Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Drunk Rhino

Hello everyone (or, more likely no one). It's been a few days since posted because I got behind over the holidays. We were expected to attend lots of gatherings. These occurred primarily with my in-laws, but there was also my husband's office party. I had to see my in-laws three times in 2 days and that was about three times too many. They are sedentary, dull-witted folks whose blunt observations are frequently insulting. I don't think they realized they are insulting because their social skills are stunted from tiny social circles (like only seeing each other). They repeatedly attacked my abilities as a mother by criticizing my daughter's pacifier use and then bought her clothes that make toddlers look like grown-ups rather than the primary-colored, Sesame Street stuff she loves. The gifts were generous. They did the best they could. What the hell ever.

I also had to attend my husbands office party and this was entertaining. The rhino got drunk and told us all about the 70's and his teenage and adult children's sex lives. He is definitely an asshole, but he is so darn entertaining that he is starting to grow on me. I simply don't have the literary skills to describe him accurately. He is about 7 feet tall and really loud. After a few drinks, the filter leaves his brain and he says everything that crosses his mind in this huge bellowing voice. He doesn't stagger or slur, but he runs so freely at the mouth it was fantastic. A few more drinks and I'm sure we could have found out about some extramarital affairs.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Muppet who Destroyed my Day

I am sure anyone who has been reading these posts (I guess that's no one) knows what happened. I saw another beautifully choreographed temper tantrum this morning by my 20 month old because her 2 ELMO shirts were dirty and she couldn't be seen in anything less than an ELMO shirt at daycare. The truly weird thing about the ELMO fixation is that it is motivated by her need for security. When she is having an off day, plastering an ELMO across her chest makes her feel like everything is going to be alright. Maybe I should try it. I had no ELMO shirts that were acceptable. One was soaking wet and the other was covered with food and snot. I resorted to tearing open one of her Christmas gifts (it just so happened to contain an ELMO shirt) and jerking it onto her as quickly as possible to end the noise and chaos. I don't know who designed ELMO, but it is incredible. I would never have guessed you could so completely infect the psyche of a toddler with that red doll. Kudos to you muppet guy!


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas Shopping and A Women's Timeshare

I went Christmas shopping yesterday. I loathe shopping. I have suffocating anxiety the entire shopping trip because we barely pay our bills and do not have money to spend on scarves and Nintendo games. On top of this, I am clausterphobic in the crowded stores with humming fluorescent lights and I usually end up with a great, big nauseating headache. I try to shop online, but shipping and handling and all that stuff can really add up. Yesterday I decided to brave the crowds for one hour because I had $60 in gift cards to the local department store and I could get the sweats, shoes, and sleepers that my husband and daughter needed for Christmas. I saw signs all over the store that advertised 15% OFF FOR OPENING A STORE CREDIT CARD. I decided to do this and save money. None of the signs mentioned that the charges for the items you just purchased have to go onto the credit card to obtain these savings. I realized this at the end of the transaction and, with a humiliated, red face, I insisted that the whole transaction be reversed. I obviously cannot pay a credit card bill with gift cards. Everyone was tense and irritable and had no problem verbalizing how annoyed they were that I was too poor to pay a credit card bill when it arrived. Merry Christmas!!

My coworker and I frequently commiserate on the constant demands put on working mothers, especially during the holidays when the financial and familial demands skyrocket. Our solution is the women's timeshare. I know most timeshares are extravagant getaways on beaches or ski slopes. The women's timeshare can be simple. All we want is a small apartment with a clean bathroom, a bed, a television, a few books, and a stash of gourment foods and coffees. Most importantly, our families (immediate and extended) must not know it exists and cannot contact us while we are there. A few days in the timeshare and I might even be able to tackle more Christmas shopping.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Inflatables

I learned a new technique today and I am showing it off by including these pictures in my post. These pictures are compliments of my brother- in- law and I find them hysterical. This is a yard in a residential neighborhood and displayed in the yard are the homeowner's interpretation of Christmas decorations. I was never a big fan of these blow-up things. I find them tacky and a bit over the top. This guy has completely redefined 'over the top'. I know it is hard to accurately decipher from this picture, but I believe there are upwards of 30 of these gigantic things in this yard. Let's do some math with this. If he paid $70 a piece, that's $2000 to make your yard look like a freaky cemetary for cartoon characters! Kudos to you blow-up dude for going all the way and not wimping out no matter how much the neighbors complained!


Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Rhino Supervisor and AA meetings

A few weeks ago, my husband had to go to a salesman certification seminar. He showed me the literature afterwards so we could laugh at it. The method that was taught involved assigning a personality profile to yourself and your coworkers and then assigning a profile to your potential customers. The profiles were given animal names that summarized the personality type, like weasal, squirrel, rhino. My husband told me his boss (and the owner of the business) was a rhino. I said, "Really, what's a rhino?' He responded, "A really big, loud, pushy asshole." Almost every day, the rhino comes through loud and clear. Yesterday, my husband called to say he had good/bad news. He had a week off, but it was without pay. Apparently, the rhino has raised several children to young adulthood and they have some anti-social tendencies, like repeatedly drinking and driving and hitting their girlfriends. Recently, large lawyer fees had to be paid to defend one of these misfits against some charges he accrued during his latest escapade. Also, the rhino's wife and breeder of these abusive, drunken bastards had to be given a car because she needed a 'pick-me-up' after seeing her child carted off to jail. Needless to say, these necessities cost money and the money has to come from somewhere. So, the rhino decided to ruin Christmas for a few families by subtracting several hundred dollars from their income. Scrooge bastard. My husband doesn't think he actually has the nerve to go through with it. I'm willing to bet that he does.
And, in part two of this post's title, I am going to write about the AA meeting I went to last night. I know this will freak out AA people because this stuff is supposed to be anonymous, but, GUESS WHAT, if I don't use your name it IS anonymous. I go to AA meetings because I qualify (a phrase used constantly at tables) and because I can leave and be me for a while without my husband and daughter. I don't dislike the meetings and sometimes I even enjoy them. This meeting was a pretty boring one. Everybody (myself included) told their stories in the over-the-top, dramatic detail with the focus on trying to save this newcomer who had mistakenly shared she came back to AA because of her boyfriend's encouragement. In the midst of all this, I committed a faux pas. The girl sitting next to me asked if I wanted to lead the table and I declined. I didn't decline for a good reason. I have been sober long enough to lead a table and I have done it a few times, but not since I moved to the suburbs. I am not comfortable in the suburbs and I am definitely not comfortable at AA in the suburbs. I had grown accustomed to the homeless, living in a box, needle-marks on their arms, shoplifting drug addicts and alcoholics that I got sober with in the neighboring small city. I miss these bottom dwellers. The functional housewife alcoholics and six-figure-stressful job alcoholics in the suburbs are a different breed and I am not quite comfortable around them. However, my husband and daughter are really comfortable in the suburbs and I know it is a good environment for families and that is what we have evolved (regressed?) to. So, I'll have to adjust. A few hundred more meetings and I'm sure I'll be able to relate to the high class folks.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Letting Down the Team

I apologize to anyone who was anxiously awaiting my post yesterday. I was caught off guard by my husband ripping out the carpet in the living room and I suddenly found myself scrubbing, dusting, and purchasing cheap area rugs to keep it livable. He did a fine job and it has greatly improved the look of our home, although he could have done a crappy job and it still would have greatly improved the look of our home because the 20-year-old stained carpet was NASTY.
I have returned to work today and I have an ookie feeling. I always feel guilty when I take a sick day, like I let down the team. The reality is there is no team. I work more or less independently and no one has to fill in for me or do extra when I'm not here. Also, the sick time has been allotted to me by the powers that be. So, why the ookie feeling? I don't think it's my imagination since I don't have a very active one. I think there are probably some waves of jealously and superiority being sent my way from folks who work alongside me. I used to share these emotions when I was younger and cockier. When coworkers called in, I immediately labeled them as unmotivated hypochondriacs who would never succeed to the levels that I would at work. The greater truth was they had the day off and I was jealous. It is a decade later and I have not really succeeded in the workplaceand I have adjusted my work ethic accordingly. Now when people call in, I say things like, "I'm glad they've taken this time to take care of themselves and I hope everything works out okay. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help." I don't feel that way at all. I am still jealous they had the day off and I didn't, but I am a wee bit more humble, significantly more politically correct, and far more honest with myself than I was in my twenties.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

My Christmas Tree Smells Like a Head Shop

I decorated a Christmas tree the past several days and today I woke up and noticed a heavy, musty, somewhat sultry odor in my living room. I was more than a little disturbed and I sniffed all the objects in the living room until I found the source, my Christmas tree. I purchased garland, lights, and a snow blanket at a Christmas store and I think this was an error in judgement. The store changes with the seasons. Over the past several months it’s been a Halloween store, a Thanksgiving store, and now a Christmas store. No matter what the season, it has bright floor tiles in primary colors because in it’s previous life it was a laser tag/fun zone for kids’ birthday parties. I have to admire the entrepreneur for exploiting the shopping season so efficiently, but at the same time I question whether he should be burning that incense that we all associate with things that are definitely not Christmasy. I saw the person I would presume is the owner behind the counter and he also did not look very Christmasy. He looked like he would have been more comfortable filming gay porn. The question I am asking myself today is this, “Why did I purchase Christmas decorations that smell of freaky sex from a man who looked like he films freaky sex?” I have no answer. However, I must have enjoyed the smell in the store on some level in because the odor did not seem unusual or offensive until today.
In case anyone is waiting for an update, the organism living in my husband is slowly exiting his body. The prescription cream is working and the bug is moving on. So, I guess my husband is not secret agent man, or he’s onto me and administered the antidote to himself rather than reveal his true identity. I did ask him for a picture of the ‘ring’ for my blog yesterday. Maybe that tipped him off….

Friday, December 8, 2006


This is day two of an exciting new chapter in my life where everything I do is recorded on the internet for all to read. Yesteday I mentioned I was nervous doing this. I'm over that today. I thought there might be people (general public people) who would read some of the stuff I wrote. I found that didn't happen so all the performance anxiety has melted away. Today's entry is entitled 'puke' because that is how I started the day. That is also a new word my daughter learned today. I woke up and found a sea of vomit in my daughter's crib and she was in tears. So, a bath, a change of pajamas, and a change of sheets occurred and then everyone went back to bed. During this process I supplied some commentary along the lines of, "Yuck, this is really a lot of stinky puke.' At this point my daughter would repeat, 'Puke.' What a great learning experience. The bonus thing that came from this is that I did not have to go to work. So, I am midway through day one of my three day weekend. Here is some information I will provide JUST IN CASE anyone wonders if I have obtained anymore evidence regarding my husband's secret life. As predicted, the mild prescription cream has done nothing against the deadly parasite he is carrying and two more spots have shown up on his stomach. Also, he requested warmer clothing (long underwear and sweats) last night. This request came right before he left for an hour under the pretense of going for a walk. The explanation he is using to justify this request is that his doctor told him to lose weight and he is going to start walking every night outside. I believe all of this is an exercise to determine if the bioterrorist weapon he is carrying can survive exposure to low temperatures for extended periods of time. I can understand why anyone reading this might feel it is time for me to contact the authorities and turn my husband in. I will need to acquire more evidence before I can convince myself that the local authorities are not involved. I want to assure everyone that I will remain vigilant and this situation will not get out of control.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Elmo shirts and Ringworm

This is my first post on my brand new blog and I am a little bit nervous. I guess this is supposed to be fun, so here I go throwing caution to the wind! I spent most of today (aside from the time spent setting up this blog) looking for cheap ELMO shirts online. My 20 month old daughter had a hideous tantrum this am because I tried to put her in a shirt that didn't have an ELMO on it. I only have two ELMO shirts and not a lot of time to do laundry, so both were dirty. Needless to say, she went to daycare in a dirty shirt that had an ELMO on it. I am sure a creative parent with more energy than I could have negotiated the situation properly and sent their child out the door in a clean shirt, but I caved in. Today she wins with a ELMO sweatshirt. In a few years, she'll probably win with a biker named 'Snake'. Another weird thing happened today. My husband has this 'thing' on his arm and he decided it had been there long enough to merit a visit to the doctor. The doctor told him it was ringworm. Where the hell do you get ringworm in the suburbs in the wintertime? Is he sleeping with parasite infected farm animals? Do I need to wash the sheets? Should he be sleeping in the garage? I am quite unnerved by the whole thing. I am beginning to think he lives a parallel life designing bioterrorist weapons for the Department of Defense. We'll see if the 'average' ringworm cream can take care of the superfungus he's brought home.
parenting mom kids parents ringworm marriage