Monday, December 28, 2009

Blame it on the milkman

Sigh. Today was my big “Back to work with a vengeance” day, and I woke up with a searing migraine. And, I use the word “searing” because it felt like someone had stuck a hot fire poker through my skull and was slowly twisting. In other words, it was a doozie.

Fortunately, there’s medicine for it. Only one problem, it was at the pharmacy, and I had to go get it. So, as I waited in the drive thru line with my head on the steering wheel, watching the woman in front of me swinging her fist at (and missing) her two small kids as they bounced around in her back seat, I wondered, Why don’t pharmacies deliver?

I would tip them really well; I promise. I mean, heck, I’m already paying $23 a headache pill, what’s 20% gratuity on top of that?

Another item I wish were home delivered is milk. I say bring back the milkman! What happened to the poor fellow anyway? Maybe he suffered from “Blame the milkman” syndrome. I don’t know, but, oh, what I would do to have milk in the house when we need it, which is every single day. Yes, we are out of milk every day. I’ve tried buying two gallons of milk at a time. Know what happens? We are out of two gallons of milk every day.

My boys love to drink milk. When I say boys, I mean my eight-year-old and my husband, who is really an eight-year-old trapped in an adult man’s body, methinks. We girls, my daughter and I, who really need to drink milk since osteoporosis runs in the family, rarely touch the stuff.

Therefore, I never know if we are close to being out until I get the “Stop by and get milk” phone call, which is usually when I’m on the way home from the pharmacy! At the very least, I should be able to pick up a gallon of milk at a drive thru. We used to have a drive thru beer store, so why not a drive thru milk store?

All of this thinking is making my head hurt again. Think I’ll take another $23 pill and wash it down with a cold glass of milk, if there’s any left in the fridge, that is.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Just do it anyway

It’s the day after Christmas, and I’ve just about given up on my resolutions. No, I don’t mean for 2009 – those were long since abandoned – I mean for 2010.

I knew someone once who never made resolutions. He said they just led to failure. Of course, he started everyday with a Budweiser instead of Wheaties, so, perhaps, he was already there.

Regardless, I’ve about decided that mine – get up early, work-out consistently, stop procrastinating, get organized and walk the dog – are totally unattainable. Yet, I know people who do these things faithfully every day.

As I stumble out of bed and toss my kids their eggos, I see my neighbor sitting around the dining room table with her family feasting on bacon and eggs and omelets and homemade waffles. At least, in my mind, that’s what they are eating. At the very least, she's gotten up early enough to sit at the table.

As I sleepily drive the kids to school, I pass three women who walk five miles every day, whether it be drizzling rain, muggy heat or freezing cold. Did I mention they were all over 60, and one of them has had both hips replaced?

I have a friend who does the opposite of procrastinate. What’s that called? Oh, yeah, planning ahead. She works three months in advance. Me? My husband gave me a three-month calendar for Christmas, and I had to take it down because it made me dizzy. And, believe it or not, I didn’t even get around to making last year’s resolutions until July! (Click HERE to see what they were)

As far as organization, I have a friend who meticulously scrapbooks every moment of her kids’ lives, and - get this – actually enjoys it!

And, regarding the dog, my sister, who is much smaller than I, has two very large dogs that she manages to walk without them jerking her arm out of socket like my dog does – and I use a choke collar.

Though sometimes it feels hopeless, I’m not ready to give up making resolutions and drink Budweiser for breakfast. This year I’m going to make one resolution and one only – quit making excuses and just do it. (Feel free to insert your own bad Tiger Woods joke here, by the way.)

Happy (early) New Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Overheard while shopping ...

Overheard while I was shopping last night …

“Mom, you are in that lady’s way.”

“No, I’m not. She’s helping me find a card.”

“Mom, this isn’t Hallmark. What kind of card are you looking for?”

“I want one that says, ‘To my granddaughter and her new husband on their first Christmas.’”





“How can you tell what size these are?” asked a man looking at pajamas.

“On the tag,” replied the woman next to him, an apparent stranger.

“But how can you tell what size fits what?”

“Well, I’m a small,” she said.

“Oh,” he said, quickly putting the pair back, “I think I need a medium or maybe a large.”

“Don’t buy her a large,” she said, looking him squarely in the eye. “Just save your receipt. If she needs to take it back, she can.”

Suddenly it hit him, “Ahhhh, medium it is.”


“What is she – a toddler or a baby?”


“I don’t want to get them any junk. They will just tear it up and throw it away! Let’s get them a game table. They can’t throw that away.”

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Don't ever call me ma'am

There are certain mysteries that I will never understand: the meaning of life, quantum physics, and why it is that I’m unable to get my 11-year-old daughter to call me ma’am, but a 25-year-old woman will?

It happened last night at a Christmas party – a Christmas party, mind you. Women, you know what this means. I was bringing my A game – boots, new sweater, just-right jeans, big hair – I think the big hair might have been my undoing.

Anyway, I see a woman standing in the midst of a group of men (That should have been my first clue), but instead I think, “Poor girl. She doesn’t know anyone, and she is stuck over there talking to those guys.”

So, I walk over and introduce myself, and ask her some question which I’ve long since forgotten, and the woman, who is a foot taller than I am, looks at me and answers, “Yes ma’am.” Yes freaking ma’am. Sorry, losing my composure a little.

Now, in case you are wondering, it’s not the first time I’ve been called ma’am.(If you’d like to read about that painful experience, please click here). However, it’s the first time I’ve been called that by a woman I’m trying to socialize with at a Christmas party, a woman who is dating a neighbor of mine, a woman who should be my equal (or vice versa).

If I had been wearing a hideous Christmas sweater and polyester pants and had gray hair, then, okay, I would understand, but I had my black boots on, for heaven’s sake.

I felt like I had been slapped in the face.

“Ma’am? Why are you calling ME that?”

“That’s how I was raised. That’s what my parents taught me.”

“Yes, that’s wonderful. IF YOU WERE TALKING TO AN OLD PERSON!”

I was beginning to draw a crowd, so I stammered and stuttered my way on to the next polite question but not before I hissed in a threatening tone loud enough for only her to hear, placing emphasis on each word: “Don’t–ever-call–me–ma’am.”

We got along just fine after that.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bring on a new year

It’s almost the night before Christmas, and I say bring on the New Year. Am I a Scrooge? Quite possibly, yes.

I know it is Jesus birthday, and I do love Jesus, but can’t I celebrate it without the lights, the fanfare, the Visa bill? I mean, certainly his birth did not come with all the build up that Christmas comes with now.

And to make matters worse, almost every time I turn on the radio or enter a store I hear the lyrics, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year …” Oh, yeah? Then why is this line so long, and why do I feel so cranky, and why is it I’m so busy buying that I haven’t had any time to spend with my children?

Maybe I’m like Charlie Brown and manage to take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem.

Anyway, I long for a new year. I heard once Christmas is like the Olympics of motherhood. If that is the case, I’m not much of an athlete. My daughter made all of her own cookies, the choir director keeps nagging my son about returning the choir robe, I’ve just now mailed the Christmas cards, and I haven’t even delivered all of our Sally Foster wrapping paper. It’s just not my season.

But New Year’s? That I can do. I make the best turnip greens, just ask my daughter, and I can open the best can of black-eyed peas. And I can resolve to work-out, get up early, go to bed early, drink less, write more, pray more, run, you name it. Yes, New Year's I can do.

And if I don’t? Well, nobody’s disappointed. In fact, it’s expected. So, I say get a move on, Santa. Baby New Year is coming through.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Don't get dirty!

Raising a boy is a dirty job – a filthy job, actually, especially when you are the person washing his clothes. My son, whom I adore, has reached an all new level of grime.

So much so that I recently told him he would have to learn to do his own laundry. He had the exact look on his face that his dad gets when I tell him the same thing - the kind of too-scared-to-argue-with-a-crazed-woman look.

It all came to a head the night of his choral concert. He was supposed to wear a tux, which was fortunately provided by the school.

“All I need is a pistol, Mom, and I’ll be James Bond.”

I wonder if James Bond’s mom worried about him making it out the door without getting his crisp, white shirt dirty.

The night in question I was working in Atlanta, so I called my husband about an hour before I arrived home.

“Oh, he’s playing in the woods.”

“Make sure he comes home and gets cleaned up.”

“No problem,” he said. Women, you know what that means.

I came home to a sheepish-looking boy and an angry husband.

“He is not allowed to go up there for a week!”

I wanted to say, “Why are you punishing me?”

But, instead, I gave him the know-better-than-argue-with-a-dad-who-has-had-it look.

Apparently, my son had come home as called, gotten cleaned up, put on a new set of clothes and then asked to go back outside again. My husband told him not to come home dirty. To his credit, he didn’t; he came home filthy. At least he wasn’t wearing his tux.

Long story short, after a good scrubbing, some pushing and pulling, we managed to rope him into his penguin-suit. We weren’t allowed to walk him to his chorus room, so we dropped him off and prayed he wouldn’t fall into a puddle on the way.

“DON’T GET DIRTY!” my husband and I warned simultaneously as he clamored out of the truck.

The performance went off without a hitch. He sang his heart out despite the fact that his collar was choking him profusely. And, believe it or not, he stayed cleaned. His shirt was untucked, and there was poison ivy on his face from an earlier romp in the woods, but he was clean. And I even have a picture to prove it.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

True love

My son thinks a girl at school likes him. How does he know? She asked him to marry him. He told her to wait until they are in college.

“There’s no way I’m doing that now,” he said. What a relief for his mom! Not to mention, he’s only in third grade and already thinking about college!

Last night, he announced again, “I think Sally likes me.”

“You do? What makes you think that?” I asked.

“When I dropped my pencil, she picked it up and kissed it over and over.”

“Well,” I said, a little taken aback. “She has very good taste. I don’t blame her for liking you.”

He beamed from ear to ear.

“So, what did you say to her after that?” I asked, practicing my role as future nosy mother-in-law.

“I told her she could keep it,” he said. “No way would I want it back after that.”

We, his dad, sister and me, laughed heartily while my son sat quietly.

“Dang! I shouldn’t have done that,” he said.


“I just remembered that was my lucky pencil.”

“What’s so lucky about it?” I asked. I’ve learned it pays to ask these questions.

“I found it on the playground and later I wrote a whole one-page essay with it," he said.

“Are you going to ask for it back?” his sister asked.

“No, I’ll let her keep it,” he said, his eyes shinning and his mouth fixed in a goofy grin.

Ah, true love ….

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Why men need Girl's Night Out

It’s almost that time of the month. Oh, relax! I mean, GNO, short for Girl’s Night Out. Men, if you are, number one, still reading past the first sentence, and, number two, married and want to stay happily married, then embrace these evenings.

Women need to go out with the girls. If you happen to be the jealous type, trust me, they aren’t looking for other men. In fact, usually they are so exasperated with the one they have, they are oblivious even to Brad Pitt, for lack of a better example. Women just need to vent. No offense, but the harmless annoying stuff you do just builds up, and women must have an outlet for it. She’s going to vent, believe me. Far better she vent to her girlfriends about what you’ve done wrong the last few days, weeks, months, okay, years than to you.

So, if you wife says it’s time for GNO, do not reply by saying, “AGAIN?” because chances are, yes, it has been at least a month, and, yes, you’ve done enough that she deserves to go out AGAIN. I know there are exceptions to this. Somewhere out there is a perfect man who does laundry, cooks breakfasts, likes to read and never leaves the seat up, but chances are this mythological creature doesn’t belong to her, so GNO it is!

Another piece of advice for those men who are still reading (and God bless you if you are), don’t think by saying, “Well, I’m going to call Johnny and go to Hooters,” that you are somehow offending her ‘cause she is thinking, “Yeehaw! I don’t have to cook dinner that night!”

Do not ask me how I know this, by the way. I’m a Pisces. I’m intuitive.

Also if your wife goes out, do not comment about how expensive the restaurant is. Just don’t do it. So what if it is the nicest one in town? At least you don’t have to go with her and pay twice as much for something called creamed cauliflower (which I’ve heard is delicious).

In addition, do not lock the door if you go to bed before she gets home. She will not have her key; the spare is never where it should be, and one of you (more than likely both) is going to end up angry. And that means another GNO – soon.

Finally, make sure the kids are in bed when she gets home. No complaining, plus kids asleep, means a good night for you. If you’ve given them a bath, then make that a very good night.

You can thank me later.