Saturday, March 31, 2007

Have you seen my husband?

Yeah, me neither.

I'm so proud of him, really. The man is such a hard worker and he is so good at his job. I couldn't do his job, that's for sure. He deals with customers all day long. He also has to deal with his own staff all day long.

His employees make my co-workers actually look sane, and that's saying a lot given my co-workers propensity to shout the "f" word to one another during staff meetings and throw tantrums and act like douchenozzles and whatnot. His staff, however? Sweet Naomi Campbell with a cell phone, those folks are crazy.

For example, his customer service representative recently came to him and complained that he made more money than her.

No, seriously. You read that correctly.

He's her boss. She answers the phones all day. He runs the entire freaking office. And she's upset because he makes more money than her.

Then? She decided that she wanted to get a promotion to Assistant Manager. She went to him and told him she wanted to get promoted. He told her that her attendance has been a problem (shockingly, she always seems to be really "sick" on Mondays and Fridays) but if she could work on her attendance and stop calling in so much that he would take her out to "chase" (collect) and consider it. At some point in the future.

She went out the next day and bought a new car.

Okay, again. You read that right. She bought a new car.

She then came in and told everyone about her new Ford Focus and how she pays ONLY $450 a month for it.

Yeah. I'm seriously not kidding.

BUT! She didn't have to make a down payment! WOO! And her interest rate is only 18 percent or some insanely high number for a vehicle loan.

THEN! She said to Jason, "I bought this car so I could have a reliable car to go chase in. When you make me Assistant Manager."

Good. God.

Jason? He's a good man. He has a lot of crap to deal with.

I wish he'd come home. I hate the end of the month.

Friday, March 30, 2007

"Nicknames stick to people, and the most ridiculous are the most adhesive."

Anyone know where that quote comes from? Anyone?

Someone asked me not long ago why I use the name “That Chick” on my blog, instead of my real, actual name, since obviously I don’t mind using my husband’s real, actual name, as it is, in fact, Jason, and he is, in fact, my actual, real-life husband.


Two reasons: One, I think about seventy percent of the males born in the United States between 1971 and 1980 were named Jason. So basically, he could be anyone.

Second, in real life? I’m really not memorable at all.

No really. I’m not. I have solid evidence.

Since 2005 I have worked on the same project at work. It’s a somewhat small project with probably less than fifty employees. I have “met” some of the people on the project for the first time about a hundred times. Recently I went to a meeting and a man who I have spoken to, who has yelled at me via email, and whom I have been physically face to face with no less than twenty-five times came up to me and said, “I’m Forgety McForgettfulface. Nice to meet you.”

Holy crap.

So, I, being uncouth and whatnot said, “We’ve met like twenty times. I’m just extremely forgettable.”

He was very embarrassed and since then has not forgotten my name and in fact, every single time he sees me he shrieks, “HEY CHICK! HOW ARE YOU DOING TODAY?”

And I just laugh.

I got very amused one day as someone who I had known for nearly two years said, “It’s that girl…you know…that chick…over there,” and pointed at me. They couldn’t remember my name (which is not difficult or confusing, honestly). I’m just this quiet person who sits and does her work and does not stir up crap or make others cry. Which I understand is kind of rare in my line of work, but whatever.

So that’s why I’m “That Chick”. At least for now.

I’ve given up my original writing project because it was just very difficult and painful for me. I have, instead, been writing a more humorous book. Lately I’ve had a really huge determination to sell-it-and-get-it-published-and-for-the-love-of-Moses-just-have- someone-read-it. Recent events in my life have convinced me that it’s something worth pursuing.

So when my book gets published, I’ll use my real, actual name. And you can misspell it.

It will be awesome.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

You are glad you aren't me.

On Tuesday night my beloved husband asked me if I could possibly go purchase for him one of these handy, dandy little products. Since, you know, he had one and had totally burnt out the motor on his big, hairy German self.

I agreed that I would go look for one. Yesterday while I had half the day off to take the children to the dentist and run errands, I decided I would see if I could locate the device.

I dropped the kids back at school after their appointment, loaded myself and Ginger up in the Santa Fe, and cruised down to the bank, the post office, and finally to Walgreens, where I immediately scored.

I was so pleased with myself and went to the counter to pay for my purchase. When I got in line I noticed that the cashier was looking at me kind of…strangely.

I thought that was very amusing. She was a young girl and I assumed she was probably just embarrassed for me that I was buying a product that advertises as something good to clean your nose hair out. I giggled to myself, thinking of what she would do if someone tried to purchase condoms or hemorrhoid cream.

As I moved up in the line, she kept casting glances at me until finally she was flat out staring at me when I was standing in front of her. I took this opportunity to make her as uncomfortable as possible by being unnaturally friendly.

“Hi LINDA!” I shrieked, reading her name off her nametag. “How are you today?”

“Um…” she stammered. “I’m…fine. How are you today ma’am?”

“I am SUPER! Thanks for ASKING!”

Linda looked at me in what can only be described as agony.

“Um,” she said. “Well, um, did you find everything you needed today?”

“Yes I certainly did Linda!” I exclaimed. “Thanks so much for asking!”

“Um, well, okay,” said Linda. “Have a nice day ma’am.”

“Linda! You just have the best day ever!” I said, as I exited.

I laughed to myself all the way to the car, thinking: What a silly girl. She was staring at ME and she had green and pink stripes on her fingernails. WHATEVER LINDA.

I got to the car and Ginger was sitting in the driver’s seat, waiting on me. I opened the door and as she was shoving over, something caught my eye.

The underwire. From my bra.

It had come loose, worked its way up, poked out of the top of my shirt, and was sitting on my neck.


And the worst part? This is the second time in two weeks that has happened to me. The first time was at work, where my MALE CO-WORKER gleefully informed me, “Your shirt looks like it has HORNS!”

I am amazed I was able to go back to work.

I’ll never be able to go to Walgreens again.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Like you never had a broken heart...

Today was going to be a wonderful day for my family.

My little sister was going to go to the doctor to find out the sex of her twins.

Instead, she was greeted by the horrifying, life-altering news that one of her twins has died.

It is so hard for me to put into words how I feel about this. As a mother of twins, I can honestly say having them was a completely life-changing experience, in so many ways. One of my worst fears while pregnant with my twins was that one would die and I would be left to deal with the loss of someone I had never met, but loved more than life itself. I didn't know how I could handle that loss.

I called her and she cried so much. Her tears and her pain made me feel so extremely inadequate. I want so badly to help her and there is just nothing I can say or do that will make it feel better right now.

She said, "I feel like I let everyone down!" But she didn't. She didn't. She couldn't.

She asks me these hard questions, "Why me?" "Why us?" "What did I do to make this happen?" and there are no good answers. I know that every mother who has ever lost a baby, or had a premature baby, and every woman who has dealt with the pain of infertility has thought those same things. I know I have, most every day of my life.

I wish I had the answers for her. I wish I had the answers for all of us.

The other baby is a little girl. A little girl who I am certain will be loving and strong and beautiful and wonderful, just like her mother. I told my sister she would never forget the other baby, but each day it would get a little better and a little easier. I believe that.

I wish I could make all her pain go away. I'd give anything to do that.

My kids totally freaking rock.

Last night Boy Child and Girl Child were outside walking the dog. A group of douchehole teenagers from up the street started yelling and taunting them. The dog, naturally, tried to run at the teenagers. Boy Child, who was holding the leash, ended up falling onto the road. The doucheholes then teased Boy Child and laughed at him.

He came in the house with a big scrape on one arm and a bunch of dirt all over his clothes and he and Girl Child breathlessly told me about the doucheholes.

Now, naturally, being a mother and all, I desperately wanted to go outside, get in my SUV and run the doucheholes over. Then back up and run over them again, just for my own personal satisfaction. Since I didn't want to mess up my car, I then thought about going out there and beating the crap out of them. Because I could totally take them.

But I didn't.

Calmly, I washed my son's battered arm. My daughter went and got his three band aids and carefully peeled the wrappers off, as she rubbed his back and said, "It's's okay."

"Listen," I said to them. "Kids like that? They don't matter. In ten years when they are in jail or whatever? And you have a really good life? They won't matter. They don't matter now and they won't matter then."

Boy Child sniffed, "Did kids ever make fun of you mom?"

"Yes," I assured him. "Of course. Everyone gets made fun of by someone, no matter what. And you know what? Those girls who made fun of me? They have like twelve kids and live in crack houses and have really bad hair. It doesn't matter who you are or what you do or what you look like, some jerk will make fun of you at some point. And why do people make fun of others?"

"Because they feel bad about themselves," they said in unison.

"Also," I said, because clearly, I'm never going to win mother of the year, "if those boys ever make fun of you again, tell them to shut the hell up."

Boy Child and Girl Child began to laugh.

"Someday I'm going to become a Police Officer," said Boy Child. "And I will totally arrest them."

Girl Child said, "Here's what you do. Make a big sign that says, 'DON'T SAY I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING'. Then, tell them they are under arrest. Then when they say, 'What? I didn't do anything!' then you point to the sign. And they are under arrest."

"It's a win-win situation!" Boy Child exclaimed.

Tell me now. How did I get so lucky?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Proof that Jason is a patient, patient man.

So I love my dog like really, really a lot. As I've mentioned.

Recently I became quite panicked when I heard about the Pet Food Recall. Because I shop at Kroger and that was one of the places that sold the food. Then I heard it was only the "wet" brands of food and Ginger only eats the "dry" brands of food. And I felt momentarily better.

But seriously? I should stay away from television. Especially informercials and the news. Because last night? I watched the news and heard about more pets dying. And one of the signs that they were really sick was that they were drinking a lot of water.

Last night, Jason and I were sitting on the couch and Ginger began to whine a bit. She went to her water dish and began to nudge it around. Jason went and filled up her bowl.

I, predictably, panicked.

"Jason!" I shrieked. "I'm so afraid that Ginger has been exposed to tainted dog food and now she's going to die!"

Jason looked at me as though I had two heads and said, "Um, honey? Remember? It was only the wet dog food, not the dry food. Ginger doesn't even eat that brand."

I was near tears. "But JASON! I saw on ABC News tonight that dogs who ate the tainted food are drinking a lot of WATER! And she's drinking a LOT."

Jason sighed.

"Honey? First of all, why were you watching ABC News?"

"I was waiting for JUDGE JUDY to come on!" I said. "And what difference does that make anyway?"

"Secondly," he continued. "It's eighty degrees outside."


"She's wearing a FUR COAT."


"Also," he said, sitting back down, "we don't even feed her that brand."


A few minutes passed.

"So, she's fine right?" I asked.

"She's fine," he confirmed. "You? Questionable."

How he tolerates me and my ludicrousness, I will never know. The man deserves some kind of medal.

Monday, March 26, 2007


I don't understand women.

Okay, I know I am one. But still. I lack understanding.

When I was a little girl I used to complain that my two cousins, Jenny and Missy, did not want to play with me. Now, I am an adult and I realize they didn't necessarily mind playing with me, but I didn't want to play what they wanted to play. Which was always either: house, mothers, or wives. They'd say, "Okay, I'm Mrs. Earl Deal and you are Mrs. Wayne Counts. And Chick? Who is your boyfriend?" and I'd be all like, "I'm NINE. I don't like boys! I want to play Spiderman!"

So they didn't want to play with me.

While this probably sounds like just a personal issue or possibly the beginning of the sequel to "Mean Girls", it really is just further proof that I don't understand anything about girls, being a girl, and what being a girl entails. They weren't really mean to me, not really. But I didn't understand them then, and quite frankly, I don't understand them now.

Not that I'm a tomboy, or ever was. I have a pink iPod, a red cell phone, and an It bag. I don't mind getting dirt under my fingernails, but those fingernails are going to be well-groomed. I tend to squeal when I see things that excite me, and yes, I cry when I get angry, upset, or frustrated. So I'm pretty much a girl. I mean, I can totally throw down if the situation warrants it. But it so rarely does. And it messes up my hair, so I try to avoid that.

I always had a ton of friends who were boys when I was growing up. Not until the past three or four years have I had a lot of girlfriends, and lately? I'm figuring out why.

Because a lot of girls? Are mean.

I have a good friend at work, who is a boy, who told me about when he was in high school and played on the football team. His coach would periodically scream out, "BLOOD!" and they would all stop what they were doing and just beat the ever-loving crap out of each other.

I totally think girls should do that. Seriously.

Because when you think about it? You get all your aggressions out and then you can be okay with one another again.

The way things have been working for me lately? Well, pretty much it's as follows:

Let's be jealous.
Because of our jealousy, let's say rude things behind one another's backs.
Let's be really sweet to each other's faces.
Let's talk smack to everyone about each other and then pretend we didn't do it.

So yeah. It both sucks and blows.

The bad part? The jealousy is over completely stupid, meaningless things. The worst part? Not just confronting the issue.

Why do girls do this? Seriously? Why? Because, I guarantee you that if my husband has an issue with me, he'll come to me and say, "Chick, here is my issue and here is how I think this should be resolved." Why is it so hard for me to say to my friend, "Hey friend? I've heard you've been talking complete and total smack about me behind my back. In the future, if you have something to say regarding my work, my parenting skills, or my fat ass, how about you bring it up to my face instead of with everyone that I've ever met, ever?" Is that to much to ask?

I got really angry recently when I saw on one of those stupid "entertainment" type programs, a "news" story about Hilary Clinton's butt looking big in her pantsuit. Does Barack Obama have to worry about someone reporting that his butt looks big in his Dockers? Does Fred Thompson? Um, no. And you know? Honestly? I sincerely doubt that any man on this planet thought that was a news story. I would be willing to bet a lot of green money that that important news was brought to us by none other than a woman who was jealous and decided to be a Snarky McSnarkypants.

I recently got a raise, and I mentioned it to some of my close friends. Later, I heard them talking about it (they didn't know I was within hearing range) and they were totally dissing me, when they had acted happy to my face. They were all like, "SHE doesn't deserve that raise! She JUST graduated! I've been out of school for ten years. I DESERVE that raise!"

And you know? Maybe they do deserve a raise. Hell, they probably do. Women accept so much less pay for the same work as men do. Women should really ban together and do something about that. Except, oh wait! That's right! They are to busy being mean and catty and jealous of one another that they can't.

That's it. Seriously. I'm calling Blood. If you got issues with me sister, bring it to the table. This jealousy and snarktasticness has got to end.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Thinking about thinking.

Nailgirl from over at Camerons Corner very sweetly honored me with a Thinking Blogger Award. Since she likes that I talk about being fat and stuff. Which is cool, because I can't imagine I'll stop that any time soon.

Isn't that sweet though? It made me happy although my skies have been quite gray lately.

The rules of a Thinking Blogger award indicate that if you get tagged, you write a post linking to five other blogs that make you think, that you link to this post here so that people can easily find the origin, and, if you wanna, to display the award on your site. Oh yeah, and you are supposed to nominate people who have never been nominated.

So, yeah.

Really, a lot of the blogs I read make me think about a lot of different things. Some of them are good things, and some of them are actually, yeah, quite bad. Sometimes I think, "I wish I was that person" and sometimes I think, "I'm really freaking glad I'm not that person!".

I've really had a lot of stress over this, believe it or not. Because what defines what's going to make me think? You know? Sometimes people make me laugh, but don't necessarily make me think. Sometimes people complain a lot (myself included!!!) but don't really bring anything else to the table. Sometimes people bring me back to places that I once was and don't want to go back too.

All of them make me think.

So, after much contemplation, here are my five:

1) Alpha Dude at The World Observed by Me. I have no idea how this Dude found my website, but I'm very glad he did. Probably he was searching for the word God, because he loves God and Jesus and stuff. But anyway, I'm very glad he did find me because I love to read his website. He's lived a really amazing life and he and I are a lot alike in a lot of ways. The good ways, not the freaky psycho ways that I tend to bring to the party.

2) Ellie at The Cedar Chest. Ellie is an amazing woman with amazing stories. She has overcome a ton in her life and manages to maintain a positive, cheery outlook. She's a great mom and loves her family fiercely. She's one of those people I hope I grow up to be someday.

3) Amira at Memoirs of a Single Mom. Amira's story is both beautiful and painful. Beautiful because she is a good writer and able to write very honestly about how she feels. Painful because I have been where she is and reading what she writes forces me to remember how difficult it all was. She's a great lady, really, and she's going to be okay. I know it in my soul.

4) Amy at A Family Story. I heart Amy for many reasons: she's a twin (with a twin brother even!), she lives in small town North Carolina (and doesn't get mad at me for freely admitting I don't understand why) and most of all, she is not afraid to say, "Hey, what would you guys do in this situation?" if she's having a problem with whatever. Because a lot of bloggers try to act like their kids are just these perfect little people and never have any kind of issues and yeah, I totally don't believe that at all. She's totally okay with not being a perfect mom, and I am totally loving her for that. Also, Amy posts thought-provoking issues, is a Weight Watchers success story, and she's a total band geek. She totally rocks.

5) Britmum at All Things English. I love the way she writes. I'm sure if I talked to her, I would love the way she talks. She is really, really, really just a sweet person and there are just not enough sweet people on this planet.

So that's it. If you've been nominated, please pay it forward.

And thanks for making me think.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

I stink pretty good.

I took a long, long bath this morning. I shaved my legs. Exciting.

It's amazing how something as simple as a bath can make you feel so much better.


I have this anxiety lately.

I briefly mentioned that the other night I had a crushing anxiety attack over whether I had paid my cable bill. It was completely irrational. I HAD paid the bill, but even if I hadn't? Big deal. I have the money in my bank account and could have easily just logged on, clicked the cable company's website, clicked "pay my bill" and it would have been over with. You know?

So why was it such a big deal?

I guess because I feel like an idiot lately. Really, a complete idiot. All the time. And it makes me feel really out of control and helpless.

Except the other night? I went to Jason's office after hours to help him get caught up on things. He gave me a huge sheet of customer's names and account numbers and I sat for well over two hours (past midnight when I got home, GOOD LORD) and made credit decisions.

And I'm really good at making credit decisions, you know? I used to work for a company that is now Citibank and after that I was a credit counselor for five years. I know credit like the back of my hand and I'm really, really good at those things.

The job I have now? Well, I'm lucky if I get through the first two hours of each day without feeling like a complete and total idiot. And you know? Feeling like an idiot all the time pretty much both sucks and blows.

I try to remind myself that I'm still new at this work, and just because I don't know as much as people who have been doing it for twenty years, doesn't mean I'm not smart, it just means I don't have experience. I try to remind myself that I'm not afraid to say I don't know the answer and admitting I don't know the answer doesn't make me a Stupidy McStupidpants, it just makes me a person who needs to know the answer and doesn't. I try to remind myself how much I freaking HATED being a credit counselor (so much I seriously used to pray to God that a drunk driver would hit my car on the way to work so I could have a day off) and how everyone I tried to help blamed me for everything and how bad that sucked. Of course, it's markedly similar to working for the Feds also...everyone wants someone to blame. But I get paid a lot more, so I try to ignore that part.

So part of me is really logical and rational about the whole thing. But a much larger part of me is sad and frustrated and impatient.

Friday, March 23, 2007

I'm to sexy for...well, absolutely nothing.

I just spent 8 hours in the car with two kids and my dog.

The dog is shedding her winter coat.

I haven't showered since Wednesday (and I'm admitting it to the internet. Because I'm awesome). I didn't even attempt to do anything to my hair today. I have zero make-up on.

I have zits on my face. I have zits on my chest.

My head hurts.

I'm hungry.

I'm tired.

I slept worth crap because I woke up and had an enormous anxiety attack because I was afraid I forgot to pay my freaking cable bill. I could not in any way convince myself that I had already paid the bill.

I was at my parents house in North Carolina and couldn't get up and, you know, CHECK to see if I had paid it because I didn't want to wake them up.

I'm not interesting today. I'm really behind on people's blogs. I'm mad at one of my friends.

AND...I think I'm out of things to complain about. For now.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


So, as I've previously mentioned, our neighbors are pretty much all crackheads.

Every day, the children gather in the street to play. Why? I have no idea. Everyone on our street has both a front and a back yard. I was amazed to recently discover that one of the houses on the other side of the street has a freaking trampoline in the back. A trampoline people! Do you know how much green money I would have given for a trampoline when I was a kid? A lot!

Yet, they all play in the street.

Every day when I get home from work, I get to have a pinball adventure just trying to get to my home. Must dodge children! Must dodge dogs! Must dodge the twelve tons of crap children have laying in the road! Just the 1/8 of a mile trip to the end of the road leaves me exhausted.

Recently, some of the children have had the absolutely brilliant idea to take car ramps, set them in the street and use them do stunts on their bikes and skateboards. Despite the fact that the ambulance has been down our street two times recently, they still persist in doing this.

All of the parents apparently feel this is a really smart plan.

Jason usually works later than I do and he generally doesn't get home before it's dark outside. This week, however, the children are all on Spring Break and therefore home for the day. He comes home daily at lunch and on Tuesday he came home and found a skate ramp, two skateboards, and three bikes laying in the middle of the road. We live on a narrow street and there was absolutely no way around them without hitting him (which, of course, I said, "You should have just ran over the crap!" and he said, "I didn't want to hurt my new car." We have priorities people!).

He honked the horn and no one came out. So he got out of his car, went to the house of some of the children and asked their mother to ask them to come move their crap out of the road. Reluctantly, they did.

He came home that night around 6:30pm and all the crap was back in the road. The road is completely blocked and since we live on the end of a dead-end street there is literally no way around.

He went back to the house and asked again, politely if she could please ask her children not to leave their things in the middle of the street when they were done playing with them.

The woman, whose name I don't know so we'll call her Moronbreath, said:

"Okay, that's fine, but YOU need to start being more understanding."

Jason said, "Excuse me?"

Moronbreath said, "They are just young boys! You can't expect young boys not to leave their things in the middle of the street."

No, I'm serious. She really did say that.

Jason said, "Ma'am, I have a nine year old son and I assure you that he has never left anything in the street. Ever."

Moronbreath sighed, deeply, to the depths of her soul.

"Are you a Christian?" she asked.

"Yes," Jason replied.

"Well," she said. "Since you are a Christian, maybe you should have a Christian attitude."

Jason stood there in shock for a moment and finally told her, "It goes both ways."

He then left.

And came home and told me.

And I? Got furious.

Because excuse me? We're using JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD AND SAVIOR as a reason not to teach our children to behave? What?

I mean...what?

I mean, I think if Jesus had her phone number he would call her up and be all like,

"Hey, yeah. About that. If you are going to use my name like that? You might want to, you know, make your kids act right. Because, yeah. That's actually something I really want you to do."

We have driven around their piles of crap for over TWO YEARS NOW. Two YEARS people. We have not called the police. We have not picked up their crap and thrown it in the trash. My husband NICELY asked them to TAKE CARE OF THEIR OWN POSSESSIONS and they accuse him of not being a good Christian?

How about raising your children to be responsible citizens?
How about raising your children to value their possessions?
How about teaching your kids to FREAKING ACT RIGHT and not draw on other people's houses with magic markers and not throw rocks at cars, and to not think they don't have to get out of the middle of the STREET where people are trying to DRIVE because they don't feel like it?

Then you can preach to me about being a good Christian.

Talk about using the Lord's name in vain.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Happy You Gave Birth Day to me!!

Nine years ago, today, I technically became a mom.

I say technically because really? The mom thing didn’t happen for a while.

Oh, I mean, I gave birth and all that. It was a rather painful, forced affair in which my stomach was cut open and two really small infants were wretched outward. I was so doped up on painkillers I don’t remember the vast majority of it. I do remember the huge needle they stuck in my spine. And I do recall the labor and delivery nurse yelled at me because I still had my bra on. Dude. I was totally unaware you had to TAKE YOUR BRA OFF to have a baby. I’d never given birth before.

And seriously? This may be a question that all real girls already know the answer to, but WHY do you have to take your bra off? Do my saggy boobs really need to be exposed to the world in order for me to have a freaking c-section? That just seems like it might scare people rather than do anything good whatsoever.

It’s a weird thing though. To have a baby (or in my case babies) and not really be able to feel like a mom.

All I ever wanted to be my entire life was a mom. I remember as a little girl if people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I would say, “A mother”. (Sometimes I would also say, “Spiderman,” but really. I knew, even then, that wasn’t realistic. Because I was a GIRL and girls can’t be Spiderman!) The whole being a mother thing appealed to me, a lot. I had visions of going to the grocery store in my polyester pantsuits (I WAS a child of the 70’s after all) and sewing clothes and baking Toll House cookies after school with my wee lasses. I never outgrew it either. I never had a moment in my life when I felt like having a child would be a bad or negative thing. Even when I was poor, even when I was young, even when I had no business being a mother, I still felt like it would somehow all be okay.

So many women have described their birthing experiences to me. How they pushed and pushed and then the little baby was placed in their arms and the rush of love and joy they felt. One of my favorite pictures of all time is of my friend Angie, sobbing and holding her newborn son Kyle (who’s now a teenager). The emotion and love is there. It’s a beautiful, beautiful thing.

For me? It just didn’t seem real, I suppose.

One day I was pregnant and the next, I wasn’t. But I hadn’t seen my babies (with the exception of a brief moment when the nurse held my daughter up in the air as she ran out of the room with her). I hadn’t held my babies. It was like this weird dream I’d once had. My reality was totally fuzzy and it wasn’t just the spinal block.

I don’t remember the exact moment I began to really feel like a mom. I remember having moments in which the reality of my life hit me really hard. I remember struggling to buy diapers and formula and wondering where my next dollar would come from. I remember crying and wondering why on EARTH God would entrust someone as moronic as me with these two precious little people. I remember thinking, “I can’t do this,” and at the same time having the most aching determination that I could do it and I would do it and I wouldn’t let anyone stop me from doing it. I had just as many moments, of course, in which I wondered if they would prefer going on Oprah or Maury, because I certainly was going to screw this up big time.

That’s the thing, I guess, about having your husband walk out while you are pregnant. It makes you doubt your abilities as a human being.

But so far? It’s worked out pretty good.

For some reason, I’ve been blessed with really good, normal, sweet kids. And Holy Moses on a bicycle, they are the funniest people I have ever met in my life.

They teach me every day more than I could ever teach them in a lifetime.

So today is my “birthday” too. Because I started becoming the person I wanted to be, when I became their mom.

Good gravy, I’m a complete sap.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Silly boys.

Recently, I got a new cell phone.

It's this one:

Jason was totally digging it, so he asked me to go get him one. Except he didn't want red, as it is deemed a "girl" color.

So, off I went to the US Cellular store today to purchase his phone.

I went in and told the salesperson (we'll just call him Biff) that I wanted to purchase a phone for the second line on my account and that I wanted the Silver Razr.

Biff was quite chatty, asking me all manner of questions while he looked up my account. Where do you work? What do you do there? What's a normal day like for you?

Suddenly he stopped and said:

"You have the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen."


I said, "Um, thanks."

He said, "So. Who's the second phone for? Your boyfriend?"

I said, "Actually, he's my husband."

Biff looked perplexed, "Husband? Darn. I thought he was your boyfriend."

"See," I said, pointing to the screen. "Note that we have the same last name."

"To bad," Biff sighed. "I was going to ask you out on a date."

People. Seriously. He was probably 22.

I laughed. Then I laughed harder. Then I couldn't stop laughing.

"Biff," I said. "You are quite the salesman."

Biff pouted. "No seriously. I was."

"You thought I had a boyfriend and you were going to ask me out?" I said. "Seriously?"

"Seriously!" he said.

"Biff," I explained. "I'm a happily married woman. I have twins that will be nine tomorrow. The last thing I need is a date."

Biff's face turned kind of red. Like my cell phone.

He quickly finished my transaction and even called me ma'am as he sent me out into the cold, dark night.

What a goob.

Still, I hope he finds a nice chick. Biff's need love too.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Won't you be my neighbor?

No, really. Seriously. Will you?

Because my neighbors? Sweet Lord.

We moved to Tennessee in 2004 and bought a house that we had seen exactly one time. We came for a visit, found the house, called the builder and made an offer.

Yeah, I know. Not the smartest move we’ve ever made. Oh, it’s smart in some ways, I suppose. It’s in a good school district and only a few miles from the school. It was a great bargain. We were able to buy it directly from the builder so we had no real estate agent to pay commission to. When we sell (and oh please God let that be very, very soon) the house we’ll make a nice profit. It’s near parks, playgrounds, and walking trails. It’s near shopping centers, grocery stores, and “The Wal-Mart” is even right up the road. (The new one! Or so people like to tell me. Since I didn’t live here before, I was unaware of the old one.)

And really? It’s a cute house. It really is. It has a big front porch. It’s a really pretty brown color. And it has three bedrooms, which was my only drop-dead requirement at the time. (I have since learned that having a massive amount of closet space is a requirement since I have a husband who hangs on to every single piece of clothing he’s ever owned, ever. But I digress.)

Jason claims that living on the end of a dead-end street is a big plus, but actually? It’s not. Because everyone uses our yard for their parking lot and/or turn around place. The ice cream truck will come down our street and get stuck in our yard and has made huge, really ugly holes in the yard and ruined our grass. We’ve repeatedly asked her not to do it, but she won’t stop. It’s not like it’s the public street we’re asking her not to use. It’s our YARD. She doesn’t even have a boss we can call and complain to, because she owns the freaking truck. I’ve really considered putting big metal spikes in the ground, but that just might be mean. Also, it would probably pop her tires and then she’d want to come in and use my phone and since I’m a generous person I’d probably let her and she might stab me with a sharpened popsicle stick or something for popping her tires in the first place. And, frankly? I just can’t take that chance. People rely on me to pay the mortgage and cook dinner and crap like that.

There are also a lot of children on our street. Since I have two children, this also probably seems like it would be a big plus. Again, it’s not. Because I make my children, you know, BEHAVE and ACT RIGHT. And apparently that’s not a requirement for living on my street.

A few days after we moved in, we were accosted by the family who lived across the street. By accosted I mean I opened my door at 7am to take my children to school and there were two children, dressed in pajamas, on my porch playing with my children’s outdoor toys. I asked what they were doing and they looked at me as though I had sprouted three heads and said, “Playing!” (I mean, DUH!) I asked them why they weren’t getting ready for school and they advised me that their mom and dad were still asleep. I sent them home and told myself that this was a rare, weird occurrence and that I would see the mother later that day and explain what had happened and she would probably be really embarrassed and it would never happen again.

But yeah. Not so much.

I saw the mother later and she seemed friendly enough, in a crackwhorish kind of way. I explained to her that her children were on my front porch when I went outside at 7am. She said nothing. I said they had told me she and her spouse were still asleep and she was like, “Yeah. We were.” Okay. She then advised me that the people who live catty-corner from our house (and directly next door to her) were disgusting, dirty, nasty people who tried to look at her little girl while she was in the bathtub. She said, “We had to put curtains up!” I declined to tell her that I thought curtains were probably a good idea anyway, or at least blinds, because you don’t need the entire neighborhood seeing your business. But whatever.

I then met the people who actually live in the house she was referring to. One is a woman who is in approximately her 50’s and the other person living in her house is her father, who is quite old. They told me they had to put up a fence around their property after living there for over 40 years without incident because the kids who lived in that house were coming over and stealing their things, wrecking their flowers, and writing on the side of their house with magic markers.


About two days later our whole family was outside together. My husband was building a receptacle for our trash bins. The trash trucks come on Monday and we had bought two large cans to sit by the curb. We had observed that every single week trash was strewn all over our road by large, roaming dogs (we later found out these dogs actually belonged to residents of our street who did not bother to put collars or leashes or anything on them…fancy. They also don’t spay or neuter. Because it makes the dogs lazy. Sigh) so we decided to build a wooden receptacle that would hold the bins. We also put bungee cords over the top so that animals couldn’t get the lids off.

While my husband was building, I was sitting on our porch and the kids were in the yard, throwing a Frisbee around. Within fifteen minutes there were eleven children in our yard. Eleven. Not a parent in sight. I had met exactly one of the mothers. These parents did not have a clue if we are serial killers, if we are child molesters, liked Blue Grass music or anything. They just sent their children over to our house to play so they wouldn’t have to be bothered with them.

Immediately, I could see why they didn’t want to be bothered with them.

One boy (shockingly, the child of the mother I mentioned earlier) picked up a hammer and told me he was going to hit my car with it. I told him to put the hammer down immediately and he was NOT going to hit my car with it. He grabbed the hammer and ran toward my car, hitting the (rubber) bumper. I took him by the arm, took him to his house, and told his mother, who said, “Okay.”

His sister took my daughter’s bike and rode it up the street. I informed her (I might possibly have actually yelled this at her, causing two small children to flee to their own homes) that it was not her bike and she needed to get off of it immediately. She said, “But I like it.” I told her she had her own bike and she was not to ride my daughter’s bike anymore, especially without permission. She then went onto my porch. I told her to stay OFF the porch, as I had noticed some small nails that were still exposed and hadn’t had a chance to nail them in soundly. She came on the porch anyway, grabbed a pair of my daughter’s shoes, and ran off with them.

I, again, went to her house. I told her mother that she had stolen my daughter’s shoes and they were, in fact, currently on her feet.

She said, and I’m totally not kidding:

“I don’t know that they aren’t her shoes.”

I said, “Did you BUY her a pair of shoes like that?”

She said, “No.”

I asked, “Well then why would you think they were her shoes?”

She replied, “Well, I don’t know. Someone could have given them to her.”

I walked over to the little girl, took hold of her leg, and held her foot up so that the woman could see that I had written my own daughter’s name on the shoe (before you accuse me of being a freak…she had been at day camp that summer and writing her name on her things ensured she came home with them).

She was not impressed.

“How do I know that’s your daughter’s name?” she asked, clearly ignoring the fact that it wasn’t HER daughter’s name.

“I’m telling you it is,” I said.

“Well, how do I know that your daughter didn’t GIVE my daughter those shoes?” she queried, thinking she had found a loophole that would enable her daughter to keep those Hello Kitty sparkly sandals that didn’t even fit her feet.

“She didn’t,” I said. “Furthermore, she’s only five years old and she’s not allowed to make decisions about what she gives away. I’d like her shoes back now.”

Reluctantly, she made her daughter take off my daughter’s shoes and handed them over to me. As I was leaving, I heard her shout out the door,



The girl came BACK to my house almost immediately. She came up and sat on my porch, once again. I asked her, once again, to leave.

She got up and when she did, I could see that she had peed on my porch.



She was seven years old people! She wasn’t a toddler that had a wee-wee accident! She was in the second grade!

The next day? The mother came over and asked me if my daughter could join her Girl Scout troop. I politely declined. I didn’t tell her that I didn’t think she, a woman who changed live-in boyfriends as frequently as she changed her underwear and had knock-down drag out fights in the front yard with said boyfriends, would be an appropriate role-model for my daughter. Also? Since her own daughter was seven and couldn’t control her personal urination and somehow they live in some kind of alternate universe in which it is acceptable to pee on someone’s porch? I don’t think she’s a good role-model for any child, anywhere, at any time.

I just thought that would be overkill.

After a few months of finding the children in the street every day (literally, playing in the street) wearing only underwear when it was thirty degrees outside, I finally called Child Protective Services. Who did absolutely nothing. The woman from CPS? Was extremely incredulous that I had even called. As though this was common behavior and *I* was the crazy person. It was then that I began to wonder if I was crazy. That was also right about the time I started crying and hating to come home.

One day, the people were gone. Just gone. My neighbor told me that they had been stealing power (how you steal power, I just have no idea, but apparently they were) and hadn’t paid their rent in some time and in the middle of the night they packed up and were gone. Also? The current “dad” had broken into the house across the street (which is also a complete crackden and makes me wonder why poor people want to steal from other poor people, but I’m saving that whole tirade for my Presidential campaign) and he was in jail. Sweet.

Some equally fun people moved in after that. And I could go on for years about the stories these people have provided me, including them yelling at me what a fat-ass I am, and various calling the police stories.

I can’t wait to move.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A theory!

Yesterday after driving 8 hours, I pondered the following:

Do many of the drivers have a disabled driver tag because they are extremely horrible drivers and someone probably hit them because, oh, I don't know, they completely veered their car into someone else's lane without even noticing they were there because they were so busy talking on their stupid cell phone?

Then I felt bad. Maybe they are disabled for other reasons.

Still. Some of them were really bad drivers.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Things I really do say- Part 2

Yesterday I was talking on the phone with someone who is considerably smarter than I am about most everything, but particularly about the issue I was discussing with her (which was effluents. Believe me, it's less exciting than you think). At some point in the conversation (the beginning) I got very confused. So I said:

"I don't mean to be a Stupidy McStupidpants, but could you please explain to me what you mean by that calculation?"


Then she said, "Pardon me?"

I said, "Oh, sorry. I just said I didn't mean to be a Stupidy McStupidpants, but I just didn't understand what you meant by the calculation you just gave me?"


Then, hysterical laughter. Actually I thought she was choking.

"STUPIDY MCSTUPIDPANTS!" she gasped. "Oh that's rich!"

I'm totally running for President. I can admit when I don't know stuff and people still like me and want to be my friend.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Why you want to be part of my family.

At dinner tonight:

Chick, to the table:
I totally love Fred Thompson. If he runs for president, I might break my self-imposed ban on voting and actually vote for him.

(Note: I don't really have a self-imposed ban on voting. It's a joke. I merely didn't vote in the last Presidential election. I know, I know. It was a really, really bad time for me. I had just moved here and just started a job at a temp agency and well, it was just a really bad time. It was more important to me to just function and not worry about who to vote for. But anyway.)

Jason, to the children: Mommy would leave me for Fred Thompson.

Boy child: Who is Fred Thompson?

Chick: I would so NOT leave you for Fred Thompson!

Boy Child: WHO is Fred Thompson?!?

Chick: Son! Blasphemy! What do you mean, WHO IS FRED THOMPSON? He's on Law and Freaking Order! He was a Tennessee State Senator!

Girl Child: Were we even alive then mom?

Boy Child: Oh. Is he that guy that sings like, "Ahhhhhhh!"

Jason: No, that's Barry Gibb. Mommy would leave me for him too.

Girl Child: Ohhhh.


Boy Child: So...wait? The guy who sings "You should be dancing" is running for President?

Chick: I'm not talking to any of you anymore.

He's no Ben Stein.


Seriously. If you have to give a speech in front of like, an entire branch of the government? You might want to consider looking at your notes BEFORE you get there.

Because, really, speaker who's name I cannot be bothered to remember, it was so not cool when your slide would flash up on the screen and you'd say crap like,

" is a...well, looks like this is a map of Europe."

Because, dude. We KNOW it's a map of Europe. Even if some of us were lacking in our mad Geographical skillz? It said, "EUROPE" really big across it. And that's just not a trick you would want to play on the government.

You also might want to rethink the monotone voice you used. It was really distracting, especially for the guy who was snoring yesterday? Today he sat behind me. I thought he might actually, physically fall on me, and then I would just have to sue you for negligence. And no one wants that.

Please. Rethink your job as a public speaker. Stick with whatever it is you do on a regular basis.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Another exciting day at the conference!

We'uns didn't check in with the entire federal government today, but the nice lady did take the time to inform me that the cafeteria was serving, "Pinto beans and taters! For only four dollars!" Exciting!

I declined on that though.

Other good news:

This morning's speaker was actually really good. AND we got to watch accident simulation videos, which is always exciting.

Seeing cartoon people blow up is just weird though.

The afternoon speakers were less stimulating. The guy across the aisle from me fell asleep and snored REALLY loudly. I wish I would have had a Breathe Right nasal strip because he totally needed one. Also? I think he might have drooled. I wasn't looking that closely.

Tomorrow is a 1/2 day. All about Beryllium. I'll try to contain my excitement. You know how worked up I tend to get.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Envy me- I'm in a conference this week.

Not just ANY conference, mind you! A work conference. Woo!

Needless to say, by 10am I had downed three Diet Pepsi's and I still felt my head bobbing a bit.

However? The best part of the day? Was when the girl who was assigned to set up our teleconference said to the entire freaking crowd

"Can you'uns hear us?"


Monday, March 12, 2007

I have a crush.

A celebrity crush.

It's not on Brad Pitt or Luke Wilson or any of those other guys that normal girls find attractive.

My crush? It's a 64 year old former Senator from Tennessee.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have a huge crush on...

Arthur Branch himself. Senator Fred Thompson.

As I've mentioned, I'm just ever so slightly obsessed with the television program Law and Order. The very first time the character of Arthur Branch appeared, I literally jumped up out of my seat and shrieked, "IT'S FRED DALTON THOMPSON!"

Jason, typically, was not impressed.

"Who's Fred Thompson?" he asked. Oh he, of Connecticut heritage.

He ONLY took over the senate seat vacated by Al Gore in a landslide vote. And appeared in The Hunt for Freaking October. And CURLY SUE! CURLY SUE!!! People! The man can multi-task!

Jason was amused. He thinks it's funny that I heart Fred Thompson. He also thinks it's funny that every time I see or hear of Fred Thompson I shriek, "Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed THOMPSON!"

Like we're at a baseball game or something.

I have no idea why I have a crush on him. He's not really hot or anything and I think he's friends with Scooter Libby. Honestly? I don't even know if I'd vote for him.

But still.

Don't tell anyone. Okay?

Practical thinking.

Last night, my son said,

"Mom? Do you want to know this?"

Never really knowing what he wants to say, but always wanting to know what he has to say? It's a fun life.

Chick: "What?"

Boy Child: "Well, you know in that game I have? The Haunted Mansion? I've been through all the levels mom. And it's a mansion. And you know that mansion means REALLY BIG HOUSE? And so it's like nine levels. And do you know what else?"

Chick: "What?"

Boy Child, eyes wide: "There are NO BATHROOMS. Anywhere!"

Chick: (Hysterical laughter)

Boy Child: "Why are you laughing?"

Chick, attempting to regain composure as this is clearly a serious issue and one that is weighing heavily on the boy child: "I don't know!"

Boy Child, nodding: "They must have to squeeze their cheeks ALL the TIME."

Chick: "Okay, well, now it's time for bed!"

I did manage to wait until he left the room to laugh. I did.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

I dreamed about pizza. And other exciting news.

You know you've been dieting for far, far to many days when you dream about pizza.

Seriously? It was like the best dream ever though. Much better than the ones where my teeth fall out.

It was from Pizza Hut. Sausage and Pepperoni...thin crust.

I ate two pieces.

When I woke up? I was so proud of myself for only eating two pieces.

I can't decide if I'm awesome or a huge tool, for being proud of my behavior in a dream.

Anyway, that was early Saturday morning. I had to get up and have another cookie booth, so I got dressed and promptly got lipstick on the only possible shirt that I could wear that I felt like my mom wouldn't be critical of me in.

Did I mention my parents came to town? Yeah. I don't know what's up with that either. They called Friday night and were like, "Guess what?" So they got up Saturday morning at 4:30 in the morning to come to visit.

(Incidentally? I hate when they do that. Not that I don't want to see them...I only see them a few times a year and my dad has cancer and I really treasure both of them. I don't understand either of them. At all. But still. I treasure them. And when they suddenly decide to come over? It makes me think something is horribly, horribly wrong. Because they both have this really bad habit of not telling me something is horribly, horribly wrong until like, the eleventh hour. It's like I get a phone call that says, "Well, dad's about to go into surgery..." and I had no idea he was even sick. Stuff like that. My parents, for some odd reason, think that if they don't SAY things out loud, then magically they are just not true! But I digress.)

So anyway, I load my three boxes of cookies that no one wants into my car and find a shirt that looks reasonable and all and go off to my cookie booth.

Have you ever had a cookie booth with nine year old girls? No? If you'd like to experience it, just stab yourself in the face repeatedly. Both of those activities are about an equal amount of fun.

Also? I still have about a dozen boxes of "All Abouts". Because everyone hates them.
Also? I dropped my beloved cell phone. On the ground. On the concrete.
Then? It rolled under the car. Because everything is on a hill here because we live in the "mountains".
After that? I had to crawl on the ground to get the phone.
And? A Lays potato chip guy was standing there laughing at me.

The rest of the day was pretty good. We went to the birthday party and my mom acted really nice. We all went to a Mexican place for dinner and I had a really delicious burrito that had grilled chicken, salsa, and black beans in it. And beans on the side. (Sorry Jason).

Today I'm going grocery shopping. Because my life is just that exciting.

How is everyone else's weekend going?
Also? Anyone want to buy some "All Abouts"? I hear they are really good.

Okay, I'm totally lying. Don't buy them.

Friday, March 09, 2007

I'm totally famous and stuff!

So this morning? I'm driving to work, listening to the radio, minding my own business, and that Beyonce song, "Irreplacable" comes on.

Do you know the lyrics say:

"So go ahead and get gone
And call up on THAT CHICK and see if she's home"?

Neither did I!

Jay-Z or whatever! I'm not home, I'm at work! But I have my "cellie" on!

I'm awesome!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Support your local bloggers!

Years ago, I used to read websites. That was back before anyone called them "blogs". Websites were basically blogs, but they had pages you could scroll through, and usually more pictures than blogs. I read, and still read, some of these, but I rarely, if ever, left them a comment.

Some of the websites I used to look at call themselves blogs now, and I still read, but I'm not in the cool crowd so I don't say anything.

The first blog I read was M's. I love her. On bagels. She was a friend before I started reading. She made me decide to start writing.

I read a lot of blogs every day, but I find myself purposely staying away from the "Big" bloggers. The ones who everyone knows and the ones that everyone reads. Not that they aren't awesome, because they are. They are great writers and everyone loves them and they get fifty million comments. They write their blogs for a living and they do really well and they are on the Today Show jesting with Al Roker. (Who, by the way, should not be on those "Did you know?" commercials with the shooting star and the rainbow talking all about healthy eating because he totally did not eat healthfully before having gastric bypass surgery. But I digress.)

Those reasons? Are exactly why I don't read any of the bloggers that everyone reads.

Because, really? I've found so many amazing blogs that aren't famous and don't get a million comments. I've found so many blogs that when I read them, I think, "I like this person. I wish I knew her in real life so we could kick it old-school." Or whatever.

I've seen a lot of blogs that are good blogs: funny, informative, and thought provoking. And the author just up and quits blogging because they never get any comments. I can imagine they wonder what the point is.

I also try really hard to find bloggers in my area. I found one person who blogs who lives in my city and I don't really read her blog, because it's a very specialized one. It's not bad, but I like blogs that are about someone's day to day life, you know? I like to write about the mundane things that happen to me because the mundane can be very entertaining.

But my other Tennessee girls? I love them. I love their blogs. I love to see what's going on in their part of the state. I love to see what's going on in their lives. I love their stories. My girls and boys outside of Tennessee? I love them too. I love the interaction we have, the sense of community we share, and how if one of us is hurting, the others rally around them and do what they can to help. I love that, and I think that's what blogging is really about. Or should be.

I'll never be famous for my blog and most of the bloggers I love never will be either. But that's okay. Sometimes it's really cool to be the little guy. And it's even cooler when you can help a little guy out in their time of need.

So support your local bloggers! And make America, or whatever country you live in, a better place! Or something.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Did someone say OPEN LETTERS?

Dear Husband:

Sweet, sweet man, I do so adore you.

However, your recent actions? Make me want to hit you about the head with a raw chicken.

For example, sweet love, I really don't mind you borrowing my car to go to your meeting in Nashville. I know you didn't want to take the rental car all that way. However, when I gave you the car? The gas tank was full. When you gave me the car back? Not so much.

Additionally? I know you have a super bad memory, honey bunch, but really? If you could attempt to make an effort to remember when I have meetings? That would be super. Because you are the only one who rings "Build me up Buttercup" on the cell phone and it's really just difficult for me to impress these people who are older, smarter, and make 100x my annual salary on a monthly basis, when I have cute 60's style ditties playing on my cell phone.

Also sweetness? I know you are upset and frustrated about the situation with the car. I know that you want to get it resolved. However, calling me twenty times a day and asking me to call the insurance company is not the answer. I have called. I have called the company we have the loan with. I have told you every word they said. Me calling them every twenty minutes will only serve to make them very, very angry and put our claim on the bottom of the stack. Yes, they should have the information when they say they will. I totally agree. That does not mean I can fix it.

Please, be a dear and try to check yourself regarding the following items, lest a raw chicken be flung at you Kung Fu style as you walk through the door this evening.

I love you one million!
Your adoring wife

Dear fat ass:

Haven't we already talked about this? Consider this your 2nd notice of eviction! Biznatch!

That Chick

Dear stubborn belly fat:

See the above note to my fat ass. Please heed accordingly.

That Chick

Dear Hostess 100 Calorie Pack:

Why must you and your chocolatey goodness tempt me so? It's not time to eat you! Stop looking at me like that!

Hungrily yours,
That Chick

Dear member of my family that I actually do really love:

Why, oh why must you take every positive thing I tell you and turn it into a dig towards me? I ask you? Because I'm really freaking proud of my kid for bringing up his grades recently. He's done extremely well. So when I tell you, BECAUSE I'M PROUD, you decide to tell me, once again, that had I not been going to college that he would have been doing well all along. So sorry for my efforts to better myself. That huge raise and promotion I got about 1 month after graduation clearly would have been mine no matter what, right? And the fact that the kid's vision decreased signficantly and he's been doing better since he got, oh, um, NEW GLASSES certainly had nothing to do with his considerable improvement in school. Certainly not! For that would be LOGICAL and NOT MEAN and we can't have that.

I really do love you, but I wish you'd think before you speak.

That Chick

Dear person who suggested I might be bi-polar:

Bite me.

Love and Stuff,
That Chick

Dear female employee of my husband:

Honey, I don't know if you've ever heard of this, but there is a little something called: PERSONAL SPACE. You really might want to invest some time in studying this concept. I mean, I'm a pretty open individual, but when you came up to me the very first time I met you and stood so close to me that I could smell the Sonic breakfast burrito that you had for breakfast on your breath? Dude.

I'm just saying it's a wee-tad off-putting and could explain certain other things about your personality. Your inability to find a date and/or husband for example. Also, I appreciate knowing all about your inability to find a date and/or husband, because, you know, you TOLD me all about it the first fifteen minutes I knew you. But again, other people may see that as an issue.

Okay? If I can be of any assistance, let me know. But call me. Don't come over. I need a little room to breathe.

That Chick

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

How to save a life.

“We are all molded and remolded by those who have loved us, and though that love may pass, we remain, nonetheless, their work… No love, no friendship can ever cross the path of our destiny without leaving some mark upon it forever.”- Francois Mauriac

In 1998, I gave birth to my two beautiful children.

A difficult pregnancy culminated into a difficult birth, and I became the mother of preemie twins, living in the NICU. They were extremely early, extremely underweight, and clinging to life. To make things a million times better, my first husband, their biological father, walked out on me when I was approximately ten weeks pregnant. It was, by far, the most scary, painful, difficult time of my life, to date.

Time went on, life moved forward. The children became well, and managed to leave the hospital. I became well with my life and managed to move, get a job, and buy a house. I managed to very neatly put that part of my life in that secret place in my head where I just couldn’t go. I told myself that everything was okay now, and there was no reason to deal with it any longer.

In truth? I had never dealt with it at all.

In 2002, I joined an online message board called The Knot because I was happily planning a wedding with Jason. Over time, I met a group of women who became my close friends. One of the women and I became especially close. Eventually, a group of about twenty of us formed our own MSN board.

When my friend, Angie, announced her pregnancy, I was thrilled for her. A lot of the reason I was thrilled for her, was because she was left pregnant at the age of 19 and never got to have the experience that all women want…the cooing daddy holding your purse and looking at the ultrasound with you, the decorating the babies room, the laying in bed at night and thinking about the baby together, planning the future. Angie has a great husband, Jeff, who loves her son Kyle as though he was his own flesh and blood.

I wanted her to have the whole “pregnancy” experience, though. I wanted that and I wanted that for her. I remember telling her that I had a strong feeling her baby was little girl. I remember the name games on the board: Seth or Casey. I started referring to her baby as Casey. Casey was due on August 10th, 2005.

In early June, I went to work as usual and then to my chemistry class after work. I was a little bit early for class, so I went into the computer lab so I could check my email and log into my MSN board and see what everyone was up to that day.

I saw a post, on that board, and my heart stopped beating for a moment.

Casey June. Born. June 3rd, 2005.

(Typing this? Now? Today? Almost 2 years later? I still have chills all over my arms.)

Before I could open the post, I was sobbing. The floodgates burst open and I felt every single emotion that I had never allowed myself to feel. I began to say to myself, out loud, “I can’t believe this. I can’t BELIEVE THIS!” Some of my classmates crowded around me to make sure I was okay.

And then? I saw her.

And my heart stopped again.

Immediately, I was overwhelmed with a sense of absolute love for that child. I have never met her, I have never met her mother (although she and I share a bond of two women who have been friends forever). But I loved Casey. I immediately loved Casey and I immediately began to pray to God that Casey would live and Casey would grow and that Casey would be okay.

I went to my class and sat in a fog…a daze. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t think about Chemistry. All I could think about was my friend, and her baby, hundreds of miles away from me. All I wanted to do was grab Angie and hug her and hold her and tell her that everything would be okay.

And it hit me, a little while later, as to why.

No one ever told me, it will be okay.
No one ever told me, you are not alone.
No one ever told me, it’s not your fault.

There aren’t books for this crap, you know? No one tells you, hey, when you come into the hospital and you have your baby and then you get to leave and your baby doesn’t? It sucks. No one tells you that. No one tells you how it feels to go in pregnant and have to leave with no baby. There aren’t books and magazine with pictures of scrawny, sickly babies on the covers.

I was the first person in my family to have twins. I was the first person in my family to have premature babies (both of my sisters produced big, strapping children). No one knew how to act and no one knew what to say. So many people wanted to find a reason for what happened. They wanted to explain it away or tell me what I should have done that would have made everything better. That didn’t help. I didn’t want that for Angie. I wanted to help her, to be there for her, to be her shoulder.

But as it turns out, as it often does, she helped me far, far more than I ever helped her.

This woman? She’s a rock. She is an absolute rock. She had her head on straight. She attacked this challenge like I have seen her attack every single challenge she’s been faced with: immediately, without fear, and with all the love her huge heart can hold. She was amazing.

I’m sure she had moments that she wept. I’m sure she had moments when she questioned God. I’m sure she had moments when she thought, “I can’t do this anymore.”

But she put on her game face, she woman’ed up, and she faced this enormous challenge like it was a blessing.

She posted pictures of this child, this tiny little infant, smaller than a loaf of bread. I forced myself to look at this child’s pictures. I had some hospital pictures of my twins which I promptly put into a photo storage box and never looked at again. But I looked at Casey. And I discovered something amazing.

She was beautiful.
She was not scary.
I was not afraid of her.

I took the pictures of my twins out of the photo storage box. I looked at them. I got a big frame, you know, like the ones that hold about 20 pictures? I put some of them in the frame. I put other pictures in too, pictures that showed them healthy and happy and strong. I hung it on my wall in a place I knew I would look at it every single day.

I look at it every single day.

Without Angie, and her bravery, and her courage, I would have never looked at those pictures again.

Other friends had babies, and I would go to the hospital, and actually hold their babies. They were little, but they were not fragile or scary. It was okay. I hadn’t been able to do that before.

Because of Angie, and her bravery, I could.

Because of Angie and Casey, I forced myself to talk to a therapist about what I was feeling and how I had never dealt with it, and how scary it was. It was like something shifted within me and everything from ten years of drama and stress and pain exploded inside of my guts. But it was necessary. I needed it. I wasn’t really living my life, I was just going through the motions.

One day, I looked at my husband and I decided, “I want to have a baby with this man.” When I met him, I could never imagine having a child with him, or anyone. It wasn’t him, it was the having a child part. In my mind, having a child equaled being left alone. I couldn’t risk being left alone. But now it was okay.

I found out in time that I’m suffering from secondary infertility, a devastating blow.

And who was right by my side, helping me get through it, listening to me vent, being my rock?

You guessed it.

These days, Casey is a beautiful, vibrant, happy almost two-year-old. Angie tells me she kisses my picture and says, “Pretty.” On my fridge are pictures of her, from when she was a tiny little infant, and those from now. I kiss my fingers and touch her pictures too.

Someday I will meet them, and it will be like meeting an old friend.

And I will thank them, both of them, for saving my life.

Useless crap

See, I told you I would be back to posting useless crap in no time.

I try really hard to instill into the girls that I come into contact with (my own daughter and the other Girl Scouts) that it is really important for them to grow up to be strong, capable women. Despite the fact that, you know, I'm insecure and a disaster, they really look up to me. They haven't been able to recognize a huge mess when they see it yet.

Last night we were working on a badge called, "Her Story". There are several parts to the badges and I try to do a few sections at each meeting, so the girls won't be overwhelmed.

The first thing we did was: MY TIME LINE.

I showed the girl's an example of a time line (from the book) and then showed them mine. It was a very simple concept. I wrote things such as:


Age 37: Go to Hawaii

Why? I don't know. Not that Hawaii isn't lovely, but I have no burning desire to go there. I think I just felt I had to put SOMETHING because really? I have no idea what I want to do next week, much less six years from now.

Each girl worked on hers individually and then turned them in to me.

They were interesting, to say the least.

My own daughter:

Age 24: Adopt a child
Age 25: Get married to a man with a moustache

Another girl:

Age 10: Go to college
Age 18: Have a baby

And a third girl:

Age 18: Get a full-time job
Age 20: Support my mom

Yeah. Just...yeah.

So, we moved on to the next part of our activity. I explained what "issues" are (basically I said issues are something that people have strong opinions about...I didn't say, "That girl has ISSUES!" or anything. That would just be crass I think) and asked them to think about issues that women have to face today. I wrote on a piece of paper: What is the biggest issue facing women today? And then I asked them to "interview" five different women of all ages and see what their responses are.

One girl asked if she could say what SHE thought the biggest issue was. I told her, sure.

And she said: Praying.

They asked me, and I said, "Women who are left with children to raise and have to live in poverty."

And they wrote on their paper: Women who live in Peoria.



For the final part of our activity, we talked about fairy tales and how the world has changed. I asked them for some of their favorite fairy tales.

"Winnie the Pooh!"

Clearly, we were veering off track.

I said, "Okay, let's take Cinderella!"

I briefly reviewed the story of Cinderella. Girl lives with evil/wicked step-mother, everyone treats her like crap, she's the maid, she sneaks out and goes to the ball, meets the dude, he loves her, she loves him, she runs away, loses her glass slipper (as an aside, wouldn't glass slippers be like RIDICULOUS to walk in? What is UP with that?), he finds her, they get married, they live happily ever after, blah, blah, blah.

I said, "How would that story be different today?"

Hands wave wildly.

"There aren't any castles around here"! (That was from my own daughter. I'm so proud.)

"There aren't any dinosaurs!"

"Can I have some more popcorn?"


I then explained that women today can have their own jobs and their own careers and they don't have to sit around on their butts waiting for some dude to come rescue them. I might have said that Cinderella could have called DHS and reported her Step-mother for violating child labor laws. I don't know. I can't be expected to remember everything I say.

They looked at me and nodded their heads and then my daughter raised her hand and said, "But MOM! I want to get married!"

and another girl raised her hand and said, "You can live alone, but what if you break your leg! You need someone to drive you to the hospital."

Gloria Steinem? That chick has nothing on me. She never had to teach nine year old's how to be strong, independent women.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Running in place.

Lately, I've started to wonder if I am crazy. The bad kind. You know, like the woman who throws cats at people on The Simpsons? Like that.

It's just that, lately? I can't seem to keep it together.

I've cried like three times lately. And I really HATE crying.

One of the managers at work snapped at me recently because I assigned him 270 pages of required reading due to be completed in 2 weeks time. TWO WEEKS PEOPLE. And he snapped at me about it and said I was unrealistic. I wanted to shout at him, "I USED TO READ 300 PAGES A NIGHT FOR SCHOOL, WORK A FULL TIME JOB, AND RAISE TWO KIDS AND I MANAGED TO PULL OFF STRAIGHT A'S IN COLLEGE, SO QUIT YOUR WHINING ABOUT 270 FREAKING PAGES IN TWO FREAKING WEEKS!"

But I didn't. I don't think it's good business etiquette to scream at managers.

Later, I cried though, and it made me angry at myself that I let him win.

Also? As you know the Great FlowDown of 2006-2007 recently ended and I really became disturbed at the fact that I went to more than one doctor and said, "This is really concerning and bothering me that I'm bleeding this long," and they treated me like it was no big deal. I mean, because although I have no advanced medical training, it just really seems to me like someone should not have blood coming out of their hoo-ha for any extended period of time like that. Coupled with the fact that I actually passed out once and blacked out once? I would think that would warrant concern. Yet, I have medical professionals telling me it's no big deal.

So is it? Am I crazy?

I don't know...I'm feeling competition and jealousy from and with friends when there should be no competition and jealousy. I'm feeling like I'm forgetting things. Often. Important things.

So I don't know. Maybe the anonymous reader of this blog was correct. Maybe I am bi-polar. I'll probably be back to posting useless crap any minute now.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The good, the bad, and the AWW YEAH!

Jason's car is totaled. I know, right? I can't believe it either. I keep telling myself all that matters is that he was unhurt, but the thought of having to buy a new car makes me want to curl up into a little ball and tuck myself into the corner.

Also bad:
Must convince husband he does not really need a $30,000 vehicle. This will be much more difficult than it sounds.

Additionally bad:
My lame-ass cookie booth did not yield very good results. It was freaking windy, our signs kept blowing away, our balloons totally blew away, I had to yell at the children to not run in the street, and we only sold about 20 of our 95 extra boxes. Plus a real snotty leader showed up at the exact moment my dear friend was in the bathroom with the two little girls. So it looked like my son and I were running the whole booth. SO SHE GOT ON HER CELL PHONE AND "REPORTED" ME. I was reported to the FREAKING GIRL SCOUT'S. For the Love of God.

Forgive my language, but what a complete bitch.

The whole thing, overall? Sucky.

I got on the scale this morning. Okay, who am I kidding? I get on the scale every single freaking day. Which, yes, I know that's bad. But my weigh-in is officially tomorrow. That's what Weight Watchers tells me, so that's what I do.

The number pleased me verily.
Not as much as if it were, say, 120 pounds. But still. It pleased me.

Also good:
I got my new stove. Did I mention my stove blew up? It was a bad month for me, appliance-wise. Anyway. LOVE the new stove. Shiny, clean, nothing baked onto the bottom. Love it. LOVE IT.

I got my first paycheck (I only get paid once a month) since I got my rather large (for me) raise. It is amazing what a difference it made in my check. I danced a small jig in the living room when my pay-stub showed up yesterday.

No. Really I did.

Friday, March 02, 2007

It's another exciting episode of: TMI FRIDAY'S!

*Cue angels singing, birds flying, and so forth*

I am pleased to announce that after 67 grueling days, Aunt Flo has finally left the building.

That is all.

Please resume your regularly scheduled activties.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Dear Idiot driver:

Thanks ever so much for not killing my husband today. I really sincerely appreciate that, as he is a huge part of my world and losing him would be one of the worst things that could ever happen to me.

But, yeah. You cutting him off so short that he had to slam on his brakes? In the middle of a rainstorm? Not nice.

Because even though you cut him off with absolutely no regard to his safety, he crashed. His car spun out and hit a concrete barrier, because of something you did. You kept right on driving, with absolutely zero regard for his safety. For his life. For my HUSBAND'S LIFE.

If I could find you, I would beat the $500 insurance deductible out of you. Because I'm just not feeling generous in regards to idiots today.

What if it was your spouse in the car?
Or your child?
Your grandchild?

Think people. Just stop and think.

And thank God for your family. Give them love tonight and thank God they are still around, despite the plethora of extreme idiots who are allowed to have drivers licenses.