Life Goals Achieved This Week

I actually don’t have that many life goals.

I used to, but I either 1) achieved them already, or 2) gave up on them.

The big one I gave up on was graduate school and becoming a college professor. At one time, it was my only goal; now it’s something I have absolutely zero interest in doing. Every once in a while my mother suggests I go back to school, or asks when I am going back to school. I always respond by blankly staring at her, because really how many times do I have to explain this?

Really I think my absence of life goals at this point in my life has to do with that fortune cookie I got years ago that read: those who expect nothing never find themselves disappointed.

As pathetic as that fortune cookie is, it’s so truthful it stings.

So I don’t have many goals anymore. More I have things I would like to do, because they’d be fun or whatever. But if I don’t end up doing them before my untimely demise (because whenever I kick it, it’ll surely be untimely) – oh well.

Life is too short, and I have too much to value in my life now, to be constantly chasing dreams.

(I realize that this philosophy spits in the face of every pithy inspirational quote you have ever seen.)

This week has been pretty strange, though. I’ve done a lot of things – verifiably dumb things – that were they listed among my life’s goals and dreams, I would have a considerable number of check marks added to that list.

I finally offended someone over the matter of pizza.

I say some really shitty things about pizza in California to people. I mean that I am pretty surprised that I haven’t offended anyone up to this point over the matter of pizza – really, I am surprised.

When my in-laws and I tried a new pizza place in town last year, I told them I would rather lick the inside of my husband’s ear than eat there again.

I have brought my own homemade pizzas to a pizza party where the pizza was already provided because local pizzerias make me queasy.

I’m a jerk, and over a really stupid issue. I know.

But really…is pizza a stupid issue? If you’re from Chicagoland area, like I am, no. No, pizza is not a stupid issue, and never a laughing matter.

So my mother came over for dinner the night before Mother’s Day, for an early celebration. She asked what our plans were the following day, and my kids told her that among our other things, we had special ordered some pizzas from Giordano’s – one of our favorite pizzerias in Chicago, that just happens to ship frozen pies around the country.

Then the kids told her how expensive they were and my mother’s response (and tone) showed how clearly offended she was over the matter:

“Oh, well …I had a slice of pizza the other day for $5 but I guess that isn’t good enough for people who have $60 to drop on frozen food.”

Life goal to offend someone over the matter of pizza? Achieved.

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My Boob Fell Out of My Tank Top At Staples

My body has been pretty weird lately. Awkward, maybe is the right way to put it.

And as a result of this awkwardness, I’ve been especially attached to my yoga pants, hoodies, and bra tank tops lately.

So there I was, picking up my copy and print order at my local Staples office supply store, and I dropped my keys on the floor. I bent down to pick them up and WHOOP – my boob plum fell out of my top.

The offending tank top was pretty small to begin with, and I honestly hadn’t been expecting to go anywhere that day. Fortunately, the guy ringing up my copy and print order didn’t notice as I quickly tucked myself back in while I stood back up.

Or at least he didn’t let on that he had seen anything.

Life goal to give up so much that body parts arbitrarily fall out of my slovenly clothing while out in public? Achieved.

I’ve Learned To Swallow Food Whole

I don’t know if I should be proud or horrified by this, but if I had a life goal to learn how to swallow my food whole – as in no chewing or silverware involved – well, then I have mastered this one. Oh, have I mastered it.

It started Monday night. My husband worked really late, and I was awake at about three o’clock in the morning after he texted me about how late he’d be getting home. Suddenly I realized that the reason I couldn’t get back to sleep was because I was starving – I mean I was so hungry I could have eaten anything… anything…

So I got up and grabbed a couple bananas, but was so tired I just wanted the eating process to be over with. Long story short, I unintentionally engaged in some pseudo-erotic, middle-of-the-night, whole banana consumption. My appetite was immediately satisfied and I was sawing logs within five minutes.

Then tonight it was time to make supper for myself and the kids, and we were all so hungry we could barely stand it. I went to make something quick (a box of some kind of quickie angel hair pasta dish), but it needed milk and we had run out earlier in the day. Feeling uninspired to cook anything but a throw-together box meal, we ended up desperately grabbing my purse and running out the door to go to In N Out.

By the time we got to In N Out, ordered our food, sat in the characteristically never-ending line, and got our food, my stomach was starting to feel queasy from having been so empty. So I took out my grilled cheese sandwich and scarfed it in about one, large bite.

Unlike the banana situation from Monday night, I was still hungry.

So the moral of the story is that were I to set life goals for myself at this particular stage, they would have to be pretty low brow. Don’t expect too much, or anything, because I clearly have little to give.

But it makes for a good story, right?

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By Now, I Should Know Better Than To Leave The House When I’m Crabby

I woke up this morning in a bad mood.

That’s actually a slight understatement, actually. I was so angry in the general sense that I continually thought to myself: “geez, Heather…you’re being pretty bitchy this morning.”

And to be honest, it was entirely my fault. I opted to sleep in bed last night, instead of on the couch. Knowingly I went in aware that it was unlikely I’d get a good night’s sleep. For after all the money we’ve spent on a new bed, our comfortable bedding, and exotic pillows I truly thought I’d have to sell a body part to afford, the truth to the matter is: I cannot sleep next to my husband. He thrashes, kicks, talks, shrieks, mumbles, snores, mouth-breaths, jolts, and – in all earnestness – punches.

But several times per week I glance at that Sleep Number bill and sleep in the bed out of guilt. Sleep is putting it politely, though. It’s more like: I lay comfortably in frustration.

Around 12:30 in the morning Nick punched me in the face and screamed “did you hear that?” I sat up and said “WHAT?!” – frantically, because I hadn’t heard shit. He rolled over and mumbled “I guess it was nothing” and started to snore.

At least one more time he woke me by kicking me. That, of course, was after I was finally able to get back to sleep around 4 o’clock in the morning.

At 6:30 his alarm went off.

At 6:45 he spent ten minutes dropping everything he could on the dresser directly next to my head.

At 7:15 he woke me up to say he was leaving for work and to ask what was wrong. At this point I imagined fire breathing out of my mouth when I said “WHAT DO YOU MEAN ‘WHAT IS WRONG?!”

So I was crabby today. And tired. Entirely my fault for choosing to sleep in bed instead of on our comfy, and solitary, couch last night.

all-i-really-have-going-for-me-is-sarcasm-resting-bitch-face-a-huge-rack-and-really-good-eyebrows--3d268I should have taken my aggression towards the entire world as a reason to stay at home, nestled on my couch with my pajamas, my Netflix, and my Pinterest. Everyone deserves a Resting Bitch Day every once in a while, anyway. And I’ve been working my ass off lately to get our house move-out ready, as well as to put together everything I want for our new place so that our move-in can be as seamless as possible.

 

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Oh, we’re also going on vacation next week – just a few weeks before we move – so a day to myself to calm the fuck down seems like it would be perfectly in order.

But by the time I was done showering and angrily getting into yoga pants and a t-shirt (but no make up, as I reminded myself with fierce hostility that no one notices when I wear make up anyway), I was convinced that I had to plug along with my plans for the day. Because tomorrow I could be angrier, and would then be pissed off at today’s self for procrastinating. And then the possibility of me becoming a huge ball of red, hot, fiery, pissed off was too great.

This was clearly a mistake.

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So I’m doing a project for which I have no fucking clue what I’m doing.

This is the general course of all projects I do, but I especially don’t know what I’m doing on this one.

In short: my husband and I use our two, ugly-as-fuck nightstands pushed together as a long dresser that houses our in-bedroom TV. I’m tired of looking at those fucking things on the rare occasion that I sleep in my own, extremely expensive and un-sleepable bed, though; so I’m repainting them AND removing the top drawers to turn that space into the DVD-VCR-cable-etc shelf.

You people have no idea how much I hate myself for not just going out and buying something new on this one. No idea.

So I had to go to the paint store, obviously to buy paint for this dumb-shit of a project. And I’ve never been to a paint store before, or bought paint other than the kind you put on a canvas for that matter. Which means that I had absolutely no experience with taking young children into a paint store.

What I’m saying is: I should have put this off for a different day.

What in the actual fuck is it about paint stores that makes kids lose their fucking minds? All of a sudden I’m one of those people. One of those people in the store for whom everyone else is either thinking that I – the mother – needs to get shit under control; or, on the flip side, is being pitied.

“Oh, her children must need refills on their Ritalin medication.”

At one point, my 11 year old came up to me with a pile of over 200 paint chip cards in her hand. “I have what I need!” she said, and I gave the oh-hell-no look that should put the fear of God in her, and yet only inspired a pout and silent retreat to put them back where she found them.

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A little later on in the day, we had been back at home for a while and I knew I needed to go to the grocery store. Half hams were on sale, and I’d be damned if I didn’t stock up on those.

Plus, my dad was home which meant I could go by myself. It’d be like the vacation I’ve truly needed all these years.

Hopeful that my day was about to look up, I grabbed my little notepad that I use for small grocery shopping trips, and I began to look for a pen. I knew for sure that there had to be at least one: the pen that I put a Post It note on just yesterday reading “DO NOT TOUCH –  THIS IS MOM’S.”

That pen, as well as all the others, were missing.

My eye began to twitch as I stalked around the house, searching. Mumbling under my breath that I just knew this was a part of some household conspiracy to make me go insane, I searched and searched until finally I had to settle for a crayon. Standing amidst an array of Barbie clothes, dried up Play doh, and a Lego cramming its way into my foot, I stood in the kids’ room writing my list with a broken, red crayon. If you didn’t look at my list closely, you might’ve thought it was blood.

“What do you want for dinner?” I asked, being polite and trying to preserve some semblance of the very sanity that would get me to and from the grocery store in one piece.

“Mommy, I think you’re getting a lazy eye.”

[Drops mic. Leaves the room. Goes insane. Blows up the world. Everyone’s dead.]

I wish I could say that this was the end of my terrible and intolerably crabby day, but it wasn’t. While I was at the store, this old guy came up to me and started shouting in my face about how “young people” are too wrapped up in social media to be a part of the world around them. To make matters worse, I’m pretty sure he was the guy that sang Tu Ra Lu Ra to me at the register counter when I worked in a pharmacy during college. I also got home to find a note on our front door: the neighbors complained that they didn’t like my patio arrangement, and wanted it removed in the next 24 hours. And that 11 year old that tried to steal over 200 paint chip sample pages at the paint store this morning lied to my face about picking up that dried Play doh I spied when using the crayon to write my grocery list.

So I’m going to bed, still grumpy. By now, I should know better than to leave the house when crabby. Next time I really will stick to my PJs and my Netflix and my couch.

 

I Think I Finally Learned To Can’t Even

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For the longest time, I had no idea in what context, exactly, I could say that I can’t even. Or, more precisely, in what context I could can’t even.

Since, you know: to can’t even is to do something. It’s like a verb now. Just like because is a preposition to lead off a fragment; and on that note, fragments are totally acceptable now. Oh, and literally has lost all its meaning.

Because illiteracy. I literally can’t even.

Not only is it grammatically incorrect, it makes no sense. What do you mean you can’t even? Can’t even what? Can’t even believe what you’re seeing? Can’t even understand what people see in One Direction? Can’t even justify buying bananas over 19 cents a pound?

Just what the fuck does it mean to can’t even? And, worse: to literally can’t even? And disastrously: because I literally can’t even.

Actually, because wouldn’t work there since “Because I literally can’t even” is – in some bizarre, fucked up sense – a complete sentence and because as a preposition needs to be in a fragment. I think.

Because stupidity.

None of that even matters anymore, though. I am happy to announce that I think I finally learned to can’t even.

Possibly, even, to literally can’t even.

Today I was sitting in my living room, looking on Sears’ website at refrigerators. A bizarre series of events then took place that taught me how to can’t even.

First, my father – who lives with us now – hobbled out of his bedroom and into the kitchen. After a few minutes, I realized he was sawing something with a steak knife.

Although I had prepared no steak.

After several minutes of him sawing away, cursing under his breath, my eleven year old walked out of her bedroom and asked what he was doing.

He was sawing off parts of a chocolate bunny. With a steak knife. To eat, I assume.

Just then, the floor started shaking. I mean shaking and booming, and I realized it was because the guy that lives next door was working on a car and playing some booming bass rap shit so loudly that it was rattling our walls and floors.

So the ground was shaking, it sounded like the apocalypse was starting outside, and my dad was in the kitchen sawing off and eating individual body parts of a chocolate bunny.

Nothing unusual. Just your average day.

I was too overwhelmed to continue looking at refrigerators, so went onto Facebook and the first thing in my feed was an update on this Chinese panda who is shocking the world over his involvement in a breeding program. In short: he is super horny and lasts for an obscene amount of time while doing his panda deeds.

He’s apparently so virile that they have named him “Enduring Brother.”

So the walls and the floor, and the couch I was sitting on, were all booming to the sweet sounds of the end of the world; my dad was continuing his harvest of chocolate bunny body parts; and on the screen of my MacBook was an article loaded with photographs of Enduring Brother having crazy long panda sex with a female panda who, quite frankly, should be ashamed of her behavior.

This was precisely when I learned to literally can’t even.

And I know that I learned to do it, because without even realizing what I was saying, my daughter came up to me and asked if she could have a snack and I said “I literally can’t even right now …do whatever you want.”

To literally can’t even, or to can’t even, is to be so shocked and overwhelmed that you can process nothing else. No requests for snacks. No responses to questions. No critical thinking at all. To literally can’t even is to live in a perpetual state of being overwhelmed by the shaking of the apocalypse, the disturbing chocolate bunny eating habits of an old man, and the sexual activity of a horny, Chinese panda.

Now, it’s your turn to literally can’t even.

Because dirty panda sex.

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The Next Stage

10616161_791205745733_6681853197444697170_nI was at Barnes and Noble yesterday. I know what you’re all thinking – but wait, we thought you hated going anywhere during the holidays! Well, I do. But I had to go to Barnes and Noble to get what was apparently the last, mangled copy of the map of the world in all of Southern California. To finish a Christmas present I had been stalling since I finished all the rest of the shopping back in October.

So I was at Barnes and Noble and it was a mob scene. A mob scene at 1 in the afternoon on a Tuesday, which sort of makes me question whether or not anyone in my community works to be able to afford to spend so much money at the local Barnes and Noble. I mean, shouldn’t all of those people have been at work?

Nonetheless, I got my map and several other things I absolutely did not go to Barnes and Noble for, and headed to the check out line for the most miserable 45 minutes of my life. Towards the end, as I was close enough to the cash register to make eye contact with the employees as three of them aimlessly wandered around behind the register station, pretending to do something else, while one, lone cashier checked out the seven billion customers – when I was that close, I heard someone behind me approach people further back in the line. “Oh my God, we haven’t seen you guys in YEARS!” she shrieked as though they were – quite literally – separated still by miles, and then they started the old game of catch up that in a nutshell involved platitudes and niceties.

As if this experience could not have gotten any worse, these were the final moments of my time in line yesterday at my local, overcrowded Barnes and Noble.

Then it happened. Right as I was starting to walk up to the cashier, I heard one of the catcher-uppers say “and Joanie will be coming home from college for Christmas break tomorrow!” And in that little statement, made by a complete stranger and completely irrelevant to my life, I was hit with the striking realization that I probably should have made several years ago. Somewhere around the time I left graduate school five years ago, maybe earlier than that.

I will never go home from college for Christmas break again.

As I drove home – another 45 minute task, because every person with a car in Southern California apparently drives around and clogs up traffic on Tuesday afternoons as well – I realized just how many stages of my life are over. I’ve never really come to terms with this, or thought about it so seriously. Accepted it into my heart and soul that there are chapters of my life so fully completed that they have been burned up, never to be read again. At least by me.

Not only will I never go home from college for Christmas break again; I will never experience the butterflies of a first date. I will never have that “new mom” feel again, just as the thrills of skipping class to hang out at the local McDonalds with the other high school seniors are gone forever.

Admittedly, I have noticed signs of the ushering in of this next era of life. But have I never noticed before when one door closed and a new one opened? I don’t believe so. At least I don’t remember noticing the passing of time in the same way that I did yesterday.

The signs have been there, though.

A few weeks ago, I realized that I rarely wear make up anymore, unless of course we’re going somewhere. And even then I find a way to justify wearing none. Or just some mascara.

My outfits used to be coordinated perfectly – I’m not even sure why. I’ve never cared much for what people think of me, and yet my underpants always matched my belt. In this new stage of life, though, it’s all yoga pants, mom jeans, and stretchies. Tucked into slippers that could pass for moccasins. Paired with a tank top that has a bra in it.

I noticed this about a month ago when I was at the mall and realized that I can’t remember the last time I wore a Victoria’s Secret bra.

Someone at a family party a while back was talking about going to a bar and out to play pool, and actually planning to get home around 3 in the morning. I remember thinking – in earnest – to myself that nothing good ever happens after midnight, which is something my grandmother used to say.

I felt so disgusted at the idea of doing anything other than watching Netflix and reading a book, that I immediately looked for an excuse for us to go home and do just that.

More importantly, while I definitely have memories involving college and high school and growing up and going out, I still can’t remember what my life was like before becoming a mom. I actually have no idea what I was doing with my time.  And I don’t mean to sound diminishing to those that aren’t mothers, or to sound so cliche. But really in this new stage of my life, being a mom is not only my job but who I have become.

I’m a wife and mom. That’s about it.

I feel so ordinary, and there was a time in my life when to be ordinary would have been like spiritual death. But that time is over and I am fine with my new chapter in life. In fact, I have never been happier.

When I was younger, I wanted to make something of myself. Be something – be someone. But I think I had a very skewed idea of what it was to be someone. Rather than be known or famous or a published author or an accomplished painter, or someone everyone knows and writes about in history books and is remembered for generations to come… being someone really just meant being myself.

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In this new stage I am myself, and very few people know me. I’ve accomplished very little and have many talents. Not one of them results in a paycheck and that’s totally cool. I don’t wear make up often, and prefer comfortable moccasin-style slippers over high heels, even when high heels are the status quo.

And when it is my turn to run into people at the local Barnes and Noble that I haven’t seen in ages, my most exciting update on what I’m doing with myself and my life will be simply that I’m a wife and a mom. Some may find that meaningless or boring, but that’s what I’m doing, and it’s the most Me I’ve been in years.

For sitting on my ass about 10 hours, I sure got a lot done today

Every once in a while, we have to take a step back and ask ourselves: am I spinning my wheels?

Am I running on empty?

Is something burning me out?

Two things happened last night – besides that whole food thing I wrote about earlier today – that contributed to me sitting on my ass for the majority of today. I think it was about ten hours, in total.

1. My daughter broke my heart and told me, completely out of the random and for no reason at all, that she sometimes thinks of me as a birthday candle that tries too hard to stay lit, but as a result has very little left because it’s all burned away.

She’s very wise for her ten years.

2. My old friend Period Pants showed up, and not in the subtle way she normally does. There was no taking her sweet fucking time to get going, giving me a day or so to prepare myself for the carnage of her monthly hormonal fluctuations. I had no opportunity to “pre-med” (take plenty of Ibuprofen the night before shit gets real so as to minimize the pain.)

Nope, this time she just came stomping in the door, around 11:30 at night.

When I’m really stressed out, she does this. First I get sick, then in about 45 seconds I develop cramps no amount of over the counter painkillers could fix. Then I get really hot and headachy until my brain catches up with my body, realizing that I need to slow the fuck down and relax while Period Pants resets my body.

It’s all in good fun, and yes I’m sure you all didn’t want to hear that much detail. But it’s not like I’m talking about freebleeding under my dress, or knitting sweaters with fallen pubic hairs or anything; so just get over it and understand my point. This happened, forcing me to slow down and calm down and remember that my body is going to tell me when I’m going too far on the stress-o-meter.

Needless to say, when I got up this morning I had – again – remembered the point of this all. I asked myself those questions: am I spinning my wheels? Absolutely. I’m cleaning and yet nothing is really getting clean. I’m cooking food that isn’t being eaten. I’m making efforts when I know the effortlessness of others will make it all moot anyway.

Am I running on empty? You bet I am. It isn’t that I’m physically tired, it’s that I’m mentally exhausted. I can’t think straight most of the time, and I’m so scattered I have a hard time even paying attention to the book I’m reading, the painting I’m painting, and the blanket I’m knitting. And then there is that simple fact that – for the fifth time in a day – I put my keys in the freezer. My brain is trying so hard to escape this situation, it’s become almost nonfunctional.

Is something burning me out? Yes. Activity is burning me out. Constantly having plans and activities and errands and projects and expectations from others and of myself is burning me out. Life is burning me out.

So today I decided I was going to take a break. I mean I’ve really tried to make an effort to cut back on activities and giving a fuck for some time now. I wear yoga pants and comfortable sweaters most days of the week, now. I’m worrying less about things like the placement of the towels in the bathroom as well.

But this overwhelming sense that I need to justify my Stay At Home existence with constant movement and nonstop commitments has me occasionally heading down this path of bodily pain, and metaphorical burn out, that tells me I haven’t done enough to have a healthier balance in life.

I started out planning – intending – to spend the majority of my day on Pinterest and in front of Netflix. As I started to destress, though, I thought that what I’d really like to do is write. (So I wrote 20 pages of good, solid fiction.) Then I destressed even more, and decided I would get up and bake some Valentine’s Day cupcakes for my husband to take to work later in the week. And as I calmed down more and more, feeling Period Pants calm her ass down as well in the process, I decided to write a blog, do some marketing, and I even did a Fiverr gig I had waiting to be done.

So what I’m saying here is that I got more work done today while I sat on my ass than I have probably gotten done in the past couple of weeks.

What I didn’t do was run errands or return phone calls I had no interest in returning. I also didn’t worry about making a fancy dinner; and – for once – I just let the laundry from the last two days continue to pile up.

The moral of the story is – I think – that when we force ourselves to slow down, we realize the path to do more meaningful, balanced things.

So I Now Realize How Annoying I Was When I Worked…

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I’m a Stay At Home Mom, but that doesn’t mean I’ve been sitting on my ass, eating bon bons and shit since my high school graduation.

In fact, it is arguable that in the few years I did work, I worked harder than a lot of people do in their entire careers. I mean there are a lot of really lazy people out there.

But I’m not here to defend how hard I worked then, or how much harder I actually work now in spite of the whole bon bon joke up above. I’m talking about how annoying I was when I worked, which I now realize to the fullest degree.

Where to begin? I suppose, at the beginning.

Article One:

Yes, I did used to work.

In fact, full time for some of it.

The very first job I ever had was as a Burger Bitch at Burger King. That Burger King no longer exists, actually. Nonetheless, in the late 90s I worked there after school and on weekends.

The craziest thing happened when I worked there, well at least it was crazy to me – a young and relatively naive 16 year old. When it was Christmastime, I had to go to visit my mom in Seattle, so I took two weeks off work and left, completely unaware that I would return to find that everyone who worked there had been fired in this completely idiotic, marijuana-induced Christmas Eve internal theft scandal. Not me, though – remember I was in Seattle. But despite not being there to participate in the stupidest drug-induced burger-related crime ever, no one there as the replacements even knew that I worked there. So they gave me a couple hours a week (assuming I would be stealing like all the rest had) until I decided to find work elsewhere.

So I went to Wendy’s. While at Wendy’s I was awarded Employee of the Month. Probably one of my few award-winning accomplishments in my lifetime. I still have the plaque, and yes I am aware that this isn’t saying much.

Also, that Wendy’s doesn’t exist anymore either.

When I went to college I decided to get my shit together on the job front, so I went to a department store and got a job in Handbags and Hosery. But then they revealed about a month in that they weren’t going to work around my school schedule, so I quit. The department store was Robinson’s May, by the way. That entire company doesn’t exist anymore.

Are you seeing a theme here? It gets worse, and now that I’m typing this all out I am wondering if I am cursed.

After Robinson’s May I went to Longs and worked as a pharmacy technician for six years. I still know a fair amount of drug information, though am also out of the loop on newer drugs and insurance law changes and shit. And I also would never, not in a million years, go back to working in a pharmacy. I would force my family to live in a refrigerator box on the corner before going back to a pharmacy – it was that horrible.

A few years ago all the Longs stores were sold to CVS. So there’s that too.

My last job-job was in politics, after college. First I was a community organizer for the non-profit wing of the AFL-CIO. Then I was a contract community organizer for a partisan political action committee. After about a year the PAC had me do an underhanded smear campaign (against my better judgment) on a local candidate (of the same political party – i.e. one of their own) and I was done. I went back to school, left school, became a Stay At Home Mom and the rest is history.

That was the last “real” job I ever had, with the exception of working for a professor.

And if you are wondering if either of those political organizations exist anymore, the non-profit wing lost its funding a year after I left, and the ladies that founded the partisan political action committee liquidated it two years ago. I am definitely cursed.

Article Two:

When I actually worked for a living, instead of running our insane asylum, I was an extremely annoying person.

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I’m not saying that I am lacking the quality of annoying sonofabitch now. Not by any stretch of the imagination – I know I am a tough nut to crack, a bitter cup of tea, and whatever other cliche you could spew out that indicates I’m annoying as shit.

You get the point and no doubt are nodding your head in agreement.

Now this is going to be quite a stretch, but if you can bare with me for a second and use your maximum imagination powers, think of how unbelievably obnoxious I am now. And quadruple it. Then add ten, more parcels of annoying as balls and you still aren’t even close to how un-fucking-believably annoying I was when I worked.

You know why? Why I lost friends – like literally lost friends – and was excluded from family events because I was so fucking intolerable to be around?

Because I never shut the fuck up about my job.

When I was at Burger King, I told stories about the sauces for the chicken tenders and the episodes with the drive thru timer. When I was at Wendy’s, it was similar only added on were the tales about the times they made me dress up in the Wendy costume.

At the department store, it was constant bitching about how the management was over scheduling me and trying to get me to work when I was supposed to be in class. And about the girl that worked in Handbags with me who I later saw on an episode of Blind Date. I knew it was her, too, because she was always talking shit about Asians even though she, herself, was Asian; and she did it on the show as well.

Longs there were the neverending stories about the customers and the old men that hit on me while picking up their Viagra. There were the tales about insurance problems and how my boss was so seemingly helpless he couldn’t even schedule his employees without my help as well.

It was the worst when I worked in politics, because there weren’t just the stories about what I did at work, but what political bullshit horsecrap issue or candidate I was all fired up about at the time. Health care. Immigration. Gun rights. In-fucking-tolerable is what it was.

Now that I’m heading on to 32, more people I know are getting promotions. Or going back to work after being at-home moms for a while. Even a few are just graduating from college or graduate school. Don’t get me wrong: I am extremely, like over the moon, happy for these people. Their work opportunities are wonderful for their situations. It’s awesome.

I just wish sometimes people could have things to talk about other than work. Like post a Facebook status about what you did with your kids. Or at a family party, could we talk about something other than your innovative quality control systems? There is so much more in this world to talk about than work, and maybe it’s only when you don’t work that you realize that.

I Hope You All Laugh Heartily About My Disastrous Long Weekend

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I don’t even know why the fuck I called it a “long weekend.” It certainly was disastrous, but the concepts of weekend, or long weekend, are relatively foreign to me.

My husband doesn’t get most federal holidays off. I mean, even when he does he’s usually answering text messages or emails or whatever about work anyway. So “long” is a misnomer, because he’s at work right now.

The other thing is that, um, I’m a SAHM – so I work 24/7. Weekend has no meaning to me, except I have another child (aforementioned husband) to pick up after.

Friday

It started innocently on Friday afternoon. My mother in law texted me that she was at jury duty down the street from our home, so did we want to meet her for lunch near the court house. Sure, why not. I’m always up to eat, plus she and my father in law were leaving the following day for a week in Park City (Sundance), so I figured I need to go over their horse care instructions, since my husband would be handling it on Sunday.

While sitting there, my daughter wanted to show her the funny complaint Post-It she “sent” to my husband.

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My mother in law took one look at it and announced loudly (I mean loudly, like the rest of the restaurant looked at us): “yeah, I think he needs to add fiber to his diet, or start taking laxatives regularly … even when he was potty training, pooping was so hard.”

Pooping. Pooping was so hard. That’s my man.

Saturday

Saturday began in what could have been a serious disaster. The kid woke up with a scratchy, allergic sore throat, but right now she’s having a rough time because her dad moved to Texas and she has to go visit him soon (and vehemently does not want to go). So a scratchy, allergic sore throat suddenly became “I think I’m going to blow chunks” which then turned into crying and saying she doesn’t want to call her dad in a couple of weeks, and she doesn’t want to go to Texas, and why can’t I just have donuts for breakfast sometimes???????”

Say what?

In the span of 20 minutes, she went from allergic to nauseous to anxious to panicky to crying to can I please have a donut.

I had a Mom Beverage for lunch.

Sunday

Sunday was relatively mild. We went to my husband’s parents’ home to take care of the horse and hang out with his grandparents (who stay there during the winter). They made lasagna and a pudding pie for us for dinner, which I’ll get to in a minute. After all the NFL dramas for the day were over, we scurried on home for me to watch my DVRed Flowers In The Attic that was on Lifetime the night before.

Then we all went to bed, and after the stroke of minute on MLK Day was when shit started to get real.

Monday. MLK Day

I woke up at 4-something in the morning from a noise outside, and couldn’t get back to sleep. Naturally – as most people do now – I grabbed my phone and proceeded to make myself even less sleepy by looking at Facebook and Pinterest and all that other senseless shit.

Then a notification from my bank popped up that the paycheck my husband had me deposit the other day had been returned, and suddenly my account was frozen until the bank reopens Tuesday.

Rather than go back to sleep, because obviously nothing can be done, like a psychopath I got up and turned all the lights on in the house (essentially) and decided to call the bank’s 24/7 hotline. In fact, the account is frozen. I have something like $11 in my wallet until then.

And a shit-ton of credit cards, but what if the zombie apocalypse starts?!

I went back to sleep for about twenty minutes and then was woken up by a small human being climbing on top of me (because kids were made to wake moms up early, right?), and then the usual noise of the hustle and bustle of a typical weekday morning. Remember, we don’t really have any concept of long weekends around here.

Finally I got up and shit really started to get weird.

First I was sitting downstairs and heard my daughter talk, nonstop, to whom and about what I do not know, for forty five minutes.

Then I looked outside and saw a conglomerate of people milling around in the walkway. And I heard what they were all standing outside so awkwardly because of, which I think I need to backtrack on for a second first.

We got new neighbors four days ago. On the first day, they moved all their things in in garbage bags. Garbage bags. Not boxes. The second day, it appeared that there are about ten people living in the two bedroom townhome, I heard one tell another neighbor they are all farmworkers. The third day, they brought over many cages of squawking, loud ass birds and left them on the patio (in spite of the fact that the place does not allow pets).

Then today, the fourth day, in the coup de grace you might call it, the majority of them were outside while the oldest couple in the house had the loudest, dirtiest, nastiest sex I have ever heard happen in my entire life. It sounded like a buffalo was humping a whale, while squealing like a dying manatee.

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I went to walk upstairs and finally get ready for the day (it was like noon at this point), when I realized I had not even eaten breakfast, so I grabbed a banana and then went upstairs. While eating the banana, I remembered what I had eaten the night before, though – remember, I said my husband’s grandparents had made us lasagna and pudding cake. And I had not yet showered, so had lasagna-and-pudding-cake-morning-breath, mixed with banana and all of a sudden my mouth tasted like what I can only describe as a dirty baby diaper.

The neighbors were still making their sweet, sweet love outside; the birds were squawking; and my mouth tasted like a dirty baby diaper. I quickly showered and dressed and decided we’d run a few errands to get some fresh air.

On the way to the car, some kids threw a ball and it hit me in the head.

So that’s how my long weekend has gone. How about yours?

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