Category Archives: mom

Random Crap


I’m sick. But I won’t say much about that because I hate whiny sick blogging. Also – I refuse to accept sickness because I have too many things going on, like the girl’s birthday and Halloween madness fun drunkosity. And dammit, I refuse to be sick.

I will, however, say this about being sick: My mother will drive me crazy one of these days. I know she loves me and cares about me. And I know she worries. I do it myself – one kid sniffles once and I’m running through all the horrible diseases on earth (and perhaps the universe) in my head, while remaining calm on the outside. So I get it. I really do. But, I swear, if I hear one more accusation & demand that “You better start taking care of yourself!” I will punch someone.

Despite what she seems to believe I do take care of myself. I’m not diving into biohazard bins at the hospital in my free time. I take vitamins. I try to eat (somewhat) healthy. I get a flu shot. But a few years back, I had H1N1 and it did a serious number on my immune system – I still get sick more easily, and illnesses seem to hit me a little harder than they did before. And I have these two things in my house. These germ-filled pastries known as “kids”. So, Mom? When I am sick, if what is coming out of your mouth is anything other than the following:

“Poor baby!”
“Let me make you some soup!”
“Can I take the kids for you?”
“Here is some Nyquil/Advil/wine.”

Then, please – I’m begging you: SHUT UP ABOUT IT ALREADY!


In other news, I have the only golden retriever in the entire world that is not a love pig. Which is what makes the slobber & hair worth it. What the fuck?


And I just got back from my annual work retreat at a lovely resort on the bay, where I had great food, lots of (free) booze, a massage, bike-riding, shopping and a sunset cruise. Only to return to a house that looks like pigs live in it. Not figurative pigs – actual farm pigs. And lots and lots of bullshit drama. So I am just going to think about this instead:

Locked Out


When I was growing up, my mom stayed at home with me. I always had a hot breakfast (unless I demanded Raisin Bran), always had snacks & dinner waiting when I got home, and always had a mom available during the day to come to school parties or pick me up if I got sick. Not that being a stay at home mom itself made her a good mom – I work outside the home and I’m a good mom – I’m just making the point that she was present – always at my beck and call.

Once I got into junior high, however, she stopped being quite as available. Which is fine – she had a right to a life – but it was more of a problem in 1980 than it is today. Remember – there were no cell phones, so if she wasn’t in the house and I or the school called – she couldn’t be reached. At times, I liked this. I loved the solitude of coming home to an empty house. I enjoyed following the recipes she left for me and getting dinner started. I felt grown up.

But at other times, I hated it. Like when I forgot something that I needed. Or if I wanted to go to a meeting or a friend’s house after school and couldn’t reach her to get her permission (I knew better than to just go). It was frustrating and there were times I resented her not being there (for many reasons). I learned to call my grandma (her mother) when I wanted to go somewhere, because Gram would always tell me yes and would stand up to my mother if she had a problem with it (Gram was – and at 92 – still is a badass).

My first year of junior high, I didn’t use the bathroom in school. I was terrified of stories (urban legends, really) of hazing that I heard went on in the bathrooms. So usually, by the time I got home, off the bus, and walked half a mile to my house (none of that right out front bus stop stuff back then), I usually had to pee relay bad. Really, REALLY bad. I would run into the house, drop my books all over the place (backpacks in those days were NOT cool), run like hell to the bathroom, and pee for about 5 straight minutes.

But one day, I got home and the door was locked. This was 1980 in a small town – we rarely locked our doors. But this day, for some reason, my mom did. So when I rushed down the walk & slammed into the door, only to find it locked, I pretty much lost it immediately. In addition to having to pee, I was tir4ed and freezing. There was about 8 inches of snow on the ground.

I immediately tried to get in a window, but my dad had recently painted them and they were stuck. We had a neighbor next door (the other neighbors were a lot further away) that we were friendly with and for a second, I thought about running over there, but I knew that I didn’t have time. I wouldn’t make it. And a millisecond later, it happened. I started to pee myself. Having a full bladder after avoiding the bathroom all day, I couldn’t stop it. And it went on and on. I was mortified. 30+ years and a couple of kids later, I wouldn’t even blink, but back then, I was filled with shame, even though there was no one around to see it. And since it was clear I had had a “potty” accident, there was no way I was going to the neighbors now. I just stood there, crying my eyes out and wondering what to do.

And for some reason, in my 12 or 13 year old mind, the solution was to sit in the snow. I guess I figured that if my pants were wet all over, it wouldn’t be obvious what had happened. So I did it. I sat down, already wet, in the almost foot deep snow. I rolled around. I let myself get good and wet. And when I was satisfied that I had camouflaged the problem, I got up & realized that I still didn’t know what to do. I stood there freezing, wet and tired and ashamed and cried some more.

Eventually, I found a tool my dad had left on the porch and used it to work at the dried paint around the window. I climbed in & immediately ran to my room to change. I was mad at my mom for not being there, mad at myself for not being able to hold it, mad at the hazers in the bathrooms that kept me from going in. I threw my pants in the washing machine (which was something I never did – my mom handled ALL the laundry) and jumped in the tub. My mom came home a few minutes later and I claimed I was cold and wanted a hot bath. I told her I threw the laundry in because I just wanted to help out.

As much as I wanted to yell and scream at her for not being there (and a lot of my anger went further than what had just happened – I was really mad at her not for not being there, but for being somewhere else), my shame was greater. So I kept my mouth shut. I never told her what had happened – how her not being there affected me. Instead, I just started getting hall passes and going to the bathroom during class. And I asked for a house key so I’d never get locked out again.

This post is part of Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop

A Typical Conversation with my Mother


Me: We had a great time!

Mom: That’s nice.

Me: There was so much to do – skiing, tubing, bowling…

Mom: Hmmm…

Me: We couldn’t possibly do it all! I mean, we went from the room to the bar for a…

Mom: That’s nice – so what do you think about these shoes?

Me: They’re cute. Anyway, there was a party in the bar and then we went to another bar to see a band, it was gr..

Mom: Do they look OK? I like them. They were more than I wanted to pay, but I couldn’t pass them up.

Me: They’re great – I love them. So, anyway, the band was great and we enjoyed it. I was tired on Saturday, but I was bound and determined to go skiing. I was nervous, since it had been so long, but I sur…

Mom: Oh. So, how about this cover-up? Isn’t it pretty?

Me: Yes – it’s lovely. I really surprised myself with how well I did on skis. I was tired, though, so I skipped the tubing – besides, we still had a ton of other things to d…

Mom: That’s nice. Look at this dress I got! It was on sale so cheap – unbelievable, right?

Me: Un-freaking-believable is right.

Mom: Does it fit OK?

Me: It’s fine. Anyway, I have to go. I just thought I’d tell you about the weekend.

Mom: What? I’m listening.

Me: It’s OK. All in all, we had a good time- they really took care of us – a nice room, freebies, lots of activities, breakfast, lunch and dinner on them, and…

Mom: Did you really eat all those meals? That’s too much. I could NEVER eat that much. Hmmm.

Private Public


Mr b called me something last night that got under my skin a little. No, not a bitch, or a nag, or crazy, or OhMyGodWomanDoYouEverShutUp, or any of the other many things I could be called. Instead, he called me “private.”

My first thought was Me? Private? HAHAHAHA! I mean, I am a blogger! If there is one thing that – by definition – bloggers are not, it’s private. We write about our lives and out kids and our families and friends and then put it out there on the internet for seventy hundred million people to see. I have a facebook page and a twitter account and about a million photos on flickr that pretty much anyone and every can see. I’m not private!

But then I started thinking about it and well, maybe he’s right.

The conversation started because I mentioned that the boy wanted to friend me on facebook and I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. Not because I don’t’ want to be friends with him, but because – and I know this will come as a HUGE shock to you – I have a potty mouth. I know!! You all thought I was a delicate flower, right? I have gotten friend requests from a few of the younger family member and have largely ignored them (other than some of the older teens, since they already know how I am) because of this – I don’t want to have to censor myself on facebook. I already censor myself at work, and in many social situations, and at scout and band booster meetings, and cheer practice – I don’t want to do it on facebook, too, dammit! Fuck! (see what I mean?)

Anyway, I made the decision that I would hold on to these years before he would die of embarrassment if I tried to “friend him” on facebook and let him in, but when he searched for me, my name didn’t come up. I mentioned that I might have my privacy settings set so people couldn’t find me, and mr b jokingly (mostly) (I think) said, “You and your privacy – you don’t want anyone reading your facebook, you have a blog I’m not allowed to read…Jeez!”

And he is right – one day last week when he was using my computer and I left facebook open, he teased that he was reading it and I jokingly (mostly) (I think) said, “I don’t want you reading it!” And when he recently started expressing interest in my blog, I jokingly (mostly) (I think) said “I don’t want you reading it!”

I felt a little bad each time, but brushed it off. But it – along with the latest proclamation of me being private – got me wondering: Why am I so secretive?

It’s not like I’m doing anything wrong – I’m not meeting guys or posting naked photos of myself (God help us all), or saying terrible things about him, so why wouldn’t I want him to read it? And I have come to the conclusion that the answer to that is the ever-logical “Because.” And that? Is no reason at all.

I think there are a few things that contribute to my being the way I am. For one – mr b has never had any interest in this stuff. So for the years that I have been blogging (and more recently “facebooking”), it has been mine. My own little escape – my thing that I didn’t have to share with anyone else. Anyone who is married and/or has children knows that it is hard to do or have anything that belongs only to you. I ask you – parents of young children – when was the last time you got to take a long, relaxing bath, or have a phone conversation, or read a book, or watch TV, or even go to the bathroom without someone interrupting you? Can’t recall? Exactly!

And then there is the way it has been approached. I would have been far less likely to bristle if mr b had said he wanted to sign up on facebook and add me as a friend. But sitting down and reading my page felt a little more intrusive.

But mainly, I think my “private” nature was something that I learned from years of dealing with my mom. I never had any privacy or control growing up. And before you go all parent on me and say that parents need to know what their kids are doing, blahlblahblah, I am not talking about normal parenting. I’m talking about a mother with a terrible suspicious streak and an assume-the-worst nature. She read my diary – not only did she read it, she blatantly broke the lock open and didn’t even try to hide it. And then pretended like nothing happened. She would open my mail. Not college acceptance letters and the like, but personal letters sent to me by my best friend in Florida. When we were 10 or 11! What could a ten year old girl in 1978 possibly have to say that she had any interest in? She went through my purse, read my notes, searched my room, listened in on my calls, and told me where to go and what to wear and what to eat and so on and so on and AAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!

I grew up longing for privacy, and the ability to make even the simplest decision for myself, and time alone, without someone looking over my shoulder. It trained me to hide things that needn’t be hidden, just for the sake of hiding them, rather than for any real (or scandalous, or interesting, or juicy) reason. It’s not that I have been trying to keep mr b out of that part of my life, it’s that I have spent a lifetime just trying to keep a part of my life to myself.

Every five minutes I go back and forth, thinking, “I’ll let him read it.” Then, “No – it’s fine like it is.” Then, “But there’s no reason not to!” Then, “It’s FINE!

Right now – at this moment – I don’t know what I will do. I want to open up a little more. And I decide I will. And then the thought of it actually takes my breath away a little.

But I’ll try. I’ll think about it and I’ll try. It took a lot of years to break me, I can’t be fixed overnight.

Her Mom Probably Embarrassed HER, Too


Don’t forget – my
March for Maddie Giveaway is still going on. Can you help? Donate and you could WIN!

Yesterday on the way into work, the radio station was asking for embarrassing mom stories and I immediately thought of…oh…one hundred million of them. Seriously. There are so many I couldn’t even narrow it down. I’m sure we all have them and I’m sure our kids will have them, too. Of course, in my case, I sort of get double, since my mom has an identical twin that I am really close to. And since they are together so much: Embarrassing times two.

If I had called in to try and win a prize, I would have been tongue tied trying to decide which one is best – like maybe the time my mom & aunt decided to dance (or actually “dance”) at one of my birthday parties, thought it would be a good idea to finish the big “dance” with a dip, so they yelled out “Dip!” and then both dipped. And fell into the TV. Yeah, that was fun. At least they didn’t fall into my Shaun Cassidy cake (I had him on my cake several years in a row. Shut up). Good times. (You know, now that I am thinking about it, that one wasn’t actually Aunt Twin, but my Aunt Cee, and since she reads this, I probably shouldn’t be telling you about it, but – and I hope you are reading this Cee – TOUGH SHIT! Because even though I love you very much, I still feel the pain and trauma of you de-pantsing me in front of Old Joe and sitting on me and doing that gross spit thing, and let’s not forget the time you locked me out of the house IN THE SNOW! WITHOUT SHOES! And I had to walk a whole block in the snow to get my mom and Gram to come home and fix your ass SO THERE! And also – after you left me pantsless behind the couch while Old Joe was visiting and you took off? He used to give me money! I WIN!!!!)

Where was I? Oh yeah – the embarrassing mom stories. There are many, many more. The fact that my mom and Aunt Twin seem to think that if they don’t move their lips when they talk that no one can hear them makes for many, MANY ways to embarrass me. Like when the immigrant cab driver was driving us around Toronto and they were “whispering” about how they thought he was cheating us because “they say” that the cab drivers will do that and even worse, some will abandon you in a bad part of town and make you pay them to get you out, blahblahblah UglyAmericanCakes. Or the loud search for a non-Portuguese cab driver because one person they knew met a Portuguese man and he used her to get into the country (thus all Portuguese men are guilty of this). Not that Portuguese cab drivers are easy to spot or anything.

Or the numerous times she drove me to school in her pajamas (which in the grand scheme of things is not so bad, but when you are 15? Kill me!)

Or the time my we went to the pool and my mom mentioned that she hated walking past the front row of women in lounge chairs because she always felt like they were looking at her and judging her, and Aunt Twin said, “Leave it to me” and proceeded to make a GIANT ASS of herself as we walked by – presumably to make the focus off my mom, but OH! MY! GOD! I wanted to DIE!!

Or the time when my mom got mad at me for something stupid and then my Aunt Cee got mad at her for getting mad at me and then my Nana got upset because everyone was mad. And then my mom was chasing me, so I ran out of the house and up the street to the car (I don’t know – did I think I was going to drive away? I was 12 or 13.), and Cee was chasing her, and Nana was chasing us all. I jumped in the car and my mom jumped in after me and grabbed me by the hair (don’t get all crazy with the abuse claims here – anyone with a teen can relate to at least wanting to pull their hair). So Cee opened the door and grabbed my mom by the hair. And then my mom let go of me and grabbed Cee’s hair and they fell out of the floor onto the street between the car and the curb and rolled around, both refusing to let go of each other’s hair and my Nana was doing a Fred Sanford to get them to stop and I was sinking down in my seat praying no one would see this. And then the next day in school, not one, but TWO people told me they saw me and my aunt and my mom and my great grandma running down the street and when I tried to say they were crazy, they proceeded to describe the entire scene in front of the entire lunch table and then I died of embarrassment. The End.

(I feel the need to say that Cee is appearing in these stories a great deal. Cee – consider yourself ON NOTICE!)

But one of my favorites (??) was the time my Gram was watching me and my cousin Cheryl. I was eight and she was two. We ordered pizza with mushrooms, since it was our favorite topping. We got it from a brand new pizza place called Pizza Shack. In those days, all the pizza shops used canned mushrooms, but Pizza Shack used fresh ones. And if you’ve ever had fresh mushrooms on a pizza, you know they aren’t the prettiest things. Anyway, the pizza was good and we ate most of it. And then my mom and Aunt Twin came home. They took one look at those unpretty mushrooms and decided then and there that Pizza Shack was trying to kill us with spoiled, poisoned mushrooms. My mom called Pizza Shack and ranted at them about the spoiled, poison mushrooms. And though they tried to assure her that their mushrooms were perfectly normal, she was having NONE OF IT.

They were freaking out, crying and saying incoherent things about poison and hospitals and stomach pumping. I heard those words and decided that I would rather die of poisoning than experience that. So I told them I didn’t eat any mushrooms that night – I picked them all off. Somehow they believed me, despite the fact that I LOVE mushrooms, and the fact that there was no evidence of picked-off mushrooms on the plates. They looked at Gram next, but she’s a tough bird and told them to shove it (actually, I think her words were something like “you two are crazy and the mushrooms were fine and I’m watching my show and not going to any damned hospital so shove it up your ass, I need a drink and a cigarette!”). All that was left was poor Cheryl, who – at two – was too young to know what was coming and escape the crazy. The poor thing got packed up into the car and dragged to the hospital, where they had no choice but to believe that she had eaten spoiled, poisoned mushrooms and treated her with a nice big dose of ipecac.

Although I felt bad for her, I was glad I missed that torture. What I didn’t know was that I was in for an even more delightful treat. As we left Gram’s house to head home, my mom grabbed what was left of the pizza. I didn’t understand why, since she was so sure it was poison, but I was hoping maybe I could sneak another piece when we got home. Unfortunately, my mom had other plans. She drove to Pizza Shack. And while I sat in the car under the lights (where I thought everyone in the entire world could see me), my mom proceeded to stand on the front steps of Pizza Shack and announce to the gathered patrons that Pizza Shack served SPOILED POISON MUSHROOMS!! Then she dumped the remaining pizza on the steps and – Good Lord – jumped up and down all over them. Then she realized she couldn’t see me (since I was ducking down in my seat so no one would see me) and started yelling “Gina? GINA!?!” thus killing any chance I had of remaining anonymous.

Looking back I can laugh, of course. But that doesn’t mean I’m not doing my best to make up for it by embarrassing my own kids. It’s the circle of life, people.



My mom is like a superhero. Only instead of strength or speed or ability to fly, she has other powers. Like the ability to insult me without speaking a word. Or her super X-Ray vision that helps her to spot a single errant sesame seed, tipping her off to the recent presence of fast food. But one of my favorite of her powers is her ability to make everything and anything sound like an accusation.

I take the kids to her house every morning when I leave for work (or lately, the girl, since the boy has jazz band practice in the wee hours). I have been doing this for years. For 11 years, I’ve been dropping them off at the same time, every day, close to 5 days a week. Eleven years. Same 15-minute range of time. And yet Every! Single! Day! she ends up calling the house just when things are at their most hectic – I’m carrying bags to the car, trying to get The Girl’s shoes on, locating backpacks, signing papers, yelling out instructions to mr b and The Boy, packing snacks, and trying to get out the door. And just as I am in full stress mode, hands full, holding a kid…the fucking phone starts ringing!
“Aren’t you bringing the kids down?”

Yes mother yes I am. The same as I did yesterday and the day before, and Friday and the entire week before that, and the past ELEVEN FUCKING YEARS!!!!!! I AM COMING!!!

Sweet Chocolate Jesus, why does she have to call every single day?? She knows I am coming. And she says it in an accusing voice, as if I am late or somehow failing. All it serves to do if add more stress to my morning.

She doesn’t limit the use of her super powers to the morning only, though. She’s got another delightful use for it that I hatefully mockingly affectionately call, “Where were you?”

“Where were you?” is one that goes WAY back. See, my mom is very suspicious and defensive by nature. And that combination makes for some awfully fun phone conversations. It started when I was in college and she would call me when I wasn’t in my room. I’d call her back later and get “Where were you?” It didn’t matter what day or time it was – I could have been in class, at dinner, up the hall in a friend’s room – whatever. But if I wasn’t there to answer her call, she took it personally. If the call had come during the day, I said I was in class (because even if I were in the dining hall, I wasn’t going to tell her that, since that would open up the door for her to sing her favorite song, “You Know, You Should Really Try To Get Out And Exercise And The Weathers Getting Warmer So It’s Easier And You Want To Wear Cute Summer Clothes Don’t You And Really, I Am Not Doing This Because Of Your Weight I Just Really Want You To Be Healthy So Why Don’t You Go Walking And You Should Eat More Vegetables And I Only Want What’s Best For You.” God, I hate that song. If the call came during the evening (or early morning) hours – it was a whole new ballgame. And since “drinking,” “getting high,””skipping class” and “fucking” were not acceptable answers I generally when with, “At the library, Mom!” Needless to say, she was quite confused when my grades came in looking very un-library-like.

This continued on all through getting my shit together and graduating and getting on with my life, and then the defensive side joined in with the suspicious. Once I met mr b, I immediately got close to his family and started spending time with them. For one thing, they lived close by – it was easy and convenient to get together with them. For another, I liked them. So she’d call and I wouldn’t be home. Later I’d tell her I had been at SIL’s house, and I’d get, “Oh. You always have time for them.” Isn’t she sweet?

Truly, it wouldn’t matter if I had been with her the last 364 days, because that one day with “them” would piss her off regardless.

Over the years, I dealt with it in various way, including making excuses for why I was there, lying and saying I was elsewhere, and eventually, saying fuck it and not giving a shit what she said or thought. Eventually she learned to (mostly) accept it and truthfully, I couldn’t give a rat’s ass either way.

But she can’t quite let go of the “Where were you?” game. She like the Bret Favre of “Where were you?” And the prevalence of cell phones makes it even easier to spread her particular brand of joy. Because if she doesn’t reach me on the home phone, she will call my cell. This happened last night:

Her: I called you at home, but no one answered!

Me: That’s because we aren’t home.

Her: Where are you?

Me: Sigh.

(Oh – and also she can’t hear, so these conversations usually devolve into, “We’re at scouts.” “Where?” “Scouts.” “Stouts?” “No, SCOUTS!” “What? You’re out?” “Jesus CHRIST woman – we’re at SCOUTS! SCOUTS!!!!”)

It’s hard to convey it in writing – in writing it sounds like she is simply asking where I am, which is no big deal. But it’s the tone that makes it so special. The accusing, suspicious, put-upon tone. Like I am somehow failing her by not being home. As if I am out for the specific purpose of not being there when the queen beckons. God, it tires me out.

The irony of it is that my mom is the least homebody-ish person in all the land. From the time I was pretty young, she was always on the go. I would try to call her from school to let her know I had to stay for practice or see if I could go somewhere with friends and she wouldn’t be home. And in the pre-cell phone days, this was pretty damned inconvenient. Eventually I got tired of missing out on stuff and learned to go over her head call my gram – HER mother (who was and is a total badass) and she would give me the OK and then defend me if and when my mom tried to give me any shit about it.

I don’t want to make her sound neglectful, because she wasn’t – she was around when I needed her – she cooked and cleaned and came to all my activities and events without being overbearing (in that aspect of my life anyway), but she had her own life and she lived it. I spent a lot of time alone, but never minded it – I liked it. Except for when I needed to reach her and couldn’t. So it KILLS ME when she gets all indignant because she called me and I wasn’t home.

She can’t even help herself, though. It’s her superpower, after all.

Lunch with my mother


I think I’ll have the barbeque chicken quesadilla.

That sounds good.

Yeah – that’s what I’m having – the barbeque chicken quesadilla.

I’ll take the barbeque chicken quesadilla.

What’s that honey? What did I get? I got the barbeque chicken quesadilla.

Barbeque chicken quesadilla Barbeque chicken quesadilla Barbeque chicken quesadilla.

Eww. I don’t like this. It has this barbeque sauce on it.

Stupor Sunday


My mom is notoriously hard to buy for. It’s not that she isn’t gracious or appreciative when it comes to gifts – she is. It’s just that it’s hard to find gifts that are special. She’s not a big reader, she isn’t really into knick-knacks. She doesn’t collect anything or isn’t into hobbies. She’s reached a point in her life where if she wants something, she buys it. So there is rarely anything (in my price range, at least) that she is pining for.

She does like clothes and jewelry and purses, but buying her those aren’t easy either. She works for a large department store, so you’d be hard pressed to find anything that she a) hasn’t already seen/bought/decided against buying, and b) can get much cheaper than you can (hello – employee discount).

So this year, having started my Christmas shopping much later than normal, I was a bit frantic about what to get my mom. The night before I had my big shopping day, ti came to me – I would get tickets to a show and her gift would be that we would go together. Perfect – we don’t spend a ton of time together because of our conflicting work schedules and responsibilities taking care of kids (me) and parents (her). She would love it.

First, I was going to get tickets to Jersey Boys, knowing that she would love it. I grew up listening to her listen to Frankie Valli. But it’s a hot ticket, and since I was kind of late to the party, I had a hard time finding seats that were good, together, and not eighty bajillion dollars. I spent a ton of time trying to find something acceptable and affordable. It was getting pretty late and I was getting tired. So I changed up and figured I’d get us some tickets to the cabaret’s My Way and I’d take Aunt Twin, too, since those tickets were a little cheaper. But I wanted a table and couldn’t get one – only regular seating, which defeats the whole purpose of cabaret.

I spent a ton more time checking every show, every night to try and get a table, with no luck. Finally, like a lightbulb going off in my tiny, exhausted, Christmas-addled brain, it occurred to me that perhaps getting three tickets was the problem, since the tables seat four. Sure enough, when I requested two tickets, there wasn’t a problem. So I sadly decided to drop Aunt Twin from the deal and just get the two tickets for my mom and me to go. And just as I pressed the checkout button, I got a message saying that their website would be down for the next 15 minutes (until midnight). While I waited, I noticed that I still had a window open where I was searching for the Jersey Boys tickets, and just for the hell of it decided to give it one last shot. I checked the very last show of the run, and what do you know – success! I ended up with some realty good seats for a really good price. Yay, me!

I couldn’t wait to give my mom her gift and as I expected, she was thrilled.

In the meantime, this season, I bought a subscription to the Byham series for the girl and me. We have seen Cinderella, and we still have High School Musical and Beauty and the Beast (and Godspell, which I think I will take the boy to). And a couple of weeks ago, I decided to check and see when HSM was coming up. Don’t’ you know, it’s the same day as Jersey Boys. Doh!

It’s not at the same time, though, so I have devised a big pain in the as of a plan. At first, I considered having Weenie take the girl, but that presented different logistical problems, so I settled on driving to the burgh to take the girl. That show will run from about 2:00 to 4:00. Then, my dad will drive my mom up to the theater district, drop her off with me, take the girl home with him, and mom and I can have an early dinner before the show (which starts at 6:30). Perfect. Its busy, but it’s worth it to take both my mother and my daughter to do something they love.

Then on Thursday night, I was at Tee’s having my hair done and we were talking about the shows and my busy day. I realized that I had invited my SILs down for a party on Saturday and I told Tee I would have to run them of early so the girl and I would have time to make it to the show. Tee said she didn’t realize that we were going so soon – on January 25th.

Oh, that’s right – it’s not this weekend after all. I’m so glad – I didn’t feel like rushing and having a weekend packed full of stuff. Man, I am so happy that it’s next Sunday…



Game time: 6:00

Show time: 6:30


Now, I know I have listened to a Pens game while at a Pirates game, but something tells me they frown at transistor radios at the Benedum.


Lazy, Carefree Friday


Every June when Awesome Company starts up summer hours, I think about all the fun things I am going to do on Friday afternoons. I work the extra hour Monday through Thursday, so I get done at 11:30 on Friday. That gives me almost an entire day to do things by myself. Yay me!

Except, inevitably, I find myself looking around the house all morning as I work, thinking about the mess and how I should clean it. Or thinking about the groceries we need. Or thinking about how the kids would love to go swimming. And then I don’t do any of the fun things I planned. The past few years, I have occasionally spent the day shopping or reading in the park, but that’s because I worked in the office and didn’t have top look at the mess all morning. This year, I was given the option of working from home on Fridays, which is a blessing and a curse.

Anyway, this past Friday, I finally said fuck it – fuck the mess, fuck the groceries – and went to a movie. Can I say that – to me at least – going to the movies all by myself is probably the most heavenly, wonderful thing in the entire world? And that’s saying something because I have experienced a) chocolate, b) sex, and c) mind altering drugs. While I think part of it is just who I am – my psychological makeup – I think a good bit of my love for solitude comes from being an only child. I grew up with no siblings that I had to share my space or time with, and busy – though attentive – parents.

Years of practice at being by myself as a child made me into an adult who loves nothing more than an empty house, a or a quiet room and a good book, or a barely sold theater and an entertaining movie. OK, and maybe some booze.

So on Friday, I talked to my mom who said that she was going to pick the kids up after day care and take them shopping, and decided that since I didn’t have to rush anywhere, I was going to run some errands and then see a movie afterwards. Yay – a lazy, carefree day alone. I didn’t care what I saw – I figured I’d get there and choose whatever was showing next. It was about the going to the movie more than the movie itself. Anyway, the next thing showing was Swing Vote, so that’s what I saw. I liked the movie a lot. And I discovered something about myself: I clearly like rednecks. I mean – I have seen Kevin Costner in every movie he’s made and never once have I thought, mmmm. But trash him all up and put him in a trailer? Hoo-boy! Seriously – what the hell?

When the movie was nearing the end, I heard my phone vibrating. I checked to see who it was and it was my mother. I ignored it. The she called again. And again. I still ignored it because I knew it wasn’t an emergency, since the kids weren’t with her yet, nor did she leave a voice mail. Plus the movie would be over in a few minutes and I could call her back. Also – I know my mother and just because she is calling multiple times doesn’t mean that it’s urgent. It just means that she is crazy. She expects to be answered and answered at her convenience. I’m used to this. Starting from when I went away to college, my mom would call. And if I wasn’t there she would call again. And again. And then when she finally did reach me, her greeting was generally an irritated “Where were you?” or a wounded “I’ve been trying to call you!”

It used to irritate me, but I’m pretty much used to it by now and I usually respond with silence and wait for her to tell me what it is she wants. If I react, it will become and issue. If I treat it with the reaction it deserves – none – then she will feel the need to fill the silence and just tell me what she wants already.

Anyway, I was a little frustrated after the movie from a combination of things. The annoying repeat calls for one. And the seat kicker behind me (an adult no less – these people should have their legs ripped off and shoved up their asses). Plus the group of moviegoers who complained loudly at the end of the film and announced that they deserved their money back because “they didn’t tell you who he voted for.” WTF?? It’s not important who he voted for! It’s not the point of the movie, you mental midgets! Seriously – we’re they planning on basing their November vote on the outcome of the movie. If that’s the case: Dear Outraged Moviegoers, He voted Democrat. Trust me. Love, Gina.

As I was saying, I was a bit irritated, so when I got the “where were you”, I answered that I was in a movie. Then we had to go through the deaf thing, which involves a lot of yelling and “where?” and “The movie!” and “whose house?” and “The MOVIES!!” This is always fun. Then once she understand that part, she asks why I am not working. I explain that I am off, just like I have been every summer Friday afternoon for the last 11 years. Next she asks if I took the kids. No – they are at daycare. Then who did I go to the movies with?!?! I love the suspicion. But then I remember the not looking behind a door unless you have hidden there yourself thing and I think “fuck it”.

When I tell her that I went by myself, she responds with a “You went to the movies by yourself???, as if I just told her I was giving out free blow jobs on the corner of Lincoln and Lemington. Then she proceeds to tell me that she is not in fact, taking the kids shopping that night. This, of course, would be my fault, because I somehow didn’t make the instructions for picking them up clear to her. Or some other such nonsense. Translated, this actually means that I wasn’t at her beck and call, then followed up with the cheeky being myself/doing my own thing and not her puppet behavior, thus shattering her fragile mood and now she didn’t feel like going. So suddenly, I went from leisurely afternoon to I have to rush home and get the kids now. In her defense, she offered to pick them up for me, but I wasn’t in the mood to visit when I picked them up from her so I turned her down, ran out of the theater, skipped the delicious iced green tea I was planning on getting, and hurried back home.

Man – I love those lazy, carefree days alone.