and blow her life savings. My therapist charges $200 an hour and after effectively suppressing these memories, thanks to Penne they've all come flooding back. It could literally take me months of changing diapers and folding laundry to forget about them again.
Oh, well. Here we go.
Yes, I had the big glasses. The oddly shaped, pearlescent specs with the bendy arms that had little bits of golden flecks in the resin. God, they rocked when I picked them out. It's only in hindsight that I look at the pictures and think "huh?"
And I certainly had the accompanying accoutrement of the time - the permanent wave, the Flock of Seagulls left-to-right bi-level wedge haircut, the jeans rolled super tight at the ankles and preferably Guess by Georges Marciano with the appropriate triangle-shaped tag on the bum, the slouchy sweater with a turtleneck underneath. But that was in eighth grade. The peak of being cool, because the next year you're knocked back to being a total loser freshman again.
As I was doing my little walky walky down memory lane, I started back in Ye Olden Days of Olde, back when Heather was a young'n. When my mom still made a lot of my clothes. And then, dammit, I was suddenly flooded with memories of sixth grade. Of a certain boy in my class who shall remain nameless but I can tell you his initials were FRANK, who wrote me the kindest note one day, sort of a public service announcement where he gently informed me that all the boys in class hated me and also they hated my plaid pants, the ones my mom had made for me.
Stupid Frank! He ruined it for me, wearing those killer red plaid pants my mom had made out of Pendleton wool. I so loved those pants. She'd lined them with swishy red lining that made swishy lining noises when I walked and made me feel like an important secretary or librarian. Oh, I suppose in fairness he was possibly right about them, but why do kids have to be so mean?
So I quickly pushed past sixth grade memories and landed in seventh. Ahhh, sweet seventh grade. I weighed somewhere around a hundred pounds, maybe 110, and hit five foot nine inches tall that year. Good times.
You know what girls love? They love to be way taller than all the rest of the kids. And freakishly thin, that's a great combination. I have an abundance of faded stretch marks on my upper thighs that I'd love to say came from the two stints I spent as a gestating mom to two gigantic male babies, but alas - it wouldn't be true. The only stretch marks I have on this here goddess-like figure of mine came when I was in seventh grade and I grew so fast in one year it literally split my skin.
I can hear the doubt in your minds. Well, behold the photographic evidence, complete with big glasses.
In today's edition of "I'm On Vacation And You're Not," my homegirl Tracey from Funny In the 'Hood has been gracious enough to guest post. I started reading Tracey more than a year ago, and every time she posts, I not only laugh my arse off, I also usually say, "OMG, me TOO!" and then she reads this here blog and says "OMG, me TOO!" So now we're Facebook friends who "like" everything each other says and then our friends in real life are all, "Who is that person?" and we're all "My totally best friend ever that I never met."
Tracey has slowed down her blogging as of late because she's writing a real life BOOK. On paper. Which I cannot wait to read. But here, for your amusement today, is a recent post that was not only funny but also quoted by Time Magazine. Time FREAKING Magazine, people. So, she's like totally famous. Sort of.
The other night I was lying in bed trying to find something to watch on TV and despite Dave's claim that switching from cable to satellite would give us loads of additional channels, my only choices seemed to be either Khloe and Kourtney take Miami or Keeping up with the Kardashians.
Personally, I think the Kardashian family jumped the shark a long time ago and I'm not sure why they're still all over the TV but whatever, I was certain I could find something better to watch on one of the other 70 million channels Dave said we now had.
And then I stumbled upon TLC's I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant. I was so amazed that such a possibility even existed I forgot all about how tired I was and proceeded to stare at the screen transfixed. One by one, women started explaining how they didn't know they were pregnant and they really just thought they were constipated and needed to take a poop and while I watched the show I could only think of one thing:
You have got to be freaking kidding.
As any woman who has ever given birth will tell you, not knowing you are pregnant, during the approximately 40 weeks you are growing a human being means that not only are you unobservant, you might be slightly out of touch with your own body.
I knew I was pregnant even before I peed on the little stick. My boobs were so sensitive just the wind blowing on them was agony. I felt certain that people at work could see them throbbing and would think something was terribly wrong with me. They got bigger immediately and Dave was all, "Wow! Your boobs are getting really big!" and I'd be thinking "Enjoy 'em now loverboy because in a few months you're going to be all, "Wow, your butt is getting really big too."
To be fair, I have two really good friends who did not know right away that they were pregnant with their second children because they had needed fertility treatments in order to conceive their first babies and neither of them expected to be able to conceive on their own. They were both pleasantly surprised when they discovered they were going to be blessed with another child. Yet neither of my friends actually went into labor, delivered a baby, and told everybody later, "You know, I didn't expect there to be a baby, I just felt like I had to poop."
And that's why I'm starting to believe that maybe TLC has gone a bit "Jerry Springer" on me because they know shit like this (heh, heh, I said shit. I made a pun) is going to grab my attention and generate higher ratings and a whole bunch of talk 'round the old water cooler. I mean, who confuses labor with a #2? And then admits it! On TV!
If the women on I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant had never been in labor before it's understandable they might not know what it feels like but it's also like they're a little sketchy on the mechanics of poopin' too.
And I may not be as familiar with labor pains as professional baby mama Michelle Duggar, but I've done it twice and both times my main concern was figuring out how Freddy Krueger had gotten inside my uterus because it felt like he was trying to stab his way out with those finger knives every two minutes or so. Never once did I think, "Hey, maybe I just need to take a poop." Yes, your stomach can feel kind of upset during labor and there's the all too real fear of actually crapping on the delivery table but I can still tell the two bodily functions apart.
"Oh hi. You're a baby, not a #2!"
I know I kind of look like shit here. It's 2:17 AM and I just shot a 9 lb. 6 oz. baby out my hoo-ha without the benefit of any drugs whatsoever.
Can you imagine sitting down on the toilet and thinking something is going to come out of somewhere only to discover that something totally different came out a completely different orifice? That's what happened to one of the women on I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant. She thought she had to go to the bathroom so she sat on the toilet, grabbed the counter and the towel bar because it hurt so bad and her baby plopped out of her into the toilet water and when she tried to get up, she was slammed back down onto the toilet seat because she was still attached to the baby by the umbilical cord! And while she was in the bathroom all confused and laboring and delivering and stuff her baby daddy was sitting out on the couch with the popcorn bowl yelling helpful things like, "Hey, are you almost done in there?"
I mean, did it not occur to her to yell, "Put down the popcorn bowl you dumbass because something that is NOT a turd just came out and oh my God tell the paramedics they better haul ass!"
That's what I would have done.
On the show's website I found the following: "We are looking for new stories for new episodes of I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant." Or, as they probably like to call it, "more unaware women who had babies and not number two's and aren't afraid to have it re-enacted on national television."
Oh, and there was a woman on the show one night who didn't know she was pregnant TWICE.
Probably you can tell I watch this show a lot. I've seen all the episodes. Some of them more than once.
So, I'm guessing TLC pays these women to go on the show? There's got to be some incentive for admitting you didn't know what the hell was going on. But in that case, maybe the women are actually pretty shrewd. Maybe they don't care if everyone laughs at how clueless they are.
Perhaps they're even laughing all the way to the bank.
Good for them. Maybe they'll start a college fund for their little miracles.
P.S. Guess what other TLC show I'm obsessed with? My Monkey Baby. Oh my God, how I love this show.
P.P.S. And now I totally want a monkey baby.
P.P.P.S And I want to go to Baby Gap and buy cute little clothes for my monkey baby.
P.P.P.P.S. And I want my monkey baby to sleep with Dave and me in our bed.
P.P.P.P.P.S Dave just saw this and said my monkey baby cannot sleep with us.
P.P.P.P.P.P.S I know Dave will change his mind when I bring my monkey baby home so I'm not worried.
P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S And then we'll be as happy as these two!
In today's edition of I'm On Vacation And You're Not, you'll be hearing from Denver radio personality and my pal, Mike Casey. Mike is the early morning/drive time host guy at 99.5 The Mountain and a not-half-bad writer. I would have said he was a completely good writer, but you'll notice in his post that he felt obligated to mention that I am older than he is, so eye for an eye and all that. His blog entertains me on a regular basis, and very often chronicles the adventures and wackiness of my younger son, who hangs out with Mike's kids.
The best part of getting him to guest post was that he's inherently lazy (or really super tired from getting up at 3 AM five days a week maybe) so he's always trying to get ME to write stuff for HIM. But who got who to write for them first? Huh? Who is more clever? Huh? (Mike - it's Me. I'm more clever.)
A Sidenote: I've always wanted to be a DJ. When I was growing up, I memorized song titles and artists and even used to play a game with my younger sister called "Who sings this?" wherein I would give her five seconds to tell me the band currently playing or I'd punch her. Turns out, however, you can't have the voice of an 8 year old boy with a wicked sinus infection and introduce Depeche Mode records. Dangit.
An offer to guest post from my pal “Little Girl Big Glasses”? Wow. What an honor! The pressure has been durn-near all-consuming. I haven’t slept a wink since I got the invite.
Okay, maybe I slept a wink. But no more than that.
Hmmm. How best to properly use this hallowed venue to communicate some nugget of wisdom that I have gleened over lo these many years? (Fewer “many years” than “Little Girl Big Glasses”, it should be noted.)
Anne and some of her friends put together a monthly book club a few years ago, and last night, the gals decided they’d invite their spouses along so we could get an up close and personal look at this women’s book club phenomenon.
Here are a few quick observations on that subject:
1.From what I can tell, the key to the success of your book club does not depend on which friends you ask to participate or which books you decide to read but rather on the quantity and quality of the wine you provide when it’s your turn to host. I don’t claim to understand women’s book clubs but if you switch the wine out for beer, this is an idea I can get behind.
2.I love Sports Illustrated as much as the next guy, but do not try to convince your wife’s book club that it should be a considered “a book”. They will mock you for this and then you won’t get any h'ors d'oeuvres.
3.Guys: Don’t think for a second that actually READING the book is a required part of book club participation. I suspect that the real point is for your wife to stick you with the kids for the night while she tosses back some vino with her friends. Once you understand that everything gets easier.
4.For a woman’s book club, when it comes to choosing a book, you can either consult the New York Times best seller list, or just pick the latest offering from Oprah’s Book Club. At least this way you know you’ll get a good cry and a “spiritual cleansing” out of whatever you read. Apparently, this is desirable. Guys, on the other hand, would prefer to avoid crying all together. ESPECIALLY in a group setting. Unless of course their team loses the big game.
5.Book clubs hosted by women seem to revolve around an excellent selection of wines and h’ors d’ouevres and bonding over the shared emotional experience that comes from the power of the written word. If guys hosted book clubs, they would revolve around a lukewarm keg of beer, a stale bag of chips, red plastic cups, and a two dollar cover charge. We may be the simpler of the two sexes, but you gotta admit, we’re incredibly efficient.
6.I think women’s book clubs intentionally choose books that revolve around at least one of the following three subjects: romance, intimacy, or chocolate. I think they pick books like this so they don’t have to worry about the men in their lives taking their books into the john with them.
7.If you are a guy and you get invited to a meeting of a women’s book club, do not stand up and say “Hey, anyone mind if I put on ESPN? I gotta check the stats on my fantasy football team.” Women, especially those who read books, will not see the humor in this.
8.Here’s a rule of thumb for guys everywhere: if your wife or girl friend invites you to a meeting of her book club, whenever you feel the urge to talk about sports, talk about your kids. Whenever you feel the urge to talk about politics, talk about your kids. Whenever you feel the urge to talk about the stock market, talk about your kids. If you don’t have kids, talk about someone else’s kids. If you don’t know anyone with kids, just sit down, shut up, and don’t say anything the entire night. This is your only hope for survival. Trust me on this.
9.Given that men do most of their reading in the bathroom, I figure the only way you could make a men’s book club work would be to rent about ten porta potties, set them up in the backyard, and assign each guy a throne to work from. Sure, it’d make the discussion part a little more difficult but most guys have already made up their minds about a book within the first 3 pages anyway. So what’s there to discuss?
10And finally, when it comes to book clubs always remember, as Groucho Marx once said, “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.”