Resolutions That Will Stick To Your Ribs Like Swallowed Gum
Thursday, December 31, 2009

I'm still planning on posting about Christmas, but since we're already at New Year's Eve, I thought I'd talk about New Year's Resolutions first. 

My blog friend June, whose blog is cackling good fun, asked her readers recently to post their New Year's resolutions. 

One reader posted she was going to be more aggressive in her jewelry-wearing. 

I can't stop thinking about that resolution. I think it might just be the best resolution I've ever heard. 

In that same vein, I've decided to make a list of resolutions like that: attainable ones that won't cause too much exertion, so I don't feel like a loser on January 2nd when they're already down the toilet.

Here's mine:

❉ I will attempt to be targeted for a full body scan at the airport.  Easy enough. 

Our airport just got one of those kinky machines. And for whatever reason, since 9/11, I have been picked out of the line every dang time for special screenings. I've had pat-downs, wandings. I've 
been selected to go through the puffy air thing. I've had to take a sip out of my water bottle in front 
of those ultra-serious security team dudes before the no-liquid rule was put in place. The thought 
did flash through my mind for a millisecond to take a sip and immediately crash to the ground, 
writhing around like nobody's business . . . you know, for laughs. But, I hear those Homeland 
Security people have the worst sense of humor.

I'm not sure if it's my imposing pixie cut or my leggings or my intimidating stature of 5' almost 4" 
that causes them to feel I'm a sure bet for committing jihad on the plane, but, honestly, I kind of like 
all the extra attention. And I bet it feels a little thrilling to know as you're walking through that X-ray-vision machine, that somebody's lookin' at your nekked self. I'll probably suggestively shimmy my 
way through. Or, since they make you raise your hands up, maybe a little naked YMCA dance for 
their viewing pleasure to liven up all the naked viewing they have to watch all day. 

❉ Get my Hubby to stop wearing his khaki shirt with the large-mouthed bass emblazoned across the back. He wears it entirely too much because honestly, I think it makes him feel, you know, more mannish with the wildlife and all on it, but  . . . it's a LARGE MOUTH BASS across his BACK. The girls tell him outright how ungodly it is. I prefer more subtle tactics like, "I'm not sure khaki is your color. I think you're more of a primary color person." I know I could lose it in the mountainous pile of laundry, but that would be dirty pool and I don't do dirty pool.

❉ Advise the young mom at school about good bras. This is a biggie, the hardest one to accomplish since it's going to be really tough for me to walk up to her, having never met her and say, "Excuse me, but get thee to Victoria's Secret and ask for the bra fitter right away." This poor girl has the worst bras known to man. She must buy them at Big Lots in the clearance aisle, a dozen for a dollar, because, when I say this girl is going to poke her eye out one of these days, I mean . . .  seriously. I see her walking down the hallways and she is just abouncing and not in a good way and I'm thinking, why don't any of her friends step up and take her to the mall? They are not good friends.

Everyone should have a bra fitting. I remember the first time the bra fitter approached me when I was headed to the dressing room with some underthings in hand. She asked me if she could help select the perfect bra for me and I was all, sure, why the hell not. I'm always up for a new experience. I got a little creeped out, though, when she came into the dressing room with me and started adjusting and sizing me up. I started thinking, maybe she was just POSING as a bra fitter. Maybe she was really some weirdo getting her jollies on and I was the innocent victim of a phony bra fitter! It's happened before.

But, I threw caution and my taa-taa's to the wind and let her measure and adjust and before you knew it, I found out I was a totally different size than what I thought and I was instantly in the perfect, perfect bra for me. Because, as we girls all know, all taa-taas are different and the bra that works on one person, might just not work for you. And this poor girl's got nothing working for her. I really have to tell her.

❉ Use the word Crap-Head more. I really like that word. Crap-Head.

❉ Pattern my relationship with The Hubby after Dog the Bounty Hunter and his wife. Is her name Pam? I don't think it is, but she looks like a Pam with that fantastically awful bad hair. I mean, they might just be the world's worst dressers with their ultra-tight leathers and their matching bad perms and their feathered jewelry, but man, are they ever good to each other. 

Even in the midst of Pam barreling down the road in her big-ass SUV hunting down the bail jumpers, Dog is walkie talkieing her from the other SUV and saying, "I love you Pam." as he's holding a semi-automatic up to some bad guy they've just caught. And she's all ready to kick ass with her bad self and hair, but she always has a sweet, "I love you too, Dog." for him. 

And oh my goodness, when the bail jumper was trying to get away and Baby Lyssa was the lookout cause she's like 80 pounds and she doesn't have the heft of Pam, so they keep her out of harm's way and the bail jumper ran right into Baby Lyssa's path and whacked her up a couple of times, I thought Pam was going to freakin' kill that bail jumper! Forget about Dog and his big muscles and his semi-automatic weapons and his feathered jewelry, Pam was taking this dude down just with her big hairstyle and enormous taa-taa's and the fury in her from this bail jumper messing with Baby Lyssa. When they finally got this guy shackled and into the car, Pam was spewing threats over the walkie-talkie at him, telling him she would be at every one of his bail hearings because you DO. NOT. MESS. WITH. BABY. LYSSA. And the thing is, Baby Lyssa's like 30. She's not a baby. And she's Dog's daughter. She's not even Pam's Baby Lyssa, but Pam loves her that much because she's a part of Dog and I just think that's so sweet to want to kill a bail jumper over love. 

I really want to have a relationship more like Dog and Pam except . . .  my love is big enough to tolerate a wide-mouthed bass shirt, but if The Hubby ever came home with a feathered earring and a leather vest, I'd be all—No, my love has limits. 

❉ Work on my triceps. Because nothing says, "I've given up" more than triceps that keep waving long after you've stopped. If I don't tighten up those triceps, I might as well start wearing mom jeans and Celine Dion concert t-shirts, tucked in.

❉ Spread the word that there is NO WAY that those people on the eHarmony commercials really had to use a dating site to find someone. I mean, every single, dang one of them is movie-star beautiful. I think one guy might even be Jake Gyllenhal's twin brother.

If those kind of people are all over the eHarmony site, I think all single people should run, not walk, to their computer and forget about going to bars and church quilting groups and gyms with your makeup and hair perfect. Why bother, when there are so many stunning people looking for love on the internet?

❉ Bring sexy back. Well, I'll have to wait until I get enough tricep dips in first.

❉ Wear stilettos at all times. Victoria Beckham claims this is her secret for keeping so thin. She says she even exercises in her Manolo Blahniks. Although, I do think she's neglecting to mention the fact that her daily food intake consists of a piece of celery. On a splurge day, she probably includes a grape; but hey, I'm willing to give the shoe thing a try. If Pam can go on bounty hunts in her stilettos, I can sure manage a car pool in them. The wearing of stilettos will help in bringing sexy back, too. 

❉ So, here's my last one, my most serious one. I will, I will, I will get my novel out there and shop it around. It will happen. I will work fast and furious, vowing to ignore My Hubby, the girls, the dogs, the house and anything else that gets in the way of my goal. I swear this to you, Internet. I will do it. This is my year. I can so feel it in my bones . . . and stilettos.

Today's Do It Download: My last Holiday Song--Johnny Otis' "Happy New Year Baby" a big, bluesy song that just sums up the best of New Year's resolutions. "I'm gonna give up chasin' women, whiskey-drinkin' too, stop my bally-hooin', yeah I'm done mistreatin' you. Happy New Year Baby. Happy New Year to You....I'm gonna give you all my money to buy the things you choose. I'll even steal and borrow and pawn my clothes and shoes to keep you happy, baby, happy the whole year through....If you love me sweet and pretty, I'll buy you a big brass bed. If I catch you cheating, I'll fill you full of lead...Happy New Year Baby. Happy New Year To You."

Man, nothing says love better than brass beds and bullets. 

Happy, Happy New Year, All You Darling, Wonderful Crap-Heads. I wish for you and your loved ones, a year full of promise and love, laughter and peace and as many new shoes as your little hearts desire.


19 Years Of Little Girls--It Explains The Overwhelming Fatigue
Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Two days ago was my Odawg's birthday. 

And, yes, that is her sister's raised arm holding a rifle, a toy rifle at a Wild West shooting range. Just didn't want anyone to think we were Branch Davidians or anything. 

She labeled her birthday Oliviapalooza. And boy, did we palooza it up. 

The day began with ice skating. (Yes, we have skating rinks here in the Land Of The Tropics. Our Stanley Cup-winning hockey team has to practice somewhere.)

We then ventured down to the big city to ooh and aahh over Christmas lights. Odawg was hoping Santa was still at the Christmas Village. Did I mention she's 19 years old? But, alas, Santa was gone, probably on his way to Bermuda.

We stopped along the way to paint some pottery. Odawg painted a dog dish for our new puppy. On the bottom of the dish, she painted the words, "Bitch Needs More." So hysterically brilliant, especially since I'm the one who thought of it. 

I painted a coffee cup...or at least I tried to. My artistic skills stagnated at about the age of 4. I stenciled it with shoes and purses, but they ended up looking like pink blobs. Clearly, I am unable to master the elementary skill of stenciling. As my nieces and daughters were painting their pottery in vivid colors  with beautiful embellishments and perfect stencils and elegant swirls, I decided to erase the stenciled blobs and paint polka dots. Anyone can make a circle, right?

One of my nieces joined us as we were finishing up. She took one look at my cup and said, "Aww...You had the girls put their thumbprints all over your cup. How cute!"

It seems a circle is out of my artistic realm.

We finished up with dinner, where The Hubby joined us. He went straight to the bar when we walked into the restaurant. It's not his usual m.o., so I followed him and asked him what was up.

He took a sip of his scotch and said, "Sometimes, it's just too much. The talk." He waved his hand towards the gaggle of girls, waiting on a plush lounge  seat for our table. They hadn't even noticed us leave, they were so busy talking over and under each other.

And even though, there was A LOT of talking, everyone, including The Hubby had a good time. I think the scotch helped him accept the fact that his life, 19 years ago, changed into one long, gabfest. 

It's hard to believe our girl is 19 years old. It seems like just yesterday, I was laboring and laboring and laboring.... 

An enormous crowd hovered in the waiting room, spilling out into the hallway. My family is more like a large tribe and then there were the friends. I kept telling My Hubby to send them home. From the looks of all things dilation, this was going to take awhile and I'm very much into punctuality. I don't like making people wait. But, they stayed, waiting and waiting and waiting. 

My gang was the talk of the delivery floor. Every medical person who came into my room, greeted me with, "Have you seen the size of that crowd out there? They're camped out, lining the hallway." 

And I was all, "Um, no. If you haven't noticed, I'm all jacked up with IV's full of pitocin and fluids and epidurals and I've got a gown exposing my not-so-flattering pregnant ass, so no, I haven't been able to get up and have a meet and greet."

It got to the point where every time the doc would stop in for a quick check-up, he'd leave with, "I'll go tell the gang the latest."

She entered the world at 2:20 AM to an excited crowd of fans. 

In recovery, they brought us our new baby, all cleaned up and swaddled. We were so excited, yet a little concerned at the same time. 

She had a lot of hair. 

Not on her head, mind you, but in other places, like coating her arms, down her back and on her ears. 

Her ears. 

We called the nurse over and whispered, "Is this normal? Or did we just have a monkey baby? Should we contact the freak show?"

The nurse reassured us that our baby was not indeed a genetic throwback from pre-historic times, but had just retained some of her furry pre-birth hair that all babies have. She also noted that babies of Mediterranean descent have more fur than others. 

Thanks Hubby. 

The hair eventually fell out, well...except for her legs. That tiny, delicate girl has the legs of a gorilla. I told my Hubby, the minute she asked to shave her legs, even if she was 2, I was going to let her. No one deserves hairy, gorilla legs. 

The ride with her has been joyous; at times-maddening; at times-worrisome; full of laughter; and always, always intoxicatingly sweet. 

The last year, before she went off to college, was a tough one. A girl perched on the edge of adulthood, who thought she knew better than us, caused some rip-roaring scenes at certain times. I fretted that the bond between us was severed irreparably. 

But, then she went away. And she learned the time-honored lesson that perhaps, her parents DID know what they were talking about. 

She has come back from college on winter break, a different girl, a lovely girl, an absolute pleasure to be around. 

The other day, I said to her, "Hon, have I told you what a wonderful young lady you've become?"

And she said, "Yes, mom. You've told me every day so far. It's getting kinda old."

Not for me, my girl. Not for me. 

She applied for film school this year. 

On top of learning how to stay up all night and wake up just in time for class the next day, she had to submit a rather intense portfolio to her college's film school. 

There are over 200 kids applying to film school. 30 will be chosen.


Her portfolio was crunched into the last few weeks of the deadline. 

It was a lot of work, some profuse tears, and not an ounce of sleep for 2 solid days before the deadline. 

She has made some great films over the years, but the students were told to make something new, something that told a story, something that did not resemble a music video. 

That completely disqualified her masterpiece of a film, right here. 

She made a film to be proud of. 

Her father and I are so proud of her, of her persistent pursuit of her dreams, of her determination, of her good grades, of these first great steps she's made towards adulthood, of the fact that deep down, even in the midst of screaming matches, she has always been that sweet, kind, good girl we pinned our hopes on from the day they handed us our monkey-eared baby.

Her film involved a lot of players and many different locations. And for those of you, like me, who don't understand a bit of the mechanics involved in cinematography, she used a technique in parts of the movie called flash...something, I don't know. But, it involves still pictures combined together to make it look like moving pictues and it's something special in the film world. All I know is, it caused a lot of crying during editing, but the final effect is phenomenal.  

The only disturbing part of the film is watching my 15-year-old daughter portray a woman with a positive pregnancy test. Dear Lord, please don't ever let film imitate real life. Please. 

Olivia, we love you immeasurably and no matter what happens, you amaze us, every single day. Happy Birthday, hairless legs. Thank God for Venus razors. 

And so, I give you my daughter's latest film, hopefully a pivotal one in her life, entitled Perfection. 

Today's Definite Download: The Beatles simple but magnificent, "Blackbird."

"Blackbird singing in the dead of night. Take these broken wings and learn to fly. All your life you were only waiting for this moment to arrive."

I am ecstatic to see you soar, my darling, darling girl. My Olivia. 

Sister, My Sister
Sunday, December 27, 2009
I will be posting about our Christmas rockin' festivities soon. But, for now. I've got a few days of important business to attend to, starting with this:

When I was 11, my parents announced at the dinner table with that all-too familiar smile on their faces, that we would soon add another player to the team.

Usually, I was bursting with excitement over the thought of a new brother or sister, but, we hadn't had a new baby in a few years and I was now, an all-knowing, sophisticated pre-teen. I was nothing but grossed out at the thought of my mom, who was OLD, I mean OLD-like 35 old, with a burgeoning belly. It meant, everyone would know what those two oldsters had been up to. Oh, the shame.

I wasn't too sure what it actually WAS they were up to, but I just knew old parents shouldn't have anything to do with that sort of nonsense.

My mortification grew along with her stomach and I just tried to pretend none of it was even happening.

Until the day they brought the new baby home.

I will never forget that day. My friend, The Libster and I were riding our banana bikes around the neighborhood, when someone popped their head out of the house to shriek, "She's here!"

She's here.

With those words, my life changed immeasurably.

I pumped those banana bike pedals as fast as they could spin and raced into the house, forgetting the disgrace of the last few months.

Someone put that tiny little bundle into my arms and everything from that moment on became We--We Two.

She never left my hip for the next three years. She has never left my side in our lifetime...-my sister Beth.

Almost 12 years live between us. And for most people, 12 years is enough to keep their distance. It is different songs. It is different memories, different viewpoints, different fashions, different likes and dislikes. It is texting verses non-texting. It is Myspace verses Facebook. It is Nirvana verses AC/DC. It is a different generation, a disparity too broad for real friendship.

But, not for us.

From the minute, that soon-to-be, little freckle-faced girl burrowed into my arms, it was as if the fairies of symbiosis descended and sprinkled their magic over us, adhering us to one another for good.

I carried her everywhere. I changed her diaper, fed her, her bottles. Taught her, played with her, sang to her, read to her. And what salacious stuff I would read! I look back in amazement, realizing she was only 5 or 6, when I read her the entire tome of a book, The Thornbirds. I probably should have been reading, Bread and Jam For Frances. but this was a better fit for me. Passionate affairs with handsome priests beats a picky, talking bear with eating disorders, every freakin time.

I can still see her face, enraptured, every night as I read to her from that scandalous book.

She was a pre-schooler when I was a teenager, but I never once remember her annoying me. Every boyfriend I had became the possession of her kindergarten self. She would wait at the picture window for my dates to arrive, climbing over them like a monkey in a jungle gym. My friends loved her. I even brought her to high school with me one time, showing off my sweet little baby sister...until the dean insisted high school was not a place for 5-year-olds.

In my first year of having a job and getting a paycheck, the first Christmas present I bought was for her, a Barbie Dreamhouse, a big, pink, pimpin' 3-story condo for Barbie, but more importantly for the sparkle  I knew would be in my baby sister's eyes on Christmas morning.

She was 7, when I met my Hubby. I knew this guy might just be a keeper, when I informed him that my baby sister would be accompanying us on our 3rd date to the beach. He didn't bat an eye. She, on the other hand, was awfully ticked when I insisted on pulling the bottom of her bathing suit away from her skin, to rinse out the sand. She hissed, "I don't want him to see my booty!"

As she grew, our bond only strengthened. I was there for my many of her firsts. I was in the passenger seat, teaching her to drive when she pulled suddenly off the road, in the midst of traffic. When I asked her what she was doing, she said in a panic, "There are cars. On the other side of the road. I had to get away from them!"

I took her to her first rated R movie, Pretty Woman. As we walked into the movie, I explained to her how Richard Gere kissed like no other movie star man I had ever seen. I told her to take note of his kissing technique and to look for that in a man. (Of course, Julia Roberts stops him as he about to kiss her to say she doesn't kiss on the lips.)

And most importantly, I took her to her first U2 concert, teaching her early on, what great music sounded like.

And somewhere along the way, we left the big sister/little sister roles behind and easily morphed into a friendship like no other.

It didn't matter that I wouldn't allow her to wear heels in my wedding party, because she was too young. It didn't matter that she was in high school and I was a woman of the world. It didn't matter that as she went off to the drunken, wild days of college, I was settling down in suburbia with a husband and babies. We would talk on the phone for hours, late into the night, me sitting on my kitchen floor, she regaling me with tales of college life.

We had each other, the truest constant I have ever known.

Honestly, I am having a tough time writing this post because it is quite difficult for me to put into words what it is, we have, exactly.

I can tell you, there is nothing like it. I can tell you, when something happens in my life, my first thoughts are to tell her. I can tell you she knows my words before I utter them. I can tell you, we are of the same blood, the same like, almost feeling as if we share the same brain, the same thoughts, the same heart. I can tell you she knows all my secrets and fears and dreams and she keeps them safe in her heart, her boundless sister heart. I can tell you she knows me like no other person on this planet and my bond with her is so deep that nothing in the world could ever sever this strong and abiding love. Not even my Hubby can compete with who we are to each other. That might sound cold-hearted to my wonderful man, but it's not.

He knows this about us. He understands. It's why when she would come home from college, he would snooze on the couch, so she could curl up with me. It's why he has never said a word about my bazillion phone minutes, knowing good and well, he needed to find an unlimited calling plan, just for the one fact that she and I talk every day, sometimes many times over. It's why he understands when sometimes I say, "I need my sister" and I drift off to my room and a phone conversation that might last hours. He knows.
When she was still in her 20's, she called me one day and in a little voice, she said, "You're going to be mad at me when I tell you this...."

My other sisters had been singing their siren song for years, trying to coax her into moving to Chicago where they both lived. I knew, the small town-life of suburbia couldn't compare to the excitement of Chicago. I mean, they have Oprah and the tallest building and five-star restaurants and tulips and pretzel vendors. We've got Applebees.

She packed up and left me and my heart was raw and hurting, missing its other half for a very long time.

But, even though my loneliness was immense, she was having fun and it was exactly where a young, twenty-something needed to be. I was glad for her.

When her husband was ready to propose, he flew her down here to The Land of the Tropics. He brought me into my bathroom to show me the beautiful ring he was going to give her. I hugged him and told him how happy I was for her, for them and I told him to make sure he gave the waiter the camera at dinner that night before he proposed. I wanted him to capture it all for me.
He looked at me and said so simply, "Oh, no.  I want you there with us."

When I protested, saying I didn't want to intrude on their moment, he adhered himself to me instantly by saying, "You are the biggest part of her life. I couldn't imagine doing this, without you there."

I cried as he put that ring on her finger. I stood next to her under the huppa, as she said her vows. I waited breathlessly and was utterly delighted when her first baby girl came and then her second, doting on them as if they were my own.
And so it goes. And so it goes.

Our lives as women and wives and mothers and sisters go on, no matter how many miles there are between us. We swap stories every day of our life, always finding something to say, no matter how many times that day we've talked.

On this day, the day of her birth, I just wanted to say, that to be her sister has been one of the biggest privileges of my life. To be her life-long friend has been even better.

She has been a magnificent sister and I am blessed-- blessed for all she has given me...which is a hell of a lot.

When I need a good laugh, I call her. When I need to share a salacious secret, I pick up the phone. When I need to vent and use every bit of profanity in my well-versed vocabulary, she listens well and good. When I grieve, she holds my hand across the miles. When I am ebullient over my life, she celebrates for me. When I need to cry my heart out, she knows and drops everything in her young mother life. When I falter, when I don't believe in myself, unsure of this endeavor I have undertaken in writing, she is there picking me up, cheering me on. And speaking of....

She was the first to know I was writing a book, something I kept secret for a long time. She was the first one to read my story. There has been no other reaction that meant more to me than her tears and the words, "It is an amazing story. I am so very proud of you. You are a writer."

Happy Birthday, Beth. May this day and every day be filled with utter joy. You are my heart. You are my just about freakin everything. I couldn't have walked this path without you and for all my days I will be so grateful that you and I are sisters, sisters like no other.

All my love and kisses across the miles. And I'll talk to you tomorrow, first thing in the morning. As always. As always.

Today's Do It Download: Glee's version of Kelly Clarkson's, "My Life Would Suck Without You." Because, like all of our other passions, Beth and I share a passionate love for Glee. And  even though, as a wordsmith, I thought my ears might just combust when I heard the name of this song for the first time, it is a mighty, good song and its disgustingly basic words capture my heart more than anything, "Cause we belong together now, yeah. Forever united here somehow, yeah. You got a piece of me and honestly, my life, (my life) would suck, (would suck) without you."

For my Beth. Thanks for keeping my life from not sucking.

Amazing Grace
Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I am not a lover of organized religions. My feeling is once you insert man into the mix, you start adding all sorts of strange and twisted dogma that has God up there in the heavens, tssking and shaking his head. I can't be sure, but I don't think God has a problem with women serving as leaders of the church and I can definitely say, He thinks the snake handler worshippers are morons. And I think He wants us all to stop judging each other and making rules about who's wrong and who's right and just start loving one other. The hang-up is in the rules, the man-made rules. 

And I am definitely very suspicious of the proselytizers who go around trying to convert others since everyone but their religion is going to Hell. Are they running some sort of commission for converts scheme? Insistence on conversion leads down dangerous roads. You only have to look at the history of the world, to see that. 

But, even with the rules, there is beauty in every religion: Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Wicca, Hinduism. My only problems are with the "religions" that twist God's word into depravity to serve their own evil purpose. For those guys: the Jihadists, the old men who claim God wants them to get themselves a bunch of purdy 13-year-old girls to marry, the Scientologists and all the other scary wackos, I'd like to set them all up for a giant game of Catch the Live Grenade--The winner gets to be stoned to death. 

But, I'm not sure, if that's what Jesus would do.

Having exposed my cynicism, I will admit to belonging to one of the largest religions in the world, the Roman Catholic Church. And even though, there are a whole lot of niggling slivers that stick under my skin about Catholicism, I stay. I stay because the people of my church have become a second family to me. I stay because of the ancient divine words of the Hail Mary, a sacred prayer, a comforting balm, blessed words that are there upon my tongue when I need them. I stay because of my faith. 

What seemed like a lifetime ago, I was laying across my bed, sobbing with a heart so full of grief, I didn't think I could bear its weight. 

My parents had popped in for a "surprise" visit, unusual in itself, since I lived 40 miles from them. It didn't take long to realize, it was no surprise visit, but a visit that had been planned for several weeks, the words probably already rehearsed. 

They told me in their all-too-casual, no-big-deal, way that my healthy, way-too-young, father was having heart surgery . . . the very next day. 

I was the only shocked person in the room since my Hubby had known for weeks. 

He was the only other person they had told. 

You see, there is this one thing I left off my gratefulness list, a biggie in my life's thankfulness. 

My Hubby's big strong shoulders. He has carried the weight of the world for me in my hardest moments of despair. He has carried my fear and my hopelessness and my pain and turned it around and helped me see that with him there beside me, it is all just an extra push up the mountain. 

He did that for my parents, when they needed financial and insurance advice and a practical head and a strong shoulder. 

He is Goliath when it comes to that. 

They made him promise not to tell me. They wanted to protect me, their grown-up little girl from all the worry and fear and sorrow. 

My dad had some major problems in his heart and we were there for hours in the cardiac surgical waiting room, waiting for the surgeons to say it would be all right, that they fixed him back, good as new, that life would go on, just as it ever had. It was a promise, sadly, they could only make for far too short of time.

As the hours dragged by, the surgeons finally appeared, telling us they had replaced valves and bypassed many times over and it had gone well, but there was a long, uphill battle to be fought. 

The next day, I was still in shock from the news that my father had just had major heart surgery, much less was in intensive care trying to recover. I couldn't imagine life without my dad, my much beloved, such a part of my everyday life dad. I felt like a little girl again, so helpless and afraid. My Hubby was at work, my baby was asleep and I succumbed to all those feelings of utter hopelessness and pain and flung myself on the bed, sobbing out my grief. In the midst of my storm, I cried, "God, help me through this. I can't do this on my own." 

And I know it's starting to sound as if you've accidentally changed the channel to the 700 club, but I swear, in that moment, in my most hopeless despair, a peace washed over me, like nothing I had ever known. I looked up into the blue sky out my window and felt these words blanket my pain, "Everything is going to be all right." In that moment, every bit of anguish was instantly lifted from me. 

And I am not that kind of girl. 

I am a cynic of profoundly, huge proportions, but there, on that bed, I knew the Big Guy would heft me over His shoulder and carry me through this land mine of pain. 

Two weeks ago, our phone rang, in the middle of the night. Midnight phone calls are never routine. They are full of dire news, life-altering kind of news. This phone call was no exception. 

When the phone cracked the silence of our slumbering house, I panicked, thinking it was our college girl. My hubby got to it first and it was when he said, "Oh my God, Michelle. No," that I knew my girl was safe, but my friend, oh my darling friend . . .

My only thought was, "No more. She is done."

Without going into too much detail,  for the past few years, my friend Michelle's life has made biblical Job with all his trials and boils, look like a pansy.

An only child, she has recently lost her own beloved father to a brain tumor. He battled bravely for several years. I was with her, eating subs in a Subway on a gray, drizzly afternoon, when she got the phone call telling her his battle had found its end. 

In the midst of her father's illness, her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Her mother's diagnosis came just a few short days, after Michelle had been released from the hospital's ICU unit with grave health issues of her own, issues that took months of recovery. 

Michelle had just recently moved her mom, Julie, into a new assisted living facility. It was a lovely, brand-new care facility specializing in Alzheimer's care. Julie had been living in another nursing home, but Michelle always fretted that perhaps it wasn't enough. She wanted Julie in a place more equipped to handle the constant state of confusion that was now her mother's world.  

On that dark night, no one saw Julie escape the building. 

They'd already put her to bed, hours before. No one saw her slip away, most assuredly confused and trying to find her way back inside or back home or to the shopping center across the street. No one knows. Julie tried to cross the 6 lanes of busy traffic. 

She almost made it. 

Michelle called from an intersection, a block away. They had the entire road blocked off, the dark sky lit up with the multitude of emergency vehicle and police lights. She was never allowed up to the scene of the accident and for this, I think we all are grateful. 

As she spoke to us over the phone, the shock and pain in her voice, so painfully palpable, she found it inside herself to say, "She's in the arms of my dad now, her mind no longer broken."

In less than 2 years, we were back at the same funeral home where we honored her father's life. 

Michelle has a husband, much like mine. Tim is gregarious and fun and his shoulders are strong. He has stood by Michelle's side throughout all her trials, taking good and proper care of his lovely wife who has borne her suffering with a strength and grace of incalculable might. 

In the middle of the Christmas season, a few days, after burying Michelle's mother, we all went for the weekend over to the Land of the Mouse. 

Christmas presents were still waiting to be bought, the Christmas tree was bare, Christmas cards, (oh forget it, we won't even go there), and 5 new puppies needed a huge chunk of time and attention. But, we turned our head away from the duties of Christmas, got a babysitter for the pups and went to relax and laugh with our dear, dear friends. 

Michelle wanted to see the Candlelight Procession, an annual event at Epcot that tells the story of the birth of Christ through song and story. It involves a Mass Choir, a huge orchestra and a celebrity narrator. 

In all honesty, I was more interested in getting a bottle of wine and a platter of french cheeses and breads from France and sitting down for some awesome tourist watching. 

But, it was what Michelle wanted and we were making it a group effort-- to find happiness for Michelle. 

We got to the amphitheater, minutes before the show was to begin. I was amazed at the crowds of people. We had to stand outside the amphitheater's roped off seats. Even Davey Jones didn't get crowds like this. 

Chita Rivera was our celebrity narrator and even though she did a stupendous job, I was bummed to find out Andy Garcia had been the narrator the week before. There's just something special about listening to the birth of Christ, while getting to view some eye candy. I'm just sayin'. I don't think the Lord has any problem with me admiring Andy Garcia. God did make Andy. And He did an awesome job, I might add, especially when He added that Latin accent. Yum. 

But, we were speaking of the birth of Christ. 

We stood at the back of the theater, the constant flow of traffic crowds behind us and as the orchestra's heavenly strains soared around us, as the chorus, lit by the glow of candles, marched in their voices raised to the sky, and as the re-telling of that ancient, divine night began, I forgot the wine and the crowds and Andy Garcia and his accent. I was swept away by those words, the words that have borne the promise of man for century upon century. The promise that all of us borne into this world, will live, and laugh and know joy and despair and we will love and create new life and we will end our days, knowing that those who have gone before us, are waiting, waiting, all because of that one holy night, thousands of years ago.

It was on that crowded, boisterous street in Epcot, the story of the Christ child unfolding so beautifully before us, the choir singing, "Joy to the World, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King. Let every heart prepare him room...", that I turned to check on my darling Michelle. She stood next to me, her eyes closed, in rapturous peace. And I knew. God had my friend in the palm of his mighty hand, carrying her through.

The destinies of our lives are so beyond what any of us can ever fathom. And it is in those mysteries that great joy and deep sorrow are born. Grace is in the essence of those moments, good and bad. We only have to look inside our hearts for its profound treasures and know that every moment here on earth is set before us already and it is up to us to make it a life worth living.

God is good. This is my truth. 

I will leave you today with the final words of the Candlelight Processional. Words that I will try and hold  in my heart, to sustain me in all my days to come.

"He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a house. He didn’t go to college. He never visted a big city. He never traveled 200 miles from the place He was born. He did none of the things one usually associates with greatness. He had no credentials but himself. He was only 33 when he died…. More than 20 centuries have come and gone and today He is considered by many to be the central figure of the human race and the leader of mankind’s progress. All the armies that ever marched; All the navies that ever sailed; All the parliaments that ever sat; All the kings that ever reigned, put together have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that one, solitary life."

Merry Christmas, one and all. May you enjoy the holidays in whatever beautiful faith and form it holds for you. 

Today's Divine Download: I'm giving you a couple today. The first is- "Let There Be Peace On Earth" by the Harlem Boys Choir. These guys bring out the splendor of that majestic song. "Let Peace begin with me. Let this be the moment now. With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow, to take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me."

And then we have Amy Grant's, "Breath of Heaven." I think Amy Grant should just do Christmas songs. That's it. It's the only time I like her. This song is the story of what the Blessed Mary was probably feeling and going through. It's a quiet, beautiful song, recapturing what must have been, her anguish and then her beautiful plea, "Be with me now. Breath of Heaven hold me together. Be forever near me. Breath of Heaven." One of my favorite Christmas songs. 

And then we have, Faith Hill's "A Baby Changes Everything." Gosh, Faith can bring it. I love this song so much, especially the end, when a choir chimes in and Faith sings, "A choir of angels sing, Glory to the new-born King. A baby changes everything. A baby changes everything. Everything. Everything. Everything. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. My whole life has turned around. I was lost, but now I'm found. A baby changes everything...."

For my friend, Michelle who has traveled her path with a righteous, noble grace. I am here, always, my friend. 

For These and So Much More-I am Thankful
Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's been a trend on my facebook lately, everyone reciting their lists of thankfulness. And in this dark time in our country's history, it is so refreshing to see people reflect on what they have-- the true depth of their happiness. 

Now it's my turn.

I'm going to skip the obvious, which are Bono, my Hubby and children and family, our health and happiness, blaa, blaa, blaa. Everyone's thankful for that crap. 

Instead, I'd like to focus on the things most people don't even think about.


*High-thread-count sheets. Every night when I curl up into my bed, I thank the Lord above for the inventor of high-thread-count sheets. Maybe it's not exactly what I should be praying about, but I don't want the Lord to think I'm ungrateful. We told our friends Tim and Michelle about high-thread-count sheets and they were all, "Whatever, Fancy Nancys." Buuut . . . . they gave it a shot and now Tim is all, "Damn you for turning me onto high-thread-count sheets. Now, I can't ever go back to the economical yet scratchy Bed in a Bag."

*Hysterectomies - specifically mine. Hysterectomies are little party favors from the medical community. It's like the docs are saying, "Thanks for stopping by and making some of our house payments with those 3 kids you chose to bring into the world. Now, here's what we're going to do for you--we're going to take out your tired womb." God Bless the gynecologists who have provided this jingly joyful service to women all over the world. 

*The man whose running schedule intersects with my school route every morning. His really thick shock of hair and his preference for running shirtless, thereby displaying his nicely sculpted pecs, are as yummy as my morning cup of coffee. And I haven't even mentioned his cut-just-right running shorts. Good Morning Running Man!

*Certain aspects of misogyny. Specifically, the belief my Hubby holds that since he is the man, when we are in a car together, he should drive. His driving misogyny holds no rhyme or reason. Like Dustin Hoffman, I am an excellent driver, and I repeat this phrase in a Rain Man-like way, over and over to him when he insists on taking the wheel like the man he is. But, I do so enjoy that macho belief of his when it's late at night and we're driving that long stretch of hours from the Mouse World and I am sleeping off a day of fun and he is driving--because he's the man. 

*Profanity. Because I would not be able to be an excellent driver without it. 

*Satellite Radio. It's like cable for the radio. My ears feel like they're going to combust when I'm forced to listen to the regular radio with the fast talking car announcer and the tired playlists of the same 10 songs. I'm especially grateful to the Alternative Nation channel. I want to kiss my radio when I'm on that station.

*The Limousines and their fabulous song, "Very Busy People". Because, that song, this morning, gave me the patience to drive behind the gentleman whose last car was most certainly a Model T. He was ripping down the no-passing, single lane road at a strong 20 mph. The speed limit was 45.

*My Hubby's feminine side. He is a manly man who likes good food, good wine and loves to cook. He also loves to shop for kitchen things, candles and high-thread-count sheets. I love that part of him.

*Fried Bologna Sandwiches. The other day, I noticed the sign on my neighborhood Hardee's grease cafe. It said, "We now have fried bologna sandwiches." And I thought, Dear Mother of All Things Holy. Who eats such vile crap? I snapped a picture with my phone, which I am unable to download, because the phone is new and I am a technical moron. I showed the picture to a group of my friends the other day, still in complete disbelief that this restaurant was advertising this, clearly proud of the sick crap they're shoveling down our throats. Every darn one of my friends was all, "I love fried bologna sandwiches!" And now, they all have a plan to go have breakfast together at the Hardees and eat fried bologna sandwiches. And I'm thinking, this is why I love America! Because you have the right to eat shit for food. 

*My eyeliner. Because it was lost and I was majorly bummed because I'd just bought it and then I was looking for a pen in the black hole that is my car console and there was my eyeliner! I'm going to thank the Lord for that tonight, when I'm praying about my high-thread-count sheets.

*These hot chocolates and the hand-made marshmallows my sister sent us. The combination of these things is as close to God as you'll ever get.

*Spanx. The best invention since the wheel and Snickers candy bars--thus the need for Spanx.

*Google. Because, search engines have made it so much easier for me to figure out that my dry cough is definitely the first sign of the Ebola virus that will eventually cause me to hemorrhage out my eyes and die a slow, painful death. My hypochondria thanks you, Google. 

*The Dung Beetle daughters of mine. Because without their dung mess, I'd be out of a job and then I'd have to *gasp* do something purposeful with my life, like find a job and then I wouldn't be able to google my medical symptoms all day

*Cuban Sandwiches. Here, in this part of the Tropics, we have a heavy Cuban influence in our foods. I thank the Lord for this, too. The best part of this heavenly food is the traditional Cuban sandwich, made on Cuban bread stuffed with roasted spicy pork, ham, swiss cheese, mustard and pickles and never, ever with tomatoes and lettuce. The outside is brushed with honey and butter and then pressed. When done right, it's so insanely delicious, it should be our state symbol.

*Seasonal Yankee candles. Because there's nothing like the smell of a puppy, but I definitely don't want my house to smell like puppy.

*The phone set my hubby bought with 5 phones. Because on an average day, we can count on finding exactly and only 1 of those phones as we race around, while the phone rings endlessly, screaming, "Where are the f#@*g phones?"

*Friends who care enough about me to send Facebook hugs and hearts and snowballs and flowers, even though I never send them back. It's not that I'm selfish and uncaring. It's just I get on that page and buttons are flashing and messages are scrolling, and there are instructions for everything, everywhere and the next thing I know I'm having to find 70 friends to send hearts to or I don't get my one stinkin' heart. I just finally gave up. So . . . thanks friends for all the stuff. I'm too dull-witted to be able to send you anything back. I'm pretty sure it's because of the alcohol my mom drank while pregnant. Not her fault. Every pregnant women had a cocktail in their hand back in those days. No one knew it was bad. And hey, if I was pregnant with my fourth kid and all my other kids were still toddlers, I'd be a-drinking, too. 

*Jon and Kate. It was fun, wasn't it?

*Paper towels. Because I am a germaphobe and the thought of cleaning my counters with a sponge freaks me out to undeniable proportions. Sorry, Save the Earth people.

*Paper plates. They sure beat running a dishwasher. Sorry again, Tree Huggers.

*People who know how to wear fashion. I've always wished in America we had fashion police. I know that goes against what America stands for, kind of like the fried bologna thing, but I would so enlist in the fashion police squad and I would be the fashion cop brought up on brutality charges, that's how seriously angry I get over bad fashion. Here's my latest pet peeve: Straight leg jeans. Just. Don't. Do. It. Ever. There are about three people in the world who can pull off straight-leg jeans and look good. Three. Here's a hint: there's a reason the tag says, super-skinny. Cause, those are the only people who should wear them. Duh! I'm all for celebrating curves, but skin-tight straight-legged jeans on fat-assed people ain't any party I want to attend. And for the Lord Above's sake, if you're a man, FORGET ABOUT IT! No one wants to see that! Are you listening, Jonas Brothers? 

*Johnny Depp. I'm not sure what it is about that man, but he is just plain, freakin' hottie-hot, sex on a movie screen. My Hubby asked me to watch a movie the other night. I always try to keep him company, but usually I'm out cold within the first 10 minutes of whatever. But, this night, he popped in Public Enemies with Johnny Depp as John Dillinger. I was riveted. The only time my eyes closed, was when I almost passed out from all the swooning sexiness oozing off our screen. Occasionally, I thank the Lord for Johnny Depp.

*Christmas shopping. Because I haven't done any of it. And it is Dec. 17th and I have to stop blogging and googling and get started.

For these and so many other things I haven't mentioned like-Downy Orchid Allure dryer sheets, the TMZ website, Top Chef's Fabio, goose down pillows, molding hair paste, push-up bras, lizards, candy apples, Purell, my car, blonde hair dye, Craig Ferguson, that couple and their wedding party who danced down the aisle to Chris Brown, pedicures, Santa Claus and just a mazillion other precious, precious things, I am eternally and utterly grateful. How bout you?

Today's Ho-Ho-Ho Download: "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" The original by Judy Garland. It's rather a melancholy song, but so sweetly beautiful when sung by the extraordinary Judy Garland. She just had a way of pouring her sad, little heart into all her songs that made them luminescent. 

"Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas. Let your heart be light. Next year all our troubles will be out of sight." For Michelle.

Christmas Cards AKA The Albatross Around My Neck Choking Me To A Slow Death
Thursday, December 10, 2009

I know you've realized by know, Internet, that I'm a private person. Really private. But, for today, I'm going to open up my private, little heart and let you in on a serious flaw of mine. 

It's just this: I can not handle much stress and taxing situations in my life. I have a very low tolerance for overtaxing. 

I've got friends who are like superwomen. They manage to have a career, head up all kinds of committees, keep their kids involved in 400 activities a week, work out daily, do that scrapbooking crap that I can't even begin to wrap my head around, keep their house and laundry in a non-hoarding kind of order, cook, have friendships AND get out of their pajamas every, single day. 

I can not even begin to compete with that. 

While everyone around me is talking up their decorations, their completed Christmas shopping, their freakin' Christmas baking, I remain silent, afraid to expose my loser, under-taxed self. 

I've got my decorations up...well, except for my bannister which is an ungodly undertaking. Seriously. 

It involves several hours, garland, sprigs of sparkly poinsettias and other Christmasy foliage and a lot of fishing wire. When I'm through, the effect is stunning, but as I'm sweating and unraveling and inserting and cutting and tying, I can only think, "This is such BS! It's freakin' coming down in 3 weeks!" 

I was watching Martha Stewart one time. I don't watch her for any cooking or decorating tips, I only watch her for the soothing tones of her voice. It's very relaxing, like a hot stone massage for my ears. 

She was carving these gourds into lanterns. She carved them and dried them out for a couple of days and painted them and then-- then she wired them with real electricity! And when she was done, she strung them up in her gazebo and they were beautiful, glowing gourds, perfect for Autumn. And at the end of all this work, she said, "They should last you about 3 weeks!" 

And right then, I wanted to bitch slap Martha! Who wires a gourd for 3 weeks of use!!! That is just...ludicrous. I can think of a lot better things to do with my time than wiring temporary gourds.

So, I've got the bannister to do and...(as I hang my head), I've still got to put up my tree and I've done no, zero, zilch Christmas shopping. 

It will all get done, but it will get done with a tremendous amount of whining, tears and pouting. I just hope Santa's not watching.

I could never be an air-traffic controller or a heart surgeon or a kindergarten teacher. The stress would kill me. But, most of all, you know who I definitely couldn't be? 

Bernie Madoff.  

I think about Bernie Madoff often -- probably way too much. And I'm sure I'm the only person in the world who feels a little sorry for him. 

I can't even begin to imagine the stress he lived under, defrauding all the rich people of the world with his super successful Ponzi scheme and having to keep it a secret from everybody, all the while everyone is thinking he's some wunderkind of investing.

I wonder if he came close to cracking when Kevin Bacon and his wife invested their life savings with him? Rich people are one thing, but celebrities? 

Everyone knows celebrities are super special human beings, more special than the rest of us. They remind us of this by giving their kids names that we normal people aren't special enough to think of,  like, "Toll Plaza" and "Grapefruit" and "Blue Jay".  And you can so see their super-specialness in the time and money they spend on making themselves look better than the rest of us. And you can definitely tell how special they are, by the way they tell us non-special people who to vote for and what issues we should be focused on. 

We really need to be more grateful to the celebrities. 

I wonder if Bernie was all, "Oh Crap, now I'm defrauding the SPECIAL PEOPLE!"   

I bet you anything he's happier than he's been in years, sitting in that jail cell, because his stress is all gone...AND he doesn't have to put up a stinkin' Christmas tree and not because he's Jewish but because he's in jail and I don't think they allow them to have Christmas lights and hooks and glass and metal ornaments in their cells being shank material and all. At least, I think they're shank material. I've never had to make a shank, so I'm not really sure if those items can be used. I'm just guessing.

And this year, I've got a few more reasons to be stressed...5 of them. 

My puppies are unbelievably cute and they're starting to walk like drunken sailors and when I put my face in the box, so they can focus on me, they wag their little tails and gently smack me with their tiny, little paws. Just so cute. 


I'm dealing with puppies who are still too small to understand the concept of potty training. 

Their mother, Paris Hilton, stimulates their #1's and #2's by licking them. Sorry Internet. You've got to take the good with the bad here at Animal Planet. 

And that was fine at first, because she'd just lick up their tiny tinkles, but now they're enormous butterballs and they pee just like they walk, like drunken sailors and so I am going through about a 100,000 towels a day. 

And you know exactly what that means! The laundry is coming close to driving me to the edge of insanity. All I do all day is wash pee towels.

Pee is the whole reason behind my Christmas downfall, this year. 

And I can't even begin to think about the Christmas Cards. 

It's been 3 years, since I've managed to send out a card and you should hear the trash-talkin' I'm getting over that!

Every day I get a new Christmas card in the mail, I don't relish it. I don't sigh happily. I just think, "Damn you, Christmas!" Those cheery little cards just add to my overtaxed state. 

I think the card that makes me feel like the biggest loser is my sister-in-law's, the Bad Ass. In between hunting down terrorists and solving big-time murders and arresting Columbia Cartel, she sends out cute Christmas cards of her kids, with the little comment, "I better be getting one this year!!!"

I have good intentions, but Christmas just gets closer and closer and before I know it, I'm staying up all of Christmas Eve wrapping presents because nothing's wrapped because it was all bought just a few days before. 

I used to be great with the Christmas cards, every year posing the girls in some new and inventive way. 

This one is my all-time favorite.
Julia was 2 weeks old. I was much better then at being overtaxed. With 3 small girls, you just multi-task every moment you're in a non-sleep state. And this moment was no exception. We had a Christmas party to go to that night. I was still puffy and gross-looking from having a 2 week-old baby and so I figured since my body was a hopeless cause, I'd focus on my skin and hair. 

As I snapped pictures of my angels, I had slapped on a Borghese mud mask, which is like the best mud mask everrrrr, but I look like this while it's working its magic. 
And I hadn't brushed my hair yet and when I wake up in the morning, my hair looks exactly like this:

Except blonder.

I was taking pictures in my foyer and as anyone with small children knows, getting children to pose for pictures is one of the most stressful things on the planet. 

As I worked with my cherubic crew, trying to get everyone except the 2-week old of course, to look at the camera at the same time,  the doorbell rang. I opened the door while still snapping pictures. It was a little girl selling magazines for her school fundraiser. 

Now, I'll tell you something right here, Internet, if your kid ever needs to sell something for school, have them come find me. I'm a sucker for any kid who has the chutzpah to go out and sell. If they're selling, I'm buying, no matter how cheap their crap is or how many rolls of wrapping paper I already have. 

The little girl looked at me and her eyes turned into giant saucers. Forgetting my look, I asked her in my friendliest voice what kind of magazines she was selling. 

It only took seconds for her to burst into tears and run from my doorway. 

I haven't been able to top that one yet. 

I'm really hoping to accomplish cards this year. It all depends on the Pee. 

Today's Ho-Ho-Freakin' Ho Download: Wham's "Last Christmas". I can safely say this will be the ONLY Wham song I ever suggest. It just reminds me of when the Hubby and I were first together. It still gives me that sunshiny, butterfly feeling. 

And the brilliant Glee does a take on this, too. I just don't know what I'll do without my Glee until April. It was a downer of a tv night for me last night. Glee was goose-pimply great, but it was depressing knowing I was saying goodbye for too many months. And then, that big, teddy bear of a man, Kevin, did not win Top Chef. The crabby, mean-spirited brother won. I'm so tired of the molecular gastronomists winning. Food should not be prepared with the use of dry ice. Dry ice is meant for roller skating rinks and magicians, not for ravioli. And that's all I  have to say about that. 

Bare Foot Pimpin'
Monday, December 7, 2009

The whole Tiger beat-down, 4-skanks-and-counting fiasco was indeed, pretty shocking. But, my biggest shock from the whole mess, came from a little comment sandwiched in some salacious article I read. It was a part of Tiger's driving citation for barreling the Escalade through the neighborhood hedges and jacking up the fire hydrant.

Evidently, it is illegal to drive barefoot in Florida. 

I was all, "For Real?" when I read that informative tidbit. Unbeknownst to me, I've been a child- chauffeur, soccer-mom felon all these years. 

This is the South. We do everything in bare feet. Well, except grocery shop, public restrooms and dining out. Only Britney Spears and the folks who live in the DEEP South go barefoot in public establishments. You know, those cross-eyed folks who marry their siblings, play banjoes and find possum stew to be a fine, culinary treat. I'm talking DEEP south. 

But, for the rest of us, we wear our calloused feet as badges of honor. I can walk across a steaming blacktop without flinching because my feet are just plain bad-ass. 

If I'm chauffeuring kids around which is really what my life has come to, I don't even think about putting on shoes. I just jump into the car, barefoot. And, more often than not, I am barefoot AND in pajamas. Man, I hope there's no law about wearing your sleepwear while driving. Cause if so, they might as well haul me off to jail right now. 

It's kind of a stupid law, really. I don't understand the point. In fact, I can feel the brake and gas better with my bare feet. Besides, if I'm in a pretty pair of heels, I don't want to scuff them up because of some moronic law. Seriously, who thought this law up? Clearly, someone with too much time on their hands. I bet you it was the same person who decreed that sex with a porcupine is a no-no in the state of Florida. A genuine law, for real. 

Who even thinks about sex with a porcupine? I have a feeling that said person is related to some of those deep south banjo players. I'm just sayin'. Facts are facts.

I'm putting it out there right now, Internet, I'm going to continue to break the law and drive barefoot. So, if there are any cops reading this who need to fill their monthly quota, just look for me. I'll be the one with the jammies and crazy hair. 

I'll leave you today with a True Story that has nothing to do with Tiger Woods or driving barefoot, but once again, it's just me proclaiming my dumbassness on the Internet. My little gift to you. 

You are welcome. 

In my early 20's, I used to be the proud owner of a Ford Pinto. That's right. The car that exploded on impact when hit from behind. 

I lived on the wrong side of danger. In my bare feet. 

But, the thing about my Pinto is it was some sort of Limited Edition, Yes, that's right, a Limited Edition Pinto. I also lived a pimpin' lifestyle, along with living on the wrong side of danger. And this Limited Edition had some sort of super turbo engine. I don't know any of the names of the parts in an engine. I just know it went super-fast. 0-60 in 10 seconds, fast. 

And that is EXACTLY what you want when you've got a car that implodes on impact when hit from behind, a super turbo Limited Edition speedmobile. 

I was a high-pimpin', fast-livin', barefoot driving chick in those wild days. 

Anyway, I had just come from the hospital where I'd gone to visit the first baby in the next generation of our family. My brother and his wife had recently had a baby boy and I was over the moon and all juiced up from my hospital visit. My mom was there at the hospital and I told her I'd stop by her house for a little visit before I went back home to my town, in another county, far down the road. 

I drove the few miles back to my parent's house, my radio blasting, my turbo Pinto turboing. 

And right in front of my parent's house, I noticed blue flashing lights in my rear-view mirror. 

Now, I'm going to stop this story right here, to mention two things. 

One: As said here, I grew up in a very, small town. That'll come into play in a sec. 

And Two: Everyone in this town, knew my family and knew our house which was perched on the side of a busy country road. Everyone knew this was our house because A) As teenagers, every time my parents went out of town for the weekend, which was blessedly an awful lot, my team of brothers and I would have keg parties where we would invite the whole school and then some. To this day, anytime we are standing outside our parent's house, there is a constant trail of beeps, waves and shout-outs from passing cars. We just dutifully wave as we always have. And B) My dad found, God knows where, an enormous plastic, neon yellow banner with a gigantic smiley face plastered across it. He took great pleasure in hanging that smiley face from the front of our house anytime we had a visitor from out of town. He also took great pleasure in the mortification it gave his children. 

I hated that smiley face. 

But, later in life, I was thrilled every time I came for a visit and that smiley face was hanging there, welcoming me home. We hung it up the day of my dad's funeral. Out of all the details of that sorrowful, beautiful day, I know he would have loved that dang smiley face the most. 

So, anyway, as a pimp-livin' but good citizen, I immediately pulled over--right in the smack-dab front of my parent's house. As I sat there, waiting for the cops to get out of their car, passing cars were heralding me with a cacophony of beeps.

Now, I will confess that in my turbo charged days, I did get pulled over more than a few times. I will also tell you, I never once got a speeding ticket. I had a few things in my favor: blonde hair, youth and the ability to cry on demand. Men never know what to do with tears, no matter who they are. They just want to make it stop. 

As I sat in my car, I watched the young female policewoman approach and thought, "I'm a goner." Girls know the real deal about tears. 

But, as she approached my window, my spirit soared. I rolled down the window and said, "Mary-Margaret, what's up?"

Small town favors. 

When we had first moved to the small town, we rented a house for several years from a military family. My policewoman was their daughter. 

Mary-Margaret was a bit nervous. She bent down and said, "Hey, didn't you see me? I've been following you for almost a mile. I had my siren on. I'm in training and my training officer had to tell me what to do. I've never had anyone run from me, yet."

I pointed to the radio. "Oh, sorry! I didn't notice. Rock Me Amadeus was on the radio."

Just then, my mother pulled up behind the police car. Because that's what you want, when getting a speeding ticket, your mom to show up. 

She jumped out of the car and walked up, trilling, "Mary-Margaret, how ARE you? How's your mother doing with her hip replacement?"

The training police officer jumped out after my mother and yelled, "Nothing doing Ma'am. I don't care who you know. This driver is getting a speeding ticket. She was eluding the police."

And my mom, standing on the side of the road, began to debate the officer. "Oh, no sir, that's my daughter. She would never do anything of the sort."

The horns were beeping, people were hanging out of their passing car windows yelling my name, my little sisters were peeking out the front window- laughing, my mom was arguing with the training police officer and Mary-Margaret was standing there, writing me out a speeding ticket, whispering, "Sorry. I wouldn't do this, if I wasn't in training."

You never forget your first speeding ticket. I know I won't. 

To top it off, after the ticket was issued, I pulled into my parents' driveway, bummed out. 

I did smile though, at the sign my little sisters had taped to the front door. "No criminals allowed. Love, The Cops."

I went inside. My mom was still fuming. My sisters grabbed the speeding ticket for closer examination, having never seen one before. Just then, the doorbell rang. My mom looked out the window and announced Mary Margaret was at the door. 

Realizing that their note was still taped to the front door, my sisters fled the room, escaping into my parents' bedroom and slamming the door shut behind them. 

My mom ushered Mary-Margaret into the kitchen, asking her if she'd like some Kool-Aid. Yes, Kool-Aid. Mary-Margaret graciously turned down the Kool-Aid and then sheepishly turned to me and asked to see the ticket. She'd forgotten to sign it. 

Being the good citizen I was, I immediately began looking around for the ticket and it was then my parents bedroom door opened up, the ticket was flung out and the door slammed shut with a trail of giggles following behind it. 

Like I said, you never forget your first speeding ticket, although I'd like to obliterate mine from my memory. 

Today's Definite Download: "Do They Know It's Christmas" by the charitable, put-together group of British and Irish rock stars, Band-Aid. 

I love this song. I love the Feed The World message, but I especially love trying to put names to all the rock stars voices. 

I would have posted the youtube video, but it would only be taken down by the capitalist swine. Go take a look at it when you have a sec. It's a visit to the days when I was young and blonde and had a speeding ticket. It's super fun to see Boy George in all his queenly regalia, George Michael sober, Sting with a pageboy, Paul Young when everyone knew who Paul Young was, and of course, a certain, sexy as everything, gorgeous young rock star with a powerhouse voice in all his long hair glory. *Big, lustful sigh.*

My only problem with this song is, why do only the men get the solos? The girls are all relegated to the chorus, well....except for Boy George. They might be feeding the world, but they're trampling on the equal rights. Still and all....a great song. Enjoy a little 80's rock Christmas cheer. 

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Tweet Me Subscribe Follow on Facebook 

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Subscribe Now

Grab My Button!

Laundry  Hurts My Feelings

Following Me Into The Madness


Blogs I Love

All content (C) 2010 Laundry Hurts My Feelings