Monthly Archives: November 2012
My friend Andy is just getting started, but I can PROMISE you that he will deliver comedy gold. Subscribe and you won’t be disappointed, unlike all of you who lost the Powerball drawing.
You guys, I think I have the perfect gift for everyone on my list.
Another holiday with Mom has passed and I managed to survive. There was no alcohol, so you should be extra impressed. For those of you who are just joining, you might want to read some previous posts for background information on Mom. I would start with the time we ate at Golden Corral, then read the time she needed help buying a computer, and finish with our most recent Mother’s Day.
I’ll be here when you’re finished. All done? Great.
This year, Husband’s Parents decided to take one for the team and graciously invited Mom, Mom’s Weird Boyfriend, and Grandma to their family’s Thanksgiving festivities. I think they’re trying to earn extra credit points with Heaven or something. Whoever is in charge of those points needs to email Mother In Law a gift certificate, stat.
My day with Mom began before I left my house, when my phone rang. I already knew who it was, and why she was calling.
Mom: I’m on the road and I need directions.
Me: Mom, you’ve been there at least 15 times. I know that you know how to get there.
Mom: If I knew how to get there, I wouldn’t be calling you! Now, don’t I take ___ to ___ and turn onto ____?
Me: Yes, Mom. You’re right. See! You knew how to get there.
By some miracle of nature, Mom ended up arriving before Husband and I did. I felt horrible about it because this is similar to the concept of leaving a wolf enclosed with a group of chickens.
You see, Mom likes nothing more than to complain about the recent events in her life, and this week, she happened to have a minor surgery. No big deal. She’s ok. However, I was sure this would be blown to open-heart proportions in her head, and I wasn’t there to act as a buffer between Husband’s normal family and my dysfunctional version.
When I walked in, Grandma was sitting on the couch by herself. She can barely see anymore, and she didn’t know I was there until I sat next to her and gave her a peck on the cheek. Within 5 seconds, I had gained a fuchsia lip print on my cheek and warm compliments about how nice it was to see me. Grandma is one cool cat.
I headed toward the spare bedroom where I always leave my coat and purse, and Mom followed me in. Naturally, we made nice and wished one another a Happy Thanksgiving. She asked me to put her necklace on for her, and I obliged. It seemed like this could be a normal day. Then, I turned around to leave.
Mom grabbed me by the shoulders and brought her face within inches of mine.
“I need you to be respectful of me, little girl,” she said.
“Don’t get nasty with me on the phone just because I don’t know how to get here.” She squeezed my shoulders harder as I tried to wrestle away.
“Mom, you repeated the directions to me on the phone. You DID know how to get here.”
For the next few minutes, we had a circular conversation on this lovely topic, until I finally broke loose and escaped to the couch, next to Grandma. Grandma is pretty lonely, as people her age get to be sometimes, and she eagerly began telling me about her friend who drives her places. Capital letters represent Mom, who began interjecting sentences between us from a few feet away.
“My eyes aren’t good at all anymore. I can’t drive, of course – YOU KNOW I HAVEN’T BEEN HERE IN YEARS – but my friend picks me up and takes me to go out to eat and so on. It’s so nice to get out of the house, you know. I can’t really watch TV anymore – YEP, I BET THE LAST TIME I WAS HERE WAS WHEN YOU GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL – but sometimes I turn on my lamp and magnifying glass – MAYBE I WAS HERE FOR ANOTHER THANKSGIVING. BUT YOU KNOW I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO GET HERE – and I try to read 3 or 4 pages until my eyes just give up.”
The food was great, you guys. Mother In Law instituted a kid’s table even though the youngest person there was 23, which was Sister, to be specific. All 23-30 year olds sat at the kid’s table and we had a great discussion about the semi trailer that now resides in my yard and the chicken coop that Husband wants to build underneath it. This is my real life.
Now I’m thinking about all the amazing food I ate yesterday and now I’m starving, but I don’t have much to make except frozen buffalo wings from a bag. Pretty sure they call this post-holiday depression. I just call it hungry as hell.
Anyway, Mom behaved pretty well for the rest of the day. She even brought me flowers for inviting her, and admitted that it was Grandma’s idea to get them. Mother In Law says that Mom made polite conversation at the big person’s table (ages 30-90), which made me proud. My girl is growing up. All in all, it was a good day, full of good food…
I think I have a date with a plastic bag of frozen food and my oven.
Before I discuss my intended subject, I feel that I need to address this:
Yesterday, someone found my blog with the search term “stories about sisters smelling each others farts.” I wasn’t sure what I’ve written that would cause my blog to appear in those results. So, I did what anyone would do, and searched for it myself. My blog didn’t appear on the first results page and I felt too creepy to look on the second page, so I just closed the tab and decided that someone was searching really deep for those fart smellers of sisterly love.
Half of you are searching for it right now, I bet. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I probably just lost 25 of my subscribers.
My original reason for posting today, though, is to discuss my love for singing. I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember, but mostly I sing alone. Before I started driving, it was difficult to sing alone and there were multiple times when I was caught. Usually, the person who caught me singing is my younger sister and she would always burst out laughing because I was typically belting out a particularly embarrassing guilty pleasure type of song. It was always a pretty mortifying experience. It usually went something like this:
The year is 1999. My 13 year old self is locked in my room with my boom box. My sister is down the street with a friend and my mom is at
work an Al-Anon meeting. “Vision of Love” by Mariah Carey is blaring from the cheap speakers. I’m belting out the high note with sappy vibrato and my hands outstretched….
The door bursts open and Sister falls into the room, cackling and clutching her stomach. My friend from down the street is with her, also giggling. Gasping for breath, they tell me they’d been listening outside the door for the past few minutes.
“Shut up!” she says to me. “No one wants to hear you sing!”
My first car brought with it a place where no one would discover my singing sessions. Unfortunately, my first car also had really junky speakers. I used to crank up my Evanescence CDs so the music’s volume would match the volume of my voice. Within a few months, I had blown out one of the rear speakers. Husband (who was Boyfriend at the time) replaced my speakers for me, though the speakers were probably worth more than the entire car. I think you can guess what happened to the new speakers.
After a few years, that car drove its last mile and I got a new car. It had a 6-CD changer in the trunk, so I had variety in my solo karaoke repertoire! That car didn’t last long, though, and neither did the next. I currently have a car with a fairly nice factory sound system. There’s a subwoofer in the trunk and it certainly has great sound quality. My in-car concerts have never been better.
Anyway, the point I’m trying to make in a long-winded and round-about way is even though I’m a music teacher (as discussed in my most popular post), I get very nervous about singing in front of people. The better I know the person and the more intimate the setting, the more scared I get. More than once, Husband has asked me to sing for him and I vehemently refuse. To this day, I have never sung for him by myself. It’s a completely irrational fear because the people I’m most afraid to sing for are the people I know are the least likely to judge me or put me down.
I have no problem singing for large crowds. In high school, I played Laurey in Oklahoma and naturally, I did a lot of solo singing during rehearsals and for crowds of about 500 people during the performances. During college, my friends and I loved to go to Karaoke Night on Mondays. On occasion, I would win tanning gift certificates, which I would give to my friend who wished to submit herself to cancerous rays. I even sang for my school a couple years ago during the talent show with another teacher.
So, how about you? Do you sing in the car? In front of other people?
Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone. My mother is always wonderful material for my blog, so you can expect a hilarious recap of my turkey day later this week.
Help me. They can smell the fear. Only one day remains on the calendar until their release, and they’re scratching the walls. They have begun to become violent, picking fights and yelling obscenities.
Still, others have become lethargic, believing that freedom is a mirage that will fade once they believe it’s possible.
Packs of them circle me, blocking my path from sure escape.
“Can I go to the bathroom?” they ask. Others need a drink, and some need to know if they can change seats.
Yes, folks. It’s 5th and 6th grade – one day before Thanksgiving break. I have become weary from this journey. Provisions are running low, but the end is in sight. A weaker woman would have surely perished by now, but I trudge forth, past the Sea of Parent Emails and the Land of Lesson Planning.
Send me courage and strength, my friends. And also Starbucks. That will do wonders.
Everyone under the age of 30 who doesn’t have a smart phone, raise your hand!
No, seriously, guys. Why am I the only one with my hand up? Let’s try this again. No jokesters this time. Still me? Crap.
I started thinking about this while I was eating lunch in the teacher’s lounge last week. As I looked around the table, every one of my colleagues had their smart phone either in their hands or on the table. My sister has a smart phone as a substitute for internet service. I even had a fifth grade boy ask me to hold his phone for him last week, and to my dismay, I noticed that I was holding a phone nicer and newer than my own.
My phone is somewhere in the middle ground between those Jitterbugs on the commercials during The Price Is Right and a smart phone. It has a keyboard and a touch screen, and even internet access. However, it likes to randomly shut off if I click on any links when checking my Facebook and the touch screen isn’t nearly as sensitive as it should be.
I went through a phase earlier this year when my phone wouldn’t load any web pages. Coincidentally enough, it was exactly when my contract was up and I was due for an upgrade. I went to my Verizon store to see if they could fix the problem. My Samsung Rogue wasn’t even two years old yet, so I figured it was a software upgrade issue. I couldn’t believe my ears when they said my phone was no longer supported. Instead of helping me, they gave me a sales pitch to get me to upgrade to a smart phone. My monthly bill would have increased by about $100.
I basically told them to suck their smart phone and fix the problem with the current phone, which they were eyeballing like a geriatric. No dice. So, I left.
Over the next month, I was inundated with phone calls, texts, and emails from Verizon, all of which begged me to pretty please give up all of my disposable income for a phone which would enable me to do little more than what my current phone does, but for twice the cost. Like a Catholic teen, I continued to resist temptation.
After about two months of constantly refreshing my web pages and dealing with the “Network Connection Lost” message, my connection magically began working again. Verizon finally must have gotten the message.
And now because I love lists, here is a list of all the things I could buy each month, rather than paying for a smart phone:
1. 100 items from the dollar bin at Target
2. 20 grande lattes from Starbucks
3. 10 albums from iTunes
4. 2 pairs of shoes
5. 100 boxes of Spongebob shaped Mac & Cheese
6. 27 gallons of gas
7. 3 or 4 meals at a decent restaurant with Husband
8. 2 professional massages
9. Pay 100 people a dollar to read this blog
10. Several apps. Oh, wait.