Even though most of you will not believe this, I graduated 20 years ago.
Yes, 20 years ago.
As in, 1990. The year of the Milli Vanilli scandal, the Simpsons and Seinfeld television debut, the freeing of Nelson Mandela and the start of the Persian Gulf War.
I turned 18. My parents bought me a brand new car, a white Dodge Shadow, that was then dubbed by my friends as “A Freak of Nature”…cause there is no such thing as a white shadow.
It was a time of tanning beds, tight rolled jeans, sequined prom dresses and Aqua Net hair spray.
Now, if there was one thing I was focused on in high school, it would be the whole hair situation. Lord knows I wasn’t worried about my SAT’s or college admission applications but the big hair thing…well, that was important. Hello?
And so the majority of my high school years were filled with hot rollers, a can of Aqua Net and a blow dryer…cause only maximum hair height could only be achieved with the aid of a dryer.
I never made senior superlatives, but 20 years later, they regretted that crap and bestowed upon me the accolade I should have recieved back in the day….”Biggest Hair.”
Yes people, read it and weep!
I had the biggest hair in high school and it has been confirmed 20 years later by my peers.
To reward me for all my effort and their lack of acknowledgement then, they bestowed upon me the most fitting prize, a can of Aqua Net Hair Spray.
I know you be jealous.
I have lots of fears.
Driving across large bridges.
My daughters becoming strippers.
The demise of MAC Cosmetics.
Parallel parking my SUV.
Forgetting to renew my subscription to People Magazine.
Some are relevant but most are silly.
However, they are real to me and since this is my soap box, I get to share my neurotic symptomology with all of you.
Yesterday, Glenn Beck announced he was suffering from macular dystrophy and would likely be blind within a year.
Now I have a new fear.
I don’t want to go blind.
Never, ever, ever.
Most of you probably think it’s because I would be unable to adapt, because I wouldn’t see my girls beautiful faces or be unable to drive.
Well yes, that would be part of the fear, but I know I would adapt and my memory would serve me well in remembering faces, colors, landscapes and navigating.
The MAIN reason I am scared to death of going blind is my husband.
He would then be in charge of the task of dressing me.
Holy Crap. (Shudder) It makes me just nauseous thinking about it.
I mean, he’s a great dresser. He has good taste in his own clothes.
But for me…..eehhmm, well, not so much.
You see, I like to dress like this…
And he would like for me to dress like this…
Not just in the privacy of our bedroom…but out in public.
You see my concern?
I can NOT be walking around in stripper heels, wearing a trashy outfit from cheapstrippers.com while trying to read the braille version of Garden & Gun Magazine.
It just can’t happen folks.
Tonight won’t you all join with me in prayer to the patron saint of eyesight, Saint Lucy for the preservation of my eyesight?
Thank you Jesus.
Derby week in Kentucky is a fabulous time. Everyone is trying to figure out which horse they’re betting on, which hat they’re wearing, whose Derby party they’re attending and making sure they have all the ingredients for a Mint Julep.
It has been pouring rain here in the Bluegrass since Friday but for a few minutes on Saturday afternoon, the sun broke through and we all got to sing “My Old Kentucky Home” with a little sun on our faces.
This Derby has been bittersweet for me in that severe flooding has occurred in Kentucky as well as in Tennessee.
Many people have died. People are stranded due to flooded highways and interstates. Homes have been evacuated.
Kinda puts things into perspective.
My husband has been out since early this morning….working claims, helping people move furniture out of flooded basements and tonight, helping a good friend salvage his belongings before his house is taken over by the Green River.
The water is so high they had to canoe to his house.
Things can be replaced. Houses can be rebuilt.
People can not.
I pray tonight that all these guys are safe…especially mine.
Soon I will be attending my 10, 15 20 year high school reunion.
Holy Ritz Cracker.
Where did the years go?
Twenty years ago, my life was rather simple.
The only stressors in my life were:
1. What dress to wear to prom?
2. Which tanning bed would get me the best tan in time for prom?
3. Who I was going out with Friday and Saturday night?
4. How to tell my parents I had crashed yet another car.
5. Which college to attend based not on their academic accolades but which had the best social life.
Important stuff people!!
But looking back over the last 20 years and viewing 18 years olds these days, I can see I really was stupid. After marrying, divorcing, marrying again, having two beautiful daughters, living with a debilitating illness and just simply growing up, I wish I could have talked to my stupid self 20 years ago.
This is what I would have said…
1. Basking in the sun with baby oil and iodine sounds like a fabulous idea, especially when you lay out on the roof to maximize it’s effect while skipping school, but 20 years from now you will find freckles, age spots, wrinkles and that huge skin cancer on your back. It will cost you a fortune to remove the age spots and freckles, the wrinkles will not make you look sophisticated, and Botox/Restylene is expensive. Skin cancer can kill you. Please wear sunscreen everyday.
2. The really hot guys who really have no direction in life at 25 will also have no direction in life at 45. If his only ambition is to install car stereo’s in his momma’s garage, he’s not for you. Stay away from him and all the others like him unless you are prepared to support them for the rest of your life. They will bleed you financially and emotionally the rest of your life.
3. Most of the cool kids in high school that picked on the quiet nerds? Those nerds end up signing their paychecks. I bet Bill Gates loves going to his high school reunion. Those kids that were quiet and studious just learned early that being different is cool. You should try to have their self esteem.
4. Some of those quiet kids in school that no one understood were different because their home life was horrible and they needed you to reach out to them but you were to selfish to realize that. Realize that you are not the center of the universe. Realize that everyone is not as fortunate as you.
5. Being a cheerleader or a beauty queen never really gets you anywhere in life. No one will ever ask you in a job interview if you can do a back handspring. This I promise.
6. Studying and working hard gets you everywhere. There are no shortcuts in life. You may read the Cliff Notes but you still don’t know the whole story.
7. You may not know at 18 what you want to do for the rest of your life and that’s OK…you may not know until you’re 38 or 48 or 58. Sometimes you may never know. The important thing is you know who you are and what you stand for.
8. Not everyone can be doctors or lawyers and that doesn’t make you any lesser than a person. Blue collar workers are the backbone of our country. Not everyone can be great but you can be great at what you do.
9. Pick a career that makes you happy and fulfills you, no matter what the pay. If you enjoy what you do, the money will come.
10. You, yourself are enough. You don’t need someone else to make you happy. If you can’t be happy with yourself, you can’t be happy with someone else.
11. You can’t fix someone else’s problems, so don’t waste your time.
12. Always take time for yourself. Learn to enjoy time alone. Be happy in your solitude. You can be your best company.
13. Always take time for your girlfriends. Don’t flake out on them when a new guy comes along. Don’t forget about them when you get busy with your new baby. You need them and they need you. They will be there for you when your whole world falls apart and you will need them to help you pick up the pieces.
14. Tell the truth, even when it isn’t in your best interest. Even when it means everyone else thinks your crazy…or a bitch…or stupid. You will sleep well at night knowing you did the right thing.
14. Keep your word. Do what you say and mean it.
15. Before you marry you should experience three situations with your significant other:
A. You both should take care of each other during a bout with the stomach virus. Nothing brings out the worse in people than diarrhea and vomiting.
B. Go on vacation and work through a difficult situation like losing your luggage. Knowing how your partner handles the simple stresses in life will give you an idea how he/she will handle your relationship.
C. Let them meet your entire extended family, even the ones that you don’t claim.
16. Learn to laugh at yourself and don’t take yourself too seriously. It really does look funny when you fall down the steps. Laugh and laugh hard.Life is too short to be a stick in the mud.
17. Regrets are a waste of time.
18. Real love is fireworks. If you don’t feel it, it’s not right. Don’t let anyone tell you different and don’t settle.
19. Don’t let fear hold you back.
20. Stop using all that hairspray. You’re really destroying the ozone layer at break neck speed and big hair really doesn’t flatter you anyway.
But most of all, I’ve learned that love, family, friends and health are the cake of your life. The rest are just icing.
And my cake taste great.
First of all, I would like to thank you for bringing your company to my small town, A.K.A. Hooterville. It is a great convenience for me and other members of my village to have quick access to health care necessities without making the 25 mile drive to the Wally World in the neighboring town.
Although some of your items are pricey, I realize that’s the price of convenience and that you make up for it with the occasional 2 for 1 Maybelline Black Lash Mascara sale that the Wally World never, ever has…and this makes me happy.
‘Cause a girl always needs mascara, especially when she is a fair skinned bottled natural blond.
I am also very happy with the vast inventory your store keeps in stock.
Everything from Tylenol to hemmorroid ointment to tampons to denture cream.
Not that I need denture cream, mind you, but I am glad to know that if that day comes, it’s right here close to home.
You even carry the seasonal items that I overlook until the last minute, like Valentine’s Day cards. I would have had a very pissed off 11 year old had you not been there for me.
For that, I am eternally grateful.
However, last week when I was in your facility and standing in front of the pharmacy counter, I was put in a very awkward situation with my oldest daughter. Right at eye level was a plethora of adult… ahem, intimacy aides.
It looked like the Hustler store threw up on Hooterville.
So, I’m standing there with 15 people old enough to be my grandmother, humming Bridge Over Troubled Water, staring at the ceiling and sweating so profusely I think I may need to buy some maxi pads for my pits as my 11 year old is reading the label on every sexual aid product in your store.
But the one product that REALLY sparks her interest is this…
Although I’m sure Warm Lovin’ is a fantastic product, and feel free to include me on any free sample list, I do not feel comfortable purchasing this product in a display so accessible to my 11 year old.
It would be my suggestion to move said product to the feminine hygiene aisle or hemorrhoid aisle, as those are places she wouldn’t be caught dead in.
Hope you take the suggestions to heart as there are several products I’d like to try soon….like, maybe this weekend.
Your Loyal Customer,
I lie to my kids.
Like, every other breath.
It’s become a necessary evil to make my life a little easier and because I hate being the bad guy all the time.
Why say “No” when you can come up with a creative excuse?
For instance, my kids ask to go to the Wally World every day in hope that I will buy them more useless crap to clutter my house. Ninety percent of the time I just flat out say no but the other ten percent is what I like to call Creative Solutions for Defusing Mother’s Meltdown in Commerce.
Everyone knows the superstore giant is closed only one day of the year.
However, my children are not aware of this.
Here are some excuses I have told my children as to why Wally World is closed:
1. They’re painting the walls in the toy section.
2. They’re having a mandatory in-service on their failure to open all the cash register lines.
3. It’s Sam Walton’s birthday.
4. They’re closed on all red letter holidays just like the post office.
5. The People of Walmart are taking pictures there today.
6. They’re waxing the floors.
7. Someone drove through the tire/lube department by accident.
8. The bank wasn’t open and they couldn’t get money to make change for customers.
9. One of the birds that flew around the ceiling was found dead so they have to make sure it doesn’t have bird flu.
10. Someone stole all the carts.
So far they’ve believed me because I am their mother and I am not supposed to lie.
(Cough, cough, cough.)
I’m pretty sure they’re gonna have pretty high therapy bills by the time I get them raised.
I survived the snow storm.
As usual, it was a lot of hype and not the major storm they predicted. The snow was beautiful and the roads were a little tricky for a few days but no one had to survive on Beenie Weenies due to the lack of milk and bread.
And we can all say an “Amen” for that.
We did venture out and enjoy the wintery landscapes.
The above picture was taken on a part of the farm known as the “Milt” place.
Forever I thought everyone was saying the “Milk” place. I imagined an old dairy farm…an old country store that sold milk.
Apparently someone named Milt owned the farm years ago…Duh.
Sometimes things go right through the hairspray with me.
The Milt place is not easily accessible. It’s not off the main road or even off a side road. It’s very off the beaten path. The front access is by a hidden trail and the back is across a creek.
Not a lot of people know about the Milt place. It’s very isolated.
So anyhoo, we traveled down to the Milt place, which consists of a large wooded area full of hardwood trees with a large open field that is a great place for watching deer and other wildlife. On past that ,you enter into what I call the “pine tree forest” which consists of a narrow trail into hundreds of full grown pines. The trees are so dense that it’s like walking into another world.
It’s my favorite place on the farm.
Once into the forest you venture across two abandoned structures. All that remains of the first structure is a large mound of stones left from a fireplace from many years ago.
This is the second structure.
Upon a closer look I noticed this….
Sometime in the last half year or so, someone has walked for miles with paint cans and paint brushes to write a poetic message on an old abandoned house. Who has been wondering in our woods and why?
Strange and creepy.
This is why us country people carry guns.
Even stranger was this cryptic message I received from the Sirius satellite receiver…
I don’t know about the first message but the second one I’m sure was meant for me.
We are anticipating the arrival of the biggest snow storm we’ve had in 30 years.
Hootervillians are excited and nervous and buying milk and bread at break neck speed. Schools have already shut down to avoid transportation problems later in the day. Sleds and inner tubes are being readied. Boots, gloves and hats are being located.
Mothers are getting medicated and drunk.
When I was in first grade we had a major snow storm which closed the school systems for a month. Yes, a MONTH.
I spent the whole month playing in the snow with my feet wrapped in three pair of socks, plastic bread bags (to help keep the snow out), boots and five layers of clothes. We built snowmen, had snow ball fights, sledded and ran in and out of the house in wet clothes fifty times a day.
After a few weeks, the school system started mailing assignments to everyone at home to keep from getting so behind in the school year.
My brother and I played, yelled, fought and ate everything in the house…including all the bread and milk.
My poor mother not only had to feed us ten times a day, dry our snow clothes countless times but then had to homeschool us.
It was soon after I think my mom secretly had a tubal.
Today is first day of school being out for snow.
As God as my witness, if I am home with these kids a month I will need much more than a tubal.
I will need a lobotomy.
To celebrate/mourn the impending snow storm, I’m sharing with you a tradition from my mom.
1 gallon fresh “clean” snow-this means no yellow/brown snow
2 tsp vanilla
1 pinch salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 half and half or whipping cream
Mix all ingredients well and place into freezer until firm.
So, tomorrow morning Southern Living magazine will be featuring me as their southern blogger of the week and my delusional mind has been working in overdrive thinking of all the fabulous accolades that will be coming my way.
Matt Lauer. Oprah. Katie Couric. Perez Hilton.
Yeah, I know. I have issues.
But even on the home front these delusions persist…
I will be awoken around 11 to breakfast in bed by my beautiful, perfectly coiffed children who will present me with a bouquet of pink lilies. They will kiss me and then each other and say out loud, “We are so lucky to have a mother like you!”
Rachel will put on a bra without being threatened with duct tape.
She will brush her teeth with water AND toothpaste….and be happy about it.
She will not argue with me as to why I won’t let her get on My Space and say all her friends are stupid for being on there.
She will announce that she’s tired of her room being a pig sty and promise it will always be clean.
Ella will have slept all night in her own bed.
She will announce that she is done with bologna….forever.
She will apologize for all the MAC lipstick she has ruined using it to write her name on her chalkboard and vow to never do it again.
Todd will not ask where his shirt, pants, shoes, boxers, socks or belt is located but will be all ready dressed when he serves me breakfast.
He will tell me that it really doesn’t matter how long the laundry stays in the basket but that he’s so grateful it’s clean.
And to top it off, a newly hired house cleaner will arrive and tackle this domestic hell-hole we call home.
I will then read them my acceptance speech with the grace and dramatic effect of Scarlett O’Hara. Nobody will roll their eyes…or hit their sister…or spill something on the floor.
By then, I will have awoken in the psych ward doing the Thorazine shuffle.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to find duct tape for Rachel’s bra.
Today we ventured out of Hooterville to enjoy a little culture.
The Kentucky Repertory Theatre has provided quality, professional theatre, particularly for the citizens of Southern Kentucky, by presenting a repertory of works from the best of our theatrical heritage and by developing plays by Kentucky playwrights since 1978. It’s such a wonderful addition to our community.
Robert Brock, their theatre director, was my college theatre professor and has one of the most enjoyable classes on campus. (Holla Mr. Brock!!!)
Anyhoo, today was special in the fact that it was Ella’s first theatrical experience and I was very nervous on how she would do. Thankfully it was a comedy, Christmas Belles.
The first half of the play was wonderful. Ella sat mesmerized by the actors, the lights, the comedy. Other than a few squirmy moments, she was fantastic.
Shortly after intermission, she got up in my lap, cuddled close, and hugged my neck so sweetly. Ahhh, my sweet baby girl.
Next thing I know, she started blowing the ass trumpet like Louis Armstrong. I’m not talking about a squeaker. I’m talking about one of those farts that rival a quarry blast.
To top it off, it was during one of those quiet moments of the play.
God is funny like that.
And because I wasn’t embarrassed enough, she starts asking loudly, “Momma, you smell something? MOMMA…MOMMA…YOU SMELL SOMETHING???”
I’m raising such a classy girl.