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Having peeked at my blog prior to my appearance, they complimented me on my casual but not too dressy outfit (as they sat there in their jeans and zippered sweatshirts). Next time I'm fortunate enough to be their guest, I just might show up in pajamas!
Also, Betsy and Sal showered me with swag. Swag! Travel bottles of hand cream and foot cream, and a brand-new Land's End pink paisley tankini!
Alas, the foot cream caused a bad reaction on DH's toes. He was so excited to get a foot rub and the end result was sad and painful. Poor guy; life can be cruel. Do you think he'll stop asking me to rub his feet?
And the tankini? Well, it fit, but, oh, words fail me. I'm going to pass it on to some other lucky gal. It's be like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, only for middle-aged moms. And instead inspiring love and confidence, it will remind us never, ever to get pregnant again.
I wasn't eavesdropping on a public cell phone conversation (not this time, anyway), this is from an episode of ABC's new show, Notes from the Underbelly.* Cooper, the never-say-pregnant career gal, advises her newly pregnant friend, the series protagonist Lauren, not to quit her job with these choice words:
You can't just drop out of the working world and waltz back in. You'll be the annoying old lady who can't figure out the phone system. And everyone who didn't take five years off to find themselves will hate you for constantly having to tell you, "It's pound 7. #7!"
It's true that if you've taken a few years off of work, you may need some time to catch up with technological advances, but still. The annoying old lady? Ouch.
I woke up this morning to find a huge purple bruise on my thigh from where I crashed into something on my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
After admiring my fabulous hematoma, I noticed one of my children had yellow gunk coming from her nose. Nice. Upon his waking, I saw that my other child had green gunk coming from his nose. Perfect.
And the dog? Somehow the dog has given himself a blue asshole. And no, I'm not speaking euphamistically or about an alcoholic drink popular with college students (though "blue asshole" would be a perfect name for a shot). My dog actually, physically, has a blue asshole.
Apparently, while blissfully slumbering last night, an Evil Rainbow descended upon my house and exploded.
so, yesterday i brave the microorganisim/virus/bacterial wasteland of the doctor's office to take my kids for their semi-routine check up. that's right folks....we go to the doctor's every two years whether we're sick or not. i know, i know. i should do it more often, at least according to conventional medical wisdom. it's just that i hate the fucking doctor's office. i have overwhelming images of infectious diseases culturing themselves on every surface and crawling toward my mucous membranes. overcome with the paranoia induced by the institutional odors and insulted by the empty promise of sanitary conditions and supposed sterility of things, i am hypersensitive. my neurosis kicks into high gear when the nurse comes in and, wearing the gloves she touched the doorknob with, proceeds to touch one of my kids, pick up her pen, scratch her ear, jot something down, rub her eye, and leave again...old germy ass gloves still in place. brilliant. thoughts of seeped secretions and spilled body fluids, lanced boils and athlete's foot, pink eye, necrotic wounds and itchy ball syndrome...jesus christ, by the time the doctor gets in there (an hour after the hour the appointment was set for, ahem!) i'd be climbing the walls if i weren't so afraid to touch them. icky bad. during our wait, my kids are doing their best to engage me but i am consumed by the consideration of prophylactic antibiotic use and i feel a sense of deep regret that i didn't up our vitamin C & zinc intake a week in advance; you know, like a little booster for what i think of as an immune system triathalon. yeah, my kids are gonna be weird because of these hang ups of mine, i just know it.
so, to make a long and boring story shorter and more interesting, i'll fast forward to the part where i got really pissed. the doctor came in and stepped onto his golden podium (which i promptly hacked down). he began explaining stupid things to me in a manner that my second-grader would find patronizing, and thus ensued The Power Struggle (which i promptly won) between the good (that's me) and evil (that's the patriarchal/pharmaceutical juggernaut faction) forces of the universe. why, oh why, dearest beloveds...why would this asshat want to walk in and inform me, ME (if he only knew) of all people...that my daughter is in the 95th percentile ranking in height among her peer group. he continues to tell me that she's in the 90th percentile for weight. in my mind, though completely irrelevant and about as useful as, say, baseball scores from the turn of the century, this makes sense. if you are in the top percentile in your height, it's not a big mental leap, understanding that it is proportionate (and perhaps even desirable) to be in the upper end of the range when it comes to weight. it's called balance.
this dickhead had the fucking iron clad stupidity and nerve to dangle his balls in my face by saying these words in front of my daughter....
"I'm not saying that she's fat or anything...but you'd better be careful. She could have a tendency toward getting fat. Tell me, does she actually DO anything? I mean, like, you might want to make sure she's getting enough activity in her day to day routine...just, watch out for that. We don't want her putting on too many pounds."
Of all the fucking stupid, dumb things a person could say in front of a child. THIS has to be up there in, say, the 99th percentile range.
p.s. she's 8 years old, 4'2 and 72 pounds. she's at school from 8am to 6pm monday thru friday and I SEE HER running, jumping, hiking, gardening, walking, doing yoga, and playing actively all day long. she eats a balanced diet with very little sugar or crap-carbs. WTF???
i recently found myself in a situation that devolved into the type of drama that i pride myself for not humoring. yes, friends, i was the guest star in my own personal soap opera and this particular novella included a cameo appearance by a member of My Favorite Band. okay, i actually have three favorite bands but for the sake of this saga, it will be understood as my favorite and from here on, i'll refer to it as MFB. what follows is an unfortunate example of the drawbacks to the age of instant communication via electronic mail. once you hit that send button, it's bye-bye message and hello to things said which cannot be undone. even as a lover of the word, i am hesitant to write, at times, because of my scorpionic paranoia which shrieks this admonition in instances of emotional excess: leave no written proof. the pen (or key, as it were) is a mighty sword, indeed. this is my story.
it's a regular day. hum drum and blah, i've got a lot of shit to do. as a recent addition to the ranks of the single mother set, i am confounded by the amount of bullshit with which i must contend in the course of any given 24 hour period. i work and i raise children. i work at my older child's school and my preschool daughter tags along with me every step of the way. so, you see, in addition to working and raising children alone, i work raising other people's children while they do jobs far away from the stink of overflowing toilets and projectile puking booger machines. it can be cloying at times and i am embarrassed by my longing to get away from it. stealing away to the sanctuary of my desk, i bow to the pc altar and proceed to check my email. i pop into the myspace universe and log on to instant messaging, slipping into my computer generated un-reality with a relish that resembles addiction. big sigh...it's nice to be home. i live there more than i care to admit. what can i say? it's my new-age calgon and it takes me...away. on this particular day, i am delighted to find that MFB is playing at MFCH (my favorite coffee house, ahem). yay! this, i tell myself, is a sitter-worthy occasion. i text message the sitter and post a myspace bulletin to find a friend up for a last minute late night of irreverent musical glory, camaraderie and beer drinking. this is the pinnacle of weekday excitement for me and it gives me a charge to make a plan for myself that will definitely not include packing granola bars, extra underwear, hand sanitizer or a busy bag. yes! i've got a bite...two, now three. i'll have a date for sure and i know that at least two of them will flake but three's a good number and i know one will pan out as my sidekick. MFB is a collective of extremely talented musicians who are funny, political and stunning on stage. they are one of three bands who do not bore me mid-show and i've been attending shows for over a decade. i do not know any of them personally but i've had a number of offhand exchanges with a few of them over the years at bars, parties and once, at a job where i waited tables and cocktailed during their regular sunday gigs. they don't know me but dammit, i've got to say, i feel like i know them. i'm a fan with an observational prowess and curiosity that probably borders on the weird. i can't help it: MFB is full of fascinating individuals and sometimes when one of them throws back her head and belts out a blazing scat (she's the blackest sounding white girl i've ever heard) or another rocks out on a hillbilly rap reminiscent of the film "deliverance", i swear i've died and gone to the heaven where common thinking folk can come on in out of the cold for a the musical equivalent of a vaudeville lapdance. even my children agree; they rock.
i have a date. i have a sitter. i have cover in my pocket and--fuck next week's grocery budget--i've got some lechuga for drinking, too. lipsticked and hot assed, hair fluffed and attitudinally correct, i arrive at MFCH's door and see my date, already tucked into a drink and in a prime location--joy! i love my friend. she is not one of my closest sisters but we have had some good times, shared some tears and commiserated countless times over the realities of Life Without A Partner and My Ex-Husband is A Fucktard. we hug our hellos and i dash away to get my booze. MFB is gearing up and i barely make it back to my seat before the show begins. There are Rules at MFB's shows and one of them is that the audience must be very quiet. I aim to please and I observe the Rules, after all, I AM a model fan and i wish to set a good example for any newcomers--i imagine that my shining display of band-sanctioned show protocol and excellent lyric knowledge earns me some gold stars somewhere in the good fan hall of fame. i take this whole business entirely too seriously, i know. it's just proof of my inherent dorkiness and tendency to deify anyone with a smart mouth, quick fingers and a rosined bow. i am unapologetic.
this show is a good one. there's a new member in MFB and he's pretty good. he's interesting and he definitely holds his own but i'm still longing for the guy he replaced. incidentally, several weeks before, i met the missing member by chance down off 6th street. he was busking in the cold and he took my request, playing the song about my homeland--the one that always makes me cry. honestly, it's the most powerful song i've ever heard. ever. i was drunk enough to be uninhibited and my friends and i danced wildly, tipping and thanking him for his contribution to humankind. i secretly wanted to bang him--not because he's all that attractive but--goddamn!--the way he does his thing when he opens up his soul and pours it out--it's like some kind of psychotropic mind altering jambalaya with a fiddle in place of the andouille. who knows? the guy may be a real asshole who likes to kick cats and box the ears of unsuspecting children. i don't know and it's these times that make me wonder about my own judgement, given my temporarily suspended distrust for most people. this naive proclivity of mine...it's worrisome. i should know better--my own father was a steel guitar god and also very much a colossal garden-variety fuckup who never amounted to more than a couple of bastard kids and a good strong background in illegal asshattery. i digress, though. back to the show. it was a good show. my friend and i roared and sang and danced and hooted at all the appropriate junctures. we even considered showing our tits--it was topical. the performance was everything i'd expect from MFB and they even took my request for that really lusty number that makes me very hot. yes, it was a good show. i am pleasantly buzzed, extremely satisfied and i even managed to (mostly) fight the urge that remains from my years of yon--you know, the one that makes a gal have a look around the place, sussing the other patrons for potential one-night-stand-ability. i'm beyond that now, right? well, i should be--i'm a mother. i'm thirty-something and i have a sitter to pay with next week's gas money and a job to hold down. at the very least, the fact that i haven't shaved in a week solidifies my vow to chastity.
on the way to the john, the drummer catches my eye. he smiles and holds my gaze. giddy, i do my thing and come out and fall right back into the non-verbal "hey baby" bone he's tossing me and i think..."hmmm". i go to the bar, grab a beer and close my tab. mister man is still looking my way as i walk out to meet my friend for a smoke and my inner adolescent gives me the thumbs up. i brag to my friend that i got the eye and we giggle. as neither of us carries a lighter--it's a great excuse to talk to interesting looking people--i jump on the opportunity to find an interesting person (i.e., the drummer) to bum a light from. back at the bar, i'm sandwiched between two delightful men from MFB--what luck! i engage one of them, get some matches and return to the table where my friend and i rave about the show and catch up. conversation turns when the drummer walks out and smiles my way--my gal's got the inside line that he's recently single and we speculate and indulge in a little good natured gossip. we are women, after all, and it's fun to live vicariously when you're feeling out of the whole youth loop. i am certain that he's looking at me and feel all warm inside. i've been weathering a helluva dry spell and what little rain i've gotten wasn't enough to wet my roots if you get my drift. mama just needs a little fun, too, y'all. my friend is telling me about a republican she's been seeing and, based on the details she's given, it sounds, despite his scary political resonance, like they might have a connection. good for her but in that moment, i was thinking more about my own connections and what the little drummer boy might have to offer.... at last, we agree to end the evening and after kisses, we depart.
the next morning, geek chic firmly in place, it occurs to me that i might find MFB's drummer on myspace. i check my email before getting down with my search engine finger and find a message from my friend. it seems she's employed her inside line to get the drummer's email address. assuming that she's being a helluva gal and trying to get me the hookup, i neglect to read her email in full. i abandon the notion to look him up and surrender myself to the winds of fate. as fate would have it, she was actually inquiring for herself. my tall, reserved and sophisticated friend...what a drag! i was blown away by this new development. i was....jealous. in her last email (there were several), she broke the news that she'd gotten a date with him and hoped i wouldn't be pissed. sucker punch! i was stunned! could this be? wasn't she breaking the code? is there a code? surely there's a code! surely, not! no! she'd never....would she? indeed.
i was overwhelmed. really, i didn't have that great of an interest in the guy as a conquest or otherwise--eye contact does not chemistry make and i am familiar enough with the language of flirtation to know that it didn't amount to anything, those smiley faces and unblinking stares across the crowded room. nevermind that, though...the part that got my goat was that she'd go to the lengths she did when she knew i was all happy pants and flattered by the attention. it just seemed so....uncool! oh, i guess i didn't mention my impending hormonal d-day, now did i? no. nor did i mention the fact that i was dealing with some ex-husband antics that put me in Another Bad Predicament. it was a bad day and my frame of mind was a fast tunnel down to the reptilian place where the wild things dwell. i'm only human and i reacted, vitriolic and base. without really thinking, i ganked dude's email addy (she'd forwarded me one of their correspondences) and composed a short, not so sweet, but cleverly versed note in which i called my friend a Very Ugly Name. It was actually sort of funny in a psychotic kind of way and, overcome by my own shortsightedness, i sent it. ah, hell. all's fair in love and war, right?
several days later, in an altered state of consciousness, i called my friend. she was not happy with me. i was not happy with her. nobody was happy and the conversation pretty much went downhill in record time. true to her sagittarian nature, she held her ground and refused to budge. tearfully, i exited stage left, feeling like both a bad guy and a victim of circumstance. dammit to hell. haunted by my rash lashing, i slept fitfully and awoke to feelings of deep regret and self hatred. not only had i behaved like a sophomoric jackass, i'd also displayed my dirty laundry to a member of MFB--oh the shame of it all! "universe! what is this douchebaggery which hast befallen me?!" i demanded the answer. it came to me slowly that the only thing to do was to grab a bib and serve myself up a dish of crow in the town square. reluctantly, i made the leap. deep breath. yahoo mail. log in. compose. i am sorry, literary flourish, i suck, additional literary flourish. contritely yours, my name. period. insert friend's address. cc: drummer of MFB. re-read message. send. exhale.
the end. the moral of the story? never fall for a troubador or a man in a band...whatever. you figure it out. i'm busy learning how to live in the real world without the luxury of a delete key and editing capabilities.
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