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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Shake the Glitter Off Your Clothes Now

I feel like I entered a contest in which the mom with the most miles on her mini-van wins. And as I'm dropping kids off at one place then back tracking to pick kids up at another so that I can turn right back around, without taking a breath, to be late to let them out at their next activity and collect the ones (I've lost track of exactly which ones) previously dropped off, I hear a voice in my head singing, That's what you get for waking up in Vegas.

I don't know what Vegas has to do with any of this, except that perhaps I rolled the dice in my early twenties and this is how they came up in my forties. On the bright side, odds are I'm going to win the miles on the mini-van contest. Problem is, the jackpot isn't quite what I expected when I rolled the dice all those years ago: bald tires and an empty gas tank and kids in the backseat singing, Get up and shake the glitter off your clothes, now, at eardrum damaging volume.

Ah, so, things didn't turn out the way I pictured them, all cakes and ale, when I first gambled on the family track. Such is life. And I'd roll the dice the same way again, if I had the chance.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Granny Lines

I entered the lingerie store looking for underwear that wouldn't show pantie lines while also not sawing me in half, either. I exited the store with something akin to fashionable granny panties.

Fashionable was the salesgirl's word for them, not mine. It was her evasive counter attack to my shock and awe and utterance of the word granny. She also used fashionable to make me feel better about being 20 years older than her and too mature to wear a thong, something, I explained to her, I reserve for footwear only.

She just couldn't get over her own youth, as she wrapped my unmentionables in pink tissue paper and tucked them into one of the store's larger shopping bags with handles, so I wouldn't strain under the weight of the largess. So offended, by her insulting customer service, I wanted to throw down a hissy fit right there at the cash register . . . but I maintained my composure. She had already run my credit card.

The good thing is, however, I don't have pantie lines anymore. On the other hand, the bad thing is, I have granny lines now.

Makes me want to tuck my skirt in my panties and run.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Going Broke on School Supplies

I'm face to face and eye to eye with the start of school and it's winning the stare down contest. So I've resolved to wrap my head around obtaining the mountain of sundry school supplies required for my four children, which, these days, amounts to way more than pencils, scissors, and a bottle of glue. Binders alone are, at minimum, $5 a pop, and they all gotta have at least a hundred.

Standing in the store aisle, lined with miles of folders, notebooks, loose leaf paper, clips, clasps, and so on and so forth, saying, "No," to anything and everything with cute puppies, WWF wrestlers, and porches on the front cover, I suddenly think of the Trapper Keeper I always, always coveted as a school child.

My devastatingly practical mother answered all my pleas for a Trapper Keeper, which was synonymous with cool-kid-in-school, "Your teacher doesn't have that on your supply list." Of course not. She wanted to start out the year torturing her students, laying the groundwork for crowd control even before the first day of school.

Oh, heartbreak, to be relegated to the side of the classroom with kids whose mothers sent peanut butter balls rolled in wheat germ for a recess snack and made them carry spiral bound notebooks with plain grey cardboard covers to school in their satchels.

Pamela Anderson in her red Bay Watch bathing suit waves in front of my face, snapping me out of my reverie. "Can I have this folder, Mama? Pleeeaase?" I didn't even know Pamela Anderson was still in. But, I guess in middle school any pretty woman in a bathing suit is in, whether the boy knows her name or claim to fame or not.

I think about the Trapper Keeper I longed for but never had. I picture myself as a child standing in the store watching all those other kids' mothers put Trapper Keepers in their shopping carts. I look at my son, desperation in his eyes, and say, "No. Your teacher didn't put Pamela Anderson on your supply list."

Why? Because I have to trust the practical wisdom of my mother. I am who I am today, because I never had a Trapper Keeper.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Southern Girls Living Fearlessly - Balance

How do YOU define balance?

That's the question the Inspirista wanted me to answer if I had any chance of being a guest on her Blog Talk Radio show. Specifically, her media inquiry read: Looking to interview fun, energetic females who have a message to share with a female audience. In your response, answer this question, How do YOU define balance? Put your name in the subject line.

Ughh, I thought, she'll never have me on her Girls Night Out radio show. I mean, for sure, I'm mostly, usually fun and I think other people would describe me as energetic, although I try not to strain my delicate self. But I doubt very seriously that MY definition of balance will pass muster:

Balance in life occurs at that moment when I suck in hard as the teeter-totter teeters back in the other direction and for that split second before pounding the ground of the other extreme is exactly, perfectly level; also defined as the ahhh moment before chaos is released like a pack of snarling foxhounds after a coyote, determined to rip it to shreds in a frenzy of barking and mayhem.

To me, the question is not how to define balance - we all know it when we see it - the question is how to achieve it on a more regular basis. How do we get our body to sit just right so that the teeter of the teeter-totter is delayed for more than a second? How do we keep the foxhounds penned and give the coyote more time to meander through fields of daisies.

Okay, coyotes in fields of daisies is a bit melodramatic, but you southern girls get my meaning.

Today's Assignment: 1) In your Book of Lists, define balance, using as many metaphors and similes for it as you can think up. 2) List your personal strategies for achieving it more often.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Simile of the Day

So, my husband and I are sitting out on the deck of one of those cheap little Mexican restaurants, sharing a pitcher, bowls of bean dip and guac, and some some much needed uninterrupted conversation. Yet, even though it was much needed and, most importantly, uninterrupted, my ears started doing that thing they do when I'm out in public places: listening in on the conversations at other people's tables.

I can't help it. It's a genetic abnormality I inherited from my daddy, who finds himself leaned so far into other people's private dialogues in public places that he's practically sitting in their laps before their meal is over. While I like to think I'm more discreet than him, I do recognize that I have a problem.

As my husband's voice faded into the background noise of silverware clinking against plates and ice shifting in glasses and waiters and waitresses coming and going, my ears started to pick up the hum of couples and families and friends jabbering on about the normalcies of life and the drag of the daily grind. Eventually my ears, like satellite dishes, focused on two college age girls at a corner table discussing gastrointestinal reactions to various foods and beverages.

Naturally, over bean dip and green guacamole, this type of talk caught my attention. And then I heard the gem that keeps me tuning in while I'm dining out; the pay off simile, the simile of the day. The heavier girl of the pair shook her head back and forth and confided in the slimmer female, "I tell you what. I was so sick, I was pooping like a cow."

There is absolutely nothing that that simile leaves to the imagination, at least not for anyone who as ever seen cow poop or, for that matter, bean dip and guac.