Tuesday, April 20, 2010

shoot the awkward messenger

Being 29 is tough.  Really tough.

I have to deal with bills, dishes, the mortgage, my biological clock, a car payment, and cleaning up after Hubs.

(Okay, Hubs has to continually clean up after me, but whatevs.)

My point is, sometimes the regular day-to-day operations of life can seriously drag you down.  

I mean, how many times in my life will I have to put the towels back up on the towel rack?  How many times will I have to write a check to those horrific student loan people?  It just gets to be a pinch too much sometimes.

And then I think about where I could be in life right now.  I could be back in 5th grade with weird braces, stringy hair and an ESPRIT shirt. 

Now that would be horrible.

This weekend I asked my oldest step-daughter if she had any crushes at school.  She told me about a few boys that have recently caught her eye and...

*BAM*

I was back in Mr. Overstreet's 5th Grade class, looking at the love of my life.

Levi.

He had black Nikes and a cool hair cut.  And liked to run. That's really all I remember.

(How truly amazing he must have been for me to recall him in such accurate HD detail.)

Anyhoos...so, I was in love with him. I suppose it wasn't a great mystery why.  In my class of 17 students, there were approximately 9 boys, two of which smelled like rotten spaghetti squash.  You do the math.

I remember I had been pining for Levi for approximately 3 months when I heard that he was "available."  

(And by available, I mean that he had managed to beat Super Mario Brothers, so his thoughts were no longer preoccupied with warp levels and flower power.)

My hero.

It was no secret, my love for Levi.  I stared at him in the morning, sat near him at lunch, and prayed to almighty Jesus to be his partner during square dancing in gym class.

(I know, square dancing? Sweaty 10 year old's who forget to bathe every night? Bad idea.)

One afternoon, our class was assigned a project that required our breaking into groups.  You remember the drill, I know you do.

The poor teacher stood up in front of the room spewing off the same instructions as the last time.

"Count off by three's, everyone!  Erin, you're a 1, so Tanner, that makes you a what?  CORRECT, you're a 2!  Jessica, 3. Then we start over, Aaron you're a what?  No, not a 2. Pay attention and get the glue out of your mouth.  You're a 1."

And so on.

I ended up in a group with two other girls, and Levi was placed in a group with two other boys.  Rather than focusing on the assignment, I instead channeled all my energy into burning a sizable hole through the back of Levi's head with my 5th grade bedroom eyes.

And then it happened.

One of the boys in Levi's group got up from his desk and approached my table.  DUUUUUUUN DU DUN DUN DUNNNN!

The boy informed me that, in case I didn't know, Levi had a HUGE crush on me.

(HOLY SHIT HOLYSHIT HOLYSHITHOLYSHIT)

However...he was too scared to do anything about it.

(Precious.)

The only way Levi would go out with me was if I personally asked him out in front of his friends, thus proving my reciprocated crush.

(Where we were going to go when we "went out", I have no idea. The playground?  The bus stop?  Our date options were quite limited.)

I sent Message Boy back over to his table to consult with my friends.

Should I go for it? Should I ask him out? Clearly he was obsessed with me or he wouldn't have sent Message Boy over. We all unanimously agreed that I must do it.

I straightened my tight-rolled Z. Cavaricci's (okay, I'm lying, they were Gitano's) and gave my bangs an extra fluff.  Thank God I had worn my hot pink Hypercolor shirt that day.  I was bangin' hot.

Nonchalantly, I strolled over to Levi's desk.  He sat there, looking back at me expectantly.

"Hi, Levi!" I said sweetly through my mouth of metal.

"Um, hey," he replied. "Sup?"  God, he was adorable.

"Well, I wanted to um, a-ask you something real quick," I stuttered, rocking back and forth from heels to toes. 

He stared at me blankly.

Deep breath.

"Will you, um, go out with me?" Oh my God, I did it. I asked.

Then, Levi did something strange. He began to laugh.  Loudly.  As did the rest of the boys in his group.

"No I won't go out with you!" he exclaimed, snorting with laughter and high-fiving his weasel messenger. "I can't believe you got her to ask me, man!" 

I stood there, my mouth wide open, incredulous. Then, shoulders drooping, I awkwardly returned to my group.

There was no way to hide it.  In a class of 17, Twitter up-dates weren't exactly necessary to spread news.  I had dared to ask a boy out face to face, only to be turned down...and everyone knew it.

It still pains me to think about that day. I can't imagine my daughters going through something like that in front of their classmates. Grade school is tough.  It can chew you up and spit you back out in the blink of an eye.

The best thing to do, I've found, is grow up and get relatively attractive, and hope the dude that broke your heart finds you on Facebook, and asks to be your friend. Then you can say, "HELL NO! I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU EVEN ASKED ME."

(Not that I think about things like that.  No - not me.)

I think the saddest thing is, it happened again two years later.  But that's another story for another day. 

Now that I think about it, I sure hope Hubs didn't marry me on a dare...



Monday, April 12, 2010

take time to stop and mow the roses

Setting:  My parents' house- Sunday afternoon. 

Me: (picking through the Sunday ads at the kitchen table.) Ooh, Target has some good sales this week.

Hubs: I know, my V-neck t-shirts are on sale for $7.00.

Me:  (incredulous) I was thinking of a swimming suit for me, dear.

Hubs: (scoffs) If you can find a swimming suit for $7.00, go for it.

Me:  Whatever. Dad, your lawn looks really good.

Dad:  (admiring with pride) Well thanks, I spray it for dandlions all the time, it seems.

Me: (wrinkling nose) Ew. I hate dandilions.  They make your skin all yellow when you pick 'em up and rub them all over yourself.

Dad: Um.

Me: (quickly) Which I did when I was little. Not recently. Sheesh.

(silence)

Me:  So anyway. Hey Dad, Hubs and I were talking the other day about household jobs we hated when we were younger.  Did I ever have to mow the lawn when I was little?

Dad:  (looks up over newspaper ad) Did you ever mow the lawn?  Seriously?

Me: Well, I didn't think I did, I was just making sure. 

Mom:  No, you didn't.

Me:  I didn't think so either, but I think that's because- well, because, our lawn mower wasn't self-motivating, was it?

(crickets)

Dad:  Self motivating? You mean, self-PROPELLING?

Me: Um.

Hubs: (dying to jump in and contribute) Right, cuz I don't know many lawn mowers that wake up in the morning and say, 'I am SO motivated to get our there and get the grass cut today.'

Dad: (belly laughing) Hahahahaha! Right, wouldn't that be nice!

Mom: (joining in on my public stoning)Tee hee heee!  Oh how funny- a self-motivating lawn mower!  Maybe I can buy a self-motivating washer and dryer too! 

Me: (sulking) You all SO know what I meant.

*****

Three hours later.

*****

Dad:  (looking outside) Hey Kim, the dandilions are coming back out.  Did you want to go out to the garage and see if the mower is motivated to go take care of them?

Me:  I want to go home.

Friday, April 9, 2010

on the write path

It's Friday!

(Rahhh, hooray, cheers!)

I have no clever stories today.

(Booo, hiss, blech.)

But, I do have something to show you.  For the last year I've been writing for Shawnee Magazine, and for some reason have neglected to post any of the stories I've written.

(I know, what is WRONG with me?  A chance to brag about my writing, and I haven't done it?  Sick, just sick.)

So, anyhoo, here's the spring edition of Shawnee Magazine and my latest story.  I had a blast with this one, and really enjoyed the subject matter.  Click on the link and then scroll to page 32 to read the story.  Let me know what you think!

(Unless you hate it, in which case keep your comments to yourself thankyouverymuch.)

Have a happy weekend, Bloggies!

http://issuu.com/sunflower_publishing/docs/smsp10?mode=embed&layout=http%3A%2F%2Fskin.issuu.com%2Fv%2Fdark%2Flayout.xml&showFlipBtn=true

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

paper, plastic or rubber?

Curiosity can do many things. It makes unattended diaries more interesting.  It makes a strange twist of wires look very appealing to a 3 year-old. It inspires your mind to discover things it never would have otherwise.

Curiosity also (or nearly) kills cats.

Allow me to explain.

Hubs' family was down in KC for Easter weekend and we took our annual trip to the Great Wolf Lodge for slides, water, arcade games and greasy food.  Our daughters and their cousins had a wonderful time, as did we.

Unfortunately, in order for us to stay at the lodge, our cats had to remain behind and wait for us to return home.

Maybe you have cats, maybe you have dogs.  Maybe you don't have any pets.  Let me just inform you that cats will get into everything, much the way dogs do.  Strings, paper, small Barbie toys, chocolate...they love it all.  But until this weekend, I never thought cats were into birth control.

Hubs, the kids and  I returned home from our weekend at Great Wolf and were greeted by our kitties with open paws.  They were so thrilled to have us home, and demonstrated by turning over picture frames, displacing piles of paper and scratching up the carpet by the stairs.

As I began dealing with the damage of the 2.0 cat-quake that hit our living room, Hubs went upstairs to unpack our bags from the weekend.

Hubs: (from upstairs) Oh shit.

(Hubs running down the stairs quite quickly.)
  
Hubs: (whispering in my ear) Okay, possible problem.

Me: Uhhh, what?


Hubs: (checking to make sure our daughters were out of ear shot) One of the cats ate something. Or at least possibly ate something.


Me: (immediately freaking out) Did Oreo eat a string again?  I CANNOT handle pulling it out of her butt again.  I almost died the first time.

Hubs: (shifting his weight uncomfortably) Um, no.  Not a string.  I think one of them ate...um...a condom.

Me: OH. MY. GOD. 

Hubs:  (sighing) I'm not positive they ate it, so let's not freak out.  I found an empty wrapper by the box, so I think it was at least, ya know...un-used.

Me:  I'm not even going to comment on how gross it would be if that wasn't the case.

Hubs:  (ignoring me) Okay, so we need to search the house.  You know they love to bat stuff around, so chances are it's somewhere here in the house and we just need to find it before they can get it again. (quietly) And we probably should make sure the girls don't find it.

Me: (to myself) Yes, Easter Sunday is probably not an appropriate time to explain the birds and the bees and rubber prophylactics.
 
(Twenty minutes later)


Hubs: I can't find it.

Me:  Me neither.

Hubs:  I don't know what to do.  I looked some info online to see what can happen if a cat eats one.  (sighs loudly) It could be really bad if it gets stuck in their intestinal track.  They could...not make it.

Me: (getting worked up) Okay, but we don't even know WHICH CAT IT IS!!! I mean, Oreo is the one who tends to eat things, but who knows, it could be Cupcake. It could be BOTH of them. Do we take them in and ask the vet to scan BOTH OF OUR CATS FOR A CONDOM???? Do we try to make them throw up?

Hubs: We're just going to have to wait for a little bit and see if they act strange in any way.

Me:  By strange, you mean does one of their stomach's squeak when they walk?

(24 hours later, after a call to Hubs' mom for advice, hours of searching on the internet for possible solutions, and multiple feedings to both cats to encourage bowel movements.)


Hubs: (From the kitchen) OH MY GOD, I found it!!


Me: PRAISE BABY JESUS AND ALL HIS FARM ANIMAL FRIENDS!  Where was it?


Hubs: Under the trashcan in the kitchen.  Oreo was batting at it, and I thought she was trying to reach some leftover food, so I lifted up the can, and there it was.


Me:  I'm so going back on the pill. And now that it's over and kind of funny, I'm blogging about it too.


Hubs:  Shocker.


Me:  It was almost a CAT-astrophe.


Hubs.  Oh my God.

Friday, April 2, 2010

gone with the wind

Setting:

  • This morning, my house. 10:15-ish.  
  • Sky color, gray.
  • Me, working furiously away at computer.
  • Hubs, cleaning up house while I work.

Aaaaand go...
 

Hubs: (calling up the stairs to my office) Babe?! What are you doing? 

Me: Hrmpgh.

Hubs:  (Louder) I just looked at the weather, and there's no way we can go to Target for Easter stuff in the next five minutes.

Me: (Cursing at my mouse for not working properly) Why not?? It's just a little rain.  I'm not made of cotton candy or anything.

Hubs: (rolling eyes. (I assume)) I'm serious, babe.  It's going to get bad in a second.

Me: (to myself) Whatever, wimpy boy.  I happen to love me some good thunderstormy weather. *snicker*

(minutes later)

Hubs: (calling up to my office again) Look outside! I told you!!

Me: (barely turning around in my chair in time to notice a piece of house siding floating through the completely BLACK SKY) Um...babe?  It  looks like it might be getting kind of -

Hubs: Cool! Our grill is rolling across the deck!  

(House shakes. And shakes again. No lie.)

Me: (Abandoning my computer and running down the stairs like Animal from the Muppets) IS IT A TORNADO????  BABY, IS THIS A TORNADOOOOO???!! 

Hubs: (looking calmly out the door at the clearly tornadic activity.) Hrmpgh.

Me: (running all over the living room, kitchen, bathroom) WHERE ARE THE CATS??  WHERE'S CUPCAKE??  WHERE'S OREO?  I WANT TO GO TO THE BASEMENT! WHAT ARE YOU DOING? Oh my God, I'm barefoot!!!  What if a window breaks!  Babe, get away from the window right now!!!  

(lights flicker and go out)

Me: (arms flailing) THE POWER'S OUT!  WHAT DO WE DO?  I CAN'T FIND MY SLIPPERS OR MY SHOES.  And I don't have a bra on. 

Hubs: (snickering) Which matters because?

Me: (running back up the stairs and muttering to myself) Uh, because if I get tossed three miles in the air and land without a shirt on, I don't need my boobies out for all to see.  Duh.

Hubs: (calling after me in his calmest I'm-Dealing-With-A-Third-Grader voice) Babe, really it's okay.  It's slowing down.  It's just hail and rain and less wind now.  You're scaring the cats.

Me: I HAVE TO PROTECT MY BABIESSSSSSS!!!

(several minutes later)

Me: (looking out the patio doors at the small amount of damage to our neighborhood) Wow, that was intense.  Our neighbors have a lot of siding gone, and look!  The decorative metal top of our patio table came off!  I wonder where that went? 

Hubs: I'm sure we can find it. 

Me:  But if we don't find it, how are we going to eat outside this summer? That's an IKEA table, it's not like we can just run over there and pick up another one. The table will look ridiculous!
Hubs: Let's just go to Target.

Me:  (Light bulb on) Yes! Oooh, we need to buy a weather radio.

Hubs: If you would just listen to me when I tell you bad weather is coming, you wouldn't need a weather radio. 

Me: Whatever.  

****
 
Hope you have a fantastic weekend and thunderstorm-free Easter!