...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.

Monday, March 29, 2010

i said 'cool, but i'm leavin' my pants on'

My youngest son brought this order form for spring pictures home from school early last week, and friends, I kid you not, I spent the better part of 30 minutes a day since last Tuesday staring at it, wondering why in the world the photography company was recommending the kids be sure to have pants on when Picture Day (the holiest of holy) arrived.

EVERY DAY!! Over my delicious bowl of high fiber cereal, I'd chew away on the fruits and flakes while staring at this sheet. "Of course they'll have pants on!" I'd say to no one. While paying bills, I'd uncover the form while punching numbers into the calculator and shake my head. "Do they seriously think kids are going to show up to school without pants on?" I'd cry, also still to no one.

Finally - FINALLY! - after almost a week of formulating scientific theories and losing sleep over this (it could happen), the reason this pants advisory was on there hit me. Eureka! "It's the pose, dummy!" you're all yelling. "Duh!"

Duh! If you want your kid to splay out like some sort of weird 1970s, 'Do you like my faux fur rug? It is very soft. Come. Lay down, won't you?" pose, pants are where it's at.

::forehead slap::

Good heaven. Seriously. I spent the equivalent of more than FOUR HOURS - though I'm going to round up and say six because it was slow around here over the weekend, which gave me ample opportunity to devote more time to my research - wondering about this! Criminals, are you in the market for a clueless witness? I'm your gal! You know what, geniuses of the world? You can clearly relax. I am no threat to you. Calm down, members of Mensa. I mean you no harm.

(I honestly had to Google 'Mensa' to be sure I had the name right because, well, hi, have you been reading this post? I didn't want to screw it up with 'Menses,' because that's an entirely different kettle of fish now, isn't it - and I interrupt this massive parenthetical outburst to inform you that Tool Man just said I'm like Rain Man smart when it comes to periods...bwahahaha, someone clearly knows the wrath of my mighty PMS sword! When I discovered I was right - back off, geniuses, you're still OK - I decided to take the organization's fun little brain workout and scored 19/30! Nineteen out of 30!! Sure, that's not a great grade - and OK, I cheated on a couple of the questions I got right, and I may have teared up at the math - but damn, people! That's edging pretty darn close to savant territory for the likes of this girl!)

Since unearthing this amazing mystery, I've spent the rest of my time walking around the house saying things like "Whoops! It seems I have forgotten to don pants today!" and "Is it breezy in here, or did I just forget to slip into slacks?" all to the annoyance of my family. Some of them were irritated that I was saying these things in a variety of poorly executed foreign accents. Others simply didn't approve of my use of the word 'slacks.'

Don't worry, though. I actually WAS wearing pants. Need I remind you, I'm not ENTIRELY stupid.

(ahem - 19 out of 30, beeches!)


Speaking of pants, I'm going to the doctor tomorrow afternoon to get the lump in my breast checked, although I suppose if she has me take my pants off to check said lump, I'm going to hop down off the exam table and look into getting a new physician with a better grasp on anatomy. To say I'm not exactly looking forward to this visit would be an understatement. However, I'm doing everything in my power to pin down some of the courage I crave and that I spoke of in the above linked post and take this step. I'm also doing everything I can to believe that this lump is not something bad. It's just not...because I honestly don't want to imagine that it could be something bad. That's not to say those thoughts haven't tried to creep in. They have. They're sinister that way. I just, to paraphrase one of the Mensa brain workout questions, can't count my chickens before they're hatched.

Anyway, I'm finally going the doctor tomorrow, and at least that part of all the dark parts of my life will be crossed off my list (it will...it will...it will...). I wish my Tool Man was coming along, but apparently, he has to be out of town for work. I guess that's OK. I mean, there's not going to be any chickens to count when the appointment's done, right? Right.



So that's where I'll be, thanks in no small part to all of you who so kindly kicked my butt in that direction, which, come to think of it, maybe I will keep my pants off when I see the doctor. That way I can talk to her about the bruises you all left on my posterior. In the meantime, if you're inclined to toss up good thoughts, I'd be very willing to catch some pop flies.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

i know what boys like. at least i thought so. maybe i actually forgot. maybe it's good i did.

Despite what my advancing years (and my very rude Wii Fit) tell me, I don't feel as old as I actually am. However, my mind is a little hazy on what I was like as a teenage girl hell bent on getting a teenage boy to notice me. I do have a few reminders here and there. Some angsty journals. A small pile of dogeared and smudged 3x5 index cards on which I outlined a complicated 'hot or not hot' scientific formula. Let's just say if you were a boy with feathered hair, wearing Levis 501s, and came whirring down my street on your sweet Honda moped, I thought you were hot. If your name ended in the letter Y and you should have stopped answering to it in second grade and/or only if referred to as such by your grandmother, you were not so hot.

You were so, so close to being on the hot list,
Danny Wilson...

Here's the thing I wasn't, though - hot. No. I was not raising any temperatures, despite cloaking myself in huge, bulky sweaters. No one with a penchant for wearing the equivalent of a large Australian sheep around their neck (sigh, cowl neck sweaters...) and letting their mother experiment on their follicles with Toni home perks that were advertised to give you big, bouncy curls (but they lied! THEY LIED!!) will extinguish the flames of one's hotness faster than a speeding bullet. Teenage boys didn't talk to me. I didn't talk to them, either (except Debbie Gibson-style: Only in my dreams), but that's beside the point. Rather than draw teenage boys in with my tractor beam of hotness, I was the portal through which hot teenage boys would travel to hook up with my friends. That's not a metaphor for sex, by the way. I was, in theory, Stargate, an interstellar teleportation device boys would talk nicely to in order to charm me (done!) into putting a good word in for them with my friends (curses!).

I simply didn't know how teenage boys operated then, and I suddenly realized yesterday afternoon that I still don't. I was finishing up some shelving in the teen section while a couple of teen boys milled around the department. Short of asking if I could help them find anything and offering my assistance if they needed it, I left them alone. Rare is the sight of teenage boys browsing in my department, so I just sort of marveled I it.

Several minutes later, I stood up, gathered up my belongings, and prepared to retrieve another load of books when I heard one of the boys say, "I'd like to flip through your pages and get into your story," and dear Lord, before I could laugh at his suaveness, he added "And I'd like to start from the back of the book."

That's when my eyes rolled and I stuck my tongue out and made the international
sound for "Blech!" All in my head, of course, which sort of drives home the point that I feel and apparently sometimes act younger than I am.

I continued to sort of laugh about the boys' bold and very smooth moves throughout the remainder of the day, but then I was hit by a thought last night while eating dinner with my two sons. Oh, my God! One day...sooner than I even WANT to imagine, THEY are going to be teenage boys!! Cripes, my oldest son is only five months away from turning 13!

despite the crushes and the questionably mature song, my boys have immersed themselves in of late, I still tend to only think of them as little boys. Hell, I make them younger than they actually are, too. In my head and in my heart, they are two tiny babies who can't read and don't make metaphors about inserting bookmarks between a girl's chapters! I quite honestly had never really, REALLY thought about what it would be like for them to become teenage boys with all the gawky, gangly goofiness that being a teenage boy entails.

Dear God, it's inevitable though, isn't it?! They are growing up, they are going to make clumsily worded advances to girls (or, sigh, women), and they may end up on some girl's weird crush list. It's enough to curl my hair.

Without the aid of a perm this time, though. Thank goodness.


Monday, March 15, 2010

he will sing, sing a new song (at least i hope)

I've mentioned several times here that my youngest son is a huge fan of music. If he's not entertaining me with elaborate tales and horrible jokes, he's belting out the songs that fill his heart. His set list remains heavy with music from the Black Eyed Peas and Beyonce, but over the last several days, he's been fine tuning some new material. If I need to find him, all I have to do is keep my ears open for the chorus of Lady Gaga's song Telephone, which is his latest favorite. He's left his head and his heart on the dance floor.

And on the swings.

And over there near his Fisher Price Bat Cave.

And in the bathroom when he should have been brushing his teeth.

While we were at the YMCA this afternoon, he made a mad dash for the Beatles Rock Band set up that's new there and commanded the mic like he'd just stepped out of Abbey Road studios and was singing I Feel Fine to an audience of screaming girls. He is the walrus, goo goo goo joob.

I adore the fact he loves the classics. The complete Beatles catalog. We Are The Champions. Mr. Roboto. U Can't Touch This. Baby Got Back. That's just a few of the all the timeless melodies that come together in this one little 8 year old hits package that will have you calling out "Encore!"

But wait! There's more!

After we left the YMCA, we had to run a few errands. While on our way home from our last stop, I heard him humming a delightful, and somewhat familiar melody from the backseat. Before long, I found myself humming along, trying to determine the song we were now dueting on. Two seconds before it came to me, my little maestro blurted out the chorus:

"I jizz in my pants."

Gah! Dear Lord. I was OK with the whole "Oh, my god, Becky, look at her butt..." business because he never got as far as singing about how things get sprung. But this?! Where did he even hear this song in the first place to even perform it so perfectly?! I'm asking as the mother who once accidentally forgot her son, then a wee preschooler, was a captive audience in the back of the mini while I sang along powerfully and with incredibly pitchy feeling to NIN's Closer...while we were in the parent pick-up line...at the elementary school...oh, yes, I did. Did I mention the windows were all rolled down, too? No? They were.

As soon as he blurted out that delightful little ditty, I brought the curtain down on my little lizard king. Is that a giant hook coming from stage left to yank you from the spotlight? Why, yes, I believe it is!

"Oh, honey, hmmm..." I stammered. "I think that's a song you just shouldn't sing publicly."

Jizz in my pants? No. No, no, no, I scream in my head (with a chorus of thousands backing me up). Happily, and without a great deal of questions (although there were a couple of "Why, Mom?" queries tossed in), my little performer took a bow.

Goodnight, Cleveland. You were a great audience.


p.s. - Friends...oh, friends. I can't end this without saying thank you a hundred times over for your comments, emails, and DMs in response to my last post. You all gave me a different way to view courage, and I must admit that some of you made me cry a little, some of you made me laugh a lot, and all of you made me think, which is why I just sat silently for days after writing that post. I just needed to think. Please know I am going to make a call to my doctor and I am going to do it soon. This week. I promise. I think that beyond the lump, there's some other things I truly must talk to her about because when I break things down these days, I am not a happy person. It's exhausting some days to know that at the end of the day, the reason I'm so exhausted is because I've spent the bulk of the hours trying so hard to BE happy...or at least trying to convince people I am.

I just need you to know that the kindness and thought given to me by all of you - some of you I've not yet had the chance to 'get to know' yet - via this bizarre Internet thing is appreciated. I feel like I want to go all Pink Ladies during our senior year at Rydell High with all of you. We're going to rule this school!

Just know that I get to be Rizzo.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

and i hate the good times that you wreck

So the last time we were together here, I asked if you wouldn't mind visiting Polite Fictions, where I'd written a little something about a cowboy for the theme this collection of (far better) writers and I are approaching this time, the Alphabet of Regret. I should have chosen cringing as my subject when I learned I was up for C, because I cringe a lot when it's my turn over there. Especially after I also cry and curse and eventually commit to getting something written, drop it over there, and then see it in contrast to the thoughtful and thought provoking works that go up around it by the others.

A few days after I'd finished my effort, I was still dwelling on it - and still cringing - and there were hours throughout the days when something I felt I SHOULD have written about instead would pop into my head. Like crying and how I always (always) stupidly weep because writing fiction is ghastly difficult for me (yeah, that cowboy piece should have had one of those 'any similarity to persons either living or dead isn't so much a coincidence but is, rather, a large chunk of the author's life between the years of 1989 to 2002').

Or I could have written about commitment, because there's some issues there. Craziness. Competition. Cravings. The collection of cassettes I still own but cannot play. Clearly, there could have been better topics than a cowboy.

What I kept coming back to while standing in the shower or driving in the car or making my breakfast over the last week, though, was the topic of courage.


Maybe it seems trite. I know. And why write around the theme of regret when it comes to courage? Well, how about the way I regret how utterly not courageous I feel. Constantly. From the little things to the big. My oldest son talks often about how he can't wait to be old enough to jump from airplanes and dreams of climbing mountains, and I grin and bite my tongue so as not to scream "You'll shoot your eye out!!" every time he brings these ideas to me. Me who is in my house where, according to my future adventurer, there's a steady supply of oxygen and the risk of perishing in a crevasse is minimal.

If I was courageous, I'd have called the doctor about the lump I found under my left breast a month ago and just be assured of what it likely is rather than run my hand over it every night and allow my mind to conjure up what it could be.

If I was courageous, I'd scream that if this is supposed to work (or better yet, last) than someone has to start talking.

If I was courageous, I'd ask you to realize that just because I don't talk I'm not a bitch.

I'd not care so much about what you thought of me because if your head is filled with as much stuff as mine is most days, I know you're not even really thinking about me in the first place.

I'd not panic the way I do every time I have to put myself or my thoughts out there for you to see them.

Or read them.

I'd say yes to everything I wanted to say yes to rather than to just everything.

If I was courageous, I'd not still care so much what she thought.

If I was courageous, I wouldn't have done the things I have to myself.

I'd show you who I really am.

I'd probably know what I wanted to be and I'd be it by now.

If I was courageous, I'd not always make the joke.

I'd ask you how you do it

I'd let you see me weak.

But instead, I wrote about a cowboy. And it's fine, albeit it a little bit regrettable. It's really, really fine.



Wednesday, March 03, 2010

here's a post that will leave you unsure what to comment so you'll probably say something like 'sorry?' and then avoid eye contact with me

My Tool Man has been traveling for work the last few weeks. What could be so important that a representative of a mid-level tool company must be away from his loved ones for so long, you ask. Good question. The tool business is like Black Ops, only instead of whatever it is Black Ops agents do, this involves things like garden resets and going out to dinner every night. The black cat walks at midnight. This post will self destruct on 10 seconds, yada yada yada.

As you might imagine and a few of you know for reasons far, far less trivial, being without one's spouse for any length of time can be rough. Factor in loneliness, no one to tag team second grade math homework with, and the lack of protection from possible (though I say highly probable) Bigfoot encounters and the other loneliness that actually means sex and well, dammit, where's MY Uncle Jesse and Uncle Joey to help ME out ?

(For the homework and help with dinner part, not the sex part! Gah, did you think I meant the sex part? With Uncle Jesse and Uncle Joey?! Cut! It! Out!)

I was thrilled when Tool Man reappeared last Friday night for a brief respite after two weeks away and before having to leave again Monday for another mission (shhh...). OK, first I was scared because he crept into the dark house, and while that might be construed as some awesome role playing, he'd grown a beard while away and if you'd seen it you'd understand my long-simmering Bigfoot issues, which are not to be confused in any way with any role playing scenarios.

There was some random happy time greetings which you might imagine led to some truly hot foreplay. Go ahead and think that if you want, but that's not at all what happened. Instead we settled in to watch that week's episode of Lost. Because THAT'S the first thing you want to do after you've been away from the one you love for several days. No, wait! The first thing you want to do is have a wee little discussion of the heated variety and THEN you watch that week's episode of Lost, which your awesome wife waited four days to watch so she could watch it unadulterated with you because she is indeed awesome like that. Kind of like you're an awesome husband like that, but after eight weeks of Heroes clogging your DVR, you caved and watched, but saved them for your awesome wife, who then discovered all those hours clogging your DVR when she was trying to record something cool and actually good like Modern Family, and she was all "Dude?" and you were all "What? I thought you liked Heroes?" and she was all "Um, I broke up with Heroes in 2007. You don't even know me at all, do you?!"

(sidebar - this isn't what Secret Agent Tool Man and I ::finger quote:: discussed ::end finger quote:: but I will say that I deleted 8 hours of Heroes from the DVR Saturday)

Long story short, by Sunday morning, we couldn't remember what it was we'd opted to discuss passionately rather than be passionate, but by then, he was heading out the door to engage in another mission, and he was probably halfway toward embedding himself with another family before I realized there would been no "Guess what! No, that's not a monkey wrench in my pocket! I AM actually happy to happy to see you after two weeks and 12 hours, but who's counting welcome home sex for you! Hooray!" for me.

Which explains why I thought Sandree Lee, she of the semi-homemade wackiness, was mocking me Sunday afternoon while I was watching her Food Network show (why? no idea) when, while plating a tray of lamb kabobs, she looked out of the TV screen and directly at me and said "Make sure they have a place to put their skewers after eating your delicious kabobs!"

Oh, screw you, Sandra Lee (unless you, too, are married to a secret agent)! First you annoy me with you ever changing window treatments and array of cleverly named cocktails, but then you give me kabob envy? As one of Uncle Joey's adorable charges would say, how rude!

But wait! It gets better (or worse)! In my state of frustration, I ventured to Target to buy new underwear which I needed having broken up with ice cream and peanut butter, and when I got them home and tore open the package, the little slip of paper letting me know my new drawers had been inspected for quality control purposes fell directly onto my lap and dear lord, THIS was the number:

Thanks for rubbing it in universe.


You might now be asking yourself what I did with all my free time since I didn't use 10 minutes out of the last 352 hours I've been alone to have sex (I kid, I kid. It's more like seven minutes). Well, Polite Fictions flipped the lights back on, so I cranked out a little something for that. Our theme this go around is the alphabet of regret. I had C, so I wrote about a cowboy. Seriously. It's early on this new round, so I highly suggest you go be awed by TwoBusy's take on A, and blown away by Ms. Picket's wicked good embrace with B. See what I just did there? Boggled your mind with some sweet alliteration. Now when you get to my chaotic go at C, you'll be like "Hmm...too bad you didn't just get laid." I know!

Anyway, seriously, please go read and let us know what you think. Comment! Link! Tweet! Tongue kiss us (I mean, come on! More than two weeks here, folks!)! We've got some awesome new talent on board in the form of Mr. Lady from Whiskey in My Sippy Cup and Jessica from Bernthis. There's 26 letters in the alphabet, so I'll be back there when we get a little deeper into it. Someone has to bring the cheese to the party (or the pinatas if it's a party made of awesome) so that's a clue to let you know my next go 'round will be with the letter P.

Here's hoping the next time my Tool Man's home, I also get to go 'round with something that starts with the letter P.

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