Monday, September 21, 2009

"THE" Story

Do you know someone that has a great story, and even though you've heard it a lot, you look for reasons to get them to tell it again? I am one of those people with the great story. Truly! Anytime there is a group of people together and there is someone there who hasn't heard "THE" story, I will be asked to tell it. Again. (I fear I've built it up too much and after you read it you'll think "Meh, that wasn't so great".)

Anyhoo...on with the story:

I grew up in a small town near Dallas. A small town with more churches than people. You remember the movie Footloose? That was like the city where I grew up. There was no alcohol sold in town, at all (no liquor stores and alcohol wasn't allowed to be served in restaurants) - no dancing, either. Ok, I will confess that I didn't give much thought to living in that town; it was home and all I knew - I had no idea the whole world didn't live like that. When I would see them talking about homecoming dances on a TV show, I thought it was just something Hollywood made up.

While in high school there was nothing for us teenagers to do on the weekend - therefore, we would hang out at the rodeo in our town. Yes, we didn't have much, but, by golly, we had a rodeo. While other teenage girls, in other parts of the country, were swooning over Shaun Cassidy and Andy Gibb, the teen girls in my town were daydreaming about marrying a bull rider (or bronc rider.) This is why we never sat to watch the rodeo. We hung out under the bleachers - saying hi whenever a cowboy would pass by us. Sometimes one would stop and chat with us giggling high school girls. THAT would make our night and we'd talk about it, in depth, for many days following.

Ok, now jump ahead to my senior year of college. I was going to school out of state, so any major holiday I would fly home to see my parents. I'd also get together with any of my friends who hadn't fled the city after graduation. On one particular visit home, my friends and I decided to head into the big city of Dallas and do some country dancing at the coolest club ever.

As soon as we got there, one of my girlfriends screams to me over the music that she's going to the restroom. I've never been big on the whole "we're chicks, thus we must potty together", so she went to the restroom while I headed toward the dance floor. As soon as I arrived near the floor, I was asked to dance. After checking out my requester, I opted to say no. He was old! He looked like he was, like, in his thirty's or something. He stood there just staring at me for a moment then he smiled a huge smile and asked me if my name was Kansas Girl. Whoa. I stared back at him trying to figure out if I knew him, but I had no idea.

My suitor asked me to dance again and promised while we danced he would tell me how he knew me. How could I say no to that? Before he explained, he asked me if I used to hang out at a rodeo when I was younger. Whoa again. Ok? Who the h*ll was this guy? Finally he tells me he used to be a bronc rider and would ride at the rodeo where I hung out a lot. He said he talked to me once, but I was too young for him. He swore when he met me that he'd never forget me, because I had the most beautiful eyes he'd ever seen. Whoa times three.

I, of course, danced with only him for the rest of the night. We talked and talked. He bought me beer after beer. At 2am the club was closing and my wonderful new and suddenly dreamy friend said he very much wanted to see me again, if that would be ok with me. H*ll yes! I got a pen and a matchbook to give him my number. I was fixin to write my number when he says: "I have a confession - I've never seen you before in my life. When you came in, I heard your friend scream your name and I took a guess on the seems just about every girl that comes in here used to hang out there. But you do have very pretty eyes".

I wrote down a fake phone number and left.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Past Christmas Present

It's Christmas of some year a long freakin time ago. I was 23 years old and dating a nice young man, we'll call him Mr. Romantic. I had been dating him maybe 6 months by the time Christmas rolled around and he was spending more and more time with me in my tiny little apartment.

Mr. Romantic often complained to me about how small my place was and that we should spend our time together at his much bigger townhouse. He said he only had one roommate, but anytime I was there, there were at least 47 people and several kegs of beer. Plus the whole place smelled like feet. As tempting as it was to go over there and play beer pong and quarters, I chose to stay in my tiny little abode - if Mr. Romantic had a problem with it, no matter where he was, my front door was always 5 feet away and he could find his way out.

So you understand just how small the apartment was, here were some of his complaints:

*It was not possible to have more than one person in the kitchen at a time. Seriously, if you wanted in there and there was already someone there, you had to press your back to the wall so they could leave before you could go in.

*The bathroom was so small there wasn't even a place for me to put a trashcan. When opening the door it would bang against the toilet. Slide in sideways and one step through the doorway and you're in the shower. The sink was so small I believe it came out of a Barbie Dream House. An old Barbie Dream House at that. You know, one that your grandmother would have stored in the closet at her house and you had to pull it out whenever you came over. Because it was either play with that or the plastic thing with the long blue handle that you would push around and it had the balls inside that would pop. Unfortunately, the one at your grandmother's house had been beaten to death by the 29 grandchildren that came before you so it didn't pop anymore...which left you with the Barbie Dream House and 1 Barbie with a bad hair cut and a one legged Ken. Both naked.

*The combination living room/dining room/ bedroom/ office/ media room was only about 9 ft X 9 ft. I had a full size bed, an end table, and a 13 inch black and white TV. You had to sit on the edge of the bed to watch TV. I chose to only watch Leave it to Beaver and other shows from that era since they were in black and white - this way it didn't seem quite so pathetic that I didn't have a color television.

Anyway! It was Christmas and I was going to put up a tree, somewhere. I found a tree - so small that even one string of lights was too much for it. Of course, having half the lights on the tree and half lying on the floor pleased my cat, who would grab the cord and take off running pulling the tree behind her.

Good times. Good times.

Mr. Romantic shows up one day and places a HUGE gift under (next to) the tree. It was not only big, but it was heavy. I quickly figured out that this box was to mislead me. There were bricks in there. My mind was working overtime on why he would need to disguise a present. And it hit me. Holy SH*T! He was going to ask me to marry him. It was an engagement ring. It had to be. I called all my friends and explained the situation to them and they agreed that's what it had to be. You see, Mr. Romantic adored me (I've met me and I can't say that I blamed him.) He loved to talk about "some day when we have kids... ". But it felt too soon to get engaged.

I had my Christmas with Mr. Romantic the day before I flew out to be with my family. My mind was made up: I had no choice but to say no when I opened the present. My girlfriends agreed there was no way I could accept that ring. I wasn't ready to get married. In my guilt, I spent an insane amount of money on him. Designer clothes, a watch, and a leather jacket.

When I opened my gift, I see I was right about the bricks. But i was horribly wrong about the engagement ring. No ring. It was a bathroom trashcan. You heard me right... very narrow trashcan that would fit between the toilet and the shower. You wouldn't believe the delight on his face when he showed me it would fit. He had secretly measured and everything. Oh, sneaky! And the bricks! Well, without those, I certainly would have figured out what it was.

You can't imagine the joy I felt when the phone started ringing. My girlfriends. They wanted to know how he took the rejection. I got to explain to each of them that I accepted his fabulous trashcan. Their response to this was the same as mine when I opened it... silence. Because, really, how do you thank your boyfriend for giving you a trashcan at Christmas without it sounding sarcastic?

Oddly, I stayed with him another 6 months...right before my birthday rolled around, I panicked and dumped him. I think every one of you would have done the same thing.


I'm 22 and out on my own for the first time in my life. I have a low paying job and the world's smallest apartment. It was a good time. The oddest part was not having to report to anyone. One night after work a few co-workers and I decide to grab a cocktail or twelve before heading home - it seemed unnatural to leave work and not tell someone I wasn't going straight home. So, I called my mom.

Me: Hi, Mom, I'm just letting you know I'm not going straight home.
Mom: What??
Me: It's ok. A few of us are going out to grab a margarita at Chi Chi's and then I'm going home.
Mom: Why are you telling me this?
Me: [pregnant pause] I'm not really sure. But I promise to be careful.
Mom: Well, Ok then.
Me: I won't be out late.
Mom: I. Don't. Care.

Yes, I was a little hurt. She's my mom and she should care. I'm just sayin'.

Now, don't get me wrong, I adore my children - but before I had them, I had some serious fun. And then when I was 27 I got married and had my first of many (2) children. I had just turned 30 when my daughter was born; it was understood I would quit my job and become a stay-at-home mom. The world was calm and peaceful. I bought a jogging stroller and ran through the neighborhood everyday with baby Alli. Life at 30 wasn't the same as life at 22, but it was relatively nice. Alas, there came a bump in the road...

I was awakened one morning by the sound of the house shaking. The floor split open and flames shot up. I grabbed my baby girl and huddled in the corner as the devil rose from the pits of hell. I'd seen a lot of pictures of the devil - you know, dressed in red, horns, long tail, etc, etc, etc. But the devil that entered my house was wearing a double knit polyester pantsuit and bad wig. Baby Alli and I were informed that the devil was moving in. And we wept. Ok, I wept. Oh, how I freakin wept.

I know everyone has stories about how bad their mother-in-law is/was/can be, but my stories, I'm sure, are worse. The woman never stopped talking! Long, boring, pointless stories - well, I believe in total she had only 3 stories, so, she kept repeating them over and over until you wanted to rip the wig off her head and smack her with it. She liked to look out the window while she talked and one day I realized: I can leave the room while she's talking and she would never notice. And that's what I would do.

What was worse than having to listen to my mother-in-law? Actually having a conversation with her. Here's a sampling of a few:

Me: I'm making chicken for dinner tonight.
MIL: Stop using pepper when you cook, because I'm allergic to it.
Me: What? No, you aren't! How are you allergic to pepper?
MIL: It makes me sneeze.
Me: It seems the whole world is allergic to pepper then.
MIL: I don't like sarcasm - it's not funny.

(Driving out to eat.)
MIL: Did you see that huge dead dog in the middle of the road?
Me: No, that was just a flattened cardboard box.
Me: Obviously not, because that was a cardboard box.
(Husband turns car around and we freakin' drive back to the box in the road.)
MIL: Well, that's not what I was talking about. I saw a dead dog and it's gone now.
Me: I'm sure it magically got better and ran away.
MIL: I don't like sarcasm - it's not funny.

Me: I hate to tear myself away from your always entertaining story, but I have to feed the baby.
MIL: Why are you breast feeding my grandchild?
Me: Because I think I read somewhere that if you don't feed a baby it will die.
MIL: I don't like sarcasm - it's not funny.
Me: I didn't know that.
MIL: Baby formula is much better for a baby than breast milk.
Me: What? Where did you hear this?
MIL: When I had my babies the hospital nurse told me I should not breast feed, because it's not good for the baby.
Me: She probably only meant you, because you act like someone all whacked out on PCP.
MIL: What?
Me: That was sarcasm - and it was funny.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The World of Blog

I love to blog. It's almost become a sick addiction for me. One must make all their personal thoughts public for the entire Internet world to read! Although, I will admit that some people take their blogging too far. Example:

"Dear Everyone in the World,
I've decided I no longer like cats. Being of sound mind, I've decided to round up all the cats in the world, put them in paper bags, light them on fire, then throw them in the ocean. I think I'll start in my neighborhood and work my way through the city. You can't know how excited I am about this endeavor! Although, the more I think about it, the more I think this is too big a job for just one person... please come to my house
(insert house address) at 4:00 on March 23 and help me abolish filthy cats from our great nation and beyond! (Please bring your own assault rifle.)"

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I made that up. So, what's the point I'm trying to make? Keep your cat huntings a secret. I mean, we all get excited about our new adventures, but there are some things you just can't say out loud. I know I can never tell the story about the time I was 7 and I paid Eric Dorsey to show me his penis. People who don't know me would pass judgement on me without finding out the facts. And the facts on that particular story are pretty simple: I was told girls have vaginas and boys have penises. I was 7! What the hell's a penis?

Another mistake people make when they write is writing about stupid stuff that I'm people are not interested in. This doesn't just go for bloggers, though. Magazines need to realize how utterly inane their articles are becoming. Case in point:

I was sitting the doctor's office and I saw a magazine I'd never heard of before - the title caught my eye... something like: Green Living and Health and Well Being and Stuff. I started flipping through said magazine and find an article titled: How to Handle Awkward Situations. Now, I don't know about y'all, but I often find myself in uncouth positions - so this was an article that had my name written all over it. They decided instead of giving a general answer to recovering from embarrassing moments, they would give specific examples. Here's one example and I am not making this up... "What to do if you are standing in line at an ATM and the boss that recently fired you gets in line behind you." (Oddly, a punch in the throat wasn't the correct answer.)

I have four blogs which makes me an expert on all things blog related. So, here is my advice to novice bloggers:
*Don't share too much, because you'll become known as "that creepy blogger girl". And trust me, it takes a long time to shake that nickname.
*Don't write about something that maybe one out of every 15 trillion people can relate to. More than likely that person won't find your blog anyway - they'll be serving time for shooting someone whilst waiting to get cash.