Roses Are Red; Violets Are Blue; You Will Die A Terrible, Terrible Death

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If you have been around this blog’s block for a while, then you know I watch The Simpsons daily. I’m talking about reruns – we have roughly half the seasons on DVD and I watch them every night before bed, and also when I inevitably wake up at 3:13(ish) to ponder all of life’s problems. I think what The Simpsons does that no other show has pegged quite so perfectly is make very serious social commentary in a way that even the most unaware person can grasp.

This habit of mine has been going on for years, just the same shows over and over. And over again.

I know what you’re all thinking: my poor husband.

One of my favorite episodes of the show (in truth, they are all my favorite) is when they go to some kind of a fair and Lisa visits a psychic. The psychic starts by telling Lisa “you will die a terrible, terrible death” – but that’s a mistake, then she (the psychic who specializes only in predicting failed relationships) goes on to tell the story of Lisa’s almost-marriage to Hugh, a British snob who won’t wear Homer’s pigs-in-tuxedos cufflinks on the big day.

Fucking genius, eh?

Since the very first time I saw that episode, I have wanted to visit a psychic. I always thought it would be fun, also I have always wondered if it ever ends as dramatically as in Ghost when Whoopi Goldberg hears Patrick Swayze and embarks on the big endeavor to help Demi figure out who killed him. You guys have to admit that kind of shit happening to me would be pretty rad. Right?

I’ve asked and asked, to no avail. I keep saying I want to do it for my birthday – well that’s a stretch, because I don’t even get cake baked by someone other than me on my birthday. I’ve said I want it for Mother’s Day, which is a total waste of my breath. (I’m not even going to go into the type of reception I get for the one day I actually should be celebrated…)

Finally, a few months ago, I all but gave up on my quest to visit a psychic. No one would give it to me for my birthday; I wasn’t going to ever spend the money to do it myself if everyone else thought it was uncool … my future would just have to remain untold.

1505276_725035416603_1099103144_nThen this evening, we were exchanging Valentine’s Day gifts. We already started over the weekend – my husband of course works tomorrow, and he works in the city (about 50 miles away) so typically on Valentine’s Day he gets home late as a result of holiday traffic. A few years ago, he got home so late we couldn’t even go out for the dinner we planned on going to; last year he didn’t get home until about 9 – my daughter yelling “she is so mad, her boobs are sweating” as he came storming in the door. Before this evening, he had already gotten his I -heart- Dad mug, and all the kiddie things had been dispersed.

But what still remained was my gift to him, and his gift to me.

Having all but given up on gifts and my husband years ago, I basically just went out and bought him some baked goods. A piece of bread pudding. A piece of New York cheese cake. Some chocolate-covered strawberries. Then I put them all in a nice, heart-shaped box and felt kind of shitty today, so got take out for dinner which meant I made him no lunch for tomorrow. So when gift exchange came, I gave him the box and called it his Valentine’s Day gift-slash-Friday lunch.

If you’re thinking at this point that I’m winning at this game of being a housewife and Stay At Home Mom, you would be correct (not really). I do everything just about as half-assed as this whole Valentine’s Day thing.

Anyway, I opened his card, and to my amazement something so wonderful and amazing was contained within it. I was – almost – speechless.

He got me a gift card to visit the Psychic of the Stars.

This is the kind of gift that vindicates him for all of his peeing on the side and back of the toilet; the crumbs on the counter and beard hairs in the bathroom sink; for being a jerk when he should be loving and working way more hours than anyone with a family ever should.

Vindicates him for a short time, that is.

So what will my psychic reading say? Or should I do tarot cards? (Apparently I can use the gift card for either.) Will she say I will die a terrible, terrible death? Or will Whoopi Goldberg hear a ghost following me around, then we’ll embark on an epic adventure along the lines of Ghost (only I’m not kissing Whoopi like Demi did)?

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Good News! The Porn Industry Is Coming To My Town!!

So we ran a couple of errands tonight. Those errands included: dropping a frozen turkey off at my dad’s house for Easter Sunday, getting the guinea pig birthday presents for his first birthday (coming up this Monday), and to CVS to get dish soap.

I know. Big night for the B(itch) family.

As I was pulling out of the CVS parking lot, my kid started screaming in the back seat. “Naked!!! AHHHH!” she screamed, and I slammed on my brakes – not really knowing what the hell was going on, and thinking there might be some emergency. Or maybe Ryan Reynolds was visiting our community, and walking around topless. A girl can dream, right?

To my dismay, I saw what she was referring to. Outside this breakfast cafe (which was closed at the time, it being around 7:30 in the evening), there was a grown man getting dressed. He was naked, except his tighty-whiteys. In a public parking lot.

Indeed.

Things are starting to get a little weird around this place. There’s more of that kind of stuff out in public. That whole Korean Hooker Hostage situation went down at my nail salon last year. Kids are doing drugs in our apartment parking lot. And that guy with blue hair last week said I was hot at the Souplantation. So I guess after seeing the guy getting dressed in the public parking lot, it seemed only natural for me to come home to learn that the porn industry is vying to move into the community.

Apparently some months ago the city of Los Angeles passed a law requiring porn stars to wear rubbers when they’re filming their dirty BBW, SBW, MOM, MILF movies. Since then the “industry” (if you can call it that) has been seeking out a new, local hub of operation to take its sales and property taxes. But city after city is creating this “cover your manhood” law, so my town is next in line as the potential successor to the throne of Ron Jeremy.

The weird thing about this is that the small community in which we live is just about the exact antithesis of what you’d think as the new “porn capital of the world.” Probably 90% of our residents are over the age of 90. The other 10% are inbred hillbillies lacking much education. This means that if the local yocals try to get in on all the money-making that is to be had in the porn capital of the world, there will be a lot of senior citizens and rednecks trying to market their homemade movies on the street corners. Just great. Cletis Goes Wild At the BINGO Hall.

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I’m Feeling a Little Hair-Brained

Okay, I don’t really feel harebrained, per se. Well, at least any more so than usual. I mean that I feel a little frazzled after my day involving my hair.

Mr. Wommack, I blame this on you.

Yesterday I had an appointment at 9 o’clock in the morning to do my color and get a hair cut. I’ve been going to the same girl for a few years now. She’s at a salon that’s roughly an hour away from where we live now, but I previously considered it worth it. In the morning we had some dramas with the kid waking up in the middle of the night, which meant for a slower-than-normal morning; so I texted her and asked if I could change my appointment. She said “sure” then never got back to me.

For the rest of the day.

I was already a little annoyed because when I tried to make the appointment she took a couple days to get back to me. This, in combination with the fact that my hair basically faded to red in about three month’s time – something I explicitly told her I didn’t want to happen (at least put in some ash so I fade to blonde, my natural color) – meant for a lot of frustration out of me. I was ready to move on after not hearing back by the early afternoon.

So I got a recommendation from one of my local friends – the recommendation, incidentally, being about 45 minutes closer to where we live – and the woman had a cancelation late yesterday afternoon.

The experience, for the most part, was actually awesome. It was cheaper than my former stylist. She did a great job doing a weave and an asymmetric cut. The place was much more relaxing and less sterile-feeling than any other place I have ever been to.

And yet, I still feel hair-brained.

#1 She Commented On How Wild My Hair Is

This photograph was taken on my way over. I knew that it was going to be out of control yesterday – it was humid, I have curly hair. You know the drill.

My hair can be pretty wild. To put it simply, I’ve got a lot of hair and it is relatively untamed. I don’t actually use a hairbrush more than once a month or so because when I do it gets really fluffy and even more all-over-the-place. Sometimes I brush even less.

But while I knew it was wild, it wasn’t comforting to be told so. Also, to be informed that as I get older and it gets coarser, it’s just going to get worse. “Eep!!” was the only response I could muster. Get worse? Are you fucking kidding me? That’s like telling the passengers of the Titanic that “it’s going to get worse” after the ship has already sunk. I’m not even sure how my hair could get more wild than it already is, unless it were to stand up straight off my head like the Bride of Frankenstein.

#2 She Found Two Greys

This photograph was taken in the salon chair as I waited for her to mix the dye; and simultaneously began to freak out about the grey hairs. You can see, my hair was still pretty wild. There are tears forming in the back of those eyes.

Combined with the other whitish-grey hair I found right after my 30th birthday, this makes three. I know what you are all thinking, or even shouting at the computer – “shut the fuck up!” “Three greys at 30?! You’re lucky they didn’t come sooner!” and so on and so forth.

Have I mentioned to you faithful blog followers before, though, that I’m not taking my 30s very well? It isn’t that I think I’m getting old and whining about that (okay, I am a little), but I just wanted to do so much by 30 and I have done none of it. This grey hair thing just reminds me of that.

As I sat there, though, quietly panicking and trying not to lapse into a full-on cry, I provided myself a few consolations:

1) Most of my friends say they have had greys for almost a decade, now. I am not alone;

2) My three, measly greys are apparently (according to the hair stylist) probably flukes because of over processing my hair, because the rest of my hair is just starting to lose it’s shine and probably still has at least a few years before the real grey comes in;

3) My husband’s beard has tons of grey in it. He also has had a considerable amount of hair loss in the last couple of years – something that is hereditary, although he seems to think that ignoring just how bald his dad is means he won’t have the same fate. Point? I’d rather be grey than bald, or grey and bald like him; and,

4) Since I got a weave done yesterday, which covered those three evil hairs up: what I don’t see ISN’T THERE.

#3 My Husband’s Comment About My Hair

So I sent my husband a photograph – this photograph actually – of my hair once all was said and done. He called me and told me “that picture doesn’t really do you any justice.”

Again, are you fucking kidding me?

There are a lot of things that don’t do you justice, pal. Like the aforementioned balding head. Like the nasty, rotting, athlete’s foot-ridden feet. But I don’t ever say “that picture doesn’t really do you any justice.” This is like when people tell you “you look tired.” Why not just outright say I look like crap?

So I’m feeling a little hair-brained. My grey hairs are reminding me of my age and the things I want to do that aren’t getting done on their own. I like my updated hair color, although I wish it were almost black. Being blonde for most of my life is something I am well over. And I’m trying not to feel old. This morning I spent 45 minutes looking at myself in the mirror, inspecting for wrinkles. Once I find one is when I think I’ll really lose my shit.

So I’m going to go to a butterfly exhibit to un-hairy my brain now. Hopefully walking with the butterflies will lift my spirits, or at the very least tame my hair.

My Threesome With Pancho and Jesus; or, the Most Humiliating Day of My Life

I couldn’t decide what to title this blog post. I already wrote one early this morning, but then I experienced perhaps the most humiliating and simultaneously hilarious day of my entire life. Mostly humiliating.

Think about the most humiliating thing that has ever happened to you. Maybe on your wedding day a bird flew over and laid waste to the back of your dress. Or you were gossiping about a family member, only for your preschooler to repeat every word of it at the Christmas dinnertable. Think hard. We’re talking most humiliating here.

Now read on and you will no longer feel shame. For this morning, I had something of a threesome with my hotel’s maintenance men: Pancho and Jesus.

5:00 am I post a blog about how I can’t sleep and am ready to head back home from my mental health retreat to Solvang, CA – the faux Danish town nestled in the middle of California’s wine country. I’m awake because around 3 o’clock I woke up from a party going on in the room above mine, only to look outside and see a sea of Modello and Bud Light beer cans in the parking lot, with someone looking for his keys in the midst of them. While I had a great time the last few days eating, drinking, shopping, and relaxing, this marked the point when I was ready to leave.

5:30 am I debate for a few minutes with myself: get up and just get ready to go? Or go back to sleep? My eyes get droopy and I go back to sleep.

9:30 am I wake up. I stumble around to get all of my things together. My shopping bags, backpack, purse, and suitcase are by the door. All that’s left out are my makeup bag and clothes, sitting on the bed.

9:40 am I disrobe and throw my dirty pajamas into the suitcase too. I’m so groggy and ready to go home at this point I just want to leave so think about skipping a shower until I get back. I have a few hours of driving, though, so decide to shower to help wake me up. And, as I mentioned a few days ago, Aunt Flo’s in town (this will be important in a minute). I realize while heading to the bathroom that all I ever do is debate with myself about what to do.

9:42 am I set my clothes on the counter in the bathroom and pee. Very little pee, very little paper (this will also be important in a moment, only if you wish to assess blame).

9:42 and 30 seconds am I flush the toilet and hop in the shower. I start to wash my hair.

9:43 am I’m washing my hair. Washing, washing. Thinking about the things I want to add to my list of things to do before I am no longer kidless and fancy free on Monday. Washing a little more.

9:45 am I start to rinse my hair and think I hear a door slam open. ‘Must be someone upstairs’ I think to myself and then a guy in a maintenance uniform comes running into the bathroom. I scream.

9:46 am I’m still in the shower and the maintenance man takes the top off the toilet and shoves his hand in. He apologizes and explains that my toilet is flooding the hotel room, which was noticed by the maid outside the hotel room door. I peek out the curtain of the shower and see there is water now rising on the bathroom floor too.

9:47 am Pancho officially introduces himself and says to stay put while he gets the valve closed. The shower is still going. There is nothing but a thin, vinyl shower curtain between Pancho and me. I quickly debate with myself over what I should do and decide Pancho knows best. So I stay and decide while there I may as well finish my shower.

9:48 am I shave my arm pits. Pancho is calling for back up: the other maintenance guy, Jesus.

9:50 am I grab my loofa and body wash, and wash. Pancho is still on the other side of the vinyl shower curtain. Jesus is now standing just outside the bathroom door and I can hear him shouting as water continues to pour out of the walls, the toilet, and in from the hotel room.

9:52 am “Pancho? I’d really like to turn off the water and cover myself with a towel now.” Here’s where shit gets real. Pancho says “OK” and I turn off the water. He still has one hand in the toilet tank. His other hand grabs a towel and hands it through the open space between the vinyl shower curtain and the shower wall.

9:53 am Jesus yells to Pancho that he got the water shut off. Pancho stands up and says I should get out of the shower. I open the shower curtain. Pancho and Jesus look down and help me step out of the tub and into about four inches of water.

9:55 am Pancho and Jesus have taken all of my things out of the room, except for my clothes and my makeup bag. They say they will leave so I can get dressed in the only dry corner of the room. Jesus notices my things on the counter in bathroom, so slushes through the water to get them for me. Remember how I said Aunt Flo was in town? I hear Jesus in the bathroom say “oh boy” and then he shouts to me “Ma’am are you OK with me carrying your garments and lady products to you?”

 

9:55 and 30 seconds am “Sure, why not … there doesn’t seem to be anything between the three of us at this point” I say and we all laugh.

9:56 am Pancho and Jesus leave the room and I get dressed. Fortunately, in the dry area of the room there is a mirror, so after they come back in to begin cleaning up the mess and repairing the toilet, I use the mirror to put on my makeup and brush my hair.

10:05 am I ask Pancho and Jesus if they’d mind if I took a few photographs so people would believe me when I tell them the story. They nod, laugh some more, and keep working. I snap photos.

10:10 am Pancho and Jesus have left the room to get their remaining equipment, or leave the mess for someone else, or something. I load my car and drive to the front of the hotel to check out, half expecting a bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolates, and a note that reads “had an early meeting, but thanks for the good times.” There are no flowers or chocolates, and I wonder if I am the one who should leave behind the “thank you.”

10:30 am I get some breakfast at the restaurant next to the hotel to try and recover my dignity before embarking on my drive. There is a maintenance man in the restaurant eating too and I wonder if Pablo and Jesus know him and have told him about our threesome. When I finish eating I pay the bill and hit the road.

Now I am home and have taken another shower. No maintenance men burst in this time.

So did that make you faithful blog followers feel a little better about your own humiliating experiences? Like one of my friends said this morning when I (of course) immediately posted it on my Facebook page, this could only happen to me.

And I bet right now you are all thinking one of two things: either you want to know more details about where I was staying so that you too can have such an experience. Or you want to share this, but are hemming and hawing about it in an effort to spare the last remaining shred of dignity I may or may not have. Well don’t you worry, there is no dignity left (that was left behind in Solvang). And quite frankly the more I tell people this story to, the less weird I feel about Pancho and Jesus. Should I call? Will they call? What will my husband think?

So share away. And tell me your most humiliating experience too in the comments. I may have come home still feeling in a funk and pretty depressed. But at least I can laugh again.

Why I Could Never Be a Golddigger

Note, this blogpost is not titled “why I don’t think it’s right to be a golddigger;” or “why I would never be a golddigger.” It’s Why I Could Never Be a Golddigger, which I’ll get to in just a minute.

Why I do think it’s right to be a golddigger, quite simply put is because golddiggers get shit done. Today we were at Target, picking up more canning supplies and body wash, and I saw what was clearly a golddigger with nice clothes, a Gucci purse, tons of diamonds, and a guy about three times her age with his hand on her ass.

Hand on her ass. The dude had to be 70.

While my husband was keeping his body wash separate from mine so that he didn’t accidentally get charged for it, this lady had a cart full of all the terribly useless crap Target has to offer. She had tons of expensive shampoos and hair products. She had – like – four kitchen appliances and a new suitcase. When we walked passed them, she was saying something about how “cute” some Target home decorative thing was and he said “anything for you, baby.”

Anything for you, baby. Words I have never heard.

Golddiggers get shit done. I’m sure there is a happy medium between being a golddigger and being a “give the milk for free” kind of gal. But not only do golddiggers get shit done, they make damn sure they get treated with the respect they deserve.

Why I would be a golddigger, were my husband and I to ever separate – quite simply put is because this cow ain’t giving out milk for free anymore. I have gone on way too many dates where the guy was cheap – something no woman should ever tolerate. My own husband has never actually taken me out on a real date. Our first time out he asked me for my half of the In ‘N’ Out order.

I’m not intending to talk badly about my husband or anything (actually … who taught him to treat women like that?); and there are plenty of things that make up for how cheap he can be. I’m just trying to illustrate just how much milk I have ended up giving out for free over the years. Maybe it’s California because before meeting my husband I dated a lot of guys out here that were very similar – cheap and expecting everything to come to them.

The point is that a golddigger demands the respect she deserves by virtue of her golddigging. Again, I’m sure there is a happy medium between nothing and everything. In the meantime, let’s hold fast to how much respect the golddigger commands.

Now to the point of this post altogether: Why I Could Never Be a Golddigger, quite simply put, is because I’m a slob. A pigslob. I’m an uncouth, unkempt, self-professed gutter whore.

#1 Every other word out of my mouth is a curse word. I mean every other fucking word. I don’t really swear around the Pookies, but every once in a while one slips. And then there was that one time (about an hour ago) that I announced “I think I pulled my left ass-cheek muscle vacuuming today.”

#2 I am terribly unkempt. Today was a particularly long and arduous day. I baked. I cooked. I made a delectable dinner that everyone bitched and complained about. I cleaned the bathrooms. I dusted. I did three loads of laundry. I vacuumed. And I scrubbed down the kitchen. Tonight I was sitting here working on my blog and eating some frozen yogurt to reward myself for all the work I did and I dropped a little bit on my shirt. No big deal, right? Just get a napkin and wipe it off, right? Well the napkins were too far away, and quite frankly I didn’t want to lose out on any speck of my fro yo, so I just licked it up. Licked it right up faithful blog followers, off my shirt. Then I went about my business.

#3 I say what I’m thinking irrespective of where I am or who I’m saying it to. I don’t act like a total jerk about it; and oftentimes I censor myself for a moment or two so as to not be rude. I also avoid conflict, but when I have something snarky or funny to say – I say it.

A great example of this was last night. We went out to dinner to what we thought was a restaurant/sports bar – but that had apparently remodeled since we were last there – to create this faux French bistro theme. Everything seems to be french-themed in our community these days – the fucking Eiffel tower is plastered everywhere, much to the disdain of those of us that actually have lived in or visited France, studied the French, or are Francophone. Nonetheless, it’s close to our apartment and the only other option it seemed was the Italian place next door that specializes in Barilla lasagna and fish tacos (I know … huh?).

When I looked through the menu, I immediately saw that the things they claimed to have added a “French twist” to were the exact same items as were available when it was a restaurant/sports bar. I didn’t know that the French serve BBQ Western hamburgers and turkey with mashed potatoes! The prices were a little higher as well; maybe that was the French twist. But all my old go-tos were the same: BBQ chicken salad, chicken sandwich with fontina cheese, and caprese thin-crust pizza, so I was happy to just go with the pizza. French you say?

So I had two classes of wine (not French, I might add) by the end of my not-French meal and was feeling a little lippy. It was loud and there were a lot of people there, so I didn’t think it would be a big deal if I leaned over to my husband and cracked a joke.

“Nick … this place is about as French as my asshole. You know what … I’m going to open a restaurant called ‘My French Asshole and Italian Hoo-Haa.’ Our main dishes will be hamburgers, donuts, and fish tacos.”

My husband immediately leaned a little closer to me, I could only assume to applaud my crass humor (that has never actually happened), and pointed out that the manager of the restaurant was standing right behind me to ask how our meal was.

So you see, faithful blog followers: I could never be a golddigger. It isn’t that I wouldn’t (because I would), or that I would have some sort of moral opposition to it (because I think in many cases it’s the only way to get shit done). Nope, I couldn’t be a golddigger because I’m a crass pigslob.

And on another note, we could also have an alternate title to this blogpost: Reasons That Birth Control Should Be Added To My Water Supply.

My Trailer Trash Mom Returns

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It isn’t often that you find a sequel that can be called good. Usually they suck – the plot line has gotten old; the characters look way too aged if years have gone by; and, more than anything, some of the flare from the original just isn’t there. Don’t get me wrong – there are a lot of sequels that are just as good (if not better) than their originals. Back to the Future 2 and Die Hard 2 are ones I can think of off the top of my head.

But then there are sequels in real life. Those are rarely ever good. A reoccurring dream replays itself over and over again during the night – usually in the format of a nightmare. Some banking problem never seems to get resolved. And then there is the worst: some drama-ridden hillbilly from your past resurfaces to spew their hillbilly shit all over the place again.

Those of you that have been around for a while remember the saga of my Trailer Trash Mom a few months ago. For those of you that weren’t, here it is in a nutshell: my mother (I call her my Trailer Trash Mom) hasn’t ever been eligible for Mother of the Year, really, but has gotten particularly use-y and trash-y since she married a hillbilly from New Mexico exactly one year ago last Friday. Around Mother’s Day, she volunteered me to cook a big family dinner in honor of my grandmother, which turned into the biggest hillbilly shit brawl before said family dinner that I had ever seen.

Enough about the original, though – let’s move onto the sequel.

Friday of last week I got a phone call from my mother. I don’t usually answer her calls anymore; but this time she called from her hillbilly husband’s trailer line and I didn’t recognize the number. She BS’ed with me for a few minutes before saying that her hillbilly husband was going to tell me all about their anniversary plans to celebrate one year since they eloped to the county courthouse (the witnesses were the checkout ladies from the Goodwill she bought her wedding frock from, I shit you not faithful blog followers).

But when her hillbilly husband came on the phone, he didn’t say a damn word about their anniversary.

“Heather? Listen… are you going to let Alexis go to Colorado with her dad?”

“What? Oh, um yeah – I agreed to it and I really have no reason not to.”

“You know it’s going to be hard to get her back once she’s across state lines.”

“What? What are you talking about?”

“I mean if he doesn’t want to come back. Look, I have experience with this! EXPERIENCE!!”

“Okay. Well it’s a little late for this and I think you are being a little paranoid. I’m sorry, I thought you were going to tell me about your anniversary plans.”

“Look, all I’m saying is your mother and I have been talking and we decided we should let you know we’re going to be suing you for grandparent’s rights.”

“Uh huh…”

“What you don’t think we will? When I get to California with your mom in August, I’m stirring up the dirt!! I’LL GET MY GRANDPARENT’S RIGHTS! I WANT VISITATIONS AT MY HOME IN NEW MEXICO – AND NOW! LET THEM THROW ME IN JAIL IF THEY HAVE TO!!!”

“Uh huh…”

“I GOT RIGHTS!”

“Uh huh… look, if you aren’t going to tell me about your anniversary plans, I really need to get off the phone now. We’re on our way to Chuck E. Cheese.”

“HAVE FUN EATING AT A RESTAURANT OWNED AND RUN BY A RAT!!”

And then he hung up.

‘What the fuck?’ is what I said too. I have met this guy – in person – for a total of 20 minutes, over two years ago when they first started dating. He told me then that he and my mom had been busy for a few weeks “keeping warm if you know what I mean.” A few weeks later my mother asked me if I knew of any types of gondola rides that “allow for private time,” and also if I knew where she could buy some crotchless panties for a woman her age. At that time, I didn’t think things would last too long; but then one day she was “visiting” him in New Mexico and called to say they had eloped. Since then it’s been one hillbilly shittin’ thing after another: trailer dramas, moving dramas, hillbilly-mother-in-law dramas. And I’m sure none of you will forget when my mother showed up at my father’s garage sale to sell some of her own wares, and displayed them on a Poise pantyshields box she dug out of the dumpster behind my grandparent’s assisted living facility.

Fucking crazy, right?

So after a few days of speculation, I realize that there are a couple of possibilities that made this sequel a clear path down the trail to psychosis:

1. They live in a tiny, aluminum trailer in New Mexico. It’s fucking hot in New Mexico. Maybe the air conditioning broke and their brains are now fried.

2. They ran out of crazy pills and thought that rather than pay another copay, jelly beans would be an adequate substitute.

3. One hillbilly brawl ended and now they are looking for another hillbilly brawl, because (quite frankly) brawl and shit is what hillbillies like to do.

All I know is that from now on I’m back to not answering numbers that are unrecognizable.

How Pinterest and Instragram Ruined My Life

Yesterday I had a lot of cooking and cleaning to do. I was behind on my usual schedule of cleaning the apartment; and my in-laws are coming over for dinner tonight. This is sort of a big deal because we haven’t seen them since late last year – and Hello Kitty Toaster is included in the bunch. They hate me something good, faithful blog followers. I’m not sure why, really – except that I operate much differently than the way they run their family. I don’t gossip. I don’t break the sanctity of my marriage to allow other family into our personal business. I don’t tell stories about my bowel movements and my dog’s bloody heat at the dinner table.

Call me crazy, that’s just me.

Somewhere between inviting them over for dinner and preparing the actual meal, though, I let Pinterest and Instagram ruin my life. Although if I were really being honest, this happened a long time ago.

Now that we have Pinterest and Instagram – with people posting picture after stupid picture of recipes, crafts, food, inspiration, you name it – the bar of how things look in real life has been set much higher. It’s not just about preparation, it’s about presentation. It’s not just about enjoying the meal, it’s about taking photos of it at every angle and posting them on Instagram. Your meal is perfection if you can take a photo of it and it looks unbelievable uploaded without a filter. And look! It’s so easy to do all these cutesy little DIY additions to make things look even more perfect. We call it “personalized touch.”

Pinterest and Instagram are just about making things even more perfect than we’ve already tried to make them.

So I planned the meal for tonight according to my own tastes. I figured that if I’m going to be cooking a meal for people whose most recent contact with us included the words “we know Heather won’t let you come see us and Heather won’t let you call us and Heather seems to think you aren’t our son” (in response to my husband not communicating with them for a while, being upset of his own accord – Heather didn’t do anything); I’m cooking whatever the hell I want. I also wanted to spite Hello Kitty Toaster – I know how much she hates carbs and thinks that vegetables are fatty, so I wanted to plan the meal to be as carb- and veggie-filled as possible. And under no circumstance was I going to be making California-Italian. No sir – they feed themselves enough of that slop every other day of the year. And I hate it.

In the end, I decided on: stuffed mushrooms, BLT bites, and zucchini rollups for appetizers; buffalo-style chicken legs, fresh baguette, Chicago-style thin crust pizza, garlic-sauteed mixed green veggies, and a caesar salad for dinner; and a stained glass cake and lemon pie for dessert. It’s just enough for the eight people that are going to be here, and all relatively easy for me.

Do you see what I did there, though, faithful blog followers? I already started in with the Pinterest junk.

Ten years ago, I would have said “pizza.” Now it’s got to be qualified as Chicago-style thin crust pizza. Ten years ago, I would have said “some appetizers.” Now it’s stuffed mushrooms, BLT bites, and zucchini roll-ups. If I were really going to go all out with the Pinterest crap, I’d say bleu cheese and bacon stuffed mushrooms, BLT bites with a hint of garlic and onion, and zucchini roll-ups filled with ricotta and spinach. And not only did I feel I needed to qualify it all, but it has to look amazing when it’s presented as well.

So I spent about twenty minutes standing at the box window in my kitchen – where I keep all of the serving platters – deciding what platters would be best for presentation. Will the stuffed mushrooms, BLT bites, and zucchini roll-ups fit on here uniformly? Can I layer the chicken on this platter so as to display the bleu cheese crumbles? Will the presentation of my stained glass cake show the stained glass pieces on this dessert stand?

Oh for Christ’s sakes – shut the fuck up!

There was a day when dinner was just dinner. People came over and unless it was professionally catered (and even sometimes then), the meal was just a meal. No one cared about the presentation. Serving platters (versus the cookware the food was cooked in) were things for pretentious people, and pretentious people only. You never saw little place card signs stuck into various pieces of fruit listing the entire gamut of ingredients in the dish. Hardly ever did you see things like personalization of wine bottles, napkin rings, and elaborate centerpieces. No one ever stood around worrying whether or not their chicken could be stacked to properly display the bleu cheese crumbles sprinkled on it. People didn’t waste their time on bull shit like that! And most importantly – more than anything – you didn’t have a bunch of saps all standing around and marveling at the food; most certainly never taking photographs of it.

Pinterest and Instagram have ruined my life. Has it ruined yours?

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