Thursday, September 27, 2012

Who's Your MAMA A**?

Who's Your Mama Ass?

There is a code. A secret code. Women don't talk about it much. I'm about to break from tradition and put it all out on the table, so to speak.  Mom, please stop reading.

After attending "Not Your Mother's Tuperware Party," I acquired aids.  You know what I'm talking about, right?

Here's the thing about marital aids:  you must keep them somewhere.

That may sound obvious to non-neurotic people who don't stress over every detail of their life.  But where do us neurotic people keep them?

A logical spot is somewhere in the marital chamber bedroom.  But where?

The key is to find a spot no child will ever be interested in opening like your underwear drawer.  Or a place no housekeeper would accidentally stumble upon like the back of your closet.  Or maybe you're more decadent about your marital aids and you keep your swing and whips in a separate red room that is locked to keep intruders out and sex slaves in.  Hey, I don't know.  Maybe you are kinky in a Fifty Shades sort of way.

The point is, if you own marital aids then they are in your house.

That's all fine and good right up to the point when you die.
When you die someone will need to pack up all the things in your house.  I am sure this will involve judgement even in a marital aid-free home.

When I die people will know what an absolute slob I am.  When they move my couch, they will discover I never cleaned behind it nor did I ever clean up the mass of crumbs, pencils, hair balls, and other items that no doubt live in the couch cushions.  Nah, I'm not cleaning there.

Although I'll be dead, I'm still confident I won't like the idea of people talking about what a slob I am. Having said that, I'll be dead so there isn't much I can do about it, right?


The crap under my couch is small potatoes compared to the marital aids issue.  It's one thing to remember me in death as a slob who cared little for house cleaning.  It's quite another for people to learn I was a kinky horn dog who owned an odd assortment of creams and lotions that heat up and taste like hot fudge sundaes.  I would, quite literally, roll over in my grave.  (In fairness to me, there is tremendous pressure to buy these "goodies" at parties designed to wake up the teenager in you.  Peer pressure isn't just a teen issue. AND who can resist an edible cream that has zero calories and tastes like a hot fudge sundae?  But I digress...)

The point is every woman who owns any marital aid lotion, contraption, gizmo, equipment, device, gadget, or tool needs a MAMA ASS.

What's a Mama Ass?  Well, it's code for:  "Mourn After Marital Aids Are Secretly Secured."

Mama Ass friends know they have a HUGE responsibility.
When my Mama Ass learns I have died in a freak accident, that is hopefully totally unrelated to marital aids, she will make a beeline to my house.  She has a key to my home, she knows where to go, and she knows what to do.  She doesn't have time to mourn my untimely death.  She needs to dispose of all evidence of my sexuality. Get. It. Out. Of. There. Pronto!

After I'm dead, she pledges not to breathe a word to anyone about the loot she has unearthed.  She can also consider it the oddest inheritance ever!

If she has time to sweep the floors, clean the windows, fold the laundry, and dust behind the couch, that would be great, too.  Are you reading this, Mama Ass?  If so, the Windex is under the kitchen sink.

Who's your MAMA ASS?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Tennis vs. Me

My tennis crush started last year when I picked up a tennis racket for the first time.  It was a surprise love affair because I have a long history of being really bad at sports.

In 6th grade I was a 5'10" flat chested, braces-wearing, permed hair tween who was as awkward as I looked.  Occasionally I was picked first in gym class by an idiot-child who erroneously believed my obscene height would equate to physical prowess. This was simply not true.

In gym class, I would frequently duck during basketball scrimmages.  Once while playing volleyball I was hit right in the face with the ball because I wasn't coordinated enough to lift my hands and shield myself.  In truth, the only physical activity I could do with any amount of competence was run.  Add a ball, and it just got complicated.

Fast forward three decades, and not much has changed (although I'm happy to report my braces are off and I did finally manage to grow some breasts!).

Now I have two children, and every Saturday I sit and watch them take tennis lessons.  Their coach finally convinced me to try tennis.  My kids made it look so easy; I thought I may have a chance.

I completely fell in love.  I wasn't good, but I thought I could get better.
I really worked at getting better.
My goal was to get good enough to wear a tennis skirt without feeling like a fraud.
Finally, I got to that point.  That's when my tennis crush blossomed into love. I was adequate at a sport that allowed me to shop for and wear cute clothes. Awesomeness.

I suppose I should have known Tennis would eventually break my face heart.

It happened on a beautiful fall evening during a weekly tennis clinic.
The clinic instructor groups players based on skill levels.  I was accustomed to playing on the court of shame..the losers' court...the court for newbies and klutzes.  That's my court.
But I'd been practicing...

Finally my moment to shine came. The tennis coach placed me on the advanced court. I was going to play doubles with three tremendously skilled women. I had arrived!  Like a young person moving from the kid table at Thanksgiving dinner to the grown up table, I had advanced.

I stood tall as I approached the court in my snazzy tennis skirt and hip shoes.
I was ready. I would impress them.

After a brief warmup, the game started. My partner and I scored first. I was feeling strong and confident.  The other team served to me. I swung, hit the ball over the net, followed through on my swing, and promptly hit myself in the head with my racket.

"Ouch," I thought.

I continued playing. I wasn't about to let that little misstep slow me down or cause me to lose focus.  Then I started sweating.  Strange because it was a cool evening, but I was under a lot of self-induced pressure to beat the crap out of my opponents play well.

I hit the ball again, and again I wiped more sweat from my face. I was really starting to sweat. I nonchalantly wiped more sweat off my face.

As I hit the ball a third time, I looked down at the ground in time to see a large drop of blood splash to the court. That's when I realized I wasn't sweating.  I was bleeding from my head.

The game stopped as the other three women looked on in horror. Not only had I hit myself in the face with my racket, causing a bloody gash under my eyebrow, but I had then repeatedly smeared blood all over my face.  I was either a tennis bad ass or a complete fool.  Can we go with tennis bad ass?

After being tended to by fellow tennis players who included a nurse, an eye doctor and ironically enough a psychologist, I was sent home to heal.

As I sat at home with a bag of frozen peas on my face, my daughter looked empathetically at me and said, "It's ok, mom.  I think you are still pretty good."  My son just wanted to hear more about the blood.

I suppose I'll never qualify for the US Open, but had anyone taped my obvious display of tennis inadequacy, I'm quite sure you'd be seeing me on the next episode of "The World's Funniest Home Videos."

Tennis, anyone?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Smoke Signals:  My Tween Better Master the Art of Reading Them

According to my "well-informed" tween, "everyone" in 6th grade has a phone. 

(Note to "reader":  This "well written" monologue will be heavily "punctuated" with words in "quotes." I do this so you can better "appreciate" the way my "delightful" tween "communicates."  She is a big fan of using "quotes" when she talks in an effort to "prove" her "sophistication.")

Perhaps it's because my daughter is dogged in her advocacy for a phone or perhaps it's because my husband knows I've already started Christmas shopping (started about 9 months ago, but my husband only became aware of it last week). Whatever the reason, my husband has sent me two articles in the last two days about the absolute horrors of cell phones.

I believe he is worried I will lapse into a manic shopping frenzy and accidentally purchase a cell phone for my daughter. I assure you this won't happen unless I find a really good deal at Walmart.

The point is, my hubby and I are totally freaked out about sexting.
I think we both know what horrible decisions my hubby would have made had he had a phone as a tween. Me, on the other hand, I was totally "angelic."

My hubby e-mailed me (Yes, emailed.  We have been married for 16 "glorious" years and we are great "communicators.") the results of a study showing that over 20% of high school students have "sexted" and over 31% had been asked to "sext."  That's an enormous amount of peer sexting pressure!

That e-mail tidbit was followed by one with a link to this article in Scientific American. If I understand it correctly (and I'm not sure I do because I was reading it from my phone), we are happier when we are not near a phone.

This is ironic because my phone is in another room right now and that makes me feel anxious.
Am I missing your call at this very moment?
Or did you just text me something with a "mega funny" autocorrect error?
Now I'm itching. I gotta go get my phone.  Hold on...........................
Ok.  I'm back. Miss me?

The point is, our relationship with our tween is already precarious unpredictable at times complicated developmentally appropriate. Why would we want to do anything to make it worse?

However, a phone doesn't just mean my tween will be able to text until her fingers bleed while sending naked pictures off herself into the stratosphere.  A phone would also give us, her neurotic parents, some amount of peace of mind. If she needs us, she could call.  If we need to talk with her, we could text her.  There are benefits. I get that.  I just remain concerned the benefits don't yet outweigh the risks.

For this reason, she needs to learn the ancient art of reading smoke signals.
That would solve everything!

Lol. Ttyl!

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Homework Wars

I remember being in 4th, 5th, and 6th grade.  Yes, my memory can actually go back that far.  My memory is not completely broken.  Yet.

I remember hating homework.  I remember thinking my teachers were mean for giving me homework and my parents were even meaner for making me do it.  I remember tears, yelling, more tears, and the development of my delusional belief that I would eventually outgrow homework.

Ironically, I am a 39-ish year old woman who still HATES 4th -6th grade homework!
My life has come full circle.  Now I am the mean, thoughtless mother who insists that homework be completed each night.  I pull this off nightly with varying amounts of tears, screaming and liquor in my system.

I want to believe we aren't the only family in the midst of the Homework Wars.
I want to believe our neighbors are fighting this war, too.  Certainly, we aren't the only parents drafted.  I want to believe we aren't alone, but I don't see the battle wounds on my fellow parent friends.

Am I the only one who wants to take "new math" and banish it to the bowels of hell?  Am I alone here, people?

This war has gone on for so many years I have forgotten who the enemy is.
Is it my daughter who has been known to weep loudly while doing math?
Is it my son who denies having homework until 4 minutes before leaving for school in the morning?
Is it both of them when they announce at 9 PM on a Thursday that they have a school project due the next day that will require poster board, styrofoam balls, duct tape, cotton balls and large amounts of green and blue paint?
Is it the teacher who assumes my children are competent enough to keep me in the loop on such upcoming projects?
Is it the school curriculum that has changed the way kids learn how to add double and triple digits?  What's the crime in carrying the one?
Is it me, the helicopter mom? Am I the enemy?

My goal this year has been to sell my helicopter. I will not be a helicopter mother.

I don't actually think I sold my helicopter.
By all appearances, my helicopter crash landed in the midst of the Homework Wars.
Man down! Man down!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

What I Wish My Kids Wore on the First Day of School

I simply don't think they make hazmat suits in kid sizes.
If so, I would have bought several on one of my 75 August trips to Target.

Every year.  Every darn year the same thing happens.

My children spend the entire school year carefully building up their immune systems.
They take every opportunity to touch snot, invisible germs, and unspecified slime.
They touch everything in their sight and then promptly stick their fingers in their mouths.

They are walking examples of how to test immune systems.  They practice this throughout the school year.  By May their immune systems are as tough as nails. The bubonic plague couldn't penetrate their systems (yes, I'm knocking on wood).

Summer comes and their immune systems are not tested.  They expose themselves to summer air, ocean breezes, and air conditioning. No exposure to viruses. None.  They are seemingly sequestered from any and all germs.  We must live in a bubble.  Their immune systems are essentially left vulnerable once again.

This is the perfect recipe for the onset of September's inevitable avalanche of return-to-school illnesses.

Is this happening in your house or is this a unique phenomenon in mine?

It starts with a phone call from the school.
Before you answer the phone, you stare at it and will it to stop ringing.
Your Jedi skills need work so, of course, the phone keeps ringing.
When you answer it, you hope against hope this call is about your need to sign some form, volunteer for some activity, or perhaps the school office just wants to see how you're doing. Yes, it's a ridiculous thought, but you can hope.

Instead you learn what you already knew when the phone rang.
You have a child who is vomiting in the school office.  They want you to come get your child.

Imagine that. They don't want vomiting children at school. Total bummer because you don't want vomiting children in your house.

Here's the thing about calls from the school telling you your child is sick:  the school wants you to act like a responsible adult, drop everything, pick up your germ magnet, and lovingly nurse it back to health.

Here's the thing about receiving calls from the school office telling you your child is barfing:  you momentarily consider acting like the school has the wrong number, you then realize this is ultimately the school's fault since clearly your child got sick there, and you want to immaturely shriek "finders keepers," and hang up the phone.

Once you realize the inevitable, and obediently retrieve your obviously ill child, you can focus on the one person to blame for this...your spouse  precautionary measures to keep sick child from contaminating others. This is, of course, a lost cause. Soon every child under your roof along with your spouse is either vomiting or producing amazingly viscous mucous.

Within days the children and your pathetic husband are nursed back to health, and you breath a sigh of relief...and then you sneeze...then your head starts hurting...then you ache all over...and then you know.

You know hazmat suits in kid sizes is a brilliant idea.