Monday, August 31, 2009

Hello, pervs

Yesterday I was cleaning up my website and realized that the link to an essay I had written for MetroParent years ago no longer led to that essay but did still lead to some comments which have left me a little comments I don't ask for tend to do.

The essay was about my then-six-year old son and his tendency to go through periods of insisting that we would - eventually - be married. I CLEARLY STATE in the essay that I am aware this is a phase, even if it did seem obsessive at times (my son tends to get obsessive about things) but that it also led me to an awareness of why Mother-in-Law's get the bad rap they do...(and I'll just sum it up for you here) because even though you WANT this boy to find someone and be happy the fact that SHE walks in your house with that proprietary attitude like she knows him better than you ever will just makes you want to pull her aside and repeatedly tell her stories of how he used to propose to you, his sister, her friends, and ALL HIS BABYSITTERS SO DON'T' BE SO FRICKIN' SMUG!

So that was my essay. And it was all in good fun. But the comments....well, the comments were from freaky women with freaky friends who sons can't let go and are all Oedipal and yeah, it's great that you're able to recall your high school literature classes but please don't be making those comparisons to me and my innocent little boy.

And, NOT because I feel defensive but because I feel CREEPED OUT by these commenters and the people they hang out with I would like to update anyone interested.

Has my son become a freaky little Momma's Boy?

Um, no.

I was told years ago not to kiss him in public, then last year not to touch him in public. This morning I was informed that he no longer needs to be tucked in at night. Apparently 8 1/2 is the magic age where it is no longer cool to love your mom.

Sigh. I'd put up with all the freaky comments for one more kiss goodnight.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Why did I laugh at the giant scary booger?

I have started to suspect that my family isn't normal. Today we all went to the movies, but Daughter and her Friend saw one movie, Husband saw another movie, and Son and I saw Shorts. We even drove two cars because Shorts started 25 minutes after Post Grad and I didn't feel like waiting around with an 8-year old who tries to make me discuss what Cheat Codes I would come up with for Final Destination (or whatever video game he's currently obsessed with) whenever we are alone but there is nothing else to distract us.

Yes, I'm a bad mother.

Shorts was just OK. Without giving too much away, one of the scenes involves a kid picking his nose and the booger growing ridiculously large and mean and attacking the kid and his friends. Here's the thing; the booger was too realistic. Even at its normal size. And then when it started growing...well, you couldn't help but laugh because you just knew where the movie was headed and it was so disgusting and even my son - who has never heard a fart joke he doesn't like - was saying "Sick!" while he was laughing and then made me cover his eyes because the giant booger was just that disgusting.

And I laughed. Though it did put my off my popcorn and Raisinets.

And then I remembered the "Booger wall sign" section of

And now I can't stop thinking about boogers. Ugh.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

All I want is a little QWERTY keyboard

I admit: I had no idea I would actually use the texting capability of my phone. That is why, when I bought my new phone in February, I put 0 emphasis on a QWERTY keyboard and a lot of emphasis on a flip phone (because I have an aversion to constantly hitting the unlock key and especially to butt/purse dialing. I am still scarred by the time my husband came home and played me the message from when my cell accidentally called his while my then-three-year old daughter and I were in the car and the message was 2 1/2 minutes of us singing The Wheels on the Bus at the top of our lungs).

But...the GPS/Internet plan I wanted for my pretty new phone in February also came with 200 texts per month which I started using, because my daughter was carpooling to Plymouth twice a week and she would text me when it was time for me to pick her up or when she was running late and it actually came in quite handy that I could reply to her.

So I got in the habit of texting.

And people started texting me more.

And then I started Tweeting - which can also be sent to your phone as texts.

And then Daughter turned 14 and we upgraded her Text Message Plan as her gift and realized a month later that it's really not enough and we upgraded again (and then ended up upgrading AGAIN) and got unlimited texting for me as well and more and more people started texting me, which I like, but it takes me forever to respond so I started to check into getting a new phone (even though I still love my pretty red phone) with a QWERTY keyboard and...

ATT&T you have totally let me down.

I've called. I've visited your store (more than once). Your lame-ass sales guy (who was wearing TOO much cologne, btw) tried convincing me that I REALLY need an iPhone and when I told him that I've done my research and I really don't WANT an iPhone he (and every other salesperson) started ignoring me and told me I could "look around if I wanted" and then when I told them I know I'm not eligible for a free upgrade but maybe we could working something out as I've upgraded my plan three times in the last two months I was told "No. You're not eligible. Go home."

So now I'm home. But as you can see I'm still a little pissy. And I still don't have a QWERTY keyboard.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What made me ever think that public school was free? (or paid for by my taxes)

Today is school paper work day. I'll get the usual complaint right out of the this age of computerization AND trying to be "green" WHY am I filling out the same 10 pages of paperwork - per kid - EVERY YEAR when they are returning to the same damn school? (Even if it's not the same building, it's still the same school system).

This year begins our Adventures in High School paperwork and now I see why some of the people that live around me have no problem with paying to send their kids to private school. There's really no difference, financially.

Student Handbook/Planner (they give you the handbook in your packet but you have to pay if you want to keep it -sneaky) ...................................................$5.00

Activity Ticket (This is basically your Student ID embossed with a special insignia so you can get into sporting events and social activities. WHO is going to force their kid to flash the ID around at school every day WITHOUT the "special insignia"?)...............$40.00

Yearbook (with the warning PRICE WILL INCREASE LATER IN THE YEAR!)...................$55.00

PTSA Booster Membership (includes directory)..........................................$25.00

PTSA Student Activity Grant Donation (suggested)......................................$25.00

Parent subscription to student newspaper (really?).....................................$35.00

Class Dues (Now, the only payment above that is really required is the $5 if you're going to keep the planner, all the rest are optional. But on the Explanation page you can read things like "students that pay the class dues get a Spirit Week T-Shirt at no extra cost" and who is going to let their kid be the only one walking around without a Spirit Week t-shirt during Spirit Week?)...................................$25.00

There is also a Family Pass available for $100, yearbook photos (so your picture is IN the $55 yearbook), parking permits (for older students), extra copies of the directory (why?), the walking-into-school fee, the walking-out-of-school fee, and I've yet to find out what it's going to run for art supplies and sports and gym clothes. And of course there's the cost of my time spent filling out the paperwork and the time spent bitching about it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

As if High School Weren't Hard Enough Already

They sent us the wrong schedule.

Oh, I've had the right schedule hanging on the bulletin board since May but I tend to look at things as I need them (i.e. right before I walk out the door) so when I recently received the postcard from the school with all the dates for Freshman Transition and Registration and The Branding of the Freshmen I dutifully jotted them down on the calendar and then panicked when my boss asked me to work this week. I informed Husband he would have to get Daughter to Transition Day and then take Son to work with him until I was able to pick him up and rearranged the whole frickin' week ONLY to find out today when we picked up the Registration Packets that they sent us postcards with LAST YEAR'S DATES ON THEM!


NOW I get to rearrange next week's schedule.

Meanwhile, Daughter is in a tizzy because she's not supposed to have to take the two state-required gym classes because being on the skating team fulfills one of them and she was going to wait and take the other gym class during the summer one year but they put her in gym instead of foods & nutrition and will I pleeeeeease call her counselor to see about getting them switched?


(I have a feeling I'm going to be saying that a LOT this year.)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Drunken Frat Boys at Baseball Games

I wish I knew if his name is Benny or Bernie. Not that it really matters, but I heard "Shut up Benny!" or "Shut up Bernie!" so many times at the Tigers game last night that you would think I would have been able to figure out what the drunken frat boy's name was. Although I never learned his true identity I DID learn a few things about him:

A) He is loud

B) He was drunk

C) He "loves his Tigers."

D) Shoes make him walk like a chicken.

This idiot started yelling at the start of last night's game. He was two or three rows behind us but might as well have been screaming into a megaphone right into the back of my head, THAT is how loud he was. He was also throwing around a lot of "F**k that!" and "F**kin' Tigers!" which I did not appreciate because my kids attend a lot of games with my husband and there were other children in our section. When he started yelling the woman to my left sighed and flinched (Really, it is nearly impossible to describe just how LOUD this guy was) and I said "I say we all pitch in and buy him more drinks until he passes out." Until the Tigers got up to bat he was merely annoying. Then he turned Ridiculous. "Leeeeeeeeeeet's goooooooooo, Graaaaaaaaaaanderson! Leeeeeeeeeeeet's goooooooooo, Graaaaaaaaaaaanderson!" I wanted to tell him to shut up, we were in section 314, and there was no way Granderson could actually hear him except that he was SO LOUD that he probably could. And just when you would think that Frat boy couldn't possibly have any lung capacity or voice left, he'd give an even louder "Leeeeeeeeet's gooooooooo, Graaaaaaaaaanderson!" Our row was slightly relieved when he hopped out of his seat and stood on the stairs to continue his cheering only because his loud voice was no longer hitting us in the back of the head. Then he skipped down (barefoot, why?) to the stairwell where the Security Guys stand and started doing an Operatic version of the cheer - holding out the final syllable of the players name with one hand in the air and the other on his chest like a Diva wearing a hat with horns. (We all had to admit that it was impossible not to admire his lung capacity.)

But then....the Security Guy whose post he had usurped reappeared and sent him back to his seat where he insisted to his buddies (who seemed to be sitting suspiciously farther and farther away from as they yelled "Shut up Benny!" or "Shut up Bernie!") that they should dare him to run out onto the field and that he was going to "F**kin' WILL the Tigers to victory" all by himself. There were a lot of F-bombs and one guy eventually yelled "That's enough." Nothing stopped him, though, including the chastisement from Tigers Security because a few minutes later he was again standing at the post he'd been forced out of and the Security Guy was sending him back to his seat. He put up a bit of a fuss and Security Guy put in the call for back-up.

He scurried back up to his seat and when the Security Duo approached him he stared straight ahead like "maybe if I don't look at them they won't know it's me." They told him to remain in his seat. "But I can cheer, right?" he said. They agreed that he could cheer, but no more profanity. "I NEVER used profanity!" he said and at this point my husband turned around and said "You most certainly did!" and the guy stuck his lower lip out and gave my husband the boo-boo face like "Dude! Why would you tell on me!"

We got up and left. There happened to be two vacant seats along the rail and we sat there, waiting for this idiot to get himself thrown out of the game. He did eventually walk out with his buddies, who had apparently forced him to put his shoes back on. They did not look happy. He looked like a drunken chicken.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

More Adventures in Shopping

(Note #1: I am not paid to endorse any of the mentioned stores.)

I'm pretty sure I have spent more time shopping in the last few weeks than I spent in all of 2008. This morning I took Son to camp then Daughter and I hit the mall for jeans (that she needs for school) and tennis shoes (because she has to babysit all weekend and I'm a Soft Touch.)

We started out at J.C. Penny because my daughter, the bargain shopper, found that they carried the exact shoes she wanted for $15 less than everyone else which would have been big kudos to you, J.C. Penny, if the shoes were actually available. Not only were they NOT in the store, but we had to wait through a tedious process of giving all our information and enduring the saleswoman training three other employees (not her fault, I know, but how about starting them off on an easier transaction?) only to find out at the end of the process that the shoes are on back order. The Very Nice Saleswoman said she was Going to the Back to find out when they would be available at which point I said we were Going to Finish our Shopping and would Check Back on our Way Out. (Note #2: Saleswoman bemoaned the store computer process which doesn't give out info until the very end of the transaction and was incredibly apologetic when the shoes weren't available AT ALL. (Note #3: Thus, my Tweet earlier in the day about J.C. Penny putting merchandise on their website that they CAN NOT sell you!))

Daughter went off to do her own thing and I searched out Sephora for makeup to hide the wrinkles. Sephora has the BEST customer service! I was offered all kinds of options, they tried all kinds of things to see which would work best, they sent me out into the mall with a mirror to really the check the results, and - most importantly - they did not Suck Up or Judge. I really don't need the "Oh My God you look great for your age but let's just head over to the Spackle aisle!" speech. (Note #4: Again)

Next, Pottery Barn. I love the Classic Pint glasses and, as my dishwasher goes on a killing spree once every few months, they are cheap enough to replenish without feeling guilty. At least they USED TO BE cheap enough. Today they were twice as much. $4 instead of $2. I bought them anyway and when I was unpacking them at home found that a few of them had $2 price tags on them. When I called the store the saleschick asked me for the number on the tag then said "When I, um, input that, um, number, it, like, rings up as $4. I guess you could, um, bring them in and my manager MAY give you a credit for the difference on those ones."


I am now researching new suppliers of pint glasses. Luckily Pottery Barn does not have the market cornered.

And then....the market. Which I will not name because I really like the manager. But I ran in there on the way home from an appointment because I wanted to make green beans for dinner but didn't have sunflower seeds and I guess I COULD make green beans without sunflower seeds but really like the combination and the store was right on my way home. So, I find the sunflower seeds, and a few more things, and wait in line and when I check out the clerk sees that the sunflower seeds have a sticker that says $3.49 but they rang up as $3.99 and she asks another (apparently more experienced) employee who does NOT say "Just ring them up as $3.49" but instead MAKES ME WAIT while she goes to check on the price.


And when she (finally) comes back and says that they are $3.49 the clerk (who I've been sympathetic to up until this point) rings up my order $3 short but instead of, perhaps, realizing that I've already spent twice the amount of time that it would normally take to purchase sunflower seeds and dried cranberries (an EXCELLENT combination, btw) she makes me RE-SWIPE my credit card to charge me the $3.

Needless to say, this market is now For Emergencies Only.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Creeped out

Within the last week I have been shopping a few times with my daughter and have noticed a disturbing skulking around the women's departments. Perhaps this has been going on forever and I didn't notice until I had a pretty teenage girl with me but I still have not showered enough to get the "Ew" off of me.

On Saturday we visited DSW. My daughter and her friend hit the aisle with tennis shoes (thankfully) while I hit the high heels (that make you stand up straight while on camera). There were several men in the aisle with me, not only skulking ...but shopping! WTF! It was so disturbing I wanted to ask for a Fitting Room just to try on shoes. I couldn't help but eavesdrop when one of the Pervs got into a discussion with a female shopper about why he was there. Apparently he buys high heels on sale and takes them to women's shelters because "a good pair of shoes gives a women confidence."

I'm guessing that a confident woman in high heels also gives him a boner, but that's just a theory.

Today we shopped at TJ Maxx. I like a bargain as much as the next girl but from now on am willing to pay a little more to avoid Freaks loitering near the Fitting Room entrance. Especially since, no matter how long they "waited," no woman EVER came out to ask EVEN ONE of them "Honey, how do I look in this?" If all I'm overpaying for at the mall is a more competent voyeur, I really don't care. Being openly gaped at is a day-trasher.

Monday, August 3, 2009

It's on like Donkey Kong

So, there's "this boy."

He and my daughter are just friends, but he's been popping up quite a bit lately - on her phone, texting her, at the park - and I am not really allowed to discuss him OR even really supposed to mention his name because .... "Mom!" Apparently I embarrass her. She's never embarrassed when she wants money, though. Anyway, "this boy" most recently popped up on AIM (which I didn't know people actually use). I got home from work one day and AIM was open on the PC in our office. Daughter has a laptop in her room (yes, I know) so when I sat down to work and "Wassup?" appeared on AIM from "this boy" I politely responded "This is not A. This is her mother."

Not being fluent in AIM I didn't know that if she also has AIM open on her laptop upstairs (which she did, of course) she could also see - and respond - to his plaintive "Wassup?" and, indeed, did, to which he replied something like "OMG I said wassup and your mom replied it was so funny!" (He probably didn't use the word "replied" but I'm also not fluent in 13-year old boy except, of course, for leaving out any kind of punctuation.) So I typed

Yeah, I'm hilarious.

Next thing I know, Daughter has materialized by my side with her laptop in hand to show me exactly how I am ruining her life by responding to these IM's which isn't really fair because my original intention was just to be polite and let him know that he wasn't talking to who he thought he was talking to so perhaps he shouldn't be saying anything he wouldn't want someone's mom to know.

You would think that would be the end of the story. But last week Daughter informed me that "this boy" thought the whole episode was SO FUNNY that he snapped a pic of our IM exchange and posted it on his Facebook page.

But I'm not supposed to say anything.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Birthday cards

Last night, on the way to a birthday party for one of my husband's friends, I noticed the envelope of the card wasn't sealed.

"Are you going to seal this?" I said.

"Go ahead," said my husband.

And then I saw the card.

My husband had taken the party invitation and refolded it inside out then written Happy Birthday on it. "What the hell is this?" I said. "I have birthday cards in the house."

"Guys don't give guys birthday cards," he said.

Now, my husband used to be this guy's boss. They are both respected professionals. Yet I am supposed to believe that it is unacceptable for one of them to give the other one a greeting card but it's totally all right to hand over a gift card inside a homemade-recycled-badly folded "card" with T-MAC! scrawled on it in ballpoint pen.

"Did you sign my name on that 2nd-grade art project?" I said.

Of course he did.