"The first one. I really resent being called the second." ~Melina Marchetta, Froi of the Exiles
My life in a nutshell.
If I lived in a village instead of The Small Town of Bad Franchise Restaurants, I would win the crown of Village Idiot in a landslide victory.
Take for instance, the other day when I was shuttling the kids to school and I heard a mysterious car noise. I kept muttering to the girls, "Do you hear that? It's like a gurgling noise."
I've never heard a car gurgle, but that means nothing since I am car illiterate. I know how to put the gas in the gas hole and that's about it. I realize this is very unenlightened of me in this day and age of girl power, but whatever. I dutifully pay my AAA dues every year and I have a husband who knows a lot about man things, so I don't feel the need to get my girl power on by greasing up my hands or God forbid, my cute outfit.
Suck it, Girl Power.
The gurgling sounds were intermittent, popping up at stoplights and the like. I tried to roll down the windows to get a good listen, but 14-year-old girls tend to shriek at eardrum-decimating levels when their hair gets whipped back and forth. So I let the car gurgle, figuring the husband could check it out if and when I made it home.
After I'd dropped off the girls, the gurgling intensified, so I did the smartest thing I could think of, I cranked up the radio to mask the sound of what was most likely my car drowning in some sort of car fluid.
By the time I got home, I'd convinced myself I'd hit a cat and it was hanging onto the tailpipe, half-alive, gurgling in its own blood.
I stopped in the driveway and peered under the idling car, with half-closed eyes, afraid of what I knew I'd see. Thankfully there was no mangled Fluffy with its furry paws wrapped about my undercarriage.
I parked in the garage, grabbed my purse and got out of the car.
And that's when the gurgling got even louder like it was coming from my purse.
My purse that held my phone.
The phone with the Sleepmaker app that has a litany of soothing sounds. We prefer Gentle Drops Down Gutter. I keep my phone on a sound system docking station that sits on my nightstand. It's how we fall asleep every night. Even the dogs settle down as soon as they hear the rain gently dropping down the gutter.
My normal day is made up of hundreds of blonde moments just like this.
This weekend, though, I outdid myself. The most mortifying, ridiculous, Lucille Ball of a doozy moment I've ever, ever had. It pains me to think about it, like no matter what I'm doing when that awful scene flashes through my mind, unbidden, I have to bend over and take a few deep breaths because it's just that bad.
Let me start this story by backing up a few years.
My Tori Girl was a beautiful baby. Huge blue eyes, a cap of strawberry blonde hair, a captivating smile, the biggest butterball baby you've ever seen. She was deliciously plump, just like a baby should be, but lugging her around all day created havoc on my overworked shoulders and back. I developed a myofascial trigger point which is essentially a painful lump in my trapezius muscle that comes and goes through the years.
When it flares up, the best remedy I've found is to have my husband work his thumbs into the lump, hard. It hurts in a moaning-hurts-so-good kind of way, but it gets rid of that bad boy until the next flare up.
On Sunday, I woke with the tell-tale throbbing knot. Unfortunately, my husband with his helpful hands was not around.
The lump is in the middle of my back and since I am no rubber-band man, I can't reach it. But a long time ago, I learned a neat little trick to alleviate the pain myself. I would stand against a wall with a tennis ball positioned right at the lump and I would rock my body, back and forth and up and down and all around. It's effective and I get a crazy good squat workout at the same time.
Luckily, since I have three dogs that are obsessed with tennis balls, my house is a minefield of bouncy green balls, most of them, under the furniture.
So on hands and knees, I went searching for a tennis ball. My dogs know that Momma's about to get the party started when I'm crawling around the house, peeking under furniture and this causes them to lose their moronic minds.
Now, let me stop the story to add a fact that won't seem important . . . yet.
The most beloved Christmas present I got this year, were those things around my neck.
My Dr Dre Beats.
I L-O-V-E these headphones. The sound is phenomenal and not only that, it blocks out the outside world. My daughters can be shrieking, tearing each other's hair out over "borrowed" clothing and whomping on each other like they're the stars of the WWE and I remain blissfully unaware as I pump up the jam. My Beats are like a Valium for my ears.
On Sunday as I hunted for a tennis ball, I had on my Beats.
I grabbed a ball from under the couch which drove my dogs over the edge of madness. There was barking, howling, and utter pandemonium, the likes of which have only been seen at a One Direction concert.
I shoved the berserk dogs off of me and picked one of the few bare walls in my house for my tennis ball massage. And that wall just happened to be in the hallway leading to my kitchen.
I shoved the ball into place and proceeded to gyrate, up and down and back and forth, trying to hit that knot as my insane posse of dogs lost their pitiful minds, barking around me like a pack of wild beasts. I ignored them, easy to do with my Beats pounding out the phenomenal Clash's "The Magnificent 7."
But the ball just wasn't doing the trick, no matter how much I rocked my bountiful hips. It only took me a few rocks to realize my sweatshirt was too thick to feel anything.
Now . . .
We are a household of women with one brave man who stands alone on his island in the middle of a sea of estrogen.
And my household is not a modest one, to my husband's utmost chagrin.
My girls don't even close the door when they're in the bathroom because that would give them less opportunity to Always. Be. Talking. To anyone who walks by.
And they are Always. Talking.
I can be fast asleep in the middle of the night and I'll be jolted from my dreams by chatter. I'll open my eyes, still half-asleep and one of these lovely creatures I brought into the world will be standing there at the side of my bed saying something like, "And that's when I realized I will never fulfill any of my dreams because of that time you made me clean my room instead of going to the skate party."
Anyway, my point is we don't think twice about shucking clothes in our house.
It was 7:30 in the morning, the only ones awake were the three yapping dogs and me, so I yanked off my sweatshirt.
I'd slept in my I Yell Because I Care sweatshirt and my plaid flannel pajama pants.
(I know what you're thinking—man, her husband is a lucky guy. And you, Internet, would be right)
And of course, because this was my pajama ensemble, I was not wearing a bra.
So . . .
There I was, topless, clothed only in plaid pants, my Beats on my ears with my three dogs leaping and barking around me like rabid wolves.
I swatted away the lunging dogs and started rocking my hips, again. Up and Down. Back and forth. A little swivel to the right. A little swivel to the left. Again and again and again.
The tennis ball hit the spot and I let out a long, moaning groan.
Up and down and back and forth I went, moaning and groaning and rocking my hips as the ball massaged out the knot.
Since my Beats were now in full-on White Stripes mode, I didn't notice when my dogs' barking grew more frantic.
I also didn't notice that the barking was no longer directed at me.
I was moaning in painful ecstasy, rocking my hips, sliding up and down the wall, my sad ta-tas flopping away in all their pasty, sagging glory when suddenly I realized the dogs were no longer at my feet.
And that's when I looked up and noticed my pack of wild dogs all crowded around my front side door.
The front side door that sits at the end of the hallway where I was getting my groove on with my tennis ball and my sad, flopping-in-the-breeze, ta-tas.
The front side door that has a large window.
A very large window.
And on the other side of that window was a scene that makes me want to throw up in my mouth as I type out the words.
You see, we have this group of Hispanic men—a family of brothers, a few cousins and one son—who do yard work for us. They're a hardworking bunch who don't speak English. The 15-year boy-child comes with them to do the translating.
It's a casual agreement where they show up when they show up.
I hadn't expected them to show up when they showed up, on that day, at that moment.
And I certainly didn't expect to see five of them.
Five. Of. Them.
Picking weeds around my side door entrance at 7:30 in the morning.
My side door entrance is small. And it has a stone border around the door. There isn't any grass to speak of so there might have been four weeds sprouting up from between the stones. I'll be generous and say five. Five weeds. One for each of them to pick.
To their credit, they all acted as if they were really concentrating on their sole weed as the crazy lady with crackhead hair bumped and grinded against her wall in some sort of icky, past-her-prime stripper dance. There was only one guy I assumed was the Grandpa of the bunch, who didn't even try to pretend he was picking his weed. He stood there, mesmerized, his arms folded across his chest with a fascinated and maybe a little horrified expression on his face.
And to make matters worse? The 15-year-old was part of the bunch.
Not only did I humiliate myself in front of my lawn guys, I think I might have committed a felony, a lewd and grossly saggy act against a minor. That poor kid, I've probably traumatized him for life when it comes to women.
But wait, it gets better.
I froze in mid-grind when I noticed the guys all furtively sneaking peeks as they plucked at their sole weed and I have no idea why, but I decided the best thing to do was to act casual, like it was no big thang.
In a slow stretch, I casually draped one arm across my ta-ta's. Or rather, I scooped them up from their resting place on my navel and then ever so casually draped my arm across them like I was unsuspecting Kate Middleton sunning on a balcony if Kate Middleton had nursed three children and had tube sock breasts instead of her perky future queen boobs.
I slowly eased away from the wall, dropping the tennis ball to the floor. And then just as I was about to make my dignified exit, still moving casually as if I gyrated topless every day in front of lawn guys, my dogs came charging when they saw the ball thud to the floor.
And in that awful second of the universe, my Delilah lunged at the ball just as I was stepping away, all Kate Middleton-like. That big furry dog twisted up between my feet and BOOM.
Down I went.
Sprawled on the floor, topless and floppy in plaid pants. I immediately looked up to see all five men no longer examining their sole weed. All of them, stood stock-still staring in at me, even more startled than they were during the sad bump and grind.
Any attempts at dignity flew out my brain and I got up on my hands and knees and scurried away, out of sight.
Like a giant, saggy titmouse.
And still, there's more.
My husband, of course, could not breathe through his hysteria as I told him the story.
The next day he handed me an envelope with a snarky grin on his face, before he went to work and said, "The payment for the lawn guys. They'll be here today to pick it up."
I refused, telling him I'd tape it to the front door.
He reminded me that taping cash to a front door is probably never a good idea and that if I didn't hand them the money, their children wouldn't eat that night.
Which is probably not true, but my husband knows how to work me.
So I pretended to talk on the phone when the 15-year-old knocked, opening the door just a crack and silently giving him a head bob as I handed him the envelope. He nodded animatedly as if he just wanted to get away from the lady pedophile and ran back to the car.
I watched them from the window. They spoke in Spanish and then all cracked up, slapping the poor, poor 15-year-old on the back.
I think I might add some extra cash next time with a little note in Spanish that says "For therapy for the boy. Please don't call the policía."
This is me, screaming.
Thanks for listening, Internet. I just needed to tell someone.
The Village Idiot
Today's Definite Download: Today's download is a special one. A dedication. I'm sorry. I'm not one of those cryptic folks who write mysterious things and never explain them, but today I'm just going to say this song is dedicated to my darling friend. This,right here, Jason Mraz's 93 Million Miles is for you.
Just know, that wherever you go, you're never alone, you can always get back home.
And you, my friend, are never alone. You have me, the wine, my back porch, late-night talks and all my support and love. Your home is here whenever and wherever you need it. With every step and with every day, it will get better. And never forget, I've got your back.
And for the rest of you crazy kids on the Internet, I'm still working and writing and hoping. Keep your fingers crossed. I'll see you soon.