Monday, September 29, 2008

Overheard Outside

"Hey Ella."
"What Genna?"
"Let's pretend you and me are big kids, and that is your beer and this is my beer."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Letter to the Man I Love

Dear Corey,

Have I told you lately how much I love you? How much I appreciate all that you do? Have I thanked you for not so much as raising an eyebrow when I told you of my plans to go off to some sort of tropical locale with my girlfriends in February? Did I even tell you that I am going away in February?

I think you are one of the smartest people I know. You are an amazing scientist who is part of something really big! I just know that you are going to help invent a drug to help people who suffer from Parkinson's Disease! The only person I know who is smarter than you is our friend Joe. He knows something about practically everything, so he beats you by a hair. I am hopeful that your smarty-pants genes were able to overcome my so-so genes when we reproduced so that our kids will have a fighting chance to be smart and get into good colleges.

I do have a question. Help me understand why you chose to clean up Ella's vomit with my shark this morning.

Love you,


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Planning a Road Trip Home

My last trip home a few weeks ago was a disaster, as indicated in a recent post. Actually, most of my trips home are disastrous. Believe it or not, this time it was a disaster mostly because of my mother. As many of you know, my mother has been ill with various ailments for many years. As a result, I come to her because she is too sick to travel. I usually fly home a few times a year to check up on her. The girls don't travel home with me because of the expense and the fact that Ella would probably get us removed from a plane because of her fear of flying. It is just easier to go home alone. Unfortunately, the girls don't get to see her often. They love Busia, but they really don't know her. They just don't have the kind of relationship with her that will give them good memories when they are adults. I am eternally grateful that the girls do have my mother-in-law, who is involved, spends quality time with them and plays with them.

At any rate, we had planned to come home for Labor Day weekend to see my mom since we are now a seven or eight hour drive as opposed to a 12+ hour journey. My mother was so excited because she hadn't seen her "babies" in 14 months and really want to hug on them. We left Friday evening, spent the night in Bloomington with my MIL, and then headed the remaining three hours to LaPorte the next morning. I called my mother once we were about 45 minutes from LaPorte to let her know we were close and that we would be coming by. I do this every time we come home so that I can ensure that she is awake and has time to clean up, get dressed and put her teeth in. When I got her on the phone and told her we would be there soon, this was her response:

"I'm sorry. I'm really not up to having visitors today. I took some pain medication a few days ago and now I am too sick to visit."

I counted to 100, and told Corey to head to our friends' house instead. I was fuming that she didn't tell me earlier in the week that she had taken pain medication. She reacts horribly to any and all pain medications when she takes them and it takes days for her to recover. Had I know that she had taken pain meds, we would not have come home. It just isn't worth it to drive 16 hours round trip for the girls to see her for two hours. That's another thing--when the girls are able to see Busia, they can only spend a couple of hours at a time with her because it tires her out. In addition, the girls are stressed out because we have to coach them before we get to her apartment:

No loud talking
Don't touch anything
Busia is sick
Don't hug her too hard
Don't step on her feet
Be careful when you climb up on the couch to sit next to her
Don't sit on her lap
Keep away from the sharp things in her apartment
Busia is sick
Busia is sick
Busia is sick

Genna is usually the first one to pipe up that she is ready to go home within minutes of getting to Busia's. It also doesn't help that after the hugs and kisses are over, my mother ignores them the rest of the time they are there. While I understand she can't get down on the floor with them to play, she could certainly color with them. But she doesn't.

So, we drove a total of 16 hours and the girls saw Busia on Sunday for two hours. The whole thing sucked. This trip is not unlike a previous trip we took a few years ago.

So now, I am going back. My mother is having an angioplasty next Wednesday. She was supposed to have it today but, surprise surprise, she is sick and they won't do it. I had planned on coming home for the weekend to help take care of her. Unfortunately, I can't come home next weekend, so I have decided to come home this weekend anyway to get her apartment cleaned and run her errands so she doesn't have to worry about that stuff when she returns home. I am hoping my sister can come home the following weekend to help, but I don't know if she can.

There are two reasons why this trip will be better.

#1 I am coming unannounced. It is always much more fun when I come home and don't tell my mother that I am coming. It always pisses her off, but her insults don't bother me.

#2 More importantly, one of my best friends is coming with me. I am picking up Lori in Kentucky and we will road trip together. We are staying at her sister's house, which will involve a lot of laughing, which is something I always need after a few hours with my mother. Lori doesn't know this yet, but I will take her over to see my mom, as she is one of the only friends I have that she adores. She's always nice to Lori.

It's gonna be fun...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Y'all Need to Calm Down

I knew that we had been affected by Hurricane Ike from a gas perspective, but I had no idea how bad it had gotten until I went to the gas station yesterday. Well, at least I tried to get gas. The first 10 gas stations had no gas. At all. I was on Empty and starting to get a little worried. I called my boss in Philadelphia and asked her if there was a gas shortage up there. There was silence on the line for a good 5 five seconds before she asked me what the heck I was talking about. All week long, there were gas stations out of gas, but they would be back in business the next day. This was getting weirder by the minute. I finally drove to Cool Springs and found a gas station with gas. And about 100 cars were wrapped around it. In addition, two news helicopters were flying around it, nearly crashing into each other. It was CAAARRRAAZZZY!

I waited for an hour, prayed I wouldn't run out before I got to the pump, got my gas, and went about my day. I told Corey about it later and was met with a look of disbelief.

This morning, we turned on the news and saw this. We drove to the farmers' market and saw that Costo was the only place that had gas. There were HUNDREDS of cars waiting for gas. According to the news reports we saw this morning, people all over Nashville had gotten up at 2:00AM thinking they could get some gas. They were met with enormous lines also.

Apparently this nonsense on Friday started with a rumor--a rumor that Nashville was going to run out of gas. People started to panic. Reactionary crazy people who didn't actually NEED gas created massive lines in order to top off their cars, causing undue inconvenience and suffering for those who actually need it. I am defining that any one who has less than a quarter of a tank needs gas. Many of the people in my neighborhood are on "E."

Unfortunately for Corey, he is nearly out of gas, so he is going to drive my car to work this week until things calm down. We're not going to drive to Paducah tomorrow so that we can save our gas. It stinks, but it is what it is. According to the news, everything should be back to normal by Tuesday or so.

Based on the reactions of the people around here, I pray that this never becomes a way of life. We will be in huge trouble if it does. We as a nation are clearly unprepared and unwilling to change our lives.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Letter From One Mother to Another

Dear Lady Who Drives the KIA in the Car Lane at School,

I fucking hate you.

These are words that rarely pass my lips. It is a rare day that I ever say that I actually HATE someone. But I hate you.

I usually park behind you in the car lane at 3:05 and wait 20 minutes to pick up my daughter. Every day I sit behind you, and every day, I see you take your 10-ish month-old child out of his car seat and have him sit on your lap in the driver's seat. While you are smoking. For 20 or so minutes, I see you smoke 2-3 cigarettes while your child is on your lap, trying to grab the cigarette out of your hand that is lazily flicking ash (littering on school grounds) out the window. I thought there was a smoking ban in front of buildings?

The first time I saw you do this, I was certain that my eyes were playing tricks on me. There was no possible way that a mother would be blowing cigarette smoke on her child. I thought that maybe I had gone back in time and was back in 1972 when all of the dangers of smoking hadn't come out of the woodwork yet. Perhaps? No. I was here in 2008, watching you puff away and exhale on the back of your kid's head.

Why don't you just club your child and be done with it? Better yet, why don't you leave him on the side of the road like an unwanted pet? What's the difference? You are killing your child. Right Now. KILLING HIM. If you are so free and comfortable to do this in public, one can only imagine what you are doing to your kids in your home.

I realize that smoking is enjoyable to some, an addiction to others. Hell, you have no idea how much I enjoyed smoking. I loved it. Loved, loved LOVED it. But you know what? Even if I still smoked, I would never smoke in front of my kids. Not ever. Do you know why? BECAUSE IT HARMS THEM. I can't imagine playing any part in harming any child, much less my own.

Please know that you are not the first lady I have seen smoke in a car with her kids. Hardly. You are, however, the first asshole I have ever seen blowing smoke in the front seat of a car with a baby on her lap. I am pretty sure you are breaking some sort of law by smoking on school grounds. Don't you worry, I will be looking into that.

I truly hate you,

Misfit Hausfrau

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Who Knew That School Lunch Could Be So Good?!

Every day I ask Ella to tell me about two great things that happened at school. She pretty much says the same two things: lunch and milk break. The apple does not fall far from the tree when it comes to my girl's love of food. In particular, Ella is fascinated by school lunch. She wants to eat it every day. I usually pack her lunch because I find that school lunch is pretty expensive ($2.50/day) and it is not nearly as nutritious as what I fix. What they do have, however, is variety. There are two main course offerings, starches, vegetables, fruit, etc. In addition, they offer an assortment of lunch meat sandwiches. While we are not vegetarians, we eat virtually all organic and have almost nothing in the house that has high fructose corn syrup in it. While we pay a small fortune in groceries every week, we don't eat out in restaurants and only eat fast food when we travel (or the girls visit their grandmother.)

Ella's typical lunch packed by me is either a cheese sandwich, a hummus sandwich or PB&J. She also gets baby carrots, a piece of fruit and a crunchy thing like pretzels or something sweeter. Unfortunately, Ella is, according to her, the ONLY kid in her class who brings her lunch. She wants to buy her lunch like everyone else because she is tired of cheese sandwiches and PB&J. As a compromise, I have been allowing her to buy her lunch one day a week, on a day she chooses. Last week, she chose Friday's lunch choice of cheeseburger on a whole wheat roll. She was practically bouncing off the walls Friday morning because she was so excited to be eating like everyone else. She also felt compelled to run down the street and tell our neighbors that she was getting to eat school lunch. The neighbors are getting used to her happy but odd outbursts and find them cute. I am sure they will no longer think they are so cute when she is 10.

When I picked Ella up from school on Friday afternoon, I asked her how her lunch was today. She said that lunch was "awesome." When I told her that I was glad she liked her cheeseburger, she said,

"Welllllllllllllllllllllllll, I ended up not having the cheeseburger. I gotted a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and itwassoyummybecausewedon'thavewhitebreadathomeandthis

White bread. You are the devil.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

My Fantasy Life is So Much Better Than My Real Life

While I haven't spent too much time thinking about it, there have been a couple of occasions where I have fantasized about seeing an ex-boyfriend and having him walk away, saddened that we parted. Don't act like you never have. Despite the fact that my exes are almost all complete assholes who really don't deserve to live, it is interesting to wonder what would happen if I saw any of them. My fantasy goes something like this: I am on a flight to somewhere. I am in first class. I am still a size 4. Ex is heading to his seat in the last row in coach. He has no idea that the man who will be sitting next to him smells like pee. Or maybe I am in a restaurant with my girlfriends. I am still a size 4. Ex is on the other side of the room trapped in a conversation with someone dull and boring and not, well, me.

In either scenario, the Ex sees me first, does a double-take, realizes it is moi, and come over to talk to me. I don't immediately recognize him until he tells me his name. Then I demurely apologize. After that, we have a pleasant exchange, and I learn that he is on his third divorce/just lost his job/went bankrupt/just got out of rehab/has open sores from some sort of venereal disease, etc. He learns that I have a great life, an awesome husband, two sweet kids and a house in the suburbs. He would know that I picked myself up and brushed myself off after he unceremoniously dumped me at my friend's college graduation party. He would figure out that, despite the fact that he dumped me while I was PLASTERED, I moved on. He would be amazed that I was able to go on, despite the fact that my drunken dumped ass managed to RUIN said friend's graduation party. He would have to admit that he let a Class A act slip through his fingers.

Hey--here's a picture of me at the Graduation party, just a few beers away from complete and utter humiliation. That's me on the far left. My friend, Tiana (the guest of honor) is right next to me.

The truth is, I live in fear of seeing any type of Ex, be it an ex-boyfriend or an ex-friend when I come home. I do a very good job of hiding from people who used to know me. I don't go to Dick's Bar. I don't go out to too many restaurants. I didn't go to my 20th high school reunion (although I heard I missed QUITE a time.) It really isn't that hard for me to avoid those I used to know. I look so different than I did in high school that I may get a strange look from someone, but I am gone before they figure out who I am.

I should have known that I was asking for trouble by not showering on Saturday. I should have had the foresight to look down at my feet with the chipped red polish and recognize that four weeks is way too long for me to go without a pedicure. I should have had the brains to look down and see that my cargo capris had grease stains on them. I should have had the common sense my mother gave me to change my shirt after I opened up a jar of salsa at dinner and had it explode on my boobs.

My fantasy has never included Ex spotting me in the frozen food section of the Super WalMart. It also never included the part where I look like I may be homeless. The only part of the fantasy that came true was the fact that he spotted me first.

Ex: Oh my gosh, is it really you Hausfrau?
Me: Oh no.

That was the best I could come up with--"Oh no."

I don't remember much of what I said to him. I do remember him saying that I looked good, but people HAVE to say that when they see someone they haven't seen in 17 years. I couldn't help but think he was going to reach in his wallet and hand me a $20 bill as I was pretty sure he didn't believe me when I told him that my husband is an Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University. Or that I had a job. Or that my life was good. After about 30 seconds, I told him that my friends were waiting for me to bring back the ice cream that was in my hand and that it was good seeing him. I hauled ass out of the store, cursing the Gods for causing my fantasy to spiral out of my control. I was supposed to be hot. I was supposed to be AWESOME.
I sat in the car hitting my forehead on the steering wheel, saying over and over again, "Stupid Stupid Stupid!" Then I remembered yet another part of my fantasy that went unfulfilled. I didn't tell Ex that I had been sleeping with my now-husband anyway, and I didn't really understand why I got so upset when he dumped me. Maybe next time.