Monday, September 28, 2009

Saga of the (not so) skinny pants

Has this ever happened to you? You're standing in your closet, overwhelmed by the mind numblingly boring chore of figuring out just what the heck to wear, and something catches your eye...?

Way up high on a shelf, where you put them so you wouldn't have to come face to face every single day with the knowledge that you are a fat load who can't fit into them any more: your skinny pants.

Before you can stop yourself, your arm is reaching...

Stop it! Right this minute, young lady. Today is NOT the day to be doing this to yourself, if you know what I mean. You are soooooo NOT skinny today. I'm pretty sure I saw you eat an entire carton of ice cream last night. In fact, you could easily be mistaken for a beached, bloated whale. So why would you even try? You really DO hate yourself, don't you?!

But you just can't help yourself. You've already got them in position: Right up there, in front of your eyeballs. My butt can't be THAT big, can it? You're gonna give it a go. You give 'em a little shake and lower your arms, and start to balance on one foot...

Stop it now. Right this minute. They aren't even NICE. They are all ripped and everything! Why did you even keep them?! And why would you do this to yourself? What is your problem, you psycho?

But you are not listening any more. You are going to put those pants on, dammit, even though you are still wet from the shower and that isn't going to help tight jeans exactly glide right on. Apparently there is some itch for self-flagellation today, and you'll be damned if you don't scratch it.

You're a stubborn mule! I mean COW. What are you doing? Listen, lady. Do not come to me when you're crying into your farmer's market pie when this goes all wrong on ya', do you hear me?

And you keep going... and then you smile a little, as the pants make it over your hips. Hey! That wasn't so bad. They fit! They fit! There is even a little room. Wouldja look at that?! And you are so astounded, and happy, you do a restrained happy dance (there isn't, after all, a lot of space - it's a closet) and you smile and turn around to see if there is anyone to share your happy news. (There isn't - it's still a closet.) Even so, you are happy. And so damn proud of yourself. Dude, I am the balls, you think.

But still, something is niggling, there, at the back of your mind. You just can't shake it. Because deep in your heart, you know the real truth: you are not the balls. You DID eat that ice cream and some pie. And two glasses of wine. OK, OK, three. AND some goldfish crackers. Something - you just don't know what yet - is wrong here. Really, really wrong. Starting with their condition. They are not such great pants that you would have saved them. They are a little beat up, not too flattering, and well... not exactly worth being skinny for, really.

Still, though, the call of the skinny is overwhelming. Ugly or no, you are gonna wear 'em, dammit. So it only comes to you, sometime later, as you're standing there, looking for something to wear with the pants.

Something catches your eye. Way up high, where you'd put them: it's your skinny pants.

Hm, you think.

Ohhhhhh! you think, finally figuring it out.

Turns out, what you actually grabbed and managed to get on, you'd also put way up high on that shelf, to avoid coming face to face daily with another of your failures: finding time to take care of your yard. They're your fat gardening pants.


The folks over at humor-blogs have a better system for keeping track of their clothing.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

15 years of non-solitude

Man and I have been married 15 years today, something to which I can really only credit laziness. Also? vast amounts of alcohol our willingness to listen to each other. To really hear. Hard not to, what with all the shouting.

Now, I know, I know, 15 years is an awfully or just awful long time to be put up with someone, and y'all are probably wondering just how it's done. But really, that's the wrong question. The right question isn't how, but why.

So, herewith, in honor of my 15th wedding anniversary, I give you...

Mad Mad's Top 15 Reasons for Staying Married:

1. Those garbage cans ain't exactly gonna walk itself to the curb, you know.

2. Or back into the barn, either.

3. Those cases of wine aren't light, either, now that you mention it.

4. Who would take the kids to the hotel pool, huh? Exactly. And those are totally like the fifth circle of hell, at least. Between all the naked people (myself included), the hairy people, the splashing people and the shrieking people... AY-YAY-YAY! Totally worth keeping a husband for those occasions alone, I think.

5. When you need to interrupt your vacuuming to call someone and yell "Please tell me this thing plugged in behind the brown chair isn't the frickin' Nintendo DS charger Boy has been looking for all week and blaming me for throwing away ('You're such a mean mom!') or else I am going to unplug it and beat him about the head with it,'' it helps to have someone on the other end who might not call Child Services on ya'.

6. Do you really wanna have to start holding your stomach in all the time again to impress someone else? Nah, right? That just seems like a lot of unnecessary work.

7. Did I do the one about the garbage cans already? 'Cuz that's big. Oh, yeah, it's there. I see it. Hm... in that case....

8. Seriously, though. The garbage cans ARE important, you know.

9. Hockey. It's not for the single mom. No sirree. Three times a week, games God knows where, and at the crack of dawn. A person can't do it by herself. Two parents aren't enough. In fact, hockey might be the actual reason threesomes were invented.

10. I hate math homework. That new math crap. It's totally bogus.

11. Now you, personally, may not have this particular need, but I myself find it quite handy to have someone else's gene pool readily available to blame for our children's behavior (or lack thereof). Now you can probably also do this from a distance, but it doesn't have quite the same immediate rewards as when you can shriek, "Oh my God, she is exactly like YOUR MOTHER!" and, thus absolved of all culpability, storm from the room, leaving someone else to do the hard work. (See Math, above.)

12. Lightbulbs in this house are very high up.

13. It is convenient to have someone available for mice- and bug-removal, too.

14. Old house, old toilets. A person can only do so much plunging on her own.

15. But most importantly of all, I have to stick around a bit longer for this: I am still trying to think of a good comeback for his "compliment" the other day: "You should tell people you're 55. Then they'd think you're really hot."

The folks over at humor-blogs have a feeling Man has his own list somewhere and think Mad Mad's probably very lucky he's blogless.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A knitter's fantasy life

You know how sometimes, you put on that sweater you just made?

That frickin' fabulous-est sweater of all time, and you have just the right outfit, with just the right accessories for it, and it looks exactly like you thought it would. And you are the bitchin'est person alive, practically, you are sure of it.

In fact, you are so fabuloso you are fairly certain that on your walk to school this morning, cars are just going to slam into each other as drivers crane their heads to get a better glimpse of the awesomest sweater ever and the person cool enough to own it.

(You can't imagine they'd actually know you made it, but you figure you will explain that to them when they pull over and demand to know exactly where they can find such a great thing, and you tell them, modestly and even somewhat apologetically, that Oh, sorry, no, they can't have one, really. 'Cuz, heh, I made it. Yes, really. No, no. It's easy, really. No sweat! Anyone could do it! Yeah, yeah... Well, thank you!) And they will drive off into the sunset, shaking their heads at your sheer genius and pitying themselves for their incompetence.

The fact that none of this actually happens doesn't dissuade you one little bit. You know it's a great sweater.

Those people were probably just too shy, is all.

Or maybe in a hurry.

Or maybe freakin' blind, people, because it is awesome, dammit!

You are pretty sure you are right because some weirdo creep knitter from Germany keeps Googling the image from your old post so it must be a really good bra! sweater.

And then you arrive at school, in all your awesome glory and someone says,"O-oooo-oooh... Did you make that?"

And just like that: it's over.


Dead in the water.

Unable to withstand the barrage of questions your brain is sending it, your little buoy of knitterly happiness gets tumbled by crashing waves of self-doubt and sucked in by the undertow of humiliation, drowned in the seaweed of... Oh, I don't know! Enough with the dumb oceanographic metaphor, already! The point is, ya' got some questions whippin' around in your head that your ego can't possibly survive:

Why did she ask me that? What did she mean, exactly? Does it look "home-made?" Maybe she knows I knit? No, she doesn't know you knit. Is she being snooty? You can't tell. 'Cuz you suck at that. What did she mean then? Oh, I know what she meant: She meant my SWEATER SUCKS BIG FAT EGGS.

Just like me.


So you drag your pitiful fat ass all the way back home and change into a boring T-shirt.

Fine! you think.

It's alright, 'salright, you tell yourself.

Tomorrow. That's a whole other day. And you are gonna be sooooo hot. You just know it.

Just wait and see.

Empire Waist Cardi


The folks over at humor-blogs are not especially fond of knitters, but they think this particular knitter is especially nuts.

Checked by your mate

You know how there are playdates, and then there are... playdates?

Even from an early age, there are those playdates where you are waiting at the window (head OUT the window, even) for the mom to just please hurry up and come, praying to every deity out there (and even a few new ones, such as Holy Crap and Mother of God What the Hell Did This Kid Eat, A Dead Body?), hoping against hope Mommy will pull up in her SUV in precisely that narrow window of time where you can still go, "Oh, look! Whoopsy! That must have just happened. Oh, well. Here you go. Have a nice day!" but before the miasma of whatever the hell that child pooped out permanently fogs your home.

Again. So sorry about those long sentences. I don't know why it happens. I just can't stop sometimes, once it starts, you know? I think it's one of the by-products of being a stay-at-home mom, to tell the truth. You finally get an adult to listen to you and you're afraid if you stop for even one second - one little second - they will get distracted by that damn Blackberry of theirs or one of the kids coming downstairs to whine about their homework or whatever other crazy-ass terrible thing you made them do that day when you are really needing to tell him about Sally Whatsherface and what she said at PTO this morning. And you want to do it now, before Grey's Anatomy starts, because once it does, you are done for the day. Done. You are going to sit there and watch TV and no one is allowed to talk to Mommy any more. Especially if they require three sheets of blue posterboard or 24 cupcakes.

Aw, man. Sorry. It happened again.

Anyway... where was I? Ah, yes.

Of course Mommy of Poopy Playdate never does arrive in that window. In fact, there is probably some kind of secret Mommy Poop Avoidance Radar they hand out at the hospital to the moms of certain "special" babies, for it will never fail that the mom will arrive EXACTLY the moment that you, having decided to tackle that diaper yourself because the fumes were causing the paint in your house to peel, have run the diaper to the garage trash, and are still behind the garbage cans, taking a second to recover from the involuntary retching muscle spasms in the comparatively fresh air.

That is when she will pull into your driveway. And you will get that look. You know the one. Oh... So... The kids are inside...? Alone...? Like you were out in the garage smoking cigarettes and not just disposing of their child's nuclear waste, which should have, if we're honest, been driven to the hazardous waste facility on the outskirts of town.


Playdates don't always get better as the children age, just less smelly.

There will still be plenty of times you will be waiting at the window for Mother of Whiny Obsessive Nose Picker/You Have No Good Toys-Food/Let's Play Toss All The Legos on the Floor Child to hurry up already and come get this little $%&*#@ out of here. The whole point of the playdate in the first place was to give you a break from entertaining your own child so you could finally get the laundry folded in peace, dammit. You were not looking for MORE kids pains in the asses to deal with, that's for sure.

But mostly they get a little better. And of course it goes without saying that if you read this space and your child has ever come to my house they are definitely one of the good ones.

For sure.

No, really, I mean it. I love your kids. They're the best, I tell you. The BEST.


But then just last week, I experienced a whole new category of playdate, one I had never, ever encountered before, in all my 13 years of hosting coping with playdates. It was the extremely rare, never before seen type where you come downstairs and are so awestruck by what is in front of you that all you can manage to do is grab the phone real quick and slink quietly outside, and jam your thumb to the speed-dial.

"What?!" Cranky Pants Man will gripe when he picks up, accustomed, mostly, I'll admit, to daytime phone calls from me involving unwanted information about what he may have done wrong at some point that morning.

"They. Are. Playing. Chess!" I whispered into the phone.


"Chess! Well, I'm pretty sure he's getting his ass kicked at it, but yes. Chess."


"Hey!" I yell. "Can you hear me now?!!! CHESS! Chess, I said!"

"Yeah, yeah. I heard ya. I heard ya. I was just savoring it, is all. It's not often I get phone calls like these."

"I know!" We sit in agreeable silence, remembering phone calls of Principal's Past and thinking of ones of Parole Officer's Future.

"Well," I finally say, interrupting the silence. "What do you suppose I do?"

"I don't know, hon. Laundry, maybe?"



You know who's probably good at chess? My friend Gray Matters.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

At long last

Just when you think it is probable you will never blog again, having decided there are too few brain cells left floating around in there to be coherent after a summer beating your head against the wall explaining yelling to children that no, they can't play Wii.

... or watch TV

... or use your computer

...until they finally left for school yes-ter-freakin-day... (Can you believe it? Girl may have actually been the last child on Earth to go back to school.)

Just when you think you are way too exhausted and overwhelmed from the mad back-to-school scramble of paperwork and cleat-buying and what do you mean you never ordered your summer reading book? And what you mean it will cost $24 to have it express-shipped and what exactly have you been doing all summer?! Playing Wii or something?!

...And from trying to figure out exactly how it is you will crowbar piano, tennis AND soccer (not to mention homework) into one. Single. Afternoon for ONE child and then still get dinner, baths and stories in BEFORE heading out for a meeting...

... and from realizing you are just way too old - too damn old! - for this nonsense and start fantasizing about sitting in a chair in an old age home propped in front of TV all day with drool dribbling out of your mouth, because that is all you can really handle right now, and actually, it seems too much even. What really would be even better, more appropriate, probably, God, if you're listening, is just one of those straight jacket thingies in a mental institution because you are just a whiny mess crumpled on the floor thinking, where is my knight in shining armor arsonist because I still have to CLEAN this place, too, for the love of GOD, it's disgusting!




And your hair looks like hell because it's been 12 weeks since you had it cut colored and you have no good clothes because you are busy buying cleats for kids and so you wear dorky mommy shorts that might as well say "kick me" on the butt and your garden is a mess and... and... and... when would you write? And how on Earth could you be funny? You are too old and fat and tired as all hell.

And just when you've decided that's it, I'm done... put a fork in me, I'm just DONE already...

... you will walk past a draft of your son's homework.

And gasp and do a double take.

And then you will laugh a little.

Maybe because you finally had one day of kid-free rest - one whole day! - and can find the funny again.

Maybe because you're glad you have a blog to share it on.

A little background: I make Boy do a draft because, even though he is in third grade, this will be his first year writing English, and not just French, and he can use some practice spelling I don't want the teacher to think he's a complete idiot.

Turns out it was a good thing:

I need to have a talk with that boy. Who du's not like pie crust?!

The folks over at humor-blogs have enough readers. But I am pretty sure my friend Suzy, who is twice as funny anyway, is happy to know Boy has a firm grip on his bike. Bike, people. Bike. Get your heads out of the gutter.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

That iCarly show must really be something

I will say one thing about my children's obsession with the television: they will volunteer themselves up to do just about anything to get to watch it.


Only a mean mommy would still say no.

Heh heh.


The folks over at humor-blogs will point out the irony of denying one's children television even as one is using her laptop. Well, Mad Mad would like to point out to the humor bloggers what she pointed out to her children once daily when she was caught eating candy for breakfast: when you're the mommy you get to make the rules.

Additionally, while we are busy pointing things out anyway, I should point out the above are photos are of the cottage at the beach, not the real world, which should explain both the decorating and the glamorous attire.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Just bitchin' - I mean beachin'

Could it be?


This whole time, I've been wrong?

And that maybe this whole beach thing...

isn't quite so bad as I thought...

if everyone just leaves you the heck alone?

Wait, wait, wait!

Come back a sec! I'm all done!

I need a picture! Thanks, honey! Now go away again...


Wool Bamboo Rickrack Rib Pullover (ravelry link)


The folks over at humor-blogs are not going to make fun of me for wearing a hat AND sitting under an umbrella. Because it's not nice to make fun of the elderly.