In a strange coincidence, this past August two different people told me that I should write a book; another person told me I should write a blog. The latter option seemed easier so I thought, "What the hell-- I'll give it a try." I started writing this blog as a way to share my funny and strange experiences without having to send out mass email blasts to my long-suffering friends and family. I also thought it would be a good way to document my son's life so that someday he can see what he was like as a little boy. I figured if only friends and family showed up to read my words then that was cool. But then something unexpected happened: people from all over the world started visiting my little blog. Since the start date of September 4, 2014 I've had visitors from 55 countries stop by. Of course the majority of readers come from the United States. Here's a map from Google Analytics that shows my visitors in blue:
I may be turning into a megalomaniac. Now I want the entire map to be blue! My thought process has gone from "It would be nice if people I know come read my words" to "I want EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE, to come!" Any time I get a nice comment or compliment, it totally makes my day. It turns out that I crave validation from strangers. This may mean I'm a shallow person; insecure in any case. Just call me Sally Field: "You like me, you really like me!"
A few days ago I was contacted by a man who does a morning radio show in Minneapolis. He had found my blog because of my post on the headless Santa at Target (http://www.endearinglywacko.com/blog/nothing-says-christmas-like-headless-santa). I didn't know I would be mentioned on his show yesterday, but when I suddenly got a ton of web traffic from Minnesota, I quickly figured it out. Go to the 6 minute, 18 second mark in the link below. Actual quote that should someday go in my obituary: "That woman's hilarious". I got validation from a complete stranger! Life is good! At the 7:39 point he says in a joking way regarding my blog, "If it's filled with anti-Semitic remarks it's not an endorsement of our show." I had a moment of like, "Hey asshole-- I would never do that!", but I knew the remark was meant to be funny. And he's not an asshole. Probably. Oh hell, we're all assholes sometimes. Anyway here's the link:
I played the clip for my son and husband. My seven-year old asked,"Are you super famous now?" Sorry to disappoint you but no. "Did you win a prize from the radio station?" I wanted to say, "Yeah-- I won two tickets to the Loverboy concert!" but I knew he wouldn't get the reference to a lame band from the 80's. Dammit! My best material is being wasted on a child.
As much as I like writing the words for my blog, I hate the actual mechanics of getting things posted. Even though the website I use, Weebly, is supposed to be for novices like me, I still manage to screw things up. I didn't notice a typo on the very first line of the blog for the longest time because on MY page I had fixed it and it looked fine. However, I didn't PUBLISH the changes so to the outside world it was incorrect. Awesome. Also, I somehow deleted the word "Wacko" from the main title last week, I had noticed the missing word one day when I had pulled up my webpage on my phone but I thought because of the small screen I just wasn't able to see the full title. I promptly forgot about this until a day or two ago. So for days my website was named simply "Endearingly". Which is nice I guess, but not an apt description of me without the "Wacko". Then there was the time I did this back in October:
I accidentally deleted the photo of me with my sister and this default photo from Weebly was included instead. Yes, come to my website to learn about Aerobics AND my weird interactions with men at the grocery store. I wish I could blame these things on hackers but nope, it's all me.
One of the best things that has happened since I started this blog is meeting a bunch of cool and funny people. I've actually become friends with a couple of them-- awesome ladies that I would have never met otherwise. This summer I hope to visit in person with Alanna of "White Girls Be Like" ( http://whitegirlsbelike.wordpress.com ) if she ends up taking a road trip that brings her to my state. Anyway, if you'll click on Alanna's site you'll see a promo for another installment of "Funny Blog Friday" for this Friday, January 2nd. She'll be giving away a gift card to Amazon. I haven't yet decided if I'll participate this time. These particular blog posts are supposed to especially funny so it depends on if I can come up with something good in the next few days.The pressure! Suddenly I'm like Bert from Sesame Street: "Hey--oatmeal and pigeons. Those things are funny right?" Ugh. You'll just have to stop back again on Friday to see if I've posted anything new. Note-- this is also a super sneaky way to increase web traffic. I'm shameless, I admit it. Oh, and start telling your friends in Africa and South America about my website. I want, (OK, need) to see more blue on my map. Thank you kind strangers!
The whole "kids being dicks" thing is turning out to be a recurring theme here. Not by plan, just so you know. There's a seven-year old living in my house and I guess it's inevitable that his immature behavior will give me fodder for my blog. He had his annual checkup yesterday and then we went to the grocery store. You'd think by now, after seven years, I would know what to expect when I take him shopping. I know that grocery shopping is boring. I get it. "I'm not thrilled about it either kid", is what I tell him. If you want to eat then we have to go out and buy food. I ended up sending these texts while at Kroger:
I have to admit that in the beginning, I was amused by the fort building. He kept rearranging the groceries to try to figure out the best configuration for the wall. However, once one of the yogurts fell and exploded like a bomb all over the floor, then fun time was over. I made him get out of the cart. This was the result:
If my kid would have just stayed in that position I could have finished the shopping much quicker. But nope, he wanted to roam. I lost him for a second and then found him in the paper products aisle:
On the toilet paper side of the aisle, a man noticed my son's head sticking out above the TP and started to laugh. My son said to him, "What's your problem?". I groaned internally. The stranger said to me, "I'm sure this doesn't seem funny to you right now but it really is hilarious." Thank goodness the guy was a good sport about it. I had to warn my son not to say such rude things to strangers. Or anyone. Sigh.
I apologize in advance if I talk about my kid too much. When he's not being obnoxious, he's actually a funny and smart little kid. This happened on Christmas day; the response I got from my friend amused me. I'll never look at juice boxes the same way:
I'm almost afraid to write about this next funny thing since it includes the word "toilet". I've used that word several times in previous posts, which means that in the future when I check the Google search queries that lead people to my website, I'm going to find all kinds of weird bathroom related words. I've used words like "sex" and "MILF" in previous posts. Now when I look at my search queries, you'd think that the only people who come here are the uh, sexually adventurous. Not that there's anything wrong with that. In the end, web traffic is web traffic. I just now had to stop and see what the current queries look like. The post popular ones involve "headless Santa at Target" and "naked Russians." I'm not kidding when I say that 80% of the queries are sexual in nature. Here are a few others that made me laugh (note-- there are many that make me want to gag and cringe, but I'll spare you those):
Anyway, below is the toilet item I was referring to. I saw this item on the Amazon Warehouse site. I've gotten some good deals there before. Often a warehouse item is completely brand new but the packaging will be damaged, which makes no difference to me. Not in this case though:
I want to know who on Earth is willing to save a few bucks by buying someone else's used toilet seat. One that is in "acceptable" condition. Ugh. That's just so wrong and so vile. And the fact that a used toilet seat is for sale must mean that there's a buyer out there somewhere. I find that disturbing. Much like the Google search terms that I didn't share with you today. In the spirit of the holiday season I will take on that burden and make it mine alone. You are welcome. Come January though, no guarantees. I might be of the mindset, "If I have to suffer then we're ALL going to suffer." Let's hope the better part of my nature prevails.
From the title of this post, you may think I use the bathroom at party and don't flush. Or I wipe my wet hands on the decorative bathroom towels that are never meant to used. Or I drink too much and act obnoxiously around the other party guests. Quite the opposite is true. We were invited to a Christmas party last night at a friend's house. My husband had to work so it was just my son and me. I sent this text:
My poor son-- every time he would come upstairs from the basement (where the kids were playing) to get something off the buffet table, I would grab him and say, "Hey, don't you want to sit with me for a little while?" He would humor me for a moment and then abandon me again. Everyone at the party seemed incredibly nice but I just didn't have it in me to walk around and introduce myself to strangers and make small talk. Thank God for smartphones. I was able to sit and interact with my phone like I was all busy; instead I was texting people and reading my Twitter feed. I'm sure I looked like an antisocial snob. The truth is this-- I felt awkward and shy. If I had been in a room full of friends then I would have been the life of the party. Damn you social anxiety!
Before you read this next text I should mention that I'm a registered Independent. I'm an equal opportunity hater in regard to politicians. One of the senators from our state is a very polarizing figure. I don't agree with his politics. It just so happens that this senator lives four houses down from my friend's house:
If anyone was going to have a secret lair, I bet it would be this guy. It's funny that my seven-year old has come to this same conclusion on his own.
It's just a coincidence I'm now transitioning the topic from politics to toilets (or IS it?). I sent this text a few days ago:
The toilet seat package arrived along with other Christmas packages and honestly it was the one I was most excited to receive. This says much about me I'm afraid. What exactly, I don't know. I just realized that the summary of the post is this: I'm a shitty party guest who hates politicians and likes new toilet seats. Hopefully I have other redeeming characteristics.
Right before I started to write this post I saw the Tweet below, which seemed appropriate for a person with her own blog. Some kind of message from the universe perhaps? Hmmmmm....
So sit back and let me tell you about my petty bullshit. Yesterday morning in the course of one hour I sent all of these texts:
When I have funny things that I want to share with people, I just hit "copy" and "send" multiple times. Which is how I ended up sending out a photo that looks like, uh, "male essence" to eight people. Most holiday candles are red or green. Of course I would have to buy and spill a holiday candle with white wax. Typical.
My son has been fighting a cold the past few days. As we decorated Christmas cookies I had to send out this text:
My husband originally thought that he'd take some of the cookies in to work to share but I was afraid I'd end up being known as Typhoid Mary after the entire company got sick. Now if we could have just given them to the co-workers he dislikes, that would be a different story...
My son's cold has given him a runny nose. Runny is perhaps not the best description. It's more like an open faucet that has been set to a constant and steady stream. On his own he figured out how to roll up a tissue like a small tampon and shove it up his nostril to help dam the flow. I actually considered giving him a real tampon (one that had been removed from the applicator) but I figured my husband would have had a shit fit if he saw it. I was just trying to be practical. Tampons are much more absorbent than Kleenex. This reminds me of when my son was teeny-tiny and at the age where he could only communicate in one-word sentences; one time he found the brightly colored cellophane wrapper from a tampon. He picked it up and looked at me so expectantly and said, "Candy?" I was like little dude, you couldn't BE more wrong.
That memory reminds me of this story. Back during the time of the Soviet Union, women used to make their own homemade maxi pads using loose cotton (like cotton balls, but without the ball shape) and some kind of wrapper like toilet paper. I saw this myself a few times in Russia in the early 90's. Anyway, my husband said that when he was little, he never knew why his mom kept such a large stash of cotton in their bathroom. He thought she was saving it to use as fake snow under the Christmas tree. So cute and yet what a dream-crusher to find out the intended use.
Today I was forced to run errands with my seven-year old. Let me just say that that thirty minutes we spent at the post office can only be described as excruciating. I would have left him at a kid's day camp or half-day camp, but because he's sick I couldn't take him. Which is why I ended up sending this text:
While waiting in the check-out line at Target I saw this:
Helpful hint from my friend David-- if you do in fact decide to buy a Taco Bell gift card for someone, you probably don't want to give it to anyone who will be staying at your house. That's just common sense, really.
This past Tuesday I used my lunch hour to go to a local car dealership to get my tires rotated (not a euphemism for anything). While there I sent these texts:
I'll explain the waffle comment in just a second. I wanted to let you know that I checked not once, but TWICE, to make sure that the food item in question was actually a fried shrimp. I can only imagine what I looked like: middle-class suburban Mom that I am, crouched over a piece on food on the floor, taking a picture with my iPhone. I was compelled to do it-- the lone shrimp was so bizarre and out of place. I watched dozens of people walk by and no one noticed the solitary shrimp. I even I pointed it out to my service adviser but he seemingly didn't care. No one cared. Except me. For some reason this tiny piece of food in an otherwise immaculate place bothered me psychologically. I wanted to know the back story of how it even got there. I guess I"ll have to live with never knowing.
The waffle comment mentioned above refers to this:
This lovely sight, which was NOT staged I promise you, was in the car drop-off line at my son's daycare a couple of years ago. My son and I both thought that this image was hilarious. We even made up a game where we tried to think of the grossest topping for a waffle. A cigarette butt and some grass certainly is hard to beat. Other possibilities-- a used bandaid. A giant hairball. I'll stop now. I realize you might be eating as you read this. You'll never look at a frozen waffle the same way again. For that I apologize.
I took the waffle photo a few months after I had submitted a photo for consideration in our company's yearly calendar contest. My photo was one of the twelve chosen. We have employees in several states so it was kind of a big deal (well to me, at least). Honestly the winning photo was nothing spectacular, but it showed my son standing on the long porch of a historic hotel with a row of American flags flying above him. I cropped him out and submitted just the flags and porch scene because I knew that anything patriotic would probably win me points with the judges. And obviously it worked. The next year when the calendar contest began again, I desperately wanted to submit the waffle photo. I don't know why. I think it's because I like to imagine the look of disgust and horror on the faces of the judging committee. They'd probably be like, "Oh look-- here's an email from Gina. We used her awesome flag photo last year. Let's see what's she's got for us this year." And then there would be silence and everyone would be thinking, "WTF"? My friend Marge talked me out of doing it. She's a good friend to me.
On to a different topic: Christmas. I'm probably like most people in that I enjoy the holidays but loathe the extra work that it requires. On any given day I feel like I'm doing well to go to work, come home, fix dinner, clean up the kitchen, make lunches, throw in a load of laundry, help my kid with his homework, give my kid a bath, give MYSELF a bath, read bedtime stories and MAYBE if I'm lucky, sit down and watch 30 minutes of TV or so. I've also started writing this blog as well (which I enjoy immensely, but it takes away valuable evening time). The added responsibilities of the holidays sometime pushes me over the edge. I sent these texts last night:
Hopefully I'll have time to post something again before Christmas. In case I don't, for those of you who celebrate Christmas, let me say, "Merry Christmas". For my Jewish friends, "Happy Hanukkah". Basically, I wish you well no matter what your faith. This is a festive time of year. I hope you get to enjoy it with the people you love the best. If you're stuck spending the holidays with people who, to say it kindly, you love the least, let me remind you that alcohol helps tremendously.
For your viewing pleasure, I give to you a transcript of an email conversation I had with one of our IT guys at work today. Thankfully he has my sense of humor so we get along swimmingly. We both have little boys who are a few years apart. The "IT Dude" as I call him here, is kind of like the little brother I never had.
So this is what happened when the Internet quit working at my office today:
From: IT Dude
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2014 1:11 PM
Subject: Internet Outage
We are aware of the issue, and it is being worked on. You will not be able to access any external sites in the meanwhile.
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2014 1:14 PM
PEOPLE ARE RUNNING AROUND AND SCREAMING ON THE 7TH FLOOR! WE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT INTERNET ACCESS!
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2014 1:17 PM
SOMEONE JUST TIPPED OVER THE COPY MACHINE! THAT’S REALLY HARD TO DO! THERE MAY BE A TRASHCAN ON FIRE SOMEWHERE. I FEAR THE BREAKDOWN OF CIVILIZED SOCIETY AS WE KNOW IT.
From: IT Dude
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2014 1:17 PM
I’m calling in the National Guard right now.
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2014 1:19 PM
THANK GOD! I’M BARRICADING MY OFFICE RIGHT NOW. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR PEOPLE TO FIGURE OUT THAT I CAN ACCESS THE INTERNET ON MY PHONE?! I FEAR THE END IS NEAR.
From: IT Dude
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2014 1:23 PM
Seriously though, if the entire internet went down for 48 hours, I wonder what would really happen to the world… financial systems would shut down, news delivery would come to a halt, businesses would lose money, people would be forced to visit one another in person to gossip about people, and they would have to find their old VCR porn cassettes and find a TV that actually works with a VCR. THE HORROR!
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2014 1:24 PM
People still have porn cassettes? That’s kind of awesome actually.
From: IT Dude
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2014 1:25 PM
I’m not sure, but there is a funny video by the comedian Kumail Najiani that I will send you later in regards to this subject…. When the internet is back online.
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2014 1:25 PM
I’LL BE DEAD THEN!
SOMEONE IS USING THE FIRE EXTINGUISHER TO TRY TO BREAK MY GLASS DOOR! PLEASE TELL MY SON THAT I LOVED HIM! IF ONLY YOU HAD BEEN ABLE TO FIX THE INTERNET IN A MORE TIMELY FASHION I MIGHT HAVE LIVED TO SEE HIM GROW UP.
From: IT DUDE
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2014 1:27 PM
He will be just fine, he can order a new mother online as soon as the internet comes back up.
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2014 1:28 PM
She’ll be Gina 2.0, AKA the shitty version of me. It won’t be the same.
Once the internet was back up and running I received this Lync message on my computer screen:
Thank God I work with other silly people. If I had to spend 8 hours a day, 5 days a week with dry, humorless people I think my soul would wither and turn to dust and blow away. OK, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. I tend to have an overactive imagination as you may have noticed by now.
You may have seen my post from a few days ago (Dec. 11) about the game Twister. I had a text exchange with a relative regarding that game where she basically dared to me play it. I agree to do so in exchange for French champagne. When we got home this evening we found a box addressed to my son. We figured it was either a birthday or Christmas present. After we opened the box I had to send this text to my kinswoman:
I didn't even wait for a text reply. I had to call my evil relative so I could hear her laugh over the phone. And laugh she did. She enjoyed her little joke mightily. I told her she'd better hope I die first because I WILL get my ass up at her funeral and give a eulogy that tells the TRUTH about the woman who everyone thinks of as Ms. Perfect. I also told her that paybacks are hell. Did you know that Lego makes sets that contain over 1,000 pieces? My tormentor has three children. They all love Legos. We actually visited Legoland together as a family last summer. I think I'll be doing some Internet shopping once I finish this post. I'm open to other suggestions of non-violent revenge, by the way...
I feel SO MUCH better than I did this time seven years ago. Why, you might ask? Because this time seven years ago I was at the end of my pregnancy. I was ready to meet my son but I was also looking forward to little things like being able to put my socks on by myself. This was nothing that was ever mentioned in the pregnancy books I read: "Your belly will get so big that you will require assistance dressing yourself ". As my husband and I would get ready for work in the morning I would sit on the edge of the bed with my feet stuck out straight in front of me. I'd have to wait until he had a chance to stop what he was doing so he could put my socks on my feet. That memory is both funny and a bit humiliating.
I had my son three weeks early, at 37 weeks. When I went to my OB/GYN for one of my weekly visits, he told me he was going to go ahead and give me a c-section the next day. First I had to have amniocentesis (you know, where they stick a giant needle deep inside you; I think I temporarily left my body during that procedure) to make sure the baby's lungs were OK (they were). I had to go back to work that afternoon and say, "Uh, surprise--today's my last day for three months". I asked the doctor for an extra day to give my Mom time to fly from Colorado, which he agreed to. My parents had moved cross country from Connecticut to Colorado a few days before. The movers had only just arrived and my Mom had to try to search through boxes to try to find her clothes. All she could find were lighter-weight clothes which were not appropriate for December weather. I picked her up at the airport in the early evening and immediately dropped her off at a Kohls store near our house so she could go clothes shopping. When I picked her around 8 p.m. she said, "I couldn't find anything I liked. Will you take me to T.J. Maxx?" I had to tell her no. I was trying to get ready to give birth birth to my first child (and her first grandchild) and I was supposed to be at the hospital the next morning at 5 a.m. Driving her around to various stores so she could try on clothes was not a high priority for me. Hell, I hadn't even packed my own hospital suitcase yet. I had to tell her, "This isn't about you. This is about me now."
The next morning we arrived at the hospital while it was still dark. The c-section was scheduled for 8:00 a.m. I remember a lot of paperwork and waiting. I wasn't nervous though. I was just looking forward to finally meeting my son. As a side note, I should mention that we had been waiting eight years for this child. I lost five pregnancies starting in November 1999 before FINALLY having my son in December 2007. He was well worth the wait. Anyway, back to our story. I was taken to the operating room and prepped for my epidural, which seemed to consist of having a Brillo pad scrubbed all over my back and them being rubbed with down with Iodine. The first attempt to get the needle into my spine didn't work. On the second attempt, the anesthesiologist didn't seem to think he'd been successful but I said, "I just felt a jolt of electricity." Immediately everyone around me was like, "Move! Move now while you can! Get into position." As soon as I went numb from the waist down, my body decided to have a panic attack. It was if my brain said, "Something is very wrong here. You're probably dying. Better have a panic attack to warn you." I told my doctor, "I'm having a panic attack. Can you knock me out?". His answer: no. Any kind of drug given to me would be bad for the baby. I completely understood that reasoning but but it wasn't enough to make my brain stop with the panic attack. I remember very specifically thinking, "Well, I'm never doing this again". My doctor assured me that the panic attack was not unusual, which strangely didn't make me feel any better. The adrenaline coursing through my veins was in control at that point. The next thing I remember is the doctor telling my husband to look over the privacy curtain which blocked the view of my abdomen. The doctor said, "The head is out" and as my husband stood up to look, the first words out of his mouth were, "OH MY GOD!". These words were not said in a reverent tone as in, "Oh behold the miracle of life which is unfolding before me." It was more like, "My eyes! My eyes! I can never unsee the image of my son's head sticking out of my wife's stomach." Here's the actual birth moment:
After the c-section my doctor told me that I'd lost a third more blood than usual. Only later when I was at home and saw this photo did I realize that my blood was contained in the tubes you see above. I don't work in the medical field but I can't help but think, "Well there's my blood in those tubes. Couldn't they have just piped it right back it into me? Problem solved." My son's observation about this photo is, "I look like a zombie". Nice.
I popular media has made us all think that a mother and her newborn look something like this immediately after birth:
My experience was much different. I spent the day of my son's birth barfing my guts up (side effect from the anesthesia I was told) and trying to figure out how to breast feed. I was weak and nauseous but still happy nonetheless. Here I am in my make-up free glory:
One last kind-of-funny memory from that time. On the drive home from the hospital with our baby, my husband was behind the wheel of my VW Passat. The check engine light came on which required a trip to the dealership a few days later. The problem was a bad senor or something. I just remember that it cost nearly $2,000 to repair the problem. It was the Passat that stole Christmas. This is the point where I'm supposed to say something like, "But the joy of having the baby outweighed the monetary problems of a major car repair." That would be a lie though. It still pisses me off whenever I think of it.
Today at work we had our of our quarterly Very Important Meetings and I'm glad to report that at no point did I stand up and yell, "F*ck you all motherf*ckers". If you haven't read this post from September:
then this comment probably makes no sense to you. Believe me when I say that anytime I can make it through an entire day saying only appropriate things and otherwise behaving like a normal member of society is a win. For everyone.
This evening a commercial for the game Twister came on TV. To jog your memory, here's what the game looks like:
I had to sent out a text blast with my son's observation about Twister. I had this conversation with a family member:
I had this text conversation with my male friend/coworker who is like an older brother to me (his part in gray) :
If not for that commercial on TV, I could have gone years without even thinking of the word Twister. The game always seemed to promise zany fun. "You'll end up in unusual positions!" Oh the hilarity! In reality the game was never as fun as you assumed it would be. Pretty much like most things in life...
If I can get my act together this weekend (like most people at this time of year, we have too much to do and not enough time to do it) I'll write a blog post that might pique your interest. I have a photo that I MIGHT include which shows my face without make-up. The horror! The humor value of the photo will have to outweigh my vanity. Now you'll be on pins and needles as you wait. Will she or won't she? You'll just have to come come back to find out. (Notice my transparent ruse to increase web traffic?) :)
Nothing says Christmas like young girls in booty shorts sitting on Santa's lap. I saw this pair while out shopping yesterday:
The girls in the short shorts bought a photo of their lap time with Santa and they looked at it as they walked in front of me. I thought to myself, "Who on earth are they giving that photo to?" Surely their mothers would be scandalized. Young girls sitting on a the lap of an old man seems pervy, even if that old man is Santa. Speaking of feeling like a perv, try walking in a mall behind two pretty teenage girls with your phone in front of you as you try to take a photo of them. Ugh. The things I will do for this blog. Actually, who am I kidding. I thought it was funny and I texted that photo out seconds after I snapped it.
As you may have noticed, my son is a recurring character in my posts (this is where one of you smart-asses pipes up and says, "Really-- I hadn't noticed"). He is a December baby, which means that this month is like Toymageddeon between birthday gifts and Christmas presents. If I could have picked a different month to give birth, I probably would have. However, my son loves having his birthday so close to Christmas. He thinks it makes his birthday more special in some way. I'm glad he has that viewpoint. He's getting ready to turn seven so he's starting to have a lot of questions about Santa. He's wanting to know really specific things about Santa, like, "Who were his parents? Are they dead already? Did they have special powers too? What language do people speak at the North Pole?" A few days ago he asked me if Santa was cursed as a baby; maybe that's why he's immortal? I wasn't sure what to say. I told him lamely, "Well then it's a GOOD curse because he makes so many people happy." When the truth comes out about Santa, he is going to be incensed beyond words. It will probably make for a good blog post though. Anyway, for now he still believes. Our dentist told me a couple of years ago that we could probably make some money off of him for the month of December by renting him out to people who want to be around little kids during the holidays. I thought that was a brilliant idea (though as I write these words perhaps it sounds creepy). I would only rent him to people we know. Don't worry.
Here's a photo of my son on his first Christmas. He's half Russian but looks 100% like a Russian stereotype in this picture:
This next photo amuses me greatly. I love my son's reaction: "Aahhhhhh! Giant head!"
Lastly this is one of my favorite photos of all time. Three years ago I came downstairs one morning and as I reached down to plug in the Christmas tree I saw this :
My son had parked his toy taxi outside the Nativity Scene. It was as if Mary said, "I may have rode in here on a donkey, but I'm leaving in style." I thought this was hilarious. My husband told me, "You know, he wasn't trying to be funny when he did that." I told him I knew that. My son had been playing with his cars around the tree the the previous night. Out of the gazillion toy cars he owns, he chose to put a taxi outside the manger. He could have placed a cement mixer and the effect wouldn't have been the same. God I love little boys.
I hadn't planned to write a post today but after spending the afternoon at a kid's birthday party, the texts I sent (to help pass the time as well as entertain me) made me think I could pull together a quick and dirty post. I added the time stamps on the texts so you could see how much happened in a short amount of time.
This is the absolute truth-- I walked away for a minute when the group of birthday party kids moved from one area to another. When I came back to my bench, the tween's purse, drink and shirt were gone. I felt a moment of panic like I had done something wrong. Then I remembered that I wasn't responsible for a 12-year old's stuff. I do well to keep track of my own stuff on any given day. It's too much to ask me to be responsible for the shit of strangers as well.
Because of the poor bathroom lighting and the fact that I was using my iPhone to take a picture, you can't see the vibrant pink and green colors on the toilet seat. I actually grabbed a wad of toilet paper to wipe the stain but it was permanently dried on the seat-- whatever it is. When I took the photo I came close to dropping my phone into the water. Which is the kind of goober thing that is typical for me. What's worse is that my phone is provided by my company. I would have had to tell the I.T. department, "I dropped my phone into a public toilet because I was trying to take a photo of a weird stain on the seat. " Awesome.
I get migraines periodically. One of my triggers is non-stop loud noises. The combination of the blaring horns as well as the loud music on the speakers started to push me too far. I hated to be rude but I had to leave the party and go outside.
My son (and all the kids) received a party favor bag. He wanted to look at his loot while he leisurely evacuated his bowels. I told him no. It was bad enough that I was stuck in an enclosed space and being forced to smell his BM, but apparently someone right before us had also had a BM. Did I mention I felt like I was getting a migraine?
We got home and my son continued working on a school project that is due this week:
For some reason I just love the phrase, "potato influenced art." Maybe because it's so silly. I was trying to think of a funny phrase to wrap up this post. Something using the word "tater" but my mind is blank. I blame the migraine. (OK, that's a lie. I'm feeling much better now. I think I made my escape just in time).
Today "The Bloggess", Jenny Lawson, wrote a post about strange noises coming from her toilet. I won't try to summarize, you can just read her post (if you haven't already. And if you haven't, what's wrong with you? Seriously-- read her stuff. It's hilarious: http://www.thebloggess.com ). It made me remember this story about Russian toilets; I added this comment to Jenny's post:
Natasha, my girlfriend, and her husband are actors in St. Petersburg. When they first got married, they lived in a communal apartment provided by the theater company that hired them. She said the living conditions were pretty bleak. I think that's a fair description considering they had a RAT living permanently in their toilet. Ugh. And I don't even want to imagine what the plastic bottle must have looked like. Hopefully they changed it out frequently. I'll probably have nightmares tonight featuring rats, toilet bowls and Pepsi bottles. You might also. If so, I'm sorry! It's all Russia's fault.
Speaking of nightmares, this happened on Tuesday:
Hey-- who wants to come to my house for a sleepover! No one? I don't blame you.
Lastly, this letter was in my mail tonight. It's an example of one of those annoying bureaucratic problems that we all have to deal with from time to time. Moments like these make me think that incompetence rules the world:
The bill from the county clerk was mailed October 15th. So yeah-- it only took five, almost six, weeks to mail the letter. It happens. And it's completely acceptable to mail a letter AFTER the due date mentioned within the letter has passed. Sigh. Just one more problem to take care of on Monday. Yippee!
*Title is a complete lie to catch your attention and draw you in.
So this afternoon while I was at work I received a phone call from an unfamiliar number on my cell phone. I was on a work phone call at that moment so I didn't answer it; the caller left a voicemail. Seconds later my work phone started ringing with the same number. I was like, "OK, this person is persisitant but I'll get to them shortly". Then my cell phone started ringing again with the same number and at that point I was like, "OK, I should take this because someone may be dead." I put the work call on hold and answered my cell. The first words I heard were, "This is Connie from your son's school...". Crap. And by crap, I'm mean literal, not symbolic, crap. It turns out that my first-grader had gotten sick at school. There's no way to put this delicately. He had diarrhea and he accidentally soiled himself. He was covered from his shirt to his shoes. They told me I needed to get there quickly as they didn't have any spare clothes for him (Really? This is a school of 800 kids and none of the kids ever bleed, barf or get shit on themselves?). However, when I showed up I found my son dressed in a pair of gym shorts and a t-shirt that the school sells as "spirit wear" with the school mascot and logo on them. My son was also in a pair of loaner socks but no shoes. I was like, "You even got poop on your shoes?" Yep, he sure did. A lady in the office handed me this bag:
I had to tear through four white bags and two gray bags to get to my sons' clothes and shoes. At first I was a bit annoyed thinking, "Oh please-- six bags. Isn't that overkill?" But then the stench that had been contained by those six layers of plastic hit me and I immediately knew that I was wrong. Oh so wrong. Six plastic bags were BARELY containing the eye-watering smell which I think must have issued from Satan's own anus. I immediatly threw all the clothes in the washer and washed everything twice. Unfortunately, the stains on the loaner clothes didn't come out and I'm going to have to wash them again. Yippee! After I got the clothes started, my son was the next thing that needed to be washed. He complained at first but I was like, "Dude-- you stunk up the whole car. This is non-negotiable." On the plus side, I'm happy to report that the my little sickie seems to be feeling fine at this point. I have no idea if it was something he ate or what. I just hope it's nothing contagious. I do not want to beshit myself at work. Or at home. Or anywhere really.
I wanted to share another example of my exciting life. I sent this text yesterday:
I have to emphasize that this guy looked to be in his 60's and he was far from feeble. I think he just didn't feel like looking through the hundreds of frozen vegetable bags to find lima beans. If I'd been in a more charitable mood I might have helped him. However yesterday was not that day.
After I checked out at the grocery store I sent these texts:
You know when you're young you imagine what it will be like to be married and have children? I think most people, myself included, imagine happy things like snuggling in bed and kisses and hugs and laughter (with both your spouse and your kid). You don't imagine the hours you will spend at the grocery store and the hours you will spend cleaning up all matter of bodily fluids (mostly poop-- lots and lots of poop). I guess it's good that we don't imagine the drugery of daily life or else the survival of our species might be at stake. For any of you unmarried young people without kids reading this, pay no attention to these words. I'm just exaggerating. Married life and children are GREAT! It's fan-fucking-tastic moments of pure joy one after another. Really and truly. It's pure bliss every day. (Lies, all lies).
A few days ago I received an email from a friend that said this:
"We found this next to the Goodwill box at the cardboard recycling center. We looked inside and surprisingly, it did not contain a human head."
First off, I have to say that I love it that I have friends who will send me messages like this. I opened this email on my phone and there was no photo attached to it. I was like, "Nooooooooooooo!". How could such an awesome lead-in be missing the punchline? I checked my desktop computer and was relieved to be able to see the photo. Here it is:
I asked my friend if he had taken the box; he said no and replied, "I opened it of course and it contained a whole lot of old die-cast toy cars. Bit of a letdown. I totally expected a head or two or other body parts." I think it's funny that he said he "of course" opened it. I'm not sure I would be so brave. Ugh. Effing clowns.
The human head remark reminded me of one of my many strange memories from my time in Russia. I was staying with my Russian Mom and her daughter, Natasha. At the time Natasha was a theater student. She was taking art classes as well-- I don't know if it was part of her curriculum or just something she liked to do on her own. One morning I woke up and looked out on the balcony. On a little table surrounded by potted flowers and plants was a human skull. Not a fake one I must emphasize-- a REAL one. I was completely freaked out by this; I think that is a completely normal reaction under the circumstances. It turns out that Natasha's art teacher had loaned her the human skull so she could practice her drawing. I wonder if human heads were easy to come by in the Soviet Union, what with the gulags and all. Natasha didn't seem to think it was unusual. Say these words (which she didn't really say, but she probably COULD have) in a Russian accent in your head: "In Russia you can find human skull at any black market. Iz not problem". Oh Russia and your f*cked up weirdness-- how I love you so.
On to a completely different topic. This:
The Elf on the Shelf. If you want to start a divisive conversation, mention this name. Among parents with small kids you're either "pro-Elf" or "anti-Elf". We don't have one, so you know where I stand. I sent this text over the weekend:
I sent this text to a friend who replied that as a child she would have thrown this toy away because, "Snitches get stiches". She's so right. Isn't Santa able to see who's naughty or nice? Why does he need a spy to come live in your house? I'm also bothered by the rule that the kids aren't allowed to touch the elf of else the magic will disappear. The whole thing just strikes me as weird. I'm so glad my son and I are in agreement on this. If your family loves your Elf on the Shelf, please don't send me hate mail. I fully support your right to torture your children by having one of Santas' helpers monitor their every move. It's just not for us.
I'm the worst kind of asshole-- I think I'm funny.
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