...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

the future has not been written. nor has it been read. because my kids have done neither of those things since christmas.

If it is true that machines will one day rise up and overtake humanity, as Terminator 3 wished to have us believe - and clearly they did, because it is right there in the title of the movie - then my sons, each with their respective Nintendo DS devises firmly in hand for the past 72+ hours, are one step closer to falling victim to this scourge. Toss in my husband, who has also so far been unable to be successfully pulled back into the Resistance thanks to the Wii that SkyNet (or Santa...I can't be sure which)(although I AM pretty sure there's a reason both of their names start with an S and both are rarely seen) saw fit to also deliver to our house and, well, you can safely assume I fear for our future.

Come with me if you want to live.

Or if you just want tips on how to play a better game of Super Mario Brothers.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

i just realized i have the same hairstyle as i did when i was six

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Most days, I figure I am too. However, because this is the most wonderful - and busy - time of the year, I'll try to keep this post as short and sweet as my sister and I were in this antique photo. Before I go on, I'll allow you a moment to get the requisite "Awwww! Weren't you adorable as a six year old!!" out of your system.

Good now? OK.

To me, this picture says a few things.

Me - "Pssst! Since when do we get gifts for Independence Day?"
My sister - "Shhhh! You're going to blow it for Labor Day."

I'm haunted by my great-grandma's love of crocheted apparel and my mom's love of dressing my sister and I alike for a large chunk of our childhood.

Wonder what else I think this photo says? Look in my eyes up there. Can't you just see my brain gears spinning? Based on my gift (do you remember Husker Du?), chances are I was thinking "If there's an Easy Bake Oven under the tree for that kid, I am out of this family tomorrow!"

You can pretty much assume the knowing little smirk on my sister's face was a good indicator of what she ended up getting. Yes, I'm haunted by my sister's keen ability to produce delicious treats with nothing but the power of a light bulb.

I'm also haunted by her blonde, naturally curly hair and the way she shot up past me to a sleek 6'1" in seventh grade and has always been mom's favorite, but bygones. Don't let her adorable face fool you, my friends, for this sweet faced cherub is the same girl who grew up to chuck a knife at me when we were in our 20s.

Anyway, what I want to say with all this is I hope you all have a lovely Christmas with your own family. I'm planning to take some time to fulfill my visions of hugs and happiness and game playing (that Husker Du game is STILL in my mom's basement!) over the next couple weeks. Even now I must be off so the boys and I can go to my mom's to decorate Christmas cookies with my sister and two nieces. If the day dissolves into chaos and knives are tossed, at least they'll be covered in delicious frosting.

Merry Christmas, my friends.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

head games

A couple of weeks ago, before embarking on a morning out running errands, I tweeted my plans to leave the house wearing Crocs and a Scrunchie. Because nothing says "Thanks for giving up before even trying!" like that top to bottom debacle, I figured why not also let my Facebook friends in on the magic about to be unleashed upon the suburbs. In both arenas, I suggested no one cast the first stone at me because, let's be honest here, haven't we all donned a fashion disaster and mistakenly thought we looked damn good?




(somewhere there are photos of you in rainbow suspenders...stirrup pants...an Ed Hardy t-shirt...)

Within seconds of posting, friends started filling my Twitter stream and Facebook page. One asked if I was sporting a traditional ponytail or rather decided to rock one on the side (damn...if only!). Another queried (nay - TAUNTED) "Is ur Snuggie in the wash???" to which I had to take a series of deep cleansing breaths before responding because clearly that particular friend doesn't yet fully understand how deep my allegiance is to the Snuggie (nor, apparently, my marginal disdain for Internet abbreviations like 'ur') and apparently, we need to work on our relationship before we can go much further.

Undaunted, I ventured forth and had a productive morning. I smiled at fellow shoppers. Made small talk with others. Clearly, I thought I was quite charming. So when I asked two women standing near me as I finished my shopping if they wished to use my cart, I was surprised when they shook their heads furiously, then rapidly dashed to the next aisle without saying a word. "That's weird," I thought.

Weird and also apparently horrifying because when I climbed into my mini, I caught a glimpse of myself, utterly disheveled, in the rear view mirror and my reflection screamed in horror a full 10 seconds before I did. Stray shocks of hair had dislodged themselves from the Scrunchie, making me look like a crazed Medusa. At some point between leaving my house and arriving at my destination, my pores had birthed a set of clotted septuplet zits upon my chin that were now screaming and red with fury. The top button of my winter coat had given up the fight, fallen off and run away. And OK, I'll admit it, my feet, encased in the once loving embrace of my Crocs, hurt so much that my face was pinched in pain, giving me the appearance of a dried apple doll or constipated baby.

I rushed right home, buried myself under my Snuggie, and vowed never again to leave the house looking such a fright.

Until today...

Oh, yes, my friends, as my mom always says, I'll never learn! This morning, once again armed with an errand list and the false assumption that I'd not see a bunch of people at Target four days before Christmas (oh, hilarious!), I again ventured out of the house in a manner perhaps not fitting public consumption. This time, however, I opted for my running shoes over my Crocs (you have a pair and you know it), but the hair...well, the hair was still a bit of an issue. Sure, I pondered the Scrunchie for a few minutes, but the memory of how it let me down still haunts me, so I went another route.

Friends, today I walked out of my house and into the masses wearing a Bumpit.

Oh, I hear you out there with your screaming and your "Seriously?!"

Seriously. The only thing I'm teasing about with this confession is my hair. Forget Jersey Shore's Snookie. My big pouf is the next big thing. In fact, you know what? I'm going to adopt my very own guidette nickname. What do you think of these ideas:

D-Pow! (exclamation point totally not optional!)(clean STD test results also not optional)

The Incident



The Position

Hard to choose, friends. So hard to choose.

In my defense - and despite the rabid paranoia I felt while assuming everyone in the health and beauty - oh, the sweet irony - aisles were staring at my altitude achieving head - I must confess I find the Bumpit to be ingenious! Will I wear it again soon? Sure, if by soon you mean in a few months when I work out a few imaginary scenarios of how it could perhaps fail me if I wear it to work. But sure, like my Crocs, I'm going to wear those hair gripping marvels again, and you know what? It feels good to get that confession off my chest. Or out of my beehived head, as the case ma be.

But chill out, Freckles McGee, because I've got another confession that could make thing potentially more pathetic than the pouf. While I, The Position, was at Target getting the situation with my errands under control, I wandered over to the music and DVD section, and without warning, found myself leaving the store a few minutes later armed with Foreigner's greatest hits CD.

I know, I know! But dammit, I, D-Pow! wanna fly, don't want my feet on the ground! I stay up, I won't come down!

And if I can't, thanks to my Bumpit, at least my hair will.


Monday, December 14, 2009

it's not you, Christmas, it's me

Christmas? Can you come here a minute? I think we need to talk.

Listen, you've always been good to me. All this time we've been together, you've pretty much given me everything I've ever asked for. What's that? Oh. yes, I've forgiven you for not giving me that Easy Bake Oven when I was younger. I was being selfish and petulant. I'm glad we could move beyond that dark period in our relationship and get on with things. You really made up for it over the years, Christmas, and I thank you. I wish you could stop worrying about that.

You know what I find so amazing about you, Christmas? That for all the giving you've done, you've never once asked for anything in return from me. Sure, I try to do the whole "church thing" and understand the reason for the season and all that. I commiserate with you when I see you depicted as some silly oaf or snoozing animal decked out in a Santa Claus hat across the front of a greeting card. Since I'm being honest with you, though, I'm admitting now that I've most often sent out some snarky little cards over the years. Oh, come on! You know my friends!

Seriously. Enough about them! This is about us.

I've tried to be consoling when you've gone on and on about how others just don't get you. I know it's been hard for you to understand why people want to horn in on our relationship. When they start showing up in September, poking around and putting up pretty decorations, trying to lure you away. Well, I'm not gonna lie. It can be a little hurtful. I've seen how you look at them. I pretty much cast aside Halloween for you and you expect me not to be a little bit jealous? Halloween and I kind of had a good thing starting there before I realized my loyalties to you again. And let's just say it's a good thing I get a little more turkey when you roll up, m'kay? How have you not noticed the way Thanksgiving looks at me?

Listen. I don't want this to turn into an argument. You're too jolly for something like that!

OK, since we're being so honest, I have to get a few things off my chest.

What's that? Heh. Oh Christmas! You always know how to make me smile! Yes, you're right about my chest. It is a kick ass rack. What? You want to see it? Oh, OK...

Wait! What are you trying to do!? Please don't change the subject! Can we get back to what I was saying? I adore you! Really! But listen...

What? Oh. you just knew there was going to be a "but" in there? Please don't get snippy with me! OK, really, stop looking at me like that or I'm going to cry and I told myself I wasn't going to do that! Dammit! How do you have this kind of power over me?!

Listen. Listen! Would you just come back here?

I've been working a retail job now for five of your seasons. You assured me it would be busy and such. That people would be nice and friendly. That deep down they knew you were good and that would rub off on them. It would be all smiles and cheerful "Merry Christmas!" greetings. You taught me to not be afraid to say that even when people went with the less invasive "Happy Holidays." You taught me to give in spirit and not abundance. You assured me that, with proper planning, I'd be able to help you out by doing some of my own shopping and spreading our love to others.

But I'm tired. Your ideas aren't really working for me this year. People aren't being so nice anymore! They growl some response to me when I ask if I can help them, or they're pushing around in the aisles, forcing me to just grab like a mad woman when I go shopping. And they're messy, Christmas. The people are just so messy and rude lately. Plus, I don't think I can say "Would you like a gift receipt?" one more time without the possibility of provoking some carnage soon.

I'm tired, Christmas. I'm just so damn tired.

So what I'm saying is I think we need to take a little break. What's that? Are you crying? OK, now I'm going to start crying again! I thought I was stronger than this, dammit! I've been practicing this speech in my head for a week.

Yes. Yes. Yes, I still love you. No! I don't want us to be apart forever. Are you kidding? You mean too much to me, Christmas! I just think we need a little time apart. Figure out who we are without the other, you know? I think we're mature enough we can still be friends, don't you?

What's that? Oh. you plan on sticking around?


I have to go back to the store and work now. In the children's department, Christmas. Yeah. What do you think about that? See what you're making them do to me? That alone should be cause for a permanent break-up.

But you know what? You're right. I do love you. I'm so glad we had this talk, aren't you? What'dya say we celebrate our stronger, improved relationship with a little celebration? I say let's go shopping!


I originally published this in December 2006. Oh, yes, my friends! I totally just re-gifted you!! Come on, though. Doesn't this beat that set of body lotion that smells like a flower never grown in nature? And didn't it fit perfectly when you tried it on? See? This is the most perfect gift ever! You're welcome! It was my pleasure! Besides, working a retail job this time of year means I've been working a lot, and it's sucking the life out of me, but everything I do, I do for you. Even if I rehash the old stuff.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

oh, by gosh, by golly, it's time for mistletoe & holly...

...and making out with my youngest son.

OK, not really, but wow, for the past month of so, my sweet boy has been laying the love down on me like the only virgin in his graduating class (His college graduating class. Fingers crossed!).

To be fair, I get a bit of the love from this child on a regular basis; however, there are many times when I have to barter for a kiss or make promises I can't weasel out of for a hug (a lesson he's no doubt picked up on via the documentary that plays out daily in the living room between his father and me). From approximately February to mid-October, if our house were to go up in a blaze, my sons would be all, "Grab the man who buys us things and lets us ride in his truck! Forgo the woman who incubated us in her belly and nurtured us from her bosom! Rapido! To the mailbox, where we agree to meet in the event of emergency!"

But when the holiday season rolls around, as my youngest boy begins to realize the impact his moderate disregard for me at any time other than when I'm tempting him with ice cream or narcotics (kidding) might have on his naughty or nice scale, he turns into a little love machine. Don't be surprised if you walked into my house and heard Barry White, Sade or the soundtrack to High School Musical 3 caressing the air and my little Lothario giving me the "How you doin'?'" eyes (which, were this my husband, would involve him jiggling his glass at me in the universal sign to get him a refill, but for my son, it means beckoning me over with a little finger wag. Alas, it's his middle finger. We're still working on that).

Every day, at any time, I'm showered with kisses and squeezed as tightly as tiny arms can squeeze. Admittedly, I love it. I relish the gleam in his eye when I ask him who loves him and he says "Mama where, at any other time of the year, his answer is always "Dad!" Not to take sides, I do complement my query by asking who else loves him, so he will respond by saying his father does, too, but I must admit I'm soaking up the first place love after being an "also ran" who only crosses the finish line after a lot of begging and perhaps some fake tears.

You could say I'm simply coaxing the love out of him by always asking him who loves him. I'd argue that I'm just preparing him for the psychological warfare women will unleash upon him one day and perhaps administer for the rest of his life. Toughening him up for the inevitable with these wicked games we play. But the kid can be a wonderful softy once December arrives in full force. These days, he walks around professing his love for me like some woebegone Romeo.

"I love you, Mama."
"Mama, I love!"
"Have I told you lately that I love you, Mommy?"
"My love, sweet Mama, 'tis greater than the mountains and farther reaching than the stars!"

Who wouldn't love that? I'd like to get me some of that in July, when gifts and stockings and heeds of "Santa's watching you!" didn't have to be used as warfare.

So for now, I'll take what I can get, and the delivery of hugs and kisses has been staggering. To store up on what I fear will drift off again by December 26th, I will ask for kisses at every opportunity. Waiting at the meat counter at the grocery store Monday evening for our pork chops to be wrapped, we counted how many times we could share kisses until our order was complete. At my oldest son's basketball game this past weekend, I'd snag a peck for every pick. God bless this child for not being too ashamed to plant a pucker on his mother in public. At least for now.

However the love gets doled out, whether it's sincere (and yes, I believe it is, and I believe in Santa Claus - at least a little bit! - too) or whether it's fleeting, I'm hoarding it like someone who snags all the perfect presents on their holiday wishes and looks forward to giving them to someone they love.

Because the kid is a charmer. And because I know when the answer returns to always being "Dad!" that within that response he means me, too. And because I have to hold onto the hope that he'd actually not leave me if our house was burning. Because for now, it's burning with love.


Thursday, December 03, 2009

in case you were wondering...

I haven't been stolen away by a marauding band of renegade Bigfoot.

Or Bigfeet, since there would have to be more than one to form a band. Bigfeet just doesn't sound quite as evil.

Of course, there's also the chance I actually was nabbed, and they are standing behind me right this second, making me write this so as to buy more time to drag me deeper into their forest haunts. It's really up to you to decide, I think.

Anyway, I just thought you would want to know. Of course, if you didn't want to know, you're going to feel really, really bad when you turn on the news in a few days and the top story is about a gang of scary Sasquatch.

Assuming I was stolen away, that is.