Saturday, November 26, 2011

Because you want to know why I blog.

Sunday Stealing!!! Because I LOVE telling you everything!

1. Why did you sign up for writing your blog?
Because Motherhood Sucks!  Duh!  No really, I was insane with Post-Partum Depression and needed to vent.

2. Why did you choose your blog's name? What does it mean?
See above.  I think my blogs name is pretty self explanatory. 

3. Did you ever had another blog?
Yes.  I had one called "SelenaLand" for a long time where I just posted random things I liked and ranted about current events.  I have started and deleted a few others revolving around cancelled television shows.  Oh, and my Depression blog.

4. What do you do online when you're not on your blog?
Mostly I look at Internet porn and radical Christian apocalypse sites.  Usually at the same time.

5. How about when you're not on the computer?
I mostly just drink a lot of coffee and try not to have to kill anyone.  I haven't slapped ANY total strangers this week and that is surprising because Black Friday was this week!

6. What do you wish people who read your blog knew about you?
That I don't TOTALLY hate motherhood.  Only like 85%.  ;-)

7. What is your favorite community in the blogosphere?
I like the Write on Edge people. 

8. What is your philosophy on your blog layout?
I don't have a "philosophy".  I just picked a template. 

9. Tell me about your picture you use to represent you on your blog.
My Profile pic is of a 50s era mother taking something out of the oven and telling her daughter "Just because Mommy loves you doesn't mean Mommy likes you."  Or some variation on that.  That is the theme of a good portion of my posts. 

10. Pick 3 random blogs from your blog roll and tell us about them.
Well, People I Want to Punch in the Throat needs very little explanation.  Attracted to Shiny Things never EVER disappoints me, and what mother wouldn't LOVE Moms Who Drink and Swear (besides really douchy ones)?

11. What features do you think your blog should have that it doesn't currently?
I think it should alert me as soon as anyone interesting visits and then allow me to chat directly with that person.  But I get to set the standards of what "interesting" entails.  I don't want to make friends with some asshole who has 35 ferrets and lives in a basement.

12. What do you consider the 10 most "telling" interests that we would infer from your blog persona?
Hmmm.  Obviously I am into self-torture and masochism. I clearly like to watch a lot of television. I spend WAAAAAAY too much time on the interwebs ("IT'S A SERIES OF TUBES!!!).  I enjoy pie but won't bake one.  I enjoy eating out at chain restaurants.  I like to be left alone...HOW IS THAT ONLY 6 INTERESTS?...I am interested in bad jokes and dark humor.  Perhaps you would somehow intuit that I am also interested in world domination and obtaining super powers, but I don't think I have made that evident on my blog.  Oh and my interest in fire. 

13. Do you have any unique interests that you have never shared before? What are they?
Sloths playing woodwind instruments would be a unique thing that I would be totally interested in.  And I have never even thought of it, let alone shared it. 

14. The best thing about blogging is all of the friends that you make, aside from those folks, do you think your blog has fans?
I like to believe so.  Thousands of people can't possibly just be coming to my blog after searching "Justin Bieber Bulge" like my stats say (true story).  The CLEARLY secretly love my blog. 

15. What's your current obsession? What about it captures your imagination?
I am currently obsessed with getting through the holiday season without having to enter the asylum (again).  It's going to be tough, but I now have a pill for that.

16. What are you glad you did but haven't really had a chance to post about?
I refuse to admit that having my child was the best thing that ever happened to me and she is a truly fantastic kid.  Telling anyone that would completely tarnish my reputation. 

17. How many people that first became a blog friend, have you met face to face?
None.  I have to keep my identity a total secret, which is why I use my real name. 

18. What don't you talk about here, either because it's too personal or because you don't have the energy?
I started my Depression blog because Motherhood is depressing enough. 

19. What's a question that you'd love to answer?
"Tell me why people around the world are completely enthralled by you? In other words, how did you become a millionaire from writing your blog?" 

20. Have you ever lost a blogging friendship and regretted it?
Not sure what all this entails.

21. Have you ever lost a blogging friendship and thought, “Was that overdue!”
Again, I don't understand.  If a person whose blog I read and commented on and interacted with started to act like an asshole, I would simply stop the interaction.  Is this a real problem out in blog land?


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Oh yes. I sure am thankful.

There are plenty of things for me to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.  As many of you know, this has been a rough year and I am first and foremost thankful for the help I was able to get and my subsequent return to sanity.

I am thankful for my perfect, maniac kid; for Ben, who stays with me through all the worst I have to offer; for friends, family, sunny days, health, etcetera, etcetera...

But that isn't REALLY what this post is about. 

Today, while all the TV commercials talk about the "incredible door buster sales" that start just after you have had time to clear the table today, I am INCREDIBLY thankful that I no longer work in retail.

First I want to say that if you ever hear about me waiting outside in the cold at 3am to get my hands on a $4 toaster oven for my Aunt Hilda or 75% off a steam cleaner for my 2nd cousin, I want you to come and bludgeon me to death with a snow shovel.  I know the bargains are great.  I know that the excitement is tangible.  But I swore long ago that I would never be involved in the trampling of a 90 year old lady so that I can spend my life's savings on crap that will never be used and I intend to stick with that pledge until I die.


That brings me to another point.  If I ever worked for a company making $8 an hour with no benefits (which I totally have done) and they told me I had to come in on Thanksgiving Day to sell cheap Chinese-made crap to a bunch of crazed bargain hunters, I would tell them to FUCK RIGHT OFF.  Yes, I know the economy is tough and I know that even $8 an hour jobs are hard to come by.  I know that people work these jobs to put food on their tables.  But any company that chooses to make a few extra dollars over giving their employees ONE day (technically 2 days because they're also closed on Christmas-how DARE they!) a year to spend with relatives and friends before the hell that is to ensue for the next month is not a company I want to work for.  Its bad enough that the majority of these retailers don't believe that the people who work for them deserve a living wage or health care, but ONE day off?  SERIOUSLY?

Additionally, I have also pledged that I would not SHOP at those retailers that are opening on Thanksgiving Day for the entire holiday season.  This is going to be especially challenging, especially because all the toy places are engaging in this insanity.  But I'll figure it out.  It's going to involve a combination of local businesses and online catalogs.

And now for a little history:

I realize that you have been told that the reason they call it "Black Friday" has something to do with the accounting and profits putting retailers "in the black" after a year of being "in the red," but I hope you don't buy that. Doesn't the phrase "Black Friday" conjure up misfortune and darkness? Is there anyone out there who thinks that using the term "BLACK FRIDAY" reminds them of happiness and sunshine? NO. No there isn't. And you know why? Because that phrase was actually coined by retail employees who consider that day to be the worst day of the year. In the retail community, we threw that term around amongst ourselves for YEARS before it caught on and the alternate reasoning was applied. When you're doing your shopping on Friday, please keep in mind that this is the WORST day of the year for these people, and be nice to them.

Don't be one of these assholes.
I still can't listen to Christmas music for more than an hour at a time because I am scarred from the constant repeating holiday melodies that I was subjected to for 8 to 10 hours a day, 6 to 7 days a week for 30 to 45 days in a row.  Thankfully, I got out before it started at Halloween or I am pretty sure that images of snowmen or reindeer would have given me night terrors. 

But by far, the worst thing about the holiday season when you work in retail is the customers who are just plain rude or demanding or both.  These people seem to forget that you are a person and that although it is your job, standing for 8 hours in one place and bagging their shit is exhausting and one nasty remark or bad transaction can ruin a whole day.

I hope she isn't talking to you.
Here are a few tips for not making your local mall cashier want to slit their wrists this holiday season:
  • Say thank you, and wish them a happy holiday (or Merry Christmas if you are fighting against the "war") before they have a chance.  They are required to say it.  You aren't. 
  • Get off your cell phone before you reach the register.  Hey!  Hello!  I am talking to you.  Get off your phone and interact with the person right in front of you.  Pay attention and smile.  If this is too much, find a self check-out.
  • If the sale requires a coupon or coupon code, bring it.  If you forget it, don't expect the cashier to take care of it for you.  You don't go to the grocery code and get to the register and explain to the cashier that there was a $1.00 off coupon in the Sunday paper so you should get the $1 off.  Don't do this anywhere else either.

I guess what I am saying is DON'T BE A DOUCHE.

I still get panic attacks when I go to the mall and see Santa sitting there looking like he might just be drunk and I refuse to eat pizza from now until Christmas because I basically survived on mall pizza during the winter for way too many years.

I guess I am still recovering from my years in the holiday retail battle.  I can finally enjoy the sight of Christmas lights.  I can go into stores during December (never on the weekends, though), and this morning I actually caught myself humming along to Jingle Bell Rock.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

What no girl wants to hear. Ever.

Last week, for reasons that I am not going to go into in this post (it was a memorial service for someone I wasn't very close to but felt the need to pay my respects) I had reason to meet up with one of my brothers friends who I hadn't seen in at least 8 or 9 years.  My brother is almost 10 years older than me which means that growing up he and his friends spent many fun-filled hours being entertained by teasing me and doling out all kinds of psychological cruelty at my expense.

This particular friend had grown up and spent many hours of his teenage years at my house watching MTV (this was back when they played videos and had VJs) and locking me in closets with my brother.  So it is possible that many years later I may have felt the need to prove that I was no longer that whiny, annoying, nerdy little girl and we really "got to know each other"  (*wink wink*).

As I said before, I hadn't seen this friend in a LONG time and as soon as I knew that I was going to see him I was instantly extremely self conscious about the fact that I was not the young hot sex object that he knew when last we met.  In fact, lest just be honest here:  I GOT FAT. 

As an aside, I realize that this is stupid and that I really shouldn't care what this guy thinks.  I am in a happy relationship and this guy (to be completely honest) is a pothead who lives in his mother's basement at 40-something years old.  But whatever.  Sometimes the insanity takes over and twists things around to make things like not totally disgusting a guy that you used to sleep with when you were 20 and completely bat shit crazy seem like a necessity.

Since Ben had a thing that evening, I arranged to meet the friend at the place because I have this fear of walking into places alone (yeah, again totally stupid).  I got out of my car and wearing my nice clothes and fancy shoes, I walked over and we hugged and did the whole "so nice to see you" thing.  Then he looked my up and down and nonchalantly made a comment that made me die a little inside.

"Wow.  Hello, Sue.  When did you start looking so much like your mom?" 

The urge to smack him was strong but I resisted.  You see, my mom has always been heavy.  Not like "needs to be lifted with a crane to leave the house" heavy, but she was never a MILF to my brother's friends.  In fact, he likely remembers her being drunk at least half of the time when he was around, which, if I were them I would find extremely unattractive. 

I tried to ignore this comment and reminded myself of why we were there (someone DIED, after all) and said my "Sorry for your losses" and "I can't believe it's" and got the hell out of there (funerals and the like cause me more anxiety than I can handle).

Part of me knew that he was just saying this to be a jerk, the way that my brother and him used to say that I was adopted because it would make me cry when I was 5, but the other part of me knew that there was a great degree of truth to it.  I DID look like my mother, not just because I had put on a few (no need to tell the truth) pounds but because as I get older I see more and more of her in my face. 

I don't want you to get the wrong idea.  I don't hate my mother or anything.  And she isn't an ugly woman.  She has silky blonde hair (which I don't) and was considered a beauty before she had kids (because having kids will destroy you if you aren't vigilant).  But the truth of the matter is that what I heard was not "you resemble your mother more than you did when you were young and slutty".  What I heard was "YOU HAVE TURNED INTO YOUR MOTHER."

No girl wants to hear that.  And certainly not from someone who once saw her naked. 

On the way out he made some stupid comment about how we should get together again under better circumstances (*wink wink*)  (he actually winked when he said it) and I didn't even hesitate.  "hmmmm.  I don't think so.  I have what I need at home.  And besides, you got old."

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Things that should be against the law.

Dear Assholes that Start Celebrating Christmas in October:

You gotta knock this shit off.  Seriously.

First of all, the leaves are still on the trees.  We have had no snow, and we are still one major holiday away from the previously accepted "start of the holiday season".  You assholes who have your blow-up Frosty out on your lawns should be knocked out and held in a basement until the end of November and that shit is no longer ridiculous.  Why would you want to remind the rest of us of massive snowfalls that dump enough snow to MAKE an 8 foot snowman when winter around here will last until April and we have been lucky enough to avoid any major snowfall this early for the first time in recent history?  WHY? 

And the LIGHTS?  Jesus the lights!  I still haven't taken my halloween decorations down (granted I am extremely lazy and late) and you have the NERVE to put up happy candy canes and light-up reindeer so that I have to drive by every day and be reminded of how unprepared I am for the process of elbowing my way through the toy aisle at Target?  Thanks for nothing.

It isn't that I don't like Christmas.  I am not one of those idiots that Bill O'Reilly believes is waging a war on Christmas.  In fact, I desperately WANT to enjoy Christmas.  I worked in retail for 15 years and working in retail will make you realize that people turn evil in December and will put you off the holiday indefinitely.  But I do not work in retail anymore, and when I finally busted out (because working retail is a lot like being in prison), I really looked forward to celebrating Christmas like normal people, by spending a shitload of money on gifts that will be shoved into closets and stuffing my face with snacks and sweets continually from Thanksgiving until New Years Eve.

But seriously, if you start celebrating before Thanksgiving, you should go to jail.

from flickr

Starting in October, I have a rule that I follow strictly.  If I walk into a store and Christmas music is playing and it is before Thanksgiving, I walk out.  I hold to this regardless of how cute the outfit in the window is or how desperately I need milk and bread to feed my kid.  I don't care.  I will not participate in such insanity.

The city I live in has very few decent radio stations.  Maybe 5 or 6 tops that aren't christian or country or just awful.  THREE of of those have already switched to 24 hour "holiday" music, and a fourth is scheduled to switch right around the time people are defrosting their frozen turkeys.  REALLY, radio stations?  We REALLY need TWO FULL MONTHS of Little Drummer Boy?

The day that I discovered this tragedy, I was driving Lila to my mother's and flipping through my regularly programmed stations.  I stumbled upon "Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer" for less than a second before immediately hitting the next button. Lila started crying and begging me to turn it back on. 

"It's against the law,"  I said.  "It is illegal to listen to Christmas songs before Thanksgiving."  When asked what would happen if the police found out I told her that is isn't a matter of what the police would do.  It's a matter of keeping people who are bordering on crazy from turning into full-blown nut cases (I was, of course, talking about myself).

Now I am hearing that several stores (Target, Best Buy, Macy's, and WalMart to name a few) are going to open at 11pm on Thanksgiving so that people can get even more absurd deals on crap that no one really wants or needs.  AWESOME, right?  This does not indicate to me that these companies are "really super in-tune to what their beloved patrons desperately want more of."  To the contrary.  What his tells me is (1) that these companies don't give a shit about their employees, and (2) they feel that they REEEEEALLY need to have those few extra hours on a NATIONAL DAY OF THANKS to thank all of us for making them a few more dollars. 

The "Holidays" in "Happy Holidays" should not include Halloween.
In closing I would like to tell you a little story.  I am a person who loves to buy "seasonal" socks (don't you judge me!!!).  I have a pair of socks representing each month.  This whole early Christmas thing is very confusing because I already have orange socks with little pumpkins for October and yellow ones with an overflowing cornucopia for November.  I cannot start wearing the green and red ones with the gifts all over them until AT LEAST the last week of November because it would confuse all 3 of the people who occasionally notice what socks I am wearing. 

Please, for the sake of all that is holy and sacred, STOP THE INSANITY!!! I will never decorate my house with little Santas in the summer and I will not accept "Christmas in July" as a literal interpretation of when I should start my holiday shopping.  And seriously, at the rate we're going now, how far off is that?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Future Stalker

We go out to eat a lot.  Not that we're so rich that we can afford it because believe me, we probably shouldn't be doing it.  It's mostly because we both work and are just too lazy to cook and Lila is still too short to reach the microwave.

Several weeks ago, we loaded Lila into the car and since we couldn't really decide what we were in the mood for and wanted someplace that has an array of fat-filled and classic "American" junk foods, we settled on Applebee's.  The meal was pretty uneventful, and although we enjoyed the food and fun-filled, but oddly "flair" free experience, it was pretty much forgotten.  Well, Ben and I forgot it.

Every "neighborhood" has at least one creepy stalker type.

Flash forward to last Friday night.  Once again, we were debating the merits of Friendly's versus McDonald's and since we couldn't decide, we asked Lila where SHE wanted to go to eat.  "Let's go to Applebee's,"  she said.  "I can see my friend there." 

We had no idea what the hell she meant about her "friend" but we both kind of shrugged and said ok. 

Lila wanted to get "fancy" (her word) to go to dinner and proceeded to put on eyeshadow and lipstick and asked me to give her an "updo" (where I do the old double the ponytail over itself trick).  She got her fancy purple purse and insisted on wearing her scarf - because that is what she considers accessorizing. 

The whole way there she kept asking what the guys name was that waited on us last time, and if we were going to have the same waiter again.  And we told her at least 16 times that we didn't know.  When we pulled into the parking lot and turned off the car, Lila started yelling "AARON!!!  HIS NAME WAS AARON!  I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE AARON!!!!!"  We kind of didn't believe her so we did the whole condescending "Yeaaaaaaah...Mmmm Hmmmm....Suuuure it is" thing and went into the restaurant.

Applebee's was crowded and in the commotion, for about 5 minutes, she forgot about Aaron.  We were seated and our server (not Aaron) came over to get us drinks.  Lila got situated and started to look around.  She noted that this time we were NOT sitting next to the 101 Dalmations poster and that she liked the table we sat at last time better.  Then she saw him.

Aaron was working the next section over.

"Mommy it's AARON!  I want to go say hi to him!  He's here!  It's AARON!!!  He IS here tonight!  Can we go say hi to him?  AARON!  AARON!!!!  OVER HERE AARON!!!!!!!!"

Aaron did not respond.  When our server came back, Lila begged me to ask him to get Aaron to come over so she could say hi.  He said he would.

A few minutes later, Aaron came over and he actually remembered Lila from the last visit.  He even remembered her name (which I found a LITTLE creepy but the guy's MAYBE 20 and IS pretty cute) and this thrilled her to death.  He said he would come over to say goodbye before we left, and I was happy that this would be the end of it.

It wasn't.

For the next 45 minutes, the only thing Lila talked about was Aaron.  "Is Aaron going to come over?  There's Aaron.  AARON!!! HI AARON!!!  COME OVER HERE AARON!!! I want Aaron to come back over.  Why isn't Aaron waving back at me?  Why can't Aaron come over?  Will he come over again?  I just want to say HI to AARON! How do you spell Aaron?  Why are there two As in Aaron.  Can we move over into Aaron's section? Is Aaron going to cook our dinner?  AARON!  AARON????"

My attempts to distract her with markers and a coloring book were fruitless.  She was all about Aaron.  Ben and I decided that this was actually a good sign because if she was like this as a teenage girl, there would be nothing to worry about.  Lila would be officially labeled by those high school boys as WAAAAAY too crazy to date.

As we were getting ready to leave, Lila had a mini-breakdown.  Although Aaron had come over a few minutes before to say goodbye and tell us to just ask to sit in his section next time, that was not sufficient.  Lila wanted to "give him a kiss and hug" and "say see you later alligator".  She cried that awful heartbroken cry which is different than the "I'm just being a brat" cry and ignoring Ben's obvious disapproval, I told her we could wait a minute to see if Aaron came back out.  He did.

Lila bravely dried her tears and walked over to him and asked him for a hug.  She was too shy to ask for a kiss, but she did wave with a big smile on her face and yell out "see you later alligator", to which he responded as expected. 

When we got in the car I asked Lila if Aaron was her new boyfriend.  "NO!!!"  she replied indignantly.  "We're just friends."