Today I Was A Horrible Person

Most days I consider myself a good person. One who, given a choice, will do the right thing.  Today was not one of those days.

My daughter and I were cruising through Costco, enjoying our ridiculously large frozen yogurts, heading towards a mom with two young kids seated side by side in the shopping cart. Right when we roll up next to them and I mean right at that EXACT moment, the little boy in the cart leans over and pukes. In our direction. Within spraying distance of us and our yogurt.

Now before I continue with the story…let’s talk about me and puke. I was very, very sick throughout all three of my pregnancies with a condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum. I threw up on a daily basis, many, many times a day, for months on end, during three separate times in my life.  I was hospitalized, IV’s, the works. And I think I have a little PTSD when it comes to vomiting. Because I cannot handle being around it. At all.

When my own sweet children have the stomach flu, I scream for my husband and then hide far enough away that I cannot hear that revolting sound coming from the bathroom. On the rare occasions that this happens and I am alone with the kids, I shove them into the bathroom and stand in the hall behind the closed door cheering them on guiltily, “It’s ok!  You’re doing great!  You can totally do this by yourself!”

As a result my children are very independent pukers. Not a bad thing, really. But I digress – back to the story at Costco.  So….I freeze in place. My stomach lurches and I start to feel sick but I realize that I have a bunch of napkins in my purse and that this mom would probably really appreciate some napkins right about now. And I really do consider holding my breath, not looking at the vomit covered children, cart and ground and handing her the napkins.

Until the kid leans over the cart again and just absolutely unleashes perhaps the contents of every Costco sample table, over and over again, as only a child in public can do.  And suddenly I am not frozen.  I am running.  Like my life depends on it.   Away from the poor lady and the poor puking kid and the poor other kid that’s sitting next to the puking kid.  As fast as I can push my daughter and her chocolate yogurt and all the other crap in our cart, I run.  And I don’t look back.  And I know it’s really horrible that I didn’t help a fellow mom when I had the chance.  I had napkins.  I was right there.

Lady…if your kid had been choking, I swear I would’ve jumped in and performed the Heimlich.  If he had fallen out of the cart and cracked his head open, I would’ve ripped off my shirt and held it to his bleeding wound and I wouldn’t have batted an eye.  But this…this was just too much for me and I am truly sorry.

And now I am sitting here waiting for karma to bite me in the ass and send the stomach flu storming through my house. Stay tuned.

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MY GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE YEAR

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The other day I built this Lego set…every single piece, all by myself.  As in, I would not allow the children to help. 

If you think that sounds a bit odd, let me try to explain.  As the mother of an 11 year old boy, I am no stranger to Legos.  I have purchased countless sets, admired my son’s creations, organized them into bins, and my feet have been impaled by them numerous times.   Which hurts way more than anyone would imagine is possible. 

But all these Legos we have – Star Wars, Harry Potter, Minecraft – they’re all, like, BOY Legos.  And my son seemed to have this innate ability to correctly snap those bricks together so there was never any need for me to actually help assemble one of these things. 

Well, my 5 year old daughter recently received a Lego set of her own – the Lego Friends Adventure Camper, clearly marketed toward girls. And unlike her brother, for whatever reason, she had no idea how to begin putting it together.  So she asked me to help. 

Dumping out the pieces, I surveyed the scene on the kitchen table – pink and purple bricks, miniature food, hidden storage compartments in the camper, little bicycles with baskets – and suddenly I was a kid on Christmas morning again. 

I became so engrossed in building the set perfectly I kept shooing away my poor daughter who just wanted to play with her toy.  But she kept sticking pieces together all willy-nilly and screwing up my masterpiece. 

My husband walked in just as I snapped, “Stop touching those pieces, I need them!  Why don’t you go color?”  And he was like, “What’s going on here?  Why can’t she touch her Legos?  What is wrong with you?” 

And then the other kids start chiming in, “Mom’s gone crazy…she won’t let anybody near the Legos, it’s super weird.” 

So fine, I’m a horrible mother for commandeering the Lego set but honestly, I don’t ask for much…is it so wrong to want to build the damn Adventure Camper in peace??

It’s not like they don’t have a billion other toys to play with. 

Now, of course I realize this “girl” Lego set is the ultimate gender stereotyping cliché.  And upon further research I found out that a lot of people are all up in arms about these “controversial” Lego sets being specifically marketed to girls…there have been petitions, rants of gender equality, sexism, etc. 

But the bottom line is that for years Lego has been trying to get girls on board with building and they have failed…until they dyed the bricks pink

And when did this, their profits went up 35%.  Which means little girls are building where they might not have been before.  So how is that a bad thing?  All I have to say on the matter is “Lego…what the hell took you so long?” 

And, as my husband so wittily put it, “Leggo my Lego!”

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RESOLUTIONS VS. REALITY

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So last year I actually wrote a New Years Resolutions list for 2013. I just came across it and decided to share a few of them along with updates on how well I fared.

Resolution #1: I will begin an exercise regimen that includes aerobic activity 5x per week and strength training 3x per week. Right. On second & more realistic thought, perhaps I will just stop circling parking lots to try and get the space next to the handicapped stall so I don’t have to walk as far. And does trying to move the dead weight of a sleeping 75 pound labrador from my space on the couch every night over to the next cushion count as strength training? I vote yes.

UPDATE: I signed up to run a half-marathon last spring. Paid the fee and everything. Unfortunately, I did not actually run the half-marathon, nor show up at all. But it was months of great fun pretending and imagining I was going to do it. In November of 2013 I did go on a walk. There was a hill and I got tired. That’s about it for 2013. And we got a new couch which the dog is not allowed on so my strength training program also went out the window…damn.

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Resolution #2:  I will force each of my three children to have one serving of a fruit OR vegetable every day.  That’s right, pediatricians and supermoms, I said one serving per kid.  I’m sick of throwing away peas.  Don’t judge.

UPDATE:  Success!  Ava added carrots to her approved food list in 2013.  Perhaps they are cooked and smothered in butter and brown sugar but underneath all the sweet goo it is still a carrot.  It counts.  Again…don’t judge.

Resolution #3:  I will finally part with my maternity underwear even though it is comfy and stretchy and is the only article of clothing I own that used to be too small and is now too big.  Sigh. 

UPDATE:  They’re gone.  It was bittersweet.  However, my paper-thin, soft, twelve-year old stretchy maternity pajama pants were not part of the deal.  Those stayed and will stay until they cause me physical harm.  I say this because I was wearing them yesterday morning and the bottoms are all ripped and somehow they got caught in part of the vacuum cleaner and I kind of had to fight my way out of a crazy situation.  But I escaped unscathed and we’re still good, me and my shredded pajama pants.  Just got to be a little more careful around appliances in the future I guess.

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Resolution #4:  Just once, I will go to Costco and buy ONLY the items on my list.  Note to self: add Giant Churro to list. 

UPDATE:  I totally did it!  In October I went to Costco and purchased only a tub of mini coffee cakes.  I know, you’d think my one item would’ve been something more essential, like toilet paper, but truly, I needed those mini coffee cakes more.  And I’m not counting the 14 samples I scarfed down while proudly strolling through Costco with my one item because those were all FREE.

Resolution #5:  I will throw away every mate-less sock in my laundry room instead of constantly being convinced the other one has GOT to turn up in the next load.  Reminder to google “scientific theories on where the hell the other sock goes”.  

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UPDATE:  I can’t do it.  There are currently 9 mate-less socks in my laundry room.  What can I say?  I’m an eternal optimist when it comes to this conundrum.  I just cannot give up on those poor missing socks.  I vote we give the damn Nobel Prize to whatever genius can figure this one out.

Resolution #6:  I will not charge anything on my credit card that costs less than $3.00.  Except when in the vicinity of a Krispy Kreme doughnut store or trapped in a parking garage at my doctor’s (“sorry, we don’t validate”) office. 

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UPDATE:  I am unresoluting this resolution.  I hate using cash.  I hate cashiers giving me a handful of potentially virus ridden coins and dollar bills that were just stuffed in somebody else’s pants.  Background: my grandfather washed his money.  Literally like laundry, with the bills hung up on a clothesline to dry.  When I was a kid and went into the basement and saw the crisp money hanging there drying I was like “wow, that’s so cool”.  Then, as I got older, I was like “wow, that’s really weird.” But now I think he was on to something…money is dirty and gross and so I’m sticking with my shiny clean credit card that only I touch, end of story.

Resolution #7:  I will stop playing the “how far can I REALLY go when my gas light is on?” game. Even though I hate getting gas….where else do people wait in line to buy something you can’t see, touch or wear, that smells bad, is hazardous and supports either the destruction of natural resources or imperialistic rich nations?  Getting gas just sucks. 

UPDATE:  This was an easy fix…we bought an all electric car.  We just plug it into the wall every night – it has no engine, no tailpipe, no gas tank.  Sure we can only drive 60 miles before it has to be charged again and actually only half that if you put the heat or a/c on.  But so what?  We literally live on an island.   And it does take 24 hours to charge.  And it’s really, really, small.  So small it might look like a clown car when all 5 of us stumble out of it.  But I don’t care.  Because not getting gas is awesome.

Resolution #8:  I will conquer my fear of spiders, lice, sharks, vomiting, public restroom door handles (honestly, I find it INCREDIBLE that fully functioning adult women do not wash their hands after using a public restroom.  And turning the water on for two seconds and then grabbing a paper towel does NOT count as hand washing.  I can hear you from my stall and you’re not foolin’ anyone), having to purchase something at the grocery store from the top shelf which I cannot reach without a full-scale climbing mission, paying full-price for something because I forgot my coupon….on second thought, this list is getting a bit overwhelming so perhaps just enlist the help of a therapist to determine why I have so many neuroses.

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UPDATE:  I have conquered nothing.  I am still terrified of every single thing on that list plus let’s now add giant raccoons to the mix thanks to our new locale in the creepy woods.  Screw hiring a therapist…I may now have enough issues to actually BECOME one.

Resolution #9:  I will stop making excuses to justify buying Groupons that I will never use.   Am I really going to go on a Segway tour of my local beach city?  Which upon further thought would involve a RENTAL helmet and a high-risk lice situation?  Hell, no.  Half price at a paint-your own ceramics studio?   Sure, the kids had fun for 15 minutes and I paid $45 for three little random ceramic animals…what a steal.  95% off tattoo removal?  SUCH a great deal but first I would have to A) get a tattoo and B) grow to hate my tattoo.  75% off a storage unit rental?  Fabulous, I can use it to store all my unused Groupons. 

UPDATE:  In January of 2013 I simply clicked “Unsubscribe” and kicked this resolutions ass!

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The Costco Return Line

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I am a huge fan of Costco, in part due to their incomparable return policy. They truly do stand behind every product they sell and no return seems to be too absurd for them. I openly admit I have taken full advantage of this policy over the years…I recently returned a vacuum cleaner that died, after using it for two years to vacuum up more dog hair than you ever thought could possibly come from one Labrador. I have returned clothes that shrunk and toys that did not live up to their claims. I had a friend that once bought an entire living room set, moved six months later, and when the furniture didn’t fit in the new house, returned it for a full refund! And Costco doesn’t bat an eye.

On a recent trip the return line was exceptionally long and it seemed each person’s return was more complicated than the next.. Why do I always feel like I am the only person who has a straightforward, simple return, who has a receipt and Costco card in hand and when it’s my turn it takes like two minutes?

But these other people are up there with all kinds of problems and stories, going on and on about one thing or another.

One lady was returning a printer and they unpacked the box to make sure everything was there. And the printer cable was missing. So the clerk asks her where the printer cable is and she feigns innocence like, “What? Oh? Really? I didn’t realize. Cable? You see, my husband…..” Blah, blah, blah. When lady, we are all thinking you bought this thing so you could return it and get a free printer cable. Really, now.

And so it went, one big problem and long story after another. The whole time in line I was annoyed because I couldn’t see what the lady in front of me was returning and I was curious. So it’s finally her turn so she goes up to the cashier and I see her unwrapping a small item in her hand. I nosily re-position myself to see what her deal is and I see what appears to be half a salami on the counter.

Lady, are you kidding me? You just waited in this line for 30 minutes to return your half-eaten appetizer?! First of all, it couldn’t have been that bad because somebody ate half of it. Second, unless all your Christmas dinner guests died of food poisoning and you are turning this hunk of meat in for a lab analysis…this is a WASTE OF EVERYBODY’S TIME. But at least it explained the weird smell wafting through the line.

Whatever…it’s finally my turn. Now, please excuse me so I can return my hair dryer and get the hell out of here already.

“What’s that you say? It came with a mini hair dryer just perfect for travel? Oh? Really? I didn’t realize. Mini hair dryer? You see, my husband…”