Thursday, April 25, 2013

Better the floor than my face



“Don’t even think about it.”

My husband’s order was quick and firm, his voice matching the cadence of a hard-nosed drill sergeant putting new recruits through the paces of a grueling boot camp where you pray to the deity of your choice to take you before you puke up a kidney.

But I am made of sterner stuff. My dad was a U.S. Marine and taught me never to give into the enemy.

Unless it was Mom and my turn to wash the dishes.

But this is MY house, my friends, and I’m a little higher up the food chain here.

I laughed at my husband and snorted, “Like you can stop me.”

I turned back toward the object of his discontent: the ultimately cutest of cute photos of newborn golden retriever puppies that were - hands down - the most adorable things this planet has ever, ever, ever, ever seen in the history of the world. 

No, in the galaxy.

No, to infinity and beyond, my friends.

Seriously.

This photo goes viral and all wars would immediately cease with a gazillion people going, “Awwwww” in unity.

The skies will part. The sun will shine. It will be a serious kumbaya moment.

That, my friends, is the power of a golden retriever puppy.

But my husband put down his foot in a preemptive strike and said most eloquently, “No. More. Dogs.”

Geesh. I was just looking.

I glanced over at our three-year-old golden retriever and muttered, “Wow. Dad says you can’t meet your half-siblings.” I glared over my shoulder and added, “What a meanie.”

He glared right back at me, pointed at said dog and muttered, “How quickly you forget what THAT one did last night.”

Oh, don’t worry. I’m a woman.

We don’t forget anything.....

***

No one likes to be woken at 3 a.m.

No one likes a 90-pound golden retriever pouncing on her in bed at 3 a.m.

And no one likes to be yakked on at 3 a.m.

To recap....

No one likes to be woken by a golden retriever pouncing on her in bed then yakked on.

At 3 a.m.

You know where I’m going with this....

***

It was that time of night when all is quiet and peaceful. The worries and stresses of the day have melted away into the darkness of the night, leaving one in a state of blissful surrender to relaxation and ZZZs.

And there I was. Sound asleep. Minding my own business. Wrapped in a cocoon of warm, fuzzy blankets I had carefully, methodically and strategically maneuvered to my side of the bed during the night, leaving my husband with the corner of one light-blue sheet, just enough to cover one elbow and half a dream.

Life. Was. Good.

And then - BOOM!

Out of nowhere, 90 pounds of fur launched through the darkness and landed on my torso in a scrambling mess of limbs and snout and tail as if she had lost all coordination and at least half her mind.

I couldn’t even scream.

Because, you know, that requires the ability to breathe. 

I couldn’t reach out to grab for help.

Because, you know, that requires arms. Mine, of which, were currently trapped beneath the aforementioned 90 pounds of dog.

All I could do was lie there and wait for her to slide off and leave me to die in peace.

And then I heard it.

That sound every dog owner can identify three rooms away. That horrible, half-cough, half-gagging sound that means something really disgusting is about to make an appearance on your carpet.

Or, in this case, spewed ala Exorcist-style all over my face.

My eyes snapped open.

I channeled my inner Rambo and performed a half-twist, half-jackknife move that shoved the dog off my body and onto the floor.

Now was not the time for finesse.

I grabbed her collar and headed for the bedroom door and the hallway. But if the escalating sounds coming out of the dog were any indication, I didn’t have time for stairs, and making it safely to the front door was a pipe dream.

I veered off to the closest bathroom with tiled flooring and shoved her inside.

And that’s when, you know, she threw up what I assumed to be a small goat.

Oh, well. Better the floor than my face.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Just between you and me


Today in the mail I received a bariatric surgery advertisement from a large regional hospital in a town 40 miles down the road.

Before I tossed the ad into the recycling bin, I made the big mistake of glancing at the addressee, chuckling at the notion that direct mail gods would think I needed lap-band surgery.

But I stopped laughing quickly when I read my very own name on the label.

It was addressed to me.

TO me.

To ME.

Not Occupant. Or Resident. Or hey, you, crazy person who lives on West Edwards Street.

Nope. It was addressed to me.

They even spelled my first name correctly, which caused a whole new spasm of fear to ripple through my body because the only people who spell my name correctly are family and the U.S. Government.

I snuck a peak around me, checking to see if Big Brother did indeed have my mailbox scoped out.

Holy Mother of God.

A girl puts on a little winter weight and suddenly she’s a candidate for lap-band surgery?

Wow. That stings.

Sure. I’m turning 40 this year and have packed on a few pounds since high school. I am OK with that.

In fact, I am more than OK with that. I’m ecstatic, really. It means I’m still alive and kicking, breathing and swearing. The alternative  - being six feet under - is really what a person should be bummed about.

But then this happens? Son-of-a-biscuit.

Guess I’d better find a treadmill and get to work. But not before I find out who sold my name - correct spelling and all - for direct marketing. He or she will be dead to me.

Like Jake and Elwood, I’m on a mission from God, my friends.

Because if I don’t stop this right now, nip this direct mail craziness in the bud, I’ll receive mailings for facelifts, cataract surgery and bunion removal.

Well, on second thought. I could use that last one.

...just between you and me.

***

Lap-band surgery is serious business, and I have friends who have successfully changed their lives because of it. Bravo!

But there are dangers to it, as there are for any surgery. And I’m more than a little ticked that it’s being marketed to any Tom, Dick and Kelley in the four-state area, regardless of their need for it.

What kind of message are we sending here, medical professionals? Have we shifted the range of obesity so low as to include everyone larger than a Size 10?

OK. I’ll admit it. I inhaled half my 7-year-old son’s leftover Valentine’s Day candy. I had a good excuse, though. He gave up chocolate candy for Lent. And somebody had to eat it.

Just saying.

In any case, that doesn’t make me a candidate for that type of major surgery. Not even close. So what were they marketing to? My gender? My age? Having given birth? The fact that I like to wear yoga pants 24/7?

Newsflash: yoga pants rock. They are so freakin’ comfortable. Why WOULDN’T I wear them 24/7?!

And you have no idea how much I miss maternity jeans. Part of me just wants to get pregnant again so I can once again wear comfy jeans with expandable waists big enough to carry an elephant around rather than squeeze into the curve-crushing denim prisons non-gestating gals have to wear.

It’s difficult enough maintaining a positive body image in today’s Size 0 Society. I, for one, am quite happy with life as a medium. It’s how I like my drinks, and how I like my clothes. I’m happy in the middle, so just call me Goldilocks and move along.

***

The bariatric surgery advertisement went into the trash. At the risk of encouraging the wrath of environmentalists everywhere, I simply couldn’t put the offending card in the recycling bin. Frankly, I felt karma wouldn’t think it qualified to be reborn into a dependable paper sack or flowery stationery.

Instead, it needed to go away to a landfill and think about what it had done. Which was upset my happy mid-life equilibrium and send me on a snarky quest to find a treadmill.

...just between you and me.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Cone or cup?


“Cone or cup?” the friendly ice cream girl asked my 7-year-old son.

It seemed like an innocent question at the time. We had just walked into the large metropolitan-area arena, excited because it was our first time to see our favorite Division I basketball team in person.

I shrugged, looked down at my son who shrugged in return and said, “Cone, I guess.”

The attendant’s lips eerily turned up at the corners as she slowly turned to grab a cone from the stack on the counter.

It was one of those “I know something you don’t know” kinda grins that horror movies start with.

An uneasy feeling began to slither through my mind. That’s when I noticed the people around us were eating their ice cream in cups with a spoon.

There wasn’t a cone in sight.

That uneasy feeling began to turn into a full-on “Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!” alert status.

I turned back to the counter just in time to see the attendant reach for the lever and begin filling the small cone with ice cream.

And she kept filling it until the ice cream towered at least 8 or 10 inches over the top of the cone. Kinda like a Leaning Tower of Pisa in dairy form.

Uh, earth to ice cream girl. I think we’re good. You can stop now.

She noticed my expression of horror and laughed, “You’re new here, right? This is how we serve them.” Then she turned to my son, handed him the dangerously lop-sided cone and chuckled, “Here you go.”

I didn’t know what to say. That thing was unbelievable. It was tall enough to ride the roller coaster at the nearby amusement park.

Was that even legal? Was she some kind of sugar pusher? Did I need to find security?

Before I could do anything but marvel at the frozen concoction, my son brought the cone to his mouth, took a big lick and - you guessed it.

The tower of ice cream teetered perilously close to the edge of the cone then began an all-out slide to the side.

And before I could think about what I was doing, before my mind could override my body, my hand shot out toward the falling stack of ice cream and - SQUISHHHHH.

I caught it just before it fell completely off the cone.

I tried not to squeeze...but...you know...I squeezed. 

The ice cream oozed through my fingers in a cold, squishy, drippy, icky mess of goo.

I looked around in desperation for a trash can and NOTHING. Not a single trash can anywhere. IN. THE. WORLD.

You have got to be kidding me.

I yelled at my son, “Napkins! For the love of God, find me some napkins!”

He stood there in horror, cone still clutched in his hand while I held onto all his ice cream.

It was obvious I wasn’t getting any help from him. Nor from the chuckling bystanders who waltzed by with their ice cream safely ensconced in cups.

Therein lies the answer to the “Cone or cup?” question. Son-of-a-biscuit.

“Come with me!” I hollered at my son. I whirled  and ran back to the ice cream stand, reached over and grabbed about 300 napkins from the small holder on the counter.

About 100 of them fluttered to the floor around me in my desperation to keep the mess in my hand from reaching the floor.

Crud. They were soooo gonna kick me outta here before the game even started.

I attempted to reattach the tower of ice cream to the cone. I slowly brought the ice cream back over the top of the cone then not-so-delicately smooshed it down. Problem solved.

Ice cream began dripping down the sides, and I ordered my son, “Quick! Start licking!”

His jaw dropped. “But, Mom, your hand was all over my ice cream,” he wailed. “What about germs? Shouldn’t we get a new cone?”

“Are you crazy?!” I answered. I waved a dairy-soaked hand toward his cone from hell, ice cream dripping down my arm in sticky rivulets. “I paid $7 for that thing. You’re gonna eat it.”

I wrapped my non-gooey arm around his shoulders and said, “Now, let’s go find a corn dog.”