Saturday, November 20, 2004

All Things Children

Thought this would be some sweet memory about my two sons, right? Wrong.

I was convinced years ago that both of my children would grow up to be politicians. They were, after all, masters at getting their way. They could convince the world that whatever they said was in fact, gospel. They would do things just to see the “pretty red color” that Mommy’s face would turn. And they used all kinds of methods too.

Like the time my oldest, then four, almost got me arrested. Oh yeah, sure did…want to trade lives? Hey, and I let him live after this incident too. Go figure.

You see, my Mother, my juvenile delinquent son, and moi visited a shopping mall far away from home, and in an area I wasn’t familiar with, just to set the scene. Earlier that week, we’d heard a child had been abducted from this same mall. So needless to say, I had a death hold on the little monst—ah…on my son. Your life can change in the blink of an eye. I let go of his hand for a fraction of a second and whoosh! He was gone. I turned around to grab his hand and--no son. I turned to Mother hoping she had him. We looked at each other and panicked. We started running between clothes racks, salespeople, and shoppers, all the while screaming his name. I was as close to a heart attack as I know I’ve ever been. My precious son! Someone had stolen my precious son! How could I live, how could I go o---“Ladies and gentleman, we have a small boy who says his name is Tommy. Would the Mommy who BEATS HIM BLACK AND BLUE please come to the Lost and Found?”

It crossed my mind to leave quickly and just pretend I’d never given birth, but I wasn’t carrying around those stretch marks in vain, no sir ree. I told Mother to follow me and she said, “No way! You’re on your own.” Benedict Arnold. When I arrived at the Lost and Found, there sat the Devil’s spawn himself, licking a sucker his new friends had given him and holding the hand of a “so not happy” official looking person. Down here we call them “Family Services.”

After three hours of intense interrogation, I was set free and gently, ohhhhhh so gently, I took my son’s hand and lead him out of the mall. Mother was waiting in the car reading her book and just smiled as we approached her. Once he was securely fastened in the backseat and I had calmed myself, I turned to the little heathen and started to let him have it when he said, “Mommy, what’s 911?” I decided to let that one go. Score one for the kid.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

All Things Diet

Everybody re-evaluates their lives at some point, even if in secret.

This isn't necessarily in the form of a total overhaul either. They basically stick with the bigee’s. Like losing weight, quitting smoking, career moves, or dumping your spouse for a Brad Pitt look-alike. (Now you’re talkin’)

I’ve pretty much needed a complete re-assessment for quite some time.

Take the diet part. I’ve been on a diet longer than most people have lived, and haven’t lost a pound. I belong to a group of “diet buddies,” or sadists as I like to call them, who decided it’d be therapeutic if we reported every single morsel that went into our mouths, on a daily basis. Oh yeah, like we would. Can you say lie?

For instance, when asked what I had on Monday for a snack, I replied, “animal crackers.” And guess what? That’s the truth. The fact I had a 16 oz. bag never came up. Hey…they don’t ask, I don’t tell. I’ll admit I’ve sworn off animal crackers though. I’ve eaten enough of those suckers to supply the next ark.

But I can honestly say that in reassessing my “bode-ness,” I really don’t know what happened. I use to be slim. Okay, that’s stretching it. (no pun intended) I use to be slimmer. Much slimmer. To the tune of three sizes. It’s like I woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and there they were, a set of cheeks held up by multiple layers of chins. I had grown them somehow, and in a short period of time.

Not stopping there, another set of cheeks displayed the same mysterious growth pattern…EXTRA-LARGE. I can only guess this all took place…while I was sleeping. My son said, “more like…in your dreams.” He hasn’t caught on to the “you mock me, I get even” thing. Kids…they never learn, do they?

Note to self: Wash son’s underwear in with pink stuffagain.

Recently I took an airline trip, and either my hips have gotten wider, or they’ve ripped out all of the seats in their entire fleet and replaced them with smaller versions. This was yet another sign revamping was in my future.

The final blow to my extra-large self occurred at the grocery store yesterday. A man pulled into the parking lot in his brand new red truck and took two parking places as I was pulling into one of them. He got out of his truck and smirked at me as if to say, “not next to MY truck you won’t.”

I moved, but as we both entered the grocery store I said, “Good thing everybody doesn’t think they deserve larger spaces.” Still smirking and never missing a step he said, “Tell that to your hips.” My first reaction was ‘Towanda’ as in the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes.” Remember that? Where she rammed someone’s car for making fun of her? But then I knew my insurance lady would stroke…and cancel. So, I did what any Oreo-eating woman would have done in this situation.

I screamed at the top of my lungs, “No! I will not blow in your ear you pervert! I don’t care if you do love big women!” Dead silence amidst the entire store as every single shopper stared at Mr. Smarty Pants. This was followed by tons of laughter on everyone’s part, including mine, as he ran to his new red truck and departed.

Don’t ever try to out-hateful me…you won’t win. I’ve come to the conclusion, however, I’ll never make it as a dieter, or as a motivational speaker. I’m not sure, but I don’t think they endorse largeness…or revenge.

Monday, November 08, 2004

All Things "Road" Island

Day 1 -

A friend and I recently visited Rhode Island and parts of Massachusetts. Traveling to unknown places with friends can be an eye-opener. How was I supposed to know?

For instance while driving to the airport; we decided to share our favorite quotations as a way of passing time. Mine was, “I would match wits with you, but you are so unarmed.”

While checking our luggage with the airport officials, I gave the wrong answer to one of his questions. My friend was standing next to me checking in her own luggage and turns to me and says, “What's the matter…you unarmed?” Dead silence. An hour later we were set free and allowed to go on over to the next Security checkpoint. Think we made it thru? Nupe.

After I breezed through, I looked behind me and my friend’s taking off every possible piece of clothing she can without being considered indecent. Her hat, coat, scarf, purse, carry-on, shoes, lipstick…you name it. All confiscated. She was taken to another secured area so I sat down in the cleared area and decided to read a few pages of my book knowing this would take a few mintues.

After finishing War and Peace, she showed up. She asked, “Did you know that you cannot carry knives on planes? Go figure. Well, no matter. I told them to keep it, I had two more. Holy Moly! No sense of humor, those people.”

Day 2 -

Martha’s Vineyard. You’ve heard of it all your life… you are, traveling with your girlfriend, a knife-carrying, but fun person, and you’re about to visit a place with lighthouses and beautiful old homes, some of which are 300 years old!

We rode a ferry over to the island in order to see old homes, shops, sailboats, pubs, and WINDS! eeek! One day…just one @#$% day out of 365 and that’s the day they have winds in excess of 55 miles per hour. And we’re in um.

My friend wanted to sit in the front deck of the ferry…outside. I thought, “be a sport” so I did. Not only did I experience an instant face lift from the winds, but the temps were hovering around 40ish…

I couldn’t imagine being more miserable as I watched the cold water lapped up against the ferry until my friend said, “Oh…did you know this is where Jaws was filmed?” I swerved around nearly breaking my frost bitten neck in half and said, “JAWS? THE MOVIE? WITH THE SHARK? HERE?”

This movie was single handedly responsible for me never going to the beach again. Ever. It scared me so badly I couldn’t even take a bath for a month.

I spent the rest of the ferry ride watching and waiting. I also listened for the music to start….dun dun dun dun…dun dun dun dun…My girlfriend was hanging over the rails. And before you ask, no…not once did I think of pushing her. Okay, maybe once...but I swear, that was all.

Day 3 -

“I know…Let’s just take a ride down the coast today and stay out of the wind, whatcha say?” asked my friend. Hm…wise woman I thought. This does makes sense and sounds like just what the doctor ordered. So…a coastal ride it was.

What a Bee-U-ti-ful day! The sun was shining, the winds were calmer, and we had a whole day to see the coast. And see it we did. And other parts too. Over and over…and over…but I digress.

Our strategy was to stay on Route 6 and travel down the coastline visiting one little town after the other. All was well until we made the return trip. There it was…the large sign which said “DETOUR.” Now, to locals, this meant nothing, but to a couple of yokels (opposite of people with brains) this spelled disaster.

We decided we would not panic at this point. We were after all, women. We roar. So we drove to the nearest convenience store and asked the clerk and his other patron inside how to get back onto Route 6.

First of all, they don’t speak Southern in Massachusetts so I had to repeat my question several times. Then, I had to asked them to slow down and repeat their directions..."use sign language if it helps" I said.

Finally it dawned on me that both men were totally inebriated. Knee-walking, drink um pretty, dead dog drunk. I tried to make a hasty retreat (amidst hugs and promises to write) and after finally convincing them I wasn't Dolly Parton, we made our get away. We decided to just read our map and wing it. Bad move. Very bad move.

How does one keep a couple of idiots occuppied? Give um a map. At night. On an interstate.

Two and a half hours later, we pulled into our hotel room. But not before we had asked every citizen within a 50-mile radius how to get to Hotel 8. Thank the good Lord Tom Bowdet was leaving the light on for us....

We had somehow managed to circle, (at least 8 times) a 10-mile stretch of interstate I195 which, by the way, ran parallel to our hotel. At any time during our “scenic ride” I could look to my right and see our hotel…abeit at a distance. I also committed to memory the price of every mower sitting outside at Home Depot as we passed, and am now on first name basis with every Dunkin Donut employee at six different locations. (Thanks Marg for the free coffee and chocolate cruller, you da bomb!)

Several policemen who worked the area told us we should apply for a blonde status, and two firemen, (one of which I would LOVE to bear his children), told us there were bets on how many more times we would circle around their route.

It took me a while to catch on that the REAL problem was my friend loved exits. I knew she loved to drive, but exits? I finally realized that every time we came to an exit, she'd just take it. No matter the exit was going to Kalamazoo…an exit was an exit to her. And she loved them. Chalk that one up for the books...

After threatening bodily harm, I managed to convince her to stay in the correct lane and we eventually found our way back to Route 6, and the hotel. Too late to go out for dinner, so we stayed in, watched a movie, and drank coffee…along with 3 dozen donuts, compliments of the winning firemen. Between the caffeine and the sugar high, I was so wired the next morning that I could have flown the dang plane myself. I was talking so fast people thought I was born and raised in Rhode Island. Did I have a good time? You bet I did. Am I glad to be home? Are you kidding me? They don't call it "Sweet Home Alabama" for nutin...da Queen

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

All Things Too Soon

My neighbor has his Christmas lights up.

I have a very large orange pumpkin-face leaf bag full of leaves sitting in my yard.

One of us is crazy.

--da Queen