Standing Up For Myself

I know what you are probably expecting when you see that title. “Maybe she finally went off the deep end and told off her in-laws!” or “oh em gee, I bet she let her Trailer Trash Mom have it!” Sadly, standing up for myself involved none of that.

So today was pretty blah … most days the last few weeks have been. I’m not sure why. Okay, actually I do – I’m depressed because I hate California and don’t know how to get out of here. Regardless of that, I do know my blahs need to be remedied, and now. So I decided to do the laundry, take care of a sort-of sick kid, and get the polish color on my nails changed before making dinner. You see: pretty mundane and low key so that I didn’t run the risk of being confronted with anything else that would make me feel more blah-ish. And when I got my nail color change, the guy did some accupressure on my foot that made me feel ghads better. So that was a plus.

Anyway, so my mom called at some point this morning and invited herself over for dinner. Of course, not often standing up for myself with people in my real life (as opposed to my blog life, when I do it all the time), I just acquiesced and went along with my day. I was planning on making empanadas and salad anyway, and I always make way too many empanadas, so I didn’t really care. See how blah-ish I am? Not care about my Trailer Trash Mom coming over? Indeed.

This evening, though, as I began to make the empanadas, everyone started complaining about what I was making. No one wanted my corn and carrot empanadas. Not a one of them. No one wanted my spinach and feta cheese empanadas, despite the fact that every time I make them they melt in your fucking mouth. Not a one of them. Everyone wanted ham and cheese. Ham and fucking cheese – not one bit of healthiness in there; nothing special at all. Of course that is what they wanted. I should have just gone to the grocery store and bought them those nasty ham and cheese Hot Pockets. I really should have, but then I would have been standing up for myself, which is something I just don’t do.

But then my mom took it a step further when she walked in the house: “oh, just so you know, I forgot my teeth so I can’t eat any salad or anything really crunchy.”

Okay, first of all: gross. Who goes out of the house without their teeth in? Second of all, I’ll just throw away the beautiful salad I just prepared, as well as the pita chips. Did I stand up for myself and say this, though? Of course not.

And when I asked her what she wanted to drink, I discovered that she had already pilfered all but a few drops of the $25 bottle of wine I bought while on my trip to Solvang last week.

At that point, I should have just given her one ham and cheese empanada in a to-go napkin (no tupperware or paper plate for her) and shuttled her toothless ass out the door. But I didn’t do that either. I just smiled and poured the last few drops in her glass.

You see: I never stand up for myself.

So as my mother drank my expensive wine, my husband began his journey home to his meal of empanadas, but no corn – I don’t want those corn ones, and while the Pookies whined and bitched about how gross my empanadas usually are, no matter what kind they are – I made that shit with a smile on my face. A smile on my face as I looked over to see that my poor guinea pig was being tortured whilst I slaved in the kitchen for close to two hours, unable to rescue him because my hands were covered in ham … and cheese (okay, you can see it was cute). As I always do, I made everyone’s to order like a goddamned short order cook. The Pookies won’t eat salad, so I heated up some frozen corn and peas and mixed in some olive oil and spices. My mother forgot her teeth so I prepared some of the pea-corn mixture for her as well, and baked down her spinach before putting it into her empanada (because, yes, I decided to force a spinach empanada on my mother anyway). My husband wanted two ham and cheese empanadas, rather than just one, so I prepared a whole extra batch of them so he could have two.

Then I got to the bowl of corn and carrot empanada filling I had prepared last night to marinate. Now, I had already prepared 12 spinach and feta cheese empanadas and 8 ham and cheese empanadas. I had enough corn mixture to make another 12 empanadas, for which none of those ungrateful assholes wanted any. As I went to make more pastry for the empanadas, I realized something I have never realized before – the marinated filling I use for the corn and carrot empanadas is exactly what I use as a base for my homemade corn soup. This led me to realize two further things: (1) there isn’t a fucking reason under the sun why anyone should be shitting on my corn and carrot empanadas because they all worship the ground my homemade corn soup is cooked on; and, (2) since no one is going to eat my corn and carrot empanadas, I should just make a batch of soup to throw in the refrigerator.

Here’s where I stood up for myself: as I served everyone their specially prepared dishes; as I watched my mom swig down my expensive wine in her toothless mouth; as my husband came in the door and reminded me just how much he didn’t want my corn and carrot empanadas … I decided it was about damn time I start standing up for myself.

“I didn’t make any corn and carrot empanadas. I made my homemade corn soup instead. No one gets any but me, though.”

I have a feeling that soup is going to taste extra good tomorrow.

In other news, these are the types of things that bring me joy now. 25 year old self – in school, on her way to a career teaching philosophy in a university – is hanging her head and laughing hysterically at how much of a loser housewife 30 year old self has clearly become.

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What a Terrible Tuesday

Today has been such a terrible day that drinkie time has been pushed up a little bit. I was originally supposed to have afternoon cocktails with some friends before my Trailer Trash Mom’s nightmarish text message put the kibosh on that anyway, so I’m doing it big. Before I describe this Terrible Tuesday to you, though, faithful blog followers, let me first start with a little disclaimer:

Every time I post a blog like this where I’m either (a) venting about my day; (b) describing some horrifically ridiculous situation; or, (c) both a and b, I am not – by any means – trying to solicit pity. I constantly get comments from people that say things like “I’m so sorry you had to deal with that” or “why do you put yourself through that, B(itch)?” And while I appreciate those words of thoughtfulness and encouragement to the highest degree – to the highest – I really do kick back and find humor about all the stupidity that seems to surround my life here in beautiful southern California. All my rants and dramas about my Trailer Trash Mom; all my complaining about my often-jerkish husband and his family that hates me; all my encounters with the assholes in my community – from the horribly opinionated summertime overachieving parents (SOAPs), to your everyday judgmental members of my community – all of what I share with you, my faithful blog followers, is purely anecdotal. I want you to see the bizarre and sardonic humor of it all like I do.

So with that being said, here’s my Terrible Tuesday.

My dad’s afraid of a lizard the size of my pinkie

Okay, so I think I recently mentioned that my father lives near to us and I like to call his home my “Free Laundry and Storage Facility.” Last night we went to do our laundry there (of course the husband always stays at home); and I ended up staying the night because the laundry wasn’t finished, and quite frankly dad had bought donuts for breakfast.

This morning though, it was about 180 degrees in his house, with just one window open. Two things happened at this moment: first, I got up and saw that my blog’s Facebook fan count had grown to literally quadruple what it was last night (if you aren’t a fan, you really should become one …) and then the other shoe dropped and my 69 year old dad flipped the fuck out because of a small lizard that is apparently his arch nemesis.

To sum it up in a nutshell: a few weeks ago, a small lizard, no larger than my pinkie finger, got into my dad’s garage. Since then he has seen it twice and decided that the only way to keep this little baby lizard out of his house is to keep it airtight shut, with the exception of one window.

So this morning, it was already something like 180 degrees in the house and I was finishing my laundry, sweat dripping from places I didn’t even know I could sweat. And then we had bath time, which added another 30 degrees to the house because of the humidity and then there was whining that a donut was not enough and “why can’t you make scrambled eggs?!” and now it was 250 degrees in the house and the heat from the stove as I scrambled the motherfucking eggs was actually blurring my vision.

You can see how the day got started. I wish the high of an additional 543 Facebook fans withstood this drama.

Then my fruit roll-ups were ruined, my cooking utensils put away, and the cabinet was reorganized.

Ugh. So then we got home and brought the laundry in. I went to the kitchen to see that my fruit roll-ups had again been ruined. This is the second time and it isn’t that it’s a bad recipe at all. I don’t want to talk about it beyond that.

But then I was getting to work prepping everything for dinner because my two elderly grandparents are coming over for dinner, along with my Trailer Trash Mom; and I saw that not only had my Ninja been put away when I wanted it to be left out, but my cooking pans cabinet had – again – been reorganized. My husband has never really gotten the whole concept that I need some space of my own, for things to be my way; he also has forgotten time and again that I have steel rods on my spine and a rotator cuff injury from forever ago. The cabinet is organized the way I need it to be organized, for both ease and physical ability, which is “messy” to him, so he constantly reorganizes it. This weekend, the refrigerator was reorganized and it was done so horribly that yesterday I was going to get eggs out and the egg carton fell, breaking three eggs into some fresh vegetables – ruining the whole thing.

You see? I have things set up a certain way for a reason. And it is my space. At this point in the day, I decided that (1) drinkie time was definitely coming early, and (2) tomorrow I will be heading to my husband’s work and rearranging things there so that he can see how it feels.

And in the coup de grâce of this Terrible Tuesday, my mother learned to text message, and showed up 4 hours early

Who shows up to dinner four hours early? I said seven. Not three.

But it gets better than that.

You all know about the antics of my Trailer Trash Mom. About a year ago she married this awful hillbilly guy she knew in high school and since then it’s all been downhill. She’s never really qualified for mother of the year – I mean, abandoning my father and myself when I was only 8 kind of set up the precedent for that. In any event, she’s back from her home in New Mexico, where she resides for part of the year with her husband, the other part here near my grandparents, helping them out.

So she sent me a text message shortly after we got home and it said the following:

Wood you lke to GO SwmMG? G n G n I Wll b there @2 or 3

She apparently was asking if I wanted to go swimming. At my own pool. A little later she sent another, saying she’d bring her bathing suit J N C.

Indeed. My mom texts now, and incoherently (at best).

So then they showed up and it was 3 o’clock, when I told them 7. No big deal, right? Wrong. I had plans. Plans to have afternoon drinks with a couple of my friends that were going to be coming through town. This annoyed me, but I had already started my own early drinkie time so – whatever, right?

Wrong. Then my mom broke out the “souvenirs” she brought from her and her hillbilly husband’s trip to Nebraska.

“Heather, we ate a lot of corn, and Nebraska is the Corn State and all … so I went to Ralph’s down the street and got you guys some popcorn. Sorry, though … I ate a couple of the bags last night when I got to town.”

Are you fucking kidding me?

Then it went where it should never have gone. She broke out the bottle of wine that she got for dinner, as my grandparents were in the other room completely out of earshot.

“I have never heard of this Menage a Trois wine before, but I’ve always wanted to be in a threesome so thought it would be a good one to get.”

Indeed. In. Fucking. Deed.

Please note: it is only 3:30. God only knows what will happen from here. This Terrible Tuesday can only go down – down into the depths of family dinner hell. Who knows what else this day has in store?  But again, we should all be laughing about this, because – quite frankly – it’s freaking hilarious. I’m laughing right now.

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.

Lessons on Being Cool From the 22 Year Old Verizon Employees At Chuck E Cheese

So I was at Chuck E. Cheese today, and as if I wasn’t already getting my daily dose of “hell on Earth” just by being there, a pack of about a dozen young adults came sauntering in, where there was a party table set up for them right in front of the stage with the animatronic characters singing Rock the Casbah.

Being the nosy-ass lady that I am, and bored out of my fucking mind while waiting for the 10 billion tokens I purchased to be used, I investigated a little bit. Of course, this meant I had to make every excuse possible to parade around their party in order to get the scoop. I went to “check out” the ticket explosion machine – which I still am not sure what the fuck the thing does. I walked up to “check out” the characters as they moved on to a clean version of “Whip It.” And when the party-goers disbanded to play games while waiting for their pizza, I even marched over to the Dance Dance Revolution to pretend like I was considering playing.

Here is the scoop that I got, what I like to call: Lessons on Being Cool From the 22 Year Old Verizon Employees At Chuck E Cheese:

Lesson #1: If you work at a retail store and the company wants to reward you for your increase in sales, the only cool option is: Chuck E Motherfucking Cheese

Lesson #2: Even though it is the day off for all of you, the coolest thing to wear is your Verizon uniform. For the majority of you, it’s a suit and tie. Many of you wore your Verizon shirt with the logo and all. Some of you added some flair, like your Crips bandana hanging out your back pocket. If wearing a tie, a real cool guy will wear your tie and flip it up over your shoulder. That makes you look at ease.

If you are the only girl in the group, dress like a ho. You never know, one of your coworkers might bang you in the balls.

Lesson #3: The coolest guy at the table, with the most knowledge of this high class establishment, will wear his sunglasses inside. He will keep them on the entire time. The entire time – not even to be removed for games or pizza. He is clearly the coolest of the bunch – follow his lead.

Lesson #4: When the Chuck E. Cheese character comes to the table and starts trying to give you all high fives, make sure you all snap photos to put on your Facebook pages. You are extra cool if you stand behind Chuck E while one of your friends has his photograph taken with the human-sized rat, and dry hump the air.

Lesson #5: If a woman walks by you while you are shredding on Guitar Hero, quickly wipe the sweat off your brow and make sure you turn to her and say “yeah … a bunch of 22 year olds playing Guitar Hero at Chuck E Cheese. I know lame.” Acknowledge your lameness, because irony is in and she might think you are being ironic, thus cool.

Lesson #6: When it is announced over the intercom that your pizza is ready, run to the table. Cool people don’t walk. Cool people do not fucking saunter. Cool people run like they haven’t eaten is years. If you do not run, you may destroy the facade that you are a starving intellectual who lives off pizza and beer and the occasional package of Top Ramen; versus the truth, which is that your mommy made you a nice and wholesome breakfast of french toast and eggs while you changed out of your Spiderman jammie-jams this morning.

Lesson #7: Your Verizon store manager was kind enough to include 20 tokens per employee for this venture – it isn’t just pizza and pictures with Chuck E. A cool person will make sure that he gets his/her 20 tokens under any and all circumstances, even if it means standing up and yelling for everyone to run back to the table because you counted yours and there are only 18.

We left before these numb nuts 22 year old Verizon employees had finished their little party. As we left, I noticed that while they were all off playing video games and taking photos of themselves dry humping the characters placed in miscellaneous places around the restaurant, the Lone Ho had placed certificates of achievement at each of their place settings and a cake in the shape of a pirate ship with a Chuck E Cheese at the mast was being brought to the table.

That – by far – was the most ridiculous thing I have seen in a long time. And you faithful blog followers know I have seen a lot. As we left I looked at my phone and thought to myself “fucking shit, I’m glad I stuck with Sprint.”

My Super Sunday

Was it really super? Not sure. Probably not in the way that all of you faithful blog followers had a “super” Sunday.

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I did not watch the Super Bowl. I think it’s an atrocity to the sport of football. I think it’s a case study in overindulgent American behavior. At the Super Bowl every year, more sex trafficking – particularly that of minor girls – occurs than at any other event in America. This is common knowledge and yet no one does anything about it and I believe that the silence of millions about this is absurd. Ultimately, I am just not interested in it all – it is all contrary to who the B(itch) is, so it would make me an hypocrite to just partake in Super Bowl activities. That wouldn’t be practicing what I preach now would it? And while I do see a lot of problems in our society that the Super Bowl represents, I also don’t care if others get into it. To each his own and all that malarchy, so as long as it isn’t shoved in my face by others (which it is…) I’ll keep my mouth shut.

So would I like to share what I did for my Super Sunday? Why yes I would, thanks for asking. I actually did three of my very favorite things.

Shopping

I love shopping. Retail therapy doesn’t even completely explain how much better it makes me feel to shop. Rarely when I shop do I actually buy things – shopping is great because it gives me ideas for things I want to do in the future, keeps me active by all the endless hours of walking, and when I do buy things, it gets things accomplished.

We have a birthday coming up in less than two weeks so I thought I’d do the shopping for that, and threw Easter preparations in there as well (since we’ll be out of town for the three weeks leading up until the day before the holiday). I stuck to my hometown which meant that when I went to Michael’s Art Supplies, I had to beat the traffic of the CVS, as well as the Trader Joe’s – this not as bad because of Super Bowl Sunday, but still a little crowded nonetheless.

As I walked in to the Michael’s, I was walking somewhat close to three girls that were dressed as if they were on their way to a swanky nightclub – walking into the CVS drugstore next door to where I was going. I admit that I eavesdropped – wondering where they were going – and was a little dismayed by what I heard. Apparently these three classy ladies were dressed in nightclub gear to go whoring around the local BJ’s. You know, the restaurant and bar that claims its pizza to be “Chicago-style” when it is nothing of the sort? They were going to BJ’s to “hook up” with some innocent sports fans there to watch the Super Bowl. How do I know you ask, faithful blog followers? One sentence from the ho whose big bubble ass was hanging out the bottom of her miniskirt: “oh yeah, you know we should grab some condoms while we’re here ’cause you know ‘dem boys never have ‘dem.”

Whores.

BBQ Chicken

My father is a sports historian. I’ve mentioned this before, but he’s written four books, multiple encyclopedia and academic journal entries, and countless newspaper articles on all things sports. He hates the NFL – particularly the Super Bowl – for what it represents. To try and sway me not to watch (as if I needed swaying), he invited me to a free lunch. So (of course) I ate big and thus wasn’t too hungry later in the day when the Super Bowl madness was over and it was time for dinner.

My husband stayed home and watched the Super Bowl while I lunched with daddykins and shopped my heart out alongside those tainted whores but I absolutely refused to cook him the typical Super Bowl food – not only because I was not interested in the game but because nachos, hot dogs, tri tip sandwiches, and buffalo wings by the dozen are not exactly what I would call a “light dinner.”

So I made BBQ chicken with peas. Light. Healthy. Low fat. An amazing alternative to the Taco Bell 10 Pack.

Little Miss Sunshine

No matter how many times I watch that movie, it never gets old. I just love it – for its message, its humor and satire, and its parallels to one of my favorite books ever. After a long day of shopping and lunching, it seemed like the best thing to do. But while we watched it, I was astonished to learn that my husband had never read The Grapes of Wrath (which Little Miss Sunshine carries many parallels to).

This news rocked my very foundation; albeit, not for the reason you might think. While it is sort of dismaying to know that someone can get through primary, as well as a college, education without reading the book, my foundation was rocked simply because this imprints a taint of sorts on my theory that my husband is a hipster. He still swears by Pitchfork, thinks he has a far superior taste in just about everything than everyone else, and drinks PBR – but to not have read The Grapes of Wrath is almost blasphemy to anyone in the hipster community.

So was my Sunday a Super Sunday? I’m sure it wasn’t by most people’s standards because it didn’t involve six pounds of nachos with a few cases of Bud Light Lime – consumed whilst scratching my ass, belching, and updating my Facebook page minute by minute with Bowl game details as if there weren’t already fifty other updates there waiting for everyone to read.

Despite all that, my Sunday was pretty super to me.