Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fuzzy Memories

Parents of this generation are big on creating memories for their kids. They overspend and overstress on making the kids' childhood rosy, glowy and supercharged with fun. And for some strange reason, they believe that the kids will remember all of the back breaking work they did.

I'm here to tell you, as a 43 year old mother who was a child once too, they really won't remember all of the minutiae that you are orchestrating. Every time I question or angst over a parenting dilemma, I think to myself, "He won't even remember this. Why am I bothering?" This gave me pause today as I tried to remember some things from my childhood, like before the age of 14. I remember nothing prior to age 4 or 5.

Here is what I came up with:

1. My siblings teaching me that if I stirred my Coke long enough it would turn to root beer

2. Spaghettio Saturdays

3. A tick in my head in kindergarten

4. Wearing my underpants under my bathing suit at a summer day camp because I was too embarassed to undress in front of the other girls

5. The way my mother sprinkled paprika on my tuna fish sandwiches and how special I thought that was

6. Getting hit in the boob (12 year old ones) with a line drive shot while I was pitching a softball game

7. Playing Manhunt into the dark of night with the neighborhood kids

8. Making chocolate chip cookies every Friday night with my sister while we watched Dallas and The Dukes of Hazard while our Mom went to Bingo

9. Playing a barbaric game called "Step on Stomachs" with my brother and sister

10. Winning a spelling bee in the 5th grade

11. Lite Bright and Spirograph

12. Kissing the TV whenever David Cassidy and the Partridge Family show started

13. My mother experiencing one of the worst foot cramps in history making my dad take her to the hospital, only to end up at Burger King since the cramp disappeared en route

14. Cutting my bangs in the 3rd grade so I could look like Olivia Newton-John in Grease but ended up looking more like the other girl with the buck teeth

15. The beach every Sunday from morning til night

16. My sister throwing up on the Block Island Ferry and my mother grabbing a lady's newspaper right out of her hands to catch it

17. My dad hiding all of us and our cousins in the back of his van (like illegal immigrants) so he wouldn't have to pay by the kid at Lake Mishnock

18. My grandpa Rico, giving all of us kids shots of beer and peanuts in his basement so we could all raise our glasses and shout, "Salute and Drink!"

19. My first AA meeting at age 10

That's pretty much all I remember. Do you need to create memories for your kids? Nope. Life has a way of doing that for them!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Not Yo Mama's Maytag Repair Man

This story happened almost a year ago. But it doesn't matter. My rage is still there.

The pizza crust was still an albino color after being in the oven for 20 minutes. Something was definitely not right with the oven. It was a hot day but I didn't care. We have a.c. and nothing stops me from making pizza when I get the hankering.

What to do? Who to call? Times like these I wish I married an appliance repair man (other times I wish I married a plumber, electrician, or auto mechanic!) After a few calls, I found a reliable repair man who has done work for other family members. He came the very next day. A bit on the grouchy side (complained about having to walk up my front steps, quite the hardship) but then got right to work. While diagnosing our problem and only $125 later, he joked that I probably called Dominoes during my prior pizza emergency. I twitched only slightly.

Then he started talking about his wife and grown kids. His crusty attitude resurfaced again as he referred to his daughter as a "Big Fat D". At this point, my husband and I looked at each other, totally confused. So hubby turned to him and said, "She's a Diva?", to which Mr. Oven Saver replied, "No, she's a Dy**." I can't even bring myself to type what he said. I am hoping you are intelligent enough to unlock the mystery.

Instead of unleashing on him, I said something like "As long as our kids are happy, then that's all that really matters", knowing full well that I could not change the spots on this leopard and just let it go.

But on that hot summer day, I was dually offended. I am not sure what upset me more, that he thought I, a direct descendant of the Pizza Therapy guru of all time, would call Dominoes Pizza or that he referred to his own flesh and blood as the "D Word".

Would you keep this repair man for future use? I won't. And if you know of anyone reliable and who doesn't use either "D" word, would you please post it here?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Forrest Gump was Right

Every time I reach into the box, my heart skips a beat. As my hands lightly caress the silky smooth, perfectly shaped square, my mouth begins to water. I pull it out of the box, giddy with excitement. I carefully open it.

Oh crap. They've done it again. They've somehow replaced the Ghirardelli chocolate square with a Kotex pantyshield. How could this have happened, again?

This is my recurring living nightmare each month. First it was the Always camp telling us girls to "Have a Happy Period". After discovering that their products do not have a built in tickling device, I boycotted, and switched over to Team Kotex which now markets their products like Forrest Gump.

If they really want us all to have a happy period, they should include a chocolate interspersed between all the pads instead of making each individual pad wrapped in jazzy, multi-colored plastic, only to disappoint yet another crazed woman. Why has this not happened yet? Why are they not getting it?

If you are a boy and cannot stand Ladies’ Days talk, then go scratch yourselves in the other room. But for my gal pals, read on.

The monthly Curse, Ant Flo, or your “Time” is up there with Death, Taxes and Laundry, so I know you all can relate.

My poor Portuguese friend got hers on her wedding day. My husband refers to her unfortunate event as her “Portuguese Wedding Present”(PWP). My friends and I like to speak in PWP code. But now the secret is out. You can use it too!

The PWP has been a major part of my life since I was 12. When she arrived, I was in complete denial and thought that brown color was a result of eating too much chocolate. And I refused to tell anyone until a few days had passed, even though my mother had prepared my sister and me by showing us a book about “Creation”. From what I gathered, chickens laid eggs and the man physically took his sperm (which I envisioned to be like holding a toothpick) in his hand and handed it to the woman. They both looked so happy in the picture and I never understood why.

After my brother read the book he said to my mother, “So your mother (our grandmother), had sex 12 times with your father?” She did have 12 kids so it all made perfect sense.

Over the years, Ladies' Days products have made some great strides since the “belt” era. And let's not forget what the cave women and my mother endured during GenRag. Envisioning her house of 12 kids (6 of them girls!) with a makeshift RagLine just makes me oh, so grateful.

The pads have taken off with wings, walls and channels. They can fly to the moon, win the Tour De France, and scale the Great Wall of China. The Tampons come in fluorescent colors and fold in half so you can fit them inside a Tic Tac case.

But no matter how jazzy you make Pretty Paddy or Talulah Tampon, they both end up in the same crime scene.