...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.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

in my mind, this was a shorter post; however, it's sweet, so stick with it.

So lately I've been thinking if I had a dollar bill for all the things I've done, there'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin. What's amazing about that thought is when I think it, the voice in my head sounds exactly like that of the amazing Annie Lennox as she's singing the Eurythmic's hit, Missionary Man.

(sidebar - Is there any other woman as impressively piped as Annie Lennox? Seriously. I mean, how can you argue with this? When I come back, if I come back, I want to come back as Annie Lennox. The number of times I've staged performances of Little Bird and Walking On Broken Glass - Dr. Gregory House, M.D., and sexy time John Malkovich, y'all! - in my living room surely qualifies me)

Anyway, in an amazing twist to this story, I do not, in fact, have a dollar bill for all the things I've done, but if I did, I would probably pay my Mom what I owe her, and perhaps Walgreens for all the Cover Girl foundation I lifted from their stores during my misbegotten youth. Typically, when I'm done doing all that needs done, what I have to show for it barely comes up to my ankles. In an attempt to at least hit my navel, my Tool Man and I are currently participating in financial guru Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. So far, the only peace we've found is the time when Tool Man, having just completed our initial household budget, wiped the tears from his eyes, turned to me, and said, "Do you want the piece of bad news first or the piece of good news?" Without going into too much detail, suffice to say, both pieces weren't that great. Dave's told us that sometimes when money's tight and life is stressful, we're going to want to do things we shouldn't rather than go home and make ourselves another peanut butter sandwich and yell, "Come and get it!" to our kids when it's time for dinner.

That day came last week. After a few days of super crunchy - generic! - spread on discounted bread store slices, I'd had my fill. Because Tool Man on day two of several away for work (getting reimbursed for his fancy restaurant meals, I might add, although not bitterly, even though that is sometimes my style), the hour was late, and the kids, though not clamoring to eat, didn't try talking me down from the ledge when I hastily suggested we stop at McDonald's before making a run to Walgreens (where I didn't shoplift anything! huzzah!)(p.s. - I've not shoplifted in more than 20 years, nor do I feel the itch to do so)(I'll also assume there's a statute of limitations on this matter, should lawyers be reading this)(please say yes).

En route, I bargained (because it's all about the money) with the boys, asking my Chicken McNugget-loving youngest if he would do me a solid and opt for the hamburger Happy Meal this go-round so I could then turn around and use the few cents I'd save on a Southwest salad with grilled chicken (the cost - robbery, the taste - delicious). Our neighborhood McDonald's is one that recently joined the coffeehouse ranks by adding a McCafe to the proceedings. While the boys, freed from the confines of peanut butter tongues stuck to the roofs of their mouths, lobbed questions at me like brightly colored beach balls floating over my head at a rock concert (just what would the ramifications to the planet if dinosaurs were reanimated, people?), and I attempted to determine which part of the iceberg lettuce-laden portion of my salad constituted the menu's promise of mixed greens, I thought, "You know what? Tonight, and tonight only, I'm going to splurge and get a coffee drink." This disappointed the boys greatly, who thought perhaps sundaes would be the splurge item of choice. Sorry, suckas!

The menu board for the coffee selections featured pretty pictures of things that never seem to match up with what you buy, and left me a bit confused (it was late, remember? also, iceberg lettuce has zero nutritional value, so brain function was being zapped with each bite), so I asked the young man behind the counter if my desired iced mocha was a blended drink.

"What?" he asked.

"The iced mocha. Is it blended?" I responded.

"What?" he responded back.

"The ice mocha. Is it blended? In a blender?" I said, enhancing my query.

"What?" he responded back.

"Seriously?" I said.

"Huh?" he added.

We looked at each other. I may have raised an eyebrow.

"Lady, all the coffee drinks come out of a machine." he finally said.

"Now we're getting somewhere!" I said. "Is one of those machines a blender?"

"What?" he said.

"Please just give me a large iced mocha from a machine," I sighed.

Back at the table, I knew as soon as I took the first sip of my large iced mocha (FYI - not blended), somewhere, Dave Ramsey was surely shaking his head and saying he told me so. The machine where all of the McCafe drinks come from must not have the freshest of contents at 7:15 p.m., on Tuesday evenings, because my drink was bitter, forcing me to raise one fist to the sky and mutter something about vengeance for my lost money while my other fist wrapped around my fork and stabbed into my (admittedly) delicious Southwest salad with grilled chicken.

The boys continued with their questions (p.s. - it was decided the world would be in far more danger from the reanimation of dinosaurs than that of saber tooth tigers, btw), my youngest caught my eye as I griped my way through my coffee drink.

"What is that?" he asked.

"Look at the menu board right here beside us and tell me if you can guess which drink I bought," I said.

"It's not a hot chocolate, and it's not a late," he said.

"Nor is it a latte," I replied.

"I think you got an iced mooo cha," he said. Like a cow. Like a cow with a rap record. "What in the world is an iced moo cha?"

"An iced moo cha is not a blended drink, muchacho," I smiled.

Then this glorious Chicken McNugget-loving, hamburger Happy Meal eating instead boy of mine got up in the McDonald's and started dancing. Like an Egyptian. And while I don't have a mountain of money piled up to my chin, in that moment, while I smiled at him and kept quiet about the fact that he was dancing to Billy Joel's Moving Out (you should never argue with a crazy mind, mind, mind, mind, mind, mind...), I felt incredibly rich.



Blogger Kevin McKeever said...

Is that all you get for your money?
And it seems such a waste of time.

Sunday, March 01, 2009 8:23:00 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

I HATE it when a treat disappoints. In my case, it's usually some kind of ice cream treat.

Sunday, March 01, 2009 8:39:00 PM  
Blogger DKC said...

Okay - I haven't read the whole post yet, but when you START with Missionary Man, (one of my all-time favorite songs!!!)I must comment immediately that, OMG! I freakin' LOVE that song!

Sunday, March 01, 2009 8:47:00 PM  
Blogger DKC said...

Okay, now I can comment having read the whole thing. Here's where I come down on coffee: Unless it's doused with chocolate sauce and whip-cream, I'm not interested. I drank a ridiculous amount of coffee in high school at our local Friendly's (those poor people). I really do not like coffee at all anymore. Unless, as previously mentioned, it resembles an ice-cream sundae. (Or is accompanied by a shot of Frangelico.)

Sunday, March 01, 2009 8:53:00 PM  
Blogger musingwoman said...

Oh, wow, Billy Joel's Moving Out takes me back to high school. He was one of my first music crushes.

P.S. I've never tried any of those McCafe drinks and now I don't think I ever will

Sunday, March 01, 2009 8:57:00 PM  
Blogger The Savage said...

You can't forget this one.... There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart)
La dee dee dah dah dah, daaaaaaaaaaah dah, daaaaaaaaaah dah, yeah....

And I'm vaguely surprised you didn't capitalize on your dancing son bit by linking Walk Like an Egyptian....

I lust you beyond most lust but not quite to the stalking point....

Sunday, March 01, 2009 9:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You ARE rich! Sorry the moo cha wasn't good, though.

Sunday, March 01, 2009 9:02:00 PM  
Blogger Sailor said...

Rich, yes you are.

Coffee from McDonalds? Never.

Although, that may just be me- I haven't eaten at McD's in over 12 years, not since the latest attempt by them to kill me via slow agonizing death. Otherwise known as food poisoning. Soooo, I avoid them arches like the plague. In fact, I'll take the plague over McD's, personally.

Annie, though? She rocks, you go!

Sunday, March 01, 2009 9:15:00 PM  
Blogger kimmyk said...

Yeah one day I thought I would try a sugar free vanilla latte from there (monday's they're free and free is in my budget these days) and it was absolutely horrid. Way too sweet. I'm sorry your splurge was a bust, but honestly, moments like that shared with your children eating the most horrible food imaginable and sneaking fry's when they're not looking are some of THE most precious moments a mother can have. I use to be hooked on their asian chicken salads. haven't tried the southwest but next time i'm craving fry's and a salad i'll definitely give it a whirl.

good luck with your budget planning. for lent this year i have decided to give up excess spending on things i really dont need.

are you able to pick up more hours at your work gig to help?

Sunday, March 01, 2009 9:23:00 PM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

Agreed - Annie Lennox is indeed one of the more awesomely-piped women in the history of the world. (Back in the day, I thought Joan Baez had amazing pipes, too; but that was probably before your time. . .)

Molly makes ice mocha lattes at home. In a blender. Wonderful, wonderful stuff. 'Course, I always tease her that it sounds like a Canadian confessing her tobacco habit. . .

Sunday, March 01, 2009 9:43:00 PM  
Blogger CT Mom said...

I won't go near a McCafe drink - partly because I don't trust the barely pubescent half-wits at my local McDonald's to get my cheeseburger right, let alone a coffee drink, and partly because all their drinks come out of a machine. Because McDonald's doesn't trust the barely pubescent half-wits to get it right either.

Sunday, March 01, 2009 9:56:00 PM  
Blogger Divine Chaos said...

oh gawds, like, gag me with a spoon ....or something like that *grins* MickeyD's mocha is just wrong on so many levels.

You are most definitely rich .. rich beyond compare :) I love that you just let him dance .. I always let my baby dance too .... and sometimes ... I dance with her. Hell, sometimes I dance without her, and then she rolls her eyes and mutters to random passers by that she doesn't know me .. but that's another story ;)

Sunday, March 01, 2009 9:59:00 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

It's all perspective, isn't it? And you made me very happy that I don't like coffee anyway so I'll never have that particular disappointment.

Sunday, March 01, 2009 10:24:00 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

I am a Dave Ramsey convert as well. I have found that not serving meat with EVERY meal is a good way to pinch some pennies.

It sounds like even though the coffee disappointed you had a great time anyways. Kids are amazing at turning the mundane into the awesome.

Monday, March 02, 2009 3:27:00 AM  
Blogger xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx said...

First - that happens to me all the time. The part where you are dissapointed/pissed/ready to commit barista-cide because your coffee has not lived up to expectations.

Second - that last part made me cry.

Makes up for the crap coffee, huh?

Monday, March 02, 2009 6:17:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

That's astounding, because whenever I go to McDonald's, the assistants are all incredibly intelligent and well informed.

Also, I fart gold bullion and have a pet pirate called Arthur who invades France whenever I whistle.

Monday, March 02, 2009 6:46:00 AM  
Blogger Bijoux said...

I tried an iced coffee from McD's once and it was also bitter. I'm sticking with Panera for my coffee and Applebee's for my salads.

Having two sweet boys to eat your dinner at McD's with = priceless.

Monday, March 02, 2009 7:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, for one, enjoyed the beach balls simile.

Monday, March 02, 2009 7:52:00 AM  
Blogger Chasity said...

I miss the days when they had this giant train for the kids (namely me) to sit on next to characters like the Hamburgler. I just know my oldest son would have loved it.

Its also wonderful when the world comes together and smacks me across the heart- because every once in a while it needs a jump start.

Monday, March 02, 2009 8:18:00 AM  
Blogger Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

What a fantastic post. You are right, it was sweet, unlike your coffee from McDonalds.

Monday, March 02, 2009 8:20:00 AM  
Blogger Christina Lee said...

aww disapointing! I love the iced hazelnut. and your boy dancing in Mickey D's is SO great!!!!!

Monday, March 02, 2009 8:29:00 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Booms said...

Okay, I only made it to the second paragraph before I had to comment...

Yeah, Annie is super impressive, but please don't forget Miss Alison Moyet of Yaz (Yazoo) fame.

She can tear it up.

I'm going back to finish reading your post now. ;)

Monday, March 02, 2009 8:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took the bean to McD's last weekend when the wife had girls night out. Her eyes went nuts when we walked in. Ah fries.....

Monday, March 02, 2009 8:43:00 AM  
Blogger Bekah said...

haha great post.

AND I LOVE ANNIE! Seriously, I get made fun of for it, but I am all "psh whatever fools, you are missing out! "

Monday, March 02, 2009 9:19:00 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Every time I've gotten an iced coffee of any type from Mcd's it's been bitter. BK's is much smoother. I don't think they have blended ones though.
I love iced tea, but it's SUCH a gamble to order it in a restaurant, because half the time that's bitter too. sigh.

Monday, March 02, 2009 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger FTN said...

So "splurging" is getting a little coffee drink from McDonalds. Darn. Don't tell Dave, but "splurging" for me would be a large $10 stromboli, a bag of Doritos, and probably a couple of beers. So THAT'S why I still don't have any money in the savings account.

Monday, March 02, 2009 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

These stupid economic times, making us come to realize wealth is not found in money. I don't know what the hell the world is coming to!

Monday, March 02, 2009 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger kaila said...

Annie Lennox can sing like an angel....LOVE her!

IF ONLY either one of the men in my house would even come near peanut butter, I would be a little bit wealthier....but no. As far as they are concerned, peanut butter is for making the dogs lick their noses instead of their butts.

Monday, March 02, 2009 1:00:00 PM  
Blogger Biscuit said...

I'm SO going to have to start ordering a "moo cha" at Starbucks!

Monday, March 02, 2009 4:02:00 PM  
Blogger Bee (the one who muses) said...

But also, thanks a lot because now I have walk like an Egyptian in my head. Which wouldn't be so bad if I knew more than 'Walk like an Egyptian tatatatatatat oh eh oh"

Monday, March 02, 2009 4:32:00 PM  
Blogger Mandy said...

Every time I go to McDonalds with my kids and ask them to make me a cheeseburger with just ketchup on it, it throws us into a 5 minute conversation about what that means.

Future brain surgeons working there.

Monday, March 02, 2009 5:08:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt Becky said...

I love your kid. Can I borrow him sometime? I'll trade you for one of mine.

Monday, March 02, 2009 5:47:00 PM  
Blogger Brian o vretanos said...

I generally find that McDonald's staff are a lot better than Burger King, even though BK have better food. And a friend reckons that the quality of food in American fast foot joints is inversely proportional to the quality of service, citing Wendy's as a prime example of this (good food, crap service). They don't have Wendy's here, so I wouldn't know.

Monday, March 02, 2009 6:01:00 PM  
Blogger Marinka said...

I'm stuck on Annie Lennox. For like the past 20 years.

Monday, March 02, 2009 7:10:00 PM  
Blogger Mary Ellen said...

I had such a horrible tasting 'hot coffee beverage' from the new McCafe that I actually emailed and complained to the manager(I NEVER do stuff like that). She emailed and called me to apologize for how awful it was (their excuse was that the machine was new and had been cleaned with many chemicals - scary). Anyway, I got some free coupons out of it - which I immediately gave to my kids.

Monday, March 02, 2009 7:50:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I've seen the McCafe but I've been too McFraid to try it.

Monday, March 02, 2009 11:25:00 PM  
Blogger The Stiletto Mom said...

At least you got the floor show at the end courtesy of your son. That's the best part!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009 8:32:00 AM  
Blogger Bunny said...

Your kids are really cool. I ::heart:: them.

At least your Ramsey splurge was only McD's coffee and not Starbucks or Biggby's which would have been twice the price. I throw a couple Splendas in the iced mocha to make it more palatable. It's always a little bitter. But again - far cheaper than the other places!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009 8:52:00 AM  
Blogger Melissa @ I Pick Pretty said...

Aw, this is warm and fuzzy and very nice.

But seriously, those kidlets provide some seriously good writing material. Must remember this argument when it's time to deliver my "It's Time!" lecture to the husband.

PS - You didn't hear this from me, but I suspect you should be fine under most statutes of limitations.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009 9:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Budgets suck. But are oh so useful. Darn you budgets! Too bad it wasn't worth the treat. Next time go with the sundaes.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009 9:18:00 AM  
Blogger cIII said...

Cutie McWifey and I are into the Dave Ramsey.

Sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes, I want to drive down to Tn., knock on his big Oak and lead Stained glass door, and when he answers.....I kick him in the Junk. Hard.

It's a good thing that program works. Like ripping off a Band-Aid, real, real, real slow.

Works, though. Swear.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009 5:01:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Always Home - Do you have any idea how annoyed I was that I forgot that line of the song and how well it would have worked in this post when I read your comment?! Like, super annoyed!

Under The Influence - This is why I don't buy ice cream cones from McDonald's. They suck your money for little payoff.

Dana's Brain - The Eurythmics straight up rock. And I'm like you. I shouldn't even call it a coffee drink. Coffee shouldn't even be part of the equation. It's more like a dessert when I say I'm getting coffee!

Musings - One of Billy Joel's songs was the first 45 I ever had when I got a stereo for Christmas when I was around 12 or 13. I want to say it was Pressure, but now I'm going to dwell on it constantly until I figure it out!

Savage - Trust me when I tell you I listened to a lot of that Eurythmic's song this weekend. Also, if you were a cool stalker, I'd have no problems with that. :)

abdpbt - Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Sailor - I seriously need to get sick off some McDonald's food, I think. Dang, though, I love that Southwest grilled chicken salad!

kimmy - I pretty much make it a habit to dump a few of the boys' fries in the bottom of their Happy Meal bags so I can have them. Sadly, my oldest one caught on awhile back and has since clued my youngest in on the rouse. Curses!!

Des - I do have a recipe to make a fantastic coffee (aka - dessert drink) at home, but bleh, sometimes I'm a lazy, lazy girl. :)

CT Mom - As my orders there are so rarely correct the first time, I don't know why I ever think this time it will be OK when I give them a next time.

Divine Chaos - Don't tell anyone, but go ahead...there have been a lot of times where I've danced down some store aisles for the sake of either joining in or freaking out the kids. Mostly just to freak them out!

Heather - Perspective helps me get through the better part of most of my days, especially since I'm not normally a coffee drinker of any sort, either!

Kat - We're beginning to see some benefits to the lifestyle he advocates. It's definitely a work in progress.

iMommy - It SO makes up for the crap coffee. It still makes me smile to think about.

Chris - And in a surprising twist of luck, I am the Queen of England!

Cocotte - I had to break up with Panera awhile back because I was having a torrid affair with their blended coffee drinks...but now I want one!!

TwoBusy - I often think of you when a good turn of the phrase strikes!

Chas - None of the McDonald's around when I was growing up (back in the pioneer days) had such a thing as a train to play on, but on the rare times we'd travel and see them, I remember being awed and thinking how fancy it was!

Petra - Thank you, dear!

Christina Lee - It was, honestly, the best moment of my week last week. The kid is a gorgeous goofball!

Betsey - I will amend my remarks to definitely include Alison Moyet! Her's is truly a delightful voice.

DC Urban Dad - You have unleashed the beast now!

bekah - Stand tall and strong with the power of Annie behind you to support you against those who would dare make fun of your musical choices!

Heather - I always forget how much I love iced tea until someone mentions it, and then I obsess about sun tea for a few days. I need some sun to make some now!

ftn - I want to party with you, rock star!

Heather - Really, the way I figure it, my kids owe me big time, anyway, so.... ;)

kaila - The way we go through peanut butter in my house, I actually wonder if we're not losing more money in that than anything else some weeks!

biscuit - I highly recommend a moo cha with whipped cream!

Bee - If it's of any help, I've had the song in my head for a week, too!

Mandy - Gah, seriously, and I can have the boys standing right next to me, and the dude at the counter will ask if I want boy toys in the Happy Meals. Um...yeah? I always have to count to ten there!

Aunt Becky - Are yo willing to let me have your baby girl for awhile? :)

Brian - WHA?! There is no Wendy's in the motherland?! How is that even possible you've escaped their clutches?

Marinka - Annie is my forever love.

Mary Ellen - I should have done that! Cripes, I should do that every time I go there, for goodness knows, there's grounds for it! Sadly, it would become a case of them saying "Sigh...it's HER again..."


Stiletto Mom - Even better? I got out without getting him a sundae, too!

Bunny - I should have done my splurge at work and gotten a better tasting drink for half off, then I would have felt smug, too, but in a cute way!

legallyblondemel - If you need me to print out a few posts as supporting material, just let me know (and thaks for the legal tip, yo!)

Meg - I know, right! I could have gotten three sundaes for that dang drink! Not that I would have eaten them all myself, mind you...

clll - If you are ever looking to get a caravan going on that Tennessee trip, look me up. There's definitely been a few weeks where I've thought the same thing. However, in the end, I imagine we'll forever live by his mantra, scary as it is!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009 10:28:00 PM  
Blogger Leslie said...

McD's coffee = B.A.D.

But I do my a boy who knows how to get down Egyptian style!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009 10:35:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Laggin - I appreciate very much that my kid has a healthy respect for the classics!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009 8:07:00 AM  
Blogger justme said...

Hell yeah, Annie Lennox, gotta love her.

We too decided to take up Dave Ramsey on his challenging path to financial peace recently. I know the end will ABSOLUTELY make it all worth it, but, yeah, PB&J gets hard. And you TOTALLY know Dave would totally be shaking his head and saying I told you so!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009 1:22:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

justme - We're about halfway through the educational aspect of Ramsey's program, and it's been scary a time or eight to realize where we're at, but I'm hopeful that we can really turn things around at some point in our lives. Every time I do something I shouldn't, money-wise, I think of Dave saying, "Isn't that a bad idea? SAY YES!"

Friday, March 13, 2009 8:13:00 AM  

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