Monday, January 30, 2012

Pour the wine and THEN get your gun

I come from a big family.  I have four siblings, and we were all born really close to each other (my older brother and I are eleven months apart, to the day, and two brothers are twins), and we’re a rather raucous bunch for having worn prep school ties and debutante dresses.

(You think that you can assume that the two girls wore the dresses.  But you haven’t met my brothers.)

Four of us live here, and one of us doesn’t.  So the doesn’t one came in town to visit us and my dad over the weekend.
I texted his twin a few weeks ago: Do we have any plans for the night Mathew is in town?
He responded: Thanks for offering.  Your house, dinner party, 7 pm.  Get lots of wine and lock up the dog, because I get frisky when I drink.

(He’s totally kidding.  This is the twisted sense of humor that runs in our genes.)
I love my family.  I do.  But they exhaust me.  As they did Saturday night. 
I bet my family dinner party is totally unlike any dinner party you’ve ever attended in your entire life.
Why?  Well. 

For example…one brother wouldn’t drink wine that cost less than $50 a bottle.  I was hiding the good wine from him and, at the same time, I couldn’t convince another brother to take his motherf**ing Budweiser beer can off my beautifully set table.
For example…a third brother occupied himself with magazines and scissors for a frighteningly long time.  I later realized he was replacing my framed photos with the pictures he was cutting out.
Don’t believe me?  I don’t know any of these people.  And I don’t take pictures of salmon fillets.

For example…my more-elderly-than-his age, previously dignified father responded to the question “What have you been up to?” with a grin and an enthusiastic “I’ve been watching Girls Gone Wild!”  (I don't actually know what that is.  And I'm scared to Google it.  I don't want to have to evict the old guy.)
For example…my very funny neighbor stopped by to bring me scallions.  And realized this wasn't your ordinary dinner party.  And pulled up a chair.  And stayed.  When her irritated husband called her home to walk the dog, she went home, got the dog, came back in the house, let the dog off the leash and poured another glass of wine.
For example…she wasn’t the only neighbor who came over with a dog, let the dog off the leash inside and poured a glass of wine.
For example…when I look at the pictures taken of my dad and his five kids, someone is always holding asparagus spears so they look like they’re coming out of my father’s ears.
For example….there were five empty beer bottles balanced on top of my family room ceiling fan on Sunday morning.  Just daring someone to turn it on.
I am, undoubtedly, the most conservative, staid member of the bunch.  I think my sister sensed my feeling that I was losing control, so she arranged a little outing for us on Sunday:

I was a pretty good shot.

So next dinner party?  I’ll keep everyone in line.
Trust me.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Embrace it. Or bite me.

The other day, I noticed my husband sitting on the couch, watching me, as I zipped around the house doing things. 

Finally, exasperated, I looked at him and said, "What??!" 

"I’ve figured something out about you." 

That I’m a superhero?  That I really do look like I’m still 18?  That my butt’s cute?

"I think you have Attention Deficit Disorder."

I rolled my eyes.

"No, really.  I’m not kidding.  I just watched as you went in the office to get your calendar.  When you went to grab your calendar, you noticed your plant needed water.  When you went into the bathroom to get water, you noticed the light bulb was out.  When you noticed that, you went in the laundry room to get another light bulb.  While in there, you noticed the dryer had finished, so you folded all those clothes.  Then you took the clean dishtowels and brought them into the kitchen.  When you were putting those away, you realized your spices were out of order, so you re-alphabetized your spices.  When you redid your spices, you started to make a list of spices you need.  When you started to write that list, you decided you needed to start your grocery list.  When you started the grocery list, you realized you needed to plan our weekly dinners, so you went in the office and got your calendar so you could write the meals down.  It's like that weird children's book.

"Really, aside from alphabetizing your spices, which indicates a different kind of disorder, you clearly have A.D.D."

I looked at him.

I sighed.

And I replied,

"It’s called being a MOTHER.  We’re efficient in a disorganized way.  I mean, look at the end result.  Within fifteen minutes, my plant was watered, the light bulb was changed, the laundry was folded and put away, the spices were alphabetized, the grocery list was written and all our meals were planned for the week.

"In that same fifteen minutes, you sat on the couch and contemplated mental disorders."

Some day, women really will rule the world. 

We’re already starting, one household at a time.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sigh. Yoga. Again.

(This is me, waving a little white flag.)

(At yoga.)

(Because remember how hot yoga sucks?)

(Well, apparently I’m not so good at warm yoga, either.)

(And I don’t think cold yoga exists.)

I hear from so many people that I need to do yoga. I’m sorry, "practice" yoga. So I tried again this week. Twice.

And, while I really like the stretchiness of it, since I’m not a stretchy person by nature, I was once again reminded that yoga isn’t for me, no matter how many times I try to make it for me. Because I want it to be for me. But it’s not. Why?

Well, right off the bat, the "Ommmmmmmm" made me think I had been kidnapped and was actually attending an exorcism. And I’m Catholic, and not always a really good girl, so that made me understandably nervous.

Then, second of all, I am a rule follower. I am a do-things-right-or-don’t-do-them-at-all person. The whole premise of "whatever you do is yoga and it is good" doesn’t fly with me. If I touch my toes on one particularly flexible day, is that yoga? No. It’s not. I need a white-chalk outline on the yoga mat showing me exactly where my parts are to be at all times so I know that I’m doing it right. Or that I’m a corpse. Both are useful pieces of information.

Third of all, I don’t normally sit still. So when they would contort me into a pose that was actually comfortable and they would leave me there for five minutes and nobody would talk...well, I’d doze off. I admit it.

Fourth of all, I don’t like other people’s sweat near me. So if you are an extremely large man in extremely small non-absorbent NYLON shorts and nothing else except for a thick layer of back hair, and if you tend to grunt loudly and sweat profusely, and you plan to be anywhere near me, well, then, that cancels any enjoyment down dog or up dog could bring me.

Fifth of all, the constant affirmation. Please. Where’s the "try harder?" Where’s the "achieve more?" At one point the teacher came over and pointed to a spot on the other end of my mat and whispered, "No, put your knee here" and I said back, in maybe too loud of a whisper, "It won’t GO there." She smiled and said, "It’s all good" and floated away.

WTF? No, it’s not all good, in fact it’s WRONG. Why can’t you tell me that? Are you afraid I won’t like you if you criticize me?

And the whole "Accept who and what you are."

"Accept the electricity flying from the tips of your fingers."

"Show your thighs some love."

Deep breath.

1. If I accept who and what I am then I will never write a book or run ten miles in 80 minutes or weigh less than a small farm animal. And that, my friends? That renders me without purpose.

2. If electricity is flying from the tips of my fingers, I’ve lost some desperate, last-minute appeal and I’m strapped into Old Sparky. Or I’ve been struck by lightning. Neither scenario is relaxing to me.

3. Show my thighs some love? Seriously? Honey, these suckers can power me through a body pump class, but they ain’t pretty in short shorts or a bathing suit. We need to pick another body part if we’re going to be showing love. (And get your mind out of the gutter. I’m afraid I can’t even find my immersion blender.)

Now, dear yoga, lucky for us both I am frugal, and I did buy an odor-repellent, sweat-repellent, buy-this-and-you’ll-rock yoga blanket. So I shall return, until I have amortized the cost of the blanket or I can stand on my head. Whichever comes first.

Note: yoga people are so zen (or such cheating bastards) that there was no price tag on the blanket, they didn’t know how much it cost and they didn’t give me a receipt. In a yogi spirit I think I was just supposed to accept it for what it is. (I would have accepted it for free, but they were watching me through half-closed, zen-like eyes.) (And I didn’t want to get arrested and ruin the good vibe in the place.)

Namaste. Over & out.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Good vibrations

If you’re related to me, stop reading right now. Really. I’ll write something funny that you can read later, but if you read this, you’ll just be embarrassed.

(Okay, if you’re my sister, you can read it. One, you’ll think it’s funny. Two, you’ve had your appendix and gallbladder removed within two weeks of each other and you deserve a little break.)

So this is today’s post:

For years, I’ve listened to vibrator talk. All (okay, most) of my friends love to discuss vibrators. I’ve listened, I’ve giggled, but I’ve never been remotely interested in shopping for or owning a vibrator.

All (okay, most) of my friends find that completely unacceptable. They think it’s bad enough I am a Sunday school and preschool teacher; they think I am the most repressed person on the planet because I don’t own (and have no interest in owning) a vibrator.

That ended yesterday. With an intervention, of sorts.

With a friend, with whom I was supposed to be having a nice wholesome lunch, who showed up with a bag, a twinkle in her eyes and a "Happy New Year!"

I opened the plain bag.

I took off the tissue paper.

And I said, "Wow, thanks! I've been dying for one of these!"

She looked at me quizzically. "You have?"

Me: I’ve really needed an immersion blender!

She rolled her eyes like I had been clinically diagnosed as a moron.

Friend: It’s a VIBRATOR, you idiot.

Me: What? Not a kitchen tool? Really?

Friend, patiently: No. It’s not a kitchen tool. It’s not to help you make smoothies. You need a vibrator, not a blender.

Me: Oh. Ewww. I don’t. I’m busy. I barely have time to snack on unhealthy food. No time for this.

Friend: Seriously? Five minutes and two AA batteries. You don’t know what you’re missing.

Me: Please. It’s just stupid. Look at this package. "Waterproof for bathtime fun." Who the hell is going to put an electric device in the bathtub? That’s idiotic.

Friend: It’s battery operated, not electric. Stop being uptight. Take a bath with it.

Me: And be the person who gets electrocuted trying to use a vibrator in the bathtub? No way. No way in hell.

Friend: Fine. Chicken. Keep it in your glove compartment.

Me (dumbfounded): Oh. My. God. Are you so A.D.D. that you can’t sit at a red light without a little entertainment? I’ve never heard of such a thing.

Friend shakes her head.

Friend: Really. Right before you pick the kids up from school, you’ve got five minutes, so know. If you listen carefully, I’ll bet you hear a steady buzz in the neighborhood at that time. Being a stay-at-home mom DOES have its perks, you know.

Me (sighing): Is it time for lunch?

Friend (clearly resigned): You make me sad.

So fast forward to this morning. I woke up next to my husband, in our king-sized bed. I stretched. I yawned.

I noted that my shoulders were sore, so I asked my husband to rub them.

Then I had an "A ha!" moment. And I pulled out my new toy.

I turned it on.

"See? It vibrates. Use this on my shoulders."

He looked at me intently for a minute, then rolled over and went back to sleep.

Sorry, my sexually liberated friends. I know I am a disappointment to you.

But my shoulders? They feel GREAT.