Sunday, March 28, 2010

Surviving an Afternoon with My Mother

The blessed Beverly Hills event is coming up fast, and some of us have not yet found the appropriate wardrobe for the brunches, parties, et al. My mother emails me a few days ago to suggest we go shopping for dresses today. I have yet to find what I need, so I figure why not..what would go wrong? The following is just a few prized moments of the afternoon.

Lunch prior to dress shopping. We are sat and patiently (ok, one of us is) awaiting our server to come greet us and take our order. Mom is getting antsy, naturally. I know you're shocked.

Mom: "Where is our server??? Do they serve regular hamburgers here? I don't want cheese or bacon." (It's a fucking Applebees. I'm pretty sure they have burgers. Just saying)

Me: "Mom it's Applebees. I'm pretty sure they have burgers and you can leave off whatever you like."

The server finally comes to greet us and take our order. We both order burgers and I order a side salad to come before my burger. This does not happen, however I am not surprised by this. But we'll get to that in a little bit.

Mom: "Where is the server?? This place has the worst service ever!"

Me: "You wanted to come here, Mom. What did you expect from this place? Really."

Mom (5 minutes later): "Did our server die???? What is taking him so long?!?!"

The server finally comes with our food, bringing my salad and burger at the same time. Thanks, asshat, for living up to my expectations.

We eat, pay, then head to the mall. Oh, the mall......did I mention I loathe shopping in department stores? They annoy me. They make me itch. I try to avoid them. My mother, however, decides that we need to park near Lord & Taylor because we are clearly going to be spending the better part of the afternoon there. FML.

So we're in Lord & Taylor, looking for dresses for both her and myself. I, of course, found very little, while my mother was picking several different options to try on. She ended up liking none, then asked if there was a petite section (we are both petite, don't judge). The woman informs there that there is a petite section, but the section we were just in for the last hour (seriously, a fucking hour in one store....shoot me) is where all of the dresses are typically organized.

My mother decides the previous section isn't good enough so we must go to the petite section so she can search for more options. Nevermind the fact that there are no dresses in that petite section. As we walk thru the purse section, we see a man holding a purse. The woman he was with already has her own, so the whole "he's being a gentleman and holding it for her" excuse cannot be used in this scenario. Sorry.

Mom (loudly, no inside voices uses here): "Did you see that man with a purse?!?!?!"

Me (didn't even bother to turn around to address her): "Yes, Mom. Everyone saw. And now everyone just heard you yell that, so thanks."

Mom: "Oh, no one heard me!!! It's fine!" (Uh huh......)

We are now in the petite section, and there is maybe one dress, and it is far from appropriate for where we are going. Waste of time. So we go back downstairs to head towards the mall area. As we are riding the escalator down (to where we originally were!!!), my mother feels the need to comment on an observation of hers.

Mom: "You know, Dawn, I've always noticed how no one that works in a Lord & Taylor speaks English. Have you noticed that?"

Me: "Nope, don't pay attention. Sorry." (Really just attempting to stop this conversation from progressing, quite unsuccessfully I might add)

Mom: "Well, yeah. I mean they are always really nice, but I just notice that they never speak English that well."

Me: "..................................." (crickets chirping)

Did that really just happen? Yes, yes it did. Fantastic.

The rest of the afternoon is filled with things like "No, Mom, put that down", "No, Mom, you are not wearing that crap", "Really, Mom?", "What the hell were you thinking when you even bothered to bring that to me?", "Mom, I love you, but if you wear that shit, we are not related while we're there." I eventually stop even saying anything and just start giving the "REALLY??? FOR FUCK SAKE!!" look. She soon catches on and starts searching for things that are more.....we'll go with normal and in this fashion era.

We end up finding dresses that are appropriate for both the Friday and Saturday functions while we are there, so we can FINALLY be done with shopping and leave. We're driving home and she starts the usual navigation flip outs. You don't know what navigation flip outs are? Oh, here you go.....

Mom (driving): "Quick! Tell me where to go!! Where do I go???? Where do I turn???"

Me (in a calm voice): "Mom, you go back the same way you came. Logical, no?"

Mom (who, might I add, has driven in the area countless times!!!): "I don't know! You have to tell me!!!"

Me (rolling my eyes): "Ok, turn left then right at the light."

Mom: "Ok, where do I go after that left?" (she completely ignores the second part of the directions)

Me: "Right at the light, like I just told you, then left onto (insert street name here)."

Mom: "Where is that?!?! I don't know where that is! You have to tell me!!" (seriously?????)

Me (I lose it): "Oh my freaking Lord, Mom. You have GOT to pay more attention when you drive! I tell you a street name, you need to open your eyes and see that street name at the light. Or pull over and let me drive. Seriously."

She neither pulls over to let me drive nor does she stop with the step-by-step nagging/demanding/requesting of directions back to my house. I am now treating myself to a nice Advil/bottled water cocktail, as a result. Wow. Just wow. Had I known she needed fucking GPS to venture 1.5 miles away from my house, I would have offered to drive. Live and learn.

Lesson learned from this trip: Have a martini, or 4, prior to dress shopping with my mother. It might make time cruise/fly at a faster rate.....and it might render me more agreeable with respect to choices, driving behavior, and overall demeanor with people. Just saying.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Jersey Shore hair: Not just a fad, but a failure

We've all seen the infamous cast mates of The Jersey Shore. No? Live that sheltered life under a rock? Ok, turn on MTV and you might find a reality show about a group of young twenty somethings staying in a beach house on the Jersey shore.

This future of America...oh boy are they train wrecks. From the trasherrific clothing they wear to the heinous things they say to the way they wear their hair. It even comes equipped with names. Yes, they have come up with names of things they do (GTL anyone??)....and the hair is no exception.

Ladies first! "The Poof" - This is done by taking a section of your hair and creating a bump in front of your head. Not a subtle one, either. The more dramatic the better. This way no one will think twice before assuming you are trying to bring a hairdo back from the 90's, and quite unsuccessfully at that. Please note ladies, just because you see some dumb slut doing it on TV, it doesn't give you license to practice this on your own hair. Ok ok....Halloween is an exception. I'll give you Halloween. And only if you're trying to perfect that Snookie costume. Don't forget to include the whining while you're at it. It clearly worked wonders for her. If your outing doesn't fall on October 31st or a party affiliated with said holiday, however, then just refrain please. You look fucking ridiculous and no one has the heart to tell you. Trust me.

Male version of douche bag fashion! "The Blowout" - This is done by growing your hair out a little bit then literally blow drying your hair in such a way that it sticks up everywhere. You may even use hair gel to get it to stick out everywhere, as seen in the photo I have provided. This unsuspecting Pauly D understudy shown in the photo to the left (iPhone came through once again!) did a fabulous job with his blowout. By fabulous, I mean this idiot managed to get his hair to look somewhat like a helmet with all the hair gel he used. If this doesn't get the panties dropping, perhaps the double ear piercings might? Seriously, who thinks this is a good look? Anybody? Bueller?? Bueller?? Didn't think so.

So, to recap, if you choose to follow a reality TV show and the infamous fads they've created, perhaps you should consult your hair stylist first. I pray that your stylist, at the very least, can be honest with you and ensure you don't end up looking like you belong on Tool Academy. Just saying.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Alias (No, not of the Jennifer Garner persuasion)

Aliases. We all have them, for one scenario or another. Work, life, bar scene when you don't want to give out your real name for fear of someone finding you via the World Wide Web of Sketchy Mcgees. Maybe you're a rapper and your real name is Murray Goldstein, and you don't want to regress to those ugly childhood years when you were teased for constantly having to tote around that awful yamaka on your you change your name to Mr. Big Stuff, because you've gotta live up to THAT stereotype.

One of my favorites is the obligatory stripper alias. Candy, Daisy, Peaches, or that infamous combination of your childhood pet and street name. Frisky Stonewall. Nice, right? Because, clearly sharing that your real name is Tiffany as opposed to Muffin Glenforest is going to do wonders for your tip share, ladies. Wait, do strippers have to share their tips? What if one is more skilled in her trade than the other? Experience, seniority.....ok, ok...I'm getting off track here.

I have been known to use an alias when out at a bar. I've used the same one for the past several years. I don't even know why I do it, it's just something I do when out at a bar with friends. A guy will come up, ask my name, and I will respond with a name other than my own. My friends have caught on to this and some have even used an alias just to be funny (read: obnoxious, bitchy, guarded, jaded?) as well. Clearly, the guy doesn't pick up on the fact that we are giving fake names, but I'm pretty sure he gets some idea that we have no interest in him when we turn around in the other direction after giving said alias. I embrace that simply telling the poor guy we're not interested would suffice just as well, but answering with "Megan", then turning around, as opposed to answering with "not interested" seems to be less effort on my part. Right?

Hmmmmm this brings me to the current task at hand. I will be venturing to Vegas relatively soon, and I'm told I need a Vegas name. Sarcastic bitch is already taken, and I will probably fancy something slightly more inviting, anyway. Suggestions welcome. Just saying.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Catharsis is underrated

He taught me how to play tennis and racquetball. I think I still have my tennis racquet, though I haven't even attempted to play in years.

He used to take me to Chuck E Cheese and let me ride the ponies every time before we went inside to play for hours. It's amazing how I can still remember my favorite games, and that damn electronic show!

He is responsible for my heartfelt love of Salt N Vinegar chips. He tricked me into trying one, told me it was a regular chip. Well played.

Horseback riding, 4-wheeling, deer hunting (ok I didn't participate in this, but they did this on the 4-wheel so I went along sometimes), and I got to go collect the eggs from the chicken coop and pecans all over the farm, taught me how to fish. Yep, he made me bait my own hook after showing me twice.

I have a memory of him teaching me how to ride my bike on the farm. Grass was probably better cushion than the rest of the kids with concrete, but I could have done without falling on some pecan shells. Just saying.

Easter egg hunts. I usually won. Hmmmm I now wonder if this was rigged.

Roller skating parties. Pretty sure he taught me how to backwards skate. A skill every Southern little girl must possess if she's going to make it in the world.

THE most obscene water fights ever at Jill's house. You would think her house flooded something awful, but no. It was just us deciding to use buckets, hoses, large bowls and cups, all inside the house to further drench each other. I can neither confirm no deny how much this may have depreciated the house's value, but did it matter at the time? Nope.

Being woken up in the morning at 5am by a cow poking his head in the window and screaming at the top of my lungs as a result. Ok, this, I don't necessarily miss. But, a memory, nonetheless.

Macaroni Jesus necklaces. He would take me to church with that religious girlfriend of his and I would come out of Sunday school with pasta necklaces that said "I LOVE JESUS". Those sure pissed my mom off when I brought them home, but man was I crafty with those things.

Learning a jackknife dive. He was tall, so he could clearly master this far better than a child could...but at least he tried. I think I achieved perfect form maybe once. Such is life.

When Titanic came out, he took me to see it. During certain parts, I heard sobbing. When I looked over, he was definitely the one crying. Definitely memorable, if you knew him.

These are the happy memories I have of him. Sure, he was nowhere near a perfect father, or husband. Doesn't alter these happy memories, though. Had I possessed the strength to get up and share these memories with family and friends at his funeral, I would have. Better late than never, I always say.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I heart hot water

Of all the things I might take for granted, hot water is definitely high up on that list. You never know how much you appreciate something until you go without it for a day and a half. Seriously.

It's Wednesday evening. I'm doing my usual run on my treadmill. After my run, I usually jump in the shower before bed.....because who really wants to sleep in their own post-run sweat? Not me, that's for sure. I typically turn on the shower a few seconds/minutes prior to getting in to ensure it's hot. Not out of the ordinary, right? So, I undress and get in the shower for what I expect to be a refreshing, yet relaxing, hot shower. What I got was nothing of the sort.

If you heard a woman yelling obscenities that you may or may not have heard before around 7pm, Wednesday night.....yes, that would be yours truly. It was sort of along the same lines of Steve Carell's reaction in 40 Year Old Virgin when he's getting waxed and he yells random obscenities from the discomfort, except my freezing cold shower was rather unexpected and the obscenities I was yelling had little to do with fucking Kelly Clarkson. But I digress.

About 20 seconds into this freezing shower, I can't take it any longer and jump out. There I am.....still somewhat unclean from my run and the general day's filth, soaking wet, and freezing my ever loving ass off. Fucking fantastic. At this point, I'm wondering if my roommate had a similar experience before he went to work. I text him and sure enough....response back is "coldest shower ever". Great. Damn you hot water heater, damn you!

I immediately flip out and call the gas company's emergency number:

Responder: "Hello [Gas company name here], what is your emergency?"

The irrational version of me: "Hi there. Um, so I have no hot water and just took a freezing cold shower. Well half of one because it's that freaking cold. I need this fixed IMMEDIATELY! I can't go to work without showering! Please help me!"

Responder: "Ma'am, I'm going to have to ask you to calm down."

The irrational version of me: "But I have no hot water! I can't go to sleep all dirty and gross! I just ran 3.5 miles on my treadmill and I'm sweaty and gross and cold and wet and miserable. Please do something!"

Responder: "Ma'am, I can't do anything about those things right now."

She goes on to ask me questions and it is then determined that my hot water heater isn't even gas related, as I have an electric one. Oops? My bad. Probably should have checked that before I went batshit crazy on the poor woman.

After I do this, I'm on Facebook and I see my realtor online and message him about my problem...because he is my personal Mr. Online Fix-it.....naturally. I wonder if he knew this was part of the job when he agreed to show me houses. Hmmmm. Anyway, he is now getting me to test a bunch of different things and it is then determined that I need to call a plumber. Awesome. So the next day, I phone the plumbing company he suggests and they offer same day service. Score! I heart same day service......but anywho, back to the plumber and my hot water issue. The plumber comes out, fixes the issue, I write a check, and then FINALLY get to take a hot shower. Victory!

So...lessons learned from this situation, you ask?

1) Always test the shower BEFORE running. This way, you're not stuck sleeping in grossness. It's not fun, I assure you. And if you are even slightly's fucking miserable!

2) Taking a page from Little House on the Praire and heating up water on the stove and using it to bathe is maybe a better option than just not doing anything. In my defense, though, I was too busy flipping out and being the crazy female homeowner to come to this conclusion at the appropriate time. Hindsight people, hindsight.

3) My realtor rocks. No, seriously. Not only did he help me diagnose the problem, but he bought me a new warranty so it's covered should this ever happen again. If anyone is in the market for some real estate, he's your guy. His wife is pretty cool too, but I doubt she could help you with a home.

4) Who knew some plumbers actually wear a belt? I sure didn't. There was no crack involved yesterday. Very pleasantly surprising, I must say. I was half expecting a guy to show up in oversized jeans that were a tad too low and a ratty shirt with the company logo on it. What I got was a gentleman professionally dressed in khakis and a button down shirt. It's the little things, ya'll.

5) This is probably the most important realization of them all....and that is, my love for hot water. Evidently, I need it to thrive. If I don't have hot water for showers, I turn into this rabid cave woman whom you may not want to be around. You'll feel sorry for me. You'll pity me, but you really should think twice before coming near me. Don't screw with my hot water. Just saying.