Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Grandma Chronicles- Part 2

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A while back, I promised you funny stories about my mom. Since I can't seem to write in the present tense in a way that doesn't make people want to jump off buildings, I think now is the time for another mom story. I also feel I should remind you that mom stories are the most politically incorrect stories ever. You may not want to read this if you are easily offended. Seriously:

I must have been about 14 years old. It was Christmas time. At 14, I was clearly old enough to know that Santa did not exist, or more accurately, that my mom is Santa (please note that I said IS and not WAS. I don't know that I will ever think of myself as Santa, even for Caitlyn. My mom is the best Santa ever, and she proves that point every Christmas).

Anyway. The point is that I was old enough to go Christmas shopping with my mom for Sammi, who obviously still did believe in Santa. She was 7 or 8, I think, and very into Barbie dolls.

Because we were Christmas shopping, the store was very busy and the aisles were crowded with people searching for gifts (apparently procrastination is genetic, because every single member of my family waits until the last minute to buy gifts. My sister didn't even hesitate to call me the night before Caitlyn's birthday party to ask what she should get her. She knows I wouldn't be offended that she waited until the last minute. Because she knows I do exactly the same thing). What happened next did not happen privately and I remember getting many disapproving looks from horrified strangers.

I can't remember if there was one Barbie in particular Sammi wanted. I simply remember roaming the Barbie aisles with my mom, looking for something. This was quite a few years ago, before stores needed entire toy aisles dedicated to Leap Frog ipads and "things that never shut the fuck up, OMG PLEASE LET IT AT LEAST PLAY THE WHOLE GODDAMN SONG AND STOP PRESSING THE BUTTON 5 SECONDS IN SO I HAVE TO KEEP HEARING THE FIRST 5 SECONDS OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN", so there was more than one aisle of Barbie toys.

I left the aisle I was in to find my mom and see if she'd found what we were looking for. As I turned the corner, I saw her halfway down the next aisle, doubled-over and giggling like a maniac. When I asked her what was so funny, she only laughed harder. She laughed so hard that she could not speak, she could barely breathe.

I walked over, confused, to see what had struck her so hilariously funny. And then I saw it.

"Look, Jac", she gasped through her hysteria... "this Barbie....hahahahaha". "Oh my god. This Barbie is in a.... haaaaaaaahahahaha".... "WHEELCHAIR". Tears now rolling down her cheeks from laughing so hard, she loudly christened the doll "CRIPPLE BARBIE".

Moments later, she informed me that we would need to go home. She had now peed her pants from laughing so hard at the misfortune of Cripple Barbie.

We may or may not be going straight to hell. If God's a big Special Olympics fan, we are pretty much fucked.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Congratulations! You are a Grown Up Now

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I've heard many a friend, family member and blogger wonder aloud when they will start to feel like a grown up. Despite the idea that we are technically adults at the age of 18, I don't think I know a single person who felt even slightly grown up until they were at the very least in their late 20s. Because, let's be honest here: being a grown up is fucking terrible.

I was one of those annoyingly precocious kids who always wanted to be an adult from a very young age. I wanted to be taken seriously. Part of it was that I had strong, intelligent opinions for as long as I can remember and I wanted those to be taken seriously. I was very lucky that my mom always did give me that respect, even when I was being a snotty little know-it-all. But then I actually started to grow up. I went out on my own and worked full time at a shitty job I hated for almost no money (and really, isn't that sort of the definition of being a grown up?) from the time I was 19 or so.

Despite my desire to be the best grown up, I failed pretty spectacularly at it for the first few years. And by "failed pretty spectacularly", I mean I did what EVERY OTHER 19 year old on their own for the first time does. I pissed away my money on booze and Wendy's value meals. I ran up the one credit card I had so that every payment I made just barely covered the previous month's late or over-the-limit fee. I did not have cable or internet. I did not wash dishes and I only did laundry when the situation became desperate. I may have been a legal grown-up, but I was not wearing that title well.

With my 30th birthday just a few sad, short weeks away, I started thinking about this whole grown-up business. How do you know when you're really there? Well, dear readers, I think I've figured it out:

1. Your Drinking Recovery Time Slows. Significantly. I remember back in the day, when all I needed was a couple of extra hours of sleep, a glass of water and McDonald's breakfast to cure a hangover. Now? Now I need the number of recovery DAYS equal to how many drinks I had. And I spend those days with a perpetual headache and the drinking shits.... speaking of shits though...

2. You Are No Longer Embarrassed to Take a Shit at Work/in a Public Bathroom. I used to hold it for HOURS. I would not ever shit in a public bathroom. What if the strangers in that bathroom heard me straining or- god forbid- SMELLED MY POOP? WHAT IF THEY SMELLED MY POOP YOU GUYS? Apparently I was under the impression that I was the only person in the world with a colon. Now? Eff that. I will take all the shits in all the places. That being said, oh my god, please fucking double-check your flush when you shit in a public bathroom. I do NOT need to see that.

3. You Learn the Correct Combination of Lady Care Products to Avoid Blood Stained Pants. I can't tell you how many pants I ruined in my teens and early 20s. You know what though? I'm a fucking grown-up now and I no longer shop at Rainbow so my pants cost more than $12. A lot more. I would venture to say that I could buy 2 pairs of super low-rise jeans, 3 ill-fitting bejeweled t-shirts and one pair of clear plastic platform hooker shoes from Rainbow for the cost of one pair of work appropriate pants.

4. You Refuse to Comment on Any Facebook Post That Contains the Word "Drama". Because really, just stop it. "Drama" is for children. And hood rats.

5. Applebee's is No Longer Your "Going Out" Spot. Because half price appetizers when you are paying $8 a pop for watered down drinks? Not as much of a bargain as you might want to believe. Also? That shit where they sing the saddest "Happy Birthday" to some middle-aged woman whose dumbass husband thought that Applebee's was the right choice. No. Never ever.

6. You Don't Show Up to House Parties Empty-Handed. This is perhaps a result of the change in expectations for what a "house party" is. Instead of expecting beer pong and Natty Ice, I now expect appetizers and Grey Goose. And you have to bring a fucking dessert or some shit when your hostess always provides Grey Goose.

7. You Don't Hesitate to Call Customer Service. Even when it's to complain that only one of the three-pack of vibrators you ordered showed up. What the hell is that, anyway? Don't advertise it as a three-pack and ship them all separately!

8. You Make Yourself Get Up and Go to Work Even When You Really, Really Don't Want to. Do you know how many days I think to myself "5 years ago I would have DEFINITELY called out today".

9. You Can afford to Buy the More Economical 12 Pack of Paper Towels, as opposed to buying them one roll at a time, because you currently have more than $9.47 in your checking account to survive on until your next paycheck.

10. You Don't Pay For Things in Change. Anymore.

11. You Own More Than One Laundry Cycle's Worth of Socks and Underwear, so you don't have to keep your old, holey emergency undies with the ripped elastic "just in case" you run out (and, for that matter, you don't have to keep those fucking awful, uncomfortable thongs you bought at the request of some jackass who wasn't going to have a string up his ass all day).

So I guess I'm there, then? A full-fledged grown-up and everything! Did I miss anything? How did you guys know you were officially a grown-up?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Where I Try To Be Less Depressing, So I Write About My Biggest Insecurities (I swear it made sense at the time)

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A few months back (and by a few months, obviously I mean over a year ago), I set a goal for myself for my 30th birthday that I would be under a certain weight (and no, I most certainly am NOT going to give you a number).

It started off okay. I joined Weight Watchers and lost 15lbs in a couple of months. Then I started to slack a bit and decided joining a gym would be the next logical step to get my ass in line. And I went to the gym pretty regularly, except that it didn't help much because I got REALLY lazy about my eating habits again. Then I got sick, gained back 10lbs and lost all my motivation.

And so here I am, less than a month out from my BIG, SCARY birthday and only about 5lbs away from where I started. I've been trying to get back on track, but it seems I can only manage to get to the gym for a grand total of about an hour a week. I am not going to get anywhere near my original goal.

I'll keep working on it though. Because in addition to the flat-out vanity of the issue, I'm also creeping closer to the age my mom was when she started having heart problems. And I have MS. And I'm going to be single. All signs point to "be less of a fat ass".

I find that when I go to the gym, I have a couple of distinct regimens I rotate between:

The first is the "Burn Fat, You Fatty Fatty Fatass" routine. I usually hit the gym on my lunch break which only gives me about 20 minutes of actual workout time. So I'm usually in this mode, which consists entirely of cardio. I'll jump on an elliptical and stay there until I have to go back to work. The do-only-cardio thing is usually what happens when I'm not being consistent enough about going to the gym.

Second is the "Muscle Burns More Fat than... Fat" routine. There are actually two versions of this one, but the idea is the same. I rotate cardio and weight lifting. The difference is in the weight lifting. My time is limited, so I can't ever do everything I want to do and so I have to choose which weight machines to use. In version one, I decide to make an impact where I think I'll see it the most. This means I focus on my arms and chest mostly. I figure I'll just hide my ass fat and linebacker calves and gut in baggy bottoms while my gloriously toned biceps and extra perky tits take center stage. Because my arms are certainly jiggly, but I do at least see a difference when I focus on them for a while (meaning, mostly that they are LESS jiggly for a while).

Then there is full on "Body Hate" mode. This is the other version of the cardio-weight lifting rotation. This is where I decide to focus on the parts of my body that I hate the most, which are my stomach and thighs. I'll push extra hard on the cardio, then do way more stomach and thigh exercises than is absolutely necessary and I won't be able to walk without aching for a few days. This never lasts long though, because I won't see any real measurable results and so I'll skip the gym for a week or two and go back to doing mostly cardio.

I guess I'm in a little bit of a rut. I need to get serious about the gym again, and, more importantly, about eating right. I tend to let things like parties and weekends and free snacks at work derail the shit out of my goals. I know I can do it, but being in the hospital earlier this year really fucked up my shit. I felt like I couldn't get back into the swing of things until just very recently. Having the goal in mind of my birthday helped to keep me focused at first, and now that I know I won't make it, I feel like I need another placeholder. Something arbitrary even. My goal is 25 or so pounds away. Someone give me an arbitrary deadline to reach that goal.

Friday, May 11, 2012

On Scrotums- MARINA!!!!

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This is a parenting blog. I'm sure sometimes it doesn't seem that way, especially lately. But I still find it odd when I find search terms in my stats that imply that people were looking for a combination of childhood whimsy and porn. Basically, I'm trafficking mostly pedophiles, I think. The following are searches that led people to my blog (much to their disappointment, I'm sure):

Marina Fresh Beat Band Porn- Just no guy. Not at all. Though, I must say I'm not surprised. Once, Caitlyn and I were watching FBB videos on YouTube and I noticed that a large portion of the comments were dedicated to which Marina was hotter and whose snatch they would prefer to lick. Nice jobs, dads of young children.

Girl Gets Fucked By Trojan Twister- I suppose I deserved this one. I did write an entire post about the magnificent commercial and it's sexy appeal.

Moms Licking Scrotums Art- Guy? Can I tell you how much I love that you added the word "art" onto the end of this? Because there is a term for art where any group you fetishize (be it moms or grandmas or whatever) are licking scrotums. It's called porn, eternally classy guy. It's called porn and you don't need to be ashamed.

Lick My F***** Scrotum- This one came up at the same time as the one above, so I'm assuming it was the same person. Still keeping it classy, I see. You may have already noticed though that classiness is NOT the ideal way to find the porn you are looking for (oh, I'm sorry- art).

These are the ones I remember right now, but I've definitely had others, and they more frequently than not reference Marina. Which is just super gross. I'm sure this post is going to help immensely in increasing my traffic of people searching for porn.

In completely unrelated news, I am doing the AIDS walk in NY next weekend. I would really appreciate it if you would make a donation to the cause. Even $5 helps (especially since I signed up rather late and I currently do not have any donations)! Click this link to donate to my personal page! Thank you in advance!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Two

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So I've been really busy whining and bitching about my problems and I forgot to mention something extremely important.

Yesterday was Caitlyn's second birthday.

The mood in my house has been... quietly tolerant, I guess? We haven't been fighting really, but we haven't been talking either. Still, it was Caitlyn's birthday and we were going to have to spend some time together.

To make matters as awkward as humanly possible, Rodolfo sent flowers to my job yesterday. There was a card that simply said "I miss you. I'm sorry". I didn't quite know how to handle it. It made me emotional and sad, but not because I was questioning my decision to leave. I was mostly upset because of all days that I wanted nothing more than to pretend things were even slightly normal, it would have been yesterday. I did not want to have THAT conversation, the one where he thinks throwing me a bone once every 2 years and doing something nice makes up for everything else.

I was also worried about addressing it with anyone at work. Everyone is pretty friendly at my job, and inevitably someone would ask who sent them and why. Was it my birthday? Our anniversary? No. My husband doesn't send me gifts to be nice. He sends them when I tell him I'm leaving him! I guess I could lie, but I'm actually a pretty terrible liar, plus I was upset about the whole thing, so I was worried someone would ask and I'd start crying like an asshole. Luckily, it was late in the afternoon when the flowers arrived and no one passed my desk before I went home.

I mentioned that my car died and it's currently at my mechanic being fixed. Which means Rodolfo had to pick me up from the train station. He was 15 minutes late. There I was, standing in the rain, vase full of flowers in one hand, cake box in the other, waiting around for him to show up and missing even more of Caitlyn's birthday.

I sort of got irrationally angry. By the time he showed up, I bitched him out a little about being late and didn't even mention the flowers I was holding. Then we went to Toys R Us.

Toys R Us was the highlight of the night. Caitlyn spent the first 15 minutes or so wandering through the aisles, playing with anything that caught her interest until we found the place she really wanted to be: The car aisle.







Umm.. you guys? Shouldn't I have approximately 14 more years until she starts hounding me for a fucking CAR?

Anyway. She spent a solid 30 minutes climbing in and out of every car she could reach, trying to decide which $500 toy that I definitely can't afford/don't have the room for was her favorite. All of the electric cars were obviously not going to move, but once she got into that Cozy Coupe, I could not get her out of it. She spent another 15 pushing it around the store, or having Rodolfo push her around the store in it. Unfortunately, they actually only had the display available or I definitely would have bought it for her. I had to bribe her with an ice pop while Rodolfo ran away with it so she wouldn't start to cry.

After that we went to dinner and Caitlyn ate surprisingly well, which was nice. Then we went home and had cake. We sang "Happy Birthday" and she sang along with us. She blew out her candles. She had a great time and loved the shit out of her cake. She was the champion of birthdays.

So. Happy Birthday to my baby girl! Also, I promise next year I won't throw your party together at the very last minute.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Trials and Tribulations (and Shitty Fucking Fords)

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Fuck. I really was planning on posting something a little... I don't know, funny? Not completely depressing maybe? I guess I'm just not in the right frame of mind to be funny again just yet.

Anyway, this weekend I had a little trial run of my near future. Nadine was going out of town and asked me to stay at her house and watch her cat while she was away. Besides that, she knew I could use a break from home. And so Caitlyn and I went and spent the weekend on our own.

You guys? It was fucking depressing and lonely. Everyone keeps telling me it will pass, this sadness about being alone for the first time in my life. But I'm struggling.

I suppose it's normal. Divorce isn't an easy thing. The thing is, I had such a nice time on vacation. Stress-free and relaxing and a break from the constant strain in my marriage. I guess I sort of expected it to be more like that. Except, well, I'm NOT on vacation anymore. I'm not surrounded by my friends all the time. I have responsibilities that I'm used to sharing that I now have to deal with on my own. And it sucks.

Part of it is that Rodolfo has been nicer to me since I told him I was leaving him than he's been in the last 6 years. He doesn't bust my balls about every little thing I do. I'm not constantly being picked apart. I have to keep reminding myself that this is the exception and not the rule. That he's being pleasant because he no longer has a stake in my life and so he doesn't care what I do.

This afternoon, we made our way back home and my car died on the highway. I tried my dad (yes, he's an asshole but an asshole with at least minor knowledge about car trouble) and then my sister. My dad wasn't answering his phone and my sister was at the zoo with her son. She was willing to come pick up me and Caitlyn, but I knew I couldn't leave my car on the side of the road. And so I caved and called Rodolfo. He left work to come help, and when he couldn't get my car home, he called a tow truck and drove us home.

A big part of the problem in my marriage has always been Rodolfo's insistence that I am incapable of doing anything "right". That all my decisions are poor ones and that I can't be trusted to make responsible choices. My car has always been one of the things he liked to bust my balls about. He would yell at me if he found a mess in my car. He would call me irresponsible if I went even a few miles over the recommended mileage for an oil change. He would insist that I shouldn't take my car more than a few miles because it was "about to die at any minute" (for the record, he's been saying that any time I went further than 10 miles for the last 4 years).

My point is that it was really hard for me to call him today and ask for his help. I hung up with him and started to cry. I felt like a failure. I half expected him to show up and ask me how I thought I could survive without him if I couldn't even get my car home without his help. He didn't say any of that, of course. No. He did what he always does: he fixed the problem and made sure Caitlyn and I were safe.

Sometimes it feels really hard to walk away from someone who always makes sure we are safe. And so I have to remind myself. I can do this on my own. It isn't a failure to call and ask for his help when his daughter is in the car too. Because before I met him, I wouldn't have called anyone crying. I'd have figured it out on my own. Because back then I believed I could do it on my own. And I know I can feel that way again. It's just going to take some time to adjust.