Laughing Mama's Blog

My inner monologue with myself inside my head put in this blog out in the open for everybody to read.

Obligatory End of the Year Top 5-10 List Depending On My Material (AKA: “50 Shades of Me”) December 31, 2012

New Year’s Eve is fast approaching. And since the world didn’t end on December 21st, I decided to reflect on the past year and come up with some of my favorite moments of 2012. These are not things that happened in the world- I’ll let Yahoo count those down for you. They are personal to me. They could be good, they could be bad and most likely they’re weird. I’m not really sure how many there are which will make counting down fairly difficult. I guess I’ll just wait until the end and number them then. Shall we get started?

8. Chocolate Boob: You’ve heard of Chocolate Rain, right? (If not, congratulations! You are too busy being a productive human being to waste hours of time on YouTube. Let me save you the surfing time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwTZ2xpQwpA) Well, this story has nothing to do with that except that I’m talking about chocolate “too”. I say “too” because I’m not even sure Chocolate Rain is about chocolate per se, but its been a while since I’ve watched the video so maybe it is. Anyway, in June a high school buddy came into town from Japan and a bunch of other high school buddies got together at another high school buddy’s house to see her. Since I’m the “cake lady” I brought cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes. But for some reason I didn’t have my usual plastic containers for them. I don’t know, maybe I was out and hadn’t had a chance to go get more. Whatever the reason, I lined a sheet cake pan with pretty fabric and arranged the cupcakes in it. I made my way into the house carrying the pan, saying hello, promising hugs as soon as I put the pan down. Which I did. And the first person I turned to hug looked at me and said, “Hey, Eileen, you’ve got something… right… there. You know… there.” as she motioned to her chest region. I looked down and OF COURSE I had accidentally brushed my left boob over the top of one of the chocolate cupcakes leaving a blob of icing on my shirt. I specify that it was my left boob because that’s the big one and it’s always causing more problems than the right one. I don’t know why they can’t be the same size but I guess it’s kind of good because if they were then I’d have two chocolate boobs. My point is that I had not seen some of these people in several years. And then when I do, instead of entering like Martha Stewart I end up coming at them all smiles with chocolate on my shirt like a 5-year-old. I wonder if Martha ever made an entrance with something in an inappropriate place. I’m picturing a summer party in Nantucket with Martha in her best white clam diggers, greeting guests and mingling and when she turns around there it is… a used condom stuck to her rear end! It’s not uncommon. We had a used condom stuck to our car tire one time. It was not OUR used condom, we picked it up on the road somewhere which makes you wonder… who is flinging used condoms out of car windows on the highway? Maybe that’s what happened to Martha. Wrong place, wrong time. Chocolate boob.

7. Swingers: To be fair, I don’t know if they were swingers or not. For all I know, they were just super creepy to everyone. The story is, I was in Charlotte for my sister’s birthday and we had gone to a local Irish pub for a few drinks. As is the case with me, the more I drink the louder I get. But there is a point wherein I’m sober enough to realize I’m being loud but drunk enough not to care. That’s when I noticed a couple in the respectable “restaurant” section of the pub. I didn’t want to full-on stare at them but I could feel their eyes on me. I was used to general contempt being hurled in my direction from others who were not in my party and therefore didn’t realize how hilarious I am. Therefore I thought nothing of the fact that when I did get an opportunity to glance their way, usually when my head was thrown back in a hugely exaggerated open-mouthed laugh, I saw them leaning towards each other talking and gesturing in my direction. Whatever. I decided to hit the ladies room. While in there I took a second to look in the mirror and adjust something- lip gloss, bra, Spanx, I can’t remember. That’s when the lady of the couple came in and saw me standing there. Instead of scowling, her eyes brightened which confused me greatly. “I just have to tell you that my husband and I think you have the BEST laugh! We have been sitting there enjoying watching you. It’s just infectious and you have that adorable dimple. Your whole face just exudes happiness. You are really beautiful.” ……… Now what the hell are you supposed to say to THAT??!!! “You’re getting it all wrong lady, I’m going for obnoxious, not beautiful.” or “Sorry, I’ve got my eye on this other couple at the bar.” or “This is the ladies room not late night Cinemax.” or “Darn it! I gave up threesomes for Lent.” No, I went with the meek “Thank you” and high tailed it outta there back to my sister who I told immediately and then we laughed loudly again which I’m sure made me even more irresistible to the progressive minded husband and wife.

6. Disney: I turned 40 this year and as a present my wonderful husband planned a trip to Walt Disney World for us and the kids. We had gone 2 years ago and had a wonderful, memorable time and he wanted to repeat that family togetherness. We thought maybe we’d add to that memory and bring my husband’s parents along this time. They had been wanting to go ever since their first grandchild was born and we felt like the time was right. At this point, let me say that we went in October and expected unseasonably warm temperatures since we were in Florida, but we did not expect 90 degrees every day and torrential downpours most of the time. The weather was truly awful. But, we made the most of it and had a wonderful start to the week. My in-laws rode the Tower of Terror and Rockin’ Rollercoaster much to our surprise and had a GREAT time. Then my mother-in-law dislocated her shoulder. It’s not even funny, y’all. She fell on the sidewalk and popped her shoulder right out of its socket!! After a long night in the ER, she finally got some relief in the way of her shoulder returning to its socket and vicodin. God Bless them though, they were troopers and were determined to stick with the program. They met us the next sweltering day and only lasted about an hour before they had to go back to their room. That’s when my father-in-law’s body exploded. I’m not even kidding. The man doesn’t get ill and hasn’t gotten physically sick in over 20 years. Disney worked it’s “magic” on him, though and Mickey’s Revenge took him out. At least for a couple of days. They still wanted to participate as much as they could though and did Hollywood Studios with us the last day. They could not have looked more miserable. It was hot, they were uncomfortable and probably just wanted a bed instead of a sling, a wheelchair and a cool, wet bandana to go around their necks to keep their core temperatures down. It was like Grandparent Bookcamp up in there! But they survived, and the best was their birthday card to my husband a couple of weeks later, “Sure did enjoy Disney” it said. What it didn’t say was, “Glad we don’t have to do it again!”.

5. Magic Mike: So, no 2012 countdown would be complete without Magic Mike. I don’t think it’s any secret that I like boys. Make those boys buff, dance to music I like and take their clothes off… well then you’ve just become my new best friend. I think what we’ve found out this year between Magic Mike and that book someone wrote (I’ll talk about that momentarily) is that women aren’t as coy as they once used to be. Maybe it just took this year to figure out exactly how some of us like sex packaged. Ha! I said package! I digress. I think women are turned on by visual stimuli just as much as men and nothing dispelled the myth that we need plot quite like Magic Mike. Were there words in the movie? And they were brilliant at packaging that to women. (Package count: 2) Hell, one of the special features on the DVD is all of the dance sequences strung together so you don’t even have to fast forward! Take THAT porn industry! My point is, Channing Tatum is beautiful and can dance his beautiful ass off and I thank him for making Magic Mike so I can sit in the comfort of my living room with a package (3) of Oreos and stare at him shaking it and humping the floor and grinding against anything and just generally being sexy as hell. This paragraph was approved by my husband.

4. Tudors: So, while we’re on the topic of sexy men, we also discovered a show called The Tudors this year thanks to Netflix. I know I’m several years behind, but we don’t get anything but basic cable so I have to wait. And The Tudors was so worth it! It’s a great show with wonderful acting, amazing costumes and gorgeous, gorgeous boys. I can’t help it, but it’s not my fault. They keep putting these beautiful men on-screen. Jonathan Rhys Meyers as King Henry VIII is stunning. I love him. He’s like this tortured, brooding, complicated Irish soul with intense eyes that (I would assume if he looked at you in person) make you feel naked even if you’re fully clothed. And then there’s Henry Cavill. Henry Fucking Cavill. I’m pretty sure that’s his middle name. He renders me speechless. (Unless you count a guttural “Umph” every time I gaze upon his wickedness as speech.) I don’t even know what to say. What can I say? There are no words. Except thank you, God. I see Henry Cavill and I know you exist.

3. 50 Shades: I told you I’d talk about THAT book. I was right there with the masses for Magic Mike. I succumbed. And I really tried with 50 Shades of Grey. Until I realized it sucked. If I had to read the words “Oh crap” one more time *I* was going to tie someone up. And once I found out it was born out of Twilight fan fiction that was it for me. I never finished the first book and don’t intend to. I’ve heard the second book is better and has some character development which is good because Ana and Christian in the first book are about as deep as the Frosted Mini Wheats I had for breakfast. I’m not saying it has to be great literature and the fact that it’s not and the only redeeming quality it has in it is tons and tons of sex makes my point about women not being as coy as they once were even more solid. And supposedly they’re going to make a movie. I swear, even with all of the above being said, I will be the first in line to see it if they cast Henry Cavill as Christian Grey. Because Henry Cavill on-screen doing dirty things all over the place just might make my head (and other things) explode from too much sexiness. I mean seriously, I can’t even handle how gorgeous that man is. Oh crap! Maybe I should write a fan fiction about him, turn it into a novel and then make one hundred million dollars. *winky face*!!!!

2. Jacuzzi Tub: My mom has time-share points. Well, she used to have a time-share and now she has points. I think they’re the same thing, but according to my mom points are the devil and I tend to agree because there are a lot of rules I have to help her keep straight and sometimes we lose points because we forget to bank them on the 4th Sunday after the Summer Solstice when Jupiter is in Venus and Charlie Brown finally kicks the football. I don’t know. All I know is that sometimes I can book a vacation for her and we get to tag along. Such was the case this fall. Circumstances presented themselves in such a way that I was able to go by myself with my mom. (Those circumstances were my daughter saying she didn’t want to miss the cow eye dissection in her middle school science class, my son being Switzerland and my husband realizing I needed a break and therefore saying, “Go. Please!”) So there I am in my condo room just me and a tub bigger than I had ever seen. The jets on the side and the dial on the wall alerted me to the fact that this was a jacuzzi tub. So, I gathered my magazine, a glass of wine and some cheese and crackers to try it out. Everything I learned about luxury I learned from Lovey Howell’s discussions on Gilligan’s Island. I followed the directions on the wall and set the timer, started the tub water and got in expecting to push the button to start the jets when it got up to level. Well, I don’t know WHAT happened. Maybe I pushed the button getting in, or maybe housekeeping goes around pushing all the buttons for unsuspecting vacationers as a lark, but I’ll tell you exactly the outcome of the button being pre-pushed… when the water reaches the level of the jets, the jets start to spurt water everywhere in unpredictable directions. It was like the tub was giving me very forceful and really unwanted zerberts in irregular intervals. There I was sitting there, minding my business when all of a sudden “PFFFFTTTTFFFTTT!!!”. I don’t know what made the bigger mess, the spitting jet or my spaz attack at being so startled by the noise and subsequent spray of water on my face. I DO know what was more embarrassing- that would be my mom knocking on my door wondering if I was okay because she heard the commotion. “Yes, fine. Just trying to figure out the jacuzzi tub!” I yelled over the cycle of “PFFFTTTTFFFTTT!!!” and me splashing to get out of the gigantic tub to turn the jets off. As if the jacuzzi tub were some sort of ancient riddle not even the brightest minds could crack. Good God. I finally got it turned off and surveyed the damage… magazine- drenched, wine- waterlogged, cheese and crackers- soggy beyond repair and the floor looked like I had just had an epic water balloon fight with my kids. Ah well, I thought as I got back in the water, even if I don’t use the jets, at least I can have a good soak in a big tub. Yeah. No. I sat there trying to relax in the molded recliner-esque plastic “seat” but my buoyancy kept making me drift away so I was constantly fighting my own body’s natural tendencies to float in order for me to sit in an unnatural position in the water so I could “relax”. I felt like I was floating downriver constantly trying to claw my way back to the stubborn La-Z-Boy which was always upstream from me. I finally gave up when my arm slipped on the handrail and I dunked my whole head underwater. Jacuzzi tubs were clearly meant for someone with more coordination than me.

1. Cake: I’m going to end on cake because cake is what I do and what I live almost daily. My cake business was humming along smoothly this year. I was consistently busy every month which is a relief because when you put yourself out there and say, “Hey world, I think I’m pretty good at this and you’re going to want to pay me money for it!” you kind of hope the world doesn’t say “No thanks”. I had the pleasure of being a part of so many celebrations in 2012. It really is a blessing to be able to do this and meet so many awesome people and wonderful families. I love the look on little ones’ faces when I walk through the door with their birthday cake. Or brides almost crying because their wedding cake is exactly what they wanted. Or people clapping with delight when they’ve given me a seemingly impossible task that I meet. So many opportunities to make people happy which is mostly why I play with sugar and flour. I wish I could work for those smiles alone, but my husband won’t let me.

So there you have it, 2012 (or what I could remember of it) in a nutshell. Of course it’s not everything. There were lots of little moments that make the year memorable. My daughter starting middle school and being asked to her first dance, my son’s face when I sang Bell Biv DeVoe to him, “Never trust a big butt and a smile” and then him saying, “If you only knew. People tell me that all the time, mom.” And the thousand kisses I was lucky enough to receive from my amazing husband. At the dawn of a new year I think about the lyrics to ‘Seasons of Love’ from Rent- 525,600 minutes… how do you measure, measure a year? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee. In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. There’s definitely been plenty of that lately. But to continue… how about love? I’m wishing you much love in 2013. Share love, give love, spread love. Measure your life in love. Happy New Year!

 

The balance wheel of marriage… (AKA: “Yes honey, I DO want to go camping!!!”) January 12, 2010

Filed under: Humor,kids,Life,Marriage — laughingmama @ 8:24 pm
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Arnie and I have been together for almost 16 years and married for 14 of them. Somehow in those 16 blissful years we have managed to avoid one of the major milestones of family life in America- going to Walt Disney World. That is, until now. Our kids are getting up there in age and are quickly moving out of the “It’s magical” reaction to Disney and rapidly toward the “Yeah, whatever. Where’s my iPod?” reaction. We have to act fast. So, we’ve decided to plan a trip for this year. Our kids are in year-round school so we’ll take advantage of the cool temperatures and (hopefully) smaller crowds and go during their October break. That’s as far as we’ve gotten with the planning.

We’ve queried a few families who have been there and gotten some good feedback. Some we will use, some we won’t. For example, my brother spent months pouring over guide books, scouring the internet for tips and came up with a spreadshit (no joke, I just typed that. I’m leaving it in there because that was such a perfect Freudian slip!)… I mean… spreadsheet which not only detailed each section of every park and the rides contained therein, it noted whether use of the “Fast Pass” was possible, any restaurants available, the times and locations of any reservations he had made, times of shows and parades and all of it was color coded. This was cut down to a totable size, laminated and bound with three rings to make an easy access reference they carried with them every day. It was amazing. I envied it and his planning skills since I don’t possess them. When I told a friend about it, she asked if he was adopted. I told her no, that he was an accountant.

Other people weren’t quite as organized but enjoyed themselves anyway. They, however, waited for long periods in line. I’m hoping we can be somewhere in the middle. We’ve begun to think about where we would stay. Of course, there are several options. We could stay at a time-share condo close by that my in-laws said they would generously share, we could stay on site at an economy hotel and do a budget vacation, we could go all out and stay somewhere like Animal Kingdom and watch exotic animals being fed outside our balcony, or we could pull our camper the 620 miles it will take to drive there and stay in Fort Wilderness- the Disney campground.

Guess which option I vote for? Guess which one my husband wants to choose? Let me qualify my lack of enthusiasm by saying that I love our camper. It has two beds, a kitchen sink, a microwave and an oven, a refrigerator, a stereo/DVD player and most importantly, a bathroom with a toilet, a shower and a door that closes! We take it out every weekend we can when the weather is nice. We have a lovely campground by a lake that’s only 20 minutes from our door and it’s like a second home to us in the summer. Let me clarify by saying that I’m not THAT kind of girl- the “high maintenance” kind. Okay, it’s not like we’re roughing it, but I don’t mind getting dirty. What I do think I will mind is pulling into Ft. Wilderness, getting the kids excited about finally being at Disney and then telling them they have to wait while their father and I park the camper, level the camper, unpack our wares, set up the water and sewer connection, unfold the bunk ends, slide out the couch, make the beds… I can see you making a face right now. It’s the same face I’ve worn when I think of it too.

Until today. I’ve thought about the reasons why Arnie is lobbying for Camp Mickey. He has very fond memories of being there, camping with his family as a kid. He said Camp Mickey was almost as much if not more fun than the Disney park itself. It made a big impression on him and he gets this far away nostalgic look on his face every time he talks about it. It’s actually really sweet. I understand wanting to recreate memories for your kids. It’s the same reason we’ve taken our kids to Hilton Head Island which is where my family would vacation every year. But as an adult and as the parent, it’s just not the same. I’ve warned Arnie about this simply because I don’t want him to be disappointed.

But really, who am I to dash his dream for his family? I have learned something in these 16 blissful years- sometimes you’re the supporter and sometimes you’re the supported. A friend of mine calls it the balance wheel and I love that. Events in recent years have meant that the balance wheel has largely spun toward Arnie being the supporter. You know the phrase “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”? I hate that phrase but Arnie kind of embodies it. He has said before that if he can make my life easier, then his life is easier too and everything is better. This absolutely floors my mom who had a wonderful husband for 52 years in my dad, but he wasn’t the most helpful guy. His many strengths lied elsewhere.  But what Arnie understands is that it’s not just taking care of the “honey do” list (which I REFUSE to have- I’m not his mama, he’s not 10 years old and doesn’t need a chore chart.), it’s recognizing when to be quiet, when to give a kind word and when to say, “Here’s a glass of wine, go take a bath, I’ve got this.” when I’m at my wit’s end or in the middle of an emotional meltdown. Oprah once said that foreplay doesn’t just happen 10 minutes before intercourse, it happens ALL DAY LONG. (And no guys, I don’t mean lewd whistles when we bend over to unload the dishwasher. I mean unloading the dishwasher WITH us. You can spank my ass while we’re doing it- that’s fine! Just have your other hand ready to accept the utensil basket.) Arnie gets this. He tries really hard and is very good at taking care of all of me.

That’s why I’m willing to take one for the team. And not in that half-hearted “Okay, I’ll tell you yes so we can get this over with and I can go to sleep.” kind of way. (For the record, I have NEVER done that. I swear. I don’t see the point, actually. Catching a dead, limp fish is no fun for the fisherman OR the fish. Better to stick your pole in the water when it’s more welcoming. Assuming that’s sometime within the next 48 hours. If not, you may have a problem that I can’t help you with.) What’s the use in doing something for someone else if you’re just going to make them feel guilty or terrible about the fact that you’re doing it? You gotta go all the way, and do it gladly. So, when we were sitting at dinner I looked at him and said, “Honey, if camping at Fort Wilderness is what you want to do, I’m on board. Let’s do it! It sounds like fun!” It’s time the balance wheel spun in my direction even if that means the wheels of our camper will soon be rolling down I-95.

copyright 2010 by Me