Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm not fat! I'm just a big asshole!

There are several reasons why I enjoy having a cocktail (or two, or whatever) at the end of a day:
  1. Things went exceptionally well and I would like to celebrate the wellness before it goes away. Because we all know that very, very soon, things will most likely be unwell.
  2. Things were a little bumpy but hey, the kids are finally locked in their rooms and tomorrow is a new day.
  3. The weather just screams "whiskey!"
  4. The weather just screams "vodka!"
  5. From the moment the alarm clock went off, or actually from ten minutes before the alarm went off, the day was like a pair of rusty pruning shears, jabbing me in the brain. In the same spot, over and over and over again. Until the spot became a festering boil that could only be soothed with booze.
Wednesday was one of those days. Not the awesome day, or even the slightly bumpy day. I had a day filled with jabs. And although each event and irritation may not seem like much, together they added up to something that made me want to scream. And since some of you have a low tolerance for monotony, I'll just summarize the bulk of the day by saying it included a lot of unappreciated meals, misplaced items, exposure to stupidity and missed social outings. If, however, you want more details, you can read about my day here. Otherwise, you can skip reading about all the bullshit and get to the creme de la creme.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

One of the things that I love about the club where my kids play tennis is that they have a designated area for ping pong. This super accessible area is just out of my sight, which means not only do I not have to witness the chaos, I don't have to listen to it, either. Unfortunately, though, I kind of wish I'd been able to see and hear the most recent chaos.

After their lesson and while they're waiting for their sister's lesson to finish, the boys usually head off with their friends to play ping pong, and Wednesday night was no different. The only difference with this last Wednesday night is that there were a couple younger boys (who play hockey, not tennis) that wanted to play. Since my boys know these kids, they were more than happy to include them. So when Charlie walked back to where I was sitting, in tears and holding his elbow, I was like "how in the hell do you hurt yourself playing ping pong?" Well, this is how:

Charlie was playing ping pong with Twin A or, more accurately, Charlie was beating Twin A at ping pong. In the process of losing, Twin A gets angrier and angrier. After he loses, Twin A walks over to my kid, stands directly in front of him and aggressively argues about the score. Charlie says "Fine, you lost 9-11, not 8-11. Whatever." and walks away. As he's walking away, Twin A runs at my kid and body slams him against the wall, holding him there. My kid says "Hey, you're 10 and I'm 13, but you're a lot bigger than me (no joke - the kid probably has 40 pounds on Charlie) so don't do that. Get OFF!" Upon hearing this, Twin A lets him go and immediately decides that he heard my kid say "Hey, dude, you're fat. And you're fat. And did you know you're fat? Wow, you're fat! Get off of me because you know what? YOU'RE FAT!" After Twin A backs up, Charlie removes himself from the wall and walks away, only to be nailed in the right elbow by a flying ping pong paddle that Twin A decided to throw at him. After hurling the paddle, Twin A runs off to find his mommy.

Then the fun times really got rollin'.

Since I know the parents of these twins, I say "Hey, Blondie, what just happened here, and why is my kid's elbow swelling up?" Twin A is now seated next to his mom and immediately cues up the always successful waterworks and "Well, he called me fat!" defensive combination, which should completely justify why he smashed another kid against a wall. Because according to Twin A, not only did Charlie call him fat while he was getting acquainted with the wall but he called him fat several times during their super friendly game of ping pong which, by the way, Twin A lost 8-11.

While I stood there with Charlie trying to figure out what the hell was going on, Blondie, and her blondish husband, included the following points in their son's defense:
  • He gets bullied a lot at school for being fat, so he's very sensitive about it.
  • He's very competitive and sometimes has a hard time controlling his anger.
  • They didn't see what happened so therefore they can't get involved.
  • They don't fight their kids' battles for them.
  • Kids will be kids.
  • Twin B says that yes, he heard Charlie call Twin A fat. Several times, in fact.
  • Maybe Charlie and Twin A should go out to the parking lot and finish the argument by fighting it out.
  • Boys will be boys.
  • They're sure Charlie's elbow will be fine (even though he has a tennis tournament this weekend), but their son is now suffering from emotional abuse.
And then, after I said "Well, Charlie, I guess you should be more careful about who you beat at ping pong," they left. Without apologizing and basically giving their son permission to shove another kid against a wall when he loses, they left.

After talking to my older son and another boy (who happens to be friends with both Charlie and Twin A) who witnessed the entire incident, and being assured by both of them that Charlie never called the kid fat, I handed my kid an ice pack for his elbow and headed to the front desk. There, I learned that children under 12 aren't supposed to be anywhere in the club without parental supervision and that there are surveillance cameras everywhere that will have the entire incident recorded. Oh, and we need to take a picture of that bruised arm so that we have something to attach to the report.

Seriously, if only they would have apologized...

The ugly details...

You are reading this post because you are obviously:
  1. Bored;
  2. Enjoy reading about other people suffering;
  3. Trying to figure out what I'm whining about;
  4. You saw a lady standing in the grocery store, giving a death glare to a texting, gum-chomping cow that was blocking the entire aisle in the frozen food section and you're trying to figure out if it was really me (Yes, it was.); or, most likely it's because...
  5. You are nice.

5:32am... I woke up, eight minutes before my alarm clock goes off. Or, more accurately, I woke up for the 6th time in the last two hours, but this time it wasn't worth trying to go back to sleep. And of course the first thing I thought of was "I'm tired as fuck," which was immediately followed by "No, really. Fuck. Tired as fuck." I pulled on my mom uniform (running shorts, long sleeve shirt, ponytail) and headed downstairs to dishwasher emptying/newspaper fetching/coffee making/dog feeding/breakfast making bliss.

6:00... Because I'm lame and would feel a little bit guilty if I were to sleep in while my oldest kids found their own breakfast and got themselves to the bus stop, I made something to eat for kid #1: scrambled eggs, bacon and toast with jelly. Upon seeing this hot, well-balanced first meal of the day, he said "Oh, well, there's no way I'm going to eat all this. If I eat those eggs I'll just feel uuuugggghgh." Because I hadn't ingested much caffeine yet, I only had enough energy to say "Fine. Eat whatever" instead of "Fine. Eat whatever and then I'll shove the rest of it up your nose." Note to self: Frosted Lucky Charms are magically delicious, and a bowl of cold cereal is a nutritious part of a well-balanced breakfast.

6:50... After kid #1 glared at me a few times and then stumbled out the door in time to catch the bus, kid #2 appeared for breakfast. Upon seeing his plate of freshly made scrambled eggs, bacon and toast, he muttered something like "I hope this doesn't make me sick" before taking a few very unenthusiastic bites. Note to self: A smack in the face is a nutritious part of a well-balanced breakfast.

7:45... After kid #2 left for the bus, kid #3 appeared for breakfast. Upon seeing her plate of freshly made scrambled eggs, bacon and a muffin, she declared the eggs as "too hot to eat" and proceeded to eat the muffin. Note to self: Aruba is very nice this time of year.

9:10... Several hours (well, technically only an hour or so, but it felt like several) later, and after a couple dozen pleas of "get dressed, brush your teeth, practice piano, pack your backpack, brush your teeth, where are your socks," I dropped kid #3 off at school and headed to the grocery store, still wearing my running shorts, shirt, ponytail plus two additional items: a fancy lip balm called Carmex and a baseball hat.

9:30... Do you have any lettuce that doesn't look like it's been sitting in a monsoon? Oh, ha ha, I know it looks that way but no, I haven't worked out this morning. You seem to be out of the mild Italian sausage that is on sale, so can I substitute a different brand? Oh, hi, wow, yes, you do sound very busy! I don't care if that's the coupon item, that ham tastes like cardboard. Excuse me, but can I get past your cart? No, I need the 10.5 oz box of Cheez-Its because that's what's listed on your stupid coupon. Do you have a gallon of 1% milk that doesn't expire in two days? No, ma'am, I'm not that Chinese lady that taught your daughter how to ice skate. Gawd, do I ever love grocery shopping, especially with coupons!

10:30... Because I'm lame, I went to a second grocery store (yes, Byerly's) where they have the most amazing chicken tenders, which happened to be BOGO, and since I have to bring dinner to tennis for the boys on Wednesdays I thought I'd be nice and make sandwiches with these chicken tenders. And of course I also made sure to get fresh buns for these sandwiches. Because I'm lame. Oh, and also according to more than a couple people, now that the kids are in school I have ALL KINDS OF TIME TO MYSELF SO I CAN SHOP ALL THE TIME!

11:15... Finally home, just in time to finish the laundry, clean part of the house, put the groceries away, walk the dog and inhale some lunch. And then I need to brush and floss my teeth so that I can get to my dentist appointment! It's really super important to be on time to the dentist! So I'm sure to be punctual and get there five minutes early because, in addition to being lame, I just loooove going to the dentist! Mmm, gotta love that dentist office smell!

1:35... Twenty minutes after my appointment was scheduled -- after I was assured that the hygienist was running on time -- I'm sitting in the waiting room, thinking about the 142 things I still need to get done. So I did what I've always wanted to do: told them to cancel my appointment and then walked out. And anyway, I had just flossed and brushed in the middle of the day, so my teeth already felt cleaner than usual.

2:30... Kid #1 walks in the door, followed by... his friend? The friend who wasn't supposed to ride the bus to our house and is instead supposed to be at his own house, waiting for his mom to pick him up. So now I have an extra kid (who happens to have the loudest voice ever given to a teenage boy) in my house for the next hour, and he's hungry. Like, really hungry. And really loud.

3:10... Kid #2 walks in the door, gets ready for tennis, and then immediately walks out the door. Their ride arrived... over ten minutes early. Goodbye, loud talker!

3:45... I walk out the door carrying a cooler packed with dinner (yum, chicken sandwiches!), kid #3's tennis bag and my tote bag so that I can pick the youngest kid up at the elementary school, aka Parking Lot of Torture. Today is no different, and I somehow resist honking and/or gesturing toward five different people, including one dude that nearly ran over a child because he should have the right to go the wrong way on a one-way.

5:30... After arriving at the club, quickly feeding kid #3, sending her to her tennis lesson and then (because I still have my running shorts on) hammering out a three mile walk/run, the boys wrap up their tennis lesson and appear for dinner. I pull out the sandwiches and, five minutes into eating them, kid #1 declares them "a pain in the butt to eat because the bread is too chewy." Note to self: Stop feeding children anything besides gruel and knuckle sandwiches.

Add to all of this the smooshing of my child, the fact that no one else in my family has the ability to recognize when the recycling bin is full, children that are still genuinely shocked that bedtime arrives each and every night, a dog that wants in when he's out and out when he's in, a school I.D. that was distributed to a child and lost by the child on the same day and finally, the worst part of all: I was supposed to go out with friends. But by 9:00, I really didn't have the energy to be all high maintenance and get myself dressed in anything besides pajamas, so I skipped out on the cathartic fun and stayed home. I know this makes me sound even lamer, but at that moment, just having enough energy to brush my teeth was doubtful. I figured that would be okay, though, because after all, I had already brushed them twice.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Great MN Let's ALL Get Together

As we've done in years past, Doug and I celebrated our wedding anniversary at the MN State Fair. The difference this year, though, was that while I was at the Fair with five children, Doug chose to celebrate our anniversary by himself. At home. Not surrounded, as I was, by what seemed to be the entire population of Minnesota as they simultaneously ambled, smoked and cursed around me, grazing on cheese curds, fried candy bars, corn and about 1802 other things. And while this may sound like a not very romantic way to spend a day celebrating our love, let me tell you that if he would have joined me this year, I guarantee he would have been arrested for violently assaulting a slow walker, I would have had to swing by jail on the way home to bail him out, and that's not very romantic, either.

Since my boys are both equipped with phones and are old enough to experience this day of sensory overload by themselves, they were turned loose (with friends) for a couple hours, which left just Zoe (in her wagon) and I to go wherever we wanted to. And we would have went wherever we wanted to if it weren't for the fact that approximately three million people were in our way. Seriously. Three million. I fucking counted each and every one of them, and I am not exaggerating when I say that I was tempted to count some of them twice. So as I weaved and bobbed my way through crowded intersections, "accidentally" running over a set of toes here and "oopsie, did I just bash you in the shin with my wagon" there, all I could think about was holy shit, dude, I am sooo glad that Doug is not here because he would be Miz. Rah. Bull.

Because of this arrangement, I was the only one available to be Designated Wagon Puller. And since I needed to drink beer (obviously), that left me with zero hands to take pictures. That is, until I figured out that I could prop the front tire of the wagon next to my foot and hold the beer (which always seemed to be half-empty) with my teeth. This allowed me to take pictures with one hand and reach into the wagon for a spring roll with the other. Multitasking at it's finest, really.

Even with this arrangement, though, I missed some incredible photo ops. Fair do's, immense human beings, fanny packs, tube tops -- by the time I had stopped the wagon and clenched the beer glass in my teeth -- all of these amazing sights had whipped by and out of frame. So, I'm sorry for what I failed to capture, but hope you enjoy the shots that I did manage to get.

Just in case you thought that I was exaggerating and/or making excuses as to why I missed some pictures, this is approximately 1/2000th of the crowd. Now, see that lady in the pink shirt? I think I knicked her toes with my wagon.

But even as crowded as it was, I can't believe that I still managed to find Brett Favre.

There is an area of the Fair called the International Bazaar where you'll find all kinds of non-Minnesotan foods and useless crap for sale. When we got there, there was a mariachi band playing (which immediately made me crave a margarita) and a bunch of people eating tamales. So why, exactly, did I see a dude wearing a beret? More importantly, why would a dude ever wear a beret?

This is obviously a couple in love. And I wonder if the tattoo on her back was complimentary when she paid to have the jeans tattooed on her thighs.

It's a good thing this kid's mom is so smart, demonstrated by the fact that she tied the balloon to his wrist. There's nothing worse than paying good money for a balloon only to have it fly away within minutes of ownership. Now, if only she could find him a black and white shirt to match his wig/hat/moron badge...

Hey, maybe she can ask these guys where they got their's.

Normally I don't post/email/share any pictures until after I get home, but this one I immediately texted to my husband with a subject line of "You can't make this shit up."

For all you single fellas, one of the most popular places to pick up hot chicks at the Grandstand is at the personal massager/ massage chair booth. If you're lucky, you'll find someone wearing a sexy pair of flesh colored capris. And yes, she's willing to take pictures.

Show me a two-headed man, I won't stare. Show me a kid with full facial hair, I won't stare. Show me a kid on a leash, I will always stare.

Like I said... I will ALWAYS stare. And the best thing about this master was that right after I took this pic, she unhooked the leash and said "You're going potty now" to which the little doggy said "No ruff ruff I don't have to go potty." So of course she said "Yes you do, so let's go potty" to which the puppy said "Noooooo! I don't want to goooooo!" So at least we know that the leash isn't because the nice owner has a control issue or anything.

I'll bet that when this guy found out that he won something from the MN State Lottery, he had no idea that it would be this piece of shit ladybug backpack thing. And then when he found out that it was the backpack, he had no idea that he would be the one to end up carrying the stupid thing around for the rest of the day.

I swear I saw his wife smirking.

This guy is taking his visit to the Alpaca booth just a bit too seriously. And I would bet money that he ate the overpriced alligator on a stick. Hell, I bet he wrestled the alligator before he ate it.

Right before we left, one of my kid's friends yelled "Gross Jody! That guy just hurled on the street!" and sure enough I was stupid enough to turn my head and see a giant puddle of fresh barf. And then, like the sickos that we are, we waited around to see if anyone was clueless enough to walk through the barf bog so that we could laugh and I stood there hoping like hell that this chick would show up.

In addition to seeing Brett Favre, I also saw Pat Benatar.

I was trying to get a picture of that guy's mullet, and then as if on cue, these two women wandered into the frame. I literally threw my arms into the air and yelled "Holy shit! You have GOT to be kidding me!"

Quote from my husband: "This guy was skinny when he got to the Fair."

This woman doesn't look that bad, right? I mean, black is a slimming color and the top is sort of a flattering cut. So why would I bother taking this picture?

Because of the back view.

In all the years that I've seen cargo shorts in existence, I've never actually seen anyone put them to actual cargo use. My kid is the one who spotted this guy, and at first he thought they were boxes of cigarettes. I think his actual words were "Check it out, mom. That guy sure is prepared for a full day of smokin' at the fair!" This assumption makes sense, too, since everyone in his group - along with 82% of the other Fair attendees - was smoking. I was just secondhand smoking.

She's so lucky that this was the day before Labor Day, otherwise that white skirt/leggings combo would have been a major fashion faux pas.

At the International Bazaar, there was a booth that was a combination of rug seller and fancy braider. My first thought was "who the fuck buys a big ass rug at the State Fair?" which was immediately followed by "Who the fuck gets their hair braided all fancy at the State Fair?" Well, right after I saw some dude walking around carrying a big ass rug, I saw these braids.

Seriously, people, can you imagine touching some stranger's greasy State Fair hair for an extended amount of time? Just to put in some stupid braid!? Gross...

In 1986, there were some god awful ugly "leather" purses for sale in the International Bazaar. In 2011, there are still some god awful ugly "leather" purses for sale in the International Bazaar. In fact, they're probably the same purses.

In case you're wondering, this guy likes Sturgis. And insanely blue Levis. And motorcycles. But he hates sleeves. And even though he probably loves the Minnesota State Fair, I'll bet he didn't take any pictures.