Category Archives: Character Flaws

And You’re Not Invited

Do you remember the first time you found out YOU weren’t invited to a party but all your friends were? (And I’m not talking about that revival thing that was being sent around on Facebook by an old (and very saved) friend. I wouldn’t go to that anyway—you see, God and I have an understanding… He doesn’t nag or guilt trip me about church stuff and I don’t attend such things and snicker the whole time. It works for us.)

Anyway, speaking of religious stuff—the party invite thing… I remember. It was in elementary school and I wasn’t invited because I wasn’t Jewish and it was the first of many Jews-only shindigs to which I was not invited. Yeah, sure…I wasn’t Jewish but I almost could have been—I ate matzo at my Jewish friends’  houses and I knew all words to Hava Nagila and my last name? It’s a PREDOMINANTLY JEWISH name, folks.

Why people felt it was okay to exclude someone who was an otherwise close friend I still don’t understand because I was never like “Oh, you can’t come to my party because you’re Jewish. Sorry. I’ll see you at school on Monday. Oh, and can I borrow your disco bag for my skating party to which you’re not invited even though we’re totally good friends?”

For what it’s worth, I got used to not being invited to all these parties and whatever Mitzvahs—mainly because I moved away. My new friends were all pretty much heathens anyway. Well, except for that girl across the street that asked me to see Flashdance with her and then tried to witness to me through the whole movie. It was a little awkward telling her I would NEVER go to her church because she was freaking me the hell out.

So fast forward like twenty something years, right? I have kids now and my daughter comes home and tells me a girl in her Girl Scout troop is having a birthday slumber party and her BFF and fellow Girls Scout got an invitation and she didn’t. This girl just attended my own daughter’s party last month so of course I wanted to be all “That little @#$%&! WHATEVER! Her mom is probably mean anyway. You don’t want to sleep over there. She’ll yell at you a lot and serve gross stuff like pickled eggs and raw onions and make you go to bed at 9:00.” But I had to play it cool, not let on that I was as upset for her (possibly more so) as she was.

Instead I calmly said mom-ish things like “There will always be things in life that you’re not invited to and it’s no big deal. And? Think of the people you haven’t invited to your parties. It wasn’t because you didn’t like them. It was because you were limited and so you had to pick only your closest friends. Maybe that’s how it is with so-and-so. I know she likes you and I know she’s a nice girl so please try not to take it personally” My pep talk appeared to be effective and she seemed to be over the whole thing, even confessing to me that she hates sleepovers because there’s always someone who snores really loud. So true, so true.

When I checked the mailbox, I hoped an invite to said party would waiting there for her but nothing. And it started to piss me off. Why would you dis-include ONE girl from your Girl Scout troop and invite everyone else? That’s just rude. Truthfully, I was merely assuming everyone else was invited; I had no evidence of this. I actually considered calling some of the other moms but what if their girls weren’t invited? Then it would just cause more trouble and thus, I forced myself to just lay low. I tried to dispel the little revenge fantasies I was enjoying where we’re throwing an envy-worthy party and handing out invitations to everyone but this one girl and sneering at her as we skip over her.  Because I am ten and SO MATURE.

I knew if left to my own devices I would probably do or say something stupid and possibly embarrassing so I put the whole thing out of my mind and filed it away as a “character building experience” because nothing builds character better than being being treated like a miniature 48 lb. leper, right?

Then my daughter casually mentions to me yesterday that she IS invited to this party, that they printed their own invites and ran out of ink. I find this slightly questionable but she says this girl told her she’s totally invited to the slumber party. Except we don’t know when and where.

Me: When is it?

Her: Um..I don’t know.

Me: We kinda need to know that. Ask her to have her mom call or email me since they ran out of ink. Ahem.

I secretly breathe a sigh of relief that we dodged this particular bullet for now. Sadly, I know this will come up again someday and it probably won’t end as happily. Lucky for her, my  daughter has me to do all her hand-wringing and revenge-fantasizing FOR HER.

Edited to Add: The day after I wrote this, my daughter did receive a computer-printed invitation along with an apology for the short notice. Apparently, they had to buy more ink.

Mean Girls Suck

Mean girls suck, too...

Mean girls suck, too...

Every summer my daughter goes to day camp. She absolutely loves it and looks forward to it all year long.

This year, the camp has started having theme days which are kind of like spirit days at school. Recently, the theme was superheroes and princesses and N was pretty psyched about it.

As princess and superhero day approached, however, I began to have doubts about the merits of this particular theme. For one thing, my daughter is going in to third grade—most of her old princess dress-up clothes don’t even fit anymore.

I pointed out to her that most princess dress-up clothes are made for younger kids and a lot of girls probably won’t participate because they’ve outgrown their princess dresses. I even went so far as to suggest she dress as a superhero instead,

“We could make a really cool costume out of stuff we already have!”

I was met with a look that fell somewhere between abject horror and unwavering determination to tune out her obviously insane mother.

It became clear that my daughter fully intended to ignore me and my sensible advice so I backed off.

The next day, she came skipping out of her room with a frilly light green Tinkerbell princess dress (yes, I know Tinkerbell isn’t a princess but Disney apparently does not). While she looked adorable in her almost too small dress, a bad feeling settled in the pit of my stomach as I hugged and kissed her goodbye.

N is a sweet, sociable, happy-go-lucky girl who gets along with pretty much everyone but when she came home from camp that day, she didn’t seem like herself. She was lying on the couch watching TV, looking pretty sad and dejected.

I sat down and asked her if everything was alright.

After some gentle prodding, she told me that she was the ONLY girl in her group (besides her counselor) to dress up and that when she arrived, the other girls pointed and laughed at her.

One perpetually mean girl looked at her and sneered  loudly “Isn’t Tinkerbell for babies?”

“And what did you say?”

She replied softly “I said no”

I wanted to annihilate those girls for hurting my baby, for crushing her spirit like that without a second thought.

I proceeded to do try and undo some of the damage.

“Tinkerbell is NOT for babies. You know that, right? They make clothes for grown women with Tinkerbell on them. Not Cinderella, not Sleeping Beauty. TINKERBELL.”

“And you are NOT a baby. You’re actually older than a lot of those girls.”

The thing is, my daughter may be several months older but she is very innocent and unjaded and perhaps a bit sheltered.

Unlike a lot of girls her age, she still likes fairies and princesses and mermaids…exactly the way an eight year old girl should be, IMHO.

Don’t get me wrong—she’s NOT the victim of a plot to keep her artificially immature or anything. She’s just been exposed to different things and really,  in some ways, she’s more sophisticated than her peers—she’s able to talk to adults about a wide range of topics and she has an understanding of the world that a lot of kids her age don’t possess. While they’re obsessing over Hannah Montana and High School Musical, she’s watching British science fiction (The Sarah Jane Adventures) and NOVA and Dinosapiens, reading chapter books at a 5th grade level and pursuing her numerous artistic interests.

But at heart, she’s still very much a little girl and I love that about her.

That night, I told my husband what she told me, how much it hurt me to see her like that. We both voiced the same sad thoughts…

She’ll probably never fully put herself out there like that again. Sad.

Something that she loved to do will always be tarnished by the memory of this day.

A little piece of childhood innocence was lost today…

The next day she told me that the mean girl who said “Isn’t Tinkerbell for babies?” plays Elmo games on Sesamestreet.com in the computer lab.

Pot? Meet Kettle.

I told her to call the girl out publicly for playing Elmo games.

I know on some level that was bad. I know two wrongs don’t make a right. I know turn the other cheek blah, blah, blah…

But this girl is always so mean and until she gets put in her place, she’s not going to stop. I know this from experience—and really, it’s BASIC human nature.

For the record, I’ve never been mean to anyone unprovoked. It’s not who I am. But if you mess with me past a certain point, you’ll get it back in kind.

That said, if I have to choose between some 8 year old mean girl and my daughter,  I’m choosing my daughter—I won’t fight her battles but I WILL teach her to stand up for herself.

And I make NO apologies…

I’m sure at least a few of you are DYING to tell me how wrong I am. Just keep it civil, please.

Oh Crap! Grandma’s Coming!

One might have thought, from the title, that this was one of those wacky, sitcom-esque “Oh no! My mom’s on her way. Hide the porn/bong/vice of your choice!” kind of posts. Heh. If only…

The real story is that my stepmom will be here in TWO days. She just called me up out of the clear blue and told me she was coming for my son’s birthday on Wednesday. I’m glad she’s coming because she hasn’t seen my kids in two years. TWO YEARS!

I’m not glad, however, that I only have two days notice to prepare—that just isn’t enough. You see, my house has become something of a craphole in the past year. There. I said it. And I have way too much crapholey-ness to address and no time to do it:

• my carport only needs an old sofa, or perhaps a bench seat from a long-gone car, to make it truly white trash—it’s crammed with bikes, scooters, a spaghetti pot (WTH?), leaves, spider webs, a rusty old wagon, empty chalk containers, old jump ropes, a couple traffic cones and numerous pairs of dirty, outgrown fake Crocs that I keep saying I’m going to clean and give to Goodwill but probably never will

• the status of my backyard is what used to be a “work-in-progress” (soon to be downgraded to “abandoned-project” status) and it looks like complete crap.

• 98% of my grass died over our cold, dry winter and thanks to the recent weeks of torrential rain, bajillions of monster-sized weeds have taken up residence EVERYWHERE, even in the cracks of my driveway

• Earlier in the week, in a feeble attempt to address the clutter, I started going through stuff and getting ready for a yard sale. I have stacks and containers of yard sale shit everywhere

• I have about 15 loads of laundry to do to get the giant piles out of the bedrooms and hallway

• my sofa slipcovers are profoundly filthy. I tend to resist washing them because they’re the biggest pain in the ass to put back on but now I have to…

• The dustbunnies on my baseboards and in the corners probably have teeth

• every door, doorframe, glass door and mirror in this house needs a good wipe down thanks to sticky, dirty little hands that must. touch. everything.

• my kids…they make messes faster than I could ever hope to clean them up and getting them to do it? Puh…don’t make me laugh. The drama, the crying… They win every time.

• the clutter. OMFG…the clutter.

When did everything get so out of control? Ugh…I don’t know. I just know I have more work than I can possibly get done and two birthday parties to get ready for (one for school and one for home) And? I haven’t gotten birthday presents yet, either. How did I let everything get away from me to this degree? Where do I even start?

I’m not kidding about any of this.  I swore we’d never be those people who had kids and then became filthmongers and yet here we are, mired in it.  I’m truly overwhelmed and disgusted with myself and I can feel the anxiety building. Thank God for Xanax

All I really want to do is take a nap.

Someone please tell me I’m not alone. Lie to me if you have to.

————-

So what happened? Read the follow-up here

To My Mall Ratty White Trash Mom

Last Sunday on Mother’s Day, I awoke around noon and was greeted with a fantastic breakfast (that means BACON), fresh coffee, gorgeous pink Gerber daisies (my favorite) and the sweetest little treasures from my children.

Accompanying the gifts from my daughter was a card/drawing she made at school that touched my heart—but also made me scratch my head a bit (see highlighted parts).

It read:

I love my mommy sooooo much! Her name is Janet. She is fun and pretty. We like to go to the mall and buy clothing together. It’s fun! Sometimes she plays board games with me. My mommy is a great cook, too. My favorite meal she makes is tater tot casserole. My mom makes dinner, does laundry and cleans the house. I’m glad she takes good care of me.

Is that not the sweetest thing you’ve ever read? I know. It is.

The only thing I don’t understand why she makes me sound like a housewifey mall rat who favors food from the Michelle Duggar cookbook of white trashy recipes?

Allow me to elaborate…

We never go clothes shopping at the mall. Well, actually, I did recently take the kids with me when I went hunting for a purple shirt to wear for the March for Babies but seriously, before that, I can’t remember the last time I dared to take the kids clothes shopping with me. I’M NO MASOCHIST!

Also? I DID a made tater tot casserole — ONCE — but only because I happened to have all the ingredients and I really REALLY didn’t want to make burgers or meatloaf again. It was okay but nobody seemed all that jazzed about it. Yes, I noted the recipe while watching “18 Kids and Counting”  but hello? Tater Tot casserole? That’s just embarrassing and frankly not the sort of thing I’d want the whole world to know about — not including YOU , of course — because I trust that we will never speak of this again. RIGHT???

It was really very generous of my daughter to say I’m a great cook but just like that business about cleaning and doing laundry? It’s kind of not accurate. I’m a bad cook and I really try NOT to clean or do laundry. Must be wishful thinking on her part… Poor kid.

Don’t get me wrong. I thought T’s card was beyond awesome. She said all those nice things (factual errors aside), which I loved—but you have to admit…it’s comedy gold.

Now that part about being fun and pretty? That part is totally true :)

Oversharing Again

I force my children to watch Mystery Diagnosis with me every day. Okay…I don’t FORCE them, as in tying them up and propping their eyelids open with toothpicks, but I turn it on and if they don’t want to watch it? Too bad because Mystery Diagnosis is the most awesomely awesome show on TV (aside from Gossip Girl and Trust Me—which is awesome because it’s awesome and also because Tom Cavanagh, whom I used to regard as somewhat lizardy looking, is cute)

I hate, hate, HATE the term “make love” as well as any variation of it.  It just sounds so…gross…and maybe even a little skeevy. Am I alone on this? Am I weird? Maybe I am because I think I’m the only woman on the planet who does NOT get all squiggedy over the word “panties.”

Panties, panties, panties! Take off your PANTIES!

See? Not a single shudder.

But that other one… YICKETY YICK YICK YICK.

There’s only one exception and it’s this song. I like it despite the fact that the guy says the dreaded ML words ten thousand times. But other than that? DO NOT SAY.

I’m addicted to Pepperidge Farm Bordeaux cookies. I could eat a whole bag by myself and were it not for my kids swarming around me every time I open the bag, I WOULD eat them all by myself.

In other food news, I’m craving a gyro. I haven’t had one in years. Freaky meat on a spool = NOM NOM NOM.

And finally, there’s only one more episode until I’m all caught up with Doctor Who. Am sad. But for the love of all things good and decent, do NOT tell me what happens. Also? Harboring a teeny WTF crush on David Tennant.

That is all.

Hatelists: Everyone Should Make One

Don’t you sometimes just want to write a list of all the things/people you hate, piss you off or just plain annoy you? I do.

But then I’m all “Oh, but that’s so negative. I don’t want to be THAT person…all I HATE THIS and I HATE THAT!”

And then I hate myself for being so wimpy and spineless because seriously, why should I care? I’m feeling the hate and I want to vent and sharing is good—or at least that’s what they tell you in kindergarten and kindergarten teachers don’t lie, right? Because I would really hate them if they did.

So yeah, I’m gonna share the hate. And if  you start feeling the urge to lecture me about it, you should probably just not—or I’ll add you to my list.

The short list (because I’d hate to blow my whole hatewad in one shot):

• I hate when people walk away when you’re still talking to them. It makes me want to roundhouse kick them in their kidneys. Why? Because it’s just rude. Let’s roleplay for a sec… You be talking to me about something, anything, and I’ll just meander away while you’re talking. Makes ya wanna kick me, right? I knew it. You’re my kind of people.

• I hate when people send me an email or use the contact form on one of my other sites and try to convince me of how wrong I am about something BY INSULTING ME and then they link to their site which is, presumably, being left as a point of reference to my supposed wrongness and THEN? They throw in a little PR blurb about themselves. It makes me all “Dude. Do you seriously think I’m going listen to you or feature your product/service after you just talked a bunch of smack to me? You’re a social moron and if I cared about you at all, I’d send you a copy of Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and try to save you from your own stupidity but since I hate you? I won’t.

• People who work in stores and know NOTHING about what the store sells and are completely unapologetic about their ignorance. EXAMPLE: I go to Office Depot to buy some ink for this Kodak behemoth of a printer/scanner/copier because while I don’t need to print at this moment, I do need to scan stuff and this stupid piece of crap won’t let you SCAN until you buy more ink. Scanning is a completely inkless process and yet I’m held hostage until I throw down for ink. How am I going to put all those old pix that showcase the fact that I used to be hot and cellulite-free on Facebook without a scanner? Note to self: I also hate Kodak. Anyway, I search the ink section only to find there is ONE pack of Kodak ink and it’s for some other Kodak device. So I ask some Office Depot dude zipping around on one of those old people scooters if they carry Kodak ink and he doesn’t know. Whatever they have out is “probably” all they have, he says. He waves in the general direction of the aisle I just came from and zips away. Must be nice to get paid for being lazy, stupid and useless. I’m certain there’s a cubicle at AIG with his name on it. So yeah, I hate Kodak, I hate Office Depot and I hate that jerk on the scooter.

• I hate people that see you heading toward a certain register at a store and haul ass to get there first, even though you were closer. I hate them and if I thought I could get away with it, I’d totally set their hair on fire without a second thought. This also applies to people who pull this same shit with parking spaces. They get extra hate points if they’re one tiny little woman driving alone in a Hummer, Suburban or Excursion.

Wow…that felt really good. I can feel the clouds of hate dispersing already. I highly recommend making a hatelist, if only to make you feel less hateful and more tolerant of the things you hate.

Wait! Do I feel a brainstorm coming on? YESSSS!!!! Seminars, books-on-tape, infomercials, Home Shopping Network—an entire empire built on getting people to recognize their hate, vent their hate and eventually be at peace with their hate. I’m gonna be a zillionaire.

HA! Wrongcards rule.

Just Call me the Floss Fairy

I’m curious…  Do ya’ll floss?

I do—religiously—and I’m always equal parts horrified and fascinated at what comes out of my teeth AFTER brushing. Seriously…who knew you could cram THAT MUCH stuff in there?

You may recall from my last post that I recently went out with my husband and an assortment of friends for his birthday. Can I just tell you…I saw a disturbing amount of tartar on the teeth of random strangers (and a few old acquaintances, too). Get thee to a dentist and scrape that shit off before you get gum disease, people!

Good dental hygiene is the cornerstone of my existence. I feel like flying around and handing out dental floss to the whole world. And yes, I know that’s a little weird.