Monday, November 30, 2009

O (No!) Christmas Tree

The last of the Thanksgiving turkey has been dumped into yet another casserole; the fall mums have turned brown and been tossed in the trash; and my children have updated their Santa wish list for the 734th time. I can't live in denial any longer. It's time to deck the halls with boughs of holly and all that crap.

Fa-la-la-la-laaaa! La-la-la-pbbbbbbllllllttttttt!

I'm sorry if I sound cynical during what should be a joyous season, but if you were here for last year's Christmas decorating fiasco, you would understand.

My husband's role in holiday decorating extends only to lugging the biggest boxes down from the attic and setting our Christmas tree in the stand. The rest he happily leaves in my hands, while he watches football games and ignores a Yosemite Sam-esque string of curse words as I wrestle with lights, wreaths and ornery gingerbread men.

Last year, I decided I would take a day and do the bulk of decorating while my husband was at work and the kids were in school. The children would be surprised and delighted to find a festive, holiday house when they returned home. I envisioned us sitting by a beautifully lit tree sipping hot cocoa and listening to Christmas carols while the children lovingly hung the ornaments. It was going to be so Normal Rockwell, ya'll.

Instead, the family came home to find me tangled in lights, lying in a mess of duct tape, nursing a knot on my noggin and crying about the evil, possessed Christmas decorations that were out to get me.

I don't know why Christmas turned on me. Perhaps it knew I ate the entire box of Little Debbie holiday snack cakes and blamed it on the kids when my husband inquired. Whatever the case, Christmas wasn't cooperating.

Each year, I dutifully check all the lights before I string them. I ensure that all the bulbs are lit and screwed in tight, and then I carefully plan how the female/male ends will meet around the tree so that I can plug them into the wiring of our 90-year-old house without causing a blackout in the neighborhood.

Earlier that morning, I checked and rechecked all the strands of lights and tossed those with missing bulbs. Then I carefully began to string them around our Fraser Fir. I love a well-lit, sparkling tree, so I painstakingly wove the lights around every branch of the evergreen, humming happily to myself as I did so.

After what seemed like forever, I finally reached the bottom of the tree. All I had to do was plug them into the wall outlet, and I could admire my twinkling tree while I set up the gingerbread village and decorated the rest of the house.

I reached over, plugged in the strand and … suffering son of a Santa! Only half of the tree was lit!

Discouraged but far from disgruntled, I checked all connections, and everything appeared to be in order. I rechecked the tiny bulbs, figuring one had come loose and shorted out a strand, but I couldn't find the culprit. There was only one thing to do: remove all the lights and restring the tree.

I gently removed the stands from each branch so I wouldn't strip all the pine needles. Then I tossed the bad strands and restrung the tree with the existing lights. It would mean fewer lights, but at this point, I was dreadfully behind schedule and couldn't wait to see my tree lit. I reached the bottom, plugged the lights in and... candy cane chaos! Only about half of the strands were lit again.

By this point, I wanted to strangle the damn tree, but I was on a mission. I decided all new lights were in order, so I drove to the nearest department store and bought several strands. By the time I returned home, it was nearly time for the kiddos to return from school. I knew I'd better work on another Christmas project for sanity's sake.

To heck with the tree! I would decorate the fireplace instead. I grabbed an armful of thick garlands and attempted several times to drape them from my fireplace with the tiny hooks I had so carefully installed underneath the mantle. Unfortunately, the garlands were in cahoots with the lights and wouldn't cooperate, either. The clock was ticking, and I was still standing in a mess of Christmas boxes in the living room. Desperate times call for desperate measures, friends. After 30 minutes of stuffing, twisting, weaving and wrestling the garlands, I turned to the redneck staple: duct tape. Yes, that's right. If my father can reattach the driver's side mirror to his truck with duct tape, then by gosh, I can use the tape to decorate for Christmas. Jesus understands.

Once the garland was secured under the mantle with half a roll of tape, I hoisted a giant wreath I had bedecked in ribbons and Christmas ornaments and hung it from a hook over the fireplace. As I stood back to admire my handiwork, the heavy wreath -- no doubt encouraged by the vengeful tree and garlands - somehow jumped off the wall and landed on my head. I think I heard the tree snicker, but maybe that was the result of my minor concussion.

At this point, I plopped myself down in the middle of the boxes, the garlands, the tape and the stands of lights and cried. That's how my children found me.

Bless their dear little hearts. Maybe they were only trying to get on Santa's good side, but they encouraged me to continue decorating the tree with their help. With my sweet elves, I found the strength to string the lights for the third time. When I reached the bottom of the tree, we all held our breath while I reached over to plug them in… Glory, Glory Hallelujah! The lights worked! The tree was lit at long last!

My Christmas spirit once again restored, I encouraged the children to decorate the evergreen with all of their favorite family ornaments. Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra crooned classic carols while the kids chose the ideal spots on the tree for little Santa Claus ornaments, icicles and snowflakes. Before long, the tree was full of our treasures, and all I had to do was place the traditional angel on top to complete it.

I pulled up a ladder and cautiously placed the angel in her rightful place. Then I climbed down, and we all stood back to admire our tree.

"Oooooooh," my son said.

"Ahhhhhh," my daughter said.


The tree was leaning precariously toward us. It couldn't… It wouldn't….

Sure enough, the entire tree came crashing down, scattering ornaments all over the living room.

As the children stood in shock, I grabbed my purse and headed to the nearest liquor store. At the end of the night, I wasn't so much filled with the Christmas spirit as I was wine. And plenty of it.

In honor of The Day Christmas Hated Me, I reworked the lyrics to the classic Christmas carol, O Christmas Tree. They are best enjoyed with a glass of wine -- and professional Christmas decorators:

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree
Do you exist -- to torment me?
I picked you out
To bring me glee
Instead you bring-eth misery
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree
Where the hell's my wine glass?

I strung the lights, that wouldn't glow
Three times it took
You mock me so
This is really ma-king Christmas blow
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree
Where the hell's my wine glass?

When finally lit, you stood so tall
The last ornament
Would finish it all …
SON OF A &%$#! Did my tree just fall?
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree
Where the hell's my wine glass?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Simply Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is a day of thankfulness, and I am grateful for so many things. Of course, in the broadest sense, I am deeply appreciative of my family, my friends, my health, my home, my country and my faith.

But I am also grateful for the little things.

I am not wealthy and never have been. I'm not a collector of shiny toys and the latest gadgets or gizmos. Like many people, I know the frustration of living paycheck to paycheck, as well as the worry of making ends meet if those paychecks cease. I also know what it is like to face challenges in life and to overcome deep hurts and hardships.

Yet I consider myself immensely fortunate. Regardless of life's trials and tribulations, I can find joy in its simplest pleasures. In my world, little things have always been … everything.

My grandmother taught me that joy was everywhere. While walking me around her yard to show off new blooms on her miniature roses or point out the mother robin's antics that made her laugh, she shared a valuable lesson and a wonderful gift. I am so grateful.

Oh, how I delighted in simple joys as a child: the exquisite sensation of wind rushing into my face as I pedaled furiously down the street on my baby-blue Schwinn; the roughness of bark under my hands as I climbed our backyard tree to the tippy-top branches; the delicious satisfaction of barely making it to the front porch "home base" during a dusk game of tag with the neighborhood kids.

During the warm summer nights of childhood, I loved lying on the kitchen floor. With my back pressed against the cool linoleum, I watched my mother as she scurried back and forth from the stove to the fridge, making supper for her four unruly children. If I was very, very lucky, my father would burst in to spin her around the kitchen in an impromptu dance, making us all giggle.

When the holiday season rolled around each year, I savored the smell of turkey roasting in the oven all day and was humbled by leading my family in prayer as we gathered around the dining room table.

After Thanksgiving, I relished that wonderful-terrible wait until Christmas. How giddy I would be when we traipsed downtown to purchase a fresh tree from the local Optimist Club's lot. After we decorated it, I would sleep under the branches that first night. Lying on a pallet of blankets, I inhaled its pine fragrance and watched the twinkling lights until my eyes grew heavy and Santa-filled dreams carried me away.

As I grew older and gained more responsibilities, it was harder to find those simple pleasures, but they were always there if I only took the time to look. The magic of winter's first snow still awed me, as did the sight of jonquils breaking through the cold ground in early spring.

When I became a mother, my life was further enriched by the simple delights only children can bring. Is there anything more precious than the feel of a child's small hand in your own? Or the way the back of their necks smell when they are fresh from the tub? Or how you can, on occasion, see the "baby" in their faces as they sleep, no matter how much they have grown?

Children make life more complicated, but exquisitely so.

I am grateful for the adorable freckles scattered across my son's nose and the compassion in his snaggletooth smile; the intelligence and warmth in my daughter's beautiful, almond eyes; and the goodnight hugs and kisses both children insist upon, even as they grow too old to allow public displays of affection.

Some of life's grandest moments are indeed the simplest ones.

When my first child was born, my husband and I were young and living away from family. The first 12 weeks of her life were a blur of feedings, diapers and anxious nights, and we were exhausted and overwhelmed. In our desire to become the best mommy and daddy, we had forgotten our roles as husband and wife.

But one rainy, unseasonably warm Saturday night in March, our three-month old baby girl finally fell asleep on her own in her crib. The windows were open so we could hear the rain, and James Taylor played softly on the radio.

My husband surprised me when he asked me to dance, and as I nestled my cheek against his neck, we swayed back and forth as Mr. Taylor crooned, "How sweet it is to be loved by you." When the song ended, we continued to dance to the melody of the rain. It was one of the simplest, sweetest nights of my life, and I am thankful for it.

Life will always toss hurdles and obstacles our way, but it is our fault if we allow those shadows to shroud the sun. Today, in addition to the obvious, I am grateful for the backyard roses that are blooming well into November and the aroma of freshly ground, French-roasted coffee. I am thankful for holiday well-wishes from friends, the sweet, old dog curled up faithfully at my feet and my mom's laughter when she called this morning.

Happiness is all around us, if we take the time to find it.

Perhaps time is life's most precious gift of all.

Despite the hustle and bustle and demands of a busy life, I am thankful I have taken the time to sit on my front porch swing and savor a cup of coffee while wrens chirp their morning songs. I am thankful that I dig my hands into moist spring soil and plant seedlings, knowing the labor today will pay off tomorrow with blooms and fruit. I relish the moments I take to dance and play with my children despite dishes in the sink and errands to be run.

I am thankful for the time I take to write my life, so I can reflect and be … grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends. I am thankful for you. May all of life's simple pleasures surprise and delight you today and always.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Twilight, Ticks and Terrifying Turkeys

Unless you have been living under a rock -- in a cave -- on another planet -- in a different galaxy -- you know that countless tweens, teens and cougars fed their vampire addiction this weekend with the opening of "New Moon", the second movie in the incredibly popular Twilight series.

Based on the books by Stephenie Meyer, "New Moon" follows the love triangle of emo heroine Bella, hot werewolf Jacob and hotter vampire Edward Cullen. Despite abysmal reviews by the critics, the movie boasted a record $72.7 million on its opening day. Even my 66-year-old mother elbowed teen-age girls out of the way to see the film Friday, but she's a wee bit perverted (now you know where I get it).

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times dissed the movie, giving it only one star and further insulting Twilight fans by misspelling Stephenie Meyer's name throughout his critique. (It's spelled with an "e", not an "a", Mr. EbArt.)

In his review, Ebert panned the scenes featuring werewolf Jake and the rest of his pack, saying they "…are mostly seen in long shot, shirtless in the rain, hanging around the edges of the clearing as if hoping to dash in and pick off some fresh meat."

My goodness, he says that like wet, buff, shirtless, hungry men are a bad thing!

What Ebert and other reviewers don't get is that Twilight movies are not about the movies. Yes, the acting makes a third-grade play for the PTO seems like Broadway material and the plot holes make Jennifer Lopez's ass look small by comparison.

But we don't camp outside the theaters for the film. That's like saying we wear Edward Cullen panties for their 60/40 cotton-poly blend.

Twilight devotees love the movies because they are extensions of the books and the emotions the stories evoke. And by "emotions", I clearly mean "unadulterated lust for young, hot, immortal men who say all the right things and never get beer bellies or belch in public."

On those points, dear reviewers, the movies deliver.

I'd tell the critics to "bite me," but I'm saving that line for Edward.



The sounds of fall in Kentucky: leaves crinkling underfoot, wood crackling in the fireplace and shotguns blasting through the countryside.

Hunting season is upon us again, so I've been privy to numerous photos of friends dressed in camouflage and proudly hoisting up dead deer with their tongues hanging out (err, the deer, not the hunters -- in most cases).

The photos bring back horrific childhood memories of inviting home friends from school, only to discover a skinned buck hanging upside down from the backyard tree or rabbit carcasses floating in our kitchen sink. Needless to say, I often had a difficult time convincing girlfriends to come over in the fall.

My father is an avid outdoorsman and a hunter, so I understand that hunting helps control the animal population and that most hunters eat what they kill (though I'll never forgive my parents for telling me that the rabbit on my plate was fried chicken. I don't care how much sawmill gravy they put on that sucker, some things don't taste like chicken).

I also realize that hunters have a deep appreciation for nature and are some of our greatest conservationists. But it's not for me.

Because I had been traumatized by the "Bambi" movie as a child, I refused to hunt animals with my father or enthusiastically support his hobby; to his credit, however, he never let that stop him from trying to instill his love of the outdoors or the thrill of the hunt in me. So he'd ditch the guns and take my siblings and me mushroom hunting.

I loved traipsing through the woods with my dad, brown grocery bag in hand, searching the moist terrain for the perfect morel mushrooms. It was like a treasure hunt, and I'll never forget the joy of circling an old elm to find a cluster of mushrooms at its base. I'd call triumphantly to my Dad, heckle my siblings and harvest my find. I loved it!

What I didn't love, however, was standing over the toilet when we came home and letting Mom pluck ticks from my head. If you spend an afternoon in Kentucky woods, you likely will pick up a tick or ten. And my long, brown hair apparently was tick heaven. It was hot tick real estate, and they quickly set up condominiums on my scalp.

I'll always remember peering nervously into the toilet bowl while Mom took the tweezers to yet another tick embedded in my head. The disgusting little bloodsuckers would squirm helplessly in the water as Mom urged me to "hold still". I still shudder when I think about it.

I recently shared this story with a friend, who like my dad, loves the hunt and the great outdoors. He told me he, too, had to endure the dreaded tick checks as a child. He distinctly recalled one terrible afternoon when he was eight:

"I came home from playing tag after dinner and went to the bathroom to check myself for ticks," he said. "To my horror, I found one on my, uh, scrotum."

Frantic, he began to pull, yank and wrench, in an effort to dislodge the tick, which refused to budge from his most sensitive parts. After trying for 30 minutes to remove the tick himself, the mortified boy called for his father.

"Dad came in and asked why I was crying," my friend said. "I told him, 'I got a tick...down there!!'"

Concerned, his father told him to relax and to let him see the tick. Embarrassed, the youth obliged his dad.

"I remember the laughter seeming really odd," he said, "And then, with a big smile, Dad told me I'm gonna' have a hard time pulling that mole off my bean bag.

"They took me to get glasses one week later."


Terrible Turkeys

I'm trying to decide if my little boy is immensely creative, slightly warped, or like his mother, a combination of the two.

Thanksgiving is fast-approaching, and I was thrilled to attend a special Thanksgiving lunch at school with my first-grader last week. While waiting for our feast, parents were encouraged to peruse the halls and view the work of their children, displayed on the walls.

My child's class has been writing fall and Thanksgiving stories, and I was anxious to read the words of my little guy, who has a great passion for reading and storytelling. Students were asked to complete two stories: One story began with "My scarecrow came to life and…"; the other started, "If I were a turkey, I would…"

I couldn't help but notice a group of parents were gathered around a couple of the stories, whispering and shaking their heads. Some looked impressed; others appeared mortified.

As I made my way down the hall, I read my son's classmates' stories. Most were sweet, simple tales, like "My scarecrow came to life and told me a funny story. He was my friend." Or "If I were a turkey, I would get up off the table and watch T.V. all day with my new family."

I kept looking for my boy's stories, and eventually discovered his works were the ones collecting a crowd. Like any proud Mama, I declared, "Oh! Those are written by my son!" only to be met with raised eyebrows and a few wary stares.

The crowd parted, and I noticed that my son had illustrated his turkey story with little people who had "X"es where their eyes should be. Hmmmm. I moved forward and read his words: "If I were a turkey, I would hunt people on Thanksgiving and eat them as my revenge. I would dress up in people clothes, so they would never know I was a turkey. Then I would show up for their dinners and gobble them up."

Parents watched for my reaction, so I laughed nervously and said, "Oh. He's a vegetarian. And VERY creative."

They merely pointed to his scarecrow story. Anxiously, I read his tale: "My scarecrow came to life and opened its mouth. Saliva drooled from its sharp teeth. It ripped through the hay and attacked me and my sister. Thankfully, our dog attacked it, leaving nothing but slime and hay. But not before it ate my sister."

"Well," I said to the other parents, "On the bright side, you have to admit his vocabulary is impressive for a first-grader, and his strong verb usage is remarkable!"

My son is a happy, fun-loving boy. And no, he's not allowed to watch violent movies, play video games that aren't rated for his age or read junk, which leads me to surmise that I might be raising a little Stephen King, Richard Matheson or Dean Koontz. Or, okay, yes -- perhaps a Unabomber.

Give a kid a library card, and it's a crapshoot.

Sure, we had to eat at a table by ourselves because the other parents were afraid of us, but I'm immensely proud of my wonderful, bright, imaginative boy, and I will continue to encourage his creativity. Just to be safe, though, I'm not serving turkey for Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

There's a Group for That

Today I say, "Thank you, Facebook."

You have brought me new friends and reconnected me with old ones. You have given me an outlet for annoying people on a daily basis and posting thousands of obnoxious photos of my children. You have nearly completed my collection of old boyfriends and taught me how to use the self-timer on the camera so I can take my own profile pics. But most importantly, you are the ultimate tool for a procrastinator extraordinaire.

In my ongoing effort to put off writing, cooking sensible meals for my children (Hello? That's why God made PopTarts) or cleaning the house, I spent an entire morning perusing Facebook groups and fan pages for my own amusement. I am not immature, but I had a fantastic time typing words like "buttcrack" into the search engine to see what would pop up in Facebook Land.

The following are 10 of my favorites:

1. What Do Bacon Do?

According to its information, this group formed to "build a better world through laughter and bacon." Since I dig both giggles and pork, this one makes me extremely happy. The group encourages members to order stuffed bacon felt characters from a website (as we all know, few things are cuddlier than bacon) take photos of the googly-eyed bacon bits in odd situations and then upload those photos for the amusement of all, so bacon fans can see, well, "what bacon do."

My favorite posted photo features bacon going on a bender, but bacon stealing your kidney was a close second. Oh , the things bacon do! Naughty, naughty bacon.

Please do not confuse What Do Bacon Do? with the groups, What Would Kevin Bacon Do? or So What Do Canadians Call Bacon? Those groups stand on their own merit.

2. LOL is Not a Word and Punctuation Mark Faces are Still Not Funny

The founder of this group writes, "I can't bear it any longer. I have the utmost contempt for idiots who litter their sentences with 'lol' and make those utterly shit faces using punctuation marks." Of course, he lives in England, so this is understood.

I have to admit that I was not big on lols or punctuation faces for a long time, but I assimilated and learned that, annoying or not, they serve important purposes on Facebook.

For instance, those little punctuation faces have power! A friend and I recently discussed how this little fella', ;) , allows you to say ANYTHING and get away with it. Amazing!

For instance, "You are a total douche." is insulting and offensive. But "You are a total douche ;) " is hilarious.

And what if you don't have the time or energy to write a witty response to a hysterical update, but you still need your Facebook friend to know you care? In that case, lol is an acceptable substitute for a comment and considerably less finger effort than typing "hahahahahahahahahaha."

Think of lols as little Facebook hugs. That being said, I certainly don’t trust people who lol all the time. They've obviously been on a bender with the bacon.

3. Facebook Needs a Who Gives A Shit Button

I would join this group, but frankly, I don't give a shit.

4. Don't Wear Sandals if Your Feet are Jacked Up

I love this group almost as much as I love the group, I Don't Care How Comfortable Crocs Are, You Look Like a Dumbass.

Few things are worse than people putting their stank feet on display in sandals or flip flops. I'd honestly rather see your buttcrack. Is there a group for that? (In fact, there is! Buttcrack Awareness has 88 members dedicated to making you aware of your butt cleavage.)

5. Not Catching on Fire

At one point, this was a huge fan page with thousands of fans (it even offered t-shirts and aprons featuring the group logo), but apparently people who actually caught on fire were offended and the page was shut down. Some die-hard fans of not catching on fire apparently are trying to bring it back. We can all learn a lesson here: do not underestimate the passion of people who do not want to catch on fire.

6. Masturbation

This ode to taking matters into one's own hands has only 7,426 fans, yet there are more than 300 million Facebook users. I believe at least a few of you haven't owned up.

7. Gary Coleman is Fun-Sized

That's what I'm talkin' about, Willis. I'd like to carry little Gary around in my pocket, next to my felt bacon buddies.

Amazingly, there are 317 Facebook groups and/or fan pages dedicated to the deliciously delightful Gary Coleman. You can join Gary Coleman for President; Gary Coleman is a God; Gary Coleman is a Legend; Team Pimp Gary Coleman; and Get Gary Coleman Laid.

By comparison, there are only two Facebook groups in honor of Emmanuel Lewis, and they don't even use words like "pimp" or "boobs" in their titles. In your face, Webster!

8. Eric is Hotter Than Bill. Deal With It

Trueblood. Vampire Eric. Enough said, or group six will have 7,427 fans.

9. (my personal favorite) An Arbitrary Number of People Demanding that Some Sort of Action Be Taken

Be warned: we are 139,412 members strong, and we demand something be done about something sometime.

10. Apologies if you found my list offensive; however, 1,085,272 Facebook users are fans of Being A Smart Ass, so I'm in excellent company.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

It's DY-NO-MITE, y'all!

Ahhhh... what a beautiful morning here on the porch. Few things kick off a Sunday better than gorgeous fall sunshine, fresh-brewed coffee, a waiting newspaper and - oh yeah - a massive explosion.

That's right. I don't like to brag, but I began my day with one hell of a KABOOM.

(No, no. Not that kind of kaboom. Much to my husband's dismay, my definition of myself as a "morning person" only stretches so far.)

This KABOOM took place on the downtown riverfront, where the fair city I call home demolished a hotel as part of a riverfront revitalization project. The implosion was the best redneck event in this town since two portly fellas in wifebeaters beat the crap out of each other at the annual barbecue festival. That was fun. But I digress...

Now, I might have been born and raised in Kentucky, but that doesn't mean I'm not a sophisticated woman. I put my napkin on my lap in finer restaurants (e.g. Bob Evans); I hold my pinkie out when I drink a beverage (e.g. Bud Light long-neck); and I enjoy classical music (e.g. Kenny Chesney).

So I pondered whether or not I should rouse my family early this morning to watch a building implode; however, since I'm the same girl who relished using firecrackers to blow up toy Army men with the neighborhood boys as a child, it wasn't much of a debate.

We rolled out of bed and ventured downtown, where half the community was gathered on top of local buildings to watch the action. I don't want to name names, but some of us were still in our pajamas.

My clan parked in a local parking garage and scrambled to the roof to meet friends. We barely made it to the top with hundreds of other gawkers before we heard the final countdown, followed by an earsplitting explosion. The parking garage shook, a huge dust cloud billowed and the hotel a few blocks away came tumbling down. We hillbillies hooted and hollered and thrust our kids up on our shoulders for a better view. It was ... spectacular.

In fact, it was so awesome that I couldn't resist taunting a good friend of mine who has camped out all weekend with his family at the Texas Motor Speedway infield for a NASCAR event. I bragged that I was a hardcore redneck mama who had dragged her family out of bed to watch an explosion. I felt certain I had trumped his redneck ways.

His response:

That is truly redneck! But, darlin', unless today you brushed your teeth in the front yard, did your morning pee in a port-o-potty, kicked the beer cans under the trailer 'cause the trash can is full, woke your son up from the truck he was sleeping in and told him that he could go sleep in the trailer now that everyone is awake, checked the batteries in your scanner, put breakfast on the smoker, or filled up the frozen margarita machine, you gots a ways to go. But I do appreciate your aspirations!

Dammit! I was so close. And here I thought starting my day with dynamite would put me over the top. Ah, well. At least I scored extra points by wearing my pajamas in public.

*Special thanks to Jeniffer Eberhard Black, a fellow redneck mama extraordinaire, for the use of the photo.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

And now I alienate you...

I'm afraid I've contracted a terrible "dis"ease this week. I feel disconnected, discombobulated, disenfranchised, disheartened, disillusioned and dischickiswhackedout (just seeing if you were paying attention).

Maybe the time change early in the week threw off my biorhythm, as I'm not one for the shorter days of late fall and winter. Or perhaps I need to stop eating so many BBQ Fritos and chasing them down with handfuls of caramel candy corn, but who are we kidding? That's so not going to happen. It was hard enough not licking my children's discarded Halloween candy wrappers (as far as you know, I didn't).

Whatever the case, today's entry also will be a bit disconnected. But you're my friends, or at least you play them on my blog. You'll love me anyway, right? I'll assume you all nodded vigorously because that makes me feel good and buttery inside.

So here are my random thoughts du jour. Please don't be offended. I'm an ignorant Kentucky woman who ingests too much polysorbate 60.


I was picking up one of my kids from school earlier this week, when a woman pulled into the car line with a huge "We'll always love you, Nana! RIP!" decal on her Jeep's rear window.

I can't go anywhere these days without seeing decal tributes to the dearly departed on vehicles, and it's a trend I don't understand. I assume it began when Dale Earnhardt died. Suddenly every other Southerner had a "#3" sticker on his or her truck, but I can't blame NASCAR for everything I don't like (although I'm sure they had something to do with Miley Cyrus. I haven't figured out the connection just yet, but I will).

Anyway, I wrote a little jingle about memorial decals. You can sing it to the tune of your favorite country song. I think it works with ... all of them. And if you have one of these decals on your vehicle, please don't run over me in retaliation. I'm just desperate for blog material.

Sticker Shock

Memorial decals
are a disturbing new trend
For rednecks to pay tribute
To dearly departed friends.

Don't get me wrong, folks
I'm sorry your loved one died
But do you need to note it
With a sticker on your ride?

Splashed across rear windows
In Wal-Mart's parking lot
Are lots of creepy decals
That grieving people bought.

Of course I want sweet Nana
to forever Rest In Peace
But must you memorialize her
On your Chevy Caprice?

I get why you do it
Losing friends is a bummer
But Bubba Johnson won't live on
Cause of a sticker on your Hummer.

We all grieve differently
There is little doubt
But when your truck becomes a tombstone
That kind of creeps me out.

So please, when my time comes
And Death draws his sword
Don't put my name on a sticker
And slap it on your Ford.


Speaking of vehicles ...

I was walking my dog recently, when a car slowed down and the male driver honked at me. Or maybe he was afraid my dog was too close to the road. Or maybe his 1982 Dodge Omni malfunctioned.

Regardless, I'll take it!

In my younger days, I would have considered such behavior offensive, sexist and highly inappropriate. But now that I'm closing in on 40, it kind of makes my day (Oops. I just lost the feminists).

Funny how our perspective changes through the years.

For instance, from my perspective, I didn't see the college girl in short shorts jogging behind me when the dude honked.

And I didn't mean to trip her as she passed me. Honest.


I have now offended NASCAR followers, feminists and Miley Cyrus in the same post, and that's not easy.

My work here is done.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

More Wine, Please

Dinner's in the oven.
The children are in bed.
Yes, I ironed your shirts.
Yes, I bought some bread.
I washed a load of towels.
Cleaned out the fridge.
Fixed your favorite pie.
Here, have another smidge.
Jackson skinned his elbow.
I kissed it, made it better.
Emma made an 'A' in math.
Got a sticker said "Great Effort."
You're up for a raise again?
How nice, dear. I'm so proud.
You don't like my new perfume?
Of course it's much too loud.
Stop. I'll get those dishes.
You go on to bed.
I'll join you in a while.
I know. You feel half dead.
See you in the morning.
Good night, love you, too.
Yes, I'm an angel.
Scoot. I've work to do.
Wash the last few dishes.
Sneak a glass of wine.
Wipe the kitchen counter.
Scrub it 'til it shines.
Fix the kids' school lunches.
Cut off Jackson's crusts.
Shit. Forgot about his field trip.
Sometimes, it's just too much.
Dust off the mantel.
A photo's in my way.
You never said I was beautiful
On our wedding day.
But that doesn't matter.
I've laundry yet to do.
Just one more glass of wine.
One more, to make it through.

© 1995 by Jennifer Jenkins Reese

(Thanks, friends and followers, for allowing me to indulge in melodramatic poetry occasionally. It does my soul good. Besides, I like to keep you guessing. Just when you thought you had me figured out...)