Monday, January 30, 2012

The smoking shoe

"I smell a column," a friend said, as I frantically tried to put out my smoldering shoe.

Yes, you read that correctly. Just when I was wondering what to write about next, lo and behold, my shoe catches on fire.

It started right about the time my son ran out of the woods and said he'd been shot. Granted, it was by a paintball gun, but I was still concerned. Although since he's now an experienced player (this was his third time), I obviously wasn't concerned enough to put my feet down from the fire ring I had them propped on.

I did, however, turn and listen intently to when, where, how and, more importantly, who shot him. You see, I do keep a list. I know it's just a game, but I'm still his mama, and one day I may just give in to his pleas to join him. And when I do, revenge will be sweet. But for now, I'm gathering intelligence.

I looked in horror as he showed me his wounds - right hip and funny bone, a blow that made his arm shake, he said. I was in the midst of chastising him for not putting on more padding like I told him to when I smelled it -- burning rubber.

He was saved by the smell.

"My shoe's on fire!" I shouted, jumping up and yanking it off my foot, to the amusement of those around me. "Honey, do something!"

"It's fine. It's not on fire," my husband said, nonplussed.

"Yes, it is! It's smoking!"

"Try rubbing it in the dirt," my friend said, helpfully.

I rubbed and rubbed, and in the middle of this chaos, my son -- ever the opportunist - got right in my face and asked, "Can I get a Coke?"

"Sure, sure, whatever you want. My shoe is burning!"

"No, it's not," my husband said, which made me want to prove that it was even if I had to throw it in the fire. Instead, I grabbed a nearby bottle of water and poured it on the sole of my shoe.

"Listen to it sizzling!" I said, watching smoke rise as the fire was slowly extinguished.

"I guess it was on fire," he said. "You're right."

Actually, I made up the last part, but that's how I heard it in my head. It was then that I had a major female dilemma. Do I mourn the loss of one of my favorite tennis shoes or bask in the glory of being right? I'll let you guess which one I decided to do. I'll give you a hint: my toes may have been toasty, but there was a great big smile on my face.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Moms' mysteries of life

I watched a movie during the weekend about a man who pops a pill and suddenly everything is clear to him. Life is no longer a mystery. He understands the stock market, politics and the actions he must take. Must be nice. It made me think, "What would it be it like to uncover the great mysteries that moms face every day?"

Here are some of the things that plague me on a daily basis:

Why is it that every time I close the bathroom door, someone calls my name?

And why is it when I yell to tell them where I am, they repeat it to the person who's calling on the phone?

Why is it that "Nobody" does so much mischief around the house? He tracks in mud, puts back empty cartons and leaves a mess on the floor. I'm sure "Nobody" knows the answer to this one.

What is it about bedtime on Sunday nights that makes kids remember they have a project the next day?

Furthermore, why is it that they can't remember their projects, but they can remember the exact price I paid for my purse and then they repeat it when their dad is in earshot?

Why is it that I have to ask them how to operate my phone, and the Wii, and the DVD?

Why is it kids can beg for a pet for 10 years and then forget about it in 10 minutes?

What do house plants have against me?

Why is it that coupons expire the day before I try to use them?

Why do kids tiptoe past Daddy in order to wake Mommy up?

Speaking of Daddy, why does his cooking always taste better?

And, why doesn't the fire alarm go off when he's doing the cooking?

Why don't kids mention when something's leaking?

Why is it that every sporting event is called by a different name, i.e., meet, match, game, etc.?

And, why does everybody laugh when I get it wrong?

Why do my kids always win gold fish at the fair?

Why are all my doorknobs used as hangers?

How is it that they get older, but their dad and I don't?

Why is it they don't believe us when we say as soon as they are grown, we're going to buy an RV and take turns parking in their driveways?

Why is it that as soon as you buy a case of their favorite food at the wholesale store they stop eating it?

Why is it they are smart enough to make all A's but can't operate a single appliance?

Where does all the Scotch tape go?

How did my pool table get transformed into a Lego table?

Why is it they want me to hold everything while their hands are empty and mine are full?

And, why is it that I do it?

Finally, the last question is a doozie.

Why is it that in a blink of an eye they are gone?

Friday, January 20, 2012

What DID you talk about?

I was at a party the other weekend, and the women were gathered in the kitchen, as we tend to do, sharing everything from the crab dip recipe, to concerns about our children's education, to hopes and desires for the future.

During a slight pause in the conversation, we looked out at the patio where the men folk were gathered around the fire.

"I wonder what they are talking about?" one of the ladies asked.

You can bet it was none of the above. Now, am I saying that men don't talk about their hopes, their dreams and their concerns about the future? No, but they certainly don't talk about them with each other. In fact, it's sometimes hard to determine exactly what men do talk about when they are together. I secretly think it's why sports was invented.

Women, on the other hand, are far different creatures. Within a matter of minutes, we know intimate details of each other's lives.

Ironically, though men say less, they seem to remain friends longer. Don't believe me, ladies? Quit talking to your girlfriend for a week and see what happens.

You can bet she'll be at home going, "I don't know what's wrong with so and so. I think she's mad at me. She hasn't called me in a week. How dare she be mad at me after all I've done for her? Just wait until the next time she calls me to babysit ..."

You get the idea.

Men, however, can go decades without speaking to each other and then pick up the phone and go back to insulting each other and talking about sports like they never missed a beat. I've hung around waiting for my husband to get off such a phone call before. As soon as he hangs up, I ask, "Well, what did he say?"

"Not much. He's doing good."

"But what about his wife? How is she? Did he say anything about her?"

"No, didn't mention her."

"Well, what about the kids? Has their son graduated? Did their daughter get married?"

"He didn't mention it."

And, then comes the question all men dread hearing.

"Well, what DID you talk about?"

We had dinner with some friends - Jerry and Barbara - the other night, and they told the story of how they had received a Christmas card from a co-worker and his family. The card showed the couple posed with their 5-year-old son and a newborn baby.

"Jerry, you didn't tell me that they had a baby!"

"That can't be their baby. I've talked to Kurt almost every day, and he never mentioned anything about a baby," Jerry protested. "That must be the neighbor's baby."

"Jerry, why would they send out a Christmas card with the neighbor's baby?"

"Then they must have adopted a baby."

Barbara scrutinized the photo and said, "This baby looks just like everybody in the photo!"

Then she asked yet another dreaded question, "Did you FORGET to tell me they had a baby?"

"No, Kurt didn't tell me. I think they must be trying to hide the baby!" Jerry said in desperation.
Wasn't long before the conversation got back to the couple with the baby.

The wife's reaction?

"Kurt, you mean you never mentioned to them that I was pregnant? What DID you talk about?"

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Forever Lazy

As I write, the temperature outside is 27 degrees, and my son is mourning the fact that he is "left out in the cold."

No need to call DFACs; he's bundled up in his camouflage Snuggie -- last year's hottest "As seen on TV" item. As cozy as it may be, he calls it a "poor imitation of the Forever Lazy."

If you haven't heard of the Forever Lazy, then pat yourself on the back because it means you didn't watch much television over the holidays. If you have seen them, then you are probably laughing, and rightfully so. The Forever Lazy looks like footie pajamas with a hood, which make its wearers look something like a giant Teletubbie. My daughter, husband and I all got them for Christmas.

It was meant to be a joke after we watched the actors on the commercial frolic outside in their warm Forever Lazys. Yes, folks, they aren't just meant for the couch. The commercial even shows how "you'll be the talk of tailgate party" in your Forever Lazy. You can say that again! While Snuggies have an open back -- similar to a hospital gown --Forever Lazy has a zipped flap in the back, very convenient for "when duty calls," said the commercial.

Also very lazy.

"That is one step away from the nursing home!" I said to my husband.

Famous last words.

The next thing we know, the three of us are all zipped up and marveling at how warm and convenient they are. Well, all except my poor son. Fortunately for the rest of the world, we aren't ready to show up at the next high school football game or run down the middle of town in them. But, you just never know.

Last spring, my husband and I went to a Jimmy Buffett concert. It was an unseasonably cold March day. I guess I could have dressed appropriately for the weather, but did I mention it was a Jimmy Buffett concert?

I was freezing, so my husband passed me what I thought was a blanket and, without thinking, I tucked my arms into it, thankful for its warmth, when I heard a 20-something guy exclaim behind me, "Is that a Snuggie?"

Yep, I have worn a Snuggie at a concert. At first, I was mortified, but then realized there was something rather freeing about it. So, even though we laugh at the Forever Lazy, I realize it's only a matter of time before I'm tailgating in one.

In the meantime, perhaps I'll use my Bedazzler to make it sparkle, my Thigh-Master, so I'll look good in it, the Ped Egg for my pre-concert pedicure and my Ove-Glove to help cook the tailgate snacks.

Last year at the Buffett concert, I decided it was a good idea to karaoke in front of the camera. This year, I know I'm better off wearing my "As seen on TV" products than being one. And, if that makes me forever lazy, then so be it!