Friday, December 17, 2010

A Bride's Story

Once upon a time, there were four women setting out on an adventure. They were in search of the engaged lady's holy grail, otherwise known as... The Wedding Dress. And, the story goes....

First the foursome entered Demetrios, a store that had done a different friend of ours a great service, as it provided her "the one." That dress that you put on and know that it is the absolute most perfect dress for her special day. Homa, the bride, didn't feel quite the same. When I entered the store, she had that same look on her face that a deer has right before a semi turns it into ground venison. Veronica, the lovely sales rep who served our other friend so well, had a look of confusion. I stepped in, we looked, and suddenly Homa started seeing things she was interested in. All things positive ended right there. Once the dresses were hung in the fitting room with care, all hell broke loose.

You see, Demetrios, while a lovely establishment in theory, is actually evil. In the same way that Cruella Deville seemed nice when all she wanted to do was buy a puppy, and then she turned out to be a dog skinner/coat maker, Demetrios is a self esteem skinner. Their sample sizes are itty bitty, and if you yourself are not itty bitty, they send you out to face a firing squad of reflective surfaces with all your parts and pieces hanging out. Oh wait, they actually clip someone's used hanky to your back as if that somehow hides the fact that your dress is unzippable. And, my friends and readers, those were the good ones. The bad ones were the dresses whose sample sizes are too small for Kate Moss in her coke days. Those, Homa wouldn't even leave the dressing room in, as they did not cross her midsection. So, after disappearing into the abyss for some time, Homa emerged looking defeated, broken and pathetic and she said, "That's it. I'm done. And I'm not going anywhere else either." Insert hang dog expression, slumped shoulders, and pity here. Luckily, though, she trudged onward, and actually, upward.

Our next store, Poesy Patch Bridal Superstore went much better. There were sample dresses there, that (get this concept) actually fit people of the non-toothpick variety. And, Homa tried on this.

And she looked like this:

Which is great, because that was the highlight of the day. She hasn't purchased the dress yet, but she looked gorgeous, and if she chooses this one, she will be a knock out.

But, after that, we went on to lunch. At lunch, a discovery was made. During the entire shopping trip, both stores, Homa's beautiful mother had a distasteful expression on her face. After awhile, I started to wonder if that was just her natural expression. My dad's resting face is a tad surly, so I started to wonder if perhaps Homa's Mama was the same way. It was a face that looked rather like she ate something sour and was pissed about it. Something like this:

We started discussing the fabulous plans for Homa's bridal shower, when Homa's Mama made that same surly face. She did have lemon in her soda, so I thought perhaps she sucked some of the fruit through her straw, but then Homa's sister issued the threat that clarified everything. She said, "if you make that face every time we discuss my wedding, I will kill you." Homa's Mama replied in her thick accent, "it will depend on the man you marry." A ha. Homa Mama doesn't just look perturbed as her natural expression. She is perturbed. Then, I realized, I was making that face back at her. While I appreciated her generosity in paying for my chicken tenders (which I did eat, and yes, I am over the age of 5, but I was trying not to order anything messy wearing my winter white sweater vest, and yes I order food based on my clothing), I didn't appreciate her stinginess when it came to supporting her daughter. The reality is that very few parents get the privilege of marrying off their children to the identical spouse that they would pick themselves. (I know mine sure didn't. Just kidding, Mark. I threw that in just for you.) But, I think all parents should have the goal of making their children happy. And if the man that your daughter picks is at heart, a good man, then I think you do your part and get past it. A little support from something other than Homa's Spanx would have been nice.

That, my dears, leads us to the third place. A store that I would like to refer to as a fiery pit of hell, David's Bridal. Now, there is nothing wrong with this store. It has been the vendor to many of my friends' dresses and the bridesmaid dresses at my own wedding. But, I knew that Homa's clan wasn't thrilled about going to such a cheap chain store. It was like taking people who wanted a Morton's filet to Applebee's for their sumptuous sirloin. But, I knew they would have things that wouldn't reduce my dear friend to jello, and so we entered. Zain, Homa's sister, had the expression on her face that contestants on Fear Factor used to have right before they had to eat Bison testicles. I am pretty sure that is why Tameka, our sales rep, hated us with the fire of 1,000 suns. That, or it is because Zain said really loudly, "If you buy something from here, I am not going to your wedding." Those or it was because Homa walked up to the first four dresses Tameka picked out and said, "I am not trying those on." Any of those options could be why Tameka finally just pointed toward the wedding dresses and said, "Go look yourself" (which sounded really a lot like "go f--- yourself").

After looking (and not f-ing) ourselves, we found a few for Homa to try on. That's when the last debacle occurred. Homa tried on a dress that I encouraged. It was fun. It was flirty. Here, I'll show it to you, oh wait... they are a bunch of Nazis and won't let me copy the picture. Punks. Anyway, it was... out of the box, to say the least. Zain hated it. I loved it. And let's just be honest, Zain had already issued the threat that she would boycott the wedding if Homa wore anything from that store. And let's be honest again. This is Zain:

And this is me:

Pretty sure no one is going to assume that we have the same aesthetic. So, Zain liked the one pictured above, and I like the funky flirty one that David's "Scrooge Face" Bridal won't let me publish, and poor, poor Homa was in between. Luckily, on that tense note, we called it a day.

So, four women who started the day bright eyed and bushy tailed, ended it battered, beaten and worst of all.... right where we started, without a dress. Oh, and did I mention her wedding is 6 months away?!?!? Yeah. The end.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Grrrrr.... Part Two

So, I was just unloading the dishwasher when Jack ran by with his pointer that I never should have bought him and basically whipped me in the kidney. While I sit here and read it, it makes me chuckle, but in the moment I froze, truly somewhere between a scream and crying. Luckily for Jack, I did neither, but it occurred to me... Why put a post (meant to be funny) about things that make me go grrrrr.... when there are some very real things that I should talk about. Maybe if I talked about it, I would find that other people feel the same way. Or, I will find out that I am a horrible mother, but I get comments like that on a regular basis, so what else is new?!?!?

1. I cannot stand that Jack is a hitter. And actually, he is rough all the way around. He is a sweet little boy, but his idea of cuddling is plowing his head into yours at record speeds and then wiggling it around. His idea of play is standing on your lap and slapping your cheeks. For the record, I do time outs and correct him, but he is still such a rough kid... and at times (like when I am slapped with a pointer finger), I just don't want to deal with it anymore.

2. Things with Tabbi have not been going well. I am back to dreaming about fighting with her and dreading her coming home at 3:15p because you just know your day is going to tank. Truly, it is just too hard. She is at the age where friends of mine rave about how much easier parenting is, and I sit back and just say.... it's not fair. I want it to be easy. I want it to be fun. I want to take her shopping and enjoy our time together, not act like a prison warden. I want the joy.

3. I cannot get that bleeping bleep bleep of a cat out of my Christmas tree!!!!

So, I've typed it out and I still don't feel much better. Sometimes I think the motto of a stay at home mom should be "Treading Water" because my arms and legs are moving constantly, and I am not getting anywhere. I met a 4 year old last week who can read better than Mark can. (I was going to say me, but that isn't true so I am throwing Mark under the bus for the sake of comedic value. Shut up.) So, am I failing Will, too? Jack is a beast, Tabbi is a brat and Will is basic at best. Is that what I have accomplished in the last 4 and a half years? Sex and the City 2 has a great line when Miranda and Charlotte are comparing notes about motherhood and Charlotte breaks down and says that she didn't know it was going to be this hard. I don't even have it hard, and I feel that way. Miranda replies, "Motherhood kicks your ass." And, I think today I am feeling a lot like I took a size 12 boot to the butt.

Things that Make You Go Grrrr

Remember that song from the 90s "Things that Make You Go Hmm?", well I am having a "things that make you go Grrrrr" kind of day. The thing is, I am not really angry or annoyed at anyone in particular, but I have my panties in a bunch about life in general, I think. So, because everything I know in life comes from Desperate Housewives, I am going to write down my annoyances in the hopes that they go away....

1. Mark. (Just kidding).

1. (for real)... Yogurt. Ok, all five people in my house eat yogurt, so I go to the Yoplait Fat Free area and grab one of every flavor. I skip banana, because Mark doesn't like it. (So, I guess this one is Mark related). Last night he tells me that we now have 6 Pineapple Upside Down Cakes and no one likes them, so quit buying them. Seriously? Remember when I had better things to think about then vetoing yogurt flavors? I mean, really? This is what I have to ponder on a given day!?!?!? Maybe it is time to go back to work.

2. Neighbor Guy, Dude, Strange Man who is in his 40s, but his Mom and Dad still come once a year to do his yard work (Hi, Pot! My name is Kettle. I'm black.) You are one man. You live alone. Just you. Why in God's name do you have four cars? Really, dude. Jay Leno you are not, and that beat up Honda, beat-er up-er more truck, Explorer and Mazda does not a car collection make.

3. Disney Channel... It is 10:06am. My preschool aged children are at home. Older kids are at school. Explain to me why Wizards of Waverly Place (which appeals to, well, someone) is on four times in a row this morning? What do I have to do to get some Oso or Chuggington on in here so that I may eek out half an hour of PEACE AND QUIET!??!?!?!?!

4. Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree.... you are the pain in my bootie! Cat in tree. Dog brushing up against tree. Cat in tree. Jack in tree. Cat in tree. Angel falling off tree for the third time. Cat in tree. Will trying to fix tree. And, did I mention cat in tree? I am about to convert to Judaism just to get the damn tree out!

5. The neighbors who don't shovel the snow off their sidewalks, driveways or front stoops.... really? Would it be that hard to stop watching last week's The Apprentice and go take care of Mother Nature so it doesn't get all tracked into my house. And yes, by "neighbor", I mean me!!! And by me, I mean MARK!!!!

6. Laundry. I love clean clothes. I don't even mind doing the laundry, but if I have to put one more load of the boys' laundry away, I am going to build a big bonfire (with our Christmas tree as kindling) and heat the 'hood for the rest of winter. I hate hate hate hate putting laundry away.

Ok, so I think that gets the majority of it off my chest. And hey, I do feel a little better. Or I did, until I turned my head to the left and saw that HUGE PILE OF JACK CLOTHES ON THE LANDING WAITING TO GO UPSTAIRS! AAARRRGGGGG!!!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Stage Fright

Ok, so Will had his Christmas program at preschool on Sunday, and like the two programs from last year... he failed to attend. Actually, he did attend, he failed to participate. Actually.... he did participate for 3.5 seconds, then he panicked, then he crumpled, then he left. Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

It never ceases to amaze me (and apparently everyone else that has met him) that Will can't perform on stage. As his classmate's mother told me yesterday, "he so loves to be the center of attention any other time." (Hmmm, wonder where he gets that?) Anyway, I quipped back, "Well, he just prefers to perform in smaller, more intimate venues." We both chuckled that "silly little kids" laugh and moved on, but it does leave me wondering... why can he perform any other time, just not on stage? And do I push it, or let it go?

He was nervous going in, but I kept using peer pressure to get him to hang in there. (Wait til that bites me in the ass in high school when he blames that preschool conversation for why he's using crack.) When I left him with his teacher, he seemed nervous but ready. When they paraded into the church for the performance, we were sitting toward the back and off to the side. (We learned that lesson during program number one last year when he saw us front and center and never even made it to the stage.) His head flew back and forth like he was a crash test dummy as he searched the crowd for us and we sat lower and lower in our seats like we were melting. Then, he spotted us.

He swiped at a tear or two while he stared at me, and I gave him the thumbs up and clapped and whispered "you're ok. Stay there." He tried. He really did. He swiped the tears, not making a sound. He set his mouth in a flat line and he stared at me. Cue the music. He swiped tears faster, his chin dimpled and quivered, and finally, his face crumpled into mush. To his credit, he didn't make a sound, and his teachers rescued him before he disrupted the song (or followed through with my fear that Willzilla would trample the two rows of non-giant children in front of him to escape like that horse in the parade in Iowa). He then walked calmly along the outside of the church until he got to our row and settled into my lap.

During his controlled collapse on stage, my mind was reeling. I watched the tears come faster as he fought to keep control and my every impulse was to push the crowd aside and get him down. This was a preschool music program, for God's sake, not a summit to create world peace. If it was that terrifying, I should save him. Then my rational side said no. Let him learn that this is ok. He's with his friends, it should be fun. And that argument won until Will and his two teachers (last year's and this year's working together to save my boy and the program itself) settled my internal debate. But it lingers....

There is another program in the spring and a graduation at the end of the year. Will he do it? Do I force him? Letting him out of it only reinforces his fear, but then again... he's four. Does it matter if he is too afraid to sing silly songs in front of a crowd of parents that only care about their children? When do you push and when do you let it go? And, seriously how is he ever going to thank me in his Oscar speech if he can't get up on the stage?!?!?!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Exhausted, Lemme Tell You Why

Ok, so I have difficulties falling asleep. I would heart some drugs for the problem, except my insurance sucks big time and I am perennially terrified that if I conk myself out, a kid will need me and I won't be able to help them. So, I just keep staying awake. All. The. Time. (Plus, there is a little issue of the really good book I am reading on my brand new Nook, so that may be part of the problem, too. But I digress....)

So, last night I stay up til 1am (way past my bedtime) reading. Then it takes me awhile longer to fall asleep. So, the last time on the clock that I see is 1:45am. Then it is peaceful slumber. Ahhh.....

ARRRGGGGG.... Why is Mark shaking me? What time is it? Ugh... It's 2:09a.

Mark: Hey... Look at my foot. (As he points his leg up so that he is a human right angle).

Me: Wha? What? Huh?

Mark: (Giggles like a school girl). Look. There's nothing on it. (Chuckles like a 10th grade stoner).

Me: What? WHAT? What are you talking about?

Mark: (Doing his best Dazed and Confused impression) Look! There's a band on it. But, there's nothing on it. (Laughs again).

Lynn: (Smothers Mark with a pillow. OK, not really). What? What are you saying?

Mark: (Suddenly, sounding more like himself than Pauly Shore). What? What are you talking about? I didn't wake you up? What? I was asleep.

Lynn: I am calling a divorce lawyer tomorrow. (Pondering if pain and suffering can be included in divorce settlements as Mark drifted back to sleep immediately and I was still up at 3:15a).