Two lesbians walk into a frozen yogurt shop…

PizzaFastPhotoSo I was sitting at Topper’s Pizza today, minding my own business and trying to ignore my father’s incessant complaining and the Pookies whining about this being the last time we eat pizza before we go on vacation (have to clear our pizza palettes of the crap we have here in California before heading home to Chicago…); when I noticed out of the corner of my eye a couple of computer geek-World of Warcraft nerds sitting at the table next to us.

Now I know, I know: I’m such a bitch to be stereotyping these guys like this, but I swear to God they looked like something you see out of a LARPing how-to video. Slegowartz t-shirt and all.

They were rambling about online gaming tournaments or some bullshit. Then they got into a heated discussion about some drama that went down at the gaming shop down the street over a Magic the Gathering event where a girl showed up or something, thus proving my stereotype absolutely true. How dare a woman show up to a Magic the Gathering gaming day? What a bitch!

The Slegowartz nerds moved on to agree that they only had about ten more minutes before they had to get going, back to the ol’ slave driver day job. It was then that they started discussing things relevant to adult life, like their jobs. And their sexuality. It’s all sort of a blur to me now, but somehow they were talking about how stressful their jobs are and the guy that looked exactly like this pimply dude in this often-used meme just blurted it out:

Slegowartz

Fair enough.

It’s funny that I encountered this today, because just yesterday I was sitting at the frozen yogurt shop when two lesbians walked in. I know, I know again: sounds like I’m about to make some horrible and borderline-homophobic joke here. “Two lesbians walk into a frozen yogurt shop…” right? Wrong.

First off, I’m not homophobic. I have a lot of friends that are gay. Some of them are married, and are more committed of couples than any of the straight ones I know.

Now I may have been stereotyping when it came to the whole Slegowartz thing above, but I definitely didn’t call that those guys were gay. I am pretty bad with gaydar – when it comes to homosexual men or women. I just don’t know. I’m pretty aloof. Well, I was sure that these two chicks were lesbians because one kept grabbing the others ass, and then while they were eating their fro yo, the one whose ass had been grabbed started sticking out her tongue for the other to lick it off.

Pretty sure they are carpet munchers. And before you start getting all offended that I called them that, some of my greatest lesbian friends are totally cool with the use of that term. Quite frankly I’m jealous – it’s a concept my husband has never heard of.

So back to the story. The lesbian whose ass was grabbed, who then stuck out her tongue with fro yo on it, looked really familiar. I couldn’t place it for the life of me. And it bothered me, you know? Really bothered me, because I felt like she may have recognized me but because I didn’t say anything like ‘hey how are you?’ or anything, I then offended her. Or something.

I figured out on the ride home who she was. A former pharmacy customer. From her days before becoming a lesbian.

How do I know that? So this girl used to have a boyfriend. Yes, many homosexual people have been in heterosexual relationships before coming to terms with their sexuality. She may also just be experimenting now, which I suspect because people that are in long-term relationships are miserable, not licking frozen yogurt off each other’s tongues.

Anyway, so she used to have a boyfriend and they were customers at the pharmacy. Maybe once or twice a month they would bounce down the aisle towards me at the prescription drop off window. I mean literally bounce. It never failed that every time they would be freshly showered – hair wet. Smelling of soap. He would be giggling and she would loudly announce: “we just had amazing sex and it was unprotected, … ohhh was it unprotected …. I need to get some Plan B because he for sure just put a baby in my stomach.” Every time. Just like that.

Now she’s a lesbian. She was probably a lesbian all along, which brings us back to Slegowartz and the question all of this raised for me: why does it seem like gay people are so much more comfortable talking about their sexuality? Is it because they’ve had to overcome the stigma associated with it? Is it because they just don’t care?

Or is it something else?

I don’t really have a problem with it, anymore than I do when heterosexual people I know talk about sex way louder than they should around children. That’s the extent of the ickiness to it for me, though. But I still remain curious. And perplexed. I just can’t imagine myself ever saying that I know my husband just put a baby in my stomach to a complete stranger at the pharmacy. And I can’t imagine licking the frozen yogurt off anyone’s tongue. I especially can’t fathom myself ever saying to someone that sometimes I have to just take a step back and enjoy the love of a man’s penis.

Can you?

STFU Fridays: The Letter Of The Day Is F

I have had a really horrible week. Really awful. Everyone around me seems to be acting like an ungrateful asshole. My spaghetti sauce in the crockpot yesterday got ruined because it was sitting by the sink cooling and someone – somehow – splashed rotten milk into it. And our city is burning to the ground in this massive California fire. So for this STFU Fridays, the letter of the day truly is F.

But is it the F you’re all expecting?

Fires

So we’ve been staying with my dad after his hip replacement, about 12 miles away from where our apartment is. Just about every day we run home to check on our guinea pig and fish; get the mail; make sure the neighbors have not vandalized our front patio. The usual. Yesterday we had to go out that way for the twice a year dentist visit. As we drove into the city, a huge plum of smoke was seen rising above the west end of town. Yet again, our city was on fire.

For those of you unfamiliar with California’s climate, it’s warm and dry. When the wind picks up, particularly the winds from the East (called the Santa Anas) it isn’t just warm – it’s fucking hot. Yesterday it was 98 degrees with wind gusts up to 60 mph. When those winds blow, all the crazy little fuckers with their pyromaniac tendencies come out with their Zippos and some area of California gets torched. Our community has a lot of small fires every year. This one was not small.

So far over 10,000 acres have burned. That’s getting close to about 15 square miles of forest, homes, a farm, and part of the highway that runs along the ocean. We’ve made national news – woopty doo – and there’s smoke fucking everywhere.

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And as with all things, everywhere you turn someone is taking advantage of the situation. After the dentist’s appointment, and before my dad’s doctor’s appointment, we went to The Burger Barn for lunch. While there, person after person could be heard calling into work on their cellphones, claiming they couldn’t get back to work because of the fires. Bullshit. One guy got up and ordered another Animal Style burger, yelling “yeah, I don’t have to go back to work – I can eat all day!!!” Shut the fuck up, you fucking pig. Have some fucking self-respect, and stop being such a lazy shit.

Worse than that, right before we left, this group of guys from the local college came in. The school had been shut down earlier in the day and evacuated because of its proximity to the fire. They were meeting some other guys that were already there, and one of them shouted from across the restaurant to this skinny little shit, standing in a loose tank top and his disturbingly long mullet. He was being asked if he had finished his poli sci paper, or if the fire had given him an extra day. The kid yelled in response:

“Naw, man … I’m bummed because I finished it last night while I was doing a number two.”

Fucking gross!! Who says something like that?! Shut the fuck up, you mullet-headed punk. People are trying to eat and not get burned alive here.

Family Meeting

And then I hosted a family meeting last night. I really have started to feel like everyone in our family is disrespecting each other (me), being ungrateful for what we (I) do for each other (I do for them), and causing problems that do not need to be caused (I don’t want to deal with). I even printed out an agenda for everyone, and for the most part it was well-received.

My agenda items were:

1. Mom’s purse (not rifling through it without asking, or digging everything out of it and leaving it all over the floor

2. Being grateful for what people do for us (and expressing that)

3. Listening to mom when she talks and not lying

4. Reiterating that homeschooling, not Barbie dolls, is the #1 priority

5. The new TV rule (no TV before 6 pm, even on weekends)

6. Technology free hour.

Lastly, I raised the complaint jar to 50 cents a complaint, and I added a dollar penalty for every time someone violates the family guidelines. We hung them on the fridge and my dad accrued a 50 cent fine, and my husband a dollar one, before the night was even over. But then after a week of no one getting anything put in the jar, the reward is the jar gets emptied and we use it together as a family – to go out for ice cream, mini golf, whatever.

All seemed reasonable, right? At the end of the family meeting, we went around and everyone got to share their thoughts. My dad expressed full support for me and my feelings. We all seemed pretty excited that this would facilitate more time as a family. My husband’s only comment, though, was “fine.”

When I went to sleep last night, and when I woke up this morning, the weight of that “fine” was hanging over my head. Fuck that. Shut the fuck up with that “fine” bullshit. When we talked about the technology free hour every night (from 8 to 9), Pookie piped up and said that it was really important to her. Lately she has been complaining that my husband spends next to zero time with her. He shows no interest in the things that are important to her. And he spends all the time with her just telling her to do chores or go to bed. God forbid Nick have to put his phone down for an hour, or actually make it home by 8:00 pm to spend time with his family. God forbid we actually have to make commitments to each other. I cannot remember the last time we spent time together as a family. Not running errands. Not dicking around on the phone or computer. But actually spent time together.

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Our family has become like the fire in our city. It’s out of control. Everything is being threatened and destroyed because of the gross neglect that has been going on for some time now. It’s true that we’ve been trying to juggle from one tragedy to the next these last six months or so, but that is no excuse for our family to have fallen apart. When a person says that his hobbies are work, your family is in danger. When a family spends all its time apart and doing their own things, your family is at risk of destruction. When everyone’s treating each other like shit, lying to each other, ignoring everyone, and taking everything anyone does for each other for granted, your family is about as fucked as the trees in the path of the fire that continues to burn west of our home.

Well I, for one, am not going to tolerate it anymore. Like all those people at The Burger Barn, I’m taking advantage of the situation this fire has created. Maybe after having to pay for a shitty attitude enough times into the complaint jar, we will all be forced to do something like go to a movie together, or go out for pizza as a family (instead of what we currently do, which is all eat at separate times). Maybe then the fire will be quelled.

So the letter of the day is F. F is for fuck. As in shut the fuck up, motherfucker. F is also for fire, fire fighter, and fire eater. But most importantly, F is for family. That’s pretty much the only important F there is.

6 Products I Would Make Sweet, Sweet Love To If They Were Men

I have no one to tell to shut the fuck up this week, for STFU Fridays that is. I mean I do, but I’m holding it off until later when perhaps certain factions of my personal life won’t take it so … personally.

539192_667233661783_1479698705_nIn the meantime I have come to realize my gross dependence on certain things. It isn’t until they are absent that you realize their importance, right? With all the back-and-forth of helping my dad after his hip surgery, and staying overnight at his house on an air mattress still, I keep finding myself without the products I have come to cherish most in my every day life. With distance the heart grows fonder, I believe is the saying. Well my heart has grown so fond for some of my most-loved products that I realize that were they men, I would cheat on Poor Nick in a heart beat with them by making sweet, sweet love – rolling around naked in the sand and shit.

Here they are, in no particular order:

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#1 Chapstick

The hottest thing ever would be if my husband came home dressed as a tube of Chapstick.

I am so addicted to Chapstick it probably isn’t even funny. But it is, at least to me. I don’t mean that lip balm shit. I don’t mean my lip gloss, that makes me feel pretty and keeps me sane. I mean Chapstick brand chapstick. The plain kind. When I’ve gone for hours – dare I suggest, days – without it, I’ll pucker my lips and put about 200 layers on. Woo! Feels good.

When I was little I used to eat it. Seriously, friends would call and say “whatcha doin’ H-diddy?” and I’d respond “aw nothin’ … just eatin’ some chapstick.” True story.

#2 My Rabbit … electric wine bottle opener

17306_668965236693_191781481_nThis whole helping with the hip surgery post-op is destroying my growing sense of wine-a-hol-ism. I’m hardly drinking at all – which you’d think is a good thing, although wine is actually really good for you in moderation, and I’m a terrible bitch ball of stress and hostility without the sweet, grape nectar calming me down.

And since I’m such a lightweight generally speaking, this means I’ve really gone to near-nothing on the scale of wine drinking.

One of the reasons I’m not drinking that much is because all we’re doing is sitting around, waiting for my dad’s hip to heal. That’s not really an occasion to have a glass, or eight. Another is that sometimes we’re just too busy going to physical therapy appointments.

The third is that I keep forgetting my Rabbit at home.

#3 Aveeno body lotion

Holy balls of sweet, sweet love-filled moisturizer, I have dry skin. I don’t *really* have dry skin, though – I have eczema from my horrible allergies that are just totally out of control.

Regardless of the terrible suffering I go through when my skin feels like ants are crawling all over it, I keep forgetting my Aveeno. Or rather I forget to slather on a thick layer of it when I go home to shower. It’s really becoming a problem, and has made me realize how much I depend on my body lotion.

#4 My Vizio SmartTV

529084_667811573643_771661551_nAt home we have a Vizio SmartTV.

It’s really great – I have no idea how we survived without it. Now that we are stuck with my dad’s beat up old tube set for our TV viewing pleasure, the experience is just … lacking. We have to watch Netflix movies on my computer. The resolution on the TV is such that my husband has to wear his glasses. I have to listen to my Pandora on my iPad or iPhone, instead of the television’s surround sound.

I know what you’re all thinking. If I were to attach hashtags to this one, I’d include #firstworldproblems #whitegirlproblems #spoiledbitchshutthefuckupjustbegladyouhaveaTV

I still miss it.

#5 Febreeze

I bought something like nine bottles of fucking Febreeze for my dad’s house last month and every single one of them appears to have disappeared. Or he used them all; I’m not sure.

I just know that there are smells all over the place bothering me. Pookies spilled milk on the carpet and it smells a little spoiled, in spite of how hard I scrubbed. My dad’s spending tons of time sitting on the chair, and showering less – leaving the chair a little … rank.

I just want to find my Febreeze and spray everything and everyone the fuck down.

#6 My Le Creuset Bakeware

If Le Creuset were a French man, I would swoon over him at first site. I would secretly meet him, while Poor Nick was at work. I would wear a scarf over my head and sunglasses. When we finally met – somewhere on the beach, where I would have stripped down to my unshaven pits in the spirit of the French women that do not shave, I would speak to him in my broken fragments of Frenglish left over from graduate school. I would baste him, swath him, kneed him. I would make the most sweetest of love to him, and my husband would never know.

Cooking without my Le Creuset bakeware is like frying an egg on my bare hands. It’s horrible. No one should have to endure such suffering. I realize now that the prying and the incessant suggestive selling of the salewomen at the Le Creuset outlet was really for my own good. They weren’t trying to make a profit by trying to manipulate my kid into getting me to buy special kid-friendly cupcake tins – they were looking out for my best interest.

I miss you Chapstick, Rabbit, Aveeno, Vizio, and Febreeze. But Le Creuset … I long for you.

Do you have products you just cannot live without, faithful blog followers? Are they as obsessive as mine? Or do you have a handle on things? Just when I thought I was the most immaterial person I know, this happens. Now I’ve become a product of my generation. Dependent on my things, and not looking back.

I don’t really understand why The Gays want to get married anyway …

Marriage sucks. I mean it’s got its perks (I have yet to find many). But it’s hard. My grandmother – married for 63 years before my grandfather passed away, just this February – once said to me “you aren’t doing marriage right if it’s easy.” True ‘dat, Grandma. True ‘dat.

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When I got up this morning, I came to a bit of an epiphany. After all this gay marriage, equality talk – people turning their Facebook profile photos red, and rallying with the rainbow flags and such – I realized something rather striking: I don’t really understand why The Gays want to get married anyway.

I also don’t really get why The Straights are so opposed.

Think about it in terms of my marriage. Every day I get up in the morning and see that my husband has left for work. There was no kiss good-bye. There was no subtle waking me up to say “I love you” one more time, before dragging himself to work – like they do in the movies. My husband doesn’t have to be dragged to work; he has to be dragged home.

I get up and make breakfast. I make cereal for Pookies, a banana for me, and I see that in the sink my husband has piled dishes from his own breakfast. Rather than place them in there uniformly, or – dare I suggest – on the counter, he’s submersed them in a bowl of rancid, cold water that was soaking the stuck-on food from cooking dinner the night before. I spend a while getting the contents out of the puke water, with my bare hands, before losing my appetite.

I go to the bathroom and fall in the toilet. Still half asleep, I haven’t noticed the toilet seat was left up. I shower. While in the shower, I get soap in my eyes and the only close towel is my husband’s. I use it to rub my eyes, praying this isn’t the place he dried his balls with this morning. He’s been scratching them a lot lately. I clean tiny beard hairs off the sink and toothpaste off the counter.

Later in the day, I’m vacuuming. I get to our bedroom and on the floor are my husband’s clean socks. Rolled up. Sitting next to the dresser. Where his sock drawer is. I bend over to pick them up and put them away and a twinge hits my lower back, telling me it’s time to stop.

But I don’t. I have to make dinner, and to make the dinner I prepped yesterday, I have to get the BBQ going. On Sunday I asked my husband to clean the grill. He watched The Walking Dead for a few hours, then read about the Dodgers on his computer for a while instead. On Monday I asked him if he could please do it and he promised he would. On Tuesday at 11 o’clock in the evening, while getting ready for bed, he still had not done it.

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At 6:00 my husband hits quitting time. At 6:30 he’s still at work: solving problems, getting caught up, finishing things ahead of schedule, answering superfluous questions, and avoiding coming home. Dreading the minute I call to ask where the shit he is.

On his way home, his former carpool lady calls. Can they start the carpool again? It was so nice to have someone to talk to on that long, 50-mile drive, he thinks. “Sorry – my wife won’t allow it … you got me home late too many times in a row,” he says.

Poor Nick gets home. Around 8:30. He’s been gone since 7:30 in the morning. At this point I’m past being tipsy from wine o’clock and onto having a headache from it (I’m a lightweight). There will be no sexy time tonight. I bitch about my period coming soon. He prays to God it’s my period and not early symptoms of pregnancy.

Poor Nick is resigned to this. I’ve made chicken and rice. Again. For the fourth time this week. Poor Nick chokes it down with something of a smile. I complain that he never tells me my cooking is good, my hair is pretty, my ass isn’t fat. He goes to put on pajamas and sees I didn’t make the bed. I never make the bed, and this annoys him.

Around 11 we go to bed and play the game of “these blankets are mine,” “no these blankets are MINE” until it’s time to get up again in the morning.

Now you all may be thinking this is a pretty miserable situation, and you would be right to think so. There are of course the good times, and the reasons for being married, together forever. But there is all this other stuff that makes so many people say “marriage is the hardest thing you will ever do.”

So why in God’s name would The Gays want this?

If The Straights are so against The Gays; if they really think it’s that gay sex is wrong, or it says it’s wrong in the Bible or whatever, why not LET them have all this bliss? All the hairs on the counter, the numb complacency, the wine o’clock headaches, and the nightly fight for the covers? This misery, this daily difficulty – it would serve them right. Right?

On a serious note, I think I know the reason why The Gays want to get married, legally. Because this isn’t an issue of The Gays or The Straights, or what your religion says, or what mine says; but that of human rights. It isn’t really gay marriage anymore than it is straight marriage, just like they aren’t any more The Gays as we are The Straights. We are all human beings and our sexuality, just like our race, creed, religion, or underwear color preference has nothing to do with being treated as such.

As a Catholic, with many family and friends that are Catholic, I struggle with this and many other political issues. Fortunately, with my family and friends, we are able to disagree and still maintain our close ties; which is why I am fine with saying that I am in full support of anyone’s right to marry, regardless of their sexuality. It’s just that when I think about it, I remember that my religion is not the religion of everyone – so why should I have the right to tell people that may not believe the same as I do what they should do? And that there are a lot of things the Bible says to avoid that people don’t – like eating shellfish. Who still abstains from shrimp, which the Old Testament unambiguously states is a punishable sin? (Get it: times change). More than any of that, as a Catholic and a believer in my faith, I believe that Jesus preached love. That’s it. Love and equality. Maybe I’ll burn in hell for being in support of gay marriage; maybe one day I’ll lose someone important to me because of our opinions.

But I think that when push comes to shove, my belief in love above all will prevail. Isn’t that what Jesus taught anyway?

My Husband’s Movie Lover Mannerisms

So living and being married to someone that works in the film industry is …an interesting place to be. There are all these subtle nuances I am supposed to adhere to. To respect.

In other words: to tolerate.

I can appreciate that my husband is proud of the work he does. And I can appreciate being a lover of an aesthetic art such as film. I myself swoon often over the philosophical writings of the greats I adored in graduate school. And I do love the acquisition of a new book. I get it – he takes pride in his interests.

I think my husband goes way over the line sometimes to a point that is just absurd, though.

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#1 Film Narration

The first movie I went to see with my husband was The Reader. Great film, and based on one of my all-time favorite works of fiction. While we were there, I bought myself a Diet Coke. A typical purchase for a movie outing, yes; what wasn’t typical was that Nick whisper-yelled at me during the movie because my straw squeaked when I took a sip of my soda.

Are you all with me on this? My straw made the slightest squeak – of all the noises in the movie theater outside of the film, itself – and I got whisper-yelled at.

Watching movies at home is an entirely different ballgame, though. That’s my husband’s time to shine, and by that I mean talk through the entire goddamned thing. I get narration: “deep in the forest lived a town of little blue men.” I get commentary: “you know what’s missing here is the backstory to that photograph…” I get voiceover: “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” And I constantly get the story about the guy that knew the guy that worked with the girl that was friends with the friend of my husband’s boss, who knew a guy that worked on that film. It never ends. Ever.

As with all things, love is a two-way engagement. If I’m going to listen to my husband’s incessant talking about all this film stuff, he should be willing to listen to me talk about a book I read, or engage in – gasp – an actual conversation with me about it. That’s sadly not the case, though. I think we’re too busy watching crap movies, which leads me to #2.

#2 A Lot of Crap Movies

We have a lot of movies and of those movies, I think close to half are total crap. I cannot tell you all how many times my husband has said a movie is “good” just because it grossed a lot of money or was popular with a lot of people. Even having not seen it. Even not really liking it himself.

So we own a lot of crap movies. Some of them my husband has never even watched – that’s how much they are crap. When I ask why he bought it he says “it did really well in theaters, seemed like it was a good movie to own.” Huh? And I cannot even count at this point how many movies are such garbage that he bought them, watched them once, then never watched them again knowing they are crap, but still argued they are good because of the fanfare they received. He calls those ones “an acquired taste.”

Acquired taste, my ass.

Sure, I have a very picky taste in movies. I don’t enjoy a lot that truly are good. I’m not talking about those here, though – I’m talking about movies that objectively speaking belong in the trash can.

We have seen a lot of bad movies in the theaters and on Netflix too, simply because someone at my husband’s work said we just had to see it. One I can think of off the top of my head was The Trip. It was about two and a half hours of listening to these two guys’ supposedly-witty back-patting, while they shoved food down their throats, that was no more funny than it was insightful. You just have to watch it, it’s brilliant. Similarly, there have been countless times that we have planned on going to see a movie and never gone because my husband heard or read that it wasn’t good. But it isn’t just taking people’s advice, it’s that he actually takes the position that the movie wasn’t good. “That’s a bad movie” he’ll say, and then something I’ve been waiting to see for months is off the list for date night. How the fuck do you know it’s a good or bad movie if you don’t watch it yourself?

#3 A Completely Illogical Rating System

I get really upset when I see that my husband has rated something on Netflix way lower than he should have. The only thing that is worse than that (which he does as well) is after I rate a movie, he’ll go in later and re-rate it to what he thinks it should be rated at.

So the way I see it: a five star rating system is across the board for movies, music, hotels, restaurants, and so on. That’s why one-stop-shop sites like Yelp exist to begin with – so you can rate everything in one place, and know what the ratings mean. How can a person be expected to know that a a certain star is acceptable for movies, but not hotels? And definitely not restaurants, but it’s OK with music. That doesn’t make any sense at all – a star is a star and it means the same thing across the board. Not for my husband, though. He will really enjoy a movie and still give it only three stars. He does it all the time – he gave Sleepless in Seattle (an all-time classic film) only three stars and then argued that this was a great movie, deserved of only three stars. Huh? Would you eat at a restaurant that gets only three stars on Yelp? Would you stay at a hotel that has only three stars on Hotels.com? Would you buy a motherfucking book that you were unsure of that only gets three stars on Amazon? No. No you wouldn’t.

#4 Movie Organization

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As with any avid movie collectors, we have a lot of movies. I’d say we’re getting close to about 600, but if you take out all the crap movies maybe it’s closer to 300 or 400 quality films. We have them in a DVD organizer – it’s a spinning thing that sits in our living room as the biggest and most ugly eyesore you could imagine.

My husband was tasked with organizing the movies and rather than ask me what would be easy for me – I being a novice to all-things-film – he just assumed that his psychotic organization from his single days would be best. You’re probably thinking to yourselves alphabetic or by genre for sure, as if organizing 600 DVDs by genre isn’t abnormal of its own right. (If it were just me, we’d just throw them all in there in no particular order.) This is coming from the guy who saw I added a lot of films to the Instant Que on Netflix over the weekend, though; so promptly spent his day yesterday reorganizing the list by genre on our Netflix account. Anyone who organized their Netflix account by genre is not going to merely put their own DVD collection by something logically simple, such as that.

Nope. They are organized by production studio. As in, the company that made the film. The number of hours I have spent looking for a particular movie because I couldn’t simply go to the section for movies that start with an A is staggering.

So what started as a hobby has turned into a profession, sure. Do what you love, and all that crap. But some of this extra-curricular shit has got to be a little out there. When I was in high school I worked at Wendy’s, and when I got home the Burger Bitch didn’t hang up her apron. I told stories from work. I gave anecdotes from the burger station. I made complaints about the customers. It’s all I ever talked about, until eventually no one wanted to talk to me anymore. You’ve got to have a separation between your job and your home life. If movies are your passion, fine; but at least take a break from the ins-and-outs of the industry long enough to just enjoy life once in a while too. Even if enjoying life is just watching a movie without all the back story and the strict organization and the attention to reviews. Just watching.

Conversation Stoppers

I’m not a big fan of talking to a lot of people in my everyday life. There aren’t many – mostly my mom (sometimes), my dad (too much), my husband (when his job lets him) – but that doesn’t change the fact that many of their conversations with me turn into requests. Or discussion about shit I just don’t want to hear about. It’s hard to have a meaningful conversation when you’re a mom anyway – I usually avoid phone calls simply because they’ll be interrupted constantly with some bullshit that could have waited.

And there are certain things I just don’t want to discuss, namely: medical problems, work, and my mom’s obsession with doing it. To deal with those “certain things,” I’ve come up with some surefire conversation stoppers. We all have them – some just walk away; others say something as simple as “this conversation is over.”

Mine are a little more attuned to the situation.

When My Husband Talks About His Job

My conversation stopper for my husband’s shop talk is to accuse him of scratching his balls or beating off in my presence. Nothing changes the subject from inane conversation about the film industry and all its subtle, bullshitty nuances like suggesting he has some sort of penile problem.

When I first moved here (and I think I’ve told this story before), I went on something of a date with a guy at the department store I had just started working at. It wasn’t supposed to be a date, and I said it wasn’t a date; nonetheless, the guy still put his arm around me and paid for my movie ticket. About half way through the film, I noticed him scratching himself. A lot. I mean it just didn’t stop; and I was only 18 and naive, so I had no clue that this guy was really jerking off as we sat there on this non-date-pseudo-date, until someone told me that’s what he was doing later on.

Since then, I’ve been a little sensitive when a man puts his hand near his crotch. Even my husband. Granted, my husband does scratch his balls a lot. And then sometimes he just rests his hand on his inner thigh – which is fucking weird of its own right. But usually I’m just making the accusation to get him to stop talking.

Last night was the best incidence of this. We were in bed, watching the new Manchurian Candidate. I was writing my blog, my husband was laying there watching and he mentioned something about the movie or the industry – or something that triggered my conversation stopper instinct – and he was doing that weird thing where he rests his hand on his inner thigh.

Poor Nick: “You know this film is interesting because —”

Me: “Are you scratching your balls?”

Poor Nick: “No.”

Me: “You’re jerking off, aren’t you?”

Poor Nick: “NO. I’m resting my hand on my thigh. See?”

And Poor Nick pulled back the covers to show that he was, in fact, resting his hand on his inner thigh. But as I said, it’s a little weird. Why the inner thigh? Why not the outer leg? Or the stomach? Or why not somewhere else – like on the bed, or hold my hand? Why the inner thigh? So I pressed on.

Me: “Do you ever think it’s weird that you rest your hand on your inner thigh?”

Poor Nick: “What?”

Me: “You know … if I were to rest my hand on my inner thigh, wouldn’t you think it was weird?”

Poor Nick: “No.”

Me: “Oh really?”

And then I slid down my pillow so my legs were spread and proceeded to rest both of my hands on the inner part of both of my thighs to prove my point. I looked fucking weird. Psychotic, in fact.

Not another word was spoken for the rest of the evening. Conversation stopper.

When My Dad Talks About His Medical Issues

It isn’t that I want my dad to stop keeping me up to date on his health. Being the only reliable person he has here (and vice versa for me besides my husband), it’s important I know what’s going on.

But lately it’s gotten to be too much. He’s having hip replacement surgery next Friday, so every day these last few weeks have been about getting ready, attending doctor’s appointments, getting our things over to stay at his house for a month, helping him make decisions, and so on. That doesn’t mean we have to talk about it all into the ground, though – especially at the most inopportune times. In fact, it happened just today where it got to a point that I just couldn’t take it anymore.

484306_665623967623_1261580074_nWe were running errands with my dad, and had a pretty tumultuous time doing it. We couldn’t find a stepping stool we needed to help him get in and out of my Jeep post-op. The doctor called in the wrong pain medication, that he has a sensitivity to. And then a bee flew into the car and we had to pull over and run out, while my dad tried to get rid of it so that I wouldn’t get stung and die (I’m allergic). By the time we stopped to get some dinner, I was so not in the mood to hear about medical shit. I just wanted to eat, get a little wasted, find some frozen yogurt, and go home.

The medical talk was almost avoided this time, too, but then on the way home, we were eating our frozen yogurt and my dad started up with his medical talk. He started telling me about some bleeding drug they were going to give him in the hospital, or some shit; and rather than listen, my conversation stopper instinct kicked in.

With my dad, it’s to sing. The only song I could think of at that very moment was – of course – the “my bologna has a first name…” jingle. Before I knew it, the whole car was singing along, and the medical talk had been averted. Conversation stopper.

When My Mom Divulges Details Of Her Sex Life

So I’ve only met my mother’s husband once. It was for about 15 minutes and he made a total of 5 inappropriate comments about my mother’s vagina to me during that time. Since then, he’s cracked numerous jokes on the phone about doing it with her. The worst was when he basically called her a slut in high school.

Hillbilly Husband: “Yeah, you know your mom and I probably even went to the same drive in movies when we were in high school.”

Me: “Oh really?”

Hillbilly Husband: “Yep. The difference is that I actually saw the movies!!! HAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!”

Indeed.

To make matters worse, my mom makes these horrifying innuendos to me all the time. When they are separated (as in she’s here, in California, and he’s there, in New Mexico), they have these marathon phone conversations that sometimes last upwards of eight hours. What in the fuck do they do for eight hours on the phone? They can’t possibly have that much to talk about, right?

Right. They don’t. The answer is in two words: phone sex.

Just the other day, my mother told me that she was “too spent” from talking to her hillbilly husband to go over Easter plans with me. She started talking about vibrators and the demands of a woman separated from love, and all that other hypersexual bullshit, and I just couldn’t deal with it. I didn’t want to deal with it; I mean, if you’re too exhausted to talk about something important, shut the fuck up about your little phone sex crap.

So I pulled out my conversation stopper for when my mom starts up this TMI nonsense: “mom, no one wants to hear about your jerky flavored edible panties…” She said ‘OK’ and hung up the phone. Conversation stopper.

Do you have conversation stoppers, faithful blog followers? Do you say something rude? Do you make implications that are just blatantly false? Do you sing, like me? Or do you just listen to people blather on and on and on, until your mind is numb and your soul is destroyed?

8 Ways I’m a Bad Mom

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I’ve been reading a lot about being a mom lately. It isn’t that I’m – like – researching it. It’s that a lot of people are writing about it. In case you all haven’t noticed, mom blogging is pretty much the cool thing to do right now. Anyone who has either dropped one out the vagina, become a stay at home dad, or in some way or another started mothering, is jumping on the bandwagon of blogging about parenting. Wee! Isn’t it great to have the opinions of many?

Okay, actually it is (within reason), because it makes us loser moms feel much less alone. You know us. We are the ones that don’t necessarily socialize with the other parents at the soccer matches. We aren’t always there with baked goods at the kid’s school Halloween party. We drink more than W. did during his tenure at Yale.

I’ve come to embrace my shittiness as a mother. I got to a point where trying to be the perfect mother was making me a little insane and intolerable to everyone around me. Who am I kidding, I’m still intolerable to everyone around me, and am waiting for my fitted straight jacket; but at least now that I’m not trying to be Mom of the Year all the time, I’ve lightened up a bit.

In any event, I’ve come to accept eight pretty glaring ways that I’m a bad mom. A super duper bad mom that will probably have some of you calling Child Protective Services…

#8 I sometimes serve Gerber meals to my nine year old

This isn’t often, mostly because I rarely buy the things. But every once in a while I know we’re going to be busy the next day, so I grab a couple at the grocery store “just in case.” Just in case always pans out, and now my nine year old is eating a toddler’s (or preschooler’s … they have preschool ones too …) meal with that fat baby’s head on the front of the package.

So I’m not talking about baby food, though. I’m talking about those meals with the pasta and the veggies on the side. They are super low cal, super healthy for any kid, and she loves them. She’d lick the inside of the little plastic plate they come in, if she didn’t have any manners that is.

I refuse to head to McDonald’s just because we’re really busy; and I also am not one to open a can of Chef Boyardi and slop it out. She just doesn’t like peanut butter and jelly like every other kid on the planet, so this seems my only option. Still, there’s something very odd about serving “pick me up pastas” to a little girl that may sprout boobs any day now.

#7 I rarely apply alcohol and Neosporin to minor scrapes

When did everyone start making such a fuss over minor scrapes and bruises? Sure, I’m a hypochondriac of the worst kind. I carry hand sanitizer everywhere. I have a “wash your hands when you walk in the house” rule. I don’t allow rides in shopping carts during cold and flu season.

But then I follow it all up by being as lax as possible when it comes to something like a minor scrape. Sure a cut will get some Neosporin. A burn will get some of that Aquafor ointment. Yet I see absolutely no goddamned reason why we should apply gobs of expensive antibiotic cream and half a box of Hello Kitty bandaids to a scrape I can’t even see without a magnifying glass.

#6 Unless we have a serious and immediate issue going on, I usually do two weeks of “wait and see” before calling the pediatrician. I also don’t believe in the emergency room for non-life-threatening emergencies

I think one of the biggest problems in America is that people go to the emergency rooms for back itches, elbow pain, crotch rot, and other various non-emergency situations. I further think that it is ridiculous for people to run screaming bloody terror to their pediatricians every time their kid sneezes. Get over it.

#5 I swear, a lot

Let’s be clear about this: I do not swear around other people’s kids. I don’t know if they teach their kids in the same way I do. And to be fair, I don’t drop the f bomb every other word at home, like I do on this blog.

But sometimes I do swear, and loudly. Fortunately, I have been able to teach that mommy’s using “big girl” words that “little girls don’t use.” It’s worked, so far. There are a lot of “hells” and “damns” and “shits” at our house, all of which come from me. And of course everyone sees my “Star of the B(itch)” certified star certificate, hanging in the bathroom. Sue me.

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#4 I take out the vulgarity and all the talk about cooters from my blogs, and read every one of them to my entire family

Which means that when I read this blog aloud, this point will be entirely taken out.

So I am that mom blogger. The one who thinks her blog is so brilliant that the entire world should have it foisted upon them. I also think that my family gets great entertainment out of my blog (for whatever reason, I’m not sure what). It probably has something to do with how often I self-depricate.

#3 I throw away tons of schoolwork

Look. I’m not going to beat around the jon on this one. We homeschool every day of the year, all day long. That’s work sheets and art projects and science experiments and nature walks and more art projects and flash cards and more art projects and reading logs and coloring pages and more art projects. And even some more art projects, plus maybe a few more art projects for good measure. If I didn’t recycle the majority of the schoolwork either into the recycle bin, for Christmas presents, or to be used as toilet paper, I’m not sure where I’d store it all.

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#2 I show my emotions

When my grandpa died in February, I cried a lot. I still do. I’m not one of those austere parents who’s going to hide their shit from their kids, thereby teaching their kids that emotions are things to be shoved into a bottle – only to be let out in occasional, explosive fits of rage. I don’t lay my drama on anyone else’s doorstep either, I just think it’s really important to teach kids that our emotions are a good thing. Even the bad ones.

#1 Sometimes I just don’t care

And herein lies the #1 reason I’m a bad mom, and also the reason you all relate to this post. Sometimes I don’t give a flip if Barbie is going on a date with Ken. Every once in a while, I could give two bananas what happened in your cupcake chapter book. On occasion, I don’t give a wad about what happened on Good Luck Charlie or Peppa Pig or  whatever the stupid kids shows that are ruining America happen to be big in our house right now.

Sometimes I just don’t care. I don’t say that I don’t care. I just don’t.

So there, I said it all. Call me a bad mom. Call me a horrible person. Tell me I’m a nasty ho who deserves nothing but to rot in hell (got one of those gems in response to a blog last week …). Notify the authorities. Do whatever you want, I know that where it counts I’m a good mom and with all this other nonsense I’m likely just a human being.

Are you a bad mom?